Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. View directions

Contact: Rachel Wilson  Democratic Services Officer

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Items
No. Item

42.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs W Bowkett, R G Davies and Mrs S Woolley.

 

(Note:  Councillors Mrs W Bowkett, R G Davies and Mrs S Woolley were in attendance virtually as observers)

43.

Declarations of Councillors' Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest at this point in the meeting.

44.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive held on 2 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

          That the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 2 November 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Leader.

45.

Announcements by the Leader, Executive Councillors and Executive Directors

Minutes:

Leader of the Council

 

Councillor M J Hill OBE, Leader of the Council, reported that the Ambulance Summit had been held the previous week which had been successful, with partners from the emergency services, which built on earlier work which Councillor Mrs P A Bradwell had been leading on, including the setting up of a Falls Service which had meant a large number of people had been supported so they did not need to go hospital after a fall, and would be expanded to other areas, and the Chief Executive would be leading on this programme.

 

It was also announced that the Environment Bill had gone through the House of Commons which would bring substantial changes to what was required of local government.

 

In terms of the White Paper on Devolution and Levelling Up, it was accepted that this would now be published after Christmas, and it was believed that there would be some substantial announcements, including reforms to adult care.  There were more details still to emerge that would likely have an impact on the Council.

46.

Revenue Budget Monitoring Report 2021/22 - Quarter 2 to 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

(To receive a report from the Executive Director – Resources which provides an update on revenue spending compared with budgets for the financial year which started on 1 April 2021)

Decision:

That the current position on the revenue budget be noted.

Minutes:

The Executive Director – Resources referred to some of the outcomes from the Spending Review announced at the end of October 2021.  It was reported that the Chancellor had announced £4.8bn of new funding for local government for the coming three years for use on general services, with further funding for social care reforms.  The local government finance settlement was due the week commencing 13 December 2021.  It was expected that it would be a one-year settlement.  A further £5.4bn over three years was announced for social care reforms, it was expected that this would be backloaded into the spending review position.  There would still be an expectation for local authorities to cover the demographic and contract price aspects through council tax.

 

The Assistant Director – Finance presented a report on Revenue Budget Monitoring – Quarter 2 to 30 September 2021.  The summary table set out on page 10 of the report showed the variances against each service area.  The overall revenue position was forecasting an underspend of £5.76m (excluding schools and Covid-19), this was a movement of £4.5m from the quarter 1 position.  This was mainly related to sources of income received over and above what was budgeted for in February 2021, this included, within the Resources directorate, a grant for £1.4m was received in relation to new responsibilities around domestic abuse, there had also been a net gain of £2m on business rates.

 

Appendix O in the report, set out the details of the Covid-19 grants which had been received. 

 

Councillor R B Parker, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board highlighted to the Executive the main points in the Board’s Statement to the Executive.  It was highlighted that there was an underspend in Public Health due to redeployment of staff and additional grants received in relation to Covid-19.

 

During discussion by the Executive, the following points were noted:

 

·       It was noted that Covid-19 grants received from the government had distorted some of the underlying budgets.  The Council had adopted the strategy of maximising the use of those grants.

·       There had been a need to mitigate pressures in the home to school transport budget.  Some of the providers had been impacted by the campaign to recruit more HGV drivers.  This was an area under significant pressure, and it was noted that regular meetings had taken place with the Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, Community Safety and Procurement and the Executive Councillor for Highways, Transport and IT.

·       There would be pressures from sectors competing for the same staff, for example, care and leisure and hospitality, and transport roles competing with amazon and delivery companies.  It was queried how this would impact on budgets going forward.  Work was underway with the Executive Councillor for People Management, Legal and Corporate Property on how to attract and train the best staff.  It was noted that corporate figures for staff turnover were starting to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the current position on the revenue budget be noted.

47.

Capital Budget Monitoring Report 2021/22 - Quarter 2 to 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

(To receive a report from the Executive Director – Resources which provides an update on capital spending compared with budgets for the financial year which started on 30 September 2021)

Decision:

That the position on the capital programme be noted.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Finance presented a report on Capital Budget Monitoring Report 2021/22 – Quarter 2 to 30 September 2021.  The Executive was advised that the current 2021/22 forecasted position was an underspend of £33.9m, which was a movement of £7.9m from the Quarter 1 reporting, and whilst it was recorded as an underspend position, it reflected some slippage in the delivery of the programme, and the budgets would be rephased to reflect that.  There was not an expectation that the budgets would not be required for the purposes they were allocated for.

 

On the Block schemes, the main underspend was from the contingency of £7.5m which was held to deal with any issues as they arose and reflected the requests which had been received.  In terms of projects, the main variances were in relation to a couple of the major highways projects, such as the Spalding Western Relief road and delays due to land acquisition and design requirements causing the project to slip.

 

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board presented the comments following its consideration of the report on 25 November 2021.  The Board noted in particular the supply issues which were impacting the construction industry leading to delays.  However, there was nothing that the Board felt it needed to bring particular attention to, and the situation was being monitored regularly.

 

During discussion by the Executive, the following was noted:

 

·       It was queried what actions were being taken to mitigate inflationary pressures, and the Executive was advised that there was a need to understand whether this would be a long term increase in costs, or whether it was just temporary.  However, it may be too early at this point to know this.  It was acknowledged that there were issues with costs of materials, particularly timber and steel, and limited supply at this time, but a levelling out was starting to be seen.  It was possible that costs would stabilise at a higher level than they were previously. 

·       In addition, there were issues around technological equipment, particularly in relation to computer chips, which whilst there was not a significant increase in cost, there were delays in obtaining this equipment, which could lead to problems in the future.  However, officers were working with Microsoft and Serco to minimise delays and ensure that the necessary equipment could be obtained.

·       The capital programme was substantial, and there would be a need in future to consider how long it would take to deliver particular projects.

·       Ongoing discussions were taking place with contractors in terms of being more commercially aware to manage challenges within the programme.

 

RESOLVED

 

          That the position on the capital programme be noted.

48.

Director of Public Health Annual Report pdf icon PDF 826 KB

(To receive a report from the Director of Public Health which presents the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report 2021)

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health be received;

2.    That arrangements be made for the report’s publication.

Minutes:

The Director of Public Health presented his annual report entitled The Impact of Covid-19 on children and young people in Lincolnshire, which focused on the health of children and young people in Lincolnshire, and the impact of Covid-19 on this population.  It was highlighted that this was a joint report co-authored with the Executive Director of Children’s Services.  This was an innovative approach to a DPH annual report and reinforced the importance of a system wide strategic approach to protecting and improving children’s health.

 

The report made reference to child health in Lincolnshire – the burden of disease; Covid-19; early years; schools and education; children with SEND; social care and support; and mental health and emotional wellbeing.

 

It was highlighted that in terms of Covid-19, whilst the effects of the disease were generally mild in children and young people, it was important to recognise the other impacts of factors such as school closures and self-isolation on this population.

 

The Executive Director for Children’s Services commented that this was a very useful report and had welcomed the opportunity to work with the Director of Public Health on it and highlight the needs of children and young people.  It was also pleasing that the Council had services that were considered to be outstanding.

 

The Director of Public Health thanked the Executive Director for Children’s Services and her team for their work with this report.  He noted that he had written two previous annual reports, and requested whether an update on the recommendations set out in the report on the Global Burden of Disease could be published alongside this.  It was also highlighted that next year an update on the recommendations set out in this report would be brought back to Executive to update on progress.

 

During discussion by the Executive, the following was noted:

 

·       The report was welcomed by the Executive, and it was noted that the format made the report very clear.

·       Reference was made to life expectancy data, and that there was a clear issue along the east coast.  It was noted that this data was shared with schools, as prevention was the best approach for many of the issues.  It was also highlighted that it was a requirement from Ofsted that schools tailor their curriculums to the population that they served.

·       It was clarified what processes were put in place to mitigate the risks to children and young people during the lockdown, which included continuing home visits, and ensuring that frontline staff had access to PPE.  Capacity for taking safeguarding calls was strengthened, and risk was classified differently during this time. 

·       It was noted that this report would be going to Adults and Community Wellbeing and Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee’s in January 2022.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health be received;

2.    That arrangements be made for the report’s publication.

49.

Draft Infrastructure Funding Statement pdf icon PDF 822 KB

(To receive a report from the Executive Director – Place which seeks approval for the publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement in the form attached at Appendix A)

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the publication of the document attached as Appendix A to the report be approved as Lincolnshire County Council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement  for the financial year 2020/21.

Minutes:

The Executive Councillor for Economic Development, Environment and Planning introduced a report which sought approval for the publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement as attached as Appendix A to the report. 

 

It was reported that under Regulation 121A of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, the Council must, no later than 31 December 2021, publish an annual infrastructure funding statement which detailed:

 

a)    A statement of the infrastructure projects or types of infrastructure which the authority intends will be, or may be, wholly or partly funded by Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL);

b)    A report setting out specific information about Community Infrastructure Levy, in relation to the previous financial year; and

c)    A report containing specified information about planning obligations, in relation to the previous financial year.

 

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board presented the comments of the Board following its consideration of this report at its meeting on 25 November 2021.  In particular, the Board’s comments regarding CIL and S106 were highlighted.  Reference was also made to the relatively low land values in Lincolnshire which meant that contributions from developers were relatively low.  An update on the implementation of the recommendations from the Developer Contributions Scrutiny Review would be considered at the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

 

During discussion by the Executive, the following was noted:

 

·       It was noted that any contributions in relation Theddlethorpe would be outside of the local planning process.  There was a government policy in place for the delivery of a GDF, and there were clear parameters set out on what level of contributions could be expected, and there would be a need for discussion about how that money was managed in those communities to make the best use of it.

·       Clarification was sought on the progress of the issues raised during the Developer Contributions Scrutiny Review carried out in the previous council term.  It was reported that there would be an update on the implementation of the recommendations at the next Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

·       It was commented that it was thought that CIL was a better system, however, contributions were limited by the land values, and so a good working relationship with district councils was important.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the publication of the document attached as Appendix A to the report be approved as Lincolnshire County Council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement  for the financial year 2020/21.

50.

Corporate Plan Success Framework 2021/22 - as at 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

(To receive a report from the Executive Director – Commercial which presents an overview of performance against the Corporate Plan as at 30 September 2021)

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That the performance for 2021/22 as at 30 September 2021 be noted.

2.    That a Lincolnshire ambition for some of the contextual measures be set.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report introduced by the Executive Director – Commercial which presented an overview of performance against the Corporate Plan as at 30 September 2021.  Detailed information on performance could be viewed on the Council’s website.  It was highlighted that a new approach was being taken on how data was collected and presented.  Overall, performance remained positive and strong, despite some of the challenges being faced by the authority at this time.

 

The Head of Corporate Performance summarised the report and advised that there were a number of contextual measures to provide a Lincolnshire view along with the usual activities.  The four ambitions remained, and it was reported that they were all currently on plan.  It was noted that there were a number of indicators which had been impacted by Covid-19, particularly around education and attainment, and once data was available this would be published.

 

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board presented the comments of the Board following its consideration of the report.  Particular reference was made to the use of Power BI in presenting the information; the ‘Percentage of people who are unemployed’ measure, which it was acknowledged that the Council was unable to control, but could have a level of influence through its activities; and also a query around the ‘Percentage of completed safeguarding referrals where the source of risk was a provider’ former measure 114.

 

During discussion by the Executive, clarification was sought on the following areas:

 

·       The Power BI application, and what the benefits of using it were.  A guide on using this tool had been produced which would be circulated to members shortly.

·       Removal of measure 114 – it was felt that a more strategic performance indicator was needed for adults safeguarding.  It was noted that safeguarding measures were reported into the Adults and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee.  The Executive were reassured that this information on referrals was collected and was looked at by the Directorate Leadership Team, but the strategic position of all referrals was now included in the Corporate Plan.

·       The rationale for the inclusion of contextual measures.  It was explained that this term was used for those measures where a target or ambition had not yet been set.  A lot of these measures were only influenceable measures, or involved data that the Council did not directly own.  It was commented that there was a need for some kind of success measurement, particularly in relation to partnerships, and the Council’s contribution to those partnerships.

 

It was also suggested that activity A37 regarding the ambitions for Lincolnshire needed to be strengthened taking into account the work to develop the economic geography of Greater Lincolnshire.  It was commented that this was a key corporate ambition to promote historic Lincolnshire as a national entity and was something that needed to be taken into account when setting these targets.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the performance for 2021/22 as at 30 September 2021 be noted.

2.    That a Lincolnshire ambition for some of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

 

 
 
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