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Agenda, decisions and minutes

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Items
No. Item

63.

Announcements

Minutes:

63.1          The Chair advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others. 

63.2          The Chair welcomed Councillors Cody and Cromwell who were in attendance for Agenda Item 8 – Notice of Motion: Support for Local Electricity Bill. 

64.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

64.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Dean. Councillor R D East would be acting as a substitute for the meeting.  

65.

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:

65.1          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.

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

66.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2020.

Minutes:

66.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record.  

67.

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 30 December 2020).

Minutes:

67.1          There were no items from members of the public.  

68.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 235 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:

68.1          Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 13-17. Members were asked to consider the Plan.

68.2          Accordingly, it was   

69.

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 235 KB

To recommend to Council the adoption of the Medium Term Financial Strategy. 

Subject To Call In:: No - Recommendation to Council

Additional documents:

Decision:

That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021/22-2025/26 be ADOPTED.

Minutes:

69.1          The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated at Pages No. 18-41, attached the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2021/22 to 2025/26 which Members were asked to recommend to Council for adoption.

69.2          The Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that this year the Medium Term Financial Strategy continued to incorporate great uncertainty, not only because of the long term uncertainty of local government finance but now also due to issues including the impact of Coronavirus; potential economic impacts from leaving the European Union; a one year spending review period; a one year delay to the fair funding review and to the introduction of a scheme for the 75% retention of business rates; the future of business rates and the value within the scheme; and clarity on what the New Homes Bonus scheme would be replaced with following its withdrawal. In addition to the national impacts, the Council had its own corporate and service-related financial pressures including salary growth pressure of 2% per year; growing costs of waste collection; increasing demand for additional resources to meet a range of service requirements and pressures; and growth within its services and Council Plan ambitions. It was felt that central government had begun to realise the potentially catastrophic implications of cuts to local government finance but it was not known how/if this would be addressed so the Council would still have some exceptionally difficult decisions to make going forward to match its budget and expenditure.

69.3          In response to a query regarding the consultation undertaken, the Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that the provisional settlement had come out on 19 December and the government welcomed responses from Councils for about a month before it released the actual settlement. In terms of the opportunity to hold a Council Tax referendum, he advised that he had known of a handful of Councils across the country that had taken that route but they had not been successful. Clearly there would need to be a very good argument to go above the Council Tax threshold and get the public to vote in a referendum to agree to that increase. There would be a need to consider all options going forward but he saw this as one of the options near the end of the list which would only be used if absolutely necessary and after the Council had been consulted to see if there was a will to take such action.

69.4          A Member referred to the revenue reserves and questioned whether any of it could be transferred to working balances to help balance the budget. In response, the Head of Finance and Asset Management confirmed that there would be some reserves that could support working balances but some was already being used to support risk elements in the budget such as voids in the Council’s rental properties. The level of reserves held now left the Council in a much better position than it had been previously but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

Action By: HF&AM

70.

Notice of Motion: Support for Local Electricity Bill pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in respect of the Motion.

Subject To Call In:: No - Decision delegated to the Executive Committee by the Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That, while we are appreciative that the motion recognises this Council’s climate change work, and we also recognise the important role locally produced electricity can provide if properly integrated, we do find the motion, at this current time, lacking in information on how it could work and it raises serious concerns over the infrastructure to deliver it, security of power supply delivery, cost and the potential financial and reputational damage implications for this Council. Consequently the motion is rejected.

Minutes:

70.1          The report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 42-58, provided a recommendation from that Committee to the Executive Committee as required by the Council at its meeting on 29 September 2020. The Executive Committee was asked to consider the Motion, and the recommendation of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and determine the response to the Motion.

70.2          The proposer of the original Motion was invited to introduce it. She advised that the Motion had asked the Council to sign up to the campaign to support the Local Electricity Bill and she had found the recommendation from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee highly disappointing, expressing the view that some Members seemed unable, or unwilling, to grasp the meaning of the Motion. She indicated that the report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been factually incorrect in its suggestion that, by supporting the Bill, the Council would be committing itself to anything. In fact, other local authority failures highlighted the exact problems that the Bill aimed to fix as it would mean any Councils that wished to set up their own energy companies would face moderate rather than the extreme risk, that had led to Nottingham and others losing so much money. However, there would be absolutely no cost to Tewkesbury Borough Council if it was to show its support for the Local Electricity Bill and the Bill did not advocate any local authority to do anything. Rather, the Bill required the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) to publish a right to local supply and, as part of that, to ensure that costs faced by local energy generators wishing to sell directly to local customers were proportionate, which they were not at the moment due to energy market regulations. She welcomed the solar panels that were on the Council Offices building to generate electricity but advised that, if passed, the Bill would allow the residents of the Borough to benefit as well; although, it was important to emphasise that the Bill did not advocate becoming a local energy supplier. She reminded the Committee that when a Bill was first presented it did not necessarily contain the final wording, for example, the Climate Change Act started as a draft of five pages but three years later when it became law it was 125 pages; the core principle however had remained the same. The organisations which already supported the Bill were doing so in principle and not necessarily in its exact wording, as the Power for the People’s website made clear, the wording of the Bill may change as the campaign progressed. Nevertheless, the Bill was now supported by 234 MPs including Tewkesbury Borough Council’s own MP, as well as 65 County and local authorities, Tewkesbury Town Council and the regional distributor, Western Power Distribution. The Tewkesbury Constituency MP had recently sent a statement to the proposer of the Motion which indicated that he welcomed and fully supported the campaign and stated that ‘as the UK  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

Action By: HF&AM

71.

Community Funding Scheme / S106 Panel pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To approve a new Community Funding Grants scheme as a way forward to allocate outstanding funds for future community projects and to approve the amended composition of the S106 Panel.

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

Decision:

1.       That the creation of a Community Grants Scheme be APPROVED.

2.       That the development of the scheme be delegated to the Head of Development Services and the Head of Finance and Asset Management, including the formation of criteria and the consultation process to be undertaken to allocate the grants.

3.       That the S106 Panel comprise:

·        The Lead Member for Community.

·        The Lead Member for Built Environment.

·        The Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management.

·        The Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing.

·        Local Member(s) for where the S106 derived as well as from the Ward the funding crosses into (where applicable).

Any Lead Member who cannot attend the meeting can nominate a substitute from the Membership of the Executive Committee.

Minutes:

71.1          The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 59-62,  outlined a new community funding grants scheme as a way forward to allocate funds of £57,700 for future community projects and proposed refining the composition of the Section 106 Panel. Members were asked to approve the creation of the scheme; delegate development of the scheme to the Heads of Development Services and Finance and Asset Management, including the formation of criteria and the consultation process to be undertaken to allocate the grants; and to approve an amendment to the composition of the Section 106 Panel and the consultation process.

71.2          The Community and Economic Development Manager explained that there were two elements to the report; firstly, a new time-limited community grants scheme for capital projects as a way of allocating the £57,700 which was available as a consequence of the withdrawal of the grant offer to Wormington Village Society, and secondly, to refine the composition of the Section 106 Panel to add a Member and to ask for representations from local affected Members in advance of meetings of the Panel rather than having them attend the Panel.

71.3          During the discussion which ensued, a Member expressed the view that the current Section 106 Panel worked well as it was and she did not see the need for an additional permanent Member. In response, the Community and Economic Development Manager explained that the recommendation to increase the number of Panel Members to five was about there being an odd number which was more usual for the Membership of Committees and Working Groups but also the suggestion that the additional Member should be the Leader of the Council made sense as he was also the Lead Member for Economic Development/Promotion. Another Member indicated that this was a relatively small amount of money for community grants and she questioned what the time limit for spending the funds was. She also understood the role of the Section 106 Panel was to consider disputed Section 106 applications for funding and she questioned how many of those were outstanding. In response, the Community and Economic Development Manager explained the intention that the Section 106 Panel be used for the decisions on the community grant funding as well as for Section 106 applications. The community funding would be promoted through Parishes and community groups and local media for a period of approximately 10 weeks to try and encourage applications – it was anticipated the funding would be allocated in one meeting of the Panel but if not a second meeting would be called. In terms of outstanding Section 106 funds, to his knowledge there were currently none outstanding. At the present time, the Section 106 Panel met three or four times a year and usually had around four or five applications to make a decision on; it was not possible to predict when they would come through as it depended on trigger points etc. The Lead Member for Built Environment indicated that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

Action By: HDS HF&AM

72.

Local Development Scheme Update pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To adopt the updated Local Development Scheme for Tewkesbury Borough.  

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 the implementation of the decision.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the updated Local Development Scheme for Tewkesbury Borough, as attached to the report at Appendix 1, be ADOPTED to take effect immediately.  

Minutes:

72.1          The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 63-69, attached an amended Local Development Scheme for Tewkesbury Borough which Members were asked to adopt with immediate effect.

72.2          The Committee was advised that the Local Development Scheme outlined the timetable for preparing statutory development plan documents in the Borough. The published version required revision as it was out of date and an up to date Local Development Scheme was required as part of the Local Plan Examination for the Tewkesbury Borough Plan. The revised Scheme contained the latest timetable for the production of the Joint Core Strategy and the Tewkesbury Borough Plan which noted the key stages as: examination in summer 2023 and adoption in winter 2023 for the Joint Core Strategy; and examination in spring 2021 and adoption in autumn/winter 2021 for the Tewkesbury Borough Plan. The Local Development Scheme had to be adopted and in place prior to the Local Plan Examination commencing in February.

72.3          It was proposed, seconded and

Action By: HDS

73.

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:

73.1          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.    

74.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 18 November 2020.

Minutes:

74.1          The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record.  

75.

Extension to the Council's Contract with Ubico Ltd

(Exempt –Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 –Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information))

 

To consider an extension of the current contract and make a recommendation to Council.

 

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 –Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information))

75.1          Members considered an extension of the current contract with Ubico Ltd and made a recommendation to Council.