Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday 8 June 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Room 8, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW. View directions

Contact: David Rose, Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 020 7926 1037 Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

Minutes:

There were none.

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2015 as a correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 April 2015 2015 be agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the proceedings.

 

3.

Lambeth Council’s response to the OFSTED inspection of Children’s Services and the LSCB pdf icon PDF 127 KB

    Report 15-16/25

     

    All wards

    Key decision

     

    Deputy Leader (Policy)

    Strategic Director, Delivery

     

    Contact: REligon@lambeth.gov.uk; Rebecca Eligon, Head of Policy, Partnerships and Equalities, Cooperative Business Development, 020 7926 2125

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (Report 15/16-25) (Key decision)

     

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Policy) introduced the report and highlighted the following:

    ·      The Council took no pleasure from the inadequate report and it was very important not to hide from the findings, to accept the judgement and remedy the situation with strong actions, as this was both a political and organisational priority. 

    ·      Immediate action was to be taken in number of areas, but others would take time. The Priority Action Plan (PAP) had been drafted. Secondly, all available resources would be utilised in delivering the PAP including the Local Government Association (LGA), Department for Education (DfE), other local authorities, and Ofsted itself.  An improvement board would include representatives from the above listed organisations, alongside Lambeth officials, councillors, school staff, and other local institutions. The journey of improvement was one to be taken together.

    ·      Frontline staff were noted for their dedication, with many working their entire professional lives on vital Council services, but there was a need for improved management in place to succeed.  The Cabinet would have updates every three months, and during this process information would be released detailing tangible progress.

    ·      Sue Foster, Strategic Director Delivery, commented that the PAP set out immediate actions to address recommendations, but it would go wider than those proposed by Ofsted with a set of corporate actions and would be scrutinised at next month’s Cabinet in detail.

    ·      Andrew Tullis, Unison, gave a joint trade union response on behalf of GMB and Unison, raising concern at children’s services being rated as inadequate after having received an outstanding report previously and that this duty formed the most important responsibility of local government.  He noted that there had been several cornerstones of policy missing, including: excellent management, support for staff, and permanent staff numbers (with a resulting over-reliance on agency staff).  He suggested that the Council worked with the trade unions to bring back security and stability, to guarantee no compulsory redundancies, a halt to changing management structures (to stop distraction by experiments with new models of delivery), and an emphasis on in-house service provision.  The change of the Council into clusters had disrupted dialogue with minimal benefit, and practical support was needed instead of grand plans.

     

    The Leader of the Council welcomed the broad sentiments of response, remarking that it was a fundamental political priority, and agreed that the absence of regular permanent staff to implement rigorous systems had contributed to the inadequate appraisal.

     

    Cabinet Members and officers made the following comments:

    ·      The Deputy Leader (Finance and Investment) noted the engagement with unions and the new chair of Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB), but asked what interaction with DfE had taken place.  The Cabinet Member for Housing acknowledged the three month reporting of the improvement plan, but enquired as to tangible milestones. The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said she had met a lot of staff over the years, noting their commitment, and said the whole organisation, not only this staff, were corporate parents.

     

    In response to these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Sheltered Housing Service and Charges pdf icon PDF 250 KB

    Report 15-16/21

     

    All wards

    Key decision

     

    Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care

    Strategic Director, Commissioning

     

    Contact: dworrall@lambeth.gov.uk; David Worrall, Lead Commissioner, 020 7926 9978

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (Report 15/16-21) (Key decision)

     

    The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care introduced the report:

    ·        The report represented a good example of co-production (September 2014 – May 2015) and extensive consultation, and formed an important element of the housing offer.  The change in sheltered housing was necessary due to people living longer and with past formulas no longer adequately supporting people.  This work provided support with no net costs to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and potential savings up to £496,000 to the General Fund.  The consultation for a new service charge (agenda pack, paragraph 3.8) was not required and paragraph 3.8 no longer applied.

     

    Officers and representatives made the following remarks:

    ·        David Worrall, Lead Commissioner, noted the high level of engagement (49% of sheltered housing tenants) and the re-established of the Sheltered Housing Forum. The Forum was made up of representatives from each of the schemes, would meet quarterly, and had already committed to overdue improvements (new kitchens, walk-in showers, new windows).  It was noted that work would cause disturbance to residents, with older residents especially affected, and was not always smooth, but overall tenants were content.

    ·        The Forum would discuss future improvements and the survey had indicated that tenants were pleased to be involved in planning, such as with the development of the role of scheme manager for maintenance and repairs; and replacing the weekly support charge with a service charge payable with rent.  The changes would allow Council to continue to provide housing for the future and to extra tenants.

    ·        The two Co-Chairs of the Lambeth Sheltered Housing Tenants’ Forum, Joan Allen and David Wright, both noted that the Forum was pleased to be involved in planning, that tenants felt safer and more secure, and that there was an improved scheme for the future.  Most tenants supported the service charge as it was easier to meet and fairer as everyone had to pay.

     

    The Leader of the Council said that it was good to hear from residents and their input into the process, whilst enabling the Council to continue to provide this essential service.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following comments:

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Children and Families welcomed the proposal and was pleased it had come to fruition; the message had clearly gone out of Council support for sheltered housing, after opposition groups had suggested its neglect.  It was also pleasing that residents were involved and that the Forum for Sheltered Tenants had been revived after being in disuse; with good ideas from discussion (such as handypersons so not every repair need be reported to the housing office).

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing thanked residents and officers for their work.  This was clearly the less traumatic part of proposals; but the creation of extra care was proceeding well and with one single set of support would enable people to lead healthy independent lives. Support for social housing was an integral pillar of the Council, but these signs were encouraging with much work yet to be done  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Aspirational Lambeth Families Programme pdf icon PDF 337 KB

    Report 15-16/23

     

    All wards

    Key decision

     

    Cabinet Member for Children and Families

    Strategic Director, Delivery

     

    Contact: aqureshi@lambeth.gov.uk,Alima Qureshi Head of Troubled Families, Tel: 020 7926 9942

     

     

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (Report 15/16-23) (Key decision)

     

    The Cabinet Member for Children and Families introduced the report:

    ·      It was easy to overlook the better bits of children’s services (noting Ofsted’s complimentary comments on early help and intervention on page 24 of the agenda pack) following the recent Ofsted appraisal.  There was a wide range of partners involved with the Aspirational Lambeth Families Project, but it had been highly successful with 1080 households turned around during Phase 1.

    ·      This was a local-based approach to working with families; with dedicated workers to dedicated families, hands on, persistent support, and working on the family as a whole with a common purpose.  It defined these families by involvement in crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB), truanting, having an adult on out-of-work benefits, or the public cost of responding to their problems.   This was achieved by turning around fortunes by providing a path back to work, getting children back to school, cutting youth crime and ASB across the family, and giving young people a chance in life. 

    ·      Local authorities were paid on a payment-by-results (PbR) basis, and Lambeth had achieved a 100% turnaround during Phase 1, with Phase 2 commencing in 2015 and ending in 2020.

     

    The report author highlighted the following from the report:

    ·      In addition to the upfront attachment fees of £2,800,000, Lambeth received £1,200,000 back in PbR to re-invest in supporting families with complex needs.  This outlined the high achievements against other London and national authorities, as one of the highest performers in the UK, being much greater in Lambeth than across London and England as a whole.  This achievement was acknowledged by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) selecting Lambeth to be early starter for Phase 2.

    ·      The Troubled Families Outcome Plan demonstrated sustained and improved outcomes, detailed on page 145 of the agenda pack, as set out by the Aspirational Lambeth Families Implementation framework.  This was developed in partnership with the 32 London boroughs via the London-wide Troubled Families Co-ordinators Group. 

     

    The Leader of the Council offered her thanks for the enthusiastic and good work of the Aspirational Families team.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following comments:

    ·      The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods praised the overall quality of work and the leadership network, but noted the reduction in grant for Phase 2 and enquired whether there were assurances of this great work continuing with this added pressure.

    ·      The Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing extended his congratulations on successful partnership working, especially within mental health; asking whether families in Phase 2 were in Phase 1, as the 100% figure seemed incredible.

    ·      The Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability commended the work and officers on troubled families, stating that it was vital to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop history repeating. Finding employment was vital and it was good to see its inclusion.  She enquired how councillors might be able to go about putting families into contact to receive help.

    ·      The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care observed that investment for people at an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Investment and Opportunity Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    Report 15-16/22

     

    All wards

    Key decision

     

    Cabinet Member Jobs and Growth

    Strategic Director, Commissioning

     

    Contacts:

    jbennett7@lambeth.gov.uk

    John Bennett, Lead Commissioner, Jobs and Growth Commissioning, 020 7926 6452

    hpayne@lambeth.gov.uk

    Helen Payne, Associate Director, Jobs and Growth Commissioning, 020 7926 6923

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    (Report 15/16-22) (Key decision)

     

    The Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth introduced the report:

    ·      Vulnerable residents were not able to cope with cuts from central government and this evidence-based strategy had agreed priorities with residents and partners, with the latter to help delivery.  The main thrusts were to deliver a number of jobs with high wages, giving people access to skills making residents competitive, and bringing money into borough; whilst ensuring that it was equitably spread.

     

    The Cabinet heard the following representations:

    ·      Devon Thomas, Director Lambeth Business Advisory/The Co-Op Centre, praised the report for focusing on local people who defined what was required, as increasingly councillors cannot be initiators, but had an important role to help generate business and support.  He noted that expertise and innovation were present in the borough, but needed to be invested back into local people, tapping into that pool.  From his current work with the Afro-Caribbean community, he noted that it was often hard to finance assets with low wages and high rents; creating a map of financial economic assets might be beneficial to the strategy’s continued success.

    ·      Mark Silverman, Principal of Lambeth College, offered his thanks for the report and noted that the Council and Lambeth College shared priorities and agenda to help local people for job opportunities and was delighted to support, endorse and align during this time of austerity.  He noted that the adult skills budget had been further hit by central government spending cuts and this strategy would help local people access opportunities, with 25,000 new jobs to be created locally, so that they can benefit the community, with Lambeth’s prominent micro-businesses given the chance to grow.  He was pleased that the curriculum identification tallies with that of the Council; centring on construction, technology, science, coding, and hospitality/catering – skills necessary for the future.  The strategy would also help access to apprenticeships, higher level skills, and working with employers for young persons to get them in the right career path or by offering guidance.  It presented a massive opportunity, but an equally massive challenge to work together with limited resources to make Lambeth an attractive place to live and work.

     

    The Leader of the Council thanked the speakers and reiterated that the Council was not blind to Lambeth’s huge potential and assets.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following comments:

    ·      The Deputy Leader (Finance and Investment) noted the report showed that Lambeth was able to punch above its weight, would help reduce long-term unemployment, and praised the inclusion of the Child Poverty Act 2010 requirements.

    ·      The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care was pleased with the succinct strategy, promoting investment and opportunities from private sector and European partners. Smalls and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses would benefit, and although mentoring and free market were important, business itself was key to success.  The importance of using Council funding was noted, but queried whether the use of 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy represented good practice and asked for a comparison with other local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.