Agenda and decisions

Council - Wednesday, 18th November, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Email: member.support@dacorum.gov.uk  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 426 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council.

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2020 were agreed by the members present and will be signed by the Mayor at the next available opportunity.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Decision:

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:

1.            Questions from Graham Bright (Grove Fields Residents Association) to Councillor Williams:

Q1: I note that the Leader of the Council is being requested to write to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government asking that the figure of 922 houses per annum for Dacorum be revised downwards. You state that this because this Council believes that the Government’s centrally-determined targets for housing development in the Borough will adversely affect the development of the Dacorum Local Plan, forcing high levels of new housing onto green belt land. If the motion is agreed, please can you confirm that Dacorum will wait for the central government response to this letter before commencing the public consultation?

Response:I don’t believe that the motion and the item before us this evening in relation to the local plan are mutually exclusive and we will consider both of these in due course this evening, and members will contribute to the reasons why they support the motion and/or the consultation. I do not believe that we cannot do both. We currently have a figure, the latest from the government, of 922 as stated by Mr Bright. As you will see from the motion when we discuss it that’s not a figure that we necessarily think is appropriate. We don’t know the course of the government’s reiterations, and not forgetting the ONS figures have not yet been accepted as the figure that should be used. We will still be looking nationally for potentially the 300,000 that has been quoted on several occasions. I still think it’s appropriate for us to consult with our residents because I think we need the evidence base if we are to contest the 922, and if that figure is not reduced over time and we need to contest at 922 I think having consulted with our residents will strengthen the argument should our local plan not be in conformity with the numbers required. So in essence, I don’t think that agreeing to one includes the other.

Q2: I note that the authority has delegated to make changes to the Emerging Strategy for Growth , including anything necessary to reflect the Cabinet’s and/or Council discussions and decision, to the Assistant Director Planning, Development and Infrastructure in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and InfrastructurePlease can you confirm that the FINAL Local Plan, once amended as a consequence of the public consultation, will be voted on by local councillors?

Response: Yes, absolutely. The delegation to the director in consultation with the portfolio holder only relates to minor changes to wording or to reflect any decisions taken by our councillors at this stage in amending our draft consultation. Any final decision will still be subject to the process of the scrutiny committee and the cabinet, and only the full council has the authority to agree a local plan. So yes, the final decision has to be one taken by full council.


2.         Questions from Malcolm Allen to Councillor Williams:  ...  view the full decision text for item 3.

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 Anderson           Environmental Services

Councillor Banks                Community and Regulatory Services

Councillor G Sutton            Planning and Infrastructure

Councillor Elliot                   Finance and Resources

Councillor Griffiths              Housing

 Councillor Williams             Corporate and Contracted Services



 

Decision:

4.1       By the Mayor:

Welcome to the new Chief Executive of Dacorum Borough Council, Claire Hamilton.


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

The Chief Executive thanked the Mayor for the introduction and welcome and said she looked forward to meeting everyone in person as soon as she was able to.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams gave apologies on behalf of Councillor Arslan. 

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

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

 

5.

Motions

5a

Local Plan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Decision:

A motion was proposed by Councillor Tindall and seconded by Councillor Taylor. An amendment to the motion was proposed by Councillor Williams and seconded by Councillor Griffiths which was accepted by Councillor Tindall. Therefore, the substantive motion proposed (as amended) was as follows:

 

Local Plan

 

In the 2019 General Election both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Manifestos promised to deliver 300,000 new homes a year to address the national housing shortage.

 

This Council believes that this target is in excess of the ONS projections of housing need and will lead to higher levels of Green Belt development in the Dacorum Local Plan than is necessary to meet our housing need. 

This Council therefore requests

·        the Leader of the Council to write to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government asking that the figure of 922 per annum be revised in line with the figures from the Office of National Statistics which project a need for between 170-200,000 new homes to be started per annum significantly below the 300,000 proposed in the manifesto, and

·        A copy of that letter be sent to the Borough’s two Members of Parliament with a request that they make representations to the Secretary of State in support of the Council’s position

A vote was held:

 

43 for,

0 against,

0 abstentions,

 

Therefore the motion was carried.

 

 

 

 

5b

Feeding Hungry Children pdf icon PDF 8 KB

Decision:

 

The following Motion was withdrawn by Councillor Symington:

 

Feeding Hungry Children

 

1.  This Council notes:

a.  That numbers of pupils entitled to Free School Meals are rising fast.  

b.  That every child who is entitled to Free School Meals is a sign of a family under significant financial pressure.

c.  That this picture of increasing child poverty is supported by the rapid rise in the number of families dependent on food banks. 

d.  That children who are hungry are less able to learn and thrive at school.

e.  That the extension of the school meals voucher scheme (campaigned for by Marcus Rashford) to cover the period of the summer holiday was incredibly important and valuable to families in food poverty. 

f.  The very welcome commitment from Education Minister in the Welsh Assembly, Kirsty Williams, to guarantee free school meal provision for school holidays until at least Easter 2021.

2.  This Council recognises that the second lockdown will lead to further increases in child poverty and

 

a.  supports the calls by the Child Food Poverty Task Force, supported by Marcus Rashford and many leading food suppliers and producers, for the expansion of free school meals provision to every child whose family is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent, or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.

 

b.  calls for the provision of food vouchers to cover school holidays and periods of lockdown for all families in receipt of Universal Credit or with low-income and no recourse to public funds.

 

c.  asks that Healthy Start vouchers should be increased in value to £4.25, and expanded to be made available to all those in receipt of Universal Credit or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.

 

3.  Therefore this Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call for

 

a.  extend eligibility for free school meals to every pupil whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit

 

b.  food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday and during any period of lockdown in which schools are closed

 

c.  extended eligibility for free school meals to pupils from low-income families whose parents or guardians have no recourse to public funds or who are destitute asylum seekers under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

 

 

 

6.

Questions

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

Decision:

1.              Question to Councillor Williams from Councillor Tindall:

 

Q1: Given the misinformation and falsehoods that abound on Facebook and other Social Media, it would be good for the Council to ensure that residents of Dacorum have the opportunity to access accurate knowledge of the Council’s proceedings and deliberations.  Please can the Leader of the Council inform us when video film of those proceedings and deliberations will be made available on the Council’s website, or on other means accessible to residents?

 

Response: I do agree that there’s lots of misinformation and rumours can start on social media and in some cases that’s not helpful when people who do have access to that information post stuff which they could research and get more accurate information before posting. But that is the nature of social media. The recording and showing of council meetings and procedure is something which I discussed with the previous Chief Executive and you might recall at the beginning of this year we talked about trying a recording of a council meeting and found that the equipment in the council chamber wasn’t sufficient to enable that to be done with any degree of quality that residents would find useful to follow. I agreed with the previous Chief Executive that we would upgrade the equipment in the council chamber and conference rooms one and two. That work has been completed in the last couple of days and we now have the capacity to record and broadcast meetings live. We also have the capacity within the new system to hold hybrid meetings where some members of the council can be in the chamber and some members can be remote. So we are in a position now to broadcast and have the equipment for that but of course that is dependent on us being able to get back into what you might consider to be a more normal routine of proceedings. Whilst we’re currently using Microsoft Teams and we’re very grateful for this so that we can order some degree of normality and business to proceed, I do not think the quality of nature of these recordings are sufficient for our website as records of our proceedings. It is our intention when we begin to move forward with a more normal cycle of meetings to make use of the newly installed equipment and make those meetings available in both live and recorded forms.

 

2.            Question to Councillor Williams from Councillor Symington:

 

Q1: Given the recent advice from the Dacorum Borough Council Legal Department regarding the Council's responsibility to maintain the unadopted road at Broadwater, Berkhamsted, could the portfolio holder assure the residents, other landowners and users of the DBC-owned car park that the Council will commit to a clear, transparent and long term resolution to the recurring maintenance issue?

 

Response: As Councillor Symington has referred to legal advice received from our legal department, advice that she has benefitted from that I haven’t, I think it would be inappropriate of  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

7.

Business from the last council meeting

To consider any business referred from the previous meeting.

Decision:

None.

8.

Cabinet referrals pdf icon PDF 406 KB

To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

 

 

 

Cabinet minute number

Date of meeting

Report title

8.1

CA/076/20

22 September 2020

Budget Monitoring Q1 report

8.2

CA/078/20

22 September 2020

Loan agreement with West Herts Crematorium Committee

8.3

CA/087/20

20 October 2020

Treasury Management Report

8.4

CA/088/20

20 October 2020

Medium Term Financial Strategy

8.5

CA/089/20

20 October 2020

Local Plan Consultation Report

8.6

CA/091/20

20 October 2020

Car Parking Supplementary Planning Document

8.7

CA/092/20

20 October 2020

Herts Growth Board – Section 101 Committee

 

 

 

Decision:

Resolved:

That the following be approved:

22 September 2020

 

8.1       CA/076/20       Budget Monitoring Q1 report

 

Decision

 

  1. Recommend to Council approval of the revised capital programme to move £7.3m slippage identified at Quarter 1 into financial year 2021/22 as detailed in Appendix C.

 

  1. Recommend to Council approval of supplementary revenue budgets as follows:

 

·         Supplementary budget of £140k in The Forum premises budget to fund the costs of ensuring the building is safe for staff to return under Coronavirus.

 

·         Supplementary budget of £60k in the Premises Insurance budget to fund additional costs of Uninsured Losses, to be funded from the Uninsured Losses reserve.

 

·         Supplementary budget of £253k in the Building Control service to fund the final settlement of Work in Progress following the transfer of the service to Hertfordshire Building Control. This is to be funded from the Management of Change reserve.

 

·         Supplementary budget of £33k in the Garage service, funded from the Invest to Save reserve, to fund a specialist project manager to lead on improvements to the garage letting process.

 

  1. Recommend to Council approval of supplementary capital budgets as follows:

 

  • A capital budget of £90k in the Waste and Recycling Capital budgets for new Wheeled Bins.

 

  • Additional budget of £400k in the Fleet Replacement Budget, to fund additional vehicles.

  • Capital budgets of £24k and £19k to fund electrical upgrade works at Berkhamsted Civic Centre and Victoria Hall Tring respectively.

 

  • Capital budget of £15k for essential roofing improvements at The Denes.

 

 

8.2       CA/078/20       Loan agreement with West Herts Crematorium Committee

 

Decision

 

  1. A £6m loan to the partner authorities of the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee (WHCJC), and a supporting Deed of Contribution and Indemnity and delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Finance and Operations in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources to finalise terms of the required legal documentation.

 

20 October 2020

 

8.3       CA/087/20       Treasury Management Report

 

Decision

 

The acceptance of the report on Treasury Management performance in 2019/20 and the Prudential Indicators for 2019/20.

 

8.4       CA/088/20       Medium Term Financial Strategy

 

Decision

 

The approval of the revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2020/21 – 2024/25, including the recommendations at Section 2 of the Strategy.

 

8.5       CA/089/20       Local Plan Consultation Report

 

Decision

 

  1. That the Emerging Strategy for Growth (Appendix 1) is published for consultation under Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended).

 

  1. That authority is delegated to make changes to the Emerging Strategy for Growth , including any necessary to reflect the Cabinet’s and/or Council discussions and decision,  to the Assistant Director Planning, Development and Infrastructure in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure.

A recorded vote was held:

For: Adeleke, Anderson, Banks, Barrett, Bassadone, Beauchamp, Bhinder, Birnie, Durrant, Elliot, Griffiths, Guest, Hearn, Imarni, Maddern, Mahmood (Sobaan), Mahmood (Suqlain), Peter, Riddick, Rogers, Silwal, Sinha, G Sutton, R Sutton, Timmis, Williams, Wyatt-Lowe (27)

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

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

9.

Overview and Scrutiny referrals

None

Decision:

None.

10.

Changes to committee membership

To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership

 

Decision:

None.

11.

Change to committee dates

To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates

 

Decision:

An additional meeting of the Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee scheduled for 25 November was agreed.

 

12.

Review of Statement of Licensing Policy - Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council adopts and publishes in accordance with statutory requirements:-

The draft Statement of Licensing Policy as the Council’s ‘Statement of Licensing Policy’ for the five-year period from 7 January 2021 to 6 January 2026.

 

13.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider passing a resolution in the following terms:

 

That, under s.100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 12A Part 1 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 the public be excluded during the items in Part 2 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 those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information relating to the financial and business affairs of the Council and third party companies/organisations.

 

Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, Part 1, paragraph 3.