Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 6th September, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: A. Hendry (Democratic Services)  Tel: (01992) 564246 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

17.

Webcasting Introduction

(a)        This meeting is to be webcast;

 

(b)            Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking; and

 

(c)        the Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.

 

By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.

 

You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.

 

Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.

18.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

 

19.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet held on 14th June 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 14 June 2018, be taken as read and signed by the Leader as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 14 June 2018, be taken as read and signed by the Leader as a correct record.

20.

Reports of Portfolio Holders

To receive oral reports from Portfolio Holders on current issues concerning their Portfolios, which are not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no verbal reports made by Members of the Cabinet on current issues affecting their areas of responsibility.

 

21.

Public Questions and Requests to Address the Cabinet

To receive any questions submitted by members of the public and any requests to address the Cabinet.

 

(a)        Public Questions

 

To answer questions asked by members of the public after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within Part 4 of the Constitution (Council Rules, rule Q3 refers) on any matter in relation to which the Cabinet has powers or duties or which affects the District.

 

(b)       Requests to Address the Cabinet

 

Any member of the public or a representative of another organisation may address the Cabinet on any agenda item (except those dealt with in private session as exempt or confidential business) due to be considered at the meeting, in accordance with the provisions contained within Article 7 of the Constitution (The Executive, paragraphs 27 & 28 refers).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In order to give the proposed question some context the Chairman allowed the public speaker to firstly make his statement to the meeting and then follow it up with his question.

 

Request to address the Cabinet

 

The Cabinet heard from Mr T Owen, Vice-Chairman of the Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership who made a statement on the proposed parking tariff review report on the agenda that night.

 

Mr Owen said the Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership consistently had parking as an agenda item at its meetings.

 

They had noted that the report included the intention to help local businesses and that car parks could also be treated individually (such as the one in Roydon).

 

The report also noted that there was a lack of parking provision in the Debden Broadway area. To address that there was the proposal to increase the Resident Parking Permit by £2 per annum and the acknowledgement that a review of the parking in the Broadway was carried out.

 

It was well known that parking has been a contentious issue in Debden for some time and they did not believe that the proposals improve the situation – especially the proposed reduction in free parking at a time when traders were experiencing the impact of three hours free parking in the Epping Forest Shopping Park.

 

The Broadway Traders and Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership believed that the report had missed the opportunity to make realistic but innovative and helpful proposals that if adopted would benefit the local community. They would like to suggest that there were simple measures that could make a difference to the traders, residents and customers, and ask that serious consideration be given to them:

• One-hour free parking in Vere Road and Burton Road and Burton Road     South at all times;

• Re-designation of Burton Road as a Short Stay car park and Vere Road as a Long Stay car park to help manage the out of area commuter use; and

• One hour free on Saturday and £1 all day in both Burton Road, Vere Road and Burton Road South (they noted that there was a £1 all day charge as in Cottis Lane Epping which was a short stay car park) .

 

Public Questions

 

Mr Owen then asked the following question on behalf of the Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership on the Parking Tariff Review report:

 

How does the EFDC, and in particular the Cabinet, think that by accepting the ‘Parking Tariff review of council car parks’ report, the lives of the residents and traders in The Broadway will be benefitted and enhanced, at a time when traders are experiencing the negative impact of the free parking in the Epping Forest Shopping Park and the use of the car park by commuters?”

 

The Portfolio Holder for Safer, Greener and Transport gave the following response:

I would like to thank the Loughton Broadway Town Centre Partnership for responding to the consultation on the proposed changes to the parking tariff. I  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Overview and Scrutiny

(a)        To consider any matters of concern to the Cabinet arising from the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function; and

 

(b)        To consider any matters that the Cabinet would like the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to examine as part of its work programme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee reported that the following items of business had been considered at its meeting held on 24 July 2018:

 

(a)        They received a presentation from officers of the Epping Forest Citizen Advice who give them an overview of the work they did in our area. They provided advice on a face to face basis and by telephone and also hold evening pro-bono solicitor’s and a family solicitor’s rota. They suggested that joint objectives should be agreed between them and us so that it matched more of their core work.  They would also like to have better monitoring as at present the monitoring was restricted only to their 5 objectives.

 

(b)        The Committee then reviewed the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions and the Transformation Programme report on their project dossier and then reviewed and agreed the membership change to the Resources Select Committee and the work programmes of our committee and the other select committees.

 

(c)        Finally, they hoped to have Stansted Airport in the form of officers from the Manchester Airport Group at their October meeting to answer some questions. The two officers they were expecting were their Planning Manager and their Corporate Social Responsibility Manager. Matters that they would like to cover included the planned expansion of the airport, the handling of increased passenger numbers in the short term and employment opportunities for local residents.

 

Councillor C Whitbread noted the report and commented that the Council provided generous contributions to the Citizen Advice.

23.

Finance and Performance Cabinet Committee pdf icon PDF 132 KB

(Finance Portfolio Holder) to consider the minutes from the meetings of the Finance & Performance Management Cabinet Committee, held on 21 June and 26 July 2018, and any recommendations therein.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance Portfolio Holder presented the minutes of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee meetings held on 21 June and 26 July 2018.

 

It was noted that the Cabinet Committee had not made any recommendations to the Cabinet on this occasion.

24.

Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee pdf icon PDF 82 KB

(Asset Management & Economic Development Portfolio Holder) To consider the minutes from the last meeting of the Asset Management & Economic Development Cabinet Committee held on 19 July 2018, and any recommendations therein.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Asset Management & Economic Development presented the minutes from the meeting of the Asset Management & Economic Development Cabinet Committee, held on 19 July 2018.

 

It was noted that the Cabinet Committee had not made any recommendations to the Cabinet on this occasion.

 

25.

Corporate Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 114 KB

(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report (C-009-2018/19).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

1)            That the amended Corporate Enforcement Policy, be adopted subject to:

a)    That the date of the publication of the policy document be set on the front page of the policy document; and

b)    That under section 9 of the policy (Data Protection and Privacy) the new GDPR be referenced in the text.

Minutes:

The Housing Portfolio Holder introduced the revised Corporate Enforcement Policy.

 

She noted that the Corporate Enforcement Policy set out the general principles which officers would follow when taking enforcement, that the officers would be suitably trained and qualified to undertake their enforcement activities and have the proper powers delegated to them to assist them in carrying out their role.

 

This was last amended in December 2015 and it was important that the policy be kept up to date so that it was able to stand up to scrutiny if a member of the public or business makes a complaint relating to the way the Council have handled their case; it provided clarity to residents and businesses in how the Council regulates and minimises the risks associated with failed enforcement action

 

The policy had now been reviewed and amended, in doing so the policy was also broadened to cover the matters common across all areas of regulation to minimise duplication but did not enter into the specifics of each area of regulation which would be supplemented by separate Enforcement and Service Standards specific to individual areas (such as private sector housing and planning). 

 

Set out in the policy were the general principles of good enforcement that the Council would carry out its regulatory activities in a way that was:

 

·         transparent

·         accountable

·         proportionate

·         consistent

 

and should be targeted only at cases in which action was needed.

 

Since the policy was last amended, the way the Council gathered evidence had also changed and the policy had been updated to reflect this.  Guidance on the use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), aerial cameras/drones and body worn cameras was now included. 

  

The policy also covers the circumstances where the matter falls within the remit of another regulator (such as the Police or Health and Safety Executive). In these circumstances officers would attempt to co-ordinate visits and actions with other agencies to achieve the most efficient and effective outcomes and to minimise inconvenience.

 

The Policy finally set out what could be expected from the Council, how to complain if someone was dissatisfied with the service and how to contact the Council in the event of a query.

 

Councillor Philip suggested that the front page of the Policy needed a version date and that item 9 of the policy (Data Protection and Privacy) needed to mention the GDPR rules that had recently come in.

 

DECISION:

 

That the amended Corporate Enforcement Policy, be adopted subject to:

a)    That the date of the publication of the policy document be set on the front page of the policy document; and

b)    That under section 9 of the policy (Data Protection and Privacy) the new GDPR be referenced in the text.

 

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

The existing policy was last amended in December 2015. It was important the policy was kept up to date to ensure that it both follows operational changes within the Council and legislative changes that may have come into force.

 

The policy must remain robust and able to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

(Finance Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-011-2018/19).

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   That Members agreed that a public consultation exercise on the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20 be undertaken between the end of September and the end of November 2018.

 

(2)     That consultation was undertaken on the proposal that no changes need to be made to the scheme for 2019/20.

 

 

Minutes:

The Finance Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2019/20. He thanked Ms Twinn and her team for putting this report together. He noted that this was an annual exercise and it had been discussed if was needed again as in previous years there had been a very low response to this consultation exercise. However he thought that it was desirable to enable residents to have a chance to give their views. He noted that there was no recommendations for changes to the scheme but encouraged all residents to respond to the consultation to give the Council feedback on their actions on this subject.

 

 

DECISION:

 

(1)   That Members agreed that a public consultation exercise on the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2019/20 be undertaken between the end of September and the end of November 2018.

 

(2)          That consultation was undertaken on the proposal that no changes need to be made to the scheme for 2019/20.

 

Reasons for Proposed Decision:

 

In previous years every Local Authority was required to approve a Local Council Tax Support scheme by 31 January. However, the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government have brought in changes for the 2019/20 schemes and the Local Council Tax Support scheme for the following financial year now needs to be approved by 11 March each year. The 2019/20 scheme for Local Council Tax Support would therefore need to be agreed by full Council on 21 February 2019.

 

In view of the timescales, consultation needs to be undertaken between September and November 2018. If consultation was commenced later, it would not be possible to complete the consultation and make any amendments to the scheme in time for a further report to Cabinet on 7 February 2019.

 

Other Options for Action:

 

(1)  As it was not intended to make any changes to the current Local Council Tax Support scheme, advice has established that the Council was not required to undertake public consultation. Cabinet could therefore decide not to carry out a consultation exercise for the 2019/20 Local Council Tax Support Scheme. Several other Essex Authorities were not intending to make changes to their schemes for 2019/20 and will not be carrying out any public consultation.

 

(2)  The Cabinet could propose changes to the Scheme.  

 

 

27.

Essex Amenity Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation pdf icon PDF 793 KB

(Housing Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-010-2018/19).

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the ‘Essex HMO Amenity Standards’ be approved and adopted, as the minimum amenity standards generally required for houses in multiple occupation in the Epping Forest District.

 

Minutes:

The Housing Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the Essex Amenity Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). She noted that Local authorities were responsible for ensuring that the number and location of washing, cooking and toilet facilities in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) were reasonably suitable for the number of people living in them. Officers have until now been guided by specific standards prescribed by legislation and also locally applied ‘Essex Standards’ that have been produced collaboratively by Environmental Health Officers across Essex. These assist in deciding whether a licensable HMO was suitable, what if any additional amenities were required through licence conditions and advised landlords of what was expected of them.

 

The current “Essex Standards” were now outdated as they had last been reviewed in 2012 and it was appropriate that these standards were now reviewed.

 

She noted that the proposed ‘Essex HMO Amenity Standards’ produced by the Essex Private Sector Housing Officers Group had been subject to a full consultation across Essex and Cabinet was being asked to approve and adopt these standards as the minimum requirements generally expected in HMOs in the Epping Forest District; which can be used as a guide to landlords operating HMOs and for enforcement officers within the Council. 

 

 

DECISION:

 

That the ‘Essex HMO Amenity Standards’ be approved and adopted, as the minimum amenity standards generally required for houses in multiple occupation in the Epping Forest District.

 

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

The existing Essex Standards for HMO amenity provisions were outdated, were not fit for purpose and were not formally adopted. They required updating generally and would take account of recent regulations prescribing national minimum standards for room sizes in licensable HMOs.

 

 

Other Options for Action:

 

Not to adopt the Essex HMO Amenity Standards – but this would leave officers responsible for enforcing property standards without a suitable benchmark against which to refer when setting amenity requirements in HMOs. This could expose the Council to potential challenge in court and subsequent costs as a result of landlords successfully appealing that the amenity requirements being imposed on them were not fair and equitable.

 

An option of each local authority producing its own individual standards rather than an Essex-wide standard – but this has been discounted since the consultation results show a preference for a county-wide approach and officers’ opinion from Essex councils is that Essex-wide standards will evidence a fair and equitable enforcement approach across the county.

 

 

 

28.

Parking Tariff Review Across All Council Owned Car Parks pdf icon PDF 148 KB

(Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-012-2018/19).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That following a review of car parking tariff in all Council owned car parks carried out under the objectives and principles set out in paragraph 2 of the report the following be agreed to be implemented by 1 March 2019:

 

(a)  The existing tariff of 20 pence for 30 minutes, 80 or 90 pence for up to one hour and £1.60 or £1.80 for up to 2 hours be retained across the District;

 

(b)  To accept and retain the principle of differential tariff between the car parks in towns with London Underground stations and rest of the District car parks;

 

(c)  That the current tariff structure for stays above 2 hours be replaced with a linear hourly tariff structure as set out in paragraph 6;

 

(d)  That short and long stay car parks be retained;

 

(e)  To remove the five hour maximum stay in Cottis Lane and Civic Offices Car Parks in Epping and turn them back into short stay car parks with normal tariff from Monday to Saturday;

 

(f)   To discontinue Season Ticket holders of Bakers Lane Car Park in Epping from parking in Cottis Lane Car Park;

 

(g)  To have the same price for on and off street resident parking permit and to achieve that to increase price from the current £48 to £50 per year;

 

(h)  To increase Season Tickets prices in line with all day parking charges and incrementally remove the current subsidy of 15% over the next four years;

 

(i)    That the £1 all day charge, payable in some car parks, on Saturday and Sunday is  retained and the free period reduced from 2 hrs to 1 hr;

 

(j)    In car parks currently free on Saturday or Sunday a £1 all day charge is introduced with a 1 hr free period;

 

(k)  All car parks where a full tariff is payable on Saturday will remain as such,

 

(l)    The free Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday parking during the month of December will be retained; and

 

(m) To continue to allow free parking for Blue Badge holders and motor bikes.

 

(2)        To agree to reallocate a sum of £30,000 from the Contaminated Land DDF budget by means of a virement to a budget for making the changes to traffic orders and replacing notice boards in car parks.

 

(3)        To agree to recommend, subject to a further report, to the Council the following growth bids to the budget for the following additional funding:

 

(a)  £100,000 Capital budget allocation in 2019/20 for environmental improvements;

 

(b)  £100,000 Capital budget in 2019/20 pending the outcome of ongoing feasibility study of installation of electric charge points;

 

(c)  £130,000 Capital budget in 2019/20 for installation of new CCTV systems and LED lighting;

 

(d)  £40,000 DDF in 2019/20 for carrying out an assessment of suitability for new technological features like Automatic Number Plate Recognition facilities in car parks and feasibility of constructing additional levels above existing car parks; and

 

(e)  Continued Services Budget growth of £20,000 in 2019/20 for ongoing costs associated  ...  view the full decision text for item 28.

Minutes:

The Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder presented a report reviewing the parking tariffs across the Council owned car parks. He noted that the last tariff review was carried out in 2015. The Council owned car parks were under considerable pressure. Short stay shoppers and workers in town centres routinely complained about the lack of paid for parking. There was a perception, due to Council car parking charges being significantly lower than those at station car parks, that all day parking was taken up by commuters using the London Underground. The demands for parking by Season Tickets holders as well as workers in shops and local businesses regularly outstrip capacity. A number of new car parks have been created in the last few years however this was not enough. This review attempts to simplify the parking tariff, accept the principle of controlling demand by price, help local businesses by keeping the lower charge bands unchanged, gradually removing subsidy from Season Ticket prices, continue the differential tariff across the District, create uniformity in charging on weekends and reinvest some of the additional income in improving and enhancing user experience.

 

He also took the opportunity to thank Mr Durrani and his team who had worked very hard on this report.

 

Councillor Philip welcomed the tariff part of the report as it made logical sense especially the retention of the 20pence band as it allowed people to make brief use of our shops. However, he was less convinced by the request for additional funding, he thought the justification in the report was very weak, particularly when looking at about £400k of costs. He understood the need to complete the LED lighting and installing the electrical charging points. However, he was less convinced by the need for environmental enhancements including landscaping and planting. He would like further information before having spent money in 2015 on CCTVs, why we had to spend money again on replacing those CCTVs and why that was not brought up when we looked at CCTV as a whole over the district.

 

The Portfolio Holder asked if Councillor Philip would be happy to move forward with this if a proviso was put in to provide a more detailed report on the cost breakdown. Councillor Philip agreed as long as they would still have the ability to make separate decisions on each proposal.

 

Councillor C Whitbread noted that these were all only bids; nothing would be agreed until they had gone through the budget process. He would ask all officers and members bringing forward bids to have the strongest possible arguments as it would be a tough budget round as they trying to keep Council taxes low.

 

Councillor Chris Pond said that he agreed with most of the proposals but would like to see a programme for the environmental improvements and too this he would like to add lighting improvements as well as there were problems with lighting in the car parks. He also agreed with the speaker at the start of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Christmas/New Year Closure of Council Offices pdf icon PDF 126 KB

(Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-007-2018/19).

Additional documents:

Decision:

To agree the Joint Consultative Committee’s recommendation to continue the current Christmas/New Year arrangements for 2018 – 2020, in accordance with the Schedule at appendix 1 of the report.

 

Minutes:

The Technology and Support Portfolio Holder introduced the report on the Christmas and New Year closure of the council offices. He noted that for the past 16 years the Council had closed a number of Council offices throughout the Christmas and New Year period. The closure was facilitated by fixing the 2 statutory days, account for the bank holidays and, where necessary, the Council giving an additional day(s). The current schedule came to an end in 2017/2018.

 

Consultation had taken place with staff and Management Board about access to services over the Christmas/New Year period. Both staff and Management Board were of the view that because of the continuing lower demand for services over this period, the most efficient way to meet this demand was by signposting the public to services rather than opening the Council offices. All essential services are covered either by the out of hours contact centre or specific staff on call over the period. Management Board also supported the continuation of the arrangements for the next 2 years. 

 

Councillor Philip agreed with the report and that it made a lot of sense. Also it was good that this was only for 2 years as by then we will have made further steps in our transformation and things may have moved on by then.

 

 

DECISION:

 

To agree the Joint Consultative Committee’s recommendation to continue the current Christmas/New Year arrangements for 2018 – 2020, in accordance with the Schedule at appendix 1 of the report.

 

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

Consultation with staff showed that 97% of respondents wished the arrangements for the closure of Council offices over the Christmas/New Year period continued.

 

The report recognises the strong support of staff and Management Board regarding the current arrangements for the Christmas/New Year Period.

 

Other Options for Action:

 

The Committee could substitute other arrangements.

 

The Committee could decide not to continue with the current arrangements.

 

30.

Staff Appeals Procedure pdf icon PDF 136 KB

(Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-008-2018/19).

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That the proposed Appeal Procedure be approved and adopted; and

 

(2)        That, pursuant to the adoption of the policy, a report be made to Council

            recommending that the Monitoring Officer removes reference to the Staff Appeals

            Panel from the Constitution.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Technology and Support Portfolio Holder introduced the report on revising the Staff Appeals procedures. He apologised that the wrong document had got into the agenda and that a revised version had now been issued. The cabinet noted that it was proposed that the procedure was amended and as a consequence the member Staff Appeals Panel was removed from the constitution.

 

It was proposed that officer dismissals and appeals (of employees below Chief Officer level) were dealt with by a wider number of senior managers rather than Directors and Members, subsequently freeing up Directors and the Chief Executive in order to chair any dismissal appeal hearings.

 

Councillor Mohindra asked what would happen to the report now, how did it get circulated to staff and how did they get informed of this. The Portfolio Holder replied saying that this would now form the standard processes adopted by the authority and would also appear on the website.

 

DECISION:

 

(1)        That the proposed Appeal Procedure be approved and adopted; and

 

(2)        That, pursuant to the adoption of the policy, a report be made to Council

            recommending that the Monitoring Officer removes reference to the Staff Appeals

            Panel from the Constitution.

 

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

This was a change to the existing Procedure which the Committee was asked to consider. The proposal was timely due to the exit of the Director of Governance who was the Council’s representative on the Staff Appeals Panel. The proposal adopts one procedure for all employees (below Chief Officer, as separate arrangements apply) appealing against any formal action or dismissal taken against them.

 

Other Options for Action:

 

The Committee could substitute other arrangements.

 

The Joint Consultative Committee proposed an alternative option whereby a member of the Executive is a joint Hearing ‘Officer’ with a Director or the Chief Executive at an Appeal Hearing for dismissal.

 

 

31.

Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee Meeting Minutes for 30 August 2018.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

DECISION:

 

1)    That the word “first” be added as the last word to the last sentence of the last paragraph in item 7 – ‘Burton Road, Loughton – Fire Update’ in order to clarify the sense of that sentence; and

 

2)    That under item 8 – ‘Bids to MHCLG for additional HRA Borrowing’ the following be agreed:

(a)  That, subject to any minor amendments agreed with the Housing Portfolio Holder (including bid amounts and borrowing profiles), the Director of Communities be authorised to submit twenty five separate bids to Homes England for additional Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing approvals, for twenty five separate “schemes” totalling £8.052million in year 2021/22, with the borrowing profiles as set out in the report;

 

(b)  That the Council’s Chief Financial Officer reports to a future meeting of the Finance and Performance Cabinet Committee on the most appropriate way to arrange the additional HRA borrowing when required.

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet received minutes of the recent meeting of the Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee that met on the previous Thursday. 30th August 2018.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Housing introduced the minutes and took the Cabinet through the contents. She noted that they had an update on the recent Burton Road Fire from the Assistant Director (Housing Property & Development). Councillor Mohindra thanked the Assistant Director for coming in and helping with the aftermath. Councillor Philip asked that under this minute item (7) the word “first” be added as the last word in the last sentence of that item as it made more sense. This was agreed.

 

Councillor C Whitbread added his thanks to the Assistant Director who had attended the fire immediately (on his day off) as by chance he was nearby. He also thanked Loughton College for making available a rest area for their use if required. Fortunately, no one was injured. It gave him great confidence in the Council’s officers who swung into action immediately and also to the PR team who made sure the correct messages went out.

 

Councillor S Kane also thanked the officers concerned and pointed out that it was the Council’s own funded Police officers who were first on the scene, made the site safe and controlled all the traffic.

 

The Portfolio Holder went on to bring their attention minute item 8 on bids to MHCLG for additional HRA borrowing. The minutes explained how the bids were to be submitted, but since then this has now changed. We cannot now group the sites together and would have to break them down into individual sites, which means that now they will have to work up 25 bids. If all bids were successful, this would increase our borrowing headroom by £8.052million. Fortunately the deadline has now been extended to 30 September 2018 and we would not now have to waive the call-in period as indicated in the minutes. The Cabinet Committee had agreed the recommendations for submission to this Cabinet meeting, although the wording would have to be changed as there were now to be 25 bids and no waiver of the call-in period would be required.

 

Councillor Mohindra asked if the Portfolio Holder was confident that the work required for 25 separate bids was justified. It may be that a lot of work has already gone into this, but he would like the reassurance that this was so. The Portfolio Holder said that although she was doubtful at first she had spoken to the Director of Communities who had reassured her that it was worth while. The Acting Chief Executive added that the view had been taken that it did justify the extra work needed. Officers had already worked up the separate bids into 4 bids, they will now have to disaggregate them into 25 separate bids, but it would go out as one document.

 

DECISION:

 

1)    That the word “first” be added as the last word to the last sentence of the last paragraph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Exclusion of Public and Press

Exclusion

To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):

 

Agenda Item No

Subject

Exempt Information Paragraph Number

Nil

Nil

Nil

 

The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

 

Background Papers

Article 17 of the Constitution (Access to Information) define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:

 

(a)        disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based;  and

 

(b)        have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.

 

The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted that there was no business which necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.