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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Jenny Smith 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

11.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)          Apologies for absence.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman apologised for a slightly late start and welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting.  He advised that, in accordance with normal procedure, the meeting was being webcast.

 

The Chairman also welcomed to the meeting a work experience student who was shadowing the webcaster that evening.

 

Apologies were received from Councillor Richard Butler specifically in relation to the recommendations arising from the scrutiny review of Physical Access Security at agenda item 6.1.

 

 

12.

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 Bright declared an ‘other pecuniary interest’ in item 8.1, Executive Quarterly Review of Elstree Studios (Quarter 1 2018/19), as a Council‑appointed Director of the Board.  He advised that, in accordance with Section 33 of the Localism Act 2011 and the Council’s Constitution, he had been granted a dispensation by the Chief Executive, however, to remain in the meeting.

 

Councillor Clapper declared an ‘other pecuniary interest’ in the same item as a Director of the Studios and stated that she would leave the meeting while item 8.1 was under consideration.

 

Councillor Morris also declared an ‘other pecuniary interest’ in item 8.1 for the same reason and stated that he would withdraw from the meeting while the item was under consideration.

 

 

13.

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.

 

 

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 20 June 2018.

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 20 June 2018 were approved and signed as a true record.

 

15.

Recommendations from Scrutiny Committees

Additional documents:

15.1

Operations Review Committee: Physical Access Security Review pdf icon PDF 365 KB

The Executive is asked to consider Officers’ recommendations and formulate a response to the recommendations arising out of the Operations Review Committee’s Review of Physical Access Security.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the recommendations of the Operations Review Committee arising from its Review of Physical Access Security be noted and considered pending consultation of Officers and a formal response by the Executive in two to three months’ time.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Executive was required by law to respond to recommendations from scrutiny committees, indicating what action it proposed to take and a form was attached at Appendix B to the report for this purpose.  The decision would allow the Executive, in consultation with Officers, to consider the detail of the Review Team’s proposals prior to making a final decision.

         

The review had arisen from the difficulty Members had experienced, as a result of the safety measures currently in place, in accessing parts of the Council Offices and Council Officers when conducting Council business. 

 

Whilst recognising the importance of a safe working environment, the Operations Review Committee had considered that Councillors and Officers both had a role to play in the running of the Council and must work in partnership to carry out those roles effectively.  Members had been concerned that limiting the access of one partner, without accounting for the needs of their role, would weaken this partnership working.  The recommendations set out in the review final report were intended to assist Officers and Councillors in their working relationship without reducing the safety and security of data and personnel.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Executive might have taken an immediate decision not to approve the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations either in part or in full.  However, that option was rejected as the Executive considered that the work carried out and recommendations put forward merited further detailed consideration in consultation with Officers in order to realise the benefits outlined in the report.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       In the absence of the Review Lead Member, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property introduced this item.  He thanked the review team for the hard work that had gone into the report and advised that there was a number of issues the Executive would like to discuss with the Operations Review Committee.  He suggested that, in line with normal practice, the recommendations be considered in further detail and the Executive’s formal response be determined at its September or October meeting.

 

(Action:  Chief Executive)

 

 

15.2

Operations Review Committee: Fly Tipping Review pdf icon PDF 742 KB

The Executive is asked to consider Officers’ recommendations and formulate a response to the recommendations arising out of the Operations Review Committee’s Review of Fly Tipping.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the recommendations of the Operations Review Committee arising from its Review of Fly Tipping be noted pending consultation of Officers and a formal response by the Executive in two to three months’ time.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Executive was required by law to respond to recommendations from scrutiny committees, indicating what action it proposed to take and a form was attached at Appendix 2 to the report for this purpose.  The decision would allow the Executive, in consultation with Officers, to consider the detail of the Review Team’s proposals prior to making a final decision.

         

The review had been undertaken because Committee Members had identified fly tipping as a matter of local concern in their wards.  The Operations Review Committee had sought clarity on how well the Council was combatting fly tipping.  The review’s main objective was to identify methods to reduce and detect fly tipping.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Executive might have taken an immediate decision not to approve the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations either in part or in full.  However, that option was rejected as the Executive considered that the work carried out and recommendations put forward merited further detailed consideration in consultation with Officers in order to realise the benefits outlined in the report.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Review Lead Member, Councillor Worster, thanked his fellow panel members and the Democratic Services Manager for putting the report together.  Taking Members through the recommendations outlined in section 3, he emphasised the importance of prevention work in combating this costly problem, and the need to maintain and increase investment in CCTV.  He said that the dual use of hidden and open cameras would be effective and particularly applied to the problem hotspots in the area.

 

·       The Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder thanked the review panel for its work and the Officers involved.  He advised that he took the  problem with fly tipping extremely seriously and that he intended to discuss the recommendations with his colleagues over the summer with a view to formulating a response by September/October.

 

(Action:  Chief Officers/Chief Environmental Health Officer)

 

 

16.

Key Decisions

None.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None.

 

17.

Non-Key Decisions

Additional documents:

In accordance with the declarations under Minute 11 above, Councillors Clapper and Morris withdrew from the meeting prior to consideration of the following item.

 

 

17.1

Executive Quarterly Review of Elstree Studios - Quarter 1 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

The report provides the outturn position for 2017/18, the budget for 2018/19 and an update for 2018/19 as at the end of Quarter 1 (April to June 2018) to enable the Executive to carry out its delegated authority on behalf of the Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the report be noted.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Under the Governance Agreement, the Executive was required to review the financial performance, risk elements and business opportunities that faced Elstree Studios.

 

This report provided the outturn position for 2017/18, the budget for 2018/19 and an update on 2018/19 for Quarter 1 (April to June 2018) to enable the Executive to carry out its delegated authority on behalf of the Council.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As the report provided an update on progress to date, there were no alternative options.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Finance and Property Portfolio Holder highlighted the following areas of the report for Members’ particular attention:

 

-        Section 7 (Governance) – the lease between the Council and Elstree Studios had been completed and signed;

-        Para 8.4 (the EFS Statement of Accounts) – these had been incorporated into the Council’s draft Statement of Accounts and submitted to the Audit Committee on 31 May 2018;

-        Para 8.9 (Rent to the Council) – rent of £350k had been paid for Quarter 1 and the full year rent of £1.4m included in the year-end forecast.

 

·       The Head of Finance and Business Services advised that the report covered the first Quarter of 2018/19 but also included a review of the previous year.  He pointed out a typographical error in section 8 and it was duly noted that “2016/17” should read “2017/18”.  Further to the report, the Head of Finance and Business Services provided Members with further details.  In particular, he highlighted that the Andrew Mitchell building roof replacement works had concluded ahead of schedule and under budget (report paragraph 6.4 refers) and that training for all elected members and officers serving on Council-owned, controlled or influenced companies was scheduled for the autumn (report paragraph 7.3 refers).  In terms of the current year, the Head of Finance and Business Services was pleased to report that the company was in a healthy financial position.

 

·       A non-Executive Member welcomed the increased level of detail provided in the report which included a breakdown of the Directors’ allowances and the provision of Director appraisals.  Responding to questions, the Chief Executive confirmed that it was normal practice to carry out appraisals, the precise details and timing of which would be decided following the aforementioned training by the Institute of Directors (IoD) due to take place on 29 November 2018.  The Corporate Director confirmed that the rent received from BHE Limited (section 12 of the report’s Appendix refers) was in line with that charged to other comparable bodies.

 

·       Another non-Executive Member expressed support for the Director training.  He said that it was important for Directors to fully understand their responsibilities particularly when carrying out dual roles as members of the Council.  He added that he was encouraged by the Studios’ current sound financial position.

 

·       The Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder was also pleased to note the healthy financial position of Elstree Studios which he said gave back a significant amount to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.1

At the conclusion of the above item, Councillors Clapper and Morris rejoined the meeting.

 

 

17.2

Revenue and Capital Outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

The report presents the Executive with the Revenue and Capital outturn position for the 2017/18 financial year.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision that the following be noted:

 

1.          the revenue outturn position for 2017/18, which shows a net    underspend of £530k against an original budget of £11,478k, as set out       in report section 5 and Appendix 1;

 

2.          the technical financial accounting adjustments to the General Fund    balance and the net movement on the Revenue General Fund of £60k         (section 6 of the report);

 

3.          that the General Fund Reserve has increased by £60k to £7,962k         (paragraph 6.11 of the report);

 

4.          that the net movement on the Council’s Earmarked Reserves shows an         increase of £1,275k (section 7);

 

5.          the capital outturn position for 2017/18, which shows a total    investment of £2,785k against a revised budget of £7,210k (section 8);       and    

 

6.          the sources of capital funding for 2017/18 (paragraph 8.4).

 

Reasons for the Decision 

 

The information provided in the report enabled the Executive to review and note the Council’s financial position for 2017/18 as at 31 March 2018.

 

The report brought together the 2017/18 outturn report previously considered by the Operations Review Committee, and the Draft Statement of Accounts reported to the Audit Committee and currently subject to external audit.

 

The report also included a summary of the movements on reserves and balances required to deliver the financial strategy of the Council.

         

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Since the report was presented for Members’ information only, there were no alternative options.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       A non-Executive Member referred to the supplementary funding given last year to the homelessness budget in order to deal with increasing demands.  He asked whether the budget allocation for 2018/19 would be sufficient or whether the reliance on earmarked reserves would need to be repeated and what were the parameters of the required resilience.  The Corporate Director replied that the Financial Strategy had addressed the level of reliance on earmarked reserves.  She said that she was confident about the Council’s ability to deliver the budget for 2018/19 but that, if further demands were made, the current proposals might prove to be not sustainable.

 

·       During discussion, other non-Executive Members strongly welcomed the report and the underspend achieved of over £500k which was clearly the result of sound financial management.  The Council was also commended on its transparent accounting procedures.

 

·       Another non-Executive Member commented on the number of current staff vacancies across most of the Council’s departments.  Given that the Council continued to function well, he asked whether it was possible to consider not filling these vacancies.  The Chief Executive replied that cuts had already been made with a reduction of 43 Officers achieved.  He stressed that it was now important to retain the current level of staff and that the gaps could not be covered by agency staff which was more costly.   He said that the problems of replacing staff were exacerbated by the Council’s proximity to London which meant that it was unable to compete with salaries elsewhere.

 

·       The Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder commended all involved in achieving this substantial budgetary underspend  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.2

With the Chairman’s permission, the Finance and Property Portfolio Holder commented briefly on the likely outcome of the next agenda item, Bushey Country Club – Meanwhile Use, as follows.

 

The Finance and Property Portfolio Holder explained that approval of the report’s recommendation would secure the future use and maintenance of the Country Club which would represent good news for the local community.  The reason for his comments were that, for technical reasons, full consideration of the report would be made in part II of the agenda which was not open to the public.  The Chairman invited further comments.

 

A non-Executive Member welcomed the report’s recommendation as a highly encouraging step.  He advised that the local community had been very anxious about the facility falling into disuse and that the report’s recommendation would secure the future of the Club in a positive manner, albeit this would be an interim measure only.

 

 

18.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive is scheduled to take place at 6pm on Wednesday, 12 September 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, 12 September 2018 at 6.00pm.

 

19.

Exclusion of the Public

Recommendation that, under S100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves 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     None.

 

 

2.       NON-KEY DECISIONS

 

          2.1     Bushey Country Club -                                     3

                    Meanwhile Use

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, under S100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves 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     None.

 

2.       NON-KEY DECISIONS

 

          2.1     Bushey Country Club -                                     3

                    Meanwhile Use

 

 

20.

Bushey Country Club - Meanwhile Use

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Decision that a new five-year lease be granted to SMM (UK) Ltd from 1 November 2018 with a rolling mutual break after two years, subject to 6 months’ notice, and at a rental value as detailed in paragraph 5.12 of the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The decision to grant a lease would enable the Council to secure ‘meanwhile use’ of the building for up to five years and mitigate the associated revenue costs, pending consultation and a decision on future long term use of the site.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The decision could have been taken not to grant a lease and continue with the use of property guardians to occupy the building and provide security and maintenance.  However, this would have incurred associated residual ongoing revenue costs of £130k per annum and foregone the opportunity to open the facilities and make services available to local residents and other users.  This option was therefore not supported.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The Finance and Property Portfolio Holder proposed an amendment to the report’s recommendation such that the name of the successful tenderer be included.  The amendment was agreed.

 

·       A non-Executive Member welcomed this positive report and asked for further details on the successful company given that the evaluation details had not been appended.  The Property Services Manager explained that SMM was a small events organisation whose experience included working on the sites of the Olympic Park.   He advised that long discussions had been held with the providers of both of the submissions and that SMM had given Officers full confidence in their ability to deliver.  He added that Officers had studied their financial accounts closely and that the company had also agreed to pay a year’s rent in advance.

 

·       Another non-Executive Member welcomed the report’s recommendation as a positive step which would provide some assurance to the community.  He commended Officers on their capable work and for taking steps to mitigate any possible risks.  His views were echoed by Members of the Executive.

 

(Action:  Property Services Manager)