Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Council Chamber - The Shire Hall, St. Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX. View directions
Contact: Sarah Buffrey
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors David Hitchiner and Gemma Davies.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.
To receive questions from members of the public.
Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Friday 20 September 2019.
Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.
Please see https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/getinvolved for information on how to submit a question.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.
To receive questions from councillors.
Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Friday 20 September.
Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.
To approve the cabinet’s response to the climate emergency resolution that was unanimously supported at the meeting of full council on 8 March 2019.
To approve the cabinet’s response to the zero carbon citizen’s assembly resolution that was passed by council at the meeting of full council on 12 July 2019.
The cabinet member environment, economy and skills introduced the report and highlighted three minor corrections as follows:
· Both resolutions were passed unanimously by Council;
· The y (upwards) axis of the graph at paragraph 13 of the report was incorrectly labelled and should read carbon dioxide in thousand tonnes;
· The date of the climate emergency resolution in appendix 1 should read 8 March 2018.
In introducing the report, the cabinet member made the following key points:
· the council recognised the active lobbying by many members of the public, in particular young people, and the strong emotions raised by this subject;
· the council was prepared to adopt challenging new targets;
· carbon emissions had already been reduced by over 40% against the 2008/9 baseline;
· significant reductions in budgets over this period had been challenging but drives for efficiencies and changes in ways of working to reduce costs had also delivered environmental benefits;
· the council had met its carbon target two years early but this did not mean that work would stop, initiatives both within and outside the council had been continuing since the climate emergency motion was passed in March 2019;
· it had to be recognised that many homes and businesses in Herefordshire were not cash rich, programmes such as the warm homes programme had enabled investments;
· every tonne of carbon saved would make a difference, even apparently small actions could have a ripple effect and become a large change;
· the level of public support had been noted, working together would magnify the impact of council actions;
· climate change appeared in many sections of the new corporate plan which was currently under consultation;
· it was recognised that most changes would be neither quick or straightforward, some changes would only be possible as contracts came due for renewal;
· Herefordshire would work with other councils to lobby for changes to the national framework that prevented the council from doing certain things.
In discussion of the item cabinet members noted that:
· additional detail on planned actions would be provided as soon as possible;
· the new policy would set out actions for the council and also seek to influence partners;
· every aspect of the council’s operations would be considered through the lens of the climate emergency;
· the council would also seek to learn from good practices elsewhere in the country and overseas;
· this was an issue that cut across cabinet portfolios;
· the voices of young people and their support for action on climate change had been heard.
Group leaders were invited to give the views of their political groups. It was noted that:
· all groups were supportive of action to tackle climate change;
· the cost of initiatives would have to be looked at carefully;
· the commitment of young people was welcomed;
· working with partners such as parish councils was very important;
· the use of supplementary planning documents should be explored to work towards targets, the review of the core strategy would need to take account of the agreed response to the climate emergency motion;
· the Energy from ... view the full minutes text for item 86.
To review the draft Youth Justice Plan 2019/20 at appendix a, and agree for the plan to be considered by full council.
The cabinet member children and families introduced the report. The head of service at West Mercia Youth Offending Service highlighted the following key points:
· The plan had been prepared and adopted by the Youth Justice Management Board in May 2019, it now required endorsement by the four councils in the West Mercia area;
· The plan had been prepared in accordance with government guidance and outlined key performance data and actions planned to be taken during the current financial year;
· The previous system dealing with first time entrants met statutory guidance but allowed for an initial youth caution to be issued without this being part of a joint decision-making process between the police and youth justice service, it was felt that a lot of young people receiving youth cautions could be diverted through an informal disposal process where their needs would be addressed and services provided without giving the young person a criminal record;
· All decision making would now come through a joint panel which included colleagues from other agencies such as the early help services of the council, the panel would look at the nature and severity of the offence alongside the needs of the young person.
The chair of the children and young people scrutiny committee noted that the actual numbers were small but the way they were required to be reported skewed the statistics. The scrutiny committee received each annual plan but found the process frustrating as much of the action had already happened. The action plan had been scrutinised and endorsed. More recent statistics had been shared with the committee, which showed an improved picture and the committee had requested that in future the latest available statistics were shared as part of the process.
It was reported that the latest available figures for 18/19 showed 43 first time entrants compared with 76 in the previous year. The rate of reoffending within 12 months for the cohort October 16 – September 17 was 30.5% in Herefordshire compared with a national rate of 38.9%. This was a significant reduction on the previous Herefordshire figure of 44.4%.
Group leaders welcomed the decrease in numbers but noted that it was difficult to highlight trends from the available data with the small numbers involved. It might be worthwhile to focus on early help in relation to first time offenders and it would be helpful if the report could say why there was a general reduction in the trend.
The director for children and families explained that the board was in the second year of a three-year approach and that there had been recent improvements in operational matters that enabled the local service to have access to council systems to share information in the interests of children and young people.
The cabinet member children and families commented that she was heartend to hear that numbers were moving in the right direction and that intervention was in place to support young people who had contact with the youth justice system.
It was agreed that: ... view the full minutes text for item 87.
To review the statement of principles (Gambling Policy) to be applied by the council when exercising licensing functions under the Gambling Act 2005 and recommend the revised policy to Council.
The cabinet member housing, regulatory services and community safety introduce the report, noting that the Gambling Act 2005 required the council to produce a statement of principles to be applied when exercising licensing functions. The reviewed policy was largely unchanged from the previous version but did reflect new guidance from the gaming commission.
The principal licensing officer reported that gambling was not a large issue in Herefordshire although there were issues of protection of children and vulnerable people. It was market driven and in decline in Herefordshire.
Cabinet members noted that:
· The policy was in relation to physical premises;
· The need for signage in other languages to support migrant workers had been included in the local area plan risk assessment and premises were expected to have documents available to support those who need that help.
The chairman of the general scrutiny committee stated that the committee had gone through the revised policy with a fine toothed comb. He was pleased to see that eight of the eleven recommendations had been incorporated and he understood the reasons why the others could not be taken on board.
Group leaders were invited to express the views of their group. Concern was expressed that quite a few of the recommendations were simple fixes and it was important that policies were carefully reviewed. It was noted that the policy had been consulted on and that efforts were made to ensure that language was appropriate and understandable.
It was agreed that:
the revised Statement of Gambling Licensing Policy 2019-2022 (attached at appendix 1) is recommended to Council.
To recommend to council that the Herefordshire travellers’ sites development plan document (DPD) 2018 -2031 is adopted.
The cabinet member infrastructure and transport introduced the report, supported by the strategic planning manager and senior planning officer. It was highlighted that:
· There was a requirement to provide for the accommodation needs of travellers through the development plan process that was met by the DPD which would sit underneath the council’s core strategy;
· The document set out plans to provide some additional pitches on existing sites and a new transit site near Leominster;
· The document had been subject to extensive consultation including with the gypsy and traveller community;
· The new temporary stopping place adjacent to the A49 near Leominster was supported by the police and sought to address unauthorised encampments by providing a suitable location for such encampments to be moved to;
· The transit site would have no permanent structures but hard standings would be provided and the site would be opened up on an as needed basis, with negotiated stay periods depending on the circumstances;
· The examination in public had recommended additional pitches and an additional existing private site had been identified to address this need;
· Madley had been identified as an area for future investigation, there were some outstanding issues but this might be a suitable location for a site in future;
· Capital bids would be made to support development of sites as necessary, it was anticipated that additional pitches would be available over the next five years.
Group leaders acknowledged the hard work of officers in developing the plan and recognised it was a necessary document to add to the core strategy.
It was agreed that:
(a) the Herefordshire Travellers sites Development Plan Document (DPD) 2018-2031 (appendix 4 and at
https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200185/local_plan/796/travellers_sites_document_examination/7), incorporating the Planning Inspector’s recommended main modifications (appendix 2) and the schedules of additional modifications (appendix 3) be recommended to Council for adoption; and
(b) it be recommended to Council that delegated authority be given to the programme director growth to make any further minor modifications, (e.g. typographical) to ensure consistency with other development plan documentation.
To approve the commissioning of a service to provide vulnerable care leavers with support to develop their skills, resilience, opportunities for training and employment, engagement with relevant services and integration with their community to enable them to move towards independent living. This service will also help the young people to understand their rights and responsibilities as tenants and what to expect of Landlords.
The cabinet member children and families introduced the report, supported by the head of community commissioning and resources and the head of looked after children. It was noted that:
· This would be a new service for young people with complex needs;
· The properties to be used included some already owned by the council and an additional property that had been acquired, works to renovate the buildings were expected to be completed by Spring 2020 and the new service would be commissioned alongside these works;
· The needs of young people needing this type of service were carried but included risk of exploitation and criminal behaviour;
· There was growing demand for this type of service and in the past the council had placed young people outside the county, this had been at a cost and the quality of provision had been variable, this new service would be more cost effective and give the council greater control over quality;
· It was hoped that many service users would transition to being fully independent but this would not always be the case, the service would work with partners in the NHS, probation service and universal services such as further and higher education providers with regards to appropriate ongoing support;
· There had been substantial market engagement in advance of the procurement so the council could be confident that potential providers would come forward;
· The buildings would offer a range of types of accommodation according to the needs of the individuals and would have an on site facility for staff to work with the young people;
· Using council owned properties gave a measure of control and simplified operating arrangements, the council would lease the building to the service provider so they would be responsible for collecting rents and maintenance of the building;
· It was noted that there was reluctance from social housing providers to take on young people in this cohort due to perceived risks such as non-payment of rents;
· The proposal was welcomed as an example that arm’s length commissioning might not be the best option in all circumstances.
The chair of the children and young persons scrutiny committee reported that the committee had scrutinised the care to be provided within the building to understand the support being offered to care leavers. The committee had been assured that support would be 24/7 with a lot of one to one support and involving outside agencies as necessary. The committee felt that the service should be reviewed at a future point to ensure that the desired outcomes were being achieved, and had requested that a visit be arranged to the property before it was occupied.
Group leaders welcomed the proposed approach and agreed that the service should be reviewed at a future point to check it was meeting its stated aims. The decision to acquire the building for the service was lauded.
It was agreed that:
(a) the commissioning of a service to provide support and accommodation management for vulnerable care leavers in council owned properties through an ... view the full minutes text for item 90.
To agree to vote in favour of Hereford BID for the second, five year term.
To agree to pay the levy on Herefordshire Council properties in the BID area to the value of £21,495 per annum.
The cabinet member environment, economy and skills introduced the report noting that:
· Business improvement districts were a recognised tool to deliver economic benefits, allowing business to lead in providing services additional to those already provided by the council;
· Initiatives such as the Stronger Towns fund require strong business input, giving the Hereford BID an important role to play;
· The Hereford BID board were keen to welcome new members.
The economic development manager explained that there was a voting process to approve continuing the BID for a further period with all businesses located with the BID area entitled to vote. The council had 25 votes to case. Consultation had taken place with the approximately 400 businesses in the BID area and the majority were strongly in favour of continuing the BID.
Cabinet members noted that the work done by the BID supported tourism, particularly as the council was not able to give as much support in this area as it might wish due to financial constraints, and had increased footfall in the city centre.
Groups leaders commented that it was pleasing to see that business supported the BID as good value for money. It was suggested that they be encouraged to share positive experiences with the market towns to encourage other BIDs to be set up. It was also suggested that ongoing events should reflect the climate emergency.
Cabinet members noted that a Herefordshire BID that would cover all market towns was in development and this could be a very positive step. The increase in the rateable value threshold for business to pay the levy was welcomed as good for smaller businesses.
It was agreed that:
(a) the Economic Development Manager be authorised to vote in favour of Hereford BID for the second, five year term (2020-2025);
(b) payment of the levy on Herefordshire Council properties in the BID area be approved, valued at £21,495 in year one (an increase of £14,790 on the current levy paid) for a period of up to five years; and
(c) The Director of Economy and Place (liaising with Legal Services) be authorised to finalise and arrange for the execution by the Council of all necessary contract documentation relating to the BID extension.