Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 24th January, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, CR0 1NX. To view the meeting webcast, please click here

Contact: Victoria Lower
020 8726 6000 x14773  Email: 
victoria.lower@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/22

Minutes of previous meetings pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 15 November 2021 and 6 December 2021 as accurate records.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meetings held on 15 November 2021 and 6 December 2021 were agreed as accurate records.

2/22

Disclosure of Interests

Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, they are required to consider in advance of each meeting whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI), an other registrable interest (ORI) or a non-registrable interest (NRI) in relation to any matter on the agenda. If advice is needed, Members should contact the Monitoring Officer in good time before the meeting.

 

If any Member or co-opted Member of the Council identifies a DPI or ORI which they have not already registered on the Council’s register of interests or which requires updating, they should complete the disclosure form which can be obtained from Democratic Services at any time, copies of which will be available at the meeting for return to the Monitoring Officer.

 

Members and co-opted Members are required to disclose any DPIs and ORIs at the meeting.

-      Where the matter relates to a DPI they may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation.

-      Where the matter relates to an ORI they may not vote on the matter unless granted a dispensation.

-      Where a Member or co-opted Member has an NRI which directly relates to their financial interest or wellbeing, or that of a relative or close associate, they must disclose the interest at the meeting, may not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation. Where a matter affects the NRI of a Member or co-opted Member, section 9 of Appendix B of the Code of Conduct sets out the test which must be applied by the Member to decide whether disclosure is required.

 

The Chair will invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3, to be recorded in the minutes.

Minutes:

There were no disclosure of interest made at the meeting.

3/22

Urgent Business (If any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

4/22

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Update Report, including Race Matters Pledge and Equalities Pledge pdf icon PDF 508 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Communities, Safety & Business Recovery, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed

Officer: Chief Executive, Katherine Kerswell

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1. Consider and have due regard to the responses to the consultation on the Race Matters and Equalities Pledges, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report;

2. Agree that the Race Matters and Equalities Pledges, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report, be adopted by the Council, subject to the following amendment to section 3.9: ‘we are working to become an anti-racist organisation by embedding this in our strategies, actions and behaviours and by making a difference to the lived experience of our communities’;

3. Agree that the Race Matters Pledge be renamed the George Floyd - Race Matters Pledge;

4. Subject to recommendation 1 being approved, note the plan to hold a promotion event for the Equalities Pledge on 8 March 2022 – International Women’s Day;

5. Subject to recommendations 1 and 2 being approved, note the plan to hold an event marking the George Floyd Race Matters Pledge on 25 May 2022- the 2nd anniversary of George Floyd’s brutal murder;

6. Agree the monitoring arrangements in respect of both pledges, as set out in paragraphs 5.2 – 5.10 of the report;

7. Note the successful implementation of the Tea time talks, Safe Spaces initiative and Guardians programme within the Council, as part of the culture change programme within the Croydon Renewal Plans;

8. Following the Motion debate at the Council meeting on 13 December 2021, agree that the Council adopt the definition of Islamophobia, as developed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, and set out in paragraph 6.3 of the report;

9. Authorise the Interim Assistant Chief Executive to make amendments to Council policies and procedures to incorporate the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia; and

10. Note the proposal for the establishment of an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Cabinet Advisory Board by the Leader, with terms of reference to be agreed by the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Cllr Ali (Chair) invited Cllr Shahul-Hameed to introduce the item.

 

Cllr Shahul-Hameed acknowledged the work of colleagues and outlined the ten recommendations and pledges previously discussed, the work involved and decisions required by Cabinet. Members heard about activities to improve organisational changes and commitments to the pledges as well as ways in which the work would be scrutinised and reported.

 

Colleagues were reminded of previous discussions around EDI and welcomed Andrew Brown (CEO, Croydon’s BME Forum) to the meeting.

 

In his introduction, Mr Brown informed Cabinet of the background of the Steering Group and its aims to eradicate all forms of racism within organisations. He welcomed his colleague, Barnabus Sherbourne (Chief Executive, Legacy Youth Zone) and colleagues heard about commitments from many organisations in ensuring that the antiracism message was promoted across the borough.

 

The Chair thanked the speakers and invited members to comment.

 

In the discussion, members made several points:

 

·         They welcomed the pledges and acknowledged the benefits of commitment alongside other boroughs which tackled issues of racism;

·         Businesses, the Police and the voluntary sector needed to embrace the pledges and support the work;

·         How would the ethos be embedded in the Council’s mission?

·         With regards to housing, a large percentage of those in social housing were from minority backgrounds. Monitoring of ethnic bias should be considered and embedded within directions of work around this with housing associations.

·         They said that politicians had a duty to move this forward within their portfolios and amongst their communities and provide assurance that progress was being made.

·         They welcomed the report but challenged some of the issues around discrimination. Celebration of diversity was key and needed to be incorporated into these policies.

 

Cllr Shahul-Hameed responded to comments and referred to consultations and reports that had contributed to progress on this work. She acknowledged the importance of inclusion of all characteristics and reminded members of other programmes undertaken by the Council to support staff and the wider community.

 

The Chair referred to section 3.9 of the report (bullet point 1) and suggested an amendment to read:

 

Working to become an anti-racist organisation by embedding these in our strategies, actions and behaviours and by making a difference to the lived experience of our communities.

 

The amendment was seconded and agreed.

 

Members agreed the recommendations of the report.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.     Consider and have due regard to the responses to the consultation on the Race Matters and Equalities Pledges, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2.     Agree that the Race Matters and Equalities Pledges, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report, be adopted by the Council, subject to the following amendment to section 3.9: ‘we are working to become an anti-racist organisation by embedding this in our strategies, actions and behaviours and by making a difference to the lived experience of our communities’;

 

3.     Agree that the Race Matters Pledge be renamed the George  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/22

5/22

Review of Council Tax Support Scheme - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 1012 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet for Croydon Renewal, Councillor Stuart King

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Recommend changes to Croydon’s Council Tax Support Scheme following review and due regard to the statutory consultation feedback. The new scheme will take effect from 1 April 2022.

2.            Note the proposed income banded scheme that was consulted upon and the further changes that have been made to the scheme in-line with the resident and community feedback received.

 

3.            Recommend to full Council, that the Councils Council Tax Support Scheme is amended to an income band scheme subject to the changes made following the consultation, from 1 April 2022. A full copy of the Council’s Council Tax Support Scheme in the form to be recommended, is circulated separately as Appendix 1 of the report.

 

4.            It is recommended that Cabinet annually review the CTS Scheme, the principles of the income banded scheme and the addition of a hardship fund in August 2022 and then annually.

 

5.            Cabinet is asked to accept and recommend to full council that a hardship fund is agreed to support resident’s transition to the new CTS Scheme. 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Stuart King outlined details of the Council Tax Support Scheme, costs of which was expected to rise to £40m in the next few years. Members heard about cuts which cumulatively amounted to around £12.5m since the scheme was introduced in Croydon. He reminded colleagues of previous discussions around an income band scheme and the subsequent consultation which had taken place.

 

Members noted the substance of the report and were informed that there were 600 responses to the consultation. Amendments were subsequently made to the scheme as a result of this and they responded positively to the points raised. Key amendments made to the new scheme, provided extra support, included:

 

·         Housing element of Universal Credit would be disregarded as income;

·         Lone parents would receive more support to include 100% disregard of childcare costs;

·         50% disregard of Carer’s allowance;

·         2 years hardship fund to be applied in the order of £640k of support.

He ended by saying that enforcement had not been used by the council and had no intention of using these against arrears. Instead they were working with recipients to help them out of these situations. The scheme would be reviewed on an annual basis, beginning in August and would inform any changes that need to be made.

 

Cllr King invited any comments.

 

In the subsequent discussion, members made the following points:

 

·         They acknowledged the council’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable, despite increased demand and decreased availability of funding;

·         They asked for more detail on processes around the Hardship Fund;

·         They requested more information on the processes around reviews and how these would be undertaken;

·         They raised concern around impacts on single parents of children over 5 years old and whether there would be a working group that parents could be involved in around discretionary funds;

·         They pointed out trends in structural inequalities, driven by policy decisions. Given the cost of living rises, was Cabinet confident about the size of the support fund and if pressed, was there any flexibility to help those most in need? Members were concerned that the amount would not be sufficient for demand.

·         They referred to previous issues around the Council’s own dire financial position in the past and felt that this itself had been a factor in all these issues;

·         They acknowledged that unfair funding was also a factor within the council’s need to work on this and had contributed to its ability to respond to these issues before now.

Mr King addressed the points raised and reiterated the importance of the role of councillors to play their part in the process. He assured members that they would be appropriately equipped with all the information needed and that advice would be continually drawn upon to inform the guidance.

 

Catherine Black was invited to respond and confirmed that any child disability schemes that were currently disregarded would continue to be so.

 

Members agreed the recommendations of the report.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/22

6/22

Response to Consultation: Purley Pool pdf icon PDF 912 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, Councillor Oliver Lewis

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Sarah Hayward

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Note and give due regard to the findings from the public consultation set out in the report.

 

2.            Confirm the decision taken at 18th October 2021 Cabinet to not reopen Purley Leisure Centre.

 

3.            Accommodate leisure centre users in Waddon, New Addington and Monks Hill, including disability sport provision and swim schools in Waddon Leisure Centre.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Lewis reminded colleagues of previous decisions and steps taken to improve the council’s leisure offer. He outlined results of the consultation and noted the findings as set out in the report. Improved access would be provided for other centres for current users.

 

Cllr Bains questioned whether the decision had already been made despite the consultation and was informed that costs to bring the centre up to an operational standard were unfeasible and would keep it operating at a loss and a poor use of public money.

 

Members agreed the recommendations of the report.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.     Note and give due regard to the findings from the public consultation set out in the report.

 

2.     Confirm the decision taken at 18th October 2021 Cabinet to not reopen Purley Leisure Centre.

 

3.    Accommodate leisure centre users in Waddon, New Addington and  
  Monks Hill, including disability sport provision and swim schools in   
  Waddon Leisure Centre.

 

 

 

7/22

Local Implementation Plan Funding: 2022/23 - 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 604 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon, Councillor Muhammad Ali

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Sarah Hayward

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Approve the  Spending Submission  as summarised in Appendix 1 of this report, including TfL funded programmes for 2022/23:

-       Corridors and Neighbourhoods (£2,362,100)

-       Local Transport Funding (£100,000)

-       Borough Cycle Parking (£150,000)

-       Borough Cycling (£1,275,000)

-       Borough Bus Priority (£730,000)

-       Liveable Neighbourhoods (£800,000)

to form the funding request to TfL for 2022/23 and the basis of the draft LIP Delivery Plan 2022/23 – 2024/25

 

2.            Delegate authority to the Acting Corporate Director of Sustainable Communities, Regeneration and Economic Recovery in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon to make any further amendments to the Spending Submission (see Appendix 1), including submission of additional bids or requests for funding.

 

3.            Agree to expenditure of TfL funding in 2022/23 on delivery of the programme summarised within Appendix 1 of the report, the extent and scope of that programme dependent on funding allocations to Croydon Council to be confirmed by TfL, and subject to approval by Spending Control Panel.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ali outlined the report and detail of funding to deliver local improvement measures and to support recommendations from the climate change commission.

 

The Chair invited questions from the floor:

 

·         With regards to TfL and their funding, there were uncertainties about how government funding support would affect councils. It was important to lobby government as a collective.

·         Members commended the report and agreed that settlement needs to be resolved in order to be able to deliver the schemes that were so important to the council.

·         They recognised the urban mobility work, but said that e-scooters should be considered with caution to ensure that enforcement was in place subject to careful review of trials taking place outside the borough.

·         How were the figures comparable to other London Boroughs?

·         Members supported collaborative work and acknowledged engagement with multiple stakeholders.

 

Cllr Ali addressed members’ points and reminded them of the formula used by TfL in order to assess the needs of the council. Funding figures for other boroughs were not available, but it was likely that Croydon’s would be one of the larger bids.

 

Members agreed the recommendations of the report.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.     Approve the Spending Submission as summarised in Appendix 1 of this report, including TfL funded programmes for 2022/23:
- Corridors and Neighbourhoods (£2,362,100)
- Local Transport Funding (£100,000)
- Borough Cycle Parking (£150,000)
- Borough Cycling (£1,275,000)
- Borough Bus Priority (£730,000)
- Liveable Neighbourhoods (£800,000) to form the funding request to TfL for 2022/23 and the basis of the draft LIP Delivery Plan 2022/23 – 2024/25

 

2.     Delegated authority to the Acting Corporate Director of Sustainable Communities, Regeneration and Economic Recovery in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon to make any further amendments to the Spending Submission (see Appendix 1), including submission of additional bids or requests for funding.

 

3.       Agree to expenditure of TfL funding in 2022/23 on delivery of the programme summarised within Appendix 1 of the report, the extent and scope of that programme dependent on funding allocations to Croydon Council to be confirmed by TfL, and subject to approval by Spending Control Panel.

 

8/22

Education Estates Strategy pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning, Councillor Alisa Flemming

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Children, Young People & Education, Debbie Jones

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

School Admission

1.         agree to recommend to full Council that it determine the proposed community schools’ Admission Arrangements for the 2023/24 academic year (Appendix 1 of the report);

 

2.         approve the continued adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for co-ordination of admissions to Reception and Junior schools – Appendix 1a of the report; and adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for co-ordination of admissions to secondary schools – Appendix 1b of the report.

School Place Planning

3.         approve the Capital Programme Budget summary (Appendix 3 of the report).

 

School Maintenance and Compliance

4.         approve the proposed Schools’ Maintenance Plan (Appendix 4 of the report) for 2022/23 with an overall budget cost of £3.7m

 

5.         Delegate authority to the Interim Corporate Director – Children, Young People and Education to vary the proposed Schools’ Maintenance Plan to reflect actual prices and new urgent issues that may arise, including authorising spend against the allowance for emergency and reactive works. The Corporate Director, Children, Young People and Education shall report back to members in respect of any exercise of such authority.

 

School Place Planning

 

6.         note comparison between the available School Places vs 2021 School Capacity (SCAP) Projections Pupil Projections Appendices 2 (primary) and 2a (secondary) of the report.

 

7.         Academy conversion

note the change of status of Kenley Primary School to an academy.

 

1.8    Early Years

note the 2021 Childcare Sufficiency Assessment report – Appendix 5 of the report.

 

        Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

1.9      note that the SEND Estates strategies are contributing positively to the development of local provision maintaining some of our most challenging and vulnerable children and young people with SEND within their families and communities.

 

Alternative Provision / Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

10     note information on Alternative Provision / PRU.

 

 

Minutes:

Members received a presentation from Cllr Fleming (Cabinet Member, Children, Young People and Learning). Colleagues heard about the impact of surplus school places which has financial implications. Work continued to manage variations of published admission numbers and to look at opportunities to generate income such as renting out space for community use.

 

Cllr Fleming referred to progress around focus and provision for SEND pupils within the borough.

 

Recommendations for approval were noted and the Chair invited comments. Members said:

 

·         It was very encouraging to see value for money embedded within the plan and in line with the climate change agenda;

·         They recognised the good or outstanding rankings of 90% of schools in the Borough;

·         They referred to training needs and work with colleges and universities to ensure that these opportunities were there;

·         There had been previous reluctance to renting out space from some schools in the past and they were concerned about how this would be encouraged and commitment received. Members acknowledged the work of officers in engaging with Head-teachers to support collaboration in this area.

·         They acknowledged that the report was very comprehensive and appreciated the work of officers. There were slight concerns around surplus places in primary schools in the north of the Borough and therefore a need for urgency in addressing this issue.

Denise Bushay spoke briefly around a review on surplus places which would be put to Cabinet to inform decisions in the future.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

School Admission

 

1.    Agree to recommend to full Council that it determined the proposed community schools’ Admission Arrangements for the 2023/24 academic year (Appendix 1 of the report);

 

2.    Approve the continued adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for coordination of admissions to Reception and Junior schools – Appendix 1a of the report; and adoption of the proposed Pan London scheme for co-ordination of admissions to secondary schools – Appendix 1b of the report.

School Place Planning

 

3.  Approve the Capital Programme Budget summary (Appendix 3 of the report).

 

School Maintenance and Compliance

 

4.    Approve the proposed Schools’ Maintenance Plan (Appendix 4 of the report) for 2022/23 with an overall budget cost of £3.7m

 

5.    Delegate authority to the Interim Corporate Director – Children, Young People and Education to vary the proposed Schools’ Maintenance Plan to reflect actual prices and new urgent issues that may arise, including authorising spend against the allowance for emergency and reactive works. The Corporate Director, Children, Young People and Education shall report back to members in respect of any exercise of such authority.

 

School Place Planning

 

6.    Note comparison between the available School Places vs 2021 School Capacity (SCAP) Projections Pupil Projections Appendices 2 (primary) and 2a (secondary) of the report.

 

Academy conversion

 

7.    Note the change of status of Kenley Primary School to an academy.

 

Early Years

 

8.    Note the 2021 Childcare Sufficiency Assessment report – Appendix 5 of the report.

 

Special Educational Needs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/22

9/22

Updated 2021/22 and Forecast General Fund Capital Programme 2022/23 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council, Councillor Hamida Ali, Cabinet Member for Croydon Renewal, Councillor Stuart King and Cabinet Member for Resources & Financial Governance, Councillor Callton Young

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Approve the revised General Fund Capital Programme updated for 2021/22 and the future years 2022/23 to 2024/25 as summarised in this report and detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2.            Note the strategy for the use of capital receipts which prioritises their use first for Transformation Funding costs (Flexible Use of Capital Receipts), then to finance the costs relating to the Capitalisation Direction, and finally to repay historic capital borrowing costs;

 

3.            Note that any further revisions to the General Fund Capital Programme that emerge prior to the February Cabinet meeting will be reported as part of the Council Tax and Medium Term Financial Strategy report;

 

4.            Note that progress on updating the Council’s Capital Strategy will be reported alongside the Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision in the February Cabinet report;

 

5.            Note that subject to approval by Cabinet of the overall capital programme below, officers will work up the detailed project plans for schemes and these will be validated by CB before final commitment to spend; and

 

6.            Note that the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme will be reported separately to a subsequent meeting alongside, Revenue Budget and Rent-Setting Policy or Housing Business Plan.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Richard Ennis outlined the report, which showed a £202m net investment in capital in the Borough. Members noted over £200m of receipts over the four years and that there would be a fall in borrowing costs to the council. Mr Ennis spoke about ways in which funding would happen and the aim to reduce the council’s debt position down by using the Asset disposal programme and by investing in core priorities.

 

Cabinet colleagues made several comments, including:

 

·         Acknowledgement of the work involved and undertaken to deliver significant investment, particularly around CTCV improvement.

·         The opportunity to bid for assets were welcomed by other sectors in the community.

·         They commended consideration of climate change in the work of disposing of assets.

·         They raised concerns around repayment of loans before the MTS period and asked for confirmation that these would all have been repaid before the borrowing period. Members were referred to Table 4 of the report which showed that there would be a small proportion outstanding.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.    Approve the revised General Fund Capital Programme updated for 2021/22 and the future years 2022/23 to 2024/25 as summarised in this report and detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2.    Note the strategy for the use of capital receipts which prioritised their use first for Transformation Funding costs (Flexible Use of Capital Receipts), then to finance the costs related to the Capitalisation Direction, and finally to repay historic capital borrowing costs;

 

3.    Note that any further revisions to the General Fund Capital Programme that emerged prior to the February Cabinet meeting would be reported as part of the Council Tax and Medium Term Financial Strategy report;

 

4.    Note that progress on updating the Council’s Capital Strategy would be reported alongside the Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision in the February Cabinet report;

 

5.    Note that subject to approval by Cabinet of the overall capital programme below, officers would work up the detailed project plans for schemes and these would be validated by CB before final commitment to spend; and

 

6.    Note that the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme would be reported separately to a subsequent meeting alongside, Revenue Budget and Rent Setting Policy or Housing Business Plan.

 

10/22

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2024/25 - Update on Position pdf icon PDF 330 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council, Councillor Hamida Ali, Cabinet Member for Croydon Renewal, Councillor Stuart King and Cabinet Member for Resources & Financial Governance, Councillor Callton Young

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.              Note the latest projected MTFS Gap for the 2022/23 General Fund Revenue Budget of £4.3m, but that further pressures are likely to increase that towards £11m, but is pending further review to reduce that gap;

 

2.              Note the positive grant settlement against the budget set out in paragraphs 3.3 to paragraph 3.23 of the report.

 

3.              Note that the Council is appropriately on route to balancing its budget for 2022/23.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Richard Ennis outlined the current position and detailed de-risking work being done around looking at potential inflationary issues. Members noted further reports coming to Cabinet which would look at reducing growth pressures and the Council’s reserve review.

 

Cross party support for lobbying was welcomed in respect of central government funding. In the subsequent discussion, colleagues recognised the work being done and acknowledged the number of risks in terms of inflationary issues and the economy which could leave a gap of £11m. Mr Ennis informed members of engagement with other authorities in relation to addressing this and consider risks.

 

Members were reminded of the role of Scrutiny and their input in consideration of the report.

 

Cllr Ali invited colleagues to raise any comments.

 

·         They acknowledged that Croydon Council was at a disadvantage with regards to fair funding and that there was a cross-party agreement to raise this with central government;

·         Concerns about inflation pressures and the commitment to reduce the gap and make the contribution to general fund reserves within the assumptions. Members acknowledged the challenges ahead particularly around un-earmarked reserves, but that this year’s budget should be delivered without overspend.

Officers summarised details with the expectation that earmarked reserves should improve over time, with £27.5m set aside to cover those that were not. Robust finances that were prudent, and provision of services were vital in providing a risk-based, open and transparent review to enable the correct approach. This report would be put to full council on 28 February.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.         Note the latest projected MTFS Gap for the 2022/23 General Fund Revenue Budget of £4.3m, but that further pressures are likely to increase that towards £11m, but is pending further review to reduce that gap;

 

2.         Note the positive grant settlement against the budget set out in paragraphs 3.3 to paragraph 3.23 of the report.

 

3.         Note that the Council is appropriately on route to balancing its budget for 2022/23.

11/22

Financial Performance Report - Month 8 (November 2021) pdf icon PDF 916 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Croydon Renewal, Councillor Stuart King and Cabinet Member for Resources & Financial Governance, Callton Young

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.           Note the General Fund is projecting a net favourable movement of £0.828m from Month 7. Service directorates are indicating a £2.203m overspend (Month 7 £3.030m) with this being netted of as in the past seven months against the release of a one off Covid Grant (£3.451m released = 31% of the gran t) confirmed to Croydon Council for 21/22 by DLUHC  as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement;

 

2.           Note that a further number of risks and compensating opportunities may materialise which would see the forecast year-end variance change and these are reported within Section 3 of this report.

 

3.           Note the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is projecting a £1.634m (Month 7 £0.786m) overspend for 2021/22. If no further mitigations are found to reduce this overspend the HRA will need to drawdown reserves from HRA balances. There are sufficient balances to cover this expenditure.

 

4.           Note the capital spend to date for the General Fund of £13.271m (against a budget of £190.581m) and for the HRA of £8.128m (against a budget of £183.209m), with a projected forecast variance of £58.683m on the General Fund against budget and £110.570m forecast variance against budget for the Housing Revenue Account;

 

5.           Note, the above figures are predicated on forecasts from Month 8 to the year end and therefore could be subject to change as forecasts are refined and new and updated information is provided on a monthly basis. Forecasts are made based on the best available information at this time.

 

6.           Note that whilst the Section 114 notice has formally been lifted, the internal controls established as part of the S114, such as the Spend Control Panel and Social Care Placement Panels remain.  Restrictions have been lifted for ring-fenced accounts such as the Pension Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Coroner’s Expenditure as these are directly outside of the General Fund’s control. The Spending Control Panel which was set up at the beginning of November 2020 continues to meet on a twice daily basis.

 

7.           Note that, Croydon Borough has taken on c1000 asylum seekers who have been placed in eight hotels by the Home Office without consultation with the Council. The hotel costs are funded by the Home Office, however the Council is be responsible for further ancillary services particularly around safeguarding, public health, children & youth provision and broader community support. These additional costs, which are currently being calculated have been flagged within the unquantified risks section of this report, and could clearly result in further financial pressures for the Council.

 

8.           Note the Council has now renegotiated a revised loan agreement with Boxpark Croydon Ltd and to date Boxpark have ensured that they have paid the Council according to the terms of the revised agreement. The Council continues to monitor this repayment and will take necessary actions in the event of delays.

 

 

Minutes:

Mr Ennis summarised the item and outlined details of a £1.25m underspend in the budget and work being done to mitigate risk. Further figures included:

 

·         £1.6m overspend for the Housing Revenue account;

·         Capital spend continued to be very low and making sure that Council was able to deliver much of the programme for the remainder of this year as a priority.

Members stated the importance of demonstrating that the council was improving its hold on its finances and acknowledged that decisions were collectively working towards achieving a balanced budget. The Chair invited comments from colleagues. Cabinet members raised several points:

 

·         They asked for clarification on the use of the Covid grant and asked for reassurance that it was being used appropriately;

·         They welcomed the performance report but asked for feedback on HRA risks.

Mr Ennis addressed the key points made by members, summarising details of the application of the Covid grant. He assured colleagues that it had been used appropriately and this had been demonstrated and supported by the Improvement Panel.

 

Mr Ennis asked David Padfield to respond to concerns around figures on outstanding repairs and members were assured that a report would be available at the next Cabinet meeting.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.         Note the General Fund is projecting a net favourable movement of £0.828m from Month 7. Service directorates are indicating a £2.203m overspend (Month 7 £3.030m) with this being netted of as in the past seven months against the release of a one off Covid Grant (£3.451m released = 31% of the gran t) confirmed to Croydon Council for 21/22 by DLUHC  as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement;

 

2.         Note that a further number of risks and compensating opportunities may materialise which would see the forecast year-end variance change and these are reported within Section 3 of this report.

 

3.         Note the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is projecting a £1.634m (Month 7 £0.786m) overspend for 2021/22. If no further mitigations are found to reduce this overspend the HRA will need to drawdown reserves from HRA balances. There are sufficient balances to cover this expenditure.

 

4.         Note the capital spend to date for the General Fund of £13.271m (against a budget of £190.581m) and for the HRA of £8.128m (against a budget of £183.209m), with a projected forecast variance of £58.683m on the General Fund against budget and £110.570m forecast variance against budget for the Housing Revenue Account;

 

5.         Note, the above figures are predicated on forecasts from Month 8 to the year end and therefore could be subject to change as forecasts are refined and new and updated information is provided on a monthly basis. Forecasts are made based on the best available information at this time.

 

6.         Note that whilst the Section 114 notice has formally been lifted, the internal controls established as part of the S114, such as the Spend Control Panel and Social Care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11/22

12/22

Report in the Public Interest Action Plan - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council, Councillor Hamida Ali

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.               Note and agree on the progress the Council has made in regard to achieving the recommendations set out by external auditor in the Report in the Public Interest October 2020 with 65out of 99 actions complete;

 

2.               Note the outcome of internal audit of actions delivered to properly evidence what has been achieved so far, in order to provide full assurance to members and residents on the changes achieved;

 

3.               Agree the refreshed Action Plan including actions marked complete, progress updates against open actions and identification of actions to be embedded going forward as business as usual.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ali outlined the report and members noted that two thirds of the actions had been completed. Members also noted work around induction and training for new members. Cabinet and other colleagues were invited to comment and raised the following:

 

·         Concerns about when the report in the public interest with regard to the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls was to be expected – members noted that the report would be published imminently on Wednesday 26 January.

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

At this point, the Chair proposed to extend the meeting by 30 minutes. Cllr King seconded the motion and Cabinet agreed.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Note and agree on the progress the Council has made in regard to achieving the recommendations set out by external auditor in the Report in the Public Interest October 2020 with 65out of 99 actions complete;

 

2.            Note the outcome of internal audit of actions delivered to properly evidence what has been achieved so far, in order to provide full assurance to members and residents on the changes achieved;

 

3.            Agree the refreshed Action Plan including actions marked complete, progress updates against open actions and identification of actions to be embedded going forward as business as usual.

 

 

 

13/22

Croydon Renewal Improvement Plan - Performance Reporting & Framework Measures pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council, Councillor Hamida Ali

Officer: Interim Assistance Chief Executive, Elaine Jackson

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.               Review the Finance, Performance & Risk report (appendix A) as of 31 October 2021(unless otherwise stated) with regard to overall performance against the Croydon Renewal Plan.  Note areas of good performance and those of concern.

 

2.               Note the progress made, and areas of concern, against programmes and projects in relation to milestones, deliverables and issues.

 

3.               Note the progress made, and areas of concern against savings and growth targets as identified in the Croydon Renewal Plan.  More detail on this area can be found in Table 2a of the Financial Monitoring Report also being presented at this Cabinet meeting.

 

4.               That Cabinet identify areas of performance within the FPR report (appendix A) where they require deeper analysis to be presented at a future Cabinet for discussion and action.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair reminded Cabinet members of performance measures and highlighted a number of areas for concern. She invited colleagues to comment on anything further and the following issues were raised:

 

·         There were still concerns around the recycling performance figures and behaviours that were affecting the results, despite improvements compared to other London authorities;

·         With regards to determining planning applications in a timely manner, this needed improvement;

·         There were still concerns around performance regarding repairs;

·         Work around early help assessments and support for care-leavers had been impacted by Covid and it was important to get back to this as a priority;

·         They raised concerns around continuing bin collections impacted by driver shortages and impact of Covid;

·         Concerns about risk of special measures and members felt that 

 

Officers responded to the issues raised, reminding colleagues of problems with vacancies and low staffing levels available in order to address the work involved. Members were informed that recruitment was now taking place and it was expected that figures would improve over time with the proper implementation of staff to these particular roles. Officers referred to work with Veolia to rectify performance and set contingency plans in place. They assured Cabinet that they were held to account with penalties where applicable.

 

The Chair referred to improvements in balance of the budget, acknowledging the actions of the past and said that it was a significant improvement and great progress had been made, notwithstanding the huge pressures ahead.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Review the Finance, Performance & Risk report (appendix A) as of 31 October 2021(unless otherwise stated) with regard to overall performance against the Croydon Renewal Plan.  Note areas of good performance and those of concern.

 

2.            Note the progress made, and areas of concern, against programmes and projects in relation to milestones, deliverables and issues.

 

3.            Note the progress made, and areas of concern against savings and growth targets as identified in the Croydon Renewal Plan.  More detail on this area can be found in Table 2a of the Financial Monitoring Report also being presented at this Cabinet meeting.

 

4.            That Cabinet identify areas of performance within the FPR report (appendix A) where they require deeper analysis to be presented at a future Cabinet for discussion and action.

 

 

 

14/22

Investing in our Borough pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Resources & Financial Governance, Councillor Callton Young

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To                      

 

1.     The request for approval of the strategy and contract extension for Supported housing provision for people with a mental health diagnosis as set out at agenda item 15a and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

2.     The request for approval of the contract variation for Covid Recovery for BH Live as set out at agenda item 15b and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

3.     The request for approval of the procurement strategy for Microsoft Enterprise Subscription as set out at agenda item 15c and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

4.     Revenue and capital consequences of contract award decisions taken by the Leader as set out in section 5.2.1 of the report.

 

5.     The contracts between £500,000 and £5,000,000 anticipated to be awarded under delegated authority from the Leader by the nominated Cabinet Member, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources and Financial Governance and with the Leader in certain circumstances, before the next meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.3.1 of the report.

 

6.     The list of delegated award decisions made by the Director of Commercial Investment since the last meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.4.1 of the report.

 

7.     Property lettings, acquisitions and disposals to be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Resources and Financial Governance in consultation with the Leader since the last meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.5.1 of the report.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair introduced Cllr Young who outlined the requests for approval by Cabinet for investments and disposals as described.

 

Members noted the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To                          

 

1.    The request for approval of the strategy and contract extension for Supported housing provision for people with a mental health diagnosis as set out at agenda item 15a and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

2.    The request for approval of the contract variation for Covid Recovery for BH Live as set out at agenda item 15b and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

3.    The request for approval of the procurement strategy for Microsoft Enterprise Subscription as set out at agenda item 15c and section 5.1.1 of the report.

 

4.    Revenue and capital consequences of contract award decisions taken by the Leader as set out in section 5.2.1 of the report.

 

5.    The contracts between £500,000 and £5,000,000 anticipated to be awarded under delegated authority from the Leader by the nominated Cabinet Member, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources and Financial Governance and with the Leader in certain circumstances, before the next meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.3.1 of the report.

 

6.    The list of delegated award decisions made by the Director of Commercial Investment since the last meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.4.1 of the report.

 

7.    Property lettings, acquisitions and disposals to be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Resources and Financial Governance in consultation with the Leader since the last meeting of Cabinet, as set out in section 5.5.1 of the report.

 

 

15/22

Supported Housing for People with a Mental Health Diagnosis - Strategy & Extension pdf icon PDF 547 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Families, Health & Social Care, Councillor Janet Campbell

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Adult Social & Health, Annette McPartland

Key decision: yes

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.              Approve the strategy detailed in this report for the procurement of a contract for the delivery of supported housing for people with a mental health diagnosis for a period of five years for the period 2 August 2022 to 31 July 2027. The total annual value is estimated to be £1,126,000 (subject to confirmation of health funding) which results in a total aggregated value of £5,630,000 (subject to health funding) for the maximum 5 years. The local authority contribution will be £776,000 per annum (£3,880,000 in aggregate).

 

2.              Approve the extension and variation of the contract for the provision of supported housing services for people with a mental health diagnosis with Look Ahead in accordance with Regulation 30 of the Tenders and Contracts Regulations until 2 August 2022 resulting in an aggregate value of £5,670,827. This will ensure there is no gap in provision whilst the recommissioning takes place and discussions with health colleagues regarding future funding conclude.

 

 

 

Minutes:

 

Cllr Young referred to the increase in demand and costs and outlined details of the Strategy.  Cllr Hay-Justice was invited to provide more information and spoke with reference to the quality of housing units for individuals with mental health diagnoses. Members heard about the support involved and how long this was required. Colleagues heard more from Cllr Mann, receiving assurance that the strategy would help to aid recovery.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.           Approve the strategy detailed in this report for the procurement of a contract for the delivery of supported housing for people with a mental health diagnosis for a period of five years for the period 2 August 2022 to 31 July 2027. The total annual value is estimated to be £1,126,000 (subject to confirmation of health funding) which results in a total aggregated value of £5,630,000 (subject to health funding) for the maximum 5 years. The local authority contribution will be £776,000 per annum (£3,880,000 in aggregate).

 

2.           Approve the extension and variation of the contract for the provision of supported housing services for people with a mental health diagnosis with Look Ahead in accordance with Regulation 30 of the Tenders and Contracts Regulations until 2 August 2022 resulting in an aggregate value of £5,670,827. This will ensure there is no gap in provision whilst the recommissioning takes place and discussions with health colleagues regarding future funding conclude.

 

 

 

16/22

COVID-19 recovery for BH Live pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, Councillor Oliver Lewis

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Sarah Hayward

Key decision: yes

Decision:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.               Agree, in accordance with Regulation 30.3 of the Council’s Tenders and Contracts Regulations, to vary the existing contract with the operator of Fairfield Halls, BH Live, to a value of £841,000 (resulting in a total aggregated variation value of £1,291,000 and a total maximum aggregated contract value of £181,291,000) by:

 

(i)              Agreeing to include a management fee arrangement of £193,000 in 2022/23 and £74,000 in 2023/24, with a profit sharing arrangement of  90% Croydon : 10% BH Live; and

 

(ii)             Agreeing to the early purchase of physical assets within Faifield Halls from BH Live, to the value of £574,000 (subject to a confirmed valuation), which could have otherwise occurred at the exit of the contract.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Young moved onto this part of the report and invited any comments.

 

Members acknowledged the impact of Covid and raised the following:

 

·         Concerns about support for the cultural sector;

·         Item 15b – Management fees – what other options were considered?

Officers outlined a range of options that had been discussed in consideration with BH live before deciding that management fees would allow stabilisation with aspirations that the original operation agreement would be achieved. Officers confirmed that there was no update to the report and that internal and external advice had been sought.

Members agreed the recommendations.

 

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.            Agree, in accordance with Regulation 30.3 of the Council’s Tenders and Contracts Regulations, to vary the existing contract with the operator of Fairfield Halls, BH Live, to a value of £841,000 (resulting in a total aggregated variation value of £1,291,000 and a total maximum aggregated contract value of £181,291,000) by:

 

(i)            Agreeing to include a management fee arrangement of £193,000 in 2022/23 and £74,000 in 2023/24, with a profit sharing arrangement of  90% Croydon : 10% BH Live; and

 

(ii)          Agreeing to the early purchase of physical assets within Fairfield Halls from BH Live, to the value of £574,000 (subject to a confirmed valuation), which could have otherwise occurred at the exit of the contract.

 

 

 

17/22

Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Procurement Strategy pdf icon PDF 529 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Resources & Financial Governance, Councillor Callton Young

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Resources, Richard Ennis

Key decision: no

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Young outlined the proposal and asked Cabinet to approve the report.

 

Members agreed the recommendations.

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To approve the procurement strategy detailed in the report for the procurement of Microsoft Enterprise Subscription which will lead to a 3 year contract with an estimated value of £5.5m.

 

 

18/22

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor XXX and seconded by Councillor XXX to exclude the press and public:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

 

The motion was put and it was agreed by the Committee to exclude the press and public for the remainder of the meeting.

19/22

Covid-19 recovery for BH Live

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, Councillor Oliver Lewis

Officer: Interim Corporate Director Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Sarah Hayward

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:

 

RESOLVED: To

 

1.               Agree, in accordance with Regulation 30.3 of the Council’s Tenders and Contracts Regulations, to vary the existing contract with the operator of Fairfield Halls, BH Live, to a value of £841,000 (resulting in a total aggregated variation value of £1,291,000 and a total maximum aggregated contract value of £181,291,000) by:

 

(i)              Agreeing to include a management fee arrangement of £193,000 in 2022/23 and £74,000 in 2023/24, with a profit sharing arrangement of  90% Croydon : 10% BH Live; and

 

(ii)             Agreeing to the early purchase of physical assets within Faifield Halls from BH Live, to the value of £574,000 (subject to a confirmed valuation), which could have otherwise occurred at the exit of the contract.