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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

14.

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:

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

15.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

15.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C Softley. There were no substitutions for the meeting.  

16.

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:

16.1          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.

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

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2021.

Minutes:

17.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2021, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.  

18.

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 1 July 2021)

Minutes:

18.1          There were no items from members of the public.  

19.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 84 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:

19.1          Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 8-16. Members were asked to consider the Plan.

19.2          The Head of Corporate Services advised that the Plan was quite well populated as a result of the policies and strategies report that had recently been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

19.3          Accordingly, it was

20.

Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker - Quarter Four 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 161 KB

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

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker - Quarter Four 2020/21 be NOTED.

Minutes:

20.1          The report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 17-116, asked Members to review and, if appropriate, take action on the observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its review of the Quarter Four 2020/21 Council Plan performance tracker and COVID-19 recovery tracker information.

20.2          Attention was drawn to the observations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and the Council Plan performance tracker, attached to the report at Appendix 2. The COVID-19 corporate recovery plan performance tracker was attached to the report at Appendix 3.

20.3          The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee explained that this had been the Committee’s final review of year one of the Council Plan 2020-2024 and the new COVID-19 recovery plan. Similar to the position in previous quarters, the national picture regarding COVID-19 could change very quickly. When presenting the report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Head of Corporate Services had demonstrated that, despite the ongoing response and recovery to COVID-19, there had been some notable successes during the quarter - those were highlighted within Paragraph 2.3 of the performance report and included: the new long term lease of Cleeve Hill Golf Club; the new in-house management of the five homeless properties; implementation of the new digital platform; and the new bulky waste service. Likewise, successful actions within the recovery plan included: the successful re-opening of Tewkesbury Leisure Centre and Tewkesbury Tourist Information Centre; the ongoing support to communities and businesses within the Borough; the development of a draft bid with the Department for Works and Pensions to offer a Youth Hub Service, hosted within the Growth Hub; and the implementation of a new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) - those were detailed in Paragraph 4.2 of the report. The conclusion of the Committee had been generally positive with it being recognised there was still a significant challenge to recover from COVID-19 and that certain actions may not progress as quickly as possible or, as detailed in the report, some had been deferred. Importantly, it should not be forgotten that the core services, which residents depended upon, had been delivered from the outset of the pandemic and throughout. In terms of questions raised by the Committee, the key issues included: the planning service review; trade waste; 2021 celebrations; the Borough Plan; absence management; and enviro-crimes – particularly fly-tipping. There was particular concern about the planning service review and Members had been keen that, once an action plan had been developed and approved, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee should have an active role in monitoring its delivery. As Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, he was specifically asking the Executive Committee to consider that request. The Committee had noted that other planning service reviews had not actually seen any outcomes and delivering improvement was now a critical issue as the key performance indicators relating to the processing of planning applications and the undertaking of enforcement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Financial Outturn Report (including Capital Financing and Earmarked Reserves) pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the Council’s financial outturn and approve the transfers to and from earmarked reserves. 

Subject To Call In:: 1. No - Item to Note. 2. Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.       That the General Fund outturn for 2020/21, the financing of the Capital Programme and the Annual Treasury Management Report and performance be NOTED.

2.       That the transfers to and from earmarked reserves be APPROVED.  

Minutes:

21.1          The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated at Pages No. 117-142, had been amended following publication of the Agenda and the amended report had been circulated around the table. Members were asked to consider the report and note the General Fund outturn for 2020/21, the financing of the capital programme and the Annual Treasury Management Report and performance and to approve the transfers to and from earmarked reserves.

21.2          The Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that the accounting treatments had been wrong for some of the COVID-19 related funding and had therefore required amendment. In addition, the government compensation had changed which had also been amended. The government error had generated an additional £82,000 to put into the Medium Term Financial Strategy reserve. The outturn position would be a good boost to the Council’s reserves but only in terms of the one-off position meaning those funding streams would not be there again going forward. In addition, a lot of the monies were grant related and therefore set aside for specific uses so there was very little scope to allocate funding. The Council still had financial challenges which were yet to be clarified by the government so it was proposed that the funding would be set aside to mitigate those risks; when the Council did gain clarity it may not be able to change that position but the reserves were proposed as prudent until clarity was gained. Members felt the Committee was kept well-informed via the Transform Working Group and he felt confident to propose the recommendation, as set out on the amended report, which was seconded. In response to a query regarding Member training for finance purposes, the Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that he had been looking for external trainers to support the session and was aiming to set something up for early autumn.

21.3          Accordingly, it was

Action By: HF&AM

22.

Carbon Reduction Action Plan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To note the progress made in in delivering the year 1 action plan; to approve the year 2 action plan; and to recommend to Council the inclusion of a permanent Carbon Reduction Programme Officer post within the ongoing base budget of the Council from April 2022.

Subject To Call In:: 1. No - Item to Note. 2. No - Ongoing Matter. 3. No - Recommendation to Council.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.       That the progress achieved in year one of the action plan be NOTED.

2.       That the recommended year 2 action plan be APPROVED.  

3.       That it be RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that, from April 2022, a permanent Carbon Reduction Programme Officer post be included within the ongoing base budget of the Council at an estimated cost of £40,600.

Minutes:

22.1          The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated at Pages No. 143-161, asked Members to note the progress achieved in year one of the action plan; approve the recommended year two action plan; and recommend to Council the inclusion of a permanent Carbon Reduction Programme Officer post within the ongoing base budget of the Council at an estimated cost of £40,600 from April 2022.

22.2          In July 2020, the Council had approved an initial baseline report and associated action plan. In the last six months, a lot of good progress had been made in moving forward some of the actions – those were set out within the report with the targets. Appendix A to the report highlighted the achievements in the first year of the action plan which included: submitting an application and gaining agreement for external funding to support the feasibility study and delivery of a replacement heating system at the Council Offices; significant work to establish energy diaries for all Council operational buildings which provided a baseline of energy usage and carbon consumption and a means of monitoring those issues in the medium term; survey work at the Roses Theatre and the Council’s domestic properties; consultation with Human Resources to approve a cycle salary sacrifice scheme; and a range of smaller achievements, including the appointment of a countywide Climate Change Coordinator and the works required in the car parks. In terms of monitoring, data had been gathered for the Offices which showed a saving in the last 12 months in carbon emissions due to Officers working from home; however, the amount of gas usage had increased as less heat had been generated by people. Overall, 26 tonnes of carbon had been saved during the period. Data was still being collected from other properties, the grey fleet and the Ubico fleet.

22.3          In terms of the second year of the programme, a balanced set of actions were proposed and had been grouped under four themes of: communications and engagement; technical implementation; scoping studies, policies and schemes; and budgets and external funding and included actions such as furthering the carbon reduction agenda and raising wider awareness; continuing to source further funding opportunities; update of policies; and delivery of projects to save carbon emissions. The Officer report included a recommendation for a post to support the project. The Council had appointed a part-time Low Carbon Consultant and his work had been supported to date by the Asset Manager and Head of Finance and Asset Management but the potential for the project was huge, as was the amount of work, so it was not sustainable for a part-time post. The Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment was supportive of the recommendation and he hoped the Committee would agree the recommendation to Council. The Lead Member advised that the achievements the Council had made so far were exceptional but it had to be recognised that the Head of Finance and Asset Management could not sustain the amount of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

Action By: HF&AM

23.

A417 Missing Link pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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

Decision:

1.       That the update on the A417 Missing Link Development Consent Order process be NOTED.

2.       That authority be delegated to the Head of Development Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Lead Member for Built Environment, to agree the Statement of Common Ground and the Local Impact Report for the scheme with Highways England.

Minutes:

23.1          The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 162-167, provided an update on the A417 Missing Link Development Consent Order process which was being promoted by Highways England and would be submitted to the Secretary of State imminently for independent examination. As part of that process, the local planning authorities would be asked to enter into a Statement of Common Ground with Highways England - which would set out the areas of agreement and disagreement relating to a range of issues including technical and procedural - and a Local Impact Report which provided the opportunity for the relevant local authorities to give details of the likely impact of the proposed development on an authority’s area. Members were asked to note the update on the A417 Missing Link Development Consent Order process and to delegate authority to the Head of Development Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Lead Member for Built Environment, to agree the Statement of Common Ground and Local Impact Report with Highways England.

23.2          The Head of Development Services explained that the Missing Link proposals had been ongoing for several years and Highways England had now submitted a scheme to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration. As part of the proposals fell within Tewkesbury Borough, as well as Cotswold District and Gloucestershire County Council, the Statement of Common Ground would be between each of those authorities. The extent of the Statement of Common Ground and the Local Impact Report would be updated regularly which was the reason a delegation to the Head of Development Services would be required. Atkins had been representing Tewkesbury Borough and Cotswold District Councils in the negotiations with Highways England and there had already been some agreement which was good news. The meetings were taking place regularly and the negotiations had been fairly positive.

23.3          A Member noted that part of the Missing Link fell within his Ward and had been an ongoing discussion since at least 1999; since then there had been a lot of plans, ideas and discussions and he hoped this time the proposals were closer to a resolution than ever before.

23.4          Upon being proposed and seconded, it was

Action By: HDS

24.

Initial Proposals for new Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries in the South West Region pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider what, if any, representation the Committee may wish to make on the Boundary Commission’s proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies in the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire sub-region.

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 consultation deadline.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Council’s response to the Boundary Commission’s proposals for the new Parliamentary constituencies in the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Sub-Region be delegated to the Borough Solicitor based on the comments in Paragraph 5.1 of the report and the additional views expressed by the Committee.  

Minutes:

24.1          The report of the Head of Democratic Services, circulated at Pages No. 168-179, advised Members of the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies in the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Sub-Region. The Committee was asked to consider what, if any, representation it may wish to make on the proposals.

24.2          The Borough Solicitor explained that the Boundary Commission for England was currently conducting a review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries on the basis of the rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. Those rules required that constituencies must have no fewer than 69,724 electors and no more than 77,062; however, the Commission may also take into account any special geographical considerations including, in particular, the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency; local government boundaries which existed, or were prospective on 1 December 2020; boundaries of existing constituencies; any local ties which would be broken by changes in constituencies; and the inconveniences associated with such changes. The consultation on the changes was being undertaken over a period of eight weeks until 2 August 2021, the Commission was then required to publish all the responses received on the initial proposals which then marked the start of a six-week secondary consultation period planned to take place in early 2022. There would also be public hearings in each region where representations could be made directly to an Assistant Commissioner. The representations from each consultation period would be analysed and the Commission would decide whether changes should be made to the initial proposals. The final report would be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons by 1 July 2023. Gloucestershire’s electorate of 483,442 resulted in a mathematical entitlement of 6.59 constituencies which was too large for six whole constituencies and too small for seven; the Commission therefore proposed a pairing with Wiltshire to create a sub-region.

24.3          Members were advised that the existing Tewkesbury constituency was above the permitted electorate range and the Commission’s proposal for changes to the Cheltenham and Gloucester constituencies would further increase the electorate size for Tewkesbury by including one more Ward from Cheltenham and two additional Wards from Gloucester City. To bring the Tewkesbury constituency within the permitted electorate range, the Commission proposed the transfer of seven Tewkesbury Borough Wards from the existing Tewkesbury constituency, including: Winchcombe, Isbourne, Badgeworth, Brockworth East, Brockworth West, Churchdown Brookfield with Hucclecote and Shurdington to form the proposed Cotswolds constituency.

24.4          There were some thoughts from an Officer perspective contained within the report which Members could use to help frame the Council’s response should they so wish, essentially, there were concerns about the complexity of the proposed Tewkesbury constituency in terms of administration which was also very confusing for the electorate to understand in terms of the reasons they were receiving voting paperwork from local authorities which they did not fall under for day-to-day services and the payment of Council Tax. It was also difficult to see how the proposals fit with the Council’s growth agenda and would result in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

Action By: BS

25.

Separate Business

The Chairman 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:

25.1          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.  

26.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 June 2021.

Minutes:

26.1          The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2021, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.