Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 15th November, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 1 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Media

Items
No. Item

CA/89/21

Minutes pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on  18th October 2022

 

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2022 were agreed.

Minutes:

Cllr Williams introduced the meeting and advised that Item 12 (Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area Of Conservation: Publication Of Mitigation Strategy) would be taken immediately after Item 6 (Forward Plan) as there are participants joining the meeting, both in person and online with an interest in that item.

 

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2022 were agreed.

CA/90/21

Apologies for Absence

 

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Decision:

None

CA/91/21

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

CA/92/21

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:

Cllr Ken France, Chair of Whipsnade Parish Council (Central Bedfordshire) attended and addressed the Cabinet in relation to Item 12 of the agenda (Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area Of Conservation: Publication Of Mitigation Strategy).

Minutes:

Cllr Ken France, Chair of Whipsnade Parish Council (Central Bedfordshire) attended and addressed the Cabinet in relation to Item 12 of the agenda (Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area Of Conservation: Publication Of Mitigation Strategy).

CA/93/21

Referrals to Cabinet

There were no referrals to Cabinet

Decision:

There were no referrals to Cabinet. 

CA/94/21

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Decision:

The forward plan was noted.

CA/95/21

Customer Strategy Complaints Policy pdf icon PDF 653 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.         Cabinet agreed the proposed Complaints Policy as described in this report and annexed as appendix 1.

 

2.         Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director (People and Transformation) to make any further changes to the policy following feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

Minutes:

Decision

 

1.    Cabinet agreed the proposed Complaints Policy as described in this report and annexed as appendix 1.

 

2.    Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director (People and Transformation) to make any further changes to the policy following feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

Corporate Priorities

 

Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

 

Monitoring Officer:

 

The revised policy provides an appropriate framework to ensure that Customer Complaints are responded to in a timely manner at an appropriate level within the organisation. This should help to ensure the resolution of complaints and minimise further complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman.

 

S151 Officer:

 

The proposed complaint policy changes are not expected to have a financial impact on the Council, but they form a part of the wider customer strategy changes that are expected to deliver £200k of efficiencies as part of the current Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Advice

 

Cllr Elliot introduced the report and welcomed any questions.

 

Cllr Banks expressed appreciation for the paper but expressed some concern that the policy contains only links to submit complaints via website and email, it does not include ‘if you would like to write to us’ detail?

 

AWilkie responded and advised they have received some similar feedback so are already looking at inserting an address to add to our approach.

 

Cllr Tindall queried his presumption that the policy applies to our corporate partners, where we engage them to deliver services on our behalf and queried, in that case, is there any distinct note or obligation that any complaint that goes to contractor first is automatically referred to Council and included in the process?

 

AWilkie responded that we work with a variety of partners and have spoken to them about how we can ensure there is swift communication around that, highlighting that it is the beauty of this approach as it is more rigorous to the performance of contractors, allowing us to identify where there are delays in this process and to then tackle those areas.

 

Cllr Tindall noted he didn’t see anything specific about the obligation for contractors to refer those complaints to us to log in our system.

 

Cllr Williams commented that if you have a policy that instructed partners to report those matters to Council it would need to be in the contract.  If a customer complained directly to the contractor and they resolved that, there would be no need to refer it to us.

 

Cllr Tindall expressed he feels there is a gap to be closed.

 

AWilkie confirmed this would be a contractual issue and this policy would not be the correct place to resolve that, but what we are doing is speaking with contractors so we are aware earlier of potential issues and creating a log of conversation so that we already have that information if a complaint crosses our desks.  That plus a greater understanding of the data and what the accumulation of complaints is telling us will allow us to tackle that.  If  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/95/21

CA/96/21

Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 544 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    Cabinet noted the financial outturn position for the General Fund and Housing Revenue account as forecast at Quarter 2. The revenue outturn forecast is a deficit of £0.111m for the General Fund and a deficit of £0.538m for the Housing Revenue Account. The Council’s capital programme is forecast on budget, with additional slippage of £3.387m on General Fund schemes and slippage of £17.278m for the HRA.

 

2.    Cabinet RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND to Council the approval of the draw down of £870k from the Dacorum Development Reserve to fund the 2022/23 employee pay award and the reallocation of £270k of the HRA revenue contribution to capital.

 

Minutes:

Decision

1.            Cabinet noted the financial outturn position for the General Fund and Housing Revenue account as forecast at Quarter 2. The revenue outturn forecast is a deficit of £0.111m for the General Fund and a deficit of £0.538m for the Housing Revenue Account. The Council’s capital programme is forecast on budget, with additional slippage of £3.387m on General Fund schemes and slippage of £17.278m for the HRA.

 

2.            Cabinet RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND to Council the approval of the draw down of £870k from the Dacorum Development Reserve to fund the 2022/23 employee pay award and reallocation of £270k of the HRA revenue contribution to capital.

 

Corporate Priorities

A clean, safe and enjoyable environment; Building strong and vibrant communities; Ensuring economic growth and prosperity; Providing good quality affordable homes, in particular for those most in need; Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery; Climate and ecological emergency.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

Monitoring Officer:

 

The report is part of the Council’s continual budget monitoring and provides members with the required oversight of the Council’s financial position at quarter 2.

 

 

S151 Officer:

 

This report is a S151 Officer report.

 

Advice

Cllr Elliot introduced the report and recommendations, there were no questions. 

Recommendations agreed

CA/97/21

Green Waste pdf icon PDF 807 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    Cabinet agreed that a charging subscription scheme be introduced from January 2023 for the commencement of garden waste collection from 27 February 2023.

2.    Cabinet agreed the annual subscription scheme and the charges for garden waste collection as set out in paragraph 2.4.1.4 of the published report.

 

Minutes:

Decision

  1. Cabinet agreed that a charging subscription scheme be introduced from January 2023 for the commencement of garden waste collection from 27 February 2023.

 

  1. Cabinet agreed the annual subscription scheme and the charges for garden waste collection as set out in paragraph 2.4.1.4 of the published report.

 

Corporate Priorities

A clean, safe and enjoyable environment; Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

Monitoring Officer:

 

The proposed scheme represents a balanced approach and enables the Council to continue to fund this discretionary service whilst ensuring that only residents receiving the service are liable for payment.  The detailed legal implications of this report are covered in section 6.

 

Deputy S151 Officer:

 

Green waste is a discretionary service that councils are able to charge residents who choose to purchase the service. The Council has a statutory requirement to provide a balanced budget year on year, and the current financial pressures on the Council, brought about by the reduction in government funding and increasing cost pressures, has meant that the Council has had to review all service decisions regarding discretionary services.

 

The current green waste service costs the Council in excess of £1m per year. The proposed concessionary charge for this service will provide circa £630k of additional revenue to support the Council’s medium term financial efficiencies.

 

Advice

Cllr Barrett introduced the report. 

Cllr Williams commented this will bring us in line with our colleague authorities who charge for this service (with the exception of 2 authorities who co mingle their food waste with green waste so cannot charge).

Cllr Griffiths commented this will be a choice, if residents do not feel they need the service, they have a choice to not subscribe; most of our other charges are not choice based. 

Cllr Anderson commented that as a Council we held out for as long as we could but we cannot any further.  This may encourage composting, personally stopped using green waste bin some time ago.  It may not be popular but it is a fair way of doing things.

Cllr Williams agreed, it is an optional charge for an optional service and this approach will mean the burden of that service does not fall on those residents who do not use it. 

Recommendations agreed

 

CA/98/21

Infrastructure Funding Statement pdf icon PDF 505 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted the information provided in the IFS in Appendix 1 and approved its publication.

 

Minutes:

Decision

Cabinet noted the information provided in the IFS in Appendix 1 and approved its publication.

 

Corporate Priorities

A clean, safe and enjoyable environment; Building strong and vibrant communities; Ensuring economic growth and prosperity; Providing good quality affordable homes, in particular for those most in need; Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery; Climate and ecological emergency.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

Monitoring Officer:

 

This report is a statutory requirement and meets the Council’s legal obligations in accordance with the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.

 

S151 Officer:

 

No additional comments to add to those in the body of the report.

 

Advice

Cllr Anderson introduced the report.  There were no questions. 

Recommendations agreed

 

CA/99/21

PSPO Review Outcomes pdf icon PDF 745 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to extend the contract with District Enforcement Limited for the enforcement of the Council’s PSPO and littering offences for a further 48 months.

 

Minutes:

Decision

Cabinet agreed to extend the contract with District Enforcement Limited for the enforcement of the Council’s PSPO and littering offences for a further 48 months.

 

Corporate Priorities

A clean, safe and enjoyable environment; Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery.

 

Statutory Officer Comments:

Monitoring Officer:

 

The Council has a lawful basis for issuing fixed penalty notices pursuant to the powers highlighted in the report. Utilising a private contractor to enforce environmental offences has proven to be an effective means to enforce and prevent the reoccurrence of anti-social behaviour in the relevant areas and it is therefore appropriate that the contract be extended.

 

S151 Officer:

 

The proposal to award a longer term contract to an external contractor to facilitate the enforcement of the Council’s PSPOs and littering offences, would be the most cost-effective option to maintain the current service provision. The proposal to fund the PSPO enforcement through utilising the FPN income is sustainable and in line with the medium term financial planning for this service.

Advice

Cllr Banks introduced the report and invited questions.

Cllr Elliot referred to page 88 and the figure of 1553 abandoned vehicles and asked, is that our responsibility or DVLA?

RLebrun advised it is dependant on the reason for abandonment, if they are taxed and insured and abandoned, it is us.  If it is not taxed it is the DVLA.

Cllr Elliot asked does that have to be on our land?

RLebrun advised it has to be on open land, if the land owner gives permission we can deal with the issue even if it is not on our land.

Cllr Griffiths asked, if it is taxed and insured, how is it abandoned?

RLebrun advised it depends on the state of the car, if it is unsafe/burnt out etc we can view that as abandoned.  However we cannot consider a vehicle abandoned just because someone is unhappy about where a car has been left parked. 

Cllr Tindall referred to the notices you sometimes see on windscreen that obscures driver from driving away and asked; are we in a position, if all the indications are it is potentially an abandoned vehicle, to put a sticker on the vehicle and then after a set number days remove the vehicle?  Cllr Tindall also queried; when does a vehicle that is parked become potential fly tipping?

RLebrun advised yes a notice could be placed, it depends on if we deem the car to represent immediate harm.  If we assess a vehicle as safe but potentially abandoned, we attempt to contact the owner, there is a period to be satisfied before the vehicle can be removed.  Under the environmental protection act, a car parked in a legal way would not class as a fly tip.

Cllr Tindall suggested if it is on the pavement it would not be legal?

RLebrun advised if it is not parked legally you can pursue under legality of the parking, but it would not necessarily be considered a  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/99/21

CA/100/21

SAC Mitigation Strategy pdf icon PDF 878 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    Cabinet approved the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area Conservation (SAC) Mitigation Strategy (Appendix A) and the Bunkers Park and Chipperfield Common SANG Management Plans (Appendix C) and delegates authority to the Strategic Director (Place), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Place to keep the approved documents under review and amend as required to ensure compliance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended)

 

2.     Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director (Place), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Place, to agree and complete any further governance documents between the partner authorities to facilitate the effective implementation and administration of the Mitigation Strategy and Management Plans referred to in recommendation 1 above.

 

Minutes:

Decision

1.    Cabinet approved the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area Conservation (SAC) Mitigation Strategy (Appendix A) and the Bunkers Park and Chipperfield Common SANG Management Plans (Appendix C) and delegates authority to the Strategic Director (Place), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Place to keep the approved documents under review and amend as required to ensure compliance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended)

 

2.     Cabinet delegated authority to the Strategic Director (Place), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Place, to agree and complete any further governance documents between the partner authorities to facilitate the effective implementation and administration of the Mitigation Strategy and Management Plans referred to in recommendation 1 above.

 

Corporate Priorities

Building strong and vibrant communities; Ensuring economic growth and prosperity; Climate and ecological emergency.

 

Statutory Officer Comments

Monitoring Officer:

 

The Habitats Regulations are a mandatory consideration and compliance with them is a legal obligation. The Mitigation Strategy will become a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and will offer important guidance to applicants as to how their applications will be dealt with in accordance with the Regulations. The Strategy will help to assist both applicants and the Council and ensure fair and consistent decision making.

 

 

S151 Officer:

 

The direct financial impact of this strategy is considered limited in the short term, with the costs of implementing and administering this strategy funded through the tariffs proposed.

The role of the Council in regard to the SAMM’s tariff is to ensure that we collect these funds from developers and pass them onto the National Trust to ensure they can invest these funds to deliver the agreed mitigation strategy and outcomes. There is no financial impact on the Council as the SAMM tariff includes the Council officer time and cost of administering this process.

 

The role of the Council in regard to SANG is more complex. The tariff that has been set, in relation to the Council’s SANG sites at Bunkers, Chipperfield and Gadebridge, is based on the projected costs of developing and maintaining these sites going forward, to give the Council the option to provide essential alternative areas of natural green space to facilitate new housing developments in these geographical areas.

 

The SANG tariff has been developed collectively across the Council, with a significant amount of horizon scanning resulting in a large volume of assumptions. At the present time, these assumptions are considered prudent but, as with any long term 80 year investment projection, there is a risk that costs could change in the medium to longer term.

 

The SAMMS and SANG tariffs will be collected from developers in line with the agreed strategy and utilising existing approved processes utilised for S106 and CIL collection. These are considered robust.

 

Advice

Cllr Anderson introduced the report and asked colleagues to ensure they have seen the amendments to the recommendations (Cllr Anderson read out the revised recommendations for clarity).

Cllr Anderson went on to advise that after 8 months of considerable effort, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CA/100/21

CA/101/21

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.

 

CA/102/21

Housing Service Management Structure

Decision:

Part 2 Information

 

Please see Part 2 minutes

Minutes:

Part 2 Information

 

Please see Part 2 minutes