Agenda and draft minutes

CABINET
Thursday, 18th February, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: VIRTUAL - Live on the Council's YouTube channel: Hillingdon London. View directions

Contact: Mark Braddock - email:  mbraddock@hillingdon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

All Members were present.

2.

Declarations of Interest in matters before this meeting

Minutes:

No interests were declared in matters before the meeting.

3.

To approve the minutes of the last Cabinet meeting pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Minutes:

The decisions and minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 January 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

To confirm that the items of business marked Part 1 will be considered in public and that the items of business marked Part 2 in private

Minutes:

This was confirmed.

5.

Monthly Council Budget Monitoring Report - Month 9 pdf icon PDF 475 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Note the budget position as at December 2020 (Month 9) as outlined in Table 1.

2.    Note the Treasury Management update as at December 2020 at Appendix E.

3.    Continue the delegated authority up until the February 2021 Cabinet meeting to the Chief Executive to approve any consultancy and agency assignments over £50k, with final sign-off of any assignments made by the Leader of the Council. Cabinet are also asked to note those consultancy and agency assignments over £50k approved under delegated authority between the 21 January 2021 and 18 February 2021 Cabinet meetings, detailed at Appendix F.

4.    Note the virement of £883k funding from the 2020/21 HRA Acquisitions and Internal Developments budget within HRA Major Projects to the Packet Boat House building and associated fire safety works project within HRA Works To Stock.

5.    Accept the £10k funding award from the Reading Agency for a Reading Friends Project.

6.    Accept grant funding of £34k from Historic England in respect of the Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund for works at Manor Farm, Ruislip and Southlands Art Centre.

7.    Approve a one-off grant of £47k be awarded to Hillingdon Foodbank to support appointment of a project manager and driver to enable the foodbank to develop its operation during 2021/22.  Funding will come from the Government's grants to local authorities to support community impacts of COVID-19.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Cabinet was informed of the latest forecast revenue, capital and treasury position for the current year 2020/21 to ensure the Council achieved its budgetary and service objectives.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance noted the General Fund underspend in the currently financial year, whilst also the exceptional financial pressures relating to the pandemic which had arisen to £34m but which would be covered by Government grants or the Council’s earmarked reserves especially for this purpose.

 

Additionally, Cabinet made financial decisions to vire monies for additional works to Packet Boat House, Cowley and accepted grant funding from various sources.

 

The Leader of the Council noted the positive budget position and the grant to Hillingdon Foodbank that Cabinet agreed to further reach out and support residents during the pandemic.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officer to action:

 

Paul Whaymand, Corporate Director of Finance – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

6.

The Council's Budget - Medium Term Financial Forecast 2021/22 - 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 444 KB

TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That Cabinet approves for recommendation to Council:

1)    The General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets and Capital Programmes, along with proposed amendments to Fees & Charges as outlined in appendices 1 to 10, and having taken the consultation responses conscientiously into account outlined in Appendix 16 Budget Consultation Feedback;

2)    The Capital Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Investment Strategy, and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as detailed at Appendix 12 for implementation with effect from 1 March 2021;

3)    The proposed London Borough of Hillingdon Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 set out at Appendix 13;

4)    The proposals for continuing the Council Tax Older People’s Discount into 2021/22, having due regard to the completed Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment at Appendix 14;

5)    That it resolves that Cabinet may utilise the general reserves or balances during 2021/22 in respect of those functions which have been reserved to the Cabinet in Article 7 of the Constitution (as set out in Schedule G of the Constitution - Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules).

That Cabinet notes:

6)    The Corporate Director of Finance's comments regarding his responsibilities under the Local Government Act 2003.

That Cabinet Agrees:

7)    Agree the Local discretionary rate relief policy set out in Appendix 17;

8)    To delegate implementation of the policy to the Corporate Director of Finance.

Reasons for decision

 

Following consideration of the consultation, feedback from residents and Policy Overview Committee comments, Cabinet recommended its budget proposals to the Council meeting on 25 February 2021 for final consideration.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance noted that only minor adjustments had been made from the version that had been out to public consultation following the Local Government Finance Settlement.

 

 

The Cabinet Member outlined the key budget proposals which would continue to maintain the front-line service provision for residents with a 4.8% increase in the headline rate of Council Tax comprising of a core Hillingdon Council Tax increase of 1.8% based on 90% of the 2% anticipated increase across London, alongside a 3% increase relating to an Adult Social Care Precept to fund ongoing pressures within Adult Social Care.

 

It was noted that the Older Persons Council Tax Discount would be discontinued for new entrants from 1 April 2021, but that those households already in receipt of the discount would have it maintained going forward, although their Council Tax bills would now start to rise in line with other residents.

 

The Cabinet Member noted the saving programme and use of general balances to deliver a balanced budget and also the substantial capital investment programme which, in particular, would deliver 419 new homes by 2025/2026.

 

The Leader of the Council noted the positive budget proposals which had been based on sound financial management over many years.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

The Cabinet could have chosen to vary the proposals in its budget before recommending it to Council on 25 February 2021.

 

Officers to action:

 

Paul Whaymand, Corporate Director of Finance – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

 

7.

The Schools Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet:

 

  1. On the basis that the DfE rejects the Council’s disapplication request, agrees that the total Schools Budget for 2021/22 be set with an overall deficit of £7,323k when compared to the total of the Dedicated Schools Grant provided to the Council (as set out in paragraphs 74 to 75).
  2. Approve the Primary and Secondary schools funding formula as agreed by schools and the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 30 to 37.
  3. Approve the Early Years Single Funding Formula, as set out in paragraphs 38 to 49.
  4. Approve the base rate of funding for the Two-Year Old Free Entitlement Offer, as set out in paragraph 50.
  5. Approve the Early Years Centrally Retained budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 52 to 55.
  6. Approve the Central School Services budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 56 to 63.
  7. Approve the High Needs budget as agreed by the Schools Forum, as set out in paragraphs 64 to 73.

 

 

Reasons for decision

 

Following consultation and based on the recommendations from the Schools Forum responsible for managing the schools budget, Cabinet approved the funding arrangements for schools for 2021/22.

 

The Cabinet Member for Families, Education and Wellbeing noted the continuing pressure on the high needs bock within the budget that related to spend on children with special educational needs. To seek a balanced budget, rather than an increased deficit, the Council had submitted a disapplication request to the Government to transfer funds. However, the Cabinet Member noted that Council’s assumptions were that this request would be rejected and that reluctantly the Council would have little choice but set a deficit budget.

 

It was highlighted that such deficits within local schools budgets was a national issue that would, at some point soon, need to be addressed by the Government.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

Cabinet could have decided to recommend that the Schools Forum reconsider the proposed funding for schools.

 

Officers to action:

 

Graham Young – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

8.

Government Planning Consultation: Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet notes the content of the ‘Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure (National Consultation)’ and endorses the Council’s submitted response, which is attached at Appendix 1 of this report.

 

Reasons for decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration outlined the Council’s response to the latest Government planning consultation which had been agreed in advance due to the consultation deadline.

 

It was noted that the consultation had sought views on further extending permitted development rights on commercial premises, which in the Council’s view, would impact upon town planning and, in particular, core shopping areas.

 

The Council’s response had also expressed its concern over proposals to enable owners of public buildings, such as universities, to significantly enlarge their sites without due planning consultation, impacting on local communities.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officers to action:

 

Tom Campbell and Julia Johnson – Planning, Environment, Education and Community Services Directorate.

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

 

9.

Hillingdon's Elective Home Education Policy pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet:

 

1.    Notes that a consultation exercise was undertaken by the Council in relation to the draft Elective Home Education Policy but that no responses were received from the consultees.

 

2.    Notes the comments made by the Residents, Education and Environmental Services Policy Overview Committee in respect of the draft Policy.

 

3.    Agrees to implement the revised Elective Home Education Policy which incorporates the comments of the Residents, Education and Environmental Services Policy Overview Committee.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Following an extensive consultation with the home education community which had yielded no concerns, the Cabinet Member for Families, Education and Wellbeing proposed the adoption of an updated Elective Home Education Policy aimed at supporting those parents that choose to home educate.

 

It was noted that 329 children currently subscribed to home schooling in Hillingdon, which was a 27 percent increase from last year and, in part, due to the pandemic.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

Cabinet could have not updated the policy, but considered it necessary to do so, in order to provide clear, objective, and fair procedures and comply with all relevant legislation.

 

Officer to action:

 

Dan Kennedy, Director

Planning, Environment, Education and Community Services Directorate

 

Classification: Public

 

The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.

 

 

10.

Community Equipment Contract Extension

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet:

 

1.    Agree to exercise the 2-year extension within the current contract with Medequip Assistive Technology Limited for the provision of the Community Equipment Service to the London Borough of Hillingdon.  The two-year period is from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023 at the cost of £3,000,000 (£1,500,000 pa).

 

2.    Approve the Council’s continued membership of the London Community Equipment Consortium, led by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at a total cost of £18,900 (£9,450 pa).

 

3.    Subject to the recommendation 2 decision, approve a contribution of up to £33,000 to meeting the costs incurred by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for leading a competitive tender on behalf of the London Community Equipment Consortium.

 

Reasons for decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care proposed the extension of an existing contract via a consortium to provide a range of equipment loans, minor adaptations and door entry systems to properties to enable children and adults in need of support to live more independent lives. Cabinet also agreed to continue participating in the consortium to procure such services in the future, following the ending of the contract extension period.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

Cabinet considered alternate options as set out in the report, but determined the extension of current arrangements, until a full competitive tender could take place, was the most viable and cost-effective route.

 

Officers to action:

 

Jan Major – Social Care Directorate

Sally Offin – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Private

 

Whilst the Cabinet's decisions above are always made public, the officer report relating to this matter is not because it was considered in the private part of the meeting and contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information) and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing it in accordance with Section 100(A) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

11.

Contract for the Collection, Sorting, Processing and Sale of Dry Recyclables

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet:  

 

1.    Accept the tender from Biffa Waste Services Limited for the Collection and Treatment of Co-mingled dry recycling on behalf of the London Borough of Hillingdon for a three year period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2024 and at the value of £4.90m.

 

2.    Furthermore, agree that this includes the provision to extend the contract for a two year period (five years in total), delegating approval of any extension to the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, in consultation with the Director of Infrastructure, Building Services & Transport and at a total contract value of £8.35m over the full five years.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Following a procurement process to ensure value for money, the Cabinet agreed a contract to collect the Borough’s recycling material for bulk haulage and transfer to a facility for sorting and onward processing. The Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration noted that this would ensure households continued to benefit from the clear sack recycling collections every week from the Council.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None, as the Council had a legal obligation to collect and process core dry mixed recyclables separately from the general waste stream.

 

Officers to action:

 

Nicola Herbert – Infrastructure, Transport and Building Services Directorate

James Patterson – Finance Directorate

 

Classification: Private

 

Whilst the Cabinet's decisions above are always made public, the officer report relating to this matter is not because it was considered in the private part of the meeting and contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information) and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing it in accordance with Section 100(A) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

12.

Voluntary Sector Lease

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet agrees the rent set out in the table below, which is subject to negotiation with the voluntary sector organisation detailed in this report and instructs the Borough Solicitor to complete the appropriate legal documentation.

 

Reasons for decision

 

Cabinet made decisions regarding the lease to the Uxbridge Cricket Club for the rugby pitch at Hillingdon House Farm, Park Road Uxbridge. Cabinet’s decision enabled the organisation concerned to benefit from heavily discounted rent as part of the Council's Voluntary Sector Leasing Policy and wider commitment to a vibrant local voluntary sector.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

None.

 

Officer to action:

 

Michele Wilcox / Mike Paterson – Infrastructure, Transport and Building Services Directorate

 

Classification: Private

 

Whilst the Cabinet's decisions above are always made public, the officer report relating to this matter is not because it was considered in the private part of the meeting and contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information) and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing it in accordance with Section 100(A) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

13.

Any other items the Chairman agrees are relevant or urgent

Minutes:

No additional items were considered by the Cabinet.

 

The meeting closed at 7.23pm

 

 

*Internal Use only - implementation of decisions

 

Decisions that take immediate effect: Cabinet's decisions on Item 6 relating directly to the Cabinet’s budget proposals took immediate effect in order to be recommended to Council on 25 February 2021 to set a balanced budget.

 

All other decisions: Meeting after Cabinet, the Executive Scrutiny Committee did not call-in any of the remaining decisions by the Cabinet. Therefore, these decisions can be implemented by officers upon the expiry of the scrutiny call-in period which is from:

 

from 5pm, Friday 26 February 2021.

  

Officers to action the decisions are indicated in the minutes.

 

The minutes are the official notice for any subsequent internal process approvals required by officers to action the Cabinet’s decisions.

 

 

This virtual meeting was broadcast live on the Council’s YouTube channel here under The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) (Regulations) 2020.

 

Please note that these minutes and decisions are the definitive record of proceedings by the Council of this meeting.

 

If you would like further information about the decisions of the Cabinet, please contact the Council below:

 

democratic@hillingdon.gov.uk

Democratic Services: 01895 250636

Media enquiries: 01895 250403

 

To find out more about how the Cabinet works to put residents first, visit here.