Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday 9th August 2022 5.00 pm

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

Contact: Alison Marston 

Media

Items
No. Item

25.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 14 July and 25 July (special) (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 14 July and 25 July 2022 were approved as a correct record and noted by the Chairman.

26.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Report of the Assistant Director (Legal and Governance) on the status of actions agreed at the last Cabinet meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The status of actions agreed at the Cabinet meetings on 14 and 25 July 2022 and for decisions taken by Cabinet Members exercising their individual delegated powers between 6 July 2022 to 1 August 2022 in the report of the Assistant Director (Legal and Governance) were noted.

27.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors S. Boulton, T. Kingsbury and F. Thomson each declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the Agenda as Members of Hertfordshire County Council.

 

Councillors T. Kingsbury and F. Thomson both declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 11 on the Agenda as they had a defibrillator installed.

28.

ITEM REQUIRING KEY DECISION

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following item for decision in the current Forward Plan was considered:-

28a

Disregard of War Pensions Policy (Forward Plan Reference FP1132) pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on the disregard of the War Pensions Policy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Council’s disregard of war pensions procedure when calculating housing benefit and council tax support was agreed by Cabinet and recommended to Full Council.

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on the disregard of the War Pensions Policy.

 

(1)        The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

The Council’s disregard of war pensions procedure when calculating housing benefit and council tax support was agreed by Cabinet and recommended to Full Council.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The purpose of the report was to document existing working practices to ensure that members of the armed forces who have been disabled during service or the widows, widowers or surviving civil partners of those who died in the service of their country should not be penalised by having their pensions or payments made in relation to their service, taken into account in the calculation of their housing benefit or council tax support entitlement.

 

The Council disregards in full war widows and war disablement pensions when calculating entitlement to housing benefit.

 

The Council Tax Support Scheme replaced council tax benefits from April 2013 and the Council’s scheme for working age recipients and pensioners allows for the full disregard of war widow and war disablement pensions.

 

The cost of these disregards was minimal due to the fact the council receives 75% subsidy towards these costs, with a cost of less than £2,500 last year.

 

An equalities impact assessment had been undertaken, no negative impacts had been identified but potentially positive impacts have been identified as set out the equalities implications.

29.

QUARTER 1 CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the capital expenditure and associated capital funding as at the end of Quarter 1 (June 2022).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   Cabinet noted the capital forecast outturn position as shown in Table 1.

 

(2)   Cabinet noted the forecast position as at 30 June 2022 for funding of the capital programme and reserve balances as reflected in Table 2.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the capital expenditure and associated capital funding as at the end of Quarter 1 (June 2022).

 

For the General Fund capital programme, two key variances had been identified for the year, these being Tewin Road Depot and the Crematorium. These adverse variances total £900k, and the reasons for these were set out in section 3.4 of the report. The Council will receive an additional £200k from Hertfordshire County Council in relation to the Household Waste site, bringing the net variance down to £700k.

 

Some re-phasing had been identified on the Affordable Homes Programme as set out in section 3.4 of the report.

 

Progress on capital schemes where no variance was currently forecast were set out in section 3.5 of the report.

 

A forecast of the resources available to fund the capital programme and variances of the current forecast against the available resources budgeted were set out in Section 4 of the report.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)   Cabinet noted the capital forecast outturn position as shown in Table 1.

 

(2)   Cabinet noted the forecast position as at 30 June 2022 for funding of the capital programme and reserve balances as reflected in Table 2.

30.

QUARTER 1 REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the forecast revenue outturn position as at 30 June 2022 for the financial year 2022-23 and outlines the main variances from the original budget for both the General Fund (GF) and Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)     Cabinet noted the revenue forecast outturn position as at Quarter 1 (30 June 2022).

 

(2)     Cabinet noted the position on debts set out in Section 5 of the report.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the forecast revenue outturn position as at 30 June 2022 for the financial year 2022-23 outlining the main variances from the original budget for both the General Fund (GF) and Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

 

There is was a forecast adverse variance on the General Fund net cost of services of £2.117M. A summary showing the General Fund position was contained in Appendix A1.

 

There were forecast variances for parking income and Campus West income, as these income streams were not at pre-pandemic levels, so a forecast had been made to utilise the Covid19 earmarked reserve.

 

The vaccine champions expenditure of around £480k was fully funded by grant income received last year, which was set aside in the grants and contributions reserve.

 

After additional reserve drawdowns of £0.736M (see Appendix A2) this leaves a net additional drawdown from the General Fund Reserve of £1.381M.

 

The forecast closing balance on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is £2.775M, which is a favourable movement of £0.069M from the Current Budget.

 

On the HRA, there is a forecast adverse variance of under £2.1M. The key variances are outlined in section 4.3.2, the largest of these being in relation to repairs and maintenance.

 

At the end of June 2022, corporate debts outstanding totalled £1.927M. This was a decrease of £0.164M on the May position of £2.091M. At the end of June the rolling debtor days totalled 37.49 days, which had continued to improve since the lifting of covid restrictions.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)   Cabinet noted the revenue forecast outturn position as at Quarter 1 (30 June 2022).

 

(2)   Cabinet noted the position on debts set out in Section 5 of the report.

31.

PERFORMANCE EXCEPTION REPORT – QUARTER 1 (2022-23) pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) summarising the strategic performance data on an exception basis and covers the period 1 April to 30 June 2022.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted the contents of the report and approved any proposed actions highlighted in the appendices.

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) summarising the strategic performance data on an exception basis covering the period 1 April to 30 June 2022.

 

In terms of the business plan, 62% of targets have either been completed or classified as green, which are on schedule and have no risks. This was very positive especially given the current challenges faced by the Local Government Sector as a whole.  There was one project reported as red which related to the delivery of the Local Plan. It was vitally important to limit the development on the green belt in order to preserve the unique heritage of the borough.

 

In terms of the performance indicators, nearly two thirds of the indicators were on target or exceeding target. It was noted that members were working closely with officers to address issues in some of the areas.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet noted the contents of the report and approved any proposed actions highlighted in the appendices.

32.

COUNCIL ACHIEVEMENTS LIST (APRIL TO JUNE 2022) pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Report of the Chief Executive summarising the council’s key achievements and service improvements for the first quarter of 2022-23.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted the report and contents of the Achievements List.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive summarising the council’s key achievements and service improvements for the first quarter of 2022-23.

 

The achievements included significant milestones for regeneration in Welwyn Garden City, with work beginning at Campus West car park and the opening of a new-look Anniversary Gardens; the highly efficient delivery of this year’s local elections; and memorable Platinum Jubilee celebrations across the borough. Working in partnership with the university and others the Council once again delivered an enhanced out-of-hours noise complaints service; with the NHS the Council helped deliver Covid vaccinations to 5-11 year olds at Queensway House; and with Sport England the Council delivered another very successful ‘This Girl Can’ series of events encouraging women and girls to participate in sport at all levels.

 

Members thanked officers for delivering the Council’s achievement and doing more for the community.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet noted the report and contents of the Achievements List.

 

(Note: Councillors T. Kingsbury and F. Thomson both declared an interest in this item).