Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Monday, 20th July, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

Contact: A. Hendry (Democratic Services)  Tel: (01992) 564246 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

27.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast and Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.

 

The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.

 

By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.

 

You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.

 

Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.

 

 

28.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

 

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 1st June 2020 and 11th June 2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

The Minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 1st June and 11th June 2020 be taken as read and would be signed by the Leader as a correct record.

 

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The Minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 1st June and 11th June 2020 be taken as read and would be signed by the Leader as a correct record.

 

 

30.

Reports of Portfolio Holders

To receive oral reports from Portfolio Holders on current issues concerning their Portfolios, which are not covered elsewhere on this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no verbal reports made by Members of the Cabinet on current issues affecting their areas of responsibility.

 

 

31.

Public Questions and Requests to Address the Cabinet

To receive any questions submitted by members of the public and any requests to address the Cabinet.

 

(a)        Public Questions

 

To answer questions asked by members of the public after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within Part 4 of the Constitution (Council Rules, Rule Q3) on any matter in relation to which the Cabinet has powers or duties or which affects the District.

 

(b)       Requests to Address the Cabinet

 

Any member of the public or a representative of another organisation may address the Cabinet on any agenda item (except those dealt with in private session as exempt or confidential business) due to be considered at the meeting, in accordance with the provisions contained within Article 7 of the Constitution (The Executive, Paragraphs 27 and 28).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Public Questions

 

Ms S De Luca the clerk to North Weald Parish Council asked the following question on behalf of the Parish Council relating to the Financial Issues – Covid 19 report:

 

“It was our understanding that Housing had been removed from North Weald Airfield.

Could Cabinet advise as to why it has now appeared on the Agenda again especially as the Airfield Site has been designated within the submission version of the local plan as an employment allocation.  In particular the reference to Qualis’ involvement in North Weald development as a whole.  The report submitted is not clear and transparent.”

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Sustainability,  replied that in answer to her first point, yes this was the case, however in developing the employment opportunity land and the SANG the plans needed to be mindful of access issues between the developments the nature of the SANG and other spatial issues that once drafted would be shared by means of consultation. The housing mentioned is the Countryside proposal.

 

The answer to the second part of her question was that the issues that were being reviewed related to: the development of the employment land and the objective of creating high value local employment opportunities that would provide more opportunities to the existing North Weald Basset Community and the proposed Countryside development; and improvements needed to the airfield itself in terms of infrastructure and services so that it remains an operational airfield well into the future, i.e. the runway to last needs significant investment.

 

It should be noted that the report was setting the scene for detailed master plan and improvement work that would be subject of detailed review, consultation and discussion.

 

As a supplementary question Ms De Luca asked that in view of the response made to the question, were you able to confirm that there would be no housing built by any developer, either by EFDC or a private developer, on the allocated employment land at the airfield as per the Local Plan submission version.

 

The Portfolio Holder replied that as per the Local Plan submission version the answer was that there would be no building of houses on that land. However, it should also be noted that beyond this LDP the Cabinet would carefully consider any new proposal that arose.

 

 

 

 

32.

Overview and Scrutiny

To consider any matters of concern to the Cabinet arising from the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function and to identify any matters that the Cabinet would like the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to examine as part of its work programme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee reported that the following items of business had been considered at its meetings held on 22 June and 16 July 2020.

 

The meeting on 22 June was their first of the year and covered the Membership, Chairmanships, and Vice-Chairmanships for the three established Select Committees, now in their second year. Other business considered by the Committee included the Cabinet’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions; as well as the Overview & Scrutiny and Select Committee Work Programmes for 2020. It was agreed that the response and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic should be added to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work Programme as a standing item.

 

At the 16th July meeting the Committee received a presentation from the Epping Forest Youth Council on the activities that they had undertaken during the previous twelve months and intended to undertake in the next twelve months. They were currently undertaking a post Covid-19 survey of young people on how their health and wellbeing had been affected by the pandemic. The Leader of Council had requested that the Youth Council share with a future Cabinet meeting the results of their current survey.

 

The Committee then received a short presentation on the new People Strategy of the Council. The ambition of the new Strategy was to have the right people with the right skills who were highly motivated and high performing.

 

The Committee then considered the Customer Services Annual Report. The Committee raised a concern about the Council potentially providing services via digital means only and felt that Council Offices and telephone support should remain as an option for residents to use.

 

The Committee received two reports on the Council’s performance; the first covering the period January to March 2020 which was the last quarter of the 2019/20 municipal year, and the second covering the period April to June 2020 which was the first quarter of the 2020/21 municipal year.

 

The Waste Management Task & Finish Panel presented its final report to the Committee, which had been held over from the postponed meeting in March. The Committee welcomed the recommendation to not implement a third wheeled bin for all properties throughout the District and were keen to emphasise that any wide-ranging changes to the current service provision should be subject to extensive public consultation. The Committee agreed the recommendations of the Task & Finish Panel and requested that it reconvene later in the municipal year when more information became available following further Government waste strategy consultations and royal assent for the Environment Bill 2020.

 

The Cabinet’s programme of Key Decisions was reviewed but there were no specific issues identified on any of the items being considered.

 

 

33.

Financial Issues - Covid 19 pdf icon PDF 644 KB

(Finance and Economic Development) To consider the attached report (C-009-2020-21).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

(1)          The Cabinet agreed to support staff in managing their health and safety requirements at home by providing an allowance from the funding set aside in the Budget, of no more than £180 one off payment per employee;

 

(2)          The Cabinet gave their agreement to continue work on mitigation risk package by transferring some commercial rent risk to Qualis;

 

(3)          The Cabinet agreed the key principles and the approach to debt recovery together with the timetable;

 

(4)          The Cabinet agreed the Covid19 Response List;

 

(5)          The Cabinet agreed to the secondment of a Strategic Director to Qualis for a period of up to 2 years with a 1 year review to oversee the development of the commercial operations; and

 

(6)          The Cabinet agreed to receive regular updates on the Financial impact.

 

 

Minutes:

The Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder introduced the Financial Issues report on Covid 19. He noted that was a long and detailed report on the council’s response to Covid and he complimented the staff on their work and dedication to the residents.

 

Covid 19 had presented the Country and this Council with a massive and unexpected challenge.  The changes required to daily life to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable were unprecedented and were huge and potentially long lasting.   Even beyond the need to actively control the virus, the impact of this event would live on through the cost to the national finances, the impacts on the economy and employment and the acceleration of changes to the way in which people shop, work and live their lives.

 

In Epping Forest District, the immediate implications were already being felt in the form of increased unemployment numbers. The number of those registered as unemployed rose by 343% between January and May 2020 and now stands at 4,985, (6.1% of the workforce).  On top of this, a further 16,700 residents have been furloughed and there was a significant concern that many of these may add to the unemployment totals when furlough ends.

 

So far, the Council has responded incredibly to the immediate challenge. The vulnerable had been looked after, businesses had been supported and the council had worked closely with partners to maintain the safety of the community.  Through all this the council’s workforce had rallied to the challenge and ensured that services had been maintained, as far as rules allowed.  There was much to be proud of in the council’s response.

 

Financially, the impact on Epping Forest District Council (as with all councils) would be vast.  Over the past decade the Government has encouraged all councils to become more self-reliant through locally generated income streams.  Covid19 has hit these income streams hard and the impact would last for many months and potentially for years.

 

He emphasised that the Council did not have enough money to do everything that it would like to do or even sufficient finances to do everything it ought to do. Effort needed to be focused to doing those things that would give the most benefit to our district and to our residents.

 

The financial impacts on our council were huge, maybe up to £8million. He noted that the employees had almost entirely moved to a work from home approach, but this had its own impacts on health and safety. They would need to work properly and safely.  Therefore, one of the recommendations in this report was to allow employees the ability to spend some money to purchase things to allow them to work more effectively and sensibly at home.  We will encourage purchases from local suppliers if possible, so we kept that money within the district. We have budget provision to allow us to do this.

 

Areas where we had lost significant income was the car parks and the leisure centres. With  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Approach to Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation pdf icon PDF 453 KB

(Planning and Sustainability) To consider the attached report (C-013-2020-21).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

(1)  The Cabinet agreed the Approach to Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation for the purposes of formal consultation with Natural England and the Conservators;

 

(2)  The Cabinet agreed that any necessary and appropriate changes arising from that consultation and any data and targets arising from the finalisation of the current air quality modelling work would be incorporated into the Approach to Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation;

 

(3)  The Cabinet agreed that the adoption of the Approach to Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation was delegated to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Sustainability, submitted to the Local Plan Inspector examining the Council’s emerging Local Plan and be used to inform the Council’s updated Habitats Regulations Assessment for the emerging Local Plan; and

 

(4)  That upon adoption, the Approach to Managing the Effects of Air Pollution on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation would be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and permitted development rights proposals within the Epping Forest District Council administrative area.

 

Minutes:

The Planning and Sustainability Portfolio Holder introduced the report on managing the effects of air pollution on the Epping Forest District Special Area of Conservation. He noted that the Special Areas of Conservation were internationally important nature conservation sites within the UK. The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 provided the regulatory framework against which plans and projects, including the Council’s Local Plan and individual planning applications, needed to be assessed.  In addition, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), affords such sites the highest levels of protection in the hierarchy of sites designated to protect important features of the natural environment.

 

The legislation set out that where a land use plan, either alone or in combination, was likely to have a significant effect on an internationally important site, the plan-making authority must undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). This applied to Local Plans produced by local authorities and in addition to Neighbourhood Plans produced by local communities. Such plans set out a broad quantum of development growth. HRA work must therefore consider the overall impacts of such growth – in -combination with neighbouring authorities – and where there were any likely significant effects; adverse effects on the integrity of the site must be ruled out.

 

A significant proportion, and the most integrated part, of the SAC lies within the Epping Forest District Council administrative area. The remainder lies within the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Redbridge (the latter of which accommodates a very small proportion of the SAC). As such, EFDC, as a Competent Authority under the Habitats Regulations, was required to ensure that planning application decisions comply with those Regulations and did not result in adverse effects on the integrity of the Epping Forest SAC.

 

This report set out the proposed approach to managing and mitigating the effects of new development on the Epping Forest SAC in relation to air quality. 

 

Councillor Chris Pond noted that the strategy was a work in progress that seems to be rather aspirational, we should be working towards mitigation for better human health and bio-diversity.  The damaging effects of particulates on the SAC did not seem to be particularly highlighted in the report and it should be comprehensively dealt with. We need to shift development away from the SAC and the most popular parts of the district. Intensification of development on the Epping site would change Epping completely, which may be difficult to justify due to the closeness to the SAC. In his view, development should be shifted to somewhere in the north west of the district, a long way from the SAC and use this to encourage tourism to the forest. He feared that the Inspector and Natural England would find this insufficient.

 

Councillor Bedford responded that he agreed with some of Councillor Pond’s comments but that we were where we were with the Local Plan and had to see it through because developers were waiting to build. The locations had been carefully brought out through the plan; those locations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Implementation of the Local Plan: Update on progress pdf icon PDF 489 KB

(Planning and Sustainability) To consider the attached report (C-014-2020-21).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

The Cabinet noted the progress of Masterplans and Concept Frameworks, including the use of Planning Performance Agreements and the progress of other proposals at pre-application and application stage be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Planning and Sustainability Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the update on the progress of the implementation of the Local Plan.

 

It was noted that following the October 2018 Cabinet meeting which agreed the governance arrangements for the implementation of the Local Plan, the Implementation Team had made a commitment to provide members with regular updates on the progress of Masterplans and Concept Frameworks within Epping Forest District to ensure that members are kept fully up to date.

 

This report provided members with an update on the progress of Strategic Masterplans, Concept Frameworks and Planning Performance Agreements within the District.  Discussions with site promoters and developers have continued during the COVID-19 pandemic with meetings taking place virtually. Project programmes were being adjusted where necessary to account of the need for revised community engagement arrangements.

The Council was currently consulting on the Draft Green Infrastructure Strategy which focussed on the future use of existing, and the introduction of new open spaces in the District to form a network of multi-purpose spaces for both people and wildlife to thrive.  It would also make provision for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace to support the action identified in the Inspector’s advice of 2 August 2019 to mitigate the impacts of increased recreational pressure on the Special Area of Conservation. The closing date for responses was 16 July 2020. 

Following receipt of leading Counsel advice, the Council was continuing to work proactively to identify an interim strategy to address the backlog of planning applications held in abeyance following the advice from Natural England pending completion of the additional Habitats Regulations Assessment. 

 

Decision:

 

The Cabinet noted the progress of Masterplans and Concept Frameworks, including the use of Planning Performance Agreements and the progress of other proposals at pre-application and application stage be noted.

 

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision

To ensure that members were kept fully up to date on the progress of Masterplans and Concept Frameworks and other major proposals being promoted within the District.

 

Other Options for Action:

 

Not to update members on the progress on the above issues would be contrary to the commitment made by the Implementation Team as noted in the 18 October 2018 Cabinet Report.

 

 

36.

Adopting A 2-Part Register for Self-build and Custom Housebuilding pdf icon PDF 329 KB

(Housing and Community Services) To consider the attached report (C-012-2020-21).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

(1)        The Cabinet agreed to adopt a 2-part register;

 

(2)        The Cabinet agreed to adopt and implement local connection and financial solvency tests; and

 

(3)        The Cabinet agreed the adoption of the overarching policy.

 

Minutes:

The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder introduced the report on adopting a two-part register for self-build and custom housebuilding. It was noted that this report had been extensively discussed at the recent Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee.

 

The Council currently has a single Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register which was not divided into two parts.

 

The registration process in its current form counted all entries in the register as demand for Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (SBCH) in the District. A two part registration would be beneficial in terms of prioritising applicants with local connections to the area and establishing a more realistic assessment of local demand.

 

Access to Part 1 of the Register should be subject to a local connection test based on living or working in the District and a financial assessment of capability to purchase plots.

 

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding register came into effect through the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016, to promote the Government’s Right to Build Scheme supporting individuals and associations wishing to build their own homes.

 

The legislation created a duty on the Relevant Authorities, including District Councils, to keep a register and have regard to the register when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.  Furthermore, a duty to grant planning permission for enough suitable serviced plots of land to meet the demand for Self-build and Custom Housebuilding in the area. This level of demand was established by reference to the number of entries added to an authority’s register during each base period.

 

 

Decision:

 

(1)        The Cabinet agreed to adopt a two-part register;

 

(2)        The Cabinet agreed to adopt and implement local connection and financial solvency tests; and

 

(3)        The Cabinet agreed the adoption of the overarching policy.

 

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision:

 

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) required the Council to keep a register of individuals and associations who were seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in the District for self-build and custom housebuilding.

 

With the housing pressure and limited capacity to meet all housing needs, it was essential that the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register was effective, by adopting the eligibility criteria noted above and implementing a two-part register, it provided the necessary prioritisation to support local applicants and their housing need.

 

Other Options for Action:

 

To continue to use a single register means that the Council had a statutory requirement to provide permissioned serviced plots to all applicants on the register regardless of local connection. This option made it difficult to prioritise limited land supply and meet local need with multiple applications from applicants across various local authorities.

 

 

37.

Housing Rents Policy pdf icon PDF 347 KB

(Housing and Community Services) To consider the attached report (C-010-2020-21).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

The Cabinet agreed to the adoption and implementation of the updated Housing Rents Policy which set out Epping Forest District Council’s approach to the setting of rent and service charges ensuring compliance with current legislation, the requirements of the Regulator’s Rent Standard and recognised best practice. 

 

Minutes:

The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the Council’s Housing Rents Policy.

 

A Housing Rents Policy was required in order to outline how the Council would calculate, consult and charge rent and service charges for Housing Revenue Account (HRA) owned stock that the Council had responsibility to manage and maintain.

 

The previous Housing Rents Policy 2016-17 had been updated, resulting in a Housing Rents Policy 2020 which reflected the requirements of the Social Housing Regulator’s new Rent Standard which came into force on 1 April 2020.

 

Decision:

 

The Cabinet agreed to the adoption and implementation of the updated Housing Rents Policy which set out Epping Forest District Council’s approach to the setting of rent and service charges ensuring compliance with current legislation, the requirements of the Regulator’s Rent Standard and recognised best practice. 

 

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision:

 

There was a statutory requirement to have a Housing Rents Policy. The purpose of which ensures compliance with government legislation when setting rent and service charges. It also ensures that the HRA does not fall into a deficit position, helps the Council to plan for future investments, and protects tenants from excessive rent increases.

 

Other Options Available:

 

Not to have an updated Housing Rents Policy.

 

 

38.

Tenancy Policy pdf icon PDF 266 KB

(Housing and Community Services) To consider the attached report (C-011-2020-21).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

  1. The Cabinet agreed to extend the life of the current Tenancy Policy (which expires in July 2020) by a further 2 years to July 2022

 

  1. Having agreed the extension to the life of the Policy, Cabinet agreed to the recommended amendments set out below:

 

·         Discontinuation of two year fixed-term tenancies

 

·         Introduction of an obligation for tenants to declare any properties/land purchased during their tenancy.

 

 

Minutes:

The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the Council’s Tenancy Policy.

 

The meeting noted that under the Localism Act 2011 and the Regulatory Framework for Social Housing in England, Registered Providers must publish clear and accessible policies which outline their approach to tenancy management.

 

EFDC’s Tenancy Policy 2015 (v3) expires and required renewal in July 2020. Full amendments and renewal of the policy require statutory consultation which had not been possible at the current time. Agreement was therefore being sought to extend the life of the current policy by a further 2 years to allow for meaningful consideration and consultation of the policy and in order to bring issue dates in line with the Allocations Policy. This would enable the renewal of both policies, which were intrinsically linked, to be considered, consulted on and renewed together in July 2022.

 

Agreement was also being sought for several proposed changes to the policy, the main ones of which were as follows:

 

           Discontinuation of two year fixed-term tenancies

 

           Introduction of an obligation for tenants to declare any properties/land purchased during their tenancy

 

Other recommended amendments to the wording of the policy were detailed in the main body of the report.

 

 

Decision:

 

  1. The Cabinet agreed to extend the life of the current Tenancy Policy (which expires in July 2020) by a further 2 years to July 2022

 

  1. Having agreed the extension to the life of the Policy, Cabinet agreed to the recommended amendments set out below:

 

·         Discontinuation of two year fixed-term tenancies

 

·         Introduction of an obligation for tenants to declare any properties/land purchased during their tenancy.

 

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision:

 

There was a statutory requirement to have a Tenancy Policy. The purpose of the policy ensures compliance with the Regulatory Framework and provides clarity on the circumstances in which EFDC will grant each type of tenancy. Having the policy ensured we offer tenancies which make the best use of our housing stock, while meeting customers’ requirements.

 

Other Options Available:

 

Not to renew the current Tenancy Policy.

 

 

39.

Acceptance of Tenders - Contracts 690 and 790, Inspection, Maintenance and Improvements of Void Properties 2020-25. pdf icon PDF 307 KB

(Housing and Community Services) To consider the attached report (C-015-2020-21).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

(1)        The Cabinet agreed that, Gracelands CMS Ltd and Mackie Contracts Essex Ltd be awarded 1-year contracts renewable annually for up to a maximum of 4-further years, for the inspection, maintenance and improvement work to Council-owned void properties in the sum of £277,324.66 and £411,929.58 with an overall weighted price and quality score of 90.96% and 63.04% respectively; and

 

(2)        The Cabinet agreed that, the overall value of the works be capped to the allocated budgets included in the Capital Programme identified for void works on an annual basis; and

 

(3)        That, this contract be designated as a serial contract to facilitate the annual adjustment to the tendered rates in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) BCIS ALLCOS Resource Cost Index of All Construction: All Repair and Maintenance Work #7419.  

 

Minutes:

The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the acceptance of tender contracts 690 and 790.

 

The Cabinet noted that in order to undertake the inspection, maintenance and improvement work to Council-owned void properties during the financial year 2020-21 and over the following 4-year period, it was necessary to undertake a procurement exercise based on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) taking cost and quality into account to satisfy the requirements of the Council’s Procurement Rules. 

 

 

Decision:

 

(1)        The Cabinet agreed that, Gracelands CMS Ltd and Mackie Contracts Essex Ltd be awarded 1-year contracts renewable annually for up to a maximum of 4-further years, for the inspection, maintenance and improvement work to Council-owned void properties in the sum of £277,324.66 and £411,929.58 with an overall weighted price and quality score of 90.96% and 63.04% respectively; and

 

(2)        The Cabinet agreed that, the overall value of the works be capped to the allocated budgets included in the Capital Programme identified for void works on an annual basis; and

 

(3)        That, this contract be designated as a serial contract to facilitate the annual adjustment to the tendered rates in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) BCIS ALLCOS Resource Cost Index of All Construction: All Repair and Maintenance Work #7419.  

 

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision:

 

The existing framework agreements for the inspection, maintenance and improvement work to Council-owned void properties with the current contractors had reached the end of its term.

 

Qualis Management plan to undertake all the inspection, maintenance and improvement work to Council-owned void properties effective from September 2020 as set out in the Qualis Management Business Plan 2020-26. In order to ensure continuity of service provision until the Qualis Management void team have the resources in place to undertake all the work a new framework contract for the inspection, maintenance and improvements of Council-owned void properties was to be procured for a five-year period based on annual renewals. 

 

The new framework contract would be let with a high degree of flexibility incorporated in the contract conditions to enable Qualis Management to vary, suspend or terminate the contract for Operational reasons without cost or penalty to the Council.  Having a flexible framework contract in place enables Qualis Management to utilise the external contractors’ resources if required during busy void periods.   

 

Other Options for Action:

 

The main alternative options considered are:

 

(1)        To re-tender the contract on an annual basis. However, this would be time consuming and inefficient. Re-tendering would not guarantee more competitive tenders.

 

(2)        To re-tender the works based on price alone. However, this would not necessarily return a more competitive tender and would not identify or quantify a quality commitment from the lowest tenderer. 

 

(3)        To seek quotations on an individual basis for every void property on an ad-hoc basis.  However, this was very time consuming and was not a cost-effective exercise given the volume of ad-hoc void properties carried out per annum, this would breach the Council’s Procurement Rules C2 (9b) with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Business and Planning Bill, Grant of Pavement Licences pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To consider the attached report (C-016-2020/21).

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

 

(1)        That the Cabinet noted that the Business and Planning Bill was at Committee Stage in the House of Lords and was likely to get Royal Assent this month and that the Council should have a process in place to determine licensing applications made under the Act;

 

(2)   That in order to achieve the tight timelines for determination of Licence Applications under the new Act, the Cabinet agreed:

 

(a)  To amend the Scheme of Delegation and add decision making authority to the role of Director of Contract and Technical Service / Director of Commercial and Regulatory Services in respect of applications that do not receive any objections and those that do receive objections the Portfolio Holder for Commercial and Regulatory Services or the Leader of the Council be consulted as well as the Chair or Vice Chair of the Licensing Committee before a decision can be made;

 

(b)  That Consultations on licence applications be carried out by electronic and digital means only;

 

(c)   That the relevant ward members would be consulted on any license applications related to their ward;

 

(d)  That Licence fee will be as set out in Resource Implication section of the report;

 

(e)  That the licence period shall be the maximum permissible under the Act currently likely to be up to September 2021; and

 

(f)    That Licensing Conditions as attached to the report were adopted.

 

(3)        That the Chairman of Council agreed to waive the call-in for this decision on the grounds that the implementation of these recommendations would need to be put into immediate practice as soon as the Act received its Royal assent.

 

 

Minutes:

The Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder introduced the late supplementary report on the Business and Planning Bill, grant of pavement licences.

 

It was noted that because the implementation of these recommendations would need to be put into immediate practice as soon as the Act received Royal Assent, that the Chairman of Council was asked and agreed, to waive the call-in period for this decision.

 

It was noted that Parliament was considering fast-track process for the Business and Planning Bill that was currently at second reading stage in the House of Lords. The reason for this was to ensure the Bill achieved Royal Assent before Parliaments summer recess.

 

The Bill was intended to assist businesses in recovery from impacts of Covid-19. Measures include ability for bars, pubs and restaurants that had on site alcohol licences to be able to sell off site and allow these premises the flexibility to seek licences for outdoor seating.

 

Other measures include road hauliers and other passenger and public service vehicles that were dependent on heavy vehicles testing get certificates of exemptions for public services and goods from the Driver Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA). The Bill introduced a new route for developers to seek to amend planning restrictions on construction site working hours to temporarily allow extended working hours and extend expiration of certain planning permissions and listed building consents.

 

This report sought approval from Cabinet for necessary consents, approvals, pavement licensing conditions, delegated authority and processes for dealing with objections for applications made under the Act for placing tables and chairs outdoors.

 

The Licensing Committee had been consulted on the contents of the report and were in agreement.

 

Councillor Morgan, the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, agreed that this was the way forward to get businesses going again.

 

Councillor Chris Pond suggested that it should be put into the recommendations that all relevant ward members should also be consulted. This was agreed by the Cabinet.

 

He also wanted to know about the protection of established markets, and how this would affect them. And how would notification would be given. Councillor Patel said that it would be advertised on our website, and there would also be public notice outside the premises for seven days.  As for the protection of existing markets, that was in one of the licensing conditions that the licenced area has to align with existing local business arrangements including regular markets.

 

Councillor Murray was pleased with the report but offered up a word of warning that by using the pavements it may discourage people from using the high street, with people smoking and drinking on the pavements. Councillor Patel said that smokers would have to have a separate designated area to be identified on the application. Councillor Holly Whitbread noted these comments from a community safety angle and would take them on board.

 

 

Decision:

 

(1)        That the Cabinet noted that the Business and Planning Bill was at Committee Stage in the House of Lords and was likely to get Royal Assent this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs 6 and 24 of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.

 

In accordance with Operational Standing Order 6 (non-executive bodies), any item raised by a non-member shall require the support of a member of the Committee concerned and the Chairman of that Committee.  Two weeks' notice of non-urgent items is required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration by the Cabinet.

 

 

42.

Exclusion of Public and Press

Exclusion

To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):

 

Agenda Item No

Subject

Exempt Information Paragraph Number

Nil

Nil

Nil

 

The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

 

Background Papers

Article 17 of the Constitution (Access to Information) define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:

 

(a)        disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based;  and

 

(b)        have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.

 

The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted that there was no business for consideration which would necessitate the exclusion of the public and press from the virtual meeting.