Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday 13 December 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Members Town Hall / Others to dial in via MS Teams

Contact: Sarah Keeble, Democratic Services  020 7926 4385, Email: skeeble@lambeth.gov.uk

Note: Information on how to access the meeting is set out in the agenda. However, if you just want to watch the live broadcast you can copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://bit.ly/3dfKqfL The video will remain available to view for 180 days. 

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 172 KB

Cabinet is asked to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the previous meeting of Cabinet held on 22 November and to authorise the Leader to sign them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous meeting of Cabinet held on 22 November 2021 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chair.

3.

Response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA): Lambeth Council’s Action Plan pdf icon PDF 738 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The report was introduced by Councillor Claire Holland, Leader of the Council, who highlighted that:

     

    • The Council offered its sincere apologies to the victims n and survivors who were in the former care of Lambeth Council
    • The Redress Scheme had been set up by the Council to provide compensation to victims and survivors
    • It had taken bravery for victims and survivors to come forward in highlighting their experiences and addressing the council’s historic failures
    • The Action Plan addressed each concern raised by IICSA in its investigation report
    • The present Council was different to that of the past, and has been open and transparent in its work surrounding IICSA
    • The whole administration was committed to the Action Plan and delivering it in full.

     

    Councillor Holland also highlighted that an addendum had been published setting out the views and recommendations of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Sub-Committee held on 7 December.

     

    Cabinet was then addressed by Andrew Travers, Chief Executive, who highlighted that:

     

    • He echoed the Leader’s apologies to all victims and survivors for their experiences, and that they were not believed or listened to in the past
    • The scale of neglect and abuse was shocking
    • The inquiry report included work on providing a safe and caring environment for children in care of the Council
    • Training would be mandated for elected Councillors, as well as checks on recruitment for foster carers and staff
    • The regulatory regime and todays Council were different to that set out in the report
    • The Council would ensure a strong accountability framework and robust procedures for safeguarding children
    • The Action Plan set out work across 8 key areas, and that his responsibility to work with Members, Council staff and the Senior Management Team would ensure that this time would be different
    • As Chief Executive, he would personally Chair the IICSA Board to ensure robust assessment processes, work closely with OFSTED and listen to and act upon the voices of children, both in the care of the Council and generally.

     

    Councillor Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People then addressed Cabinet, highlighting that:

     

    • 18 months ago, he gave evidence to IICSA which considered the abuse that took place in Lambeth’s children’s homes from the 1960’s to the early 1990’s
    • In preparation for this, the Cabinet Member read many statements from victims and survivors
    • He had done his best as statutory Lead Member for Children’s Services to brief colleagues so that the support given was safe and helped to achieve the best possible outcome in a way that was absent in the past
    • The Council recognised that further work must be undertaken
    • The IICSA Action Plan was devised after careful consideration of inquiry findings, and was for the whole Council including Members to respond - not just Children’s Services
    • The Council had ensured that children in care were at the heart of decision making, and had listened to the Children in Care Council’s feedback regarding what they would like to keep them safe.

     

    Councillor Joshua Lindsey, Chair of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

December Finance Planning and Medium Term Strategy Report 2021 to 2026 pdf icon PDF 694 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The report was introduced by Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance who highlighted that:

     

    • Since last being presented to Cabinet, the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s spending review had been received
    • The spending review outlined a continued tough financial budget for London boroughs
    • Calculations made by London Council saw that London boroughs required a £2 billion increase over the spending period, but only estimate to receive £1.1 billion
    • the 3% increase in Government funding announced was based on the assumption that Council’s increased their Council Tax and adult social care precept to the maximum of 3%
    • Longer term pressures would require longer term funding solutions, increasing Council Tax for the adult social care precept would not alleviate these pressures
    • The Council had remained vigilant with the new Covid-19 variant arising
    • There was already high demand in Council services around social care and temporary accommodation, which had increased as a result of the pandemic
    • The Council would continue to take every opportunity to support vulnerable people in its community, but needed to be realistic in the face of reduced funding and rising demand
    • Despite recent pressures, the Council had delivered a balanced budget
    • The current MTFS would continue to be developed to support the Council’s priorities and provide certainty to its most vulnerable residents.

     

    Councillor Scott Ainslie, from the Green Group, requested that the report was in plain English and asked if the beginning of the report could highlight additional budgeting and expenditure as a result of COVID. Cllr Ainslie asked questions which were based around local revenues which had been explored by the council, rising temporary accommodation costs, the old Waterloo library 114-118 Lower Marsh funding, affordable housing and workspace and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spend.

     

    Christina Thompson, Director of Finance and Property stated that:

     

    • Additional spending on Covid-19 was mentioned in paragraph 2.30 of the report and the Council’s current forecast was a spend of £35.5million. This would be recovered from earmarked reserves and from grants from central government in this financial year
    • A deficit in expenditure due to Covid-19 was not expected this year
    • Revenue raising was identified in the savings proposals put forward last year for the 2022-23 financial year
    • The Government would have to enable tourist taxes
    • The Council were waiting to hear from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) on what would happen around business rates
    • There was an increase in activity on the number of households that had moved to temporary accommodation. Properties available for temporary accommodation had decreased as landlords were pulling out of private sector renting for temporary accommodation
    • The Council would continue to ensure that they housed families wherever possible.

     

    Councillor Matthew Bennet, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Planning Investment and New Homes, explained that homelessness was a crisis throughout London which had been made worse over the last 11 years due to a Conservative-led Government. However, the solution was to build more homes within Lambeth as it was not ideal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Responsible Procurement Policy 2021-2024 pdf icon PDF 737 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The report was introduced by Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance who highlighted that:

     

    • The Policy came following a lengthy consultation process
    • Out of 552 million spent on procurement, under 120 million was spent on local suppliers. 66% of these were small or medium enterprises
    • In order to act responsibly to the local economy, Lambeth wanted to increase this number which it aimed to do so focusing on 6 key areas as set out in the report
    • The Council was committed to its contribution.

     

    Councillor Scott Ainslie, a visiting Member, highlighted an issue which he had also raised at Corporate Committee. This was in regard to excluding companies that Lambeth might object to, especially if they had done social harm elsewhere. Councillor Ainslie also addressed Cabinet on single use plastics and reduced emissions which, had not featured as a commitment in fewer than half of the 81 contract awards, contract management and the social value fund selection process. It was noted that it was great to see that the £500million total had been spent locally.

     

     Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance explained that:

     

    • Exclusion of firms that may not align with Lambeth values was explored as a criterion, but Legal Services advised that this was not possible. However, where a company had a contract with the Council there was a certain type of behaviour that would be expected
    • The graph on paragraph 1.5 of the report was not a fair representation on types of procurement that went to procurement board. Some contract awards do not have emissions and single use plastics involved
    • The Social Impact Framework would look at broadening criteria to acknowledge a range of issues on the climate emergency
    • There was a live website for the social value fund where small organisations could apply. This application would then go through a well-structured process.

     

    Sasa Glisic, Head of Procurement stated that there had been 20 training sessions throughout the year, which included the new electronic contract management system. The Public Contract Regulation 2015 allowed Lambeth to exclude providers under certain criteria for example those that were not paying tax. Furthermore, there was a standard selection questionnaire which would help filter tenders.

     

    Cabinet made the following observations:

     

    • The Policy was welcomed and highlighted the Council’s commitment to meet Air Quality targets
    • The Social Value fund had been welcomed by the Voluntary and Community Sector, those who had applied fed back that they had found it straightforward and easy to do.

    Following consideration, it was resolved that Cabinet:

     

    1. Approved and agreed to adopt the update to Responsible Procurement Policy which covered all procurement and commercial activity including services, goods, works and concessions
    2.  Agreed to delegate any minor revisions in response to the changing policy and/or regulatory framework to the Head of Procurement in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance.

     

6.

Regulation 18 draft Site Allocations Development Plan Document pdf icon PDF 597 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The report was introduced by Deputy Leader, Councillor Matthew Bennett, who highlighted that:

     

    • He was pleased to present the process to begin a thorough and widespread consultation
    • Lambeth had a strong commitment to delivering new housing and affordable housing, including social rent homes
    • They were working towards securing good jobs for local residents at each development in the borough
    • High building standards and genuinely sustainable developments were a priority
    • Work was underway to make the application process more inclusive and transparent, including for Planning officers and Ward Councillors to meet with developers before an application had been submitted
    • It would be possible to have conversations with stakeholders about the principles of developments on each site. This would minimise the chances of wholly unacceptable applications being submitted which legally had to be considered before being refused
    • Starting conversations early would ensure the best is achieved from potential development sites for neighbourhoods.

     

    Councillor Jackie Meldrum, a Labour visiting Member addressed Cabinet and stated that the 14 new DPD allocations were a credit to the Planning and Regeneration teams and would have a positive major impact on the borough and its reputation. However, the site now known as ‘site 19’ was a main focus point especially due to the sites poor access. It was noted that the site had one access point from Leigham Vale but the DPD proposed two new bridges. It was suggested that further discussions should take place with Ward Councillors to help developers and consultants.

     

    Councillor Peter Elliot, a Green Group visiting Member, thanked those who prepared the report as it was clear and accessible and that the forthcoming consultation on the developments were welcomed. It was suggested that where there is existing affordable housing, the specific tenure should be set out  in the Draft SADPD  and that the Council reflected on the climate emergency and insisted on standards that would help Lambeth reach net zero targets.

     

    Councillor Matthew Bennet, Deputy Leader of the Council (Planning, Investment and New Homes) highlighted that site 19 proved why it was necessary to do a proposal as previously it had not met Lambeth’s criteria, this was then addressed, and workspace and affordable housing was then embodied. Lambeth would continue to shape change within the borough and if site 19 was put foreword it would need to assess access issues. Furthermore, Ward Councillors had received invites to discuss sites in their Wards ahead of the public consultation in the new year.

     

    Catherine Carpenter, Head of Policy and Placeshaping, explained that all comments made at Cabinet and following the consultation would be considered. There were multiple adopted policies in the London Plan and Local Plan that addressed carbon reduction and sustainable design and construction of buildings which would apply to all sites within the Draft SADPD. Lambeth’s Local Plan encouraged Passivhaus standards. The Draft SADPD  encouraged an exemplary approach to sustainable construction and carbon reduction on the 14 sites.

     

    Following consideration, it was resolved that Cabinet:

     

    1. Agreed consultation in accordance with Regulation 18  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.