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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Note: Please see Second Circulation agenda for report items 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 

Items
No. Item

19/1/SR

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillor Smith provided apologies for items 19/11/SR and 19/12/SR.

19/2/SR

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

 

Member

Item

Interest

Councillor Green

19/71/SR

DPI: Recipient of small business rate relief. Left the room and did not take part in debate or vote.

Councillor Thornburrow

19/71/SR

DPI: Recipient of small business rate relief. Left the room and did not take part in debate or vote.

Councillor Barnett

19/70/SR

Personal: Worked at Addenbrooks.

 

19/3/SR

Minutes pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2018 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

19/4/SR

Public Questions

Minutes:

A member of the public asked a question as set out below.

 

  i.  He had lived in Cambridge for 36 years but would not be living in Cambridge within the next 5 years as he was looking to downsize.

  ii.  Referred to resident’s forums which had been set up by the council, following objections to the Accordia Development he commented that these were successful.

  iii.  He was a founding member of ‘The Federation of Cambridge Resident’s Association’ (FECRA) and had sat on the Resident’s Association for 5 years.

  iv.  There was a history of councillors, officers and residents working together. He asked whether any changes to the planning process would be subject to a consultation exercise and be subject to approval by city councilors. He also asked whether there were any changes to call-in rights.

 

The Joint Director Planning and Economic Development responded:

  i.  There were no significant changes proposed to the call-in procedure and it would be a matter for Planning Committee to make a decision on this issue. He wanted residents and members of the public to be able to make better use of more advanced technologies. 

 

Councillor Blencowe confirmed that there was no intention to change a Ward Councillor’s ability to be able to call in a planning application.

 

19/5/SR

To Note Record of Urgent Decision Taken by the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

19/6/SR

Freehold Transfer of 11A Thorpe Way Cambridge pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The decision was noted.

 

19/7/SR

Lion Yard Investment

The report contains exempt information during which the public is likely to be excluded from the meeting subject to determination by the Scrutiny Committee following consideration of a public interest test.  This exclusion would be made under paragraph of 3 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report set out a proposal in relation to the Lion Yard Investment

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

  i.  Approved Officer’s recommendation

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The ScrutinyCommittee resolved (by 2 votes to 0) to exclude members of the public from the meeting on the grounds that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of information defined as exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/8/SR

Cambridge City Housing Company - Review of Pilot Phase pdf icon PDF 334 KB

The appendix to the report contains exempt information during which the public is likely to be excluded from the meeting subject to determination by the Scrutiny Committee following consideration of a public interest test.  This exclusion would be made under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report presented the review of the pilot phase of the Cambridge City Housing Company Limited (CCHC) and considered whether the pilot phase should continue, the company should be moved into business as usual, or if it should be closed.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

i.  Approved that CCHC moved from its pilot phase into business as usual.

ii.  Confirmed the Council’s financial support for the company, subject to ongoing review by the S151 officer.

iii.  Agreed that the Council refinanced the existing loan to the company for three years at 2.02%.

iv.  Supported the company directors’ recommendation that, in view of the possible market impact of Brexit, any decision on further investment was delayed until at least the final quarter of 2019/20, or until the local property market had stabilised.

v.  Agreed that a third director be appointed to the company

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Head of Finance said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  It was proposed to keep the loan rate to the CCHC despite the Bank of England confirming that it would retain current interest rates and they would not be increasing their interest rate. The loan rate would provide additional interest to the council but it would not be a significant amount.

  ii.  The CCHC was not advised to buy any additional properties at the moment given the economic uncertainty with Brexit. If properties were bought and there was a downturn in the housing market this could bring the company to a negative equity position.

  iii.  The Cromwell Road development had other objectives and priorities.

 

Councillor Herbert confirmed that there was a commitment to continue the CCHC.  The company had an obligation to operate without losing money. A range of options was contained within the confidential appendix and based on current overheads the company could continue to operate.  There were significant development options due to come forward in the next couple of years.

 

The Committee resolved:

-  unanimously to endorse recommendation 2.1

-  unanimously to endorse recommendation 2.2

-  by 4 votes to 0 to endorse recommendation 2.3

-  by 4 votes to 0 to endorse recommendation 2.4

-  unanimously to endorse recommendation 2.5

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/9/SR

Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 498 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report outlined the capital strategy of the Council together with a summary capital programme for the General Fund (GF) and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The previous capital strategy was approved by Council on 22 February 2018 and the report update focused on providing a framework for delivery of the capital expenditure plans over a 10 – 30 year period.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i. Approved the capital strategy as set out in this report.

ii. Noted the summary Capital programme.

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Head of Finance said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  She would consider whether the BSR could include details about the income that the council received from investments.

ii.  Investment in the Cambridge City Housing Company would be seen as a treasury management issue and would therefore be included within the Treasury Management report.

iii.  She thought the new key issue suggested of ‘strategic importance on the shape of the city’ was partially covered by the first bullet point contained on page 25 of the second circulation agenda.

 

Councillor Robertson agreed it would be useful if reports on investments followed the framework for ‘key issues in investments’ contained on p25 of the second circulation agenda. 

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/10/SR

Treasury Management Strategy Statement Report 2019/20 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 553 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Council is required to receive and approve as a minimum three main treasury management reports each year, which incorporates a variety of policies, estimates and actuals.

 

The Treasury Management and Investment Strategy incorporates prudential and treasury indicators which cover:

 

·  Capital plans (including prudential indicators)

·  A Minimum Revenue Provision policy which explains how unfinanced capital expenditure will be charged to revenue over time;

·  The Treasury Management Strategy(how investments and borrowings are to be organised) including treasury indicators; and

·  An investment strategy (the parameters on how investments are to be managed)

 

A mid-year treasury management report is produced to update Members on the progress of the capital position, amending prudential indicators as necessary and advise if any policies require revision.

 

The Outturn or Annual Report compares actual performance to the estimates in the Strategy.

 

The statutory framework for the prudential system under which local government operates is set out in the Local Government Act 2003 and Capital Financing and Accounting Statutory Instruments. The framework incorporates four statutory codes. These are:

 

·  The Prudential Code prepared by CIPFA

·  The Treasury Management Code prepared by CIPFA

·  The Statutory Guidance on Local Authority Investments prepared by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

·  The Statutory Guidance on Minimum Revenue Provision prepared by MHCLG

 

CIPFA have published a revised Prudential Code (2017 edition) with accompanying Guidance Notes for Practitioners (2018 edition) and the Treasury Management Code (2017 edition).

 

The MHCLG have also published a revised Investment Guidance and Minimum Revenue Provision Guidance (both commenced on 1st April 2018). This report therefore reflects the new requirements particularly to expand the Investment Strategy to non-financial assets such as investments in property.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources to recommend to Council to:

 

i.  Approve the estimated Prudential & Treasury Indicators for 2019/20 to 2021/22, inclusive, as set out in Appendix C to the officers report;

ii.  Increase the Money Market Fund (MMF) limit to £15 million per fund, with no maximum limit overall;

iii.  Use Enhanced Money Market Funds (EMMFs) with a credit rating not lower than AAf, as assessed by any one of the credit rating agencies, with an initial counterparty limit of £5m per fund; and;

iv.  Increase the Council’s Authorised Borrowing Limit (external borrowing) to £300 million.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance.

 

The Executive Councillor confirmed that £2.2 million had been lent to Allia Limited; this was not contained within the documentation as it post-dated the publication of the report.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/11/SR

General Fund Budget Setting Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Budget-Setting Report (BSR) included the detailed revenue bids and savings and capital proposals and sets out the key parameters for the detailed recommendations and budget finalisation being considered at this meeting. The report reflects recommendations that will be made to The Executive on 11 February 2019 and then to Council, for consideration at its meeting on 21 February 2019.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

To recommend to the Executive to:

 

i. Approve Revenue Pressures shown in Appendix C (a) and Savings shown in Appendix C (b).

ii. Agree there are no bids to be funded from External or Earmarked Funds (which would be included as Appendix C (c).

iii. Approve Non-Cash Limit items as shown in Appendix C (d).

 

To recommend to Council to

 

i.  Approve delegation to the Chief Financial Officer (Head of Finance) of the calculation and determination of the Council Tax taxbase (including submission of the National Non-Domestic Rates Forecast Form, NNDR1, for each financial year) which will be set out in Appendix A (a).

ii.  Approve the level of Council Tax for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix A (b) (to follow for Council) and Section 4 [page 27 refers].

Noted that the Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Fire Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council have issued precepts to the City Council for the year 2019/20.

iii.  Approve delegation to the Head of Finance authority to finalise changes relating to any corporate and/or departmental restructuring and any reallocation of support service and central costs, in accordance with the CIPFA Service Reporting Code of Practice for Local Authorities (SeRCOP).

 

iv.  Approve an additional contribution of £250k to the Cambridge Live Development Plan Earmarked Reserve to include transition funding, proposal NCL4325.

v.  Approve the proposals outlined in Appendix E (a) for inclusion in the Capital Plan, including any additional use of revenue resources required. Report page no. 3 Agenda page no.

vi.  Approve the revised Capital Plan for the General Fund as set out in Appendix E (d), the Funding as set out in Section 7, page 39.

vii.  Note the impact of revenue and capital budget approvals and approve the resulting level of reserves to be used to support the budget proposals as set out in the table [Section 8, page 45 refers].

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Finance which was verbally updated at the meeting to correct an error relating to the Legal Practice item (reference S4247 p141 of the second circulation agenda).

 

Members of the Executive and Spokes Councillors who did not ordinarily attend the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee joined the Committee for discussion on the budget.

 

C4156 Cherry Hinton Library

In response to Members’ questions the Head of Finance confirmed:

i.  It was not unusual for capital bids to be funded in a variety of ways or to utilise funding from third parties (for example a school could use s106 contributions to develop sports facilities). If the British Legion pulled out of the project then the council would need to make some provision to comply with accounting practices.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Robertson commented:

i.  That some schemes utilised funding from third parties for example through lottery bids.

 

C4180 Vehicle Fleet

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  She would check to see whether there was similar grant funding available for smaller electric vehicles as there was for larger vehicles.

ii.  A fleet review would be undertaken in the coming year; it was difficult to provide comparisons between vehicles.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Moore commented:

i.  That this issue was not simply about costs; but a lot of the vehicles were very big and the council needed to be sure that the new electric vehicle technology would function in the way the council required.

 

I14191 Environmental Health service fees and charges

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  That existing fees and charges would be increased by inflation; new fees were not being introduced.

ii.  She apologised for inconsistencies between the BSR and the background briefing note to the BSR.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Moore confirmed:

i.  That mentoring visits referred to in I14191 were primarily training sessions for food operators.

 

URP4222 MRF cost – reduction income and increase costs (with current contract and market) under Amey contract

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  That there was an officer dedicated to dealing with recycling. Work was undertaken with households who regularly had contaminated recycling.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Moore commented:

i.  That the council could not focus on everything all year round. Recently there had been a campaign which focussed on increasing the recycling rate of metals. The council was also monitoring the contract with Amey Cespa more effectively. The current project would focus on contaminated recycling.

 

B4219 Volunteer Groups – Continue with Officer support with recycling and cleansing groups in City and South Cambs 

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  That the post referred to in proposal B4219 was a different post to the officer referred to in proposal URP4222.

 

B4187 Increase Procurement Team Resources from 2.5FTE to 3FTE.

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (FB) commented:

i.  That the additional procurement officer resource would assist internal departments when they were undertaking procurement exercises and would also mean that the council would have more resources devoted to monitoring the delivery of contracts.

 

URP4240 Eastnet – Forced Procurement Replacement of Virgin Media CPSN

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (FB) commented:

i.  That this was a shared services agreement with other authorities so the council had less control over the contract but the provisions in the contract were tighter than the existing contract. It would cost the Council a lot more if we undertook this procurement on our own.

 

NCL4325 Additional Contribution to Cambridge Live Development Plan Earmarked Reserve to include transition funding.

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  That the service would be in-house from the 1 April 2019. Full details of the transfer were still being worked on but the service would report into the Community Services Section and it would be incorporated into the financial management system; it would need tight cost controls.

 

In response to Members’ questions the Head of Finance commented:

i.  That there were no proposals to change back office costs and that these would be drawn from existing resources. Re-allocation of overheads would be re-charged in the same way other services are charged within the Council.

 

S4169 Deletion of 18.5 hours of the Grants Officer

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) commented:

i.  That the workload of the officer had reduced and they had been undertaking other tasks so the hours of the post allocated to grants work had been reduced to reflect this.

 

S4174 Deletion of 7 hours of the Housing Strategy Manager post

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) commented:

i.  That the post holder had been undertaking their role working 30 hours per week for a long time and there was no impact on their job. Reallocation of funding had not been considered.

 

KI4213 Reduction in income due to review of Shopmobility charges

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Blencowe confirmed:

i.  That charges would be removed and a free service would be available from 1 April 2019.

 

S4301 Planning Service – new and revised service delivery

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Blencowe commented that:

i.  City Councillors would continue to have the right to call in planning applications to Planning Committee. 

ii.  Residents would still have the right to approach their Ward Councillors regarding planning applications. 

iii.  Planning Committee would make the decision on any changes to the planning process.

iv.  There were a number of applications that came to Planning Committee that only had 1 objection. A S73 application with a slight variation would automatically go to Planning Committee and if there was no new information brought to the case officer this was an example of a decision that could be delegated to an Officer.

v.  The Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) Planning Committee approved whether applications which had been called in went to the SCDC Planning Committee for decision.

 

In response to Members’ questions the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development commented:

i.  That there were 107 Planning Committee decisions last year and 91% of decisions were delegated to Officers.  There was a significant cost associated with every decision made at Planning Committee.

ii.  A Planning Committee decision cost £1400 compared to £284 for a delegated decision.  He provided examples of other council and the percentage of officer delegated decisions: Cheltenham had 91%, Harrogate 96%, Oxford 94% and Bath was 97%.

iii.  There had been an investment of £200,000 in IT which would allow faster use of planning software.  The practice was to notify neighbours by letter which was made clear in the Statement of Community Involvement, however there was no policy beyond that and legislation only required a site notice to be displayed.

iv.  An application at Darwin Green had 200 notification letters sent out and no responses were received.  The Cavendish application had 500 notification letters and 7 responses were received. He was trying to work towards a more sustainable notification process. The software would enable individuals to sign up to receive notifications when an application had been received and was going to Planning Committee for decision.

v.  Some landowners had indicated that this would be useful as tenants did not always pass on information that had been sent to a property through the post.

vi.  There would be a review process so that officer and committee time was being used effectively. A number of applications had gone back to committee when there was an objection that the committee had already considered.

vii.  There was a proposal to consult on whether there should be charges for pre-application advice.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Herbert commented:

i.  That the centralised Planning Committee worked well and decisions taken at Area Committees varied when they had dealt with planning applications. 

ii.  Some notification letters did not reach those directly affected.

iii.  Officers would continue to make reasoned decisions.

iv.  Consideration of the changes would be subject to a full consultation exercise.

 

B4198 Streets and Open Spaces Growth Officer

In response to Members’ questions the Strategic Director (SH) confirmed:

i.  That this budget item was due to delayed development timetables and was an additional cost; there were areas of public open space that still needed to be adopted.

 

B4322 Community Clear up

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Thornburrow confirmed:

i.  That the council ran skip days through the different estates however she wanted 12 additional skip days that were not related to the estates to encourage residents to ‘re-use, recycle and repair’. 

ii.  She wanted to work with local councillors where there was the need and the desire to find good locations for these additional clear up days.

 

C4192 Environmental Improvement Programme

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Thornburrow confirmed:

i.  That £170,000 would be coming from funding not spent in 18/19.

 

The Committee resolved by 4 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/12/SR

Amendment to Budget Setting Report (General Fund) 2019/20 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report to follow.

Minutes:

The purpose of the discussion was to scrutinise the Liberal Democrat budget amendment.

 

The Members of the Committee and Executive Councillors asked the following questions.  The answers provided by Liberal Democrat Members immediately follow.

 

C0004 – Housing Purchase Capital

i.  Members questioned the benefit to house homeless people without the support which went alongside it.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Bick confirmed:

This referred to a service that the Council already provided, which was constrained by the number of landlords offering houses into the scheme. There were a variety of reasons why people became homeless which included addictions, mental health issues and domestic circumstances. This proposal would expand housing resources and enable people to get back on their feet. 

 

ii.  Members questioned what was meant by ‘minimum support’ in the C0004 proposal.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

‘Minimum support’ was the level of support needed for individuals to live an independent life. Homelessness was a major crisis; rough sleepers equated to around 15-20% of people who were homeless but a larger part of homelessness was not seen.  Private landlords were reluctant to rent to individuals who were homeless and the Council had to step in to assist.

 

iii.  Members questioned why 5 properties (3 bed in size) would be prioritised for homeless individuals to rent.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

The decision to propose 5 properties, 3 bed in size, was a balanced decision to help with capacity; it may not go all the way but it would help.  Unless individuals met certain criteria then they would not be prioritised for housing.  For example males 25-35 years of age who were divorced and had a job but who had to pay maintenance towards dependents could end up ‘sofa surfing’ or using Cambridge City Housing Company’s services.

 

Proposed to use the standard key worker model, for example teachers and nurses who struggled to make ends meet. The proposal would help those individuals who were the golden thread of this city.  It was a struggle to recruit teachers not only in Cambridge but across the County.

 

iv.  Members questioned if there would be any revenue support (additional staff time) to assist with the administration of the proposed 40 tenancies.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

Clarified that if an individual’s income did not increase or decrease by more than 10% in a 12 month period, then a review of rent would not be triggered. It was proposed that rents would increase by inflation which on past experience was unlikely to trigger the 10% threshold.  This approach was approved by Shelter. 

 

v.  Members commented that the rate of return was low as it was expected to be 1.6%.  There seemed to be little scope to cover normal operational risks.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

The proposal was not just about a financial return but was also about a social return for the residents of the city. The risk could be managed in a reasonable way. Key workers were not always able to afford to live in the city.

 

vi.  Members questioned the rent range that would be charged for the properties if rents were to be based on one third of a household income. There appeared to be a proposed monthly rent range of £400-£1100.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

The number of households with a lower income who were able to live in Cambridge was shrinking; the cost of living in the city was gentrifying Cambridge.  Charging a rent which was one third of a household’s income would generate an adequate return.  For the city to operate it needed teachers, carers and nurses, this proposal would send a message. This proposal was similar to council properties where some people paid local authority rent and others paid a local housing allowance rent (which had a 20% difference). This was regardless of whether the property was new or was an existing council property.

 

vii.  Members commented this was a wonderful idea but could not see how the scheme would add up.  Also commented the flexibility that the £12 million investment would provide would be better met through a council programme.

 

In response to Councillor’s questions, Councillor Cantrill confirmed:

When the Council introduced the real living wage, it impacted on 15% of the council’s staff, this sent a message across the city. Noted the work the ruling group had done on this initiative.  The Council was one of the key stakeholders who needed to put a peg in the ground, so that other stakeholders would up their game.  The Council should forgo financial benefit for social benefit.

 

19/13/SR

Business Rates Retail Discount Scheme pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Minutes:

Councillors Green and Thornburrow left the room for this item.

 

Matter for Decision

The purpose of the report was to recommend the adoption of a policy to award “Retail Discount” in accordance with the Discretionary Rate Relief powers as contained within Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended) for the years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

 

i.  Adopted  the Retail Discount policy (appendix A of the officers report) for qualifying businesses in occupation of retail premises which have a rateable value of less than £51,000, for the financial years 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 and 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 only.

ii.  Delegated authority to the Head of Revenues and Benefits to award the “Retail Discount” where a ratepayer demonstrates their entitlement.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/14/SR

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The purpose of the report was to undertake the annual review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and to decide whether the Scheme should be revised, replaced or continued for the financial year 2019-2020.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i. Agreed to continue the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme framework with changes to applicable amounts and premiums as defined within the local scheme. The scheme supports low-paid workers already struggling to cope with stagnant wages, rising living costs and on-going Welfare Reforms that impact on Universal Credit, Tax Credits and other in-work support.

ii. Agreed that Care Leavers under 25 are included in the vulnerable groups classification within the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

iii. Agreed that following the delay in rolling out full service Universal Credit to October 2018, that the significant review of the current scheme be carried out during spring 2019 to reflect the rollout of Universal Credit.

iv.  Agreed that Empty Property Premium increases are adopted in full from 1 April 2019 to 1 April 2021.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Director.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

19/15/SR

Combined Authority Update pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report provides an update on the activities of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) since the 8 October meeting of Strategy & Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

 

i.  Noted the update on issues considered at the meetings of the Combined Authority held on 31 October 2018, 28 November 2018 and 30 January 2019.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Chief Executive and noted Appendix C (decision sheet for CPCA meeting 30.01.19) which was circulated at the meeting.

 

Councillor Herbert said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  A business plan for the CPCA had been included within the January Board agenda, but it may not have been heavily publicised.  This included 12 projects which the CPCA had prioritised, which may not all directly benefit Cambridge. 

  ii.  Commented that the CPCA still needed to recruit permanent key officers including the Chief Executive and Director of Finance.

  iii.  Cambridge had a lot to gain with the CPCA.

  iv.  Commented that there needed to be clearer leadership at the CPCA.

  v.  Had been challenging the work of the CPCA with South Cambs District Council.

  vi.  Commented that the CPCA could not sustain spending £7million on staff and overheads

 vii.  Questioned whether the CPCA was delivering for businesses and the Cambridge and Peterborough economy since the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was incorporated within the CPCA.

viii.  Commented on the CPCA’s inconsistent decisions regarding confidential papers and reports.

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

19/16/SR

Corporate Plan 2019-22 pdf icon PDF 291 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report recommended approval of a revised Corporate Plan for the period 2019-22. The Corporate Plan sets out the Council’s strategic priorities for the medium term, reflecting the Council’s vision and consistent with the direction of travel articulated in the Medium Term Financial Strategy and in the various strategies and plans that have been developed in recent months and years.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnership

 

i.  Approved the draft Corporate Plan 2019-22 attached at Appendix A.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

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

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.