Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 7 July 2020 3.00pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Teri Reynolds, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology of absence was received from Councillor Chitty (Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation). 

2.

Record of decisions pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 9 June 2020 and the urgent decisions on 12 June 2020 and 22 June 2020 were agreed by the Cabinet and signed by the Leader as correct. 

3.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

4.

COVID-19 Response pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided details of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic, adding updated information since the report was last presented to the Cabinet on 9 June 2020. It outlined the approach in the coming weeks as priorities around the Council’s response would alter to reflect the easing of the lockdown and the moves to restart the economy and reopen businesses and schools.

 

The report provided detailed information as to how the Council had managed the response to the pandemic, the requirement to develop a COVID-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan, and the Council’s work with the voluntary and community sector. The report also provided detailed information, at a service level (critical or noncritical), in terms of the Council’s response to the pandemic.

 

Decision number:

Decision:

The Cabinet noted the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reasons:

 

To highlight the role that the Council has played in responding to Covid-19 as well as supporting the process in place for managing the restarting of services post lockdown and longer-term recovery.

5.

Community Safety Partnership Plan 2020 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided details of the proposed Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan which covered the period from 2020 to 2024 and would form part of the Council’s Policy Framework. As part of the development of the new Plan, the CSP has conducted a strategic assessment of community safety issues in Medway.

The Plan contained four new priorities going forward, developed from the strategic assessment findings, and were proposed to be:

·       Safeguarding Adults and Children.

·       Reducing Vulnerability.

·       Reducing Reoffending.

·       Listening to our Communities and Partners.

 

The draft plan had been considered by the Health and Wellbeing Board on 18 February 2020 and the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 11 June 2020.  Their comments were set out in sections 6 and 7 of the report.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been carried out on the proposals set out in this report and was attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

Decision number:

Decision:

The Cabinet noted the comments from the Health and Wellbeing Board, as set out at section 6 of the report.

 

The Cabinet noted the comments from the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Director’s comments in response, as set out at sections 7 and 8 of the report.

75/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend the proposed Community Safety Plan 2020 – 2024 to full Council on 16 July 2020 for approval.

Reasons:

 

The Community Safety Plan discharges the Council’s statutory requirement to produce a plan for community safety.

6.

Medway Youth Justice Strategic Partnership Plan for 2020-2023 pdf icon PDF 672 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided details of the proposed Youth Justice Partnership Strategic Plan which covered the period from 2020 to 2023 and would form part of the Council’s Policy Framework. It had been co-produced with Youth Justice Partnership Board members and was influenced by national research and evidence of effective practice.

The Plan, which would be refreshed annually to take account of any changes to the national and local youth justice landscape and services, also included Medway’s recent HMIP inspection findings. The plan’s strategic priorities going forward, developed from the strategic assessment findings, were proposed to be:

·       Prevent youth crime.

·       Reduce re-offending.

·       Safeguard young people from harm.

·       Protect the public from harm.

 

The draft plan had been considered by the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 2 June 2020.  Their comments were set out in section 8 of the report.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been carried out on the proposals set out in this report and was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Decision number:

 

Decision:

 

The Cabinet noted the comments from the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as set out at section 8 of the report.

 

76/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend Full Council to approve the Medway Youth Justice Partnership Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023, including its accompanying delivery plan (Appendix A to the Strategic Plan) all underpinned by the use of a public health approach.

 

77/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend Full Council to agree that reducing reoffending and custody rates should be a major priority for all Members as well as the Youth Justice Partnership Board.

 

Reasons:

 

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requires Local Authorities to have a Youth Justice Plan, which is updated annually to set out how youth justice will be delivered locally within available resources.

 

The Plan will enable the Medway Youth Justice Partnership Board to drive forward the improvement needed, to strengthen links with the Children’s Service Improvement Board and align to address the HMIP inspection findings.

7.

Treasury Management Outturn Annual Report pdf icon PDF 955 KB

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided an overview of treasury management activity during 2019/20.

 

The report stated that overall, the Interest and Financing budget made a surplus over its targeted budget of £5,348,000. The underspend in interest paid was due to the timing and amounts of borrowing and also the increased use of intra-authority in recent months as a reaction to the hike in Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) rates.

 

The report also stated that there had been an expectation that the Bank Rate would remain at 0.75% during 2019/20 and until the uncertainties over Brexit have cleared. However, there were two emergency cuts to the Bank Rate in March 2020, initially to 0.25%, then to 0.10%.

 

The report would also be considered by the Audit Committee on 30 July 2020.

 

Decision number:

Decision:

 

The Cabinet noted the treasury management outturn annual report.

 

Reasons:

 

Section 7.1 (e) of the Council’s Financial Rules state that the Chief Finance Officer shall report to Cabinet and the Audit Committee not later than September on treasury management activities in the previous year.

8.

Housing Revenue Account: Additional Borrowing to Increase HRA Housing Stock pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report sought approval for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to acquire additional housing units to meet housing needs and for Cabinet to recommend full Council to agree to borrow additional funds to explore the purchasing of sites, at varying stages of development, as and when financially viable development opportunities arise.

 

The report stated that the HRA was engaged with a developer in relation to two potential sites which could provide 42 new affordable rented units.  Further details relating to the two developments were provided in an Exempt Appendix to the report.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been carried out on the proposals and was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Decision number:

 

Decision:

78/2020

The Cabinet approved the acquisition by the HRA to meet housing need of suitable housing units.

 

79/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend Full Council the addition of £10m to the HRA Capital Programme, in order to increase the stock of HRA affordable housing.  This funding to be met from borrowing against HRA rents, HRA reserves and Right to Buy 1-4-1 receipts or grant funding, where available.

 

80/2020

Subject to this addition being agreed by Full Council, the Cabinet agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services to agree expenditure on increasing the HRA affordable housing stock, as and when a financially viable development opportunity becomes available.

 

Reasons:

 

The suggested recommendation will contribute to a number of key strategic objectives;

·        It will increase the amount of affordable rented housing that can be allocated to those that are in housing need.

·        Increasing the Council’s housing stock ensures that there is a greater supply of good quality homes that can be provided to Medway’s vulnerable children and families.

·        The additional development and/or purchase of property can be sustained by the HRA business plan.

·        The Council’s direct involvement will ensure that the units are utilised for Medway Council residents.

9.

Splashes Sports Centre Development pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report sought approval for a redevelopment programme for Splashes, up to a maximum value of £5million and to recommend that addition to the Council’s capital programme to enable the project to be undertaken.

 

The report stated that the 30 year old leisure facility was well-used, offering Medway’s only family fun pool, including a flume and wave machine, as well as more structured activities such as swimming lessons and fitness gym, with an average monthly footfall of circa 23,000 visitors. There had been a number of infrastructure issues and repairs and feedback demonstrated ongoing dissatisfaction with aspects of the centre. The proposed refurbishment, which was detailed at section 4 of the report, would address these issues.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been carried out on the proposals and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Decision number:

 

Decision:

81/2020

The Cabinet approved theredevelopment of Splashes Sports Centre, as set out in Section 4 of the report.

 

82/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend Full Council to approve the addition to the Capital programme of £5 million to fund the refurbishment of the Splashes Sports Centre, as outlined in section 4 of the report.

 

83/2020

Subject to Council approval, the Cabinet agreed the establishment of the Splashes Development Project Board and an Officer Working Group, as detailed in Section 4 of the report, and to delegate authority to the Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Board, to deliver the development within the agreed funding envelope.

 

Reasons:

 

Without investment, advice received is that Splashes sports centre will continue to deteriorate and will become increasingly unattractive to customers, impacting revenue generation. The capital sum requested will allow necessary development to provide a long-term future for the centre to the benefit of Medway residents.

10.

Addition to the Capital Programme - Play Areas pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Background:

 

The Cabinet agreed to accept this report as urgent in order to make recommendations for the required addition to the Council’s Capital Programme to Full Council on 16 July 2020.  The subsequent Full Council meeting was scheduled to take place on 8 October 2020.

 

This report sought approval to recommend Full Council to add £135,000 Play Area investment to the Council’s Capital Programme, supporting Medway’s ambitions to be recognised as a Child-Friendly City. This programme of investment, which related to the refurbishment of three priority sites, detailed at section 3 of the report, was for the financial year 2020/21. Proposals for future years, which would be informed by an annual play inspection later in 2020/21, would be considered as part of the Council’s Budget Setting process.

 

Decision number:

 

Decision:

84/2020

The Cabinet agreed to recommend to Full Council the capital addition of £135,000 to the Capital Programme, to refurbish Play Areas as set out in this Report, to be funded from prudential borrowing.

 

Reasons:

 

Without investment, play areas in Medway will continue to deteriorate and will become increasingly unattractive to children and their families. The funding requested will allow necessary development to provide a long-term future for play areas across Medway and will support the Council’s aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting our young people at the centre of everything we do and assist with the Council’s drive to address childhood obesity.