Agenda and decisions

Cabinet
Monday 11 February 2019 4.00 pm

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.

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.

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.

4.

Matters Arising (if any)

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

5.

Petitions (if any)

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

6.

Reference of item considered by Scrutiny Committees (if any)

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.