Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 28th March, 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, Chesterfield, S42 6NG

Contact: Alan Maher 

Items
No. Item

CAB/82/23-24

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

With the agreement of the Chair of Cabinet, Councillor K Rouse contributed to the meeting virtually, through the electronic Conference Call system.  She did not participate in the decisions taken by Cabinet at the meeting.

Media

CAB/83/23-24

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest and/or other interest, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.

Minutes:

None.

CAB/84/23-24

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 371 KB

To approve as a correct record and the Leader to sign the attached Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 29 February 2024.

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 February 2024 were approved as a true record.

 

CAB/85/23-24

NEDDC Climate Change Strategy 2024-2030 pdf icon PDF 441 KB

Report of Councillor S Pickering, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet agreed that the Climate Change Strategy reflects the current Council Plan’s vision and priorities in a concise and clear manner.

 

(2)            That Cabinet agreed the updated Climate Change Strategy title ‘Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ better reflects the Council’s commitment to sustainable thinking.

 

(3)            Cabinet noted that the monitoring approach on Climate Change now aligns with Government guidelines to aid transparency and cohesiveness.

 

(4)            That Cabinet approved the updated Climate Change Strategy and agreed for it to be published on the Council’s website.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – To display the Council’s approach on tackling Climate Change and enable the Council to be more sustainable.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - Alternative options were not considered appropriate as the aim of the refresh was to align the Strategy with the Council Plan 2023/27.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

The report to Cabinet gave Members an overview of the draft Climate Change Strategy.

 

Cabinet heard how the original Climate Change Strategy was published in 2019 and revised in 2022. With Council approving the new Council Plan 2023-27, a refresh had taken place to re-align the current Strategy with the new Council Plan.

 

The report invited Members to consider if the draft Strategy reflected the current Council Plan’s vision and priorities in a concise and clear manner, if the updated Strategy title better reflected the Council’s commitment to sustainable thinking, and if the monitoring approach now aligned with Government guidelines to aid

transparency and cohesiveness. Members agreed that all three of these aims had been met in the draft Strategy.

 

Members agreed to add a resolution to approve the Strategy and emphasise the Council’s commitment to it, which would read: “That Cabinet approved the updated Climate Change Strategy and agreed for it to be published on the Council’s website.”

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet agreed that the Climate Change Strategy reflects the current Council Plan’s vision and priorities in a concise and clear manner.

 

(2)            That Cabinet agreed the updated Climate Change Strategy title ‘Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ better reflects the Council’s commitment to sustainable thinking.

 

(3)            Cabinet noted that the monitoring approach on Climate Change now aligns with Government guidelines to aid transparency and cohesiveness.

 

(4)            That Cabinet approved the updated Climate Change Strategy and agreed for it to be published on the Council’s website.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – To display the Council’s approach on tackling Climate Change and enable the Council to be more sustainable.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - Alternative options were not considered appropriate as the aim of the refresh was to align the Strategy with the Council Plan 2023/27.

CAB/86/23-24

Council Plan Objectives Update - October to December 2023 pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Report of Councillor N Barker, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Leadership and Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Cabinet noted the progress against the Council Plan 2023-2027 objectives.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – This was an information report to keep Members informed of progress against the Council Plan objectives.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – Not applicable. The report  provided an overview of progress which had been made against the Council Plan 2023-2027 objectives.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

The report to Cabinet updated progress on the objectives underpinning the Council Plan for the period ending 31 December 2023. Specific information on what the Council had done relating to the Council Plan’s four objectives was contained in Appendix 1 to the report. The new format of the update aimed to spotlight several strategies which prioritised what the Council was setting out to achieve by March 2027. Under each strategy there were specific tactics or commitments that would shape the approach and activities that would deliver the objectives.

 

Some of the main achievements mentioned in the Appendix included the completed skate park at Killamarsh Active, the securing of £250k grant funding for leisure centre upgrades, 48 social houses being built in Whiteleas, working with Chesterfield Borough Council to increase ‘Green Skills’, procurement of a construction partner for 16 new build commercial units as part of the Clay Cross town centre, voluntary and community grants issued to advice agencies, Revenues and Benefits exceeding targets in processing new claims for housing benefit and council tax benefit, employment of a sustainability officer to deliver the Climate Change strategy, engaging with Derbyshire County Council regarding the development of the Heartwood Community Forest,

 

The four objectives were:

 

· A great place that cares for the environment.

· A great place to work.

· A great place to live well.

· A great place to access good public services.

 

Members discussed the report and wished to thank the hard work of the officers in addressing the issues discussed in the Appendix.

 

RESOLVED - That Cabinet noted the progress against the Council Plan 2023-2027 objectives.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – This was an information report to keep Members informed of progress against the Council Plan objectives.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – Not applicable. The report  provided an overview of progress which had been made against the Council Plan 2023-2027 objectives.

CAB/87/23-24

Local Plan Review - Local Plan Evidence Base and Position Statement pdf icon PDF 548 KB

Report of Councillor S Pickering, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet agreed the decision not to formally progress with a full Review of the Local Plan at this stage.

 

(2)            That Cabinet approved the evidence base Action Plan at Appendix 2 of the report.

 

(3)            That Cabinet approved the ‘Position Statement’ for publication on the Council’s website.

 

(4)            That Cabinet noted the notes from the first Local Plan Working Group meeting on 1 November 2023 (Appendix 3).

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – To enable the Council to progress with evidence based work so that it is in the best position to adopt the new Local Plan making processes that are expected to come into force later this year, and to agree a statement that sets out the Council’s position and updates members of the public on the approach being taken.  The publication of a Position Statement would demonstrate openness and transparency around the matter of plan making.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – The option of announcing a formal Review of the Local Plan now was considered but rejected. The option was not recommended by officers or the Working Group due to the likely duplication/delays that would be caused by the anticipated changes to the plan making process. The option of doing nothing was considered but rejected.  Officers were of the view that the evidence base behind a number of the strategic polices within the Local Plan needed to be updated.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

The report to Cabinet advised Cabinet of the issues and alternatives relating to a Review of the Local Plan taking account of the provisions of both the current plan-making system and the changes proposed through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act. The report also sought to approve a Position Statement to clarify the Council’s intentions for Reviewing the Local Plan.

 

The report explained that the Council’s Local Plan was adopted in November 2021 and set out policies and proposals for the use and development of land for the period up to 2034. Regulation 10A of The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended) required local planning authorities to review Local Plans at least once every five years from their adoption date, so a review of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan must therefore be completed by November 2026.

 

The proposal to progress a formal review of the Local Plan was discussed by the Local Plan Review Working Group at meetings in November 2023 and February 2024. The Working Group concluded that there was insufficient time before summer 2025 to undertake a full Review and update of the current Local Plan under the current system; and recommended that the Council should not formally progress with a full Review of the Local Plan at this time.

 

Cabinet agreed to approve the conclusions of the Working Group because they felt the conclusions recognised the lack of time to carry out a review, but also displayed transparency to the public.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet agreed the decision not to formally progress with a full Review of the Local Plan at this stage.

 

(2)            That Cabinet approved the evidence base Action Plan at Appendix 2 of the report.

 

(3)            That Cabinet approved the ‘Position Statement’ for publication on the Council’s website.

 

(4)            That Cabinet noted the notes from the first Local Plan Working Group meeting on 1 November 2023 (Appendix 3).

 

REASONS FOR DECISION – To enable the Council to progress with evidence based work so that it is in the best position to adopt the new Local Plan making processes that are expected to come into force later this year, and to agree a statement that sets out the Council’s position and updates members of the public on the approach being taken.  The publication of a Position Statement would demonstrate openness and transparency around the matter of plan making.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – The option of announcing a formal Review of the Local Plan now was considered but rejected. The option was not recommended by officers or the Working Group due to the likely duplication/delays that would be caused by the anticipated changes to the plan making process. The option of doing nothing was considered but rejected.  Officers were of the view that the evidence base behind a number of the strategic polices within the Local Plan needed to be updated.

CAB/88/23-24

Discretionary Power to Reduce Council Tax - Section 13 (a) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Report of Councillor J Birkin, Portfolio Holder for Council Services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Cabinet endorsed the implementation of the Section 13A Council Tax reduction scheme.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - To comply with the legislative requirement that each Council Tax billing authority in England make a scheme specifying the terms and eligibility for the Section 13A Council Tax Reductions.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – To take no action would mean that the       Council would fail to comply with its legislative responsibilities.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

The report explained how Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 provided the Council with a discretionary power to reduce the amount of Council Tax bill to a nil balance. Legislation stated that each Council Tax billing authority in England must create a scheme specifying the terms and eligibility for the reduction. The draft policy for the Section 13A Council Tax Reduction scheme was included as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Cabinet discussed the draft policy. Members were pleased that the policy would ensure Council Tax reductions were implemented to those who were eligible and in most financial hardship when all other options had been exhausted.

 

RESOLVED - That Cabinet endorsed the implementation of the Section 13A Council Tax reduction scheme.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - To comply with the legislative requirement that each Council Tax billing authority in England make a scheme specifying the terms and eligibility for the Section 13A Council Tax Reductions.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – To take no action would mean that the       Council would fail to comply with its legislative responsibilities.

CAB/89/23-24

Stonebroom Redevelopment Update pdf icon PDF 575 KB

Report of Councillor N Barker, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Leadership and Finance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet noted the progress on the project to regenerate the Prefabricated Bungalows at Stonebroom, including the option to consider delivery of a new community building to replace existing provision.  

 

(2)            That Cabinet approved demolition notices be issued to 40 tenancies of the bungalows.

 

(3)            That Cabinet approved RHL’s request to award Band 1 priority housing application status to seven tenancies of the bungalows, who have expressed an interest in relocating away from the project.

 

(4)            That Cabinet approved further detailed design, engineering and construction planning works be undertaken for the project with a budget cost of £0.5m (from within the approved budget) in advance of the main construction contract.

 

(5)            That Cabinet noted temporary decants of existing customers will be required into current voids on the development. This is necessary to facilitate the construction programme and ensure the scheme is viable.

 

(6)            That Cabinet noted existing gardens, access paths and open grass spaces will need to be incorporated into the construction area in a flexible manner, to provide sufficient storage, access and working space for the construction team during redevelopment.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - The regeneration scheme at Stonebroom supports the Council’s commitment in its Council Plan to build, acquire and facilitate the delivery of more high-quality social housing for rent in the District. 

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - Not applicable.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report updating them on progress of the redevelopment of fifty non-traditional prefabricated bungalows around the Cleveland Road area at Stonebroom. The report also proposed approval of demolition notices, awarding a Band 1 priority housing application status to seven tenancies of the bungalows, and further design, engineering and construction planning works.

 

Cabinet discussed the report. They were advised that Appendix 2 to the report set out variations for the bungalow tenants in terms of age and vulnerability.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)            That Cabinet noted the progress on the project to regenerate the Prefabricated Bungalows at Stonebroom, including the option to consider delivery of a new community building to replace existing provision.  

 

(2)            That Cabinet approved demolition notices be issued to 40 tenancies of the bungalows.

 

(3)            That Cabinet approved RHL’s request to award Band 1 priority housing application status to seven tenancies of the bungalows, who have expressed an interest in relocating away from the project.

 

(4)            That Cabinet approved further detailed design, engineering and construction planning works be undertaken for the project with a budget cost of £0.5m (from within the approved budget) in advance of the main construction contract.

 

(5)            That Cabinet noted temporary decants of existing customers will be required into current voids on the development. This is necessary to facilitate the construction programme and ensure the scheme is viable.

 

(6)            That Cabinet noted existing gardens, access paths and open grass spaces will need to be incorporated into the construction area in a flexible manner, to provide sufficient storage, access and working space for the construction team during redevelopment.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - The regeneration scheme at Stonebroom supports the Council’s commitment in its Council Plan to build, acquire and facilitate the delivery of more high-quality social housing for rent in the District. 

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - Not applicable.

CAB/90/23-24

Urgent Items (Public)

To consider any other matter which the Leader is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with the provisions of Statutory Instrument 2012 No 2089, Regulation 11.

Minutes:

None.

CAB/91/23-24

Exclusion of Public

The Leader to move:-

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the following items of business to avoid the disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).  [The category of exempt information is stated after each item].

 

Private Session

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the following items of business to avoid the disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).

CAB/92/23-24

Rykneld Homes Ltd Senior Management Team Review

Report of Councillor N Barker, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Leadership and Finance.

 

                                                                                 Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 5

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Cabinet endorsed the proposed changes to the Rykneld Homes Ltd (RHL) Senior Management Team structure, as set out in the report.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - It is a requirement of the management agreement that significant changes have prior consent of the Council. the proposed restructure provides a robust structure for delivering housing services.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - None

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

A report was presented to Cabinet to endorse proposed changes to the senior management team structure at Rykneld Homes Ltd.

 

RESOLVED - That Cabinet endorsed the proposed changes to the Rykneld Homes Ltd (RHL) Senior Management Team structure, as set out in the report.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - It is a requirement of the management agreement that significant changes have prior consent of the Council. the proposed restructure provides a robust structure for delivering housing services.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED - None

CAB/93/23-24

The Management of Corporate Debt - Write-off of Outstanding Amounts

Report of Councillor P Kerry, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Leadership and Finance.

 

                                                                                        Paragraphs 3 and 5

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Cabinet agreed to write off the amounts in respect of council tax, business rates and rents as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - All available options to recover this debt had been explored with write off being the final option in the debt management process.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – As set out in the report.

 

Please note that this was not a Key Decision and so can be implemented with immediate effect by officers.

Minutes:

A report was presented to Cabinet to agree to the proposed write off of debts in respect of council tax, business rates, housing benefit overpayments and rents.

 

RESOLVED - That Cabinet agreed to write off the amounts in respect of council tax, business rates and rents as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION - All available options to recover this debt had been explored with write off being the final option in the debt management process.

 

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED – As set out in the report.

CAB/94/23-24

Urgent Items (Private)

To consider any other matter which the Leader is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with the provisions of Statutory Instrument 2012 No 2089, Regulations 5 and 11.

Minutes:

None.