Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite (DAW) - County Hall

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

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Media

Items
Note No. Item

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564.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council will declare any interests they may have in any item to be considered at this meeting, prior to any discussion taking place on that item.

 

The other registrable interests of Councillors of Devon County Council, arising from membership of City, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.

 

For details of District and or Town and Parish Twin Hatters – please see here - County councillors who are also district, borough, city, parish or town councillors

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reminded Members they should declare any interests they may have in any item to be considered, prior to any discussion taking place on that item. The details of District and or Town and Parish Twin Hatters was on the attached list - County councillors who are also district, borough, city, parish or town councillors

 

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565.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2024, (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2024 be signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2024 be signed as a correct record.

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566.

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.

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567.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Mr Hipkin who was attending the meeting in his capacity as a Co-opted Member of the Council's Standards Committee to observe and monitor compliance with the Council’s ethical governance framework.

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568.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader was presented, by Councillor Hawkins with a petition relating to a vacant School Crossing Patrol site in Dartmouth, containing 167 signatures.

 

A second petition was presented by Witheridge resident (Cath Cottingham) and Councillor Yabsley regarding unreliability and inconsistency of the bus services on the Witheridge to South Molton road, in particular the 346 Service Tiverton to South Molton via Witheridge (exacerbated by roadworks). The petition contained in the region of 350 signatures.

 

The Chair indicated that the relevant Cabinet Member or Service Director would be asked to respond direct to the petitioners on the issues raised, within 15 days.

 

[NB: The relevant Director would be asked to respond direct to the petitioners on the issues raised, within 15 days, in line with the Council’s Petition Scheme]

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569.

Question(s) from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Cabinet Procedure Rules, the relevant Cabinet Member responded to one question from a Member of the Council on the following matter. 

 

1.    School bus transport and bus passes and application of policy.

 

The questioner was not present and a copy of the answer had been sent.

 

[NB: A copy of the question and answer are available on webpage for meeting]

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570.

Corporate Plan 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/03) presenting achievements against the areas of focus for the 2023/2024 Corporate Plan and proposed areas of focus for the Corporate Plan for 24/25, attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the achievements against the areas of focus in the Corporate Plan

2023/24 be noted;

 

(b) that the proposed areas of focus for the Corporate Plan 2024/25 and

Directorate priorities for improvement in 2024/25 be approved;

 

(c) that the publication of an Annual Report that describes the Corporate Plan;

Directorates’ priorities and progress with the Council’s “Best Place” Strategic

Plan be endorsed; and

 

(d) that from November 2024 the Corporate Plan 2024/25 will be monitored

through the Council’s new corporate performance framework.

Minutes:

(Councillors Leaver, Letch and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/03) which presented achievements against the areas of focus for the 2023/24 Corporate Plan and the proposed areas of focus for the Corporate Plan for 2024/25, 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 noted that in recent times the Council had experienced an unprecedented level of pressure on finances and demand for services. The Council had also overseen changes to its senior officer team and it was this context that had led to a two-year programme of transformation categorised as a year to “Build the Foundations” (2023/24) in order to stabilise the Council’s finances and reset services. The second year (2024/25), theme would be “Improving and Learning” to escalate performance during the final year of the current Strategic Plan.

 

The Report set out progress against the six areas of focus for 2023/24 and proposed the Corporate Plan for 2024/25 together with Directorate improvement priorities for 2024/25.

 

Delivery against the agreed six areas of focus for the Corporate Plan 2023/24 was set out in the table in the Report against, in particular, the Governance and Performance Review, Value for money and financial sustainability, People Strategy, Replacement systems, Equality, diversity and inclusion and the Devon and Torbay Devolution Deal.

 

In relation to 2024/25, on 13 March 2024, Cabinet had approved (minute 497 referred) the authority’s operating principles and established three Change and Improvement Boards. It further approved five change programmes each of which was led by a Change Champion working cross-organisationally.

 

The six proposed Corporate Priorities for action in 2024/25 were:

 

1.    Secure better outcomes for our children through working with key partners.

2.    Develop an investment plan for our road network.

3.    Embed the Corporate Performance Framework and a culture of continuous improvement.

4.    Delivering our change and improvement programme including modernising processes through digital solutions.

5.    Working together with citizens - 2024/25 focus on Highways and Transport.

6.    Building relationships with partners to facilitate improved and targeted community services.

 

These proposed priorities had been informed by the outcomes of the Members’ Day held on 11 June 2024.

 

The Report gave a detailed explanation as to why these six were the Council’s proposed six Corporate Plan priorities for 2024/25.

 

The Report then outlined the Directorate improvement priorities for 2024/25 and that through Directorate Plans a number of improvement priorities would be taken forward. Each Directorate Plan would set out targets and key measures for the improvement priorities and these were outlined in full at section 5 of the Report.

 

The Cabinet further noted that from November 2024, Cabinet would receive quarterly performance reports setting out a dashboard of key performance indicators together with a commentary on progress against the proposed Corporate Plan 2024/25 and Directorate improvement priorities 2024/25.

 

In summary, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 570.

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571.

Proposed Productivity Plan for submission to Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/04), presenting a proposed Productivity Plan for submission to Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Productivity Plan be approved for submission to the former Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with the addition wording to articulate SEND challenges, as suggested at the meeting, and be published on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/04) which presented a proposed Productivity Plan for submission to Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, 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 noted that the Minister for Local Government had written to Local Authority Chief Executives on 16 April 2024 requesting the preparation of a “Productivity Plan” and its submission to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) by 19 July 2024. DLUHC officials had confirmed that that deadline remained in place.

 

The aim of the Productivity Plans was to set out how they would improve service performance and reduce wasteful expenditure to ensure every area was making best use of taxpayers’ money. DLUHC would establish an expert Panel to advise the Government on financial sustainability who would also review productivity plans and advise Government on best practice. Government would monitor the plans and use them to inform funding settlements in future years.

 

The purpose was to “set out what you have done in recent years, alongside your current plans, to transform your organisation and services”.

 

There was no template, but the plans were expected to be three to four pages in length and address the following four themes:

 

1. How you have transformed the way you design and deliver services to make better use of resources.

2. How you plan to take advantage of technology and make better use of data to improve decision making, service design and use of resources.

3. Your plans to reduce wasteful spend within your organisation and systems.

4. The barriers preventing progress that the Government can help to reduce or remove.

 

Productivity plans must have Member oversight and endorsement before they were submitted to DLUHC and published on the authority’s website.

 

The Council’s proposed Productivity Plan was appended to the covering Report and outlined activities to transforming the design and delivery of services to make better use of resources, outlined the Council’s operating principles and the role of the Change, Performance and Improvement Boards.

 

It highlighted capital expenditure during 2023/24, the prioritisation of Children’s services, progress to date and the Safety Valve agreement with Government. Also, the additional allocation of £12 million extra funding (£10 million capital and £2 million revenue) to invest in the highway network.

 

The centralisation of some functions (workforce development, recruitment, project management and change/transformation) had streamlined the  workforce and enabled the rationalisation of posts and removal of duplication.

 

The Plan also outlined how the Council took advantage of technology and made better use of data to improve decision making, service design and use of resources. Other work such as the transformation of the Council’s estate and replacement of its legacy general ledger system, FINEST, and a new single system for integrated adult social care case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 571.

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572.

Corporate Performance Framework pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/05), seeking endorsement of the proposed Corporate Performance Framework, attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the Corporate Performance Framework be endorsed;

 

(b) that the provisional headline indicators, as set out in appendices one and two be approved, noting they will be developed and added to; and

 

(c) that the Director of Performance and Partnerships will provide a quarterly performance report under the new Corporate Performance Framework to the Cabinet on 13 November 2024.

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/05), which sought endorsement of the proposed Corporate Performance Framework, 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 13 December 2023 (Min 433 refers) Cabinet agreed the development of a new Corporate Performance Framework which had been informed by the outcomes of the Members’ Day held on 28 November 2023. The Report described the development and introduction of that Framework.

 

The new Framework would help the Council to know whether it was providing value for money to residents and businesses, but also the ability to benchmark performance against other similar areas, comparator local authorities and the Office for Local Government’s (Oflog) metrics, availability of information to enable the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of services to be assessed, the capability to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement, to support and complement the management of risks and support for joint working with partners and taking shared responsibility for outcomes.

 

A dashboard of Key Performance Indicators would be complemented by a narrative that drew on insight and intelligence held across the Council and, where appropriate, by partners, to identify both good performance and areas for improvement.

 

The Framework had been structured in line with the Council’s Operating Principles approved by Cabinet on 13 March 2024 of Governance and Assurance, Financial Sustainability, People first, Partnerships, Digital self-service and Evidence-informed.

 

The Corporate Performance Framework would monitor achievement against the “Best Place” Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025 and Corporate Plan 2024/25 across three levels of Strategic Performance, Directorate and Service Performance and Change and Improvement Plans.

 

At the strategic level, headline indicators and insight would provide performance information that would be drawn from Strategic Plan priorities. Where priorities were being delivered in partnership, there was a shared responsibility to measure and assess performance in ways that supported collective delivery and achievement of outcomes.

 

At Directorate / Service level, each Directorate had a set of performance indicators to measure and assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of services and each of the three Scrutiny Committees would have a role in scrutinising service performance.

 

In relation to the Council’s five key Change Programmes, the Key Performance Indicators and insights drawn from the programmes would feature in the Corporate Performance Framework reporting.

 

The Report highlighted the existing arrangements for performance information and reporting and examples thereof, including Committee reporting.

 

In line with the Council’s ambition to modernise practice, the Framework afforded opportunities to rationalise performance management arrangements and deliver greater economy, effectiveness and efficiency. The new Performance and Partnerships Directorate would have responsibility for organisational performance, quality assurance and improvement including supporting statutory inspections as well as implementing and overseeing the Corporate Performance Framework.

 

As part of developing the Corporate Performance Framework the Council had conducted a Data and Intelligence Review, and the review  ...  view the full minutes text for item 572.

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573.

Bus Service Improvement Plan Tranche 2 Schemes

Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/48) presenting Tranche 2 of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), seeking approval for four capital schemes listed under the Individual

Scheme Delivery section of the BSIP, attached.

 

There are three separate Impact Assessments on the website, as follows (and attached).

 

Exeter Central & Eastern Bus Corridor Improvements - Impact Assessment  Newton Abbot Bus Service Improvement Plan - Impact Assessment

Braunton Road Bus Lane and Bus Priority Bypass - Impact Assessment

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the advertising of the traffic regulation orders necessary for the

schemes in the Report be approved and to make and seal the orders subject

to the requirements of the legislation and the council’s procedures;

 

(b) that subject to the resolution of the traffic regulation orders, the

construction of the Exeter Central Corridor scheme, as shown in Appendix 1,

be approved, at an estimated cost of £1,022,000;

 

(c) that subject to the resolution of the traffic regulation orders, the

construction of the Exeter Eastern Corridor scheme, as shown in Appendix 2,

be approved, at an estimated cost of £564,000;

 

(d) that subject to the resolution of the traffic regulation orders and the funding

sources being confirmed, that the construction of the Braunton Road,

Barnstaple scheme, as shown in Appendix 3, be approved, at an estimated

cost of £939,000;

 

(e) that the construction of the Newton Abbot scheme, as shown in Appendix

4, be approved, at an estimated cost of £245,000;

 

(f) that delegated authority is given to the Director of Climate Change,

Environment and Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for

Highway Management, the Cabinet Member for Climate Change,

Environment and Transport and the relevant Local Members to approve minor

changes to the schemes.

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/48) which presented Tranche 2 of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), and sought approval for four capital schemes listed under the Individual Scheme Delivery section of the BSIP. The Report had been 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.

 

In 2021, the Government published its National Bus Strategy, which provided a pathway to help bus services improve following the COVID19 pandemic and required local transport authorities to form Enhanced Partnerships with bus operating companies, and to publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). The Council’s BSIP had been developed and subsequently approved by Cabinet on 13 October 2021.

 

In 2022, the Council had been allocated £14.1 million BSIP funding by the Department for Transport, which was split into capital (£8.8 million) and revenue (£5.3 million). The funding was for a three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25 with all schemes subject to final approval from the Department for Transport.

 

A Report had been approved by Cabinet in October 2023 to progress the first tranche of BSIP schemes in Exeter and Barnstaple and this covered the next tranche of capital schemes.

 

A refreshed BSIP had been submitted to the Department for Transport on 12 June 2024 which set out the future aspirations for bus provision in Devon, building on the capital scheme proposals detailed in the Report and the successful Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) bid, which secured £5.3 million funding to introduce electric buses in Northern Devon, Cranbrook and Exeter.

 

The Report sought approval to construct four capital schemes which included bus priority measures and technology improvements with the aim of achieving better bus journey times and reliability. These schemes were as follows, with maps and details in full at section 3 of the Report.

 

1.    Exeter Central Corridor and Exeter Eastern Corridor – the proposals comprised a mixture of technological and infrastructure improvements, as well as changes to the bus lane operation times.

 

2.    Newton Abbot – delivery of a range of technological interventions at existing signalised junctions and crossings within Newton Abbot Town Centre, to improve bus priority, corridor capacity and reduce bus journey times and delays.

 

3.    Braunton Road, Barnstaple - provided an improved 330m bus priority from Chaddiford Lane towards Barnstaple Town Centre along the A361 Braunton Road. The scheme would include upgrading the existing bus lane with fewer traffic lights to minimise delays for buses and improved pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities.

 

Various engagement activities had been undertaken for each of the schemes, including a public consultation for the Exeter and Barnstaple proposals, the full details of which were outlined in section 5.

 

The financial considerations were included at section 7, but Cabinet noted the BSIP funding was ringfenced for schemes identified within the BSIP. Changes to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 573.

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574.

A382 Drumbridges to Newton Abbot Major Road Network Scheme (Phase 3) Change of Funding Sources pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/49), with proposals for an exchange of funding between the Council and Teignbridge District Council for the A382 Major Road Network project, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment has also been previously prepared for the scheme, is attached, and can be found at - A382 MRN Improvement Scheme Impact Assessment August 2023).

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that in principle the exchange of £4.85 million of Devon County Council recovered Housing Infrastructure Fund receipts at South West Exeter for £4.85 million from the Teignbridge District Council Community Infrastructure Levy towards the A382 Major Road Network scheme, be approved; and

 

(b) that the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport be given delegated authority to enter into a Funding Agreement with Teignbridge District Council, subject to the A382 Major Road Network scheme Full Business Case approval.

Minutes:

(Councillor Leaver attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/24/49), which outlined proposals for changing funding sources from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) with the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), 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.

 

In October 2023, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced additional funding would be made available to eligible Major Road Network (MRN) schemes. In February 2024, the Council submitted the Full Business Case (FBC) for The Scheme (Cabinet report CET/23/82 of 8 November 2023). The FBC included a proposed funding profile featuring an uplift in Government funding from Network North which was assumed to cover all costs outlined in the Outline Business Case (OBC).

 

From discussions with the DfT since February 2024, the additional contribution from the Government through Network North was matched directly to the value of the local authority contributions proposed in the OBC (submitted in 2019), however, it was not applicable to funding originating from other Government departments or developers through Section 106. In the case of The Scheme, this additional funding would not cover the sum of £4.85 million originating from the recovered money from developers at the South West Exeter HIF site. The DfT has confirmed that CIL money was eligible for match from Network North. 

 

The Council therefore proposed to swap £4.85 million of recovered money from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) with the equivalent amount from the Teignbridge District Council (TDC) Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). 

 

With the increased inflationary costs experienced between the OBC and the FBC, the additional DfT contribution was necessary to ensure the delivery of the full A382 MRN scheme. The change in funding source should enable DCC to secure the maximum amount of additional funding from the DfT and enable a decision on the Full Business Case to be made. 

 

The alternative option of not swapping the funding source would result in The Scheme having to be descoped further and additional work undertaken to revise the FBC and designs.

 

No specific equality impacts had been identified for the recommendations outlined in the Report; however, an Impact Assessment had been previously prepared for the scheme and had been considered in the 8th November 2023 (CET/23/82) Cabinet Report A382 MRN Improvement Scheme Impact Assessment August 2023).

 

The matter having been debated and the options and alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability and carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and alignment with the Council’s Strategic Plan) set out in the Director’s Report having been considered:

 

it was MOVED by Councillor Davis, SECONDED by Councillor McInnes, and

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that in principle the exchange of £4.85 million of Devon County Council recovered Housing Infrastructure Fund receipts at South West Exeter for £4.85 million from the Teignbridge District Council Community Infrastructure Levy towards the A382 Major  ...  view the full minutes text for item 574.

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575.

VCSE Civic Agreement pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Head of Communities (SC/24/04) on a proposed Civic Agreement between the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Assembly and Devon County Council, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment has been prepared, is attached, and also available on the website at Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Assembly Agreement - Impact Assessment.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the proposed Civic Agreement be approved.

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Communities (SC/24/04) on a proposed Civic Agreement between the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Assembly and Devon County Council, 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 noted that Devon had a long history of charitable activity and philanthropy and the County had an innovative, creative and world renowned social enterprise sector. The Council had worked alongside the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector throughout its history, and currently commissioned charities and not for profit organisations to deliver across its areas of responsibility.

 

During the pandemic, the local VCSE demonstrated its agility and innovation in providing vital support to the most vulnerable in Devon

 

The Torbay, Plymouth and Devon Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (TPD VCSE) Assembly, established in 2022, was a broad based inclusive and shared collaborative model where people, communities and organisations could contribute and engage in the way they wanted to. It provided network support necessary to create a fluid pool of people and organisations, with a broad range of skills, expertise, innovative solutions and lived experience. The Assembly could fully engage in, inform, and influence strategic partnership discussions, co-design of services, policy development, co-commissioning and joint leadership and decision making. Appendix 1 outlined the Assembly’s reach and governance arrangements.

 

The proposal was that the Council and the Torbay, Plymouth and Devon Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Assembly form a shared Civic Agreement to set out a commitment to work in partnership to better understand and collectively respond to some key challenges and opportunities for Devon in the years ahead. The agreement set out shared strategic priorities, principles and ways of working and would be underpinned by an annual and mutually agreed plan of activity around specific areas of focus and priority, which would include key priorities for the Council.

 

The proposal aligned with the vision and priorities in the Council’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025 and had the potential to enable delivery of aspects of the Council’s principles around good governance, decision making and partnership.

 

An Impact Assessment had been prepared and circulated with the agenda (on the website at Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Assembly Agreement - Impact Assessment). This highlighted that the agreement was a new proposal and built on relationships and arrangements across the VCSE sector and the Council. The signing of the agreement could in turn lead to significant positive impacts for all citizens through better sharing of information and insight and joint working to tackle specific issues, particularly those impacting people from groups with protected characteristics.

 

The Cabinet noted that the proposal would help to deliver the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities in developing its working with a key partner in Devon; would provide value for money in developing innovative solutions and learning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 575.

576.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The following Notices of Motion submitted to the County Council by the following Councillors have been referred to the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order 8(2) for consideration, to refer it to another Committee or make a recommendation back to the Council:

 

(a)  Working Families (Councillor Adams)

(b)  Decline of the Swift Population (Swift Brick) (Councillor Bailey)

 

A briefing note is attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a) Working Families - Councillor Adams

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a) Council welcomes the spirit of the notice of motion, and Members are

asked to support the commitment of the Council in promoting flexible working

via the ‘happy to talk flexible working’ link on relevant job adverts and ‘proudly

flexible by default’ strapline on its careers page and to also note that the

motion is reflective of the Council’s current recruitment processes.

 

(b) Council is asked to note the published recruitment advice for other

employers, recently enhanced, but that Council will also continue to work with

local businesses and organisations in relation to championing best practice for

recruitment and retention, including the role flexible working can play in this

regard.

 

(b) Decline of the Swift Population (Swift Brick) (Councillor Bailey)

 

RESOLVED that Council be recommended to support and encourage Devon Local Planning Authorities to incorporate the relevant Local Nature Recovery Strategy actions required to recover swift populations, such as installing swift bricks, into Local Plan policy and guidance.

Minutes:

(a) Working Families - Councillor Adams

 

(Councillor Whitton attended in accordance with 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The wording of the notice of motion is outlined below.

 

This Council notes:

 

·       Polling from Working Families (a national charity)  found 8 in 10 UK parents (82%) would be likely to apply for a job that lists flexible working options, while only 3 in 10 parents (31%) would be likely to apply for a job that does not list flexible working options.

·       Many top UK employers agree that offering flexibility at the point of recruitment is essential.

·       Flexible working is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s good for people and good for business—boosting productivity, employee engagement, and staff retention.

·       Councils play a leading role in showcasing positive employment practice through their own actions.

·       Flexible Working has received cross party support with the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill being supported by both the Government and opposition parties.

·       The Civil Service is a proud adopter of Working Families’ 'Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ logo.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

·       Work with local employers to promote the benefits of flexible working arrangements for employers and employees.

·       Encourage all local employers to create more flexible working opportunities by advertising all jobs as flexible, unless there are solid business reasons not to.

·       Advertise all council jobs as flexible, unless there are solid business reasons not to, listing the ways in which jobs can be done on a flexible basis in the advert.

·       Use the 'Happy to Talk Flexible Working' logo and strapline on all relevant job adverts.

 

Members considered the Officer’s factual briefing note on the matter (LDS/24/24) which referred to the current practice of recruitment within the Council and that all Council jobs were advertised as flexible, unless there were solid business reasons not to do so. The ‘Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ strapline was used all relevant job adverts. The ‘working for Devon’ careers page had ‘proudly flexible by default’ as its strapline.

 

In addition, the Council had enhanced the recruitment advice for employers on its Devon Jobs webpage to encourage flexible working opportunities. It also worked closely with both local business representative organisations and wider organisations around a range of programmes and projects which encouraged the adoption of best practice around recruitment and retention.

 

The Cabinet considered the recommendation now before them and the actions now proposed and already undertaken and any other relevant factors.

 

It was MOVED by Councillor McInnes, SECONDED by Councillor Saywell, and

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a) Council welcomes the spirit of the notice of motion, and Members are asked to support the commitment of the Council in promoting flexible working via the ‘happy to talk flexible working’ link on relevant job adverts and ‘proudly flexible by default’ strapline on its careers page and to also note that the motion is reflective of the Council’s current recruitment processes. 

 

(b) Council is asked to note the published recruitment advice for other employers, recently enhanced, but that Council will also continue to work with local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 576.

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577.

Treasury Management Stewardship Annual Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value (DFP/24/65) on the Treasury Management Stewardship Outturn, attached.

 

Members of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee had received the same Report on the Treasury Management Stewardship Outturn at their meeting on 27 June 2024 and had RESOLVED that the Report and the overall 2023/24 Treasury Management outturn position be commended to the Cabinet (minute *175 refers).

 

Recommendation

 

That the Members of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee are thanked for their consideration and review of the Annual Treasury Management Stewardship Report for 2023/2024 and that the Report be further endorsed.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Members of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee be thanked for their consideration and review of the Annual Treasury Management Stewardship Report for 2023/2024 and that the Report be further endorsed.

Minutes:

(Councillor Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value (DFP/24/65) regarding the 2023/24 Treasury Management outturn position, reviewing performance and key matters arising from the Council’s Treasury and Debt Management activities 2023/24.

 

Members of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee had received the same Report on Treasury Management at their meeting on 27 June 2024 and had RESOLVED that the 2023/24 Treasury Management outturn position Report (DPF/24/65) be commended to the Cabinet (minute *175 referred).

 

The Report outlined the Minimum Revenue Positions, the borrowing at outturn, analysis of long-term debt, investments at outturn, prudential indicators and a 2024/25 update.

 

In summary, long term external debt had reduced by £46.5 million during 2023/24, with three LOBO (Lender Option Borrower Option) loans repaid in full without incurring a premium. Investment income of £7.947 million had been achieved in 2023/24 against a full year budget of £3.75 million, representing a return of 4.53% including the Property Fund investment. Cash balances going forward into 2024/25 were at a lower level than they had been for many years, partly as a result of the repayment of external debt. However, the Safety Valve agreement with the Department for Education should reduce the risk of a further erosion of cash balances.

 

The matter having been debated and the other relevant factors being considered as set out in the Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value:

 

it was MOVED by Councillor Twiss, SECONDED by Councillor McInnes, and

 

RESOLVED that the Members of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee be thanked for their consideration and review of the Annual Treasury Management Stewardship Report for 2023/2024 and that the Report be further endorsed.

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578.

Public Health Annual Report 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health, Communities and Prosperity (PH/24/01) presenting the Annual Public Health Report for 2023/2024, attached. The Full Report can be viewed at Annual Public Health Report 2023-24 - Devon Health and Wellbeing.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet received the Report of the Director of Public Health and Communities (PH/24/01) which presented the Annual Public Health Report for 2023/2024, 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 Director of Public Health had a statutory duty to write an annual report, and the local authority a statutory duty to publish it (section 73B [5] & [6] of the 2006 NHS Act, inserted by section 31 of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act).  This enabled the Director of Public Health to make an independent judgement about the state of the health of the local population and ensured that the Report would be published and in the public domain.  The Report could be viewed here Annual Public Health Report 2023-24 - Devon Health and Wellbeing.

 

The Public Health Annual Report focused on healthy ageing, describing the changing demographic profile of Devon over the next twenty years highlighting the benefits this could bring, but also predicting the future levels of illness and disability associated with an ageing population.

 

The report highlights that over the next 20 years it was predicted that the number of older adults (65 years +) living in Devon would increase by 76,000 people by 2043 and the proportion of the population of those aged 75 and over would increase from 13.7% in 2024 to 18.4% in 2043.  The Report also included projections for the number of people living with long-term conditions, disease and disability within Devon with the expected rises by 2040 for limiting long-term illness, Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Falls (hospital admissions), Dementia and Depression.

                

The Report utilised the most up to date evidence to make recommendations on the actions and interventions which should be undertaken to promote healthy ageing and compress the number of years people spend in poor health.  The Report also included an update on the recommendations from the 2022-23 annual report.

 

The Cabinet were being asked to receive the 2023-24 annual report of the Director of Public Health and to note its recommendations, as outlined below.

 

1.             Establish a workstream focused on developing predictive analytics to inform service planning across Public Health, Adult Social Care, Health and wider local authority services.

2.             Develop a dementia strategy to ensure there is an agreed and clear strategy for Devon.

3.             Increase targeted action on promoting people staying active physically, mentally and socially.

4.             Explore the adoption of Devon as a World Health Organization Age friendly community.

5.             Deliver on the Smoke-free generation ambitions and scale up our offer to support more smokers to quit. 

6.             Work with key partners to increase action on the early identification and intervention of key health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, dementia, people at risk of falls.

7.             Support the national epidemiological survey on oral health in people aged 65yrs+ in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 578.

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579.

Question(s) from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the relevant Cabinet Member responded to one question from a member of the public on the following matter.

 

1.    Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) Referrals and Safeguarding Children.

 

A copy of the question and answer had been sent to the questioner who was not present in the meeting.

 

(NB: A copy of the question and answer is available on webpage for meeting)

*

580.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes of the bodies shown below are circulated herewith for information or endorsement as indicated therein (i.e. any unstarred minutes):

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

 

Farms Estate Committee (Interviewing) - 12th June 2024

Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee - 18 June 2024

Devon Education Forum - 19 June 2024

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - 20 June 2024

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

Farms Estate Committee (Interviewing) - 12th June 2024

Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee - 18 June 2024

Devon Education Forum - 19 June 2024

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - 20 June 2024

 

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581.

Delegated Action/Urgent Matters

The Register of Decisions taken by Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers is available on the website in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.  The decisions taken and associated information can be found here.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Registers of Decisions taken by Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers were available for inspection, in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012. 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.

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582.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 170 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.

 

The Forward Plan is available on the Council's website.

Additional documents:

Decision:

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.

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.

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583.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Recommendation: that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely, the financial or business affairs of the preferred bidder or tenderers for the provision or supply of council goods or services, and of the County Council and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely the financial or business affairs of persons tendering for the provision of council goods or services and of the County Council, in both cases, and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely the financial or business affairs of persons tendering for the provision of council goods or services and of the County Council, in both cases, and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

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584.

Integrated Children’s and Adult Social Care System Replacement

(An item to be considered by the Cabinet in accordance with the Cabinet ProcedureRules and Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, no representations having been received to such consideration taking place under Regulation 5(5) thereof)

 

Joint Report of the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures and Director of Integrated Adult Social Care (CS/24/16), attached.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the proposed addition to the Capital programme, as outlined in the Report, for implementation costs for replacement case management systems for Adults and Children’s services, be approved, including the flexible use of capital receipts, subject to financial dependencies (section 7) and risk management considerations (section 11);

 

(b) that delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance and Public Value to reallocate costs as appropriate, as outlined in full in recommendation (b) of the Report.

 

(c) that following the procurement process, delegated authority be given to the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures, the Director of Integrated Adult Social Care, and the Director of Finance and Public Value to sign off the contract, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Members.

Minutes:

(An item taken under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 during which the press and public were excluded, no representations having been received to such consideration under Regulation 5(5) of the  Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012).

 

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Joint Report of the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures and Director of Integrated Adult Social Care (CS/24/16), 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 recommendations of the Report aimed to improve the access, outcome, and experience of those receiving adult and children’s social care, including those transitioning between the two services. As part of this a single care management system across Adults and Children’s Services was proposed for improved data management, transitions and enhanced service delivery.

 

Whilst no formal consultation was required, the programme had engaged with groups of users from across the Councils relevant services and approximately 39 engagement sessions had been held as part of the requirements gathering phase. Further engagement was planned as part of the evaluation and implementation phases of the programme.

 

The projected costs were highlighted in the table at paragraph 7.3 of the Report and the funding model at paragraph 7.7.

 

The proposal had been assessed and all necessary safeguards taken to safeguard the Council's position. The programme was managing several key risks and the mitigations were outlined in full.

 

The Cabinet noted that a full impact assessment would be provided at the point of contract award prior to implementation.

 

The matter having been debated and the options and alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability and carbon impact), risk management, equality and legal considerations and alignment with the Council’s Strategic Plan) set out in the Director’s Report having been considered:

 

it was MOVED by Councillor McInnes, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter, and

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the proposed addition to the Capital programme, as outlined in the Report, for implementation costs for replacement case management systems for Adults and Children’s services, be approved, including the flexible use of capital receipts, subject to financial dependencies (section 7) and risk management considerations (section 11);

 

(b) that delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance and Public Value to reallocate costs as appropriate, as outlined in full in recommendation (b) of the Report.

 

(c) that following the procurement process, delegated authority be given to the Director of Children and Young People’s Futures, the Director of Integrated Adult Social Care, and the Director of Finance and Public Value to sign off the contract, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Members.