Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 10th June, 2020 7.15 pm

Contact: Jacqui Hurst Tel: 0208 379 4096. E-mail:  jacqui.hurst@enfield.gov.uk 

Note: Please copy and paste the following link into your web browser to watch the meeting https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YTcwYTdiNDMtOGJhNC00MDU5LTgxNmEtNzBiZmM0YTAxYWUx%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22cc18b91d-1bb2-4d9b-ac76-7a4447488d49%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22de181320-9e9a-429c-a8db-b37ae5b5ded1%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Cabinet are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

DEPUTATIONS

To note, that no requests for deputations have been received for presentation to this Cabinet meeting.

Minutes:

NOTED, that there were no deputations to be considered at this Cabinet meeting.

4.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the Cabinet held on 13 May 2020.

Minutes:

AGREED, that the minutes of the previous meeting of the Cabinet held on 13 May 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

5.

Trading Company business plans pdf icon PDF 195 KB

A report from the Director of Law and Governance is attached. (Report No.259 also refers, containing exempt information) (Key decision – reference number 5099)

(Report No.258)

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Director of Law and Governance (No.258).

 

NOTED

 

1.            That Report No.259 (containing exempt information) also referred as detailed in Minute No.11 below.

 

2.            That the Council’s trading companies operated according to forward business plans, which were fully refreshed for the 2019/20 financial year and were now due for one-year rolling update. This report provided updates on Housing Gateway Ltd. (HGL) and Energetik as detailed.

 

3.            HGL worked to a three-year business plan which had been updated to reflect the period 2020-23; including an update to include provision of an ethical lettings agency.

 

4.            The detailed information set out in the report on HGL’s strategic objectives; the development of an ethical lettings agency; the core portfolio expansion proposals; and information regarding finances and equity investment. The strategic objectives, as set out in section 3.5 of the report were aligned to the Council’s plan objectives and would provide a good contribution towards and, help to improve the overall housing offer for residents. In summary the objectives included: delivering increased housing supply to the Council with at least an additional 250 units by 2023; delivering savings to the council of £1m per year; and, delivering an innovative ethical estate agency which would also lead to a reduction in the use of temporary accommodation. Members were also reminded of the achievements of HGL to date in the provision of quality housing to Enfield’s residents and in the savings achieved for the Council.

 

5.            The benefits of establishing an ethical lettings agency, as set out in the report and business plan of HGL which would support the aims of the Council’s housing strategy. The agency would be able to offer longer term tenancies of up to five years that were not generally found in the private rented sector. It was hoped that the work of the agency would contribute to the prevention of homelessness in the Borough, as outlined in the report.

 

6.            That Cabinet had considered and approved the envelope for an investment of equity funding in HGL as part of the Capital Programme in March 2020, this was further detailed in Report No.259 (Minute No.11 below referred).

 

7.            The updates provided within the report on Energetik, sections 3.22 to 3.25 of the report referred, relating to the Meridian Water Energy Centre and the Heat Network Expansion. Further information was also provided in Report No.259, referred to in Minute No.11 below.

 

8.            That the construction of the Meridian Water energy centre, which would serve phase one of the Meridian Water development, was scheduled to begin in October 2020. Members were updated on the developments relating to the heat network expansion at three satellite networks in Ladderswood, New Avenue and Alma Road/Electric Quarter. There had been some delay in the completion of the projects due to the Covid 19 pandemic with contractors working at 50% capacity; with the projects at New Avenue and Alma now due for completion in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TFL) CAPITAL SCHEMES - UPDATE

To receive a verbal update from the Director of Environment and Operational Services.

Minutes:

Doug Wilkinson (Director of Environment and Operational Services) provided Cabinet with a verbal update on Transport for London (TfL) Capital Schemes, as summarised below.

 

NOTED

 

1.            That the situation regarding TfL capital schemes was developing rapidly and this update was to keep Members informed of the current situation and the significant impact that the Covid 19 pandemic was having on TfL.

 

2.            Passenger numbers for both tube and bus travel had reduced between 80 – 90% which had had a profound effect on TfL’s income.  TfL were still actively encouraging passengers not to travel unless absolutely necessary, to support the Government’s position, in accordance with Public Health England advice.

 

3.            That the financial situation had resulted in TfL pausing most of its projects including those within the Local Implementation Plan. TfL required financial support from Government and had recently secured through negotiation an interim deal until September 2020 of c.£1.6bn.

 

4.            That as part of the financial negotiations with the Government, TfL had secured £45m of emergency funding to deliver social distancing projects in boroughs, support active forms of travel and reduce pressure on public transport at peak times. This programme was known as the London Streetspace Plan. The main focus of the Plan was outlined to Members.

 

5.            That Enfield had submitted bids for funding as part of the London Streetspace Plan as set out below:

Item

Title

LSP Type of Intervention

Total Funding Request

Status

1

Fore Street footway widening

Social Distancing

£52,700

Pending decision

2

A1010 North – completion of Cycle Enfield route

Strategic Cycling Route

£1,379,430

£1.2m approved

3

CS 1 Link (A1010S to North Mid)

Strategic Cycling Route

£267,930

£200k approved

4

Enfield Town footway widening

Social Distancing

£78,930

Pending decision

5

Tranche 1 Modal Filters (10 Streets)

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

£105,000

Pending decision

6

Fox Lane LTN

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

£192,500

Pending decision

7

Tranche 1 School Streets (12 schools)

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

£240,000

Pending decision

8

GP Cycle Parking provision

Strategic Cycling Routes

£45,662

Pending decision

9

Temporary Wayfinding

Strategic Cycling Routes

£27,000

Pending decision

 

 

Total

£2,389,152

 

 

6.            The projects were designed to encourage active travel such as cycling and walking, deter the use of public transport and car use and provide for increased social distancing provision. The success of Enfield’s bids to date were outlined to Members. The funds were to be shared across London. There were conditions attached to the delivery of the projects with fast delivery required.

 

7.            In addition to funding from TfL, the Department for Transport had created an Emergency Active Travel Fund. The first tranche of funding was the potential allocation of £100k to each Borough. Boroughs had to bid to demonstrate schemes for the quick and effective use of funds to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians. Fast delivery of any successful bids was required.

 

8.            Members expressed their thanks and appreciation to Doug Wilkinson and his team of officers for their prompt action and development of bids to meet the required criteria for fast  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TFL) UNDER 18S AND SCHOOL TRANSPORT - UPDATE

To receive a verbal update from the Director of Environment and Operational Services.

Minutes:

Doug Wilkinson (Director of Environment and Operational Services) provided Cabinet with a verbal update on Transport for London (TfL) Under 18s and School Transport, as summarised below.

 

NOTED

 

1.            That as part of the £1.6 billion funding and financing package with the Government to help ensure TfL can continue to deliver essential services until the end of September 2020, TfL had been asked to suspend free travel for under 18s. Its withdrawal means that the statutory support for school travel for some age groups falls to the local authorities, as it does in the rest of the country. The rationale for the proposal was to try and reduce pressure on the public transport network during the morning peak, when current social distancing requirements are severely reducing capacity.

 

2.            That discussions between London Councils, TfL and the Government were on-going. Members were advised of the statutory requirements to provide home to school transport for certain categories of young people. In the short-term the Council would be required to urgently identify the specific pupils eligible for free travel using national criteria.

 

3.            That Enfield was working closely with London Councils and lobbying Government on this issue. Whilst school children were being encouraged to walk and cycle, this was not always possible. The costs to be incurred by the Council as a result of this development were unknown at present and work was continuing. It was acknowledged that the loss of free travel for under 18s would unfairly impact poorer and vulnerable families. Work was continuing across London and further updates would be provided as the situation continued to develop.

 

4.            Members were invited to raise questions of clarification and comments on the proposals, as summarised below.

 

5.            That many parents submitted their school preferences based on local bus routes and ease of access to their school of choice. This change in policy would add to the financial pressures being faced by many families already as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Transport and education officers would work closely together to assess the impact.

 

6.            Members expressed their concerns on all aspects of the loss of free travel for under 18s including the financial impact on poorer families and the safety and security of young people. This would add financial pressure at a time when the significant consequences of the pandemic were already being suffered by many families. The Council would continue to lobby Government on this issue. The Government must support local authorities financially to meet the significant consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

7.            Members reiterated their view that the removal of free travel for under 18s was unfair, affecting the poorest families and placing a further financial burden on local authorities. The safety of children was paramount; many had long journeys to school on public transport. This was at a time of significant financial hardship for many families.

 

8.            That under 18s were being punished as a result of the financial impact to TfL that had resulted from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

CABINET AGENDA PLANNING - FUTURE ITEMS pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Attached for information is a provisional list of items scheduled for future Cabinet meetings.

Minutes:

NOTED, for information, the provisional list of items scheduled for future Cabinet meetings.

9.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next Cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 15 July 2020. 

Minutes:

NOTED, that the next Cabinet meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 15 July 2020 at 7.15pm

10.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider passing a resolution under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the virtual meeting for the item of business listed as part 2 on the agenda on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED in accordance with Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the item of business listed as part two on the agenda on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).

 

11.

TRADING COMPANY BUSINESS PLANS

To receive a report from the Executive Director – Resources. (Report No.258 above also refers). (Key decision – reference number 5099)

 

(This item contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person – including the authority holding that information) of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended).

(Report No.259)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Director of Law and Governance (No.259).

 

NOTED

 

1.            That Report No. 258 also referred as detailed in Minute No.5 above.

 

2.            In relation to Housing Gateway Ltd, the proposals to expand the housing portfolio, the subscription agreement, business case and projections were noted and discussed in detail, as set out in the report providing commercially sensitive information.

 

3.            That the proposed equity investment in HGL had previously been approved as part of the Council’s capital programme. Members discussed the long-term aims of the Council and HGL as set out in the report and business plan.

 

4.            The detailed financial information provided in respect of Energetik; the company was at an early stage of its 40-year business plan and required a significant investment in the beginning to build and develop its heat network. The Meridian Water development was key to its future success.

 

5.            In response to an earlier question, clarification was provided on the role of Cabinet in approving the company business plans. The business plan of Energetik had been approved by Cabinet previously, this report was presenting the one-year operating plan which flowed from the business plan and had been reported for transparency. Agreed processes were in place to enable Cabinet oversight of the companies whilst enabling the companies to make operational decisions which agreed parameters. (Minute No.5 above also referred).

 

6.            The proposed subscription agreement as detailed in the report was explained to Members.

 

7.            That the tranche 2 funding for Energetik had been approved previously, as set out in the report.

 

Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, the alternative options that had been considered as detailed in Report No.258, Minute No.5 above referred.

 

DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to approve the investment of £5m equity funding in HGL, for the stated purpose of expanding the rental portfolio of the core business, and delegated authority to the Director of Law and Governance to implement and approve a Subscription Agreement to this effect.

 

Reason: NOTED the reason for the above decision, as detailed in section 5 of the report. 

(Key decision – reference number 5099)