Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 24th November, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

82.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

 

83.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 24 October 2021.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 27 October were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

84.

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 4 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.

Minutes:

The Leader advised that there had been no questions, statements or petitions received from members of the public on this occasion.

 

85.

Recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Board

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

Minutes:

Cabinet was advised that there were no additional recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Board on items not otherwise included on the Cabinet Agenda on this occasion.

 

86.

Estates and Accommodation - BCP Civic Space pdf icon PDF 495 KB

The creation of the BCP Council Civic Centre is part of the first phase in the council’s Estates and Accommodation Strategy, which aims to establish a ‘fit for purpose’ corporate estate that can effectively support council’s services and the delivery of its priorities. The November 2020 Estates & Accommodation Cabinet Report focussed on the remodelling of the officer accommodation areas of the former town hall complex as a priority. It also proposed setting up a Members’ Working Group to consider and lead on the development of the Civic accommodation, as a subsequent phase.

A Members Working Group was established in early 2021, to identify the needs of the civic space in the BCP Council Civic Centre. This report responds to the working group’s considerations and proposes additional investment in the BCP Council Civic Centre to ensure that the building provides fit for purpose accommodation to support the council’s democratic processes as well as the other functions that are typically delivered from the building’s civic spaces. Works would include improved accessibility and the adoption of technology solutions that support transparency and wider engagement in the council’s decision making. Whilst the original town hall presents challenges in terms of making changes or adaptations to the building’s heritage features, a pragmatic and prudent approach to cost has been taken to ensure value for money

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that: -

(a)           the remodelling of the BCP Civic Space as outlined in the report be approved;

RECOMMENDED that: -

(b)           the Phase 1 project budget set out in Appendix 3 of £1.067 million, of which £0.611 million will be funded from prudential borrowing, be forwarded for onward recommendation to Council

RESOLVED that: -

(c)           Cabinet authorises the commencement of the procurement process and delegates authority to award contracts to implement the remodelling project to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, and Corporate Director Resources, in accordance with delegated authorities and the council’s financial regulations

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council

Reason

To approve the budget and procurement approach required to successfully remodel the civic space in BCP Council Civic Centre.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that the creation of the BCP Council Civic Centre is part of the first phase in the council’s Estates and Accommodation Strategy, which aims to establish a ‘fit for purpose’ corporate estate that can effectively support council’s services and the delivery of its priorities.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the November 2020 Estates & Accommodation Cabinet Report focussed on the remodelling of the officer accommodation areas of the former town hall complex as a priority, and that it also proposed setting up a Members’ Working Group to consider and lead on the development of the Civic accommodation, as a subsequent phase.

Further to this Cabinet was advised that a Members Working Group had been established in early 2021, to identify the needs of the civic space in the BCP Council Civic Centre, and that this report responds to the working group’s considerations and proposes additional investment in the BCP Council Civic Centre to ensure that the building provides fit for purpose accommodation to support the council’s democratic processes as well as the other functions that are typically delivered from the building’s civic spaces.

Councillor Filer addressed the Cabinet as Chairman of the Working Group which highlighting the work which had been carried out.

Cabinet was informed that works would include improved accessibility and the adoption of technology solutions that support transparency and wider engagement in the council’s decision making, and that whilst the original town hall presents challenges in terms of making changes or adaptations to the building’s heritage features, a pragmatic and prudent approach to cost has been taken to ensure value for money.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)           the remodelling of the BCP Civic Space as outlined in this report be approved;

RECOMMENDED that: -

(b)           the Phase 1 project budget set out in Appendix 3 of £1.067 million, of which £0.611 million will be funded from prudential borrowing, be forwarded for onward recommendation to Council

RESOLVED that: -

(c)           Cabinet authorises the commencement of the procurement process and delegates authority to award contracts to implement the remodelling project to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, and Corporate Director Resources, in accordance with delegated authorities and the council’s financial regulations

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Leader of the Council

 

87.

BCP Futures – a new Economic Development Strategy for BCP pdf icon PDF 368 KB

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council) has recently created BCP Futures which is a concept and a brand to unite our work to shape the future strategic direction of our city region. This ambitious and forward-thinking BCP economic development strategy (Appendix 1) is a key part of this work.  The strategy outlines our Prosperity Deal with businesses: the council will remove the barriers to productivity and invest in the environment for growth in return for businesses improving their productivity, raising wages and therefore living standards. An essential feature of the deal will be an enhanced concierge service for businesses provided by the economic development team. The overarching aim of the strategy is to become a top 20 ranked city region in terms productivity by 2026 (measured by Centre for Cities).

This report highlights the main elements of the strategy and seeks cabinet’s approval for it.

The strategy sets the objectives and forms the framework for a project-specific action plan which is already in development.   

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet support and adopt the BCP Economic Development Strategy (EDS).

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Development, Growth and Regeneration

Reason

The strategy will help deliver the council’s strategic aims and objectives including the ‘Dynamic Places’, ‘Connected Communities’ and ‘Sustainable Environment’ objectives in the Corporate Strategy. It will also be part of the BCP Futures brand and help deliver the ‘Iconic’, ‘Rejuvenate Poole’, ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Act at Scale’ projects of the Big Plan.

The strategy will help us access the government’s Levelling Up and Shared Prosperity Funds.

It is therefore recommended that cabinet supports and adopts the BCP economic development strategy.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Development Growth and Regeneration presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was informed that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council) has recently created BCP Futures which is a concept and a brand to unite our work to shape the future strategic direction of our city region, and that this ambitious and forward-thinking BCP economic development strategy (Appendix 1) is a key part of this work. 

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that the strategy outlines our Prosperity Deal with businesses: the council will remove the barriers to productivity and invest in the environment for growth in return for businesses improving their productivity, raising wages and therefore living standards, and that an essential feature of the deal will be an enhanced concierge service for businesses provided by the economic development team with the overarching aim of the strategy being to become a top 20 ranked city region in terms productivity by 2026 (measured by Centre for Cities).

Cabinet was further informed that this report highlights the main elements of the strategy and seeks cabinet’s approval for it and that the strategy sets the objectives and forms the framework for a project-specific action plan which is already in development.   

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board addressed the Cabinet advising that at their recent meeting the Board had recognised this as a good piece of work and had advised that they were looking forward to the outputs coming from it.

RESOLVED that Cabinet support and adopt the BCP Economic Development Strategy (EDS).

Voting: Unanimous


Portfolio Holder: Development, Growth and Regeneration

 

88.

An overview of the government’s forthcoming Waste Strategy; impacts and opportunities for BCP Council pdf icon PDF 634 KB

April 2020 saw the creation of a fully merged BCP Council waste authority following Local Government Reorganisation in 2019. Since then, significant work has been carried out to align policies and services.  

  

The emergence of the Government’s Our Waste Our Resources Strategy, associated national consultations and the imminence of the Environment Bill (anticipated Autumn 2021) have highlighted the potential need for significant changes to how current waste services are managed and funded going forward, and will greatly influence the development of a local Waste Strategy for BCP Council. This report summarises the latest consultation themes and outlines the likely impacts for the Council.  

  

Supportive waste infrastructure is key to both delivering the Council’s statutory waste responsibilities and achieving the most financially advantageous operational and contractual arrangements. Consequently, ahead of 2027, and the tendering of BCP Council’s waste disposal contracts, it is prudent to review the Council’s waste assets and provision to bring forward business cases to deliver service efficiencies, security and wider transformational ambitions of the organisation. This report seeks approval to use existing grant funding to undertake a comprehensive feasibility review and supporting business cases to identify how best to meet the challenges ahead.  

  

For BCP Council to respond to the challenges of the national waste landscape and legally comply with the requirements of the forthcoming Environment Bill, this report identifies a required growth in employee resource to evaluate, deliver and embed the required changes across the conurbation, by the Government’s proposed implementation deadline of 2023 through to disposal contract tendering in 2027.   

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           approves up to £300,000 of an available £6.5m DCLG Waste Infrastructure capital fund, is utilised to undertake a feasibility study and develop a business case for disposing of, or repurposing existing operational depots across the Council, and building a modern single operational depot to meet future demand;

(b)           supports the £260,000 of ongoing revenue funding requested from 2022/23 onwards, to sufficiently resource the Strategic Waste Team within Environment Services to meet statutory requirements;

(c)           supports the £176,000 of ongoing revenue funding requested from 2022/23 onwards, to sufficiently resource the Commercial Waste Team within Environment Services to ensure there is no business failure;

(d)           notes that £260,000 and £176,000 per annum from 2022/23 onwards will formally be recommended to Council as part of the 2022/23 budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan Update report in February 2022; and

(e)           approves that, a comprehensive service review of commercial waste services is undertaken to identify priority areas for service growth, likely income contributions and associated resource requirements.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Environment and Place

Reasons

1.    To establish the feasibility of a single consolidated waste depot for BCP Council. The two main existing depots are not fit for purpose and need substantial investment.

2.    To explore opportunities for combining depot provisions with other Council services, realising further asset rationalisation efficiencies and improved collaboration. Also, available site search will explore opportunities to address natural burial site shortage.

3.    To ensure legal compliance with the Government’s Environmental Bill, and other relevant legislation, through sufficient staff resource to effectively design, plan, implement and promote the forthcoming service delivery changes.

4.    To review the future development and rationalisation of existing waste infrastructure (Recycling Centres, transfer stations, ancillary depots) that BCP Council has inherited from the four legacy councils, and ensure legal compliance with the site-specific environmental permits.

5.    To reduce reliance on agency staff currently utilised to meet commercial waste service demands for weighbridge, office based and operational staff resource.

6.    Without these further staff resources, current service levels are not sustainable and a reduction in income generation from commercial waste is likely.

7.    BCP Council commercial waste services currently generate £3.4m of income pa, from 3,000 customers on bin collections, commercial skips, underground bin collections, bulky waste collections and commercial weighbridge transactions. Areas for service expansion have been identified that have the potential to enhance the Council commercial waste offer, and further contribute to the MTFP.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that April 2020 saw the creation of a fully merged BCP Council waste authority following Local Government Reorganisation in 2019. Since then, significant work has been carried out to align policies and services.

Cabinet was further advised that the emergence of the Government’s Our Waste Our Resources Strategy, associated national consultations and the imminence of the Environment Bill (anticipated Autumn 2021) have highlighted the potential need for significant changes to how current waste services are managed and funded going forward, and will greatly influence the development of a local Waste Strategy for BCP Council, and that the report summarises the latest consultation themes and outlines the likely impacts for the Council.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that supportive waste infrastructure is key to both delivering the Council’s statutory waste responsibilities and achieving the most financially advantageous operational and contractual arrangements, and that consequently, ahead of 2027, and the tendering of BCP Council’s waste disposal contracts, it is prudent to review the Council’s waste assets and provision to bring forward business cases to deliver service efficiencies, security and wider transformational ambitions of the organisation. Cabinet was further informed that the report seeks approval to use existing grant funding to undertake a comprehensive feasibility review and supporting business cases to identify how best to meet the challenges ahead.

Cabinet was advised that in order for BCP Council to respond to the challenges of the national waste landscape and legally comply with the requirements of the forthcoming Environment Bill, the report identifies a required growth in employee resource to evaluate, deliver and embed the required changes across the conurbation, by the Government’s proposed implementation deadline of 2023 through to disposal contract tendering in 2027.

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           approves up to £300,000 of an available £6.5m DCLG Waste Infrastructure capital fund, is utilised to undertake a feasibility study and develop a business case for disposing of, or repurposing existing operational depots across the Council, and building a modern single operational depot to meet future demand;

(b)           supports the £260,000 of ongoing revenue funding requested from 2022/23 onwards, to sufficiently resource the Strategic Waste Team within Environment Services to meet statutory requirements;

(c)           supports the £176,000 of ongoing revenue funding requested from 2022/23 onwards, to sufficiently resource the Commercial Waste Team within Environment Services to ensure there is no business failure;

(d)           notes that £260,000 and £176,000 per annum from 2022/23 onwards will formally be recommended to Council as part of the 2022/23 budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan Update report in February 2022; and

(e)           approves that, a comprehensive service review of commercial waste services is undertaken to identify priority areas for service growth, likely income contributions and associated resource requirements.

Voting: Unanimous


Portfolio Holder: Environment and Place

 

89.

Planning Service Improvement Update pdf icon PDF 317 KB

This provides an update on measures being implemented to deliver a step change in the reputation and performance of the BCP Planning Service in order to support the delivery of the Big Plan and other corporate priorities. It follows a previous report on the Planning Service considered by Cabinet in April 2021 and provides a 6-month update on progress since and actions for the next 6 months. The key improvement activities underway since the last report are as follows:

·       Ongoing governance by Planning Improvement Board

·       Appointment of interim Planning Service Director and Development Management Manager

·       Improved use of data to run service

·       Task force approach to dealing with out of time applications and reducing on hand demand

·       Use of outsourcing companies to deal with volumes of work needing to be determined

·       Validation process review

·       Single system and process project moving forward

·       Improved engagement with staff and customers

·       Major recruitment campaign due to start

·       Increased focus on Local Plan progression

·       Structural review to begin

 

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet:-

(a)         note and endorse the measures underway to improve and transform the planning service;

(b)          approve the actions required for the next 6 months as set out in the report;

(c)          endorse the additional in-year expenditure required to deliver ongoing service improvements for this financial year as shown in the financial implication section;

(d)          agree the proposed funding for the additional expenditure as shown in the financial implication section, with delegated authority to the Section 151 Officer to alter the final funding arrangements once the actual figures at the end of the financial year are known; and

(e)        delegate authority to the Director of Planning in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning to review and deliver improvements to the process around planning application publicity.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Development, Growth and Regeneration

                           Community Safety and Regulatory Services

Reason

To support the transformation of the Planning Service to support the local economy and the areas communities and delivery of the Big Plan.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that the report provided an update on measures being implemented to deliver a step change in the reputation and performance of the BCP Planning Service in order to support the delivery of the Big Plan and other corporate priorities, and that it follows a previous report on the Planning Service considered by Cabinet in April 2021 and provides a 6-month update on progress since and actions for the next 6 months.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the key improvement activities underway since the last report were as follows:

·      Ongoing governance by Planning Improvement Board

·       Appointment of interim Planning Service Director and Development Management Manager

·      Improved use of data to run service

·      Task force approach to dealing with out of time applications and reducing on hand demand

·      Use of outsourcing companies to deal with volumes of work needing to be determined

·      Validation process review

·      Single system and process project moving forward

·      Improved engagement with staff and customers

·      Major recruitment campaign due to start

·      Increased focus on Local Plan progression

·      Structural review to begin

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board addressed the Cabinet advising that at their recent meeting the Board had been understanding of the work which had been carried out and appreciative of the effort which has been made. In addition, the Chairman stressed the importance of the reputation of the council and whilst acknowledging that the council is meeting government targets in respect of dealing with applications in a timely manner that the Board would like data in respect of the numbers of applications and time taken to deal with them. In closing the Chairman of the Board advised that the Board would seeking an update in February/March 2022.

In addition the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board advised that there had been some discussion at the Board with regards to

A member of the Cabinet questioned whether there had been any further discussion with regards to the possibility of moving towards there being three planning committees in future.

In relation to this Cabinet was advised that whilst this wasn’t included within the agenda that there had been some discussion regarding this matter at the recent Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting, and that at the meeting there had largely been cross party support for not progressing this at this time whilst dealing with the service improvements. Cabinet was informed that when this was previously brought before Cabinet that the move to three committees had been turned down and that it was felt to be too early to bring the matter back.

RESOLVED that Cabinet:-

(a)         note and endorse the measures underway to improve and transform the planning service;

(b)          approve the actions required for the next 6 months as set out in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Pokesdown Railway Station Improvement pdf icon PDF 637 KB

This report seeks the recommendationof Cabinet to Council for allocation of up to £2.6m from BCP’s Future Fund to improve Pokesdown Railway Station through a jointly agreed financial arrangement with South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail (NR). 

Subject to approval of the business case with the Department for Transport (DfT) both SWR and NR are committed to sourcing £3.1M towards the overall project cost of £5.7m to deliver this essential and long-awaited infrastructure with the Council thencovering the shortfall up to a maximum of £2.6m.

The anticipatedscope of work is shown in the outline business case included within this report at Appendix 1. The content is subject to further detailed design and legal consideration.

This investment shall provide essential access benefits to all users but especially for wheelchair users.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'E' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that the report sought the recommendation of Cabinet to Council for allocation of up to £2.6m from BCP’s Future Fund to improve Pokesdown Railway Station through a jointly agreed financial arrangement with South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail (NR). 

In relation to this Cabinet advised that subject to approval of the business case with the Department for Transport (DfT) both SWR and NR are committed to sourcing £3.1M towards the overall project cost of £5.7m to deliver this essential and long-awaited infrastructure with the Council then covering the shortfall up to a maximum of £2.6m.

Cabinet was informed that the anticipated scope of work is shown in the outline business case included within this report at Appendix 1, and that the content is subject to further detailed design and legal consideration.

Cabinet was further informed that this investment shall provide essential access benefits to all users but especially for wheelchair users.

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board addressed the Cabinet advising that at their recent meeting the Board had comprehensively discussed the report expressing their concern and questioning why council tax payers should provide finance for such a scheme for which the asset isn’t owned by the Council. In relation to this the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board advised that the Board had proposed the following recommendation in respect of this item:

  1. The Overview and Scrutiny Board recommended to Cabinet that it approves the following recommendation as part of the Pokesdown Railway Station Improvement Report:

“That funding options with the Dorset LEP in terms of infrastructure funding are considered and failing that, that BCP Council fully investigates the option of a long term loan to SWR before committing to making this funding allocation”.

  1. The Overview and Scrutiny Board recommended to Cabinet that it does not proceed with recommendations as outlined in the report.

The Portfolio Holder advised that he appreciated the depth of discussion at the recent Board meeting but stressed that this was a good idea and urged the Cabinet to reject the recommendations of the Board.

In relation to this the Portfolio Holder advised that alternative ways in which this could be funded had been explored and that there were no funds available from the LEP and no option of providing a loan to SWR.

Councillor Farquhar addressed the Cabinet as Ward Member and expressed that whilst he was supportive of the proposed improvements to Pokesdown Railway Station he had serious concerns with regards to the council financing the improvement and providing the funding to SWR who have failed to fulfil their requirement. In relation to this Councillor Farquhar highlighted that it had been indicated that the council should be the funder of last resort and that there had been no documentation provided by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

91.

Written statement of action for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). pdf icon PDF 540 KB

Following a local area SEND inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in late June 2021, the local authority (LA) and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must produce and submit a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) by 7 December.

The WSoA is being co-produced by a partnership process involving families, schools, Health, the Council and other partners.

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           endorse the partnership approach to radically improving special educational needs and disabilities across the BCP area; and

(b)           delegate authority to the Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Council Priorities and Delivery to sign off the WSoA on behalf of the Council.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Council Priorities and Delivery

Reason

To ensure the Council meets the requirement of the SEND local area inspection and support the Council in meeting its legal responsibilities regarding SEND through delivery of the eight work programmes drawn up in response to the eight areas of criticism.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Priorities and Delivery presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'F' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that following a local area SEND inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in late June 2021, the local authority (LA) and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must produce and submit a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) by 7 December.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the WSoA is being co-produced by a partnership process involving families, schools, Health, the Council and other partners.

The Chairman of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee addressed the Cabinet advising that at their meeting the previous evening the Committee had discussed the item and whilst there were no formal recommendations the committee had been supportive of the paper and its recommendations.

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           endorse the partnership approach to radically improving special educational needs and disabilities across the BCP area; and

(b)           delegate authority to the Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Council Priorities and Delivery to sign off the WSoA on behalf of the Council.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Council Priorities and Delivery

 

92.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 252 KB

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

Minutes:

The Leader advised that the latest Cabinet Forward Plan had been published on the Council’s website.