Agenda, decisions and minutes


Executive
Monday 7 October 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA

Contact: Natasha Clark, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk, 01295 221589

Media

Items
No. Item

38.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest that they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

39.

Petitions and Requests to Address the Meeting

The Chairman to report on any requests to submit petitions or to address the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

The Chairman advised Executive that he had agreed to Councillor Broad addressing the meeting on agenda item 7, Community Nature Plan Restoring and Enhancing Green Spaces, and Councillor Sibley addressing the meeting on agenda items 6, Car Parking Enforcement Policy, and 8, Howes Lane Bridge Marginal Viability HIF Funding.

40.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

41.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no Chairman’s announcements.

 

42.

Community Nature Plan Restoring and Enhancing Nature and Green Spaces pdf icon PDF 131 KB

** Please note that due to the size of the document, Appendix 4 to the report is published as a supplement to the main agenda pack and can be accessed online or via the mod.gov app **

 

Report of Assistant Director Wellbeing

 

Purpose of report

 

To note the progress of the 2018-2020 Community Nature Plan and clarity recent government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces. The report also seeks approval for biodiversity net gain guidance; endorsement of seeking a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain through engagement with the planning process; and approval of biodiversity in the built environment guidance.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To note the progress of the Community Nature Plan 2018-20(attached as Appendix 1 and 2 to this report).

 

1.2           To note recent government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces.

 

1.3           To approve biodiversity net gain guidance (attached as Appendices 3 and 4 to this report).

 

1.4           To endorse seeking a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain through engagement with the planning process.

 

1.5           To approve a Biodiversity in the Built Environment Good Practice Guide ‘Preservation of existing nesting sites and provision of artificial nesting sites’ (attached as Appendix 5 to this report).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the progress of the Community Nature Plan 2018-20 be noted.

 

(2)            That recent government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces be noted.

 

(3)            That the biodiversity net gain guidance (annexes to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.  

 

(4)            That seeking a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain through engagement with the planning process be endorsed.

 

(5)            That a Biodiversity in the Built Environment Good Practice Guide ‘Preservation of existing nesting sites and provision of artificial nesting sites’ (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Wellbeing submitted a report which summarised the progress of the 2018-2020 Community Nature Plan and provided clarity on recent government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces. The report also sought approval for biodiversity net gain guidance; endorsement of seeking a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain through engagement with the planning process; and approval of biodiversity in the built environment guidance.

 

At the discretion of the Chairman, Councillor Broad addressed Executive.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the progress of the Community Nature Plan 2018-20 be noted.

 

(2)            That recent government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces be noted.

 

(3)            That the biodiversity net gain guidance (annexes to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved. 

 

(4)            That seeking a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain through engagement with the planning process be endorsed.

 

(5)            That a Biodiversity in the Built Environment Good Practice Guide ‘Preservation of existing nesting sites and provision of artificial nesting sites’ (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

Reasons

 

‘Restoring and Enhancing Nature and Green Spaces’ for the benefit of people and wildlife is a crucial element of important development and economic decisions. Failure to recognise and assess the multiple benefits of the natural environment will affect community health and wellbeing, important habitats and species and future economic growth. This report provides an update on the Community Plan, demonstrating how the Council is fulfilling its statutory biodiversity duty; and seeks approval for recommendations which support guidance that will enable the Council to invest wisely in the District’s natural environment and help to contribute to healthy outcomes for people and wildlife.

 

Alternative Options

 

Option 1: To reject the recommendations in the report. This is not proposed as the recommendations are in accordance with government guidance, best practice and the Council’s statutory biodiversity duty

 

Option 2: To amend the recommendations in the report. This is not proposed as the recommendations are in accordance with government guidance, best practice and the Council’s statutory biodiversity duty

 

43.

Howes Lane Bridge Marginal Viability HIF Funding pdf icon PDF 97 KB

** Please note that this report will follow as it is currently being reviewed and finaliased **

 

Report of Assistant Director Growth and Economy

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That, subject to OCC completing the Marginal Viability Homes Infrastructure Fund (MV HIF) agreement, it be agreed to:

    

a)    enter into a “back-to-back” agreement with OCC to take on the MV HIF obligations seeking to secure funding towards the cost of the delivery of the Howes Lane infrastructure.  In addition, to use any excess grant funding (released as a result of the development funds contributing towards the cost of delivering the infrastructure) to deliver housing (subject to any legal issues being resolved and remedied);

 

and

 

b)    delegate to the Assistant Director – Growth and Economy, in consultation with the Lead Member for Economy, Regeneration and Property and the Team Leader – Non-contentious, the negotiation and completion of the agreement with OCC.

 

 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Growth and Economy submitted a report for members to consider the implications for Cherwell District Council (CDC) entering into a legal agreement with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in connection with the delivery of the rail bridge to enable the realignment of Howes Lane in Bicester.

 

Should the development subsequently become viable, the agreement would require CDC to seek contributions toward the cost of delivery of infrastructure through development receipts and, in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement, spend any released excess MV HIF (Marginal Viability Homes Infrastructure Fund) grant on the delivery of housing.

 

At the discretion of the Chairman, Councillor Sibley addressed Executive.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That, subject to Oxfordshire County Council completing the Marginal Viability Homes Infrastructure Fund (MV HIF) agreement, it be agreed to:

    

a)    enter into a “back-to-back” agreement with OCC to take on the MV HIF obligations seeking to secure funding towards the cost of the delivery of the Howes Lane infrastructure.  In addition, to use any excess grant funding (released as a result of the development funds contributing towards the cost of delivering the infrastructure) to deliver housing (subject to any legal issues being resolved and remedied);

 

and

 

b)    delegate to the Assistant Director – Growth and Economy, in consultation with the Lead Member for Economy, Regeneration and Property and the Team Leader – Non-contentious, the negotiation and completion of the agreement with OCC.

 

Reasons

 

The conclusion is that the securing of this marginal viability funding from Homes England is a positive development and supports CDCs growth agenda.

 

Alternative Options

 

Option 1: Not to pursue the securing of funding. This could delay the provision of the realigned Howes Lane and subsequently some housing delivery and as such is not recommended

 

Option 2: Not to enter into an agreement with OCC that passes on the obligations to seek to recoup funding and use receipts to deliver housing. This option is not recommended as it is likely to prevent the funding being secured and results in a lost opportunity to release excess grant funding for housing.

 

44.

Results of the Residents' Satisfaction Survey 2019 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report of Assistant Director – Performance and Transformation

 

Purpose of report

 

To provide the Executive a summary of the key results from the annual satisfaction survey and to identify areas to be reflected in future business and service plans.

 

Recommendations

 

The meeting is recommended to:

 

1.1            Note the results of the survey, with particular reference to the priority service areas identified by respondents as set out in section 3.15.

 

1.2            Agree that the results and priority service areas identified will be used as part of the business and service planning process for 2020-21.

 

1.3            Continue to develop the approach of consulting and engaging with our residents, ensuring we reach as many residents as possible making use of all communication tools available to us and keeping residents up to date with progress against the business plan.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the results of the survey, with particular reference to the priority service areas identified by respondents, be noted.

 

(2)            That it be agreed that the results and priority service areas identified will be used as part of the business and service planning process for 2020-21.

 

(3)            That it be agreed to continue to develop the approach of consulting and engaging with our residents, ensuring we reach as many residents as possible making use of all communication tools available to us and keeping residents up to date with progress against the business plan.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Performance and Transformation submitted a report  which summarised the key results from the annual satisfaction survey and identified areas to be reflected in future business and service plans.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the results of the survey, with particular reference to the priority service areas identified by respondents, be noted.

 

(2)            That it be agreed that the results and priority service areas identified will be used as part of the business and service planning process for 2020-21.

 

(3)            That it be agreed to continue to develop the approach of consulting and engaging with our residents, ensuring we reach as many residents as possible making use of all communication tools available to us and keeping residents up to date with progress against the business plan.

 

Reasons

 

The annual satisfaction survey provides the Council with a standard source of data for gauging satisfactions levels across the district about service delivery and value for money, which enables informed decision making with regard to service provision and the planning of priorities.

 

The service specific satisfaction and feedback enables services to react quickly to any issues identified and also provides the council with more frequent satisfaction results.

 

It is important that the results are used as part of business and service planning and those areas of further investigation are progressed.  These further investigations by officers, coordinated by the Insight Team, will provide the council with more detailed customer feedback and insight enabling evidence-based decision making.

 

Alternative Options

 

To reject the findings of the satisfaction survey results and not incorporate them as part of the business and service planning process for 2020-21. This has been rejected as the survey provides the Council with a standard source of data for gauging satisfactions levels across the district, which enables informed decision making with regard to service provision and priorities.

45.

Monthly Performance, Finance and Risk Monitoring Report - August 2019 pdf icon PDF 643 KB

Report of Executive Director: Finance (Interim) and Assistant Director: Performance and Transformation

 

Purpose of report

 

This report summarises the Council’s Performance, Risk and Finance monitoring position as at the end of each month.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1      To note the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report be noted.

Minutes:

The Executive Director: Finance (Interim) and Assistant Director: Performance and Transformation submitted a report which summarised the Council’s Performance, Risk and Finance monitoring position as at the end of each month.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report be noted.

 

Reasons

 

The Council is committed to performance, risk and budget management and reviews progress against its corporate priorities on a monthly basis.

 

Alternative Options

 

Option 1: This report illustrates the Council’s performance against the 2019-20 business plan. As this is a monitoring report, no further options have been considered. However, members may wish to request that officers provide additional information.      

46.

Car Parking Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Report of Assistant Director: Environmental Services

 

Purpose of report

 

To present to Executive a proposal to change the car parking enforcement process and overarching Policy, having regard to comments and findings by the Local Government Ombudsman regarding the conduct of car parking enforcement, and also the length of time that has elapsed since the Policy was last reviewed.

 

Recommendations

            

The Executive is recommended:

 

1.1           To note the report and the recommendations of the Local Government Ombudsman and the action plan to address those recommendations in so far as the same concern the enforcement of excess charges.

 

1.2           To approve the revised Car Parking Enforcement Policy at Appendix 2.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the report and the recommendations of the Local Government Ombudsman and the action plan to address those recommendations in so far as the same concern the enforcement of excess charges be noted.

 

(2)            That the revised Car Parking Enforcement Policy (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved. .

 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director: Environmental Services submitted a report which presented a proposal to change the car parking enforcement process and overarching Policy, having regard to the comments and findings by the Local Government Ombudsman regarding the conduct of car parking enforcement, and also the length of time that has elapsed since the Policy was last reviewed.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the report and the recommendations of the Local Government Ombudsman and the action plan to address those recommendations in so far as the same concern the enforcement of excess charges be noted.

 

(2)            That the revised Car Parking Enforcement Policy (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved.

 

Reasons

 

The recommendations in this report address the Local Government Ombudsman’s comments and concerns regarding the Council’s car parking enforcement process. In particular it simplifies the approach to parking enforcement by removing from the process at the earliest opportunity the involvement of Bristow and Suter as enforcement agents chasing payment on Apcoa’s behalf. Apcoa will now remind customers of outstanding excess charges before referring the matter directly to the Council, who will then decide upon prosecuting that customer in the magistrate’s court for the unpaid ECN.  

 

The proposed new Policy takes account of the process proposed. 

 

Alternative Options

 

To reject the new Car Parking Enforcement Policy and ask officers to reconsider the same having regard to the report from the Local Government Ombudsman

47.

Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any item of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

48.

Financial Management System pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Report of Executive Director Finance (Interim)

 

Purpose of report

 

This report seeks approval for increased capital funding for the replacement of the financial management system following the end of the current contract with Civica.

 

Recommendations

            

As part of the budget setting process for 2019/20, the Council approved a capital project to replace the financial management system.  Following the separation of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Council (SNC), engagement with the market and other councils who have recently replaced their system, the budget requirement has been revised.  Therefore, Executive is recommended to:

 

1.1           Approve additional capital funding.

 

1.2           Note the estimated revenue impact.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That additional capital funding for the capital project to replace the financial management system be approved.

 

(2)            That the estimated revenue impact be noted.

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director Finance (Interim) submitted a report to seek approval for increased capital funding for the replacement of the financial management system following the end of the current contract with Civica.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That additional capital funding for the capital project to replace the financial management system be approved.

 

(2)            That the estimated revenue impact be noted.

 

Reasons

 

The current initial five-year term of the contract with Civica ends on 31 March 2020.  The Council approved the replacement and the best route is via a full and open tender process to secure a new finance system that will meet the Council’s business needs – initially for a five-year period, but potentially for up to a further five years – possibly providing the finance functionality for the next decade.

 

Alternative Options

 

Option 1: Extend the existing contract with Civica for a period of up to five years.  This has been rejected due to the limited functionality being provided by the system and the inability to provide the high-quality financial reporting information identified in our user requirements gathering exercises.

49.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following report contains exempt information as defined in the following paragraphs of Part 1, Schedule 12A of Local Government Act 1972.

 

3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Members are reminded that whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for the meeting to decide whether or not to consider it in private or in public. In making the decision, members should balance the interests of individuals or the Council itself in having access to the information. In considering their discretion members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers.

 

No representations have been received from the public requesting that this item be considered in public.

 

Should Members decide not to make a decision in public, they are recommended to pass the following recommendation:

 

“That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the ground that, if the public and press were present, it would be likely that exempt information falling under the provisions of Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraph 3  would be disclosed to them, and that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There being no questions on the exempt appendix it was not necessary to exclude the press and public from the meeting.

50.

Financial Management System - Exempt Appendix

** Please note this report will follow as it is currently being reviewed and finalised **

 

Exempt report of Executive Director Finance (Interim)

Minutes:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the exempt appendix be noted.