Agenda and minutes

Executive Board Sub Committee
Thursday, 18th November, 2010 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Marketing Suite, Municipal Building. View directions

Contact: Gill Ferguson on 0151 471 7395 or e-mail 

No. Item




          The Minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2010 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Resources Portfolio


2010-11 Half Year Spending pdf icon PDF 32 KB


          The Sub-Committee considered a report which summarised the overall revenue and capital spending position as at 30th September 2010.


          In overall terms, revenue expenditure was below the budget profile by £3m, however, this was only a guide to eventual spending. It was noted that the Comprehensive Spending Review could mean that the funding gap was now predicted to increase over the next three years. As a consequence, the likelihood of early retirements and redundancies was increased, and some could take place in this financial year. These costs had not been included in the budget and would lead to the Council overspending its budget and thereby reducing balances.


          In order to avoid this, Management Team had agreed that Directorates would take steps to limit spending this year by £500,000 each. As a result, £2m would become available to fund any redundancy costs and also increase any savings generated in this way.


          Members noted that capital spending to 30th September 2010 totalled £14.4m, which was 86% of the planned spending of £16.6m at this stage. However, this only represented 32% of the total revised capital programme of £44.4m (which assumed a 20% slippage between years). Members were advised that the main areas of programme slippage to date were in respect of Upton All Saints Primary School and Mersey Gateway Advance Land Acquisitions.


          It was reported that the key reserves and balances had been reviewed and were considered prudent and appropriate at this stage of the financial year.


          RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

Environmental Sustainability portfolio


Bereavement Services – pre purchase of graves pdf icon PDF 25 KB


          The Sub-Committee had previously considered a report which sought approval to temporarily suspend the right to pre-purchase graves pending the establishment of new grave space (Minute No ES42 refers). Both Widnes and Runcorn Cemeteries had approximately 6 years of burial space remaining. As the burial space was seen to reduce, an increasing number of comments and enquiries were being made to the Bereavement Services staff about the diminishing grave space. There was a concern that as grave space was seen to decline there could be an acceleration in the pre-purchasing of graves that would further reduce the remaining years left at each site.


          Members considered a report which recommended that in order to provide continuity of burial space, the pre purchasing of graves should be temporarily suspended pending the establishment of new cemetery space in both Runcorn and Widnes. It was proposed that the change would be managed as follows:-


·                                     all funeral directors would be written to informing them of the temporary suspension of pre purchasing graves;


·                                     a notice would be displayed in the Cemetery Office informing the public of the position;


·                                     any person enquiring about the pre-purchasing of a grave would have their names put on a waiting list until suspension had been lifted. The allocation of pre-purchased graves would then be prioritised according to their position on the list; and


·                                     a notice would be displayed in the Register Office and staff briefed on how to deal with any enquiries should they arise.


RESOLVED: That in consultation with the portfolio holder, the temporary suspension of the policy allowing the pre-purchase of graves be approved.

health and adults portfolio


Six month extension to current Drug Service contracts pdf icon PDF 39 KB


          In March 2010 the Sub-Committee delegated authority to the Operational Director Culture and Leisure Services to extend the contracts of ARCH Initiatives, Trust the Process Counselling and Addaction for one year until March 2011. It was anticipated that an open tendering process would have been undertaken during 2010/11 with the outcome of awarding a single contract to one provider of drug services from April 2011.


          In July 2010 the Executive Board agreed proposals to establish a multi-area approach to the commissioning of alcohol and substance misuse services with St. Helens Council. However, since then there had been a number of significant national developments that had caused a review of this decision. The abolition of Primary Care Trusts, the rising emphasis on localism and the uncertainty over future levels of funding meant that a rapid appraisal of potential options needed to be undertaken. Consequently, the time left following the completion of this urgent review would be insufficient to undertake a tender process and to award contracts commencing on 1st April 2011.


          Therefore, to prevent any gaps in service provision it was necessary to extend the current contract for a further 6 months allowing the Local Authority and partners to develop a service specification that reflected the changed national policy and structures. An open tendering exercise would be undertaken with a new service in place on 1st September 2011. The Council, in partnership with Halton and St. Helens PCT would lead on an open competitive tendering process in 2011.


          RESOLVED: That:


          (1)      It is recommended that the Operational Director (Prevention and Commissioning) be authorised to award the following existing contracts direct and without tendering –


(a)      Open Access to the contractor ARCH initiatives in the sum of £86,000;


(b)      Drug Intervention Programme and Outreach services to the contractor AddAction in the sum of £150,000;


(c)      Abstinence and Recovery Service services to the contractor Trust the Process Counselling in the sum of £100,000; and


(d)      Community Prescribing Services to the contractor 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in sum of £212,000;



          (2)      the contract extensions be for a period up to 1st April 2011 to 31st August 2011; and


          (3)      in the light of the exceptional circumstances that Procurement Standing Orders be waived for purposes of Standing Order 1.8.2, namely that emerging national policies relating to the changes in structure of the NHS and the National Treatment Agency necessitate reappraisal of future service provision options.



MINUTES ISSUED:   24 November 2010

CALL IN:     30 November 2010

Any matter decided by the Executive Board Sub Committee may be called in no later than 30th November 2010.