Agenda item


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:


Cllr Williams


Leader of the Council & Corporate and Contracted Services

Cllr Anderson

Environmental Services

Cllr Banks

Community and Regulatory Services

Cllr G Sutton

Cllr Elliot

Cllr Mrs Griffiths                             

Planning & Infrastructure

Finance & Resources




4.1       By the Mayor:

The Mayor announced the sad passing of former Liberal Democrat Councillor Geoff Lawrence (1987 – 1995) and one minutes silence was held in remembrance.


The Mayor then read the following statement:


“Members will be aware that we are in the Pre-election period and I would therefore like to remind Members that this meeting should not be used to make statements regarding national political issues. If any discussion should overlap into any national political issues, they will be interrupted. I have considered the two motions and two questions on the agenda tonight and have deemed that these are acceptable as they relate to predominantly local issues”

4.2       By the Chief Executive:




4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Arslan, Bassadone, Johnson and Wyatt-Lowe.


Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillor Bowden.


4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:


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



4.1       By the Mayor:

The Mayor announced the sad passing of former Liberal Democrat Councillor Geoff Lawrence (1987 – 1995) and one minutes silence was held in remembrance.


The Mayor then read the following statement:


“Members will be aware that we are in the Pre-election period and I would therefore like to remind Members that this meeting should not be used to make statements regarding national political issues. If any discussion should overlap into any national political issues, they will be interrupted. I have considered the two motions and two questions on the agenda tonight and have deemed that these are acceptable as they relate to predominantly local issues”

4.2       By the Chief Executive:




4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Councillor Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Arslan, Bassadone, Johnson and Wyatt-Lowe.


Councillor Tindall confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillor Bowden.


4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:


Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council


Councillor Williams had nothing to report but welcomed questions.


There were no questions.



Councillor Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services


Councillor Anderson thanked the Mayor for attending the Best Kept Gardens Competition in Kings Langley which helped Parish colleagues raise over £1,000 for the British Waterways Experience. The money raised was considerably more than in previous years. 


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows:






·         Roll out of the food waste collection from flats across the borough was progressing well and was on target to be finished by March. 

·         New RCV’s are due to start rolling in early November with rollout of Training for crews and techs planned over the coming weeks.

·         The next meeting of the Herts Waste Partnership will be in January and will be a conference. The Leader has or will be invited along. He hoped there would be opportunities to raise some of the waste/refuse collection issues with top level speakers there.

·         The refuse collection calendars will no longer be attached to bins. The calendar can be found on the website or can be requested by those without internet access. This has been included in Dacorum Digest. He said it was an expensive and time consuming practice.

·         Carried out targeted work for Refill Hertfordshire and now have around 150 Refill Stations in Dacorum, which makes up approx. half of all the Refill Stations in Dacorum.

·         Undertook Sustainable Clothes Swaps events in October with over 1,000 item being swapped.

·         Held a reusables stall in town to promote both Refill Hertfordshire and Remember your Reusables campaign

·         Held a stall in a supermarket for Recycle Week and ran a social media take over day. Launched a Terracycle crisp packet recycling point in the Forum to tie in with Recycle Week


Clean, Safe and Green


·         Warners End playing fields now secured access with installation of bollards to prevent traveller incursion

·         He has signed off the annual review of the council’s environmental management system which analyses the amount of electricity, gas and water we use. It is important we focus on reducing those as part of our sustainability efforts.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Councillor England said he welcomed the announcement about the refuse calendars being available on request. He asked if the Portfolio Holder would request that this is advertised via Facebook channels. The Portfolio Holder said he thought that may have already been done but he felt that if someone would see that information on Facebook they probably wouldn’t need to request a calendar.


Councillor Tindall welcomed the savings for the refuse calendars. He asked that we ensure any vulnerable persons or those with assisted collections were not overlooked. The Portfolio Holder said they were mindful of those people when the decision was made and hoped that friends, relatives and neighbours would request calendars on behalf of those individuals. Councillor Tindall suggested taking a few copies of Dacorum Digest along to any assisted collections to make those individuals aware of the change. The Portfolio Holder said he would find out if that is possible and let Councillor Tindall know.


Councillor Williams, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Contracted Services


Councillor Williams said the Teams were very busy with Election duties and understood everything was running smoothly. He said the Election had made some slight changes to the committee diary over the next few weeks but that is to be expected with all the extra duties.


He advised that everything was on course with the multi-storey car park in Berkhamsted and the planning extensions for The Moor Car Park were making way through the system.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Councillor Tindall expressed his thanks to all the staff involved with the Elections and said he understood it was a pressured time. He asked if we could pass on our congratulations and gratitude for their hard work. The Portfolio Holder agreed he would pass this on.


Councillor Banks, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services


The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows:


Environmental and Community Protection:


  • The Public Space Protection Orders have gone live across the Borough. Both the Operations & the Anti-Social Behaviour Teams along with the Police have been promoting these Orders, a significant amount of time has been spent informing, education and promoting these orders.


  • With reference to Dog PSPO we’ve delivered early morning and evening patrols with the Enforcement team across Dacorum.


  • Turning to the Town Centre PSPO prohibiting cycling in the pedestrian areas, we have completed, 1 Education Day, sent letters to all schools and held 2 Enforcement Days,


  • The Environmental Enforcement Team have managed to successfully prosecute two serial fly-tippers.


Members will be pleased to note £2223.56 fine, victim surcharge and cost is the price residents can expect to pay for fly tipping on our door step.


  • Air Quality,


Members will be aware that Dacorum borough council has a legal duty to monitor air quality and to address concerns through our Air Quality Action Plan.


We all acknowledge vehicle emissions are a major contributor to local environment quality and climate change.


Although, we have this crucial responsibility to monitor air quality, protecting and safe guarding our residents, the major influence to reduce vehicle pollutants from our roads, rests with Hertfordshire County Council as the Highway Authority.


I hope that Hertfordshire County Council through the management and development of the borough’s highway infrastructure fully engages with us and supports our concerns.


The terms of reference have now been set for the Air Quality Steering Group. The first meeting has been held in October 2019.


There is draft planning guidance that has been drafted by the Lead Environmental Health Officer and sent to relevant parties for comment.


We have also submitted a bid to DEFRA for a feasibility study for a Clean Air Zone. This will be determined in early 2020.


The steering group is due to meet in Late January, to be chaired by Interim Assistant Director Bill Buckley whom I welcome warmly.


People and Communities Group


Community partnerships and Leisure


Healthy Hub: It is anticipated that Healthy Hub Dacorum will launch in April 2020.

As Members will be aware this initiative is funded by Public Health, our Healthy Hub based at the leisure centre will provide a one stop shop for Dacorum residents to improve their health and wellbeing.

We plan to hold Healthy Hub Pop-up events, in local community centres or town centres across Dacorum and will provide outreach to rural areas to raise awareness of the services available along with running a number of services on the day.

The Healthy Hub will be promoted through a strong social media. We will be working with a number of partners to deliver this project including Everyone Active, Public Health CAB, and CAD, and we are continuing to engage with other local stakeholders.


  • Hertfordshire Year Of Culture 2020


We are now seeing some pilot projects roll out, in October we celebrated Herts Heroines, where stories told by our supported housing tenants were performed at Trestle Theatre Company. We took several tenants to see the performance and they were guests of honour. There is a funding bid going in for a full performance in Dacorum next year.


We also held a trial Fun Palace with the library in The Forum. A Fun Palace is a free community cultural event, which brought over 1000 through the doors during the day.  We are planning to expand this for next year.


A funding bid is being submitted in December for a skateboarding, music and graffiti art project for young people at the XC centre and we are awaiting the outcome of a cross county dance project bid submitted last month.


January will see the launch of online creative challenges and is the month for encouraging people to ‘try something new’. All districts will be highlighting the cultural venues in the area and their programmes, there are activities planned such as intergenerational dance and music workshops at Boxmoor Trust, a Chatter Table event at Centre in the Park addressing loneliness and isolation, and a cultural toolkit for schools.


Customer Services


I please to advise we have recruited a new Lead Officer and another full time Officer have started work with the CSU and the new Payment Kiosks for the Forum have been ordered and should be on line from April 2020 to replace our current kit as this IT is no longer supported.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Councillor England asked if the Portfolio Holder could advise the number of PSPO’s patrols undertaken AM and PM, how many DBC staff and other resources were involved, and finally the typical duration of patrols. The Portfolio Holder said she would need to do some investigations and let Councillor England know.


Councillor Freedman said given the level of upset and concern caused to the regular users of the Berkhamsted leisure facilities and loss of local jobs when Everyone Active took the decision to replace staff with an unstaffed vending machine, does the Portfolio Holder agree that it is time to release certain details of the contract to show the public which aspects of the leisure provision the council deem important enough to protect. The Mayor advised that question should have been asked to the Portfolio Holder of Corporate and Contracted Services. Councillor Williams advised he would respond separately to Councillor Freedman.


Councillor Hobson said she was pleased we were looking at air quality as it was very important. She felt there wasn’t enough detail in the report and asked who sat on the steering group, where it was reported to and finally where the clean air zones were. The Portfolio Holder advised the steering group was chaired by Assistant Director Bill Buckley, and she attended along with officers from the Environmental Health Team. She then advised that the three areas were London Road, Apsley and Northchurch. Councillor Hobson asked if there was any chance of an independent person being on the steering group. The Portfolio Holder said she would ask the question and let Councillor Hobson know.


Councillor Timmis said she was pleased to see that Dacorum were actively engaging in the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020. She asked for more information on the fun palace. The Portfolio Holder explained that the fun palace was an initiative in an ongoing campaign for communities at the heart of culture. She advised that families have the chance to share arts, crafts, science, technology, digital, sports, heritage and activities.


Councillor R Sutton asked if the Portfolio Holder would agree that the Marlowes was a safer place now that cyclists can no longer ride through. She asked what action was taken, if any. The Portfolio Holder agreed and explained that officers focused on educating cyclists, however they have issued 8 warning letters and 4 fixed penalty notices.



Councillor G Sutton, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Infrastructure


The Portfolio Holder had nothing to report but invited questions.




Councillor Guest asked how far along Dacorum was with the aspiration that when a tree must be felled two more are planted. The Portfolio Holder advised that the intention with all new developments was to offer guidelines to ensure this happens. He said they wanted to maintain a green borough and it was a priority.


Councillor Elliot, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows:




The collection of business rates and council tax remains in line with the council’s expectations, and hence the service continues to perform well.


I am pleased to say that for the second year running, the benefits service has received the highest level of assurance from internal audit. This illustrates the continued hard work put in by the team to make sure that benefits awards are accurate and processed efficiently. 

The revenues team has been carrying out an annual review of single person discounts. This exercise is nearly completed, and has identified about 500 accounts where the discount no longer applies. This directly translate into additional Council Tax income the Council would not otherwise have received.




The Council’s upgraded financial system has been successfully implemented.  Processes associated with the system are now part of business as usual.  This excellent outcome is the result of hard work from ICT and Finance colleagues in supporting the organisation through the upgrade.


20/21 Council budget preparations are well underway. A series of budget challenge meetings have taken place involving the Chief Officer Group and Budget Review Group.  Draft budget proposals have been published and will be presented before the Joint Overview and Scrutiny on the 3rd of December.




Investment Properties/Commercial Portfolio

The commercial assets portfolio continues to perform very strongly with a 96% occupancy level and with low rent arrears. The portfolio continues to provide a significant net financial return to the councils overall budget.


Garage Disposals

As part of the next phase of the Garage Disposal Strategy, 18 sites were reviewed by Housing Associations to assess viability.   Further to that initial appraisal and subject to contract, Heads of Terms have been agreed for the purchase of 7 sites to develop additional affordable homes for the Borough.  Solicitors have been instructed on behalf of the respective parties and are working through pre-contract due diligence and enquiries.


Bunkers Park

Following extensive archaeological surveys to meet Planning obligations, construction commenced at the beginning of June, and the construction programme is on schedule and progressing well for completion by end of this calendar year. The cemetery reception and offices building is now completed and the final road laying and landscaping will continue to conclusion.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Councillor Tindall referred to page 11 of the minutes from the September meeting. He felt that the statistics quoted in the last paragraph were misrepresented and asked for that to be corrected. The Portfolio Holder said he would ensure that was actioned.


Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing


The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows;




•Sheltered housing residents are being offered a more person centred support approach following the introduction of Outcome Star to assist in providing a better understanding of their support needs.

•The Sheltered housing service had its annual review by Erosh (the national consortium for sheltered and retirement housing).The feedback from the assessor, tenants and staff was positive and will now be preparing for a recertification next year.

•The Tenancy Sustainment Team continue to have some positive outcomes: supporting tenants to reduce rent arrears, obtain welfare benefit payments, move to smaller homes and engaging with the mental health and other external support services. Also to address hoarding, they have worked with 2 tenants to clear their homes making them and their neighbours safer and improving the condition of our properties.




  A dedicated street outreach worker is now in post, working with multi-agency action team, rough sleeping numbers have reduced from 23 to 11 people in the last two months.

  The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol has been in place from 7th November and expected to end on Tuesday 19th November, which will be 12 consecutive nights. So far we have accommodated 12 individuals, total of 26 stays.

  A successful multi-agency stakeholder engagement event was held to assist in formulation of the new Homeless & Rough Sleeping Strategy.

  The PRS (private rented sector) team successfully engaged with partners the Fire Service and Hightown Housing Association, to reduce significant fire risk at approximately 90 units of accommodation in the Town Centre.




  Corn Mill Court in Berkhamsted is now fully occupied and the residents are very happy in their new homes.

  Work on site progressing well at Magenta Court and Martindale and the two garage sites Northend and Westerdale.

  Eastwick Row planning application approved.

  Coniston Road in Kings Langley, the scheme has been submitted to planning.

  Other sites, St Margaret’s, Paradise Fields, and Bulbourne outline designs being completed and considering feasibility for use of off-site construction   

  Contractor appointed for development in Gaddesden Row due to start on site in February 2020




               Consultant in place to progress the action plan and ongoing management of garages.

Programmed works are progressing well with Year to date completions;

       Kitchens - 155

       Bathrooms – 116

       Windows – 22

       Doors – 231

               Fire upgrade projects and external wall insulation projects progressing well

               The electrical testing EICR programme 2017-2019 continues and of the 10115 required tests, 90% have been completed. 




Councillor Hobson asked what areas the homeless persons were found, and how confident she was that we were reaching everyone that needed help. The Portfolio Holder replied they covered the whole of Dacorum. She then explained that staff scan the areas of Dacorum and each of the individuals that were found have someone working with them.


Councillor Hollinghurst asked if the wooden staircases in Cherry Bounce had been replaced with a non-flammable material.  The Portfolio Holder said staff carried out fire assessments on all our properties on an annual basis, however she wasn’t aware of that specific case so she said she would provide a written response to him.