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  • Agenda and draft minutes

    Cabinet
    Wednesday, 4 December 2019 7.30 pm

    Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames

    Contact: Gillian Scott  Email: g.scott@spelthorne.gov.uk

    Items
    No. Item

    2656.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2019 as a correct record.

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 6 November 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

     

    2657.

    Disclosures of Interest

    To receive any disclosures of interest from councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for members.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

    2658.

    Recommendation of the Audit Committee on Corporate Risk Management pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    Councillor A.C. Harman

     

    To consider the recommendation of the Audit Committee following its review of the Corporate Risk Register.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the recommendation from the Audit Committee on the Corporate Risk Register.

     

    Resolved to approve the Corporate Register as submitted.

     

    Reason for the decision:

    The Register summarises the Council’s most significant risks. It sets out the controls which have been put in place and identifies any further action which might be needed to mitigate risks.

     

    2659.

    Outline Budget 2020/21 to 2023/24 - Key Decision pdf icon PDF 166 KB

    Councillor A.C. Harman

     

    To consider a report on the outline budget for 2020/21 to 2023/24.

     

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on the Outline Budget for 2020/21 to 2023/24 which outlined the current expected budget gaps for 2020/21 and the following three years.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer advised Cabinet that there would be an impact on the detailed budget arising from the Pension fund review which requires a significant increase to employer contributions. This had not previously been flagged as anticipated by the actuaries or pension fund administrators when the Outline Budget was considered and the reasons for the proposed increase and options for managing impact on the Budget were being explored with actuaries.

     

    Cabinet asked to receive a further report at its next meeting giving more information on the impact to the budget as a result of the Pension fund review.

     

    Resolved to receive a further report on the Outline Budget for 2020/21 to 2023/24 addressing the impact arising from the Pension fund review, at the next meeting of Cabinet on 29 January 2020.

     

    Reason for Decision

    Cabinet needs to fully understand the implications for the Outline Budget as a result of the Pension fund review before it can agree the recommendations in the report.

    2660.

    Capital Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    Councillor A.C. Harman

     

    To note the current Capital spend covering the period April to September 2019.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on the current level of capital spend covering the period April to September 2019.

     

    Resolved to note the current level of capital spend.

     

    2661.

    Revenue Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 130 KB

    Councillor A.C. Harman

     

    To note the Revenue spend covering the period April to September 2019.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on the current level of revenue spend covering the period April to September 2019.

     

    Resolved to note the current level of revenue spend.

     

    2662.

    Calendar of Meetings pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

     

    To consider the draft Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21 and make a recommendation to Council.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on the Calendar of meetings for 2020-21.

     

    The meetings for 2020 to 2021 had been programmed to ensure that the Council makes decisions in a timely way to help with the implementation of its priorities and strategies, as well as fulfilling its constitutional and legal obligations.

     

    Resolved to recommend Council to approve the Calendar of meetings 2020-21.

     

    2663.

    Leader's announcements

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The following are the latest service updates from various Council departments.

     

    The Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation for the Borough has now been open for 4 weeks.

     

    The Council has extended its public consultation on a new Local Plan for the Borough, which sets out proposals for where housing, employment and other development will be built up to 2035. The original consultation period already exceeded the statutory minimum 6 weeks to take account of the Christmas break. However, the General Election wasn’t originally expected and therefore we’ve again extended the period within which local residents can respond.

     

    The consultation will now run until Tuesday 21 January 2020 and gives another two weeks for residents to give their views on the proposed allocations and policies.

     

    Four public events have been held to provide further information to residents and interested parties and a further three events are planned in December and if needed in the New Year to ensure everyone is fully informed and can have their say.

     

    The Council met with senior officials from the Ministry of Homes, Communities and Local Government to express the deep concerns over the very high housing figure calculated for the Borough using the Government’s standard method for calculating ‘need’. Using this method, the figure for Spelthorne is 603 homes per year. Like many local authorities in Surrey, it is incredibly challenging to find sites to meet that need. Spelthorne is 65% Green Belt and 17% is water. In fact, 26% of our Green Belt is made up of the reservoirs.  The Council will continue to push the Government to bring this figure down so we can deliver a Local Housing Plan that is acceptable to our communities.

     

    On Monday 11 November a Remembrance Ceremony was held here at the Council Offices and we were joined by veteran Bill Sykes who helped plant a Red Oak tree outside the Council offices on the Green in readiness for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on 8 May 2020.

     

    Spelthorne in Bloom celebrated its 30th year on 4 November, where winners were presented with their awards at Shepperton Studios. There were so many beautiful and imaginative entries this year. Thank you to the volunteers and gardeners for all their hard work ensuring another successful year and congratulations to the finalists and winners.

     

    The hard work and sporting achievements of local players, coaches and volunteers was celebrated at the annual Spelthorne Sports Awards at Shepperton Studios on Tuesday 19 November. The winners, and everyone nominated for these awards, are a credit to Spelthorne and to sport. Thanks to everyone who helped to organise the event and many congratulations to everyone who received an award.

     

    The Council has announced that it will be offering Council Tax exemptions from April 2020 to young people leaving care aged between 18 and 25. Care leavers have often had their childhoods affected by instability and trauma.

     

    After much public support, the Council is pleased to share the news  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2663.

    2664.

    Urgent Action

    To note an urgent action undertaken by the Chief Executive.

     

    On 7 November 2019 the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, agreed a letting within the fourth floor of the Thames Tower Building, Reading. This is not a Key Decision. The matter was considered as urgent action because the proposed tenant required completion of the letting before the Cabinet was next due to meet.

    Minutes:

    Cabinet noted the urgent action taken by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader on 9 November 2019, to agree one letting within the fourth floor of the Thames Tower, Reading.  The matter, which was not a Key Decision, was considered as urgent action because the proposed tenant required completion of the letting before the Cabinet was next due to meet.

     

    2665.

    Urgent items

    To consider any items which the Chairman considers as urgent.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

    2666.

    Exempt Business

    To move the exclusion of the Press/Public for the following item, in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006.

     

    Minutes:

    Resolved to move the exclusion of the Press and Public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006.

     

    2667.

    Exempt report - Investment acquisition Y - Key decision

    Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

     

    To consider an exempt report on the acquisition of a site.

     

    Reason for exemption

    This report contains exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006 Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because, disclosure to the public would prejudice the financial position of the authority in the bidding process for the site by allowing other bidders to know the position of the Council.  This in turn prejudices the Council by (i) distorting the bids process and (ii) prejudicing the opportunity for the Council to acquire a site in order to  enable regeneration in the Borough.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

     

    Cabinet considered an exempt report on an opportunity to acquire an asset for affordable housing to provide 43 apartments with 27 parking spaces.

     

    The Group Head for Regeneration and Growth gave a presentation on the proposal setting out the rationale for acquisition, the costs involved and the due diligence process.

     

    Cabinet expressed concern that liability for external building maintenance, including a contribution towards grounds maintenance, rested with the leaseholder and asked for further clarity on the scope to change this position, before it agreed to proceed with the acquisition.

     

    Alternative options considered and rejected by the Cabinet:

    ·         Not to proceed with the acquisition.

     

    Resolved to delegate the decision to proceed with the acquisition and approve the following recommendations, to the Leader, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey, subject to clarity as to the estate service charge:

     

    1.    Approve the funding of Knowle Green Estates Limited (KGE) to facilitate the acquisition of the 999 years long leasehold interest in the affordable housing asset identified in this report;

     

    2.    Formally approve the terms agreed, and authorise the Chief Executive (in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance) to agree any further additional terms as funder to enable KGE to proceed with their acquisition of the asset;

     

    3.    Authorise the Chief Finance Officer to decide the most financially advantageous funding arrangements for the purchase, and overall to ensure the funding for the acquisition is prudentially affordable; and 

     

    4.    Authorise the Head of Corporate Governance to enter into any legal documentation necessary to fund the acquisition of the asset including the completion of the associated loan agreement with KGE.

     

    Reasons for Decision

    Approving this funding will enable the provision of 43 new apartments for affordable rent with 27 car spaces. The scheme is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2022 and is in line with Spelthorne’s strategy to significantly increase the supply of affordable homes within the Borough. The scheme will also support the Council to continue with its strategy to reduce the number of households in emergency and temporary accommodation.