Liz Harvey Ledbury

Blog from Cabinet Meeting 9th May 2016

By Cllr Liz Harvey

Cllr Price requests a change to the words attributed to him in the last meeting’s minutes in regard to the issuing of notices to quit to smallholding tenants … to bring the statement into line with the legal requirement on the matter.

Cllr Powers (It’s Our County) requests that the minutes of meeting make it clear who has said what, rather than to make all comments from councilors other than Cabinet Members as entirely unattributed. The Monitoring Officer confirms this is allowed. The Leader agrees that in future it will be done.

Syrian Refugees: Recommendation(s) THAT: a) the commissioning of an orientation and support service for Syrian refugees by way of an open competitive procurement process is approved; b) authority is delegated to the director for adults and wellbeing to award a contract for the provision of the orientation and support service at the conclusion of a tender evaluation process, for a period of two years and for a total value not exceeding £540,000.

60 refugees to be received during 2016. Funds for the support comes from central government – £540k is 2/3 of the general funding available to the council to assist with refugee support. In addition funds are available for support to school age children and for health services.

Cabinet members welcome the initiative and ask some clarifying questions about the source and sustained nature of the government funding. Several seem to have been issued with written questions to ask the officer concerned.

Report unanimously supported.

Residential & Nursing care proposed contract changes is moved up the agenda. Some changes being proposed in how care placements are being paid for. Some changes are to bring the council into alignment with recommended best practice. Also changes to the timing of the payments are proposed to reduce the cost of recovering over-payments when residents no longer require care placements.

More written questions read out by Cabinet Members

Library & Museum Future Plans: Plans to return the facility to the asbestos-blighted building are discussed along with the future plans for an improved facility.

Cabinet members welcome the community engagement in developing plans to retain the facilities, but caution against over-ambition. The Worcester Hive & Birmingham Library are cited by Cllr Powell as facilities which are now struggling to sustain their operations.

Cllr Powers disagrees and commends ambition at this stage and encourages the holding together of the museum collections, rather than dispersal. Cllr Powers queries why the Library User group is required to become a legally constituted entity before funding can be awarded and assets applied for transfer … when the marches LEP doesn’t seem to be required to be similarly constituted and governed to act as a conduit for millions of pounds of public money. The answer seems to be that the LEP is different from the Library.

Report unanimously supported

Meeting End 15:40