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 17 January 2018 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Solicitor to the Council.
There was no public participation.
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 Mrs Griffiths Housing
Councillor Harden Residents & Corporate Services
Councillor G Sutton Planning and Regeneration
Councillor Marshall Environmental, Sustainability and Regulatory Services
Councillor Elliot Finance & Resources
By the Mayor:
There were no announcements from the Mayor.
By theChief Executive:
There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.
By the Group Leaders:
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors W Wyatt Lowe, S Hearn, Matthews, Whitman, Tindall, Conway, Adshead, Brown & Bhinder,
Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:
Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Leadership
The Leader did not make a report at this time but he offered to take questions.
Wish Cllr Tindall on behalf of the Council a speedy recovery.
Cllr England asked the Leader whether there is any update on PSPO? Cllr Williams confirmed it is due to go to scrutiny at their next committee meeting, who will review feedback and to give views on next steps.
There were no further questions.
Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing
Tenant & Leaseholder Services
A number of tenants attended Road shows hosted by the DBC Housing service and water companies Affinity and Thames. These were very successful with tenants reassured about the changes in April and able to ask questions about payment methods and frequency.
Additionally comprehensive information was provided about the water metering programme and schemes for those on low incomes, leaving those who attended more positive about the move to pay water companies directly.
The work is nearing completion of full refurbishment to Leys Road temporary accommodation to ensure that the building is fully compliant with Health & Safety requirements.
The service has been undertaking the Star survey, with an excellent response rate being completed by over 40% of tenants online.
Full transfer of the Private Sector team has now taken place, the service is currently reviewing and revising policies/procedures. Preparation has started to resource the PRS team and consider our approach to delivering the new HMO regulations to be introduced shortly.
Kylna Court – Works are progressing well on site, concrete frame completed, windows and cladding have commenced along with forming the individual flat units.
Swing Gate Lane (Corn Mill Court) – Works are progressing well on site on the new build. A Planning application has been submitted to convert the 3 existing units into 3 houses rather than 2 houses.
Martindale School site – The Planning application has been approved and we are about to issue second stage tenders to 5 Contractors.
Northend and Westerdale garage sites – Planning applications have been approved and we are preparing tenders to find a suitable Contractor. The aim is to be on site late summer 2018.
Stationers Place – We are preparing a revised Planning application to deal with challenges around the existing culvert that is at the rear of the site. This will provide approx. 25 / 26 flats. We are carrying out a package of advanced enabling works on site to deal with a number of issues in the ground including boreholes, culverts and relocating some pipes and cables, these works have started on site.
Property & Place
Gas Contract - ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
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/016/18 30 January 2018 Regulation of cosmetic body piercing and skin colouring
7.2 CA/018/18 30 January 2018 Use of right to buy one for one replacement funding
The referrals from Cabinet on 30 January 2018 were submitted. It was moved by Councillor Williams, duly seconded and
That the following be approved:
30 January 2018
7.1 CA/016/18 Regulation of cosmetic body piercing and skin colouring
1. To apply sections 14 to 17 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as amended by section 120 of the Local Government Act 2003, throughout the Borough of Dacorum, so as to require persons carrying on the practice of acupuncture; or the business of tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing or electrolysis to be registered with the authority; and
2. To make byelaws under section 14(7) and 15(7) of the 1982 Act in connection with such registered persons and premises, to replace and update existing byelaws in respect of acupuncture; tattooing; and ear piercing and electrolysis.
7.2 CA/018/18 Use of right to buy one for one replacement funding
The supplementary Capital budgets funded by “one for one” receipts for the Affordable Housing Development fund as follows:
To consider the following referral from Cabinet:
CA/025/18 13 February 2018 Budget Report
The referral from Cabinet on 30 January 2018 was submitted. It was moved by Councillor Williams, duly seconded and
That the following be approved:
CA/025/18 Budget Report
Councillor Elliot introduced the report and moved the motion to debate.
Cllr England responded;
I would like to thank Officers for once again managing to perform the task of presenting a balanced budget, in the context of downward income pressure which now sees the end of the RSG in 2018/19.
The Liberal Democrat Opposition Group opted not to submit an alternative budget, as this would have been academic, creating significant extra work for Officers, in circumstances where it would simply have been voted down.
The Central Government corset is getting uncomfortable for all levels of Local Government.
· Rents are being reduced at the behest of Central Government, by 1% a year.
· Council Tax setting is closely restrained by Central Govt limits and a Referendum clause (cost £80k), which means that after 2.99% (£345k extra revenue) getting a serious step forward would require at least 5% - at which point it becomes easy to argue that the increase is too steep and cuts result.
· The New Homes Bonus is down by £1m this year - nearly 10% of Council Tax.
Chief Finance Officer James Deane has done well to steward those funds carefully, as we see that Govt reserves the ability to squeeze up the 0.4% baseline in future.
The PR claim that the increase is moderate is risible - The party of low taxation is increasing Dacorum’s Council Tax by the maximum allowed, short of a referendum: 2.99% and all without (since 2015) going to the people in a substantial or truly indicative way, to see what they think of the priorities. The Referendum lock is prohibitive; also, unsurprisingly, controlled by Tories at Westminster.
What we want to hear is a frank acceptance that Local Government is being underfunded at all levels by the Conservative Central Government.
And let’s have a willingness to give real voice to local people over their priorities – earlier in the next budget planning process.
Will it be like this next year in 2019, three months from Borough Election Day? Dacorum has elections only every four years, so next year will be judged more closely than this year. I wonder if the Council Tax will be increased by the maximum next year, when a de-facto referendum follows?
Indeed I propose we ought to address this and inject a proper degree of regular and consistent accountability to each annual budget - by electing Wards in thirds.
Some local budgetary choices have been made:
It is good to see that The Old Town Theatre (£419k), Adventure Playgrounds (£486k) and Recreation (£1.3m) are at least retaining some funding; In scrutiny I supported the attempts to re-think how the Adventure Playgrounds are used in winter months after and before the half-terms.
Perhaps Neighbourhood Action can use them to co-ordinate better local organising in areas which don’t have Parish or Town Councils? ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
To be considered subsequent to agenda item 7.3
1) It be noted that the Cabinet, at its meeting on 12 December 2017, calculated the following amounts for the year 2018/19 in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B (3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended), as inserted by Section 74 of the Localism Act 2011:-
(a) 56,743.6 being the figure calculated by the Council in accordance with regulation 3 of The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as its Council Tax base for the year;
(b) the amounts in Table 1 of this report (Tax Base for each part of the Council’s area to which one or more special items relate) being the amounts calculated by the Cabinet in accordance with regulation 6 The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as the amounts of its Council Tax base for the year for dwellings in such parts;
2) the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2018/19 in accordance with Sections 31A and 31B and Sections 34 and 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) (referred to as “the Act”):
(a) £144,363,422.14 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) of the Act, taking account of all precepts;
(b) £132,491,726.00 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) of the Act, including the aggregate of the sums which the Council estimates will be payable for the year into its General Fund in respect of redistributed Non-Domestic Rates and Revenue Support Grant;
(c) £11,872,110.38 being the amount by which the aggregate at 2)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 2)(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year;
(d) £209.22 being the amount at 2)(c) above, divided by 1)(a) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31B (1) of the Act as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year;
(e) £778,169.14 being the aggregate amount of all special items referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act;
(f) £195.51 being the amount at 2)(d) above, less the result given by dividing the amount at 2)(e) above by the amount at 1)(a) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no special item relates;
(g) Part of the Council’s Area Band D
Hemel Hempstead 195.51
Great Gaddesden 214.82
Kings Langley 242.67
Little Gaddesden 225.81
Nash Mills 218.51
Tring Rural 236.38
Tring Town 221.68
(Band D charge for Parish and District combined), being the amounts given by adding to the amount ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Overview and Scrutiny referrals
There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny.
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
That the Committee Timetable 2018/19 be approved and noted.
To note the 2018/19 Committee Timetable
Exclusion of the Public
To consider passing a resolution in the following terms:
That, under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded during the item in Part II of the Agenda for this meeting, because it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, that if members of the public were present during this item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as the report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of the companies bidding for the contract.
(Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, Part 1, Paragraphs 3).
There were no items for consideration under exclusion of the public.
Call-in and Urgency Procedure
CA/006/18 - Construction of the Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) Berkhamsted – Award of Contract
Call-in can be disapplied where the decision is urgent; the decision will be urgent if any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s interests. The decision is an urgent one and therefore
should not be subject to call-in in order to enable the Council to award the contract and secure the contract price and the contractor for the works. In the absence of the Mayor (on leave), the deputy Mayor has agreed both that the decision proposed is reasonable in all the circumstances and that it is to be treated as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Williams advised of decision taken under urgency powers relating to the following;
CA/006/18 - Construction of the Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) Berkhamsted – Award of Contract