Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hollingworth - Floor 1, Number One Riverside, Rochdale, OL16 1XU. View directions

Contact: Alison James/Peter Thompson  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

75.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rowbotham and Councillor Susan Smith.

76.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 23rd November 2021.

Minutes:

Resolved:

That subject to the inclusion of Councillor O’Rourke’s apologies, that the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 23rd November 2021 be approved and signed as a correct record.

77.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

78.

Calculation of 2022-23 Council Tax base pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Delivery/Chief Finance Officer.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate /Chief Finance Officer which advised that Council on 15th December would be asked to agree the statutory Council Tax Base calculation for 2022/23, calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as part of the 2022/23 Estimates process; for the Local Council Tax Support Scheme to remain unchanged for 2022/23 and to approve the precept payment dates for 2022/23.

 

Alternatives Considered:

No alternative is available, as the Council has a statutory requirement to calculate and approve a Council Tax base each financial year.

 

Resolved:

That Council be informed that Cabinet recommends the following for approval:

a)    That the Council Tax base expressed as “Band D equivalent properties”, be recommended as 56,232 for 2022/23 (54,637 2021/22) as detailed at Appendix 1 of the submitted report;

b)    That The Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2022/23 remains unchanged;

c)    That the proposed precepts payment schedule be as detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the submitted report.

 

Reasons for the recommendation

Rochdale Borough Council, as a Council Tax billing authority, is required each year to make statutory calculations specified in Section 33 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended). The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 require authorities to calculate the Council Tax base (number of taxable properties), expressed as "Band D equivalent properties". Approval of these calculations is required by 31st January in each financial year.

 

The Local Government Finance Act 1992 prescribes the procedures to be adopted in setting precept payment dates. The Act requires billing authorities to notify precepting authorities of a proposed payments schedule. This notification must be given before 31st December in respect of the following financial year. The final payments schedule is then confirmed by 31st January.

 

The calculation of the tax base has to be made by 31st January and notified to the major precepting and levying authorities. Under Section 84 of the Local Government Act 2003 the determination can be delegated to a committee or sub-committee in accordance with Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972. This report recommends that Cabinet considers this report for submission to Council on 15th December 2021.

79.

2022/23 Setting the Business Rate Base pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Delivery/Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate /Chief Finance Officer which advised that Council on 15th December would be asked to consider the draft Business Rate baseline figure of £65.329m for 2022/23, subject to any changes which may result from:

·         the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2022/23.

·         the issue of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) guidance on completion of the 2022/23 Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1), due in January 2022.

Also, that the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate, be authorised to conclude and agree the final Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1) due on 31 January 2022, should the final information yet to be received from DLUHC change the baseline figure for 2022/23.

 

Alternatives Considered:

No alternative is available, as the Council has a statutory requirement to estimate and set a Business Rates Baseline each financial year.

 

Resolved:

That Council be informed that Cabinet recommends the following for approval:

 

a)    The draft Business Rate baseline figure of £65.329m for 2022/23, subject to any changes which may result from:

·         the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2022/23.

·         the issue of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) guidance on completion of the 2022/23 Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1), due in January 2022.

b)    That the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate, to be authorised to conclude and agree the final Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1) due on 31 January 2022, should the final information yet to be received from DLUHC change the baseline figure for 2022/23;

c)    That the precepts payment schedule, as detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the submitted report.

 

Reasons for the Recommendation:

The Non-Domestic Rating (Rates Retention) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/452) require billing authorities to notify the Secretary of State and their major precepting authority of their calculation of non-domestic rating income for the following financial year and the estimated surplus/deficit on the Collection Fund by 31st January each year.

 

The figures are produced subject to the DLUHC guidance being published and provided, following which the figure in this report may have to be revisited.

80.

GM Minimum Licensing Standards for Taxi and Private Hire; Stage 2 recommendations report for vehicle standards pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability/Director of Neighbourhoods.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability/Director of Neighbourhoods, which detailed work that had been undertaken to meet the requirements of the ten Greater Manchester Authorities to collectively develop, approve and implement a common set of minimum licensing standards for taxi and private hire vehicles.

 

Cabinet were advised that presently there were around 2,000 hackney vehicles, 11,500 private hire vehicles and over 18,600 drivers that were licensed across the 10 Greater Manchester Authorities. Whilst there were many similarities in terms of policy standards and licence conditions, there was also significant differences, particularly when it came to policies relating to the licensing of vehicles, the calculation of licensing fees and the approach to proactive compliance.

 

In 2018, Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities agreed to collectively develop, approve and implement a common set of minimum licensing standards for taxi and private hire services.

 

At that time, the primary driver for this work was to ensure public safety and protection, but vehicle age and emission standards, in the context of the Clean Air and the decarbonisation agendas were now also major considerations. In addition, by establishing standards around common vehicle specifications, minimum licensing standards was an important mechanism that permitted the systematic improvements to taxi and private hire service across Greater Manchester and their visibility.

 

The Greater Manchester minimum licensing standards were ready to be consulted on when the Department for Transport published statutory guidance for taxi and private hire licensing authorities in July 2020. The minimum licensing standards project demonstrated regard for that guidance, which largely mirrored what had already been proposed across Greater Manchester, and reference is made in the Committee’s report where appropriate.

 

The stated vision of the ten Greater Manchester authorities, as outlined at paragraph 9.2 of the submitted report, was to continue to work closely together, influence policy change and support the licensed trade by delivering on its promise to provide financial support to move to greener vehicles. This was described as the beginning of a process to deliver excellence in licensing regulation in Greater Manchester. This in turn should help drive more business and passengers to a well-regulated, safe and efficient locally licensed hackney and private hire trade, for example by the Greater Manchester local authorities, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to deliver ‘public relations’ and other campaigns that would encourage the public to only use and book local licensed services.

 

In considering the submitted report, Cabinet were advised that the Planning and Licensing Committee had considered the report at a meeting on 2nd December 2021 and had recommended the following to Cabinet:

 

a)    To note the report, consultation comments and GM proposed standards;

b)    To agree to implement all vehicles standards for new to licence vehicles from 31 January 2022;

c)    To use discretion and adopt an extended transition period for existing licensed vehicles to 1 April 2027 for the;

·         Transfer to wheelchair accessible hackney carriage vehicles

·         Compliance with the age standards and

·         Compliance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Castleton Phase 1 - Mayors Challenge Fund pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability/ Director of Neighbourhoods.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Sustainability/ Director of Neighbourhoods which provided context and justification on a significant scheme proposal for the local centre of Castleton. The scheme is known as the BeeNetwork project which is a Greater Manchester initiative to make active travel the number one method of travelling by making trips by foot or by cycling safer and more pleasant.

 

The report set out the consultation undertaken so far for the Castleton Phase 1 Scheme as part of the Mayor Challenge Fund (BeeNetwork) and also the project timeline from initial feasibility, programme entry status, to project development, consultation, further project development, local public meetings, future governance and potential dates for delivery .Further details about the project were included in section 4 of the report.

 

There were also a series of officer recommendations made to this Cabinet that were required before any further scheme development is progressed.

 

Alternatives considered:

Alternative schemes were considered as part of the initial feasibility study from the Highways Team after receiving the BeeNetwork bid invitation.

 

Whilst there were many corridors across the Rochdale borough that may have met the bid criteria, in the time officers had to develop bid material it was felt that Castleton was in need of investment, had poor walking and cycling provisions and was in the process of significant housing growth. The sustainable transport scheme proposed alongside the walking and cycling, public realm and road safety benefits will help to limit the impact of residential development sites.

 

In future BeeNetwork funding rounds a variety of other areas of the borough will be put forward for similar projects.

 

Resolved:

1.         That approval be given to receive the external funding grant exceeding £500k to deliver the Castleton Phase 1 Scheme as part of the Mayor Challenge Fund (BeeNetwork) as detailed within the report.

2.         That the Director of Economy be authorised to negotiate and approve the final terms and conditions of the proposed acquisition of land from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing at nil value which is shown edged red on Plan Manchester Rd-Royal Barn Rd - Land subject to the payment of RBH’s reasonable legal fees plus VAT.

3.         That the Assistant Director (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be authorised to conduct appropriate due diligence to the enquires and title investigations that are required to be undertaken to ensure that there are no issues arising out of the results that would be prejudicial to the Council.

4.         That the Assistant Director (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be authorised to prepare and execute the associated legal documentation in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

5.         That approval be given to the proposed procurement route which will allow the physical delivery of the proposed works.

6.         That the Director of Neighbourhoods be authorised to award and sign any associated contracts.

7.         That the Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing be authorised to implement the associated scheme Traffic Regulation Orders following public consultation.

 

Reasons for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Adult Social Care Making Experiences Count Policy Review pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Wellbeing/Director of Strategic Commissioning/DASS.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Wellbeing/Director of Strategic Commissioning/DASS which advised that The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 places a duty on Local Authorities on the way that complaints about Health and Social Care matters are dealt with.

 

Adult Care Services are those functions exercised by the Council in accordance with the Care Act 2014, which relate to care and support services to adults with a learning disability, physical disability, a mental health problem, older adults and also to carers. A Health and Social Care complaint are therefore matters which arise from care and support assessments, adult health or adult care services, members of staff working in Adult Care or health services or any policy concerning these.

 

The “Making Experiences Count - Joint Complaints Process for Adult Care and Health” policy has been in place since 2009. This complaint policy refers to adult care and health matters delivered by Rochdale Adult Care Services that service users or their representatives approach Adult Care about.

 

Not all complaints received by Adult Care are eligible to be considered under the statutory procedure, and where a complaint does not meet the criteria, it will be considered under the Council’s Corporate Complaints Procedure.

 

Alternatives considered:

The alternative is to continue with the current version of “Making Experiences Count” on the corporate website. It is already known from customer feedback that the written guidance is unclear to members of the public. Not making changes could lead to a continued increase in complaints being progressed to the LGSCO, leading to reputational damage for the council and potential financial impact on the council. Both these factors will impact on residents. Not making changes could also lead to potential legal challenges.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the updated “ Making Experiences Count- Joint Complaints Process for Adult Care and Health” policy in order to improve the customer experience should they need to make a complaint be approved;

2.    That clearer signposting to the Adult Care complaint policy on the corporate website be approved.

 

Reasons for the recommendation:

Currently, the “Making Experiences Count” process acts as both as a policy for members of public as well as the procedure for how Adult Care should handle a complaint.

 

However, a review of “Making Experiences Count”, following a formal complaint about the process itself, has exposed a real clack of clarity and understandable confusion for members of the public as it provides a detailed explanation on the Corporate Complaints policy, leading complainants understandably expecting their complaint will be dealt with in a similar time scaled, staged fashion.

It gives no real guidance to Adult Care practitioners handling complaints on practice expectations when dealing with a complaint. It has also become clear, following recent complaint escalations within Adult Care that numerous complaints are being dealt with “informally”, when they should have immediately been escalated as “formal”, which is creating additional frustration for members of the public.

83.

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 item 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 this item 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.

84.

Disposal of Parcel of Land at Whitworth Road, Rochdale

Report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods which recommended sites at Whitworth Road, Rochdale for disposal as they were considered be surplus to the Council’s operational requirements.

 

The disposal of the site will enable the Council to work with key partner organisations to help meet the authority’s Statutory Duty to prevent Homelessness, and provide assistance and accommodation to those at risk or actually homeless, contributing to an overall reduction in homelessness within the Borough.

 

Alternatives considered:

The site remains undeveloped and vacant if the site cannot be taken forward as affordable housing. This would result in fewer affordable houses being delivered borough wide and not meeting the affordable housing target set locally and failing to meet our statutory duty in relation to homelessness and housing need.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the statutory duty that the Council have in particular relation to the Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017) and the actions set out in the Homelessness and Rehousing Plans be noted;

2.    Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing and the Chief Finance Officer be authorised approve all actions necessary to deliver this specific project to completion.

3.    That the Assistant Director of Resources (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be authorised to undertake the necessary legal work in connection with the disposal of the property interests.

 

Reasons for the decision:

The disposal of the sites will enable the Council to meet its statutory obligations to reduce homelessness within the Borough.

85.

Revision of Service Contracts - Strategic Housing

Report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods relating to the revision of service contracts and sought approval to proceed with a deed of variation for the contractual amendments for those services as detailed within the report.

 

Alternatives considered:

The alternative is not to end the contracts early and to continue with the status quo which is a model no longer fit for purpose.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the revision to service contacts be approved and that the Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing be authorised to progress the return of services from RBH to the Council as detailed within the report by 1st April 2022.

2.    That the Assistant Director (Legal, Governance & Workforce) be authorised to complete the legal formalities to give effect to this decision.

 

Reasons for the decision:

The Deed of Variation creates the necessary contractual mechanism to end the service provision elements of the contract early.

 

Through this approach the Council will be able to more effectively comply with its statutory duties,

86.

Lease Agreement - Strategic Housing

Report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods.

Minutes:

Resolved

That this item be withdrawn.