Agenda and minutes
Venue: Bourges/Viersen Room - Town Hall
Contact: Gemma George, Democratic Services Manager, 01733 452268 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Maqbool. The Leader advised that Councillor Stokes had been appointed to assist Councillor Maqbool whilst she was on maternity leave. This position would be filled by Councillor Stokes on a voluntary basis until Councillor Maqbool returned.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2015 were agreed as a true and accurate record.
Petitions Presented to Cabinet
There were no petitions presented to Cabinet.
Cabinet received a report which followed the development of a procurement strategy by the Procurement Working Group as part of the Council’s Contract Rules.
The purpose of the Procurement Strategy was to provide a framework for the next five years for the Council to purchase goods, works or services from third parties. The Strategy put forward a number of outcomes to be delivered in line with Council priorities and the direction of a commissioning led council.
The Cabinet Member for Resources introduced the report highlighting the main issues contained within. Given changes in procurement legislation, the Council had moved towards becoming a commissioning council and the Procurement Strategy outlined areas where further activity and action would be undertaken to ensure best value was achieved, the Strategy also reaffirmed the Councils commitment to supporting local businesses, the Draft Supplier Guide being important in this regard.
It was further advised that in March 2015, Council passed a motion which agreed the development of an ethical investment and procurement policy. Work had been underway to review this with a group of Members and a number of areas of council policy had been considered. The Group in the main was happy with the current approach, however further government guidance was awaited in order to be able to finalise the procurement elements. The Group was keen that the pension fund review its investment approach and whilst the pension fund was a separate entity and the Council’s motion could not be binding on it, Councillor Seaton advised that he had highlighted the issue to the Pensions Board, on which he sat.
The Council’s Service Director Financial Services was present at the meeting to respond to questions. Cabinet debated the report and in summary, key points raised and responses to questions included:
· The Strategy would not fail if the Council was unable to meet 100% of the success criteria outlined within, however the Council was aiming to deliver these in full to ensure maximisation of benefit, not just to the Council itself and local tax payers, but also to the local economy;
· It would take approximately 18 months to put the building blocks in place and the Council would be looking to deliver over the next five years;
· An annual update on progress would be brought back to Cabinet, the first one due in Summer 2016, this would outline how the Council was delivering against the Strategy;
· The National Procurement Strategy, on which the document was based, recognised the importance of looking after local businesses. The newly developed Supplier Guide was an integral part of the Strategy and it would be continually kept up to date following feedback from local suppliers;
· Advertising opportunities was an important element and there was a clear commitment that two procurement portals would be used locally for all procurement opportunities, so all local suppliers could see what was available;
· The Strategy outlined how the Council could engage further with local suppliers and it was acknowledged that more could be done going forward; ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Cabinet received a report the purpose of which was to outline proposed measures that would change the way enforcement and compliance activity of Peterborough City Council was delivered.
The Leader introduced the report highlighting the main issues contained within. The Council had for some time successfully collaborated with colleagues from the Public Protection Services, most notably the Police and the Fire service, and the ambitious step had been taken to integrate Officers from across the Public Sector to develop a single Community Safety Service that helped to prevent crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and tackle the fear of crime. However, some of the issues affecting the city and its residents had become of concern; issues such as fly tipping, littering, poor housing conditions, begging and street drinking. These issues did nothing to promote the city and to help people feel safe and protected. The outlined proposals presented to Cabinet would build on the work already carried out by the Community Safety Service and would also bring together all of the enforcement professionals from across the council into a single managed service.
The Council’s Service Director City Services and Communications addressed Cabinet and outlined the proposals, which in summary were to merge the Council’s CCTV Officers, the Parking Enforcement Officers, the Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers, Housing Enforcement Officers and Community Safety Officers and to have a single enforcement team that would not just address the issues in the City Centre but would address issues city wide.
The Council’s Service Director Adult Services and Communities and the Head of Community and Safety Services addressed Cabinet and advised how the proposals would build upon the service which was currently in place, how the team would operate, how the proposals would work in practice and the benefits for the whole city.
Cabinet debated the report and proposals, addressing the concept of the proposals being city wide and not just city centre focussed. In summary, key points raised and responses to questions included:
· Consistency of approach in relation to how the new proposals would be achieved through training provision and by performance monitoring, via a performance data system, and leadership. The training provided would be a recognised package;
· The service would build capacity by multiskilling a range of officers who currently could only enforce a single issue. This approach would ensure all parts of the community were reached;
· The service would be evidence based and reports of prolific fly tipping, littering and door to door crime would feature heavily in profiling work;
· The service was for the whole of Peterborough and work had been undertaken with the Rural Scrutiny Committee on how for example similar enforcement functions could be expanded to rural communities;
· A programme plan would be developed for implementation from April 2016 and this would include a communications campaign ensuring all groups were advised of the proposals;
· It was commented that low level crime, particularly in parks, was becoming more and more of an issue and the proposals represented a positive move towards being able ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Cabinet received a report which followed the approval of the Council’s Local Development Scheme (LDS) by Cabinet in July 2015, which identified that the Council would prepare a Preliminary Draft version of the Local Plan for public consultation in January 2016.
The purpose of the report was for Cabinet to approve the Preliminary Draft version of the Local Plan for public consultation and to delegate authority to Officers to make any minor, inconsequential amendments to the document prior to its publication.
The Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing and Economic Development introduced the report highlighting the main points contained within. Peterborough was one of the fastest growing cities in the UK with 1300 new homes being built in the last year and policies were in place to provide future growth and development up to 2026. There was however the need for a new Local Plan to take account of changes in national policy, new housing needs numbers and to ensure the Council could maintain a five year supply of deliverable housing sites.
The Preliminary Draft Plan set the overall vision and objectives and identified the broad distributions and areas for growth, it set out how the city and surrounding villages would grow and change over the next 20 years and it would replace the existing adopted plans. It was advised however that the site allocations element was not included within the current draft, as this would form part of the feedback during the consultation process.
Following additional comments from the Council’s Principal Strategic Planning Officer, Cabinet debated the report and key points raised and responses to questions included:
· It was a European requirement that all plans be subject to sustainability criteria, therefore a sustainability framework that matched the Environment Capital Action Plan themes had been put in place and throughout the document the relevant symbols indicated how the Plan met all the environment capital themes and also showed how the Plan contributed to the city becoming the UKs Environment Capital;
· In relation to selection of sites, as part of the consultation agents and developers would be asked to put forward local sites that they would like to see included. The sites would be collated and measured against specific criteria, which would rule certain sites out automatically. There would be a range of reasonable alternatives that would also be assessed and a Member Working Party would meet to look at all the options and alternative sites in order to assist in the formation of the recommendations. Preferred sites would then be included in the next version of the Plan with supporting evidence setting out how each site scored against all the assessment criteria and giving clear justification for each site rejected;
· A new five year land supply report had been published in November 2015 which concluded that there was not sufficient land deliverable to meet the five year requirement as set out in the Core Strategy. Following publication of the Draft Local Plan for consultation in January, an update would be ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Cabinet received a report which was submitted following the approval of the Council’s Local Development Scheme (LDS) by Cabinet in July 2015, which identified that the Council would prepare a new Local Plan by 2018.
The purpose of the report was for Cabinet to approve the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). Following approval, it would come into force with immediate effect (subject to call-in procedures), and would guide the Preliminary Draft Local Plan consultation due to take place in January 2016, and future consultation rounds. It also informed how the Council would consult on planning applications.
The Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing and Economic Development introduced the report highlighting the main points contained within. The updated document detailed how communities would be involved in all aspects of Planning in the city. There was a SCI currently in place, however this was now about four years old and there had been a number of changes which needed to be reflected within the document, not least the changes to the neighbourhood planning process.
The Council’s Principal Strategic Planning Officer was present to respond to questions. Cabinet debated the report and in summary, key points raised and responses to questions included:
· The SCI set out the minimum requirements which were to be carried out for planning applications, however in relation to very large, complex applications affecting many residents, there were opportunities to target and do more than the minimum requirements;
· The SCI required the Council to consult with all the public and that did include specific groups, however anyone could make a comment on a planning application, a member of the public or any organisation; and
· The SCI set out the same requirements as in legislation with regards to notifying neighbours and people within a certain area about planning applications. Anyone could comment on an application and a weekly list was published on the Council’s website of all planning applications received.
Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to adopt the Statement of Community Involvement.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
Cabinet was asked to adopt the SCI so that up to date public consultation arrangements were in place for planning related matters.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED
The option of not updating the SCI was rejected, as this would mean that the new Local Plan consultation would be based on out dated requirements, and other elements of the current SCI did not accurately reflect legislation.
Cabinet received a report as part of the Council’s agreed two-stage budget process, as outlined in a report considered by Cabinet on 25 November 2015.
The purpose of the report was to enable Cabinet to consider the feedback from the consultation undertaken to date with Scrutiny, residents, partner organisations, businesses and other interested parties and to recommend to Council approval of the Phase 1 Budget Proposals.
The Cabinet Member for Resources introduced the report, highlighting the main issues contained within. Gratitude was expressed to all those who had shared their views and to Directors and Officers in supporting specific events. There had been fewer comments received than at the same stage in previous years, this perhaps being due to there being no service reductions in Phase 1 but also perhaps that the key challenges and approach taken were increasingly understood.
The recommendations from the joint meetings of the Scrutiny Committees were contained within an addendum which had been circulated to Cabinet, along with responses to the points raised. None of the points raised affected the budget proposals directly and therefore it was recommended that they were all accepted and work undertaken as necessary
The addendum also detailed all other feedback received along with responses. Where the feedback included suggestions for saving money they had been reviewed and Councillor Seaton stated that whilst he was grateful for the comments, in most cases the Council was either undertaking them already or were planning to do so. On this basis it was not considered that there should be any changes to the Phase 1 Budget proposals.
The budget conversation would remain open until 5pm on 15 December 2015 and a further update would be brought to Full Council on 17 December 2015. A second set of proposals to close the budget gap would be published in the New Year.
The Chief Executive addressed Cabinet and provided clarification to a point raised within the consultation relating to the costs of senior managers. It had been reported at the Budget Council meeting in March 2015 that the Council had saved £1.5m over the previous two years on senior management costs as a result of two senior management restructures. There had been some further changes with there now being three joint arrangements in place, two with Cambridgeshire County Council, with the Chief Executive and the Director of Public Health and a further joint role in the Corporate Director Growth and Regeneration, who worked partly for the Council and partly for the Peterborough Development Partnership, where his costs were met by that partnership.
Cabinet debated the report and key points raised and responses to questions included:
· At the current time, it was too early to confirm the impact of the spending review;
· How the money from disposals to fund revenue spend could be used was still subject to certain requirements. Although there wasn’t a general flexibility, any flexibility was welcomed; and
· All councils were facing a reduction in grant and upper tier councils were seeing pressures ... view the full minutes text for item 9.