Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Friday, 6 July 2018 2.00 pm, NEW

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield

Contact: Anna Poole (Tel. 0116 305 2583)  Email: anna.poole@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Webcast and Order Paper pdf icon PDF 132 KB

A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWFpwBLs6MnUzG0WjejrQtQ

 

In attendance

Apologies

163.

Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2018 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

164.

Urgent items. pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that there was one urgent item for consideration, a report of the Chief Executive, concerning the East Midlands Strategic Alliance and a unitary structure for Leicestershire.

 

The report was urgent because his announcement about this had been made after the agenda for the Cabinet meeting had been published and clarification about the proposed timetable was required before the next Cabinet meeting in September.

 

With the agreement of the Cabinet, the report was considered under item 20 on the agenda (minute 183 below refers).

 

165.

Declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

Mrs. P. Posnett MBE CC and Mr, J. B. Rhodes CC each declared a personal interest in item no. 12 on the agenda (North and East Sections of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road Proposals) as members of Melton Borough Council.

 

166.

Change to the Order of Business.

Minutes:

The Chairman sought and obtained the agreement of Members to vary the order of business from that set out in the agenda.

 

167.

Care Online Service. pdf icon PDF 259 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities concerning the outcome of the consultation on the proposal to decommission the Care Online Service. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 8’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted the comments of the Adults and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and representations received at that meeting (Appendix A to the report), and comments from Alberto Costa MP, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.

 

With the permission of the Chairman, Ms. Kay Louis, a service user, spoke on the matter.  

 

Mr Blunt CC said that the Care Online services had been very much valued, but alternatives were currently provided by other organisations, and the Council now proposed a transitional fund of £10,000 per annum for the next two years to help enable those groups to develop their services to support Care Online users.

 

Mrs Richardson CC said that those service users who were eligible for social care support and who needed help with digital services would continue to be assisted with this by the Council. She was pleased that those who had borrowed IT equipment under the Care Online scheme would be given the opportunity to keep it where possible.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the outcome of the consultation on the CareOnLine Service be noted;

 

(b)       That the CareOnLine Service be decommissioned;

 

(c)       That the measures to mitigate the effect of the cessation of the service as outlined in paragraph 31 of the report, including a transitional fund of £10,000 per annum over the next two years, be approved.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The continuation of the service in its current form is not viable, given the funding pressures facing the Communities and Wellbeing Service.  Similar services are provided by a number of voluntary organisations and charities and the transitional fund will help those groups to develop offers that will support former CareOnLine users.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED:

 

(i)            Outsource the service – it was considered unlikely that voluntary groups/organisations could deliver the same service at less cost and the commissioning process itself would incur further expenditure. It would not, therefore, achieve the required savings.

 

(ii)          Transform the service model – There are currently no avenues to reshape the service as to do so would require absorbing the costs associated with it and the required savings would not be achieved.

 

168.

Early Help Review - Family Wellbeing Service (0-19). pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services concerning the creation of a new integrated family and wellbeing service that would involve a reduction in the number of Children’s Centres and a redesign of various elements of the Early Help Services. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 4’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted the comments of the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.

 

The Cabinet also noted comments from a local resident Dr. Matthew O’Callaghan, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.

 

Mr Ould CC spoke of the importance of providing early intervention services. The financial pressures faced by the Council, and the expected cessation of Government funding for Leicestershire’s Supporting Families programme had necessitated the proposals but the Authority was committed to helping those families who needed most support and this would be done through the new integrated service.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          That the results of the public consultation be noted;

 

(b)          That the number of Children’s Centres be reduced from 36 to 18 as detailed in paragraph 40 of the report;

 

(c)       That the Director of Children and Family Services following consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member for Children and Families and the Director of Corporate Resources be authorised to develop and implement the new family and wellbeing service on the basis outlined in the report, noting that this will include:

 

(i)            A remodelling of the staff structure to reflect the new integrated service and achieve staffing efficiencies,

(ii)          Delivering a buildings model based on the 18 Children’s Centres and 3 Supporting Leicestershire Families centres, and finding suitable alternative uses for the redesignated buildings wherever possible, including updating the impact analysis as the model is developed.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The new delivery model will provide targeted intervention to those families most in need via a better-integrated service that makes best use of the staff and resources available. 

 

The proposals have been informed by feedback from the consultation exercise and further work carried out since January, including the Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessment.  The new delivery model will enable the service to make the required savings of £1.5m in the period up to 2020.

 

The Director will need to develop and implement the new model over several months, as it will include for example, the re-designation of buildings and relocation of services.

 

169.

In- House Fostering Fees Review. pdf icon PDF 645 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services concerning the proposed changes to the Fostering Fee Payment Scheme. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 5’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the outcome of the consultation be noted;

 

(b)       That the revised Fostering Service Fee Policy, attached as Appendix C to the report, be approved and implemented with effect from 1 August 2018;

 

(c)       That the Director of Children and Family Services be authorised to amend and update the Fostering Service Fee Policy in accordance with the increase in the nationally recommended minimum allowance and to make other minor changes provided that the Cabinet Lead Member and the Director of Corporate Resources have first been consulted. 

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The Fostering Service Fee Policy for 2018/19 sets out the fee payment scales which are part of a suite of enablers to help achieve Medium Term Financial Strategy savings targets by improving the recruitment and retention of in-house foster carers and help manage the forecasted increase in demand for placements for Looked After Children (LAC).

 

The new Policy will compensate mainstream, kinship carers and specialist foster carers for the work they do in looking after Leicestershire’s LAC population.  It is important and fitting that the Council continues to recognise and reward foster carers for the valuable contribution they make to the lives of the children and young people.

 

The Fee Policy will require regular review to ensure that the Council’s fees are aligned closely with operational practices in the market (i.e. with other local authorities and the private sector) to ensure the Service remains competitive, attractive to new foster carers and supports the retention of current in-house carers.

 

170.

Outline Commercial Strategy and Workplan 2018-2022. pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources regarding the Council’s trading activity and seeking approval of a new Commercial Strategy and Workplan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 6’, is filed with these minutes.

 

It was noted that the Scrutiny Commission had supported the proposed approach.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Outline Commercial Strategy and Work Plan 2018-2022 be approved;

 

(b)       That an Annual Report on the Commercial Strategy be submitted to the Cabinet and the Scrutiny Commission each June.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The Commercial Strategy and Workplan will build on the progress that has been made by Leicestershire Traded Services and increase the pace of change to ensure that trading income makes an increasing and meaningful contribution to the Council’s budget. This relates in particular to the creation of alternative operating models to enable trading with the private sector or to establish joint ventures.

 

171.

Children's Innovation Partnership. pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services regarding the development of a ‘Children’s Innovation Partnership’ and seeking approval for the Director to issue an Invitation to Tender. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members recognised that this was an innovative and ground breaking approach which would see the County Council co-design and co-deliver children’s care services with a partner organisation.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the formation of a Children’s Innovation Partnership as outlined in the report be approved;

 

(b)       That the Director of Children and Family Services be authorised to publish an Invitation to Tender to form a Children’s Innovation Partnership with the Council;

 

(c)       That a further report be submitted to the Cabinet in Autumn 2018 regarding the outcome of the Invitation to Tender and chosen provider.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The Council needs to develop a more efficient, and cost-effective approach to the provision of care placements for children and young people and would greatly benefit from the expertise of an external organisation to deal with the challenges.

 

Authorising the Director to proceed with the work to develop the Children’s Innovation Partnership will enable this to be progressed at the earliest opportunity (the cost being met through existing resources).  A report to the Cabinet meeting in the autumn will outline progress with this work and present the associated Care Placement Strategy, currently in development.

 

172.

Supported Living Scheme in Great Glen. pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities concerning the purchase and refurbishment of an existing sheltered housing scheme (known as Brookfield Gardens) in Great Glen. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Cabinet noted comments from Dr. Kevin Feltham CC, the local member, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. 

 

Mr Blunt CC said that the proposals represented a cost-effective means of providing care and support for adults with disabilities, whilst giving a degree of independence.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the purchase of the sheltered housing facility Brookfield Gardens in Great Glen and its conversion to a supported living scheme be approved;

 

(b)       That the Director of Adults and Communities following consultation with the Director of Law and Governance, be authorised to undertake a procurement exercise and enter into the necessary contractual arrangements in order to secure a housing provider to manage the supported living accommodation and undertake the necessary refurbishment.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The purchase and refurbishment of the sheltered housing scheme in Great Glen and procurement of a housing provider to manage the accommodation will help the Council provide an environment for adults with a long-term disability to be supported to live in their own homes in a way that is affordable for individuals and the Council.

 

The investment is consistent with the Council’s strategic approach to ensure that people can access the right level of support at the right time in order to help maximise their independence, and will provide cost-effective accommodation linked to delivering on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

173.

Strategy for Leicestershire Adult Learning Service 2018-22. pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities which advised the Cabinet on the outcome of the consultation on the draft strategy for Leicestershire Adult Learning Services for 2018-22. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 10’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the outcome of the consultation on the draft strategy for Leicestershire Adult Learning Services 2018-22 be noted;

 

(b)       That the Strategy for Leicestershire Adult Learning Services 2018-22, appended to the report, be approved.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The Strategy will provide the basis for planning, commissioning and delivering adult learning services for the next four years, the first published Strategy for this service. The strategic goals for the service will contribute to a range of objectives, in particular, those in the County Council’s Strategic Plan 2018–22 “Working Together for the Benefit of Everyone”.

 

174.

Community Managed Libraries. pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Adults and Communities regarding Community Managed Libraries, including proposals for a process to be followed should a community group find itself unable to continue to run a library. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 11’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That Community Managed Library groups throughout Leicestershire be congratulated on their achievements in having developed their local libraries into thriving community hubs;

 

(b)       That the continued support in place to help Community Managed Library groups to run their libraries, including the availability of temporary support funds be noted;

 

(c)       That the process to be followed should any Community Managed Library group be unable to continue to provide a library service as set out in paragraphs 28–30 of the report be approved, noting in particular that this includes:

 

(i)         Delegation to the Director of Adults and Communities, following consultation with Local Member(s) and Cabinet Lead Member, to agree alternative arrangements if this will result in no significant effect in the level of library provision;

 

(ii)        A report to the Cabinet in the event that significant changes to library provision might result.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

Community Managed Libraries (CMLs) are now in place across large parts of the County and are working well.  The individual CML groups are responsible for ensuring they are sustainable and well managed and the Council continues to provide support where required.  The Council has a statutory obligation to ensure provision of a “comprehensive and efficient” library service as detailed in the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

 

The Council has ensured support is in place to help CML groups to manage their sustainability pro-actively and to advise and support them to deal effectively with emerging issues that may pose a potential risk to the future operation of the service as they arise.  Most of the financial support will end in 2021/22.

 

In situations where a CML ceases operation, the Council will need to act swiftly to consider alternative provision.

 

175.

North and East Sections of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road Proposals. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning progress with the delivery of the north and east sections of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) and seeking approval to submit a planning application for the scheme, and for the Director to undertake various actions to move the project forward. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 12’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted comments of the Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. 

 

The Chairman asked for his appreciation of Sir Alan Duncan MP, for his support with the Department for Transport Local Majors Fund bid, to be placed on record.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the progress with regard to the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) scheme development be noted, in particular:-

 

(i)         Agreement of the Preferred Route by the Director of Environment and Transport, following consultation with the Lead Member, which will be used as the basis for continuing work;

 

(ii)        The award of £49.5m from the Department for Transport Large Local Majors Fund; and,

 

(iii)       The latest cost estimate of £63.5m for the scheme, which will form the basis for the planning application;

 

(b)       That the Director of Environment and Transport be authorised to submit a planning application for the north and east section of the MMDR in accordance with the Preferred Route;

 

(c)       That the Director of Environment and Transport and Director of Corporate Resources be authorised, in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance and following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Lead Members, to:-

 

(i)         Agree minor alterations to the scheme that may arise as a consequence of detailed design work;

 

(ii)       Continue discussions with landowners and other stakeholders, with a view to reaching voluntary agreement over the purchase and/or reservation of land for the northern and eastern sections of the MMDR where possible and,

 

(iii)      Take all necessary steps to make, confirm and implement Compulsory Purchase Orders and Side Roads Orders associated with the scheme pursuant to the Highways Act 1980 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981;

 

(d)       That it be noted that further reports will be submitted to the Cabinet on progress with the scheme, including following the consideration of the planning application (expected early 2019); 

 

(e)       That the Director of Corporate Resources be authorised to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the County Council and Melton Borough Council, which sets out the financial arrangement for funding the local contribution to the scheme.

 

(KEY DECISION)

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

Submission of a planning application in the Summer/Autumn of 2018 will allow the scheme to progress to the deadlines indicated by the Department for Transport (DfT), with a construction start date of Summer 2020.

 

The MMDR alignment is now fixed as the Preferred Route but minor alterations to the scheme may be required through the detailed design and planning process.

 

Wherever possible, the acquisition of land and rights will be conducted by negotiation and agreement with landowners.  However it is likely that the Compulsory Purchase process will be critical to acquiring land for the scheme delivery, and Side Roads Orders will enable the Authority to make alterations to roads or rights of way which would otherwise affect the route.

 

Authorising chief officers to proceed with the various actions set out in recommendation (c) will enable the work to progress in accordance with the DfT timetable, with construction commencing 2020.  Notwithstanding this, any significant changes or issues will be the subject of reports to Members.

 

176.

A5 Strategy and Partnership. pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport regarding the A5 Partnership’s revised draft Strategy, ‘The A5: Supporting Growth and Movement in the Midlands 2018-2031’ and proposed Governance and Terms of Reference. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 13’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Cabinet noted comments from Mrs Maggie Wright CC, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.

 

The Director said that, since publication of the report, the Partnership had met to discuss the draft Strategy and governance proposals. As the Council had previously made clear, the wider strategic infrastructure context had evolved since the original A5 Strategy was developed in 2011 and this needed to be reflected in the document. However, whilst acknowledging this and including reference to broader priorities, the Partnership did not support the inclusion of other schemes as strategic priorities, namely the M1 junction 20a and the A46 Expressway. The Partnership had also discussed the Governance and Terms of Reference but had not reached agreement, deciding to return to these at its October meeting.

 

The Director noted that in March, the Cabinet had agreed that, in order to participate in the Partnership, the Council’s requirements as Local Highway Authority must be reflected in the draft Strategy, and robust Terms of Reference and Governance arrangements put in place to give it credibility and weight. As a result of the outcome of the Partnership meeting, the recommendations to the Cabinet had changed.

 

The Director and Mr. Pain CC emphasised that the Council remained fully supportive of improvements to the A5 and would work with bodies such as Highways England, Midlands Connect and the Department for Transport to help achieve this.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That it be noted that at its meeting on 29 June the A5 Partnership agreed that 

 

(i)         the proposed governance arrangements and Terms of Reference for the Partnership would be reviewed and considered again by the Partnership at its next meeting on 19 October, and

 

(ii)        reference in the draft A5 Strategy regarding the A46 and Junction 20a of the M1 would be included but not as part of the strategic context for Leicestershire and the wider region,

 

                          and that, accordingly, the Council cannot support the draft A5 Strategy nor is able to endorse continued participation in the A5 Partnership on the basis that the revised governance arrangements and Terms of Reference has not been agreed by the A5 Partnership at this time;

 

(b)       The Council withdraws its membership of the A5 Partnership until such time as the A5 Strategy and the governance arrangements and Terms of Reference for the Partnership meet its requirements;

 

(c)       The Council will continue its support in principle for the upgrade of the A5, as part of the Council’s wider transport infrastructure priorities as set out in the Leicester and Leicestershire Rail Strategy and the Prospectus for Growth, through direct interaction with Highways England, Transport for the East Midlands, Midlands Connect, and the Department for Transport;

 

(d)       The Director of Environment and Transport be requested to inform relevant stakeholders, including Highways England, Midlands Connect, Transport for the East Midlands, and the Department for Transport, of the Council’s position with regard to the A5 Partnership.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The wider infrastructure priorities for Leicestershire and the Council’s role and responsibilities as Highway Authority are not adequately reflected in the draft Strategy or in the existing Terms of Reference and governance arrangements for the Partnership. 

 

The Council remains supportive of improvements to the A5, as one of a number of road and rail investments, and it is appropriate that as the Highway Authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 176.

177.

Environment Strategy. pdf icon PDF 330 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport seeking approval of the Council’s Environment Strategy 2018-2030 and support for the associated three year Action Plan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 14’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted the comments of the Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. The Director said that the ‘vision’ wording would be amended in response to the Committee’s remarks.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          That the outcome of the engagement exercise be noted;

 

(b)       That the Environment Strategy 2018-2030, attached as Appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

(c)       That the associated Action Plan 2018-2021, attached as Appendix B, be supported;

 

(d)       That the Director of Environment and Transport be authorised, following consultation with the Lead Member, to make any minor amendments to the Environment Strategy 2018-2030 that are necessary to ensure that it complies with national policies and legislation in force from time to time and accords with other County Council strategies;

 

(e)       That, recognising the growing public concern over the negative environmental impacts of single use plastics, work identified in the Action Plan to explore options to reduce the use of single-use plastics within the Council be brought forward as a priority. 

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

To ensure the Authority has an up-to-date statement of its environmental priorities and objectives which is aligned with its framework for action to meet the global challenge of climate change and against which its performance can be objectively assessed.

 

To enable the Strategy to be amended in line with developing Government policy and changes in legislation which may be introduced during its 12 year lifespan and to ensure that it remains relevant should there be changes to other County Council policies/strategies over this period.

 

178.

Ash Dieback. pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport seeking approval of the Ash Dieback Action Plan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 15’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted the comments of the Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.

 

Mrs. P. Posnett MBE CC commended officers for their work in developing the Action Plan.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Ash Dieback Action Plan be approved;

 

(b)       That the Director of Environment and Transport be authorised to make such amendments to the Ash Dieback Action Plan as are considered necessary to ensure that it remains current and conforms to legislation and good practice.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

Ash dieback is likely to result in the death of a high proportion of the estimated 500,000 plus ash trees in Leicestershire over a period of 5 to 15 years. The Council’s approach to managing the outbreak focuses on maintaining the highest levels of health and safety for the public whilst aiming to minimise the impact on the landscape, ecology and environment.

 

The adoption of an Action Plan is advocated by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Tree Council and will help the Council maintain its approach.

 

179.

East Midlands Airport - Draft Noise Action Plan 2019-2023 Consultation. pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Executive seeking approval of the County Council’s response to the consultation on the East Midlands Draft Noise Action Plan 2019 - 2023. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 16’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the comments set out in paragraph 33 of the report on the Draft Noise Action Plan 2019-2023 be forwarded to the East Midlands Airport as the views of the County Council.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

To ensure that the County Council takes the opportunity to influence the content of the Draft Noise Action Plan in the interests of local communities affected by noise from the airport.

 

180.

Section 106 (Developer) Contributions. pdf icon PDF 363 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources concerning the repayments of Section 106 developer funding by the County Council over the last 5 years, in response to recent media coverage about this.  A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 17’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the position with regard to repayment of Section 106 funding be noted;

 

(b)       That the further work outlined in paragraph 28 of the report to improve the processing of Section 106 agreements be supported;

 

(c)       That it be noted that a further report will be submitted to the Cabinet in Autumn 2018.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

To note the Council’s position with regard to the requirements for Section 106 funding and the circumstances in which it might need to be repaid, and to ensure that the maximum amount of funding is being retained.

 

181.

Corporate Complaints and Compliments Annual Report 2017/18. pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources concerning the Corporate Complaints and Compliments Annual Report for the year to March 2018. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 18’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Corporate Complaints and Compliments Annual Report be noted and welcomed.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

To note the improvements in performance and further work undertaken in regard to the Council’s management of corporate complaints.

 

182.

Items referred from Overview and Scrutiny.

Minutes:

There were no items referred from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

183.

Urgent Item - East Midlands Strategic Alliance and Unitary Government in Leicestershire.

Minutes:

The Committee considered an urgent report of the Chief Executive, concerning the East Midlands Strategic Alliance and a unitary structure for Leicestershire. The report was urgent because an announcement had been made about this after the agenda for the Cabinet meeting had been published and clarification about the proposed timetable was required before the next Cabinet meeting.  A copy of the report is filed with these minutes.

 

The Chairman said that there would be a thorough and comprehensive consultation on the proposals for a unitary structure and he hoped that the Overview and Scrutiny bodies would actively seek views from members throughout the Authority. He had spoken with County MPs and was aware of some concerns and, with Mr. Rhodes, planned to meet with them in the autumn to discuss the proposals in more detail. The engagement with the public, public and private sector bodies and other stakeholders would be clear and accessible and he looked forward to receiving feedback on the proposals. Linked to this, a Strategic Alliance with neighbouring upper tier authorities would strengthen the local and regional economies.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)     That the Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources be requested to work with counterparts in the region in the development of a Strategic Alliance for the East Midlands;

 

(b)     That work be undertaken on the development of a unitary structure for local government in Leicestershire;

 

(c)     That the following timetable for consideration of the above be approved:-

 

Cabinet

16th October

To consider outline proposals and agree to engage with stakeholders on options.

 

Scrutiny Commission

 

14th November

To comment on the outline proposals.

Cabinet

 

23rd November

To consider the outcome of stakeholder engagement and the way forward.

 

County Council

 

5th December

To debate the proposed way forward recommended by the Cabinet.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

To provide a framework and timetable for consideration of proposals for a unitary structure for Leicestershire in the context of a Strategic Alliance for the East Midlands.

 

184.

Exclusion of the press and public.

The public are likely to be excluded during the following item of

business in accordance with Section 100(A) of the Local Government

Act 1972:-

 

Proposals to Develop a new Primary School to Serve Lubbesthorpe - Expression of Interest from Academy Proposers.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 3 and 10 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act and that, in all circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information –

 

Proposals to Develop a New Primary School to Serve Lubbesthorpe - Expressions of Interest from Academy Proposers.

 

185.

Proposals to Develop a new Primary School to Serve Lubbesthorpe - Expression of Interest from Academy Proposers.

(Exempt under Paragraphs 3 and 10 of Schedule 12A).

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered an exempt report of the Director of Children and Family Services which advised of the expressions of interest received from academy proposers (sponsors) to operate the new 420- place primary school (academy) serving the Lubbesthorpe area. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 22’, is filed with these minutes. The report was not for publication by virtue of paragraphs 3 and 10 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the eight expressions of interest received from the LEAD Academy Trust, LiFE Multi Academy Trust, Bradgate Education Partnership, OWLS Academy Trust, Embrace, Kirby Muxloe Academy, Avanti Multi Academy Trust, and Stafford Leys Academy to operate the new 420-place primary school to serve the Lubbesthorpe area be noted;

 

(b)       That the four academy proposers that have progressed to Stage 2 of the process, and the scoring attached to each as set out in Appendix B and C to the report, and which defines the County Council’s order of preference, be noted;

 

(c)       That all four proposers be recommended to the Secretary of State for Education (with whom the decision rests), as potential suitable sponsors to operate the new school and that the Secretary of State be advised that given the strength of the four applications that there is no reason to suggest that it would be necessary to look elsewhere to secure an academy sponsor;

 

(d)       That it be noted that further information will be provided to the Cabinet and local member once the decision on a preferred sponsor has been taken and confirmed by the Regional Schools Commissioner, acting on behalf of Secretary of State for Education.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

 

The Education Act 1996 places a statutory duty on the County Council to ensure a sufficient supply of school places. 

 

The new 420-place primary school to serve the Lubbesthorpe development approved by Blaby District Council is planned to open in September 2019, recognising the increase in demand for school places locally which is beginning to exceed the available capacity of the other primary schools in the locality.  On completion, Lubbesthorpe will comprise a 4,250 home development, a business park, this primary school and a further primary school, a new secondary school, leisure facilities, and a local centre for retail and community uses.

 

Seeking expressions of interest from suitable academy proposers (sponsors) is in keeping with the requirements placed upon the County Council by section 6A (the Free School Presumption) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, as introduced by the Education Act 2011. 

 

By completing the expressions of interest process, the County Council has been able to assess and confirm the expertise, capacity, experience and other credentials necessary to run the new school, of the organisations that have applied.

 

Ensuring that all organisations recommended to the Secretary of State for consideration are already ‘approved’ sponsors on the Department for Education register, will help demonstrate their capabilities and should enable an early decision to be taken.