Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

58.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

58/18 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:  There were no apologies for absence.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

 

59.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

59/18 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:  Councillor Rebecca Burnett declared an interest in relation to Minute 68/17 on the basis that she was employed by Transdev, the bus operator.  The Councillor remained in the meeting room during the debate, however she did not vote on the item.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

 

60.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 247 KB

of the meeting of 17 October 2018.

Minutes:

 

60/18 – MINUTES:  The Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 17 October 2018 were approved unanimously as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

 

61.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

61/18 – EXEMPT INFORMATION:  The reports considered under Minutes 64/18 and 75/18 were considered to be exempt under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12a to the Local Government Act.  In addition the appendices to the reports considered under Minutes 71/18, 73/18 and 74/18 were also deemed to be exempt.  Discussion on all these items took place in open session.

 

(5.32 pm)

 

 

MATTERS REFERRED TO COUNCIL FOR CONSIDERATION

62.

Community Infrastructure Levy: Draft Charging Schedule: pdf icon PDF 236 KB

The Executive Officer Policy and Place to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

62/18 – COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY:  DRAFT CHARGING

  SCHEDULE:  Further to Cabinet Minute 53/18, the Executive Officer Policy and Place submitted the written report on the Community infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule which had previously been considered by Cabinet at its meeting held on 17 October 2018.  The report outlined the process for preparation of a CIL, gave details of proposed charging rates and explained how any money raised could be spent.  Appendix 1 contained the Draft Charging Schedule.  An amended version was tabled at the meeting following legal advice to update regulation numbers and include charging zone maps.

 

At its meeting on 17 October 2018 the Cabinet had requested District Development Committee provide its comments and recommendations on the proposed content of the CIL Draft Charging Schedule.  The District Development Committee had met on 18 October 2018 and considered the Schedule and the comments and questions of the Committee had been noted and were now included in the Minutes of that meeting, which were now before the Cabinet for consideration.  In addition it had been agreed that the CIL implementation plan would be taken to the District Development Committee for comment and that the Regulation 123 statement would be brought to the District Development Committee every year before being confirmed by Council.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning thanked the District Development Committee for its comments and advised that a further round of consultation on the Draft Charging Schedule would take place in January, prior to its submission for examination in the Summer of 2019.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) Appendix 1 to the report is approved as the CIL Draft Charging Schedule;

 

(2) the Executive Officer Policy and Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning, be authorised to make minor amendments and graphical improvements to the CIL Draft Charging Schedule;

 

(3) the Council:

1. undertake a six week formal consultation on the CIL Draft Charging Schedule in January 2019;

2. subsequently submit to the Secretary of State all relevant documentation for examination; and

 

(4) in event of modifications being required to the Draft Charging Schedule prior to its submission, the Head of Place-Shaping and Economic Growth in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning be authorised to make these changes and undertake any necessary pre-submission consultation.

 

(5.32 pm – 5.33 pm)

 

 

63.

Sports and Leisure Strategy 2018-23: pdf icon PDF 165 KB

The Change Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

63/18 – SPORTS AND LEISURE STRATEGY 2018-23: The Head of Culture, Tourism and Sport submitted a written report which sought approval of the draft Sport and Leisure Strategy, which was attached as Appendix 1.  The Strategy set out a high level strategic vision which was for the district to have “A healthier more active population living longer, more independent and happier lives” and underpinning this were strategic priorities and principles of delivery.  An Action Plan would be developed to implement the strategy which would guide the future of the Council’s Sport and Leisure Services for the next five years.

 

The strategy had been developed following workshops with officers and Members.   Public consultation on the draft strategy had taken place over the summer and had included the Council’s partner organisations and groups and clubs which used the Council’s leisure facilities.  The results of the consultation were attached at Appendix B.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Sport and Leisure Strategy (attached as Appendix A) be approved.

 

(5.33 pm – 5.36 pm)

 

 

64.

Capital and Investment Programme 2018/19 Quarter 2:

The Head of Finance to submit a written report.

Minutes:

64/18 – CAPITAL AND INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2018/19 QUARTER 2:  The Head of Finance submitted a written report and sought approval for the amended Capital Programme for 2018/19 and indicative Programme from 2019/20 to 2022/23.  The Council had made good progress in taking a more proactive approach to its asset management and ensuring that the return from investment was maximised.  Positive developments included: Planned Asset Maintenance, the move to new office accommodation, introduction of the Capital and Investment Strategy and the establishment of a Council Investment Reserve.  A number of significant reviews would impact on the Capital and Investment Strategy in the future and these included the Leisure Provision review, HCC Future Strategy, the ICT Plan and the Economic Growth Strategy.

 

The amended Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23 was outlined in Table 1 at paragraph 7.1 of the report, and further detail was given at Appendix 1.  Paragraph 7.2 detailed works which had resulted in an increase from the original approved programme.  This included the increased cost of replacement cremators, an increase of £635k as agreed by Cabinet in October, and which was to be funded by delaying the provision of new burial plots from 2025/26 to 2026/27.  The amended Revenue Investment Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23 was shown in Table 2 at paragraph 7.3, and further detail was given at Appendix 2, this was less than the agreed programme as a result of works detailed at paragraph 7.4.  Overall, capital and revenue expenditure of £38,446k was forecast in the amended five year rolling programme to 2023, which was £732k more than the previously approved programmes; £635k of this related to the replacement cremators.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

The amended Programme for 2018/19 and Indicative Programmes from 2019/20 to 2022/23 are approved, noting that future developments around leisure provision, ICT, Harrogate Convention Centre (HCC) and Economic Growth will have an impact on the figures in the report.

 

(5.36 pm – 5.37 pm)

 

 

65.

Delegated Powers for the Examination of the Harrogate District Local Plan: pdf icon PDF 152 KB

The Executive Officer Policy and Place to submit a written report.

Minutes:

65/18 – DELEGATED POWERS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HARROGATE

  DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN:  The Executive Officer Policy and Place submitted a written report which sought agreement on the process of decision making during the Examination of the Harrogate District Local Plan.  Following submission of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State on 31 August 2018 the Examination phase was due to take place during January 2019.  During the course of the examination it was expected that the Inspector would request further information and opinions on amendments from the Council.  Prompt responses would be required to ensure that the Examination could progress efficiently and delegated authority would assist in keeping to the timetable established by the Inspector.  Cabinet noted that ultimately any resultant modifications to the Local Plan would be brought back to Council for agreement prior to the Plan being adopted.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That Cabinet delegates authority to the Executive Officer Policy and Place for the duration of the Examination, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning to:

 

a. provide formal responses to questions from the Inspector alongside other supporting statements and documentation as requested by the Inspector; AND

 

b. to agree to modifications to the plan through the examination period in order to make the plan sound.

 

(5.48 pm to 5.50 pm)

 

 

 

66.

Housing Investment Programme 2018/19: pdf icon PDF 250 KB

The Finance Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

CABINET

HELD ON 14 NOVEMBER 2018

(FROM 5.30 PM TO 6.05 PM)

 

PRESENT:  Councillor Richard Cooper in the Chair. Councillors Rebecca Burnett, Mike Chambers, Phil Ireland, Stan Lumley, Andy Paraskos and Graham Swift.

 

Late Arrivals:           None

 

Early Departures:   None

 

MATTERS DEALT WITH BY CABINET

 

66/18 – HOUSING INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2018/19 MONITORING: The Head of Finance submitted a written report on the latest forecast for the Housing Investment Programme (HIP) for 2018/19 and highlighted the main variances between this latest forecast and the budget.

 

On 7 February 2018, Cabinet had approved the HIP for 2018/19 with a forecast expenditure of £13,182k. On 20 June 2018, the HIP outturn for 2017/18 was presented to Cabinet and this highlighted expenditure to be carried forward to 2018/19 of £1,226k, meaning that the total approved programme for 2018/19 was revised to £14,408k. The latest programme as at October 2018 had decreased to £12,063k 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.  These included the Allhallowgate redevelopment scheme which was currently estimating spend of £823k against the original budget for the year of £2,740k due to the need for further site investigation and foundation design work.  In addition there was an underspend of £531k on works on unadopted roads.  It was also noted that one of the homes purchased for shared ownership using funding from Homes England remained unsold and would be retained within the Council’s social rented stock without any loss of grant support as detailed in paragraph 5.3.1 of the report.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the report is received and the position noted; and

 

(2) it be noted that one of the 24 homes approved in October 2017 to be purchased for onward sale as shared ownership properties will now be retained within the HRA social rented stock.

 

Reason for decision:

 

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

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

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

(5.37 pm to 5.39 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

67.

Flexible Homelessness Support Grant 2018/19: Forward Plan Ref: C65Sep26: pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The Head of Housing to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

67/18 – FLEXIBLE HOMELESSNESS SUPPORT GRANT 2018/19: FORWARD

  PLAN REF: C65SEP26:  The Head of Housing and Property submitted a written report which sought approval for proposed Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (FHSG) expenditure in 2018/2019.  The FHSG had been introduced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in March 2017 specifically to support a full range of homelessness services, including both those to tackle and to prevent homelessness.  Initially the funding had been allocated for a two year period: with £203,377 being allocated for 2017/18 and £223,038 for 2018/19.  A third year of funding had now been announced with £293,689 being allocated for 2019/20.

 

Section 6 of the report outlined progress on grant expenditure for 2017/18, which had led to a transformation in the Housing Options Service in response to the challenges posed by the Homelessness Reduction Act.  Section 7 set out proposals for use of the grant in 2018/19 which included increasing staffing resources to cope with increasing demands on the service, and further details were given at Appendix 1. 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the proposed Flexible Homelessness Support Grant expenditure for 2018/2019 be approved, as outlined in Appendix One of this report.

 

Reason for decision:

 

The council had been allocated grant funding specifically to support a full range of homelessness services, including both those to tackle and to prevent homelessness. Preventing homelessness remained a keypriority for the Council and the grant would support continuing enhancements in service delivery in response to the significant changes introduced by the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and maximise the opportunities for successful homelessness prevention interventions.

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

Not to approve the proposals for the expenditure of the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant in 2018/2019. This was not being recommended as the council would be failing to use the grant for its intended purpose, thus failing to maximise opportunities for homelessness prevention.

 

(5.39 pm to 5.41 pm)

 

(D)

 

68.

Environment Act 1995 Part IV Local Air Quality Management: Draft Air Quality Action Plan for Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon Air Quality Management Areas: Forward Plan Ref: C62Sep03: pdf icon PDF 182 KB

The Environmental Protection Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

68/18 – ENVIRONMENT ACT 1995 PART IV LOCAL AIR QUALITY

  MANAGEMENT: DRAFT AIR QUALITY ACTION PLAN FOR

  HARROGATE, KNARESBOROUGH AND RIPON AIR QUALITY

  MANAGEMENT AREAS: FORWARD PLAN REF: C62SEP03:  The Head of Safer Communities presented a written report which presented a draft Air Quality Action Plan for the Air Quality Management Areas for Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon prior to it being submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for final approval.  Under part IV of the Environment Act 1995 Local Authorities have a duty to produce Air Quality Action Plans following the declaration of an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) showing how air quality would be improved, and the draft Plan was attached at Appendix A.  Harrogate Borough Council had declared four AQMAs within the district, which were at Bond End, Knaresborough; York Place, Knaresborough; Low and High Skellgate, Ripon; and Woodlands Road, Harrogate.  All four were declared for breaches of the nitrogen dioxide objective.

 

The report set out the process for developing the Action Plan, which involved officers from both the Council and NYCC Highways and Public Health teams.  A steering group made up of the local Ward Members and lead officers from the Council and NYCC was also established in accordance with the guidance.  Ten actions were identified as being suitable for inclusion in the draft Action Plan, along with potential costs and timescales.  Public consultation had taken place on the draft Action Plan and there was support for the proposed actions.  Statutory consultees as well as affected residents, businesses and relevant parish councils were invited to respond.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the Air Quality Action Plan for the Air Quality Management Areas for Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon is agreed (Appendix A); and

 

(2) the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport is given authority to endorse the Air Quality Action Plan once any comments have been received from DEFRA and any final amendments have been made.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

Local authorities had a statutory duty under the Environment Act 1995, Part IV to produce an Air Quality Action Plan where Air Quality Management Areas had been declared.

 

Action to manage and improve air quality was also required by European Union (EU) legislation. The 2008 ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC) set legally binding limits for concentrations in outdoor air of major air pollutants that impact public health including nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

The Council had a statutory duty to produce the Action Plan so no alternative option was available.

 

(Councillor Rebecca Burnett declared an interest in the item on the basis that she was employed by Transdev, the bus operator.  The Councillor remained in the meeting room during the debate, however she did not vote on the item.)

 

(5.41 pm to 5.46 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

69.

Business Rates 75% Retention Pilot 2019/20: Forward Plan Ref: CA012Oct03: pdf icon PDF 269 KB

The Head of Finance to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

69/18 – BUSINESS RATES 75% RETENTION PILOT 2019/20: FORWARD PLAN

  REF: CA012OCT03:  The Head of Finance submitted a written report to inform Cabinet about the Government’s invitation for authorities to apply to become pilots for 75% business rate retention in 2019/20.  The report set out the key issues involved and confirmation was sought for the Council’s continued involvement in an application for pilot status as part of the North and West Yorkshire (N&WY) pool.

 

Nationally the standard arrangement for distribution of business rates was that 50% of local business rate income was paid over to the Government.  Harrogate had joined the Leeds City Region pool in 2013 and in 2017 the pool had successfully applied to pilot 100% retention for 2018/19 whereby all local rates income was retained locally.  The latest estimated benefit to the Council of this was £2.4m in 2018/19.  The 100% retention would operate for one year only, however in July 2018 the Government invited authorities to apply to pilot 75% retention of business rates for 2019/20.  Discussions have taken place with neighbouring authorities and a joint bid involving all West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire authorities had been submitted; a copy of the application was attached at Appendix 1.

 

The report detailed how additional income would be achieved and how it would be allocated; Harrogate’s estimated direct gain under 75% retention was £1.16m.  The report also set out governance arrangements for the pool and the timeline for submission of the application.  The pilots for 2019/20 would be announced as part of the provisional Local Government Finance settlement in mid-December.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) Cabinet approve the council’s application to participate in a pilot scheme through the N&WY pool, allowing 75% Business Rate Retention in 2019/20; and

 

(2) the authority of the Section 151 Officer to sign the application by the N&WY pool to MHCLG for 75% business rate retention in 2019/20 be confirmed.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

There were potentially considerable financial benefits to both the council and the N&WY pool as a whole from being accepted as part of the pilot.

 

To enable the council to provide its assent to the N&WY application submission on a timely basis.

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

To exclude ourselves from the N&WY application – this would be financially disadvantageous and would mean that all N&WY authorities would revert to their pooling arrangements under 50% retention for 2019/20 (for Harrogate, this would mean operating as part of the Leeds City Region (LCR) pool, as we did from 2013/14 to 2017/18).

(5.46 pm to 5.47 pm)

 

(D)

 

70.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy - Midyear Review 2018/19: pdf icon PDF 323 KB

The Head of Finance to submit a written report.

Minutes:

70/18 – TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY STATEMENT AND ANNUAL

   INVESTMENT STRATEGY - MIDYEAR REVIEW 2018/19:  The Head of Finance submitted a written report which provided a mid-year review of the authority’s Treasury Management activity and performance for the year 2018/19.  Section 7 of the report contained an economic update, which set the context for the Council’s investment strategy. Whilst UK economic growth was modest and the Monetary Policy Committee had had the confidence to increase the Bank Rate from 0.5% to 0.75% in August, there was still some uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.

 

Sections 9 and 10 of the report provided details of the Council’s investment portfolio and borrowing for 2018/19.   The Council’s budgeted investment return for 2018/19 was £219k and performance for the first six months was £45k above budget.  In addition no new external borrowing had been undertaken during the first six months of 2018/19.  During the year the Council had operated within the treasury limits set out in the Treasury Management Strategy Statement approved by Council on 7 March 2018.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the report be received.

 

Reason for decision:

 

To comply with the authority’s financial regulations and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Codes of Practice.

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

None

 

(5.50 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

71.

2018/19 October Financial and Service Plan Performance Update: pdf icon PDF 303 KB

The Service Finance Manager and Principal Policy and Performance Officer to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

71/18 – 2018/19 OCTOBER FINANCIAL AND SERVICE PLAN PERFORMANCE

              UPDATE:  The Head of Finance submitted a written report presenting the Council’s latest financial position and a summary of service plan performance. The position detailed at the time of writing the report showed a projected overspend of £373k on General Fund activity.  A service by service summary of the variances was shown in the table at paragraph 5.3 and the reasons for the variances from forecast budgets were explained in paragraph 5.2. 

 

The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission at its meeting held on 12 October 2018 and its comments circulated to Cabinet before the meeting.  The Leader invited the Chair of the Commission, Councillor Philip Broadbank, to speak on the item and Cabinet thanked the Commission for its comments.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Council’s current financial position, a projected overspend of £373k, and service plan exception reporting is noted.

 

Reason for decision:

 

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

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

Not to receive financial reporting which would weaken financial control, increase the risk of overspends against budget or missed opportunities to utilise underspends or identify mitigating actions.

 

(5.50 pm to 5.57 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

72.

Corporate Performance Report: Quarter 2, 2018/19: pdf icon PDF 680 KB

The Principal Policy and Performance Officer to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

72/18 – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE REPORT: QUARTER TWO, 2018/19:  The Business Intelligence and Performance Manager submitted a written report which provided an update on the measures within the Corporate Delivery Plan and the Corporate Health performance indicators at Quarter Two. 

 

Appendix 1 to the report provided detail on the measures within the Corporate Delivery Plan, and Appendix 2 summarised performance against each of the performance indicators.  The report had previously been received by Management Board, whose comments were incorporated into the report at section 8. 

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission had also considered the report at its meeting held on 12 October 2018 and its comments circulated to Cabinet before the meeting.  The Chair of the Commission attended the meeting to present the views of the Commission as outlined in the report. 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the report be received, and the comments from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Management Board be considered and 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 wanted to achieve.

 

The Delivery Plan was updated on an annual basis and detailed what we will do, what our targets were and how we will measure these; this report tracked our progress against the Delivery Plan.

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

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

 

(5.57 pm to 5.58 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

73.

Appointment of Support Contractors for the Provision of Trade Specific Day to Day Repair Work and Minor Works and Inclusion on Approved Contractor List: pdf icon PDF 151 KB

The Operations Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

73/18 – APPOINTMENT OF SUPPORT CONTRACTORS FOR THE PROVISION

              OF TRADE SPECIFIC DAY TO DAY REPAIR WORK AND MINOR

              WORKS AND INCLUSION ON APPROVED CONTRACTOR LIST:  The Operations Manager submitted a written report and requested approval to appoint property repairs sub- contractors to support the In House Maintenance Team (IHMT).  The contractors were required to undertake specialist tasks or tasks requiring specialist equipment and to assist at times where additional support was required in order to complete the work programme. 

 

In order to remain compliant with procurement rules a procurement exercise had been undertaken with the support of Efficiency North and attached at exempt Appendix 1 was information on the evaluation criteria and details of which bidders offered the most economically advantageous solutions.  Cabinet approval was required to appoint the preferred contractors as the potential value of the contracts to be offered was over £500,000 over the initial contract period of three years. 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the three most economically advantageous and best equipped bidders in each of the eight trade based lots demonstrated by the results of the evaluation process, (see appendix A) be accepted, and the appointments be authorised, providing a framework of contactors to meet our needs.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

Financial provision for necessary support was available within budget.

 

The current contractual arrangements were coming to an end and there was an ongoing requirement for this level of support. The procurement exercise carried out was compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. 

 

Alternative option considered and rejected:

 

Not to award the contract. This would leave the Council without the ability to deliver a timely and cost effective repairs service to its customers and also meet agreed repairs turnaround times.

 

(5.58 pm to 5.59 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

74.

Voluntary and Community Sector Strategic Funding Arrangements 2019-2022: Forward Plan Ref: CA013Oct04: pdf icon PDF 228 KB

The Partnership and Engagement Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

74/18 – VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR STRATEGIC FUNDING

  ARRANGEMENTS 2019-2022: FORWARD PLAN REF: CA013OCT04:  The Partnership and Engagement Manager submitted a written report which set out the revised funding arrangements for the next three year term of strategic funding to the key voluntary and community sector organisations working across the district.  The current funding terms for existing grant recipients ends on 31 March 2019 with new funding arrangements due to commence on 1 April 2019 for three years. 

 

The existing arrangements had been reviewed and it was proposed to move to a Service Level Agreement model for allocating the majority of funds, rather than the current grants process.  This would ensure that funds were allocated and managed to support the voluntary and community sector in a way which aligned with the Council’s corporate priorities and those awarded funds would be expected to enter into a collaborative partnership with the Council to deliver services.  To align with the Council’s service provision and challenges the following three areas would form the basis of future allocations:

1.    Housing and homelessness

2.    Sustaining the voluntary and community sector

3.    Welfare reforms and the roll out of universal credit

 

An assessment had taken place to determine which organisations should receive funding for 2019-2022 and details were included in exempt Appendix 1.  Service Level agreements were proposed for:

Citizens Advice Harrogate District

Harrogate Homeless Project

Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Services

Community First Yorkshire

 

and funding would also be allocated on a sliding scale over the three year period to Nidderdale Plus.

 

The proposed allocations for 2019/20 would amount to £135,500 and would be subject to approval by Council on an annual basis.  This would provide a saving of £39,000.

 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

To agree to the proposed arrangements and to fund the voluntary and community sector organisations as detailed above for a period of three years in order to allow some stability to the organisations that will be in receipt of the funds.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

By approving the list of organisations and the amounts, the services delivered by these voluntary and community sector organisations will be able to continue delivering key services across the Harrogate district.

 

The budget will be allocated for 2019/20.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected:

 

Not to agree the allocations would mean that none of the ring fenced budget for the voluntary and community sector would be committed within the 2019/20 budget.

 

There would also be a loss of service provision across the Harrogate District currently provided by the voluntary and community sector that complements and enhances the council’s service provision.

 

(5.59 pm to 6.02 pm)

 

(D)

 

 

75.

Acquisition of Social Rented Properties:

The Development Manager (Housing) to submit a written report.

Minutes:

75/18 – ACQUISITION OF SOCIAL RENTED PROPERTIES:  The Head of Housing and Property submitted a written report and sought approval to bid to Homes England for grant funding to support the acquisition of six empty ex-local authority dwellings to be made available as social rented homes. 

 

The report gave details of the current position following Cabinet approval in October 2018 to use affordable housing commuted sums and HRA capital receipts, combined with a Homes England grant, to buy 24 homes on the open market for onward sale as shared ownership homes.  To date 18 homes have been purchased and sales have completed on four, with another nine sales ongoing.  Six homes remained to be identified and purchased by mid-March 2019, however it was unlikely that this number of suitable properties would come on the market over the winter months.  

 

It was therefore proposed that the Council bid for six social rented homes under Homes England Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme 2018-2021.  These would be in addition to the six homes yet to be purchased and grant funding would run from April 2019.  However, any property purchased under this programme could ‘replace’ a shared ownership one currently due.  As a minimum the Council must buy six properties from a combination of the two programmes by mid-march 2019.  The properties to be acquired for social rented housing would be ex-council, empty for a minimum of two months, requiring repair works of up to £20,000 and may be of non-traditional construction.  This programme would not impact on the number of first time buyer properties on the market and would see empty homes brought back into use.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the Head of Housing and Property is authorised to bid to Homes England for grant funding of £50,000 per dwelling towards the purchase of a maximum of six dwellings under its Empty Homes programme;

 

(2) subject to the receipt of £50,000 grant per dwelling, six empty, ex-local authority dwellings are purchased at an average value of no more than £150,000 per dwelling;

 

(3)  should grants of less than £50,000 per dwelling be allocated, the average value of dwellings to be purchased is reduced by the same amount; such that the council’s contribution does not exceed £100,000 average per dwelling towards the purchase price;

 

(4) approval of the individual properties be delegated to the Cabinet Member (Housing and Safer Communities) in consultation with the Head of Housing and Property even where the level of expenditure on an individual property exceeds the amount (£100,000) constitutionally delegated to Cabinet Member; and

 

(5) the council’s Valuation Surveyor be given authority to negotiate the individual purchases on behalf of the council and that Legal Services be authorised to negotiate the conveyancing or this work be out-sourced, subject to resources.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

To secure grant funding of £175,500 currently allocated to the purchase of six shared ownership homes by mid-March 2019 and ensure delivery of the council’s 2018/2019 Homes England grant funded programme, thereby maintaining the council’s excellent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.