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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

22.

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:

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

23.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and advise of any substitutions. 

Minutes:

23.1           Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G F Blackwell and R J Stanley. There were no substitutions on this occasion.

24.

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:

24.1           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.

24.2          The following declaration was made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

C Softley 

Item 8 – Review of Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts.

Interest declared in accordance with Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Would not speak or vote but would remain in the room in accordance with that legislation.

24.3          There were no further declarations of interest made on this occasion.

25.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019.

Minutes:

25.1           The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.  

26.

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 29 August 2019)

Minutes:

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

27.

Executive Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 241 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:

27.1           Attention was drawn to the Committee’s Forward Plan, circulated at Pages No. 6-11. Members were asked to consider the Plan.

27.2           Accordingly, it was

28.

Financial Update - Quarter One 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the quarterly budget position.  

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the financial performance information for the first quarter of 2019/20 be NOTED.  

Minutes:

28.1           The report of the Head of Finance and Asset Management, circulated at Pages No. 12-20, highlighted a quarter one deficit on the revenue budget and detailed the expenditure to date against both the capital programme and the approved reserves. Members were asked to consider the financial performance information for the first quarter of 2019/20.

28.2           Members were advised that the financial position for the first three months of the year was showing a deficit of £71,190; this was unusual at this stage and the variances were highlighted for Members’ information at Paragraph 2.1. There was a surplus of £67,966 on vacant positions and of £5,839 on transport which was encouraging. However, in terms of the deficit, the depot costs had increased as a consequence of the depot review undertaken in 2017 which had seen Tewkesbury’s usage increase due to the food waste collection service being delivered through separate vehicles; Officers had reviewed that cost apportionment and agreed it reflected the current usage of the site. Transfer payments for the benefit service were in deficit by £29,557 due to two significant overpayments which the Council was in the process of recouping; around 40% could be claimed in government subsidy but the Council was also able to recover 100% from the claimant so it was actually possible to recoup 140%. Finally, income was showing a small deficit at the end of quarter one with planning income being below target by £80,000 – although the Development Team had predicted it would recover and achieve the budgeted level of income by the end of the financial year. It was important to note that the way the financial position was reported meant that, whilst some expenditure was outside of the budget, there would be some income to recoup e.g. the European elections would be paid for by the government and, whilst Ubico was currently showing a £24,000 deficit which was largely in relation to grounds maintenance, there was a contingency to cover that spending should it remain in deficit at year-end. In terms of corporate codes, there was a significant budget deficit being shown on investment properties due to the Council not being able to secure another commercial property; this had meant income expected to be received in rent had not been achieved. The Council’s advisors continued to search for suitable quality acquisitions.

28.3           The Head of Finance and Asset Management indicated that the reported deficit at this stage was disappointing; however, with service areas still expecting to deliver full year income levels, there was no corrective action suggested at this stage. The position would be kept under review by the management team and it may need to consider some action in the future. He felt that, having just benefited from a year of significant surplus, the revenue budget for the current year could not be allowed to return a deficit which would necessitate having to utilise the reserves set aside for specific projects and future financial sustainability. The reserves position was attached to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Review of Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To endorse the proposed consultation on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2020/21.

Subject To Call In:: No - Ongoing Matter.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the proposed public consultation on a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21 be undertaken during the period 16 September to 25 October 2019, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, subject to the amendment of consultation question 4 which currently offers the responses ‘strongly agree’; ‘agree’; ‘neutral’; ‘disagree’; and ‘strongly disagree’ but then asks for further information if the respondent has answered ‘yes’.

Minutes:

29.1           The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 21-33, asked the Committee to endorse public consultation on a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21.

29.2           The Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that the Council Tax Reduction Scheme had replaced Council Tax Benefit from April 2013 and, since that time, Councils had been required to set their own scheme which related to working age claimants. In structuring a scheme, the Council had key duties around mobility and the protection of vulnerable residents. Possible options had been presented to Members at a meeting of the Transform Working Group and the preferred options for investigation were agreed as keeping the scheme as it was; introducing a scheme where all working age claimants paid a percentage of their Council Tax; and to consider an income banded scheme.

29.3           Members were advised that, by law, the Council was required to consult with the major precepting authorities along with anyone else it considered likely to have an interest in the operation of the scheme. The proposed consultation would ask a number of questions to seek views on a new scheme based on income bands, whether the Council should ask all working age claimants to pay something or if it should remain on the default scheme. A banded scheme would mean the level of Council Tax reduction awarded would only need to change if income went above or below the band threshold which consequently would reduce the number of revised Council Tax bills that were issued. The proposed consultation would be available on the Council’s website for a six week period from 16 September to 25 October with a paper copy being available to anyone that required one. In addition, visitors to reception would be made aware of the consultation and a flyer would be issued with correspondence to Council Tax and Council Tax reduction customers. Once the results of the consultation had been analysed a report would be taken to the Executive Committee with recommendations on a revised scheme for 2020/21 along with detailed financial information.

29.4           During the discussion which ensued, a Member referred to consultation question 4  and indicated that, whilst the responses were not ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, the second part of the question referred to whether or not the respondent had answered ‘yes’. The Revenues and Benefits Manager undertook to amend this to ensure the question was clearer. In terms of people who may not be able to look at the website, Members were advised that the consultation would also be promoted through the Financial Inclusion Partnership, at Parish Offices and at the Area Information Centres. The intention was to direct as much of the information as possible electronically, as well as to engage people as part of the day to day business of the Council, but it was accepted that this was not possible for all residents. In addition, an article had been included in the last edition of the Borough News to tell people to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

Action By: DCE

30.

Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2017-21 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To authorise the Deputy Chief Executive and the Head of Development Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for Economic Development/Promotion, to make amendments to the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2017-2021.

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive and the Head of Development Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for Economic Development/Promotion, to make amendments to the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2017-21.  

Minutes:

30.1           The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 34-58, outlined progress to date on the year two action plan in respect of the Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2017-21, as well as outlining the actions for 2019/20. The progress and actions had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 18 June 2019 and that Committee had made a recommendation to the Executive Committee which Members were asked to consider.

30.2           The Economic and Community Development Manager advised that the Strategy had originally been written in 2017 and had been due to be reviewed in 2021 in line with the new Council Plan; however, there were some amendments that were required now and the Executive Committee was asked to authorise the Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Development Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for Economic Development/Promotion, to make such amendments.

30.3           The Economic Development and Tourism Strategy covered five key priorities: employment land planning; transport infrastructure improvement; business growth support; promoting Tewkesbury Borough; and employability, education and training. Under each of those headings were a number of objectives and annual actions were outlined under those objectives. Over the last 12 months, several key actions had been fulfilled including: the launch and operation of Tewkesbury Growth Hub; the launch of Hub surgery sessions for businesses with a planning champion; a successful bid to establish a Countywide Inward Investment Service with local authority partners and GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); launch of the ‘Uncover the Cotswolds’ project to attract more visitors from European markets; successful business engagement events; ongoing delivery of the Small Business Grant Scheme; LEADER funds allocated to businesses within Tewkesbury Borough; and the submission of the future High Streets fund expression of interest. The action plan for 2019/20 set out positive interventions to facilitate and encourage economic growth including: delivery of year two Growth Hub support; exploration of Growth Hub extension plans; delivery of annual business engagement, courses and training; delivery of the countywide Inward Investment Service working with key partners; establishing a J9 Business Group to support delivery of the masterplan and Garden Town; working with GFirst LEP to develop and shape the Local Industrial Strategy; and increasing the heritage offer of Tewkesbury Battlefield. In terms of amendments, the Committee was advised that, due to a focus on growth and a number of changes in the economic development field, the Strategy would benefit from updates in respect of initiatives and policies such as the Garden Town, the High Street Fund, potential airport growth and the Local Industrial Strategy.

30.4           During the brief discussion which ensued, a Member noted that tourism was vital for the Borough, as it supplied jobs and strengthened the economy, and he questioned what was being done in that regard as he did not see it mentioned within the Strategy. In response, the Economic and Community Development Manager offered reassurance that tourism was reflected throughout the Strategy. It was acknowledged that the way people accessed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

Action By: DCE

31.

Waiver to Contract Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To note the waiving of the Contract Procedure Rules in respect of the purchase of a 12 tonne narrow access vehicle

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

Decision:

That the use of a contract waiver in respect of the purchase of a 12 tonne narrow access vehicle be NOTED.

Minutes:

31.1           The report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 59-61, described a contract waiver in respect of the purchase of a 12 tonne narrow access vehicle which had been agreed in line with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules. The waiver had been agreed by the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, and the Committee was asked to note the waiver.

31.2           The Head of Community Services explained that the report was for information only and was submitted in line with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules which required that the use of an urgent waiver must be reported to the Executive Committee. He advised that on 4 December 2018, the Council had agreed to the purchase of a 12 tonne narrow access refuse and recycling collection vehicle and Tewkesbury Borough Council Officers, along with the fleet teams at Ubico, had subsequently carried out the initial stages of a procurement exercise to identify a suitable replacement. From the date of ordering a new vehicle built to the Council’s specification, it would normally take 45 weeks to build and deliver; however, Dennis Eagle had a vehicle which would be available within 17 weeks of ordering so placing an order with that company would significantly reduce the waiting time for the vehicle and therefore the associated costs of continuing to hire the current vehicle. It was on that basis that the contract waiver had been the preferred option.

31.3           Accordingly, it was

32.

Garden Town Programme pdf icon PDF 353 KB

To receive an update on the status of the Tewkesbury Garden Town programme and information about the recent success of the West Cheltenham Garden Village bid, made jointly with Cheltenham Borough Council, and to agree proposals for delegation of authority to Lead Officers for the efficient development of the Garden Village programme.

Subject To Call In:: 1 & 4 - No - Item to Note. 2 & 3 - No - Procedural Matters. 5 - No - Ongoing Matter.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.         That the progress made to date on the Tewkesbury Garden Town Programme be NOTED.

2.         That the Junction 9 Area Member Reference Panel be DISBANDED.

3.         That the creation of a new Tewkesbury Garden Town Member Reference Panel, together with the Terms of Reference attached at Appendix 2 to the report, be APPROVED, subject to the following amendments to those Terms of Reference:

·           under ‘Constitution and Powers’ add the word ‘Ward’ to ‘Members for Tewkesbury South’;

·           the quorum of the Panel shall be five Members of which at least one will be a Ward Member.

4.         That the progress to date  on the West Cheltenham (Cyber Central) Programme, including the award of Garden Village status, be NOTED.

5.         That authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Members for Built Environment and Finance and Asset Management and the Head of Finance and Asset Management, to agree and enter into appropriate arrangements and other partnership documentation to progress the West Cheltenham Garden Village Programme on terms approved by the Borough Solicitor.

Minutes:

32.1           The report of the Garden Town Programme Director, circulated at Pages No. 62-73, updated the Committee on the status of the Garden Town Programme and provided information about the recent success of the West Cheltenham Garden Village bid which had been made jointly with Cheltenham Borough Council. Members were asked to note the progress made on the Tewkesbury Garden Town Programme; to disband the J9 Area Member Reference Panel; to approve the creation of a new Tewkesbury Garden Town Member Reference Panel with the draft Terms of Reference as attached to the report; to note the progress made to date on the West Cheltenham (Cyber Central) programme, including the award of Garden Village status; and to delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Members for Built Environment and Finance and Asset Management and the Head of Finance and Asset Management, to agree and enter into appropriate arrangements and other partnership documentation to progress the West Cheltenham Garden Village programme on terms approved by the Borough Solicitor.

32.2           The Garden Town Programme Director explained that the Tewkesbury Garden Town included approximately 10,195 homes and 100 hectares of employment land with delivery up to 2050. The opportunities from that would include consideration of technological advances/smart homes in terms of digital infrastructure and how that would benefit the wider Tewkesbury area. In terms of resources, the Garden Town Programme would have a Programme Director, a Programme Manager – with a focus on the Ashchurch bridge - a Community Officer and a Programme Assistant. The governance would include the new Garden Town Member Reference Panel and Officers would work with that group to define the programme and advisory groups etc. It was noted that, to date, a more ad-hoc arrangement had been in place, and a formal structure would be critical to the success of the programme.

32.3           Members received an update on the projects which were ongoing in the area including: J9/A46 – a Pre-Strategic Outline Business Case had been submitted for funding via the ‘Large Local Majors’ scheme through the Department for Transport (DfT) this was still in the early stages but it demonstrated to the DfT how important the scheme was; Rail – discussions had been held with franchisees - the Council could not drive the timetable changes but it was hopeful to get more stops - and the County Council in regard to the Gloucestershire Wide Rail Strategy; Masterplanning – BDP was completing phase 1 of its work and had been commissioned to embed the Garden Town principles. In terms of communications, the programme had its own website with regular updates via electronic media, masterplanning engagement and community engagement – the ‘branding’ for the Garden Town would be implemented soon and would ensure the programme was separate from the Joint Core Strategy and Tewkesbury Borough Council. The team was considering how best to get formal engagement with the community through the governance structure. The Council had a good relationship with Homes England which would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

Action By: CE BS

33.

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:

33.1           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.

34.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 July 2019.

Minutes:

34.1           The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.  

35.

Use of Urgency Powers - Roses Theatre

(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 note the use of urgency powers taken in respect of the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

 

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))

35.1           The use of urgency powers taken in respect of the offer of financial assistance, and the amendment of the terms of a grant to the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury was noted.  

36.

Future Countywide Waste Partnership - Joint Waste Committee and Joint Waste Team

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

 

To consider the way forward in respect of the Joint Waste Committee and Joint Waste Team and make a recommendation to Council on the future of the Countywide Waste Partnership.  

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

36.1           The Committee considered the way forward in respect of the Joint Waste Committee and Joint Waste Team and, accordingly, made a recommendation to Council on the future of the Countywide Waste Partnership.