Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Third Floor - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Philippa Salmon  Tel: 01902 555061 or Email: philippa.salmon@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence submitted.

2.

Declaration of interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB

[For approval]

Minutes:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 September 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

5.

Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-2020 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That it be approved that the Budget Reduction and Income Generation proposals amounting to £695,000 in 2019-2020 proceed to the formal consultation and scrutiny stages of the budget process.

2. That it be approved that Financial Transactions and Base Budget Revisions totalling a net reduction of £4.7 million in 2019-2020 be incorporated into the 2019-2020 draft budget.

3. That authority be delegated to the responsible Director and the Director of Finance to implement Financial Transactions and Base Budget Revisions at the earliest opportunity where the proposal is not reliant on the outcome of formal budget consultation.

4. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to approve the final budget consultation arrangements.

5. That it be approved that further options are explored between October 2018 and January 2019 to address the updated projected budget deficit of in the region of £6.0 million for 2019-2020 based on the Council’s high-level strategy.

6. That it be noted that, due to the uncertainty and increasing pressures over the medium term, the overall level of risk associated with the Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2018-2019 to 2019-2020 is assessed as Red for the first time since February 2016.

7. That it be noted that the updated projected deficit assumes the achievement of budget reduction and income generation proposals amounting to £28.3 million over the two-year period from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020. Over the eight financial years the Council has identified budget reductions in excess of £220.0 million. This continues to be the most significant financial challenge that the Council has ever faced.

8. That it be noted that the successful recovery of overpaid VAT has been granted at £1.8 million, approximately £200,000 lower than anticipated in the July 2018 report to Cabinet.

9. That it be noted that, due to external factors, budget assumptions remain subject to change. This could therefore result in alterations to the financial position faced by the Council.

10. That it be noted that there continues to be a considerable amount of uncertainty with regards to future funding streams for local authorities particularly with regarding 2020-2021 onwards. The Comprehensive Spending Review 2020, the Fair Funding Review and potential pressures arising as a result of new responsibilities will impact upon the Council’s budget. At the point that further information is known it will be incorporated into future reports to Councillors.

11. That it be noted that the Council’s General Fund Balance remains at £10.0 million; the minimum balance as determined in the Council’s approved Reserves and Balances Policy. Emphasis therefore continues to be placed on identifying budget reductions and income generation proposals to meet the projected budget deficit over the medium term.

12. That it be noted that the 2019-2020 budget timetable will, as in previous years, include an update on all budget assumptions and the Provisional Local Government Settlement which will be presented to Cabinet in January 2019, with the final budget report due to be approved by  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

Minutes:

Councillor Louise Miles presented the Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-2020. The report detailed the progress towards identifying additional budget reduction proposals in order to address the projected £19.5 million budget deficit for 2019-2020 as previously reported to Cabinet on 11 July 2018. The report also provided an update on some

key factors, the timetable for the budget process and the risks in relation to them.

 

It was noted that the Secretary of State had announced an extra £240million for Adult Social Care and that it was projected that Wolverhampton would receive £1.376million to help support winter pressures.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That it be approved that the Budget Reduction and Income Generation proposals amounting to £695,000 in 2019-2020 proceed to the formal consultation and scrutiny stages of the budget process.

2. That it be approved that Financial Transactions and Base Budget Revisions totalling a net reduction of £4.7 million in 2019-2020 be incorporated into the 2019-2020 draft budget.

3. That authority be delegated to the responsible Director and the Director of Finance to implement Financial Transactions and Base Budget Revisions at the earliest opportunity where the proposal is not reliant on the outcome of formal budget consultation.

4. That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to approve the final budget consultation arrangements.

5. That it be approved that further options are explored between October 2018 and January 2019 to address the updated projected budget deficit of in the region of £6.0 million for 2019-2020 based on the Council’s high-level strategy.

6. That it be noted that, due to the uncertainty and increasing pressures over the medium term, the overall level of risk associated with the Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2018-2019 to 2019-2020 is assessed as Red for the first time since February 2016.

7. That it be noted that the updated projected deficit assumes the achievement of budget reduction and income generation proposals amounting to £28.3 million over the two-year period from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020. Over the eight financial years the Council has identified budget reductions in excess of £220.0 million. This continues to be the most significant financial challenge that the Council has ever faced.

8. That it be noted that the successful recovery of overpaid VAT has been granted at £1.8 million, approximately £200,000 lower than anticipated in the July 2018 report to Cabinet.

9. That it be noted that, due to external factors, budget assumptions remain subject to change. This could therefore result in alterations to the financial position faced by the Council.

10. That it be noted that there continues to be a considerable amount of uncertainty with regards to future funding streams for local authorities particularly with regarding 2020-2021 onwards. The Comprehensive Spending Review 2020, the Fair Funding Review and potential pressures arising as a result of new responsibilities will impact upon the Council’s budget. At the point that further information is known it will be incorporated into future reports  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Governance Review and Scheme for the Transfer of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Functions pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That the prepared Governance Review and Scheme outlining the proposed model for Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority governance of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner functions be agreed and fed back to the West Midlands Combined Authority Board.

2. That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Managing Director, to make minor amendments to the Governance review and Scheme on completion of the Local Authority approval process and prior to public consultation.

3. That it be noted that the proposed public consultation for the scheme and proposed governance model will start following the West Midlands Combined Authority Board meeting on 14 November 2018.

4. That the next steps and timetable to meet single Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2020 be noted.

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Lawrence presented the Governance Review and Scheme for the Transfer of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Functions for approval. The report consulted constituent authorities on the prepared Governance Review and Scheme for the proposed Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority Police and Crime Commissioner governance model, prior to going out for formal public consultation. The consultation would be undertaken in a two-stage process, the first phase would take place until 11 January 2018 with the second phase scheduled to take place from 14 January to 11 March 2018.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That the prepared Governance Review and Scheme outlining the proposed model for Mayoral West Midlands Combined Authority governance of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner functions be agreed and fed back to the West Midlands Combined Authority Board.

2. That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Managing Director, to make minor amendments to the Governance review and Scheme on completion of the Local Authority approval process and prior to public consultation.

3. That it be noted that the proposed public consultation for the scheme and proposed governance model will start following the West Midlands Combined Authority Board meeting on 14 November 2018.

4. That the next steps and timetable to meet single Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2020 be noted.

7.

Amendment to Housing Enforcement and Charging Policy pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That an amendment to the Council’s housing enforcement and charging policy to underpin a more robust, proactive and zero tolerance approach to enforcement be approved.

2. That the adoption of a new scheme of discounts applied to licensing fees, up to a maximum of 50% cumulative discount, be approved as set out at paragraph 15.4 of the report, to encourage the active engagement of landlords with accreditation at a local, regional and national level, as part of the policy.

3. That the adoption of changes to the duration of Houses in Multiple Occupation licences to encourage landlords to apply for a Houses in Multiple Occupation licence in a timely manner be approved as set out in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the report.

4. That penalties for late submission of Houses in Multiple Occupation licence applications be approved as discussed in paragraph 17 of the report.

5. That a revised discount structure for the early payment of Civil Penalties be approved as discussed in paragraph 22 of the report.

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson referred to the report in the Supplementary Pack and

informed the meeting that the updates were amendments to the paragraphs referenced in the recommendations. The report outlined the amended Policy that had been updated following recent changes to the law. The Policy aimed to ensure that the new powers were used to penalise the criminal landlords within the City and to incentivise and promote the work of good landlords.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That an amendment to the Council’s housing enforcement and charging policy to underpin a more robust, proactive and zero tolerance approach to enforcement be approved.

2. That the adoption of a new scheme of discounts applied to licensing fees, up to a maximum of 50% cumulative discount, be approved as set out at paragraph 15.4 of the report, to encourage the active engagement of landlords with accreditation at a local, regional and national level, as part of the policy.

3. That the adoption of changes to the duration of Houses in Multiple Occupation licences to encourage landlords to apply for a Houses in Multiple Occupation licence in a timely manner be approved as set out in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the report.

4. That penalties for late submission of Houses in Multiple Occupation licence applications be approved as discussed in paragraph 17 of the report.

5. That a revised discount structure for the early payment of Civil Penalties be approved as discussed in paragraph 22 of the report.

8.

Progress on Black Country Core Strategy Review pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That the Local Development Scheme, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved to come into effect from 24 October 2018.

2. That the Statement of Community Involvement, attached at Appendix 2 to this report, be approved to come into effect from 24 October 2018.

3. That it be agreed to receive a further report in Autumn 2019 to approve consultation on the Draft Black Country Plan.

4.   That progress to date on the Black Country Core Strategy review be noted and the new scope, name and timetable for the review be endorsed.

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds presented the Progress on Black Country Core Strategy Review report for approval. The report outlined that approval was required to adopt a new Local Development Scheme, which would include a revised timetable for the review, and an updated Statement of Community Involvement to support the review process. The Strategy would be referred to as the Black Country Plan going forward, to reflect recent changes to plan-making guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Practice Guidance.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That the Local Development Scheme, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved to come into effect from 24 October 2018.

2. That the Statement of Community Involvement, attached at Appendix 2 to this report, be approved to come into effect from 24 October 2018.

3. That it be agreed to receive a further report in Autumn 2019 to approve consultation on the Draft Black Country Plan.

That progress to date on the Black Country Core Strategy review be noted and the new scope, name and timetable for the review be endorsed.

9.

Strategic Asset Plan pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the implementation and adoption of a revised City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Asset Plan and associated Action Plan be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson presented the Strategic Asset Plan for approval. The revised Strategic Asset Plan provided direction in the future management of the Council land and property portfolio. It also clarified the Council’s approach to the management of its land and buildings portfolio and aspirational aims over the next five years. It was vital that the Council’s assets contributed to the overall corporate and service objectives including ensuring that buildings were safe and secure, and that funding would be allocated to projects that would achieve the maximum positive impact.

 

Resolved:

 

That the implementation and adoption of a revised City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Asset Plan and associated Action Plan be approved.

10.

Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the final report of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board and

Wolverhampton Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2017-2018 be endorsed.

Minutes:

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE and Councillor Paul Sweet presented the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2017-2018 for endorsement. The Annual Report outlined the safeguarding activity that had been undertaken during 2017-2018 and highlighted the progress that partners had made against priorities. The Annual Report had been endorsed by the Health and Wellbeing Together Board along with scrutiny members.

 

The Independent Chair, Linda Sanders, stated that the Annual Report was a multiagency report and illustrated that one of the key strengths of the Boards was their openness and transparency. The report also outlined areas that would be accelerated in the forthcoming months.

 

Resolved:

 

That the final report of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2017-2018 be endorsed.

11.

School Accessibility Strategy pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That the School Accessibility Strategy be approved.

2.   That the summary of consultation responses listed as Appendix 3 to the report be noted.

Minutes:

Councillor Lynne Moran presented the School Accessibility Strategy for approval. The Council was required under the Equality Act 2010 to have an Accessibility Strategy in which it promoted better access in school for pupils with disabilities. The Strategy would go on to inform schools’ Disability Equality Schemes and Accessibility Plans and set out how the Council would support and challenge all schools and academies in the City.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That the School Accessibility Strategy be approved.

That the summary of consultation responses listed as Appendix 3 to the report be noted.

12.

Exclusion of press and public

[To pass the following resolution:

 

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information on the grounds shown below.]

Decision:

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Minutes:

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

13.

Black Country Coroner Collaboration Agreement

Decision:

That the recommendations be approved as detailed in the exempt report.

Minutes:

Councillor Steve Evans presented the Black Country Coroner Collaboration Agreement for agreement, that was exempt as it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


Resolved:

 

That the recommendations be approved as detailed in the exempt report.

14.

Primary and Secondary School Expansion Programme 2019 - Fund Allocations and Update

Decision:

That the recommendations be approved as detailed in the exempt report.

Minutes:

Councillor Lynne Moran presented the Primary and Secondary School Expansion Programme 2019 - Fund Allocations and Update for approval, that was exempt as it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


Resolved:

 

That the recommendations be approved as detailed in the exempt report.