Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive - Thursday 16th March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Corby Cube, George Street, Corby, NN17 1QG

Contact: David Pope 

Media

Items
No. Item

400.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Cllr Harriet Pentland.

401.

Minutes of the Meetings Held on 9th February 2023 and 16th February 2023 pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that: The Executive agreed the minutes of the meetings held on 9th February 2023 and 16th February 2023 as true and accurate records of the meetings.

402.

Members' Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations were received.

 

403.

Notifications of requests to address the meeting

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Jason Smithers reported that there were requests to address the meeting as set out below:

 

Agenda Item

Speakers

Item 5 - Performance Indicator Report 2022/23 (Period 10 –January 2023)

Cllr John McGhee

Item 6 – Performance Management and Reporting Arrangements 2023/24

Cllr Lyn Buckingham, John McGhee

Item 7 – Procurement of Home Care Service for North Northamptonshire

Cllrs Lyn Buckingham, Dorothy Maxwell, John McGhee

Item 8 - Annual Inflationary Uplift Adult Social Care & Support 2023/24

Cllr Dorothy Maxwell

Item 9 - 0-19 Years – Children and Young People’s Services

Cllr Lyn Buckingham, Dorothy Maxwell, Jean Addison & Leanne Buckingham

 

Cllr Dorothy Maxwell opted not to speak in relation to Agenda Item 8.

404.

Performance Indicator Report 2022/23 (Period 10 - January 2023) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Noted the performance of the Council as measured by the available indicators at Period 10 (January) 2022/23, set out in the appendices to the report.

 

b)    Noted the progress being made in the development of the Council’s

     approach to performance management.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations – to better understand the Council’s performance as measured by performance indicators as at Period 10 (January) 2022/23.

 

Alternative Options Considered – reporting performance data on a less frequent basis is an option, but monthly reporting is considered useful at this stage of the Council’s existence, reporting alongside budget information.

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr John McGhee to speak in relation to this item. Cllr McGhee sought assurance that each Executive member would continue to review complaint levels for their service areas as these figures provided a barometer as to how well the service was performing. Cllr McGhee also requested the total spend on agency staff across the Council, noting that this was a figure he had previously requested on more than one occasion.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr McGhee for his comments before inviting the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation, Cllr Lloyd Bunday to introduce a report that sought to provide an update on the performance of the Council across a range of services as measured by performance indicators, as well as setting out the progress that was being made in the development of the Council’s performance monitoring arrangements.

 

Cllr Bunday reported that customer complaints that took the longest to resolve were ones spanning several directorates. The meeting heard that although the number of inbound calls answered within target by Customer Services had fallen, the volume of calls received had increased by 5,000 from the previous month. Details regarding use of agency staff, a review of staffing structures and vacancies would be reported to the meeting in future.

 

The meeting heard that future iterations of the Performance Indicator report would contain improved narrative on areas showing cause for concern and the actions taken to improve performance.

 

It was noted that the Period 10 report indicated a positive picture of Council performance and an encouraging direction of travel. Over half the indicators were performing above target, with 31% below target. Performance had improved across 33 indicators, with 24 deteriorating since the previous Period 9 report, although it was noted that even a slight movement in a well-performing indicator could result in a slight decline.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Noted the performance of the Council as measured by the available indicators at Period 10 (January) 2022/23, set out in the appendices to the report.

 

b)    Noted the progress being made in the development of the Council’s

     approach to performance management.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations – to better understand the Council’s performance as measured by performance indicators as at Period 10 (January) 2022/23.

 

Alternative Options Considered – reporting performance data on a less frequent basis is an option, but monthly reporting is considered useful at this stage of the Council’s existence, reporting alongside budget information.

405.

Performance Management and Reporting Arrangements 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Reviewed and adopted the Performance Management Framework

 

b)    Reviewed and agreed the addition of a highlight/focus report within monthly reporting

 

c)    Reviewed and approved the proposed Key Performance Indicator set for 2023/24.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations: To ensure that the Council has a transparent, comprehensive set of processes and performance indicators in place for the 2023/24 financial year.

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

  Not to provide regular performance reporting. It is recommended that this option is rejected as the Council has committed to pursuing a comprehensive approach to performance management.

 

  To report on all performance indicators monthly. It is recommended that this option is rejected as this will not provide additional intelligence to members due to the nature of the indicator and/or frequency of movement and will not allow the capacity to provide in-depth analysis as part of corporate performance reporting.

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Lyn Buckingham to address the Executive. Cllr Buckingham spoke to welcome the report and enquired whether information no longer presented as part of the key performance indicator set would be available online. Cllr Buckingham also referenced new consumer standards from the Regulator for Social Housing and how they would be included within Council data sets going forward.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Buckingham for her comments before inviting Cllr John McGhee to address the Executive. Cllr McGhee raised concerns regarding a perceived lack of consultation with Councillors on performance management arrangements prior to the report being brought to Executive. Cllr McGhee also queried altered timescales for provision of specific indicators and requested that this item be sent to Scrutiny for further review.

 

The Leader responded to Cllr McGhee’s comments by noting that the Council operated an Executive model, with the shadow portfolio holder for Finance having been provided with the opportunity to be involved in the process.

 

The Leader then invited the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation, Cllr Lloyd Bunday to introduce a report that presented the Council’s Performance Management Framework, setting out the Council’s approach to assuring and improving its performance as well as updating on the proposal to provide more focused reporting as part of the monthly reporting cycle to ensure that such reporting arrangements were clear, consistent and relevant with greater detail provided for areas of concern and improvement actions taken.

 

Cllr Bunday noted that the reason for the removal of specific performance indicators from the monthly reporting cycle was to concentrate focussed reporting on areas of concern while freeing up resources.

 

Cllr Matt Binley requested that the Housing-related performance indicators below be moved to the monthly reporting cycle:

 

·       AFL15 - Total number of homeless approaches

·       STP08 - % of properties with a valid gas certificate

 

Cllr Binley noted that reporting of data related to new consumer standards for social housing referred to by Cllr Buckingham had yet to be determined, however, feedback from Scrutiny and the opposition would be considered prior to reporting this information as part of the performance indicator set.

 

Cllr David Brackenbury spoke to welcome the proposed future reporting arrangements.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Reviewed and adopted the Performance Management Framework

 

b)    Reviewed and agreed the addition of a highlight/focus report within monthly reporting

 

c)    Reviewed and approved the proposed Key Performance Indicator set for 2023/24.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations: To ensure that the Council has a transparent, comprehensive set of processes and performance indicators in place for the 2023/24 financial year.

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

  Not to provide regular performance reporting. It is recommended that this option is rejected as the Council has committed to pursuing a comprehensive approach to performance management.

 

  To report on all performance indicators monthly. It is recommended that this option is rejected as this will not provide additional intelligence to members due to the nature of the indicator and/or frequency of movement and will not allow the capacity to provide in-depth analysis  ...  view the full minutes text for item 405.

406.

Procurement of Home Care Service for North Northamptonshire pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Approved the commencement of the procurement for Home Care Services, as set out in this report, to ensure North Northamptonshire remains compliant in delivering its statutory responsibilities

 

b)    Delegated to the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, in consultation with the Executive Director of Adults, Health Partnerships and Housing (DASS), to take any further decisions and/or actions required to conclude this procurement and award of the contract.

 

c)    Delegate to the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, in consultation with the Executive Director of Adults, Health Partnerships and Housing (DASS), to take any decisions in relation to future call-off and mini-competitions from the agreement.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations:

 

  A Dynamic Purchasing System will deliver a flexible contracting model that maximises opportunities for providers to work with the Council. Key benefits of this approach include reduced need for spot purchasing, increased oversight of commissioned providers, offset volatility of losing suppliers and improved relationships with a wider market. Where providers do not meet the acceptance criteria initially, the DPS will allow them to re-apply at any point throughout the contract term once all assurance requirements have been met. A traditional closed framework agreement does not provide this level of flexibility or opportunity for the market.

 

        Commissioning of home care services ensures the Council fulfils its statutory duty under the Care Act 2014 to provide care and support with daily living activities for adults aged 65 and over.

 

Alternative Options Considered: An options appraisal undertaken as part of the commissioning process identified the following three key commissioning options:

1)        Do nothing – not recommended due to the increased financial and        assurance risks associated with spot purchasing

2)        Recommission a countywide service with West Northamptonshire Council – not recommended due to the inability to design a service that meets the need of North Northants residents.

3)         Recommission a unitary wide service for North Northamptonshire - Recommended approach as it enables North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) to maximise outcomes and value for money by supporting individuals with care and support needs to remain at home for as long as they are able and delaying the need for bedded solutions. The Council is also better able to engage with contracted providers to support quality improvement and the shaping of services to meet the ongoing and changing needs of people in North Northamptonshire. Furthermore, the Council is able to make informed decisions about its medium-term financial plan due to the reduction in need to source delivery through non framework providers at rates negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Lyn Buckingham to address the meeting. Cllr Buckingham spoke to query how the Council would ensure continuity of care for clients in light of the proposed procurement of a Home Care Service for North Northamptonshire.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Buckingham for her contribution before inviting Cllr Dorothy Maxwell to speak. Cllr Maxwell spoke to note the importance of the details of any new contract in regard to the service offered, pay and conditions and training for staff as well as ongoing contract monitoring. Cllr Maxwell stated that there should be a robust plan in place to ensure people could receive care and remain in their own homes as long as possible.

 

The Chair then invited Cllr John McGhee to address the Executive. Cllr McGhee noted that a proposed five-year contract for the service would offer stability and noted the importance of engaging stakeholders prior to any contract award and to fully examine and research e-brokering prior to adoption. Cllr McGhee concluded by noting the importance of the relationships between carers and staff fostered by the use of in-house staff.

 

The Chair thanked the speakers for their comments before inviting the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing to introduce a report that sought agreement from Executive to re-procure a Home Care Service for Adults who were ordinarily resident in North Northamptonshire and predominantly aged over 65 years old, but also those under 65 with physical disabilities.Commissioning of home care services would ensure the Council fulfilled its statutory duty under the Care Act 2014 to provide care and support with daily living activities for adults aged 65 and over.

 

In response to the speakers, Cllr Harrison noted that continuity of care was vital and would be maintained through continuous quality monitoring of providers, with the Council looking for care providers to work with partners across the health and care spectrum. The service aimed to provide excellent care with qualified staff to help keep people in their own homes, with providers able to provide care anywhere in North Northamptonshire whilst receiving a fair cost of the care provided depending on rurality.

 

Cllr Harrison noted that no decision had been made regarding the ongoing care of residents at Da Vinci Court in Wellingborough. All the responses received from residents would feed into a decision as to how the facility would be managed going forward.

 

It was noted that the current Homecare Framework (Lead Provider Tier 1), which commenced in April 2018, was due to expire on 31st March 2023, with Tier 2, which commenced in April 2019, having an extension period of 12 months available, of which seven months would be used to support a contract start date of 2nd October 2023. The extension had enabled the Council to invest time to engage with, and understand, the home care market in North Northamptonshire, with a review of current provision and engagement with both the wider home care market and stakeholders having been conducted in preparation for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 406.

407.

Annual Inflationary Uplift Adult Social Care and Support 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive approved Option 3 – “Uplift including National Living Wage for frontline carers and recognising inflationary pressures” and the following increases in fee levels for 2023/24, with the proposals to come into effect from 1st April 2023.

 

The table at paragraph below, summarises the proposed uplifts for the recommended option 3 and further detail is set out in detail throughout section 3 of the report.

 

Table 1

 

Provision Type

Recommendation

Net increase in cost £000’s

Home Care framework 6.68%

Uplift the minimum hourly rate for domiciliary care by 6.68%

842

Older Persons Residential Care

Increase the expected to pay rate by 5.73% to £655 per week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cost impact 1,048

 

Older persons Dementia Residential Care

Increase the expected to pay rate by 5.95% to £742 per week.

Older Persons Nursing Care

Increase the expected to pay rate by 6.41% to £708 per week (excluding funded nursing care)

Older Persons Dementia Nursing Care

Increase expected to pay rate by 6.55% to £767 per week (excluding funded nursing care)

Working Age Adults Residential Care

Increase Tiered Payments by 6.16%

Supported Living Providers

Increase tiered payment rates by 6.68%

1,393

Day Opportunities

Increase tiered payments rates by 6.16%.

140

Respite

Increase tiered respite payments by 6.16%

104

Total

 

3,527

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations:

 

·       The National Living Wage (NLW) increase for 2023/24 is 9.7%. This compares to 6.6% in 2022/23. In addition to this we know that providers are facing additional inflationary pressures related to energy, fuel and food costs.

·       The care and support market in North Northamptonshire continues to experience difficulties with the recruitment and retention of care staff with a vacancy rate in excess of 12% and turnover rate of 26% for care providers. This is caused by competition from other industries as well as the ongoing impact and legacy from Covid-19. The ability of providers to recruit and retain a sufficient workforce is one of the key challenges and risks for the sector. By effectively targeting our annual uplifts we support our contracted care providers ability to develop strategic responses to workforce challenges, including offering rates of pay that are competitive with other local sectors.

 

·       The position in North Northamptonshire is in keeping with the national picture. We are working to develop our strategic workforce plan to support providers in addressing these challenges however, fee uplifts will ensure providers are able to support social care being an attractive career option for people in North Northamptonshire.

 

·       There continues to be high levels (39%) of packages of care individually commissioned using spot providers with a commensurate increase in spend. Spot provision is costly to the Council and the proposed uplift seeks to positively influence existing contract framework supply through retention and sustainability whilst also incentivising an increase in supply through levering better rates of pay and reward for our contracted providers. Work is underway to explore this increase in utilisation of spot providers and to work with our contracted providers to increase both their number and  ...  view the full decision text for item 407.

Minutes:

The Chair invited the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Helen Harrison to introduce a report that sought approval of the proposed uplift in fees paid to adult social care providers in 2023/24 across the full range of community-based provision, including residential and nursing care, home care, day care and supported living.

 

Cllr Harrison noted that Section 5 of the Care Act 2014 established a duty on each local authority to ensure a sustainable market of care in their area that included the full range of service types and provisions applicable to adult social care as set out above.

 

It was reported that annual fee uplifts took into consideration market pressures and market sustainability, including the care market’s ability to maintain adequate capacity and supply, whilst adhering to regulatory and quality requirements within the general and commercial environment in which the market operated. The uplifts also took into consideration the Government’s annual position on setting the National Living Wage (NLW). For 2023/24 it had been confirmed that the NLW would rise by 9.7% from £9.50 per hour in 2022/23 to £10.42 in 2023/24 for individuals aged 23 years and over.

 

Members noted that the recommendations of the report aimed to achieve a balance between recognising the pressures impacting care providers and the market in general, supporting providers to recruit and retain staff and ensuring quality within a finite envelope of resources, thereby limiting the options available to commissioners.

 

It was reported that there continued to be high levels of packages of care individually commissioned using spot providers with a commensurate increase in spend. Spot provision was costly to the Council and the proposed uplift sought to positively influence existing contract framework supply through retention and sustainability whilst also incentivising an increase in supply through levering better rates of pay and reward for the Council’s contracted providers.

 

The Council’s strategy was to focus its development and commissioning activity specifically with contracted providers. Alongside the proposed fee uplift, the Council was developing its provider support offer to include funded training and an enhanced quality monitoring and support function. This would enable the Council to support improvement in the quality of its contracted care providers, secure a sustainable market of high-quality providers and secure value for money in its independent care spend.

 

Cllr Harrison stated that in order to work within the financial envelope available, it was proposed that uplifts be targeted to support service continuity, and to support providers to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of care staff enabling the Council to meet its statutory duties.

 

Members noted the proposed uplifts for the recommended option within the report and heard that the Medium-Term Financial Plan made allowances for this uplift within a total budget for contract inflation line incorporating NLW pressures of £8.319m.

 

This overall budget allowed for the full year cost impact of 2021/22 care homes increase agreed from 1st September 2022 at an overall cost of £1.783m. The total new proposals in the scope of the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 407.

408.

0-19 Years Children and Young People's Services pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Approved delegated authority to the Executive Member Adults, Health, and Wellbeing, in consultation with the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, and the Director of Finance and Performance, to extend the Section 75 agreement (or equivalent public sector agreement) for up to two years on a 1+1 basis with partners. (Option 1 as set out in paragraph 3.3 of the report).

 

b)    Approved delegated authority to the Executive Member for Adults, Health, and Wellbeing, in consultation with the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing to agree future governance arrangements for this service with the ICB.

 

c)    Noted that the Council, with Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), will jointly commission 0-19 Public Health Nursing Services and a range of health commissioned services supporting children and young people in North Northants from 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2025.

 

Reasons for Recommendations:

·       The proposal to extend the current arrangement enables a full evaluation of the contract, and performance, to inform future commissioning of these services.

 

·       Covid-19 impacted from March 2020, eight months following the mobilisation of the original contract.

 

·       Performance  was severely impacted by the necessary restrictions implemented during this unprecedented health emergency.

 

·       Evaluation of the delivery of the contract and regular monitoring of the provider will have been reduced due to staff that may have been involved in contract monitoring being re-deployed for Test and Trace.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

Option 1: Extend the current contract by 1 plus 1 (2) years and include variations to the targets, aiming to recover and improve both workforce development and service to children, young people, and families. (Recommended option)

 

Option 2: Extend the current contract by 1 year with no changes to the contract or Key Performance Indicators. This is not enough time to do a review and the re-procurement required. Significant disruption to service delivery may occur. (Not recommended)

 

Option 3: Let the contracts expire and procure a new service for April 2023 this will be a significant risk to continuation of service delivery to appoint a new provider  due to time constraints. (Not recommended)

The recommended option at paragraph 3.3 of the report would provide consistency in provision, enabling the 0-19 service, Reach and Strong Start to fully reset. It will enable the development of robust performance/quality monitoring and to evaluate/inform future service delivery. This option will provide time in considering the wider transformation including fitting the ICS (Integrated Care System) agenda into future recommissioning.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Lyn Buckingham to address the meeting. Cllr Buckingham made reference to a scrutiny report produced by West Northamptonshire Council and their Children’s Service and queried whether this would trigger a review into the service offered by North Northamptonshire Council given lengthy waiting times for children to access mental health services.

 

Cllr Jean Addison was then invited to speak to the Executive. Cllr Addison noted the increase in mental health cases among young people, and the difficulty in accessing help and support. Cllr Addison noted that it was important to have up to date data regarding provision of services and queried the number of clients referred, waiting times for referrals, outcomes of treatment and the further link to integrated care services.

 

The Chair thanked both speakers for their comments and invited Cllr Leanne Buckingham to address the meeting. Cllr Buckingham expressed a wish to understand the approach and timelines of the service review and how this would feed into the new service. Cllr Buckingham queried why two-year assessments were not being carried out within set timeframes and noted that overall health check figures were dipping.

 

The Chair then invited the Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Helen Harrison to introduce a report that sought to provide the Executive with an update on the progress of the integrated 0-19 Children and Young People services, including Reach youth counselling and Strong Start universal early year service.

 

Cllr Harrison responded to the comments raised by speakers to note that there was difficulty in accessing mental health services across the board, with Cllr Addison’s request for referral data to be supplied outside the meeting. Cllr Harrison noted that it was incorrect to suggest service improvement was not required, with a Children and Young Person’s collaborative examining the issue as part of the development of service recommissioning. It was hoped that the Council would be in a position to reprocure the service inside the next year and a service improvement plan was appended to the report before members.

 

It was heard that the 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service was provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The current annual contract value was £11,762,303, funded by the Public Health ring-fenced grant, with the contract set to end on 31st March 2023. The North Northamptonshire contract value was 48.6% of this amount.

 

The service delivered the Healthy Child Programme, a series of mandated interventions offered to all families that promoted child development and safeguarding. The Northamptonshire service delivered health visiting, school nursing, family nurse partnership (a bespoke programme for teenage parents) and breastfeeding services.

 

The meeting heard that youth counselling services were provided by the Reach Collaborative comprised of five community organisations delivering tier 1 and 2 counselling services for young people aged 11-18 across the county. The current annual contract value was £543,000.

 

It was noted that the Public Health grant funded 0-19 services and the Reach service were currently being managed through a Section 75 lead and associate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 408.

409.

Schools Education Capital Programme Business Case - Wollaston Secondary School SEND Unit Extension pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

i)        Approved the proposed scheme subject to budget allocation from the Department for Education (DfE) Higher Needs Funding Allocation and planning approval.

 

ii)       Noted the scheme is to be delivered through a Funding Agreement with The Nene Partnership to enable the Wollaston Secondary School to provide additional SEND Places and support the Local Authority to discharge its statutory duty to provide sufficiency of SEND places in Wellingborough.

 

iii)      Delegated authority to the Executive Member for Children, Families and Education in consultation with the Director of Children’s Services, to authorise all necessary legal, property and financial agreements to ensure effective delivery of the project.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations:

 

·       The school facilities are limited and stretched; several students have significant high-level needs which the school is struggling to meet. The recommendations support an increase in facilities.

 

·       The proposal will increase the number of quiet spaces for students with SEND.

 

·       During exams there is insufficient space to support students with their access arrangements, the proposal support an increase.

 

·       The recommendations support the Council to address the lack of Sufficiency of SEND Places across North Northamptonshire particularly Secondary places.  

 

·       Under school place planning duties (s13-14 Education Act 1996) the Council as an education authority has a duty to promote high standards of education and fair access to education including SEND.

 

·       The Council has a general duty to secure sufficient schools in their area. This includes a duty to respond to parents’ representations about school provision. These are referred to as the school place planning duties.

 

·       Failure to provide sufficiency of places would also result in increased home to school transport costs as students would need to be transported to other areas of the County and outside of North Northamptonshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

 

Option 1:  To do nothing and continue with inadequate SEND facilities at the school. This option is not recommended as not increasing SEND facilities does not support the Council to discharge its statutory duty to provide sufficiency of SEND places within North Northamptonshire.

 

Option 2: To construct a single storey extension that will create 2 teaching spaces of 30m2 which will accommodate 12 students with complex needs.

 

The preferred option is Option 2 as it increases the availability of SEND places. This option provides appropriate expansion and enhancement of the existing school and meets the growing demand of SEND school places in North Northamptonshire. Option 2 also supports the council’s ability to meet its statutory responsibilities to provide a sufficiency of school places in North Northamptonshire. Provide appropriate expansion of existing school to enhance inclusivity, diversity and equality for the SEND students.

 

This project is subject to the budget and planning approval for the construction of the proposed SEND Unit.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited the Executive Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills, Cllr Scott Edwards to introduce a report that asked the Executive to approve the extension of Wollaston Secondary School thereby providing additional accommodation at the school by creating a standalone Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) unit offering an additional 12 SEND Places at the school allowing children using the facility to remain within mainstream education. The project would be funded from a grant received through the Department for Education (DfE) Higher Needs Funding Allocation 2023/24.

 

The Leader welcomed the report and noted that this was a vital investment into an area of great importance to both the Executive and the Council.

 

Cllr David Howes spoke to welcome the additional SEND capacity in North Northamptonshire that this project would provide.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

i)        Approved the proposed scheme subject to budget allocation from the Department for Education (DfE) Higher Needs Funding Allocation and planning approval.

 

ii)       Noted the scheme is to be delivered through a Funding Agreement with The Nene Partnership to enable the Wollaston Secondary School to provide additional SEND Places and support the Local Authority to discharge its statutory duty to provide sufficiency of SEND places in Wellingborough.

 

iii)      Delegated authority to the Executive Member for Children, Families and Education in consultation with the Director of Children’s Services, to authorise all necessary legal, property and financial agreements to ensure effective delivery of the project.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations:

 

·       The school facilities are limited and stretched; several students have significant high-level needs which the school is struggling to meet. The recommendations support an increase in facilities.

 

·       The proposal will increase the number of quiet spaces for students with SEND.

 

·       During exams there is insufficient space to support students with their access arrangements, the proposal support an increase.

 

·       The recommendations support the Council to address the lack of Sufficiency of SEND Places across North Northamptonshire particularly Secondary places.  

 

·       Under school place planning duties (s13-14 Education Act 1996) the Council as an education authority has a duty to promote high standards of education and fair access to education including SEND.

 

·       The Council has a general duty to secure sufficient schools in their area. This includes a duty to respond to parents’ representations about school provision. These are referred to as the school place planning duties.

 

·       Failure to provide sufficiency of places would also result in increased home to school transport costs as students would need to be transported to other areas of the County and outside of North Northamptonshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

 

Option 1:  To do nothing and continue with inadequate SEND facilities at the school. This option is not recommended as not increasing SEND facilities does not support the Council to discharge its statutory duty to provide sufficiency of SEND places within North Northamptonshire.

 

Option 2: To construct a single storey extension that will create 2 teaching spaces of 30m2 which will accommodate 12 students with complex needs.

 

The preferred option is Option 2  ...  view the full minutes text for item 409.

410.

Capital Programme Update 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive approved the following changes into the capital programme:

 

a.          Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) grants passported to Maintained Schools – budget approval for £837k in 2022/23, to be funded by the DFC grant.

 

b.          Wollaston School SEND provision expansion, to be moved from the Development Pool into the Capital Programme - £561k in 2023/24, which is to be funded from SEND Capital grant.

 

c.          Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) Capital Grants Scheme – budget approval for £1.162m; £291k in 2023/24 and £871k in 2024/25, which is to be funded by the REPF Grant.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations: These are set out in greater detail within section 5 of the report, but can be summarised as:

 

·       To support the statutory delivery of school places and SEND school places across North Northamptonshire.  

 

·       To support rural businesses and community infrastructure projects to benefit the local economy.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

·       As all the schemes in this report are grant funded/S106 funded, the use of the funding is in line with the agreements, so there are no alternative option proposed in this report.

 

·       Where individual schemes are over £500k, individual reports are presented elsewhere on the agenda that set out the wider options that were considered before reaching the proposed schemes identified for grant funding.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Executive Member for Finance and Transformation to introduce a report that requested approval for capital schemes that had come forward for inclusion in the Council’s Capital Programme. Approval of the funding would allow the schemes to move forward to procurement and delivery.

 

Three schemes were highlighted as per the report and recommendation below.

 

Cllrs Lawman, Brackenbury, Howes and Howell all spoke to welcome receipt of the Rural England Prosperity Fund grant and noted the beneficial impact this would have on rural communities.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive approved the following changes into the capital programme:

 

a.          Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) grants passported to Maintained Schools – budget approval for £837k in 2022/23, to be funded by the DFC grant.

 

b.          Wollaston School SEND provision expansion, to be moved from the Development Pool into the Capital Programme - £561k in 2023/24, which is to be funded from SEND Capital grant.

 

c.          Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) Capital Grants Scheme – budget approval for £1.162m; £291k in 2023/24 and £871k in 2024/25, which is to be funded by the REPF Grant.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations: These are set out in greater detail within section 5 of the report, but can be summarised as:

 

·       To support the statutory delivery of school places and SEND school places across North Northamptonshire.  

 

·       To support rural businesses and community infrastructure projects to benefit the local economy.

 

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

·       As all the schemes in this report are grant funded/S106 funded, the use of the funding is in line with the agreements, so there are no alternative option proposed in this report.

 

·       Where individual schemes are over £500k, individual reports are presented elsewhere on the agenda that set out the wider options that were considered before reaching the proposed schemes identified for grant funding.

 

411.

Budget Forecast 2022/23 as at Period 10 pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Noted the Council’s forecast outturn position for 2022/23 as summarised in Section 4, alongside the further analysis, risks and other considerations as set out in Section 5 and Section 6 of the report.

 

b)    Noted the assessment of the current deliverability of the 2022/23 savings proposals in Appendix A of the report.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations – to note the forecast financial position for 2022/23 as at Period 10 and consider the impact on this year and future years budgets.

 

Alternative Options Considered: The report focuses on the forecast revenue outturn against budget for 2022/23 and makes recommendations for the Executive to note the current budgetary position as such there are no specific choices within the report.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Executive Member for Finance and Transformation to introduce a report that set out the forecast outturn position for the Council based on the Period 10 monitoring forecasts for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

 

The meeting heard that the overall outturn forecast for the General Fund for 2022/23, as at Period 10, was a forecast overspend of £2.111m, a favourable movement of £3.131m since the last report to Executive. It was reported that there were a number of significant budgetary variances, however, the main pressure still came from the ongoing overspend of the Children’s Trust totalling £14.955m and showing an increase of £2.342m since the last reporting period. The cost to the Council of this overspend was £6.621m.

 

It was reported that during the same period a number of savings had been identified, with Adult Services reporting an underspend of £380,000 due to lower placement costs and Assets and Environment showing a saving of £1.208m relating to property and facility management. Further savings identified within the Place and Economy and Human Resources services were detailed to the meeting.

 

Cllr Bunday reported that the Housing Revenue Account had a current overspend totalling £234,000, the main pressure being the recent pay award.

 

Cllr Bunday stated that many councils continued to face financial risks and unknowns as well as the impact of inflation and changes in demand led services, noting that the Council’s Adult Services directorate was well in control of its costs despite these pressures.

 

Cllr Helen Howell spoke to welcome the recent news of additional funding set aside by the Government to support council-owned leisure facilities with ongoing utility cost pressures.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Executive:

 

a)    Noted the Council’s forecast outturn position for 2022/23 as summarised in Section 4, alongside the further analysis, risks and other considerations as set out in Section 5 and Section 6 of the report.

 

b)    Noted the assessment of the current deliverability of the 2022/23 savings proposals in Appendix A of the report.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations – to note the forecast financial position for 2022/23 as at Period 10 and consider the impact on this year and future years budgets.

 

Alternative Options Considered: The report focuses on the forecast revenue outturn against budget for 2022/23 and makes recommendations for the Executive to note the current budgetary position as such there are no specific choices within the report.