Agenda item

Questions without Notice on the Record of Executive Decisions


Members received and noted a report summarising:


1.    Decisions taken at the Cabinet Meetings held on 16 December 2013 and 20 January 2014;

2.    Use of the Council’s call-in mechanism, which had been invoked once in respect of the decision taken by Cabinet on 18 November 2013 relating to ‘Early Years Services Including Children’s Centres’. The call-in request was considered by the Creating Opportunities and Tackling Inequalities Scrutiny Committee on 3 December 2013, and following discussion and questions raised on the reasons stated for the call-in, the Committee did not agree to the call-in of the decision.

3.  Special Urgency and Waiver of Call-in provision, which had not been invoked since the previous meeting; and

4.  Cabinet Member Decisions taken during the period 27 November 2013 to 10 January 2014.


          Questions were asked about the following:


Environment Capital Action Plan

Councillor Sandford queried how the Council’s current proposal to charge people for disposing of their brown bin garden waste would contribute to achieving a 100% reduction in household waste to be reused, recycled or recovered? Councillor North advised that the ‘option to charge for brown bin removal’ would save £804k. For those individuals that do use their bins, for under £25, there were a selection of compost bins which could be purchased.


Councillor Sandford further queried whether the proposal would mean that only 30% of households would continue to use the brown bin, as had been stated at the recent budget briefing, and would this not mean a detrimental impact on the ability to achieve targets within the Plan, along with others to do with public transport and cycling. Councillor North stated that the 30% was a best estimate figure from similar council’s as to the percentage of brown bins still in use. Some bins could be shared by neighbours and others will no longer need the bins. In terms of cycling and public transport there were a number of initiatives in place.


Councillor Murphy sought clarification as to whether this was the first time the Council had produced a Plan and how long before achievements were realised? Councillor North advised that there had been previous documents, however these were not static documents and were forever changing and moving forward, subject to the funds available and the situations faced at the time and how to best achieve becoming an environment capital.


Transformation of Person Centred Activities for Younger Adults in Peterborough

Councillor Thulbourn sought clarification as to why a number of families of severely handicapped individuals had not been informed of the consultation and further highlighted that a number of the consultation events had become extremely heated, with some individuals even being injured. Councillor Fitzgerald responded stating that he had been assured that every individual, either through their advocate or carer had been contacted, therefore could Councillor Thulbourn provide a list of the names of those individuals he believed had not been contacted and this would be investigated.


Councillor Fitzgerald further advised that he was aware of some of the consultative events becoming quite heated, however if there were specific allegations of people coming to harm, would Councillor Thulbourn advise him and he would ensure that this too was investigated by officers.


Councillor Sylvester expressed concerns that people with profound and multiple disabilities would not manage the kind of transformation that was envisaged. Once the centres were closed and staff redeployed, who would care for those individuals and where? Councillor Fitzgerald advised that the changes would not be suitable for everybody and it was not expected that those individuals with profound disabilities would be affected. Those individuals would certainly not be left with anywhere to go.


Councillor Sylvester stated that it had not been categorically stated as to what would happen to those individuals when the day centres closed in March 2014. Councillor Fitzgerald stated that each person would be individually assessed, as they were at the current time and those individuals would be given options and choices by social workers. If Councillor Sylvester had any concerns around individuals, then discussions needed to be undertaken with social workers.


Councillor Murphy sought clarification as to the position concerning the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust. When, where and how would the profoundly disabled people be assisted and could further clarification be provided as to why CPFT were no longer involved? Councillor Fitzgerald advised that the process had been complex, but ultimately it had been discovered that around 40 individuals involved at the Gloucester Centre, which was operated by the CPFT, had in effect been double funded by the Council, with money being paid directly to the Gloucester Centre and to the individuals by way of care packages. This could not continue and it was highlighted that even if the individuals wished to spend their personal budgets at the Gloucester Centre, this would not be enough to keep the facility running. The CPFT had therefore given notice that that was not sustainable and they would have to withdraw that service.


Terms of Reference for Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Transport Body

Councillor Sandford queried what steps were being taken to ensure that the ‘grouping’ prioritised environmentally sustainable forms of transport in accordance with the policies in the Peterborough Local Transport Plan and also what steps were being taken to ensure Peterborough received a fair share of the resources being put forward by the Local Transport Body? Councillor Cereste responded that the environment was put as a high regard for everything that the council undertook and serious consideration would be given to the environmental impact of everything that was undertaken. Assurance was also given that Peterborough would receive its fair share of the resources.


Award of Contract for the Construction of an Extension, Refurbishment and Remodelling to Accommodate the Expansion of Ravensthorpe Primary School

Councillor Murphy queried whether adequate facilities had been provided in the plan for children to receive school meals and was the kitchen big enough, following the introduction of free school meals for the youngest children, or would they have to have dinner in shifts? Councillor Holdich advised that he was not aware of the size of the kitchen but he had attended the consultation meeting with the staff and governors who had expressed their satisfaction at the plans submitted.


Joint Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) Procurement for the Recycling in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (RECAP) Partnership

Councillor Lee queried whether the new MRF was one facility for the whole of Cambridgeshire or whether it was one of a number of facilities, and was the intention to build the facility in the city? Councillor Elsey advised that the final proposals were still being worked through so a definitive answer could not be given at the current time, however due to the changes in revenue for recyclates the market place dictated that larger bulk was needed in order to get the best results, therefore an agreement had been entered into in order to establish a process whereby the recyclates were grouped with the RECAP members and the financial benefits to the city would be increased accordingly. 


A1139 Fletton Parkway Junction 17 A1(M) – Junction 2 Widening Scheme – Appointment of Construction Contractor

Councillor Fower sought clarification as to how much, if any, of the money attributed to the work had come from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)? Councillor Cereste stated that it was a considerable amount, alongside a large Government grant. Further details would be provided to Councillor Fower in writing.


Councillor North sought clarification as to why the widening scheme was required, and whether it was necessary for a growing vibrant city, growing in jobs and homes for its people? Councillor Cereste stated that it was because of all of those reasons.


Contract Award for the Provision of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Services

Councillor Shaheed sought clarification as to how the figures had been calculated and whether it had been based on the costs for the previous three years? Councillor Cereste advised that Councillor Walsh was not in attendance to respond to the query, and an answer would be provided in writing.


Closure of Matley Primary School, Academy Transfer Agreement and Lease of Premises

Councillor Khan queried in relation to the 125 lease to Ormiston Academy, whether this was the only Academy negotiated with or had a tender process taken place? Councillor Holdich advised that the Governors had a choice of who they wished to go with.


Award of Personal Care and Support Services Contracts

Councillor Khan sought assurance that the contract had been awarded in the proper manner as it was believed that there had been some inaccuracies, either in the process or in marking, and that the decision had been taken without due care.  Councillor Fitzgerald advised of the process that had been followed and stated that, following concerns raised, an independent investigation had been undertaken by an officer and ultimately, some individuals had not reached the threshold of passing, even with individual help. 


Councillor Khan further expressed concern that following issues raised, re-numbering had taken place, which had resulted in a change in scoring. Councillor Fitzgerald advised that people had had the chance to re-present. The scoring had changed slightly, but not significantly. Following re-scoring, individuals had still not reached the threshold. 



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