Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 15th October, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom. View directions

Note: This is a public meeting and can be viewed by clicking on the media link below (you may need to use Chrome as a browser to do so). Consideration of any exempt (confidential) items will not be part of the public meeting. 

Media

Items
No. Item

37.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Minutes:

At the commencement of item 9 on the agenda, Councillor Morgan declared an interest as a Director of the Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LLEP), stating that he would therefore leave the meeting during consideration of the item.

38.

Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

No announcements were made.

39.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17th September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

40.

Questions under Cabinet Procedure 10.7 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

The deadline for questions is noon on Wednesday, 7th October 2020.

Minutes:

Councillor Needham – Carbon Neutral Action Fund

 

“It is understandable that the Council seeks to prioritise balancing its budget in order to continue to provide essential services and support to residents in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. However, it was disappointing to see a large budget reduction for the Carbon Neutral Action Fund in the revised Capital Plan 20/21. Would the Leader commit to instructing the relevant officers to explore all options for securing more funding for the carbon neutral project including, but not limited to, external sources and grants?”

 

The following response had been published prior to the meeting:

 

The draft Carbon Neutral 2030 Plan sets out an ambitious programme to deliver on the vision for the organisation to be carbon neutral by 2030 through capital projects and behavioural change. The plan has however, needed to be revised in light of change in circumstances occasioned by the pandemic and also the strategic review of the Council’s assets to ensure that resources are appropriately utilised and carbon reduction optimised to achieve the target. Officers are aware of the many funding streams and grants available and will seek to review projects in light of these opportunities.

 

In making a statement/asking a supplementary question, Councillor Needham thanked the Leader for the response.  She referred to her disappointment with the reduced budget and, although external funding would be sought, she could not see that that would be sufficient to fill the gap left, also expressing concern that there did not appear to be any budget for 2021-2023.  Councillor Needham understood the considerable financial pressures faced by the Council and that difficult decisions needed to be taken now and moving forward.  The position was severe, but climate breakdown was also a crisis even if it seemed distant, however it was a crisis that could be avoided if action was taken now.  The threat would remain if action was delayed, indeed it would become worse.  The less invested now, the more that would need spending in the future.  Carbon Zero was not something that was nice to have, it was essential if another crisis was to be avoided.  It also represented an opportunity to contribute to the green recovery needed emerging from the current pandemic.  In conclusion, Councillor Needham wished to ask the Cabinet to make Carbon Zero a budget priority and not delay it.

 

The Leader then asked Councillor Rollings as Cabinet Lead Member if he wished to respond.  Councillor Rollings stated that the commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 remained as the Council’s intention and ambition and that was what it would be working towards.  Covid-19 had affected significantly the Council’s plans in this area and the Carbon Strategy which had been approaching consideration by Cabinet was now being reviewed to take the continually changing position into account. There remained a budget for the programme of £100k a year together with an amount left over from a previous project and that would be invested in working towards Carbon Neutral by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Interim General Fund Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 479 KB

A report of the Head of Financial Services, for recommendation to Council.

 

Key Decision

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Head of Financial Services setting out a revised General Fund Budget 2020/21 and updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2020-2023 given the material impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the Council’s financial position, for recommendation to Council (item 6 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services and the Head of Financial Services assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      that the revised Budget, as set out in Appendix A to the report of the Head of Financial Services, be recommended to Council for approval;

 

2.      that the updated MTFS 2020-2023, as set out in Appendix B to the report of the Head of Financial Services, be recommended to Council for approval.

 

Reasons

 

1.      To ensure that the Budget for 2020/21 reflects the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and can be approved by Council.

 

2.      To reconsider and update the financial issues affecting the Council and the Borough identified in the original version of the MTFS, and to inform the Council’s budget setting process for future years.

42.

Updated Capital Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1016 KB

A report of the Head of Financial Services, for recommendation to Council.

 

Key Decision

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Head of Financial Services setting out an updated Capital Strategy 2020/21, together with the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy, for recommendation to Council (item 7 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services and the Head of Financial Services assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      that the Capital Strategy, as set out in Appendix A of the report of the Head of Financial Services, be approved and recommended to Council;

 

2.      that the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy, as set out in Appendix B of the report of the Head of Financial Services, be approved and recommended to Council;

 

3.      that the Prudential and Treasury Indicators, also as set out in Appendix B of the report of the Head of Financial Services, be approved and recommended to Council.

 

Reasons

 

1.         To enable the Council to comply with the statutory code of practice issued by CIPFA: ‘The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities, 2017 Edition’.

 

2.      To ensure that the Council’s governance and management procedures for Treasury Management reflect best practice and comply with the CIPFA Treasury Management in the Public Services Code of Practice, Guidance Notes and Treasury Management Policy Statement.

 

3.         To ensure that funding of capital expenditure is taken within the totality of the Council’s financial position and that borrowing and investment is only carried out with proper regard to the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities.

43.

Revised Capital Plan 2020-23 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

A report of the Head of Financial Services, for recommendation to Council.

 

Key Decision

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Head of Financial Services setting out a revised Capital Plan 2020-2023 and its financing following a detailed review in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak, for recommendation to Council (item 8 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services and the Head of Financial Services assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      that the Revised Capital Plan for 2020-2023 for the General Fund and HRA schemes, set out in Appendix 2 to the report of the Head of Financial Services, is approved and recommended to Council;

 

2.      that Cabinet notes the revisions made to the original Capital Plan for 2020-2023 and the amended Capital Plan for 2018-2021 in constructing the revised Capital Plan for 2020-2023.

 

Reasons

 

1.      To enable approval of the revised Capital Plan which will become the basis for capital spending by the Council for the period ending 31st March 2023.

 

2.      To ensure that the revisions incorporated within the revised Capital Plan are recognised.

 

Having declared an interest, Councillor Morgan left the meeting during the consideration of the following item.

44.

Charnwood Enterprise Zone Forward Funding pdf icon PDF 126 KB

A report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Services.

 

Key Decision

Minutes:

As Councillor Morgan had declared an interest and had left the meeting for this item, it was chaired by Councillor Barkley.

 

Considered, a report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Services (now Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services) setting out the process through which infrastructure and buildings within the Enterprise Zone area may be financed using future business rate receipts and requesting a specific approval for forward funding in respect of the Charnwood Campus site (item 9 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      that the governance process and funding mechanism proposed in respect of the forward funding of infrastructure and buildings within the Enterprise Zone area be approved;

 

2.      that a loan to the Leicester & Leicestershire Economic Partnership for an amount of up to £3.5m be approved;

 

3.      that delegated authority be given to the Strategic Director; Environmental and Corporate Services, in conjunction with the Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, to finalise details of the loan agreement and other agreements associated with this transaction.

 

Reasons

 

1.      To enable the Council to act as the funder of forward funding arrangements.

 

2.      To facilitate the development of the Charnwood Campus site within the Enterprise Zone.

 

3.      To facilitate efficient and timely completion of the loan arrangements.

 

Councillor Morgan returned to the meeting.

45.

Procurement Service - Changes To pdf icon PDF 360 KB

A report of the Strategic Director – Commercial Development.

 

Key Decision

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Strategic Director – Commercial Development (now Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure) seeking authority to enter into a Service Level Agreement with Nottingham City Council in respect of procurement services and seeking delegations to conduct negotiations and enter into said agreement (item 10 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

Councillor Seaton, Chair of the Scrutiny Commission, presented a report setting out the Commission’s pre-decision scrutiny of the matter and recommendation (copy filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         that authority be delegated to the Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure to negotiate, agree and enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with representatives of Nottingham City Council for the provision of procurement services to Charnwood Borough Council in line with the details provided in the report of the Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure;

 

2.      that the report of the Scrutiny Commission be noted.

 

Reasons

 

1.         In order to provide an enhanced procurement service to support the Council in delivery of savings and cost avoidance for the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

2.      To acknowledge the work undertaken by and the views of the Scrutiny Commission.

46.

Commercialism Position Statement pdf icon PDF 173 KB

A report of the Strategic Director – Commercial Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Strategic Director – Commercial Development (now Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure) setting out a Commercialism Position Statement and how it was intended to realise the initiative (item 11 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

Councillor Seaton, Chair of the Scrutiny Commission, presented a report setting out the Commission’s pre-decision scrutiny of the matter and recommendation (copy filed with these minutes).

 

The Scrutiny Commission was thanked for its useful pre-decision scrutiny work both in respect of this and the previous item.

 

The Strategic Director; Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure assisted with consideration of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         that the Commercialism Position Statement be noted and approved;

 

2.      that the report of the Scrutiny Commission be noted.

 

Reasons

 

1.         To provide clarity to Members and Officers on the meaning and rationale underpinning the Council’s commercialism aims.

 

2.         To acknowledge the work undertaken by and the views of the Scrutiny Commission.

47.

Member Development Strategy pdf icon PDF 442 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support, for recommendation to Council.

Minutes:

Considered, a report of the Head of Strategic Support setting out a Member Development Strategy 2020-2024, for recommendation to Council (item 12 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Head of Strategic Support and the Democratic Services Manager assisted with consideration of the report. In concluding discussion on the benefits of virtual training/meetings, it was confirmed that, legislation permitting, officers would work to ensure virtual/hybrid options moving forward.

 

RESOLVED that it be recommended to Council that the Member Development Strategy 2020-2024, set out in Appendix A to the report of the Head of Strategic Support, be approved.

 

Reason

 

To enable the Strategy, which sets out to ensure that there is support for all members to enable them to acquire enough knowledge and a full range of skills to maximise their ability and capacity, to be adopted and inform the Council’s member development activity.