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Full Council - 16 September 2014

Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House15th September 2014

To: ALL MEMBERS OF THETHREE RIVERS DISTRICT COUNCIL

You are hereby summoned to attend an ordinary meeting of the Council to be held in the Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House, Rickmansworth, on Tuesday 16 September 2014 at 7.30pm for the purpose of transacting the under-mentioned business:-

A G E N D A

1.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2.  MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 June 2014 (pages A1 to A19).

3.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

4.  LEADER’S REPORT

5.  RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE

To consider the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting held on 7 July 2014:

  • Minute PR08/14 - Budget Monitoring – Month 2 (May 2014)
  • Minute PR09/14 - Watersmeet Business Plan – Amendment of ‘Hire Only’ Policy
  • Minute PR10/14 - ICT Technical Roadmap

6. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SERVICE COMMITTEES

To consider the recommendations of the Sustainable Development, Planning and Transport Committee at its meeting held on 15 July 2014:

  • Minute SD03/14 – Budget Monitoring – Month 2 (May 2014)

To consider the recommendations of the Leisure, Wellbeing and Health Committee at its meeting held on 16 July 2014:

  • Minute LW05/14 – Budget Monitoring – Month 2 (May 2014)

7.  REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER AND LEAD MEMBERS

LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

Councillor Ralph Sangster to ask the Leader of the Council:

How many Hertfordshire Council Leader meetings have taken place over the last 12 months and how many have you attended?

Councillor Ty Harris to ask the Leader of the Council:

(1) I have previously brought to the Leader's attention at Full Council the differences in job description formats between senior staff that could give rise to discrimination claims.  Can the Leader confirm when Members will see the appropriate amendments to know these concerns have been addressed?

(2) There have been a number of Extraordinary Policy and Resources Committee meetings to discuss the South Oxhey Initiative. Is the Full Committee now acting as the new Project Board, or will the Leader still be insisting on the Project Board having a smaller, more controlled number of Members?

Councillor David Sansom to ask the Leader of the Council:

(1) Six months on from the flooding in Park Road and the Harefield Road area of Rickmansworth, what has been done to reduce the risk of the River Chess bursting its banks and the Harefield Road flood happening again?

(2) What help and support is TRDC going to give to its residents if flooding does occur?

(3) As the Leisure Committee received the following recommendation from a certified arborist in January 2014:- "My conclusions were that the tree is unsafe and should be removed" (within three months) and the Three Rivers report to the Committee stated:-

"Legal Implications

6.1 If the tree were not removed in accordance with the recommendations of the report, and a claim for injury was received from a member of the public or employee as a result of a failure of the tree, either in its entirety or in part, legal liability would be difficult to defend."

Has some new information come to light or are we just trusting your opinion that as a gardener you think it’s fine?

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, PLANNING AND TRANSPORT

Reports from the Lead Member for Economic Development, Sustainability and Transport (Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst) and the Lead Member for Housing, Planning and Strategic Schemes (Cllr Martin Trevett) and questions.

Councillor Heather Kenison to ask the Lead Member for Housing, Planning and Strategic Schemes:

During the recent public hearing on the Local Plan the Inspector indicated that we should conduct a Green Belt review in the near future. When will this take place and how will it be conducted?

Councillor Ty Harris to ask the Lead Member for Economic Development, Sustainability and Transport:

Can the Lead Member confirm how much money this Council receives from the County Council to keep pavements clear of weeds, and in particular, when will the Council use these funds to address the overgrown weeds at the junction of Hampermill Lane and Brookdene Avenue, in the Oxhey Hall & Hayling ward?

LEISURE, WELLBEING AND HEALTH

Reports from the Lead Member for Leisure, Community and Wellbeing (Cllr Keith Williams) and the Lead Member for Health (Cllr Sara Bedford) and questions.

Councillor Paula Hiscocks to ask the Lead Member for Leisure, Community and Wellbeing:

Could you give an update on the upgrading of the very busy Ebury Road play area in the Aquadrome which has equipment desperately needing replacement?

Councillor Paula Hiscocks to ask the Lead Member for Health:

1. Do we have a policy regarding trees from private gardens or fields which fall into our cemeteries?

2. Who is responsible for damage to graves in our cemeteries caused by private individuals clearing fallen trees without a risk assessment?

GENERAL PUBLIC SERVICES AND COMMUNITY SAFETY

Reports from the Lead Member for Public Services (Cllr Phil Brading) and the Lead Member for Community Safety (Cllr Roger Seabourne) and questions.

Councillor Paula Hiscocks to ask the Lead Member for Public Services:

Have there been any concerns raised by residents concerning the change to the fortnightly collection of the brown garden waste bins?

Councillor Ty Harris to ask the Lead Member for Community Safety:

In June, there was outstanding successes from Automatic Number Plate Readers (ANPR) and action was taken against 31 of 50 drivers stopped in Three Rivers, removing those without insurance, driving un-roadworthy vehicles or using mobile phones while driving. What is Three Rivers doing to further support these successes in improving road safety, and how often are ANPR checks done within the District?

RESOURCES

Report from and questions to the Lead Member for Resources (Cllr Matthew Bedford)

Councillor Marilyn Butler to ask the Lead Member for Resources:

Over the past 6 years (2008 to 2013) the Council’s Reserves have been eroded by nearly £18 million. The greatest reductions have been seen in the Capital Account. During the period what have been the top 10 cost centres by value expended in the Capital Accounts? As an example what has been the aggregate spend on software licences over the 6 years and is this one of the top ten expenditure cost centres?

TRDC Reserves

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

 

Capital

25,428

20,338

17,494

14,357

12,365

12,331

10,673

General

4,050

9,237

8,232

7,933

8,164

7,549

5,069

HAR Account

4,130

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

33,608

29,575

25,726

22,290

20,529

19,880

15,742

Figures taken from the Councils published Annual Accounts

In 2009 the HAR account was consolidated with the General Account.

Councillor David Sansom to ask the Lead Member for Resources:

(1) Following the server migration testing that was going on in July by Capita. Is the migration going ahead? What will be the benefits and do we have an up to date register of what computer assets we hold here and what are held by Capita?

(2) Is the ICT system fit for purpose or do you expect more requests for money?

8.  REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIRMEN OF THE AUDIT, PLANNING, LICENSING AND REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEES

AUDIT COMMITTEE

Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Audit Committee (Cllr Sarah Nelmes).

PLANNING COMMITTEE

Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Planning Committee (Cllr Chris Whately-Smith).

LICENSING

Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Licensing Committee (Cllr Steve Drury).

REGULATORY SERVICES

Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Regulatory Services Committee (Cllr Steve Drury).

9. QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 15

(None received).

10. PETITIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 18

A petition in the following terms has been received signed by 154 people:

“Please would you deliver a programme of safe cycle routes to our schools, using a substantial increase in the cycling budget of the Community Infrastructure Levy (the levy will become payable by developers).”

 

A petition in the following terms has been received signed by 368 people:

“We, the undersigned, petition for Three Rivers District Council to introduce yellow zig-zag lines on the unrestricted stretch of road, opposite the main school entrance of Eastbury Farm School on Bishops Avenue in Northwood.”

 

A petition in the following terms has been received signed by 1281 people:

“We, the undersigned, strongly object to the withdrawal of the Arriva 503 bus.  We also object to the proposal to stop the W19 and 8 evening service (6.30pm onwards) by Hertfordshire County Council.  Our expanding community, especially the elderly and vulnerable, needs a frequent and reliable service 7 days a week.”

11. MOTIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11

(1) Councillor Ralph Sangster, seconded by Councillor Reena Ranger, to move under Notice duly given as follows:

This Council is undertaking a services review with the objective of achieving a net 10% reduction in the Council’s revenue and capital budgets by 2016/17. As part of this exercise all services, including front line services, are being scrutinised for potential savings and or revenue raising opportunities. It is unlikely that the objective of a net reduction of £1.2m will be achieved without a reduction in the level of services provided by the Council.

Under such circumstances is it not both prudent and desirable to explore all opportunities to reduce costs wherever possible? One area which has been put forward for consideration in the past is the cost of annual elections in the district. Currently the Council elects its members in thirds which means local elections are held in three years out of every four. If the Council were to hold all-out elections, as it did last year, it would hold an election every four years. This would potentially save the Council £150,000 to £200,000 in every electoral cycle.

As many other Councils in Hertfordshire are changing or considering changing to all-out elections this motion proposes that Three Rivers should undertake a formal consultation with its electorate seeking their views on the proposal that Three Rivers changes its elections from thirds to all-out.

(2) Councillor Ralph Sangster, seconded by Councillor Alex Hayward, to move under Notice duly given as follows:

This Council recognises the importance of a healthy and vibrant commercial sector within the District. It provides employment, goods and services for residents and a growing contribution to the funding of Council services.

There has been a significant decline in the wellbeing of the commercial sector particularly in retail as businesses have suffered through the recession.  Many Local Councils have set up specialist teams to support existing businesses and encourage new businesses to relocate to their area.

Three Rivers needs a more robust and focused strategy to tap into the new funding streams established by Central Government to encourage growth, such as the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.  This motion calls on the Council to undertake a fundamental review of its strategic approach to supporting and expanding the commercial sector in Three Rivers.

(3) Councillor Ty Harris, seconded by Councillor Paula Hiscocks, to move under Notice duly given as follows:

This Council accepts some of its planned development sites in South Oxhey have been derelict for far too long and acknowledges the detrimental effects derelict sites can have on an area.

This Council accepts there is a general shortage of housing and there are some people living in inappropriate housing or overcrowded conditions, and such conditions can affect children's health, well-being and education.

This Council wants to bring forward planned development sites and make them available for building now.  The Council acknowledges housing associations have funds available and are perfect partners who are keen to develop to appropriate housing needs.

In particular, this Council wants the three South Oxhey satellite sites, the Crescent Club, former Jet Pub and the area on Maylands Road to be developed immediately using the £2.83m HCA funds awarded.

This Council acknowledges on 22 August 2014 the Government opened access to a £200m fund to develop brown-field sites for residential use. The Council should immediately consider promoting prime sites, such as Little Furze in South Oxhey, for consideration.

The Council acknowledges that action now will assist the South Oxhey Initiative's decanting process and provide residents and developers with confidence that this project will proceed.

Residents are keen to see progress in South Oxhey and an early start on the satellite sites would give them confidence in the Councils intentions.

12. CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

To note that Councillor Len Tippen has replaced Councillor Stephen Cox as the Labour Group Member on the Audit Committee.

13.  THRIVE HOMES BOARD

To note the resignation from the Thrive Homes Board of Councillors Ty Harris and Marie-Louise Nolan.

14.  LEAD MEMBER FOR SHARED SERVICES

Appointment of Councillor Matthew Bedford as Lead Member for Shared Services.

15.  AMENDMENT TO THE COUNCIL CONSTITUTION CONCERNING THE RECORDING OF MEETINGS

14 09 16 CL i - (15) amendment to council constitution on recording of meetings (doc)

16.  COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL)

Submission of Draft Charging Schedule.

14 09 16 CL i - (16) Report to Full Council 16 September 2014 (doc)

14 09 16 CL i - (16) Appendix 1 - 6 (pdf)

 Chief Executive
8 September 2014

Three Rivers House
Northway
Rickmansworth
Herts WD3 1RL
 

NOTE AS TO PRAYERS: Reverend Dave Gregory, Croxley Green Baptist Church will read prayers at 7.25pm.  Members who are not already in their places are requested to refrain from entering the Chamber during the reading of prayers.  Sufficient time will be allowed for Members to do so after the close of prayers in order that the business of the meeting may begin at 7.30pm.