Full Cabinet – 14 July 2015

PRESENT:-   Councillor Mrs Redfern in the chair.

Councillors Briggs, Hannigan, Poole, Reed, Rose, C Sherwood and Waltham.

Councillors Armiger, Clark, Collinson, A Davison, J Davison, Ellerby, Evison, L Foster, T Foster, Godfrey, Gosling, Longcake, Marper, Mumby-Croft, Ogg, O’Sullivan, Wells and Wilson also attended the meeting

Simon Driver, Will Bell, Peter Fijalkowski, Mick Gibbs, Denise Hyde, Helen Manderson, Karen Pavey, Chris Skinner, Jason Whaler, Peter Williams and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting

The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.


1146   MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 31 March 2015, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.

1147   (1)  OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which contained a schedule of outstanding issues on which cabinet had requested reports to future meetings.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

1148   (2)  TRANSFORMATION AND SHARED SERVICES – With reference to minute 1132, the Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report updating cabinet on progress made on the establishment of a shared back office service with North East Lincolnshire Council.  The report also sought approval to set up a joint committee of North and North East Lincolnshire Councils to oversee the full range of shared services that had been set up.

The shared back office services initiative between North and North East Lincolnshire Councils had grown out of the need to provide efficient and effective support services at a minimum cost in order to protect frontline services to local people.  Shared services had already been established between the two councils for local taxation and benefits, procurement, print and insurance (the latter also involving the East Riding of Yorkshire Council).  These had all proved successful and in January/February 2015 a decision had been taken to extend the arrangements into a full back office service.  Arrangements were now being developed to implement shared services for information technology, finance, internal audit, human resources and legal services.

Shared services would provide more than just cost savings and efficiencies.  Bringing together the services from two councils will provide robustness and resilience, the ability to learn it once, use it twice, to share skills, best practice and knowledge and to create a centre of expertise that enables future expansion or commercial development.  Overall therefore it provided a positive development agenda which would deliver further benefits in future.

Following the decision to proceed in January/February, each of the five shared services now being developed had produced business plans that set out in detail how each service would be structured, how it would deliver the joint service, what investment needs there were, how the target savings would be achieved, how stakeholder needs would be met etc.  Stress testing of the proposals had taken place to set service standards, to ensure that a consistent level of service could be delivered across both councils, and that each council’s financial contribution was consistent with this.  External assurance had been sought from external specialists who had provided challenge and comment on the proposals.  These proposals were considered to be robust and deliverable and pen pictures of each of the shared services was attached as appendix 1 to the report.  However, as the project had proceeded it had become apparent that some “tidying up” of other functions was necessary, particularly where they were currently proposed for inclusion at one council but not the other.  It was proposed therefore that member training and graphic design/publications of this council would become part of the relevant shared services operation.  The potential existed for other services to be added in future years and this would be kept under active review.

In relation to governance of the project, so far this had been via a board made up of officers from each council, and workstream sub boards composed similarly for each of the five services.  Oversight of the development had been via the relevant cabinet member at each council.  It was now considered necessary to strengthen the governance for the project.  The following model was proposed which would allow services to continue to be available internally but provided more efficiently –

·  A joint committee of the two councils would oversee the shared services, meeting quarterly to guide strategy, ensure achievement and provide direction.

·  The joint committee would comprise three members from each cabinet, appointed by the respective leaders of each council, with the chairman’s role alternating between councils on an annual basis.

·  This would be supported by an officer board, meeting monthly to oversee service delivery and support the joint committee.

·  Each shared service would be led by an officer appointed jointly by each council.

·   They would report to strategic management in each council (existing Assistant Directors at North Lincolnshire Council).

·  Other staff within the shared service would retain their existing terms and conditions.

·   It was not envisaged that either council would take the role of “lead” partner, the shared service being of two equal partners.

The shared service was structured so that it delivered all appropriate advice and operational matters to the senior management structure of each council.  This would mean that most decision making in the area of each shared service would remain with each council.  The terms of reference for the joint committee were attached at appendix 2 to the report and reflected this.  Minor amendments to the delegations to the cabinet member for policy and finance were necessary as a consequence, including the expectation that the cabinet member for policy and finance would have a place on the joint committee.  The proposed governance arrangements were sufficiently simple and flexible to enable a robust exit strategy if required.

The shared back office services were planned to begin on 1 April 2016 and the financial implications could be summarised as combined savings for both councils of £12.6m over a 10 year period.  The savings result from a joint investment of £2.5m of which £1.9m was provided via the TCA Award.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the positive progress being made to implement shared back office services with North East Lincolnshire Council with effect from 1 April 2016; (b) that a joint committee be established to oversee the shared service arrangements and deliver the functions under the Terms of Reference as set out in appendix 2 to the report; (c) that the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader be authorised to make all necessary consequential amendments to the delegations relating to the cabinet member for policy and finance; (d) that member training and graphic design/publications become part of the shared service programme and (e) that further progress reports be submitted to cabinet at future meetings.

1149   (3)  FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE OUTTURN 2014/2015 AND BUDGET REVIEW 2015/2016 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report on the council’s financial performance for the year 2014/2015, set out proposals to carry forward funding for specific purposes into 2015/2016 and provided a first budget review for the new financial year.  The report also brought together financial and performance information, allowing a broad judgement to be made of the impact of budget efficiencies on service delivery.  The Director in his report summarised the outturn position showing –

·  Net Directorate spending successfully contained within budget, 1% below the cash limit.

·   Predominantly through short term savings including vacancy management.

·   An increase in the level of available reserves.

·   At the same time an improvement in performance with 81% of key performance indicators showing performance above target or within tolerance and 69% showing improvement on the previous year.

·   Capital Expenditure of £71m, £12.9m or 15.4% below programme spend, mostly due to rephasing.

Early indications showed that the 2015/2016 revenue budget was broadly on track, with progress on delivering planned budget savings.  Some adjustments to 2015/2016 spending could be needed following the Chancellor’s July Budget.

The report contained further detailed information about the outturn and budget review and included a number of appendices relating to the revenue budget, the capital programme, performance, agreed carry forwards and the re-alignment of capital budgets.

Cabinet was invited to consider the financial outturn and performance for 2014/2015, the rephasing of the capital programme and changes to capital and revenue budgets for 2015/2016 including carry forwards.

Resolved – (a) That the revenue, capital and performance outturn for 2014/2015 be noted; (b) that the revenue budget at appendix 4, incorporating the budget carry forwards  at appendix 3 be approved for 2015/2016; (c) that the revised capital programme detailed at appendices 8 and 9 be approved, and (d) that cabinet notes progress on delivering the 2015/2016 savings and developments.

1150   (4)  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE FOR ADOPTION 2015/2016 – The Director of People submitted a report informing and seeking support from cabinet in the delivery of the North Lincolnshire Statement of Purpose for Adoption 2015/2016 and the Child and Young Persons version.

The North Lincolnshire Adoption Service provided a fully comprehensive service for both adoption and adoption support services.  The team consisted of qualified, experienced and skilled social workers and in 2014/2015 –

·  16 children were adopted in 2014/2015.

·  The service met its target and recruited 25 adopters/households.

·  The 2011/2014 adoption scorecard for North Lincolnshire Adoption Service showed improvement and performance was better than the England average.  It is predicted that good performance will continue and this will be reflected in the 2012/2015 adoption scorecard.

·  The panel chair commented in the 6 monthly adoption business report “work undertaken in North Lincolnshire continues to be of a very high quality and much appreciated by prospective adopters.”

The North Lincolnshire Adoption Service works to seek permanence and match children and adopters in a timely manner, however some cases take longer due to the age and the complexity of the child’s needs.  The statement of purpose outlined what the adoption service provided.  It was available to children, adopters, birth parents and staff and was available on the council’s website.  In addition, there was a child’s and young person’s version of the statement of purpose.

The statement of purpose was produced in compliance with the Care Standards Act 2000, the Local Authority Adoption Services (England) Regulations 2003, the Local Authority Adoption Services (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, the Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005, Adoption Agencies and Independent Review of Determinations (Amendment) Regulations 2011 and 2012 and the Statutory Guidance on Adoption 2013.

The full statement of purpose was attached as an appendix to the report together with the young person’s statement of purpose.

Resolved – That cabinet supports the statement of purpose and work of the North Lincolnshire Council Adoption Service.

1151   (5  REVIEW OF CARE HOMES IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report together with the report of the People Scrutiny Panel in relation to a Review of Care Homes In North Lincolnshire.

At its meeting on 2 June 2015, the People Scrutiny Panel had approved its draft report on the Review of Care Homes in North Lincolnshire and referred it to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan.

The purpose of the review had been to scrutinise the quality of care provided in North Lincolnshire’s Care Homes with particular emphasis on the governance arrangements from North Lincolnshire Council and other stakeholders.  The specific aims were –

·  To explore the current practices and procedures in place within care homes in North Lincolnshire to contribute to keeping the frail and elderly safe in placement.

·  To examine the systems that Adult Services and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have in place to promote and monitor the standard of care through quality assurance mechanisms, individual service reviews and complaints procedures.

·  To explore the role of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in ensuring that people living in residential care homes were provided with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and CQC’s role in ensuring that care services improved where necessary.

·  To consider the wider issues that influence standards of care and the wellbeing of residents in care homes, including staffing, training, recruitment, policies and procedures and positive activities that promote physical and emotional wellbeing.

·  To explore the role of Healthwatch as consumer champion for Health and Social Care in contributing to safeguarding.

·  To make recommendations to cabinet for implementation.

A full copy of the report of the People Scrutiny Panel was attached as an appendix to the covering report.

Resolved – (a) That the report and recommendations be approved and adopted, and (b) that relevant members and officers prepare an action plan in response to the recommendations of the report for submission to a future meeting of cabinet.

1152   (6)  PROMOTING VISION AND EYE HEALTH REPORT OF THE HEALTH SCRUTINY PANEL – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report together with the report of the Health Scrutiny Panel in relation to promoting vision and eye health.

At its meeting on 2 April 2015, the Health Scrutiny Panel had approved its draft report on promoting vision and eye health.  The report had been referred to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan.

The Health Scrutiny Panel had decided to conduct a review of eye health services as they are planned, commissioned and provided by a number of different organisations and private companies.  As such, members wished to assure themselves that the system was co-ordinated and joined up, and that services were based on the best intelligence available.  It was also anticipated that, as the population ages, demand on services was likely to increase.  It was important therefore that co-ordinated, inclusive and evidence based services were in place now in order to respond to both current and future challenges.

A copy of the report of the Health Scrutiny Panel was attached to the covering report.

Resolved – (a) That the report and recommendations be approved and adopted, and (b) that relevant members and officers prepare an action plan in response to the recommendations of the report for submission to a future meeting of cabinet.