Councillor V.W. Broad, Leader of the Council, introduced the report indicating that it had been provided in Part 2 of the Sub Committee’s agenda as it contained exempt information about the commercial operations of Pathway for Care.
The Sub Committee received, at Annex 1 to its report, a Mid Term report on the operations of Pathway for Care and information that supported the progress being made by the Company against their Business Plan and projections for the future.
Members noted that the company had developed significant leads with a number of potential commissioners for Pathway for Care services, including West Sussex County Council. It was noted that those discussions had advanced to the stage that they were considering investing in the company and to take a share in the business.
In preparation for this Pathway for Care was investing to scale up its operations and deliver a higher volume of service. The Pathway Board had therefore identified the need for additional working capital investment to allow it to meet this increased volume.
The Board had requested an increase in the loan facility between Pathway for Care and the Council from the previously approved limit as set out in the Exempt report to the Sub Committee. This proposed increase would be subject to consideration by the Executive on 9 November 2017.
The Sub Committee were informed that to simplify the procedures going forward it was proposed to introduce a delegation to the Head of Finance (Section 151 Officer) to amend the Loan and Draw Down Agreement in future (within the approved loan ceiling).
The Leader and Chief Executive responded to Member questions about the Council’s investment into Pathway for Care; prospective commissions being progressed; possible changes to the governance structure of the company and progress against the company’s Business Plan.
The Chief Executive advised the Sub Committee that the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had requested that an Update on Pathway progress be provided to the Committee’s next meeting in December 2017, which it was confirmed would be provided.
(i) the Section 151 Officer be authorised to increase the loan ceiling to Pathway for Care, as set out in the Exempt Part 2 section of the agenda; and
(ii) the Head of Finance (Section 151 Officer) be delegated authority, in consultation with the Head of Legal, to amend the Loan and Draw Down Agreement between the Council and Pathway for Care within the approved loan ceiling.
RESOLVED that the
(i) update on Pathway for Care performance and business plans be noted; and
(ii) negotiations proceeding with West Sussex County Council and the intention to determine appropriate models for company structure and arrangements for both investment and service delivery be noted.
Reasons for decision: To ensure Councillors received updates on company activities. To ensure that the company had approved cash flow to deliver against the approved business plan. To ensure that the company structure remained fit for purpose as the business evolved.
Alternative options: Asking Officers to review the proposed loan agreement further and present them to a future meeting taking on board any comments at the meeting.