Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 14th January, 2014 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Amanda Taylor  01775 764837

Items
No. Item

44.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 10 December 2013.  (Copy enclosed). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2013 were signed by the Leader as a correct record.

45.

Declarations of Interest

(Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in their Register of Interests.

 

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.  In the interests of transparency, members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)   

 

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

46.

Questions raised by the public under Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.4

Minutes:

No questions were raised under Cabinet Procedure Rule 2.4.

47.

MATTERS SUBJECT TO CALL-IN

Minutes:

There were no matters subject to call-in.

48.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING PANELS

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the Policy Development and Performance 

Monitoring Panels.

49.

Funding for Spalding Water Taxi pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To consider options for Cabinet to offer ongoing financial support for Spalding Water Taxi.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Commercial Assets and Strategic Planning and the Economic Development Manager enclosed.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Commercial Assets and Strategic Planning and the Economic Development Manager which sought consideration of options for the Council to offer ongoing financial support for the Spalding Water Taxi in the financial year 2014/ 2015.

 

DECISION:

 

That funding of £15,000 per year for a maximum of 2 years be offered to the Spalding Water Taxi Company with effect from financial year 2014/ 2015.

 

(Other options considered: 

·      To provide a funding contribution of less than £15,000 per annum for the next two years towards the running costs of the Water Taxi; or

·      Do nothing.

Reasons for decision: 

·      The Water Taxi continued to attract between 11,000 and 14,000 passengers during the season, its main aim was to promote the town centre and Springfields by providing a transport link between them and to enhance the offer of the town through other water related activities;

·      After 8 years of operation, the 4 boats required a large capital investment to overhaul the electric motors, carry out internal refits and on-going maintenance of the moorings;

·      Normal operation of the service managed to maintain a sustainable position, but did not allow a reserve to be built up and the company had reached a point where there was a need to revamp the boats and relaunch the service to restore some of its original novelty value and interest to the public; and

·      Members noted that there an expectation had been placed on the company that they would aim to be self sufficient over the next 2 years.)

50.

Project Applications - Springfields S106 Funding pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To agree recommendations to Cabinet on the six project applications submitted for use of Springfields S106 funding.  (Report of the Chairman of the Spalding Town Forum enclosed.)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chairman of the Spalding Town Forum which provided recommendations to Cabinet on the six project applications submitted for use of the Springfields S106 funding. 

 

The Leader reported that conflicting feedback had been received from the Assessment Panel, the Spalding Town Forum and from the website responses.  He therefore suggested that a Cabinet Sub-Committee be established and be given authority to interview the applicants in order to clarify the sustainability of the proposed projects and obtain supporting evidence.   Following that a report would be made to Cabinet with recommendations to full Council. 

 

Councillor A M Newton requested that she be involved with the project and the Leader clarified that she would be given the opportunity to provide her input to the decision. 

 

Councillor R Gambba-Jones stated that would not give support to any of the project applications submitted by Springfields.  He raised concerns about the time taken to get to that point and advised that more organisations from Spalding should have been involved from the outset.  The Leader noted the points raised by Councillor R Gambba-Jones and stated that it was important not to rush the decision, and the reason he had suggested the Cabinet Sub-Committee was due to all three consultations (Assessment Panel, Spalding Town Forum and South Holland District Council’s website) coming forward with different recommendations.

 

DECISION:

 

a)      That a Cabinet Working Group be established to look at the conflicting suggestions for how the Section 106 money should be allocated and make recommendations to cabinet for them to consider before making a final recommendation to full Council; and

 

b)      That the membership of the Cabinet Working Group include the Leader and Deputy Leaders.

 

(Other options considered: 

·      To approve the three project proposals be approved to receive the remaining Springfields Section 106 funding and that the applicants be contacted and asked to provide further detail on the proposed changes to their applications;

·      Request that the Assessment Panel open the application process again in order to allow further applications to be received; or

·      Do nothing.

Reasons for decision: 

·      The Cabinet Working Group was established to look at the conflicting suggestions for how the Section 106 money should be allocated and make recommendations.  This was due to the conflicting recommendations received from the various consultations which had taken place by the Assessment Panel, the Spalding Town Forum and the South Holland District Council’s website.)

51.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To seek Cabinet’s agreement and recommendation to Council in respect of its 2014/15 Council Tax Support scheme.  (Joint report of the Deputy Leader / Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services, Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director Finance(S151) enclosed.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Deputy Leader / Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services, Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which sought the agreement of recommendations to full Council in respect of its 2014/15 Council Tax support scheme.

 

The Leader referred to paragraph 8.7.1 within the report (Risk Management), regarding the financial risks associated with the Council Tax support scheme and requested that an update be provided to full Council.

 

RECOMMENDATION TO FULL COUNCIL:

 

a)      That the 2014/15 Council Tax Support scheme be approved based on the 25% baseline reduction that was consulted on; and

 

b)      That approval for developing the final scheme policy be delegated to the Assistant Director Finance in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, should central government issue further grant funding.

 

DECISION:

 

c)      That an update be provided to full Council regarding the financial risks associated with the Council Tax support scheme.

 

(Other options considered: 

·      Not to recommend to Council for the final 2014/15 scheme that amounts be up-rated for working age CTS claimants in line with other social security benefits, and the Government’s intention for Council Tax Support for the elderly; or

·      Do nothing.

Reasons for decision: 

·      2014/15 schemes must be made by 31 January 2014 to meet legislative requirements.)

 

(The Transformation Manager, Revenues and Benefits, Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Limited left the meeting at 6.49 pm, following consideration of the above item.)

52.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Draft 2014-15 Estimates pdf icon PDF 27 KB

To consider the draft service estimates for 2014-15 and approval of proposed rent and charges increases.  (Joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services, Housing Manager and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) enclosed.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Deputy Leader / Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which sought consideration of the draft service estimates for 2014/15 and approval of the proposed rent and charges increases. 

 

RECOMMENDATION TO FULL COUNCIL:

 

a)      That the draft Housing Revenue Account Budget for 2014-15 be approved;

 

b)      That the proposed average rent increase of 7.06% be approved and the statutory period of notice be served on tenants;

 

c)      That the HRA Intensive Landlord service charges, transitional scheme, heating, water and room hire charges be approved; and

 

d)      That the draft Capital Programme – 2014-15 to 2018-19 be approved.

 

(Other options considered: 

·      To make amendments to the base Housing Revenue Account

·      budget, by considering alternative levels of rent increases, Wardens Service Charges

·      and Supported Housing charges increases, revised capital investment programmes or

·      variations to expenditure plans; or

·      Do nothing.

Reasons for decision: 

·      To comply with the budget and policy framework.)

53.

Write Offs pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To recommend writing off irrecoverable debts.  (Joint report of the Deputy Leader / Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) enclosed.)

 

(Please note that the appendices associated with this report are not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 1 (Information relating to any individual), 2 (Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual) and 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) in Part 1 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972, and are therefore attached to this agenda as Item 14.)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director Finance (S151) which sought approval to write off irrecoverable debts.

 

Prior to the meeting an exempt paper had been circulated containing details of a case study which had been requested by Cabinet on 5 November 2013.  Councillor R Gambba-Jones requested details of the actual process which had taken place in order to justify the timescales.

 

The Leader requested that an item be added to the next Cabinet agenda in order to discuss the Write-Offs process and the content of the case study in more detail.  Agenda items 13 and 14 were therefore no longer required and there was no need for the meeting to go into private session.

 

DECISION:

 

a)      That the following debts be written off: 

 

Council Tax                                                                               £8,749.30

Business Rates                                                                        £21,520.13

Accounts Receivable (formerly Sundry Debtors)                 £5,533.54

Former Tenant Arrears                                                            £1,79.90

Total                                                                                           £37,282.87

 

b)      That an item be added to the next Cabinet agenda in order to discuss the Write-Offs process and the content of the case study in more detail.

 

(Other options considered:

·      To approve the recommendation with amendments; or

·      Do nothing.

Reasons for decision:

·      All recovery methods available had been considered and where appropriate pursued before making the decision to write off.)