Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 9th November, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Elizabeth Jackson, Democratic Services Manager  Tel: 01423 500600 Email:  democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

39.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

39/22 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTES: An apology for absence had been received from Councillor Sam Gibbs.

 

(5.31 pm)

40.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

40/22 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest.

 

(5.31 pm)

41.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 273 KB

of the meeting of 12 October 2022.

Minutes:

41/22 – MINUTES: The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 12 October 2022 were approved as a correct record.

 

(Five Members voted for the motion and there was one abstention)

 

(5.32 pm)

42.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items – items 5, 7 (part) and 8 (part).

Minutes:

42/22 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: The report at Minute 43/22 and the appendices to the reports at 44/22, 45/22 and 48/22 were considered to be exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12a to the Local Government Act 1972.  Discussion on the items took place in open session.

 

(5.32 pm)

43.

Capital and Investment Programme 2022/23 Quarter 2:

The Head of Finance to submit a written report.

Minutes:

MATTER TO BE REFERRED TO COUNCIL

 

43/22 – CAPITAL AND INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2022/23 QUARTER 2: The Head of Finance submitted a written report and sought approval for the amended Capital and Investment Programme for 2022/23 and Indicative Programmes from 2023/24 to 2026/27.  The Council was taking a proactive approach to its asset management and ensuring that the return from investment was maximised and the Strategy assisted the Council in provision of corporate planning as schemes and funding for future years were approved.  Costs in the strategy were provisional high level estimates based on prices at the time and would vary as more detailed work was undertaken on projects.  A significant review of the HCC Redevelopment would impact on the Capital and Investment Strategy in the future and costs would vary as more detailed work was undertaken on the project.

 

Section 6 of the report outlined the governance arrangements for the Programme, which was reported to Management Board before approval by Cabinet and Council in February alongside the revenue budget. 

 

The amended Capital Programme for 2022/23 to 2026/27 was outlined in Table 1 at paragraph 8.1 of the report, and further detail was given at Appendix 1.  Paragraph 8.2 provided an explanation of the changes which had resulted in an increase from the original approved programme.  The main change being in respect of the investigations of the required work to complete the upgrade of the Hydro Pool. The full extent of the works had now been realised and work was required to replace some of the existing infrastructure rather than remedial work. Other changes included deletion of the £1,000k budget uplift to the Claro Road Depot redevelopment due to the s.24 agreement with NYCC not having been agreed. Other projects that were awaiting a decision on the s.24 agreement were listed in paragraph 9.6.

 

The amended Revenue Investment Programme for 2022/23 to 2026/27 was shown in Table 2, and further detail was given at Appendix 2, this was £522k less than the agreed programme as a result of works detailed at paragraph 8.4.  Section 10 set out the resources available to fund the programme, and Table 3 at paragraph 10.3 set out the anticipated net capital receipts from the sale of assets.

 

Overall, capital and revenue expenditure of £83,348k was forecast in the amended five year rolling programme to 2026/27, which was a decrease of £4k from the previously approved programmes. The five year programme was not fully funded as there would be a shortfall of £362k in 2026/27.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the amended Programme for 2022/23 and Indicative Programmes from 2023/24 to 2026/27 are approved, noting that future developments around the Harrogate Convention Centre (HCC) will have an impact on the figures in this report; and

 

(2) specific consent is sought from the County Council as set out in section 9 for the projects listed in paragraph 9.6.

(5.37 pm to 5.42 pm)

44.

Strategic Housing and Employment Sites Project - Forward Plan Ref: 09PSEG22: pdf icon PDF 185 KB

The Housing Delivery Improvement Officer to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

CABINET

HELD ON 9 NOVEMBER 2022

(FROM 5.30 PM – 6.10 PM)

 

PRESENT: Councillor Richard Cooper in the Chair. Councillors Mike Chambers, Phil Ireland, Stan Lumley, Tim Myatt, and Graham Swift.

 

Late Arrivals:           None

 

Early Departures:   None

 

 

MATTERS DEALT WITH BY CABINET

 

44/22 – STRATEGIC HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT SITES PROJECT - FORWARD PLAN REF: 09PSEG22: The Executive Officer Housing Delivery and Strategic Sites submitted a written report that presented the content and conclusions of the Strategic Sites Masterplanning and Delivery Study undertaken by BDP and Colliers. The report set out the next steps for each of the three Council owned sites to enable further progress on the Strategic Housing and Employment Sites Project.

 

The Strategic Housing and Employment Sites project covered three council owned sites that had been allocated as part of the adopted Harrogate District Local Plan. The sites covered by the study were:

·        Pannal, South of Almsford Bridge (Local Plan site ref: PN18).

·        Harlow Nurseries (Local Plan site ref: H65)

·        Dragon Road Car Park (Local Plan site ref: H63)

 

The consultants, of BDP and Colliers, had been tasked with examining how the sites could meet the Councils objectives of high quality place making and sustainable credentials into the development of each site. Paragraph 5.4 of the report set out the list of objectives the consultants has been asked to assess. The study had been carried out during 2021/22 and there were a number of work phases including feedback sessions with relevant officers, details of work undertaken were set out in paragraph 5.4. Paragraph 5.6 outlined the individual characteristics, opportunities and constraints of each of the three sites. Bespoke solutions had been found for each of the three sites, full details of which could be found in the final BDP master-planning study report found at Appendix A. Exempt Appendix B contained the final Colliers Delivery report. The next steps were outlined at paragraph 5.7 of the report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning commended the report as a good piece of work that outlined the possibilities of each of the sites. He then proposed alternative recommendations to those contained in section 2.0 of the report for the following reasons:

·        Harlow Nursery: the Council must ensure that a successful transfer and relocation takes place and this should be made explicit in the recommendations

·        Dragon Road: Support for improvements to the Greenway.  Officers proposals to develop the site were supported but it was key to first establish what the requirement for HCC traffic and parking will result from the HCC redevelopment

·        Pannal/Leeds Road: the options presented were not to a standard of design that could be supported by Cabinet and there was desire to protect one of the key entrances to Harrogate Town.

 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the content/conclusions of the Strategic Sites Masterplanning and Delivery Study undertaken by BDP and Colliers be noted; and

 

(2) the following recommendations for next steps on each of the three sites as set out below be approved; 

 

Harlow Nursery: 

a)   The Council engages expressions of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

2022/23 October Financial and Service Plan Performance Update: pdf icon PDF 340 KB

The Service Finance Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

45/22 – 2022/23 OCTOBER FINANCIAL AND SERVICE PLANPERFORMANCE UPDATE:The Head of Finance submitted a written report presenting the Council’s latest financial position along with a summary of service plan performance, on an exception basis.  The Council was currently reporting a forecast overspend of £2,503k on General Fund activity.

 

The budget for 2022/23 reflected a combination of the effect of rising utility costs which would cost a net £1.7m and the 2022/23 pay award at £1.1m. The increase in utility bills reflected a national and global position and would cost the Council an additional £1.6m for Gas and +£720k for electricity, these costs were current estimates based on invoices received so far in 2022. The costs did not reflect the impact of a Government energy bill relief scheme, details of which were being clarified. In terms of the pay award the Council had budgeted for 2.5% however the agreed pay award for 2022/23 had resulted in an overall average increase of circa 6.7%, this would be part offset by staff savings as a result of staff turnover.

 

The key variances that made up the forecast were shown in Table 1 at paragraph 5.2 of the report. Table 2 at paragraph 5.3 summarised the forecast budget variances by service. Paragraph 5.5 provided further detail for each service and further detail for the Council’s key commercial areas was attached as exempt Appendices B to D to the report.   Exempt Appendices A and E provided reasons for HCC’s overspend of £104k and detailed lettings information.  Appendix F to the report showed how variances related to budgeted savings and increased income and overall there was a forecast under-delivery of net savings of £443k.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission had also considered the report at its meeting held on 8 November 2021.  The Commission had requested the Head of Finance feed back its comments to Cabinet which were that the financial position was noted and that some service specific follow up information had been requested and would be provided in due course.

 

The Deputy Leader referred to the national and global issue of rising utility costs and that the Council was a particularly high energy organisation due in part to the number of leisure facilities, refurbishment and decarbonisation works being implemented at the various sites would ultimately lower how much energy was being used and having financial benefit to the tax payers of the district. He also referred to the pay award explaining that the 6.7% overall rise came in the form of a fixed sum increase of all staff that resulted in a greater increase for those on lower grades.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Council’s current financial position, a forecast overspend of £2,503k, and service plan exception reporting, is noted.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

It was good financial discipline that regular reporting was presented to Management and Members so as to ensure expenditure remained withinbudget, that potential underspends were highlighted and areas that were off target were highlighted and mitigating actions identified.

 

Alternative  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Corporate Performance Report, Q2 2022/23: pdf icon PDF 745 KB

The Improvement and Development Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

46/22 – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE REPORT, Q2 2022/23: The Improvement and Development Manager submitted a written report which provided an update on the quarter two progress on the measures within the Corporate Delivery Plan.  In introducing the report the Director of Corporate Affairs reported that 71 actions were on target.

 

Appendix 1 to the report provided an update on performance against the Corporate Delivery Plan priorities and Appendix 2 contained the Corporate Health Report showing progress against the various performance indicators. The report had previously been received by Management Board, whose comments were incorporated into the report at section 8. Key successes included an increase in levels of recycling and progress in delivering the electric vehicle infrastructure. There were a number of concerns outlined in the report such as the length of stay in temporary B&B accommodation and the time taken to re-let local authority homes.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission had also considered and noted the report at its meeting held on 7 November 2022.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the report be received and the comments from Management Board and the Overview and Scrutiny Commission be noted.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

Our Corporate Plan set out our long-term vision for the Harrogate district, our aim as an organisation, our corporate priorities and the long term outcomes that we want to achieve. The Delivery Plan was updated on an annual basis and detailed what we would do, what our targets were and how we would measure these. This report tracked our progress against the Delivery Plan.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

No alternative options were considered as reporting progress on the Council’s Corporate Delivery Plan performance was a key part of the Council’s performance management arrangements.

 

(5.56 pm to 5.59 pm)

 

 (D)

 

47.

Housing Investment Programme 2022/23 Monitoring: pdf icon PDF 150 KB

The Head of Finance to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

47/22 – HOUSING INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2022/23 MONITORING: The Head of Finance submitted a written report which provided the latest forecast for the Housing Investment Programme (HIP) for 2022/23 and highlighted the main variances between this latest forecast and the budget. 

 

On 2 February 2022, Cabinet had approved the HIP for 2022/23 with a forecast expenditure of £16,478k. On 17 August 2022, a Quarter 1 report was presented to Cabinet with a revised programme of £16,946k. The latest forecast programme as at October 2022 had decreased to £13,736k and a full breakdown of the budget and how the programme would be resourced was shown at Appendix 1.

 

The report gave details of the key variations in the programme.  Within the planned maintenance budget there had been a decrease of £2,435k compared to the original budget figure due to ongoing staff vacancies and procurement of the kitchen contract. Any further reduction in costs before year end would be picked up in the Quarter 3 HIP monitoring report in January 2023. The Housing Development budget had decreased by £2,162k due to access and legal issues regarding Church Close and Pannal Green, planning approval had not yet been obtained at 22 Springfield Drive and 31 Gascoigne Crescent, there were delays in obtaining planning approval for Woodfield Close and Poplar Grove. There were also current staff vacancies. The Council was currently expecting to complete six new build/refurbishments along with refurbishments at Allhallowgate including the creation of three accessible flats in 2022/23.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the report is received and the position noted.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

The individual schemes and the overall funding levels need to be reported for capital budget monitoring purposes.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

Not to report. This would mean the Council would not be adequately monitoring capital expenditure

 

(6.00 pm to 6.04 pm)

 

 (D)

48.

Compulsory Purchase of 4A Beech Lane, Spofforth, North Yorkshire, HG3 1AN and 16 Greenfields Drive, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7BL: pdf icon PDF 207 KB

The Housing Growth Officer (Empty Homes) to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

48/22 – COMPULSORY PURCHASE OF 4A BEECH LANE, SPOFFORTH,NORTH YORKSHIRE, HG3 1AN AND 16 GREENFIELDS DRIVE,HARROGATE, NORTH YORKSHIRE, HG2 7BL:The Empty Homes Officer submitted a written report which requested approval for the making of two Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) under Section 17(1)(b) of the Housing Act 1985 for the acquisition of 4A Beech Lane, Spofforth, North Yorkshire, HG3 1AN and 16 Greenfields Drive, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7BL (16 Greenfields Drive). The report also sought to approve subsequent disposal for the purpose of providing housing accommodation of both properties.

 

4A Beech Lane, Spofforth, North Yorkshire, HG3 1AN had been recorded empty since 1 January 2016. Despite numerous letters and attempts to set a timeline for returning the property to use with the owner no progress had been made.16 Greenfields Drive had come to the Empty Homes Officer’s attention after a referral was received from Environmental Health regarding the poor state of the property. The state of the property has continued to decline despite many attempts to get in contact with the owner. The report further detailed the actions of the Empty Homes Officer to attempt to bring the properties back into use in accordance with the Empty Homes Strategy. Compulsory purchase was a last resort, the Council had made every effort to see the properties returned to use and CPOs were now the only realistic option.  Section 6 of the report outlined the financial and legal implications of undertaking the CPO and further financial information was attached at exempt Appendix 3.

 

The Empty Homes Officer confirmed that a decision to authorise the making of a CPO would not preclude the owner from taking steps to return the property to use and the two processes could run in tandem.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the making of a CPO under Section 17 (1) (b) of the Housing Act 1985 to acquire the freeholds of 4A Beech Lane and 16Greenfields Drive (edged red on the plan in Appendix 1) for housing purposes be authorised;

 

(2) the Head of Legal and Governance be authorised, in conjunction with the Head of Housing and Property, to take all necessary steps to secure the making, sealing, confirmation and implementation of the CPOs, including but not limited to the publication of all statutory notices, securing the confirmation of the order by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (as appropriate) including the conduct of a Public Inquiry if necessary and vesting of the Land in the

Borough Council; and

 

(3) the Head of Legal and Governance be authorised, in conjunction with the Head of Housing and Property, to acquire interests in the land within the Order either by agreement or compulsorily, the payment of compensation and statutory interest and the instituting or defending of proceedings where necessary, together with the properties’ subsequent disposal.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

The Empty Homes Strategy, approved by Cabinet on 6 February 2019, set out the procedure to follow when dealing with long-term empty properties. The Key  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.