Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 22nd April, 2020 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Natalie Jones-Punch on 033 022 25098  Email:  natalie.jones-punch@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.1        In accordance with the code of conduct the following personal interests were declared:

 

·       Cllr Deborah Urquhart as the local member for Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School, in relation to item 4, Small Schools proposals.

·       Cllr Bryan Turner as a practising pharmacist – covid-19 report.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The Cabinet is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

2.1     Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2020 be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Chairman.

3.

Key Decisions - Small Schools Proposals (CAB01_20/21) pdf icon PDF 413 KB

The Cabinet is asked to agree the following decision:

 

  • Small Schools Proposals (CAB01_20/21) – A statutory consultation for proposals for small schools completed on 16 March 2020 and the attached draft decision report outlines the output of that consultation and the proposed recommendations. 

 

A final decision report will be published following the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee being held on 14 April 2020.  The Cabinet will be asked to agree the recommendations as outlined in the final report.    

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Following consideration of the report, Cabinet resolved:

 

To support the proposals outlined in Section 2 going forward to:

 

1.     Issue a closure notice for Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School, Clapham, Worthing, but maintaining the building open for the Autumn half term to allow those children without suitable school places to be supported to transition to a new school should schools not return to normal opening during the summer due to the current Covid-19 situation. 

2.     Issue closure notice for Rumboldswhyke C of E Infant School, Chichester, but maintaining the building open for the Autumn half term to allow those children without suitable school places to be supported to transition to a new school should schools not return to normal opening during the summer due to the current Covid-19 situation. 

3.     Request County Council Officers to continue to work with Governors of Stedham Primary School and Harting CE Primary School to progress the Federation Action Plan towards a hard federation by January 2021.

4.     Request County Council Officers to continue to work with Governors to progress proposals for the federation of Compton and Up Marden CE Primary School, Compton with an appropriate partner.

5.     Issue prescribed alteration notices for the relocation of Warninglid Primary School, Warninglid, Haywards Heath to a new site in Pease Pottage Crawley by September 2021 (subject to developers completing in June 2021) and implement the proposals submitted by Warninglid Primary School and at least one other partner to federate. 

 

The Call-in deadline is 1 May 2020.

Minutes:

4.1     The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Education and Skills.

 

4.2     The report was introduced by Cllr Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills who outlined the journey of the decision and the proposals to be considered by Cabinet. He explained that the proposals would be based on the aims of the School Effectiveness Strategy and were responsive to the needs of local communities.

 

4.3     The Cabinet Member advised that the proposals relating to Warninglid, Stedham and Compton and Up Marden had been endorsed by the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee (CYPSSC) on 14 April 2020. The proposals relating to Rumboldswhyke and Clapham and Patching were not endorsed by the CYPSSC and Cabinet was asked to reconsider those proposals in light of the Committee’s comments.

 

4.4     The Cabinet Member advised that in view of the current public health restrictions, if parents had not been able to identify an alternative school for their children, the buildings at both Rumboldswhyke and Clapham and Patching should remain open for some of the autumn term. The Education and Skills service, Special Education Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) and specialist teachers would support families with school transition.

 

4.5     Cllr David Barling, Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee reiterated that the Committee did not support the proposals in relation to Rumboldswhyke and Clapham and Patching schools. He asked that the process be held to allow Cabinet to reflect on other options.

 

4.6     Cllr Michael Jones, Leader of the Labour Group, advised the proposals were opposed by the Labour group. He suggested that the current situation had already disrupted children’s learning, that the proposals seemed driven by financial considerations and that the Cabinet should delay the closure proposals.

 

4.7     Cllr James Walsh, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group invited Cabinet to consider the academy proposals for Rumboldswhyke and Clapham and Patching and reflect on the views of the scrutiny committee.

 

4.8     Cabinet Members welcomed the proposal to extend the use of the buildings at Rumboldswhyke and Clapham and Patching in the context of Covid-19. Cabinet felt that the process had been extensive and reflective to all representations. The Leader stated that to delay would leave the schools and families concerned in an indeterminate state.

 

4.9     Resolved – that Cabinet supports the proposals outlined in Section 2 going forward to:

 

1.     Issue a closure notice for Clapham and Patching C of E Primary School, Clapham, Worthing, but maintaining the building open for the Autumn half term to allow those children without suitable school places to be supported to transition to a new school should schools not return to normal opening during the summer due to the current Covid-19 situation. 

2.     Issue closure notice for Rumboldswhyke C of E Infant School, Chichester, but maintaining the building open for the Autumn half term to allow those children without suitable school places to be supported to transition to a new school should schools not return to normal opening during the summer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Fire and Rescue Improvement Work

The Chief Fire Officer and the Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities will provide Cabinet with an update on progress against the Fire and Rescue Service Improvement work and the inspection arrangements and in the context of the service response to the current public health emergency.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

4.1     Cabinet received a verbal update from Cllr Duncan Crow on the Fire and Rescue Service improvement work. The following key points were highlighted:

 

·       An inspection visit took place in February and progress noted.

·       There was a clear path forward and the service had not lost focus.

·       Safe and well visits were being undertaken in a timely manner.

·       New posts had increased capacity in the service.

·       A new IT system will provide greater accuracy in reporting.

·       Cultural change was beginning to embed.

·       The service had been able to respond flexibly to the Covid-19 situation, and the hard work of staff was acknowledged.

 

4.2     Resolved – that Cabinet welcomes the Fire and Rescue Service improvement update.

5.

West Sussex County Council Response to Covid -19 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Cabinet is asked to consider and comment on the Council’s response to the Covid-19 emergency.

 

Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and each of the main Opposition Group Leaders will be invited to speak for up to three minutes to provide their views/the views of their Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1     The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Executive. The following key points were highlighted in WSCCs response to Covid-19:

 

·       Staff were working relentlessly to provide an effective response to the biggest priorities to keep critical services in place.

·       All partners and sectors were working collectively to meet the needs of communities.

·       The financial impact of Covid-19 on West Sussex was currently estimated in the region of £85m for 2021. It was likely that these implications would stretch beyond 2021.

·       This £85m was likely attributable to:

Ø  Adults Social Care, and increased demand on residential care.

Ø  Impact on planned action and projects

Ø  Cost of recovery

Ø  Impact on economy

 

5.2     Cllr Joy Dennis, Chairman of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee, commented that the impact of Covid-19 on finances and capacity and the West Sussex Plan measures would be difficult to evaluate in the current circumstances but that a recovery plan should be considered sooner rather than later. Cllr Joy Dennis highlighted the impact on the County’s economy - especially around Gatwick.

 

5.3     Cllr David Barling, Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee was concerned about the sufficiency of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 

5.4     Cllr Andrew Barrett-Miles, Chairman of the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee referred to the reopening of Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) and how it would be managed and stressed the importance of addressing fraudulent activity and the role of the community hubs.

 

5.5     Cllr Bryan Turner, Chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee commented on how a recovery plan might be structured and the capacity in the care sector and non-covid hospital activity. He questioned the impact on the voluntary sector, in house day services and lifelong services.

 

5.6     Cllr Steve Waight, Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee noted the response of WSCC firefighters and the support they had given to other emergency services. 

 

5.7     Cllr Michael Jones, Leader of the Labour Group questioned the issues for care homes, the availability of PPE, and asked which services would be reduced or not delivered. He also commented on the effect of Gatwick on the local economy.

 

5.8     Cllr James Walsh, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group considered the impact for care homes and questioned the supply of PPE and support for families at risk of domestic violence.

 

5.9     All Cabinet Members, Scrutiny Chairman and Minority Group Leaders gave sincere thanks to staff and officers across the authority for their hard work in the current circumstances. Each Cabinet Member provided a brief portfolio update in the context of Covid-19.

 

5.10   The Leader thanked West Sussex residents for their support and understanding in the requirement to the council to realign its focus for Covid-19.

 

6.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Cabinet will be held on 26 May 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1     The next meeting of Cabinet would be held on 26 May 2020.