Full Cabinet – 12 July 2016

Present:  Councillor Waltham (Vice Chairman) in the Chair.

Councillors Briggs, Poole, Rose and C Sherwood.

Councillors Ali, Carlile, Collinson, A Davison, J Davison, Ellerby, T Foster, Glover, Godfrey, Kataria, Longcake, Mumby-Croft and O’Sullivan also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Will Bell, Peter Fijalkowski, Mick Gibbs, Victoria Gibbs, Denise Hyde, Karen Pavey, Lesley Potts, Peter Thorpe, Jason Whaler, Debra Winning and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

1211   DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – Councillor Waltham declared a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item 5 as a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel.

1212   MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 22 March, 2016, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.

1213   (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.

1214   (2)    DEVOLUTION UPDATE – The Chief Executive submitted a report updating cabinet on the proposals for Devolution in the Greater Lincolnshire Area.

The report indicated that cabinet and council had endorsed various documents that had led to taking forward the devolution agenda in Greater Lincolnshire.  The initial expression of interest by the ten constituent councils had been approved in September 2015 and council had subsequently approved the interim governance proposal. (Minute 2441 refers).

The Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Agreement had been signed by the ten Leaders and Government Ministers in March 2016 and formerly announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the budget on 16 March 2016.  Council and the Leader, as cabinet member for devolution, had subsequently approved the governance review and the draft scheme for the Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined Authority.  The latter document was subject to public consultation from 27 June to 8 August, 2016.

The Greater Lincolnshire Joint Committee had also now proposed the “Devo 2” document which was attached at appendix A to the report.  That document set out the aspirations for further devolution and sought early engagement with government to progress and implement further devolution of powers, responsibilities and funding.

The report contained further information in relation to this matter.

Resolved – That cabinet notes that the consultation on the scheme for devolution had been formally launched on 27 June, 2016 and that consideration be given to supporting the new areas for devolution as outlined in the appendix to the report – proposed further devolution to the Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

1215   (3)    COMMUNITY COHESION – The Chief Executive submitted a report which provided cabinet with an overview of community cohesion issues and asked it to condemn hate crime, xenophobia and intolerance.

North Lincolnshire was proud to be a tolerant and diversive society and as a local area  had a long proud history of multi-culturism and integration.  Incidents of hate crime and racism were extremely low and the council supported many initiatives to ensure that residents and those who visit North Lincolnshire, from all communities, are supported and feel safe and protected.  Figures for reported crime for North Lincolnshire had not been in line with the national picture, Figures for June 2016 showed a decrease in the number of hate crimes and only a very slight increase in hate incidents.  It was not believed that these were related to the EU vote.  Additionally, very few incidents had been recorded across Humberside since 23 June.  Only two hate crimes had been recorded in North Lincolnshire which were believed to be motivated by the EU Referendum result and one hate incident had been recorded although this happened three weeks before the vote took place.

North Lincolnshire Council supported many integration initiatives and worked with partners to ensure that it remained a tolerant and safe area to live and work in.  Details were included in paragraph 2.5 of the report and cabinet had requested that the council continue its strong work in community cohesion, along with support from the opposition group.  The council condemned racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally and worked to ensure that local programmes fight and prevent racism and xenophobia.  The work the council does would continue to reassure all people living in North Lincolnshire that they were valued.

The Humberside Police Community Safety lead had written to all members outlining steps that the police force had taken to support the community.  It was important to emphasise that hate and racial incidents were potential crimes and all criminality should be reported to the police and be pursued under criminal legislation.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet continues to oversee the programme of community initiatives to support integration and cohesion; (b) that members from the Conservative and Labour Groups show support for all local communities and condemn all incidents of racism and xenophobia, and (c) that quarterly reports be produced for cabinet on the numbers and impact of hate crimes and xenophobic incidents.

1216   (4)    FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE OUTTURN 2015/2016 AND BUDGET REVIEW 2016/2017 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report on the council’s financial performance for the year 2015/2016, set out proposals to carry forward funding for specific purposes into 2016/2017 and the re-phasing of the capital programme 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 regarding the impact of budget efficiencies on service delivery.  The Director in his report summarised the outturn position showing –

  • The council’s financial management arrangements continued to be effective and its financial position resilient.
  •  Net revenue spending was successfully contained within budget, £1m or 0.8% below the cash limit.  However there were areas of activity that were facing continued pressure and actions to address these would be needed to ensure a balance position was once again achieved in 2016/2017.
  • There was a small increase in the level of available reserves.
  • Capital outturn showed that 75% (£39.5m) of the programme was spent with a request for the re-phasing of £13.4m.
  • At the same time an improvement in performance with 85.7% of key performance indicators showing performance above target or within tolerance and 68.2% showing improvement on the previous year.

The report also indicated that it was necessary to revise the 2016/2017 revenue and capital budgets to take account of the carry forward of revenue funding and the re-phasing of capital schemes.

The report contained 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 2015/2016, the re-phasing of the capital programme and the revised revenue budgets for 2016/2017 and the emerging budget pressures which were being actively addressed by the relevant services.

Resolved – (a) That the revenue, capital and performance outturn for 2015/2016 be noted; (b) that the revised 2016/2017 revenue budget at annex 1 be approved and the emerging budget pressures which were being actively addressed by the relevant services be noted, and (c) that the revised capital programme for 2016/2020 at annex 2 to the report be approved.

1217   (5)    PROCUREMENT OF SUSTAINABLE STEEL – PROGRESS REPORT – Further to minute  1190, the Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report updating cabinet on progress in relation to the procurement of sustainable steel.

The council was a signatory to the Charter for Sustainable Steel which was part of a UK Steel initiative seeking to promote the use of quality British Steel in construction projects.  In addition, a sustainable steel procurement action plan had been approved by cabinet on 24 November 2015 with the purpose of delivering the pledges set out in the Charter in support of the motion agreed by council on 10 November 2015 (Minute 1170 refers).

The report updated cabinet on progress with delivering the action plan as set out in appendix A to the report.  Overall, progress had been positive and partnership working at regional and national level had been a significant factor in that success.  Key outcomes achieved to date included –

  • A procurement case study on sustainable steel had been produced in conjunction with Crown Commercial Services and submitted to the cabinet office for public sector wide determination.  The case study recognised the approach adopted in the design and procurement of the North Axholme Sports Centre.  The approach included an end to end focus on sustainable steel from design and initial bidder engagement through to specification, tender evaluation and contract management.  These interventions resulted in a sustainable British Steel procurement outcome for the principal structural components of the building.
  • The requirements for sustainability standards in respect of steel had been mainstreamed into all relevant council construction specification.  Other projects included –
    New Holland Classroom Extension.
    Belton Country Park Visitors Centre.
    Winterton Gym.
  • The council had worked as part of an advisory panel/working group set up by central government to formulate further steel procurement policy guidance and related initiatives.
  • As part of that work government recently announced three significant measures –

–  The mandatory reforms issued in November for central government departments to undertake responsible sourcing in respect of steel requirements were extended in April to cover all public bodies.

–  Contractors working on public contracts would be required to advertise their steel requirements so that UK firms can compete for opportunities.

–  A national list of approved steel suppliers would be established to ensure that stringent requirements in respect of health and safety, environmental impacts and workforce issues were met in order to level the playing field for suppliers meeting those requirements.

Other notable actions included –

  • A pipeline of council led construction and key regeneration projects had been maintained and shared with construction and highways framework contractors, providing forward visibility of opportunity and sustainable steel requirements.  The projects had a collective value of around £50m.
  • A regional “steel procurement” roundtable event had been held in February 2016 with Rotherham, Sheffield and East Riding attending to share and discuss best practice approaches.

Further key actions were set out in appendix A to the report and included –

  • Continuing to provide advisory support to Crown Commercial Services and the Cabinet Office.
  • Hosting a further steel procurement summit on 28 September 2016 to share project outcomes/case studies and supporting guidance material.
  • Becoming an early adopter in respect of the government’s recently announced public procurement reforms and associated measures.
  • Continuing to monitor the outcomes achieved and enhance procurement practice as appropriate.

The report contained further detailed information in relation to this matter.

Resolved – That the progress update and next steps actions be noted and approved.

1218   (6)    ESTABLISHMENT OF A LOCAL AUTHORITY TRADING COMPANY – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report seeking approval to establish a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC).

In October 2015, the cabinet member for policy and resources had approved a commercial strategy for 2015/2019.  That strategy detailed the council’s vision, aspirations and ambitious for future growth, including consideration of the opportunities associated with an alternative commercial trading vehicle.  It recognised the council’s significant track record in trading in services commercially.  In 2015/2016, new business generated through commercial development exceeded £150,000 with a total turnover of £7m in year.

The changing landscape for local government demanded innovation in service delivery in order for councils to achieve their financial plans and corporate strategy objectives.  Funding reductions from central government, alongside other developing agendas such as the academisation of schools required councils to re-think their traditional approach to service delivery and design new and innovative solutions which would meet future needs.  The Local Government Act 1970, as amended, provided councils with a range of flexible powers to trade commercially, but within defined parameters.  These powers could be extended where councils undertook commercial work under a trading company, but the Act required a comprehensive business case and planning process to be undertaken prior to establishing a company structure.

The Act required councils to demonstrate that all costs were fully recovered and that there was no actual or hidden subsidy so as to avoid any potential challenges on the basis that the council was distorting the market place.  Detailed research, analysis and consultation with directorates had been undertaken to identify the opportunities and associated implications of establishing a commercial trading company for realising the council’s commercial strategy aspirations and its four year financial planned target.  A number of potential company structures had been evaluated as part of the options appraisal stage to assess their suitability and a company limited by shares was identified as the most suitable model for achieving the council’s objectives.

It was proposed therefore that the council establish a company limited by shares with the council as a sole shareholder.  The company would be registered with Companies House and would trade under a business name yet to be determined.  The company would operate as an administrative and legal vehicle to direct, source, secure and develop new and profitable commercial income streams on behalf of the council.  Any “profit” achieved by the company would be returned to the council in the form of a dividend payment on an agreed basis.  Profits would be subject to Corporation Tax as detailed in paragraph 5.6 of the report.  In addition, the company would require a Board of Directors and a Company Secretary.  The Directors would not receive any remuneration but would be responsible for managing the affairs of the company and would be bound by a shareholder’s agreement.

The full business case proposed that the company once established would drive new business development, aligned with the commercial strategy, over a number of distinct and incremental development phases, encompassing existing and new trading activities spanning –

  • Professional and Technical Services.
  • Business Management Services
  • Educational Support Services.
  • Operational and Facilities Management Services.

The report contained further detailed information in relation to this matter including the resource implications and other relevant factors.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet approves the establishment of a local authority trading company, and (b) that subsequent decision making in respect of the company’s formation and operation be delegated to the cabinet member for commercial enterprise.

1219   (7)    SECTOR LED YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER PEER CHALLENGE OF THE LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S BOARD – The Director of People submitted a report which presented the learning from the Yorkshire and Humber Peer Challenge of the North Lincolnshire Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB).

The Yorkshire and Humber Peer Challenge had been undertaken in March 2016 by a team led by John Harris (Independent LSCB Chair in Doncaster and Sandwell).  As well as a desk based analysis of documentation, the peer challenge process included a wide range of on-site activities, involving nearly 60 participants.  These activities included interviews and focus groups.  The team met with portfolio holding councillors, the Chief Executive, the Director of People, the LSCB Chair, officers at all levels within Children’s Services and some key stakeholders from across the partnership, including several who were chairs of workstreams and/or members of the LSCB.  The challenge team also met with a small group of young people from the Youth Council.

On completion of the review, the team presented their evaluation initially via verbal feedback to the LSCB and then on a formal basis via a letter under the six scoping headings which were used as a framework for the review.  The letter presented a very positive assessment of the leadership and effectiveness of the LSCB, how well the LSCB keeps children safe, engages partners, children and families, has oversight of practice and how it embraces continuous learning.

Paragraph 2.4 of the report set out a number of key learning points to deal with as part of the peer challenge review.  The peer challenge outcome letter affirmed that in North Lincolnshire there was a strong multi-agency foundation underpinning a successful children’s safeguarding system.  The suggestions made by the peer challenge team about areas for further development would continue to be considered within the ongoing process of learning, challenge and self evaluation that helped to drive forward the work and effectiveness of the LSCB.

Attached as an appendix to the report was a copy of the full letter referred to above.

Resolved – That cabinet notes the learning from the Yorkshire and Humber Peer Challenge Review of the North Lincolnshire Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

1220   (8)    THE NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE EDUCATION AND SKILLS PLAN FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE“ALL OUR CHILDREN – 2020” – A report was submitted by the Director of People providing cabinet with the North Lincolnshire Education and Skills Plan for Children and Young People entitled “All our Children – 2020.”

The former North Lincolnshire Education Strategy for Schools entitled “All our Children” had first been approved in October 2013, with the actions refreshed in August 2014.  At a time of significant change within the education sector, the education strategy provided a unifying and ambitious vision for improving outcomes for children and young people in North Lincolnshire.

The development and implementation of the original “All our Children” plan corresponded with a marked improvement in both the quality of provision and the quality of educational outcomes for children and young people in North Lincolnshire.  Notable achievements in the three years to the summer 2015 results were detailed in paragraph 2.2 of the report.

The North Lincolnshire Strategy “Aspiring People, Inspiring Places” reaffirmed the council’s priorities for safeguarding children, for improving health and well being and for improving skills and education outcomes.  These priorities had informed the development of an outcomes framework for children and young people that the new version of the Education Plan had been produced against, committing education providers to ensuring that children and young people –

  • Feel safe and are safe.
  • Enjoy good health and emotional well being.
  • Recognise and achieve their potential.

The council was very ambitious for even better education outcomes and especially for the more vulnerable children and young people.  The new Education Plan reflected the urgency for further improvement and the expectation that North Lincolnshire could be in the top quarter of all local authority areas in England for –

  • Attendance and Inclusion Measures.
  • The quality of provision.
  •  Learning Outcomes.

A series of engagement and consultation opportunities across the autumn and spring terms of the current academic year had enabled the production of a draft version of the plan.  In May, 2016 the children’s cabinet member approved a further six week consultation period to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to consider the draft plan and to suggest changes.

Discussions and soft testing of the framework and initial versions of the draft plan had been undertaken with the Youth Council, Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers), Primary Headteachers, Secondary Headteachers, Governor Representatives and Council Staff from across services to children.  Responses had been overwhelmingly  positive with strong support for the child centred approach, clear outcomes, commitment to partnership working and the drivers for change.  A number of useful suggestions had been made at each engagement opportunity and incorporated into the consultation version of the plan.  This had been widely circulated for comment and additional meetings and consultations had resulted in further minor changes to the plan in response to points raised.

A copy of the full plan was attached as an appendix to the report.

Resolved – That cabinet notes and approves the new North Lincolnshire Education and Skills Plan for Children and Young People – “All our Children – 2020.”

1221   (9)    SERVICES TO ADULTS MARKET POSITION STATEMENT 2016 – 2018 – The Director of People submitted a report in connection with the publication of the refreshed Services to Adults Market Position Statement for 2016/2018.

A vibrant social care and support sector was essential to delivering the aims of the Council Strategy and the Vulnerable Adult Strategy.   Promoting diversity and quality in provision of services was a requirement of the Care Act 2014.  Local Authorities had to promote the efficient and effective operation of a market for services that meet the care and support needs with a view to ensuring that any person in its area who wished to access services in the market had a variety of providers to choose from who (taken together) provided a variety of high quality services.

In performing that duty, a local authority must have regard to the need to ensure that the authority is aware of the current and likely future demand for services and to consider how providers might meet demand and promote sustainability in the market.  The Department of Health (DoH) statutory guidance and the Care Act 2014 suggested a local authority could best fulfil its duties for market shaping and commissioning by developing a Market Position Statement.

The Services to Adults Market Position Statement attached as an appendix to the report set out the commissioning intentions of support for vulnerable adults, which would enable providers to tailor their services to meet need.  The market position statement provides –

  • An overview of the strategic direction.
  • The market profile.
  • Current supply and trends.
  • Local demographics and information on the Joint Strategic Assessment (JSA).
  • Development opportunities.
  • Citizen engagement.
  • People directorate offer to market shaping.

The report was seeking cabinet approval to the publication of the refreshed services to adult market position statement which would achieve the aims and objectives detailed in paragraph 3.2 of the report.

Resolved – That cabinet receives, notes and approves the publication of the refreshed Services to Adults Market Position Statement for 2016/2018.

1222   (10)    WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN – With reference to minute 1198, the Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on progress in taking forward actions in support of the White Ribbon Campaign that aimed to rid society of all forms of violence and abuse against women.  The report also referred to the application for Town Award Status for North Lincolnshire.

At the meeting of cabinet in January 2016, a report was approved that set out a number of actions that the council could take in support of the White Ribbon Campaign.  These were detailed in the attached appendix to that report and cabinet had requested that officers provide six monthly progress reports.  The report now submitted showed the progress achieved to date and timescales for the completion of those actions detailed in the appendix.

The report also indicated that the council had recently attained the White Ribbon Award for Town and County status.  A plaque presentation took place on 8 July 2016 in relation to this.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the progress achieved to date in taking forward various actions in support of the White Ribbon Campaign set out in the appendix to the report, and (b) that six monthly progress reports continue to be submitted to cabinet.

1223   (11)    JOB SEEKERS (JSA) ALLOWANCE CLAIMANT’S UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on progress achieved to date towards reducing the numbers claiming Job Seekers Allowance in North Lincolnshire.

The council remained committed to supporting people into employment and this was demonstrated via various initiatives, including the introduction of an Apprenticeship Programme, the Development of the Community Investment Partnership and the opening of the One Stop Shop for Skills and Opportunities in October 2015 – The Action Station.

The numbers claiming JSA benefits had dropped significantly over recent years, despite a slight rise recorded in January, 2016, linked mainly to redundancies at TATA Steel and the associated supply chain.

The council and relevant partners had worked hard to support those seeking employment into work.  This had resulted in the latest JSA claimant figures for May 2016 showing a significant drop of 3.8%, equating to 100 individuals.  There were now a total of 2,530 JSA claimants in North Lincolnshire compared to 2,630  recorded in April.  The latest claimant count rate was 2.4%.

The report then described some of the initiatives being undertaken to help reduce the number of JSA claimants including the North Lincolnshire Springboard Programme, the Better Opportunities Programme, and a variety of linked initiatives as detailed in paragraph 2.8 of the report.

In particular, the report referred to the opening of the Action Station which was to hold an open day on 28 July 2016 from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.  This would give council teams, partners and members of the public the opportunity to attend the Action Station, making links and better understand the work of the station.

Resolved – (a)  That cabinet welcomes the latest reduction in the numbers claiming Job Seekers Allowance in North Lincolnshire, and (b) that cabinet reaffirms its support to the various initiatives currently in hand and planned in the future to support those seeking work into employment.

1224   (12)    WESTCLIFF REGENERATION PROGRAMME – The Director of Places submitted a report updating cabinet on progress achieved to date towards delivering significant regeneration in the Westcliff area of Scunthorpe. The report also updated cabinet on timescales for delivery of the agreed project objectives.

Cabinet had considered a report in September 2013 in relation to Westcliff entitled “Westcliff – Looking Back and Moving Forward”.  It had agreed to support the report and the various recommendations contained within it to develop a Westcliff Regeneration Programme.

Since that time the council had worked closely with Ongo and the Westcliff community to develop proposals for regenerating the area based upon the following vision –

“To use the physical regeneration of the precinct area of Westcliff, including the provision of new homes, retail and community facilities, to kick start a fundamental shift in the well being, aspirations and employment prospects of current and future generations.”

The programme to deliver this vision included a number of objectives as detailed in paragraph 2.3 of the report.  A project masterplan had been developed with significant community involvement and it was fully aligned with the vision and objectives of the project.  The masterplan was approved by the Westcliff Project Board in December 2014 and made provision for –

  • 41 new dwellings.
  • 1 large convenience store.
  • 5 smaller retail units.
  • A Community Wellbeing and Enterprise Hub incorporating new pre-school provision, youth training suite, community café/training kitchen, one to one support space, managed office space and a base for Westcliff Drop-In Centre.
  • Linear park with equipped area of play.

In order to facilitate the re-development a number of enabling projects had now been completed and were detailed in paragraph 2.6 of the report.

Running alongside this enabling work, planning permission was now in place to allow for the demolition of the shopping precinct, the Desert Rat public house, the bookmakers, the public library and the drop-in centre and provision of a neighbourhood shopping parade, community enterprise and wellbeing hub, linear park and 41 new homes.  The final draft of the design of the wellbeing and enterprise hub was attached as an appendix to the report.

Contractors had been appointed to take forward the physical development of phase 1.  Within the contract, provision was made to secure local labour, apprenticeship opportunities and close working with local schools.

The report contained further detailed information about the proposals for the regeneration of the Westcliff area and indicated that the cabinet member for commercial enterprise had recently received a report recommending that the council transfer ownership of a number of assets to Ongo as part of that match funding commitment to facilitate the redevelopment and delivery of the project objectives.  The assets in question had an estimated value of around £100,000 and were detailed in paragraph 2.15 of the report.  The programme for delivering this ambitious transformation project was detailed in paragraph 2.16.

Resolved – That cabinet notes and welcomes the progress achieved to date on the development of the Westcliff Precinct Regeneration Programme.

1225   (13)    CHILDHOOD VACCINATION AND IMMUNISATION – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report with the full report of the People Scrutiny Panel in relation to childhood vaccination and immunisation.

At its meeting on 26 April 2016, the People Scrutiny Panel had approved its draft report on Childhood Vaccination and Immunisation and had referred it to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the eventual preparation of an action plan.

Resolved – That the report of the People Scrutiny Panel and its recommendations be approved and adopted and that appropriate officers and members prepare an action plan for submission to a future meeting of cabinet.