This is a default template, your custom branding appears to be missing.
The custom branding should be at https://tewkesbury.gov.uk/minutes/ if you cannot load this page please contact your IT.

Technical Error: Error: The remote server returned an error: (429) Too Many Requests.

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

99.

Announcements

When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

 

In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the building.  

Minutes:

99.1           The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.

100.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

100.1         Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G F Blackwell, C Softley and M G Sztymiak. Councillor M L Jordan would be acting as a substitute for the meeting.

101.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

101.1         The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

101.2         There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

102.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2022.

Minutes:

102.1         The Minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2022, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.  

103.

Items from Members of the Public

To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Rule of Procedure 12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 24 March 2022)

Minutes:

103.1         There were no items from members of the public.  

104.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider the Committee’s Forward Plan.  

Subject To Call In:: No - Item to Note.

Decision:

That the Committee’s Forward Plan be NOTED.  

Minutes:

104.1         Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 11-17. Members were asked to consider the Plan.

104.2         Accordingly, it was   

105.

Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker - Quarter Three 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To receive and respond to the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee‘s review of the quarter three performance management and recovery information. 

Subject To Call In:: No - Item to Note.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s review of the quarter three performance management and recovery information be NOTED.   

Minutes:

105.1         The report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 18-109, asked Members to review and, if appropriate, take action on the observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its review of the Quarter Three 2021/22 Council Plan performance tracker and COVID-19 recovery tracker information.

105.2         In the absence of the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Head of Corporate Services explained that the Committee had noted the performance management report, including areas where actions or key performance indicators were not progressing as smoothly or quickly as envisioned. Questions raised by the Committee could be found in Paragraph 2.1 of the report. Similar to quarter two, there was not one real area of focus but a range of questions across all the actions within the Council Plan and recovery plan. The key questions/observations to bring to the attention of Executive Committee were: the trade waste project -the March 2022 date within the tracker was a date by which the project plan would be up and running with the project lead appointed. The project was progressing well and the action would be carried forward into 2022/23 - the Overview and Scrutiny Committee received six monthly progress reports; the Joint Core Strategy timetable – as verbally reported to Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a revised timetable was being presented to the Executive Committee as part of the Local Development Scheme item; planning applications – speed of processing -the Interim Development Manager explained that Officers were working hard to address the backlog of applications and it was hoped that an upturn would be reflected in the figures over the next two months – he had provided assurance that new applications were being dealt with in a timely manner; review of licensing service – the continued shift of implementation dates was questioned, particularly as the date had now been moved to December 2022, and it was explained that the original action was in relation to moving certain aspects of the service to an online option, however, the scope had significantly widened since the initial action was introduced with a whole review of the service now being undertaken - the project contained four workstreams IT, governance, HR and the team structure, and finance with support for each element being provided by the relevant services; response to complaints - a Member had noted there was a downward trend with 80% of formal complaints answered in time during quarter one, 68% in quarter two and 65% in quarter three which was 73% overall against a target of 90% and it was explained that complaints could be complex and services were under pressure. The downturn had been discussed by Management Team and improvement was anticipated during quarter four. Top tips for dealing with complaints were communicated to staff, for instance, agreeing an extension of time with the complainant at an early stage if the complaint could not be resolved quickly. Although the demand on services was recognised, it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.

106.

Discretionary Rate Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To approve the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy and to delegate authority to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to implement any further business rates reliefs introduced by government.

Subject To Call In:: Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.      That the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy, as attached at Appendix A to the report, be ADOPTED.

2.      That authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to implement any further business rate reliefs introduced by government.

Minutes:

106.1         The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 110-126, sought approval for an updated Discretionary Rate Relief Policy which considered the current eligibility criteria for discretionary rate relief. Members were asked to adopt the updated policy and delegate authority to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to implement any further business rate reliefs introduced by the government.

106.2         The Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that the revised policy was the same as the existing with the exception of a couple of changes to incorporate legislation which had been introduced over the last three years in respect of the addition of rural rate relief and relief for local newspapers. A Member questioned how rural was defined in terms of rural rate relief and was advised that this was included at Paragraph 7.4 of the policy which defined it as “designated settlements in a rural area which had a population of 3,000 or less”.

106.3         Accordingly, it was

Action By: HCorS

107.

Discretionary Housing Payments Policy pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To adopt the Discretionary Housing Payments Policy with effect from 1 April 2022.

Subject To Call In:: No - Decision taken as urgent as defined in Scrutiny Rule of Procedure 15.1 because there would be insufficient time for the completion of the call-in process before implementation of the decision.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Discretionary Housing Payments Policy, as attached at Appendix A to the report, be ADOPTED with effect from 1 April 2022.

Minutes:

107.1         The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 127-139, proposed an updated policy to incorporate internal audit recommendations and to ensure consistent decisions were made. Members were asked to adopt the Discretionary Housing Payments Policy with effect from 1 April 2022.

107.2         The Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that discretionary housing payments were short term awards the Council could administer to help residents with housing costs where they were in receipt of housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. The policy had been due for review in 2021 but had been delayed due to COVID-19. The new policy incorporated recommendations from Internal Audit, following its review, along with updated guidance provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. It also placed greater emphasis on the actions the applicant needed to take to avoid long term reliance on discretionary housing payments.

107.3         A Member noted that the government allocated funding and then it was at the discretion of the Council whether it would top up the fund and questioned whether there was an expectation that a large top up would be made and, if so, how that was incorporated into the budget. In response, the Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that the Council had an allocation and there were opportunities in the financial year to submit an initial estimate and a mid-year estimate to the Department for Work and Pensions and the funding was then adjusted on that basis. The Council could top up from its own resources but that was unlikely to be required this year.

107.4         Accordingly, it was           

Action By: HCorS

108.

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To recommend to Council that the revised Statement of Community Involvement be adopted.  

Subject To Call In:: No - Recommendation to Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the revised Statement of Community Involvement be ADOPTED.  

Minutes:

108.1         The report of the Interim Planning Policy Manager, circulated at Pages No. 140-187, asked the Executive Committee to recommend to Council that the revised Statement of Community Involvement be adopted.

108.2         Members were advised that the Statement of Community Involvement set out how Tewkesbury Borough Council would engage with the local communities and stakeholders in the development of planning policy documents and the determination of planning applications within the Borough. The requirement to prepare a Statement of Community Involvement was introduced in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and there was now a requirement for the document to be reviewed every five years and to set out how the Council would support communities undertaking neighbourhood planning. There was no legal requirement to consult on the review of the Statement of Community Involvement; however, the views of Members and Parish Councils had been sought as part of the preparation of the document – the main changes were summarised as: the inclusion of important principles for community involvement; greater reference to the role and use of digital consultation and engagement; the inclusion of guidance relating to how the Statement of Community Involvement procedures would need to change in response to any possible future emergency/pandemic situations which impacted business as usual; reference to the approach to community involvement for the Joint Core Strategy review, including reference to the Garden Town; the inclusion of the Council’s policy for providing support for neighbourhood planning; and updates to development management consultation requirements, particularly a move to using neighbour notification letters instead of just green site notices.

108.3         During the discussion which ensued, a Member expressed the view that the proposed neighbour notification letters were very welcome. However, another Member stated that the proposition but did not sit well with her. She was of the view that it was presumptuous of the Council to assume people had access to the internet and it was risky to abolish the use of the green notices as they were very visible to people in the area of an application. In response, the Head of Development Services advised that some applications would still have site notices as well as neighbour notification letters – some people had indicated that they had not seen site notices in the past and therefore had not been notified so the new system was designed to be more inclusive. She felt there was never an answer which suited everyone but the Council tried to engage as best it could. Neighbour notification letters were intended to ensure people directly adjoining the area were notified. In terms of neighbouring properties, the Head of Development Services advised that the number of people who received the letters depended on the type of application e.g. a larger development would have a greater impact on more residents so each case would be different. It was agreed by several Members that it felt safer to write to neighbours than to rely on them to see a site notice but they also felt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

Action By: HDS

109.

Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To recommend the Local Development Scheme to Council for adoption.  

Subject To Call In:: No - Recommendation to Council

Additional documents:

Decision:

That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the updated Local Development Scheme for Tewkesbury Borough, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be ADOPTED.

Minutes:

109.1         The report of the Interim Planning Policy Manager, circulated at Pages No. 188-199, attached an updated Local Development Scheme which Members were asked to recommend to Council for adoption.

109.2         Members were advised that the Local Development Scheme outlined the timetable for preparation of statutory development plan documents in the Borough. The existing published version, which had been adopted by the Council in January 2021, required revision as the timetable was now out of date and an up to date Local Development Scheme was required as part of the preparation of the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Strategic Plan (formerly the Joint Core Strategy). The amended key dates for the Joint Strategic Plan and Tewkesbury Borough Plan were contained within the Local Development Scheme. Neighbourhood Development Plans also formed part of the Development Plan for Tewkesbury Borough and a number of plans had been ‘made’ or were currently in production. Although eventually adopted by the Borough Council, Neighbourhood Development Plans were developed by local communities. Therefore those plans were not directly progressed by the Borough Council and their timetable for development was largely dependent on local communities. As such, the Local Development Scheme did not contain detail on the timetables for any emerging Neighbourhood Development Plans.

109.3         Accordingly, it was

Action By: HDS

110.

Managing Contractors Safely Policy Review pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To approve the revised Managing Contractors Safely Policy.

Subject To Call In:: Yes - No action to be taken prior to expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the revised Managing Contractors Safely Policy be APPROVED.  

Minutes:

110.1         The report of the Environmental Health Manager, circulated at Pages No. 200-216, asked Members to approve the revised Managing Contractors Safely Policy.  

110.2         The Environmental Health Manager explained that the Council had a documented policy in place which provided Officers with guidance on the safe management of contractors. Following consultation with managers, the policy had been reviewed to ensure it was fit for purpose and reflected current best practice. The review had resulted in additional guidance on the role and responsibilities of the Council’s client officer and the pre-contract checks that should be made prior to selecting and engaging a contractor. The main policy changes were outlined within the report at Paragraph 2.0 and included clarification of responsibilities for carrying out background checks on a contractor such as identification, right to work, qualifications, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and character references; a requirement on behalf of the client officer to make reasonable checks to verify the competence of a contractor, compliance history and membership of trade accreditation schemes; minor amendments to wording with the addition of sub-contractors alongside references to contractors; and consideration of COVID-19 where relevant. During the brief discussion which ensued, a Member questioned whether there should be reference made to the accident policy and working conditions in terms of checking workers were not being forced to have zero-hour contracts etc. In response, the Environmental Health Manager confirmed that the Council had such policies in place but not within the contractor’s policy – he undertook to find out if those factors needed to be considered within the current policy. In addition, a Member questioned whether the Council would consider engaging a smaller contractor to undertake work and whether the Council asked equality and diversity questions. In response, the Environmental Health Manager explained that the Council would consider smaller contractors as well as larger ones as long as they met the checks necessary. Sub-contractors would be checked and verified though the trade chain and the contractors would do their own reasonable checks. Equality and diversity were covered under the procurement process and the procurement team had been involved in drafting the policy.

110.3         Accordingly, it was

Action By: HComS

111.

Solar Car Park Canopy pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To approve the use of up to £317,000 from the asset management and carbon reduction earmarked reserves to enable the delivery of a solar car park canopy.

Subject To Call In:: No - Decision taken as urgent as defined in Scrutiny Rule of Procedure 15.1 because there would be insufficient time for the completion of the call-in process before implementation of the decision.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the use of up to £447,200 from the asset management and carbon reduction earmarked reserves be APPROVED to  enable the delivery of a solar car park canopy.

Minutes:

111.1         The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated separately at Pages No. 1-5, provided an update on the solar car park canopy which the Council would like to install, and Members were asked to approve the use of up to £447,200 from the asset management and carbon reduction earmarked reserves to enable its delivery. A typographical error was pointed out in the executive summary of the revised report which meant that the total cost should read £663,200 rather than £633,200.

111.2         The Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that the report mirrored the information he had recently reported to Members informally; however, a new paper had been issued because the lowest bidder had pulled out of the process and next lowest bidder meant an extra cost so £447,200 of reserves would be required instead of the previously suggested £317,000. Of the grant funding available, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme had so far agreed to release £216,000 to support the delivery of the project and the project team was confident that figure could be increased and was hopeful of securing the full grant of £284,200 - this meant a funding shortfall of between £379,000 and £447,200 would need to be met by the Council to deliver the project. Despite the significant capital cost increase there remained a strong business case for investment – even at the current cost of energy an annual return of £45,222 against a maximum capital outlay of £447,200 allowed for a return on investment of 9.9 years; however, should the full external grant be available, the return on investment would drop to 8.4 years. The solar car park canopy would be a highly visible demonstration of the Council’s commitment to carbon neutrality, would deliver an annual saving of approximately 76 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and would take the Council a long way towards the target for carbon neutrality of the offices. The scheme was even more important given the disappointing news that the Council’s second bid for funding towards the replacement of the heating system had been unsuccessful despite passing all of the assessment criteria. Investigations were ongoing to find alternative grant funding opportunities. The modular nature of the design for the solar canopy meant that, in future, it could be extended to help meet the remaining offsetting needs of delivering carbon neutrality against other aspects of service delivery such as the collection of waste and recycling and the leisure centre provision.

111.3         The Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment explained that the increases in prices were to be expected as the same had happened with the heating system – the problem was that costs were increasing all the time and if Members chose to wait to offer their support, they would find the canopy was even more expensive in a few months’ time. Several Members agreed that it would be very short-sighted of the Council not to agree to the proposals. In terms of rising costs on all projects,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.

Action By: HF&AM

112.

Separate Business

The Chair will move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

112.1         The Chair proposed, and it was  

                  RESOLVED          That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act                               1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following                              items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of                                    exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the                          Act.

113.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 March 2022.

Minutes:

113.1         The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2022, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.