Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping
Contact: Council Secretary: Simon Hill Tel: 01992 564249 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Service Director (Governance and Member Services) will read the following announcement:
“The chairman 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.”
The Assistant Director, Governance 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.
To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 1 November 2018 (attached).
That the minutes of the meeting on 1 November 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
(a) Pursuant to the Council’s Staff Code of Conduct, D Macnab (Acting Chief Executive) declared a personal interest in agenda item 17 (Appointment of Monitoring Officer, Returning Officer and Other Officer Delegations). He advised that he had determined that his interest was pecuniary and that he would leave the meeting for the consideration and voting on the matter.
(b) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G Mohindra declared a non pecuniary interest in agenda item 10 (Motions) due to the mentioning of Section 106 agreements which fell under his responsibilities as the Economic Development Cabinet Member for Essex County Council.
(a) Apologies for Absence
(b) Chairman’s Announcements
(a) Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman informed the Council that since the last meeting he had visited many volunteering groups and attended carol services across the District. In addition to theses events, he had taken part in a sleeping ruff event in Chelmsford and raised £450 for the Chess Homeless charity.
The Chairman announced that he intended to send the flowers from tonight’s meeting to Abbeyfield Residential Care Home, Cunningham House, North Weald.
Public Questions (If Any)
To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within Part 4 of the Council 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 any Portfolio Holder; or
(c) to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.
The Council noted that there were no public questions submitted for consideration at this meeting.
To consider the attached report.
The Chairman of the Remuneration Panel, S. Lye, presented a report following the annual review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme, which included the following aspects;
(a) Basic Allowance;
(b) Special Responsibility Allowances; and
(c) Revised Scheme and Guidance
There had been minor drafting amendments, primarily to reflect the Council’s new structure arrangements. A Statement of Implementation had been prepared based on not increasing the Basic Allowance or implementing any new Special Responsibility Allowances and it would be publicised on the Council’s website, once agreed.
Report as first moved ADOPTED
(1) That no change be made to the level of Basic Allowance of £4,300.00 per member per annum, currently included in the Council’s Members’ Allowances Scheme for the 2019/20 municipal year;
Special Responsibility Allowance
(2) That the Special Responsibility Allowance for the Chairman of the Staff Appeals Panel be removed from the Members’ Allowances Scheme from the 2019/20 municipal year;
(3) That no other changes be made to the application or implementation of the Special Responsibility Allowances currently included in the Members’ Allowances Scheme for the 2019/20 municipal year;
Revised Scheme and Guidance
(4) That, subject to the above recommendations and other administrative matters set out in this report, the Members’ Allowances Scheme and Guidance for 2019/20 attached as Appendix 1, be adopted and implemented with effect from 24 May 2019;
(5) That the Statement of Implementation of the Special Responsibility Allowances set out in the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2019/20, attached as Appendix 2, be agreed; and
(6) That the Panel be kept appraised of the Council’s intentions with regard to any future restructure proposals that directly affect the application of Special Responsibility Allowance for the specific member roles and responsibilities currently reflected in the Members’ Allowances Scheme.
Questions By Members Under Notice
To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within the Council’s rules in Part 4 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 any Member of the Cabinet; or
(d) the Chairman of any Committee or Sub-Committee.
The Council’s rules provide 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.
Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.
The Council noted that there were no members questions under notice submitted for consideration at this meeting.
To receive reports and any announcements 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 Business Support Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(c) Report of the Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(d) Report of the Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(e) Report of the Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(f) Report of the Customer Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(g) Report of the Housing and Property Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(i) Report of the Planning Services Portfolio Holder (attached); and
(j) Report of the Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder.
The Council received written reports from the Portfolio Holders. The Chairman invited the Leader of Council, to provide an oral report and the opportunity for other members of the Cabinet to give updates.
(a) The Leader of Council
The Leader updated the Council on the modernisation agenda, which included stream lining the senior management structure and reorganised the service groupings, to drive efficiencies savings and improve the Councils response to customers. This also included realigning the Portfolio Holders responsibilities with the service groupings.
The Council continued to be able to invest in new and improved services for the Districts residents, including providing a £10m leisure centre at Waltham Abbey and progressing the St John’s Road re-development, to potentially create a new leisure centre, cinema and retail space. Similarly, the relocation of the Council’s back office services to North Weald and redevelopment of the Civic Offices site, would be beneficial in creating a valuable community hub consisting of a number of public services and protecting the vitality of Epping High Street. Additionally, the Epping Forest Shopping Park was now fully let and trading well, generating additional revenue for the Council’s front line services.
The Council’s decision to fund three additional Police Officers and establishment of the police hub were unique across Essex, were having a positive impact on crime reduction. In conjunction with this, the Council had been working with the Epping Member of Parliament and the District Commander, to address residents concerns and return all night street lighting across the District. The Council had obtained agreement and costs from the Essex County Council Highways Portfolio Holder, K. Bentley and the Council would be writing to Town and Parish Councils shortly regarding initiatives to fund this, as public safety was the responsibility for all tiers of Local Government.
Finally, the examination in public was due to start in February and once the Local Plan had been found sound and adopted, the Council would focus on delivering housing, new employment opportunities and improved infrastructure, to ensure that the special character of the District was protected.
The Leader thanked both members and officers for all their work they had contributed over 2018.
(b) Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor N. Avey advised that the Government had announced the Resource and Waste Strategy, which included packaging reforms and consistency of household collections across the country. The principles of reuse, reduce and recycle were to be reinforced and the effects of this on the Council would be monitored. There would be many consultations and members views would be sought for the formal responses.
(c) Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder
Councillor A. Lion informed the members that his Portfolio would assist the Leader and work with a number of services areas for strategic projects across the Council.
He had recently deputised at the Leaders and Chief Executive meeting, where discussions were had regarding policing, transport and road upgrades. The Essex Authorities were also sending a letter to the Mayor of London, concerning the managing of homeless ... view the full minutes text for item 67.
Questions by Members Without Notice
The Council’s rules provide for questions by any member of the Council to the Leader or any Portfolio Holder, without notice on:
(i) reports under the previous item; 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.
The Council’s rules provide that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:
(a) 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 Service Director.
In accordance with the Council’s rules, 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 ten minutes at their discretion.
Councillor H. Whitbread asked the Housing & Property Services Portfolio Holder what the Council was doing to support and address homelessness in the District.
Councillor S. Stavrou advised the Council took the issue of homelessness extremely seriously and over the last couple of years, the budget from the Government had increased. The support grant had helped to pay for an additional Homelessness Prevention officer, to levitate and prevent homelessness in the district. The Council worked with many organisations that provided outreach programmes, to identify, contact and help ruff sleepers.
The Council had been required to take a snapshot of homelessness in the District, which revealed 3 people. The Government had allocated £11m in 2019/20 to halve homelessness by 2022 and to end ruff sleeping totally by 2027. The Council had put in a bid for the funding and if successful, it would be put towards another support officer, to give assistance the Homelessness Prevention Team.
(b) Lichfields Impact Study - The Broadway, Loughton
Councillor D. Sunger asked the Commercial & Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder when the Lichfields Impact Study concerning The Broadway, Loughton would be made available by the Council.
Councillor A. Grigg advised that officers had been analysing the impact assessment and it would be available to Ward Councillors on 4 January 2019 and publically available on 11 January 2019, when the Asset Management Economic Development Cabinet Committee agenda was published for the meeting on Thursday 17 January 2019.
(c) Epping Forest Libraries Services
Councillor S. Neville asked the Leader of the Council;
(a) whether he agreed that the threat of closure to four of the Districts libraries, left this authority without a comprehensive library service as required under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964; and
(b) what could be learnt from Thurrock Unitary Authority, who were trying to increase footfall and do everything they could to keep open the 10 libraries under threat in their authority.
Councillor C. Whitbread advised that it was the responsibility of Essex County Council, although all members and residents should respond to the consultation regarding the Districts libraries. Furthermore, there were also a number of other ways to run libraries, which had been demonstrated across the county such as community libraries and this should be considered.
(d) Crisp Pack Recycling
Councillor C.C. Pond asked whether the Contracts & Technical Services Portfolio Holder was aware of the initiative by Walkers crisps to recycle crisp packs and whether discussion could be had with Biffa to potential include this in the kerb side recycling.
Councillor N. Avey advised that he had not been aware of the Walkers initiative, although he would discuss this with officers and potentially Biffa.
(e) Lichfield Impact Study - The Broadway, Loughton
Councillor C. Roberts informed the Commercial & Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder that he had requested a copy of the draft report for the Impact Study on The Broadway, Loughton on 13 December 2018 and would like to know when it would be available.
Councillor A. Grigg advised that the Ward Councillors, ... view the full minutes text for item 68.
To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under Council Rules.
Motions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.
(a) Planning Delegations and Practice
Moved by Councillor H. Kauffman and seconded by Councillor C.C. Pond
“That the Council requests the Constitution Working Group to add to its work programme a revision of planning delegations and practice, so as to permit Members to review the text of any substantial draft S106 or S278 agreement before it is finalised.”
Amendment moved by Councillor J. Philip and seconded by Councillor P. Keska
To replace the motion with the following;
“That the Council requests the Constitution Working Group adds a review of planning delegations and practise to examine the approach taken to section 106 and section 278 agreements.”
Motion as amended ADOPTED
That the Council requests the Constitution Working Group adds a review of planning delegations and practise to examine the approach taken to section 106 and section 278 agreements.
To consider the attached report.
Mover: Councillor A. Grigg, Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder
Councillor A. Grigg presented a report for additional Capital expenditure required to undertake necessary alterations and the letting of the Council’s units at the Landmark Building.
Report as first moved ADOPTED
That a Capital supplementary sum of £140,000 to undertake the necessary alterations and letting of the Council’s units at the Landmark Building be approved.
To consider the attached report.
Mover: Councillor G Mohindra, Business Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor G. Mohindra submitted a report seeking amendments to the Capital Programme for the five year period 2018/19 to 2022/23, taking into account any slippage and re-phasing approved in June 2018 and any new schemes and allocations proposed since.
That the following amendments to the Capital Programme be approved:
(a) A supplementary capital estimates of £56,000 for works to investment properties and £23,000 for the Shopping Park letting fees in 2018/19;
(b) the inclusion of a supplementary capital estimate of £140,000 for works to let the units at the Landmark Building in 2018/19 and £70,000 for the installation of a new sub-station at North Weald Airfield, pending a Cabinet report submission and approval;
(c) an additional allocation of £603,000 relating to the updated five-year planned facility management programme in 2021/22;
(d) the inclusion of Capital allocations of £1,706,000, including recommendation (b), and £323,000 into 2018/19 and 2019/20 respectively as approved by appropriate delegations;
(e) savings and reductions totalling £53,000 in 2018/19 and £10,000 in 2019/20 for General Fund projects;
(f) virements relating to the Accommodation Project, pending approval, of £25,000 in 2018/19 and £400,000 in 2019/20 to be taken from on-hold planned maintenance budgets;
(g) further virements in 2018/19 of £25,000 and £206,000 in 2019/20 within the General Fund and a transfer of a £33,000 potential savings within the car parking schemes;
(h) additional allocations, savings, reductions and virements in respect of the Council’s housebuilding programme and other HRA capital schemes; and
(i) carry forwards totalling £2,294,000 and £7,473,000 from 2018/19 to future years for General Fund and HRA capital schemes respectively.
Standards Committee - Appointment of Independent Persons
That, on the recommendation of the Committee, the Council endorse the appointment of Mr. A. Brooks and Mrs. J. Clare to the current vacancies for Independent Persons on the Standards Committee.
(Chairman of Standards Committee) The Localism Act 2011 places a duty on the Council and the local councils in the district, to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for elected and co-opted members. This includes the requirement to have a Code of Conduct with which members must comply. The Act also requires that authorities adopt arrangements for dealing with complaints about breaches of the Code of Conduct by members, including making provision for the appointment of at least one Independent Person to support arrangements for dealing with standards matters.
The Standards Committee has recently undertaken recruitment activity to fill current vacancies for Independent Persons and interviews for these positions were held on 5 November 2018. On the recommendation of the Committee, the Council is requested to endorse the appointment of Antony Brooks and June Clare as Independent Persons. The Committee considers that Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Clare will each bring relevant skills and experience to its role and responsibilities.
Mover: Councillor G. Chambers, Chairman of Standards Committee
Councillor G. Chambers advised that the Localism Act 2011 placed a duty on the Council and the local councils in the District, to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for elected and co-opted members. The requirements included having a Code of Conduct with which members must comply. The Act also required that authorities adopt arrangements for dealing with complaints about breaches of the Code of Conduct by members, which included making provision for the appointment of at least one Independent Person to support arrangements for dealing with standards matters.
That, the Council endorsed the appointment of Mr. A. Brooks and Mrs. J. Clare to the current vacancies for Independent Persons on the Standards Committee.
(Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee) To consider the attached report.
The Leader reported that the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy had been reviewed and considered by the Audit and Governance Committee. The Strategy had incorporated amendments around the prevention of bribery introduced by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and strengthened anti-corruption elements in light of the new United Kingdom Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2017-2022.
That the Council’s revised Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy, as attached at Appendix 3 to these minutes be approved.
(Chairman of the Licensing Committee) To consider the attached report.
Mover: Councillor R. Morgan, Chairman of the Licensing Committee
The Chairman of the Licensing Committee reported that the Council was required to review the Statement of Policy made under the Licensing Act 2003. The Licensing Committee had considered the updated Policy which had incorporated minor typographical corrections and consultations responses.
That the attached Statement of Licensing Policy at Appendix 4 be adopted.
To consider the attached report.
Mover: Councillor McEwen, Chairman of the Constitution Working Group
Councillor M. McEwen presented a report regarding a review of the Planning Process and Local Council’s Attendance; a review of the Petition Scheme; and a scheme for the appointment of Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen.
PLANNING PROCESS REVIEW – LOCAL COUNCIL’S ATTENDANCE
(1) That in the instance where a local council had not registered to speak at an Area Plans Subcommittee, or failed to attend, having previously advised the Council of their intention to attend and speak, relevant applications be automatically referred (without any consideration of the merits of the development proposal) to the Service Director (Planning Services) for determination in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation;
(2) That to facilitate (1) above, the following additions be made to the constitution:
(i) That in Part 3 of the Constitution – Scheme of Delegations from the Council: delegation CLD2, paragraph 3 (c) be reworded to read:
“3(c) An objection from a Local Council, material to the planning merits of the proposal is received and confirming in writing their intention to attend and speak at the meeting where the proposal will be considered. Should the relevant Local Council fail to register to speak, the application be referred (without any consideration of the merits of the development proposal) to the Service Director (Planning Services) for determination in accordance with Rule P2 (2) (Planning Applications) set out in Part 4 of the Constitution.”
(ii) That in Part 4 – Council Rules P2 (planning Applications, a further paragraph be added to read:
“P2 (2) That, pursuant to the scheme of delegation on planning applications set out in Part 3 of this constitution, where a local council have indicated, during the course of planning consultations, of their intention to attend and speak at the meeting where the proposal will be considered and then subsequently fail to register and attend, the application be referred (without any consideration of the merits of the development proposal) to the Service Director (Planning Services) for determination.”
PETITION SCHEME – REVIEW
(1) That the revised version of the Petition Scheme attached at Appendix 5, be adopted.
APPOINTMENT OF HONORARY ALDERMEN AND ALDERWOMEN
(1) That the scheme for the Appointment of Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen, attached at Appendix 6, be adopted; and
(2) That a District Development Fund budget of £3,500 to fund the implementation of the scheme, production of a supply of Badges of Office and Roll of Honour book be approved.
(Monitoring Officer) To consider the attached report.
The Monitoring Officer presented a report to the Council regarding the appointment of the Monitoring Officer, Returning Officer, Electoral Registration Officer and other Officer Delegations.
(1) That Nathalie Boateng, be designated as Monitoring Officer with immediate effect in accordance with Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and Sections 26-37 of the Localism Act 2011 for the purpose of performing the duties imposed by those sections; and to be responsible for any Parish or Town Councils which were affiliated for the time being to the Epping Forest Standards Committee under Chapter 7 of the Localism Act;
(2) That the existing delegations to the Monitoring Officer attached at Appendix be noted;
Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer
(3) That, in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 and all related legislation, Derek Macnab be appointed as Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for the Council with immediate effect with authority to appoint deputy or deputies as may be required;
(4) That, in terms of Section 41 of the Local Government Act 1972 and all related legislation, and with immediate effect, Derek Macnab be appointed as Returning Officer for the Council, with authority to act in that capacity for elections to the District Council and all or any parish and town councils within the Epping Forest District. This appointment to continue until a further review of this position when a new chief executive was appointed by the Council;
(5) That the Council’s Returning Officer/Electoral Registration Officer be also appointed or authorised to act in respect of all related electoral, poll or referendum duties, including those in relation to County Council elections, elections to the European Parliament (if required), and for national and regional or local polls and referendums;
(6) That, in relation to the duties of Returning Officer or any other electoral, referendum or polling duties arising from such appointment, the Returning Officer shall be entitled to be remunerated in accordance with scale of fees approved by the Council for local elections, or the relevant scale of fees prescribed by a Fees Order in respect of national, regional or European Parliament elections, polls or referendums;
(7) That in all cases where it was a legal requirement or normal practice to do so, fees paid to the Returning Officer shall be superannuable, and the Council shall pay the appropriate employer’s contribution to the superannuation fund, recovering such employer’s contributions from central government or other local authorities or agencies where this could be done;
(8) That, in relation to the conduct of local authority elections and polls, and elections to the United Kingdom Parliament, and all other electoral duties where the Council was entitled by law to do so, theCouncil shall take out and maintain in force insurance indemnifying the Council and the Returning Officer against legal expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the defence of any proceedings brought against the Council or the Returning Officer and/or the cost of holding another election in the ... view the full minutes text for item 76.
(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 Rules.
(b) Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (if any);
The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor M. Sartin reported that the Strategic Director, G. Blakemore had made a presentation on the Council’s progress concerning the People Strategy. The Committee had also considered a report regarding a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations; the Corporate Plan, Key Action Plan for 2018/19, which included quarter 2 progress; the various work programmes for the Committee and Select Committees; and progression for the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework review.
Furthermore, Councillor M. Sartin informed the Council that a Task and Finish Panel had been set up to consider the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework and members interested in participating would find details in the Members Bulletin or could contact Democratic Services directly.
(a) To received the attached report from Councillor C Whitbread, on the Local Strategic Partnership Board following the request for an update from Councillor J H Whitehouse;
(b) To receive from Council representatives any other reports on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations and to receive answers to any questions on those bodies which may be put without notice; and
(c) To request written reports from representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for future meetings.
(a) The Council received a written report regarding One Epping Forest (Formally Local Strategic Partnership) from Councillor C. Whitbread. Councillor C.C. Pond enquired whether the Council had a full or part time member of staff supporting One Epping Forest. Councillor C. Whitbread advised that John Houston was the Local Strategic Manager. Councillor J.H. Whitehouse asked whether the minutes of One Epping Forest could be published in the Members Bulletin and what was the ‘Vibrate Partnerships’. Councillor C. Whitbread advised that the Vibrant Partnerships was a trading name for Lee Valley Leisure Trust, which was committed to running venues and leisure facilities to the serve the region’s communities. He would consult on whether the minutes of the One Epping Forest meetings could be published in either in the Members Bulletin or by another means.
(b) Councillor J.H. Whitehouse asked for a report on the Green Arc Board. Councillor C. Whitbread advised that Councillor N. Bedford had been involved in this organisation and he would ask him to report back to the Council.