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 of Council (verbal);
(b) Report of the Place Portfolio Holder (attached);
(c) Report of the Finance Portfolio Holder (attached);
(d) Report of the Wellbeing & Community Partnerships Portfolio Holder (attached);
(e) Report of the Customer Portfolio Holder (attached);
(f) Report of the Contracts & Commissioning Portfolio Holder (attached);
(g) Report of the Technical Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(h) Report of the Internal Resources Portfolio Holder (attached);
The Council received written reports from Portfolio Holders. The Chairman invited the Leader of Council to provide a verbal report and the opportunity for other members of the Cabinet to give verbal updates on matters concerning their relevant portfolios.
(a) The Leader of Council
Councillor C Whitbread advised that he had been meeting with members of the Cabinet to discuss the work programme for the year ahead and what the Cabinet were seeking to achieve. He stated that he had also had a number of meetings to discuss the initial work on the Council’s Corporate Plan which was emerging and will be going before the select committees before being presented at Cabinet.
He advised that he was still meeting with different Council Leaders, recently Harlow and Uttlesford to discuss how they could work together in the future.
He had also attended the rededication of the Norwegian Stone and had the opportunity to show members of the Norwegian Airforce around North Weald Airfield.
He advised that he had been around the district visiting local schools and hoped to visit more in the near future to meet the youth of the district and to see the work that was being done in our schools.
In the weeks ahead he advised that he and some of the Cabinet had meetings with BIFFA to discuss some of the issues around the waste collections and how these issues were going to be addressed in the future.
(b) Housing and Community Portfolio Holder
Councillor H Whitbread advised that the Council had received £338,000 Safer Streets funding from the Government which the Council have contributed to in the sum of £169,000. This was part of a government initiative to keep streets safer.
The Council would be using some of the money to invest in the Ninefields Estate in Waltham Abbey, installing CCTV, making sure the communal spaces were more open and safer and also around signage and the bin spaces. Historically in this area there have been issues with anti-social behaviour, drugs and fly-tipping. It was hoped that an improvement would be seen at Ninefields and this Council welcomes its close collaboration with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst.
(c) Finance Portfolio Holder
Councillor J Philip stated that he would like to thank a resident of the district for spotting that the Qualis Community Interest Company did not file its reports on time. He added that the Qualis Community Interest Company was now dormant but that it still should have filed accounts. He stated that he had spoken to the managing director of Qualis and she has assured Councillor Philip that the accounts will be filed within the next week. He had been advised that due to staffing levels and for the fact this company was now dormant the details did not go for audit with the auditors, this will be added to the process going forward so that it would not happen again.
Councillor Philip stated that he would like to inform Council of some good news, just before the close of business this evening officers submitted our response to the Shared Prosperity Fund to Government and we should hear from the Government sometime in October 2022 on the result of our bid. This was a significant piece of work and it was worth noting that we as a Council took much more of this through the democratic process and got the bid in before time.
(d) Technical Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor K Williamson advised that the pavement licensing, since it was drafted, had been extended until September 2023.
The licensing hearing for the Crooked Billet will be on Tuesday 3 August 2022.
There will be a members briefing on the new planning system, at one stage it was going to be held before this meeting, but that proved to be difficult so it was now being arranged for the very near future and members will be informed of that date.