Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hollingworth B&C , First Floor, Training & Conference Suite, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU. View directions

Contact: Alison James  01706 924711

Items
No. Item

51.

Apologies

52.

Declarations of Interest

    Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   

    Minutes:

    Councillor Brett declared personal and prejudicial interests in relation to the Agenda Item – The Borough of Rochdale (Former High Birch School, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2019 and left the room during consideration of the item, vacating the Chair in favour of Councillor Daalat Ali.

53.

Urgent Items of Business

    To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

    Minutes:

    The Chair advised that the Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2021/22 had been accepted onto the Agenda as an urgent item of business and would be considered as Agenda Item 6a.

54.

Items for Exclusion of Public and Press

55.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

56.

Savings Programme 2019/20 to 2020/21 - Update Following Consultation pdf icon PDF 187 KB

    To consider the Savings Programme 2019/20 to 2020/21.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer which provided an update on the results of consultation on the proposed Savings Programme 2019/20 to 2020/21.

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    The Council is legally obliged to set a balanced revenue budget. The budget setting process was complex and must be undertaken in a planned way. Whilst budgets are prepared in accordance with the approved guidelines a number of alternative options relating to savings proposals and budget pressures were considered as part of the overall budget setting process.

     

    Consideration was given to a number of options in putting forward the savings proposals contained in the report to Cabinet 24 July 2018 and the report outlined any alternatives. To do nothing was not considered to be an option as the Council was legally required to set a balanced budget.

     

    Cabinet Members could decide not to implement the proposals and provide alternative options to enable a balanced budget to be achieved.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That the following savings proposals be approved for submission to Council:-

         NH-2019-20-013 Review of voluntary sector grant to homelessness prevention services;

         NH-2019-20-022 Review of grant funded Community Centres (as amended following to consultation);

         NH-2019-20-024 Review of the budget for the provision of social and welfare advice and legal services;

    2.   It be noted that NH-2019-20-020 has been deferred pending further review by the Cabinet Member for Environment in consultation with the Director of Neighbourhoods.

     

    Reason for the decision:

     

    Cabinet was required to recommend a balanced Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2019/20 to Budget Council and provisional budgets for 2020/21 to 2021/22. The Council was required to set a balanced budget for 2019/20 the by 11 March 2019.

    Eligible for call in – no

     

57.

Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 322 KB

    To consider the Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2021/22.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer which provided details of the Council’s proposed Capital Programme for 2019/20 to 2021/22.

     

    The Capital Programme was funded from a combination of Capital Receipts, Prudential Borrowing, Invest to Save, Government Grants and Contributions, and Revenue Contributions to Capital Outlay.

     

    Some of the assumed external funding included in the programme was still subject to clarification from Government and in some cases may involve bids for funds. It was therefore recommended that all approvals were subject to confirmation of funding allocations.

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    The Council was legally obliged to set a balanced budget. The budget setting process was complex and must be undertaken in a planned way. Budgets were prepared in accordance with the approved guidelines.

     

    A number of alternative elements of the Capital Programme were considered in the development of the programme, the one which was presented was of the most strategic/community value and therefore formed the basis for Public Consultation, on the understanding that any alternatives offered during that process would be considered.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That the 2019/20 (£80.940m) Capital Programme and provisional programmes for 2020/21 and 2021/22 be approved for the purposes of public consultation.

     

    2.    That the proposal to delegate spending the £5m Corporate Investment scheme to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with Leader of the Council be approved.

     

    Reason for the decision:

     

    The provisional 2019/20 to 2021/22 Capital Programme was presented to Cabinet for consultation as part of the budget setting process.

     

    The delegation of spend was the preferred option to allow schemes to progress as early as possible.

    Eligible for call in - no

     

     

     

58.

New Secondary Schools Update pdf icon PDF 112 KB

    To consider an update on proposed new secondary schools in the Borough.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Children’s Services which provided an update on proposed new Secondary schools in the Borough. The Altus Education Partnership had notified the council of its decision not to submit a bid for a secondary school in Littleborough in this bidding Wave, but to wait for a subsequent Wave. The Altus Education bid for a secondary school in Middleton was to be submitted in this Wave. The Wardle Academies Trust had put in an Expression of Interest to open a new secondary school on the Littleborough playing fields site. As part of the process they had engaged with the local authority and Cabinet approval was sought to support this bid.

     

    The authority had been engaging with the Altus Education Partnership in their submission to the DfE in a bid to open a new school, it was now in a position where alternative trusts have also indicated an interest. The DfE through the Regional Schools Commissioners Office would determine which academy trust would be funded to provide the needed school. For this reason the sites that had previously been identified for the new schools, if new schools were to be delivered, must be leased to the successful academy. 

     

    Under the Wave 13 (directly funded) new school bidding round the DfE was now asking for a Letter of Comfort regarding the leasing of the council site/s named in the bids. The lease of council land to the new school trust must be at a peppercorn rent and for 125 years. This was in line with those granted for  existing academies such as St Anne’s and Hollingworth academies.

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    The DfE had given notice that Wave 13 bids, where costs were reduced by provision of a lease for a term of 125 years at a peppercorn rent, were more likely to be funded because the funds agreed for the bidding round are substantially reduced. Failure to agree to provide a Letter of Comfort may both reduce the chance of success and slow down the process of providing a new school.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That decision 1 in minute number 88 on 19th December 2017 and decision 3 in minute number 16 on the 26th June, 2018 that named the Altus Education Partnership as the beneficiary of the lease agreement for sites for the new schools in Middleton and Littleborough respectively be rescinded;

     

    2.    That the preference for a local provider for the needed two new secondary schools, and that this preference was communicated by the parents in the public engagement event hosted by the Altus Education Partnership on 5th March 2018 be noted. The DfE bidding guidance states “you will need to show that your proposed school has support from the local community” and there is an expectation that the DfE will, in awarding the bid, follow the said guidance.

     

    3.    That the leasing of the land for the new schools to the winners of either the Wave 13 bidding process or the winners of a Free  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

The Borough of Rochdale (Red Cross Mill) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

    To consider a proposed Compulsory Purchase Order.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which sought approval to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order for the former Red Cross Mill site in Rochdale.

     

    The former Red Cross Mill was an area of cleared, vacant land on Redcross Street, Rochdale, 0.39 hectares in area. The mill buildings were partially demolished in the late 90s, fully cleared in the early 2000s, and the land had been vacant ever since. The land was surrounded by Redcross Street, Hope Street and Oldmill Street, Rochdale.

     

    The Council had served Section 215 notices under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, in 2014 and 2015, due to the messy and dilapidated condition the site had been left in. Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 provides a local planning authority with the power, in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area. If it appears that the amenity of part of their area is being adversely affected by the condition of neighbouring land and buildings, they may serve a notice on the owner requiring that the situation be remedied. These notices set out the steps that need to be taken, and the time within which they must be carried out.

     

    The site was currently still vacant, was a clear deterrent to investment and had been left undeveloped. The current owners inherited the site from their late mother in 2016. Prior to this, the site entered the family’s ownership in June 1991. It was considered that the family ownership of the site should be seen as consistent since that time.

     

    Planning permission was granted in 2007 for a scheme of 29 dwellings, but this expired without being implemented. A planning application was made in 2010 for change of use to a car park, but was deemed withdrawn due to lack of activity in April 2013.

     

    Therefore it was proposed to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) utilising the powers contained in s226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to acquire the land shown edged red on the plan appended to the report in order to facilitate timely development of the site.

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    Officers could continue to engage with the site owners but it was considered that the risk of the site remaining vacant in the medium-to-long-term was too high to proceed without CPO. However, the Council remained open to all options that could see the site brought back into productive use.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That the making of the “Borough of Rochdale (Red Cross Mill, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2019” utilising powers contained in Section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 be approved;

    2.    That the Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance and Workforce), and the Director of Economy be authorised to undertake the necessary legal procedures and associated action in relation to the Order;

    3.    That Cabinet has considered the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 and does not consider  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

The Borough of Rochdale (Former High Birch School, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

    To consider a proposed Compulsory Purchase Order.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which sought approval to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order for the former High Birch School site in Rochdale.

     

    The former High Birch School site was on Marland Fold, Rochdale, a site of vacant, partially cleared land, approximately 0.95 hectares in size. It was owned by an Oldham-based developer.

     

    The current owner submitted a planning application in December 2016 for 22 houses with associated parking, landscaping and access off Marland Fold. It was understood that the proposals was acceptable in principle, but the owner refused to sign a section 106 agreement to provide the required planning obligations in the form of financial contributions to education and recreational open space.

     

    There appeared to be no prospect of the proposed development progressing under the current ownership. The current owner had not responded to several enquiries from Strategic Housing officers to discuss how to resolve the situation. It was considered that the only likely route to bringing the site back into use was if the Council stepped in and made a Compulsory Purchase Order, in order to facilitate development by a willing developer.

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    The Council could continue to wait for the land owner to either complete the section 106 agreement which would enable planning consent to be given or submit a revised scheme.

     

    This was not considered to be likely to lead to development in the short to medium term, therefore a CPO resolution was sought to expedite the site’s re-use.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That the making of the ‘Borough of Rochdale (Former High Birch School, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2019’ utilising powers contained in Section 226, 1(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 be approved;

    2.    That the Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance and Workforce), and the Director of Economy be authorised to undertake the necessary legal procedures and associated action in relation to the Order;

    3.    That Cabinet has considered the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 and does not consider that there is a breach of the Act if compulsory acquisition of the land within the Order is authorised.

     

     

     

    Reason for the decision:

     

    The proposed intervention by the Council utilising its CPO powers would bring the property back into use and deliver beneficial development as described within the submitted report. The former High Birch school was vacant and proposed development had stalled. In its current condition, and with little apparent prospect of development, it was a missed opportunity to deliver housing on a brownfield site that could contribute to meeting housing need and contributing to the public purse in the form of Council Tax and New Homes Bonus.

    Eligible for call in - yes

     

    (Note: Councillor Brett resumed the Chair for the remainder of the meeting)

     

     

     

     

61.

The Borough of Rochdale (1 Whitehall Street, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2019 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

    To consider a proposed Compulsory Purchase Order.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which sought approval to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order at 1 Whitehall Street, Rochdale.

     

    1 Whitehall Street, Rochdale was a Grade II listed building standing at the corner of Whitehall Street and Yorkshire Street in Rochdale town centre. The building was vacant and severely dilapidated.

     

    The building’s current condition presented a public danger due to its lack of security, which allows access for trespass, crime and anti-social behaviour. Greater Manchester Police have reported their concerns to the Council regarding this issue.

     

    The building was located at the heart of Rochdale town centre on its main shopping street. Its derelict condition was a deterrent to investment in the town centre and frustrated efforts to rejuvenate the town centre and attract footfall to support local businesses.

     

    The building had been on the market for sale for a considerable time, but no known offers had been forthcoming. There was damage to the interior following an unfinished attempt at conversion to residential and a substantial programme of works would be required to bring the building back into use. The building was offered for auction in July 2018 but no bids were made.

     

    There appeared to be no prospect of renovation and re-use under the current ownership. It was considered that the only likely route to bringing the building back into use is if the Council steps in and makes a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), in order to facilitate development by a willing developer. 

     

    If acquired, the property would be brought back into use following a full options appraisal. Its town centre location offered several possible end uses, the most likely being food and drink, retail, office or residential. 

     

    Alternatives considered:

     

    The Council could continue to wait for an open market purchase, by a willing and able developer. However, this was not considered to be likely to lead to development in the short to medium term, therefore a CPO resolution was sought, to expedite the site’s re-use.

     

    Decision:

     

    1.    That the making of the ‘Borough of Rochdale (1 Whitehall Street, Rochdale) Compulsory Purchase Order 2019’ utilising powers contained in Section 226, 1(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 be approved;

    2.    That the Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance and Workforce), and the Director of Economy be authorised to undertake the necessary legal procedures and associated action in relation to the Order;

    3.    That Cabinet has considered the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 and does not consider that there is a breach of the Act if compulsory acquisition of the land within the Order is authorised.

     

    Reason for the decision:

     

    The proposed intervention by the Council utilising its CPO powers would bring the property back into use and deliver beneficial development as described within the report.

    Eligible for call in - yes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

62.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider that the press and public be excluded from the remaining part of the meeting pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that discussions may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the provisions of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

    Minutes:

    Decision:

     

    That the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

     

    Reason for Decision:

     

    Should the press and public remain during the following item of business as there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

     

63.

Link4Life Contract Arrangements Update

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing which provided details of a recent independent review of the current partnership arrangement between Link4Life and Rochdale Borough Council.

 

It was recommended that the current Partnership Agreement (PA) be revised to enable an outcomes based and commissioned type of approach to be developed which would strengthen and improve the excellent partnership that exists between RBC and Link4Life. This revision was well underway.

 

Alternatives considered:

 

The alternative would be to continue with the current arrangements with which the framework was outdated and not in line with current trends and good practice.

 

The current agreement also did not provide clarity on many key areas and lacked direction and control which places uncertainty and inefficiency when both organisations have to make business critical decisions.

 

Decision:

 

1.    That it be agreed that the current  revision of the Partnership Agreement and contract arrangement continues which will facilitate a revised agreement that will allow the partnership to flourish and develop for the remaining years of the current contract arrangement (March 2028 -  with 5 year extension);

 

2.    That the development of an outcome and commissioned type of approach to the Partnership Agreement which will be developed by the Project Manager and Steering Group alongside specialist consultants be approved;

 

3.    That the Director of Public Health and lead Portfolio Holder be authorised to activate the 5 year contract extension as per the original Partnership Agreement. This would allow RBC and L4L to fully develop the outcome based Partnership Agreement with a planned phased implementation from the summer of 2019 and would allow Link4Life to enhance and develop the services they deliver with the confidence and assurance of support from RBC.

 

4.    That the development and inclusion of a full asset review of the facilities Link4Life operate to establish a clear matrix of responsibilities and identify future budget requirements both from a capital and revenue perspective for both Rochdale Council and Link4Life be approved. This would provide an in depth understanding of the planned capital improvements needed to the buildings over the remaining tenure of the partnership arrangements and would progress future capital budget forecasting in relation to asset improvements.

 

5.    It be noted that there was an expectation that over the remaining contract term, some investment from RBC will be required to update and improve the sites managed by Link4Life in order to safeguard and future proof the commitment from Link4Life to contribute to savings/efficiencies over the remaining contract length.

 

Reason for decision:

 

Link4Life have significantly increased the amount of external funding they receive over the last 5 years in particular with the physical activity, culture and health and well-being sectors, through their excellent partnership working and highly skilled workforce in these sectors.  With only four years of the original contract remaining, this is placing a limitation on the amount of potential funding Link4Life can successfully bid for, given the short timescale on the original contract. Activating the contract extension provides potential funders and partner’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.