Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 28th February, 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 276 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council


The minutes of the meeting held on 15th November 2024 were agreed.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Assistant Director (Legal & Democratic Services)


The Mayor introduced Mr Mike Ridley, who submitted a question to be addressed to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Ron Tindall.


Mr Ridley read out his question as follows;


‘Bearing in mind that in the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Master Plan the Market Square was earmarked as a “Leisure Zone”, and now that the square has been provisionally allocated for the delivery of a Health Campus, what are the Borough’s plans for delivering a leisure zone, including a much called-for multi-purpose Arts Venue, which would enliven the Town Centre with a crowd drawing cultural community asset, funded perhaps by section 106 or CIL money from the developers of the Hemel Garden Community and the increased income from Council Tax that the population expansion will yield?’


Cllr Tindall responded by advising that The administration is keen to improve Hemel Hempstead’s cultural and leisure offer. Last year we published the new Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Vision which recognises this and one of the eight objectives we have set is specifically aimed at doing this. The previous Town Centre Masterplan was published over ten years ago now, in 2013. Much of its aims have been achieved. It didn’t propose a ‘Leisure Zone’ on the former Market Square, but set out proposals to allow for “a range of leisure, retail, business and cultural facilities with new housing” in that part of the town centre.


Circumstances have changed over the past decade, and this is why we have brought forward a revised strategy for the next stages in Hemel Town Centre’s future. Delivery of a new Health Campus, working with our NHS partners, presents an important opportunity for the town and would secure the regeneration of the former Market Square.


But we remain committed to growing the cultural and leisure offer to our residents, visitors and businesses. The new Town Centre Vision sets an ambitious framework for the future to harness investment and deliver ambitious regeneration. We are working with the development and investment sector to deliver this vision, which includes leisure uses and supporting development of the evening economy. 


Officers will be embarking on the production of a cultural strategy for the whole of Dacorum this year, with a particular focus on how we can improve the offer in Hemel Town Centre, and a new Head of Arts and Culture is joining the Council next week to lead on this work.


Furthermore we will be delivering the Hemel Imaginarium – an exciting programme of community activities and meanwhile uses to drive footfall and activity in the town centre, many of which will have an arts, culture or sports based theme. We are delivering this working with partners such as Sunnyside, Frogmore Paper Mill, Apex 360 and Hemel BID.


Over the course of this year, therefore, we will be looking forward to both developing the new cultural strategy and seeking to make provision for the arts, culture and new leisure wherever possible as the town centre changes and develops. We look forward to engaging  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.



To receive announcements and business brought forward by the Mayor, Leader, and the Chief Executive.




4.1       By the Mayor:




4.2       By the Chief Executive:




4.3       By the Group Leaders:  Any apologies for absence


4.1       The Mayor welcomed newly elected member Cllr Smith-Wright.


The Mayor congratulated Cllr McArevey who is a local nurse, and one of two local nurses put forward for an NHS Hero Award with Hertfordshire Heart.  The Mayor celebrated the notable achievement of Cllr McArevey who was the winner of this award.


The Mayor invited the Democratic Services Officer to address the meeting with housekeeping announcements.


4.2       The Chief Executive, Claire Hamilton, announced the following;


A borough by-election was held on Thursday the 15th of February 2024 in the Tring West and Rural Ward.


I can confirm that there was a 27.2% turnout and the candidate elected was Caroline Smith-Wright of the Liberal Democrat party.


I would also like to inform members that the Police and Crime Commissioner election will be held on the 2nd May 2024.  Notice of election will be published on 15th March which is when the pre-election period will commence.”



4.3       The Leader, Cllr Tindall, also expressed the best wishes of the Council to Cllr Birnie who has recently been taken unwell.



The Group Leaders tendered apologies on behalf of Cllrs Birnie, Wilkie, Pringle, Mitchell and Walker.  Cllr Pringle subsequently joined the meeting at 19.57.



Cabinet Member Updates pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Members of the Council may ask the Cabinet member any question without notice upon an item on the report as published in this agenda;


5.1       Councillor Tindall        Leader of the Council (verbal update only)


5.2       Councillor England     Portfolio Holder Climate & Ecological Emergency


5.3       Councillor Wilkie         Portfolio Holder Place


5.4       Councillor Weston      Portfolio Holder People & Transformation


5.5       Councillor Tindall        Portfolio Holder Corporate and Commercial Services


5.6       Councillor Dhyani       Portfolio Holder Housing & Property Services


5.7       Councillor Bromham   Portfolio Holder Neighbourhood Operations

Additional documents:


5.1       Leader of the Council


Cllr Tindall advised he was pleased to advise that Cllr Capozzi has agreed to be the Cabinet members for Corporate & Commercial and will be taking up the post directly following this meeting.


Cllr Tindall further advised a change in reporting for the Climate & Ecological portfolio which will now report to the SPAE OSC rather than the F&R OSC.


The Mayor advised that updates from the individual Portfolio Holders have been circulated with the agenda and invited questions.


5.2       Climate & Ecological Emergency


Cllr Wyatt-Lowe asked; is your use of Net Zero based on Co2 alone or does it include Carbon equivalent, methane and other gases?


            Cllr England referred back to the Climate Emergency Strategy produced under previous administration, confirming all the measurements of Carbon are Co2e, that ‘e’ stands for equivalent and that does include methane and other fast gases, which are gases which don’t existing very long in the environment but do a lot of damage while they are there.


            Cllr Wyatt-Lowe followed up and asked; presuming then that the polices take note of this and that you have thought of what measures you can carry out to achieve that whole package of reductions?


            Cllr England responded that plans are developing and are dependent on resources, but absolutely all the gases are included in what we are trying to do.  Cllr England added that we are also trying to prevent the escape of money; a lot of money to be saved and generated through the activities we are looking to deliver over next few years.


Cllr Douris referred to page 6 of the Portfolio Holder’s update, where it says ‘residents can save up to £720 a year following 4 simple steps’, and asked the Portfolio Holder; can you please justify to us what those 4 simple steps are?


Cllr England advised he does not have that information in his head but will arrange for the Social Media Team to circulate.


Action: Cllr England to arrange for the 4 simple steps information to be provided to Democratic Services for distribution. 


Cllr Barradell asked, when do you hope to be back on track with the carbon budget forecast?


Cllr England responded with his view that this is a difficult question, in particular the previous administration need to explain why they got so far off track in last few years. 


Cllr England explained that the situation is, if you look at chart carefully, it starts to dip quite sharply around 2019/20 as that is when the improvements we are looking for are supposed to start.  It is not a steady linear progression to zero, instead it drops much more steeply in first 5 years if all measure are put in place.  It is a reality that the steps taken by central government are wrecking the chances we have of meeting the specified line, but we are going to do our best. 


Cllr England advised there are two aspects to this; making a decision and putting resources behind  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Business from the last council meeting pdf icon PDF 638 KB

To consider any business referred from the previous meeting


There were no outstanding actions from the previous meeting, as detailed in the written update published as part of the agenda for this meeting.


Cabinet referrals pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:


21 November 2023




12 December 2023






30 January 2024




13 February 2024








7.8       CA/23/24 BUDGET








Cllr Tindall introduced the Cabinet Referrals




The recommendations were agreed by the Council




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber




The recommendations were agreed by the Chamber


CA/23/24         BUDGET


I stand to present this budget as the leader of a new Liberal Democrat administration, the first change in political administration for 22 years. Since the last budget was set a year ago, the council and the economic outlook has also changed and changed significantly the wider economic and political outlook remains very uncertain with a general election looming during the period of this budget.


The new administration is still developing and revising the council’s corporate plan for the next four years and on publication, this will set out the main strategic outlook and objectives of the new administration.


The economic and financial challenges brought by Covid were significant, and the creation of the economic recovery reserve provided a structured financial response to set the foundations for the 2024/25 budget. With the UK economy officially in a time of recession the council has many challenges, but will be positioned in the medium term to continue back to full economic health, as we recover both from the covid period and the Trussonomics of 2022.


Amongst a very challenging economy, Dacorum Borough Council has played a key role in extending help and support to our businesses and communities at a time they needed it most, and the proposed budget for 24/25 continues that investment. The 2024/25 proposed budget continues to support our day-to-day services, amid so much financial uncertainty. I have no doubt that this consistency and reliability will be reassuring for residents across Dacorum, but in particular for the most vulnerable within our community.

Support for Business.


It is a tribute to Council staff, particularly those within the Revenues & Benefits Team and the Economic Development Team that they have constantly evolved to support the local businesses. A key enabler of this has been the development of the Economic Recovery Board and the Hemel Place Board to bring together major businesses, stakeholders and the council to drive forward the key requirements to support business growth.


In addition to this, the Council has worked closely with its commercial tenants throughout the last year to ensure it does all it can to support them through the post pandemic period, which has resulted in occupancy levels remaining incredible high at circa 96%, The next stage of the recovery phase is supporting businesses with the debt they now hold as a result of covid.


The Council will continue to work closely with its public and private sector partners over the coming months to ensure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
7.8 CA/23/24 Budget Resolution

Council considered the information contained within the Cabinet Referral and a recorded vote was carried out;

  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 8.

    Overview and Scrutiny referrals

    There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny


    There were no referrals from Overview & Scrutiny for consideration.


    Polling District & Polling Place order 2024 pdf icon PDF 556 KB


    The Leader, Cllr Tindall introduced the report and proposed the recommendations contained within.


    Decision: The recommendations as set out in the report were unanimously agreed.


    Council Size Submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England pdf icon PDF 529 KB

    Additional documents:


    The Leader, Cllr Tindall, introduced the report and proposed the recommendations. 


    Cllr Stevens seconded the recommendations on the following grounds;


    The Boundary Commission requires Councils to determine the number of Councillors based on 3 criteria: submissions are required to show how these are met;


    ·         On Governance

    ·         Our representative roles

    ·         Discharge of our legal responsibilities

    It is not a foregone conclusion that our recommendation for adopting an increase of 2 Councillors to 53 will be accepted. For the last Review in 2006 it reduced the number by 1 which is why we have 51 Councillors at present. Other Councils’ submissions have larger changes imposed.


    In deciding ward sizes and changes to boundaries, this will be reviewed as Phase 2 during the summer, the Commission aims to limit deviation from the average Councillor/Elector ratio by +/- 10%


    The last review was in 2006, so in the 16 years to 2022;


    ·         Numbers of electors increased by 6000 or only 6% to last FY 2022

    ·         Data from our Strategic Planning Team leads to a forecast in period to 2030 of an increase by another 12,000 or 10%

    ·         This implies around another 5 plus Councillors at similar elector/Councillor ratios.  The recommendation is for only +2 as;

    ·         Most of this increase will be in the central  Hemel Hempstead

    ·         The increases in other wards are relatively small over the coming years:  the recommendation should result in relatively minor changes to boundaries for a limited number of wards. This stability I think is important to strengthen community’s sense of place.

    ·         Although we looked at other size options, we were conscious that a much smaller membership could increase challenges to Committee workload and ability to properly represent our electors.

    The submission sets out how our Governance roles are discharged in some detail with the numbers of committees, numbers of meetings and members needed to discharge our responsibilities.


    Cllr Stevens expressed the committee’s thanks to our officers in steering us through this aspect of the Review in such a short period of time.


    Cllr Stevens closed by advising, with the caveat that the Electoral Review Commission may have other suggestions, he proposes members adopt the 2 recommendations is set out in the Report.


    Cllr Hannell spoke in support of the recommendations as follows;


    As someone who has lived in Hemel Hempstead all their life, and who has no intention of living anywhere else, I have been privileged to sit on the electoral review committee, chaired by Councillor Stevens.


    In May of last year I was elected onto a Council that had a healthy gender balance, not quite 50/50 but getting there, with a mix of citizens from different backgrounds, of all ages with different experiences. This combination makes for healthy, stimulating debates.


    We were last reviewed by the Boundary Commission in 2005/06 and it is unlikely that we will be reviewed for another 15 years.


    So tonight, we have the only opportunity in 35 years to reflect on Council numbers and decide what constitutes the right number for us, not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


    Changes to committee membership

    To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership



    The Leader, Cllr Tindall, advised of the following changes to committee membership;


    Housing and Community Overview & Scrutiny;


    ·         Remove Cllr’s C Link & M Capozzi

    ·         Appoint Cllr’s G Stevens & C Smith-Wright


    Finance & Resources Overview & Scrutiny;


    ·         Remove Cllr M Capozzi

    ·         Appoint Cllr C McArevey


    Development Management Committee;


    ·         Remove Cllr C Link

    ·         Appoint Cllr C Smith-Wright


    Change to committee dates

    To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates



    There were no changes to committee dates.


    Council Tax Declaration pdf icon PDF 699 KB


    The Leader, Cllr Tindall, introduced the report.




    The recommendations were taken to a recorded vote, all 47 members present voted ‘for’; the vote was unanimously carried.


    Members in attendance below


    Councillor Tindall (Leader) Councillors, Adeleke, Allen, Anderson, Banks, Barradell,

    Barry, Bhinder, Bristow, Bromham, Capozzi, Cox, Deacon, Dhyani, Douris, Durrant,

    Elliot, England, Freedman, Gale, Guest, Hannell, Hobson, Hobson, Johnson, Link,

    Link, Maddern, McArevey, Patterson, Pesch, Pound, Pringle, Reynolds, Riddick,

    Santamaria, Silwal, Smith-Wright, Stevens, Stewart, Symington, Taylor, Timmis,

    Weston, Williams, Williams and C Wyatt-Lowe


    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Council Tax Declaration 2024/25 Resolution Carried
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