Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions
Contact: Jim Doyle Ext 2222
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
Councillor Hicks declared an interest as he is a Council proposed Director of Sportspace.
Councillor England declared he is an administrator for the Facebook Group ‘Leisure facilities are not for profit.’
Councillor Ransley declared that she is employed by Sportspace for one hour per week.
Councillor Elliot declared a personal interest as he is a member of my Gym.
Councillor Marshall declared an interest as she is a member of Sportspace.
Councillor Imarni declared she is a Council appointed trustee of Sportspace.
To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Solicitor to the Council.
Eight members of the public registered to speak in relation to the referral from the Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee Call-in meeting on Wednesday 10 January 2018 relating to the Award of Leisure Contract Decision - CA/125/17, which was discussed under agenda item 8, Overview and Scrutiny Referrals.
1. Mick Dennis:
Mr Mayor, Councillors I’m a Trustee of Sportspace. Speakers tonight are going to address the Scrutiny Committee’s 4 concerns. I’m addressing the lack of credit given to our pro bono work to the community. So let’s start with your sports policy statement written by Councillor Harden, it’s rather good. I love the bit about maintaining a relationship with SportSpace, love the bit as well about the value to local businesses, a destination venue like the XC. So why did we build the XC? Why did our CEO come up with the idea, lead the grant application, and mastermind the whole thing? Why did our board enthuse about it, why did our management staff embrace all the extra work? Why? Because our commitment to our community is the kernel of our ethos. Its why we do everything, its why we try to be good employers, its why we use local suppliers, its why do so much outreach work, pro bono work which the industry calls sports development. The Scrutiny Committee heard the Herts Sports Partnership’s Chair, laud our sports development, he particularly praised the Herts Disability Games. He also said that although there are 10 Everyone Active Centres in Herts they do not engage at all the Herts Sports Partnership. He could not understand the bid scoring, nor can we. Glib promises about sports development in Everyone Active’s slick tender scored more highly than our bid based on detail knowledge of actual local challenges and opportunities. The new contract will specify some sports development work that is not the same thing as having us always looking for new ways to truly get everyone active. The contract will try to give protection to organisations like the swimming club. You’ve never needed to tell us to do that, it’s in our DNA. You’re trying to ensure value for money so please take proper account of the added value that comes from our ethos. We give that value to your community because we are part of it.
2. David Cove:
Good evening Mr Mayor and Councillors. Scrutiny Committee rightly highlighted concerns over financial assumptions. We have given Council Officers our TUPElist and indicative breakage costs. However, our concerns remain because consultants and officers have already twice mis-interpreted our employee data, which they have had since the initial review and the employee list they produced for us to use in the bid included a Gym Manager for Tring Sport Centre which doesn’t even have a gym. We would like to know what assumptions they are making this time. In business, the old adage is hope for the best but plan for the worst. Are you confident this is being done this ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
It was agreed by Members to bring this agenda item forward to be discussed before continuing with the rest of the agenda.
The referral from the Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee Call-in meeting on Wednesday 10 January 2018 relating to the Award of Leisure Contract Decision - CA/125/17 was considered:
To refer to Full Council the Cabinet’s decision CA/125/17 to award the Leisure Services contract to SLM for further consideration, for the following reasons:
1) To review the financial assumptions made in the assessment of bids, with emphasis on employee costs and termination/breakage costs.
2) To investigate SLM’s proposed tax regime.
3) To reassess the Health and Safety criteria.
4) To consider the lack of assessment of benefit to local community and local business.
The Mayor advised Councillors they should keep their comments to the four items that have been referred to the Full Council.
Councillor Tindall made a point of order: if I could refer to page 192 of the Constitution, 15d, the fact that we’re discussing a reference to Full Council, 15f refers to - If the Council does object, it can overturn Cabinet decisions because it is contrary to the policy framework and budget. If you refer to Article 4, which is on page 11, item 4.1.a refers, in bullet point, to any other planned strategy which has borough-wide application and which the Council may decide to be adopted by Full Council. Now, I realise there are some tenuous arguments in that but I do believe that there is sufficient reason within those constitutional points that when I propose a motion, which I would like to do in a moment, the decision on the motion could actually be taken as to overturn Cabinet’s decision.
The Mayor asked Councillor Tindall to open the debate whilst the Solicitor to the Council investigated his constitutional point of order. The normal rules of debate were applied; Councillors had 5 minutes each.
In rising to speak I have a depressing sense this whole matter has been conducted in indecent haste with little consideration for the community of Dacorum but in a search for an additional income stream, with the local charitable provider being cast aside in favour of the private contractor. I’m not ideologically opposed to privatisation and recognise that is has its purpose but it should not be regarded as the only pathway to the delivery of community services. Such pathways should start from the premise of service to the community with consideration of the strategy needed to achieve the aims and objectives of that service. And yet we have found that there is no strategy, except possibly one of maximising the financial returns. We were told last Wednesday, that this Council does have a policy, but when you look, the policy is to work with Sports Trust, so much for the written policy. For me, the tragedy is that this whole matter has been cloaked in secrecy and rushed. The Sports Trust Board are local, think ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive announcements and business brought forward by the Mayor, Leader, and Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.
4.1 By the Mayor:
4.2 By the Chief Executive:
4.3 By the Group Leaders: Any apologies for absence
4.4 Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:
Councillor Williams Leader of the Council
Councillor Elliot Finance & Resources
Councillor Mrs Griffiths Housing
Councillor Harden Residents & Corporate Services
Councillor G Sutton Planning and Regeneration
Councillor Marshall Environmental, Sustainability and Regulatory Services
5.1 By the Mayor:
A one minute silence was held in remembrance of Borough and Parish Councillor Alan Fantham, and former Mayor Charles Barling.
5.2 By the Chief Executive:
There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.
5.3 By the Group Leaders:
Councillor Williams gave apologies on behalf of Councillors Adeleke, Adshead, Bateman, Brown, Clark, Griffiths, Mahmood, Matthews, Ritchie and Whitman.
5.4. Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:
Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Leadership
The Leader had nothing to announce but welcomed any questions.
Councillor Tindall asked if there was any information on our application for funding of The Bury, in order to convert it into a Museum. Councillor Williams advised they hadn’t submitted a funding bid, and were still working on that in conjunction with the DHT. He couldn’t give the exact timetable but was happy to provide Councillor Tindall with a written response. He said they would have to submit a preliminary bid or expression of interest by July or August of this year. A full bid will take another year on top of that, and what has happened in the interim, is that previously bids up to £2 million, which is where we were, when we were assessed at a regional level, and bids over that are assessed at national level. He explained that they’ve reorganised their funding mechanism, which is unfortunate in our case because bids of up to 2 million will now be assessed at a national level. It is likely to be into 2019 before we get to that stage
Councillor England said, as part of the debate in November at Full Council on the Public Space Protection Orders, the Council Leader stated that he was happy to share the results of the consultation by the end of November. He highlighted that it’s now January and the report hasn’t been circulated, and asked if that meant he’s not so happy to share the results of the analysis. Councillor Williams said he was more than happy to share the results, however it wasn’t his decision whether the results are shared and it was due to be reported to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees at some stage. He said he would take Councillor England’s word for what he thinks he said in November, and apologised if Councillor England had misunderstood what he was saying as he wasn’t thinking that we would be circulating that feedback in isolation. He advised that he did have the results but was only briefed on it in the last few days.
Councillor Mills explained that Tring is likely to lose its last bank in June of this year and asked if the Leader would write a letter of concern and support the local inhabitants of Tring that the loss of the bank will not be in Tring’s favour. It will be a lot of possible loss of business, because businesses will not be able to bank in Tring, either they’ll have to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider questions (if any) by members of the Council of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Solicitor to the Council.
Business from the last council meeting
To consider any business referred from the previous meeting
To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:
7.1 CA/115/17 28 November 2017 Budget Monitoring Q2 2017/18
That the following be approved:
28 November 2017
8.1 CA/115/17 Budget Monitoring Q2 2017/18
1. The approval of the supplementary budget details set out in the body of the report to Cabinet, which have a net nil impact on the General Fund Working Balance:
2. An Increase to the Car Parking supplies and services budget by £39k
3. An Increase use of the On-Street Car Parking reserve by £39k
4. An Increase to the Health and Safety Employees budget of £44k and the Health and Safety Supplies and Services budget of £31k
5. An Increase in use of the Management of Change reserve by £75k
6. A supplementary Capital budget funded by “One for One” receipts of £2.573m for the Affordable Housing Development fund.
7. A supplementary Capital budget of £25k funded by grant for Play Area Refurbishment Programme.
8. A supplementary Capital budget of £65k for new Vehicle Wash at Cupid Green on the grounds of health and safety.
Changes to committee membership
To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership
There were no changes to committee membership.
Change to committee dates
To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates
The following changes to committee dates were agreed:
To cancel the meeting of the Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 24 January 2018 and reschedule for Thursday 22 February 2018.