Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Online

Contact: Graham Walton  020 8461 7743

Items
No. Item

173.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

174.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

175.

QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 6 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting - by 5pm on Wednesday 27th January 2021.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Thursday 4th February 2021.

Minutes:

Two questions for oral reply were received from a member of the public - the questions and answers are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.

 

176.

TO CONFIRM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13 JANUARY 2021 pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2021 be confirmed.

177.

2021/22 COUNCIL TAX pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD21008

 

A key part of the financial strategy was to highlight the budget issues that will need to be addressed by the Council over the coming financial years, by forecasting the level of available resources from all sources and budget pressures relating to revenue spending. Details of the capital programme were set out in a separate report.

 

The Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22, which covered 2021/22 only, provided the second year (following 10 years of austerity) of real increases in funding although this was mainly reliant on the utilisation of the ASC precept to support cost pressures in social care. The settlement also provided funding towards the cost of the Covid pandemic continuing in part of 2021/22.

 

Although the settlement was to be welcomed there remained uncertainty around the level of Government funding for 2022/23 and beyond, particularly as the Government would need to address the significant increase in public debt due to the pandemic. The longer-term Spending Review had been postponed for a further year (until 2022/23) together with the outcome of the Fair Funding Review and Devolution of Business Rates.

 

The report identified the final issues affecting the 2021/22 revenue budget and sought recommendations to the Council on the level of the Bromley element of the 2021/22 Council Tax and Adult Social Care precept. Confirmation of the final GLA precept would be reported to the Council meeting on 1st March 2021. The report also sought final approval of the ‘schools budget’. The approach reflected in the report was for the Council to not only achieve a legal and financially balanced budget in 2021/22 but to have measures in place to deal with the medium term financial position (2022/23 to 2024/25).

 

With the Government reductions in funding since austerity measures began, the burden of financing increasing service demands fell primarily on the level of council tax and share of business rate income. The financial forecast assumed that the level of core grant funding would remain unchanged in future years.

 

The Director of Finance circulated additional technical recommendations before the meeting, and confirmed that the proposed council tax increase of 4.99% was below the threshold requiring a referendum to be held. He also reported that details of the Public Health Better Care Fund were still awaited and would be reported to Council.

 

The Resources, Commissioning and Contract Management Portfolio Holder, Councillor Graham Arthur, stated that the one-year settlement from central Government was understandable, but made planning difficult. It was essential that the Council continued to live within its means and that the savings from the transformation programme were achieved. He also praised Council staff and announced that there would be a 2% salary increase, and a doubling of the merit payment pot to £400k.

 

(Councillor Simon Fawthrop declared an interest as his wife was employed by the Council.)

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Executive, Resources and Contracts

PDS Committee on 3rd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that Council be recommended  ...  view the full minutes text for item 177.

178.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING Q3 2020/21 AND CAPITAL STRATEGY 2021-25 pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20099

 

The report updated the Executive on the Council’s Capital Strategy. It also summarised the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the third quarter of 2020/21 and presented for approval the new capital schemes in the annual capital review process.

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee on 3rd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) The report be noted, including a total re-phasing of £3,764k from 2020/21 into future years, the revised Capital Programme be approved.

 

(2) The following amendment to the Capital Programme to approved:

Increase of £290k to the Disabled Facilities Grant (paragraph 3.3.1 to the report.)

 

(3)  Council be recommended to approve the inclusion of the new scheme proposals listed in Appendix C to the report in the Capital

Programme (section 3.6 to the report.)

179.

MODEL LONDON LETTINGS ENFORCEMENT POLICY pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ES20062

 

The report sought to fulfil the requirements set out in Section 6.2 of - “Mandatory client money protection for property agents – Enforcement guidance for local authorities” - in order to avoid any legal deficiencies in the event of any enforcement action which may be identified.

 

Councillor Peter Morgan requested that details of which illegal payments lettings agencies should not be demanding from tenants, and a link to the guidance, be circulated to all Members.

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Public Protection and Enforcement PDS Committee on 19th January 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED That the Model London Lettings Enforcement Policy be adopted.

180.

CONTRACT PROCEDURE RULES: DELEGATED AUTHORITY ARRANGEMENTS FOR CONTRACT EXTENSIONS pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ACH21-008

 

At its meeting on 24th November 2020, the Adult Care and Health Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee (ACH PDS) requested further information on arrangements for the delegation of authority to Officers to extend contracts. A decision by the Leader, on behalf of the Executive, in relation to report ACH20-067 (concerning delegated authority to the relevant Chief Officer to approve a formal contract extension option in due course) was deferred pending a further report to ACH PDS in January 2021.

 

RESOLVED that the Executive approves a deferred recommendation within the report ACH20-067.

181.

DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Minutes:

Report DRR20/017

 

Digital connectivity is critical for the ongoing social and economic prosperity of Bromley - interventions were being explored to support the roll-out of gigabit capable connectivity (internet speeds of over 1 gigabit per second), notably through facilitating the development of full-fibre to the premises broadband (FTTP) and 4G and 5G mobile networks.

 

The report recommended that the Council agreed a Digital Infrastructure Work Plan as the mechanism to coordinate the interventions that were required to improve digital infrastructure, comprising the Bromley Digital Infrastructure Toolkit and the Memorandum of Understanding with Openreach.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, Councillor Peter Morgan, thanked Councillors Hannah Gray and Yvonne Bear for their work on this project as Executive Assistants, and also the officers involved. 

 

Councillor Simon Fawthrop commented that “Starlink” should assist with providing broadband coverage in rural areas, and that when the Local Plan was next updated (possibly in relation to the London Plan) there was an opportunity to add a policy on minimal standards for digital. The Leader asked that officers take these issues into account and report back to Cllr Fawthrop.

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 2nd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

(Councillor Simon Fawthrop declared an interest during consideration of this item as he was employed by BT.)

 

RESOLVED that the Digital Infrastructure Work Plan (DIWP) be agreed as the primary document covering the facilitation and development of digital infrastructure in the borough and that the actions within this document are supported.

182.

ORPINGTON TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Orpington ward

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/009

 

Over the past eight months the Regeneration Team had been working with Areli Real Estate, the developers who had acquired the Walnuts Shopping Centre in Orpington, on the concept of a Regeneration Plan for the town centre. The reports updated Members on the work and discussions to date.

Councillors Kim Botting, Pauline Tunnicliffe and William Huntington-Thresher, ward councillors for Orpington, spoke in support of the proposals. Councillor Botting commented that Areli had held several meetings with ward councillors to discuss their scheme, and many local residents were in favour, particularly as the scheme would deliver a new leisure centre and a replacement for the Saxon Centre. Councillor Tunnicliffe echoed these comments, and stated that although she was concerned about the height of the proposed tower there was an opportunity for an iconic building. Councillor Huntington-Thresher added that Areli’s consultation on the scheme had been excellent.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, Councillor Peter Morgan, commented that it was important to seize the opportunity to re-develop the town centre and the Walnuts Centre in particular. This was a complex scheme, but Areli were conducting good consultation and the Council would ensure that excellent facilities were provided as part of the scheme.

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 2nd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted, and that a further report will be submitted to the Executive in the next six months with an update and any recommendations pursuant to any land transactions.

183.

ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT- PHASE 2 pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2021/007

 

The Council had received a payment of £6,646,720 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’). This sum was to form the Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) which would be used to provide financial support to local businesses through grants and business support functions. The report also outlined a Phase 2 proposal for supporting businesses in the borough using the BIDs and Libraries as a vehicle for this support.

The report had been scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 2nd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) The report be noted and the approach to provide support to businesses in the borough using BIDs and libraries as a vehicle for this support be approved.

 

(2) The allocation be approved of up to £700k from the ARG to the BIDs in the borough and £217k from the ARG to the library contractor, GLL.

184.

PROPERTY ACQUISITION SCHEME PROPOSAL (PART 1) pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report advising on the option to acquire approximately 242 properties under a funding arrangement with Orchard and Shipman for use as accommodation to help reduce the current pressures in relation to homelessness and temporary accommodation.

The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, Councillor Peter Morgan, commented that, with around 1,800 homeless families in temporary accommodation, this would be an important scheme to reduce homelessness and budget pressures.

The report had been scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 2nd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) It is agreed to enter into the limited liability partnership (LLP) arrangement described in this report with Orchard and Shipman for the acquisition of approximately 242 residential properties (dependent upon final purchase price).

(2) It is agreed that the acquired properties will be leased by the LLP to Orchard and Shipman Homes for a 50-year period on an FRI basis.

(3) Council be recommended to agree the loan of £20m to the LLP for a period of 50 years with annual repayments starting from year 3 of 1.6% (£320k) per annum and increasing annually by CPI (collared at 0-4%), funded from the Housing Invest to Save Fund (£14m) and uncommitted Investment Fund (£6m) earmarked reserves.

(4) It is agreed to enter into (i) the Members’ Agreement for the LLP (between the Council, Orchard and Shipman, and the LLP), (ii) a guarantee agreement  with the Funder (see part 2 report) to guarantee the loan facility of £60-£65m to the LLP and undertake to meet the liabilities of the LLP in respect of the loan facility in the event of loan repayment default, (iii) a loan facility agreement between the Council and the LLP for the loan made by the Council, and (iv) a Nomination Agreement with Orchard and Shipman Homes to secure nomination rights to the acquired properties, and (v) all other ancillary documents in connection with the scheme.

(5) Authority be delegated to the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Corporate Services and the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing to carry out due diligence in connection with the scheme,  agree the details of each agreement and enter into all relevant agreements in connection with this scheme.

(6) It is agreed to appoint Sara Bowrey, Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration and James Mullender, Head of Finance, Adults Health & Housing, as the Council’s nominees to the board of the LLP, with authority to act on behalf of the Council in relation to all matters not reserved to the Council under the Members’ Agreement; such nominees to be indemnified by the Council and on the basis that the LLP will arrange suitable insurance for its Board members; and to delegate to the Chief Executive, as Head of Paid service, to make a replacement appointment of suitable seniority with the agreement of the person nominated if the final structure requires a different skill set or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 184.

185.

CONTRACT AWARD FOR ESSENTIAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS (PART 1) pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/053

 

The Executive considered a report recommending that the Council awarded contracts to establish a new Framework Agreement for the provision of essential household items needed to meet the basic requirements of homeless people leaving temporary accommodation and moving into settled accommodation. Further details were set out in a part 2 report.

 

The report had been scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 2nd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) The award of contracts be agreed to the Essential Household Goods Framework for the provision of Welfare Fund/Setting Up Home allowance to the providers detailed in the Part Two report, for the purpose of call-off contracts; the Framework will commence on 1 April 2021 for a period of three years with the option to extend for two years.

(2) Authority be delegated to the Director of Housing, Planning & Regeneration in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation & Housing  to apply the extension option, subject to agreement with the Assistant Director Governance & Contracts, the Director of Corporate Services and the Director of Finance.

186.

LEARNING DISABILITY RESPITE CONTRACT AWARD (PART 1) pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Minutes:

Report ACH21-014

 

The Council had a contract in place with the Southside Partnership to provide Learning Disability supported living and community-based day and respite services.  Approval was obtained in November 2019 to extend the contract for a period of up to 2 years from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022.  The Council was unable to reach mutual terms to extend the contract as originally intended and subsequent negotiation resulted in a 6-month extension of the contract to 31 March 2021.

The respite element of the block contract currently provided 7 beds at the 118 Widmore Road respite service at a cost of £562k per annum, with up to 5 additional beds available for spot purchase from Southside at the service. 

A gateway report, setting out the proposed way forward in relation to learning disability community provision, had been considered by Members in November 2020. This report had set out proposals in relation to the residential respite service and sought agreement to progress via a direct negotiated contract award process to enable the uninterrupted provision of respite services. 

In accordance with the Council’s financial and contractual requirements, the report set out the results of the direct negotiated contract award process and sought agreement to award the contract.  The contract was to provide 6 block beds and would commence on 1 April 2021 for a period of 2 years with no options to extend.  The option to purchase up to 6 additional beds on a spot basis would be in place to meet peak demand. Further details were set out in a part 2 report.

The Leader thanked officers for their intense efforts to re-negotiate this contract.

The report had been scrutinised by the Adult Care and Health PDS Committee on 3rd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

RESOLVED that the contract for the provision of 6 block beds at the residential respite service at 118 Widmore Road be awarded as detailed in the Part 2 report, commencing on 1 April 2021 for a period of 2 years to 31 March 2023 and with a contract value as detailed in the Part 2 report.

187.

LEARNING DISABILITY SUPPORTED LIVING CONTRACT AWARD (PART 1) pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Minutes:

Report ACH 21-014

The Council had a contract in place with the Southside Partnership to provide Learning Disability supported living and community-based day and respite services.  Approval had been obtained in November 2019 to extend the contract for a period of up to 2 years from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022.  The Council was unable to reach mutual terms to extend the contract as originally intended and subsequent negotiation resulted in a 6-month extension of the contract to 31 March 2021.

The supported living element of the current block contract provided a set number of hours for £1,395k per annum with additional hours purchased within the schemes to meet additional client needs (above that included within the block contract) of £240k per annum, making a total current spend of £1,635k per annum. 

In September 2020, the Leader approved the tendering of the supported living element of the Southside Partnership contract to ensure the continued provision of care and support into the homes of people with learning disabilities from 1 April 2021.

In accordance with the Council’s financial and contractual requirements, the report set out the results of the tendering process for the provision of the supported living services delivered under the Southside Partnership block contract and sought approval to award the contract. The contract would commence on 1 April 2021 for a period of 5 years, with the option to extend for 2 further periods of 2 years each. Further details were set out in a part 2 report.

The report had been scrutinised by the Adult Care and Health PDS Committee on 3rd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that

(1) The contract for the provision of supported living services be awarded as set out in the Part 2 report, commencing on 1 April 2021 for a period of 5 years to 31 March 2026 with the potential to extend for 2 further periods of 2 years each with contract values as stated in the Part 2 report. 

(2) Authority be delegated to the Director of Adult Social Care, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Health, the Assistant Director, Governance & Contracts, the Director of Finance and the Director of Corporate Services, to exercise the 2 extension periods of up to 2 years each.

188.

BLENHEIM SHOPPING CENTRE - FREEHOLD DISPOSAL (PART 1) pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Penge and Cator ward

Minutes:

Report CSD21023

 

New River Retail (‘NRR’) had approached the Council to acquire the freehold of Blenheim Shopping Centre, Penge so that they could redevelop the site. NRR already owned the long leasehold interest. Details of the offer were contained in a part 2 report.

The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, Councillor Peter Morgan, explained that this was an opportunity to bring residential development and enhanced trading to Penge, a good price had been negotiated in the circumstances and the future of the site would be controlled by the Council’s planning policies.

Councillor Kevin Brooks attended the meeting as ward councillor for Penge and Cator, speaking with the support of the other ward councillors. He also referred to letters that had been circulated from the Penge BID chair and the Penge Traders Association. The ward councillors were not against any development, but were against the sale of the freehold at this stage, and proposed that, at least, the Council should consult further with local traders and residents before proceeding with the sale, as they considered that consultation had been inadequate. Councillor Brooks considered that it was important for the Council to maintain control over the site by retaining the freehold. In particular, it was vital to ensure that the parking provision  remained available for visitors – the car park was now well-used following the introduction of a new Penge East Parking Zone. Any residential development was likely to increase parking demand from new residents at the possible expense of shoppers. With the planning system becoming more flexible with regard to change of use from retail to residential it was important that the Council did not just rely on its planning powers to control the site.

Councillor Angela Wilkins spoke in support of the ward councillors. She was also not against development, but had concerns about the proposed tower and considered that the Council should retain the freehold to ensure that it could secure a positive future for Penge.  

The report had been scrutinised by the Executive, Resources and Contracts

PDS Committee on 3rd February 2021 and the Committee supported the recommendations. The Chairman, Councillor Simon Fawthrop, added that the issues raised were more about planning than the benefits of selling the site. Penge needed a new approach and the Council’s ownership of the freehold of the Blenheim Centre should not be a barrier to this when there were appropriate checks and balances in the planning system.

 

RESOLVED that the sale of the freehold of the Blenheim Shopping Centre to  NRR on the terms detailed in the accompanying Part 2 Report be approved, noting the contents of this report and specifically the proposed Method of Assessment.

189.

CONSIDERATION OF ANY OTHER ISSUES REFERRED FROM THE EXECUTIVE, RESOURCES AND CONTRACTS POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Minutes:

At its meeting on 3rd February 2021, the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee had considered a report reviewing the Council’s investment portfolio. There had been debate at the PDS meeting about the nature of the Council’s role as landlord; the Assistant Director, Strategic Property, clarified that this related to the Council’s responsibilities as a commercial landlord.  

190.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006 AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business referred to below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

 

The following summaries

refer to matters involving exempt information

 

 

191.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13 JANUARY 2021

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2021 were confirmed.

192.

PROPERTY ACQUISITION SCHEME PROPOSAL (PART 2)

Minutes:

The Executive received part 2 information relating to this scheme.

193.

CONTRACT AWARD FOR ESSENTIAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS (PART 2)

Minutes:

The Executive received part 2 information concerning the proposal that the Council award contracts to establish a new Framework Agreement for the provision of essential household items.

194.

LEARNING DISABILITY RESPITE CONTRACT AWARD (PART 2)

Minutes:

The Executive received part 2 information in relation to the contract for Learning Disability Respite.

195.

LEARNING DISABILITY SUPPORTED LIVING CONTRACT AWARD (PART 2)

Minutes:

The Executive received part 2 information relating to the Learning Disability Supported Living Contract.

196.

BLENHEIM SHOPPING CENTRE - FREEHOLD DISPOSAL (PART 2)

Penge and Cator ward

 

Minutes:

The Executive received part 2 information relating to the proposed sale of the freehold of the Blenheim Centre, Penge.

197.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING - APPENDIX F

Minutes:

The Executive noted Appendix F to the Capital Programme report concerning capital receipts.

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 295 KB

 

Original Text: