Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 23rd January, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: 0.02 Chamber - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Contact: Yvonne Harrison  Email: democraticsupport@northtyneside.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

CAB78/22

Notification of any Declarations of Interest and Dispensations Granted

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.

 

You are also invited to disclose any dispensation in relation to any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.

 

Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor K Clark declared a registerable personal interest in agenda Item 5: 2022/23 Financial Management Report to 30 November 2022 (CAB81/23), as she was a Director and Employee at Justice Prince CIC (Working Roots), which had contracts with North Tyneside Council funded to deliver community-based programmes.

 

Councillor C Johnson declared a registerable personal interest in agenda Item 12: Regeneration of 11/12 Northumberland Square (CAB88/23), as he was a Director of North Tyneside Trading Company and its subsidiary companies.

 

Councillor S Graham declared a registerable personal interest in agenda Item 12: Regeneration of 11/12 Northumberland Square (CAB88/23), as she was a Director of North Tyneside Trading Company and its subsidiary companies.

 

 

CAB79/22

Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on the 28 November 2022 (previously circulated) and 16 January 2023 (extraordinary) – to follow.

Minutes:

Resolved that the Minutes of the previous meetings held on 28 November 2022(Ordinary) and 16 January 2023 (Extraordinary) be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

 

CAB80/22

Report of the Young Mayor

To receive a verbal report on the latest activities of the Young Mayor and Young Cabinet.

Minutes:

In his announcements the Young Mayor referred to the sudden loss of Youth Councillor, Daniel Taylor, who passed away suddenly on the 18 December 2022. He would be sadly missed by North Tyneside Youth Councillors who had offered their condolences to his family. Daniel was standing as Member of Youth Parliament for North Tyneside and as a powered wheelchair user, had pledged to work with decision makers to increase awareness and provide more accessible activities, and work was being done to continue his ideas.

 

The Young Mayor reported on the following activities in which he and Young Cabinet Members and/or Youth Councilors had been involved:

 

·        The Swap Shop held in North Shields Library on the10 December 2022 coincided with Northumberland Square Christmas Fayre, and Youth Councillors were looking at ways in which to develop their plans.

·        Many Youth Councillors had taken part in the Christmas wrapping of gifts for the Make Christmas Special Project so that isolated people living in North Tyneside could receive a Christmas meal and a gift provided by the social action project.

·        Youth Councillors had taken part in North Tyneside Council’s budget consultation.

·        Youth Councillors had held another collection at Morrisons in Whitley Bay on the 11 December 2022 with 50 bags of groceries and over £100 donated which would be added to the running total and presented to Walking With at the March Youth Council meeting.

·        Youth Councillors had visited Walking With in Wallsend to find out more about the work they did during the stay and chat session where they met with volunteers and asylum seekers, with more visits planned over the coming weeks.

·        The first stage of online voting in the two elections for Young Mayor and Member of Youth Parliament had concluded and candidate numbers had been reduced to the top four in each election. Young people from all areas of the borough were still in the race, with candidates from George Stephenson, St Thomas More, Marden High, Monkseaton High, and Burnside. The second stage of voting on paper ballots would take place in schools and colleges in February.

 

The Elected Mayor thanked the Young Mayor for the update and the Young People for their excellent work, she also paid tribute to Daniel Taylor for his contributions in helping raise awareness for more accessible activities.

 

CAB81/22

2022/23 Financial Management Report to 30 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To receive the fourth budget monitoring report for the current financial year which reflects the first indication of the potential revenue and capital position of the Authority at 31 March 202

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the fourth monitoring report outlining the 2022/23 financial position.  It provided an early indication of the potential revenue and capital financial position of the Authority as at 31 March 2023.

 

The report covered the forecast outturn of the Authority’s General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue budget including management mitigations where issues had been identified; the delivery of 2022/23 approved budget savings plans; and an update on the Capital Investment Plan, including details of variations and reprogramming, that was recommended for approval.

 

The Authority’s finances were complex in any year given the range of services that were delivered; the picture this financial year was even more volatile given the national and global economic challenges.  At a Service level, before the application of planned contingencies and central funding, the gross pressure would be £23.511m.  However, the budget for the year included contingencies of £6.752m and other central funding of £1.006m (both shown within the Central Items figure in Table 1). As a result, the total forecast year-end pressure for the General Fund, shown in Table 1 reduces to £15.753m.  Table 1 sets out the initial variation summary across the General Fund, with a detailed commentary of variances included in Annex 1 to the report.

 

Central Items, its use was identified as: £3.116m to offset the pressures in Children’s Social Care; £1.301m was supporting the under achievement of savings targets; and £2.325m to support the inflationary pressures being faced by the Authority. In September’s report, a £0.316m saving was included reflecting the part year reversal of the national insurance increase along with a £4.927m of Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) savings following the conclusion of External Audit work into the methodology change; these items remained in the forecasts.  In 2021/22 these savings were set aside in a new MRP reserve, which remained on the balance sheet, but it was likely that the in-year saving would be required to support the bottom-line position in 2022/23, so was currently included in the forecast position.  This gave a total underspend for Central Items of £13.002m.

 

Table 2 added further detail to the information in Table 1.  The top half of table 2 breaks down the forecast £15.753m pressure into the main factors of covid legacy, utility, other inflation and other pressures. The covid pressures of £8.021m arose primarily from fees and charges income not yet returning to pre-pandemic levels and additional fixed term staff employed to cover increased demand or to enable front-line service provision to continue. 

 

The lower half of Table 2 included details of funding set aside to support known pressures.  As part of the 2022-2026 Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) agreed by full Council in February, £2.200m was set aside from the Change Reserve to support additional pressures in Home to School Transport (£0.400m), Special Educational Needs (£0.400m), additional children’s social care provision (£1.200m) and for the development of the Customer Relationship Management programme (£0.200m). The £0.400m relating to Home to School Transport had now been allocated to Commissioning & Asset Management  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB81/22

CAB82/22

Calculation of the 2023/24 Council Tax Base for North Tyneside Council pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To consider a report which gives an explanation of how the North Tyneside Council Tax Base for 2023/24 has been calculated and requests approval for the calculation of the Authority’s Council Tax Base for 2023/24.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report which provided an explanation of how the proposed North Tyneside Council Tax Base for 2023/24 had been calculated and requested approval of the calculation for 2023/24.

 

The detailed Council Tax Base calculation for North Tyneside for 2023/24 was attached as Appendix A to the report, together with an explanation of the specific elements that formed part of this calculation. Within this calculation, adjustments had been made to reflect the effect of exempt properties, disabled relief, discounts and premiums. Specifically, these adjustments included: 

 

·        The estimated number of dwellings to be demolished during 2023/24;

·        Assumed growth from anticipated new build properties during 2023/24 based on current estimates from the Planning Department;

·        The estimated number of dwellings where the liable person qualifies for a disabled reduction;

·        The estimated number of exempt dwellings during 2023/24;

·        The Council Tax Support scheme in 2023/24; and

·        The estimated number of premiums which apply to long term empty properties in 2023/24. 

 

Applying the factors above adjusts to total number of properties to a common base for each band, in terms of full year equivalents.

 

The Council Tax Base Regulations ensured that the Council Tax Base for an area took into account the effect of disability reductions in respect of dwellings which fell within Band A. They introduced an additional ‘alternative valuation band’ to allow Band A properties to qualify for a disabled reduction. Previously, properties adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person were charged at a rate equal to the next lowest valuation band, so for example a qualifying Band D property would be charged at a Band C rate, but this had not applied to Band A properties. Instead of paying the normal Band A charge (six-ninths of the Band D) a qualifying Band A property was now charged five-ninths of the Band D charge.

 

For the purpose of the Council Tax Base calculation, it was now necessary to show Band A properties which qualified for a disabled reduction as if it were an additional valuation band. Deductions were then made for exempt dwellings and the estimated impact of the Council Tax Support scheme for 2023/24.

 

The Council Tax Base calculation for 2023/24 converted the number of dwellings within each of the Council Tax Bands into , A – H, had been Band D equivalents, using the appropriate proportions. The result of this calculation for 2022/23 was to produce a total number of properties prior to an allowance for non-collection and contributions in lieu of 63,596.

 

The next stage of the Council Tax Base calculation involved making a deduction for the non- collection of Council Tax. This non-collection element of the calculation was made in respect of the amounts that were legally due, but which, for varying reasons, may not be collected. The assumed Council Tax collection rates for North Tyneside had improved significantly since 1993/94, when the assumed collection rate was 95%. The assumed North Tyneside Council Tax collection rates for each year from when Council Tax had been introduced  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB82/22

CAB83/22

North Tyneside Air Quality Strategy pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To seek approval to consult on the draft North Tyneside Air Quality Strategy 2023-2028.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received a report seeking approval to consult on the draft North Tyneside Air Quality Strategy 2023-2028.

 

Air quality had an effect on the environment, human health and global warming.The National Clean Air Strategy indicated that air pollution was the top environmental risk to human health in the UK, and the fourth greatest threat to public health after cancer, heart disease and obesity. According to the latest data published in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) 5% of deathsin England were attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution. Poor air quality shortens lives and contributes towards chronic illness as long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy.

 

In recognition of the impacts of air quality on health, the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) policy guidance 2022 (‘the guidance’) published by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs requires local authorities that have not had to designate an area an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ and thereafter been required to produce an ‘Air Quality Action Plan’ to now produce a local Air Quality Strategy for addressing air pollution in their area from 2023. This Strategy was intended to bring together all existing policies and strategies into one comprehensive focused document.

 

As the Authority had not had to declare an Air Quality Management Area and produce a resulting Air Quality Action Plan, it is one of the local authorities required to produce a local Air Quality Strategy. There was no set format for the Air Quality Strategy and in developing the Strategy the Authority has been able to draw on the content in the last Annual Status Report on Air Quality and other plans such as the Authority’s Transport Strategy. The guidance encouraged local authorities to take early preventative action to improve local air quality, avoid exceedances of the air quality objectives set out in The Air Quality (England) Regulations 2000 and reduce the long-term health impacts associated with air pollution. It was anticipated that this approach would enable local authorities to adopt measures that reduced the need for costly health interventions at a later date.

 

The Air Quality Strategy was intended to set out the aims of the Authority to maintain and improve air quality and show how collectively the Authority would work to improve air quality. The aims included how to encourage change to achieve good air quality. As well as setting out actions to reduce pollutants which would improve health, the Air Quality Strategy would set out the actions which would be taken to help to reduce global warming associated from gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates.  The Air Quality Strategy would provide greater focus on how small improvements in air quality would impact public health outcomes.

 

The Air Quality Strategy linked into existing policies including planning, transport and the Carbon Net Zero 2030 policies adopted by the Authority aimed at improving air quality across  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB83/22

CAB84/22

Cabinet response to Storm Arwen Task & Finish Group Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive Cabinet’s response to Storm Arwen Task & Finish Study Group Report recommendations from Overview, Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received seeking approval for the proposed response to the recommendations made by the Storm Arwen Task & Finish Group established by the Overview, Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee to undertake a review into the Authority’s handling of the emergency response to Storm Arwen.

 

The Authority had a responsibility to respond and recover from emergency events that occurred in the borough. The majority of these were minor but significant incidents could, and did, occur that tested the arrangements in place and the resources available.

 

Emergency preparedness was a key priority for the Authority.  Plans were in place, key people were trained, and regular exercising took place, most often on a multi-agency basis locally, regionally and nationally.  This had enabled the Authority to respond strongly to what the borough had faced.  In addition to the series of storms last winter, significant events in recent times requiring an emergency response had included ‘Thunder Thursday’ in 2012 and the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020. 

 

Last winter the borough experienced the impact of six named storms over a period of eleven weeks. Storm Arwen was the most significant.  A rare ‘Red’ weather warning was issued and the impact for the borough and the wider Northumbria area was the worst since 1953. 

 

The handling of the emergency response was debated by full Council in January 2022 leading to the Storm Arwen Task & Finish Study Group being established by Overview, Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee to undertake a review.  The Committee reported its findings to Cabinet in November 2022 and this report provided Cabinet’s proposed response to the recommendations made by the Storm Arwen Task & Finish Study Group.  It was noted that the Group:

 

·        Recognised the comprehensive information on the Authority’s emergency planning obligations in relation to weather events that exists,

·        Recognised the extent of the storms and how the Authority prepared, communicated, co-ordinated response activity for each storm, which included identified good practice and what lessons had been learned,

·        Understood the primary priority in any emergency event should, and will always be, to ensure the safety of life,

·        Established there was a clear understanding that the Authority would carry out its statutory duty to carry out all recovery works.

 

In addition, the Group concluded that:

 

·        The Authority was able to rapidly mobilise staff with the necessary specialist technical skillset to support the range of requirements needed to keep residents and property safe,

·        This activation and effective mobilisation reduced possible further impacts to residents and business within the borough, and

·        By its very nature, resilience and emergency planning practice constantly evolves through experience.

 

The Storm Arwen Task & Finish Group identified four recommendations. These were outlined in the Appendix(Action Plan) to thereport along with officer commentary and responses.

 

In terms of next steps, every service area within the Authority had their own business continuity plan and, where appropriate, emergency response plan(s) in preparedness for providing a resilient response to disruption events.  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB84/22

CAB85/22

North Tyneside Highway Asset Management Plan Annual Information Report 2022 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received the North Tyneside Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) 2017-2032 Annual Information Report 2022 which summarised the work undertaken to demonstrate progress against delivery of performance of the Highway Management Plan during the past 12 months, future planned work activities and other items of relevant interest.

 

North Tyneside Council was responsible for an extensive highway network and feedback from its residents had consistently told the Authority that the maintenance of roads and footpaths was a top priority.

 

In September 2017, Cabinet had adopted a new HAMP 2017 - 2032, setting out the Authority’s approach to maintaining North Tyneside’s highways and responding to the Elected Mayor and Cabinet’s policy direction which included providing a greater emphasis on footways.  The  HAMP included a commitment to provide Cabinet with an annual information report outlining progress and key issues associated with the maintenance of the Authority’s public highway network.   

 

Currently the highway maintenance activities delivered through the HAMP were funded through a number of funding streams as detailed in the report.

 

Since the introduction of the HAMP, the Authority had been able to maintain the highway network to a good standard, mainly due to its commitment to provide additional investment.  However, this had not been without its challenges, most notable of which was in adequate funding from Central Government coupled with increased costs of materials arising from inflation and other world events. Improvement of the network would not have been possible had the Authority been solely reliant on Government funding.

 

The requirement to operate within government funding restraints and the increased costs of highway maintenance due to recent world events were significant challenges. However, in response to these challenges, the HAMP provided a structured programme of targeted investment into the highway network with the objective of ensuring it was maintained in a serviceable condition to meet the needs of the travelling public and businesses.

 

The Authority had also seen a change in how it managed and invested in the highway network. In line with the Authority’s commitment to increase active travel, the Authority had introduced schemes that had reallocated road space to cycling. This included improvements to Rake Lane Roundabout together with the introduction of cycle lanes on Middle Engine Lane. These, together with other planned works would see a greater use of the highway by a broader mix of users.

 

The Authority had also secured around £5.5m funding for schemes through Active Travel England and Transport North East which had enabled delivery on the ground. This had ensured that active travel and the reallocation of highway space to accommodate sustainable travel modes had been embedded in the Authority’s regeneration plans for North Shields.

 

However, this opportunity to increase active travel and investment in the Authority’s highway infrastructure would also bring increased maintenance liabilities that would need to be factored into the Authority’s future financial planning. Based on current funding trends, there was a concern that it would be difficult to sustain the condition of the network in future years. In addition to  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB85/22

CAB86/22

Exclusion Resolution

This is to give further notice in accordance with paragraphs 5(4) and 5(5) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 of the intention to consider items 11 and 12 below in private.

 

Cabinet is requested to consider passing the following resolution:

 

Resolved that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and having applied a public interest test as defined in Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

Reason for taking the item in private: the report in Items 11 and 12 contain information to the financial or busines affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information).

 

Minutes:

Resolved that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and having applied a public interest test as defined in Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

CAB87/22

Strategic Partnership Update

To seek approval to the proposals for the variation to the Business Services Partnership.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for the proposals to the variation to the Business Services Partnership.

 

The Authority had a vast and diverse supply chain; its purchasing power and influence to deliver Policy Priorities were strong. It was a Council Plan priority to review how it procured goods and services. As part of this, negotiations had been undertaken with the Authority’s strategic partner Equans, which followed previous discussions that resulted in elements of the ICT and finance service being returned to the management of the Authority. It was now proposed that the remaining ICT and finance functions return to the Authority, together with the human resources, and the print and post room functions. This would provide the Authority with the opportunity to deliver further savings and deliver operational priorities.

 

The report sets out the basis to conclude those commercial negotiations. 

 

Resolved that (1) the variation to the Business Services Partnership as set out in paragraph 1.5 of the report, be agreed;

(2) the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and Director of Commissioning and Asset Management, be authorised to conclude all necessary arrangements to finalise commercial arrangements as detailed in the report, where this would represent value for money for the Authority;

(3) the Director of Resources, be authorised to novate, extend and procure any associated third-party contracts associated with the transfer; and

(4) the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Director of Commissioning and Asset Management, be authorised to

re-procure and award a contract to the bidder who was the most economically advantageous for occupational health services.

 

 

CAB88/22

Regeneration of 11/12 Northumberland Square

To seek approval for the Authority to refurbish and regenerate the long-term derelict property at 11-12 Northumberland Square (on the site plan at Appendix 1), and agree the completed scheme in order to achieve best value.

Minutes:

(Note: Councillor C Johnson and Councillor S Graham declared a registerable personal interest in the following item of business, left the meeting and did not take part in any discussions).

 

Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for the Authority to refurbish and regenerate the long-term derelict property at 11-12 Northumberland Square (as marked on the Site Plan at Appendix 1 to the report), to agree to sell the completed scheme in order to achieve best value, and to support the delivery of the Our North Tyneside Plan.

 

The historic Grade II listed property had been vacant since 2011 and was in significant need of repair.  As a direct result of current economic pressures and high levels of inflation, Aurora Properties (Sale) Limited, (Aurora), had informed the Authority that they were unable to acquire the Property and proceed with a scheme of residential conversion, as it was not economically viable. Therefore, to reduce the liability to the Authority, it was proposed that the Authority intervenes and secures the regeneration and preservation of the property, addresses market failure and improves the surrounding area. To achieve this, it was proposed that the Authority benefits from a procurement exercise already undertaken by the Authority on behalf of Aurora where tenders were sought from contractors for the conversion scheme at the property in addition to a new build scheme at the site of the former Unicorn House at Stephenson Street in North Shields.

 

Cabinet considered the following decision options:  to either approve the recommendations as set out in section 1.2 of the report, or alternatively, to not accept the recommendations.

 

Resolved that (1) the Director of Commissioning and Asset Management, in consultation with the Director of Resources and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and the Assistant Chief Executive, be authorised to review the tenders received in response to the procurement exercise undertaken by the Authority on behalf of Aurora for the refurbishment of the properties at 11-12 Northumberland Square and, to progress to award the contract to the most economically advantageous tenderer;

(2) subject to (1) above, the Director of Commissioning and Asset Management, in consultation with the Director of Resources and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and the Chief Executive, be authorised to develop a sales strategy for the developed scheme to achieve best value for the Authority; and

(3) the Director of Commissioning and Asset, be authorised to take all necessary steps to implement the resolutions set out in (1) and (2) above.

 

(Reasons for decision:It will allow for the completion of the Authority’s regeneration ambitions at Northumberland Square. It will reduce derelict properties and supports the Authority’s ambition for improving North Shields Town Centre; and it will provide new homes into North Shields and reduce the Authority’s liability with regards to its ownership of a listed building that is in significant need of improvement). 

 

 

CAB89/22

Date and Time of Next Meetings

Monday 16 January 2023 at 4.00pm (Extraordinary Meeting)

Monday 30 January 2023 at 6.00pm (Extraordinary Meeting)

 

Minutes:

6.00pm on Monday 30 January 2023 (Extraordinary).