Agenda and minutes

Budget, Council
Thursday, 30th January, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Lisa Thornett 

Items
No. Item

41.

Minutes Silence

Minutes:

A minutes’ silence was observed following the death of General Sir George Cooper.

42.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mike Garnett, Michael Hardware and Phil Waite.

43.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

Councillors Simon Carter, Bob Davis and Chris Vince all declared pecuniary interests in items 9a – 9g and 9j as remunerated Councillor Directors of HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd. Having taken advice from the Monitoring Officer they indicated that they would remain in the meeting for the budget items unless specific HTS matters were discussed.

 

Councillor Russell Perrin declared an interest in the Conservative Group Amendments to items 9a – 9g as he was a teacher.

44.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2019 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

45.

Communications from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the various events he had attended since the previous meeting. The Playhouse had raised over £4,000 during the panto season for the two Chair’s charities.

46.

Petitions from the Public

Minutes:

None.

47.

Questions from the Public

Minutes:

None.

48.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

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

49.

Motions from Councillors

49a

All Party Parliamentary Group Definition of Islamophobia

Proposed by Councillor Lanie Shears (seconded by Councillor Nancy Watson):

 

“Harlow Council is proud of its town’s diversity. A substantial proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of the Harlow's life. 

 

Harlow has a strong history of welcoming people from all over the world. Harlow Council will always stand united and supported any community that faces abuse. Harlow Council will always fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

 

This Council therefore welcomes, endorses and adopts the working APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia, including all of its examples in full cited as follows:

 

‘Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.’

 

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, considering the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

 

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·         Denying Muslim populations, the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.

 

·         Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, eg loyalty tests.

 

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia.

 

Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.”

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Lanie Shears (seconded by Councillor Nancy Watson) it was:

 

“Harlow Council is proud of its town’s diversity. A substantial proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of the Harlow's life. 

 

Harlow has a strong history of welcoming people from all over the world. Harlow Council will always stand united and supported any community that faces abuse. Harlow Council will always fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

 

This Council therefore welcomes, endorses and adopts the working APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia, including all of its examples in full cited as follows:

 

‘Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.’

 

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, considering the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

 

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·         Denying Muslim populations, the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.

 

·         Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, eg loyalty tests.

 

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia.

 

Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.”

 

RESOLVED that the motion was carried.

50.

References from Cabinet and Committees

Minutes:

The Chair said that items 9a – 9j of the agenda would be considered on block. As required by the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 all votes on these items were recorded. Details of these are appended to the minutes.

50a

Referral from Cabinet - Corporate Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

             i)        The Corporate Plan 2020/21, attached as Appendix A to the report, is adopted.

 

            ii)        Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make minor and inconsequential amendments to the Corporate Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

A     The Corporate Plan 2020/21, attached as Appendix A to the report, is adopted.

 

B    Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to make minor and inconsequential amendments to the Corporate Plan.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

 

RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

50b

Referral from Cabinet - Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 430 KB

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

     i)        The Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2020/21 to 2022/23 (attached as appendix B to the report) is adopted.

 

    ii)        The planned Council Tax increase of 1.99 per cent for 2020/21 as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved.

 

   iii)        The proposals in relation to reserves as set out in this report at paragraphs 23 to 29 of the report and contained within Section 8 of the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

A     The Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2020/21 to 2022/23 (attached as appendix B to the report) is adopted.

 

B    The planned Council Tax increase of 1.99 per cent for 2020/21 as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved.

 

C    The proposals in relation to reserves as set out in this report at paragraphs 23 to 29 of the report and contained within Section 8 of the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

 

RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

50c

Referral from Cabinet - General Fund Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

     i)        The General Fund estimates for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix A to the report, are approved.

 

    ii)        The proposed transfers between the General Fund and Earmarked Reserves, referred to in paragraphs  28 to 30, Table 3 of this report and set out in Appendix C to the report, are approved.

 

   iii)        The proposed Fees and Charges, as set out in Appendix E to the report, are approved.

 

   iv)        The Pay Policy Statement, as set out in Appendix G to the report, is approved.

 

    v)        The Council’s Band D Council Tax for 2020/21 is set at £283.26 representing an increase in Council Tax of 1.99 per cent for the forthcoming year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

A     The General Fund estimates for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix A to the report, are approved.

 

B    The proposed transfers between the General Fund and Earmarked Reserves, referred to in paragraphs  28 to 30, Table 3 of this report and set out in Appendix C to the report, are approved.

 

C    The proposed Fees and Charges, as set out in Appendix E to the report, are approved.

 

D    The Pay Policy Statement, as set out in Appendix G to the report, is approved.

 

E     The Council’s Band D Council Tax for 2020/21 is set at £283.26 representing an increase in Council Tax of 1.99 per cent for the forthcoming year.

 

Councillor Russell Perrin (seconded by Councillor Andrew Johnson) moved an amendment as set out in supplementary agenda 2.

 

A recorded vote on the amendment was taken and the amendment was lost.

 

Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) moved that a vote was taken on the substantive motion. As required by law a recorded vote was taken and it was:

 

RESOLVED that the original recommendations above be approved.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Conservative Group Amendment Amendment Rejected
Items 9a - 9j Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 50d

    Referral from Cabinet - Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2019-2049 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

         i)        The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan, as set out in Appendix A to this report, be approved.

     

        ii)        Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing, to make minor amendments to the Plan, if necessary, following consultation.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan, as set out in Appendix A to this report, be approved.

     

    B    Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing, to make minor amendments to the Plan, if necessary, following consultation.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    50e

    Referral from Cabinet - Housing Revenue Account Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 605 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

         i)        The rents for individual dwellings as set out in paragraph 28 of this report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020. This equates to an average weekly rent of £92.28 an increase of 2.7 per cent.

     

        ii)        Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 21 to 27 of this report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020 for tenants and from 1 April 2020 for leaseholders. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £2.79.

     

       iii)        Heating charges as set out in paragraphs 29 to 34 of this report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020 for tenants and from 1 April 2020 for leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £9.23 per week (leaseholders £18.19 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £6.84 per week.

     

       iv)        Rents for garages held within the category ‘Retain and Invest’ as defined in the ‘Garages and Hardstanding Improvement Strategy 2015’ will increase by five per cent, to £10.67 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces from 1 April 2020, as set out in paragraphs 35 and 36 of this report.

     

        v)        Housing related support charges are as set out in paragraphs 17 to 19 and Table 1 are approved for service users with effect from 6 April 2020.

     

       vi)        Other Leasehold charges set out in paragraphs 25 and 37 of this report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020.

     

     vii)        Other Tenant charges are set out in paragraphs 38 and 39 and are approved with effect from 1 April 2020.

     

    viii)        The growth items outlined in paragraph 42 in respect of 2020/21 are approved.

     

       ix)        The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget (attached as set out in Appendix A to the report) is approved.

     

        x)        The minimum HRA working balance shall be £4 million as at 31 March 2021.

     

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The rents for individual dwellings as set out in paragraph 28 of the report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020. This equates to an average weekly rent of £92.28 an increase of 2.7 per cent.

     

    B    Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 21 to 27 of the report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020 for tenants and from 1 April 2020 for leaseholders. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £2.79.

     

    C    Heating charges as set out in paragraphs 29 to 34 of the report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020 for tenants and from 1 April 2020 for leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £9.23per week (leaseholders £18.19 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £6.84 per week.

     

    D    Rents for garages held within the category ‘Retain and Invest’ as defined in the ‘Garages and Hardstanding Improvement Strategy 2015’ will increase by five per cent, to £10.67 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces from 1 April 2020, as set out in paragraphs 35 and 36 of the report.

     

    E     Housing related support charges are as set out in paragraphs 17 to 19 and Table 1 of the report are approved for service users with effect from 6 April 2020.

     

    F     Other Leasehold charges set out in paragraphs 25 and 37 of the report are approved with effect from 6 April 2020.

     

    G    Other Tenant charges are set out in paragraphs 38 and 39 of the report and are approved with effect from 1 April 2020.

     

    H    The growth items outlined in paragraph 42 of the report in respect of 2020/21 are approved.

     

    I       The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget (attached as set out in Appendix A to the report) is approved.

     

    J     The minimum HRA working balance shall be £4 million as at 31 March 2021.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    50f

    Referral from Cabinet - Capital and Treasury Report 2020 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

         i)        The following Capital and Treasury Reports be approved:

     

    ·         The Capital Strategy Report (attached as Appendix A to the report)

     

    ·         The Capital Programme Strategy Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix B to the report)

     

    ·         The Investment Strategy Report 2020/21 (attached as Appendix D to the report)

     

    ·         The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix E to the report).

     

        ii)        The proposed revised Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix C to the report) be approved for implementation with effect from 1 April 2020.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The following Capital and Treasury Reports be approved:

     

                 i)        The Capital Strategy Report (attached as Appendix A to the report)

     

                ii)        The Capital Programme Strategy Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix B to the report)

     

               iii)        The Investment Strategy Report 2020/21 (attached as Appendix D to the report)

     

               iv)        The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix E to the report).

     

    B    The proposed revised Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2020/21 (attached as Appendix C to the report) be approved for implementation with effect from 1 April 2020.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    50g

    Referral from Cabinet - Capital Programmes 2019/20 - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 376 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    Housing Capital Programme

     

         i)        The Housing Capital Programme 2019/20 revised outturn of £23,005,000, as set out in Table 2 of the report is noted.

     

        ii)        The Housing Capital programme 2020/21 of £27,739,000, as set out in Table 5 of the report is approved, including £10.2 million of external borrowing in 2020/21 and a further £8.7 million in the following two years to support building council homes. Total borrowing £18.9 million.

     

    Non Housing Capital Programme

     

       iii)        The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2019/20 of £13,738,000, as set out in Table 6 of the report is noted.

     

       iv)        The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2020/21 £11,048,000 including the Enterprise Zone (Modus), £5,363,000, and Elm Hatch £1,185,000, as set out in Table 10 of the report is approved.

     

        v)        External borrowing of £13.8 million is approved to support the Non Housing Capital Programme in 2020/21 and a further £10.2 million in respect of the Housing Capital Programme.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    Housing Capital Programmes

     

    A     The Housing Capital Programme 2019/20 revised outturn of £23,005,000, as set out in Table 2 of the report is noted.

     

    B    The Housing Capital programme 2020/21 of £27,739,000, as set out in Table 5 of the report is approved, including £10.2 million of external borrowing in 2020/21 and a further £8.7 million in the following two years to support building council homes. Total borrowing £18.9 million.

     

    Non Housing Capital Programme

     

    C    The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2019/20 of £13,738,000, as set out in Table 6 of the report is noted.

     

    D    The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2020/21 £11,048,000 including the Enterprise Zone (Modus), £5,363,000, and Elm Hatch £1,185,000, as set out in Table 10 of the report is approved.

     

    E     External borrowing of £13.8 million is approved to support the Non Housing Capital Programme in 2020/21 and a further £10.2 million in respect of the Housing Capital Programme.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the recommendations above be approved.

    50h

    Referral from Cabinet - Local Council Tax Support Scheme Proposals 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that the current Local Council Tax Support Scheme remains unchanged for 2020/21.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The current Local Council Tax Support Scheme remains unchanged for 2020/21.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mike Danvers (seconded by Councillor Mark Ingall) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendation be approved.

    50i

    Referral from Cabinet - Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2019/20: Mid-Year Review pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that the Mid-Year Review of the Treasury Statement, attached as Appendix A to the report, be considered.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The Mid-Year Review of the Treasury Management Statement, attached as Appendix A to the report, be considered.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    50j

    Referral from Independent Remuneration Panel - Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

    The Independent Remuneration Panel recommended to Full Council that:

     

                 i)        The Basic Allowance is increased to £4,575 for the 2020/21 financial year, representing a two per cent increase.

     

                ii)        All Special Responsibility Allowances in the Councillor’s Allowance Scheme (attached as Appendix A to the report) are increased by two per cent for the 2020/21 financial year.

     

               iii)        The Councillor Maternity/Paternity Policy (attached as Appendix B to the report) be approved.

     

               iv)        The Head of Governance be delegated authority to make changes to the Council’s Constitution to implement recommendations i, ii and iii.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The Basic Allowance is increased to £4,575 for the 2020/21 financial year, representing a two per cent increase.

     

    B    All Special Responsibility Allowances in the Councillor’s Allowance Scheme (attached as Appendix A to the report) are increased by two per cent for the 2020/21 financial year.

     

    C    The Councillor Maternity/Paternity Policy (attached as Appendix B to the report) be approved.

     

    D    The Head of Governance be delegated authority to make changes to the Council’s Constitution to implement recommendations A, B and C.

     

    Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mike Danvers) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    51.

    Reports from Officers

    Minutes:

    None.

    52.

    Minutes of Cabinet and Committee Meetings

    To note the following Cabinet and Committee minutes:

    52a

    Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 13 November 2019 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    52b

    Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 19 November 2019 of Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 48 KB

    52c

    Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 27 November 2019 of Audit & Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    52d

    Minutes of meeting Thursday, 5 December 2019 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 88 KB

    52e

    Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 17 December 2019 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    52f

    Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 15 January 2020 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    53.

    Matters of Urgent Business

    Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

    Minutes:

    None.