Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 25th July, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Michelle Anderson 

Items
No. Item

CA/69/17

Minutes pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on  27th June 2017.

 

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th of June 2017 were agreed by the members present and signed by the Chairman.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th of June 2017 were agreed by the members present and signed by the Chairman.

 

CA/70/17

Apologies for Absence

 

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Decision:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Marshall and Chief Executive, Sally Marshall.

 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Marshall and Chief Executive, Sally Marshall.

 

CA/71/17

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:

None received

Minutes:

None received

CA/72/17

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:

None received

 

Minutes:

None received

 

CA/73/17

Referrals to Cabinet

There were no referrals to Cabinet

Decision:

None received

 

Minutes:

None received

 

CA/74/17

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Decision:

That the Cabinet Forward Plan be noted.

Minutes:

That the Cabinet Forward Plan be noted.

CA/75/17

Public Space Protection Order pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

  1. To commence a non-statutory consultation on a proposal to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order, applying to the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre, Old Town and Water Gardens area as shown on the plan at Appendix A to the Cabinet report, to prohibit/regulate the following activities:

 

(a)   Behave in a way that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any other person

(b)   Use, possess or supply to another person any intoxicating substance.

(c)   Continue to consume alcohol when required to stop doing so by any authorised officer

(d)   Create or reside in a street encampment

(e)   sit on the ground in a public place, street, highway or passage in a manner to be perceived that you are inviting people to give you money.

(f)     Spit (including discharge of chewing gum), urinate or defecate in a public place.

(g)   Cycle or skateboard.

(h)   Feeding birds/wildfowl in the water gardens area

 

2.  To report the outcomes of the consultation to Strategic  Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to decide whether to progress with the PSPO and specifically what to include within the PSPO.

Minutes:

 

  1. To commence a non-statutory consultation on a proposal to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order, applying to the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre, Old Town and Water Gardens area as shown on the plan at Appendix A to the Cabinet report, to prohibit/regulate the following activities:

 

(a)   Behave in a way that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any other person

(b)   Use, possess or supply to another person any intoxicating substance.

(c)   Continue to consume alcohol when required to stop doing so by any authorised officer

(d)   Create or reside in a street encampment

(e)   sit on the ground in a public place, street, highway or passage in a manner to be perceived that you are inviting people to give you money.

(f)     Spit (including discharge of chewing gum), urinate or defecate in a public place.

(g)   Cycle or skateboard.

(h)   Feeding birds/wildfowl in the water gardens area

  1. To report the outcomes of the consultation to Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to decide whether to progress with the PSPO and specifically what to include within the PSPO.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To propose the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order to provide a means of controlling a number of activities having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those living in, working in and visiting Hemel Hempstead town centre.

 

Corporate Objectives

Safe and Clean Environment

Maintain a clean and safe environment

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

 

The PSPO will assist with the prevention of anti-social behaviour in the town centre.  There will need to be a proportionate approach to enforcement particularly where the order is being breached by young and vulnerable persons.

 

Deputy S.151 Officer

 

The costs of implementing and enforcing any order will need to be met from within existing approved budgets.

 

Advice

 

Councillor Harden said that the report is proposed to introduce a Public Space Protection Order following various complaints regarding anti-social behaviour in the town centre.  The order will give officers another tool to tackle anti-social behaviour but would only be used if other more informal ways of resolving issues fail.  The report has been to overview and scrutiny committee who were supportive of the proposal. 

 

The recommendation is to go out to public consultation and a further report will be brought back to Cabinet which will report on the outcome of the consultation and decide whether to proceed with the PSPO.

 

Councillor Elliot asked how easy it would be to police this.

M Brookes explained that this was an issue to further consider. There were no additional resources and they would therefore be using the existing teams. Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) can currently be issued by accredited staff so it may be necessary to increase this.

 

Councillor Elliot asked how many FPN’s were issued in a year.

Councillor Harden said that this was new legislation and there were various enforcement methods throughout the year. He added that this report had previously been to  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/75/17

CA/76/17

Flexible Homelessness Support Grant & Homelessness Prevention Act pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

1.       That Cabinet delegate authority to the Corporate Director (Housing) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources to finalise and agree the proposals set out in Table 1 and Table 2 of section 4.7 in the Cabinet report.

 

Resolved to recommend:

 

2.       The supplementary estimates for 2017/18 to establish budgets as detailed in the body of the Cabinet report and Table 1 & 2 (as amended pursuant to recommendation 1) be incorporated into budgets for 2018/19.

Minutes:

Decision

 

1.       That Cabinet delegate authority to the Corporate Director (Housing) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources to finalise and agree the proposals set out in Table 1 and Table 2 of section 4.7 in the Cabinet report.

 

Resolved to recommend:

 

2.       The supplementary estimates for 2017/18 to establish budgets as detailed in the body of the Cabinet report and Table 1 & 2 (as amended pursuant to recommendation 1) be incorporated into budgets for 2018/19.

 

Reason for Decision

 

For Members to consider the proposals in ring fenced funding made available for homeless prevention.

 

Corporate Objectives

Affordable Housing

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  The statutory changes are likely to give rise to a significant increase in legal challenges to decisions.  Accordingly, it is important that a reserve fund/budget is allocated to fund associated legal costs required to defend challenges.  This will need to be monitored over the next 12-18 months to assess if permanent additional staffing resource is required in the legal team.

 

Deputy S.151 Officer

 

The report sets out funding received and notified from central government that is ring fenced for specific purposes. The planned expenditure will have to be contained within the grant received.

 

Advice

 

Councillor Griffiths explained that the legislation was changing in October. Funding had been received from central Government and this report explained how this money would be used.

N Brathwaite explained that the increase in demand for homelessness and prevention services is set to grow significantly with the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act which came into force on 1 April 2017 and which the Council must comply with from 1 April 2018. 

 

M Gaynor added that the scale of the impact of this was significantly more than what the government had predicted. There would be more people in temporary accommodation and a longer time spent there. There would also be an impact on housing benefits and the ability to find people homes which they can afford. Therefore the more the council could prevent homelessness, the better.

 

N Brathwaite added that they believed the figures for homelessness cases will triple regarding the number spent in temporary accommodation and the time they spend there. Currently Dacorum had 100 households in temporary accommodation for an average of 6 months. Therefore the impact would be very high. The act would also give the council a wider remit as to those people who they could assist, which could result in an increase of more complex cases. She reported that she was already in contact with London Borough Councils as they were purchasing accommodation in the Dacorum area therefore restricting our options.

M Gaynor said that this was not bad legislation but just one that would have a massive impact.

 

E Brooks reported that the level of homelessness cases had recently already increased and the service were already seeing an impact on performance before the legislation has been introduced.

 

Councillor Harden asked if there had been any reassurance from  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/76/17

CA/77/17

Creation of additional units in sheltered housing accommodation pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved to recommend:

1.     the approval of a supplementary capital estimate to create three new homes and refurbishment of communal areas at three Supported Housing sites. The details of the required supplementary estimate is in section 1 of the Part II appendix of the report to Cabinet.

 

2.     That the works be tendered as three separate contracts, and authority be delegated to award any contracts associated with these refurbishments to the Assistant Director (Housing) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing. 

Minutes:

Decision

 

Resolved to recommend:

1.     the approval of a supplementary capital estimate to create three new homes and refurbishment of communal areas at three Supported Housing sites. The details of the required supplementary estimate is in section 1 of the Part II appendix of the report to Cabinet.

 

2.     That the works be tendered as three separate contracts, and authority be delegated to award any contracts associated with these refurbishments to the Assistant Director (Housing) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing. 

 

Reason for Decision

 

To outline a proposal to create 3 wheelchair accessible properties and improve office space, laundry facilities and communal areas at 3 Supported Housing sites in the Borough.

 

To seek delegated authority to award contracts in relation to the work that needs to be carried out at these 3 Supported Housing sites.

 

Corporate Objectives

Providing good quality affordable homes for those most in need.

 

The project will:

 

Provide three flats suitable for wheelchair users at Great Sturgess Road, The Driftway and Old House Court Supported Housing Schemes. The provision of wheelchair friendly dwellings will enhance the quality of life for residents who require a totally suitable and adapted property, enabling them to live an independent lifestyle in an affordable property.

 

Deliver modern, comfortable and easily accessible facilities, including new laundries and offices for the Supported Housing Officers for the tenants within the Great Sturgess Road, The Driftway and Old House Court Supported Housing Schemes. The Driftway project will also provide a new Guest Room facility. These new facilities will be at a central location enabling tenants to access them easier than they currently can.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

 

The building contracts will need to follow a regulated procurement process in compliance with the Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Standing Orders and the building works contracts should be checked by the council’s legal team prior to completion.

 

The decision to award the contract should be documented in an Officer Decision Sheet signed by the Assistant Director (Housing) at the appropriate time.   

 

Deputy S.151 Officer

 

The costs of developing these units can be met from the proceeds of high value properties already received. The final approvals from reserves can be finalised once contracts have been agreed and built into the next business plan considered by members.

 

Advice

 

E Brooks explained that the report explained the aims of the plan with regards to the 3 sites highlighted. The purpose was to create decent offices in the communal schemes. If the scheme was a success then sale of properties could be ongoing and give the council an opportunity to do something different.

 

Councillor Williams didn’t have any negatives to raise. He asked if the council planned for this accommodation in the new builds.

E Brooks confirmed this for our own stock as well as being able to influence others and their developments.

 

Voting

 

None.

 

CA/78/17

Business rate relief schemes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Decision:

Resolved to Recommend:

1.     to introduce a Supporting Small Business rate relief scheme

2.     to introduce a Support for Pubs rate relief scheme

3.     consultation with Herts County Council on option 3 of the cabinet report for the Revaluation Relief scheme, and that authority be delegated to the Assistant Director (Finance & Resources)  in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance & Resources to agree to introduce a scheme based on these principles after the County’s response is received

4.     to introduce a 100% rural rate relief scheme

5.     to introduce a Local Newspaper rate relief scheme

6.     that authority be delegated to the Portfolio Holder for Finance & Resources to agree the introduction of future discretionary rate relief schemes which are proposed,  fully funded and have detailed guidance provided by Government

Minutes:

Decision

 

Resolved to Recommend:

1.     to introduce a Supporting Small Business rate relief scheme

2.     to introduce a Support for Pubs rate relief scheme

3.     consultation with Herts County Council on option 3 of the cabinet report for the Revaluation Relief scheme, and that authority be delegated to the Assistant Director (Finance & Resources)  in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance & Resources to agree to introduce a scheme based on these principles after the County’s response is received

4.     to introduce a 100% rural rate relief scheme

5.     to introduce a Local Newspaper rate relief scheme

6.     that authority be delegated to the Portfolio Holder for Finance & Resources to agree the introduction of future discretionary rate relief schemes which are proposed,  fully funded and have detailed guidance provided by Government

 

Reason for Decision

 

To consider the introduction of discretionary business rate relief schemes to provide additional help for businesses in line with announcements made by the Chancellor in the 2017 Spring Budget

 

Corporate Objectives

These reliefs will support the corporate objective of Ensuring economic growth and prosperity.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

 

No comments to add to the report.

 

Deputy S.151 Officer

 

This is a Deputy S151 Officer report.

 

Advice

 

Councillor Elliot introduced the report and said that the recommendations set out would enable Dacorum to implement various business rate relief schemes announced by the Chancellor at the last Budget and where the details were not finalised until June. Government are fully funding these schemes, so there is no cost to DBC. The details of most schemes have been set by DCLG, but we have a degree of flexibility about the “Revaluation relief” scheme, discussed in section 4 of the report. The proposed option demonstrates the commitment of Dacorum to help support small local businesses.  

 

C Baker added that there were a range of different schemes, those set as national legislation for longer periods of time and those allowing local government to implement short term schemes and will be fully funded.

 

Councillor Williams felt that this was fairly straightforward and supported by government.

 

Councillor Tindall referred to the backlog of appeals and asked if that was a result of the government guidance and would the situation change.

C Baker said there were new ways to put in place for rate payers; however they wouldn’t know the impact of this for another few years.

 

Councillor Williams asked if the situation with the backlog was improving.

C Baker said that the backlog nationally had been cleared but this had since increased drastically. 

 

Voting

 

None.

 

CA/79/17

Review of the Financial Regulations pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Decision:

Resolved to recommend:

1.     the approval of the revised Financial Regulations as detailed in paragraphs 4 to 15 of the Cabinet report.

Minutes:

Resolved to recommend:

  1. the approval of the revised Financial Regulations as detailed in paragraphs 4 to 15 of the Cabinet report.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To seek Cabinet approval of the recommended changes to the Financial Regulations 2017.

 

Corporate Objectives

The efficacy of the Financial Regulations supports all of the Council’s objectives.

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

Deputy S151 Officer

This is a S151 Officer report.

Monitoring Officer

No comments to add to the report.

 

Advice

 

Councillor Elliot introduced the report and said that the purpose was to update Financial Regulations for approval levels for invoice reductions and disposal of assets to ensure authorisation levels are consistent with Procurement Standing orders and other sections of the Financial Regulations and to update the Regulations to take account of Electronic Purchasing Cards (EPCs) as the Council moves away from credit cards. Theses updates have been proposed after taking account of feedback from Audit Committee who requested some minor amendments to some of the wording.

 

Voting

 

None.

 

CA/80/17

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved to recommend:

1.     the revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2017/18 – 2021/22 be approved

 

Minutes:

Decision

Resolved to recommend:

1.     the revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2017/18 – 2021/22 be approved

 

Reason for Decision

 

To present to Cabinet the revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for approval.

 

Corporate Objectives

The Medium Term Financial Strategy supports the delivery of all five of the Corporate Objectives.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

No comments to add to the report.

 

S.151 Officer

This is a Section 151 Officer report.

 

Advice

 

J Deane introduced the report and referred Cabinet Members to Appendix A, the MTFS Update.

 

He explained that the Council had a multi-year savings programme in place which involved managers working towards identifying savings more than one year in advance. This has led to some of the future years’ savings targets having already been identified, and that work must now focus on ensuring that these projects are delivered. In order to ensure that progress against these longer term projects is robustly monitored, updates on key initiatives will be included within quarterly finance reports to Members throughout the year.

 

J Deane also explained that there were some significant risks to the Council’s medium-term funding streams assumed in Appendix A, as follows:

 

·        Revenue Support Grant – although the period 2019/20, inclusive, is covered by the 4-year Settlement agreement with government made in 2016, the tariffs assumed for the years beyond 2019/20 are estimates and subject to change. Given the size of previous years’ reductions, any further reductions within these estimates could have significant implications for the Council.

 

·        Business Rates Retained – uncertainty remains over Government’s implementation of 100% rates retention by the local government sector: including any additional responsibility it might bring for the council, when it will happen, and, given that the Local Government Finance Act was omitted from the Queen’s Speech, whether it will happen. Again, given the scale of Business Rates retained within the context of the Council’s overall budget, any changes to the amounts assumed in this MTFS could prove significant.

 

Councillor Elliot felt that it was important to keep a close eye on those savings identified but not yet delivered.

 

Councillor Williams agreed as delivery was key to help contribute to the overall savings.

 

Voting

 

None.