Council’s Cabinet – 23 September

Council’s Cabinet – 23 September
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Share23 September 2022 10:25 am

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Cabinet has now finished.

We hope you have found these updates useful.

The full minutes of the meeting will be uploaded on our website shortly.

Cabinet meets next on 21 October, with the agenda and reports published on our website the week before.23 September 2022 10:24 amThis evening’s vigil September 2022 10:23 amVigil at Liverpool Cathedral

Cllr Frazer Lake mention’s tonight’s special service of reflection at Liverpool Cathedral to remember young people who have lost their lives through violence.

The vigil will take place from 6.30pm and aims to bring together the family and friends of victims who have been killed as a result of violent crimes, such as gun and knife crime.

More here: September 2022 10:23 amFestival Gardens September 2022 10:22 am

The report to enter negotiations on additional costs for the remediation programme has been agreed.23 September 2022 10:20 amFestival Gardens

Finishing up, we’re turning our attention to Festival Gardens.

Cabinet is receiving an update on the development zone next to the site.

You can read more about the background to this on our news site, Liverpool Express: September 2022 10:19 amDenford Road

We’re nearing the finish line now.

A report to consider a change to the Denford Road project is up next.

This is a project to deliver 105 new homes in the Yew Tree ward of the city. Originally, only 31 of these homes were due to transfer to Riverside Housing, with the council retaining the other 74 to rent out as ‘social rent’ and ‘affordable rent’ homes.

Cabinet is now being asked to amend this agreement, so that Riverside Housing takes on all 105 houses being built for the council.

This change has come about because the council does not have the funding, staffing, or the capacity to act as a major landlord.

Cabinet has agreed that the existing development agreement can be varied, so we will stay in contract with the contractor Lovell Partnerships and Riverside Housing will take on all 105 houses – bringing completion of the scheme a step closer.

The good news is that the scheme will benefit both disabled and older people.

Riverside are planning to provide affordable home ownership, improving and diversifying the housing offer in the area.

Cllr Sarah Doyle said:

“This recommendation also enables the council to focus its housing priorities on intervention in areas of acute need and strain rather than being a housing landlord, as set out in the approved Interim Housing Statement.”

The report is agreed.23 September 2022 10:18 amTunstall St Housing development

Cabinet is currently being asked to approve a request to dispose of the council’s freehold interest in various properties (11-23, and 35-65) on Tunstall Street, in the Picton Ward, to Pine Court Housing Association.

Originally, the homes were going to be refurbished and then sold to the council’s housing company, Liverpool Foundation Homes.

However, the council has reassessed, and as we don’t have the budget, nor the capacity to hold/manage the houses, the report has recommended this alternative way forward – which will still deliver social value, through offering affordable housing that meets local people’s needs.

After a bidding process was undertaken, Pine Court Housing Association offered the highest amount for the 23 houses and land (£3.3m). The council has carried out due diligence checks and is satisfied with their proposal. The properties will be ‘rent to buy’.

The report sets out more detail, including a lease back agreement for three of the houses, for the council to use for families/individuals needing emergency accommodation.

Doing this, will help save around £125,000 per year on more expensive private accommodation.

Cllr Sarah Doyle, Cabinet Member for Development and Housing, said:

“By working with a Registered Housing Provider that is invested in the neighbourhood, the recommendations within this report contribute to greater inclusion and community wealth building – redirecting spend for reinvestment in affordable housing locally, rather than into the private rented housing sector.”

Cabinet approves the report.23 September 2022 10:16 amChief Finance Reports

We’re now onto the Chief Finance Officer’s reports – and discussing the latest Revenue monitor.

This report outlines how much the council is spending on day-to-day services in relation to the allocated budget.

As of July, we have a forecasted ‘year-end’ budget overspend of £5.2 million.

This has gone down, since May, when it was £7.8 million.

The council continues to take urgent action to address the overspend.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jane Corbett said:

“The Cabinet and the Corporate Management Team have recently agreed to reintroduce spending controls to prevent overspends negatively affecting our budget setting over next year and beyond.”

She continues: “A very close eye is on the impact of the spending controls. ” It will be reviewed every month.23 September 2022 10:11 amMedia coverage

The Liverpool ECHO is here with us today… September 2022 10:11 amDisposal of freehold reversion of Montrose Court, Baycliff Road

This report requests approval for the sale of the council’s freehold interest in the 65 bed property, which is leased to over 55s or those on disability living allowance.

The current head-lessee is purchasing the property but will be selling it on to a new registered provider as they do not have the capital to adequately invest in the refurbishment of property. The new registered provider is willing to invest up to £1 million refurbishing it. If the sale does not go through then the head-lessee will close the property and relocate the residents to alternative accommodation.

The price agreed for the freehold interest in the property is £400,000.

The report is agreed.23 September 2022 10:10 amLiverpool Without Walls

Liverpool Without Walls was an award-winning response by the council to help the city’s hospitality sector emerge from pandemic lockdowns, allowing restaurants to expand outdoor dining onto nearby highways.

We’re proposing to continue the scheme due to its popularity amongst businesses but need an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) to do so.

Sounds technical but, in essence, it allows us to monitor the pros and cons of keeping some of our highways shut.

Streets affected include Bold Street, Castle Street and Lark Lane and there will be a public consultation in the first six months, so residents get to have their say.

The report is rubber-stamped – however Cllr Pam Thomas, Cabinet lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, asks for the Corporate Access Forum to be involved to make sure the scheme is accessible to all.23 September 2022 10:08 amReducing Parental Conflict Grant

Cabinet agrees to accept the terms and conditions of the Department for Work and Pensions Reducing Parental Conflict Grant which totals £120,571.67.

This money will be used to support families to resolve issues which can have a negative impact on children’s mental health.

Part of the funding will be used to create a new, two-year post, that of ‘Reducing Parental Conflict/Healthy Relationships Co-ordinator’.23 September 2022 10:08 amRevised policy on council tax and business rates

Next up, a revised policy for recovering and enforcing council tax and business rates.

It’s to ensure that:

* Those that owe council tax and business rates are provided with a clear explanation of what action we will take if they fail to pay.

* Additional support will be provided to residents who are considered most vulnerable.

* Those that pay their council tax and business rates can be confident that we will recover money owed from those who refuse to pay

* Residents who refuse to pay will be subject to the full recovery option available to the council.

Our new policy is also designed to be transparent so residents and businesses are clear on our approach.

And it addresses a weakness in the current policy which classes landlords as ‘vulnerable’ – when many have several properties and the means to settle their arrears.

We want to drive up the amount of council tax Liverpool collects so that it is on a par with the metropolitan borough average by 2024/25.

The revised policy is agreed.23 September 2022 10:06 amBetter SEND provision

Improving provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is important to us.

Members are now considering a report asking for approval to increase provision for pupils with complex learning disabilities and/or autism at both Corinthian Community Primary School (20 places) and Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School (20 places) and also improve facilities at Phoenix, Rice Lane and Blessed Sacrament primary schools.

These proposals are a result of the SEND sufficiency consultation which took place last year.

Cabinet approves £554,000 from the Special Provision Fund Capital Grant to fund this work.

Cllr Tom Logan, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:

“These provisions address the need for additional mainstream schools places for children with SEND, and by making mainstream provision more open and inclusive, contributes to the council’s core aim of ensuring that every child growing up in Liverpool has the best possible start in life.”23 September 2022 10:06 am

Cllr Tom Logan, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, explains why this is such welcome news:

23 September 2022 10:05 amRefurbishing science labs at Holly Lodge

Now a report asking cabinet to approve £271,000 from the council’s school condition allocation to be put towards refurbishing science labs at Holly Lodge Girls’ College.

The school has 11 science labs, all of which are over 25 years old. The funding will see four labs at the school improved and the school is confident it can make a successful application to the Wolfson Foundation for funding that will see two further labs refurbished.

And it’s good news for science, and the school, as the report is approved.23 September 2022 10:04 amFuel for our fleet

Did you know, Liverpool City Council operates a total of 170 cars, vans and minibuses, which help us to deliver essential services to our residents.

We’re looking for a new supplier to provide value for money fuel for our fleet over the next three years.

Over 30% of our vehicles are electric and hybrid models and we are committed to growing this number. Our new fuel supplier will need to offer electric vehicle charging as standard on their forecourts.

The report is approved.23 September 2022 10:03 amActive Travel Capital Funding Grant

We’re moving onto a report recommending that Cabinet accepts a grant of £1.605 million from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, for active travel schemes to boost cycling and walking in the city.

The money would be used to deliver a trio of schemes benefitting residents – and helping the city meet its commitment to carbon zero by 2030.

£355,000 for Crown Street / Myrtle Street Sparrow Crossing

Improving access into Crown Park and the adjacent schools and hospital. The crossing will be ‘futureproofed’ to allow for a future upgrade to the Crown Street cycle route.

£250,000 for Lodge Lane Mini Holland Project

Investigating a possible ‘Mini Holland scheme’ for an area of Lodge Lane.

(Don’t know what a Mini Holland scheme is? Neither did we, until we read this interesting article from a few years ago:

Funding will allow for measures to be installed ahead of a fully designed scheme.

£1m for Liverpool Loop North Junctions and Links

Funding to review the design of four traffic signal controlled junctions in County and Kirkdale wards. These will provide links to Kirkdale Station and the existing pop up cycle lanes that are part of route three.

Cabinet has approved the report.23 September 2022 10:02 amPurchase of seven minibuses

The first report is for approval to buy seven specialist minibuses for £105,000.

The buses will be used to transport vulnerable adults to day centres, and eligible pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to their schools.

Cabinet approves the request.23 September 2022 10:01 am

Cabinet has started.

It’s being chaired this morning by Deputy Mayor Cllr Jane Corbett.

She starts the meeting by thanking Acting Head of Paid Service Anne Marie Lubanski for all her hard work over the last eight weeks.

The minutes of the last Cabinet have been approved and there are no Mayoral reports to consider.

So now we move onto a series of Mayoral recommendations:

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet will meet for its September meeting on Friday (23 September), at 10am at the Town Hall.

This meeting is open to the public, but if you can’t attend, and want to follow all the action, the Communications team will be live blogging throughout the meeting on Liverpool Express.

It’s a packed agenda this month with a number of reports as well as financial updates. You can read the agenda in full on the council’s website, along with the minutes and agendas of previous meetings.

Some of the key decisions which will be considered are:

  • Accepting £1.605 million from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for active travel schemes to boost cycling and walking in the city.
  • Investing over £270,000 in refurbishing science labs at Holly Lodge Girls’ College
  • Improving provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • A revised policy for recovering and enforcing council tax and business rates.
  • Seeking a new development partner for Festival Gardens

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