Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, Northants NN12 6AD

Contact: Natasha Clark, Democratic and Elections  Email: natasha.clark@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk, 01295 221589

Items
Note No. Item

102.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

103.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 16 January 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 16 January 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

104.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Sanjay Sharma, Deputy Section 151 Officer, to his first meeting of Cabinet.

6.05pm

105.

South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options Consultation (Part 1) pdf icon PDF 573 KB

** Please note that due to the size of the appendices, they will be published as a supplement to the main agenda **

 

Report of Head of Strategic Planning and the Economy

 

Purpose of report

 

For Members to consider the draft Local Plan (Part 2A) options consultation document, and to approve the document for formal consultation.

           

Recommendation

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1         To accept the recommendation from ‘Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee’ and for Cabinet to:

 

Approve the publication of the draft South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options consultation (Part 1) documents for a 10 week public consultation period. Formal consultation will take place following the completion and approval of the remaining parts of the Plan, as set out in Paragraph 2.4 of this Report. Subject to the completion of the outstanding evidence work on landscape, it is intended that consultation would begin in June 2017. This is following consideration at the June Committee and Cabinet.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That, having due regard to the recommendation from the Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee, the publication of the draft South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options consultation (Part 1) documents be approved for further detailed discussion and that the complete Plan (following the completion of the outstanding evidence work on landscape and other matters) be submitted for consideration at the June Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee and Cabinet, it be noted that, subject to approval,  formal consultation would begin in June 2017

Minutes:

The Head of Strategic Planning and the Economy submitted a report for Members to consider the draft Local Plan (Part 2A) options consultation document, and to approve the document for formal consultation.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That, having due regard to the recommendation from the Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee, the publication of the draft South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options consultation (Part 1) documents be approved for further detailed discussion and that the complete Plan (following the completion of the outstanding evidence work on landscape and other matters) be submitted for consideration at the June Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee and Cabinet, it be noted that, subject to approval,  formal consultation would begin in June 2017.

 

Reasons

 

It is recommended that Cabinet accept the recommendation from ‘Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee’ and approve the publication of the draft South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options consultation (Part 1) documents, and for a 10 week public consultation period.

 

The Local Plan Part 2A will build on, and provide detail to, the framework for growth by the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (WNJCS). This Preferred Options stage will help the Council to test the preferred approach and subsequently narrow down policies and land allocations that should be identified in the “submission draft ”, which will be the next stage in the process.

 

After the Council has completed this round of consultation, there has to be one more round of consultation, known as the ‘proposed submission’ plan (under regulation 19). The timetable envisages the proposed submission plan being published for consultation in late 2017. The proposed submission draft will take into account the findings of the next round of consultation and any new evidence published in the meantime. After the proposed submission draft plan has been consulted upon, the Council submits the plan and the representations made to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then appoints an independent inspector to examine the plan to see whether it is legally compliant and sound (defined as justified, effective and consistent with national policy). The Council cannot adopt the plan unless the inspector concludes that the plan is legally compliant and sound.

 

Alternative options

 

The Council could chose not to approve the documents for public consultation; however this would delay for preparation of the Local Plans.

 

Option1: To agree to the recommendations as set out in this report.

 

Option 2: To amend the recommendations

 

Option 3: Not to agree to the recommendations

 

Option 1 is the recommended option. Agreeing the recommendations in this report will enable the Council to progress with the Local Plan. It is accepted that the Local Plan Preferred Options paper is likely to be controversial and will generate a considerable amount of response to the consultation. Approving this consultation will hopefully demonstrate the Council’s willingness to seriously engage on such matters and allow constructive talks to continue before finalising the next Proposed Submission draft plan.

 

6.50pm

106.

Corporate Fraud Prosecution and Sanctions Policy pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Report of Chief Finance Officer

 

Purpose of report

 

To provide members with the updated Joint Prosecution and Sanctions Policy and to seek approval to the reviewed policy. 

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To approve the updated Joint Prosecution and Sanction Policy.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the updated Joint Prosecution and Sanction Policy (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer submitted a report to provide members with the updated Joint Prosecution and Sanctions Policy and to seek approval to the reviewed policy.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the updated Joint Prosecution and Sanction Policy (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

Reasons

 

There is a Joint Sanctions and Prosecution Policy in place for both Cherwell District Council (CDC) and South Northamptonshire Council (SNC). The policy ensures that both councils have guidelines in place to assist the decision making process when considering what further action is appropriate following an investigation.

 

The policy is also incorporated within the CDC and SNC Corporate Enforcement Policy and has been prepared with consideration of the regulators code, the principles of good regulation and on core principles found in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: Not to approve the policy. This is not recommended as the Joint Sanctions and Prosecutions Policy ensures that both councils have guidelines in place to assist the decision making process when considering what further action is appropriate.

 

6.55pm

107.

Town Centre Business Rates Incentives pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Report of Head of Strategic Planning and the Economy

 

Purpose of report

 

To seek approval for the proposed Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme which details proposals for awarding business rates incentives to bring back into use empty properties and sustain the vitality and diversity of Brackley and Towcester town centres.

 

Recommendations

             

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1        To note the report.

 

1.2       To approve the proposed draft Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme for Brackley and Towcester designated town centre areas.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

(2)          That the the proposed draft Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme for Brackley and Towcester designated town centre areas (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Strategic Planning and the Economy to seek approval for the proposed Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme which details proposals for awarding business rates incentives to bring back into use empty properties and sustain the vitality and diversity of Brackley and Towcester town centres.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

(2)          That the the proposed draft Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme for Brackley and Towcester designated town centre areas (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

Reasons

 

South Northamptonshire Council is committed to ensuring the town centres for both Brackley and Towcester are supported to retain their economic vitality and diversity. The Council’s recently adopted Economic Growth Strategy places an emphasis on supporting town and village economies alongside the other measures being taken to attract new employment, maintain the District’s low unemployment and releasing land for new economic investment and job creation. Business rates incentives have a role to play as part of the measures taken by South Northamptonshire Council to support the economy of each town.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: Members could choose not to adopt the proposed pilot Town Centre Business Rates Incentives Scheme, but Business Rates Incentives have a role to play as part of the measures taken by South Northants Council to support the economy of each town.

 

 

7.00pm

108.

Draft Budget and Corporate Business Plan 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 491 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer.

 

Purpose of report

 

To set out for Cabinet the latest position on the 2017/18 budgets following the provisional finance settlement, to recommend the budget for 2017/18, and to set out for consideration the business plan for 2017/18, including the new cycle of growth strategies, for recommendation to Full Council.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended to:

1.1         Consider and approve the draft budget for recommendation to Full Council as set out in the report.

1.2         Recommend to Full Council that authority is delegated to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Financial Strategy and Procurement, to amend the contribution to or from general fund balances to account for any changes that may occur as a result of the final settlement figures or any changes to relating to Business Rates.

1.3         Note the latest medium term revenue plan (MTRP), see Appendix 3 that will form the basis of the work for the Budget and Financial Strategy Committee in the forthcoming year.

1.4         To approve the use of £2m of reserves to fund the initial one-off payment to the pension fund, in order to achieve the saving of £121,000.

1.5         Note that the Treasury Management Strategy will be presented to Full Council in February.

1.6         Recommend to Full Council that the new Capital Programme proposals as set out at Appendix 5 be approved and added to the Council’s existing capital programme.

1.7         Note the impact of the proposed budget on reserves and recommend the reserves 2017/18 to full council, see Appendix 6

1.8         Endorse the proposed increase in Council Tax of £5 per year and recommend to Full Council in February or amend the proposals contained within this report to recommend a different level of Council Tax.

1.9         To endorse and recommend to Full Council the 2017/18 Business Plan (as detailed in Appendix 7), and to delegate authority to the Director – Strategy and Commissioning, in consultation with the Leader of the Council to make any minor amendments to the plan as required before consideration by Full Council.

1.10      To recommend to Full Council the joint cycle of growth strategies of

Operational    Excellence, Commercial Development and Innovation, and Commissioning, detailed in Appendix 8, and to delegate authority to the Director of Operational Delivery, in consultation with the Leader of the Council to make any minor amendments to the strategies and corporate values as required.

 

1.11      Note the findings of the Equality Impact Assessments that have been undertaken in relation to the proposed business plan, budget and cycle of growth strategies for 2017/18 (detailed in Appendix 9).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That, having given due consideration, the draft budget be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to approve the draft budget.

 

(2)          That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Procurement, to amend the contribution to or from general fund balances to account for any changes that may occur as a result of the final settlement figures or any changes to relating to Business Rates.

 

(3)          That the latest medium term revenue plan (MTRP, annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be noted and it be further noted that this would form the basis of the work for the Budget and Financial Strategy Committee in the forthcoming year.

 

(4)          That the use of £2m of reserves to fund the initial one-off payment to the pension fund, in order to achieve the saving of £121,000 be approved.

 

(5)          That it be noted that the Treasury Management Strategy will be presented to Full Council in February.

 

(6)          That Full Council be recommended to approve the new Capital Programme proposals (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) and that they be added to the Council’s existing capital programme.

 

(7)          That the impact of the proposed budget on reserves be noted and Full Council be recommended to approve the reserves 2017/18 (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book).

 

(8)          That the proposed increase in Council Tax of £5 per year be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to agree an increase in Council Tax of £5 per year.

 

(9)          That the 2017/18 Business Plan (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be endorsed and recommended to Full Council for approval, and that authority be delegated to the Director – Strategy and Commissioning, in consultation with the Leader of the Council to make any minor amendments to the plan as required before consideration by Full Council.

 

(10)       That Full Council be recommended to approve the joint cycle of growth strategies of Operational Excellence, Commercial Development and Innovation, and Commissioning (annexes to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) and that authority be delegated to the Director of Operational Delivery, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make any minor amendments to the strategies and corporate values as required.

 

(11)       That the findings of the Equality Impact Assessments that have been undertaken in relation to the proposed business plan, budget and cycle of growth strategies for 2017/18 (annexes to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer submitted a report to set out for Cabinet the latest position on the 2017/18 budgets following the provisional finance settlement, to recommend the budget for 2017/18, and to set out for consideration the business plan for 2017/18, including the new cycle of growth strategies, for recommendation to Full Council.

 

Cabinet thanked the Chief Finance Officer, Interim Corporate Finance Manager, the Group Accountant, the wider Finance Team and the Budget and Financial Strategy Committee for their hard work in putting together the proposed budget.   

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That, having given due consideration, the draft budget be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to approve the draft budget.

 

(2)          That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Procurement, to amend the contribution to or from general fund balances to account for any changes that may occur as a result of the final settlement figures or any changes to relating to Business Rates.

 

(3)          That the latest medium term revenue plan (MTRP, annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be noted and it be further noted that this would form the basis of the work for the Budget and Financial Strategy Committee in the forthcoming year.

 

(4)          That the use of £2m of reserves to fund the initial one-off payment to the pension fund, in order to achieve the saving of £121,000 be approved.

 

(5)          That it be noted that the Treasury Management Strategy will be presented to Full Council in February.

 

(6)          That Full Council be recommended to approve the new Capital Programme proposals (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) and that they be added to the Council’s existing capital programme.

 

(7)          That the impact of the proposed budget on reserves be noted and Full Council be recommended to approve the reserves 2017/18 (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book).

 

(8)          That the proposed increase in Council Tax of £5 per year be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to agree an increase in Council Tax of £5 per year.

 

(9)          That the 2017/18 Business Plan (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be endorsed and recommended to Full Council for approval, and that authority be delegated to the Director – Strategy and Commissioning, in consultation with the Leader of the Council to make any minor amendments to the plan as required before consideration by Full Council.

 

(10)       That Full Council be recommended to approve the joint cycle of growth strategies of Operational Excellence, Commercial Development and Innovation, and Commissioning (annexes to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) and that authority be delegated to the Director of Operational Delivery, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make any minor amendments to the strategies and corporate values as required.

 

(11)       That the findings of the Equality Impact Assessments that have been undertaken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

7.30pm

109.

Proposed Changes to the Local Health and Social Care Sector pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Report of the Director of Operational Delivery

 

Purpose of report

 

To inform Cabinet of proposed changes to the health and social care sector, the actions of the Council to date and to consider further Council activity. 

 

Recommendations

            

The Cabinet is recommended:

 

 1.1        To note the proposals for change and the Council’s engagement with the Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan; and

 

1.2         To support the approach proposed in Appendix 4 as the basis of the Council’s response to the Oxfordshire CCG stage 1 consultation process.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the proposals for change and the Council’s engagement with the Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan be noted.

 

(2)          That the approach proposed in the exempt annex to the Minutes (as set out in the Minute Book) be supported as the basis of the Council’s response to the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group stage 1 consultation process.

 

(3)          That the use of general fund balances up to the maximum amount permitted to be approved by Cabinet pursuant the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules to support this work be authorised.

 

Minutes:

The Director of Operational Delivery submitted a report to inform Cabinet of proposed changes to the health and social care sector, the actions of the Council to date and to consider further Council activity. 

 

 

 

110.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraphs 3 and 5 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

7.50pm

111.

Proposed Changes to the Local Health and Social Care Sector - Exempt Appendix

Exempt appendix 4 of the report of the Director of Operational Delivery.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the exempt appendices to the report on proposed changes to the Local Health and Social Care Sector.

 

At the discretion of the Chairman, Councillor Rosie Herring and Councillor Fiona Baker addressed Cabinet.  

112.

Readmittance of the Press and Public

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That the press and public be readmitted to the meeting.

113.

Proposed Changes to the Local Health and Social Care Sector

Minutes:

Having readmitted the press and public, Cabinet voted on the recommendations.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the proposals for change and the Council’s engagement with the Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan be noted.

 

(2)          That the approach proposed in the exempt annex to the Minutes (as set out in the Minute Book) be supported as the basis of the Council’s response to the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group stage 1 consultation process.

 

(3)          That the use of general fund balances up to the maximum amount permitted to be approved by Cabinet pursuant the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules to support this work be authorised.

 

Reasons

 

There are fundamental changes proposed for the local health and social care sector, some of which are the subject of a formal consultation process in neighbouring Oxfordshire running until 9 April 2017. Of very local and heightened concern are the changes proposed for the HGH where most acute services are to be transferred to Oxford hospitals, more care is to take place at home and in the community and increased planned care at the HGH.

 

Such acute service changes are similar in nature to those proposed in 2007, and which were rejected by the Secretary of State. The Council is therefore taking steps to provide a robust response to these recent proposals, as it did in 2008.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: The option available to the Council is not to respond to the consultation process and let matters take their course. This is not proposed as the HGH is regarded as a critical piece of the District’s infrastructure, the distance and journey challenges to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford are too great for many of the District residents and it is clear that local people do not support all the proposed changes.

 

7.45pm

114.

Draft Cabinet Work Programme Incorporating the Forward Plan: March 2017 - June 2017

This will be circulated separately prior to the meeting to ensure members have the most up to date version.

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the draft Cabinet Work Programme Incorporating the Forward Plan: March 2017 to June 2017 be approved, subject to the following amendment:

·         Add South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options Consultation (Part 1) to June

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered its draft Cabinet Work Programme Incorporating the Forward Plan: March 2017 – June 2017.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the draft Cabinet Work Programme Incorporating the Forward Plan: March 2017 to June 2017 be approved, subject to the following amendment:

·         Add South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2A) Preferred Options Consultation (Part 1) to June

 

Reasons

 

N/A

 

Alternative options

 

N/A

 

115.

Urgent Business (previously agreed with the Chairman)

To consider any items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

116.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following reports contain exempt information as defined in the following paragraphs of Part 1, Schedule 12A of Local Government Act 1972.

 

1 – Information relating to any individual

 

3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

5 - Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings

 

Members are reminded that whilst the following items have been marked as exempt, it is for the meeting to decide whether or not to consider them in private or in public. In making the decision, members should balance the interests of individuals or the Council itself in having access to the information. In considering their discretion members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers.

 

No representations have been received from the public requesting that these items be considered in public.

 

Should Members decide not to make a decision in public, they are recommended to pass the following recommendation:

 

“That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraphs 1, 3 and 5 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”

 

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraphs 1, 3 and 5 would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

 

8.10pm

117.

Bad Debt Write Off of Non-Domestic Rates

Exempt Report of Chief Finance Officer

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the proposed bad debt write off (exempt annex to the inutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

(2)          That delegated authority be granted to the Section 151 officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Procurement, to approve any further write offs of corporate debt (Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Overpayment of Housing Benefits and Sundry Debtors) that may arise for consideration up to and including 31 March 2017.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer submitted an exempt report to consider and approve a bad debt write off.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the proposed bad debt write off (exempt annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

(2)          That delegated authority be granted to the Section 151 officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Procurement, to approve any further write offs of corporate debt (Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Overpayment of Housing Benefits and Sundry Debtors) that may arise for consideration up to and including 31 March 2017.

 

Reasons

 

The Council’s financial procedure rules require that where an outstanding balance for Non Domestic Rates is over £10,000 the recommendation for write off must be approved by Cabinet.

 

There are certain circumstances in which it is practically or legally impossible to collect outstanding debts due to the Council. This includes cases where the debtor has gone into liquidation, been declared bankrupt, has died or has left a property without trace and all reasonable effort to trace the debtor have been proven unsuccessful.

 

It is good practice to write off irrecoverable debts on a regular basis to ensure:

·         Databases and other information stores only include outstanding debts that are deemed recoverable.

·         That limited officer’s time is not utilised continuing to attempt to collect these debts.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: Approval to write off the bad debts could be refused and officers advised to continue to attempt recovery, but this would be an inefficient use of officers’ time and in the specific cases appended legally impossible.

 

8.00pm

118.

102 Watling Street, Towcester

Exempt Report of Commercial Director and Head of Regeneration and Housing

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

(2)          As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(3)          As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(4)          As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(5)          As set out in the exempt decisions.

 

(6)          As set out in the exempt decisions.

Minutes:

The Head of Regeneration and Housing submitted an exempt report regarding 102 Watling Street, Towcester.

 

Resolved

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

(2)          As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(3)          As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(4)          As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(5)          As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

(6)          As set out in the exempt minutes.

 

Reasons

 

As set out in the exempt minutes

 

Alternative options

 

As set out in the exempt minutes