Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday 10th January 2023 5.00 pm

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

Contact: Alison Marston 

Media

Items
No. Item

69.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 6 December and 16 December 2022 (special) (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 6 December and 16 December 2022 were approved as correct records and noted by the Chairman.

70.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 115 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 meeting on 6 December 2022 and for decisions taken by Cabinet Members exercising their individual delegated powers between 28 November 2022 to 23 December 2022 in the report of the Assistant Director (Legal and Governance) were noted.

71.

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.

72.

ITEMS REQUIRING KEY DECISION

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

72a

Budget Proposals and Medium Term Financial Forecasts 2023/24 (Forward Plan Reference FP1143) pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on the Budget Proposals and Medium Term Financial Forecasts 2023/4.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)       Cabinet noted the recommendations from Cabinet, and the Statement of the Chief Financial Officer on the robustness of budgets and adequacy of reserves (appendix N)

 

(2)       Cabinet also noted that the following amounts for the year 2023/24 have been set in accordance with regulations made under Sections 31A and 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

 

100% TAXBASE

99.40% TAXBASE

 

 

 

Welwyn Garden City

18,054.8

17,946.5

Hatfield

12,463.3

12,388.5

Welwyn

4,796.5

4,767.7

Ayot St Lawrence

68.6

68.2

Ayot St Peter

110.8

110.1

North Mymms

4,458.1

4,431.4

Essendon

438.7

436.1

Northaw & Cuffley

3,121.4

3,102.7

Woolmer Green

619.6

615.9

 

 

 

Total

44,131.8

43,867.1

 

(3)       Cabinet approved the following budget proposals and note that any comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be returned to Special Cabinet on 24 January 2023 for consideration, before final recommendations are made to Council:

 

(4)       General Fund

 

(4.1)    The proposed General Fund Budget as summarised in Appendix A, and detailed in appendix B.

 

(4.2)    The inclusion of the savings and growth proposals into the budget as detailed in appendices C and D.

 

(4.3)    The fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix E.

 

(4.4)    The increase in the Council’s Band D Tax of £6.66 (2.97%), taking the average Band D Tax to £230.76 for 2023/24.

 

(4.5)    That the Special Expenses Scheme as set out in section 3.5 continue into 2023/24, and the Special Expenses detailed in Appendix M be approved for inclusion in the Council Tax for 2023/24.

 

(5)       Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

 

(5.1)    That dwelling rents are increased by 7% in accordance with Government legislation, resulting in an average rent of £121.89 per week.

 

(5.2)    To continue the policy of charging formula rent when vacant properties are re-let.

 

(5.3)    The Housing Revenue Account budget as shown in appendix F.

 

(5.4)    The fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix H.

 

(5.5)    The Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to maintain HRA working balances to a minimum of 5% of rental income.

 

(6)       Capital Programme

 

(6.1)    The Capital Programme for 2023/24 to 2027/28 as set out in Appendix I.

 

(6.2)    The Capital Financing for the Capital Programme, for 2023/24 to 2027/28 as set out in Appendix J, and note the forecast capital balances in Appendix K.

 

(7)       Medium Term Financial Strategy

 

(7.1)    The Medium-Term Financial Strategy and Financial Governance Framework, including all annexes and prudential indicators for 2023/24 – 2026/27 as set out in appendix L.

Minutes:

Report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on the Budget Proposals and Medium Term Financial Forecasts 2023/24.

 

(1)          The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)       Cabinet noted the recommendations from Cabinet, and the Statement of the Chief Financial Officer on the robustness of budgets and adequacy of reserves (appendix N)

 

 (2)      Cabinet also noted that the following amounts for the year 2023/24 have been set in accordance with regulations made under Sections 31A and 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

 

100% TAXBASE

99.40% TAXBASE

 

 

 

Welwyn Garden City

18,054.8

17,946.5

Hatfield

12,463.3

12,388.5

Welwyn

4,796.5

4,767.7

Ayot St Lawrence

68.6

68.2

Ayot St Peter

110.8

110.1

North Mymms

4,458.1

4,431.4

Essendon

438.7

436.1

Northaw & Cuffley

3,121.4

3,102.7

Woolmer Green

619.6

615.9

 

 

 

Total

44,131.8

43,867.1

 

 

(3)       Cabinet approved the following budget proposals and note that any comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be returned to Special Cabinet on 24 January 2023 for consideration, before final recommendations are made to Council:

 

(4)       General Fund

 

(4.1)    The proposed General Fund Budget as summarised in Appendix A, and detailed in appendix B.

 

(4.2)    The inclusion of the savings and growth proposals into the budget as detailed in appendices C and D.

 

(4.3)    The fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix E.

 

(4.4)    The increase in the Council’s Band D Tax of £6.66 (2.97%), taking the average Band D Tax to £230.76 for 2023/24.

 

(4.5)       That the Special Expenses Scheme as set out in section 3.5 continue into 2023/24, and the Special Expenses detailed in Appendix M be approved for inclusion in the Council Tax for 2023/24.

 

(5)          Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

 

(5.1)       That dwelling rents are increased by 7% in accordance with Government legislation, resulting in an average rent of £121.89 per week.

 

(5.2)       To continue the policy of charging formula rent when vacant properties are re-let.

 

(5.3)       The Housing Revenue Account budget as shown in appendix F.

 

(5.4)       The fees and charges which have been incorporated into the budget proposals, as set out in appendix H.

 

(5.5)       The Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to maintain HRA working balances to a minimum of 5% of rental income.

 

(6)          Capital Programme

 

(6.1)       The Capital Programme for 2023/24 to 2027/28 as set out in Appendix I.

 

(6.2)       The Capital Financing for the Capital Programme, for 2023/24 to 2027/28 as set out in Appendix J, and note the forecast capital balances in Appendix K.

 

(7)          Medium Term Financial Strategy

 

(7.1)       The Medium-Term Financial Strategy and Financial Governance Framework, including all annexes and prudential indicators for 2023/24 – 2026/27 as set out in appendix L.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

The report will go on for consideration by Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) on 17 January 2023.  Recommendations made by OSC and any changes will be presented to Special Cabinet on 24 January 2023, in order to recommend the budget proposals to Council at its meeting on 1 February 2023.

 

It was noted that this year  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72a

72b

Textile Consortium (Forward Plan Reference FP1156) pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Report of the Service Director (Resident and Neighbourhoods) on the Award of Contract for Textile Services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to award the contract for Textile Services to East London Textiles Limited for a three- year period with a possible extension of up to two years, commencing on 1 April 2023.

Minutes:

Report of the Service Director (Resident and Neighbourhoods) on the Award of Contract for Textile Services.

 

(1)          The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed to award the contract for Textile Services to East London Textiles Limited for a three- year period with a possible extension of up to two years, commencing on 1 April 2023.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council is the lead authority for the sale of textiles from councils within the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP). The council had recently undertaken a procurement exercise for a new three-year contract (with the option of up to two years’ extension) for the provision and servicing of textile banks across the County.

 

The Contractor will pay each authority for each tonne of textiles collected minus a payment to empty each bank, resulting in net income paid to each authority.

 

The full procurement results were set out in the Part 2 report.

 

(Note: Cabinet considered and agreed both the Part 1 and Part 2 reports for this item, so a confidential discussion in Part 2 was not needed).

73.

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 10, 11 and 12  on the grounds that it involves 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.

Additional documents:

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 10 and 11 (Minutes 74 and 75 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.

74.

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 were considered:-

74a

Shared Anti-Fraud Service (Forward Plan Reference FP1155)

Exempt report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) provides an overview of the council’s current approach to anti-fraud, and proposals around joining the Shared Anti-Fraud Service.

Decision:

Cabinet approved the Council entering into the Shared Anti-fraud Service partnership managed by Hertfordshire County Council from 1 April 2023.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) provides an overview of the council’s current approach to anti-fraud, and proposals around joining the Shared Anti-Fraud Service.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet approved the Council entering into the Shared Anti-fraud Service partnership managed by Hertfordshire County Council from 1 April 2023.

 

(2)        Reasons for the Decision

 

With the upcoming end of the Sopra Steria contract, it is an opportune time to look at a more holistic and proactive approach to fraud investigation, and it is proposed that the council joins the shared anti-fraud service which will bring the benefits listed in section 3.14 of the report.

75.

WRITE OFFS OVER £10,000.00

Exempt report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on write offs over £10,000.00.

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to one non-domestic rates write offs.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Executive Director (Finance and Transformation) on write offs over £10,000.00.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed to one non-domestic rates write offs.