Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 5th January 2021 5.00 pm

Contact: Alison Marston 

Media

Items
No. Item

209.

APOLOGY

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor N.Pace (Executive Member, Housing and Community).

210.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 19 November (special) and 1 December 2020 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 19 November and 1 December 2020 were approved as correct records and noted by the Chairman.

211.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the status of actions agreed at the last Cabinet meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The status of actions agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 1 December 2020 in the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) was noted.

212.

ITEMS REQUIRING KEY DECISION

To consider the following items for decision in the current Forward Plan:-

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following items for decision in the current Forward Plan were considered:-

212a

Council Tax Base 2021/22 (Forward Plan Reference FP1007) pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the approval of the Council’s taxbase for the year 2021/22 and the collection rate.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   That the Council's taxbase for the year 2021/2022 be approved, incorporating a collection rate of 99.40%. 

 

(2)   That in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by the Borough Council as its taxbase for the year 2021/2022 shall be 43,462.4 and its constituent elements shall be:

 

 

100% TAXBASE

99.40% TAXBASE

 

 

 

Welwyn Garden City

18,084.8

17,976.3

Hatfield

12,241.0

12,167.6

Welwyn

4,713.2

4,684.9

Ayot St Lawrence

70.1

69.7

Ayot St Peter

113.9

113.2

North Mymms

4,424.9

4,398.4

Essendon

427.2

424.6

Northaw & Cuffley

3076.8

3,058.3

Woolmer Green

572.8

569.4

 

 

 

Total

43,724.7

43,462.4

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the approval of the Council’s taxbase for the year 2021/22 and the collection rate.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Council's taxbase for the year 2021/2022 be approved, incorporating a collection rate of 99.40%. 

 

(2)     That in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by the Borough Council as its taxbase for the year 2021/2022 shall be 43,462.4 and its constituent elements shall be:

 

 

100% TAXBASE

99.40% TAXBASE

 

 

 

Welwyn Garden City

18,084.8

17,976.3

Hatfield

12,241.0

12,167.6

Welwyn

4,713.2

4,684.9

Ayot St Lawrence

70.1

69.7

Ayot St Peter

113.9

113.2

North Mymms

4,424.9

4,398.4

Essendon

427.2

424.6

Northaw & Cuffley

3076.8

3,058.3

Woolmer Green

572.8

569.4

 

 

 

Total

43,724.7

43,462.4

 

 

 

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

All tax collecting local authorities have to estimate a Council Tax Base for the forthcoming financial year.  The methods of estimation are largely prescribed by regulation.

 

The estimated Tax Base is the number of taxable homes in the borough, expressed in Band D equivalent terms.  Generally speaking, the higher the tax base for any given level of Council General Fund expenditure, the lower the required Council Tax rate.  For example, a growing tax base is generally a good thing.

 

In estimating the tax base for 2021/22, two key assumptions need to be made:

 

    The collection rate and this is assumed to be 99.4%.

    The growth in the number of homes.  This is estimated to be 816.

 

To the extent that the actual collection rate or the growth in the number of homes turns out to be different from the estimates, this will be adjusted through the Collection Fund in following years.  Any financial impact is borne in proportion by all precepting authorities.

 

The estimated Band D equivalent Tax Base for Welwyn Hatfield for 2021/22 is 43,462 split between the various settlements, as set out in the attached report.

212b

Budget Proposals and Medium Term Financial Forecasts 2021/22 (Forward Plan Reference FP1015) pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the budget proposals for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the following budget proposals and noted that any comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be returned to Special Cabinet on 19 January 2021 for consideration, before final recommendations are made to Council:

 

General Fund

 

(1)   The proposed General Fund Budget as summarised in Appendix A, and detailed in appendix B.

 

(2)   The inclusion of the savings and growth proposals into the budget as detailed in appendices C and D.

 

(3)   The approval of the 2021/22 fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix E.

 

(4)   The increase in the Council’s Band D Tax of £4.23 (1.97%), taking the average Band D Tax to £219.15 for 2021/22.

 

(5)   That £610,000 is added to the Covid-19 earmarked reserve from the 2021/22 budget, the expenditure of which will be delegated to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Executive Member for Resources. This will be fully funded from the one off Covid-19 Support Grant received from the Government.

 

(6)   That the Special Expenses Scheme continue into 2021/22, and the Special Expenses detailed in Appendix M be approved for inclusion in the Council Tax for 2021/22, subject to consultation with Town and Parish Councils.

 

Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

 

(1)   That dwelling rents are increased by CPI+1% in accordance with Government legislation, resulting in an average rent of £109.01 per week.

 

(2)   To continue the policy of charging formula rent when vacant properties are re-let.

 

(3)   The approval of the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2021/22 as shown in appendix F.

 

(4)   The approval of the 2021/22 fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix H.

 

(5)   The Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to maintain HRA working balances to a minimum of 5% of rental income.

 

Capital Programme

 

(1)   The approval of the Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix I.

 

(2)   The approval of the Capital Financing for the Capital Programme, for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix J, and note the forecast capital balances in Appendix K.

 

Medium Term Financial Strategy

 

(1)   The approval of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and Financial Governance Framework, including all annexes and prudential indicators for 2021/22 – 2023/24 as set out in Appendix L.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the budget proposals for 2021/22.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

Cabinet approved the following budget proposals and noted that any comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be returned to Special Cabinet on 19 January 2021 for consideration, before final recommendations are made to Council:

 

General Fund

 

(1)     The proposed General Fund Budget as summarised in Appendix A, and detailed in appendix B.

 

(2)     The inclusion of the savings and growth proposals into the budget as detailed in appendices C and D.

 

(3)     The approval of the 2021/22 fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix E.

 

(4)     The increase in the Council’s Band D Tax of £4.23 (1.97%), taking the average Band D Tax to £219.15 for 2021/22.

 

(5)     That £610,000 is added to the Covid-19 earmarked reserve from the 2021/22 budget, the expenditure of which will be delegated to the Section 151 Officer in consultation with the Executive Member for Resources. This will be fully funded from the one off Covid-19 Support Grant received from the Government.

 

(6)     That the Special Expenses Scheme continue into 2021/22, and the Special Expenses detailed in Appendix M be approved for inclusion in the Council Tax for 2021/22, subject to consultation with Town and Parish Councils.

 

Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

 

(1)     That dwelling rents are increased by CPI+1% in accordance with Government legislation, resulting in an average rent of £109.01 per week.

 

(2)     To continue the policy of charging formula rent when vacant properties are re-let.

 

(3)     The approval of the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2021/22 as shown in appendix F.

 

(4)     The approval of the 2021/22 fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix H.

 

(5)     The Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to maintain HRA working balances to a minimum of 5% of rental income.

 

Capital Programme

 

(1)     The approval of the Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix I.

 

(2)     The approval of the Capital Financing for the Capital Programme, for 2021/22 to 2025/26 as set out in Appendix J, and note the forecast capital balances in Appendix K.

 

Medium Term Financial Strategy

 

(1)      The approval of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and Financial Governance Framework, including all annexes and prudential indicators for 2021/22 – 2023/24 as set out in Appendix L.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The report will go on for consideration at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) on 13 January 2021. Recommendations made by OSC and any changes will be considered by Special Cabinet on 19 January 2021, prior to the proposals being considered at Full Council on 1 February 2021.

 

The current 2020/21 financial year has been marked by the serious adverse effects upon the Council’s finances of the COVID pandemic.

 

In the original 2020/21 budget, approved prior to the arrival of COVID upon the scene, it was always planned to draw down on General Fund reserves by £1.6M, mainly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 212b

212c

Climate Change Grant (Forward Plan Reference FP1018) pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the proposed process and criteria for providing grants to local businesses for the purpose of improving their carbon footprint.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   Cabinet considered and approved the proposed process and criteria for providing grants to local businesses for the purpose of improving their carbon footprint.

 

(2)   Cabinet agreed that the maximum grant to be paid to each eligible business will be up to £5,000 of agreed energy saving works and that all works to be undertaken by an eligible business must be recommended in the Council’s energy audit report, relevant to the particular business and which is provided to the business concerned.

 

(3)   That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning in conjunction with the Executive Member, Governance, Public Health and Climate Change to amend the carbon emission reduction criteria should this be required once more detailed information becomes available through the energy audit on local business premises.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the proposed process and criteria for providing grants to local businesses for the purpose of improving their carbon footprint.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     Cabinet considered and approved the proposed process and criteria for providing grants to local businesses for the purpose of improving their carbon footprint.

 

(2)     Cabinet agreed that the maximum grant to be paid to each eligible business will be up to £5,000 of agreed energy saving works and that all works to be undertaken by an eligible business must be recommended in the Council’s energy audit report, relevant to the particular business and which is provided to the business concerned.

 

(3)     That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning in conjunction with the Executive Member, Governance, Public Health and Climate Change to amend the carbon emission reduction criteria should this be required once more detailed information becomes available through the energy audit on local business premises.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council had declared a climate change emergency, established a Climate Change Member Group and is consulting on a climate change strategy.

 

One of the actions in the draft strategy was involvement in an Eastern New Energy project to help up to 30 small businesses in the Borough that are keen to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. 

 

Officers would promote the scheme locally, identify interested businesses, carry out an energy audit of their premises and activities and then recommend changes they can make to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions.

 

The Climate Change Member Group has agreed that £50,000 of earmarked general fund monies should be used to help support this project.

 

It is proposed that local businesses that have had an energy audit should be eligible to bid for up to £5,000 to help them implement agreed works.  They may of course choose to spend more than this if they wish.

 

In practice we anticipate that most businesses will seek far less than the full amount, so the fund will help a large number of local businesses.

 

It is advised that grants should only be awarded where it has been found that every £1,000 of spend will achieve a minimum reduction of 0.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, to ensure the grant achieves its intended aims.

212d

Hatfield Town Centre Multi-Storey Car park update (Forward Plan Reference FP1024) pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the construction of the Hatfield Multi-Storey Car Park.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That, subject to the approval of an appropriate TRO, Cabinet:

 

(1)   Agreed that the car park charges as summarised in Tables 1 and 2 of the report, be recommended for inclusion as part of the fees and charges of the charges to be considered by Council as part of the budget approval process for 2021/22.

 

(2)   Noted the contents of the report, in particular the project timetable in Table 3.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the construction of the Hatfield Multi-Storey Car Park.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, subject to the approval of an appropriate TRO, Cabinet:

 

(1)     Agreed that the car park charges as summarised in Tables 1 and 2 of the report, be recommended for inclusion as part of the fees and charges of the charges to be considered by Council as part of the budget approval process for 2021/22.

 

(2)     Noted the contents of the report, in particular the project timetable in Table 3.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The construction work on the Multi-Storey car park in Hatfield was progressing well and is scheduled to be completed in the Spring.

 

The car park will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and will be available for short stay, long stay and season tickets. The proposed charges are summarised in Tables 1 and 2 in the report and subject to Council approval, will form part of the 2021/22 fees and charges. It should be noted that based on the business parking survey results, customers typically need to park for less than 3 hours.  The Council will be retaining 3 hours free parking in the multi-storey car park and indeed Hatfield will remain the only town in Hertfordshire to offer free parking for up to three hours.  The proposed tariff was supported by the majority of Members sitting on the Cross Party Hatfield Town Centre Regeneration Board.

 

In order to introduce parking restrictions in the Hatfield Town Centre car parks, it is necessary to create a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).  The timetable to introduce the TRO is set out in the report.  The TRO relates to the parking restrictions being proposed including pay and display parking and disabled bays, rather than the actual car park charge.

213.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Cabinet is asked to resolve:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for Item 10 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100(A)(3) and Paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for Agenda item 10 (Minute 214 refer) on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100A(3) and paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended). 

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it was considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

214.

ITEM OF AN EXEMPT NATURE REQUIRING KEY DECISION

To consider the following item of an exempt nature:-

 

Minutes:

The following item of an exempt nature for decision was considered:-

214a

Sale of Consortium Newspaper (Forward Plan Reference FP1021)

Exempt report of the Chief Executive on the Award of Contract for the Sale of Consortium Newspaper.

Decision:

The General Procurement Board unanimously agreed to recommend to Cabinet that a waiver be made to Contract Procedure Rules and make a direct award to Palm Recycling Limited for the period 1 June 2021 to 30 May 2023  for both News and Pams and Mixed Papers.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Chief Executive on the Award of Contract for the Sale of Consortium Newspaper.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

The General Procurement Board unanimously agreed to recommend to Cabinet that a waiver be made to Contract Procedure Rules and make a direct award to Palm Recycling Limited for the period 1 June 2021 to 30 May 2023 (with an optional one-year extension) for both News and Pams and Mixed Papers.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

Welwyn Hatfield was currently the lead authority in a consortium of Hertfordshire and Chelmsford Borough Council to sell their recovered Newsprint and Mixed paper.

 

In February 2020 Cabinet agreed a one-year contract (for the period June 2020 to May 2021) at fixed prices as there was so much uncertainty in the market at the time.

 

The General Procurement Board met to agree the procurement options of the new contract beyond May 2021.  It was unanimously agreed to negotiate a new contract with Palm recycling.

 

For News and Pams, the new price will be based on the average of the mid-point of the Lets Recycle and Euwid indices + £5 per tonne and there will be a minimum guarantee price of £45.00 per tonne. 

 

For mixed paper, the new price will be based on the average of the mid-point of the Lets Recycle and Euwid indices + £2.50 per tonne.  The minimum guarantee price will be zero, which means we would not need to pay to have the material collected. 

 

All the authorities within the consortium agreed that this is the best outcome achieved under the current market condition.

215.

Introduction of waiting restrictions, resident permit scheme, clearway and verge and footway prohibition in various roads, Salisbury Village, Hatfield

Additional documents:

Decision:

For the reasons set out in this decision notice, and following full consultation in which six formal objections were received, I agree the following:

 

a) To introduce the following proposals (see Appendix A, B and C):

 

b) The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Various Roads, Salisbury Village, Hatfield) (Restriction of Waiting and Permit Parking Zones) Order 2020 (Appendix A)

 

c) The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Various Roads, Salisbury Village, Hatfield) (Prohibition of Stopping or Waiting on Verge or Footway) Order 2020 (Appendix B)

 

d) The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Albatross Way, Hatfield) (Clearway) Order 2020 (Appendix C)

 

(Note: This decision was taken by Executive Member Decision Notice).

 

Date this decision was taken – 21 December 2020

Date of publication of the decision – 22 December 2020

216.

The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Various Roads, Essendon) (Restriction of Waiting) Order 2020

Additional documents:

Decision:

For  the  reasons  set  out  in  this  decision  notice,  and  following  full  consultation  in  which one formal objection was received, which was then considered at the Cabinet Planning  Parking  Panel  (CPPP)  where  members  voted  unanimously  in  favour  of  the  introduction  of  the  Traffic  Regulation  Order  (TRO)   and  relevant  restrictions.  I agree the following:

 

1. To introduce the following proposals (see Appendix A):

 

THE BOROUGH OF WELWYN HATFIELD (VARIOUS ROADS, ESSENDON) (RESTRICTION OF WAITING) ORDER 2020 – Appendix A

 

(Note: This decision was taken by Executive Member Decision Notice).

 

Date this decision was taken – 21 December 2020

Date of publication of the decision – 22 December 2020

217.

Award of Demolition Contract of 3-9 Town Centre, Hatfield

Additional documents:

Decision:

To award the contract for Demolition of 3-9 Town Centre to Goody Demolition Limited.

 

(Note: This decision was taken by Executive Member Decision Notice).

 

Date this decision was taken – 15 December 2020

Date of publication of the decision – 5 January 2021