Agenda and minutes

Executive Board Sub Committee
Friday, 15th July, 2011 12.00 p.m.

Venue: Marketing Suite, Municipal Building

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

No. Item




          The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th June 2011 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Environmental Sustainability


Halton BC Environmental Health Air Quality Monitoring Contract with INEOS Chlor Ltd. pdf icon PDF 30 KB


          The Sub Committee was advised of a proposal by INEOS Chlor Ltd to award a contract for monitoring of air quality in relation to their development located in Weston Point, to Halton Borough Council’s Environmental Health Department.  INEOS Chlor Ltd was currently constructing a plant that would use waste to generate steam and electricity.  The development which was located within the INEOS site bordering Weston Point was due to start operating in 2012.


          The Council’s Environmental Health Department was approached by INEOS Chlor Ltd to undertake an air quality monitoring project within Weston Point.  The aim of the project was to monitor dioxins, nitrogen dioxides and particulate matter, PM2.5 and PM10.  Monitoring would commence one year before the commissioning of the plant and two years after in order to ascertain whether there was any significant impact on local air quality in Weston Point.


          It was noted that the requirement to monitor was imposed through a condition on the planning consent which was produced by the Secretary of the State.  The enforcement of any air quality contraventions in relation to the permit granted to INEOS Chlor Ltd would be by the Environment Agency.


          Members were advised that in order to fulfil the requirements of the contract, Environmental Health was planning to subcontract where it did not have the relevant technical expertise or specialised equipment.  As part of the contract, Environmental Health would receive a fee from INEOS Chlor Ltd for the management of the project.  Initial discussions had commenced with Legal Services and Procurement in order to prepare contracts and tenders.  It was essential that monitoring began a year before commissioning, as laid out in the planning conditions which would be regulated by the Council’s Development Control Section.  The intention was for monitoring to begin in September.


          It was noted that the Environment Agency had confirmed that they were happy with the Council’s ability to appoint competent contractors and manage a project that had important public health implications for residents of Halton.


          The contract with INEOS would be in the region of £130,000 (not yet finalised).  Three sub-contracts would be awarded, none of which shall be in excess of £50,000 (still to be finalised).  Environmental Health would receive approximately £2,500 per annum for the project management.  The final figure would be dependent on the total cost of the three contracts.


          RESOLVED: That


  1. the contract arrangement proposed by INEOS Chlor for Halton Borough Council’s Environmental Health to carry out air quality monitoring in Weston Point be approved; and


  1. the contractual arrangements which will be made with sub-contractors and Environmental Health be approved.

Neighbourhood, Leisure and Sport Portfolio


Additional work at former Kingsway Health Centre (CRMZ) pdf icon PDF 26 KB


          The Sub Committee considered a report which advised that the  Operational Director Economy, Enterprise and Property had taken the opportunity whilst major building work was underway to approve additional works from existing approved budgets to improve and enhance the former Kingsway Health Centre (CRMZ).  The main contract works in the sum of £2,508,643 was approved by the Executive Board Sub Committee on 14th January 2010.  Additional work was added to the project from three areas, planned maintenance in the sum of £130,000, DDA work from the rolling programme in the sum of £84,500 and additional equipment from Children and Enterprise revenue budget in the sum of £9,200. 


          RESOLVED: That Members note that additional works at the former Kingsway Health Centre were undertaken during the main contract works and the funding for these additional works has been allocated from existing budgets and no further funding approval is required.

(NB: Councillor Nelson declared a Personal Interest in the following item of businesst.)




Demolition of the Queens Hall Widnes pdf icon PDF 23 KB


          The Sub Committee was advised that since the Queens Hall, Widnes, had closed in 2004 approximately £83,000 had been spent on the building in boarding up and making safe the water, power and gas.  The building was now rapidly becoming a health and safety risk, and it was envisaged that unless it was demolished the Council would face a significant amount of expenditure dealing with these issues over the coming months.  In addition there were complaints from the adjoining site owners that damp was penetrating from the Queens Hall into their building along the link corridor. 


          It was proposed that the demolition work, which would involve the safe removal of asbestos, would be programmed within the 2011/12 financial year.  Tenders would be sought for the demolition work within the next few months with a view to the work commencing in September/October 2011.


          A further report would be prepared with regard to the future of the site for presentation to the Asset Management Working Group in due course.


          It was anticipated that the cost of the demolition work would be in the region of £50,000.


          RESOLVED: That Members note that the Queens Hall Widnes which has been closed and boarded up since 2004 is to be demolished and the site made safe.

children young people and families


Term Maintenance Contracts pdf icon PDF 21 KB


          The Sub Committee received a report from the Strategic Director Children and Enterprise which advised that the existing maintenance and minor works contract for mechanical, electrical and building elements across the Borough would all end by December 2011.  At present a number of these contracts were being held over with a view to bringing all the timescales in line when the new contract or contracts were let.


          It was proposed that the tender documents for the new arrangements would put together in such a way that companies could tender for any combination of the different elements.  This allowed for the possibility of one company being able to take on board all elements thus the Council would enter into one contract.  Alternatively six individual companies could take on board the different elements therefore having six contracts.


          The new arrangements would be set up for a three year period with the potential for up to a two year extension subject to satisfactory performance.  The anticipated tender date was September 1st with the anticipated commencement date being early in the new financial year.


          Members noted that based on previous expenditure it was anticipated that the annual value of the contract or contracts in total was likely to be in the region of £1m thus making the value of a three year contract in the order of £3m.  The cost of the works would be met from existing budgets, this mainly being Property Services Repairs and Maintenance Budget, however, other revenue would be used as necessary.


          RESOLVED: That Members note that a Procurement process will be entered into with the purpose of securing maintenance and minor works contracts for mechanical, electrical and building elements for use across the Borough.


transport portfolio


Markets - Waiver of Standing Orders pdf icon PDF 30 KB


          The Sub Committee was advised that as part of the Efficiency Review process of the Economy, Enterprise and Property Department, it was proposed that an external challenge be sought in the specialism of the Council’s business units.


          Members were advised that initial discussions had taken place with the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) to undertake a review of the Council market operation.  The consultation on the first draft of the brief had taken place with the Portfolio Holder, Chair of the Markets Working Party, Efficiency Team and Research and Intelligence Team and comments taken on board.


          It was reported that NABMA were uniquely placed to undertake a review of the Council operation in that it can bring a wealth of best practice experience within the context of a local authority setting. 


          Members noted that the brief had now been finalised and the cost of implementation would be £6,500, plus up to £150 of evidenced expenses, plus VAT.


          RESOLVED: That


1.               The Operational Director (Economy, Enterprise and Property) be authorised to award a contract for the review of Halton Borough Council Market with NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities) Consultancy Services; and


2.       In the light of the exceptional circumstances, namely that the Council’s           requirements can only be delivered by NABMA Consultancy Services,           and in accordance with Procurement Standing Order 1.8.2 (e),         Standing Orders 4.1 to 4.3 be waived on this occasion.


Extension of Term Contract for Highway Improvement Schemes - Second Year pdf icon PDF 30 KB


          The Sub Committee considered a report which sought approval for the extension of the Highway Improvement Term Contract with Lambros (Paving Contractors) Ltd for a second period of 12 months as allowed for in the terms and conditions of the contract.  The Sub Committee had previously approved an initial 12 month extension to July 2011 (Minute ES23 refers).  If approved this further extension would take the total contract term to the maximum period allowed for the conditions of the contract.


          Members were advised that over the past 12 months Lambros Paving Contractors had continued to successfully deliver LTP schemes including improvements at Widnes Railway Station, Coronation Drive and Murdishaw roundabout.  Construction work had been consistently undertaken to the specified standards and quality and delivered in accordance with the agreed scheme programmes.  No reportable injury accidents had been recorded during the period of the contract extension to July 2011.  In addition,         Lambros had confirmed in writing their desire to extend the contract.


          It was proposed that the term contract would be extended for a further period of 12 months to enable the delivery of the scheme as outlined in the LTP Implementation Programme for 2011/12.  The option to extend was included as a contract condition and therefore a waiver of standing orders was not required.


          RESOLVED: That


  1. the Highway Improvement Term Contract with Lambros (Paving Contractors) Ltd of Longmeadow Road, Knowsley, Prescot, be extended for a period of 12 months to July 2012 to enable the delivery of approximately £680,000 worth of highway improvements; and


  1. in consultation with the relevant portfolio holder, discussions be held with Lambros (Paving Contractors) Ltd. with a view to extending the contract term by a further period of 8 months to 31st March 2013, subject to securing agreement of contract price, savings and advice being sought from Procurement and Legal Services Divisions on the feasibility of this extension.  Such agreement would require a waiver of standing orders, which would be reported to Members for approval in due course.  

resources portfolio


2010/11 Financial Outturn pdf icon PDF 31 KB


          The Board considered a report which reported the final revenue and capital spending position for 2010/11.


          The report advised that the final accounts for 2010/11 were now complete and the revenue spending position for each department, subject to external audit, was set out in the appendix to the report.


          It was noted that the Council had closely monitored and controlled its spending throughout the year and total spending had a overall net underspend of £120,000 for the year.


          In addition, the Board was advised that staffing expenditure was significantly below budget across the Council, as posts were held vacant in order to assist in meeting the underspend targets set for each Directorate.  In the main these posts had now either been filled or been used as savings for the 2011/12 budget, and therefore the position was not likely to be repeated.  The economic downturn continued to have an impact upon the Council’s finances, with shortfalls in income in a number of areas. 


          With regard to the Council’s Reserves and Balances these had been reviewed in accordance with the Reserves and Balances Strategy.  Total revenue spending for the year was £120,000 below budget (compared to £489,000 in the previous year).  However, during the year unexpected Area Based Grant income of £72,000 was received and therefore as a result the Council’s General Balances now stood at £7,367,000, an increase of £192,000 from the previous year.


          It was reported that during the year a target was set for each Directorate to underspend its budget by £0.5m in order to create a Transformation Fund of £2m.  This had been achieved and the Fund was intended to meet these costs associated with the structural changes which the Council needed to make in order to balance its budget and shape the way it delivers services.   In March 2011 redundancy costs totalling £738,000 had been met from the fund in 2010/11, leaving a balance of £1,262,000. 


          In addition, Members received a summary of capital spending against the 2010/11 Capital programme.  It was noted that Capital spending totalled £43m which was £7.7m below the revised Capital programme of the £50.6m.  The main areas of significant slippage were in respect of Landfill Tax Credits, Castlefields Regeneration and Widnes Waterfront.  The Capital Programme had been reviewed in line with the resolution regarding the proposed development of the former Runcorn market.  Despite capital receipts not being generated as quickly as expected, funding up to £750,000 could be made available.  However, further capital projects would need to have their own funding in place to be able to be incorporated in the Capital programme.


          Arising from the discussion it was suggested that consideration be given to more regular financial report monitoring. It was agreed that this would be considered in consultation with the Resources portfolio holder.


          RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

health and adults portfolio


Extension of Local Involvement Network (LINk) Contract pdf icon PDF 39 KB


          The Sub Committee considered a report which sought a waiver of standing orders to extend the existing contractual arrangements with St Helens and Halton Community and Voluntary Action (St Helens and Halton CVA) for the Halton Local Involvement Network (LINk) Hosts Contract for a period of six months from October 2011 to 31st March 2012.


          Members noted that the current joint contracting arrangement for the provision of a shared LINk Host Service with St Helens Council had been successful in terms of quality and efficiency.  The current LINk Hosts had met the terms of the service specification and St Helens Council was keen to continue the relationship with Halton Council for the transitional period to ensure continuity of service to the public.


          The Sub Committee were advised compliance with standing orders would result in clear financial detriment to the Council in that a Procurement exercise would be prohibitive in terms of cost and time and due to the specialist nature of the service, would be limited to organisations currently providing LINk Host Services. 


          In addition it was noted that the transformation of Local LINks into Local Health Watch Services was a statutory requirement, therefore, extending existing local arrangements would significantly reduce the impact of this change on local people.  Further efficiencies would be achieved by delivering the management of LINk Hosts as a shared service across Halton and St Helens.  Also an extension to the LINk Host Contract would achieve a further 12.5% efficiencies against the current contract value.


          RESOLVED: That


1.               The Halton Local Involvement Network (LINk) Host Contract be extended with the contractor, St Helens and Halton Community and Voluntary Action (St Helens and Halton CVA) for the period 1st October 2011 to 31st March 2012 for the sum of £43,727; and


2.       In the light of the exceptional circumstances, namely guidance from the Department of Health to extend existing provision for the duration of the transitional period, and in accordance with Procurement Standing Order 1.8.2 Standing Order 4.1 be waived on this occasion in view of compliance with standing orders would be inconsistent with shared service arrangements with St Helens Borough Council and in order to ensure continuation of a statutory health and social care service to local residents during a period of transition.



CALL IN:  July 2011


Any matter decided by the Executive Board Sub Committee may be called in no later than July 2011