Agenda and minutes

Quarterly Reports, Executive
Wednesday, 28th August 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Graham Watts, Democratic Team Leader and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

Items
No. Item

28.

Confirmation of Minutes - 22 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2019 be confirmed.

29.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

30.

Cornhill, Markets & City Centre Vibrancy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with an update on a scheme of works which had already been approved to demolish the Cornhill Kiosk and put in place measures to protect the existing tree, create a new seating platform and restore the immediate public realm.

 

The report also sought further authority for a second phase of improvement works to include paving, seating, street furniture and a potential water feature, in consultation with key partners.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)          Notes the proposed scope of works, process and timescale for the demolition of the Cornhill Kiosk, retention and protection of the tree and provision of integral seating as a first phase of improvements to Cornhill Square.

 

(2)          Authorises officers to develop proposals for a second phase of improvement works to include paving, seating, street furniture and a potential water feature, in consultation with key partners, and notes that the implementation of the final scheme will be subject to securing external funding.

 

(3)          Authorises officers to procure and commission feasibility and design works to inform a full business case for the future development of the Central Market building and City Square, in consultation with key partners.

 

(4)          Approves the use of the ring-fenced budget of £300,000 to support the cost of the above schemes and as leverage to secure additional, external and match-funding as described within the report.

 

(5)          Approves to delegate the final allocation of the £300,000 budget between the identified projects to the Major Development Strategic Director and Chief Finance Officer.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Other options considered and rejected were set out in paragraphs 7.1 and 7.2 of the report.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Updates were reported on the following aspects of the Cornhill, markets and city centre:

 

Cornhill Phase 1

 

Consent had been granted for the demolition of the kiosk and proposals had been modified to allow for the retention and protection of the associated tree. Designs had been produced to allow for the protection of the three roots through a ‘root bridge’ system and the creation of a new seating plinth below the tree canopy. The cost of the scheme was expected to increase as a result of the additional trees. It was proposed to prioritise this scheme and fund the work from a ring-fenced £300,000 budget. The residual budget would then be used to support the implementation of the phase 2 works and Central Market.

 

It was anticipated that works would commence on-site in November 2019 to be completed within three months, however, it was noted that fee proposals were due to be returned by 13 September 2019 with the contract due to be let early in October.

 

Cornhill Phase 2

 

Concept designs and estimated costs were also being produced for a wider scheme of public realm improvements to Cornhill Square. This included natural stone paving, with a palette of materials to mirror the wider Cornhill Quarter, new seating and a potential water feature. The final scheme design would be subject to consultation with key  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

St Andrews Close pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To report the Sincil Community Land Trust’s proposal to lease an area of land located off St Andrews Close in Sincil Bank and request approval to proceed with preparing a lease for the use of the site as a community social space.

 

Decision

 

That the request to lease the land adjacent to St Andrews Close to Sincil Community Land Trust be approved and officers be authorised to finalise the Heads of Terms, advertise the transfer of the site in the local newspaper and, subject to no objection being received, prepare a lease for the Sincil Community Land Trust for the community space.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Council had been approached by the Sincil Community Land Trust who wished to lease an area of land at the western end of the southern boundary of St Andrews Close, as set out in the site plan appended to the report. This land was previously a play area but for a number of years had been an inaccessible site, with the play equipment removed and was maintained as part of the Council’s contract with Continental Landscapes.

 

Sincil Community Land Trust, working with the Sincil Bank Community Partnership, had received a grant of £25,000 from the Ministry for Communities, Housing and Local Government to develop this site into a Pocket Park for use by the local community.

 

It was recommended that the request to lease the land be approved, subject to some specific terms outlined at paragraphs 4 and 5 of the report regarding proposed use of the site and the City Council’s obligations to enable disposal of the site. Details of the lease arrangements were outlined in paragraph 6 of the report.

 

Councillor Chris Burke highlighted that there was a lot of support in the community for this particular scheme.

32.

Operational Performance - Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with a summary of the operational performance position for quarter one of the financial year 2019/20.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       Notes the content of the report.

 

(2)       Requests that relevant Portfolio Holders ensure management has a local focus on those highlighted areas showing deteriorating performance.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The following updates regarding each of the Council’s Directorates were reported, as follows:

 

·         Chief Executive’s Directorate – 67% of measures were above their target and 20% of measures were below target. Whilst a considerable amount of measures negatively changed in direction, most of these measures still remained above or within target;

·         Communities and Environment Directorate – 56% of measures were above their target and 11% of measures were below target. Whilst a considerable amount of measures negatively changed in direction, most of these measures still remained above or within target;

·         Housing and Investment Directorate – 64% of measures were above their target and 29% of measures were below target. Whilst seven measures negatively changed in direction, three of these remained at or above target.

 

With regard to sickness performance, the overall sickness data as at the end of June was 2.42 days per full time equivalent, excluding apprentices. This was significantly lower than the 2.9 days per full time equivalent in quarter one of 2018/19. During quarter one, the long term sickness per full time equivalent stood at 1.29, 0.67 days lower than quarter one in 2018/19, with short term sickness standing at 1.13 days, which was 0.18 days for full time equivalent higher than the same point last year.

 

In quarter one 85 complaints were received by the Council. The cumulative average time across all directorates to respond to formal complaints was 6.7 days and equated to a decrease of 0.9 days compared to the outturn in 2018/19. In quarter one the Council had two Local Government Ombudsman cases decided, neither of which were upheld.

 

There had been a number of achievements during quarter one as follows:

 

·         the Arboretum, Boultham Park and Hartsholme Park had all won the Green Flag Award. Sites earned this national status if they were judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with strong involvement from the local community;

·         the Lincoln Food Partnership, which the City Council was a partner, had won the University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement for research. The City Council’s role had been to undertake research into fuel poverty and welfare reform;

·         the Council was through to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ national awards having won the East Midlands Category for the Lincoln Transport Hub Awards. The grand final would take place on 4 October 2019.

 

The Chief Executive, in presenting the report, highlighted that planning applications, benefits, housing maintenance, food health and safety and sport and leisure in particular had performed very well during quarter one. In respect of housing maintenance, the reactive repairs service had received one of the best rates of performance this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Financial Performance - Quarterly Monitoring pdf icon PDF 625 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present the first quarter performance on the Council’s General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Housing Repairs Service and Capital Programme.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       Notes the progress on the financial performance for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 and the projected outturns for 2019/20.

 

(2)       Notes the underlying impact of the pressures and underspends identified in paragraphs 3.2, 4.3 and 5.2 of the report, as set out in Appendices B, D and F respectively.

 

(3)       Approves the changes to the General Investment Programme and Housing Investment Programme as detailed in paragraphs 7.4 and 7.13 of the report.

 

(4)       Approves the proposed contributions to and from reserves.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Updates were reported as follows:

 

General Fund Revenue Account

 

For 2019/20 the Council’s net General Fund revenue budget was set at £13,655,090, including a planned contribution from balances of £554,410, resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £13,433,314.

 

The General Fund summary was currently projecting a forecast overspend of £235,912, as set out in Appendix A of the report. This forecast variance was the result of a number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget. Full details of the main variances were provided in Appendix B of the report while the key variances were noted as follows:

 

·         Housing Benefit overpayment reduction - £368,000;

·         Houses in Multiple Occupation reduced income - £93,260;

·         Christmas Market reduced income and additional expenditure - £77,470;

·         Car Parking additional income net of additional expenditure - £175,000;

·         Crematorium additional income - £106,000.

 

The most significant of the forecast variations was the reduction in the level of housing benefit overpayment being raised. Whilst this was positive in that the number of overpayments were reducing, this in turn created a budgetary pressure. This was a continuation of a trend from 2017/18 and 2018/19 with the transition of benefits customers to Universal Credit and the use of ‘real time’ information which meant that the level of overpayments raised had drastically reduced. The budget pressure was as a result of the consequential reduced income from reclaiming the overpayment from the claimant and would require a budget realignment as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Although forecast outturn for the General Fund was a shortfall of £235,912, at this stage in the financial year forecast outturns were difficult to predict and often subject to volatility. This would continue to be monitored, with a further report to the Executive on this issue as part of the quarter two update report.

 

Additional contributions to earmarked reserves that the Chief Finance Officer had identified as being required, subject to outturn, included:

 

·         Western Growth Corridor – Local Planning Authority. It was proposed that the planning application fee received for the Western Growth Corridor submission was transferred to a reserve and used for additional resourcing requirements in determining the application. A contribution of £150,000 was recommended;

·         Active Nation – as part of the Active  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with a status report of the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the first quarter 2019/20.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       Agrees that all current risk challenges have been identified.

 

(2)       Ensures that any gaps in respect of controls and ownership are addressed.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Since the previous report to the Executive on the Strategic Risk Register, the document had been reviewed and updated by the relevant Strategic Directors and Assistant Directors as part of an annual review of all strategic risks and horizon scanning. This review had identified that there had been some positive movement in the Risk Register.

 

A number of control actions had now been progressed or completed and the key movements were outlined as follows:

 

·         Risk 2 – failure to deliver a sustainable Medium Term Financial Strategy. The Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-24 was approved in March 2019 based on revised assumptions and with increased savings targets;

·         Risk 3 – failure to deliver the Towards Financial Sustainability Programme whilst ensuring the resilience of the Council. The Investment Strategy for property acquisition was developed and approved in March 2019. Draft project plans had been developed with programme mapping complete in respect of phase six of the programme. Key messages had been communicated in staff briefings and the Transformational Change lead had been appointed, focussing on the ‘One Council’ approach;

·         Risk 4 – to ensure compliance with statutory duties and appropriate governance arrangements were in place. A procurement exercise had taken place to replace the Council’s core IT infrastructure including disaster recovery functionality, with implementation during the Autumn 2019;

·         Risk 5 – failure to protect the local authority’s vision 2020 due to changing structures and relationships in local government and impact on size, scale and scope of the Council. Further work was planned to maintain dialogue with partners at officer level and to assess the overall impact as well as consider alternative options for delivery;

·         Risk 6 – unable to meet the emerging changes required in the Council’s culture, behaviour and skills to support the delivery of the Council’s Vision 2020 and the transformation journey to the ‘One Council’ approach. Project Boards had now been set up to focus on key areas of delivery underpinning the ‘One Council’ approach with a managers’ briefing to be held in August 2019 to finalise the four pillars to support the ‘One Council’ approach. Research and visits were scheduled with relevant organisations to provide expertise and guidance in progressing the transformational journey, linking in organisational development and future new ways of working;

·         Risk 7 – insufficient levels of resilience and capacity exist in order to delivery key strategic projects and services within the Council. A review would be undertaken to agree timelines for existing Vision 2020 and legacy projects in order to plan for Vision 2025;

·         Risk 8 – decline in the economic prosperity within the City Centre. A continuous review was undertaken pending a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Melbourne Road Open Space pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To consider the appropriation of land between Housing Revenue Account and the General Fund in order to facilitate the development of an allotment site.

 

Decision

 

That the appropriation of land identified in Appendix A in respect of open space at Melbourne Road from the Housing Revenue Account to the General Fund to the value of £20,000 be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Council had been bringing into fruition the authority’s Allotments Strategy, based on significant investment raised from the sale of the Riseholme Road allotment site. In order to permit this happening, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government was required to grant permission to de-statutorise the site. The Ministry agreed to do this, provided a suitable alternative site, ideally in the south of the city where allotment provision was poor, could be identified.

 

A site off Melbourne Road had been identified, which was currently within the ownership of the Housing Revenue Account. It was therefore recommended that the site be appropriated to the General Fund.

 

Councillor Ric Metcalfe praised this scheme and was keen to see improvements to allotment provision in the south of the city.

36.

De Wint Extra Care Sheltered Housing Delivery Update and Proposed Local Lettings Policy pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with an update on the delivery of the extra care sheltered housing scheme at De Wint Court, including an update on the legal agreements with the County Council.

 

The report also sought approval of a Local Lettings Policy for the scheme.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       Notes the update on the delivery of the scheme at De Wint Court.

 

(2)       Approves the Local Lettings Policy for the De Wint Court extra care housing scheme, as set out at Appendix 1 attached to the report.

 

(3)       Delegates authority to the Strategic Director of Housing and Investment, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing, to agree any minor changes to the Local Lettings Policy.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Other options considered were set out in paragraph 10.1(i) of the report.

 

Reason for Decision

 

It was noted that the new-build extra care sheltered housing scheme at De Wint Court was to provide 70 one and two bedroom flats to enable older people to live independently in a modern setting with on-site care and support. The scheme was due to commence on-site in November 2019 and to complete by the end of September 2021. In order to secure nominations to 50% of lettings, Lincolnshire County Council would provide the City of Lincoln Council with a capital funding contribution.

 

De Wint Court had full planning permission and the scheme’s build had been procured using a two-stage selection questionnaire and invitation to tender process. Following the assessment of fourteen returned selection questionnaires, five suppliers were invited to tender for the build of the scheme. The successful supplier would be appointed in September 2019.

 

The report provided the legislative background to allocations to council housing, as well as details relating specifically to the City of Lincoln’s Allocations Policy. With regard to the proposed De Wint Local Lettings Policy, this required that applicants would need to be accepted onto the Lincs Homefinder housing register and added two further criteria. The first criteria was the need for qualifying persons to have a local connection, in that applicants must have:

 

·         been continuously resident in the city of Lincoln for twelve months, or;

·         a close relative living in the city of Lincoln who had done so for the last five years or more, or;

·         been employed in the city of Lincoln on a permanent or long-term contract for 16 hours or more per week.

 

It was noted that the local connection qualification may, however, be waived on an exceptional basis.

 

The second criteria required applications to be aged 55 years or over, with any associated partner being aged 50 or over.

 

The proposed Local Lettings Policy also considered property size eligibility, allowing single persons and couples to be considered for two bedroom accommodation based on their housing and support needs. It also stated how Lincolnshire County Council would nominate to 50% of the allocations and how applications would be assessed in terms of housing and support needs. These aimed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Housing Delivery Update pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide an update on the progress made to deliver and enable a pipeline of affordable housing in the city, as laid out in Vision 2020.

 

The report also sought approvals of proposals to deliver new-build affordable rented homes at the vacant Markham House site and to advance plans for a scheme of approximately 44 units on Council owned land at Rookery Lane.

 

Authority was also sought for a draft delivery programme for Council new build and acquisition for 2019-22 to keep a pipeline of development coming forward, together with feasibility works on a range of potential in-fill sites.

 

Decision

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       Approves proposals to deliver five two-bedroom four person affordable houses for rent at the vacant Markham House site.

 

(2)       Approves the undertaking of survey and design work for an affordable housing scheme at Rookery Lane.

 

(3)       Approves the undertaking of initial feasibility works in order to explore the viability of in-fill sites.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Over the five year period 2012-17 the Council directly delivered 30 affordable homes for rent across the following sites:

 

·         Wellington Street – five lifetime homes;

·         Stapleford Court – five lifetime homes;

·         Birchwood – 20 bungalows, with 19 lifetime homes and one wheelchair standard.

 

In 2017 the Council produced its Strategic Plan, Vision 2020, which set out a commitment to enabling the delivery of 400 affordable homes by 2020. Through a combination of acquisitions and enabling, 284 affordable homes were delivered over the period 2017-19.

 

Whilst additional affordable homes were being delivered, however, sales through the Right to Buy resulted in a reduction of affordable housing available provided through social housing tenancies. Therefore, in order to replace the stock that was lost through Right to Buy and maintain supply, a pipeline of 45-50 new affordable homes per year was required.

 

It was reported that in October 2018 the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap was lifted, enabling the Council to continue its own housebuilding programme after 2020.

 

In order to continue a pipeline of new affordable homes, the following schemes had already been approved or were proposed:

 

·         De Wint Court: a scheme of 70 one and two bedroom affordable extra care sheltered housing apartments for rent;

·         Markham House site: a scheme of five two bedroom affordable houses for rent. Further details relating to this scheme were highlighted in paragraph 4.5 of the report;

·         Rookery Lane site: proposals for a scheme of approximately 44 new-build affordable dwellings for rent and shared ownership. Further details relating to this scheme were highlighted in paragraph 4.6 of the report.

 

In addition, the Council was working with local residents to develop an improved and potentially remodelled or extended scheme at Hermit Street flats in Sincil Bank.

 

A combination of Homes England and Lincolnshire County Council grant was part-funding the De Wint Court extra care sheltered housing scheme, delivering a net gain of 37 dwellings. In addition, Homes England grant funding was enabling partner housing associations to deliver a further  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 44 KB

You are asked to resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items because it is likely that if members of the press or public were present, there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information'.

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice is hereby given of items which will be considered in private, for which either 28 days' notice has been given or approval has been granted by the appropriate person specified in the Regulations. For further details please visit our website at http://www.lincoln.gov.uk or contact Democratic Services at City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln.

 

This item is being considered in private as it is likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations have been received in relation to the proposal to consider this item in private.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business because it was likely that if members of the public were present there would be a disclosure to them of ‘exempt information’ as defined by Section 100I and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

These items were considered in private as they were likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations had been received in relation to the proposal to consider these items in private.

39.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review

Minutes:

The minute associated with this item was set out in item 34 above.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendation contained within the report be approved.

40.

Housing Delivery Update

Minutes:

The minute associated with this item was set out in item 37 above.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendations contained within the report be approved.

41.

Boultham Park Lake Restoration Project Update

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To update the Executive on the restoration of Boultham Park, specifically the restoration of the lake and the forthcoming bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendation contained within the report be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Executive had considered and supported different elements of the Boultham Park restoration previously. The report provided an update on the lake restoration, the planned timeline and the funding position.