Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 14th March, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford. View directions

Contact: Helen Tambini  0115 9148320

Items
No. Item

49.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

50.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 February 2023 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 14 February 2023 were agreed as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

51.

Citizens' Questions

To answer questions submitted by citizens on the Council or its services.

Minutes:

There were no citizen’s questions.

52.

Opposition Group Leaders' Questions

To answer questions submitted by Opposition Group Leaders on items on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no Opposition Group Leaders’ questions.

53.

Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring 2022/23 - Financial Update Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 766 KB

Report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services

Decision:

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet approved the attached report and noted that:

 

a)             the expected revenue budget efficiency for the year of £1.723m and proposals to earmark this for cost pressures (paragraph 4.1) were noted

 

b)             the capital budget efficiencies of £3.758m including various re-profiling stated at paragraph 4.7, included in the MTFS to Full Council were noted

 

c)             the expected outturn position for Special Expenses to be £3.2k below budget (paragraph 4.5) were noted.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and Customer Access, Councillor Moore, presented the report of the Director Finance and Corporate Services which set out the budget position for revenue and capital as at 31 December 2022.

 

Councillor Moore said that the overall picture was positive, with a predicted efficiency of £1.72m primarily as a result of Business Rates pool, additional investment income and additional grants. He noted that this position could, and probably would, change during the following quarter but that the money was currently earmarked to assist with cost pressures and to cover reductions in the value of pooled investments which sat at £973k. Councillor Moore said that the money would also be used to enhance current service challenges.

 

Councillor Moore referred to a number of cost efficiencies, including a large increase in investment income as a result of higher interest rates, increased cash balances, increased planning income and increased usage of Edwalton Golf Course. He confirmed that efficiencies were tempered by increases in agency staff costs and lost income from the delayed opening of Bingham Hub and the Crematorium, although he was pleased to note that both were back on track, with feedback from Bingham Hub being that it was busy and generating revenue.

 

In relation to cost pressures, Councillor Moore said that these included staff salaries following a pay award in November 2022 which added £550k and inflation reaching 11% during the quarter which affected all departments and in particular energy costs.

 

Councillor Moore said that the overall capital budget, including carry forwards, was £22.2m, of which the Council anticipated that it would spend £18.5m, resulting in an underspend of £3.7m which would be carried forward. He confirmed that the carry forward combined with capital receipts meant that the Council did not currently have to borrow.

 

Councillor Moore confirmed that the overall financial position for both the revenue and capital budget was positive, considering the current economic climate and he was pleased that the local government finance settlement had delivered some clarity regarding future funding, including a new round of New Homes Bonus, and a grant to ensure that local authorities received an increase of at least 3% core spending power over the next two years. He noted that Government had deferred resetting Business Rates, New Homes Bonus and the Fairer Funding review until at least 2025/26.

 

Councillor Moore concluded that the Council was keeping tight control of expenditure whilst maximising income streams and opportunities.

 

In seconding the recommendations, Councill Edyvean said that report demonstrated how, even against a challenging background, the Council could manage its finances positively. He referred to the high agency costs and explained that a large amount the expenditure had been to cover planning and thought that the service provided by the Council was better than many other local authorities.

 

Councillor Edyvean noted that even though capital receipts were significantly down against forecast, the Council could still meet its borrowing requirements from internal resource. He thought it positive that the Council’s approach to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Support to the Rushcliffe Youth Forum pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Report of the Director - Neighbourhoods

Decision:

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet agreed to support the existing Rushcliffe Youth Forum for the next two years to help expand membership, increase awareness and increase opportunities for collaboration.

 

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Communities & Climate Change, Councillor Brennan, presented the report of the Director Neighbourhoods which outlined proposals for support to the Youth Forum.

 

Councillor Brennan explained this report came on the back of a few motions that had come to Full Council over recent years, in looking to find ways of engaging young people in the democratic process and local decision making. She said that there had been a particular motion which had proposed the creation of a Youth Council for the Borough, and whilst that motion had been lost, the proposal had been referred to scrutiny for review.

 

Councillor Brennan said that in reviewing options, it had identified that Rushcliffe already had a Youth Forum in operation, which was chaired by the representative for Rushcliffe on the National Youth Parliament and supported by the County Council as part of their statutory duty to support young people. She thought that Youth Forums and Parliaments were a great way for young people to take part in debates and discuss issues important to them.

 

Councillor Brennan referred to paragraph 4 of the report which set out the background to the recommendations and noted that a number of other local Councils had similar Forums in operation, with varying degrees of success and engagement. She said that the most successful ones appeared to have good support both from their National Youth Parliament member and from Nottinghamshire County Council Youth Services department.

 

Councillor Brennan explained that the scrutiny process had concluded that the existing Youth Forum for Rushcliffe was essentially a Youth Council by another name and that there was no need to establish a new body. She noted, however, that engagement with the existing Youth Forum had been patchy and that numbers were quite low, especially since the pandemic. She also noted that Rushcliffe, as a Borough did not have contact with schools and that setting up a new youth body from scratch would require a budget and resources, and it was therefore proposed that, rather than reinvent the wheel, focus be put on reinvigorating the existing Forum with support from the Council, such as in providing meeting rooms, perhaps with Members attending some of their meetings, for the Council to consult with the Forum on some of its strategies and proposals and to provide publicity for the Forum to attract new members and support its online presence.

 

Councillor Brennan noted that since the writing of the report, the representative for Rushcliffe on the National Youth Parliament had stood down to concentrate on their studies and the Council would support Nottinghamshire County Council in recruiting a new representative to the role.

 

Councillor Brennan concluded that this provided a great opportunity for the Council to build on something that was already in place to help it grow and encourage young people to become involved in local decision making 

 

In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Inglis said that it was important for young people to have a forum and opportunity to express their views  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Endorsement of Plan for UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Report of the Director – Development and Economic Growth

Additional documents:

Decision:

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

a)    Recognised UKSPF activity delivered in 2022/23

 

b)    Endorsed the proposals for UKSPF and REPF in 2023/24

 

c)    Delegated sign off of refinements to proposals for 2023/24 to the Leader, Chief Executive and S151 Officer, with both revenue and capital implications reported in future financial reports to Cabinet and the MTFS to Full Council

 

d)    Delegated sign off of grant awards for UKSPF and REPF to the S151 Officer and Director Development and Economic Growth in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth, following officer recommendations based on assessment and moderation.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business & Growth, Councillor Edyvean, presented the report of the Director Development and Economic Growth which outlined plans for UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) 2023/24.

 

Councillor Edyvean explained that UKSPF funding had been set up to replace European funding and had first been considered by Cabinet in July 2022.  He said that the funding worked better at delivering money locally and highlighted that in its first year the Council had spent £312k of UKSPF funding on communities and place and local businesses. Councillor Edyvean explained that it had allowed the Council to provide initiatives such as further improvements to Rushcliffe Country Park, reed clearance on Grantham Canal and cost of living workshops and had enabled the Council to employ an advisor to support local high street businesses. He added that the funding would also support people and skills, with that money kicking in the third year of funding.

 

Councillor Edyvean said that the proposals before Cabinet were for the coming financial year of 2023/24 and amounted to funding of £624k, to be split between community and place at £325k and business support at £274k. He referred to paragraphs 4.7 and 4.8 of the report which set out the proposed funding allocations.

 

Councillor Edyvean referred to paragraph 4.2 of the report which set out proposals for REPF, including £80k for businesses to bid for, for projects such as diversification of their business, net zero infrastructure, support for rural business hubs and supporting a visitor economy. He said the £69k was allocated for communities and place and that the Council would invite applications for funding between £10k to 40k, with match funding required in certain instances. He said that businesses grant applications would require 60% match funding and that community grants would require 30%, which could be either financial or in kind. He explained that whilst match funding for the community and place was not mandatory, the Council would like to see commitment for some match funding. He said that the Council would be accepting bids from the end of April 2023.

 

Councillor Edyvean referred to paragraphs 4.19 through to 4.22 of the report which set out the proposal for governance. He highlighted that Officers would continue to refine the programmes as they unfolded, with the Leader, Chief Executive and S151 Officer being able to agree any changes and that grants would be assessed monthly by report to the Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth and sign off of the grants would be through the S151 Officer and the Director Growth and Economic Development. He added that quarterly reports would be presented to the Strategic Growth Board and monthly monitoring would be carried out by the UKSPF and REPF Project Board to ensure delivery of projects and that spend was on track.

 

In seconding the recommendations, Councillor Moore said that £3m to spend in Rushcliffe was a good thing and he was pleased to see the process put in place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Revised Off Street Car Parking Strategy 2023-2026 pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Report of the Director - Neighbourhoods

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Safety, Councillor Inglis, presented the report of the Director Neighbourhoods which set out the key elements of Rushcliffe’s Revised Off Street Car Parking Strategy for 2023-2026.

 

Councillor Inglis said that the revised strategy addressed the supply and management of the Council’s off street car parks designed to encourage short-stay car parking and reflect local variations in the demand for parking. He said that the Council operated 29 off street regulated car parks, with 13 being enforced by Civil Enforcement Officers, and levies pay-and-display charges on 8 of them. He said that the Council prioritised short stay car parking over long stay provision and that whilst there was a range of stay provisions from up to 2 hours to 12 hours maximum, the Council operated a non-uniform tariff policy based on local need and usage.

 

Councillor Inglis said that the revised strategy would continue to focus on the ten main car parking objectives as identified in the previous off street car parking strategy of 2018-2022, which he outlined as being to:

·       maintain the vitality and viability of district and town centres by ensuring the needs of shoppers and visitors are prioritised

·       encourage short stay rather than all-day parking

·       make sure that enforcement was fair and consistent 

·       improve traffic flow and reduce congestion

·       encourage the use of more sustainable modes and smarter choices

·       provide access to key services for people with special needs and mobility difficulties by providing appropriate parking spaces

·       contribute to the reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide emissions

·       minimise the negative impacts of parking on the streetscape and environmentally sensitive areas

·       improve the efficiency of the Council’s parking services

·       provide revenue to reinvest in parking services to support local economic and social vibrancy.

 

Councillor Inglis confirmed that income from car parking had returned to pre pandemic levels and that usage remained consistent, with the Council expecting to receive £748k for the year of 2022/23. He said that the Council also received income from the surplus generated by enforcement activities carried out for off street parking and that in 2021/22 this amounted to circa £4k.

 

Councillor Inglis explained that the Council had worked closely with the Midlands Energy Hub and had been successful in securing over £1 million in funding to provide a number of vehicle charging points across the Borough and he said the Council could be proud of the Park Mark accreditation awarded for excellence across a number of its car parks. Councillor Inglis referred to paragraph 4.14 which, which along with the day to day management of car parks, outlined future initiatives of the car parking strategy

 

Councillor Inglis said that it was important that charges were not a restriction factor to deter retail customers and provided good value for money, especially when compared to others not too far away. Councillor Inglis also praised and highlighted initiatives adopted by the Council, such as Free after Thee in supporting a post pandemic recovery for its high streets’ economy.

 

Councillor Inglis  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.