Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 1st November, 2018 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

44.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Service Director (Governance and Member Services) 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 Service Director, Governance and Members Services 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.

45.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2018 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting on 25 September 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

46.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G. Mohindra declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 11 - Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool Site Development by virtue of Essex Housing Services being part of his Essex County Council Cabinet Portfolio. He advised that he would leave the meeting for the discussion and decision of this item.

 

47.

Announcements

(a)        Apologies for Absence

 

(b)        Chairman’s Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Chairman’s Announcements

 

The Chairman informed the Council that he had attended many events, which included the 10th Anniversary celebrations of St John’s Primary School; promotion of the Youth Council’s Drug Awareness Project and the Recycling Awards. He had also promoted the District at various events to the neighbouring authorities and London boroughs.

 

He advised that the Chairman’s charity quiz had been confirmed for Friday 1 February 2018 and that he would be raising funds for the Chess Homeless charity by sleeping outside at Chelmsford Cathedral on 30 November 2018.

 

(b)          Flowers

 

The Chairman announced that he intended to send the flowers from tonight’s meeting to the Queens Court Nursing Home, Buckhurst Hill.

48.

Public Questions (If Any)

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 for this meeting.

49.

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)             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:

Question by Councillor S. Heap to the Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder and the Environment Portfolio Holder

 

(1)          Epping Forest Shopping Park

 

“Following the full occupation of the retail park, could the respective portfolio holders enlighten us as to the following:

 

(a)          what measures are in place to constantly assess the economic impact of the retail park on businesses in the District?

(b)           by what criteria are we assessing whether the retail park has been a success?

(c)          how do we know if it has offset business failures in the surrounding area? 

(d)          what assessments have been carried out to measure extra pollution, if any, generated by traffic build up in the local streets?”  

 

Answer to Councillor S. Heap from Councillor A. Grigg, Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder

 

“(a)    and (c) A retail impact study by Lichfield & Partners is currently being carried out to assess the impact of the shopping park on neighbouring areas. This is something I have previously stated would happen and was requested by the Broadway Town Centre Partnership. This is expected to be available by the end of 2018.  The study will test the impact of the shopping park and provide a before and after comparison. The previous study was a requirement of planning at the time in 2009.

 

(b)   The fact that all units are let (tenant demand), retailers are reporting good sales figures (i.e. consumer demand), and the return on investment is in line or above market expectations for this type of property indicates that the Shopping Park is a success.

 

(d)   We monitor air quality at various locations throughout the district, however we do not have any monitoring points in the vicinity of the Broadway/that end of Rectory Lane.  So, I guess the simple answer is that we don’t know the impact of the recent changes on air pollution.  We generally focus air quality monitoring locations on those where there are residential properties in close proximity to busy roads/regular standing traffic as this would mean there is a source / pathway / receptor link.  Obviously, Langston Road is not residential, and the Broadway/Rectory Lane properties are set back a fair distance from the road and therefore less likely to be exposed to high concentrations.  We have a finite resource for this type of monitoring which is why we concentrate our efforts at those locations where we think they will have the most impact. However, I will keep this under review.”

 

Supplementary Question by Councillor S. Heap to the Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder

 

“When was the impact study commissioned?”

 

Answer to Councillor S. Heap from Councillor A. Grigg, Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder

 

“The impact study was commissioned in October 2018 and should be completed by Christmas 2018. The company that would undertake the impact study were Lichfields, who had previous conducted a similar study for the Council in 2010.”

50.

Reports from the Leader and Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 68 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:

The Council received written reports from all the 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.

 

(a)          The Leader of Council

 

The Leader advised that he had attended a number of meetings around the District including the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and the local Citizen Advice offices in Epping.

 

On Monday he had updated the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the achievement of the authority’s corporate priorities and plans for the next five years, which included the Cabinet’s ambitious savings target of £2.5m over the next three years. This was in order to protect front line services, keep Council Tax low and cease the reliance on government grants by the end of 2023. These aims were to be achieved through the People Strategy, Accommodation Strategy and the ICT Strategy. He advised that there was still a commitment to re-develop the condor building, as set out in the Local Plan and use smarter and flexible working. The new common operating model had been implemented, which focused on the customer and had driven efficiencies which brought together the business functions across the Council.

 

Furthermore, the Local Plan was back on track following the Judicial Review and this had been submitted with the examination in public expected in March/April 2019. The shopping park had been trading well and the Council was now in the position to take forward the St John’s Road Site, Epping, to potentially develop a new leisure centre. In addition the community policing funded by the Council had made an impact on the fear of crime and was working well with Park Guard.

 

Finally the Financial Issues Paper had been published and the budget process had begun. The Cabinet looked forward to bringing forward a low Council Tax budget and securing the Councils aims for the future.

 

(b)          Finance Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor G. Mohindra advised that the Local Government Settlement would be published on 6 December 2018.

 

(c)          Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor S. Kane updated members on the effects of Halloween across the District. There had been 17 officers available which included regular officers, Specials, PCSO’s and Park Guard which had resulted in fewer incidents that were dealt with swiftly.

51.

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 Chief Officer.

 

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)          Diwali

 

Councillor A. Patel invited the Chairman to light five Diya’s in the Members Room following the meeting, in celebration of Diwali on 7 November 2018.

 

(b)          Leisure Centre - St John’s Site

 

Councillor H. Whitbread asked the Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder how the consultation process was progressing for the proposed new Epping Leisure Centre and when would members be able to see initial plans.

 

Councillor H. Kane advised that external consultants had already been appointed to carry out the consultation and viability studies with Stakeholders and Ward Councillors being invited to discuss the future development. No timescale could be given at the moment, although she would update members before the end of the year.

 

(c)          Section 106 Funds

 

Councillor J. Knapman asked the Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder to ensure that the Council did not send Section 106 funds to the incorrect recipient and to provide assurances that Chigwell Parish Council would correctly receive future Section 106 funding.

 

Councillor J. Philip advised that he would investigate the issue regarding the misplacement of the funds to Chigwell Parish Council and that with the Section 106 Officer in place would ensure that funds were correctly designated. 

 

(d)          Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre

 

Councillor L. Webster asked the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder whether any consideration had been given to the potential increased usage and  parking facilities that would be required at new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre. 

 

Councillor S. Kane advised that adequate parking provisions had been provided and that the Council had been very aware of the residential nature of the site at the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre. There were approximately 100 parking bays, available to the leisure centre users that were free of charge for up to 3 hours and also a coach parking bay.

 

(e)          Epping Town Council Christmas Market

 

Councillor L. Burrows asked the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder whether there would be free parking at the Cottis Lane, Epping car park on the 7 December 2018 for the Epping Town Christmas Market.

 

Councillor S. Kane advised that this was correct and that the Council was providing free weekend parking at all Council carparks throughout December 2018.

 

(f)           Epping Forest Retail Park

 

Councillor M. Owen asked the Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder whether there would be any studies on the impact of traffic queuing throughout Loughton in regards to the Retail Park and that all day parking was occurring.

 

Councillor A. Grigg advised that the queuing issues had been identified with regards to parking by the Aldi retail unit and the Council was approaching Essex County Council for advice. Regarding the all day parking at the Retail Park, the Council was aware of the activity and would be taking action on those vehicles. The issues were being investigated and solutions were being considered.

 

(g)          Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre – Use by Primary Schools

 

Councillor R. Brookes asked the Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder to update members on the opening plans of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Motions pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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

 

(a)          Honorary Alderman – Scheme for Epping Forest

 

Proposed by: Councillor J. Philip                                  

 

Seconder: Councillor C. Whitbread                          

 

Motion:

 

“That, in recognition that the Council has the option, under the provisions of Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, to confer the title of Honorary Alderman on any person who, in the opinion of the Council has rendered eminent services to the Authority, asks the Chief Executive to:

 

 (i)        report further to the Council’s Constitution Working Group on proposals that would bring forward such a scheme to enable the Council to confer a title; and

 

(ii)        asks that the Working Group report back to the full Council on the adoption of such a scheme together with the likely resources required.”

 

Background paper received on 18 October 2018.

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Honorary Alderman – Scheme for Epping Forest

 

Moved by Councillor J. Philip and seconded by Councillor C. Whitbread   

 

“That, in recognition that the Council has the option, under the provisions of Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, to confer the title of Honorary Alderman on any person who, in the opinion of the Council has rendered eminent services to the Authority, asks the Chief Executive to:

 

(i)            report further to the Council’s Constitution Working Group on proposals that would bring forward such a scheme to enable the Council to confer a title; and

 

(ii)           asks that the Working Group report back to the full Council on the adoption of such a scheme together with the likely resources required.”

 

Carried

 

Motion as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That, in recognition that the Council has the option, under the provisions of Section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, to confer the title of Honorary Alderman on any person who, in the opinion of the Council has rendered eminent services to the Authority, asks the Chief Executive to:

 

(i)         report further to the Council’s Constitution Working Group on proposals, to bring forward a scheme to enable the Council to confer a title; and

 

(ii)        that the Working Group reports back to the full Council on the adoption of such a scheme together with the likely resources required.

53.

Epping Forest Local Highways Panel pdf icon PDF 70 KB

(Safer, Cleaner and Transport Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor S.Kane, Safer, Greener & Transport Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor S. Kane presented a report seeking a supplementary estimate for matching funding for the Local Highways Panel to implement a number of highway schemes in the District.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

RESOLVED:

 

That a District Development Fund supplementary of £100,000 for highway improvement to match fund the contribution from Essex County Council for the Epping Forest Local Highways Panel, to implement highway improvement schemes within the District for 2018/19 be approved.

54.

Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool Site - Development pdf icon PDF 75 KB

(Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor A. Grigg, Asset & Economic Development Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor A. Grigg presented a  report seeking a supplementary estimate for the outline planning application and the demolition of the swimming pool at the existing Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool site.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

RESOLVED:

 

That a Capital supplementary sum of £275,000 for the preparation of the outline planning application and the demolition of the old Waltham Abbey swimming pool be approved.

55.

Leisure Management Contract - Supplementary Capital Estimate pdf icon PDF 73 KB

(Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor H. Kane, Leisure & Community Services Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor H. Kane presented a  report seeking a Capital supplementary estimate for the unanticipated costs in relation to the construction of Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre and other Leisure Centre refurbishments at Loughton Leisure Centre and Epping Sports Centre. In addition a further Capital supplementary was sought, to undertake the partial demolition of the vacant buildings and site investigation surveys on the former junior school site in St John’s Road, Epping.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)           That a Capital supplementary of £225,000 for the unanticipated costs in relation to the construction of Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre and other Leisure Centre refurbishments at Loughton Leisure Centre and Epping Sports Centre be approved; and

 

(2)           That a Capital supplementary of £475,000 to undertake the partial demolition of the vacant buildings and site investigation surveys on the former Junior School site in St John’s Road, Epping be approved.

56.

Independent Remuneration Panels - Appointment

Recommending:

 

That, on the recommendation of the Panel, the Council endorse the appointment of Mrs. T. Finn to the current membership vacancy on the Independent Remuneration Panels.

 

The Independent Remuneration Panels were established in accordance with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003. These regulations, which arose from relevant provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, require all local authorities to set up and maintain an advisory independent Remuneration Panel to review and provide advice on members’ allowances. All Councils are required to convene a Panel and seek its advice before making any changes or amendments to allowances schemes and must ‘pay regard’ to the recommendations of the Panel before setting a new or amended Members’ AllowancesScheme. The Remuneration Panel is also responsible for reviewing remuneration schemes from the town and parish councils in the District.

 

The same independent members serve on each Panel and have an open-ended term of office. The current members of the Remuneration Panels are Mr. D. Jackman and Mr. S. Lye. In May 2018, Ms. R. Kelly resigned from membership of the Panels, creating a membership vacancy.

 

The Panel has recently undertaken recruitment activity to fill the vacancy in its membership and interviews for the position were held on 18 October 2018. On the recommendation of the Panel, the Council is requested to endorse the appointment of Mrs. Tina Finn to the current vacancy on the Independent Remuneration Panels. The Panel considers that Mrs. Finn will bring a good mix of skills to its role and responsibilities, covering a private sector perspective, financial experience and knowledge of the Council from a community viewpoint.

 

The Panel will shortly commence its review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme for the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted and endorsed the appointment of Tina Finn to the vacant seat on the Independent Remuneration Panel.

57.

Scheme of Delegations by or on Behalf of the Council - Review pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Recommending:

 

That the revised Scheme of Delegation (to follow), which is the responsibility of the Council to determine, be agreed.

 

(Monitoring Officer) Revisions to the Scheme of Delegation within the Council’s Constitution are required following the recent restructure of the senior management framework. No new delegations are being sought as a result of the proposed revisions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer advised that the Scheme of Delegations within the Council’s Constitution required updating following the recent restructuring of the Council’s senior management. No new delegations were being sought as a result of the proposed revisions. Further revisions would be required at the December Council.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)              That where an Statutory Officer was named in person within the Scheme of Delegations, their job title be included; and

 

(2)              That the revised Scheme of Delegations by or on Behalf of the Council be agreed.

58.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

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

 

(b)          Reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (if any);

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny, Councillor M. Sartin reported that officers from the Manchester Airport Group had attended the most recent meeting, to discuss issues concerning Stansted Airport including the planned expansion, sustainable development plans and the effects on the Districts residents.

 

In addition, the Leader gave a mid-year update on the achievement of the authority’s corporate priorities. The Corporate Plan 2018/23 – Performance Report Quarter 1 – 2018/19, the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions and the work programmes were also considered. Finally, members discussed a review of the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework, which set out intentions to align the Select Committees with the new officer structure and Portfolio Holder responsibilities. Councillor M. Sartin asked all members to consider and comment on the consultation which had been sent out in the Members Bulletin.

 

At the next meeting on 18 December 2018, the committee would be scrutinising the implementation of the Council’s People Strategy.

 

59.

Joint Arrangements and External Organisations pdf icon PDF 38 KB

(a)               To receive the attached report from Councillor H Kane, as the Council’s representative on the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey;

 

(b)               To receive from Council representatives any other reports 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

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Councillor R. Morgan updated the Council on the Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund and the various grants which had been given out. He advised that projects, groups and organisations could apply to the scheme, if they were located within a 10 mile radius of the airport. This included areas within the north of the district. Councillor M. Sartin asked whether the Stansted Airport Community Trust Fund would consider areas that were within the turning circle of airport, although not within the 10 mile radius. Councillor R. Morgan advised that this issue would be raised and discussed at the next meeting in March 2019.

 

(b)          The Council received a written report regarding the Royal Gunpowder Mills from Councillor H. Kane and the Grange Farm Trust from Councillors M. Sartin and M McEwen, who were the Council’s Representatives. Councillor C.P. Pond enquired about further details on the grants that were given out by the Grange Farm Trust. Councillor M. Sartin advised that she provided the information in the Members Bulletin.

 

(c)          Councillor J.H. Whitehouse requested an update from the Strategic Partnership. Councillor C Whitbread advised that the partnership was not represented in the same way as before, although the Cabinet would ensure that an update would be brought forward.