Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday 13 March 2019 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 Cabinet Member Cllr Dave Norman (Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Parking and Libraries) and Cllr Kathy Williams (Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Delivery).

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 (minutes attached).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were confirmed and agreed as a correct record of that meeting.

3.

Declarations of Interest

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

 

Please see information note (1) at the end of the agenda

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

4.

Questions at Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 114 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 March 2019

 

A written answer will be provided for each written question and presented to the questioner and to Cabinet Members in advance of the meeting. The questions and answers will be taken as read at the meeting and need not be read out. At the discretion of the Leader of Council, each questioner in attendance at the meeting will be allowed to ask one supplementary question in response to the answer to the original question.

 

A copy of all written questions and written answers circulated at the meeting will be attached to the signed copy of the minutes of the meeting.

 

Urgent questions

 

An urgent written question may be asked by a member of the public about any item on the Cabinet agenda for that meeting which the Chairperson considers could not have been reasonably submitted by the deadline for the receipt of written questions, provided he or she gives notice of the question to the Chief Executive by 12 noon the day before the meeting.

 

Please submit cabinet questions to jo.moore@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Minutes:

A total of 12 (member) questions were submitted for consideration prior to the meeting.

 

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

 

http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/documents/b15143/Member%20Questions%20and%20Answers%20-%2013%20March%202019%20Wednesday%2013-Mar-2019%2010.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=9

 

If unable to access the document at the link above, 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?CId=117&MId=9225&Ver=4

 

The following supplementary questions were asked at the meeting.

 

Question 1: Cllr Colin Hay 

 

Agenda item 5: Financial Monitoring Report

 

Children and Families (Point 20)

 

Cllr Hay asked the cabinet member to provide budget details on the funding spent on delivering the council’s youth support services over the past 10 years.

 

Response by: Cllr Richard Boyles (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People)

 

Cllr Boyles explained the difficulty in providing this information but agreed to speak with officers to answer the question more fully.  

 

Question 2: Cllr Colin Hay 

 

Agenda item 5: Financial Monitoring Report

 

Children and Families (Point 24)

 

In response to the comment that other authorities were experiencing the same recruitment and retention difficulties as Gloucestershire, Cllr Hay asked if this meant there was no agreement on the setting the salaries of permanent social worker staff and if the cabinet member could foresee a change in this position before 20 March 2019.

 

Response by: Cllr Richard Boyles (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People)

 

Cllr Boyles confirmed there was an agreement and that the salaries of this and other authorities were constantly scanned and would be taken back to the South West Recruitment and Retention Group meeting on 20 March 2019. Other factors would be considered, not just pay, in the council's approach to supporting social workers. The council would also be developing its own bespoke Academy to build on the work of the South West cohort.

 

Question 3: Cllr Colin Hay 

 

Agenda item 5: Financial Monitoring Report

 

Children and Families (Point 27)

 

Cllr Hay asked what advice had been given to the Schools Forum by council officers?

 

Response by: Cllr Richard Boyles (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People)

 

Cllr Boyles confirmed that the advice to the Schools Forum was on public record and could be viewed in the minutes for that meeting. 

 

Question 4: Cllr Colin Hay 

 

Agenda item 5: Financial Monitoring Report

 

Children and Families (Point 27)

 

Cllr Hay questioned the advice given at the Schools Forum meeting and asked if the cabinet member thought the recommendation to change from 'one in 75'  to '1 in 40' would damage education standards and if the change had been agreed by all schools? 

 

Response by: Cllr Richard Boyles (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People)

 

Cllr Boyles confirmed that the council had consulted with all schools and that the change to 1 in 40 had been approved by the Schools Forum. He explained that the council continued to try to support the most exceptional schools in the county. Acknowledging the difficulties changes in funding presented to schools the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Financial Monitoring Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To provide an update on the year-end forecast for the 2018/19 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets

 

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, updated members on the year-end forecast for the 2018/19 County Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets for the year ending 31 March 2019.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    Note the forecast revenue year end position as at the end of January 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year of a net £0.406 million overspend. This represents a £0.551 million improvement on the previous position reported to Cabinet on 30 January 2019;  

 

2.    Approve the draw down of £0.43 million from the Vulnerable People’s Reserve to Children’s Services to offset significant in-year variances on external placement budgets;

 

3.    Note the forecast overspend in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) of £5.19 million in 2018/19, which reduces to £1.54 million after adjusting for the £2.3 million of uncommitted DSG balances brought forward and the £1.35 million additional funds announced in December 2018 to support children with special educational needs; and also endorses on going discussions with the Schools Forum to agree actions to bring DSG back into balance;

 

4.    Note the forecast capital year end position as at the end of January 2019 of £98.350 million against the current budget of £100.001 million – in year slippage of £1.651 million;

 

5.    Approve the addition of £0.045 million to the Children & Families Capital Budget funded by a revenue contribution;

 

6.    Approve the addition of £1.187 million to the Highway Capital Budget funded from a variety of sources as outlined in the body of the report;  

 

7.    Approve the addition of £0.004 million to the Waste Capital programme funded by a revenue receipt; and

 

8.    Approve the reduction of £0.019 million contribution to the AMPS capital budget as detailed in the body of the report below.

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, gave an update on the year forecast for the Council’s Revenue and Capital Budgets 2018-19 for the year ending 31 March 2019. The update was based on actual figures to the end of January 2019 and forecast outturn calculations to the end of the 2018-19 financial year.

 

Forecasting a year end deficit of £400k, Cllr Theodoulou confirmed this had been an improvement on the previous month, where the forecast had been £500k. Advising members of a number of significant drawn downs and transfers proposed to offset in-year variances against budget, Cllr Theodoulou explained that the proposals were required to address some of the ongoing challenges this and other councils continued to experience.

 

Members were advised that, delivery of Adult Care Services had resulted in a balanced year end budget, upheld from the transfer of funds from a variety of funding allocations and reserves. Adult Care Service reserves stood at £4.5m.

 

The Children and Families Budget continued to deteriorate, with a forecast year end deficit of £8.61m, (after transfers of £2.6m). Additional grant funding of £1.35m, (announced in December 2018 to support children with special educational needs), plus ongoing discussions with the Schools Forum to bring the Dedicated Schools Grant into balance, would attempt to alleviate some of financial pressures in this area. The Dedicated Schools Grant currently reported a net overspend of £1.54m.

 

Urgent efforts were being made to respond to the increasing number of children in care and to contain and reduce the costs of external placements.

 

Cllr Theodoulou reported underspends in other areas and funds held in allocated budgets (£1.5m), which would enable the council to manage the deficit within the forecast revenue account. Looking forward, the challenges to the Adult and Children’s Budgets continued to present difficulties in meeting projected budget forecasts whilst maintaining good levels of service.

 

Savings in the revenue account were reported at £12.8m against a planned target of £18.6m, (68% achievement against target).

 

The Capital Account was reported as being in a healthy position, showing an in-year slippage of £1.2m (approximately 1.5% of the annual programme).

 

Cllr Theodoulou referred to the detailed recommendations included within the report, including the transfer movements proposed at recommendations 5 to 8.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    Note the forecast revenue year end position as at the end of January 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year of a net £0.406 million overspend. This represents a £0.551 million improvement on the previous position reported to Cabinet on 30 January 2019; 

 

2.    Approve the draw down of £0.43 million from the Vulnerable People’s Reserve to Children’s Services to offset significant in-year variances on external placement budgets;

 

3.    Note the forecast overspend in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) of £5.19 million in 2018/19, which reduces to £1.54 million after adjusting for the £2.3 million of uncommitted DSG balances brought forward and the £1.35 million  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Dynamic Purchasing System - Children and Young People pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To agree the future arrangements for the commissioning of day and residential placements at Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools and Independent Specialist Colleges for Children and Young People with Additional Needs.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, sought to agree future arrangements for the commissioning of day and residential placements at Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools and Independent Specialist Colleges for Children and Young People with Additional Needs.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

1.    Authorise the Director of Education to execute a Partnership Agreement with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) under which Gloucestershire County Council shall be entitled to join WSCC’s Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Children's Placements and Other Support Services (CPOSS) for the purpose of commissioning day and residential education placements for children and young people (0-25) with additional needs.  The proposed Partnership Agreement shall continue for an initial period of 3 years commencing 1st April 2019 and include an option to extend such term by a further period of not more than 4 years (expiring no later than 31st March 2026);

 

2.    Authorise the Head of Services for Children with Additional Needs:

 

(a)    To utilise the West Sussex County Council CPOSS DPS in order to commission and award contracts thereunder for the delivery of day and residential education placements for Children and Young People (0-25) with additional needs as offering the Council best value for money for delivery of the services in accordance with the DPS requirements the period described in paragraph 1.

 

(b)    To report back to Cabinet at the end of each 12 month period throughout the period described in Paragraph 1 above in order to provide details of the aggregate value of contracts awarded using theWest Sussex County Council CPOSS DPS in that period and cumulatively together with authority to enter into higher value individual contracts over £500K to be awarded within the subsequent 12 month period. 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Richard Boyles, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, sought approval of a new partnership arrangement with West Sussex County Council to allow Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) to participate in the West Sussex Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for the commissioning of day and residential education placements for children and young people with additional needs. The current contract was due to expire on 31 March 2019.

 

Cllr Boyles informed members that the West Sussex DPS had been developed using knowledge and experience gathered over the previous five years. He reported that the council had utilised a DPS with West Sussex Council since March 2014, an arrangement that had benefited the council by allowing it to shape the market and enable providers to diversify and amend offers on the framework in response to need.

 

The new DPS agreement involved eight councils, with a proposal to run for an initial 3-year period, with the option to extend for a further period of not more than 4 years. The total forecast spend, (should the contract be extended to the full 4 year period), was anticipated at £100 million.

 

Cllr Boyles confirmed that the council had  developed a Sufficiency Strategy to run alongside the agreement. Built into the proposal were 12 monthly annual reviews; (to advise Cabinet of progress).

 

Drawing attention to the due regard statement accompanying the decision, Cllr Boyles proposed Cabinet approve Option A of the proposed options.

 

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

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

1. Authorise the Director of Education to execute a Partnership Agreement with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) under which Gloucestershire County Council shall be entitled to join WSCC’s Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Children's Placements and Other Support Services (CPOSS) for the purpose of commissioning day and residential education placements for children and young people (0-25) with additional needs.  The proposed Partnership Agreement shall continue for an initial period of 3 years commencing 1st April 2019 and include an option to extend such term by a further period of not more than 4 years (expiring no later than 31st March 2026);

 

2. Authorise the Head of Services for Children with Additional Needs:

 

(a) To utilise the West Sussex County Council CPOSS DPS in order to commission and award contracts thereunder for the delivery of day and residential education placements for Children and Young People (0-25) with additional needs as offering the Council best value for money for delivery of the services in accordance with the DPS requirements the period described in paragraph 1.

 

(b) To report back to Cabinet at the end of each 12-month period throughout the period described in Paragraph 1 above in order to provide details of the aggregate value of contracts awarded using the West Sussex County Council CPOSS DPS in that period and cumulatively together with authority to enter into higher value individual contracts over £500K to be awarded within the subsequent 12-month period.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Cost pressures and Continued Support for Subsidised Public Transport Contracts pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To seek approval to review subsidised public transport services and implement measures to manage future public transport arrangements across the county.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, sought approval to review subsidised public transport services and implement measures to manage future public transport arrangements across the County. 

 

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

 

RESOLVED to: -

 

Delegate authority to the Lead Commissioner for Community Infrastructure, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment & Planning to 

 

1)    Review, consult, procure and award, where necessary, transport contracts; and

 

2)    Review mechanisms for contract inflation, bus subsidies and the competitiveness of the local bus market, and report back with recommendations.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Nigel Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, sought to delegate authority to the Lead Commissioner for Community Infrastructure to review, procure and award the council’s transport contracts. The decision included the proposal to review public transport cost increases and inflation, bus subsidies and the competitiveness of the local bus market.

 

Cllr Moor referred to the questions asked earlier in the meeting and stated how he shared members’ concerns about ongoing cost pressures relating to public transport.

 

Cllr Moor confirmed that the council currently spent £3 million a year on public transport services for people living in less populated areas to access essential services such as; travelling to work; school; shops or health appointments. Such services would not otherwise be provided commercially due to them serving less populated and rural areas or operating at quieter times of the day, including weekends.

 

Cllr Moor stated that during the past year, the council had witnessed contract tender prices incurring increases averaging 35%. To continue to support communities dependent on public transport, it had been agreed at the council budget meeting in February 2019 to invest an extra £223,000 in the public transport budget for 2019/20 to offset some of the increase. Investment had also been made in providing external support to review the council’s contracting processes and better understand pressures from a bus operator perspective.

 

Referring to the due regard statement relating to the decision, Cllr Moor drew attention to the high proportion of older and disabled users of subsidised bus services and stated that it was important that they were not socially or economically excluded by any changes that might be considered. He confirmed it was his intention to consult with these sectors of the community, along with other bus users and listen carefully to their views before considering any changes.

 

To provide public transport to those in most need, Cllr Moor explained it would be necessary to review the council’s subsidy policies and to consider the performance of bus routes, whilst ensuring the council stayed within budget. Should any changes to bus routes or policy be considered, officers would be required to make recommendations to Cllr Moor (as the appropriate lead cabinet member) or to Cabinet to make the decision.

 

Responding to a question asked earlier in the meeting, Cllr Moor advised that he did not think the proposed review of services was best suited to local universities, but that it would be better undertaken by a company selected as specialist consultants “at the pulse of the business market”. In considering the wide range of issues that would need to be considered, it was important to have the ability to challenge.

 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, believed there had not been a huge reduction in the number of bus services the council provided. Any changes had been made in an attempt to reduce duplicate commercial services running in parallel with community operated services. It was noted that there had been a good response to the services provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Schedule of Proposed Disposals pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To consider the disposal of properties and sites deemed surplus to requirement in line with the Policy for the Disposal of Property.

 

Please note: this report contains both exempt and non-exempt information.

 

To discuss the exempt information contained in the appendices to the published report, consideration must first be given to whether the public should be excluded from the meeting by passing the following resolution: -

 

In accordance with Regulation 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public to be excluded from the meeting for this item of business because it is likely that, if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A to the Act, and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Decision:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, sought approval of the Schedule of Disposals proposed to meet the three year ‘Meeting the Challenge 3’ capital receipt target of £33 million covering the period 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, in line with the council’s Policy for the Disposal of Property: 

 

RESOLVED to: 

 

1)    Confirm that those sites described at Appendix A (Exempt) which had previously been declared surplus by Cabinet in October 2018 and not yet disposed of, continue to be declared surplus to requirements and

 

2)    Declare the sites listed on the proposed Schedule of Disposals Appendix B (Exempt) surplus to the Council’s land and property requirements,

 

and in relation to both of these schedules, delegate authority to the Head of Property Services to dispose of the sites in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change.

 

Prior to the discussion, members were advised that, should Cabinet wish to discuss the contents of the exempt information reported at Appendix A and Appendix B of the report, consideration would need to be given as to whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting in accordance with Regulation 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

Cabinet agreed to consider the item without having to refer to the exempt information.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, asked Cabinet to approve two proposed Schedule of Disposals: -

 

  1. Sites not yet disposed of but surplus to requirements - Appendix A (Exempt information)

 

  1. New proposals recommended by the Property Board as being surplus to requirements - Appendix B (Exempt information)

 

Approval of the schedules and declaration of the sites as surplus to requirement were proposed to deliver Meeting the Challenge 3 capital receipt targets. (The council’s Asset Management and Property Services are currently working towards achieving a three year Meeting the Challenge 3 capital receipt target of £33 million for the period 2018/19 to 2020/21).

 

Capital receipts received and sales agreed at the time of the meeting for 2018/19 totalled £7.978 million.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals and the reasons for the recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and, in line with the council’s Policy for the Disposal of Property: 

 

RESOLVED in line with the Policy for the Disposal of Property, to: 

 

1)  Confirm that those sites described at Appendix A (Exempt) and had previously been declared surplus by Cabinet in January 2018, (and not yet disposed of), continue to be declared surplus to requirements; and

 

2)  Declare the sites listed on the proposed Schedule of Disposals Appendix B (Exempt) surplus to the Council’s land and property requirements,

 

and in relation to both of these schedules, delegate authority to the Head of Property Services to dispose of the sites in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Change.

 

Prior to the discussion, members were advised that, should Cabinet wish to discuss the contents of the exempt information reported at Appendix A and Appendix B of the decision report, consideration would need to be given as to whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting in accordance with Regulation 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

Cabinet agreed to consider the item without reference to the exempt information.

 

Announcement from Cllr Ray Theodoulou

 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, Cllr Ray Theodoulou, announced he would be standing down from the council’s Cabinet in May 2019. 

 

Having completed 14 years in post, Cllr Theodoulou is the longest serving cabinet member, having taken on the role in 2005. Cllr Theodoulou was first elected in 2001 and will continue to represent the people of East Cotswolds as their local county councillor, and to chair the Pensions Committee.

 

Cabinet Member Cllr Lynden Stowe will take on responsibility for the council’s finances from May 2019. A new Deputy Leader to be announced at a later date.

 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, and cabinet colleagues, thanked Cllr Theodoulou for his commitment and dedication to his role as cabinet member.