Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday 13 December 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Jo Moore 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To note any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Roger Wilson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Commissioning.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017 (minutes attached).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record of that meeting.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To declare any pecuniary or personal interests relating to specific matters on the agenda.

 

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting,

4.

Questions at Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

Written questions

 

To answer any written questions from a County Councillor, (or any person living or working in the county, or is affected by the work of the County Council), about any matter which relates to any item on the agenda for this meeting.

 

The closing date for the receipt of written questions is 4.00 pm on Thursday 7 December 2017.

 

Oral questions

 

To answer any oral questions from members of the public. An oral question may be asked by a member of the public about any item on the agenda for this meeting, provided notice of the question is given by the questioner to the Chief Executive’s representative at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

 

Depending on the nature of the questions, it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be provided as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting. Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Public Questions

 

No public questions were considered at the meeting.

 

Member Questions

 

A total of 14 member questions were submitted in advance of the meeting.

 

Please refer to the link below to view the responses to the questions: -

 

http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/documents/b13851/Member%20Questions%20and%20Answers%20-%2013%20December%202017%20Wednesday%2013-Dec-2017%2010.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=9

 

If you are unable to access the document at the above link, please go to the link below and select the ‘Cabinet Questions and Answers’ PDF document at the top of the web page: - 

 

http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=8412&x=1

 

The following supplementary questions were asked at the meeting.

 

Question 1: Cllr Iain Dobie

 

Agenda Item 9: To establish a new Secondary School for Cheltenham 

 (Pages 145 to 154 of the agenda pack)

 

Cllr Dobie referred to the response to the question “I know Cllr Dobie has previously suggested county council use land it owns in Leckhampton as a site for a new academy" and stated that this was untrue and had never been suggested.

 

Cllr Dobie explained that, to build on Leckhampton Fields was a highly controversial matter within his division, and by using such words, Cllr Stowe was mischievously seeking to hand his political opponents a stick with which to beat him with during the upcoming Cheltenham Borough Council elections. Cllr Dobie asked Cllr Stowe to agree to delete the words from the formal record?"

 

Response by: Cllr Lynden Stowe: Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth

 

Cllr Stowe advised that the comments referred to in his response had been taken from the minutes of a meeting of full council last year. Cllr Stowe suggested this should have been the time to challenge the comments and agreed to forward a copy of the words to Cllr Dobie. Cllr Stowe suggested Cllr Dobie engage with Democratic Services, if not satisfied with this response. 

 

Question 2: Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

 

Agenda Item 5: Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2020/21 (Pages 9 to 114)

 

Cllr Hodgkinson stated that Council Tax had been increased by 4 per cent and asked if the Cabinet Member felt the 9.4 % reduction in the Central Government Funding was acceptable? He also asked if Cllr Theodoulou agreed with the reduction?

 

Response by: Cllr Ray Theodoulou: Cabinet Member for Finance and Change

 

Cllr Theodoulou stated “We are, where we are. If there is no money, we cannot spend it”. Making references to how he felt the position reflected the real world, Cllr Theodoulou referred to the sorrow and misery brought about the previous Labour Government overspend.

 

Question 3: Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

 

Agenda Item 5: Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2020/21 (Pages 9 to 114)

 

Cllr Hodgkinson enquired what specifically the additional money from the transfer of funds to the transformation reserve would be used for in respect of the A417. Cllr Hodgkinson related his question to the fatal accident on the A417 that day.

 

Response by: Cllr Ray Theodoulou: Cabinet Member for Finance and Change

 

Cllr Theodoulou informed Cllr Hodgkinson that the reserve would be used to pump and prime start up points for work on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Medium Term Financial Strategy - 2018/19 to 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Cabinet to approve, for consultation and scrutiny, the proposed detailed budget 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy covering the period 2018/19 to 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, presented for consultation and scrutiny, the proposed detailed budget 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period covering 2018/19 to 2020/21.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

Approve for consultation and scrutiny, the proposed detailed budget for 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy, (including Dedicated Schools Grant, which will be considered by the Schools Forum), and the Treasury Management Strategy.

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change presented, for consultation and scrutiny, the proposed detailed budget 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy, (MTFS), for the period covering 2018/19 to 2020/21.

 

Cllr Theodoulou referred to the detailed analysis sections of the report, (Annexes 1 to 8) , and advised members that the council would need to be ready to respond positively to any amendments required as a result of the financial settlement due the following day and to meet any educational needs arising from the work in response to the Ofsted Inspection earlier in the year.

 

He explained that the Draft MTFS and budget proposal 2018/19 had been prepared using best estimates from available data, pending the provisional financial settlement due in December.  Any amendments required as a result of the financial settlement would be included in the final budget document submitted to County Council in February 2018.  Alongside the settlement, it was anticipated there would be other significant changes that could impact on Local Government that could potentially affect the financial forecasts.  These included the move to 100% Business Rate Retention and proposed Business Rate Pilots, and the Fair Funding Review.

 

Cllr Theodoulou reported a proposed revenue budget for 2018/19 of £407.16 million, a net reduction of £0.54 million from 2017/18. He said the revenue budget was made up of £28.72 million of investment in services, to be offset by £29.26 million of savings and efficiencies.

 

The £407.16 million budget was based on a 1.99% Council Tax increase. In addition, there would be a continuation of the ‘adult social care precept’ allowing upper-tier authorities to increase council tax levels by up to 2%, (an increase to specifically fund Adult Social Care Services). The 2% adult social care precept was anticipated to raise an additional £5.42 million for Adult Social Care. 

 

Cllr Theodoulou explained that the proposed budget contained provision to fund key budget pressures, including unavoidable contractual inflation; nationally agreed pay awards; and increases in demand led services. In addition, the budget included funding for key administration priorities and additional funding for Children & Families, following the recent OFSTED inspection.

 

Cllr Theodoulou stated that the highest areas of risk continued to be the council’s demand led services, in particular; care for older and vulnerable people, and Children in Care, where demand continued to rise. It was agreed  the recent Ofsted Judgment was having a notable impact.  Although additional resources were being invested in these areas under proposed 2018/19 budget options, funding was limited by the core funding and local taxation alternatives available to the Council.

 

Investment in Adult Social Care included funding aimed at addressing the impact of demographic influences; the National Living Wage; duties under the Care Act, (no longer funded by a specific grant); investments in employment and transitions for those with learning disabilities, and in additional approved mental health professionals. 

 

Budget risks had been considered during preparation of the budget, in particular, funding constraints going forward. The level of reserves had been examined and would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Financial Monitoring Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Cabinet to consider an update on the year-end forecast for the 2017/18 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets.

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, gave an update on the year-end forecast for the 2017/18 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

1.    Note the forecast revenue year end position, as at the end of October 2017 for the 2017/18 financial year, of a net £0.214 million underspend.

 

2.    Approve the drawdown of £0.921million from the Ordinary Residence(OR) Reserve to fund a back dated OR payment

 

3.    Note the forecast capital year end position, as at the end of October 2017, of £109.277 million against a re-profiled budget of £106.730 million resulting from additional planned scheme spend of £2.546 million with additional funding expected to be confirmed within the next month

 

4.    Note a capital budget re-profiling exercise that has taken place since the previous Cabinet Finance Monitoring report – as outlined in Section B of this report. This re-profiling has been approved in accordance with the formal scheme of delegation to officers and there is no impact on the overall value of the approved capital programme.

 

5.    Approve the revenue contribution to capital of £0.123 million from the Highways Locals Budget to the Highway Capital Budget to support the completion of capital schemes

 

6.    Approve the allocation of £0.013 million Section 106 developer contributions towards St Paul’s Primary garden room capital project

 

7.    Note the overall increase to the Capital programme taking into account the above changes of £0.136 million

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, gave an update on the year-end forecast for the 2017/18 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets.

 

Cllr Theodoulou reported a forecast revenue year end position with an underspend of £0.214 million, including a number of significant variances within the following budget areas:- 

 

The Adult Services Budget reported a forecast underspend at the year end of £0.420 million. (This was after making use of the Adult Social Care Levy and the Adult Social Care Support Grant). Cllr Theodoulou proposed drawing down £0.921 million from the Ordinary Residence Reserve to fund any backdated Ordinary Residence cases.

 

The Children and Families Budget reporteda forecast overspend of £9.38 million. Cllr Theodoulou explained that this position was prior to applying £3.05 million from the Vulnerable Children’s Reserve. When applied, this would reduce the overspend to £6.33 million. It was noted that the increase in the overspend from the previous report was due to increased costs for safeguarding staff and youth support services. Members were advised that the financial pressures were largely due to the increase in the number of children coming into care and the increasing pressure against external agency placement and safeguarding budgets. The number of children coming into care increased from 479 in April 2014 to 645 in October 2017.

 

Financial pressures within the Children and Families Budget were being offset by positive variances within corporate budgets. 

 

Cllr Theodoulou reported a forecast capital year end position of £109.277 million against the re-profiled budget. The re-profiled capital budget for 2017/18 was £106.730 million, £13.993 million lower than the capital budget and after seeking new approvals at the cabinet meeting in November 2017.

 

Cllr Theodoulou proposed increases totalling £0.136 million, achieved from a combination of revenue contributions and external contributions.

 

Cllr Theodoulou informed members that the current financial position was anticipated. If it should continue, it was likely the budget would result in a balanced budget.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith, Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood, expressed his appreciation and thanks to the Highway Team and to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service for their commendable efforts during the recent period of bad weather.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

1.    Note the forecast revenue year end position, as at the end of October 2017 for the 2017/18 financial year, of a net £0.214 million underspend.

 

2.    Approve the drawdown of £0.921million from the Ordinary Residence (OR) Reserve to fund a back dated OR payment

 

3.    Note the forecast capital year end position, as at the end of October 2017, of £109.277 million against a re-profiled budget of £106.730 million resulting from additional planned scheme spend of £2.546 million with additional funding expected to be confirmed within the next month

 

4.    Note a capital budget re-profiling exercise that has taken place since the previous Cabinet Finance Monitoring report – as outlined in Section B of this report. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Procurement of Corporate Insurances and Related Procurement of a Broker pdf icon PDF 93 KB

a)    To seek approval to tender for the council’s corporate insurance policies, (and award a contract to commence 24 June 2018), and,  

 

b)    To make a legally compliant direct award of a contract for insurance brokerage services to the incumbent supplier of such services to specifically assist in the procurement of the contract for corporate services and claims handling.

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, sought approval to tender for the council’s corporate insurance policies and to award a contract for such policies with effect from 24 June 2018. Cllr Theodoulou also sought approval to award a contract for insurance brokerage services to the incumbent supplier of such services, (to specifically assist in the procurement of the contract for corporate services and claims handling).

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to authorise the Director of Strategic Finance to: -

 

(a)  Conduct a legally compliant competitive procurement process through the Crown Commercial Service’s Insurance Framework (RM3731) for the supply of Corporate Insurance policies; and for the Director of Strategic Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, to award the contract to commence on 24 June 2018 and continue for a period of 3 + 2 years or 5 years if more cost efficient, in accordance with the terms of the tender process; and to

 

(b)  Make a legally compliant direct award of a contract for brokerage services to the incumbent supplier of such services (namely “ Marsh Limited”) through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) RM3731 framework, specifically to assist in the procurement of the contract for Corporate Insurances and claims handling.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, sought approval to tender for the council’s corporate insurance policies and to award a contract for such policies with effect from 24 June 2018. Cllr Theodoulou also sought approval to award a contract for insurance brokerage services to the incumbent supplier of such services, (to specifically assist in the procurement of the contract for corporate services and claims handling).

 

Cllr Theodoulou confirmed that the council’s current insurance contract was due to expire on 23 June, 2018. The policies being tendered included; Property, Liability, Motor, Fidelity Guarantee, Personal Accident, School Journey and Travel and associated claims handling.

 

Although several options had been considered, Cllr Theodoulou advised of only one serious option; to tender and make a direct award through the Crown Commercial Service Insurance Framework to Marsh, the Council’s existing insurance broker.

 

The cabinet member expressed concern at the reduced number of companies currently wishing to tender.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to authorise the Director of Strategic Finance to: -

 

(a)  Conduct a legally compliant competitive procurement process through the Crown Commercial Service’s Insurance Framework (RM3731) for the supply of Corporate Insurance policies; and for the Director of Strategic Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, to award the contract to commence on 24 June 2018 and continue for a period of 3 + 2 years or 5 years if more cost efficient, in accordance with the terms of the tender process; and to

 

(b)  Make a legally compliant direct award of a contract for brokerage services to the incumbent supplier of such services (namely “ Marsh Limited”) through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) RM3731 framework, specifically to assist in the procurement of the contract for Corporate Insurances and claims handling.

 

 

 

8.

Energy Contract Award (Electricity) for Gloucestershire County Council Estate and Schools (including Academies) pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To seek approval to modify the term of the contract for the supply of electricity to the Council and participating schools.

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, sought approval to modify the term of the contract for the supply of electricity to the Council and participating schools.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to: -  

 

Authorise the Director of Strategic Finance, in compliance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015, to enter into negotiations and conclude an agreement with WME to modify the term of the current electricity energy contract to include the period 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019 inclusive.   

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, sought approval to modify the term of the contract for the supply of electricity to the Council and participating schools.

 

Cllr Theodoulou advised members of the council’s success in procuring energy using a public buying organisation, (combining the council’s consumption with other public bodies and negotiating optimum rates for all participants).

 

With the contract due to expire in September 2018, the council was now in a position to extend the arrangement for a further year. Cllr Theodoulou explained that, to re-procure a short-term interim contract at this present time would incur significant economic inconvenience and duplication of cost, hence the decision to seek to modify the current contract to run from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED to: - 

 

Authorise the Director of Strategic Finance, in compliance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015, to enter into negotiations and conclude an agreement with WME to modify the term of the current electricity energy contract to include the period 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019 inclusive.   

9.

To establish a new Secondary School for Cheltenham pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To seek Cabinet approval to establish a new secondary school in Cheltenham.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cllr Lynden Stowe, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth, presented information on the proposed establishment of a new secondary school for Cheltenham.

 

In presenting the information, Cllr Stowe proposed an amendment to recommendation 1) of the decision report, proposing that the establishment of a new secondary school for Cheltenham be subject to approved funding by Council in February 2018.

 

Recommendations 2 and 3 to remain unchanged, as set out in the report.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, the reasons for the recommendations, and the proposed amendment to recommendation 1; 

 

Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED that: -

 

1.    Cabinet approve the establishment of a new 900 place secondary school for Cheltenham families, subject to approved funding by Full Council in February 2018;

 

2.    Cabinet delegate authority to the Head of Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth, to:

 

         a) hold a free school presumption competition in accordance with the Department for Education’s advice contained in, “The free school presumption” (February 2016).

 

b) upon conclusion of the competition, to recommend to the Secretary of State the findings of the Local Authority’s assessment to enable her to decide upon the most suitable proposer to take forward the new free school

 

3.    Cabinet delegate authority to the Head of Property Services to acquire land to establish a new 900 place school in Cheltenham, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change.

 

        

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Lynden Stowe, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth, presented a report on a proposal to establish a new secondary school for Cheltenham.

 

Cllr Stowe outlined the statutory requirement for the council to ensure sufficient school places are available within the county for every child of school age whose parents/carers wish them to have one. Expressing his confidence in the integrity of the data obtained from a strategic review of secondary education for Cheltenham, Cllr Stowe confirmed there would be a shortage of secondary school places by 2019/20, increasing in 2021/22.

 

Proposing a £30 million capital investment for the establishment of a new school, Cllr Stowe said he believed the investment was the right decision for Cheltenham. 

 

Following consideration of a number of sites for the school, Cllr Stowe confirmed that Cheltenham Borough Council had agreed that the preferred site of Farm Lane, Leckhampton would be included within the pre-submission for the consultation for the emerging Cheltenham Local Plan, (as agreed by Cheltenham Full Council the previous week).

 

Conscious of the sensitivity involved in the proposal and the potential for local concerns, Cllr Stowe outlined the criteria for the proposed site and the need to consult widely. Responding to questions, Cllr Stowe confirmed a good robust travel plan would be included in the planning process, with recommendations for walking and cycling routes as alternative modes of transport for travelling to and from school.

 

In presenting the information, Cllr Stowe proposed an amendment to recommendation 1) of the decision report, proposing that the establishment of the new secondary school be subject to approved funding by Council in February 2018. Recommendations 2 and 3 to remain unchanged, as set out by the report.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, the reasons for the recommendations, and the proposed amendment to recommendation 1; 

 

Cabinet noted the report and, 

 

RESOLVED that: -

 

1.    Cabinet approve the establishment of a new 900 place secondary school for Cheltenham families, subject to approved funding by Full Council in February 2018;

 

2.    Cabinet delegate authority to the Head of Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth, to:

 

         a) hold a free school presumption competition in accordance with the Department for Education’s advice contained in, “The free school presumption” (February 2016).

 

b) upon conclusion of the competition, to recommend to the Secretary of State the findings of the Local Authority’s assessment to enable her to decide upon the most suitable proposer to take forward the new free school

 

3.    Cabinet delegate authority to the Head of Property Services to acquire land to establish a new 900 place school in Cheltenham, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change.

 

Note:

 

Nigel Riglar, Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure, declared an interest in the item, as Director of the Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust (CBAT). The Commissioning Director withdrew from the meeting for consideration of the item and confirmed that he had been excluded from all previous discussions.