Medway Council’s Cabinet met on Tuesday, 16 December and discussed issues ranging from the new academy in Chatham to the management plan of the Kent Downs. Outcome of the consultation on establishing a new academy school in Chatham The new academy will provide state of the art facilities that will allow boys and girls in Chatham to gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to develop as active and productive members of their communities. It will be sponsored by the Church of England and co-sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University and Medway Council. Cabinet agreed the recommendations: · to publish the formal proposals for the academy and statutory notices relating to the closure of Medway Community College and Chatham South School; · if no objections are received (within the six week statutory period), to approve the closure proposals; · to pursue steps to establish a co-educational academy of eight forms of entry and a sixth form on the site admitting students aged 11-19 from 1 September 2010. Provisional local government finance settlement Cabinet agreed to note the provisional settlement as an essential part of the budget setting process for 2009/10. The provisional levels of grant, announced by the Government on 26 November 2008 form a fundamental part of the 2009/10 budget and the announcement is a further stage in the process of preparing a balanced budget. Joint Strategic Needs Assessment The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is a method for reviewing the health and wellbeing needs of a population. This leads to agreed priorities that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce inequalities. Cabinet agreed to consider the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Annual Performance Assessment of Adult Social Care Cabinet agreed to note the outcome of the Annual Review of Performance for Adult Social Care, and congratulated all staff on the excellent result. The performance judgements for Medway Council are: - Delivering outcomes: Good - Capacity for improvement: Excellent - Adult social care rating: 3 star Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) management plan Kent Downs AONB is a nationally protected landscape. The purpose of the management plan is to conserve and enhance natural beauty. Cabinet agreed to adopt the first revision of the Kent Downs AONB management plan as required under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. It was also agreed to give the Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture in conjunction with the appropriate portfolio holder the responsibility to accept minor changes made by other local authorities during the adoption process. Tree management policy The overall aim of the tree policy is to ensure the safety of Medway Council’s trees, maintain and encourage biodiversity, improve the quality of the landscape and through these elements improve the quality of life of Medway’s residents and visitors. Cabinet agreed the tree management policy. Six month review strategic housing improvement Cabinet agreed to consider the views of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This decision means that progress against targets can be monitored and met. Local Development Framework annual monitoring report Cabinet agreed to improve the 2008 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) and submit it to the Government Office for the South East by 31 December 2008. All local planning authorities need to submit to the report by the end of December. This is Medway’s fourth AMR. The AMR includes key monitoring information related to the development plan and is used to demonstrate what progress has been made. Carers advisory and support services contract awards The support provided by carers is vital in making sure that vulnerable people keep their independence and continue to live within the local community. Cabinet agreed to award a three-year contract to the Carers Advisory Service and to award a three year contract to the Carers Support Service. This decision is consistent with two of the council’s six priorities, namely to ‘to enable people to remain healthy and independent, especially older people and other vulnerable groups’ and ‘children and young people have the best start in life’. School meal provision The existing contractual arrangement ends in July 2009. Cabinet agreed that the school meals contract goes out to tender. Chatham road network: flyover demolition and construction of bus and taxi route – contract award Cabinet agreed to award the contract of the demolition to the tender to allow the work to proceed. The demolition of the flyover was agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 24 June 2008.