Agenda and minutes

Executive
Tuesday 5th March 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

126.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no Apologies for Absence.

127.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2019.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2019 be signed as a true record.

128.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

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

129.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

130.

To Confirm the Additional Meeting of the Executive Convened for Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 6pm in the Orwell Room.

In order to consider business that needs to be transacted before the end of the 2018/19 municipal year.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

That an additional meeting of Executive be held on Tuesday 19 March 2019, commencing at 6pm.

131.

E/18/57 Ipswich's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-24 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

In November 2017 Ipswich Borough Council published its latest Housing Strategy 2017-22.  This amalgamated the housing strategy and previously separate homeless strategy.

 

In August 2018 the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government published “the Rough Sleeping Strategy” which set out the Government’s vision for halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027. Ipswich shares this vision. The national strategy, coupled with the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, has led the council to separate out the actions addressing homelessness from our Housing Strategy to produce this strategy focused on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping. This would be the Council’s first Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy.

 

This report outlines the proposal for a new Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-24.The report recommends that Executive considers and approves the draft Strategy for adoption.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

131.1   Councillor MacDonald introduced the report, explaining that the Council spent £2m per year on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping and that only about one third of that money was provided by Government, the rest being funded locally. Councillor MacDonald expressed his gratitude to the many partner agencies which worked with the Council to solve this very complex issue.

 

131.2   Councillor MacDonald reported that the strategy contained four key priorities, and noted that the Council had already had a very good record on preventing homelessness with 601 households supported in 2017/18. Councillor MacDonald also noted that the Council was increasing access to suitable accommodation by building new Council Houses at Tooks, Cauldwell Hall Road and, subject to Executive’s approval of a paper later on the agenda, on small sites already owned by the Council.

 

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

 

Question 1 – Councillor Holmes

 

Does the Executive accept that the methodology and accuracy of the annual rough sleeping count is questionable and will proposals in the Action Plan for quarterly counts of rough sleepers:

(a) develop improved ways of recording and assessing rough sleeping in accordance with the national Rough Sleeping Strategy and include advice from partnership organisations on methods of assessment;

(b) include known rough sleepers who may not fit a definition of sleeping by reason of being in A & E, walking or moving at the time of the count or other similar exceptions;

(c) capture data on the category of rough sleeper such as an EU national or prison leaver?

 

Councillor MacDonald explained that this year’s count was the most robust count of rough sleepers in Ipswich which had been undertaken in the last five years. This was because a physical count was conducted, rather than using an estimation methodology. Councillor MacDonald thanked those employees and partner agencies who had voluntarily worked through the night to carry out not just the national November count but one every two months over the last six. Councillor MacDonald said that these counts would continue whilst the Council was in receipt of Rough Sleeping Initiative Grant. Councillor MacDonald said that he had recently received an email from a volunteer counter who had been very impressed by the organisation of the count and the commitment of those involved.

 

Councillor MacDonald reported that the Council followed the Government prescribed methodology, but also went further by working closely with local homelessness organisations to ensure that all relevant areas of the town were covered, including the Ipswich Hospital estate. 

 

Councillor MacDonald confirmed that the counts captured data on local connection, age ranges, nationality and reasons for rough sleeping as well as recording outcomes of how many people the project has worked with and housed. Councillor MacDonald said that the Council recorded how many people had had mental health assessments or been able to access mental health services. Councillor MacDonald noted that the Council aimed to record all prison leavers via the ‘duty to refer’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.

132.

E/18/58 Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy 2018-2023 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report proposes the adoption of a new Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy 2018-2023 and Ipswich Standard that forms part of it.

The report recommends that Executive adopts the new HRA Asset Management Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

132.1   Councillor MacDonald introduced the report, noting that the Strategy included an improved Ipswich Standard, including a more demanding Energy Efficiency target.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the new Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy 2018-2023 and integral Ipswich Standard be adopted.

 

Reason: To ensure the Council has a robust Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy 2018-2023 and integral Ipswich Standard in place.

133.

E/18/59 New Build Housing - Small Sites pdf icon PDF 765 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report introduces plans to develop around 28 dwellings across five sites in South Ipswich. Completion of small “infill” developments are an important part in delivering the Council’s ambition to build 1,000 homes in a decade.

 

Further reports to Executive will be required in due course such as for the appointment of a design and build contractor. This report asks Executive to confirm that it wishes to progress development on these sites, to authorise a budget for the development and confirm the tenure of the units.

Minutes:

133.1   Councillor MacDonald reported that the Council’s underused Housing land had been reviewed and that it was proposed to build on 5 sites, including 3 former garage areas, a former St John’s Ambulance Building and a former works yard. 28 dwellings were proposed to be built, although this was provisional and was likely to change as the exact layout of buildings on the sites had not yet been confirmed. The cost of the whole project was £4.8 million, with a cost per dwelling of around £178,000, although new homes bonus funding would provide the Council with revenue. Councillor MacDonald said that the scheme was important as it would provide homes for residents on the housing list.

 

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

 

Question 4 – Councillor Holmes

Given the impact of climate change, and the particularly severe impact it will have on the East Coast, will the Portfolio Holder confirm that the tender for building these homes will include a zero carbon specification for the buildings to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to carbon reduction in Ipswich and in accordance with Priority 2 of the Corporate Plan?

 

Councillor MacDonald noted that the Council’s house building specification provided for a very high standard of insulation, which exceeded both building regulations and planning requirements. The specification also included photovoltaic solar panels where possible. Councillor MacDonald noted that the specification would have met Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, had it not been withdrawn by the coalition government in 2014. This code had existed to assess and certify the sustainable design and construction of new homes and the Council continued to build to its requirements.

 

133.3   Councillor Jones explained that the withdrawal of the Code for Sustainable Homes had also impacted on quality of other developments in Ipswich as it had been being integrated with the Council’s Local Plan. Councillor Jones noted that the biggest challenge to domestic carbon reduction was from existing properties.

 

133.4   Councillor Ellesmere commented that had the Code for Sustainable Homes not been withdrawn more efficient homes would be cheaper to build as a result of economies of scale. Councillor Ellesmere noted that the new houses would be very well insulated and energy efficient and commented that whilst these developments were relatively small they would still make a useful contribution to the Council’s housing stock.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)            thatthe dwellings on each site be 100% social rented tenure.

 

Reason: To achieve the Councils objective to build 1,000 homes in ten years.

 

b)           that the Head of Development be authorised to develop the project design, submit a planning application for each site and tender the project (for up to 28 dwellings across all sites), with further report(s) to be presented to Executive for the award of the construction contract during 2019/20.

 

Reason: To expedite the delivery of the project.

 

c)            that the £4,800,000 funding for this scheme from existing budgets within the Increased Housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 133.

134.

E/18/60 Financial Management and Control: Corporate Budget Monitoring 2018/19 Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 493 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Martin Cook

 

This report gives details of the forecast outturn position for 2018/19 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, together with the resources to fund it, for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

Minutes:

134.1   Councillor M Cook explained that the Budget monitoring report anticipated a positive variance of £1.4m, which was a small proportion of the Council’s overall budget. Councillor Cook highlighted that the Big Ticket savings target for the year had already been overachieved by £133,000 which he commented showed its effectiveness.

 

134.2   Councillor M Cook noted that the Housing Revenue Account was currently predicted to achieve a £793,000 positive variance, whilst the Shared Revenues Partnership was predicted to end the year with a positive variance of £103,000.

 

134.3   Councillor M Cook explained that the report included a number of additions to the Capital Programme, some of which had already been agreed by Executive and some of which was new spending.

 

134.4   Councillor M Cook noted that Executive was being asked to agree another Business Rates write- off as a result of a national chain struggling.

 

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

 

Question 5 – Councillor Fisher

Could Executive provide more detail of the £205k ‘Big Ticket Saving’ listed as ‘Rental Income’ and whether this is recurring or one-off?

 

Councillor M Cook explained that all “big ticket” savings were recurring rather than one off. Councillor Cook reported that the £205,000 related to the letting of the 4th floor of Grafton House.

 

Question 6 – Councillor Fisher

The transfer of £102k from the General Service Contingency to cover Senior Management Staff Costs would indicate a change from that outlined in the original budget. Please could you provide a breakdown of these costs?

 

Councillor M Cook explained that this was the cost of the 12 month contract for the Head of Programmes.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)            that service budget performance and the future year effects be noted and that the resulting budget changes be made for the General Fund.

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control and forecasting.

 

b)           that service budget performance be noted and the future year effects be noted and that the resulting budget changes be made for the Housing Revenue Account.

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control and forecasting.

 

c)            that service budget performance, in section 9 and appendix 6 of this report, and the future year effects be noted and that the resulting budget changes be made for the Shared Revenues Partnership (SRP).

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control.

 

d)           that the position on the 2018/19 and future years Capital Programme be noted and that the additions to the capital programme identified in paragraph 10.6 of the report be approved.

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control

 

e)            that the £25,000 transfer from the ‘Contingency - additional commitments’ budget to the Finance System capital scheme, bringing the total project value to £354,813 be noted.

 

Reason: to facilitate development of finance system

 

f)             that the write offs totalling £53,122.44 relating to business rates payable by Suk Ltd, as identified in paragraph 17.1, be authorised against the business rates bad debt provision.

 

Reason:  to recognise that the debt is irrecoverable and allow  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.

135.

E/18/61 Insurance Contract Extension pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Martin Cook

 

Executive is asked to waive the Contract Standing Orders in relation to procurement and approve an extension with the existing insurance provider for a period of up to twelve months whilst a new procurement exercise is conducted for the appointment of a contractor to fulfill the requirements of the Council.

Minutes:

135.1   Councillor M Cook explained that it was proposed to enter into a 12 month contract with the current provider for insurance to allow time for a procurement exercise to be completed. Councillor Cook explained that work on procurement had been started but that the framework to be used had been due to expire in January 2019 and so it could not be completed. The Crown Commercial Service framework had since been extended and was now due to expire on 30th April 2019, however, there was now insufficient time to complete the procurement before that deadline.

 

135.2   Councillor Fisher withdrew the question which he had submitted on this item and so it was not asked.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that Contract Standing Orders for full market tested procurement be waived and that the Head of Finance and Revenues, in consultation with the Head of People & Governance, be authorised to enter into a contract with the current contractor, Zurich Municipal, for provision of insurance coverage for a twelve month period.

 

Reason:  To ensure the Council complies with Contract Standing Orders and Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Entering into a short term agreement as proposed in this report ensures the Council will continue to have insurance coverage after 31 March 2018.

136.

E/18/62 Electrical Service Cabling Replacement Tender pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report details the work that has been carried out to procure an electrical service cabling replacement contract and sets out the results of the tenders received.

 

Executive are asked to award the most economically advantageous bid.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

136.1   Councillor MacDonald explained that these electrical cable replacement works were necessary to ensure residents safety. The contract had been let on a 40% price, 60% quality split to ensure that the Council could have confidence in the works done.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)            that the Head of Housing and Community Services, in consultation with the Head of People and Governance, be authorised to enter into a contract with the supplier, identified as Contractor 1 in the exemptAppendix 1, for delivery of the Sub-mains replacement cabling contract in accordance with this report for a 2-year term from 1st April 2019, with an option to extend the term by up to 1 year.

 

Reason: The Council has a statutory obligation to maintain its housing stock and a statutory obligation to ensure all electrical apparatus electrically safe for tenants. Contractor 1’s tenderwas overall the most economically advantageous to the Council in accordance with the criteria set out in the tender documents.

 

b)           that the increasedcost, as shown in exempt Appendix 2, be noted and that the Head of Finance and Revenues be authorised to amend the Medium Term Financial Plan by increasing the HRA RCCOs in 2019/20 and 2020/21 as shown in exempt Appendix 2.

 

Reason: To ensure the HRA programme to renew sub mains wiring to council properties is fully resourced.

137.

E/18/63 Procurement of Vehicles pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Philip Smart

 

This report details the need to replace a number of the vehicles in the Council’s fleet. It seeks approval:-

·                to use Crown Commercial Services Framework RM 6060 for the purchase of vehicles;

·                to delegate responsibility for decisions made to purchase vehicles.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

137.1   Councillor P Smart explained that the report proposed the replacement of 67 small vehicles and 13 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). The replacement of these vehicles was necessary to ensure the reliability of the fleet.

 

137.2   Councillor P Smart reported that all of the small vehicles would be electrically powered, whilst the new HGVs would be more efficient diesel vehicles. Councillor Smart noted that electric refuse lorries were being trialled but explained that the technology was not yet sufficiently advanced to allow the Council to purchase them and that the need for new refuse lorries was pressing.

 

137.3   Councillor P Smart explained that it was proposed to purchase these vehicles through the Crown Commercial Service Framework which gave the Council access to a range of discounts.

 

137.4   Councillor P Smart noted that the explanation to the delegation in paragraph 4.14 did not reflect that the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport would also need to be consulted on and agree to any purchases, but that the recommendation at 13.2 b did properly explain the proposed arrangement.

 

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

 

Question 8 – Councillor Holmes

Although the Report states that the replacement of vehicles will result in a measurable reduction in the Council’s carbon footprint, no measuring seems to have taken place. Should not the programme:

(a) be fully audited with a total figure for carbon emissions and give the actual level of the reduction?

(b) demonstrate a commitment to a carbon neutral strategy?

(c) confirm the carbon emissions will be offset by reductions throughout the Council’s other operations?

 

Councillor P Smart explained that the Council was committed to reducing the impact that its fleet of vehicles had on the environment and that this was clearly demonstrated in the report. Councillor P Smart said that the replacement of vehicles with low or no carbon alternatives would be an important contribution towards achieving the Council’s reduction targets and that the reduction in carbon emissions would be measured through the regular carbon footprint calculations as part of the Council’s carbon reduction strategy. Councillor Smart reported that the programme involved projects aimed at reducing emissions across all of IBC’s operations, therefore effectively offsetting emissions in areas where the Council was unable to make further reductions in carbon.

 

Councillor Smart added that one of the key deliverables of this vehicle replacement programme would be a 33% reduction in NOx emissions from the Council’s fleet of vehicles.

 

Question 9 – Councillor Holmes

Given likely improvements in emission reduction technology (together with accounting benefits) would not the introduction of a rolling replacement policy enable access to them rather than major fleet changes on what appears to be a cycle of up to nine years?

 

Councillor P Smart explained that the proposal would in fact only replace 40% of the Council’s vehicle fleet and that it was indeed the hope that future replacement programmes would be able to take advantage of newer, more environmentally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 137.

138.

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 remaining 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

139.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of Previous Meeting

140.

E/18/62 Electrical Service Cabling Replacement Tender - Exempt Appendices

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

141.

E/18/63 Procurement of Vehicles - Exempt Appendix

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Philip Smart

142.

E/18/64 Business Plans for Wholly Owned Companies

Portfolio Holder – Councillor David Ellesmere