(Continuation of meeting), Strategy and Resources Committee - Thursday 9th February 2023 7.00 pm

Proposed venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services  Email: committee.clerk@maldon.gov.uk

Note: Continuation in open session of the adjourned Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on 26 January 2023. PLEASE NOTE no agenda will be issued for this continuation meeting as the items due to be discussed are already contained in the agenda papers from the 26 January 2023 Committee meeting. 


No. Item


Resumption of Business in Open Session


RESOLVED that the meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee resume in open session.


Correction of information


At this point the Chairman invited Councillor A S Fluker to correct some information that he provided during the earlier session on 26 January 2023. 


Councillor Fluker advised that during the discussion on the Maldon Citizen Advice – Funding Request he had referenced a member of staff being paid £60,000, this was incorrect, and he apologised to the Citizens Advice Bureau if it had caused any problems for them.  He clarified that he should have said there were 14 part-time members of staff and that on average they are paid £17,000 per annum.


Apologies for Absence and Substitution Notice


The Chairman reported that apologies had been received from Councillors M F L Durham and Mrs M E Thompson.  In accordance with notice duly given Councillor Mrs J L Fleming was attending as a substitute for Councillor Mrs Thompson.


Data Management and Insight Strategy pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval to adopt a Data Management and Insight Strategy (the Strategy) attached as Appendix B to the report, in response to national and regional direction on the issue, and seek Member promotion of the issues covered, and focus on data driven decisions.


It was noted that the UK National Data Strategy set out best practice for use of data and insight, providing direction to authorities on how they might best use data. Essex partners had been developing the Essex Data Declaration (attached as Appendix A to the report), in line with the National Strategy and Officers were recommending that the Council signed up to this to link the Council to national best practice and improve access to insight across the County.


Additionally, Officers had developed the Strategy (Appendix B) setting out an ambition to be more data-driven and identifying the Council’s specific strengths and weaknesses. Should this Strategy be approved, officers would also develop an internal action plan against the four priorities set out in the Strategy to report through the Performance Governance and Audit Committee.


A lengthy debate ensued.  During the discussion the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager provided Members with further information including:


·                 Key areas for data sharing would be identified with partner organisations in order to drive services and assist in identifying how best to deliver the Strategy.


·                 Raw data would not be shared, sharing would relate to insights such as the recent residents’ survey and comparison with other Essex surveys.


·                 The Strategy contained a section regarding adopting data integrity and security which would be both General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and data security compliant.  Part of the role of the Strategy was to highlight how the Council was GDPR compliant and correctly storing data.


·                 The Essex Data Declaration had been brought together through an Officer Working Group and been through all Essex Authorities to seek sign up to it.


·                 Officers were not aware of any proposed changes to the National Strategy.


·                 Members and Officers were able to access data through presentation such as mapping tools etc.


There was some concern raised from Members that further information was required and a brief discussion ensued regarding deferring the item of business. 


Councillor R H Siddall proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed.  This was duly seconded and upon a vote being taken agreed.




(i)               That the Council signs up to the Essex Data Declaration (as set out in Appendix A to the report);


(ii)             That the Internal Data Management and Insight Strategy (Appendix B to the report) be approved;


(iii)            That the Committee recommends referral to the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee for action plan review and tracking due to links in Committee responsibilities, and circulation of the Strategy to all Members to promote a data driven approach / awareness.


New Fee for the Collection of Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating Containing Persistent Organic Pollutants pdf icon PDF 142 KB


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking agreement to introduce a new fee and charge for the separate collection of Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS) containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS).


The report provided background information following an instruction to all local authorities from the Environment Agency (EA) that all WUDS must be collected separately from other waste and sent for incineration.  The impacts on the existing Waste and Recycling Contract and Street Cleansing Contract were set out in the report.  Three options for Members’ consideration to ensure these materials were collected separately were also detailed.  It was noted that following discussions with the Council’s Waste and Recycling contractor Officers were proposing that an additional charge per item for WUDS be agreed.


In response to some questions raised, Members were advised that the proposed fee would be on top of the current charge for collection of large items but would be per collection.  This was due to the need to collect and store such items separately.  It was noted that WUDS could be taken to recycling centres where they would be stored of and disposed of appropriately.


The Chairman put the recommendations as set out in the report and these were duly agreed.




(i)               That an additional fee of £14.50 be added to the list of Fees and Charges for 2023 / 24 for mixed bulky waste requests containing Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS) to ensure that collections costs are covered for their separate collection as per guidance provided by the Environment Agency;


(ii)              That Members note the new fee will be introduced for the last two months of the 2022 / 23 financial year (predicted income would fall within limits set under Delegation) to ensure the service can be offered to the public as soon as possible.


Statement of Consultation - Local Development Plan Review: Issues and Options Document pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Mrs P A Channer declared an interest in this item of business and in particular the consultation responses as a friend, many acquaintances and her husband had responded to the consultation.  She advised that these were their own views and did not stop her from commenting on the report.


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ review of the Statement of Consultation (attached at Appendix 1 to the report) with regards to the Regulation 18 Issues and Options Document which was subject to public consultation between 17 January and 14 March 2022.  Approval of the document would support the delivery of a lawful and sound Maldon District Local Development Plan (LDP) Review.


The report provided detailed background relating to the Council approving a review of the Maldon District LDP and the public consultation undertaken.  Appendix 2 to the report provided detail of the statutory consultee responses received in relation to the Consultation.


A lengthy debate ensued and in response to a number of questions the Lead Specialist Planning Policy and Implementation provided the Committee with the following additional information:


·                 The consultation responses were in the public domain through this report but would only be used once the process of the LDP work had started.


·                 The Council would be publishing its responses to the response from Essex County Council (ECC).  In addition, the Council attends Duty to Cooperate meeting with ECC and their response to the Council’s policy would be iterative.  Comments received were accurate at that point in time.


Councillor K M H L Lagan proposed that the recommendation to the Council be amended and that the Committee should recommend the Statement of Consultation be noted rather than approved.  This was duly seconded.  The Officer confirmed that as long as the Council could show the document had been through the relevant process then to note it was fine.


The Officer clarified that although the report referred to the Issues and Options Consultation Document 2021 the report was not seeking agreement of anything related to the Local Development Plan as this would come forward at a later date.


Following further discussion, the Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Lagan to the Committee, and this was duly agreed.


RECOMMENDED to the Council, that the the Statement of Consultation on the Maldon District Local Development Plan Review - Regulation 18 Issues and Options Document (attached as APPENDIX 1 to these Minutes) be approved.


South Essex Parking Partnership - Operational Reserve - Parking Project Proposals pdf icon PDF 209 KB


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources seeking Members’ approval to progress an application for utilising part of the Operational Reserve of £186,000 from the South Essex Parking Partnership (SEPP) for three parking projects, as follows:


·                  Repairs to car park surfaces at Butt Lane and White Horse...... £137,500


·                  Feasibility study for a potential additional Car Park.................... £28,000


·                  Delivery of a Car Park Charging Strategy.................................... £7,200


It was noted that use of the Operational Reserve was restricted to expenditure which fell within Section 55 of the Road Traffic Act 1984.


The report provided background information regarding the SEPP and noted its success particularly in its generation of additional investment and an operational Reserve.  It was noted that the Operational Reserve did not have to be used in the current financial year and would remain available to access for further / future projects.


During the debate that followed Officers provided further clarification on the proposal including:


·                  The monies had to be spent on car parking highways related issues.


·                  Officers had followed the same process used when surplus monies were previously available.  It was noted that the previous surplus had funded pay and display equipment in the Council’s car parks.


·                  The Car Parking Working Group had a focus on fees and charges.


Councillor R H Siddall expressed concern that the surplus did not have to be spent on car parking and could be used for environmental projects and other things.  He noted that the car parking surfaces had already been budgeted for out of Council expenditure.  He then proposed that this item of business be deferred from the Committee and a representative of the SEPP be invited to attend a meeting of the Car Parking Working Group to consider options for how the monies were spent.  This proposal was duly seconded.


Councillor A S Fluker spoke about the total figure being within the Council’s budget and proposed that the Council’s application to the SEPP be submitted but that the £172,700 within the General Fund be ring-fenced for highways projects.


In response to discussion, the Director of Service Delivery clarified that the figure for repairs to car parking surfacing was included within the budget (capital receipts).  However, the figures for a feasibility study and car park charging strategy were not and would effectively be new projects coming forward for Members’ consideration in the future. 


Following further discussion Councillor S White proposed an amendment to the proposal from Councillor Siddall but this was not supported.


The Chairman then put the proposal in the name of Councillor Siddall to the Committee.  Upon a vote being taken this was not agreed.


Councillor Fluker repeated his earlier proposition that the recommendations be agreed and ring-fence the surplus amount for funding future projects.  Following further debate, the Chairman moved this proposal which was duly agreed.




(i)                that the three projects detailed below are supported, and an application is submitted to the South Essex Parking Partnership to utilise the Operational Reserve to fund  ...  view the full minutes text for item 549.


Supplementary Estimates, Virements, Procurement Exemptions and Use of Reserves: 1 October - 31 December 2022 pdf icon PDF 145 KB


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources reporting that during the above period the following had been agreed:


·                 three virements;


·                 one supplementary revenue estimate;


·                 one procurement exemption;


·                 one draw down from reserves.


In response to a query raised regarding the procurement exemption relating to navigation buoy service, the Director of Service Delivery advised this related to a number of navigation buoys on the Blackwater Estuary which the Council had a responsibility for maintaining and to which urgent work was required.  The Director advised that Committee that he would have full statement circulated to Members providing further background information regarding this matter and the work undertaken.  Councillor A S Fluker raised a number of concerns regarding the Procurement Exemption and proposed that the matter be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  The Chairman advised Councillor Fluker that this was not a matter for the Committee but something he could report himself.


The Chairman moved the recommendations set out in the report and these were duly agreed.




(i)               That the Virements as detailed in paragraph 3.3.1 of the report be received;


(ii)              That the Supplementary Estimates as detailed in paragraph 3.4.1 of the report be received;


(iii)            That the Procurement Exemptions as detailed in paragraph 3.5.1 of the report be received;


(iv)            That the drawdown from Reserves as detailed in paragraph 3.6.1 of the report be received.


Any other items of business that the Chairman of the Committee decides are urgent


The Chairman announced that in accordance with Section 100b(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 she had agreed to allow the Director of Service Delivery to raise an urgent item of business.  This business was of a private and confidential matter and would therefore be considered following Agenda Item 21.


Exclusion of the Public and Press


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 1of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.


Adjournment of the meeting


RESOLVED that the meeting be adjourned at 8:56pm for a short break.


Resumption of Business in Closed Session


RESOLVED that the meeting resume in closed session at 9pm.


Retention Payments


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking approval for the introduction of retention payments in accordance with business need.


The report provided background information regarding market supplements which were used to attract suitably qualified and experienced applicants to hard to fill roles.  The proposed introduction of retention payments was set out in the report and it was noted that if approved the policy would allow the Council to be able to respond to retention difficulties with agility in accordance with identified need.


Councillor Mrs P A Channer proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed.  This proposal was duly seconded.


Councillor A S Fluker proposed an amendment to the proposal that such payments should be signed off by the Director of Resources / Section 151 Officer or his deputy.  This was not supported.


In response to question from Councillor Fluker, Officers provided detail regarding the recruitment process and advertisement of vacancies.  Officers agreed to feedback to Human Resources the suggestion to add a note to the Council’s website asking people to contact the Council for any vacancies.  The Chairman referred to proactively advertising vacancies on the Council’s website and requested that Officers take this forward as an action from the Committee.


The Chairman moved the proposal in the name of Councillor Mrs Channer, and this was duly agreed.  Councillor K M H Lagan requested that his vote against the proposal be recorded.




(i)               That approval is given to the introduction of retention payments for ‘hard to fill roles’, in accordance with the current policy of the payment of market supplements of up to 15% of salary on the recruitment to hard to fill roles;


(ii)              That the recruitment and retention policy be reviewed within 12 months.


URGENT BUSINESS: Burnham-on-Crouch - Long Lease Agreement


The Committee considered the urgent report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ consideration of a change to a current long lease agreement in Burnham-on-Crouch.  Members’ noted the reason this report was brought forward as urgent business.


The report detailed a request that had been received to consider an amendment to the long lease agreement and provided further information regarding this.


In response to a Point of Order and questions raised the Senior Specialist – Legal provided the Committee with further information regarding the request and reason for urgency.


The Chairman proposed that this matter be deferred as she didn’t feel the Committee had sufficient information to determine it.  This was not supported.


Councillor A S Fluker proposed that the recommendations not be supported.  This was not seconded.


The Chairman withdrew her earlier proposal at this point and put the proposal as set out in the report to the Committee.  Following a vote being taken this motion was lost and therefore the request not agreed.


RESOLVED that request to grant an automatic right to renew the lease for the site set out in the report not be agreed.

Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB