Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 13th October, 2021 7.15 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mahtab Uddin, Nneka Keazor and Katherine Chibah.

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 no requests for deputations had been received for presentation to this Cabinet meeting.

4.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous Cabinet meeting held on 15 September 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED that the minutes of the previous meeting of the Cabinet held on 15 September 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

5.

POLICY FOR THE DISPOSAL AND USE OF VACANT SITE MANAGERS' RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS AT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS pdf icon PDF 249 KB

A report from the Executive Director People is attached.  (Key decision – reference number 5373)

Minutes:

In Councillor Uddin’s absence, Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director People seeking approval for alternative use and selective disposal of site managers properties owned and managed by the Council.

 

NOTED

 

1.    The purpose of the proposals was confirmed, and attention drawn to the sites identified in Appendix A to the report.

2.    Officers advised there was now an additional site with a vacant residence, and this was an ongoing process.

3.    It was confirmed that schools had the right not to declare a site surplus to their requirements, that each school would be engaged with appropriately, and consideration was on a site by site basis.

 

Alternative Options Considered: 

 

1.    To adopt a policy where all occupied school site managers’ dwellings deemed to be suitable for disposal are sold with immediate effect. This is not a preferred option given the terms and conditions of employment of residential site managers.

2.    To allow the school to retain 100% of the disposal receipt. The properties are part of the Council’s Education estate portfolio and given demands on existing capital grant funding to undertake works to maintain and expand provision it is proposed that a significant proportion of the capital receipt contributes to the Council’s priority objectives and statutory duty to provide school places.

3.    For the Council to retain 100% of the disposal receipt. It is recognised that capital funding for schools has been reduced in recent years and that schools are facing significant challenges when prioritising essential condition / health and safety works. It is therefore proposed that a proportion of the receipt be used to fund clearly identified condition works to improve the teaching and learning environment particularly where this provides opportunities for increased community use and income generation. This will provide a longer-term benefit to schools an incentivise them to declare the houses surplus to their education requirements which we be required to change the lease. This will be required prior to seeking DfE consent for disposal.

4.    Do nothing. The lack of clear guidance relating to these dwellings has caused some confusion and uncertainty in recent years and left properties unused. It is therefore important to have a clear and transparent policy in place in order that schools and the Council are fully aware of all implications. The absence of a clear approach to manging these dwellings has resulted in the council having to fund the costs associated with vacant properties.

 

DECISION:  The Cabinet agreed

 

1.    To approve the approach to manage vacant site managers residential dwellings as set out in the report.

2.    That all proceeds from the sale of a site manager’s house, less any reasonable and pre-agreed costs incurred in achieving the disposal, will be ringfenced for the Education Capital Maintenance programme and in particular provision of additional Special Education Needs places.

3.    That the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services approves in principle any recommended disposals or repurposing of the vacant properties, thereafter the Cabinet Member for Finance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

NEW CEMETERY PROPOSAL : SLOEMANS FARM BURIAL GROUND pdf icon PDF 455 KB

A report from the Executive Director Place is attached.  (Key decision – reference number 5380)

Minutes:

Councillors Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) and Guney Dogan (Cabinet Member for Commercial Services) introduced the report of the Executive Director Place seeking approval to proceed with the development of a new burial ground.

 

NOTED

 

1.    The proposals were put forward in recognition of the shortfall in burial capacity in the borough and meeting local communities’ needs.

2.    Residents would be provided with a natural/woodland burial option.

3.    The proposals made good commercial sense.

4.    It was confirmed that the National Planning Policy Framework considered cemeteries as “appropriate development” on green belt, and that the proposals would be in line with the Enfield Local Plan.

5.    Benchmarking against other local authorities confirmed the expected income generation.

6.    Progressing this option would considerably lessen the need for the other potential sites for burial space in the borough to be pursued.

7.    The full burial needs assessment was available for further information.

8.    Members raised the point that the needs of the borough must be articulated accurately in supporting documents, reflecting the diversity of our faith community, including the Alevi community in Enfield.

9.    The Leader confirmed that the provision would be multifaith and there would be further engagement with all faith groups in relation to their needs.

 

Alternative Options Considered: 

 

NOTED the detailed options considered as set out in paragraphs 110 to 121 of the report.

 

DECISION:  The Cabinet agreed to

 

1.    Approve the project for the development of a burial ground at Sloemans Farm, Whitewebbs Lane, Enfield, using landscaping - soil importation processes on site to improve and landscape the whole farm area.

2.    Re-allocate £1,800,000 from the cemetery/ crematorium budget within the 10-year capital programme to cover the design, project management, staff and construction costs. To note that the business case models the project costs to be funded through royalty income from soil recycling processes.

3.    Delegate authority to approve the final scheme proposal to the Director of Environment and Operations, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Commercial Services and Environment.

4.    Delegate authority to approve the procurement strategy for the delivery of the scheme to the Director of Environment and Operations in consultation with the Executive Director for Resources and the Director of Law and Governance.

5.    Delegate authority to award and enter into the main build contract, professional service contracts, and any other ancillary documents and consents required in relation to the development of scheme up to the maximum total value of £1,800,000 Director of Environment and Operations. Form of contract to be agreed by Director of Law and Governance.

 

Reason: 

 

NOTED the detailed reasons for the proposals as set out in paragraphs 8 to 16 of the report.

 

(Key decision – reference number 5380)

7.

QUARTER 1 2021/22 PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 244 KB

A report from the Executive Director Resources is attached.  (Non Key)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ian Barnes (Deputy Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director Resources setting out the progress made towards delivering the key priority indicators for Enfield.

 

NOTED

 

1.    The report reflected the impacts of the pandemic and recovery. It showed the pressure points, and the focuses of targeted work and action plans.

2.    Progress and improvements were highlighted, including on numbers in temporary accommodation.

3.    In respect of areas of concern, updates were provided on measures in place in respect of telephony and customer services; waste and recycling; and Freedom of Information requests, MEQs and complaints.

4.    It was requested that Members be kept updated on Registrars telephony wait times.

5.    The Leader had raised domestic abuse and hate crime increases with the new Borough Commander.

 

Alternative Options Considered: 

 

Not to report regularly on the Council’s performance in a public report. This would make it difficult to assess progress made on achieving the Council’s main priorities and to demonstrate the value for money being provided by council services.

 

DECISION:  The Cabinet agreed to note, for information only, the progress being made towards delivering the key priority indicators for Enfield.

 

Reason: 

 

The report is part of the Quarterly timetable for Cabinet to review performance.

 

(Non-Key)

8.

MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN UPDATE 2022/23 TO 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 356 KB

A report from the Executive Director Resources is attached.  (Key decision – reference number 5337)

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance & Procurement) introduced the report of the Executive Director Resources, providing an update on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and bringing forward early savings proposals to balance the 2022/23 budget.

 

NOTED

 

1.    This report was the beginning of the 2022/23 budget setting process, and brought forward early savings proposals. Pressures were challenging, and work continued with departmental managers. There were significant budget gaps, but savings put forward were realistic and achievable.

2.    Inflationary pressures and the National Insurance surcharge had been taken into account. Advice of Treasury advisors was regularly taken in respect of interest costs.

3.    It was noted that the London Business Rate Pool would not be operating in 2022/23, but Enfield had been in discussions regarding a geographical rates pool. An expression of interest had to be made by tomorrow. Cabinet were asked to agree an additional recommendation in respect of this, to give delegated authority to join in principle subject to due diligence around the risks of membership, noting the opportunity to withdraw from the pool within 28 days. It was confirmed that satisfactory governance arrangements were in place.

4.    There would be a further Medium Term Financial Plan update in December, and further savings proposals.

 

Alternative Options Considered: 

 

None, the Council is statutorily required to set a balanced budget and the report is a step towards this.

 

DECISION:  The Cabinet agreed to

 

1.    Note the late commencement of the 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review.

2.    Note the timing of the implementation of Fair Funding and the Business Rates reset.

3.    Note that the London Business Rate Pool will not be operating in 2022/23.

4.    Note the funding and spending pressures set out in the report.

5.    Approve early savings proposals of £4.966m set out in Appendix Three

            ? £4.366m from efficiencies and,

            ? £0.600m from income generation.

6.    Note the current forecast funding gap of £10.532m in 2022/23 and £44.161m across the medium term after taking the savings proposals into account.

7.    Note the anticipated ongoing investment in Adult Social Care and Children’s Services required to meet demand pressures.

8.    That subject to necessary due diligence being undertaken to assess the benefits and risks of membership:-

  Cabinet agrees to submit an in principle expression of interest to join the smaller London business rate pool; and

  Delegates authority to Executive Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement to commit to the business rate pool should the Executive Director of Resources consider this to be in the best interest of the Council; and

  Notes the opportunity to withdraw from the pool within 28 days following the Government’s spending review announcement.

 

Reason: 

 

The Council has a statutory duty to approve a balanced budget for 2022/23 in February along with consideration of the finances over the medium term and the Council’s reserves and balances. It is essential that there is a clear understanding of the anticipated income and expenditure flows for the Council, despite  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

CABINET AGENDA PLANNING - FUTURE ITEMS pdf icon PDF 148 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.

10.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Cabinet is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 10 November 2021 at 7.15pm.

Minutes:

NOTED that the date of the next meeting of the Cabinet was to be confirmed.

 

The Leader of the Council took the opportunity to welcome Netflix to the borough, and to thank Cabinet Members and officers for their hard work to secure their residency.