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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.
No declarations were made.
Cabinet is asked to approve the Minutes of the previous meeting of Cabinet held on 13 December 2021 and to authorise the Leader to sign them.
The Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 13 December were agreed as a true record and signed by the Leader.
Report Authorised by: Eleanor Purser and Sara Waller: Strategic Directors for Sustainable Growth and Opportunity
Contact for enquiries: Matt Blades, Interim Director, Economy, Culture, and Skills 07786372720 firstname.lastname@example.org
The report was introduced by Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, Councillor Matthew Bennett, who highlighted that:
• The report followed on from the first Economic Resilience Strategy which was published in the Summer of 2020 and did not seek an Economic Recovery
• Rates of unemployment and economic exclusion were visible particularly in numbers of Lambeth’s young black men, disabled communities, and women
• It was Lambeth’s vision to offer more equity and inclusion for all
• Two years on from the Coronavirus pandemic, the overall size of the economy had returned to its pre-pandemic levels, but unemployment had peaked to three times what it was during the pandemic
• Large numbers of residents had been put on furlough or made unemployed
• Over the last few years, Lambeth had raised over £100 million in grants and additional money which had been raised to distribute to local charities, independent businesses and arts and culture organisations. This was only possible due to the way Lambeth had encouraged sustainable growth over a number of years
• The Strategy focused on three key areas: the Borough’s hospital and medical facilities, a low-carbon economy and creative digital industries. It would use these as the foundations for providing training and employment for young people and reaching out to communities that were economically excluded whilst championing the London living wage.
Cabinet made the following observations:
• Cabinet welcomed the report which detailed a range of processes striving for equity and recognition of the challenges arisen as a result of the pandemic
• The report recognised that young people had disproportionately suffered in terms of unemployment – long periods of which were detrimental in outcomes throughout their life
• The report recognised that care leavers were a priority group in terms of being given appropriate opportunities and training for employment. It was noted that 70% of Lambeth’s care leavers were in training or employment which although was above the national average, was still being worked on to progress to 100%
In response to some of the questions and comments raised, Officers and the Cabinet Member advised the following:
• The Council now had guidance on the three new Government funding schemes. These included a grant for hospitality and leisure businesses which were affected by the working from home restrictions, a scheme to target those who would have usually expected a large turnover over the Christmas period, and a grant for discretionary business rate relief for industrial estate or office-based businesses who had been negatively affected by the pandemic
• Although there was no fixed date for the next review of the Strategy, if the economic situation changed significantly then Officers would adapt and bring forward updated plans. It was noted that the Strategy brought to Cabinet should be valid for at least 12 months, it was hoped that within this time the borough would see an upturn in the economy and a decrease in the effects of the pandemic
• The ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The report was introduced by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Claire Holland who highlighted that:
• Much had happened since the previous quarterly Budget and Performance report, including action being taken by the Council to address its financial pressures impacted by Covid
• Although the report did detail an overspend, this had reduced as the Council’s actions had begun to have an impact
• Spends on temporary accommodation continued to be a pressure. This increase in demand had been included in the draft budget proposals for the coming year
• Equality, diversity and inclusion metrics had been listed as red but had seen improvements. A percentage of Lambeth’s top 5% paid staff from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background was the highest in London
• Other measures were still being impacted by Covid but were expected to improve over time
• More detail in the updated financial position would be included in the report going to Cabinet and Full Council in due course.
Cabinet made the following observations:
• The report was positive overall, and detailed a balanced budget going into next year
• Although a balanced budget had been calculated, it was important to be mindful of the pressures that this may have concealed. Adult Social Care had a balanced budget but had been using reserve funds to balance income. Some of its Key Performance Indicators had gone from green or amber to red (particularly around reviews for residents receiving community support) due to difficulty recruiting staff to make up the workforce within the community. These difficulties related to Coronavirus. It was noted that these indicators moving into the red zone were being addressed.
Following consideration, Cabinet resolved:
1) To note the latest performance update against the delivery of the Borough Plan, including both the review of the activity taken place in the directorate business plans as well as the corporate performance indicator outturns.
2) To note the financial position reported for Q2 and the budgetary risks and mitigating measures moving forward.
3) To note the latest position of each of the directorates, looking at the budgetary position, performance and progress towards the delivery of business plans.