Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 21st February, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Peter Druce - Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

73.

MINUTE'S SILENCE FOR HONORARY ALDERMAN MAURICE ORAM AND EX-COUNCILLOR DENNIS GREEN

Minutes:

The Chairman mentioned the recent deaths of two former Members of the Council: Honorary Alderman Maurice Oram and Dennis Green.

 

·             Honorary Alderman Maurice Oram was first voted onto Wycombe District Council representing Marlow in 1974 and enrolled to the position of Honorary Alderman in 2007.  He also served as a County Councillor.

 

·             Ex Councillor Dennis Green was elected to represent Risborough Ward in 1979 he served as Chairman of Wycombe District Council from 2002-03. He was also elected to Buckinghamshire County Council.

 

A Minute’s silence was observed in respect of these former Members.

74.

FILMING OF THE MEETING

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that notification had been received that a member of the public wished to film the meeting and he outlined the principles around filming/recording in the meeting.

 

75.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 10 December 2018.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 10 December 2018 be confirmed as true records and signed by the Chairman.

76.

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:

The Leader of the Council; Councillor Ms K Wood indicated that she had an interest in respect of Minute 83 of the Cabinet Minutes of 4 February 2019 and would leave the room during the consideration of those minutes. Her Deputy Leader; Councillor D Barnes had agreed to present those particular minutes in her absence.

 

77.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive the announcements of the Chairman of the Council.

Minutes:

The Chairman updated the Meeting on his activities since the last Council meeting, he had attended the Mustard Club Christmas Lunch, along with those of the Guarantors Old People’s Club and Piddington Seniors. He had attended the funerals of former Members Green and Oram along with the Service of Thanksgiving for the Rt Hon The Lord Carrington KG, GCMG, CH.

Mention was made of his attendance at the 5 year celebration event for the Chiltern Rangers CIC, the re-launch of the Bucks Motor Neurone Disease Association Branch along with Chinese New Year events.

 

The Chairman also took the opportunity to clarify the procedure for any Points of Order and outlined Standing Order 14.11 in this regard.

 

78.

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 Thursday 14 February 2019. 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 Mr R Colomb to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration.

Would the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration please explain whether the policy of Wycombe District Council is to encourage motorists to drive into the centre of Wycombe or discourage them?

 

Struggling retailers certainly need them.

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor S Broadbent (Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Regeneration).

 

The Council is not currently responsible for transportation strategy, this sits with County.

 

However our overarching aim, which will be further developed in our Regeneration Strategy is to encourage people to come to and spend time in High Wycombe, this means that a balance must be struck between managing congestion and accommodating visitors.

 

Having the town in gridlock will obviously discourage visitors, extend journey times and impact on our economy. Further work will be done on transportation and parking in the next few months, including a review of the Park and Ride service, in order to understand demand and the ways in which it can be managed.

 

Supplementary Question

 

It is confusing to understand Buckinghamshire County Council’s involvement. But we seem to have a policy to build on car parks and increase car park charges. Park and Ride is not working, whilst current re-alignment of roads in the town will not increase carriageway space. What actions are being taken to encourage drivers into the town to spend money?

 

After all we are talking of taking up road and putting the river in its place.

 

Supplementary Response

 

We aim to remove as many barriers as possible that impede business, shoppers and commuters. There is a balance to be struck. Where car parks are taken away alternatives are to be provided.

79.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Member must be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday 14 February 2019.

 

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

 

Whilst it is true that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has scored an own goal by imposing a leader on the shadow authority and devalued the unitary process and made it less democratic and less transparent.

 

Even so would the Leader like to tell us the benefits to the local residents of the waste of Council Tax payers’ money in seeking a Judicial Review to sort out incompetent Tory bungling? 

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor Ms K Wood (Leader of the Council).

 

Thank you for your question Cllr Raja.

 

As you know, extensive discussions have been ongoing with both MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) and the other Buckinghamshire authorities for some time, with a view to ensuring that the new Unitary Authority for Buckinghamshire is as robust and publicly accountable as possible. At an extremely late stage in the process, the Secretary of State changed the proposals for governance in a way which, as you rightly say, would have the clear potential to devalue the unitary process and make it far less democratic and transparent.

 

When faced with these circumstances, the Council could either accept the situation, which I firmly do not believe would be in the interest of the public, or challenge it through legal proceedings, which given the timing, had to be done extremely quickly. I would have preferred not to have been faced with such a stark choice, but in the circumstances I believe the right decision has been taken, and this has been vindicated by the support received from other District Councils in Buckinghamshire in the context of the legal proceedings.

 

Supplementary Question

 

The judicial review (JR) remains a waste of money, the new authority will be in place in just over a year. Nothing will happen as a result of the review. The JR will confirm the status quo. Tell us what benefits there are to it?

 

Supplementary Response

 

We feel that the pre-determined leadership of the Shadow Executive does not represent a partnership of equals. It is not democratic. We want an end product that we agree with. A lot of damage can be done within these 12 months.

 

 

b)     Question from Councillor A Hill to the Cabinet Member for Environment

 

As the High Street is dying. Has the Cabinet Member for the Environment ever considered trialing one hour’s free parking, once a week in the Swan car park to try and encourage people back to the town

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor Mrs J Adey (Cabinet Member for Environment).

 

I do not agree with the statement that the High Street is dying, in fact the Eden Centre has reported an increase in footfall in the last year. This bucks the trend elsewhere where on average a decrease of 3 to 4% has been experienced.

 

While it is true that there are some vacant retail units in High Wycombe the Council has taken and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

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 Thursday 14 February 2019.

 

(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:

Notice had been given that two petitions would be handed in.

 

·         The first was presented by Cllr Zia Ahmed and was a petition by the residents of Sands for a Community Governance Review with a view to forming a Parish Council in Sands.

Councillor Z Ahmed did not take the opportunity to further summarise the petition.

·         The second was presented by Cllr Khalil Ahmed and was a petition by the residents of the Unparished High Wycombe wards of the District for a Community Governance Review with a view to forming a Town Council for those wards.

 

Councillor K Ahmed outlined that he saw this petition as the people of High Wycombe taking back control, to have their say in their own future and to put some pride back into High Wycombe.

 

Including over 5,000 signatures, backed by 5 past mayors of the Town and supported by many groups, mosques, churches, schools and businesses; it represented people power winning through and would see the forcing through of the long overdue Community Governance Review for a town council.

 

 

 

It was noted that both petitions fell under the provisions of 2007 Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act for Community Governance Review petitions.  The provisions of that legislation took precedence over the Council’s petition scheme.  This legislation included the requirement to validate the petitions. Members and the lead petitioners would be informed outside of the meeting following that validation process.

 

Following the submission of these further two Community Governance Review petitions the Regulatory and Appeals Committee was to consider a report, on its 18 March agenda to cover the full picture involving all four Community Governance Review Petitions which had now been submitted to the Council.

It was intended that report would include those submitted this evening. After that, Full Council would be invited on 1 April to approve the Terms of Reference, which will have been considered and recommended by Regulatory and Appeals Committee.

As a result the Chairman advised Members that accordingly the report at Item 15 of this evening’s agenda was withdrawn.

 

81.

CABINET

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

 

·         Cabinet                                                          17 December 2018

·         Cabinet (Special Meeting)                         9 January 2019

·         Cabinet                                                          4 February 2019      

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet 17 December 2018 be received, and the recommendations as set out at minutes number 64 and 68 be approved and adopted.

 

82.

CABINET

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet 9 January 2019 be received.

 

83.

CABINET

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council; Councillor Ms K Wood indicated that she had an interest in respect of Minute 83 of these Cabinet Minutes and left the room during the consideration of these minutes. Her Deputy Leader; Councillor D Barnes presented these minutes in her absence.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet 4 February 2019 be received.

 

The recommendations at Minute 80 were taken under the Capital Strategy item below.

 

Similarly the recommendations at Minute 81 were taken at the Council Tax Setting 2019/20 item below.

 

84.

CAPITAL STRATEGY

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources presented the item, outlining its submission was in order to comply with CIPFA (Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy) regulations. The report before Council incorporated the Council’s Capital Strategy, the Capital Programme including new capital proposals for the period 2018-19 to 2023-24, and the Treasury Management Annual Strategy Report for 2019-20.

The reports had been presented separately in previous years, but were now being presented together linking investment both in terms of treasury management and assets. The aim was to avoid duplication between the reports, and to strengthen the link between capital spending and the treasury management function.

 

In response to a Member query the Cabinet Member confirmed the Total Core Funds estimates for 18/19 of £74m, as opposed to £44.7m for 19/20 year end, as featured page 101 of the agenda.

 

In doing receiving and confirming the Strategy, the Council would be compliant with the Local Government Act 2003 and various other regulations and guidance and would ensure that the Council’s investment plans were prudent, affordable and sustainable.

 

RESOLVED: That Council approve:

a)  the Capital Strategy at Appendix 1;

b)  the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement at Appendix 1a;

c)   the Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2023/24 totalling £134.3m as summarised in Table 1;

d)  the Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential and Treasury Indicators in Appendix 3; and

e)  the Treasury Management Practice at Appendix 3A.

85.

COUNCIL TAX SETTING 2019/20 AND PRESENTATION FROM THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL (to follow)

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 4 February 2019 recommend revenue estimates and the district and parish elements of Council tax levels for 2019/20.

 

Full Council is required to consider the Revenue Estimates and the district and parish elements of Council tax levels for 2019/20 and then to set out the full Council tax.

 

Details relating to the precept for Bucks County Council, the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner and Bucks and Milton Keynes Fire Authority are awaited. The full report containing these details together with the full Council tax details across the district is therefore to follow.

 

Members are reminded that they must have regard to the Chief Financial Officer`s report when setting the Council tax.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 16.5 a recorded vote shall take place on decisions relating to the setting of the budget and Council tax.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The meeting then specifically turned to the recommendations outlined in minute number 81 of the Cabinet Minutes of 4 February 2019 (Revenue Budget & Council Tax Setting 2019/20) along with the supplement issued to the item in advance of the meeting. 

 

The Chairman explained the process that would be followed.

 

The Leader of the Council in introducing the Cabinet Member for Finance to make the Budget presentation, explained that this would probably be the last full budget for Wycombe District Council and the next year Councillors would not be approving a Wycombe District Council budget, but a budget for the new unitary authority.

 

The Leader was proud that in Wycombe District, Council tax was raised very infrequently. Yet again Wycombe was one of a very few number of councils who were not proposing an increase this year. Wycombe District had a proud record of fiscal prudency whilst regenerating the District and working hard for its residents to provide a uniquely appealing and attractive destination with a thriving economic centre and a high-quality public realm.

 

It was acknowledged that the Council could always do more, the Leader believed excellent value for money was given to the residents through the work done and services provided. The improvements made during the last four years included the new and improved leisure centre, Park and Ride, the children’s nursery and gym and now a hotel, all at Handy Cross. In the town there was a new Aldi, Desbox and a new car park in Baker Street. New housing at Bassetsbury Triangle, Ashwells, Gomm Valley and Abbey Barn was underway. The Extra Care Home and Royal Star and Garter Home in Hughenden together with new homes and workspaces in the upper site are being provided. What a huge list of projects were being delivered for residents and there was still more to come. The Council was delivering for all. From affordable housing, open market housing and older people housing. Places for businesses from start-up businesses, artists workspaces and new retail, were being provided; the list went on and on.

 

Wycombe District Council under the current administration was ensuring that Wycombe District was economically strong, and the place to live, work and visit. The Council was delivering for its residents and ensuring a legacy to take forward into the new council.

 

Before handing over the Leader wished to put on record her thanks to the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Executive along with all the Senior Management team and other officers involved in the preparation of the budget. The Leader acknowledged that many hours of work went into preparing it and it was as always a challenging task that Members probably didn’t really appreciate as they only saw the finished product.

 

The Leader also thanked the Budget Task and Finish Group for their intense scrutiny. They were a cross party group who had given their time to drill down into the detail of the budget and present their report to Cabinet, and again had provided an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

86.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Planning Committee                                   17 October 2018

·         Planning Committee                                  12 December 2018 

·         Planning Committee                                   16 January 2019 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee of 17 October 2018, 12 December 2018 and 16 January 2019 be received.

 

87.

HIGH WYCOMBE TOWN COMMITTEE

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

 

·         High Wycombe Town Committee             15 January 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the High Wycombe Town Committee held on 15 January 2019 be received.

 

88.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

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

 

·         Improvement & Review Commission       24 January 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission held on 24 January 2019 be received.

 

89.

REGULATORY & APPEALS COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Regulatory & Appeals Committee             11 February 2019 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee of 11 February 2019 be received.

 

90.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEWS

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

This report was withdrawn prior to the Meeting

91.

PERSONNEL & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Special Personnel & Development Committee              18 February 2019 (to follow)

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Personnel & Development Committee of 18 February 2019 be received.

 

92.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Standards Committee                     19 February 2019 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee of 19 February 2019 be received.

 

93.

EXTENSION WORKS TO COURT GARDEN LEISURE COMPLEX - PROCUREMENT PROCESS

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Graham Peart (Cabinet Member for Community) presented this report requesting the Council’s agreement to an exemption from Contract Standing Orders to enable a non-competitive award of a Development Agreement with a value of £2m with Places Leisure allowing them to deliver and complete refurbishment works at the Council’s Court Garden Leisure Centre in Marlow.

 

Additionally a delegation was sought to enter into this agreement, deed of variation and associated legal documents in relation to the existing leisure operator agreement to the Head of Community Services, in consultation with the District Solicitor, Head of Finance and Cabinet Member for Community.

 

This was a system of procurement successfully used at Princes Risborough Springs. It enabled a complex refurbishment whilst the centre remained open for public use. Places Leisure effectively were to become a nominated contractor. Selling competitive tenders for the key elements of the work. WDC were to review costs and progress and make payments against an agreed schedule.

 

 

RESOLVED: That;

 

(i)            Exemption from Contract Standing Orders be granted to allow a ‘non-competitive award of a Development Agreement with a value of £2M to allow Places Leisure ("PL") to complete refurbishment works at Court Garden Leisure Centre ("CGLC"); and

 

(ii)          Delegated authority be granted for entering into a Development Agreement, Deed of Variation and any associated legal documents in relation to the existing Leisure Operator Agreement to the Head of Community Services, in consultation with the District Solicitor, Head of Finance and Commercial Services with the Cabinet Member for Community.

 

 

94.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted under Standing Order 11.2

 

95.

URGENT ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET OR INDIVIDUAL CABINET MEMBER

Individual Cabinet Member Decisions:

 

 

 

·                    11 December 2018 – Community Support Grants 2019-20 Homes and Homelessness 13/2018 Cabinet Member for Housing

 

·                     12 December 2018 – Community Support Grants 2019-20 Planning & Sustainability – 14/2018 Cabinet Member for Planning

 

·                     12 December 2018 – Community Support Grants 2019-20 Community Services – 15/2018 Cabinet Member for Community

 

·                     12 December 2018 – Community Support Grants 2019-20 Community Services – 16/2018 Executive Leader of the Council

 

·                     17 December 2018 – Youth Mentoring Grant 2018-2020 – 17/2018 Cabinet Member for Youth & External Partnerships

 

·                     19 January 2019 – Community Support Grants 2019-20 Community Services – 1/2019 Cabinet Member for Community

 

 

Minutes:

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