Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 30th July, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: Democratic Services Manager Tel: (01992) 564243  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Democratic Services Manager will read the following announcement:

 

“The chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).

 

If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

14.

Appointment to Vice-Chairman

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor R Bassett, who had tendered his apologies for the meeting, the Chairman requested that Councillor M Sartin be appointed as the Vice-Chairman for the meeting.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor M Sartin be appointed Vice-Chairman for the duration of the  meeting.

 

 

 

15.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 406 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 20 May 2019 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 20 May 2019 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

16.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

17.

Announcements

(a)        Apologies for Absence

 

(b)        Chairman’s Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          The Chairman’s Announcements

 

The Chairman advised that she had promised to support the Chairman and promote the District throughout the year. So far, it had been a great pleasure to attend the various occasions, meetings and events that the role provided.

 

(b)          Flowers

 

The Chairman announced that she intended to send the flowers from the meeting to St Clare’s Hospice, Hastingwood.

18.

Public Questions

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within Part 4 of the Council Rules of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)        to the Leader of the Council;

 

(b)        to any Portfolio Holder; or

 

(c)        to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there were no public questions that had been submitted for consideration at this meeting.

19.

Questions By Members Under Notice

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within the Council’s rules in Part 4 of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)                  to the Chairman of the Council;

 

(b)                  to the Leader of the Council;

 

(c)                  to any Member of the Cabinet; or

 

(d)                  the Chairman of any Committee or Sub-Committee.

 

The Council’s rules provide that answers to questions under notice may take the form of:

 

(a)             direct oral answer;

 

(b)             where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication; or

 

(c)             where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner.

 

Answers to questions falling within (a) and (b) above will be made available to the member asking the question one hour before the meeting. Answers to questions falling within (c) above will be circulated to all councillors.

 

Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there were no members questions under notice that had been submitted for consideration at this meeting.

20.

Reports from the Leader & Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive reports and any announcements from the Leader and members of the Cabinet on matters falling within their area of responsibility:

 

(a)        Report of the Leader;

 

(b)        Report of the Business Support Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(c)        Report of the Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(d)        Report of the Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(e)        Report of the Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder (attached)

 

(f)        Report of the Customer Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(g)        Report of the Housing and Property Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(i)         Report of the Planning Services Portfolio Holder (attached); and

 

(j)         Report of the Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received written reports from Portfolio Holders. The Chairman invited the Leader of Council to provide an oral report and the opportunity for other members of the Cabinet to give updates on matters concerning their relevant portfolios.

 

(a)          The Leader of Council

 

The Leader advised the Council that he had been involved in a number of events since the last meeting which had involved shaping the future of the Council.

 

One of the highlights, had been the launch of the Epping Forest Youth Council’s ‘We R Safe’ campaign, which demonstrated  the valuable work that the Youth Council were continuing to do and the recognition across the district, county and country they were receiving.

 

There had been on going progress with the Harlow Garden Town Project for Latton Priory and Gilston and he had continued to meet with the Chairman of the Board, Guy Nicholas for updates.

 

Business of the Council progressed with the strategic programmes delivering the aims and objectives of the Corporate Plan and with approval of the Asset Strategy, it would create a sustainable future. The Council was also continuing to look at ways of boosting revenue streams to protect front line services and invest in the District. This included the creation of a group company structure incorporating new house building and repairs service; the St John’s Road project; Master planning at North Weald Airfield; and the Accommodation Strategy refurbishment of the Civic Offices leaving the customer, civic and democratic functions at the Civic Offices in Epping.

 

(b)          Planning Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor J Philip advised that the Council had been rated one of the highest performing authorities in Essex for the issue enforcement notices and that the Government’s Chief Planner had commented favourably on the Councils approach to the use of Quality Review Panels.

 

Furthermore, the Secretary of State had refused the planning application for an incinerator in Ratty’s Lane, Hoddesdon which abutted the north west of the District and referred to the Council’s Local Plan which assisted with his decision. Finally, a member briefing on viability for the Local Plan had been arranged for the 10 September 2019, to consider how much would be available from a development sites, to contribute to the infrastructure and social housing.

 

(c)           Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor A Patel advised that there were a few minor corrections to his report, which related to the correction of year for the VE Day Commemorations in 2020; and that the penultimate paragraph related to building control and was in relation to St John’s Road development.

 

(d)          Housing and Property Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor H Whitbread advised that following a tour of the District in her new role, she had seen first hand the high quality of the new housing properties built by the Council; the innovative designs of the homeless pods and solutions they provided for independent living and homelessness in the District; and the issues regarding migration of homeless people into the District from London Boroughs, requiring temporary accommodation and the lack  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Questions by Members Without Notice

The Council’s rules provide for questions by any member of the Council to the Leader or any Portfolio Holder, without notice on:

 

(i)            reports under the previous item; or

 

(ii)           any other matter of a non operational character in relation to the powers and  duties of the Council or which affects all or part of the District or some or all of  its inhabitants.

 

The Council’s rules provide that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:

 

(a)            a direct oral answer from the Leader or, at the request of the Leader, from another member of the Cabinet;

 

(b)            where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication;

 

(c)            where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner; or

 

(d)            where the question relates to an operational matter, the Leader or a member of the Cabinet will request that a response be given direct to the questioner by the relevant Service Director.

 

In accordance with the Council’s rules, a time limit of thirty minutes is set for questions. Any question not dealt with within the time available will receive a written reply. The Chairman may extend this period by up to a further ten minutes at their discretion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Car Idling and Parking Zones around the Districts Schools

 

Councillor D Plummer asked the Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder whether he would assist with the introduction of no parking zones around all schools in the District at opening and closing times; and consider introducing walk and stride schemes.

 

Councillor A Patel advised that no parking zones around schools could be problematic and it would have to be explored thoroughly with consideration also to parents dropping off and collecting their children. The walk and stride schemes were dependent on capacity and location, although many schools did run their own initiatives. 

 

(b)          Bus Idling

 

Councillor C C Pond asked the Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder whether he would arrange for Environment and Neighbourhood Officers to visit Epping Underground Station and issue fixed penalty notices, if bus drivers refused to turn off their engines whilst stationary.

 

Councillor A Patel advised that it would involve partnership working with the Police and he would look into this.

 

(c)           Youth Council

 

Councillor J McIvor asked the Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder what feedback had been received concerning the Youth Council’s ‘We R Safe’ project following the launch event?

 

Councillor N Bedford  advised that the launch event had been well attended by many dignitaries and a letter from the Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen, Matt Magee had acknowledged the successful work of the Youth Council.

 

(d)          Building Control

 

Councillor S Rackham asked the Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder whether the Council had the capacity to cope with an increase in Approved Inspections following a few private building control companies not being able to obtain insurance; and whether the Council had evaluated its own insurance in relation to these services following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

 

Councillor A Patel advised that if Approved Inspectors ceased to trade, the responsibility would fall to the local authority. A number of private practices had ceased following issues experienced with insurance companies trying to limit their liabilities. Further investigations had revealed that around 50 projects had been left outstanding at different stages and might revert back to the Council.

 

The Building Control Manager had discussed the Council’s insurance policies and certain measures had been requested, which were being discussed with the Risk Management Officer, although they were not considered to affect the current premiums.

 

(e)          Cyclist

 

Councillor P Stalker asked the Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder whether he would engage with the Epping Town Council to provide cycle stands at the southern end of the high street, to attract and promote further cycling in the District.

 

Councillor N Bedford advised that he would ask officers to approach Epping Town Council and this should set a precedent for these types of facilities in all the high streets in the District.

 

(f)            Sub-letting Council Houses

 

Councillor J Jennings asked the Housing and Property Services Portfolio Holder what measures the Council had in place to prevent the sub-letting of council properties in the District; and whether the Council planned to follow Westminster  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Motions

To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under the Council’s rules.

 

Motions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that there were no motions to be considered at this meeting.

23.

Appointments to Committees & Outside Organisations 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: C Whitbread, (Chairman of the Appointments Panel and Leader of the Council)

 

Councillor C Whitbread reported that there were several outstanding appointments concerning Cabinet Committees, Council appointments to outside organisations and Leader appointments to outside organisations.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the following appointments be made for the remainder of the current municipal year:

 

(1)           That the Customer Services Portfolio Holder be appointed to membership of the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee for 2019/20;

 

(2)           That the Leader of the Council be appointed to membership of the Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee for 2019/20;

 

(3)           That Councillor S Heather be appointed as the Council’s representative to the Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year;

 

(4)           That Councillor R Morgan be appointed as the Council’s representative to the Grange Farm Managing Trust until 31 May 2023 or until their term of office ends;

 

(5)           That Councillor J Share-Bernia be appointed the Council’s representative to Loughton Leisure Centre Liaison Group for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year;

 

(6)           That Councillor D Stocker be appointed the Council representative to Waltham Abbey Tourist Information Centre (Joint Management Committee) for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year;

 

(7)           That Councillor A. Lion be appointed to the membership of the Epping Forest Local Highways Panel for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year;

 

(8)           That the appointment of Councillor P Stalker by the Leader as the Council’s deputy representative on the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership, for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year be noted; and

 

(9)           That the appointment of Councillor J Jennings be appointed by the Leader as the Council’s representative on the Epping Forest Children’s Partnership for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year be noted.

24.

Constitution Working Group - Report pdf icon PDF 110 KB

(Councillor S. Jones (Chairman of the Working Group)) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On behalf of the Constitution Working Group Chairman, S Jones, Councillor J Phillip presented a report regarding the revised member guidance for the receipt of gifts and hospitality, a protocol for the appointment of Member Champions and a progress report on paperless working and the digital roll-out to members.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the revised member guidance for the receipt of gifts and hospitality set out in appendix 1 be agreed;

 

2.    That pursuant to Recommendation (1) above, the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any necessary revisions to the Council’s Constitution to give effect to the adoption of the revised member guidance;

 

3.    That the Member Champions Protocol set out in Appendix 2 be agreed;

 

4.    That the Council noted current progress with regard to the move to paperless working in respect of the publication and distribution of the Council’s committee agenda, decisions and minutes etc;

 

5.    That, in order to complete the roll-out of mobile devices and appropriate training for all members of the Council, the general cessation of the publication and distribution of agenda, decisions and minutes etc. in hard copy, take effect from 30 August 2019;

 

6.    That, subject to the receipt of appropriate consent from each member of the Council to the publication and distribution of agenda, decisions and minutes etc. by electronic means, such arrangements commence with effect from 2 September 2019;

 

7.    That, until the commencement of arrangements for the publication and distribution of agenda, decisions and minutes etc. by electronic means where appropriate consent has been received from individual members, such publication and distribution continue to be made concurrently in both hard-copy and electronic forms; and

 

8.    That pursuant to Recommendations (4) - (7) above, the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any necessary revisions to the Council’s Constitution to give effect to the publication and distribution of agenda, decisions and minutes etc. by electronic means, with effect from 2 September 2019.

25.

Stronger Council Select Committee - Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

(Councillor P. Bolton (Chairman of the Select Committee)) To consider the attached report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor  P Bolton, Chairman of Stronger Council Select Committee

 

Councillor P Bolton advised that the Stronger Council Select Committee had considered the review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations in accordance with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

           

(1)  That, the proposals for Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations in the Epping Forest District as set out in Appendices 3-5, be approved;

 

(2)  That, the proposals be published and copies be made available for inspection by the public at the Civic Offices, in at least one place in each Parliamentary Constituency covering the Epping Forest District and on the Council’s website;

 

(3)  That the Electoral Registration Officer reflect any alterations required as a result of the review in the revised Electoral Register, to be published on 1 December 2019; and

 

(4)  That, when determining the location of Polling Stations for future elections, the (Acting) Returning Officer take account of the any comments made about specific Polling Stations arising from the review.

26.

Local Government Act 1972 - Appointment of Chief Financial Officer pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To consider the attached report of the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report regarding the statutory requirement for the appointment of the Chief Financial Officer, which was an appointment reserved for Council in accordance with Article 4 (The Full Council) of the Constitution.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)    That, from 5 August 2019, Nick Dawe (Interim Strategic Director) be designated as the Council’s Chief Financial Officer, being the officer having responsibility under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, Section 73 of the Local Government Act 1985 and Section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988; and

 

(2)    That pursuant to the above recommendation (1), the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make changes to the Scheme of Delegation contained within the Council’s Constitution, as required to give effect the appointment of Nick Dawe as the Chief Financial Officer.

27.

Constitution - Schedule of Delegation pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider the attached report of the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented a report regarding proposed revisions to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation (Delegation of Executive Functions).

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED:

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)       That the revisions to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation (Delegation of Executive Functions) as set out in appendix 6 be agreed; and

 

(2)       That the Monitoring Officer be granted authority to make changes to the Constitution to give effect to the changes to the Scheme of Delegation.

28.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 105 KB

(a)          To receive the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Committee Report 2018-19 (attached separately);

 

(b)          To note the progress report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (attached); and

 

(c)           To answer any questions without notice asked in accordance with Council Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Overview and Scrutiny Annual report

 

The Council received and noted the Annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, its Select Committees and the Task and Finish Panels for 2018/19.

 

(b)          Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

The Council received a written report from Councillor M Sartin, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee regarding the last two meetings and business discussed.

 

Councillor C C Pond commented that it had been disappointing to see that the Epping Forest College had been removed from the Committee’s work programme. Councillor M Sartin advised that, although the College would not be attending a formal meeting, they advised that they would provide a members briefing. Furthermore, with the Council’s recent appointment of a member to the Board of Governors of the college, hopefully he would be able to report back to the Council as well.

29.

Joint Arrangements & External Organisations

(a)          To receive from Council representatives the reports (attached - if any) on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations and to receive answers to any questions on those bodies which may be put without notice; and

 

(b)               To request written reports from representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for future meetings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Reports from External Organisations

 

(i)            Royal Gun Powder Mill

 

Councillor H Kane advised that at the last meeting they had considered and updated the business plan and arrangements were being considered for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

 

(ii)          Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund

 

Councillor R Morgan advised that following the allocation of final grants to local charities and clubs within the permitted 10 mile radius, the Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund had been closed. A new trust would be set up, although this was still under negotiation with the Airport  and he would update members when he knew more.

 

Councillor J Philip asked that trust look into increasing the 10 mile radius, due to the increasing capacity and wider effects the aircrafts on the District outside this area. Councillor R Morgan advised that he would feed this back to the trust.