Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 26th February, 2020 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 175 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2019 and 22 January 2020 (to be circulated separately).

Additional documents:

Decision:

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.

 

Minutes:

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.

 

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 G Sutton

Cllr Williams

Cllr Elliot

Cllr Mrs Griffiths

Cllr Anderson 

Cllr Banks                 

Planning and Infrastructure

Corporate and Contracted Services

Finance and Resources

Housing

Environmental Services

Community and Regulatory Services

 

 

 

 

Decision:

4.1       By the Mayor:

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.


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Adeleke, Imarni, Oguchi and Suqlain Mahmood.

 

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:

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.


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Adeleke, Imarni, Oguchi and Suqlain Mahmood.

 

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 Townsend asked if we were on top of preparations for Coronavirus. The Leader said he wasn’t aware of any specific advice beyond what the NHS had already advised. 

 

Councillor Uttley referred back to the minutes from the meeting in November and asked if we had missed an opportunity in October 2019 to change energy contracts. The Leader advised that we hadn’t missed an opportunity as we usually buy up to a year in advance to secure the price. He added that we had consciously gone for a green energy supplier this year.

 

 

Councillor G Sutton, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Infrastructure

 

The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows:

 

SOUTH WEST HERTS JOINT STRATEGIC PLAN

 

·         As Members may be aware, this is a joint initiative between Dacorum, St Albans, Hertsmere, Watford and Three Rivers and Hertfordshire County Council to look at the future shape and extent of development that may be needed in South West Herts, and how we can work together to secure the best locations for development and address wider infrastructure needs in the long term, to around 2050.

·         Members should be aware via Member News that there is a current live consultation underway. Under the banner of ‘SW Herts – Your Future’ this is a very simple online survey that asks people what they like about SW Herts, and what they think are the biggest issues the area faces.

·         Although aimed at the under-25 group through promotion on social media and an easy-to-use format (the under 25’s are a hard to reach group), the survey is open to all. Respondents are asked to select their age group, and the District or Borough where they live or work, so we will be able to analyse the demographic spread when the consultation closes.

·         I would encourage all Members to complete the survey and indeed to forward the access details to your contacts, family and friends so we can maximise exposure and responses. All six Councils are actively promoting the survey through their communications teams, social media accounts and websites.

·         You can access the survey at http://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/do-it-online/consultation-feedback/current-consultation

 

DACORUM’S GROWTH AND INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY

 

  • Last year the Council approved a strategy to address the challenges of major growth in the Borough to 2050.
  • To remind Members, the strategy is based on the vision of “we want Dacorum to be known as a place where: everyone has the best start in life; both residents and businesses have the opportunity to achieve their hopes  ...  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:

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.

Minutes:

1.  Question to Councillor G Sutton from Councillor 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 poorly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

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 79 KB

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

Decision:

Resolved:

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.

 

Decision

 

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;

 

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

Capital Programme

i)      approve the Capital Programme for 2020/21 to 2024/25, as detailed in Appendix I and Appendix M respectively;

 

j)      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)

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.


Employer Terms & Conditions

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).


Statement by Chief Finance Officer

 

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

 

Decision

 

  1. Consider the budget monitoring position for each of the above accounts;

  2. Recommend to Council approval of the revised capital programme to move £4.956m slippage identified at Quarter 3 into financial year 2020/21 as detailed in Appendix C;

  3. Recommend to Council approval of supplementary revenue budgets funded from reserves:

  • Supplementary budget of £40k in the Neighbourhood Delivery service, funded from the Management of Change reserve, to fund interim resource to support delivery of new service initiatives

  • Additional budget of £30k in the Elections service, funded from drawdown of £30k from the Election reserve

  • Supplementary budget in the Planning service of £103k to fund the revenue costs of implementation of new Planning software, funded from the Planning & Regeneration reserve

  • Supplementary  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

Minutes:

That the following be approved:

 

11 February 2020

 

7.1      CA/018/20    Budget 2020/21

 

MOTION

 

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

 

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BUDGET PROPOSAL 2020/2021   

 

 

Table 1, General Fund one-year expenditure initiatives:

 

 

 

2020/21

   £000’s

2021/22

   £000’s

  1.

Increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £100k to fund new, one-off initiatives to improve air quality, particularly around schools, evaluation on site, and investment in public Electric Charging Points.

 

 

100

 

 

       0

  2.

Increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £50k to fund a trial of 10 solar powered compactor litter bins across the borough, at a cost of c£5k each.

 

 

50

 

       0

  3.

In recognition of the urgency of the work, increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £100k to fund the catch-up in outstanding tree work including the assessment of sites for additional planting.

 

It is also envisaged that this will include an overview of Development in Dacorum in order that the right number and in particular the right species of trees are planted as a contribution towards the work of reducing the Borough’s carbon footprint.

 

 

100

 

       0

  4.

Addition to the Housing and Communities Budget to fund four additional Enforcement Officers for a trial period of one year.

 

 

120

 

       0

  5.

Addition to the Finance and Resources Budget to fund a comprehensive study of the present communication methods of the council including improvement of the telephone system.

 

 

100

 

       0

  6.

Increase the contribution to the Climate Change Reserve by a further £700k, over and above the £300k proposed in the Budget Report to deliver a total reserve contribution of £1m.

 

These funds would be available to the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget to provide one-off finance for climate change measures to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint, including a Community Climate Change Fund available to residents and community groups. Although the reserve contribution would be made in a single year, it is anticipated that it would fund projects over a two- to three-year period.

 

 

 

700

       

 

       0

 

Sub-Total of A

1,170

       0

 

 

Table 2, General Fund two-year expenditure initiatives:

 

 

 

 

2020//21

   000’s

2021/22

   000’s

  7.

Addition to the Finance and Resources Budget for a part-time fixed-term post, the holder to advise and coordinate councillors, towns and parishes to use Community Infrastructure Levy funds for the benefit of local residents in accordance with agreed local protocols.  Subject to review for the second year.

 

 

    50

 

     50

  8.

An addition to the Housing and Communities budget to fund community facing Sports and Leisure Projects for an initial trial two-year period.  Subject to review for the second year.

 

 

    50

 

    50

  9.

An addition to the budget of Clean, Safe and Green to enhance the appearance of the Borough by work on verge maintenance, graffiti removal and clearance of growth from paths.  Second year subject to review.

 

 

    80

 

    80

 

Sub-Total of B

   180

   180

 

General Fund Total Budget Amendment

1,350

   180

 

 

Housing Revenue Account

 

Table 3, HRA one-year expenditure initiative:

 

 

 

 

2020//21

   000’s

2021/22

   000’s

  10

An addition of £1m  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Motion to Council pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

 

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BUDGET PROPOSAL 2020/2021   

 

General Fund

 

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:

 

 

 

2020/21

   £000’s

2021/22

   £000’s

  1.

Increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £100k to fund new, one-off initiatives to improve air quality, particularly around schools, evaluation on site, and investment in public Electric Charging Points.

 

 

100

 

 

       0

  2.

Increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £50k to fund a trial of 10 solar powered compactor litter bins across the borough, at a cost of c£5k each.

 

 

50

 

       0

  3.

In recognition of the urgency of the work, increase the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget by £100k to fund the catch-up in outstanding tree work including the assessment of sites for additional planting.

 

It is also envisaged that this will include an overview of Development in Dacorum in order that the right number and in particular the right species of trees are planted as a contribution towards the work of reducing the Borough’s carbon footprint.

 

 

100

 

       0

  4.

Addition to the Housing and Communities Budget to fund four additional Enforcement Officers for a trial period of one year.

 

 

120

 

       0

  5.

Addition to the Finance and Resources Budget to fund a comprehensive study of the present communication methods of the council including improvement of the telephone system.

 

 

100

 

       0

  6.

Increase the contribution to the Climate Change Reserve by a further £700k, over and above the £300k proposed in the Budget Report to deliver a total reserve contribution of £1m.

 

These funds would be available to the Strategic Planning and Environment Budget to provide one-off finance for climate change measures to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint, including a Community Climate Change Fund available to residents and community groups. Although the reserve contribution would be made in a single year, it is anticipated that it would fund projects over a two- to three-year period.

 

 

 

700

      

 

       0  ...  view the full decision text for item 8.

Minutes:

The Motion was considered under item 7.1.

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 the following changes to committee dates:

 

·         Additional SPAE OSC meeting on 22 April 2020.

·         Move SPAE OSC from 21 October to 27 October 2020.

 

 

Decision:

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

12.

Council Tax Declaration 2020/21

Report to follow

Decision:

The Council Tax Declaration for 2020/21 was agreed.

Minutes:

The Council Tax Declaration for 2020/21 was agreed.