Full Council - 20 October 2020
Virtual meeting by remote access20th October 2020
To: ALL MEMBERS OF THE THREE RIVERS DISTRICT COUNCIL
You are hereby summoned to attend a virtual/remote meeting of the Council on Tuesday 20 October 2020 at 7.30pm for the purpose of transacting the under mentioned business:-
Please note that the meeting is being held virtually. The business of the meeting will be live streamed at –
the virtual meeting protocol is provided below:
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 14 July 2020 and the Extraordinary Council meetings held on 28 July 2020 and 1 September 2020.
3. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
To receive the recommendations from the Policy and Resources Committee meeting held on 20 July and 7 September 2020 and the Extraordinary meeting held on 30 September 2020:
The link to the P&R Committee minutes is provided below:
3A - PR19/20 - BUDGET MONITORING – IMPACT OF COVID 19
Council to agree:
That the Director of Finance be authorised to make the necessary adjustments to individual budgets to reflect the expenditure and loss of income arising from Covid-19 contained in the report, including the expenditure savings set out in Appendix 2 and the capital programme changes set out in Appendix 3.
Report to P&R Committee
3B - PR39/20 - LOCAL PLAN UPDATE: LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME
3C - PR40/20 CHORLEYWOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN: PROGRESS TO REFERENDUM
Council to agree:
- That the modifications to the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan be made in accordance with the Examiner’s Report (Appendix 1) and that the modified Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan (Appendix 2) proceeds to referendum on 6 May 2021 (Option 1, as noted at Paragraph 4.1); and
- That the decision statement is published.
Report to P&R Committee:
3D - PR41/20 - COUNCIL CALENDAR OF MEETINGS
Council to agree:
That the Calendar of Meetings for 2022/23 provided below be approved
Report to P&R Committee
3E - PR48/20 - BUDGET MONITORING – PERIOD 4 (JULY)
Council to agree:
That the following revenue and capital budget variations be approved and incorporated into the three-year medium-term financial plan:-
Revenue - (Favourable)/ Unfavourable
Capital - Increase / (Decrease)
Report to P&R Committee:
3F - PR49/20 - WEST HERTS CREMATORIUM JOINT COMMITTEE – LOAN AGREEMENT
Council to agree:
- That Three Rivers, as one of the partner authorities to the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee, signs the loan facility agreement between Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council as borrowers with Dacorum Borough Council as lender for £6 million to part fund a new Crematorium in Hemel Hempstead, subject to all the other 4 borrowing authorities passing similar resolutions;
- That Three Rivers also signs a Deed of Contribution and Indemnity with all five partner authorities of the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee, namely Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough, subject to all the other member authorities passing similar resolutions;
- Notes that in agreeing to 1.1 and 1.2 in report that Three Rivers are underwriting one fifth of the £6 million loan facility should the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee default on repayment of the loan; and
- That delegated approval is given to the Interim Director of Finance to approve the final terms of both agreements.
Report to P&R Committee
3G - PR52/20 - THREE RIVERS COMMUNITY SAFETY PARTNERSHIP HATE CRIME ACTION PLAN 2020-21
Council to agree:
That a budget of £20,000 is allocated to resource a 0.6fte Hate Crime Support Officer post to deliver on the Hate Crime Action Plan and areas of work identified and this be agreed by Full Council.
3H - REVIEW OF RULE 14 – REPORTS FROM AND QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND LEAD MEMBERS AND CHAIRS OF COMMITTEES
The recommendations on Rule 14 are provided below for approval (the proposed amendments to the Rule will be published with the summons)
3I - REVIEW OF RULE 11 - NOTICES OF MOTIONS
The recommendations on Rule 11 are provided below for approval (the proposed amendments to the Rule will be published with the summons)
3J - REVIEW OF RULE 18 - PETITIONS
The recommendation on Rule 18 (Petitions) to Council is that there be no change.
3K - REVIEW OF RULE 15 (QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC)
The recommendation on Rule 15 (Questions from the Public) to Council is that there be no change.
3L - RULE 16 (RULES OF DEBATE)
That any changes to the Rules of Debate which arise as a result of any amendments to Rule 11 be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Group Leaders and be reported direct to Council.
The proposed changes at this time are provided below.
3M - MEMBER/OFFICER PROTOCOL
That the Member/Officer Protocol provided below be approved.
3N - COUNCIL CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS
To change the pronouns throughout the Council Constitution to the inclusive they/their/them.
3O - WORKING PARTIES
That Council consider the use of Working Parties/Task and Finish Groups in appropriate circumstances ensuring where possible that meetings are held in the public domain.
Provided below is the Minute from the Council meeting in December 2018
Minute CL67/18 - MOTIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11
This Council notes that Councillors have been elected to take decisions for the benefit of local residents and that presently there are a growing number of areas where significant powers have been delegated.
This Council agrees that the decision making process and the decisions themselves should be open to public scrutiny. This can only be done by having public meetings with fully published agendas and public access. Accordingly working parties will no longer be used; all significant decisions will go to an appropriate public committee for deliberation and decision.
4. AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNCIL SCHEME OF DELEGATION
Updated report following further changes to the legislation.
Background paper - Previous report published with summons.
5. COMMITTEE PROPORTIONALITY REPORT
6. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES
To note the appointment of Councillor Kate Turner to the named substitute vacancy on the Planning Committee.
7. HERTS GROWTH BOARD
8. APPOINTMENT TO OUTSIDE BODIES
To appoint a new Member to the Three Rivers Museum to replace Councillor Sarah Nelmes.
9. TO RECEIVE ANY PETITIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 18
10. QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 15
The following questions have been received from one Member of the Public as follows:
- Given your declaration of a climate emergency when will you be introducing a requirement that all new builds are zero carbon dioxide emitters?
- Given your financial situation how big a consideration is the income new housing will generate. What would the target number of houses, if built, generate for the Council?
- Green areas are carbon dioxide absorbers. How do you intend to make good this loss of carbon absorption when you build on green areas?
- There is a massive and likely to be permanent shift away from office working to home working as a result of the pandemic. What sort of area of commercial property do you think will become empty as a result of this shift and how many dwellings could be put on the sites instead?
- What actions do you plan to take in the next 3 months to bring down carbon dioxide emissions on sites under Council control and in the area more generally?
- Should you not reconsider and make representations to have the housing target reduced given the shifts in location of housing demand resulting from greater home working as a result of the pandemic.
- Given the coming climate chaos it is important we have plenty of space for food growing in and around housing. What are your plans to do that? The big housing estates like the one around Warner Brothers are deserts with next to no land for growing food amongst the housing.
11. CHAIR OF COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENTS
12. REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER AND LEAD MEMBERS (RULE 14)
Report and Questions to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the Council
Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the Council, from Councillor Stephen King
What plans, or powers if any, has this this authority to allocate land for self-build homes as part of the Local Plan?
INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Reports from the Lead Member for Transport and Economic Development (Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst), Lead Member for Infrastructure and Planning Policy (Cllr Steve Drury), Lead Member for Housing (Cllr Andrew Scarth).
Question to Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead Member for Transport and Economic Development from Councillor David Sansom
The Council should be aware that Rickmansworth High Street has witnessed a surge in anti-social behaviour and that residents are extremely worried that with the new barriers remaining down on Saturday night, that this will escalate.
The barriers are 50 yards from the Council Offices, the Council has hundreds of staff and yet we are told that nobody is available to unlock the barriers on Saturday evening, is this a demonstration in the lack of interest in Rickmansworth from this Council?
LEISURE, ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY
Reports from the Lead Member for Leisure (Cllr Chris Lloyd), Lead Member for Environmental Services & Sustainability (Cllr Phil Williams), Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships (Cllr Roger Seabourne) and questions.
Question to Councillor Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure, from Councillor Stephen Cox
Does the Lead Member recognise the importance of all the green open space separating South Oxhey and Oxhey Hall which provides great amenity for both communities?
Question to Councillor Roger Seabourne, Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships from Councillor Alex Hayward
Now that the children are back at school and the PSPO at Shepherd School has elapsed can we be updated on the traffic conditions?
RESOURCES AND SHARED SERVICES
Report from the Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services (Cllr Matthew Bedford) and questions.
Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services from Councillor David Sansom
I am sure all Councillors are aware that this Council has identified "Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle" in the TRDC Strategic Plan as one of the Councils aims. Rickmansworth Bowls Club and the British Legion Bowls Club contribute to our stated aim by providing Exercise and a Social Network for a large number of Local Residents. Will this Council confirm that it will continue to serve our residents and support the Bowls club which promotes a healthy physical and mental outdoor lifestyle?
Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Joan King
Given the area designated for the new market in South Oxhey is now completed, can the Lead Member advise when this Council will inform Watford Rural Parish Council where stall holders’ vans will be allowed to park and at what cost?
Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Stephen King
What percentage of affordable/social housing does the Lead Member believe should be stipulated in this Council’s local policies in future to at least guarantee that the present target of 45% affordable/social housing, which is so infrequently achieved, is henceforth always met?
Urgent Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Paula Hiscocks
Would this Council be prepared for the Rickmansworth Bowls Club building to be acquired by Batchworth Community Council as a Community Asset?
13. REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIRS OF THE AUDIT, PLANNING, LICENSING AND REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEES (RULE 14)
Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Audit Committee (Cllr Margaret Hofman).
Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Planning Committee (Cllr Chris Lloyd).
Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Licensing Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett).
Report from and questions to the Chairman of the Regulatory Services Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett).
14. MOTIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11
Motion 1 - Councillor Joanna Clemens to move under Notice duly given as follows:
This Council believes in equality before the law for all its citizens, regardless of race or religion. It will neither tolerate discrimination of any kind, nor practise any kind of discrimination itself. It will not give privileged access to its funds or services to any citizen based on distinctions of race or religion; it will not intervene to promote the economic or social well-being of any ethnic or religious group ahead of others, nor attempt to alter outcomes in favour of one such group at the expense of others, not judge the well-being of any such group as more important or worthy of attention than that of any other, nor legislate with such effect. It will not represent itself or its services differently to different groups. It will be neutral and impartial and seen to be neutral and impartial. It will unequivocally reject any calls for it to abandon neutrality and impartiality. Nothing in the foregoing shall be read or given effect in a way that prevents education or cultural exchange events.
Motion 2 - Councillor Paula Hiscocks, seconded by Councillor Alison Wall to move under Notice duly given as follows:
This Council believes that, as we are extremely fortunate to have three chalk stream rivers, The Chess, Gade and Colne running through our area, we should work with Thames Water, as far as possible within existing resources, to properly serve our residents and protect the environment. Also that we ensure whenever relevant in the planning process that all the Water Companies are consulted.
Motion 3 - Councillor Peter Getkahn, seconded by Councillor Dominic Sokalski to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Metropolitan Line Extension
Council notes that the UK Government has pledged a ‘New Deal for Britain’ to deliver vital infrastructure. In his speech on June 30th the Prime Minister set out plans to ‘build back better’ in the wake of coronavirus and has pledged £5bn to accelerate infrastructure projects.
Council also notes the community frustration that the plan to extend the Metropolitan Railway was effectively shelved in 2019 after initial works had been completed. The MLX project has already utilised funds from Hertfordshire County Council and Council believes the current situation effectively wastes this public money.
The project has previously been supported by this Council, and some of the benefits would be:
- Improving access to public transport for local residents (more than 2,500 households would be within 10 minutes’ walk of the two new stations);
- Creating better connections between Watford and Croxley Green, with new routes to Watford General Hospital, Croxley Green Business Park and other employment areas, which would increase access to employment opportunities for local people;
- Providing access for Metropolitan line passengers to central Watford and to West Coast mainline National Rail links from Watford Junction station;
- Contributes to this Council's on-going commitment to battle climate change by providing a viable alternative to car-travel.
Council therefore resolves to write to local MP Gagan Mohindra (Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Transport), Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport, and Dean Russell, MP for Watford, and ask them to petition the Government to allocate sufficient funds to restart and complete the Metropolitan Line Extension project and realise the planned benefits to the area.
Motion 4 - Councillor Sara Bedford, seconded by Councillor Matthew Bedford to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Paying the real living wage
- Council notes its decision in 2013 to pay the Real Living Wage (RLW) to all employees.
- Council understands that only the Real Living Wage is independently calculated each year and is based on the minimum that employees and their families need to live.
- Council believes that as a responsible employer this wage should be extended to contracted staff, such as cleaners and security officers.
- Council therefore requests that all directly contracted staff should be paid the RLW as soon as practically possible, and that discussions take place with SLM regarding the pay of employees at our leisure facilities.
- Council also commits to becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer.
Note: the cost of this has been estimated by TRDC to be around £3,000pa.
Motion 5 - Councillor Sara Bedford and seconded by Councillor Phil Williams to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Supporting Trans and non-binary people
Council notes that Trans people face significant disadvantage in society. One in four Trans people report being discriminated against in work, over a third avoid expressing their gender through physical appearance in fear of being assaulted or harassed, and almost 50% of Trans people have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. (see https://www.stonewall.org.uk/sites/default/files/trans_stats.pdf)
1. Council believes that:
- Trans men are men, Trans women are women, and that non-binary genders are valid.
- Trans people deserve respect and autonomy
- Transphobia has a hugely detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of trans individuals
- It is our duty as community leaders who seek to create an open and tolerant society to speak out against transphobia and make clear it will not be tolerated.
2. Council therefore resolves to:
- Ensure that all Council services, both directly provided and through partners, are fully accessible to all, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.
- Work to provide at least one gender neutral toilet where possible in every public building owned or operated by the Council, and encourage partners to do likewise.
- Ensure that the Council’s constitution, policies, forms, and all internal and external communications are gender neutral.
- Create a network of informal LGBT allies across officers and councillors to support all members of the LGBT communities.
Motion 6 - Councillor Sara Bedford and seconded by Councillor Matthew Bedford to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Ending food poverty and holiday hunger amongst our children
1. Council notes:
- The increasing level of hunger amongst children in lower income families and the effect of malnutrition on children’s physical, social, educational and emotional development.
- The continuing increase in the use of foodbanks by families, especially during school holidays.
- The ‘temporary’ use of vouchers to feed children during school holidays, who would otherwise receive free school meals.
- A group of supermarkets, businesses and charities have formed a taskforce and backed proposals from the National Food Strategy with an independent review of UK food policy to reduce food poverty and holiday hunger.
2. Council believes that a wealthy and civilised country should ensure its most vulnerable citizens are properly housed and fed.
3. Council supports the campaign to improve the nutrition and lower the hunger of children in lower income families by:
- a. Expanding free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5m children aged seven to 16.
- Expanding an existing school holiday food and activities programme to support all children on free school meals in all areas of England.
- Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers - which help parents with children under the age of four and pregnant women buy some basic foods - from £3.10 to £4.25 per week, and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 people.
4. Council resolves to write to all three MPs representing the Three Rivers area, and the appropriate Ministers at both the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions, asking them to comment on and take up the points raised above.
Motion 7 - Councillor Sara Bedford and seconded by Councillor Peter Getkahn to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Space standards in permitted development housing
Council notes that on 30 September 2020 the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that in future all new homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet space standards. This will mean that all new homes in England delivered through these rights will in the future have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard.
Details of the Space Standards are contained in this document: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-housing-standards-nationally-described-space-standard
Whilst welcoming the overdue commitment to better housing, Council deplores that no date has been set to change the relevant regulations.
Council therefore agrees to write to the Housing Secretary, urging that the regulations should be introduced with immediate effect and no later than the end of 2020.
Motion 8 - Councillor Dominic Sokalski to propose, seconded by Councillor Sarah Nelmes to move under Notice duly given as follows:
This Council wishes to praise and thank all the dedicated staff of Three Rivers District Council, the staff of the NHS, the key workers who carried on working throughout the lockdown and all the local volunteers who stepped forward to help those in need in our District.
In a time of crisis, the hard work and resilience shown by so many is something we are all truly grateful for and we want to thank you most sincerely.
Motion 9 - Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst to propose, seconded by Councillor Chris Lloyd to move under Notice duly given as follows:
Not every Disability is Visible
This Council notes that:
The charity Crohn's and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible public toilets to install new signage. This is to help stop
stigma and discrimination towards people with invisible illnesses such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
There have been instances nationally where such individuals using an accessible toilet have been accused by others of being ineligible to use them.
These signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo. Not every disability is visible.
The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people known as Changing Places will be made
compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres supermarkets, sports and arts venues, in England from 2021.
Council resolves to:
Ensure that accessible toilets on Council premises bear these signs.
Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible public toilets.
Seek advice from the charity Crohn's and Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to Council Staff members. This is so they understand these illnesses and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them.
Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are properly signposted for visitors.
Ensure that the any legal requirement to provide new Changing Place toilets is included within any of the Council's future plans.
Motion 10 - Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, seconded by Councillor Sarah Nelmes to move under Notice duly given as follows:
This Council is appalled by the evidence of racism and discrimination that have blighted the lives of so many in the UK and concerned by the evidence of the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on BAME communities.
The Council during Black History Month and at time where Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities globally are expressing their anger and frustration with institutional racism which disproportionately affects them, takes this opportunity to restate our condemnation of racism, discrimination and hatred in all its forms.
This Council reaffirms its underlying our values of equality and inclusion. Recent events have highlighted once again the sad truth that discrimination and racism still looms large, particularly against members of the black community both abroad and at home in the UK.
Council restates its determination to condemn racism where we see it but also to develop and maintain a proactive anti-racist approach across the council. Part of this is acknowledging the hard truth that there are inequalities within our organisation and our communities. These inequalities can only begin to be fixed by speaking to and understanding members of our workforce and our residents who have been disadvantaged because of their ethnicity.
Council acknowledges that, alongside the threat of overt racism, there exists deeply ingrained and often unconscious discrimination across all levels of society. As a council representing a diverse community, we have an important role to play in dismantling biases and systemic oppression.
As an organisation we endeavour to make Three Rivers and Hertfordshire a safe and inclusive place of opportunity for all of our residents. Three Rivers District Council remains committed to doing our part to achieve this and play our part in the hard task of removing racism and discrimination from our society.
- Endorses this approach, calling out racism as an evil that has no place in the Council’s workplaces;
- Supports the holding of a Q&A event for the Council’s BAME staff with senior leaders to understand their concerns and required actions;
- Affirms its commitment to condemn racism, discrimination and hatred in all its forms.
12 October 2020
General Enquiries: Committeeteam@threerivers.gov.uk