Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Shirley Hudspeth  Committee and Civic Services Manager

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Items
No. Item

6.

Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest

Members of the Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary and/or any other relevant interest, in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

7.

Minutes

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 4 June 2018 be confirmed as a correct record. 

8.

Executive Key Decisions Taken Under Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 657 KB

Key Decisions – taken under delegated powers. Period 25 May, 2018 (date of publication of last Cabinet agenda) to date.

 

·  Decision Maker - Leader of the Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Devolution Funding: Households into Work Pilot

 

Effective from 31 May, 2018

(Executive Member Decision Form attached)

 

·  Decision Maker - Leader of the Council

Liverpool City Region Enabling Powers to Raise Business Rates Supplements

 

Effective from 25 May, 2018

Not Subject to Call-In, decision made as a matter of special urgency due to the Government imposing a deadline for the constituent councils to give their consent by 29 May, 2018.

(Executive Member Decision Form attached)

 

·  Decision Maker – Cabinet Member Highways and Transport

Wirral Road Safety Plan

 

Effective from 19 June, 2018

(Executive Member Decision Form attached)

 

·  Decision Maker – Cabinet Member Environment

Delivery of Environmental Enforcement Contract

 

Decision called-in and due to be considered by Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 17 July, 2018

(Executive Member Decision Form attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the following Key Decisions taken under delegated authority from the period 25 May 2018 (date of publication of last Cabinet agenda) to date be noted:

 

·  Decision Maker - Leader of the Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Devolution Funding: Households into Work Pilot

 

Effective from 31 May 2018

 

·  Decision Maker - Leader of the Council

Liverpool City Region Enabling Powers to Raise Business Rates Supplements

 

Effective from 25 May, 2018

Not Subject to Call-In, decision made as a matter of special urgency due to the Government imposing a deadline for the constituent councils to give their consent by 29 May, 2018.

 

·  Decision Maker – Cabinet Member Highways and Transport

Wirral Road Safety Plan

 

Effective from 19 June, 2018

 

·  Decision Maker – Cabinet Member Environment

Delivery of Environmental Enforcement Contract

 

Decision called-in and due to be considered by Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 17 July, 2018

9.

Street Lighting Investment Programme pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stuart Wittingham UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport,

said:

This investment is fantastic news for every Wirral resident. Through imaginative and ambitious thinking we are now in a position to confirm every single street lamp in Wirral – 27,000 individual columns – will be replaced with a new, energy efficient LED light.

 

This brings benefits which are almost immeasurable: it will help reduce crime, help people feel safer, make transport easier, attract investment and economic growth and create jobs. It is also much better for the environment, with the new lights providing more light while using less power.

 

This news has already been well received by residents and now I look forward to seeing the programme swing into action. This represents a £10 million investment in improving Wirral, it is a huge commitment and one which I know residents will welcome.”

 

Councillor Stuart Whittingham introduced a report that sought approval to accept a £4.6 million interest free loan from SALIX to deliver Phase 2 of an LED replacement programme to enable more than 27,000 street lamps to be replaced over a three year programme.

 

Approval was also requested to implement a procurement strategy, in accordance with Contract Procedure Rules, to enable this Phase 2 programme to be delivered. It was proposed that this strategy should also include the procurement of over 9000 life expired street lighting columns to be funded from £5.95 million of the Council’s capital funding approved by the Cabinet in March 2018.

 

The Cabinet noted that investment in street lighting infrastructure would enable the Council to move towards a modern, energy efficient and more reliable street lighting network that was fit for the future. This would support the delivery of the Wirral Plan Pledge to “ensure Wirral has safe, affordable, well maintained and efficient transport networks” and would also support the delivery of the Pledge to “ensure Wirral’s neighbourhoods are safe”.

 

This was a key decision and affected all Wards in the Borough.

 

Included within the report was an option to do nothing.  However, this option had been rejected as the street lighting assets were in poor condition due to a lack of previous investment resulting in significant deterioration and subsequent high maintenance revenue spending. Lack of investment increased the Council’s exposure to third party insurance claims.  Public perception regarding street lighting provision and repair was considered to be poor.

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed that this investment in street lighting was part of the Council’s agenda ‘to get the basics right’ and, from a community safety point of view, it was very welcome.  He congratulated Councillor Whittingham and the Highways Department for securing the investment.

 

Councillor Whittingham paid tribute to the staff involved in the street lighting initiative.  He reported that every single street light in the borough had been inspected and a tremendous amount of work had been carried out.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)  the acceptance of a £4.6 million interest free loan from SALIX to deliver Phase 2 of the LED replacement programme be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Quarter 1 Budget Monitoring Report - Revenue pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

JanetteWilliamson UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said:

 

The Council set a balanced, sustainable and fair budget in March 2018, despite significant government cuts and increasing demand for costly, specialist children’s social care services. No additional funding from government has been forthcoming to support this national crisis. Setting the budget for 2018/19 under such difficult circumstances was tough but we continued to protect those services most important to our most vulnerable and target our resources to the areas that matters most to our communities.

 

Already during Quarter 1 we are feeling the extent of our reduced funding with pressures already mounting in some areas as demand continues to rise. We have a robust programme of recovery with intervention and demand management taking shape to ensure we can mitigate pressures in year.

 

At the end of Quarter 1 we are forecasting an overspend of 0.2% of the net budget. This is early and while cautious it is prudent to ensure we forecast a realistic representation, I am confident that the plans and restrictions we have in place will once again enable us to deliver a balanced budget for the coming year.”

 

Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report that set out the projected revenue position for 2018/19 as at the end of Quarter 1 (30 June 2018).

 

Councillor Williamson informed that the forecast outturn position as at the end of Quarter 1 was a potential overspend of £0.617m. It was anticipated that mitigating savings could be identified to offset the potential overspend, however, as these were yet to be formalised, it was prudent to report an overspend position.

 

The Cabinet noted that since the 2018/19 budget was agreed in March 2018, several areas of significant pressure had been identified across the Council as a result of increasing demand and there was a robust mitigation programme in place to ensure these pressures did not materialise.

The report provided an update on the achievement of savings proposals for 2018/19, some of which were currently not being realised.  However, areas to offset these via other means were being explored so that the total savings target could be met by the end of the year.

 

In addition to formal Quarterly reporting to the Cabinet, the budget position was reported monthly at Directorate Management Team meetings and to the Strategic Leadership Team. This approach ensured any early warning highlighting pressures could be collectively resolved.

 

The Cabinet noted that the outcome of the quarterly monitoring and any medium to long term effects were being fed into the Medium Term Finance Strategy to ensure the impact could be assessed against the council’s future financial sustainability.

.

This was a key decision which affected all Wards within the Borough.

 

The report had been provided for monitoring purposes but Members noted that any options to improve revenue budget monitoring and accuracy would be considered.

 

Councillor Williamson outlined the Council’s financial performance and thanked all of the Finance Officers, who had worked around the clock, for their hard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Quarter 1 Budget Monitoring Report - Capital pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

JanetteWilliamson UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

 

We are making major investments in Wirral this year – improving infrastructure, the public realm and the local environment which residents are rightly proud of.

 

This report demonstrates this investment, it provides a helpful summary of our progress, and makes it clear that we are using the resources available to us to their best effect to help improve services for local people”.

 

Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report which provided an update on the progress in delivering the Capital Programme 2018/19 at the end of June 2018.  It recommended that the Cabinet agreed the 2018/19 Capital Programme of £86.4 million which took into account re-profiling identified during the 2017/18 final accounts process together with any additional grant funding notified to the Council.  Expenditure to date was £5.0 million. Appended to the report was the Capital Programme and funding 2018/19.

 

This matter was a key decision which affected all Wards within the Borough.

 

The report had been provided for monitoring purposes and no other options were being considered.

 

Councillor Phil Davies welcomed the capital schemes that were now coming to the forefront.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)  the spend at Quarter 1 of £5.0 million, with 25% of the financial year having elapsed be noted;

 

(2)  the additional funding for the 7 schemes set out below be approved:

 

·  Pensby Wood fit out costs (£172,000)

·  Beechwood Recreation Centre Additional Works (£430,000)

·  Frankby Cemetery Extension (£90,000)

·  Floral Pavilion Audio Mixing Desk Replacement (£35,000)

·  BAMN Commercial Settlement (£305,000)

·  Floral Pavilion Chiller Unit (£55,000)

·  The Oval Grandstand Structural Works (£55,000)

 

(3)  the revised Capital Programme of £86.4 million set out below be agreed and referred to the Council:

 

  Capital Programme 2018/19 at 30 June 2018

 

Capital Strategy

Revised  Programme

Actual Spend

June 2018

 

£000

£000

£000

Adult Care & Health

7,912

8,543

143

Children & Families

19,099

20,852

2,200

Environment

225

50

0

Finance and Resources

5,213

4,287

130

Highways & Transport

13,787

20,409

1,954

Housing & Planning

7,542

7,791

375

Jobs & Growth

16,785

18,697

0

Law & Order

0

83

38

Leisure & Recreation

3,998

5,679

117

Total expenditure

74,561

86,391

4,957

 

  and

 

(4)  the additional grants detailed below be agreed:

 

  Significant Variations (> £0.2m) to the 2018/19 Programme

 

Scheme

£000

Adult Care & Health

Pensby Wood - re-profiling from 2017/18 £0.310m; additional requirement £0.172m.

 

Children & Families

Primary Places - re-profiling from 2017/18

Healthy Pupils Fund - additional grant allocation

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - additional grant allocation.

Improvement Plan funded by the flexible use of capital receipts - re-profiling

 

Environment

Cemetery extensions and improvements - re-profiling from  2017/18

 

Finance and Resources

Windows 10 rollout - re-profiling - £0.1m carried forward from 2017-18 and £1.0m brought forward from 2019/20

Data Centre - re-profiling from 2017/18

Improvement Plan - originally to be funded from capital receipts but now from revenue

Fund to assist land assembly - re-profiling from 2017/18

Highways & Transport

Bridges - re-profiling from 2017/18 £0.707m and additional grant notification £0.150m.

Dock bridges – re-profiling from  2017/18 £0.610m; additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

JanetteWilliamson UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

 

We continue to face huge financial pressures, as increasing demand, rising costs and ongoing austerity policies combine to place unprecedented strain on our budget, and services. The extent of ongoing government cuts mean that we are unable to carry on doing everything the way we have previously and we need to look to new and innovative ways to provide services to protect our most vulnerable.

 

We must do all we can to plan long-term, put in place sustainable and radical change which allows us to continue providing the services which are most important to residents.  This is becoming increasingly more difficult as we are forced to reduce in size, use our reserves and rely on the support of community and third sector organisations to support our service provision.

 

We have a significant budget gap to meet over the next four years, with most of it impacting next year, as a result of further cuts to our funding.  However, the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) provides the mechanism and effective but robust plan as to how we will achieve this”.

 

Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report, which informed that the Council continued to face financial constraints and pressures.  The medium term financial planning period to 2023 would see continued grant funding reductions and financial pressures as a result of increasing demand. Aligned to this the Council would, in 2020, assume full responsibility for the raising and collection of income generated locally that would be used to fund the services accessed by Wirral residents.

 

Appended to the report was the MTFS 2019/20-2022/23 which detailed the robust and measured way that the Council would address these challenges via a three-phased approach:

 

·  The MTFS described what the future financial position of the Council would look like, what its challenges were and how it would allocate its resources to meet its corporate priorities and achieve the outcomes of the Wirral Plan.

 

·  The MTFS described how the Council was currently financed and future changes to this, its approach to meeting the financial challenge and how it would measure this.

 

·  The Financial Resilience Plan described how the Council could evidence its financial stability over the medium term to provide assurance to local taxpayers that it was providing value for money, its process for decision making was robust and it was safeguarding public funds.

 

The matter affected all Wards within the Borough and was therefore a Key Decision.

 

The Cabinet was aware that the Wirral Plan and the MTFS were key policy documents and drove all the Council’s other business planning processes. Consequently, they were imperative for the Council’s future development, therefore no other options were being considered.

 

Councillor Williamson informed that it was crucial that the Council a well thought through financial strategy and she thanked the team of officers who had worked on it.

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed that it was important that the Council doubled its efforts around those areas highlighted in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Financial Monitoring Out-Turn Reports 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

JanetteWilliamson UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

 

Continued Government austerity – combined with increasing demand for and cost of services – makes delivering a balanced, sustainable and fair budget ever more difficult.

 

It is a challenge we have never shied away from and once again, thanks to the hard work of Council officers and the Administration, we have delivered – we have balanced the budget, we have made the savings demanded of us, and we have continued to provide the services residents most rely on”.

 

Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report which detailed the out-turn for 2017/18 and concluded the reporting to the Cabinet for the 2017/18 financial year.  Attached to the report were separate Appendices for Revenue (including details of the reserves), Capital (including resources used to fund the Programme) and the Collection Summary (including Council Tax, Business Rates and Sundry Debts).

 

This was a key decision which affected all Wards within the Borough.

 

The Cabinet noted that no other options were being considered. There was a legal requirement to publish the Statement of Accounts and agree the capital spend and financing at the end of the financial year.

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed that there were good financial practices within the Council.  He congratulated the Finance Department for achieving good outcomes.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

(1)  Revenue

 

(a)  the revenue out-turn indicated a variance of £2.9 million of expenditure less than budget in 2017/18.  This planned variance was as a result of good financial management practices and was required to supplement the budget gap in 2018/19;

 

(b)  the General Fund Balances at 31 March 2018 of £24.8 million, with £14.6 million agreed to be used in the Budget 2018/19, be noted.

(c)  the Earmarked Reserves totalling £54.9 million were confirmed;

 

(2)  Capital

 

(a)  the additional re-profiling of £10.3 million from 2017/18 to 2018/19 be noted;

 

(b)  the financing of the Programme for 2017/18 be noted;

 

(c)  the Programme for 2018/19 and beyond be kept under review to ensure it was realistic and deliverable;

 

(3)  Collection Summary

 

(a)  the increase in Council Tax in-year collection rate from 95.4% in 2015/16 to 95.5% in 2017/18 be noted;

 

(b)  the increase in Business Rates collection rate from 97.6% in 2016/17 to 97.9% in 2017/18 be noted;

 

(c)  the increase in Sundry Debts from £26 million at 31 March 2017 to £29.8 million at 31 March 2018 be noted;

 

(d)  the sundry debts for Adult Social Services and Other Directorates detailed in the report be written-off against the Provision for Bad Debts.

14.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 481 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

JanetteWilliamson UPDATED - To be used in minutes

Councillor Janette Williamson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

 

We have an excellent track record of investing public money to deliver a good return, and using the profits to support the services our residents rely on. I am pleased to bring this report to Cabinet which demonstrates this trend continuing.

 

An organisation the size of Wirral Council has a highly complex cashflow, with money coming in and out on a daily basis as services are provided and paid for. Our job is to manage those resources well, and make sure we maximise the interest we earn and the returns we can generate from sensible, targeted investments. Our approach has been in line with the practice common to all local authorities to increase inter-authority lending.

 

The return we get from these investments supports our services and goes towards offsetting the continuing reductions in support from Central Government”.

 

Councillor Janette Williamson introduced a report that informed that the Authority’s treasury management activity was underpinned by CIPFA’s Code of Practice on Treasury Management (“the Code”), which required the production of annual Prudential Indicators and a Treasury Management Strategy Statement on likely financing and investment activity.  The Code also recommended that Members were informed of treasury management activities at least twice a year.  Appendix 1 to the report set out the Prudential Indicators for 2017/18.

 

The report fulfilled the Authority’s legal obligation under the Local Government Act 2003 to have regard to both the CIPFA Code and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Investment Guidance.

 

The Cabinet noted that Proactive Treasury Management activity had resulted in savings of £6.8 million.  This was £0.7 million more than the estimated £6.1 million reported in the Treasury mid-year review.  The additional savings resulted due to a combination of increased investment income, securing lower cost loans and further Minimum Revenue Provision adjustments.  The £6.8 million total saving consisted of:

 

·  £4.6 million as a result of revising the in-year Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) calculation.

·  £2.2 million in year from interest costs not required due to the use of cash flow.

 

The Cabinet also noted that the level of outstanding long-term borrowing that the Council had with regard to Capital expenditure had continued to fall during 2017/18.  The balance of £182 million at 31 March 2018 included £32 million relating to Merseyside Residual Body debt (administered by the Council on behalf of a group of authorities).  There had been a reduction of £82 million since 1 April 2012.  This reduction had resulted in lower interest costs for the Council.

 

The Council had complied with the Prudential Indicators as set out in the agreed Treasury Management Strategy for 2017/18.

 

This matter affected all Wards within the Borough and the decisions in the report were Key Decisions.

 

The Cabinet noted that there was a legal requirement to produce an Annual Report on Treasury Management activities and no other options were being considered. 

 

Councillor Williamson commended the Treasury Management Team for the way in which it invested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Public Health Annual Report 2018, Wirral pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor-Chris_Jones LATEST - To be used in Cabinet reports

Councillor Christine Jones, Cabinet Member – Adult Care and Health, said:

 

Gambling is a growing problem in this country, with people particularly living in economically deprived areas feeling this more than most.  It is vital for the long term wellbeing of all of our residents that we tackle it, and do all we can to support people to not damage their lives and the lives of loved ones through problem gambling.

 

This year’s Public Health Annual Report shines a light on problem gambling, it investigates how it has developed and it proposes a series of actions to take which will allow us to help people.  It is incredibly important work and something we should all get behind”.

 

Councillor Chris Jones introduced the Public Health Annual Report entitled ‘Harmful Gambling The Other Side of the Coin’.  It was the professional statement of the Director about the health of the local population.

 

The Cabinet noted that the purpose of the Public Health Annual Report was to draw attention to local issues of importance which had an impact on population health. Since the Council took back responsibility for Public Health in 2013 it had published five reports on the topics of social isolation, healthy schools and children, domestic violence and the roles of the Council and the NHS in promoting health and wellbeing.  These reports had led to action in the reduction of the number of people smoking in the borough, to levels below the national average; increased support for people who were feeling socially isolated plus significant activity across a range of partners to highlight and reduce the damage caused to our communities from alcohol abuse e.g.: Drink Less Enjoy More Campaign. 

 

Members were informed that the 2018 annual report reflected on the public’s concern about the impact of gambling on local people.  It supported the delivery of the Wirral 2020 Plan and the Pledge ‘Wirral Residents Live Healthier Lives’.

 

The Annual Report aimed to describe what harmful gambling was and illustrate the impact it had on local residents, their families and friends.

 

The matter affected all Wards within the Borough; it was not a key decision and no other options were being considered.

 

The report detailed a number of recommendations that had been developed in conjunction with local partners and key Council departments e.g. licensing and planning.  The recommendations were set out on page 27 of the Annual Report.

 

Councillor Jones informed that some heart breaking situations were described in the report and local and national help lines were detailed at the back of it.

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed that he was pleased that the problems associated with gambling were being highlighted because for too long they had been hidden.  Gambling had devastating effects on individuals and their families.

 

Councillor Paul Stuart informed that there were 450,000 gambling addicts in Great Britain.  He was aware that gambling destroyed lives.

 

Councillor Phil Davies informed that he was shocked by the number of gambling adverts on television during the time the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.