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On the agenda: Update

What was agreed at Cabinet on 27 June?

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet met on Tuesday, 27 June at 5pm.

Here’s a quick guide to what was discussed and agreed – you can read all the papers in full on the council’s website.

Halsnead Garden Village

Halsnead Garden Village

Cabinet approved the Halsnead Garden Village Masterplan SPD, setting out the vision and objectives for a vibrant, new settlement. This includes a new residential community, a large employment area, a new country park, a new primary school, early years provision and other new or improved outdoor community facilities. The Masterplan reflects Halsnead’s Garden Village status and emphasises the council’s commitment to deliver the highest standards of design and development quality. Read more about what this means for Knowsley.

Earlsfield Park Supplementary Planning Document

The Earlsfield Park Supplementary Planning Document was adopted by Cabinet at tonight’s meeting. Earlsfield Park has been earmarked for a prestigious employment and housing location in North Huyton. The SPD will help the council to secure high-quality housing and employment investment and development in the area.

Council budget

Members of the Cabinet were asked to note the council’s revenue budget outturn for 2016/17. By using one-off resources, the council reached a balanced position at the end of the financial year. Members also agreed to invest just over £1m to fund the cost of implementing future savings through different ways of working.

Knowsley Community Safety Plan

Cabinet considered the Knowsley Community Safety Plan Strategic Priorities for 2017–2020.  The plan sets out and recognises how issues associated with crime reduction and community safety impact upon those living, working or visiting Knowsley.  The six priority areas to be address in 2017-2020 are domestic abuse, addressing anti-social behaviour, protecting vulnerable victims, exploitation of children, serious and organised crime and supporting offenders to change their behaviour.

Children’s Centres

Knowsley Cabinet members agreed a new specification for Children’s Centres services, to ensure a sustainable service for families into the future.

The specification places a new emphasis on targeted provision and supporting vulnerable families much earlier than the current service is designed to do. Proposals for a new brand for the service also formed part of the specification.

Following approval from Cabinet, it is expected that the new specification will be implemented from September 2017 along with a new staff structure and the launch of a new brand for the service, to reflect its transformation.

Adult social care

Plans to safeguard the future of adult social care services directly provided by Knowsley Council were considered by Cabinet. These in-house services include adult and older people’s day care, Shared Lives and respite services, as well as supported accommodation. Faced with the pressures of reduced budgets and an aging population, the council needs to look at different ways of providing these services, which will secure their future and ensure they continue to be of high quality, effective and offer choice to service users and carers.

Cabinet approved proposals to create a partnership with an existing local authority trading company to run these services. Options under consideration include a partnership with Sefton Council’s Local Authority Traded Company, New Directions, or teaming up with Knowsley’s leisure services provider, Volair.

Corporate Plan

The Council’s Corporate Plan outlines the key priorities it will address from 2015 to 2019.  The priorities are sustainable Children’s Services, improving Adult Social Care, business growth, jobs and housing and a sustainable budget strategy.  Significant progress has been made on delivering this plan and key achievements include Ofsted has concluded that significant improvements have been made in Children’s Social Care, the Adult Safeguarding Board has made positive progress, considerable work has been undertaken to develop the town centre masterplans, the delivery of 557 new homes in 2016/17 and a three year budget has been approved for 2017-2020.

Overview and Scrutiny

The Cabinet agreed to a recommendation that Scrutiny Reviews carried out in 2017/18 should support the objectives of the Strategy for Knowsley and the updated Corporate Plan. Suggested topics for in-depth reviews could include car parking, procurement of adult social care, emergency planning in the borough and educational outcomes for children with special educational needs and disabilities.