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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Paul Hughes 

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Items
No. Item

414.

Prayers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Rabbi Alan Garber said prayers.

 

 

415.

Communications and Apologies for Absence

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

 

(c)        Any motions by Members relating to the order of business on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Brown, Davis, Eni, Lambert, Abhishek Sachdev and Wayne.

 

The Mayor noted that a number of items of business had been deferred to this meeting, as a result of the November Council meeting not completing its business. He said that it was important that the Council dealt with all the items on the agenda but he was aware that some items of business had a direct impact on the efficient and effective operation of the Council. To avoid the Council being disadvantaged by not dealing with these matters, it was the Mayor’s suggestion that the order of business of tonight’s agenda be varied by bringing items requiring decision forward. 

 

It was moved by Councillor Bright and seconded by Councillor Graham that items 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 25 and 26 to be taken immediately after item 5 – Questions from the Public.

 

During discussion on this motion, Councillor Newmark, seconded by Councillor Butler, moved an amendment that items 25 and 26 be removed from the list of items to be brought forward. On being put to the vote this amendment was LOST.  

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

 

 

416.

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:

 

a. Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

 

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

 

b. 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.

 

c. 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.

 

d. Land

 

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

 

e. Licences

 

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

 

f. 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.

g. 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 Rebecca Butler declared a pecuniary interest and Councillors Richard Butler, Newmark and Vince declare a non-pecuniary interest in item 17 – Canon Public House, Thirsk Road, Borehamwood – funding approval. All four councillors said they would not participate in the discussion or voting on this item and that it was their intention to leave the meeting while consideration of this item took place.

 

Councillor Bright declared an interest in item 26 – Judicial review of decision to grant planning permission pursuant to application 17/1824/VOC – Elstree Towers, Borehamwood, Herts. He said he had been granted a dispensation by the Chief Executive to remain in the meeting and contribute to the debate but would not vote on the item.

 

 

417.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 340 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Council meeting on 22 November 2017.

 

In accordance with the Constitution no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 22nd November 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

 

418.

Announcements by the Mayor

To receive such announcements as the Mayor may decide to make to the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor extended his congratulations to the newly-elected Councillor for Borehamwood Cowley Hill Ward, Councillor Rebecca Butler, and welcomed her to her first meeting of Council.

 

The meeting was then informed by the Mayor that Hertsmere’s Holocaust Memorial event would take place tomorrow. It would start with a candle-lit parade from Radlett Train Station at 6pm followed by a ceremony at The Radlett Theatre at 6.30pm. All were welcome to attend and anyone wishing to attend was advised to contact the Mayor’s Secretary to reserve a place.

 

The Mayor also reported that a Football Tournament was planned on 16 April 2018 at Arsenal Football Training Ground, and that entry forms were available from the Mayor’s Secretary.

 

It was a delight, said the Mayor, to report that Her Majesty the Queen had awarded Councillor Morris Bright the MBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his many years outstanding service to local communities in Hertsmere and across the region as a leading Councillor and community advocate. The Mayor also had a letter from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, offering her congratulations. The Mayor quoted the following from her letter: “Your MBE is a richly deserved acknowledgement of the huge contribution you have made to Hertsmere and to Hertfordshire. As a member of Hertsmere Borough Council for nearly 20 years, and as its Leader for over 10 years, you have played a vital role in improving public services for local residents and delivering value for money. Combined with your service on the County Council, you have made a major contribution to public life in Hertfordshire.”  May I say that this recognition is well-deserved and, on behalf of the Council, I offer our congratulations to Councillor Bright.”

 

 

419.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Three questions have been received from members of the public, as per the ATTACHED list, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following questions which had been received from members of the public:

 

PQ1 from Mrs Hoeksma from Bushey to the Portfolioholder for Finance, Property and Economic Development - “Will the Portfolio Holder please tell me when Universal Credit will be rolled out to Hertsmere? How many people is it thought will be affected by this change in their benefits?  What steps will the Council take to mitigate against the disastrous consequences that have occurred elsewhere when people have been waiting up to 6 weeks before they receive any money?”

 

The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Graham explained that the rollout of Universal Credit began in Hertsmere back in December 2015 with what is known as the Live Service which was only available for new single claimants, existing claimants were not affected. The scheduled go live date for the roll out of the Universal Credit Full Service for most of Hertsmere (Borehamwood Job Centre catchment area) was December 2018 however, the Full Service had already gone live in neighbouring boroughs of St Albans, Watford and Welwyn & Hatfield where Universal Credit was now available to all working age claimants, with some exceptions. Where Hertsmere shared postcodes with these Full Service areas, claimants living in those postcodes would now need to claim Universal Credit rather than Housing Benefit. However, a claimant already in receipt of Housing Benefit when their postcode goes live with the Full Service would remain on Housing Benefit until their circumstances changed, for example they stop working and claim an out of work benefit. So this was a transition phase, geographically and within the benefits. Universal Credit only affected working age claimants and Hertsmere’s current case load for this group was around 3,000. The Full Service would be rolled out over several years with any working age customers remaining on Housing Benefit in 2020 then being moved over to Universal Credit. In mitigation in paying Universal Credit the Council acted as an agent of central Government’s department of employment; the Council had a central policy and were given a rule book. Once all payments were made, at the end of the year there was an audit, which Audit Committee had stated was fairly carried out. If the audit identified any errors the money would be paid out. To support those affected by the move to Universal Credit Hertsmere had an arrangement with and provided funding to Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB), who offer Personal Budgeting Support and Advice. In some circumstances Hertsmere might be able to provide short-term financial assistance through the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme and Hertsmere would continue to award Council Tax Support to customers on a low income that met the scheme criteria. In terms of the CAB, the Council supported the CAB with a significant grant, certainly for the past twenty years. Indeed back in the financial crisis, this administration increased grants to the CAB at a time when other councils, such as Labour-controlled Birmingham, reduced or removed grants. As a result of this investment Hertsmere residents were benefitting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 419.

420.

Schedule of meetings 2018/19 (outstanding business from November 2017 Full Council) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Consideration of the ATTACHED report was outstanding from the last meeting of Council. The meeting is asked to approve the draft schedule of meetings for the period August 2018 to July 2019.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting considered a report on the Schedule of Meetings for the period August 2018 to July 2019.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bright and seconded by Councillor Cohen that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed.

 

During discussion on this motion, Councillor RZ Butler, seconded by Councillor Vince, moved an amendment that Full Council meetings should commence at 7pm. On being put to the vote this amendment was LOST.  

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that

i)                 the non-Executive meeting dates shown in the draft Schedule of Meetings 2017/18, attached at the appendix to the report, be approved.

ii)               the Executive meeting dates shown in the draft Schedule in the appendix be noted.

Action by: Democratic Services Manager

421.

Setting the Council Tax Base 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider the ATTACHED report on the setting of the Council Tax base for the coming year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting considered a report detailing the calculations made to arrive at the Council's Tax Base to be used in determining the level of council tax for 2018/19, precepts and any special expenses.

 

It was moved by Councillor Graham and seconded by Councillor P Hodgson-Jones that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012 the amount calculated by Hertsmere Borough Council as its Tax Base for the year ended 2018/19 shall be 40,696, and that Hertfordshire County Council, Police & Crime Commissioner, Parish and Town Councils be notified of this amount (for budget setting purposes) by 31 January 2018.

Action by: Head of Finance and Business Services

422.

Allocation of seats on committees pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider the ATTACHED report for the approval of allocation of committee seats and to agree nominations to Committees, as tabled by Group Leaders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting considered a report on the review of proportionality.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bright and seconded by Councillor Cohen that the recommendations set out in the report be varied as follows to ensure an allocation of 62 Conservative Committee seats to 7 Labour Committee seats, Councillor RZ Butler be appointed to Audit Committee and Councillor Newmark be appointed to Licensing Committee, Councillors Keates be removed from Audit Committee, Councillor Heywood be removed from Licensing Committee and added to Personnel Appeals Panel and Councillor R Butler be replaced by Councillor RZ Butler on Policy Review Committee.

 

The motion was put to the vote and AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that

i)                 Councillor RZ Butler be appointed to Audit Committee.

ii)               Councillor Newmark be appointed to Licensing Committee.

iii)              Councillors Keates be removed from Audit Committee.

iv)             Councillor Heywood be removed from Licensing Committee.

v)               Councillor Heywood be appointed to Personnel Appeals Panel.

vi)             Councillor R Butler be replaced by Councillor RZ Butler on Policy Review Committee.

Action by: Democratic Services Manager

 

Councillors R Butler, RZ Butler, Newmark and Vince left the Chamber for the consideration of the following item.

Additional documents:

423.

Cannon Public House, Thirsk Road, Borehamwood - funding approval pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the ATTACHED report on the acquisition of the leasehold interest in Cannon Public House.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting considered a report proposing the acquirement of the leasehold interest in the Cannon Public House, Thirsk Road, Borehamwood.

 

It was moved by Councillor Graham and seconded by Councillor P Hodgson-Jones that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that the sum of £300,000 for acquisition of the leasehold interest in the Cannon Public House, Thirsk Road, Borehamwood be approved, to be funded from the Innovation and Investment Fund reserve as recommended by the Executive report number EX/17/80.

Action by: Property Services Manager

424.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2018 pdf icon PDF 415 KB

To consider the ATTACHED report seeking approval of the revised Scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting considered a report on revisions to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.

 

It was moved by Councillor Graham and seconded by Councillor P Hodgson-Jones that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that the amended Hertsmere Local Council Tax Support Scheme, which incorporates changes as set out in paragraph 2.8 f the report be approved and applied from 1 April 2018.

Action by: Head of Finance and Business Services

 

425.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Recommendation that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item 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

Agenda item 26                                               1, 2 and 5

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 item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 5, Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act.

426.

Judicial Review of decision to Grant Planning Permission pursuant to Application 17/1824/VOC - Elstree Towers, Borehamwood, Herts

REPORT TO FOLLOW.

Minutes:

The meeting considered an exempt report regarding matters arising from planning application 17/1824/VOC.

 

It was moved by Councillor Graham and seconded by Councillor P Hodgson-Jones that the recommendations set out in sections 1 and 2 of the report be agreed.

 

During discussion on this motion, Councillor Newmark, seconded by Councillor Graham, moved an amendment that an additional clause 2.4 be added to section 2 of the report.

 

On being put to the vote, this amendment was AGREED.  

 

The motion as amended was then put to the vote and it was AGREED.

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations in section 1 of the report be noted and the recommendations in section 2 of the report, with the additional clause of 2.4, be agreed.

Action by: Head of Legal and Democratic Services

427.

Formal Complaints by the Council's Customers - 2016/17 (outstanding business from November 2017 Full Council) pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Consideration of the ATTACHED report was outstanding from the last meeting of Council. It sets out the number of complaints about this authority made to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) during the year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 as well as providing information on complaints dealt with under the Council’s own complaints procedure for the same period. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting received and noted a monitoring report on formal complaints by the Council’s customers 2016/17.

428.

Updates from Outside Bodies (outstanding business from November 2017 Full Council)

Consideration of this VERBAL report was outstanding from the last meeting of Council. Updates are to be provided by Members serving as representatives on the following outside bodies:

 

Local Government Association                       

 

Potters Bar Historical Society                          

 

Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London Adjudication Joint Committee                                       

 

West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee.                      

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Members, appointed as representatives of the Council on outside bodies, made a report on the activities of their respective organisations:    

 

Local Government Association                                   Councillor Bright

 

Potters Bar Historical Society                                     Councillor Lyon

 

Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London         Councillor Quilty

Adjudication Joint Committee

 

West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee                  Councillor Swerling

 

RESOLVED that the information on the activities of the outside bodies listed above, as reported by the Councillors appointed to represent the Council on those bodies, be noted.

RESOLVED that the meeting continue to 10.30pm.

Additional documents:

429.

Questions From members of the Council (outstanding business from November 2017 Full Council) pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Consideration of this report was outstanding from the last meeting of Council. Questions received from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, are as per the ATTACHED list.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nine questions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, as follows:

 

1]       From Councillor Sarah Hodgson-Jones to the Housing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Heywood:

“Can the Portfolio Holder for Housing please explain what modular housing is, and what benefit it could bring to those without anywhere to live in Hertsmere?”

 

Councillor Heywood, Housing Portfolio Holder, said that modular housing was constructed in a factory to strictly controlled tolerances and quality standards, it took a fraction of the time a traditionally built home took to build and produced far less waste, it had a low carbon footprint, as well as being extremely cost effective.

 

As a council, the Portfolio Holder said that Hertsmere was clear that it would not wish to see individuals or families placed in the type of accommodation that was recently in the news with people placed in poor quality accommodation and HMOSs which were generating significant income for private landlords at cost to the public purse and to the detriment of individuals and families who found themselves unintentionally homeless.

 

The Portfolio Holder said that the benefit to those Hertsmere residents in need of temporary accommodation was that modular units would provide individual families with safe, warm comfortable accommodation, whilst affording levels of privacy and security not available in shared accommodation and B&B. Importantly the use of modular units of accommodation in Hertsmere would enable families to stay within the borough, to maintain access to local services, schools and support networks.

 

2]       The question submitted by Councillor Paul Hodgson-Jones to the Leader of the Council about the Local Government Boundary Commission had been withdrawn.

 

3]       From Councillor Newmark to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Bright:

““As we move towards full-service rollout of Universal Credit in Hertsmere next year it is clear that large numbers of local people will be affected by these changes.  Given that the rollout in other parts of the country has caused considerable hardship for many people there is a risk that similar problems in this area could have significant impact.  Has the Council carried out a risk assessment with particular focus upon the extent to which the implementation of a Full Service Universal Credit in the Borough might prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of thousands of our local residents and in particular the extent which it might contribute towards the spiralling problem of homelessness?  Will he join me in writing to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions asking that the system of Universal Credit is redesigned in such a way that it removes the inherent risks to which this Council is likely to be exposed?”

 

Councillor Bright, the Leader of the Council, replied that the Borehamwood Job Centre, which serviced the majority of Hertsmere, was expected to go live with the Full Universal Credit Service towards the end of the roll-out programme in September 2018. There were however a limited number of postcodes within Hertsmere which were covered by Job Centres outside of the borough  ...  view the full minutes text for item 429.

430.

Notices of Motion (outstanding business from November 2017 Full Council) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Consideration of this report was outstanding from the last meeting of Council. Two notices of Motions have been received, as ATTACHED, from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Motion 1

With the permission of his seconder and the meeting, Councillor Newmark withdrew his Motion on Notice concerning Local Government Pay.

 

During consideration of the following Motion, as it was after 10.30pm, in accordance with Constitution Procedural Rules, the meeting agreed to finish considering the Motion and thereafter defer all remaining agenda items to the next ordinary Council meeting.

 

Motion 2

Councillor Newmark, seconded by Councillor Vince, moved his Motion on Notice concerning Democracy, Transparency and Accountability.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and it was LOST.

 

 

431.

Urgent Decisions Exempt from Call-in

No decisions have been taken with the approval of the Mayor as matters of urgency in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution – Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 14(j).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

432.

Special Urgency Decisions Quarterly Report

The Leader reports that, in the last quarter, no key decisions have been taken in circumstances of Special Urgency, as set out in Rule 16 of the Constitution’s Access to Information rules.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

433.

Report of the Leader of the Council and other Committee Chairs pdf icon PDF 134 KB

The Leader of the Council and other Committee Chairs will make an oral report on the list of items ENCLOSED.  The Constitution provides for a maximum of 45 minutes debate after the Leader has completed his report.

 

Members are requested to bring their copies of the minutes of the Executive meetings on which the Leader will report – 13 December 2017 and 10 January 2018.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

434.

Report of the Chair of the Operations Review Committee pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The Chair of the Operations Review Committee will make an oral report on the list of items ENCLOSED.  The Constitution provides for a maximum of 30 minutes debate after he has completed his report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

435.

Hertsmere Electoral Review pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To note the ATTACHED report on the conclusions of the review of Hertsmere Borough Council’s electoral arrangements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

436.

Updates from Outside Bodies

VERBAL updates are to be provided by Members serving as representatives on the following outside bodies:

 

·       Home-start Watford & Three Rivers and Home-start Herts (Councillor West)

·       St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge (Councillor M Sachdev)

·       Ashfield School Foundation (Councillor L Silver).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

437.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Questions received from Members, as per the ATTACHED list, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

438.

Notices of Motion

No Notices of Motions have been received from Members.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As it was after 10.30pm when the meeting reached this item, consideration of it was referred to the next ordinary meeting of Council.

 

RESOLVED that consideration of this item take place at the next ordinary meeting of Council.

439.

Date of Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Council will take place on Wednesday 28 February 2018 at the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Council was scheduled on 28 February 2018.