Agenda

Council - Tuesday, 27 February 2024 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  01954 713000 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive Apologies for Absence from Members.

2.

Declaration of Interest

3.

Register of Interests

Members are requested to inform Democratic Services of any changes in their Register of Members’ Financial and Other Interests form.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To authorise the Chair to sign the Minutes of the meetings held on the 20 November 2023 and 30 November 2023 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

5a

Announcements from the Chair

To receive any announcements from the Chair.

5b

Announcements from the Leader and Cabinet

To receive any announcements from Leader and Cabinet.

5c

Announcements from the Head of Paid Service

To receive any announcements from the Head of Paid Service.

6.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 5 KB

If you would like to ask a question or make a statement, then please refer to the Document called Public Speaking Scheme (Physical Meetings)

and contact Democratic Services by no later than 11.59pm three clear working days before the meeting.

6a

From Cllr Frances Amrani, Chair of Teversham Parish Council

There are a number of developments in progress or proposed (Hartree, Cambridge East, Spingstead and Marleigh etc.) which cross City/ SouthCambs areas. I am concerned about investment property being left empty on some of these sites. Why are these being marketed to international buyers as an investment before local residents, given that one of the main reasons for building them is to satisfy the local need for housing?  Is there anything the Council can do to ensure local sales marketing is conducted in advance or at least in tandem with any international marketing? 

6b

From Mathew Setchell

Dear Councillors

 

I would like to know what value and priority the council has to businesses within the district.  Specifically in the case of Highgate Farm Willingham where the businesses suffer from issues with physical and internet access in to the site. 

 

Examples of this are:

 

No ultrafast internet at the site. Resulting in business issues

No pathed access in to the site. Resulting in reduced able and non able bodied access into the site.

7.

Petitions

To note all petitions received since the last Council meeting.

8.

To Consider the Following Recommendation:

8a

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024-29, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 578 KB

Recommended that Council consider the report and, if satisfied, to:

 

A)        Acknowledge the projected changes in service spending and the overall resources available to the Council over the medium term to 2028/2029.

 

B)        Approve the updated financial forecast at Appendix A.

Additional documents:

8b

2024-2025 Business Plan Action Plan, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 221 KB

It is recommended that Council:

 

A)        Consider and approve the proposed Business Plan Action Plan for 2024-25 at Appendix A.

 

B)        Authorise the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required to final drafts, in consultation with the Leader.

 

Additional documents:

8c

Capital Strategy, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Council is

 

Recommended       To consider the report and, if satisfied, approve the updated Capital Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report which sets the policy framework for the development, management and monitoring of capital investment, including Capital Prudential Indicators.

Additional documents:

8d

Treasury Management Strategy, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Council is

 

Recommended       To consider the report and, if satisfied, to approve the updated Treasury Management Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report which sets the policy framework for the Council’s treasury management activity, including (i) the Treasury Management Policy Statement, (ii) Minimum Revenue Provision Policy and (ii) Treasury Indicators.

Additional documents:

8e

Local Council Tax Support, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 215 KB

8f

Review of Revenue Reserves, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Council is requested to consider the report and, if satisfied, to approve:

 

A)        That the Reserves as summarised at paragraph 12 of the report be released and transferred to the General Reserve or transferred to other reserves as appropriate on 31 March 2024.

 

B)        That the movement in Reserves in 2023/2024 as set out in Appendix A, and the estimated balance of Reserves of £36.132 million, be noted.

Additional documents:

8g

Ermine Street Limited - Additional Funding, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 270 KB

It is recommended that Council agrees:

 

A)        To allow Ermine Street Housing (ESH) additional borrowing from the Council of up to £20 million to take advantage of new investment opportunities where viability assessments provide a positive return with an interest rate of 1% above base rate. This arrangement is to be reviewed annually.

 

B)        To allow ESH to purchase single person properties for homeless people to prevent the use of expensive temporary accommodation, using the interest rate applying to ESH (currently 4.25%). This rate recognises the initiative as a ‘spend to save’ investment, providing savings to homelessness budgets.

 

C)       To allow the Head of Housing, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, to authorise individual purchases (and therefore borrowing) up to the value of £2 million as per the current arrangements. 

 

D)       To note that this proposal is subject to the agreement of the Ermine Street Housing Board.

 

8h

Capital Programme 2024/25 - 2028/29, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 271 KB

It is recommended that Council:

 

A)        Consider and approve the proposed Business Plan Action Plan for 2024-25 at Appendix A.

 

B)        Authorise the Chief Executive to make any minor wording changes required to final drafts, in consultation with the Leader.

Additional documents:

8i

Summary General Fund Revenue Budget 2024/25, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 366 KB

It is recommended that Council considers the report and, if satisfied:

 

A)   Review the detailed budgets presented at Appendix B, and summarised at Appendix A, with an estimated General Fund Gross Operating Expenditure for 2024/2025 of £76.887 million, estimated Gross Operating Income of £48.331 million and estimated General Fund Net Operating Expenditure of £28.555 million.

 

B)   Acknowledge the key factors which have led to the proposed 2024/2025 General Fund Revenue Budget, with service pressures summarised at Appendix C and offsetting efficiency savings/policy options summarised at Appendix D.

 

C)   Acknowledge that the 2024/2025 General Fund Revenue Budget gross expenditure is covered by forecast income sources (assuming no change in Government grant) and, therefore, any addition(s) to expenditure that are made by the Cabinet or Council will need to be met from the General Fund Balance.

 

D)   Approve the 2024/2025 General Fund Revenue Budget taking into account the statement by the Chief Finance Officer on the risks and robustness of the estimates as required under Section 25 of the Local Government Act 2003 (reproduced at Appendix F).

 

E)   Set the Council Tax Requirement for 2024/2025 at £11,688,648.

 

F)   Approve an increase in the District element of the Council Tax of £5 per annum, giving an average Band D Council Tax of £170.31, plus the relevant amounts required by the precepts of the Parish Councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Cambridgeshire Fire Authority and The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

 

G)  Approve the estimates of the amounts required to be made under the Non-domestic Rating (Rates Retention) Regulations 2013 as set out in paragraphs 38 - 41.

 

H)   Approve the use of the additional income from the Business Rate Pool, estimated at £1,100,000 in 2024/2025, for transfer to the established Renewables Reserve for priority projects.

 

I)     Subject to any changes to the recommendations above, Council approves:

(i)      The 2024/2025 General Fund Revenue Budget based on known commitments at this time and planned levels of Service/functions resulting in a Budget Requirement of £37.132 million.

(ii)     The District Council Precept on the Collection Fund (Council Tax Requirement) of £11.689 million in 2024/2025 (based on the final Government Settlement) and a Band D Council Tax of £170.31.

 

Additional documents:

8j

Housing Revenue Account Revenue & Capital Budget 2024/25, Cabinet 6 February pdf icon PDF 785 KB

Recommended that Council   

 

Housing Revenue Account (HRA): Revenue

 

A)        approve the HRA revenue budget for 2024/2025 as shown in the HRA Budget Summary as presented at Appendix A.

 

HRA: Review of Rents and Charges

 

B)        Approve that council dwelling rents for all social rented properties be increased by 7.7%, recognising that inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at September 2023, plus 1% results in an increase of 7.7%.

 

C)        Approve that affordable rents (inclusive of service charge) are also increased by 7.7% in line with the increase for social rents.

 

D)        Approve that rents for affordable shared ownership properties are increased by 5.4%, recognising that inflation measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) at January 2024 plus 0.5% results in an increase of 5.4%.

 

E)        Approve that garage rents be increased by 7.7% in line with the increase for social rents.

 

F)        Approve the proposed service charges for HRA services and facilities provided to both tenants and leaseholders, as shown in Appendix D.

 

HRA: Capital

 

G)        Approve the required level of funding for new build investment between 2024/2025 and 2028/2029 to ensure that commitments can be met in respect of the investment of all right to buy receipts currently retained or anticipated to be received by the authority for this period. This expenditure will take the form of HRA new build, with the 60% top up met by other HRA resources.

 

H)        Approve the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy forecasts as shown in Appendix B.

 

I)          Approve the Housing Capital Programme as shown in Appendix C.

 

Additional documents:

9.

Council Tax Resolution 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Recommended       That the Council Tax Resolution, detailed at Appendix A, be approved.

Additional documents:

10.

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2023, Civic Affairs Committee 14 December pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Civic Affairs Committee

 

Recommends that   Council approves the adoption of a revised schedule of Polling Districts and Places as laid out at Appendix A.

 

Additional documents:

11.

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 132 KB

It is recommended that the Council consider and approve the updated Pay Policy Statement as required by the Localism Act 2011.

Additional documents:

12.

Swavesey Byeways Rate 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

The Swavesey Bye-ways Advisory Committee Recommends to Council that:

 

It retains the level of the Swavesey Bye-ways rate at £1.20 per hectare for land within the charge paying area for the period 2024/25 in order to fund the required level of maintenance.

 

13.

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel - Members' Allowances Scheme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

It is recommended that Council:

 

(a)       Agree a revised Scheme of Members’ Allowances for 2023/24 (see Appendix A), including:

(i)        An increase in the Basic Allowance to £5,800 (equivalent to a 5.44% increase) back dated to 1 April 2023; and

(ii)       An increase to all the Special Responsibility Allowances of 5.44%, back dated to 1 April 2023; and

(iii)      The awarding of a new Special Responsibility Allowance of £580 to members of the following three committees of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority: Transport & Infrastructure, Environment & Sustainable Communities and Skills & Employment.

 

(b)       Authorise the Head of Transformation to implement and advertise the new scheme and make any consequential amendments required to the Scheme of Members’ Allowances in Part 6 of the Constitution.

Additional documents:

14.

Calendar of Meetings 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve the Calendar of Meetings of 2024/25.

Additional documents:

15.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 889 KB

To receive two reports summarising the work of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority from November 2023 and January 2024.

Additional documents:

16.

Greater Cambridge Partnership pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a decision summary from the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board meeting on 4 January 2024.

 

17.

Oxford to Cambridge Regional Partnership pdf icon PDF 229 KB

It is recommended that Council note the report.

18.

Membership of Committees and Outside Bodies

Note resignation of Cllr Annika Osbourne of Old West Internal Drainage Board, leaving Councillors, Martin Cahn, Bill Handley and Eileen Wilson as the members of the Board.

19.

Questions From Councillors

A period of 30 minutes will be allocated for this item to include those questions where notice has been provided (as set out on the agenda below) and questions which may be asked without notice.

 

Members wishing to ask a question without notice should indicate this intention to the Interim Democratic Services Team Manager prior to the commencement of the item.  Members’ names will be drawn at random by the Chairman until there are no further questions or until the expiration of the time period. 

19a

From Councillor Helene Leeming

How is the council going to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of South Cambridgeshire District Council?

19b

From Councillor Sally Ann Hart

Can the leader comment on the implementation of the new bin rounds, as well as on how the holiday period affected waste collection?

19c

From Councillor Eileen Wilson

Could the leader update the council on the uptake of the council’s cost of living support this winter – as well as how well the council is signposting support to residents?

19d

From Councillor Sunita Hansraj

Can the leader give the council an update regarding the newly opened Sports Pavilion in Northstowe?

19e

From Councillor Dan Lentell

Following the welcome decision that this Council will be pursuing White Ribbon accreditation, will the Leader outline what support could be provided to other organisations in the South Cambridgeshire District looking to follow this commendable path?

19f

From Question Heather Williams

At a recent parish council meeting, the Chief Executive suggested staff would most likely continue working a four-day week after March 2024 while the data was assessed and a decision was made. Can the Leader confirm how long this will take and therefore when all councillors will finally get a vote on the four-day week?

19g

From Councillor Graham Cone

Is the Leader aware that the staff directory for councillors on Insite is not being updated, and how does the Leader think this may affect the essential services councillors provide to residents of South Cambridgeshire?

19h

From Councillor Tom Bygott

Staff have reported shorter or fewer meetings to increase productivity – but this is not reliant on the four-day week trial itself and can be done working five days a week. Can the Leader explain how they are telling the difference between performance changes as a consequence of having a day off each week, and performance changes due to changing methods of working?

19i

From Councillor Mark Howell

Before councillors vote on whether the four-day week should become permanent, will the Leader provide assurance that a proper business case will be done?

19j

From Councillor Dr Richard Williams

Does the Leader believe the financial cost of the four-day week should have been calculated prior to undergoing the trial?

19k

From Councillor Dr Shrobona Bhattacharya

Can the Leader confirm if there will be a public consultation before councillors vote on the four-day week trial?

 

19l

From Councillor Bunty Waters

Why does the Council now have 105 staff working in Transformation, up from 43 in 2018/19?

20.

Notices of Motion

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for each Motion to be moved, seconded and debated, including dealing with any amendments. At the expiry of the 30 minute period, debate shall cease immediately, the mover of the original Motion, or if the original Motion has been amended, the mover of that amendment now forming part of the substantive motion, will have the right of reply before it is put to the vote.

20a

Standing in the name of Councillor Daniel Lentell

This Council notes the following:

 

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales for the survey year ending March 2022, a staggering 1 in 30 women aged 16 years and over were victims of sexual assault;

 

The Office for National Statistics states that for the year ending September 2022, 70,633 rapes were recorded by the police: the highest number ever recorded;

 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) states in its ‘Still just a bit of banter?’ 2016 report that ‘more than half (52%) of all women polled have experienced some form of sexual harassment’ at work;

 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for UN Women, in March 2021, recorded that 86% of women aged 18-24 said they had been sexually harassed in a public space, whilst 71% of women of all ages said the same;

 

Ofsted states in its ‘Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges’ that 9 in 10 girls and young women in schools, say sexist name-calling and being sent unwanted images of a sexual nature happens to them or their peers.

 

These distressing statistics show how endemic is violence against women and girls in our society and how normalised is sexist behaviour, from which this is borne.

 

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. Their mission is to prevent violence against women and girls by addressing its root causes: working with men and boys to change long-established, and harmful, attitudes, systems and behaviours around masculinity that perpetuate inequality and violence. The work is preventative; White Ribbon want to stop violence before it starts.

 

All organisations, large and small, can help end violence against women. This is why the charity has developed two programmes to facilitate organisational change: Accreditation and Supporter Organisations.

 

Men’s violence — in all its forms — has a negative impact on the health and safety of employees, their wellbeing and productivity. It impacts  workplace culture and it can impede an organisation’s success. White Ribbon UK’s Accreditation and Supporter programmes provide frameworks to support organisations work towards ending harmful attitudes and behaviours in the workplace and throughout the local community.

 

This Council notes that the neighbouring councils of East Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City have attained White Ribbon accreditation.

 

This Council believes that White Ribbon accreditation, in addition to the other accreditations already achieved, is appropriate in order to address potential issues within the Council workplace and to demonstrate our collective leadership on this serious issue.

 

To this end we request that the Scrutiny Committee agree to set up a Task and Finish Group on the matter.

20b

Standing in the Name of Councillor Heather Williams

This Council requests that the Cabinet expands its Cost of Living Support scheme to include providing free sanitary products to those who may not be able to afford them.

20c

Standing in the name of Councillor Anna Bradnam

This Council notes:

-       Care-experienced people face significant barriers that impact them throughout their lives.

-       Despite the resilience of many care-experienced people, society too often does not take their needs into account.

-       Care-experienced people often face discrimination and stigma across housing, health, education, relationships, employment and in the criminal justice system.

-       Care-experienced people may encounter inconsistent support in different geographical areas.

-       The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies, such as councils, to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, and victimisation of people with protected characteristics.

 

This Council believes:

-       Councillors should be champions of children and young people in care and challenge the negative attitudes and prejudice that exists in all aspects of society.

 

This Council therefore resolves, in support of similar resolutions made by Cambridgeshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority:

-       It recognises that care experienced people are a group who are likely to face discrimination.

-       It recognises that Councils have a duty to put the needs of disadvantaged people at the heart of decision-making through co-production and collaboration.

-       Future decision, services and policies made and adopted by the Council should be assessed through Equality Impact Assessments to determine the impact of changes on people with care experience, alongside those who formally share a protected characteristic.

-       In the delivery of the Public Sector Equality Duty the Council includes care experience in the publication and review of Equality Objectives and the annual publication of information relating to people who share a protected characteristic in services and employment.

-       This Council will treat care experience as if it were a Protected Characteristic.

-       This Council formally calls upon all other bodies to treat care experience as a protected characteristic until such time as it may be introduced by legislation including:

i.              working to establish South Cambridgeshire as a District where all local government treats our care leavers similarly.

ii.            calling on towns and parishes as well as the Greater Cambridge Partnership to also pass this motion to enable us all to work together to protect and provide for our care experienced young people.

-       To continue proactively seeking out and listening to the voices of care experienced people when developing new policies based on their views.

21.

Chair's Engagements

To note the Chair’s engagements since the last Council meeting:

 

Date

Venue / Event

10 November 2023501st Wing Commander, Colonel Landon Phillips Veterans Day Ceremony, Madingley American Cemetery

5 December 2023   Carol service at King’s College Chapel

6 December 2023   Haverhill carol service

19 December 2023Mayor of Huntingdon Civic Carol service (attended by Vice Chair)

20 January 2024     Ribbon cutting Western Park Pavilion, Northstowe