Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Tuesday, 9th July, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Karon Hadfield 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the meeting of Cabinet held on 11 June 2024, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

3.

Disclosure of Members' Interests

Unless already entered in the Council’s Register of Members’ interests, members are required where a matter arises at a meeting;

 

a.         Which directly relates to Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (‘DPI’) as set out in Appendix B, Table 1 of the Code of Conduct, to disclose the interest, not participate in any discussion or vote and not to remain in room. Where members have a DPI or if the matter concerns an executive function and is being considered by a Cabinet Member with a DPI they must notify the Monitoring Officer and arrange for somebody else to deal with the matter.

 

b.         Which directly relates to the financial interest or well being of a Other Registrable Interest as set out in Appendix B, Table 2 of the Code of Conduct to disclose the interest and only speak on the matter if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting but otherwise must not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not remain the room.

 

c.         Which directly relates to their financial interest or well-being (and is not DPI) or the financial well being of a relative or close associate, to declare the interest and members may only speak on the matter if members of the public are also allowed to speak. Otherwise, the member must not take part in discussion or vote on the matter and must leave the room.

 

d.         Which affects the financial well-being of the member, a relative or close associate or a body included under the Other Registrable Interests column in Table 2, to disclose the interest and apply the test set out at paragraph 9 of Appendix B before deciding whether they may remain in the meeting.

 

e.         Where Members have or a Cabinet Member has an Other Registerable Interest or Non Registerable Interest in a matter being considered in exercise of their executive function, they must notify the Monitoring Officer and arrange for somebody else to deal with it.

 

NB Any member needing clarification must contact monitoringofficer@northumberland.gov.uk. Members are referred to the Code of Conduct which contains the matters above in full. Please refer to the guidance on disclosures at the rear of this agenda letter.

4.

Energising Blyth Programme: Long Term Plan for Towns pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Supporting Business and Opportunities

 

The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on the recently announced £19.5m fund for Blyth, which is part of the UK Government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns initiative.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a )     Cabinet note the proposals in relation to the Long-Term Plans for Town for Blyth;

 

(b )     Cabinet endorse the approach taken to the Blyth Town Investment Plan as set out in the report;

 

(c )     Cabinet agree to receive a further report in advance of the launch of the Programme in 2025/26 setting out a detailed programme approach to mobilisation;

 

(d )     subject to being ratified at the Town Board, Cabinet agree to the submission of the Long-Term Plan for Blyth to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities;

 

(e )     Cabinet agree to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on such terms as the Council’s Executive Director of Transformation and Resources thinks appropriate, following approval of the town long-term plan submission from Northumberland County Council; and

 

(f )      Cabinet accept the award of £19.510m Levelling Up Long Term Plan for Towns capital and revenue funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and it's use as follows;

 

·       Add £14,936,000 to the Capital Programme as an identified budget allocation for the capital interventions identified in this report, as per para 5.

 

·       Add £4,574,000 as an identified revenue budget for the revenue interventions outlined in this report, as per para 5.

5.

Financial Performance 2023-24 - Final Outturn (subject to audit) pdf icon PDF 431 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

 

The purpose of the report is to inform Cabinet of the final outturn position (subject to audit) for the Council against the Budget for 2023-24.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(1)      the following be approved:

 

a.       the net re-profiling to the Capital Programme of £41.901 million from 2023-24 to 2024-25 to reflect expenditure levels during the financial year. £0.178 million of this has already been factored into the 2024-25 to 2027-28 Medium Term Financial Plan;

 

b.       the transfer of the balance remaining on the Council Commissioned Services Reserve of £0.168 million to the Strategic Management Reserve;

 

c.        the creation of a new reserve for Children’s Social Care pressures and the subsequent transfer of £2.700 million to this reserve from funds set aside in the Strategic Management Reserve at the year end. It is proposed that the reserve will be used to offset significant pressures expected in 2024-25 and the utilisation of the reserve be delegated to the Executive Director of Children, Young People and Education in consultation with the S151 Officer; and

 

(2)      the following be noted:

 

a.       that this final outturn is based upon the draft Statement of Accounts and is subject to external audit.

 

b.       the net underspend of £0.354 million, after the utilisation of the earmarked reserves, which was transferred to the Council’s General Fund.

 

c.        the supplementary estimates at Appendix A and the required changes to the budgets.

 

d.       the delivery of the approved savings at Appendix B.

 

e.       the use of the contingency shown at Appendix L.

 

f.        the use of reserves shown at Appendix M.

 

g.       the details of capital project reprofiling shown at Appendix O.

6.

Establishing The Data Academy pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

 

The purpose of this report is to outline the success of the ‘Data Academy’ pilot launched in December 2023 and to recommend further investment – a September 2024 cohort of learners – using the Apprenticeship Levy to continue the positive impact on the organisation.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a)      Cabinet approve the scaling up of the ‘Data Academy’ to utilise the Government Levy available spend of up to the aggregated amount of £1.5m (excluding VAT) commencing September 2024 for 2 years; and

 

(b)      authority be delegated to the Executive Director of Transformation and Resources, to award a contract or contracts to the provider(s) to manage and provide apprenticeships for the Data Academy, such provider(s) being identified following appropriate legal and procurement due diligence.

7.

Corporate Risk Management pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

 

The purpose of this report is to inform Cabinet of the latest position of the County Council’s corporate risks following review by Executive Management Team and Cabinet portfolio holders, and to provide an update in relation to the Council’s risk management arrangements.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a )     Cabinet agree the contents of the report in accordance with its responsibility for ensuring effective risk management throughout the organisation; and

 

(b )     Cabinet notes that this report will be presented to the next meeting of Audit Committee as a source of assurance in its role of monitoring the effective development and operation of risk management and risk-related issues across the County Council, and as part of its ongoing evaluation of the framework of governance, risk management and control within Northumberland County Council’s accounting group boundary.

8.

Summary of New Capital Proposals considered by Officer Capital Strategy Group pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services

 

This report summarises proposed amendments to the Capital Programme considered by the Capital Strategy Group on 28 May 2024.

Decision:

(a)      Refurbishment of Bob Elliot House

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

(i)             Cabinet approve the proposed spend of £0.718 million for the refurbishment of the communal areas within Bob Elliot House which will be funded from the HRA Major Repairs Reserve and approve the amendment to the capital programme to include the spend in 2024-25;

(ii)            Cabinet approve the use of the Major Repairs Reserve of £0.218 million in 2024-25 for the refurbishment of Bob Elliot House; and

(iii)          Cabinet note that the use of the remaining £0.500 million was approved by Cabinet in February 2024.

 

(b)      Fire Control Replacement

 

(i)             Cabinet approve the proposed spend of £2.000 million for the replacement of the Fire Control system which will be funded by the Council. Note that the project already exists in the capital programme with a budget of £2.000 million;

(ii)            Cabinet note the total full year increase in revenue expenditure to fund the ongoing provision of the Fire Control System of £0.430 million and that a budget pressure template will be submitted as part of the 2025-26 budget construction exercise requesting £0.148 million in 2025-26 and £0.282 million in 2026-27; and

(iii)          authority be delegated to the Chief Fire Officer to enter into the contract for the replacement of the Fire Control Emergency Call Handling and Mobilising System on the basis that recommendation ii is approved.

9.

Home care - update on Council initiatives and improved availability pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Caring for Adults

 

To report that, following a series of initiatives taken by the Council since 2022, there is increasing evidence that the unprecedented capacity issues in commissioned home care services which began in the second half of 2021 may be coming to an end.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a )     the information in this report about the improved availability of home care be noted; and

 

(b )     Cabinet note that there continue to be both long-term risks associated with demographic change and medium-term risks associated with the level of current reliance on a sponsored overseas workforce, and that the health of the sector will continue to be closely monitored.

10.

Selective Licensing Scheme pdf icon PDF 602 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Looking after our Communities

 

To note the original proposal and review the changes as set out in the Consultation recommendations document.

 

To approve the recommendations detailed in the Consultation outcome for the Selective Licensing scheme.

 

To seek approval and designate as a Selective Licensing scheme for the requisite area of Blyth detailed in this report.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a)      the recommendations detailed in the consultation outcome for the Selective Licensing scheme be approved; and

 

(b)      Cabinet approve and designate as a Selective Licensing scheme for the requisite area of Blyth as detailed in the report.

11.

Fly Tipping Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 991 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Looking after our Environment and the Cabinet Member for Looking after our Communities

 

To update Cabinet on the current levels of fly tipping in Northumberland, the measures being deployed to tackle the issue and options to further improve the Council’s approach to minimising the impact of fly tipping on our communities and our environment.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a)      Cabinet approve the proposal for a high-profile campaign in 2024/25 as outlined in the report which adopts a tougher stance and has an increased emphasis on flytipping being a criminal offence, that fly tips will be investigated and that offenders will be fined and held to account;

 

(b)      Cabinet note that since a peak in 2019/20 of 5040 incidents there has been a reduction in the overall numbers of fly tips compared to this baseline each year until 2023/24;

 

(c)      Cabinet note the aim of the campaign to deliver a significant and more rapid reduction in flytipping incidents than the current target of securing a 5% reduction in flytipping incidents by the end of 2026/27;

 

(d)      Cabinet approve a new target that aims to achieve a 20% reduction in flytipping incidents from the 2023/24 baseline by the end of 2025/26;

 

(e)      Cabinet note the good performance of removal services and enforcement services;

 

(f)       Cabinet approve an increase to the current £400 level for fly tipping Fixed Penalty Notices to £1,000, and the Fixed Penalty Notice Policy be amended accordingly;

 

(g)      Cabinet approve increasing the current £400 level for household waste duty of care Fixed Penalty Notices to £600 and the Fixed Penalty Notice Policy be amended accordingly; and

 

(h)      Cabinet approve the proposal for increasing the CCTV resource in hot spot areas as outlined in the report at an additional annual revenue cost of £75,937 to be funded from contingency.

12.

Delivery Model Assessment for the Provision of Museum Services in Northumberland pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives

 

The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on the outcome of the Delivery Model Assessment for the provision of museum service in Northumberland. The DMA  framework provides a detailed analytical and evidence based assessment of the benefits, risks and costs associated with the different options available. The conclusion of the assessment is that, narrowing the field of options, there remain two headline options for Northumberland County Council to consider - to outsource the service to a charitable trust  or other not-for profit organisation or to bring the service in house. The inhouse options also include a partnership approach with other local authorities.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:-

 

(a)      Cabinet note the contents of the report and endorse the outcome of the Delivery Model Assessment;

 

(b)      Cabinet agree the preferred model for delivery of a sustainable museum service in Northumberland as set out in part 2 of the agenda; and

 

(c)      Cabinet agree to receive an update on the preferred model in due course.

13.

Urgent Business

To consider such other business as, in the opinion of the Chair, should, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

14.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is invited to consider passing the following resolution:

 

(a)    That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the Agenda as it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the 1972 Act, and

 

(b)    That the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure for the following reasons:-

 

15

Paragraph 3 - Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).

AND

The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the interest in disclosure because disclosure could adversely affect the Authority’s ability to conduct its affairs.

 

16

Paragraph 3 - Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).

AND

The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the interest in disclosure because disclosure could adversely affect the business reputation or confidence in the person / organisation, and could adversely affect commercial revenue.

 

15.

Delivery Model Assessment for the Provision of Museum Services in Northumberland

Report of the Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives

 

The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on the outcome of the Delivery Model Assessment for the provision of museum service in Northumberland.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED that recommendations (a) to (d) as detailed in the report be approved.

16.

Corporate Risk Management

This confidential appendix relates to item 7 in Part 1 of the agenda above. Unless Cabinet are of the opinion when considering the matter under item 7, that they wish to exclude the press and public to allow discussion of the confidential issues, and they pass the appropriate resolution at that point, then the confidential appendix will be taken as read, and the debate will be in public so far as practicable.