Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 and 3 - Council House. View directions

Contact: Lara Knight / Michelle Salmon, Governance Services,  Tel: 024 7683 3237 / 3065, Email:  lara.knight@coventry.gov.uk /  michelle.salmon@coventry.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

84.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no disclosable pecuniary interests.

85.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

(a)  To agree the minutes from the meeting of Cabinet on 4th November 2014

 

(b)  Matters arising

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2014 were agreed and signed as a true record.

86.

Pre-Budget Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Executive Director of Resources that sought approval, as a basis for consultation, for spending and savings proposals for 2015/2016 and future financial years, as adjustments to the Council’s Budget.

 

There had been very large cuts across the public sector since 2010 and local government had suffered disproportionately badly within the Government’s overall resource allocation framework. The City Council had received reductions in its core Government revenue funding equivalent to £55m per annum (26%) between 2010/11 and 2014/15 with the prospect of further cuts of £50m per annum over the next 3 years. Within this context, the Council approved a Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) on 11th November 2014 which set out the national and local financial and policy context, as well as the key approaches being proposed to address the challenges.

 

At the start of 2015/16 budget setting, the Council faced a budget gap of £15m rising to £65m over the next three years. The report set out spending and saving proposals that together narrowed those respective gaps to £2m and £15m. Further details were set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The MTFS outlined the key strategies needed to enable the Council to balance its budget in the short to medium term incorporating Kickstart and the Customer Journey; City Centre First; a new Workforce Strategy; and Doing Things Differently. It was intended that these would deliver combined savings of nearly £15m in 2015/16 rising to £40m over the medium term. The report provided some further details on the overarching direction of the proposals and more would emerge as the strategies crystallised over coming months.

 

Some of the savings proposed represented significant changes to services provided by the Council. It was essential that the Council overhauled and modernised the way that many of its services were delivered rather than try to maintain the status quo in how it operated, a state that would not be affordable in the light of the future financial challenges that faced the Council. The Council would need to maximise the efficiency with which it delivered its services and make decisions about which services it would not be able to maintain at existing levels if it was to maintain its commitment to protecting its most vulnerable citizens and deliver a range of core services to everyone in the city.

 

The MTFS re-stated the Council’s commitment to protecting vulnerable people in the city. Additional resources of £13m in 2015/16 had been allocated to Children’s Services which reflected the current volume of cases and cost of care for looked after children and for safeguarding other children and young people. The financial investment re-affirmed the Council’s commitment to delivering the recommendations of the OFSTED inspection of Children’s Services made in February 2014.

 

The report proposed that the budget consultation was carried out on the basis that the Council would increase Council Tax levels by the maximum amount allowable by Government without triggering a referendum. The assumption was that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Council Plan - Half Year Performance Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Executive that sought approval for the Council Plan, Half Year Performance Report 2014/2015.

 

The Council Plan, setting out the strategic direction and priorities for the next ten years, was approved by Council in January 2014. Through its plans, the Council wanted the city to grow and become more prosperous and for this prosperity to benefit all residents. Economic growth would create jobs for local people, opportunities to develop skills and qualifications, and a wider range of housing. The Council would use its resources to encourage growth and would work with local communities to improve the quality of life for Coventry people and especially for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

 

Progress against the priorities and objectives of the Council Plan was reported on a half-yearly basis, this report summarised progress during the first six months of 2014/15 in relation to the plan priorities and a set of key headline indicators. Where applicable contextual information had been included to describe what was happening in Coventry and how this compared with elsewhere.

 

The Council’s equality objectives were also revised to reflect the priorities of the new Council Plan. A detailed equality strategy progress report was submitted to Cabinet Member (Policing and Equalities) in September 2014 (his minute 35/14 referred) with a further update to be submitted to the cabinet Member in January 2015.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet approves the Council Plan performance report for the first half year 2014/15.

88.

Director of Public Health Annual Report 2014 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Public Health that sought support for the publication of the Director of Public Health Annual Report, a statutory and independent report produced each year.

 

The Cabinet noted that the report had also been considered by the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board (5) (their minute 30/14 refers). A briefing note, detailing the Board’s consideration of the matter was circulated.

 

The Annual Report was an important vehicle for informing local people about the health of their community, as well as providing necessary information for decision makers in local health services and authorities on health gaps and priorities that needed to be addressed.

 

This year, the title of the Director of Public Health Annual Report was ‘Primary care at the heart of our health’. The report focused on the primary care system and its role in addressing health inequalities, with a particular emphasis on general practice (GP).

 

The report had been developed in consultation with the Primary Care Quality Group, which was directly accountable to Coventry’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Members of the Primary Care Quality Group included Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), National Health Service England’s Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Area Team, Coventry Local Medical Committee and Healthwatch Coventry. The report had also been developed in consultation with a small editorial group which included GPs from Coventry and Rugby CCG. The report had been presented to the Primary Care Quality Group and Clinical Development Group at Coventry and Rugby CCG and comments from both groups had been incorporated in the report. 

 

Information from the reports would be shared widely with local people, partner agencies and voluntary sector organisations.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

 

(1)  Notes the comments made by the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board (5)

 

(2)  Supports the publication of the Public Health Annual Report 2014.

89.

Lease and Asset Transfer Agreements for Proposed Academy Status of Alice Stevens Special School pdf icon PDF 556 KB

Report of the Executive Director, People

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Executive Director of People that sought approval for Lease and Asset Transfer Agreements for the proposed Academy Status of Alice Stevens Special School following a decision of the School’s Governing Body to convert to make an application to the Secretary of State for an Academy Order under the Academies Act 2010 ("the 2010 Act"). The school would be joining a multi academy trust operated by Sidney Stringer Academy ("the Academy").

 

In response to this the Council was required under Schedule 1 of 2010 Act (as amended by Schedule 14 of the Education Act 2011 ("the 2011 Act") to grant a 125-year term lease at a peppercorn rental for the land and/or buildings within its ownership that had been wholly or mainly used for the purposes of the school in the period of 8 years ending on the day on which a schedule is made. As Alice Stevens was co-locating as a Broad Spectrum Special School with Ernesford Grange Secondary School in summer 2015, there would only be a requirement however, for a short lease in this instance covering the period 2nd January to 31st August 2015. The Council was also required to agree an Asset Transfer Agreement which covered the transfer of furniture, equipment and other assets and also provided warranties covering transferring information and pre and post conversion issues.

 

At the meeting of Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee on 27 April 2011 (their minute 105/11 refers) it was agreed that the Cabinet Member (Education) would receive formal reports for all schools seeking academy status, covering the lease and other legal agreements between the Council and the Academy. 

 

The Cabinet noted that following the consultation undertaken by the Sidney Stringer Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with local communities, including with Ward Councillors, any claims for access and/or rights of way across the land, would be included within the lease proposed for the site.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

 

(1)  Approves the grant by the Council to the Academy of an 8 month short lease agreement (2nd January to 31st August 2015) at a peppercorn rental with the Academy for the proposed academy at Alice Stevens Special School pursuant to the Academies Act 2010.

 

(2)  Approves the Council entering into the asset transfer agreement for Alice Stevens Special School with the Academy.

 

(3)  Delegates authority to the Executive Director of People and the Executive Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Education, to agree any amendments to the Lease and Asset Transfer Agreement arising from further consideration by the Academy.

90.

Developing Social Enterprises, Mutuals and Other Forms of Public Service Delivery pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Executive that sought approval of key principles for alternative forms of service delivery, (spin-outs), including social enterprises, mutuals and other forms of public service delivery, to help assess the desirability, viability and feasibility of any proposals for potential Council spin-outs.

 

The Council was committed to encouraging the development of social enterprises, mutuals and other business models as part of its priority to encourage active citizens and strong and involved communities.

 

The Council was:

i.  using its leadership role to support social enterprises in the city generally;

ii.  streamlining the Council’s procurement processes to value social benefits; and

iii.  exploring and developing alternative forms of public service delivery.

 

The report primarily focused on ‘exploring and developing alternative forms of public service delivery’ which not only helped the Council met its stated priorities, but could help mitigate the impact of the continuing severe and unprecedented public sector budget cuts on services for local residents.
It set out the work that had taken place so far, and made recommendations on key principles for the development of alternative service delivery models and specific actions in relation to traded education support services.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

 

(1)  Approves the key principles for Council spin-outs, including social enterprises, mutuals and other forms of public service delivery, to help assess the desirability, viability and feasibility of any proposals for potential spin-outs;

 

(2)  Delegates authority to the Cabinet Member for Education, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Cooperatives and Social Enterprise and Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Chief Executive, to develop alternative operating models for Cabinet to consider, including:

 

(a)  the Outdoor Education Service;

(b)  the Performing Arts Service;

(c)  other traded, non-statutory education services; and

 

(3)  Consider further opportunities to use alternative delivery models, including for the service reduction proposals set out in the pre-budget report.

91.

Outstanding Issues pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Executive Director of Resources that contained the list of outstanding issues and summarised the current position in respect of each item.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet notes the dates for future consideration of matters relating to the outstanding issues items listed in the report.

92.

Any other items of public business which the Chair decides to take as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances involved.

Minutes:

There were no other items of public business.