Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Thursday 7th October, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room, Town Hall, Bootle

Contact: Ruth Harrison  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

45.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

 

46.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested at a meeting where a disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest arises, which is not already included in their Register of Members' Interests, todeclare any interests that relate to an item on the agenda.

 

Where a Member discloses a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, he/she must withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest, except where he/she is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of a dispensation.

 

Where a Member discloses a personal interest he/she must seek advice from the Monitoring Officer or staff member representing the Monitoring Officer to determine whether the Member should withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest or whether the Member can remain in the meeting or remain in the meeting and vote on the relevant decision.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Hardy declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 10, Phase 1 Business Plan for Sandway Homes Limited (Minute No. 54 refers) by virtue of her role as the Cabinet Member representative to Sandway Homes Limited and remained in the meeting during consideration of the item, took part in the consideration of the item and voted thereon.

 

 

47.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2021.

Minutes:

Decision Made:

 

That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 September 2021 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

48.

Mental Health Issues Working Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Maher welcomed Councillor Howard, Lead Member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Adult Social Care and Health, Mental Health Working Group to the Meeting to present the Working Group’s Final Report.

 

Decision Made:      That Cabinet noted the following recommendations and commended the report with recommendations to the Council for approval:

 

(1)           That the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health be requested to develop an action plan that incorporates the following recommendations and that the recommendations are taken forward into commissioning plans:

 

A.       support the development of accurate data to evidence Key Performance Indicators, to include waiting times for services and customer satisfaction, to be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health) on a regular basis, in the form of a dashboard;

 

B.       support the development of greater parity of esteem for mental health within the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and other strategic documents;

 

C.       consider methods of increasing feedback from service users, to include case studies and a “secret shopper” approach, in order to encourage an approach of continuous improvement for service user experience;

 

D.       consider methods of increasing service user involvement, particularly in their own crisis planning, in anticipation of reforms to the Mental Health Act;

 

E.       consider methods of encouraging service users to become “experts by experience”, particularly through the use of Mersey Care facilities such as the Life Rooms and Crisis Cafes;

 

F.       support the development of Integrated Care Systems for a more holistic approach to issues that can impact on mental health, such as housing, addiction, complex lives issues, etc.;

 

G.       support the inclusion of approaches adopted during the pandemic, such as the use of video technology, within the development of the Technology Enabled Care Services Strategy;

 

H.       undertake a review of some of the services traditionally provided, in the light of alternative services provided and service user take-up of those services, during the pandemic;

 

I.        submit a report on the work and outcome of the Sefton Mental Health Review Task and Finish Group, set up between the Council, CCG’s, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and the voluntary sector, to the to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health), in due course;

 

J.        review digital entry points for service users to access the Council’s mental health services, in order to ensure that access is as straightforward as possible via the Council’s website and that links to other organisations are readily available;

 

K.       submit a report on the work undertaken in relation to transitions from children’s services to adult services, to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health), in due course to include care leavers and other vulnerable user groups;

 

L.       review the Directory of Services available, in order to produce a map of services, to assist service users to navigate the system;

 

M.      report progress regarding the formal assessment of diagnosis for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder conditions in young people aged 18-25 and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Housing Support Services to Vulnerable People Working Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Maher welcomed Councillor Robinson, Lead Member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Regeneration and Skills, Housing Support Services for Vulnerable People Working Group to the Meeting to present the Working Group’s Final Report.

 

Decision Made:      That Cabinet noted the following recommendations and commended the report with recommendations to the Council for approval:

 

(1)

in order for elected Members to provide a local insight into the Postcode Check process, appropriate Ward Councillors views be sought as part of the Postcode Check consultation

process;

 

(2)

to provide as much evidence base as possible as part of the Postcode Check process the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer be requested to write to all elected Members urging them to contact the Head of Communities as to which areas within their wards maybe suffering issues that should be taken into account, such as instances of crime, including hate crime, anti-social behaviour and any community tensions, when considering future asylum accommodation procurement;

 

(3)

in order that elected Members are aware of the strategic planning,

location and distribution of Housing and Support Services for

vulnerable households the Head of Communities be requested to

provide 6-monthly updates to all Councillors;

 

(4)

when commissioning specific housing and support services for

vulnerable groups, the Council should continue to adopt a strategic approach that is cognisant of other such services, the capacity of

wider statutory, community and voluntary services and reflects

issues at a local community level within each ward as to the location

of the housing element;

 

(5)

any support services that are commissioned by the Council to

support vulnerable households should be tailored to the target group

with specialist provision and the ability to flex up and flex down as

and when required. Local, Sefton based services, often run by the Community and Voluntary sector based in our communities should

always be the preferred option wherever possible. The longer-term

aim of self-reliance for the service user and longer-term sustainability

of the project should always be the aim with a focus on reducing

demand on demand-led services; and

 

(6)

where housing and support services that are not commissioned by

the Council fail then officers should use the governance structures in

place to escalate issues.

 

An example of this is where officers have used the Liverpool City

Region Officers network and the Regional Strategic Migration

Partnership so that issues can be escalated by elected members to

the Lead Member for the Liverpool City Region group.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Working Group has made a number of recommendations that require approval by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills), Cabinet and Council.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected 

 

No alternative options were considered. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) established the Working Group to look at the Housing Support Services to Vulnerable People and the Working Group has performed this task.

 

 

50.

Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Maher welcomed Councillor John Sayers, Lead Member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Regeneration and Skills, Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group to the Meeting to present the Working Group’s Final Report.

 

Decision Made:      That Cabinet noted the following recommendations and commended the report with recommendations to the Council for approval:

 

That:

 

(1)

a very significant increase in uniformed enforcement officers be established to tackle the problems of littering, fly-tipping and rear entry dumping;

 

(2)

a high-profile publicity campaign be introduced to highlight the increased enforcement activity to be undertaken;

 

(3)

as part of the evidence base to understand the options for an additional enforcement regime, an evaluation should take place to detail the invest to save opportunities that may exist that could reduce demand on Cleansing Services as enforcement activity is increased with the requirement for the proposal to be cost neutral on the Council’s budget; and

 

(4)

(a)

Investigations take place to see whether sanctions could be imposed on private landlords, via the Selective Licensing Scheme, for the anti-social actions of their tenants in littering and dumping rubbish in rear entries; and

 

(b)

All registered social landlords operating in Sefton be contacted and urged to consider taking action against those tenants who act irresponsibly and fly-tip or dump rubbish in rear entries

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Working Group has made a number of recommendations that require approval by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills), Cabinet and Council.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

No alternative options were considered. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) established the Working Group to look at the Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity and the Working Group has performed this task.

 

 

51.

Bootle Area Action Plan - Issues and Options Consultation paper pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report of the Chief Planning Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Planning Officer in relation to the Council’s proposal to develop a Bootle Area Action Plan (AAP) Development Plan Document to guidedevelopment and investment for the wider Bootle area. The report indicated that once adopted the AAP would form part of the Development Plan for Sefton alongside the Local Plan. The report highlighted that it was likely to cover a range of issues in relation to land use component but could also look to address wider factors that influenced the quality of place in which people lived, worked, shopped, socialised, undertook leisure activities, visited and invested.

 

The report also highlighted that the preparation of an AAP must be done in accordance with national Planning Regulations. The first stage of preparation would be the identification of the issues that the Council considered the AAP would need to address and some potential options for addressing those issues, as detailed in the Issues and Options Paper.

 

Approval of the Issues and Options paper would mean that the Council could engage with residents, community groups, businesses, landowners and other stakeholders.

 

Decisions Made:    That:

 

(1)      the Bootle Area Action Plan Issues and Option paper for publication and public engagement, be approved;

 

(2)      delegated authority be granted to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control to make non-strategic changes to the Bootle Area Action Plan Issues and Options paper prior to publication; and

 

(3)      delegated authority be granted to the Chief Planning Officer to make minor editorial and presentational changes to the Bootle Area Action Plan Issues and Options paper prior to publication.

 

Reasons for the Decisions:

 

To allow for the Bootle Area Action Plan to progress to the first formal stage of public engagement towards its progression towards examination and adoption as part of the statutory development plan for the area.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

Doing an Area Action Plan for a specific area is not statutory. However, choosing not to do one would miss an opportunity to set out a statutory framework for investment and regeneration in the Bootle area and to coordinate a land use respond to the various programmes underway in the Bootle area.

 

 

 

52.

North West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme Pre- Procurement Report - Topographic Services pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Report of the Head of Operational In-House Services.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Operations In-house Services that sought approval for the completed procurement process through the National Network of Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes’ Framework for topographic surveys over the period of 2021-2027 and subsequent approval for award of contract.

 

Decision Made:      That:

 

(1)           the tendering process undertaken to procure topographic surveys over the period of 2021-2027 for the north west coast via the national network of coastal monitoring programme’s framework, be approved; and

 

(2)           delegated authority be granted to the Head of Operational In-House Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing to award the contract to the preferred bidder.

 

Reasons for the Decisions:

 

In compliance with Sefton Council’s Contract Procedure Rule 1.10.1, a Pre Procurement Report was submitted for Cabinet Member approval in order to commence a procurement exercise for topographic services. The value of the contract and thus the required level of approval was based on previous coastal monitoring costs.

 

Approval was received and the contracted works were advertised on the Chest.

 

However, the tender return was over Cabinet Member approval limit and needs to be approved by Cabinet.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

Re-run the procurement exercise with Cabinet approval. As only 1 company submitted a tender it is unlikely there would be any benefit in so as it would require additional officer time and resources.

 

Surveys could be procured individually and independently through separated procurement processes.  This would require additional officer time and resources for each procurement exercise and could lead to a lack of consistency between surveys.

 

 

 

 

53.

Town Deal: Enterprise Arcade Project pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Executive Director - Place

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director (Place) in relation to progress of the Southport Town Deal project, The Enterprise Arcade and sought approval on the route to secure an operating partner for the project.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Councillor Atkinson recommended that the Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Councillor Hardy also be included as a consultee referred to in Recommendation (2) of the report.

 

Decision Made: That:

 

(1)

the recommended option for securing an operating partner for the Enterprise Arcade through a Property Lease, be approved; and

 

(2)

delegated authority be granted to the Executive Director (Place), in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing, Regeneration and Skills,  and Regulatory, Compliance & Corporate Services, to approve the project delivery stages including design and construction, and their associated procurement processes, to meet the Town Deal Business Case submission requirements, be approved.

 

Reasons for the Decisions:

 

Under the Town Deal Heads of Terms, Sefton Council is required to submit businesses cases within 12 months of the offer (by March 2022). Securing an operating partner for the Enterprise Arcade will be integral to the long-term success of the project. Through agreeing a Property Lease, with embedded contractual obligations, the risks of ongoing financial liability for the operation and day-to-day costs of running the building will be transferred to the leasee / operating partner, meaning that there will be no financial burden to the Council.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

The report lists the alternative options considered. These have been rejected in favour of the recommendation due to them being unlikely to be achieved within the Town Deal timescale or the high risk of them resulting in an ongoing financial uncertainty to the Council for operation of the Enterprise Arcade. The operating partner would also bring sector experience and expertise that will ensure success of the venue in line with the objectives of the Town Deal and of the Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

54.

Phase 1 Business Plan for Sandway Homes Limited pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director for Corporate Resources and Customer services in relation to the progress and delivery of new homes as part of the Phase 1 Business Plan for Sandway Homes Limited and followed on from previous reports on the development and activities within the Company.

 

Decision Made:      That:

 

(1)

the revisions to the Phase 1 Business Plan as provided by the Company to the Council as at September 2021, including changes to the financial forecast (including sales income), duration of the programme, number of units to be built and peak debt, be noted;

 

(2)

the revisions to the Phase 1 Business Plan subject to the receipt of an exit strategy that details the financial risk to the Council that would arise should the revised peak debt of £8.3m be reached and the company failed to continue to operate - Details of this will be presented to Cabinet in a follow up report upon receipt, be approved;

 

(3)

negotiations with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority relating to the £1.05m grant allocation for Buckley Hill Lane are on-going, due to the revised scheme of 63 units reducing from the previously approved 70, be noted and it be noted that this could present a risk if the Company fail to achieve the drawdown timescales associated with this fund, and that this could impact the financial forecast presented;

 

(4)

the work ongoing in respect of the funding, and future sale of the affordable homes within the Phase 1 programme to Registered Provider Together Housing be noted; and it be further noted that when this issue is concluded, details will be presented to Cabinet in a follow up report for consideration:

 

(5)

any further material variations to this revised financial forecast be presented back to Cabinet for further decision, be approved; and

 

(6)

consideration of the Phase 2 Business Plan being deferred until 2022 or such time that the Council has assurance that the financial objectives of Phase 1 have been or will be met. This will require projected sales income having been achieved and the financial risk to the Council having been reduced, be approved.

 

Reasons for the Decisions:

 

Since 2016 the Council has been considering its role in the provision of housing throughout the Borough to complement an active third and private sector market.

 

There is significant demand for housing sites and housing development within Sefton, with over 11,000 housing units being required, over the Local Plan period, in order to meet with the local housing demand.

 

There is a national shortfall of circa 1m homes (of which 400,000 fall into affordable homes) whilst across the Liverpool City Region a total of circa 50,000 housing units will be required in the medium term. Sandway Homes Limited seeks to increase housing completions and the availability of choice for residents and those wishing to live in Sefton.  This will be achieved by working with the Council and stakeholders including Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Financial Management 2021/22 to 2024/25 and Framework for Change 2020 - Revenue and Capital Budget Update 2021/22 including the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on the 2021/22 Budget - October Update pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services informing the Cabinet of:

 

1.       The current financial implications of COVID-19 on the 2021/22 Budget;

2.       The current position relating to the 2021/22 revenue budget;

3.       The current forecast on Council Tax and Business Rates collection for 2021/22;

4.       The monitoring position of the Council’s capital programme to the end of August 2021:

·       The forecast expenditure to year end;

·       Variations against the approved budgets and an explanation of those variations for consideration by Members; and

·       Updates to spending profiles and proposed amendments to capital budgets necessary to ensure the efficient delivery of capital projects are also presented for approval.

 

Decisions Made:    That

 

Revenue Budget

 

1)       the current financial implications of COVID-19 on the 2021/22 Budget together with the key issues that will influence the final position, be noted;

 

2)       the current position relating to the 2021/22 revenue budget be noted;

 

3)       the financial risks associated with the delivery of the 2021/22 revenue budget be recognised and it be acknowledged that the forecast outturn position will continue to be reviewed to ensure a balanced forecast outturn position and financial sustainability can be achieved;

 

Capital Programme

 

4)       the spending profiles across financial years for the approved capital programme, as outlined within paragraph 7.1of the report, be noted;

 

5)       the latest capital expenditure position as at 31 August 2021 of £10.876m (paragraph 7.4); the latest full year forecast is £45.436m (paragraph 7.6), be noted;

 

6)       explanations of variances to project budgets (paragraphs 7.5 & 7.9), be noted; and,

 

7)       it be noted that capital resources will be managed by the Executive Director Corporate Resources and Customer Services, to ensure the capital programme remains fully funded and that capital funding arrangements secure the maximum financial benefit to the Council, as outlined within paragraph 7.12 of the report.

 

Reasons for the Decisions:

To ensure Cabinet are informed of the current position in relation to the 2021/22 revenue budget, including COVID19 pressures and additional funding being made available to the Council.   

 

To provide an updated forecast of the outturn position with regard to the collection of Council Tax and Business Rates. 

 

To keep members informed of the progress of the Capital Programme against the profiled budget for 2021/22 and agreed allocations for future years.

 

To progress any changes that are required in order to maintain a relevant and accurate budget profile necessary for effective monitoring of the Capital Programme.

 

To approve any updates to funding resources so that they can be applied to capital schemes in the delivery of the Council’s overall capital strategy.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

None.

 

 

 

56.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To comply with Regulation 5(2) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice has been published regarding the intention to consider the following matter(s) in private for the reasons set out below.

 

The Cabinet is recommended to pass the following resolution:

 

That, under the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.  The Public Interest Test has been applied and favours exclusion of the information from the Press and Public.

 

Minutes:

To comply with Regulation 5(2) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice has been published regarding the intention to consider the following matter(s) in private for the reasons set out below.

 

Decision Made:

 

That, under the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.  The Public Interest Test has been applied and favours exclusion of the information from the Press and Public.

 

 

57.

Pavilion Buildings Southport - Exempt Appendix

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services in relation to exempt information regarding Pavilion Buildings, Southport.

 

Decision Made:

 

That the exempt information be considered as part of the public report in relation to Pavilion Building, Southport, reference Minute No: 59 refers.

 

Reason for the Decision:

 

The exempt information is required to be considered with the information in the public report in order that an informed decision may be made.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

None.

 

 

 

 

 

58.

Public Session

The Cabinet meeting will now move back into open session to consider the following agenda item:  

Minutes:

Decision Made:

 

That the press and public be re-admitted to the meeting.

 

 

59.

Pavilion Buildings Southport pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services

Minutes:

Further to Minute No’s. 97 and 99 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 9 January 2020 in relation to Asset Maximisation, the Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services in relation to approval of the terms provisionally agreed to dispose of the Council’s freehold interest in Pavilion Buildings in Southport, following terms being agreed for a capital receipt as set out in the exempt  Appendix to the report. The report indicated that the proposal was to convert the upper floors of the premises into a hotel above the public house currently located on the ground floor. 

 

 

Decision Made:      That:

 

(1)

the disposal of the freehold interest in Pavilion Buildings for the figure set out in Appendix 1, be approved. It was noted that the deal was not conditional upon planning consent and would be completed in the 2021/22 financial year. (Under the Asset Disposal Policy the capital receipt is above £500,001 which means it requires Cabinet approval);

 

(2)

the operational implications of the sale be noted. It was also noted that vacant possession would be required for the upper floors prior to completion. Property and Facilities Management were in the process of securing alternative accommodation for NSL private contract staff, which is a condition of the current contract; and

 

(3)

the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer be authorised to prepare the sale contracts and complete the necessary legal documentation to conclude the disposal.

 

Reasons for the Decision:

 

(1) The agreed disposal price as set out in Appendix 1 meets best consideration requirements in accordance with Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

(2) The capital receipt will be used to support other Growth Programme project priorities, and therefore help to meet the funding requirements of the Programme.

 

(3) Conversion to a hotel is in keeping with the wider Masterplan aspirations for the southern section of Lord Street, which support the active use of upper floors to support the evening economy and generate increased footfall in the town centre.

 

(4) Employment creation: the disposal will secure the Company’s future in Southport and the Company estimates that circa 40 additional full and part time jobs will be created.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:

 

(1) Do not proceed with sale – the Growth and Strategic Investment Programme would either need to be reduced in scale and ambition, or the timing of project delivery delayed.  Alternatively, the Council would need to borrow capital funding from the Public Works Loans Board and this will increase the financial pressure on the revenue budget.

 

(2) Retain and refurbish the upper floors for residential use and either selling off the individual apartments on a long leasehold basis or alternatively, retaining the asset and renting out the flats to secure rental income. This option was considered and rejected as part of the asset review in 2019, since the financial return (both the receipt net of capital works costs and revenue income on the required capital investment to convert) to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.