Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 16th February, 2010 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Council Secretary: Ian Willett  Tel: 01992 564243 Email:  iwillett@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

129.

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:

 

“This meeting will be webcast live to the Internet and will be archived for later viewing. Copies of recordings may be made available on request.

 

By entering the Chamber’s lower seating area you consenting to becoming part of the webcast.

 

If you wish to avoid being filmed you should move to the public gallery or speak to the webcasting officer”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr I Willett, Assistant to the Chief Executive, reminded all 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.

130.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 22 December 2009 and the extraordinary meeting held on 19 January 2010 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

            (1)       That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 December 2009 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record subject to the outcome of further consideration of Minute 119 (Contract of Employment – Post XEX01) later in the meeting after the exclusion of the public and press; and

 

            (2)       That the minutes of the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on 19 January 2010 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

131.

Declarations of Interest

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)       Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor S Murray declared a personal interest in agenda item 12 (Report of the Cabinet – Sports Leisure Management – Contract Extension Negotiations – Supplementary Capital Estimate) by virtue of being a member of the Loughton Leisure Centre.  The Councillor advised that he had determined that his interest was prejudicial 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, Councillors M Cohen and J Markham declared personal interests in agenda item 12 (Report of the Cabinet – Sports Leisure Management – Contract Extension Negotiations – Supplementary Capital Estimate) by virtue of being members of the Loughton Leisure Centre.  The Councillors advised that they had determined that their interests were not prejudicial and that they would remain in the meeting for the consideration and voting on the matter.

 

(c)        Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor D Stallan declared a personal interest in agenda item 12 (Report of the Cabinet – Sports Leisure Management – Contract Extension Negotiations – Supplementary Capital Estimate) by virtue of his wife and children being members of Ongar Leisure Centre.  The Councillor advised that he had determined that his interest was not prejudical and that he would remain in the meeting for the consideration and voting on the matter.

 

(d)       Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor J M Whitehouse declared a personal interest in agenda item 12 (Report of the Cabinet – Sports Leisure Management – Contract Extension Negotiations – Supplementary Capital Estimate) by virtue of being a member of Epping Sports Centre.  The Councillor advised that he had determined that his interest was not prejudicial and that he would remain in the meeting for consideration and voting on the matter.

 

(e)       Councillors J Collier and W Pryor advised that they would not be voting on Item 14 (Report of the Cabinet – Budgets and Council Tax Declaration 2010/11).

132.

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

 

The Chairman, Councillor Mrs P Smith, reminded members that a quiz in aid of her charity would be held at Theydon Bois Village Hall on 19 February 2010.  She advised that the quiz was now fully booked.

 

The Chairman reported that she would be sending the flowers from tonight’s Council meeting to Councillor Rebecca Cohen who was recovering from recent surgery.

 

(b)       Announcements by the Leader of the Council and other Members of the Cabinet

 

Councillor Mrs M Sartin, Environment Portfolio Holder, reported that councils in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy would be launching a countywide campaign on 26 February 2010 against fast food litter.  The campaign would include press releases, the display of over 1000 posters, litter awareness and targeted litter monitoring services.  The aim would be to work closely with local businesses to reduce litter and make areas cleaner and more attractive.  Councillor Mrs Sartin advised that this District was one of five which would receive a visit from an Ad Van displaying the anti litter message.  The Ad Van would be visiting this District on 22 February 2010.  She advised that more information would be made available following the visit of the Ad Van and agreed to respond to any specific questions from members about the campaign at a later date.

133.

Public Questions (If Any)

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained in paragraph 9.3 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 for this meeting.

134.

Reports from the Leader, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 24 KB

To receive reports from the Leader, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and members of the Cabinet on matters falling within their area of responsibility:

 

(a)         Report of the Leader;

(b)         Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee;

(c)         Report of Community Safety and Transport Portfolio Holder;

(d)         Report of Environment Portfolio Holder;

(e)     Report of Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder;

(f)          Report of Housing Portfolio Holder;

(g)        Report of Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder;

(h)        Report of Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder;

(i)          Report of Performance Management Portfolio Holder.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received written reports from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Community Safety and Transport Portfolio Holder, the Environment Portfolio Holder, the Housing Portfolio Holder, the Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder and the Performance Management Portfolio Holder.

 

The Chairman invited the Leader, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Members of the Cabinet to provide an oral report or an oral update of their written reports.

 

(a)        Leader of the Council

 

Councillor Mrs Collins announced that together with Councillor Ms Stavrou she had interviewed staff nominated for staff awards and had been impressed with the hard and innovative of work demonstrated.  A lunch was to be held for the nominated officers, their Directors and appropriate Portfolio Holders on 23 February 2010 at which the winners would be announced.  A formal presentation of awards to the winners would take place at the Civic Awards Dinner on 18 March 2010. 

 

The Leader advised that she had attended a dinner at Harlow Civic Centre to celebrate the liaison been Harlow College and Anglia Ruskin University which would provide higher education in the town from September 2010.

 

Councillor Mrs Collins reported that two meetings had been held regarding the Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document.  Officers had been summoned to Go East to meet senior civil servants and had been questioned on the need for a meeting with a Minister and on the Council’s approach to the Direction to make suitable provision for Gypsies and Travellers in the District.  She advised that she was now waiting to hear whether the Minister would agree to meet Council members and officers.  The Leader reported that if a meeting was to be held it would be with Shahid Malik, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and not the Minister of Housing and Planning.  The Council’s representatives at a meeting would be herself, Councillor Mrs A Grigg, the Director of Planning and Economic Development and the Assistant Director of Planning (Policy and Conservation).  Members noted that Eleanor Laing M.P. and Bill Rammell M.P. had also expressed a wish to be present at any meeting. 

 

The Leader advised that following a meeting with Counsel a number of bullet points had been identified for discussion with the Minister and officers had produced additional graphs as suggested at the meeting with Go East officials showing the Council’s performance in relation to authorities in the Eastern Region as opposed to authorities only in Essex.  She explained that the graphs showed the Epping Forest District as being the fifth highest provider of sites in the Eastern Region and emphasised the inconsistent approach which had been taken by central government in only making Directions in relation to Epping Forest District, Brentwood Borough and South Cambridgeshire District.  She pointed out that the graphs also showed that only an additional 10 to 15 pitches needed to be found by the end of 2011 in order to meet the required number of tolerated sites.  She suggested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.

135.

Questions by Members Without Notice

Council Procedure Rule 10.6 provides for questions by any member of the Council to the Leader, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee or any Portfolio Holder, without notice on:

 

(i)   reports under item 6 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 10.7 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)     direct oral answer from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee or, at their request, from another member dealing with that issue as part of an Overview and Scrutiny review;

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

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

(e)     where the question relates to an operational matter, the Leader, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee  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 10.8, a time limit of twenty 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 to ensure that all political groups and independent members may have their questions answered.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Local Businesses Rateable Values

 

Councillor Mrs L Wagland drew attention to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 28 January 2010 at which members had questioned the District Valuation Officer in relation to the setting of local business rateable values.  She advised that the Valuation Officer had confirmed that he would be impartial between the Government and business rate payers in the setting of rateable values and that he had agreed to reconsider the recent increases in the area and the effect they were having on local businesses.  She asked the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee what steps would be taken to ensure that the position was reconsidered. 

 

Councillor Morgan, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee advised that he would pursue the matter and report back to members.

 

(b)       Gritting of Highways

 

Councillor P Spencer asked the Community Safety and Transport Portfolio Holder to confirm that Queen’s Road, Buckhurst Hill would in future be on the schedule of roads to be gritted at times of adverse weather. 

 

Councillor Ms S-A Stavrou stated that she would raise this matter at the next meeting with Highways Officers.

 

(c)        Shared Ownership of Residential Properties

 

Councillor Mrs J H Whitehouse drew attention to the report of the Housing Portfolio Holder in relation to Leader Lodge, North Weald.  She questioned why the building was being converted into flats to be sold on a shared ownership basis to first time buyers and asked the Portfolio Holder what he considered to be the right balance between rented properties and properties which could be sold.

 

Councillor Stallan stated that some members would recall that his predecessor (former Councillor Michael Heavens), had proposed that Leader Lodge be demolished and sold for private residences.  Councillor Stallan continued that Area Plans Sub-Committee East had refused permission for that scheme and that when he had become Housing Portfolio Holder he had pursued a scheme to retain the building and to convert it into four flats with an annex providing an additional two flats.  He said he was always aware of the need to balance the provision of social housing with the opportunity of assisting those wishing to acquire their own property.  In relation to Leader Lodge it had been decided that sale of the flats on a shared ownership basis to first time buyers was more appropriate.  Councillor Stallan continued that he did not know what was the right balance between social housing and making provision for those wishing to get onto the housing market and that on each occasion all appropriate options were considered before a decision was reached.

 

(d)       Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool – New Sports Hall

 

Councillor Mrs P Brooks asked the Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder whether the proposal to build a new Sports Hall at Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool was still going ahead.

 

Councillor B Rolfe, Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, stated that a feasibility study was being undertaken and that pending consideration of that study nothing definite had been decided.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 135.

136.

Motions

To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under Council Procedure Rule 11.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was advised that there were no motions for consideration at this meeting.

137.

Questions By Members Under Notice pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained in paragraph 10.3 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 10.4 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.

 

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Brookways, Roundhills, Waltham Abbey – Accident

 

By Councillor A Watts to Councillor D Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder

 

In the absence of Councillor Watts, the Chairman read his question to the meeting.

 

“In the light of the recent unfortunate accident at Brookways on Roundhills, could the Housing Portfolio Holder please assure myself and the residents that lighting within this area will be reviewed”.

 

Response read by Councillor D Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder.

 

“Firstly, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of this man who was so tragically killed as a result of this very unfortunate accident.  The Police are still investigating the circumstances of the accident, so I am unable to answer any questions relating to the incident.

 

Although we won’t know what role lighting may, or may not have played in this tragedy until the Police investigation is complete, I have asked officers in Housing to look at the lighting of the car park.  We will carry out our own review as quickly as possible to establish what changes or enhancements to the area could be appropriate.  Once we have completed the assessment we will then be able to compare it to other sites and prioritise it accordingly.”

138.

Report of the Cabinet - Future Development of Key Sites within the District - Supplementary Estimate pdf icon PDF 9 KB

(Leader of the Council/Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor M Cohen – Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder

 

The Portfolio Holder submitted a report seeking a DDF supplementary estimate in order to procure specialist external advice on the development potential of key sites within the District.

 

Councillor P Spencer questioned whether one of the sites was the car park in Church Hill, Loughton.

 

Councillor Cohen advised that the advice was required in relation to sites in general and was not directly applicable to any particular site.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That a DDF supplementary estimate for 2009/10 in the sum of £15,000 be approved in order to procure specialist external advice on the development potential of key sites within the District.

139.

Report of the Cabinet - Replacement of Vehicle - Grounds Maintenance - Supplementary Capital Estimate pdf icon PDF 9 KB

(Environment Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor Mrs M Sartin – Environment Portfolio Holder

 

The Portfolio Holder submitted a report seeking a supplementary capital estimate to acquire a new vehicle for the Council’s Grounds Maintenance Section.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That a supplementary capital estimate in the sum of £26,000 for 2009/10 be approved in order to fund the purchase of a Ford Transit LWB Double Chassis Cab 2.4 TDCI for the Council’s Grounds Maintenance Section in place of a present leased vehicle.

140.

Report of the Cabinet - Sports Leisure Management - Contract Extension Negotiations - Supplementary Capital Estimate pdf icon PDF 10 KB

(Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor B Rolfe – Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder

 

The Portfolio Holder submitted a report seeking a supplementary capital estimate to undertake infrastructure works at Loughton Leisure Centre and to replace equipment at Epping Sports Centre and Ongar Leisure Centre.

 

Councillor J M Whitehouse asked if a contract extension with Sports Leisure Management would be flexible enough to allow for discussions to take place regarding the possible relocation of Epping Sports Centre to a more appropriate location if that opportunity arose during the course of the contract.

 

Councillor Ms R Brooks requested that in negotiating an extension of the contract, Sports Leisure Management be advised that whilst the Council acknowledged the need for savings there was an expectation that the facilities would be open as much as possible and would provide a good service for residents.

 

Councillor Rolfe confirmed that these matters would be taken into consideration.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That a supplementary capital estimate of £930,000 for 2009/10 be approved for infrastructure works at Loughton Leisure Centre and replacement equipment at Epping Sports Centre and Ongar Leisure Centre with consequent reductions in management fees for Sports Leisure Management.

141.

Report of the Cabinet - 148 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey - Purchase of Leasehold

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:      Councillor M Cohen – Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder

 

The Portfolio Holder submitted a report seeking a supplementary capital estimate in order to acquire the leasehold interest in the property.

 

Councillor Cohen advised that the decision of the Cabinet had been to request a capital supplementary estimate of £220,000.  However that figure had included a sum of rent arrears which would be written off.  The sum required to purchase the leasehold interest was £210,000 and he asked the Council to agree this sum for the capital supplemental estimate and not £220,000.

 

In accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and Council Procedure Rule 3.2, the Chairman had deemed this item as urgent business in order to prevent any undue delay in completing the purchase.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That a capital supplementary estimate for 2009/10 in the sum of £210,000 be approved for the purchase of the leasehold interest of 148 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey.

142.

Report of the Cabinet - Calendar of Council Meetings - 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

(Leader of the Council) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:   Councillor Mrs D Collins – Leader’s Portfolio

 

The Leader of the Council submitted a report proposing a calendar of meetings for the period May 2010-May 2011.

 

Councillor Mrs L Wagland drew attention to the proposal to hold meetings of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee and the Finance and Performance Management Scrutiny Panel on the same evening when considering the prospective budget for 2011/12 in January 2011.  She questioned whether it would be more appropriate for the Cabinet Committee to be held before the Scrutiny Panel on that evening.

 

Councillor J Philip asked if it would be possible for the meeting of full Council approving budgets and declaring the Council Tax in February 2011 not to be held during school half term.

 

Councillor M Cohen advised that 8 September 2010 was a Jewish holiday and requested that the meeting of Area Plans Sub-Committee South scheduled for that day be changed.

 

It was agreed that the rationale for holding the Finance and Performance Management Scrutiny Panel before the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee be explained to Councillor Wagland in writing.  Members noted that the full Council meeting in February 2011 had to be held during school half term having regard to the notification of precepts from other authorities and the need to declare the Council Tax and get bills printed etc.  The Council agreed that officers should find an alternative date for the meeting of Area Plans Sub-Committee South currently scheduled for 8 September 2010.

 

Report as amended ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That the calendar of meetings from the period May 2010 – May 2011 attached as an Appendix to the report be adopted subject to the meeting of Area Plans Sub-Committee South due to be held on 8 September 2010 being rescheduled.

143.

Report of the Cabinet - Budgets and Council Tax Declaration 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

(Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder) To consider a report – to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:   Councillor C Whitbread – Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder

 

The Portfolio Holder submitted a report regarding Budgets and Council Tax Declaration for 2010/11.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported on the process for preparing the budget which had involved all members through Overview and Scrutiny, the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee and the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Whitbread advised that the Council could not operate in a vacuum and had suffered the same pressures as businesses and individuals.  He asked members to take account of the state of the economy in considering the budget.  He suggested that recovery from the recession was very fragile and that it would be easy to step back into recession. 

 

Councillor Whitbread drew attention to the latest version of the Medium Term Strategy which required significant savings from 2011 onwards and he referred to the work already underway to achieve those savings.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that the Council had continued to assist residents and local businesses in coping with the recession.  For the second year running it had been possible to freeze parking charges and to maintain free parking on Saturdays in many car parks.  He pointed out that the Council had assisted businesses in The Broadway, Loughton by reducing their rents if they had been adversely affected by the Town Centre Enhancement works.  He stated that during the past year as the Council’s Business Champion he had attended a number of Business Forums.  The revaluation of Business Rates had been a matter of great concern.  Businesses had suffered from the rises and it was apparent that many small businesses would now fall outside of small business rate relief.  He stated that he estimated possibly up to 250 local businesses would be affected and that he would continue to look at ways in which the Council could support them.

 

Councillor Whitbread drew attention to some key issues which had been addressed in setting budgets.  He advised that there was likely to be a reduction in grant as part of the next Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).  Best estimates were that the grant would fall at 10% over the next CSR but it could be higher possibly between 15% and 20%.

 

Councillor Whitbread advised that the Council’s CSB contained a number of income streams that had been adversely affected, to varying degrees, by the current state of the housing market.  The main areas of income related to the housing market were Land Charges, Building Control and Development Control.  Investment income was also less than the estimate as interest rates had fallen lower than anticipated and seemed set to remain at 0.5% for months to come.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that a key priority for 2010/11 would be to use some of the budget allocated for the Customer Transformation Programme to improve the Housing Benefit reception area.  He also drew attention to the pressure on Housing Benefits due to the recent recession with an increase of claimants of between 25% and 30%.

 

Councillor Whitbread drew attention to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 143.

144.

Report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Annual Review of Contract Standing Orders pdf icon PDF 12 KB

(Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:      Councillor R Morgan, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Morgan submitted a report recommending amendments to Contract Standing Orders following the annual review. 

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)               That the amendments to Contract Standing Orders set out in Appendix 1 to these minutes be approved; and

 

(2)        That the revised Contract Standing Orders be published in the Constitution.

145.

Report of the District Development Control Committee - Essex County Council Revised Parking Standards - Adoption as Supplementary Guidance pdf icon PDF 15 KB

(Chairman of District Development Control Committee) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover:      Councillor B Sandler, Chairman of the District Development Control Committee

 

Councillor Sandler submitted a report proposing adoption of supplementary guidance of new parking standards issued by Essex County Council.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That, having given further consideration to the representations made by Go East, the new parking standards issued by Essex County Council, entitled “Parking Standards Design and Good Practice for Essex” be adopted as supplementary guidance.

146.

Standards Committee - Independent Member Vacancies pdf icon PDF 11 KB

(Monitoring Officer) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Monitoring Officer drawing attention to two Independent Member vacancies on the Standards Committee which would arise in May 2010.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            (1)        That five members together with the current Independent Chairman of the Standards Committee as a non-voting Chairman form a Standards Committee Selection Panel;

 

            (2)        That the Group Leaders of the four groups on the Council each nominate one member and that a fifth member representing members not affiliated to a group form the Selection Panel;

 

            (3)       That in the event of more than one non-affiliated member expressing an interest to take part, the place be decided by the drawing of lots;

 

            (4)        That the Selection Panel be authorised to:

 

            (a)        agree a short-list of applicants for interview for the Independent member vacancies on the Standards Committee which will arise in May 2010;

 

            (b)        interview the persons short-listed; and

 

            (c)        make recommendations to the Council on appointments;

 

            (5)        That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to:

 

            (a)        place an advertisement in a local newspaper and on the Council’s website inviting applications;

 

            (b)        prepare an applicant’s pack, including application form, a job description, person specification and terms of reference of the Committee; and

 

            (c)        make arrangements for suitable training of the new members when appointed; and

 

            (6)        That in the event of only one appointment being made Grenville Weltch continue to be an Independent Member of the Committee until May 2011.

147.

Local Highways Panel - Chairman

Recommendation:

 

(1)        That Councillor Ms S-A Stavrou be elected Chairman of the Panel for the remainder of the current municipal year; and

(2)        That Councillor R Bassett be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Panel for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

(Leader of the Council) At the Annual Council meeting on 24 May 2009, the Council elected Councillor R Bassett as Chairman and appointed Councillor Ms S-A Stavrou as Vice-Chairman of of the Local Highways Panel. This was recognised as an interim arrangement pending the latter becoming fully familiar with her new portfolio holder responsibilities.

 

There have now been four meetings of the Panel and it is considered appropriate to change the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to reflect their current portfolio holder responsibilities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted that at the Annual Council meeting on 24 May 2009 the Council had elected Councillor R Bassett as Chairman and appointed Ms S-A Stavrou as Vice-Chairman of the Local Highways Panel.  This had been recognised as an interim arrangement pending the latter becoming fully familiar with her new Portfolio Holder responsibilities.

 

The Leader of the Council advised that there had now been four meetings of the Panel and it was considered appropriate to change the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to reflect their current Portfolio Holder responsibilities.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            (1)        That Councillor Ms S-A Stavrou be elected Chairman of the Panel for the remainder of the current municipal year; and

 

            (2)        That Councillor R Bassett be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Panel for the remainder of the current municipal year.

148.

North Weald Airfield and Assets Management Cabinet Committee - Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 8 KB

Recommendations:

 

To note the decisions taken by the Leader of the Council:

 

(a)              to extend the terms of reference of the North Weald Airfield Strategy Cabinet Committee as set out in paragraphs 2.1 – 2.5 of the attached Appendix;

(b)              to rename the Committee “North Weald Airfield and Asset Management Cabinet Committee; and

(c)              to authorise all appropriate amendments to Appendix 4 of part 3 of the Constitution (Responsibility for Functions).

 

 

(Leader of the Council)   In accordance with paragraph 4.1 of the Council’s Scheme of Delegation, the terms of reference of the North Weald Airfield Strategy Cabinet Committee have been amended so as to enable that Committee to review all of the Council’s property assets not just those at North Weald Airfield. The change was necessary to recognise the contribution which asset rationalisation will have to improving service provision and assisting with Council budgets and financial planning.

 

To reflect the change the title of the Committee has been changed. No change has been made to the membership of the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported that in accordance with paragraph 4.1 of the Council’s Scheme of Delegation, the terms of reference for the North Weald Airfield Strategy Cabinet Committee had been amended so as to enable that Committee to review all of the Council’s property assets not just those at North Weald Airfield.  Members noted that the change had been made to recognise the contribution which asset rationalisation would have to improving service provision and assisting with the Council budgets and financial planning.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That the following decisions taken by the Leader of the Council be noted;

 

            (a)        extension of the terms of reference of the North Weald Airfield Strategy Cabinet Committee as set out in paragraphs 2.1 – 2.5 of Appendix 2 to these minutes;

 

            (b)        renaming of the Committee “North Weald Airfield and Asset Management Cabinet Committee” and

 

            (c)        authorising all appropriate amendments to Appendix 4 of Part 3 of the Constitution (Responsibilities for Functions).

149.

Joint Arrangements and External Organisations

To receive any reports, ask questions and receive answers on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        West Essex Children’s Trust Board

 

Councillor Mrs L Wagland reported that she had attended her first meeting of the West Essex Children’s Trust Board.  She advised that a considerable amount of time had been spent debating the remit of the Board and its relationship to equivalent bodies.  Councillor Mrs Wagland stated that, bearing in mind that the intention was for the Board to only meet five times a year and this had been the second meeting of the current year, she had concerns about the way in which the Board was functioning.  Councillor Wagland reported that there had been a workshop on Obesity amongst Children an issue which was being well addressed in Essex.  However, it appeared that little attention was being given to Safeguarding Children an area in which Essex performed particularly badly. 

 

Councillor Mrs Wagland advised that it had also been proposed that there should be an agreement in relation to the pooling of resources between Uttlesford, Harlow and Epping Forest and she had expressed views about this suggestion to the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive as it was likely the proposals would be coming before the Council shortly.

 

Councillor Mrs Wagland drew attention to a summary of a serious case review in Doncaster which had criticised the equivalent body in that area.  In the light of her experiences of the first meeting of the Board she stated that she had real concerns and together with District Council officers was working hard to try to make sense of the approach being taken.

150.

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

22

Contract of Employment – Post XEX/01)

1

 

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.

 

Confidential Items Commencement: Paragraph 9 of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution require:

 

(1)        All business of the Council requiring to be transacted in the presence of the press and public to be completed by 10.00 p.m. at the latest.

 

(2)        At the time appointed under (1) above, the Chairman shall permit the completion of debate on any item still under consideration, and at his or her discretion, any other remaining business whereupon the Council shall proceed to exclude the public and press.

 

(3)        Any public business remaining to be dealt with shall be deferred until after the completion of the private part of the meeting, including items submitted for report rather than decision.

 

Background Papers:  Paragraph 8 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules of the Constitution 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 (as defined in Rule 10) and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.

 

Inspection of background papers may be arranged by contacting the officer responsible for the item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

            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 paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act indicated and the exemption is considered to outweigh the potential public interest in disclosing the information:

 

            Agenda           Subject                                   Exempt Information

            Item No                                                           Paragraph No

 

            2                      Minutes of the Council            1

                                    Meeting held on

                                    22 December 2009

 

            22                    Contract of Employment –      1

                                    Post XEX01

 

                                   

           

           

151.

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 22 December 2009

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Leader of the Council suggested that there had been an omission from the minutes of this meeting and invited the Council to agree an amendment to those minutes.

 

            Motion moved by Councillor Mrs D Collins and seconded by Councillor C Whitbread.

 

            “That the words “and stated that she had no input whatsoever in either the contract of 2007 or the negotiations” be added to the end of the third paragraph of the preamble of Minute 119 (Contract of Employment – Post XEX 01)”.

 

            Carried

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 December 2009 be taken as read and signed by the chairman as a correct record subject to the addition of the words  “and stated that she had no input whatsoever in either the contract of 2007 or the negotiations” at the end of the third paragraph of the preamble of Minute 119 – Contract of Employment – Post XEX 01.

 

152.

Contract of Employment - Post XEX/01

(Councillor M Cohen) To consider the attached restricted report.

 

In accordance with Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and Council Procedure Rule 3.2 the Chairman has deemed this item as urgent business in order to progress the matter.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors M Cohen and J M Whitehouse submitted a report seeking changes to the delegated authority approved by the Council in August 2009 relating to the contract of employment of Post XEX01.

 

The Chairman of the Council had determined that this matter should be deemed urgent business in accordance with Section 100(B)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and referred to this meeting for consideration in order to progress the matter.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            (1)        That the following recommendations of Councillor M Cohen (with the support of Councillor J M Whitehouse) be adopted:

 

            Delegated Authority to conduct negotiations

 

            (a)        that the delegated authority set out in Council Minute 62(e) of the Council meeting 17 August 2009 be amended by substituting “Councillors M Cohen and J M Whitehouse” for “Leader and Deputy Leader” so as to read:

 

            “authorises Councillor M Cohen and Councillor J M Whitehouse to negotiate directly with the post holder to achieve a resolution of this matter and the terms of any such agreement”.

 

            (b)        that Councillors M Cohen and J M Whitehouse be authorised to negotiate with the post holder regarding the cost of his fair and reasonable legal expenses incurred solely in relation to obtaining legal advice on the terms of this agreement, whether a completed agreement is entered into or not and subject to those charges being fully particularised in the said account, notwithstanding the ceiling of £1,000 previously advised;

 

            (c)        that Councillors M Cohen and J M Whitehouse be authorised to take such steps as might be necessary to regularise any procedural or constitutional irregularity (if any) that may exist or be necessary to complete this matter and to expend such sums as may be reasonable and properly required (within the budget already approved for external legal advice) to ensure that the Council’s position is protected;

 

            (2)        That an extraordinary Council meeting be held before the next ordinary Council meeting in April 2010 in order to:

 

            (a)        approve the terms of the compromise agreement to be further negotiated with the post holder;

 

            (b)        approve arrangements for signing of the compromise agreement on behalf of the Council; and

 

            (c)        receive a report on the correctness of the constitutional procedures adopted in this matter, following external legal advice as requested at the Council meeting on 22 December 2009 (Minute 119(1)).