West Berkshire Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

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Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Items
No. Item

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 13 June 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Leader.

18.

Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

19.

Public Questions

Members of the Executive to answer questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules contained in the Council’s Constitution. (Note: There were no questions submitted relating to items not included on this Agenda.)

Minutes:

A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As.

19.(a)

Question submitted by Mrs Jackie Paynter to the Portfolio Holder for Environment

“What plans does West Berkshire Council have to increase its recycling rate to emulate that of neighbouring South Oxfordshire Council’s 63 per cent?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mrs Jackie Paynter on the subject of whether the Council planned to increase its recycling rate to emulate that of neighbouring South Oxfordshire Council was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Environment.

19.(b)

Question submitted by Mrs Jackie Paynter to the Portfolio Holder for Environment

What plans does West Berkshire Council have to encourage residents to produce less waste per household as councils like Stroud have done?

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mrs Jackie Paynter on the subject of whether the Council planned to encourage residents to produce less waste, as councils like Stroud had done, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Environment.

19.(c)

Question submitted by Mr Lee McDougall to the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning

“In the event that the Council does eventually obtain planning permission to build flats on the Newbury Football Ground at Faraday Road can the Council confirm how much budget it thinks it will need to provide a replacement facility that is of equivalent or better quality (FA ground grading F – step 5 of the FA National League System)?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mr Lee McDougall querying the level of funding that the Council felt it would need to provide a replacement facility for the football ground at Faraday Road, that was of an equivalent or better quality, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning.

19.(d)

Question submitted by Mr Lee McDougall to the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning

“Please could you confirm what representatives of the children and women users of the Community Football Ground have been invited to join the Membership of the London Road Steering Group/Project Board?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mr Lee McDougall on the subject of whether representatives of the children and women users of the community football ground had been invited to join the membership of the London Road Project Board was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning.

19.(e)

Question submitted by Mr Lee McDougall to the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning

“Could you please confirm how the London Road Steering Group/Project Board intends to consult with the public about the potential impact to the community football ground to ensure all views are captured?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mr Lee McDougall asking how the London Road Project Board intended to consult with the public about the potential impact to the community football ground to ensure all views were captured was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning.

19.(f)

Question submitted by Mr Lee McDougall to the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning

“Can you please confirm the terms of reference of the recently set up London Road Steering Group/Project Board which met on the 12 July 2019?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Mr Lee McDougall, which sought confirmation of the terms of reference of the recently set up London Road Project Board, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning.

20.

Petitions

Councillors or Members of the public may present any petition which they have received. These will normally be referred to the appropriate Committee without discussion.

Minutes:

There were no petitions presented to the Executive.

21.

Key Accountable Performance 2018/19: Quarter Four (EX3423) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Purpose: To report Q4 outturns for the Key Accountable Measures which monitor performance against the 2018/19 Council Performance Framework. To provide assurance that the objectives set out in the Council Strategy and other areas of significant activity are being managed effectively. To present, by exception, those measures that have reported 'red' and provide information on any remedial action taken and the impact of that action. To recommend changes to measures/targets as requested by services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that:

 

·         Progress against the KAMs and key achievements in all services be noted.

·         Those areas reported as ‘red’, as detailed in Appendix F, had been reviewed to ensure that appropriate actions were in place, especially for the measures relating to the Superfast Broadband Project for West Berkshire and the number of bed days due to Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC).

·         The following areas be referred for further analysis at the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission (OSMC). Namely, the results and improvement actions for:

(a) the education attainment for Free School Meals cohorts;

(b)the timeliness of reviews of ASC clients with Long Term Support;

(c)the homelessness prevention and alleviation; and

(d)a number of measures reported under the Protecting Children core business.

·         The increasing concern in 2018/19 regarding safeguarding and quality relating to some Adult Social Care providers be noted.

 

This decision is eligible to be ‘called-in’.  However, if the decision has not been ‘called-in’ by 5.00pm on 1 August 2019, then it will be implemented.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report (Agenda Item 6) concerning the Council’s Key Accountable Performance 2018/19: Quarter Four. Councillor Howard Woollaston introduced the report which monitored performance against the 2018/19 Council Performance Framework; provided assurance that the objectives set out in the Council Strategy 2015-2019 and other areas of significant activity were being managed effectively; and presented, by exception, those measures which were reported ‘red’ at year end; and outlined remedial action taken/its impact.

Councillor Woollaston reported that the Council was performing well against many of its demanding targets and continually strived to improve standards. He proposed acceptance of the report’s recommendations.

Councillor Lynne Doherty added that the Council had, in general, coped well in areas of high demand, in particular Adult Social Care (ASC) and Children and Family Services.

Councillor Doherty was disappointed that the very ambitious and challenging educational attainment targets had not been met. However, she was pleased that improvements had still been made. It was the case that school standards were improving nationally and this made the achievement of targets, that would place West Berkshire in the top quartile, even more challenging.

Turning to the strategic priority to close the educational attainment gap, Councillor Doherty stated that work to improve the attainment of pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and help them achieve their potential would continue to be a focus of the new Council Strategy. The responsibility for this did not solely fall to schools, partner organisations also had a key role to play. Early years settings in particular played a very important role in working with this cohort of pupils.

Councillor Doherty commended the work of schools, officers and partner organisations for all their efforts in this difficult area. Councillor Dominic Boeck did likewise and also highlighted the fact that many of these pupils had complex educational needs.

Councillor Doherty concluded her comments by pointing out that alongside the Council’s new strategic priorities, its core business/business as usual would continue. She highlighted improvements to the timeliness of processing benefit claims and for determining planning applications. These were two areas which highlighted the importance given to a positive customer focus.

Councillor Graham Bridgman spoke on the three recommendations relating to ASC. He firstly confirmed that actions continued to be taken to decrease the number of bed days due to a Delayed Transfer of Care (DToC). As discussed many times previously, this was a complex area and there were a number of different elements which could contribute to delays in transferring a patient from hospital to a home care package/alternative care. Councillor Bridgman stated that the issue was more predominant on the healthcare side. Work continued between Health and ASC colleagues to manage this on an ongoing basis.

Councillor Bridgman was satisfied that this area was being given sufficient focus.

Secondly, Councillor Bridgman referred to the proposal for the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission (OSMC) to further analyse the timeliness of reviews of ASC clients with Long Term Support to ensure this had happened within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Final Schools Funding Formula 2019/20 (EX3783) pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Purpose: The Council’s Executive must agree on an annual basis the school funding formula for primary and secondary schools. This report is to consider an in-year change to the formula for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that the Schools Funding Formula 2019/20 be approved.

 

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      a delay in implementing the decision could compromise the Council's position.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report (Agenda Item 7) concerning the Final Schools Funding Formula 2019/20. Councillor Jeff Cant introduced the report which explained that the Council’s Executive was required to agree, on an annual basis, the school funding formula for primary and secondary schools. The report was approved by Executive in February 2019, but due to a calculation error the formula needed to be approved again. It became apparent after sending out the final allocations to schools on 1 March 2019 that there had been a significant change in the total allocation. Schools had received a detailed explanation as to what had happened and this was covered in the report. The corrected formula was approved by the Schools Forum on 17th June 2019.

Councillor Owen Jeffery asked how the error occurred and stated he hoped that an apology had been made to schools. Councillor Cant advised that a spreadsheet formula was incorrect and further training had been provided to staff.

RESOLVED that the funding formula be approved.

Reason for the decision: the Council’s Executive must agree on an annual basis the school funding formula for primary and secondary schools.

Other options considered: n/a

23.

Framework Agreement for the provision of Community Home Care Services (EX3748) pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Purpose: To inform the Executive of the tender process and seek delegated authority to award the contract.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that authority be delegated to the Head of Adult Social Care, in consultation with the Head of Finance & Property and Head of Legal & Strategic Support, to award each of the lot, block and spot contracts that made up the framework to the successful bidders.

 

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      a delay in implementing the decision could cause the Council serious financial implications.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report (Agenda Item 8) concerning the framework agreement for the provision of Community Home Care Services. Councillor Graham Bridgman introduced the report which sought to inform the Executive of the tender process and sought delegated authority for the Head of Adult Social Care, in consultation with the Head of Finance and Property and Head of Legal and Strategic Support, to award each of the lot, block and spot contracts that made up the Framework Agreement to the successful bidders.

Councillor Owen Jeffery queried the risks of moving from the current 30 providers on the framework to the seven proposed. In response, Councillor Bridgman explained that having an arrangement with 30 providers could add complexities. A smaller number would enable officers to have a more direct relationship with providers and achieve good rates. The Council commissioned an average of 10,000 home care hours per week for 894 clients.

Councillor Alan Macro referred to the lot and block areas listed in the report and queried whether Tilehurst, Purley and Theale, which were not specifically listed, would be included. Councillor Bridgman agreed to respond to this point in writing.

RESOLVED that authority be delegated to the Head of Adult Social Care, in consultation with Head of Finance and Property and Head of Legal and Strategic Support, to award each of the lot, block and spot contracts that made up the framework to the successful bidders.

Reason for the decision: The current framework will expire in October 2019.

Other options considered:

Do nothing – costs would increase due to having to spot purchase without a framework. Workloads would also increase due to quality of care needing to be monitored.

Contract extension – this is a framework so there is no scope to extend past four years, the current framework ends in October 2019.

Re-tender a spot purchase only framework – we want to encourage as many providers in and increase efficiencies within the sector. There are often not enough providers who are on the current framework to manage the demand so this is not a viable option to continue in the same way as the current agreement.

24.

WBC Catering - Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering (EX3752) pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Purpose: To propose the urgent award of a contract for the provision of Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering with a start date of 1st September 2019.

 

Decision:

Resolved that the Part I report, which sought delegated authority from the Executive for the Head of Adult Social Care to award the contract to the successful bidder following the evaluation process, in consultation with the Head of Finance and Property and Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, would be noted prior to consideration within Part II of the meeting.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report (Agenda Item 9) concerning a contract for Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering. Councillor Graham Bridgman introduced the report which proposed the urgent award of a contract for the provision of Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering with a start date of 1st September 2019.

Councillor Owen Jeffery asked why the contract was not proposed to include school meals. Councillor Bridgman advised that he would answer in Part II.

RESOLVED that the Part I report, which sought delegated authority for the Head of Adult Social Care to award the contract to the successful bidder for the Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering contract (following the evaluation process) in consultation with the Head of Finance and the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, would be noted prior to consideration within Part II of the meeting.

25.

Newbury College (Urgent Item) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

The purpose of this report is to support the University Centre Development at the Newbury College campus by providing a loan to the College to help fund its construction.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved that the Part I report, which sought delegated authority from the Executive for the Head of Finance and Property, in consultation with the Head of Legal and Strategic Support, to enter into a facility agreement and associated legal charge and agreements with Newbury College to provide a loan to the College, would be noted prior to consideration within Part II of the meeting.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report (Agenda Item 10) concerning a proposed loan to Newbury College. Councillor Jeff Cant introduced the report which sought to support the University Centre development at the Newbury College campus by providing a loan to the College to help fund its construction.

Councillor Cant explained that the College had requested a loan of £3.5 million from the Council to be drawn down on the 1 September 2019 at the earliest to enable the completion of the building by September 2020. The College proposed that the loan be secured by a legal charge on the eight acres of land to the east of the campus which they intended to sell and they would repay the loan on completion of the sale of this land.

Additional funding had also been secured by the College from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, dependant on the facility being open to students from September 2020.

Councillor Cant was supportive of the recommendation, subject to Part II discussions. The University Centre development was excellent news for the town and the district.

Councillor Dominic Boeck added his support to this bold and forward thinking concept which would benefit residents and businesses. The recommendation for approval made clear the Council’s high ambitions for all young people and aligned with West Berkshire’s continued Vision for the district to be a fantastic place to live, work and learn.

Councillor Carolyne Culver queried whether graduates from the University Centre would have a link to local apprenticeships with local businesses. Councillor Lynne Doherty advised that this was detailed within the appendices to the report.

RESOLVED that the Part I report, which sought delegated authority for the Head of Finance & Property, in consultation with the Head of Legal & Strategic Support, to enter into facility agreement and associated legal charge and agreements with Newbury College to provide a loan to the College, would be noted prior to consideration within Part II of the meeting.

26.

Members' Questions

Members of the Executive to answer questions submitted by Councillors in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules contained in the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As.

26.(a)

Question submitted by Councillor Jeff Brooks to the Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance

Is the Council considering becoming involved in the 5G testbeds and trials projects on logistics that have recently been announced by Department of Culture, Media and Sport?

Minutes:

(Councillor Jeff Brooks joined the meeting at 6.01pm)

A question standing in the name of Councillor Jeff Brooks on the subject of whether the Council was considering becoming involved in the 5G testbeds and trials projects, recently announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Internal Governance.

26.(b)

Question submitted by Councillor Martha Vickers to the Portfolio Holder for Transport and Countryside

“What is the Council intending to do to mitigate the issue of disruption in Newbury Town Centre due to poorly managed building works and uncoordinated utility works?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Martha Vickers, asked on her behalf by Councillor Andy Moore, questioning what the Council intended to do to mitigate the issue of disruption in Newbury Town Centre, created by poorly managed building works and uncoordinated utility works, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Transport and Countryside.

26.(c)

Question submitted by Councillor Adrian Abbs to the Portfolio Holder for Environment

“What data are available to the Council showing usage of Electric Vehicle points in West Berkshire to help it plan for locations and quantity?

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Adrian Abbs asking what data was available to the Council showing usage of electric vehicle points in West Berkshire, to help plans for locations and quantity, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Environment.

26.(d)

Question submitted by Councillor Erik Pattenden to the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education

“What is the environmental and economic impact of primary and secondary school pupils not being given places at their nearest school?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Erik Pattenden on the subject of the environmental and economic impact of primary and secondary school pupils not being given places at their nearest school was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education.

26.(e)

Question submitted by Councillor Erik Pattenden to the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People

“How many schools in West Berks are continuing to buy the school meals service from the central contract?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Erik Pattenden querying the number of schools in West Berkshire who were continuing to buy into the school meals service from the central contract was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education.

26.(f)

Question submitted by Councillor Erik Pattenden for the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People

“Is Department of Education grant funding for improvement activities that led to improvements in phonic and maths at a group of schools in West Berks going to be renewed?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Erik Pattenden on the subject of whether the Department of Education grant funding for improvement activities that led to improvements in phonics and maths at a group of schools in West Berkshire was going to be renewed, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education.

26.(g)

Question submitted by Councillor Erik Pattenden to the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People

“From the recently reported Key Stage 2 results showing that teacher assessments of reading, writing and mathematics for pupils aged 7 are down this year, can the Council explain how and when will these be improved?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Erik Pattenden asking how and by when teacher assessments of reading, writing and mathematics for pupils aged seven would be improved was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education.

26.(h)

Question submitted by Councillor Erik Pattenden for the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People

“What is the price per meal for a school meal provided under the current school meals service from the central contract?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Erik Pattenden querying the price per meal for a school meal provided under the current school meals service from the central contract was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education.

26.(i)

Question submitted by Councillor Owen Jeffery to the Leader of the Council

“Will the Executive explain how it intends to reduce the ten year life expectancy gap between the better-off and least well-off parts of the district?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Owen Jeffery asking how the Executive intended to reduce the ten year life expectancy gap between the better off and least well off parts of the District was answered by the Leader of the Council.

26.(j)

Question submitted by Councillor Owen Jeffery to the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care

“If the UK leaves the European Union on 31st October 2019, what steps has the Executive taken to ensure on-going domiciliary care across our District as increasing numbers of EU citizens leave the Country?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Owen Jeffery asking what steps the Executive had taken and would take to ensure the continuation of domiciliary care services across the District, should increasing numbers of European Union (EU) citizens leave the country (assuming the UK left the EU on 31 October 2019) was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care.

26.(k)

Question submitted by Councillor Adrian Abbs for the Portfolio Holder for Environment

“Will the Executive confirm that, as recycling is a crucial element of reducing society’s carbon footprint, it will include ending the highly unpopular green bin tax as a part of the cross-party working that was promised at the Council meeting on 2nd July when a Climate Emergency was declared?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Adrian Abbs, which asked the Executive to confirm that it would end the green bin charge to help encourage more recycling and help to reduce society’s carbon footprint, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Environment.

27.

Exclusion of Press and Public

RECOMMENDATION: That members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items as it is likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information of the description contained in the paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 specified in brackets in the heading of each item. Rule 8.10.4 of the Constitution refers.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the under-mentioned items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as contained in Paragraphs 3 and 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006. Rule 8.10.4 of the Constitution also refers.

28.

WBC Catering - Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering (EX3752)

(Paragraph 3 - information relating to financial/business affairs of particular person)

 

Purpose: To propose the urgent award of a contract for the provision of Care Homes and Resource Centre Catering with a start date of 1st September 2019.

 

Decision:

Resolved to delegate authority to the Head of Adult Social Care to award the contract to the successful bidder following the evaluation process, in consultation with the Head of Finance and Property and Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care.

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      a delay in implementing the decision could cause the Council serious financial implications.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

(Paragraph 3 – information relating to financial/business affairs of particular person)

The Executive considered an exempt report (Agenda Item 13) concerning a contract for care homes and resource centre catering.

RESOLVED to delegate authority to the Head of Adult Social Care to award the contract to the successful bidder following the evaluation process, in consultation with the Head of Finance and the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care.

Other options considered: as outlined in the exempt report.

29.

Nursery Site Acquisition (EX3749)

(Paragraph 3 - information relating to financial/business affairs of particular person)

(Paragraph 6 – information relating to proposed action to be taken by the Local Authority)

 

Purpose: To seek approval of plans for a nursery site.

 

Decision:

Resolved that the recommendation in the exempt report be approved.

 

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      a delay in implementing the decision could cause the Council serious financial implications.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

The Executive considered an exempt report (Agenda Item 14) concerning the acquisition of a nursery site.

RESOLVED that the recommendation in the exempt report be approved.

Other options considered: as outlined in the exempt report.

30.

Newbury College Loan (Urgent Item)

(Paragraph 3 – information relating to financial/business affairs of particular person)

Decision:

Resolved to delegate authority to the Head of Finance and Property, in consultation with the Head of Legal and Strategic Support, to enter into a facility agreement and associated legal charge and agreements with Newbury College to provide a loan to the College.

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      the item is deemed as an Urgent Key Decision as set out in Rule 5.4.7 of the Constitution.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

The Executive considered an exempt report (Agenda Item 15) concerning a proposed loan to Newbury College.

RESOLVED to delegate authority to the Head of Finance and Property, in consultation with the Head of Legal and Strategic Support, to enter into a facility agreement and associated legal charge and agreements with Newbury College to provide a loan to the College.

Other options considered: as outlined in the exempt report.