Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Monday, 21st March, 2022 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Liz Drogan  0161 770 4705

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chadderton and Chauhan.

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.

5.

Minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 17th February 2022 and 28th February 2022 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 17th February 2022 and 28th February 2022 be approved.

6.

Revenue Monitor and Capital Investment Programme 2021/22 Month 9 – December 2021 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Finance which provided the Cabinet with an update on the Council’s 2021/22 forecast revenue budget position at Annex 1 and the financial position of the 2021/22 Capital Programme as at 31st December 2021 together with the revised capital programme 2022/23 to 2026/27 as outlined in section 2 of the report at Annex 2 of the report.

 

Revenue Position

The current forecast outturn position for 2021/22 was a projected surplus variance of £2.680m after allowing for approved and pending transfers to and from reserves.

The position included additional costs and pressures that had been identified by the Authority in this financial year as a direct result of the COVID pandemic. The additional pressures included forecasts of both income shortfalls and additional expenditure that had impacted on the Authority’s budgets.

The pandemic was continuing to affect nearly all aspects of Council service delivery; the most significant areas of concern were the People and Place, Children’s Services and Community Health & Adult Social Care Portfolios. Action was being taken and would continue right up to the end of the financial year to address variances and take mitigating action as detailed in the report.

The overall corporate position was partly being offset by the application of £7.737m general COVID support grant and £0.352m from the Quarter 1 compensation claim for lost income in relation to sales fees and charges (SFC); in total £8.089m, all of which was received from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). In Appendix 1 to the report, the un-ringfenced Government support was presented as a single sum so that it highlighted the level of variation across all Council budgets, given that there was insufficient resource to fully offset the adverse COVID related variance. However, this summary report presented the position after applying the Government grant across Portfolio areas. An update on the major issues driving the revenue projections was detailed within Annex 1, Section 2 of the report.

The current projected position, after adjustment for reserves and, as outlined above, receipt of all additional Government funding to support COVID pressures that the Authority was expecting to receive, continued to show a net underspend, demonstrating the impact of the service and corporate actions that had been initiated across all service areas to review and challenge planned expenditure and to maximise income. Action would continue with the aim of, at the very least, maintaining this position to the end of the financial year.

Information on the Quarter 3 position of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and Collection Fund was also outlined in the report. There were currently no significant issues of concern in relation to the HRA.

 

Capital Programme

 

The report outlined the most up to date capital position for 2021/22 to 2026/27 for approved schemes. The revised capital programme budget for 2021/22 was £38.709m which was considerable movement from the month 8 forecast of £52.588m and a net decrease of £47.293m from the original  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Housing Delivery Strategy pdf icon PDF 457 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Executive Director for Place and Economic Growth which sought approval of the Housing Delivery Strategy and programme of works.

Oldham was targeted by Government to deliver c.700 homes per annum up to 2037, which was significantly higher than what had been achieved in the Borough in recent years. In order to meet both the Oldham Housing Strategy objectives and deliver at the scale required to support projected population growth, new models of delivery and partnership working would be necessary, with the need for the Council to take an active role in driving forward housing development.

The report provided a series of recommendations for the Council to drive forward a programme of housing development activity.

It was reported that the document set out the current policy context and ambitions for housing delivery in the Borough as part of the Creating a Better Place regeneration programme. It considered the merits of a range of development options which the Council could progress to ensure delivery of housing on land under its control and updates on current housing activity and recent achievements in the borough.  Progress towards developing brownfield land were highlighted and the report also considered and made recommendations regarding affordable housing, low and zero carbon housing and Modern Methods of Construction.

Three possible options were set out within the report, (a land sale, delivery via Building Lease and procuring a Strategic Development Partner) available to the Council and the advantages and disadvantages of each, before making site specific recommendations for delivery. 

 

RESOLVED – That the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 20 of the agenda before making a decision   

 

8.

Selective Licensing of Private Rented Properties pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a  report of the Executive Director Place and Economic Growth which sought approval of a Selective Licensing Scheme to implemented in certain parts of the Borough.

It was reported that an extensive period of consultation had been carried out regarding the introduction of a second selective licensing scheme for privately rented properties in parts of the Borough.

The report detailed the findings of this consultation and also developed the final proposals for a second selective licensing scheme.

In 2015 Oldham Council introduced a Selective Licensing Scheme for privately rented properties in certain parts of the Borough as an intervention to address issues of low housing demand. It was a five-year scheme that ended in December 2020.

A review of the scheme was completed May 2019 and updated December 2020, which showed low housing demand had improved in some areas, had stayed the same in others, and had deteriorated in 2 areas. It also identified additional areas which are exhibiting low housing demand.

In January 2020, following Cabinet approval, a statutory consultation for proposals of introducing a new Selective Licensing Scheme commenced and this consultation was relaunched again in January 2021 due to the impact of the Covid pandemic both on the responses to the consultation and the resources available within the Council.

The private rented sector performs an essential role in the Borough’s housing market.  Many private landlords provided a decent service to their tenants, but the practices of some can give the sector a poor reputation and affect the housing demand of an area.  Selective licensing can form a part of a wider set of measures to address the causes of low housing demand.

The Housing Act 2004 included provisions to develop an improved and more professional private rented sector.  Section 80 gave powers to local housing authorities to designate areas as subject to selective licensing in respect of privately rented accommodation, provided certain conditions are met.  A review of the housing market was carried out in 2019 and updated in 2020 which indicated there was evidence of low housing demand in the proposed areas.  The report explained how selective licensing would support a range of measures to tackle the problem. 

From the consultation exercise, private landlords had expressed their concerns;

1)    that the introduction of a new licensing scheme is not required

2)    that the housing market has changed

3)    they are unclear on what the previous scheme has achieved and how any new scheme would make a difference. 

Other consultees had stated that licensing should be introduced across the borough.

The report acknowledged the feedback from the consultation and sought to address the concerns.  It was clear that different stakeholders had different opinions, and there is no way of achieving an outcome that is satisfactory to all.

Other options had been considered to address problems in the private rented sector, however these were too narrow in addressing management standards and do not provide a holistic, strategic response to raising management standards.

 

Selective  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Disposal of vacant land at Derker, St James pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Executive Director, Place and Economic Growth which sought approval of the disposal of three vacant plots in Derker and the approval of a Brownfield Housing Land agreement for Derker completed between Hive Homes and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

There were a number of vacant sites in Derker that were cleared as part of the Housing Market Renewal Programme and had remained vacant for over 10 years.  The sites included a number of individual Council owned plots totalling approximately 4 hectares and cover land at the former Cromford Mill, Abbottsford Road and former Derker Hotel site, London Road and Evelyn Street, as shown at Appendix 1 to the report.

In July 2020 the Greater Manchester Combined Authority was awarded an initial allocation of £81.1 m over a 5-year period following a Government announcement with regards to a national pot of £400 m Brownfield Housing Land Fund (BHLF).  

The Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government (MCHLG) commenced a further bidding round in August 2020 for the remaining 10% of the £400 m allocated as BHLF grant.  The £40 m was retained by MCHLG as a competitive element to help support the most ambitious projects. The focus of the bidding process and assessment was on identifying and supporting those Mayoral Combined Authorities that could demonstrate they had ambitious proposals and were ready to receive funding and where the funding could be utilized within 2 years. The grant for Derker was funded from this ‘10%’ pot and in order to complete the funding agreement, a series of tight the milestones outlined in the report were required to be met.  

The BHLF provided grant support to bring forward residential development on brownfield sites.  The grant can be used to address remediation issues, access works or service diversion and provision required in order to make sites deliverable. The funding cannot be used as revenue.

In September 2021, Cabinet approved that a provisional BHLF allocation for the sites in Derkerof up to £2 m should be accepted. Derker had capacity for circa 150 homes and the grant would be used to help support zero carbon/highly energy efficient housing.

The funding needed to be spent (i.e. works completed up to the value of the grant) by March 2023 and in order to spend the grant the following development milestones had been agreed with GMCA.  Whilst there was some flexibility with the milestones up to March 2023, if the project did not progress in accordance with the dates below, there is a risk the funding will be lost.

  • Cabinet approval to dispose – March 2022
  • Planning application submitted – June 2022
  • Start on site – November 2022
  • Works (to value of the grant) completed – March 2023
  • Housing completed – early 2025

In order to achieve these tight deadlines, and based on advice from CBRE, it is proposed that the BHLF Grant Agreement should be completed directly between GMCA and Hive Homes. This approach has no financial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Disposal of land at Southlink pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Executive Director, Place and Economic Growth which sought approval for the Council to carry out a competitive land sale of vacant and derelict brownfield land at Southlink together with land owned by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) to enable the site to be developed for new housing. 

The report provided details in relation to the redevelopment of the unutilised and vacant brownfield land to the south of the former Oldham Mumps Metrolink Station. The site, known as ‘Southlink’ previously contained the original Oldham Mumps Railway Station which closed completely in 2009 and has since been demolished.  Covering around 3.5 hectares, the site is owned by Oldham Council and TFGM, (approximately 54% and 46% respectively).  

In July 2020 the Greater Manchester Combined Authority was awarded an initial allocation of £81.1 m over a 5-year period following a Government announcement with regards to a national pot of £400 m Brownfield Housing Land Fund (BHL).  

BHL provided grant support to bring forward residential development on brownfield sites.  The grant can be used to address remediation issues, access works or service diversion and provision required to make sites deliverable.  The grant was used to support schemes that would otherwise be unviable.  The funding cannot be used as revenue.

Bids were submitted in a number of tranches and GMCA agreed the prioritisaition criteria focusing on deliverability, value for money and strategic fit.  Under Tranche 2, Oldham Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) were provisionally allocated up to £4.502M BHL Grant funding based upon a GMCA led proposal (working directly with TfGM) to develop 265 apartments at Southlink.   

In September 2021, Cabinet approved that the grant for Southlink should be provisionally accepted. In order to meet the grant requirements, set by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) for Tranche 2 applications, the following development milestones must be met, or the Grant risks being re-allocated to other schemes within Greater Manchester:

 

Milestones

Date

Collaboration agreement signed

28th February 2022

Competitive Land Sale exercise commences

8th April 2022

Developer partner selected

30th June 2022

TfGM / OMBC approval for selected Developer partner

31st July 2022

Planning application submitted

30th September 2022

Planning decision

15th January 2023

Start on Site

31st March 2023

 

CBRE were appointed in September 2020 to prepare a development brief and provide delivery strategy and developer selection advice to the council for the proposed developments at Derker and Southlink in order to meet the requirements of the BHL Grant Funding timetables.

The CBRE Advice explored three options for bringing the site at Southlink forward for development which were: 

1.    Direct development by the Council.

2.    Procurement of a private sector development partner under the public contract regulations 2015.

3.    Land sale to a Developer.

 

The first option was discounted because of the risk it would place on the council and the significant resources, both expertise and finance, that would be required. 

A fully compliant procurement exercise  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Special Education Needs (SEND) Transport Service pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Education, Skills and Early Years which sought to advise on the process undertaken on the Transport Service Tender.by providing details of the recent tender allocation process. It also outlined details of the current provision of Travel Assistance, provided by the SEND Transport Team.

The SEND Travel Assistance Service provided the current provision for Home to School Transport. The service transports approximately 830 pupils with either special educational needs, disabilities or because of their mobility issues.  There are approx. 2600 children and young people with EHCPs in the borough and circa 5000 children and young people 0-25 years on SEN Support.

The SEND Travel Assistance Service operates over 190 school days as determined by the School Holiday Calendar and other occasional days determined by individual schools governing bodies. All pupils with SEND are provided with free travel assistance, in accordance with the Council’s current Travel Assistance Policy (July 2019), IPSEA Legal guidance and the Education Act 1996. It is the legal responsibility of the Local Authority to provide this service, as outlined in the Education Act 1996.

The provision of transport is determined by the needs of the individual pupil. Those with severe and complex health, physical or educational needs can be transported by either individual taxis or adapted vehicles. Children or young people with less severe needs ordinarily travel via a multi-passenger minibus.

The SEND Travel Assistance Policy aims to ensure that all pupils eligible to access transport, will receive the appropriate provision which meets their needs.

At present, there is a concurrent internal travel training program in place with Oldham Council, led by the SEND Travel Assistance Service. The program aims to provide independent travel training to 30 children and young people per annum. New delivery models for providing a greater level of scale and pace for independent travel training will be considered before the financial year end as 30 per annum is deemed insufficient to meet potential demand/need, ensure independence and preparation for adulthood and ensure best value for money/a potential invest to save model. This will help to mitigate costs moving forwards as more children and young people may migrate to travel training from transport and/or assigned travel training in place of transport in the first instance.

The current contract to provide SEND Travel Assistance expires on 31st August 2022. although there is an option to extend by another year.

A dynamic purchasing system (DPS) is to be established and used for allocating routes via mini competitions of which can be accessed via the Chest. In accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules and Public Contract Regulations 2015 the following procurement process was undertaken in establishing the DPS.

A supplier engagement event was advertised on the Chest accompanied with a soft market testing questionnaire designed to inform the Council of the market’s perception of the current and future ways of working.

Following the event, the DPS opportunity was advertised on the Chest on 17th  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Managing Director, Children and Young People which sought approve acceptance of the Holiday Activities Food (HAF) funding and implementation, including payment terms for providers and creation of dedicated delivery team via fixed term posts, covering the 3 years confirmed programme 2022/23, 2023/24, 2024/25.

The Department for Education (DfE) made funds available to every local authority in England to coordinate free holiday club/activity provision, including healthy food and enriching activities, for children receiving benefits-related free school meals for the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

Following the success of the HAF programme in 2021, the Chancellor confirmed in October that the programme will continue in all local authorities in England for the next three years, with funding of over £200m each year. This new funding covers the length of this spending review period – 2022-23 to 2024-25.

Oldham Council had been allocated £1,458,050 from the DfE to deliver the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) in 2022/2023 and would receive additional allocations for the programme in 23/24 and 24/25.

With the funding confirmed 3 years, a 3-year delivery programme would be developed building on the processes established in the pilot year 21/22. With appropriate staffing resources to ensure the Council can meet its ambition to ensure eligible children and young people across Oldham have access to a diverse range of exciting holiday clubs and activities, offering a blend of borough-wide and more locally based activities.

To establish the programme delivery there were a number of decisions for consideration.

Payment terms for providers

Payment terms of the grants to delivery partners. It was recommended that based on the processes previously agreed in the pilot year the Council would continue to have a tiered payment process based on the value of the grant being awarded to the provider.

           Awards under £20k will be paid in advance

           Awards over £20k will be paid 75% in advance and 25% on completion.

Recruitment of dedicated HAF programme staffing

There was a requirement within the Department for Education programme guidance that each local authority appointed a HAF coordinator/manager alongside having sufficient staff who are dedicated to work on the HAF programme all year round. Local Authorities were able to use 10% of the allocated funding for administration costs, this included staffing costs.

It was proposed that to ensure the HAF programme to be sufficiently staffed,  2 fixed term post for the 3-year delivery programme be created One full time programme manager (NJC - grade 8) and one programme coordinator 22 hours (NJC grade 6).

 

Option/alternatives considered

Payment terms for delivery providers.

Option 1 -To pay all providers in advance of delivering their holiday activities and food provision. This would allow adequate funding for activities to be delivered by small providers with limited reserves. This option presents a level of risk to the council and there is potential for needing to claw money back if they fail to deliver in full.

Option 2 - To have a tiered payment process  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Priority Programme Fund - VCFSE Support pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration of a report of the Assistant Director for Youth, Leisure and Communities which sought approval to allocate grant funding from the Priority Programme Fund (PPF), renewing all grants for one year (22/23) and extending the grant to Action Together CIO for three years to enable them to provide voluntary sector infrastructure support, including intensive and specialist organisational development, in Oldham for three years 2022-25.

The Council had for a number of years, funded a range of voluntary, community and faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector organisations through its Priority Programme Fund (PPF). For the past three years, the CCG have also made a £50,000 contribution to this fund, to mitigate the impact of the 10% saving applied to this budget in 2019/20. The fund has had three main strands, alongside supporting a small number of community events:

·           Voluntary Sector Infrastructure

·           Community Centres and Organisations

·           Legal and Advice Services

Voluntary Sector Infrastructure

Action Together provided the voluntary sector infrastructure support in Oldham and also provided VCFSE infrastructure support in both Tameside and Rochdale. They also play a prominent role in the leadership of the sector at a Greater Manchester level through 10GM and the GM VCFSE Leadership Group which champions the role of communities in devolution. Action Together having an influential voice within these forums enables Oldham’s co-operative ambition to influence across the GM city region.

Community Centres and Organisations

Oldham Credit Union, Werneth and Freehold Community Development Project and Greenacres Community Centre, Oldham Interfaith Forum,

Legal and Advice Oldham

Citizens Advice Oldham

The total grant awards that were recommended to the Cabinet were:

Grantee

Grant

Award

Funding Source

Action Together

VCFSE Infrastructure

£270,500

PPF

Action Together

Emergency Response Volunteers

£65,000

COMF

Greenacres Community Association

Community Centres & Organisations

£32,000

PPF

Werneth & Freehold CDP

Community Centres & Organisations

£32,000

PPF

Oldham Credit Union

Community Centres & Organisations

£36,000

PPF

Oldham Interfaith Forum

Community Centres & Organisations

£36,000

PPF

CAB

Legal & Advice Services

£260,000

PPF

CAB

Uplift for Covid19 Recovery

£48,200

COMF

Total Grants Awarded

£779,700

 

Shortfall in PPF Funds

£35,000

COMF

Remainder (available to support the community events identified if required)

£15,440

 

 

Options/alternatives considered

Option 1 – Decommissioning, this was not a viable option because there would be a loss of support and infrastructure to the VCSFE sector in Oldham

Option 2 – Renew all grant agreements for one year. This option would reduce the ability od Action Together to plan resources strategically over the medium term

Option 3 – Renew the infrastructure Grant Agreement for 3 years 2022-2025 and all other grants for one year 2022-2023 and undertake a full VCSFE review.

 

RESOLVED – That

1.    The VCFSE infrastructure grant to Action Together be renewed for a period of three years (2022-25).

2.    The remaining grants awarded through the Priority Programme Fund be renewed for one year (22/23)

3.    COMF funding was allocated to ensure that there was sufficient budget to enable all grants to continue at the level previously funded (21/22) and avoid grant reductions at a time when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

VCFSE Investment Fund (Covid19 Recovery pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Public health which sought approval to allocate £648,000 of Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) monies to the previously established single grant for the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector (VCFSE) in Oldham, known as the ‘One Oldham Fund’. This investment would support the sector’s resilience to enable key VCFSE organisations to remain viable to continue to deliver the ongoing Covid19 response and to contribute to the delivery of Oldham’s Covid Recovery Strategy priorities.

The Covid19 crisis had a direct and significant impact on the Voluntary, Community, Faith & Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector in Oldham. The crisis has precipitated a rise in demand for services delivered by the sector, reduced their ability to generate income and left many community groups and organisations having to radically redesign their delivery or cease activity for some time. The sector has equally been a critical partner in delivering the Covid19 response work across Oldham’s communities and has provided a significant leadership role at all levels of Oldham’s coordinated response.

At the outset of the pandemic action was taken to support the sector. The Council and CCG in Oldham committed to allowing the sector to be creative with existing public sector funds and resources, and to easing monitoring and reporting deadlines, the Council also offered a route for VCFSE suppliers to request relief and for grant holders to make contact.

Action Together launched a quick response grant fund to help local groups and charities access immediate funding and support, as well as a public fundraising drive to help raise money, so that groups and charities could help local people struggling through the crisis. To date the quick response fund has raised £89,025 through a contribution from the Action Oldham Fund, public fundraising, GM grants and local business donations. Subsequently a further £170,000 was pooled from Thriving Communities Fast Grants, Standing Together and Oldham Housing Providers funds into the Covid19 Response Fund. To date grants have been awarded to more than 150 organisations through this fund to support Covid19 response.

In addition, during the pandemic Oldham has been awarded funds through the MHCLG Community Champions fund and the DEFRA Emergency Assistance grant a proportion of which have been used to invest in VCFSE organisations to deliver Covid19 related engagement activities and humanitarian aid respectively. Action Together have also supported groups to access external funding throughout the pandemic.

These funds had been vital in enabling the sector to play an integral role in the Covid19 response in Oldham. However, often funding would cover new and additional costs, which could still leave some organisations drawing on reserves to cover core costs where income is reduced or with fewer options if they are unable to operate fully during the crisis although they may have a vital role in supporting the recovery within our communities.

From a position of operating at historically low levels of reserves pre-Covid it is likely that coming out of the crisis the VCFSE sector would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Request for approval to commission provision of the Oldham Health Check pdf icon PDF 745 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Managing Director, Community Health and Adult Social Care which sought approval to extend the current contract for Oldham’s Health Checks which expires on 31/03/2022.

This report requested an extension until 30/06/2022 to cover procurement timelines and outlined a proposal for the new service specification which would form the basis of the new five year Health Check contract.

It was reported the Oldham Health Check was Oldham’s approach to delivering the nationally mandated NHS Health Check service which Oldham Council commissions from the Public Health budget. Health Checks involved residents being asked a series of health and lifestyle related questions and a series of tests being performed. The aim is to identify those who are at a higher risk of developing heart problems so that preventative action can be taken.

Residents aged 40-74 who haven’t already been diagnosed with certain conditions are eligible for a Health Check every 5 years; the national target is for 75% of eligible residents to receive their Check every 5 years.

Most GP practices in Oldham provide Health Checks, as well as three pharmacies. The current budget for Health Checks in Oldham is £138,000 per year. This budget is enough to provide checks for 45% of the eligible population every five years based on the current price commissioned per Health Check.

It was proposed that £1,500 of the £138,000 budget was retained for training and communications to promote Health Checks, the remaining £136,500 would be retained for delivery. Oldham Council also pays £32k/year to EMIS to access the system; shared EMIS access with the CCG is being explored which could mean that £32k/year is saved.

Various engagement has taken place to inform the new service specification. This engagement, as well as our priorities as a borough and our knowledge of how Health Checks have worked in the past, has informed the five priorities for the Health Check programme going forward:

 

1)         Reducing health inequalities

2)         Targeting residents at highest risk of cardiac events

3)         Commissioning for improved outcomes

4)         Focus on Mental Health within the Health Check

5)         Focus on Diabetes within the Health Check

Aligning with these priorities, colleagues were asked to consider the key changes to the Oldham Health Check contract outlined in detail in this report, and summarised below:

  • Prioritising patients based on their risk – this report outlines an approach whereby patients will be prioritised for their Health Check based on their existing cardiovascular risk score and/or lifestyle factors such as smoking and BMI. Evidence suggests this improves the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the Health Check Programme. Military veterans and asylum seekers aged 18 and above will also be prioritised for the Health Check given they are more likely to experience health inequalities.
  • Model of Delivery – while many GP practices will want to deliver the Oldham Health Check individually, the contract will give practices the option to apply as a consortium of practices or as a PCN. Payments will be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Oldham Council Local Full Fibre Network pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Senior Responsible Officer Digital which sought approval to enter into the Collaboration Agreement over 10 years with GMCA for delivery, governance, and shared funding of GM One Network.

In March 2018, Greater Manchester (GM) secured 25% of the UK Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) funding pot, offered by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), to connect over 1,600 public sector sites across GM.

The LFFN Programme is expected to have a transformational impact on digital infrastructure in GM - leading to an increase in full fibre coverage throughout Greater Manchester.

Each of the public sector organisations that are part of the LFFN anchor tenancy programme operate a “Wide Area Network” (WAN). The Oldham Council “WAN” provides network services for all Council, Unity Partnership, Miocare, CCG staff who operate from a Council building / asset and the public at Oldham Council Libraries, Access Oldham, Oldham Tommyfield Market.

 Oldham Council WAN services are currently procured from four major telecoms companies and include both infrastructure and services. Recognising that LFFN is providing a shared fibre infrastructure, in 2020; Oldham Council with several other partners considered the option for jointly procuring a new “WAN” service across the fibre infrastructure for their own organisational needs to take advantage of economies of scale.

Consequently, the principal drivers for the creation of a GM One Wide Area Network were identified as being to:

·         Consolidate and reduce the total costs of ownership of WAN services procured from other telecom companies.

 

·         Support GM to become a globally recognised digital city region.

 

·         Realise the benefits of the Local Full Fibre Network investment.

Oldham Council alongside TfGM and three other Local Authorities have collaborated in a GMCA led procurement process to assess the costs and effort to “light up” and provide network services for 1,600 sites throughout GMCA including 71 Oldham Council buildings and assets and to identify a preferred bidder to deliver the GM One Network.

The procurement exercise was now complete, a preferred supplier has been identified for the Greater Manchester One Network to deliver the Wide Area Network services for Oldham Council; GMCA including GM Fire & Rescue, GMCA/TFGM Urban Traffic Controls Signals and select TFGM sites, and Stockport, Bury and Rochdale Councils.

The installation of the LFFN fibre network was expected to be completed April 2022; the next steps will be to “light the fibre” network infrastructure; migrate Council buildings to the new optical high-speed network and decommission legacy network services.


Options /alternatives considered

Option 1 - Do nothing and stay “as is”.

With this option, the Council would make no use of the LFFN infrastructure at the 71 LFFN sites.

Option 2 - Subscribe to the GM One WAN service.

With this option, the Council would subscribe to the GM One service to make

use of the LFFN infrastructure at the 71 sites. Oldham Council would not own

the network equipment.

Option 3 - Contract with the Council’s Current Network Partner. 

With this option, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

2022 Contract Awards following tender process for Healthwatch Oldham and NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Managing Director Community Health and Adult Social Care which sought approval to award contracts for the provision of Healthwatch Oldham and the NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services.

The report also requested approval to extend the current contract provision with the existing providers for Healthwatch Oldham and the NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy for up to two months to allow for incumbent provider/s to implement the new contracts and allow for any Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) implications.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, Local Authorities are mandated to provide local Healthwatch and NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services.  These services do not have to be provided by the same organisation but must work together for the benefit of the local population.

The current contracts for both services expire 31st March 2022 with no provision to extend.  An open tender exercise has been conducted, with recommended providers for services for the period 2022/23 – 2029/30 (with break clauses at year 3 and 5).

Local authorities have a statutory duty to commission a local Healthwatch organisation, which in turn has a set of statutory activities to undertake, such as gathering local views and making these known to providers and commissioners, monitoring and scrutinising the quality of provision of local services, and a seat on the local Health and Wellbeing Board.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires all local authorities with adult social care responsibilities to “make such arrangements as it considers appropriate for the provision of independent advocacy in relation to its area” in the provision of assistance for individuals making or intending to make an NHS complaint. 

Action Together has delivered the Healthwatch Oldham and NHS Independent Complaint Advocacy services since 2014 and 2016 respectively.  The last competitive tendering process took place in 2017, with new contracts commencing 2018/19.

Over recent years, reviews on local Healthwatch services have taken place, most relevantly across Greater Manchester with the aim of seeking to commission consistently.  Both commissioners and service providers regularly attend the Greater Manchester sessions and it has been integral for updating service specification and monitoring of the services being delivered.

Action Together currently delivers Oldham’s Local Healthwatch service and the NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Service, therefore fulfilling Oldham Council’s statutory functions as established in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, outlined in paragraph 1.1 above.

The current contract price for Healthwatch was £138,700 per annum and the Independent Complaints Advocacy is £28,500 per annum.  The budgets are currently funded via Oldham’s allocation to the Better Care Fund (BCF) and engagement has taken place with NHS Oldham CCG on the tenders for the services.  Working alongside local commissioning authorities the financial envelopes for both Healthwatch and NHS CAS services are comparative.  It was also worth noting that the last time the services were commissioned (in 2018) a small reduction was applied to the financial envelopes.  Prior to market engagement, a sustainability test was undertaken for the service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Covid-19 Grants for Adult Social Care pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Managing Director of Community Health and Adult Social Care which sought to update Cabinet on delegated decisions made in respect of various short term government grants received to support the Adult Social Care sector during the Covid pandemic, and to seek retrospective approval for the utilization of the funding.

The report set out the various short term government grants received by the local authority to support the adult social care sector respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ten different grants totalling £12,476,907 had been received between May 2020 and February 2022, each with their own conditions, reporting requirements, prescribed and discretionary amounts and different applicable time periods. Of this amount, £5,731,499 was received in the 2020/21 financial year and £6,745,408 in the current financial year, with a clear expectation-and for the prescribed elements, direction- that funding was distributed to independent sector adult social care providers operating in Oldham. Clarity was given in the grant conditions that the funding could not be used to offset existing planned expenditure or financial pressures within the local authority.

Grant conditions included distribution within 20 days of receipt, and prescription as to utilization and recipients. Therefore, decisions related to each grant were made by the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, in consultation with the Director of Adult Social Services and the Section 151 Officer, both of whom have been required to provide assurance statements to Department of Health and Social Care to confirm compliance with the various grant conditions.

All organisations in receipt of funding were issued with detailed grant conditions and links to the government guidance, including confirming the requirement to return any unspent funds, and acknowledgement that any funding found to be used not in accordance with the grant conditions would be required to be repaid.

Funding recipients had also been required to complete detailed expenditure reports to the Commissioning and Quality Service at intervals consistent with the returns required to DHSC, and to retain evidence of expenditure should this be required for audit purposes.

It was not clear at this stage whether any further grant funding for the sector will be announced.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, and in response to the challenges experienced in the adult social care sector as a consequence of high rates of transmission amongst vulnerable adults with care and support needs and within the workforce, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a number of short-term grants to local authorities for the benefit of the wider social care sector.

Grant conditions included distribution within 20 days of receipt, and prescription as to utilization and recipients. Therefore, decisions related to each grant were made by the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, in consultation with the Director of Adult Social Services and the Section 151 Officer, both of whom have been required to provide assurance statements to DHSC to confirm compliance with the various grant conditions. All relevant reports have been listed as background papers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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 paragraphs 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.

20.

Housing Delivery Strategy

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 7 of the agenda housing Delivery Strategy.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.

21.

Disposal of vacant land at Derker, St James

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 9 of the agenda - Disposal of vacant land at Derker, St James.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.

 

22.

Disposal of land at Southlink

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 10 of the agenda - Disposal of land at Southlink.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.

 

23.

Oldham Council Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN)

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 16 of the agenda - Oldham Council Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN).

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.

 

24.

2022 Contract Awards following tender process for Healthwatch Oldham and NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to the commercially sensitive information in relation to Item 17 of the agenda - 2022 Contract Awards following tender process for Healthwatch Oldham and NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Services

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.

 

25.

Covid Business Scheme

Minutes:

The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Executive Director, Place and Economic Growth and the Director of Finance which sought to update the Cabinet on the Covid Business Scheme.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations as contained within the commercially sensitive report be approved.