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Meeting Details

Cabinet
9 Feb 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
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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

 

ALSO PRESENT:
Councillor Shaw, Chief Whip, was also present.


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

Item 7 –  Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2022/23 to 2024/25 (Councillors Malcolm and Young)
Item 8 -  Budget Update Report 2021/22 (Councillor Young)
Item 10 - Response to Ealing Race Equality Commission recommendations (Councillor Malcolm)
Item 11 - A Digital Connectivity Strategy- Enabling our Communities (Councillor Malcolm)

Welcome and Vote of Thanks
Cabinet welcomed Paul Martin as Interim Chief Executive to his first Cabinet meeting in Ealing.
Cabinet thanked Judith Finlay for stepping up into the role of Head of Paid Service for the last month and a half.
 
1 Apologies for Absence
1

There were none.

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:
Cllr Costigan, Cllr Mahfouz and Cllr Malcolm

 

2 Urgent Matters
2
There were none.
3 Declarations of Interest
3
There were none.
4 Matters to be Considered in Private
4
Item 12 contained confidential appendices 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 19 January 2022.
5
Resolved:
That the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 19 January 2022 be agreed and signed as a true and correct record.
6 Appointments to Sub Committees and Outside Bodies

6
There were none.
7

Resolved
That Cabinet: 

Revenue Budget
i) approves net savings of £13.320m over the MTFS period 2022/23 to 2025/26, submitted as part of the 2022/23 budget review process. This includes £11.989m savings from the General Fund over the same period of which £10.340m is to be delivered from the General Fund in 2022/23 (section 5.2 and Appendix 2 of the report).
ii) authorises the Executive Director or Director with responsibility for each proposal (including fees and charges) to:
a) carry out all steps required in relation to each proposal, including carrying out any appropriate consultation.
b) consider any consultation outcomes and any other detailed implications, 
c) complete and consider the implications of any equalities analysis assessment required.
d) following completion of ii)(a), ii)(b) and ii)(c) above;
   1) determine whether or not to amend any proposal as appropriate prior to implementation; 
   2) determine whether or not a further report needs to be considered by Cabinet or the relevant officer            or  portfolio holder before a final decision is taken on implementation; and
   3) where a decision is taken not to proceed with any savings proposal then alternative proposal(s) will            be brought forward for consideration.

iii)  in relation to those savings proposals that are significantly cross cutting across more than one council service, authorises the Executive Director or Director with primary responsibility for the savings proposal in question to complete any required equalities analysis assessments and to consider the outcome of such equalities analysis assessments, and any other cross-cutting implications, following consultation with the Executive Directors or Directors  of the other services significantly impacted by the proposals, prior to taking any decisions to implement such savings proposals.
iv) notes in relation to the authorisations given in ii) and iii) above that where appropriate any key decisions will be brought back to Cabinet.
v) notes the latest Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2022/23 to 2025/26 (Section 4 of the report).
vi) approves £18.717m of revenue growth for 2022/23 (paragraph 5.2.2) and authorises the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151), following consultation with the Portfolio Holder and Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) to agree and allocate the service growth as part of the detail service budget setting process. 
vii) notes that the Council is in a position to agree a balanced budget for 2022/23 and that any remaining budget gap following the Council Tax decision by Full Council on 1 March 2022 will be closed using reserves.

Fees and Charges
viii) approves the schedule of fees and charges for 2022/23 (paragraph 5.3 and Appendix 3 of the report).
Council Tax
ix) recommends to Full Council an increase of 1% for the Social Care Precept and an increase of 1.99% for Council Tax in 2022/23 (paragraph 5.7.4 of the report).
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
x) notes the continuation of the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme (paragraph 5.7.14, Appendix 4 of the report) for recommendation to Full Council on 1 March 2022.
Council Tax Empty Property Premium Charge 
xi) agrees the officers’ recommendation to continue with an additional 300% premium on top of the standard council tax for properties which have been empty for more than 10 years with effect from 1 April 2021 (paragraph 5.7.7 of the report).
Business Rates Discount
xii) approves for the Council (in accordance with the powers granted under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988) to continue offering a discount in National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) of two times the cost of accreditation to the first 100 businesses in Ealing which are, or which will become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation and who meet the criteria as set out in the February 2016 Cabinet report: Discretionary Discount Scheme for Businesses accredited to Living Wage Foundation and extend the offer to new applicants, for 2022/23,(paragraph 5.9.3 of the report).
xiii) authorises the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) to make determinations in relation to applications for such NNDR discounts, in accordance with the council’s adopted criteria.
Schools Budget
xiv) notes the outcome of 2022/23 School Funding Formula changes as agreed in consultation with Schools Forum (Section 6) and authorises the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) to consider and, following consultation with the portfolio holder for a Fairer Start to take on behalf of the Council any actions necessary for the Council to fulfil requirements for Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) budgets.
xv) approves Ealing’s Early Years Funding Formula Factors for 2022/23 (paragraph 6.2.14 of the report).
Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
xvi) notes the HRA revenue budget for 2022/23, as presented to Cabinet on 9 February 2022 (Section 7 of the report).
Capital Programme 2022/23 – 2026/27 
xvii) notes the new General Fund capital programme additions totalling £22.413m to be approved by Full Council on 1 March 2022 and decommissioning of £1.949m (Section 8 and Appendix 6 of the report).
xviii) notes the capital programme additions relating to the HRA (Section 8 of the report) that were considered as part of the HRA Business Plan by Cabinet in February 2022.

xix) Endorses and approves the following recommendations to Full Council, on 1 March 2022, that   it:
1. Revenue Budget 2022/23 and Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2025/26
a) considers and approves the Revenue Budget for 2022/23 as summarised in Appendix 1.
b) considers the advice of the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) on the levels of reserves and robustness of estimates in setting the budget as required by Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003 (Section 11 of the report).
c) notes the financial risks and pressures set out in the report (Section 4 and Section 14 of the report).
d) approves the Parking Account 2022/23 (paragraph 5.11 and Appendix 5 of the report).
e) approves the draft Schools budget of £292.100m and agrees that any changes to the budget reasonably required as a result of the final 2022/23 DSG settlement are delegated for decision to the Executive Director of Children, Adults & Public Health following consultation with the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) (Section 6 of the report).
f) approves for the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) to agree appropriate actions to comply with the revised DSG guidance, including agreeing the appropriate Deficit Recovery plan for DSG (Section 6 of the report).
g) notes that the General Fund balance is scheduled to remain the same at £15.919m for 2022/23 and notes the forecast levels of earmarked reserves (Section 10 and Appendix 10 of the report).
2. Capital Programme 2022/23 – 2026/27
a) approves the new General Fund capital programme additions totalling £22.413m (paragraph 8.3 and Appendix 6 of the report) and £1.949m of budgets to be decommissioned.
b) approves the updated profile of the current Capital Programme totalling £1.238.738m (before additions and schemes to be decommissioned), as set out in Section 8 and Appendix 7 of the report.
3. Capital Strategy, Treasury Management and Pension Fund 
a) approves the Treasury Management Strategy including the associated Prudential Indicators and Annual Investment Strategy (Section 9 and Appendix 9 of the report).
b) approves the Treasury Management Policy Statement (Appendix 9 of the report).
c) notes the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) will implement the Treasury Management Strategy under existing officer delegated powers (Appendix 9 of the report).
d) approves the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy (Appendix 9 of the report).
e) notes that the Council manages the cash on behalf of the Pension Fund and West London Waste Authority in accordance with the Treasury Management Strategy (Appendix 9 of the report).
f) approves the Capital Strategy (Appendix 8 of the report).
g) approves the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts policy for 2022/23 over the new MTFS period upto the value of £2m, subject to meeting Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) criteria following its policy publication.(Appendix 8 of the report).
h) approves for the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) to agree commencement of the programme and sub-projects following DLUHC criteria being met (Annex A of Appendix 8).
4. Council Tax and Business Rates 
a) approves officer recommendation of an increase of 1% for the Social Care Precept and an increase of 1.99% for Council Tax in 2022/23 (paragraph 5.7.4 of the report).
b) notes the Greater London Authority (GLA) Band D precept of £395.59 for 2022/23 (paragraph 5.6.2 of the report).
c) notes that the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) calculated under delegated authority on 17 January 2022 the amount of 118,648.5 as the Council Tax Base, being the number of properties in Bands A-H in the Borough, expressed as an equivalent number of Band D units for the year 2022/23; in accordance with regulation 3 of the Local Authorities Calculation of Council Tax Base Regulations 1992 as amended made under Section 335 and 344 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (paragraph 5.7.1 of the report).
d) notes the forecast Collection Fund position for 2021/22 (paragraph 5.8 of the report)
e) notes the Council’s share of the council tax and business rates income forecast for 2022/23, as approved by the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) (section 5.9 and Appendix 1 of the report).
f) approves the continued charge of a 300% premium on top of the standard council tax for properties which have been empty for more than 10 years with effect from 1 April 2022 (paragraph 5.7.7 of the report).
g) approves the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme to continue for the financial year 2022/23 (paragraph 5.7.14, Appendix 4 of the report).

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
This was the final update report to Members on the 2022/23 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). It finalised the position since the last budget strategy report to Cabinet in December 2021 and it brought together a number of significant issues for Cabinet decision. The main purpose was to enable Cabinet to consider the budget proposals and make recommendations to Full Council for when it finalised the budget and set the council tax on 1 March 2022.

The Council had continued to invest in services that experienced significant and continued demand pressures, with prioritisation being given to the most vulnerable groups.  Due to the complexity of the service provision, against the backdrop of a pandemic, continuing uncertainty of long-term government funding notwithstanding the indicative projected increase in funding as a result of the provisional finance settlement, these services continued to operate in a challenging resource environment where small demand change could lead to material budget variances.

The proposals in this report would contribute to the savings agreed in the budget strategy. Some of the savings’ proposals would have more detailed implications which would only emerge following consultation. Where this was the case, those detailed implications would be considered before a final decision was taken on whether or not to implement the proposal, including whether or not a proposal should be amended prior to implementation. Where proposals when considered in more detail resulted in a lower financial saving, it was the responsibility of the respective Director to find alternative savings to the equivalent value to replace the reduced amount.

Any appropriate consultation in relation to proposals would be carried out as required and in accordance with the Council’s legal duties and responsibilities. 

 

8
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i)    notes the General Fund revenue budget estimated outturn position of (£2.571m) net underspend (1.03%) for 2021/22 (section 4 of the report), and an underspend of £1.246m on the Housing Revenue Account for 2021/22 (section 7 of the report).
ii)   notes financial pressures arising from COVID in 2021/22 are currently forecasted to be  met from grants and reserves (paragraph 4.4 of the report).
iii) notes the combined General Fund revenue underspend forecast position of (£2.571m) (section 4 of the report).
iv) notes the in-year Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) deficit forecast of £2.853m to be charged to the DSG account (section 6 of the report).
v) notes the HRA forecast breakeven position (section 7 of the report).
vi) notes the progress on delivering the 2021/22 savings (section 5 of the report).
vii) notes the 2021/22 capital programme breakeven forecast position (paragraph 8.3 of the report).
viii) approves the re-profiling of £4.893m 2021/22 capital programme into future years, relating to schemes reporting a net slippage of over £1 million (Appendix 2 of the report). 
ix) approves the capital budget reduction of £4.380m for schemes that will either end on 31 March or where external funding has now been withdrawn (section 8.5 of the report).

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
To forecast the financial position for 2021/22 based on available information at end of 31 December 2021 for BAU and COVID pressures. The report outlined the Council’s forecasted position on revenue, capital, income and expenditure to the end of quarter 3.
9
Resolved
That Cabinet: 
i) approves the admissions arrangements 2023/24 for Ealing community schools (Appendix 1 of the report).
ii) approves the published admission numbers for all Ealing community schools including a  reduction of 30 places at Lady Margaret Primary School.(Appendix 1 of the report).
iii) approves Ealing’s scheme for co-ordination of admissions to Year 7 and Reception/Junior in 2023/24 as part of Pan London co-ordination (Appendix 2 of the report).

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
All admission authorities must determine their admission arrangements by 28 February every year, even if they have not changed from previous years and consultation has not been required. These are set out in paragraph 1.49 of the School    Admissions Code.
10
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) accepts the findings and recommendations of the Race Equality Commission.
ii) thanks Lord Woolley and the Commissioners for their time, efforts and consideration on behalf of the residents of Ealing.
iii) instructs Council officers to prepare a detailed response to those recommendations for a meeting of this Cabinet reporting in summer 2022. 
iv) authorises the Director of Community Development, following consultation with the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, the Chief Finance Officer and the Director of HR, to agree to establish a new advisory and monitoring body to take the work of the Commission to the next stage over the next year, which involves local people in developing plans for the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations and holds to account the various public and private bodies to which the recommendations are directed for progress. 

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, this Council committed to take a long hard look at the structural and institutional barriers that existed and were preventing everyone in our community from participating in and benefiting from the opportunities that this borough presented.

The Council was keen that it heard from residents, their lived experiences and to understand the barriers (whatever they may be) to living a full and rewarding life without fear.

Recognising that the Council wanted to do things differently, this Cabinet resolved to establish a Commission and to that end appointed Lord Simon Woolley, at that time Director of Operation Black Vote, to Chair this, and appointed 10 independent Commissioners who gave their time, experience and insight to develop the thinking of the Commission.

The Commission met on six occasions in public. Of course, this was significantly interrupted by the Covid pandemic and therefore outside of the virtual public meetings, Commissioners undertook a series of individual meetings, observations and visits to inform their overall assessment and thinking.

On Thursday 27th January the Commission launched their report and provided the Council with a number of recommendations.  These recommendations were framed to all stakeholders, partners and the Council itself in relation to the ambition, opportunity and expectation that as a system we must tackle once and for all the barriers and unacceptable lived experiences of those who face racial inequality.

The Commission whilst focussing on race has rightly identified the specific challenges of multiple inequalities and deprivation that compound and amplify the difficulties and inequalities of those that also experience racial inequality.

The timing of the publication of the Commission’s final report in late January meant that this response could not address their detailed findings and recommendations.  Officers were therefore instructed to reflect and review with relevant portfolio holders to bring forward a more detailed consideration of how the Council as both an organisation and a leader within the borough would bring about change.

The Council noted the concern of the Commissioners that if they were to meet again in ten years’ time, would they be making the same recommendations again, and shared their ambition for change.  This Council agreed with the Commission that we must not waste this opportunity to put right wrongs, and to enable positive and sustained change that tackled racial inequality.

One of the ways in which the Commission had worked well had been its clear independence from the Council, and the willingness of people to engage.  When the Commission was established, other options considered included detailed scrutiny panels, or smaller inquiries or task specific activities, but it was considered a Commission, independent of the systems and structures within which the Council usually operated, would present the best opportunity for the Council and partners to learn and reflect upon the lived experiences of residents. The Commission, following in this spirit, recommended that the Council explored how an advisory and monitoring group with equivalent independence may be able to support the work of the Council and partners by bringing together Ealing’s public agencies, business, voluntary and community sectors to explore change, opportunities and continue the ambition for action.

The Council wished to thank the Commissioners for their extensive work and considerations and for presenting the voice and experience of residents in a constructive and challenging way.
11
Resolved
 That Cabinet:
i) agrees that a project board with cross departmental and directorate representation be set up to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Digital Connectivity report, to test the reliability and applicability of the recommendations and agree a delivery plan and delegates authority to the Executive Director of Place to set that up and agree the terms of reference. 
ii) agrees that a Project Manager be funded from current available funds awarded from the West London Alliance- “Enabling Fund” to co-ordinate and take forward the work required to inform and develop the Digital Connectivity Strategy and implement the recommendations of the report. 
iii) agrees that a report be brought back to cabinet in December 2022 to report on progress of implementing the recommendations, reporting on outputs, outcomes and impact achieved. 

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The London Borough of Ealing currently had a level of full fibre connectivity of 15.7% which was well below the London (34%) and National Average (29%) which if not addressed would have an impact on residents and businesses. This was Illustrated graphically at Appendix 4 of this cabinet report. 

COVID highlighted the need for and importance of good access to digital connectivity for residents and businesses including school children. It shone a light on the stark divide and unequal position experienced by residents and businesses when there was poor or no digital connectivity or access was limited due to affordability or lack of digital skills. 
The Citizens Online report (January 2021) highlighted areas in the borough where the risk of digital exclusion was more prevalent, 19,000 adults in Ealing were not online (7.1 %), with nearly 43,000 adults (15.8%) in the borough who didn’t have the essential digital transacting skills they need for completing tasks such as doing online shopping, filling in a form for an online service. 

The Council had an aspiration to address inclusion, inequality and support its residents and businesses as the borough recovers from the impact of COVID. 
As part of this aspiration the Council was committed to develop and enable a Digital Vision for the borough which would address in an integrated way a Digital Connectivity agenda which would realise these wider strategic aspirations. 

In recent years the council had been working to implement Connected Ealing- via the Ealing Digital strategy 2017/18 – 2020/21. Significant progress had been made in the accessibility of our services and in responding to digital exclusion, however there was still much more to do to realise our aspirations. 

To realise these important objectives, officers had sought to understand how the Council’s assets, infrastructure, policies and potential financial intervention could become a catalyst to enable and empower its residents, and businesses with improved access to connectivity both fixed and mobile, as well as create a platform to deliver a wider 5G/IOT/Smart Brough Strategy. 

RNS Consultancy was commissioned to deliver expert commercial and strategic advice in undertaking an initial exercise in respect of developing a Digital Connectivitiy Strategy for the borough. 

Work undertaken to inform a new Digital Connectivity Strategy would align and interface with the “refresh” planned for Ealing’s current Digital Strategy ( the latter- “Ealing’s Digital Strategy 2017/2018-2020/2021” ) to ensure synergy and maximise opportunities for efficiencies. 

The work was also intended to build upon work already undertaken within the Council and aligns with the strategic contribution being made by both the West London Alliance (WLA) and the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) and in doing so make a positive contribution to realising real outcomes for residents and businesses in the borough. 

The methodology deployed to inform the report included: 
(a) undertaking a detailed technical, strategic, and commercial due diligence of the Council’s assets  and infrastructure with a view to understanding what infrastructure may be available to support an enabling role and support the development of a wider Digital Connectivity Strategy. 
(b) an internal engagement exercise with key stakeholders, with a view to ascertaining the current opportunities, scope, and scale of any current or planned ‘Digital’ or ‘Smart Borough’ related initiatives and projects and identify potential opportunities for the development of a more holistic approach to digital infrastructure across the Council. 

(c) undertaking an initial engagement with the market to determine the current presence of fibre connectivity within the Borough as well as initiating a dialogue with the market to ascertain their future for fibre investment with the Borough. 2.12 The findings of the report forms Appendix 1 of this cabinet report. The findings were intended to guide and form the basis of the content for a Digital Connectivity Strategy and Implementation Plan that addresses the digital agenda across the borough in an integrated and co-ordinated way and makes a series of focused recommendations. 

A further piece of work was undertaken and forms Appendix 2 of this report which provided details of the benefits that would be derived from adopting each recommendation and the potential negative impact and opportunity cost if the recommendations were not implemented. 

Approximately 30 stakeholders across the Council were actively engaged (engagement involved all directorates). Appendix 3 provided the list of individuals and departments consulted. Engagement was undertaken either on a one to one basis or through departmental workshop sessions. In each case the sessions were focused on an information gathering exercise with a view to understanding current awareness, challenges and projects relating to digital at both a departmental and directorate level. The information and insights shared helped to inform both the findings and recommendations. 
12
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i)    notes the current position on Phase 3 of the redevelopment of Golf Links Estate including the preparations for a residents’ ballot 
 ii)  delegates authority to the Executive Director of Place to:
submit the reserved matters planning application in respect of Phase 3 to secure planning permission for up to 147 new Affordable Homes and, subject to the outcome of the residents’ ballot a full application as set put in paragraphs 2.7 to 2.12 in the report.
Invite and evaluate tenders for the construction works of the Phase 3 
iii) notes that following evaluation of all tenders returned, a further report to Cabinet will be submitted with a recommendation in relation to the award of the build contract for Phase 3.
iv) approves the increase of the spend budget for Golf Links Phase 3 by £24.609m required to match the stated aims of the council: namely climate change and climate emergency challenges.  This will be funded by additional borrowing on the HRA, of £8.821m, £11.000m of GLA grant and £4.788m of Right to Buy Capital Receipts. 

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Ealing Council’s Housing Regeneration Strategy review in 2008 identified Golf Links as one of eight estates where a higher level of intervention was required to provide the transformational effect, due to above average cost of repairs and non-compliance with current housing standards.

Golf Links Estate had subsequently been redeveloped incrementally, initially by RPs and latterly by the Council directly constructing 125 new homes in two phases at Dormers Rise and Peterhead Court, replacing 1970s system-built housing.  

Alnmouth and Portrush was the third phase of this programme, however a substantial number of these systems-built blocks remained. It was agreed by Cabinet in January 2020 that a more comprehensive approach was required through the development of a Masterplan for the remainder of the Estate and the appointment of a developer partner to work with the Council.  The Masterplan would develop options for residents to consider by way of a ballot and subsequent approval by the Council.  

Following discussion with the GLA, Phase 3 was not granted a ballot exemption and therefore needed to be balloted with the rest of the Estate as part of the Regeneration Masterplan.  Consequently, the Council had not yet approached the market to select a developer partner to carry out the demolition and construction of Phase 3 or the wider Masterplan works on the Estate, as per the recommendation of the Cabinet Report dated 20 January 2020. Outline planning permission for the demolition and construction of a residential led mixed-use development for Phase 3 for up to 147 units (Planning reference 195348OUT) was granted on 30 April 2020.

Subsequently, after Cabinet gave approval on the 5 October 2021 to demolish Alnmouth and Portrush Courts, the new business team appointed a cost consultant and design team to develop the existing outline planning consent by means of a reserved matters application. This was known as the Base Scheme and provided up to147 affordable homes. This represented the largest scheme that planning officers felt able to support without a positive resident ballot in place. However, subject to the outcome of the ballot it was considered that Phase 3 could potentially support circa 170 units (known as the Base Scheme Plus) by means of a second, separate, planning application.

At the time of writing the Regeneration team were leading a resident consultation exercise. This would conclude with a resident ballot in February/March of this year. 

However, if the residents returned a yes vote, although the Base Scheme no longer matched the LPA’s current planning expectations for this site it was still proposed that the reserved matters application should be submitted. However, it was also proposed that a standalone full planning application should also be worked up and submitted for the Base Plus scheme to match the LPA’s revised expectations for this site. (of circa 170 affordable units).  

Both the Base and Base Plus schemes would be affordable homes led schemes. Each scheme would meet the identified housing needs of the borough and the identified needs of the next phase of the estate regeneration scheme should the forthcoming resident ballot returns a positive result.  

The redevelopment of Golf Links Phase 3 was included in the HRA Business Plan. The outline planning permission for the demolition and construction of a residential led mixed-use development, for up to 147 units (Planning reference 195348OUT) which was granted on 30 April 2020. The outline consented scheme had the benefit of GLA funding (111 as Social Rent (SR) and London Affordable Rent (LAR) units and 36 as Shared Ownership (SO). 

The LPA had confirmed (Confidential Appendix 1) that based on details provided, the proposed Base Scheme application met the objectives of the Outline Consent granted in April 2020, which would expire in April 2022. The LPA had confirmed that it was not possible to amend the expiration date of April 2022 to enable later reserved matters applications. There was therefore an absolute requirement to submit the reserved matters application in March before the expiry of the outline permission.

The LPA had also confirmed that the Base Plus scheme, comprising a building of height at the north-eastern limb of the site, would require an altogether fresh full application for the following reasons:  
The indicators of significant change to the approved scheme parameters would be that a section 73 application for a taller scheme would exceed and trigger referral criteria to the GLA by increasing homes above 150 homes. 
The GLA would be unlikely to entertain an amendment to an application, which they had not previously provided design feedback. 
The s73 would only be applicable to the outline consent to change the approved parameters. This would result in delays to the submission of the reserved matters application, which could only be considered after the amended parameters were approved.

In summary, it was proposed that irrespective of the residents’ ballot, it was proposed to submit the reserved matters application in March 2022 to preserve both GLA grant funding and planning status of the site. If the ballot was successful, it was proposed that officers proceed with the proposed procurement exercise to identify a suitable contractor/developer for Phase Three. If the ballot was unsuccessful, no contractor procurement exercise would go forward. If the ballot was successful, the current design team would be instructed to work up a fresh application to reflect the proposed Base Scheme Plus for submission.

2,500 Genuinely Affordable Homes
The Council had an ambitious target of delivering 2500 Genuinely Affordable   Homes (GAH) in the four years between 2018 and 2022. In October 2018 the Council made a successful bid to the GLA for £99m of grant to support the programme and stated that the Council would deliver 1,138 GAH with Registered Providers (RP) delivering an anticipated 1,362 GAH, therefore making up the Council’s overall target of 2,500 GAH.
13
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) agrees the Greener Ealing Business Plan for 2022-23 appended to the report.
ii) notes the  budget growth for 2022-23 in line with para 4 requirements, namely £0.397m General Fund (and a £0.103m contingency) and £0.766m HRA.  The final approval for these amounts is within the separate budget reports for the General Fund and HRA on the agenda for this meeting. 
ii) notes the expectation that the FE1 saving for GEL being agreed as part of the  the 2022/23 budget report elsewhere on this agenda of £0.253m will be deducted from the agreed contract price of £22.088m for 2022/23.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The Business Plan for 2022/23 attached to the report supported the short to medium term GEL objectives agreed with the Council in line with performance requirements and affordability.  As stated in previous related reports to the Cabinet, Greener Ealing had been created with the necessary supporting infrastructure, legal and governance arrangements – together with a significant financial commitment from the Council. 
To ensure that the business was positioned to fully deliver on the objectives of the Council, Greener Ealing’s operations had been supported by the procurement of a new fleet of 145 emission compliant vehicles to deliver waste/recycling, street cleansing and grounds maintenance services. Waste and recycling vehicles were fitted with new and improved ICT systems connecting operations to Council customer and information management systems.

Greener Ealing had a public service ethos, and this was reflected in the nature of support given to its staff. All staff had benefited from an uplift in salary and were now paid more than the London Living Wage. All staff had access to an improved pension scheme and a number of former Ealing employees had admitted body access to the Local Government Pension Scheme. 
 
Although the use of temporary staff was commonplace in the services covered by Greener Ealing, the company was reducing the reliance on agency workers, prioritising the provision of permanent local employment opportunities. Greener Ealing provided training and development opportunities for staff, identifying opportunities for advancement for front line staff to Drivers and beyond to Supervisory and Managerial levels and improved in areas where skills development has been neglected or left behind e.g. horticultural skills, vehicle fitters or HGV training – the company would grow its own. Greener Ealing was also developing a new apprenticeship programme.

Within the current scope of services, Greener Ealing aimed to deliver investment in better waste collection infrastructure, safer and more efficient waste collection rounds, clean streets and green spaces at the same time as controlling costs and emissions to achieve improved operating efficiency and reduced environmental impact. 
Greener Ealing and its senior management team was held transparent and accountable to the Council with performance measured against robust key performance indicators. These were governed by monthly Board meetings in addition to management meetings and fit for purpose contract monitoring arrangements. 
14
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the HRA revenue and capital 2021/22 budget forecast based on the position at Q3 (Period 9) (Appendices 1 & 5 of the report).
ii) approves the proposed HRA revenue budget for 2022-23 (Table 4 of the report).
iii) notes the HRA 4-year indicative revenue budgets for 2023-24 to 2026-27 (Table 4 of the report).
iv) notes the HRA 25-year indicative revenue budgets for 2022-23 to 2051-52 (Appendix 3 of the report).
v) approves the HRA 5-year Capital Programme from 2022-23 to 2026-27, for a total of £351.441m. and approve the net additions to the value of £66.420m, which includes £0.080m for 2021-22 as shown within Table 7, along with the use of extra HRA borrowing of £31.443m to finance the capital programme from 2021-22 to 2026-27.
vi) notes that the HRA 5-year Capital Programme from 2022-23 to 2026-27 includes additional new investment to existing schemes of £40.863m, as shown in Table 8, and the reprogrammed 2021-22 HRA Capital programme includes additional new investment to existing schemes of £0.547m as shown in Table 9 of the report.
vii) notes the indicative 25-year Capital Programme for 2027-28 to 2051-52 (Appendix 5 of the report).
viii) approves a rent increase of 3.1% (Consumer Price Index as at end of September 2021) for all tenancies from April 2022, which equates to an average weekly rent increase of £3.50 in 2022-23, as permitted under the government’s policy on rents for social housing.
ix) approves a corresponding increase in all service charges and heating charges of 3.1% from April 2022 in line with the rent increase. (Note 7.3 of th report).
x) approves a corresponding increase in temporary accommodation (TA) hostel charges of 3.1% from April 2022 in line with the rent increase.
xi) notes the HRA reserves and balances for the 5-year MTFS (Table 6).and the maintenance of earmarked reserves of over £15m (revenue) and £20m (capital) throughout the period. 
xii) notes the 2022-23 Fees & Charges schedule for HRA tenants and leaseholders, which remains unchanged (Appendix 6 of the report)
xiii) notes the policy context development and legislative changes as described throughout this report.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 Section 76 required Local Authorities with an HRA to set a ring-fenced budget for the account which was based on best assumptions and avoided a deficit, and to keep the HRA under review.

The HRA covered revenue expenditure and income relating to the Council’s own housing stock. It was ring-fenced from the Council’s General Fund as required by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, which specified the items that could be charged and credited to it. The account must include all costs and income relating to the Council’s landlord role (except in respect of leased accommodation, for households owed a homeless duty, and accommodation provided other than under Housing Act powers). The Council had a legal duty to budget to ensure the account remained solvent and to review the account throughout the year. 

The budget for 2022-23 had been developed from a review of the baseline budget, factoring in current revenue expenditure on Housing services and capital investment to maintain, improve and expand the housing stock. As set out in the report, Housing services in both the Place Delivery and Community Development Directorates were working within the financial parameters of the HRA to Improve services to residents and to ensure all homes were as safe as possible.

The HRA was also utilised to drive the Council’s ambitious programmes for estate regeneration and the delivery of new, genuinely affordable homes to meet the range of housing needs in the borough.

Alongside the prudent use of HRA resources, housing services seek to maximise other available sources of funding to meet the Council’s housing ambitions. The regeneration programme was supported by grant funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) as well as the loan financing available to Broadway Living RP (BLRP) as a wholly owned development company. The importance of sustainability initiatives such as retrofitting in the context of the climate emergency was creating opportunities to secure additional grant funding for such improvements in the Council’s stock, with matched funding from the HRA committed where necessary.

As a stock-holding authority Ealing is legally required to operate an HRA.  There were no plans at present to depart from the current overall organisational structure for HRA services,
taking into account the recent formation of BL (and the previous winding-up of Ealing’s Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) in 2012). 
 
 Options for more limited changes to service structures, delivery models, contract and procurement arrangements, and other elements of housing services are regularly identified and considered through performance reviews, new legislation and other drivers. Any significant changes proposed by senior management in the course of 2022-23 will be progressed through Human Resources and governance structures in the normal way. 
15 pdf Social Value Policy (155Kb)
15
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes and agrees the social value Policy and ethical code of conduct  (Appendix A of the report)
ii) authorises the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, following consultation with the Director of Finance, to take forward to full council for approval any appropriate amendments to the council’s Contract Procedure Rules, as required to fully implement the Social Value Policy

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The Council was committed to supporting the local economy, voluntary and community sector organisations, residents and businesses and already undertakes several activities in relation to social value to support the local community. 

Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 (the Act) required certain public bodies, including local authorities, to give consideration to improving “the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area” (social value) when commissioning services above specified procurement thresholds.

In April 2018, the Council approved a broad set of principles for the implementation of social value in procurement. Whilst this was helpful in providing a framework for officers in approaching social value, the absence of any practical and consistent methodology had resulted in the council not being able to maximise social value through its £340m annual procurement spend.

During times of austerity, smart application of social value in contracts could be an effective way of achieving greater value from public expenditure. There was a growing awareness that commissioning and commercial activities could directly contribute to achieving the councils’ broader strategic priorities. 

Local authorities were encouraged to apply the concept of social value to their practices wider than the requirement set out by the Act (Cabinet Office 2015; DCLG 2015), where it was relevant to the contract and deemed to be beneficial. As a result of the guidance, public bodies may: 

a. Apply social value to cover contracts for goods or works, or other types of contracts such as asset disposal or planning 
b. Apply social value below the threshold set out in legislation 
c. Consider social value at later stages of the procurement process 

Councillor led review of Ealing’s approach to social value was completed during 2021 through a series of workshops supported by Officers which identified the need for a smarter and ‘bolder’ approach to the acquisition and management of social value. The review also focused on the council’s commitment to application of Real Living Wage (formerly London Living Wage) and broader ethical and supply chain standards from council contractors.

The outcome of these workshops as well as a review of wider reform of public procurement landscape, announced through Government Procurement Policy Notification (PPN 11/20) had been investigated and factored into our refreshed approach.  Through the adoption of a new social value policy and ethical standards, the Council would be bold in its approach to the application of social value  and ethical practices it demands from its contractors. 
16 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 9 March 2022.

16

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

 

The duration of this meeting was 7pm to 8:08pm

 

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
12 CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 2 - F&G Cost Report Jan 2022
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
12 CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 1 - Pre App Golf Links P3 Dec 21
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
12 CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 2A - Estimated Total Scheme Cost 13 Jan 2022
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);

Additional Meeting Documents

Attendance

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

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

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