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Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Contact: Jaswinder Kaur  Tel: 01902 550320 or Email: jaswinder.kaur@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Sandra Samuels.

2.

Declaration of interests

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 71 KB

[For approval]

Minutes:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 November 2016 be approved as a correct record and be 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 previous minutes of the previous meeting.

5.

Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 374 KB

[To consider an update on the 2016/17 financial performance of the General Fund and HRA capital programmes and the revised forecast for 2016/17 as at quarter two of 2016/17]

 

 

Decision:

1. That Council be recommended to:

 

a)      Approve to undertake borrowing of £30.0 million and pay a capital grant of the equivalent amount to the West Midlands Combined Authority – Land Remediation Fund.  This borrowing is required until the powers of the West Midlands Combined Authority (CA) are revised to enable them to borrow for non-transport related purposes.  The CA will in return pay a revenue grant to the Council to cover the borrowing costs of interest and minimum revenue provision (paragraph 4.4).

 

b)   Approve the additional General Fund resources of £3.4 million identified for;

i.     nine new projects totalling £1.9 million (paragraph 4.1).

ii.    i54 Western Extension, a new project, of £1.5 million subject to Cabinet approving the exempt report of the same name also on the agenda (paragraph 4.5).

 

2.That the General Fund virements totalling £6.5 million be approved, as detailed at Appendix C of the report for;

i.     existing projects totalling £3.3 million (paragraph 3.12);

ii.    new projects totalling £2.2 million (paragraph 4.2).

iii.   i54 Western Extension, a new project, of £1.0 million subject to Cabinet approving the exempt report of the same name, also on the agenda, and Council approving the additional resources 14 December 2016 (paragraph 4.12).

b)      That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to agree and execute the legal agreement between the Council and the CA covering the borrowing to be undertaken and the revenue grant to be received.

 

3.       That it be noted the General Fund expenditure position at quarter two of 2016/17 for existing projects stands at 33.9% of the approved capital budget.

4.       That the General Fund forecast outturn for existing projects for 2016/17 stands at 83.2% of the approved capital budget be noted.

5.       That it be noted the HRA expenditure position at quarter two of 2016/17 for existing projects stands at 28.0% of the approved capital budget.

6.       That it be noted the HRA forecast outturn position for existing projects for 2016/17 stands at 72.8% of the approved capital budget.

7.       That it be noted this report incorporates four revenue budget reduction and income generation proposals which require capital resources and are subject to approval by Cabinet and Council in February/March 2017 as part of the Budget 2017/18 setting process. The inclusion of the four projects in this report is on the assumption that approval will be given and therefore, their progression is dependent on that decision. The names of the budget reduction and income generation proposals/projects are:

 

·       Waste & Recycling strategy - service transformation

·       Highways Management

·       Commercial Facilities - Northycote Farm

·       District Parking

 

If the budget reduction and income generation proposals are not approved, the capital programme will be reduced accordingly.

 


 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Johnson provided an update on the 2016/17 financial performance of the General Fund and HRA capital programmes and the revised forecast for 2016/17 as at quarter two of 2016/17. Revisions were recommended to the current approved General Fund capital programme covering the period 2016/17 to 2020/21.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That Council be recommended to:

 

a)      Approve to undertake borrowing of £30.0 million and pay a capital grant of the equivalent amount to the West Midlands Combined Authority – Land Remediation Fund.  This borrowing was required until the powers of the West Midlands Combined Authority (CA) were revised to enable them to borrow for non-transport related purposes.  The CA would in return pay a revenue grant to the Council to cover the borrowing costs of interest and minimum revenue provision (paragraph 4.4).

 

b)   Approve the additional General Fund resources of £3.4 million identified for;

i.     nine new projects totalling £1.9 million;

ii.    i54 Western Extension, a new project, of £1.5 million subject to Cabinet approving the exempt report of the same name also on the agenda.

 

2.That the General Fund virements totalling £6.5 million be approved, as detailed at Appendix C of the report for;

i.     existing projects totalling £3.3 million;

ii.    new projects totalling £2.2 million;

iii.   i54 Western Extension, a new project, of £1.0 million subject to Cabinet approving the exempt report of the same name, also on the agenda, and Council approving the additional resources on the 14 December 2016.

b)      That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to agree and execute the legal agreement between the Council and the CA covering the borrowing to be undertaken and the revenue grant to be received.

3.   That it be noted the General Fund expenditure position at quarter two of 2016/17 for existing projects stands at 33.9% of the approved capital budget.

4.   That the General Fund forecast outturn for existing projects for 2016/17 stands at 83.2% of the approved capital budget be noted.

5.   That it be noted the HRA expenditure position at quarter two of 2016/17 for existing projects stands at 28.0% of the approved capital budget.

6.   That it be noted the HRA forecast outturn position for existing projects for 2016/17 stands at 72.8% of the approved capital budget.

7.   That it be noted this report incorporates four revenue budget reduction and income generation proposals which require capital resources and were subject to approval by Cabinet and Council in February/March 2017 as part of the Budget 2017/18 setting process. The inclusion of the four projects in this report was on the assumption that approval would be given and therefore, their progression was dependent on that decision. The names of the budget reduction and income generation proposals/projects were:

 

·       Waste & Recycling strategy - service transformation

·       Highways Management

·       Commercial Facilities - Northycote Farm

·       District Parking

 

If the budget reduction and income generation proposals were not approved, the capital programme would be reduced accordingly.

 

6.

Treasury Management Activity Monitoring - Mid Year Review 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 375 KB

[To consider an update on the treasury management activity for the second quarter of 2016/17 as part of the mid-year review]

Decision:

That Council be recommended to note:

 

  1. That a mid-year review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement had been undertaken and the Council had operated within the limits and requirements approved in March 2016.
  2. That savings of £533,000 for the General Fund and £2.3 million for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) are forecast from treasury management activities in 2016/17.
  3. That it be noted in the event of updated capital programme figures being reported to Cabinet (Resources) Panel or Cabinet outside of the ‘Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17’, a revised version of this report would be presented to Council on 14 December 2016.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Johnson presented a monitoring and progress report on treasury management activity for the second quarter of 2016/17 as part of the mid-year review, in line with the Prudential Indicators approved by Council in March 2016.

 

Resolved:

 

That Council be recommended to note:

 

  1. That a mid-year review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement had been undertaken and the Council had operated within the limits and requirements approved in March 2016.
  2. That savings of £533,000 for the General Fund and £2.3 million for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) were forecast from treasury management activities in 2016/17.
  3. That it be noted in the event of updated capital programme figures being reported to Cabinet (Resources) Panel or Cabinet outside of the ‘Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17’, a revised version of this report would be presented to Council on 14 December 2016.

 

7.

Implementing the Devolution Agreement - Mayoral Combined Authority functions pdf icon PDF 87 KB

[To consent to the draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2016.

 

Councillor Wendy Thompson as Shadow Leader will be in attendance for this Item.

 

Appendix A will be sent to follow].

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That consent be provided to the laying of the draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2016 in Parliament, attached at appendix A of this report.

 

2.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Managing Director to approve the outstanding areas of drafting agreement to namely the unanimous voting provision and the Mayoral WMCA development corporation provision, and drafting and minor amendments to the Order.

 

3.     That the Mayoral WMCA Scheme consultation summary, as submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 5 September 2016 be noted, the link was provided in paragraph 3.3 of this report.

 

4.     That it be noted the decision to approve the draft Order was referred from Council on the 9 November 2016, as the draft Order was not available for Council consideration at that time, due to areas requiring government response and approval.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Lawrence presented the draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2016 and sought consent from Cabinet following delegation from Council on the 9 November 2016. The Order detailed the functions required by the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver the devolution deal.

 

There were a number of outstanding areas which required agreement namely the unanimous voting provision, Mayoral WMCA development corporation provision, and minor and drafting amendments of the draft Order for which delegation was sought for the Leader in consultation with the Managing Director.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That consent be provided to the laying of the draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2016 in Parliament, attached at appendix A of this report.

2.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Managing Director to approve the outstanding areas of drafting agreement namely, the unanimous voting provision, the Mayoral WMCA development corporation provision, and drafting and minor amendments to the Order.

3.     That the Mayoral WMCA Scheme consultation summary, as submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 5 September 2016 be noted, the link was provided in paragraph 3.3 of this report.

4.     That it be noted the decision to approve the draft Order was referred from Council on the 9 November 2016, as the draft Order was not available for Council consideration at that time, due to areas requiring government response and approval.

 

8.

Tackling Youth Employment in the City pdf icon PDF 150 KB

[To consider a proposal on tackling youth employment in the city - TO FOLLOW]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the analysis of gaps in youth employment support within the city, particularly in relation to in-work support be endorsed.

2.     That the proposal for a new partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Department of Work and Pensions be approved.

3.     That an allocation of £100,000 from the Budget Contingency Reserve to fund the programme during 2016/17 be approved.

4.     That the inclusion of the following revenue budgets be approved to fund the programme in the final Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy report to Cabinet in February 2017:

a.     2017/18 - £500,000

b.     2018/19 - £500,000

c.     2019/20 - £400,000

5.     That the governance structure and partnership approach to achieve effective delivery be noted.

6.     That the linkages to other youth pre-employment and employment provision and Post-16 educational provision be noted.

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds presented the scale and root causes of youth unemployment. The overall approach being undertaken to address the city’s unemployment problems, under the auspices of the Skills and Employment Board. He outlined the resources that had recently been secured to tackle the youth unemployment, particularly in relation to pre-employment support. 

 

There was a need to develop local recruitment approaches, provide support to young people and employers in the early days of employment, together with advice on in- work progression as a means to tackle youth employment in the city.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the analysis of gaps in youth employment support within the city, particularly in relation to in-work support be endorsed.

2.     That the proposal for a new partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Department of Work and Pensions be approved.

3.     That an allocation of £100,000 from the Budget Contingency Reserve to fund the programme during 2016/17 be approved.

4.     That the inclusion of the following revenue budgets be approved to fund the programme in the final Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy report to Cabinet in February 2017:

a.     2017/18 - £500,000

b.     2018/19 - £500,000

c.     2019/20 - £400,000

5.     That the governance structure and partnership approach to achieve effective delivery be noted.

6.     That the linkages to other youth pre-employment and employment provision and Post-16 educational provision be noted.

 

9.

Outcome of Autism Consultation and Final Autism Strategy pdf icon PDF 101 KB

[To consider the consultation on the draft Joint Autism Strategy and to seek approval to adopt the revised strategy]

Decision:

1.     That the adoption of the revised autism strategy be approved.

2.     That it be noted the feedback following consultation on the Joint Autism Strategy and the revision of the Strategy to take account of this.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Lawrence presented the outcome of the consultation on the draft Joint Autism Strategy for consideration by Cabinet and sought approval to adopt the revised strategy.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the adoption of the revised autism strategy be approved.

2.     That the feedback following consultation on the Joint Autism Strategy and the revision of the Strategy to take account of this be noted.

 

10.

Review of Fostering Fees and Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 83 KB

[To approve the proposed changes to the Fostering Fees and Allowances]

Decision:

That the proposed changes to the Fostering Fees and Allowances scheme in light of the review be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Val Gibson advised that Wolverhampton’s new scheme was approved in October 2015 and implemented from January 2016.  Since the implementation in January 2016 the council had received a number of concerns from carers on some common themes.  This prompted some wider consultation and a review of the scheme six months into implementation.

 

Consultation involved writing out to all foster carers and asking them to feedback any benefits or negatives of the new scheme since it had been implemented.  Senior Managers also consulted with carers at a Foster Carers Forum meeting. The feedback received from carers was outlined as well as the proposals/responses to the consultation feedback.

 

Resolved:

 

That the proposed changes to the Fostering Fees and Allowances scheme in light of the review be approved.

11.

Extensions/Alterations to Foster Carers own Properties pdf icon PDF 67 KB

[To endorse the proposal on financial support for extensions or alterations to foster carers' homes]

Decision:

That authority be delegated to the Service Director for Children and Young People to approve extensions and adaptations to foster carers own properties up to the value of £50,000; to the Strategic Director for People for between £50,000 to £100,000; and over £100,000 to Cabinet Resources Panel in line with the review of the Constitution.

Minutes:

Councillor Val Gibson presented the policy and procedure for financial support for the extensions or alterations to foster carers' homes. In order to secure permanence for Looked after Children through to adulthood, occasionally required additional support from the local authority.  Foster carers may require financial support to extend or adapt their own home in order to offer placements, particularly in the case of sibling groups and more often when children were being placed with extended family (connected persons) foster carers.

 

The proposed policy provided a clear criteria and pathway for decision making relating to the suitability of the requirement for the extension and/or alteration, and the decision making process regarding authorisation for the financial support. The procedure also addressed the requirement for this arrangement to be underpinned by a legal contract.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That authority be delegated to the Service Director for Children and Young People to approve extensions and adaptations to foster carers own properties up to the value of £50,000; to the Strategic Director for People for between £50,000 to £100,000; and over £100,000 to Cabinet Resources Panel in line with the review of the Constitution.

 

12.

Improving Outcomes with the Early Years pdf icon PDF 120 KB

[To seek approval to commence consultation on the draft Early Years Strategy]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the consultation commence on the draft Early Years Strategy be approved with stakeholders as part of the City's approach to improving outcomes within the early years.

2.     That the City’s Definition of School Readiness contained within the strategy will be consulted upon as part of this process be noted.

3.     That it be noted consultation would take place with stakeholders through written and face to face briefings and the completion of Survey Monkey questionnaires. Parents’ views will be captured face to face, as much as was possible, utilising the Parent Champions and the Universal Practitioner.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Val Gibson presented the progress made toward developing a draft Early Years Strategy which would improve outcomes for children and families from conception to age five. Consultation would take place with a wide range of stakeholders through Parent Champions, Health and Wellbeing Board, Children’s Trust Board and Children, Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel to ensure partnership input had been captured.

 

A draft definition of School Readiness had also been developed to support providers in their work with children and families prior to their attending statutory education and most importantly to support children in their learning journey. This definition would also be consulted upon with parents, providers and partners over the coming weeks.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the consultation commence on the draft Early Years Strategy be approved with stakeholders as part of the City's approach to improving outcomes within the early years.

2.     That the City’s Definition of School Readiness contained within the strategy would be consulted upon as part of this process be noted.

3.     That it be noted consultation would take place with stakeholders through written and face to face briefings and the completion of Survey Monkey questionnaires. Parents’ views would be captured face to face, as much as was possible, utilising the Parent Champions and the Universal Practitioner.

 

13.

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 any individual, information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual and/or information relating to the business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)]

 

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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 any individual, information which was likely to reveal the identity of an individual and/or information relating to the business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)]

 

14.

City of Wolverhampton College

[To approve the proposed package of financial support for the City of Wolverhampton College]

Decision:

1.     That the proposed package of financial support outlined in the report and in the draft Heads of Terms be approved.

2.     That authority be delegated to the Director of Finance to make on account payments to the College, if necessary while the application for SFA financial support is completed and processed.

3.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the Managing Director to finalise the Heads of Terms and approve the terms of any legal documents necessary to implement the financial support package detailed in this report.

4.     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to execute any legal documents in respect of the above as required.

5.     That it be noted a proposal was to be developed for a City Learning Quarter within the City Centre. A separate report would be brought to Cabinet when the proposal had been fully developed.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Lawrence presented details of work being undertaken to support the City of Wolverhampton College and sought agreement on the proposed package of financial support.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the proposed package of financial support outlined in the report and in the draft Heads of Terms be approved.

2.     That authority be delegated to the Director of Finance to make on account payments to the College, if necessary while the application for SFA financial support was completed and processed.

3.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council in consultation with the Managing Director to finalise the Heads of Terms and approve the terms of any legal documents necessary to implement the financial support package detailed in this report.

4.     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to execute any legal documents in respect of the above as required.

5.     That it be noted a proposal was to be developed for a City Learning Quarter within the City Centre. A separate report would be brought to Cabinet when the proposal had been fully developed.

 

15.

i54 Western Extension Update

[To consider progress on i54 and the western extension of i54]

Decision:

1.     That Council be recommended to approve recommendation i below:

 

a)          That a project called Western Extension be established to continue feasibility and design development work with a total budget of £2.5 million.

 

b)          That the proposed funding strategy principles being developed with Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council for bringing forward Western Extension be supported.

 

c)          That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Members for City Economy, City Asset and Resources in consultation with the Strategic Director of Place and Director of Finance to agree terms with Severn Trent Water for the acquisition of their portion of the Western Extension,

 

d)          That the progress made in delivering the i54 project to date be noted.

 

e)          That the outputs realised through the investment made in i54 including the work which underpins the Councils commitment to equalities be noted.

 

f)            That the desired economic, financial and commercial outcomes for Western Extension as agreed with South Staffordshire Council (SSC) and Staffordshire County Council (SCC) be noted.

 

g)          That the current position of discussions with Severn Trent and the proposed actions be noted.

 

h)   That it be noted a further report will be presented to update and seek further approvals to the funding and delivery strategy for the development of the site including a revised joint venture agreement with Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council.

 

i)            That it be noted that the Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17 report to Council would seek approval to an additional £1.5 million to support the i54 western extension project.

 

j)            That it be noted that the Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17 report elsewhere on the agenda would seek approval of virements of £1 million to the i54 western extension project subject to Council approving additional resources referred to in recommendation I above.

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds presented the report on the current position of i54, the resulting outcomes and economic benefits along with the Junction 2 activities including i54 western extension.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That Council be recommended to approve recommendation i below:

 

a)          That a project called Western Extension be established to continue feasibility and design development work with a total budget of £2.5 million.

b)          That the proposed funding strategy principles being developed with Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council for bringing forward Western Extension be supported.

c)          That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Members for City Economy, City Asset and Resources in consultation with the Strategic Director of Place and Director of Finance to agree terms with Severn Trent Water for the acquisition of their portion of the Western Extension,

d)          That the progress made in delivering the i54 project to date be noted.

e)          That the outputs realised through the investment made in i54 including the work which underpins the Councils commitment to equalities be noted.

f)            That the desired economic, financial and commercial outcomes for Western Extension as agreed with South Staffordshire Council (SSC) and Staffordshire County Council (SCC) be noted.

g)          That the current position of discussions with Severn Trent and the proposed actions be noted.

h)   That it be noted a further report would be presented to update and seek further approvals to the funding and delivery strategy for the development of the site including a revised joint venture agreement with Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council.

i)            That it be noted that the Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17 report to Council would seek approval to an additional £1.5 million to support the i54 western extension project.

j)            That it be noted that the Capital budget quarter two monitoring 2016/17 report elsewhere on the agenda would seek approval of virements of £1 million to the i54 western extension project subject to Council approving additional resources referred to in recommendation I above.

 

 


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