Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 20th February, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council

Additional documents:

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2019 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2019 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Decision:

Councillor Douris declared an interest in a company in which he has some shares in, who rent properties from Dacorum Borough Council.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Douris declared an interest in a company in which he has some shares in, who rent properties from Dacorum Borough Council.

 

3.

Public Participation

To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services)

Decision:

There was no public participation.

 

Minutes:

There was no public participation.

 

4.

Announcements

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 D Collins           Corporate & Contracted Services

Councillor Harden             Community & Regulatory Services

Councillor G Sutton           Planning and Infrastructure

Councillor Marshall            Environmental Services

 

Decision:

1.      By the Mayor:

 

There were no announcements from the Mayor.

 

2.      By the Chief Executive:

 

There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.

 

3.      By the Group Leaders:

 

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Clark, Conway, Fethney, Mclean, Ransley, Taylor and Whitman and apologies for the late arrival of Councillor Imarni.

 

4.    By the  Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

(Full details are in the minutes under Announcements of the Leader and Cabinet).

 

Minutes:

4.1       By the Mayor:

None.

4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Cllr Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Clark, Conway, Mclean, Taylor and Whitman and apologies for the late arrival of Councillor Imarni.

 

Cllr Tindall advised that apologies had been received from Councillor Ransley.

 

Cllr Fisher offered apologies for Councillor Fethney

 

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Leadership

 

Cllr Williams confirmed there was nothing to report on this item of the agenda but was happy to take questions.

 

Cllr Pringle mentioned that Cllr Williams at the last meeting commented that Dacorum Borough Council didn’t need to make any plans for the possibility of a chaotic no deal Brexit, because we are not Kent.  Cllr Pringle said that Cabinet has arranged to discuss this on the 19th of March, just 10 days before we could crash out without any deal, and asked Cllr Williams if this was too little too late and can he explain the preparations that will be put in place to advise and support local businesses affected by this and also our EU27 residents who are tenants or Dacorum Borough Council employees and our neighbours. 

 

Cllr Williams said that at the last meeting he advised it was very difficult for us to make arrangements for circumstance which we can’t possibly forsee, and unlike some of Kent areas and port areas where there may be particular difficulties, where you may be expected to make explicit arrangements.  Subsequent to that the Government has announced funding for each district Council in the UK of £35k over two years, to support Brexit preparations and therefore it seemed appropriate for Cabinet to put this onto the next agenda to look at the issues that may be relevant to the Council in relation to Brexit. 

 

Cllr Williams said that in regards to the workforce a study was undertaken and there were very few EU nationals working within the organisation, but clearly there is no statutory requirement for them to declare their nationality, so that information is based on those who were willing to respond. 

 

Cllr Williams advised that given the status of the UK Governments standing for EU nationals, that he didn’t believe any EU national living in the UK has anything to fear from Brexit and will retain the right to reside here.

 

Cllr England asked if Council agreed that the £60k per year – 5 year contract since the market moved away from Market Square was done to facilitate improvements but has not come to fruition.  Cllr England thinks it was unfortunate that the tender process produced only two bidders and one fell away leaving the incumbent free to name his price, resulting in a £40k pressure to the budget.  

 

Cllr Williams queried what he was being asked to agree.

 

Cllr England said that he is asking for agreement that it was unfortunate.

 

Cllr Williams confirmed that any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Questions

To consider questions (if any) by members of the Council of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Solicitor to the Council.

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Business from the last council meeting

To consider any business referred from the previous meeting

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

None.

7.

Cabinet referrals pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

 

Report to follow after Cabinet meeting of 12/02/19

Decision:

Resolved:

 

The following referrals from Cabinet on 12 February were approved.

 

7.1       CA/018/19 – Budget 2019/20

 

General Fund Revenue Estimate

a) set a Dacorum Borough Council General Fund Council Tax requirement of £11.532m, and a provisional amount of £12.348m for the combined Borough Council and Parish Councils’ requirement for 2019/20;

b) approve an increase of 2.99% in Council Tax for Dacorum Borough Council;

c) approve the base estimates for 2019/20, as shown in Appendix A1, and the indicative budget forecasts for 2019/20 – 2022/23, as shown in Appendix A2;

d) approve the forecast balances of Revenue Reserves as shown in Appendix J, and approve section 10 of this report as the updated Reserves Strategy;

e) approve increases in Fees and Charges for 2019/20 as set out in Appendices C3, D3, and E3;

f) approve and adopt the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20, attached at Appendix K;

g) approve and adopt the Treasury Management Principles and Practices for 2019/20, attached at Appendix L;

h) approve and adopt the Capital Strategy for 2019/20, attached at Appendix M;
 

i) note that this budget paper, if approved by Council, will form part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

Capital Programme

j) approve the revised Capital Programme and Capital Strategy for 2018/19, and for 2019/20 to 2022/23, as
detailed in Appendix I and Appendix M respectively;

k) approve the financing proposals in Appendix I subject to an annual review of the financing options by the Corporate Director (Finance & Operations), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources, during the preparation of the Statement of Accounts.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

l) reduce dwelling rents by 1% in accordance with government legislation, resulting in an average rent of £100.08 per week (based on 52 weeks);

m) approve the HRA estimate for 2019/20 as shown in Appendix F.

 

 

7.2       CA/019/19 – Period 9 Budget Monitoring Report

 

Cllr Williams mentioned the Period 9 Budget Monitoring Report and resolve to recommend.

 

Cllr Griffiths seconded the report and this was agreed by Council.

 

7.3       CA/021/19 – Senior Officer Pay

 

Cllr Williams put forward the proposals for Senior Officers Pay for 2019/20 to be resolved to recommend.

 

Cllr Griffiths seconded the report and this was agreed by Council.

 

7.4       CA/022/19 – Growth and Infrastructure

 

Cllr Williams asked for the Growth and Infrastructure Strategy to be resolved to recommend.

 

Cllr Griffiths seconded the proposals and this was agreed by Council.

 

Minutes:

The following referrals from Cabinet on 12 February were approved.

 

7.1       CA/018/19 – Budget 2019/20

 

Cllr Elliot would like to move the budget.  Cllr Williams seconded the budget and reserved his right.

 

Cllr Elliot set out the budget context.

 

·         Over the last 8 years, the Council has already faced reductions in its annual government funding of over £7m. This budget sets out plans for Dacorum Borough Council to save a further £900k in 2019/20.

·         In addition to this, local authority finances face a period of review as the current 4-year funding deal is set to end in 2020. Government continues to work on its Fair Funding Review which will determine how funding is allocated among councils beyond 2020.

·         That is why the Council has set the budget for 2019/20 with a strong focus on sustainability and continuing to deliver its corporate priorities into the medium-term. We have made significant strides towards balancing the budget for the next two years, having already identified savings initiatives of around £300k to address future years’ savings targets.

 

Cllr Elliot put forward the continued investment in the Borough.

 

·         Dacorum Borough Council is proposing a capital investment programme of over £225m to further enhance the services we provide to our residents over the next 5 years.

·         Some of the areas identified for capital investment include:

­   £90m investment in our existing housing stock

­   £80m investment in our ambitious and successful new build programme

­   £4m investment in facilitating affordable housing developments and the delivery of additional temporary accommodation for some of our most vulnerable residents

­   £4m grant funding to Housing Associations for the delivery of Affordable Housing

­   £11m investment in community facilities including car parks, cemeteries, and leisure

 

Cllr Elliot advised how front-line services will be maintained.

 

·         Over the last 8 years Dacorum Borough Council has successfully protected its front-line services in the face of 70% government funding reductions. The council has again taken steps to find the savings required for 2019 without reducing its front-line services.

·         The Council has worked hard to deliver efficiencies required through fostering a culture of innovation and a strong focus on performance and continuous improvement.

·         This has enabled us to deliver savings through a range of initiatives including:

­   more efficient staffing structures;

­   a more commercial approach to contract negotiation; and,

­   The Forum, which has already reduced our annual running costs significantly, but which will offer increased value for money from April 2019 when the Clinical Commissioning Group will take up a tenancy on around 25% of the building.

 

Cllr Elliot set out the Council Tax proposals.

 

·         As part of the budget for 2019/20, the Council is proposing to increase Council Tax by 2.99%.

·         This equates to an increase of £5.85 for a Band D property, or around 11p per week.

·         This proposal was strongly endorsed through the Council’s budget consultation process, with over 95% of residents involved supporting the decision to increase Council Tax by the maximum permissible in order to enhance front  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Motion to Council pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the following motions:

 

·        Liberal Democrat alternative budget 2019/20

·        Modern Slavery proposed by Councillor Fisher

Additional documents:

Decision:

The following motion proposed by Councillor Fisher was agreed:

 

The Council has demonstrated its concern with the serious problem of modern slavery by providing awareness training for staff and members. However the Council needs to press ahead with work to ensure that its supply chain is free from any taint of modern slavery.

 

It therefore resolves to sign the Charter Against Modern Slavery put forward by the Co-operative Party and already signed by over eighty councils of various political complexions.

 

This pledges to:

1.    Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

2.    Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanctions for non-compliance.

3.    Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

4.    Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

5.    Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

6.    Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistleblowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

7.    Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

8.    Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

9.    Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

10.  Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.

 

 

The Council will take a lead locally in the fight against modern slavery.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Fisher set out the proposal supporting the fight against modern slavery locally.

 

The Council has demonstrated its concern with the serious problem of modern slavery by providing awareness training for staff and members. However the Council needs to press ahead with work to ensure that its supply chain is free from any taint of modern slavery.

 

It therefore resolves to sign the Charter Against Modern Slavery put forward by the Co-operative Party and already signed by over eighty councils of various political complexions.

 

This pledges to:

1.    Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

2.    Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanctions for non-compliance.

3.    Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

4.    Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

5.    Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

6.    Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistleblowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

7.    Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

8.    Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

9.    Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

10.  Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.

 

Cllr Williams felt the motion replicated work that has already been undertaken and appropriate measures are already in place, therefore he is happy to support the motion and implement it as policy.

 

Cllr C Wyatt-Lowe said she would be voting to support this motion and would like to reflect that in Hertfordshire where we have been working together in partnership which we do very well at all levels of local government and with local police.  We already have many elements that comprise this particular proposal and how widespread this has got.  Cllr C Wyatt-Lowe would like to remind Members that Hertfordshire Police were the first Police force in the Country to obtain a successful conviction for offences against modern slavery and have done great pioneering work on this issue, which has been recognised in the House of Commons.  Cllr C Wyatt-Lowe said she will certainly support this motion.

 

Cllr England said this is very much not just a policy issue, it’s a real life issue for many, many people.  Early in 2015 the coalition government passed the Modern Slavery Act to make it easier to identify victims and bring traffickers to justice and prosecutions have increased as a result, but now many of Theresa  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Overview and Scrutiny referrals

To consider any Overview and Scrutiny referrals.

Decision:

There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny.

 

Minutes:

None.

10.

Changes to committee membership

To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership

 

Decision:

Councillor Mills will be replacing Councillor Clark on Development Management Committee with immediate effect.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Williams confirmed that Cllr Mills will be replacing Cllr Clark on Development Management Committee with immediate effect.  Cllr Marshall seconded and this was agreed by Council.

 

11.

Change to committee dates

To consider the following committee date changes:

 

Move Group meetings from 18 February 2020 to 25 February 2020

Move Council from 19 February 2020 to 26 February 2020

Move Call-in contingency from 26 February 2020 to 19 February 2020

 

Decision:

The following changes were agreed:


Move Group meetings from 18 February 2020 to 25 February 2020

Move Council from 19 February 2020 to 26 February 2020

Move Call-in contingency from 26 February 2020 to 19 February 2020

 

Minutes:

The following changes to committee dates were agreed:

·           Move Group meetings from 18 February 2020 to 25 February 2020

·           Move Council from 19 February 2020 to 26 February 2020

·           Move Call-in contingency from 26 February 2020 to 19 February 2020

 

12.

Electoral Review Committee Referral pdf icon PDF 77 KB

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND

 

1.     That Council confirm the following Polling Stations for the elections to be held on 2 May 2019:

 

  1. That the administrators of the Church Hall, St Mary and Joseph, on St John’s Road be approached to host the Polling Station Boxmoor Ward, polling district AGB. In the event of the Church Hall not being available then Camelot RFC be confirmed as the temporary Polling Station for the AGB District for the election on 2 May 2019.

 

  1. That the polling station for Tring East Ward, polling district DAA, be moved from Grove Road Primary School to the Scout Hut, Grove Road.

 

  1. That the polling station for the Nash Mills Ward, polling districts BA, BAA, and BAB, be moved from Nash Mills C of E School to Nash Mills Parish Village Hall, Lower Road, Nash Mills

 

  1. That, in the event that Communal Hall is not available, electors in polling district AC will be redirected to the temporary Polling Station in Adeyfield Community Centre; where they will be admitted through a separate entrance

 

2.      That Council agree to amend theTHE BOROUGH OF DACORUM (PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING PLACES) ORDER 2011 to include the changes noted in (a-d) above noting that Camelot RFC will be used for the May 2019 election and will revert to St Mary & Joseph, Boxmoor thereafter.

 

(Note: since the above meeting St Mary and St Joseph have been contacted and due to the existence of a number of prior bookings they cannot provide the facilities we require for a polling station for the local elections in May 2019. However they have confirmed that they would be prepared to be the venue for the Polling Station in future years.)

 

Decision:

1.    That Council confirm the following Polling Stations for the elections to be held on 2 May 2019:

 

  1. That the administrators of the Church Hall, St Mary and Joseph, on St John’s Road be approached to host the Polling Station Boxmoor Ward, polling district AGB. In the event of the Church Hall not being available then Camelot RFC be confirmed as the temporary Polling Station for the AGB District for the election on 2 May 2019.

 

  1. That the polling station for Tring East Ward, polling district DAA, be moved from Grove Road Primary School to the Scout Hut, Grove Road.

 

  1. That the polling station for the Nash Mills Ward, polling districts BA, BAA, and BAB, be moved from Nash Mills C of E School to Nash Mills Parish Village Hall, Lower Road, Nash Mills

 

  1. That, in the event that Communal Hall is not available, electors in polling district AC will be redirected to the temporary Polling Station in Adeyfield Community Centre; where they will be admitted through a separate entrance

 

2.    That Council agree to amend theTHE BOROUGH OF DACORUM (PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING PLACES) ORDER 2011 to include the changes noted in (a-d) above noting that Camelot RFC will be used for the May 2019 election and will revert to St Mary & Joseph, Boxmoor thereafter.

 

(Note: since the above meeting St Mary and St Joseph have been contacted and due to the existence of a number of prior bookings they cannot provide the facilities we require for a polling station for the local elections in May 2019. However they have confirmed that they would be prepared to be the venue for the Polling Station in future years.)

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Williams advised that Members have before them a resolution from the Electoral Review Sub Committee to amend three polling stations in the Borough, in Tring East, Nash Mills and Boxmoor and to have reserve provision should a conversation within Adeyfield Ward be unavailable, which I’m assured it will be available. 

 

Cllr Williams mentioned the Committee resolved it’s preference in regards to Boxmoor for the relocation of a now closed polling station to St Mary’s and Joseph Church and that is still our aspiration for the long term, but the Church have indicated that the hall will not be available for May 2nd this year, therefore the fall back provision of Camelot Rugby Club is being recommended for this order.

 

Cllr Griffiths seconded the proposals and they were agreed by Council.