Decisions

Decisions

31/07/2020 - Adult and Community Learning service's exceptional arrangements for awarding qualifications: the Qualifications Estimated Results policy: summer 2020 - COVID 19 ref: 7054    Recommendations Approved

Agreement of the adult and community learning service’s exceptional arrangements for awarding qualifications: the Qualifications Estimated Results Policy: Summer 2020 series – COVID 19.

Decision Maker: Director of Children and Families

Decision published: 03/08/2020

Effective from: 31/07/2020

Lead officer: Stephen Vickers


30/07/2020 - Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Adult Education Budget and 16-19 Funding Contract for the Academic Year 2020/2021 ref: 7053    Recommendations Approved

Acceptance of the Secretary of State for Education, acting through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Conditions of Funding Grant for the funding year 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021 for the following:

• £538,652 for the delivery of adult and community learning
• £96,889.00 on behalf of the maintained school sixth form of Earl
Mortimer College and Sixth Form Centre and £1,877 on behalf of
Westfield School for bursary support

Decision Maker: Director of Children and Families

Decision published: 03/08/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Lead officer: Chris Baird


23/06/2020 - Proposed Public Path Diversion Order Footpath D514 AV4 (Part) in the Parish of Avenbury ref: 7052    Recommendations Approved

To consider an application under the Highways Act 1980, section 119, to make a public path diversion order to divert part of Footpath AV4(part) in the parish of Avenbury.

Decision Maker: Acting Assistant Director for Highways and Transport

Decision published: 31/07/2020

Effective from: 23/06/2020

Lead officer: Mairead Lane


31/07/2020 - Implementing the Cabinet Member Decision “Fastershire Terms of Extension 2019” 18/12/19 ref: 7051    Recommendations Approved

The Fastershire project works across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to commission a broadband network where commercial providers will not invest. Capital funding is provided by The County of Herefordshire District Council (“Herefordshire Council”), Gloucestershire County Council and national Government via BDUK. Herefordshire Council is the lead authority. The total percentage of premises with superfast broadband in Herefordshire is currently 91% which is set to increase with contracted delivery.

The decision made by cabinet member on 18th December 2019 contained this following recommendation:

£1.8m of additional subsidy is used to extend the scope of the Gigaclear contracts (subject to state aid approval), in order to extend the full fibre broadband network to no less than 5,485 extra premises of which at least 872 premises do not currently receive superfast broadband.

To deliver on the recommendation, a contract variation is needed which will cover the new premises and the financial contribution from the Fastershire project.

Consultations have taken place with the National Competency Centre (the national authority on state aid who advise BDUK and who provide the state aid approval on which the above decision was dependent). This process has led to a revision of the contractible figures as follows:

• £250k reduction in the public sector subsidy required
• £190k increase in the private sector contribution
• Reduction in the contractible number of premises to 1,718 which include 835 of the 872 premises that do not have a superfast capability and which were the primary target of the original decision.

The difference in superfast premises between 835 now being reached and the 872 in the recommendation is revised deployment design and associated reduced cost of public sector subsidy.

The total premise figure is not a contracted amount but incidental build by Gigaclear as part of their deployment. In the decision of December 2019 that was stated as 5,485 and as part of the redesign stands at 5,348 - this difference is accounted for in that premises having coverage with those premises already reached.

Decision Maker: Assistant director Corporate Support

Decision published: 31/07/2020

Effective from: 31/07/2020

Lead officer: Natalia Silver


27/07/2020 - Approval of amendments to the Discretionary (Covid-19) Business Grant Fund ref: 7046    Recommendations Approved

The Small Business Grant Scheme and the Retail and Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme did not address all businesses with fixed property costs as it could only provide grants to businesses that were ratepayers. Government therefore made an additional allocation of 5% of the previous schemes total available to local authorities to operate a Discretionary Grant Scheme.

Government provided mandatory criteria for the scheme and a strong steer on what the funds should be primarily and predominantly used for. Government, also asked local authorities to prioritise the following four groups for these awards:

• Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, who do not have their own business rates assessment;

• Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;

• Bed & Breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates; and
• Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

The council therefore made a decision to focus on the government priority sectors during a first funding round and subject to the availability of funds, widen the scope of the criteria for future funding rounds utilising the discretion provided by Government. For the council’s first funding round, the award calculation rationale was devised to reflect 6 months of property costs (reflecting the anticipated lost trade) multiplied by half of the businesses FTE employees (as a proxy for the wider overheads of the business).

The scheme criteria were developed in consultation with the council finance teams who had developed experience through their administration of the other government Covid-19 support grants. In addition district audit were consulted to ensure that the scheme criteria could be demonstrated to be equitable and auditable.

The scheme was launched on the 15th June and closed on 29th June. This round of funding attracted exactly 200 applications. Of this total approximately 37% were rejected at assessment stage because the applicants were ineligible. Principal reasons for ineligibility included:
• Businesses with property related costs over the £15,000 threshold.
• Businesses who had already received support via the governments other grant schemes.

• Home based businesses who did not have fixed business property costs.

During the initial funding round officers became aware of the lower than expected number of applications and instigated paid for advertising content with the Hereford Times on their website, and paid for targeted adverts via Facebook.

This additional advertising supplemented initial communications via the council’s communications team, press releases, social media content, emails and letters to major partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, Hereford BID, and Federation of Small Businesses, and direct emails to over 4,000 businesses on the Economic Development team’s CRM system.

The council webpage for the Herefordshire Coronavirus Discretionary Grant Fund received around 1,900 unique hits with around 10% of these applying during the application window.

Based on evidence from a number of sources initial estimates indicated circa 600 businesses may have been eligible to apply in the initial round of funding based on the criteria. The actual approval rate is circa 23% of eligible businesses.


The above information suggests that significant numbers of businesses were aware of the Discretionary Grant Scheme but on viewing the scheme criteria it is considered they either found themselves to be ineligible or viewed the process as too onerous for the anticipated level of grant award. The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions for many of the eligible sectors may have meant that some businesses were focusing on re-opening rather than on this opportunity.

that the minimum grant award is increased to £2,000, with the maximum grant of £10,000 is retained and the calculation amended as follows:

As indicated above 125 awards will be made. It is therefore calculated that under the initial criteria the grant scheme would allocate around £440,000 during this funding round with £2,760,000 funds remaining.

The remaining funds provide the council the opportunity to consider how the scheme can be extended so that businesses in a greater range of circumstances or that have missed out on other funding, can be supported. In addition, there is the opportunity to consider how funding awards could be increased to reflect the feedback from businesses that they will be disrupted for a much longer period than the six months that was previously considered. Additionally the business applicants are demonstrating a wider set of overhead costs than is eligible through the scheme (mortgage, rent, licence or pitch fees).

It is proposed
Property costs (rateable value, rent or mortgage repayments) x 50% of FTE employees = Grant award

This change to the calculation and minimum award, applied to the first funding round increases total awards from approximately £440,000 to £640,000.

It is also proposed that for future rounds the scheme eligibility criteria is amended as follows:

1. B&Bs without rent or mortgage costs to be eligible for the fund and receive the minimum award;
2. Charities are able to include evidenced volunteer time in the calculation of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees to be capped at the cumulative total of 4 FTE volunteers;
3. Businesses with a business rates assessment for a hereditament with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 and that have not received a previous grant will be eligible and receive the maximum grant;
4. Proportionately raise the property costs (rent or mortgage) limit for businesses without rates assessment in the four priority categories up to £51,000 to reflect point 3; and
5. Should the scheme become oversubscribed in any new funding round all grants within that round would be reduced on a proportionate basis.

The recommended changes to the application criteria would evolve the scheme by maintaining virtually all of the existing criteria but also directly address some of the points identified above.

The first two proposals are small amendments to address anomalies in the original criteria reflecting the norms for these types of businesses that have become apparent during the first funding window. It is not considered that they will have a significant impact on demand or the budget.

Proposals three and four reflect the demand from a number of small businesses not in the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sectors that have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 situation. Businesses in this group, include those in sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale, construction and professional services that have seen a large impact to their businesses from the Covid-19 crisis. These businesses are also likely to provide significant employment and be important links within local supply chains. Providing grant support to these businesses’ fixed property costs may help them survive and retain employment and the wider economic benefits they offer.

Whilst the threshold for the property costs criteria would be raised to £51,000 the grant itself would be capped at £10,000 to ensure those supported in the original funding round are not disadvantaged and to reflect the government criteria which says grants can be given out below £10,000, at £10,000 or at £25,000.

Applications to these elements of the grant will be sought via an open funding round within which funding decisions are taken every fortnight on all applications made within that period. The funding round will remain open until all funds are allocated. If in any two week period the applications approved exceed the remaining funding then all funds awarded within that period are reduced proportionally. The funding decisions can be taken more frequently than every fortnight if required.

Unique Circumstances Fund
It is apparent from queries received by the team that there are a number of businesses that are not eligible for any government support and are significantly impacted. There are cases where anomalies in scheme criteria are meaning that businesses that would otherwise have received support are ineligible for often illogical and/or unfair reasons.

Developing a Unique Circumstances Fund, ringfenced at 20% of the total budget, would allow officers to address those obvious anomalies – subject to the business meeting all other usual eligibility criteria, and address support for key sectors unable to access other government funds for example cultural businesses such as theatres.

The principle and the size of the Fund are included in this Record of Officer Decision, the detailed criteria against which applications to the fund will be judged will be drawn up by officers in consultation with Cabinet Members. If required a further Record of Officer Decision will be taken recording the Fund criteria and the awards approval process.


Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision published: 30/07/2020

Effective from: 27/07/2020

Lead officer: Nick Webster


29/07/2020 - To directly award Hereford Voluntary Organisations Support Services (HVOSS) with a two year contract to provide a strategic partnership role with the third sector to support with the recovery of Covid-19 and continue the development of Talk Community ref: 7045    Recommendations Approved


Throughout the covid-19 urgent response HVOSS (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service) has provided a partnership role with the council enabling key relationships with the voluntary and community sector which has supported maximising the opportunities within communities. The recovery phase is being planned at pace and the council wishes to continue to work with the voluntary and community sector to provide an ongoing mechanism of locally based support and therefore sector based capacity is required to provide co-ordination and development.

Decision Maker: Director of adults and communities

Decision published: 29/07/2020

Effective from: 29/07/2020

Lead officer: Stephen Vickers


29/07/2020 - Provide an outreach kitchen and meal service to local residents from existing resource at the Hillside Care Centre, Hereford

To approve the provision of a community meals outreach service to local residents from Hillside Care Centre, Pentwyn Avenue, Hereford.

Decision Maker: Director of adults and communities

Decision due date: 14/09/2020

Lead officer: Nina Bridges

Notice of decision: 29/07/2020

Anticipated restriction: Open


28/07/2020 - Approval to award a contract for a supplier to provide maintenance and technical support on Daisy’s Wisdom EDRMS system ref: 7041    Recommendations Approved

Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) is a type of content management system and refers to the combined technologies of document management and records management systems as an integrated system. It allows the automation of business processes such as workflows and approvals that can be integrated with other business systems. The EDRMS allows the indexing and meta tagging of documents to allow search and retrieval either directly or via the business application.

The EDRMS currently serves storage and retrieval of documents process for planning, social care, education, records management, HR and the Council’s website to name a few.

A procurement exercise was undertaken through CCS Framework RM3804 Lot 3d where an assessment of all catalogue items was done in line with the rules and conditions associated with this framework.

On completion of this assessment, only one catalogue item was identified as being able to meet the requirements of the specification to provide support and maintenance for the Wisdom EDRMS system. This was the company ‘Daisy’. The table below shows the evaluation summary of this tender process:

Rank Supplier Price Quoted
1 Daisy £111,858.09

Following the aware criteria, Daisy has been identified as providing the most economically advantageous tender and are recommended for award.

Decision Maker: Assistant director Corporate Support

Decision published: 28/07/2020

Effective from: 28/07/2020

Lead officer: Natalia Silver


28/07/2020 - Disposal of Plot N16, Munitions Close off Skylon View, Hereford Enterprise Zone, Rotherwas ref: 7040    Recommendations Approved

Compliance with approved council policy.

Safeguard an existing Herefordshire business in the county and facilitate its further expansion.

Deliver private sector investment and job creation in the EZ which will boost confidence and interest from others and help generate further private sector investment and job creation. Speedy occupancy will boost the rates relief pot for the Local Enterprise Partnership (and hence the council).

Following the award of enterprise zone status in August 2011 approximately 45 hectares (110 acres) of council owned land was included, along with other privately owned land, in the designated EZ. The EZ status has resulted in the council and occupiers within the EZ benefiting from a number of government incentives such as significantly increased awareness and profile of the location and opportunity, business rates relief and retention, improved access to broadband etc. These factors have resulted in an increase in interest from local, national and international businesses in active and advanced negotiations with the council to acquire land within the EZ.

This area of land is located centrally within the EZ and has been identified for general employment use.

The sale of the land is on a freehold basis. The purchaser will not accept or proceed with the purchase on any other basis.

All the EZ land is being actively marketed, and is being sold according to independent land valuations and the EZ Land Disposal Policy which was approved by cabinet member on 7 January 2016. The plot was revalued in March 2019 to reflect current market conditions. The agreed purchase price meets the market valuation. Valuation document attached.

This sale has the full endorsement of the EZ executive board.

The sale is to a local business based in Rotherwas Estate. They intend to keep their current property, but need to build new more prestigious premises both to accommodate their expansion plans but also to be more in keeping with their new customer base.

The purchaser and their proposal have been assessed by the Hereford Enterprise Zone Board and deemed to meet the Placement Strategy, the Board’s set of criteria which each oncoming business must achieve in order to progress onto the Enterprise Zone.

The business was assessed to have met the Placement Strategy through its job creation predictions (in excess of 30% over 3 years) and being within one of the Enterprise Zone’s priority sectors (advanced engineering).

The decision to sell this plot supports council policy to use capital receipts from sale of land within the Enterprise Zone to fund the capital expenditure on installing necessary infrastructure across the site. The latest council decision to incur this expenditure is available via this link:

http://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=6182


Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision published: 28/07/2020

Effective from: 28/07/2020

Lead officer: Mark Pearce


24/07/2020 - Decision to install a new road gully within Leominster Cemetery to address drainage issues. ref: 7039    Recommendations Approved

The bottom left-hand corner of the cemetery after prolonged periods of rain floods to the extent that it is now impacting on a number of existing graves causing distress. The Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 places a responsibility on the Council for the maintenance of cemeteries.

Installation of this road gully will also enable continued use of this area of the cemetery, allowing the creation of a new children’s area.


Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision published: 28/07/2020

Effective from: 24/07/2020

Lead officer: Chris Jenner


27/07/2020 - To appoint Public Analysts, Agricultural Analyst and deputy agricultural analysts ref: 7038    Recommendations Approved

Under the Food Safety Act 1990 – Section 27 and the Agriculture Act 1970 – Section 67 the council is required to appoint one or more public analysts for food safety and an agriculture analyst and deputy agriculture analysts as needed.

Following the closure of Worcestershire Scientific services which was part of Worcestershire County Council the council lost both its Public Analyst and Agricultural Analyst.

Hampshire and Kent scientific services are part of Hampshire County Council and Kent County Council and they have the same aims, objectives and responsibilities in regard to food safety act and agricultural act matters


Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision published: 27/07/2020

Effective from: 27/07/2020

Lead officer: David Hough


20/07/2020 - Approval of seasonal street trading consent at Bishops Meadows, Hereford ref: 7036    Recommendations Approved

To approve an application for a seasonal street trading consent at Bishops Meadows, Hereford

Decision Maker: Assistant Director for Technical Services

Decision published: 27/07/2020

Effective from: 20/07/2020

Lead officer: Chris Jenner


27/07/2020 - In year changes to the capital programme budgets for priority flood works

Following consideration at Cabinet on 23 July 2020, approve the allocation of funding for priority flood damage repairs and for works to enhance the resilience of the county’s infrastructure.
The Bellwin scheme will not fund all repair needs following flooding in February 2020. With no further funding having been specifically made available by Government for recovery from Storm Dennis, the significant gap between what Bellwin provides and the cost of all necessary repairs must be met from within the capital programme. This report sets out the Cabinet’s recommendations from their consideration of the funding options from across the capital programme and including the allocation of capital funding available following the announcement of Pothole and Challenge Fund allocations for 2020/21.

Decision Maker: Council

Decision due date: 04/08/2020

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Clive Hall

Notice of decision: 27/07/2020

Anticipated restriction: Open


27/07/2020 - WISH website hosting and maintenance contract

To agree the scope and to undertake a direct award through a framework procurement process to secure the WISH website hosting and maintenance service.

Decision Maker: Director of adults and communities

Decision due date: 21/08/2020

Lead officer: Lisa Bedford

Notice of decision: 27/07/2020

Anticipated restriction: Open


27/07/2020 - Purchase of soil moisture testing equipment required to deliver Work Package 3B Soil Research - River Wye and Lugg Natural Flood Management Project ref: 7035    Recommendations Approved

Purchase of soil moisture testing equipment from Delta-T Devices Ltd. will enable the River Wye and Lugg Natural Flood Management (NFM) project to deliver Work Package 3B soil research. This work package is required to meet Defra’s funding requirements for research

Decision Maker: Acting Assistant Director for Highways and Transport

Decision published: 27/07/2020

Effective from: 27/07/2020

Lead officer: Mairead Lane


21/07/2020 - Variation to the Framework Partnership Agreement section 75 (s75) relating to the COVID-19 Discharge Requirements and commissioning of health and social care services in connection with the Better Care Fund between the council and NHS Herefordshire & ref: 7033    Recommendations Approved

Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire CCG entered into a Framework Partnership Agreement relating to the commissioning of health and social care services on 1st April 2019 in exercise of the powers referred to in Section 75 of the 2006 Act and/or Section 13Z(2) and 14Z(3) of the 2006 Act as applicable (the “Partnership Agreement”).
NHS Herefordshire CCG has subsequently undergone a statutory reorganisation. The rights and obligations of NHS Herefordshire CCG under the Partnership Agreement were novated to NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG on 1st April 2020.
As part of the NHS and wider public sector’s response to the global Covid-19 pandemic the Government has issued the Covid-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements (the “Discharge Requirements”) which took effect on March 19th 2020. The Discharge Requirements have been introduced to ensure that where it is clinically safe to discharge patients from an acute or community hospital those patients are discharged in accordance with the new ‘Discharge to Assess’ model.
In accordance with the Discharge Requirements, the Partners have considered the most appropriate model through which to commission the enhanced discharge service and admissions avoidance services and agreed that the County of Herefordshire District Council shall act as the lead commissioner for enhanced discharged service and the Partners shall pool the funding referred to in this Deed for the purpose of funding this service.
To support the new Discharge Requirements a range of measures have been introduced, as stated in the variation agreement.
The Partners have agreed to vary the terms of the Partnership Agreement as set out in this Deed of Variation.
The 2019/2020 s75 agreement, therefore, has been extended by 12 months and will continue until 31 March 2021 unless terminated earlier, as set out in Schedule 1 of the variation agreement and Clause 2.2 and 25 of the s75 agreement.
All other aspects of the s75 remain unchanged unless subject to any additional variation agreement.

Decision Maker: Director of adults and communities

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 21/07/2020

Lead officer: Marie Gallagher


23/07/2020 - John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form: new permanent accommodation ref: 7023    Recommendations Approved

To approve a new permanent building at John Kyrle High School & Sixth Form Centre to accommodate additional pupils admitted from September 2021 in response to rising numbers in Ross-on-Wye and to meet parental preference, and to agree the procurement approach to deliver the required works.

 

John Kyrle High School & Sixth Form Centre is rated Good with Outstanding features by Ofsted and has been consistently oversubscribed since 2009. In recent years additional permanent accommodation has been provided and funded by John Kyrle to enable additional children to attend.

 

Funding has been identified in the council’s capital programme, using basic need government grant, to enable John Kyrle High School & Sixth Form Centre to expand by one form of entry. A grant will be provided to John Kyrle High School & Sixth Form centre to deliver a new science block which will provide additional classrooms and associated support spaces. The project will be delivered and managed by John Kyrle.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       Subject to securing planning consent, a grant of £2,300,900 be awarded to John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form to fund an extension to the John Kyrle High School & Sixth Form Centre to enable its permanent expansion from seven forms of entry (210 pupils per year group) to eight forms of entry (240 pupils per year group); and

(b)  The grant being made subject to a requirement that the build be designed and completed with the objective of obtaining a BREEAM excellent or Passivhaus certification. £260k of the grant being allocated is specifically for this purpose.

 

 

Wards affected: Ross North;

Lead officer: Karen Knight, Quentin Mee


23/07/2020 - Herefordshire Multi- Agency Protocol for Children and Young People with Disabilities and Complex Needs - Preparing for Adulthood ref: 7024    Recommendations Approved

1)     To agree the revised content of the Herefordshire Multi - Agency Protocol for Children and Young People with Disabilities and Complex Needs - Preparing for Adulthood on behalf of Herefordshire Council services

2)    To delegate responsibility for the reviewing and technical updating of the Protocol to the Head of Additional Needs

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       Approve the Herefordshire Multi - Agency Protocol for Children and Young People with Disabilities and Complex Needs - Preparing for Adulthood;  

(b)  Delegate the responsibility for reviewing and technical updating of the Protocol to the Head of Additional Needs.

 

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Alexia Heath


23/07/2020 - Heritage Action Zone - Leominster ref: 7025    Recommendations Approved

To approve expenditure and deliver activities as detailed in the Leominster Heritage Action Zone Delivery Plan.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       The council enters into a funding agreement with The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (HBMCE) to deliver the Heritage Action Zone Programme in Leominster as per the Delivery Plan with an anticipated total budget of £3.6m from the capital programme (£1.8 of which is match funded) and £1.8m from HBMCE;

(b)       The Director of Economy and Place, in consultation with Section 151 Officer, be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to secure the funding agreement between the Herefordshire Council and The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England;

(c)       The Director of Economy and Place be authorised to sign all sub grant agreements (for the building grants) to grant recipients and take day to day operational decisions, including any variations to any sub grant agreements;

(d)       The Director for Economy and Place, in consultation with Section 151 Officer, and approved by Cabinet Member for Economy, Environment and skills and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Transport, be authorised to sign any programme changes which may include identifying new projects in light of Covid19;

(e)  Section 151 Officer agrees that the Council provide forward funding grant payments to grant recipients up to a cumulative maximum of £500k over any quarterly period, pending drawn down of funds from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England

 

 

Wards affected: Leominster East; Leominster North & Rural; Leominster South; Leominster West;

Lead officer: Nadine Kinsey


23/07/2020 - Better Ways of Working Revised Implementation ref: 7026    Recommendations Approved

 

The report is to review and recommend further delivery of the "better ways of working" (BWOW) initiative that enables employees to work flexibly and to consolidate use of premises.  This decision reflects on the impact and implications of Covid-19 on the plans that were set out and agreed by Cabinet on 27 February 2020.

The report specifically relates to the future occupancy of the Elgar House offices and the Nelson House building with a focus on Plough Lane as the key office location, along with maximising the potential of home working and use of multi-agency offices in the market towns.  The report reviews the required financial investment and associated savings, along with work practices that will enable effective use of workspace in the long and short term.

A key intention of BWOW is to reflect contemporary work practices that enable adaptable and flexible working arrangements that supports the workforce, aids staff morale and increases productivity.  The proposed approach to BWOW also supports the council's ambitions to reduce carbon emissions with a decreased number of sites using utilities and staff having less travel to work.

The recommendations are in place to approve the revised BWOW proposals.  Particularly to give notice on the Elgar House lease in time to meet the break clause otherwise the tenancy would continue until July 2023.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       based on an increase of home working, notice is served to terminate the lease of Elgar House by activating break clause making a base budget saving of £205k and disposing of the Old Priory in Leominster creating a base budget saving of £90k;

(b)       Disposal of other sites in Hereford when operationally appropriate covering 1a, 8 and 10 St Owen’s Street and Union Street offices creating a combined base budget saving of £100k with delegated authority to assistant director, technical services in consultation with the cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets;

(c)       the timescale to serve notice on Nelson House is delegated to assistant director, technical services in consultation with the cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets;

(d)       base budget of £60k is realigned from property services site running costs to cover annual revenue expenditure associated with the new model of working at Plough Lane;

(e)       the Ryefield Centre in Ross on Wye is retained as a council base in the south of the county; and

(f)        revised approved capital spend for BWOW of up to £850k based on:

·         reconfiguration and improvement works at the Ryefield Centre up to the value of £500k in consultation with the cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets and Ross-on-Wye Town Council;

·         allocation of up to £350k to deliver the better ways of working project through delegated authority to the assistant director corporate support in consultation with the cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Natalia Silver


23/07/2020 - Allocation of Pothole and Challenge Fund 2020/2021 grant for highway maintenance. Reallocation of capital programme budgets for priority flood works. ref: 7027    Recommendations Approved

 

To approve the allocation of funding to enable priority flood damage repairs and as able works to enhance the resilience of the county's infrastructure.

The Bellwin scheme will not fund all repair needs following flooding in February 2020. With no further funding having been specifically made available by Government for recovery from Storm Dennis, the significant gap between what Bellwin provides and the cost of all necessary repairs must be met from within the capital programme. This report sets out the funding options from across the capital programme and including the allocation of capital funding available following the announcement of Pothole and Challenge Fund allocations for 2020/21.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)     Cabinet recommend to Council that the £7.674m (Pothole and Challenge Fund 2020/21 grant allocation) be added to the capital programme as a new programme;

(b)     Subject to the decision taken at Council in regard to the Pothole and Challenge Fund 2020/21 grant allocation, authorisation be given to commit this funding to deliver highway maintenance works in the current financial year, as detailed in paragraph 23 of this report;

(c)     The director of economy and place be authorised to agree, through the contract governance arrangements, adjustment to the programme and budget allocation in the public realm services contract annual plan to include programmes of work funded by the Pothole and Challenge Fund in 2020/21;

(d)     Cabinet recommend to Council that the £4.027m (Priority Flood Repair Works) be added to the capital programme as a new programme;

(e)     Cabinet recommends to Council that priority flood repair works totalling £4.027m, as set out in paragraph 24 of this report, are funded through the use of extended borrowing (Option 1);

(f)      subject to the decision taken at Council confirming the changes to the capital programme, the director of economy and place be authorised to procure the priority flood repair works; and

(g)     In the event that new funds are made available by Government specifically to address the priority flood repair works, then those funds would be added to the Priority Flood Repair Works programme.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Mairead Lane


23/07/2020 - Car Parking Review ref: 7013    Recommendations Approved

To authorise a review of countywide car parking charges and concessions in line with the objectives and principles outlined in the Local Transport Plan and County Plan 2020/24.

Individual car parking tariffs will be consulted on with key stakeholders and will be subject to a further key decision.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member Infrastructure and transport

Decision published: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Decision:

That:

A review of car parking charges and concessions in all council car parks and on street pay and display is approved.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: James.Hughes


22/07/2020 - Looked After Child Independent Visitors Service Contract ref: 7032    Recommendations Approved

To direct award the contract for Independent visitors service to NYAS for the period of 3 years, from 1st August 2020 to 31st July 2023, at a total value of £89,931.

An exemption to contract procedure rules has been granted. The direct award will support the council to comply with its statutory duty and ensure continuation of service and stability for the 15 children currently accessing the service.

Decision Maker: Director of Children and Families

Decision published: 22/07/2020

Effective from: 22/07/2020

Lead officer: Chris Baird


22/07/2020 - Brierley Village 30mph Speed Limit ref: 7030    Recommendations Approved

To consider a recommendation that the existing national speed limit be reduced and a new 30mph speed limit introduced through Brierley Village.

The extents of the proposed speed limit are precisely set out in Recommendation(s) below and shown on drawing 3409 Brierley in Appendix A.

The recommendations are proposed for the following reasons:
• For avoiding danger to persons or other traffic using the highway network, and for preventing the likelihood of any such danger arising.

• To allow for safe pedestrian and vehicular movement associated with the proposed residential development.

• For preserving or improving the amenity of the area concerned.

Decision Maker: Acting Assistant Director for Highways and Transport

Decision published: 22/07/2020

Effective from: 22/07/2020

Lead officer: Mairead Lane


22/07/2020 - Loan for Courtyard Expansion Project ref: 7001    Recommendations Approved

 

To seek approval to release a loan of up to £0.611m to the Courtyard Centre for the Arts (Courtyard).  This will enable the Courtyard to complete an expansion programme in order to maximise their revenue income.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member commissioning, procurement and assets

Decision published: 22/07/2020

Effective from: 29/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       Approval be given to grant a loan of up to £0.611m to the Courtyard Centre of the Arts to carry out a programme of building works, the funding to be sourced by the council through Public Works Loan Board borrowing and;

(b)  The loan be repaid in full by the Courtyard at a commercial interest rate over a period of 50 years with a repayment holiday of up to 3 years and the interest for those 3 years deferred to the 50 year repayment plan.

 

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Penny Jones


21/07/2020 - Improvements to Outdoor Play Provision at Spring Gate Nursery School, Ross-on-Wye ref: 7029    Recommendations Approved

To fund up to £689, for improvements to the existing outdoor play provision at Spring Gate Nursery School, Ross-on-Wye.
Funding to be provided from early years Section 106 receipts from Caradoc, Ross-on-Wye, with the remaining funding covered by the Nursery School.

Decision Maker: Director of Children and Families

Decision published: 21/07/2020

Effective from: 21/07/2020

Lead officer: Chris Baird


20/07/2020 - Covid 19 Support for Recovery of the Visitor Economy ref: 7015    Recommendations Approved

 

To approve expenditure and approach to delivering the Covid 19 Support for Recovery of the Visitor Economy project.

 

On 27 May 2020 the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) approved a £444,220 revenue grant to the council to support the recovery of the visitor economy from Covid 19.  The project will support the recovery of the visitor economy (defined as tourism accommodation attractions, leisure, culture, hospitality and retail businesses) through promoting opportunities for day and overnight 'staycation' visits to the county.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member environment, economy and skills

Decision published: 20/07/2020

Effective from: 25/07/2020

Decision:

That:

(a)       The cabinet member for Environment, Economy and Skills accept the grant and approves the related expenditure (£444,220) of Marches Local Enterprise Partnership funding provided for the Covid 19 Recovery of the Visitor Economy project.

(b)       The cabinet member for Environment, Economy and Skills approves delivery of the project in accordance with the business case approved by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (annex A)

(c)  The Director for Economy and Place in consultation with the Section 151 Officer be authorised to approve expenditure following the appropriate procurement of service providers.

 

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Roger Allonby


20/07/2020 - Decision to award a contract for Library Management System ref: 7028    Recommendations Approved

Under the terms of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, Herefordshire Council has a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service, including the provision of ‘bibliographic and other information as may be required by persons using it’. The delivery of library services is managed via Herefordshire Libraries Library Management System (LMS).

Library Management Systems provide specialist IT services for library authorities including bespoke scripts and services specific to individual library authorities. It integrates with the council’s own IT systems, supplier and partners IT systems, as well as library service hardware.

The council has made a significant investment in the current LMS which has been crucial in delivering new online and digital library services and developing mutually beneficial relationships with local partners. The ongoing development of other library systems and services is dependent on the compatibility and reliability of the LMS.

The current maintenance contract for the LMS is on a one-year rolling arrangement ending 30 June 2020.

In March 2018 a Decision was taken to initiate a procurement process for a new LMS contract starting in 2020. This contract would be for a minimum of five years to support the current and future development of the LMS and give the potential for financial savings.

Following this Decision, a review of service requirements and procurement options was undertaken with the Herefordshire Council Commercial Services team. The review included an assessment of the current LMS and alternative products in the market place, as well as potential costs incurred should the service move to a new system (estimated up to £90k for additional library staffing, equipment, training, systems, project management, support, and resourcing).

The Framework Managed Services for Business Framework Agreement - Y16018 provides a compliant process for the procurement of a new LMS contract for the optimum term required which will enable the delivery of improved library services and reduce costs by an estimated £5k on the current annual service charge from year two of the contract (current value up to £395k over five years). It also offers the potential for further savings which will be reinvested to fund service improvements.

Based on the costs to move to a new system combined with maintenance costs of alternative systems, the best value solution was provided by Capita.

Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision published: 20/07/2020

Effective from: 20/07/2020

Lead officer: Jon Chedgzoy