Cabinet

Committee Minutes

Tue Oct 13 2009

Related Documents:
agenda for these minutes

Present:-

Councillors Hart (Chairman), Barker, Channon, Clatworthy, Croad, Davis, S Hughes, Leadbetter and Mumford.

Members attending in accordance with Standing Orders 8 and 25

Councillors Clarance, Diviani, Greenslade, Hannon, Hook, Newcombe, Spence and Westlake

*36 Minutes

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 September 2009 be signed as a correct record.

*37 Matters of Urgency: Devon s Role in Europe (Minute *976/16 December 2008)

(An item taken under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.)

(Councillors Greenslade and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Chairman had decided that the Cabinet should consider this item, as a matter of urgency, in order that Members may be aware that he had asked, in line with previous practice, for a report to the next meeting of the Cabinet on the County Council s role in Europe and in particular on its participation in European organisations, such as the AER and CPMR, and its relationships with other European nation states or regions, such as Baranya. The Cabinet would then be able, with the benefit of a detailed report, to take decisions; for example on the Council s future involvement in the British Days and links with Baranya.

The Chairman reminded the Cabinet that the former Executive had, in 2007, agreed to participate in the British Days held each Autumn through to 2010 to promote the County s cultural attractions in recognition of an earlier formal educational link with Baranya, the fact that Pecs was a World Heritage Site and that it had been designated a European Capital of Culture in 2010. The Council had, at that time, identified 40,000 ( 10,000pa) at Outturn from savings in the 2006/07 budget to fund this area of activity. The former Environment, Economy Culture Overview/Scrutiny Committee had subsequently received and noted a fuller briefing note (EEC/07/240/HQ - text only | pdf EEC/07/240/HQ) on the Council's involvement in British Days events.

Members noted however that, following consultation with the Leader of the Council, no arrangements had yet been made to take part in this years event on the grounds that in the current economic climate it would be difficult to justify the Council s continued involvement in and expenditure upon such events, pending a full report.

*38 Questions from Members of the Council

In accordance with the Cabinet Procedure Rules, the appropriate Cabinet Members would provide responses to 2 questions, on the Deepmoor Invessel Composter and on installation of road signs, from Members of the Council who were not present at the meeting.

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to these minutes and is available on the Council s Website at

Key DecisionS

*39 Call-in of Cabinet Decision: Possible Acquisition of Part of Rolle College, Exmouth (Cabinet Minute *1094/23 April 2009)

(Councillors Greenslade, Hannon, Newcombe and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Cabinet noted that, in accordance with the Overview/Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the Chairman of the Children and Young Peoples Services Scrutiny Committee had invoked the call-in procedure in relation to the decision of the Cabinet (Minute *43 refers) that the Council indicate to the University of Plymouth that it is no longer interested in acquiring this site .

The joint report of the Executive Director of Children Young People s Services and County Solicitor (CS/09/7 - text only | pdf | supplementary information CS/09/7) previously considered by the Cabinet had been re-circulated for the convenience of Members.

The Children and Young Peoples Services Scrutiny Committee had considered the call-in request at a special meeting on 8 October 2009 but had resolved that the matter be deferred and a further meeting of this Scrutiny Committee be held to hear the views of the Leader and Cabinet portfolio holder (Schools and Skills) prior to any recommendation to the Cabinet

The Cabinet noted that a further meeting of the Scrutiny Committee had been arranged for Friday 30 October 2009, commencing at 10.00am, the outcome of which would be reported to the Cabinet on 3 November 2009.

*40 Policy Statement on Regional Strategies and Guidance on the Establishment of Leaders Boards: Consultation by Department of Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

(Councillor Channon declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a non-remunerated Deputy Chairman of South West Councils. Councillors Barker, Greenslade and Spence also declared personal interests by virtue of being members of SW Councils and Councillor Hart declared a personal interest by virtue of his being a Member of the SW Leaders Board.)

(Councillors Greenslade, Hannon and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Cabinet considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Environment, Economy Culture (EEC/09/216/HQ - text only | pdf EEC/09/216/HQ) on a proposed response to the Government s consultation on Regional Strategies and Guidance on the Establishment of Leaders Boards. The deadline for responses was 30 October 2009.

The Cabinet noted that, within the context of the Government s review of Sub National Economy and Regeneration, the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill had been introduced in Parliament in December 2008 and was expected to receive Royal Assent later this year. The Bill provided for the introduction of Single Regional Strategies in each region of England in place of the existing Regional Spatial Strategies and Regional Economic Strategies and also allowed for the establishment of Leaders Boards which would be given the freedom to identify appropriate sub regions, recognising the social and economic geography of the area and the benefits arising from a coordinated sub regional policy approach.

Members acknowledged concerns expressed over the possible implications for the future relationship between the SW Regional Development Agency and SW Councils, the perceived diminution of democratic involvement and legitimacy in some of the evolving institutions and the corresponding need for greater clarity of involvement of constituent councils and their relationship with the proposed Leaders Board for the South West.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Mumford and

RESOLVED

(a) that the implications of the statement and guidance be noted;

(b) that the proposed response to the consultation set out in Report EEC/09/216/HQ - text only | pdf EEC/09/216/HQ and the response to the specific questions set out at Appendix I to the Report be approved and submitted to Department of Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills;

(c) that, through its representation on the Leaders Board for the South West, the County Council seek to ensure that effective arrangements are put in place for the direct engagement of the strategic local authorities in preparing the Single Regional Strategy to also reflect the views summarised above.

OTHER MATTERS

*41 Department for Communities and Local Government: Boundary Committee Review - Future Unitary Structures (Cabinet Minute *42/22 September 2009)

(Councillor Greenslade attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Chief Executive reported that the judgment of the Appeal Court hearing on the Forest Heath (Suffolk) judgement on 6/7 October 2009 was still awaited, the result of which would impact upon the publication of proposals on the future of local government in Devon.

STANDING ITEMS

*42 Question(s) from Members of the Public

There was no question from a Member of the public.

*43 Minutes

(Councillor Greenslade, Newcombe and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

RESOLVED that the minutes of the following Committees be noted:

(a) Devon Education Forum - 23 September 2009, and

(b) Devon Strategic Partnership Board 30 September 2009.

*44 References from Committees

(a) Exeter County Committee: Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs)

(Councillors Newcombe and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Cabinet noted that, at its meeting on 16 September 2009, the Exeter County Committee (Minute 4) had received a report by Connexions on the number of young people aged 16 -18 in Exeter who were unemployed, the reasons why they were not in education, employment or training, on the opportunities open to them and new initiatives being developed and had resolved that the Cabinet be requested to consider how the County Council could provide apprenticeships and opportunities for this vulnerable group, particularly during this difficult economic climate .

It was MOVED by Councillor Channon, SECONDED by Councillor Davis and

RESOLVED that acknowledging the concerns of the County Committee on this county-wide issue:

(i) that Connexions/Careers South West should continue their commissioned activity to support this vulnerable group reporting regularly through the Children Young People's Plan schedule to the Children's Trust;

(ii) that the Corporate Workforce Strategy should also retain the strand of Apprentice Recruitment as a priority activity;

(iii) that reduction of Apprentice recruitments be not accepted as a Directorate efficiency measure in the current round of budget preparation and budgets for this purpose are ringfenced from efficiency savings.

(b) Exeter County Committee: Children Centres Update

(Councillors Newcombe and Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Cabinet noted that, at its meeting on 16 September 2009, the Exeter County Committee (Minute 5(b)) had received a report of the Executive Director of Children and Young People s Services on the roll out of the children centre programme across Devon and in the City, capital and revenue formula funding, performance management and future tendering arrangements and had resolved that the Cabinet s attention be drawn to the need to ensure that the capital development of a new Children Centre in Exwick is completed by 31 March 2011 to ensure that the government funding is not lost .

It was MOVED by Councillor Channon, SECONDED by Councillor Davis and

RESOLVED that the views of the County Committee be noted and taken into account in the preparation of the Council s capital programme 2010/11 and subsequent years.

(c) Exeter County Committee: Property Update

(Councillor Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Cabinet noted that, at its meeting on 16 September 2009, the Exeter County Committee (Minute 7) had considered a report on property matters with particular reference to the Exeter Community Centre, housing proposals for Exwick and Foxhayes and future use of the former St Nicholas School site and had resolved that the Cabinet be urged to secure adequately all empty properties to prevent the unauthorised occupation, vandalism and associated potential safety issues.

It was MOVED by Councillor Clatworthy, SECONDED by Councillor Hart and

RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Property Finance be requested to review the Council s custom and practice in such instances and take whatever action is appropriate.

*45 Delegated Action: Reference back of Cabinet Member Decision Capital Programme and Contract Matters (Fin 415)

(Councillor Spence attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

In accordance with the Cabinet Procedure Rules/Scheme of Delegation, the local member had asked that the decision of the Finance and Property Cabinet Member not to approve a scheme for the refurbishment of Brookhayes be referred to the Cabinet for consideration.

The Cabinet had received a copy of the Cabinet Member decision form and extract from the letter outlining the proposal.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Hughes and

RESOLVED that the decision of the Finance and Property Cabinet Member be affirmed, noting the intention of the Cabinet Member had simply been to defer consideration of the proposal in order that he might first visit the site to assess the need for a refurbishment scheme prior to making a final decision.

*46 Delegated Action/Urgent Matters: Registers of Decisions

The Registers of action taken by Chief Officers or Cabinet Members under urgency provisions or delegated powers were available for inspection at the meeting.

[NB: The Cabinet noted that at its meeting on 16 September 2908, the Exeter County Committee (Minute 8) had also considered the proposed response to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation Strengthening Local Democracy (July 2009) and had suggested the inclusion of a reference to the enhanced role of County Committees in the submission and the need for devolved powers to local government as democratic elected bodies; this had subsequently been incorporated into the final response approved by the Policy Corporate Cabinet Member and now reported].

*48 Forward Plan

(Councillor Greenslade attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

In accordance with the Council s Constitution, the Cabinet 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 2009 28 February 2010.

*DENOTES DELEGATED MATTER WITH POWER TO ACT

The meeting started at 1.30pm and finished at 3.43pm

Notice of the decisions taken by the Cabinet 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 Cabinet are published on the County Council s website at:-


APPENDIX

QUESTION FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

13 October 2009/Minute *39

1. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR CANN

Re: Deepmoor In Vessel Composter

What date was the original completion date of the In Vessel Composter at Deepmoor planned and contracted for? When is the completion date now expected to be? What was the original cost of the Composter budgeted at? What is the final cost expected to be?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR CROAD

(a) December 2008.

(b) November 2009. Completion is dependent on the plant satisfactorily processing initial batches of green/food waste. Trial batches will be introduced this month.

(c) 4,647,000 - which was increased to 5,562,000 by the former Executive on 21 May 2009.

(d) The final cost depends on the resolution of the final account with the contractor, and with a number of issues yet to be resolved it would not be appropriate to give a figure at this stage.

2. QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR SMITH

Re: Road Signs

Denbury Parish Council and I are concerned that SWH have installed a 'No HGV' sign 3 times before it was in the correct position. How does the County Council ensure that a contractor does not get paid three times for the same job if matters are not brought to the council's attention?

REPLY BY COUNCILLOR HUGHES

This was an unusual and unfortunate incident which reflects badly both on the County Council and its Term Maintenance Contractor SWH. The matter has been taken up with SWH to avoid such errors in the future.

SWH failed to follow instructions issued in the works order which included a plan. The plan issued was correct and when it was noticed that the original instruction had not been carried out correctly an order was given to address the failure. To improve compliance for the remedial visit the site was marked on the ground as well as the accompanying plan being confirmed. Despite this SWH did not complete works to our satisfaction as the sign was incorrectly positioned and provided erroneous information.

Unfortunately it took over a week further for the work to be completed correctly. It is accepted that this is simply not good enough. Payment will only be made for one visit to site to complete the works.

Date Published: Wed Oct 14 2009