Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 8th July, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Cabinet - Virtual Meeting - Conference. View directions

Contact: Denise French 742211 

Media

Items
No. Item

8.

APOLOGIES

Decision:

There were no apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

9.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive declarations of interest from Members  on items included in the agenda.

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest stated.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest stated.

10.

MINUTES OF A PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2020

Decision:

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June, 2020 be agreed as a correct record. 

Minutes:

Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June, 2020 be agreed as a correct record. 

11.

BACK ON TRACK THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC RECOVERY PLAN UPDATE pdf icon PDF 432 KB

Decision:

That the report be noted and the work being undertaken to recover from the pandemic be endorsed.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on actions being taken across the Council to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and to deliver a recovery plan. 

 

The Leader reported that over recent weeks the Borough had seen the staged reopening of the market and non-essential retail and then the reopening of bars and pubs from 4th July.  This had been successfully achieved with support from the Council’s officers and the Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID). 

 

The report outlined the five areas of the recovery plan:

 

Reopening Safe, Successful Retail Areas:

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency, Councillor Stephen Sweeney, congratulated the work of Council staff and partners – including the BID, Police, retailers, publicans – in achieving a successful reopening of retail areas.  He had held discussions with the Police following the reopening of pubs and bars and the Police had reported that the picture on 4th July was very similar to a usual Saturday night.  Those establishments that used security staff on the doors had operated security arrangements from 8.00pm; the Police had suggested these arrangements would be better in place from 6.00pm and pub and bar operators would amend accordingly.  The Leader noted that local pubs in outlying centres had been able to make use of outside space to support safe reopening arrangements.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, Councillor Jill Waring referred to Kidsgrove where a number of non-essential retail units had now successfully reopened and this had been supported by both the Borough Council and Go Kidsgrove. 

 

Supporting Health and Wellbeing

 

The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing, Councillor Helena Maxfield, updated on measures to support health and wellbeing.  The helpline and online facility continued to operate.  The Council would consider continuing the successful partnership working with the Realise Foundation.

 

The Council’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Service continued to provide emergency accommodation for 17 individuals along with other support for identified individuals in need. 

 

Economic Recovery

 

Councillor Sweeney explained that the Council had paid out around £20m to approximately 1700 businesses under the Government’s initial grant support scheme.  The second allocation of Government grant funding, which was discretionary, had been launched at the end of May and to date around £420,000 had been given out in the Borough.  The Leader also referred to specific Borough schemes – the Future High Streets Fund and the Town Deals for Newcastle and Kidsgrove. 

 

Stepping-up Council Services

 

Many staff continued to work from home in line with Government guidance.   The majority of services had continued with minimal disruption.  However, other services had been impacted including:

 

J2 and Brampton Museum - Councillor J Waring reported that Government guidance was awaited as to when J2 could reopen.   The Museum would reopen on 20th July with reduced hours and limited numbers and measures such as a one way system.

 

Licensing Services – the service had focused on support to existing drivers with taxi testing being suspended.  Virtual meetings had been held to consider some licensing issues. 

 

There were a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

FUTURE HIGH STREETS FUND pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Decision:

(i)            That the key elements of the Future High Street Fund Business Case submission be noted and approved;

(ii)          That the Executive Director Commercial Development and Economic Growth be authorised to work with the Leader of the Council to approve the finalised detail of the Future High Street Fund Business Case bid prior to its submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; and

(iii)         At the point that Covid-19 measures allow, further public and stakeholder engagement be undertaken to build on the initial consultation that was undertaken in March 2020. 

Minutes:

 

Cabinet considered a report setting out the key elements of the Newcastle Town Centre Future High Street Fund submission.  The report sought approval for submission of the funding bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

 

The Leader introduced the report explaining the project was the centrepiece in the redevelopment of the Ryecroft site.  The scheme would contribute to the Council’s Corporate Priority of a “Town Centre for All”.  Indicative plans were presented showing options for each part of the site incorporating retirement living; residential development; public open space; office space; parking; community space; and retail.

 

The bid represented an opportunity to attract external funding of around £13m.  The Council had commissioned public consultation which had commenced earlier in the year with a two day consultation in the town centre.  The consultation process had had to be cut short due to the lockdown measures but initial results showed broad support for the emerging themes in the proposal. 

 

Members endorsed the proposals commenting that they would be transformative; deliver on public expectations of what a modern town centre should offer, the ‘pocket park’ aspect and plaza concept was highlighted and the mix of uses was commended. 

 

The Leader commented that the designs shown were indicative and the Council would be able to guide the design in keeping with the heritage of the area.

 

The submission deadline had been extended from the end of June to the end of July 2020.

 

Resolved:  That

 

(i)            the key elements of the Future High Street Fund Business Case submission be noted and approved;

(ii)           the Executive Director Commercial Development and Economic Growth be authorised to work with the Leader of the Council to approve the finalised detail of the Future High Street Fund Business Case bid prior to its submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; and

(iii)         At the point that Covid-19 measures allow, further public and stakeholder engagement be undertaken to build on the initial consultation that was undertaken in March 2020. 

13.

FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Decision:

That the Forward Plan be received.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Forward Plan listing upcoming key decisions to be made by the Cabinet.

 

Resolved: That the Forward Plan be received.

14.

URGENT BUSINESS

To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Decision:

There was no Urgent Business.

Minutes:

There was no Urgent Business.

15.

DISCLOSURE OF EXEMPT INFORMATION

To resolve that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following reports, because it is likely that there will be disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Minutes:

Resolved:-              That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration if the following matter because it is likely that there will be disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1,2, and 7 in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972.