Agenda and minutes

Executive - Tuesday 8th September 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no Apologies for Absence.

32.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 August 2020.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 August 2020 be signed as a true record.

33.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

34.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Meudec, as owner of a property referenced in the draft SPD, declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 5 (E/20/14 – Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) SPD – 2020 Review) and left the virtual meeting during the consideration of this item.

35.

E/20/14 Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) SPD - 2020 Review pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Carole Jones

 

The Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) SPD was first adopted in 2013, with amendments to the list being adopted in a 2016 review.  The Local List has been reviewed again in 2019/20, with nominations for inclusion being submitted by members of the public, the Ipswich Society, Conservation and Design Panel, Portfolio Holder, as well as officers between August 2018 and May 2019.

 

Following review by a panel of people with a professional and local interest in the historic environment of Ipswich, 54 sites are proposed to be added to the Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) SPD.

 

A review of the existing Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) SPD is also proposed, amalgamating the 2013 and 2016 lists, updating descriptions for entries in line with recommendations made by Historic England, as well as removing 7 entries.

 

The next stage in the preparation of the Local List SPD is for the draft SPD to undertake public consultation in accordance with the adopted Statement of Community Involvement 2018. Following the formal round of consultation in (anticipated to take place late summer 2020), comments will be collated, documents amended as necessary, and brought back to Executive to recommend adoption to Full Council at the end of 2020.

 

The report recommends that Executive approves the draft Local List SPD and agrees to an eight-week period of public consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

35.1.     Councillor Jones introduced the report, explaining that the Council had adopted a local list in 2013 in order to provide additional protection to locally important buildings. The list needed to be reviewed regularly and this report proposed that the latest list be consulted on for an eight week period. Councillor Jones noted that the list contained a wide variety of buildings and that it was an interesting document to read.

 

35.2.     Councillor Barber commented that she was pleased to see that more modern buildings were also being added to the list, as they were important parts of Ipswich’s architectural and social history.

 

35.3.     Councillor Rudkin commented that the list contained a large amount of interesting information, noting particularly the entry in relation to the Ransomes and Rapier War Memorial in Bourne Park.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)             that Option 1 be approved and that the draft revisions to the Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) Supplementary Planning Document be taken out to public consultation for a period of 8 weeks.

 

Reason: To support the implementation of adopted Local Plan policies.

 

b)            that, up to and during the time of publication on the IBC website, the Planning and Development Operations Manager be authorised to make minor changes to the wording or layout of the draft Supplementary Planning Documents, provided that the changes do not materially change the meaning of the consultation documents.

 

Reason: The Planning Policy team are working on the preparation of a new Local Plan and Site Allocations document. The eventual adoption of the Local Plan may influence specific wording or policy numbers referred to in the adopted documents and therefore alterations to the document could be improved in wording and layout terms without impacting on meaning. This recommendation will provide the Planning and Development Operations Manager with the ability to undertake any such changes.

36.

E/20/15 Financial Management & Control: Corporate Budget Monitoring - 2020/21 Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 971 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Martin Cook

 

This report gives details of the forecast outturn position for 2020/21 on:

 

1.          The General Fund Revenue Budget, General Balances, and the Council’s Reserves;

 

2.          The Housing Revenue Account;  

 

3.          The Shared Revenues Partnership; and

 

4.          The Capital Programme, for this and future years.

Minutes:

36.1.    Councillor M Cook introduced the report, noting that Councillors had already considered more recent financial information as part of the MTFP Update agreed by Council on 29 July 2020. This report showed the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Council’s finances, particularly the General Fund.

 

36.2.    In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3, Section 3, Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor Holmes

Does the funding forecast for Quarter 1 include a forecast of compensation for sales, fees and charges calculated from 1 April 2020 under the co-payment scheme, final details of which were announced on 24 August?

 

36.3.    Councillor M Cook explained that the report did not include such a forecast, noting that the Q1 report reconciled to the in-year baseline position used in the July MTFP update. Councillor Cook explained that the July MTFP included provision for income from the prospective income compensation scheme as part of the £2.148m target for additional government funding

 

Question 2 – Councillor Holmes

Insofar as compensation from the co-payment scheme is not included in forecast funding for Q1 or the remaining financial year, please could the Portfolio Holder provide an estimate of the level of compensation due under this scheme.

 

36.4.    Councillor M Cook explained that the guidance on the income compensation scheme was published on 24th August and officers were still assessing the Council’s likely position against the criteria. The deadline for the first claim (covering April to July 2020) was 30th September and as such the amount claimed would be included in the Q2 monitor.

 

Question 3 – Councillor Holmes

In paragraph 3.3 of the report, the deficit of £10.223m reported to the Council on 29 July 2020, which directly led to significant service cuts, has been reduced five weeks later to £6.193m. Does the Portfolio Holder now consider the projected deficit of £10.223m provided to the Council was less than accurate?

 

36.5.    Councillor M Cook replied that the table at paragraph 3.2 of the Q1 monitor showed that the difference between the two numbers was the grant received to date plus the grant that the Council hoped to receive and the total pressure the Council faces this year. This was consistent with the July MTFP Update.

 

36.6.    Councillor Fisher asked what proportion of the deficit in the Environment and Climate Change Portfolio was caused by the Wastesaver Service. Councillor Fisher also asked why there was a significant negative variance in the Housing Revenue Account considering that much maintenance had been stopped.

 

36.7.    Councillor M Cook explained that rent arrears were the cause of the negative variance in the HRA and agreed that the Head of Finance and Revenues would provide a detailed breakdown of the Environment and Climate Change Portfolio position to Councillor Fisher.

 

36.8.    Councillor P Smart explained that much of the negative variance in the Environment and Climate Change Portfolio came as a result of having to use additional vehicles to get refuse crews to their rounds to reduce the risks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

E/20/16 Future Delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants in the Private Sector pdf icon PDF 573 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

The provision of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) is a statutory requirement. They have been delivered across Suffolk through a Home Improvement Agency (HIA) under contract through Suffolk County Council (SCC).

 

The contract expires on the 30th November 2020; this report requests that Executive decide how to deliver DFGs in the future.

Minutes:

37.1.    Councillor Ross introduced the report explaining that as a result of other Councils deciding to withdraw from the existing arrangements an alternative method of service delivery had to be introduced. The report recommended direct delivery by the Council as this provided good value and flexibility.

 

37.2.    In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3, Section 3, Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:

 

Question 4 – Councillor Holmes

Is the Portfolio Holder confident that the new arrangement will enable capture of more of the underspent grant, totalling more than £1.26m lost to disabled residents over the last three years?

 

37.3.    Councillor Ross explained that the grant had not been lost as it had been paid to the Council and was available to spend in future years when capacity allowed.  The proposals in the report would bring control and therefore performance management back to the Council, with the exception of the Occupational Therapy resource. The proposed arrangements would provide increased capacity to achieve an increased number of grants but time would be needed to implement the service and scale delivery up.

 

37.4.    Councillor Fisher commented that the amount of money available for Disabled Facilities Grants reported in Appendix 7 of the Q1 Monitoring Report did not appear to tally with the figures referenced in this report and asked if there was an explanation for this. The Head of Finance and Revenues explained that the amounts listed in the report under consideration related to the current financial year and that the total available had been re-profiled to account for underspends in previous years.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)           that the in-house scheme, set out as Option 1 of the report, be implemented.

 

Reason:  to enable the Council to provide an enhanced service in meeting its statutory duties concerning the provision of Disabled Facilities Grants

 

b)           that the Head of Housing and Community Services, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Head of Governance and Head of Finance and Revenues, be authorised to take all necessary steps to implement the in-house scheme set out in Option 1.

 

Reason:  to enable arrangements for the preferred scheme to be put in place.

38.

E/20/17 Housing Development Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

Executive resolved to appoint Handford Homes Ltd to develop new homes on the former Tooks Bakery site in North West Ipswich as well as other schemes across Ipswich. However, decisions on the tenure of each development remain in the Executive’s control.

 

This report proposes that the rent levels of the homes at the small scheme sites are set as affordable and the following tenure mix is adopted for Ravenswood:

 

·            Starter Home 10%;

·            Market Rent 20%;

·            Affordable Rent 70%

 

This report also provides a progress update on the schemes included in the Development Agreements.

Minutes:

38.1.    Councillor MacDonald introduced the report, explaining that the development at Tooks had been delayed by the restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Work had resumed and it was hoped that the scheme would be completed around the end of the year. The contracts for the small sites schemes across the town had been awarded to local companies, which would bring 40 new homes. Handford Homes had recently completed the pre-application public consultation on plans for the development of Ravenswood UVW.

 

38.2.    Councillor MacDonald reported that it was proposed to change the tenure of schemes from Social Rents to Affordable Rents to benefit from Homes England Grant funding, which would ensure the Housing Revenue Account remained able to develop further schemes and deliver more homes.

 

38.3.    Councillor Fisher asked whether it would be possible to retain Social Rents at the new schemes by extending the payback period for the properties. Councillor MacDonald noted that the Housing Revenue Account was facing significant pressures and that the £1.4 million grant available for charging Affordable rather than Social Rent, as well as the slightly higher rent received from tenants, would reduce these pressures. The Chief Operating Officer explained that for one of the sites the payback period was 32 years if Affordable Rent was charged and the grant received, whereas it was 60 years if Social Rent was charged and the grant was forfeited.

 

38.4.    Councillor Ellesmere commented that the schemes would still be social housing, as tenants would benefit from secure tenancies and well built and maintained homes, whilst paying a slightly higher rent. Councillor Ellesmere noted that the Government had decided that grants would only be available for properties where Affordable Rent would be charged and that the Council was therefore being incentivised to charge this type of rent. The Council aimed to build as many new homes as possible to help as many people as possible and that the proposed change to Affordable Rent for these new properties allowed the Council to do this.

 

38.5.    Councillor Fisher commented that if the Council was reliant on Homes England Grants to build new Council Homes these might never again be built for Social Rent. Councillor Fisher asked whether Section 106 contributions were anticipated to pay for junction improvements as part of the Ravenswood UVW scheme. The Chief Operating Officer commented that the consultation by Handford Homes on the proposed Ravenswood UVW scheme had only recently been completed, but noted that concerns had been raised by residents about highways and access issues. The Chief Operating Officer explained that discussions about Section 106 requirements would form part of the formal planning process, which had not yet begun.

 

38.6.    Councillor Jones commented that she regretted the fact that the schemes would be rented at Affordable rather than Social Rents but noted that this was because the Government had incentivised Councils to do so and that without the Homes England Grants the Council would be able to help far fewer people into good  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it was likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 


 

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

40.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of Previous Meeting

41.

E/20/16 Future Delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants in the Private Sector - Exempt Questions

42.

E/20/18 Letting of Town Centre Property

Portfolio Holder – Councillor David Ellesmere