Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday 27th June 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber. Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon

Contact: Committee Services 

Items
No. Item

196.

Chairman's notices

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to the notices printed on the agenda.

197.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor N G F Shaughnessy.

198.

Declaration of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6 - 8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).

Minutes:

Councillors Mrs P A Channer and M F L Durham declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Member of Essex County Council in any agenda item relating to that Authority.

 

Councillor Miss A M Beale and B E Harker declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 12 – Parish of Heybridge – Basin Ward – Community Governance Review as they had attended a number of public meetings in relation to the Heybridge Parish Council project.

199.

Minutes - 16 May 2019 pdf icon PDF 553 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council held on 16 May 2019 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the Minutes of the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council held on 16 May 2019 be received.

 

Minute 6 – Apologies for Absence

It was noted that reference to Councillor Jarvis should be Councillor K W Jarvis.

 

Minute 20 – Appointment of Membership of Committees of the Council

It was noted that reference to Councillor Jarvis within this Minute should be Councillor K W Jarvis.

 

RESOLVED

 

(ii)            That subject to the above amendments, the Minutes of the Statutory Annual meeting of the Council held on 16 May 2019 be adopted.

200.

Public Questions

To receive questions from members of the public, of which prior notification in writing has been received (no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the day of the meeting).

Minutes:

There were none.

201.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

There were none.

202.

Minute Book: Community Services Committee - 28 May 2019 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Community Services Committee held on 28 May 2019 be adopted.

203.

Minute Book: Planning and Licensing Committee - 6 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

·                 Appointment of Representatives on Liaison Committees / Panels*

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the Minutes of the Planning and Licensing Committee held on 6 June 2019 be received.

 

Minute 128 – Appointment of Representatives on Liaison Committees / Panels

 

RESOLVED

 

(ii)            That the Terms of Reference and membership of the Bradwell Power Station Working Party be reviewed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(iii)          That subject to the above decision, the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning and Licensing Committee held on 6 June 2019 be adopted.

204.

Minute Book: Finance and Corporate Services Committee - 11 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee held on 11 June 2019 be adopted.

205.

Minute Book: Audit Committee - 13 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 13 June 2019 be adopted.

206.

Minutes of Meetings of the Council

To note that since the last Council, up until Wednesday 19 June 2019 (Council agenda dispatch) the following Committees have met, and to receive any questions in accordance with Council and Committee Procedure Rule 6 (2).

 

Minutes published:

 

Finance and Corporate Services Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Community Services Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Planning and Licensing Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Audit Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Joint Standards Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Investigating and Disciplinary Committee (special)

16 May 2019

North Western Area Planning Committee (special)

16 May 2019

South Eastern Area Planning Committee (special)

16 May 2019

Central Area Planning Committee (special)

16 May 2019

District Planning Committee (special)

16 May 2019

North Western Area Planning Committee

20 May 2019

South Eastern Area Planning Committee

21 May 2019

Central Area Planning Committee

29 May 2019

 

Minutes NOT finalised for publication:

 

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

5 June 2019

North Western Area Planning Committee

10 June 2019

South Eastern Area Planning Committee

17 June 2019

 

Minutes:

The Council noted the list of Committees that had met before and since the last meeting of the Council, up until Wednesday 19 June 2019 for which Minutes had been published.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the following special meetings of Committees held on 16 May 2019 be adopted.

·                 Finance and Corporate Services Committee

 

·                 Community Services Committee

 

·                 Planning and Licensing Committee

 

·                 Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

·                 Audit Committee

 

·                 Joint Standards Committee

 

·                 Investigating and Disciplinary Committee

 

·                 North Western Area Planning Committee

 

·                 South Eastern Area Planning Committee

 

·                 Central Area Planning Committee

 

·                 District Planning Committee

207.

Statement of the Leader of the Council

To consider the Statement of the Leader of the Council setting out the Council’s report and programme for the current municipal year.

Minutes:

Councillor A S Fluker, the Leader of the Council (the Leader), made a Statement (attached at APPENDIX 1 to these Minutes) setting out the Council’s report and programme for the current municipal year.  He then commended this to the Council.

 

In his response to the statement from the Leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor M S Heard advised that the Council’s transformation programme had been supported by the independents and it was recognised that this was well underway and the benefits it would bring.  He then referred to a number of points outlined in the Leaders’ speech including:

 

·                 Air quality reduction – This was something that should be supported by all Members.

 

·                 Lowering speed limits in Southminster – Councillor Heard thanked the Leader for his acknowledgement of the contribution of Councillor B S Beale to lowering speed limits in Southminster.

 

·                 Health Hub – The independents would support this and Councillor Heard agreed with the comments of the Leader in respect of it.

 

·                 Police – Reference was made to the number of additional officers promised to this District.  Councillor Heard advised that he would be seeking to raise with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner the number of closed police stations on which rates were still being paid.

 

·                 Tourism – Councillor Heard referred to the development of the website and commented about the Council considering opening a Tourist Information Centre in Burnham-on-Crouch or Maldon in the future.

 

The Leader of the Council responded to the comment regarding opening Tourist Information Centres in the future, advising that in respect of the Council’s Transformation Programme an early stage in the process involved the identification of areas where monies could be saved and one of the areas identified where savings could be made was tourism. 

208.

Questions in accordance with Procedure Rule 6(3) of which notice has been given

Minutes:

There were none.

209.

New Council Structure - Transformation Programme pdf icon PDF 320 KB

The Committee considered the report of the Corporate Governance Working Group (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Corporate Governance Working Group (CGWG) setting out recommendations on detailed arrangements to support the previously agreed principles of a new committee structure as part of the Council’s Transformation Programme.

 

The report highlighted the work of the CGWG and the following documents were attached as appendices to the report:

 

·                 Appendix A – the Terms of Reference and operating arrangements for the new Committees.

 

·                 Appendix B – a draft Terms of Reference for the newly established District Planning Committee.

 

·                 Appendix C – a consolidated Scheme of Delegation had been produced taking into consider a number of significant issues identified by the CGWG and set out in the report.

 

It was noted that concisely-expressed Terms of Reference had been produced for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considering a number of further comments which were set out in the report.  In respect of the Licensing Sub-Committee the CGWG were proposing that this be constituted of suitably trained Members.

 

When presenting the report, the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised Members that a report seeking review of the interim arrangements agreed for the Head of Paid Service would be brought to the next meeting of the Council and part of this report would look into the delegation of this role.  In light of this the Director suggested that Members consider amending recommendation (iii) to read “that with the exception of the element relating to the Head of Paid Service the Council approves…”.  Members were also advised that the last bullet point on page 45 of the agenda pack referred to policy I3 and this should be removed as there was no such policy.

 

The Leader of the Council proposed that recommendation (iii) be amended as set out by the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance.  He continued advising that the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government had recently published some statutory guidance which needed to be reviewed in relation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  In light of this, the Leader advised that it was appropriate to review this guidance and proposed that recommendation (iv) be withdrawn and recommendation (i) be amended to remove reference to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  These proposals were duly seconded.

 

The Chairman outlined the proposed changes including the amendment to page 45 as highlighted by the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance.  He then put these to the Council and upon a vote being taken they were agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the terms of reference and operating protocols for the new Strategy and Resources Committee, Performance, Governance and Audit Committee, and the Licensing Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee as part of the new structure and Constitution of the Council be adopted to take effect in October 2019 (as set out in Appendix A to the report, with the exception of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee);

 

(ii)            That subject to the amendment as detailed above, the terms of reference for the new District Planning Committee in existence from the start of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 209.

210.

Parish of Heybridge - Basin Ward - Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Resources (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Resources, updating Members on arrangements for implementation of the outcome of the Community Governance Review for the Parish of Heybridge – Basin Ward and seeking Members’ agreement on the matters to be the subject of a Reorganisation Order.

 

The report outlined the Council’s decision in February 2019 to create a new Civil Parish and Parish Council for the area currently forming the Basin Ward of the Parish of Heybridge.  A Steering Group was set up at the same time by the Council to inform the content and effect the necessary Reorganisation Order.  A copy of the plan proposed to be used for the Reorganisation Order was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The report set out the conclusions agreed by the Steering Group to be reported to the Council and the proposed timescales.

 

It was noted that Heybridge Parish Council had confirmed it wished to retain 12 Members which if included in the Reorganisation Order would require a separate election to fill that one additional seat. 

 

In response to a question regarding financial implications, the Officer time required and the need to understand the costs, the Director of Resources advised that the Council had a requirement to support the Parish Council under the Community Governance Regulations which would require resources (both internal and external).  Such costs needed to be recovered on a full cost recovery basis and Officers would continue to measure and monitor the time that was spent on this taking into consideration value for money.

 

The Leader of the Council then proposed that all the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed.  This proposal was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the Council notes and endorses the conclusions reached by the steering group with a view to the following matters being included in the Reorganisation Order required to implement the outcome of this Review:

·                 That the number of Councillors for the new Parish Council should be seven;

·                 That the name of the new Council should be Heybridge Basin Parish Council;

·                 An effective date of 1 April 2020 for implementation, with the new Parish Councillors being elected in early May 2020.

 

(ii)            That should Heybridge Parish Council wish to retain a membership of 12 Councillors it is advised that this will require a separate election consequent upon implementation of these proposals, the cost of which will be an expense attributable to the Parish Council;

 

(iii)          That the Director of Resources be authorised to continue and conclude discussions with Heybridge Parish Council and representatives of the Local Referendum Group as required in relation to budget and other administrative matters and also transfer of land and property;

 

(iv)           That a further report be brought back to the Council in the light of the receipt of a provisional budget with a view to its authorising the making of a Re-organisation of Community Governance Order under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 to include the matters  ...  view the full minutes text for item 210.

211.

Commercial Project Opportunities - Feasibility Fund pdf icon PDF 296 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking the Council’s approval for the allocation of a budget of £100,000 to be taken from New Homes Bonus income, to be utilised for feasibility studies for potential commercial projects.

 

The report provided background information regarding the Council’s Transformation Project and the Commercial Projects Board formed to analyse and progress potential commercial projects.  It was noted that pre-feasibility reports were presented to the Commercial Projects Board and those considered viable were then progressed to full feasibility studies.  It was often necessary to commission professional assessment etc. in order to fully understand a potential project’s viability and therefore a fund of £100,000 was requested to procure such professional services.  Appendix 1 to the report set out the process flow chart.

 

The Leader of the Council felt that some checks and balances should be built in and he therefore proposed that recommendation (i) be amended to read “…commercial opportunities, with £40,000 being made available immediately and the balance of £60,000 being made available subject to Council approval of the Commercial Projects Plan at its meeting on 25 July 2019”.  He advised that this would allow the Council to have a Commercial Projects Plan in place and understand where Officers were proposing to spend the monies requested.  The Leader then proposed an amendment to recommendation (ii) adding after £10,000 ‘subject to the details being reported to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee or Strategy and Resources Committee (post October 2019)’ to enable expenditure to be tracked through Committees.  These proposals were duly seconded.

 

A number of comments were raised by Members at this point and the following information provided by the Leader of the Council, in response:

·                 The Council would be seeking to agree a Commercial Projects Plan (the Plan) which would give all Members the opportunity to come up with ideas which would then added to and looked at through the Plan.  The Plan would look at project costs, feasibility, deliverability etc. along with checks and balances.

 

·                 Procurement of consultations would be monitored and were likely to be based around fixed prices to identify what the Council would be getting.

 

The Chairman then put the proposal in the name of Councillor Fluker, which upon a vote being taken was agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That a budget of £100,000 be approved and utilised for the development of commercial opportunities, with £40,000 being made available immediately and the balance of £60,000 being made available subject to Council approval of the Commercial Projects Plan at its meeting on 25 July 2019;

 

(ii)            That the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance be authorised, in consultation with the Commercial Projects Board to approve any spend up to £10,000, subject to the details being reported to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee or the Strategy and Resources Committee (post October 2019);

 

(iii)          That decisions on spend of over £10,000 be delegated to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee.

212.

Local Area Highways Panel - Replacement Representative pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking a replacement representative on the Local Area Highways Panel.  The reason for this request was set out in the report.

 

The Leader of the Council advised that since publication of the report Councillor R G Boyce had advised that he wished to stand down from this panel due to his role as Chairman of the Council.  Therefore, two representatives were required, and the Leader proposed that these vacancies be filled by Councillors B E Harker and M W Helm.  This proposal was duly seconded.

 

At this point, Councillor M S Heard, Leader of the Opposition expressed his disappointment that the Independent Group were not being represented.  In response to a Member advising they wished to make an alternative proposal, the Chairman advised that the Member should vote against the current motion and if that was not agreed they could bring forward an alternative motion.

 

The Chairman put the proposal of Councillor Fluker which upon a vote being taken was agreed.

 

RESOVLED that Councillors B E Harker and M W Helm be appointed as replacement representatives on the Local Area Highways Panel.

213.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

To resolve that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

214.

Review of Corporate Subscriptions

To consider the report of the Director of Resources, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Resources seeking Members’ endorsement to continue or seek termination of the Council’s involvement in organisations with which the Council had corporate subscriptions.

 

The report provided a list of external partnership organisations to which the Council had corporate subscriptions.  Members were advised of the need to review these organisation memberships and the report detailed further information regarding each of the external partnership organisations.

 

The Leader of the Council proposed that recommendation (i) be agreed.  He then proposed that recommendation (ii) be agreed on the understanding that Officers bring forward a value for money analysis of what the Council was getting from the memberships and what the organisations provided for the Council.  This was duly seconded.

 

In response to comments and questions raised the Director of Resources provided Members with further information.

 

The Chairman then put the proposal in the name of the Leader of the Council to the Council and this was agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the corporate subscription with the Haven Gateway Partnership be terminated.

 

(ii)            That corporate subscriptions with the external partnership organisations as set out in the report be maintained but are subject to further and more detailed review by 31 December 2019, results of which are to be reported to the Council and considered as part of the 2020 / 21 Budget Setting Process:

 

(iii)          That a value for money analysis be carried out in respect of all external partnership organisation memberships and reported to the Council.

215.

Full Council Transformation: Gateway Review

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance presenting the second quarterly gateway review of the full Council Transformation Programme as agreed by the Council on 9 August 2018.  The report gave assurance on the governance arrangements in place for the programme and the oversight given by the Council’s Transformation Board and officer led Programme Delivery Board.  The latest Transformation Board report was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and Appendix 2 provided detail of the equality analysis undertaken.  The Transformation Programme Governance and Terms of Reference were attached at Appendix 3.

 

The Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy was set out in the report along with the forecast savings to be achieved through delivery of the Future Model. 

 

The Council was advised that there had been two occasions where progress had slipped, and the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance outlined the reasons for these.  He reported that as of today (27 June 2019) the programme was on track with all programme staff, governance arrangements and monitoring arrangements in place. 

 

Councillor A S Fluker, Leader of the Council, thanked the Transformation team for their hard work in delivering this project.

 

In response to a question regarding the reason for this item of business being excluded from the public, the Chairman and Monitoring Officer provided the Council with guidance on the Council’s rules in respect of exempt items of business and clarification on the process.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 139 KB