Policy and Resources Committee - 18 June 2018
Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House17th June 2018
POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
NOTICE AND AGENDA
For a meeting to be held in the Penn Chamber, Three Rivers House, Rickmansworth, on Monday 18 June 2018 at 7.30pm.
Members of the Policy and Resources Committee:-
Councillors Sara Bedford (Chairman)
Chris Lloyd (Vice-Chairman) (Leisure)
Matthew Bedford (Resources and Shared Services)
Alex Michaels (Environmental Services)
Andrew Scarth (Housing)
Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Economic Development)
Roger Seabourne (Community Safety and Partnerships)
Martin Trevett (Infrastructure and Planning Policy)
Steven Halls, Chief Executive
8 June 2018
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 Policy and Resources Committee meeting held on 19 March 2018.
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.
To receive an e-petition which has received 124 signatures which asks the Council to:
“We the undersigned petition the council to Review the adoption of the Community Infrastructure Levy.
In January this year, my family was hit by a demand for immediate payment of £24, 274.35p by TRDC in relation to the extension we are building on our family home for my 81 year old stepfather who is in poor health and does not want to live on his own anymore. We are NOT commercial developers.
Our crime? Despite having been granted full planning permission, having informed TRDC building control that we were commencing works and having been granted a full exemption from CIL by TRDC in October 2017, we failed to return a one page form before commencing works. Contrary to statements from TRDC, the last communication we received on the matter was in October 2017 - nearly 4 months beforehand.
We accept this was our error and we hold our hands up to it, but do we - or anyone else - really deserve a penalty at this level? £24,274.35p for one, one-page form.
We were not flouting the regulations and we were not ignoring advice from TRDC. We simply forgot one form, which ultimately, in the whole scheme of things was completely irrelevant. The only reason the council need to know the start date is in order to start charging and we had already been granted a full exemption, so there was no charge. We should have returned it, but ultimately it is a tick-box exercise and there is no reason for it. As one legal journal out it:
“There is no compelling reason that a timing error should override the ability to claim and retain the exemption, particularly when the need for advance notice of works is redundant on account of there being no need for a collecting authority to generate a demand notice where CIL is not payable”.
Our error was a minor procedural one and it had no impact on the nature of the project. It is still a residential extension to accommodate an elderly relative.
If a mistake has been made, then I accept that TRDC are within their rights to penalise us, but why would you remove the exemption that you have already confirmed in writing with a detailed summary of the reasons for your decision?
I realise this is a "first world problem" and will not be of interest to many people, but it really has caused untold stress and anxiety to my family and created a lot of uncertainty over the completion of our project, so I would really appreciate your support.
This is an outrageous penalty, which is completely disproportionate to the error made.
I know of at least two other local families who have been hit with exactly the same issue and there will be many more. TRDC revenues from CIL have risen from £42K in its first year of operation, to over £900,000 in its second year; an increase of over 2000%.
CIL was adopted by Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) in April 2015. The concept behind CIL is an honorable one. It is aimed at getting a contribution from commercial developers whose projects put extra pressure on the local infrastructure. I am sure that most people completely agree with that, but the legislation is formulaic and inflexible. It is catching out families who should not be charged and there are little or no means of appealing.
We need to make sure that this legislation is not used as a cash-cow for cash-strapped Councils. The adoption of the legislation should be repealed until it is amended and fit for purpose.”
6. MEMBER TRAINING
- The Committee last received a report on Member training on 5 December 2016 (Minute PR77/16) and raised a number of matters at the meeting which were addressed as set out in Paragraph 2.1 below.
- Members are asked to suggest how Member training should be directed in the future, how attendance levels can be improved and how the training budget can be fully utilised during 2018/19.
7. BATCHWORTH NEIGHBOURHOOD AREA DESIGNATION APPLICATION
To consider whether the Council should designate the area submitted by Batchworth Community Council as a Neighbourhood Area.
8. SUMMARY OF THE FINANCIAL OUTTURN FOR 2017/18
This report shows the outturn position for the financial year ending on 31 March 2018 for both revenue and capital and makes the following recommendations:-
- to carry forward to 2018/19 certain unspent revenue budgets and;
- to rephase those capital budgets that require completion in 2018/19
A key feature of reporting the outturn for the financial year is to compare it against the latest agreed budget which provides an indication of the accuracy and robustness of financial control and the achievement of the strategic objective to manage resources to deliver the Council’s strategic priorities and service needs.
9. WORK PROGRAMME
To receive the Committee's work programme.
10. OTHER BUSINESS – If approved under Item 3 above
11. 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.