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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 18 January 2021 were approved as a correct record of the proceedings.
In introducing the report Councillor Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of the Council (Sustainable Transport, Environment and Clear Air) highlighted the following points:
· Lambeth was a place people want to live, work, and invest and this contract award would support the Borough plan’s sub-objectives:
o Town centres – manage our neighbourhoods, estates and town centres so they feel safe and welcoming.
o Environmental impact – invest in the circular economy, cut down carbon emissions, significantly cut waste, encourage reuse by residents and businesses.
· That this contract would deliver substantial savings, £2m each year, by minimising non-direct delivery costs including overheads, profits and making the operation more efficient and greener.
· The contract would deliver more recycling with expanding collections to small electrical and electronic waste, expansion of the food waste collections on our estates with an additional 3,000 waste collections from homes at no additional cost, and recycling batteries and textiles.
· There was an emphasis on giving staff some certainty about their future, ensuring enough resources were available, that there was full trade union recognition and a reduction in agency staff.
· Rates of pay would be set at London Living Wage or market rate, whichever was the higher, and that there would be an integrated and extensive social value component ensuring that Lambeth residents, young people, and priority groups were fully involved in the contract.
Councillor Jonathan Bartley addressed Cabinet and advised that:
· The report demonstrated great benefits.
· Clarity was needed on how the Council reconciled its Responsible Procurement Policy.
· Involvement of Serco in other areas such as Test and Trace, and HS2 should have been considered when awarding the contract as many of those issues were subject of Motions agreed at Council and the entire Council should have been against the award.
In response to some of the questions from Cabinet, Venetia Baptiste-Reid, Director of Environment and Streetscene advised that:
· The process was competitive, took place over 2 years and achieved quality and value.
· The different stages of the procurement process were explained and were set out in paragraph 2.4 of the report.
· There would be access to employment opportunities and a strong training offer for local residents including our young people and those who would benefit from preemployment training access.
· The contract did include flexibility to make some changes and to future proof against future legislation etc.
· From the apprenticeships programme – 15% would be earmarked for care leavers in addition to other priority groups.
· The correct and proper process was followed and if no contract was awarded there would be huge risk to the council if challenged.
· Robust contract management and performance monitoring would be in place to ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract were being met.
· A Community Partnership Board would be established, including residents, voluntary sector and councillors to support the monitoring of the social and community benefits aspects of the contract including the annual Community Benefits Plan.
· As set out in the report Serco Ltd scored higher in both the finance and quality ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The Revenue and Capital Budget Report was introduced by Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance who advised Cabinet of the Following:
· The Council was planning for next year’s budget in a state of continued uncertainty from central government around the pandemic, the future of local government finance and the long-term funding pressures of essential services.
· Council Tax and the Adult Social Care precept were temporary measures and long-term pressures required longer term funding solutions and no clear plan on the future of social care and how we would pay for it had been forthcoming from this government. As a result, local authorities were forced by central government to raise Council Tax in order to achieve a sustainable financial footing.
· Despite the uncertainty, and the significant spending to support residents through this crisis, the prudent financial management meant the Council was able to set a balanced Medium-Term Financial Strategy, through a mixture of income generation, savings and use of reserves.
· The Council was committed to helping the most vulnerable, and had expanded the welfare safety net for people in financial difficulty so that more people could access the support they needed.
· An extra £500,000 in emergency financial support for residents at immediate risk of financial hardship.
· An extra £1million to the budget for discretionary housing payments to support residents who may struggle to pay their housing costs due to the virus.
· Additional funding for local advice surgeries to ensure that help was at hand to assist residents in finding the support they needed.
· The Council was considering what further support could be given to those who needed to self-isolate, which had been the major gap in the government’s flawed Covid-19 response.
· Expanded support for vulnerable people who struggled to pay their Council Tax by increasing the scope and funding for our Council Tax Support scheme.
· The administration’s budget reflected its values, supporting people at a time of hardship and rebuilding the welfare safety net removed by central government.
· Support to vulnerable people in our communities would continue, but central government needed to ensure the promise of funding for local authorities in full for the work and resources used to fight Covid-19 was honoured.
Councillor Jonathan Bartley addressed Cabinet and made the following points:
· He looked forward to the Council debate, and felt that there was a wide range of support measures for local people.
· It would have been better if the Council Tax Support Scheme could have been brought forward to this year.
· It was concerning that some level of enforcement had begun to be taken against those who were receiving Council Tax support, and he wanted reassurance that would not be the case
Cabinet Members made the following comments and ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
· There had been a lengthy period of engagement on the back of a strong record of Labour delivery for residents of Brixton.
· A number of local schemes had delivered affordable homes in the centre of Brixton and there was a thriving economy in the coined “Rec Quarter”.
· The scale of the housing crisis was deeply concerning; the availability of affordable housing needed to be addressed. As of 1 December 2020, there were over 3,000 active bidders in the wards of Ferndale, Coldharbour, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill, and Brixton Hill on the Council’s housing register.
· The scheme would deliver new commercial and affordable workspace, providing new homes for Brixton businesses and supporting the creation of hundreds of jobs while contributing to the economic resilience of Brixton.
· A shortage of council, social and affordable housing meant local families were either in overcrowded or unaffordable homes in Brixton, some of whom faced having to leave the area.
· This can only be addressed by building more council, social and affordable housing for the local community.
Cabinet Members made the following comments and observations:
· The engagement had happened over a long period and included all the key partners, stakeholders and local people.
· People wanted to live in thriving areas where there was a strong economy, job prospects and inclusivity.
· Cabinet welcomed the vision from Councillor Bennett and acknowledged the work of the team. The Net Zero pledge was also welcomed as well as proposed waste compactor and the need to have a public realm fit for the current times; this scheme proposed to achieve this.
· Shortage of housing was a highly concerning problem and more truly affordable homes were needed; this development would contribute to achieving that.
1) To commence the process to procure a delivery partner for 49 Brixton Station Road/6 Canterbury Crescent by way of a Development Agreement on a long leasehold basis.
2) To authorise officers to publish the procurement opportunity on the Find a Tender Service (FTS).
3) To agree that a Competitive Procedure with Negotiation (CPN) procurement process is used with the Development Agreement included as part of the procurement documents which will be finalised under delegated authority by the Strategic Directors of Sustainable Growth & Opportunity in consultation with Councillor Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment & New Homes and the Director of Legal and Governance prior to agreement to enter into the Development Agreement being made at a future meeting of the council’s Cabinet committee.
4) To note the financial assumptions set out in Part II of this report.