|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2017.|
|Consideration was given to a report that provided the details of the outcome of the charging review consultation, which took place as part of a review of the Charging Policy, in line with the Cabinet agreement on 4th December 2015.|
With the introduction of the Care Act 2014 and in assessing the requirements of the charging regulations and guidance, it was agreed that the Council's existing charging framework met the requirements as set out in the Act, subject to some minor modifications.
The minor changes that had already been made to the Charging Policy ensured that it was consistent with the Care Act.
It was identified that there were a number of discretionary areas in regulations that provided the opportunity to reconsider the Council's charging policy. It was agreed by Cabinet to consult on these areas, to inform this initial review of the Charging Policy.
It was noted that the Department of Health revised Charging Regulations had not yet been published, but were expected to be implemented in April 2018.
A consultation plan was designed to ensure that the residents of the Borough were informed and consulted on the discretionary areas of the charging policy.
3328 surveys were sent out, 4 public events arranged and letters were sent to1889 clients offering them home visits.
Only 103 surveys responses were received over the 12 week consultation period and many of the comments reflected a lack of understanding of the questions being asked or had used the opportunity to question national policy around social care.
In terms of the 4 public awareness sessions, only 11 people attended, none of whom were affected by any of the proposed changes.
Of those directly written to only 12 had requested a home visit. These visits lasted approximately 45 minutes and involved providing information and responding to specific questions. Points about value for money in relation to the services provided were made and these had been dealt with by commissioners.
The Consultation questions were detailed within the report.
Details of responses to the consultation were attached to the report. Given the consultation feedback, it was recommended that the percentage of 60% applied in 2001 remained, with the Grade of home amended to Grade 1, reflecting the residential care home market. This would increase the maximum charge, currently to 279.00 per week and result in additional income of £34,000 per annum. Many of the consultation responses were general in nature, making reference to charging and activity outside of adult social care. Therefore, although there was a general response from the consultation that the Council showed not implement these discretionary areas of the policy, it was felt that it was appropriate to recommend that all areas were approved for implementation for new clients from 1st April 2017.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update of the arrangements in Cleveland following the Ministry of Justice Transforming Rehabilitation' programme 2013.|
The Transforming Rehabilitation' approach led to a significant change in the management and delivery of probation services. Local Probation services were essentially split with 30% of the caseload (most serious offenders) allocated to the National Probation Service (NPS). The remaining 70% caseload was assigned to 35 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) across England and Wales which were subsequently put out to tender. Expressions of interest were encouraged from both private companies and mutual organisations.
A not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) was established and successfully bid for the Durham Tees Valley CRC under the name of ARCC (Achieving Real Change for Communities). The contract came into effect on 1st February 2015 and was in place for an initial 7 years with the option for a further 3 year extension. ARCC was the only not for profit organisation nationally, delivering probation services. ARCC was made up of the following partners from the Public, Private and Third sectors:
- Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council
- Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
- Darlington Borough Council
- Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust
- Thirteen Group
- The Vardy Foundation
- The Wise Group
- Safe in Tees Valley
- Changing Lives North East (CIC)
- Durham Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)
The delivery model of the CRC consisted of evidence based practice and reflected the high level vision for the organisation to deliver high quality services in partnership for the benefit of the public. The overall caseload for DTV CRC was 3,400, at a local authority level the delivery model consists of the following tiers:
- 70 Integrated Offender Management (IOM) cases, selected in consultation with partners. These cases were those individuals who were deemed to cause the most significant harm to the wider community. An intensive approach was adopted with these cases including regular drug testing, supervision and monitoring with the aim of disrupting the offending pattern and reducing the level of repeat offending.
- Higher reoffending cases, made up of those individuals who have high levels of reoffending and regularly come to the attention of Probation services.
- Lower reoffending cases, made up of those individuals who had committed limited or one off' offences and require limited supervision.
Across the whole caseload safeguarding and overall risks were continually assessed and managed. Depending on the outcome this could have an impact on the level of supervision/service.
John Graham (CRC) and Julie Allen (NPS) were in attendance at the meeting and updated Members with regard to the latest press release from the Ministry of Justice and The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP in that a new frontline service focussing on reforming offenders and cutting crime would be launched in April 2017.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Employee Survey 2016.|
Stockton Borough Council was a successful and award winning organisation which was ambitious, effective and proud to serve the people of the borough. Working closely with elected Members the workforce of 3,250 people strive to deliver the very best services across the borough in the face of unprecedented challenges arising from reductions in funding and increased demand for services.
The Council was proud that it valued, cared for and invested in its employees and wanted to continue to do so because the Council was ambitious and wanted to continue to deliver services well. This investment in employees had been a long term commitment which was encapsulated in the "Shaping a Brighter Future" programme that was looking at who the Council was and how it did things, at staff support and development, at helping employees to make the very best of their existing skills and talents and develop their potential, to cope with stresses, and to be happy and well-motivated in the job that best suits them.
As with any investment, the Council took stock periodically to ensure that it was achieving a good return and that it was targeting its activity effectively. It was for this reason that the Council carried out an employee survey every 2 years to understand how the employees were feeling about the Council as an employer and as a place to work.
The report provided the details of the 2016 Employee Survey results and provided a measure of the value of the investment in its employees from their perspective.
In overview the Council continued to maintain a high Survey response rate at 70% and extremely positive results with only 1 of the 44 questions yielding a positive agreement rate lower than 50% and 16 questions scoring an agreement rate over 75%. The results also compared very favourably with a national Civil Service survey conducted in the same period last year.
There were areas which were identified for improvement, overall the employee response rate and results were extremely good and should be celebrated, particularly when they were read in the context of significant change and work pressures and alongside the extremely positive MORI resident survey results on Council performance.
Further analysis of the 2016 results, at a Directorate and team level, had been shared with Directors and they were producing action plans in response to their Directorate survey results. There was of course variation in areas of strength and potential development across the organisation and full results and dashboards had been shared for each reported group with more than 10 responses. These action plans would be reviewed by the Chief Executive in the first quarter of 2017. Directors were also in the process of communicating their Directorate results with their teams.
In addition areas which needed to be considered corporately were being identified and a corporate action plan produced and would be reported to Corporate Management Team.
Investment had also been made in development of an employee engagement tool called HIVE which would allow for more frequent and flexible tracking of the issues covered by the employee survey. This micro-survey tool provided an online platform (Accessible from home, work and mobile phone) which could be used to ask a weekly question of all employees and provide live and anonymous tracking of responses. The new system was launched in November and a range of weekly surveys had already taken place. An example of the results for the week of 6 January was detailed within the report
HIVE would continue to be used to explore some of the issues arising from the employee survey further as well as providing ongoing employee engagement. This would not replace the bi-annual survey but would allow the Council to track progress on issues being addressed in the action plans and track perceptions about the culture in the organisation.
It was proposed that a full communications package on overall Corporate results be produced for employees for use at team briefings and to add to what had already been shared through KYIT. The information would also be used at the next Setting the Standard sessions in February 2017 and shared with the Trade Unions at the February Trade Union Liaison Group meeting.
Members felt that it should be recorded that even in times of great austerity the Council had a dedicated and committed work force.
|Consideration was given to a report on the process and timeline for the appointment of Assistant Cabinet Members.|
Stockton was well versed in providing development opportunities to support succession planning for officers. The report discussed an approach for elected members to support the development of Assistant Cabinet Member positions.
As part of discussions around developing and enhancing the onward development of elected members with a view towards succession planning, Cabinet were invited to consider the process and timetable for the appointment of Assistant Cabinet Members.
The role of the Assistant Cabinet Member would be to shadow and assist their identified Cabinet Portfolio holder and develop a more thorough understanding of the various responsibilities of a Cabinet Member, whilst gaining an in-depth knowledge of their particular service area. The position of Assistant Cabinet Member would not incur a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA).
It was proposed that the appointment of Assistant Cabinet Members for the following Cabinet portfolios be confirmed by the Leader at Annual Council on 5th April 2017:-
Adult Services & Health
Access, Communities & Community Safety
Arts, Leisure & Culture
Children & Young People
Environment & Housing
Regeneration & Transport
A proposed Job Description for the post was attached to the report.
It would be a matter for each majority group (at the time) to determine the exact process by which interest in such positions would be firstly sought and then determined, however an Expression of Interest form had been devised and was attached to the report to assist the majority group with this process.
It would be a requirement for this process to be completed and the names of the Assistant Cabinet Members confirmed by the Leader at Annual Council on the 5th April 2017. An agenda for the meeting, including agenda items seeking confirmation of both Cabinet and Assistant Cabinet Members positions would be issued on the 28th February 2017.
|Consideration was given to a report that outlined the admission arrangements the Local Authority (LA) was proposing for primary and secondary schools in September 2018. In order to comply with legislation for admissions in 2018, the report included the full Co-ordinated Admission Arrangements and Admission numbers for Primary and Secondary Schools for that year.|
An attachment to the report provided further detail of the proposed Co-ordinated Admission arrangements timetable - 2018/19.
A copy of the agreed scheme must be determined with other admission arrangements by 28 February and would be available before 15 March and copies could be obtained from the School Admissions team on request, whilst they could also be viewed on the Stockton-on-Tees website.
The proposed Admission Numbers for September 2018 in Community, VA, Academies and Free Schools was also attached to the report. It also highlighted those schools to be considered for expansion.
Further detail on the proposed Admission Policy for 2018/19 that would give priority to applications for admission to a school if that school was oversubscribed was also attached to the report.
|In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school / academy governors, approved as Minute CAB 27/13 of the Cabinet (13 June 2013), Cabinet was invited to consider the nominations to school / academy Governing Bodies listed in the attachment to the report.|
|Consideration was given to a report that presented the Council's Economic Strategy 2017-2032 that sets out its long-term vision and ambitions in relation to economic growth, which was supplemented with a three-year Economic Growth Plan for the period 2017-2020 that provided details of the activities that would be delivered over the three-year term to support economic growth in the Borough.|
Cabinet was familiar with the Stockton-on-Tees Local Economic Assessment (LEA) finalised in 2014, which provided the baseline of the economic conditions prevalent in Stockton-on-Tees at a point in time.
The thematic Economic Climate Reports that had been considered by Cabinet on a quarterly basis since November 2015 update that assessment with the most current information, prior to a full LEA being completed by mid-2017.
The combination of these findings, and the intelligence gathered from proactive engagement with partner organisations and businesses, had served to determine how and where the Council could intervene to support and influence long-term sustainable economic growth.
The performance of the Borough's economy was a key driver to sustain a successful and growing location. The economic environment did not stand still; with ongoing structural changes both within the UK and global economies that had the potential to impact the local economy. As such, the Council remained committed to its long-term economic vision and priorities with the production of the Economic Strategy and Growth Plan.
It was recognised that the Council only had limited direct control over economic growth. Indeed, in many circumstances, the factors surrounding economic growth were totally outside of the control of the Council, for example global oil prices. In some instances the Council was able to influence the economy, for example through statutory functions or lobbying, but this control was also limited by the legislation the Council was bound by and the intentions of the private sector.
Where the Council could have the most influence was through working in partnership with other public sector organisations and, where appropriate, the private and voluntary sectors to intervene to bring about economic growth; potentially considering the Council's assets and statutory functions as a way to stimulate economic growth.
Given changing economic conditions, policies and priorities, the rolling three-year Economic Growth Plan had been produced to set out the activities and interventions that would support economic growth in the Borough.
Producing a three-year plan in this way enabled the Council to reflect a shift in delivery if necessary in the future; to continually respond effectively to changing economic circumstances outside of the Council's control and enable interventions to be focused on businesses, locations, or various population groups to deliver against the priorities identified in the Economic Strategy.
The Council's strategic vision for the Borough and the Economic Strategy objectives and priorities were detailed within the report.
During the external consultation stage there were some very positive and constructive comments received.
At its meeting on 27th June 2016 Cabinet resolved that approval of the Economic Growth Plan would be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, and the Director of Economic Growth and Development, and that the thematic Economic Climate Reports would be the method by which delivery of the Economic Strategy and Economic Growth Plan would be reported. The current version of the Economic Growth Plan was attached to the report.
|Cabinet considered the subsequent quarterly update that provided Members with an update on information published in Stockton's Local Economic Assessment 2014 as well as key recent economic announcements on the People Theme.|
The thematic report that was attached to the report was presented in four sections:-
i. Economic Dashboard - presented a number of key indicators which were monitored at least quarterly
ii. Updates - summarising key announcements and developments:
Updates - announcements with implications across key sectors, the region and nationally
Business announcements - announcements from some of the key businesses within the Borough
Strategic locations - a brief update on any new development at strategic employment locations across the Borough
Training & skills - provides an update on emerging news relating to skills needs and provision
iii. Theme Review - An in depth focus, and the substantive part of the report, on key statistics affecting business, people or place. Most of the referenced statistics in the review were produced annually and could not be updated quarterly
iii. Case Study - A relevant case study for the theme. For example, the people case study in this report focused on a multi-agency approach to secure employment for young people.
|Consideration was given to a report that presented a draft Council Plan for 2017-20, prior to it being submitted to Council approval.|
The Council Plan set out the vision and key objectives of the Council. It aimed to provide clarity and focus for Councillors, managers, staff, members of the public and partners about the Council's ambitions.
The full Council Plan was attached to the report.
Discussion sessions had been organised for the 8th and 10th February 2017, for elected members to discuss the Council Plan alongside the Medium Term Financial Plan.
The full version of the Council Plan would be published on the Council's website following approval by Council on 9 March 2017.