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Decisions published

15/01/2019 - Strategic Policies for Neighbourhood Planning ref: 4928    Recommendations Approved

To agree the policies that will be identified as Strategic Policies in respect of Neighbourhood Planning.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 15/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The report sought approval for the schedule of strategic polices of the adopted Cambridge Local Plan 2018 for the purposes of neighbourhood planning.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport

 

  i.  Agreed the schedule attached at Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report, containing the policies that are considered strategic for the purposes of neighbourhood planning, taking into account the broad guidance provided by the National Planning Policy Framework (2018) and the planning practice guidance.

 

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 Planning Policy Manager.  The report referred to Neighbourhood Plans (NP) which were introduced by the Localism Act (2011) to provide a planning tool for local people to use to guide future development, regeneration and conservation of an area.  Government policy and practice guidance for neighbourhood planning had set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and in associated planning practice guidance. NP were prepared by local communities, and in Cambridge by Neighbourhood Forums. 

 

In response to comments from the Committee, the Director for Planning and Economic Director and Planning Policy Manager said the following:

  i.  The table in Appendix 1, of the Officer’s report (p440) of the agenda pack outlined the policies from the adopted Cambridge Plan 2018 that are recommended to be strategic policies in line with Central Government guidance.

  ii.  Regarding non-strategic policies it was possible for a local community to take a different view in a NP to that of the Local Plan (LP). The Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans together provide a context for considering planning applications.

  i.  A NP had to demonstrate general conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan.

 

The Committee:

 

 The Committee resolved unanimously to endorse the recommendations as amended.

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport approved the recommendations.

Lead officer: Amanda Thorn


15/01/2019 - Local Plan and Housing Monitoring ref: 4927    Recommendations Approved

The report will outline changes to national policy and guidance in respect of housing monitoring and delivery , including how the Annual Monitoring Report and housing trajectory are to be prepared and agreed in future. Councillors will be asked to consider and agree the new format for preparing and signing off these data sets.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 15/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The report sought approval for the Local Plan and Housing Monitoring for approval.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport

 

  i.  Agreed to publish the Cambridge Authority Monitoring Report 2017-2018 (included as Appendix 1), with any further minor editing changes delegated to the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development where they relate to technical matters.

  ii.   Agreed that in future, a Greater Cambridge Authority Monitoring Report is produced, and that these future Greater Cambridge Authority Monitoring Reports would  be agreed for publication by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council), unless the Authority Monitoring Report identified any significant issue with the implementation of any Local Plan or Area Action Plan policy that requires more detailed consideration by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport at a meeting;

  iii.  Agreed that a decision on whether to submit a Greater Cambridge Annual Position Statement (relating to five year housing land supply) to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for consideration would be made by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport,  Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council) and that the decision will be made before 1 April each year as required by national planning guidance;

  iv.  That, whether or not it is decided to prepare a Greater Cambridge Annual Position Statement, the housing trajectory and five year supply calculations will be agreed by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council);

  v.  Approved to seek agreement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire should be considered together for the purposes of the Housing Delivery Test; and

  vi.  Agreed that, if on publication of the annual Housing Delivery Test results, an Action Plan was necessary in this or future years, it would be agreed by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting.

 

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 Planning Policy Manager.  The report set out the current processes for monitoring the Local Plan and housing delivery, and to propose a new approach to the decision making processes for the preparation, consultation, publication and submission of monitoring documents, such as the Authority Monitoring Report and housing trajectory.

 

Councillor Bick welcomed the report and the joint working with South Cambridgeshire District Council. He requested that any decision made outside of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee that the Chair and Spokes was included in the consultation process as was standard procedure with Cambridge City Council. 

 

It was unanimously resolved to do so and the recommendations changed accordingly (additional text underlined).

 

  i.   Agreed to publish the Cambridge Authority Monitoring Report 2017-2018 (included as Appendix 1), with any further minor editing changes delegated to the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development where they relate to technical matters.

  ii.  Agreed that in future, a Greater Cambridge Authority Monitoring Report is produced, and that these future Greater Cambridge Authority Monitoring Reports would  be agreed for publication by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council), unless the Authority Monitoring Report identified any significant issue with the implementation of any Local Plan or Area Action Plan policy that requires more detailed consideration by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport at a meeting.

  iii.  Agreed that a decision on whether to submit a Greater Cambridge Annual Position Statement (relating to five year housing land supply) to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for consideration would be made by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport,  Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council) and that the decision will be made before 1 April each year as required by national planning guidance.

  iv.  That, whether or not it is decided to prepare a Greater Cambridge Annual Position Statement, the housing trajectory and five year supply calculations will be agreed by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District  Council).

  v.  Approved to seek agreement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire should be considered together for the purposes of the Housing Delivery Test; and

  vi.  Agreed that, if on publication of the annual Housing Delivery Test results, an Action Plan was necessary in this or future years, it would be agreed by the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Chair and Spokes via a decision outside of a meeting.

 

In response from a question from Councillor Payne regarding the number of the homelessness recorded as 67 and the number of accepted as homeless and in priority need was 38 between April 2017 and March 2018 (p382 of the agenda pack); the Director of Planning and Economic Development responded that he would request a detailed explanation from the relevant officer.

 

The Committee:

 

 The Committee resolved unanimously to endorse the recommendations as amended.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport approved the recommendations.

 

Lead officer: Amanda Thorn


15/01/2019 - Cambridge Northern Fringe Issues and Option 2 ref: 4926    Recommendations Approved

To agree the Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan - Issues & Options 2 consultation document for publication.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 15/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The report sought approval for the joint Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2 and supporting documents to be published for consultation.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport

 

i.  Approved the Cambridge Northern Fringe Issues and Options 2 for Regulation 18 public consultation in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 for a period of six weeks jointly with South Cambridgeshire District Council (Appendix 1 as amended attached to the Officer’s report).

ii.  Approved the Statement of Consultation (Appendix 2 attached to the Officer’s report).

iii.  Noted the findings of the Interim Sustainability Appraisal and Equalities Impact Assessment (Appendices 3 and 4 attached to the Officer’s report).

iv.  Agreed to delegate authority to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, in consultation with the Chair and Spokes for the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to consider and agree, as is consistent with this Council’s Corporate Objectives, any changes proposed by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

v.  Delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make editorial changes to the Issues and Options Report and supporting documents prior to the commencement of the consultation period (to comprise minor amendments and factual updates and clarifications).

 

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 Director of Planning and Economic Development. The report referred to the Cambridge Northern Fringe East area which had been designated in the new local plans for both Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire as an area for regeneration. The area extent, and the quantum and phasing of development, was proposed to be established through the production of a joint Area Action Plan (AAP).

 

In response to the Committee’s comments the Director of Planning and Economic Development said the following:

  i.  The use of the term ‘Knowledge District’ was envisaged as a positive signal to show monetary value could be gained through the industry of knowledge rather than other kind of industries such as manufacturing.

  ii.  Important to understand these were statutory documents.

  iii.  Noted the Committee’s comments they were pleased to include the science park as part of the development. This was necessary as there was limited land available in an urban area and there would be a different way of thinking  to show how the park could be used

  iv.  Officers would have to justify with evidence and viability the basis on which the figures for the employment and housing numbers had been referenced in the report.

  v.  The reality of developing creative quarters, such as artist studios instead of tech industries, was that creative quarters were not as viable and would not pass the test of ‘soundness’ in a Local Plan. However creative sectors could be developed in the long term,

  vi.  Noted the Committee’s concern regarding inequality with regard to the lack of affordable business spaces. It was possible with policy framework to secure additional benefits which would not be exclusive to those businesses on the science park as had occurred in the city previously, particularly with the tech industry.

 vii.  Affordable enterprises and business spaces were being considered at how this might be included. It was important to remember that this would have a reflective cost and further work and consultation was needed on how this could be delivered.

viii.  Officers recognised the need to work with Members and residents’ groups whom had the knowledge and experience of the locality to share.

  ix.  Engagement with members of the public through area committee meetings and local residents association on the development had begun. These groups had been asked to identify other resident groups / organisations to further cascade the engagement and consultation process.

  x.  It was important to identify all the wide range of users within the locality of the development, various businesses, employees and operators who used the science park, residents who lived adjacent to the park and those residents who lived on the city edge such as those in Milton. 

  xi.  There was a recommendation in the delegation to make editorial changes to the Issues and Options Report and supporting documents prior to the commencement of the consultation period (to comprise minor amendments and factual updates and clarifications).

 xii.  The EQIA would be updated through each stage of the process.

xiii.  The Housing Infrastructure Team had estimated that the capacity of the development could produce 7600 homes on what was a significant piece of land. The report outlined how:

·   To make more efficient use of brownfield land; looking at the volume of traffic to and from the site.

·  The science park could become a ‘mix used district, (not just housing in one area, employment in the other, joined by a road as would have been done in the past).

xiv.  The highway ‘trip budget’ approach referenced in the report identified the level of vehicular trips that could be made to and from the areas east and west of Milton Road without leading to a severe further impact on the strategic road network. It was therefore based on the number of trips generated and not any particular level of development.

xv.  The policy would challenge the developer to demonstrate how their schemes could compliment the overall number of trips on the road; such as looking at the management of car parking spaces, the promotion of linked trips ensuring there were facilities for both employees and residents to avoid travel out of the area. This could be done by the early development of a school and community facilities to reduce vehicular travel.

xvi.  Car parking spaces on the science park covered more of the land (area) than buildings. This provided an opportunity for development and in turn would incentivise businesses to push innovative travel plans for their employees.

xvii.  Developers / businesses needed to move away from one parking space for one person for a 24 hour period and begin to think about communal parking with different functions at different times.

 

The Committee:

 

The Chair proposed the following amendments to Appendix A (Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2) additional text underlined, deleted text struck through:

 

The Director for Planning and Economic Development reminded the Committee that any changes to Appendix A would also require approval from the Lead Member at South Cambridgeshire District Council; further amendments may also be considered outside of the meeting.

 

PAGE

PARA

CHANGE

  i.   

Throughout document

 

Amend Title to North East Cambridge Area Action  Plan

  ii.   

8 & 42

Para 13

& 4.4

Amend Vision to read:

‘North East Cambridge Northern Fringe – An inclusive, thriving, and low carbon place for innovative living and working; in which economic growth and prosperity are delivered with social justice and equality, inherently walkable where everything is on your doorstep.’

 iii.   

8 & 43

Para 13

& 4.5

Amend objective heading:

‘A high quality, healthy, biodiverse place, which will be a major contributor to achieving zero carbon in Greater Cambridge by 2050’

  iv.   

8 & 43

Para 13

& 4.5

Replace objective heading:

‘An adaptable knowledge district’

with

‘A City Innovation District which will deliver affordable homes, a diverse range of quality jobs and excellent neighbourhood facilities. ‘

  v.   

48

5.13

‘This new city district needs activity and vibrancy to support the existing and establishing communities. The leisure and cultural offer to enrich lives is a key component of creating successful places and will be needed for residents, workers and visitors alike. Embedding creativity and culture into the scheme is a vital aspect to the success of the CNF as a new city district with its own identity. A leisure and cultureal strategy along with a public art strategy will be needed early in the process to support the overall masterplanning and decision making for the regeneration of the CNF.’

  vi.   

50

5.16

Cambridge Regional College

As an innovation district, the CNF needs to capitalise on great links to education facilities in the area to improve links to businesses. Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is a major further  and higher education facility with a catchment, which includes Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. The existing CRC site supports 3,000 full-time further and higher education students. Due to its close proximity to the CNF site and the role that the college plays within the immediate and wider area we need to consider how the two can function together and support each other.

vii.   

80

9.3

A range of community facilities will be required to serve local residents and staff. This will require either new provision on site, or improvements to existing facilities. Where these are off site, we will need to consider how these can be easily accessed. The Councils are in discussion with service providers on what these needs are, and this will continue as the draft AAP is developed

.

viii.   

53

Q15

E - Increasing ease of movement across the sites by opening up opportunities to walk and cycle through areas where this is currently difficult, for example Cambridge business park and the Cambridge Science Park, improving access to the Kings Hedges and East Chesterton areas as well as the City beyond.

  ix.   

64

6.13

The Chisholm Trail, creating a mostly off-road and traffic-free route between Cambridge Station, via Abbey,  and the new Cambridge North Station, and beyond to St.Ives and Huntingdon.

  x.   

32

6.26

Effective ‘last mile’ links from the station and from the busway stops to destinations like the Science Park will be key to the area’s success. This potentially could use innovative solutions like autonomous vehicles, demand responsive transport, or cycle hire schemes.

  xi.   

65

Q25

Question 25: Do you agree that the AAP should be seeking a very low share of journeys to be made by car compared to other more sustainable means like walking, and cycling and public transport  to and from, and within the area?

xii.   

70

7.3

Employment will form an important part of the mix, bringing together a diverse range of business and employment opportunities  to create a vibrant new district for Cambridge, where there are opportunities for existing and new residents to live and work in the area, and which responds to the transport constraints and opportunities in the area.

xiii.   

70

Add new para after 7.3

‘As highlighted in chapter 2 of this report, adjoining wards are among the most deprived in Cambridgeshire. North East Cambridge provides an opportunity to deliver new affordable housing, shops services and infrastructure that can offer opportunity and improve amenities in this part of Cambridge. Development could also provide opportunities for specific measures to share the benefits of new development with surrounding communities, such as training and employment opportunities.’

 

xiv.   

81

9.4

Amend Sentence:

 

‘Active open space often requires facilities and structures

to support and promote this use, such as toilets, walkways, run routes, interpretation material, seating, tables, children’s playgrounds areas and sports fields.’

 

This amendment was carried 7 votes to 0.

 

The Committee resolved 7 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations as amended.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport approved the recommendations

Lead officer: Julian Sykes


16/01/2019 - New Social Housing – Colville Road 2 ref: 4923    Recommendations Approved

Approval of a capital budget to deliver a new build housing scheme at Colville Road.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report sought approval for a capital budget for the scheme based on the indicative capacity study which has been undertaken for the site and the outline appraisals referenced in this report and for the delivery route to be adopted.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved that the scheme was brought forward with an indicative capital budget for the scheme of £13,781,590 to cover all of the site assembly, construction costs, professional fees and associated other fees to deliver a scheme that meets an identified housing need in Cambridge City.

  ii.  Authorise the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to approve variations to the scheme including the number of units and mix of property types and sizes outlined in this report.

  iii.  Approved that the site was offered to CIP to progress in accordance with the CIP process which was approved at Strategy & Resources Committee on 9th October 2017 subject to a value for money assessment to be carried out on behalf of the Council prior to entering into the Agreement for Lease set out in that process.

  iv.  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director to commence Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proceedings on Leasehold properties to be demolished to enable the development should these be required.

  v.  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director to serve initial Demolition Notices under the Housing Act 1985.

 

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 Manager, Housing Development Agency.

 

 

The Committee welcomed the scheme.

 

The Committee resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

Lead officer: Mark Wilson


16/01/2019 - S106 Social Housing Purchase – Clerk Maxwell Road ref: 4922    Recommendations Approved

To approve the acquisition of 14 Section 106 affordable homes on the Hill Development scheme at Clerk Maxwell Road

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The City Council had agreed a devolution deal with government to deliver 500 new Council homes over 5 years.

  ii.  Clerk Maxwell Road is a scheme of 35 units being brought forward by Hill in conjunction with Trinity College Cambridge and has been identified as a potential S106 opportunity with Hill. The proposed scheme will provide 14 new Council rented dwellings (40%).

  iii.  The report sought approval for a capital budget for the acquisition of the 14 affordable units as Council rented units based on an initial appraisal of the scheme and approval for the delivery route to be adopted.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the indicative mix of the proposed scheme to include 10 no. one bedroom flats and 4 no. two bedroom flats to meet minimum Council space standards requirements (NDSS) and provision of through floor lifts.

  ii.  Approved that the scheme be brought forward with an indicative capital budget for the scheme of £2,837,760 to cover all of the purchase and construction costs, legal and professional fees and associated other fees to deliver a scheme that meets an identified housing need in Cambridge City.

  iii.  Noted that the scheme is indicative and authorise the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor to approve variations to the scheme including the number of units and mix of property types and sizes outlined in this report.

  iv.  Approved that the site is progressed subject to agreement of terms and a value for money assessment to be carried out on behalf of the Council prior to entering into a build contract with Hill.

 

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 Manager, Housing Development Agency.

 

The Manager, Housing Development Agency said the following in response to Members’ questions:

 

  i.  A Head of Terms agreement had been agreed with the developer.

 

The Committee resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

Lead officer: Jerry Harkness


16/01/2019 - New Social Housing – Meadows Centre & Buchan Street ref: 4921    Recommendations Approved

Approve a capital budget to redevelop Council sites at the Meadows Centre and Buchan Street for Council housing.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Public Speaker

 

Councillor Price addressed the Committee as follows:

  i.  The proposal was an exciting opportunity.

  ii.  The Meadows Community Centre had been an asset to the local community.

  iii.  New development should be even better.

  iv.  The Buchan Street development would provide much needed housing.

 

Matter for Decision

 

The report proposed a redevelopment of The Meadows and Buchan Street sites, to provide much-needed Council rented housing, and a new community centre. It proposed adding these sites to the Council’s Rolling Programme of Housing development, making the resources for the redevelopment available, and working with centre users, neighbours, staff and others to ensure the design of the new homes and community centre provides well for the local community.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor forCommunities:

 

  i.  Approved the rationalisation of two community centres into a new community hub in line with the Community Centres Strategy (June 2017), in order to make land available for much needed Council housing; The development process will ensure that a community centre remains open throughout the redevelopment period; and that local residents and centre users are engaged in the detailed design of the new community facility.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing:

 

  i.  Approved the addition of Meadows and Buchan Street sites to the Rolling Programme, to enable detailed design and project work to proceed

  ii.  Approvedthe indicative mix of the proposed scheme, subject to design and planning, to include a mix of Council rented housing, as set out below:

 

 

Meadows

Buchan

1B2P Flat (Housing First)

 

2

2B4P Flat (Housing First)

 

1

1B2P Flat

58

6

2B4P Flat

27

5

3B5P House

0

7

Totals

85

21

 

 

 

Community Centre GIA

1583m2

 

Retail space GIA

 

148m2

 

  iii.  Recommended to Council the inclusion of an indicative budget of £26,379,880 in the Housing Capital Programme (to be presented to Council in the HRA BSR).

 

  iv.  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Authorised the Strategic Director, delegation exercised in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair and Spokes following future business planning, to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of HRA resources to fund part of the cost of the Community Centre and commercial unit (on the basis that this would aid the release of land for much needed housing in line with national government policy), subject to this being viable within a revised HRA business plan, and to vary the contributions recommended from the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund in the light of the decision.

 

  v.  Approved that the site is offered to CIP to progress in accordance with the CIP process which was approved at Strategy & Resources Committee on 9th October 2017 subject to a value for money assessment to be carried out on behalf of the Council prior to entering into the Agreement for Lease set out in that process.

 

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 Manager, Housing Development Agency.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Thanked officers for work over a number of years that had brought this project to the point of delivery.

  ii.  Expressed regret at the loss of green space.

  iii.  Concerns were raised about conflicting demands for parking and the level of provision for the new housing units.

 

The Manager, Housing Development Agency said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The new facility would be slightly larger than the combined size of the two existing community facilities.

  ii.  Stated that the remaining green space would require better management to ensure the full benefit was achieved.

  iii.  The proposed building would cross the City /South Cambs boundary and planning permissions would need to take this into account.

  iv.  Sports England was expected to approve the plans.

  v.  Existing users would be given priority when allocating resources in the new facility. 

 

The Executive Councillor for Communities confirmed that a range of consultations had taken place and the resulting scheme was intended to meet as much need as possible.

 

Councillor Cantrill expressed concerns that an application was being submitted to the Secretary of State regarding the use of HRA funds for the community building when full business case had not been completed. He asked for an assurance that this Committee would have sight of the business case before such an application was submitted.

 

Councillor Cantrill proposed an amendment to delete recommendation 2.2.4.

 

Authorise the Strategic Director to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of HRA resources to fund part of the cost of the Community Centre and commercial unit (on the basis that this would aid the release of land for much needed housing in line with national government policy), subject to this being viable within a revised HRA business plan, and to vary the contributions recommended from the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund in the light of the decision.

 

The Strategic Director suggested additional wording to recommendation 2.2.4 could achieve the desired level of scrutiny.

 

Councillor Cantrill withdrew the proposed amendment to delete recommendation 2.2.4 and proposed the following amended wording (additional text in bold):

 

Authorise the Strategic Director, subject to final approval from the Housing Scrutiny Committee,to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of HRA resources to fund part of the cost of the Community Centre and commercial unit (on the basis that this would aid the release of land for much needed housing in line with national government policy), subject to this being viable within a revised HRA business plan, and to vary the contributions recommended from the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund in the light of the decision.

 

The amendment was lost by 3 votes to 4.

 

Following Committee discussions, the following amendment to recommendation 2.2.4 was proposed:

 

Authorise the Strategic Director, delegation exercised in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair and Spokes following future business planning,to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of HRA resources to fund part of the cost of the Community Centre and commercial unit (on the basis that this would aid the release of land for much needed housing in line with national government policy), subject to this being viable within a revised HRA business plan, and to vary the contributions recommended from the Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund in the light of the decision.

 

This amendment was carried by 4 votes to 0.

 

 

The Committee resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to endorse the recommendation 2.1.1.

 

The Executive Councillor for Communities approved the recommendation.

 

The Committee resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to endorse the recommendation 2.2.1 to 2.2.6 (as amended)

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing approved the recommendations.

Lead officer: Ben Binns


16/01/2019 - Review of Tenant and Leaseholder Representative Arrangements ref: 4920    Recommendations Approved

A decision needs to be made on the TLR allowances review and a newly created Code of Conduct. The report will also provide an update on the vacant TLR position, the Strategic Director was previously given delegated authority to take steps to fill the position and report back to committee.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an overview of three changes which impact Tenant and Leaseholder Representatives (TLR). A dedicated TLR Code of Conduct (Appendix 1) had been written which aligns with their unique position on the Housing Scrutiny Committee (HSC). This report also reviews TLR allowances and provides an update on the Tenant Representative vacancy, as required by committee decision.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Agreed the terms of the new TLR Code of Conduct.

  ii.  Agreed the allowance proposal detailed as option 1 in this report, to increase the TLR allowance for 2019 to correspond with the Consumer Price Index level set in the preceding September.  The new allowance rate would begin from March 2019.

  iii.  Agreed from 2019 the TLR allowance should change annually by the Consumer Price Index level set in the preceding September, thus creating an inbuilt review mechanism. The allowance will then be reviewed again in 2022.

  iv.  Noted the approach taken to fill the vacant Tenant Representative position.

 

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 Resident Engagement Officer. The Committee noted a correction to page 2 of the report, para 3.8, allowance B should read £299.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Welcomed the clarity regarding the roles.

  ii.  Stated that the representatives were good value for money.

 

The Committee resolved unanimously to endorse the recommendations 2.1 and 2.4.

 

The Committee resolved (by 8 votes to 0) to endorse the recommendations 2.2 and 2.3.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

Lead officer: Emily Watts


16/01/2019 - Housing - Related Policies Review - Phase 1 ref: 4919    Recommendations Approved

Agree the suite of revised policies.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

A review of a suite of tenancy management, repair and void management policies, and the way the service recovers money owed to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for rechargeable work, damage to HRA assets or fees relating to HRA owned property or land.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the suite of revised policies

  ii.  Noted the review dates listed within each policy and delegated authority to the Head of Housing to determine if individual policies should be brought back for committee approval depending on the degree or significance of any changes made at review points.

 

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 Housing.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Welcomed the gas safety policy.

 

The Head of Housing stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Assistance was available to help vulnerable residents to clear properties.

  ii.  The mutual exchange system allowed medical needs to be considered when extra bedrooms were needed.

  iii.  The re-chargable repairs scheme was targeted at wilful damage rather than no fault incidents.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

Lead officer: David Greening


16/01/2019 - HRA Budget-Setting Report (BSR) 2019/20 ref: 4918    Recommendations Approved

a) Approve the proposed charges for HRA housing rents and service charges.
b) Consider the revenue budget proposals.
c) Consider the capital budget proposals.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

As part of the 2019/20 budget process, the range of assumptions upon which the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy were based, had been reviewed in light of the latest information available, culminating in the preparation of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

The HRA Budget-Setting Report provided an overview of the review of the key assumptions. It sets out the key parameters for the detailed recommendations and final budget proposals, and was the basis for the finalisation of the 2019/20 budgets.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

Under Part 1 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

a.  Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be reduced by 1%, in line with legislative requirements, introduced as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act, with effect from 1 April 2019. This equates to an average rent reduction at the time of writing this report of £0.99 per week on a 52 week basis.

 

b.  Approve that affordable rents are reviewed in line with rent legislation, to ensure that the rents charged are no more than 80% of market rent, with this figure then reduced by the 1% per annum, as with social housing. Local policy is to cap affordable rents (inclusive of all service charges) at the Local Housing Allowance level, which will result in rent variations in line with any changes notified to the authority in this level.

 

c.  Approve that rents for shared ownership are reviewed and amended from April 2019, in line with the specific requirements within the lease for each property.

 

d.  Approve that garage and parking space charges for 2019/20, are increased in line with inflation at 2.2%, with resulting charges as summarised in Section 3 of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

e.  Approve the proposed service charges for Housing Revenue Account services and facilities, as shown in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

f.  Approve the proposed leasehold administration charges for 2019/20, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

g.  Approve that caretaking, building cleaning, estate services, grounds maintenance, temporary housing premises and utilities, sheltered scheme premises and utilities, digital television aerial, flat cleaning, third party management and catering charges continue to be recovered at full cost, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report, recognising that local authorities should endeavour to limit increases to inflation as measured by CPI at September 2018 (2.4%) plus 1%, wherever possible.

 

h.  Approve that service charges for gas maintenance, door entry systems, lifts and electrical and mechanical maintenance are increased in an attempt recover full estimated costs, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report, recognising that local authorities should endeavour to limit increases to inflation as measured by CPI at September 2018 (2.4%) plus 1%, equivalent to an increase of 3.4% in total, wherever possible.

 

Revenue – HRA

 

Revised Budget 2018/19:

i.  Approve with any amendments, the Revised Budget identified in Section 4 and Appendix D (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, which reflects a net increase in the use of HRA reserves for 2018/19 of £300,670.

 

Budget 2019/20:

j.  Approve with any amendments, any Non-Cash Limit items identified in Section 4 of the HRA Budget Setting Report or shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

k.  Approve with any amendments, any Savings, Increased Income, Unavoidable Revenue Pressures and Reduced Income proposals, as shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

l.  Approve the resulting Housing Revenue Account revenue budget as summarised in the Housing Revenue Account Summary Forecast 2018/19 to 2023/24 shown in Appendix J of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

l1  In light of issues surrounding Universal Credit and payment arrangements for housing costs, approvals for eviction will not be progressed for a tenant in rent arrears which relate solely to Universal Credit delays and missed payments which are beyond their control. Any delays that are deemed to be the result of the tenant’s own delay in applying/supplying the correct information will be followed up through the usual processes.

Full support will be provided for any tenant in such difficulties, including ensuring that the rent element is paid direct to the Council, through a DWP managed payment arrangement.

If there are other breaches of the tenancy agreement (such as ASB) then appropriate action will be taken.

 

Under Part 2 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor for Housing resolved to recommend to Council:

 

Treasury Management

m.  Recognise the decision to defer the review of the current approach to treasury management, which requires 25% of the value of the housing debt to be set-aside by the point at which the loan portfolio matures until after it is formally confirmed that the legislation allowing the introduction of a levy in respect of the sale of higher value voids will be repealed.

Housing Capital

n.  Approval of capital bids, shown in Appendix D (3) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, to include the replacement of the lifts at Ditchburn Place whilst other major refurbishment work is underway.

o.  Approval of the latest Decent Homes Programme, to include any updated allocation and timing of decent homes expenditure for new build dwellings, as detailed in Appendix E of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

p.  Approval of the latest budget sums, profiling and associated financing for all new build schemes, including new scheme specific approvals for Colville Road, Meadows and Buchan Street and Clerk Maxwell Road, based upon the latest cost information from the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) or direct procurements, as detailed in Appendices E and H, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

q.  Approval of re-phasing of budget for the last phase of refurbishment at Ditchburn Place from 2018/19 into 2019/20, as detailed in Appendix E, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

r.  Approval of the revised Housing Capital Investment Plan as shown in Appendix K of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

General

s.  Approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to approve an in year increase or decrease in the budget for disabled facilities grants, in direct relation to any increase or decrease in the capital grant funding for this purpose, as received from the County Council through the Better Care Fund.

t.  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director to review and amend the level of fees charged by the Shared Home Improvement Agency for disabled facilities grants and repair assistance grants, in line with any decisions s made by the Shared Home Improvement Agency Board.

u.  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to draw down resource from the ear-marked reserve for potential debt redemption or re-investment, for the purpose of open market property acquisition or new build housing development, should the need arise, in order to meet quarterly deadlines for the use of retained right to buy receipts.

v.  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director, following formal consultation with tenants, to make a decision in respect of the number of rent weeks over which the annual rent is charged for council tenants, and implement any change in policy accordingly.

 

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 Business Manager / Principal Accountant.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Praised the work of the Estate Champions and welcomed the improvements achieved so far.

  ii.  Tenant representatives expressed concern about the loss of an office in the South of the City and how his might impact tenants experiencing difficulties due to Universal Credit. It was confirmed that staff were moving to more mobile working.

 

The Business Manager / Principal Accountant stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Transformation Fund could be used to fund a fourth edition of Open Door, subject to the approval of the Strategic Director.

  ii.  Confirmed that a funding bid for extra resources needed to complete a stock condition survey was expected shortly.

  iii.  Clarified the delays in the delivery of some new build schemes: Ventress Close had been delayed by a bat survey.

 

Councillor Cantrill introduced the Liberal Democrat Amendment to the 2019/20 Housing Revenue Budget.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Suggested that the zero tolerance policy regarding storage of items on landing was necessary and that fire resistant items would not resolve the issue of trip hazards in an emergency. Any proposals to soften the policy would be difficult to police.

  ii.   Discussed Housing First approaches and the role of the County Council in funding this.

  iii.  Stated that offering lower rents to 3 and 4 bedroomed properties would not be directing the limited resources to those most in need.

  iv.  Discussed the best way to assist those transitioning to Universal Credit.

 

The Strategic Director undertook to circulate figures regarding the use of Discretionary Housing Payments.

 

The following vote was chaired by Diana Minns (Vice Chair /Tenant Representative)

 

The Liberal Democrats Group alternative budget: 3 votes in favour to 9 against. The amendment was lost.

 

Diana Minns proposed and Lulu Agate seconded the following amendment to the recommendations:

 

Part 1 Recommendations, insert as new (L1).

 

In light of issues surrounding Universal Credit and payment arrangements for housing costs, approvals for eviction will not be progressed for a tenant in rent arrears which relate solely to Universal Credit delays and missed payments which are beyond their control. Any delays that are deemed to be the result of the tenant’s own delay in applying/supplying the correct information will be followed up through the usual processes.

 

Full support will be provided for any tenant in such difficulties, including ensuring that the rent element is paid direct to the Council, through a DWP managed payment arrangement.

 

If there are other breaches of the tenancy agreement (such as ASB) then appropriate action will be taken.

 

The following vote was chaired by Diana Minns (Vice Chair /Tenant Representative)

 

The additional recommendation was agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved (by 9 vote to 0 and 3 abstentions) to endorse the original recommendations A to L and additional recommendation L1.

 

The following votes were chaired by Councillor Todd-Jones

 

Resolved (4 votes to 0 and 3 abstentions) to endorse the original report recommendations M to V of the budget proposals

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

Lead officer: Julia Hovells


08/10/2018 - Combined Authority Update ref: 4917    Recommendations Approved

To enable the Committee to scrutinise the Council's representative on the Combined Authority.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Strategy and Transformation

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 08/10/2018

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report provided an update on the activities of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority since the 2 July Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

i.  Noted the update provided on issues considered at the meetings of the Combined Authority held on the 25 July and 26 September.

 

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 were asked to note the updated paperwork regarding the 26 September Combined Authority meeting.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

i.  Commented that FOI requests had been submitted to the Combined Authority to try and gain further knowledge of payments that had been made to employees who had left the organisation.

ii.  Noted that the person specification for the new Director of Strategy and Planning role did not require any planning experience.

iii.  Noted that the Chief of Staff role at the Combined Authority was a politically restricted position, however the current incumbent had been selected as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate. 

iv.  Noted that the Affordable Housing Strategy which had been adopted by the Combined Authority permitted equal bids by partner councils for the money. This was not fair on South Cambridgeshire District Council who would not receive the finance that they deserved.

v.  Expressed concerns regarding the governance of the Combined Authority.

 

The Executive Councillor said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The senior staffing structure for the Combined Authority was adopted in February 2018 so it had been in place for 9 months. It was originally discussed at the Combined Authority that key Directors be in place before the appointment of the Mayor. It was noted that quite a few posts were currently filled by interims for example the Director of Finance.

  ii.  He only became aware of the departure of the Chief Executive of the Combined Authority when it was published in the Cambridgeshire Times. Clearer transparency was required and an independent finance and governance review had been requested in September by Councillor Herbert and Councillor Smith.

  iii.  It was unclear why a severance payment had been made to the Chief Executive as there was no contractual obligation to pay one.

  iv.  Noted that whilst good people had been appointed to Senior Combined Authority posts there were a limited number of people applying for top Combined Authority posts.

  v.  Advice had been provided that there was no issue with the Combined Authority’s Chief of Staff being a prospective Parliamentary candidate unless an election was called.

  vi.  Noted that South Cambridgeshire District Council joined the Combined Authority to gain access to the affordable housing funding. He had a meeting arranged with Housing Associations to discuss the affordable housing strategy / funding. He felt that Housing Associations should be able to far easier access and bid for the funding as well as constituent councils.

  vii.  Referred to previous discussions in the Committee meeting regarding Cambridge Northern Fringe East and the HIF funding and the importance of the Combined Authority’s support with these projects. He noted that there had been a lot of good work undertaken by the Combined Authority and that we needed to work as a collaborative team.

 

The Committee and the Executive Councillor agreed to invite Mayor Palmer to a Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee meeting and the Chair of the Committee confirmed that she would write to Mayor Palmer to invite him.

 

The Committee noted the update.

 

The Executive Councillor noted the update.

 

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

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

 

Lead officer: Antoinette Jackson


08/10/2018 - Cambridge Northern Fringe East ref: 4916    Recommendations Approved

To approve the establishment of a joint venture with Anglian Water to drive the relocation of the Cambridge Water Recycling Centre and the subsequent development.

To note the update on the progress of the project and the appointment of the Master Developer for the site

To note the update on the Housing Infrastructure Fund bid proposal and to delegate submission of the business case for the bid to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Exec Cllr.


Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 08/10/2018

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report provided an update on the current status of the Cambridge Northern Fringe East and proposals for the site and to recommend next step actions.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Noted the current status of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid, the continued engagement with Homes England and wider partners on the development of the business case, and the intention to submit a business case in December 2018, with the expectation of receiving a final outcome decision in early 2019.

ii.  Approved the appointment of the preferred bidder, U&I, as the Master Developer for the core site, subject to final contracting as referred in 2.3.

iii.  Approved the establishment of a joint venture with Anglian Water, in line with the confidential draft heads of terms appended to this report in Appendix 4

iv.  Delegated to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Exec Cllr and in line with legal and financial advice:

a. Approval of the final Joint Venture Agreement

b. Subsequent approval of the Master Development Agreement with U&I

c. The development and submission of the business case for HIF funding

d. The progression, in line with the MDA requirements, of the development of a business plan covering the core site within six months of the contract being awarded.

v.  Noted the timescales related to the HIF funding, and the progression of the associated planning framework with SCDC and the proposed consent route, which require agreement with the local planning authorities and partners as to the appropriate arrangements to meet the timescales involved.

vi.  Noted that all contractual commitments to the MDA and Joint Venture Agreement at this stage are only approved subject to the HIF outcome.

vii.  Agreed to provide a further progress report to this Committee following final confirmation of the HIF outcome.

 

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 made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Noted the division of roles that the council had, one as a developer and the other as a decision maker for planning applications and asked for assurances that there would be a clear separation between the two roles. 

  ii.  Asked what the relationship was between the Area Action Plan (AAP) and the Masterplan for the site.

  iii.  Asked if there were any clawback arrangements regarding the HIF bid if it was successful.

  iv.  Asked if the Council had considered what would happen if the Water Recycling Centre could not be relocated.

  v.  Asked if a planning application could be submitted to underpin the HIF application.

  vi.  Asked when a ‘plan B’ option for the development of the area around the Water Recycling Centre site would be taken forward if the HIF bid was not successful.

 vii.  Asked what the costs would be for the council if the HIF bid was unsuccessful.

 

The Strategic Director said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Council was mindful of its role as part-landowner and the County Council would be the local planning authority for any future application to move the water treatment works. The Council would work with all parties involved to ensure the most appropriate development was brought forward on the site.

  ii.  The AAP set the framework for the large development area and brought all the landowners and developers together. The Masterplan would be developed alongside the AAP to bring specific development with the AAP area forward.

  iii.  The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) stated in their expression of interest and business case documentation that the grant was not provided freely, there were levels of uplift and how this would be utilised. 

  iv.  There was a level of risk with the work being put into the HIF bid that it may not be successful, however the quality of the work that had gone into the bid was hoped to be good enough to ensure a successful outcome.

  v.  A planning application could not be submitted to accompany the HIF bid because this required a site for the relocation of the water recycling centre to be identified and this piece of work (identification of a preferred site) was currently being undertaken.

  vi.  Commented that if the HIF bid was not successful then there would be no funding available to relocate the water recycling centre. It was understood that the water recycling centre did not need to relocate as it had sufficient capacity on site to be able to upgrade its facilities when / if the time arose.

 vii.  Had tried to reduce the amount of costs for the HIF bid for example some of the work was undertaken in-house for example the OJEU process and legal agreements had been put in place that were conditional upon a successful HIF bid.

 

The Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships commented that:

  i.  He commended the work that had been done by the Strategic Director and her team, Anglian Water, South Cambridgeshire District Council the Combined Authority and other partners. Half a million pounds had been budgeted for the work undertaken on the project this year. He wanted to ensure that the MHCLG worked to the projects timescales and provided a decision on the HIF bid by February 2019 so that the city council did not spend money un-necessarily. The Water Recycling Centre site was a brownfield site which had complications however it was hoped to build 40% affordable housing on the site which equated to approximately 2000 houses.

 

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.

 

 

Lead officer: Fiona Bryant


08/10/2018 - General Fund Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018 ref: 4915    Recommendations Approved

To agree the budget strategy and timetable for 2019/20, the net savings requirements, by year for the next 10 years, and revised General Fund revenue, funding and reserves projections.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 08/10/2018

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report presented and recommended the budget strategy for the 2019/20 budget cycle and specific implications, as outlined in the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) October 2018 document.

 

The report also recommended the approval of new capital items and funding proposals for the Council’s Capital Plan, the results of which are shown in the MTFS.

 

The recommended budget strategy was based on the outcome of the review undertaken together with financial modelling and projections of the Council’s expenditure and resources, in the light of local policies and priorities, national policy and economic context. Service managers identified financial and budget issues and pressures and this information had been used to inform the MTFS.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Recommend Council to:

i.  Agree the budget strategy and timetable as outlined in Section 1 [pages 1 to 3 refer] of the MTFS document.

ii.  Agree the incorporation of changed assumptions and indicative net unavoidable budget pressures identified in Section 4 [pages 15 to 18 refer]. This provides an indication of the net savings requirements, by year for the next 5 years, and revised General Fund revenue, funding and reserves projections as shown in Section 5 [pages 19 to 20 refer] of the MTFS document.

iii.  Note the changes to the Capital Plan as set out in Section 6 [pages 21 to 27 refer] and Appendix A [pages 35 to 40 refer] of the MTFS document and agree the new proposals:

 

 

iv.  Agree the remit of the Cambridge Live Development Fund (1.4.18 to 31.3.20) to support the transformation and ongoing development of Cambridge Live over the next two years subject to a maximum spend of £500,000 with full delegation for management of the Fund assigned to the Chief Executive

v.  Agree changes to General Fund Reserve levels, with the Prudent Minimum Balance being set at £5.504m and the target level at £6.605m as detailed in Section 7 [pages 28 to 31 refer] and Appendix B [pages 41 to 42 refer] of the Officer’s report.

 

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 Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Referred to the budget pressures table on p92 of the agenda and the description ‘Allowance for risk to income streams due to reductions in economic activity’ and asked for clarification on the judgements the figures were based on as there was a £250,000 per year consecutive loss for the next 5 years. 

  ii.  Also queried what the revenue pressures were for the ‘Indicative unavoidable net revenue pressures identified by Heads of Service’ in the same table on p92 of the agenda.

  iii.  Expressed concerns regarding the contributions to reserves if this was driving the council to cuts.

  iv.  Queried section 6 of the report on p99 of the agenda and asked whether the council was trying to run the finances of the crematorium as a business to compete with private organisations.

  v.  Asked whether the decision regarding Cambridge Live on p105 of the agenda was delegated solely to the Chief Executive or if there was any consultation requirements.

 

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

  i.  The budget pressure item falling on p92 of the agenda under the description ‘Allowance for risk to income streams due to reductions in economic activity’ acknowledged risks the city council had around income and how they can impact on the council’s savings target.

  ii.  The ‘Indicative unavoidable net revenue pressures identified by Heads of Service’ consisted of statutory responsibilities and policy choices. To be able to provide a reasonable view when the budget was considered in February, it needed to highlight choices that were unavoidable against those which were opportunistic savings. There was a £1 million quantum of net pressure which she expected to see, it was not an unreasonable indication of the challenge the council may face looking to the February budget. 

  iii.  The high level of reserves was driven by the capital programme and the roll-over of capital programmes when projects slipped from one year to the next.

  iv.  Commented that the crematorium was funded from its trading account, ie: it was surplus funding and not borrowing.

 

Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources responded:

  i.  Referring to the table containing the ‘Indicative unavoidable net revenue pressures identified by Heads of Service’ this was advance warning of the challenges faced by the council, further details would be included within the budget setting report in February 2019.

  ii.  He also commented that austerity was not dead, it needed to be recognised that the Central Government grant was being cut and therefore the city council had challenges because of this.

 

The Chief Executive said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The delegation regarding Cambridge Live operated within certain criteria; there was also a promise to report back to the Environment and Community Services Scrutiny Committee. This was a financial mechanism to identify funds. 

 

The Committee considered and approved the following recommendations:

- 2.1 by 4 votes to 0.

- 2.2 by 4 votes to 0.

- 2.3 unanimously.

- 2.4 unanimously.

- 2.5 by 4 votes to 0.

 

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.

 

 

Lead officer: Caroline Ryba


08/10/2018 - Treasury Management Half Yearly Update Report 2018/19 ref: 4914    Recommendations Approved

The Executive Councillor is asked to recommend this report to Council, which includes the Council’s estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2018/19 to 2021/22.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 08/10/2018

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Council had adopted The Chartered Institute of Public Finance

and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management (Revised 2017).

 

The Code required as a minimum receipt by full Council of an Annual Treasury Management Strategy Statement – including the Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy – for the year ahead, a half-year review report and an Annual Report (stewardship report) covering activities in the previous year.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Recommend Council to:

  i.  Approve the report to Council, which included the Council’s estimated Prudential and Treasury Indicators 2018/19 to 2021/22.

  ii.  Approve a £5m limit on secured bonds with local businesses subject to due diligence as highlighted in paragraph 8 of the officer’s report.

  iii.  Update the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy to state that no MRP will be required if this bond is secured, but this would be reviewed at least annually.

  iv.  Agree the principle of investing up to £5m in a bond issued by Allia Limited, and delegate to the Head of Finance the final decision on the appropriateness of this investment, once detailed due diligence has been completed as set out in paragraph 8.9 of the Officer’s report;

  v.  Increase the counterparty limit for Barclays Bank Plc by £10m to £35m; and;

  vi.  Reduce the Money Market Fund (MMF) counterparty limit by £10m to £5m for each fund, with a total MMF limit of £20m (and to continue using MMFs that are rated AAA).

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. She updated the Committee with reference to paragraph 8 of the report that investment in local bond and money market reforms there were proposals for reducing the level of investment in these and counteract this by investing in Barclays.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

i.  Allia Limited looked like a positive investment and asked whether there was any way to measure community investment or benefit to Cambridge.

ii.  Saw that Allia Limited had approached the Council, and asked whether the council could advertise to other companies who might want to undertake this approach.

iii.  Commented that there was a detailed opportunity with Allia Limited and asked for the advantages and disadvantages of the two investment options.

iv.  Referred to the £5 million contained in recommendation 2.4 and queried whether this was a limit or the scale of the investment.

 

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

i.  There was a community benefit with the Allia Limited investment and there were ways of measuring social value.

ii.  Each investor would have their own investment needs this approach may not suit other investor’s needs.

iii.  With regards to the Allia Limited investment, the re-financing option had a slightly lower risk compared with the redevelopment option, therefore would expect the redevelopment option to have a higher return due to the higher risk involved.

iv.  The council would only be looking to invest up to £5 million and therefore would not be the sole investor as Allia was looking for twice this amount. Consideration would need to be given to who the other investors were.

 

Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources commented that Allia Limited had a record for enabling employment, this was not a long term investment but was a 5 year plan which he wanted to explore and fulfil.

 

The Committee resolved unanimously 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.

 

 

Lead officer: Steve Bevis


16/01/2019 - Housing Ombudsman determination ref: 4925    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 16/01/2019

Decision:

Matter for Decision

 

The Housing Ombudsman had upheld a complaint relating to the victim of anti-social behavior (ASB) from a neighbouring tenant.

 

In these circumstances, the Head of Legal Services, as the Council’s Monitoring Officer, has an obligation to report the findings to the Executive. The Executive is obliged to set out what action has already been taken in respect of the findings, what action it intends to take and the reasons for taking the action.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Endorsed the actions taken by officers in response to the finding of the Local Government Ombudsman.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.


08/10/2018 - Implications around applying a minimum of £10 per hour to staff on Council contracts ref: 4913    Recommendations Approved

To note the assessment of potential implications.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 05/04/2019

Effective from: 08/10/2018

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Officer’s report provided an assessment of the implications of requiring the Council’s contractors to pay staff who qualify for the Living Wage an increased rate of £10 per hour. The report was presented for information only and any decision would need to be considered as part of the Council’s budget setting process.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

i.  Noted the findings of the report regarding the implications of requiring contractors to pay qualifying staff a minimum of £10 per hour when working on Council contracts.

 

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 Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Sought clarification on whether costs provided by the suppliers took into account costs associated with uprating staff wages related to maintaining company pay structures.

  ii.  Asked where there were issues of recruitment and retention of staff in low paid positions undertaking work for the Council.

 

The Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Uplifting wages of the lowest paid could, in many instances, have an impact on pay differentials suppliers have put in place. The gap between the Living Wage rate of £8.75 and the £10 rate would mean a high percentage of supervisor rates (and potentially pay scales up the chain) would need to increase as well. Some, but not all, of the figures provided by contractors included the potential costs of uprating wages of staff paid over £10 per hour in order to keep pay differentials for roles with different levels of responsibility. In most cases suppliers did not provide information as to how they arrived at the cost they shared, which meant we could not identify the proportion of estimated costs that would go towards uprating wages of those paid over £10 per hour.

  ii.  Two of the five suppliers also felt that paying the £10 rate would help with the recruitment and retention of staff.

 

The Chief Executive said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Apart from those contractors who provided responses to the Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer, the Council experienced recruitment and retention issues with specialist staff where there was competition with roles in the private sector.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor noted the recommendations.

 

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

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

 

Lead officer: Helen Crowther