Agenda and draft minutes

Executive - Tuesday 3rd November 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Media

Items
No. Item

52.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence were received from Councillor Barber.

53.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 372 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020 be signed as a true record.

54.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

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

55.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

56.

E/20/22 Revised Medium Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 454 KB

Portfolio Holders – Councillor David Ellesmere and Councillor Martin Cook

 

This report considers the financial impact of Coronavirus on the Council and recommends that the General Fund part of the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) be updated - for the second time this year - to ensure the long-term viability of the Council’s financial position.

 

The report advocates that Executive recommends to Full Council on the 18th November 2020 a number of changes to the MTFP, and specifically to:

 

(i)             Operational Areas budgets for 2020/21 and 2021/22; and

(ii)            Use of Reserves.

 

In addition, the report recommends that Executive decide to make a number of changes to services that would result in the Council saving money.

 

The changes proposed should, when combined with further anticipated funding from Government, result in the Council’s finances being viable throughout the 4 years of the MTFP (to March 2024).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

56.1.     Councillor Ellesmere introduced the report which set out the ways in which the Council planned to meet the budget gap caused by the pandemic and advised that although there had been a number of both positive and negative variations within the budget since the review in July, the Council was now forecasting an improved financial situation for this financial year. There was however expected to be a more significant impact affecting future financial years and so further changes needed to be made to the budget. 

 

56.2.     Four major areas of concern had been identified which included car parking, sports income, theatres/events and the Council’s non-Ipswich Borough Assets property portfolio. Although it was anticipated that further government support would be received and that earmarked reserves would be used to address any deficit in business rates receipt, other savings would be required. This included the deletion of vacant posts, restructuring where appropriate and the reduction of face to face contact at both the Regent Box Office and the Customer Service Centre. Unidentified savings were included in the MTFP however, it was expected that there would not be a detrimental impact on service or staff.

 

56.3.     Councillor Fisher asked if the £1.5m which was planned to be taken from earmarked reserves could be increased should the situation worsen. John Chance, Head of Finance and Revenues, confirmed that if the losses due to reduced business rates income increased, this would be considered.

 

56.4.     Councillor Fisher noted the £350k unidentified savings over the remaining three years within the MTFP and asked what the total savings required would be over the next three years and how realistic this would be given the scale of losses with the pandemic. Mr Chance agreed to provide this figure to Councillor Fisher following the meeting.

 

56.5.     Councillor Fisher asked for clarification regarding the £100k savings in Grounds Maintenance. Helen Pluck, Chief Operating Officer, confirmed that consultation with affected employees across all savings areas was taking place and advised that some vacancies within the service had been identified and employees had been provided the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy if desired.

 

56.6.     Councillor Fisher asked how the transfer of print and marketing services to Ipserv would provide a cost saving. Councillor Ellesmere confirmed that the savings in Corporate Support would be through the deletion of vacant posts which included the Operations Manager post.

 

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

 

Question 1 – Councillor I Lockington

Given that the savings in you Report for the Feb. 2020 Exec Meeting informed us that going down from 7 to 6 cuttings of the Green Verge annually would save the Borough £54,000, it sounds like a lot of money you are counting on saving with not planting up the Westerfield Road roundabout given that the roundabout is sponsored. Has The Swan informed you that they are withdrawing their sponsorship, if so, who else have you approached with a view to getting other sponsorship  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

E/20/23 2020-2030 Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Philip Smart

 

This report details a proposal to adopt an initial 2020 – 2030 Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.  Executive is asked to approve the recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

57.1.     Councillor P Smart introduced the report and confirmed that following the climate emergency declared in 2019, the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan had been designed to make the Council carbon neutral. The Council had made progress in this area since 2008 and by March 2019 a 39% reduction had been achieved. £12m had been allocated to improve energy efficiency within Council homes, the delivery of 20 carbon projects across the estate and installation of solar panels on many council owned buildings.

 

57.2.     The strategy and action plan would be used as a starting point for the development of an ongoing climate change strategy for Ipswich Borough Council, with the focus on the Council’s proposed approach for tackling climate change. The Climate Change Working Group had identified four workstreams and in addition to this, the Council was working alongside other Suffolk Local Authorities to create a Suffolk Wide climate change strategy to mitigate carbon emissions and protect and promote the County’s natural capital.

 

57.3.     In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3, Section 3, Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor T Lockington

Welcoming the commitment to roll out the retrofitting of IBC buildings, to improve thermal efficiency and energy use, does the Portfolio Holder agree that, in our buildings portfolio management, we should also plan out the need for the subsequent retrofitting of any new public buildings or buildings works?

 

57.4.     Councillor Smart agreed and advised that in the Strategy the Council had stated that they would need to “develop a ‘carbon neutral by design’ ethos where everything that was proposed or implemented across the organisation would consider how it could be carbon neutral or contribute to reducing carbon as a matter of course. This would include being considered from the outset in all the Council’s projects as an integral element of decision making. There would be an examination in how the Council contributed to carbon neutrality through the actions of reports to Executive also.

 

57.5.     Councillor Fisher noted the number of people working from home and asked if the impact this had or could have on the Council’s carbon footprint would be considered. Councillor Smart agreed that this would be an interesting point for further discussion as there were lots of considerations in understanding how changes to working from home and working from Grafton House affected the carbon footprint.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

i.               That Executive adopts the 2020 – 2030 Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan as set out in Appendix 1.

 

Reason:  To confirm its continued commitment to achieving a reduction in carbon emissions and delivering the aims of the Building A Better Ipswich Corporate Plan.

 

ii.             That Executive resolves that the 2020 – 2030 Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan supersedes the Executive resolution of 11th August 2015 to adopt a 25% carbon reduction target by 2025 and the Action Plan associated with that previous resolution.

 

Reason:  To ensure that focus is maintained on the more ambitious target of carbon neutrality  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

E/20/24 Reduction in Single Use Plastic pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Philip Smart

 

This report summarises the outcomes of the work undertaken as a result of the Council Motion in 2019 to reduce plastic waste.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

58.1.     Councillor Smart introduced the report and confirmed that as part of the Council’s agreement to reduce Single Use Plastic, 150,000 disposable drink cups had been removed from theatres and replaced with reusable polycarbonate cups, 19,000 cable ties had been replaced with reusable alternatives, 4,800 single use water bottles had been removed and mobile workers issued with reusable bottles.

 

58.2.     In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3, Section 3, Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor T Lockington

Knowing that the Portfolio Holder recognises that we should plan out the use of single use plastics, to reduce micro and macro-plastic pollution and non-degradable waste, and that single-use cups at          drinks dispensers in our public buildings are a significant contributor to the problem, would the Portfolio-holder explore the incentivisation of the use of reusable cups, including collapsible personally-owned silicon based cups, as an alternative, noting that we should also be careful to avoid significant increases in water use to cleanse the reusable alternatives?

 

58.3.     Councillor Smart advised that disposable cups were not provided for use by the public at any of the Council’s venues. Changes had been made so that disposable cups used at shows at the Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange would be replaced with polycarbonate cups that would be washed and reused; saving 150,000 single use plastic cups each year. Disposable cups at drinks dispensers within offices had been replaced by reusable polycarbonate cups, saving around 1,000 disposable paper cups pet year. Whilst both of these changes required the use of more water to clean them, this was far better for the environment that continuing to use single use plastic.

 

58.4.     Paper cups could still be brought into IBC buildings by those who purchased takeaway hot drinks from coffee shops and a storage and recycling system had been implemented to separate these from the usual general waste or recycling stream to ensure they were correctly recycled. The Council would continue to explore and implement best practice as technology improved and alternatives became available and encourage any member of staff who wished to bring their own reusable cup into the office.

 

58.5.     Councillor Ellesmere congratulated all officers involved for their work making a significant difference to the Council’s environmental footprint. Councillor P Smart noted that the majority of the changes had also been cost neutral.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

That Executive notes the work that has been undertaken to meet the aims and objectives set out in the Council’s motion in January 2019 to reduce plastic waste.

 

Reason: to recognise the Council is reducing its impact on the environment for generations to come.

59.

E/20/25 Introductory Tenancy Review pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

Following a review of the effectiveness of the Introductory Tenancy scheme, it is proposed to cease their use to enable greater focus on mainstream activity. This is particularly important during the pandemic recovery stages. The report recommends that Executive resolves to stop the Introductory Tenancy scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

59.1.     Councillor MacDonald introduced the report and confirmed that Introductory Tenancies had been introduced ten years ago with the aim of reducing antisocial behaviour. However, there had been very few antisocial tenants over this time, with only 1% recorded and 8 tenants evicted over the last four years. It was therefore suggested that these tenancies be replaced with standard tenancies which would provide Housing Officers the ability to focus on key issues and priorities. 

 

59.2.     Councillor Fisher asked if the four visits per year to tenants could be reduced by half to understand if there was any impact before further consideration. It was advised that a number of new pieces of legislation had been introduced since introductory tenancies and therefore the secure tenancies could be used to encompass everything within the introductory tenancies. It was confirmed that tenants would receive at least one visit within the first 12 months of their tenancy.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

That Executive authorises the Tenancy Services Operations Manager to take all necessary steps to cease the use of the Introductory Tenancy scheme with effect from 1st January 2021.

 

Reason:  to allow all tenants to have a secure tenancy and more resource and greater focus given to mainstream activity.

60.

E/20/26 Public Space Protection Order pdf icon PDF 474 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

Suffolk Constabulary has requested an extension to the current borough wide Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering alcohol consumption in designated places for a period of three years.

 

This report proposes that Executive recommends the extension of the PSPO for a further three years to Council at its meeting on 18 November 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

60.1.     Councillor Ross introduced the report and confirmed that the PSPO which had been in place for the last four years with regards to drinking alcohol outside had expired and Suffolk Constabulary had requested that the PSPO be renewed. Changes could be made to the PSPO over the four year period and although alcohol could still be consumed outside, if antisocial behaviour was caused by this, the Police could request that individuals stop drinking and further sanctions could follow if this request was refused. The PSPO would be used alongside other IBC services and the NHS to ensure that those with street drinking problems could be identified and supported.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that Executive recommends to Council at its meeting on 18th November 2020:

 

i.               That it extends the Public Spaces Protection Order restricting the consumption of alcohol in a public space for a further 3 years in accordance with the draft order at Appendix 1.

 

Reason: To enable the extension of the Public Spaces Protection Order and improve the quality of life and experience for all residents, businesses and visitors to the town.