Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 8th October, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Peter Druce - Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

32.

MINUTE'S SILENCE FOR TREVOR FOWLER

Minutes:

The Meeting held a minute’s silence in respect of the recent death of ex-Councillor Trevor Fowler.

 

The Chairman remarked on ex-Councillor Fowler’s many years’ service as both a District Councillor and Buckinghamshire County Councillor.

 

33.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 16 July 2018.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 16 July 2018 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman with a correction in that Councillor Ms J Wassell’s apologies for that meeting had been submitted but not recorded.

 

 

34.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

35.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

 

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that he had received a letter from Honorary Alderman Ted Collins apologising for that evening’s meeting but also indicating that he would not be able to attend future Council meetings, he had in that letter thanked Members for their kind support over his many years on the Council. The Chairman confirmed that he had written in response in turn thanking him for his invaluable service over those years.

 

The Chairman mentioned a few of his many duties he had carried out over the previous 3 months:

 

·         RAF High Wycombe Freedom Procession;

·         The informal civic celebration for Wycombe Wanderers on their promotion to League Division 1;

·         Several graduation ceremonies and other events at Buckinghamshire New University;

·         A performance of ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Wycombe Arts Centre;

·         The Battle of Britain Parade (for which the Chairman thanked those Members who had attended, but remarked that these were few in number and that all were welcome to mark this important civic event);

·         Meeting HRH the Princess Royal at the unveiling of the new war memorial ‘soldier and horse’; and

·         Opening the Hughenden Gardens Retirement Village: which was making a major contribution in housing for the elderly in the Wycombe District.

36.

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 1 October 2018 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:

a)        Question from Honorary Alderman P Cartwright to the Cabinet Member for Environment

 

Passengers travelling to and from the Park and Ride site now enjoy free travel Mondays to Fridays whilst parking spaces are lost in the town due to roadworks.

What is the total number of passengers carried during the period 1 July to 30 September 2018 and the comparable period in 2016 (similar number of journeys), the gross and net costs of the service and the termination date of the contract for the service?

 

Response from Councillor Mrs J Adey (Cabinet Member for Environment)

 

In answer to the questions the P&R bus service is funded via a s106 agreement.

 

The P&R passenger numbers are:

 

12 week period from June 2016 – August 2016: total passengers 13,743

 

12 week period from June – August 2018: total passengers 16,721

 

Passenger statistics are provided in arrears by the bus company and I do not have September 2018 data yet.

 

The end date of the contract is 31st July 2020 with an option to extend for a further 12 months.

 

The contract is paid on a net cost basis which means that the operator is paid a fixed amount to operate the service and also retains any fares revenue.

 

The payment is tapered so that the subsidy reduces each year as the passenger numbers and therefore fares revenue grows.

 

The current payment level is £2019 per week, this reduces to £1882 in September 2019.

 

The recently agreed free travel on Mondays to Fridays (which started July 2018) is funded by a separate agreement at £90 per week day to reflect the loss of revenue that results.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Making a quick calculation on the two months quoted this works out at about 4 passengers per trip, this is surely totally uneconomic. Will you invite suggestions as to how this service and its economic viability can be improved?

 

Supplementary Response

 

Yes I do invite such suggestions, the car parking in town is too cheap hence why people, including many commuters, do not utilise the Park and Ride. Perhaps there is a case for putting up parking charges in the town centre. 

37.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Member must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 1 October 2018.

 

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.

 

Questions shall be taken first from the Group Leaders of the political parties who shall be entitled to ask an initial Leader`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.

 

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

 

Table 13b of WDC’s annual accounts for the year to March 2018 show a £10M increase in the value of investment properties compared with March 2017.

 

Can the Leader of the council explain how this surplus was used or will be used to benefit our residents? 

 

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

 

Thank you for your question. The reasons for the increase in value of the investment property is also detailed in note 13b.  In the main the increase is due to revaluation of existing assets, the transfer of assets from other classes, acquisitions and additional expenditure on major projects.  The increase is only realised when the property is sold and under the accounting regulations the receipt from the sale can only be used for future capital investments which would benefit our residents in the long-term. As you will be aware market conditions change every year and therefore the increase in value cannot be used in any year until the disposal outlined earlier.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Thank you, you have pre-empted part of my supplementary question in that Capital Gains only add value they cannot bolster the annual revenue budget, only rental income as such does this. What percentage of rental income is utilised to the benefit of our residents?

 

Supplementary Response

 

Your supplementary question has switched the subject matter to revenue / rental income details of which I do not have, we will supply you with a written response.

 

b.     Question from Councillor M Knight to the Leader of the Council

Along with other Council Leaders in Buckinghamshire you are championing a major change in the delivery of local government in the Wycombe District and Buckinghamshire as a whole.

In leading this change do you believe it is your responsibility to ensure the best, and most well prepared solution for future local governance in the unparished area of High Wycombe?

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

 

However much we may wish that local politicians were in the driving seat in the decision on future local government arrangements – the fact is we aren’t.   I am not in a position to lead this change, although I have done everything I can to influence the decision makers to achieve the best outcome for Wycombe District residents.

 

If a decision is made to move towards unitary local government then a body will be established through a parliamentary Order which will decide on the detail.  Under either model, the current arrangements for local governance in High Wycombe unparished area can continue but whether that is what happens we will have to wait and see.  The shadow body will have a great many decisions to make about the delivery of services particularly for our most vulnerable residents and for my part if I am a member of that body I will do the very best I can to champion the interests of all of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

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 1 October 2018.

 

(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 Monday 1 October 2018.

 

39.

CABINET

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

 

·         Cabinet (Special Meeting)             30 July 2018

·         Cabinet                                              17 September 2018

·         Cabinet                                              8 October 2018 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 25 – Digital First

 

Three Members commented that they had had trouble getting through to the IT Department and asked if the correct contact numbers could be circulated to Members. The Leader commented that she had not experienced such problems but confirmed that the relevant contact details would be circulated to all Members.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 30 July 2018 be received.

40.

CABINET

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 17 September 2018 be received.

41.

CABINET

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 8 October 2018 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 40 be approved and adopted.

 

42.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Planning Committee                                   27 June 2018

·         Planning Committee                                   25 July 2018

·         Planning Committee                                   22 August 2018

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee of 27 June 2018, 25 July 2018 and 22 August 2018 be received.

 

43.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Audit Committee                                                      26 July 2018

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 26 July 2018 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 25 be approved and adopted.

 

44.

HIGH WYCOMBE TOWN COMMITTEE

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

 

·         High Wycombe Town Committee                         11 September 2018

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the High Wycombe Town Committee held on 11 September 2018 be received.

 

45.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

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

 

·         Improvement & Review Commission                   12 September 2018

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission held on 12 September 2018 be received.

 

46.

PERSONNEL & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Personnel & Development Committee    26 September 2018 (to follow)

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

In relation to minute number 11 (Review of Smoking Policy and Facilities on Queen Victoria Road Site – Results of Consultation), some Members queried whether this proposed decision would result in congregations of smokers on the public highway outside the offices, and the Chairman of the Personnel & Development Committee assured them that the exact detail of how to deliver a ‘smoke-free’ site, subsequent to this decision, was still to be worked on and would be presented to the Personnel and Development Committee in due course.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Personnel & Development Committee held on 26 September 2018 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 11 be approved and adopted.

 

47.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted under Standing Order 11.2

 

48.

COMMITTEE CHANGES / APPOINTMENTS

Minutes:

There were no changes to Committee membership or appointments to be noted.

49.

URGENT ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET OR INDIVIDUAL CABINET MEMBER

Individual Cabinet Member Decisions:

 

·                     14 September 2018 – Short extension to the Serco Contract – 11/2018 Leader of the Council.

 

·                     24 September 2018 – Bassetsbury Triangle – 12/2018 Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration.

 

 

Minutes:

The Individual Cabinet Member Decisions as set out in the summons were noted.