Full Cabinet – 21 May 2008

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

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

Councillors B Briggs, J Briggs, Bunyan, England, Glover, Mrs Redfern, Vickers and Wilson also attended the meeting.

Simon Driver, Richard Stiff, Mike Briggs, Barry Fleetwood, Keith Ford, Geoff Popple, Paul Savage, Dave Watson, Mike Wedgewood, Mike Wood, Peter Young and Mel Holmes also attended the meeting.

735 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTEREST – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests from cabinet members.

736 MINUTESResolved – That the minutes of the meeting of cabinet held on 2 April 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 to the names of the attendees.

737 (56) 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.

738 (57) REVENUE AND CAPITAL OUTTURN 2007/2008 – The Service Director Finance submitted a report informing members of the revenue and capital outturn position for the council for 2007/2008. The report also considered a request for carry forwards to 2008/2009 and also considered the closure of the housing revenue account.

The report compared actual spending in 2007/2008 with the budget approved by council. The figures within the report were provisional until the accounts were closed but gave an overview of financial performance. The council managed its spending on services within a statutory framework and made sure this was within cash limited budgets. The report showed –

  • General fund services were paid for from government grant, council tax and service charges – revenue spending.
  • Investment in long term assets such as roads and buildings were paid for from borrowing, external finance, capital receipts from the sale of council assets and revenue – capital expenditure.

Overall council services underspent on revenue by £0.3m or 0.3% in 2007/2008. This was a creditable achievement given the significant additional expenditure of flood recovery required during the year. Additional income from the PCT for the costs of continuing care previously met by the council provided a further bonus. Taken together with an underspend on schools and pooled budgets it took the overall position to a £1.4m underspend. General fund expenditure was shown service by service in appendix 2 together with the impact on reserves. The variances between actual spending and budget were explained service by service in appendix 1.

Appendix 3 showed service by service the £28.8m invested during 2007/2008 in capital assets. This equated to a net underspend of £0.5m against the latest approved budget for council schemes. There was further spend of £2.2m on related initiatives which took the total to £31m: £1.3m of capital receipts to cover North Lincolnshire Homes set up costs as planned; £0.2m of lease vehicles for fleet services funded from revenue and £0.5m on the sub regional housing project which the council leads for the four Humber area authorities. That project had a significant underspend of £3.1m. Appendix 4 showed spending by scheme. There had been advance spending on some schemes; spending on others was deferred and there were some minor over and underspends.

The report contained further detailed information about the outturn position for both revenue and capital and referred to a number of requests for carry forward to fund initiatives. These were detailed in paragraph 3.1 of the report. Members were asked to consider the requests and also consider whether services overspending their 2007/2008 budget would make a repayment in 2008/2009. Members were also asked to consider how to treat the pooled budget carry forwards in this coming year and to consider the re-phasing of capital expenditure as detailed in appendix 4.

Resolved – (a) That the revenue and capital outturn position for 2007/2008 be received; (b) that the carry forward of revenue budgets to 2008/2009 of £354k as set out in paragraphs 3.1 and 3.3 be approved; (c) that the revised capital programme for 2008/2009 as detailed in appendix 4 be approved, and (d) that the housing revenue account be formally closed, an amount of £350k for outstanding costs be set aside and the remaining balance be transferred to the general fund.

739 (58) JOINT STRATEGIC NEEDS ASSESSMENT (JSNA) OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE – The Service Director Adult Social Care, the Deputy Chief Executive and the Director of Public Health submitted a joint report in connection with the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment of Health and Social Care in North Lincolnshire. The council and the North Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust had worked together to produce the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which profiled the health and social care needs of the local population. The JSNA presents –

  • A joint analysis of current and predicted health and well being.
  • An account of what people want from services.
  • A view of the future, predicting and anticipating potential new and unmet need.

This first edition of the JSNA focussed on the issues facing older people which needed to be considered alongside the Children’s Plan and the priorities within the Local Area Agreement (LAA). Later editions would cover these and other issues.

The report contained detailed background and other information in relation to the JSNA and attached as an appendix was an executive summary of the full report which was available on request.

Resolved – (a) That the first edition of the JSNA be welcomed; (b) that cabinet agree the proposals to ensure the evidence and issues raised are used to develop policy and planning within the council and LSP frameworks alongside other key documents such as the Local Area Agreement and the Children’s Plan, and (c) that a campaign of public engagement be approved to be used for further consultations.

740 (59) FLOODING COSTS AND PROGRAMME – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report updating cabinet on the current position of highways and planning costs relating to flooding in 2007/2008, advising on funding for drainage, flood defence and emergency repairs in 2008/2009 and confirming the work programme funded by the drainage, flood defence and emergency repair works in 2008/2009.

Over 700 properties in North Lincolnshire had been affected by the flooding that occurred in June 2007 and January 2008. Of these 458 householders reported water damage to their homes. At the time of the floods, 124 householders had had to move out of their property and at present 34 of these householders were still not back in their homes. In addition, 36 householders also occupied only part of their property. It became apparent during the early stages of the event that the council could not resolve all the issues in isolation. To be more effective in the future a partnership approach was needed and to achieve this a multi agency forum group had been established. This was led by North Lincolnshire Council and attended by representatives from each of the agencies involved in preventing and responding to flooding. Much work had now been completed including cleaning and maintaining the drainage infrastructure although there was still much more to do.

North Lincolnshire Council Highways and Planning Service had spent a substantial amount of money in resolving many issues, details of which were contained within paragraph 2.4 and staff had been employed to map the critically affected areas and create a register of drainage systems and waterways. This was helping to prioritise work and enable agencies to be better prepared for any future flooding problems. The report contained details of works planned for 2008/2009 together with the detailed financial issues arising from 2007/2008, those to be considered in 2008/2009 and other detailed information. Appendices A and B detailed the cost of these works.

Cabinet was also asked to consider whether a local council tax discount or allowance was applicable for council tax payers whose properties were affected by the floods in June 2007. Tax payers who had been affected by the floods in 2007 and had vacated the property qualified for a class A exemption, meaning they would pay no council tax. However, the maximum period of this exemption was 12 months and was due to end on 24 June 2008. Cabinet was asked to consider whether to grant a council tax discount under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for dwellings still affected by the floods after 24 June 2008.

Resolved – (a) That cabinet acknowledges the vast amount of work undertaken to date in relation to flooding; (b) that the expenditure of flooding emergency works in the financial year 2007/2008 be noted; (c) that the list of schemes identified in appendices A and B for capital expenditure in 2008/2009 be approved, and (d) that, under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, a 100% locally defined council tax discount scheme be introduced and that the discount apply where the tax payer is forced to leave their homes due to serious damage caused by flooding beyond their control and where statutory exemptions would not otherwise apply for a maximum period of 12 months, the discount to apply from no earlier than 25 June 2008 and to end on the date the property is re-occupied if it is within the 12 month period.

741 (60) REVIEW OF SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report which considered the recommendations of the Economic Development Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel in relation to a review of support for small businesses in North Lincolnshire.

At its meeting held on 19 March 2008 council had considered a report of the Economic Development Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel in relation to this review. The report had been approved by council and referred to cabinet for consideration of the recommendations with a view to the preparation of an action plan. Attached as an appendix to the report were the panel’s recommendations.

Resolved – (a) That the report and recommendations be approved, and (b) that officers and the appropriate cabinet member(s) prepare an action panel for submission to a future meeting of cabinet.

742 YORKSHIRE FORWARD – PRESENTATION – The Leader and the Chief Executive reported orally on a presentation given to Yorkshire Forward on 21 May, 2008 in relation to the development of the South Humber Bank.

Resolved – That the report be noted.