West Berkshire Council

Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Items
No. Item

69.

Chairman's Remarks

The Chairman to report on functions attended since the last meeting and other matters of interest to Members.

Minutes:

Councillor Quentin Webb stated that it was with great sadness and shock that the Council had learned about the accident involving the Leader of the Council and his wife Zelda. Members were asked to observe a minute’s silence and reflection time.

The Chairman reported that since the last ordinary meeting of Council he had attended 29 events, the Vice Chairman had attended five events and Councillor Jeff Beck had covered one event on behalf of the Chairman.

 

 

70.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 169 KB

The Chairman to sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 8 December 2016 and the Extraordinary meeting held on the 7 February 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meetings held on 08 December 2016 and the extraordinary meeting on the 07 February 2017 were approved as true and correct records and signed by the Chairman.

71.

Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any Personal, Disclosable Pecuniary or other interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

The Deputy Monitoring Officer announced that in respect of items 15 and 16 (Capital Strategy and Programme 2017/18 to 2021/22 and Revenue Budget 2017/18): All Members had completed an Application for a Grant of a Dispensation in relation to “any beneficial interest in land within the Authority’s area.” The Monitoring Officer had granted the dispensation to allow all Members to speak and vote on this item.

It was acknowledged that many of the Members were likely to be a user and or a member of their local library.

The Deputy Monitoring Officer noted that Councillors Billy Drummond, Lee Dillon, Mollie Lock, Lynne Doherty, Jeanette Clifford, Dominic Boeck, Hilary Cole, Rick Jones, Mike Johnston, Steve Ardagh-Walter, Richard Crumly, Rob Denton-Powell, Anthony Pick, Richard Somner, Adrian Edwards, Carol Jackson-Doerge, James Fredrickson, Howard Bairstow, Marigold Jaques and Dave Goff had declared a personal interest in item 16 (Revenue Budget 2017/18)  by virtue of the fact that they were dual hatted Members and  a number of proposals would affect them in that capacity. It was deemed that these interests would be personal. 

Councillor Marigold Jaques was a trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau. As she had a fiduciary duty to this trust she declared that, in respect of Agenda Item 16 (Revenue Budget 2017/18), as she had an Other Registrable Interest she would leave the Chamber during the discussion of this item and would not take part in the vote.

Councillor Carol Jackson-Doerge was a trustee of the Corn Exchange. As she had a fiduciary duty to this trust she declared that, in respect of Agenda Item 16 (Revenue Budget 2017/18), as she had an Other Registrable Interest she would leave the Chamber during the discussion of this item and would not take part in the vote.

A number of other personal interests were also declared in relation to Item 16 (Revenue Budget 2017/18) and these were displayed in the Council Chamber.

Councillor

Outside Body

Other

Bale, Pamela

Governor of Pangbourne Primary School

 

Friends of Pangbourne Library

Edwards, Adrian

 

Friends of Wash Common Library

Bairstow, Howard

 

Friends of Wash Common Library

Jones, Rick

 

West Berkshire Mencap – WBC representative

West Berkshire Disability Alliance

 

Lock, Mollie

Member of West Berkshire Duke of Edinburgh Committee

 

Governor of  Mortimer St Mary's Junior School

 

Member of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council and its Library Working Party

 

Lundie, Gordon

 

Member of the Friends of Lambourn Library Group

Bryant, Paul

Greenham Common Trust Trustee

 

Jackson-Doerge, Carol

Trustee of Berkshire Maestros,

Trustee of The Water Mill  

Governor of Burghfield St Marys School

 

Doherty, Lynne

Husband Co-Opted onto Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council

 

Crumly, Richard

 

Member of Thatcham Town Council Library Working Party

 

72.

Petitions

Councillors may present any petition which they have received. These will normally be referred to the appropriate body without discussion.

 

Minutes:

(Councillor Howard Bairstow arrived at 6.36pm)

There were no petitions submitted to this meeting.

 

73.

Public Questions

Members of the Executive to answer the following questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with the Council’s Constitution:

(a)         Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Highways and Transport submitted by Mr Nigel Whiston:

“Can the Council confirm that the urgently needed Bear Lane roundabout improvements will be implemented in 2017?”

(b)         Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Corporate Services and External Affairs submitted by Mr Ian Waters:

Can the Council confirm that West Berkshire District Council employs or has in the past employed temporary senior staff and if so what is the average remuneration per person per day (month) engaged in this capacity?

(c)         Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Highways and Transport submitted by Mr Ian Waters:

In relation to the proposed £5.7million cycle path scheme to be built linking Newbury with Ascot, can the Council confirm how this scheme will be funded and can we be reassured that none of the costs of construction or maintenance will be borne by West Berkshire residents?”

(d)         Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Culture and Environment submitted by Ms Susan Millington:

Can you please assure me that there are no plans to introduce charges at the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Newtown Road for disposal of bulky household waste?”

(e)         Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Culture and Environment submitted by Ms Susan Millington:

Will the Council rigorously pursue fly tippers through the courts?”

(f)          Question to be answered by the Executive Member for Highways and Transport submitted by Mr Matthew Lowe:

After the new link road from Hectors Way to Boundary Road is built, exactly what infrastructure changes are planned for Kings Road and the surrounding roads to ensure that this area of Newbury is no longer used as a rat-run?”

Minutes:

A full transcription of the public question and answer session was available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As. (right click on link and ‘Edit Hyperlink’. Insert URL to pdf on website in ‘address’ field)

a)            A question standing in the name of Mr Nigel Whitson on the subject of the implementation of the improvements to the Bear Lane roundabout would receive a written response from the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport as he was not in attendance at the meeting.

b)            A question standing in the name of Mr Ian Waters on the subject of costs associated with the employment of temporary senior staff was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services and External Affairs.

c)            A question standing in the name of Mr Ian Waters on the subject of funding for the cycle path linking Newbury and Ascot was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport.

d)            A question standing in the name of Ms Susan Millington on the subject of the potential to charge for bulky household waste disposal at the Waste Recycling Centre in Newtown Road was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Environment.

e)            A question standing in the name of Ms Susan Millington on the subject of pursuing fly tippers through the courts was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Environment.

f)             A question standing in the name of Mr Matthew Lowe on the subject of planned infrastructure changes for Kings Road was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport.

 

74.

Membership of Committees

The Monitoring Officer to advise of any changes to the membership of Committees since the previous Council meeting.

Minutes:

The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised of the following changes to the membership of Committees since the previous Council meeting:

·         Councillor Carol Jackson-Doerge had replaced Councillor Ian Morrin as a Member of the Personnel Committee.

Councillor Nick Goodes would replace Councillor Manohar Gopal as a Substitute on the Eastern Area Planning Committee.

75.

Licensing Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Licensing Committee has not met.

Minutes:

The Council noted that, since the last meeting, the Licensing Committee had not met.

 

76.

Personnel Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Personnel Committee met on 8 February 2017.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

77.

Governance and Ethics Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of Council, the Governance and Ethics Committee met on 13 February 2017.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

78.

District Planning Committee

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the District Planning Committee met on 15 December 2016.  Copies of the Minutes of this meeting can be obtained from Strategic Support or via the Council’s website.

79.

Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission

The Council is asked to note that since the last meeting of the Council, the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission has not met.

80.

Investment and Borrowing Strategy 2017/18 (C3118) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

In compliance with the Local Government Act 2003, this report summarises the Council’s borrowing limits as set out by CIPFA’s Prudential Code, and recommends the Annual Investment and Borrowing Strategy for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 13) which set out the Council’s borrowing limits as set out by CIPFA’s Prudential Code and recommended the Annual Investment Strategy for 2017/18.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Anthony Chadley and seconded by Councillor Laszlo Zverko:

That the Council:

1.    “Adopts the 2017/18 Investment and Borrowing Strategy.

2.    Formulates the Treasury Management Policy in compliance with the Local Government Act 2003 and CIPFA's Prudential Code and Code of Practice for Treasury Management”.

Councillor Chadley in introducing the report explained that the purpose of the Strategy was to confirm the Council’s methodology in complying with legislation on how and where funds were borrowed from while ensuring risks were minimised. This activity was scrutinised on a regular basis by the cross party Treasury Management Group (TMG). The Strategy in essence required the Council to borrow money at the most competitive rates, and invest surplus funds where it was most attractive to do so.

In addition, the report sought approval to increase the Council’s capacity to borrow funds by £50m to support the Council’s strategy to invest in commercial property to generate income. It was however noted that the report only sought agreement on a new upper limit and that any additional funding could only be drawn down and used as and when it was required, and would be subject to Executive approval.

Councillor Lee Dillon commented that while, in general, he supported the Strategy, he would like the TMG to look at the risks and opportunities of securing longer term investment. Investments spanning 24 or 36 month periods were not utilised on many occasions and were likely to generate better returns. Councillor Chadley agreed that this was something that the Group could look at over the ensuing twelve month period.

The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.

81.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017/18 to 2019/20 (C3119) pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To agree the medium term financial planning and strategy for the organisation.

Additional documents:

82.

Capital Strategy and Programme 2017/18 to 2021/22 (C3120) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To outline the five year Capital Strategy for 2017 to 2022, including the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement and the Asset Management Plans for Property and Highways, and to set out the funding framework for Council’s five year Capital Programme for 2017/18 to 2021/22.

Additional documents:

83.

Revenue Budget 2017/18 (C3121) pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider and agree the 2017-18 Revenue Budget, which proposes a Council Tax requirement of £88.4m requiring a Council Tax increase of 1.99% in 2017-18 with a 3% precept ring-fenced for Adult Social Care. The Council Tax increase and Adult Social Care precept will raise £4.2m, leaving a gap of £4.7m to be met from savings and income in 2017-18.

This report also proposes the Fees and Charges for 2017-18 as set out in Appendix H, the Parish Special Expenses as set out in Appendix I and recommends the level of General Reserves as set out in Appendix F and Appendix G.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(All Members had been granted a dispensation by the Monitoring Officer to speak and vote on this item).

(Councillors Billy Drummond, Lee Dillon, Mollie Lock, Lynne Doherty, Jeanette Clifford, Dominic Boeck, Hilary Cole, Rick Jones, Mike Johnston, Steve Ardagh-Walter, Richard Crumly, Rob Denton-Powell, Anthony Pick, Richard Somner, Adrian Edwards, Carol Jackson-Doerge, James Fredrickson, Howard Bairstow, Marigold Jaques and Dave Goff declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 16 by virtue of the fact that they were dual hatted Members and a number of proposals would affect them in that capacity. As their interest was personal and not an other registrable nor a disclosable pecuniary interest they determined to take part in the debate and vote on the matter).

(Councillor Marigold Jaques declared an other registrable interest in Agenda Item 16 by virtue of the fact that she was a trustee of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. As she had a fiduciary duty to this trust she determined to leave the Chamber during the discussion of this item and did not take part in the vote).

(Councillor Carol Jackson-Doerge declared an other registrable interest in Agenda Item 16 by virtue of the fact that she was a trustee of the Newbury Corn Exchange. As she had a fiduciary duty to this trust she determined to leave the Chamber during the discussion of this item and did not take part in the vote).

(Councillors Marigold Jaques and Carol Jackson-Doerge left the meeting at 7.25pm and returned at 8.27pm). 

The Chairman clarified the rules of debate for this item which had been agreed by both Group Leaders prior to the meeting. Both Leaders would be permitted to speak for up to ten minutes and their presentations should include the submission of any amendments. All Portfolio and Shadow Portfolio Holders would be permitted to speak for up to five minutes on the Motion and amendments with all other Members being allowed two and a half minutes to speak.

The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 16) concerning the 2017/2018 Revenue Budget, which proposed a Council Tax requirement of £88.4m which, in turn, would mean a Council Tax increase of 1.99% in 2017/18 with a 3% precept ring-fenced for Adult Social Care. The Council Tax increase and Adult Social Care precept would raise £4.2m, leaving a gap of £4.7m to be met from savings and income in 2017/18.

The report also proposed the Fees and Charges schedule for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix H, the Parish Special Expenses as set out in Appendix I and recommended the level of General Reserves as set out in Appendix F and Appendix G.

MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Graham Jones and seconded by Councillor Anthony Chadley:

That the Council:

1.    “Approves the 2017-18 Council Tax requirement of £88.4 million requiring a Council Tax increase of 1.99% with a 3% precept ring-fenced for Adult Social Care.

2.    Approves the Fees and Charges as set out in Appendix H and the appropriate statutory notices be placed where required.

3.    Approves the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Statutory Pay Policy 2017 (C3122) pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To seek Council’s approval of the Statutory Pay Policy Statement for publication from 1 April 2017.

Additional documents:

85.

Public Sector Audit Appointments (C3211) pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To provide Members with the opportunity to discuss the merits of West Berkshire Council opting into the national scheme for auditor appointments for the financial year 2018/19 onwards. The report was discussed at the Governance and Ethics Committee meeting on the 13 February 2017 and they supported the Officer’s proposal to opt into the national scheme for auditor appointments.

Additional documents:

86.

Health and Wellbeing Strategy Refresh (C3114) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To seek approval of the refreshed Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Additional documents:

87.

Members' Questions

There were no questions submitted relating to items not included on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no Member questions submitted.