Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE
Contact: Graham Seal
ITEM RELATING TO THE BUDGET AND POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR RECOMMENDATION TO THE COUNCIL
To consider the following item:-
Items 98 and 99 where considered together
Report of the Executive Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) providing an update on the budget proposals for recommendation to the Council.
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the proposed 2019/20 budget papers which were discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 8 January 2019. The report provided an update to those proposals for recommendation to Council. The budget papers approved at the 8 January 2019 Cabinet meeting had been presented to the Resources and Overview Scrutiny Committee (ROSC) on 14 January 2019 and the report outlined the feedback and/or recommendations to Cabinet arising from ROSC.
One of the comments from the ROSC meeting was related to resources available for tackling anti-social behaviour. It was noted that at the Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee (SOSC) meeting held on the 21 January 2019 on the draft Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy and Action Plan and sought approval to consult more widely with key stakeholders and residents before its implementation. It was agreed that the position on funding should be considered more widely once the anti-social behaviour strategy and action plan have been agreed by SOSC.
1. That the Cabinet considers the comments and recommendations made by Resources an Overview Scrutiny Committee on 14 January 2019.
2. That the Cabinet recommends the budget 2019/20 and associated papers to Council for approval.
To consider the comments of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 14 January 2019 on the budget proposals and medium term forecasts 2019/20 (circulated separately).
This item was dealt with item 98 above.
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on agreement of a business rate local relief scheme.
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the retail relief guidelines and business rate 2018 budget changes. The purpose of the report was to agree a business rate local retail relief scheme, following an announcement on this new form of relief in the 2018 budget and an update on the other business rate changes announced in the budget.
The following business rate changes were announced by the Chancellor in the October 2018 budget:
· Reduce rate bills by one third for retail properties with a rateable value below 51,000, for 2 years from April 2019.
· 100% rate relief for all public lavatories.
· Continue with the £1,500 business rate discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in 2019/20.
That Cabinet recommends to Council that Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s local retail relief scheme as shown in Appendix A be agreed.
That Cabinet notes the other business rate changes announced in the 2018 budget.
Joint report of the Corporate Directors (Housing and Communities) and (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the establishment of a wholly Council-owned housing company to help meet local housing need.
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), which recommended to Cabinet the establishment of a wholly Council-owned housing company to help meet local housing need. It was proposed that the company would be limited by shares with the Council being the sole shareholder. The Council is responsible for assessing and making plans to meet local housing needs. The report noted that currently more than 2000 households on the housing register waiting for social/affordable housing and just under 100 households in temporary accommodation.
It was identified that there was the potential for the Council to provide more homes through a new delivery vehicle. Findings from Savill’s commissioned research carried out showed that there are approximately 12000 households within the Borough who had very little chance of being able to afford a housing product at market price. The expert advice provided to the Council by Red Loft housing and regeneration consultancy was that the establishment of a local housing company or other trading vehicle would enable the Council to develop new homes for a variety of tenures to satisfy this identified demand.
The Council would be setting up a company under its general powers of competency as legislated in the Localism Act 2011.
A business plan would be devised and housing company accounts would be brought back to Cabinet for approval, subject to Cabinet approving the recommendations in this report.
1. That Cabinet Members agree to the establishment of a local housing company which will be wholly owned by the Council and limited by shares.
2. That Cabinet Members delegate authority to the Corporate Director, (Housing and Communities) and Corporate Director, (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, Executive Member, Housing and Communities and the Executive Member, Resources, to finalise all the necessary legal documentation including the Shareholder Agreement and Articles of Association as required to establish the housing company and governance arrangements.
3. That Cabinet approves the objectives of the company, to be incorporated into the business plan of the company, as being:
a) Provide good quality, well managed homes for residents in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield which people can afford to live in and which complement the Council’s existing and planned housing provision.
b) Support the growing local demand for a mix of housing tenures by providing intermediate, low cost home ownership or open market homes and letting sub-market and market rented homes;
c) Be a financially robust company, generating a surplus to be used for the purpose of providing more affordable housing and delivering financial returns to the shareholder;
d) Stimulate local housing regeneration and partnership working
4. That Cabinet appoints a shareholder representative group to ensure the exercise of the council’s rights as shareholder. Recommended membership of this group can be found in the detail of this report, at 3.28. Shareholder Group also to include Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) in its membership.
5. That Cabinet note that a further report will be brought to a subsequent ... view the full minutes text for item 101.