Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday, 19th December, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber. View directions

Contact: Peter Druce - Democratic Services Officer 01494 421210 (ext 3210) Email: peter_druce@wycombe.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

55.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 21 October 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 October 2019 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

56.

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.

57.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that since the last meeting, he had attended twenty seven engagements bringing the total number to date to seventy three since becoming Chairman. He then reported on his recent engagements carried out:

 

·         The Poppy Appeal events and Remembrance services in High Wycombe, Downley and The Disraeli School;

 

·         Awards ceremonies to recognise achievements by local organisations and individuals including The South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Lord Lieutenants Awards; The Princes Centre in Princes Risborough who received their Queens Award for Voluntary Service; the Bucks & Milton Keynes Sports Awards; the presentation of the British Empire Medal to Councillor Graham Peart; the annual High Wycombe Sea Cadets awards and also presenting, along with the Chief Executive, long service awards to members of staff at WDC;

 

·         A Royal visit by The Princess Royal at the official opening of the new puppy breeding centre at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in Saunderton;

 

·         Celebrating the 40th anniversary of St Vincent and The Grenadines Independence with His Excellency The High Commissioner at an event organised by SV2G.

 

·         Attended to very moving services; one being the 14th annual road death memorial services at St Mary’s in Thame with the Leader of the Council. The Light Up A Life service organised by the Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

 

·         With the Mayor of High Wycombe and the star of the Wycombe Panto, attended the switch on the High Wycombe Christmas Lights. Attended two festive carol concerts and a Christmas Lunch.

 

The Chairman concluded in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

58.

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 12 December 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.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members of the Public.

59.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Member must be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday 12 December 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 M Knight to Cabinet Member for Environment

 

In recent months my colleagues and I have received numerous complaints from across the district about household refuse collections by our contractor, Serco.

Collections seem to be frequently missed, collection days have been changed without notice, the required location of bins to be placed for collection has been changed, again without notice, and damaged bins have not been replaced like for like.

Increasingly it would appear that collection crews are having to work late into the evening in order to complete rounds which are perhaps unrealistic. This makes me concerned for staff welfare and safety.

Can you explain to me the reasons for these changes to the service and if you find them reasonable and within the expectations set out in the contract?

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

 

The contractor has recently experienced an increasing number of difficult to access sites that are served by bulk bins.  Narrow roads, particularly those serving flatted accommodation have been blocked by carelessly parked vehicles and this results in crews needing to revisit and attempt collection later in the day or soon after this. Each site has slightly different problems, and officers from the Joint Waste Team try to work with building managers, residents and motorists, by placing signs, delivering letters and leaving information on cars.

 

As the number of flatted developments has increased in the district, an additional collection resource has been introduced and changes have been made to bulk bin collections to try and re-balance collection rounds, so bringing some certainly around scheduled collection days. Officers of the Joint Waste Team have tried to communicate changes but it can be a challenge to ensure that the message reaches every household affected.

 

The changes that have been made recently were intended to improve service reliability, and they have been implemented in response to growing pressure on the bulk bin service in particular.  However, where failings occur in any aspect of the service these are addressed through normal contact mechanisms.

 

I am not aware of any widespread issue with the like for like replacement of lost or damaged waste containers. However, I am more than happy to receive details from you and I will pass them on to officers for investigation and rectification.

 

Regarding the change of location of bins for collection, I believe you are referring to some on roads in Micklefield. There has been full communication with the residents and I believe a compromise has now been reached with those who were affected.

 

Finally, crews will on occasion need to work later into the afternoon to complete rounds that have been disrupted for whatever reason, and naturally residents expect collections to take place on their allotted day whenever possible.  Additional vehicle resources can be drafted in to provide support in these situations.  Whilst refuse is undoubtedly a physically demanding job, the welfare of staff, I can assure you, remains of paramount importance to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

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 12 December 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:

No petitions were received prior to the deadline of 5pm Thursday 12 December 2019.

 

61.

CABINET

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

 

·         Cabinet          11 November 2019

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 43 – Cabinet response to the Recommendations of the Improvement and Review Commission – Parking Task and Finish Group Recommendations

 

The Chairman of the Parking Task & Finish Group (TFG) commented that the minutes did not contain the opportunities that the Parking TFG had identified to improve capacity in Marlow. This was raised with Cabinet although they did not specify this opportunity.

 

The Leader responded that the recommendations had been noted and she confirmed that the Parking TFG report had been sent to the Shadow Authority to be fed into the unitary process.

 

Minute 48 – Use of S106 Accrued Funds for Affordable Housing

 

Members congratulated officers for their dedication in bringing this scheme to fruition and commented that they had shown the passion they have for supporting Wycombe District residents.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet of 11 November 2019 be received and the recommendations as set out at minute numbers 47 and 48 be approved and adopted.

62.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Planning Committee                                   16 October 2019

 

·         Planning Committee                                   13 November 2019 (to follow)

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Planning Committee: Councillor Alan Turner stated that the 13 November Minutes were before Members at this meeting and indicated there was one small amendment.

 

A member explained that at the previous evening’s Planning Committee, there was a glaring omission from those Councillors invited to attend – the name of their colleague Tony Lee was missing.

 

Councillor Lee had resigned the Conservative whip some weeks ago and today stands as an independent. Consequently, because rules that determine that Committees should be politically balanced, Councillor Lee has been dropped from the Committee.

 

Two points need to be made:

 

1.    This Planning Committee is probably, and thankfully, the most apolitical in the Council, and rightly so. That is what makes its decisions so robust. We listen to all views, whoever offers them and we respect those views. We speak as we see it without any political favour.

2.    Councillor Lee has been a member of the Planning Committee since he joined the Council nearly five years ago. Over that time he has arguably been one of the more prominent members of this committee, always forthright, always honest and often to the point. Just because he is no longer a Conservative does not make him any less sincere.

To expel him from this Committee seems to be churlish in the extreme and actually downright silly. The Planning Committee and indeed the Council, are the poorer for it.

 

So, he hopes that you will support him in urging the Leader of Council to use her authority to waive this so-called political balance rule in favour of common sense and invite Councillor Lee to rejoin our Committee for its final three months.

 

The Chairman of Planning Committee responded that Democratic Services would review the position and that he would respond to Councillor Whitehead in due course.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee of 16 October 2019 and 13 November 2019 be received.

63.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

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

 

·         Improvement & Review Commission                   6 November 2019

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Council thanked the Environmental Services team for their hard work in relation to Houses of Multiple Occupation. It was suggested that the Portfolio Holder pass on Council’s thanks.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission of 6 November 2019 be received.

64.

PERSONNEL & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Personnel & Development Committee                20 November 2019

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Personnel & Development Committee of 20 November 2019 be received.

A member queried why the Regulatory and Appeals Committee minutes from meeting on Tuesday 17 December 2019 were not included. An officer confirmed that there had not been sufficient time since the meeting to present the minutes to this meeting.

65.

HIGGINSON PARK TRUST - 2020-21 BUDGET

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Council Meeting had before it a detailed report in respect of the Higginson Park Trust (HPT) Budgets for 2020/21.

 

In previous years the Council as sole trustee had approved the budgets for the Trust as part of the overall Council’s budget setting process following recommendations from Cabinet.

 

Wycombe District Council would be the sole trustee until 31 March 2020.  Therefore, in its capacity as sole trustee, the Council would need to approve the 2020/21 budgets for the HPT charity. From 1 April 2020, the trusteeship of the HPT charity was to be transferred to the new Buckinghamshire Council.

 

A member suggested that the Trust should be handed to the Marlow Town Council in light of the transition to a Unitary Council in April 2020.

 

In response, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources stated that he understood that no request had been made by the Town Council. However, if a request were to be made, the decision would need to be taken by the Shadow Executive.

 

In response to a further query in relation to governance expenditure the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources confirmed that he would clarify the query and respond accordingly.

 

RESOLVED: That the Higginson Park Trust Charity Budget for 2020/21 as set out in the Report be approved.

66.

HIGGINSON PARK TRUST AUDITED ANNUAL REPORT 2018-19

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the Higginson Park Trust Charity annual report 2018-19 attached to the agenda.

 

The Charites Act of 2011 required the Trust to produce a statement of accounts for each year. These accounts in turn must be approved by Trustees; Wycombe District Council being the sole Trustee for The Higginson Park Charity.

 

The Draft Annual Report was considered by the Audit Committee on 17 October 2019.  Due to the General Election, there had been a rescheduling of the Audit Committee and therefore the final audited Annual Report was directly brought to the Council for approval with the consent of the Audit Committee Vice-Chairman.

 

RESOLVED: That the Higginson Park Trust Charity audited Annual Report and Financial Statement for the year ended 31 March 2019 be approved.

67.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted under Standing Order 11.2

 

68.

COMMITTEE CHANGES / APPOINTMENTS

COUNCILLOR T LEE – CHANGE IN POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION

 

Please note that Councillor Tony Lee is no longer a member of the Conservative Group and will now sit as an Independent member.

 

COUNCILLOR B PEARCE – CHANGE IN POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION

 

Please note that Councillor Brian Pearce is no longer an independent member and has now joined the Wycombe Independent Party Group.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Members noted that Councillor Tony Lee was no longer a member of the Conservative Group and was now siting as an Independent member.

 

Whilst Councillor Brian Pearce was no longer an independent member and had joined the Wycombe Independent Party Group.

69.

URGENT ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET OR INDIVIDUAL CABINET MEMBER

Individual Cabinet Member Decisions:

 

·                    4 December 2019 – Making the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Plan   7/2019 Executive Leader of the Council

 

 

Minutes:

The Individual Cabinet Member Decision as set out in the summons and featured below was noted.

 

·         4 December 2019 – Making the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Plan   7/2019 Executive Leader of the Council