Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 6 February 2019 9.30 a.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Ian Senior  03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive Apologies for Absence from Cabinet members. 

Minutes:

There were no Apologies for Absence.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

In the interests of transparency, Councillor Hazel Smith stated that Waterbeach (the subject of agenda item 7) was located in her Ward.

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To authorise the Leader to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019 as a correct record.

Minutes:

Cabinet authorised the Leader to sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019 subject to correcting a typographical error in the attendance list to read ‘Douglas’ rather than ‘Duglas’.

4.

Announcements

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

5.

Public Questions

 

From Waterbeach Cycling Campaign

 

“Within the Waterbeach New Town SPD, there are currently no modal share targets for trips made within the development. What is the targeted modal share of cycling, walking and public transport for trips to be made within the new town? If there are no targets, can SCDC explain why not?”

 

The Environment Agency and Natural England have indicated that they might wish to address Cabinet, subject to the Leader exercising her discretion to allow public speaking.

Minutes:

One public question had been received, relating to the Waterbeach Supplementary Planning Document. It would be considered as part of Minute no. 7.

6.

Issues arising from the Scrutiny and Overview Committee

Minutes:

The Scrutiny and Overview Committee meeting on 22 January 2019 had been chaired by the Vice-Chairman Councillor Brian Milnes.

 

Councillor Milnes summarised the Committee’s consideration of the Waterbeach Supplementary Planning Document, Budget, and the recent ICT outage.

 

With regard to the ICT issue, the Leader said that one option in moving to a resolution was to employ external consultants to work alongside staff from 3C ICT. She specifically thanked those officers involved in ensuring business continuity in the immediate aftermath of the outage.

7.

Waterbeach Supplementary Planning Documents Adoption pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet

 

1.    noted the main issues raised in recent correspondence with the three statutory bodies (Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England) and in their responses to the SPD consultation in respect of sustainability appraisal and habitats regulations and the considerations as set out in the supplementary report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development (see Appendices A and B);

 

2.    agreed responses to the representations received, and agreed the consequential changes to the draft SPD approved by Cabinet for consultation on 5 September 2018, as set out in the Consultation Statement;

 

3.    adopted the Waterbeach New Town SPD, agreed by Cabinet on 5 September 2018 and as amended (see Appendices B and C); and

 

4.    delegated to the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development, in consultation with the Deputy Leader, the authority to make any editing changes prior to publication. Including to the figures and spatial framework diagram, to ensure consistency with the agreed text of the SPD.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report and supplementary report summarising and responding to representations made on the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) during the public consultation held between 14 September 2018 and 26 October 2018, and relating to recent correspondence from the three statutory consultation bodies.

 

Mr. Goldsmith, representing RLW (the second landowner involved in developing Waterbeach New Town) addressed the meeting. He expressed concerns about the phasing of development, and about ransom. He said that, in order to ensure delivery of appropriate infrastructure and of the new town as a single and comprehensive unit, the SPD must address and remove the question of ransom.

 

The Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development referred to paragraph 14 of the main report. He emphasised the SPD’s status as a guidance document, and its function, which was to support the policies of the Local Plan.

 

The Planning Policy Manager referred to the main issues raised by the consultation, and referred Members to the supplementary report and its contents. By way of clarification, she said that the SPD could not change Local Plan policy. Once adopted it would be a material consideration in planning decisions. She referred to the following question from the Waterbeach Cycling Campaign:

 

"Within the Waterbeach New Town SPD, there are currently no modal share targets for trips made within the development. What is the targeted modal share of cycling, walking and public transport for trips to be made within the new town? If there are no targets, can SCDC explain why not?" 

 

After pointing to paragraphs 25-31 of the main report she undertook that officers would provide the questioner with a written answer as soon as possible.

 

The Planning Policy Manager referred Members to the supplementary report, and to the representations from the Environment Agency, Natural England and Historic England.

 

In relation to water recycling, the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development told Councillor Hazel Smith, a local Member for Waterbeach, that the provision of additional capacity would be for a separate planning process distinct from the SPD. Noting that Cambridgeshire County Council is the appropriate planning authority for waste planning and for the determination of related planning applications.

 

In response to RLW’s suggestion that the SPD should contain an “anti-ransom” clause, the Council had received legal advice to the effect that RLW was not entitled to such a clause, and that such a clause was unnecessary and unreasonable. Officers’ advice to Cabinet therefore was that such a clause was not appropriate.

 

Speaking as a member of the Planning Committee, Councillor Milnes said it would be essential to prevent development of the new town from becoming disjointed. The Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development set out the mechanisms available through the SPD and the planning process generally to secure comprehensive development.

 

Summing up, the Leader said that the Council looked forward to working with the developers to achieve a town that reflected its priorities.

 

Cabinet

 

1.    noted the main issues raised in recent correspondence with the three statutory  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Council Tax Empty Homes Premium pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Not for call-in

 

Cabinet recommended that Council increases the empty homes premium on properties left empty for more than two years, as permitted in law, namely

 

·         1 April 2019 – 100% premium on properties left empty for two years or more

·         1 April 2020 - 200% premium on properties left empty for five years or more

·         1 April 2021 - 300% premium on properties left empty for ten years or more

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on recent legislative changes allowing for an increase the Council Tax empty homes premium to act as an incentive to bring empty homes back into use.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Sue Ellington, the Revenues Manager said that a property owner could apply to the Valuation Office Agency to remove a property from Council Tax if deemed to be unfit for occupation.

 

Cabinet recommended that Council increases the empty homes premium on properties left empty for more than two years, as permitted in law, namely

 

·         1 April 2019 – 100% premium on properties left empty for two years or more

·         1 April 2020 - 200% premium on properties left empty for five years or more

·         1 April 2021 - 300% premium on properties left empty for ten years or more

9.

Business Plan 2019-2024 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Not for call-in

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  Considered the proposed Business Plan at Appendix A to the report from the Chief Executive, and recommended  it for approval by Council.

 

(b)  Reviewed feedback from Scrutiny and Overview Committee in relation to the Business Plan public consultation.

 

(c)  Authorised the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required to the final drafts, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report on the Business Plan 2019-24.

 

Those present discussed several issues arising from the document, including air quality and an emphasis on involving smaller Parish Councils in promoting South Cambridgeshire.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  Considered the proposed Business Plan at Appendix A to the report from the Chief Executive, and recommended  it for approval by Council.

 

(b)  Reviewed feedback from Scrutiny and Overview Committee in relation to the Business Plan public consultation.

 

(c)  Authorised the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required to the final drafts, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

10.

Budget Report pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Appendices 1A and 6 contain restricted information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (As Amended). Paragraph 3 relates to

 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).”

 

If Members wish to discuss this restricted information, they should refer to the Confidential Supplement associated with the main agenda document.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Not for call-in

 

(1)          Cabinet recommended that Council :-

 

Revenue and capital – GF

 

(a)          Approve the revenue estimates for 2019-20 as shown in the GF BSR Section 5 at Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(b)          Approve the precautionary items for the GF, GF BSR Appendix B, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(c)           Approve the GF revenue forecasts as set out in GF BSR Section 6, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(d)          Instruct the Executive Management Team to identify additional income / cumulative savings of £3 million for the five years from 2019-2024.

 

(e)          Delegate the use of the Earmarked reserve for Business Efficiency initiatives to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance, and that £1m is transferred into this reserve from the General Fund reserve. As at the end of 2017-18 financial year, the General Fund reserve stood at £7,751,000.

 

(f)            Authorise £500,000 of Planning Earmarked Reserves, budgeted to support the shortfall in income in the year 2018-19, but not required due to sufficient over budget income levels being achieved, to be budgeted to use towards Business Transformation programmes in Planning in 2019-20.

 

(g)          Approve the GF capital programme and associated funding up to the year ended 31 March 2024, as set out in GF BSR Section 7, at Appendix 1to this report.

 

(h)          Set the Council Tax Requirement for 2019-20 at £9,092,962.

 

(i)            Set the amount of Council Tax for each of the relevant categories of dwelling in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 on the basis of the District Council Tax for general expenses on a Band D property of £145.31 plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, details of those precepts and their effect to be circulated with the formal resolution required at the Council meeting.

 

 

Revenue – HRA

 

(j)            Approve the HRA savings, increased income, unavoidable revenue pressures, bids and reduced income items, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(k)           Approve the non-cash limit adjustments, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(l)            Approve the resulting HRA revenue budget as shown in the HRA Summary Forecast 2018-19 to 2023-24 in Appendix I of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(m)         Approve the retention of the balance of the 4-year efficiency savings target of £95,000 per annum from 2020-21 included as part of the 2018-19 HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy, and the corresponding Strategic Investment Fund for the same value.

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

(n)          Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be reduced by 1% for the final year, in line with legislative requirements introduced as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Act,  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

Minutes:

Cabinet is considered a report on financial strategies and budgets.

 

(1)          Cabinet recommended that Council :-

 

Revenue and capital – GF

 

(a)          Approve the revenue estimates for 2019-20 as shown in the GF BSR Section 5 at Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(b)          Approve the precautionary items for the GF, GF BSR Appendix B, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(c)           Approve the GF revenue forecasts as set out in GF BSR Section 6, Appendix 1 to this report.

 

(d)          Instruct the Executive Management Team to identify additional income / cumulative savings of £3 million for the five years from 2019-2024.

 

(e)          Delegate the use of the Earmarked reserve for Business Efficiency initiatives to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance, and that £1m is transferred into this reserve from the General Fund reserve. As at the end of 2017-18 financial year, the General Fund reserve stood at £7,751,000.

 

(f)            Authorise £500,000 of Planning Earmarked Reserves, budgeted to support the shortfall in income in the year 2018-19, but not required due to sufficient over budget income levels being achieved, to be budgeted to use towards Business Transformation programmes in Planning in 2019-20.

 

(g)          Approve the GF capital programme and associated funding up to the year ended 31 March 2024, as set out in GF BSR Section 7, at Appendix 1to this report.

 

(h)          Set the Council Tax Requirement for 2019-20 at £9,092,962.

 

(i)            Set the amount of Council Tax for each of the relevant categories of dwelling in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 on the basis of the District Council Tax for general expenses on a Band D property of £145.31 plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Cambridgeshire Fire Authority, details of those precepts and their effect to be circulated with the formal resolution required at the Council meeting.

 

Revenue – HRA

 

(j)            Approve the HRA savings, increased income, unavoidable revenue pressures, bids and reduced income items, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(k)           Approve the non-cash limit adjustments, as summarised in Section 4, and detailed in Appendix G (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(l)            Approve the resulting HRA revenue budget as shown in the HRA Summary Forecast 2018-19 to 2023-24 in Appendix I of the HRA Budget Setting Report at Appendix 2 to this report.

 

(m)         Approve the retention of the balance of the 4-year efficiency savings target of £95,000 per annum from 2020-21 included as part of the 2018-19 HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy, and the corresponding Strategic Investment Fund for the same value.

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

(n)          Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be reduced by 1% for the final year, in line with legislative requirements introduced as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Organisational Change Policy and Procedure pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet

 

(a)  Noted the report and the changes to the policy; and

 

(b)  Approved adoption of the policy.

 

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report outlining a revised Organisational Change policy and procedure.

 

The Head of People and Organisational Development said that staff would be advised of the changes to the policy.

 

Subject to a number of typographical, grammatical and stylistic changes, Cabinet

 

(a)  Noted the report and the changes to the policy; and

 

(b)  Approved adoption of the Organisational Change policy.

12.

Disability Confident Scheme pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  Agreed that the Council should sign up to the Disability Confident scheme and commit to achieving level 1; and

 

(b)  Agreed to establish a Member Task and Finish group to take forward a programme of work to enable the Council to achieve the requirements of the Disability Confident scheme.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report in respect of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme.

 

In response to Councillor Sue Ellington, the Leader expressed her wish that the concept of ‘disability’ should be defined as broadly as possible. She added that there should be a Lead Member to oversee the process of South Cambridgeshire District Council seeking to become a disability confident employer.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam recognised the existence of local expertise in the field, and urged Cabinet to take advice from such sources, where appropriate. The Deputy Monitoring Officer reminded Members that this was an Executive function.

 

Cabinet:

 

1.    Agreed that the Council should sign up to the Disability Confident scheme and commit to achieving level 1; and

 

2.    Agreed to establish a Member Task and Finish group to take forward a programme of work to enable the Council to achieve the requirements of the Disability Confident scheme.

13.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The law allows Councils to consider a limited range of issues in private session without members of the Press and public being present.  Typically, such issues relate to personal details, financial and business affairs, legal privilege and so on.  In every case, the public interest in excluding the Press and Public from the meeting room must outweigh the public interest in having the information disclosed to them.  The following statement will be proposed, seconded and voted upon. 

 

"I propose that the Press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item number 14 in accordance with Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.”

 

Paragraph 3 relates to information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

If exempt (confidential) information has been provided as part of the agenda, the Press and public will not be able to view it.  There will be an explanation on the website however as to why the information is exempt.

Minutes:

Cabinet resolved that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of Minute number 14 (Cambourne High Street) in accordance with Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (Iinformation relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

14.

Cambourne High Street

This report contains restricted information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (As Amended). Paragraph 3 relates to

 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).”

 

Members should refer to the Confidential Supplement associated with the main agenda document.

Decision:

Cabinet agreed not to progress the acquisition of the development outlined in the exempt report from the Interim Executive Director.

Minutes:

Cabinet agreed not to progress the acquisition of the development for the reasons outlined in the exempt report from the Interim Executive Director.

15.

Date of next meeting

Wednesday 6 March 2019 at 9.30am

Minutes:

Cabinet noted that its next scheduled meeting was on 6 March 2019, starting at 9.30am.