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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

77.

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:

77.1           The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was taken as read.  

77.2           The Chair welcomed Councillor P W Awford to the meeting and indicated that he was in attendance, as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to introduce Item 9 on the Agenda – Grass Cutting Improvement Plan.

78.

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:

78.1           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.

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

79.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2019.

Minutes:

79.1           The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.  

80.

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 28 February 2019).

Minutes:

80.1           There were no items from members of the public on this occasion.  

81.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 248 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:

81.1           Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 9-16. Members were asked to consider the Plan.  

81.2           Accordingly, it was

82.

Council Plan Year 4 (2016-20) pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider the Council Plan and make a recommendation to Council for adoption.  

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Council Plan refresh be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL for ADOPTION, subject to the following amendments:

·         Foreword – amend seventh paragraph ‘…- you will see these issues these feature as priorities…’.

·         Foreword – amend final paragraph to reword first sentence which currently reads ‘You will also see (on pages 11 and 12) that we have made lots of achievements under each of our priorities throughout the last year…’.

·         Our achievements 2018-2019 – Growing and supporting communities – amend sentence on Community Infrastructure Levy to say when it was implemented as well as adopted.

·         Photo Index – amend reference to ‘Staverton Airport’ to ‘Gloucestershire Airport’.

Minutes:

82.1           The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 17-34, attached a refresh of the Council Plan 2016-20. Members were asked to consider the document and recommend it to Council for adoption, subject to any amendments the Committee may wish to make.

82.2           The Leader of the Council explained that this was the fourth and final year of the current Council Plan and the document before Members was an updated version for consideration. There had been no major amendments. The Head of Corporate Services added that there had been several significant achievements over the period of the Council Plan and the Plan had been refreshed to ensure it remained relevant. The four priority themes had been reaffirmed: finances and resources; promoting and supporting economic growth; growing and supporting communities; and customer-focussed services, and each of those was supported by a series of key objectives and actions which had been amended to reflect the up-to-date position i.e. ‘further expansion of the Public Services Centre’ had been amended to ‘maximise partnership working within the Public Services Centre’.

82.3           Members felt the updated Council Plan accurately reflected the Council’s position over the last four years. One Member noted some amendments which needed to be made as follows:

·      Foreword – amend seventh paragraph ‘…- you will see these issues these feature as priorities…’.

·      Foreword – amend final paragraph to reword first sentence which currently reads ‘You will also see (on pages 11 and 12) that we have made lots of achievements under each of our priorities throughout the last year…’.

·      Our achievements 2018-2019 – Growing and supporting communities – amend sentence on Community Infrastructure Levy to say when it was implemented as well as adopted.

·      Photo Index – amend reference to ‘Staverton Airport’ to ‘Gloucestershire Airport’.

82.4           Accordingly, it was

Action By: CE

83.

Discretionary Rate Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To adopt the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.  

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

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

Minutes:

83.1           The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 35-50, sought approval for a revised Discretionary Rate Relief Policy which set out proposals for awarding discretionary rate relief to business ratepayers. It also took into account additional discretionary powers which had been brought forward by the Localism Act 2011 and updated the financial implications to Tewkesbury Borough Council of awarding discretionary rate relief. Members were asked to adopt the policy as attached to the report at Appendix 1.

83.2           Accordingly, it was

Action By: CE

84.

Grass Cutting Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 227 KB

 To consider the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Grass Cutting Scrutiny Review Report, attached to the report at Appendix A, including recommendations 1-6 as set out in Paragraph 3.1 of the covering report, be APPROVED.  

Minutes:

84.1           The report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 51-72, attached the report of the Grass Cutting Improvement Plan Working Group, as adopted by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and the Executive Committee was asked to consider and approve that report and its recommendations.

84.2           The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee advised that the Grass Cutting Improvement Plan Working Group had been set up to look at how grass cutting took place within the Borough. The Group had had three very productive meetings in quick succession, chaired by Councillor Cromwell. The meetings had heard from Tewkesbury Borough Council Officers and partners in Ubico about how grass cutting was carried out in Tewkesbury – it had also heard how grass cutting and grounds maintenance was carried out at West Oxfordshire which had given the Group some ideas that helped in devising the recommendations to improve the service. The Working Group felt confident that improvements had been made and that the Council’s Officers and Ubico were committed to making sure the problems faced in the previous year were minimised going forward. The Chair thanked the Members and Officers that had been involved with the Working Group for the considerable amount of effort they had put into making it a success.

84.3           The Head of Community Services drew attention to Page No. 61 of the report which set out the recommendations of the Working Group. He explained that some had already been actioned and others were underway. In terms of the specific actions he advised that:

1.  Ubico had already undertaken an audit of all equipment to ensure it was fit for purpose and had identified the equipment that would need to be purchased by year-end. In addition, the rounds had been reorganised in a more logical way which meant better use of staffing/resources to ensure the workforce was being used to its full capacity.

2.  Tablets were being purchased for electronic mapping.

3.  A small piece of land, currently maintained by Tewkesbury Borough Council on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council, had been identified for cutting twice-yearly. This would be closely monitored to see what the impact was in respect of that cutting regime, as opposed to the current eight to ten times a year that the rest of the Borough was cut. This would then inform the likely impact of a possible reduction in the number of cuts on highways land in the future.

4.  The grounds maintenance service for 2019/20 would continue to be provided on the same basis as the current year and delivery would be closely monitored to ensure it was fit for purpose.

5.  It was felt that there was still work to be done with partners and therefore it was recommended that a Member Group be established from the start of the new Council term to continue the work which had begun.

6.  Over the years, the Council had adopted extra land but the Ubico budget had not been uplifted at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

Action By: DCE

85.

Development of a Strategic Planning Framework for Gloucestershire County to 2050 and Beyond pdf icon PDF 247 KB

To recommend to Council that it agrees to work in partnership with the five other local planning authorities, Gloucestershire County Council and the GFirst LEP to develop a broad Strategic Planning Framework for Gloucestershire, to 2050 and beyond, via the preparation of a ‘Statement of Common Ground’.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Council agrees to work in partnership with the five other local planning authorities, Gloucestershire County Council and the GFirst LEP to develop a broad strategic planning framework for Gloucestershire, to 2050 and beyond, via the preparation, for approval by Council, of a ‘Statement of Common Ground’.  

Minutes:

85.1           The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 73-79, sought to update Members on the progress to date in respect of the creation of a strategic planning framework for Gloucestershire to 2050 and beyond and to make recommendations on the way forward on the preparation of a non-statutory Statement of Common Ground. The report asked for approval of the principle of all Statement of Common Ground partners (the six local planning authorities, the County Council and the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)) cooperating to develop a strategic planning framework for the County on the basis of a Statement of Common Ground.

85.2           The Chief Executive explained that there was a proposal to work in partnership to develop a broad strategic framework for Gloucestershire; none of the proposals would take powers away from the Borough Council in terms of development management; however, it had been understood for a long time that it was sensible for partner authorities to work together to avoid potential conflict and, in broad terms, to speak with one voice across the County in respect of strategic planning issues. In addition to the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Leader’s Board for Gloucestershire considered that a Statement of Common Ground for the County would draw from existing and developing local plans and plan development processes to provide an agreed joined-up picture of growth within Gloucestershire; include the broad aspirations of partners for the promotion of growth within Gloucestershire; provide an agreed approach between all agencies to allow cooperation in delivery of plans and infrastructure; and improve strategic planning coordination, cooperation and communication to avoid potential conflict between plans and partners ensuring Gloucestershire could speak with one voice – this was important for government dialogue and associated funding bids. The project was at its early stages therefore the current report concerned only the principles of the project and further detail would need to be developed as the project progressed with additional reports being presented to individual local authorities and the GFirst LEP in due course. Final adoption of the Statement of Common Ground for Gloucestershire would need to be agreed by each constituent authority. In the first instance, the Leaders Board had felt it appropriate that all partner authorities signed up in principle to avoid a situation where a lot of work was undertaken only for one of the partners to decide it did not want to be involved.

85.3           A Member understood that it would take a while for the Statement of Common Ground to be agreed but she felt it should be clear that, at this stage, the Council was agreeing the principle of working in partnership and that the Statement of Common Ground, when it was prepared, would also be subject to approval by the Council. It was felt that this could be addressed by slightly rewording the resolution. In response to a query regarding the Council’s position going forward, the Chief Executive explained that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

Action By: CE

86.

Borough Growth Reserve pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To support the establishment of a new Borough Growth reserve, including funding for that reserve, to help facilitate and support the growth in the Joint Core Strategy and accelerate development in line with the trajectory.

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

Decision:

1.      That, subject to confirmation of windfall receipts from the 100% Business Rates Retention Pilot, £500,000 be allocated to form a new Borough Growth Reserve.

2.      That, subject to the successful completion of the required business case and reimbursement of expenditure from grant funding, £100,000 of the A40 Innsworth Gateway Reserve be reallocated to the Borough Growth Reserve.

3.      That any expenditure in excess of £50,000, or of abnormal risk, is undertaken by the Chief Executive in consultation with the relevant Member Panel.  

Minutes:

86.1           The joint report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management and Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 80-85, sought to ensure the Council was in a position to act to accelerate the progression of growth delivery to bring about benefits in community and infrastructure development as necessary. Members were asked to approve the allocation of £500,000 to form a new Borough Growth Reserve, subject to confirmation of windfall receipts from the 100% business rates retention pilot; to reallocate the £100,000 A40 Innsworth Gateway Reserve to the Borough Growth Reserve, subject to successful completion of the required business case and reimbursement of expenditure from grant funding; and that, any expenditure in excess of £50,000, or of abnormal risk, be undertaken by the Chief Executive in consultation with the relevant Member Panel.

86.2           The Head of Development Services explained that growth in the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) was fundamental to the Borough and bringing sites forward at pace was necessary. To secure growth and benefits on some sites required intervention and the report before the Committee set out one way in which Officers felt this could be addressed. The government was explicit in how the windfall from the 100% retention of business rates should be used: to promote financial stability and sustainability and, in particular, that some of the retained income should be invested to encourage further growth across an area – the proposed use of the monies to support the delivery of the strategic allocations and growth in homes and jobs would therefore meet that definition. The pilot was operating well and a windfall of £700,000 was expected as at the end of quarter two; however, the full year outturn would not be known until mid-May and, as business rates income could be volatile, it could not be guaranteed to remain at that level.

86.3           In response to a query regarding what the funding would be used for, the Deputy Chief Executive indicated that it was impossible to say exactly as it was a ‘facilitating pot’, for example, at some point there would be a need for money to be made available to fund ongoing work for the rail strategy at Ashchurch and, in order to attract investment to the area for that work, the Council would have to ensure the money was available to get to that point. The money could also be used as a rolling reserve to enable the Council to ‘lend’ money to a project to move it forward with the reserve being replenished when external funding was received. The Head of Development Services expressed the view that the Council was at a significant disadvantage without having a fund like this available. In addition, it showed the Council’s ambitions in terms of contributing to growth.

86.4           A Member questioned whether the Committee would be advised of the windfall receipt once it was confirmed and, in response, the Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that the final outturn figures would be reported to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

Action By: DCE