Agenda and minutes

Moved from Mon 11/12/17, Council
Monday, 18th December, 2017 6.30 pm, MOVED

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Iram Malik 

Items
No. Item

49.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Honorary Aldermen: P Cartwright, Mrs K M Peatey and Mrs P Priestley. Councillors M C Appleyard, H Bull, M Hanif, C Harriss Mrs W J Mallen and Mrs J Teesdale.

 

50.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 9 October 2017.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9 October 2017 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

51.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosed, he or she is asked if possible to contact the District Solicitor prior to the meeting.

 

Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received

52.

CHAIRMAN`S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive such communication as the Chairman of the Council may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that she had undertaken many engagements since the last ordinary meeting of the Council, but did not intend to list each one. Instead she highlighted the following.

 

Commemoration of the International day of People with Disabilities

 

The Chairman stated that on 4 December she had been accompanied by Councillors Mr and Mrs Clarke, and Councillor P Turner in experiencing the use of a mobility scooter in High Wycombe.

 

All Members involved expressed that they had felt very vulnerable whilst using the wheelchair and somewhat invisible to the public, having to regularly brake sharply to avoid a collision. However Members emphasised that this had been a very worthwhile experience providing a deeper insight as to how wheelchair users felt going about their daily business.

53.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Written questions may be asked of the Leader or any Cabinet Member if submitted to the Head of Democratic, Legal and Policy Services no later than 12 noon on Monday 4 December 2017. Questions will be submitted in the order in which they were received.

 

A questioner will have a maximum of 1 minute to ask a question and the answer shall not exceed 3 minutes. Any questioner may put one supplementary question without notice within a maximum time of 1 minute and the answer may not exceed 2 minutes.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Question from Mr R B Colomb to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration

“With regard to the 210 tons of rubbish dumped by travellers earlier this year at the Handy Cross Hub would the Cabinet Member care to explain why no preventative action was taken to stop what must have been 70 truckloads entering the site whilst the travellers were in situ?

 

Whilst I realise the rights of travellers are complicated surely it was possible to block entry to vehicles entering the site to break the law by illegal tipping of rubbish.”

 

 Response from CouncillorS Broadbent(Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration)

 

“Once travellers had encroached onto the site, the District Council required a court order to restrict access. Immediately the trespass happened, the Council worked with TVP and BCC to regain possession as quickly as possible.Thames Valley Police did not invoke the relatively new power under Section 34B of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to seize vehicles suspected of being involved in fly-tipping; however, we are working with the Police and BCC to establish how this power could be exercised in future, if circumstances deemed it appropriate, but the Council would still require a police presence at the scene, for vehicle, seizures, this would involve a high risk of disorder and potential for violent response from the vehicle owners.

 

Meantime, the Council is pleased to note that BCC has been successful with an initial prosecution relating to the incident, resulting in a fine and the Council understands that further prosecutions may be pending.  The Council is also pleased to note the Environment Agency is currently investigating an organised crime group who have been involved in significant illegal waste deposits across North & South London and surrounding counties and will be providing them with details of the Handy X Hub incident. For the future, the Council continues to work with other stakeholders to be prepared for unauthorised occupations of whatever kind, to react as quickly as possible and use all possible legal steps to protect public funds and ensure that wrongdoers are punished.

 

There was no supplementary question

 

54.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Members must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 4 December 2017. Questions shall be taken first from the Group Leaders of the political parties who shall be entitled to ask an initial Leader`s question, including the right to adopt another Member`s question from his/her group, of which written notice shall have been given to the Head of Democratic, Legal and Policy Services prior to the meeting.

 

The order of questions shall then permit the first question from each other Councillor to be asked before any subsequent questions from the same Councillor. One question will be taken in turn from the same Councillor unless there are no other questions to be asked.

 

Every Member asking an oral question is permitted to ask one supplementary question without notice provided that it is not substantially the same as a question that was put to a Council meeting during the past 6 months. 

 

The appropriate Member will respond to any questions remaining unanswered at the expiry of 30 minutes in writing. Any question remaining unanswered after 30 minutes will be answered within 10 working days in writing after the meeting by the appropriate member and appended to the minutes of the meeting.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

(a)Question from Councillor R Raja to the Leader of the Council

“As the cabinet has now approved the replacement of Saunderton Lodge as the future temporary accommodation provision for vulnerable members of society, would the Leader like to tell us what the likely plans are for the Saunderton Lodge land and can she reassure us that the land will only be used for social use and not be sold off to increase the surplus on the council’s balance sheet?”

Response from Councillor Ms K Wood (Leader of the Council)

 

“Saunderton Lodge is an isolated property in need of substantial investment.  If and when it is declared surplus, the Council will be required to meet its statutory obligation upon disposals, which is to achieve the ‘best price reasonably obtainable’.  This may well come from users such as a nursing home, sheltered housing or the like, or from an ‘institutional’ user, which have quasi-social purposes, but I cannot at this stage guarantee that this will be the case.  The priority will be to find a future custodian so that once vacant, the property does not become vandalised.  Any proceeds of disposal will be used to ‘cross finance’ the cost of the proposed new Temporary Accommodation, if that is the route we go down.”

 

Supplementary Question

 

“I would hope that we do see some action and that the land is not sold off. We need to use the land for the benefit of the residents. ”

 

Supplementary Response

 

“As I said in my original answer any proceeds of disposal will be used to cross finance the cost of the proposed accommodation. The proposals will not result in an increase the balance sheets.”

 

(b)Question from Councillor M Knight to the Leader of the Council

 

“It has been reported that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javed, is very close to making a decision regarding the unitary authority proposals. If he were to bring news that 2018 is to be a happy new year for you do you anticipate any changes would be made to the plans given that they were put together almost a year ago?”

Response from Councillor Ms K Wood (Leader of the Council).

 

“I’m delighted that you recognise that our submission is the stronger and have confidence it is the one most likely to receive the go-ahead.  However I think we need to await the announcement before making decisions on our implementation plans.”

 

Supplementary Question

 

“Given that the decision is going to be later than originally expected, how do you envisage that this will impact upon the timelines and deadlines for changes to be implemented?” 

 

Supplementary Response

 

“Clearly the implementation plans stated within the submission will need to be revised. However we cannot revise this until we get the required timelines.” Therefore I am unable to answer your question at the moment.”

 

c)Question from Councillor K Ahmed to the Cabinet Member for Community

 

“A Children’s Centre in Totteridge has 979 children under the age of 5 living  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

PETITIONS

(i)            Council to receive any petition from a member of the public who lives, works or studies within the district or from a Councillor on his/her behalf as notified by the deadline of 5pm on Monday 4 December 2017

 

(ii)          Council to consider any petition already received that meets the required number of signatures to qualify for a debate by Full Council. (The petition organiser will have 5 minutes to present the petition and then the Council will debate the matter for a maximum of 15 minutes and decide how to respond to the petition)

 

 

 

Minutes:

No petitions were received by the deadline of 5pm on Monday 4 December 2017.

56.

CABINET

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

Cabinet                      13 November 2017

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 43 - Options for Temporary Accommodation Provision

 

A Member commented that the sighting of Saunderton Lodge in Desborough Road was unfair on vulnerable people.

 

(P Turner wished it to be recorded that he had abstained from the vote on this item).

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 13 November be received, and the recommendations as set out at minute numbers 39, 43, 46, and 47 be approved and adopted.

57.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

Standards Committee                     10 October 2017

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 10 October 2017 be received and the recommendations as set out in minute numbers 32 and 33 be approved and adopted.

58.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

Improvement & Review Commission                   8 November 2017

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission held on 8 November 2017 be received.

59.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

Audit Committee                  16 November 2017

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee rose to present the minutes.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 16 November 2017 be received.

 

60.

HIGH WYCOMBE TOWN COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

High Wycombe Town Committee             21 November 2017

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the High Wycombe Town Committee held on 21 November be received.

61.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meetings:

 

Planning Committee                       20 September 2017

Planning Committee                       18 October 2017

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 20 September and 18 October be received

62.

REGULATORY & APPEALS COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting:

 

Regulatory & Appeals Committee             27 November 2017  

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee held on 27 November 2017 be received.

63.

NOTICE OF MOTION

To consider the following Notice of Motion submitted by the deadline of noon Thursday 30 November 2017.

 

The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor Miss K S Wood and seconded by Councillor D Barnes.

 

WDC notes the increasing concern of councillors and members of the public regarding an apparent rise in instances of anti-social behaviour across the district and within Wycombe town centre in particular.

WDC believes giving greater prioritisation to the enforcement of available anti-social behaviour measures by Thames Valley Police will improve the situation before it becomes overly detrimental to the residents, businesses and visitors to the district.

WDC resolves to seek swift re-prioritisation of TVP resources to tackle this issue in conjunction with improved partnership working with other stakeholders to improve neighbourhood policing.”

 

Minutes:

A motion was submitted by Councillor Miss K S Wood and seconded by Councillor D H G Barnes.

 

WDC notes the increasing concern of councillors and members of the public regarding an apparent rise in instances of anti-social behaviour across the district and within Wycombe town centre in particular.

WDC believes giving greater prioritisation to the enforcement of available anti-social behaviour measures by Thames Valley Police will improve the situation before it becomes overly detrimental to the residents, businesses and visitors to the district.

WDC resolves to seek swift re-prioritisation of TVP resources to tackle this issue in conjunction with improved partnership working with other stakeholders to improve neighbourhood policing.”

 

In proposing the motion, the Leader began by emphasising that it gave her no pleasure in bringing this forward before Full Council. She stated that Thames Valley Police (TVP) was an outstanding and exemplary force providing an excellent service overall for our residents. As such she had a great deal of respect for the force and was very grateful for the work they did.

 

The Leader stated that in spite of this she could not ignore that anti -social behaviour across the district was on the rise, and that implementation of policies and programmes alone designed to minimise such activity were ineffective in tackling the problems which presented themselves. The only way to resolve such issues was by working in close collaboration with TVP.

 

The Leader went onto state that whilst she fully understood that the significant levels of operational rationalisation and efficiency measures had an impact, she felt that TVP had not given the increasing level of disorder and unrest the focus required to shut it down before it became too established in such areas as Frogmoor. She also gave mention to the negative response Councillor A Hussain had received from Chief Constable Habgood at a CC meeting with regards to the issue, whereby it had been asserted that enforcement was not the first option. The importance of engaging and working closely with charitable organisations locally was re-emphasised, but that TVP was now required to support us.

 

In seconding the motion, the Deputy Leader stated that he wished to echo the proposer`s words and sentiments in every respect. He highlighted that he was passionate about improving and protecting the community, and had positive memories of working with the police who had very much shared that passion. As such he felt a sense of disappointment in having to present such a motion.

 

He emphasised that he felt that TVP had focused resources and strategy away from dealing with the types of low level crimes rife at Frogmoor. He informed the Members that he had been alarmed that upon having challenged on the issues of concern, TVP had connected the problems to the current level of homelessness in the district. The Deputy Leader felt that it was essential to draw a clear distinction between homelessness and anti-social behaviour.

 

The seconder then reiterated the duty to work together  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were none

65.

COMMITTEE CHANGES / APPOINTMENTS

Outside Bodies

 

Health & Wellbeing Board

 

Councillor Miss K Wood be replaced by Councillor G Peart until May 2018.

 

Minutes:

The change to membership of the outside body as set out in the summons as follows was duly noted.

 

Health & Wellbeing Board

 

Councillor Miss K Wood was replaced by Councillor G Peart to serve on the Health and Wellbeing Board until May 2018.

 

 

66.

URGENT ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET OR INDIVIDUAL CABINET MEMBER

·         Public Spaces Protection Order footpath closure

 

Minutes:

The urgent action taken by Cabinet or individual Cabinet Member as set out in the summons was noted.

67.

REFRESHMENTS

Minutes:

The Chairman wished all those present a Merry Christmas and Happy New year, and invited all Honorary Aldermen, Members and colleagues to join her in some light refreshments at the close of the meeting.