Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Monday, 22nd October, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Sian Walter-browne  0161 770 5151

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received.

2.

Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

4.

Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

There were no public questions received.

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5.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17th September 2018 are attached for approval.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17th September 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

6.

Highways Investment Programme - Key Principles pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Environmental Services which identified the approach and principles to be applied for delivery of the highways investment programme, based on good practice and ensuring best value for future investment. It had been an election pledge that there would be investment in highways and the report set out proposals for delivery.

 

The Cabinet were informed that the current approach resulted in best value for money and a well maintained Classified Network, however the unclassified Network continued to deteriorate without additional significant investment. The criteria used were set out in the report.

 

Work had been commissioned to undertake a full survey of the full Highway Network  to provide an accurate status, and costs required for future

maintenance. It was recognised there was a need to be clear with regard to the principles to be adopted for future investment in order to use this data to

build a future Programme, recognising that the state of the highways asset required investment beyond available funding. Therefore the principles of prioritisation needed to be agreed and understood prior to Programme development, in order to inform the programme development itself.

 

The 2018 survey would be an Annual Engineering Inspection (AEI),

providing a proposed treatment from current condition. This would provide a much more accurate maintenance backlog estimate directly from the survey.

 

It was proposed that there would be investment over the next three years of £4m each year, a total of £12m, and it was suggested that a proportion of the budget be allocated to local schemes, enabling a programme informed by condition survey results and local Member knowledge.

 

The preferred option of how to allocate the potential funding would be chosen following the return of the AEI survey return. The exact programme would then be finalised following consultation with local Members, ensuring a balance between existing strategy and local knowledge. Local Members would be involved in identifying priorities in their area and members of the public were encouraged to report issues to their Ward Councillors for consideration.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Do nothing.

Option 2 – Agree the proposed capital investment and approach.

 

RESOLVED that the capital investment of £12m in highways over the next 3 years be agreed.

7.

Disposal of land known as 'Plateau 1', situated between Salmon Fields and Turf Lane, Royton pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Principal Development Surveyor that provided an overview of the offers received by the Council,

following the recent open market advertisement of a Council-owned opportunity at Salmon Fields, Royton.

 

The Cabinet were informed that the Council owned an area of land at Salmon Fields, Royton, measuring circa 5.69 acres. Whilst identified as a development opportunity, the site had been vacant for a number of years, following the expiration of an option agreement.

 

Marketing had begun in June 2018 and the marketing exercise had produced 10 offers.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Do nothing.

Option 2 – Sell to any of the interested parties

Option 3 – Sell to the party submitting the highest financial offer

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 13 of the agenda.

 

 

8.

Empty Homes pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Principal Housing Market Intervention Officer that sought approval for the introduction of a robust empty homes intervention to bring empty properties across the borough back into use. Approval would pave the way for Oldham to secure full investment for a pilot initiative from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and Homes England. This funding would underpin a holistic intervention package to support ongoing work with empty home owners. It was anticipated that Homes for England could be approached to fund a larger programme when the success of the pilot could be demonstrated.

 

The Cabinet noted that the current housing shortage across the country had placed an obligation on Local Authorities to find innovative solutions to the current problem. Bringing empty homes back into use was one initiative as part of a wider strategy. The Council was looking to use two ways forward, purchase and repair (P&R) or lease and repair (L&R), and would procure partners to deliver the projects and manage the lettings.

 

The housing market in Oldham had come under pressure from growing demand and high levels of transience in central areas of the town. With growing demand for affordable housing and community challenges, an empty homes initiative could help deliver an innovative housing solution. The proposed solution formed a wider intervention package to deliver a wide range of benefits across the service and support the key priorities and ambitions of Oldham Council.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Approve all of the recommendations and support a pilot

intervention project.

Option 2 – Do not approve both interventions instead, only approve a P&R

option and delay the development of an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) Policy

Option 3 – Do not approve both interventions instead, only approve a L&R

option and delay the development of an EDMO Policy

Option 4 – Do nothing

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 14 of the agenda.

 

9.

Request for Additional Funding and Contract Award: Crompton House C of E School Expansion pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Head of School Support

Services that sought approval to accept a successful tender, approve additional funding and award a contract to expand Crompton House C of E School, as part of the Basic Need Programme of works.

 

As part of the Basic Needs Programme of Work and to address the increase demand and current shortfall of places it was proposed to expand Crompton House C of E School by an additional 4-form entry. Cabinet noted this was part of the project to provide good schools in the right places.

 

Cabinet had previously:

·         Approved a programme of significant expansion at Crompton House School,

·         Approved a programme of expansion at the school funded from the

·         Education Basic Needs grant funding allocated to Oldham Council,

·         Delegated authority to the Director of Education and Early Years to develop, consult, procure and arrange for the execution by the Director of Legal Services of any relevant contracts and incidental and ancillary documentation, in accordance with the agreed school expansions programme.

 

The Cabinet noted that consultation had previously taken place with the Cabinet Members, Ward Members, head teacher, school governors, school access officers, Director Education & Early Years, Corporate Landlord and procurement teams. The statutory compliance public consultation was complete.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Do nothing.

Option 2 – Procure through the proposed route and approve additional funding of £2,890,000 from the Basic Needs Grant.

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 15 of the agenda.

 

10.

Unity Partnership Shareholder Committee Terms of Reference: Cabinet Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 446 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Audit and Counter Fraud Manager which sought approval for the Terms of Reference of the Unity Partnership Shareholder Committee and to the appointment of Cabinet Members to the Shareholder Sub-Committee.

 

Members were informed that the Council had acquired the shares held in the Unity Partnership Ltd and was is now the sole shareholder of the company. Once established, the Shareholder Committee would have responsibility for exercising “shareholder control”, with regard to wholly-owned Council companies.

 

The Shareholder Committee would safeguard the Council’s interest as shareholder and take decisions in matters that required the approval of the Council as owner of the company. Decisions in relation to the day to day operation of the company would be taken by the directors of the company.

 

It was recommended that four members of the Council’s Cabinet become the

Shareholder Committee, which would be supported by officers of the Council, including the Section 151 Officer (Director of Finance) and the Monitoring Officer (Director of Legal Services), or their designated officers.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Approve the proposed terms of reference for the Shareholder

Committee, and nominate and appoint Members to sit on the Sub-Committee.

Option 2 – Do not approve the terms of reference for the Shareholder Committee.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    the terms of reference for the Unity Partnership Shareholder Committee be approved

2.    Councillors Fielding, Jabbar, Shah and Ur-Rehman be appointed to sit on the Shareholder Committee, with full delegated powers in relation to any matter to consider the interests of the Council following the acquisition of the Unity Partnership Ltd.

11.

Proposed Changes to Registrars' Service Fees and Charges 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Registration Services Manager that sought approval to adjust the fees set for ceremony charges in the 2018/19 Council budget.

 

Members were informed that fees set in the budget process for 2018/19 for registrars service had resulted in a greater increase than in previous years, being a £79 increase on fees charged for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies both at external venues and the Oak Room at Chadderton

Town Hall. Fees set for the Green Room at Chadderton Town Hall had also seen a higher than usual year on year increase.

 

The resulting feedback from couples, some of which had booked their venue two years in advance, had suggested that the price rise had resulted in difficulties making the payments which were not expected and therefore not budgeted for in their plans, and as such, for some couples, had resulted in hardship.

 

The service had undertaken some market analysis and a comparison of its

Greater Manchester competitors, along with a review of the current bookings for this financial year. The conclusion reached was that, should the fees remain as set at the start of the financial year, then the service would not be competitive with similar service providers. This may result in a loss of business over the financial year and consequently a loss of income, rather than an in increase in the income generated from ceremonies. It could also have a detrimental effect on external venues, who may lose business if couples chose to hold their ceremonies in other venues in neighbouring authorities to save money.

 

Options/Alternatives considered

Option 1 – Leave the fees as set in the 2018/19 budget

Option 2 – Change the fees listed, as per the proposals

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    Wedding ceremony fees be changed to the following:

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies at external non- religious venues Monday-Thursday £361.00

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies at external non-religious venues Friday-Saturday £375.00

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies in the Oak Room at Chadderton Town Hall Monday-Thursday £175

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies all rooms at Chadderton Town Hall Friday/Saturdays AM £196

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies all rooms at Chadderton Town Hall Saturdays PM £375.00

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies in the Green Room at Chadderton Town Hall Monday-Thursdays £110

· Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies in the Green Room at Chadderton Town Hall Fridays/Saturday AM £126

·Wedding/Civil Partnership ceremonies in the Green Room at Chadderton Town Hall Fridays and Saturdays £130

 

2.    That there be no change to fees charged on Sundays and Bank Holidays – all venues charged £421 for wedding/civil partnership ceremony (This also includes Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)

12.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they contain exempt information under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and it would not, on balance, be in the public interest to disclose the reports.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they contain exempt information under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and it would not, on balance, be in the public interest to disclose the reports.

13.

Disposal of land known as 'Plateau 1', situated between Salmon Fields and Turf Lane, Royton

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 7 – Disposal of land known as ‘Plateau 1’, situated between Salmon Fields and Turf Lane, Royton [Royton South]

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations as detailed within the report be approved.

14.

Empty Homes

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 8 – Empty Homes

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations as detailed within the report be approved.

 

15.

Request for Additional Funding and Contract Award: Crompton House C of E School Expansion

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 9 – Request for Additional Funding and Contract Award: Crompton House C of E School Expansion

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations as detailed within the report be approved.