Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 30th January, 2014 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Joel West 

Items
No. Item

118.

Leader's Announcement

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council announced that Harlow was due to receive around £11.2 million from the Government to assist in the development of the Harlow Enterprise Zone. The Leader thanked all Councillors and Officers for their hard work on the project to date.

119.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

None.

120.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2013.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2013 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Leader.

121.

Matters Arising

Any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

None.

122.

Written Questions from the Public

To receive any questions from members of the public in accordance with Rule 10 of the Council Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

None.

123.

Written Questions from Councillors

To receive any questions from Councillors in accordance with Rule 11 of the Council Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

None.

124.

Petitions

To consider any petitions which have been referred to the Cabinet under the Council’s Petition Scheme.

Minutes:

None.

125.

Cabinet Work Plan pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To note the Cabinet’s Work Plan for the current year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Cabinet Work Plan January 2014 is noted.

126.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To note the Forward Plan, which provides notice of key decisions to be taken by the Cabinet or individual Portfolio Holders under delegated powers.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan of key decisions is noted.

127.

Recent Decisions Taken by The Leader, Deputy or Portfolio Holder(s)

There have not been any recent Portfolio Holder decisions taken under delegated powers since the last Cabinet meeting.

Minutes:

None.

128.

Corporate Plan 2014/15 - 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 12 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The Corporate Plan 2014/15 –2016/17 be adopted.

 

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

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing a Corporate Plan for 2014/15 to 2016/17.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The Corporate Plan 2014/15 –2016/17 be adopted.

 

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

129.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2014/15 - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council:

 

A     That the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2014/15 to 2018/19 be adopted.

 

B    That the proposals in relation to reserves as set out in paragraphs 26 to 31 of the report submitted to Cabinet and contained within Section 5 of the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved.

 

C    That the planned increases in Council Tax as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing a Medium Term Financial Strategy for the Council for 2014/15 to 2018/19.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council:

 

A     That the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2014/15 to 2018/19 be adopted.

 

B    That the proposals in relation to reserves as set out in paragraphs 26 to 31 of the report submitted to Cabinet and contained within Section 5 of the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved.

 

C    That the planned increases in Council Tax as set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan be approved.

130.

General Fund Revenue Budget 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The General Fund estimates for 2014/15, as set out in Appendix A to the report submitted, be approved.

 

B    The proposed Fees and Charges, as set out in Appendix C to the report submitted, be approved.

 

C    The Pay Policy Statement, as set out in Appendix G to the report submitted, be approved.

 

D    The technical changes to Council Tax Exemptions and Discounts set out in the Cabinet report on 26 September 2013 and now incorporated into the tax base calculations for 2014/15 be approved.

 

E     The Council’s Band D Council Tax for 2014/15 be set at £259.13, which represents a 1.49% increase compared to the Band D Council Tax for 2013/14 subject to final Government announcements relating to capping expected in early February.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing an annual revenue budget for the Council. The report included proposed changes to the Council Tax charge.

 

The Leader of the Council advised the Cabinet of a small correction to the report submitted. In Appendix A, the line “Essex County Council – Technical Adjustments” should read 37,119, and the corresponding subtotal “Expenditure Before Use of Reserves” should read 11,999,293.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The General Fund estimates for 2014/15, as set out in Appendix A to the report submitted, be approved.

 

B    The proposed Fees and Charges, as set out in Appendix C to the report submitted, be approved.

 

C    The Pay Policy Statement, as set out in Appendix G to the report submitted, be approved.

 

D    The technical changes to Council Tax Exemptions and Discounts set out in the Cabinet report on 26 September 2013 and now incorporated into the tax base calculations for 2014/15 be approved.

 

E     The Council’s Band D Council Tax for 2014/15 be set at £259.13, which represents a 1.49% increase compared to the Band D Council Tax for 2013/14 subject to final Government announcements relating to capping expected in early February.

131.

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2013 - 2043 pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

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

 

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

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing a formal update on the business plan of the landlord service over the next 30 years.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

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

 

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

132.

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The rent increase for individual dwellings as set out in paragraphs 7 to 15 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014, be approved. This equates to an average weekly rent of £91.63; an average increase of 4.78%.

 

B    Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 16 to 23 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014 for tenants and 1 April 2014 for leaseholders, be approved. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £1.79.

 

C    Heating charges be increased as set out in paragraphs 24 to 29 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014 for tenants and 1 April 2014 for leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £13.81 per week (leaseholders £18.96 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £10.64 per week.

 

D    Garage rents be increased to £8.20 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces, from 7 April 2014, as set out in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the report submitted.

 

E     Other charges be increased, as set out in paragraph 32 of the report submitted, with effect from 1 April 2014.

 

F     The growth and efficiency bids, as outlined in paragraphs 33 to 36 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

G    The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget, as set out at Appendix A ofthe report submitted, be approved.

 

H    A minimum HRA working balance of £2,637,000 at 31 March 2014, rising to £2,695,000 at 31 March 2015, as set out in Appendix B to the report submitted, be agreed.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report forecasting the outturn budget for the Council’s Housing Revenue Account in the current year, and a proposed budget for the next year, 2014/15.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

A     The rent increase for individual dwellings as set out in paragraphs 7 to 15 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014, be approved. This equates to an average weekly rent of £91.63; an average increase of 4.78%.

 

B    Service charges for individual dwellings, as set out in paragraphs 16 to 23 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014 for tenants and 1 April 2014 for leaseholders, be approved. This equates to an average weekly service charge to tenants of £1.79.

 

C    Heating charges be increased as set out in paragraphs 24 to 29 of the report submitted, effective from 7 April 2014 for tenants and 1 April 2014 for leaseholders. Average weekly general needs charges are £13.81 per week (leaseholders £18.96 per week, equivalent) and, for sheltered accommodation, £10.64 per week.

 

D    Garage rents be increased to £8.20 per week (for a standard garage) and proportionate increases for other garages, car ports and car spaces, from 7 April 2014, as set out in paragraphs 30 and 31 of the report submitted.

 

E     Other charges be increased, as set out in paragraph 32 of the report submitted, with effect from 1 April 2014.

 

F     The growth and efficiency bids, as outlined in paragraphs 33 to 36 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

G    The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget, as set out at Appendix A ofthe report submitted, be approved.

 

H    A minimum HRA working balance of £2,637,000 at 31 March 2014, rising to £2,695,000 at 31 March 2015, as set out in Appendix B to the report submitted, be agreed.

133.

Capital Programme 2013/14 - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

Housing Capital Programme

 

A     The revised Housing Capital Programme 2013/14, as set out in paragraphs 5 to17 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

B    The Housing Capital programme 2014/15, as set out in Appendices A and B of the report submitted, be approved.

 

C    The forecast programme for the period 2015/16 to 2018/19, as set out in Appendices A and B of the report submitted, be noted.

 

D    The purchase of a small number of properties on the open market using retained capital receipts, capital receipts from 2012/13 and additional revenue funding sources, as set out in paragraph 11 of the report submitted, be noted.

 

Non Housing Capital Programme

 

E     The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2013/14, as set out in paragraph 25 to 35 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

F     The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2014/15, as set out in Appendices C and D of the report submitted, be approved.

 

G    Aggregate borrowing of £2,070,000 up to 31 March 2014, and a further £318,000 in 2014/15, as set out in paragraphs 34 and 42 of the report submitted, be approved to support the Non Housing Capital Programme.

 

H    The Non Housing Capital Programme forecast for 2015/16 to 2018/19, as set out in Appendices C and D of the report submitted, be noted.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing a capital programme for 2014/15 and an indicative forward plan to 2017/18, for both housing and non-housing capital spend.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

Housing Capital Programme

 

A     The revised Housing Capital Programme 2013/14, as set out in paragraphs 5 to17 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

B    The Housing Capital programme 2014/15, as set out in Appendices A and B of the report submitted, be approved.

 

C    The forecast programme for the period 2015/16 to 2018/19, as set out in Appendices A and B of the report submitted, be noted.

 

D    The purchase of a small number of properties on the open market using retained capital receipts, capital receipts from 2012/13 and additional revenue funding sources, as set out in paragraph 11 of the report submitted, be noted.

 

Non Housing Capital Programme

 

E     The revised Non Housing Capital Programme 2013/14, as set out in paragraphs 25 to 35 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

F     The Non Housing Capital Programme for 2014/15, as set out in Appendices C and D of the report submitted, be approved.

 

G    Aggregate borrowing of £2,070,000 up to 31 March 2014, and a further £318,000 in 2014/15, as set out in paragraphs 34 and 42 of the report submitted, be approved to support the Non Housing Capital Programme.

 

H    The Non Housing Capital Programme forecast for 2015/16 to 2018/19, as set out in Appendices C and D of the report submitted, be noted.

134.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that the proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2014/15, appended to the report submitted, be approved for implementation with effect from 1 April 2014, including specifically:

 

      I.        The Prudential Indicators (set out in Annex C of the Statement)

     II.        The Treasury Management Indicators (set out in paragraphs 52 to 54 of the Statement)

    III.        The approved counterparty methodology (set out in paragraphs 31 to 50 of the Statement)

  IV.        The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement (Annex D of the Statement)

   V.        The reporting arrangements (Annex F of the Statement).

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report proposing a Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2014/15. The report described the various statutory requirements on the Council in respect of its treasury management.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Wilkinson (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that the proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2014/15, appended to the report submitted, be approved for implementation with effect from 1 April 2014, including specifically:

 

              I.        The Prudential Indicators (set out in Annex C of the Statement)

             II.        The Treasury Management Indicators (set out in paragraphs 52 to 54 of the Statement)

            III.        The approved counterparty methodology (set out in paragraphs 31 to 50 of the Statement)

          IV.        The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement (Annex D of the Statement)

           V.        The reporting arrangements (Annex F of the Statement).

135.

Regeneration of Slacksbury Hatch, Katherines Hatch, Elm Hatch and Bushey Croft Garage Sites pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

A     Notes the current status of Slacksbury Hatch and Katherines Hatch redevelopment.

 

B     Reaffirms the decision of 26 January 2012 to dispose of the garage site at Bushey Croft (subject to further consultation with affected residents) for development of a mix of new housing.

 

C     Agrees that the land adjoining Bushey Croft garage site is also developed to provide new housing.

 

D     Agrees that Elm Hatch and the Humming Bird public house be redeveloped to provide new retail units and housing.

 

E     Agrees that the Bushey Croft garage site and the land adjoining is packaged with Slacksbury Hatch, Katherines Hatch and Elm Hatch for disposal to develop a mix of retail units and new homes for rent, sale and shared ownership, for the best consideration reasonably obtainable for the purpose of monetary receipt, maximum provision of affordable housing and the provision of 15 public parking spaces (at Bushey Croft site) and of apprenticeships placements for local residents.

 

F     Agrees that, subject to the results of further viability assessments and the outcome of statutory consultation, the Council proceeds to the next stage of development of these sites and progresses with the marketing of the sites by way of an appropriate tender process.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report containing proposals for the regeneration of several areas in the Town, including shopping hatches and a former garage block site.

 

The Leader of the Council advised the Cabinet of a small correction to the report submitted. Paragraph 6(b) on page 146 of the main agenda pack should read 18 x one and two bedroom apartments.

 

Councillor Paul Sztumpf advised the Cabinet that, as the Bushey Croft site is currently used by local residents for parking, he felt that 15 public parking spaces should be included in any scheme at this site, to ensure local parking provision is not unduly affected by its development.

 

Proposed by Councillor Paul Sztumpf (seconded by Councillor Tony Durcan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

A     Notes the current status of Slacksbury Hatch and Katherines Hatch redevelopment.

 

B    Reaffirms the decision of 26 January 2012 to dispose of the garage site at Bushey Croft (subject to further consultation with affected residents) for development of a mix of new housing.

 

C    Agrees that the land adjoining Bushey Croft garage site is also developed to provide new housing.

 

D    Agrees that Elm Hatch and the Humming Bird public house be redeveloped to provide new retail units and housing.

 

E     Agrees that the Bushey Croft garage site and the land adjoining is packaged with Slacksbury Hatch, Katherines Hatch and Elm Hatch for disposal to develop a mix of retail units and new homes for rent, sale and shared ownership, for the best consideration reasonably obtainable for the purpose of monetary receipt, maximum provision of affordable housing, the provision of 15 public parking spaces (at Bushey Croft site) and of apprenticeships placements for local residents.

 

F     Agrees that, subject to the results of further viability assessments and the outcome of statutory consultation, the Council proceeds to the next stage of development of these sites and progresses with the marketing of the sites by way of an appropriate tender process.

136.

Debt Write Offs pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

A     Irrecoverable Council Tax amounting to £17,308.88, as detailed in Table 1 to Appendix A from the report submitted, are written off.

 

B     Irrecoverable non domestic rates amounting to £59,915.53 as detailed in Table 2 to Appendix A from the report submitted, are written off.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report itemising a number of debts which were deemed irrecoverable and proposed to be written off.

 

Proposed by Councillor Tony Durcan (seconded by Councillor Emma Toal) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A     Irrecoverable Council Tax amounting to £17,308.88, as detailed in Table 1 to Appendix A from the report submitted, are written off.

 

B    Irrecoverable non domestic rates amounting to £59,915.53 as detailed in Table 2 to Appendix A from the report submitted, are written off.

137.

Communications from Committees/Working Groups/Parties and Panels

137a

Referral from the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group - Proposed Private Sector Housing Action Plan pdf icon PDF 13 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

A     The Cabinet notes the original recommendation from the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group on the Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16, contained in paragraph 3 of the report submitted.

 

B     The draft Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16, attached as Appendix 1 to the original report to the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group, is approved and its actions incorporated into relevant Service Plans.

 

C     Authority is delegated to the Housing Portfolio Holder to approve future amendments to the Council’s Housing Assistance Policy under the Housing Act 2004.

 

D     In light of the implications from the Head of Housing, Cabinet informs the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group that its proposed additional action cannot be included in the Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report from one of its Overview Working Groups, proposing a new Private Sector Housing Action Plan for the Council.

 

Proposed by Councillor Phil Waite (seconded by Councillor Rod Truan) Cabinet:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A     The Cabinet notes the original recommendation from the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group on the Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16, contained in paragraph 3 of the report submitted.

 

B     The draft Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16, attached as Appendix 1 to the original report to the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group, is approved and its actions incorporated into relevant Service Plans.

 

C     Authority is delegated to the Housing Portfolio Holder to approve future amendments to the Council’s Housing Assistance Policy under the Housing Act 2004.

 

D     In light of the implications from the Head of Housing, Cabinet informs the Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group that its proposed additional action cannot be included in the Private Sector Housing Action Plan 2013-16.

138.

Minutes of Panels/Working Groups

To note the following draft minutes of Cabinet appointed bodies. Minutes remain draft until approved by the relevant body.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings are noted.

138a

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 19 November 2013 of Resources, Housing and Governance Overview Working Group pdf icon PDF 40 KB

138b

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 November 2013 of Community, Citizenship, Regeneration and Environment Overview Working Group pdf icon PDF 20 KB

138c

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 November 2013 of Harlow Local Highways Panel pdf icon PDF 57 KB

138d

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 7 November 2013 of Housing Standards Board pdf icon PDF 66 KB

139.

Matters of Urgent Business

To deal with any matters of an urgent nature.

Minutes:

None.