Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Teams Live Event

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

Media

Items
No. Item

Welcome and Introductions

The Chairman welcomed all present and advised that virtual meetings were continuing.

 

Where a decision was required, the appropriate Portfolio Holder would make that decision after taking into account the views expressed by the wider Cabinet membership.

20.

Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.

 

If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest to report.

21.

Public Participation pdf icon PDF 413 KB

 

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.

 

Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to either 2 questions, or 2 statements or 1 question and 1 statement at each meeting. Sub divided questions count towards this total.  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.

 

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 Thursday 2 December 2021.

 

Minutes:

There were 2 questions/statements from the public.  These questions were read out by Matt Prosser, Chief Executive 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.

22.

Questions from Councillors

To receive questions submitted by councillors. The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Thursday 2 December 2021.

Minutes:

There were no questions received from Councillors.

 

23.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 254 KB

To consider the Cabinet Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The draft Cabinet Forward Plan for January 2022 was received and noted.

 

24.

SEND Capital Strategy: Expansion of Beaucroft School pdf icon PDF 309 KB

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

Decision:

Decision

 

That from September 2022, Beaucroft Special School increase its funded capacity by an additional 80 places.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The decision follows from the meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 27 July 2021, relating to the use of old Wimborne First School site to provide additional capacity to Beaucroft Special School as part of Dorset Council’s SEND Strategy – see Appendix 1 for the report.

 

 

Decision - SEND Capital Strategy: Expansion of Beaucroft School - Statutory Consultation Outcome - Dorset Council

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help set out the report that sought agreement for the Beaucroft Special School to increase its funded capacity by an additional 80 places in September 2022.

 

Cabinet members indicated their “minded to” view to support for the recommendation.

 

Decision

 

That from September 2022, Beaucroft Special School increase its funded capacity by an additional 80 places.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The decision follows from item 51 (Cabinet Tuesday 27th July 2021) relating to the use of old Wimborne First School site to provide additional capacity to Beaucroft Special School as part of Dorset Council’s SEND Strategy – see Appendix 1 for the report.

 

25.

Annual Adoption Report pdf icon PDF 93 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

Cabinet noted the progress and performance of Aspire Adoption Agency.

 

Reason for noting the report

 

Aspire Adoption is a registered Adoption Agency. Adoption agencies are subject to the Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 2005 (updated 2011) and the Adoption Agencies (Panel and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2012; Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 and are subject to the National Minimum Standards (2014) which accompany the Regulations. Standard 25.6 of the National Minimum Standards requires the Adoption Agency to produce a report to be received by the agency Executive.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early help presented the Aspire Adoption Agency Annual report. The report had also be considered by People and Health Scrutiny on 8 June 2021 and had been written to ensure and provide the Council with an opportunity to satisfy itself that the requirements of the Statutory Adoption Guidance 2013 and the Adoption Minimum Standards 2014 were met.

 

Decision

 

Cabinet noted the progress and performance of Aspire Adoption Agency.

 

Reason for noting the report

 

Aspire Adoption is a registered Adoption Agency. Adoption agencies are subject to the Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 2005 (updated 2011) and the Adoption Agencies (Panel and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2012; Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 and are subject to the National Minimum Standards (2014) which accompany the Regulations. Standard 25.6 of the National Minimum Standards requires the Adoption Agency to produce a report to be received by the agency Executive.

26.

Ofsted Feedback pdf icon PDF 356 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help reported on the recent Ofsted report for children services which confirmed overall that Dorset Council’s Children’s Services were of a “good quality and were continuing to improve” and that the council had delivered an impressive pace and effectiveness of change, in the context of a pandemic and Local Government reorganisation.

 

Ofsted gave the following judgement:

 

·       The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families – Outstanding

·       The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection - Good

·       The experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers - Good

·       Overall effectiveness – Good

 

Whilst this judgement was welcome and should be celebrated there was still much work to do, in particular in the area of “Oversight of arrangements when care leavers move in and out of emergency or temporary accommodation”.  The Portfolio Holder confirmed that he would be working with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety to address these issues going forward.

 

From an operational point of view, the Executive Director for People (Children’s) advised that the report highlighted that Dorset Council had a clear understanding of the needs for Dorset families and this should be celebrated.  However, she touched on recent events relating to the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, stating the importance for the service to reflect on this tragedy as part of continued development of the service. The Executive Director also took the opportunity to welcome councillors continued support in the service.

 

Members welcomed the report and expressed the importance of celebrating this work.  This showed that the formation of effective policies helped to transform the lives of children, young people, and support families in the area of Dorset. 

 

 

Decision

 

Cabinet noted Ofsted’s published report of the recent Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services in Dorset and the next steps.

 

Reason for noting the report

 

To ensure Cabinet are briefed on the outcome of this inspection and the planned next steps.

27.

Household Recycling Centre (HRC) Vehicle Access Policy pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services.

Decision:

Decision

 

That the following changes to the Household Recycling Centre (HRC) Vehicle Access Policy:-

 

(a)  That sole vehicle visits are limited to 12 visits per year, this is currently unlimited. Sole vehicles are when there is only one vehicle belonging to a household and this vehicle requires a permit. This vehicle cannot be commercially registered, or sign written.

(b)  That weekend access for limited entry permits is allowed and increase visits to six per year. Limited entry permits are defined by the policy for where there is more than one vehicle belonging to a household or the vehicle is commercially registered, or sign written. Currently only three visits are permitted.

(c)  That dual crew cab, ‘pick up’ type vehicles are added to in the ‘needs a permit’ list That an annual declaration for permit renewal is required rather than automatic renewal of all permits

 

It is anticipated that these changes will be implemented from 1 April 2022 after appropriate communication with residents.

 

Reason for the decision

 

Evidence provided from public consultation and officer assessment had identified that the existing vehicle access policy requires refinement. The amendments sought to provide a fairer approach to accessing HRCs by legitimate users to deposit their household waste alongside limiting the potential for trade waste abuse.

 

Decision - Household Recycling Centre (HRC Vehicle Access Policy) - Dorset Council

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report that outlined proposed amendments to the current Household Recycling Centre (HRC) Vehicle Access Policy.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services advised that the cross-party Place and Resources Overview Committee considered the report on the 19 October 2021 and their recommendations were acknowledged within the report and added to the report’s recommendation.

 

In response to questions, members were reminded that this policy review was about vehicle types using the facilities not the type of waste that could be disposed of on these sites.  In respect to the request from Place and Resources Overview committee regarding support for town and parish councils, the Portfolio Holder informed members that this matter was outside of the report’s scope, but she would be happy to discuss this further with the councillor concerned outside of the meeting.

 

The Cabinet membership indicated that they were “minded to” support the report’s recommendations and the Portfolio Holder made the following decision.

 

Decision

 

That the following changes to the Household Recycling Centre (HRC) Vehicle Access Policy: -

 

(a)  That sole vehicle visits are limited to 12 visits per year, this is currently unlimited. Sole vehicles are when there is only one vehicle belonging to a household and this vehicle requires a permit. This vehicle cannot be commercially registered, or sign written.

 

(b)  That weekend access for limited entry permits is allowed and increase visits to six per year. Limited entry permits are defined by the policy for where there is more than one vehicle belonging to a household or the vehicle is commercially registered, or sign written. Currently only three visits are permitted.

 

(c)  That dual crew cab, ‘pick up’ type vehicles are added to in the ‘needs a permit’ list

 

(d)  That an annual declaration for permit renewal is required rather than automatic renewal of all permits

 

It is anticipated that these changes will be implemented from 1 April 2022 after appropriate communication with residents.

 

Reason for the decision

 

Evidence provided from public consultation and officer assessment had identified that the existing vehicle access policy requires refinement. The amendments sought to provide a fairer approach to accessing HRCs by legitimate users to deposit their household waste alongside limiting the potential for trade waste abuse.

 

Decision - Household Recycling Centre (HRC Vehicle Access Policy) - Dorset Council

28.

Future Revenues & Benefits Service provision for Dorset Council pdf icon PDF 284 KB

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

 

Appendices 2 and 3 (not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of schedule 12A, Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)  That Dorset Council makes the necessary arrangements to leave the Stour Valley & Poole Partnership (SVPP) and bring these services in-house to be delivered by an expanded Dorset Council Revenues & Benefits Team as set out in the business case attached at appendix 3 of the report;

 

(b)  That authority be delegated to the Executive Director of Corporate Development, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy, to implement recommendation (a) above, including authority to give notice to terminate the Council’s involvement in the Stour Valley and Poole Partnership;

 

(c)  That the Place and Resources Overview Committee be asked to support the Portfolio Holder in identifying service development and transformational opportunities as a result of integrating the service into Dorset Council

 

(d)  That the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee be asked to review the Council’s success in achieving the benefits of both integration and further service development and transformation.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The creation of a single revenues and benefits service for Dorset Council will provide a better level of customer service for Dorset Council residents, with a single process and contact details, making it easier, clearer and more accessible for people to pay council tax and make benefits claims. As such, it is the best strategic fit for Dorset Council.

 

Decision - The future of revenues and benefits services at Dorset Council - Dorset Council

 

 

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy introduced a report which set out proposals for the future arrangements of the revenues and benefits service for the residents in the Dorset Council area.  Following consideration of the various options, the report recommended the creation of a single revenues and benefits service for Dorset Council, to provide a better level of customer service to residents.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that this proposal was not reflection on the service that had been provided by Stour Valley and Poole Partnership or the in-house provision for the areas of Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland; but it was now time to review this administrative arrangement and to take advantage of control and flexibility, improving the customer experience for Dorset residents that an in-house service would provide.

 

A short film recording was shared with members setting out the vision for future customer services.

 

In response to questions relating to severance costs, the portfolio Holder advices that it was possible that there would be some cost involved, however the savings would be recovered in just over a 2-year period.  He also indicated that there would be costs involved if Dorset Council continued to work within partnership.

 

The Vice-Chairman of Place and Resources Overview Committee advised that the committee members had considered the proposal at its meeting on 10 November 2021 and they were completely supportive of the recommendations before Cabinet.

 

In presenting the report’s recommendations, the Portfolio Holder advised that he wished to strengthen the proposals and the involvement of the overview and scrutiny committees in terms of review, development and transformation.

 

Cabinet members supported the proposals and indicated a “minded to” view to support the recommendation.

 

Decision

 

(a)  That Dorset Council makes the necessary arrangements to leave the Stour Valley & Poole Partnership (SVPP) and bring these services in-house to be delivered by an expanded Dorset Council Revenues & Benefits Team as set out in the business case attached at appendix 3 of the report;

 

(b)  That authority be delegated to the Executive Director of Corporate Development, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy, to implement recommendation (a) above, including authority to give notice to terminate the Council’s involvement in the Stour Valley and Poole Partnership;

 

(c)  That the Place and Resources Overview Committee be asked to support the Portfolio Holder in identifying service development and transformational opportunities as a result of integrating the service into Dorset Council

 

(d)  That the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee be asked to review the Council’s success in achieving the benefits of both integration and further service development and transformation.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The creation of a single revenues and benefits service for Dorset Council will provide a better level of customer service for Dorset Council residents, with a single process and contact details, making it easier, clearer and more accessible for people to pay council tax and make benefits claims. As such, it is the best strategic fit for Dorset Council.

29.

South Walks House - Options for Future Use pdf icon PDF 303 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property.

 

Appendices 1, 3 to 8 (not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of schedule 12A, Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended).

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)  That Dorset Council grant a 20-year lease to Dorset National Health Service (NHS) institutions for use of South Walks House for clinical and office use on terms to be agreed by the Executive Director for Place in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property.

 

(b)  Note that the governing boards of the various NHS institutions planning to move into South Walks House will be making their decisions in February and March 2022.

 

(c)  That officers should immediately commence discussions to proceed with the second-ranked option should the NHS institutions decide not to proceed with the lease or are unable to come to a decision by the 31 March 2022.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The investigation into and analysis of options for the future use on South Walks House has been detailed and exhaustive. This has involved taking advice from specialist consultant firms on each of the options considered and assessing and ranking the options to establish which one would be the most financially advantageous to the Council after also taking into consideration the Page 105 Agenda Item 11 wider economic and social benefits of the recommended option. It is believed that the proposed use by the NHS for a combination of clinical and office purposes, which provides a central and easily accessible location for the NHS, allows it to widen its service provision for Dorset’s residents, whilst providing the best financial return to the Council.

 

Decision - South Walks House - Options Future Use - Dorset Council

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property advised that Cabinet had agreed an office strategy for Dorchester at its meeting on 6 April 2021, this included the principle of consolidating most of the Council’s office requirements. In respect of South Walks House, Cabinet had requested that in addition to seeking planning permission for residential use, further exploration and investigation of alternative uses be undertaken. This report recommended that South Walks House should be leased to the NHS organisations that were proposing to use it to expand clinical capacity in Dorset.  In addition to the direct health benefits this additional capacity brings, the economic impacts would also contribute to general well-being of the community.

 

Members noted that the proposal was subject to various NHS governing boards making a decision  to proceed in February and March of 2022;  if these NHS institutions decided not to continue with the lease, officers should proceed with the second-rank option as an alternative.

 

As a ward member for the South Walks House site, Cllr L Fry spoke in support of the proposal and hoped it was successfully progress.

 

Cabinet members indicated their “minded to” view to support for the recommendations as set out in the report.

 

Decision

 

(a)  That Dorset Council grant a 20-year lease to Dorset National Health Service (NHS) institutions for use of South Walks House for clinical and office use on terms to be agreed by the Executive Director for Place in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property.

 

(b)  Note that the governing boards of the various NHS institutions planning to move into South Walks House will be making their decisions in February and March 2022.

 

(c)  That officers should immediately commence discussions to proceed with the second-ranked option should the NHS institutions decide not to proceed with the lease or are unable to come to a decision by the 31 March 2022.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The investigation into and analysis of options for the future use on South Walks House has been detailed and exhaustive. This has involved taking advice from specialist consultant firms on each of the options considered and assessing and ranking the options to establish which one would be the most financially advantageous to the Council after also taking into consideration the Page 105 Agenda Item 11 wider economic and social benefits of the recommended option. It is believed that the proposed use by the NHS for a combination of clinical and office purposes, which provides a central and easily accessible location for the NHS, allows it to widen its service provision for Dorset’s residents, whilst providing the best financial return to the Council.

 

Decision - South Walks House - Options Future Use - Dorset Council

30.

Park Home Fees Policy pdf icon PDF 270 KB

The Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services to report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(a)  That the adoption of the Park Home Fees Policy attached at Appendix 1 to the report to Licensing Committee of 17 November 202, be approved.

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

 

(i)   make minor amendments to the policy to comply with changes in legislation or to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of administering the functions described in the policy.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The Council is required by law to adopt and publish a park home fees policy under the Mobile Homes Act 2013. In addition, The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 require the Council to have a published fees policy regarding registration to a Fit and Proper Person Register.

 

Decision - Park Home Fees Policy - Dorset Council

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services set out the recommendation from the Corporate Director for Housing following consideration of the policy by Licensing Committee and their “minded to” recommendation.

 

Cabinet members indicated their “minded to” view to support for the adoption of the Park Home Fees Policy.

 

Decision

 

(a)  That the adoption of the Park Home Fees Policy attached at Appendix 1 to the report to Licensing Committee of 17 November 202, be approved.

 

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

 

(i)   make minor amendments to the policy to comply with changes in legislation or to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of administering the functions described in the policy.

 

Reason for the decision

 

The Council is required by law to adopt and publish a park home fees policy under the Mobile Homes Act 2013. In addition, The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 require the Council to have a published fees policy regarding registration to a Fit and Proper Person Register.

 

Decision - Park Home Fees Policy - Dorset Council

31.

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

Cabinet Portfolio Holders to report.

Minutes:

There were no referrals to report.

32.

Portfolio Holder - Lead Member (s) Update Summary

Cabinet Portfolio Holders and Lead Members to report.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder summaries were attached to these minutes as Appendix 2.  Cllr L Miller and Cllr D Walsh updated members on activities in their areas.  More details were set out within their individual reports.

 

33.

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 updated the committee on the Climate Change projects:

 

·       In process of appointing the new Corporate Director responsible for Climate Change

·       The decarbonisation of council assets was on-going

·       Low Carbon Dorset was working hard on low carbon projects

 

34.

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 considered at the meeting.

35.

Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item(s) in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.

Decision:

 It was proposed by Cllr P Wharf seconded by Cllr L Miller

 

Decision

 

That the press and the public be excluded for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr P Wharf and seconded by Cllr L Miller

 

Decision

 

That the press and the public be excluded for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

The MS Teams Live Event ended.

36.

Weymouth Bowl Acquisition

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

Decision:

 

Decision

 

That the recommendations, as set out in the exempt report to Cabinet of 7 December 2021, be approved.

 

 

Decision - Weymouth Bowl - Acquisition - Dorset Council

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property presented a report on in respect of Weymouth Bowl. Cabinet members considered the exempt report and gave a “minded to” view to support the report’s recommendations.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendations, as set out in the exempt report to Cabinet of 7 December 2021, be approved.

 

 

Decision - Weymouth Bowl - Acquisition - Dorset Council

37.

Future Revenues & Benefits Service provision for Dorset Council

Exempt appendices associated with the report on “The future of revenues and benefits services at Dorset Council”.

Minutes:

The exempt appendix associated with the report ‘Future Revenues & Benefits Service provision for Dorset Council’ had been made available to members of the committee, however, the committee did not move into exempt business in order to discuss the information at the meeting.

 

38.

South Walks House - Options for Future Use

Exempt appendices associated with the report on “South Walks House – Options for future use”. 

Minutes:

The exempt appendices associated with the report ‘South Walks House – Options for Future Use’ had been made available to members of the committee, however, the committee did not move into exempt business in order to discuss the information at the meeting.

 

Appendix 1 Public Participation (Q&A's) pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Appendix 3 Portfolio Holder reports pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents: