Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday 27th September 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Church Square House, Scunthorpe

Contact: Richard Mell 

Items
No. Item

1440.

Leader's (Chair's) Remarks

Minutes:

The Leader referred to the recent sad death of Roni Wilson, the wife of Councillor Stuart Wilson and expressed his condolences and those on behalf of the Cabinet and members and officers present at the meeting to Cllr Stuart Wilson and his family at this sad time. He confirmed that it would be appropriate to hold a minute’s silence for Roni at the meeting of the full Council on 11 October 2021.

1441.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Personal or Personal and Prejudicial interests.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest declared at the meeting.

1442.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Minutes:

Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 12 July 2021 having been circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.

1443.

Greater Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Oversight Committee pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Minutes:

Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 25 June, 2021 be received, noted and where necessary approved and adopted.

1444.

2021/2022 Quarter 1 Financial Management and Medium Term Financial Plan Update pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Minutes:

The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report providing Cabinet with an update on the Council’s in-year financial position, requested members to note the latest revenue budget and approve the revised capital programme and set out the Council’s updated medium term financial planning position.

 

The Director in her report explained that the medium-term financial plan represented an amalgamation of financial and non-financial assumptions which formed the basis of how much resource the Council expected to have available to invest in its priorities and to ensure it continued to fulfil its duties effectively.

 

Despite a challenging operating environment in 2020/21 brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council was able to manage risk effectively and contain cost within available resources. This resulted in a successful outturn, which provided a sound platform for 2021/22. Whilst restrictions were now significantly lessened, the pandemic continued to provide uncertainty and required the Council to be ready to adapt to changes at short notice. It was within this context that Council was operating, and as such financial forecasts could vary if national and local circumstances changed, particularly at short notice. As had been the case since March 2020, the Council’s forecasts continued to be based on the best information held at that point in time.

 

The report informed Cabinet on how the approved budget was progressing based on the first three months of the financial year. Cabinet would receive further updates in November (quarter two), January/February (quarter three) and March (indication of outturn). The final outturn would then be brought before Cabinet in summer 2022.The Council continued to manage its resources to deliver the Council Plan, responding to the pandemic and ensuring business continuity through the recovery and renewal phase of the pandemic. Financial management and planning processes supported council resource management and facilitated the journey to long-term financial sustainability. A summary explanation with supporting appendices were provided for the following –

           

·         Revenue 2021/2022;

·         Capital 2021/22;

·         Reserves;

·         Budget Adjustments;

·         Treasury Management, and

·         Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

Resolved – (a) That the revenue and capital budget monitoring position for 2021/22 set out at Appendix 1 of the report be noted; (b) that the revenue budget adjustments approved under delegated powers and the revised budget position for 2021/22, summarised at Appendix 3 of the report be noted; (c) that the revised capital investment programme 2021/24 as set out in Appendix 4 of the report be approved; (d) that the progress against the approved Treasury Management Strategy in Appendix 5 of the report be noted, and (e) that the medium-term financial plan update in Appendix 2 of the report be noted.

1445.

COVID-19 Mid Term Recovery Plan Update pdf icon PDF 341 KB

Minutes:

Further to minute 1418, the Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report updating Cabinet on the Council’s progress in responding to COVID-19 as set out in the mid-term recovery plan (Appendix 1), summarised key highlights and provided an overview of the national COVID-19 Response – Autumn 2021 and Road Map which would inform actions within the Mid-term recovery.

 

The Director in her report explained that since the previous update report to Cabinet on this subject matter in March 2021 (minute 1418 refers) progress had been made against the national plan. Key milestones included the move to Level 3 easements from 17th May 2021, which saw the reopening of the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor economy and gathering limits increased indoors and outdoors. Guidance for close contact between friends and family was updated, with people asked to exercise their own personal judgement in line with the risks. Additionally, the Stay in the UK restriction was lifted with people able to travel to green list countries, if they permitted inbound travel.

 

Further progress was signalled via The Cabinet Office publishing on 19th July 2021 the COVID-19 Response – Summer 2021, which set out the roadmap for the further easing of restrictions in England to level four. While this heralded the lifting of almost all remaining restrictions, continued emphasis was placed on social distancing, the wearing of face coverings in crowded/enclosed spaces and the process of Test, Trace and Isolate. From 16th August 2021, a system of testing rather than isolation for those who were double vaccinated came into force. In moving away from stringent restrictions to everyone’s day-to-day lives and towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk, the government had undertaken several actions set listed in the report.

 

The Director also stated that as Autumn/Winter 2021 approached, the government aimed to sustain the progress made, while ensuring the NHS did not come under unsustainable pressure. The recently announced (14th September 2021) COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan, sets out that success would be achieved by:

 

·         Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions

·         Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission

·         Supporting the NHS and social care

·         Advising people on how to protect themselves and others

·         Pursuing an international approach

 

New measures announced to support the autumn and winter plan include renewed calls for the unvaccinated to become so; the vaccination of 12-15 year-olds (one dose); booster vaccinations for the over 50’s and vulnerable groups and a concerted flu jab campaign covering a wider population than previously. Additionally, many more of the remaining measures contained within the Coronavirus Act 2020 had been repealed. Contingency plans had also been announced in the event of the continued spread of the virus leading to unsustainable pressure on the NHS. These included the re-introduction of mandatory face coverings; return to home working arrangements and possibly vaccine passports required for certain settings.  

 

Local authorities continued to play a key role in achieving the successful easing of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1445.

1446.

Domestic Abuse Strategy 2021/2024 pdf icon PDF 810 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report presenting the ‘Domestic Abuse Strategy 2021/24’ within the context of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and a new duty placed on Tier One local authorities in England, and sought approval for the Domestic Abuse Strategy 2021/24 to be published in line with the statutory requirement to publish this first Strategy under section 57 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 on or before 31 October 2021 as set out in regulations.

 

The Interim Director in her report explained that The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (the Act) was signed into law on 29 April 2021. The Act was underpinned by the Domestic Abuse (Local Authority Strategies) Regulations 2021 and the Domestic Abuse Support (Relevant Accommodation) Regulations 2021.  The feedback on the Government consultation on the Delivery of Support to Victims of Domestic Abuse, including Children, in Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Services: Statutory guidance for local authorities across England Draft for consultation was being analysed. A Government consultation on the underpinning Domestic Abuse Draft Statutory Guidance Framework was in place until 14 September 2021.

 

Part 4 of the Act introduced a new statutory duty on local authorities, placing clearer accountability on local areas to ensure the needs of victims within refuges, and other forms of domestic abuse safe accommodation, would be met in a consistent way across England. The Act placed a new duty on local authorities to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and children in safe accommodation. Under this duty relevant local authorities were required to appoint a Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board to support them in undertaking local needs assessments and developing and monitoring local strategies. Local authorities were also required to provide effectively or commission support services for victims and children in safe accommodation, based on a local strategy informed by a robust needs assessment, and report back annually to Government.

 

The report stated that the Council had established a Domestic Abuse Partnership Board consisting of key partners in July 2021 which must be consulted in relation to certain aspects of the new duty. A local ‘Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment’ had been compiled to assess the needs for support to victims and children in safe accommodation, including those who come from outside of North Lincolnshire, alongside the need for wider domestic abuse services and this wider approach is encouraged by Government.

 

Underpinned by the Needs Assessment, the Domestic Abuse Strategy 2021/24 was predicated on the need to tackle domestic abuse as a priority and to prevent and reduce domestic abuse if progress was to be made on the priorities identified with the Council Plan (to keep people safe and well, enable resilient and flourishing communities and enable economic growth and renewal).  Specifically, the Strategy aimed to achieve the priority for individuals to be safe and well in their homes and in their communities and within the context of the council’s values, it prioritised those who had additional need and aimed to reduce inequalities and improve outcomes, taking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1446.