Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 18th September, 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 188 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019 were agreed by the Members present and then signed by the Mayor.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Decision:

Cllr Bassadone referred to Agenda item 5, advising a member of family works for DENS and she herself is a volunteer at their events.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Bassadone referred to Agenda item 5, advising a member of family works for DENS and she herself is a volunteer at their events.

 

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:

None.

Minutes:

None.

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 & Corporate and Contracted Services

Cllr Griffiths

Housing

Cllr Anderson

Environmental Services

Cllr Banks

Community and Regulatory Services

Cllr G Sutton

Cllr Elliot

Planning & Infrastructure

Finance & Resources

 

Decision:

1.        By the Mayor:

 

The Mayor gave an update on his recent activities;

 

On 7th September attended Sunnyside Rural Trust for fundraiser; ’Give Bees a Chance which was held at Hemel Food Garden.  The event was a great success.

 

The next day, 8th September, at Woburn Abbey, 3 of Mayor’s family members took part in triathlon and raised £580 for Sunnyside Rural Trust.

 

15th September attended 75th Battle of Britain commemoration at Kings Langley, excellent event showing our appreciation for those that fought in Battle in Britain.

 

Have attended numerous other events, including coming this evening from having opened an exhibition at Kings Langley Library.

 

2.        By the Chief Executive:

 

There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.

 

3.        By the Group Leaders:

 

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Johnson, Oguchi and Peter.

 

Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Townsend and Bowden.

 

4.    By the  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 that he will be separating the 2 announcements by Leader, first Cllr Williams will give his announcement as Leader, and later in proceedings he will give his second announcement in his role as Portfolio Holder for Corporate & Contracted Services.  This arrangement will carry forward to future meetings.

The Mayor continued with an update on his recent activities;

On 7th September attended Sunnyside Rural Trust for fundraiser; ’Give Bees a Chance which was held at Hemel Food Garden.  The event was a great success.

 

The next day, 8th September, at Woburn Abbey, 3 of Mayor’s family members took part in triathlon and raised £580 for Sunnyside Rural Trust.

 

15th September attended 75th Battle of Britain commemoration at Kings Langley, excellent event showing our appreciation for those that fought in Battle in Britain.

 

Have attended numerous other events, including coming this evening from having opened an exhibition at Kings Langley Library.

 

4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

None.

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Johnson, Oguchi and Peter.

 

Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Bowden & Townsend.

 

Cllr Imarni was not in attendance.

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council

 

The Leader advised that owing to the relatively quiet period since the July meeting, he has nothing to report, adding that he is happy to take questions.

 

Cllr guest asked; does the Leader agree that, in coming to its decision following redevelopment of the West Herts Hospital Trust estate, the NHS should have conducted real consultation, not just engagement?

 

Cllr Williams responded that he agrees there should always be the most appropriate consultation, adding that he is aware this particular issue is subject to a court case so would not be appropriate to comment.

 

Cllr Tindall asked, given recent announcements by Government re. Brexit contingency funding, can you update us at all on what money’s have been received by this Council and will Members be given regular briefing since there are only 6 weeks to go to possible leaving date.

 

Cllr Williams responded in relation to money received, cannot confirm if it has been received yet, but the figure we are due to receive is £37k, fairly modest sum, not sure if it will be over 1 or 2 years.  Very limited in what we can do in preparation for Brexit, the situation is very fluid, we do have a plan & risk assessment which is a standing item on Corporate Management Team agenda.  Were asked by the Government to appoint a lead contact officer, a Brexit Officer, we have appointment Dave Austin who is our contact with Government.  Through East of England & the Hertfordshire Chief Executive’s there is contact and work going across those organisations.  There are a number of things that are a direct risks to DBC, such as supplies and services continuity, for our vehicles etc.  Only limited amount we  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Motion

 

Proposed by Councillor Tindall.

 

"This Council notes that the introduction of Universal Credit has lead to a number of circumstances which have had an adverse effect on the more vulnerable members of our communities.

 

It further notes that it has been necessary for the County Council to foster Holiday Clubs with the provision of food in order to ensure that disadvantaged children are provided for so as to counter unhealthy holidays and social isolation.

 

This council recognises that a greater reliance is being placed upon Food Banks and is aware that the Dacorum Food Bank is struggling to fulfil the demands upon it. 

 

Therefore,

 

- the Council asks the Cabinet to make arrangements to support the continuation of the Food Bank by working with DENS to a greater extent, and

 

- given that the position of Coordinator of the Food Bank is of crucial importance, the Cabinet is further asked to make provisions in the Council's budget for 2020/2021 for financial assistance in the maintenance of this post. 

 

- further as a matter of urgency, the Cabinet is asked to make the necessary arrangements for the early commencement of this funding from 1st October with an appropriate financial transfer from the 2019/2020 reserves."

 

Decision:

A motion was proposed by Cllr Tindall and seconded by Cllr England;

 

‘This Council notes that the introduction of Universal Credit has led to a number of circumstances which have had an adverse effect on the more vulnerable members of our communities.

It further notes that it has been necessary for the County Council to foster Holiday Clubs with the provision of food in order to ensure that disadvantaged children are provided for so as to counter unhealthy holidays and social isolation.

This council recognises that a greater reliance is being placed upon Food Banks and is aware that the Dacorum Food Bank is struggling to fulfil the demands upon it. 

Therefore,

·        The Council asks the Cabinet to make arrangements to support the continuation of the Food Bank by working with DENS to a greater extent, and

·        Given that the position of Coordinator of the Food Bank is of crucial importance, the Cabinet is further asked to make provisions in the Council's budget for 2020/2021 for financial assistance in the maintenance of this post. 

·        Further as a matter of urgency, the Cabinet is asked to make the necessary arrangements for the early commencement of this funding from 1st October with an appropriate financial transfer from the 2019/2020 reserves’

Vote

 

A recorded vote took place, full details of voting can be found in the minutes under Item 5.

 

Total votes for                   17

Total votes against  27

Total abstaining       1

 

Mayor declared the motion lost

Minutes:

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

 

‘This Council notes that the introduction of Universal Credit has led to a number of circumstances which have had an adverse effect on the more vulnerable members of our communities.

It further notes that it has been necessary for the County Council to foster Holiday Clubs with the provision of food in order to ensure that disadvantaged children are provided for so as to counter unhealthy holidays and social isolation.

This council recognises that a greater reliance is being placed upon Food Banks and is aware that the Dacorum Food Bank is struggling to fulfil the demands upon it. 

Therefore,

 

·         The Council asks the Cabinet to make arrangements to support the continuation of the Food Bank by working with DENS to a greater extent, and

·         Given that the position of Coordinator of the Food Bank is of crucial importance, the Cabinet is further asked to make provisions in the Council's budget for 2020/2021 for financial assistance in the maintenance of this post. 

·         Further as a matter of urgency, the Cabinet is asked to make the necessary arrangements for the early commencement of this funding from 1st October with an appropriate financial transfer from the 2019/2020 reserves’

Councillor Tindall referred to the motion proposed and added that recent stats from DENS give the fact that benefit changes delays last financial year were 709 demand, whereas this year we have only covered 5-6 months of the year and already demand has overtaken at 753 down to delays in changes in Universal Credit.  The most staggering is the increase in demand child meals from 5 last year, to so far this half a year, 26 already.  So you can see the demand is growing and is expected to increase again this year. 

 

It is a matter of some worry and concern that the 5th richest country in the world has such a demand for food banks in its local communities.  Feel every Local Councils should do everything they can to help.  There are no figures mentioned in this motion because we felt it appropriate for the administration to discuss with DENS what would be an appropriate amount to support the staffing of this.  Money should go to staffing as that is the area that does not attract funding.  The Councillor therefore asked everyone in room to support this and note the last paragraph that the funding starts from 1st October.

 

Cllr England seconded the motion.

 

Cllr Woolner referred to roll out of universal credit in Dacorum causing some issues with a large number of recipients becoming in rent arrears; it follows that this will lead to increased financial need and reliance on food banks.  Current research shows 52% average increase in food bank usage in areas that have had Universal Credit for 12 months, compared to 30% in areas that haven’t.  Dacorum should be providing more support to claimants and ensure that DENS is fully funded and able to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
DENS Funding Motion

This Council notes that the introduction of Universal Credit has led to a number of circumstances which have had an adverse effect on the more vulnerable members of our communities.

It further notes that it has been necessary for the County Council to foster Holiday Clubs with the provision of food in order to ensure that disadvantaged children are provided for so as to counter unhealthy holidays and social isolation.

This council recognises that a greater reliance is being placed upon Food Banks and is aware that the Dacorum Food Bank is struggling to fulfil the demands upon it. 

Therefore,

·        The Council asks the Cabinet to make arrangements to support the continuation of the Food Bank by working with DENS to a greater extent, and

·        Given that the position of Coordinator of the Food Bank is of crucial importance, the Cabinet is further asked to make provisions in the Council's budget for 2020/2021 for financial assistance in the maintenance of this post. 

·        Further as a matter of urgency, the Cabinet is asked to make the necessary arrangements for the early commencement of this funding from 1st October with an appropriate financial transfer from the 2019/2020 reserves’

 

Rejected
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 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 89 KB

    To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

     

    8.1

    CA/071/19

    30 July 2019

    Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)

    8.2

    CA/072/19

    30 July 2019

    Dacorum Borough Statement of Community Involvement

    8.3

    CA/073/19

    30 July 2019

    Hemel Garden Communities

    8.4

    CA/083/19

    10 September 2019

    Treasury Management Outturn Report 2018/19

    8.5

    CA/084/19

    10 September 2019

    Q1 Budget Monitoring Report

    8.6

    CA/086/19

    10 September 2019

    Building Control Service

     

               

     

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    Resolved:

    That the following be approved:

    30th July 2019

     

    8CA/071/19     Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)

     

    Decision

     

    The revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2019/20 – 2023/24, including the recommendations at Section 2 of the Strategy be approved.

     

    8.2       CA/072/19       Dacorum Borough Statement of Community Involvement

     

    Decision

    That Council adopts the revised Statement of Community Involvement

     

    8.3       CA/073/19       Hemel Garden Communities

     

    Decision

    The draw down from the Local Development Framework Reserve of £0.14m in 19/20 and the residual £0.235m in 20/21 in line with Table 2 - 2 Year Spending Plan be approved.

     

     

    10th September 2019

     

    8.4       CA/083/19       TREASURY MANAGEMENT OUTTURN REPORT 2018/19

    Decision

    The report on Treasury Management performance in 2018/19 and the Prudential Indicators for 2018/19 be accepted.

     

    8.5       CA/084/19       Q1 BUDGET MONITORING REPORT

     

    Decision

     

    1.    Consider the budget monitoring position for each of the above accounts (as set out in the Cabinet report);

     

    2.    Approval of the revised capital programme to move £1.5m slippage identified at Quarter 1 into financial year 2020/21 as detailed in Appendix C of the report to Cabinet;

     

    3.    Approval of supplementary revenue budgets funded by grant income. This grant income has already been received by the Council and is ring-fenced for use in specific services. Details are set out below:

     

    ·        Supplementary budget funded by grant of £70k in the Benefits Administration service.

     

    ·        Supplementary budget funded by grant of £100k in the Strategic Planning service.

     

    ·        Supplementary budget of £62k in the Homelessness service, funded from the homelessness prevention grant currently held in reserves.

     

    ·          Supplementary budget of £21k in the Partnerships service, and £18k in the Homelessness service, funded from Dacorum Partnership Reserve. This expenditure has been approved by the Dacorum Strategic Network.

     

    4.    The approval of supplementary capital budgets required to deliver several service changes as set out below:

     

    ·        A capital budget of £112k to fund arena seating at Hemel Sports Centre.

     

    ·        A capital budget of £36k for land transferred to the Council in lieu of a Community Infrastructure Levy contribution.

     

    5.     £130k is drawn down from the Litigation Reserve to fund the legal costs and the fine associated with the recent HAVs case.

     

    8.6    CA/086/19   BUILDING CONTROL SERVICE

     

    1.   The Borough Council’s Building Control service is transferred to Broste Rivers Limited, holding company of Hertfordshire Building Control Limited and The Building Control (Hertfordshire) Company Ltd. on the terms set out in the Cabinet report.

    2.   Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive as Head of Paid Service to agree any final and outstanding technical, financial and operational matters to be concluded in effecting the proposed transfer of the Building Control service and to authorise the completion of the respective Services  Agreement, Inter-Authority Agreement , Shareholder’s Agreement and Articles of Association with Hertfordshire Building Control Ltd., together with any other legal agreements and documents which are required to give effect to the transfer.

    3.   An increase in the Building Control revenue budget for 2020/21 of £40k p.a.

    4.   The draw down of £187k from reserves to fund the one off  ...  view the full decision text for item 8.

    Minutes:

    Resolved:

    That the following be approved:

    30th July 2019

     

    8CA/071/19     Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)

     

    Decision

     

    The revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2019/20 – 2023/24, including the recommendations at Section 2 of the Strategy be approved.

     

    8.2       CA/072/19       Dacorum Borough Statement of Community Involvement

     

    Decision

    That Council adopts the revised Statement of Community Involvement

     

    8.3       CA/073/19       Hemel Garden Communities

     

    Decision

    The draw down from the Local Development Framework Reserve of £0.14m in 19/20 and the residual £0.235m in 20/21 in line with Table 2 - 2 Year Spending Plan be approved.

     

     

    10th September 2019

     

    8.4       CA/083/19       TREASURY MANAGEMENT OUTTURN REPORT 2018/19

    Decision

    The report on Treasury Management performance in 2018/19 and the Prudential Indicators for 2018/19 be accepted.

     

    8.5       CA/084/19       Q1 BUDGET MONITORING REPORT

     

    Decision

     

    1.    Consider the budget monitoring position for each of the above accounts (as set out in the Cabinet report);

     

    2.    Approval of the revised capital programme to move £1.5m slippage identified at Quarter 1 into financial year 2020/21 as detailed in Appendix C of the report to Cabinet;

     

    3.    Approval of supplementary revenue budgets funded by grant income. This grant income has already been received by the Council and is ring-fenced for use in specific services. Details are set out below:

     

    ·        Supplementary budget funded by grant of £70k in the Benefits Administration service.

     

    ·        Supplementary budget funded by grant of £100k in the Strategic Planning service.

     

    ·        Supplementary budget of £62k in the Homelessness service, funded from the homelessness prevention grant currently held in reserves.

     

    ·          Supplementary budget of £21k in the Partnerships service, and £18k in the Homelessness service, funded from Dacorum Partnership Reserve. This expenditure has been approved by the Dacorum Strategic Network.

     

    4.    The approval of supplementary capital budgets required to deliver several service changes as set out below:

     

    ·        A capital budget of £112k to fund arena seating at Hemel Sports Centre.

     

    ·        A capital budget of £36k for land transferred to the Council in lieu of a Community Infrastructure Levy contribution.

     

    5.     £130k is drawn down from the Litigation Reserve to fund the legal costs and the fine associated with the recent HAVs case.

     

    8.6    CA/086/19   BUILDING CONTROL SERVICE

     

    1.   The Borough Council’s Building Control service is transferred to Broste Rivers Limited, holding company of Hertfordshire Building Control Limited and The Building Control (Hertfordshire) Company Ltd. on the terms set out in the Cabinet report.

    2.   Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive as Head of Paid Service to agree any final and outstanding technical, financial and operational matters to be concluded in effecting the proposed transfer of the Building Control service and to authorise the completion of the respective Services  Agreement, Inter-Authority Agreement , Shareholder’s Agreement and Articles of Association with Hertfordshire Building Control Ltd., together with any other legal agreements and documents which are required to give effect to the transfer.

    3.   An increase in the Building Control revenue budget for 2020/21 of £40k p.a.

    4.   The draw down of £187k from reserves to fund the one off  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

    9.

    Overview and Scrutiny referrals

    None.

    Decision:

    There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny.

    Minutes:

    There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny.

    10.

    Changes to committee membership pdf icon PDF 36 KB

    None.

     

    Decision:

    The following changes to committee membership were agreed:

     

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Rosie Sutton to the Development Management Committee

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Margaret Griffiths to the Member Development Steering Group (to replace Councillor Rosie Sutton)

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Goverdhan Silwal to the Standards Committee (to replace Councillor Rosie Sutton)

    Appointment of Councillor Claire Hobson to the Development Management Committee

    Minutes:

    The following changes to committee membership were agreed:

     

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Rosie Sutton to the Development Management Committee

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Margaret Griffiths to the Member Development Steering Group (to replace Councillor Rosie Sutton)

    Ø  Appointment of Councillor Goverdhan Silwal to the Standards Committee (to replace Councillor Rosie Sutton)

    Appointment of Councillor Claire Hobson to the Development Management Committee

    11.

    Change to committee dates

    To consider the following change to committee dates:

     

    Move Audit Committee from Wednesday 25 September to Wednesday 2 October 2019.

     

    Decision:

    The following changes to committee dates were agreed:

     

    Move Audit Committee from Wednesday 25 September to Wednesday 2 October 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    The following changes to committee dates were agreed:

     

    Move Audit Committee from Wednesday 25 September to Wednesday 2 October 2019.

     

    12.

    Waiver of a 6 month Councillor attendance rule (Sec.85 Local Government Act 1972) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

    Decision:

    Approval given for Councillor Bowden’s non-attendance at meetings of the authority due to ill health for a six month period up to 7th May 2020 pursuant to Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

    Minutes:

    Approval given for Councillor Bowden’s non-attendance at meetings of the authority due to ill health for a six month period up to 7th May 2020 pursuant to Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

    Cllr Tindall proposed, advising that within a week of the election Cllr Bowden was taken seriously ill.  He is now responding well to treatment, his health is improving and he is looking forward to resuming duties soon.

     

    Seconded by Cllr Williams and unanimously agreed.

    13.

    Appendix A - Update from Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing

    Minutes:

    Tenant & Leaseholder Services

     

    ·         Telecare service in Supported Housing has been rolled out with good take up amongst existing customers in fall detectors, which is positive and supports the approach to health and social care needs.

    ·         Supported Housing demand is being reviewed to look at how we can meet the needs of our growing older population and have been talking to a number of other stock retaining councils about how they provide these services.

    ·         The Housing Officers will be undertaking a pilot programme for six months that will enable them to issue Community Protection Warning letters to tenants whose behaviour is having a detrimental impact on the quality of life of those in the locality. The Housing Officer – Tenancy will work in collaboration with the Anti-Social Behaviour Officers, and along with the newly approved ASB policy will ensure there is a consistent approach for tenants and residents and also empower them to take swift action to resolve problems early.

    ·         We have retained the RSPCA Paw Print Gold Housing award for the sixth year running for the proactive work we do to manage pets in our homes.

    ·         The Sustainment team are currently supporting and working with 310 households, these are made up of 182 in settled accommodation with DBC, 120 households in temporary accommodation, whilst their homelessness case is being investigated and 8 Syrian refugee families being resettled as part of the government’s resettlement program. 

    ·         The officers have been working hard to maximise household income and have seen success when requesting mandatory reconsiderations when applicants UC claims have been turned down.  

     

    Strategic Housing

     

    ·           Approval to recruit a Homelessness apprentice to train and develop further skills to support increasing demand in this area

    ·           Working closely with Hightown Housing Association to recruit 2x dedicated Street Outreach Workers for Dacorum and 1x Community Drug & Alcohol worker

    ·           Currently developing new information sharing arrangements with the Police and Public Protection Unit in relation to high profile offenders, due to the rise in approaches to the service

    ·           Working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Change Grow Live to develop an improved pathway for clients with dual diagnosis

    ·           Undertaken further development to our website provided enhanced information to customers needing housing advice or at risk of homelessness

    ·           Licensed a further 6 HMO’s

     

    Housing Development

     

    ·         Cabinet Report - Next Report – October 2019 - Planning to take approval to appoint a Contractor for the Gaddesden Row project.

    ·         Resource - Appointed Ian Johnson as Senior PM start date 23rd Sept. Sam Bramley – leaving date 20th Sept. Starting the recruitment process for new Lead Officer post.

    ·         Corn Mill Court - Handover planned for this Thursday noting car park will be closed until party wall works complete.

    ·         Martindale Martindale - Progressing well on site no issues.

    ·         Northend & Westerdale - Progressing well on site no issues.

    ·         Stationers Place - Progressing well on site no issues.

    ·         St Margaret’s Way - On hold subject to brief clarification.

    ·         Eastwick Row - Planning application submitted.

    ·         Pipeline Schemes - Looking at feasibility schemes for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

    14.

    Appendix B - Update from Councillor Williams, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Contracted Services

    Minutes:

    For those that use Gadebridge Park, may be aware over last few years of the deterioration of the white bridge.  Structural Engineers been looking at how can be renovated, now at stage where contract can be drafted, this has been awarded to a company called Tasiker Industrial Ltd.  Works are planned to commence in January 2020, subject to approval by Env. Agency, which can take 8-12 weeks.

     

    Multi storey car park Berkhamsted, works progressing well with pre-cast stairwells and steel work.  Received draft report on space allocation (long term, short term, business use etc) will send out before talks with Town Council.  As work started later than anticipated, will soon be submitting planning application to extend use of temporary car park for a further 6 months.

     

    15.

    Appendix C - Update from Councillor Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services

    Minutes:

    Environmental & Community Protection

     

    Public Space Protection Orders have gone live across the Borough with officers initially promoting the Orders. The Operations Team attended Fun in the Sun Events and are working with Pets at Home. The Anti-Social Behaviour Team have been working with Police, Communications and CCTV to maximise use of resources and initially educate on the requirements of the PSPO.

     

    Corporate Health, Safety and Resilience Team attended the Leadership event to give an update on Health and Safety matters and the refreshed Emergency Plan. All staff that have a named role will be provided with bespoke Emergency Plan training in October and November. The Corporate, Health, Safety and Resilience Team have also been providing Health and Safety advice to the CCG to assist them with legal compliance and best practice here at the Forum. 

     

    The Environmental Health Team have been making full use of powers available to them when informal action has failed to address the issue. This includes, Health and Safety Improvement Notices to deal with faulty electrics in commercial premises, Abatement Notices when dealing with nuisance (noise, dust, accumulations, odour etc.) and Community Protection Notices for dealing with a wide range of anti-social issues.

     

    Mark Dewey has been promoted to Environmental Health Officer from Trainee Environmental Health Officer. 

     

    Turning to People and Communities Group Services                

                  

    Community Safety and Children Services

     

    I am pleased to report tenders are being drafted for a new 3g playing pitches in Grovehill Adventure Play Ground and an extension at Adeyfield APG, with an estimated build completion in April 2020.

    Community Safety and Wellbeing Events – two events now held.   At the events there will be our community safety partners and various wellness activities. It is an opportunity to gather community safety concerns/issues as well as promoting wellness.   Approximately 200 people attended each event and feedback from the community safety questionnaires are being analysed.  The last one is in Oct Half term.

    During the summer break I was able to visit ‘Fit Fed and read’ holiday club is a national initiative developed by StreetGames UK which aims to confront the growing issues faced by children from low income families during the school holidays. Fit Fed and read projects in partnership with Herts Sports Partnership provided physical activity sessions where young people can socialise, be active and enjoy lunch together and aims to combat the education attainment issues commonly experienced by young people throughout the school holidays.

     

    Human Resources

     

    Recruitment and Retention

     

    All graduate and Apprentices have been approved for service areas (9 in total). Recruitment has commenced. 

     

    National Graduate Development Programme

     

    Final interviews are taking place.  Graduate to start in October. 

    16.

    Appendix D - Update from Councillor G Sutton, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Infrastructure

    Minutes:

    Water Gardens

     

    • Our recently restored Water Gardens continues to go from strength to strength and there are two new events happening this month.

    ·         There will be a model boat sailing event on Saturday 21 September between 9 am and 2 pm. Everyone is welcome and no experience is necessary! You can bring your own sail or electric model boat or try one of Luton and District Model Boat Club's boats.

    ·         The next main event will take place at the end of the month on Saturday 28 September. We’ve commissioned The Heroine Project Presents to write and perform an outdoor theatre story, entitled ‘The Serpent’s Tale’ revealing secrets about Susan Jellicoe, the Water Gardens and Hemel Hempstead. Performances will take place at 10 am, 12 noon and 2.30 pm. They will start in The Marlowes at the Rainbow Stage and continue into the Water Gardens

    ·         I think at this stage it is good to reflect on the level of community activity that has taken place in the gardens since they were restored. This has included:

    ·         The Big Garden Party – where there were over 500 attendees, despite the adverse weather that day

    ·         4 Dementia gardening sessions – 3 care homes and a dementia club now involved

    ·         Further public sessions for model boating, Hemel sub-section of Luton & District Model Boat Club now being formed, 5 members recruited to date

    ·         8 garden maintenance sessions supported by the lead gardener, including a session where corporate volunteers buddied up with pupils from a local special school

    ·         30 children took part in a miniature gardens activity

    ·         Big Painting Challenge - 8 amateur artists were challenged to capture the spirit of the colourful flower garden, judged by Susan Jellicoe’s nephew 

    ·         New leaflet on the Gardens, and information signage on composting, mason bees and heritage fruit trees in the Friends’ garden

    ·         Overall, I feel that our hard work to build momentum and a diverse audience for the Water Gardens has come to fruition, particularly as we are providing access opportunities to both the community in general and groups such as dementia sufferers who have high care needs.

     

    Building Control

     

    ·         Members will of course note the proposals on the agenda this evening for the transfer of Local Authority Building Control services to Hertfordshire Building Control Ltd.

    ·         Cabinet received the second of two comprehensive reports on this matter at its meeting last week on 10 September.

    ·         As members will know, Local Authority Building Control services operate in a highly competitive market against a growth in private sector providers.

    ·         Hertfordshire Building Control is a company set up and owned by seven of the local authorities in the County, and on joining on 1 October as planned, Dacorum will become the eighth member and joint owner.

    ·         Together, with our partner Councils, I believe we can provide good quality, competitive and resilient Building Control services – which are there to ensure new construction is safe for its users and the public by compliance to national Building Regulations – through this new arrangement.

    ·         Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

    17.

    Appendix E - Update from Councillor Elliot, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources

    Minutes:

    Revenues, Benefits & Fraud

     

    National figures for council tax and business rates collection for 2018/19 have been

    published, and they show that in most areas Dacorum’s collection is in line with or above the national average. I want to highlight one area where the team here has outperformed, which is in the collection of arrears. Looking at the total arrears as a percentage of the current year’s debt, across England there is an arrears level of 11%, which has not changed from March 2018 to March 2019. Dacorum’s arrears level is only 5% at the end of 2018/2019, reduced from 6% at the end of 2017/18, which places us in the top 50 councils for reducing outstanding debt.

     

    The national figures for the speed of processing housing benefit claims have also been published. These show that our benefits team is continuing to provide an excellent service to residents who can claim housing benefit, as we are in the top half of performance both for new claims and dealing with changes in resident’s circumstances.

     

    Financial Services

     

    The Council’s audited accounts for 2018/19 were published in line with the statutory deadline of 31 July 2019.  In their Audit Findings Report, the Council’s external auditor Grant Thornton UK LLP noted that the Council ‘prepared high quality… financial statements’ and that the Council’s Finance team was ‘responsive, helpful and fully engaged in the audit process’.

     

    Preparations are underway for the upgrade of the Council’s financial system.  This has involved a detailed programme of testing, organisational communications and preparation of training materials, to support a smooth- system go-live at the end of September.

     

    Following the approval of the Council’s updated Medium Term Financial Strategy MTFS for the period 2020/21 -2023/24 by Cabinet in July, work is progressing to set the Council’s budget for 2020/21.   The Finance team will support the delivery of this objective via the provision of support and advice across the organisation.

     

    Commercial Assets & Property Development

     

    Garage Disposals

     

    Following the successful sale of garages at Cuttsfield Terrace, the next phase of the Garage Disposal Strategy has commenced and 18 sites are currently being reviewed by Housing Associations to assess viability of the sites for purchase and to develop additional homes for the borough. Once a garage disposal timetable is finalised members will be informed of the schedule of proposed sales.

     

    Bunkers Park

     

    Following extensive archaeological surveys to meet Planning obligations, construction commenced at the beginning of June, and the construction programme is on schedule and progressing well for completion in this calendar year.