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Decisions

Decisions published

15/01/2020 - Amended Terms of Reference for Shareholders Panel for Council Owned Trading Companies (EX/20/19) ref: 2913    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that

 

1.    the reconstitution of the Hertsmere Developments Limited Shareholder Panel as the Hertsmere Shareholders Panel, be approved.

 

2.    the terms of reference attached as Appendix A to the Officers Report as the amended terms of reference for the Hertsmere Shareholder Panel to the intent that that the Panel shall in future be responsible for the governance oversight, business plan review and performance monitoring of all trading companies which are wholly or partially owned by the Council, be approved.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

In light of significant actual and anticipated financial investment in the Council Owned Trading Companies and the expected returns from them, it is imperative that the Council has a dedicated supervisory body to ensure the sound and robust monitoring and oversight of its subsidiary’s performance and its governance arrangements.

 

The Council has already approved the establishment of a Shareholder Panel for HDL and in accepting the recommendations in the Action Plan attached to the SIAS report has agreed that the remit of the panel should be extended to include all Council Owned Trading Companies including Elstree Film Studios Ltd and others.

 

It is important to note that the agenda and minutes of the Panel will be available under the Freedom of Information Act, albeit subject to the exempt information requirement. However, as the Panel meetings won’t take place in public this means that debate and discussion can be conducted openly. This will assist the Council in robust monitoring in order to protect the tax payers’ interest in these companies.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Not to follow the recommendations of the Shared Internal Audit Services (SIAS) contained in report on the Governance of Council Owned Companies may result in any decisions made by the Executive in relation to these companies could also be at a risk of challenge.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);


15/01/2020 - Setting the Revenue Budget 2020/21 (EX/20/18) ref: 2911    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that

 

That the Executive are requested to consider the draft 2020/21 budget set out in section 10 and Appendix B, which shows a net budget requirement of £11,725k (an increase of £180k from 2019/20, £11,545k) and recommend this budget to the joint meeting of the Policy Review and Operations Review Committees and to all Members, stakeholders and the public for consultation.

 

That the Executive are requested to consider the revised Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) set out in section 9 and Appendix C, which shows a total future budgetary gap over the three-year financial period from 2020/21 to 2022/23 of £1,263k unless an appropriate course of action is not taken to eradicate this gap and recommend the MTFP to the joint meeting of the Policy Review and Operations Review Committees and to all Members, stakeholders and the public for consultation.

 

REASONS FOR the decision

 

The purpose of the report is to present the draft 2020/21 budget including the latest Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to the Executive for their consideration and to seek their approval to recommend the draft budget for stakeholder consultation.

 

The Authority is required by law to set a balanced budget i.e. the anticipated ongoing costs of providing services should be equal to anticipated funding resources.  Further, it is vital that the budget is sustainable over the long term while achieving the Council’s corporate goals.

 

It is critical that the revenue budget is set in such a way as to ensure that the Council allocates its limited available resources effectively and efficiently, in order to continue providing value for money services and meet both its statutory obligations and its aims and objectives as outlined in the Community Strategy and Corporate Plan.

 

As resolved by the Council, the MTFP is required to be reviewed and updated annually and approved as part of the annual revenue budget setting process.

 

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS considered and rejected

 

The Local Government Act 1992, Section 32 requires that all known and anticipated revenue budgetary requirements of the Authority for the forthcoming year be calculated prior to setting the Council Tax. This must be done no later than 11 March in the preceding financial year. Therefore, there are no alternatives other than to agree a balanced budget by the statutory deadline.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);


15/01/2020 - Setting the Capital Budget Report 2020/21 to 2022/23 (EX/20/07) ref: 2910    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that:

 

1.    the revised Capital Budget for 2019/20 of £10,866k as set out in section 7, be noted.

 

2.    the forecast capital spend for 2019/20 of £9,672k as set out in section 8, be noted .

 

3.    the draft capital programme 2020/21 to 2022/23, amounting to £7,981k over the three year period, be considered and agreed:

4.    the additions to the capital programme amounting to £4,040k, as set out in section 9 and detailed in Appendix B to the report;

5.    the profiled budget over the next three years as £6,073k in 2020/21, £1,218k in 2021/22 and £690k in 2022/23 section 10, table 5 to the report;

 

6.    the draft three-year capital programme 2020/21 to 2022/23 be recommended to the meeting on 28 January 2020 of the Policy Review and Operations Review Committees and to all Members, stakeholders and the public for consultation.

 

7.    it be noted that the Capital Strategy 2020 (paragraph 5.2 and Appendix C refers) has been updated to reflect the draft capital programme and that this strategy be approved for consultation.

    1. To present the draft 2020/21 budget including the latest MTFP to the Executive for their consideration and to seek their approval to recommend the draft budget for stakeholder consultation.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The Council has a statutory obligation (as specified in the CIPFA Prudential Code) to make estimates of the total capital expenditure it plans to incur during the forthcoming year and the following two financial years to facilitate prudent, affordable and sustainable capital investment decisions.

 

The procedure agreed by full Council for setting the capital budget is that capital bids are firstly critically appraised by the Asset Management Panel in conjunction with officers prior to recommendation for inclusion in the capital programme.

 

The Council’s constitution also requires that the Policy Review Committee and Members of the Council be consulted on the capital budget at least four weeks prior to the Executive recommending that Council adopts the budget.

 

In order to comply with these requirements, the adoption of the 2020/21 – 2022/23 Capital Budget will follow the timetable in the report of Officers:

 

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS Considered and Rejected

 

The Executive may decide to recommend that full Council adopt an alternative capital budget to that presented in Appendix A and recommend to full Council that any of the individual bids for funding presented not be approved.  However, these options could adversely affect the Council’s ability to provide its services and/or make efficiencies going forward.

 


15/01/2020 - Strategic Planning Team - Future Capacity Needs (EX/20/06) ref: 2908    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that

 

1.    expenditure of up to £30k to implement the proposed structure within the current 2019/2020 financial year, funded from the in-year revenue budget surplus (see 8.1), be agreed.

 

2.    expenditure of up to £194k to implement the three fixed term posts for a two year period to be funded from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) admin fund and external planning grants (see 8.2), be agreed.

 

3.    the cost of the permanent established posts of £77k (including on costs) funded from additional income generated by the new structure (see 8.5), be noted.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The purpose of this report is to approve the financial implications associated with the proposals agreed by the Personnel Committee from the Head of Planning and Economic Development for the resourcing of the Strategic Planning Team, which sought to address capacity issues within the Strategic Planning Team and relevant recommendations arising from the independent Peer Review of Planning undertaken by the East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) dated 27 September 2019.

 

Executive approval is required to allow additional capacity within the Strategic Planning team, for the reasons outlined in section 5 of this report.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

The Executive could choose to implement only parts of the proposed structure or to retain the existing structure within the Planning Strategy Team.  However, the work currently being undertaken by the team will shape development in the Borough up until 2036, impacting on the quality of place experienced by residents, businesses, workers and visitors for generations to come.  The Council’s new Local Plan, being prepared to a timetable of adoption in 2021, is key to the spatial implementation of policies to address the Council’s priorities.  Delay to the Local Plan timetable could delay or frustrate achieving these priorities (for example spatial responses to the declared climate emergency). These options are therefore not recommended.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Adrien Waite


15/01/2020 - Local Development Order (LDO) for BBC Elstree (for adoption) (EX/20/01) ref: 2907    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that

 

1.    the findings of the recent public consultation on a Local Development Order (LDO), Appendix 1 of the report, for part of the BBC Elstree site be noted.

 

2.    the LDO be recommended for formal adoption by Full Council with effect from 1st February 2020.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The report sought authority to take the Local Development Order (LDO) to Full Council for formal adoption.  The making of a LDO to cover the part of BBC Elstree where the new EastEnders set is being constructed will enable some future changes to be made without the need for express planning consent, supporting the operational requirements of the BBC and providing greater certainty for nearby residents and businesses. 

 

The LDO will also provide the BBC with an increased amount of flexibility when filming EastEnders allowing for changes to be made to the set which reflect new storylines, and enabling the show to meet the tight fixed schedule required for filming.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

That no Local Development Order is served: 

 

This is the process which would otherwise exist following construction of the new front lot.  However, this requires the submission of a formal planning permission every time the BBC needs to change the set to reflect changes in the story line. This puts additional constraints on the script writing, and reduces the site’s usability, as any changes to the story line (which require significant work to the set) will need to be scheduled far in advance of filming. Considering that the site is in constant use with three 30 minute shows broadcast each week this can lead to additional complications.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: M Silverman


15/01/2020 - Hertfordshire Growth Board Memorandum of Understanding (EX/19/63) ref: 2912    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that

 

1.    the Hertfordshire Growth Board Memorandum of Understanding  (Appendix 1 refers) setting out the objectives, principles, and scope of the collaborative work being and to be undertaken through the Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) at its meeting on 22 January 2020 be recommended to Full Council be agreed.

 

Purpose of the Decision

 

The main purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to let residents and businesses know of this absolute commitment to the above objectives, while also communicating the way in which the Growth Board Partners will work together to manage growth in the county.  It also sends a very clear message to central government about Hertfordshire’s ambitions.

 

In order to ensure Hertsmere is at the forefront for place shaping it cannot work in isolation, especially for infrastructure improvements, economic growth and future sustainability.  Hence joining in the Memorandum of Understanding is for the partners to:

 

·              raise awareness of their joint working intent to Hertfordshire residents, partners, businesses and central government;

·              commit to continued collaborative place-based working across Hertfordshire;

·              set out the joint working intention between the Partners; and demonstrate how they will work together as equal stakeholders with different roles to manage future growth in Hertfordshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The Council may decide not to join the partnership and carry the risk of failure to deliver economic growth as well as much needed infrastructure.  Furthermore the Council may breach its statutory duty to cooperate. It will also curtail the Council’s ability to deliver much needed housing growth and develop a sustainable local economy.  

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Sajida Bijle


15/01/2020 - Council Tax Support Scheme 2020/2021 (EX/19/55) ref: 2909    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 21/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Decision that:

the consultation responses in respect of the proposed banded Council Tax Support Scheme for working age universal credit claimants as set out in section 6 and appendices 2-4, be noted.

Full Council be recommended to approve the proposed banded Council Tax Support Scheme for working age universal credit claimants as described in this report and in more detail in Appendix 1.

Full Council be recommended to approve the continuation of the current Council Tax Support Scheme for all other working age claimants.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The local Council Tax Support Scheme must be approved by the Council by the end of January each year in advance of the financial year.

The Executive approved that consultation on the proposed banded scheme be undertaken between Mid-August and the end of November and included public consultation via various media.  In July, the Executive considered a proposed banded scheme for council tax support claimants who are in receipt of Universal Credit, EX/19/39.

The Executive also agreed that a discretionary fund should be set aside to assist those adversely affected by this proposed change and agreed that this fund should be £100,000 an increase on the original proposal of £62,000 (EX/19/39 para 2.9). The purpose of the fund would be to provide transitional protection to anyone who is worse off after transitioning from the current CTS scheme.

The feedback from the consultation has been broadly positive and the Executive are requested to consider this feedback as set out in this report and recommend the proposed banded scheme to the full Council for approval in January 2020 to commence in April 2020.

For those not in receipt of Universal Credit, there are no proposed changes. So the Executive are also requested to recommend to the full Council the continuation of the current CTS scheme (complete with annual uprating as prescribed by the DWP) for those not in receipt of Universal Credit.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

The Council could decide to continue with the current scheme as is.  However, as the take up of UC increases, more claimants will be subject to regular changes to their income and bills.  This would make the scheme more difficult to administer, more confusing for the claimants and harder for the council to collect council tax owed.

The Council could apply a banded scheme for all working age claimants.  This would be problematic because the effect of the banded scheme would be different for UC cases to those on legacy benefits.  This would make the setting of the relevant income bands much harder and there would be a greater propensity for claimants to be worse off.  The current scheme is well suited for claimants not yet in receipt of UC so there is no requirement to change for this cohort.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Matthew Bunyon


15/01/2020 - Communications and Apologies ref: 2914    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Decision published: 15/01/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

The Chair welcomed Members and Offices to the meeting and advised that:

 

1.    the following items had been circulated separately to the agenda.

 

a.    Item 5 - Minutes

 

b.    Item 7.4 - Setting the Revenue Budget 2020/2.

 

2.    apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Graham and Quilty.

 

3.    as the Council had entered in to the period of Purdah for the local By-election which would be held on 13 February 2020 the meeting would be recorded but not published until 14 February 2020.  This would apply to all meetings of the Council until after the By-election. 


13/11/2019 - Procurement of IT Desktop Devices (EX/19/53) ref: 2905    For Determination

Decision Maker: Executive

Made at meeting: 13/11/2019 - Executive

Decision published: 13/01/2020

Effective from: 13/11/2019

Decision:

Decision that

 

1.    The appointment of European Electronique Ltd to supply the Council with IT Desktop devices to refresh the current IT desktop estate (as detailed in report EX/19/69) be agreed with the option to extend the initial two year warranty for a further three Years.

 

2.    The cost of the IT desktops be funded from the Central Infrastructure Renewal budget, set up for this purpose.

 

Reason for the Decision

 

The majority of the Council’s IT desktop estate is over six years old and is no longer covered by a warranty.  Information and Digital Services have a limited stock of parts that commonly fail but will not be able to maintain the desktop estate indefinitely.

 

Some staff are experiencing performance issues with their desktop devices which is impacting adversely on their ability to perform their job.  The current IT desktop estate does not support a number of the Council’s strategies, including the IT Strategy, which supports an agile working environment; and the disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

A number of alternative devices had been considered however they do not offer a viable solution for the Council at this time.  These included Google Chromebook and Desktop Tower or Micro.

 

There are potential strategic and operational consequences of taking no action.