Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - The meeting is being held remotely using Skype for Business

Contact: Email: Demoracy@southkesteven.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

Statement by the Leader

The Leader of the Council gave a statement following the Governments proposal to lockdown the Country from 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020 due to Covid-19.

 

The Leader stated that people should work from home wherever possible and that businesses would again have to close. It was important that everyone followed closely the Government’s advice to help stop the spread of Covid-19, to save lives and help the NHS.

 

All essential services within South Kesteven had been maintained throughout the pandemic, such as refuse collection.  Virtual meetings would remain in place, but the Leader stated that if circumstances changed then it might be necessary to go back into emergency powers. 

 

The SK Community Hub would continue to play an important role in the Council’s response to Covid-19 for the most vulnerable residents.  If support was required, residents should contact the SK Community Hub by email at, SKCommunityhub@southkesteven.gov.uk or by the telephone helpline on 01476 40 61 77.

 

Business would be supported during this time and details could be found on the Council’s website or through the Council’s social media platforms.  Once more detail was known, businesses would be written to accordingly.

 

The Leader concluded by stating that there were huge challenges ahead, which would also play a part on people’s mental health.  He asked that people be kind and support each other during this period.

 

 

15.

Register of attendance and apologies for absence

    • Share this item

    Minutes:

    All Cabinet Members were present.

16.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 214 KB

    • Share this item

    Minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020 were agreed as a correct record of the decisions taken.

17.

Disclosure of Interests (if any)

    • Share this item

    Minutes:

    None disclosed.

18.

Procurement of Property Improvements Works pdf icon PDF 356 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

     

    Decision:

     

    1)          That Cabinet approves the award of a contract to Foster Property Maintenance Limited for carrying out property improvement works to South Kesteven District Council owned properties, including repair and upgrade works to void properties and new kitchen and bathroom replacements, using the Eastern Procurement Framework EPPI19 — Property Improvements, Repairs and Maintenance Framework, Reference number: EPL 0063 witha maximum contract value of £7,200,000. Over the full contract period of four years from 2020 to 2024.

    2)          That Cabinet note that Officers will place orders for major voids works immediately upon approval by Cabinet but will not place orders for the kitchen and bathroom works whilst existing contracts are in place. Upon expiry of these two bathroom and kitchen contracts in April 2021 for rural areas, and June 2021 for urban areas, the Council will then place all orders with Foster Property Maintenance Limited in accordance with the contract.

     

    Considerations/reasons for decision:

     

    ·             The report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning on the award of a Property Improvements Works Contract including works to major voids and kitchen and bathrooms to Foster Property Maintenance Limited for a period of 4 years (2020 to 2024).

    ·             The budgets for all the property improvement works are agreed annually and agreed in principle within the current 5-year plan contained within the 30-year HRA Business Plan.

    ·             All contracts are procured in accordance with the Council’s Contract and Procurement Procedure Rules and the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

    ·             Major voids works are carried out in accordance with contract specifications.

    ·             The Eastern Procurement Framework EPPI19 — Property Improvements, Repairs and Maintenance Framework, Reference number: EPL – 0063 provided a direct award to Foster Property Maintenance Limited because the bidders had already been evaluated on the basis of 70% price and 30% quality and were already OJEU compliant.

     

    Other options considered:

    1)    Do nothing.  This option was discounted as there is a requirement as a landlord and under the Homes Standard to carry out certain works to its properties.

    2)    Use of traditional tender and procurement options. Consideration was given to using traditional tendering for these works. However due to the length of time required to complete such an OJEU compliant process, due to the value and complexity of the works specification this was not the preferred option.

     

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning presented the report on the awarding of a Property Improvements Works Contract including works to major voids and kitchen and bathrooms to Foster Property Maintenance Limited for a period of 4 years (2020 to 2024).

     

    The contract for carrying out major void works ended in March 2020.  There were currently two separate contracts in place for kitchen and bathroom upgrades for rural and urban areas.  The contracts expire on 1 April 2021 and 1 June 2021 respectively.

     

    The Chief Executive gave details on the contract, which was made up of a number of individual contracts. The contract awarded to Foster Property Maintenance Limited had been carried out through a procurement framework and in compliance with the Council’s Contract and Procurement Procedure Rules and the Public Contract Regulations 2015.  A key element of the contract with Foster Property Limited was the use of local builders for sub-contracting work.

     

    A review of the Housing Business Plan was currently underway and significant work was required in relation to the assessment of housing stock currently owned by the Council. 

     

    The Interim Assistant Director of Housing clarified the use of this type of contract.  A project management system was in place to ensure a good, high quality standard of work was undertaken.  If performance indicator thresholds were not being met this would be addressed with the contractor, also where sub-contracting work was required that local builders were used.

     

    Discussion on the condition of properties when handed over to tenants followed as well as the timing of the contract.  It was stated that the contract before Members was in relation to void properties only. Since the contract had expired in March 2020, any necessary work had been carried out using other contracts already in place.

     

    One Member asked if the contract covered the Riverside heating problems that had occurred previously but this was not part of the contract before the Cabinet.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    1)          To approve the award of a contract to Foster Property Maintenance Limited for carrying out property improvement works to South Kesteven District Council owned properties, including repair and upgrade works to void properties and new kitchen and bathroom replacements, using the Eastern Procurement Framework EPPI19 — Property Improvements, Repairs and Maintenance Framework, Reference number: EPL 0063 witha maximum contract value of £7,200,000. Over the full contract period of four years from 2020 to 2024.

    2)          To note that Officers will place orders for major voids works immediately upon approval by Cabinet but will not place orders for the kitchen and bathroom works whilst existing contracts are in place. Upon expiry of these two bathroom and kitchen contracts in April 2021 for rural areas, and June 2021 for urban areas, the Council will then place all orders with Foster Property Maintenance Limited in accordance with the contract.

     

     

     

19.

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 412 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Decision:

     

    1)          Cabinet approves the revised Statement of Community Involvement, as set out in the report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning at Appendix 1 for public consultation.

    2)          Cabinet temporarily adopts the Statement of Community Involvement, referred to in 1 above, in advance of the outcome of public consultation on this to enable public engagement on planning matters in light of the current Covid-19 restrictions.

     

    Considerations/reasons for decision:

     

    ·             Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning on the Statement of Community Involvement for consultation.

    ·             The preparation of a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) was a requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2014.

    ·             Due to ongoing restrictions as a result of Covid-19, the opportunity had been taken to revise the SCI in order to set out minimum standards for consultation, particularly regarding development plan documents.

    ·             The revised SCI was in line with current Government guidance which was amended in May 2020 as a response to Covid-19.

    ·             Although there was no legislative requirement to consult on a reviewed and updated Statement of Community Involvement it was seen as good practice to do so.

    ·             The planning system had a vital role to play in enabling the delivery of housing and economic growth that would support the UK’s economic recovery.

     

    Other Options considered:

     

    1)    To adopt the revised draft SCI without undertaking consultation. Whilst there was no requirement in legislation to consult on this, it was good practice to do so. 

    2)    Not to revise the SCI.  Due to Covid-19, there may be a limit on the Council’s ability to meet the current requirements for public engagement on planning matters as set out in the current SCI. 

     

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning presented the report on the Statement of Community Involvement.

     

    The Statement of Community Involvement had been reviewed in March 2019.  Due to the ongoing restrictions because of Covid-19, it had been decided to revise the SCI in order to set out minimum standards for consultation, particularly with regard to the development plan documents.  This would enable the Council to continue to progress key planning matters where restrictions could place limitations on consultation, such as face-to-face or public meetings.  It was intended that consultation would go beyond the minimum guidance set out in the revised SCI provided that it fell within Government guidance.

     

    A key change to the SCI from that approved in March 2019 was in relation to the public viewing of the development plan documents.  As a minimum the documents would be available for viewing,  subject to Government guidance in relation to Covid-19 at the Council’s main office in Grantham.  Although there was no requirement to consult on the revised document it was good practice to do so.  The recommendation also asked that the revised document be temporarily adopted during the consultation period in light of the current restrictions in place due to Covid-19.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    1)        To approve the revised Statement of Community Involvement, as set out in the report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning at Appendix 1 for public consultation.

    2)        To temporarily adopt the Statement of Community Involvement, referred to in (1) above, in advance of the outcome of public consultation on this to enable public engagement on planning matters in light of the current Covid-19 restrictions.

     

     

20.

Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation pdf icon PDF 345 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Decision:

     

    Cabinet approves the Draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document, as set out in Appendix 1 to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning’s report, for public consultation.

     

    Considerations/reasons for decision:

     

    ·             The report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning on the draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SDP).

    ·             The Local Plan adopted by South Kesteven in January 2020 committed to the preparation of a Design Guide SPD in order to improve design quality in development proposals and provide guidance to assist applicants and decision makers.

    ·             The planning delivery grant awarded by the Government had funded the draft Design Guide which had been commissioned jointly with Rutland County Council.

    ·             Workshops had been held with elected Members of each authority, landowners, developers and stakeholders during the preparation of the document.

    ·             Once adopted the draft Design Guide would be a material consideration in determining planning applications.

     

     

    Other options considered:

     

    To delay the public consultation on the draft Design Guide to take account of any outcomes from the Government consultation on the Planning for the Future White Paper, considered by Cabinet at its meeting in October 2020.

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning presented the report on the draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning stated that the local and national desire was to improve the quality of design for new developments, nationally 29% of new developments were rated poor in terms of design, with 43% of suburban and urban extensions also being rated poor. The draft Design Guide detailed the expectations for high quality, inclusive and sustainable development proposals and provided guidance to assist applicants and decision makers. The document would be a supplementary planning document which would augment the Local Plan policies.

     

    The draft Design Guide had been commissioned jointly with Rutland County Council and had been fully funded by a planning delivery grant awarded by the Government on a competitive bidding basis.

     

    Part of the suite of measures included the appointment of a Principal Design Officer, design review panels and enhanced design considerations in planning application decisions.  Workshops had been held with Members, landowners and stakeholders during the preparation of the document.  Further input would come from experts in design, planning, landscape and heritage to compliment national guidance on good local design with a focus on larger housing schemes and local character. 

     

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning then discussed the key measures involved in design planning and the sections within the Design Guide SDP.

     

    Discussion on the document followed with points being raised in relation to the inclusion of the Planning Committee in the consultation of the SPD and the timeframe and possible impact of the Planning White Paper on the document.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    To approve the Draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document, as set out in Appendix 1 to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning’s report, for public consultation.

     

     

     

     

21.

Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Annual Statement pdf icon PDF 250 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Decision:

     

    1)          Cabinet notes the content of the annual statement and the progress achieved in the last 12 months in South Kesteven District Council’s local response to climate change.

    2)          Cabinet approves the Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Annual Statement appended to the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations report for publication, subject to an amended Foreword.

    3)          Cabinet were supportive of the document being promoted using “SKToday” including an electronic format as part of the Council’s climate change work.

     

    Considerations/reasons for decision:

     

    ·             Report from the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations on Climate Change and South Kesteven’s Carbon Reduction Annual Statement.

    ·             The Climate Emergency declared by South Kesteven District Council on 26 September 2019.

    ·             The Council’s ambition to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint by at least 30% by 2030 and to endeavour to become net-zero carbon as soon as viable, before 2050.

    ·             Publishing an annual statement detailing the Council’s work around the topic of climate change would help to continue to increase public engagement with the topic.

    ·             Feedback on the content of the annual statement from the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the meeting on 6 October 2020.

    ·             Work already being undertaken such as holding virtual meetings.

     

    Other options considered:

     

    The Council does not currently have a legal obligation to report on carbon emissions, or to share an update on work addressing climate change. The Council could choose not to publish the document. This would reduce the transparency of actions the Council is undertaking to address climate change.

     

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations presented the report on the Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Annual Statement.  He referred to the Appendix attached to the report, which gave an information graphic statement of what the Council had achieved since the Council declared a Climate Emergency in September 2019.

     

    The document contained steps that the Council was taking and how far the Council was getting to achieve its ambitions.  It showed defined and significant progress and by its nature, the document would be compiled on an annual basis.

     

    Reference was made to the Climate Change Task and Finish Group and the inclusiveness of both Members and Officers in the ambitions of the Council.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations then gave examples of work undertaken to date.  Including a paragraph on all Council reports on how the decision made would impact the climate emergency ambition.  That decision making was continuing and being carried out through virtual meetings, cutting down on travelling to meetings and reducing the Council’s carbon footprint.

     

    An entire page of the Annual Statement had been dedicated to Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic on the climate emergency and carbon emissions.  Positives included less travelling to attend meetings, although a downside was the increase in kerbside waste collection with more people working from home.  Examples were also given of case studies contained within the document, which contributed to carbon reduction.  It was stated that reducing carbon emissions was not just the Council’s problem but was everyone’s problem as each person had a carbon footprint. 

     

    The Council was leading by example and showing people what could be done to invest in solutions and encourage residents and businesses who operated in the District to do the same.  He then spoke about how the document could be more widely circulated to residents and businesses and suggested that SKToday could be utilised both in paper and electronically.

     

    Members were pleased with the progress to date as well as the cross party working that had been undertaken and endorsed the Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Annual Statement. The suggestion of using SKToday to promote the  document was also supported including it being available electronically.

     

    On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

     

    1)        To note the content of the annual statement and the progress achieved in the last 12 months in South Kesteven District Council’s local response to climate change.

    2)        To approve the Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Annual Statement appended to the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations report for publication, subject to an amended Foreword.

    3)        Promotion of the document using “SKToday” including an electronic format as part of the Council’s climate change work.

     

22.

Matters Referred to Cabinet by the Council, Overview and Scrutiny Committees or other Committees pdf icon PDF 319 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Leader of the Council.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet Members noted the recommendations from the Companies Committee.

23.

Key and Non Key Decisions taken under Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 310 KB

24.

Representations and questions from Non Cabinet Members

    • Share this item

    Minutes:

    No representations or questions were received.

25.

Cabinet Forward Plan 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

    • Share this item

    Report from the Leader of the Council.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet Members noted the Forward Plan for 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021, which was appended to the agenda.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning stated that the Proposed Development Brief for Land at Stamford North would be moved to January 2021.

26.

Close of Meeting

    • Share this item

    Minutes:

    The meeting closed at 15:27pm.