Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 11th February 2020 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Graham Seal 

Items
No. Item

97.

MINUTES

To confirm as correct records the Minutes of the meetings held on 6, 21 and 30 January 2020 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 6, 21 and 30 January 2020 were approved as correct records and signed by the Chairman.

98.

APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor B.Sarson (Executive Member, Regeneration, Economic Development and Partnerships).

99.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 78 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 6 January 2020 in the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) was noted.

100.

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 D.Bell declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 12(a) - Procurement of Main Contractor for the Design of the Redevelopment of Tewin Road Depot as a shareholder of one of the unsuccessful bidders (Minute 104.3 refers).

101.

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:-

101a

Review of the Parking Services Work Programme 2019-2021 (Forward Plan Reference FP967) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 13 January 2020 on the review of the Parking Services Work Programme for 2019-2021.

 

Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel link - 13 January 2020

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     Taking into consideration the growth for a new Parking Officer to include The Comet and High View, Hatfield area projects, the Panel’s recommendation to extend the work programme from one year to two years to 2020-2022 was approved.

 

(2)     The remainder of the area to include Drakes Way, Cherry Way and Shallcross Crescent would be added to the work programme, once resource became available.

 

(3)     Pine Grove, Brookmans Park was not included in the work programme 2020-2022.

Minutes:

Recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 13 January 2020 on the review of the Parking Services Work Programme for 2019-2021.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That taking into consideration the growth for a new Parking Officer to include The Comet and High View, Hatfield area projects, the Panel’s recommendation to extend the work programme from one year to two years to 2020-2022 be approved.

 

(2)     That the remainder of the area to include Drakes Way, Cherry Way and Shallcross Crescent, as shown on Appendix B to the report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) to the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 13 January 2020, be added to the work programme, once resource became available.

 

(3)     That Pine Grove, Brookmans Park be not included in the work programme 2020-2022.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The work programme allowed Members to determine the priority of the work in the parking team and it was important to manage the expectations of residents and businesses as not all the parking requests received would be able to be addressed in the two year work programme.

 

The work programme included the approved budget growth of one additional Parking Officer.

101b

Welwyn Hatfield Sports Facilities Strategy (Forward Plan Reference FP966) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 16 January 2020 that the Strategy and Action Plan be approved.

 

Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee link - 16 January 2020

 

Sport Strategy Documents link - https://welhat.gov.uk/sports-strategy

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     All of the documents associated with the Playing Pitch Strategy and the Built Facilities Strategy as well as the overarching Executive Summary plus its Associated Action Plan, were approved.

 

(2)     The Council would work with partners, leisure operators, governing bodies, sports bodies and others to implement the strategies and their actions including setting up a Sports Strategy Operations Group, Local Plan policies, planning applications and Section 106 planning contributions, community infrastructure levy, investment by the Council, investment by third parties and other sources of funding.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 16 January 2020 that the Strategy and Action Plan be approved.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the recommendation of the Committee that all of the documents associated with the Playing Pitch Strategy and the Built Facilities Strategy as well as the overarching Executive Summary plus its Associated Action Plan be agreed, be approved.

 

(2)     That the Council work with partners, leisure operators, governing bodies, sports bodies and others to implement the strategies and their actions including setting up a Sports Strategy Operations Group, Local Plan policies, planning applications and Section 106 planning contributions, community infrastructure levy, investment by the Council, investment by third parties and other sources of funding as agreed by the Committee.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

In 2018, the Council commissioned the preparation of a Playing Pitch Strategy and a Built Facilities Strategy which had been reviewed and approved using the Sport England methodology by the national governing bodies of sport who had an opportunity to engage and provide feedback.

 

The overall strategy was designed to provide strategic direction to the Council, sports facility operators, national governing bodies of sport and community organisations and clubs on where there was a need for future growth and development.

 

The associated Action Plan had been agreed in partnership with the Council and a range of stakeholders, including Sport England and several sports’ national governing bodies as well as other key stakeholders.

102.

QUARTER 3 REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) presenting the forecast revenue account position at Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     The revenue forecast outturn position as at Quarter 3 was noted.

 

(2)     Virements were approved.

 

(3)     The position on debts was noted.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) presenting the forecast revenue account position at Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

 

There was an adverse variance on the General Fund net cost of services of £1.051M.

 

£1.508M related to one off expenditure such as the triennial pensions valuation approved in January 2019 minus £0.457M relating to efficiencies already factored into the 2020/21 baseline budget. After movements to earmarked reserves, the General Fund outturn position was a £0.145M drawdown from the working balance.

 

The forecast closing balance on the Housing Revenue Account was £2.638M, an adverse movement of £0.150M from the current budget.

 

Outstanding debts as at the end of Quarter 3 totalled £1.780M with rolling debtor days standing at 40.76.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the revenue forecast outturn position as at Quarter 3 be noted.

 

(2)     That the virements detailed in section 3.6 of the report be approved.

 

(3)     That the position on debts set out in section 7 of the report be noted.

103.

QUARTER 3 CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 259 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) presenting the capital expenditure and associated capital funding at Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     The capital forecast outturn position as at Quarter 3 was noted.

 

(2)     The forecast position as at 31 March 2020 for funding of the capital programme and reserve balances was noted.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) presenting the capital expenditure and associated capital funding as at the end of Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

 

The current approved capital budget was £66.624M and the current forecast outturn was £40.236M.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)   That the capital forecast outturn position as at Quarter 3 be noted.

 

(2)   That the forecast position as at 31 March 2020 for funding of the capital programme and reserve balances be noted.

104.

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 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 (if any) on the grounds that they involve 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.

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 12, 13, 14 and 15 (Minutes 105-108 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.

105.

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:-

105a

Proposal to Part Fund Redevelopment of Birchwood House and the Delivery of 12 New One Bedroom Apartments at Social Rent (Forward Plan Reference FP963)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on this proposed redevelopment to provide new affordable homes.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet approved the payment of a grant to Home Group Housing Association towards the redevelopment of Birchwood House, to which the Council would have nomination rights with the grant payment to be made from the allowed amounts of the retained Right to Buy receipts.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed to make a phased payment of funds to the Home Group Housing Association as development took place.

 

(3)     The Cabinet delegated authority to the Directors (Housing and Community) and (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Housing and Community), to agree any reasonable change in the grant payment based on actual costs of development, providing this remained affordable within the budget and did not exceed 30% of the allowed development costs.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on this proposed redevelopment to provide new affordable homes.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet approves the payment of a grant of £255,000 to Home Group Housing Association towards the redevelopment of Birchwood House, to which the Council would have nomination rights with the grant payment to be made from the allowed amounts of the retained Right to Buy receipts.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees to make a phased payment of funds to the Home Group Housing Association as development took place.

 

(3)     That the Cabinet delegates authority to the Directors (Housing and Community) and (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Housing and Communities), to agree any reasonable change in the grant payment based on actual costs of development, providing this remained affordable within the budget and did not exceed 30% of the allowed development costs.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

As part of the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme, a range of methods had previously been agreed by the Cabinet to provide new affordable homes and the Council had also agreed a plan to deliver 500 homes over five years.

 

The proposed new development of 12 x 1 bed apartments would be let at social rent with 16 apartments to be sold on the open market to help fund the development.

105b

Proposals to Purchase a Development of 20 Apartments at Swallowfields with the Option of Selling Them to the Local Housing Company (Forward Plan Reference FP955)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) o proposals for the purchase of this development to provide new affordable homes.

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet agreed to the purchase of the development at Swallowfields as supported by an Independent ‘Red Book’ valuation; subject to legal agreement.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed to make available funds from the Affordable Housing Programme to the project for the acquisition, stamp duty and fees. 

 

(3)     If it was possible to include sprinklers in the development, then authority to approve the additional costs would be delegated to the Corporate Directors (Housing and Communities) and (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources).

 

(4)     The Cabinet noted that before completion a recommendation might be returned to the Cabinet to sell the development or part of the development on to Now Housing Limited at an appropriate value.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on proposals for the purchase of this development to provide new affordable homes.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet agrees to the purchase of the development at Swallowfields for £3.7M as supported by an Independent ‘Red Book’ valuation; subject to legal agreement.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees to make available up to £3.9M of funds from the Affordable Housing Programme to the project for the acquisition, stamp duty and fees. 

 

(3)     That, if it was possible to include sprinklers in the development, then authority to approve the additional costs would be delegated to the Corporate Directors (Housing and Communities) and (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources).

 

(4)     That the Cabinet notes that before completion a recommendation might be returned to the Cabinet to sell the development or part of the development on to Now Housing Limited at an appropriate value.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

As part of the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme, a range of methods had previously been agreed by the Cabinet to provide new affordable homes and the Council had agreed a plan to deliver 500 homes over five years.

 

A local developer had planning permission to create 20 apartments, 6 studios and 14 x 1 bed flats.

 

The development included some new build and some redevelopment of a derelict office block.

105c

Procurement of Main Contractor for the Design of the Redevelopment of Tewin Road Depot (Forward Plan Reference FP958)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appointment of the main contractor.

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed to award the first stage contract (known as the Pre Construction Service Agreement) to RG Carter (Cambridge) Limited as unanimously recommended by the Streetscene Mobilisation Board.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appointment of the main contractor for the detailed design of the redevelopment of Tewin Road depot.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet agrees to award the first stage contract (known as the Pre Construction Service Agreement) to RG Carter (Cambridge) Limited at a contract sum of £114,342.50 as unanimously recommended by the Streetscene Mobilisation Board.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Tewin Road depot needed to be upgraded for the new streetscene contracts and the Council was also working with Hertfordshire County Council to co-locate a Household Waste Recycling Centre onsite.  A joint planning application had been submitted at the end of November 2019 to be determined by the County Council in the coming months.

 

The Streetscence Mobilisation Board agreed to use a two stage procurement process for the appointment of a contractor to design the new Tewin Road depot.  At the last meeting of the Mobilisation Board, it was unanimously agreed to recommend to the Cabinet to appoint RG Carter for the first stage contract as the bidder with the highest scores on both quality and price.

 

(Note:  Councillor D.Bell declared an interest in this item – Minute 100 refers).

106.

ITEM OF AN EXEMPT NATURE REQUIRING KEY DECISION NOT ON THE FORWARD PLAN

Minutes:

The following item for decision not in the current Forward Plan was considered:-

106a

Sale of Consortium Newspaper

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

 

(Note: The Chairman of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee has 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 make a key decision not in the Forward Plan and 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 it was urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

The reason for this item is to enable the award of contract to proceed without delay.

Decision:

The Cabinet approved the unanimous recommendation of the General Procurement Board to:

 

(1)     Waive Contract Procedure Rules to make a direct award (for one year from 1/6/2020 to 31/05/21) to:

 

-    Palm Recycling – For Lot 1 (News and Pams)

-    Newport Recycling – For Lots 2 and 3 (mixed Paper)

 

(2)     Agreed that the price paid by Palm Recycling per tonne could be adjusted from 1 March 2020.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the way forward for the sale of recovered newsprint competitive process by authorities in the consortium.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet approves the unanimous recommendation of the General Procurement Board to:

 

(1)     Waive Contract Procedure Rules to make a direct award (for one year from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021) to:

 

-        Palm Recycling – For Lot  1 (News and Pams) at £53.00  per tonne

-        Newport Recycling – For Lots 2 and 3 (mixed Paper) at £8.00 per tonne

 

(2)     Agree that the price paid by Palm Recycling could reduce to £53.00 per tonne from 1 March 2020.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

This Council was the Lead Authority in a consortium of Hertfordshire (and Chelmsford Borough) Councils that sold their recovered newsprint and mixed paper through a competitive process.

 

As the market for the sale of recycled paper had substantially changed recently, the Cabinet considered the way forward for the Consortium.

 

(Note: The Chairman of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 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 make a key decision not in the Forward Plan and 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 it was urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

The reason for this item was to enable the award of contract for this service to proceed without delay.

107.

WRITE OFFS OVER £10,000

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on three domestic rates write offs of over £10,000.

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed to three non-domestic rates write offs of over £10,000 where there was no further recovery action that could be taken.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on three domestic rates write offs of over £10,000.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet agrees to the three non-domestic rates write offs of over £10,000 as detailed in the exempt report as there was no further recovery action that could be taken.

108.

PANTOMIME REVIEW

Exempt recommendation from the meeting of the Campus West Cabinet Panel on 14 January 2020 on the proposed 2020 pantomime production.

Decision:

The proposal for the in-house production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” as the 2020 pantomime, together with the ticket pricing plan and production schedule was approved.

Minutes:

Exempt recommendation from the meeting of the Campus West Cabinet Panel on 14 January 2020 on the proposed 2020 pantomime production.

 

The Cabinet was pleased to note the success of the 2019 pantomime and that an overall budget surplus had been recorded for a third year in succession.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet Panel recommendation proposing the in-house production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” as the 2020 pantomime, together with the ticket pricing plan and the production schedule be approved.