Agenda and minutes

Venue: Zoom

Contact: Alison James/Peter Thompson  Senior Committee Services Officer

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Items
No. Item

18.

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:

As a non-voting Member in attendance Councillor Linda Robinson declared an interest in agenda item 11 – Link4Life Recovery Plan, and left the meeting during consideration of this item.

19.

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 indicated that two urgent items of business were required to be considered at the meeting with approval for consideration by the relevant Chair of Overview and Scrutiny under urgency provisions as set out within the council’s Constitution. 

 

Following a referral by the Pennines Township Committee at their meeting on 22 July 2020, Cabinet was requested to consider funding for Wardle and Smallbridge Football Club within agenda item 7 – Finance update.

 

Cabinet were requested to determine a report setting out options for the future delivery of the customer contact centre, on grounds that a decision was required prior to the next meeting of the Cabinet and the item had been included within the published Forward Plan.

 

Resolved

That the two additional items of business be accepted for consideration.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 30th June 2020.

Minutes:

Resolved

That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 30 June 2020 be approved as a correct record.

21.

Budget 2021/22 to 2023/24 Guidelines and Timetable pdf icon PDF 611 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Finance Officer which sought approval of the guidelines and timetable for the budget setting process 2020/21-2023/24.

 

Members were advised that there was significant impact on the Revenue budget as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak with ongoing uncertainty as to the level of government funding for local authorities beyond the current financial year.  The government intended to provide a one-year funding settlement for

2021/22. The wider reforms to local government funding had been delayed until 2022/23.

 

Alternatives considered

Cabinet could determine on differing timelines for the setting of the budget provided that they were undertaken within the principles that allowed for planning across all services so that assumptions used in the preparation of the budget were reasonable and consistently applied by all services within the statutory timeframe.

 

Resolved

1.    That approval is given to the proposed budget timetable detailed at Appendix 1 within the submitted report.

2.    That the revenue assumptions detailed in Appendix 2 within the submitted report be incorporated into the budget setting process.

3.    That approval is given to the revenue budget principles detailed in Appendix 3 within the submitted report.

4.    That approval is given to the capital budget principles detailed in Appendix 4 within the submitted report.

5.    That approval is given to the proposed methods of public engagement outlined in paragraph 4.9 within the submitted report, as part of the 2021/22 budget setting process.

6.    That the Revenue Budget update ne noted.

 

Reason for resolution

Cabinet is required to approve the proposed guidelines and timetable for setting the 2021/22 Budget and Provisional Budgets for 2022/23 and 2023/24 by September 2020.

22.

Finance Update Report Period 2 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 702 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Finance Officer which sought approval of the Budget pressures requests including £18k for Wardle and Smallbridge Football Club as referred from the Pennines Township Committee, approval for the transfer of budget from the Equalisation Reserve to Townships, and detailing the forecast 2020/21 financial positions for Revenue, Capital, and the Collection Fund as at the end of May 2020.

 

Members were advised that the forecast Revenue position, was providing a pressure of £17,639k.  The pressure relating to Covid-19 was £29,059k, which was partially offset by the use of the government funding re Covid-19 of £13,616k. Non-Covid-19 pressures were reported as £2,196k.  Forecast Capital expenditure was £156,560k, after a re-phasing of £5,447k, budget returns of £2,065k, grant reductions of £2,640k and a grant increase of £192k.  The Collection Fund position was indicating a deficit of £30,450k, which would be partially mitigated by increased government Section 31 grant of £20,950k, leaving a residual pressure of £9,500k.

 

Alternatives considered

The reporting of the financial position of the authority was required to ensure effective budget management which is critical to ensuring financial resources are spent in line with the budget and are targeted towards the Council’s priorities.

 

Resolved

1.    That the forecast 2020/21 financial positions for Revenue, Capital, and the Collection Fund as at the end of May 2020 be noted.

2.    That the forecast Health & Social Care Pool Budget position as detailed within section 4.2 of the submitted report be noted.

3.    That approval be given to the Budget Pressure requests from Children’s Services, Neighbourhoods and Resources Directorates as detailed within section 4.3 of the submitted report.

4.    That approval be given to the transfer of £113k from the Equalisation Reserve to Townships

5.    That the forecast unachieved savings target for Adult Care, Economy, public Health and Neighbourhoods Directorates be noted.

6.    That the Capital re-phasing of £5,447k detailed in section 4.6.2 of the submitted report be noted.

7.    That the net Capital budget changes of £4,513k detailed in section 4.6.1 be noted.

8.    That the use of the Insurance Reserve detailed in section 4.6.3 of the submitted report be noted.

9.    That the forecast 2020/21 Collection Fund position detailed in section 4.7 of the submitted report be noted.

10. That £9k of Budget pressures funding be transferred to Pennines Township funds to support the Wardle and Smallbridge Football Club project.

11. That the Communities, Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee be requested to review the project planning and funding arrangements in relation to Wardle and Smallbridge Football Club and similar projects.

 

Reason for resolution

Effective budget management is critical to ensuring financial resources are spent in line with the budget and are targeted towards the Council’s priorities.

23.

Treasury Management Year-End Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Finance Officer summarising treasury management activity for 2019/20, highlighting compliance with the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and with regulatory / legislative requirements. The Council adhered to key prudential indicators and treasury activity contributed a net underspend (excluding Airport activity) of £1.756m on its revised budget for the year.

 

Alternatives considered

No alternatives were considered

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

 

Reason for resolution

The Council is required by regulations issued under the Local Government Act

2003 to produce an annual review of treasury management activities together with the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2019/20.

24.

Counter Fraud Prosecutions and Sanctions Policy pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Internal Audit seeking approval of a revised Counter Fraud Prosecution and Sanctions Policy. 

 

The Policy had been considered by the Audit & Governance Committee at the meeting held on 23 July 2020.

 

Alternatives considered

No alternatives were considered.

 

Resolution

That the updated Counter Fraud Prosecution and Sanctions Policy is approved.

 

Reason for Resolution

The Counter Fraud Prosecution and Sanctions Policy brings together a range of legislation which provides a full range of sanctions, penalties and prosecution available to the Council to support an effective deterrent regime against fraud and corruption.

25.

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:

Resolved

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

 

Reason for the resolution

Should the press and public remain during debate on these three items there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Parts 1 and 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

26.

Link4Life Recovery Plan

Report of the Chief Executive of Link4Life

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director – Commissioning which sought approval of a proposed recovery plan for Link4Life following enforced closure during the Covid-19 crisis and funding to assist with the re-opening and return to business.

 

Alternatives considered

Should Link4Life ceasing to trade, or if Cabinet passed a resolution for its winding up, the Partnership Agreement would terminate.

 

Resolved

1.    That approval is given to the proposed timescales and principles of partial opening, subject to confirmation of timescales from Central Government.

2.    That approval is given for a sum of £1.4m, to be drawn down quarterly over the remainder of 2020/21, in recognition of the additional net cost of delivering the Link4Life contract.

3.    The it be noted the additional sum could vary according to the following, and further proposals will be brought forward if these risks or opportunities materialise:

·         variable risks, as well as potential opportunities for further funding or insurance pay-outs, yet to be announced

·         uncertainties around demand and consumer confidence

·         further disruptions to service owing to a second wave of the virus

·         positive intervention and financial support from government.

4.    That it be approved, subject to the above, it may be necessary to review service delivery, capital projects and asset-based issues over the coming months resulting in changes to the scale of the service offer.

5.    That it be noted the additional funding would be subject to clear governance arrangements for an open-book relationship with Link4Life, close monitoring of activity and outcomes and defined reporting lines into the Council.

6.    That the development a formal ‘contract variation’ to the Partnership Agreement be approved.

 

Reason for resolution

The recovery plan has at its heart an underlying principle that the services managed by Link4Life on behalf of the council are worth saving and investing in. The social and public health value of the services are quantifiable but arguably as important is the intangible value that art, culture and leisure are what makes life worth living and so much would disappear if the services and facilities were not invested in.

27.

Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre - RSPCA Proposals

Report of the Director of Economy and Director of Neighbourhoods

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director – Place, which sought approval to grant a lease for 125 years to the RSPCA to invest in the refurbishment and remodelling of the Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre to include a Community and Nature Education Hub, Rangers facility, RSPCA Facilities and Community café.

 

Alternatives considered

To continue with the Visitors Centre in its current form with little investment available to enhance the visitor’s experience.

 

Resolution

1.    That approval is granted to complete a Development Agreement to be followed by the grant of a Lease of the Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre, to the RSPCA, for a term of 125 years based on the submitted Letter of Intent On completion of the Development Agreement, it will enable the RSPCA to invest in the refurbishment and remodelling of the Visitors Centre to include a Community and Nature Education Hub, Rangers facility, RSPCA Facilities and community café.

2.    That final agreement to the terms of the Development Agreement and Lease be delegated to the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Community & Culture, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Development and Housing in consultation with the Director of Resources, Director of Economy and Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance & Workforce)

3.    That any related financial decisions related to the project be delegated to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance.

4.    That the Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be delegated authority to approve legal documentation and execute such documents on behalf of the Council in connection with the disposal.

 

Reason for resolution

The Council is committed to releasing surplus assets and to continually review its need to hold land and property assets. Disposal of surplus assets assists the Council in its provision of services by producing capital receipts wherever possible, private investment in property, reducing borrowing, reducing grant reliance and assists in achieving the efficiency targets.

28.

Proposed Disposals - Terms and Conditions

Report of the Director of Economy

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Economy seeking approval for the method of disposal of three Council-owned sites for housing development.  It was proposed that all three sites are disposed of off-market to the same developer. The purpose of this method of disposal was to accelerate the disposal and the subsequent development of the sites for housing. To achieve this it was proposed to enter into conditional Sale & Purchase Agreements for each site, requiring a developer to bring forward the acquisition and development of the sites within a reasonable timescale once the conditions precedent have been satisfied.

 

Alternatives considered

The Council could advertise the sites on the open market by way of a competitive process. This method of disposal might achieve a higher value, but would be less likely to produce the partnership approach to the development.

 

Resolved

1.    That approval be given for the disposal of the three sites by way of off-market disposals.

2.    That approval be given for the proposed method of disposal of the three sites by way of conditional Sale and Purchase Agreements.

3.    That delegation be given to the Portfolio Holders of Finance and Planning, Development & Housing, the authority to approve the final terms and conditions of the proposed disposal of the site at Leighton Avenue, Middleton.

 

Reason for resolution

The three sites have all been declared as being surplus sites.

29.

Rochdale Riverside Phase 2 update

Report of the Director of Economy

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Economy setting out progress made on the Rochdale Riverside 2 scheme and seeking approval to continue with the design of the residential & hotel element of the Scheme up to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage 4 (Technical Design) and for the offices element of the Scheme, up to RIBA Stage 3 (Spatial Co-ordination), to enable a planning application for the whole Scheme to be submitted.

 

Alternatives considered

To delay undertaking the RIBA Stage work.

 

Resolved

1.    The design of the Scheme to RIBA Stages 3 as detailed within the submitted report be approved.

2.    The submission of the detailed planning application for the Scheme be approved.

3.    The submission of a bid to MHCLG for funding from the Future High Street Fund (FHSF) for up to £25m be approved.

4.    That a further report be submitted to Cabinet when the funding and delivery structure for the Scheme is confirmed.

5.    That a report be brought to a future meeting of Cabinet detailing the forecast financial position of the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development (Phase 1), plus an update on the financial implications for the Rochdale Riverside Phase 2 scheme at that time.

6.    The Assistant Director (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be authorised to enter into any legal agreements necessary to give effect to this decision in consultation with the cabinet member for Regeneration and the Director of Economy and the Director of Resources.

 

Reason for the resolution

To secure planning permission for the Scheme to ensure the funding opportunities presented by a bid to the FHSF are not missed, and to ensure the office element of the Scheme can be promoted and marketed to prospective investors/occupiers.

30.

Future delivery of Customer Contact Centre

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Director - Information, Customers & Communities, detailing options for the future operation of the Customer Contact Centre.

 

Alternatives considered

Whether to bring the contract in house or undertake a full procurement exercise for a contact centre provider.

 

Resolved

1.    That approval be given to the future direction of the Customer Contact Centre, as detailed within the recommendations of the submitted report.

2.    The Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources to conclude negotiations with Agilisys to ensure smooth cessation of the contract and to agree any contractual, commercial, staffing and TUPE arrangements. That the Assistant Director (Legal Governance & Workforce) is authorised to prepare and enter into all necessary documents to give effect to this decision.

3.    Authorises the Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources to conclude arrangements for delivery of out of hour’s calls.

 

Reason for recommendation

The current Contract with Agilisys expires at the end of March 2021 and it is necessary to decide to determine the future direction.