Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 19th November, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose

Contact: Jo Morley  01572 758271

Items
No. Item

374.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were none.

 

375.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND/OR HEAD OF THE PAID SERVICE

Minutes:

The Chair announced that questions had been raised from the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee; the answers to which were appended here:

 

Answers

376.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are required to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

There were none.

377.

RECORD OF DECISIONS

To confirm the Record of Decisions made at the meeting of the Cabinet held on 15th October 2019.

Minutes:

The record of the decisions made at the meeting of Cabinet on the 15th October 2019 were confirmed.

 

378.

PROGRESS UPDATE ON ST GEORGE'S

To receive items raised by members of scrutiny which have been submitted to the Leader (copied to Chief Executive and Governance) by 4.30 pm on Friday 15 November 2019.

Minutes:

The Leader explained that a document had been submitted by a member of the scrutiny Committee in accordance with the Constitution. The questions raised within the document would be appended to the minutes and answers provided if necessary.  

 

379.

50 YEAR VISION PROCESS pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No 169/2019 was received from the Chief Executive. The Leader explained that the report sought the approval of Cabinet of the development process and communications plan put together for the 50 year plan. This would provide vision and a framework for Rutland over the next 50 years and by working with communities and key stakeholders would help to provide a plan that would be imaginative, creative and ambitious for Rutland.

Cabinet discussed the report and concurred that the timeline for the development process should be more flexible; whilst an indicative budget for the 50 year vision had been set, the Chief Executive Mrs Briggs indicated that as work was progressing it in now likely that £15k is likely to be required. Cabinet were supportive of in particular the consultation being comprehensive and if this required additional funding up to £15k this was supported. The Chief Executive gave assurances the additional budget would only be spent if required.nearer £15k but efforts would be made to contain spending as far as possible.

RESOLVED:

That the 50 year vision development process and communications be approved.

 

Reason for the decision: To allow the development and adoption of a clear vision for Rutland for the next 50 years.

380.

PROGRESS UPDATE ON ST GEORGE'S pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive elaborated on a report which provided an update on the progress on the St George’s project. It was explained that initial meetings had taken place with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Council Officers and it was reported that the DIO/Montague Evans would be willing to attend and future meetings of the sub group. Cabinet were informed that an Expression of Interest had previously been submitted to the Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Fund and were advised that it had been successful.

RESOLVED:

That Cabinet noted the progress update in respect of the St George’s Project.

Reason for the decision: Progress on the project is in line with the programme.

 

 

381.

Q2 FINANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet of the full year forecast as at Quarter 2 for 2019/20. He explained that the current revenue position was that the Council was forecasting a deficit of £123k compared to a budget deficit of £235k. It was noted that the capital budget had changed and Cabinet were being asked to approve the additional work relating to the replacement of Air Conditioning Units in the IT Server Room at the Council offices. Two schemes would be removed, subject to Cabinet approval (OEP Phase 2 and the Officers Mess) because they were no longer viable.

 

Cabinet were informed that the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) had been updated and noted that there was a need for caution due to increased uncertainty with the impending General Election and a lack of clarity with regards to the amount of funding that would be received from Government.

 

In response to questions raised, the Strategic Director for People stated that recruitment was currently underway for foster carers but noted that the use of Independent Fostering Agencies was sometimes a necessity as there were instances whereby there was a lack of suitable foster carers to match the needs of the child that were available for the Council to use.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)     That the forecast 2019/20 revenue and capital outturn position as at Quarter 2 (Appendix A, section 1 and section 2 of the report) be noted.

b)     That it be recommended to Council to remove two projects from the capital programme:  officers mess and OEP Phase 2

c)     That an addition to the capital programme of £30k for new air conditioning units for the IT Server room be approved

d)     That the impact on the MTFP of the Spending Round 2019 (Appendix A Section 3 of the report) be noted.

e)     That potential future pressures and savings (Appendix A, Section 1.4 of the report) be noted

Reason for the decision:The Q2 position has changed significantly since Q1, but the movement represents 1% of the Net Cost of Services and is not unusual because officers now have more information to make forecasts in demand-led areas and a better understanding of the likelihood of recruiting to vacant posts and the costs of plugging any gaps with interims.

 

382.

MID YEAR TREASURY MANAGEMENT REPORT pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Minutes:

Councillor G Brown, as the relevant Portfolio Holder, elaborated on a report which sought to update Members of the progress against the Treasury Management Strategy and prudential indicators.

It was explained that the Council had invested with institutions as determined by the revised creditworthiness criteria approved by the S151 Officer, with one exception, due to an error on the Council’s credit counterparty list, relating to Skipton Building Society. Officers had invested £3 million for 364 days during the first 6 months of 2019/20 but it was subsequently identified that there was an error on the credit list and investment should have been limited to £1million for 6 months. Of the £3m invested the risk of default for Skipton Building Society was calculated to be 0.097%.

Due to market uncertainty arising from Brexit most UK financial institutions have been placed on a long term negative ratings watch by one of the credit rating agencies. Due to the exceptional market conditions the Treasury Management Strategy allows for changes to be made by the Section 151 officer.  The following change had been made:

1.    The current policy states that any organisation on ‘negative watch’ from any rating agency is suspended from use;

2.    This has been updated on advice from Link Asset Services who assert that our policy is very restrictive and overly ‘belt and braces’ and goes beyond what other Councils do.  In this case, the Council would not suspend an organisation if other rating agencies do not have them on negative watch and their rating continues to be above the minimum requirement (assuming their rating has been downgraded by one)

It was further noted that there had been no concerns about the Skipton Building Society in the media and there was no real cause for concern.

RESOLVED:

That the contents of the report and Appendices A to C be noted.

That the changes made by the Section 151 Officer around Investment Rules (see para 2.2 – 2.3 of the report) be noted

 

Reasons for the decision: To summarise the treasury management performance in the year to date.

383.

HOUSING INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING (HIF) BID UPDATE pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive informed Cabinet that the Council’s bid for Housing Infrastructure Funding (Forward Funding) for the St George’s project had been successful and explained that due process would be followed and considered by Cabinet and Council as to whether or not to accept the funding. It was reported that discussions were ongoing with Homes England and an update would be provide at future Cabinet and Council meetings, once the Elections had been held.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That it be noted that the Council had been advised that its bid for Housing Infrastructure Funding (Forward Funding) for the St George’s project had been successful.

 

Reason for the decision: To advise Cabinet that the HIF submission had been successful. It was made clear in January 2019 that ultimately Council would take the decision as whether to accept HIF. Any recommendation will be dependent on the next stage of work being concluded and the timing of any decision making process will not be affected by the Purdah period.

The decision making process would also support activity by the relevant Scrutiny Panel should they wish.