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Decisions published

14/01/2020 - Adoption of the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) ref: 5087    Recommendations Approved

The Executive Member for Planning Policy & Open Spaces is asked to consider the main issues raised in consultation, agree responses to the representations received and any consequential amendments to the SPD, and to approve adoption of the SPD as amended.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Decision published: 06/04/2020

Effective from: 14/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision 

 

The report provided responses to the representations received along with recommendations for amendments to the Supplementary Planning Document ahead of adoption with several consequential proposed changes.

 

Decision of Executive Councilor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces and the Executive Councilor for Transport and Community Safety

 

  i.  Considered the main issues raised in the public consultation; agree responses to the representations received and agreed consequential proposed changes to the SPD as set out in the Consultation Statement and tracked changed version of the SPD for adoption (See Appendices A and B of the Officer’s report);

  ii.  Subject to i), agreed to adopt the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD; and

  iii.  Approved the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development is granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes to the SPD prior to publication.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Principal Sustainability Consultant which referred to the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD having been developed with input from officers from across both Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council. 

 

The document provides technical guidance for developers on the information that needs to be submitted with planning applications to demonstrate compliance with adopted planning policies related to climate change and sustainable design and construction.

 

In response to Members’ questions and comments the Principal Sustainability Consultant said the following:

 

  i.  Did consider moving the reference to gas combined heat and power; but where it had been referenced it had been correctly specified (as stated in paragraph 3.2.2.9 & 3.2.3.2). If used in the right sort of development this was considered a good low carbon option.

  ii.  Gas combined heat and power could enable the delivery of community scale energy schemes; was cost effective and low risk compared to a bio-mass fuel system. Therefore, considered a useful system as the technology could be changed in the future when more zero carbon options available

  iii.  Project work was being undertaken to explore injecting hydrogen into the gas grid to reduce carbon admissions. This could also be a future option for consideration. 

  iv.  The guidance in the document made it clear that where the technology was being proposed, it was being proposed in the right situation and following industry code of practice.

  v.  Have asked developers to think about what they could implement now which would benefit residents’ long term; such topics were heating which could operate at lower temperatures.

  vi.  From the 2025 no gas boilers would be permitted in new residential developments and would have to look at alternatives such as electric heating; by installing a system which could operate at a lower temperature this would allow residents to change their boiler at a future date without installing a new heating system.

 vii.  Reference to the installation of the correct pipework to rainwater harvesting tanks had been made so residents would not have to pull up the floors and new pipework in the future.

viii.  New building regulations would be issued later in the year so there would be an opportunity to add technical notes to the document when those changes to the regulations were published.

  ix.  Section 4 of the document referenced food growing and aimed to encourage developers to go further than the current policy; encouraging integrating food growing into developments in a less formal way.

  x.  Had aimed to make the document as simple as possible, however a certain level of detail was necessary based on the current Local Plan; some of the topics in the SPD were complex, particularly the environmental health issues which had been streamed lined as much as possible.

  xi.  Many consultants were aware of the detail that the City Council had referenced in the document as they had been working with Officers since the current Local Plan had been adopted.

 xii.  Noted the Committee’s frustration of wanting to achieve net zero carbon.

xiii.  Procurement had begun on the evidence base for net zero carbon in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan; already seven consultancies had expressed an interest since Friday 10 January.

xiv.  Had seen developers start to respond to net zero carbon in the absence of policy.

xv.  The sustainability checklists had been developed to provide a simple process for developers to give to applicants at pre-application stage. Different checklists had been produced for the City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council as their policies were different. The Greater Cambridge Local Plan would look to bring the polices together for both authorities.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces thanked the Principal Sustainability Consultant and the planning team for their work on such a comprehensive document. Taking the Council forward from the adopted Local Plan to the next Local Plan while thinking of the environmental and climate predicament.

 

The Committee unanimously endorsed the Officer recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

 

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Emma Davies


15/01/2020 - HRA Budget-Setting Report (BSR) 2020/21 ref: 5066    Recommendations Approved

a) Approve the proposed charges for HRA housing rents and service charges.
b) Consider the revenue budget proposals.
c) Consider the capital budget proposals.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  As part of the 2020/21 budget process, the range of assumptions upon which the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy were based, had been reviewed in light of the latest information available, culminating in the preparation of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

  ii.  The HRA Budget-Setting Report provided an overview of the review of the key assumptions. It sets out the key parameters for the detailed recommendations and final budget proposals, and was the basis for the finalisation of the 2020/21 budgets.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Under Part 1 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

a)  Approve that council dwellings rents for all social rented properties be increased by inflation of 1.7%, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at September 2019, plus 1%, resulting in rent increases of 2.7%, with effect from 6 April 2020. This equates to an average rent increase at the time of writing this report of £2.65 per week on a 52 week basis.

 

b)  Approve that affordable rents (inclusive of service charge) are reviewed in line with rent legislation, to ensure that the rents charged are no more than 80% of market rent, with current rent levels increased by no more than by inflation of 1.7%, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at September 2019, plus 1%, resulting in rent increases of up to 2.7%.  Local policy is to cap affordable rents (inclusive of all service charges) at the Local Housing Allowance level, which will result in rent variations in line with any changes notified to the authority in this level if these result in a lower than 2.7% increase.

 

c)  Approve that rents for shared ownership are reviewed and amended from April 2020, in line with the specific requirements within the lease for each property.

 

d)  Approve that garage and parking space charges for 2020/21, are increased in line with inflation at 1.8%, with resulting charges as summarised in Section 3 of the HRA Budget Setting Report

 

e)  Approve the proposed service charges for Housing Revenue Account services and facilities, as shown in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

f)  Approve the proposed leasehold administration charges for 2020/21, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

g)  Approve that caretaking, building cleaning, estate services, grounds maintenance, temporary housing premises and utilities, sheltered scheme premises and utilities, digital television aerial, gas maintenance, door entry systems, lifts, electrical and mechanical maintenance, flat cleaning, third party management and catering charges continue to be recovered at full cost, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report, recognising that local authorities should endeavour to limit increases to inflation as measured by CPI at September 2019 (1.7%) plus 1%, wherever possible.

 

Revenue – HRA

 

Revised Budget 2019/20:

 

h)  Approve with any amendments, the Revised Budget identified in Section 4 and Appendix D (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, which reflects a net reduction in the use of HRA reserves for 2019/20 of £146,310.

 

Budget 2020/21:

 

i)   Approve with any amendments, any Non-Cash Limit items identified in Section 4 of the HRA Budget Setting Report or shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

j)  Approve with any amendments, any Savings, Increased Income, Unavoidable Revenue Bids, Reduced Income proposals and Bids, as shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report. 

 

k)  Approve the resulting Housing Revenue Account revenue budget as summarised in the Housing Revenue Account Summary Forecast 2019/20 to 2024/25 shown in Appendix J of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

Under Part 2 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor for Housing resolved that recommend to Council:

 

Treasury Management

 

l)  Approve the need to borrow over the 30-year life of the business plan, with the first instance of this anticipated to be in 2022/23, to sustain the current level of investment, which includes £10,000,000 per annum for the delivery of new homes.

 

m)  Recognise that any decision to borrow further will impact the authority’s ability to set-aside resource to redeem 25% of the value of the housing debt by the point at which the loan portfolio matures, with the approach to this to be reviewed before further borrowing commences.

 

Housing Capital

 

n)  Approval of capital bids and savings, shown in Appendix D (3) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, to include funding to begin to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

 

o)  Approval of the latest Decent Homes Programme, to include an updated recharge of capitalised officer time and timing of decent homes expenditure for new build dwellings, as detailed in Appendix E of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

p)  Approval of the latest budget sums, profiling and associated financing for all new build schemes, including revised scheme budgets for Akeman Street, Meadows and Buchan Street and Campkin Road, based upon the latest cost information from the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) or direct procurements, as detailed in Appendices E and H, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

q)  Approval of re-phasing of budget for the Estate Improvement Scheme, to also include reallocation of the resource between capital and revenue based upon the projects identified to date, as detailed in Appendix E, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

r)  Approval of the revised Housing Capital Investment Plan as shown in Appendix K of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

General

 

s)  Approval of inclusion of Disabled Facilities Grant expenditure and associated grant income from 2020/21 onwards, based upon 2019/20 grant levels, with approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to approve an in year increase or decrease in the budget for disabled facilities grants, in direct relation to any increase or decrease in the capital grant funding for this purpose, as received from the County Council through the Better Care Fund.

 

t)  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director to review and amend the level of fees charged by the Shared Home Improvement Agency for disabled facilities grants and repair assistance grants, in line with any decisions made by the Shared Home Improvement Agency Board.

 

u)  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to draw down resource from the ear-marked reserve for potential debt redemption or re-investment, for the purpose of open market land or property acquisition or new build housing development, should the need arise, in order to meet quarterly deadlines for the use of retained right to buy receipts or to facilitate future site redevelopment.

 

v)  Approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to make the necessary technical amendments to detailed budgets in respect of the outcome of the review of recharges between the General Fund and the HRA and the outcome of the review of the pension fund deficit contribution, with any net impact for the HRA to be incorporated as part of the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy in September 2020.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Committee noted that since publication of the report, the authority had received final confirmation of the pension figures, which were marginally lower than anticipated.The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager highlighted that a delegation to the Head of Finance had been included in the HRA BSR Covering Report to allow the required adjustments to be made once this figure was confirmed, and that this delegation would now be applied.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Noted the commitment in the budget to the Housing First Caretaker scheme.

  ii.  Welcomed the Housing First Caretaker roles but suggested that they should be employed on a higher pay grade as the job would be complex and demanding.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager, assisted by other officers (Head of Housing, Strategic Director, Head of Housing Development and Head of Housing Maintenance and Assets) stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Explained why the figure for disabled adaptations had been reduced. This was based on previous demand trends which had reduced. This was in part due to the number of properties within the portfolio that had already been adapted. Confirmation was given that demand would be reviewed and the budget reconsidered in future years if demand increased.

  ii.  Confirmed that the Energy Officer would initially look at energy efficiency in the Council’s own housing stock.

  iii.  Explained that the Tenancy Auditor was for an initial pilot period of one year. In the long-term any post may be expected to be self-financing as it should help identify tenancy fraud, preventative repairs and tenants in need of additional support services. Extending the project to include Leasehold properties could be considered later.

  iv.  Confirmed that Cambridge had been late in the roll out programme of Universal Credit and the full impact had not yet been seen.

  v.  Confirmed that the net unavoidable revenue pressure in cyclical maintenance was the net position for the cost centre after virements between areas of spending. The officer confirmed that under the Council’s financial standing orders, cost centre managers have the ability to move funds between expenditure heads within a cost centre to better deliver services. The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager undertook to circulate the detailed virements that resulted in the net revenue pressure, after the meeting, for information.

 

Councillor Cantrill introduced the Liberal Democrat Amendment to the 2020/21 Housing Revenue Budget.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

 

  i.  Suggested that targeting rent reduction to larger homes would be targeting support to larger families who may not need that support rather than to those on lower incomes. Stated that this would be unfair, and that the reduced rental income would in turn reduce the ability to build more properties.

  ii.  Stated that a move to Passive House Building methods would require an evidenced based analysis of what could be achieved. It would also significantly increase the spend on new build properties.

  iii.  Agreed that further advice on alternatives was needed before gas boilers were replaced like for like.

 

 

The following vote was chaired by Diana Minns (Vice Chair  / Tenant Representative)

 

The Liberal Democrats Group alternative budget: 3 votes in favour to 8 against. The amendment was lost.

 

Resolved (8 votes to 0) to endorse the original recommendations a to k of the budget proposal. 

 

The following vote was chaired by Councillor Todd-Jones

 

Resolved (5 votes to 0) to endorse the original recommendations l to v of the budget proposal. 

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Julia Hovells


15/01/2020 - Structural Repairs and Associated Works to Council-Owned Blocks of Flats ref: 5062    Recommendations Approved

Approval to award a contract to carry out structural repairs and associated works to Council-owned flats.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  I.  The Council owned a number of blocks of flats built in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these flats had structural concrete elements. Estates and Facilities had been identifying and surveying blocks that had three stories or more and we had identified an initial list of properties where structural repair works were required as a priority. Detailed designs had been carried out and the work now needed to be tendered in order to award a contract to a building contractor.

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the issue of tenders and, following evaluation of tenders, authorise the Strategic Director (following consultation with Executive Councillor, Chair, Vice Chair and Spokes of the Committee) to award a contract to   a contractor to carry out structural repairs and associated repair works to Council housing flats.

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Asset Manager.

 

In response to the report Leaseholder Representative, Diane Best suggested that the Tenant Representative / Vice Chair, Diana Minns be added to the consultees. The Committee agreed the recommendation was amended as follows (additional working in bold).

 

Approve the issue of tenders and, following evaluation of tenders, authorise the Strategic Director (following consultation with Executive Councillor, Chair, Vice Chair and Spokes of the Committee) to award a contract to a contractor to carry out structural repairs and associated repair works to Council housing flats.

The Asset Manager stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  It was expected that the work would begin in the summer months. This would be dependent on successful completion of the tender process

  ii.  Confirmed that preventative programmes of work were in place and it was anticipated that this would be a rolling programme due to the aging stock profile.

  iii.  Balcony repairs had been identified as a health and safety matter and repair work had begun over five years ago.

  iv.  A five-year rolling stock survey would dictate the future programme of cyclical repairs.

  v.  Drainage repairs works were also planned for the future.

  vi.  Agreed with the Tenant Representative’s suggestion that tenants needed to be reminded to inform their household insurer of any works involving scaffoldings.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Will Barfield


15/01/2020 - Local Policy Updates ref: 5064    Recommendations Approved

Decision required to update policy in relation to Housing First and Local Lettings policies.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The Local Lettings Policy sets out Cambridge City Council’s (CCC) position on the management of its own social housing stock through the use of Local Letting Plans.  A Local Lettings Plan is a set of guidelines or criteria governing which households can be allocated accommodation in a specific designated area. Local Lettings Plans are used to help create balance and cohesion where either a specific set of circumstances need to be addressed or where there are wider strategic objectives, such as helping to support the local economy.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the Policy included in Appendix A of the Officers Report

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

In response to Members’ questions, the Head of Housing confirmed that the report would return to this committee should there be any proposals to significantly change the policy.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Matter for Decision

  i.  The Council had been working with the County Council to develop a Housing First programme for Cambridge City.

  ii.  There were plans to develop and test various Housing First models over the coming years so that the Council can evaluate the efficacy of these different approaches, but also because the needs of customers who sleep rough or who are at risk of rough sleeping cannot be met with a one-size-fits-all option and local consultation suggests they are in favour of a range of options.

  iii.  One of the models being developed involved a ‘caretaker’ living adjacent to customers in designated Housing First flats.

  iv.  The caretaker would be employed by the Council and consideration needed to be given to how to recruit the best person for the role and the process for allocating the accommodation.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Delegated authority to the Head of Housing to allocate accommodation to Housing First caretakers outside of the Council’s Lettings Policy.

  ii.  An update report to be brought to Housing Scrutiny Committee when the initial project had been running for 6 months.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Welcomed the idea but suggested that the pay band might be rather low for what could be a very demanding role.

  ii.  Questioned the level of support that would be provided to the Caretakers.

  iii.  Suggested that there was a lot to be learnt from the first incumbents of the roles and asked if they could be invited to meet members of this committee.

 

The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The Caretakers were not intended to be support workers.

  ii.  The recruitment process would be rigorous.

  iii.  Confirmed that, in terms of Housing First programmes more generally, extensive research into what had been successful in other areas had been carried out but that the Council had not discovered many examples of this caretaker-type arrangement. However, the Head of Housing had seen a similar model in action in London.

  iv.  This was a pilot project and would be reviewed.

  v.  Caretakers would be line managed by the Supported Housing Service.

 

The Committee suggested that the recommendations should be amended to reflect their desire for feedback from the initial project.

 

The following additional recommendation was agreed:

 

An update report to be brought to Housing Scrutiny Committee when the initial project had been running for 6 months.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

 

Lead officer: Sally Norman


15/01/2020 - Housing Development - Options for Homeless People ref: 5069    Recommendations Approved

·  Agreement to use Council land for this programme.

·  Support provision within the City.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report provided details of POD homes for single homeless people to be gifted from Hill Partnership.  This project is proposed to be delivered as part of a wider compliment of Housing First provision.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Delegate authority to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to approve use of Council land as sites for PODs on an individual basis based on the criteria set out in this report.

  ii.  Approved the Budget of £140,000 to aid the delivery of PODs programme.

  iii.  Delegate authority to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor to agree the final approach in which the PODS are let, owned and managed, which is expected to be through a third party charitable organisation.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Housing Services Manager.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Welcomed the scheme but questioned the size of the units that did not meet space standards.

  ii.  Asked if an approach could be made to the provider of the PODs for larger internal space standards.

  iii.  Expressed concerns regarding integration with existing communities and community safety.

  iv.  Suggested that those offered POD type accommodation might feel they are receiving an inferior option to other housing applicants.

  v.  Questioned why the sites proposed for the initial units were all in the North of the City.

  vi.  Raised concerns regarding on going support and progression option to more settled accommodation.

 

The Head of the Housing Development Agency said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The units were of a standard size and were being offered to a range of providers. They were factory built and needed to be easily transportable on a lorry.
Requesting bespoke options was unlikely to be successful.

  ii.  Proposed sites would be determined by availability.

  iii.  To date there was no feedback on the progress of a similar scheme managed and delivered by Allia.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Claire Flowers


15/01/2020 - Tenancy Strategy ref: 5070    Recommendations Approved

To update the Council's Tenancy Strategy 2012.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  There was a statutory requirement for local authorities, in their strategic housing role, to have a tenancy strategy setting out the issues which Registered Providers operating in the local area must have regard to when deciding: the type of tenancies to offer; the circumstances in which they will offer a tenancy of a particular kind; the length of any fixed term tenancy; and the circumstances in which they will grant a new tenancy when a fixed term tenancy comes to an end.

  ii.  The Localism Act also required tenancy strategies to be kept under review.

  iii.  Minor changes were proposed to the requirements laid down in the original strategy published in 2012, reflecting more recent changes to government policy, more recent  data, and the Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy 2019-2023.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the revised Tenancy Strategy attached at Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Housing Strategy Manager.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Helen Reed


15/01/2020 - Homelessness Prevention Grants to Agencies ref: 5067    Recommendations Approved

To approve the award of homelessness prevention grants to agencies.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  As part of the 2020/21 budget process, the range of assumptions upon which the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy were based, had been reviewed in light of the latest information available, culminating in the preparation of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

  ii.  The HRA Budget-Setting Report provided an overview of the review of the key assumptions. It sets out the key parameters for the detailed recommendations and final budget proposals, and was the basis for the finalisation of the 2020/21 budgets.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

 

Under Part 1 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor resolved to:

 

Review of Rents and Charges

 

a)  Approve that council dwellings rents for all social rented properties be increased by inflation of 1.7%, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at September 2019, plus 1%, resulting in rent increases of 2.7%, with effect from 6 April 2020. This equates to an average rent increase at the time of writing this report of £2.65 per week on a 52 week basis.

 

b)  Approve that affordable rents (inclusive of service charge) are reviewed in line with rent legislation, to ensure that the rents charged are no more than 80% of market rent, with current rent levels increased by no more than by inflation of 1.7%, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at September 2019, plus 1%, resulting in rent increases of up to 2.7%.  Local policy is to cap affordable rents (inclusive of all service charges) at the Local Housing Allowance level, which will result in rent variations in line with any changes notified to the authority in this level if these result in a lower than 2.7% increase.

 

c)  Approve that rents for shared ownership are reviewed and amended from April 2020, in line with the specific requirements within the lease for each property.

 

d)  Approve that garage and parking space charges for 2020/21, are increased in line with inflation at 1.8%, with resulting charges as summarised in Section 3 of the HRA Budget Setting Report

 

e)  Approve the proposed service charges for Housing Revenue Account services and facilities, as shown in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

f)  Approve the proposed leasehold administration charges for 2020/21, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

g)  Approve that caretaking, building cleaning, estate services, grounds maintenance, temporary housing premises and utilities, sheltered scheme premises and utilities, digital television aerial, gas maintenance, door entry systems, lifts, electrical and mechanical maintenance, flat cleaning, third party management and catering charges continue to be recovered at full cost, as detailed in Appendix B of the HRA Budget Setting Report, recognising that local authorities should endeavour to limit increases to inflation as measured by CPI at September 2019 (1.7%) plus 1%, wherever possible.

 

Revenue – HRA

 

Revised Budget 2019/20:

 

h)  Approve with any amendments, the Revised Budget identified in Section 4 and Appendix D (1) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, which reflects a net reduction in the use of HRA reserves for 2019/20 of £146,310.

 

Budget 2020/21:

 

i)   Approve with any amendments, any Non-Cash Limit items identified in Section 4 of the HRA Budget Setting Report or shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

j)  Approve with any amendments, any Savings, Increased Income, Unavoidable Revenue Bids, Reduced Income proposals and Bids, as shown in Appendix D (2) of the HRA Budget Setting Report. 

 

k)  Approve the resulting Housing Revenue Account revenue budget as summarised in the Housing Revenue Account Summary Forecast 2019/20 to 2024/25 shown in Appendix J of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

Under Part 2 of the agenda, the Executive Councillor for Housing resolved that recommend to Council:

 

Treasury Management

 

l)  Approve the need to borrow over the 30-year life of the business plan, with the first instance of this anticipated to be in 2022/23, to sustain the current level of investment, which includes £10,000,000 per annum for the delivery of new homes.

 

m)  Recognise that any decision to borrow further will impact the authority’s ability to set-aside resource to redeem 25% of the value of the housing debt by the point at which the loan portfolio matures, with the approach to this to be reviewed before further borrowing commences.

 

Housing Capital

 

n)  Approval of capital bids and savings, shown in Appendix D (3) of the HRA Budget Setting Report, to include funding to begin to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

 

o)  Approval of the latest Decent Homes Programme, to include an updated recharge of capitalised officer time and timing of decent homes expenditure for new build dwellings, as detailed in Appendix E of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

p)  Approval of the latest budget sums, profiling and associated financing for all new build schemes, including revised scheme budgets for Akeman Street, Meadows and Buchan Street and Campkin Road, based upon the latest cost information from the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) or direct procurements, as detailed in Appendices E and H, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

q)  Approval of re-phasing of budget for the Estate Improvement Scheme, to also include reallocation of the resource between capital and revenue based upon the projects identified to date, as detailed in Appendix E, and summarised in Appendix K, of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

r)  Approval of the revised Housing Capital Investment Plan as shown in Appendix K of the HRA Budget Setting Report.

 

General

 

s)  Approval of inclusion of Disabled Facilities Grant expenditure and associated grant income from 2020/21 onwards, based upon 2019/20 grant levels, with approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to approve an in year increase or decrease in the budget for disabled facilities grants, in direct relation to any increase or decrease in the capital grant funding for this purpose, as received from the County Council through the Better Care Fund.

 

t)  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director to review and amend the level of fees charged by the Shared Home Improvement Agency for disabled facilities grants and repair assistance grants, in line with any decisions made by the Shared Home Improvement Agency Board.

 

u)  Approval of delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to draw down resource from the ear-marked reserve for potential debt redemption or re-investment, for the purpose of open market land or property acquisition or new build housing development, should the need arise, in order to meet quarterly deadlines for the use of retained right to buy receipts or to facilitate future site redevelopment.

 

v)  Approval of delegation to the Head of Finance, as Section 151 Officer, to make the necessary technical amendments to detailed budgets in respect of the outcome of the review of recharges between the General Fund and the HRA and the outcome of the review of the pension fund deficit contribution, with any net impact for the HRA to be incorporated as part of the HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy in September 2020.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Committee noted that since publication of the report, the authority had received final confirmation of the pension figures, which were marginally lower than anticipated.The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager highlighted that a delegation to the Head of Finance had been included in the HRA BSR Covering Report to allow the required adjustments to be made once this figure was confirmed, and that this delegation would now be applied.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Noted the commitment in the budget to the Housing First Caretaker scheme.

  ii.  Welcomed the Housing First Caretaker roles but suggested that they should be employed on a higher pay grade as the job would be complex and demanding.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager, assisted by other officers (Head of Housing, Strategic Director, Head of Housing Development and Head of Housing Maintenance and Assets) stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Explained why the figure for disabled adaptations had been reduced. This was based on previous demand trends which had reduced. This was in part due to the number of properties within the portfolio that had already been adapted. Confirmation was given that demand would be reviewed and the budget reconsidered in future years if demand increased.

  ii.  Confirmed that the Energy Officer would initially look at energy efficiency in the Council’s own housing stock.

  iii.  Explained that the Tenancy Auditor was for an initial pilot period of one year. In the long-term any post may be expected to be self-financing as it should help identify tenancy fraud, preventative repairs and tenants in need of additional support services. Extending the project to include Leasehold properties could be considered later.

  iv.  Confirmed that Cambridge had been late in the roll out programme of Universal Credit and the full impact had not yet been seen.

  v.  Confirmed that the net unavoidable revenue pressure in cyclical maintenance was the net position for the cost centre after virements between areas of spending. The officer confirmed that under the Council’s financial standing orders, cost centre managers have the ability to move funds between expenditure heads within a cost centre to better deliver services. The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager undertook to circulate the detailed virements that resulted in the net revenue pressure, after the meeting, for information.

 

Councillor Cantrill introduced the Liberal Democrat Amendment to the 2020/21 Housing Revenue Budget.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

 

  i.  Suggested that targeting rent reduction to larger homes would be targeting support to larger families who may not need that support rather than to those on lower incomes. Stated that this would be unfair, and that the reduced rental income would in turn reduce the ability to build more properties.

  ii.  Stated that a move to Passive House Building methods would require an evidenced based analysis of what could be achieved. It would also significantly increase the spend on new build properties.

  iii.  Agreed that further advice on alternatives was needed before gas boilers were replaced like for like.

 

 

The following vote was chaired by Diana Minns (Vice Chair  / Tenant Representative)

 

The Liberal Democrats Group alternative budget: 3 votes in favour to 8 against. The amendment was lost.

 

Resolved (8 votes to 0) to endorse the original recommendations a to k of the budget proposal. 

 

The following vote was chaired by Councillor Todd-Jones

 

Resolved (5 votes to 0) to endorse the original recommendations l to v of the budget proposal. 

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: James McWilliams


15/01/2020 - Complaint Upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Relating to a Housing Allocation ref: 5063    Recommendations Approved

Note the findings of the LGSCO in respect of this case and the actions taken by the Council in response to these findings.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has upheld a complaint relating to a housing allocation to a vulnerable customer who subsequently became the victim of anti-social behaviour (ASB) from a neighbouring tenant.

  ii.  The report summarised the complaint, acknowledged that there were shortcomings in relation to working practices and set out the action taken in response. 

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the findings of the LGSCO in respect of this case and the actions taken by the Council in response to these findings.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Questioned the resource implications of the increased numbers of vulnerable tenants and how they would be supported.

  ii.  Suggested that an annual tenant churn of 500 to 800 would be difficult to manage if significant numbers of those new tenants had support needs.

 

The Head of Housing stated that the small internal Tenancy Sustainment Team offered a bridging service to direct those in need to other support services.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Lead officer: David Greening


15/01/2020 - Update on the Programme to Build New Council Homes Funded Through the Combined Authority ref: 5068    For Determination

Regular update on the HDA's progress toward building 500 new Council homes.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision published: 26/02/2020

Effective from: 15/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the programme to deliver 500 Council homes with funding from the Combined Authority.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the continued progress on the delivery of the Combined Authority programme.

  ii.  Noted the funding structure for the Combined Authority programme.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing Development.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager confirmed that to-date no approach had been made to the Secretary of State regarding cross budget funding arrangements. The current recommendations only relate to housing development and not to the Community Centre.

 

The Committee resolved by 5 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Lead officer: Claire Flowers


16/01/2020 - Review Of Use Of The Regulation Of Investigatory Powers Act ref: 5060    Recommendations Approved

To review the Council’s use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

Decision published: 07/02/2020

Effective from: 16/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

A Code of Practice introduced in April 2010 recommends that Councillors should review their authority’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and set its general surveillance policy at least once a year. The Leader and Executive Councillor for Strategy and External Partnerships and Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee last considered these matters on the 17 January 2019.

 

The City Council has not used surveillance or other investigatory powers regulated by RIPA since February 2010.

 

This report sets out the Council’s use of RIPA and the present surveillance policy.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

  i.  Reviewed the Council’s use of RIPA set out in paragraph 3.5 of the Officer’s report.

  ii.  Noted and endorsed the steps described in paragraph 3.7 and in Appendix 1 to ensure that surveillance is only authorised in accordance with RIPA.

  iii.  Approved the general surveillance policy in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Legal Practice.

 

The Head of Legal Practice said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  It was good practice (for transparency reasons) for a report to come to committee even if RIPA powers were not used.

  ii.  There were no cost implications to the City Council from having RIPA powers. It was something to keep in the locker in case powers were needed.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Tom Lewis


16/01/2020 - Review of Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Control ref: 5059    Recommendations Approved

To approve in principle the proposal to review, extend and vary the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control across the city and authorise officers to carry out consultation as required.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

Decision published: 07/02/2020

Effective from: 16/01/2020

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The Public Spaces Protection Order (Dog Control) 2017 (“Order”) is due to expire on the 19 October 2020. At any point before expiry of the Order, the Council can vary or extend it by up to three years if they consider it is necessary to prevent the original behaviour from occurring or recurring.

 

The Officer’s report revisited the terms of the sealed Order (Appendix A), and asked the Executive Councillor to approve, in principle, the proposal to extend and vary the Order in respect of dog control (including dog fouling, dog exclusion, dogs on leads and restriction on number of dogs requirements) within Cambridge, in the form set out at Appendix B and the locations set out in Appendix C; and to authorise officers to publicise the proposed orders and to consult, as required by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“The Act”).

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

  i.  Approved in principle, the proposal to extend and vary the Order for dog control within Cambridge in the form set out at Appendix B [of the Officer’s report] and the locations set out in Appendix C;

  ii.  Authorised officers to publicise the proposed orders and to carry out consultation as required by the Act.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager who corrected a typographical error in paragraph 1.1:

 

The Public Spaces Protection Order (Dog Control) 2017 (“Order”) is due to expire on the 19 October 2019 2020.

 

In response to the report Councillors sought clarification on the community survey. The Community Engagement and Enforcement Manager said that the previous consultation survey had been sent to stakeholders in electronic format (Survey Monkey) and was available in hard copy format. It was sent to resident groups, charities and voluntary groups who used or were involved with dogs. The survey was also distributed via community centres, the City Council website and social media. It was proposed that this consultation would also do use the same methods.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Wendy Johnston


16/01/2020 - Walking Tours ref: 5058    Recommendations Approved

To consider the recommendations on walking tours in terms of frequency and scale.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

Decision published: 07/02/2020

Effective from: 16/01/2020

Decision:

Public Question

A member of the public made the following points:

i.  The report showed that the council was listening to residents’ concerns about walking tours.

ii.  Expressed interest in how the City Council planned to manage the tour coaches, parking locations and reduce visitor groups to a maximum of 20 people.

iii.  Requested a pilot study at Madingley P&R and Cambridge North rail station for range of coach-users: language school pupils, conference groups, tourists, school parties.

iv.  Recommendations to Executive Councillor:

a.  Point 2: Alongside the ongoing monitoring of the situation, would the council include a pilot study with the County using, eg Madingley P&R site for coach parking? 

b.  Point 4: It seems a little vague and non-committal to recommend a continued dialogue with the County when this has already commenced.  Will alternative parking locations to Queens Road as drop-off points be explored?

 

The Executive Councillor said a pilot study would be welcome. The County Council were responsible so the City Council would try to influence them.

 

The Safer Communities Manager said she had looked at the issue of walking tours from a community safety point of view. There was no evidence of safety issues, so this was more of a city centre management issue than a nuisance enforcement one.

 

The member of the public made the following supplementary points

i.  Sought a way to limit group numbers to 20, particularly groups from coach tours.

ii.  Facilities in the city centre would not be able to match those at a P&R site eg a ticket booth and timed visit slots.

iii.  The City Council could work with the County Council, but the City Council should take urgent action now for reasons of air quality and public safety.

iv.  Queried if points could be reported to the Head of Environmental Services to incorporate into the Tourism Strategy.

 

Matter for Decision

At the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee of 27 June 2019, the Executive Councillor approved a recommendation to monitor the situation with regards to how walking tours were sold. Also to monitor the frequency of excessively large tour groups in the city centre, including on King’s Parade during the summer, by:

  i.  Advising coach companies and tour groups and other organisations hosting large visitor groups that the City Council supports a maximum of 20 people in any single group, and

  ii.  Reviewing the issue of walking tour groups and reporting to Committee in January 2020 if the problem of large walking tour groups persists, including considering the option of consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order and other options to set a maximum tour group size if there is assessed to be a serious problem.

 

Following the approval of the recommendation, a Working Group was set up to look at possible solutions to the issues raised in relation to walking tours.  The Group included representation from the City Council’s Community Safety Team, Corporate Marketing, Streets and Open Spaces, Property Services, Legal Practice and (externally) Visit Cambridge and Beyond and Cambridge BID.

 

The Officer’s report detailed the actions considered by the Working Group and recommendations for the future.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety

Agreed to:

  i.  Officially request Visit Cambridge and Beyond to include the management of walking tours in the development of their Destination Management Plan (DMP).

  ii.  Approve the continuation of the monitoring of the sale and size of walking tours during the 2020 season in order to inform the development of the DMP.

  iii.  Continue the dialogue with the County Council to examine the possibilities of coach permit parking in the city to include conditions to limit the numbers in any tour group.

  iv.  Start a dialogue with the County Council to consider making park and ride sites more attractive to coach tours and to include incentives to direct groups from the sites to official walking tours of limited numbers.

  v.  Use the outcomes from the negotiations to inform the development of the DMP.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Safer Communities Manager.

 

The Safer Communities Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The issue of group size had been reviewed from a community safety point of view. There was no evidence of anti-social behaviour. The Working Group discussed the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) but considered this to be an inappropriate way to manage walking tours as the issues raised (such as the size and inconvenience caused by the tours) were unlikely to fit the criteria for the introduction of a PSPO. Also the Working Group believed it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

  ii.  There was disagreement on the effectiveness of parking permits to control coach parking. The County Council said that permits were not respected. The Working Group said parking control would be respected. Officers would follow this up.

  iii.  Cambridge Ambassadors were asked to monitor walking tour group sizes during the tourist season, but this ceased when tourist numbers dropped out of season. Monitoring could resume in the new tourist season.

  iv.  A limit of 20 people in a group was set in-line with Blue Badge tour group size guidance.

 

The Head of Community Services said points from this discussion would be recorded in the meeting minutes and forwarded to the Head of Environmental Services (City Council) and Head of Tourism and City Centre Management (Tourist Information).

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Lynda Kilkelly


16/01/2020 - Community Grants 2020-21 ref: 5057    Recommendations Approved

Approve Community Grants for 2020-21.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Communities

Decision published: 07/02/2020

Effective from: 16/01/2020

Decision:

Councillor Hadley took part in the debate on this item, but did not vote due to her declaration of interest.

 

Matter for Decision

This is the annual report for the Community Grants fund for voluntary, community, and not for profit organisations. It provides an overview of the process, eligibility criteria and budget.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Communities

Approved the Community Grants to voluntary and community organisations for 2020-21, as set out in Appendix 1 of this report, subject to the budget approval in February 2020 and any further satisfactory information required of applicant organisations.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Community Funding and Development Manager.

 

The Community Funding and Development Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  People were supported and guided through the application process.

  ii.  Workshops were held before the current funding application cycle started. Information and advice was given on funding available, plus signposts to alternative funding streams if these appeared more appropriate for applicants.

  iii.  Officers continued to offer support to people after they submitted applications. Officers involved in the process came from the Communities Team, as well as others, who could provide expert advice to check if projects were pertinent for funding.

  iv.  Officers did not just say “no” to applications, they tried to ascertain if community funding or another fund was more appropriate.

  v.  Applicants could reapply several times in the same funding cycle if they were unsuccessful on the first attempt.

  vi.  There were several projects to help people get into volunteering. A fund was available to provide help/training to do this. Training/supervision of volunteers could be issues that affected recruitment/retention. The City Council was working with the Council for Voluntary Services to address this.

 vii.  The same application process applied to new Applicants and those who had previously made applications. New Applicants were encouraged to liaise with Officers who could then support them through the application process.

viii.  Different levels of information were sought from Applicants depending on the level of funding applied for.

  ix.  Funding was not allocated to projects where:

a.  They were not appropriate for the funding stream.

b.  They were duplicates of an existing project.

c.  There was insufficient information on the application form.

 

The Committee resolved by 7 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Lead officer: Jackie Hanson


20/12/2019 - Purchase of land ref: 5043    Recommendations Approved

To purchase the piece of land.

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Decision published: 06/01/2020

Effective from: 20/12/2019

Decision:

CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL

Record of Executive Decision

 

Approval of budget for purchase of Land

 

Decision of:

Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources

Reference:

19/URGENCY/SR/13

Date of decision:   

20.12.19

Recorded on: 20.12.19

 

Decision Type:

Key Decision

Matter for Decision:

Urgent approval for budget approval for the purchase of land.

 

Why the decision had to be made (and any alternative options):

The land was only available at a proposed price for exchange before Christmas 2019, and therefore cannot wait for next scheduled Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee and Council Meeting in February 2020.

 

The Executive Councillor’s decision(s):

To approve the budget for the purchase of land.

 

Reasons for the decision:

As detailed in the Officers report which is considered exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Scrutiny consideration:

The Chair and Spokesperson of Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee were consulted prior to the action being authorised.

Report:

The report relates to an item which contains information exempt by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Conflicts of interest:

None

Comments:

Part 4C section 6.1 of the Councils Constitution, permits decisions to be taken which are outside of the budget framework if the decision is:

a matter of urgency (this is correct)

it is not practical to convene a quorate meeting of the Council, (this is correct); and

the Chair of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee agrees the matter is of urgency (the Chair agreed).

 

The next available ordinary Full Council meeting is 13 February 2020 which is too late.

 

The decision will be reported back to the Strategy and Resources Committee at their next meeting in February 2020

 

Lead officer: Claire Flowers