Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Monday, 25th February, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Contact: Victoria Lower
020 8726 6000 x14773  Email: victoria.lower@croydon.gov.uk

Link: To view webcast

Items
No. Item

12/19

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2019 as an accurate record.

Decision:

The part A minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 January 2019 were agreed. The Leader of the Council signed the minutes as an accurate record.

Minutes:

The part A minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 January 2019 were agreed. The Leader of the Council signed the minutes as an accurate record.

13/19

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

Decision:

There were none.

Minutes:

There were none.

14/19

Urgent Business (If any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

Decision:

There were no items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

15/19

Budget and Council Tax 2019/20

15/19a

General Fund and HRA Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Officer: Lisa Taylor

Key decision: Council Tax recommendations are reserved to Council. Housing rents and charges are Key Executive Decisions

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet recommend to full Council:

a.    A 2.99% increase in the Council Tax for Croydon Services (a level of increase Central Government has assumed in all Councils’ spending power calculation).

b.    A 1.0% increase in the Adult Social Care precept (a charge Central Government has assumed all councils’ will levy in its spending power calculations).

c.    To welcome the GLA increase of 8.93%, of which 91% of which is being used for the Metropolitan Police service and 9% is being used for the fire service.

With reference to the principles for 2019/20 determined by the Secretary of State under Section52ZC (1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) confirm that in accordance with s.52ZB (1) the Council Tax and GLA precept referred to above are not excessive in terms of the most recently issued principles and as such to note that no referendum is required.  This is detailed further in section 3.5 of the report.

d.    The calculation of budget requirement and council tax as set out in Appendix D and E of the report.  Including the GLA increase this will result in a total increase of 4.88% in the overall council tax bill for Croydon.

e.    The revenue budget assumptions as detailed in the report and the associated appendices :-

f.     The programme of revenue savings and growth by department for 2019/20 (Appendix A of the report).

g.    The Council’s detailed budget book for 2019/20 (Appendix B of the report).

h.    The Capital Programme as set out in section 16, table 16 and 17 of the report.

i.      To note there are no proposed amendments to the Council’s existing Council Tax Support Scheme for the financial year 2019/20.

j.      The adoption of the Pay Policy statement at Appendix H of the report.

k.    Approve the increase in premium for long-term empty dwellings with effect from 1st April 2019 as set out in section 9.10 of the report and Appendix I of the report.

l.      The adoption of the Adult Social Care Charging Policy with effect from the 1st April 2019 as set out in section 8.11 and appendix J of the report.

 

2.    That Cabinet agree:

a.    A rent decrease for all Council tenants for 2019/20, in line with the Government’s social rent policy which has legislated to reduce social rents by 1%.

b.    No increase to Garage and Parking space rents.

c.    No increase to the service charges for caretaking, grounds maintenance and bulk refuse collection as detailed in section 17 of the report.

 

3.    That Cabinet note:

a.    That in respect of the Council’s public sector equalities duties where the setting of the capital, revenue and HRA budget result in new policies or policy change the relevant service department will carry out an equality impact assessment to secure delivery of that duty including such consultation as may be required.

b.    The progress being  ...  view the full decision text for item 15/19a

Minutes:

The Leader began with a presentation and noted that despite local government experiencing cuts of 76% since 2011/12 the Prime Minister claimed that austerity had ended. The Leader stated he was proud to be presenting a budget which would see a modest increase of £1.54 per week in Council Tax in light of the large cuts experienced by the council. A budget, it was noted, which allowed for investment in areas including libraries, culture, young people, leisure centres and youth zones. The Leader further welcomed the Mayor of London’s budget being approved by the London Assembly, a budget which would provide additional funding for the Metropolitan Police Service which had also experienced large cuts in funding in recent years.

 

The Leader thanked Richard Simpson for his work on the budget and previous budgets. It was noted that in his role of S151 Officer, he had guided the council through some of the toughest times experienced in local government, and Members wished him well for the future. The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources noted the huge contribution of Richard Simpson, and welcomed Lisa Taylor into the role of S151 Officer stating that Croydon continued to be in very safe hands financially.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources gave a presentation to the meeting, stating the local government had experienced the largest cuts from central government and as a result local government across England was in crisis. Alongside the real term cut in spending power there had also been increases in demand which put further pressure on local government, and as such a multi-billion pound shortfall in funding had been identified nationally. Furthermore, it was raised that uncertainty remained in regard to the funding formula to be used by the government in future, and the council’s response to the proposal was included within the agenda papers.

 

Whilst it was noted that funding cuts had placed a large pressure on local government, additional responsibilities such as Public Health and care leaver responsibilities, had also compounded the issue. Additionally, the Cabinet Member informed Members that demographic changes with an older population and more children in care, had increased pressures on the budget.

 

The Section 151 Officer noted that the Medium Term Financial Strategy in 2018 had reported a gap in 2019/20 and the following two years; however it had become possible to close the gap for 2019/20. The funding gap for the following two years, however, remained in place but work would continue to close the gap.

 

Members were informed that in addition to the central government funding reductions experienced since 2011, the council would see a further reduction of 8.2% in funding in 2019/20. Additionally, funding per head was significantly below that received by inner London boroughs despite Croydon experiencing the same issues as those experienced by inner London boroughs.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted some areas where shortfalls in funding had been experienced; including Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers which saw a shortfall in funding of £7m and the Public Health grant had decreased by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15/19a

15/19b

Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 685 KB

Officer: Lisa Taylor

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    Note the current revenue outturn forecast at the end of the third quarter of 2018/19 of £2.8m, this is before exceptional items of £2.666m, resulting in a total overspend of £5.466m. If the £5.466m is not reduced by the end of the year up to £5.5m will need to be drawn down from earmarked reserves in 2018/19.  Reserves will then be replenished reserves in 2019/20 from the anticipated collection fund surplus and dividend payable to the Council by Brick by Brick, which forms part of the draft 2019/20 budget.

 

2.    Note the ongoing engagement with and lobbying of Government by the Council for additional funding for Croydon, both in general terms and specifically Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children given Croydon’s gateway status, fire safety measures and mitigation of the impact of the Universal Credit implementation.

 

3.    Note the HRA position of a £1.87m forecast underspend against budget.

 

4.    Note the capital outturn projection of £373.316m, forecast to be an underspend of £74.684m against budget.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources introduced the report, noting that the total overspend of £5.466m was due to the budget pressures experienced by the council, in particular with regard to social care pressures. However, the council continued to have a tight grip on its finances as investment continued in the borough.

 

In response to Member questions the Cabinet Member stated that in 2017/18 the parking team had been very prudent in calculating anticipated parking charges, and as such had massively underestimated the projected income; however officers were confident that the budget had now been corrected. The Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Regeneration (non-voting – Job Share) further confirmed that officers did not go out looking to fine people and half of fines were given to those who did not live within in the borough. Members also noted that additional income was received due to the expansion of Controlled Parking Zones in the borough.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources noted that the council’s ability to forecast trends, particularly in relation to adult and children’s social care, had improved. However it was recognised that there had been some underestimates in the level of demand but it was felt that it was improving which was enabling the council to budget more effectively, barring external factors such as the underfunding of Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning welcomed the budget, noting that borrowing was taking place for the right reasons to provide stable and safe homes and education facilities for young people.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    Note the current revenue outturn forecast at the end of the third quarter of 2018/19 of £2.8m, this is before exceptional items of £2.666m, resulting in a total overspend of £5.466m. If the £5.466m is not reduced by the end of the year up to £5.5m will need to be drawn down from earmarked reserves in 2018/19.  Reserves will then be replenished reserves in 2019/20 from the anticipated collection fund surplus and dividend payable to the Council by Brick by Brick, which forms part of the draft 2019/20 budget.

 

2.    Note the ongoing engagement with and lobbying of Government by the Council for additional funding for Croydon, both in general terms and specifically Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children given Croydon’s gateway status, fire safety measures and mitigation of the impact of the Universal Credit implementation.

 

3.    Note the HRA position of a £1.87m forecast underspend against budget.

 

4.    Note the capital outturn projection of £373.316m, forecast to be an underspend of £74.684m against budget.

15/19c

Treasury Management Policy Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement & Annual Investment Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 776 KB

Officer: Lisa Taylor

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet recommend to Full Council that it approve:

 

1.    The Treasury Management Policy Statement 2019/2020 as set out in the report including the recommendations:

a.    That the Council takes up the balance of its 2018/2019 borrowing requirement and future years’ borrowing requirements, as set out in paragraph 4.5 of the report.

b.    That for the reasons detailed in paragraph 4.14 of the report, opportunities for debt rescheduling are reviewed throughout the year by the Director of Finance, Investment and Risk (S151 Officer) and that, she be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and in conjunction with the Council’s independent treasury advisers, to undertake such rescheduling only if revenue savings or additional cost avoidance can be achieved at minimal risk in line with organisational considerations and with regard to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) as set out in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/2022.

c.    That delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance, Investment and Risk (S151 Officer) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, to make any necessary decisions to protect the Council’s financial position in light of market changes or investment risk exposure.

d.    That the Council adopts the 2017 edition of the revised Treasury Management Code of Practice and Prudential Code issued by CIPFA in December 2017.

 

2.    That the Council adopts the Annual Investment Strategy as set out in paragraph 4.16 and 4.17 of the report. 

 

3.    That the Authorised Borrowing Limits (required by Section 3 of the Local Government Act 2003) as set out in paragraph 4.18 and as detailed in  Appendix C of the repot be as follows:

 

2019/2020                   2020/2021                 2021/2022

£1,486.05m                 £1,550.30m              £1,615.40m

 

4.    That the Council approve the Prudential Indicators as set out in Appendix C of the report.

 

5.    The Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement (required by the Local Authorities (Capital Financing and Accounting) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008SI 2008/414) as set out in Appendix D of the report.

 

6.    That the Council’s authorised counterparty lending list as at 31 December 2018 as set out in Appendix E of the report and the rating criteria set for inclusion onto this list be approved.

 

7.    That the Council adopts the Capital Strategy Statement set out in section 3 of the report.

 

Minutes:

In response to Member questions the Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources confirmed the Section 151 Officer would be able to provide details in relation to the authorised borrowing limit; however it was felt that it was right to borrow to enable investment in the borough; such as in Fairfield Halls, SEN school provision, and temporary accommodation. It was noted that the benefits from investments were realised. The Cabinet Member further stated that details in relation to any borrowing which had been reclassified in line with the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement and any decision taken under delegated authority in relation to this would be provided by the S151 Officer after the meeting.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet recommend to Full Council that it approve:

 

1.    The Treasury Management Policy Statement 2019/2020 as set out in the report including the recommendations:

a.    That the Council takes up the balance of its 2018/2019 borrowing requirement and future years’ borrowing requirements, as set out in paragraph 4.5 of the report.

b.    That for the reasons detailed in paragraph 4.14 of the report, opportunities for debt rescheduling are reviewed throughout the year by the Director of Finance, Investment and Risk (S151 Officer) and that, she be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and in conjunction with the Council’s independent treasury advisers, to undertake such rescheduling only if revenue savings or additional cost avoidance can be achieved at minimal risk in line with organisational considerations and with regard to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) as set out in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/2022.

c.    That delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance, Investment and Risk (S151 Officer) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, to make any necessary decisions to protect the Council’s financial position in light of market changes or investment risk exposure.

d.    That the Council adopts the 2017 edition of the revised Treasury Management Code of Practice and Prudential Code issued by CIPFA in December 2017.

 

2.    That the Council adopts the Annual Investment Strategy as set out in paragraph 4.16 and 4.17 of the report. 

 

3.    That the Authorised Borrowing Limits (required by Section 3 of the Local Government Act 2003) as set out in paragraph 4.18 and as detailed in  Appendix C of the repot be as follows:

 

2019/2020                   2020/2021                 2021/2022

£1,486.05m                 £1,550.30m              £1,615.40m

 

4.    That the Council approve the Prudential Indicators as set out in Appendix C of the report.

 

5.    The Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement (required by the Local Authorities (Capital Financing and Accounting) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008SI 2008/414) as set out in Appendix D of the report.

 

6.    That the Council’s authorised counterparty lending list as at 31 December 2018 as set out in Appendix E of the report and the rating criteria set for inclusion onto this list be approved.

 

7.    That the Council adopts the Capital Strategy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15/19c

16/19

Housing Asset Management Plan pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Officer: Shifa Mustafa

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.    Note the proposed implementation and progression of the draft Housing Asset Management Plan which sets out the overarching direction, specific strategies, policies and procedures to manage the Council’s housing assets over the period of 2019 to 2028; and

 

2.    Recommend to Full Council that the Housing Asset Management Plan 2019-2028, Appendix 1 of the report, be approved and implemented.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Homes & Gateway Services informed Members that the Plan ensured the upkeep of council homes and enabled residents to be engaged with improvements which were to be undertaken. Whilst it was noted that the Housing Revenue Account budget was not entirely controlled by the local authority, the council continued to work to ensure homes were up to the required standard and improvements were effectively delivered to ensure the homes were compliant, decent and energy efficient.

 

Members were informed that it was the ambition of the council that residents were proud to call the properties ‘homes’, and felt that their views were being heard by using a variety of means to engage with the residents. The Cabinet Member thanked the housing team which had worked on creating the Plan, and who were incredibly passionate in ensuring residents had the best quality homes and were engaged in improvements.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.    Note the proposed implementation and progression of the draft Housing Asset Management Plan which sets out the overarching direction, specific strategies, policies and procedures to manage the Council’s housing assets over the period of 2019 to 2028; and

 

2.    Recommend to Full Council that the Housing Asset Management Plan 2019-2028, Appendix 1 of the report, be approved and implemented.

 

17/19

Brick by Brick Annual Business Plan pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Officer: Shifa Mustafa

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet, on behalf of the Council as sole shareholder of Brick by Brick Croydon Limited ("BXB"), approve the 2019/2020 Business Plan of BXB as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Homes & Gateway Services stated it was an exciting year for Brick by Brick as residents would begin to move into the homes which had been built and Fairfield Halls was due to open in September 2019 following a full renovation. Members were informed that the Croydon First mantra was being delivered as the homes that were built were available primarily to Croydon residents.

 

Colm Lacey from Brick by Brick delivered a presentation and outlined that the company was set up with the clear ambition of delivering for Croydon. Homes were being built on sites which were typically small and across the borough, and around 13,000 homes were in the process of planning or delivery. The strategic target for Brick by Brick was to deliver around 500 homes per year, with around 50% being affordable. At the time of the meeting, Members were informed that 48% of consented schemes were to be affordable.

 

Brick by Brick stated that they were continuing to actively work on the pipeline programme which was anticipated to deliver 50% affordable homes, with work currently taking place on pre-application for the Fairfield Homes. Work continued to develop a new staffing structure, with staff numbers having grown from 19 to over 35, and a marketing suite was due to open the following week in George Street which would enable the company to market available properties to Croydon residents.

 

Mr Lacey confirmed that profits from the schemes were reinvested into ensuring the delivery of affordable homes in other projects. Members were informed that quality of design and build were paramount as it was important that the homes which were built were homes which people were proud to live in.

 

In terms of Fairfield Halls, Members were informed that the internal works were due to be completed in 2019, and that the refurbishment works had been sensitive to all that was loved about the Halls.

 

Cabinet Members noted that the renovation of Fairfield Halls was the biggest statement for culture in south London in ten years, and the Halls would be an exciting asset to the borough and would deliver exciting partnerships with organisations which sought to enhance the culture of the borough.

 

In response to Member questions, Mr Lacey stated the lease for the marketing suite was for 10 years with a rent of around £40,000 per annum which was a favourable level and gave the company a high street presence. The marketing suite also had office accommodation above which was to be used by Brick by Brick staff.

 

Whilst it had been planned that Brick by Brick would be self-financing before 2022, it was now planned that more units would be delivered. The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources confirmed the council supported the increased delivery of housing units which was crucial for families in the borough, and that the additional borrowing would be repaid. It was noted that the dividends received would be favourable to the council as the amount received would be higher  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17/19

18/19

Stage 1: Recommendations arising from Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Officer: Jacqueline Harris Baker

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To receive the recommendations arising from the Scrutiny & Overview Committee (11 December 2018) and from the Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee (27 November 2018) to provide a substantive response within two months (i.e. at the next available Cabinet meeting on 25 March 2019).

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To receive the recommendations arising from the Scrutiny & Overview Committee (11 December 2018) and from the Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee (27 November 2018) to provide a substantive response within two months (i.e. at the next available Cabinet meeting on 25 March 2019).

 

19/19

Stage 2 Response to Recommendations arising from Scrutiny & Overview Committee on 30 October 2018 and Streets, Environment & Homes Scrutiny Sub-Committee on 6 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Officer: Jacqueline Harris Baker

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To approve the response and action plans attached at Appendix A of the report and that these be reported to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee or relevant Sub-Committees.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

To approve the response and action plans attached at Appendix A of the report and that these be reported to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee or relevant Sub-Committees.

 

20/19

Investing in our Borough pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Officer: Jacqueline Harris Baker

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED: To note

 

1.    The contracts over £500,000 anticipated to be awarded by the nominated Cabinet Member, in consultation with the nominated Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources or, where the nominated Cabinet Member is the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Leader.

 

2.    The list of delegated award decisions made by theDirector of Commissioning and Procurement, between 12/12/2018 – 11/01/2019.

 

3.    Property acquisitions and disposals to be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources in consultation with the Leader since the last meeting of Cabinet.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions.

 

RESOLVED: To note

 

1.    The contracts over £500,000 anticipated to be awarded by the nominated Cabinet Member, in consultation with the nominated Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources or, where the nominated Cabinet Member is the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Leader.

 

2.    The list of delegated award decisions made by theDirector of Commissioning and Procurement, between 12/12/2018 – 11/01/2019.

 

3.    Property acquisitions and disposals to be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources in consultation with the Leader since the last meeting of Cabinet.

 

21/19

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

Decision:

The item was not required.

Minutes:

The item was not required.