Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtually - Microsoft Teams Live. 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 of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interests were made.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 341 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cabinet held on 11 March 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 11 March 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Leader.

 

 

3.

Public Question Time

To consider any written questions that were submitted in advance and accepted in-line with the Constitution.  These will be read to the Committee and be followed by a response. The questioner will receive an emailed copy of the response given at the meeting. There will be no supplementary questions.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from the public.

 

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) 14: “Appointment of Supplier for the implementation and support of a new Fully Integrated Housing and Asset Management Database System” 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 14 and 15: Appointment of Supplier for the implementation and support of a new Fully Integrated Housing and Asset Management Database System and HRA Budget for Purchase of Land or Property, respectively.

 

5.

Matters referred to the Cabinet and any Report from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 222 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.

Treasury Management Outturn for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 798 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/502 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.

Minutes:

The Leader presented report FIN/502 of the Head of Corporate Finance which set out­ details of the Council’s annual treasury management review of activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2019/20.  The Cabinet noted that regulations required treasury management policy to be reviewed annually.  It was noted that the Council’s financial decisions for 2019/20 were taken in line with the Ethical Investment Policy.

 

Councillor Rana presented the O­verview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:

·       That confirmation had been provided that the major repairs reserve reduction had been spent throughout the year on capital spend mostly on new council dwellings.

·       Acknowledgment that investments were restricted as the Council was governed by CIFPA and the Government, and that the Treasury Strategy prioritises investments accordingly whilst providing an appropriate balance between security, liquidity, yield and ethical considerations.

·       Recognition that investment properties were evaluated annually and the neighbourhood parades were classed as non-operational properties, along with others with a similar description within the portfolio.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the actual 2019/20 Prudential and Treasury Indicators as set out in the report;

 

b)         notes the Annual Treasury Management Report for 2019/20.

 

 

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.

7.

Financial Outturn 2019/20 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 692 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/500 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Leader presented report FIN/500 of the Head of Corporate Finance which set out a summary of the Council’s outturn for both revenue and capital spending for the financial year running from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. It identified the main variations from the approved spending levels and any potential impact on future budgets.  The Cabinet noted that the report had been prepared toward the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and thus the full financial consequences of the crisis were not included within the report and would instead be reported on in future Budget Monitoring reports.

 

Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:

 

·      Recognition that the flood programme had been reprioritised, allowing for Tilgate Lake bank erosion works to commence ahead of schedule.

·      Confirmation that the under/over spend and slippage on the HRA improvement works had been listed as a whole programme of works as opposed to being broken down on individual projects.  It was commented that further breakdown would be beneficial.

·      Explanation sought and obtained on the reserves for expenditure in Tilgate Park and Nature Centre as part of the 5 year investment plan.

·      Acknowledgement that revenue implications needed to be taken into account for new properties to avoid overspend.

·      Whether the S106 money in 8.15 referred to the Ewhurst playing fields in Ifield (as documented in December 2013 Cabinet report) or Ewhurst Road Play Area as set out in recommendation in 2.2(b) (which is in West Green).  It was requested Cabinet clarify the arrangement for the S106 funding given the inconsistencies.

 

It had since been confirmed that recommendation 2.2(b) concerned Ewhurst playing fields, Ifield.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item.  Matters raised included:

·         Clarification was sought that the figure of £26,000 in savings, as a result of the cancellation of the May 2020 local elections, was correct.

·         A query regarding the potential to create further savings in business rates, after a £42,000 saving was made due to the demolition of parts of the Town Hall building.

·         Acknowledgement that expected effects on port health services due to Brexit did not materialise, resulting in unplanned income of £37,000.

·         Recognition that budget-saving decisions may need to be taken by local authorities in the future, including by Crawley Borough Council, in order to ‘balance the books’.

 

The Leader offered the following responses:

·           May 2020 also saw the Local Police and Crime Commissioner election cancelled.  It was expected that further savings in this area would be announced next quarter.

·           Business rates paid by the Council on the Town Hall building could not be avoided.

·           The expected decrease of £37,000 in port health services was predicted at the last budget, at which time a Brexit deal had not yet been established.

·           Savings of around £2 million would need to be made, in conversation with residents, in order to reduce the impact of the economic consequences of COVID-19.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Forward Programme of Key Procurements pdf icon PDF 319 KB

The Leader’s Portfolio

 

To consider report FIN/501 of the Head of Corporate Finance, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Leader presented report FIN/501 of the Head of Corporate Finance which set out the procurement forward programme. The programme identified the Council’s key procurements that will require tendering over the coming six month period, which consisted of the following contracts:

 

·      Disabled Adaptations (Crawley Homes)

·      Unified Telecoms

·      Temp Agency Staff

·      Building Repairs & Maintenance

·      District Hear Network – Operation, Maintenance, Metering and Billing.

 

Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:

 

·      Recognition that the Council’s procurement is governed by the EU Public Procurement Directives and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and Council’s Procurement Code.  Confirmation that when the UK leaves the EU, advertising may change but the EU Public Procurement Directives were enshrined in UK law.

·      Recognition that after the award of contracts there was involvement and consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member as posed in recommendation 2.2(c).  It was felt that this engagement should also be included in recommendation 2.2(b) at the award of contract stage so as to further enhance the greater transparency and involvement. It was subsequently recommended that recommendation 2.2(b) be amended to include consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member.  Following an unanimous vote, it was agreed that the Cabinet be requested to consider this addition and recommendation 2.2(b) would now read: ‘delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member, the relevant Head of Service, and Head of Legal, Democracy and HR to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process’.

 

Cabinet Members agreed that the proposed amendment to recommendation 2.2(b) be accepted.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations, including amended recommendation 2.2(b), in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves the procurement forward programme June 2020 – December 2020.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member, the relevant Head of Service, and Head of Legal, Democracy and HR to approve the award of the contract following an appropriate procurement process.

 

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 Legal, Democracy and HR, 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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

EV Charging Infrastructure Network pdf icon PDF 482 KB

Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio

 

To consider report PES/364 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report PES/364 of the Head of Economy and Planning.  In December 2019, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) adopted an Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy which set out a plan to procure a supplier to deliver a county-wide EV charging network.  It had been requested that Crawley Borough Council partake in the scheme and nominate sites for the erection of EV charging points.

 

Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:

·       Reduced emissions were welcomed but it was noted that the vehicle batteries had a finite lifetime and could not be recycled - however there were second uses for batteries such as energy storage. 

·       The additional pressure on the existing power infrastructure should be considered.

·       Recognition that the list of sites was not definitive nor confirmed and was also in addition to those proposed by WSCC, and that there was currently an option to recommend sites on the WSCC website.

·       Concerns surrounding the number of spaces and potential concentration of the sites, which may overwhelm some areas.  Consultation with ward Councillors would be welcomed.

·       Acknowledgement that the issue of parking remained throughout the town and enforcement could take place through the usual channels for penalty use of EV charging points.

 

Councillors P Smith, Lamb, Mullins, and Jhans spoke as part of the discussion on the report.  Cabinet Members expressed general support for the proposals, and it was noted that creation of sufficient infrastructure for EV would facilitate a reduction in carbon emissions.  The figure that 30% of households in the borough do not have off-road parking and thus would be unable to install an EV charging point was queried.  Concerns were also raised about the potentially inhibitory cost of electric cars.  It was recognised that there would be potential for the Council to suggest changes to the WSCC strategy, including the charging point sites, at a later date.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves, in principle that the Council takes part in the EV Charging Infrastructure Network scheme, led by WSCC who will procure an EV infrastructure provider, through a concession contract to deliver an extensive EV charging network across the Borough.

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning, to undertake further discussions with WSCC, including consideration of any necessary associated documentation to progress the delivery of these services to benefit the borough.*

 

c)         delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Environmental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Environmental Services and Sustainability Portfolio

 

To consider report PES/363 of the Head of Economy and Planning, which was referred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 June 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability presented report PES/363 of the Head of Economy and Planning which set out details of the draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP); a costed plan developed in line with Department for Transport guidance that aimed to establish borough-wide cycling and walking areas through a programme of infrastructure improvements.  The draft LCWIP was to be approved for public consultation in order to identify further areas for inclusion in the Plan.

 

Councillor Rana presented the Overview and Scrutiny Commission’s comments on the report to the Cabinet following consideration of the matter at its meeting on 22 June 2020, which included:

·         The need to instil public confidence in cycling and walking through separate space for cycling lanes, bike security and encouraging active travel.  On balance, those who were not able to easily travel should not be at a disadvantage by the infrastructure established.

·         Acknowledgement that five sets of cycle counters were in place to evaluate cycle trips. Whilst not monitoring speed it was proposed that all newly developed cycle routes would include a plan for monitoring and evaluating their use and effectiveness.

·         Concern was raised regarding some of the traffic management plans proposed within the appendices.  It was noted these may have a detrimental effect on other users and it was therefore suggested that it would be beneficial that ward and county councillors were included in the consultation of any potential scheme.

 

Councillor Crow was invited to speak on the item.  Matters raised included the costing of the LCWIP, which was estimated at £23.5 million, and the possibility that the LCWIP could be seen by members of the public to penalise motorists instead of ensuring a balance to benefit all road and pavement users.

 

All Cabinet Members present spoke as part of the discussion and expressed general approval for the proposals in the report.  Discussion occurred on parking, the climate emergency, and air quality in the borough, as well as the need to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.  It was noted that the cost of the proposed plans was an estimate.  The Cabinet also noted that the plans formed part of a national Government initiative to improve walking and cycling infrastructure.

 

Upon receiving a query regarding who was to be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the proposed plans in the LCWIP, the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability suggested that this would fall to the Highways authority at WSCC.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

RESOLVED

 

 

That the Cabinet:

 

a)         approves the draft Crawley LCWIP that has been developed for consultation

 

b)         delegates authority to the Head of Economy and Planning*, in consultation with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

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 items 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.

 

 

12.

Appointment of Supplier for the implementation and support of a new Fully Integrated Housing and Asset Management Database System

Housing Portfolio

 

Exempt Paragraph 3

 

To consider report CH/189 of the Head of Crawley Homes.

 

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3 – Information relating to financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information)

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing presented report CH/189of the Head of Crawley Homes which sought Cabinet approval for the award of contract to the preferred successful bidder, following a competitive tender exercise and evaluation process, for the award of a contract for the supply and implementation of a hosted housing management software solution.

 

It was noted that the proposed contract was for a six-year term period commencing on 13 July 2020, with a four-year optional extension period, subject to the suppliers’ satisfactory performance.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet

 

a)         approves the appointment of Bidder 3 for the supply and implementation of a fully hosted Housing Management software solution for a period of six years from 13 July 2020, with the option to extend for a further four years.

 

b)         delegates to the Head of Crawley Homes and the Head of Legal, Democratic and HR Services to complete and enter into the contract.*

 

c)         delegates to the Head of Crawley Homes and the Head of Legal, Democratic and HR Services the ability to apply the four year extension at the end of the initial term subject to performance review.*

 

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


Reasons for the Recommendations

 

Following a tender exercise and evaluation, the provider identified in paragraph 2.2 of this report has submitted the most economically advantageous tender to ensure a fully integrated Housing and Asset Management Database System to assist in

 

 

 

13.

HRA Budget for Purchase of Land or Property

Notice of Special Urgency Notice

 

 

 Notice is hereby given that a decision will be taken by the Cabinet to enable the decision to be put to Full Council on 15 July 2020, on the following matter which the Special Urgency Notice (15.3 Exempt Exception and 15.4 Special Urgency Notice) has not been advertised 28 days prior to the date that the decision is required to be taken and the report has not been available for 5 clear days:-

 

HRA Budget for Purchase of Land or Property

 

The date by which the decision must be taken makes it impracticable to defer the decision to allow a complete 28 day period of the exemption notice to elapse. Therefore Rule 15.4 (Special Urgency Notice) of the Access to Information Procedure Rules will be applied and a decision will be taken by the Cabinet on this matter at its meeting on 24 June 2020, and then to allow a debate at Full Council on 15 July 2020.

 

The reason it is necessary for this exempt report from the standard requirements is that, firstly the report contains commercially sensitive information over potential acquisitions that the Council would like to make and, to enable the Full Council to take that decision the Cabinet is required to recommend such an acquisition. It is not practical to wait a further 28 days for the Cabinet, due the scheduled date of Full Council being on the 15 July 2020.

 

No protection of Call-in is being sought as the decision will ultimately lie with the Full Council.

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3 – Information relating to financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information)

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing presented report CH/190of the Head of Crawley Homes which sought changes to agreed budgets and delegations to enable the Council to purchase land or property for the delivery of housing within the HRA.

 

Councillors Mullins also spoke in support of the report.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the recommendations in accordance with the Council’s Virtual Committee Procedure Rules.  The names of the Councillors voting for and against the recommendations, along with any abstentions, are recorded as set out below:

 

For the recommendations:

Councillors Irvine, Jhans, Lamb, Mullins, and P Smith. (5)

 

Against the recommendations:

None.

 

Abstentions:

None.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Cabinet recommends to ask Full Council to:

 

a)         agrees to change to the budget heading of Acquisition Buy Back of Dwellings toAcquisition of Land or Dwellings.

 

b)         agrees to change the budget heading of Purchase of Edinburgh House to Purchase of Properties.

 

c)         delegates joint authority to the Head of Crawley Homes and the Head of Corporate Finance* in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and the Leader of the Council to purchase suitable land or property for the delivery of housing within the limits of the HRA budgets identified in 2.1 a and b.

 

*(Generic Delegation 8 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

d)         amends the financial approval levels within the Constitution to ensure that they reflect the ability of the Council to purchase acquisitions efficiently within the agreed budgets

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

 

There are opportunities to purchase either land or property that would benefit the council’s ambition to develop affordable housing, but the process of agreement through Cabinet and Full Council means that the council is not able to act quickly and can lose out to other developers.

 

This will allow the Council to continue the delivery of dwellings funded from the HRA as part of HRA business plan and the Council’s RTB Receipts (one-for-one) funding programme and provide housing for Crawley residents in need from the housing register.