Full Cabinet – 14 January 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

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

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

Simon Driver, Richard Stiff, Mike Briggs, Stacey Dickens, Keith Ford, Denise Hyde, Neil Laminman, David Lea, Chris Matthews, Paul Savage, Marcus Walker, Dave Watson, Mike Wedgewood, Sarah Williamson, Mike Wood, Peter Young, and Mel Holmes.

Dr Andrew Furber also attended the meeting.


782 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 10 December 2008, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair with the addition of Paul Savage and Peter Young being in attendance.

783 (89) 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.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

784 (90) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE OBESITY STRATEGY – ACTION PLAN – A joint report was submitted by the Director of Public Health and the Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment which referred to a report of the Healthier Communities and Older People’s Scrutiny Panel about obesity levels in North Lincolnshire. That panel had made a number of recommendations to tackle the problem of obesity levels in North Lincolnshire. The North Lincolnshire Tackling Obesity Partnership had considered the recommendations. The Partnership’s response to the recommendations was set out in appendix 1 to the report.

The report also indicated that in June 2006, cabinet had approved a joint strategy with the Primary Care Trust in respect of tackling obesity which had been identified by the Director of Public Health as one of the three major health problems in North Lincolnshire.

Resolved – (a) That the responses of the North Lincolnshire Tackling Obesity Partnership to the recommendations of the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel to tackle obesity in North Lincolnshire be supported, and (b) that the responses form the basis of an action plan to tackle the problem of obesity in North Lincolnshire to be submitted to future meetings of cabinet and the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel.

785 (91) REPORT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S TOBACCO CONTROL NATIONAL SUPPORT TEAM (NST) VISIT TO NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment and the Director of Public Health submitted a joint report informing cabinet of the recommendations of the Department of Health’s Tobacco Control National Support Team following an assessment carried out in North Lincolnshire.

The Tobacco Control National Support Team had visited North Lincolnshire in July 2008. Its remit was to provide recommendations and support to control tobacco in areas “facing the greatest challenge”. The Primary Care Trust, North Lincolnshire Council and the wider Local Strategic Partnership had welcomed the visit as smoking had already been identified as one of the leading causes of health inequalities and premature morbidity and mortality in North Lincolnshire. Smoking prevalence was one of the area’s 35 priority Local Area Agreement indicators. During the course of the visit which lasted 3 days the NST had interviewed a wide range of stakeholders including Chief Executives, Commissioners and Service Providers. They had returned a week later with their report which had been discussed at a well attended closing plenary which had included the lead member for Healthier Communities and Adults.

The NST had noted a number of overall strengths within the area which were detailed in paragraph 3.1 of the report. However, it had also noted the scale of the challenge still facing North Lincolnshire, details of which were contained in paragraph 3.2. As a result, the NST had made a number of recommendations which it felt would help North Lincolnshire meet the challenges referred to above. The top five recommendations were detailed in paragraph 3.3 and the actions being taken in response to these recommendations were set out in an appendix to the report.

Resolved – (a) That the recommendations of the Tobacco Control National Support Team be endorsed as outlined in the report and appendix; (b) that the tobacco control co-ordination function be integrated into the duties and responsibilities of the Health Improvement Team within Neighbourhood and Environmental Services, and (c) that a new post of Tobacco Control Co-ordinator be created and that the structural changes and grading implications arising from the integration of the tobacco control co-ordinating function into the Health Improvement Team be referred to the cabinet members for Neighbourhood, Environment and Communities and Corporate Services for detailed consideration.

786 (92) ANNUAL PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT (APA) OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE 2008 – The Service Director Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report informing cabinet of the main points of the Annual Performance Assessment of Children and Young People’s Services in North Lincolnshire 2008.

The Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) is judged and inspected by Ofsted. Each year, Ofsted makes a judgement on all CYPS in England and makes these publicly available. The judgements are based on a range of performance indicators, inspections and visits relating to activity during the previous year. Inspectors make judgements based on a scale and a table set out in paragraph 2.3 indicated the gradings awarded by Ofsted in 2008 for North Lincolnshire. Grades were awarded for each of the 7 assessment judgement areas.

The inspector’s full evaluation report which had been published on 17 December 2008 listed key strengths and areas for improvement. The strengths considerably outweighed the areas for improvement. The key conclusions were detailed within paragraph 2.4 and related to overall effectiveness, being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, achieving economic well being and capacity to improve. Overall the APA was very positive. Areas highlighted for improvement focussed on process and work to address these which had already begun and was progressing. Indeed, 90% of the Youth Offending Service Improvement Action Plan had been completed, data analysis of educational attainment amongst black and ethnic minority children had improved and the availability of apprenticeships for children with learning difficulties and disabilities had been addressed in revisions of the 14 – 19 strategy.

A full copy of the Annual Performance Assessment Report was available in the Political Group Offices and on request.

Resolved – (a) That the Ofsted report be noted and endorsed, and (b) that Cabinet notes the achievement of the Children and Young People’s Service and recognises the dedication of staff to service users.

787 (93) GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO THE PITT REVIEW INTO FLOODING – The Chief Executive submitted a report which outlined the implications for the council from the government’s response to the review into the summer 2007 flooding.

More than 700 properties in North Lincolnshire had been affected by flooding in June 2007 and January 2008. The council had responded to support communities and had spent around £4m on helping to protect properties, repairing damage and reducing the future flooding risk. Following the 2007 flooding, the government had commissioned an independent review into these floods. Sir Michael Pitt led this and had published his findings into the cause and responses to the floods in June 2008. The government had responded to the Pitt review on 17 December 2008. This had a number of implications for North Lincolnshire Council.

One of the key recommendations made by Sir Michael Pitt was that local authorities should have a local leadership role for flood risk management. The government had agreed with this and legislation to underpin this was planned. The government intended to consult on a draft Bill in the spring of 2009. This role was likely to involve ensuring that flood risk from all sources, including surface run off, ground water and ordinary water courses be identified and managed as part of locally agreed partnerships. The Environment Agency would retain its national strategic role and would continue to take the lead in managing risk from coastal erosion and flooding from main rivers. However, local authorities would lead the new partnerships and the government intended to introduce a new duty on all partners to co-operate. Councils would also be required to work with all partners to establish ownership of drainage and water courses.

A review by North Lincolnshire Council into the lessons learned from the flooding and responses had already identified the need for a more co-ordinated approach from a number of agencies if flood risk was to be minimised and communities supported during and after flooding. The council had already carried out a number of actions that were in line with the government’s response to the Pitt review which included setting up a Flood Forum bringing together the key agencies involved in preventing and responding to flooding, mapping ownership of waterways and producing a flood risk map. These actions would need to be reviewed and formalised in the light of any new legislation and the new duty for partners to co-operate. The council had also invested resources in the above work in this financial year and was developing a comprehensive flood plan to cover both the initial response and subsequent recovery phases. The community recovery part of the plan was based on work carried out by the Humber Local Resilience Forum.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet welcomes the new local leadership role for flood risk management for councils; (b) that the current flood forum be used as a partnership mechanism to enable the council to fulfil this role; (c) that the membership and terms of reference of the flood forum be reviewed to ensure it meets any new legislation, and (d) that funding for flood management work be considered at the council’s budget meeting in February 2009.

788 CHARTER FOR MEMBER DEVELOPMENT – AWARD – The Leader reported that, following a detailed assessment on 13 January, 2009, the council had been notified of the award of charter status for member development.

This was a reflection of the council’s commitment to member development and was a credit to all members of the council who had, and were, participating in development and training. He thanked all members and officers who had supported and worked with them in achieving this award.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

789 NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – ECONOMIC SITUATION – The Leader referred to the current economic downturn within the country and in particular the impact on North Lincolnshire. The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development gave a brief overview of how the downturn was impacting on North Lincolnshire and how the council was responding. He reported that the council was working with the business sector and business organisations to develop good information about the situation.

The council was acting in a co-ordination role and was developing a number of initiatives to assist businesses. A council wide team was being established to assist in this role and a full report would be submitted to the next meeting of cabinet. On a positive note he referred to the huge investment and developments planned for the South Humber Bank Scheme.

The Chief Executive and the Service Director Finance also commented on this matter.

Resolved – That the report be noted.