agenda for these minutes
Councillors Greenslade (Chairman), Mrs Channon, Clatworthy, Hart, S Hughes, Morrish, Smith, Spear and Mrs Spence
Attending in accordance with Standing Order 25(2):-
Councillors Gale, Glanvill, Mrs Morrish, Owen and Westlake.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2003 be signed as a correct record.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Clatworthy to his first meeting of the Executive following his appointment by the Council as Executive Member for Social Affairs and Health (Adults).
*567 The Capital Strategy, Asset Management Plan and Prudential Indicators
(Councillors Mrs Channon, Greenslade, S Hughes and Spear declared personal interests in this item by virtue of being non-Executive Directors of the Board of Exeter & Devon Airport Ltd, appointed as representatives of the County Council.)
The Executive considered the report of the Director of Resources (DR/03/106) on the revision of the Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan to ensure that they remained in line with the County Council's Strategic Plan and individual service plans and provided a robust foundation for capital investment planning and asset management.
The report also outlined the likely impact of the new system for control of local authority borrowing being introduced under the Local Government Act 2003, from 1 April 2004. Members noted that while, currently, borrowing for capital purposes was strictly controlled by Government by the use of credit approvals the new system would give local authorities responsibility for deciding how much they could afford to borrow having regard to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy's (CIPFA) Prudential Code, the final version of which was to be published in October 2003. Members expressed some concerns at the impact of the new system and the extent to which the purported freedom to set borrowing levels would, in practice, actually materialise. It was also acknowledged that this was an area where the Overview/Scrutiny process might usefully contribute to the Council's understanding and operation of the new systems.
(a) that the combined Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan for the period April 2004 to March 2008 be approved subject to the amendment of paragraph 1.6 of the Asset Management Plan to reflect the role of Overview/Scrutiny and to an annual report being made to this Executive (paragraph 4);
(b) that the Education Asset Management Plan be included in the document in future years;
(c) that the implications of the Prudential Code and Indicators as the method for determining local authority borrowing be noted and that informal discussions be held between the Executive and the Management Board, in the near future, on the implications of this system for the Council's capital programme.
*568 Children's Services
(a) Children's Trust Pathfinder in Devon: Progress Report (Minute*561(b)/14 October 2003)
The Executive considered the joint report of the Director of Education, Arts & Libraries and Director of Social Services (SS/03/29) outlining progress with the establishment of the Devon Children's Trust Pathfinder.
Each approved Children's Trust Pathfinder was required to submit a progress report to the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills by 31 October 2003, outlining the extent to which the Trust would be operational during 2003 and to identify any barriers or issues to putting the Trust arrangements in place. The Report showed that progress to date remained close to the timeframe set out in the original bid document and that there were no unexpected barriers or issues affecting this progress.
RESOLVED that approval be given to report SS/03/29 being submitted as the first Children's Trust Pathfinder Progress Report to the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills.
(b) Children's Green Paper - 'Every Child Matters'
(Councillor Gale attended and spoke to this item in accordance with Standing Order 25(2)).
The Executive considered the joint report of the Director of Education, Arts & Libraries and Director of Social Services (SS/03/30) on the contents of the Green Paper 'Every Child Matters' outlining the Government's proposals for reform of the way in which publicly funded services for children were to be delivered, managed and held to account and suggesting areas to be covered by the Council's response to the consultation due by 1 December 2003.
(i) that the report be noted and the following issues be explored further as part of the Council's final submission, to be considered by this Executive on 25 November 2003:
the weakness of the consultation process and timetable;
workforce training reform;
links with and involvement of parents, children and young people (including the Youth Service)
stronger interaction with the Youth Justice system;
the apparent level of prescription for future local government services and lack of opportunity to develop proposals currently being explored as part of Children's Trust Pathfinder schemes; and
a national tracking system.
(ii) that Governing Bodies of Schools be made aware of the Green Paper and encouraged to submit their own comments direct.
*569 School Organisation
(a) Outcome of Consultation on proposal to establish a Nursery Unit at Stoke Hill First School, Exeter
The Executive considered the report of the Director of Education, Arts & Libraries (EO/03/73) on the outcome of consultations with schools, early years providers and interested parties on the provision of additional early education places in Exeter through the establishment of a 26 fte place nursery at Stoke Hill First School.
The report outlined the responses received during the consultation period which clearly supported the provision of a new nursery unit although concerns had been expressed by two respondents about the impact of the proposed unit on other providers in the area.
RESOLVED that approval be given to the publication of formal Public Notices to establish a new 26 fte nursery unit at Stoke Hill First School Exeter with effect from September 2005.
(b) New Primary School at Clyst Heath, Exeter
(Councillors Glanvill and Mrs Morrish attended and spoke to this item in accordance with Standing Order 25(2)).
The Executive considered the report of the Director of Education, Arts & Libraries (EO/03/72) on the outcome of consultations with schools, local residents, early years providers and interested parties on the provision of primary education in the Clyst Heath (Digby) area of Exeter.
The report outlined the responses during the consultation period which clearly supported the provision of a new school although concerns had been expressed as to whether or not the school as proposed would be large enough and on the impact of the development on the area and traffic levels.
RESOLVED that approval be given to the publication of formal Public Notices to establish a new 210 place primary school with a 13 fte nursery unit and 10 fte provision for pupils with visual impairment and extended community facilities with the first phase of 5 classrooms to open in September 2005 expanding to 210 places by September 2008 (in line with projected housing development).
*570 Creating an Independent Adult Placement Scheme in Devon
(Councillors Mrs Channon and Mrs Spence declared prejudicial interests in this item by virtue of having relatives in receipt of social care services and withdrew from the meeting during its consideration).
The Executive considered the report of the Director of Social Services (SS/03/25) on the proposals for the introduction of an Adult Placement Scheme as an alternative to care home status. Members noted that the County Council was leading the development of this organisation which could encompass the whole of the far southwest - i.e. the creation of South West Adult Placement Scheme (S.W.A.P.S). This scheme had the potential to achieve full year recurring savings to the County Council of 300,000.
(a) that agreement, in principle, be given to the establishment of a Not for Profit company with charitable objects independent of the Authority and to a contract being let for the running of an Adult Placement Scheme;
(b) that approval, in principle, be also given to a loan or some other suitable arrangement to facilitate the management of cash flow subject to all parties contributing pro rata and repayment arrangements to be agreed with the Director of Resources;
(c) that the Director of Resources and the Director of Social Services be authorised to approve the detailed arrangements in consultation with the Executive Members for Social Affairs and Health.
RESOLVED that the recommendation of the Environment Policy Group that the remit of the Historic Environment Champion (presently Councillor Gale) be extended to 'Historic Environment and Design' be approved.
*572 Delegated Action/Urgent Matters
The Registers of action taken by Chief Officers or Executive Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers were available for inspection at the meeting.
*573 Executive Forward Plan
In accordance with the Council's Constitution, the Executive reviewed the Forward Plan (available electronically at ) and determined those items of business to be defined as key decisions and included in the Plan for the period 1 November 2003 to 28 February 2004.
*574 Exclusion of the Press and Public
RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 of Schedule 12A of the Act, namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of Mowlem plc relating to the Exeter Group Schools PFI.
*575 Exeter Group Schools PFI: Financial Issues (Minute *551/30 September 2003)
(An item taken under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 during which the press and public were excluded.)
The Executive considered the joint report of the Director of Resources and Director of Education, Arts & Libraries (EO/03/74) on financial issues relating to the Exeter Group Schools PFI initiative.
(a) that the proposed new build option for St Peter's High school be approved;
(b) that Governors' Agreements be concluded with the Governing Bodies of the six schools in the PFI group Scheme;
(c) that the cost of off-site works in excess of the 1.5m allowed for in the Bid be regarded as an unavoidable commitment to be provided for in the 2004/05 and 2006/06 capital programme;
(d) that progress be noted in negotiations with Mowlem to close the gap between the target figure and the current shortfall;
(e) that approval of the financial issues in the Business Case be delegated to the Director of Education, Arts & Libraries and the Director of Resources provided it is within the annual limit approved by this Executive with the final financial issues report being submitted to and approved by this Executive;
(f) that the submission of the Full Business Case to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in early November 2003 be noted.
*DENOTES DELEGATED MATTER WITH POWER TO ACT
The meeting started at 10.30am and finished at 12.27pm
Notice of the decisions taken by the Executive will be sent by email to all Members of the
Council within 2 working days of their being made and will, in the case of key decisions, come into force 5 working days after that date unless 'called-in' or referred back in line with the provisions of the Council's Constitution.
The Minutes of the Executive are published on the County Council's Website at:-