Decisions

Use the search options below to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on decisions that have been taken by council officers through the Decision Book.

A searchable Minutes Library for meetings up to December 2018 is also available on our main website.

Decisions published

24/07/2020 - 607 Relocation of Hamilton College) to the Hamilton Centre School (formerly Phoenix ref: 440    Recommendations Approved

Decisions set out in the book have been made under delegated powers by the Chief Executive, Executive Directors or the Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer, in consultation either with the relevant committee or Lead Councillor.

The Decision Book process has been altered to suspend the current Councillors’ call-in arrangements within the 10-day period after its publication and replace it with the ability during that period for three Councillors to request a retrospective review of the decision in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

The decision book can be accessed on the Council’s website – www.reading.gov.uk/decisionbooks.

The officer reports accompanying the decisions are attached.

Contact: Richard Woodford Committee Services
Tel: 0118 937 2332
e-mail: richard.woodford@reading.gov.uk

Decision Maker: Executive Director of Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 24/07/2020

Decision:

This report sets out the decision to allocate additional funding to the Scheme, enter into a construction contract and amend the approved Capital Programme for 2020-21 accordingly.

On 8th April 2020 a Decision Book was published (under the Chief Executive’s Emergency powers) which gave approval for the release and spend of the £8.1m budget for the above project and delegated authority to award the construction contract to ISG Ltd.

The Main Contract Tender was procured through the Southern Construction Framework. The mini-competition tenders for Contractor selection were invited via Hampshire County Council’s In-Tend system. ISG Ltd tender return has come in £600k over the allocated budget.

It is proposed to use the secured DfE Special Provisions Fund Grant for Hamilton School development to fund the gap. The grant was originally secured in 2018 and is held in RBC accounts and was allocated for the development of the then Phoenix School (now Hamilton School) to allow the School to take girls. The physical limitations of the existing school building had only allowed for boys to be accommodated. The new relocated school will enable girls to be accommodated at the School.

It is the decision of the Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Education, to allocate £600k, which has been received from the DfE Special Provisions Fund Grant on the specific condition that it is used to cover the increased cost and deliver the Hamilton School Development project on the basis described in Section 4.2 of the report.

It is the decision of the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services in consultation with the Assistant Director for Procurement and the Lead Councillor for Education to enter into a contract with ISG Construction Limited to carry out the refurbishment and new building works for a total sum of £7,641,828.16.

It is the decision of the Executive Director for Resources in consultation with the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhoods and the Leader of the Council to amend the approved Capital Programme for 2020-21 to include the additional expenditure and grant funding of £600k.

Lead officer: Richard Woodford


22/06/2020 - ICT Future Operating Model Business Case ref: 437    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Executive Director of Resources submitted a report presenting the outline ICT Future Operating Model Business Case and seeking approval for officers to proceed with procurement and implementation of the preferred option.  The Business Case was attached to the report as an Appendix.

 

The report explained that the strategic requirements of the Future Operating Model were robust, responsive delivery and future fitness.  The business case had identified four options:

 

0        Replicate the current arrangements – a “do minimum” baseline;

1        Continue with a single prime outsource, but remedy deficiencies;

2A      “Smart-source”, optimally sourcing different service elements, including service desk/management, and integrating them;

2B      As 2A, but building service desk and service management in-house.

 

The report summarised an analysis of these options in terms of the economic case, financial requirement, commercial case and management case.  The analysis had shown option 2A to be the best for both the Council’s strategic requirement and cost: it provided the most effective model and the best value for money.  Option 2B had not been recommended on the basis that there would be significant additional cost in bringing the service desk and management back in-house, compared with continuing to outsource this function.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)      That the Option 2A, as described in the report, be endorsed as the preferred option for the ICT Future Operating Model on the basis it provided the most effective model and the best value for money;

 

(2)      That the Executive Director of Resources be authorised, in consultation with the Chief Digital and Information Officer, the Assistant Director for Procurement and Lead Councillor for Corporate and Customer Services, to proceed with procurement and implementation of the preferred option, subject to delivery remaining within the financial envelope set out in the Outline Business Case, and a satisfactory report on progress being made to the Policy Committee in September 2020.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


22/06/2020 - Council Recovery Programme - Coronavirus Pandemic ref: 433    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Chief Executive submitted a report outlining the Council’s approach to the Recovery phase of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, which followed the Council’s initial response to the Pandemic and the update report provided to Policy Committee on 18 May 2020 (Minute 94 refers).  The following documents were attached to the report:

 

·       Appendix 1 – Pandemic Response Strategic Framework and Underlying Principles;

·       Appendix 2 - Reading Borough Council Recovery Structure Diagram;

·       Appendix 3 - Local Resilience Forum Multi Agency Recovery Structure Diagram.

 

The report explained that the overall vision for the Recovery phase was to ensure Reading could be a thriving, virus-resilient community, based on: ensuring the Council itself was resilient and fit for the future; helping people be safe and communities thrive; and securing the economic future of Reading.

These strategic priorities were a supplement to, but in no way a replacement of, the Corporate Plan, acknowledging that the context of the crisis required a shift in focus.  The Recovery plan sought to cover the period until the end of the calendar year and it was envisaged that the impact assessment, and the outcome of the Recovery work, would feed into the next Corporate Plan which would cover the period from 2021-2025. 

 

The report explained that ‘Ensuring the Council is itself resilient and fit for the future’ was a strategy which was applicable to the Council’s own operations and delivery of services and would be delivered through an Operational Recovery Group.  ‘Helping people be safe and communities thrive’ was a strategy which needed to be delivered with partners, particularly the voluntary sector in Reading and the health and social care sector, and would be led by a Social Regeneration and Voluntary Sector Group. ‘Securing the economic future of Reading’ would require wide participation from businesses and partners and would be delivered through an Economic Recovery and Renewal Group.  All three groups would report into the Corporate Management Team which would be the strategic co-ordinating group for the Council’s Recovery programme.  Appendix 2 of the report illustrated the framework and the relationship between the different groups and priorities.

 

The report noted that the structures set up in Reading mirrored similar structures in the Thames Valley area under the Local Resilience Forum.  The Council was working with its partners in Berkshire and the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum under the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and relevant guidance.  In discussion with other councils in Berkshire, it had been agreed that the Thames Valley area was not a natural and cohesive economic area around which to build economic recovery and that therefore regional structures should be considered at the county level.  Appendix 3 to the draft report showed the corresponding structures under the Local Resilience Forum.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Council’s response to the Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as set out in the report and summarised above be endorsed.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


22/06/2020 - Online Meeting Protocols - Audit & Governance Committee and Traffic Management Sub-Committee ref: 438    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Executive Director of Resources submitted a report setting out proposed arrangements for holding online meetings of the Audit & Governance Committee and the Traffic Management Sub-Committee as permitted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 and subsequent Regulations that had come into force on 6 April 2020.  The protocols for these meetings were attached to the report at Appendix A for the Committee’s approval. 

 

The report recommended that the Committee retain the membership of the Audit & Governance Committee; reduce the membership of the Traffic Management Sub-Committee; and agree the quorum thresholds for the new online meetings.  It was also recommended that provision should be made to allow substitutes where a member of the Committee could not attend the online meeting.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)      That the protocols for meetings of the Audit & Governance Committee and Traffic Management Sub-Committee, drafted in accordance with the provisions of The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020’, and attached at Appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

(2)      That the provisions agreed in (1) above be applied only to those Committee and Sub-Committee meetings required to be held, or held, before 7 May 2021 and the Assistant Director of Legal & Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to end or make amendments to the arrangements prior to 7 May 2021;

 

(3)      That, during these arrangements, the attendance of members at the Audit & Governance Committee and Traffic Management Sub-Committee be as follows:

 

(a)      Audit & Governance Committee (8)

 

Councillors (Labour 5; Conservative 2; Green 1);

 

(b)      Traffic Management Sub-Committee (10)

 

Councillors (Labour 6; Conservative 2; Green 1; and Liberal Democrat 1)

 

(4)      That the quorum for the Audit & Governance Committee and the Traffic Management Sub-Committee both be set at three members.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


22/06/2020 - New Emergency Duty Service Contract - Social Care and Homeless Provision ref: 436    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Executive Director of Adult Care and Health Services submitted a report seeking approval to enter into a joint arrangement with Bracknell Forest Council to supply the out of hours Emergency Duty Service for Reading.

 

The report explained that the Emergency Duty Service (EDS) was a joint arrangement responsible for all social services emergencies and statutory duties which arose outside normal office hours, including out of hours homelessness support. The service was hosted, and managed, within the People’s Directorate of Bracknell Forest Council, and was responsible for all client groups (Adults & Children’s’ Social Care Emergencies) of the six local authorities of Berkshire.  The EDS provided a service to individuals and families in social crisis which required an immediate and/or urgent response. The role of the EDS was to carry out an initial screening of the presenting situation and establish a safe and viable solution pending follow up by the appropriate local authority’s daytime services. In terms of volume, during 2019/20 approximately 500 referrals from Reading service users had been actioned by the EDS per month.

 

The report explained that the current agreement for the service expired in June 2020 and there was a new agreement to cover a seven-year period from June 2020 - May 2027.  The new agreement would still include all six Berkshire local authorities and Brighter Futures for Children had access to this service as part of a Service Level Agreement with the Council. The report recommended authorising the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health Services in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care and the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services to enter into proposed replacement contract with Bracknell Forest Borough Council on the basis set out in the report and noting that the total contract value was in the sum of £2,766,330.

 

Resolved -

 

That the Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health Services be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care and the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services, to enter into a joint arrangement with Bracknell Forest Borough Council to supply out of hours Emergency Duty Service for Reading.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


22/06/2020 - 2019/20 Quarter 4 Performance Report ref: 434    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Executive Director of Resources submitted a report setting out the provisional revenue and capital outturn positions for the Council’s General Fund and Housing Revenue Account for 2019/20. The following documents were attached to the report:

 

·       Appendix 1 – General Fund Outturn;

·       Appendix 2 – Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Outturn

·       Appendix 3 – Capital Programme Outturn

·       Appendix 4 – Savings;

·       Appendix 5 – Delivery Fund;

·       Appendix 6 – Reserves Position as at 31st March 2020;

·       Appendix 7 – Performance Outturn.

 

The report stated that the provisional General Fund revenue outturn position was a (£3.065m) underspend. This was a deterioration of £0.050m from the forecast as at the end of Quarter 3 (Period 9) and the position was prior to any service carry forward requests. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was projected to account for £0.911m of additional revenue cost and income pressures in the final month of the year.

 

The provisional outturn for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was an underspend compared to budget of £12.176m.  This had arisen due to the budgeted drawdown of £10.466m, actually being a reserve contribution of £1.710m. This was an improvement of (£3.562m) on the forecast position reported at Quarter 3; the main reasons for the improvement were due to rent collection, major works and capital financing.

 

The provisional General Fund Capital Programme outturn was a (£3.806m) net underspend as at the end of March 2020 against the revised net budget of £66.507m, agreed as part of the budget setting process in February 2020.  The provisional HRA Capital Programme outturn was a (£1.401m) net underspend against the net budget of £15.343m.

 

The report stated that £7.716m of savings had been delivered in 2019/20 against a target of £12.720m. Of the non-delivered savings £2.465m had been deleted as non-deliverable as part of 2020/21 budget setting, with the remaining £2.539m being carried forward into 2020/21.  The carry forward of non-delivered savings and the financial impact of Covid-19 had significantly increased the risk of delivering the 2020/21 budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy as originally approved in February 2020, and options to mitigate the projected financial gap were currently being prepared for consideration in due course.

 

The report also set out performance against the measures of success published in the Council’s Corporate Plan. At the end of 2019/20 54% of measures were rated green, 14% rated amber and 32% rated red.

 

Resolved -

 

(1)          That the following be noted:

 

·       The provisional General Fund revenue outturn position for 2019/20 was an (£3.065m) underspend;

·       The provisional Housing Revenue Account outturn position for 2019/20 was a (£1.710m) transfer to the HRA reserve;

·       The provisional General Fund Capital Programme outturn position for 2019/20 was a (£3.806m) net underspend;

·       The provisional HRA Capital Programme outturn position for 2019/20 was a (£1.401m) net underspend;

·       That £7.716m of agreed savings had been delivered in year with £2.539m of non-delivered savings being carried forward into 2020/21;

·       That £3.068m of Capital Receipts had been used to fund transformation in accordance with the Capitalisation Directive (Appendix 3);

·       The performance achieved against the Corporate Plan success measures as set out in Section B of this report and Appendix 7;

 

(2)      That the following be approved:

·       The service requests to roll-forward funds totalling £0.518m into 2020/21 to complete agreed programmes of work;

·       That, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the remaining underspend of £2.547m be set aside to bolster reserves;

·       That the £1.093m overspend in 2019/20 relating to Brighter Future for Children be funded by the Council;

·       That the net roll-forwards of budget within the Capital Programme totalling £4.169m be agreed; resulting in a revised Capital Programme net budget of £121.963m for 2020/21;

 

(2)           That the net roll-forwards of budget within the HRA Capital Programme totalling £1.533m be agreed; resulting in a revised HRA Capital Programme net budget of £31.795m.

Wards affected: Boroughwide;


22/06/2020 - Whitley Library ref: 435    For Determination

Decision Maker: Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 22/06/2020 - Policy Committee

Decision published: 24/07/2020

Effective from: 22/06/2020

Decision:

The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on the outcome of a marketing exercise to dispose of the freehold of Whitley Library.  Confidential information relating to the proposed disposal had been considered in closed session (Minute 4 above refers).  A location plan was attached to the report at Appendix A.

 

The report noted that, as part of the Community Hubs projects, Policy Committee had approved the relocation of the Whitley library service to the South Reading Youth & Community Centre, and the subsequent disposal of the previous site.  A marketing process had been carried out and five bids had been received.  The report recommended that the property be sold to ‘Bidder A’ who had offered the highest price and had advised that it was their intention to use the building for community purposes.  The purchaser would be required to respect the Local Listing of the building and the Preservation Orders placed on the qualifying trees.

 

The report explained that disposal of the library would also include an area of land currently used under a licence by the owner of the neighbouring property for garden land and driveway purposes, and that part of this land could be excluded from the library sale and sold to the owner of the neighbouring property to enable them to retain and regularise their driveway.

 

Resolved -

 

(1)      That the freehold interest in Whitley Library be disposed of to Bidder A in accordance with the terms set out in paragraph 4.2 of the report considered in closed session;

 

(2)      That the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services be authorised to agree terms for a supplementary minor disposal of adjacent land in accordance with the terms set out in paragraph 4.4 of the report considered in closed session;

 

(3)      That the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services be authorised, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Lead Councillor for Corporate & Consumer Services, to re-engage with other bidders as appropriate or remarket the property for disposal at best consideration, in the event that the offer price was subsequently reduced or the purchasers did not perform to an acceptable timescale.

Wards affected: Church;