Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 15th March, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

CA/17/21

Minutes pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2022

 

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed the meetings from the previous meeting

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 February were agreed by Members present and signed by the Chair.

 

CA/18/21

Apologies for Absence

 

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Decision:

Apologies were received from Cllr Anderson.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Anderson.

CA/19/21

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:

None

CA/20/21

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:

None

CA/21/21

Referrals to Cabinet

There were no referrals to Cabinet

Decision:

None

CA/22/21

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

Minutes:

The Forward Plan was noted.

 

CA/23/21

Commercial Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Decision:

Cabinet Noted the report

Minutes:

Decision

That Cabinet notes the update.

 

Corporate Objectives

 

 

1. A clean, safe and enjoyable environment.

2. Building strong and vibrant communities.

3. Ensuring economic growth and prosperity.

4. Providing good quality affordable homes.

5. Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery.

6. Meeting the challenges of the climate emergency

 

 

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

 

Monitoring Officer: 

 

There are no legal issues arising directly from this report and any implications arising from each IBC will be considered as the business cases are developed.

 

Deputy S.151 Officer:

 

The Council’s Commercial Strategy will support the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Strategy. Further development of IBCs and any associated financial implications will be reflected in the update of the Medium Term Financial Strategy during 2022-23

 

Advice

 

Cllr Elliot introduced the report and said that Dacorum Borough Council needs to become self-funding, they have bought in Costain and Commercial Gov to help them identify and develop commercial initiatives and this report is an update on where they are with that.

 

Cllr Barratt asked in regards to the early properties and the retrofitting of commercial vehicles with electric motors and solar panels. He wanted to understand a bit more on that. He could see where that could save money however; he could not see what the commercial opportunity was with that.

 

NHowcutt responded that this was kind of two fold, the commercial strategy was aiming to create new income streams and expand stream that they have. It was also looking a taking a commercial approach to how they run their services and running them as efficiently as possible. Some of these schemes will reduce the costs of running those services. What they will have in the medium term is the opportunity to expand into other markets as well, so for instance if they were to go down the retro fitting of vehicles, it maybe that by upskilling our service and their maintenance teams that they could offer that service to other businesses or to other residents going forward. With the solar power or smart parking schemes, if they were to become specialist on the local area they could look to expand that into other areas and deliver that in more of a commercial frame. Therefore, it was a double edged around saving efficiencies initially but also potentially opening up to new markets.

 

Cllr Barrett said that it mentioned online that other authorities have received grants from the government to convert vehicles.

 

NHowcutt said that there were large ranges of grants for climate change, everything from decarbonisation of building to retro fitting cars as well. They apply for them when they become open and available. Most of these grants have a very short application time and excessive amounts of applicants. He said that the last decarbonisation scheme was around 1billion had around 3billion pounds worth of applicants so it’s about them being ready for those schemes and that what they are trying to do at the moment.

 

Recommendation agreed

 

Cabinet noted the report

 

 

CA/24/21

Little Gaddesden Conservation area character appraisal pdf icon PDF 368 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

1.     To delegate to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure to consider any further comments from Members on the Little Gaddesden Conservation Area: Character Appraisal received before 5pm on 21 March 2022.

 

2.     To delegate authority to the Strategic Director (Place) to make any final minor editorial revisions to the document received in line with Recommendation 1 above and any minor typographical revisions required.

 

3.     To delegate the approval of the Little Gaddesden Conservation Area: Character Appraisal final document to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure.

Minutes:

Decision

 

1.         To delegate to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure to consider any further comments from Members on the Little Gaddesden Conservation Area: Character Appraisal received before 5pm on 21 March 2022.

 

2.         To delegate authority to the Strategic Director (Place) to make any final minor editorial revisions to the document received in line with Recommendation 1 above and any minor typographical revisions required.

 

3.         To delegate the approval of the Little Gaddesden Conservation Area: Character Appraisal final document to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure.

 

Corporate Objectives

 

 A clean, safe and enjoyable environment

The appraisal highlights the important character of the conservation area in particular in relation to design and layout which will inform any new development to ensure that the environment is protected or enhanced.

 

Building strong and vibrant communities Joint working with the parish council to produce the document has ensured community support for the proposal which in part seeks to protect the vitality of the village.

 

Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery

Provides a clear framework upon which planning decisions can be made.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

 

 

Deputy Monitoring Officer:  

 

Pursuant to section 69(2) of the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990 the Council is required to carry out reviews ‘from time to time’ to determine whether any parts or further parts of its area should be designated as conservation areas, and if it so determines, that part (s) shall be designated as such. Although there is no statutory requirement for consultation, it is considered appropriate that the proposal to designate an area with Conservation Area status is subject to public consultation given the effect that such designation may have on future development proposals within the designated area.

 

Deputy S.151 Officer

 

No further comments to add.

 

Advice

 

A Robinson introduced the report, he said that the Little Gaddesden Character Appraisal was the latest in a number of conservation area appraisals that they had undertaken over the years and that this report was produced entirely by the Parish Council working with officers over the last year. The proposal is to extend the area to the east as set out on page 7. The conservation area appraisal was consulted on last year in November & December and was received positively from a whole range of residents and organisations. Historic England were very complimentary about the levels of details in the report and because of that, they will probably be using this model to update further conservation area appraisals in the future.

 

The original recommendation was for Cabinet to note however due to a late appendix it a recommended that the authority be delegated to the portfolio holder following a period of consultation with members.

 

Cllr Douris said he was the local Cllr for this area and he echoes and supports the report and the comments of Historic England. He thought that the appendix was excellent, the people from Little Gaddesden enjoyed doing this, its large piece of work that they have done with great  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/24/21

CA/25/21

Garage Strategy pdf icon PDF 671 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND

 

1.         That Council approve additional 21/22 supplementary funding

of £110k revenue for project costs, to be funded from the Dacorum

Development reserve.

 

2.         Approved additional 21/22 supplementary funding of £300k capital.

 

3.         Approved the proposed Operational Plans for 2022/23 and recommend to

Council the approval of a one off £550k draw down from reserves, £425k

funding for 22/23 and £125k funding for 23/24, funded from the Dacorum

Development Reserve.

 

4.         Approved the transfer of the Garages Service to primary oversight by the

Finance and Resources Scrutiny Committee. Cabinet www.dacorum.gov.uk

Page 54 Agenda Item 9

 

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND

 

5.         That Council approve a supplementary capital budget for

2022/23 garage investment of £500k. The specific investment decisions to be

delegated to the Strategic Director (Corporate and Commercial) in

consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources and s.151

Officer.

 

6.         Approved the disposal of £500k of underutilised garages to finance the

additional garage investment and garage conversion proposals. To delegate

specific disposal decisions to the Strategic Director (Corporate and

Commercial) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and

Resources and s.151 Officer, and in line with current financial regulations.

Minutes:

Decision

1. To recommend to Council to approve additional 21/22 supplementary funding of £110k revenue for project costs, to be funded from the Dacorum Development reserve.

 2. To approve additional 21/22 supplementary funding of £300k capital.

3. To approve the proposed Operational Plans for 2022/23 and recommend to Council the approval of a one off £550k draw down from reserves, £425k funding for 22/23 and £125k funding for 23/24, funded from the Dacorum Development Reserve.

4. To approve the transfer of the Garages Service to primary oversight by the Finance and Resources Scrutiny Committee. Cabinet www.dacorum.gov.uk

5. To recommend to Council to approve a supplementary capital budget for 2022/23 garage investment of £500k. The specific investment decisions to be delegated to the Strategic Director (Corporate and Commercial) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources and s.151 Officer.

6. To approve the disposal of £500k of underutilised garages to finance the additional garage investment and garage conversion proposals. To delegate specific disposal decisions to the Strategic Director (Corporate and Commercial) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources and s.151 Officer, and in line with current financial regulations.

 

Corporate Objectives

A clean, safe and enjoyable environment Ensuring economic growth and prosperity Providing good quality affordable homes, in particular for those most in need Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery

 

Deputy Monitoring Officer:  

 

No comments to add to the report.

 

S.151 Officer

 

Garages represent a significant income stream to the Council. The report sets out proposed oneoff investment in Garages over a three- year period to support and further develop this income stream and the quality of the service provided to customers. Proposed revenue costs would be funded from the Dacorum Development reserve. Capital costs would be funded from a combination of capital receipts arising from garage sales, alongside other sources of capital financing.

 

Advice

Cllr Elliot said that they have a lack of data about the condition of the garages, they do need investment and they need to look at how these are to be refurbished going forward. It could be that they put in business units; there are a lack of workshops in the area, so that is one aspect to be considered that could be considered as a result of the condition survey. The survey will be around £150,000 and hopefully that would give them the information that they need on the garages they have and the condition that they are in. They will have to invest more in these garages as they have not invested much over the past decades. They will be ring fencing £500,000 from the sale of some of the garage sites and put that into the general fund rather than a separate fund. The garages will be removed from under the Housing service and moved into the general fund. There will be a focus on letting out these garages.

 

Cllr Griffiths said that she was delighted to see this report before them and it being moved on  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/25/21

CA/26/21

Business Rates Relief pdf icon PDF 346 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet Agreed

 

To  review and approve the proposed policy for awarding Covid-19                     Additional Relief to businesses

Minutes:

Decision

 

That Cabinet reviews and approves the proposed policy for awarding Covid-19 Additional Relief to businesses.

 

Corporate Objectives:

 

Ensuring economic growth and prosperity

 

Statutory Officer Comments

 

Monitoring Officer

 

The proposed policy is consistent with Government guidance in respect of the funding provided and powers under the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

 

S151 Officer

 

The comments of the S151 officer are included in the body of this report.

 

Advice

 

Cllr Elliot introduced the report and explained that this was about 3.8 million pound that has been given by central government to be given to businesses that have not been given any rates relief since the pandemic started. It about business that have fallen through the cracks with previous rates relief. They felt it might be difficult for business to meet the criteria to qualify so it maybe that they have to hand the funding back to central government.

 

Cllr Barratt said that there were some 1500 businesses that could apply, were they going to be proactively promoting this directly to those businesses in order to not just have one or two.

 

NHowcutt said that they would use their usual mechanisms of direct email and social media which has worked exceedingly well with business grants and business rates relief. They were targeting a very small group of businesses with this and they would have to provide a lot more information than previously and information to show Covid has affected them and that they did not qualify for previous grants that have been awarded. They will do an advertising campaign. Other authorities who have had this a bit earlier than us have not seen a great return as they have seen with other schemes.

 

Cllr Barratt asked if they would have to hand the money back if they do not use it and presumably, there is a cap on the amount the business can have.

 

NHowcutt explained that this was classed as a discretionary scheme, there were a much smaller group of people that they can target for this and it’s very hard to allocate it. The Council had fully utilised all other schemes and not had to return any. Where there has been schemes where there has been no discretion they have returned fund, as have almost every local authority in the country as they had to do it in line with strict conditions and eligibility criteria.

Cllr Tindall said that they only group of businesses that had contacted him at the beginning of the pandemic were those that didn’t actually pay business rates direct, they were tenants or charities, where they paid rent and then the owner of the building paid the rates. They could not demonstrate that they paid rates so were ineligible for quite a lot of the support. He know that the finance team did try to help them, however he wondered if there were any discretion in being able to capture those micro business people.

 

NHowcutt said that they did target those subletting business at  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/26/21

CA/27/21

Great Gaddesden Character Appraisal pdf icon PDF 4 MB