Councillor Nunn presented his report as Leader of the Council and highlighted the salient points. In response to questions, it was explained that the Leader had not had contact with NTFC for a year prior to the decision being taken at Cabinet in March and none with Cildara for the entire negotiation process.
Councillor Brown presented his report as Deputy Leader and highlighted the salient points. In response to questions, Members heard that care leavers going into supported housing were looked at on a case-by-case basis and asked Members to contact him if they knew of any cases where care leavers were not given appropriate support. The Council had multiple housing providers across all areas of West Northamptonshire which were reviewed regularly to ensure their adequacy and appropriateness. Regarding the Cultural Compact, funding for the Chair had been awarded for an initial 12 months. The Council would have to apply for further funding moving forwards. With regard to archives, it was noted that a large portion of them had been moved to a specialist facility within North Northamptonshire, however the facility was designed to allow for greater accessibility to academics and other interested parties. A number of non-archaeological artefacts were still kept within West Northamptonshire. With regard to rough sleepers, it was explained that SWEP had been extended and enhanced and the Housing team were still working to the principle “everyone in”, following their work during the pandemic. Members were informed that works on the Social Housing Decarbonisation had begun, following government funding, however due to the nature of the works, there was no end date, but the Deputy Leader would contact NPH for an update.
Councillor Larratt presented his report as Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste and highlighted the salient points. In response to questions, Members were informed that a meeting between the new highways contractors and Members would be taking place in the near future where it was suggested that any specific issues that Members were dealing with could be raised. Regarding Active Travel, it was important that the schemes being developed fit in with what was already in place. It was disappointing that funding for Bus Back Better was unsuccessful; feedback had been requested from DfT and would be shared with Members. An Active Travel Strategy for West Northamptonshire was being worked on, as well as local strategies for active travel – work was well underway regarding an active travel link between Brackley and Silverstone. It was stated that 61,224 residents had subscribed to the Council’s garden waste collection service up to 11th April and the number was continuing to rise. Councillor Larratt confirmed that he was not aware of Veolia operating within Russia and stated that he would look to see what could be done in respect of this. Councillor Larratt also confirmed that the Council’s 3 climate strategies would go to Cabinet in due course. With regard to fly-tipping in Northampton town centre, contractors would be asked to ensure that they were delivering the service as specified in the contract. Councillor Larratt confirmed that he was aware of the situation with the dilapidated bus station in Daventry; he would be travelling to Daventry with officers in the near future to assess the situation and find a solution.
Councillor Longley presented his report as Cabinet Member for Finance and highlighted the salient points. In response to questions, it was explained that the administration was aware of pressures (energy prices, inflation, etc.) but was not unduly concerned with the upcoming year due to the good financial position that the Council was currently in. Regarding the GMB/Veolia claim, Councillor Longley stated that this was a matter between the two parties; the Council could influence but would not seek to direct. With regard to assets and community hubs, this was work that was very much anticipated and officers were ready to begin work as individual programmes came through. Councillor Longley assured Members that an arrangement in relation to improving conditions at the Westbridge depot had been agreed; he would share specific details with Members upon request. He agreed that it was imperative that first aiders were always onsite with workers returning to offices. He also stated that he had received several communications in relation to the Daventry Sports & Social Club car park and would be following up with officers.
Due to the time limit applicable to this item, the remaining reports were noted.
Council noted the Cabinet Member Reports and the decision records from 7th December 2021, 21st December 2021, 18th January 2022, 15th February 2022, 28th February 2022, and 8th March 2022.