Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Wednesday, 7th February, 2024 10.15 am

Venue: Committee Room, First Floor, BCP Civic Centre Annex, St Stephen's Rd, Bournemouth BH2 6LL. View directions

Contact: Sarah Culwick (01202 817615)  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

2.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

3.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 404 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 10 January 2024.

4.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of public questions is 12 noon, 3 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

5.

Recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees

To consider recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny committees on items not otherwise included on the Cabinet Agenda.

6.

Budget Monitoring 2023-24 at Quarter Three pdf icon PDF 274 KB

This report provides the quarter three 2023/24 projected financial outturn information for the general fund and housing revenue account (HRA) and monitoring of the capital programme.

The February 2023 approved general fund budget for 2023/24 was balanced on the assumption of a £30m drawdown in reserves and the delivery of £34m in savings, efficiencies, and additional resources including £9m in respect of transformation which were un-itemised.

Based on the current projections the council is forecasting a surplus of £2.8m for the year with overspending within services offset by savings on central budgets.

Delivering to this latest projection remains critical as the medium term financial plan assumes this level of surplus to achieve  balance over the four years of the plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           Noted the budget monitoring position for quarter three 2023/24, and the outcomes of the orderly closures of Future Places Ltd and Poole Housing Partnership; and

(b)           Agreed the delegation for delivery of grants up to £1m as set out in Appendix C.

RECOMMENDED that Council:-

(c)           Agree the acceptance of grants, delegations for delivery and capital virements for schemes over £1m as set out in Appendix C.

 

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Finance

Reason

To comply with accounting codes of practice and best practice which requires councils to regularly monitor the annual budget position and take any action to support the sustainability of the council’s financial position.

To comply with the council’s financial regulations regarding capital virements and acceptance of grants.

 

7.

Mainstream Schools and Early Years Funding Formulae 2024/25 Report pdf icon PDF 278 KB

The council receives the ring-fenced dedicated schools grant (DSG) to fund the separate early years and mainstream schools funding formulae. The contents of each formula are highly regulated by the Department for Education (DfE). The council is to decide the local formulae after considering the recommendations of the Schools Forum.

The early years funding levels for 2024/25 were received from the DfE in late November. A consultation with the sector in January is being considered with Schools Forum on 6 February when a recommendation will be made to the council.

A consultation concerning the mainstream schools formula 2024/25 was undertaken with schools in November/December 2023 with the  outcome and further work considered by the Schools Forum on 13 December 2023. A further meeting on 15 January 2024 provided a recommendation to the council.

Additional documents:

8.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget Setting 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 312 KB

The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is a separate account within the council’s budgets that ring-fences the income and expenditure associated with council housing. 

It sets out the proposals regarding increases to rents, service charges and other charges to tenants and leaseholders. Arrangements for these increases are separate to arrangements for increasing fees elsewhere in the council and are set out in law and regulation. The report also sets out plans for expenditure on services to residents, repairs and improvements to homes and the provision of new homes.

The major changes in building safety and regulation of social housing following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 are now being implemented. These changes are significant and this report sets out the requirements that the council must meet.

This report also demonstrates how council housing and spending within the HRA supports the council’s corporate strategy and objectives.

Additional documents:

9.

Budget 2024/25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To set out for Cabinet’s consideration and recommendation to Council the proposed 2024/25 budget and council tax based on;

·     Increasing council tax by 2.99% in 2024/25 in line with the government’s annual basic threshold.

·     Collecting the full additional 2% Adult Social Care (ASC) precept in 2024/25.

·     Implementation of the approved financial strategy.

·     £41m of further savings, efficiencies, and additional income generation required to correct the structural £30m deficit inherited from 2023/24 and other pressures, to set a legally balanced budget, and provide the basis of a more financially sustainable council moving forward.

Recognise that the council is projecting to spend £29m more on Special Educational Needs and Disability services in 2024/25 than the funding specifically being made available by government. The consequential deficit this creates in the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) will mean the council is technically insolvent on 31 March 2024 (as the deficit on the DSG will be greater than the total reserves held by the council with a negative overall general fund position). Statutory guidance which means the deficit can be ignored by all councils until the 31 March 2026 provides interim protection for the Council.

 

Additional documents:

10.

Funding Agreement to support Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum to become an Independent Trust pdf icon PDF 266 KB

In January 2023, Council voted to apply to the Charity Commission for the transfer of sole trusteeship from the Council to a new corporate entity, a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) to operate and manage the charity under Section 73 of the Charities Act 2011.

 

This report details the significant progress made in respect of identifying a mutually acceptable financial settlement between BCP Council as the existing Trustee and the new Trustee, subject to the Charity Commission scheme and Parliamentary Order of State.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED that Council approve: -

(a)           An upfront grant of £2million to enable the Russell-Cotes to establish themselves as an independent organisation

(b)          Asset Transfer of the study centre, Exeter Road storage to the Charity (estimated value £500,000), subject to appropriate overage clause.

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(c)           Approved a one-off grant of £250,000 for building maintenance

(d)          Approved the transfer of earmarked reserves (currently £299,000 but subject to change prior to vesting date)

(e)           Delegates authority to the Director of Customer, Arts and Property to conclude the details of the transfer in consultation with the Director of Finance, Director of Law and Governance and Portfolio Holder for Customer, Culture and Communications; and

(f)            Request that the new CLG Board is encouraged to consult with the Portfolio Holder if there is consideration of disposal of assets and artefacts.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Customer, Culture, Communications

Reason

To make financial provision to ensure that the governance change of the Russell-Cotes is financially and organisationally sustainable.

11.

The Annual Report of the Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children's Partnership 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

The Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (PDSCP) is the statutory body which oversees multi-agency safeguarding arrangements and covers the local Dorset and BCP council areas. 

This report contains a background and introduction to the statutory functions of the partnership and the council’s responsibilities which includes the requirements to publish an annual report.

The annual report of the PDSCP is therefore provided as an attachment for consideration by cabinet. The annual report details reflections on partnership work in 2022/23 including:

-        Outlining the findings from a review of the safeguarding arrangements.

-        Summarising local and national learning including in relation to Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.

-        Providing an overview of multi-agency training.

-        Outlining the funding arrangements for the partnership. 

-        Providing information from the Child Death Overview Panel.

-        Detailing work across the partnership linked to the priority areas for 2022/23.

-        Outlining other key developments by the statutory safeguarding partners.

The report also outlines the agreed revised priority areas for 2023 to 2025.

The report has been approved by the PDSCP Executive who are the representatives of the Safeguarding partners as outlined in Working Together Guidance. The Executive group is chaired by an Independent Chair and Scrutineer who provides support and challenge to the partnership.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet noted and approved the overall report, suggesting any further considerations.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Children and Young People

Reason

The production of an annual report is a statutory responsibility. This has been endorsed by the four statutory partners (Dorset Council, BCP Council, NHS Dorset, Dorset Police) and is being shared with cabinet as part of those governance arrangements.

 

12.

Creekmoor Community Land Trust Affordable Housing Development pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To present and seek approval of support for the council to support Creekmoor Community Land Trust to progress a suitable site to deliver 14 new affordable houses in Creekmoor. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

It is RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           Approves the Heads of Terms in appendix 5 and delegates to the Director of Investment and Development in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places, the Director Finance

and the Director Law and Governance to finalise the required documents.

(b)           Resolves that the council appropriates the land edged red within the plan (appendix 1) for planning purposes pursuant to section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 and section 203 of the

Housing and Planning Act 2016.

(c)           Note the retention of community housing grant allocation monies totalling £305,760, to compensate the council for the land value.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Dynamic Places

Reason

To enable Creekmoor CLT in partnership with Sovereign Network Group to deliver a community led affordable housing scheme.

To present and seek approval of support for the council to support Creekmoor Community Land Trust to progress a suitable site to deliver 14 new affordable houses in Creekmoor. 

13.

School Admission Arrangements 2025/26 – Determination pdf icon PDF 224 KB

BCP Council administers admission arrangements for its community and voluntary controlled schools. There is a legal requirement to determine the arrangements annually as described in the School Admissions Code 2021 and associated legislation.

There are no proposed changes to the admission arrangements for the 2025/26 academic year from those which were publicly consulted upon and determined by the Council for the 2023/24 academic year.

The local authority must also formulate and publish a scheme to coordinate the admission arrangements for all publicly funded schools within their area for the 2025/26 academic year.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           Considered any comments from Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, if any, concerning Schools Admissions Arrangements 2025/2026 for community and maintained schools; and

(b)           Supported the determination of the arrangements as set out

in Appendix 1 and 2 of this report.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Children and Young People

Reason

BCP Council is legally required to determine admission arrangements for the 2025/26 academic year for all maintained schools for which it is an admission authority and to agree coordinated admission arrangements for all admission authorities in the area. Arrangements must be determined by BCP Council by 28 February 2024.

 

 

14.

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

The Council has a statutory duty to provide working families of children aged 0-14 (18 with SEND) enough childcare places in its area, where reasonably practicable.  Each year Research and Children’s Services colleagues assess the position of the market, providing parent’s, councillors, schools and private business ward level information as a planning tool to support access or expansion of places where needed, while highlighting areas of concern for the year ahead.

The content of the assessment concludes that the Council is meeting its statutory duties. It is also important to highlight that, at the time of writing, the quality of our providers stands at 98.5% good or outstanding (compared to 96.5% in England).

The Government has announced the largest ever expansion of childcare entitlements, through two ambitious childcare programmes to support working families with implementation commences April 2024. The information and data provided through the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment is vital to support council officers to manage a significant increase in demand over the coming years, as well as supporting private businesses seeking to enter the market and help the Council fulfil its statutory duties. The Council has received notification of DfE Delivery Support funding and capital funding to support the expansion of places for early years and primary aged wraparound care.

In addition to a briefing paper (appendix 1) the high level data that helped form our 2023 assessment is accessible here.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED that Cabinet approved the content of the review and the priorities (areas of concern) as set out in the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2023 Briefing Paper.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Children and Young People

Reason

To fulfil the Council’s statutory duty to annually assess its childcare market.

 

15.

BCP Council Street Naming and Numbering Policy pdf icon PDF 138 KB

A single Street Naming & Numbering Policy has been produced to harmonise the 3 legacy authority policies and the charging structures of the legacy authorities, to ensure moving forward BCP has a single policy and a single schedule of fees. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           approved the draft Street Naming & Numbering Policy and the draft single schedule of fees; and

(b)           Agreed to adopt Section 17 to 19 Public Health Act 1925 in order to bring about a single Street Naming and Numbering Policy for BCP Council.

Portfolio Holder: Dynamic Places

Reason

To promote a more efficient service with a single policy and set of procedures and fees associated with Street Naming & Numbering.

 

16.

BCP Council Libraries – Creating a sustainable future pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Local authorities are constantly evaluating the way they deliver services, not only taking account of financial pressures but equally changes in social trends, new technology and the evolving needs of their communities.  However, since BCP Council was formed in 2019, there has not been a comprehensive look at our library service to ensure it remains relevant to the needs of our communities and to the circumstances in which the council now operates.  A review is therefore overdue and this report sets out the review framework.

Exploring interest in alternative models of delivery may allow libraries to sustain and even improve their offer to communities as hubs for a variety of council/community services. A range of models including those that capitalise on the capacity in our communities, and the technology that is now available to support open access, will be explored to inform the final strategy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that: -

(a)    A public consultation programme is launched to understand the needs of the community going forwards.

(b)    Options for different delivery models are fully evaluated.

(c)    Options appraisals for the potential co-location of shared council services, contributing to the development of Community Hubs within libraries, are developed.

(d)    The proposed timeline for progressing the development of the Library Strategy, (paragraph 38), is supported.  

(e)    A report returns to Cabinet in October 2024 detailing progress and proposals for the future service.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Customer, Culture and Communication

Reason

To inform the future library service delivery model.

To reimagine the library service and ensure its efficient delivery.

To deliver options to Cabinet by October 2024.

17.

The Royal Arcade, Boscombe - Bournemouth Towns Fund Update pdf icon PDF 150 KB

BCP Council has successfully secured Town Deal funding to help deliver its Town Investment Plan for the regeneration of Boscombe Town Centre.

As part of this plan, the council proposed to acquire the 130-year-old historic Grade II listed Victorian heritage building, known as the Royal Arcade and transform it into a destination for retail, culture, leisure, learning, and creative entrepreneurship.

Officers have undertaken substantial due diligence, and due to the prevailing economic circumstances, project costs have risen to a level where existing approved council borrowings, Towns Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund grants are insufficient to bridge the gap in funding required to deliver the project.

Like many local authorities, the council is facing unprecedented financial challenges and needs to look carefully at council spend, ensuring that the statutory services that its most vulnerable residents rely on are maintained. The council must make sure it has a secure a sustainable financial future, and that means looking ever more carefully at where it invests.  

The purpose of this report is to advise that officers can no longer recommend support for the project beyond progression of the council’s planning application for the scheme and to seek approval for the reallocation of the remaining Towns Fund grant to other approved Town Deal projects.

Progressing the planning application may help to facilitate the private sector taking the scheme forward and engagement with stakeholders will continue to ensure the local community’s aspirations for the Royal Arcade are realised.

Reprofiling the Towns Fund grant, earmarked for the Royal Arcade, across other approved projects within the Boscombe Towns Fund programme will help to safeguard their delivery in the face of high inflation impacting costs and a challenging economic climate.

 

Additional documents:

18.

Dolphin Shopping Centre Poole Update pdf icon PDF 391 KB

This report concerns the subsisting Development Agreement (DA) dated 26th May 2017 between BCP Council and Legal and General Assurance Pensions Management Ltd (L & G) (the parties) covering Dolphin Centre, Towngate Centre, Link Mall and Kingland Crescent, Poole

Due to the downturn in the retail market, the works required by the 2017 DA became unviable and L & G did not carry them out.  This report is provided to update Cabinet and Council on the status of the 2017 DA and seeks approval to release the parties from their obligations under it in return for the financial settlement outlined in the Exempt report at Appendix 1.

Additional documents:

19.

Christchurch Area Speed Limit Amendments (S101 2023) pdf icon PDF 558 KB

To consider the representations received following the advertisement of the Traffic Order and to approve the making and sealing of the Order.

The proposals will enable the implementation of a new and reduced speed limits at the following locations:

1. Burley Road, Winkton – 40mph proposal.

2. A337 Lymington Road and Ringwood Road, Highcliffe and Walkford – Revocation of the existing 40mph speed limit to enable this section to become 30mph by way of existing street lighting.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that: -

Cabinet approve the Traffic Orders as advertised, to enable the order to be made, sealed and to implement the speed limits which are outlined in this report and appendices.

1.    Burley Road, Winkton – 40mph as advertised.

2.    A337 Lymington Road and Ringwood Road, Highcliffe and Walkford – Revocation of the existing 40mph speed limit as advertised to enable this section to become 30mph by way of existing street lighting.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Dynamic Places

Reason

The proposed speed limit changes have strong community support and were well received in the consultation process. They meet the needs of the Department for Transport ‘Setting Local Speed Limits’ advice for local authorities to consider the needs of communities locally.

All road users will benefit from an increased level of road safety resulting from the reduction in speed limit. Lower traffic speeds are expected to make people feel safer when walking and cycling thereby encouraging people to do so.

 

20.

Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Constitution

The Chief Executive to report on any decisions taken under urgency provisions in accordance with the Constitution.

21.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 357 KB

To consider the latest version of the Cabinet Forward Plan for approval.