Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Council Chamber - The Shire Hall, St. Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX. View directions

Contact: Sarah Smith 

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillor Rone.



To receive any declarations of interest by Members in respect of items on the Agenda.




MINUTES pdf icon PDF 633 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2017.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




Questions from members of the public

To receive questions from members of the public.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 23 October 2017.

Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.

Please see for information on how to submit a question.


No questions were received.


Questions from councillors

To receive questions from councillors.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 23 October 2017.


No questions were received.


Passenger Transport Services - Dynamic Purchasing System pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To agree the future procurement model for passenger transport services.


The cabinet member transport and roads introduced the report.


The head of transport and access services spoke to the report. He explained that the council had three current frameworks in operation, all of which would terminate in July 2018. He summarised the process and timelines for setting up the new dynamic purchasing system and explained that there would not be an ‘end’ to the process as operators would be able to join the system at any time once it was in place.


In response to questions the head of transport and access services confirmed that existing contracts would not come to an end automatically when the current frameworks terminated. Each contract had its own individual termination date. He also confirmed that cross ticketing, especially where more than one operator ran the same route, would be negotiated on a contract by contract basis. It was not recommended to put these conditions in as blanket cover as it might not suit all situations.


Group leaders were invited to give the views of their group.


The leader of the liberal democrat group stated that the proposal sounded like a step forward but queried whether the process would be more bureaucratic and take more staff time. The head of transport and access services responded that in many ways the process was similar to that already in place. There would be some additional work in setting up the new system but once in place operators would be able to receive and submit tender information for contracts electronically which would streamline the process.


The leader of the it’s our county group welcomed the proposal and the proposed best practice learning session with Cardiff City Council, although he queried whether there would also be consideration of best practice in other rural councils. He asked how the risks of insolvency of operators would be assessed as part of the due diligence on new operators joining the system. It was confirmed that the due diligence process would include a number of factors designed to ensure operators were suitable to include in the system and that being part of the new framework would not automatically guarantee work for an operator. Operators would have to tender for contracts as they were advertised and there would be further requirements to be met as part of each tender. With regards to rurality, it was explained that Cardiff City were one of the first councils to use the system and had a number of specific and generic areas that Herefordshire could learn from. There were other rural councils looking to use the same system and Herefordshire would look to pick up best practice from them as well, within the time available.


The leader of the green group stated her group were pleased to see that help would be provided to operators to use the e-tendering process and asked if more expressions of interest were expected through using the new system? She also asked if the category options would impact on the amount of work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Herefordshire's application to be a business rate pool pilot for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To approve Herefordshire Council’s application to be a pilot area for 100% business rate retention in 2018/19 in a pooling arrangement with Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.


The cabinet member for finance, housing and ICT introduced the report. He noted that an invitation had been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government at the beginning of September for councils to apply to be included in the next set of pilots for retention of business rates. The focus for this set of pilots was to be on two-tier areas and rural councils and to look at pooling. It had subsequently been confirmed that a no detriment clause would be included so that councils taking part in the pilot could be assured that they would not be in a worse financial position than if they had not been part of the pilot. It was anticipated that being part of the pilot could result in some additional resources for Herefordshire Council.


The leader of the its our county group asked if Herefordshire stood a realistic chance of being accepted for the pilot when the main focus was on two-tier local government areas. The head of corporate finance responded that the government was also looking at pilots in rural areas which was in Herefordshire’s favour. It was impossible to know how many applications the government would receive but the proposal to work in partnership with Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin councils was a unique arrangement which it was hoped would stand out.


With regard to scrutiny arrangements the head of corporate finance confirmed that the government had only published the call for applications on 1 September and that the deadline for applications was 27 October. Clarity on the no detriment clause had only been provided two weeks before the cabinet meeting. Subsequent to that each of the three partner councils had had to consider if they wished to proceed with a proposal application. Consequently it had not been possible to gather information and establish a proposed course of action in time to have the item considered by the general scrutiny committee before coming to cabinet. The deputy monitoring officer provided confirmation that the constitutional requirements for special urgency had been met and that, in coming to a judgement on this matter, weight had been given to the fact that the decision would not commit the council beyond the submission of an application.


The leader of the council stated that the role and importance of scrutiny was recognised and this was why the recommendation at this meeting was only to approve the expression of interest to DCLG. It was further recommended that the general scrutiny committee consider the arrangements for the pilot in the event that Herefordshire was successful in its application, before cabinet made a final decision on participation in the pilot.


The leader of the liberal democrat group expressed support for making the application.  He queried the figures in the table on pages 38 and 39 of the agenda pack (paragraph 24 of the report). It was confirmed that the forecast gain from full rate retention pilot was £2.7m as stated, being the difference between the forecast income  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Commissioning intentions for universal and early help services for children, young people and families pdf icon PDF 469 KB

To approve the commissioning intentions for public health nursing and early help services.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing introduced the report.

He noted that the first two priorities listed in the children and young people plan related to early help and 0 to 5 early years and that these proposals were about putting in place effective strategies to support these priorities.


The cabinet member thanked the children and young people scrutiny committee for the comments raised by them. He stated that it was regretted that some of the questions raised were not able to be answered at the time but confirmed that answers had since been provided on all matters. He stressed that consultation had taken place with partners in the clinical commissioning group (CCG) and elsewhere as this had been raised as a concern.


The director for adults and wellbeing stated that the proposals formed part of a wider package of early help for families and that responsibility for commissioning health visiting services (0 to 5’s) fully transferred from the National Health Service (NHS) to councils on 1 October 2015. There was a need to change the perception of the service from being a purely clinical service to working in partnership with other organisations in the broad context of the CYPP.


Due to reductions in the public health grant the new contract would have to deliver some efficiency savings. There could be some perceived losses in the transformation of the service but it was deliberate national policy that health visiting services be seen as part of the public health package and not as part of the NHS.


The director also noted that a significant amount of engagement had taken place with events held with parents, carers and staff. Consultations were ongoing with GPs.


The director for children’s wellbeing commented on the proposals for family mentoring services. He highlighted the preventative approach to be taken, seeking to prevent needs from escalating to higher levels by early intervention. The service would develop a sustainable approach going forward and continue to address the council’s priorities.


The chairman of the children’s scrutiny committee thanked cabinet members and officers for making the report available to the scrutiny committee. She highlighted the concerns which had been raised by the committee, including with regards to safeguarding, and commented that there would have been value in having a more detailed report available. The chairman confirmed that the information and responses provided since the scrutiny committee meeting had satisfied the committee going forward.


The cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing noted the comments made and confirmed that any service the council contracted would be expected to have safeguarding embedded at the heart of everything they did. He also confirmed that contractors would be made aware of the rural nature of Herefordshire and the challenges that posed.


Resolved that:


(a)  the responses to the recommendations of the children and young people scrutiny committee at paragraph 40 be approved;


(b)  a new 0 to 25 integrated public health nursing service for a period of up to five  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Nursery education funding agreement 2017 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

To approve a model Herefordshire Nursery Education Funding (NEF) Agreement to support implementation of the 30 hours free entitlement to nursery education for two, three and four year olds, which commenced on 1 September 2017.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing introduced the report. He stated that encouraging the take up of entitlement to 30 hours per week childcare would allow flexibility for families and support council priorities with regard to the wellbeing of children.


The leader of the green group queried the risk of providers pulling out of the 30 hour offer, particularly if the hourly rate paid was too low, and whether the proposals in relation to use of providers rated by Ofsted as requiring improvement would result in a lot of children accessing the 30 hour offer in such settings.


The director for children’s wellbeing responded that work was ongoing to look at the hourly rate and that while the council would want all children to be in provision rated good or outstanding, it would not immediately withdraw funding for settings deemed to require improvement as this could be destabilising. The council would work with providers rated as requiring improvement and only look to withdraw funding if there was insufficient progress. The direct noted that there was no immediate pressure for places across the county but this would continue to be monitored. The nursery education funding agreement attached as an appendix to the report was based on national guidance and had been checked by the council’s legal department.


Resolved that:


(a)  the draft Herefordshire Nursery Education Funding Agreement 2017 (at appendix 1) be approved; and


(b)  the director for children’s wellbeing be authorised to take all necessary operational decisions to complete agreements with relevant providers, within approved funding allocations.