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Agenda item

Report of the Leader of the Council and other Committee Chairman

The Leader 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 – 16 May 2018 and 20 June 2018.



Leader’s Report


The Leader spoke on the following list of topics, which had been circulated to Members prior to the meeting, and was tabled for the press and public.  Discussion ensued on the other items and the Leader and Executive Members responded to Members’ questions.


Two Executive meetings took place since the last report:


Executive - 16 May 2018


1.    ICT Disaster Recovery Update


The Council approved funding last November to provide a public cloud disaster recovery solution and business continuity facilities at the Waste Depot.  Further to that decision and on the recommendation of the Society for IT practitioners in the Public Sector (SOCITM), the Executive agreed to amend the way the solution is delivered.  The new model would best meet the Council’s particular requirements and align well with the ICT Strategy.


2.    Empty Homes Strategy 2018 to 2022


This was considered earlier.


3.    2020 Vision Annual Report 2017/18 and Corporate Action Plan 2018/19


This was considered earlier.


4.    2020 Vision Performance Report for Quarter 4 and 2017/18 Year End


The Executive examined the Council’s performance for the last Quarter of 2016/17.  Approximately 65% of the targets were classed as green.


5.    Granting of Leases


New leases were granted in respect of five sites: The Studios Estate, Borehamwood; Longwood School, Bushey; Borehamwood Football Club; Land at Oakridge Lane, Aldenham; and the former Bushey Fire Station.


Executive - 20 June 2018


1.    Review of the Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2021/22


This was considered earlier.


2.    Hertsmere Developments Limited Business Plan and Associated Matters


This was considered earlier.


3.    Insurance Contract Award


A number of the Council’s insurance contracts, due to expire at the end of this month, were awarded.  These include Employers and Public Liability cover as well as insurance to protect assets (property and fleet). Saving of £50k per year against the current insurance contracts would be factored into the Revenue Budget 2019/20.


·         Local Strategic Partnership - 12 June 2018


1.    NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans


The NHS WAS going through a process of change to enable the services they offer to become more sustainable. The presentation explained the progress made so far by the Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainable and Transformation Partnership.


The partnership categorized Hertsmere as three neighbourhoods compromising of roughly 30,000 people. The partnership placed great value on the influence of the community to keep residents out of hospitals, GP surgeries and other care services. The proposed model realigned the services of commissioners and providers to be more integrated into our communities.


Another development was health providers in the borough were starting to work together for the first time through the Hertsmere Locality Forum. The next steps involved a greater involvement of Hertsmere Borough Council to work with these providers to share expertise.


2.    Whole Systems Approach to Obesity Pilot


Hertsmere Borough Council was recently invited by Public Health Hertfordshire and Leeds Beckett University to take part in the pioneering research stage of a national pilot which looks at a ‘Whole Systems Approach to Tackling Obesity’.


Two workshops were held at the Civic Offices to understand the current local system and how it can be disrupted to reduce obesity. The workshops included internal officers, external partners, eg, children’s centres and health visitors, Public Health Hertfordshire and Leeds Beckett University.


The workshops led to the formation of a working group to oversee actions to help tackle obesity on a local level with a focus on physical activity. The local authority would not be able to create this change alone, as some impacting factors, such as the reduction of unhealthy food promotion, would need to come from Government regulations.


3.    End of Year Crime Figures


Hertsmere ranked fourth lowest (out of the ten districts) when comparing the number of crimes per 1,000 population in the county. Crime had risen over the past year and nationally the figure was 13%, Hertfordshire has seen an increase of 11.8% and Hertsmere CSP an increase of 11.5%.

Other figures to note:

12% increase in Hate Crime when compared to 2016/17

2.3% decrease in ASB incidents when compared to 2016/17

28% increase in Theft of Motor Vehicle when compared to 2016/17

13.9% increase in Theft from Motor Vehicle when compared to 2016/17

7.8% increase in Violence against the person when compared to 2016/17


The Police were continually using covert operations to prevent this increase in crime in Hertsmere. Partnership working also continued within Hertsmere Community Safety Partnership, who were delivering ongoing community engagement and reassurance initiatives and events.




1.    Children with Disabilities will Benefit from New Hertsmere Sports Club


Young people with disabilities who have a passion for sport had a chance to join a new after school sports club set up by Hertsmere Borough Council. The council received funding from Sport England to set up the club, which could offer a different sport or activity each week.  This was a great new initiative and showed how the council did it best to provide inclusive activities for everyone in the community.


Enabling young people with disabilities to participate in sports activities was important for their health and wellbeing and can help prevent them from becoming isolated. 


2.    Have your Say on Health and Wellbeing in Hertsmere


Residents and local organisations in Hertsmere were being encouraged to voice their opinions about the health and wellbeing priorities for the borough.  The responses would contribute to the Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Hertsmere.


The council had responsibility for healthy living including improving air quality, open spaces, housing standards and food hygiene.  With a greater focus nationally on health issues, such as obesity, mental health and adequate housing conditions, this consultation provided a significant opportunity to work together to prevent, promote and improve health in the borough.


Being healthy was more than the absence of disease; it was the ability for everyone to fulfil their potential, make a contribution and be resilient to life’s challenges.

Views from individuals as well as those people who work locally for organisations regarding health and wellbeing in Hertsmere was being sought via a survey on the Council website. The deadline for responses is Sunday 5th August.





Standards - 26 June 2018

Standards Committee met on 26 June 2018. It considered and approved changes to the Council Procedure Rules to enable business to be transacted as efficiently as possible and recommended the changes to Full Council for adoption. The Committee also received its annual update on complaints considered by the Assessment Panel


Audit - 31 May 2018

Audit Committee met on 31 May 2018 and received reports from Internal Audit and our External Auditors, Ernst & Young.


Internal Audit provided the Annual Assurance Statement 2017/18 with Substantial Assurance for Financial Systems and Moderate Assurance for Non-Financial Systems. The Council had maintained sound governance arrangements in 2017/18.


Six areas were included in the 2017/18 Audit Plan.  Four from 2016/17 (cyber security; disaster recovery, business continuity and resilience; General Data Protection Regulations; Newberries Car Park Development) and two in recognition of current pressures (homelessness and temporary accommodation; workforce capacity, succession planning and use of temporary staff).


The Finance & Business Services team presented the Draft Statement of Accounts for 2017/18.  The main variances were under spends in Planning, overspends in Housing and increased income from Asset Management. The fully audited accounts will return to the Committee then Full Council in September.


Finally the Committee received an update on Risk Management which shows an increase in the impact of “Workforce Capacity [SO14]” around recruitment and retention, but also a reduction in “Compliance with revised planning legislation [SO21]” as a result of restructures in the Planning Team to address the issues.


Licensing - 26 June 2018

The Licensing Committee met on 26 June 2018 to consider the consultation on the review of the Statement of Licensing Policy 2018-2023 and Gambling Policy 2018-2021.


The Committee supported the changes, such as the emphasis on safeguarding of children and young people in the Licensing Policy and asked that the protection of vulnerable people should also be included.


Both Policies were undergoing formal consultation with the relevant authorities for an eight week period, before resubmission to 27 September 2018 Licensing Committee meeting. The Policies would then come to Full Council for adoption.

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