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Meeting Details

Cabinet
19 Jan 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
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  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Meeting Details
Standard Items
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This meeting will take place in Ealing Town Hall and be webcast live on the Council's YouTube channel. We encourage the public to watch remotely to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID. However, if a member of the public wishes to attend in person, please notify us in advance by emailing cabinetreports@ealing.gov.uk

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Also Present
Councillor Shaw, Chief Whip, was also present.


In accordance with paragraph 2.6(a) of the Constitution, Councillors Malcolm, Millican and Stafford addressed the Cabinet with regard to the following items: 

Item 7 – Ealing Children’s Services Ofsted Focused Visit for the local authority’s arrangements for Care Leavers 3-4 November 2021 (Councillor Millican)
Item 11- Recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee relating to the Fishers Lane Cycle Scheme (Councillors Malcolm and Stafford)
Item 12 - Council Performance Report Quarter 2 2021/22. (Councillors Malcolm and Stafford)
1 Apologies for Absence
1
Apologies were received from Councillor Mahfouz.

This meeting was held in a hybrid format with members and officers able to join the meeting remotely.

However, regulations did not allow for members attending virtually to be counted as present in the attendance section of the minutes, and their attendance would not count as attendance in relation to section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Members attending virtually would be able to speak but would not be able to vote.

Councillors joining remotely:
Councillor Malcolm
2 Urgent Matters
2
There were none.
3 Declarations of Interest
3
There were none.
4 Matters to be Considered in Private
4
Items 8 and 10 contained a confidential appendix but was not taken in private as it was not necessary to discuss the confidential information provided.
Public Items
ITEMS FOR DECISION
5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2021.
5
Resolved:
That the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 8 December 2021 be agreed and signed as a true and correct record.
6 Appointments to Sub Committees and Outside Bodies

6
There were none.
ITEM FOR INFORMATION

 

 

7
Resolved
That Cabinet: 
notes the outcome of the recent Ofsted Focused Visit to Ealing Children’s Services looking at the local authority’s arrangements for care leavers.  There had been a sustained focus on services for care leavers by senior managers, elected members and partners which had resulted in significant and tangible improvement since the previous judgement inspection in 2019.

Reasons for Decision and Options Considered
The Ofsted ILACS Inspection was one of a cycle of inspections for Local Authorities in Ealing and Wales.  This inspection gave a view on the quality of work to support and safeguard children and young people in Ealing. This inspection result was a positive endorsement of the improvement work undertaken since the ILACS in 2019 and supported the direction of travel.
ITEMS FOR DECISION
8
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the list of proposed High Priority Condition Works as set out in Confidential Appendix A of the report, and that further work will take place to finalise detailed schemes. 
ii) delegates to the Assistant Director: Planning, Resources and Service Development authority to finalise the schemes, following consultation with the Portfolio Holder and the Chief Finance Officer, set out in Confidential Appendix A of the report. 
iii) on the finalisation of the schemes in accordance resolution ii) above, authorises the Assistant Director, Planning, Resources and Service Development to invite and evaluate tenders or make call offs from frameworks or dynamic purchasing systems in accordance with their rules for the works contracts for the schemes set out in Confidential Appendix A of the report. 
iv) approves the inclusion of Grant funding for High Priority Condition Works and associated spend into the capital programme in 2022/23 from the Schools Condition Allocation Grant (total £5.257m with further additional grant expected), once the 2022/23 final allocation has been announced, subject to consultation with the Chief Finance Officer.
v) delegates to the Assistant Director: Planning, Resources and Service Development to seek all necessary Planning and Statutory Approvals for the schemes described in this report.      


Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The decisions were required to enable the Council to progress with capital works to schools. 

Under the Council’s Constitution, Cabinet approval was required to proceed with schemes over £5m per annum in value, Portfolio Holder approval was required in order to proceed with schemes between £0.500m and £5m per annum, and the schemes up to £0.500m per annum fall within Director delegated powers. As all of the schemes were to be undertaken during the same time period, authority was being sought from Cabinet for all of the projects in this report rather than submitting separate reports for smaller numbers of projects to Cabinet, the Portfolio Holder and Director.
9
Resolved
That Cabinet: 
i) authorises the extension of the DPS for Care Homes & Supported Living with a commencement date of 1 September 2016 (“Care Homes DPS”) for 2-years from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2024.
ii) Authorises the extension of the Ealing Homecare Services DPS with a commencement date of 1 April 2017 (“Homecare DPS”) for 2-years from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2025. 
iii) agrees that the decision for admitting new suppliers onto both extended DPS’s be delegated to the Director Adults Services.
iv) Agrees that where neither DPS can meet need, then authority to make direct awards (spot contracts) be delegated to the Director Adults Services, to approve the supplier(s) deemed best placed to provide the required services to meet a vulnerable adults’ eligible care and support needs in the circumstances set out in section 5 of the report.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
In line with the contract procedure rules (CPRs) the Council was required to make a decision on extending or replacing both DPS contracts. In recommending the extension of the DPS arrangements, Council officers considered the following options in regard to the commissioning and / or provision of homecare and bed-based services:
Block contract – procuring a fixed number of beds from the market at an agreed price. Benefits were guaranteed access, but this option was costly if the capacity was not used as a block contract would include the cost of any voids. Could also prove problematic if the block contract was awarded to a single provider i.e., should the business fail, then the Council would be required to intervene.
Framework – this was a call off arrangement from a group of suppliers on a case-by-case basis. Benefits included no guaranteed minimum volumes and there were typically no lock in costs. The main limitation, however, was that new suppliers could not routinely join the framework.
Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) – the system had similar benefits to a framework, but with the benefit that new suppliers could join the DPS at any time. In addition, a DPS arrangement allowed for both spot and block arrangements to be developed. DPS’s were also designed to operate electronically.
Spot contract – care services purchased from the open market. The main benefit was being able to purchase care as and when required. However, the drawback was that Councils had minimal control over price, quality, and performance due to there being only the basic contract terms in place.
In-house provision – the Council directly providing the care services. This option would require a significant revenue and capital investment on the Councils part and could not be delivered within the given timescales. This option would require long-term strategic planning and funding.

The preferred option was to remain with (and extend) the current DPS’s as they continued to offer the Council flexible sourcing and contracting solutions; whilst supporting the establishment of a diverse and competitive local marketplace.

The option to extend both DPS’s was endorsed at the August meeting of the Council’s Joint Contracts Board (JCB).
 

 

 

10
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes and agrees the proposed new governance structure for the future management  and operation of Gunnersbury Park.
ii) approves and adopts the proposed new Articles of the Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust and the Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC, which will allow them to function in a unified way as a parent charity and a wholly owned trading subsidiary (appendices 1 and 2 of the report). 
iii) notes the process to appoint the initial Board set out in paragraph 3.2 to 3.3 of this report and in appendix 3 of the report (Nominations Committee Terms of Reference) and agrees in principle to appoint in due course two  Local Authority members (one from Ealing and one from Hounslow) to the new Board of the  Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust).
iv) notes and approves the Interim Strategic Plan (Appendix 4) which has been drawn up by the Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust and the Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC, and which sets out current thinking including key objectives, operating principles, financial forecasts, and short, medium and longer term strategic priorities over a 10-year period to 2032.
v) agrees that the lease to the Trust (initially for 7 years, and subsequently approved to be extended to 25 years) should be assigned to the Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust, with the 25-year period commencing with a new date namely the adoption date of the new governance arrangements, and with an ability for the term to be extended by agreement if required to improve the ability to raise capital funding.
vi) agrees that the current 25-year Funding and Management Agreement with the Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC will continue.
vii) agrees that an existing loan agreement between Ealing Council and the Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC will continue.
viii) delegates authority to the Director of Community Development to agree a mechanism for the two local authorities to meet with the Trust and the CIC  to review progress at least annually, take remedial action if needed, and explore forthcoming opportunities and to take any other steps and enter into any agreements necessary to facilitate the establishment of the new structure.   

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Summary of current governance arrangements
The two local authorities had retained the joint freehold of the park and its buildings, and continued to hold the museum collection in trusteeship.  
The Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC was set up in 2015 as a management vehicle for the park and the estate including the museum service for the two boroughs (although not at present the Sports Hub where the management was overseen by Ealing council). The two local authorities as sole members of the company had power of appointment and dismissal of the CIC Board members. The two local authorities also had express powers to determine the number of Board members and their term of appointment, and to pass a special resolution to direct the Board to take specific action, and to convert to a different form of company. Furthermore, both of the local authority directors must be present for a Board meeting to be quorate.  
The two local authorities had a Funding and Management agreement with the CIC for 25 years which was adopted in 2018. They had provided the CIC with a short (seven year) lease on the property and had  agreed the terms of a 25 year lease  which was ready to be completed.
The Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust was set up in 2016 with the support of the councils to help to achieve the regeneration of the overall Gunnersbury Estate including (but not limited to) raising capital funds for this purpose. It was constituted as a charity, and was independent from the CIC. 
A Project Board oversaw developmental activities. Its membership included senior representatives from the two local authorities, the CIC and Trust, as well as other stakeholders (e.g. Historic England). It was currently chaired by a senior officer from Hounslow Council.
The Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum had been in existence since 1981. It registered as a charity in 1983 and was a membership body. The Friends organisation was an active commentator on matters relating to the park and museum and proposed developments, including recently the Small Mansion and Stables Steering Group set up by the Project Board. It produced an occasional newsletter and was able to offer small grants. 
Difficulties with the current governance arrangements
The current structure was somewhat fragmented and did not support the formation of a consistent and unifying vision and culture and flow through to every level and every part of the system. The structural fragmentation had had a detrimental impact on planning (e.g there has been no single business plan for the whole estate), operational decision-making, relationships and behaviour. 
Significantly, the separation of functions between the CIC and Trust presented a barrier to ensuring both capital and revenue fundraising needed to sustain and grow the estate.  This was because on the one hand not all trusts and foundations would fund a CIC, and private donors could be deterred because donations to the CIC could not attract Gift Aid. On the other hand, while the Trust as a charity was a more attractive vehicle for grants and donations, some funders would not wish to provide grants to one organisation for work to be delivered by another, especially where there was no direct accountable relationship between the two. Moreover, as the Trust had no legal interest in the land it was severely impeded in long term capital fundraising efforts.  These difficulties had led to rejections from some significant grants makers (e.g. Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) and in cases where funding had been made available some funders had signalled that further funding would depend on improvements to governance arrangements (e.g. Garfield Weston Foundation and Foyle Foundation).
Some funders had made it clear that they expected to see a reduction in hands-on control by the local authorities, and a greater level of strategic and operational independence for the CIC. This was not to say that a continuing strong relationship with the local authorities was not seen as desirable – indeed it was felt by many to be a vital asset and a very necessary part of any future arrangements. But the current position where the CIC was wholly owned by the local authorities (they are the sole members) and where the local authorities could for example remove and appoint Board members, remained a concern for some funders and stakeholders.  
The Small Mansion and Stables were not included in the schedule of the Operational areas passed to CIC management partly because of the risk posed to the CIC by their dilapidated state. A feasibility study to investigate alternative community and cultural uses as part of an integrated overall approach to Gunnersbury Estate had taken place and it was hoped that eventually the two local authorities would be able to agree that these substantial properties could be integrated into the management agreement.
The CIC model was not widely understood among the general public. Moreover, the CIC were not always thought to be operating in an open and transparent way. This made it more difficult to resolve the inevitable tensions between different interest groups, and to address concerns over income-generating activities, and was moreover perceived by some to be an impediment to improving community involvement and engagement.
Difficulties in building community trust were compounded because there is currently little user involvement in formal aspects of the governance arrangements and so it was difficult to see how, for example, park and museum visitors, schools, local charities and businesses who used the park, as well as particular sections of the local population such as individuals and families from ethnic minority groups or those from low income sections of the community, could make their voices heard at the table when decisions that affect them are being made.
There could be potential conflicts of interest which had to be managed. For example the local authority officials on the CIC Board could find themselves on both sides of a negotiation, for example when agreeing the terms of the lease, or the Funding and Management Agreement.
Proposed solution: a parent charity and trading subsidiary
A Gunnersbury Governance Reference Group (consisting of the senior representatives from the two local authorities, and the Trust and the CIC Chairs, and supported by the CIC CEO and an independent consultant) had reviewed options and had proposed the following as the desired governance outcome.  
This way forward had been endorsed by full Board meetings of the Trust and the CIC.
In this outcome, the parent charity Board would exercise strategic and operational control, and have the ability to employ staff, raise funds (including major development finance), operate a commercially successful business model, and achieve long term sustainability for the park, historic buildings, museum, and (in future) the sports centre.
It would function as an independent charity, but would have strong and enduring links with the two local authorities (with elected members on the parent charity Board), who would remain the landowners. 
It would operate in an open and transparent way, so that it would be properly accountable to the local communities and to other stakeholders.
It would be seen as a credible vehicle by more funders.
In order to satisfy funder requirements the parent charity would hold the lease, which should be at least 25 years.
It would be able to operate as a social enterprise.  So that the charity could act responsibly, the trading activities would be held within the trading subsidiary. This would include the funding and management agreement with the local authorities, activities not within the charitable primary purposes, and trading where there is significant commercial risk (e.g. festivals.) 
The Board members of the trading subsidiary CIC would be appointed by the parent charity.
Any Committees (including a Finance Committee and an HR Committee) would report to the Board of the parent charity.
Options appraisal
The other options that were considered were as follows:
A) Retain the current governance structure but make changes within the existing structure
B) Establish a parent charity and trading subsidiary
C) Establish a community benefit society
The options appraisal, undertaken by the independent consultant and recommendations, is at Appendix 5 of the report.
ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
11
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the recommendation from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that a public safety review regarding Fishers Lane is recommended to be undertaken, to consider street lighting and police presence, in order to address concerns around public safety at this location.
ii) notes the recommendation from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that there should be further joint communications work undertaken on the Fishers Lane Scheme to focus on why Hounslow Council are supporting the scheme.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
At its meeting on 21 October 2021, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a call-in of a report covering COVID emergency transport measures. This included a cycle scheme on Fishers Lane which closed part of the lane to all traffic other than buses and bicycles.

OSC after hearing arguments for and against making the scheme permanent, decided to uphold the original Cabinet decision. However it was felt that valid points were raised at the meeting by residents and members and these needed to be addressed despite the decision being upheld.

One of the residents who spoke against making the scheme permanent highlighted that she no longer felt as safe walking down Fishers Lane at night due to the lack of cars driving by, meaning it was a quieter area than before. Therefore the Committee felt the impact, real or perceived, on women and vulnerable people’s safety of the closure of the road needed addressing. This was the reason for recommendation one.

Another issue that was raised at the meeting was that Hounslow Council had agreed to the decision taken by Ealing on the scheme. This was important as the scheme was on the boundary of the two boroughs and some had argued the decision on the scheme had a greater localised negative impact in terms of traffic congestion and journey times by car on Hounslow residents rather than Ealing residents. The Committee therefore made recommendation two as it was felt that the Council’s communications should have been clearer that Hounslow were in agreement on the decision due to be taken by Ealing.

Response to the Recommendations
Service officers and Cabinet Members had provided the responses to the recommendations below.

The communications service was happy to work with colleagues at Hounslow Council on any future proactive or reactive communication regarding this scheme. Given the issues that cross into both boroughs it was sensible that we take this approach so that we can present a cohesive message to the public.

The issue of streetlighting in the area was currently being considered by the Highways Team and any changes were expected to be implemented once the scheme was made permanent. However it was worth noting that the area was currently well lit (see appendix 1 of the report), and any additional lighting deemed necessary may take some time to introduce due to requiring permission from rail authorities for works on the bridge. In the past this had proved to be a drawn out process.

The issue of streetlighting was the focus of the response to this recommendation, not policing. The Council had no direct power over policing in the area as this was the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police. However if a problem could be evidenced in this area through crime data then additional temporary resource could be requested. But it would be up to the Police to decide whether it is a priority or not.

The Council, as part of the Safer Ealing Partnership, was due to undertake a consultation on women’s feeling of safety in the public realm. Information gained from this item being taken to Scrutiny could feed into the review.
12
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the contents of the report;
ii) notes the progress made against the Council Plan performance indicators to the end of the second quarter of 2021/22 (July – September 2021.
iii) thanks Jackie Yates (Head of Service, Older Adults) and team in Adults, for the improved performance in waiting times for assessments.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The purpose of this report was to provide Cabinet with a summary of the council’s performance at the end of Quarter 2 2021/22. The report also highlighted the indicators whose performance information would not be available this year due to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic.
13 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 9 February 2022.

13

Resolved 
That Cabinet notes that the next meeting of Cabinet would be held on 9 February 2022 at 7pm.





Councillor Peter Mason, Chair

Date

The duration of this meeting was 7pm to 7:57pm

 

The minutes should be read in conjunction with the agenda for the meeting. They are subject to approval and signature at the next meeting of this Committee.

Exempt Items
8 CONFIDENTIAL Appendix A Condition Works Proposal Summer 2022
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
10 CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 8 - Procurement Advice
  • Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings;

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending Apology
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz 
NameReason for Absence
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting