Agenda and draft minutes

Strategy and Resources Committee - Thursday 20th February 2020 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Committee Services 

Items
No. Item

794.

Chairman's Notices

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the list of notices published on the back of the agenda.

795.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor C Swain and it was noted that Councillor Miss S White was running late.

796.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To confirm the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 29 January 2020 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 29 January 2020 be agreed.

 

 

Councillor Miss S White joined the meeting at this point.

797.

Disclosure of Interest

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

 

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

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs P A Channer disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as a member of Essex County Council in any item of business relating to the County Council.  In relation to Agenda Item 6 – Adoption of Air Quality Action Plan for Market Hill and High Street Maldon 2020 – 2025 she declared that Maldon District Council had been working with Essex County Council on this.

 

Councillor N Skeens disclosed a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 12A – The Crouch Valley Festival of Food and Drink as he was a member of Burnham-on-Crouch Town Council who would have a view.

798.

Public Participation

To receive the views of members of the public on items of business to be considered by the Committee (please see below):

 

1.               A period of ten minutes will be set.

 

2.               An individual may speak for no more than two minutes and will not be allowed to distribute or display papers, plans, photographs or other materials.

 

3.               Anyone wishing to speak must notify the Committee Clerk between 7:00pm and 7:20pm prior to the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s public participation scheme, Councillor C Morris addressed the Committee as a member of the public and in relation to Agenda Item 6 – Adoption of Air Quality Action Plan for Market hill and High Street Maldon 2020 – 2025.

799.

Adoption of Air Quality Action Plan for Market Hill and High Street Maldon: 2020 - 2025 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery, presenting the Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) for Market Hill and High Street, Maldon (attached as Appendix 1 to the report).

 

The report reminded Members that the Council had declared an Air Quality Management Area (AWMA) on Market Hill in December 2018, noted work carried out since this decision was made and the public consultation scheduled to start on 2 March.

 

The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance apologised and advised that Section 5 of Appendix 1 (page 122 of the agenda pack) contained some errors which needed amendment as follows:

 

·                 Cllr White – Ward member for Purleigh and Essex County Councillor for Maldon

 

·                 Cllr Durham – Ward member for Wickham Bishops and Woodham and Essex County Councillor for Heybridge and Tollesbury Division

 

In response to a question regarding the amendments, the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance confirmed that he would ensure that the AQAP was amended prior to circulation as part of the public consultation.

 

A lengthy debate ensued during which a number of Members commented on the AQAP.  In response to comments, the Environmental Health Officer provided the following information:

 

·                 The AQAP was a statutory requirement because of the AQMA, whereas a clean air zone was not.

 

·                 The Council had to provide an annual statistics report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and there were clearly defined targets for the Council to meet. 

 

·                 There was detailed information and modelling undertaken which had fed into the detailed improvement plan that would occur as part of each of the actions identified.

 

·                 The AQMA targeted nitrogen dioxide which largely related to emissions from tailpipes from motor vehicles.

 

·                 The table at paragraph 4.1 of the report set out the action points and these would be highlighted as part of planned consultation events.

 

·                 It was acknowledged that anti-idling was a big issue to local residents and this would be addressed through the proposed Air Quality Strategy for the whole district.

 

·                 The associated costs had been considered and approved by the Council as part of the decision to fund this work.  The work was being undertaken for the Council by Chelmsford City Council, following a procurement exercise.

 

In response to a question, the Environmental Health Officer agreed to provide Members with detail of how the Council measured and validated the documents received in respect of the AQAP.

 

A question was raised regarding the Council’s Air Quality Management (Market Hill) Working Group and the Minutes of this meeting being available to Members.  In response, the Director of Service Delivery advised that he would look into this matter and respond to Members outside of the meeting.

 

The Chairman then put the recommendation as set out in the report, subject to the amendments detailed above.  This was duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Air Quality Action Plan for Market Hill and High Street, Maldon (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) be approved for Public Consultation in March 2020.

800.

Amendments to the Local Information Requirements for the Validation of Planning Applications (Local List) pdf icon PDF 300 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ agreement to commence a formal consultation period of revised local information requirements for the validation of planning applications list (local list).

 

The report provided background information regarding the validation of planning and other applications submitted under the Town and Country Planning Acts.  It was noted that the Council had, in accordance with Governance Guidance, adopted local validation requirements, Local Lists to supplement the national requirements.

 

It was noted that carrying out regular reviews of the local list was an important process in ensuring a high level of customer service as well as assisting the timely processing of applications.  Updating the local list would allow the validation process to become clearer and more streamlined for both the Applicant / Agent.

 

RESOLVED that the Maldon District Council Planning Validation Requirements List – Update January 2020 (attached as Appendix 2 to the report) be endorsed for public consultation for a period six weeks and then brought back to this Committee to consider the responses received and to agree any alterations with a view to the list being finalised and then published.

801.

Approval to Consult on the Draft Lists of Local Heritage Assets for the Parishes of Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham pdf icon PDF 302 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval to consult on the Draft Lists of Local Heritage for the Parishes of Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham (attached at Appendix 1 to the report).

 

The report provided background information on listed buildings within the District and how the Planning Practice Guidance encouraged Local Planning Authorities to identify ‘non-designated heritage assets’ against consistent criteria.  Adding them to a ‘local list’ was considered a positive way of improving the ‘predictability of the potential for sustainable development’. 

 

Draft lists for the Parishes of Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham had been produced with assistance from local historians.  If Members were to approve these for public consultation, they would be published on the Council’s website and each relevant Parish Council and owner / occupier would be written to.  Consultation responses would be reported to a future meeting of this Committee, along with any updates prior to adoption.

 

In response to a question regarding how often the assets would be updated the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that he would check and advise Members accordingly.

 

The Committee asked that its thanks be passed to the Conservation Officer for his excellent work on the Local lists.

 

RESOLVED that the Draft Lists of Local Heritage Assets for the Parishes of Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham are approved for public consultation.

802.

Review of Penalty Charges for Environmental Offences pdf icon PDF 204 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking review of the current charging levels imposed by Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for various environmental or antisocial behaviour offences, including fly posting, fly tipping, littering, dog fouling, abandoned vehicles and antisocial behaviour.  Appendix 1 to the report provided details of the proposed charges.

 

The report provided background information and statistical information regarding the powers previously used by the Council to issue FPNs to deter residents and visitors from committing such offences.  Legislation set out the default and maximum penalty levels and Members were advised that many Councils had moved to charging the maximum penalty which acted as a greater deterrent.  

 

Members were advised that the proposed increase to the level of FPN for anti-social behaviour offences would act as a positive deterrent, sending a strong message to potential offenders.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Service Delivery confirmed that there was ‘no change’ proposed for the offence - Failure to produce authority to transport waste (Waste Carriers permit / licence).

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(i)              That the levels of charge from 1 April 2020 be increased up to the maximum levels permitted under the legislation as set out in APPENDIX 1 to these Minutes;

 

(ii)            That that the team continues to support educational campaigns targeting public awareness of environmental offences.

803.

Pay Policy Statement 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Paid Service, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources seeking the Council’s approval of a Pay Policy Statement to meet the Localism Act 2011 requirements. 

 

It was noted that the Pay Policy Statement was attached as Appendix 1 to the report and reflected the current arrangements for pay at the Council. 

 

RECOMMENDED that the Pay Policy Statement attached as APPENDIX 2 to these Minutes be adopted for the financial year 2020 / 21.

804.

Human Resources Statistics - Quarter Three 2019 / 20 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and noted the report of the Director of Resources presenting Human Resources statistics for the period 1 October to 31 December 2019 (Quarter Three (Q3)). 

 

Statistics and updates relating to the following areas were detailed in the report:

·                 Labour Turnover;

 

·                 Recruitment, including vacancies;

 

·                 Staff Sickness Levels;

 

·                 Workforce Statistics – attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

·                 Future Model.

 

There had been a lot of recruitment during Quarter Three, with increasing success in recruiting permanent employees to key ‘hard to recruit’ roles.  Human Resources (HR) continued to work with the Corporate Leadership Team and tier two managers to finalise the new operating model structure and focus was now moving to utilising and improving the model for the Council’s workforce of the future.

 

Members noted that the overall absence levels had reduced to 191.72 per Full Time Equivalent which was a significant reduction from Quarter Two.  In response to a question the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance reported that Officers had concentrated on addressing long term sickness which had contributed to the reduced figure.  The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that the Council was below the national average and agreed to circulate Members with further information in respect of this.

 

When presenting the report the Director of Service Delivery advised that of those vacancies detailed in the report interviews had been carried out in relation to most posts and appointments were subject to the finalisation of contracts. 

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

805.

Urgent Item of Business

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that in accordance with Section 100b(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 he had agreed to allow the Director of Service Delivery to raise an urgent item of business seeking Members’ consideration of financial estimates relating to two events in 2020.  Members were advised that it was necessary to consider and make a decision on this item prior to the next meeting of the Committee to reduce potential risks to the Council.

 

Members were advised that this item was a private and confidential report.

806.

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 item(s) of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 4 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 urgent item of business on the grounds that it involves 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.

807.

The Crouch Valley Festival of Food and Drink

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

Minutes:

The Committee considered the urgent report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members review of the financial estimates for the Burnham-on-Crouch Festival Food and Drink 2020 and a similar event within Maldon Promenade Park 2020. 

 

Members were reminded of the decision by this Committee in January 2020 regarding food and drink events in Burnham-on-Crouch and the Maldon Promenade Park.  The report provided an analysis of the financial costs associated with the proposed events.

 

A number of questions were raised by Members and in response the Commercial Manager provided the Committee with additional information regarding staff costs, impact on car parking income, risk of not recruiting enough retailers, insurance and what the start up costs related to.  The Committee were advised that although the branding for the Maldon event had not be confirmed it would be different to the Burnham-on-Crouch event.

 

The Chairman advised that recommendation (ii) should refer to the Council rather than Members.  Subject to that amendment he put the recommendations as set out in the report which were subsequently agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That financial estimates for two events in 2020, namely the Burnham-on-Crouch Festival of Food and Drink and a similar event within Maldon Promenade Park, be acknowledged;

 

(ii)            That the two events detailed in (i) above be underwritten by the Council and authorise Officers to launch both events without delay;

 

(iii)          That a full financial analysis of the events (detailed in (i) above) be presented to the October 2020 meeting of this Committee along with any supplementary estimate to mitigate any loss at that time, if required.

Appendices 1 and 2 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents: