Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre

Contact: Lisa Thornett  (01279) 446185

Items
No. Item

66.

Chair's Announcement

Minutes:

The Vice-Chair of the Council, Councillor Clive Souter, read the following announcement on the behalf of the Chair of the Council Councillor Maggie Hulcoop.

 

This evening members, we will be setting the Council’s budget for the next year. My hope is that, whilst we may have fundamental differences about the budget and reports on tonight’s agenda, the meeting can be conducted on a civil basis by both groups.

 

We are individually bound by the Code of Conduct within our constitution which requires us to be respectful with each other and myself as Chair.

 

I am advised that our Monitoring Officer has organised an informative evening of refresher training on Wednesday 6 March covering our Code of Conduct, members interests and avoiding some of the pitfalls that can lead to complaints against members.

 

I do hope all members make every effort to attend the session and that we can all observe the code this evening.

67.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Carter, Nick Churchill, Bob Davis, Mike Garnett, Michael Hardware and Maggie Hulcoop.

 

 

68.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

Councillors Simon Carter and Chris Vince both declared pecuniary interests in item 9a – 9i (except for h) 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 item unless specific HTS matters were discussed.

69.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

70.

Communications from the Chair

Minutes:

The Vice-Chair of the Council, Councillor Clive Souter, explained that he would be Chair for the meeting as Councillor Maggie Hulcoop was unwell. Councillor Souter read Councillor Hulcoop’s communications.

 

On 27 January 2019 the Holocaust Memorial Day was held in the Chamber. Councillor Hulcoop advised that the event was a great success. On 30 January 2019  Celebrate Harlow  was held. This was another great event and showcased  talent in the town.

 

Councillors were reminded of her Civic Dinner and Dance which is being held on 22 March 2019.

71.

Petitions from the Public

Minutes:

None.

72.

Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

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

73.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

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

74.

Motions from Councillors

Minutes:

None.

75.

References from Cabinet and Committees

Minutes:

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

75a

Referral from Cabinet - Corporate Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

i)        The Corporate Plan 2019/20 – 2021/22, attached as Appendix A to the report, is adopted.

 

ii)      Authority be delegated to the Managing Director, 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 2019/20 – 2021/22, attached as Appendix A to the report, is adopted.

 

B    Authority be delegated to the Managing Director, 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.

75b

Referral from Cabinet - Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 432 KB

The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

i)        The Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2019/20 to 2021/22, attached as Appendix B to the report, is adopted.

 

ii)      The planned Council Tax increase of two per cent for 2019/20 as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved.

 

iii)     The proposals in relation to reserves as set out in the report at paragraphs 23 to 29 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 2019/20 to 2021/22 (attached as appendix B to the report) is adopted.

 

B    The planned Council Tax increase of two per cent for 2019/20 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 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 recommendations above be approved.

75c

Referral from Cabinet - Capital and Treasury Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

The 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 2019/20 (attached as Appendix B to the report)

 

·         The Investment Strategy Report 2019/20 (attached as Appendix  D to the report)

 

·         The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2019/20 (attached as Appendix E to the report)

 

ii)  The proposed revised Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2019/20 (attached as Appendix C to the report) be approved for implementation with immediate effect.

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 2019/20 (attached as Appendix B to the report)

 

           iii)        The Investment Strategy Report 2019/20 (attached as Appendix D to the report)

 

           iv)        The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2019/20 (attached as Appendix E to the report).

 

B    The proposed revised Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2019/20 (attached as Appendix C to the report) be approved for implementation with immediate effect.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

75d

Referral from Cabinet - Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2018 - 2048 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

The 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 Managing Director, 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 Managing Director, 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.

75e

Referral from Cabinet - Housing Revenue Account Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 635 KB

The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

i)        The rent reductions for individual dwellings as set out in paragraph 30 of the report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019. This equates to an average weekly rent of £89.84 a statutory reduction of one per cent.

 

ii)      Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 22 to 29 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019 for both tenants and leaseholders. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £2.49.

 

iii)     Heating charges as set out in paragraphs 31 to 38 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019 for both tenants and leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £9.24 per week (leaseholders £16.09 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £6.83 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 £10.16 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces from 1 April 2019. Rents of garages in other categories will reduce by 20 per cent in order to provide an incentive, as set out in paragraphs 39 and 40 of this report.

 

v)      Housing related support charges are as set out in paragraphs 17 to 21 and Table 1 are approved for service users with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

vi)     Other charges set out in paragraphs 41 to 43 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019. Note the addition of two new charges from 1 April 2019 for the provision of information to facilitate Equity Release £30.80 and Re-mortgage work £20.50 (both inclusive of VAT at 20 per cent).

 

vii)    The growth items outlined in paragraph 46 in respect of 2019/20 are approved.

 

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

 

ix)     A minimum HRA working balance shall be £4 million as at 31 March 2020, with £2.5 million being the minimum level and with an additional £1.5 million added as an allowance towards any additional expenditure required as a result of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, (as set out in Appendix B of this report) is approved.

Minutes:

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

A     The rent reductions for individual dwellings as set out in paragraph 30 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019. This equates to an average weekly rent of £89.84 a statutory reduction of one per cent.

 

B    Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 22 to 29 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019 for both tenants and leaseholders. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £2.49.

 

C    Heating charges as set out in paragraphs 31 to 38 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019 for both tenants and leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £9.24per week (leaseholders £16.09 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £6.83 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 £10.16 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces from 1 April 2019. Rents of garages in other categories will reduce by 20 per cent in order to provide an incentive, as set out in paragraphs 39 and 40 of this report.

 

E     Housing related support charges are as set out in paragraphs 17 to 21 and Table 1 are approved for service users with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

F     Other charges set out in paragraphs 41 to 43 of this report are approved with effect from 1 April 2019. Note the addition of two new charges from 1 April 2019 for the provision of information to facilitate Equity Release £30.80 and Re-mortgage work £20.50 (both inclusive of VAT at 20 per cent).

 

G    The growth items outlined in paragraph 46 in respect of 2019/20 are approved.

 

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

 

I       A minimum HRA working balance shall be £4 million as at 31 March 2020, with £2.5 million being the minimum level and with an additional £1.5 million added as an allowance towards any additional expenditure required as a result of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, (as set out in Appendix B of this report) is approved.

 

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

 

RESOLVED  that the above recommendations be approved.

75f

Referral from Cabinet - General Fund Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

i)        The General Fund estimates for 2019/20, 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 24 to 27 and 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 2019/20 is set at £277.73 representing an increase in Council Tax of two per cent for the forthcoming year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

 

A     The General Fund estimates for 2019/20, 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 24 to 27 and 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 2019/20 is set at £277.73 representing an increase in Council Tax of two per cent for the forthcoming year.

 

Councillor Russell Perrin (seconded by Councillor Andrew Johnson) moved an amendment (as set out in pages 2-4 of the supplementary agenda pack) to the General Fund circulated as part of the supplementary agenda.

 

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

 

Councillor Russell Perrin (seconded by Councillor Emma Toal) moved an amendment to the General Fund circulated as page 5 of the supplementary agenda and agreed the following wording with the Leader of the Council:

 

“Creation of new reserve, to be drawn from the Discretionary Services Fund reserve, to promote STEM related learning. This reserve could fund activities such as:

 

- A live stage show, with science demonstrations and opportunities for audience participation. The shows are adaptable for a range of ages and would be held once per month over 10 months

 

- A pop-up science centre twice a year, with hands-on exhibits and interactive activities, in one of the town's libraries. This is the mobile version of Cambridge Science Centre. The event is staffed by “ science communicators” and usually run for several days at a time, e.g. during the school holidays.

 

- A sum for PR and advertising has been allowed for.

 

Funding for one year would be drawn down with a contingency of a further 1 years funding remaining in reserve should it be required until PHE are established.”

 

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

 

The amendment became part of the substantive motion. A vote was taken on the amended recommendation.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved, subject to the revised wording agreed at the meeting in the amendment set out in page 5 of the supplementary agenda. 

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Item 9a-9i - General Fund Budget 2019/20 Amendment Carried
Conservative Group Amendment Amendment Rejected
Second Conservative Group Amendment Amendment Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 75g

    Referral from Cabinet - Capital Programmes 2018/19 - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

    The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    Housing Capital Programme

     

    i)        The Housing Capital Programme 2018/19 revised outturn of £19,513,000, as set out in Table 2 of the report is noted.

     

    ii)      The Housing Capital programme 2019/20 of £24,044,000, as set out in Table 5 of the report is approved, including £2.7 million of external borrowing to support building council homes.

     

    Non Housing Capital Programme

     

    iii)     The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2018/19 of £11,105,000, as set out in Table 6 of the report is noted.

     

    iv)     The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2019/20 £11,156,000 including the Enterprise Zone (EZ) (£5,319,000) and Prentice Place (£2,347,000) as set out in Table 7 of the report is approved.

     

    v)      Internal borrowing is approved to support:

     

    ·         the Non Housing Capital Core Programme of £9,866,000 up to 31 March 2019, and a further £2,372,000 in 2019/20.

     

    ·         in respect of Prentice Place in 2019/20 of £1,755,000.

     

    ·         in respect of the EZ in 2018/19 of £5,790,000 and in 2019/20, £5,319,000. This will bring total borrowing over the 3 years from 2017/18 to £13,707,000.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    Housing Capital Programme

     

    A     The Housing Capital Programme 2018/19 revised outturn of £19,513,000, as set out in Table 2 of the report is noted.

     

    B    The Housing Capital programme 2019/20 of £24,044,000, as set out in Table 5 of the report is approved, including £2.7 million of external borrowing to support building council homes.

     

    Non Housing Capital Programme

     

    C    The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2018/19 of £11,105,000, as set out in Table 6 of the report is noted.

     

    D    The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2019/20 £11,156,000 including the Enterprise Zone (EZ) (£5,319,000) and Prentice Place (£2,347,000) as set out in Table 7 of the report is approved.

     

    E     Internal borrowing is approved to support:

     

                 i)        the Non Housing Capital Core Programme of £9,866,000 up to 31 March 2019, and a further £2,372,000 in 2019/20.

     

                ii)        in respect of Prentice Place in 2019/20 of £1,755,000.

     

               iii)        in respect of the EZ in 2018/19 of £5,790,000 and in 2019/20, £5,319,000. This will bring total borrowing over the 3 years from 2017/18 to £13,707,000.

     

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

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    75h

    Referral from Cabinet - Discretionary Rate Relief Policy - Retail Relief pdf icon PDF 208 KB

    The Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

         i)           The proposed Retail Relief Policy (attached as Appendix A to the report) be adopted.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The proposed Retail Relief Policy (attached as Appendix A to the report) be adopted.

     

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

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendation be approved.

    75i

    Referral from Independent Remuneration Panel - Report of The Independent Remuneration Panel 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 209 KB

    The Independent Remuneration Panel recommended to Full Council that:

     

         i)           The Basic Allowance is increased to £4,485 for the 2019/20 financial year, representing a five 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 2019/20 financial year.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Independent Remuneration Panel recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The Basic Allowance is increased to £4,485 for the 2019/20 financial year, representing a five 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 2019/20 financial year.

     

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

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendations be approved.

    75j

    Referral from Licensing Committee - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Fees pdf icon PDF 204 KB

    The Licensing Committee recommended to Full Council that:

     

    i)        Approves for publication the proposed revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing fee structure (attached as Appendix A to the report).

     

    ii)       Subject to no representations being received, recommends to Full Council that the proposed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing fee structure be adopted with effect from 1 April 2019.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Licensing Committee recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The proposed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing fee structure (attached as Appendix A to the report) be adopted with effect from 1 April 2019.

     

    Proposed by Councillor John Strachan (seconded by Councillor Lanie Shears) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendation be approved.

    75k

    Referral from Licensing Committee - Licensing Act Policy Review pdf icon PDF 110 KB

    The Licensing Committee recommended to Full Council that:

     

    i)        The draft of the Licensing Act Statement of Policy (attached as Appendix A to the report) is adopted, subject to the amendments suggested by Essex Police as detailed in paragraph 4 of the supplementary report.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Licensing Committee recommended to Full Council that:

     

    A     The draft of the Licensing Act Statement of Policy (attached as Appendix A to the report) is adopted.

     

    Proposed by Councillor John Strachan (seconded by Councillor Lanie Shears) it was:

     

    RESOLVED that the above recommendation be approved.

    76.

    Reports from Officers

    Minutes:

    None.

    77.

    Minutes of Cabinet and Committee Meetings

    To note the following Cabinet and Committee minutes:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings are noted.

     

     

     

     

    77a

    Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 12 December 2018 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    77b

    Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 16 January 2019 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 189 KB

    77c

    Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 22 January 2019 of Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 80 KB

    77d

    Minutes of meeting Thursday, 24 January 2019 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 270 KB

    78.

    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.