Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 301 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2021.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2021 were approved.






Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider the Forward Plan for the period April 2021 to July 2021.


Cabinet considered the contents of the Forward Plan for the next four months and noted the changes made since last published, including the addition of RBWM Enforcement & Prosecution Policy 2021 to April 2021.


Referral from Overview and Scrutiny


Item not required.


Cabinet Members' Reports


Achieving for Children Reserved Matter Ownership Decisions pdf icon PDF 5 MB


Cabinet considered the report regarding Achieving for Children reserve matters.


The Deputy Chairman of Cabinet, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health informed that the paper sought approval of the reserve matters which is a positive decision to approve the company’s:


·        strategic direction through the adoption of the updated Business Plan,

·        the Company's budget for 2021/22,

·        approval of the arrangements for managing cashflow through the adoption of the Financial Plan (known as the Treasury Plan) for 2021/22,

·        approval of arrangements for the appointment / recruitment of Non Executive Independent Board Directors over the coming year.


The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead owns 20% of Achieving for Children Community Interest Company (AfC).  The AfC Joint Committee considered and approved a number of changes to the ownership governance of AfC in March 2020.  The three council’s constitutions have now been updated to reflect those changes. 

The previous Joint Committee will now be used for dispute resolution mechanism and meetings will be arranged only if required. 


The reserved matter decisions that would have been previously made by the Joint Committee will now be taken by each of the three owning councils individually as part of their established governance processes.  Councillors from each owning council still meet twice yearly via an Ownership Board to discuss strategic direction and performance.  The new arrangements would increase transparency and accountability.


The Chief Operating & Finance Officer AfC informed Cabinet that the report and appendices had been produced with engagement with RBWM Councillors and officers.   They outlined the strategy in terms oof how they planned to develop and improve services over the coming years.  How they aimed to achieve financial sustainability given the expected challenging years ahead.  The plans give the best opportunity to manage service demand as well as providing quality services for the borough.  As well as quality affordability was also important, so their commissioning function and placements was very important.  Good social care placements would be improved by the development of their own independent fostering agency. 


The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot welcomed the move to have the reserved matter brought to Cabinet for approval as it improved transparency and member input.  He pointed out the tables on agenda pack page 250 that showed the values for money the company was providing for children’s social care, however the cost of education services was above the average.  The report also showed that RBWM were achieving their savings targets.


The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot also pointed out that page 269 highlighted a budget shortfall of £396k associated with unfunded staffing levels in Social Care and operating budget shortfalls for RBWM.  He asked how this would be mitigated and was informed that it was usual to have a number of unfunded pressures especially given the national situation.  There would be strict vacancy controls in place looking at if there was a need to recruit and how they recruit, opportunities of budget reprofiling will be looked at as well reviewing the use of agency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7c


Compulsory Purchase Order - Nicholson's Walk Shopping Centre, Maidenhead pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Cabinet considered the report to enable the voluntary or compulsory acquisition of all necessary third-party land interests to bring forward comprehensive regeneration of the town centre.

The Leader of the Council and Chairman of Cabinet, Business, Economic Development and Property informed Cabinet that the report related to the Nicholson’s Quarter.  He reminded Cabinet that in July 2019 Full Council approved the sale of the Council’s freehold interest in part of the Nicholson’s Walk Shopping Centre and Central House and to enter into an agreement to relocate the Nicholson’s Car Park as part of a new masterplan for the regeneration of the town centre.

This was an important foundation for the new chapter of Maidenheads history and one which could provide the blueprint for post-covid transformation of the town centre.   There would be a sustainable development of mixed uses from residential to a new type of retail.  However large schemes such as this were not always straightforward to deliver and as planning consent had been passed it was time for the delivery phase. The report would allow the voluntary or compulsory acquisition of third party land interests.  Prior to any CPO the council would be entering into an indemnity agreement with the developer who would be responsible for costs and liabilities.  The aim was to reach a negotiated settlement with the third parties rather than using CPO, as this was not always possible this report was required.

It was noted that the report was in Part I to be open and transparent and dispel any misunderstanding and misinformation. 

The Lead Member for Planning, Environmental Services and Maidenhead informed that this development was important for current and future residents of Maidenhead and thus it was important to get it going ahead as soon as possible.  Compared to other town centres across the country we were in a fortunate position to being able to rebuild with the type of buildings and services that are needed in the new world.  This is a backstop position if a negotiated settlements could not be reached. 

The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot informed that he had been a member of the planning panel that had approved the planning application.  He mentioned the high quality of the proposed development and documents provided.  He also agreed that the CPO was there as a last resort.

Mr Hill addressed Cabinet and said that a few weeks ago RBWM approved the permanent loss of more than 50% of its existing retail space in Maidenhead.  The developers have been open that they preferred a model of smaller independent retail over national brands.  Tesco has already left but the report said that 13 retailers did not wish to go and may be forced to leave.  The report says CPO should be a last resort but just a few days after planning consent you are considering this report at Cabinet.  It seems to be full steam ahead over those who wish to stay or get a fair price for their properties.  The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a


Finance Update: March 2021 pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Cabinet considered the report that detailed the latest financial position.

The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot informed that he was pleased to report a favourable movement of £775K in service variances since the January monitoring report. However, this is offset by a number of non-service movements which include transferring £748K to capital to cover some Covid related capital costs, an additional £485K is transferred to the Covid earmarked reserve and a reduction of £173k in anticipated Covid fees and charges funding for December 2020 to March 2021.

Over the past months, a total of £4.535k has been transferred to earmarked reserves. The Covid-19 reserve now stands at £3.485M and general reserves have reduced to £6.473M just £100K above the minimum level.  The Lead Member provided the following highlights.

The second tranche of £2.486M in Fees and Charges compensation had been received.

The Savings tracker showed that since September last year unachievable savings had increased by £540K but £300K of this related to a management fee that will now be received in the next financial year and we will have achieved £4.7M of the projected £7 million, the shortfall is caused by Covid-19

Land Charge income has gradually increased over the year and the negative variance has fallen to £15K on the £240K budget. Being optimistic he viewed this as a lead indicator that our local economy was starting to come back into life.

He had previously mentioned the increased workload that Covid has brought for the Revenues and Benefits team. The team were at the forefront of administering the governments business support grants that support our retail and hospitality sector. Up to now there had been 33 different grants many with different eligibility criteria. This was a challenge the team were happy to accepted and so far, nearly £13M had been distributed to local businesses.

Lastly he mentioned that there had been significant slippages of more than £30 million in the capital programme. For members who are interested there was a detailed variance and slippage report at appendix D.

The Lead Member for Climate Change, Sustainability, Parks and Countryside thanked the Lead Member and officers for looking after our finances and provided such a robust report.  It was good to see previsions were in place for next year.

Mr Hill addressed Cabinet and referred to item 32 of appendix I on agenda pack page 173 called the Council Tax Hardship Relief.  He said that back in February a statement was given that  the council got £564K from the Government and that this year it was expected to get £599K. last year it was used to provide £150 discount to people on council tax reduction scheme.  It was said that it was intended to replicate last year’s scheme.  Could you please confirm that the Government distributed the £599k and that this would be replicated last year’s scheme. 

The Lead Member informed that not all of this year’s funding had been spent and it would be rolled over to support residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7b