Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

There are no minutes available to be signed at this meeting.

 

Decision:

There were no minutes available to be signed at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no minutes available to be signed at this meeting.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

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:

 

Cllr Williams

Leader of the Council

Cllr Banks

Cllr Williams

Community and Regulatory Services

Corporate and Contracted Services

Cllr G Sutton

Cllr Elliot

Cllr Mrs Griffiths

Cllr Anderson                    

Planning & Infrastructure

Finance & Resources

Housing

Environmental Services

 

Decision:

4.1       By the Mayor:

In the lead up to Christmas I attended a number of carol services. On Christmas Day morning I attended two elderly persons care homes, Fire Stations and the Salvation Army.

 

Last week we had an excellent quiz night. Thank you to everyone that attended to support Sunnyside Rural Trust.

 

On Monday 27th January at 6pm in the market place there is a Holocaust Memorial to remember all those who have been affected by genocide. Everyone is welcome. 

 

Tring Park presents KIPPS, the new half a sixpence musical in February. It is an exceptional performance and tickets are selling fast.

 

Finally, the civic dinner will be held on 27 March at Pendley Manor. Please support if you can.”


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Bhinder, Imarni, Oguchi, and Independent Member Councillor Maddern.

 

Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillor Bowden.

 

4.4       Council 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:

In the lead up to Christmas I attended a number of carol services. On Christmas Day morning I attended two elderly persons care homes, Fire Stations and the Salvation Army.

 

Last week we had an excellent quiz night. Thank you to everyone that attended to support Sunnyside Rural Trust.

 

On Monday 27th January at 6pm in the market place there is a Holocaust Memorial to remember all those who have been affected by genocide. Everyone is welcome. 

 

Tring Park presents KIPPS, the new half a sixpence musical in February. It is an exceptional performance and tickets are selling fast.

 

Finally, the civic dinner will be held on 27 March at Pendley Manor. Please support if you can.”


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Bhinder, Imarni, Oguchi, and Independent Member Councillor Maddern.

 

Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillor Bowden.

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council

 

Councillor Williams had nothing to report but welcomed questions.

 

Questions:

 

Councillor Tindall said he understood that South West Herts group of local authorities had made some decisions on the Governments housing targets and were making representations to the Secretary of State. He asked for an update if this rumour is true. Councillor Williams believed it was a rumour as he hadn’t heard that South West Herts had come to a conclusion. He felt Dacorum’s position had always been very clear and we would know more information after the joint meeting on 12 February.

 

Councillor Stevens said the saga of the multi storey car park in Berkhamsted continues and he read out an email from a resident who was also a member of the parking forum concerning the lack of lighting. He asked for the Leader to investigate the issue. Councillor Williams said he carried out a visit to the site last Wednesday evening at approximately 7pm and confirmed it was dark but there was no electricity to the car park to provide lighting. He agreed he would carry out enquiries and come back to him as soon as possible on the matter. 

 

There were no further questions.

 

 

Councillor Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services

 

The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows:

 

Environmental Community Protection- Operations

 

As we are all aware fly tipping is a problem for many of our communities. The good news is that the waste enforcement team have purchased 10 new cameras to help fight fly tipping across the borough. These cameras will be used covertly.

These cameras should provide better evidence to aid future prosecutions. In the last month 10 fixed penalty notices have been issued and 5 PACE interviews have been undertaken for littering and fly tipping offences.

Air Quality Management

There is some early indication of improving air quality across our three monitored areas - Northchurch, London Road and Lawn Lane.

 

We have completed monitoring  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Motion

To consider the following Motion from Councillor England:

 

 1. This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly benefit payment which replaces the six current working age benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in Dacorum.

 

2. This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those thousands of local residents.

3. In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship caused by -

a. The five week wait for claimants to receive their benefits.

b. Payments going to one named member of a household.

c. The rent element of benefit being included in payments to Claimants

4. To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council requests that an additional financial provision be included in the budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or loans.

5.  In addition, Council requests that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -

a. End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning helps people into        work.

b. Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing new claimants to apply on-line.

c. Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid workers.

d. Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is funded.

 

Decision:

The following Motion was proposed by Councillor England and seconded by Councillor Barry:

 

1. This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly benefit payment which replaces the six current working age benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in Dacorum.

 

2. This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those thousands of local residents.

 

3. In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship caused by -

a. The five week wait for claimants to receive their benefits.

b. Payments going to one named member of a household.

c. The rent element of benefit being included in payments to Claimants

 

4. To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council requests that an additional financial provision be included in the budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or loans.

 

5.  In addition, Council requests that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -

a. End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning helps people into work.

b. Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing new claimants to apply on-line.

c. Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid workers.

d. Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is funded.

 

A recorded vote was held:

 

18 for (Councillors Hollinghurst, Ransley, Townsend, Pringle, Link, McDowell, Claughton, Allen, Stevens, Taylor, Symington, Barry, Freedman, Woolner, England, Tindall, Hobson and Uttley)

 

28 against (Councillors Beauchamp, Williams, Sinha, Johnson, Peter, Barrett, Arslan, R Sutton, Bassadone, Timmis, Rogers, Durrant, Silwal, Adeleke, Guest, Wyatt-Lowe, Hearn, Riddick, Douris, Griffiths, Elliot, Anderson, Banks, G Sutton, Birnie, Chapman, Suqlain Mahmood and Sobaan Mahmood).

 

Therefore the Motion was lost.

 

 

Minutes:

The following Motion was proposed by Councillor England, and seconded by Councillor Barry:

1. This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly benefit payment which replaces the six current working age benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in Dacorum.

2. This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those thousands of local residents.

3. In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship caused by -

a. The five week wait for claimants to receive their benefits.

b. Payments going to one named member of a household.

c. The rent element of benefit being included in payments to Claimants

4. To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council requests that an additional financial provision be included in the budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or loans.

5.  In addition, Council requests that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -

a. End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning helps people into work.

b. Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing new claimants to apply on-line.

c. Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid workers.

d. Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is funded.

Councillor England read the following statement:

“Universal credit has been in the headlines again and again since it was first announced in 2010.

The UC project has cost many times more than originally predicted and implementation has taken far longer than expected. There are clearly many problems.

We as a Council can do our part to help get to solutions: We know our community best, so on behalf of the residents of Dacorum it’s right that we add our voice to the wider lived-experience that the status-quo with the coming of UC in present form is not working as imagined, for our people and needs further changes before it is rolled out to Housing Benefit and Tax Credits transfers here.

As a major stock-holding Authority, Dacorum is a big landlord, facing the full effect of the impact of UC on rent arrears if people lose control of their budgeting.

It is important that we try to use the perspective of a UC Claimant:

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Universal Credit Motion

The following Motion was proposed by Councillor England, and seconded by Councillor Barry:

1. This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly benefit payment which replaces the six current working age benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in Dacorum.

2. This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those thousands of local residents.

3. In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship caused by -

a. The five week wait for claimants to receive their benefits.

b. Payments going to one named member of a household.

c. The rent element of benefit being included in payments to Claimants

4. To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council requests that an additional financial provision be included in the budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or loans.

5.  In addition, Council requests that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -

a. End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning helps people into work.

b. Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing new claimants to apply on-line.

c. Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid workers.

d. Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is funded.

 

Rejected
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 6.

    Questions pdf icon PDF 514 KB

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

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Councillor Pringle asked the following question in writing to the Leader of the Council:

     

    Protection of EU citizens’ rights in Dacorum 

     

    In view of recent advice to the government, as outlined in House of Commons Library briefing paper No: 8772 (Annex 1 below) and the deadline for EU citizens to apply for settled status being just 18 months away (Annex 2 below), does the Leader agree that it is incumbent on all levels of government to take responsibility for assisting EU citizens who have built their lives in the UK?

     

    Does the leader agree that DBC should be doing all we can to ensure those EU citizens resident in Dacorum can optimise their opportunities of successfully apply for settled status rights.

     

    In particular:

     

    1.    Will the Leader ensure that Dacorum Borough Council will take all reasonable and necessary steps to assist EU citizens resident here, particularly the vulnerable, with applications for settled status?

     

    2.    In particular, will he pledge to introduce the following measures:

    1.    Immediately provide easily accessible information and support to EU citizens on the DBC website. This would include a letter from the Leader to EU citizens outlining in plain language that EU citizens are welcome in Dacorum and the support that they can access in applying for settled status (such as the example set by the leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Annex 3) and links to government information.

     

    3.            Set up an urgent review of services to consider how DBC can further offer support to EU citizens in Dacorum in terms of:

    1.    Helping with process

    2.    Providing additional resources necessary, such as computer terminals in libraries for those who do not have the app

    3.    Fast tracking requests for evidence of residence in Dacorum to support Settled Status applications and training staff to proactively assist such applicants

    4.    Training staff to generally support and advise residents making such applications

    5.    Commit to providing the funding necessary to reach out to vulnerable groups, such as

    1.    providing grants to outreach groups and

    2.    ensuring all DBC staff who work with the elderly, the homeless and residents with other vulnerabilities are trained in proactively offering appropriate support and identifying and supporting those at risk of failing to apply for settled status

     

    ANNEX 1

     

    Extract 1 from Briefing Paper No:8772 House of Commons Library

    Commons Library Briefing, 3 January 2020

     

    “The Home Office is undertaking a range of outreach and communications activities targeted towards EUSS applicants. But it has been estimated that about 30% of EU citizens may struggle with the EUSS application process, whether due to a lack of awareness of the scheme or difficulties making an application or proving their eligibility. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to losing their status and entitlements in the UK. Groups identified include the elderly, people with limited English, children and young people in the care system, homeless people, people who arrive soon before the deadline and people in casual employment.8

     

    Another major concern the 3 million have  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Pringle asked the following question in writing to the Leader of the Council:

     

    Protection of EU citizens’ rights in Dacorum 

     

    In view of recent advice to the government, as outlined in House of Commons Library briefing paper No: 8772 (Annex 1 below) and the deadline for EU citizens to apply for settled status being just 18 months away (Annex 2 below), does the Leader agree that it is incumbent on all levels of government to take responsibility for assisting EU citizens who have built their lives in the UK?

     

    Does the leader agree that DBC should be doing all we can to ensure those EU citizens resident in Dacorum can optimise their opportunities of successfully apply for settled status rights.

     

    In particular:

     

    1.    Will the Leader ensure that Dacorum Borough Council will take all reasonable and necessary steps to assist EU citizens resident here, particularly the vulnerable, with applications for settled status?

     

    2.    In particular, will he pledge to introduce the following measures:

    1.    Immediately provide easily accessible information and support to EU citizens on the DBC website. This would include a letter from the Leader to EU citizens outlining in plain language that EU citizens are welcome in Dacorum and the support that they can access in applying for settled status (such as the example set by the leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Annex 3) and links to government information.

     

    2.    Take immediate steps to publicise across Dacorum the risks that EU citizens face if they do not apply for settled status and the steps they should urgently take to do so.

     

    3.    Set up an urgent review of services to consider how DBC can further offer support to EU citizens in Dacorum in terms of:

    1.    Helping with process

    2.    Providing additional resources necessary, such as computer terminals in libraries for those who do not have the app

    3.    Fast tracking requests for evidence of residence in Dacorum to support Settled Status applications and training staff to proactively assist such applicants

    4.    Training staff to generally support and advise residents making such applications

    5.    Commit to providing the funding necessary to reach out to vulnerable groups, such as

    1.    providing grants to outreach groups and

    2.    ensuring all DBC staff who work with the elderly, the homeless and residents with other vulnerabilities are trained in proactively offering appropriate support and identifying and supporting those at risk of failing to apply for settled status

     

    ANNEX 1

     

    Extract 1 from Briefing Paper No:8772 House of Commons Library

    Commons Library Briefing, 3 January 2020

     

    “The Home Office is undertaking a range of outreach and communications activities targeted towards EUSS applicants. But it has been estimated that about 30% of EU citizens may struggle with the EUSS application process, whether due to a lack of awareness of the scheme or difficulties making an application or proving their eligibility. They are therefore particularly vulnerable to losing their status and entitlements in the UK. Groups identified include the elderly, people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

    7.

    Business from the last council meeting

    To consider any business referred from the previous meeting

    Decision:

    None.

    Minutes:

    None.

    8.

    Cabinet referrals pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

     

    8.1       CA/121/19       10 December 2019     Committee Timetable 2020/21

    8.2       CA/122/19       10 December 2019     Draft Corporate Plan

     

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Resolved:

    That the following be approved:

    10 December 2019

     

    8.1 CA/121/19 Committee Timetable 2020/21

     

    Decision

     

    To approve the Meeting Timetable for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix A to the Cabinet report.

     

    8.2 CA/122/19 Draft Corporate Plan

     

    Decision

     

    The adoption of the Corporate Plan 2020 to 2025.

     

     

    14 January 2020

     

     

    8.3 CA/007/20 Treasury Management 19/20 Mid-Year

     

    Decision

     

    The acceptance of the Cabinet report on mid- year treasury management performance and prudential indicators for 2019/20.

     

    8.4 CA/010/20 Berkhamsted Sports Centre

     

    Decision

     

    That a sum of £65,000 for survey costs to help mitigate potential site risks and develop a more detailed scheme proposal for further approval be agreed.

     

    8.5 CA/011/20 HRA Business Plan

     

    Decision

     

    1.    The approval of the updated Housing Revenue Account Business Plan

    2.    The approval of the revised development programme budgets as set out in Section 8.3 of the Cabinet report

     

    Minutes:

    That the following be approved:

    10 December 2019

     

    8.1 CA/121/19 Committee Timetable 2020/21

     

    Decision

     

    To approve the Meeting Timetable for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix A to the Cabinet report.

     

    8.2 CA/122/19 Draft Corporate Plan

     

    Decision

     

    The adoption of the Corporate Plan 2020 to 2025.

     

    14 January 2020

     

    8.3 CA/007/20 Treasury Management 19/20 Mid-Year

     

    Decision

     

    The acceptance of the Cabinet report on mid- year treasury management performance and prudential indicators for 2019/20.

     

    8.4 CA/010/20 Berkhamsted Sports Centre

     

    Decision

     

    That a sum of £65,000 for survey costs to help mitigate potential site risks and develop a more detailed scheme proposal for further approval be agreed.

     

    8.5 CA/011/20 HRA Business Plan

    Decision

    1.    The approval of the updated Housing Revenue Account Business Plan

    2.    The approval of the revised development programme budgets as set out in Section 8.3 of the Cabinet report

     

    9.

    Overview and Scrutiny referrals

    None.

    Decision:

     None.

    Minutes:

     None.

    10.

    Changes to committee membership

    To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership

     

    Decision:

    None.

    Minutes:

    None.

    11.

    Change to committee dates

    To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates

     

    Decision:

    None.

    Minutes:

    None.

    12.

    Constitution update pdf icon PDF 71 KB

    Decision:

    The following update to the Councils Constitution was agreed:

    That Council agree to delete paragraph 2.1.3 at page 55 of Part 3 of the Constitution which reads:

    “A Member of the Cabinet is excluded from membership of any Regulatory Committee.”

     

    And insert a new clause 2.1.3 to read :

     

    “A Member of the Cabinet is permitted to be a  member of any Regulatory Committee but shall not attend any committee meeting which is hearing an appeal or review against a decision which is made by a service which falls within their Portfolio”

     

    Minutes:

    The following update to the Councils Constitution was agreed:

    That Council agree to delete paragraph 2.1.3 at page 55 of Part 3 of the Constitution which reads:

    “A Member of the Cabinet is excluded from membership of any Regulatory Committee.”

     

    And insert a new clause 2.1.3 to read:

     

    “A Member of the Cabinet is permitted to be a member of any Regulatory Committee but shall not attend any committee meeting which is hearing an appeal or review against a decision which is made by a service which falls within their Portfolio”

     

    Councillor Hollinghurst asked for it to be recorded that he didn’t agree with the amendment.