Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday 11th November 2021 4.00 pm

Contact: Jane Game  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Cllr L McCarthy submitted her apologies and Cllr Long attended remotely as substitute.

 

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Leader of the Council Cllr Courts and the Deputy Leader Cllr K Grinsell could not physically attend the meeting, but they joined the meeting remotely. Given executive decisions makers had to be physically present to make decisions, it meant Cllrs Courts and K Grinsell did not vote on any recommendations.  Cllr Sleigh chaired the meeting.

 

2.

Declaration of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members.

Minutes:

None received.

3.

Questions and Deputations

To answer any questions, if any asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders.

Minutes:

None received.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 October 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 14th of October 2021 were presented for information.

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on the 14th of October 2021 be received for information.

 

5.

Solihull’s Net Zero Action Plan pdf icon PDF 277 KB

This report seeks the approval of Solihull’s Net Zero Action Plan (NZAP), which is a key part of the Council’s response to the Climate Emergency.


Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was invited to approve Solihull’s Net Zero Action Plan (NZAP) which was a key part of the Council's response to the Climate Emergency.

 

Members were advised that the aim of developing the NZAP was to create a prioritised plan that identified actions to support the Borough's decarbonisation, with the Council aiming to be net zero by 2041.

 

The action plan was an appropriately detailed response to the Climate Emergency. It sought to identify the actions which were in the Council's gift to deliver, while striking a balance between detail and the ability to implement actions. Having a plan in place would help ensure a coordinated approach to the Climate Emergency.

 

The report before Members covered the following issues:-

 

Ø  The aims of the plan

Ø  The work to date

Ø  The contents of the action plan

Ø  Carbon trajectory's

Ø  Prioritisation and sequencing of actions

Ø  Narrative on the actions

Ø  Consultation and consultation response

Ø  Proposed next steps

Ø  Implementation planning

On receiving the report Members welcomed the report noting that it was being presented to them at the same time COP26 was taking place. In considering the report Members made a number of comments/observations which in summary included: -

 

  • Members recognised the amount of work that had gone into creating the document, and thanked all the political parties, stakeholders, partners and Officers who had contributed to the development of the action plan;

 

  • It was noted this was the starting point of what the Council wanted to achieve and much more work would be required, not only by the Council but by residents, partners and stakeholders;

 

  • Of key importance was encouraging behavioural change with regard to human/business behaviour and it was recognised there was a limit to what the Council could do to affect this, other than by leading by example, showing leadership and driving the issue forward at pace;

 

  • The monitoring of progress or lack of was seen as essential and there was some debate about how frequently this should be reported to Members, and whether the schedule of review needed to be more rigorous than indicated in the report;

 

  • Officers advised that the implementation plan was an important tool, as it provided a robust governance structure setting out who was responsible for what and the time scales involved. A “live” dashboard would also help plot progress;

 

  • It was recognised that good communication was important to progress behavioural change. Members recognised that difficult choices lay ahead and it was important to avoid doom and gloom scenarios, but talk up the positive impact of change for example improved air quality, biodiversity, retrofitting to reduce fuel poverty and technological innovation which offered employment opportunities;

 

  • Members discussed transport emissions with reference to the emissions generated by those passing through the Borough, how these were accounted for and how the Council could affect these;

 

  • The issue of resourcing the plan was highlighted as it would not be possible for the Council to do all this work alone without government support.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Medium Term Financial Strategy update (incorporating the Period 6 position) as at the 30 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

The purpose of the report it to:

Ø  Outline the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) latest financial position as at 30 September 2021 (Period 6) including the latest Covid-19 financial impact as at the same date. This is the same position being reported to individual Cabinet portfolio holders during November;

Ø  Report on the latest Red, Amber and Green (RAG) ratings for the delivery of the (MTFS) savings 2021/22 to 2023/24, as detailed in Appendix A;

Ø  Provide a summary of the additional Covid-19 funding allocations (including carry forwards from previous years) for 2021/22 that we have received notification of as at 30 September 2021, as detailed in Appendix B;

Ø  Provide details of the budget movements which have taken place up to Period 6 of this financial year, as required by Financial Regulations, and the revised budget following those movements, as detailed in Appendix C which Members are asked to approve; and

Ø  Seek approval for the release of an ear-marked reserve to balance the in-year pressure on the Economy and Infrastructure Directorate and related portfolios. Please see paragraphs 3.20 and 3.21 for the details.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was provided with:

 

Ø  An outline of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) latest financial position as at 30 September 2021 (Period 6) including the latest Covid-19 financial impact as at the same date. This was the same position being reported to individual Cabinet portfolio holders during November;

 

Ø  The latest Red, Amber and Green (RAG) ratings for the delivery of the (MTFS) savings 2021/22 to 2023/24, as detailed in Appendix A;

 

Ø  A summary of the additional Covid-19 funding allocations (including carry forwards from previous years) for 2021/22 that the Council had received notification of as at 30 September 2021, as detailed in Appendix B;

 

Ø  Details of the budget movements which had taken place up to Period 6 of the financial year, as required by Financial Regulations, and the revised budget following those movements, as detailed in Appendix C which Members were asked to approve; and

 

Ø  A request to approve the release of an ear-marked reserve to balance the in-year pressure on the Economy and Infrastructure Directorate and related portfolios. Details were set out in paragraphs 3.20 and 3.21 of the report.

 

Members were advised that in relation to the Core Council Revenue Budget (including the Covid-19 financial impact) - forecast outturn position for 2021/22, there was a £3.073m adverse variance on the Core Council and an adverse variance of £12.047m for the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The headline position for each Portfolio was detailed in the report, including the impact of Covid-19.

 

With regard to the Economy and Infrastructure Directorate Portfolios, the Directorate was forecasting a balanced position, with a forecast use of reserves of £0.250m. The report detailed the financial pressure across the Directorate which included the loss of income. The reserve in question had been ear-marked for other purposes as set out in paragraph 3.20 of the report, and paragraph 3.21 explained why this reserve was no longer needed and so could be re-purposed.

 

With regard to DSG the report detailed the accumulated deficit up to and including 2021/22 of £12.047m, the key drivers behind this position were detailed in the report.

 

In relation to Covid-19 financial impact 2021/22 and other Covid-19 related government funding allocations and progress to date – there was currently £1.477m unallocated in Covid-19 emergency funding grant.

 

The Capital Programme budget was currently £96.342m for 2021/22, with actual expenditure to the end of September at £44.073m. There was a favourable variance of (£4.117m), which was summarised by Portfolio in Appendix A to the report.

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) RAG status savings 2021/22 to 2023/24 progress to the end of September 2021 was positive. Of the overall savings target of £4.864m, only £0.790m remained red/amber.

 

The balance of Portfolio Reserves at 1st April 2021 was (£142.566m). There was a forecast use of reserves over the existing Medium Term Financial Strategy of £112.759m leaving a balance of (£29.808m) at March 2024 of which £6.271m was forecast to be used beyond the current MTFS period leaving (£23.537m).

 

On receiving the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Update on proposed governance structure for the revised Building Safety Regime pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The report seeks to clarify the proposed updated governance structure that will support the delivery of the new Building Safety Regime and clarify roles and responsibilities within that structure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Cabinet was invited to consider the proposed updated governance structure that would support the delivery of the new building safety regime and clarify the roles and responsibilities within that structure. 

 

Members were advised that with the expected changes to the building safety regime and the accountable person role confirmed as the Director of Economy and Infrastructure within the Council, there was a need to clarify roles and responsibilities moving forward. This would help to provide assurance through a robust structure that would support the accountable person in the delivery of their duties under the new regime.

 

The report detailed the roles and responsibilities for building safety as set out in paragraph 4.3 of the report. The structure would continue to be reviewed until the draught Bill came into law.

 

RESOLVED:

That the update on roles and responsibilities in relation to the Building Safety Bill following questions from Members at Cabinet/CLT on the 30th September 2021 be noted.

 

8.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

The meeting is likely not to be open to the public during discussion of the following items because the reports contain exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That, pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information in terms of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the said Act.

 

9.

Minutes

To receive for information only the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 October 2021.

 

10.

ACQUISITION OF A PORTFOLIO OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE BOROUGH

To approve the acquisition of a portfolio of residential properties in the Borough.

11.

Mell Square Redevelopment

To obtain Full Cabinet approval to proceed with the procurement of a Joint Venture Investor/Developer to deliver the regeneration of Mell Square.

12.

HRA Capital Programme Update

To seek Cabinet approval for an update to the HRA Capital Programme.