Full Cabinet 18 July 2017
Chairman: Councillor R Waltham
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
Time: 4 pm
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Personal or Personal and Prejudicial interests.
2. To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 28 March, 2017.
3. Outstanding Action from previous meetings – Report of the Director: Governance and Partnerships.
4. Finance and Performance Outturn 2016/17 and Budget Review 2017/18 – Report of the Director: Governance and Partnerships.
5. Grenfell Tower Fire – Local Response – Report of the Director: Operations.
6. North Lincolnshire Tour Of Britain 2017 – Report of the Director: Business Development.
7. Update on Lincs Lotto – Report of the Director: Governance and Partnerships
8. Scunthorpe Town Centre – Oral Report – Report of the Executive Director: Commercial
9. Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT:- Councillor Waltham (Chairman) in the Chair.
Councillors J Davison, Hannigan, Marper, Rose and C Sherwood.
Councillors Ali, Armiger, Bainbridge, Briggs, Clark, Ellerby, Evison, L Foster, T Foster, Gosling, Longcake, Perry, Wilson and Wells also attended the meeting.
Denise Hyde, Simon Green, Becky McIntyre, Karen Pavey, Peter Thorpe, Peter Williams, Will Bell, Chris Ramsbottom, Liz Webster and Richard Mell also attended the meeting.
The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1262 GRENFELL TOWER DISASTER – The chairman invited all those present to stand and observe a minute’s silence in memory of all those who died during the recent Grenfell Tower disaster in London, and to think of their families and friends at this sad time.
1263 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – The following members declared a personal interest
|Councillor Briggs||1267||Member of Humberside Fire Authority|
|Councillor Clark||1269||Trustee of Lincs Lotto|
|Member of Humberside Fire Authority
Trustee of Lincs Lotto
1264 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 28 March 2017, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
1265 (1) OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS – The Director: Governance and Partnerships 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.
1266 (2) FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE OUTTURN 2016/17 AND BUDGET REVIEW 2017/18 – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report providing an overview of the Council’s financial performance in 2016/17, and presented the budget for 2017/18 aligned to the new council structure. The report also brought together financial and performance information, allowing a broad judgement to be made regarding the impact of budget efficiencies on service delivery. The report and its appendices set out the position for –
- Revenue Outturn 2016/17;
- Council Reserves;
- Capital Outturn 2016/17;
- Treasury Management;
- Performance 2016/17;
- Budget 2017/18, and
- Capital Programme 2017/18
The Director in her report summarised the following key messages –
- The council’s financial management arrangements continued to be effective and its financial position resilient;
- Net revenue spending was successfully contained within the revised budget approved in the January Budget Review, and was £0.9m or 7% below the cash limit;
- There was also £0.8m of additional funding, which increased the Council underspend to £1.7m. This had led to a small increase in the level of available reserves;
- Capital outturn showed that 84% (£33.1m) of the revised programme was spent with a request for the re-phasing of £6.6m, and
- Of the council wide Key Performance Indicators for which data was available, 75% were on track or within tolerance and the majority showed year on year improvement.
Cabinet was invited to consider the financial outturn and performance for 2016/2017, the re-phasing of the capital programme, the revenue and capital budgets for 2017/2018 and a view on the emerging budget pressures for 2017/18, which were being actively addressed by the relevant services.
Resolved – (a) That the revenue, capital, treasury and performance outturn for 2016/2017 be noted; (b) that the re-instated 2017/2018 revenue budget aligned to the new management structure be noted; (c) that the 2017/18 revenue spending position be noted; (d) that the revised 2017/20 capital programme at appendix 4 of the report be approved, and (e) that the Director and officers within services be thanked for delivering a balanced budget whilst working in challenging environments and circumstances.
1267 (3) GRENFELL TOWER FIRE – LOCAL RESPONSE – The Director: Operations submitted a report updating cabinet on action taken locally following the Grenfell Tower disaster in North Kensington West London on 14 June 2017, when fire resulted in significant fatalities as well as many non-fatal casualties at the residential tower block. The Prime Minister had subsequently ordered a full public inquiry into the fire, which was still subject to a lengthy and thorough investigation.
The report explained that there were four residential tower blocks located in North Lincolnshire, all within Scunthorpe – Trent View House, Crosby House, Princess House and Sutton House. Ongo Homes owned and operated these facilities, and all had been subject to refurbishment works since their original construction that included the installation of external cladding, although crucially not made from ACM as used on the Grenfell Tower. Since the disaster, Government departments had issued guidance, requested information and asked for various checks to be made by responsible local authorities and social housing providers regarding such or similar buildings. The council’s Building Control Team had provided Ongo Homes with technical support to assist them in providing their response. As a result government departments did not ask them to provide any supplementary information.
The Director in his report also stated that the council’s Governance and Standards Scrutiny Panel had invited representatives of Ongo Homes and the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to attend its meeting on Thursday 29 June 2017, to discuss the issues as they affect high-rise tower blocks in North Lincolnshire. The council was one of the first in the country to convene a scrutiny panel to discuss the various issues arising from the Grenfell Tower fire. Some of the key points discussed included the following:
- construction materials used in Ongo’s four tower blocks, including the use of ‘cladding’
- details of alarm systems installed in the buildings
- advice available to residents should an emergency be declared
- maintenance and inspection schedules at the four tower blocks
- resident engagement since the Grenfell Tower fire
- feasibility of installing a sprinkler system in each building
- arrangements for the testing of cladding
- cladding on other local buildings such as hospitals, colleges etc
- cladding on other Ongo properties
- review of emergency procedures
- extent of partnership working to inform and educate local residents
- building regulations
- the public enquiry
Ongo Homes confirmed at the Scrutiny Panel its intention to install sprinkler systems in all of their tower blocks. They indicated that their aim was to progress the work required within six to eight months, although they stressed that this depended upon the time required to complete the necessary design and procurement work.
The Director’s report referred to the clear risks to life and property associated with the various factors associated with the Grenfell Tower fire. In response, council officers had taken immediate action to review the council’s entire operational building stock, including schools, operational and commercial property. Completion of a desktop review had concluded that there were unlikely to be any buildings within its estate that were either over 18 metres/four-six storeys high and/or clad with ACM panels. On-site inspections to support the desktop review were ongoing at a limited number of specific sites.
On 23 June 2017, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) also wrote to the council requesting information on schools, excluding Voluntary-Aided schools and Academies. This was part of an immediate data collection exercise to update their intelligence on certain types of school building. These included those which were four storeys or more high and/or which provided residential accommodation. The ESFA specifically requested information relating to fire risk assessments, fire alarm tests and drills, the residential use of buildings on school sites and the presence of buildings that are four storeys high or more. The council’s response to the ESFA’s request by the required deadline of Friday 30 June 2017 was a ‘nil return’ as none of the school buildings in question were used for providing residential accommodation or were four storeys or more in height.
Further action was also in hand, which included completion of the following steps as quickly as possible:
- On-site inspections of all buildings with cladding panels to confirm the findings of the desktop review;
- A review of all Fire Risk Assessments to ensure that one was in place for every council building, that it was current (taking account of the building’s cladding) and there were no unresolved fire safety issues, and
- A reminder to all council staff, in particular service and building managers, about the importance of good fire safety practice including guidance on how to raise any concerns that might arise.
Resolved – (a) That the information set out in this report be noted; (b) that the cabinet supports the positive action taken locally by both the council and Ongo Homes following the Grenfell Tower fire; (c) that Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Ongo Homes and council officers be thanked for their work following the tragic event, and (d) that a further update report be submitted to Cabinet in six months’ time, including progress made by Ongo on installing sprinkler systems in all their tower blocks locally, and at that meeting Humberside Fire and Rescue Service be invited to attend to provide their reassurances and ongoing associated work carried out in relation to such matters.
1268 (4) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE TOUR OF BRITAIN 2017 – The Director: Business Development submitted a report updating Cabinet on progress in delivering North Lincolnshire Stage 3 – Tour of Britain to be held on 5 September 2017, the first time a stage has been held in a single county.
The report explained that the stage was being dubbed as the spectator stage, with green bikes and bunting already beginning to appear on the route – this was a testament that community spirit was up and running across North Lincolnshire. Live TV coverage in North Lincolnshire would extend to around 2-3 hours over the stage and there would be further airtime coverage during the repeat programmes. In addition, the promotion and press coverage of the start and finish stage locations on official Tour of Britain media and communications would be constant from February 2017 up to the race in September 2017. To give an indication, 7.6m viewers watched the Tour live and on the highlights programmes on ITV4 in 2016.
The Director in her report explained that Stage 3 of the Tour would start at Normanby Hall, passing through 46 villages and towns concluding on the A18 adjacent to Central Park, Scunthorpe. Work was progressing to ensure that the route was ‘safe’ and all the appropriate risk assessments, health and safety procedures were in place working with all of the appropriate agencies.
The report also summarised work undertaken to target local, regional and national businesses to be part of the event and provide associated sponsorship. Similarly, visits to schools, a launch at Lincolnshire Show, a promotional video, and plans for a cycling extravaganza at Normanby Hall on 13 August 2017 and a legacy sportive scheduled for 10 September 2017 were outlined in the report
Resolved – That the progress in delivering Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain be noted
1269 (5) UPDATE ON LINCS LOTTO – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report providing Cabinet with an update in respect of ‘Lincs Lotto’, a local lottery that would benefit community and charitable groups in North Lincolnshire. The first draw was planned for 30 September 2017. The council had secured a provider ‘Gatherwell’ to deliver the Lincs Lotto on its behalf, and also a Remote Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission which authorised the council to promote a lottery.
The Director in her report stated that Lincs Lotto was a locally based weekly online lottery with all funds raised to go to good causes that benefit the North Lincolnshire community. Further information could be found on the website ww.lincslotto.co.uk. Good causes were required to meet specific criteria before they were admitted on to the Lincs Lotto, which were set out in the report. Community groups had been invited to a launch event at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe on 27 June 2017 where information was presented about how groups could sign up as a ‘good cause’ and how they would benefit. To date 55 applications had already been received from organisations, and further events were planned for August in Brigg and Crowle.
The report explained that each good cause that was registered with Lincs Lotto, were clearly identified on the Linc Lotto website so that people who were purchasing lottery tickets could select their preferred good cause and for each £1 ticket purchased, the good cause selected receive 50 pence. A further 10 pence was retained for use by the council to support investment in communities and 40 pence went towards the prizes and administration. As more groups applied to be included as a good cause, the Lincs Lotto was also being promoted to the public through various routes, including Direct Magazines, social media, activities and events. Each good cause would also promote the Lincs Lotto to their members and supporters.
Resolved – That the update report on progress of the Lincs Lotto, be noted.
1270 SCUNTHORPE TOWN CENTRE – The Executive Director: Commercial reported orally that on Wednesday 12 July 2017 the Council and associated partners had at a press launch highlighted details of a major £60 million investment to develop and reposition Scunthorpe Town Centre. The investment was a mix of council, government and local private sector investment for projects to be achieved between three to five years with an emphasis on living, learning and working/business.
The Executive Director explained that the major projects which cumulatively would create more than 200 jobs, 1,500 student places and bring around £1.5 million into the local economy included-
- Ongo Homes office headquarters for approximately 200 employees (£5.8m);
- The Council’s Church Square House Extension, with the whole building accommodating between 500-600 employees as part of its Work Well initiative;
- Feasibility study and establishing a University campus (£15m);
- Living accommodation for 200 NHS employees (£14.7m);
- Up to 60 one to two bed homes (£3.9m);
- Scunthorpe Library Refurbishment (£1m), and
- Improvements to make the town look more attractive with road and pedestrian improvements to create better access (£4m), which would also complement the award winning 20-21 Visual Art Centre and Humber University Technical College. The chairman commented on the above emphasising the council’s commitment to investing in Scunthorpe, the main county town of North Lincolnshire, and continuing to support local businesses using British Steel and Britcon (UK) Limited. Media interest in the press launch had been phenomenal.
Resolved – (a) That the oral report of the Executive Director: Commercial be welcomed, and (b) that the Executive Director and his team be thanked for their current and ongoing work to deliver the above projects with associated partners.
1271 (6) SELECTIVE LICENSING OF PRIVATE RENTED ACCOMMODATION– This item was considered urgent by the chairman because of current significant over-riding public interest to introduce a scheme as soon as possible for the selective licensing of private rented accommodation.
The Director: Operations submitted a report which referred to the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 that allowed councils to introduce a scheme for the selective licensing of private rented accommodation, and sought approval subject to required consultations, to progress towards the introduction of a scheme within parts of North Lincolnshire. This included in particular Scunthorpe North and in parts of Town and Crosby and Park Wards where significant levels of private rented accommodation, poor housing conditions, high crime and enforcement levels amongst other issues were likely suggested suitable areas for the implementation of such a scheme.
The Director in his report explained that Selective Licensing was a discretionary licensing scheme. The scheme required all private landlords within a designated area to operate under the terms of a licence. Licence conditions typically covered matters related to the property being safe and well managed. A licence usually lasted for five years.Councils had to seek consent from the Secretary of State for any schemes which would cover more than 20% of their geographical area or would affect more than 20% of privately rented homes. In order to respond to the concerns being voiced within our communities, the criteria for designation had been widened to include: –
- Poor property conditions
- Large amounts of inward migration
- Problems of antisocial behaviour
- A high level of deprivation, and/or
- High levels of crime
He also stated that within this area of North Lincolnshire identified above, Selective Licensing, along with a robust and coordinated approach to enforcement, could be an effective way of improving conditions, encouraging inward investment and driving up standards. Selective Licensing would require landlords to manage their properties effectively, including the enforcement of tenancy conditions. In so doing, the council would hope to establish a proactive, partnership based approach between landlords and statutory agencies to effectively tackle anti-social behaviour. Other Councils had, for example, used fee income to pay for an anti-social behaviour co-ordinator to work with landlords to tackle problem tenants. A major aim of a selective licensing scheme would be to deal with issues in a proactive way. Consequently, the likelihood of landlord and tenant conflict was reduced far more effectively than could be achieved through enforcement or voluntary accreditation and was more likely to prove sustainable.
The likely content of a robust business case and its considerations prior to a public consultation exercise were also set out in the report, together with an appendix which provided a document produced by the Building Research Establishment, which gave an ‘Evaluation of the Impact of HMO Licensing and Selective Licensing’.
Resolved – (a) That subject to required consultations, approval be given to take forward selective licensing in North Lincolnshire; (b) that work be progressed to produce a business case by 1 October 2017; (c) that a public consultation exercise on selective licensing to commence on 1 November 2017, be approved, and (d) that the Cabinet Member for Safer, Greener and Cleaner Places be kept updated on progress on this matter and he receive a progress report in October 2017.