Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 12th October, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Katia Neale 

Link: Watch the live stream on Youtube

Items
No. Item

Introduction

The Leader stated that he had just attended the latest Emergency Covid-19 meeting for the London region to discuss the potential rise in cases this coming winter. They were currently in talks with the government to discuss measures to control the pandemic.

 

The Leader reiterated the important measures that all citizens would need to keep in place. Number one was to wear a mask in enclosed spaces, number 2 was to wash hands regularly with sanitizer and number 3 was to the keep the 2 metres social distancing. Also important was for people to get tested immediately in case of symptoms, as there was now better capacity for testing around London.

 

The Leader stressed that the effect of the pandemic was seriously impacting the economy and businesses in the borough, particularly in the areas of hospitality and retail. He urged all businesses to ensure that all customers would wear a mask before entering their premises, to contain the spread of the virus.

 

The Leader expected tougher restrictions to be introduced in the London region within the next week due to the city’s failure in containing the spread of the disease. It was vital that everyone – businesses, all public services and citizens - worked together in trying to control the spread during the next two weeks to avoid facing a very challenging winter.

 

1.

Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 7 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 7 September 2020 be confirmed and signed as an accurate record of the proceedings, and that the outstanding actions be noted.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

Councillor Macmillan had intermittent connection problems but was able to re-join the meeting.

3.

Declaration of Interests

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Capital Programme Monitor & Budget Variations, 2020/21 (First Quarter) pdf icon PDF 496 KB

Decision:

1.    To approve the proposed budget variations to the capital programme totalling £36.4m (summarised in Table 1 and detailed in Appendix 2).

 

2.    To note the potential risks regarding the Housing Capital Programme, as summarised in paragraphs 26, 27 and 28.

 

3.    To delegate the allocation of the HRA Asset Management and Compliance Programme unallocated budget to the Strategic Director of the Economy, in consultation with the Director of Finance.

Minutes:

Councillor Max Schmid introduced the report requesting approval for budget variations to the capital programme, which was impacted by Covid-19 on the reduction of its funding and the longer construction periods due to social distancing. He added that the programme still reinforced the Council’s commitment to build genuine affordable housing.

 

In reply to a question from the Leader, Councillor Max Schmid stated that

Covid-19 had left a hole of at least £18m in the Council’s finances after the government broke its initial promise that councils would be fully funded for the financial impact of the pandemic. This figure was not taking into account the impact of a potential second wave. The effect of this debt on the Council’s budget would be felt within the next 3 years, aggravated by the 10 years of continuous austerity imposed on all local authorities. He was not aware of any new funding coming from the central government.

 

Councillor Ben Coleman noted that the Council was calling on the government to turn NHS Test and Trace into a locally led service, which would require appropriate funding. He hoped that the government would come forward and provide this funding as many local authorities would be sceptical in offering this service in fear of not receiving the full funding.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    To approve the proposed budget variations to the capital programme totalling £36.4m (summarised in Table 1 and detailed in Appendix 2).

 

2.    To note the potential risks regarding the Housing Capital Programme, as summarised in paragraphs 26, 27 and 28.

 

3.    To delegate the allocation of the HRA Asset Management and Compliance Programme unallocated budget to the Strategic Director of the Economy, in consultation with the Director of Finance.

 

5.

Resident Experience and Access Programme (REAP) - proposed mandate to move to the delivery phase of the programme pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Approves the detailed business case and delivery plan attached in Appendix 1 for the Resident Experience and Access programme to move from the planning to the delivery stage and complete all further design work required.

 

2.    Approves the core associated principles that underpin the intended future operating model of service delivery that will be rigorously pursued on a corporate basis and through co-production with a representative range of residents.   

 

3.    Approves in principle investment of up to £3.6m plus £0.4m contingency from one-off council reserves (up to £4.0m in total), delegating the draw-down of the reserve in line with the programme tranches, to the Director of Finance and the Senior Responsible Officer for the programme, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services and the Cabinet Member for Public Services Reform.

 

4.    Notes the risk management arrangements put in place for this programme to provide reassurance for the effective use of the programme’s resources and successful delivery of significantly improved services for all its customers at a lower ongoing cost. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Adam Connell introduced the report and stated that it was a flagship initiative for driving transformation, improved access, reliability and quality across all front-line services. The programme would resolve the low level of digital access that residents of the borough currently experienced, ensuring digital inclusion and choice. Following a significant level of preparatory work undertaken, the delivery of the programme would be led by a dedicated resident implementation group. 

 

Councillor Connell added that this was an invest to save programme which was critical for the Council’s commitment to continue to be the best value Council in the country. The programme would deliver significant savings to the Council and more efficient services to the public.

 

Councillor Max Schmid thanked all residents involved in getting this programme right. The dedicated resident implementation group included disabled residents to ensure that the programme would address their needs and make it easier for them to interact with the Council when requesting services, either digitally or by alternative means. 

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Approves the detailed business case and delivery plan attached in Appendix 1 for the Resident Experience and Access programme to move from the planning to the delivery stage and complete all further design work required.

 

2.    Approves the core associated principles that underpin the intended future operating model of service delivery that will be rigorously pursued on a corporate basis and through co-production with a representative range of residents.   

 

3.    Approves in principle investment of up to £3.6m plus £0.4m contingency from one-off council reserves (up to £4.0m in total), delegating the draw-down of the reserve in line with the programme tranches, to the Director of Finance and the Senior Responsible Officer for the programme, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Commercial Services and the Cabinet Member for Public Services Reform.

 

4.    Notes the risk management arrangements put in place for this programme to provide reassurance for the effective use of the programme’s resources and successful delivery of significantly improved services for all its customers at a lower ongoing cost. 

6.

Approve Proposed Changes To The Council's Housing Scheme Of Allocations pdf icon PDF 820 KB

Decision:

To approve the following changes to the Housing Allocation Scheme:

 

1.    Change the way social housing is allocated by introducing an online digital housing platform.

 

2.    Allow qualifying households to remain or join the housing register when assisted into the Private Rented Sector via our Homelessness Service.

 

3.    Lower the community contribution threshold for Disabled people.

 

4.    Make an exception to the local residency qualification so that young people are not disadvantage by time spent outside the borough to access SEN services.

 

5.    Ring fence properties which have been adapted or are suitable for adaption for disabled households.

 

6.    Give additional priority for young people ready for move-on from Care by increasing their priority award to Band 1 and increase the annual quota for Children Leaving Care from 30 to 40 housing lets.

 

7.    That local Lettings Plans be put in place automatically to give local residents priority for all new social housing developments.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Lisa Homan stated that it was an enormous challenge to allocate enough housing for the high demand in the borough and throughout London. This report introduced seven recommendations that would improve the service allocation and make it more transparent and fairer to all.

 

Councillor Ben Coleman welcomed the recommendations, particularly the formalisation of local Lettings Plans to be put in place for all new social housing developments to give local residents right of first refusal.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

To approve the following changes to the Housing Allocation Scheme:

 

1.    Change the way social housing is allocated by introducing an online digital housing platform.

 

2.    Allow qualifying households to remain or join the housing register when assisted into the Private Rented Sector via our Homelessness Service.

 

3.    Lower the community contribution threshold for Disabled people.

 

4.    Make an exception to the local residency qualification so that young people are not disadvantage by time spent outside the borough to access SEN services.

 

5.    Ring fence properties which have been adapted or are suitable for adaption for disabled households.

 

6.    Give additional priority for young people ready for move-on from Care by increasing their priority award to Band 1 and increase the annual quota for Children Leaving Care from 30 to 40 housing lets.

 

7.    That local Lettings Plans be put in place automatically to give local residents priority for all new social housing developments.

 

7.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 725 KB

Minutes:

The Key Decision List was noted.

8.

Any Other Business

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 - ACCESS TO INFORMATION

 

Proposed resolution:

 

Under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that they contain the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the said Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.       

 

Minutes:

The Leader, on behalf of the whole Administration, asked Jacqui McShannon, Director of Children’s Services, to pass the Administration’s warmest congratulations to Manvir Hothi, DCT Principal Social Worker, who was awarded an MBE for her outstanding services to social care, particularly during the pandemic.

 

The Leader also thanked Jacqui McShannon and Lisa Redfern, Strategic Director of Social Care, for their invaluable services to social care. He was very proud to have them working for the Council.