Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 14th October, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Bury Town Hall

Contact: Julie Gallagher  Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

CA.252

Declarations of Interest

Members of Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any of the matters of the Agenda, and if so, to formally declare that interest.

Minutes:

Councillor Quinn declared a personal interest in respect of all matters under consideration, as both his son and daughter in law are employed by the NHS, his wife is employed by the Citizens Advice Bureau and he is a member of the trade union, Unite.

 

CA.253

Public Question Time

Written questions are invited from members of the public about the work of the Council and the Council’s services.

 

Approximately 30 minutes will be set aside for Public Question Time, if required.

 

Minutes:

The following question was submitted by a member of the public, Charlotte Bradshaw in advance of the meeting:

How can we continue to make huge decisions which affect the borough (such as building on Green Belt) when we have not been able to have a voice and elect councillors to represent us?

Responding Councillor O’Brien, Leader of the Council reported that the Council needs to continue to take important decisions. These decisions cannot wait. It is likely that the Covid restrictions will continue for a further 6 months and whilst elections have not taken place this year, it is essential that elected Councillors remain accountable and continue to fulfil their roles during this period.

 

A further supplementary question was submitted:

Everything has been delayed because of COVID but this can’t be? Why not?

 

Councillor O’Brien reported that a number of decisions have been taken since the commencement of lockdown, tonight’s agenda for Cabinet provides an example of the work ongoing in respect of Radcliffe Regeneration, the Bury 2030 Strategy and a number of other large projects, projects that will change how the Council operates in the future.

 

CA.254

Minutes pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes from the meeting held on 2nd September 2020 are attached.

Minutes:

It was agreed:

 

Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

CA.255

Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Development of the 2021/22 Budget pdf icon PDF 698 KB

A report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Eamon O’Brien is attached.

 

Minutes:

The Leader, Councillor O’Brien presented the medium term financial strategy.  The Leader reported that at the start of the year, Bury was faced with a budget gap of circa £23m over the next 4 years. Since then, Covid has added a further £39.1m of one-off cost pressures on the council and £1m of ongoing costs. In addition, further demands on the council have seen the ongoing budget gap increase from circa £23m to circa £33m. For both the one-off cost pressures and the ongoing pressures there is higher proportion of savings that are needed in the first two years of the strategy.

 

With a financial challenge of this scale, the Council needs to balance the need of delivering more savings on an ongoing basis and utilising its reserves to support the one-off costs. Financial resilience and sustainability however needs to be at the core of the financial strategy and reserves can only be spent once. As options that will deliver ongoing savings are developed those that can provide one-off savings are also needed in order to replenish and slow down the ‘run’ on reserves.

 

The Leader reported that the report updates Cabinet on the work to date to align the financial and the corporate planning processes and provides framework for engagement with the Cabinet and sets the context on which options to manage the financial gap are currently being developed. Given the scale of the financial gap, options are now planned to be brought forward to Cabinet in November for discussion and consideration.

             

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet agrees to:

 

  • Note the updated MTFS position;
  • Note the significant financial challenge faced by the Council and the context of financial uncertainty that is impacting on financial planning;
  • Note the proposed approach for managing the gap including the use of reserves, efficiencies through transformation and the identification of efficiency/budget options;
  • Approve the next steps and the proposed approach and that a detailed report will be presented to Cabinet in November.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

This report sets out the current anticipated position and the impact, in particular of Covid 19. It identifies the current risks associated with the budget and required steps to manage the projected gap. This will assist Cabinet in formulating proposals to submit to Council before 8 February 2021, for the Council budget and council tax calculations for 2021/22.

 

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject recommendations contained within the report.

 

CA.256

Covid 19 Update pdf icon PDF 382 KB

A report from the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Before handing over to the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing the Leader, Councillor O’Brien updated Members on the current position regarding the impact of COVID-19 in Bury and the ongoing discussions with other Leaders in Greater Manchester in respect of the Tier three restrictions.  The Leader reported that GM leaders are united in their position, a unified position, they firmly believe they should remain in tier two and are sceptical of the impact of moving to tier three.  They are concerned that this will not achieve the required reduction in cases or bring the virus under control.  Further financial help is needed to deal with any health or economic consequences that may arise if GM move into Tier three.

 

Following on from that update Councillor Simpson Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, provided Members with an update in respect of the current Covid situation in the Borough.  From Friday 02 October to Thursday 08 October 2020 there were 631 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in people living in Bury a rate of 331.9 cases per 100,000 people per week, an increase of 115 cases per week compared to the week before.

Cases are doubling roughly every two and a half weeks.  There are 5 testing sites up and running with plans for two more to open shortly, locally led walk in sites at Chesham Fold and the Mosses Centre, which are both open 5 days per week 10-3pm.

The local test track and trace system has been allocated 754 cases since 8th September

It is now being passed on average 20-30 cases per day to follow up.

 

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing reported that Bury Council, together with all the key partners, are delivering as comprehensive a response to Covid-19 in Bury as possible within the resources available. This response will need to be maintained until at least spring 2021.

 

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet agrees to:

 

Note the report.

 

 

CA.257

Bury Strategy 2030 pdf icon PDF 627 KB

A report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor E O’Brien is attached.

Minutes:

Councillor O’Brien, Leader of the Council, presented a report updating the Cabinet on the development of the Bury 2030 Strategy, proposal for consultation. 

 

The draft report represents all the thinking to date and proposes a framework branded as “Let’s do it”, drawn from some of Victoria Wood’s comedy and based on three components:

Let’s: A call to collective action; a strategy which reflects that the Borough of Bury is the sum of its parts across the six distinct townships and individual communities of identity and experience.

Do: The strategy proposes delivery through a local industrial strategy for Bury across the tenants of People; Place; Ideas; Infrastructure and Business Environment; a new delivery model on a neighbourhood footprint and four common principles which all public and community services and residents themselves will be called to demonstrate: inspiration; aspiration; participation and collaboration.

It: Our definition of success will be equal life chances for all our residents across every township and, as a result, in ten years the life expectancy of all residents in our Borough will exceed the average for England as a whole. In order to secure the vision the strategy is structured around five policy commitments to carbon neutrality; digital-first delivery; economic recovery and growth; inclusion and healthy communities.

 

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet agrees to:

 

1. Endorse the strategy as a basis for public consultation, subject to similar agreement from other partners.

2. Approve the process for consultation set out in the report

3. Note that a further report will be produced with the final draft strategy that has taken into account the results and feedback from the consultation

4. Note that the final approved strategy will be submitted to full Council for approval and adoption.    

 

Reasons for the decision:

Although there is no requirement for a community strategy, it is best practice and provides for consideration of associated duties such as homelessness provision. This report presents the new draft strategy, which ties into wider sub-regional strategies, including the Greater Manchester Strategy and is informed by local strategies, such as the emerging housing strategy.

 

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject recommendations contained within the report.

 

 

CA.258

Adopt the revised Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 403 KB

A report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Eamon O’Brien is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader, Councillor O’Brien presented a revised statement of Community Involvement for consideration by Members of the Cabinet. This report sets out how the community will be involved in preparing and revising all local planning documents and in making decisions on planning applications.

 

The Government has been clear that everyone should adhere to various measures to help combat the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). These measures have implications for

planning-related consultation, including how the public are engaged in plan-making and the ability of local authorities to comply with arrangements set out in their existing SCIs – particularly those forms of engagement that involve public gatherings and/or face-to-face contact whilst social distancing measures are in place.

 

A decision was made under delegated powers by Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth on 27th July 2020 to approve a draft version of the revised SCI for a 4-week public consultation. A total of 10 representations have been received and approval is now sought for the adoption of the attached revised SCI.

             

Delegated decision:

             

Cabinet agrees to

 

1. Members adopt the revised SCI attached at Appendix 1 of the report.

2. Members delegate the subsequent removal of the temporary changes highlighted in the document once the current Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted by the Government to Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

Section 18 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, as amended provides that the Council must prepare a Statement of Community Involvement, which is a statement of the authority’s policy as to the involvement in the exercise of its planning functions. It is important that the document is kept up to date to ensure effective community involvement at all stages of the planning process and it is particularly important the document is updated where necessary as a result of Covid-19 restrictions so that the planning service can continue to operate.

 

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject recommendations contained within the report.

 

 

CA.259

Public consultation on the draft Housing Strategy pdf icon PDF 185 KB

A report from Cllr Cummins, Cabinet Member for Housing Services is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Cummins, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, presented the draft Housing Strategy, for public consultation. The draft strategy sets out the scale of the challenge facing theBorough on housing issues such as driving up quality, improving health and wellbeing, affordability, attracting and retaining skills, and climate change.

 

The last full assessment of housing need and demand in the Borough was undertaken in 2011. The changes within the housing market since then, together with the expected growth in population and household formation required an update to the housing profile; therefore in January 2020, Campbell Tickell in partnership with arc4, were appointed to support the Council to deliver a Housing Needs and Demand Assessment, which informs the new draft Housing Strategy.

 

The final version of the Housing Strategy will include an implementation plan, which will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is up to date in terms of available and committed resources.

             

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet agrees to

 

1. Acknowledge the work to date on developing the draft Housing Strategy.

2. Approve the draft Housing Strategy at Appendix 1 of the report for public consultation for a period of six weeks.

3. Note that a further report will be produced with the final draft Housing Strategy, that has taken into account the results and feedback from the consultation.

             

Reasons for the decision:

 

Although there is no requirement for a Housing Strategy, it is best practice and provides for consideration of associated duties such as homelessness provision. The Council has undertaken an assessment of housing need within the borough. This report presents the new housing strategy based upon that assessment, which ties into other strategies including the Council’s overarching 2030 Strategy.

         

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject the recommendations.

 

CA.260

Agile Working Model Pilot in Bury Town Centre Sites pdf icon PDF 505 KB

A report from the Cabinet Member for Corporate Affairs and Human Resources, Councillor Rafiq is attached. 

Minutes:

Councillor Rafiq, Cabinet Member Corporate Affairs and HR presented a report to Cabinet outlining proposals for a new agile working model pilot for the town centre sites.  The Cabinet member reported that there is a real opportunity to now build on this approachthrough new, agile ways of working for Council and CCG staff which drive the productivity of the workforce; further the ambition for carbon neutrality and will help manage the risk of the poor condition of much of the Council’s office estate.

 

The pilot sites are proposed to mitigate immediate risks around the condition of the Town Hall site in particular. The new way of working is proposed as part of the emerging corporate transformation programme, with specific objectives to:

·         improve staff wellbeing

·         deliver cashable and non-cashable savings from estate costs

·         contribute to wider strategy – this case digital and carbon neutrality strategies and

·         enhance the Council’s profile as a flexible and attractive employer.

 

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet agrees to:

 

1.   Note that the Town Hall will not be available for office use other than the ground and 50% of first floor

2.   Agree the principle of the agile working model, as a basis for consultation with the Trades Unions

3.   Agree the proposed pilot of an agile working model in the Town Hall and 3 Knowsley Place, at a maximum occupancy of 50%, to take place when infection levels allow a return to an office base

4.  Agree that a team is appointed as part of the capital programme to deliver the pilot and establish the longer term business case

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

The Council has obligations as an employer to ensure the health safety and wellbeing of

its staff, as well as others accessing its premises. This report focuses on those issue

and makes proposals for a longer terms strategy to balance the interests of all whilst

meeting those obligations. It is appropriate to consult with the union on the proposals as

well as considering any contractual implication. These alongside the associated HR

policies will require review and alignment.

 

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject the recommendations.

 

CA.261

Terms of Reference for the Radcliffe Regeneration Delivery Board pdf icon PDF 209 KB

A report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Eamon O’Brien is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader, Councillor O’Brien updated members on the ongoing work to progress the Radcliffe Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF).  The Leader presented a report that outlines the terms of reference for the Radcliffe Regeneration Delivery Board, the body which will provide strategic direction, and oversight of the SRF’s proposals.

 

Delegated decision:

 

Cabinet is agrees to:

 

Approve the Terms of Reference for the Radcliffe Regeneration Delivery Board as detailed in the report.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

It is important that there are clear roles and responsibilities for oversight and delivery of the Radcliffe SRF. Each structure for governance including the RRDB needs clear terms of reference and division of responsibilities to enable the delivery of the SRF and other regeneration initiatives that may emerge over time.

 

Other option considered and rejected:

 

To reject the recommendations contained within the report.

 

 

CA.262

For information - Minutes Of Association Of Greater Manchester Authorities / Greater Manchester Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 414 KB

To consider the minutes of meetings of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority held on 2nd September 2020.