Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

Contact: Karen Strahan, 01392 382264  Email: karen.strahan@devon.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
Note No. Item

*

248.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 10th October 2018 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was MOVED by Councillor Hughes, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018 be signed as a correct record.

*

249.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

*

250.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste updated the Cabinet on the current position with the North Devon Link road. A planning application had been submitted to widen some 7.5km of carriageway and improvements to two junctions between Barnstaple and South Molton. The planning application was currently out for consultation and responses had to be received by 2nd December 2018.

*

251.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no petition received from a Member of the Public or the Council.

           

 

*

252.

Question(s) from Members of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no question from a Member of the Council.

*

253.

Sufficiency Strategy (Children's Services) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/18/39), on a sufficiency strategy for placements and services for children in care, care leavers and disabled children, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett and Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/18/39), circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, on a sufficiency strategy for placements and services for children in care, care leavers and disabled children.

 

The Report highlighted that as Corporate Parents, the Council was committed to ensuring children and young people in care achieved the best possible outcomes and were well prepared and supported to step into adulthood with the support they needed. When children and young people could not remain within their family, they required permanence and stability in care in settings which met changing needs over time.

 

Section 22G of the Childrens Act (1989) set out a ‘sufficiency’ duty for Local Authorities, who were required to take steps to secure, so far as was reasonably practicable, sufficient accommodation for children in care within their local area. In 2010, the Statutory Guidance for the Sufficiency Duty was explicit in placing a duty on Local Authorities to act strategically to address gaps in provision.

 

Sufficiency was approached in collaboration with partners across the area, including Peninsula Commissioning Partners and other bordering authorities. The sufficiency strategy for placements and services for children in care, care leavers and disabled children was attached as Appendix 1 to the Report and had been informed by those principles. It further outlined how the Council would ensure that children and young people who needed to be in care could grow up in high quality provision that was well matched and effectively met their immediate and long-term needs. The Strategy linked to the Council’s wider strategy for children in care, which included Devon’s Corporate Parenting arrangements.

 

In developing the strategy, there was a stage of further engagement (after listening to children in care and working with providers) during September and October 2018 to allow a testing of the priorities. It was shared with commissioners and also reviewed as part of a Scrutiny Liaison Autumn Briefing session with Members in October 2018. 

 

The Cabinet noted that the Sufficiency Strategy would be reviewed and refreshed on an annual basis.

 

The Strategy also outlined the commissioning intentions for 2018/19 and 2019/20, which included;

 

·         Framework Agreement with providers of placements within Residential Children’s Homes (a Peninsula contract with 4 neighbouring authorities), the Council’s contributions being in the region of £12 million per year;

·         Framework Agreement for Supported Living Options for the provision of accommodation and support for young people aged 16 and above who were Children in Care or Care Leavers. The value of this contract was in the region of £14 million over a 4-year period;

·         Block contract to secure residential beds in Devon to the proposed value of £10.78 million over a 5-year period; and

·         Some Residential Short Breaks Services, funded by the Council and NEW Devon CCG and South Devon & Torbay CCG.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 253.

*

254.

Budget Monitoring: Month 6 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of the County Treasurer (CT/18/09) on the budget monitoring position at month 6, attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett and Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/18/9) on the Budget Monitoring position at Month 6 for 2018/2019, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Cabinet Member for Resources Management highlighted that the total overspend at month 6 was forecast at £8.15millions, an increase of £50,000 from month 4. However, the position assumed a request to carry forward £2.4 millions to next years Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), to be agreed by the Devon Education Forum.

 

Adult Care and Health Services were forecast to underspend by £488,000. At month 4 the service was forecasting a breakeven outturn. This position took into account £455,000 of management action yet to be achieved but assessed as achievable.

 

Children’s Services were showing a forecast overspend of £9.9 millions, an increase of £1.2 millions from month 4, with, in the main, overspending on children’s social care. Pressure continued within residential placements but were also appearing across the disabled children short breaks service, social work teams and the Atkinson secure home.

 

Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste were also forecasting a break-even position at Month 6.

 

Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (COPHEP) were showing a forecast overspend of £153,000, the result of the countywide research and intelligence review project.

 

Corporate Services were forecasting a breakeven position, but this was dependent upon services still delivering management action totalling £65,000, but this was also assessed as achievable.

 

Non-service items were forecast to underspend by £1.4 millions, mainly due to additional investment income and a one-off underspend associated with an estimate for remedial works being undertaken at Dartington School not fully materialising in the year, the release of £302,000 of the schools improvement grant and a review of the pension contribution shortfall releasing £319,000.

 

The capital programme for the Council was £149.6 millions, with a year end forecast of £131.5 millions, of which £110.8 millions was externally funded, so slippage of £18.0 millions, in the main, due to scheme variations and programme delays in Highways (£1.3 millions), Adult Care & Health (£2.9 millions) and Planning and Transportation (£6.7 millions).

 

The Autumn Budget Statement confirmed additional Capital funding for 2018/19, therefore the Council was expecting to receive up to £4.0 millions additional capital funding for Highways and up to £5.2 millions for Schools. Disabled Facilities Grants could increase by £800,000.

 

The Report then outlined a number of additional savings initiatives to reduce expenditure by just under £5 millions, which ranged from introducing a process whereby recruitment to fill

vacancies commenced two months after a post holder had left employment, capitalisation of more revenue expenditure and other initiatives such as cessation of none essential overtime, conference attendance, hospitality and travel and subsistence allowances unless externally funded and staff being able to purchase additional leave.

 

The Chief Executive re-assured Members that many of the suggestions related to ‘improved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 254.

255.

Notice(s) of Motion (Referred from Council 4 October 2018) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

The following Notices of Motion submitted to the County Council have been referred to the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 8(2) to make a recommendation back to the Council.

 

The Report of the County Solicitor (CSO/18/32) on the Notices of Motion referred to the Cabinet by the County Council on 4 October 2018, incorporating relevant briefing notes to facilitate the Cabinet’s discussion of the matters raised is attached.

 

(a)   Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Merger - Councillor Atkinson;

(b)   Bed Poverty – Councillor Hannaford.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Merger

 

(Councillors Connett and Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

Since 2015, Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police (DC&D) have been working together through a 'Strategic Alliance'. Operational police departments such as Operations, Roads Policing and Prevention as well as 17 other business areas are already operating across the three counties with a further 11 departments currently going through changes which will see them aligned.

 

The Chief Constables of DC&D Police recently announced their intention to explore a voluntary merger of the two forces. There are no recent examples of successful voluntary mergers of police forces.

 

Work is now underway to develop a business case for the merger for submission to the Home Office in October 2018, with a decision expected in January 2019.

 

·         The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) commenced a public engagement programme across the three counties in August which ended on 28th August, the full business case was not to be shared with stakeholders or the PCP before the end of this consultation.

·         It is understood that at a PCP meeting on 5th October some of the business case may be shared with the PCP before its submission to the Home Office.

·         Devon County Council (DCC) had not formally been consulted and this has not been discussed at Cabinet or Scrutiny Committee

 

The proposed merger will impact funding and on Council Tax across Devon.  A much higher proportion of Devon and Cornwall’s total funding (61.5%) comes from government. Only 53% of Dorset’s funding comes from government and a higher proportion comes from the police precept element.

 

Overall, government funding is more per head for Devon and Cornwall (£103) than Dorset (£85). This would fall to £97.6 per head for a combined force.

 

Having received minimal information regarding the financial impact or benefits of the potential merger, it is difficult to know whether current levels of funding, alongside the substantial reserves held by both forces, would prove sufficient to underwrite any additional costs arising from the merger of the force areas.  This is particularly relevant in attempting to understand how the additional 430 police officers or staff would be funded as a result of the merger.  At the moment, tax payers in Dorset in an average Band D property pay around £18 a year more for their policing than householders in Devon and Cornwall.

 

Legally, the levels of police precept for both areas must be harmonised for the merger to take place. Will Dorset rates be harmonised down to the Devon and Cornwall level? This seems to have been ruled out.  Another proposal is that the rate for Devon and Cornwall will be increased to the Dorset level to fund extra police officers. The estimated increase would mean an extra payment of £1-3 per month (£18 per year) for average Band D residents in Devon and Cornwall.  

This motion proposes that

·         the Council writes to the PCC to request that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 255.

*

256.

Question(s) from Members of the Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no question from a Member of the public.

*

257.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Minutes of the bodies shown below are circulated herewith for information or endorsement as indicated therein:

 

·         Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee – 17 October 2018

 

[NB: Minutes of County Council Committees are published on the Council’s Website:

Minutes of the Devon Education (Schools) Forum:  

Minutes of the South West Waste Partnership

Minutes of the Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Panel

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Davis, and

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the following and any recommendations to Cabinet therein be approved:

 

·         Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee – 17 October 2018.

*

258.

Delegated Action/Urgent Matters pdf icon PDF 34 KB

The Registers of Decisions taken by Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers will be available for inspection at the meeting in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.  A summary of such decisions taken since the last meeting is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Registers of Decisions taken by Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers were available for inspection at the meeting in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012; a summary of decisions taken since the last meeting had been published with the Agenda for this meeting. Decisions taken by Officers under any express authorisation of the Cabinet or other Committee or under any general authorisation within the Council’s Scheme  of Delegation  set out in  Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution may be viewed at  https://new.devon.gov.uk/democracy/officer-decisions/

*

259.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 81 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet is requested to review the list of forthcoming business (previously circulated) and to determine which items are to be defined as key and/or framework decisions and included in the Plan from the date of this meeting.

 

[NB: The Forward Plan is available on the Council's website at:http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=133&RD=0&bcr=1 ]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet reviewed the Forward Plan and determined those items of business to be defined as key and framework decisions and included in the Plan from the date of this meeting onwards reflecting the requirements of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 (at http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=133&RD=0)