Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 6th July, 2020 4.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: via Remote Video Link

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Roll Call and Virtual Meetings Explanation.

Minutes:

The Leader conducted the roll call to confirm the Members present.

 

Tom Clark, Head of Regulatory Services, advised that new regulations have recently been introduced to enable the Council to hold its meetings to include those participants attending remotely. To ensure the smooth running of such remote meetings it has been necessary to amend some of the Council procedure rules and such rules have been amended in accordance with urgency powers in the scheme of officer delegation to keep the Constitution legally updated.

 

2.

To receive Declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

None.

3.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

None.

4.

To confirm Minutes of the previous meeting held on 1st June 2020. pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1 June 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

5.

To consider any items that the Leader agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Budget Management 2020/21 - Progress Report April to May 2020. pdf icon PDF 490 KB

Minutes:

Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report.  He highlighted the current unprecedented financial situation for all councils.  He noted the forecast £2.9m overspend, following receipt of the first Government support grant, which was due to a loss of income and  additional costs including those for Leisure Services.  He confirmed the announcement of an additional Government funding scheme for the current year  to protect local authorities’ reserves, and that the Council would need to balance income and expenditure for the medium term.

 

The Leader commented that the Council’s budget is usually balanced during the year due to careful financial management and these are unusual circumstances with challenging decisions for the current and future years.

 

In response to the Leader’s question the Head of Corporate Resources gave a reassurance that the Council is still viable, with allocated and unallocated useable reserves to balance the deficit.  The Council is not contemplating issuing a Section 114 notice under the 1988 Local Government Finance Act.

 

The Deputy Leader noted that the summary in Appendix A  was based on the available information when the report was drafted. She commended the Council on quickly utilising resources to enable staff to work remotely so the Council could continue to provide key services during the pandemic. She confirmed her support of the recommendations.

 

The Cabinet Member for Community confirmed the additional funds for disabled facilities grants and he welcomed the additional payment to each family in receipt of  Council Tax Support.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery noted the negative impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances.  He highlighted the additional costs for the provision of Leisure Services.  He expressed that the projected costs for  the Leisure Service, of £520,000 to May 2021, would be an underestimate.

 

TheHead of Corporate Resources advised that this was an early estimate and any changes would be reported to Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning welcomed the grant for temporarily housing homeless people and confirmed that homelessness will continue to be a key focus for the Council.  He noted that funds had been allocated to provide additional temporary accommodation within the District.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth welcomed the additional disability grants and acknowledged the car parking income reduction.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning expressed concern with developer completions of approved affordable housing.

 

The Leader took the Members to the recommendations contained in the report, which were agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

Cabinet recommended to Council for approval:

 

(i)          that £357,996 grant income relating to Homeless Support Grant be transferred to Specific Reserves as detailed in paragraphs 25;

 

(ii)     that £5,483 grant income relating to Cold Weather Fund Payment Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 26;

 

(iii)    that £8,428 grant income relating to Local Authority Data Sharing Programme Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 27;

 

(iv)    that £34,629 grant income relating to Implementing Welfare Reform Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Burgess Hill Library Demolition 2020. pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes:

Peter Stuart, Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report.  He summarised the history of the redevelopment of the site.  He confirmed that revised costs would be reported at the next meeting and the site should be restored to pavement condition to facilitate temporary use of the land prior to the redevelopment starting.

 

The Deputy Leader welcomed the summary of the site and advised caution as an asbestos survey, and risk assessment were necessary to ensure public safety.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth queried whether the old site of the Martlets Hall would be cleared when the Library is demolished and whether the report could include how the site could be used on a temporary basis.

 

 

The Head of Corporate Resources confirmed that both sites would be cleared and noted that additional costs could be incurred for alternative temporary use the sites.

 

In response to questions by the Cabinet Member for Community, the Head of Corporate Resources stated that the Estates Department would over-see the management of the contract and the asbestos will be removed by a company experienced in that work.

 

The Cabinet Member for Customer Services welcomed the summary of the redevelopment.

 

The Leader highlighted that following the survey a report on the removal of the asbestos would be presented to Cabinet.

 

The Leader took the Members to the  recommendations in the report, which were agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

Cabinet recommended to Council for approval:

 

(i)    that the project is added to the Capital Programme 2020/21, financed from the General Reserve, and that the Head of Corporate Resources is delegated to contract with those bodies necessary to achieve the project outcomes; and that

(ii)   a further report is to follow to Cabinet detailing the project costs.