Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest
Members of the Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Councillor Stuart Whittingham declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item No. 4 on the Agenda – Building More Housing on Brownfield Land (Minute No. 48 refers.) by virtue of him being a Board Member of Magenta Living. He informed that he would leave the meeting whilst that item of business was under discussion.
The minutes of the last meeting have been printed and published. Any matters called in will be reported at the meeting.
RECOMMENDATION: That the minutes be approved and adopted.
That the Minutes of the meetings of Cabinet held on 20 and 27 July 2015 be confirmed as a true record.
Councillor A McLachlan introduced a report by the Director of Children’s Services which reminded the Cabinet that on 6 November 2014, the Cabinet and the Executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council (CW&C) had approved a series of recommendations for the establishment of a Community Interest Company to provide services to schools and improve the lives of children in the local area. It was agreed the company would be jointly owned by the Council and CW&C Council. (Minute No. 89 refers) Appendix 1 to the Director’s report set out the Cabinet’s resolutions in respect of this.
The Cabinet was informed that the establishment of the company had had clear strategic and operational benefits for both Councils and schools. As a not-for-profit company it maintained a public sector ethos with all profit invested into improving outcomes for children. Schools would benefit from receiving better quality services with both a commercial approach and improved value for money. The Councils had retained a strategic role in the shaping and delivering of high attainment in schools. The new company supported the local economy through the creation of a thriving local business generating employment and skills. These outcomes supported priorities identified in the Council Plan 2015-20: A 2020 Vision.
The Cabinet’s decision had been based on a business case which had been developed in collaboration with the Cabinet Office, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and both Councils as part of the National “Delivering Things Differently” Programme. The Business Case had demonstrated that the company could be successful, would grow and be able to reinvest profits into the wider education sector over a five year period.
Following the decision, an implementation team had been mobilised, jointly resourced by both councils to develop the Business Plan for the new organisation. The development of the Business Plan had required an intensive analysis of the market, services and costs, together with product and brand development. The Business Plan had been a major milestone as it had set out how the company would operate including its growth plan, delivery plan, brand platform and the new organisation’s name: ‘Edsential’.
The Business Plan had demonstrated a string, viable business going forward. There had been some material updates to the original Business case and in line with approvals given at that time; these had been being brought back to the Cabinet for approval for a final go-live decision.
The report identified the key changes, their impact on both the Business Plan and on both Councils along with any residual links.
The Key changes for the Council had been:
· The initial financial support that the company had required. The company would take longer to clear initial deficits, which were covered by cash flow loans from each council
· The No Worse Off Principle. The value of support services provided and strategic payments received from the company would not match the current support costs, leading to a shortfall in the region of £100k p.a.
The Key Changes for the Company were:
· Additional costs ... view the full minutes text for item 47.
Councillor Pat Hackett introduced a report by the Strategic Director, Regeneration and Environment which sought the Cabinet’s approval to establish a register of brownfield sites suitable for residential development and where relevant to develop Local Development Orders on identified suitable sites. Councillor Hackett also proposed amended recommendations.
Appended to the Strategic Director’s report were the following appendices:
Appendix 1 - Sites without planning permission currently identified as suitable, available and viable for new housing development (April 2015)
Appendix 2 – Sites without planning permission currently identified as suitable but not currently viable for new housing development (April 2015)
Appendix 3 – Plans of sites listed in Appendix 1
Appendix 4 – Plans of sites listed in Appendix 2
The Cabinet noted that a Local Development Order would grant planning permission for housing in principle, subject to the approval of a limited number of technical details. Approval would support the objective to deliver more housing on brownfield land and would help to demonstrate the Council’s ongoing commitment to support regeneration and meet the Borough’s housing needs on previously developed sites. It would also support the delivery of more houses in line with the Wirral Council Plan: A 2020 Vision, which had set the objective of building 3,500 new homes by 2020.
The report recommended that the Portfolio Holder for the Economy be granted delegated authority to determine all future matters regarding the making of Local Development Orders and recommended that the Council noted the delegation of this function to the Portfolio Holder for the Economy and agrees that the necessary amendments be made to the Council’s Constitution.
Councillor Bernie Mooney informed the Cabinet that she was pleased to see these changes and that local Councillors would be involved as they needed to have a say in what was built on brown field sites. She welcomed the amended recommendations and hoped that by approving them the Cabinet would help to speed up projects and procedures. Suitable houses and flat etc. needed to be built.
(1) the establishment of a register of suitable brownfield sites for development initially on the basis of sites listed in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 to the report be approved;
(2) the Brownfield Land Register be reviewed every six months by the Planning Committee and that during this review, sites which meet the criteria for brownfield land be added and sites that have been developed be removed;
(3) an up to date version of the register, including site plans, be published for public inspection on the Council’s website;
(4) the Head of Regeneration and Planning be authorised to prepare draft Local Development Orders for sites identified on the register as appropriate, in consultation with Ward Members, and undertakes consultation on these as set out in the national legislation;
(5) the Head of Regeneration and Planning be requested to report the draft Local Development Orders and the outcome of the consultation to the Planning Committee who will determine the final adoption of an Order; and
(6) the ... view the full minutes text for item 48.
Councillor Ann McLachlan introduced a report by the Strategic Director, Transformation and Resources which set out the Council’s Quarter 1 (April to June) performance against the delivery of the 2015/16 Corporate Plan as agreed by the Council at its meeting on 8 December 2014. The Corporate Plan Performance Report - Q1 (April - June) 2015/16 was attached to the Strategic Director’s report as Appendix 1. It set out progress against a suite of agreed key performance indicators.
The Cabinet noted that whilst the Corporate Plan 2015/16 had been superseded by the Wirral Council Plan: 2020 Vision, it still formed the basis of the in-year performance management framework. A new Performance Management Framework would be developed for the Council Plan once the associated delivery plan had been finalised.
Councillor Ann McLachlan drew attention to the following Performance Indicators which were RAG rated as red:
· PHCP03 - NHS Health Check Programme by those eligible – Health Check take up (PHOF 2.22ii).
· TRCP03 – Performance Appraisals completed by September 2015.
· TRCP04 – Sickness Absence: The number of working days/shifts lost due to sickness absence (cumulative).
Councillor Ann McLachlan informed that in respect of PHCP03 there had been difficulties experienced in getting the project established but a pilot exercise was now underway to test out the potential of a point of contact with GPs Surgeries. She was hopeful that there would be an improving picture in the next quarter.
Councillor Ann McLachlan informed that in respect of TRCP03 it had been forecasted that the Council would achieve a target of 80% of Performance Appraisals being carried out by the end of the year.
Finally, Councillor Ann McLachlan informed that in respect of TRCP04 that the target would not be achieved by the end of the year. She considered that there was room for improvement and a number of initiatives would be put in place to achieve this. Also, one particular Council Department had skewed the sickness absence figures. Councillor McLachlan hoped that the Cabinet would see an improvement in the next quarter but the situation would continue to be monitored.
That the contents of the report be noted.
Councillor Adrian Jones introduced a report by the Assistant Chief Executive, which provided an update of the previously approved proposal to dispose of the former Rock Ferry High School site, consideration of the outcomes of the public consultation and sought approval to the proposed Council’s submission to the Secretary of State for Education to allow the site to be used for other purposes.
As part of the Council’s five year plan, the proposals in the Assistant Chief Executive’s report supported the following pledges contained in the plan:
· Good quality housing that meets the needs of residents.
· A safer and better environment resulting from the redevelopment of a significant vacant site.
· The Council making better use of assets.
Appended to the Assistant Chief Executive’s report were the following:
Appendix 1 – The on line Consultation Survey (Summary)
Appendix 2 - Notes from Residents Meetings
Councillor Chris Meaden reported that in May 2015, as a Ward Member, she had attended residents meetings with Rock Ferry residents to establish what they wanted to happen. She had listened to what they had said and as a consequence the recommendations in respect of Rock Ferry High School had been amended. She thanked all of the residents who had attended the meetings along with Jeannette Royal, Senior Manager, Asset Management, David Armstrong, Deputy Director Children and Young Persons Department and Assistant Chief Executive and David Ball, Head of Regeneration and Planning who had also been in attendance.
(1) the submission of the application to the Secretary of State for Education for the disposal and change of use of the former Rock Ferry High School be approved;
(2) the mixed use option for the site as outlined in 6.4 of the report be approved;
(3) officers be requested to progress development proposals to site (area A) for residential development in accordance with local planning requirements; and
(4) Officers be requested to work with the newly formed Rock Ferry Residents Association to bring forward proposals for the management of the site (areas B and C).
Councillor Adrian Jones introduced a report by the Assistant Chief Executive which set out the proposed new capital schemes based on the Department for Education (DfE) funding allocations and sought approval for scheme development.
As part of the Council’s five year plan, the proposals in the report supported the following pledges contained in the plan:
· Children are ready for school
· Young people are ready for work and adulthood
· Vulnerable children reach their potential
· Council making better use of its assets.
Councillor Ann McLachlan informed that she was delighted that the proposals were linked to pledges and considered it to be a prime example of how the Council was investing in the young people of Wirral for the future. She thanked the Officers involved for all their hard work.
Appended to the Assistant Chief Executive’s report as Appendix A were the Children and Young Persons Department’s New Capital Schemes 2015/16, 2016/17, 207/18.
The Cabinet considered what had already been achieved and highlighted: That
· Foxfield Special School had been successfully completed in March 2015 and the outcomes of this new facility were looking impressive in terms of future attainment, behaviour and general well-being.
· Bedford Drive Primary School construction programme had started on site this summer with anticipated completion of August 2016.
· Works would commence at Ridgeway High School for its new facility in summer 2016.
· Somerville Primary School – completion of the 6 mobile classroom replacement project had been achieved in March 2015.
· Fender Primary School – completion of a 2 classroom and resource extension was due to be completed in October 2015.
That the new capital schemes identified in Appendix A to the report be approved and referred to the Council for inclusion within the overall Capital Programme.