Decisions

Decisions published

16/06/2020 - COVID-19 SKDC Response - Position Statement ref: 1079    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 18/06/2020

Effective from: 16/06/2020

Decision:

The Leader of the Council presented his report which gave a position statement on South Kesteven District Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated he was proud of the response of the Council and the community, adding that the support received from staff, communities and Members from across the Council had been outstanding. The Leader placed on record his gratitude.

 

Over the last 12 weeks significant changes had been made to the way services had been delivered and communities supported. The report detailed the response of the Council and its partners and, the current position in respect of the Council’s response to COVID-19.  The report also formally recognised the response from community groups, charities and volunteers, and parish and town councils. It also identified lessons that could be learnt from the crisis moving forward to the restart and recovery phases.  At the start of the crisis the Council had three clear priorities:

 

·       To protect the health of staff, Members and residents

·       To maintain the Council’s critical services

·       To support local businesses

 

Highlights of the report included:

 

·       Facilitating over 400 staff working from home, protecting the health of both staff and residents. 

·       Staff being redeployed to new services such as the Community Hub and the befriending service. 

·       Maintaining waste collection, urgent housing needs and emergency housing repairs services

·       Distribution of grants totalling more than £27 million to 2,200 businesses.

·       900 local businesses which had received business rate relief.    

 

 

The Cabinet recognised Members’ contributions to the response by their increased Ward Member Grant scheme allowance to help support communities during the crisis and volunteering for the befriending service.

 

Communication from the Council had been clear with a special version of SKToday giving details of services available and contact details.  Social media activity had increased by 155% since the start of the lockdown.  Daily e-mails had been sent to staff providing updates and giving support while Members received twice weekly e-mails keeping them informed about what was happening. 

 

Customer Service officers continued to work remotely supported by the IT team, which had also helped support the running of virtual meetings. The Leader stated that he hoped remote meetings would continue after the COVID-19 response period. 

 

Close partnership working had been carried out with the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, across councils and across the region. The Cabinet recognised that while there was still further work to do and the crisis had not yet finished, the Council would learn from the lessons to date.

 

Members of the Cabinet commented on the challenging and unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Members expressed their thanks for the work that had been undertaken by communities, volunteers, members of staff and Members, noting the work of the Leader and the Chief Executive during this period.

 

A minute’s silence was held for those who had lost their lives during the COVID-19 crisis in the district.

 

The Cabinet noted:    

 

1.     The response of South Kesteven District Council and partners to the COVID-19 crisis and the current position of the Council with regards to the response, recovery and delivery of its priorities

2.     The exceptional role of the voluntary and community sector and residents’ groups in achieving the delivery of the priorities during this period

3.     The initial lessons learnt from this report and the intention to carry out a full review of the response as part of the COVID-19 Recovery Plan

 

 

 

 


16/06/2020 - COVID-19 - Financial Impact ref: 1076    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 17/06/2020

Effective from: 16/06/2020

Decision:

Decision:

 

1.         Cabinet notes the current financial position for 2020/21 and the actions being taken as detailed within the Financial Impact Report.

2.         Cabinet agrees to continue to monitor the current 2020/21 financial position and recommend amendments to the budget framework at its meeting on 8 September 2020 for consideration by Council on 17 September 2020.

3.         Cabinet agrees to suspend car parking charges until 1 August 2020 at all Council operated pay and display car parks.

4.         Cabinet agrees to continue the remuneration bonus payment of £50 to drivers, operatives, team leaders, supervisors, vehicle fitters and support staff working within the street scene service (together with any staff seconded to the service during the COVID-19 response period) for the period up to and including 30 September 2020.  The bonus payment received by part-time and casual staff will be on a pro rata basis.

5.         Cabinet agrees to re-introduce the billing of rent to the SMEs (small, medium enterprises) that occupy Council premises from 1 July 2020 and delegate authority to the Interim Director of Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, to suspend rents for individual tenant businesses that meet criteria in relation to hardship.

 

Considerations/reasons for decision

 

1.         The report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources on the Financial Impact of COVID-19.

2.         Key income areas affected by the introduction of stringent movement restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.         Income modelling that is being undertaken based on 3, 6, 9 and 12 month scenarios and updated as changes in restrictive measures are announced.

4.         A summary showing financial exposure for the 3-month period attached as Appendix A to the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

5.         Cash flow modelling set out in Appendix B to the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

6.         Agreement of the method of cashflow modelling countywide with all authorities working collaboratively to ensure the use of a consistent methodology and to share good practice.

7.         Council Tax and Business Rates were key income sources to the Council and were being carefully monitored.

8.         Data that was being captured to ensure grant monies received were being used to offset the additional expenditure incurred as a result of the pandemic.

9.         Funding received from the Government totalling £1,480,912.

10.      Re-profiling of the capital programmes for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.

11.      Government schemes administered by the Council with the support of InvestSK.

12.      The Finance Risk Register attached as Appendix C to the report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

13.      Comments made by the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 26 May 2020.

 

Other options considered

 

No other options were considered.


16/06/2020 - Programme of Meetings 2020/21 ref: 1075    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 17/06/2020

Effective from: 16/06/2020

Decision:

Decision:

 

The Cabinet recommends that the Council adopts the updated draft programme of meetings for 2020/21 at its next ordinary meeting on 16 July 2020 under the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

 

Considerations/Reasons for decision:

 

1.         The report from the Chief Executive on the draft programme of meetings of the Council and its committees for 2020/21, attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the updated version of Appendix 1 circulated on 12 June 2020.

2.         The list of changes to the draft programme of meetings following consultation with Councillors prior to the publication of the Cabinet agenda, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

3.         The list outlining further changes to the draft programme of meetings based on additional feedback received following the publication of the Cabinet agenda (as set out in the supplementary documents circulated on 12 June 2020).

4.         The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

5.         To provide certainty for Members and transparency for members of the public around the dates on which meetings will be held.

 

Other options considered

 

Option 1

 

To wait until the Annual Meeting of Council in September 2020 to adopt the programme of meetings. This option was rejected because the lack of an agreed programme could potentially limit transparency and accountability.


16/06/2020 - COVID-19 SKDC - Recovery Plan ref: 1077    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 17/06/2020

Effective from: 16/06/2020

Decision:

Decision:

 

Cabinet approves the framework for developing a COVID-19 Recovery Plan and notes the upcoming activities in the “Restart” phase of the framework.

 

 Reasons for decision:

 

1.         The report of the Leader of the Council on the development of a COVID-19 Recovery Plan for South Kesteven District Council.

2.         The development of a Corporate Plan and a revised Budgetary Framework alongside the COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

3.         The proposed four stage recovery framework: ‘Response’, ‘Restart’, ‘Recover’ and ‘Reshape’, with a reset review between stages.

4.         The interactions between intended actions built into the 2020/21 budget and the new developments required in response to COVID-19.

5.         Plans for the phased re-opening of certain services as part of the ‘Restart’ phase and the full list of activities as set out in Appendices 1 to 5 of the report of the Leader of the Council.

6.         The proposed internal governance approach for the ‘Restart’ phase.

7.         The partnership working arrangements set out in section 7 of the report.

8.         Consultation with partners and external stakeholders about the nature of the recovery plan.

9.         The stage 1 equality analysis attached as Appendix 7 to the Leader’s report.

10.      The Risk Register attached as Appendix 8 to the report of the Leader of the Council, which set out key risks and the actions in place to mitigate their impact.

 

Other options considered and rejected:

 

Option 1

 

Do nothing and continue with a reactive approach and delegated decisions for the foreseeable future. This was rejected as it was felt that it was important to ensure plans were developed to steer activity.

 

Option 2

 

Do the minimum, waiting to produce the September amended budget report and incorporate all future actions into this. This was rejected as it would combine strategy, finance and an emerging COVID-19 environment into a single document, which could be very complex and therefore less transparent.

 

Option 3

 

Return to ‘normal’ and create a Corporate Plan and amended budget through standard processes and rely on adopted Scrutiny and decision-making processes (and internal line management) for enacting decisions. This was rejected as it was felt that the situation was too volatile; this was seen to be more appropriate at the ‘Reshape’ phase.


16/06/2020 - Future High Street Fund ref: 1074    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 17/06/2020

Effective from: 16/06/2020

Decision:

Decision:

 

1.         Cabinet approves the submission of the Future High Street Business Case.

2.         Cabinet recommends that Council approves its financial contribution to the delivery of the Future High Street Scheme, as outlined in the Future High Street Fund report.

3.         Cabinet delegates authority to the Strategic Director for Growth in consultation with the Deputy Leader of the Council and the Interim Director of Finance, to make any minor amendments to the bid as required prior to submission.

 

Reasons for decision:

1.         The report of the Deputy Leader of the Council on the Future High Street Fund.

2.         A successful first round submission following which South Kesteven District Council was invited to submit a Business Case to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

3.         A revenue grant from the MHCLG which allowed for the appointment of an external consultancy team.

4.         A full programme of internal and external consultation, which was undertaken to inform the Draft Business Case.

5.         The Draft Business Case, attached as exempt Appendix 5 to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Council, which was submitted in March 2020.

6.         The project costs as set out in the original draft submission (Appendix 1 to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Council).

7.         Feedback from the MHCLG on the Draft Business Case.

8.         Meetings held with various bodies including the Project Board created for the Future High Street and High Street Heritage Action Zone schemes and key stakeholders.

9.         No expected change to the Council’s revenue contribution of £379,092 over the four-year programme.

10.      Feedback from public surveys and business workshops on views about Grantham town centre as set out at Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Council.

11.      The governance timeline providing opportunities to enable refinement of the bid before the final deadline for submission on 31 July 2020.

12.      The stage 1 equality analysis attached as Appendix 4 to the report of the Deputy Leader of the Council.

13.      The potential risks highlighted in section 10 of the report and the actions that have been put in place to mitigate those risks.

 

Other Options considered and rejected

 

Option 1

 

Do nothing. This would have involved not preparing a bid for the Future High

Street Fund. Given the Council’s clear imperative to boost Grantham’s economic, social and cultural performance, and the rare opportunity of Government funding of this scale that the Future High Street Fund presents, the ‘do nothing’ option was not considered an appropriate option to pursue.

 

Option 2

 

Other projects on the long list of potential interventions were considered but not taken forward on the basis that they would weaken the bid.