Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Shirley Hudspeth 0151 691 8559  Committee and Civic Services Manager

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Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome to the Meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pat Hackett welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Council in the new Municipal Year. He informed that he was honoured to be the Leader of the Council and that it was important, in view of the make-up of the Council with no Political Group having overall control, that it worked ‘cross party’.  There had been a number of meetings with the other Political Groups and he wished to continue with these throughout the year. 

 

Councillor Hackett informed that it was also important to work on issues, projects and schemes that the Political Groups could support each other on and that he was particularly looking at Wirral Waters, the Wirral Growth Company, Children’s Services and Council House Building and the opportunities associated with that. These were very big issues which he believed the Political Groups should work together on as they were so important for the Borough, the economy and the wellbeing of residents of Wirral and it was essential that they were delivered upon.

 

Councillor Hackett informed that both his Leadership and that of the Administration would be inclusive. They would be open, honest and inclusive in their dealings with the other Political Groups and with the public.  They had only had their new roles for five weeks and they aimed to make a big difference.  They had an exciting agenda made up of the issues he had referred to and that could change the face of the Wirral and particularly Birkenhead.

2.

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 such declarations of interest were received.

3.

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 25 March 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.

4.

Executive Key Decisions Taken Under Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Key Decisions – taken under delegated powers. Period 15 March 2019 (date of publication of last Cabinet agenda) to date.

 

·  Capital Funding for Extra Care Housing Development. Leader Decision (Adult Care and Health Portfolio). Decision date: 18 March 2019. Effective: 26 March 2019.

 

·  Application for Financial Assistance. Cabinet Member Jobs and Growth. Decision date: 5 April 2019. Effective: 13 April 2019.

 

·  Highway Structural Maintenance Programme 2019/20 - Local (Unclassified) Roads Programme. Cabinet Member Highways and Transport. Decision date: 3 May 2019. Effective: 14 May 2019. (Supporting report and programme of works also attached).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the following Key Decisions taken under delegated authority from the period 15 March 2019 (date of publication of last Cabinet agenda) to date be noted:

 

·  Capital Funding for Extra Care Housing Development.Leader Decision (Adult Care and Health Portfolio). Decision date: 18 March 2019. Effective: 26 March 2019.

·  Application for Financial Assistance.Cabinet Member Jobs and Growth. Decision date: 5 April 2019. Effective: 13 April 2019.

·  Highway Structural Maintenance Programme 2019/20 – Local (Unclassified) Roads Programme. Cabinet Member Highways and Transport. Decision date: 3 May 2019. Effective: 14 May 2019.

5.

Recommendation from Audit and Risk Management Committee pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Cabinet is requested to consider the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Management Committee (24 April 2019) in respect of ‘Verification of the Validity Supplier VAT Registration Numbers’ and the ‘Appointment / Employment of Agency Workers’. Minute No 73 refers (as attached).  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the recommendations of the Audit and Risk Committee (24 April 2019) in respect of ‘Verification of the Validity Supplier VAT Registration Numbers’ and the ‘Appointment / Employment of Agency Workers’.  (Minute No 73 refers.)

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet accepts the following for consideration:

 

(1)  any Company / Contractor recruited at a rate in excess of £250 per day should be reported to the relevant Cabinet Member for political oversight prior to employment;

 

(2)  in the case of employment at a rate of in excess of £250 per day, verification is also sought via Internal Audit to ensure that the IR35 assessment by the relevant service manager has been undertaken and is accurate;

 

(3)  where a situation exists that a Contractor has been taken on for over 2 years (or 2 contract extensions / continuations) there should be a formal review led by Human Resources Department; and

 

(4)  clarity be sought regarding contractual arrangements regarding ownership of intellectual property rights of the Council and Contractors working for the Council.

6.

Appointment of Members to the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board

Cabinet is requested to confirm Member appointments to the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (Committee of Cabinet).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was requested to confirm Member appointments to the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (Committee of Cabinet).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillors Chris Jones, Julie McManus and Tom Usher be appointed to the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board and Councillor Anita Leech be appointed to deputise for them when necessary.

7.

Executive Decision Making Process pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pat Hackett introduced a report which provided details of amendments he had made as the Leader of the Council, to the Scheme of Delegation of Executive Functions, effective immediately in and from 1 September 2019.

 

The Cabinet was reminded that the Council had adopted a Leader and Cabinet executive form of governance. Following the end of the term of office of the Member holding the position of Leader (every fourth year or less), the Council had elected the Leader of the Council at its Annual Meeting. At the last Annual Meeting of Council, Councillor Pat Hackett had been elected as Leader for the period ending with the Annual Meeting of May 2023 (subject to the provisions of the Constitution and any change in the Council’s governance arrangements that may affect it).

 

The Cabinet was also reminded that the Leader must appoint a Deputy Leader and up to eight other Members to form the Executive, in respect of which the Council used the term ‘Cabinet’.

 

It was noted that Article 7.06 (The Cabinet) of Part 2 of the Council’s Constitution concerned the responsibility for functions. This provided that:

 

“(i) The Leader may discharge any executive function, or

(ii) may arrange for the discharge of any of those functions –

(a) by the Cabinet;

(b) by any Cabinet Member;

(c) by a committee of the Cabinet;

(d) by area committee; or

(e) by an officer of the authority.”

 

The means by which these functions were allocated were set out in a Leader’s Scheme of Delegation. The current Scheme was published as Table 3 of Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution, together with a schedule of delegation of functions to individual Cabinet Members (3k - Schedule 5) and to individual officers (3j - Schedule 4B).

 

Appended to the Cabinet report was a replacement Leader’s Scheme of Delegation and Procedure. This included, at Appendix C, the named appointments of Deputy Leader and the remaining Members of the Cabinet and a description of their Portfolios of responsibility. This was of immediate effect.

 

The Cabinet noted that the key changes between the existing Scheme and this were:

 

(a) The introduction of a clear hierarchy of decision making through the setting of financial limits to delegated decisions, which in summary was that:

 

(i)   officers may only take decisions up to a financial value of £1.5M; beyond which

 

(ii)   individual Cabinet Members may only take decisions up to a financial value of £5M; and all other decisions beyond that must be taken by the Cabinet as a collective meeting.

 

(b) Individual Cabinet Member decisions were to be subject to a set of rules regarding how and when they may take those decisions, including what advice and material must be before the Cabinet Member at that time. Existing rules concerning the reporting of those decisions, including that all such decisions were normally subject to call-in, were included for ease of reference.

 

(c)   Cabinet decisions were likewise subject to those rules, but additionally would include  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Wirral’s Local Offer for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pat Hackett introduced a report which informed the Cabinet that Section 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 required the Council to consult on and publish a local offer for its care leavers. The local offer should provide information about all the services and support that was available to care leavers from the local authority, including information about both their statutory entitlements as well as any discretionary support that a local authority chose to provide.

 

The Cabinet was also informed that during 2018; with the involvement of the Wirral Children in Care and Care Leavers Council; a working group consisting of Wirral Leaving Care Service staff, the Young People’s Involvement Service and the Learning Skills and Education Team had met regularly to discuss Wirral’s Local Offer for Care Leavers.

 

This groundwork carried out had led to a very successful Conference in November 2018 at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton focusing on Wirral’s Local Offer for Care Leavers. The Conference was hosted and attended by Wirral Care Leavers, staff from across the Council, its partner agencies, Health, Education, Housing, the charity sector and businesses. The emphasis had been very much on what could Wirral, as a whole community, do to support Wirral Care Leavers. The Conference included presentations from young people and other contributors; and ended with people being asked to make a pledge about how they might improve the lived experience, opportunities and support for Wirral Care Leavers.

 

Since the conference Wirral’s first Local Offer for Care Leavers had been drafted and had been shared with the Wirral Children in Care and Care Leaver’s Council; and was being presented to the Cabinet for consideration and permission to publish.

 

The Cabinet noted that decision supported the children pledges in the Wirral Plan 2020 with specific focus on supporting vulnerable children and that this matter affected all Wards within the Borough and was a Key decision.

 

Councillor Hackett informed that when OFSTED last visited Wirral in 2016 it found the Council’s support for people leaving care to be sadly lacking.  Since then officers had carried out a huge amount of work as had the former Leader, Phil Davies and this had resulted in improvement.  OFSTED was now back on the Wirral carrying out a further inspection and had found a much better services on offer for care leavers as detailed in the report. Councillor Hackett made the point that these young people were among the most vulnerable in society and deserved nothing but the best support from the Council.  He was pleased and relieved that this was now what was being provided. Better advice, better support and better opportunities were the Council’s promise to its care leavers and Councillor Hackett was fully in support of the recommendations set out in the report.

 

Councillor Anita Leech was also in support of the recommendations and considered that the report went a long way to supporting young people as they left care as it would ensure that they got a better  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Local Government Ombudsman Report (March 2019) pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Jones introduced a report which informed the Cabinet that the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) had investigated a complaint about the Council and found the Council to be at fault. The Cabinet noted that the LGO had made a number of recommendations which the Council had accepted in full. The LGO had made the decision that the report would be published. As well as being considered by the Cabinet the report had also been deliberated by the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee at its meeting on 11 June 2019.

 

The report set out the actions that had been taken, or would be taken, to avoid similar faults in future and to meet the recommendations of the report in full which have been accepted. The findings and recommendations were specific to the case that had been investigated.

 

The Cabinet noted that the report related to two of the Wirral Plan pledges: older people live well, and people with disabilities live independently.

 

The decision was not a key decision. The findings did relate to all wards as some responses to the LGO’s recommendations would apply to all wards.

 

The LGO’s report referred to Mr X as the son of the former service user, and for ease of reference the same approach had been taken in the Cabinet report.

 

Councillor Jones apologised for the unfortunate mistakes that had been made by the Council’s Adult Social Care Teams in providing care for a resident and the problems the family had to deal with as a result.  She informed that mistakes were not made often but when they were made they had to be put right quickly and this had been done. Also, it was important to make sure mistakes like these ones did not happen again.

 

Councillor Jones reassured the Cabinet and residents of the Borough that the issues the family had faced had been rectified, the systems involved had been improved and appropriate staff training had been provided.  Councillor Jones also informed the Cabinet that the Council’s Social Care Teams consisted of dedicated and extremely talented officers. They worked very hard, often in very difficult circumstances, to help people in difficult and complex situations and Councillor Jones thanked them for this.

 

Councillor Jones reported that Adult Social Care had recently recommissioned the domiciliary care and trusted assessor reviews and support packages were being kept under regular review and modified in accordance with changing needs. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the report and actions that have been or will be taken, in response to the Local Government Ombudsman’s recommendations.

10.

Exempt Information - Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following items contain exempt information.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That, under section 100 (A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined by paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A (as amended) to that Act. The Public Interest test has been applied and favours exclusion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: 

 

That, under section 100 (A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined by paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A (as amended) to that Act. The Public Interest test had been applied and favours exclusion.

11.

Application for Financial Assistance - Company named in report

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report and appendices containing exempt commercially sensitive information, under Paragraph 3, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. The report sought approval to provide a grant to the company named in the report to enable the development of a new visitor attraction in Wirral.

 

The intention of the grant was to intervene in situations where projects that deliver key economic outputs, in line with Wirral’s Growth Plan, would not otherwise progress.  These outcomes include creating jobs, delivering investment and enabling regeneration. Projects supported by the Council’s Business Investment Fund would also have a catalytic impact across other areas of the Borough’s economy.  This project had been assessed in line with these criteria.

 

The Cabinet noted that this was not a key decision.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)  approval be given to a grant of £95,000 to the Woodside Area Community Interest Company, from the Business Investment Fund, that will enable the development of a new visitor attraction in Wirral; and

 

(2)  the Director of Governance and Assurance be authorised to draw up and sign a legal agreement between the Council and the Company that is within State Aid regulations and subject to the conditions contained in the report.

12.

PAUL SATOOR

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pat Hackett congratulated Paul Satoor on his appointment of Interim Chief Executive, subject to the Council’s approval.