Agenda and minutes

Executive Board
Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Governance Services 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Chair's Opening Remarks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the remote meeting of the Executive Board, which was being held as a result of the ongoing social distancing measures established in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

On behalf of the Board, the Chair extended her thanks and appreciation to Council employees, together with all partner organisations and sectors across the city and the wider region for the extraordinary co-ordinated efforts which continued to be taken to safeguard and serve communities during these unprecedented times.

 

The Chair also highlighted that as the national measures in place began to change over the coming weeks, key messages around the ongoing importance of caution and safety, in line with the Government’s guidance, would continue to be communicated.

2.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Agenda Item 15 (Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – Response

and Recovery Plan)

 

With the agreement of the Chair, a late item of business was admitted to the agenda entitled, ‘Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – Response and Recovery Plan’.

 

Given the scale and significance of this issue, it was deemed appropriate that a further update report be submitted to this remote meeting of the Board.

However, due to the fast paced nature of developments on this issue, and in order to ensure that Board Members received the most up to date information as possible the report was not included within the agenda as originally published on 16th June 2020. (Minute No. 14 refers).

3.

Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no Disclosable Pecuniary Interests declared at the meeting.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19th May 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 19th May 2020 be approved as a correct record.

RESOURCES

Additional documents:

5.

Financial Performance - Outturn Financial Year Ended 31st March 2020 pdf icon PDF 936 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) presenting the financial outturn position for 2019/20 in terms of both revenue and capital, with it also including the Housing Revenue Account and expenditure on schools.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report presenting the financial outturn position for the 2019/20 financial year in terms of both revenue and capital elements, with it also including details regarding the Housing Revenue Account and expenditure on schools.  In addition, the report also highlighted the position in respect of other key financial health indicators including: Council Tax and Business Rates collection statistics; sundry income; reserves and the prompt payment of creditors.

 

The Executive Member for Resources extended his thanks to Council officers for the work undertaken to achieve the Council’s outturn position for 2019/20, as detailed within the report.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the Council’s financial outturn position for 2019/20, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted;

 

(b)  That the creation of earmarked reserves, as detailed within paragraph 6.3 of the submitted report, be agreed, with agreement also being given to delegate the release of such reserves to the Chief Officer (Financial Services);

 

(c)  That it be noted that the Chief Officer (Financial Services) will be responsible for the implementation of these resolutions following the conclusion of the ‘Call In’ period.

6.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 920 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) providing an outturn position for 2019/20 in terms of the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and operations.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report providing the financial outturn position for the 2019/20 financial year in terms of the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and operations.

 

Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board was provided with an update on the Council’s current approach towards borrowing, with it being noted that during this current financially uncertain period, the Council was monitoring the markets with the aim of ensuring that future borrowing achieved best value for the Council.

 

RESOLVED – That the Treasury Management outturn position for 2019/20, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted, with it also being noted that treasury activity has remained within the Treasury Management Strategy and policy framework.

7.

Financial Health Monitoring 2020/21 – Month 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) which presents the projected financial health position of the Authority for 2020/21, as at month 1 of the financial year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report which presented the projected financial health position of the Authority for 2020/21, as at month 1 of the financial year.

 

With regard to a Member’s comments regarding the appended action plan which looked to address the pressures upon the ‘Children Looked After’ budget for 2020/21 and the approach being taken to deal with any increased demand for related services which could potentially arise as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Board was advised that a detailed set of actions were in place to address such matters and that such information could be shared with Board Members, as required. Also, it was noted that there was a focus upon the transfer of children and young people currently in external placements to foster care wherever possible and appropriate, which was alongside the actions being taken aimed at increasing the recruitment levels of foster carers in Leeds.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the projected financial position of the Authority, as at Month 1 of the 2020/21 financial year be noted, and that the projected impact of COVID-19 on that position also be noted;

 

(b)  That the savings plan, as provided by the Director of Children and Families which identifies initial proposals to address pressures in ‘Children Looked After’ budgets and the reduction in grant funding as announced after the 2020/21 budget had been set, be noted; 

 

(c)  That in line with principles laid out by Government, it be noted that the Council has continued to charge schools as normal for Council services disrupted by COVID-19, for which they have a regular financial commitment.

 

 

8.

Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) upon Leeds City Council's 2020/21 Financial Position and Update on the Forecast Budget Position for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 521 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) which provides an update regarding the Council’s financial position in respect of 2020/21 and 2021/22, taking into consideration the current position regarding the financial impact upon the Authority arising from Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Financial Services) submitted a report which provided an update regarding the Council’s financial position in respect of 2020/21 and 2021/22, taking into consideration the current position regarding the financial impact upon the Authority arising from Coronavirus pandemic.

 

In introducing the report the Executive Member for Resources highlighted the scale of the budget shortfall which was currently forecast, with it being noted that the Council continued to be in dialogue with the Government on such matters, including the need for further support.

 

In considering the submitted report, the Board discussed a number of key issues, including:-

·  Whilst recognising the support which had been provided by the Government to date, emphasis was placed upon the unprecedented scale of the financial situation being faced by Local Authorities and the need for further support to be provided, with it being noted that a co-ordinated approach was being taken by Local Authorities and the Local Government Association in communicating such concerns to Government;

·  In acknowledging the possibility that a budgetary shortfall may still remain even with the provision of further support from Government, Members discussed the need for further discussion to take place with Government around the possibility of being able to address the Council’s financial position over a longer term and with greater flexibility;

·  Members discussed matters relating to the current level of reserves held by the Council when compared to other Local Authorities; the longstanding budgetary approach which has been taken in Leeds; the Council’s track record in consistently delivering balanced budgets; the nature and size of the economy in the city as a whole and the role which the Council continued to play within that;

·  The key role which has been played by Local Authorities throughout the pandemic was highlighted, and the need for that key role to continue and be appropriately supported by Government, with emphasis also being placed upon the importance of the Council being agile enough to adapt and respond to the evolving needs of local communities and the economy as we progressed through the different stages of the pandemic.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the position, as outlined in the submitted report by the Chief Officer (Financial Services) concerning Leeds City Council’s financial position as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, be noted;

 

(b)  That it be noted that the Government has been written to asking for further financial assistance;

 

(c)  That it be noted that if further assistance from the Government is not forthcoming or is insufficient to address the scale of the financial overspend as detailed within the submitted report, then an Emergency Budget would be considered by Full Council in the Summer;

 

(d)  That if the actions that the Council can take on this issue are in the professional opinion of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) insufficient to reduce the Council’s cost base to enable there to be sufficient resources to fund services, then it be noted that a Section 114 report would be issued;

 

(e)  That the revised estimated budget gap for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Annual Corporate Risk Management Report pdf icon PDF 493 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Resources and Housing that provides an update on the council’s most significant corporate risks, how they are currently managed and further activity planned during 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources and Housing submitted a report that provided an update on the Council’s most significant corporate risks, how they were currently being managed and presenting details on the further activity planned to address such risks during 2020/21.

 

In introducing the report, the Executive Member for Resources emphasised the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic upon the range of risks which were currently being faced by the Council, as reflected within the submitted report.

 

Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received further information on the stress test work undertaken regarding the resilience of the Council to maintain its financial position and deliver services under certain circumstances, with it being undertaken that the details of such work could be provided to Board Members as required. 

 

In addition, further to the discussions in the preceding item, the need for continued dialogue with Government around the possibility of being able to address the Council’s financial position over a longer term and with greater flexibility was reiterated.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the contents of the annual risk management report, as submitted, together with the assurances given on the most significant corporate risks, in line with the Council’s Risk Management Policy and the Board’s overarching responsibility for their management, be noted;

 

(b)  That it be noted that the submitted report will provide a key source of evidence on the Authority’s risk management arrangements contributing towards the Annual Governance Statement to be considered later this year by the Council’s Corporate Governance and Audit Committee.

LEARNING, SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT

Additional documents:

10.

Learning Places Design & Cost Report School Places Delivery September 2020 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To consider the joint report of the Director of Children and Families and the Director of City Development providing information on the need for additional secondary school places across the city for delivery by September 2020, and which seeks approval regarding authority to spend and to incur a total expenditure of £7,595,000 to deliver both bulge projects at Cockburn Academy and Leeds City Academy for September 2020.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Children and Families and the Director of City Development submitted a report providing information on the need for additional secondary school places across the city for delivery by September 2020, and which sought approval regarding authority to spend and to incur a total expenditure of £7,595,000 to deliver projects at both Cockburn Academy and Leeds City Academy for September 2020 to address specific demographic growth pressures in those respective areas.

 

A Member raised concerns relating to the proposals within the submitted report regarding Cockburn Academy, with specific reference to the £6,835,000 capital expenditure proposed for that one school, indicated the potential for the matter to be ‘Called In’ which would require consideration by Scrutiny, and made an enquiry regarding any previous funding which had been provided to the Cockburn Multi Academy Trust.  Responding to the concerns raised, the Board discussed and received further information regarding:-

·  The delayed delivery of the Laurence Calvert Free School and the impact of this upon school places in the area, with Members receiving an update on the current position regarding the continued dialogue taking place with Government in relation to the delivery of this Free School;

·  Further detail was provided on how the proposed expenditure would be used, which included addressing the historical capacity issues at the school and the required adaptation of the current on site infrastructure, whilst also ensuring the delivery of appropriate facilities – with an offer that further detail could be provided to the Member in question, if required;

·  In terms of timescales, it was confirmed that the 60 additional places proposed to be created at Cockburn Academy to address that bulge cohort would remain at the school until those 60 pupils had completed Year 11;

·  Members also discussed the broader issue of appropriate resource being provided to the Local Authority for the delivery of further school places across the city to enable levels of demand to be met, with it being highlighted that further consideration and discussion of such matters would be welcomed.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the additional secondary places which are required in order to reduce the amount of children being allocated a school place out of area, be noted;

 

(b)  That the necessary authority to spend be approved, together with approval also being given to incur expenditure of £6,835,000 from Capital Scheme number 33176/BGE/CBN to deliver the works associated with a 60 place ‘bulge’ at Cockburn Academy for September 2020;

 

(c)  That the proposal for the freehold transfer of the land identified within the submitted report, which forms part of the former South Leeds Golf Course to Cockburn Multi Academy Trust be approved, to allow the delivery of the sports field provision required as part of the proposals as detailed within paragraph 3.1.4 of the submitted report;

 

(d)  That the necessary authority to spend be approved, together with approval also being given to incur expenditure of £760,000 from Capital Scheme number 33176/BGE/LCA to deliver the works associated with a 60 place ‘bulge’ at Leeds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Outcome of statutory notice on a proposal to permanently increase learning places at Allerton Grange School from September 2021 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children and Families that contains details of a proposal brought forward to meet the Local Authority’s duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places. Specifically, this report describes the outcome of a Statutory Notice published under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and in accordance with the School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England) Regulations 2013 in regard to a proposal to expand secondary school provision at Allerton Grange School and seeks a final decision in respect of this proposal.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No.147, 12th February 2020, the Director of Children and Families submitted a report which presented details of a proposal brought forward to meet the Local Authority’s duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places. Specifically, this report described the outcome of a Statutory Notice published under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and in accordance with the School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England) Regulations 2013 in regard to a proposal to expand secondary school provision at Allerton Grange School and which sought a final decision in respect of this proposal.

 

Responding to an enquiry, officers undertook to provide Executive Members with information on the timeframe by which Ofsted inspections would resume and also with information regarding the outcomes from inspections which took place immediately prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the proposal to permanently expand secondary provision at Allerton Grange School from a capacity of 1200 pupils to 1500 pupils in years 7 to 11, with an increase in the admission number from 240 to 300 and with effect from September 2021, be approved;

 

(b)  That the recommendation to exempt the decision from the Call In process for the reasons as set out within paragraph 4.5.2 of the submitted report, be approved; 

 

(c)  That it be noted that the responsible officer for the implementation of such matters is the Head of Learning Systems.

 

(The Council’s Executive and Decision Making Procedure Rules state that a decision may be declared as being exempt from the Call In process by the decision taker if it is considered that the matter is urgent and any delay would seriously prejudice the Council’s, or the public’s interests. In line with this, the resolutions contained within this minute were exempted from the Call In process, as per resolution (b) above, and for the reasons as detailed within sections 4.5.2 of the submitted report)

12.

Outcome of consultation and request to approve funding to permanently increase learning places at Leeds West Academy from September 2022 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children and Families which contains details of a proposal brought forward to meet the Local Authority’s duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places. Specifically, this report describes the outcome of a consultation exercise regarding a proposal to expand secondary school provision at Leeds West Academy and seeks a decision to fund delivery of a scheme to create the additional learning places required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Children and Families submitted a report which presented details of a proposal brought forward to meet the Local Authority’s duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places. Specifically, this report described the outcome of a consultation exercise which had been undertaken regarding a proposal to expand secondary school provision at Leeds West Academy and which sought a decision to fund the delivery of a scheme to create the additional learning places required.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the outcome of the consultation process undertaken on the proposal to permanently expand Leeds West Academy from a capacity of 1200 to 1500 students by increasing the admission number in year 7 from 240 to 300, with effect from September 2022, be noted;

 

(b)  That provisional approval for the authority to spend (ATS) £5.269m to deliver the proposed permanent expansion at Leeds West Academy be granted, with it being noted that early feasibility indicates the final cost is likely to be lower than this amount;

 

(c)  That it be noted that the implementation of this proposal is subject to funding being agreed based upon the outcome of further detailed design work and planning applications, as indicated at section 4.4 of the submitted report, with it also being noted that this proposal has been brought forward in time for places to be delivered for 2022;

 

(d)  That it be noted that the responsible officer for the implementation of the Capital budget is the Head of Learning Systems;

 

(e)  That it be noted that the White Rose Academies Trustees intend to self-deliver the build scheme.

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Additional documents:

13.

Update on 'Thriving': The Child Poverty Strategy for Leeds pdf icon PDF 249 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children and Families which provides an update on the work that has been undertaken in response to COVID-19, together with the work undertaken on the outputs and outcomes of each Impact Workstream under the ‘Thriving’ Strategy. The report also provides details of the associated monitoring and evaluation arrangements for the Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 105, 25 November 2019, the Director of Children and Families submitted a report which provided an update on the work being undertaken towards the outputs and outcomes of each Impact Workstream under the ‘Thriving’ Strategy, provided details of the work being undertaken in response to the effects of COVID-19 in this area, whilst the report also provided details of the associated monitoring and evaluation arrangements for the work streams within the Strategy.

 

In introducing the report, the Executive Member for Children and Families highlighted how the report had been adapted to incorporate the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic when considering child poverty, together with a summary of current national issues linked to this agenda.

 

In considering such matters, a Member emphasised the need for all children and young people across the city who were affected by the effects of poverty to be supported, especially given the likely exacerbation of the issue as a result of the pandemic. Linked to this, the importance of continuing to monitor the extent of the impact of the pandemic in respect of child poverty was emphasised, so that appropriate responses to the needs of children and young people could be delivered.

 

Responding to comments, it was highlighted that all initiatives included within the strategy aimed to ameliorate the impact of poverty for children and young people and following this, Members received updates on, and discussed the approaches taken towards both the Period Poverty initiative and also the Healthy Holidays programme.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the strategic framework in place to mitigate the impact of child poverty, together with the work being undertaken by the Council and its partners in the key areas of activity, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted;

 

(b)  That the data overview, the current work being undertaken and the reporting updates, as outlined within the submitted report, be noted;

 

(c)  That it be noted that the officer responsible for the implementation of such matters is the Chief Officer, Partnerships and Health, by December 2022;

 

(d)  That it be noted that Executive Board has an understanding of the potential impact of COVID-19 on child poverty, with the calls for a national approach towards mitigating the impact of child poverty also being noted.

 

(During the consideration of this item, under the provisions of Executive and Decision Making Procedure Rule 3.2.5, in the temporary absence of Councillor Blake, Councillor Lewis assumed the Chair of the meeting. In returning to the meeting, Councillor Blake resumed her position as Chair) 

INCLUSIVE GROWTH AND CULTURE

Additional documents:

14.

Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - Response and Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 801 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the actions of the Leeds Health and Social Care system and Leeds City Council, working with broader partners, in response to and facilitating the recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

(Report to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 170, 19th May 2020, the Chief Executive submitted a report which provided an update on the continued coronavirus (COVID-19) related work across the city being driven by the response and recovery plan, which aimed to mitigate the effects of the outbreak on those in the city, especially the most vulnerable, and prepare for the longer term planning of stages of recovery including local outbreak planning.  The report highlighted how the city’s multi-agency command and control arrangements continued to be used, which had been updated to reflect local outbreak management arrangements for Leeds, and also provided information on the organisational issues which were being faced by the Council arising from the pandemic.

 

With the agreement of the Chair, the submitted report had been circulated to Board Members as a late item of business prior to the meeting for the reasons as set out in section 10.1 of the submitted report, and as detailed in Minute No. 2.

 

In introducing the submitted report and providing an update on the current position, the Leader, on behalf of the Board, extended her thanks to all of those involved in the continued delivery of statutory services across the city and also the delivery of those actions which were in response to the pandemic. Linked to this, the key role being played by Local Authorities throughout the pandemic, as highlighted earlier in the meeting was reiterated.

 

In addition, Members paid tribute to the work being undertaken at a national level by the Chief Executive, Tom Riordan, as part of the Government’s ongoing test and trace programme.

 

The Board received an update from the Chief Executive on the key aspects of the work which continued to be undertaken in respect of planning for the control and management of any Coronavirus outbreaks, how such work was being co-ordinated at a local and regional level and how this fed into the national strategy, with details also being provided on how the newly established Leeds Outbreak Control Board fitted within existing governance arrangements.

 

Responding to an enquiry, the Board received further information and assurance on the close liaison which continued to take place with neighbouring Authorities regarding the control and management of localised outbreaks, to facilitate a more regionalised approach, where appropriate.

 

A Member highlighted the need, moving forward, to build upon the partnership working which had been developed throughout the pandemic, and the importance of looking to harness the effectiveness of local communities working together which had been a key part of the local response. Linked to this, Members highlighted how an effective communications strategy from a national to a local level continued to be fundamental to the successful management of outbreaks as restrictions began to be relaxed, with the role of Ward Councillors in helping to deliver such communications within communities being highlighted.

 

RESOLVED –

(a)  That the updated context, the progress being made and the issues being faced as the Council moves through the phases of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

DATE OF PUBLICATION:  FRIDAY, 26TH JUNE 2020

 

LAST DATE FOR CALL IN

OF ELIGIBLE DECISIONS:   5.00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, 3RD JULY 2020