Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday 28 November 2016 5.00 pm

Venue: Bolney Meadow Community Centre, 31 Bolney Street, London, SW8 1EZ

Contact: Henry Langford, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 020 7926 1065 Email: hlangford@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 174 KB

To agree the minutes if the meeting held on 10 October 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 October 2016 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the proceedings.

3.

Financial Planning Report 2016/17 to 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 404 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Deputy Leader of the Council (Investments and Partnerships): Councillor Paul McGlone

    Deputy Leader (Finance): Councillor Imogen Walker

    Strategic Director Corporate Resources: Jackie Belton

     

    Contact: Christina Thompson, Director of Finance; 0207 926 5302; Cthompson3@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Investment and Partnerships), Councillor Paul McGlone introduced the report and noted:

    • The financial settlement from central Government had locked the council into a further four years of austerity despite the fact that Lambeth had suffered some of the worst funding cuts and was one of the UK’s most deprived boroughs.
    • The post-war consensus on Government funding had been broken and the council now faced a variety of difficult funding decisions.
    • The Government has confirmed that they have accepted Lambeth’s efficiency plan for the four year settlement.
    • The report identified £46.5m of savings and outlined how a balanced budget would be delivered over the next three years by the use of balances. These savings were required in order to manage the cut in core funding from Government, inflation, increasing demand and the transfer of risk from central Government around business rates and council tax support.
    • The savings would result in job losses and organisational efficiencies. There would also be a reduction in the contribution required for the pension fund and a drive to increase council revenue streams. Only a small proportion of the savings would be delivered through service reductions but ultimately tough decisions would have to be made and the council would prioritise services which protected the most vulnerable members of the community.
    • Over the coming months, the council would continue to be honest with community and prioritise the protection of services fairly.

     

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance), Councillor Imogen Walker added:

    ·         The council was doing all it could with reduced resources and would continue to prioritise the welfare of the most vulnerable residents in Lambeth.

    ·         To council would continue to consult on forthcoming changes and ensure that the equalities process underpinned local decision making.

    ·         The budget was based on the principle of relative protection, with the protection of essential services considered paramount.

    ·         Officers and councillors, in particular Councillor Paul McGlone, were thanked for their hard work towards the production of the financial plan. 

     

    The Director of Finance, Christine Thompson, noted that:

    ·         The proposed savings would be spread over the three year planning period and further savings were expected from Children’s Social Care services as a result of the successful delivery of the improvement strategy.

    ·         The budget setting process had been particularly challenging and all those involved in delivering the robust saving proposals were thanked for their work.

     

    Mr Jon Davis and Ms Janis Marsh, addressed the committee and spoke about the impact of the proposals on the Lambeth Health Education Link Service (HELS). In particular they stated:

    ·         HELS was established to provide health education to some of the most deprived children in the country and had issued comprehensive advice on a wide range of important health issues to school children for a number of years.

    ·         HELS employed two members of staff who were an invaluable source of information for school children in Lambeth. The organisation was threatened as a result of the planned savings.

    ·         HELS provided crucial teacher training  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Future Brixton: Somerleyton Road project - Compulsory Purchase Order pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    Key decision

    Coldharbour

     

    Cabinet Member Regeneration, Business and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins

    Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

     

    Contact: Stuart Dixon, Capital Programme Manager, Major Capital Programmes; sdixon@lambeth.gov.uk; 020 7926 3208

     

     

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, introduced the report and explained the importance of the site to the wider Somerleyton Road Project. The land owner had different views to that of the council and a CPO was now recommended to bring about significant benefits to the community.

 

The Capital Programme Manager for Major Capital Programmes, Stuart Dixon, explained the council’s position and noted that the site owner had only very recently been in contact with officers, providing information in relation to their proposal to develop their site in conjunction with third parties. Despite this, officers had obtained legal advice and did not consider that it changed the position set out in the report, namely that there is a compelling case for compulsorily acquiring the land in order to ensure the timely delivery of the whole project.

 

The representative of the land owners, Mr Sean Tickle, addressed the committee and stated that:

·         The CPO process was unnecessary as the land owner could deliver a scheme complementary to the Somerleyton Road Project and in line with the ambitions of the council.

·         A deferral of this decision would assist all parties in agreeing the correct route forward for the site. Recent dialogue between the land owner and the council should be allowed to continue and reach a desirable conclusion.

·         The land owner had already secured planning permission for a development that was consistent with the council’s policies. The land owner could deliver this alternative scheme and intended to revise the proportion of affordable housing from 40% to 100% of the units on site.

·         Rather than a CPO, a constructive process of dialogue was required to enable the land owner to deliver an alternative scheme that would provide a range of significant benefits to the local community.

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Stuart Dixon confirmed that the Cabinet’s decision would not prevent all interested parties progressing in discussions towards an agreement.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Growth explained that despite continued efforts by the council to engage the landowner in discussions, they had not been forthcoming and as such, action had been taken to progress a CPO for the site. The council desired a fully cohesive scheme for the Somerleyton Road Project in order to deliver a range of benefits for the local community.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1)    To note the draft Statement of Reasons (Appendix B) attached to this report, which (in addition to the information in this report) sets out the justification for making the Order.

2)    To note the draft Order Map (Appendix A) attached to the report, which shows the proposed boundary for the Order.

3)    To note the assessment of the impacts that the Order would have on the human rights of those with an interest in the Site set out in this report and the draft Statement of Reasons, and the equalities impact assessment, and that there is considered to be a compelling case in the public interest for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Draft Lambeth Development Viability Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 135 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Culture: Councillor Jack Hopkins

    Strategic Director Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

     

    Contact: Tammy Phillips, Principal Planning Policy Officer, Neighbourhoods and Growth, 020 7926 1258, tphillips1@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, introduced the report and explained the value of the Viability Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in bringing increased transparency to the local planning process. He stated that the SPD would aid the Planning team and increase public confidence in the local planning process.

     

    Mr David Boardman, the Planning Lead for Kennington Oval and Vauxhall Forum addressed the committee, commenting that:

    ·         The Viability SPD was welcomed as it would help to increase transparency and address low trust in confidential viability assessments which were often used by developers to justify low levels of affordable housing provision in planning applications.

    ·         However, the policy should not include provision allowing developers to make the case for exceptional circumstances in relation to the non-disclosure of viability assessments. Instead, the council should adopt a policy that insisted all viability information was made public.

    ·         The proposed benchmark land value of ‘Existing Use Value (EUV) plus’ was the preferred option but the local planning authority must insist on real existing use values and remain sceptical about the level of the plus premium. 

    ·         The council should reconsidered the preferred assessment tool.

    ·         The 80/20 split in favour of Lambeth for any surplus revealed by subsequent viability reviews was welcomed. 

     

    In response to comments made by the registered speaker, the Policy Planning Manager, Catherine Carpenter, explained that the principle of the SPD was for full transparency and that the draft policy would also go out for consultation in due course. Members of the public were invited to submit their views on the Viability SPD at this stage.

     

    Members of the Cabinet made the following comments:

    ·         The Viability SPD was hugely welcome and would help Lambeth to secure more affordable housing for residents. The council would continue to drive a hard bargain with developers. Councillor Jack Hopkins and officers were thanked for their work in producing the policy.

    ·         The consultation plan needed to explain the on Viability SPD in layman's terms and enable the public to fully understand the benefits of the policy.

    ·         The council welcomed the views of members of the public and would consider all suggestions thoroughly.

     

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, welcomed the changes and noted the importance of the ongoing consultation process.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1)    To note and agree the content of the draft Lambeth Development Viability SPD as presented in Appendix 1 of the report.

    2)    To approve the draft Lambeth Development Viability SPD for public consultation.

    3)    To note and agree the proposals for public consultation.

     

6.

Lambeth Procurement Policy pdf icon PDF 281 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance and Investments), Councillor Paul McGlone

    Strategic Director for Corporate Resources: Jackie Belton

     

    Contact: Rachel Willsher; Head of Procurement, Corporate Resources; 020 7926 3760; rwillsher@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader of the Council (Investment and Partnerships), Councillor Paul McGlone introduced the report and explained that the Lambeth Procurement Policy was essential for ensuring probity in procurement and value for money for tax payers. He also noted the significant achievement that 97% of applicable Lambeth contracts over £100,000 now paid staff the London Living Wage.

     

    In response to questions from Members, the Head of Procurement, Rachel Willsher, explained that:

    ·         The key principle of the new policy was the development of a Category Management approach. This would bring all staff together into one team, joining up resources and allowing the council to approach procurement activity holistically. The Procurement team had recruited two new Category Managers who were helping to establish this approach, broaden the team’s understanding of the market and delivering savings.

    ·         The Category Management approach was helping the Procurement team to work more effectively with commissioners.

    ·         The evaluation criteria used in the procurement process would be revised under the new policy. Quality would hereby comprise 30% of the available marks and cost the remaining 70%. Social value would be included within the assessment of quality and was expected to be of no additional cost.

    ·         The 70/30 evaluation split between quality and cost did not feature in the policy document but would be agreed by the Cabinet as part of this decision. Its inclusion within the policy document would be considered separately moving forward.

    ·         All external suppliers had to declare whether they had an equalities policy. The council did not however assess the composition of staff employed by suppliers in terms of equality.

    ·         The Communications and Policy team was responsible for the development of the Social Value Policy.

    ·         Officers did not expect any short term impacts of Brexit as the new Procurement Policy followed UK law.

     

    Members of the Cabinet commented that:

    ·         There were safeguards in the policy to ensure that quality was not sacrificed in the pursuit of a cheap prices.

    ·         Social value was wider than procurement and would be incorporated into the manner in which the council delivered the Borough Plan.

    ·         The new evaluation criteria was a statement of intent but would remain variable.

    ·         The Equalities Commission should assess whether the procurement process could go further in ensuring that external contractors had fair staffing practices.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1)    To approve the Procurement Policy set out in Appendix 1 which is intended to cover all procurement and commercial activity including services, goods, works and concessions. It builds on and supersedes previous Lambeth procurement strategies.

    2)    To approve the revised evaluation criteria as outlined in paragraph 2.8 of the report.

7.

Pupil Place Planning and Resultant Capital Programmes pdf icon PDF 699 KB

    Key decision

    All wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Children and Schools: Councillor Jane Edbrooke

    Strategic Director for Children, Adults and Health: Annie Hudson

     

    Contact:

    Maggie Harriott, Education and Strategy Manager, 020 7926 2108 mharriott@lambeth.gov.uk; and

    Peter Dawes, Capital Programmes Commercial Director, 020 7926 3189 pdawes@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Minutes:

    Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Councillor Jane Edbrooke, introduced the report and explained that:

    ·         The council had provided enough primary school places to meet current demand and had comprehensive plans to help secondary schools expand.

    ·         No disruptive ‘bulge’ classes had been created since 2015 and the council did not anticipate the need for any further such classes in the next few years.

    ·         Government policy and funding cuts served to fracture local education systems put education provision at risk. However the Lambeth Schools Partnership remained strong and the proposals demonstrated the council’s commitment to working with local partners.

     

    The Director of Education, Cathy Twist, added:

    ·         The council had successfully managed the effects of a huge increase in the local population and consolidated 33.5 bulge classes into more than 23 additional forms of entry. An additional four primary forms of entry had also opened in September 2016.

    ·         The council had a comprehensive plan for secondary school expansion that would be carried out in forthcoming years.

     

    In response to questions from Members, officers provided the following information:

    ·         The majority of available funding for the next three years had been committed to the Capital Investment Programme for expansion projects already underway. The remaining funded would be committed following the completion of feasibility studies at a number of local schools.

    ·         School expansion programmes were driven by Government funding and extra funding was unlikely to be obtained from the local diocese.

    ·         Officers predicted that if the Gypsy Hill Free School did not open in 2017/18, the demand for secondary school places in the borough would still be met. However if the school was still not forthcoming in 2018/19 and other bulge classes had not been created, there was likely be a deficit of secondary places for this school year.

     

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, commended officers for their work, particularly for consolidating a huge amount of bulge classes into additional forms of entry. This work, combined with the ongoing improvement of local schools, presented a compelling story of recent educational success in Lambeth.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1)    To note the planned primary expansions and Planned Admission Number (PAN) changes for the period 2018 to 2020.

    2)    To note the projections of demand for places and the priority for creating additional secondary school places and to agree the approach to planning additional secondary school places.

    3)    To agree to the proposed programme of work subject to appropriate statutory consents.

    4)    To agree that in addition to the currently planned expansion of a secondary provision at Woodmansterne, the available funds be identified to undertake further secondary expansion following an updated feasibility review of delivery costs including acquisition of additional land if required.

    5)    To delegate further decisions on the final capital programme to meet the demand to the Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Councillor Jane Edbrooke, in consultation with senior officers.