Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 10th March 2020 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Graham Seal 

Items
No. Item

109.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2020 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

110.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 74 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 11 February 2020 in the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) was noted.

111.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS

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 non-pecuniary interests in Agenda Items 17(a) Development Partner Procurement – Tender Evaluation Report – 1 and 3-9 Town Centre and Link Drive, Hatfield and 17(c) Welwyn Garden City North Development – Award of Contract as a shareholder in two of the bidding companies.

112.

ITEMS RELATING TO THE BUDGET AND POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR RECOMMENDATION TO THE COUNCIL

To consider the following items:-

Minutes:

The following items were considered:-

112a

Food Safety Service Plan 2020/21 (Forward Plan Reference FP964) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 January 2020 on the Food Safety Service Plan for 2020/2021.

 

Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 27 January 2020

Decision:

The Food Safety Service Plan 2020/21 was approved and recommended to the Council to be adopted.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 January 2020 on the Food Safety Service Plan for 2020/21 (Minute 51 refers).

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Food Safety Service Plan 2020/21 be approved and sent to the Council to be adopted.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

It was a requirement of the Food Standards Agency (which had overall responsibility for the official control of food law enforcement in England) that each local authority draw up and implement a food safety service plan which was approved by Members.  It was expected that “non-inspection interventions” and educational initiatives be undertaken as well as routine hygiene inspections.

 

There were no changes in the proposed delivery of the service and there were about 300 inspections proposed for the coming year in order to reduce risk and keep the public safe.

112b

Health and Safety Service Plan 2020/21 (Forward Plan Reference FP965) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Environment and Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 January 2020 on the Health and Safety Service Plan 2020/21.

 

Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee 27 January 2020

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Health and Safety Service Plan 2020/21 was approved and recommended to the Council to be adopted.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Environment and Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 January 2020 on the Health and Safety Service Plan 2020/21 (Minute 50 refers).

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Health and Safety Service Plan 2020/21 be approved and sent to the Council to be adopted.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

Local Authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had a shared responsibility for ensuring public and employee health and safety protection throughout the UK.  Whilst the main responsibility remained with businesses and individuals the Council had a responsibility to deliver a service that regulated businesses and enforced against those that failed to protect the public.

 

The Public Health and Protection team had successfully attained a grant from the HSE to deliver (in partnership with the Council) a programme for small to medium-sized enterprises. 

 

There were no significant changes to the plan from the previous one.

113.

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:-

113a

Peer Review Update and Modernisation Programme (Forward Plan Reference FP970) pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the Peer Review action plan and introducing the Council’s modernisation programme.

Decision:

The work to date and the direction of travel regarding the Council’s modernisation plans was noted.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the Peer Review action plan and introducing the Council’s modernisation programme.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work to date and the direction of travel regarding the Council’s modernisation plans be noted.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The report of the Chief Executive to the Council meeting on 22 July 2019 set out the findings of the peer review and the proposed action plan (Minute 21 refers). It was now timely to update Members on the work to date and to explain the proposed direction of travel for the Council’s modernisation plan.

 

The peer review feedback report highlighted a number of examples of good practice and work carried out by the Council and also presented suggested recommendations:

 

The Council had accepted these recommendations, together with a high-level action plan and asked Officers to commence appropriate work.

113b

Extension of the Cleaning Contract (Forward Plan Reference FP971) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on options for the continual provision of this service.

Decision:

A one year extension to the corporate cleaning contract with Birkin Cleaning Services Ltd (until 31 December 2021) was approved.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on options for the continual provision of this service.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That a one year extension to the corporate cleaning contract with Birkin Cleaning Services Ltd (until 31 December 2021) be approved.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The contract with Birkin Cleaning Services Limited which would expire at the end of 2020 covered cleaning of the Council’s corporate property with an option to extend for up to a further two years. The contract value was £300,000 per annum.

 

As the contract was currently performing satisfactorily, the General Procurement Board at its meeting on 23 January 2020, unanimously recommended to the Cabinet to extend the contract for one further year until 31 December 2021.

113c

Tenancy Fraud Policy (Forward Plan Reference FP969) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Housing Panel on 19 February 2020 on the Tenancy Fraud Policy.

 

Cabinet Housing Panel 19 February 2020

Decision:

(1)     The Tenancy Fraud Policy was adopted.

 

(2)     Delegated authority was given to the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities), in consultation with the Executive Member (Housing and Community), to review and make minor amendments to the policy as appropriate where there was a need to address operational issues, or where best practice had evolved and there was a need to incorporate this.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Housing Panel on 19 February 2020 on a revised Tenancy Fraud Policy which provided guidance on how the Council would tackle tenancy fraud through a framework of prevention, detection and enforcement.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)       That the Tenancy Fraud Policy be adopted.

 

(2)       That delegated authority be given to the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities), in consultation with the Executive Member (Housing and Community), to review and make minor amendments to the policy as appropriate where there was a need to address operational issues, or where best practice had evolved and there was a need to incorporate this.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The current tenancy fraud procedure was produced in May 2018 and it was prepared to replace it with a case management workflow on approval of the Tenancy Fraud Policy.

113d

Housing Allocation Policy Review (Forward Plan Reference FP973) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Housing Panel on 19 February 2020 on the Housing Allocations Policy Review.

 

Cabinet Housing Panel 19 February 2020

Decision:

The proposed changes to the Housing Allocation Policy were approved.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Housing Panel on 19 February 2020 on a review of the Housing Allocations Policy which set out rules for the Council’s Housing Needs Register and how priority was awarded to householders based on their housing needs.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed changes to the Housing Allocation Policy be approved.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The report set out some recommended changes to the policy as a result of a review following the introduction of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017.

114.

CORPORATE BUSINESS ACTION PLAN 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) confirming the new strategic projects in the Council’s Business Plan for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Council’s Business Action Plan for 2020/21 was approved. 

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) confirming the new strategic projects in the Council’s Business Plan for 2020/21.

 

There was an annual Business Action Plan with projects running from April to March supporting one of the five current corporate priorities and their supporting objectives.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council’s Business Action Plan for 2020/21 be approved. 

115.

PERFORMANCE EXCEPTION REPORT - QUARTER 3 (2019/20) pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) summarising strategic performance date for Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

Decision:

The summary of strategic performance data was noted and any proposed actions highlighted approved.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) summarising strategic performance data for Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the summary of strategic performance data be noted and any proposed actions highlighted in the appendices be approved.

116.

COUNCIL ACHIEVEMENTS LIST - OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2019 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) summarising the Council’s key achievements and service improvements for Quarter 3 of 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Achievements List for Quarter 3 2019/20 was noted.

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 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Achievements List for Quarter 3 of 2019/20 be noted.

117.

RISK MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the current strategic and top operational risks facing the Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The current Strategic Risk Register and top operational risks and comments in respect of each risk where shown were noted.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the current strategic and top operational risks facing the Council.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the current Strategic Risk Register and top operational risks and comments in respect of each risk where shown be noted.

118.

APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTORS TO NOW HOUSING LTD pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the appointment of a new Board member.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     The Cabinet approved the standing-down of Stuart Pearson from the Board of Now Housing Limited and the appointment of a new non-Executive Director, Kerry Clifford, the Council’s Neighbourhood and Enforcement Manager.

 

(2)     The Cabinet agreed the recruitment of an additional independent non-Executive Board Member for Now Housing, on a non-remunerated basis, to bring additional financial expertise to the Board.

 

(3)     Authority was delegated to the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) as Chair of the Board to carry out the recruitment process, in consultation with the Shareholder Representative Group.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the appointment of a new Board member to Now Housing Ltd.

 

The purpose of the appointment would be to replace Stuart Pearson, Head of Housing Operations, who had resigned from the Board so that he could be an independent housing expert advisor to the Council’s Shareholder Representative Group.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Cabinet approves the standing-down of Stuart Pearson from the Board of Now Housing Limited and the appointment of a new non-Executive Director, Kerry Clifford, the Council’s Neighbourhood and Enforcement Manager.

 

(2)     That the Cabinet agrees the recruitment of an additional independent non-Executive Board Member for Now Housing, on a non-remunerated basis, to bring additional financial expertise to the Board.

 

(3)     That authority be delegated to the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) as Chair of the Board to carry out the recruitment process, in consultation with the Shareholder Representative Group.

119.

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 and 18 (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 16 and 17 (Minutes 120 and 121 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.

120.

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:-

120a

Award of Contract - Waste Composition Study (Forward Plan Reference FP961)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appointment of a contractor to complete this study.

Decision:

The contract for the Waste Composition Study was awarded to MEL Waste Insights as unanimously recommended by the General Procurement Board.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the appointment of a contractor to complete this study.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contract for the Waste Composition Study be awarded to MEL Waste Insights as unanimously recommended by the General Procurement Board.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council was the Lead Authority for procurement of a number of waste and recycling contracts in Hertfordshire, including the Waste composition study.

 

This study would provide detailed information about the types of waste collected in kerbside collections and the results would be helpful to shape the waste strategy going forward and also the flat recycling project.

 

The General Procurement Board unanimously recommended the Cabinet to appoint MEL Waste Insights for the contract as the tenderer with the highest scores on both quality and price.

120b

Electronic Payment Services (Forward Plan Reference FP972)

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the award of contract for these services.

Decision:

The Cabinet approved a three year contract (with an option to extend by up to another three years, in increments of not less than 1 year at a time) with All Pay Limited commencing on 1 April 2020 for payment services.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the award of contract for the electronic banking of monies collected for Council services via Post Office or PayPoint locations.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet approves a three year contract (with an option to extend by up to another three years, in increments of not less than 1 year at a time) with All Pay Limited commencing on 1 April 2020 for payment services.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

Currently the Council used All Pay through the Procurement for Housing framework, which consolidated the buying power of a number of local authorities and housing associations. This had been working well but the current contract would expire on 31 March 2020.

 

The General Procurement Board considered options for future service provision and unanimously recommended to the Cabinet to continue to utilise from this framework and that a new three year contract be entered into with All Pay Limited commencing 1 April 2020.

121.

ITEMS OF AN EXEMPT NATURE REQUIRING KEY DECISION NOT IN THE FORWARD PLAN

To consider the following items of an exempt nature for decision not in the current Forward Plan:-

Minutes:

The following items for decision not in the current Forward Plan were considered:-

121a

Development Partner Procurement - Tender Evaluation Report - 1 and 3-9 Town Centre and Link Drive, Hatfield

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the award of contracts for the mixed use development at 1 and 3-9 Town Centre, Hatfield and residential development at the Link Drive car park.

Decision:

The Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Hatfield Town Centre Regeneration Board, approved the award of contracts for the mixed use development at 1&3-9 Town Centre (Lot 1) and residential development at Link Drive car park (Lot 2) to Lovell Partnerships Limited.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) relating to the procurement of a development partner for 1 and 3-9 Town Centre, Hatfield and Link Drive.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Hatfield Town Centre Regeneration Board, approve the award of contracts for the mixed use development at 1&3-9 Town Centre (Lot 1) and residential development at Link Drive car park (Lot 2) to Lovell Partnerships Limited.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

Homes England funding of £4.4million had been obtained and had to be spent by March 2021 to be retained.

 

The result of the evaluation process was that Lovell Partnerships Limited, part of the Morgan Sindall Group, scored the highest for both lots.

 

The Member Regeneration Board unanimously recommended to the Cabinet that the contract for both lots be granted to Lovell Partnerships Limited.

 

(Note:  Councillor D.Bell declared an interest in this item – Minute 112 refers).

121b

Welwyn Garden City North Development - Selection of Modular Provider

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the selection of a modular provider to design and construct a modular building.

Decision:

The Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Welwyn City Garden Town Centre Regeneration Board, gave delegated authority to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources) and Cross Party Welwyn Garden City Town Centre Regeneration Board to award the Pre-Contract Services Agreement contract for (stage 1) for the Selection of Modular Provider following a mini-competition.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) relating to the procurement of a provider to design and construct a modular building on the Cherry Tree Car Park.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Welwyn City Garden Town Centre Regeneration Board, delegated authority be given to the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), in consultation with the Executive Member (Resources) and Cross Party Welwyn Garden City Town Centre Regeneration Board to award the Pre-Contract Services Agreement contract for (stage 1) following a mini-competition as described in section 3 of the exempt report.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council had been awarded funding from Homes England to facilitate the construction of homes on the Welwyn Garden City North site. To enable this, car parking had to be reconfigured and consolidated across the site and part of this would involve the rebuilding of Hunters Bridge car park. A modular construction on part of the Cherry Tree car park would allow for two existing commercial tenants to be relocated in the short term and provide an opportunity for a re-purposed building on completion of works at Hunters Bridge.

 

The Regeneration Board was unanimously agreed that the procurement should be by means of a mini-competition using the London Housing corporation framework.

121c

Welwyn Garden City North Development - Award of Contract

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the award of contract for phase 1 of the development activity.

 

(Note:  The Chairman of the Resources 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 for items 17(a), (b) and (c) because they were urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

The reason for these items is to enable the award of contracts to proceed without delay.

Decision:

The Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Welwyn Garden City Town Centre Regeneration Board, agreed to award the pre-construction services agreement for Campus West car park to Bourne Parking Limited.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) relating to the procurement of a decked car park on the Campus West site.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet, in accordance with the unanimous recommendation of the Cross Party Welwyn Garden City Town Centre Regeneration Board, to award the pre-construction services agreement for Campus West car park to Bourne Parking Limited for a sum of £146,827.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council had been awarded Homes England funding to develop housing on the Welwyn Garden City North site. To achieve this, parking across the site had to be reconfigured and consolidated. A key component of this was the construction of a decked car park on the Campus West car park to offset the loss of spaces at Campus East.

 

The Member Regeneration Board unanimously recommended to the Cabinet that the contract for the construction of a decked car park at Campus West be awarded to Bourne Parking.

 

(Note:  Councillor D.Bell declared an interest in this item – Minute 111 refers).

 

(Note: The Chairman of the Resources 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 for items 121.1, 121.2 and 121.3 because they were urgent and could not reasonably be deferred for the reason specified).

 

The reason for these items is to enable the award of contracts to proceed without delay.