Agenda and minutes

Venue: Grey Room - York House

Contact: David Cook  01628 796560

Video Stream: Click here to watch this meeting on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Carroll, he could not attend in person but did attend virtually as a none voting member.   

2.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

None received.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 330 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2021 were approved.

4.

Appointments

Minutes:

None

5.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To consider the Forward Plan for the period November 2021 to February 2021.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the contents of the Forward Plan for the next four months and noted the changes made since last published.

6.

Call In

To consider any recommendation from overview and scrutiny if required.

Minutes:

Item not required.

7.

Cabinet Members' Reports

7a

Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report regarding the new Corporate Plan for the period 2021-2026.

 

The Chairman said they had discussed this paper previously, and it went to a very productive and useful meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Panel. He gave his thanks to all Members of that Panel for playing their part in shaping this document and putting forward a series of recommendations, which will we will discuss in due course. But overall, he thought that was a very productive and indeed useful meeting in terms of shaping this critically important document for the council going forward.

 

The report shared the new Corporate Plan for the period 2021 to 2026 currently titled Building a Borough of Opportunity and Innovation. The plan sets out the council's overarching objectives and specific goals to be achieved in support of those objectives. Over the course of the plan, period, it has been designed to crystallise focus on where the council needs to focus most to drive the change that we need, and also to help us guide and indeed inspire an allocation of resources and energies to deliver that change.

 

It replaces the interim strategy, which was adopted back in the summer of last year, which was developed as a temporary plan for the response to the pandemic. This new plan went out to public consultation for a period of six weeks, which ended in September 2021, it was discussed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Panel on the 11th of October 2021 in what we deemed to be a formal challenge session.  He asked Cabinet to consider the comments made by Scrutiny.

 

There were six agreed recommendations plus two additional comments that have come forward both in scrutiny and a Member of Cabinet. 

 

Recommendation 1 put forward by Cllr Werner to rename the main overarching aim of the Corporate Plan to Creating a Sustainable Borough of Innovation and Opportunity.  This was seconded by Councillor Jones, and indeed, agreed unanimously by the O&S Panel. Cabinet were very happy with that sensible and pragmatic amendments to the title of the Corporate Plan that reflected the longer term and wider ambitions around not only climate change, climate resilience, but also economic sustainability, health, sustainability, and all the other metrics of sustainability we will be using going forward. The recommendation was approved.

 

Recommendation 2 was put forward and agreed unanimously at the Panel was that the Corporate Plan be reviewed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Panel, or indeed whatever successor body may replace that panel in in due course, after two years following the plans, adoption.  the motion was proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Hassler. Cabinet feel that this was a very prudent move as It gives the opportunity to potentially amend and refine that Corporate Plan to reflect not only real life implementation, but also to reflect external changes to the organisation. The recommendation was approved.

 

Recommendation 3 was proposed by Cllr Clark to increase both walking and cycling by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a

7b

Extend Council tax exemption for RBWM Care Leavers up to age 25 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report regarding the proposed extension of Council Tax exemption until the age of 25 for care leavers.

 

The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot introduced the report and informed that this was a positive proposal that was in line with Government policy and extended the provision of an existing policy to care leavers up until the age of 25.

 

The Chairman supported the report and said it was an important step as our roles as corporate parents.

 

Cllr Carroll said he was delighted to see the report before Cabinet especially as it happened to be Care Leavers Week, he apologised that he could not present the report in person.  He said that the proposals would make a big difference to those leaving our care. He referenced how a number of years ago he had discussed with fellow Cabinet Member, Cllr McWilliams, how the Council Tax system could be used to help those in need.  He mentioned the excellent work undertaken by the Task and Finish Group and the support of the Corporate Parenting Forum as well as the support of officers.  He mentioned the responsibility we had to care leavers and how this small, but important change in policy, could make a big difference to care leavers.

 

Cllr Clerk mentioned that he was a member of the Corporate Parenting Panel and fully supported this report as it would benefit those in our care.

 

Cllr Tisi mentioned that she was the Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Parenting Forum and referenced the saying that ‘we do not leave care, care leaves us’.  She said that she became a Cllr to help improve peoples lives and that this paper was important in supporting care leavers as well as showing how scrutiny could be used to drive forward policy development.  She asked the Lead Member if he would sign up to the Care Leavers Charter. 

 

The Chairman said he agreed with the sentiments already made and how tonight we had seen two positive impacts of scrutiny and he hoped this culture of scrutiny providing value and positive impacts would continue.  He also mentioned that this decision provided genuine outcomes and opportunities for our care leavers.

 

Resolved unanimously:  that Cabinet notes the report and:

 

i)               Extends the mandatory Council Tax exemption to Care Leavers living in the borough, up to the age of 25.

ii)             Provides Care Leavers up to the age of 25, living out of the borough and who pay Council Tax, an allowance towards their Council Tax costs equivalent to that received by Care Leavers living in the borough.

iii)            Delegates the approval of the details of both schemes to Executive Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Children Services, Health and Mental Health and the Cabinet Member for Finance.

7c

Land West of Windsor Stakeholder Masterplan pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report regarding the Stakeholder Masterplan Document for Land West of Windsor.

 

The Lead Member for Planning, Environmental Services and Maidenhead informed Cabinet that the report explained the new Borough Local Plan requirement for the preparation of Stakeholder Masterplan Documents and summarises the process and outcomes specifically in relation to the Stakeholder Masterplan Document for Land West of Windsor.   He mentioned that only the BLP could release the land from the Green Belt. Whilst Officers are recommending that the SMD for Land West of Windsor be approved for Development Management purposes, the site will remain in the Green Belt, and the principle of developing the site not established, until the BLP has been adopted by the Council.

 

The Lead Member emphasised that this was not a planning application and all rights for objection remained during due process.  If Cabinet approves this report further challenge remained open during the full planning process.  There were currently three site were such SMP’s were being worked upon, this was the first to reach this stage.  Whilst in Windsor it came under Bray Parish Council and planning applications would be at Maidenhead committee. 

 

The site would include residential units, public open space, sports facilities, a community hub and a SEN school.  He outlined the process that had been undertaken getting to this point.  Out of this process came the commitment to provide affordable housing, a multi function area of public space, new crossings over the A308, a network of footpaths and cycleway’s as well as the provision of allotments.  The benefits of the process had been accepted and if accepted by Cabinet this did not set policy in planning and the ability of challenge still remained. 

 

The Deputy Leader of Council informed that as Lead Member for Windsor she was pleased to see this important document that showed a process that allowed residents to have their say on the potential development of this important piece of land in Windsor. 

 

Cllr Hasler informed that his was an excellent paper and brought forward ideas discussed in a previous planning working group, he wished that all major application go through a similar process. 

 

Mr E Wilson addressed Cabinet and said that this masterplan was a critical document for all residents in Dedworth, this has helped residents understand what is happening but he had mentioned to the developers that there was still a lot of confusion what was within the plan.  Those residents without internet access had been left behind with regards to information and thus he had recommended a drop in session or newsletter.  Local ward Cllrs had also failed to provide information to residents and what they said was often conflicting with one saying there should be no housing whilst another said there would be but without car parking.  He mentioned that there was little information about the planned school and its timing, funding, partners and also that residents could not wait until 2024 for the highway improvements and suggested they be in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7c

7d

Bus Service Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 15 MB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report regarding the approval to submit the first BSIP to Department for Transport by 31st October 2021.

 

The Lead Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Digital Connectivity informed Cabinet that In March 2021, the Government announced a new national bus strategy ‘Bus Back Better. This was followed by guidance on Bus Service Improvement Plans in May 2021. The strategy and guidance require Local Transport Authorities across

the country to produce a Bus Service Improvement Plan by October 2021.

 

The proposed plan for approval by Cabinet had been developed using existing data and new research undertaken with existing bus users and borough residents who currently do not use buses. It set out an outline of measures for which Government funding will be sought. This included a full bus network review as well as a series of trials to test new measures across the borough with a view to roll out those which are successful across the rest of the borough as appropriate. It set out ambitious targets to grow the number of users, improve satisfaction and reliability.  This would be a living document and reviewed each year.

 

Cabinet were informed that bus usage was too low and some services too expensive, however punctuality was good as was satisfaction.  Some of the challenges ahead were continues increasing satisfaction levels, increasing passenger numbers, optimise services, more bus priority measures, increased responsive demand services, integrated transport model, infrastructure for accessible routes, meet developing passenger charter, improved bus information and a feasibility study for a bus station.  Meeting these challenges will be dependent of Government funding supported by local funding from CIL and S106.

 

The Lead Member for Climate Change, Sustainability, Parks and Countryside supported the report but mentioned that there was not as much sustainability mentioned within the report, she asked if this would come once passenger numbers had increased.  The Lead Member said that this was correct but also we could not bid for greener buses as this would be the role of the operator, although we would support this. 

 

The Lead Member for Public Protection and Parking said he was pleased to second the report and subject to a successful funding bid was looking to see better links to our rural communities and decreased car journeys. 

 

Cabinet were addressed by Mr E Wilson who said this was an excellent plan and he hoped the funding would be secured.  He asked the Lead Member if it was known when the funding awards would be announces, would there be an updated plan and if a copy could be made available within RBWM libraries.  The Lead Member replied that funding awards were in the hand of the DFT, that there would be regular updates to the plan and that he was happy to ask officers to make a hard copy available in RBWM libraries.

 

Cllr Baldwin said this was a good report seeking funding that you do not always get but he wished the bid good luck.  He raised concern about the condition  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7d

7e

Drug and Alcohol Services Recommissioning pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report regarding the award of the drug and alcohol contract.

 

The Lead Member for Finance and Ascot introduced the report and provided the background to a cross party working group that had previously been established that recommended to Cabinet current arrangements, he informed that TVP and the NHS had been involved as this important topic cut across all services.  It was noted that the report talked about alcohol and substance abuse and with regards to heroin although the number of people who overcome their addiction was small without this service they could result in criminality.  The service, as well as being important, was also excellent value for money with evidence from Public Health England showed that alcohol treatment reflects a return on investment of £3 for every £1 invested, whilst drug treatment reflects a return on investment of £4 for every £1 invested. He also highlighted that there may be dual diagnosis’s that may need attention, for example a person may have mental health and substance misuse issues that both need to be addressed to get a positive outcome.

 

The Chairman commended the report and mentioned that earlier they had talked about zero tolerance and with drug dealing they had zero tolerance, especially due to its impact on those vulnerable in society.  This report showed the other side of the coin where support was provided by those suffering from substance misuse.

 

Cllr Carroll apologised for not being able to attend in person to present this important paper standing in his name as this was a critical service.  He mentioned that our CQC rating remained good and this paper sought to progress the excellent service looking to build upon excellent work.  This delivery model builds on existing partnerships to encourage community cohesion and self-care and tackle key themes linked to multiple disadvantages.  The new contract brought together different elements into one integrated contract.  It acknowledged the importance of a multi agency and service approach. 

 

The Lead Member for Housing, Sport, Leisure and Community Engagement reiterated the importance of a multi service approach.  The report mentioned mental health, housing and substance misuse.  People who did not have sustainable housing could become vulnerable to substance misuse; all three areas were important to address. 

 

Cllr Tisi said she welcomed the evidence based paper to help the needs of residents.  She was concerned to read that there was between 40% to 60% of RBWM residents were drinking at an increased risk level of alcohol per week but there was a low level seeking support.  She welcomed the recruitment of a substance misuse officer in children’s social care.  Shem mentioned that the report said there was no additional funding required and asked what would happen to this important service if funding was reduced, what would be prioritised.  She mentioned that page 40 of the report mentioned that ‘there may be a need for admission to detoxification and rehabilitation units, although in RBWM this was uncommon due to individuals not meeting the level of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7e