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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Online

Contact: Stuart Figini  Email: stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

23.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

 

24.

Minutes of the previous meeting

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 29 June 2021.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2021 were presented.

 

Resolved:

 

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes, at a later date,  of the meeting held on 29 June 2021.

 

25.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

26.

Leader's announcements

Minutes:

The Leader announced that, with the lifting of Covid-19 national restrictions on 19 July 2021, the extraordinary Cabinet meeting being held on 21 July 2021 will be an ‘in-person’ meeting. It will be held in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Trowbridge.

 

27.

Public participation and Questions from Councillors

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public. This meeting is open to the public, who may ask a question or make a statement. Questions may also be asked by members of the Council.  Written notice of questions or statements should be given to Stuart Figini of Democratic Services stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk/  01225 718221 by 12.00 noon on 7 July 2021.

 

Anyone wishing to ask a question or make a statement should contact the officer named above.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported that a number of questions had been received in relation to Future Chippenham and as this item was due to be considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 21 July 2021, he would take those questions at that time. Other questions would be received when the particular agenda item was being considered during the meeting.

 

It was noted that a late question had been received from Colin Gale in relation to democratic meetings during the pandemic.  This would receive a written response following this meeting.

 

In addition to the above, a number of questions and comments were received from the following Councillors:

 

·       Cllr Ian Thorn – Home Farm Trust and Furlong Close. Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, SEND, Transition and Inclusion confirmed that Wiltshire Council would continue to meet the resident’s needs.

·       Cllr Clare Cape – Deadlines for public questions to the extraordinary Cabinet meeting on 21 July 2021 and involvement of Councillors local to Chippenham in the development of the Local Plan. Cllr Richard Clewer – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for MCI, Economic Development, Heritage, Arts, Tourism and Health & Wellbeing confirmed that the process for asking questions by the public would be the same as for other Cabinet meetings and the deadline for the 21 July meeting was 12.00noon Thursday 15 July 2021. The Leader confirmed that officers would set up a briefing with Chippenham Councillors on the Local Plan issues raised.

·       Cllr Gavin Grant – Impact on town centres following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions after 19 July 2021 - Cllr Richard Clewer – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for MCI, Economic Development, Heritage, Arts, Tourism and Health & Wellbeing and officers would set up a meeting to discuss the funding rules with Cllr Grant as the position of the lifting of restrictions was a complex issue.

·       Cllr Sam Pearce-Kearney – Future availability of High Street Bank’s and mobile Banks for residents of Wiltshire - Cllr Richard Clewer – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for MCI, Economic Development, Heritage, Arts, Tourism and Health & Wellbeing confirmed that officers would be asked to investigate this matter further in consultation with Cllr Pearce-Kearney.

·       Cllr Paul Sample JP – Traffic congestion in and around Salisbury due to highways works. Cllr Richard Clewer – Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for MCI, Economic Development, Heritage, Arts, Tourism and Health & Wellbeing and Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Streetscene and Flooding confirmed that emergency contact numbers were displayed on the highways equipment in the event of failure and that the delays in removing equipment was due to emergency pipework.

 

28.

Final Outturn 2020/21

Report of the Chief Executive.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation presented the report which provided detail about the final year end position for financial year 2020/21 (31 March 2021) for revenue and capital.

 

Statements and questions were submitted by Sue McGill.  The Leader acknowledged that the questions had received written responses which had been published on the Council’s website prior to the meeting. There was no supplementary question.

 

Cllr Church explained that the figures detailed in the report included the final position for the Collection Fund and section 31 (s31) grant funding for Business Rates and an update on the Income Loss Compensation Scheme since the provisional position was reported to Cabinet on 1 June 2021. It was noted that this position allowed for the setting aside of a net additional £2.711m to earmarked reserves and £34.124m of s31 grant provided to the council to ensure no significant cashflow issues arose during the year following the additional reliefs that were given to support businesses net of a small adverse variance on the Business Rates levy into a specific earmarked reserve to fund the accounting deficit on the Collection Fund.

 

In addition, the report set out the year end position of the Capital Programme, the movements from the original budget set at the beginning of 2020/21 and sets out how the programme has been financed. It provides an update on the significant programmes that have been delivered and those that have been reprofiled to future years.

 

Cllr Laura Mayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, thanked the Education and Skills Team for the work undertaken to complete large planned maintenance projects despite the COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, the Team undertook 83 reactive and emergency works at schools during this time.

 

Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, confirmed that the report had been considered by the Task Group at its meetings on 25 June 2021 and 7 July 2021. The Task Group were content with the responses received to questions asked and they would consider any issues surrounding Capital items at future meetings.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about (i) Business rates deficit; (ii) Capital expenditure programme slippage; (iii) Delivery of the Campus programme; and (iv) Lackham College land purchase; Cllr Church, the Leader  and the Corporate Director Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (Section 151 Officer) confirmed (i) that this was technical accounting and the deficit was compensated for by s31 grants received from the Government for 2020/21 and 2021/22, although the long term deficit was unknown at this stage; (ii) The frequency of reprofiling capital schemes was increasing and therefore, approved schemes were receiving increased focus in relation to their deliverability within the approved timescales.  It was confirmed that Overview and Scrutiny would become involved in this process going forward; (iii) the Council’s commitment to the delivery of the Trowbridge Campus project. There was no commitment at this stage for other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Treasury Management Outturn 2020/21

Report of the Chief Executive.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation presented the report which provided detail about the Annual Outturn report reviewing the Treasury Management activities from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

 

Cllr Church explained that the Council has continued to finance capital expenditure through maximising the use of capital receipts, capital grants and internal borrowing. Overall, the Council is under borrowed by £176.530m, avoiding the payment of external interest costs in the order of £3.884m. It was noted that the Council did not breach any of its performance indicators during 2020/21. However, during the year the Council breached the counterparty limit for the HSBC current account. The limit is £10m and was breached by £1.5m for one day. Details of this breach were detailed in the report and actions have been taken to mitigate the risk of reoccurrence of any such breach.

 

Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, confirmed that the report had been considered by the Task Group at its meetings on 7 July 2021. The Task Group were content with the responses received to questions asked and they have included the Capital programme, treasury management and Stone Circle Companies in the Forward Plan of items to consider at future meetings.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about (i) A figure for investment returns; (ii) the nature of 3rd party loans; and (iii) ethical investments; Cllr Church responded as follows: (i) this request was noted; (ii) The majority of the 3rd party loans were associated with Lackham College, and a more detailed written response would be provided; (iii) There is an expectation that other Councils receiving investment from Wiltshire Council, would be of a similar standing as Wiltshire Council, and this is tested by the liquidity of the Council, security and  their ethical standing.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Clare Cape about social policy objectives and ethical investing; Cllr Church and the Corporate Director for Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (Section 151 Officer) confirmed that the criteria employed prior to investments of this nature would include issues surrounding security, liquidity, social rights and social policy. These areas automatically restrict how and where investment decisions are made by the council.

 

Resolved:

 

a)    Noted the contents of this report are in line with the Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21; and to

 

b)    Recommend to Full Council consideration of this report

 

 

Reason for decision:

 

To give members an opportunity to consider the performance of the Council against the parameters set out in the approved Treasury Management Strategy for 2020/21.

 

 

30.

Update on Council's response to the climate emergency

Report of the Chief Executive.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Changepresented the report which provided the fourth progress update on actions taken in response to the climate emergency.

 

Questions were received from the following members of the public in relation to this item:

 

·       Mel Boyle

·       Jeremy Wire

·       Andrew Nicolson

 

The Leader acknowledged that the questions had received a written response which had been published on the Council’s website prior to the meeting.

 

Supplementary questions were received from (i) Mel Boyle about the removal of the three temporary bollards; Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Streetscene and Flooding, and the Leader confirmed that the Council were monitoring the situation and were expecting a resolution to the issues raised; (ii) Andrew Nicolson about the Council joining the Carbon Disclosure Project and Carbon reduction outcomes; Cllr Nick Botterill reported that he was aware of the Carbon Disclosure Project and had responded to their request for the Council to join the project; the Council had not set interim targets as this would be undertaken nationally; and Wiltshire is a very rural county with differing issues to urban areas.

 

Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chair of the Environment Select Committee, confirmed that the Select Committee would be considering the Local Plan report at their meeting on 14 July 2021 and had re-established the Global Warming & Climate Emergency Task group at its meeting held on 15 June 2021.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about (i) measuring the Council’s performance against other similar Councils; (ii) working in partnership with communities to gain greater outcomes; (iii) development of the Local Plan and how it meets climate objectives. Cllr Botterill, (i) confirmed that the Council measured performance, although there is an expectation that the Climate Change Conference (COP 26) taking place in Glasgow during October and November 2021 would generate further targets that the Council could consider at that time; (ii) details of how the Council engages with the local community is highlighted in the report; and (iii) confirmed that the Government will publish how this would be viable following COP 26.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Derek Walters and Cllr Brian Mathew about the Northacre Energy from Waste Facility at Westbury and how (i) it delivers on a reduction in carbon emissions in the county; and possible predetermination by the Strategic Planning Committee; Cllr Nick Botterill and the Leader confirmed that (i) the development would demonstrate a reduction of 58,000 tonnes of carbon per annum and avoids residue going to landfill; and (ii) the Strategic Planning Committee considered the planning officers report in line with due process and there was no predetermination involved.  Cllr Pip Ridout, confirmed this as a new member of the Committee and Cllr Suzanne Wickham highlighted that she had objected to the planning application and at no time was she asked to withdraw her objections.

 

In response to a question from Cllr Gavin  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Silverwood School Build Update

*                 Report of the Chief Executive.

         

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, SEND, Transition and Inclusionpresented the report which provided an update on the Silverwood Build programme; the current cost pressures against the allocated capital budget; and a request for a further allocation of £5.283m from the capital budget.

 

In response to questions from Cabinet members about the project and associated costs; Cllr Davies confirmed that a fixed contract would be negotiated with construction partners to avoid additional costs, and that the total cost is within the predicted range. 

 

In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about inflation of build costs and the future of the schools; Cllr Davies confirmed that the current budget included inflationary allowances and that Silverwood School has one leadership team operating across three sites and all the sites were part of the one school.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet approve the allocation of £5.283m of capital budget funded by borrowing from the “Other Capital Schemes to be Confirmed” budget and that it is reprofiled to £3m in 2023/24 and £2.283m in 2024/25.

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

If additional special school places cannot be delivered by September 2023 there will be insufficient places for some of our most vulnerable learners. Provision would either need to be made in temporary accommodation which could be costly and challenging to locate on site, or in independent sector places which are also under pressure, are high-cost, and often require learners to travel out of Wiltshire. This has a significant impact on our high needs block budget, as well as our transport budget, and most importantly does not support learners to be educated within Wiltshire close to their home and families.

 

32.

Proposal for the future provision of Streetscene Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing

*                 Report of the Chief Executive.

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Streetscene and Floodingpresented the report which provided detailed options and evidence for Cabinet to reach a decision about the future delivery mechanism for grounds maintenance in Wiltshire.

 

In presenting the report, Cllr Dr McClelland commented on the background to the present street cleansing and amenity grounds maintenance services and how idverde currently provided the service under a resource based external contract, terminating on 30 November 2022. Details of current services provided to the Council were contained in the report along with an analysis of the options to deliver the service, either by procuring a new contract or bringing the service delivery under Council management.

 

Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chair of the Environment Select Committee, confirmed that he and Cllr Bob Jones MBE, Vice-Chair of the Select Committee, received a briefing on the proposals on 9 July 2021. Cllr Kunkler reported that the Select Committee would be considering this matter at a future meeting. Cllr Jones MBE expressed concerns about the transition to the new contract; future monitoring and that there was no opportunity for the Select Committee to consider the report prior to the Cabinet meeting. 

 

Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group reported that the Task Group had been asked questions about the delivery of the grounds maintenance proposals and confirmed that the Task Group would be interested in considering the matter further alongside the work being undertaken by the Environment Select Committee.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Stewart Palmen, Cllr Derek Walters, Cllr Carole King and Cllr Chuck Berry about (i) Town and Parish Council asset transfers, (ii) fly tipping, (iii) community engagement and management of amenity grounds and (iv) inclusion of Parish Councils for any additional elements of the new contract; the Leader and Cllr Dr McClelland explained that (i) work on asset transfers was temporarily suspended due to the reallocation of staff during COVID-19, and this work would recommence once the current situation allowed. It was confirmed that detail about asset transfers would be included in any new contract; (ii) Enforcement was key to tackle fly tipping along with the provision of facilities to combat the issue; (iii) the specific detail raised by Cllr King would be considered by Cllr Dr McClelland and officers; and (iv) the inclusion of Parish Councils for additional elements of the new contract would take place.

 

Cabinet considered the exempt information contained in the appendix to the report in Part II of the meeting before making a decision on the matter.

 

Resolved:

 

See minute 36 below

 

33.

Council House Build Programme

*                 Report of the Chief Executive.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer presented the report which (i) sought approval to proceed with developing a programme of opportunities for 3.3 and 3.4 of the Council House Build Programme (CHBP); (ii) provided an update on the current programmes associated with Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2; and provided detail about the plans for review of the Council’s existing sheltered housing stock.

 

In presenting the report, Cllr Alford explained that since Cabinet approved Phase 1 build programme the Residential Development team has developed a Housing Estate and Development proposal, setting out the plan for growing the stock throughout the County. The Team has explored and implemented opportunities to deliver zero carbon homes in line with the Council’s climate emergency declaration and has been developing a programme to deliver the 1000 homes needed over the next 10 years. The report provided updates on the 3 phases that have been brought before Cabinet previously as well as introducing Phase 3.3 and Phase 3.4

 

Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chair of the Environment Select Committee, confirmed that he and Cllr Bob Jones MBE, Vice-Chair of the Select Committee, received a briefing on the proposals on 9 July 2021.

 

In response to questions and comments from Cllr Dominic Muns; Cllr Chris Williams; Cllr Jacqui Lay; Cllr Bob Jones MBE and Cllr Richard Britton about (i) greater control in relation to the disposal of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) properties, and improved protections for HRA tenants; (ii) availability of sites in Ludgershall; (iii) the lack of social housing properties in the north of the county and an assessment of social housing locations to be undertaken by the Environment Select Committee; (iv) Housing Associations becoming profitable organisations and the need to improve the services provided; (v) some elements of the housing sector could be managed more efficiently; Cllr Alford explained that (i) the expansion of the HRA housing stock could influence higher standards of social housing in particular areas of the county; (ii) sites in Ludgershall could be considered further; and (iii) the Council has limited influence over other housing association providers; 

 

Cabinet considered the exempt information contained in the appendix to the report in Part II of the meeting before making a decision on the matter.

 

Resolved:

 

See minute 37 below

 

34.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which the Leader agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

35.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

This is to give further notice in accordance with paragraph 5 (4) and 5 (5) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 of the intention to take the following item in private.

 

 

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Numbers 14 and 15 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in  paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Reason for taking item in private:

Paragraph 3 - information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

Minutes:

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Numbers 14 and 15 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

36.

Proposal for the future provision of Streetscene Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing

 

*                 Report of the Chief Executive

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Streetscene and Floodingpresented the following appendices to the report at agenda item 10 which provided detailed options and evidence for Cabinet to reach a decision about the future delivery mechanism for grounds maintenance in Wiltshire:

 

·       Appendix 3: Financial analysis cost comparison

·       Appendix 4: Example of specifications under review

·       Appendix 5: Grounds maintenance by other councils

·       Appendix 7: Finances

 

Resolved:

 

That authority is delegated to the Director Communities & Neighbourhood, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, to scope an innovative new specification, including new service areas, and procure and award a new contract for street scene services and grounds maintenance from the market.

 

 

Reason for Decision:

The present street cleansing and amenity grounds maintenance services are being provided by idverde under an external contract which will terminate on 30 November 2022. Legal and procurement advice is that the current contract cannot be extended

 

37.

Council House Build Programme

*                 Report of the Chief Executive

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transferpresented the appendix to the report considered at agenda item 11 which detailed the following information:

 

·       Funding streams identified in the Council House Build Programme Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2;

·       Sites identified for future housing

 

Resolved:

 

a)    To note the updates to Council House Build Programme (CHBP) phases 2, 3.1 and 3.2

 

b)    To agree to the increase in costs associated with Phase 3.1 to £21,950,972 and 3.2 to £20,446,014 with the understanding that the homes are early adopters for testing modern methods of construction
(MMC), whilst also developing homes to zero carbon standards. Budget will be pulled back from future years and the overall capital programme total remains unchanged.

 

c)    To agree the proposed budget of £20,000,000 for Phase 3.3 and 3.4 respectively. Budget will be pulled back from future years and the overall capital programme total remains unchanged.

 

d)    To delegate to Director of Housing and Commercial authority to seek planning permission for and to enter into contracts for professional services and construction of Phases 2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4

 

e)    To delegate to Director of Housing and Commercial, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for  Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer the authority to purchase the freehold of land for the purposes of new build developments in relation to Phases 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4.

 

f)     To delegate to Director of Housing and Commercial, in consultation with Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer the authority to make offers for affordable housing purchases to meet an identified housing need (i.e purchase single property from open market)
for Phase 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4.

 

g)    To delegate to Director of Housing and Commercial, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer the authority to make offers for affordable housing offered by developers in lieu of compliance with affordable housing obligations in Section 106 agreements in relation to phases 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4

 

h)    To delegate to the Director of Housing and Commercial authority to make bids to Homes England for grant funding to assist with the financial viability of CHBP projects in phases 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 and to enter into funding agreements if the bids are successful

 

i)      To delegate to the Director of Housing and Commercial, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer the authority to approve substitution of schemes identified in the CHBP Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2 (as set out in Appendix 1) if, following more detailed investigation do not prove not to be viable. Substitution schemes must fit within the existing budget allowance.

 

j)      To delegate to the Director of Housing and Commercial authority to substitute and change funding streams as identified in CHBP Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2 (as set out in Appendix 1 (part 2 paper)) to optimise financing of the CHBP.

 

k)    To commence consultation with the existing Sheltered Housing residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

 

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