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Posted by: John Brace | 19th October 2012

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 18th October 2012 Part 2 of 2

Continued from Part 1

Present

Cllr Phil Davies (Chair)
Cllr Adrian Jones
Cllr Harry Smith
Cllr Tony Smith
Cllr Ann McLachlan
Cllr George Davies
Cllr Brian Kenny
Cllr Pat Hackett
Cllr Chris Meaden

7) Annual Governance Report – Merseyside Pension Fund | 04:24 to 04:45 | Annual Governance Report – Merseyside Pension Fund

The Annual Governance Report for Merseyside Pension Fund was already agreed as part of item 6. However it was agreed again and Cllr Phil Davies thanked David Armstrong.

8) Revenue Monitoring 2012/2013 Month 5 (August 2012) | 04:45 to 14:20 | Revenue Monitoring 2012/2013 Month 5 (August 2012) Supplementary Agenda (1)

Cllr Phil Davies referred to the revised supplementary report on this agenda item. This supplementary report replaced the original agenda item.

Peter Timmins said that the projected overspend had risen from £14.4 million in month 4 to £15.3 million in month 5. He said that this was in part due to a shortfall in projected Technical Services income. He referred to the freeze of the 6th September 2012 and said that the process was explicit and transparent as outlined in appendix 8 (which was available to the public). He referred to the recommendation at 12.2 that just over £1 million (£1,071,638) be agreed as Rejected and returned to balances.

Cllr Phil Davies made a number of comments on the report. He offered to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and said he was happy to do this on a cross-party basis with agreement of the other two political parties. He made the recommendation (below) and asked for a seconder. The recommendation was seconded. He asked for any other comments on the report (there were no other comments). The recommendation was agreed.

The Cabinet is asked to agree

a) the rejected freeze items, set out at Appendix 8, in the columns “Rejected”, totalling £1,071,638, as evidenced at para 2.20.

For reference these rejected items are below:-
Week 1 & Week 2 Revenue Freeze (Executive Team) September 2012

Dept Ref Project Title Requested
£
Agreed
£
Suspend
£
Reject
£
Reason for Recommendation
CEX 16 Marketing for Libraries Campaign – Annual Bookfest 1,000 1,000 Undertake campaign by ‘e’, rather than printed.
CEX 18 Marketing for Sport and Recreation Mini Tennis Campaign 1,500 1,500 Undertake campaign by ‘e’, rather than printed.
TEC 22 Replacement Play Area, Central Park, Park Primary School 72,000 72,000 Delay redevelopment until 2013-14
TEC 26 Drainage Improvement Works Higher Bebington Recreation
Ground
50,000 50,000 Delay redevelopment until 2013-14
TEC 27 Drainage Works Municipal Golf Courses, Arrowe Park and
Brackenwood
145,000 145,000 Delay redevelopment until 2013-14
TEC 28 Parks Improvement Works, infrastructure, signage, access and
planting
112,000 112,000 Delay redevelopment until 2013-14
TEC 29 Sites of Special Scientific Interest Higher Level Stewardship
Agreements
11,514 11,514 Accept risk of lower standards in the short term; delay until
2013-14
TEC 33 Parks – General Repairs 76,500 76,500 Accept risk of lower standards in the short term; delay until
2013-14
CORP 34 Local Pay Award £250; check amount (poss £1m) 600,000 600,000 Replace with minimum wage commitment
DASS 36 Your Future Your Choice – flyer for Learning Disabilities event 538 538 Provide on A4 paper
FIN 42 Private Sector Housing – newsletter printing costs 1,586 1,586 Use alternative, e-distribution rather than print
Total 1,071,638

9) Capital Monitoring 2012/2013 Month 5 (August 2012) | 14:20 to 17:25 | Capital Monitoring 2012/2013 Month 5 (August 2012) Supplementary Agenda (2)

Cllr Phil Davies asked Peter Timmins to respond to the Capital Monitoring Report. The Capital Monitoring Report in the Supplementary Agenda replaced the one originally published.

Peter Timmins referred to “key points” on the Capital Monitoring Report and how the Capital changes would save £32,610 from the Revenue Budget next year. He referred to the recommendations.
Cllr Phil Davies talked about the Capital Budget.

Graham Burgess, Interim Chief Executive, said he was happy this morning about something released from the freeze. Quite what was released from the freeze though was impossible to hear due to the twin combination of Graham’s microphone being too far away and Graham speaking down into his papers.
Cllr Phil Davies asked if the recommendations (at 12.1 and 12.2) could be agreed? The recommendations (below were agreed).

12.1 That Cabinet is asked to:
a) Agree the Period 4 net decrease of £1.789 million to the latest 2012-13 Capital Programme (Appendix 1),
b) Agree the revised Capital Programme of £74.473m;
c) Note the spend to date at month 5 of £12m, which represents 16.1% of the revised capital budget, with 42% of the financial year having elapsed;
d) Note the £48.8m of new unsupported borrowing included over the next three years, which will result in approximately a £4.9m additional revenue costs;
e) Note the work to detail the schedule of sites to validate the estimate of capital receipts.
f) Note that a future report will include proposals to cease or reduce schemes arising from a review of the current capital programme

12.2 Cabinet is also asked to agree
a) the rejected freeze items set out in Appendix 2 in the columns ‘rejected’ totalling £1,449,600 as evidenced in paragraph 2.16.

Dept Ref Project Title Requested
£
Agreed
£
Suspend
£
Reject
£
Reason for Recommendation
TEC 12 Tennis Courts and other parks
infrastructure – general repairs
76,500 76,500 Ignore, in Revenue
submission (20/9/12)
TEC 15 Bridges Capital Programme – Multiple Projects 249,600 249,600 Uncommitted sum to be
slipped to next year; remainder of £2.063m budget committed (27/9/12)
 Total 326,100

10) Bank Signatories | 17:25 to 18:10 | Bank Signatories

The changes to the bank signatories were agreed with one amendment. Cllr Phil Davies’s amendment was as follows and all related to Ian E Coleman:-

a) remove Ian E Coleman as signatory on the National Westminster and Santander accounts,
b) remove Ian E Coleman as signatory on the Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street and Northern Trust accounts,

and
c) remove Ian E Coleman as approval on Lloyds TSB accounts (Council and Merseyside Pension Fund accounts)

This was because Ian E Coleman was according to Cllr Phil Davies “no longer with us”. The bank signatories (as amended) outlined in 12.1, 12.2 and 12.2 were agreed.

IMPROVEMENT & GOVERNANCE
11) Committee Referral – Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) | 18:10 to 22:36 | Committee Referral – Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) | Audit RIPA Report | Audit RIPA Appendix 1 | Audit RIPA Appendix 2

Cllr Phil Davies pointed out that this was a referral from the Audit and Risk Management Committee. Surjit Tour gave an update on how the provisions in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2011 c.9 would lead to changes in how Wirral Council dealt with applications in the future. He referred to the inspection on the 8th June 2012, under age sales of tobacco and alcohol, antisocial behaviour and how a number of improvements were required.  He said there would be training.

Cllr Adrian Jones said they had to support the recommendations, but he drew attention to the risks of persistent antisocial behaviour, which he thought would go unpunished. He also raised concerns about malicious complaints going undetected and although he supported the principle he hoped they were not throwing “the baby out with the bath water”. He said a large element appeared to be low level crime and pointed out that police numbers were falling. He said he supported the recommendation with misgivings.

Surjit Tour responded to his point about antisocial behaviour by referring to the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997.

Cllr Phil Davies said they they all knew from their surveys and surgeries that antisocial behaviour was often the number one issue and that residents brought up the issue of social blight.

Cllr Adrian Jones asked that that particular element be recorded in the minutes.

Cllr Phil Davies asked if the recommendations were approved (see below).

13.1 Cabinet is requested to:

(1) Note the success of Wirral Council Officers and other partners in securing Local Sustainable Transport Major Bid Funding;

(2) Approve the acceptance of £3,215,116 of Major Bid funding from Merseytravel over the three financial years 2012/13 to 2014/15 of which £1,149,049 is revenue funding, £2,026,550 is capital funding and £39,517 for maintenance;

(3) Authorise the Interim Director of Technical Services in conjunction with the Acting Director of Law, HR and Asset Management to finalise the funding agreement between Wirral Council and Merseytravel (ITA) as the lead authority and accountable body.

(4) Approve the delivery of the programme for 2012/13 as set out in Section 3 of this report including delegated authority to the Interim Director of Technical Services following discussions with the Cabinet Member for Streetscene & Transport Services and Party Spokespersons to approve the identified scheme(s) for delivery in 2012/13.

(5) Request Officers to report to a future meeting on the progress in delivering Local Sustainable Transport Major Bid Funding and provide detailed plans for delivery for 2013/14 onwards.

They were agreed.

STREETSCENE & TRANSPORT
12) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) – Acceptance of Major Bid Funding | 22:36 to 32:40 | Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) – Acceptance of Major Bid Funding | LSTF Appendix

Mark Smith spoke at length about this area. Cllr Adrian Jones asked Mark Smith a question. Mark Smith answered Cllr Adrian Jones’ question. Cllr Adrian Jones responded to Mark Smith’s answer. Cllr Phil Davies commented on the matter. The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transport, Cllr Harry Smith said he welcomed the funding and confirmed that £220,000 was going to Area Forums. Cllr Phil Davies said that it was good news that there would be £20,000 per an Area Forum to spend on road safety.  The recommendations were agreed.

13.1 Cabinet is requested to:

(1) Note the success of Wirral Council Officers and other partners in securing Local Sustainable Transport Major Bid Funding;

(2) Approve the acceptance of £3,215,116 of Major Bid funding from Merseytravel over the three financial years 2012/13 to 2014/15 of which £1,149,049 is revenue funding, £2,026,550 is capital funding and £39,517 for maintenance;

(3) Authorise the Interim Director of Technical Services in conjunction with the Acting Director of Law, HR and Asset Management to finalise the funding agreement between Wirral Council and Merseytravel (ITA) as the lead authority and accountable body.

(4) Approve the delivery of the programme for 2012/13 as set out in Section 3 of this report including delegated authority to the Interim Director of Technical Services following discussions with the Cabinet Member for Streetscene & Transport Services and Party Spokespersons to approve the identified scheme(s) for delivery in 2012/13.

(5) Request Officers to report to a future meeting on the progress in delivering Local Sustainable Transport Major Bid Funding and provide detailed plans for delivery for 2013/14 onwards.
There was a sixth recommendation tabled by Cllr Harry Smith at the meeting itself from my recollection.

13) Highways and Engineering Services Contract Award and Management – Action Plan | 32:40 to 36:53 | Highways and Engineering Services Contract Award and Management – Action Plan | Appendix 1 | Appendix 2

Surjit Tour spoke on the response to the Audit Commission’s public interest report. He referred to the Council meeting of the 16th July 2012, the recommendations at 2.2, the action plan at appendix 2 and the 21 recommendations which had been considered at the Improvement Board of the 21st September 2012. He said they they needed to consider and approve the Action Plan, that there would be an update at a future meeting and that all actions would be completed by March 2013. He said about their obligation to publicise the public interest report.

Cllr Ann McLachlan commented on the Action Plan and the Improvement Board’s comments on it. Cllr Phil Davies spoke and referred to a future progress report in January 2013. He asked if things were agreed. The Cabinet agreed.

12.1 That Cabinet approves the PIR – Action Plan set out at Appendix 2 to this report.

CHILDREN’S SERVICES AND LIFELONG LEARNING
14) School Funding Formula | 36:53 to 44:15 | School Funding Formula report

Julia Hassall spoke on this report. She said the final report was to go to the Education Funding Agency by the 31st October 2012. The Cabinet Member, Cllr Tony Smith spoke about the proposed changes. It was agreed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Cabinet agree to proceed with the proposals described in this report for the
mainstream School Funding and High Needs Provision.

2. Cabinet agrees to the place changes in maintained specialist provision detailed
in this report.

ADULT SOCIAL CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH
15) Fees for Residential and Nursing Home Care | 44:15 to 44:20 | Fees for Residential and Nursing Home Care report Fees for Residential and Nursing Home Care |  Equality Impact Assessment

Cllr Phil Davies pointed out that item 15 had already been dealt with.

16) Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair (Part 1) | 44:20 to 44:25

Cllr Phil Davies said he was not aware of Any Other Business.

17) N/A
18) Any Other Urgent Business Approved by the Chair (Part 2) | 44:25 to 44:31

Cllr Phil Davies said he was not aware of Any Other Business and closed the meeting. 

Declaration of interest: The author of this blog post has a close relative in receipt of a Merseyside Pension Fund pension.


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