Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 24th November, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Ashurst Main Hall - The Charis Centre. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@crawley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Disclosures of Interest

In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.

 

Minutes:

The following disclosures of interests were made:

 

Councillor

Item and Minute

Type and Nature of Disclosure

 

Councillor

P Smith

“One Town” - Crawley Economic Recovery Plan Consultation Findings and Final Version (Minute 12)

Personal Interest –

As Councillor P Smith is the Council’s representative to the Town Centre BID Board–

 

Councillor

P Smith

“One Town” - Crawley Economic Recovery Plan Consultation Findings and Final Version (Minute 12)

Personal Interest –

As Councillor P Smith is the Council’s representative to the Manor Royal BID Board

 

Councillor

P Smith

Crawley Innovation Centre – Draft Business Case

(Minute 15)

Personal Interest –

As Councillor P Smith is the Council’s representative to the Manor Royal BID Board

 

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cabinet held on 29 September 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 29 September 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Leader.

3.

Public Question Time

To answer any questions asked by the public which are relevant to the functions of the Cabinet.

 

Public Question Time will be concluded by the Chair when all questions have been answered or on the expiry of a period of 15 minutes, whichever is the earlier.

Minutes:

Q1.  Dawn Corrie (Bewbush)

I have a special interest in climate change, and it is the biggest issue for the world and should be at the heart of everything the Council and the Government does. My questions, relating to the report on the agenda (Climate Emergency Action Plan) are whether it would be possible to talk to Councillors over the outcome of COP climate change conference and how the target with your Action Plan for 2050 should as a result be changed based on the view of the IPCC?

 

Councillor Jhans – (Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

The target to reduce carbon emissions generated by Council activities by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050, those targets were the minimum, and the Council should and would be striving to meet them as early as possible. When the targets were set in 2019 there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as to what the targets should be, however it was realised that there was the need for a lot of feasibility studies to take place to fully understand the implication, including the likely cost to achieve net zero and then plan how that could be funded along with our other services.

 

Q1.  Supplementary Question –

I understand it not cheap, but the consequences for Crawley residents and for the world such as climate refugees migrating cannot be underestimated. Please take this subject matter seriously and prioritise finances on this. Let me talk to Councillors on this matter.

 

Councillor Peter Lamb – (Leader of the Council)

As a Council we are legally required to have a balance budget and provide services to our residents. We can’t spend what we don’t have, the Council is doing what it can to meet the proposed targets and to exceed through targets. But we have not costed at lot of the elements within the action plan and we might have to stop or reduce some service to fund the action plan. However residents need to come on the journey with us so they understand the sacrifice required. Otherwise there is an election 3 out of 4 years and they can then change the administration who may not do it full stop.

 

Councillor Jhans – (Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

We as the Cabinet and the Council are taking this seriously. Within the action plan is that requirement to have a communication strategy and I’m more than happy to discuss this with you on how we engage with our residents and get across your passion on the importance of climate change.

 

 

Q2.  Robin Burnham (Bewbush)

On what date has the Council decided to make a final decision on the fate of the adventure playgrounds?

 

Councillor Peter Lamb – (Leader of the Council)

The final decision was taken at the budget meeting in February 2021.

 

Q2.  Supplementary Question –

At the last Full Council meeting a petition was put forward with a plan of action and I spoke about ways  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Further Notice of Intention to Conduct Business in Private and Notifications of any Representations

The Monitoring Officer will report on any responses to representations received in relation to why item(s) 17, 18 & 19: Crawley Innovation Centre – Draft Business Case, Acquisition of Properties for Temporary Accommodation and CBC Parking Services Agreement with NHS Property Services Ltd should not be held in Part B Business – (Closed to the Public).

 

Minutes:

It was reported that no representations had been received in respect of agenda items 17 and 18: Telford Place Development Opportunity and Approval to Award a Contract for Professional Services (Architects) – Proposed Housing Sites.

 

5.

Matters referred to the Cabinet and Report from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 315 KB

To consider any matters referred to the Cabinet (whether by a scrutiny committee or by the Council) and those for reconsideration in accordance with the provisions contained in the Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the Budget Procedure Rules and the Policy Framework Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution.

 

Minutes:

It was confirmed that no matters had been referred to the Cabinet for further consideration.

 

6.

Budget Strategy 2022/23 – 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 577 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/537 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet recommends to Full Council the approval of the Budget Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27 and to:

 

a)         Note the uncertainties around Government funding prior to the settlement in December and the delay in Local Government Funding reforms such as business rates retention and the future of New Homes Bonus.

 

b)         Note, for the purpose of projections, the current budget deficit of £138,566for 2022/23 before use of reserves, on the basis of a Council tax increase of 2.31% which is £4.95 on a Band D in property 2022/23. 

 

c)         Work towards balancing this over a four-year period, including putting back into reserves when the Budget is in surplus.  There may be a need to use reserves over the next three to four years to balance the budget together with ongoing savings, efficiencies and additional income through the transformation programme.

 

d)         Note elsewhere on this Agenda there is a report on the Climate Change Emergency Action Plan.  The costs identified in 2022/23 are included within existing budgets, however there will be a need to fully cost the plan over the coming years and decisions will be required on how to fund the plan.

e)         Note that savings previously agreed and included in the Budget Strategy are required to ensure a sustainable budget.

 

f)          Delegate to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the Chief Executive and the Head of Corporate Finance to approve a discretionary business rates scheme to distribute the share to Crawley Borough Council of the £1.5b business rates relief as outlined in Section 5.3 of report FIN/537.

 

g)         Note that items for the Capital Programme are driven by the need for the upkeep of council assets and environmental obligations and schemes will also be considered that are spend to save or spend to earn but that such prioritisation should not preclude the initial consideration of capital projects that could deliver social value.

 

h)         Agree the inclusion of new capital schemes in future budgets with the value of £948,460 as identified in Table 8 of report FIN/537.

 

i)          Reduce the Gigabit capital programme of £2.7m to £1.35m funded from the West Sussex business rates pool to avoid duplication with Towns Fund Gigabit scheme as identified in section 9.3 of report FIN/537.

 

j)          Approve the revised Crawley Homes capital investment plan in Appendix D of report FIN/537 which includes the financial year 2024/25 and the garage repairs capital budget which was transferred to the General Fund.

 

k)         Note that the Budget is aligned to the Council’s Corporate Priorities.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         To continue with the implementation of the Council’s budget strategy and to deal with the Council’s projected budget deficit which is higher than previously projected due to the impact of the pandemic on future Council tax and Business rates income projections and also impacting other income sources such as fees and charges.

 

b)         To reaffirm the criteria for capital programme bids.

 

c)         To note that until the Local Government Finance  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/537 of the Head Corporate Finance.  The report set out the projected financial position for 2022/23 to 2026/27 for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, capital programme and the underlying assumptions.  The report also set the policy framework for the budget process, recognising that there were a range of options for capital investment, income generation, savings and Council Tax levels; none of which were to be considered in isolation.  The overall objective was to work towards a balanced General Fund budget over a four-year period, this however may be difficult due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The Leader commented that the difficult decisions taken last year had meant that the Council was in a better position than expected and similar decisions were not required to be taken this year.

 

It was noted that currently there was a budget deficit of £138,566 for 2022/23 before use of reserves and before any savings are identified, on the basis of a Council tax increase of 2.31% which is £4.95 on a Band D in property 2022/23. It was proposed also to budget a further £948,460 for new capital schemes.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, which included:

·         Acknowledged that any costs associated with the climate change action plan had not been budgeted and may require in savings being sought.

·         The Commission were pleased that the pension fund had surpassed expectations resulting in a £145,000.

·         Also noting the floor letting of the Town Hall was slower than expected in light of the impact of the pandemic and the new ways of working and that might lead to the need for further savings in the future.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item commenting that the budget projections were pleasing, but the Council should remain vigilant as it was finely balanced, and a small knock could easily affect the projection.

 

Councillor Jones complimented the Budget Strategy and commented that it was a real achievement in light of a very difficult year.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet recommends to Full Council the approval of the Budget Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27 and:

 

a)         Notes the uncertainties around Government funding prior to the settlement in December and the delay in Local Government Funding reforms such as business rates retention and the future of New Homes Bonus.

 

b)         Notes, for the purpose of projections, the current budget deficit of £138,566for 2022/23 before use of reserves, on the basis of a Council tax increase of 2.31% which is £4.95 on a Band D in property 2022/23. 

 

c)         Works towards balancing this over a four-year period, including putting back into reserves when the Budget is in surplus.  There may be a need to use reserves over the next three to four years to balance the budget together with ongoing savings, efficiencies and additional income through the transformation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Treasury Management Mid Year Review 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 647 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/538 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

 

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet notes the report and the Council’s treasury activity for the first two quarters of 2021/2022.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) Code of Practice for Treasury Management recommends that members be updated on treasury management activities regularly (Treasury Management Strategy, annual and mid-year reports).  This report, therefore, ensures this Council is implementing best practice in accordance with the Code.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/538of the Head of Corporate Finance.  The report provided an update on the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for the first two quarters of 2021/22. The Leader emphasised that the income gained by its investment was used as revenue to support services. It was noted that the Council prioritises its investments as security of capital, liquidity, yield and ethical.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, including praising officers for the in-house investments.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet notes the report and the Council’s treasury activity for the first two quarters of 2021/2022.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) Code of Practice for Treasury Management recommends that members be updated on treasury management activities regularly (Treasury Management Strategy, annual and mid-year reports).  This report, therefore, ensures this Council is implementing best practice in accordance with the Code.

 

 

8.

2021/2022 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 709 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/535 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

 

Decision:

That the Cabinet notes:

 

a)         the projected outturn for the year 2021/2022 as summarised in this report.

 

b)         the updated proposed spend of Contained Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) grant funding as outlined in Section 10 of report FIN/535.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To report to Members on the projected outturn for the year compared to the approved budget.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/535of the Head of Corporate Finance.  The report set out a summary of the Council’s actual revenue and capital spending for the quarters to September 2021 together with the main variations from the approved spending levels and impact on future budgets.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet notes:

 

a)         the projected outturn for the year 2021/2022 as summarised in this report.

 

b)         the updated proposed spend of Contained Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) grant funding as outlined in Section 10 of report FIN/535.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To report to Members on the projected outturn for the year compared to the approved budget.

 

9.

Crawley Homes Rent Overcharge pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Housing Portfolio

 

To consider report DCE/11 of the Deputy Chief Executive, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         notes the reasons behind, and the actions being taken to rectify, the rent overcharge

b)         endorses that Full Council makes the necessary financial provision for both for the refund of rent and the lower income anticipated within the Housing Revenue Account in both the current and future years.

 

The Cabinet recommends to Full Council to

 

a)         Note and comment on the reasons behind, and the actions being taken to rectify, the rent overcharge.

 

b)         Agree the necessary financial provision for both for the refund of rent and the lower income anticipated within the Housing Revenue Account in both the current and future years.  The cost in the current and future financial years will result in less resource to fund future housing.

 

e)         Note that the cost of the refunds made to tenants/DWP will impact in the current financial year the sum that will be transferred to the major repairs reserve for investment in future housing stock. This will be in reported in the Quarter 3 Budget Monitoring Report.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         In April 2021 the Council was contacted by the Regulator for Social Housing following a first mandatory data return about the setting of target rents. The Council was identified as an outlier in that its target rents were higher than the Government’s formula rent and valuations suggested they should be.

 

b)         Forensic investigation identified that the issue dates back to changes to the Tenancy Agreement agreed in October 2013 and implemented in April 2014. One of the changes implemented was to move from charging rent based on a 48-week year to a 52-week year. Actual rents were changed but the target rents on the system were not. This has affected 2,259 tenancies, of which 1,757 are current tenancies.

 

c)         Existing tenancies were not affected by this change, and neither have new tenancies within properties built since April 2014. New tenancies since April 2014 within properties that pre-date April 2014 have consequently been overcharged in the region of 8%.

 

d)         Tenants have paid the rent they would have signed up to pay as part of their Tenancy Agreement, but that rent level was set higher than it ought to have been. Given that rents have been set as part of a valid Tenancy Agreement and that all subsequent actions have been taken in line with that Tenancy Agreement, the Council has acted legally throughout.

 

e)         The Leader and Cabinet Member were informed at the end of April 2021 and were clear that this needed to be resolved consistent with natural justice and transparency, and as quickly as possible. The Leader of the Opposition Group was also informed and agreed this needed to be resolved in a way that had the least possible impact on residents, and that wider communication should be at a time when the Council was ready to rectify the problem.

 

f)          Given the scale and complexity of the issue it has taken a number of months to put everything in  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing presented report DCE/11of the Deputy Chief Executive.  The report considered the reasons behind the rental overcharge, the actions being taken to rectify this and the associated financial impact; and requested that Full Council approved the necessary financial changes. 

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, which included emphasising the Commission’s support for the approach taken to deal with the error, by doing the ‘right thing’ in repaying tenants and ensuring consistency with natural justice and transparency. It was noted that the Commission scrutinised the reasons behind the error and were comfortable that it should not be possible for such an incident to occur again.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak to the item, and he acknowledged that the Council has handled the communication well and hoped that the checks and balances were now in place.

 

Councillors C Mullins, Jones, Lamb and Irvine spoke as part of the discussion on the report.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         notes the reasons behind, and the actions being taken to rectify, the rent overcharge

b)         endorses that Full Council makes the necessary financial provision for both for the refund of rent and the lower income anticipated within the Housing Revenue Account in both the current and future years.

 

The Cabinet recommends to Full Council to

 

a)         Note and comment on the reasons behind, and the actions being taken to rectify, the rent overcharge.

 

b)         Agree the necessary financial provision for both for the refund of rent and the lower income anticipated within the Housing Revenue Account in both the current and future years.  The cost in the current and future financial years will result in less resource to fund future housing.

 

e)         Note that the cost of the refunds made to tenants/DWP will impact in the current financial year the sum that will be transferred to the major repairs reserve for investment in future housing stock. This will be in reported in the Quarter 3 Budget Monitoring Report.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         In April 2021 the Council was contacted by the Regulator for Social Housing following a first mandatory data return about the setting of target rents. The Council was identified as an outlier in that its target rents were higher than the Government’s formula rent and valuations suggested they should be.

 

b)         Forensic investigation identified that the issue dates back to changes to the Tenancy Agreement agreed in October 2013 and implemented in April 2014. One of the changes implemented was to move from charging rent based on a 48-week year to a 52-week year. Actual rents were changed but the target rents on the system were not. This has affected 2,259 tenancies, of which 1,757 are current tenancies.

 

c)         Existing tenancies were not affected by this change, and neither have new tenancies within properties built since April 2014. New tenancies since April  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Unsupervised Play Investment Programme pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Wellbeing Portfolio

 

To consider report HCS/33 of the Head of Community Services, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

 

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the proposed Investment Programme for Unsupervised Play for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix B to report HCS/33 adding £218,000 to the capital programme fully funded from S106 contributions.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Cabinet member for Wellbeing in consultation with the Head of Community Services, to conduct review stage/s and agree where necessary to reprioritise the order of delivery for the relevant phase of the investment programme.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         The recommendations are made to agree a programme of improvement projects for Unsupervised Play facilities and set the priorities for capital spend, ensuring the continued up keep in the quality and condition of assets.

 

b)         It establishes a formal process for the regular review of the investment programme; and where necessary to reprioritise the order of investments if any project conditions change over time and where health and safety risks vary the urgency.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Wellbeing presented report HCS/33of the Head of Community Services.  The report sought agreement for the investment priorities and necessary capital programme for Unsupervised Play in Crawley for the period 2021/22 – 2022/23. In presenting the report it was noted that the proposed investment programme would be fully funded from S106 contributions.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021 including confirming their support.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the report, commenting that of the new schemes six or seven were west of the Town Centre and only one was in the east of the Borough. He also asked whether Loppetts Road play area could be looked at due to the feedback he had from residents on the condition of the equipment there. Councillor C Mullins confirmed he would investigate it with officers.

 

Councillor Lamb also spoke as part of the discussion, responding to the comment made by Councillor Crow, by stating the identified unsupervised play sites had been devised by the cross party Unsupervised Play Working Group, based on a neutral criteria that ignored location but focused on safety grounds and condition of the equipment.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the proposed Investment Programme for Unsupervised Play for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix B to report HCS/33adding £218,000 to the capital programme fully funded from S106 contributions.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Cabinet member for Wellbeing in consultation with the Head of Community Services, to conduct review stage/s and agree where necessary to reprioritise the order of delivery for the relevant phase of the investment programme.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         The recommendations are made to agree a programme of improvement projects for Unsupervised Play facilities and set the priorities for capital spend, ensuring the continued up keep in the quality and condition of assets.

 

b)         It establishes a formal process for the regular review of the investment programme; and where necessary to reprioritise the order of investments if any project conditions change over time and where health and safety risks vary the urgency.

 

 

 

11.

Climate Emergency Action Plan pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio

 

To consider report PES/390 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the ‘Core Principles for Action’ document (Appendix A) to report PES/390  which underpins the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

 

b)         approves the Climate Emergency Action Plan delivery programme for 2022/23 (Appendix B) to report PES/390  , to enable the council to start delivery of the carbon reduction measures identified.

 

c)         approves in principle the overall Climate Emergency Action Plan to 2030 (Appendix B) to report PES/390 to enable the Council to reduce the carbon emissions generated by its activities by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050, subject to consideration next year of a full funding plan being developed for continued delivery from 2023/24.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         In July 2019, Full Council declared a Climate Emergency and made a commitment to reduce the council’s carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050. 

 

b)         The Council believes that all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown; and has committed to aim for zero carbon emissions as soon as possible and, in doing so, to show leadership and encourage local residents, stakeholders and businesses to do the same.

 

c)         The Council has recognised that as a society we are now beyond taking small measures while generally carrying on with ‘business as usual’. Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are needed quickly to stabilise rising temperatures alongside rethinking agriculture and land use to restore ecosystems. This will impact on all aspects of our lives.

 

d)         Decisions made across national, regional and local authorities now will determine whether or not we are subject to catastrophic climate and ecological impacts or can transition to a stable and sustainable world.  Although these decisions have to be taken at all levels of society, they need to be taken significantly by local authorities like the council, which has a critical lead role to play in driving down carbon emissions at the local level. 

 

e)         The Climate Emergency Action Plan outlines the actions the Council needs to set in motion now in order to deliver on this commitment.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report PES/390 of the Head of Economy and Planning.  The report sought approval for the Climate Emergency Action Plan to enable the council to reduce the carbon emissions generated by its activities in line with the commitments made in the Climate Emergency Declaration of July 2019; that is to reduce carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050 as recommended by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, which included the request to Cabinet that the Climate Change Emergency Action Plan be complemented with a public educational programme, because the Commission felt that further publicity would be beneficial in order to encourage the wider community to participate in carbon reduction.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak onthe item. He commented that he was very supportive of the Action Plan as was his party. The only concern  was the timescales could be seen as unambitious and other Councils were setting their targets at net zero by 2030. Councillor Crow requested that the Cabinet consider bringing the report to Full Council for a wider debate as it was an issue that affects the whole Borough. He emphasised that there would be no vote to bring down the Action Plan, should it go to Full Council only over the timing element. It was noted that the Call-in function was considered, but it was felt it was not a viable option as this could delay the work on the Action Plan until next year and fundamental support for the majority of it.  

 

Councillors Lamb, P Smith, Jones and C Mullins also spoke in support of the report and the positive proposals contained within the Action Plan.

 

In considering the two additional requests before them, firstly on the Commission proposal, Councillor Jhans emphasised to the Cabinet that he considered that the public educational programme did not need to be an aspect as it was already a key element covered within the communications and engagement plan and thus there wasn’t a need for the additional wording, which the Cabinet fully agreed with. Regarding Councillor Crow’s request, the Cabinet felt that the current targets were ambitious yet achievable and realistic and the Council was far ahead of other authorities in terms of achieving reach net zero and being carbon neutral. As such the request was rejected .

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the ‘Core Principles for Action’ document (Appendix A) to report PES/390  which underpins the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

 

b)         approves the Climate Emergency Action Plan delivery programme for 2022/23 (Appendix B) to report PES/390, to enable the council to start delivery of the carbon reduction measures identified.

 

c)         approves in principle the overall Climate Emergency Action Plan to 2030 (Appendix B) to report PES/390 to enable the Council to reduce the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

One Town - Crawley Economic Recovery Plan - Consultation Findings and Final Version pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Planning and Economic Development Portfolio

 

To consider report PES/391 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet approves the final version of the “One Town” Crawley Economic Recovery Plan 2022-2037 (Appendix A of report PES/391) and to adopt it as Council policy.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

Cabinet approval is sought to enable adoption of the “One Town” Crawley Economic Recovery Plan 2022-2037 as Council policy.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development presented report PES/391.  In March 2021, the Cabinet gave approval for the draft Economic Recovery Plan to go out to consultation. The draft Plan outlined a vision for Crawley's future prosperity and recovery from the pandemic and proposed a number of schemes for delivery, setting out strategic priorities. The report presented the findings of that consultation together with a final version of the Crawley 'One Town' Economic Recovery Plan, for approval and publication. 

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, which included putting forward to Cabinet a recommendation that:

 

“the partnership contributions of Metrobus and West SussexCC to the Crawley Growth Programme should be more explicitly referenced in this document (the One Town Crawley Economic Recovery Plan – Consultation Findings & Final Version)”.

 

It was noted that the reason for the Commission’s proposal was that whilst supporting the Recovery Plan, it was felt that it did not give credit to the Council.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak to the item, supporting the comments of the Commission.

 

Councillors Irvine and Lamb both spoke on the report and the proposal of the Commission. Councillor P Smith, in summing up the views expressed, stated that the 'One Town' Economic Recovery Plan was a Crawley Borough Council plan but worked in conjunction with partners, not all of whom were fully highlighted or referenced in the way the Commission referenced (including key partners the Arora Group or the Manor Royal Business District along with West Sussex CC). The Council works well with its partners and always credits them appropriately, but the Plan was supported and driven by Crawley Borough Council and this should be acknowledged accordingly.

 

Following the discussion, the Cabinet unanimously voted to reject the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s proposed change.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet approves the final version of the “One Town” Crawley Economic Recovery Plan 2022-2037 (Appendix A of report PES/391) and adopts it as Council policy.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

Cabinet approval is sought to enable adoption of the “One Town” Crawley Economic Recovery Plan 2022-2037 as Council policy.

 

13.

Town Centre District Heat Network (DHN) Phase 2 pdf icon PDF 354 KB

Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio

 

To consider report HPS/29 of the Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services.

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves proceeding with the first phase of the study (feasibility) and reallocating £25,000 match funding from the existing £435,000 Town Centre capital budget.

 

b)         agrees to a new Capital programme scheme for the DHN phase 2 of £94,950 with the balance of £69,950 being funded from Heat Network Development Unit (HDNU) grant.

 

c)         delegates authority to the Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability to review findings of the feasibility study and decide whether to proceed with the second phase of the study (full business case) and earmark a further £55,000 match funding from the Town Centre capital budget for this purpose. (Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         In October 2018, Cabinet approved the business case for the Town Centre DHN phase 1 (HPS 15) which is currently under construction.

 

b)         With the approval of the business case for phase 1, Cabinet also approved the recommendation to:

 

“Note the projected financial implications for phase 2 of the DHN and that future expansion will be subject to a further report to Cabinet once the capital costs and customer and commercial negotiations have progressed”

 

c)         With a number of developments in the Town Centre progressing that are potential connections to the DHN phase 2, a prompt examination of the phase 2 feasibility and business case is required.  This will allow a decision on possible future construction to be made.

 

d)         The Council has also committed to carbon reductions of at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.  It is therefore timely to examine the technical options and financial implications of switching the DHN from gas to a low carbon heat source.

 

 

Minutes:

 

The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report HPS/29of the Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services.  The report sought approval for funding for a study to examine the technical feasibility and economic business case for the Phase 2 expansion of the Town Centre DHN to incorporate properties and developments adjacent to the existing DHN, including assessment of the potential to amend the fuel source from gas to a more sustainable heat source. 

 

Councillor Lamb also spoke as part of the discussion on the report. 

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves proceeding with the first phase of the study (feasibility) and reallocating £25,000 match funding from the existing £435,000 Town Centre capital budget.

 

b)         agrees to a new Capital programme scheme for the DHN phase 2 of £94,950 with the balance of £69,950 being funded from Heat Network Development Unit (HDNU) grant.

 

c)         delegates authority to the Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability to review findings of the feasibility study and decide whether to proceed with the second phase of the study (full business case) and earmark a further £55,000 match funding from the Town Centre capital budget for this purpose. (Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         In October 2018, Cabinet approved the business case for the Town Centre DHN phase 1 (HPS 15) which is currently under construction.

 

b)         With the approval of the business case for phase 1, Cabinet also approved the recommendation to:

 

“Note the projected financial implications for phase 2 of the DHN and that future expansion will be subject to a further report to Cabinet once the capital costs and customer and commercial negotiations have progressed”

 

c)         With a number of developments in the Town Centre progressing that are potential connections to the DHN phase 2, a prompt examination of the phase 2 feasibility and business case is required.  This will allow a decision on possible future construction to be made.

 

d)         The Council has also committed to carbon reductions of at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.  It is therefore timely to examine the technical options and financial implications of switching the DHN from gas to a low carbon heat source.

 

14.

Exempt Information – Exclusion of the Public (Subject to Agenda Item 5)

The Committee is asked to consider passing the following resolution:-

That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraphs specified against the item.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

 

 

15.

Crawley Innovation Centre - Draft Business Case

Planning and Economic Development Portfolio

 

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

To consider report PES/392 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on 22 November 2021.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves the submission of the Crawley Innovation Centre business case (Appendix A) to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership in order to seek their approval to grant £8.6 million of Getting Building Fund to Crawley Borough Council to deliver the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning and the Head of Corporate Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development to make any technical modifications required to the wording and content of the business case prior to submission of the final draft of the business case to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

c)         delegates to the Asset Manager in consultation with the Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development and the Head of Corporate Finance to acquire a suitable property if necessary for the Crawley Innovation Centre should one become available.

 

 

The Cabinet recommends to Full Council to

 

agree to increase the capital programme budget for the Innovation Centre by £8.6m subject to receiving approval from the LEP that the bid is successful and that they will provide the £8.6m grant.  This is also subject to a viable business case that satisfies the s151 officer being received on the revenue financial implications to the Council of the project.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         To enable the Council to submit and present the business case for the Crawley Innovation Centre project to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with a view to securing approval from the LEP for the allocation of £8.6 million of Getting Building Fund monies to the Council to deliver the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

b)         To enable the Council to acquire a suitable property should one become available if necessary to enable delivery of the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

c)         To enable the allocation of £8.6 million to the CBC capital programme, subject to:

 

·           LEP approval of the Getting Building Fund monies;

·           Full Council approval

·           The viability of the business case satisfying the Council’s s151 officer

 

 

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development presented report PES/392of the Head of Economy and Planning.  The report requested Cabinet to consider the business case for the design, build and delivery of the Crawley Fusion Innovation Centre, proposed to be located in Manor Royal, fully financed by the government's Getting Britain Building Fund through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The Cabinet report included an evaluation of a full business case for the scheme.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 November 2021, which included the Commission’s support for the Innovation Centre.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves the submission of the Crawley Innovation Centre business case (Appendix A) to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership in order to seek their approval to grant £8.6 million of Getting Building Fund to Crawley Borough Council to deliver the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning and the Head of Corporate Finance in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development to make any technical modifications required to the wording and content of the business case prior to submission of the final draft of the business case to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

c)         delegates to the Asset Manager in consultation with the Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development and the Head of Corporate Finance to acquire a suitable property if necessary for the Crawley Innovation Centre should one become available.

 

 

The Cabinet recommends to Full Council to

 

agree to increase the capital programme budget for the Innovation Centre by £8.6m subject to receiving approval from the LEP that the bid is successful and that they will provide the £8.6m grant.  This is also subject to a viable business case that satisfies the s151 officer being received on the revenue financial implications to the Council of the project.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

a)         To enable the Council to submit and present the business case for the Crawley Innovation Centre project to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with a view to securing approval from the LEP for the allocation of £8.6 million of Getting Building Fund monies to the Council to deliver the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

b)         To enable the Council to acquire a suitable property should one become available if necessary to enable delivery of the Crawley Innovation Centre project.

 

c)         To enable the allocation of £8.6 million to the CBC capital programme, subject to:

 

·           LEP approval of the Getting Building Fund monies;

·           Full Council approval

·           The viability of the business case satisfying the Council’s s151 officer

 

16.

Acquisition of Properties for Temporary Accommodation

Housing Portfolio

 

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

To consider report SHAP/84 of the Head of Strategic Housing Services.

 

 

Decision:

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet delegates authority for the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to complete the proposed purchase as described in Section 6 below, to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, Head of Legal, Governance and HR and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing.

(Generic Delegations 2 & 3 will be used to enact this recommendation)

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Covid pandemic and the current economic climate has fuelled what is already a high demand on the homelessness service. In responding to this demand the Council has been forced to resort to some of the most expensive forms of temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfast, commercial hotels and other forms of nightly paid accommodation.

Expanding the portfolio of Council owned temporary accommodation through the acquisition of properties will help alleviate some of these pressures.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing presented report SHAP/84.  The report requested Cabinet to approve the delegation to progress with making an offer for the acquisition of properties currently available on the market for the purposes of providing temporary accommodation.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet delegates authority for the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to complete the proposed purchase as described in Section 6 below, to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, Head of Legal, Governance and HR and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing.

(Generic Delegations 2 & 3 will be used to enact this recommendation)

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Covid pandemic and the current economic climate has fuelled what is already a high demand on the homelessness service. In responding to this demand the Council has been forced to resort to some of the most expensive forms of temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfast, commercial hotels and other forms of nightly paid accommodation.

Expanding the portfolio of Council owned temporary accommodation through the acquisition of properties will help alleviate some of these pressures.

 

 

 

17.

CBC Parking Services Agreement with NHS Property Services Ltd

Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio

 

Exempt Paragraphs 3 & 5

- Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

- Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

To consider report HCS/35 of the Head of Community Services.

 

Decision:

Exempt Paragraphs 3 & 5

- Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

- Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves, in principle the negotiation and securement of an agreement with NHS Property Services Ltd for CBC Parking Services to continue the operation and enforcement of the Off Street Parking Order (OSPO) at Crawley Hospital Car Park.

 

b)         delegates the negotiation, agreement terms, duration and approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to the Head of Community Services in consultation with the Head of Legal, Governance and HR, Head of Corporate Finance and appropriate Cabinet Member. This will include:

 

-     Fulfilment of the legislative requirements associated with the Off Street Parking Order

-     Lease agreement

-     Service Level Agreement

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The recommendations are required to ensure that the operation and enforcement of the OSPO for Crawley Hospital Car Park are legally compliant and in place as soon as possible. The recommended approach aims to provide a balance between ensuring a compliant, high quality service which continues to support the wider needs of residents and businesses relating to local traffic congestion and mitigate any future potential risks.

 

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraphs 3 & 5

- Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

- Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report HCS/35. The report requested approval to update and renew the current agreement and processes with regard to CBC Parking Services and Crawley Hospital car park.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves in principle the negotiation and securement of an agreement with NHS Property Services Ltd for CBC Parking Services to continue the operation and enforcement of the Off Street Parking Order (OSPO) at Crawley Hospital Car Park.

 

b)         delegates the negotiation, agreement terms, duration and approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to the Head of Community Services in consultation with the Head of Legal, Governance and HR, Head of Corporate Finance and appropriate Cabinet Member. This will include:

 

-     Fulfilment of the legislative requirements associated with the Off Street Parking Order

-     Lease agreement

-     Service Level Agreement

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The recommendations are required to ensure that the operation and enforcement of the OSPO for Crawley Hospital Car Park are legally compliant and in place as soon as possible. The recommended approach aims to provide a balance between ensuring a compliant, high quality service which continues to support the wider needs of residents and businesses relating to local traffic congestion and mitigate any future potential risks.