Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 17th April, 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 215 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 February 2019 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 February 2019 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:

The following question was asked by a member of the public:

 

"Concerning the housing development at the old Martindale School site, why, after giving less than 24 hours’ notice to local residents, did DBC order the removal of two ancient oak trees, the second of which contained an active bird's nest and was cut down on 1st March, thus contravening the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which does not permit interference with trees or bushes containing nesting birds during the nesting season.”

 

The following response was given by Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing:

 

“The former Martindale primary school site was purchased from Hertfordshire County Council in December 2014. A comprehensive set of supporting documentation and due diligence surveys were provided as part of the sale, one of which included an Arboricultural survey dated March 2013. At the time, letters of reliance were provided to offer assurances and reliability of the findings. DBC used this information as part of the planning application in 2017. The original Arboricultural survey categorised the condition of the trees in question that were eventually removed as Category B (moderate quality) and C (low quality). Although there were no Tree Preservation Orders on any trees on the site, the Council initially wanted to retain as many trees as possible.

 

Bugler Developments were appointed as the council’s building contractors at Cabinet in May 2018. Once on site, the Trees and Woodlands Officer visited site and produced an updated Arboricultural survey in December 2018, which highlighted that the trees in question were now in an extremely poor condition and had to be removed. This natural and significant deterioration had occurred in the 4 years since site acquisition. The findings discovered a large split in the stem and an old fungal bracket at the base of the largest tree. This Oak was re-categorised as a U (cannot be retained) with removal the only option recommended by the Trees and Woodlands Officer. The other trees had also regressed in quality since 2013 with poor form, extensive dead wood and growth defects. Following the advice of the Trees and Woodlands Officer it was accepted that they must be removed to reduce the risk of injury or damage.

 

The completed development will include smaller, more suitable trees in their location and at no point have DBC tried to increase the scale of development by removing trees. It will deliver the number of homes as in the planning permission.

 

An application was submitted to the Planning Department through a Non-Material Amendment to remove these trees, the process of which does not involve public consultation. This was approved in February 2019. Our contractor issued a letter to residents towards the end of February 2019, approximately 48 hours before removal works commenced on the 27th February. At the time of felling the trees, the tree surgeon did not spot any visible signs of nesting and the trees were extremely sparse with no leaves.  We had no evidence of active birds nest within the trees  ...  view the full decision text for item 3.

Minutes:

The following question was asked by a member of the public:

 

"Concerning the housing development at the old Martindale School site, why, after giving less than 24 hours’ notice to local residents, did DBC order the removal of two ancient oak trees, the second of which contained an active bird's nest and was cut down on 1st March, thus contravening the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which does not permit interference with trees or bushes containing nesting birds during the nesting season.”

 

The following response was given by Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing:

 

“The former Martindale primary school site was purchased from Hertfordshire County Council in December 2014. A comprehensive set of supporting documentation and due diligence surveys were provided as part of the sale, one of which included an Arboricultural survey dated March 2013. At the time, letters of reliance were provided to offer assurances and reliability of the findings. DBC used this information as part of the planning application in 2017. The original Arboricultural survey categorised the condition of the trees in question that were eventually removed as Category B (moderate quality) and C (low quality). Although there were no Tree Preservation Orders on any trees on the site, the Council initially wanted to retain as many trees as possible.

 

Bugler Developments were appointed as the council’s building contractors at Cabinet in May 2018. Once on site, the Trees and Woodlands Officer visited site and produced an updated Arboricultural survey in December 2018, which highlighted that the trees in question were now in an extremely poor condition and had to be removed. This natural and significant deterioration had occurred in the 4 years since site acquisition. The findings discovered a large split in the stem and an old fungal bracket at the base of the largest tree. This Oak was re-categorised as a U (cannot be retained) with removal the only option recommended by the Trees and Woodlands Officer. The other trees had also regressed in quality since 2013 with poor form, extensive dead wood and growth defects. Following the advice of the Trees and Woodlands Officer it was accepted that they must be removed to reduce the risk of injury or damage.

 

The completed development will include smaller, more suitable trees in their location and at no point have DBC tried to increase the scale of development by removing trees. It will deliver the number of homes as in the planning permission.

 

An application was submitted to the Planning Department through a Non-Material Amendment to remove these trees, the process of which does not involve public consultation. This was approved in February 2019. Our contractor issued a letter to residents towards the end of February 2019, approximately 48 hours before removal works commenced on the 27th February. At the time of felling the trees, the tree surgeon did not spot any visible signs of nesting and the trees were extremely sparse with no leaves.  We had no evidence of active birds nest within the trees  ...  view the full minutes 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 Mrs Griffiths     Housing

Councillor D Collins           Corporate & Contracted Services

Councillor Harden             Community & Regulatory Services

Councillor G Sutton           Planning and Infrastructure

Councillor Marshall            Environmental Services

Councillor Elliot                  Finance & Resources



 

Decision:

4.1       By the Mayor:

None.

4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Banks, Bhinder, Clark, E Collins, Matthews, Mclean, Peter, Timmis and Whitman.

 

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:

None.

4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Banks, Bhinder, Clark, E Collins, Matthews, Mclean, Peter, Timmis and Whitman.

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

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

 

The Portfolio Holder advised there was nothing to report on this item of the agenda but was happy to take questions.

 

There were no questions.

 

Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing

 

The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows;

 

Tenant & Leaseholder Services

 

·         A new system for supported housing, InForm, has been successfully commissioned and the successful migration of data completed. The new system is more reliable, functional and will allow staff members to record more relevant information about the tenants that we support and provides an outcome focused reporting tool.

·         There has been the arrival of two new Syrian refugee families, making the total of families resettled 8 to date. Initial support will be intensive but good progress has been made and they have already been registered for schools, health appointments and English classes. We will help them to integrate with local communities and will support them to transfer existing skills through training to find employment.

·         A further 3 Sheltered Schemes have been upgraded with new community alarm systems and improved fire alarms. Tenants have has received new pendants and new speech modules in their flat. Despite the work required to achieve this there has been minimal disruption to the tenants at each scheme and will increase security for residents.

 

Strategic Housing

 

Strategic Housing have continued to work in collaboration with local statutory and voluntary partners to achieve positive outcomes in service delivery, this has led to:

·         Successful bid to central government for RSI (Rough Sleeper Initiative Funding) of £200,000

·         Engagement with CCG to improve current outcomes for those homeless and entrenched clients with dual diagnosis, this has led to improved pathways and contract arrangements

·         Representation for the service at the upcoming TPAS conference to showcase delivery in respect of resident engagement

·         Prevention of an illegal private sector eviction

 

Housing Development

·           Swing Gate Lane (Corn Mill Court) – Project delayed until June 2019 and extension of time awarded. Party Wall requires rebuilding and is subject to potential legal issue

·           Martindale, Stationers Place, Northend and Westerdale progressing well on site 

·           St Margaret’s Way – On Hold awaiting brief clarification

·           Gaddesden Row – Submitted for planning pre application

·           Eastwick Row - Submitted for planning pre application

·           Paradise Fields – Purchase of site ongoing with Homes England

·           Resource – Awaiting instructions regarding additional resource required to meet programme demands.

 

Property & Place

 

Compliance Update

 

·         Gas Contract - Sun Realm  100% gas safety servicing compliance achieved in March

·         Asbestos – From April DBC will commission all asbestos surveys directly to enable a more comprehensive asbestos register and direct access for contractors.  5 officers underwent enhanced P405 Asbestos management training to support this key area.

·         Legionella  - 2  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Decision:

The following motion proposed by Councillor Tindall was agreed:

 

This council recognises that established manufacturers have announced launches of more than 100 new electric vehicle models by 2024.  The growth of such vehicles would:

 

* reduce our dependence on fossil fuels

* help to remove polluting diesel and other vehicles from our roads

* contribute greatly to the action against climate change.

 

However, one of the major barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles is the availability of fast charging points.

 

With the on-going discussion on our Local Plan, and the number of developments being proposed Dacorum is ideally placed to lead the transition to cleaner vehicles on our roads.  The Council therefore calls for

 

* the identification of a portfolio holder together with a senior lead officer as points of contact with the charging industry, utility companies, and the motor vehicle industries (including current petroleum             companies); their responsibility being to ensure that positive discussion     takes place with all parts of the sector and that the growth of fast charging points meets the needs of motorists who wish to move to cleaner vehicles.

 

*  in all future deliberations on the Local Plan, and the various proposed developments in and around Dacorum, the establishment of a fast charging point network is taken as a fundamental priority.

 

*  as a member of the South West Hertfordshire Collaboration Group, Dacorum uses its influence to encourage neighbouring and partner councils to adopt similar measures to foster this transition to cleaner vehicles.

 

Minutes:

The following motion was proposed by Councillor Tindall:

 

This council recognises that established manufacturers have announced launches of more than 100 new electric vehicle models by 2024.  The growth of such vehicles would:

 

*  reduce our dependence on fossil fuels

*  help to remove polluting diesel and other vehicles from our roads

* contribute greatly to the action against climate change.

 

However, one of the major barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles is the availability of fast charging points.

 

With the on-going discussion on our Local Plan, and the number of developments being proposed Dacorum is ideally placed to lead the transition to cleaner vehicles on our roads.  The Council therefore calls for

 

* the identification of a portfolio holder together with a senior lead officer as points of contact with the charging industry, utility companies, and the motor vehicle industries (including current petroleum   companies); their responsibility being to ensure that positive discussion      takes place with all parts of the sector and that the growth of fast charging points meets the needs of motorists who wish to move to cleaner vehicles.

 

*  in all future deliberations on the Local Plan, and the various proposed developments in and around Dacorum, the establishment of a fast charging point network is taken as a fundamental priority.

 

*  as a member of the South West Hertfordshire Collaboration Group, Dacorum uses its influence to encourage neighbouring and partner councils to adopt similar measures to foster this transition to cleaner vehicles.

 

Councillor Williams congratulated Councillor Tindall on this motion and said he was happy to support it and to accept this as part of the Local Plan process moving forward.

 

6.

Questions

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.

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

None.

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 60 KB

To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

 

7.1       CA/036/19           19 March 2019        Member Development Programme   

 

7.2       CA/038/19           19 March 2019       Berkhamsted Sports Centre

 

Decision:

Resolved:

That the following be approved:

19 March 2019

 

8.1  CA/036/19   Member Development Programme

 

Decision

 

That Cabinet recommend Council agree a new paragraph 9 to Part I of the Code of Conduct for Members to read:

 

“9. Training

 

To enable Members to fully take part in Council business Members are encouraged to attend all training, which forms part of the Member Development Programme.

 

Council have adopted a requirement for a mandatory training programme for Members, which will be approved annually by Cabinet following consultation with the Member Development Steering Group and the Council’s statutory officers. Members must attend all mandatory training in accordance with the

Council’s requirement.”

8.2  CA/038/19  Berkhamsted Sports Centre

 

Decision

 

That Cabinet recommend Council agree a sum of £55,000 for consultancy and professional fees to develop a scheme proposal for further approval and public consultation.

 

 

Minutes:

The following referrals from Cabinet on 19 March 2019 were agreed:

 

8.1       CA/036/19 – Member Development Programme

 

Decision

  1. That Cabinet recommend Council agree a new paragraph 9 to Part I of the Code of Conduct for Members to read:

“9. Training

To enable Members to fully take part in Council business Members are encouraged to attend all training, which forms part of the Member Development Programme. 

Council have adopted a requirement for a mandatory training programme for Members, which will be approved annually by Cabinet following consultation with the Member Development Steering Group and the Council’s statutory officers.  Members must attend all mandatory training in accordance with the Council’s requirement.”

Corporate objectives

 

The creation of a Member Development Programme ensures that Councillors are fully-trained and up-to-date with latest Council and legislative developments in order to deliver a modern and efficient Council.

The role of Councillors as Community Leaders means that they will have the tools to build strong and vibrant communities.

 

8.2       CA/038/19 – Berkhamsted Sports Centre

 

Decision

 

That Cabinet recommend Council agree a sum of £55,000 for consultancy and professional fees to develop a scheme proposal for further approval and public consultation.

 

Corporate objectives

 

Clean, Safe and Enjoyable Environment – Leisure provision is central to delivering a borough that people can enjoy. Improvement of the facility will help to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of current and future residents.

 

9.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Reports 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To introduce the Annual Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Groups to the Council and certain aspects of the work carried out by the individual committees will be highlighted.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Chairman ofthe Housing & Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Suqlain Mahmood, introduced the Annual Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Groups to the Council and highlighted certain aspects of the work carried out by the individual committees.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman ofthe Housing & Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Suqlain Mahmood, introduced the Annual Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Groups to the Council and highlighted certain aspects of the work carried out by the individual committees.

 

10.

Changes to committee membership

To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership

 

Decision:

None.

Minutes:

There were no changes to committee membership.

 

11.

Change to committee dates

To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates:

 

Move Audit Committee from Wednesday 24 July to Thursday 18 July 2019.

 

Hold an additional Audit Committee meeting on Thursday 27 June 2019 for training.

 

 

Decision:

The following changes to committee dates were agreed:

 

Audit Committee rescheduled from Wednesday 24 July to Thursday 18 July 2019.

 

An additional Audit Committee meeting on Thursday 27 June 2019.

 

Development Management Committee rescheduled from Thursday 23 May to Tuesday 28 May 2019.

 

Minutes:

The following changes to committee dates were agreed:

 

Audit Committee rescheduled from Wednesday 24 July to Thursday 18 July 2019.

 

An additional Audit Committee meeting on Thursday 27 June 2019.

 

Development Management Committee rescheduled from Thursday 23 May to Tuesday 28 May 2019.