Cabinet – 7 December 2020
Chairman: Councillor R Waltham MBE
Venue: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 the Cabinet held on 28 September 2020.
3. To receive the minutes of the Health and Care Integrated Commissioning Committee (Committee in Common) held on 22 September 2020.
4. Council Plan 2018-21 and COVID19 Mid-Term Recovery Plan – Report of the Director: Governance and Partnerships.
5. 2020/2021 Q2 Financial Monitoring and Medium Term Financial Plan – Update – Report of the Director: Governance and Partnerships.
6. Virtual Headteacher for Children in Care Report 2020 – Report of the Director: Children and Community Resilience.
7. Care Leaving Service Financial Policy – Report of the Director: Children and Community Resilience.
8. Care Call Service – Annual Report – Report of the Director: Children and Community Resilience.
9. Towns Fund Update – Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director: Commercial.
10. Kick Start Scheme – Report of the Director: Business Development
11. Any other items which the Chair decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT: – Councillor Waltham MBE in the Chair.
Councillors Hannigan (vice-chair), J Davison, Marper, Ogg, Poole, Rose and C Sherwood.
Councillors Ali, Bainbridge, Briggs, A Davison, Ellerby, England, L Foster, Gosling, Kirk, O’Sullivan, Rayner, Southern, Swift, Wells, Wilson and Yeadon also attended the meeting.
Denise Hyde, Mick Gibbs, Becky McIntyre, Helen Manderson, Karen Pavey, Peter Thorpe, Will Bell, Jilla Burgess-Allen, Adam Lovell, Dave Flowitt, Richard Mell and Dean Gillon attended the meeting.
The meeting was a remote/virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams.
1386 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interest declared.
1387 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 28 September 2020 having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.
1388 MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE HEALTH AND CARE INTEGRATED COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE (COMMITTEE IN COMMON) HELD ON 22 SEPTEMBER 2020 – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the above committee held on 22 September 2020 be received.
1389 COUNCIL PLAN 2018-21 AND COVID19 MID-TERM RECOVERY PLAN – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report requesting the Cabinet to approve the updated Council Plan 2018-21 which incorporated the COVID-19 Recovery Plan. The refreshed Council Plan was attached as appendix 1. The report also provided members with an update on COVID recovery and response since the last meeting of Cabinet in September 2020 (minute 1381 refers).
The Director in her report stated that the Council Plan 2018-19 was approved by Cabinet in October 2018 providing information for residents and stakeholders about the council, what it did, how it was funded, the ambition, goals and priorities. Cabinet received a progress update in respect of delivery against the plan in July 2019. The Council’s ambition, priorities and values were confirmed in the Council Plan along with the outcomes wanted for residents across North Lincolnshire. These were well embedded across the organisation and had been adopted as part of place partnership arrangements, shared with the council’s partners.
The report explained that the North Lincolnshire COVID-19 recovery and renewal framework was reported to Cabinet in June 2020 and provided a guide for the council’s actions through the different transition phases of ‘recovery’. The recovery phases were short and medium term at both Place and Council level and in keeping with the Council’s strategic vision, ambition and values. Each phase was guided by national guidance and legislation, Public Health advice and guidance, and supported by local evidence, intelligence and information. The Council Plan had provided a crucial anchor point that has guided our response to the pandemic and frames the priorities for mid-term recovery.
The Director also explained that the Mid-term Recovery Plan provided a focus within our strategic priorities and ensured renewal and resilience from COVID through focussed recovery priorities to minimise and mitigate the impact from COVID-19 for people and place. The next phase of COVID recovery and renew was focussed on how the council adapted to COVID. Responding accordingly to ensure business continuity of council functions and providing a local response as required by national guidance and government expectations. The recovery phase was set in the context that the council may need to move simultaneously to response, which had been the case during November as England entered a national lockdown.
Resolved – (a) That the refreshed Council Plan 2018-21 and the Mid-term Recovery Plan appended to the report be approved, and (b) that the progress update in respect of COVID-19 response and recovery against the Mid-term recovery plan be noted.
1390 2020/2021 QUARTER 2, FINANCIAL MONITORING AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN – UPDATE – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report, which provided the Cabinet with an update on the Council’s in-year financial position, considered an updated estimate of the specific impact that Covid-19 was having on the Council’s financial plans and set out the Council’s updated medium term financial planning position.
The Director in her report explained that the Medium Term Financial Plan represented an amalgamation of financial and non-financial assumptions which formed the basis of how much resource the Council expected to have available to invest in its priorities and to ensure it continued to meet local need effectively. Cabinet had also received several reports providing comprehensive financial information in respect of Covid-19. These had covered a range of issues including the action it has taken to date to keep its residents safe and well, the financial impact together with the additional and Covid-19 specific funding provided by the Government, and a framework setting out the Council recovery and renewal plan set in the context of the Government’s recovery strategy. This report considers the financial position to date, which further to the previous update report received by Cabinet in September 2020 (minute 1383 refers), confirmed the case that relative high levels of uncertainty was still inherent together with the possibility that the nature of the pandemic would likely remain volatile.
During quarter three rates both locally and nationally continued to increase leading to North Lincolnshire moving into the second level of tiered restrictions at the end of October 2020 followed by national restrictions coming into force on 5 November 2020. The additional restrictions locally and nationally meant that the council had once again reacted and responded to meet business continuity need and adapted delivery models to comply with regulations. The Council would continue to take whatever action necessary to ensure it continued to meet the needs of its residents and businesses at a very challenging time and lead the area through the pandemic. This included redistributing resource, as necessary.
The Director stated that the purpose of this report was to take stock of the in-year financial position based on the position prior to the most recent announcements regarding national lockdown and sought to provide an update on the financial planning process. A summary explanation with supporting appendices where provided for the following –
- Revenue 2020/2021;
- Capital 2020/21;
- Budget Adjustments;
- Treasury Management, and
- Medium Term Financial Plan.
Resolved – (a) That the revenue and capital budget monitoring position for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report be noted; (b) that the current modelling of financial planning assumptions as set out in the medium term financial plan update in Appendix 2 of the report be noted; (c) that the revenue budget adjustments approved under delegated powers and the revised budget position for 2020/2, as summarised in Appendix 3 of the report be noted; (d) that the revised capital investment programme 2020/23, set out at Appendix 4 be approved; (e) that the progress against the approved Treasury Management Strategy in Appendix 5 be noted, and (f) that the Director and her finance team be thanked for their continuing hard work during a challenging time.
1391 VIRTUAL HEADTEACHER FOR CHILDREN IN CARE 2020 – The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report seeking approval of the ‘Virtual Headteacher for Children in Care Report 2020’, which would be published in accordance with statutory requirements and was included as an appendix. North Lincolnshire Council was highly ambitious for all children, and especially its looked after children. The Council’s role as corporate parents was taken very seriously together with ensuring that all looked after children could achieve the best they can and promote success into adulthood, whatever age they come into care.
The report explained that role of the Virtual School was to promote the educational achievement of children in the council’s care whether educated in North Lincolnshire or placed out of the county. The Virtual School had high aspirations for and strove to close the attainment gap between children in care and their peers. The Virtual School worked tirelessly to provide effective support and to make a difference to the education outcomes for looked after children and young people throughout their journey through school.
Dave Flowitt, Executive Principal Coritani Academy and North Lincolnshire Council’s Virtual Headteacher attended the meeting. He summarised and reflected upon the content of the 2020 report including work carried out, its impact and key successes over the past year.
Resolved – (a) That Dave Flowitt be thanked for attending the meeting and for his and his team’s hard work over the past year, and (b) that the ‘Virtual Headteacher Report for Children in Care 2020’ be approved.
1392 CARE LEAVING SEVRVICE FINANCIAL POLICY – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval of the revised ‘Care Leaving Service Financial Policy’, which was attached as an appendix.
The Director in his report explained that the ‘Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers’ set out the requirement for local authorities to have a ‘clear written and transparent financial policy’ that ‘sets out what entitlements young people have’. This included setting out how the local authority would assist the young person with financial support to achieve economic well-being and make a positive and successful transition to adulthood. The ‘Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022’ set out the Council’s key priorities, promise and commitment to children in care and care leavers. It built on our success and set out an ambitious agenda for further improvement, and to support young people to live successful lives in our community.
The North Lincolnshire’s ‘Care Leaving Service Financial Policy’ was therefore a key component in successfully delivering the outcomes identified within the Multi-Agency Children in Care and Care Leavers Plan 2020-2022. The revised policy built upon previous iterations which had articulated the Council’s commitment to financially supporting care leavers through a robust scheme of allowances. It also included prior decisions made through Cabinet including council tax benefits for care leavers. The revised policy contained more detail regarding the financial support available to young people to raise ambitions and maximise life chances and provided clarity regarding the financial weight to specific allowances to best reflect current costs, needs and circumstances. This also included financial support to young people to access further and higher education to promote education and career opportunities.
Resolved – That the revised Care Leaving Service Financial Policy be approved and adopted.
1393 CARE CALL SERVICE – ANNUAL REPORT – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report presenting in an appendix the council’s ‘Care Call Service Annual Report 2019/20’, and sought approval to publish it on the council’s website.
The report explained that the Council provided a dedicated Care Call Service to vulnerable people across North Lincolnshire. Currently the service supported around 4000 clients and received and responded to 93,000 calls per year. The service was provided from the North Lincolnshire Council Security Control Centre and gave cover and support 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The provision of the Care Call Service provided support, friendship and help to all service users and provided ’peace of mind’ to families and carers. Care Call also provided an essential service maintaining independence, reducing stays in hospital and helped people stay safe in their own homes and out of care facilities.
Care Call was funded both through an internal contract with Adult Social Care but was also predominantly funded through private contracts with service users and their families who contributed to the service through the council’s subscription service. North Lincolnshire Council was an accredited provider of Care Call Services through its membership and registration with the Telecare Services Association (TSA). The TSA undertook a yearly accreditation process with the Council and approved the Council as an accredited provider of Care Call Services.
The Care Call Service Annual Report provided an overview and key highlights of the service for 2019/20 as well as an update on the council’s related responses during the current Covid19 pandemic period.
Resolved – That the Care Call Service Annual Report 2019/20 be approved and it be published on the council’s website.
1394 SCUNTHORPE TOWN DEAL – UPDATE – The Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director Commercial submitted a report which sought approval of the ‘Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan’ which was attached at appendix 1. Central government had launched the £3.6bn Towns Fund to “unleash the full economic potential of over 100 places and level up communities throughout the country”. A ‘Towns Fund’ prospectus had been published. Proposals would be agreed between each ‘Town’ and its community and central government would draw down a significant investment of up to £25m. This could be increased for projects that delivered transformational change to the town.
The report explained that the objective of the Fund was to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth through – Urban Regeneration, Skills and Enterprise Infrastructure and Connectivity. The ‘Town Fund Board’ was the vehicle through which the vision and strategy for the town had been defined. It has produced a Town Investment Plan to inform the Town Deal with central government. The role of the Board was to – Develop and agree an evidenced based Town Investment Plan, Develop a clear programme of interventions by October 2020 and Coordinate resources and influence stakeholders.
The Scunthorpe Town Deal board was made up of a mix of local representative private and public sector partners and had met monthly since March 2020, including a workshop event on Community Development. The report set out the Board’s full membership, which was chaired by Mary Stuart – Vice Chancellor University of Lincolnshire.
The Deputy Chief Executive stated that the ‘Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan’ was established on a clear evidence base, setting out a clear understanding of the area, focusing on assets, opportunities, and challenges. The amount of investment from the Towns Fund would be determined on the strength of the Towns Investment Plan. The proposed programme of investment in the Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan was based on social economic evidence for Scunthorpe, which would enable, support and drive economic growth through three priorities of investment, ensuring that the proposed programme of investment had a deep rooted impact, creating a legacy in Scunthorpe for years to come. The Plan was also cognisant of the wider strategic approach being taken through the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine strategies and the emerging Local Industrial Strategy. The programme would detail value for money interventions that would drive economic growth. The investment programme would also be aligned with the government’s clean growth objectives and support a net zero carbon economy by 2050.
Resolved – That the Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan attached as appendix 1 to the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director: Commercial’s report be approved.
1395 KICK START SCHEME – The Director: Business Development submitted a report informing Cabinet of the government’s ‘Kick Start’ scheme and outlined the benefits of establishing a scheme in North Lincolnshire for businesses and young people.
The Kick Start scheme was launched on 8 July 2020 as part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ introducing a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who were on Universal Credit and were deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they needed to find work after completing the scheme. Funding for each job placement would cover:
- 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours;
- the associated employer National Insurance contributions;
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, and
- for each placement, Kick Start employers would also receive a £1500 initial payment for set up costs and employability support.
The report explained that North Lincolnshire currently had a high claimant count for the 18-24 year olds and had been consistently higher than regional and national claimant rates. By establishing a Kick Start programme would support young people currently claiming out of work benefits to access employment with training. It was proposed that the Council looked to utilise the Kick Start programme to support employment opportunities for young people, in addition, an application would be made to the government’s Kick Start scheme as a ‘Kick Start Gateway’ to enable small firms who were unable to offer 30 placements the opportunity to participate in the scheme and grow their business and support for North Lincolnshire young people. As a Kick start Gateway, the council would receive £300 per external job placement to cover administration costs, and would be responsible for administering and paying the wages and costs to employers on a monthly basis, plus the £1500 set up costs to employers.
In conjunction with AECL, the council would also offer an ‘Employability Support Package’ to those employers not able to provide their own employability support to participants, for which the council would retain £300 of their £1500 set-up payment.
The council was also asking its own services if they could offer a placement to a local young person to enable them to experience the work and support the start of their employment journey. The formal application would be submitted in early December 2020 for January 2021 placement starts.
Associated financial and resource implications were set out in the Director’s report.
Resolved – That the submission of the Kick Start scheme application to government be approved and the delivery of the programme as explained within the Director’s report be supported.
1396 URGENT ITEM – GREATER LINCOLNSHIRE JOINT STRATEGIC OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE – This item was considered after the chair decided it was urgent to enable the above Joint Committee to meet formally as soon as possible. Individual member authorities were required to approve its establishment, membership and terms of reference beforehand, and there was not another scheduled meeting of the Cabinet until 25 January 2021.
The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report inviting the Cabinet to consider and approve establishing a strategic joint committee with Lincolnshire County Council and North East Lincolnshire Council to be known as the ‘Greater Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Oversight Committee.’ Establishing a joint committee of upper tier authorities would provide a formal, and visible collaborative working arrangement, ensuring high levels of strategic alignment. It would build upon the existing working relationships and provide the forum for exploring opportunities to work strategically together to improve service quality and bring benefits to outcomes for residents. This also has the potential to enable funding to be utilised more effectively where scope and scale would be advantageous. North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council were currently part of a similar committee across the Humber – the ‘Humber Leadership Board’, and together with Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) continued to strengthening partnership working to deliver growth and prosperity across the region.
The report explained that subject to the required approval of each of the three member upper tier authorities, the joint committee would exercise purely executive functions. It was not a decision making body, but would explore and promote greater levels of collaboration, alignment and integration of upper tier authority responsibilities. Any proposals that were developed by the joint committee would be approved through each member authority’s executive decision making processes and associated overview and scrutiny functions. The proposed membership and terms of reference of the Joint Committee were set out in an appendix to the report.
Resolved – (a) That the establishment of a strategic joint committee with Lincolnshire County Council and North East Lincolnshire Council as set out in the report, to be known as the ‘Greater Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Oversight Committee be approved, and (b) that the strategic joint committees’ Terms of Reference as set out in the appendix to the report be approved and adopted.
1397 URGENT ITEM – NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL COVID-19 UPDATE – This item was considered after the chair decided it was urgent in order to provide the Cabinet with the most up to date position following the end of the second lockdown period on 2 December 2020.
The Director of Public Health submitted a report updating Cabinet on the COVID-19 position for North Lincolnshire in respect of the Government’s Winter Plan and Local Alert Levels from 2 December 2020 and current epidemiology information. The prevalence of the virus was still high locally and nationally, therefore measures to restrict its transmission within the community must continue. The precautions that people had taken during national lockdown were now being seen through the reduction in cases but the numbers needed to reduce even further to minimise the risk of further spikes.
The report explained that the Government published its Winter Plan on 23 November 2020, which set out the national programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality. The Government’s objectives were listed and summarised under the following headings –
- Supress the virus – (bring the R number below 1 and keep it there. Measures included the use of restrictions. Local Tiers would resume on 2 December 2020).
- Finding new and more effective ways of managing the virus and enabling life to return closer to normal – (vaccines, treatment and strengthened community testing)
- Minimise damage to the economy and society, jobs and livelihoods – (right support was available for jobs and that early years settings, schools, further education providers and universities continued their excellent work in ensuring a safe environment for students to learn).
The COVID-19 Winter Plan also set out a targeted approach of how national restrictions would be lifted on 2 December 2020, with England moving back into a regional tiered approach. The tiers and related requirements were detailed in Appendix 1of the report. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care had also recently confirmed that North Lincolnshire was in Tier 3 following the end of national restrictions and set out factors taken into consideration when allocating a local alert level. Tiering allocations would be reviewed by the government every 14 days.
The Director’s report also included a summary of the latest epidemiology for North Lincolnshire in Appendix 2. The Council’s response to the COVID-19 Winter Plan had been included in the mid-term recovery plan update report considered at this meeting of the Cabinet (minute 1389 refers).
Resolved – That the current position in relation to the pandemic and the local implications arising from the COVID-19 Winter Plan be noted.