Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 27th March, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Member Support 

Items
No. Item

CA/28/18a

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on  13th February 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 30th January 2018 and 13th February 2018 were agreed by Members present and signed by the Chair.

CA/29/18

Apologies for Absence

 

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of James Deane – Corporate Director of Finance & Resources.

CA/30/18

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]

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

CA/31/18

Public Participation

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

 

 

Minutes:

There was no public participation.

CA/32/18

Referrals to Cabinet

There were no referrals to Cabinet

Minutes:

There were no referrals to Cabinet.

CA/33/18

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Minutes:

The Forward Plan was noted with the following amendments;

·         April meeting to consider an item on Tring Sports Centre

·         Vehicle Repair Shop report moved from the April to the 22 May meeting

Agreed

 

CA/34/18

Two Waters Master Plan pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND

 

That the Two Waters Masterplan Guidance (as set out Appendix 1 of the report to Cabinet) be adopted as a Planning Statement until the new Dacorum Borough Local Plan is in place when it will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document.

 

Reason for decision

 

To review the Two Waters Masterplan Guidance and recommend to put forward the document for adoption by Council as a Planning Statement

 

Corporate objectives

Affordable Housing

 

The Two Waters Masterplan Guidance will help deliver affordable housing through development and sets out guidance for its delivery in accordance with DBC’s Core Strategy policy CS19.

 

Building Community Capacity

 

The Vision for the Two Waters Masterplan Guidance centres on creating a sustainable community balancing national pressures for delivering housing and development with local needs and sets out guidance for developers and potential developers to regenerate the area and develop in a manner that builds local community capacity.

Delivering an Efficient and Modern Council

 

The Vision for Two Waters Masterplan Guidance sets out to deliver development that is modern and efficient for the enjoyment of those living and working in the Borough which will be enabled through the guidance provided for development coming forward in the area.

 

Ensuring Economic Growth and Prosperity

 

The Two Waters Masterplan Guidance sets out a Vision, Objectives and Guidance to steer development that ensures economic growth and prosperity through high quality mixed use development around transport hubs and in close proximity to the town centre, as well as the provision of improved infrastructure including transport. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and/or S106 contributions will enable the provision of improved infrastructure and community facilities that facilitates economic growth and prosperity.

 

A Safe, Clean and Enjoyable Environment

 

The Two Waters Masterplan Guidance sets out a framework for the delivery of a safe, clean and enjoyable environment.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

The Masterplan will provide a framework which can be used to guide development in the area.  It should enable a more consistent approach to decision making and thus avoid unnecessary appeals and legal challenges.

S.151 Officer:

No further comments to add.

Advice

Cllr Sutton introduced the report, which had been presented to Cabinet previously and the comments gathered have now been taken into consideration and incorporated into this report.

Cllr Sutton handed over to J Doe to provide an overview of the report.  J Doe reminded Members that this covers an extensive area of the town, it covers 124 hectares of land, roughly in a triangle between the Plough roundabout and the two train stations, at Boxmoor and at Apsley.  The work goes back to late 2015 when the masterplan started to be drafted and in that time there have been a number of public engagements, including facilitated workshops, exhibitions and a general public consultation last year.   DBC looked at a number of different scenarios for development within the area. 

At the heart of the masterplan are 4 key sites, the first around the station and associated commercial property.  The second  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/34/18

CA/35/18

Senior Pay Policy pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND;

  1. That the Council adopt the Pay Policy for 2018/19 as set out in appendix 1 of the report to the Cabinet.

 

  1. That any amendments to the Pay Policy throughout the financial year 2018/2019 which are required as a result of legislative changes be approved by the Chief Executive in conjunction with the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

 

Reason for decision

 

To set the Council’s pay policy for the financial year 2018/19, as required by Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011.

 

Corporate objectives

The Council’s policies in respect of pay and terms and conditions support all five of the Council’s strategic objectives as part of ensuring that services to the community can be delivered to the required standards and with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

The Pay Policy Statement meets the Council’s statutory requirements under Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 and is therefore suitable for approval by Cabinet and Council.

S.151 Officer:

No further comments to add to the report.

Advice

Cllr Harden introduced the report as the annual policy that has to be brought to Members.  There are no major changes this year, though a few minor amendments were set out by M Rawdon.

M Rawdon advised that the changes from last year’s Senor Pay Policy are as follows;

  • The Council’s lease car scheme is being replaced by a car salary sacrifice scheme which is now open to all employees, rather than selected few.
  • The 3 essential car user allowances will be discontinued and the previous eligible staff will receive a consolidated increase in their pay equivalent to this amount.  The lease car allowances will be consolidated into basic pay for senior officers as of October 2020.
  • The redundancy payments have been amended in relation to the changes, reducing from 2.2weeks to 1.5 weeks per year of service based on contractual weekly pay.
  • We have also included the gender pay requirement, all employers with over 250 staff are required to publish this, and for clarity the gender pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and woman.  The Council’s gender pay gap is detailed in the report, the mean gender pay gap between males & females was 1% and the medium was 8% in favour of women being paid more than males.  To conceptualise this, some companies are reporting women are earning 30-40% less than men.  Appendix 3 of the report to Cabinet provides some narrative on the gender pay gap.  Built around 4 key areas; strategy, recruitment & selection, terms & conditions and the support we provide.  A detailed action plan will form part of the people strategy going forward into next year to ensure we continue to support gender parity across all aspects of employment.

The Chair referred to the gender pay gap and asked, with regard Pg 30, Item 14, the figures in 14.1; the 1% pay gap between male and female.  It would appear in the first chart that males earn only  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/35/18

CA/36/18

Council New Build Programme Update pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

Decisions

1.    That the progress of the Council New Build Programme be noted

2.    That an increase be approved to the budget to Kylna Court by £483,200, all to accommodate amendments to the design of the external envelope of the building and to incorporate a sprinkler system, funded from a budget virement from the 2018/19 New Build General budget.

3.    That a consultancy budget of £600,000 be approved to develop plans for the next phase of the Council’s New Build programme as detailed in Section 7, funded from a budget virement from the 2018/19 New Build General budget.

4.    That the following ‘141 Right to Buy replacement scheme’ grant funding payments for affordable housing developments in the Borough be approved as follows:

·           £3,750,000 to Watford Community Housing Trust for 6 No Garage Sites known as Cupid Green Lane, Hyde Meadows, Pulleys Lane, Rucklers Lane, Wood View and Long Arotts.

·           £343,820 to Watford Community Housing Trust for a development known as Nova House, Jupiter Drive, Hemel Hempstead.

·           In addition, this recommendation authorises a +/- 5% adjustment to the stated cost figures as a contingency sum should the Housing Association revise their cost data as these are based on current estimates which could adjust as the project develops

5.    That the two ‘141 Right to Buy replacement scheme’ grant funding applications that have now been withdrawn by Hastoe and Thrive be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide a full update on the Council New Build Programme

 

To seek approval for the payment of “141 Right to Buy replacement scheme’ grant funding to Housing Associations (Registered Providers) delivering affordable housing schemes in the Borough.

Corporate objectives

Delivering Affordable Housing

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

Under the scheme introduced in 2012 investment in new affordable housing can be made by the Council itself or through grant funding registered providers. 

This decision proposes the funding of several developments by Watford Community Housing Trust.

Officers should ensure that each site going forward is covered by the grant agreement (referred to in para 8.2 below) to ensure that the Council’s position is protected and enable it to meet audit requirements.

S.151 Officer:

No further comments to add to the report.

Advice

Cllr Griffiths introduced the report, which comes for consideration every year and handed over to D Barrett to provide overview detail.

D Barrett advised that the report is split down into three main parts.  The first of which is give update on the current approved programme and where we are at with existing schemes.  It contains a request to approve an increase on the Kylna Court budget to cover events post Grenfell; cladding and sprinklers design, and it is proposed that this is spread over the existing new build budgets.

The second part deals with the next wave of schemes we would like to deliver as a Council.  Previously set out sites have been identified and Housing are now seeking approval for a budget to develop those to planning approval status.

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/36/18

CA/37/18

South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND;

  1. That the Council work with the other South West Herts Authorities (Three Rivers, Watford, Hertsmere and St. Albans Councils) and Hertfordshire County Council to prepare a Joint Strategic Plan.

 

  1. That a Memorandum of Understanding be progressed as the framework for governing future joint working arrangements and for the final terms of this Memorandum of Understanding to be delegated to the Assistant Director – Planning, Development and Regeneration, in consultation with the Planning and Regeneration Portfolio Holder, for agreement.

 

  1. That officers progress work on the joint plan and report this to Cabinet and Council for approval at key stages.

 

  1. That the arrangements for the appointment of staff to be jointly managed between the five Local Authorities and to delegate to the Assistant Director – Planning, Development and Regeneration in consultation with the Corporate Director Finance and Operations and the Assistant Director Performance, Policy and Innovation to make the necessary arrangements and agreement with the other Local Authorities for recruitment, appointment, joint management and sharing of costs and liabilities.

 

  1. That the support of Hertfordshire County Council and the Hertfordshire LEP for this process be noted.

 

  1. That the recruitment arrangements for an urban design officer, shared with St Albans City and District Council, to provide specialist advice be commenced.

 

Reason for Decision

To seek support from Members to proceed with the preparation of a South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan and for governance arrangements to be put in place to enable this work to move forwards.

 

Corporate objectives

The Joint Strategic Plan would set the context for the Council’s own Local Plan and together both documents would help support all 5 corporate objectives:

·         Safe and clean environment: e.g. contains policies relating to the design and layout of new development that promote security and safe access;

·         Community Capacity: e.g. provide a framework for local communities to prepare area-specific guidance such as Neighbourhood Plans, Town / Village Plans etc;

·         Affordable housing: e.g. sets the Borough’s overall housing target and the proportion of new homes that must be affordable;

·         Dacorum delivers:  e.g. provides a clear framework upon which planning decisions can be made; and

Regeneration: e.g. sets the planning framework for key regeneration projects, such as Hemel Hempstead town centre and the Maylands Business Park.

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be the key document to agree the governance arrangements to take the plan forward but officers will need to ensure that it does not fetter the Council’s own decision making processes.   

 

The Statement of Common Ground will set the framework and agree key principles and priorities for the Joint Strategic Plan and therefore this should be approved by Cabinet and Council

 

S.151 Officer:

The Service will need to ensure that the financial risks to the Council of appointing shared staff are adequately mitigated. This will require a robust MoU that provides for the equitable sharing of potential redundancy costs and agreement on the way forward in the event that no funding is allocated by MHCLG  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/37/18

CA/38/18

Q3 Risk Register pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

The content of the report was noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide the Quarter 3 update on the Strategic Risk Register

 

Corporate objectives

Dacorum Delivers – Risk management is an essential part of ensuring that the Council meets all of its objectives

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

No comments to add to the report.

S.151 Officer:

No comments to add to the report.

Advice

Cllr Elliott introduced the report – been through Audit Committee without many comments.  Most of the scores remain unchanged and stable, therefore I welcome any questions.

No questions, recommendation agreed.

Voting

None.

 

CA/39/18

Review of HRA Business Plan pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND

 

That the Council approve

1.    The updated Housing Revenue Account Business Plan.

2.    The revised development programme budgets as set out in Section 8 of the report; and the budget for the Martindale Development in Appendix 2 of the report to the Cabinet.

 

Reason for decision

 

To review and approve the Annual Review of the Council’s Housing Revenue Account Business Plan.

 

Corporate objectives

Delivering Affordable Housing

 

Monitoring Officer/S.151 Officer comments

 

Monitoring Officer:  

The annual review provides a robust mechanism to monitor the business plan to ensure that it takes account of changes in government policy, law and the economy and therefore meets the Council’s statutory requirements.

S.151 Officer:

Over the coming months the Council should focus on the medium-term development opportunities that will arise following MHCLG clarifying their approach to potentially lifting the borrowing cap. This will need to combine the updated trend for RTB sales and the increased scope for internal use of the 141 receipts.

 

The development budgets identified in Appendix 2 represent a re-profiling of previously approved budgets.

 

Advice

Cllr Griffiths introduced the report and advised it is the annual report. The 1% reduction in rents is incorporated into the money we have left to spend. She added that we have another year left on that with no sign of what the policy will be after that.  Cllr Griffiths asked E Brooks to add any further comments.

E Brooks highlighted to Members that this is the Annual Review to the Business Plan, the 5th review that we have carried out since the introduction of self-financing in 2012 and drew attention to Section 3.2 of the report highlighting the good work that we have been able to do since introduction of self-financing with the additional resources that the Housing Revenue Account had. DBC have made some real differences to our tenants’ homes in terms of improvements and the latest calculation from our asset management system around decency levels of our stock is that we are over the 90% level now.

He continued to highlight a couple of issues around Section 4, in particular two areas of government policy, one being the sale of high value Council homes which still hasn’t been rolled out to all authorities.  The advice we’ve had this year is to not make any assumptions in the business plan for any amount of money we would have to generate under this policy but we will need to keep an eye on this.  With regard the issue of Universal Credit; whilst this is still an unknown we have made some assumptions having taken advice, in terms of increasing our bad debt provision.  We continue to closely monitor the plan throughout the year with Finance.  Another point to raise is in Section 7.2 of the report, highlights the current headroom in terms of borrowing.  There isn’t currently money in the business plan and that is the main impact of the 1% rent reduction, which has affected our income over a length of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/39/18