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Agenda and minutes

Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 9th July, 2012 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2 - Guildhall

Contact: Glenn Burgess  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

12/36/SR

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Birtles. Councillor Pogonowski attended as an alternate for Councillor Birtles.

12/37/SR

Declarations of interest

Members are asked to declare at this stage any interests that they may have in an item shown on this agenda. If any member of the Committee is unsure whether or not they should declare an interest on a particular matter, they should seek advice from the Head of Legal Services before the meeting. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor

Item

Interest

Brown

12/45/SR

Personal: Wife works for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Boyce

12/50/SR

Personal: Trustee of Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre

Boyce

12/56/SR

Personal: Employer located on the site map

Pogonowski

12/56/SR

Personal: Member of the University Senate

 

 

 

 

 

12/38/SR

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To approve minutes of the meetings held on 19 March 2012 and the 24 May 2012.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 19 March 2012 and 24 May 2012 were approved and signed as a correct record. 

12/39/SR

Public Questions

Minutes:

Mr Taylor addressed the committee regarding agenda item 22 (minute item 12/57/SR) and emphasised the need to involve academics and magistrates in the Cambridge Restorative Justice Scheme. The need for the Oversight Meetings to be held in public was also emphasised.

 

These comments were noted.

 

Mr Taylor addressed the committee regarding agenda item 13 (minute item 12/58/SR) and emphasised the need to go beyond the minimum national broadband standards. It was noted that there was a need to focus not only on provision, but also contracts and pricing. Due to the high population turnover within Cambridge a minimum contract length of less than 12 months was also suggested, as was further investigation into fibre-optic options.

 

These comments were noted

 

Mr Taylor addressed the committee regarding agenda item 15 (minute item 12/50/SR) and emphasised the need to identify which institutions would receive discounts and which would be exempt. It was also questioned if, after the referendum, the Council would use its veto if required.

 

These comments were noted.

 

A public question/statement was submitted by Mrs Blair. Full details can be found at minute item 12/62/SR.

 

A public question/statement was submitted by Ms Brightman. Full details can be found at minute item 12/50/SR.

 

A public question/statement was submitted by Ms Banner. Full details can be found at minute item 12/50/SR.

12/40/SR

Record of Urgent Decisions taken by the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources

To note decisions taken by the Leader of the Council and the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources since the last meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee. 

12/40/SRa

Intelligent Energy Europe Bid re. Cambridge City District Heating Scheme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Minutes:

The decision was noted.

 

 

12/41/SR

2011/12 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances - Customer Services and Resources Portfolio

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The officer’s report presented a summary of the 2011/12 outturn position (actual income and expenditure) for services within the Customer Services & Resources portfolio, compared to the final budget for the year. The position for revenue and capital was reported and variances from budgets were highlighted, together with explanations. Requests to carry forward funding arising from certain budget underspends into 2012/13 were identified.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Agree that the carry forward requests, totalling £225,430 as detailed in Appendix C of the officer’s report, be recommended to Council for approval.

  ii.  Seek approval from Council to carry forward capital resources to fund re-phased net capital spending of £958,000 from 2011/12 into 2012/13 and future years, as detailed in Appendix D of the officer’s report.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Accounting Services.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Accounting Services confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Further detail relating to slippage on the budget for SC192 (Development land on the North side of Kings Hedges Road), could be requested from the Director of Resources.

 

In response to member’s questions the Executive Councillor confirmed the following:

 

  i.  An interim report on progress of the K1 self build project would be brought back to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 15 October 2012.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of ICT confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Slippage on the budget for PR020 (ICT Infrastructure Programme) was related to both hardware and software issues. The upgrade of Microsoft Office licenses had also been delayed, as had a number of projects being delivered by Serco.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

12/42/SR

Localisation of support for council tax pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Introduction of a City Council tax support system in the form of a council tax reduction scheme.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Seek to achieve the 10% reduction in Government grant by reducing discounts allowed for second homes and using new local powers to charge up to 100% on empty homes and up to 150% on long-term empty homes.

  ii.  Agree that officers should develop a draft local council tax reduction scheme for consultation in line with the recommendation set out in Appendix A of the officer’s report.

  iii.  Note the provisional timeline for decisions as set out in section 4 of the officer’s report.

  iv.  Note that there is key information and legislation that will not be available from the Government for many months meaning the timelines and assumptions in the officer’s report are provisional only and will be updated and improved as the year progresses.

  v.  Agree the initial programme of engagement and consultation on the key issues set out in section 6 of the officer’s report.

  vi.  Agree that the initial £84,000 (and any subsequent payments) new burden Government funding towards implementation costs of the local scheme (already received) be fully utilised for that purpose.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Revenues and Benefits.

 

In response to member’s questions the Executive Councillor confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Any additional funding would not be provided at the expense of vulnerable groups.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Revenues and Benefits confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Consultation would be undertaken throughout the summer with any specific issues being brought back to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 15 October 2012.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

12/43/SR

Clay Farm Land Disposal Project - Delivery of Affordable Housing by the City Council pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Under the new ‘self-financing’ regime, the City Council now has the opportunity to retain ownership and management of the Affordable Housing on its land at Clay Farm.

 

 Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

 The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve, in principle, for the Council to own and manage up to 105 Affordable Housing dwellings on the Council’s land at Clay Farm.

  ii.  Delegate authority to the Director of Resources in liaison with the Director of Customer and Community Services and the Head of Legal Services to agree the transfer of land between the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account under appropriate terms and conditions.

  iii.  Note progress with the project to dispose of the Council’s land at Clay Farm.

 

 Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Strategic Housing.  

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 7 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

12/44/SR

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and Response to Council Motion about the Council's use of Contractors pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The purpose of the report was to advise on the imminent change in legislation affecting procurement by the City Council, to recommend for approval the Council’s approach to fulfilling the new duty placed upon it by the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and to respond to the Notice of Motion (11/48b/CNLb) to Council on 21 July 2011 concerning the employment of contractors. 

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the process set out in the officer’s report to satisfy the duty placed on the Council by the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

  ii.  For services procurements to which the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 apply ie services procurement above the EU threshold, to instruct officers to:

-  Identify ways in which the procurement might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of Cambridge, when seeking authority to go out to tender;

-  Conduct procurement processes with a view to securing the identified improvements;

-  Take account of the Council’s Vision Statement, Environmental Objectives and Strategic Objectives identified in Portfolio Plans in considering how the “Social Value” duty is discharged.

-  Report further to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on measures to ensure that future council contracts pay at least the ‘living wage’.

  iii.  Instruct officers to consider the issues referred to in the Notice of Motion (11/48b/CNLb) in the light of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and to recommend appropriate provisions in the new Procurement Strategy which will be reported to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee in October 2012

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The committee received a report from the Strategic Procurement Advisor.

 

Councillor Herbert highlighted the importance of council contracts paying the ‘living wage’. Councillor Herbert proposed and Councillor Benstead seconded the following additional recommendation:

 

“For services procurements to which the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 apply ie services procurement above the EU threshold, to instruct officers to:

 

-  Report further to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on measures to ensure that future council contracts pay at least the ‘living wage’.”

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the additional recommendation by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendations by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

 

 

12/45/SR

Risk based verification pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To seek approval for the adoption of the Risk Based Verification (RBV) Policy in determining evidence requirements for the assessment of new Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claims.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the Risk Based Verification (RBV) Policy and agree that RBV be implemented for new claims by the Council following consultation with External Audit, (start date to be agreed pending full testing) and for changes in circumstances when approval for this is given by the Department for Works and Pensions.

  ii.  Bring a feedback report to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee in July 2013.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Benefits Manager.

 

In response to member’s questions the Benefits Manager confirmed the following:

 

  i.  As a result of the statistical data collected, certain claim types would be flagged up to the Claims Officers. Additional investigation, with the benefit of local knowledge, would then be undertaken.

  ii.  By reducing the verification burden it was hoped that more people would be encouraged to claim the benefits they were entitled too.

 

Councillor Boyce proposed the following additional recommendation:

 

-  That a feedback report be brought to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee in July 2013.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

 

12/46/SR

Cambridge City Council Revenues & Benefits eServices procurement pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The purchase and installation of the eRevenues and eServices online self-service modules for the Northgate Revenues & Benefits IT system.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

Financial recommendations:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the commencement of the project, which was already included in the Council’s Capital & Revenue Project Plan (SC335).

  ii.  Approve the total capital cost of the project as £59,000 and that it be funded from the Technology Investment Fund and repairs and renewals fund contributions.

  iii.  Approve the ongoing revenue costs of the project as £10,750 and that it be funded from the Customer Service Centre’s existing budget provision. 

 

Procurement recommendations:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the carrying out and completion of the procurement of eRevenues and eServices modules for the Northgate Revenues & Benefits IT system.

  ii.  Agree that Serco will carry out the procurement of the replacement server in accordance with the provisions of its contract with the Council.

  iii.  Agree that if the quotation or tender sum exceeded the estimated contract value by more than 15% the permission of the Executive Councillor and Director of Resources would be sought prior to proceeding.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Customer Services.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

 

12/47/SR

ICT Facilities Management Contract Re-Tender pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: A project team has been set up to undertake the work of re-tendering the ICT Facilities Management Contract. The report sought approval to progress with the project, to agree member input to the process and to obtain the appropriate authority to award the contract.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Authorise the procurement of a new corporate ICT contract for a term of 5 years plus extensions.

  ii.  Agree proposals for member involvement with the Chair and Spokes of the Scrutiny Committee.

  iii.  Delegate authority to the Director of Resources in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair and Spokes of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee to identify relevant social value improvements for the service if the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 is implemented before any public procurement commences

  iv.  Agree authority for the Director of Resources to authorise award of the contract, in consultation with the Executive Councillor and the Head of Legal Services.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report.

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of ICT.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  A 3 year contract would be too short and may limit the number of suppliers willing to bid for the contract.

  ii.  Whilst being commercially attractive for suppliers, a 10 year fixed term contract would not be appropriate for the Council.

  iii.  ICT was central to the work of the City Council.

  iv.  Highlighted the need for an exchange of ideas, not just a briefing session, between members and officers.

  v.  Questioned the need for a Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). It was felt that the procurement process would be ‘self-selecting’ in terms of those bidding and those able to do undertake the work.

  vi.  Suggested that proposals for member involvement be agreed by the Executive Councillor in consultation with the Chair and Spokes. 

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of ICT and the Strategic Procurement Advisor confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Whilst a member of the Scrutiny Committee could in theory sit on the project team, it could be a long procurement process and be a big time commitment.

  ii.  The proposed term of the contract gave a balance between the value for money gained by a longer contract, and the flexibility of not being tied in for a term of 10 years.

  iii.  The funding for the core project remained at £950,000, with the additional £1m accounting for ongoing projects, licenses and consumables.

  iv.  Interest was being shown in the contract from small local companies as well as big national companies.

 

Councillor Herbert proposed the following amendment to recommendation 1:

 

Delete all and replace with:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to authorise the procurement of a new corporate ICT contract for a term of 5 years plus extensions.”

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendation by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

 

 

12/48/SR

Urban Broadband Fund - Phase 2 Grant Application pdf icon PDF 991 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Cambridge City Council is one of 27 cities identified as eligible to bid for funding under Phase 2 of the Urban Broadband Fund Super-Connected Cities Initiative – designed to create cities with ultrafast broadband and ubiquitous high-speed wireless connectivity.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Authorise officers to undertake work to determine the opportunities and implications of submitting a bid under Phase 2 of the Urban Broadband Fund.

  ii.  Agree to proposals outlined in the officer’s report for Member involvement.

  iii.  Delegate authority to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair and Spokes of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee to determine whether the Council should submit a bid for Phase 2 funding and, if so, what the basis of the bid should be.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report.

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of ICT.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  Suggested that the project look at download speeds of 120Mbits/s.

  ii.  Due to the number of new developments within the City, consisting of both new homes and businesses, the project should be looked at alongside the Local Plan Consultation.

 

In response to member’s questions the head of ICT confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Whilst the project was in its early stages officers were looking into issues such as the viability of voucher schemes, gaps in existing provision and the council owned infrastructure.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

 

12/49/SR

Annual update from the Love Cambridge Partnership pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Minutes:

The committee received a presentation from the Chairman of the Love Cambridge Partnership.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  A decision had been taken in November 2008 that a resident representative would sit on the Love Cambridgeshire Partnership, yet this had never happened. Decisions needed to have input from residents as well as businesses.

  ii.  Raised concern that key decisions were being taken in the City Centre with no resident involvement or consultation.

  i.  As Business Improvement Districts (BID) would have a secure revenue stream, the voluntary funding for the Love Cambridge Partnership would be affected. 

 

In response to member’s questions the Chairman of the Love Cambridge Partnership and the Head of Tourism and City Centre Management confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The Love Cambridge Partnership had an operating budget of £130,000 and funding was secured until 2013.

  ii.  It was to early to tell if a BID would affect the voluntary funding received by the Love Cambridge Partnership. 

  iii.  Whilst some of their projects would overlap, it would be beneficial for the Love Cambridge Partnership and a BID to run in parallel.

  iv.  Not all of the larger funders (i.e Stagecoach) would be in the BID area.

  v.  There may be opportunities to submit ‘satellite BIDs’ for local areas across the City.

  vi.  The job description had been completed for the ‘Mill Road Champion’ post and the advert would be placed next week.

 vii.  80,000 Love Cambridge Partnership leaflets had been distributed to homes across the city via the local press. Leaflets were also available at local shopping centres and at park and ride sites.

 

The committee thanked the Chairman of the Love Cambridge Partnership and the Head of City Centre Management for the presentation.

 

 

12/50/SR

Update on the CBbid, Business Improvement District Project (BID) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Brightman addressed the committee as a member of the Mill Road Society and raised concern that city centres were being designed with purely shopping in mind. It was noted that the Mill Road Society were apposed to the Business Improvement District Project (BID) and it was questioned why local residents were not being classed as ‘stakeholders’.

 

Ms Brightman claimed that over 750 businesses would be affected but only a very small percentage had ever attended a meeting about the BID. The accountability and democracy of the BID was also questioned.

 

The Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources confirmed that there would be further opportunity to discuss the detail of the BID at a future meeting. It was acknowledged that all business did need to be aware of the BID project and there was a need for further resident involvement. The Executive Councillor took on board the points raised and emphasised that a Cambridge BID would not turn the City into a ‘clone town’.

 

Ms Banner responded and expressed further concern that parks and the River Cam were included in the BID and would result in the privatisation of the City’s open spaces.

 

The Head of Tourism and City Centre Management confirmed that it was not the intention of the City Council to privatise these areas but to enhance the experience for all users of the City.

 

It was noted that the BID would be a slow and thorough process that was reliant on the support of local residents. A key aim of a BID was to support diversity and the Cambridge BID would work closely with independent retailers.

 

The BID Development Manager reiterated that the aim of a BID was not to develop a ‘clone town’ but to give all business, including the many independents in Cambridge, a greater voice. It was noted that, as open spaces such as Parker’s Piece did not have a rateable value, they would not be affected by the BID.

 

Ms Banner addressed the committee and, as an independent retailer since 1985, expressed her support for the BID. It was noted that many of her fellow businesses also supported the BID as it was seen as a fairer system of funding improvements.

 

These comments were noted.

 

Matter for Decision: Proposal for the introduction of a Business Improvement District (BID) in Cambridge and the opportunities for increased investment in the management of the City Centre.

 

 Decision of the Executive Councillor:

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Arrange a Special Meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee in September to discuss key issues relating to the BID project.

  ii.  Support the Council’s continued engagement in this project, pending a full report and recommendations coming to Committee.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Tourism and City Centre Management and the CBbid Development Manager.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  Expressed concern that the map of the proposed BID area included open spaces and the River Cam.

  ii.  Clarity was needed on the voting mechanism.

  iii.  Expressed concern that this was the first time that the committee had had an opportunity to scrutinise this project.

  iv.  Noted that, whilst the historic City Centre was important, its success should not be at the expense of other areas of the City.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Tourism and City Centre Management and the CBbid Development Manager confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The BID had no judicial powers.

  ii.  It was felt appropriate to include open spaces and the river in the BID area, as they were important parts of the city. However these concerns would be taken back to the Task Group for further discussion.

  iii.  The BID area had only been defined in May 2012 and this was therefore the first opportunity to bring the detail to the committee’s attention.

  iv.  The BID area had been based on feedback from retailers across the whole area, including Mill Road.

  v.  The voting system was fully explained in the 2004 guidance.

  vi.  The City Council had 13 votes, the University had 13 votes and the colleges had 19 votes.

 vii.  The main BID area would fund the overhead costs of any ‘satellite’ bid.

viii.  Experience in other areas has shown that large retailers were in favour of the main BID supporting any ‘satellite’ bid.

  ix.  In order to challenge or extend a ‘satellite’ BID area a re-ballot of the whole area would have to be taken.

  x.  Very few retailers in Mill Road had expressed an interest in the BID as they said that they did not see the benefit for their businesses.

 

The Executive Councillor agreed to arrange a Special Meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee in September to discuss key issues relating to the BID project.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the amended recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/51/SR

Large Hall – Leaded Window Refurbishment – Phase 1 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Refurbishment of the leaded windows in the Large Hall.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor:

Financial recommendations

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the commencement of the scheme, which was already included in the Council’s Capital & Revenue Project Plan (PR023 Admin Buildings Asset Replacement Programme).

  ii.  Agree that the total cost of the project was £87,500 and that it would be funded from repairs and renewals fund contributions.

  iii.  Agreed the ongoing revenue costs of the project was £1,000 and that it be funded from existing budget provision.

 

Procurement recommendations

 

The Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the carrying out and completion of the procurement of the refurbishment of the leaded windows to one side of the Large Hall within The Guildhall.

  ii.  Subject to:

-  the permission of the Director of Resources being sought prior to proceeding if the quotation or tender sum exceeds the estimated contract.

-  the permission of the Executive Councillor being sought before proceeding if the value exceeds the estimated contract by more than 15%.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Building Surveyor.

 

In response to member’s questions the Building Surveyor confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Over previous years attempts had been made to refurbish the windows. However they had now deteriorated and would need replacing.

  ii.  A full survey of all Council assets would be undertaken with regular maintenance programmes established.

 

 The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

 

 

 

12/52/SR

Annual Treasury Management Report 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The Council is required through regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003 to produce an annual treasury report reviewing treasury management activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2011/12. The report meets the requirements of both the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management (the Code) and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Prudential Code 2011).

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Recommend the report, which included reporting of the Council’s actual Prudential and Treasury Indicators for 2011/12, for approval by Council.

 

 Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Accounting Services.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Accounting Services confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The Council’s Treasury Management advisors, Sector, provided information on the national and world economy as included in section 3.7 of the report. It was agreed that Councillor Pogonowski’s comments regarding the need for the wording to be politically neutral would be fed back to Sector.

  ii.  The phrase ‘dividends’ was used as a legal term.

  iii.  It was now expected that the City Council would receive 100% of the funds from Lansbanki (updated from 95%) and up to 90% from Heritable. Both would also include an element of interest.

  iv.  The Council had undertaken only short term lending in the latter part of the year pending a decision regarding the funding of the Housing Revenue Account Self-Financing payment. 

  v.  The Council was currently restricting deposits with non-nationalised banks and building societies to a maximum of three months.

  vi.  The Medium Term Strategy would explore different options for depositing the Councils money.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

 

12/53/SR

2011/12 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances - Strategy pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The report presented a summary of the 2011/12 outturn position (actual income and expenditure) for services within the Strategy (previously “& Climate Change”) portfolio, compared to the final budget for the year. The position for revenue and capital was reported and variances from budgets were highlighted, together with explanations. Requests to carry forward funding arising from certain budget underspends into 2012/13 and future years were identified.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Agree carry forward requests totalling £99,950, as detailed in Appendix C of the officer’s report, be recommended to Council for approval.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Accounting Services.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/54/SR

2011/12 Revenue and Capital Outturn, Carry Forwards and Significant Variances - Overview pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The report presented a summary of the 2011/12 outturn position (actual income and expenditure) for all portfolios, compared to the final budget for the year. The position for revenue and capital was reported and variances from budgets were highlighted.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

Revenue:

 

  i.  Agree the final carry forward requests, totaling £632,970, as detailed in Appendix C of the officer’s report, be recommended to Council for approval, subject to the final outturn position.

 

Capital:

 

  ii.  Seek approval from Council to carry forward (net) capital resources to fund re-phased capital spending of £8,872,000 as shown in Appendix D of the officer’s report - Overview.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Accounting Services.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

12/55/SR

Local Government Resource Review - Business Rates retention pooling options pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: As part of the Local Government Resource Review the Government has included an option for authorities to come together to form ‘pools’. This was the subject of a ‘Pooling Prospectus’, issued by DCLG in May 2012. The report outlined the potential implications of pooling, based on the information available to date, and whether being part of a countywide pool could be beneficial to the City Council.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Confirm that the City would join with other Cambridgeshire authorities in submitting an expression of interest to DCLG by 27 July 2012.

  ii.  Instruct officers, in conjunction with other authorities, to work up arrangements for governance, transparency, investment and distribution of revenues and dissolution of a Cambridgeshire pool – enabling a final decision on whether to take forward a pooling arrangement in time for the Government’s November 2012 deadline.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Chief Executive.

 

In response to member’s questions the Chief Executive confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Whilst ‘pools’ were not confined to Local Authorities within the County, there did need to be ‘geographical connections’ between the members. It was also noted that governance issues could prove more difficult with a wider ‘pool’.

  ii.  Expressing an interest at this stage did not commit the City Council to joining a ‘pool’. Any future decision could also be dissolved at any time, with each Local Authority reverting to their individual baselines, tariffs and levies.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/56/SR

North West Cambridge Development - Management Strategy for Open Spaces, Sports and Community Facilities pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Following negotiations over several months, the University of Cambridge has agreed in principle a proposal to set up a Joint Management Vehicle (JV) with the City Council for the management of Storey’s Field open space (which includes the SSSI) and the proposed North West Cambridge community centre, both of which lie within the City boundary part of the development. Subject to the principle of the establishment of a JV being formally agreed by Members, further negotiations will be necessary to finalise the detailed arrangements. The University propose that the remainder of the open space, sports and community facilities within the development would be managed by the University itself, subject to the detailed provisions being agreed and finalised through the S106 agreement associated within the planning applications.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Agree the principle of the City Council entering into a Joint Management Vehicle arrangement (JV) with the University of Cambridge for the management of Storey’s Field informal open space (including the SSSI) and the North West Cambridge community centre, on the basis of the objectives as set out in 3.4 to 3.8 of the officer’s report.

  ii.  Agree that the Chief Executive should be delegated to agree and finalise the details of the proposed JV arrangements, including that the JV meets the objectives and principles set out in paragraphs 3.4 –3.8 of the officer’s report.

  iii.  Recommend that Council on 19 July 2012 approve a budget allocation for the proposed Joint Vehicle of up to £100k from 2027 onwards and that this be included in the Council’s Medium Term Strategy.

  iv.  Agree that the University should manage the remaining open space, sports and community facilities within the North West Cambridge development, according to the principles set out in paragraphs 3.9 – 3.11 of the officer’s report, subject to the detailed provisions being agreed and finalised within the S106 agreement associated with the outline planning applications.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Planning Services.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  With 1500 market houses likely to raise £100m the University would benefit greatly from this, whilst the Council would be limited to a 50% share in the community assets.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Planning Services confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The University had expressed a strong wish to retain ownership of its community assets and manage and maintain them themselves. As land transfer could only take place when both parties were in agreement, the Council could not compel the transfer. A JV would however give the City Council a greater input into the facilities.

  ii.  The community facilities would benefit the wider public and be available for all to use on an equal standing with the University.

  iii.  Allotment provision would be agreed through the Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC).

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

  

12/57/SR

Restorative Justice Progress Report pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: To note the progress made to establish the Restorative Justice Scheme for Cambridge and endorse the actions proposed to conclude the preparatory stages of the scheme.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Note the steps taken so far to establish the scheme and endorse the actions proposed in the officer’s report that will conclude the preparatory stages of the scheme.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Safer Communities Manager.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

  

12/58/SR

Appointment to the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: Decisions concerning the establishment of, nomination to, and arrangements for the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel required under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

(i)  Agree to establish the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel as a joint committee of the local authorities as defined in Section 28 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and set out in the officer’s report.

 

(ii)  Nominate the Leader as member and Councillor Pitt as substitute member to the panel.

 

(iii)  Agree the panel arrangements in accordance with schedule 6 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and set out in the officer’s report.

 

(iv)  Agree that the panel when convened should ensure that its proceedings are open to the public (see 4.2 of the officer’s report).

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Director of Customer and Community Services.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  Emphasised the need for the Panel to be as open and transparent as possible and for the meetings to be open to the public.

  ii.  The level of scrutiny possible within a budget of £50,000 would be minimal, and urged the Leader to raise this through the appropriate channels.

 

In response to member’s questions the Director of Customer and Community Services confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The duties and powers which must be exercised in accordance with the Act and associated Regulations were highlighted on page 2 of the officer’s report (page 266 of the agenda pack).

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

  

12/59/SR

Code of Best Practice on Consultation and Community Engagement pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: In July 2011 the City Council approved a Code of Best Practice on Consultation and Community Engagement in order to establish clear principles to guide council departments to ensure a more structured, proportionate and appropriate approach to consultation. The report reviewed the impact that the Code of Practice has had on the way the City Council conducts consultation.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Endorse this review of the progress made with the implementation of the Code of Practice.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Strategy Officer.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

  

12/60/SR

Area working - Review of Participation Pilot pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision: The report reviewed progress made with area working during the year of the participation pilot, and set out the next steps.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Endorse the assessment of the North Area Committee participation pilot set out in Appendix 1 of the officer’s report.

  ii.  Promote area committee member and community engagement with devolved decision making particularly in relation to the development of the Area Needs Assessment and prioritisation of related local priority projects

  iii.  Support the proposed community engagement mapping exercise.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Corporate Strategy.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  Highlighted the importance of meeting management, agenda structure, venue choice and effective facilitation skills with the proposed new ways of working.

  ii.  Raised concern that briefings for the South Area Committee were not open to opposition members.

  iii.  Highlighted the need for increased publicity and promotion, and for the ‘Open forum’ section to be at the start of the meeting.

 

In response to member’s questions the Head of Corporate Strategy confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The Members Working Group had decided that, as all four Area Committees were very different, the report should not be too prescriptive. The goal was greater engagement and it was up to each of the Area Committees to decide what aspects of the pilot would work most successfully in their area.

  ii.  Over 100 members of the public had attended meetings of the North Area Committee in January and March.

 

In response to member’s questions the Leader confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The North Area Committee had been chosen for the pilot as, based on social indicators, it had the most to gain from improved community development and engagement.

  ii.  It was difficult to compare each of the Area Committees, as demographically they were very different.

  iii.  The success of the pilot could only be judged by a comparison of the North Area Committee pre-pilot.

  iv.  The report simply gave an assessment of the pilot and it was now up to individual Area Committees to take on board any good practice that could benefit their areas.

  v.  A chairing skills session for Area Committee Chairs, Vice Chairs, Spokes and relevant officers would be organised in September.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

  

12/61/SR

Community Right to Challenge under the Localism Act pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision:The report set out a proposed process for responding to Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from relevant bodies. There is limited scope for local flexibility in implementing the Right to Challenge, other than in setting a ‘window’ when the authority will accept the submission of EOIs. It was therefore recommended that the Council adopts an annual window in June and July, commencing in 2013. 

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Approve the process set out at Appendix 2 of the officer’s report for responding to Expressions of Interest under the Right to Challenge.

 

  ii.  Agree an annual window in June and July for accepting submission of Expressions of Interest under the Right to Challenge, commencing in June 2013.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Strategy and Partnerships Manager

 

In response to member’s questions the Strategy and Partnerships Manager confirmed the following:

 

  i.  The Council would only accept an Expression of Interest (EIO) from a credible provider that was in a position to undertake the work to the required standard.

  ii.  If the Council accepts an EOI it must run an open procurement process, which the challenging body can participate in, alongside other organisations including private companies.

  iii.  The decision to allocate an annual window in June and July was based on the need to align with existing budgetary, procurement and decision-making cycles.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the recommendations by 4 votes to 0.

 

The Leader approved the recommendations.

 

12/62/SR

Community Right to Bid under the Localism Act pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A public question had been submitted by Mrs Blair. As she was unable to attend the meeting the text of the question was circulated to the committee.

 

Mrs Blair’s question covered the following points:

 

  i.  The committee would be discussing and commenting on Best Practice on Consultation and Community Engagement immediately before discussing, in the absence of any consultation and engagement, two key aspects of the Localism Bill – The Community Right to Challenge and the Community Right to Bid.

  ii.  Questioned how the City Council proposed to manage the register and determine a response to nominations.

  iii.  The City Council appears to be agreeing its own processes without reference to the very stakeholders who would be submitting nominations or engagement with the communities they serve and who may wish to deliver services. This was inconsistent with the principles of effective consultation.

  iv.  Raised concern that, given the level of interest in this subject, no notice was given to those groups who had already enquired as to when City would be taking action.

  v.  Suggested that the committee defer the items to allow for a wider and more consultative approach to their consideration.

  vi.  Community Right to Bid appears to be an entirely reactive approach to community nominations.

 vii.  The tImescale needed to be longer than 5 years.

viii.  Decisions on social, amenity and community value should involve some member input either into the first decision or the appeal.

  ix.  An appendix to the Local Plan updated at least would be useful.

  x.  Raised concern that the annual window for Expressions of Interests was just before the summer break.

 

The Head of Planning Services responded that the draft regulations did not allow the Council to nominate community assets. However it was appropriate for Local Authorities to assist local communities and share the Local Plan evidence base in the process of supporting community groups in the nomination process.  The council's website would be updated with details of how to put forward nominations ahead of when the legislation goes live and there would be information made available shortly including an article in 'Cambridge matters'.

 

It was noted that it was essential that the time scales were realistic and that full details of the delegations were included in the officers report when this comes back in October

 

The Head of Planning Services confirmed that, following the meeting, information would be made available for local communities and the relevant lists of community assets would be updated monthly on the City Councils website once the legislation had come into effect.

 

Matter for Decision: Using new community rights enabled under the Localism Act 2011, local community, voluntary bodies and parish councils will be able to identify land and buildings such as a Local shop, Local pub, Community center, Library, Swimming pool or Playground. These can then be nominated for inclusion on a list of assets maintained by the City Council. If an asset on the list comes up for sale, community groups will be able to trigger a pause for up to six months, in order to raise capital and bid to purchase the asset before it goes on to the open market.

 

Decision of the Leader:

 

The Leader resolved to:

 

  i.  Note the new requirements under the Localism Act.

 

  ii.  Agree the Council’s approach to this new duty as set out in the officer’s report.

 

  iii.  Delegate responsibility for determining whether assets are listed on the register of assets or not to a panel of three senior officers from Property Services, Planning and Community Development convened by the Head of Planning Services.

 

  iv.  Bring back a further report to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 15 October 2012 to agree the Council’s final approach to this duty once Regulations had been published.

 

Reasons for the Decision: As set out in the officer’s report

 

 Any alternative options considered and rejected: As set out in the officer’s report

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The committee received a report from the Head of Planning Services.

 

The committee made the following comments on the report:

 

  i.  Raised concern that, as a bid would have to come from a well-established and very well funded organisation, it may give false hope to local communities.

  ii.  Highlighted the difficulty in assessing the ‘community value’ of a piece of land or a building.

 

In response to member’s questions the Leader confirmed the following:

 

  i.  Acknowledged the difficulty in assessing ‘community value’ and noted that further guidance to ensure nationwide consistency would be beneficial.

  ii.  Proposed that a further report be brought back to the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 15 October 2012 to agree the Council’s final approach to this duty once Regulations had been published.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered and approved the amended recommendations by 8 votes to 0 (unanimous).

 

The Leader approved the amended recommendations.