Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Democratic Services Team Leader - Claire Chaplin Tel: 01905 722005 

Items
No. Item

97.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillors Geraghty and Mrs L. Hodgson – Events Calendar 2015-16 (Minute 102) - As Members of Worcestershire County Council

 

Councillor Williams – Housing Assistance Policy 2015 – Key Decision (Minute 105) - As a Board Member of Fortis Living.

98.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, with each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

None.

99.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Of the meeting held on 10th February 2015 to be agreed and signed by the Chairman.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10th February 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

100.

New Perdiswell Pool and Sports Centre and Wider Perdiswell Programme Progress pdf icon PDF 39 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES, COUNCILLOR DAVID WILKINSON RECOMMENDS:

 

The Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities asks the Cabinet to note that a further Cabinet paper will be brought to the July Cabinet to detail the final financial package for the new swimming pool and leisure centre at Perdiswell to approve the appointment of the chosen contractor.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received an update on progress following the Council’s decision in September 2014 to proceed with a new 8 lane pool at Perdiswell.  The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities presented the report and summarised progress on the new pool and refurbished sports centre as well as the wider Perdiswell Programme, including Sports, Arts and Play Development, Leisure Centre Management Contracts and the Perdiswell Masterplan.  He explained that the invitation to tender for the pool would be issued in May 2015 with returns due in July 2015.

 

Other Cabinet Members commented and welcomed the report.

 

In response to questions from other Members present, the Portfolio Holder stated that he remained confident of delivering the specified pool contract and wider Masterplan within the timetable and budget.  It was emphasised that considerable resources had already been spent or committed, and any change of plan would result in the Council incurring expenditure whilst not being able to deliver the new pool as anticipated.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet note that a further Cabinet paper will be brought to the July Cabinet to detail the final financial package for the new swimming pool and leisure centre at Perdiswell and to approve the appointment of the chosen contractor.

101.

Implementation of an Additional Licensing Scheme - Key Decision pdf icon PDF 70 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES, COUNCILLOR DAVID WILKINSON RECOMMENDS:

 

1.        That Cabinet authorise the implementation of the Additional Licensing scheme from 1 September 2015 for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Worcester City under the Housing Act 2004.

 

2.        That Cabinet recommend to Council the initial fee levels as set out in the report.

 

3.        That a review of the scheme be carried out in the 5th year to establish the success of the scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the implementation of the Additional Licensing scheme from 1st September 2015 for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Worcester City under the Housing Act 2004. The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities explained that the Cabinet had given approval on 28th October 2014 to undertake a 12 week consultation on the implementation of a scheme.  The consultation results showed that, although there was some opposition from landlords, the majority of replies were in favour of the introduction of a scheme and this included residents and landlords. 

 

The Portfolio Holder recommended the Cabinet to proceed to implement the scheme.  He also proposed that the Council should give a £100 discount, available one time only, for existing accredited landlords.  This would reflect that fact that those landlords had signed up to the voluntary scheme and were accredited.

 

The Leader expressed support for the scheme and the additional recommendation, which he considered to be fair and reflected the fact that some landlords were already supporting the scheme.

 

Other Cabinet Members and other Members present expressed support for the scheme, which would improve standards and meet the goals of the Worcestershire Housing Strategy.

 

With regard to the offer of a discount, the Managing Director advised that the detailed arrangements would need to be considered by officers.  If the Cabinet were minded to propose a discount, therefore authority should be delegated to officers in consultation with the Portfolio Holder to agree details of such a scheme and its implementation.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet:

 

1.    authorise the implementation of the Additional Licensing scheme from 1 September 2015 for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Worcester City under the Housing Act 2004;

 

2.    agree to the concept of a £100 discount, available one time only for existing accredited landlords, and delegate to the Corporate Director – Resources in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities the implementation and funding of such a discount;

 

3.    agree to recommend to Council the initial fee levels as set out in the report; and

 

4.    agree a review of the scheme be carried out in the 5th year to establish the success of the scheme.

102.

Events Calendar 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

THE LEADER OF WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR SIMON GERAGHTY RECOMMENDS:

 

1.    That Cabinet note the proposed programme of events for 2015-16.

 

2.    That Cabinet approves the allocation of £145,000 of New Homes Bonus grant funding for this programme of events, from 2014-15 and 2015-16 allocations, as outlined in paragraph 5.1 above.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered proposals for funding specific arts projects and sports and heritage events to support the visitor economy. The Leader presented the report and explained that the Council had been approached by a number of organisers for potential events and projects in the 2015 - 2016 calendar to discuss possible levels of Council support.  He highlighted each of these as follows:

 

·         European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

·         Worcester City 10k, Worcester City Run Bike Run and Worcester City Young Athletes Run

·         Worcestershire County Cricket Club 150th Anniversary Year Celebration

·         Commandery Liberty and Democracy Programme

·         Droitwich and Worcester Arts Ring

 

It was proposed to fund these events from New Homes Bonus funding.  Sufficient unallocated funding was available in 2014/15 and 2015/16 to fund the total requirement of up to £143,000.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for the proposals, which supported the Corporate Plan objective of growing a vibrant City, and would contribute to increasing visitor spend. 

 

In response to questions from other Members present, the Leader explained that the proposal to install an interactive sound sculpture at Diglis Weir had required a quick response in order for Sustrans to be able to proceed.  Although it had not therefore been possible for the Public Arts Panel to consider this particular initiative, he would ensure that Panel meetings were resumed. The Leader also acknowledged that other events were planned for 2015-16 and there would be benefit in drawing up a broader calendar. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet:

 

1.    note the proposed programme of events for 2015-16; and

 

2.    approve the allocation of £145,000 of New Homes Bonus grant funding for this programme of events, from 2014-15 and 2015-16 allocations, as outlined in paragraph 5.1 of the report.

103.

One-Off Grant Payment for a Voluntary Sector Organisation pdf icon PDF 32 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SAFER & STRONGER COMMUNITIES, COUNCILLOR DAVID WILKINSON RECOMMENDS:

 

That Cabinet approve £12,582 for Perdiswell Young Peoples Leisure Club to upgrade LED flood lighting for their skate park, car park and club building to be funded from 2014/2015 New Homes Bonus (NHB).

Minutes:

That Cabinet considered a one-off capital grant to support Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club.  The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities presented the report and highlighted that this was a strategically important voluntary sector organisation.  It was proposed to make a one-off grant payment up to the value of £12,582 to replace existing skate park and car park lighting and update lighting in the main club building. New Homes Bonus funding for 2014/15 would be utilised for this grant.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for the proposal, which would assist Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club in reducing costs and help them to be more sustainable in the future.

 

In response to a question about the criteria for applying for one-off funding, the Leader stated that any capital grant should benefit local people and should represent value for money. Consideration could be given to drawing up some guidance, although he would not wish organisations to be constrained in seeking support.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet approve £12,582 for Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club to upgrade LED flood lighting for their skate park, car park and club building to be funded from 2014/2015 New Homes Bonus.

104.

Update to the Housing Enforcement Policy - Key Decision pdf icon PDF 32 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES, COUNCILLOR DAVID WILKINSON RECOMMENDS:

 

That Cabinet approve the update to the Housing Enforcement Policy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered an updated Enforcement Policy.  The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities presented the report and explained that this was an update of the current Policy, which was produced in 2007.  It had taken into account the principles set out by the Regulators Code 2014 with regard to tackling properties in poor repair or lacking amenities.

 

RESOLVED: That Cabinet approve the update to the Housing Enforcement Policy.

105.

Housing Assistance Policy 2015 - Key Decision pdf icon PDF 46 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES, COUNCILLOR DAVID WILKINSON RECOMMENDS:

 

1.        That Cabinet agree the amended Housing Assistance Policy 2015 (Appendix 1).

 

2.        To agree that Fortis Living will pay all grants for adaptations in accordance with the Housing Assistance Policy.

 

3.        That Cabinet agree delegated authority be given to the Strategic Housing Service Manager in consultation with the Safer and Stronger Portfolio Holder to finalise the detail of the Health through Warmth Assistance and consequent amendments to the Housing Assistance Policy 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered changes to the Housing Assistance Policy, previously agreed in September 2010, to facilitate the better delivery of Government and local objectives within the private sector.  The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities presented the report and highlighted the main points.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for the changes, which would enable the Council to deliver services effectively and ensure that the Council’s resources were used to their full potential.

 

Other Members present asked questions.  In response, the Corporate Director – Service Delivery stated that the Policy would not have any additional resource implications.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet:

 

1.        agree the amended Housing Assistance Policy 2015 (Appendix 1);

 

2.        agree that Fortis Living will pay all grants for adaptations in accordance with the Housing Assistance Policy; and

 

3.        agree delegated authority be given to the Strategic Housing Service Manager in consultation with the Safer and Stronger Portfolio Holder to finalise the detail of the Health through Warmth Assistance and consequent amendments to the Housing Assistance Policy 2015.

106.

Integrated Community Management Project pdf icon PDF 38 KB

THE Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Councillor David Wilkinson recommends:

 

1.    That Cabinet note progress with the Integrated Community Management (ICM) project as outlined within this report.

 

2.    That Cabinet agree to allocate £45k to the ICM project as detailed in within this report.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered proposals for funding the Integrated Community Management (ICM) pilot project. The Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities presented the report and explained the proposals, progress to date, the proposed scheme and the funding arrangements.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for the proposals, which would support the strategic aims of the Council and partner organisations. 

 

Other Members present asked questions.  In response, the Portfolio Holder explained that the Project Manager was now in post.  Progress reports would be presented to the Safer Worcester Partnership.  The Corporate Director – Service Delivery emphasised that this was a pilot and would be implemented in the city centre area.  It was hoped to establish a sustainable, joined up approach which could then be rolled out to other areas of Worcester in the future.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet:

 

1.    note progress with the Integrated Community Management (ICM) project as outlined within this report; and

 

2.    agree to allocate £45k to the ICM project as detailed in within this report.

107.

Quarter 3 Financial Monitoring Report - 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 38 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR DELIVERING VALUE FOR MONEY,  COUNCILLOR CHRIS MITCHELL RECOMMENDS:

 

Cabinet consider any feedback from PMBS and note the financial monitoring report and variances highlighted for the third quarter ended 31st December 2015, and make any recommendations of action they wish to take as a result of that information.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Quarter 3 Financial Monitoring report covering the period to 31st December 2014. The Portfolio Holder for Delivering Value for Money presented the report and highlighted the main points. Other Cabinet Members also commented.

 

The Performance Management and Budget Scrutiny Committee had considered the report at their meeting on 16th March 2015. There were no specific comments from the Committee to Cabinet in respect of this item.

 

The Cabinet did not make any recommendations of action to take as a result of the information.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet note the financial monitoring report and variances highlighted for the third quarter ended 31st December 2014.

108.

Joint Customer Service Strategy and Worcester City Council Complaints Policy pdf icon PDF 33 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND COMMUNICATIONS, COUNCILLOR LUCY HODGSON RECOMMENDS:

 

1.    That Cabinet approve the Joint Customer Service Strategy 2013 – 2017.

 

2.    That Cabinet approve amendments to the Worcester City Council Complaints Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Joint Customer Service Strategy 2013 – 2017 and also proposed amendments to the Worcester City Council Complaints Policy. 

 

The Portfolio Holder for Customer Service and Communications presented the report and explained that the Council had not yet formally adopted the Strategy, which was agreed by the South Worcestershire Shared Services Joint Committee on 25th September 2013, with full engagement by Worcester City Council.

 

The Council’s existing Complaints Policy referred in brief to unreasonable complaints, however the proposed new content would enhance the Council’s ability to correctly identify and manage the disproportionate demand on council resources of unreasonably persistent, vexations and frivolous complaints.

 

Other Cabinet Members expressed support for both documents, which would help the Council to achieve quality customer outcomes in an efficient and effective way.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet:

 

1.    approve the Joint Customer Service Strategy 2013 – 2017; and

 

2.    approve amendments to the Worcester City Council Complaints Policy.

109.

Quarter 3, 2014/15 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 25 KB

THE CABINET MEMBER FOR DELIVERING VALUE FOR MONEY, COUNCILLOR CHRIS MITCHELL Recommends:

 

That the Cabinet note the Council’s performance for Quarter 3 against this suite of performance measures and projects, and the actions taken to address performance issues.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Quarter 3 Performance Monitoring report covering the period to 31st December 2014. The Portfolio Holder for Delivering Value for Money presented the report and highlighted the main points. Other Cabinet Members also commented.

 

The Performance Management and Budget Scrutiny Committee had considered the report at their meeting on 16th March 2015. There were no specific comments from the Committee to Cabinet in respect of this item.

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet note the Council’s performance for Quarter 3 against this suite of performance measures and projects, and the actions taken to address performance issues.

110.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

None.