Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 17th February, 2015 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Council Secretary: Simon Hill  Tel: 01992 564249 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

80.

Webcasting Introduction

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

 

2.         The Chief Executive will read the following announcement:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).

 

If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Governance and Performance Management reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

81.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2014.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 16 December 2014 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

82.

Declarations of Interest

(Chief Executive) To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Dispensations

 

The Council noted that the Monitoring Officer had granted dispensations to the following “dual hatted” District Councillors (who were also Parish or Town Councillors) to enable them to take part and vote on agenda item 14 (Report of the Cabinet – Council Budget 2015/16) and in particular the Local Support Grant to Parish and Town Councils: H Brady , W Breare-Hall, R Gadsby, L Girling, P Gode, A Grigg, H Kane, J Knapman, J Lea, A Lion, G Mohindra, R Morgan, S Murray, J Phillip, C Pond, B Sandler, G Shiell, D Stallan, S Stavrou, B Surtees, T Thomas, L Wagland, S Watson, S Weston, E Webster, J M Whitehouse, D Wixley.

83.

Announcements

(a)            Apologies for Absence

 

(b)            Announcements

 

To consider any announcements by:

 

(i)         the Chairman of the Council;

 

(ii)        the Leader of the Council; and

 

(iii)       any other Cabinet Member.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Announcements by the Chairman of the Council

 

(i)            Events

 

The Chairman reported on some of the events he had attended since the last meeting of the Council.The Council noted that the Chairman had been to many events around the District including a visit to Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) Annual Christmas Lunch in Theydon Bois, the Children’s Christmas Party at Norway House, to observe at the CAB Offices in Loughton, the Chairman’s Civic Carol Service and the Annual Menorah Lighting in Chigwell. The Chairman wished everyone a happy New Year and advised that he had received a letter of thanks from Crisis at Christmas Charity for the donated T-Shirts he delivered before Christmas.

 

(ii)           Floral Display

 

The Chairman advised that he intended the flowers from tonight’s meeting to be sent to St Clare’s Hospice, Hastingwood.

 

(b)          Announcements by the Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holders

 

There were no announcements under this heading.

 

(c)          Safeguarding Training

 

The Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport, Councillor Waller asked all members to ensure that they had completed the Safeguarding training and that he would be writing to the members that had not attended to encourage them.

84.

Public Questions (If Any)

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained in paragraph 11.3 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)          to the Leader of the Council;

 

(b)          to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee; or

 

(c)         to any Portfolio Holder.

 

Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there were no public questions to be considered at this meeting.

85.

Questions By Members Under Notice

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained in paragraph 12.3 of the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)          to the Chairman of the Council;

 

(b)          to the Leader of the Council;

 

(c)          to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee or

 

(d)          to any Member of the Cabinet;.

 

Council Procedure rule 12.4 provides that answers to questions under notice may take the form of:

 

(a)     direct oral answer;

(b)     where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication; or

(c)     where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner.

 

Answers to questions falling within (a) and (b) above will be made available to the member asking the question one hour before the meeting. Answers to questions falling within (c) above will be circulated to all councillors.

 

Question to Councillor G Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener, Transport by Councillor J H Whitehouse.

 

‘How many residents' and business parking bays exist in each zone in Epping and how many residents' and business parking permits have been issued for each zone?’

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Parking Permits in Epping

 

By Councillor J H Whitehouse to Councillor G Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener, Transport

 

‘How many residents' and business parking bays exist in each zone in Epping and how many residents' and business parking permits have been issued for each zone?’

 

Response by Councillor G Waller, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener, Transport

 

In Epping, the number of parking bays for each zone is as follows:

 

Zone A

65

Zone B

2

Zone C

26

Zone E

0

 

I should explain not only that the length of each bay varies, so that some may accommodate one car whereas others can take several, but also that, as they are not divided into actual parking spaces, the number of vehicles that can be parked in each one may vary, depending for instance on the length of each car.

 

At present I am unable to give separate figures for residents' and business parking bays.

 

A total of 272 parking permits have been issued in the 4 parking zones, and their breakdown is as follows:

 

Zone A

146

Zone B

9

Zone C

97

Zone E

20

 

Of these, the total number of business permits issued for Epping is 33, but as many as a third of these may currently be inactive for one reason or another. I should add that where no bays are provided, there is likely to be provision for vehicles to be parked at the kerb.

 

Additional question by Councillor J H Whitehouse

 

‘Is there a ratio for permits to parking spaces, at which point no further permits are issued because a resident who has a permit, had received a penalty notice twice owing to a lack of parking spaces available?’

 

Response by Councillor Waller

 

Councillor Waller advised that he was not aware of such a ratio and that he was sorry to hear about the residents parking problems. He would look into the circumstances and if there were particular problems in a zone, it would be addressed.

86.

Reports from the Leader and Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 21 KB

To receive reports from the Leader and members of the Cabinet on matters falling within their area of responsibility:

 

(a)          Report of the Leader;

 

(b)          Report of the Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder;

 

(c)          Report of the Environment Portfolio Holder;

 

(d)          Report of the Finance Portfolio Holder;

 

(e)          Report of the Governance and Development Management;

 

(f)           Report of the Housing Portfolio Holder;

 

(g)          Report of the Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder;

 

(h)          Report of the Planning Policy Portfolio Holder;

 

(i)            Report of the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder; and

 

(j)            Report of the Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received written reports from members of the Cabinet.

 

The Chairman invited the Leader to provide an oral report and other members of the Cabinet to give an oral update.

 

(a)          The Leader of the Council

 

The Leader advised the Council that he had attended a number of meetings in relation to the duty to  cooperate including the Sustainable Development Board which was mentioned in the Planning Policy Portfolio Holder’s report. He also highlighted an emerging issue from the Essex Leaders meetings that the Council would need to debate in the months ahead, which was the consideration of the feasibility paper for an Essex devolution proposal. He advised that this would not be a move towards a Unitary Essex but a bid to Central Government to devolve powers and resources to a new combined authority in Essex. This could provide a greater control and focus to commonly agreed priorities across the County that currently the District Council may not be involved in. Considerations about what arrangements would be required to support this from both Essex and Central Government were required and he would advise members when he had further information.

 

(b)          Environment

 

Councillor Breare-Hall advised that he had several updates to his report which included winning the ‘Love Essex’ anti-litter campaign, Keep Britain Tidy Diamond Jubilee Award, the removal of the option to apply for Rate Relief under the extended arrangements for flood damage experienced between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014, with any applications now being dealt with through the Repair and Renew grant and further details to be made available in the Council Bulletin. Finally the unauthorised encampment on the Epping Forest College land had moved onto Highways Agency land near the M11, where they had been visited by Environmental Health Officers to prevent flying tipping.

 

 

(c)          Governance and Development Management

 

Councillor Philip advised the Council that the funding for ‘Maximising Registration’ which provided ‘House Notification Letters’ for the Individual Elector Registration (IER) had added over 2,200 names to the register, removed over 1,700 and amended 662. Councillor Philip would also be raising the rainbow Flag outside the Civic Offices for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History month on Wednesday 18 February 2015.

87.

Questions by Members Without Notice

Council Procedure Rule 12.6 provides for questions by any member of the Council to the Leader or any Portfolio Holder, without notice on:

 

(i)   reports under item 7 above; or

(ii)  any other matter of a non operational character in relation to the powers and  duties of the Council or which affects all or part of the District or some or all of  its inhabitants.

 

Council Procedure Rule 12.7 provides that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:

 

(a)    direct oral answer from the Leader or, at the request of the Leader, from another member of the Cabinet;

(b)    where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication;

(c)    where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner; or

(d)    where the question relates to an operational matter, the Leader or a member of the Cabinet will request that a response be given direct to the questioner by the relevant Chief Officer.

 

In accordance with the Council Procedure Rule 12.8, a time limit of thirty minutes is set for questions. Any question not dealt with within the time available will receive a written reply. The Chairman may extend this period by up to a further 10 minutes at his discretion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Litter at Oldshire Lane, Waltham Abbey

 

Councillor Butler congratulated the Environment Portfolio Holder on the new waste contract and advised the Portfolio Holder about Oldshire Lane, Waltham Abbey, where a litter problem had occurred owing to drivers using this area to park and deposit rubbish on to the kerbside.

 

Councillor Breare-Hall advised that he was not aware of the problem at Oldshire Lane and he would investigate the problem.

 

(b)        Countrycare

 

Councillor Wixley wanted to congratulate and thank Countrycare and the Volunteers for the work they provide around the District, in particular the hedgerows and trees that were planted in Loughton recently and would like a note of appreciation recorded.

 

Councillor Waller agreed that Countrycare provide a welcomed service and noted Councillor Wixley’s sentiments. 

 

(c)        Electoral Registration Figures

 

Councillor Neville asked the Portfolio Holder for Governance and Performance Management whether he could advise on a comparison between how many people were registered this year compared to last year and whether he thought the same figures could be achieved this year or the figure would fall short?

 

Councillor Philip advised that he would get back to Councillor Neville with the exact figures on the register and an extensive data matching exercise had taken place with the last years register and other data sources which provided a 96% result. A further 5,000 changes had recently taken place, so the figures should hopefully be similar to the previous year. Councillor Philip did advise there had been a push to register 16/17 year olds at schools and at the college and hoped to have a similar level of people registered.

 

(d)        Benefits Processing

 

Councillor J H Whitehouse asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance whether the time for benefits to be processed could be reduced from 21 days because of the majority of food bank users were people on benefits.

 

Councillor Stavrou advised that she believed that all the targets for benefits to be processed were being met and if Councillor J H Whitehouse felt that these could be improved, she would investigate.

 

(e)        Accident & Emergency

 

Councillor Murray asked the Leader whether he shared his concerns of the latest waiting times for Accident and Emergency services at the Princess Alexander in Harlow, with 77.6% of patients being seen within four hours compared to a Government target of 95% and a national average of 90.5% and whether he had been in contact with the hospital authorities and whether he could exercise what influence he has to try and improve the situation?

 

Councillor Whitbread advised that he shared Councillor Murray’s concerns and would discuss this further with him. He suggested that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee could look at this issue as well.

 

(f)        Stepping up Roadshow

 

Councillor Gadsby asked the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Community Wellbeing whether she had received any successful feedback on the Stepping Up roadshow provided by Essex County Council and whether any volunteering had been followed up?

 

Councillor Kane advised that she had not received any feedback on the event  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

Motions

To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under Council Procedure Rule 13.

 

Motions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that there were no motions to be considered at this meeting.

89.

Pay Policy Statement 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

(Technology and Support Services) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor A Lion presented a report on the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2015/16 which was required by Section 38(1) of the Localism Act 2011 to be published each financial year. Specifically including the Council’s approach to its highest and lowest paid employees.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2015/16 attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes be adopted.

90.

Joint Consultative Committee - Review of Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 72 KB

(Technology & Support Services Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor A Lion presented a report on the revised terms of reference of the Joint Consultative Committee.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the revised terms of reference of the Joint Consultative Committee attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes be adopted.

 

91.

Support for the Council's Property Development Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To note the attached decision taken by the Chairman of the Council to waive the call-in provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that the Chairman of the Council had agreed that the following  decision of the Cabinet should be treated as a matter of urgency and not be subject to call-in;

 

(a) to retain the expertise and knowledge of the Assistant Director (Asset Management and Economic Development) on a part-time contract basis for a period of 13 months, to ensure that the development of Langston Road and other sites critical to the Council’s future revenue streams proceed without delay;

 

(b)  approve the use of Contract Standing Order C10 (Negotiated Tendering) to procure the contract;

 

(c) delegate the authority to negotiate and finalise contract terms to the Chief Executive and the Asset Management and Economic Development Portfolio Holder;

 

(d) that the cost was funded in 2014/15 from existing DDF development budgets;

 

(e) that a DDF bid was made for £90,000 to cover the cost in 2015/16;

 

(f) that given the high monthly cost of delaying key projects, the contract was executed expeditiously; and

 

(g) the Director of Neighbourhoods procures replacement resource with an appropriate handover programme 6 months before the end of the contract period.

92.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement & Investment Strategy 2015/16 to 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

(Finance Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:  Councillor Stavrou, Finance Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor Stavrou presented a report on the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy, Annual Investment Strategy 2015/16 to 2017/18 and prudential indicators.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That the following documents attached to these minutes as Appendix 3  be adopted:

 

            (a)        Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy 2015/16 to 2017/18;

 

            (b)        Minimum Revenue Provision Statement;

 

            (c)        Treasury Management Prudential Indicators for 2015/16 to 2017/18;

 

            (d)        the rate of interest to be applied to any Inter-Fund Balances; and

 

            (e)        Treasury Management Policy Statement.

93.

Council Budgets 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

(a)  (Finance Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report; and

 

(b)  To hold a recorded vote on the recommendations contained within the report, in accordance with the Council Procedure Rule 17.6 ‘Voting at Budget Decision Meetings’ which directs Members to comply with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, immediately after any vote is taken at a budget decision meeting there must be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of that meeting the names of the persons who cast a vote for the decision or against the decision or who abstained from voting.

 

“Budget decision” means a meeting at which:

 

(a)        a calculation is made (whether originally or by way of substitute) in accordance with any of the Sections 31A, 31B, 34 to 36A, 42A, 42B, 45 to 49, 52ZF, 52ZJ of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended; or

 

(b)        a precept is issued under Chapter 4 of Part 1 of that Act,

 

and includes a meeting where making the calculation or issuing the precept as the case may be was included as an item of business on the agenda for that meeting.

 

References to a vote are references to a vote not only on the substantive budget motions agreeing the budget, setting council taxes or issuing precepts, but also on any amendments proposed at the meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stavrou presented a report on an additional DDF budget to be added to the Council Budget for Town and Parish Councils affected by major preceptors that had not been updated on the final taxbase figure.  

 

There voted for the recommendation: (44) namely: Councillors Boyce, Webster, Adams, Brady, Breare-Hall, Butler, Chambers, Dorrell, Gadsby, Girling, Gode, Grigg, Jennings, Kane, Kauffman, Keska, Knapman, Lea, Lion, McEwen, Mead, Mohindra, Morgan, Murray, Neville, Philip, C C Pond, C P Pond, Roberts, Sandler, Sartin, Shiell, Stallan, Stavrou, Surtees, Thomas, Wagland, Waller, Watson, Weston, Whitbread, J H Whitehouse, J M Whitehouse and Wixley.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)          That a DDF budget of £5,543 be added to the budgets considered by Cabinet on 2 February.

 

Carried

 

Councillor Stavrou presented a report on budget and Council Tax Declaration 2015/16.

 

Amendment moved by J M Whitehouse and Seconded by B Surtees.

 

There voted for the recommendation: (7) namely: Adams, Gode, Murray, Neville, Surtees, J H Whitehouse and J M Whitehouse.

 

There voted against the recommendation: (37) namely: Councillors Boyce, Webster, Brady, Breare-Hall, Butler, Chambers, Dorrell, Gadsby, Girling, Grigg, Jennings, Kane, Kauffman, Keska, Knapman, Lea, Lion, McEwen, Mead, Mohindra, Morgan, Philip, C C Pond, C P Pond, Roberts, Sandler, Sartin, Shiell, Stallan, Stavrou, Thomas, Wagland, Waller, Watson, Weston, Whitbread and Wixley.

 

(1)        That the Neighbourhoods Off Street Parking - Parking Fee Increases (£95,000) in 2015/16 be replaced with (£82,000) through not implementing weekend parking charges and therefore amending the total CSB savings in 2015/16 from (£573,000) to (£560,000) set out in Annex 1 be added to recommendation 1;

 

(2)        That the Chief Executive Transformation Programme of £75,000 in 2015/16 be deleted from Annex 2 and Communities Grants to Voluntary Organisations Maintenance of £17,000 be included in Annex 2 for 2015/16 and 2016/17 decreasing the DDF in 2015/16 to £1,071,000 and increasing it to £548,000 in 2016/17 be added to recommendation 2; and

 

(3)        That consequential amendments be made to annex 3, 4 and 8 to include DDF balances reducing by £1,071,000 and contribution from balances in 2015/16 increasing to £55,000.

 

Lost

 

There voted for the recommendation: (43) namely:  Councillors Boyce, Webster, Adams, Brady, Breare-Hall, Butler, Chambers, Dorrell, Gadsby, Girling, Gode, Grigg, Jennings, Kane, Kauffman, Keska, Knapman, Lea, Lion, McEwen, Mead, Mohindra, Morgan, Neville, Philip, C C Pond, C P Pond, Roberts, Sandler, Sartin, Shiell, Stallan, Stavrou, Surtees, Thomas, Wagland, Waller, Watson, Weston, Whitbread, J H Whitehouse, J M Whitehouse and Wixley.

 

There voted against the recommendation: (1) Murray.

                                               

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)          That the list of CSB growth and savings for the 2015/16 budget (set out in Annex 1 to these minutes) be approved;

 

(2)          That the list of District Development Fund items for the 2015/16 budget (set out in Annex 2 to these minutes) be approved;

 

(3)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

94.

Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 59 KB

(a)          To receive the report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to answer any questions without notice asked in accordance with Council procedure rule 12.7(b) and 12.9 (a).

 

(b)          Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (if any);

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

The Council received a written report from Councillor Morgan, the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

95.

Appointment of Co-opted Member pdf icon PDF 73 KB

(Audit and Governance Chairman) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee, the Director of Governance presented a report on the procedure and appointment of a new Co-opted Member to the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)           That a Panel of three Councillors including the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee be appointed with delegated authority to undertake interviews following public advertisement and to appoint the preferred candidate for the vacant co-opted member position on the Audit and Governance Committee be approved;

 

(2)           That Councillors K Adams and B Jennings be appointed to serve on the Panel with the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee;

 

(3)           That Mr. R. Thompson and Mr A Javis (co-opted members) be invited to attend the interviews in an advisory, non–voting capacity; and

 

(4)           That appreciation of the contribution of Mr. R. Thompson as a co-opted Member of the Audit and Governance Committee over a six-year period be formally recorded.

 

96.

Joint Arrangements and External Organisations pdf icon PDF 23 KB

(a)          To receive the attached report from Councillor Sartin and Councillor Stavrou, as the Council’s representatives on the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and to receive answers to any questions on those bodies which may be put without notice; and

 

(b)          To request written reports from representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for future meetings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a written the report regarding the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority from Councillors M Sartin and S Stavrou the Council’s representatives.