Cabinet Member decisions

Decisions published

05/08/2022 - 22/00070 - KCC Equity Investments: New Investment Trust ref: 2628    Recommendations Approved

Reason for the decision:

The purpose of this action is to bring financial savings to KCC, enable early exit from KCC previous equity investments, provide funds for investment for the benefit of Kent & Medway, and enable companies in receipt of KCC’s previous investment to obtain greater access to additional finance for the next stage of their development, as there are insufficient funds remaining within the DPTI (100% committed) and the KLS (86% committed) to support additional investment. All proceeds from the sale of KCC shares would be re-invested in local companies via the Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF).

 

Background:

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) allocated £55 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to KCC between 2011 and 2014. This funded three RGF schemes covering the whole of Kent and Medway and additional local authority areas:

 

        East Kent (Expansion East Kent - £35 million).

        North Kent, Medway, and Thurrock (Tiger - £14.5 million).

        West Kent (Escalate - £5.5 million).

 

These schemes operated from November 2011 to January 2016, offering companies grants, loans, and equity investments.

 

Since January 2017, KCC has used the recycled RGF loan repayments to enable the Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF) to provide loans and equity investments ranging between £50,000-£500,000 to eligible businesses across Kent and Medway. Most funding recipients receive 0% interest loans, with a repayment period of up to 5 years.

 

Since 2013, KCC effected its purchase of shares through three equity schemes. These are:

        

·         KCC RGF Bespoke Equity Fund (KRBEF) - £3.9 million has been invested in the unlisted equity of 11 companies located across Kent. These investments were funded from the Expansion East Kent, Tiger and Escalate RGF programmes. £0.4 million has been returned to KCC following a sale of shares. Two companies have failed and £1.2 million has been written-off. A further company is dormant. The shareholding in the 8 remaining companies in the portfolio was valued at £2.0 million as of 31 March 2022.

 

·         Discovery Park Technology Investment Fund (DPTI) - £5.2 million investment has been made in the unlisted equity of 9 companies located in Discovery Park in East Kent. These investments were funded from the Expansion East Kent programme. One company has failed and the investment of £0.6 million has been written off. The shareholding in the 8 remaining companies in the fund was valued at £5.7 million as of 31 March 2022.

 

·         Kent Life Science Fund (KLS) - To date KCC has invested £4.3 million in the unlisted equity of 9 companies via the Kent Life Science Fund. These investments are funded from the Kent and Medway Business Fund. One company has failed and the investment of £0.5 million has been written off. The shareholding in remaining 8 companies in the fund was valued at £5.9 million as of 31 March 2022.

 

KCC is seeking to end the current DPTI and KLS arrangements and replace these with a shareholding in a newly listed UK Investment Trust company (to be listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE)). Under this proposal the new Investment Trust company will make an offer to KCC to purchase its shares currently held within the DPTI and KLS equity portfolios in exchange for shares in the new Public Limited company. It has been indicated by those advising on the setting up of the new Investment Trust company a preference for life science companies which runs through the DPTI and KLS portfolios. It should be noted that this entity will be a UK limited liability company: the name ‘trust’ is a used for historical reasons and allows HMRC to award the entity a certain tax status, for example they are subject to Corporation Tax on their income but are not subject to tax on chargeable gains.

 

Before committing itself to this transaction, KCC will obtain an independent valuation of the shares to be sold. KCC’s commitment will be conditional on the flotation going ahead as planned, and satisfaction that the commercial terms are acceptable considering the evidence that shares in Investment Trust companies usually trade at a discount to the value of their underlying investments. There will be no requirement for KCC to invest further in the shares of this Investment Trust company.

 

The listing of the new Investment Trust company will allow other investors to purchase shares in the Investment Trust company. The Investment Trust will aim to raise £150 million on flotation, primarily from large UK institutional investors.

 

KCC believes a new Investment Trust company will be attractive for institutional investors whose mandates preclude them from investing into a private fund structure such as the DPTIF and KLS. The London listing will also offer liquidity, enabling investors to buy and sell shares on the London Stock Exchange. The new company is likely to invest in later stage deals where the market considers there to be considerable value and target a double-digit annual return over the medium term, only paying dividends to preserve HMRC Investment Trust status. Returns will be targeted within a 2–3-year period rather than the 7–10-year period envisaged under the existing DPTI and KLS equity portfolios.

 

With an increased amount of capital, the Investment Trust company will be able to make further investment available to support the companies whose shares were formerly part of the DPTI and KLS equity portfolios as well as enabling KCC to make full or partial exits earlier than currently envisaged.

 

Future investments of the Investment Trust company are unlikely to be limited geographically to Kent and Medway. Nor will the company necessarily be restricted to KCC’s ethical investment guidelines, KCC will therefore make it clear that it will only retain a shareholding in the new Investment Trust company for as long these guidelines are followed. While KCC would become as minority shareholder in the Investment Trust company this would be balanced against the benefit of an early financial returns to KCC. All proceeds from the sale of shares to be re-invested in local companies via the Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF).

 

The current KMBF scheme will end on the 31 March 2023, without a new commitment from BEIS KCC will not be able to reinvest the KMBF monies beyond that date. KCC is in negotiation with BEIS either to extend the existing contract or that the funds currently being managed by KCC are endowed to the Council. A separate FED, will cover this.

 

Other options considered:

Retaining the current DPTI and KLS equity portfolio arrangements would:

·         Continue to commit KCC to spending £0.3 million a year on administration costs for the next 3-5 years;

·         Not offer an opportunity to exit from these investments earlier; and

·         Severely limits the opportunity to make additional investments in the companies in the portfolio.

 

Selling the current DPTI and KLS equity portfolio shares via an alternative arrangement would:

·                Not offer an opportunity to exit from these investments earlier as the diverse portfolio was unlikely to attract buyers and selling the shares in individual companies would take a longer time that the preferred option.

 

How does the proposed decision meet the priority actions of Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement Framing the Future: Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy:

This proposed action is in-line Priority 1: Levelling Up Action 3 as the equity schemes seek to attract national and international investment to businesses in the county.

 

Financial Implications:

The current annual cost of the administration of the DPTI and KLS equity portfolio is £300,000 drawn from KMBF. The new annual cost under the new arrangements will be zero, releasing KMBF funds for re-investment in local businesses.

 

KCC is responsible for the recovery of these equity investments, if these funds cannot be recovered, KCC is not responsible for any subsequent bad debt

 

KCC will not be involved in the day-to-day administration of the Investment Trust. KCC will have no responsibility for the recovery of outstanding investments and will not be responsible for any subsequent bad debts.

 

Returns from the sale of shares or dividends in the Investment Trust company is expected to be within 1 and 3 years, according to market conditions. All sale proceeds must be returned to the KMBF and cannot be used for other KCC purposes. The current KMBF scheme will end on the 31 March 2023. KCC is currently in negotiation with BEIS concerning an extension of the existing contract or the funds currently being managed by KCC being endowed to the Council. A separate FED will cover this.

 

KCC Budget Book, the capital entry for the KMBF, row ref 26.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Decision published: 05/08/2022

Effective from: 13/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Economic Development, I agree to delegate the authority to the Director of Growth and Communities:

 

1.    To enter into the relevant contracts and legal agreements required to implement this decision allowing KCC to sell shares in unlisted companies within the Discovery Park Technology Investment Fund (DPTI) and the Kent Life Science Fund (KLS) in exchanged for shares in a new listed Investment Trust company, only when market conditions are favourable and KCC has reviewed the Listing and Prospectus documents.

 

2.    To enter into the relevant contracts and legal agreements required to close the DPTI and the KLS.

 

3.    To ensure that the proceeds from the sale of KCC shares in the new listed Investment Company will be re-invested in local companies via the Kent and Medway Business Fund (KMBF).

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: David Smith


04/08/2022 - 22/00073 - Everyday Life Activities, Skills Development and Training Opportunities for People in the Community - Dynamic Purchasing System ref: 2627    Recommendations Approved

Reason for the decision:

The current Community Day Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities framework contract is due to expire on 30 September 2022 and new arrangements need to be in place by 1 October 2022.

 

The new service specification (Everyday Life Activities, Skills Development and Training Opportunities) is outcome focused and is based on the Making a Difference Everyday (MADE) approach and the Provider Services design principles (which have been part of a separate engagement process) and align with a Self-Directed Support approach of Adult Social Care.

 

It is recognised that a traditional approach to ‘day opportunities’ is reducing in demand, however this is still an important provision for some individuals and their families. The service and support provided through the new Dynamic Purchasing System is a flexible, adaptable and evolving model which will include traditional day opportunities as well as wider support outside of traditional times and settings. This offer also aligns with other Adult Social Care Projects such as the Micro-Enterprises development.

 

Financial Implications:

The actual spend (across Adults and Children’s Social Care) for 2021-22 was £9,547,321 (£6,349,221 adults, £3,298,100 children’s) for this service provision.

 

Due to the COVID pandemic, the spend during 2021/22 was lower than the allocated budget. This has been a result of some services being closed for periods of time. Client charging has also been suspended which impacts on this.

 

This new Dynamic Purchasing System allows for flexibility in the fees paid depending on the activity / support delivered and to work with providers and the people we support to use other methods of payment, such as direct payments and individual service funds.

 

The Council budget was approved at County Council on 10 February 2022. It is acknowledged that there are significant pressures on the Adult Social Care and Children’s and Young People’s budgets.  As such there are identified savings for this support; £1,000,000 identified against the Adult Social Care budget.

 

This Dynamic Purchasing System is a tool to assist Social Care Practitioners and the people we support and their carers to purchase the support and activities they wish to engage in. In line with the future ways of working and the Making a Difference Everyday approach, the savings identified against the Adult Social Care budget for this area will be achieved through the conversations and support planning with the people we support, by giving them more control and choice about the activities and support they want within their personal budget to meet their outcomes, and to ensure that as far as is possible only providers that are a part of the Dynamic Purchasing System with agreed rates are used.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision published: 05/08/2022

Effective from: 13/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health (in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services), I:

 

a)    APPROVE the creation of the Dynamic Purchasing System for the delivery of Everyday Life Activities, Skills Development and Training Opportunities for People in the Community;

 

b)    APPROVE the opening of the Dynamic Purchasing System on a regular basis to enable new services to join the framework; and

 

c)    DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health and Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education, to take other relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contracts or other legal agreements, to implement the decision.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Sharon Dene


02/08/2022 - 22/00061 - Proposal to establish a new 15 place Special Resource Provision at Copperfield Academy, Dover Road East, Gravesend DA11 0RB, for September 2022 ref: 2626    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

To agree to the establishment of a 15 place SRP at Copperfield Academy, for the September 2022 intake.

 

Reason for the Decision:

The proposal establishes a 15 place Special Resource Provision for children for whom speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) is the primary barrier to achieving their full potential.  This is a new provision offering additional places from September 2022.

 

Background:

KCC, as the Local Authority (LA), has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available.  This duty applies to Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision, as well as mainstream settings.  The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2022-26 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually.  It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent. A copy of the plan can be viewed from this link:

 

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/education-skills-and-employment-policies/education-provision

 

The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent highlights the SEN place pressure that Kent has experienced, with the number of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) increasing significantly in recent years.  A key area of demand is providing support for students who have speech, language and communication needs as their primary barrier to achieving their potential.

 

The demand for Speech and Language places across the North Kent Area has increased with strong parental preference towards places at Special Schools and significant house building in the area.  Even though much is being done in Kent to reduce children’s  need for ever increasing numbers of EHCPs and place a greater proportion of young people in mainstream provision, the demand for dedicated SEN places is not forecast to reduce in the near or medium future.

 

Copperfield Academy is a primary school with a strong local focus, offering places to children I the Northfleet and West Gravesend area. The school is operated by the Reach2 Academy Trust. It was assessed by Ofsted to be a ‘Good’ school in May 2021.

 

Options Considered:

Due to the availability of accommodation, and the willingness of the school to establish a provision, no alternative has been considered.

 

There have been studies undertaken into alternatives to create new Special School provision.  A review is currently underway to assess the future pathways for SEN provision, but this proposal can be assessed independently due to the immediate availability of accommodation.

 

If the proposal does not proceed, Kent County Council will find it difficult to provide sufficient local special school places in the North Kent Area.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 02/08/2022

Effective from: 10/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to the establishment of a 15 place SRP at Copperfield Academy, for the September 2022 intake.

Division affected: Northfleet & Gravesend West;

Lead officer: Ian Watts


02/08/2022 - 22/00060 - Proposal to make prescribed changes to Laleham Gap (Foundation) Special School from September 2022 ref: 2625    Recommendations Approved

The proposal is being brought forward by the Governing Body of the school, with the support of KCC.  The final decision will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.

 

Proposed decision:  

To determine the statutory public notice published by the Governing Body on the following proposed changes:

·         Change the age range of the school from 4-17 years to 4-18 years

·         Change the designated number of the school from 178 to 188

 

Reason for the decision:

As the strategic commissioner of school provision, the Local Authority has a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for the residents of Kent, including sufficient special educational needs places.  The Commissioning Plan outlines the requirement for the need to significantly increase the number of supported internships and study programmes that include personalised support and high-quality work experience placements post 16. The post-16 provision will give the students the additional time they need for a more successful transition into college and reduce the current dropout rate.

 

Background:

Laleham Gap School is a Special School and has a designated number of 178.  The school specialises in providing education for pupils aged 4-17 years who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.  All pupils have a statement of special education need or an Education, Health & Care plan.  The proposal is that in addition to the existing year 12 provision, they will offer a limited number of up to 5 year 12 and up to 5 year 13 places. These will be two-year placements, for young people that have been identified through the annual review process. This new, two-year programme, in addition to transition work, will provide more opportunities for the young people to gain qualifications which will assist them in their next educational placement or employment.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded):

Other options were not considered as Laleham Gap is a Specialist School proving education and support to pupils with special needs and the proposal is specific to the school.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:

This proposal will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that Kent’s young people have access to the education, work and skills opportunities necessary to support Kent business to grow and be increasingly competitive in the national and international economy”

 

The proposal also supports KCC’s SEND Strategy 2021-2024. The aim of the SEND strategy is to improve the educational, health and emotional wellbeing outcomes for all of Kent's children and young people with special educational needs and those who are disabled.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 02/08/2022

Effective from: 10/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

I.             determine the statutory public notice published by the Governing Body on the following proposed changes:

      Change the age range of the school from 4-17 years to 4-18 years

      Change the designated number of the school from 178 to 188

Division affected: Ramsgate;

Lead officer: Marisa White


02/08/2022 - 22/00059 - Proposal to permanently expand Highsted Grammar School, Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 4PT from 120 places to 150 places for September 2023. ref: 2624    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

i.             Agree to increase the funding allocated to expand Highsted Grammar School from £4million to £6,665,574 through providing £2,665,574 additional funding from the Basic Need capital budget.

ii.            Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts / agreements on behalf of the County Council.

iii.          Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. Variations to contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

 

Reason for the decision:

Additional funding of £2,665,574 is required for the expansion of Highsted Grammar school by 1FE from September 2023. Additional costs are due to inflation and a required re-design following initial feasibilities which have arisen since the decision to allocate £4M to this project.

 

The revised project cost is now £6,665,574. As the revised project cost is more than the ROD of £4m a new ROD is required to authorise the additional funding for this project.

 

Background:

The Kent Commissioning Plan 2020-2024 identified the need for additional selective places for the Sittingbourne and Sheppey Planning group. Forecasts indicted a deficit of up to 60 Year 7 places for 2021 and a continual need through the plan period of between 1.5FE and 2FE in additional selective school places. Discussions have been held with both grammar schools in Sittingbourne and each school has agreed to progress a 1FE permanent expansion. Each school has offered over their PAN for 2021 and 2022 delivering a total of 60 additional places for each year.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded):

There are two grammar schools in Sittingbourne, and they have both agreed to a 1FE expansion. Neighbouring planning groups, including Faversham and Canterbury Selective and Maidstone Selective planning group, have a deficit of year 7 places.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:

This proposal will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that Kent’s young people have access to the education, work and skills opportunities necessary to support Kent business to grow and be increasingly competitive in the national and international economy” as set out in ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2017 - 2022)’.

 

The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2020-24 identified the need to commission additional capacity in Sittingbourne Selective Schools.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 02/08/2022

Effective from: 10/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:  

i.              increase the funding allocated to expand Highsted Grammar School from £4million to £6,665,574 through providing £2,665,574 additional funding from the Basic Need capital budget.

ii.            Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts / agreements on behalf of the County Council.

iii.           Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. Variations to contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

Division affected: Sheppey; Sittingbourne North; Sittingbourne South; Swale East; Swale West;

Lead officer: Marisa White


02/08/2022 - 22/00062 - People's Voice Activity Contract (including Healthwatch Kent) ref: 2623    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

A.   Award the contract to the successful bidder identified as part of the procurement process, for the provision of People’s Voice Activity (Including Healthwatch Kent), for a maximum of five years (Initial three-year contract with options for two one-year extensions);

B.   Delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Corporate Director for Finance, to agree the relevant contract extensions as required; and

C.   Delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take other relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Reason for the decision:

The current People’s Voice Contract expires automatically on 30 September 2022. Following a successful procurement process a preferred bidder has been identified to award a new contract to, starting from 1 October 2022. The new contract will be for a maximum of five years. (Initial three- year contract with provision for two one-year extensions)

 

Kent County Council has a statutory duty to commission a local Healthwatch organisation to carry out the eight statutory activities laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. 

 

The aim of the People’s Voice Service is to promote and empower Kent citizens to have a voice in influencing, developing and shaping health and care services in Kent and to provide information and advice as appropriate (in collaboration with other services) and through a variety of methods.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision published: 02/08/2022

Effective from: 10/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree to:

a) AWARD the contract, to the successful bidder identified as part of the procurement process and as detailed in exempt Appendix 1, for the provision of People’s Voice Activity (Including Healthwatch Kent) for a maximum of five years (initial three-year contract with options for two one-year extensions);

b) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Corporate Director for Finance, to agree the relevant contract extensions as required; and

c) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health to take other relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Simon Mitchell


01/08/2022 - 22/00055 - Proposed Expansion of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls ref: 2622    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)         enlarge Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Buckland Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 0SF by 1FE, increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 180 to 210 from September 2023.

 

b)         authorise the allocation of £5.23 million in funding from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the permanent expansion of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls.

 

c)         authorise the allocation of £1.6 million from the Education Modernisation Programme to enable the replacement of T Block and N Block.

 

d)         authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council.

 

e)         authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.

 

Background

Kent County Council (KCC), with support from the school’s Governing Body, would like to expand Maidstone Grammar School for Girls to help provide more places for local children. 

 

KCC as the Local Authority (LA), has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available.  The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2022-26 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent.  A copy of the plan can be viewed from this link:

https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/131486/Commissioning-Plan-for-Education-Provision-in-Kent-2022-to-2026.pdf

 

For provision planning purposes KCC’s forecasting methodology produces forecasts according to planning groups.  These planning groups are nationally recognised by central Government; Maidstone Grammar School for Girls forms part of the Maidstone and Malling selective planning group.

 

The Commissioning Plan forecast for the Maidstone and Malling Selective planning group indicates that there will be a deficit of Year 7 girls’ selective places from 2023-24 if no additional places are established. To meet the demand for Year 7 places we propose to expand the Maidstone Grammar School for Girls by 1 FE, increasing its PAN from 180 to 210 from September 2023.

 

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls has provided education for girls from Maidstone and the surrounding area for over 130 years. The school was judged as ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED in May 2009 and is ideally located within Maidstone town to meet the forecast demand within the established travel to school patterns for the Maidstone and Malling Selective planning group.

 

KCC have worked with the school to ascertain the additional accommodation required for it to expand by 1FE on a permanent basis. That work identified the additional space required in direct support of a future expansion and combines modernisation work that includes the replacement of both T Block and N Block. These existing blocks at the school are significantly beyond their designed lifespan and require replacement. Combining this modernisation work with the expansion scheme enables KCC to benefit from the economies of scale that can be achieved by completing the works together rather than replacing the existing blocks in isolation.

 

The scheme also incorporates the provision of a visitor centre, linked to the school’s unique set of Second World War Air Raid Shelters, which will be an integral part of the new accommodation but will be funded by the school, but also takes advantage of the economies of scale presented by the expansion project. The purpose of the visitor centre is to enable the school to provide opportunities for students in primary schools to visit the school and gain a real life experience of school life during the Second World War. There will also be opportunities for some members of the public to visit the Air raid Shelters during some school holidays. This part of the works will be funded by the school and not KCC.

 

The required accommodation comprises a new teaching block, which includes the visitor centre, an extensive music classroom, 6 practice rooms and associated storage and ancillary spaces.  This project therefore brings much needed modernisation work and will transform the school for the benefit of all students as well as provide space for additional students.

 

Data Protection implications

KCC and the school are the ‘controllers’ under the General Data Protection Regulation and will ensure that any personal information is processed fairly and lawfully within any consultation work.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 01/08/2022

Effective from: 09/08/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

(i)    enlarge Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Buckland Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 0SF by 1FE, increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 180 to 210 from September 2023.

 

(ii)  authorise the allocation of £6,378,593 in funding from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the permanent expansion of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls.

 

(iii)authorise the allocation of £1,432,129 from the Education Modernisation Programme to enable the replacement of T Block and N Block.

 

(iv)authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council.

 

(v)  authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. Variations to contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

Division affected: Maidstone Central;


22/07/2022 - 22/00028 - Discharge Pathway 1 Services Procurement ref: 2621    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

Extension of the current Discharge Pathway 1 Services contracts (Discharge to Assess Service and Assisted Discharge Service) for one year, from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023; commencement of activity to develop a long term jointly commissioned Discharge Pathway 1 Services model and delegation of authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into legal agreements, as necessary to extend the current Discharge Pathway 1 Services; and to facilitate activity with regard to developing the jointly commissioned Discharge Pathway 1 Services model, with NHS Partners.

 

Reason for the decision:

The current hospital discharge service contracts commissioned by Kent County Council encompass Discharge to Assess Service and Assisted Discharge Service, which form part of Discharge Pathway 1 Service, for people discharged from hospital who need support to recover at home. Across Kent, there are a number of other services that also align with the pathway, commissioned by the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (KMCCG) and other health partners.

 

The contracts were originally due to expire on 31 March 2020 but were extended to 30 September 2022, due to the unprecedented demands of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to ensure that service delivery was not disrupted.

 

These services are essential in ensuring that people are able to recover at home following discharge from hospital and be supported until further assessment can be undertaken if required, alleviating blockages in patient flow through the system and preventing unnecessary delayed discharges; as such, it is essential that any new model of service delivery adequately supports both the process and the person, with capacity in the right place, at the right time.

 

To avoid any gap in service delivery, new arrangements must be in place by 1 October 2022.

 

Financial Implications:

The annual budgets for the Discharge Pathway 1 Services are set out in the table below:

 

Discharge to Assess

Assisted Discharge

Total

£2,953,223

£108,000

£3,061,223

 

Opportunities to improve the current service model, incorporating the Making a Difference Everyday (MADE) design principles of ensuring people have the right support, in the right place, at the right time as well as generating efficiencies which will be explored as part of the jointly commissioned long-term approach. Historically, the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has financed additional Discharge to Assess capacities; the ability to incorporate additional funding will still be available within the extension period.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision published: 22/07/2022

Effective from: 30/07/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree to:

a)    EXTEND the current Discharge Pathway 1 Services contracts (Discharge to Assess Service and Assisted Discharge Service) for one year, from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023;

b)    COMMENCE activity to develop a long term jointly commissioned Discharge Pathway 1 Services model; and

c)    DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into legal agreements, as necessary to extend the current Discharge Pathway 1 Services; and to facilitate activity with regard to developing the jointly commissioned Discharge Pathway 1 Services model, with NHS Partners.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Sharon Dene


22/07/2022 - 22/00056 - Telecare Contract ref: 2620    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

Delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health, to modify the Telecare contract with Invicta Telecare Limited Trading as Careium for a period of nine months, from 1 December 2022 to 31 August 2023, and to take relevant actions as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Background: 

Technology Enabled Care is key within the Making a difference every day approach and is aligned with the Councils priorities set out in‘‘Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy 2022 – 2026: Seize opportunities to embed technology and digitally-enabled care and support services in meeting people’s current and future care needs’’.

 

The Telecare contract was originally awarded in 2015 and has since been adapted to meet the needs of individuals. The purpose of Telecare is to support people to maintain independence, facilitating them to remain in their own home for as long as possible. The scope of the service in the specification covers three main areas and supports 5,190 people:

  1. Direct Service Provision: This constitutes a Telecare service including 24-hour monitoring, along with provision for installing and de-staling the equipment. It also includes the provision of Digital Care and Assistive Technology Services, and support and training for people and carers using the equipment.
  2. Staff training and support: This covers both advisory and training services.
  3. Service development: This covers ‘horizon scanning’ and strategic development in relation to future development and use of the services. 

The Telecare contract under its current contractual arrangements, following the decision of 1 + 1 year extension taken in December 2020 is due to end November 2022. The contract is with Invicta Telecare Limited, trading as Careium.

 

The Care Act 2014 placed a statutory duty on councils for prevention, information, and advice.

In KCC, there are two types of scenarios in which Telecare is prescribed:

 

1. Where the person has needs for care and support that meet the national eligibility criteria and these needs can be met either wholly or in part through the provision of Telecare (“Telecare Enhanced”).  This must be detailed in the care and support plan.

 

2. Where the provision of Telecare would prevent or delay the development of need for care and support; no other ongoing care and support services are prescribed (“Telecare Only” or “Telecare Standard”).

 

There have been significant developments in social and health technologies, including utilising more everyday solutions such as smart speakers. Another key change that will affect how technology interacts with social care is the national transition from analogue telecommunication networks to digital technology, due to be completed in 2025. This means that products that rely on older analogue telephony infrastructure will no longer work, and services will have to switch to newer devices that can connect to broadband networks.Emergent digital devices also present many opportunities and create potential for much greater data-driven care. Which will allow us to do more predictive modelling, provide advanced warning and intervention planning, which will help in making services more proactive.

 

Adult Social Care has a one-year Technology Enabled Care build and test, which aims to inform the future offer for Technology Enabled Care Services through testing a range of more innovative technologies. This is with a view to commissioning a long-term county wide offer incorporating Telecare from April 2023. The aspiration for Technology Enabled Care is the delivery of a clear and innovative assistive technology offer that empowers people, supports independent living and provides greater choice and control to support an outcome focused approach.This is a new approach for the Authority and looks to utilise assistive technology that goes beyond traditional Telecare provisions.

 

Options:

The following options have been considered:

 

Option 1: to decommission/end the Telecare service at the end of its existing contract in November 2022.

This will create a risk in gap of provision of Telecare between the end of the Telecare contract in November 2022 and the implementation of the Technology Enabled Care Services contract in April 2023. The 5,190 existing Telecare cases will need to be reviewed and alternative provision considered, which could include:

·   People paying privately for the Telecare provision (where this is a Telecare only), this would require a public consultation.

·   If people are in the Technology Enabled Care build and test area (East Kent) they can access alternative provision, however this is only a one year test and will be replaced by the county wide offer. Therefore, people could have three service providers in one year.

·   Where this is part of an eligible need (Telecare enhanced), the care and support package may change from the use of Telecare to more carer input reducing independence for the person and increasing the pressure on limited capacity within the care market. Or a Direct Payment can be used to access alternative provision. There could also be an adverse impact on people experiencing uncertainty about their future provision and changes to their care and support offer.

 

Another way to mitigate this risk is toobtain Telecare services from a new contractor for the duration of the proposed extension. However, this will impact on service continuity for people as they will have three providers in one year (the current Telecare, moving to the new contractor and finally onto the county wide service which will be in place from April 2023). The short-term contract will not be attractive to potential providers and can be at a significant cost. This would require procurement and project resources, which are currently focused on the build and test and development of the county wide Technology Enabled Care Service. Therefore, this option has the potential to undermine the longer-term plan.

 

Option 2: is to modify the Telecare contract by a period of nine months to 31 August 2023.

The proposed modification will allow time to complete the current build and test, develop and procure a county wide Technology Enabled Care Service from April 2023. The contract modification to 31 August 2023 will enable the county wide offer to be mobilised and to migrate people from the current Telecare service to the new service, ensuring there is not a gap or impact on provision. The future county wide offer also provides an opportunity to put in place a service that will allow existing Telecare provision that relies on analogue technology to be switched over to newer devices that can connect to broadband networks.

 

In preparation, contact is being made with people with Telecare to check if they still find Telecare equipment helpful and if they need any help with how it works.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision published: 22/07/2022

Effective from: 30/07/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to modify the Telecare contract with Invicta Telecare Limited Trading as Careium for a period of nine months from 1 December 2022 to 31 August 2023 and take relevant actions as necessary to implement the decision.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Georgina Walton


21/07/2022 - 22/00058 - Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People Programme ref: 2618    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:  Cabinet are asked to agree that

1.    commissioning and delivery of activity within the Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People Programme can continue until 31 March 2023; and

 

2.    further work be undertaken considering the potential for a successor brand to Reconnect to support capacity building in the VCS linked to the vision of Reconnect.

 

Further Information:

The County Council recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected substantially the lives of all Kent residents.  All Members have been united in expressing their concern about the particular impact on young people, who saw every aspect of their life and development affected.  In March 2021 Cabinet approved the creation of the Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People Programme, with its aims and objectives being approved in June 2021, together with approval of its £10m budget. 

 

The urgency to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on the County’s children and young people was captured by its agreed end date of 31st August 2022. Accordingly, the programme has focused on working with hundreds of organisations, clubs, partners and individuals to secure delivery of a wide range of support, activities, and new opportunities for children and young people.

 

As we move towards the anticipated end date, it is important to review whether the original decision regarding ending on 31 August 2022, which was made in good faith in an uncertain international context, should be implemented or adjusted.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 21/07/2022

Effective from: 29/07/2022

Decision:

Cabinet, agree to:

 

i)             commissioning and delivery of activity within the Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People Programme can continue until 31 March 2023; and

ii)            further work be undertaken considering the potential for a successor brand to Reconnect to support capacity building in the VCS linked to the vision of Reconnect.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: David Adams


21/07/2022 - 22/00057 - Correction to Determined Post 16 Transport Policy 2022-23 ref: 2619    Recommendations Approved

Proposed Decision:

The Cabinet Member is asked to agree to amend the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2022/23 in light of the recent closure of the Kent Wheels 2 Work scheme.

 

Background:

There is a legal requirement for post 16 learners to stay in education, training or work-based learning until they reach 18 years of age, and as young adults there is an expectation they will contribute to the cost of their travel in most circumstances. Whilst there is no statutory duty to provide transport for Post 16 Learners there is a duty to consider applications for assistance with transport and to enable access to education.

 

Local Authorities are required to consult on a Post 16 Transport Policy Statement each year by the 31 May, which explains how they intend to support Post 16 learners in the forthcoming academic year. The Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee discussed the 2022-23 Policy Statement on 1 March 2022 and the policy was determined by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills shortly thereafter.

 

Following the conclusion of these activities, Officers were informed that the Wheels 2 Work scheme, which is managed externally to the team and which is referenced within the policy, will cease to be offered from the end of the 2021/22 academic year as a result of lack of use.

 

It is therefore necessary to remove references to the Wheels 2 Work scheme from the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2022-23. All remaining transport support options are unchanged.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 21/07/2022

Effective from: 29/07/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to the corrected Kent Post-16 Transport Policy Statement.

 

Lead officer: Craig Chapman


20/07/2022 - 22/00048 - Kent Locally Agreed Religious Education Syllabus 2022-2027 ref: 2617    Recommendations Approved

Reason for the decision:

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, in giving effect to the Agreed Syllabus Conference recommendation would allow the Local Authority to fulfil its duty to review and provide a locally agreed syllabus for religious education.

 

Background:

The Local Authority is required to revise its Locally Agreed Syllabus for RE at least every five years. The current Kent RE syllabus was introduced in September 2017 and was therefore due to be reviewed in 2022. Further to the requirements set out in Section 375 and Schedule 31 of the Education Act 1996, the formal review was undertaken by the Kent Agreed Syllabus Conference in May 2022. The Conference unanimously agreed to recommend renewing the RE Today Model A+ syllabus licence for a further five years.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded):

The Agreed Syllabus Conference Members noted that the resources required to independently write a new syllabus would outweigh the costs involved with the license renewal.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 20/07/2022

Effective from: 28/07/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree;

 

-       to adopt the proposed syllabus as Kent’s Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, as recommended by the Agreed Syllabus Conference 2022; and

-       delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Children to take relevant actions, including but not limited to entering into contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Joel Cook


19/07/2022 - 22/00052 - KCC Supported Bus Funding Review ref: 2616    Item Called In

Background

The KCC budget for 2022/23, as agreed at full council in February 2022, included a reduction in the net budget for supported buses of £2.2M net. To meet the revised net budget will require the current number of contracts to be reduced.

 

There are currently 129 contracts supported by the council. These contracts are a mix of support, either involving funding for a whole service or just specific journeys, for example on specific days i.e., Sundays.

 

The approach to identifying the contracts to be withdrawn has been to firstly to identify the anticipated costs for those current contracts expiring in 2022/23, to identify any service commitments taken on in 2021/22 (to protect school routes) and to identify any services/contracts where external funding i.e., S106 has come to an end. 

 

Using the KCC supported bus service criteria, officers have 48 identified contracts to a value of £3M, which could be withdrawn.

 

The funding criteria prioritises services based on the day of the week they operate, journey purpose and the value for money, derived from a pound per passenger journey figure.

 

Financial implications

From April 2022, the budget for socially necessary bus services has been reduced from £6m to £3.8m. Not withdrawing service/and funding from other sources, to the value of £3m, would see the budget overspent.

 

As noted, in retaining the Kent Karriers, these will be funded from external sources.

 

KCC has been provisionally awarded £35m funding from the Government to support delivery of Kent’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). The BSIP funding conditions preclude us from using the revenue funding element to support existing commercial / supported services, its focus is on future developments. However, we will review the potential to use BSIP funding to provide areas, which have seen service withdrawals, with new services, tailored to the changed travel market and which would be sustainable.

 

A condition of the BSIP funding is to “lock in” spend on bus services at 2022/23 levels for three years and so the decision in this instance will inform funding levels over this period.

 

Legal implications

The proposal, consultation process and EqIA have been reviewed by an external legal firm.

 

KCC’s Public Transport and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport have paid close consideration to consultation feedback and the equalities implications of the proposals, including how the adverse impacts might be mitigated. As a result, the proposals have been revised to lessen the impact.

 

In considering the consultation, updating the EqIA and revising the proposal, the advice of the legal representative has been followed.

 

In particular, section of 63 of the Transport Act 1985 that requires that Local Transport Authorities are required “to secure the provision of such public passenger transport services as the council considers it appropriate to secure to meet any public transport requirements within the county which would not in their view be met apart from any action taken by them for that purpose”. To ensure KCC complies with this requirement, the proposals have been revised to retain the Kent Karrier services and service 208, where it was shown a commercial alternative was not appropriate.

 

As set out in 5.8, KCC Public Transport will continue to work with the Community Transport sector in Kent, to provide additional / alternative services supporting conventional bus services.

 

Services carrying children with a statutory entitlement to free transport to school under the Education Act are unaffected by these proposals, as where required alternative provision will be provided through dedicated contracted provision not open to the public.

 

Equalities implications

An Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) was completed prior to the consultation which identified more significant and adverse impacts for users with the protected characteristics of; Age (the elderly), Sex (females), Disability and those with carer responsibilities.

 

The outcomes of the consultation re-enforced this understanding in identifying that these groups are more likely to be reliant on these services for their journey purpose and less likely to have access to alterative transport solutions. In addition, Age in respect of Younger Persons has also been identified as being more adversely impacted for the same reason and notably that these users are unable to legally drive as an alternative.

 

The retention of the Kent Karrier dial-a-ride services seek to mitigate the most acute impacts of service withdrawals and ensure some level of provision for all residents including those from protected groups.

 

KCC Public Transport will continue to work with the Community Transport sector in Kent, to provide additional/alternative services supporting conventional bus service.

 

Data Protection implications

There are no data protection implications associated with this decision and therefore no DPIA has been completed.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Decision published: 19/07/2022

Effective from: 27/07/2022

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, I agree to withdraw funding support from 38 supported bus services.

 

Division affected: (All Division);