Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021 7.30 pm

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

CA/83/21

Minutes pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2021

 

Decision:

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2020 were agreed by Members present and signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

Cllr Williams announced an adjustment to item 11, whereby in addition to considering the appointment of contractors for Aragon Close, the council would also consider contractors for Tring Road. Cllr Williams apologised that was missing from the original agenda.

 

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2020 were agreed by Members present and signed by the Chair.

CA/84/21

Apologies for Absence

 

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Decision:

There were no apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for Absence

CA/85/21

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

 

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -

 

(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent

 

and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial

 

(ii)            may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.

 

A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

 

Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct for Members

 

[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]

 

Decision:

Cllr Williams declared that he lived in Woodhall Farm which was close to the proposed Development in Aragon Close

Minutes:

Cllr Williams declared that he lived in Woodhall Farm which was close to the proposed DCllr Williams declared though not adjacent or close to the site, he lives on Woodall Farm estate, which is where the Aragon Close development is.evelopment in Aragon Close

CA/86/21

Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements and ask questions in accordance with the rules as to Public Participation.

 

 

Decision:

There was no public participation. 

Minutes:

There was no public Nothing to noteparticipation. 

CA/87/21

Referrals to Cabinet

There were no referrals to Cabinet

Decision:

There were no referrals to Cabinet.

Minutes:

There were no referrals to Cabinet.

CA/88/21

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Decision:

The Forward Plan was noted

Minutes:

The FCllr Williams asked if anybody had anything to update on this. Nobody had anything to note.orward Plan was noted

CA/89/21

Climate & Ecological Emergency Update pdf icon PDF 707 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That the Climate Emergency Strategy and high level Action Plan, set out as Appendix One of this report, be approved.

 

2.         That this be published, following layout and presentation support from the Communications Team, on the Council’s website with final approval to be delegated to the Chief Executive in conjunction with the Leader of the Council.

 

3.         That the high level Actions set out in the report be incorporated into Service and Budget Planning for 2022/23 onwards.

 

4.         That a further report be brought to Cabinet in 2022 setting out the funding requirements to achieve the medium-term action plan deliverables. This should include the indicative capital programme for the climate emergency for the MTFS period.

Minutes:

Cllr Williams handed over to Mark Gaynor and Melanie Parr. Mark explained this comprehensive report sets out the strategy for the borough, how it intends to meet the 2030 pledges for scopes 1 and 2, the 2050 pledges for scope 3, and to stimulate action amongst residents and businesses. The report details which high-level actions are being looked at, pursued, and draft estimate costings for these. Mark noted the need for greater government clarity on how much funding they will get. He noted the report is not finalised at this stage. The process of beginning to incorporate actions and costings will be commencing soon, and will be in the service and budget planning for ‘22/’23. Recommendation 4 indicates that short-term actions begin in the near future, and council officers will now begin to work on the short, medium and long term plans to incorporate these actions and costings into the budgets at the appropriate points. Mark asked if anyone had any questions.

Cllr Tindall asked if they could provide some intermediate details, timings and dates, given the large number of different factors and types of mitigation in the whole strategy, to give them a better idea of next steps and stages and help with target monitoring. He asked if they could include a Gantt chart.

Mark responded that the work is underway on the short, medium and long term plans to provide that. He noted that it is not clear yet which solutions will emerge as the most effective, for example installing zero carbon heating in buildings. They will not start putting it in new houses until they know it is the most energy efficient it can be, but work is underway on this. Mark also gave the example of finding a zero carbon option to replace refuse freighters. Their current fleet has a life until 2028, and it is not clear yet if the solution will be electric or hydrogen. Mark believes with bigger lorries it is likely to be hydrogen as overall more efficient, but they are not clear yet. With air source heat pumps, there are similar issues that need to be worked out, for example ensuring homes are properly insulated so they will work efficiently, and improving supply chain and installations to allow for more than the current capacity of 60,000 a year. Mark also noted that longer-term plans may change as technology improves, for example battery storage in solar heating. The information is not ready yet for a full 10 or 30-year plan, however the work is being started, with the aim to provide this in the next few months.

Melanie noted that she would be happy to make a Gantt chart for the short, medium and long-term action plans they currently have. She drew attention to page 53 of the report, where it states an annual report will be created to help clarify objectives and if anything had changed. For example, on Monday they found out it will be law next year for electric  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/89/21

CA/90/21

Treasury Management 2020/21 Outturn Position pdf icon PDF 578 KB

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That Cabinet recommends to Council acceptance of the report on Treasury Management performance in 2020/21 and the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21.

 

2.         On the recommendation of the Council’s S151 officer that the roles specified at 6.2 to this report be approved as authorised signatories for the Council’s bank accounts, in line with Financial Regulations.

Minutes:

Cllr Elliott stated that the annual outturn position for the council’s treasury activities shows their cash position and how they manage it. He stated that for security reasons, they do not put their cash with foreign organisations, but with the Bank of England. They then look at liquidity and how quickly they can get hold of their cash. He noted they get no return at the moment due to the 0.01% rate, but that it is more important to have security and liquidity in place over a high return. Cllr Elliott passed over to Nigel.

Nigel H added that in the statutory return, the performance figures have gone through the audit process, and all the credential indicators in the treasury management strategy were adhered to this year. He noted that the return on investment was reduced by 70% due to reduction in interest rates, which is something they would like to improve on this coming year.

Cllr Barratt asked how the authorised limit of £410 million was calculated.

Nigel explained they set it, and it needs to match with their capital programme, investment strategy, and whether they can finance that level of borrowing. He noted that they may increase it next year, as about 90% of their borrowing is HRA related, and their HRA programme is expanding, creating the need to borrow more money.

Cllr Elliott added that other councils have gone above that to invest in shopping centres etc, but that is not their strategy. Their strategy is housing.

Cllr Williams asked the council if they agreed recommendations 1 and 2 here.

 

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That Cabinet recommends to Council acceptance of the report on Treasury Management performance in 2020/21 and the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21.

 

2.         On the recommendation of the Council’s S151 officer that the roles specified at 6.2 to this report be approved as authorised signatories for the Council’s bank accounts, in line with Financial Regulations.

CA/91/21

Q2 Reports pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed 

 

 

1. Recommends to Council to draw down an additional £700k from the Economic Recovery Reserve to support Covid- related pressures on General Fund budgets.

 

2. Recommends to Council the approval of a supplementary revenue budget of £200k in the Waste Services employees budget, funded from the Savings Efficiencies Reserve.

 

3. Approves transfer of budgets to set up a new Filming trading account:

 

           Approves a budget virement from the Car Parking income budget to a newly created Filming budget of £60k.

 

           Approves a budget virement from the Old Town Hall income budget to a newly created Filming budget of £21k.

 

4. Recommends to Council approval of the revised capital programme to move £13.81m slippage identified at Quarter 2 into financial year 2022/23 as detailed in Appendix C.

 

5. Recommends to Council the following supplementary capital budgets:

 

           £0.135m for Town Centre Access Improvements project, funded from a capital contribution

           £0.9m for Aragon Close Move-On Accommodation, 50% funded from the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUHC) Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme.

           £0.3m to support development of Move-On Accommodation by Hightown Housing Association at Alexandra Road

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Elliott noted it had been through scrutiny, and the recommendations were that they draw down from their economic reserve of £700,000 which was set up for pandemic costs, and to put in a budget of £200,000 for extra funding for waste services fleet personnel. There is also a new filming trading account being set up, to identify outflows of the filming industry since they had Spielberg’s and Ricky Gervais’ programmes there.

Cllr Williams added that the filming account is temporary, to help them see what income they have from filming in the area rather than just adding it into different budgets. This will make it clearer for them to see the benefits and potential benefits that filming is bringing to the borough. In addition to this, it will allow them to offer support to areas where trade is disrupted by filming such as the Old Town. Cllr Williams asked if council agrees recommendations 1 to 5, page 89 and 90. Council agreed.

 

 

Cabinet Agreed 

 

 

1. Recommends to Council to draw down an additional £700k from the Economic Recovery Reserve to support Covid- related pressures on General Fund budgets.

 

2. Recommends to Council the approval of a supplementary revenue budget of £200k in the Waste Services employees budget, funded from the Savings Efficiencies Reserve.

 

3. Approves transfer of budgets to set up a new Filming trading account:

 

           Approves a budget virement from the Car Parking income budget to a newly created Filming budget of £60k.

 

           Approves a budget virement from the Old Town Hall income budget to a newly created Filming budget of £21k.

 

4. Recommends to Council approval of the revised capital programme to move £13.81m slippage identified at Quarter 2 into financial year 2022/23 as detailed in Appendix C.

 

5. Recommends to Council the following supplementary capital budgets:

 

           £0.135m for Town Centre Access Improvements project, funded from a capital contribution

           £0.9m for Aragon Close Move-On Accommodation, 50% funded from the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUHC) Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme.

           £0.3m to support development of Move-On Accommodation by Hightown Housing Association at Alexandra Road

 

 

CA/92/21

Berkhamsted Sports Centre pdf icon PDF 523 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That Cabinet notes the Concept Design of the project and the proposed facility mix as set out in Section 4, inclusive of a spa facility, and agrees to proceed to RIBA Stage 3 (Spatial Coordination).

 

2.         That Cabinet notes:-

 

(a).  the consultation undertaken with stakeholders during this phase of work and the further consultations required, including public consultation, as set out in Section 3.

 

(b) the working project timeline in Section 6.

 

3.         That Cabinet notes the forecast project costs (detailed in Part II Appendix) and recommends Council approves a maximum drawdown of £550,000 from the Dacorum Development Reserve to proceed with the next project stage (RIBA Stage 3 – Spatial Coordination).

 

4.         That Cabinet notes the approvals strategy set out in Section 2 and recommends that Council approves a maximum drawdown of £425k from the Dacorum Development Reserve to proceed with RIBA Stage 4 (Technical Design).

 

5.         That Cabinet delegates the decision for proceeding from Stage 3 to Stage 4 to the Assistant Director, Corporate and Contracted Services and the S.151 officer in consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council.

 

 

6.         That Cabinet notes and endorses the Main Contractor procurement strategy set out in Section 5, utilising the Procure Partnerships Framework for a two stage, design & build tender process and delegates authority to the Assistant Director, Corporate and Contracted Services and the S.151 officer to award the first stage pre-contract services agreement to the preferred Main Contractor.

 

7.         That Cabinet endorses the proposal to provide a further update once the public consultation has completed and the on and off-site football provision and potential residential option has been developed in more detail (within the next phase of work) before proceeding to Stage 4 and to report again at the end of RIBA Stage 4 (Technical Design), at which point cost certainty will be achieved for the proposed Main Contract, aligned with the known project risks and Operator strategy.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Williams stated that they have been asked to move onto the next stage of this process, into more detailed design and costings.

Mark Brookes presented the updated report to council, in which they have developed site options, preferred facility mix and created an outline cost and revenue business plan. Mark believes this plan will meet the requirements of sporting groups and the public, and is adaptable to changing user demands over time. Subject to cabinet authorising this report, the project will proceed to stage 3, which is public consultation, detailed design development for planning applications, and the first stage of contractor procurement. During this stage, the final position of the 3G pitches, opportunities for residential development and sustainability measures will be worked on. Mark stated that a report to update members will be produced at the end of this stage, with a further report at the end of stage 4, the technical design stage. This stage is where greater clarity will be achieved on contractor costs and revenue projections for the contract with Everyone Active. At this point, members will need to commit financially to the scheme. Mark introduced Richard, a project manager from the consultancy team, and asked for any questions.

Cllr Tindall asked about paragraphs 3.6 and 3.7 on page 116, which pertain to football provision and Langley Meadow, whether these issues will be part of the public consultation.

Mark B responded yes, but they are only trying to improve the Langley Meadow site rather than developing on it, so they will keep the grass pitch, but the discussion around on or off site will be part of the public consultation.

Cllr Elliott asked about page 128, the financial assumptions, and whether the baseline hybrid facility mix is the worst case scenario, and where the figures have come from.

Mark B replied it is a combination of taking existing pre-Covid numbers, national data on income for facilities of this type, and projections for 3 years’ time when they hope the recovery will have continued. He assured that they will monitor the recovery on a monthly basis, and report back in the next stage, but they do expect an uplift due to the new facilities that will be provided.

Cllr Elliott asked about the income figure for the spa, and questioned whether the residents of Berkhamsted would use it due to competition in the area with private operations.

Mark B answered that they have mapped out all the competition in the area, and found that actually what they will provide will go beyond what is already in that area. He noted there is a similar spa facility at Westminster Lodge in St Albans, so there is one comparison there.

Richard added that the St Albans facility is Everyone Active as well, and they are also opening another Lifestyle Centre in Amersham, therefore as the same operator will have all 3, the intention is for them to be complementary rather than competing. KKP, the business planner, has been involved  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/92/21

CA/93/21

Appointment of Principle Contractor for Aragon Close Modular Move On Accommodation pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

 

1.         That the contract to design, supply and install 8 No modular “Move On” accommodation homes and associated works for the Aragon Close project in Hemel Hempstead be awarded to Hill Partnerships Ltd via a direct award through the Catalyst Housing Framework.

 

2.         That delegated authority be approved to the Council’s Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services) to execute and complete all legal agreements ancillary to the JCT Minor Works Contract 2016 and/or reasonably required to complete the Project, including (but not limited to):

 

a)         all professional appointments;

b)         collateral warranties; and

c)         Agreements under

S.38, & S.278, of the Highways Act 1980;

S.247, Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

S.104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and

S.50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

Minutes:

Items CA/093/21 & CA/094/21 were discussed together

Cllr Griffiths stated that the principal contractors are Podular, a self-contained pod accommodation, which she has been out to see and approves of. It comes with everything inside, and they are also getting funding from the government for this. She added she and David Barratt would take any questions on this.

Cllr Elliott thinks the pods are a great idea, but commented that he would not want stigma to be attached to it, so they might need to think about how they dress it up.

Cllr Griffiths acknowledged this comment, but she believes that it might work the other way, they might look so nice that the rest of the area looks not as nice in comparison.

David Barratt agreed, stating that the area will be given a separate name and street address to keep it separate. He noted that normally he would come for approval with a planning approval in place, but that is on the agenda for the committee to discuss on the 2nd December. In order to realise the funding, they need to move on ahead, so subject to a successful planning committee outcome, they will be in a position to place the order immediately to get the funding. David also noted that the contractor, Hills, have a charitable foundation that have gifted a unit to them for the project, so the contract sum will reduce, which they are currently finalising.

Cllr Griffiths mentioned that the site was put forward for housing about 10 or 15 years ago, so there have been challenges with the site, but finally they have been able to secure a development that works that Willstone Parish Council are happy with. She expressed her support of this.

Cllr Anderson asked if there was a location plan they can provide.

David explained it is to the right of the pub in the main road, close to the garages. The location map was displayed on screen. David explained that there are 6 houses planned there, one of which is wheelchair accessible, with increased sustainability, electric vehicle charging, air source heat pumps, and insulation to a high standard.

Cllr Barratt asked about the square footage of each house.

David stated he cannot do that now, but will get it to Cllr Barratt, however it is designed in accordance with national state standards.

Cllr Barratt asked if they are all 3 bed properties.

David answered they are a combination of 2 bed and 3 bed properties.

Cllr Williams stated the recommendation on this one is to award the contract to Life Build Solutions, and asked if this one already has planning permission.

David confirmed that is correct.

Cabinet Agreed

 

 

1.         That the contract to design, supply and install 8 No modular “Move On” accommodation homes and associated works for the Aragon Close project in Hemel Hempstead be awarded to Hill Partnerships Ltd via a direct award through the Catalyst Housing Framework.

 

2.         That delegated authority be approved to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/93/21

CA/94/21

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.

 

Decision:

There were no part 2 items

CA/95/21

Appointment of Contractors for housing development

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That the contract to design, supply and install 8 No modular “Move On” accommodation homes and associated works for the Aragon Close project in Hemel Hempstead be awarded to Hill Partnerships Ltd via a direct award through the Catalyst Housing Framework.

 

2.         That delegated authority be approved to the Council’s Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services) to execute and complete all legal agreements ancillary to the JCT Minor Works Contract 2016 and/or reasonably required to complete the Project, including (but not limited to):

 

a.         all professional appointments;

b.         collateral warranties; and

c.         Agreements under

S.38, & S.278, of the Highways Act 1980;

S.247, Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

S.104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and

S.50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

Minutes:

Item discussed together with CA/093/21

 

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.         That the contract to design, supply and install 8 No modular “Move On” accommodation homes and associated works for the Aragon Close project in Hemel Hempstead be awarded to Hill Partnerships Ltd via a direct award through the Catalyst Housing Framework.

 

2.         That delegated authority be approved to the Council’s Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services) to execute and complete all legal agreements ancillary to the JCT Minor Works Contract 2016 and/or reasonably required to complete the Project, including (but not limited to):

 

a.         all professional appointments;

b.         collateral warranties; and

c.         Agreements under

S.38, & S.278, of the Highways Act 1980;

S.247, Part III of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

S.104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and

S.50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991