Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 6th July, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms A & B - Town Hall. 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

Jones

Property Acquisition to Increase the Council's Portfolio of Temporary Accommodation

(Minute 17)

Personal Interest – Councillor Jones was aware of one of the owners of the properties the Council was proposed to buy, who was his former landlord 5 years previously.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 446 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cabinet held on 16 March 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 16 March 2022 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:

Questioner’s Name

Name of Councillor Responding

Mr Symonds, Ifield Society

 

With the recent discovery of a possible 3,500-year-old Bell Barrow ancient burial ground to the West of Ifield, will this Council now consider a Platinum Jubilee National Nature Reserve and Heritage Park - combining Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve, Ifield Brook Meadows Local Green Space and Ifield Millpond and Bewbush Water Gardens SNCI? 

 

Supplementary –

 

Regarding the updated Transport Study, specifically the local map, Local Plan and the roads infrastructure section. What will happen to Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve if the [to quote] “Indicative Search Corridor for a Western Relief Road Policy ST4” is given the go-ahead by the powers-that-be?  The proposed link road is running straight through the Nature Reserve"

 

Councillor Nawaz (Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development) –

 

Thank you for your question. I believe the area referred to is already designated as open space in the Local Plan and local wildlife site.  Please kindly submit the map and archaeological evidence so we can look into it more closely.  We can also provide you with a detailed answer to that through email.

 

 

Councillor Nawaz –

 

We are currently investigating this in more detail and will respond to you in due course.  A written response will be provided to both questions.

Iain Dickson, Gossops Green –

 

I would like to ask Crawley Borough Council to consider approaching Horsham District Council to work on the joint action plan to create a Jubilee Nature Reserve on Crawley’s side of the West of Ifield and see if you can work together to create such a nature park?

 

Supplementary –

 

There is a big question about water neutrality for the West of Ifield Homes England development.  There is a third consultation later in the year, if both councils put forward an idea for a nature park in that area that may be a way of solving the issue of water neutrality as this may stop Homes England building so many houses.  The nature park might be an alternative to the development. Do you think that is a viable possibility?

 

Councillor Jones (Leader of the Council) –

 

I think we can consider looking into that matter further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Jones –

 

I think with water neutrality we are in unchartered territory in general and it is an extremely technical area. 

Peter Temple-Smithson -

 

I’ve been involved with Crawley Museum Society and also the renovation of Ifield Watermill.  The water that comes from Ifield Watermill used to come from Bewbush Watermill. There used to be a big lake at Bewbush and that lake is now land being built upon with Kilnwood Vale. A few years ago there was very little flow from Horsham into Crawley from that area but now there seems to be a very large flow of water coming in this way. It would seem sensible as Horsham are doing a development on their side and affecting the people in Ifield that the Council should have some sort of liaison with  ...  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) 16-20: Online Benefits, Telford Place Land Proposal, Water Neutrality Off-Setting Programme, Property Acquisition to Increase the Council’s Portfolio of Temporary Accommodation; Crawley Innovation Centre Proposed Tender for works contractor 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 16, 17 18, 19 and 20: Online Benefits, Telford Place Land Proposal, Water Neutrality Off-Setting Programme, Property Acquisition to Increase the Council's Portfolio of Temporary Accommodation and Crawley Innovation Centre - Proposed Tender for Works Contractor respectively.

5.

Matters referred to the Cabinet and Report from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 264 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.

Public Spaces Protection Order - Keep your dog on a lead in Tilgate Park pdf icon PDF 601 KB

Wellbeing Portfolio

 

To consider report HCS/41 of the Head of Community Services, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 4 July 2022.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.            That the Cabinet approves the level for Fixed Penalty Notices which may be issued for a breach of the PSPO (in the event that Full Council makes the PSPO with regarding Dogs on Leads in Tilgate Park) to be set at £100.

 

2.            That Full Council be requested to consider all the options set out in the reportHCS/41, together with Option X as set out in reportHCS/41a and whether a further public consultation is required, before make a decision over making a PSPO regarding Dogs on Leads in Tilgate Park.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

A PSPO would provide a practical enforcement solution for the rules as stated on the Council’s website regarding dogs at Tilgate Park and seek to deter anti-social behaviour relating to dogs off lead in other areas of the park.

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Wellbeing presented reports HCS/41 and HCS41a of the Head of Community Services which reviewed the findings of the consultation and considered the options for implementing a Public Space Protection Order named ‘keep your dog on a lead in Tilgate Park’.

 

Councillor T Belben presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the reports to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 4 July 2022, which included that the Commission held a wide-ranging debate on all the positive and negative issues of the PSPO proposal including which areas should and could be covered by the order. It was also noted that the Commission put forward a recommendation to Cabinet that it considers a further consultation exercise on the proposed ‘Option X’.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item.  Matters raised included that he was in general support of a PSPO for the lake and the grass banks as those were the busiest areas of the park, but queried why the silk lakes had not been included in the proposal. He also commented however that he did not support the PSPO proposal covering the golf course as it would be difficult to enforce, did not seem proportionate, and would affect his ward residents.

 

Councillors Jhans and S Mullins also spoke as part of the discussion on the report including both in support of having a PSPO, and against the idea of holding of a further consultation due to the cost.  It was highlighted that a PSPO only lasts for 3 years and could be altered during that period.  

 

Following the conclusion of the debate the Leader of the Council stated that having heard and considered the views expressed by the Cabinet, the details and evidence contained within both reports including the consultation responses, the views of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission including their recommendation of a further public consultation on the options, and the views of the public presented both at Cabinet and at the Commission, he proposed the following amendment to the recommendation:

 

2.2 a) Requests that Full Council consider all the options set out in the original report, together with Option X (supplementary agenda) and whether a further public consultation is required. 

 

Councillor Jones confirmed the rationale for the amendment was that the matter was brought to Councillors’ attention through a public petition and has led to a large public consultation response on the initial PSPO proposal, so enabling all Councillors to have all the options is the most democratic approach. Councillor C Mullins seconded the amendment.

 

The Cabinet voted and carried the amendment. Councillor Jones then moved a further amendment this time in relation to recommendation 2.2 b, as a direct consequence of the previous proposal being carried. The second amendment was:

 

2.2 b) That Cabinet resolves that the level for Fixed Penalty Notices which may be issued for a breach of the PSPO (in the event that Full Council makes the PSPO regarding dogs on leads  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Treasury Management Outturn 2021 – 2022 pdf icon PDF 876 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/575 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 4 July 2022.

 

Decision:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet approves the actual 2021/22 Prudential and Treasury Indicators as set out in report FIN/575 and notes the Annual Treasury Management Report for 2021/22.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Council’s financial regulations, in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management, requires an annual review following the end of the year describing the activity compared to the Strategy.  This report complies with these requirements.     

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/575 of the Head of Corporate Finance on the Treasury Management Outturn for 2021/2022. The CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management recommends that Councillors be updated on treasury management activities regularly and the report ensured the Council was implementing best practice in accordance with the Code.  The report provided details of the outturn position for treasury activities and highlighted compliance with the Council’s policies previously approved by Councillors.

 

The Cabinet was informed that as of 31 March the Council held £129m of investments.  Of this, only £76m belonged to the Council all of which was committed and held within its reserves. It was noted therefore that any new capital expenditure would need to be funded through borrowing. The remaining £53m was working capital that the Council holds including business rates that the Council would have pay back to the Government by the end of the current year.  The Council had also borrowed £260,325,000 in 2012 for the HRA self-financing of which the Council was due to start paying back at the end of this year, with the future strategies detailing how this would be achieved.

 

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 4 July 2022, which included raising queries on the appendices and noting that there was an error within the Non-Treasury Investment table concerning the valuations for Ashdown House and Atlantic House and that they had been reversed.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet approved the actual 2021/22 Prudential and Treasury Indicators as set out in report FIN/575 and notes the Annual Treasury Management Report for 2021/22.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Council’s financial regulations, in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management, requires an annual review following the end of the year describing the activity compared to the Strategy.  This report complies with these requirements.       

8.

Financial Outturn 2021-2022 (Quarter 4) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/572 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 4 July 2022.

 

Decision:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the Cabinet:

 

a)     notes the outturn for the financial year 2021/22 as summarised in report FIN/572. 

 

b)     notes that this has been an exceptional year where it has been very difficult to do accurate financial projections.

 

c)      approves that £97,000 be added to the Capital programme, funded from Government Grant for Changing Places Toilets as outlined in Section 9.10 of report FIN/572.

 

2.         That Full Council be recommended to approve to the transfers of reserves as outlined in section 10 of report FIN/572.

 

 

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/572 of the Head of Corporate Finance on the Quarter 4 Budget Monitoring, which set out a summary of the Council’s outturn for both revenue and capital spending for the financial year 2021/22. It identified the main variations from the approved spending levels and any potential impact on future budgets.

 

The Cabinet was informed on the General Fund that at Quarter 3, there was a reported underspend of £143,000, but by the end of the financial year a confirmed underspend of £656,000.  In addition, in Quarter 3 there was a forecast of £1.7m of Covid pressures which would be funded from the identified Covid budgets, grants and earmarked reserve, but at outturn this fell to £1.3m and as a result £172,000 was put back in to reserves for Covid pressures in 2022/23 and future years.

 

On the HRA, the net deficit reduced from £4.8m reported at Quarter 3 to £3.5m. Whilst on the Capital programme, total spend for the year was £45m against a revised budget of £51m.  £6m has therefore been slipped into 2022/23.

 

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 4 July 2022.

 

Councillor Crow spoke on the item.

 

Councillor C Mullins commented as part of the discussion on the report and stated his concern over the impact of the cost of living crisis on residents and the knock-on effect on the discretionary and chargeable services over the next year.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.          That the Cabinet:

 

a)      notes the outturn for the financial year 2021/22 as summarised in report FIN/572. 

 

b)      notes that this has been an exceptional year where it has been very difficult to do accurate financial projections.

 

c)      approves that £97,000 be added to the Capital programme, funded from Government Grant for Changing Places Toilets as outlined in Section 9.10 of report FIN/572.

 

2.          That Full Council be recommended to approve to the transfers of reserves as outlined in Section 10 of report FIN/572.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

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

9.

Forward Programme of Key Procurements (July - December 2022) pdf icon PDF 268 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/571 of the Head of Corporate Finance.

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)            endorses the procurement forward programme July – December 2022 as set out as appendix A in report FIN/571.

 

b)            delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, relevant Head of Service, and Head of Governance, People & Performance to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process, with the exception of following procurements which will be subject to separate Cabinet reports during this period; Waste and Recycling; Metcalf Way Depot; Crawley Innovation Centre (Travel House).

 

c)            delegates the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contracts to the relevant Head of Service, Head of Governance, People & Performance, Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member.

 

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

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

By approving the procurement forward programme there is greater transparency of future procurement processes allowing more scope for internal stakeholders to input into how future contracts are delivered.

 

The approval of the forward programme provides a key decision that will enable the individual procurement processes to be awarded under delegated authority once the tender process has concluded giving the Council the ability to reduce the time required to complete a procurement process.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/571 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which sought approval for the procurement forward programme which identified the Council's key procurements over a contract value of £500k that will require tendering over the coming six month period.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)      endorses the procurement forward programme July – December 2022 as set out as appendix A in report FIN/571.

 

b)      delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, relevant Head of Service, and Head of Governance, People & Performance to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process, with the exception of following procurements which will be subject to separate Cabinet reports during this period; Waste and Recycling; Metcalf Way Depot; Crawley Innovation Centre (Travel House).

 

c)       delegates the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contracts to the relevant Head of Service, Head of Governance, People & Performance, Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member.

 

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

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

By approving the procurement forward programme there is greater transparency of future procurement processes allowing more scope for internal stakeholders to input into how future contracts are delivered.

 

The approval of the forward programme provides a key decision that will enable the individual procurement processes to be awarded under delegated authority once the tender process has concluded giving the Council the ability to reduce the time required to complete a procurement process.

 

10.

Whistleblowing Policy pdf icon PDF 141 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/574 of the Head of Corporate Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the Whistleblowing Policy (Appendix A of report FIN/574) for adoption and subsequent publication.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Leader,of the Council to review and make minor amendments to the Whistleblowing Policy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To fulfil the Council’s duty to review and publish a policy regarding the Whistleblowing and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/574 of the Head of Corporate Finance which sought to provide a process that gave anyone with a particular concern about the Council the confidence to bring that concern to the Council’s attention.

 

The Policy had been written to take account of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 which protects workers making disclosures about certain matters of concern, when those disclosures are made in accordance with the Act’s provisions and in good faith. The Act makes it unlawful for the Council to dismiss anyone or allow them to be victimised on the basis that they have made an appropriate lawful disclosure in accordance with the Act.

 

It was confirmed that the policy was a refresh of the previous policy without any significant changes, however did include those required by legislative changes.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)      approves the Whistleblowing Policy (Appendix A of report FIN/574) for adoption and subsequent publication.

 

b)      delegates authority to the Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council to review and make minor amendments to the Whistleblowing Policy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To fulfil the Council’s duty to review and publish a policy regarding the Whistleblowing and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

 

11.

Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy pdf icon PDF 140 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/576 of the Head of Corporate Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy (Appendix A of report FIN/576) for adoption and subsequent publication.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the

Leader of the Council, to review and make minor amendments to the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To fulfil the Council’s duty to review and publish updated guidance relating to Anti-Fraud and Corruption.

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/576 of the Head of Corporate Finance which sought approval for the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy which aimed to show the Council will not tolerate fraud or corruption by its Councillors, employees, suppliers, contractors or service users and will take all necessary steps to investigate allegations of fraud or corruption and pursue sanctions available in each case, including removal from office, dismissal and/or prosecution. The policy was based upon three key themes: Acknowledge, Prevent and Pursue.

 

It was confirmed that the policy was a refresh of the previous policy without any significant changes, however did include those required by legislative changes.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)      approves the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy (Appendix A of report FIN/576) for adoption and subsequent publication.

 

b)      delegates authority to the Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to review and make minor amendments to the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy as further changes to legislation and statutory guidance are introduced.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To fulfil the Council’s duty to review and publish updated guidance relating to Anti-Fraud and Corruption.

 

 

12.

Council's Representative on Business Improvement Districts - Local Authority Director pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The Leaders’ Portfolio

 

To consider report PES/416 of the Head of Economy and Planning.

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet endorses Councillor A Nawaz, the current Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development as the Council’s representative to both the Town Centre BID Board via the Town Centre Partnership, and the Manor Royal Business Improvement District BID Board (“Local Authority Director”).

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented report PES/416 by the Head of Economy and Planning, which sought confirmation regarding the Council’s representative on Business Improvement Districts – Local Authority Director.

 

It was noted that external advice had been obtained which confirmed that there was no issue with an individual sitting on more than one BID Board.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet endorses Councillor A Nawaz, the current Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development as the Council’s representative to both the Town Centre BID Board via the Town Centre Partnership, and the Manor Royal Business Improvement District BID Board (“Local Authority Director”).

13.

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.

 

 

14.

Online Benefits

The Leader’s 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 FIN/573 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 4 July 2022.

 

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 that the Council to begin a tender process through the DAS Framework to engage with selected suppliers to provide a Document Management System to replace Civica W2 for Benefits and Council Tax for a period of 5 years from September 2022 (with option to extend for 2 years).

 

b)            approves that the Council to begin a tender process through the DAS Framework to engage with selected suppliers who are on the Crown Contract to provide an online Portal and forms package for self-service benefits. This will be for the period of 5 years from late 2022 (with option to extend for 2 years).

 

c)            delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, relevant Head of Service, and Head of Governance, People and Performance to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process, as identified in report FIN/571.

 

d)            delegates the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contracts, to the relevant head of service, Head of Governance, People and Performance, and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet member, as identified in report FIN/571.

 

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

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Benefits self-service Project was formed to look at moving benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction online for customers and automating processes. It quickly became apparent that our current DMS, W2 which has been in place since 2004 used for storing the documents for Housing Benefits, Council Tax and Business Rates was out of date and would not support newer technologies.

 

The current document management system, version W2, is now being de-supported by the vendor Civica from August 2022 as they have moved to their new product version W3. To achieve the best value for money and meet our requirements Crawley Borough Council would then go out to the market and tender for a new DMS for Benefits and Council Tax. This would be a cloud-based solution, meeting the Council’s strategy for cloud first for software.

 

The Council will simultaneously go out to competitive tender from selected software providers who have experience in the Revenue and Benefits sphere to provide an online portal and forms builder, that will integrate with the current Northgate Revenue and Benefits system. This will create self-service where claimants can make claims, report changes, access information and respond to communications online, via a secure portal which will be available 24/7. 

 

This is part of the Council’s commitment to deliver channel shift by moving services online, as customers are guided through a process to claim benefits and ensure that the correct information is received to make a claim. This is expected to produce increases of processing speeds of up to 50%.

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3

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

 

The Leader of the Council presented report FIN/573 of the Head of Corporate Finance which requested Cabinet approval for the procurement of an online software system to enable customers to self-serve Benefits and Council Tax Reduction online, through an online portal. It was confirmed that the new system aligned with the Council’s channel shift thinking and there would also be continual support to ensure no residents became digitally excluded though the introduction of the new system. 

 

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 4 July 2022.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves that the Council to begin a tender process through the DAS Framework to engage with selected suppliers to provide a Document Management System to replace Civica W2 for Benefits and Council Tax for a period of 5 years from September 2022 (with option to extend for 2 years).

 

b)          approves that the Council to begin a tender process through the DAS Framework to engage with selected suppliers who are on the Crown Contract to provide an online Portal and forms package for self-service benefits. This will be for the period of 5 years from late 2022 (with option to extend for 2 years).

 

c)          delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, relevant Head of Service, and Head of Governance, People and Performance to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process, as identified in report FIN/571.

 

d)          delegates the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contracts, to the relevant head of service, Head of Governance, People and Performance, and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet member, as identified in report FIN/571.

 

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

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Benefits self-service Project was formed to look at moving benefits such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction online for customers and automating processes. It quickly became apparent that our current DMS, W2 which has been in place since 2004 used for storing the documents for Housing Benefits, Council Tax and Business Rates was out of date and would not support newer technologies.

 

The current document management system, version W2, is now being de-supported by the vendor Civica from August 2022 as they have moved to their new product version W3. To achieve the best value for money and meet our requirements Crawley Borough Council would then go out to the market and tender for a new DMS for Benefits and Council Tax. This would be a cloud-based solution, meeting the Council’s strategy for cloud first for software.

 

The Council will simultaneously go out to competitive tender from selected software providers who have experience in the Revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Telford Place Land Proposal

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/86 of the Head of Strategic Housing Services, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 4 July 2022.

 

 

Report to be circulated separately as agreed by the Leader.

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 is recommended to

 

a)            approves the proposed Telford Place procurement strategy towards achieving the objective of a policy-compliant residential development as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86.

 

b)            approves the proposed Telford Place land strategy as the preferred procurement option to meet the Council’s objectives of delivering a viable residential development as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86.

 

c)            approves the proposed Telford Place planning strategy, along with any procurement requirements to deliver this strategy as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86, in the event of Recommendation 2.2 b) not being approved or not proceeding into contract.

 

d)            delegates authority to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, the Head of Crawley Homes, the Head of Corporate Finance, and the Head of Governance, People & Performance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing, to enter into the necessary contracts, and complete all relevant legal documentation to achieve any of the approved recommendations above

 

(Generic Delegation 2 and 3 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Council acquired the Telford Place site in 2015 for the purposes of delivering this site as a policy compliant residential scheme. Following two failed attempts to procure a development partner the Council needs to consider alternative options for this site to be progressed. The options being proposed aim to safeguard the HIF funding and ensure the delivery of affordable housing on this site

 

 

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, with support from the Housing Enabling & Development Manager, presented report SHAP/86 of the Head of Strategic Housing Services which requested that Cabinet consider recommendations associated with the Telford Place site.

 

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 4 July 2022, which included acknowledgement that the development opportunity would be subject to a planning application, which would address development characteristics, water neutrality, scale of the building, car parking and any potential impacts. 

 

Councillor Jones spoke in support of the proposals contained within the report and asked that the Cabinet record its thanks to officers for their hard work in bringing forward the proposed deal to finally move forward with the Telford Place development, especially in light of the numerous previous attempts to develop the site having not been successful. Councillor C Mullins also spoke on the report.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet is recommended to

 

a)             approves the proposed Telford Place procurement strategy towards achieving the objective of a policy-compliant residential development as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86.

 

b)             approves the proposed Telford Place land strategy as the preferred procurement option to meet the Council’s objectives of delivering a viable residential development as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86.

 

c)              approves the proposed Telford Place planning strategy, along with any procurement requirements to deliver this strategy as detailed in Sections 5 and 6 of report SHAP/86, in the event of Recommendation 2.2 b) not being approved or not proceeding into contract.

 

d)             Delegate authority to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, the Head of Crawley Homes, the Head of Corporate Finance, and the Head of Governance, People & Performance, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing, to enter into the necessary contracts, and complete all relevant legal documentation to achieve any of the approved recommendations above

 

(Generic Delegation 2 and 3 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The Council acquired the Telford Place site in 2015 for the purposes of delivering this site as a policy compliant residential scheme. Following two failed attempts to procure a development partner the Council needs to consider alternative options for this site to be progressed. The options being proposed aim to safeguard the HIF funding and ensure the delivery of affordable housing on this site

 

 

16.

Water Neutrality Off-Setting Programme

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 CH/197 of the Head of Crawley Homes.

 

Decision:

Exempt Paragraph 3

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

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the Cabinet:

 

a)      approves the required budget necessary to implement a retrofitting programme of Council-owned housing stock aimed at reducing water consumption to provide sufficient water off-set to support selected new-build affordable housing developments, as detailed in Section 5.2 of report CH/197.

 

b)      delegate authority to the Head of Crawley Homes, the Head of Corporate Finance, and the Head of Governance, People & Performance; in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing, to enter into the necessary contracts, and complete all relevant legal documentation to achieve the above recommendation

 

(Generic Delegation 2 and 3 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

2.         That the Full Council is recommended to approve the transfer of £170,000 from existing capital budgets, using existing capital funding, to create a new budget for water neutrality works on Crawley Homes properties as outlined in paragraph 5.2 c) in report CH/197.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The requirement for new-build schemes to achieve water neutrality has resulted in all developments in the affected region being stalled until water savings can be found to off-set the water consumption of each respective development. This situation is unprecedented and requires bespoke measures at a significant scale to find the water savings necessary for the identified schemes to achieve water neutrality.

 

This recommendation follows on from a small pilot that is currently underway with a particular water saving measure, which has the potential of being rolled-out at pace, and if successful this budget request will enable this initiative to be rolled out further to provide the necessary off-set to support the identified schemes in achieving water neutrality prior to occupation.

 

In the event that the particular water saving measure that is currently being piloted does not satisfy expectations, it is then intended to pursue alternative water saving measures, with this requested budget being available to explore and implement alternative measures as may be required.

 

This initiative aims to pioneer a passage through the water neutrality blockage, as a pilot approach that will provide valuable evidence of the associated costs of achieving water neutrality, both in terms of the costs for new-build schemes to achieve water consumption at c.85 L/pp/pd, as well as the costs of finding sufficient water savings to off-set this consumption, which will help to strengthen the wider strategy being developed across the affected region.

 

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 CH/197 of the Head of Crawley Homes which requested that Cabinet consider a revenue budget and procurement arrangements for implementing a retrofitting programme to address water neutrality requirements.

 

Councillors C Mullins and Jones both spoke in support of the report and the pilot scheme as it would be of benefit to the Council’s tenants and the environment. As part of the discussion it was confirmed that the device being fitted to reduce water consumption would not impact on tenants’ water pressure.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.          That the Cabinet:

 

a)      approves the required budget necessary to implement a retrofitting programme of Council-owned housing stock aimed at reducing water consumption to provide sufficient water off-set to support selected new-build affordable housing developments, as detailed in Section 5.2 of report CH/197.

 

b)      delegate authority to the Head of Crawley Homes, the Head of Corporate Finance, and the Head of Governance, People & Performance; in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Housing, to enter into the necessary contracts, and complete all relevant legal documentation to achieve the above recommendation

 

(Generic Delegation 2 and 3 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

2.          The Full Council is recommended to approve the transfer of £170,000 from existing capital budgets, using existing capital funding, to create a new budget for water neutrality works on Crawley Homes properties as outlined in paragraph 5.2 c) in report CH/197.

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

The requirement for new-build schemes to achieve water neutrality has resulted in all developments in the affected region being stalled until water savings can be found to off-set the water consumption of each respective development. This situation is unprecedented and requires bespoke measures at a significant scale to find the water savings necessary for the identified schemes to achieve water neutrality.

 

This recommendation follows on from a small pilot that is currently underway with a particular water saving measure, which has the potential of being rolled-out at pace, and if successful this budget request will enable this initiative to be rolled out further to provide the necessary off-set to support the identified schemes in achieving water neutrality prior to occupation.

 

In the event that the particular water saving measure that is currently being piloted does not satisfy expectations, it is then intended to pursue alternative water saving measures, with this requested budget being available to explore and implement alternative measures as may be required.

 

This initiative aims to pioneer a passage through the water neutrality blockage, as a pilot approach that will provide valuable evidence of the associated costs of achieving water neutrality, both in terms of the costs for new-build schemes to achieve water consumption at c.85 L/pp/pd, as well as the costs of finding sufficient water savings to off-set this consumption, which will help to strengthen the wider strategy being developed across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Property Acquisition to Increase the Council's Portfolio of 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/85 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 delegated authority for the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to complete the proposed purchase as described in Section 7of report SHAP/85, to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, Head of Governance, People & Performance 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

 

Expanding the portfolio of Council owned temporary accommodation aims to reduce the reliance on expensive nightly paid temporary accommodation, provide a good standard of temporary accommodation, minimise the risk of the council breaching its statutory homeless duties and generate an income and property asset to the Council.

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

This particular property will make a significant contribution to improving the Council’s local Temporary Accommodation offer with minimum disruption to the surrounding area as it is already in use as a large House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

 

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/85 of the Head of Strategic Housing Services which requested Cabinet approval to progress with the purchase of property currently on sale on the open market for the provision of additional temporary accommodation. It was noted that the property would be added to the Council’s assets portfolio. 

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item and commented that he was in support of the recommendation as it made good financial sense and helped to reduce the number of residents in paid temporary accommodation.

 

Councillors Jones and S Mullins spoke in support of the proposals contained within the report.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet delegated authority for the negotiation, approval and completion of all relevant legal documentation to complete the proposed purchase as described in Section 7of report SHAP/85, to the Head of Strategic Housing Services, Head of Governance, People & Performance 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

 

Expanding the portfolio of Council owned temporary accommodation aims to reduce the reliance on expensive nightly paid temporary accommodation, provide a good standard of temporary accommodation, minimise the risk of the council breaching its statutory homeless duties and generate an income and property asset to the Council.

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

This particular property will make a significant contribution to improving the Council’s local Temporary Accommodation offer with minimum disruption to the surrounding area as it is already in use as a large House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

 

18.

Crawley Innovation Centre - Proposed Tender for works contractor

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/417 of the Head of Economy and Planning.

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 delegates authority to:

 

a)            the Head of Economy and Planning to undertake a procurement exercise in accordance with the Council’s Procurement Code to select a suitable works contractor to convert, subject to planning permission, the “Travel House” building into the Crawley Innovation Centre.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

b)            the Leader of the Council in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Head of Economy and Planning and Head of Governance, People & Performance to approve the award of the contract following the procurement exercise

 

c)            the Head of Economy and Planning, Head of Governance, People & Performance and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, to negotiate, approve and complete all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contract

 

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

 

d)            the Chief Executive in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development to approve the Crawley Innovation Centre detailed designs and to submit a planning application.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To enable the Council to progress as quickly as possible the delivery of the Crawley Innovation Centre project, following confirmation that the Getting Building Fund monies (£8.4m) and the Crawley Towns Fund monies (£2.5m) have been approved.

 

To ensure the Crawley Innovation Centre project remains on track to open in summer 2023, subject to planning permission and to completion of the building conversion works

 

 

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/417 of the Head of Economy and Planning which sought Cabinet approval to go out to tender to seek a contractor to undertake the necessary building refurbishment and site restructure works to physically establish the Crawley Innovation Centre facility in Manor Royal, subject to planning permission.

 

Councillors C Mullins and Jones spoke in support of the proposals contained within the report.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet delegates authority to:

 

a)          the Head of Economy and Planning to undertake a procurement exercise in accordance with the Council’s Procurement Code to select a suitable works contractor to convert, subject to planning permission, the “Travel House” building into the Crawley Innovation Centre.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

b)          the Leader of the Council in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Head of Economy and Planning and Head of Governance, People & Performance to approve the award of the contract following the procurement exercise

 

c)          the Head of Economy and Planning, Head of Governance, People & Performance and Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, to negotiate, approve and complete all relevant legal documentation, following the awarding of the contract

 

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

 

d)          the Chief Executive in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development to approve the Crawley Innovation Centre detailed designs and to submit a planning application.

 

(Generic Delegation 7 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

To enable the Council to progress as quickly as possible the delivery of the Crawley Innovation Centre project, following confirmation that the Getting Building Fund monies (£8.4m) and the Crawley Towns Fund monies (£2.5m) have been approved.

 

To ensure the Crawley Innovation Centre project remains on track to open in summer 2023, subject to planning permission and to completion of the building conversion works.