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To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2019 and 22 January 2020 (to be circulated separately).
The minutes of the meetings held on 27 November 2019 and 22 January 2020 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 Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services)
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:
4.1 By the
The Mayor announced the sad passing of former Dacorum Councillor Terry Eastman, former Mayor Ann-Marie Barling, and former Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council, Keith Emsall. One minutes silence was held in remembrance.
4.3 By the Group
4.4 Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:
(Full details are in the minutes under Announcements of the Leader and Cabinet).
To consider questions (if any) by members of the Council of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Solicitor to the Council.
1. Question to Cllr. Graham Sutton from Cllr. Sally Symington
“A recent FOI request by a Berkhamsted resident has revealed that £223,563 out of £3,286,091.73 of unspent S106 monies held by Dacorum Borough Council has come from Berkhamsted developments. Of this, just £14,235 is allocated for projects in Berkhamsted and is earmarked for improvements to playgrounds.
Please can the portfolio holder confirm these figures and detail which developments the monies arose from; the dates the monies were received and the time at which the funds expire?”
Councillor G Sutton’s response:
A total of £223,563 s106 receipts is held for various projects in Berkhamsted. Of this, £19,398 is currently committed so the available balance is £204,165.
The details of the cases, twenty in total, are given on the spreadsheet which accompanies this response and shows the developments and sites from which the receipts arose, and the expiry dates for spend.
For most of the cases – fifteen – there is no expiry date specified on the s106 obligation. The remaining five expire in either 2023 or 2024.
For all cases, our internal management systems for s106 receipts provide monthly alerts for officers across the Council to help ensure that deadlines are not missed. Where no date is specified, a default timescale of five years from receipt is used.
With reference to the available balance of £204,165, the details on spend will be defined in the s106 obligation.
Councillor Symington asked if it would be possible to reinitiate publication of the developer contributions.
Councillor G Sutton replied he would speak to the team and see if that was possible. He advised in Berkhamsted they had around 20 but for the whole Borough it would be considerably more. He added that he could provide Councillor Symington with a copy of the case spreadsheet she was referring to.
Councillor Symington asked for confirmation that the council adopts the premise that the S106 monies are for benefit of local community from which they derive and asked for assurance that local representatives have a say in how those monies are spent.
Councillor G Sutton confirmed that local communities and representatives are consulted on this. He advised each s106 monies may contain its own terms and conditions on how it can be spent and what it can be used for.
Councillor Symington advised that planning permission was recently granted for a development in Shooters Way and attached was a £75k s106 award. She asked what assurance the Portfolio Holder could give to the residents of Berkhamsted that these monies will be collected and spent on the sports facilities on which they were intended.
Councillor G Sutton advised that if those are the terms and conditions of the planning application then the team will definitely collect the money and send in the right direction.
2. Question to Councillor Banks from Councillor Symington
Would the portfolio holder agree that Council contractual procedures should not impede local organisations or clubs from applying for grants to improve community assets, such as ... view the full decision text for item 5.
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/018/20 11 February 2020 Budget 2020/21
7.2 CA/019/20 11 February 2020 Q3 Budget Monitoring Report
7.3 CA/021/20 11 February 2020 Senior Officer Pay Policy
That the following be approved:
11 February 2020
7.1 CA/018/20 Budget 2020/21
A recorded vote was held:
38 For, 3 Against and 6 Abstentions.
General Fund Revenue Estimate
a) set a Dacorum Borough Council General Fund Council Tax requirement of £12.086m, and a provisional amount of £13.058m for the combined Borough Council and Parish Councils’ requirement for 2020/21;
b) approve a Band D Council Tax increase of £5 (2.48%) for Dacorum Borough Council;
c) approve the base estimates for 2020/21, as shown in Appendix A1, and the indicative budget forecasts for 2020/21 – 2023/24, 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 2020/21 as set out in Appendices C3, D3, and E3;
f) approve and adopt the Treasury Management Strategy for 2020/21, attached at Appendix K;
g) approve and adopt the Capital Strategy for 2020/21, attached at Appendix L;
note that this budget paper, if approved by Council, will form part
of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
i) approve the Capital Programme for 2020/21 to 2024/25, as detailed in Appendix I and Appendix M respectively;
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)
k) set dwelling rents according to the new MHCLG Rent Standard, which provides for a rent increase of CPI+1% (2.7% in total). The average dwelling rents is proposed to increase to £103.12 in 202/21, from its current level of £100.47(based on 52 weeks);
l) approve the HRA estimate for 2020/21 as shown in Appendix F.
m) note that the hourly rate of all Council employees continues to exceed the rate proposed by the rates of the Living Wage Foundation, for 2019/20 (to be reviewed annually thereafter).
n) approve the statement by the Chief Finance Officer regarding the robustness of the budget estimates and level of reserves as set out in Appendix M.
7.2 CA/019/20 Q3 Budget Monitoring Report
The following Motion was proposed by Councillor Tindall and seconded by Councillor England:
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BUDGET PROPOSAL 2020/2021
These proposals are intended as a supplement to the council’s budget and we have not proposed any cuts to existing services. We accept that there will be a council tax increase of £5.00 as there is more need for services than there is for a tax freeze. We have also taken note of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and have only proposed new services and initiatives that can be paid from existing resources and reserves in order that the financial stability of the council is not put at risk.
The following tables outline additional, one-off expenditure plans totalling £1.35m for 2020/21 with provision for a further £180k in 2021/22 for the initiatives in Table 2, subject to review at the end of the first year.
The maximum total funding requirement over the two years is £1.53m, which would be funded through the New Homes Bonus receipt of £1.78m currently proposed for the Dacorum Development Reserve. If these initiatives were implemented in full, there would be a residual contribution of £250k to the Dacorum Development Reserve in 2020/21.
Table 1, General Fund one-year expenditure initiatives:
Overview and Scrutiny referrals
Changes to committee membership
To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership
Change to committee dates
To consider the following changes to committee dates:
· Additional SPAE OSC meeting on 22 April 2020.
· Move SPAE OSC from 21 October to 27 October 2020.
The following changes to committee dates were agreed:
Ø Additional SPAE OSC meeting on 22nd April 2020
Ø Move SPAE OSC from 21st October to 27th October 2020
Council Tax Declaration 2020/21
Report to follow
The Council Tax Declaration for 2020/21 was agreed.