|Councillor Rose and Coleman each declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation Review of Learning Disability Services as they served on the Catalyst Board.|
Councillor Beall declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation - Review of Commissioned Carers and Independent Living Services as he was Chairman of the Eastern Ravens Trust Board, which was referred to in the report.
Councillor McCoy declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation - Review of Commissioned Carers and Independent Living Services as she served on the Shopmobility Board.
Councillor Harrington declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Minutes of Various Bodies as he served on the Children's Trust Board and a copy of a Board meeting's minutes was included with the papers.
Councillors Beall, McCoy and Harrington declared a personal, non prejudicial interests in the item entitled Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Children's Trust Board Changes as they served on the Children's Trust Board.
Councillor Harrington declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Statutory Guidance on the Role of Director of Children's Services and the Lead Member for Children's Services as he was a member of the Children's Trust Board.
Councillors Walmsley and Dalgarno declared personal, prejudicial interests in the item entitled Thornaby Town Hall as they were members of Thornaby Town Council. Both Councillor Walmsley and Dalgarno were not present in the meeting room during debate and voting on this issue.
|The minutes of the meeting held on 19 April 2012 were confirmed as a correct record.|
|Cabinet was provided with an interim report relating to the Adult Services and Health Select Committee's review of the Council's Learning Disability services. The report outlined progress in the review to date and detailed a number of proposals for changes to services. These included proposals in relation to:-|
- residential care , independent living and housing
- day time activities
- short breaks and respite services
- autism services
It was explained that Cabinet was required to approve the proposals in order that they could go forward for statutory public consultation.
Member noted that the consultation would last for 12 weeks and would involve service users, carers and families, stakeholders and the wider public. At the end of the consultation the Select Committee would receive feedback in order to inform its final recommendations. It was anticipated that these would be presented to Cabinet in the autumn.
|Cabinet considered a report that presented the findings of the Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee following its Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation review of Commissioned Carers and Independent Living Services.|
It was noted that the majority of services within the scope of the review had been commissioned from ring fenced grants which had come to an end on 31 March 2011. Members were provided with background to the relevant grants and their strategic context.
It was explained that Stockton Council's Carers and Independent Living Strategies were developed in 2009 and 2010 respectively and encompassed the strategic intent of the Council. The Carers Strategy provided strategic guidance for the development and delivery of services for carers and ensured that there was a consistent approach to commissioning services. The Independent Living Strategy linked housing and housing related support services with health and social care services to enable people to achieve settled accommodation and to remain as independent as possible in the community.
Four strands of work were undertaken to test the commissioning arrangements for services for carers and young carers and for services that were intended to encourage independence and prevent people, whose circumstances made them vulnerable, declining in health and well-being and therefore requiring more intensive services
Strand 1: strategic relevance: current services were assessed in terms of their relevance to key strategic aims against which the contribution of current services could be assessed.
Strand 2: Service visits/ presentations: visits were carried out by Members and presentations were given by service providers to give members a greater insight into services.
Strand 3: A comparison of cost: an analysis of self-assessments completed by service providers was undertaken, including benchmarking comparisons where available.
Strand 4: A quality assessment: a quality assessment framework was used to evaluate a range of quality measures including support planning, health and safety, safeguarding and protection from abuse.
It was clear from the work undertaken as part of the this review that the strategic context for service provision had changed since the relevant grant funding had come to an end and future commissioning needed to be in line with current strategic intent. The work completed in relation to cost comparison provided benchmarking information to support future commissioning, with a view to making efficiencies in terms of unit costs in a number of areas and had identified contracts where payment should be made in line with activity, rather than on a block' basis. Reviewing quality had provided information to inform the development of robust outcomes measures to be incorporated into future contracts.
The recommendations coming from the review were expected to form the basis of commissioning plans for ongoing service and support provision.
The overall aim of the review was to identify options for future strategy, policy and service provision that would deliver efficiency savings whilst sustaining/improving quality outcomes for Stockton residents. It was estimated that the recommendations would generate annual savings to the Council of £412k rising to £472k by 2014/15.
|Cabinet considered a report that presented the findings of the Children and Young People Select Committee following its Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation review of School Effectiveness.|
The scope of the review was agreed by the Select Committee in October 2011 and covered the following services:
Looked After Children in Education Team
Redhill Education Service
Specialist Learning Team
Stockton ICT Unit (SICTU)
The review built on the work of the earlier review of the Early Years strand of the Early Intervention Grant EIT Review and previous service reviews which had already achieved the savings targets required. The review therefore focused on reviewing staffing structures and establishing efficient and effective business modelling meeting the needs of Stockton schools.
The proposals relating to the definition of job roles and team alignment would be subject to a formal consultation with staff, which would begin in May. However, the Committee noted that whilst there were no current proposals to reduce staffing, any requests for voluntary redundancy would be considered in line with broader Council policy and the opportunity to maximise efficiencies and/or opportunities for staff in compulsory redundancy situations. Such considerations would of course, be assessed in the context of service need and delivery.
It was estimated that the proposals would save the Authority £200,000 per annum by re-aligning premature retirement and redundancy costs reflecting decreasing payments to the pension fund and a lower call on the use of the funds from schools.
A one off saving of £0.5m could also be released following a review of monies set aside from the Standards Funds / Area Based Grant programme for school improvement purposes which had since ended. The majority of these reserves were no longer required due to introduction of more efficient school interventions and support.
Cabinet noted that, following consideration by Cabinet, an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.
|Cabinet considered a report that presented the findings of a Task and Finish Review of the Highways Service. |
It was explained that the review had been officer led, however, the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee had received regular progress reports and supported the final recommendations.
Members were informed of the methodology employed by this review. Cabinet noted that a key part of the review had been to unpick the true cost of delivering highway related activity by considering the detailed budget arrangements within Technical Services and Direct Services. It was noted that the Council spent close to £9 million each year.
It was explained that the Highways budget had traditionally been set up to reflect a Client/ Contractor split with Direct Services recovering costs through an internal recharge mechanism. Efficiencies could be achieved if this internal mechanism was eliminated and Cabinet was provided with an appendix which reflected how the Highways budget would look if this was the case.
This revised budget format allowed the review team to target efficiencies without issues being clouded by an internal charging mechanism.
Members were provided with details of arrangements associated with works undertaken by an external contractor and noted a summary describing key budget areas.
An appraisal of the budget areas was undertaken and a number of potential reductions were identified and formed the basis of the review's recommendations to Cabinet.
Cabinet noted that officers and the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee had produced the recommendations in the context of the Council's statutory responsibilities, residents and business expectations, whilst recognising that the Council needed to make savings in order to meet efficiencies, to meet the needs of the Medium Term Financial Plan.
It was noted that the Select Committee strongly supported the inclusion of a recommendation that would enable officers to undertake work to investigate invest to save opportunities associated with highway revenue operations.
|In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved at Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000), Cabinet were requested to approve the nomination to school Governing Body as detailed within the report.|
|Cabinet considered a monthly update report providing members with an overview of the current economic climate, outlining the effects that this was having on Stockton Borough, and the mitigations already in place and those being developed.|
Members noted some of the positive and negative developments since the last report. Details of the support on offer to people and businesses was also provided.
|Cabinet considered a report relating to the adoption of a Heritage Plaque Scheme for Stockton Borough.|
Members were reminded that the Council had adopted a commemoration procedure for the acknowledgement of significant individuals.
At the time of adoption of this procedure consideration was given to a variety of means to acknowledge individuals, including plaques, interpretive panels, portraits or statues. In the first instance it was agreed that all successful nominations could be included in the virtual Stockton Hall of Fame, and a new area was developed on the SBC website.
Nominees already inducted to the Hall of Fame include Brass Crosby, George Stephenson, John Walker, Harold Macmillan, Alexander Fleck, Will Hay, Thomas Sheraton, Ivy Close and Dr M'Gonigle.
The particular appetite for plaques as a means of acknowledging an individual was also noted at the time of the establishment of the Commemoration Working Group, which oversaw the commemoration procedure. It was accepted, however, that a number of issues present themselves in relation to this and a detailed scheme would be required, addressing such things as design, building selection, ownership and maintenance, legal and resource implications.
Cabinet considered details of the proposed commemorative plaque scheme together with financial implications. Members noted that recommendations under the scheme would be made by the Commemoration Working Group to Cabinet, for final approval.
It was suggested that if Cabinet agreed to adopt the Heritage Plaque Scheme then the inaugural plaque should be dedicated to Dr M'Gonigle.
It was explained that Dr M'Gonigle had undoubtedly made a nationally significant contribution to the understanding of public health and the connection between poverty and ill health. He had been inducted to the Stockton Hall of Fame, the building he was believed to have lived and died in still stands in Norton, and the owner was keen to see a plaque erected. Furthermore the owner had expressed a willingness to make a financial contribution.
A plaque to Dr M'Gonigle would provide a very useful illustration of The Council's intentions. It would raise the profile of a figure who was less widely known than his contribution to society arguably warranted, making a connection to an existing building, and demonstrating the involvement the Council would be seeking to encourage from the community and building owners. This would also echo the transfer of responsibility for Public Health to the Council from 2013.
|Cabinet considered a report that sought approval on the intention to create a new shared services agreement for Flood Risk Management (led by Stockton Borough Council) with Darlington Borough Council. This would allow Stockton to support Darlington on their delivery of the new duties on local authorities under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.|
A large proportion of the new statutory duties were commenced in April 2011 however some areas of the legislation were still emerging and to be enacted over the next 12 months. Since the responsibilities of the Act came into force Stockton had developed its own internal resources in order to discharge the duties placed upon the Authority.
The new duties place an additional burden on already stretched resources in each of the Boroughs, it was therefore proposed to add to and develop Stockton's existing Flood Risk Management team, which would then have sufficient collective resources to undertake a significant part of the strategic work required for the area as a whole. Darlington Borough Council would retain functions to facilitate local communications and member liaison as well as retaining responsibility for emergency response and general maintenance and inspection duties.
The duties to be executed by Stockton would be detailed in the proposed Shared Services Agreement and would include strategic policy, statutory duties and an advisory service.
The resources would be delivered by Stockton. Each Authority had received additional grant funding to cover the anticipated workload resulting from the new duties and responsibilities. It wass proposed that each authority contributed to the funding of the new group through a proportion of the grant. In the first year the proposal was for each authority to contribute circa £89,000 a year from this grant.
Members were informed that the Council would take over the discharge of Darlington Borough Council's functions in relation to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 be carried out by Stockton - on - Tees Borough Council pursuant to section101 of the Local Government Act 1972, Regulation 7 of the Local Authority (Arrangements for Discharge of Functions) (England) Regulations 2000 and Section 13 and 19 of the Local Government Act 2000.
|Consideration was given to the minutes of meetings of various bodies.|
|Consideration was given to a report relating to a Performance Management Framework.|
Following the changes nationally in relation to performance management requirements and the inspection and assessment landscape, members were provided with a proposed approach for the Council.
The proposed performance management framework consisted of a number of strands:
The Needs Assessment and Planning aspects
The Review, Reporting and challenge aspects (internal monitoring and evaluation)
The Review, Reporting and challenge aspects (external regulation and challenge)
Recording performance - the feasibility of developing a bespoke database appropriate to the Council's needs and further improving its performance management processes was being investigated with Xentrall.
Financial and risk management
The approach was intended to be proportionate and sought to achieve a balance between an overly bureaucratic approach to performance management and one that was so minimal that it put the authority at risk in terms of accountability to Elected Members, the general public, government and the regulators. It also sought to recognise the constantly changing environment in which local government was operating and the need to be as flexible as possible whilst ensuring a confidence amongst the Executive, Elected Members, key partners, staff and the public that the Council had appropriate mechanisms in place for managing its performance.
|Cabinet considered a report relating to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2012 and the Children's Trust Board.|
It was explained that the fourth Joint Strategic Needs Assessment had been completed for 2012. Building on the work that had been undertaken previously and best practice, a revised web based format for the JSNA had been developed. The format had 37 topic sections which outlined the health, care and wellbeing needs of Stockton covering People, Vulnerable Groups, Wider Determinants, Behaviour and Lifestyle, and Illness and Death. The JSNA would inform the key needs and priorities for the developing Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
Cabinet was informed that the overview of the emerging themes and related issues had been considered by the Health and Wellbeing Board and Partnership in their joint meeting. They endorsed the JSNA process to date and agreed that the emerging themes needed to be considered as part of the future strategy development.
There would be further work in the refinement of the detail of the JSNA which would be available via the website - www.teesjsna.org.uk from May 2012. The nature of a web based approach would enable various updates to be incorporated into the topics as new data or intelligence was received. It was anticipated that enabling access to a range of organisations, communities and individuals would help improve the detail and help refine the document.
Further promotion of the value of the JSNA and connection to the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy would be developed as part of the Council's communications and engagement plans. It was intended that a draft Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) would be developed by Summer 2012 to enable wider consultation with stakeholders. This process would enable feedback to those who had contributed to the JSNA and to continue the refinement of both documents. The final strategy would be considered by the Health and Wellbeing arrangements and Cabinet in Autumn 2012 so as to help inform the planning and commissioning processes for the following year.
As part of the public health reforms and the development of the Health and Wellbeing Board it had become clear that there needed to be further modifications to Stockton's local structures. The Children's Trust Board had met and considered the future linkages with the health and wellbeing arrangements. As part of this assessment it was noted that there was an opportunity to reshape the current organisational arrangements to avoid duplication but ensure alignment of strategies and plans.
The Children's Trust Board met in March 2012 and agreed that there needed to be a number of changes to the Health and Wellbeing arrangements, if Children's Trust Board was no longer to meet. They agreed to a number of changes to the Partnership structures, including:
Additional membership to ensure a children and young people focus to the Health and Wellbeing Partnership- e.g. additional place to be offered to the community and voluntary sector via the Children and Young People Consortium.
Better engagement and consideration of how children and young people's issues were represented and involved via the Health and Wellbeing arrangements. This issue would be put to new Youth MP/ Shadow Youth Trust Board. The issue would also be considered via the work which was being undertaken via democratic services and youth services.
Enhancement of existing structures/ arrangements - for example the refinement of the Children's Trust Management Team to inform the work plan.
evelopment of specific Task and Finish groups or children and young people focused sub structures e.g. Complex Needs Partnership - to ensure that where there are specific children's issues they were considered and addressed across the range of organisations that supported children and young people issues.
It was agreed that the role of Safeguarding across children and adults would continue to be a high priority and as a minimum the Health and Wellbeing Board would receive the annual reports. The Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) would continue to focus on child protection and the early intervention elements would be considered via the new structures for Health and Wellbeing.
The Health and Wellbeing Board and Children's Trust Board had both discussed the potential transitional arrangements and reiterated that there needed to be a clear mechanism to focus on children and young people issues. In order to facilitate this transition it was proposed that the new model be put in place by Autumn 2012. This would match the timescales around the review of the Health and Wellbeing arrangements and would ensure that the new structures reflected any proposals that emerged from this review. The discontinuation of the Children's Trust Board was planned from August 2012.
|Cabinet considered a report relating to the Government's Troubled Families' programme and how it would operate in Stockton.|
It was explained that details of the Financial Framework associated with the programme had been received at the end of March 2012, which had allowed the Council to make an assessment of the financial impact and risk levels involved in delivering the programme.
Members noted some of the key points of the programme and considered a Financial Analysis of estimated funding availability
It was explained that the Head of Community Protection had been designated as the strategic lead for the programme in Stockton, reporting to the Corporate Management Team, and would be supported in this role by officers from a range of service areas, including Community Protection, Children's Services, Children, Schools and Complex Needs, and Regeneration and Economic Development. Stockton's participation in the programme had been confirmed, because such confirmation was required by Communities and Local Government (CLG) by 30 April. In view of the number of Cabinet portfolios affected by the programme it was proposed that the Leader of the Council should take overall lead responsibility for the programme.
It was proposed that the Council approach the first year of the programme on the basis of investing up to the full year equivalent of £412,000 in enhancements to service delivery to the target group of families, and increase that by anything up to a further £100,000 (i.e. £512,000 in total) if and when it was confirmed that the co-ordinator funding' could be recycled into delivery (either directly or indirectly), in whole or in part. In addition, any achievement of results payments over and above the 50% success rate would be available for re-investment in the programme. A Troubled Families' cost centre had been established and all income and expenditure would be passed through this cost centre under the usual delegated powers.
It was proposed to profile the starts as follows:
Y 1 - 40% - 152 + 30 = 182 (year 1 figure advised to CLG)
Y 2 - 35% - 133 + 26 = 159
Y 3 - 25% - 94 + 20 = 114
379 76 455
This pattern was based on the view that it would become progressively more difficult to secure engagement from the target families, as the Council started with the most willing to engage and proceed through to trying to work with the least willing (it would also have the collateral benefit of securing a greater proportion of up front attachment fees).
|Consideration was given to a report relating to statutory guidance issued in relation to the roles and responsibilities of the Director of Children's Services and the Lead Member of Children's Services|
It was explained that Local authorities in England had to have regard to it in relation to the appointment of the Director of Children's Services and the designation of the Lead Member for Children's Services. The new guidance replaced the previous two versions issued in 2005 and 2009 and was intended to be reviewed on an annual basis.
Members were provided with details of the revised guidance.
An assessment of compliance with the statutory guidance in relation to the organisational structure had been carried out and the required assurances made using the council's risk assessment methodology.
|Consideration was given to a report relating to Thornaby Town Hall.|
Members were reminded that on the 14th July 2011 Cabinet agreed to invite ideas & proposals from interested parties who felt they could offer a workable / viable solution or package for the long-term use of Thornaby Town Hall, thus securing its future for years ahead.
From the 24th September 2011 to 28th October 2011 Thornaby Town Hall was actively marketed in the press, on the web and directly to over 70 potential interested parties and property agents via email and post, inviting interested parties to register interest.
Two Expressions of Interest were received but only one went on to submit Scheme Detail documentation, Proposer B, Thornaby Town Council.
It was explained that this proposal had been assessed and scored against a set of criteria such as delivery, finance, operational, the immediate & wider area and project risk.
A clarification meeting was held to discuss issues arising from the assessment. This further informed the assessment process.
On completion of the development, Thornaby Town Hall would provide for a range of commercial and community uses. Members were provided with summary points as detailed below. A more detailed copy of the main points and terms of the proposal was provided at an exempt appendix to the report.
Proposer B - Thornaby Town Council
a) To acquire the freehold of the building group, subject to surveys etc.
b) The building to be refurbished and restored to reflect the heritage of the building.
c) Completed development to provide a range of commercial and community uses.
d) To be funded through a variety of sources.
e)Middlesbrough based development company, Green Lane Capital, would assist in the project management of the project.
f) Site works were expected to commence early 2013 for a period of approximately 28 months, subject to funding and approvals.
It was explained that there were a number of areas of the proposal where Thornaby Town Council would need to develop and agree a robust case for progressing the development of Thornaby Town Hall and for developing funding applications. These areas of clarification and development included, but were not limited to:
(i) The purpose of the development: restoration and refurbishment and providing a facility for community and commercial activity.
(ii) Securing funding for the works.
(iii) Business case development.
(iv) The completion of the works within an agreed timescale.
The points relating to the redevelopment of the building group could be addressed through an appropriate legal mechanism as part of the preparation and due diligence process for the freehold transfer of the building.
Whilst the proposal presented both general and bespoke benefits for the building and its future sustainability, following the completion of the freehold disposal, the realisation of the proposal would be the responsibility of the new owners.
Members were provided with details of the financial and legal implications associated with this matter as well as a risk assessment of possible scenarios.
As a dual measure of security and protection, scaffolding and hoarding had been located to the front of numbers 7 and 9 Mandale Road for a period of time now due to unsafe windows at upper level. With the recent public realm works undertaken along Mandale Road, these encroached onto the public footway, limiting passing access for wheel chairs etc. The need for this protective measure in its present form was considered not now to be required but would need to be replaced with an alternative to ensure the protection of pedestrians, in consultation with the Authorities Historic Buildings Officer and Technical Services, with appropriate measures directly to the building frontage. It was expected that this would cost in excess of £5K.
Cabinet heard representations expressing concerns over the proposals and in particular funding arrangements. It was suggested that recommendation 3 provided considerable safeguards and, if necessary, further reports would be submitted to Cabinet.