Policy and Resources Committee - 17 July 2017
Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House17th July 2017
NOTICE AND AGENDA
For a meeting to be held in the Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House, Rickmansworth, on Monday 17 July 2017 at 7.30pm.
Members of the Policy and Resources Committee:-
Councillors Sara Bedford (Chairman), Chris Lloyd (Vice-Chairman) (Leisure, Wellbeing and Health)
Matthew Bedford (Resources and Shared Services)
Phil Brading (Public Services)
Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Economic Development, Sustainability and Transport)
Alison Scarth (Health)
Roger Seabourne (Community Safety)
Martin Trevett (Housing, Planning and Strategic Schemes)
Steven Halls, Chief Executive
7 July 2017
The Policy and Resources Committee welcomes contributions from Members of the public to its discussion on agenda items. Contributions will be limited to one person speaking for and one against each item for not more than three minutes. Please note that in the event of registering your interest to speak on an agenda item but not taking up that right because the item is deferred, you will automatically be given the right to speak on that item at the next meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee. Details of the procedure and the list for registering the wish to speak will be available for a short period before the meeting.
In accordance with The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 any matters considered under Part I business only of the meeting may be filmed, recorded, photographed, broadcast or reported via social media by any person.
Recording and reporting the Council’s meetings is subject to the law and it is the responsibility of those doing the recording and reporting to ensure compliance. This will include the Human Rights Act, the Data Protection Act and the laws of libel and defamation.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2017 (circulated separately).
3. NOTICE OF OTHER BUSINESS
Items of other business notified under Council Procedure Rule 30 to be announced, together with the special circumstances that justify their consideration as a matter of urgency. The Chairman to rule on the admission of such items.
4. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive any declarations of interest.
5. FOR THE COMMITTEE TO RECEIVE A PETITION AS FOLLOWS:
We the undersigned petition the Council to install double yellow lines outside Shepherd Primary School and a path across King George V Playing Fields and introduce a PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) to make the area safe.
Shepherds Lane is particularly busy at times, especially with parents and young children who have buggies/scooters/bikes with them. There are increasing numbers of people parking inconsiderately/illegally on Shepherds Lane by Shepherd Primary School meaning that it is no longer possible for traffic, especially buses, to pass freely along the road. During school drop off/pick up times there is such a plethora of cars parked that pedestrians are unable to see to cross the road safely and sometimes have difficulty passing cars that are parked on the pavement.
There have incidents where children have been at real risk of severe injury and it is inevitable that there will eventually be a serious accident if the situation is allowed to continue.
Local residents frequently contact the school regarding the parking as they are unable to access their properties and/or are concerned about the safety of the children.
We call upon the council to take steps to make Shepherds Lane (around Shepherd Primary School) safe for cars, buses and pedestrians by providing double yellow lines on Shepherds Lane, a path from the public car park opposite William Penn Leisure Centre to the school gate on King George V Playing Fields and a PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) to make the area safe.
6. STREET ENFORCEMENT PILOT PROJECT AND THE USE OF THE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, CRIME AND POLICING ACT 2014
To seek authorisation to go out to formal consultation on the making of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) relating to anti-social parking in accordance with the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”). This would apply to a specified area around Shepherd Primary School, Shepherd’s Lane, in Mill End.
7. MOTION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WRVS SITE
The following motion has been referred to this Committee to consider, proposed by Councillor Ralph Sangster, seconded by Councillor Paula Hiscocks.
"The concerned residents of Rickmansworth call upon this Council to abandon its proposal to develop the WRVS site in the Bury. It is an ill-conceived and poorly designed scheme which will significantly harm a local conservation area and nearby heritage assets and establishes socially unacceptable standards of accommodation for vulnerable members of our society.
The concerned residents of Rickmansworth require this Council to find an alternative location within the local area which is capable of providing acceptable accommodation at standards which reflect the needs of families and their children."
The decision of this Committee on 8 November 2016 (Minute PR65/16) refers:
PR65/16 INVESTMENT IN PROPERTY – WRVS BUSINESS CASE
Members recalled during the September meeting the investment in property opportunity specifically aimed at the WRVS site. This report outlined the business case that was required. An update was circulated at the meeting.
The Interim Head of Property Services advised that following a visit to a manufacturer of the housing units, better value for money and better quality units had been identified which warranted the figures being updated in the report.
The Director of Finance said that following the visit the numbers detailed in Appendix B had been updated. The number of households which could be taken into the units had reduced from 24 to 17. This had impacted on the annual income from the LHA which would reduce from £186,000 to £125,000. There would also be a similar reduction in Bed and Breakfast costs from £206,000 to £180,000 but still provided a saving to the Council for these charges.
The Committee noted the two bed units could accommodate up to six people in each unit but the current figures had been based on a minimum occupancy of two people per unit.
Concern was raised that families were currently being accommodated outside the District. Temporary accommodation was urgently required in the District for families and this must be a priority for the Council. The 17 units would make excellent use of the site, save money for the Council and give families a temporary home near to their families, jobs and local support networks.
Concern was raised about considering the amended figures presented at the meeting which bore no relationship to the previous figures.
The Chairman of the Committee advised that very few changes had been made, that the updated figures were welcomed, and that and the principle of the scheme remained the same.
The Director of Finance said the payback from the Local Housing Allowance and the savings in Bed and Breakfast costs would still be around 3 years, and the revised financial figures still provided for this.
The Chairman stated that maintaining local communities was vital to the District, and in many cases families were living in overcrowded accommodation, up to an hour’s drive from their jobs, schools and family support. The Council needed to urgently provide temporary housing so that these families could be housed within the District.
There was concern locally regarding the provision of the temporary housing on this site and it was requested that the local residents in Rickmansworth be informed of the decisions being made and be provided with details on the planning application process. It was stated that any planning application for the site would need to go through the Council’s usual planning application process, and would take into consideration the character of the area and the impact on the area.
Councillor Martin Trevett moved, seconded by Councillor Phil Brading, the recommendation at Option 4 of the report.
Concern was raised that this was not an appropriate location for this type of development. There was concern locally on how the development would impact on the local community and local area. What benefits would the development bring to the area and what problems could be associated with this type of development? Had an impact assessment been undertaken with the local residents?
The Interim Head of Property Services said the effect would be positive, bringing increased vitality to the area and to local shops, and would enable local families to live in a dignified way within the District near to their families and friends. Consultation had taken place internally with the Community Partnerships Team.
A Councillor stated that he was concerned that a local social impact assessment had not been undertaken. Putting 17 households in the same location, into what could only be described as “boxes” would create problems. The Chairman stated that this was not required as part of the planning process for new accommodation, and that the planned accommodation would be a huge improvement on what the Council was currently able to provide.
As a result of the changes to the ‘benefits cap’ introduced this week, a further 120 families were at risk of being made homeless. It was vitally important the Council provided clean and decent temporary accommodation for families within the District.
On being put to the Committee the motion was declared CARRIED the voting being 9 For, 5 Against and 1 Abstention.
That Option 4 in the WRVS business case be approved.
The report and business case from the meeting on 8 November 2016 is attached as background information.
8. WATERSMEET BUSINESS PLAN – CHANGE OF ‘HIRE ONLY’ POLICY
This report recommends that the ‘hire only’ policy at Watersmeet be changed to allow the venue to promote events and live performances so that the venue can meet its targets set out in Appendix 1 - Watersmeet Business Plan 2016-19, increase revenue and continue to explore commercialisation opportunities.
9. ISSUES & OPTIONS AND CALL FOR SITES CONSULTATION DOCUMENT
To seek Members’ approval for a public consultation on the Issues & Options and Call for Sites Consultation Document (attached to Appendix 1) lasting for a period of six weeks, commencing on 28 July 2017.
10. WORK PROGRAMME
To agree the Committee’s work programme.
11. OTHER BUSINESS - if approved under item 3 above.
11a THE POTENTIAL TRANSFER OF GOVERNANCE OF HERTFORDSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE FROM HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL TO THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
For discussion by the Committee.
12. EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
If the Committee 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(s) of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined under Paragraphs 1-7) 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.”
(Note: If other confidential business is approved under item 3, it will also be necessary to specify the class of exempt or confidential information in the additional items.)
1. OTHER BUSINESS – if approved under item 3 above.