Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Lisa Purse 

Items
No. Item

34.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies received from Councillors Tony Durcan, Maggie Hulcoop, Bill Pryor and John Strachan.

35.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any items on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 32 KB

To agree the minutes of the meetings held on 28 July 2016 and 31 August 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 28 July 2016 and 31 August 2016 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

37.

Communications from the Chairman

37a

Events Attended

Minutes:

The Chair announced that she had represented the Council at sixteen events since the last meeting of Full Council including lunch at Streets2Homes and meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a Harlow school.

 

Officers were congratulated in connection with the organisation of the successful Active Harlow Sports Awards which honour local sporting heroes.  The awards were presented by international footballer Casey Stoney MBE.

 

It was noted that the Council had received a Heart4Harlow award for the work done to refurbish the Town Park.    

37b

Civic Dinner

Minutes:

The Chairman gave thanks for the support received in connection with the Annual Civic Dinner that took place on 21 October 2016. It was noted that £800 was raised for the Chair’s charity, £300 of which was raised from the raffle.

37c

Remembrance Day

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there would be a raising of the flag at the Civic Centre on Friday 11 November 2016 and a service at Netteswell Cross in the Town Park onSunday 13 November 2016.

38.

Petitions from the Public

Minutes:

None.

39.

Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Minutes:

The questions together with the answers are appended to these minutes.

40.

Questions from Councillors

Minutes:

None.

41.

Motions from Councillors

a)    Housing and Planning Act 2016

 

Proposed by Councillor Waida Forman (seconded by Councillor Mark Wilkinson):

“This Council believes that The Housing and Planning Act, to be implemented from April 2017, is not in the interests of current tenants and those in housing need and will not address the affordable housing crisis nationally and in Harlow in that it will:

1.  Limit tenancies to 10 years and will end the concept of ‘lifetime tenancies’ which allow families to settle and become part of a stable community?

2.  Inequitably compel Councils to sell­ off their most ‘valuable’ homes, with the proceeds to be used to pay for the extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants?

3.  Introduce a mandatory ‘Pay to Stay’ scheme for those in Council housing where the household income is above £31,000 with the exception of those receiving Housing Benefit?

4.  De-regulate the social housing sector, removing the need for housing associations to secure the Social Housing Regulator’s consent before disposing of land? and

5.  Make Councils set up brownfield registers and give in principle planning permission to all land on this register, significantly increasing the likelihood of the creation of luxury developments as investment opportunities, in place of housing for ordinary working people. 

The Council condemns the introduction of compulsion for the Council to sell off the higher value housing, owned and paid for by the Council on behalf of the community it serves, whilst forcing it to give the money from these sales to the Government.  This represents a tax on Council tenants and the Council Tax payers of Harlow.  

The Council calls on the Government to allow a level playing field for the treatment of the sale of Council and housing association assets and, as with housing associations, allow the Council to keep ALL of its Right to Buy receipts for building new Council housing in Harlow.”

b)    Neighbourhood Planning Bill

 

Proposed by Councillor Jon Clempner (seconded by Councillor Tony Durcan):

 

“This Council opposes the tabled amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill giving powers to the Secretary of State to invite a County Council to produce a Local Plan for a community of a District Council area should he/she believe that the District Council, as planning authority, is not making timely progress with its production.  It also opposes the imposition of any costs of doing so on District Councils.

 

This Council believes that imposing a County Council created Local Plan on local communities is a challenge to local democracy and the community leadership role of District Councils. This Council also believes that the terminology used in the amendment referring to County Councils as ‘upper tier’ and to District Councils as ‘lower tier’ is divisive and creates the inaccurate perception that local democracy within communities is hierarchical. It believes that the use of this language is totally at variance with the Localism agenda of the Government, is contrary to the fact that Councils are sovereign and equal partners and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 41.

41a

Housing and Planning Act 2016

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Waida Forman, seconded by Councillor Mark Wilkinson it was moved that:

This Council believes that The Housing and Planning Act, to be implemented from April 2017, is not in the interests of current tenants and those in housing need and will not address the affordable housing crisis nationally and in Harlow in that it will:

1. Limit tenancies to 10 years and will end the concept of ‘lifetime tenancies’ which allow families to settle and become part of a stable community?

2. Inequitably compel Councils to sell­ off their most ‘valuable’ homes, with the proceeds to be used to pay for the extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants?

3. Introduce a mandatory ‘Pay to Stay’ scheme for those in Council housing where the household income is above £31,000 with the exception of those receiving Housing Benefit?

4. De-regulate the social housing sector, removing the need for housing associations to secure the Social Housing Regulator’s consent before disposing of land? and

5. Make Councils set up a brownfield registers and give in principle planning permission to all land on this register, significantly increasing the likelihood of the creation of luxury developments as investment opportunities, in place of housing for ordinary working people. 

The Council condemns the introduction of compulsion for the Council to sell off the higher value housing, owned and paid for by the Council on behalf of the community it serves, whilst forcing it to give the money from these sales to the Government.  This represents a tax on Council tenants and the Council Tax payers of Harlow.  

The Council calls of the Government to allow a level playing field for the treatment of the sale of Council and housing association assets and, as with housing associations, allow the Council to keep ALL of its Right to Buy receipts for the building new Council housing in Harlow.

 

The motion was carried.

41b

Neighbourhood Planning Bill

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Jon Clempner, seconded by Councillor Danny Purton it was moved that:

 

This Council opposes the tabled amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill giving powers to the Secretary of State to invite a County Council to produce a Local Plan for a community of a District Council area should he/she believe that the District Council, as planning authority, is not making timely progress with its production.  It also opposes the imposition of any costs of doing so on District Councils.

 

This Council believes that imposing a County Council created Local Plan on local communities is a challenge to local democracy and the community leadership role of District Councils. This Council also believes that the terminology used in the amendment referring to County Councils as ‘upper tier’ and to District Councils as ‘lower tier’ is divisive and creates the inaccurate perception that local democracy within communities is hierarchical. It believes that the use of this language is totally at variance with the Localism agenda of the Government, is contrary to the fact that Councils are sovereign and equal partners and is not consistent with the basis of the approach to Devolution where the equality of the partners to proposed Devolution Agreements has been a key element of those agreements.

 

This Council resolves that:

 

1. The Chief Executive writes to the Minister of State for Housing and Planning and to all members of the Public Bill Committee of the Housing of Commons expressing this Council’s objections to the amendment and seeking:

 

a.    The amendment be changed to take out all reference to County Councils and in its place there be inserted the Secretary of State having power to direct that planning authorities failing to produce a Local Plan by a defined date shall appoint, at their own expense, another District Council planning authority to take over the management of the Local Plan development process to ensure that the District Council is in a position to agree a Local Plan by an agreed date.

 

b.    In all parts of the Bill reference to ‘upper tier’ and ‘lower tier’ be removed and be replaced by reference to District, Borough and City Councils, County Councils and Unitary Councils as appropriate to recognize the equality of the Councils.

 

2. The Chief Executive writes to the District Councils Network and all District, Borough and City Councils in Essex stating the Council’s objection to the amendment and inviting them to lodge similar objections with the Minister of State for Housing and Planning supporting (1) above.

 

3. The Leader of the Council writes to the Leader of Essex County Council seeking his support for (1) above.

 

The motion was carried.

42.

References from Cabinet and Committees

Any reference arising from Committee or Cabinet meetings held after the

publication of this Agenda will be circulated separately.

42a

Referral from Cabinet - Annual Treasury Management Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Cabinet recommended to Council that it approves the Annual Treasury Management Report for 2015/16 (Appendix A to the original report).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report from the Cabinet which asked that it approves the Annual Treasury Management Report for 2015/16 (Appendix A to the original report).

 

Proposed by Councillor Mike Danvers (seconded by Councillor Jon Clempner):

 

RESOLVED that the above recommendation is approved.

43.

Reports from Officers

Minutes:

None.

44.

Minutes of Cabinet and Committee Meetings

These minutes remain draft until agreed at the next ordinary meeting of the relevant Committee or Cabinet.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings are noted.

44a

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 19 July 2016 of Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 22 KB

44b

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 21 July 2016 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 181 KB

44c

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 6 September 2016 of Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 20 KB

44d

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 7 September 2016 of Audit & Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 65 KB

44e

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 13 September 2016 of Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 34 KB

44f

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 14 September 2016 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 29 KB

44g

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 15 September 2016 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 49 KB

45.

Matters of Urgent Business

Minutes:

None.