Full Cabinet – 11 March 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

Councillors Foster (vice-chair), Carlile, Gosling, Grant, O’Sullivan, Regan and Swift.

Councillors Ali, Barker, Barkworth, B Briggs, Collinson, Poole, Whiteley and Wilson also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Richard Stiff, Caroline Barkley, Mike Briggs, John Coates, Chris Daly, Barry Fleetwood, Denise Hyde, Gordon Kell, Neil Laminman, David Lea, Karen Pavey, Paul Savage, Pete Scott, Marcus Walker, Sarah Williamson, Mike Wood, Peter Young and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

PC Barry Gardner from Humberside Police and Neil Tharrat from the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service also attended the meeting.

790 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – Councillor Mark Kirk declared a personal interest in relation to agenda item 5 – South Humber Bank – Progress as chair of the Regional Transport Board.

791 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 14 January 2009, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.

792 (94) OUTSTANDING ACTION FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS OF CABINET – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report which contained a schedule of outstanding issues on which cabinet had requested reports to future meetings.

793 (95) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE ROAD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP – UPDATE – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report updating cabinet on the work of the North Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

To keep members updated on the work of the partnership, it had been previously agreed that periodic reports should be submitted to the cabinet member for Highways and Planning who was also chair of the Road Safety Partnership. It was also necessary from time to time to inform cabinet of the work of the partnership. The report now submitted updated cabinet in detail on some of the issues around road safety including the latest figures for killed and seriously injured on North Lincolnshire’s roads which had fallen for the third consecutive period as detailed in the report. The report also referred to the government’s new performance framework which included two national indicators relating to road safety namely –

  • NI47 People killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents and
  • NI48 Children killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents

NI47 had also been included as one of the 35 North Lincolnshire Local Area Agreement targets. These new performance monitoring arrangements had superseded best value performance indicators although the partnership continued to monitor casualties across a wide range of categories.

Under the emerging management arrangements for the Local Strategic Partnership’s Local Area Agreement, road safety was included in the Resilience and Emergency Response Board portfolio. Preliminary discussions with the LAA Theme Lead were taking place to discuss how the Road Safety Partnership would contribute to achieving the Community Strategy objectives and the reporting mechanisms. In addition, in the longer term, the Partnership would need to consider how it would continue to improve road safety after 2010. To facilitate this, and in order to set this process in motion, a road safety seminar was to be arranged during the summer of 2009, to which community representatives and other interested parties would be invited.

The report contained further detailed information about this matter including details attached as appendices to the report. PC Barry Gardner and Neil Tharrat from the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service also attended the meeting for this item and answered questions from members of cabinet.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the activity and performance information included in the report, and (b) that the Road Safety Partnership arrange a road safety seminar during the summer of 2009, in order to update the wider community on the work of the partnership and to consult on how road safety can continue to be improved after 2010.

794 (96) SOUTH HUMBER BANK – PROGRESS REPORT AND CHALLENGES AHEAD – The Head of Strategic Regeneration and Housing Development submitted a report outlining progress on the South Humber Bank – the largest development site for employment in the north of England, and plans to maximise its potential for inward investment, jobs and long term prosperity.

The South Humber Bank represents the largest single development site in the north of England. It is also the last strategic employment site in the UK which fronts a deep water estuary. It boasts the Port of Immingham, the UK’s busiest port and the South Humber Bank is the location for more than a quarter of the UK’s refinery capacity. By the summer of 2009, the South Humber Bank will be the location for one of the world’s largest combined heat and power plants.

The government regards the South Humber Bank of international importance and has stated that the right infrastructure must be put in place to maximise the long term future of the UK’s largest freight port. It has backed this by allocating £30m to remove “bottle necks” and increase “capacity” on road links to key ports. This represents 10% of a national allocation of £300m set aside for key national road and airport schemes. Given that the South Humber Bank has a major role to play in attracting inward investment and raising the prosperity of North Lincolnshire there is a need to put in place new governance arrangements. By doing so, the council could expect to enjoy greater influence in shaping the future direction and pace of change, thereby creating a location that could significantly raise the profile of this part of the UK. If a dynamic and successful Hull and Humber Ports City Region is to be realised, the South Humber Bank is integral to this.

Initial discussions had taken place with a range of partners. It was felt that this strategically located, large scale development site should be promoted as the South Humber Gateway (SHG) along with a SHG Board. The board would comprise the Leaders and Chief Executives of North and North East Lincolnshire Councils, the Heads of Economic Development from each council, an Executive Officer from Yorkshire Forward and a Senior Officer from the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber. The council’s South Humber Bank Manager would support the board’s work.

The report contained further detailed information about progress in relation to the South Humber Bank and the new governance arrangements.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet approves the branding of the South Humber Bank as the South Humber Gateway so as to maximise its potential and attract the support of key partners, including Yorkshire Forward, the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber and North East Lincolnshire Council; (b) that cabinet approves the creation of a South Humber Gateway (SHG) Board, supported by a SHG Operations Unit, the board to comprise the membership as detailed in paragraph 2.8 of the report and to be responsible for those functions detailed in paragraphs 2.9 and 2.10, and (c) that regular progress reports on key developments and issues relating to the South Humber Gateway be submitted to cabinet as required.

795 (97) CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION – With reference to minute 789, the Chief Executive submitted a report which considered both the range of measures the council was deploying to mitigate the worse effects of the global economic downturn in North Lincolnshire and what further steps may be required in the future. The report also updated cabinet on the current position in the North Lincolnshire economy. In particular, the report updated cabinet on the current initiatives in place in relation to both operational areas and business and strategic regeneration and also considered an 11 point regional pledge of action which had been produced following a key economic downturn event that had taken place in the region in December 2008. The Local Government Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board (of all four sub regions in Yorkshire and Humber) had approved a pledge. All 22 councils in the region were now recommending this for adoption. The pledge committed the region to supporting the local economy in a number of ways as detailed in paragraph 2.10 of the report.

Finally, the report updated cabinet on the recent public inquiry into the Humber Bridge Tolls and the latest position in relation to that matter.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet notes the contents of the report; (b) that cabinet supports the new initiatives proposed in it, and (c) that cabinet endorses the regional pledge as detailed above.

796 (98) WASTE CONTRACTS PROCUREMENT PROJECT – With reference to minute 768 the Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report confirming the evaluation methodology and strategic approach to be adopted under the competitive dialogue process for the new waste treatment contract.

The council’s current contracts let to deliver waste management services were scheduled to terminate by 31 March 2011. The council had previously agreed contract packaging options and strategies to procure replacement contracts for these services. The council decided to procure one contract for its recycling services and another for the treatment and disposal of residual and organic waste. On 22 October 2008, cabinet approved procurement of the recycling services contract under the restrictive procedure and use of competitive dialogue for the residual and organic waste contract.

Discussions held with the waste management sector during the industry open day produced widespread support for the council’s proposed strategy. The majority of attendees supported the contract packaging, use of the restrictive procedure and competitive dialogue, timetable and openness to choice of technological treatment solutions. They supported delaying procurement of the recycling contract until initial technological solutions had been submitted for treating the residual and organic waste, so that the council could consider any service implications or interface issues between the two contracts. The council also asked the attendees about the possibility of the technology that could produce vehicle fuel grade bio-methane from the organic waste. A number of companies expressed positive responses and the potential for bio-methane to provide fuel for refuse collection vehicles or for injection into the national gas grid had been confirmed.

Following discussions held with the waste management sector during the industry open day and the broad level of support received, the timetable for procuring the residual waste treatment contract was shown at appendix A of the report and was recommended. Taking on board feedback received from attendees at the industry open day, it was proposed that the formal EU process for procuring the recycling services contract should not commence until outline proposals for technological solutions for the residual and organic waste treatment contract had been submitted. This was so that any interface issues with potential treatment technologies could be written into the contract documentation for the recycling services contract. Relating this to the timetable at appendix A would mean that this procurement would commence in October 2009.

The report contained further detailed information about this issue and attached at appendix B was an evaluation framework for the pre-qualification stage which would enable the council to filter expressions of interest to ensure that only financially viable and technically proficient and experienced organisations could be taken forward to the dialogue stages. In addition, appendix C set out the proposed governance arrangements for the competitive dialogue process.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet approve the formal commencement of the procurement process by issue of the appropriate notices in accordance with the timetable shown at appendix A; (b) that cabinet delay the formal commencement of the procurement process for the recycling contract until initial offers have been received for the treatment and disposal contract; (c) that the evaluation framework shown at appendix B to the report be approved and (d) that cabinet approve the governance arrangements for managing the competitive dialogue process set out in appendix C.

797 (99) EVERY ADULT MATTERS – IMPROVING THE PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE PEOPLE – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking cabinet approval to proposals relating to the protection of vulnerable people.

Abuse of vulnerable adults whether physical, sexual, emotional or financial is a reality in North Lincolnshire and across the country. In the year 2007/2008, 133 reports of adult abuse had been investigated in North Lincolnshire. However, it was widely held that the reported incidents were a considerable under representation of actual abuse. Adult abuse had a far lower profile in the public eye and media than child abuse which meant that there was lower awareness of its possibility among the public.

The government and the regulatory body, the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate (CSCI) had recognised this issue and had placed far greater emphasis on councils duties to safeguard vulnerable people. CSCI published a national study into the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements recently which summarised 23 inspections of councils. They concluded that many councils had to do more to ensure adult protection. The government had also launched a nationwide consultation on its present policy and was expected to tighten, most possibly by legislation, inter agency working and increase the powers of councils and police to intervene directly in serious cases. North Lincolnshire’s Safeguarding Adults Board had conducted local consultations and submitted it to the government body. The council had a duty and legal responsibility to protect adults who were vulnerable due to disability or infirmity. The council fulfilled this duty in a number of ways and two years ago it established a North Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) to ensure a co-ordinated approach across all relevant agencies. The SAB consisted of senior representatives from the police, health, the voluntary sector, care providers and others and the council’s Director of Adult Social Services chaired it. The board published an annual report and was subject to oversight by the council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel. The work of the SAB had highlighted good progress on safeguarding and a number of areas for development that would keep North Lincolnshire in the vanguard. These were summarised in paragraph 3 of the report with an analysis in paragraph 4. The report also referred to widespread consultations which had taken place in relation to this matter.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet agree the proposals listed under section 3.1 of the report; (b) that all members adopt a duty of “corporate carers” and cabinet nominates an elected member to be the safeguarding champion for the council, and (c) that all Service Directors be asked to appoint a safeguarding adults champion in each service area.

798 (100) ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM FOR SELF DIRECTED SUPPORT IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking approval of proposals in relation to implementing a system of self directed support for adults who are eligible for social care services.

“Our health, our care, our say” (DH2007) set out the government’s vision for the future of health and social care services for adults. “Putting people first” (DH2008) built on this vision to outline ways in which social care services for adults would be organised in the future. Ensuring that citizens have choice and control of the services that support them is central to this vision and in order for this to happen, councils with adult social services responsibilities are required by the Department of Health to personalise services by implementing systems and processes to deliver self directed support. The required timescales were very tight with evidence of significant improvements required by April 2011.

Self directed support describes a way of re-designing the social care system so that the people who are eligible to receive services take much greater control over them. It includes the use of direct payments and individual budgets as well as other elements of support. The underlying principle for the development of self directed support was the desire to move to a system where adults had the ability to take greater control over their lives and the social care that they receive, enabling them to make their own decisions and manage their own risks. This puts people at the centre of assessing their own needs, deciding how best those needs can be met and tailoring care to meet those needs. To fully adopt this approach would require fundamental changes to the present system of social care and a true whole systems transformation had to take place.

Since 2007, North Lincolnshire Council Adult Social Services had been preparing to transform its services to deliver personalisation and self directed support. The work to date had involved developing a new structure for adult social services based on improving outcomes for North Lincolnshire residents. The result of this work would be an organisation with an improved focus on commissioning, quality assurance, workforce development, urgent responses to crises, locality working, prevention and self directive support for vulnerable adults of all ages.

In order to ensure the new organisational structure delivered self directed support to improve outcomes for people and to enable government targets to be met, it was proposed that a self directed support project be established. The project would bring all sections of adult social services together with other council service areas, key partners and residents to ensure that self directed support becomes a reality in North Lincolnshire. The project would be the responsibility of a designated project team and would enable a partnership approach to the development of practice, systems and processes. Officers from adult social services were to come together with key stakeholders and partners in a partnership group to promote the whole systems approach. Further details were contained in paragraphs 3.3 and 3.4 with analysis in paragraph 4. Attached as appendices to the report were details of a proposed governance structure, membership and terms of reference.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet approve the implementation of its self directed support project, and that the implementation of the project be the responsibility of a designated project team with five workstreams to the project as detailed in the report, and (b) that cabinet approves the establishment of a North Lincolnshire Self Directed Support Project Board, sponsored by the Director of Adult Social Services and chaired by the Head of Communities and Partnership.

799 (101) EXTENDING PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENTS WITH NHS NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – A report was submitted by the Service Director Adult Social Care seeking cabinet agreement for the North Lincolnshire Health and Social Care Partnership Board to be wound up and replaced by new arrangements.

The Health Act 1999 had removed all the obstacles to joined up working across health and social services. At that time both agencies were expected to join up their commissioning of services and integrate their budgets. Locally this happened for people with learning disabilities and adult people with mental health needs through the establishment of a North Lincolnshire Health and Social Care Partnership Board in 2002 to manage these two partnerships and it had been very successful. The board functioned specifically to ensure that services for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs worked together through integrated structures and pooled budgets. However, the board had recently reviewed its functions and had proposed a new structure to extend integrated working and joined up commissioning to other adult services (specifically older people and people with disabilities), increase the level of service user and carer involvement with the establishment of citizen specific partnerships and to link more closely with the local strategic partnership ambitions. The proposals would also include better arrangements for developing engagement with vulnerable adult groups and giving them a real voice.

Joint working between the council and NHS North Lincolnshire had produced a revised structure proposal which was considered by both agencies to be the vehicle for improving success in delivering joint commissioning. The proposals were set out in appendix A to the report.

The proposals would give additional powers to the Well Being and Health Improvement Partnership (WHIP), the establishment of an executive strategic commissioning board and four citizen specific expert reference partnerships. Their roles were detailed in the report. The Health Partnership Board considered that these proposals would benefit the area in the future.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet welcomes and endorses the new governance arrangements between the local authority and NHS North Lincolnshire in relation to adult social care, and (b) that cabinet agrees that the North Lincolnshire Health and Social Care Partnership Board is wound up and replaced by the new arrangements set out in the report and in appendix A.

800 (102) UPDATE ON THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN HEALTH ACT 2007 – The Chief Executive submitted a report updating cabinet on the key developments arising from the Local Government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. These publications represented a significant change for the role of local councils to deliver the area’s economic prosperity and create better places for communities. It set out the government’s commitment to communities and individuals, devolving power to localities, giving more influence, choice and greater opportunity to own and run local services.

Previous reports had been submitted to cabinet in relation to these matters and this report summarised the most recent guidance notes and consultations undertaken.

In many cases guidance was still awaited and this would need to be considered when produced and would be the subject of further decision reports if necessary. A summary of guidance published since September 2008 and recommendations for taking forward issues was detailed in appendix 1. This appendix also referred to the government’s response to the consultation paper Improving Accountability which sought views on three key areas including developing and strengthening local scrutiny, increasing the visibility and accountability of local public officers and facilitating the work of councillors. The government was also reconsidering the arrangements for mayoral petitions, to the extent that the current requirements could be varied to make it easier to obtain sufficient signatures to trigger a mayoral referendum. The appendix also referred to the Comprehensive Area Assessment, the Local Democracy, Economic Prosperity and Construction Bill and the Code of Conduct for local government employees.

Resolved – (a) That the recommendations contained in appendix 1 to the report be approved and further reports be submitted to cabinet on key areas of implementation; (b) that further briefings be arranged for all elected members and senior officers as further guidance is produced; (c) that the report be referred to the council’s Independent Elected Members Remuneration Panel for information, and (d) that a response be sent to the government on the consultation on mayoral petitions indicating that the council is opposed to any changes in relation to this matter.

801 (103) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY – The Service Director Community Planning and Resources submitted for approval the newly revised IT strategy for 2009/2012 and informed members of the draft plans that would aid the implementation of the strategy.

The purpose of the IT strategy was to ensure that IT was harnessed in support of the council’s vision and key initiatives and that it conformed to governmental and other accepted standards of best practice. The vision for IT underpinned the ambitions of the council and set out to deliver modern facilities to meet the expectations of staff, the public and the community as a whole. The various initiatives required to deliver the vision would necessitate research, development, planning and project work. The priorities were detailed within the report.

Resolved – That the IT Strategy be approved and adopted.