Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Sarah Smith 

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillor Bramer.



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




MINUTES pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2017.


Resolved:       That the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Item 7 on the agenda was taken out of order at the request of the cabinet member health and wellbeing.


Herefordshire's Better Care Fund (BCF) and Integration Plan 2017-2019 and extension of s.75 agreement pdf icon PDF 344 KB

To agree the extension of the existing section 75 agreement to 31 March 2019 and approve the council's contribution to the Herefordshire's Better Care Fund (BCF) and Integration Plan 2017-2019.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member health and wellbeing introduced the report and highlighted the interdependence between health and social care. He set out the requirement for councils and clinical commissioning groups (CCG) to prepare joint plans for the delivery of key community services, funded through a pooled budget known as the Better Care Fund.  The cabinet member reported that Herefordshire’s integration plan had been signed off by the health and wellbeing board and formally approved by NHS England. The CCG had therefore been given the authority to enter into a legally binding section 75 (S75) agreement with the council for the transfer of funds from the NHS budget to social care. The draft agreement was before the cabinet.


The cabinet member stated that although funding was pooled, there was no risk share as part of the agreement. The CCG and council retained responsibility for their own services and any additional demand cost pressures placed on them.


For the first time targets had been set nationally for the number of delayed discharges from hospital. The council had met its target for September, being the last month for which data was available, and initial analysis suggested performance had improved further since then. Cabinet members commended staff in achieving and exceeded these targets.


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


The leader of the independent group asked what the backup plan would be if one partner in the agreement failed. The leader of the council agreed that a written answer would be provided.


The leader of the green group noted that paragraph 7 point c of the report set a measure of having an increasing proportion of people aged 65 and over who were still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital. She stated that there were pressures around this target and asked if the council was still meeting that target. The leader of the council agreed that a written answer would be provided.


The leader of the it’s our county group confirmed that questions from his group had been submitted in writing ahead of the meeting. The IOC group recognised and commended the work of the council and its partners in reaching the current point. The risks of additional costs incurred through winter pressures such as flu outbreaks were noted and the group asked for reassurance that the council would not be directly liable for additional financial contributions or that BCF grants would not be jeopardised.


The director for adults and wellbeing confirmed that the contributions by the council and the CCG to the BCF were fixed and that a number of the services included within the plan operated under fixed price contracts. Where services were linked to demand the council and the CCG each bore their own risk. There would be no expectation of additional contributions to the BCF. If there were demand led pressures on the NHS these would be for the NHS to manage.


The cabinet member for finance, housing and ICT asked what opportunities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

The cabinet member health and wellbeing left the meeting.

The chief finance officer raised a point of order to make a correction to item 8 on the agenda. Note 5 to Appendix B should have stated that £1.698m was to be reprofiled, not repaid.



Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To receive questions from members of the public.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 13 November 2017.

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

Please see for information on how to submit a question.

Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive questions from councillors.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 13 November 2017.

Additional documents:


Questions received and answers given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.


South Wye Transport Package pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm making of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and Side Roads Order (SRO) and to approve commencing the procurement of a contractor for the Southern Link Road (SLR).

Additional documents:


The cabinet member infrastructure introduced the report. He referred to the decision of cabinet made on 20 October 2016 which agreed in principle the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) and Side Roads Orders (SRO), if required, for the acquisition of land along the route of the Southern Link Road (SLR). The cabinet member reported that negotiations with landowners were progressing fairly well but it was felt that arrangements for CPOs and SROs should now be put in place to avoid future delays in the delivery of the project.


The report also recommended the establishment and implementation of a procurement strategy to inform a decision on the awarding of a contract for the construction of the SLR.


The leader of the council queried what the total cost would be. The head of infrastructure delivery responded that financial implications were set out in report as being £1.8m estimated cost for land acquisition and compensation, £500k for the CPO / SRO public enquiry process and £150k for the procurement process to cover profession fees to produce tender documents, manage the tender process and undertake detailed reviews of the submitted tenders.


The cabinet member for transport and roads asked how negotiations were faring in respect of acquiring land. It was confirmed that the council was in contact with all relevant landowners and had made offers to each of them. Officers were pleased with the progress that had been made and were hopeful that negotiations would be concluded with all landowners. However the CPO process needed to run alongside the ongoing negotiations to give certainty to timescales.


The cabinet member for finance, housing and ICT asked whether the legal costs for the CPO would be paid up front or paid along the process of the CPOs. He asked whether costs would reduce if negotiated settlements were reached with landowners.


The head of infrastructure delivery confirmed that the costs were those that the council would incur if it went through a CPO process including legal support to defend and make the council’s case for the scheme, the costs of setting up an inquiry locally and the costs of the independent inspector appointed to hear the CPO inquiry. The more objections there were to a CPO then the longer and more complex the inquiry would be which would have an impact on costs. There would still be some legal costs if all land was acquired by negotiation.


The leader of the its our county group confirmed that he had submitted the views of his group in writing prior to the meeting and thanked the cabinet member and officers for their responses. He queried the claim that there had been no overspend on the city link road. He also queried the status of funding from the Marches LEP growth deal for the south wye transport package citing a lack of clarity as to whether this was a loan or not. Reference had been made in documents to paying back the £1.7m allocated, although the earlier correction confirming  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


End of September corporate budget and performance report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To provide assurance that progress is being made towards achievement of the agreed revenue and service delivery targets, and that the reasons for major variances or potential under-performance are understood and are being addressed to the cabinet’s satisfaction.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member for economy and corporate services introduce the report and noted that it was in the usual style. He highlighted the following points from the report:

·         the latest budget projection forecast an overspend of £2.172m, much of which was due to meeting children’s needs

·         the number of internal and external placements for children in care continued to be higher than expected

·         an invest to save project was beginning to increase capacity to support the reduction in numbers of looked after children over the next 18 months

·         39% of performance measures where data was available showed an improvement compared to the same period in the previous year, a drop from the previous performance report

·         directorates were putting in place measures to address the reduced performance in key areas

·         maintaining performance while delivering savings was a measure of improved efficiency

·         the unauthorised capital spend on the Blueschool House project was a cause for concern, in addition to the audit and governance committee overseeing actions that should offer assurance of internal processes the chief executive had approached the LGA to establish a peer review of governance and culture to take place early in 2018

·         the number of people who had attended an NHS healthcheck had increased by 8% in the previous quarter and was the second best for comparable authorities

·         the majority of new social work assessments in children’s wellbeing were completed within statutory timescale, a notable improvement from the same period the previous year

·         provisional exam results showed Herefordshire’s youngest pupils achieved improved outcomes in the full range of assessments

·         the £5m investment from the challenge fund in maintaining three strategic roads in the county was expected to be very beneficial in the long term

·         the council had exceeded the target for the sale of council assets, this released £1m of planned savings which were being delivered a year early

·         road deaths were unacceptably high and were an area of concern

·         the unemployment rate in Herefordshire was down to a record low of 1,135.


The cabinet member for infrastructure noted that the overspend was a projected outturn rather than an actual overspend. He asked whether the children’s wellbeing directorate could continue to keep children safe while addressing the projected overspend.


The cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing responded that one of the councils priorities was to keep children safe and give them the best start in life. Decisions were made on individual children rather than having a blanket approach. Work had been done to reduce the number of children subject to child protection plans and the numbers were now appropriate compared with statistical neighbours. Measures had also been put in place to ensure that where children were taken into care this was an appropriate decision. The number of children coming into care was now comparative with statistical neighbours. Plans were being developed to achieve permanency for children currently in care where this was appropriate over the next 2 years. This would reduce costs while also continuing to meet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.