Decisions

Decisions

03/04/2024 - Children and Young persons’ Improvement Plan – progress update

To provide a progress update in respect of the Children and Young persons’ Improvement Plan

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision due date: 27/06/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Victoria Gibbs, Rachel Gillott, Bart Popelier

Notice of decision: 03/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


15/03/2024 - Accept variation proposals (Compensation Events, CE) as part of agreement (NEC4 Contract) for the design of A465 Aylestone Hill and Holme Lacy Road (HLR) Active Travel Walking and Cycling Improvements ref: 10069    Recommendations Approved

• The Holme Lacy Road and A465 Aylestone Hill Active Travel Measure schemes are designed to improve the existing cycle infrastructure in the south and north of the City respectively to the latest national guidance published in July 2020. This will improve the facilities for pedestrians, in particular crossing arrangements, address the challenges that currently discourage people from walking and cycling in the vicinity and encourage active travel in Hereford as the natural choice for journeys less than 2 km.
• These projects are part of a wider programme of Active Travel Measure (ATM) schemes accessing Active Travel Funding (ATF) and Levelling Up Funding (LUF) across Hereford City.
• The schemes will also support a reduction in carbon and other transport related emissions in the county and provide a good quality, convenient and safe transport network linking to the City Centre and Enterprise Zones that prioritises walking and cycling.
• Price & Myers were awarded the contract for undertaking the design of the Holme Lacy Road scheme following an open tender exercise in compliance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules (CPR’s). Initial design scoping for the A465 Aylestone Hill scheme was added to the contract via a variation.

Decision Maker: Corporate Director – Economy & Environment

Decision published: 03/04/2024

Effective from: 15/03/2024

Lead officer: Ross Cook


03/04/2024 - 2023/24 Draft Statement of Accounts

To note the draft, unaudited Statement of Accounts for 2023/24

Decision Maker: Audit and Governance Committee

Decision due date: 11/06/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Rachael Hart

Notice of decision: 03/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


03/04/2024 - Draft Annual Governance Statement 2023/24

To seek the view of the committee as to whether the draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for
2023/24 properly reflects the internal control environment the council is operating in and the
appropriateness of actions identified to improve governance arrangements.

Decision Maker: Audit and Governance Committee

Decision due date: 11/06/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Rachael Hart

Notice of decision: 03/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


03/04/2024 - Quarter 4 Budget Report

To report the provisional financial outturn for revenue
and capital budgets for the year ended 31 March 2024, subject to external audit.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision due date: 16/05/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Rachael Hart

Notice of decision: 03/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/04/2024 - Grant acceptance and purchase of accommodation to address gaps in homelessness pathway provision: additional funding

To accept additional grant from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) via the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) round 5 and the associated grant terms and conditions.

To approve the additional acquisition of a minimum of five properties from the open market within a defined budget and to allow officers, following appropriate consultation and due diligence, to proceed with the acquisitions.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member adults, health and wellbeing

Decision due date: 16/05/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Tina Wood

Notice of decision: 02/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/04/2024 - Approval to spend the National Lottery Heritage Fund Delivery Grant for the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery redevelopment project ref: 10052    Recommendations Approved

To approve spending of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Delivery (NLHF) Grant on approved purposes, excluding the gallery fit-out works, for the redevelopment of Hereford Museum and Art Gallery.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member community services and assets

Decision published: 02/04/2024

Effective from: 09/04/2024

Decision:

That:

a)Authority is delegated to the Corporate Director for Community and Wellbeing to draw down and spend from the capital programme, and

 

b)take all operational decisions required to deliver the approved purposes, excluding the gallery fit-out works, of the NLHF’s deliver grant for the museum and art gallery redevelopment to the value of £1,502,044.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Damian Etheraads


28/03/2024 - Public Realm Services Annual Plan 2024 - 2025 ref: 10038    Recommendations Approved

To confirm the Annual Plan 2024/25 for the Public Realm Services contract with Balfour Beatty

Living Places (BBLP) and the close out of the Major Contracts Improvement Board plan

Decision Maker: Cabinet member roads and regulatory services

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That:

(a) the Annual Plan for public realm services, as outlined at Appendix 1 of this report

be approved as the basis for service delivery during 2024/25 with an overall budget

of up to £18,669,041; made up of £5,802,041 revenue and £12,867,000 capital

budgets as detailed in paragraph 36 and;

 

(b) approval to spend the retained capital budget of £2,599,000 as detailed in

paragraph 36;

 

(c) the Service Director Environment and Highways be authorised to agree, through the Public Realm Contract governance arrangements, final adjustments to the

programme (including any recommendations from the Strategic Partnering Board)

and budget allocation to each of the Annexes and any in-year adjustments to the

plan, within the overall budget; including the retained capital budget, and

(d) the close out of the Major Contracts Improvement Board major contracts

improvement plan be approved.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Dave Martin


28/03/2024 - Fourth Ofsted Monitoring Visit feedback ref: 10066    Recommendations Approved

To share the feedback letter from Ofsted following their fourth Monitoring Visit conducted on 21 - 22 February 2024.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That:

a) Cabinet receive and note the feedback from Ofsted Inspectors’ Monitoring Visit letter, at appendix a

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Darryl Freeman, Rachel Gillott


28/03/2024 - Herefordshire and Worcestershire All Age Autism Strategy 2024-2029 ref: 10040    Recommendations Approved

The purpose of this report is to approve the Herefordshire & Worcestershire All-Age Autism

Strategy (2024-29).

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That Cabinet:

 

 

1.    Approves the Herefordshire and Worcestershire All Age Autism strategy, and

 

      2. Delegated authority be given to the Corporate Director for Community

          Wellbeing and the Corporate Director for Children and Young People to take all

          operational decisions that fall within the responsibility of Herefordshire Council

          to complete, as set out within this strategy.

 

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Glen Crosier


28/03/2024 - Wye Valley Trust (WVT) Investment Partnership Model ref: 10041    Recommendations Approved

To agree an increase in value offered as an investment to Wye Valley Trust to enable the development of an Education Centre at Hereford County Hospital. To further explore options around a strategic investment partnership and bring a business case back to cabinet for approval in Autumn 2024. Wye Valley Trust produced a cost plan in July 2023 which has been uplifted to reflect an estimate of price increases applicable to the scheme in order to arrive at a realistic assessment of total costs. Based on these costs at this point in the process WVT have anticipated they would require a loan of £15million from Herefordshire Council.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That:

 

a)     Cabinet to note progress on the development of the business case to enable the development of an Education Centre at Hereford County Hospital and the potential increase of the capital investment up to £15million subject to final approval of business case and funding.

a)

Wards affected: Central;

Lead officer: Joni Hughes, Sarah Morris


28/03/2024 - Herefordshire All Age Carers Strategy 2024-2029 (previously known as 'All Age Carers Strategy')

To Approve the All Age Carers Strategy 2024-2029 for Herefordshire

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision due date: 18/07/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: John Burgess

Notice of decision: 28/03/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


19/03/2024 - Freehold Community Asset Transfer of Moors Meadow at Goodrich to Goodrich & Welsh Bicknor Parish Council ref: 10064    Recommendations Approved

• Moors Meadow, Goodrich adjoins Goodrich Primary School site which is owned by Herefordshire Council and is leased to G&WBPC under a 25 year lease from 15.09.2009.
• The land is situated in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in Goodrich Conservation Area and is designated as public open space
• Under the lease the land is maintained and managed by G&WBPC and is used by the local community for leisure and recreational activities.
• G&WBPC wish to invest in improving the amenity of the land and protect it for indefinite use by the local community and have thus requested that the freehold in the land is transferred to them.
• The original request goes back many years and discussions have been on-going since at least 2016 during which agreement was previously reached that the land would transfer to G&WBPC. The transfer stalled and they have reapplied under the provisions of the council’s CAT policy
• Most of the land is unsuitable for future development as it is steeply sloping and G&WBPC have agreed that any part of the site which is required for future expansion of the school will be transferred back at nominal value.
• The application is supported by Goodrich Primary school and by expressions of support from local residents who wish the land to be retained and protected for use by the local community and believe this is best achieved by the outright ownership of the commons being vested in the Parish Council
• Public open space is valued at nominal values for the purposes of asset valuations
• The application was considered by the council’s CAT evaluation panel which recommended in principle that the transfer proceed at nominal consideration
• A transfer of the land to G&WBPC would contain a covenant restricting its future use to public open space and provide for clawback in the event it ceases to be used for such purposes and would be on the basis that the Council’s legal and other costs in the matter are paid for by


Decision Maker: Strategic Assets Delivery Director

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 19/03/2024

Lead officer: Sarah Jowett


19/03/2024 - Approval of new leases, licences, tenancies and associated legal agreements in respect of vacant property held within the council’s commercial property investment portfolio ref: 10063    Recommendations Approved

This industrial unit is to be held within the council property investment portfolio to provide revenue to support delivery of council services.
The unit is to be let at open market terms to provide rental income and reduce the council’s property holding costs in terms of Business rates and maintenance

Decision Maker: Strategic Assets Delivery Director

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 19/03/2024

Lead officer: Sarah Jowett


26/03/2024 - To commission critical intrusive surveys to take forward the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery Redevelopment project (within the existing £18.4m budget). ref: 10062    Recommendations Approved

Hereford Museum and Art Gallery (HMAG) redevelopment project has a combined budget of £18.4m comprising of £8.4m Herefordshire Council capital funding, £5m Stronger Town funding and £5m National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant funding.
Previous governance decisions for the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery project provided for spend up to £2.4m up to and including RIBA stage 4.
The following intrusive surveys are to be carried out by Herefordshire Council to reduce risk factors on the construction and inform design:
Ground Investigations
Opening Up Works
Intrusive survey
Drainage Survey
Fabric Condition Survey
Paint Survey
Plaster survey
Masonry Strength Testing
Timber survey
U-value testing
Moisture survey
Archaeologist support
The following consultants are required to provide specialist advice:
Fire Engineer
Principle Designer (BSA)
Landscape Architect
The Principle Designer (Building Safety Act) is a new role required (since October 2023) as a result of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Further surveys and consultants may be required following investigations.
A sum of £200,000 is required from the existing £18.4m budget to complete the required intrusive surveys and consultant commissions. This work will be procured by Herefordshire Council in accordance with the Contract Procedure Rules
Previous governance decisions have provided approval to spend up to £2.4m on developing the design to Riba stage 4.
RIBA4a has been commissioned to a Design Team to develop the detailed design including the additional information needed for planning following a planning consultation.
£200,000 is required to complete the intrusive surveys and commissions needed to complete the RIBA stage 4 detailed design.
A Cabinet decision is anticipated in July 2024 to take the project through construction and delivery through RIBA stages 5 and 6. At this stage there will be a costed plan to deliver the project.
Capital cost of project
Agreed Governance to spend £2,400,000
Surveys/Commissions £200,000
Remaining Budget £15,800,000

TOTAL £18,400,000

Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 26/03/2024

Lead officer: Hilary Hall


08/03/2024 - The creation of a new Environmental Advice Service (EAS) ref: 10061    Recommendations Approved

Since the European Court of Justice ‘Dutch Case’ ruling, planning consents in the River Wye are limited based on their phosphate loading to the river.

The Local Plan identifies a housing need of circa 4,000 new homes in the Lugg sub-catchment. To sign off on a Habitat Regulations Assessment for development within the Clun and the Lugg catchment developers must demonstrate nutrient neutrality; that is phosphates in the Lugg and nitrates and phosphates for the Clun. A development can show that it is nutrient neutral through long term mitigation schemes that remove nutrients from the watercourse.
At present, the only mitigation scheme in Herefordshire is the council’s wetland scheme, which has released some credits. However, to enable continued growth throughout the county, the council are keen for developers to pursue their own mitigation.
Herefordshire Council is now able to offer an Environmental Advice Service (EAS) as part of a paid service offered by the Built and Natural Environment Service.
The Environmental Advice Service can assist developers with bringing forward private mitigation schemes to offset the nutrient budget of development proposals.
The service is separate to the planning process and it is available for a variety of services, focusing around the environmental impacts of the project. It will co-ordinate services with other statutory bodies as required (Natural England, Environment Agency, Natural Resource Wales, etc) consolidating advice for the applicant in a report.
This will be a fee based service as follows (Herefordshire Council Environmental Advice Service (EAS)):
• Simple projects £500
• Complex projects: £1500
With any additional hours charged at £110 per hour.


Decision Maker: Service Director – Environment , Highways, & Waste

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 08/03/2024

Lead officer: Mark Averill


20/03/2024 - Contract variation to enable continued staffing of emergency accommodation for people experiencing rough sleeping for the period 8th April 2024 up to 31st May 2024 ref: 10060    Recommendations Approved

Council owned premises have been sourced for use as part of the winter accommodation provision for people experiencing rough sleeping. The premises sourced ensures there is an immediate and safe off the streets offer for people experiencing rough sleeping.

There are known risks associated with housing this cohort may have a long and/or repeated history of rough sleeping. Continuing the provision for the period 7th April 2024 up to 31st May 2024 will ensure accommodation with appropriate staffing and management is in place, this means 18 people are prevented from rough sleeping and the potential need to provide more expensive SWEP provision is mitigated against.

Additional funding has been secured from DLUHC to provide for staffing costs of winter accommodation and must be utilised for its intended purpose.

Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 20/03/2024

Lead officer: Hilary Hall


29/02/2024 - Phosphate Mitigation Strategy ref: 10059    Recommendations Approved

As set out in the cabinet member decision, the creation of a Phosphate Mitigation Scheme, in addition to improving the water quality of the River Lugg, positively contribute toward the delivery of the environmental and economic priorities within the County Plan 2020-2024; enhancing local biodiversity, enabling sustainable housing growth in the north of the county and reducing carbon emissions through carbon sequestration.

At present, the Local Plan identifies a housing need of circa 4,000 new homes in the Lugg sub-catchment and now proposes a three Phase Nutrient
Mitigation Scheme to deliver nearly all of that need. Phasing of the scheme will ensure supply is released to match demand and the council’s capacity to bring the new assets on stream is focused and not over stretched.

A Financial Model has been developed which sets out the funding and expenditure flow through the Council’s Nutrient Trading Phosphate Mitigation Scheme. The Council is unwilling and unable to make a profit or loss on the cost of phosphate mitigation credits, and the cost will be assessed periodically. The Council’s Nutrient Trading Phosphate Mitigation Scheme will deliver a minimum of 3,471 homes.

Decision Maker: Service Director – Environment , Highways, & Waste

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 29/02/2024

Lead officer: Mark Averill


19/03/2024 - Decision to award grants through the Safer Communities Fund grant scheme. ref: 10056    Recommendations Approved

Decision to award grants through the Safer Communities Fund Grant Scheme to the following organisations:

•LEAF, Locally Encouraging All to Flourish - £78,717.84
•The Cart Shed, Young Cart Shed - £143,260.12

This is a discretionary grant scheme, developed in collaboration with West Mercia Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia.

Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Children & Young People

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 19/03/2024

Lead officer: Darryl Freeman


23/02/2024 - Award a contract to carry out External Improvement Works up to a value of £79,059.98 at 33-35 Union Street, Hereford ref: 10058    Recommendations Approved

These works are part of the programme of residual improvement works from 2019 condition reports.
The required improvement works have been assessed and prioritised based upon select criteria which covers health and safety, operational need, impact and lifecycle and value.

Decision Maker: Strategic Assets Delivery Director

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 23/02/2024

Lead officer: Sarah Jowett


26/03/2024 - Decision to accept a capital grant of £82,600 from the government Swimming Pool Support Fund to improve pool facilities at Hereford Leisure Pool and Ross Swimming Pool. ref: 10057    Recommendations Approved

The Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund (administered by Sport England) has agreed to make a grant of £82,600 to Herefordshire Council for capital investment to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long term.

The objectives of the fund are:
?to reduce the energy consumption level of facilities in receipt of funding;
?to support the leisure sector to transition to a position of environmental and financial sustainability;
?to minimise the closure of swimming pool provision;
?to reduce the carbon output of facilities in receipt of funding in line with the government's Net Zero by 2050 objectives; and
?to prioritise support in those areas of greatest socio-economic need (as evidenced by IMD level).

The allocated funding will directly contribute to pool covers at Hereford Leisure Pool, and triple glazing to pool hall windows and variable speed pumps at Ross Swimming Pool. No match funding is required.
The Swimming Pool Support Fund fits with the following ambitions set out in Herefordshire’s County Plan:

?Minimise waste and increase reuse, repair and recycling
?Invest in low carbon projects
?Identify climate change action in all aspects of council operation

The project also meets the Carbon Management Plan pathway to carbon neutral 2030, identifying retro-fit opportunities in council assets to improve overall operational sustainability and support.

Decision Maker: Director of Resources and Assurance

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 26/03/2024

Lead officer: Andrew Lovegrove


28/03/2024 - Objectives for New Herefordshire Local Transport Plan ref: 10053    Recommendations Approved

The report seeks the approval of the objectives that will inform the development of the new Local Transport Plan (LTP) and assist in the identification of the measures and initiatives in the implementation plan. In addition, attention is brought to a revised timeline for the production and adoption of the LTP following revised guidance from the Department for Transport (DfT)

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That:

a)    Cabinet approves the objectives (as set out at para 19) for the new Local Transport Plan as recommended in the report and

 

        b) Cabinet notes changes to the DfT’s anticipated timetable (as set out at paras.            9 and 10)for producing the new Local Transport Plan.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Geoff Pickford


28/03/2024 - New Road Strategy for Hereford ref: 10042    Recommendations Approved

The report seeks Cabinet’s agreement to the revised priorities within the Hereford Transport

Strategy and to agree to draw down investment in new road infrastructure to improve

network resilience and support the growth and development of Herefordshire in accordance

with the current Local Transport Plan and Core Strategy policy frameworks.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 28/03/2024

Effective from: 06/04/2024

Decision:

That Cabinet:

 

a) Agrees to recommence progress within the existing policy frameworks of the

Hereford Western Bypass linking the A49 north and south of the city.Consisting of the Southern Link Road as Phase 1 and the Western Bypass as Phase 2 to realise the county’s strategic housing and employment land growth critical to the Herefordshire economy, as set out in the report;

 

b) Acknowledges the Strategic Outline Case report for the Eastern River Crossing

and Link Road;

 

c) Agrees to draw down and spend £10.3m of approved capital funding for Phase

1 of the Hereford Western Bypass (HWB) and £760,000 of revenue funding for

Phase 2 of the HWB as included in this report at para 102 to 107; and

 

d) Delegates authority to take all operational decisions during the development of

the schemes to the Corporate Director for Economy and Environment in

consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure and the

Section 151 Officer.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Geoff Pickford


25/03/2024 - Traffic Signal Obsolescence Grant and Green Light Fund

To accept and approve spend of £41,427.53 of Department for Transport Traffic Signal Obsolescence Grant (TSOG) grant funding, to upgrade traffic signal systems, replacing unreliable and obsolete equipment to improve reliability.

To accept and approve spend of £500,000.00 of Department for Transport Green Light Fund (GLF) grant funding, to tune up traffic signals to better reflect current traffic conditions and get traffic flowing.

Decision Maker: Cabinet member roads and regulatory services

Decision due date: 25/04/2024

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Ed Bradford

Notice of decision: 25/03/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


22/03/2024 - Deed of Dedication Agreement for Development Opposite Rose Cottage, Upton Bishop For Pricewise Homes. ref: 10055    Recommendations Approved

To secure adopted publicly maintained highway works constructed to the proper standards for the benefit of the community.

For the Deed of Dedication Agreement for land to be dedicated as highway for outside the development opposite Rose Cottage, Upton Bishop for Pricewise Homes to be signed and sealed by an authorised officer on behalf of Herefordshire Council.

Decision Maker: Officer Decisions - Economy and Enviroment

Decision published: 25/03/2024

Effective from: 22/03/2024

Lead officer: Bruce Evans


23/11/2023 - To award a contract for the provision of assessed daytime individual short breaks for disabled children. ref: 10054    For Determination

To award The Endorphins Group a contract for two years plus up to a further 2 years, to deliver individual support hours, over the lifetime of the contract, at a maximum cost of £1,040,000.


Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Children & Young People

Decision published: 25/03/2024

Effective from: 23/11/2023

Lead officer: Darryl Freeman


26/09/2023 - West Mercia Energy Joint Committee - access to papers ref: 10051    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: West Mercia Energy Joint Committee

Made at meeting: 26/09/2023 - West Mercia Energy Joint Committee

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 26/09/2023

Decision:

The West Mercia Energy Joint Committee is administered by Shropshire Council. To view the decisions made at this meeting please visit the Shropshire Council website by following this link: Agenda for West Mercia Energy Joint Committee on Tuesday, 26th September, 2023, 10.30 am — Shropshire Council

 

A summary of the decisions taken is also available: Decisions 26th-Sep-2023 10.30 West Mercia Energy Joint Committee


21/03/2023 - West Mercia Energy Joint Committee - access to papers ref: 10050    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: West Mercia Energy Joint Committee

Made at meeting: 21/03/2023 - West Mercia Energy Joint Committee

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 21/03/2023

Decision:

The West Mercia Energy Joint Committee is administered by Shropshire Council. To view the decisions made at this meeting please visit the Shropshire Council website by following this link: Agenda for West Mercia Energy Joint Committee on Tuesday, 21st March, 2023, 10.00 am — Shropshire Council

 

A summary of the decisions taken is also available: Decisions 21st-Mar-2023 10.00 West Mercia Energy Joint Committee


21/03/2024 - Care Providers Annual Fee Review 2024-25 ref: 10049    Recommendations Approved

Local Authorities have a duty under the Care Act 2014 to meet assessed eligible care and support needs. The Care Act 2014 also places a duty on Local Authorities to shape markets and enable a sustainable and diverse range of care providers to deliver innovative and cost effective services that promotes the wellbeing of people who need care and support.

In line with contractual obligations, the council must review fees paid to Social Care providers on an annual basis.

Legal precedent indicates that whilst there is a need for Councils to have due regard to the cost of care this is not a singular factor in the setting of fee rates for services. In addition, there are expectations that Councils also consider factors such as:
Experience of local care agency closures, lack of closures
Over / under supply of provision
Rates paid by other comparable LA’s
Consideration of management accounts from providers
The position of those providers with whom it has been able to reach agreement
Change or lack of change as CQC ratings
Localised cost movements e.g. locally advertised job rates, staff turnover etc.

The Council must balance its duty under the Care Act 2014 with its legal duty to set a balanced budget when considering fees for care providers.

The proposed recommendations balance the need for the Council to meet its duties under the Care Act within financial resources available.

In determining uplifts and new fee rates for 2024/25 the council has considered the impact of increases in the cost of wages and other cost increases.

The Council has also considered benchmarking information regarding current fee rates for councils in the West Midlands (14 Councils). It has also considered latest intelligence regarding councils’ proposals for fee rate increases for 2024/25 within the region.

It is also important to note that this review has considered other challenges faced by provider, informed by their feedback to commissioners. Areas identified include:
• Recruitment and retention
• Increases in NLW
• Agency staffing costs
• Utilities
• Fuel / Travel costs
• Cost of living impact on running costs
• Cost of Voids (supported living)
• Insurance
• Training

Care Homes
The market for care home provision in Herefordshire is buoyant, there have been no care home closures in the last 12 months and planning requests are being received for the development of new homes in the county.

Regional benchmarking of 14 councils information indicates that Herefordshire Council’s standard fee rates are mid-range compared with other Councils’ rates within the West Midlands.

It has been decided that an increase of7% is applied to all care home provision with effect from 1 April.

Home Care
New arrangements for commissioned home care have been in place since November 2021. In November 2022 a decision was taken to introduce a secondary framework to address sufficiency challenges in the market. As a result of this the waiting list for home care has reduced from over 100 in April 2023 to under 10 in February 2024.

Regional benchmarking information indicates that Herefordshire’s urban rate is the 4th highest in the region and its rural rate is 2nd highest across the region.

It has been decided that an uplift of 7% is applied to both urban and rural rates for Home Care with effect from 1 April 2024.

Supported Living
A new framework for Supported Living is currently out to tender with the market. The new framework maintains the current fee structure in relation to a lower hourly rate that applies to core hours and waking nights in 24/7 properties; a higher hourly rate that applies to additional 1:1 hours and the new sleep-in rate of £135 (based on a 9 hour sleep-in) which will be introduced from 1 April 2024.

The new sleep in rate that will be introduced from April 2024 brings Herefordshire Council approach in line with the majority of other Local Authorities across the region and country in relation to payment of a lower level of fee for sleep-in support. Effectively this reduces the hourly fee rate for sleep-ins from £17.04 in 2023 to £15.00. At £15.00 per hour however, this rate remains significantly above the average level of sleep in payments across the region.

In relation to the lower and higher rates in Herefordshire it is difficult to make direct comparisons with other Councils in the region as only Warwickshire council operates a similar 2 rate system, with most Councils operating a single rate.

In order to mitigate risks to the sustainability of the market in relation to Supported Living as a result of the impact on providers of the implementation of a reduced rate for sleep-ins an uplift of 8.33% is to be provided for the lower and higher rates from 1 April 2024.

Community Activities
The Council does not operate standard fee rates for community activities. Rates vary for individuals services based on the type of provision and level of needs of the individuals supported.

A new framework for Community Activities is currently out to tender with the market. Existing services that transfer onto the new framework will continue to be paid on the basis of current fee rates subject to any agreed annual uplift determined by the Council to be applied from 1st April 2024.

It has been decided that an uplift of 7% is applied to all fee rates for community activities with effect from 1 April 2024.

Shared Lives
Shared lives services remain an important part of the service offer in Herefordshire, with plans to further develop and expand services in the future.

Whilst benchmarking information relation to 2022/23 indicates that Herefordshire rates are lower than a number of other councils in the region, it is noted that the morale of shared lives carers has improved over the last year as a result of them having received an uplift in line with other services (which had not been the case previously). They also received an increase in board and lodging payments in 2023/24 with a commitment to review these annually in line with benefits increases.

It has been decided that an uplift of 7% is applied to fee rates for shared lives with effect from 1 April 2024.

Direct Payments

Direct payments can be used to fund a range of different services, with varying fee rates.

It has been decided that Direct Payments are increased by 7% from April 2024 in line with other proposed uplift levels (with the exception of supported living which is not a service routinely secured through the use of direct payments).

Standard processes will be followed where individuals in receipt of a direct payment have surplus or insufficient funds to meet their care needs.



Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 21/03/2024

Lead officer: Hilary Hall


14/03/2024 - Surrender of existing lease and grant of new in respect part St Owens Centre Symonds Street Hereford to Accordia Academies Trust ref: 10048    Recommendations Approved

The St Owen’s Centre is owned by the council and part is leased to Barrs Court School now Accordia Academies Trust (the Trust) under a 25 year academy lease which expires in 2038.
Alterations and improvements have been carried out by the council using monies from the High Needs Capital Grant which is government funding to enhance Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision in the county
As a result of these works the Trust occupy a larger and improved area of the building enabling them to provide education to additional children with SEN needs and a new lease is required to reflect the larger area occupied
Terms for the surrender of the existing and grant of a new lease have been agreed with the Trust on the basis of the standard terms for an academy lease at a peppercorn rent with the following variations
The length of term which is to match the unexpired term of the existing lease
The council will retain responsibility for external repairs and provision to be made for the cost to be recharged to the Trust and the other occupier of the building

Decision Maker: Strategic Assets Delivery Director

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 14/03/2024

Lead officer: Sarah Jowett


15/03/2024 - Grant of an easement to Cadent Gas enabling them to access and maintain underground gas pipes at the Oval Hereford ref: 10047    Recommendations Approved

The land is currently a small section of public highway, the site of a former bus shelter which is being transferred to Connexus Housing to slightly enlarge their adjoining site and improve the layout of their proposed housing scheme.
The Council will be awarded full nomination rights in respect of the proposed housing providing a contribution to the County Plan 2020/24 objective of providing more affordable housing
Connexus have applied for a highways stopping up order which has been objected to by Cadent Gas who have gas pipes beneath the land and wish to protect their ability to access the pipes for repair and maintenance.
Cadent Gas have indicated that the grant of an easement protecting their rights to access their infrastructure will satisfy their objection and allow the housing development to progress

Decision Maker: Strategic Assets Delivery Director

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 15/03/2024

Lead officer: Sarah Jowett


23/02/2024 - To make provisional Tree Preservation Order 685 in Bringsty ref: 10046    Recommendations Approved

The trees have high public amenity value and are under perceived threat due to proposed development.

Decision Maker: Officer Decisions - Economy and Enviroment

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 23/02/2024

Lead officer: Elizabeth Duberley


23/02/2024 - To make provisional Tree Preservation Order 684 Bishops of Hereford Bluecoat School - Hereford ref: 10045    Recommendations Approved

Collectively the trees have high public amenity value and are under threat of removal to accommodate building works.

Decision Maker: Officer Decisions - Economy and Enviroment

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 23/02/2024

Lead officer: Elizabeth Duberley


18/03/2024 - Out Of Hours (OOH) call handling service for Adult Social Care (ASC) ref: 10044    Recommendations Approved

That: The council extends its current Out of Hours call handling contract with The Answering Service to include an Out Of Hours call handling service for Adult Social Care AMHPs customers

Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 18/03/2024

Lead officer: Hilary Hall


14/03/2024 - Direct award of contract- Developing and improving Early help arrangements in Herefordshire ref: 10043    Recommendations Approved

Herefordshire Councils Ofsted report highlighted that some children do not receive the right help at the right time and that the Early Help offer in Herefordshire is limited.

To address this Herefordshire Council has commissioned PeopleToo an external facilitator to assist with a strategic piece of work to develop, in conjunction with voluntary sector partners, effective multi-agency early help arrangements in Herefordshire.

PeopleToo have the required relevant experience and are able to mobilise swiftly, this enables grant funding awarded to be fully utilised in the timescales required.

Peopletoo’s pricing against other providers listed on the ESPO framework for this particular lot is considered to demonstrate good value when considered in conjunction with their capacity to mobilise in a short timeframe and successfully delivering a local project on behalf of the council in short timescales.

The ESPO framework has been utilized which is available to the council to make call offs and award contract, this is considered a compliant procurement route in line with the councils contract procedure rules.

Decision Maker: Corporate Director - Children & Young People

Decision published: 21/03/2024

Effective from: 14/03/2024

Lead officer: Darryl Freeman