Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council House, Plymouth
Contact: Jamie Sheldon Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Interest
Cabinet Members will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on this agenda. A flowchart providing guidance on interests is attached to assist councillors.
There were no declarations of interest submitted by cabinet members.
To sign and confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 09 November 2021.
The minutes from 9 November 2021 were signed as a true and accurate record.
Questions from the Public
To receive questions from the public in accordance with the Constitution.
Questions, of no longer than 50 words, can be submitted to the Democratic Support Unit, Plymouth City Council, Ballard House, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ, or email to email@example.com. Any questions must be received at least five clear working days before the date of the meeting.
There were no public questions.
Chair's Urgent Business
To receive reports on business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.
There we no items of business from the chair.
COVID 19 Update
Dr Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health provided an update for members and went through the following key points:
Omicron was a new variant which is highly infectious even more so than the Delta variant. The speed of the spread had been very high and this had been seen in London. There had been many things that were unknown about the new variant, however it was seen as being similar to the Delta variant.
Plymouth had many cases of the Delta variant and this wave had been reducing due in part to many having already been infected and on top of vaccination the infection had nowhere to go. Restrictions in place and people trying to minimise risk to themselves and to others had also contributed to the reduction in Delta cases. Plymouth’s rates had been 743 people per 100,000 in a week.
The reduction meant that Plymouth’s rates was now below the England average; England rates had been 840 people per 100,000 in a week. It was noted that the large increase had been driven by Omicron.
Although the decline in infection was positive, the number of cases in the city that were Omicron were increasing with data suggesting a 40% increase. Dr Ruth Harrell advised members that due to the increase the rates could rise again.
An unknown of the variant is how many people would be admitted to hospital with the new variant and what the impact would be. Derriford Hospital had over 60 patients in hospital with COVID-19; there had been a high in January 2021 of 120. This meant that the healthcare system had been under huge pressure which meant operations were cancelled and people requiring surgery had not been completed.
The Governments ‘Plan B’ had been brought in to keep cases and hospitalisations down; people were required to wear face covering in indoor settings, work from home where possible and the need to prove either vaccination status or negative lateral flow tests to attend some venues.
Plymouth residents had been coming forward for vaccination and the capacity to deliver vaccines had increased, these two factors enabled two times as many people to be vaccinated compared to the previous high. Uptake in Plymouth had been very good and was in line with England levels by age group.
Many people had been accessing boosters too with the take up in the high 80’s for older adults. Many people had been booked in for their boosters and other had been making use of the walk-in clinics. The location and times of appointments had been on the national NHS website as well as Plymouth City Council’s website.
Dr Ruth Harrell requested people to:-
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council announced the following:
Plymouth City Council had been successful in winning the opportunity to host Sail GP next year.
Plymouth City Council had been working in partnership with South Hams District Council and Devon County Council and an outline business case had been submitted to government which would create a Plymouth and South Devon Freezone and unlock millions of pounds worth of public and private investments. The Business case focussed on the City’s engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors and would build on Plymouth’s strengths in the marine and defence sectors.
The Leader unveiled Haxter Court last month and was priviledged to get a look behind the scenes at Plymouth Argyle’s warehouse which was one of the units. There had been great demand in the city for quality employment space and it was great to see businesses thriving in those units.
The pandemic had a huge impact on businesses, this administration wanted to build back better in Plymouth and had worked hard to support the local economy, helping local businesses and creating and protecting jobs. Plymouth City Council helped to pay out £92 mil in government grants which had supported 7,440 Plymouth businesses.
Local spend had exceeded the target of 10% with £40 million more spent with local businesses this financial year.
10 new commercial units at Plymouth International Medical and Technology park had been completed.
The third phase of development at Header Court on the Langage had started.
Big investments had been secured in the city to create jobs by providing a new hjome for the Valuation Office Agency which opened in September. Marks and Spencers and Aldi would become new tenants at Plymouth’s newest district shopping centre of the former Seaton Barracks.
The pandemic highlighted how critical good digital connectivity was for the city, and the first school in Plymouth was able to access downloads speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second thanks to the Plymouth and South West Devon Local Fast Fibre Network scheme.
Fishing was at the heart of Plymouth’s economy for centuries Councillor Kelly had been talking with partners and those working in the industry about the exciting plan for a bigger and better fish market.
Plymouth had made progress in the past seven months and had secured £9.5 million for the UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound.
The Council had:
Repaired slipways, steps and railings along the waterfront as part of physical improvements.
Installed a new welcome sign below the Citadel, surrounded by wildflowers, and restored some of Plymouth’s landmarks at Gydnia Fountain on St Andrews Cross and the San Sebastian Fountain. Erected a new flagpole on the Council House to fly the Union Jack flag.
Started the third phase of the Improving Plymouth Play scheme, which would see 10 more parks being redeveloped.
Had issued more than 400 fixed penalties for littering and fly-tipping.
Improved safety by installing new CCTV cameras, improving street lighting and ‘help-points. These are stand-alone emergency points put in place ... view the full minutes text for item 208.
Cabinet Member Updates
Mobility Hubs - £105 million Transforming Cities future fund in particular the flagship Mobility’s project. Plymouth City Council would be awarding contracts for electric vehicle charging points, an electric vehicle club and electric bike elements in the project. This would provide drivers access to electric charging vehicle points across 300 parking bays over the city, of which over 100 would be rapid chargers.
A contract would be awarded for electric bikes which would lead to over 400 E-bikes delivered to Plymouth by 2023.
Plymouth City Council are in the process of delivering an electric vehicle car club for use by residents and businesses and information would be shared in the New Year after contracts had been awarded.
The Department for Transport had sponsored the upgrade of the CCTV Centre, this would see the replacement of the Urban Traffic Control Software, Video Management system and replacement of aging monitoring arrangements.
The Plymouth Highways team had:
Commenced white lining of roads in Plymouth using an MMA which was a cold plastic Methyl Methacrylate system, this would last longer than the current road marking techniques. It would be laid at a lower temperature and would reduce carbon emissions and set quicker and therefore eases congestion by reducing on time site.
Continued works of upgrading of subway lights, pedestrian crossings and traffic island bollards using LED technology and the service had achieved all targets within the Carbon Reduction Plan.
Prepared over 90,000 tonnes m2 of Highway ready for next year’s micro asphalt surface treatments. The Processing comparison of traditional road surfacing would see a saving of 85% carbon emissions.
Commenced work in setting up a Social Media page which would highlight all works being carried out on Plymouth’s road network and would be working with the Corporate Communications Team but be led by the Highways Team.
Repaired street lighting columns, there are now less than 100 street light columns to be repaired. Two teams were out in the day repairing 30 columns per day. The repairs had been undertaken under warranty from the manufacturers. South West Highways, the contractor had a sufficient stock or lanterns and photocells and would be working up to Christmas Eve before commencing again in January on the annual repairs.
Disabled parking bays at Devils Point Car Park had been doubled from 4 to 9 with waterfront parking and Plymouth would be looking to adding more on the Hoe Promenade in the future.
Plymouth had assisted Blue Badge holders with Electric vehicle charging in the Theatre Royal Car Park. Holders would be able to ask staff to connect their vehicles to the charging point at no additional charge. This trial would be reviewed after four months.
Councillor Nick Kelly (The Leader) introduced the Commitments report and invited Cabinet Members to speak on commitments relating to their portfolios as follows:
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council advised:
Commitment 33 – We will establish an investment fund, via the Council's capital spending programme, to promote the creation of a vibrant small business start-up sector in Plymouth.
The Council had helped businesses get back on their feet and had given entrepreneurs the support they need to get going. Four brand-new projects had offered businesses a lifeline and supported Plymouth’s economic recovery during and following the pandemic.
We aimed to create 50 new jobs, 27 new social enterprises and support more than 140 individual businesses. This had involved helping individuals into self-employment or guiding them as they set up new businesses, as well as supporting existing businesses looking to ‘relaunch’ after the interruption caused by coronavirus.
Each of the four business support programmes had its own specific focus:
· Business Start-up Support: Offering advice and support for new business start-ups or re-starts, including workshops, 1 to 1 support sessions and access to a Business Start-up Specialist
· Inspirational Entrepreneurship Programme: Designed to increase entrepreneurship, individuals, sole traders and new businesses would be given access to a Community Enterprise Advisor and flexible support that met their needs
· Digital Pivot Programme: Helped businesses to adopt new digital solutions and adapt to new challenges posed by coronavirus, this would include free workshops and 1 to 1 advice for business owners
· Social Enterprise Support: Supported those looking to set up social enterprises with advice, provided through 1 to 1 sessions, group workshops and drop in ‘surgeries’
· The Business Start-up Support and Inspirational Entrepreneurship Programme would be provided by YTKO. The Digital Pivot Programme was being run by Cosmic, a social enterprise offering digital skills training and services, while the Social Enterprise Support would be led by the School for Social Entrepreneurs
Commitment 35 – We will lobby the Government and protect our Dockyard. It is home to the Royal Navy and is the largest dockyard in Western Europe.
We had continued to lobby, protect and support partners to protect the naval base. We had included South Yard in the Freezone bid, we had invited the Secretary of State for Defence, The Right Honourable Ben Wallace MP to Plymouth and had asked for the Government's continued commitment to HMNB Devonport and specifically the base porting and maintenance of the Type 26 and the through life support for the Type 31 Frigates. We had provided cross party MP briefings on future deep maintenance of the Type 26 Frigates.
Commitment 37 – We will build on our enviable reputation for hosting major nautical events such as the Americas Cup, the Fastnet, Sail GP.
Sail GP would host its Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth for the second year running, following a bumper event in 2021, which saw an estimated 27,500 spectators enjoying the spectacle that brought £6.9 million into the local economy.
The thrilling racing ... view the full minutes text for item 210.
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council provided an update on Quarter two of the Corporate Plan Performance Report.
Following Key Points:
- Recycling rate improving and achieving target
- Continued good performance on completing carriage defects in time
- Improvement in free school meal take up
- Continued good performance around council tax collection which is achieving target.
Performance Challenges are:
- Small decrease in small medium enterprise spend and PL postcode spend (still achieving target).
- Slight increase in repeat referrals to Children’s Social Care.
- A decrease in homelessness prevention.
- Number on multiple child protection plans has increased
Cabinet noted the report.
Finance Monitoring Report October 2021
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council provided an update on month 7 of the financial monitoring report.
It was noted that the financial position will fluctuate as we move through the year, this month showed a small adverse movement from the September position. In September an overspend position had been reported of £729,000 however this had moved to £883,000 for October, this represented a net movement of £154,000.
The Children’s Directorate had reported a £414,000 overspend which had moved from a nil variance and reflected the uncertainty of delivering the fostering savings plan.
The Place directorate had been reporting an over spend of £121,000 due to income targets being impacted on following delegated decisions signed off in June 2021. The directorate had been working on other savings to mitigate the over spend.
Customer and Corporate Services Directorate had improved it’s overspend position by £110,000 to £655,000.
The Public Protection Service had been reporting an underspend of £327,000 which is an improvement of £230,000 due to additional grant funding received.
Still below forecast overspend of £1.514 mil at quarter two in June.
It was reported that 70% of savings targets that had either already been achieved (51%) or ready to be achieved (19%) being a total of £9.771 mil from the total of £13.845 savings the Council had been looking to deliver.
£2.662 mil savings marked as red or at risk and the details were included in the forecast figures.
Cabinet noted the report.
Budget 2022 - 23 - Draft Budget
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council provided an update to cabinet for this item and highlighted the following key points:
Since reporting a budget shortfall of £20 mil in November 2021, Officers and Portfolio Holders had done further work which had included reviewing all cost pressures and putting forward directorate savings plans. The report presented to members showed a budget shortfall of£13.533 mil. The report did not look at or address all of the contents and impact of the Autumn Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review.
The Provisional Settlement had been published last week and officers had been reviewing the contents and implications for Plymouth. Within the assumptions regarding core resources it was assumed the Council’s resources base would be broadly unchanged by the Local Government Finance Settlement. However Plymouth had been given additional funding but this would be offset in the main with additional burdens. The report reflected the additional cost of the National Living Wage for Plymouth City Council’s Adult Social Care providers, in addition to the impact of the 1.25% National Insurance increase. These combined to a total cost of £5.876 mil which had been offset by an assumed grant of the same value.
Directorates had identified £20.942 mil of net additional costs and had developed since the last report £6.751 of saving proposals. When taken with other corporate adjustments including movements in the core resources of £4.308 mil Plymouth City Council had been left with a forecast budget shortfall in 2022/23 of £13.533 mil. That shortfall is before any assumption of the confirmed maximum 1.99% Council Tax and 1% Adult Social Care Precept, together these would give additional resources of £3.650 mil. Final recommendations on council tax matters will be presented for the full decision to full on 28 February 2022.
Plymouth City Council had been reviewing the budget shortfall and were in the process of identifying solutions to resolve the position. The Council were analysing the provisional settlements to confirm that the assumptions were correct. The Council recognise that it is important that on-going sustainable solutions are used to bridge the gap where practical and were confident a balanced budget would be produced and presented to Full Council in February 2022.
Brendan Arnold, Service Director for Finance would provide a briefing paper on the settlement to cabinet members.
Cabinet agreed to:-
Council Tax Base Setting 2022/23 and Council Tax Support Scheme 2022/23
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council provided an update to cabinet for this item.
The council tax base for 22/23 is based on total housing stock as of October 2021. The Tax base is the estimated number of dwellings in the Local Authority modified to take account the different proportions payable, discounts, premiums and other reductions.
A Change in legalisation allowed for an additional premium to be charged if a dwelling had been left empty for more than two years.
The assumed collection rate for Plymouth City Council would be 97.5% and would be the same as the collection rate for 2021/22.
The tax base for Plymouth had increased by 715 properties compared to last year. The average Band D total base had been forecast to be 73,830 properties.
Following the abolition of the Council Tax Benefit Scheme in 2013, Plymouth had implemented two local benefit schemes, a Council Tax support and discretionary or exceptional hardship scheme. Members and residents of Plymouth had been advised that if they are struggling with paying their Council Tax or that their circumstances had changed they may be eligible for support through these schemes.
Cabinet agreed to:
1. The Council Tax Base for 2022/23 of 73,830 equivalent Band D dwellings as set out in the report.
2. The continuation of the current Council Tax Support scheme and Exceptional Hardship Scheme for 2022/23 with no updates.
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of the Council provided an update to cabinet for this item and highlighted the following key points:
The report had been produced in accordance with Plymouth City Councils commitments within the Social Value Policy to conduct an annual review of the policy.
This provided an opportunity to illustrate the current impact of the policy on Plymouth City Council’s decision making within procurement and commissioning and the benefits secured for the city through its implementation.
This was also an opportunity to reflect on progress to date and implement improvements to drive the policy forward creating a greater Social Value for the city of Plymouth and its surrounding communities.
The key aim of the Social Value Policy was to deliver benefits for Plymouth and to unlock its potential. The Council directly spent £144 mil with local businesses in the last financial year and where possible tried to ensure that the benefits stayed within Plymouth and where initial spend does go outside of Plymouth, the Council would secure local benefits through social value.
Social Value is the driving force behind the Procurement Service’s goals towards local and small and medium enterprise (SME) spend. Plymouth had taken great steps over the past twelve months to embed and promote the social value policy and its linked behaviours through the procurement process. The Council had received positive feedback to the Policy from both internal and external stakeholders.
Initial achievements from the policy included:
· £2.5 mil in social value commitments
· £1.4 mil in local spend for contracted suppliers supply chains, £800,000 had been through the MSME
· 79 weeks of training opportunities
· 977 tonnes of hard to recycle waste had been diverted away from landfill
· The desire for a user friendly policy document
Cabinet agreed to:
1. Acknowledge the progress and achievements secured during the first 12months of the Social Value Policy;
2. Acknowledge and support the development plans for the coming 12months.
Councillor Nicholson, Deputy Leader of the Council presented this item to members and made the following key points:
Health and Wellbeing Hubs had been a priority for not only for the current administration but previous administrations. It had also been a priority of the Clinical Commissioning Group as an integral part of the Local Care Partnership approach to integrated health and wellbeing.
Health and wellbeing hubs focus on prevention, early intervention and to empower communities in providing support to those in need. The Hubs had been designed in partnership with a wide range of organisations and each one would be unique to the community it serves. All hubs would provide services such as information and advice, health advice, support for people with long term conditions and a wide range of wellbeing, social and physical activities.
Six targeted hubs had been rolled out since 2018 with two additional sports and community hubs at Manadon and Central Park.
Six more hubs had been planned for Plymouth which included the building of a Health and Wellbeing centre at Colin Campbell Court of which there had been considerable engagement and publicity with the local community. The NHS had provided millions of pounds worth of funding for this development. A planning application had been submitted to Plymouth City Council for consideration.
Over the next three years 5 new hubs would be created in partnership with local communities and organisations and would be based in Southway/Derriford; Mount Gould; Plymstock; Efford and Estover.
A successful bid had been made for funding from the Clinical Commissioning Group to employ additional community development staff which would enable the hubs to work more closely with communities in developing the activities that would keep them well in the future.
1. The plan for the next phase of Wellbeing Hubs