Full Council - 23 February 2021
Virtual meeting with remote access23rd February 2021
To: ALL MEMBERS OF THE THREE RIVERS DISTRICT COUNCIL
You are hereby summoned to attend a virtual meeting of the Council on Tuesday 23 February 2021 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 (link archived)
Virtual/Remote Council meeting protocol protocol-for-virtual-council-meeting-final
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 8 December 2020
3. FINANCIAL PLANNING - To consider the recommendations from the Administration on the Financial Plan.
4. SPECIAL EXPENSES 2021/22
5. COUNCIL TAX – DISTRICT ELEMENT
6. SETTING THE COUNCIL TAX
7. COUNCIL PAY POLICY STATEMENT 2021
8. PROCESS FOR APPOINTMENT OF STATUTORY OFFICER
9. ANNUAL REPORT ON AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNCIL CONSTITUTION
Council are asked to:
- Note the minor amendments 1- 5
- Note the Urgent Decisions 1 – 2
- Agree the Minor amendments 1 -5
10. POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
To receive the recommendations from the Policy and Resources Committee meeting held on 25 January 2021
STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
To agree the adoption of the Addendum to the Statement of Community Involvement as set out in Appendix 2 to the report.
The Minutes from the Policy and Resources Committee held on 25 January 2021 21-01-25-pr-draft-mins
11. RECOMMENDATION - LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 10 FEBRUARY 2021 - Licensing Act 2003 – Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026
The amended Policy; ‘The Licensing Act 2003 - Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026’ is agreed by members and adopted by Council
The Minutes from the Licensing Committee meeting held on 10 February 2021
12. RECOMMENDATION - REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEE HELD ON 10 FEBRUARY 2021 - Polling Districts and Polling Places – Returning Officer Temporary Delegated Authority
Recommend: Temporary delegated authority be given to the Returning Officer, in consultation with Group Leaders and Agents as a minimum, in order to make any necessary changes to polling places that may occur during the coronavirus pandemic to enable voters to carry out their democratic right to vote at local government elections scheduled this May.
The Minutes from the Regulatory Services Committee meeting held on 10 February 2021
13. CHANGE OF NAME OF FORUM
To agree the Change of Name of the Pensioner Forum to Fifty Plus Forum and Change of Name of the Pensioner Champion to Fifty Plus Champion
14. TO RECEIVE ANY PETITIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 18 - none received.
15. QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 15 - none received.
16. CHAIR OF COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENTS
17. REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER AND LEAD MEMBERS
18. REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIRS OF THE AUDIT, PLANNING, LICENSING AND REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEES (RULE 14)
18a) Report from and questions to the Chair of the Audit Committee (Cllr Margaret Hofman)
Due to Covid 19, the publication date of audited accounts for all Local Authorities moved from July to November. Draft statutory accounts for TRDC have been published and are available to view on the Council’s website.
However, the external audit of the Draft Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 has not yet been completed by our external auditors due to resources pressures as additional audit work has been required due to pandemic.
Due to unknown impact of COVID 19, the Audit Committee has requested additional information and more frequent reporting from officers.
18b) Report from and questions to the Chair of the Planning Committee (Cllr Chris Lloyd).
The December meeting had to reconvene to finish the Agenda. The February meeting is starting 30 mins earlier due to the volume of applications to be considered.
We are working with the Planning Advisory Service as part of reviews they are doing to see how Planning Committees have been working since we have been doing remote or virtual meetings.
I would like to thank officers and Members of the Committee for the support they have given me.
18c) Question to Councillor Chris Lloyd, Chair of Planning Committee from Councillor Debbie Morris
Should Members of the Planning Committee not intending to use their video cameras at meetings inform the Planning Chair in advance of each meeting and if they fail to do so, will the Chair ask them to turn their cameras on when they want to speak at the meetings?
I will ask the Committee section to remind members of the Committee, Ward Councillors and the public by email. I will aim to remind everyone at the start of the meeting.
18d) Report from and questions to the Chair of the Licensing Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett).
In December Members discussed the Statement of Licensing Policy which was reviewed by Officers. The Statement of Licensing Policy promotes the four licensing objectives (prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm) and seeks to balance the interests of both businesses and residents to make sure Three Rivers continues to offer a wide choice of high quality and well managed premises within a safe and orderly environment. The Policy also sets out the approach and principles that the Council will generally apply when carrying out its functions under the Licensing Act 2003. The statement is required to be reviewed every 5 years.
Members agreed to minor changes to the reviewed Policy and to a 6 week public consultation which commenced on 23 December.
Members discussed the Policy and public consultation at the Licensing Committee on 10 February and the recommendation from the Committee is on the summons for Council approval.
18e) Report from and questions to the Chair of the Regulatory Services Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett)
A report was presented by the Returning Officer at the meeting on 10 February 2021, seeking temporary delegated powers to make late changes to polling places during the Coronavirus pandemic, as you are aware it was agreed for the 6 May 2021 combined polls, subject to ratification by Council on 23 February.
Where essential changes are notified before 19 March, when we publish the notice of poll, the Committee will meet to discuss and approve any changes. After this date the Returning Officer will consult as widely as possible any enforced changes, subject to time constraints, but as a minimum will speak to Group Leaders and Election Agents.
19 MOTIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11
1. Councillor Sarah Nelmes, seconded by Councillor Stephanie Singer to move under Notice duly given as follows:
On 4 April 2020 The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 made under the Coronavirus Act 2020 enabled Council/Committee meetings to be held in a virtual format and enabled remote attendance.
These regulations expire on 6 May 2021.
The change was stated to be to ensure effective local decision making and transparency during the national effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic. That fight is still ongoing. To ensure the continued smooth running of local democracy, the continued safety of officers and members of this Council and of members of the public, this Council urges the government to extend this regulation further.
This Council resolves to write to the Local Government Secretary, The Right Honourable Robert Jenrick MP to urge that the regulation is extended so that we continue to be supported to maintain our vital role while continuing to follow government advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
2. Councillor Sarah Nelmes, seconded by Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst to move under Notice duly given the amended motion as follows:
All Councils are required by central government to prepare a Local Plan setting out sufficient land to be allocated for housing and employment use until 2036;
The number of homes required to be built is calculated by a ‘standard methodology’, a government formula using a housing need assessment based on Office of National Statistics data from 2014. More recent data suggests a lower need but government has confirmed that this older calculation must be used;
No Council has successfully challenged the 'standard methodology' nor been allowed to implement a plan using any target other than the 'standard methodology';
The Three Rivers area is well over 70% Green Belt. The land that has been put forward for development that is not in Green Belt can provide less than 20% of that assessed housing need (under 2000 homes), requiring the remainder to be allocated on precious green belt (more than 9000 homes).
Council therefore resolves:
That the Government's 'standard methodology' produces an unacceptable housing target for this District;
To request an urgent meeting with the Local Government Secretary, The Right Honourable Robert Jenrick MP to discuss reductions to this unacceptable target;
To write to the three MPs that serve different parts of Three Rivers asking them to confirm that they reject the Government's 'standard methodology' as it harms the green belt and damages local communities and that they call on Robert Jenrick to agree a lower target for this District.
3. Councillor Andrew Scarth, seconded by Councillor Jon Tankard to move under Notice duly given as follows
Council notes that in 2008 the Climate Change Act came into force.
We are pleased that in 2020 this Council declared a Climate emergency and is working up its Climate change strategy. We are also delighted that President Biden has moved to reinstate the USA to the Paris Climate agreement.
Though we welcome Central Government announcing its Green Homes Grant which enables individual home owners to claim up to £5000 Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to their present home, there is no mention of all new builds having a renewable electricity source.
Any increase in Housing stock would look to an increase in power requirements. As a country that is struggling with its electrical supply, the reduction in energy requirements for all new properties would have a positive and beneficial impact on the country’s power requirements.
The Government wishes to ban fitting gas fired boilers into new builds by 2025. Electrical boilers have noticeably improved their efficiency, but it means the need for electrical supply at point of use will increase.
Demand for electric cars has seen the biggest increase in new vehicles sales in the UK in 2020, which over time will increase the demand for electricity. We are pleased to note that more electricity is produced by renewable means especially wind farms rather than burning fossil fuels.
It is a fact that every day there is daylight. This free energy source should be used to generate electricity for the home as well as exporting it to the national grid.
Council resolves to request the Rt. Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) to support council's wish to see all new residential builds having renewables such as solar, wind or combined Heat and Power on site, and make it mandatory that this comes into effect by an Act of Parliament ideally by the end of this year if not 2022.
20. EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
If Council wishes to consider the remaining item in private, it will be appropriate for a resolution to be passed in the following terms:-
“that under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined under paragraphs 3 & 5 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act. It has been decided by the Council that in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”
1. THRIVE HOMES REPORT
15 February 2021
General Enquiries: Committeeteam@threerivers.gov.uk