Agenda and decisions

Cabinet
Monday, 6th January, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

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:

3.

Declarations of Interest

T tto declare interests in any item on this agenda.

Additional documents:

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 31 October and 18 November 2019.

 

 

Additional documents:

5.

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:

6.

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:

7.

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:

8.

Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee - 14 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

(Business Support Services Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached minutes from the meeting of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee, held on 14 November 2019, and any recommendations therein.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet noted and agreed the minutes of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee meeting of 14 November 2019.

 

9.

Climate Emergency

At the November 2019 Council meeting it was advised that a Cabinet member would be appointed to lead on climate change.

 

 

DECISION:

 

To agree a Cabinet member to act as the lead on the Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed to appoint Councillors N Bedford as the primary member for Climate Emergency procedure and Councillor J Philip to act in conjunction as joint members on the Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.

 

 

10.

Epping Forest Holocaust Memorial pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To consider the attached report (C-024-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed to grant a long lease of 125 years at a peppercorn rent for the demised area of 14.1m x 6m = 84.6m2 (911 sq.ft.) at Traps Hill, Loughton, to the Epping Forest Holocaust Educational Trust for the purpose of the erection of a Holocaust Memorial for the district.

 

11.

Acceptance of Tender - Contract 390 - Planned Gas and Renewable Energy Heating Installations and Associate Electrical Upgrade Work 2019-24 pdf icon PDF 341 KB

To consider the attached report (C-025-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That, Gracelands Complete Maintenance Services Ltd be awarded the 1-year contract renewable annually for up to a maximum of 4-further years, for the planned installation of gas and renewable energy heating and associated electrical upgrade work to Council-owned properties in the sum of £103,377.16 with an overall weighted price and quality score of 97.1%;

 

(2)        That Complete Building Services Herts Ltd be selected as the Council’s Reserve Tenderer and that, should it not be possible to enter into contract with  Gracelands Complete Maintenance Services Ltd for some reason, Complete Building Services Herts Ltd be awarded the 1-year contract renewable annually for up to a maximum of 4-further years, for the planned installation of gas and renewable energy heating and associated electrical upgrade work to Council-owned properties, being the second most economically advantageous tender received, with a Tender Sum of £187,311.93 with an overall weighted price and quality score of 64.4%;

 

(3)        That, the overall value of the works be capped to the allocated budgets included in the Capital Programme identified for Gas and Electrical Heating replacements on an annual basis; and

 

(4)        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.  

 

12.

Calendar of Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

To consider the attached report (C-023-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the draft Calendar of Council Meetings for 2020/21 be recommended to the Council for adoption.

 

 

13.

Implementation of the Local Plan: Update on Progress pdf icon PDF 349 KB

To consider the attached report (C-027-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Cabinet noted the steps being taken to determine planning applications currently held in abeyance.

 

14.

St John's Road Redevelopment - Update pdf icon PDF 434 KB

To consider the attached report (C-026-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   The Cabinet noted the outline business cases for the proposed development of the following sites through Qualis Commercial:

 

            I.        St John’s Road

          II.        Epping Sports Centre – Hemnell Street

         III.        Bakers Lane Car Park

        IV.        Cottis Lane Car Park

          V.        Civic Offices – Conder Building

        VI.        Roundhills Site

 

(2)  The Cabinet noted that the transfer of these sites would be proposed on the understanding that the full business cases (to be presented at March Cabinet) achieved a minimum value to EFDC of 6% return on investment (in the form of land and loans) per annum from a mix of rental dividend and other financial returns and Qualis to provide a standard capital development return that as a minimum was 12%.

 

(3)    The Cabinet noted that if a full business case failed to prove operationally and financially viable (as set-out in recommendation 2), that land ownership would be transferred back to the Council at the value it was originally transferred, with any fruitless or transactional costs falling to Qualis.

 

(4)  The Cabinet noted the work undertaken by White Young Green to produce a development and design brief for the St John’s site.

 

(5)  That Cabinet approved a £500k working capital loan to Qualis Group for the next stages of work to be undertaken.

 

 

15.

Finance Strategy Decisions pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To consider the attached report (C-028-2019-20).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet noted:

 

1.    That the Financial Strategy of the Authority had been further developed and consisted of four linked papers. The papers and figures were subject to final review because of Government announcements and final due diligence.

2.    That to allow for this level of final change before presentation of the Financial Strategy to the Full Council in February adjustments with a cumulative net impact of £500,000 can be made on the direction of the Leader in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Section 151 Officer and reported back to the Cabinet.

3.    That adjustments to the papers with a value more than £500,000 were brought back to the Cabinet.

 

Paper A, Medium Term Financial Strategy:

 

1.    The Cabinet approved the approach set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy, particularly in respect of inflation of cost, charges and fees and the aim to maintain the financial strength of the Authority as evidenced by reserve balances.

2.    The Cabinet agreed to support the increase in the importance of the income from Qualis in respect of the medium term financial strategy and the budget.

 

Paper B, Budget 2020/21:

 

1.    Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed the approach to cost and income inflation at 3.0%, noting that rents would rise per the national formula at 2.7% and car parking income would not rise at all pending the outcome of the review.

2.    The Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed the list of developments for which funding would be released on implementation.

3.    The Cabinet approved the general and HRA capital spend of £26,171,528 in total.

4.    The Cabinet approved the loans to Qualis which totalled up to £160m in 2020/21 as set out in the report.

5.    The Cabinet approved the 2020/21 budget in outline and confirmed that the overall funding adjustments for District Development Fund and savings and contingency were as set out, i.e. a net draw from DDF of £1,774,906 (£2m forecast last year), £500,000 of savings, the formation of a contingency fund assumed spent of £1,095,540.

 

Paper C, Prudential Indicators:

 

1.    The Cabinet noted the intent of keeping the financial strength of the Authority at current levels.

2.    The Cabinet noted the impact of taking loans and onward granting loans to Qualis with a margin of profit for the Authority.

3.    The Cabinet noted the general risk price approach to the loans granted to Qualis.

4.    The Cabinet noted that the full set of prudential indicators along with the treasury strategy would be taken to the Full Council in February.

 

Paper D, Council Tax Increase:

 

1.    The Cabinet approved the council tax increase of 1.5% (half the predicted inflation rate) for 2020/21.

2.    The Cabinet noted that in 2021/22 the options to increase or reduce council tax rates exists (though the Government expectation on what should be raised from council tax should be noted).

 

16.

Purchase of Loughton Centric Parade pdf icon PDF 432 KB

To consider the attached report (C-029-2019-20).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

1.    The Cabinet noted that in accordance with the agreed Asset Strategy and the delegations from Cabinet that the Authority had acquired 195-200 and 222-226 High Road Loughton, a mixture of retail and residential units. The total costs of the purchase was £23,820,950; consisting of the purchase price of £18,645,000, Stamp Duty of £921,750, legal and professional fees of £340,805 and VAT of £3,913,950. (It should be noted that these figures are subject to alteration as the Authority has elected to add this property to its HMRC approved VAT scheme and that other minor changes in Stamp Duty and fees may occur, all to the financial benefit of the Authority).

 

 

2.    The Cabinet noted that Councillors S Stavrou, H Whitbread and A Patel in discussion with the Leader and the assistance of the Estate Team and Section 151 Officer, formally considered and unanimously agreed the purchase and signed the decision sheet accordingly.

 

2.    The Cabinet noted that the information provided to the decision makers showed a gross annual revenue yield of £1,425,602, or 5.98% against the guiding benchmark of 6.00%.

 

3.    The Cabinet noted that the information provided to decision makers showed a net (after £390,780 of building depreciation costs as per the historic approach in EFDC, and insurance and £309,000 of financing costs including the cost of lost interest on current cash surpluses), annual revenue yield of £717,823 or 3.01% against the guiding benchmark of 3%.

 

4.    The Cabinet noted that the information provided to the decision makers showed an analysis of key risks and sensitivities that could be appropriately managed.

 

5.    The Cabinet noted that the information provided to the decision makers showed that future capital growth was a possibility with additional expansion and improvement to the flat units, (this development was not planned at this stage).

 

6.    The Cabinet noted that the Authority was awaiting confirmation of the VAT status of the project and a final statement of fees and charges for the solicitors. All the expected movements in costs were marginal and would work in the Authority’s favour.

 

 

 

17.

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:

18.

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

19

People’s Strategy – Senior Management

3&4

 

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:

Decision:

That, in accordance with Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below as they would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of the Act indicated, and the exemption was considered to outweigh the potential public interest in disclosing the information:

 

Agenda Item

Subject

Paragraph Number

 

19

 

People’s Strategy – Senior Management    

 

 

3&4

 

19.

Peoples Strategy - Senior Management

To consider the attached report (C-030-2019-20).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

 (1)           The Cabinet reviewed and approved the senior management structure proposed by The Head of Paid Service.

(2)           The Cabinet noted that the salary points had been arrived at by independent advice regarding the position of salary scales in relation to other neighbouring authorities in Essex and London.

 

(3)       The Cabinet agreed the salary up-lift for senior roles (noting the proposal was within existing establishment). This included an element of performance payment against agreed objectives for the CEO role, with the Leader and Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and an Independent Facilitator.A percentage payment on performance will be made on the uplifted part of the salary at 20%.  Therefore, on an uplift of £25,000 - 20% performance payment will be £5,000.

(4)       The Cabinet noted the timetable for Strategic Director and Chief Operating Officer permanent appointments, firstly through the Member Appointments Panel as defined within the Scheme of Delegation

(5)       The Cabinet agreed that the decision over which an external recruitment agency be awarded the tender to source suitable candidates be delegated to the Leader of the Council (as outlined in Appendix 4 of the report for proposed recruitment timeline).