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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

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

Items
No. Item

72.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

72.1           Apologies for absence were received from Councillors B C J Hesketh, P E Stokes, M G Sztymiak, D J Waters and M J Williams.

73.

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:

73.1           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.

73.2          The following declarations were made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

K J Cromwell

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

J E Day

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

J H Evetts

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

R M Hatton

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

A Hollaway

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

H A E Turbyfield

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

P N Workman

Item 7(b) – Council Tax Discounts 2019/20.

Is a landlord in the Borough.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the room for consideration of the item.

73.3          There were no further declarations made on this occasion.

74.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019.

Minutes:

74.1           The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor, subject to an amendment to show that Councillor A S Reece was in attendance at the meeting.  

75.

Announcements

1.   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.  

 

2.   To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Meeting and/or the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

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

76.

Items from Members of the Public

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

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 13 February 2019).

 

b)   To receive any petitions submitted under the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

Minutes:

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

77.

Member Questions properly submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules

To receive any questions submitted under Rule of Procedure 13. Any items received will be circulated on 19 February 2019.

 

(Any questions must be submitted in writing to Democratic Services by, not later than, 10.00am on the working day immediately preceding the date of the meeting).

Minutes:

77.1           There were no Member questions on this occasion.  

78.

Recommendations from Executive Committee

The Council is asked to consider and determine recommendations of a policy nature arising from the Executive Committee as follows:- 

78a

Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 353 KB

At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered the 2019/20 budget and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that:

1.      a net budget of £8,772,830 be APPROVED;

2.      a Band D Council Tax of £119.36, an increase of £5.00 per annum, be APPROVED;

3.      the use of New Homes Bonus, as proposed in Paragraph 3.5 of the report, be AGREED; and

4.      the capital programme, as proposed in Appendix A to the report, be AGREED.

 

(If a Councillor intends to move a Motion or Amendment in relation to the Council’s annual budget, the text of the proposed Motion or Amendment must be submitted in writing to the Borough Solicitor by 9.00am on the working day preceding the day of the Council meeting). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

78.1           At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered the 2019/20 budget and made a recommendation to Council.  

78.2           The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 5-19.

78.3           In proposing the recommendation, the Chair of the Executive Committee explained that, in line with the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), the budget for the coming year faced a deficit of around £700,000; this was as a result of a combination of factors including cost pressures; growth of service requirements; and further reductions in core government funding of over £200,000. In order to offset the deficit, a number of initiatives aimed at making the Council more self-sustainable had been delivered including: an increase in the garden waste customer base and the fee charged; diversification of treasury investments; rental of spare office capacity in the Public Services Centre; purchase of additional commercial properties; the introduction of Planning Performance Agreements; further use of digital and electronic technologies and channels; and the reorganisation of One Legal to provide an enhanced commercial outlook and additional fee earning capacity. To achieve that additional fee earning capacity, it had been necessary to make changes to the structure of the service. Phase 1 of the One Legal restructure was at management team level with two new posts being created and one deleted; the deleted post had given rise to a redundancy which had incurred a total severance cost of £165,308 – this was split between the three partner Councils of Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Boroughs and Gloucester City, and was made up of a redundancy payment of £34,642 and a pension strain payment to the Gloucestershire County Council Pension Fund of £130,666. Those costs would be met from reserves which were earmarked for the restructure. Although the cost to Tewkesbury Borough Council was £52,421, the total cost was at a level required by government guidance to be voted upon by the Council and it was for that reason an additional recommendation was proposed that the Council approve the severance cost of the Head of Law (Regulatory). In addition to the initiatives outlined, the Chair of the Executive Committee explained that the Borough continued to enjoy growth in both its residential and business sectors and, as a result, there was an increase in the contribution made by New Homes Bonus to support the Council’s core services and an increase to the level of business rates retained by the authority; however, in order to balance the budget, it was, once again, necessary to increase the Council Tax by the maximum amount permissible by central government. The budget proposal, if approved, would require Council Tax to be set at £119.36 per year for a Band D property; however, it was important to note that, even with that increase of 4.37%, Tewkesbury would remain one of the lowest charging District Councils in England and, with the quality of the service it provided to communities, it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78a

78b

Council Tax Discounts 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered the Council Tax Discounts for 2019/20 and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the following discounts be effective from 1 April 2019:

·           the Council Tax discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second homes) is zero;

·           the discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 100% for a period of one month then 25% for the following five months;

·           the discount for dwellings which are vacant and undergoing major repair work to render them habitable will be 25% for a maximum period of 12 months; and

·           an empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

Minutes:

78.7           Having declared an interest as a landlord in the Borough, the Mayor left the meeting for the consideration of this item and the Deputy Mayor took the chair.

78.8           At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered the Council Tax Discounts for 2019/20 and recommended to Council that the following be effective from 1 April 2019: the Council Tax discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second homes) is zero; the discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 100% for a period of one month then 25% for the following five months; the discount for dwellings which are vacant and undergoing major repair work to render them habitable will be 25% for a maximum period of 12 months; and an empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

78.9           The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 20-23.

78.10         The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation which was seconded by the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management.

78.11         A Member questioned what was meant by unfurnished and, in response, the Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that, unfortunately, there was no legislative definition of ‘furnished’ or ‘substantially unfurnished’. In terms of second homes they were furnished to the extent that someone lived there some of the time but not as their main residence whereas unoccupied and unfurnished would usually have no bed, sofa etc. as someone would not be living there.

78.12         Accordingly, it was

                  RESOLVED          That the following Council Tax Discounts be effective from 1                              April 2019:

·         the Council Tax discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second homes) is zero;

·         the discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 100% for a period of one month then 25% for the following five months;

·         the discount for dwellings which are vacant and undergoing major repair work to render them habitable will be 25% for a maximum period of 12 months; and

·         an empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

78c

Council Tax Discount for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 132 KB

At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered a Council Tax Discount Scheme for Care Leavers and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Council Tax Discount Scheme for Care Leavers be ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

78.13         At its meeting on 6 February 2019 the Executive Committee considered a Council Tax Discount Scheme for Care Leavers and recommended to Council that it be adopted effective from 1 April 2019.  

78.14         The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 24-31.

78.15         The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation which was seconded by the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, and it was

                  RESOLVED          That the Council Tax Discount Scheme for Care Leavers be                              ADOPTED effective from 1 April 2019.

79.

Council Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 346 KB

To consider and agree amendments to the Council’s Constitution.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

79.1           The report of the Head of Democratic Services, circulated at Pages No. 32-479, sought to agree a revised Constitution which took account of Council decisions, new/revised legislation, operational changes, current Council practice and the simplification of wording. The report drew attention to the main changes as well as a number of additions to the Scheme of Delegation.

79.2           The Head of Democratic Services explained that the Council’s Constitution was a very important document in terms of the way the Council conducted its business. All Constitutions were based on statutory guidance contained within the Local Government Act 2000 and the last major update of the Council’s Constitution had been in 2009 so a review was needed. The Democratic Services Team had worked together to review the document page by page and there were several items highlighted within the report for amendment/deletion.

79.3           Particular attention was drawn to the Housing Allocation and Homelessness Review Committee which it was considered was no longer required. The Committee had been set up before the current statutory process was put into place and was now an unnecessary secondary review which was time consuming for both Members and Officers. The Standards Committee was likely to change in the future following the results of the recent consultation undertaken by the Committee for Standards in Public Life but, for now, it was suggested that the membership be amended to require one non-voting Parish representative rather than two. In terms of the Tree Panel, the current arrangements were not open and accountable and, since the Planning Scheme of Delegation had been amended and the Planning Committee no longer made the decisions on Tree Preservation Orders, it was felt that the appeal mechanism should rest with the Planning Committee rather than with a Tree Panel. In recent years, the Audit Committee had taken on more of a governance role and the name of the Committee and Terms of Reference had been amended to reflect the importance of that role – it was also suggested that an increase in the membership from seven to nine would be helpful. The Terms of Reference of the Employee Appointments Committee had been amended to take account of new legislation and it had been renamed the Employee Appointments/Disciplinary Committee.

79.4           There was a decision to be made in respect of the Petitions Scheme; as the legislation that had introduced it had now been abolished, and there was therefore no requirement for the Council to have one, it was suggested that the thresholds for requiring a Council debate or a Senior Officer giving evidence at a public meeting be increased from 100 to 800 and 400 respectively in line with the initial guidance. It was felt that the Petitions Scheme was a good tool for gaining peoples’ views and, as such, it should remain in place but, as any petitions of under 800 signatories could still be submitted for consideration by Officers and put through the Committee cycle as appropriate, it was suggested that an increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Council Tax 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Council is asked to formally set the Council Tax for 2019/20.

 

(A report will be circulated at the meeting)  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

80.1           Having agreed the Council’s 2019/20 budget earlier in the meeting, attention was drawn to a report, circulated separately, which asked Members to approve and set a Council Tax requirement for 2019/20.

80.2           In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, voting was recorded as follows:

For

Against

Abstain

Absent

R E Allen

Mrs S E Hillier-Richardson

B C J Hesketh

P W Awford

 

P E Stokes

K J Berry

 

M G Sztymiak

R A Bird

 

 

D J Waters

R Bishop

 

 

M J Williams

G F Blackwell

 

 

 

G J Bocking

 

 

 

K J Cromwell

 

 

 

D M M Davies

 

 

 

J E Day

 

 

 

M Dean

 

 

 

R D East

 

 

 

A J Evans

 

 

 

J H Evetts

 

 

 

D T Foyle

 

 

 

R Furolo

 

 

 

R E Garnham

 

 

 

P A Godwin

 

 

 

M A Gore

 

 

 

J Greening

 

 

 

R M Hatton

 

 

 

A Hollaway

 

 

 

E J MacTiernan

 

 

 

J R Mason

 

 

 

H C McLain

 

 

 

A S Reece

 

 

 

V D Smith

 

 

 

T A Spencer

 

 

 

P D Surman

 

 

 

H A E Turbyfield

 

 

 

R J E Vines

 

 

 

P N Workman

 

 

 

80.3           Accordingly, it was

                  RESOLVED     1.  That it be NOTED that, on 1 December 2018, the Council                                     calculated:

a.    the Council Tax Base 2019/20 for the whole Council area as£34,585.03 (Item T in the formula in section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the "Act")) and,

b.    for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates as attached to the report at Appendix C.

2. That the Council Tax requirement calculated for the Council's own purposes for 2019/20 (excluding Parish precepts) is £4,128,069.

3. That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 30 to 36 of the Act:

a. £35,753,442 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils;

b. £29,552,788 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act;

c. £6,200,653 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act);

d. £179.29 being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T(1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts);

e. £2,072,585 being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per Appendix C to the report);

f.   £119.36 being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by Item T(1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.