Venue: Committee Room (B6) - Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, London, SW2 1RW. View directions
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Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
Under Cabinet Rule 1.5.2, where any Cabinet Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.
There were none.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 March 2021 were approved as a correct record of proceedings.
The report was introduced by Deputy Leader (Planning, Investment and New Homes) Councillor Matthew Bennett who highlighted that:
· The benefits would include the payment of significant developer contributions, comprising community infrastructure levy (CIL) and S106 payments, in addition to increased Council Tax and business rates payments.
· That the council had proposed new, higher rates of taxes on private development, so that a greater share of growth would be shared across our local communities.
· Been able to allocate money to support the Council skills strategy and to create better community connections.
· Cabinet would ensure that all parts of the borough benefited from the contributions.
Councillor Nicole Griffiths spoke on behalf of the Green Group and raised concerns in regard to the risk that the CIL and S106 monies would not materialise due to COVID and Brexit. She highlighted that no alternatives or mitigations had been set out in the report. Furthermore, that there was no indication on the repercussions if Capital Revenue streams did not materialise.
In response to some of the questions, Officers and the Deputy Leader advised the following:
· Without the contributions the capital programme would not be delivered and the Council would need to borrow the funding.
· Need to be clear about what would be coming through the pipeline, and that commercial and residential pipelines were very strong and figures in the report were reflective of that.
· There was good progress on the Lambeth Local Plan, looking forward for the next 10 years.
· It was highlighted that the Waterloo development had generated a substantial income and the Council had already received 79 million of the 132 million allocated.
Cabinet made the following observations
· They welcomed this report and that the funding would introduce training opportunities and employment.
· Wards had seen developments across children and young people, page 20 of the agenda, table 12 indicated that all wards prioritised young people, schools, parks, playgrounds, and active travel.
· It was welcomed that the funding would provide more homes within the borough and this was highly encouraged to solve homelessness.
· Streatham had raised £70k of NCIL and the Council had invested £1.5m in the area, Strategic Infrastructure Levy was similar, £380k raised and £3m invested in the area.
1. To note the projected developer contributions forecast to be received over the next five years including income from S106 agreements, to mitigate the local impacts of development, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), the majority of which must be spent on infrastructure (build and management), while a proportion (referred to as Neighbourhood CIL or NCIL) can be spent on broader interventions to address the impact of growth. Page 8
2. To agree the 4 CLIPs (Co-operative Local Investment Plans) as an articulation of residents’ priorities; and note Lambeth residents’ 10 neighbourhood priorities (as set out in paragraph 2.3), as expressed through analysis of the 4 CLIPs, Residents’ Survey and the adopted SOWN (South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours) Neighbourhood Plan
3. To note the budget allocations, including those that have been made by the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
In introducing the report the Cabinet Member for Finance and Investment, Councillor Andy Wilson informed Cabinet if the following
· We were planning for our financial future in a state of continued uncertainty not only due to the pandemic and Brexit, but with the future of local government finance and the long-term funding pressures of essential services.
· With the emergence of new variants, the ending of the furlough scheme along with uncertainty about the future of government support and the national management of the pandemic, the impact on the income sources for local government was worrying and uncertain.
· Council Tax and Business Rates would have to play a greater role in ensuring the council stays on a sustainable financial footing and was able to continue delivering services for its residents.
· Council Tax had to be increased to fund services and the Covid recovery. In recognition of this reliance upon Council Tax, the council had expanded the support available for residents in financial difficulty so that more people could receive the support they need.
· The Council had expanded support for vulnerable people who struggle to pay their Council Tax by increasing the scope and funding for our Council Tax Support scheme. The extra £1.5m Hardship Support Grant would support almost 7,000 households eligible for Council Tax Support, with most of those seeing their bill reduced to nil, if they were struggling to meet the costs.
· The council had also begun consultation to make a permanent adjustment to the Council Tax Support scheme for 2022/23 to protect more residents who find the increase in Council Tax unaffordable.
· The Covid-19 crisis had a significant financial impact and would continue have a long-term effect on the pressures on expenditure as well as the level of resources available to the council.
· Lambeth’s financial strategy would be continually developed so that it underpins and supports the delivery of Lambeth’s priorities of supporting the local economy, increasing community resilience, promoting care, independence, and equality, strengthening diversity and delivering inclusion for all the borough’s communities.
Councillor Scott Ainslie from the Green Group questioned point 4 of the recommendations set out on page 38 of the agenda, he requested confirmation on whether the £8.5 million overspend was in addition to the £12.1 million. Further queries were raised on the proposals and reasons section of the report which included:
· Why were Lambeth residents forecasted as the highest unemployed?
· Point 2.27 figures were inconsistent, there was an £8.5m overspend gap and therefore wanted clarity.
· Wanted to know how confident the Council was that they would receive the £19.2 million from the government.
· Temporary accommodation was increasing, was this going up due to estate regenerations.
In response to some of the questions raised, Cabinet Member for Finance and Investment, Councillor Andy Wilson and Officer advised that:
· The overspend of £8.5m was set out in the report.
· The Council continue to pursue covid spend from central government and had received a large part of it for this financial year.
· Additional pressues woud need to ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
In introducing the report Councillor Andy Wilson advised that:
· He was presenting the Tier 2 Priority Service KPIs, and the Quarter 4 financial outturn position of the council.
· That the impact of Covid on performance could be seen again this quarter as services had been dealing with Covid restrictions whilst managing staffing and capacity issues.
· Despite the challenges of Covid, improvements in tier 1 indicators had brought all four pillars back to green, demonstrating the positive work that had taken place, specifically within the Children’s services.
· The percentage of annual reviews of EHCPs completed on time.
· And the percentage of children aged 16+ with an up-to-date pathway plan.
And outside of Children’s:
· The number of Lambeth Council homes brought up to Lambeth Housing Standard in year.
· The Number of private dwellings and HMOs improved to comply with statutory Housing standards.
There were positive movements in tier 2 KPIs for:
· The number of residents supported into employment, training, or education (including apprenticeships) through council-supported activities was positive.
· More affordable workspace created because of Council initiatives.
· And Assessments Timescales in Adult Social Care had improved.
I would like to commend the performance set out report and pay tribute to the resilience of local services, which had never been more on display during the covid-19 crisis.
Councillor Scott Ainslie from the Green Group indicated that the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) live board was greyed out and therefore it was hard to distinguish boroughs and the differences between them. It was noted that this issue would be resolved. He wanted to know what the Council was doing with the surplus ringfenced money from the outbreak control as well as more detail on the ICT overspend.
Cabinet explained that Lambeth had one of the most affective test and trace self-isolation compensations arrangements within the country. The excess money would be utilised as funding would need to be in place for new centres opening and additional staff would be required in order to contact positive residents
Officers responded that the ICT overspend was in response to the imminent threat of a cyber-attack, the Council had to act quickly in order to move data and infrastructure to ensure that an adequate backup solution was in place. In addition, the pandemic contributed to the overspend as the Council moved to virtual working. The £4.7 million in not only incorporated the £1.7 million ICT overspend but other areas in the Resident’s Experience and Digital division.
1. To note the latest performance outturns for the Tier 1 Borough Plan Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the Tier 2 Priority Service KPIs
2. To note the Q4 financial outturn position of the council and to note the budgetary risks going forward