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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Ms Rehill, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

54.

Membership

To receive details of any changes in membership of this Committee notified since the agenda was printed.

Minutes:

Councillor Vince substituted for Councillor Newmark.

55.

Communications and Apologies

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

(b) Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed new Members and returning Members of the Committee.

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Newmark. Councillor Selby had notified the Chair that she would not be present for the start of the meeting.

 

56.

Declaration 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.

57.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To confirm and sign the ATTACHED minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 February 2019 and 15 May 2019.

 

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 meeting held on 14 February 2019 be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 May 2019 be approved and signed as a correct record.

(Councillor Selby arrived during the following item)

58.

YC Hertfordshire - annual monitoring report pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To receive an update on YC (formerly Youth Connexions) from Mary Walsh, YC Hertfordshire Area Team Manager at Hertfordshire County Council.

 

The annual report is ATTACHED.

 

Minutes:

Mary Walsh, YC Hertfordshire Area Team Manager was in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

 

-       The Committee was informed that approximately 95% of schools in Hertsmere used YC Hertfordshire (YCH) in some capacity.This was primarily work that schools purchased, where a team of Personal Advisers provided impartial information, advice and guidance to support young people in schools. During 2018-2019, as part of their statutory duty, YCH also supported 39 Year 9 students and 52 Year 11 students who held Education, Health & Care Plans within Hertsmere. YCH had arranged 540 work experience placements for Hertsmere schools and 20 bespoke work experience placements, tailored to the young person’s needs.

-       As at 30 April 2019 there were 52 young people in Hertsmere, from a cohort of 2217, classed as available NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). There were 18 unavailable NEET with the majority of those unable to work due to mental ill health. The NEET numbers were considered fairly low. Once a young person’s education had been completed, YCH conducted a tracking task to see if the young person had returned to school or gone on to further learning, employment or training. If NEET, YCH contacted them to offer support with a minimum of fortnightly contact attempts. Areas with higher levels of economic deprivation tended to have higher NEET figures. The Committee enquired about parental co-operation and were advised that parents were not required to be involved but they were able to and many did get involved. The age range for NEETS was16-18. Young people were required to be in learning or employment up to the age of 18.

-       YCH provided additional support for Children Looked After (CLA), of secondary school age, at no extra cost to schools as this was funded by The Virtual School. The support was individually tailored to the young person’s needs. If the young person did not attend school, they were still offered support.

-       The Information and Guidance (IAG) Team had received funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company to provide support for 70 young people from the Traveller Community across Hertfordshire. The aim of the programme was to improve career outcomes by offering 28 hours of support plus an extended work experience placement in whatever the young person was interested in. The Committee enquired how many had signed up and how they were referred. They were advised that there were currently 51 Hertfordshire young people on the programme. Young people were referred by the Access to Education Team. This was usually after a period spent building up trust.  All referred young people lived on designated pitches or had recently settled.

-       ‘Supporting You’ was a new Youth Work programme, launched this year, in Potters Bar, aimed at equipping young people with the tools to help strengthen their resilience and emotional wellbeing. They could refer themselves or be referred by a parent or professional. The YCH website explained the referral process in greater  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Quarterly Financial Monitoring (Jan-Mar) pdf icon PDF 539 KB

To note the ATTACHED monitoring report.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Finance and Business Services and Councillor Lambert, Financial Monitor, were in attendance for this item.

 

The year-end report was presented and a number of points highlighted:

-       The Revenue Budget 2018/19 showed a favourable year-end variance of £489K.

-       Most service areas were within budget. Street Scene had an overall favourable year-end variance of £208K. This was mainly due to the year-end stock adjustment which showed an increase of £37K in the value of bins and other consumables. There was a further variance of a net saving of £136K on employees. The service had employed temporary staff due to ongoing vacancies in Parking Services. Environmental Health had an overall un-favourable year-end variance of £62K due to the cost of unauthorised encampments. This included securing the sites with new bollards and the cost of legal action.

-       The Committee were informed that the Corporate Budget showed a favourable year-end variance of £367K which was due to favourable investments, an interest rate increase sooner than anticipated and a favourable commercial loan rate to Inspire All. Inspire All were close to completing work with the final draw down of £1m expected soon. There was a large adjustment of the Central Contingency Budget with a total of £194K funding costs of Bushey Country Club.

-       The Council have fully settled an insurance claim that had been ongoing for several years. It was expected that up to 95% of the claim could be recovered including costs. The Council was taking the case forward.

-       Capital – The Full Council, at its February 2019 meeting, approved slippage of £13.34m which included money not spent and reversed slippage spent 2017/18.

-       The Committee enquired about how the Council could protect itself financially from the effects of Brexit. The Head of Finance and Business Services explained that the financial markets do factor in uncertainty and that forecasts were used going forward. The service kept a close eye on the situation as things could change on a daily basis.

-       The Committee asked about the security of the banks that the Council used to invest in following recent high profile cases in the media. It was explained that the Council subscribed to Link Asset Management who provided a comprehensive advisory service to the Council including a credit worthiness service. HBC tended to invest in Local Authorities which were AAA rated. Security was a top priority.

-       Debt Management – The Council collected in excess of £135m annually and as at 31 March 2019, the total overdue debts amounted to £6,767k. This was an increase of £1050k. The Head of Finance and Business Services explained that in May 2018, an experienced and knowledgeable Revenues Manager left the employment of the Council, leaving the team with a gap in knowledge and leadership. Workloads fell behind and the collection of Council Tax debt decreased in comparison to previous years. A Revenues and Benefits Manager had been in place since September and there were measures in place to collect the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Community Infrastructure Levy/Section 106/Appeals Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 376 KB

To note the ATTACHED bi-annual report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Adrien Waite, Head of Planning and Economic Development and Beckie Nudds, Planning Officer, were in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

-       The Planning Department had successfully recruited a new Principal Infrastructure and Delivery Officer.

-       The report covered the period from October 2018 to March 2019. The monitoring report would now be produced on a six monthly basis instead of quarterly to enable Officers to provide a clearer analysis of emerging trends.

-       The number of new Section 106 (s106) agreements had declined significantly following the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). New s106 agreements were still signed for site specific issues such as Affordable Housing.

-       The Committee enquired about the way in which the Council kept track of s106 monies to ensure that it was spent within the required timeframe. The Committee were advised that no s106 monies were returned last year. The Planning Department kept spreadsheets with refund dates and currently there were no imminent refund dates. S106 monies did not have to be spent in order for it not to be repaid but had to be allocated to a project. Some of the current s106 funds had been allocated to a future projects.

-       The Committee requested that a column for the amount of s106 money received in the current year be added to table 2.1: Summary of rolling Hertsmere BC s106 balances.

-       Payments of CIL liabilities were not immediate; the applicant had 60 days from the date of commencement to make payment. From 1 January 2019, applicants had been able to pay in instalments. Late payments were subject to interest and surcharges.

-       If a developer of CIL-exempt projects failed to submit a commencement notice before the start of works the exemption/relief was lost and the CIL would have to be paid in full under the current CIL regulations. The new regulations, which should come into force from September 2019, stipulated that a surcharge equal to 20 percent of the notional chargeable amount, or £2,500, whichever is lower, would be charged if a commencement notice was not submitted.

-       Self-build properties were exempt from CIL charges if they were lived in for a period of 3 years after the development had been completed. The Planning Department conducted visits every 6 months and checked Council Tax records and land charges to ensure that this was adhered to.

-       The Council was required to transfer 15% of CIL funds received in parished areas to the relevant Parish or Town Council. A Community and Infrastructure Fund had been set up. A review had been undertaken to look at and improve on the next funding round and a report had been sent to relevant Boards and Committees. The CIL bids went to Executive in November 2018, December 2018 and January 2019 for approval.

-       There were 35 planning appeals between October 2018 and March 2019 of which 71% were dismissed. During the calendar year from January to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Procurement: Contracts to be Awarded (quarterly item) pdf icon PDF 27 KB

To consider the ATTACHED monitoring report.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

62.

Areas for future scrutiny

To consider proposals for areas of future scrutiny work for discussion with the Executive.

 

The Committee Chair will seek the Committee’s ideas and input on what the Committee should be looking at in the coming months.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that the Scrutiny Chairs had met to discuss areas for future scrutiny.

The main area identified was a scrutiny review on Mapping of Partnerships

The aim would be to obtain an overview of Hertsmere Council’s partnerships with other organisations and local authorities. All partnership arrangements would be identified and mapped including their role, nature of services and functions undertaken and how they are accountable. This would then be fed into Policy Review to look at the scrutiny function and how it worked.

The mapping exercise would be conducted as a Task and Finish Review with the terms of reference defined at July’s meeting. The review would be supported by the Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement and Democratic Services. The report should be available by October 2019.

The Committee discussed which Members would be on the review panel.

 

The Committee discussed the possibility of a future review of Section 106 (s106) monies and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Councillor Butler would lead with Councillors Eni and Brown on the review panel. The panel would draw up the terms of reference for the next meeting.

 

 

RESOLVED that:

-       there would be a Scrutiny Review on Mapping of Partnerships.

-       The terms of reference would be brought to the Committee meeting to be held on 23 July 2019.

-       The Panel Members would be Councillors Mortimer, Richards Selby and Susman.

-       Councillor Richards would be the Lead Member.

 

-       there would be a Scrutiny Review on S106/CIL.

-       The terms of reference would be brought to the Committee meeting to be held on 23 July 2019.

-       The Panel Members would be Councillors Brown, R Butler and Eni.

-       Councillor R Butler would be the Lead Member.

63.

Forward Planning Programme & Committee Workprogramme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the ATTACHED Forward Planning Programme and identify possible issues for scrutiny.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Forward Panning Programme was NOTED.

 

Committee Work Programme:

-       The schedule of invitations for Executive Portfolioholders was discussed and timings agreed to tie-in to existing scheduled items:

 

Date of Meeting                   Executive Member

23 July 2019                         Environment

4 September 2019               Communications and Consultation

22 October 2019                   Finance & Property Portfolio and Housing

26 November 2019              Planning

8 January 2020                    Community Safety & Performance

25 February 2020                Leisure, Culture & Health

26 March 2020                     Community & Economic Development

 

RESOLVED that in the next municipal year, the first Portfolioholder would present at the Committee meeting to be held on 11June 2020, as the Committee would be confirmed.

 

64.

Any other business which the Chair 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.

65.

Dates of future meetings

Future meetings are scheduled to take place at 7.30pm at the Civic Offices, Borehamwood, as follows:

·         23 July 2019

·         4 September 2019

·         22 October 2019

·         26 November 2019

 

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for 23 July 2019.