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).
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 the Council
Councillor C Whitbread reported that the Cabinet had recently agreed the Asset Strategy, which would enable the Council to pursue development opportunities within the District, increase the Council’s revenue stream and to identify potential housing development sites.
Furthermore, the Government had granted special permission for a new lease of land at North Weald Airfield, to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It would be for HGV parking and associated facilities for the operation of checking documentation of companies importing and exporting high value goods. Notification would be sent to 1400 residents and contact details would be made available. The Council had negotiated £50,000 for North Weald Parish Council and the same amount would be given to the Local Highways Panel for schemes in the District. Other funding would also be put into the master planning and green space.
In addition, progress continued with the St John’s Road, Epping development and a report would be coming forward to the Cabinet meeting on 5 December 2019, along with the land transfer development.
He had also met with Princess Alexander Hospital and the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to engage in the significant changes proposed across health and social care in Essex and were working closely with the Sustainability and Transformational Partnership (STP).
Finally, the Essex Leaders and Chief Executive meeting discussed many issues facing the county, which included ideas around bringing empty properties back into use and preparations for Brexit.
(b) Planning Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor Philip advised that the Council had been successful in a Government funding bid for £50,000, to tackle illegal development in the green belt.
(c) Business Support ServicesPortfolio Holder
Councillor Stavrou advised that the Valuation Office had determined in favour of the company wishing to reduce their business rate exposure, which amounted to over £1.1 million. A provision had been set aside for such cases and other authorities and the Government were due to take a share of the loss, later in the financial year.
(d) Housing and Property Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor H Whitbread advised that members were welcome to attend the opening ceremony of the new affordable flats in Burton Road on 8 November 2019.
Furthermore the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Local Government and Homelessness) Luke Hall MP visited the District to look at the homeless pods in North Weald and Norway House.
(e) Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor Bedford updated members on issues concerning stolen and cloned number plates and the successful actions of the Community Police.