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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A, B and C, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Jenny Smith 

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Items
No. Item

126.

Communications and Apologies

(a)            Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)               Apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting and advised that, in accordance with normal procedure, the meeting was being webcast.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Heywood.

 

 

127.

Declarations of Interest (If any)

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other pecuniary interest or non‑pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows;

 

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

 

 

Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

 

Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

 

Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

 

Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

 

Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where - (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of disclosable pecuniary interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Clapper declared an interest in agenda item 12, Longwood School, Bushey, as the parent of a child at the school and announced her intention to withdraw from the meeting while that item was discussed.

 

Councillors Bright and Clapper also declared non-pecuniary interests in item 13, Borehamwood Football Club, as they had received hospitality in respect of their attendance at a recent match of the Club.

 

 

128.

Speeches by Non-Executive Members

Non-executive members attending the meeting are reminded that a non-executive member may speak for a maximum of three minutes on any item on the agenda, with a maximum of five members per item (no more than two from any one Group).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the usual arrangements for speeches by non‑Executive Members applied at this meeting.

 

 

129.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 18 April 2018.

 

No discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Subject to the following amendment, the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 21 March 2018 were approved and signed as a true record:

 

Page 114, last bullet point:  “…proposal which he said would result unequivocally in the provision of social housing at LHA rates” to be replaced by “…proposal on which he sought unequivocal clarification, and this was provided, that would result in the provision of social housing at LHA rates.”

 

 

130.

Key Decisions

Additional documents:

130.1

ICT Disaster Recovery Update pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Further to the funding agreed by the Council in November 2017 for the procurement of a public cloud hosted disaster recovery solution, the Executive is now asked to approve an amendment to the way the disaster recovery solution is delivered.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that:

 

1.     the procurement of a production centric model for a public cloud disaster recovery solution as recommended by SOCITM (The Society for IT practitioners in the Public Sector) be approved (Option 2 in the report);

 

2.     one-off spend of £69,000 for implementing Option 2 be funded from the IT Replacement Reserve; and

 

3.     the resulting savings of £25,000 per annum be noted and that they will be factored into the revenue budget from 2019/20.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Further to the Council’s approval in November 2017 of funding for the procurement of a public cloud hosted disaster recovery solution, the decision was made to amend the way that solution would be delivered. 

 

The decision was made to replace the previously approved cloud based disaster recovery centric model that replicated the current arrangement with Broxbourne Council with a production centric model that migrated key business systems from the Council’s on-premise servers to a public cloud (report paragraph 4.6 refers).

 

Following the Council decision, SOCITM had been commissioned to assist with the procurement of a cloud disaster recovery solution.  Following its review, SOCITM had recommended that a production centric solution would best meet this Council’s requirements and would also align with the recently approved ICT Strategy (2018 to 2023).

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Option 1 – Disaster Recovery Centric Model

 

This model required on-premise infrastructure and systems to be replicated in a public cloud on a daily basis.  In practice, this meant funding and maintaining a copy of the Council’s on-premise infrastructure in the cloud, the copy only being used in the event of a major incident occurring. This was similar to the current arrangement with Broxbourne Council, except that the backup servers would be in the cloud.

 

    This option was not favoured as it lacked the resilience and security advantages of Option 2, the ongoing budgetary savings and the opportunities to exploit cloud technologies for future activities in addition to providing secure access to multiple agencies as part of any partnership working initiatives.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Community Safety and Performance Portfolio Holder indicated an amendment to paragraph 1.1 of the report whereby “product centric” should read “production centric”.  The adjustment was noted.

 

(Action:  Information and Digital Services Manager)

 

 

130.2

Empty Homes Strategy 2018 to 2022 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The Executive is asked to recommend the Empty Homes Strategy, as set out in the report’s appendix, to the Council for adoption.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the Council be recommended to adopt, as part of its Policy Framework, the Empty Homes Strategy, as set out in Appendix A to the Executive report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

When dealing with empty homes, it was important that the Council worked within the prescribed statutory framework and that it followed best practice and procedures in doing so.

 

The aim of the Strategy was to set out the criteria and priorities the Council intended to use when assessing empty housing and other relevant legislation in a manner that was transparent and clear to the public.  The Strategy would ensure that the approach, including enforcement, was carried out in a consistent, fair, proportionate and targeted manner.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Executive could have made the decision not to endorse the updated Strategy.  However, as this would entail Officers undertaking the functions without approved guidance and outside an agreed framework, this option was not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder pointed out that there was a large waiting list for social housing and over 500 empty homes in the Borough.  In view of this, he expressed particular concern about those that were uninhabitable or in need of major repairs (page 13 of the Strategy refers) and considered that the new Strategy 2018 to 2022 would help to address this problem.

 

(Action:  Private Sector Housing Officer)

 

 

131.

Non-Key Decisions

Additional documents:

131.1

2020 Vision Annual Report 2017/18 and Corporate Action Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The 2020 Vision Annual Report 2017/18 and Corporate Action Plan 2018/19 are presented to the Executive for recommendation to the Council.  These documents have been produced to support the Council’s 2020 Vision, the Corporate Plan for Hertsmere 2017-2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the Council’s Annual Report for 2017/18 and the Corporate Action Plan for 2018/19, as set out at the report’s appendices, be recommended to the Council for approval.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

To ensure that the Council met the requirements agreed in the updated Performance Management Framework alongside its 2020 Vision.    Whilst not a statutory requirement, this comprised a policy framework document for the Council and, as such, was regarded as a valuable aid to decision making.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Executive could have chosen not to produce an action plan and annual report.  However, this would not allow the Council to monitor its overall performance, to focus attention on the key service areas, to take remedial action where necessary and to plan the main areas of activity over the next twelve months.   This option was therefore not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       Referring to the five resident questions on the Corporate Action Plan (agenda page 85), a non-Executive Member asked what data would be used to provide the answers.  The Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement replied that these would be provided from the results of the Council’s three-yearly residents survey, the most recent of which had been undertaken earlier in the year and the results just provided and would be submitted to the full Council.

 

·       With reference to implementing the Capital Infrastructure and Development Strategy (agenda page 86), the same Member commented that the bullet points in this section were not specific.  The Chairman pointed out that the Council was dependent to a large degree on the County Council in this regard.  The Planning and Localism Portfolio Holder thanked the Member for drawing this matter to the Executive’s attention.  He clarified that this Council had an enabling role through the planning process but did not have direct responsibility to provide the required infrastructure.  It was agreed that the Corporate Action Plan should however reflect the Council’s commitment to ensuring sufficient infrastructure was provided to meet the growth of development.

 

(Action:  Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement)

 

 

131.2

2020 Vision Performance Report for Quarter 4 and 2017/18 Year End pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Executive is asked to consider the Quarterly Quality Service Indicator Performance Report attached at Appendix A to the report and the Corporate Action Plan Projects Update Report at Appendix B.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the Quarterly Quality Service Indicator Performance Report, attached at Appendix A to the report, and the Corporate Action Plan Projects Update Report, at Appendix B, be noted.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The report set out the Council’s performance over Quarter 4 (January to the end of March 2018) and for the 2017/18 financial year as a whole.  It also provided information on the Quality Service Performance Indicators and reported progress against the Corporate Action Plan for 2017/18.

 

Quarterly monitoring of performance indicators formed part of the Council’s Performance Management Strategy.  The statistics provided Members with an overview of the Council’s performance across the Quarter and were a means of capturing high level performance information across the organisation, of highlighting areas where performance was not matching targets and detailing the remedial action being taken to address the issues.

         

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision could have been made not to monitor performance at a corporate level and accordingly not provide this information to Councillors and members of the public.  However, as Members would lose the benefit of a rolling overview of the Council’s overall service performance, this option was not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       Members noted that nine indicators (64.28%) were classed as green (target met or exceeded), four (28.57%) as red (target not met) and one (7.14%) classed as amber (target just missed). 

 

·       A non-Executive Member, who sat on the Performance Management Panel, pointed out that many indicators were outside the Council’s control.  He added that he had asked for a breakdown of the recording of household waste sent for refuse, recycling and composting (red indicator E192) in terms of green or brown waste etc.

 

·       With regard to the process for approving the Hertsmere Development Limited (HDL) Business Plan, another non-Executive Member asked why there had not been more progress reports to date, given the senior Members on the Board, and asked when the Plan would be presented to full Council.  The Finance, Property and Economic Development Portfolio Holder replied that the HDL Board, which he chaired, had agreed the Plan and that it was currently being considered by the shareholder.  The Corporate Director as shareholder confirmed that was the case and that the Plan would come first to the Executive prior to Council approval.

 

·       In terms of green waste, the Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder commented on the problems with contamination of bins around the area’s flats and provided some comparative figures with other neighbouring local authorities.

 

(Action:  Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement)

 

 

132.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive is scheduled to take place at 6pm on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of the Executive was scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 6.00pm.

 

 

133.

Exclusion of the Public

Recommendation that under S100A(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                                Paragraphs in Schedule 12A

 

1. KEY DECISIONS

 

1.1           Studios Estate

– Lease Renewal                                        3

 

1.2     Longwood School, Bushey

          – Surrender and Grant of New Lease          3

 

 

2. NON-KEY DECISIONS

 

2.1     Borehamwood Football Club

          – New Lease                                              3

 

2.2     Land at Oakridge Lane, Aldenham

          – New Lease                                              3

 

2.3     Bushey Fire Station Lease                          3

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                                           Paragraphs in Schedule 12A

 

1.       KEY DECISIONS

 

1.1           The Studios Estate, Borehamwood                      3

         

1.2     Longwood School, Bushey                                   3

 

 

2.       NON-KEY DECISIONS

 

2.1     Borehamwood Football Club                                3

 

2.2     Land at Oakridge Lane, Aldenham                       3

 

2.3     Bushey Fire Station                                             3

 

 

134.

The Studios Estate, Borehamwood

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Decision that a new lease be granted to the existing lessee, Places for People, in respect of 55 houses and flats known as The Studios Estate, Borehamwood as detailed in Report EX/18/39.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The lease, currently vested in Places for People, had expired and new terms had been negotiated with the head lessee. 

 

The decision would enable the Council to maintain 100% nomination rights on these social housing properties for another 25 years.  It would also enable the company to make investment to carry out substantial upgrades to the properties.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision could have been made to directly manage the tenancies, for example through the Local Liability Partnership when set up.  However, since the Council was not currently resourced to do so and did not have the means or capacity to manage the allocations process, the costs would outweigh any potential increase in income.  This option was therefore not supported.

 

(Action:  Property Services Manager)

 

 

In accordance with her declaration under Minute 127 above, Councillor Clapper withdrew from the meeting prior to consideration of the following item.

 

 

135.

Longwood School, Bushey

Report of Officers.

 

 

Minutes:

Decision that the existing leasehold interest be surrendered by the Council and a new 25-year lease be granted to run from 1 September 2018 as detailed in Report EX/18/40.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The decision to approve the transaction was based on the value and length of the new lease.  The new lease would enable the Council to secure a new and higher income stream, nearly 5 years earlier and for the duration of 25 years.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision could have been taken not to grant an earlier lease renewal.  However, it was foreseen that the rental level could fluctuate over the next five years, potentially resulting in a significantly lower rental offer.

 

(Action:  Senior Estates Surveyor)

 

 

At the conclusion of the above item, Councillor Clapper rejoined the meeting.

 

 

136.

Borehamwood Football Club

Report of Officers.

 

 

Minutes:

Decision that:

 

1.     the existing leasehold interest be surrendered and a new 25‑year lease be granted; and

 

2.     the market rent set out in Report EX/18/38 be agreed and the current principle of applying a discount be continued at a percentage to be negotiated.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

To enable the Borehamwood Football Club to enter into a new lease with the Council that enabled it to access grant funding from the Football Foundation which required a minimum unexpired lease term of 25 years.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision could have been taken not to grant an earlier lease renewal and instead allow the lease to run its course.  However, as this would prevent the Club from making a successful application for grant funding, this option was not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Finance, Property and Economic Development Portfolio Holder suggested, and it was agreed, that the report’s recommendations be adjusted to include reference to continuing the principle of a negotiated discount (report paragraph 5.5 refers).

 

·       A non-Executive Member commented on the irony of granting a discount as the Club was potentially in breach of planning rules and subject to possible enforcement action in relation to an irrigation system that had been wrongly installed.  He suggested that consideration be given to adding a condition to regularise the situation.  The Head of Legal and Democratic Services clarified that, whilst planning enforcement was not an Executive function, the principles set out in the report did allow for flexibility.  The Chairman concurred that the two issues should not be conflated and that, whilst wishing to assure the Club, it was important to deliver the message that the Club must also be compliant.  It was acknowledged that the decisions would accommodate action by Officers in this regard.

 

·       The Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health expressed her support for the negotiation of a discount in view of Borehamwood Football Club’s positive promotion of the town and the many benefits it provided which included a range of youth activities and educational courses for members of the Club. 

 

(Action:  Senior Estates Surveyor) 

 

137.

Land at Oakridge Lane, Aldenham - New Lease

Report of Officers.

 

 

Minutes:

Decision that a new 15-year lease, with 5-yearly rent reviews, be granted, as detailed in Report EX/18/42, for the land identified in the report’s appendix (areas A, B, C and D).

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The decision would regularise the existing occupancy at part of the site and include additional land, formerly the Oakridge Lane Depot.

 

Agreement had been reached with the current occupier on terms that safeguarded the Council’s position and, at the same time, allowed for back rent to be collected at a rate of £10,000 pax for a period of 10 years on the existing occupation.  It also allowed the Council to receive rental income in the future for this land and the additional depot site. 

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The alternative option was not to grant a lease.  However, this option was rejected as it would leave the Council at risk, unable to receive rental income and claim the back rent. 

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Executive greatly welcomed the granting of a new lease for this site which regularised a long standing matter and would remove any arguments about adverse possession as advised by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.  Members commended the Asset Management section for its work in achieving this solution.

 

(Action:  Senior Estates Surveyor)

 

 

138.

Bushey Fire Station

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Decision that, subject to securing the necessary funding (as detailed in section 6 of the report), approval be given for the Council to acquire a 99‑year lease, as detailed in Report EX/18/41, for the former Bushey Fire Station and associated buildings, as indicated on the plan appended to the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The decision to acquire the lease for this property would potentially enable the Council to expand its adjacent museum facility and explore other uses for community benefit.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision might have been taken not to purchase the leasehold interest in the property and forego the potential opportunities outlined above.  However, as there was little alternative opportunity for expansion on the existing site and given the proximity to the Council’s own adjoining properties, future use of the fire station buildings was of clear interest to the Council.  Accordingly, this option was not supported.

 

Another alternative was for the Council to attempt to purchase the freehold of the site.  However, since discussions with Hertfordshire County Council had indicated that it would not be prepared to sell at this time, that option was similarly not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Portfolio Holders for Leisure, Culture and Health and for Environment and Transport welcomed this opportunity for the Council.  The Chairman conveyed his thanks to the Head of Engineering Services and Asset Management and his team.

 

(Action:  Property Services Manager)