Agenda and minutes

Special Council, Council
Wednesday 21st February 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber , Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE. View directions

Contact: Graham Seal 

Items
No. Item

53.

LYNNE SPARKS

Minutes:

The Deputy Mayor said that we were all greatly shocked and saddened by the death of the Mayor, Councillor Lynne Sparks on 10 February 2018 and that our thoughts were with Lynne’s husband Ian and their children at this difficult time. 

 

The Council stood to observe a minute’s silence.

 

The Deputy Mayor then invited Councillors to speak about Lynne, starting with the Leader and a number of Councillors paid tribute to her.

54.

TONY CRUMP

Minutes:

The Deputy Mayor said that we also received further sad news of the death of former Councillor Tony Crump this month.

 

The Council stood again for a minute’s silence.

 

The Deputy Mayor then asked Councillors if they would like to say a few words about Tony and a number of Councillors spoke about him.

55.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence, if any.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J.Boulton, H.Bromley and M.Cowan.

 

The Deputy Mayor understood that Councillor M.Perkins had been in hospital during the last week and said that the Council was pleased to see her back.

56.

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:

Councillors L.Chesterman and P.Zukowskyj declared non-pecuniary interests in items on the Agenda as appropriate as Members of Hertfordshire County Council and Councillor K.Holman declared non-pecuniary interests in items on the Agenda as appropriate as a Member of Hatfield Town Council.

57.

COUNCIL TAX SETTINGS 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Report of the Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the Council Tax setting for 2018/19. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on setting the Council Tax for 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED:

(24 voting for and 20 against)

 

Voting FOR: J.Beckerman, D.Bell, D.Bennett, S.Boulton, H.Bower, N.Chapman, J.Cragg, I.Dean, J.Dean, B.Fitzsimon, C.Gillett, S.Glick, K.Holman, T.Kingsbury, P.Mabbott, S.Markiewicz, G.Michaelides, T.Mitchinson, N.Pace, M.Perkins, B.Sarson, N.Taylor, F.Thomson, R.Trigg

 

Voting AGAINST: T.Bailey. H.Beckett, M.Birleson, L.Brandon, J.Broach, A.Chesterman, L.Chesterman, M.Cook, S.Elam, J.Fitzpatrick, G.Hayes, M.Holloway, M.Larkins, T.Lyons, H.Quenet, S.Roberts, P.Shah, K.Thorpe, J.Weston, P.Zukowskyj

 

(1)     That it be noted that the 2018/19 General Fund budget as approved at the Council meeting on 5 February 2018 is shown in Appendix A to the report.

 

(2)     That it be noted that at the Cabinet and Council meetings on 9 January and 5 February 2018 respectively, the following amounts for the year 2018/19 were agreed in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”).

 

(a)     The gross 2018/19 Tax base for the District is 41,612.8 equivalent Band D properties before the application of a collection rate.

 

(b)     41,363.2 being the amount calculated by the Council, in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations), as its Council Tax Base for the year 2018/19; including deductions for Council Tax support and a collection rate of 99.4%.

 

(c)     Part of the Council's Area being the amounts calculated by the Council, in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Regulations, as the amounts of its Council Tax Base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate;

 

 

100% TAXBASE

99.4% TAXBASE

 

 

 

Ayot St Lawrence

70.8

70.4

Ayot St Peter

115.1

114.4

Essendon

433.2

430.6

Hatfield

11,507.7

11,438.7

North Mymms

4,367.1

4,340.9

Northaw and Cuffley

3,059.7

3,041.3

Welwyn

4,622.8

4,595.1

Welwyn Garden City

16,901.5

16,800.1

Woolmer Green

534.9

531.7

 

(3)       That in accordance with the statutory legislation the following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2018/19 in accordance with sections 31 - 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

(a)       £147,874,789 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act, taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils.

 

(b)       £137,701,013 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

 

(c)       £10,173,776 being the amount by which the aggregate at (3)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (3)(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year.

 

(d)       £245.96 being the amount at (3)(c) above, all divided by the Council tax base at (2)(b)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE CABINET

To consider recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet on 6 February 2018:-

Minutes:

The Council considered recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet on 6 February 2018:-

58a

Public Space Protection Order pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the outcome of the public consultation on proposals to implement a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) designed to tackle anti-social behaviour in Hatfield Town Centre which took place between 12 and 26 November 2017.

 

The Cabinet noted that Hatfield Town Centre had long standing issues with street drinking, rough sleeping and begging associated anti-social behaviour; with the people involved in such activity, urinating or defecating in public spaces. These specific behaviours caused harassment, alarm and distress to members of the public, but were particularly difficult to deal with through other legal channels due to the burden of evidence required to pursue them as a criminal act.  In addition local residents affected by the behaviour were often unwilling to act as witnesses.

 

Rough sleeping was one of the issues of concern raised by consultees.  The PSPO could be used against rough sleepers but only as a last resort, where the person persistently failed to engage with the Council.  Council Officers were committed to providing support to rough sleepers and signposting them to the other specialist agencies.  The Council had introduced a new initiative ‘Housing First’ to reduce the number of rough sleepers in Welwyn Hatfield.

 

It was accepted that there was a risk of raising expectations by making an Order, but the Council had an excellent working relationship with its partners, supported by the Police who wanted to be able to use the Order.

 

There would be signage and the operation of the Order would be monitored and could be varied if felt to be appropriate.

 

The formal consultation responses received on the proposed PSPO for Hatfield Town Centre were acknowledged and noted and having considered the issues of anti-social behaviours in Hatfield Town Centre and the views of consultees, the Cabinet fully supported making an Order as recommended by the Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Cabinet agreed to the implementation of a zoned PSPO for the designated areas within Hatfield, as recommended by the local Community Safety Partnership Joint Action Group.

 

The Cabinet recommended the Council to agree to discharge the current Public Space Protection Order (automatically created by the legislation from the current Designated Public Place Order).

 

It was moved by Councillor R.Trigg, seconded by Councillor J.Dean and

 

RESOLVED:

(40 voting for, 2 against and 2 abstentions)

 

That the Council agrees to discharge the current Public Space Protection Order (automatically created by the legislation from the current Designated Public Place Order).

58b

Tenancy Policy and Flexible Tenancy Policy pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the revised policy and procedure.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Council had been granting five year flexible term tenancies since November 2013 and the review process for these had been due to commence in November 2017.  Now that this process was about to commence on current tenancies, the functional details of the review process had been identified, including reporting, and had been updated in a new, separate, procedural document to provide better guidance for staff who would be carrying out the reviews.

 

There were no changes in the updated policy to the grounds for refusing to renew a flexible tenancy at the end of the five year term.  These were the same as already approved in April 2012.

 

The legally mandated procedural guidance for tenants who wished to seek a review of a decision not to renew a flexible tenancy was now also in a separate document that could be issued to tenants separately on request.

 

The procedure document would be brought back to the Cabinet Housing Panel for information before any amendments to the flexible tenancy review procedure legal or otherwise were put in place or implemented.

 

Further information on the financial assessment, including trigger points relating to income levels, savings, investments or equity would be provided to the Cabinet Housing Panel.

 

The Cabinet recommended the revised policy to the Council for adoption.

 

Following discussion, it was agreed in view of queries raised by Members about the accuracy of the Cabinet recommendation, that it be deferred and the decision clarified and confirmed by the Cabinet for report back to the Council.

59.

MATTER ARISING FROM COMMITTEE

To consider a recommendation from the meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 30 January 2018:-

Minutes:

The Council considered a recommendation from the meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 30 January 2018:-

59a

Safety Advisory Team Update pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was updated on the work of the multi-agency safety advisory team which operated within the Borough and informed of the aims and objectives of the team, work which had been undertaken and work which had been completed to review the current operating procedures.

 

It was moved by Councillor B.Sarson, seconded by Councillor J.Dean and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Safety Advisory Team procedures in Appendix A to the report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 30 January 2018 be approved.

60.

INTERIM REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS, POLLING SPACES AND POLLING STATIONS pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer on interim proposals for changes to the current arrangements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer on interim proposals for changes to the current arrangements.

 

For electoral purposes, the Council was required to divide each parliamentary constituency in the area into polling districts for parliamentary elections and to designate polling places for each of those polling districts.  Under the Representation of the People Act 1983, as amended by the Electoral Administration Act 2006, all Polling Districts, Places and Stations should be reviewed on a regular basis.

 

The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 introduced a change to the timing of the review of polling arrangements and it was required that the next review must be started and completed between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020 (inclusive) and every five years thereafter.

 

The report informed the Council that one response had been received to the new interim proposals, which were detailed in the Appendix to the Chief Executive’s report.

 

The Council wanted to highlight the changes to polling stations and the Chief Executive confirmed that these would be communicated to affected residents.

 

It was moved by Councillor R.Trigg, seconded by Councillor J.Dean and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council notes i) the one response received to the consultation; ii) that as a full review of electoral arrangements for the Borough was to be conducted from October 2018, the interim proposals detailed in the Appendix to the report be implemented and adopted until the electoral review to be started and completed between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020.