Agenda and decisions

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Adam Rees 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

2.

Declarations of Interest

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

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2019.

4.

Matters Arising

Any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

5.

Written Questions from the Public

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

6.

Written Questions from Councillors

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

7.

Petitions

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

7a

Stop Expansion of Harlow and Building on Green Wedges with 23,000 New Houses

Petition from Charlie Browne.

 

“The government has issued a requirement for local authorities to greatly expand house building in every part of the country.

 

Harlow District Council, Epping Forest District Council and East Herts District Council have come together to draw up a plan to build 23,000 new homes in and on the edge of Harlow.

 

The new houses will be built in five areas:

 

Between Harlow Common and Latton Priory Farm up to the M11 roundabout; close to Radburn Close, Corner Meadow, Hawthorns, Gibb Croft, Sibney Green, Spruce Hill, Rye Hill Road, Berecroft. This comprises 200 hectares of housing, and will all be on farm land (Epping Forest District Council).

 

Each side of Water Lane; bordering on Silvesters, Heighams, Red Willow, Little Cattins, Taylifers, Hull Grove, Archers, Savoy Wood (Epping Forest District Council).

 

So-called Gilston/Hunsdon Garden Villages; which will consist of seven large areas of housing separated by narrow green wedges. This conurbation will have at least one secondary school and five new primary schools, 10,000 new homes will be built between Hunsdon, Wilford and Gilston, on Green Belt land including Briggens Estate and Gilston Park Estate. It will come very close to A414 (East Herts District Council).

 

To the east of Harlow; right up to the M11 (Epping Forest District Council and Harlow District Council).

 

Within the precincts of the existing town on many sites including some green wedge areas and play areas. Pollards Hatch, Joscelyns, St Andrews Meadow, Fennells, Deer Park, south of Clifton Hatch and Hawthorns (Harlow District Council).

 

This will result in us having to work a lot further to get into the open country, which is one of the things which makes Harlow so pleasant to live in. Some of the open green spaces and play areas within the town will be lost. The town will become part of the London-Cambridge megalopolis. Most of the housing is unlikely to be social housing.

 

The argument for the expansion is that Britain needs to infinitely expand its economy (and so its workforce, which will need more housing), to be competitive in the world market; and to support an aging population in retirement. However, Britain is the fifth richest country in the world, and can surely afford to look after the people who created that wealth, in their old age.

 

Britain only has enough land to produce 60% of the food we need, and needs to save its farmland from being built over.

 

The drive to build on green farmland is happening all over the country and is being challenged wherever it is planned.

 

Hopefully our democratically elected councils and government can be persuaded to cancel this initiative.”

 

8.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To note the Forward Plan, which lists all upcoming Cabinet decisions and provides notice of key decisions and those expected to be taken in private session.

9.

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

There have not been any decisions taken by Portfolio Holders under delegated powers since the last meeting of the Cabinet.

10.

Corporate Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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.

11.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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.

12.

General Fund Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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.

13.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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.

14.

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 605 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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 £9.23 per week (leaseholders 223 Agenda Item 14 £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.

15.

Capital and Treasury Report 2020 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends 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.

16.

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

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet recommends to Full Council that:

 

Housing Capital Programme

 

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.

17.

Debt Write Offs pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

A     Irrecoverable non domestic rates amounting to £500,373.19 (as set out in Appendix A to the report) be written off.

18.

Communications from Committees/Working Groups/Parties and Panels

19.

Minutes of Panels/Working Groups

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

19a

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 November 2019 of Cabinet Overview Working Group pdf icon PDF 48 KB

20.

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.