Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 5th March 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Graham Seal 

Items
No. Item

110.

APOLOGY

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor D.Bell (Deputy Leader and Executive Member, Resources).

111.

MINUTES

To confirm as correct records the Minutes of the meetings held on 22 January and 5 February 2019 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 22 January and 5 February 2019 were approved as correct records and signed by the Chairman.

112.

DECLARATION OF INTEREST BY MEMBER

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor S.Boulton declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the Agenda as appropriate as a Member of Hertfordshire County Council.

113.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 48 KB

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

Minutes:

The status of actions agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 5 February 2019 in the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) was noted.

114.

ITEMS REQUIRING KEY DECISION

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

 

Minutes:

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

114a

Outcome of the Tenant Consultation on Proposals for Burfield Close, Hatfield (Forward Plan Reference: FP896) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) informing the Cabinet of the outcome of the consultation process with existing tenants and in the light of this providing a recommendation on how best to proceed with the site.

Decision:

(1)   The Cabinet noted the outcome of the consultation with tenants.

 

(2)   The Cabinet agreed that the redevelopment proposals for the existing buildings proceed.

 

(3)   The Cabinet noted the process of decanting the current Council tenants.

 

(4)   The Cabinet agreed to the inclusion of the garage site in the redevelopment and the appropriation of this site from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account at a value of £32,500.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) informing the Cabinet of the outcome of the consultation process with existing tenants and in the light of this providing a recommendation on how best to proceed with the site.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet notes the outcome of the consultation with tenants as set out in the report.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees that the redevelopment proposals for the existing buildings proceed as set out in the report.

 

(3)     That the Cabinet notes the process of decanting the current Council tenants.

 

(4)     That the Cabinet agrees to the inclusion of the garage site in the redevelopment and the appropriation of this site from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account at a value of £32,500.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Cabinet had previously approved the commencement of consultation with the existing tenants on a decommissioning process for a sheltered housing scheme at Burfield Close, Hatfield, in order to change use from sheltered housing to general needs rent or for other possible housing initiatives.

 

The report informed the outcome of the consultation process with the existing tenants and in light of this provided a recommendation on how best to proceed with the site.

114b

Award of Leasehold Buildings Insurance Tender - Request for Delegated Authority (Forward Plan Reference: FP897) pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) seeking delegated authority for the award of contract to the successful bidder.

Decision:

(1)   The Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources), was given delegated authority to award the leasehold buildings insurance contract to the successful bidder and

 

(2)   This authority would remain in force for the renewal of the policy each year until the expiry of the long term agreement.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) seeking delegated authority for the award of contract to the successful bidder.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources), be given delegated authority to award the leasehold buildings insurance contract to the successful bidder; and

 

(2)     That this authority remain in force for the renewal of the policy each year until the expiry of the long term agreement.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The current contract for the provision of buildings insurance for leasehold properties would expire in June 2019. An Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) tender process was therefore being carried out to procure a new provider, together with leaseholder consultation as it was proposed that a five year long term agreement be entered into. Timetables, however, precluded the results of the tender exercise from being presented to the Cabinet for consideration.

 

The Council was required under the lease terms of sold Council flats to arrange buildings insurance for these properties, the cost of which was then recharged to leaseholders. The current contract would expire on 23 June 2019 and as the total value of the forthcoming contract exceeded OJEU limits, it was necessary for the Council to undertake a formal European Directive compliant procurement.

 

In addition to this, as the individual charge to leaseholders might exceed £100 and a long term agreement would be entered into, it was also necessary to carry out a consultation process under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

115.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET PANEL

To consider a recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 7 February 2019:-

Minutes:

The following recommendation from a Cabinet Panel was considered:-

115a

Local Plan - Annual Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Approval for Publication (recommendation to follow).

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Annual Monitoring Report was approved for publication as recommended by the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel and the Head of Planning was given delegated powers to agree any minor alterations to finalise the report following consultation with the Executive Member (Environment and Planning).

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 7 February 2019 on the approval of publication of the Local Plan Annual Monitoring Report.

 

The Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) served a number of objectives, including reporting on the amount of development that had taken place in the Borough during the year and assessing whether this development met targets across a number of indicators, as well as setting out expectations for future development in the Borough.  In addition, it also reported on progress against the Local Development Scheme which set out when and how the Council would produce new planning documents and polices and included progress on the Council’s efforts under ‘the duty to co-operate with other public authorities.

 

The 2017/18 AMR covered the period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 and whilst the AMR might also refer to development and changes since 31 March 2018, the 2018/19 AMR would report on these in more detail.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Annual Monitoring Report be approved for publication, as recommended by the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel and that the Head of Planning be given delegated powers to agree any minor alterations to finalise the AMR, following consultation with the Executive Member (Environment and Planning).

116.

CONSULTATION ON NEW STATUTORY GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO SOCIAL HOUSING FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) recommending a response to this consultation on proposals for new statutory guidance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The proposed draft response to the consultation on new statutory guidance for local authorities to improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces community was agreed.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) recommending a response to this consultation on proposals for new statutory guidance.

 

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government had published proposals for new statutory guidance for local authorities to improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces community.

 

The consultation ran for eight weeks from 9 January to 8 March 2019 inviting comments on its proposals from all local authorities giving the Council the opportunity to deliver a response as proposed in the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed draft response to the consultation on new statutory guidance for local authorities to improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces community be agreed.

117.

PERFORMANCE EXCEPTION REPORT - QUARTER 3 (2018-19) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) summarising strategic performance data for Quarter 3 (2018-19).

Decision:

The Cabinet noted the summary of performance and approved any proposed actions highlighted.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) summarising strategic performance data for Quarter 3 (2018-19) following the monitoring and review of reports by Executive Members, Corporate Directors and Heads of Service.

 

Performance clinics were held quarterly to review progress towards business plan targets, performance indicator targets, financial performance, service compliments, comments and complaints and reports on current strategic and operational risks.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet notes the summary of performance and approves any proposed actions highlighted.

118.

COUNCIL ACHIEVEMENTS LIST - OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2018 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) collating and summarising the Council’s key achievements and service improvements for Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet noted key achievements and service improvements for Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) collating and summarising the Council’s key achievements and service improvements for Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet notes the Achievements List for Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

119.

SUPPORT TO THE WELWYN GARDEN CITY 2020 CENTENARY PROJECT pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on support for the Welwyn Garden City 2020 Centenary.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet noted the examples of support being provided to the Welwyn Garden City 2020 Centenary foundation in line with the overall objectives.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed to provide financial assistance by making a one off financial contribution of £50,000 during 2019/20 to the Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation Ltd for them to use as they wished in connection with the centenary celebrations. 

 

(3)     The Cabinet agreed to the repositioning of the existing Ebenezer Howard memorial “roundel” in Howardsgate (in consultation with key stakeholders) and the erection of a statue of Ebenezer Howard in this location, the costs of moving the roundel and licence to occupy fees being met from existing Council budgets.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) asking the Cabinet to note the support being provided by the Council to the Welwyn Garden City Centenary projects and to consider opportunities, including providing financial assistance.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet notes the examples of support being provided to the Welwyn Garden City 2020 Centenary foundation as in Appendix A in line with the overall objectives listed in Appendix B to the report.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees to provide financial assistance by making a one off financial contribution of £50,000 during 2019/20 to the Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation Ltd for them to use as they wished in connection with the centenary celebrations. 

 

(3)     That the Cabinet agrees to the repositioning of the existing Ebenezer Howard memorial “roundel” in Howardsgate (in consultation with key stakeholders) and the erection of a statue of Ebenezer Howard in this location, the costs of moving the roundel and licence to occupy fees being met from existing Council budgets.

120.

DEFRA'S RESOURCE AND WASTE STRATEGY CONSULTATIONS pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) seeking agreement on the arrangement to respond to these consultations.

Decision:

The Cabinet delegated authority to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Environment and Planning) to agree and submit responses to the DEFRA resource and waste strategy consultations.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) seeking agreement to the arrangements to respond to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) resource and waste strategy consultations.

 

DEFRA’s Resource and Waste Strategy was published on 18 December 2018 and the key policies were centred around a drive to increase recycling through increased capture of organic waste, consistent collections and extended producer responsibility as shared with the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 29 January 2019 (Minute 51 refers).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet agrees to delegate authority to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with Executive Member (Environment and Planning) to agree and submit responses to the DEFRA resource and waste strategy consultations.

121.

CABINET PANEL MEMBERSHIP

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted that the Labour Group had requested the appointment of Councillor L.Musk to the membership of the Campus West Cabinet Panel in place of Councillor J.Fitzpatrick.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor L.Musk be appointed to serve on the Campus West Cabinet Panel in place of Councillor J.Fitzpatrick.

 

(Note:  The Chairman accepted this item as urgent on account of the need to make the appointment before the Panel’s next meeting on 13 March 2019).

122.

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 Items 16, 17, 18  and 19 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100(A)(3) and Paragraphs 3 (private financial or business information) and 5 (legal and professional privilege) 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.

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 items 16 to 18 (Minutes 123 to 125 refer) on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100A(3) and paragraphs 3 (private financial or business information) and 5 (legal and professional privilege) 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.

123.

ITEMS OF AN EXEMPT NATURE REQUIRING KEY DECISION

To consider the following items of an exempt nature:-

 

Minutes:

The following items of an exempt nature for decision in the current Forward Plan were considered:-

123a

Streetscene - Contract Award (Forward Plan Reference: FP909)

Exempt Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the Streetscene contract award.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet agreed with the unanimous Member Procurement Board recommendation for the award of Lots 1 and 2 of the contract.

 

(2)     The Cabinet noted outlined service changes.

 

(3)     A cross party Cabinet Panel (based on the membership of the Streetscene and Grounds Maintenance Procurement Board) with terms of reference as agreed would be set up to oversee the mobilisation phase of the contract.

 

(4)     The Cabinet recommended to the Council that a £4.5M capital budget be set up to fund the cost of an upgrade to the Tewin Road depot.

Minutes:

Exempt Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the Streetscene contract award.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet agrees with the unanimous Member Procurement Board recommendation to award Lots 1 and 2 as detailed in the exempt report letting both contracts for an initial nine years starting from 1 April 2020, with an option to extend each contract for up to a further nine years, based on mutual agreement. 

 

(2)     That the Cabinet notes the service changes as outlined in paragraphs 4.13 and 4.14 of the exempt report.

 

(3)     That a cross party Cabinet Panel (based on the membership of the Streetscene and Grounds Maintenance Procurement Board) be set up to oversee the mobilisation phase of the contract with the terms of reference of this group being as provided in paragraph 7.4 of the exempt report.

 

(4)     That the Cabinet recommends to the Council that a £4.5M capital budget be set up to fund the cost of the Tewin Road depot upgrade as set out in section 8 of the exempt report.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The existing Streetscene and Grounds Maintenance contracts were due to end in March 2020, with no option for further extension.

 

In August 2017, the Cabinet agreed to set up a Cross Party Procurement Board to oversee the procurement process for the establishment of new contract(s) to deliver Waste Collection and Street Cleansing (Lot 1) and Grounds Maintenance (Lot 2) to the Borough.

 

Following the tender returns, the Cross Party Procurement Board met on 13 February 2019 to discuss the evaluation results and make recommendations to the Cabinet.  The exempt Minutes of the meeting were set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

123b

Appropriation of Land - High View (Forward Plan Reference: FP910)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appropriation of land for planning purposes in order to facilitate proposed development.

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that the land be appropriated for planning purposes in order to facilitate the proposed development at High View, Hatfield, in accordance with the Council’s obligations, as set out in the Development Agreement.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appropriation of land for planning purposes in order to facilitate proposed development at High View, Hatfield.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet agrees the land outlined in paragraph 3.10 of the exempt report be appropriated for planning purposes in order to facilitate the proposed development at High View, Hatfield, in accordance with the Council’s obligations, as set out in the Development Agreement.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council had prepared proposals for the redevelopment of the High View Neighbourhood Centre in South Hatfield and these were outlined in a Supplementary Planning Document.

124.

HERTFORDSHIRE HIGHWAYS AGENCY AGREEMENT (GROUNDS MAINTENANCE AND TREES)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the continuation of this agency agreement.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet agreed to continue with the long running Agency Agreement with Hertfordshire County Council.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed to the revisions to the tree maintenance requirements contained within the new draft Agency Agreement.

 

(3)     The Cabinet agreed to the Agency Agreement operating from 1 April 2019 until determined or varied by the mutual agreement of the parties in writing or either party determining the Agreement by giving the other at least two year’s notice in writing to expire on 31 March in any year.

 

(4)     The Cabinet agreed to the revised annual reimbursements from Hertfordshire County Council to the Borough Council for work performed as part of the Agency Agreement.

 

(5)     The Cabinet delegated authority to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Environment and Planning), to approve the final draft of the Agency Agreement.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the continuation of this agency agreement.

 

The current Grounds and Trees Maintenance Highways Agency Agreement with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) would expire on 31 March 2019.  The Council had maintained HCC verges, hedges, shrubs and trees for over twenty five years via an Agency Agreement.

 

In discussion with the County Council the Borough Council had reviewed how the new Agency Agreement specification and payments should be determined within the Agreement and these negotiations had now been completed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet agrees to continue with the long running Agency Agreement with Hertfordshire County Council.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees to the revisions to the tree maintenance requirements contained within the new draft Agency Agreement as summarised in the exempt report.

 

(3)     That the Cabinet agrees to the Agency Agreement operating from 1 April 2019 until determined or varied by the mutual agreement of the parties in writing or either party determining the Agreement by giving the other at least two year’s notice in writing to expire on 31 March in any year.

 

(4)     That the Cabinet agrees to the revised annual reimbursements from Hertfordshire County Council to the Borough Council for work performed as part of the Agency Agreement.

 

(5)     That the Cabinet agrees to delegate authority to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Environment and Planning), to approve the final draft of the Agency Agreement.

125.

GARAGE SITE DISPOSALS - PHASE 3 AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMME

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on garage site disposals to help deliver the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme.

 

(Note: The Chairmen of the Environment and Social Overview and Scrutiny Committees have been given notice that it was impracticable to comply with the requirement that at least twenty eight days notice must be given of the intention to consider these items in the  private section of the meeting in accordance with Regulations 5 and 10 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 because they were urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

(1)     The reason for item 17 is to continue with the long running Agency Agreement with Hertfordshire County Council.

 

(2)     The reason for item 18 is to enable the delivery of sites suitable for the delivery of affordable housing.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet noted the seven sites that were considered suitable for the delivery of affordable housing and that plans were at an advanced stage for delivery.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed that these sites be progressed to the next stage of the process which was to draw up detailed plans to be submitted for planning approval.

 

(3)     The Cabinet noted that a further report would be made setting out detailed plans and feasibility work recommending the sites to be appropriated to the housing account.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on garage site disposals to help deliver the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme.

 

A range of methods to deliver the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme had previously been approved and this included the disposal of suitable garage sites, land and vacant or under used assets.

 

The report recommended seven sites to be used for the direct delivery of affordable housing as part of the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet notes that the seven sites (marked green) in Appendix A to the exempt report were considered suitable for the delivery of affordable housing and that plans were at an advanced stage for delivery.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees these sites be progressed to the next stage of the process which was to draw up detailed plans to be submitted for planning approval.

 

(3)     That the Cabinet notes, as agreed in recommendation (2) above, a further report would be made setting out detailed plans and feasibility work recommending the sites to be appropriated to the housing account.

 

(Note: The Chairmen of the Environment and Social Overview and Scrutiny Committees had been given notice that it was impracticable to comply with the requirement that at least twenty eight days notice must be given of the intention to consider items 124 and 125 in the private section of the meeting in accordance with Regulations 5 and 10 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 because they were urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

(1)     The reason for item 124 was to continue with the long running Agency Agreement with Hertfordshire County Council.

 

(2)     The reason for item 125 was to enable the delivery of sites suitable for the delivery of affordable housing.