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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Ms Rehill, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

363.

Membership

Substitutes are not permitted to this Committee, unless a Member of the Committee has been unable to attend meetings for a period of three months or longer.

Minutes:

Changes to membership are not permitted on the Committee.

364.

Communications and apologies

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

 

(b) Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness from Councillor Hoeksma. Apologies for absence from Councillor Bright as he was at a Studios meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the referral from Resources Scrutiny (agenda item 11) be considered as part of agenda item 9 as the two matters were related.

365.

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

 

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.

Minutes:

There were none.

366.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2013.

 

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2013 be approved and signed as a correct record.

367.

Financial Monitoring (regular item) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

 To consider the ATTACHED update.

Minutes:

The Head of Finance was in attendance for this item.

 

Key points of the report were discussed, including:

-        Housing Services was still looking good due to a surplus, but this was still early in the financial period.

-        most surpluses were due to increases in income (eg planning fees) and some were due to vacant posts.

-        only Asset Management were showing a deficit, which was due to the previously reported delay in the arrival of the Police tenants.

-        four scarab trucks were due to be replaced, past options appraisals had shown that purchasing was cheaper than leasing. Officers would check that remained the case.

Action by: Head of Finance

 

The Committee noted that every sector of the budget was currently showing a surplus and congratulated Officers on their good work.

368.

Community Infrastructure Levy: post-examination update

To receive a VERBAL update on progress.

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer was in attendance for this item.

 

The Committee was informed that on 13 September 2013, Hertsmere's Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. The Planning Inspectorate appointed, Philip Staddon BSc Dip MBA MRTPI to conduct an independent examination of the Hertsmere CIL. 

 

A public hearing was held at the Civic Offices on 29 October 2013. In advance of the hearing the examiner issued the Examination Hearing Programme, and identified the main issues and questions.  The Council was the only party present at the Examination.  The principle objector, the Home Builders Federation, chose not to attend and submitted written representations. These objections were in relation to developer profit and a ‘viability buffer’ within the viability model. The Home Builders Federation did not take up the offer to meet with the Council prior to the Public Hearing.

 

Officers met with representatives from McCarty & Stone Retirement Lifestyle Limited prior to the public hearing and a Statement of Common Ground was agreed with McCarty & Stone, so removing their primary objection to the draft charging schedule.  The Statement was in relation to the definition of a Care Home. 

 

The Examiner would report his findings in December 2013. Officers had not spotted any show-stopping issues. Once the report was received, the focus would be on implementation and governance arrangements.

 

RESOLVED that the verbal update on positive progress be noted.

 

369.

Corporate Plan

At the last meeting, the Committee invited the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council to give an update on the Corporate Plan and on the next steps regarding the Plan.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive was in attendance for this item.

 

The Committee was provided with slides (attached as an appendix to these minutes) and a number of points were discussed, including:

-        no longer a statutory requirement to produce a Corporate Plan.

-        decision had been made to not refresh the Plan because of the exceptional degree of uncertainty within local government generated by the fundamental changes being wrought by new policies (eg business rates pooling, Localism, core grant reductions). Also the Council had to review its position once the financial settlement was announced and the results of the SIMALTO consultation were analysed. The Council was not expecting a good settlement and the base budget had been eroded by the yearly Council Tax freezes.

-        the Council needed to generate income (eg take on additional tenants at the Civic Offices, build houses for sale, increase partnership/shared services, review sizes of grant allocations). Whilst it was sensible to decant various public services onto one site, the Committee was mindful that the role of any vacated premises would have to be taken into account so that they were redeveloped in an appropriate manner.

-        given the Council was considering 4-yearly elections in 2015, it made sense to start work on a Corporate Plan in 2016 so that all the newly-elected councillors could influence it.

 

RESOLVED that Officers prepare an interim Corporate Plan, or roll forward the existing Corporate Plan, until the Council implements the 4-yearly election system.

Action by: Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement

370.

Performance monitoring Quarter 2 Jul-Sep 2013 [quarterly agenda item] pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the ATTACHED quarterly report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement was in attendance for this item.

 

Key points of the report were highlighted and discussed, including:

-        CCTV indicator was always amber because it must be constantly monitored.

-        increase in car thefts was not localised, the arson incidents were in particular wards so were being addressed via Safer Streets initiatives. Data on this would be circulated to the Committee once Officers had checked the confidentiality rules.

Action by: Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

371.

Committee to review the messages from the 4 key presentations (Financial Strategy, Regeneration, Planning Strategy, New Homes Bonus)

To agree next steps.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive and the Director of Resources were in attendance for this item.

 

The Committee reviewed the presentations it had received at its past meetings, as well as the Shenley Road Regeneration Presentation to all councillors on 11 November 2013. The changes and freedoms that local government was now facing (Localism, pooling etc) were impacting on how the Council functioned. The key message therefore was for the Council to handle the change by leading and guiding its services, rather than being reactive. Underpinning all this was the financial position of the Council. The Council had to be clear on what it wanted to deliver, how it would deliver - all in a way that was financially secure. The presentations that the Committee had heard at past meetings had shown that the Council could not achieve all its aspirations on its own, many successes would be dependent on partnership working and influencing other organisations. For example, regeneration work would require having the County and Highways on board, as many aspects were not under the direct control of the Council.

 

In light of its discussion, the Committee considered the referral from Resources Scrutiny listed under agenda item 11 and agreed the setting up of various Scrutiny Reviews to take forward these matters.

 

RESOLVED

 

i)                 that Environment and Resources Scrutiny Committees be allocated three Regeneration Scrutiny Reviews each, for monitoring, and to set their terms of reference as follows:

-        Environment Scrutiny to monitor Borough-wide transport infrastructure; social infrastructure (schools, medical and social care) for the two settlements of Elstree & Borehamwood and Potters Bar.

-        Resources Scrutiny to monitor Borough-wide employment opportunities (ie attracting major businesses/employers); social infrastructure (schools, medical and social care) for the two settlements of Bushey and Radlett.

ii)               that Overview and Performance Scrutiny Committee review the population trends that have been posited in the Council’s key strategies, as previously discussed with Portfolioholders.

372.

O&S Learning and Development

(a)         To note any forthcoming dates for overview and scrutiny learning and development opportunities; and

 

(b)         To receive feedback from Members and Officers in relation to any overview and scrutiny related learning and development events.

Minutes:

Noted that a facilitation course was available on 21 November 2013. Training on facilitation/negotiation would be useful for councillors working on the regeneration scrutiny reviews, as the success of that work would be dependent on building good relationships with partner agencies.

373.

Reports from Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 22 KB

The Chairman of the Resources and Environment Scrutiny Committees will report on the work of their respective committees in the current municipal year to date.

 

A referral from Resources Scrutiny Committee is ATTACHED.

Minutes:

Councillor Wayne reported that Environment would be considering Air Quality and an update on the Elstree Way Area Action Plan.

 

Councillor Hoeksma reported that Resources would be receiving the annual WIIS update and the annual update on the work of the Police Community Support Officers.

 

The Committee noted that the work generated by the various regeneration Scrutiny Reviews would require monitoring by the main Committees. The Committees would need to set the terms of reference to ensure that all the Reviews were working in a consistent manner.

 

The referral from Resources Scrutiny was considered under agenda item 8.

374.

Overview and Scrutiny Budget

The current balance stands at £8 500.  Officers will report any additional expenditure at the meeting.

Minutes:

Noted that £8500 of the budget was unspent, the monies could be used to support Task Groups.

375.

Forward Plan of the Executive & Committee's Work Programme pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To consider the Forward Plan and identify possible issues for scrutiny.

To consider the Committee’s work programme and requirements for Officer and/or Portfolio Holder attendance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Agreed to look at the Microphones report listed on the Forward Planning Programme.

 

Add Microphones report to December meeting.

Add approval of Task Groups to December meeting.

Delete CIL update from December meeting as Environment Scrutiny could look at it instead.

 

Add an extra O&P meeting in May 2014 to deal with the Task Group updates/reports.

376.

Any other business which the Chairman considers urgent

In accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, amended by the Access to Information Act of 1985, no urgent business may be raised unless it has been approved by the Chair.  The item and reason for urgency must be announced at the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

There was none.

377.

Dates of future meetings

Future meetings of the Committee are scheduled to take place

at 7.30pm at the Civic Offices, Borehamwood, as follows:

 

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Monday 31 March 2014.

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting was on 17 December 2013.

Appendix A - Corporate Plan Presentation pdf icon PDF 584 KB