Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 26th September, 2017 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Council Secretary: Simon Hill  Tel: 01992 564249 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

32.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Assistant Director of Governance and Performance Management 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 Assistant Director of Governance and Performance Management 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.

33.

Former Councillor L. Martin

The Council is invited to stand for a minute’s silence in tribute to the memory of former Councillor Len Martin who had recently passed away on 10 September 2017.

 

Former Councillor Martin represented the Buckhurst Hill East Ward of the District as a Liberal Democrat Councillor from 1996 to 2006.

 

He served on many of the Council’s member bodies during this time including  Resources, Development, Housing Committee, Plans Sub-Committee ‘A’ and the Licensing Panel (each of which he was Vice-Chairman for a period), a member of Policy & Co-Ordinating and Leisure Services Committee and a number of Working Groups including the District Wide Local Plan, Housing, Planning Enforcement Working Group, Development Plans, Public Services Sub-Committee and  Complaints Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman informed Members of the death of former Councillor Len Martin.

 

Len Martin had represented the Buckhurst Hill East Ward of the District as a Liberal Democrat Councillor from 1996 to 2006. He had served on many of the Council’s member bodies during this time.

 

Members paid tribute to the memory of former District Councillor and stood for a minute’s silence in his memory.

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 374 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2017 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting on 27 July 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

35.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest by Members of the Council under this item.

36.

Announcements

(a)        Apologies for Absence

 

(b)        Chairman’s Announcements

 

(c)        Change of Date for Council

 

To note that the Council meeting on Thursday 2 November 2017 would now be held on Wednesday 1 November 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Announcements by the Chairman of Council

 

(i)            Chairman’s Events

 

The Chairman informed Members that he had attend a variety of events which included meeting the Youth Council, the Costermongers Festival at Guildhall, the Chairman’s Charity Golf Day, the launch of the Epping Forest Recycling Rewards Scheme and the Annual Petanque Match with Epping Town Council.

 

It was noted that the Chairman’s Carol Service had changed dates and would now be held on 8 December 2017 at St John’s Church, Epping. 

 

(ii)           Floral Display

 

The Chairman announced that he intended to send the flowers from tonight’s meeting to the mother of the young boy who had been recently victim of anti-social behaviour in Waltham Abbey.

 

(iii)          Change of Date for Council

 

The Council approved the change of date for the Council meeting scheduled on  Thursday 2 November 2017, to be held Wednesday 1 November 2017.

37.

Re-order of Agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that with the consent of the Council, the three public questions which had been submitted after the publication of the agenda, under agenda item 7, Public Questions would be brought forward as the next item of business.

38.

Public Questions (If Any) pdf icon PDF 31 KB

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:

(a)          Future Crèche Facilities at the Loughton Leisure Centre

 

Question from Tina Stelfox to Councillor H Kane, Leisure & Community Services Portfolio Holder

 

“Given the documented concerns to Councillors and Places for People Leisure about the intended closure of the crèche on the Loughton Leisure Centre site and support for maintaining a crèche: We would like to know what plans are in place by the Epping Forest District Council to ensure that crèche facilities are maintained on the Loughton Leisure Centre site by the Places for People Leisure who have a 20 year contract.”

 

Reply of Councillor H Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder

 

“Thank you for your question. It is true that after extensive search for suitable space- while the refurbishment work is in process- this has proven an impossibility.

 

You see the safeguard of the children during any building works cannot be jeopardised; so, for the duration of the building the creche has to close.

 

Going forward, I have requested the contractor for any possible extension to the existing plans in order to accommodate the creche. As soon as we have the costs involved, I will be raising the matter to my fellow Cabinet members for support and decision.”

 

(b)          Closure of the Crèche at the Loughton Leisure Centre

Question from Neena Freeman to Councillor H Kane, Leisure & Community Services Portfolio Holder

 

“Given that the Places for People management have now written informing of the closure of the crèche facility (which has been there over 14 years) at Loughton Leisure Centre on 20th October 2017 with no consultation with users, how does the council justify this discrimination against these users, many of whom have been members for years and have exercised up until the birth of the children using the crèche?”

 

Reply of Councillor H Kane, Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder

 

Thank you for your question. Discrimination is a very strong word to use.  I understand your frustration and concerns but I do not agree with the term used here. I will explain.

First of all, this Council is proud of its history of providing leisure and cultural activities, which are not a statutory obligation. Indeed, as local government is under increasing financial pressure and subject to reduction in revenue funding from the central government, discretionary services such as Leisure and Cultural services, in many other authorities, have been subject to cuts.

 

The management of the procurement to appoint a new contractor was undertaken by a multi-disciplinary officer project team, who reported to the Portfolio Advisory Group. I established this group of members from all political parties to offer advice and guidance to me determining not only the best procurement and contractual options, but also the service specification and scope of any new facilities. This was the group who made the final recommendations to the Cabinet, on the preferred bidder, Places for People.

 

The creche in Loughton was not in the tender specification, because there has never been a purposed built creche there. It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Roger Hirst, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

To receive a presentation from Mr R Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

 

As Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Hirst values the ongoing dialogue with councils and has a regular schedule of meetings across the county. This is an opportunity for the PCC to hear Councillor’s views around policing and community safety in their area, discuss the strategic direction of Essex Police and engage in an open and constructive conversation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst made a short presentation updating Members on the overall strategy, funding and resources, since their last visit in February 2017, along with the District Commander, Lewis Basford for Epping Forest and Brentwood.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that the rise in the Police precept supported the on going reductions in Central Government grants, increased the amount of Police Offices and Staff and new technology.

 

The District Commander advised that the night time economy issues within Loughton had been alleviated, some what by the closure and restriction put on the former Nu and Luxe Bars. The anti-social behaviour issues in Epping High Street and Waltham Abbey were being dealt with although not completely resolved and they were working closely with the Council’s Communities Safety Team on other issues.

  

Members asked questions about late night establishments, anti social behaviour, whether the police could increase their visibility, issues with response times, serious road accidents, the possibility of Secondary Schools regaining Police Liaison Officers, dangerous parking with police assistance, speed traps, motorbike issues on open green spaces, the impact of mental health on the police service and updates on vacant police buildings within the district.

 

 

40.

Questions By Members Under Notice

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within the Council 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 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 submitted for consideration at the meeting.

41.

Reports from the Leader and Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 71 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 Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(c)        Report of the Environment Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(d)        Report of the Finance Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(e)        Report of the Housing Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(f)        Report of the Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(g)        Report of the Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(i)         Report of the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder (attached); and

 

(j)         Report of the Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Leader of the Council

 

The Leader advised that there had been fewer official meetings, although business for the Council had continued at a pace. At the forefront of Council business had been transformation and looking at the Civic building, footprint and best use of the building for the future.

 

He informed Members that he had recently attended meetings with the local MP Eleanor Laing, to discuss the Council’s Budget, Local Plan, Transformation, parking issues and the national Government’s stand point on housing. Furthermore, he had met with Essex Leaders and Chief Executives to discuss issues that affected the whole of Essex, in particular emergency planning. The West Essex Leaders from Uttlesford, Harlow and Brentwood had updated each other on the progress of their Local Plans.

 

Finally, he had attended a joint meeting with Chief Officers and Essex County Council on how to achieve the best value for money and ideas for shared services.

 

(b)          Planning & Governance Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor J Philip advised that on 14 September 2017, further announcements were made on the white paper “Fixing our broken housing market”; He advised that the content had been significantly different to what had been expected. The changes that had been made to the objectively assessed housing need for each planning area reflected a rise in targets for new dwellings from 540 to 923 per year equating to an overall increase from 11,400 to over 20,000 houses for the Council. The Local MP, Eleanor Laing had written to the Secretary of State and had met with him to discuss the situation. The only alternative was to accelerate the Local Plan and submit it to the inspector before 31 March 2018, which would enable the Council to continue with the current figures. An update would be coming forward at the next Cabinet meeting in October.

 

(c)          Housing Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor S Stavrou advised that the Communities Select Committee on Monday 9 October 2017 had been cancelled. Members would be notified when a new date had been scheduled.

42.

Questions by Members Without Notice

The Council 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.

 

Council Rules provide that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:

 

(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 Chief Officer.

 

In accordance with the Council 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 10 minutes at their discretion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Nature Reserve Signage

 

Councillor R. Butler asked the Environment Portfolio Holder whether the signage put up at the Waltham Abbey Nature reserve regarding dropping litter could be made permanent.

 

Councillor W Breare-Hall advised that the signage had improved the situation and he would take the idea away for further discussion.

 

(b)          Loughton Leisure Centre Crèche Facilities

 

Councillor J Jennings asked the Leisure & Community Services Portfolio Holder whether she agreed that without crèche facility, leisure members would not have access to the local amenity and with all the other leisure centres in the district having  these facilities, is this not discrimination.

 

Councillor H Kane advised that she did not believe there was discrimination. She would be looking for a solution and for the crèche to continue, but at an average of seven children a day at £3.55 per hour, there was a lot of work to be done to justify the crèche. She was confident that something would be done in the future and there were also other plans put in place for users to take their children into the gym with them as long as they were safely contained within their pushchairs.

 

(c)          Housing Allocation Scheme

 

Councillor J H Whitehouse asked the Housing Portfolio Holder whether she could reconsider a proposed clause in the Housing Allocation Scheme regarding residency for people who had left the district for educational purposes but wanted to return after completion. She enquired whether applicants could fulfil the 5 years residency criteria, if they had lived in the district in their primary and secondary school years.

 

Councillor S Stavrou advised that the document was still in draft form and legal advice was being sought, although she would take the comments back to officers.

 

(d)          The Princess of Wales Public House, Westall Road, Loughton

 

Councillor D Wixley asked the Housing Portfolio Holder whether she had any information on the redevelopment or reopening of the Princess of Wales Public House on Westalll Road, Loughton.

 

Councillor S Stavrou advised that she had no information on The Princess of Wales Public House site, although she would make enquiries and get back to him.

 

(e)          Emergency Planning

 

Councillor C C Pond asked the Environment Portfolio Holder how many staff were employed in Emergency Planning.

 

Councillor W Breare-Hall advised that he did not know but would find out and share the information with her.

 

(f)           Commercial Property Value

 

Councillor H Kauffman asked the Finance Portfolio Holder whether the increased value of commercial properties in the Statutory Statement of Accounts 2016/17, also reflected the expenditure that the Council had incurred with investments such as the retail park.

 

Councillor G Mohindra advised that figures mention within Statutory Statement of Accounts related to the 2016/17 accounts and the retail park would be reflected in the 2017/18 accounts.

43.

Motions

(a)          Constitution (Article 10) – District Development Management Committee and Area Plans Sub-Committees

 

Proposed by: Councillor S. Kane

 

Seconder: Councillor J. Philip

 

Motion:

 

That the Council adopt the following changes to the Article 10 of the Constitution, to give effect to a review by the District Development Management Committee of any proposed refusal of planning applications made by or on behalf of the Council or in relation to any application site owned by the authority, namely:

 

(1)  That the following addition be made to the terms of reference of the District Development Management Committee in Article 10 of the Constitution (to be numbered (1)(g)):

 

Any development proposals for a site made by or on behalf of the Council or where the Council is the landowner, that has been recommended for refusal by the relevant Area Plans Sub-Committee contrary to a recommendation of the Director of Governance that planning permission be granted’; and

 

(2)  That the following addition be made to the terms of reference of the Area Plans Sub-Committees in Article 10 of the Constitution (to be numbered (4)(e)):

 

‘development proposals for a site are made by or on behalf of the Council or where the Council is the landowner, that are recommended for refusal by a Sub-Committee contrary to a recommendation of the Director of Governance that planning permission be granted’.

 

Background paper received on 1 September 2017.

 

(b)        To consider any other motions, notice of which has been given under Council Rules.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)       Constitution (Article 10) – District Development Management Committee and Area Plans Sub-Committees

 

Moved by Councillor S. Kane and seconded by Councillor J. Philips

 

“That the Council adopt the following changes to the Article 10 of the Constitution, to give effect to a review by the District Development Management Committee of any proposed refusal of planning applications made by or on behalf of the Council or in relation to any application site owned by the authority, namely:

 

(1)  That the following addition be made to the terms of reference of the District Development Management Committee in Article 10 of the Constitution (to be numbered (1)(g)):

 

‘Any development proposals for a site made by or on behalf of the Council or where the Council is the landowner, that has been recommended for refusal by the relevant Area Plans Sub-Committee contrary to a recommendation of the Director of Governance that planning permission be granted’; and

 

(2)  That the following addition be made to the terms of reference of the Area Plans Sub-Committees in Article 10 of the Constitution (to be numbered (4)(e)):

 

‘development proposals for a site are made by or on behalf of the Council or where the Council is the landowner, that are recommended for refusal by a Sub-Committee contrary to a recommendation of the Director of Governance that planning permission be granted’.”

 

Amendment moved by Councillor D. Dorrell and seconded by Councillor C C. Pond

 

“That the following addition be made to the Rules for participating on Planning matters at Council Area Plans sub and District Development Management Committee meetings in Appendix 1 of Article 10 of the Constitution (to be numbered 1 (e) of paragraph one):

 

1.            (e) A member for the ward relevant to the application when a referral to District Development Management Committee has taken place under rule 4 (e) of the Terms of Reference of the Area Plans Sub-Committee in Article 10 of the Constitution.”

 

            Carried

 

There voted for the motion as amended: (26) namely: N Avey, R Bassett, N Bedford, W Breare-Hall, K Chana, R Gadsby, L Hughes, H Kane, S Kane, P Keska, J Knapman, J Lea, M McEwen, G Mohindra, A Patel, J Philip, B Rolfe, B Sandler, M Sartin, G Shiell, D Stallan, S Stavrou, D Sunger, E Webster, C Whitbread and H Whitbread.

 

There voted against the motion as amended: (16) namely: R Baldwin, R Brookes, R Butler, D Dorrell, S Heap, B Jennings, J Jennings, H Kauffman, S Murray, S Neville, C C Pond, C P Pond, C Roberts, J H Whitehouse, J M Whitehouse and D Wixley.

 

There abstained: (2) namely: A Beales and D Roberts.

 

Motion as amended ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            “That the following changes to the Article 10 of the Constitution, to give effect to a review by the District Development Management Committee of any proposed refusal of planning applications made by or on behalf of the Council or in relation to any application site owned by the authority be adopted, namely:

 

(1)           That the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Staffing Structural Adjustments within Development Management pdf icon PDF 77 KB

(Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor J Philips, Planning & Governance Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor J Philips submitted a report regarding a Continuing Services Budget  supplementary estimate for staffing structural adjustments within Development Management.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)        That a Continuing Services Budget supplementary of £109,760 be approved to convert the following existing temporary posts to permanent posts, effective from 1 October 2017:

 

            (a)        Technical Officer (Validations);

 

            (b)        Technical Officer (Systems); and

 

            (c)        Two Assistant Planning Officers.

45.

Statutory Statement of Accounts 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To consider the attached report and the Statutory Statement of Accounts 2016/17 being submitted to the Audit and Governance Committee on 18 September 2017.

 

The Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee will report orally on that Committee’s consideration of and recommendations regarding the Statutory Statement of Accounts 2016/17.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Knapman, Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

Councillor J Knapman advised that the Statutory Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 had been considered by the Audit and Governance Committee and were recommended to Council.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That the Statutory Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 be adopted.

46.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 96 KB

(a)          To receive the report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to answer any questions without notice asked in accordance with Council Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted the written report from Councillor Sartin, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

47.

Appointments to Committees & Outside Organisations 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor C Whitbread (Leader of the Council)

 

Councillor C Whitbread advised that following the death of Councillor G.Waller, there were a number of Outside Organisation appointments that were now vacant. Furthermore, with the appointment of Councillor S. Kane as the Safer, Greener & Transport Portfolio Holder, a vacancy on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year had also occurred.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)          That Councillor J Lea be appointed on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year;

 

(2)          That Councillor L. Hughes be appointed on the Epping Forest Community Transport Board of Trustees;

 

(3)          That Councillor S. Kane be appointed on the Essex Police and Crime Panel; and

 

(4)          That the appointment of the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee (Deputy) be determined following the Lower Sheering Bye election on 19 October 2017.

 

48.

Joint Arrangements and External Organisations

(a)               To receive from Council representatives the reports (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)               There were no further updates from Council representatives on any other business of  joint arrangements and external organisations; and

 

(b)               There were no requests made for written reports by representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for the next meeting.