Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Boardrooms 3-5 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Bryony Gibbs, Governance Officer  020 8937 1355 Email: Bryony.Gibbs@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Krupa Sheth and Miller.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Krupa Sheth and Miller.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on Monday 14 January 2019 as a correct record.

Decision:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 January 2019 be agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 January 2019 be agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

 

4.

Matters Arising (if any)

To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

None.

5.

Petitions (if any)

To discuss any petitions from members of the public, in accordance with Standing Order 66.

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

6.

Reference of item considered by Scrutiny Committees (if any)

To consider any reference reports from any of the Council’s three Scrutiny Committees.

Minutes:

None.

7.

New Bridge Park Centre pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The report seeks approval for enhancements made to the leisure provision in relation to the New Bridge Park site, incorporating additional community facilities, enterprise space and New Accommodation for Independent Living (NAIL) along with delegated authority to enter into a revised Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) to reflect the enhanced provision.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)             Cabinet approved the New Bridge Park Centre provision on the retained site as per the table referenced in paragraph 3.17 of the report from the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing.

 

ii)            Cabinet agreed that any land receipt from the sale proceeds of the current Bridge Park site will be used to provide the significantly enhanced community and leisure facilities in the New Bridge Park Centre in response to the community consultation.

 

iii)          Cabinet noted that separate budget provision would be sought for the NAIL housing and enterprise space as part of the capital budget setting process.

 

iv)          Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Lead Member for Resources to agree the changes needed to the Conditional Land Sale Agreement to deliver the enhanced facilities.

 

v)            Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing in consultation with the Lead Member for Public Health, Culture & Leisure to agree the final design for the New Bridge Park Centre.

 

vi)          Cabinet agreed that consultation is to take place in relation to any transitional arrangement for the existing Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre and opening of the New Bridge Park Centre.

 

vii)         Cabinet agreed that the retained site be appropriated for planning purposes in accordance with section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

viii)        Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing in consultation with the Lead Member for Public Health, Culture & Leisure to set up a resident advisory group as described in paragraph 3.26 of the report from the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing.

Minutes:

Councillor Krupesh Hirani, Lead Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure, introduced the report regarding proposals for the new Bridge Park Centre on the site at the junction of Harrow Road and North Circular Road in Stonebridge. He stated that the Cabinet had previously agreed the leisure provision for the site in February 2014, after the council had consulted on five possible options. A design outline based on the approved provision had been drawn up in 2017 and in view of the length of time passed, a further consultation had been undertaken. The results of the consultation were summarised in the report and it was noted that the Council had placed significant weight on the feedback from Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre (BPCLC) users and community groups. The report detailed an enhanced proposal for Cabinet approval, which had been developed to reflect the feedback from the recent consultation. The proposal included expanded leisure provision, additional community facilities and enterprise space, and New Accommodation for Independent Living (NAIL) housing.

 

Councillor Mili Patel, Lead Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care, noted the provision for children up to the age of five years old but questioned what would be available for those aged five to 17 years old and whether the proposed advisory group would include representatives of this cohort.

 

Councillor Hirani advised that input from young people would be welcomed and this would be considered when establishing the membership of the advisory group. The enhanced provision would improve the offer for all ages and would be accessible to all.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)                   Cabinet approved the New Bridge Park Centre provision on the retained site as per the table referenced in paragraph 3.17 of the report from the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing.

 

ii)                 Cabinet agreed that any land receipt from the sale proceeds of the current Bridge Park site will be used to provide the significantly enhanced community and leisure facilities in the New Bridge Park Centre in response to the community consultation.

 

iii)               Cabinet noted that separate budget provision would be sought for the NAIL housing and enterprise space as part of the capital budget setting process.

 

iv)               Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Lead Member for Resources to agree the changes needed to the Conditional Land Sale Agreement to deliver the enhanced facilities.

 

v)                 Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing in consultation with the Lead Member for Public Health, Culture & Leisure to agree the final design for the New Bridge Park Centre.

 

vi)               Cabinet agreed that consultation is to take place in relation to any transitional arrangement for the existing Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre and opening of the New Bridge Park Centre.

 

vii)             Cabinet agreed that the retained site be appropriated for planning purposes in accordance with section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

viii)           Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Community and Wellbeing in consultation with the Lead Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Borough Plan 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

The report presents the draft Borough Plan 2019-23 which sets out Brent’s vision, strategic themes and priorities.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Cabinet agreed the Borough Plan and Delivery Plan as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report from the Director of Performance, Policy & Partnerships, for adoption in April 2019. 

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council, introduced the report setting out the Borough Plan 2019-23 and the Delivery Plan, attached at Appendix A and B respectively, for approval by the Cabinet. He stated that the Plan set out Brent’s vision, strategic themes and priorities and was based on the Labour Group Manifesto. The vision for 2023 retained continuity with that of the previous Borough Plan but provided a new emphasis on culture and on ensuring that opportunities in Brent were shared amongst communities. Financial context had also strongly influenced the plan, with further major savings required over the coming years. Councillor M Butt emphasised the importance of accountability to Brent’s residents and noted that the Delivery Plan was the means by which progress on the Borough Plan would be monitored, setting out practical steps to achieve the desired outcomes. The Delivery Plan would be reviewed and updated annually to take account of changing priorities.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet agreed the Borough Plan and Delivery Plan as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report from the Director of Performance, Policy & Partnerships, for adoption in April 2019. 

9.

Budget and Council Tax 2019/20 – 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

The purpose of this report is to set out the Council’s budget proposals for 2019/20 and business plans for 2020/21.  It also sets out the results of the consultation, scrutiny and equalities processes.  Subject to consideration and approval by Cabinet the report and recommendations agreed will form the basis of the budget to be agreed at the Full Council meeting of 25 February 2019.  The report also sets out the overall financial position facing the Council for the next four years and highlights the significant risks, issues and uncertainties.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)             Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council an overall 4.99% increase in the Council’s element of council tax for 2019/20 with 2% as a precept for Adult Social Care and a 2.99% general increase.

 

ii)            Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council the General Fund revenue budget for 2019/20, as summarised in Appendix A to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

iii)          Cabinet noted the cost pressures and technical adjustments detailed in Appendix B to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

iv)          Cabinet noted the savings detailed in Appendix C to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

v)            Cabinet delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to:

 

a)        agree(in consultationwiththe Leader)whether toparticipatein theLondonBusinessRatesPool andpilotsfor subsequentyears(notingthat inthis casetheauthority’sexecutiveadministrativefunctionas abillingauthoritypursuanttothe Non-DomesticRating (RatesRetention)Regulations 2013willremain delegatedto theCityofLondonCorporation, asthe LeadAuthority);and


b)        agreethe operational  details ofthepoolingarrangementswiththe participatingauthoritiesfor 2019/20andanysubsequentyearsand enterinto anyMemorandum ofUnderstandingrequired.

 

vi)          Cabinet agreed that the Leader of the Council would continue to represent the authority in relation to consultations regarding the London Business Rates Pilot Pool undertaken by the Lead Authority pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding and he would respond to the consultations.

 

vii)         Cabinet noted the report of the Budget Scrutiny Panel provided at Appendix D to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

viii)        Cabinet agreed to set the HRA budget for 2019/20, as set out in section eight of the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

ix)          Cabinet agreed to set the HRA rents for council dwellings, tenant service charges and garages, as set out in section eight of the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

x)            Cabinet agreed to set the major works and new build development budgets set for 2019/20 and 2020/21, as set out in section eight of this report.

 

xi)          Cabinet agreed to set the rents set under the Housing General Fund for Brent Housing PFI and traveller’s site pitches and to note the rents for Hillside dwellings as set out in section eight of this report.

 

xii)         Cabinet noted the Dedicated Schools Grant as set out in section nine of the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

xiii)        Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council the capital programme as set out in Appendix E to the report from the Chief Finance Officer

 

xiv)        Cabinet agreed to recommend to full council the Treasury Management Strategy, Capital Strategy, Investment Strategy and MRP Policy as set out in Appendices F, G, H and I to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

xv)         Cabinet noted the advice of the Director of Legal and HR as set out in Appendix J to the report from the Chief Finance Officer.

 

xvi)        Cabinet agreed to agreed, and where relevant  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor Matt Kelcher, Chair of the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee and Chair of the Budget Scrutiny Panel, addressed the Cabinet. He acknowledged the difficult financial context and explained that the Budget Scrutiny Panel had sought to undertake a fair assessment of the proposals, offering comment and suggestions for consideration by the Cabinet.  He welcomed the adoption of some of the Panel’s suggestions and emphasised that scrutiny members wished to receive a full response to those recommendations of the Budget Scrutiny Panel not adopted. Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of the Council, expressed her thanks to scrutiny members for their contribution to the proposals before the Cabinet and confirmed that consideration would be given to the remaining suggestions and a response provided.

 

Councillor McLennan subsequently extended her thanks to officers and cabinet member colleagues for the hard work undertaken in producing the current budget proposals, noting that consultation on the budget had commenced in August 2018. She drew members’ attention to the recommendations detailed in the report and to Table 1 in Appendix C (i), which set out the savings proposals identified to be taken forward. The proposals that would not be taken forward were set out in Table 2 of the same appendix. 

 

Councillor Ellie Southwood, Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, endorsed the budget proposals and reflected on the budget setting process. She praised the input of Brent’s residents in helping to identify the services important to them and lauded the creativity and innovation of officers in helping to find new ways to deliver services. The importance of focusing on those areas where the council could exert leverage, such as council home building, was highlighted. 

 

Councillor Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning, echoed the sentiments already expressed, stating that though the Government had announced an end to the policy of Austerity, this was not extended to local government nor reflected in the fair funding review. She highlighted that there would be a £20million capital spend over the next four years to improve Brent’s highways infrastructure.

 

Councillor Mili Patel, Lead Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care, stated that the Children and Young People department was faced with increasing demand on services and diminishing budgets. Highlighting the excellent work of the department despite these challenges, Councillor Patel cited work around Family Hubs, Early Intervention and innovative work with care leavers. She emphasised that it had been heartening to see that Children’s Services had been identified by Brent’s residents as one of the priorities that should be protected.

 

Councillor Krupesh Hirani, Lead Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure, advised that some of the recommended budget proposals related to a public health grant received from Public Health England (PHE). The council had consulted PHE on the budget proposals and they had responded, welcoming the creation of Family Hubs and the associated integration of services,  as well as the use of the Maternal Early  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Authority to award stage two contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House London NW10 3UN pdf icon PDF 109 KB

The report seeks authority to trigger the award of Stage Two of the design and build contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House whilst also providing a progress update on the project following previous Cabinet approvals.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet provided approval to trigger the entry into the contract for Stage Two of the Two Stage design and build contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House to Wates Residential Ltd.

 

ii)    Cabinet noted the budget for the redevelopment of Knowles House as set out in Appendix 2 to the report from the Strategic Director of Resources.

 

iii)   Cabinet noted that the redevelopment of this site would reduce the number of people in unsuitable temporary accommodation in Brent.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report seeking authority to trigger the award of the Stage Two of the two stage design and build contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House to Wates Residential Ltd. Cabinet had previously approved capital investment for delivery of the Knowles House Scheme at its meeting on 19 June 2017. Since the approval, a GLA grant of £65m (to deliver a five year programme of affordable housing) had been awarded to Brent, part of which would be allocated to the Knowles House scheme. The report detailed that the scheme was originally due to have been delivered in two phases but it had subsequently been recommended that it be delivered in one phase instead. The benefits of single phase delivery included: a reduction in the construction programme of approximately 40 weeks; simpler construction and reduced contract sum; New Accommodation for Independent Living (NAIL) delivered earlier; full rental stream earlier; and, revenue savings achieved earlier.

 

In considering the recommendations of the report, the Cabinet had before them two appendices which were not for publication as they contained the following category of exempt information as specified under paragraph 3, Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, namely:  Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information). These appendices comprised a Value for Money report and a summary of costs.

 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet provided approval to trigger the entry into the contract for Stage Two of the Two Stage design and build contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House to Wates Residential Ltd.

 

ii)    Cabinet noted the budget for the redevelopment of Knowles House as set out in Appendix 2 to the report from the Strategic Director of Resources.

 

iii)   Cabinet noted that the redevelopment of this site would reduce the number of people in unsuitable temporary accommodation in Brent.

11.

National Non Domestic Rates – to approve discretionary rate relief schemes for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The report seeks approval of the discretionary scheme for revaluation support for 2019/20 and 2020/21.  The power to grant local discounts in respect of non-domestic rates are contained within section 47 of the Local Government Finance 1988 as amended by s69 of the Localism Act 2011.  To award discounts under this provision any discount scheme requires formal approval.  In addition approval is also being sought for the retail rate relief scheme announced by the government in its Autumn statement on 29 October 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

i)     Cabinet approved the Discretionary Discount Scheme (Revaluation Support) for 2019/20 and 2020/21 as detailed in sections 3.1 to 3.9 and in Appendix 1 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, pursuant to the Council’s powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as amended.

 

ii)    Cabinet approved the Discretionary Discount Scheme (Retail Rate Relief) for 2019/20 and 2020/21 as detailed in sections 3.10 to 3.13 and in Appendix 2 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources pursuant to the Council’s powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as amended.

 

iii)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to implement the two schemes as detailed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, so that the agreed discretionary discounts for business rates can be awarded in compliance with the schemes criteria.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report on the National Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Discount Schemes. Members’ attention was directed to Appendices 1 and 2 which set out the Revaluation Support Scheme and the Retail Rate Relief Scheme respectively for Cabinet approval. Councillor McLennan stated that these proposals related to 2019/20 and highlighted the importance of supporting Brent’s many small and medium sized enterprises.

 

The report detailed that the Revaluation Support scheme came into effect on 1 April 2017 when the government provided funding to local authorities to design their own scheme in order to provide assistance to those businesses most affected by the 2017 rates revaluation. Funding was available for 4 years from 2017/18 to 2020/21. The amount of funding decreased year on year, with £219,000 available for Brent in 2019/20, and £31,000 for 2020/21 meaning that the scheme needed to target those seeing the largest increases in their bills for 2019/20 and 2020/21.  The Retail Rate Relief scheme was announced in the Autumn Statement in October 2018 and was aimed at providing help to retail businesses in town centres and high streets. The scheme is aimed at occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 and provides relief for each of the years 2019-20 and 2020-21

 

Councillor Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Planning and Highways, spoke in support of the schemes, noting the important role they played in supporting businesses across the borough.

 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the Discretionary Discount Scheme (Revaluation Support) for 2019/20 and 2020/21 as detailed in sections 3.1 to 3.9 and in Appendix 1 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, pursuant to the Council’s powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as amended.

 

ii)    Cabinet approved the Discretionary Discount Scheme (Retail Rate Relief) for 2019/20 and 2020/21 as detailed in sections 3.10 to 3.13 and in Appendix 2 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources pursuant to the Council’s powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as amended.

 

iii)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to implement the two schemes as detailed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, so that the agreed discretionary discounts for business rates can be awarded in compliance with the schemes criteria.

12.

Council Tax – Empty Homes premium pdf icon PDF 104 KB

The report seeks approval to an increase in the council tax premium that can be levied on domestic properties that have been empty for more than 2 years and also on those that have been empty for more than 5 years.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2019 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 2 years.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium to 200% from 1 April 2020 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 5 years.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium to 300% from 1 April 2021 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 10 years.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, presented the report to Cabinet seeking agreement to increase the council tax premium on domestic properties left empty for more than two years. In line with changes to local authority powers, the report sought agreement to: from 1 April 2019, increase the premium from 50 to 100 percent for properties left empty for more than two years; from 1 April 2020, to increase the premium to 200 per cent for properties left empty for more than 5 years; and, from 1 April 2021, to increase the premium to 300 per cent for those properties left empty for more than ten years. Councillor McLennan emphasised that the scheme aimed to encourage landlords to bring those properties back into use.

 

Councillor Ellie Southwood, Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, and Councillor Krupesh Hirani, Lead Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure, strongly welcomed the report.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2019 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 2 years.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium to 200% from 1 April 2020 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 5 years.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed that the council increase the council tax premium to 300% from 1 April 2021 in respect of domestic properties that have been empty for longer than 10 years.

13.

Contingency planning for the Council Tax Service: Authorisation of Third Parties to Make Decisions for Council Tax Functions pdf icon PDF 81 KB

 

The report seeks agreement for the provision of cost-effective resilience for Brent’s Council Tax Service during a period of potential instability caused by the Council Tax service transferring back to direct Brent Council provision from Capita Business Services Ltd.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet authorised a third party service provider to make decisions relating to Council Tax matters for the purposes set out within the report from the Strategic Director of Resources where the appropriate approvals have been obtained in compliance with Council Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

 

ii)    Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Lead Member to authorise a third party service provider to make decisions relating to Council Tax for any other specific and ad-hoc purposes that might arise subsequent to the circumstances set out within the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, subject to the appropriate approvals being obtained in compliance with Council standing orders and financial regulations.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report seeking

agreement to the provision of cost-effective resilience for Brent’s Council Tax service during a period of potential instability caused by the Council Tax service transferring back to direct Brent Council provision from Capita Business Services Ltd. This would enable a small proportion of Council Tax work to be undertaken by a third party, if required, to mitigate against the risk to the Service in the event that the required numbers and skills of staff needed to provide the service, should not transfer to the Council under the TUPE provisions.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet authorised a third party service provider to make decisions relating to Council Tax matters for the purposes set out within the report from the Strategic Director of Resources where the appropriate approvals have been obtained in compliance with Council Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

 

ii)    Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Lead Member to authorise a third party service provider to make decisions relating to Council Tax for any other specific and ad-hoc purposes that might arise subsequent to the circumstances set out within the report from the Strategic Director of Resources, subject to the appropriate approvals being obtained in compliance with Council standing orders and financial regulations.

14.

Expansion of Uxendon Manor & Elsley Primary Schools - Design & Build Contract Update pdf icon PDF 138 KB

The report provides an update on the current position regarding the design and build contracts relating to the expansion of Uxendon Manor and Elsley Primary Schools and seeks approval on the way forward.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet noted the current status and contractual position with Lakehouse Contracts Ltd on the two design and build contracts for Uxendon Manor Primary School and for Elsley Primary School.

 

ii)    Cabinet noted the activities being undertaken to secure completion of the works at Uxendon Manor Primary School under the Parent Company Guarantee.

 

iii)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Director of Legal and HR Services and Chief Finance Officer to terminate the high value works contract for Uxendon Manor Primary School in the event that reliance on the Parent Company Guarantee is not practicable or Officers conclude reliance on the Parent Company Guarantee/s is not in the Council’s interest.

 

iv)   Cabinet noted that officers were reviewing procurement options for the outstanding works at both schools should it not be practicable or appropriate to secure further works under the Parent Company Guarantee at Uxendon Manor Primary School or under the existing contract at Elsley Primary School.

 

v)    Cabinet approved the waiving of contract standing orders to permit a quote process or direct award to select an alternative contractor for Uxendon Manor Primary School and for Elsley Primary School should other procurement options not permit works to be completed by September 2019.

 

vi)   Cabinet noted that subject to recommendation v)  above, the Strategic Director of Resources would approve the award of one or more Low and/or Medium Value Works Contracts should it be required using powers delegated under the Constitution.

 

vii)Cabinet noted that Officers would review options for the recovery of any wasted or additional costs against Lakehouse Contracts Limited and/or parent company as described in Appendix 1 to the report from the Strategic Director of Resources.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report updating the Cabinet on the  contractual position on the design and build contracts for the expansions of Uxendon Manor and Elsley Primary Schools and seeking authority to undertake certain actions to ensure completion of those works.

 

The report detailed that the Council had entered into design and build contracts with Lakehouse Contracts Limited (“Lakehouse Contracts”) for Uxendon Manor Primary School as part of the Phase 3 Primary School Expansion Programme on 26 January 2017 and for Elsley Primary School on 20 May 2016. In both cases there had been significant delays in the completion of works which the contractor had attributed to severe financial difficulties. It was currently expected that the works at Elsley Primary school would be completed in February 2019.  For the works at Uxendon Manor Primary School, the council had entered into a Parent Company Guarantee (PCG) with  Lakehouse PLC (now known as Sureserve Group Plc) (the `Guarantor`) on 25 May 2018. Under the terms of the PCG, the Guarantor must immediately upon the Council’s demand, perform and fulfil the obligations the Contractor had failed to comply with. Given the contractor’s failure, Officers had commenced actions to enforce the PCG. However, if the Guarantor could not or would not honour PCG, Cabinet authority was needed to terminate the high value contract.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet noted the current status and contractual position with Lakehouse Contracts Ltd on the two design and build contracts for Uxendon Manor Primary School and for Elsley Primary School.

 

ii)    Cabinet noted the activities being undertaken to secure completion of the works at Uxendon Manor Primary School under the Parent Company Guarantee.

 

iii)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Resources in consultation with the Director of Legal and HR Services and Chief Finance Officer to terminate the high value works contract for Uxendon Manor Primary School in the event that reliance on the Parent Company Guarantee is not practicable or Officers conclude reliance on the Parent Company Guarantee/s is not in the Council’s interest.

 

iv)   Cabinet noted that officers were reviewing procurement options for the outstanding works at both schools should it not be practicable or appropriate to secure further works under the Parent Company Guarantee at Uxendon Manor Primary School or under the existing contract at Elsley Primary School.

 

v)    Cabinet approved the waiving of contract standing orders to permit a quote process or direct award to select an alternative contractor for Uxendon Manor Primary School and for Elsley Primary School should other procurement options not permit works to be completed by September 2019.

 

vi)   Cabinet noted that subject to recommendation v)  above, the Strategic Director of Resources would approve the award of one or more Low and/or Medium Value Works Contracts should it be required using powers delegated under the Constitution.

 

vii)Cabinet noted that Officers would review options for the recovery of any wasted or additional costs against Lakehouse Contracts Limited and/or parent company as described in Appendix 1 to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Business Rates Relief Scheme for businesses accredited with the Living Wage Foundation pdf icon PDF 164 KB

The report outlines the council’s Business Rates Relief Scheme for businesses accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. The scheme was first trialled as a pilot in January 2015 in order to encourage more businesses to become accredited as Living Wage employers and runs until 31 March 2019.  Cabinet approval is being sought to continue the scheme for a further four years until March 2023, with the report setting out different options for how the scheme is implemented in this next phase. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the continuation of a discretionary business rates discount scheme for businesses accredited with the London Living Wage Foundation, using the qualifying criteria set out in Appendix A to the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment.

 

ii)    Cabinet approved the continuation of the scheme for a four year period from 1April 2019 to 31 March 2023.

 

iii)   Cabinet approved the introduction of a cap on the maximum discount a business can receive, in line with Option 2 detailed in paragraphs 3.19 - 3.20 of the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment , and that the cap be set at £15,000 to guard against the Foundation increasing their costs again and large businesses being eligible for a higher discount.

 

iv)   Cabinet noted that officers in Employment, Skills, and Enterprise and Customer Services would monitor the scheme in terms of take up and costs and would report back to Cabinet at a later date should any changes to the scheme be required.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Planning and Highways, introduced the report regarding the council’s Business Rates Relief Scheme for businesses accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. The scheme was first trialled as a pilot in January 2015 in order to encourage more businesses to become accredited as Living Wage employers. The scheme had been reviewed in 2016 to assess its effectiveness and a three year extension to the programme had  subsequently been agreed. The current scheme would end on 31 March 2019. The report sought Cabinet approval for the continuation of the scheme for a further four years until March 2023. Four options were set out in the report for Cabinet to consider with regard to the scheme implementation: 1) retaining the scheme in its existing form; 2) retaining the scheme at five times the cost of accreditation but imposing a cap of the maximum discount a business could receive; 3) retaining the scheme at a lower value; and 4) not renewing the scheme. The officer recommendation detailed in the report was to approve option 2 as it provided the greatest incentive to businesses to pay the London Living Wage whilst capping the financial risk to the council

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the continuation of a discretionary business rates discount scheme for businesses accredited with the London Living Wage Foundation, using the qualifying criteria set out in Appendix A to the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment.

 

ii)    Cabinet approved the continuation of the scheme for a four year period from 1April 2019 to 31 March 2023.

 

iii)   Cabinet approved the introduction of a cap on the maximum discount a business can receive, in line with Option 2 detailed in paragraphs 3.19 - 3.20 of the report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment , and that the cap be set at £15,000 to guard against the Foundation increasing their costs again and large businesses being eligible for a higher discount.

 

iv)   Cabinet noted that officers in Employment, Skills, and Enterprise and Customer Services would monitor the scheme in terms of take up and costs and would report back to Cabinet at a later date should any changes to the scheme be required.

 

16.

Establishment of Operational Director Post pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The report seeks Cabinet approval to the establishment of a new post of Operational Director – Regeneration, Growth and Employment as part of a restructure.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet approved the establishment of the post of Operational Director – Regeneration, Growth and Employment as part of a restructure.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report seeking Cabinet approval for the establishment of the post of Operational Director – Regeneration, Growth and Employment. This post was proposed following the approval under the voluntary redundancy scheme of the deletion of the posts of Operational Director, Regeneration and the Head of Estate Regeneration on the basis of creating a new future focussed position which better met the needs of the council.

 

Arnold Meagher (Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution) clarified that the legal implications set out at paragraph 5.1 should refer to Standing Order 75.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet approved the establishment of the post of Operational Director – Regeneration, Growth and Employment as part of a restructure.

17.

i4B Business Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The report presents the i4B Holdings Ltd (i4B) Business Plan 2019/20 to Cabinet for Shareholder approval as well as seeking approval to the rent collection and arrears management policy and updated financial model.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the Business Plan as set out in appendix 1 to the report from the Chief Executive.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed to increase the proportion of properties purchased in Brent and Greater London.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed to the proposal for the realignment of agreed funding which included:

·         increasing the budget for PRS Phase 1 from the approved £103.5m to £109m.

·         Changing the PRS Phase 2 budget from £116m to £110.5m.

·         Making £24m of the £110.5m available for the street properties and

making £86m available for the purchase of new build properties

·         Total agreed funding remains the same at £254.5m.

 

iv)   Cabinet approved the increase of the Company’s cash flow facility from £3.5m to £4.0m.

 

v)    Cabinet approved the Rent Collection and Arrears Management policy as set out in appendix 2 to the report from the Chief Executive.

 

vi)   Cabinet approved the updated financial model.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report setting out the i4B Holdings Ltd (i4B) Business Plan 2019/20, a rent collection and arrears management policy, and an updated financial model, to Cabinet for Shareholder approval. i4B Holdings Limited had been established as a wholly owned investment company to own and manage private rented sector properties in order to support the council’s homelessness agenda. The i4B business plan for 2019/20 refined the proprieties detailed in the previous year’s iteration. However, as a result of changes in market conditions, opportunities arising over the past twelve months and scheme details emerging, the Company was requesting shareholder support for a realignment of the £254.5m financial commitment provided in February 2018 by Cabinet.

 

In considering the recommendations detailed in the report, the Cabinet had before them an appendix not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information as specified under paragraph 3, Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, namely “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)".

 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the Business Plan as set out in appendix 1 to the report from the Chief Executive.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed to increase the proportion of properties purchased in Brent and Greater London.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed to the proposal for the realignment of agreed funding which included:

·         increasing the budget for PRS Phase 1 from the approved £103.5m to £109m.

·         Changing the PRS Phase 2 budget from £116m to £110.5m.

·         Making £24m of the £110.5m available for the street properties and

making £86m available for the purchase of new build properties

·         Total agreed funding remains the same at £254.5m.

 

iv)   Cabinet approved the increase of the Company’s cash flow facility from £3.5m to £4.0m.

 

v)    Cabinet approved the Rent Collection and Arrears Management policy as set out in appendix 2 to the report from the Chief Executive.

 

vi)   Cabinet approved the updated financial model.

18.

First Wave Housing Business Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

This report presents the First Wave Housing Ltd (FWH) 2019/20 Business Plan to Cabinet for Shareholder approval.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the Business Plan as set out in appendix 1 to of the report from the Chief Executive.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed to the proposal for FWH to have the flexibility to consider the product and rent level for each portfolio property on its re-let.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed to the proposal for the Council’s asset management team to create a maintenance plan detailing the investment required to repair its stock.

 

iv)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to agree terms for the disposal of the four properties as outlined in paragraph 3.9 of the report from the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader, introduced the report presenting the First Wave Housing Ltd 2019/20 Business Plan to Cabinet for shareholder approval. Attention was drawn to the proposals to grant flexibility to FWH to consider the product and rent level for each portfolio property and for the council’s asset management team to create a maintenance plan to  detail the investment required to repair its stock. Councillor McLennan highlighted that some initial work had been carried out which identified the potential benefits of aligning i4B and First Wave Housing and further analysis of the various options and implications was ongoing.

 

In considering the recommendations detailed in the report, the Cabinet had before them an appendix not for publication as it contained the following category of exempt information as specified under paragraph 3, Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, namely “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)".

 

RESOLVED that:

 

i)     Cabinet approved the Business Plan as set out in appendix 1 to of the report from the Chief Executive.

 

ii)    Cabinet agreed to the proposal for FWH to have the flexibility to consider the product and rent level for each portfolio property on its re-let.

 

iii)   Cabinet agreed to the proposal for the Council’s asset management team to create a maintenance plan detailing the investment required to repair its stock.

 

iv)   Cabinet delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to agree terms for the disposal of the four properties as outlined in paragraph 3.9 of the report from the Chief Executive.

19.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The following items are not for publication as they relate to the following category of exempt information as specified under paragraph 3, Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, namely: “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)"

 

Item 10:       Authority to award Stage Two contract for the redevelopment of Knowles House, London (Appendices 1 & 2)

 

Item 14:       Expansion of Uxendon Manor & Elsley Primary Schools – Design & Build contract (Appendix to be circulated as part of the report)

 

Item 17:       i4B Business Plan 2019/20 (Appendix 1 (Financial Forecast) within the Business Plan appended to the report)

 

Item 18:       First Wave Housing Business Plan 2019/20 (Appendix 1 (Financial Forecast) within the Business Plan appended to the report)

Minutes:

None.

20.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 60.

Minutes:

None.