Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Dorset Council - Cabinet
Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: MS Teams Live Event

Contact: Kate Critchel  01305 252234 - Email: kate.critchel@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

39.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 893 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed at a date in the future.

 

40.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.

 

41.

Public Participation pdf icon PDF 627 KB

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public. Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with through written submissions only.

 

Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a statement of up to a maximum of 450 words.  All submissions must be sent electronically to kate.critchel@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk by the deadline set out below.  When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for and include your name, address and contact details.  Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

 

Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response given by the appropriate Portfolio Holder or officer at the meeting.  All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 

 

The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on 29 October 2020.

Minutes:

There were eight questions/statement received from the public. These were read out be Matt Prosser, Chief Executive and Jonathan Mair (Corporate Director, Legal and Democratic Services) and responded to by the appropriate Portfolio Holder. A copy of the full questions and the detailed responses are set out in Appendix 1 to these minutes.

42.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider the Cabinet Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Forward Plan was received and noted.

43.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To receive any questions from members in accordance with procedure rule 13.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were three questions from Councillors Orrell and Hall, these along with the responses are set out in Appendix 2 to these minutes.

44.

Quarter 2 financial management report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial & Capital Strategy.

Decision:

Decision

(a)       That the Senior Leadership Team’s forecast for Dorset Council’s revenue budget position at the end of quarter 2 and the improvement since quarter 1 be noted;

(b)       That Cabinet note the continuing impact that these changes could mean for the development of the 2021/22 budget strategy;

(c)        That Cabinet note the proposals to improve the position during the year and consider further action to address the budget gap;

(d)       That the latest position on the capital programme and the impact that this was having on capital financing in the revenue budget set out in appendix 1, be noted;

(e)       That the current positions on collection funds and collection rates and the impact that the council tax position in particular might have on local preceptors be noted;

(f)        (i)         That the grant allocation of £2.3m from the Department for Education (DfE) for the Priority Schools Building Programme 2 (PSPB2) project at The Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis be accepted and the Executive Director for People – Children with the Executive Director for Corporate Development be authorised to sign the grant agreement form;

(ii)  That subject to signature of the grant agreement, for Dorset Council to Commit to Construct, authority be delegated to the Executive Director People - Children’s in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Peoples Children Education Skills and Early Help and the Executive Director for Corporate Development to enter into contract(s) on best terms achievable, provided the project was within budget.

Reason for the Decision   

The Council has responsibilities to deliver against its 2020/21 revenue budget and capital programme whilst maintaining adequate reserves.  Cabinet wishes to understand clearly the financial impact and consequences of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding the current year’s position and performance is also key to developing the medium-term financial plan (MTFP) and budget strategy.

 

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy reminded members that the Q1 forecast a budget gap of 44 million. Since then this gap had now been reduced to 27 million. The Council continued to work hard to get the budget in the best possible position for the end of the year. 

The Portfolio Holder also reported that since the budget paper had been prepared a further 1.3 million of funding had been received from central government to support council services. With other additional further savings the current prediction of the budget gap had been reduced by a further 4 million pounds.

He further advised that the forthcoming COVID-19 lockdown did cause concern, but members would continue to be updated on the council’s financial position.

In response to a question regarding climate change and its implications, the Portfolio Holder advised that he was committed to the climate change strategy, however due to the current budget pressures he could not at the present time commit to what figure of funding would be included in next year’s budget for climate change.

In response to a questions regarding agency staff and their costs, the Portfolio Holder advised that this area was being targeted and he was working closely with other members of the Cabinet to achieve savings.

Decision

(a)       That the Senior Leadership Team’s forecast for Dorset Council’s revenue budget position at the end of quarter 2 and the improvement since quarter 1 be noted;

(b)       That Cabinet note the continuing impact that these changes could mean for the development of the 2021/22 budget strategy;

(c)        That Cabinet note the proposals to improve the position during the year and consider further action to address the budget gap;

(d)       That the latest position on the capital programme and the impact that this was having on capital financing in the revenue budget set out in appendix 1, be noted;

(e)       That the current positions on collection funds and collection rates and the impact that the council tax position in particular might have on local preceptors be noted;

(f)        (i)         That the grant allocation of £2.3m from the Department for Education (DfE) for the Priority Schools Building Programme 2 (PSPB2) project at The Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis be accepted and the Executive Director for People – Children with the Executive Director for Corporate Development be authorised to sign the grant agreement form;

(ii)  That subject to signature of the grant agreement, for Dorset Council to Commit to Construct, authority be delegated to the Executive Director People - Children’s in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Peoples Children Education Skills and Early Help and the Executive Director for Corporate Development to enter into contract(s) on best terms achievable, provided the project was within budget.

Reason for the Decision   

The Council has responsibilities to deliver against its 2020/21 revenue budget and capital programme whilst maintaining adequate reserves.  Cabinet wishes to understand clearly the financial impact and consequences of the Council’s response to the COVID-19  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan pdf icon PDF 568 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Cllr T Ferrari, Economic Growth, Assets & Property.      

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)       That the Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan, as set out in appendix 3 to the report, be agreed;

 

(b)       That the Action Plan, as set out in appendix 4 to the report, be agreed;

 

(c)        That a budget of £250k be allocated and funded from Capital Receipts for feasibility studies and other exploratory works; the cost of which would be apportioned to individual schemes and recovered should the project be developed out or asset sold with planning permission.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

The Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan is a key component of the

Council’s transformation strategy in order to help services meet their changing

service needs and assisting the council in meeting its statutory obligations, its

social and economic aspirations whilst at the same making a significant

contribution to overcoming the financial challenges that it faces.

 

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets & Property presented a report on the Council’s property portfolio which was extremely diverse and multi-faceted comprising a wide variety of assets.

 

The Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan was a key component of the Council’s transformation strategy in order to help services meet their changing service needs and assisting the council in meeting its statutory obligations, its social and economic aspirations whilst at the same making a significant contribution to overcoming the financial challenges that it faced.

 

In response to a question the Portfolio Holder confirmed that a geographical map would be made available to all ward members as appropriate. He further confirmed that Scrutiny would be involved in the process and Town and Parish Councils would be also consulted.

 

Decision

 

(a)       That the Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan, as set out in appendix 3 to the report, be agreed;

 

(b)       That the Action Plan, as set out in appendix 4 to the report, be agreed;

 

(c)        That a budget of £250k be allocated and funded from Capital Receipts for feasibility studies and other exploratory works; the cost of which would be apportioned to individual schemes and recovered should the project be developed out or asset sold with planning permission.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

The Property Strategy & Asset Management Plan is a key component of the

Council’s transformation strategy in order to help services meet their changing

service needs and assisting the council in meeting its statutory obligations, its

social and economic aspirations whilst at the same making a significant

contribution to overcoming the financial challenges that it faces.

 

46.

Transformation Programme Annual Report pdf icon PDF 360 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change.

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)       That the draft revised Transformation plan, as set out in appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

(b)       That the progress and allocations from the £5 million transformation fund made in the last year, be noted;

 

(c)        That authority be delegated to the Performance Leadership group (comprising Cabinet and the Senior Leadership Team) with responsibility for:-

a. Oversight of the amended transformation plan

b. Allocation of the transformation fund according to the criteria and

gateway process

 

(d)       That the amended governance arrangements particularly for the

transformation fund and its accountability to Cabinet, be approved;

 

(f)        That the importance of Digital and technology to underpin all our transformational activity be recognised and that Place and Resources Overview Committee add a review of the output from the EAP for ICT and Digital and the draft digital vision to their forward plan.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

In order to achieve further savings due to the ongoing financial challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the council needs to change how it prioritises and delivers transformation. An agile, theme-based approach will enable projects to focus on designing solutions at pace and with a relentless customer focus and ensure appropriate oversight and management of the amended transformation plan and allocation and tracking of the transformation fund.

Minutes:

Cabinet received a detailed presentation from the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change regarding the Transformation Programme and invited Portfolio Holders to update members on the progress of transformation made to date.

 

In March 2020 the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic halted that work as the council reprioritised actives in order to support residents during the pandemic. Since March 2020 the financial impact of COVID-19 had been significant and as the council moved to recovery it was important to restart transformation in order to make savings and support the council to achieve a balanced budget.

 

The revised transformation plan and governance arrangements built on the learning from COVID-19 as well as from implementation of the current transformation plan and provides a framework to accelerate and move forward.

 

Decision

 

(a)       That the draft revised Transformation plan, as set out in appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

(b)       That the progress and allocations from the £5 million transformation fund made in the last year, be noted;

 

(c)        That authority be delegated to the Performance Leadership group (comprising Cabinet and the Senior Leadership Team) with responsibility for:-

a. Oversight of the amended transformation plan

b. Allocation of the transformation fund according to the criteria and

gateway process

 

(d)       That the amended governance arrangements particularly for the

transformation fund and its accountability to Cabinet, be approved;

 

(f)        That the importance of Digital and technology to underpin all our transformational activity be recognised and that Place and Resources Overview Committee add a review of the output from the EAP for ICT and Digital and the draft digital vision to their forward plan.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

In order to achieve further savings due to the ongoing financial challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the council needs to change how it prioritises and delivers transformation. An agile, theme-based approach will enable projects to focus on designing solutions at pace and with a relentless customer focus and ensure appropriate oversight and management of the amended transformation plan and allocation and tracking of the transformation fund.

47.

Dorset Council Housing Allocations Policy 2021 - 2026 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing & Community Safety.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety  which highlighted  the need for the Council to adopt a Housing Allocations Policy by 2022 and the consultation undertaken.  The new Policy had been drafted with the assistance of the Executive Advisory Panel and would replace those of the previous sovereign Councils. 

 

The Policy was established to ensure the allocation of tenancies is carried out fairly and in accordance with the law. It aimed to ensure fair and efficient management of the stock and a scheme that was accessible to those households in housing need. The Portfolio Holder further reported that the People & Health Overview Committee had reviewed the policy and endorsed its recommendation.  The Portfolio Holder advised that there was a small error in the EAP membership listed within the report and should be amended to  also included Cllr S Bartlett.

 

Recommendation to Full Council

(a)       That the Housing Allocation Policy be adopted;

 

(b)       That authority be delegated to the Portfolio Holder Housing and Community Safety to make minor amendments to the Policy and any amendments necessary to reflect legislative change.  

 

 

48.

Housing Standards Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 520 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

That the adoption of the Housing Standards Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties 2020-2025, be approved.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

In April 2019 all existing Housing Enforcement Policies novated to the new Dorset Council. These policies remain in force until 31st March 2021 or until a new policy supersedes them. The formation of Dorset Council on the 1 April 2019 required that the Council adopt one new Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties across the new council area.  The new policy is not significantly different from those of the original sovereign councils. They have been amalgamated and updated to reflect changes in legislation and good practice.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, who advised members that the Housing Act 2004, associated regulations and statutory guidance provided Dorset Council with a wide range of duties and powers to take enforcement action to tackle the worst housing conditions. The policy enabled officers to be guided in their housing enforcement decisions, to ensure a consistent and proportionate approach to regulation as required by the Regulators Code. The document also contained the Councils policy in relation to setting penalties for certain criminal and other offences under the Housing Act 2004 and associated regulations; and how the Council would regulate and take enforcement action in relation to houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s), long term empty homes and Mobile Home sites.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported that the policy had also been considered  and supported by People & Health Overview Committee at its meeting on 27 October 2020.

 

Decision

 

That the adoption of the Housing Standards Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties 2020-2025, be approved.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

In April 2019 all existing Housing Enforcement Policies novated to the new Dorset Council. These policies remain in force until 31st March 2021 or until a new policy supersedes them. The formation of Dorset Council on the 1 April 2019 required that the Council adopt one new Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties across the new council area.  The new policy is not significantly different from those of the original sovereign councils. They have been amalgamated and updated to reflect changes in legislation and good practice.

49.

Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)       That the Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy be adopted;

 

(b)       That authority be delegated to the Corporate Director for Housing and in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety to:

(i) Make minor amendments to the policy to comply with legislation and

guidance.

(ii) Suspend the approval of any discretionary housing assistance offered in this policy.

(iii) Introduce new assistance to help private residential property should

funding become available.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

The Council is required by law to adopt and publish a policy detailing any assistance it wishes to offer to improve private residential property.

The formation of Dorset Council requires that a new Private Sector Housing

Assistance Policy is adopted. On the 1 April 2019 policies from the original sovereign councils novated to Dorset Council. Generally these policies are similar but not identical and therefore there are inconsistencies in some areas of assistance offered.

Minutes:

In presenting the report, the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety advised that the Council was required by law to adopt and publish a policy detailing any assistance it wished to offer to improve private residential property. He further advised that the People & Health Overview Committee had considered the policy at its meeting on 27 October 2020 and supported its adoption; subject to a minor amendment in relation to support for foster carers and their housing requirements. This could be made under officer delegation.

 

Decision

 

(a)       That the Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy be adopted;

 

(b)       That authority be delegated to the Corporate Director for Housing and in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety to:

(i) Make minor amendments to the policy to comply with legislation and

guidance.

(ii) Suspend the approval of any discretionary housing assistance offered in this policy.

(iii) Introduce new assistance to help private residential property should

funding become available.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

The Council is required by law to adopt and publish a policy detailing any assistance it wishes to offer to improve private residential property.

The formation of Dorset Council requires that a new Private Sector Housing

Assistance Policy is adopted. On the 1 April 2019 policies from the original sovereign councils novated to Dorset Council. Generally these policies are similar but not identical and therefore there are inconsistencies in some areas of assistance offered.

Note: Cllr R Bryan lost internet connection at this point in the meeting.

50.

A new way of securing developer contributions for NHS infrastructure pdf icon PDF 516 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Planning.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)       That the document titled ‘Exploring Developer Contributions for NHS Infrastructure’, as set out in appendix A, be approved;

 

(b)       That authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning to make any consequential changes to the approved document and finalise its implementation.

 

Reason for the Decision 

 

To provide a framework for securing developer contributions for dealing with the impact of new housing development on NHS healthcare across Dorset.

 

Minutes:

As new housing was developed in Dorset, and the population grows, so the demand on health services increases.  Along with other publicly funded services, improvements to health infrastructure are needed to ensure services are sustainable.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning advised that Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and the hospital trusts in Dorset currently request contributions from larger development on a site by site basis. These approaches have been used with varying degrees of success.

 

The Dorset Integrated Care System Senior Leadership Team to set up a task and finish group to explore the potential for new housing development to contribute towards healthcare infrastructure. Planning teams from Dorset Council and BCP Council have worked together on this strategy to ensure coverage across the county.

 

The proposed strategy identifies the extensive capital requirements in relation to future health infrastructure requirements in Dorset. As such the identified contributions recovered would flow to the relevant organisation following an annual reconciliation exercise facilitated by the relevant local authority team.

 

The approach as set out in Appendix A was considered and approved by the Dorset ICS System Leadership Team on the 24th September 2020. BCP Council will consider this approach separately in due course. However the implementation of this approach by Dorset Council was not dependent on that approval.

 

Decision

 

(a)       That the document titled ‘Exploring Developer Contributions for NHS Infrastructure’, as set out in appendix A, be approved;

 

(b)       That authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning to make any consequential changes to the approved document and finalise its implementation.

 

Reason for the Decision 

 

To provide a framework for securing developer contributions for dealing with the impact of new housing development on NHS healthcare across Dorset.

51.

Aspire Annual Adoption Report for the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 560 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help.

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)       That the activity undertaken by Aspire Adoption to secure adoption and special guardianship families for children, be noted;

 

(b)       That Cabinet notes that the Interagency Agreement (appendix 2 of the report) was under review to reflect that there were two Councils involved rather than three.

 

 

Reason for the Decision  

In accordance with the provisions of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, all local authorities have a duty to establish and maintain an adoption service in their area, to meet the needs in relation to adoption, of children who have or may be adopted, of adults who have been adopted, parents and guardians of such children and persons who have or may adopt a child.

 

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help presented the Aspire Annual Adoption report for the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.  This report summarised the PAN Dorset work of the agency, which included ensuring that the statutory guidance are met. 

Aspire Adoption works in partnership with Families for Children, a Voluntary Adoption Agency based in Devon but with an office in Dorset.

 

The report also details the adoption and special guardianship activity undertaken to secure permanence for Dorset Council’s children.

 

Cabinet noted the report and welcomed that 40 children had been adopted during this period.

 

Decision

 

(a)       That the activity undertaken by Aspire Adoption to secure adoption and special guardianship families for children, be noted;

 

(b)       That Cabinet notes that the Interagency Agreement (appendix 2 of the report) was under review to reflect that there were two Councils involved rather than three.

 

 

Reason for the Decision  

In accordance with the provisions of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, all local authorities have a duty to establish and maintain an adoption service in their area, to meet the needs in relation to adoption, of children who have or may be adopted, of adults who have been adopted, parents and guardians of such children and persons who have or may adopt a child.

 

Note: Cllr R Bryan returned to the meeting

52.

Cabinet member update on policy development matters referred to an Overview Committee(s) for consideration

Portfolio Holders to report.

Minutes:

There were no referrals to report.

53.

Climate & Ecological Emergency Executive Advisory Panel Update

To receive an update from the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment reported that the six-week consultation on the Dorset Councils Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Strategy and action plan had now been launched. The consultation would run from 29 October through to 6 December. He invited all councillors to encourage residents to go onto the council’s website and comment on the consultation.

He further reported that work was on going to ensure the council obtained substantial money from grants recently made available for use on Council owned buildings. The council had also recently received a Green Homes grant of £580k.

54.

Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

55.

Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph X of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

There are no exempt items of business on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no exempt items on business to report.

Appendix 1 - Public Questions and Responses pdf icon PDF 399 KB

Appendix 2 - Councillor Questions and Responses pdf icon PDF 296 KB