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

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367.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2019 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2019 be signed as a correct record.

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368.

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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369.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no announcement by the Chair at this meeting.

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370.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

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371.

Question(s) from Members of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no question from a Member of the Council.

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372.

Investing in Vulnerable Children (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Children's Social Care pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/19/20) on approval to secure accelerated improvements as identified in the December 2018 Area SEND Inspection by Ofsted and CQC and May 2019 Focused Visit by Ofsted, attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Whitton 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/19/20) asking for approval to secure accelerated improvements as identified in the December 2018 Area SEND Inspection by Ofsted and CQC and May 2019 Focused Visit by Ofsted. The Report was 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 2014, the Government introduced much needed reforms to arrangements to meet the needs of children with SEND. However, funding for those reforms did not fully match the increased demand and expectation and, as a consequence, the system, both nationally and locally, experienced sustained pressure. In 2016, Ofsted commenced a programme of SEND inspections, with Devon’s SEND services being inspected in December 2019 and a WSoA issued (like many other Local Authorities) (https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50054047).  Devon would be re-inspected in about 18 months time with an expectation that the four key areas identified for accelerated improvement would be fully resolved.  The new framework for inspection (since 2018) raised the expectations bar in relation to the quality of supervision and the reliability of practice audit as a tool of quality assurance and these were areas requiring further development in the recent Ofsted Focused Visit. 

 

The Report outlined the identified four areas where accelerated progress needed to be made. This related to Strategic plans and the local area’s SEND arrangements not embedded or widely understood by stakeholders, concerns about communication with key stakeholders, (particularly parents and families), the time taken to issue Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s) and the variable quality of the plans and weaknesses in the identification, assessment, diagnosis and support of those children and young people with autism spectrum disorder.

 

The Children’s Scrutiny Task Group Report ‘Behind the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)’ recommended investment in the 0-25 team to match that found in other Local Authorities to ensure staff caseloads were reasonable.

 

The investment proposals set out in the Report it was felt would address the identified weaknesses in the WSoA and identified by the Task Group.

 

These were;

 

·         Strengthened Engagement Function (WSoA 1 & 2) – to bring together capacity across Children’s Services.  Investment was sought for 3.2 FTE and then procure a portal which enabled parents and professionals to access, monitor and contribute to the child’s EHCP, in real time, on line.

·         EHCP Timeliness and Quality (WSoA 2 & 3) – Investment was being sought for six staff, 1.5 FTE in each area whose roles straddled 0-25 and Inclusion to ensure timely and effective intervention for children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions. Also, a designated social care officer to match the designated clinical officer to ensure social care contributions to EHCP were timely and of the right quality.

·         Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) – currently timely, planned and proactive PfA and transition to adult care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 372.

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373.

Children and Young People Plan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/19/21), seeking approval on the Devon Children and Families Partnership Children and Young Peoples Plan, attached.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

(Councillor Parsons declared a personal interest in this item by virtue of having a child in care at home).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Children’s Services (CS/19/21) seeking approval for the Devon Children and Families Partnership Children and Young People’s Plan, 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 Devon Children and Families Partnership (DCFP) was established in 2018 in response to the Wood Review reforms and subsequently set out in statutory guidance ‘Working Together 2018’.  The DCFP strategic plan set out the vision and priorities for children and families in Devon for the next three years.  It was led by three local safeguarding partners, being the Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Devon and Cornwall Police, although membership spanned education, schools, social care, public health, health providers, District Councils, voluntary sector, police and children and families. The partnership had a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in Devon. 

 

The full Plan was attached at Appendix A of the Report. The development of the Plan had been coordinated through a range of multi-agency events and refreshed the commitments made and direction that had been set in 2017. The voice of children and families had been a critical foundation to the priorities. 

 

The vision and priorities identified in the Children and Young People’s Plan included all children / young people having the right to:

 

1. Life Chances – including a good education for all, better support for children in care and care leavers and improving the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) offer.

2. Be Healthy and Happy – including emotional wellbeing, mental health and self-harm, early support for autism and improving speech and language services.

3. Feel Safe – including better identification and prevention of neglect, support for vulnerable young people at risk and helping more people stay out of care.

4. Be Protected from Harm – including protecting and supporting children where there was domestic or sexual violence and abuse, helping children in crisis and reducing the impact of self-harm and preventing exploitation.

 

The Partnership would continue to engage with children and to refine interventions and demonstrate impact. It had also reviewed population data taken from the Joint Strategic Needs Analysis and Devon Children and Young People’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan Data Pack which informed the priorities.

 

The Plan broke with tradition and moved towards total digital communication, putting the purpose and priorities in the hands of staff and children, accessible through mobile devices and accessible in language and design. The Report further highlighted how the plan had been shared and the positive feedback received.

 

The Plan would be supported by more detailed documents such as an Outcomes Framework a Workforce Development Strategy and a Joint Commissioning Plan and there were multiple sub-strategies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 373.

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374.

Treasury Management Annual / Outturn Report (following consideration by the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee) pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/59), previously considered and endorsed by the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee held on 25th June 2019, attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/59) outlining the Treasury Management action taken during the last financial year (in line with the CIPFA Code of Practice previously adopted by the Council) which had also been considered and endorsed by the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee on 25th June 2019 (Minute *136 refers).

 

The Annual Report set out the outturn position, reviewing performance and informing Members of any key matters arising from the Council’s Treasury and Debt Management activities during the 2018/19 Medium Term Financial Strategy. The Scrutiny Committee had also received a revised version of the Treasury Management Strategy, attached at Appendix I to the Report.

 

The Scrutiny Committee had resolved that the Treasury Management Stewardship Annual Report for 2018/19 be commended to Cabinet and furthermore the corrected Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 also be endorsed.

 

The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial and legal considerations) set out in the County Treasurer's Report and/or referred to above having been considered:

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee be thanked for their review of the Annual Treasury Management Stewardship Report for 2018/2019 and the revised Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 and that both documents be further endorsed.

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375.

Children’s Scrutiny Committee - Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) Task Group Report pdf icon PDF 1012 KB

The Children’s Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 10th June 2019 considered the Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) Task Group Report (Minute *121 refers) which covered the process of applying for and producing an EHCP in Devon.  The task group had been established to respond to concerns over not meeting the statutory timescales in completing and issuing EHCPs. 

 

It is to be noted that some of the task groups recommendations had already been included in the Written Statement of Action and were therefore being progressed.

 

The Children’s Scrutiny Committee subsequently resolved that the Task Group report and recommendations be endorsed and commended to the Cabinet.

 

Recommendations

 

a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its Task Group Report and the recommendations are noted;

 

b) that Cabinet also note the current work being undertaken in the Written Statement of Action which already includes most of the task groups recommendations; and

 

(b) that the relevant Cabinet Member and Chief Officer for Children’s Services take forward the Report and progress subject to available resources, engaging other partners, stakeholders and contractors as necessary.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet noted that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 10th June 2019 considered the Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) Task Group Report (Minute *121 refers) which covered the process of applying for and producing an EHCP in Devon.  The Task Group had been established to respond to concerns over not meeting the statutory timescales in completing and issuing EHCPs. 

 

Cabinet further noted that some of the task groups recommendations had already been included in the Written Statement of Action and were therefore being progressed.

 

The Children’s Scrutiny Committee subsequently resolved that the Task Group report and recommendations be endorsed and commended to the Cabinet.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its Task Group Report and the recommendations be noted;

 

b) that Cabinet also note the current work being undertaken in the Written Statement of Action which already includes most of the task group’s recommendations; and

 

(b) that the relevant Cabinet Member and Chief Officer for Children’s Services take forward the Report and progress subject to available resources, engaging other partners, stakeholders and contractors as necessary.

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376.

Children's Scrutiny Committee - Special Guardianship Task Group Report pdf icon PDF 231 KB

The Children's Scrutiny Committee had, at its meeting on 10th June 2019, considered the Special Guardianship Task Group Report (Minute *127 refers) which focussed on the experience of Special Guardians and subsequently reflected on the issues faced by them.

 

The Committee resolved that the Report and recommendations be endorsed and commended to the Cabinet.

 

Recommendation

 

a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its Task Group Report and the recommendations be noted and

 

(b) that the relevant Cabinet Member and Chief Officer for Children’s Services take forward the Report and progress subject to available resources, engaging other partners and stakeholders as necessary.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet noted that the Children's Scrutiny Committee had, at its meeting on 10th June 2019, considered the Special Guardianship Task Group Report (Minute *127 refers) which focussed on the experience of Special Guardians and subsequently reflected on the issues faced by them.

 

The Scrutiny Committee had resolved that the Report and recommendations be endorsed and commended to the Cabinet.

 

The Leader also agreed to highlight the issue to District Councils, particularly in relation to recommendation 8, when they next met.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its Task Group Report and the recommendations be noted and

 

(b) that the relevant Cabinet Member and Chief Officer for Children’s Services take forward the Report and progress subject to available resources, engaging other partners and stakeholders as necessary.

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377.

Children's Scrutiny Committee - Schools Funding in Devon 2019/20

At its meeting on 10th June 2019, the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, in considering a Report from the Head of Education and Learning (CS/19/17) on Schools Funding in Devon 2019/20 noted that in 2019/20 the funding per pupil in Devon was £4,395 compared to the national average of £4,689, a difference of £294.  This meant that across the authority this equated to £27 million less funding, based on the October 2018 school census.

 

The Committee therefore resolved that the Cabinet be asked to lobby the Department of Education over the need to increase funding for schools in Devon, highlighting in particular:-

 

     (a)   the real term reduction in schools funding of 10% since 2009/10;

 

     (b)   that Devon gets £294 per pupil less than the national average;

 

     (b)   high needs pressures and including increased EHCP numbers;

 

     (c)   the inadequacy of Government capital maintenance funding to meet the current

            school building maintenance backlog; and

 

     (d)   the deferment of announcement of round 3 of the priority schools building programme.

 

Recommendation

 

(a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for their support and full recognition of the Schools Funding issues in Devon;

 

(b) that the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools be asked to make representations to the Secretary of State for Education over the pressing need to increase funding for schools in Devon, highlighting in particular the issues raised by the Scrutiny Committee relating to the real term reduction in schools funding, the amounts received in Devon compared to the national average, the pressures of high needs and increasing EHCP numbers, the inadequate capital maintenance funding to deal with school building maintenance backlogs and  the deferment of announcement of round 3 of the priority schools building programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Cabinet noted that at its meeting on 10th June 2019, the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, in considering a Report from the Head of Education and Learning (CS/19/17) on Schools Funding in Devon 2019/20 noted that in 2019/20 the funding per pupil in Devon was £4,395 compared to the national average of £4,689, a difference of £294.  This meant that across the authority this equated to £27 million less funding, based on the October 2018 school census.

 

The Committee therefore resolved that the Cabinet be asked to lobby the Department of Education over the need to increase funding for schools in Devon, highlighting in particular;

 

     (a)   the real term reduction in schools funding of 10% since 2009/10;

 

     (b)   that Devon gets £294 per pupil less than the national average;

 

     (b)   high needs pressures and including increased EHCP numbers;

 

     (c)   the inadequacy of Government capital maintenance funding to meet the current

            school building maintenance backlog; and

 

     (d)   the deferment of announcement of round 3 of the priority schools building programme.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the Children’s Scrutiny Committee be thanked for their support and full recognition of the Schools Funding issues in Devon;

 

(b) that the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools be asked to make representations to the Secretary of State for Education over the pressing need to increase funding for schools in Devon, highlighting in particular the issues raised by the Scrutiny Committee relating to the real term reduction in schools funding, the amounts received in Devon compared to the national average, the pressures of high needs and increasing EHCP numbers, the inadequate capital maintenance funding to deal with school building maintenance backlogs and  the deferment of announcement of round 3 of the priority schools building programme.

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378.

Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee - Traffic Speed Task Group pdf icon PDF 1 MB

At its meeting on 25 June 2019, the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee considered the Report of the Traffic Speed Task Group (Minute *132 refers) and the recommendations contained therein.

 

The Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee expressed their thanks to those involved in the production of the Report and commented on the positive effect of 20mph on climate change, the importance of culture change and educating communities in relation to 20mph and the role of the planning process in designing housing and communities that supported 20mph zones. It was further considered that some budget lines were already committed, therefore it was recognised that some works might need to be deferred and / or re-organised to accommodate the recommendations.

 

The Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee RESOLVED that the Task Group Report and recommendations be commended to the Cabinet.

 

Recommendation

 

A proposed recommendation will be made available at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade, J Hook and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet noted that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 25 June 2019, considered the Report of the Traffic Speed Task Group (Minute *132 refers) and the recommendations contained therein.

 

The Scrutiny Committee had thanked those involved in the production of the Report and commented on the positive effect of 20mph on climate change, the importance of culture change and educating communities in relation to 20mph and the role of the planning process in designing housing and communities that supported 20mph zones. It was further considered that some budget lines were already committed, therefore it was recognised that some works might need to be deferred and / or re-organised to accommodate the recommendations.

 

The Scrutiny Committee subsequently RESOLVED that the Task Group Report and recommendations be commended to the Cabinet with a report on progress in nine months’ time.

 

The Cabinet Member for Highway Management recognised and acknowledged the hard work carried out by the Task Group. He outlined that he supported the recommendations but highlighted to the Cabinet that some of the recommendations required a significant investment by the Authority.

 

He proposed that efforts were initially focused on a review of road safety strategy, speed policy, and the SCARF process which would provide a solid base on which to develop some of the other recommendations.

 

The Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste also commented that the recommendations would be looked at in their entirety and they would focus on working in partnership, particularly with public health to look at the wider societal benefits.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its Task Group Report and the recommendations be, in principle, endorsed; and

 

(b) that the relevant Cabinet Member and Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste be asked to take forward and progress / co-ordinate the recommendations contained therein, subject to available resources.

379.

Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee - Maintenance of Vegetation and Drainage Adjacent to the Highway

At its meeting on 25 June 2019, the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste on the Maintenance of Vegetation and Drainage Adjacent to the Highway.

 

The Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee subsequently  RESOLVED to;

 

(a)  ask the relevant Cabinet Member to

 

(i)            where appropriate, to write to Landowners to prompt them and their tenants to undertake their duties regarding maintenance and drainage adjacent to the highway;

(ii)           write to the NFU and CLA to request a meeting to discuss responsibilities with a view to improving the current situation; and

(iii)          consider inviting the NFU to the planned local conferences.

 

(b) request that Cabinet asks the Communications team to publicise the policy and responsibilities of landowners and tenants regarding ash die back, hedge cutting and drainage.

 

Recommendation

 

A proposed recommendation will be made available at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

At its meeting on 25 June 2019, the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee considered the Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/19/52) on the Maintenance of Vegetation and Drainage Adjacent to the Highway (Minute *135 refers).

 

The Scrutiny Committee subsequently RESOLVED to;

 

(a)  ask the relevant Cabinet Member to

 

i)              where appropriate, write to Landowners to prompt them and their tenants to undertake their duties regarding maintenance and drainage adjacent to the highway;

ii)             write to the NFU and CLA and request a meeting to discuss responsibilities with a view to improving the current situation; and

iii)            consider inviting the NFU to the planned local conferences.

 

(b) request that Cabinet asks the Communications team to publicise the policy and responsibilities of landowners and tenants regarding ash die back, hedge cutting and drainage.

 

The Cabinet Member for Highways Management thanked the Scrutiny Committee for its review and highlighted that the Council served just under 100 enforcement notices in the last 12 months and had written to over 300 landowners. He further added they were committed to working with the NFU, CLA and landowners to ensure they understood their duties.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee be thanked for its review of landowner responsibilities and Cabinet endorse the recommendations made by the Committee.

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380.

Question(s) from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the relevant Cabinet Member responded to three questions  from Members of the public on fuel poverty levels across Devon and target dates and levels for reducing fuel poverty, assistance to City, District and Town Councils that had now made commitments to be carbon neutral by 2030 and studies commissioned on the potential for expansion of the renewable energy sector in Devon and capacity for community energy projects and local renewable energy production.

 

A copy of the questions and answers would be sent to those not present at the meeting.

 

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to these minutes and are also available on the Council’s Website at http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcc/committee/mingifs.html]

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381.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 69 KB

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

 

[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 McInnes, and

 

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

 

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education – 14 June 2019

Devon Education Forum – 19 June 2019

Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee – 19 June 2019

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382.

Delegated Action/Urgent Matters pdf icon PDF 29 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/.

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383.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 133 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).