Agenda and decisions

Council - Wednesday, 14th April, 2021 6.30 pm

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Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 639 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the council

Additional documents:

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2021 were agreed by the members present and will be signed by the Mayor at the next available opportunity.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Public Participation

To consider questions (if any) by members of the public of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services)

Decision:

None.

4.

Announcements

To receive announcements and business brought forward by the Mayor, Leader, and Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.

 

4.1       By the Mayor:

 

4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:  Any apologies for absence

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

Councillor Williams                       Leader of the Council

Councillor Elliot                             Finance and Resources

Councillor Griffiths                        Housing

Councillor Williams                       Corporate and Contracted Services

Councillor Barrett                          Environmental Services

Councillor Banks                           Community and Regulatory Services

Councillor Anderson                     Planning and Infrastructure

 

Decision:

4.1       By the Mayor:

The Mayor reminded members that they were required to complete and return their DBC Related Party Transaction Declaration if they hadn’t already done so.


4.2       By the Chief Executive:

 

C Hamilton advised that the following Elections will take place on 6th May 2021:

Leverstock Green Ward

Tring Central Ward

Hertfordshire County Council

Police and Crime Commissioner

 

4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Tindall gave apologies on behalf of Councillors Hollinghurst, McDowell, Pringle and Uttley.

 

4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:

 

(Full details are in the minutes under Announcements of the Leader and Cabinet).

 

5.

Questions

To consider questions (if any) by members of the Council of which the appropriate notice has been given to the Assistant Director (Corporate and Contracted Services)

Decision:

Question 1 from Councillor Symington to Councillor Anderson:

 

In the Dacorum Local Plan (2020-2038) Emerging Strategy for Growth Interim Sustainability Appraisal Report (November 2020) produced by TRL Limited (TRL) under a contract with Dacorum Borough Council, the Urban Capacity Option is outlined. This equates to a level of development of 608 dwellings per annum and requires no further land to be released from the Green Belt. [https://www.dacorum.gov.uk/docs/default-source/strategic-planning/dacorum-local-plan-interim-sustainability-appraisal-report-november-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=53bf0c9e_6, p32]

 

In his response to Cllr Williams’ letter of 30 November 2020, Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, stated that ‘Authorities should make a realistic assessment of the number of homes their communities need as the starting point of the process’.

 

Dacorum’s local needs are assessed at 355 dwellings per annum.

 

In a meeting with the Conservative Friends of India, reported in the Sunday Times 28 March 2021 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/2e76273a-8f23-11eb-af74-aabf762d9542?shareToken=5a987233be0e66a19d70aabc3465446f  the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, stressed that the government wanted to “build on brownfield sites first”.

 

Would the portfolio holder give the reason for the Council rejecting the TRL Urban Capacity Option in favour of a huge 750-hectare Green Belt grab to meet the government’s excessive minimum housing figures?

 

Response from Councillor Anderson: I have already provided Councillor Symington with a full and detailed answer and copied in all members. The first draft of the local plan involved considering options and the urban capacity option couldn’t be chosen as it was considerably below the governments required figure. The idea of the first consultation was to show the impact of meeting the full figure and how it would look in the borough. The administration is opposed the full figure and we will need robust evidence including, but not only, the consultation results. If we’re going to challenge it, as opposed to choosing hollow options, stand no chance whatsoever of succeeding. When it comes to the excessive figure and the impact it would have on the Greenbelt, we’ve had these questions for a while now and I’m afraid I have to ask the questioner to explain why the Liberal Democrats generally and Councillor Symington personally, stood for Election in support of it at the last General Election.

 

Question 2 from Councillor Symington: Thank you for the written response which I’ve read. Can you clarify; are you saying that the Council will use the urban capacity sites in the TRL report before using Greenbelt sites? As implied but not clarified in item 4.

 

Response from Councillor Anderson: The full version of the response you received made it quite clear that the Council will do everything it can to use Brownfield site before any Greenfield development is used. I can’t put it any stronger than that.

 

Question 3 from Councillor Symington: Notwithstanding the answer, which was unclear, do you agree that all the communities housing needs, by which I mean the actual local need assessed at 355 per annum, not the government imposed minimum quota of 1023, could be met by the urban capacity plan?

 

Response from Councillor  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

6.

Business from the last council meeting

To consider any business referred from the previous meeting

Decision:

None.

7.

Cabinet referrals pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the following referrals from Cabinet:

 

7.1       CA/026/21       16 March 2021            HRA Business Plan

7.2       CA/027/21       16 March 2021            Independent Remuneration Panel 2020

 

Decision:

Resolved:

That the following be approved:

16 March 2021

 

7.1       CA/026/21       HRA BUSINESS PLAN

 

Decision

1.    That Council approve the updated Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2021/24

2.     That Council to approve the revised development programme budgets as set out in Section 9.3.

 

A vote was held:

 

26 For,

0 Against,

12 Abstain,

 

Therefore the decision was agreed.

16 March 2021

 

7.2       CA/027/21       INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL 2020

Decision

That Council approves the changes to the Members’ Allowances Scheme as recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel in its report.

 

A vote was held:

 

34 For,

0 Against,

5 Abstain,

 

Therefore the decision was agreed.

 

8.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Reports 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Chairman ofthe Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Suqlain Mahmood, introduced the Annual Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny groups to the Council and highlighted certain aspects of the work carried out by the individual committees.

 

9.

Changes to committee membership

To consider any proposals for changes to committee membership

 

Decision:

None.

10.

Change to committee dates

To consider any proposals for changes to committee dates

 

Decision:

None.

11.

Call-in and Urgency Procedure pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Decision:

The Council noted the following urgent Portfolio Holder Decision:

 

PH/008/21 - Business Rates Relief 2021/22