Agenda and draft minutes

Budget, Council
Thursday, 21st February, 2019 8.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

Items
No. Item

87.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive any announcements by the Mayor.

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed Sarah Kerr to her first Council meeting as a Member for Evendons Ward.

 

The Mayor then presented awards to the following three recipients of the Mayor’s Roll of Honour:

 

John Prior, who was unable to attend the meeting, had been the Chair of Governors at the Addington School for the past ten years and was standing down at the end of the year after 23 year’s involvement. John had demonstrated tremendous commitment to the school which had received an unprecedented three outstanding Ofsted assessments.

 

Gordon Bird had been involved with the Shinfield Players Theatre for 20 years. During that period Gordon had taught acting skills to young people aged 8-18 in the theatre youth groups. This included many disabled and underprivileged children. Gordon had also led the groups to success in international competitions.

 

Corrisande Bicknell received the award on behalf of the ABC to Read Volunteer Group which supported children in 10 local primary schools through weekly reading sessions. These sessions encouraged the children to read which boosted their communication skills and helped them to gain self-confidence and self-esteem.

88.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Prue Bray, Graham Howe, Barrie Patman, David Sleight, Wayne Smith, Bill Soane, and Oliver Whittle.

89.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 November 2018 and the Extraordinary Council meetings held on 14 December 2018 and 24 January 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor addressed the meeting and stated that the Minutes of Council meetings were drafted by Democratic Services staff without interference from Members. In accordance with custom and practice the Minutes were not a verbatim record but provided a sense of the discussions and an accurate record of decisions taken.

 

The Mayor stated that it was a matter for the Council to agree, by vote, whether or not Minutes provided an accurate record. In line with the Constitution any substantive changes to the accuracy of the Minutes should be proposed via a Motion in writing submitted to the Mayor. Finally, Council meetings were recorded and anyone wanting to hear or see the full discussion and debate could do so.

 

The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 November 2018 and the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 14 December 2018 were confirmed as correct records and signed by the Mayor.

 

In relation to the Minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 24 January 2019, Gary Cowan stated that the Minutes did not provide an accurate record of the events at the meeting and felt that additional details should be included. This view was shared by other Members.

 

The Mayor stated that, as a written Motion with proposed changes to the Minutes had not been submitted, the Council would simply vote on whether the Minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 24 January 2019 were a correct record of the meeting.

 

Prior to a vote being held, six Members, in accordance with Rule of Procedure 4.2.15.5, requested that a recorded vote be taken on the proposal.

 

The voting was as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Alistair Auty

Rachel Burgess

Kate Haines

Keith Baker

Gary Cowan

Mike Haines

Parry Batth

Andy Croy

Tim Holton

Laura Blumenthal

Carl Doran

John Jarvis

Chris Bowring

Lindsay Ferris

John Kaiser

Jenny Cheng

David Hare

Sarah Kerr

UllaKarin Clark

Clive Jones

Ian Pittock

Richard Dolinski

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey

Malcolm Richards

Guy Grandison

 

Angus Ross

Charlotte Haitham Taylor

 

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey

John Halsall

 

 

Pauline Helliar-Symons

 

 

Emma Hobbs

 

 

Philip Houldsworth

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Daniel Sargeant

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Shahid Younis

 

 

 

The Minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 24 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

90.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Lindsay Ferris stated that he had recently been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Loddon Homes.

91.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions.

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of the Council

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Council or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Mayor invited members of the public to submit questions to the appropriate Members.

91.1

Spencer Deering had asked the Executive Member for Regeneration the following question. Due to his inability to attend a written answer was provided:

 

Question

Why was all of Denmark St down to the roundabout at the Dukes Head not re tarmacked when the regeneration work to the town centre was going on? The road surface is an absolute disgrace and I feel it would lift the look of the town centre nicely. Seems very odd that this opportunity was missed. But I guess as most of the roads in and around Wokingham are terrible it fits in nicely.

Minutes:

Why was all of Denmark Street down to the roundabout at the Dukes Head not re-tarmacked when the regeneration work to the town centre was going on? The road surface is an absolute disgrace and I feel it would lift the look of the town centre nicely. Seems very odd that this opportunity was missed. But I guess as most of the roads in and around Wokingham are terrible it fits in nicely.

 

Answer

In line with the Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) the Council does have aspirations to improve the Public Realm within the town on a number of routes.  Market Place has been the start and we were planning to progress the south section of Denmark Street next.  However, due to the current level of works being undertaken within the town and the disruption that this and Market Place has had, it has been decided through discussions and agreement with Members to pause these works until the regeneration areas of Peach Place and Elms Field have been completed.

 

91.2

Martin Branch asked the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement the following question:

 

Question

A recent new window next door which overlooks me was stipulated on the 22/11/17 as fixed and obscured to protect me. However, retrospective permission was given omitting the ‘fixed’ requirement. As a result, I am seriously over-looked upstairs and downstairs including bedroom and bathroom with clear glass and downstairs living room.

 

After complaining, the council said ‘one would have to be 6’2” to be able to view into my home’. To me, this merely exemplifies that one can see into my home.

 

I have learned that this salient omission of ‘fixed’ was more likely a mistake rather than a deliberate act. The council has refused to answer two related questions I put to them and has also refused to answer any further correspondence from me.

 

When will this mistake be rectified?

Minutes:

A recent new window next door which overlooks me was stipulated on 22 November 2017 as fixed and obscured to protect me. However, retrospective permission was given omitting the ‘fixed’ requirement. As a result, I am seriously overlooked upstairs and downstairs including bedroom and bathroom with clear glass and downstairs living room.

After complaining, the Council said ‘one would have to be 6’2” to be able to view into my home’. To me, this merely exemplifies that one can see into my home.

 

I have learned that this salient omission of ‘fixed’ was more likely a mistake rather than a deliberate act. The Council has refused to answer two related questions I put to them and has also refused to answer any further correspondence from me. When will this mistake be rectified?

 

Answer

I understand that you were given a verbal indication by the Council that a condition would be placed on the planning permission for your neighbour’s extension to ensure that the side window would be obscure glazed and non-opening but that the planning permission issued allowed an opening window. I am sorry that this is contrary to what you had expected to happen.

 

Council Officers have been to the property to check the position. Under normal circumstances, the Council would only restrict the opening of side windows if they are below 1.7m in height from floor level. Having measured your neighbour’s property, the roof light in your neighbour’s roof slope measures a minimum of 1.78m in height and is angled in such a way that it does not allow the same views as a normal vertical window. I understand that there is also a distance of approximately 18m between your property and your neighbours and these factors have led the Council to consider that the roof window does not have an unacceptable impact on your property. I understand that you have been advised of the Council’s view both verbally and at least twice in writing and, as the Local Government Ombudsman has declined to investigate your complaint, I am sorry but the Council is unable to take any further action.

 

91.3

Philip Meadowcroft asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

I believe that you and your Executive colleagues, and indeed the Full Council, need to focus on and consider the implications of what was actually said by three eminent Court of Appeal judges in respect of WBC’s appeal against a ruling from Reading Crown Court halting this Council’s Breach of Enforcement prosecution against eleven defendants associated with Hare Hatch Sheeplands.

 

At the last Executive Meeting on January 31 Councillor Weeks chose to emphasise the over-arching importance of WBC bringing enforcement action against those who break planning regulations.  Quite so, and this is not a matter on which any right-minded person would doubt; it’s motherhood and apple pie.  But we are now in a position where it is crucial WBC don’t merely learn lessons (whether or not from an internal enquiry if such could be credibly undertaken).

 

As background to my question it is crucial to highlight two key points so clearly made in Lady Justice Hackett’s summing up which I personally heard since I attended the entire proceedings:

 

1. The Court of Appeal was not engaged to conduct a re-run of the prosecution brought by WBC to Reading Crown Court last June.  WBC had merely sought to appeal the collapse of the trial at Reading.  Councillor Weeks’ statement on January 31 that the Court of Appeal had been “inconsistent” with other WBC prosecutions is thus wholly irrelevant to the HHS issue.

 

2. The “unjust and unfair” verdict against WBC at Reading Crown Court was upheld without any difficulty by the Court of Appeal despite five grounds of appeal presented by WBC's QC because:

 

a) damning email evidence of the exchanges between Members and Officers over a lengthy period prior to breach of enforcement proceedings being instigated had been presented at Reading Crown Court, and

 

b) WBC had failed to follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors as shown by email evidence that WBC was planning to benefit from any Proceeds of Crime related to the case.  Under the Code, when an LPA acts as a prosecutor it cannot at the same time be a beneficiary. The Court of Appeal found this failure to follow the Code particularly repugnant given that the defendants, if convicted, could have received jail sentences.

 

We have to thank the Court of Appeal for assembling and documenting in the 60-minute summing up just what went on in WBC's pursuit of the breach of enforcement action. I think it is relevant to let you know that the Court of Appeal judges took particular exception, expressed when the hearing commenced, to the unprofessional presentation of WBC's evidence bundle mentioning that emails were filed "all over the place" and indexing and tabbing “was in a mess”.

 

WBC is now permanently tainted by this affair and the Court of Appeal 's decision about WBC is very likely to be quoted in similar future cases in the Crown Court in the UK, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.  That is why you, Councillor McGhee-Sumner, as Leader, need to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 91.3

Minutes:

I believe that you and your Executive colleagues, and indeed the Full Council, need to focus on and consider the implications of what was actually said by three eminent Court of Appeal judges in respect of WBC’s appeal against a ruling from Reading Crown Court halting this Council’s Breach of Enforcement prosecution against eleven defendants associated with Hare Hatch Sheeplands.

 

At the last Executive Meeting on January 31 Councillor Weeks chose to emphasise the over-arching importance of WBC bringing enforcement action against those who break planning regulations.  Quite so, and this is not a matter on which any right-minded person would doubt; it’s motherhood and apple pie.  But we are now in a position where it is crucial WBC don’t merely learn lessons (whether or not from an internal enquiry if such could be credibly undertaken).

 

As background to my question it is crucial to highlight two key points so clearly made in Lady Justice Hackett’s summing up which I personally heard since I attended the entire proceedings:

 

1. The Court of Appeal was not engaged to conduct a re-run of the prosecution brought by WBC to Reading Crown Court last June.  WBC had merely sought to appeal the collapse of the trial at Reading.  Councillor Weeks’ statement on January 31 that the Court of Appeal had been “inconsistent” with other WBC prosecutions is thus wholly irrelevant to the HHS issue.

 

2. The “unjust and unfair” verdict against WBC at Reading Crown Court was upheld without any difficulty by the Court of Appeal despite five grounds of appeal presented by WBC's QC because:

 

a) damning email evidence of the exchanges between Members and Officers over a lengthy period prior to breach of enforcement proceedings being instigated had been presented at Reading Crown Court, and

 

b) WBC had failed to follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors as shown by email evidence that WBC was planning to benefit from any Proceeds of Crime related to the case.  Under the Code, when an LPA acts as a prosecutor it cannot at the same time be a beneficiary. The Court of Appeal found this failure to follow the Code particularly repugnant given that the defendants, if convicted, could have received jail sentences.

 

We have to thank the Court of Appeal for assembling and documenting in the 60-minute summing up just what went on in WBC's pursuit of the breach of enforcement action. I think it is relevant to let you know that the Court of Appeal judges took particular exception, expressed when the hearing commenced, to the unprofessional presentation of WBC's evidence bundle mentioning that emails were filed "all over the place" and indexing and tabbing “was in a mess”.

 

WBC is now permanently tainted by this affair and the Court of Appeal’s decision about WBC is very likely to be quoted in similar future cases in the Crown Court in the UK, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.  That is why you, Councillor McGhee-Sumner, as Leader, need to decide whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.3

91.4

Alison Swaddle asked the Executive Member for Business, Economic Development and Strategic Planning the following question:

 

Question

I am a member of the Earley and Woodley Town Councils Joint Working Party and we have been working together to protect the area known as Bulmershe Fields which is a Site of Urban Landscape Value (or SULV) from development. In the sites put forward for the Local Plan Update this area has had the category of “Leisure Services” added to the existing “Public Open Spaces” classification. This would mean that, if agreed, development could be carried out on this public space as long as the use is for leisure. Both Town Councils are adamant that this change should not be accepted especially as there is already a “campus” for leisure facilities close by with schools, football pitches and a new Bulmershe leisure centre being built. Will the Executive Member agree with me that this change is inappropriate and will be removed during the review of sites process?

Minutes:

I am a member of the Earley and Woodley Town Councils Joint Working Party and we have been working together to protect the area known as Bulmershe Fields which is a Site of Urban Landscape Value (or SULV) from development. In the sites put forward for the Local Plan Update this area has had the category of “Leisure Services” added to the existing “Public Open Spaces” classification. This would mean that, if agreed, development could be carried out on this public space as long as the use is for leisure. Both Town Councils are adamant that this change should not be accepted especially as there is already a “campus” for leisure facilities close by with schools, football pitches and a new Bulmershe leisure centre being built. Will the Executive Member agree with me that this change is inappropriate and will be removed during the review of sites process?

 

Answer

Bulmershe Field is an important local amenity which is recognised in our planning policies through it being designated as a Site of Special Landscape Importance. 

 

Residents are able to use the open space and there is no intention to change this, or provide any additional facilities. In light of this, I can confirm that the site has been withdrawn from the local plan process.

91.5

Maria Gee asked the Executive Member for Finance and Corporate Resources the following question:

Minutes:

I note that the agenda and documents, page 94, states "The Council’s plans to make capital investment of £484 million over the next 10 years. Appendix C shows every scheme by asset type.” Appendix C, page 12, shows spend of almost £900m (£’000 889,365) from 2019/20 to 2028/29. Why are these amounts different?

 

Answer

Thank you for taking the time to read such a long document, and for your scrutiny of its content. You are indeed correct, the sentence on page 94, below the table, should state £486m over 3 years and not 10 years. This text would then be consistent with the figures presented in the table above that sets out our planned capital investment over the 3 year period 2019 to 2022.  

 

Supplementary Question

Thank you for explaining that this was an error. I am a bit worried about errors in the numbers. In the same Appendix C it shows that expenditure planned for the next four years on the Town Centre Regeneration is over £60m. Yet elsewhere it has been reported that WBC’s regeneration project costs £12m. I am wondering whether that £12m is also an error?

 

Supplementary Answer

I think that the fundamental issue with the Town Centre redevelopment is that there is expenditure prior to the sale of the residential assets and, therefore, the net figures are less than the gross figures. I will look at the detail of what you ask and provide a written answer. 

92.

Petitions

To receive any petitions which Members or members of the public wish to present.

Minutes:

There were no Petitions presented.

93.

Medium Term Financial Plan and Associated Reports

The following Budget reports will be taken as one Agenda item and a period of 1½ hours will be allowed to debate the item.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered four reports which together comprised a single Agenda item:

 

·         the Housing Revenue Account Budget 2019/22, as set out on Agenda pages 77 to 92;

·         the Capital Programme and Strategy 2019, as set out on Agenda pages 93 to 130;

·         the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/22, as set out on Agenda pages 131 to 174;

·         the Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/22 – Revenue Budget Submission 2019/22, as set out on Agenda pages 175 to 180.

 

The Mayor reminded Members that a total of 90 minutes would be set aside for the debate.

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner, Leader of the Council, made a statement on the 2019/20 Budget (attached as an Appendix to the Minutes).

 

Lindsay Ferris, Leader of the Opposition, then made a Budget statement on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group (attached as an Appendix to the Minutes).

 

At the conclusion of his Budget Statement, it was moved by Lindsay Ferris and seconded by Clive Jones that the Medium Term Financial Plan be amended by inserting the Opposition Budget Proposals set out in the Appendix to the Minutes.

 

Prior to a vote being held, six Members, in accordance with Rule of Procedure 4.2.15.5, requested that a recorded vote be taken on the proposed amendment.

 

The voting was as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Gary Cowan

Alistair Auty

Rachel Burgess

Lindsay Ferris

Keith Baker

Andy Croy

David Hare

Parry Batth

Carl Doran

Clive Jones

Laura Blumenthal

John Kaiser

Sarah Kerr

Chris Bowring

 

Ian Pittock

Jenny Cheng

 

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey

UllaKarin Clark

 

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey

Richard Dolinski

 

 

Guy Grandison

 

 

Kate Haines

 

 

Mike Haines

 

 

Charlotte Haitham Taylor

 

 

John Halsall

 

 

Pauline Helliar-Symons

 

 

Emma Hobbs

 

 

Tim Holton

 

 

Philip Houldsworth

 

 

John Jarvis

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Malcolm Richards

 

 

Angus Ross

 

 

Daniel Sargeant

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Shahid Younis

 

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was declared by the Mayor to have been lost.

 

Following the two Budget statements and debate on the proposed amendment, Members discussed the various aspects of the proposed Budget in detail.

 

At 9.50pm, as the debate was still ongoing, it was moved, in accordance with Rule 4.2.13.11 (g), that the time limit for speeches on the Medium Term Financial Plan item be extended by 30 minutes. This proposal was moved by Keith Baker and seconded by Julian McGhee-Sumner.

 

On being put to the vote, the Motion was declared by the Mayor to be carried.

Leaders Speech Budget 2019_ pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

93.1

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2019/22 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

 

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2019/22.

 

RECOMMENDATION That the Council approve:

 

1)         the Housing Revenue Account budget;

 

2)         Council house dwelling rents be reduced by 1% effective from April 2019 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2015;

 

3)         garage rents be increased by 3.70% effective from April 2019 in line with Council fees and charge;

 

4)         Shared Equity Rents will be increased by 3.27% based on September RPI, effective from April 2019;

 

5)        Tenant Service Charges are set in line with estimated costs.

 

6)         the Housing Major Repairs (capital) programme for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix C.

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges increase from £9.00 per night to £9.50 per night.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Anthony Pollock that the recommendations, set out on Agenda page 77, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That the following be approved:

 

1)         the Housing Revenue Account budget;

 

2)         Council house dwelling rents be reduced by 1% effective from April 2019 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2015;

 

3)         garage rents be increased by 3.70% effective from April 2019 in line with Council fees and charges;

 

4)         Shared Equity Rents be increased by 3.27% based on September RPI, effective from April 2019;

 

5)         Tenant Service Charges are set in line with estimated costs.

 

6)         the Housing Major Repairs (Capital) programme for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix C to the report;

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges be increased from £9.00 per night to £9.50 per night.

93.2

Capital Programme and Strategy 2019/22 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

 

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme and Strategy 2019/22.

 

RECOMMENDATION That the Council is asked to:

 

1)        approve the Capital strategy for 2019/22 - Appendix A;

 

2)        approve the 3 year capital programme 2019/22 – Appendix B;

 

3)        note the draft vision for capital investment over the next 10 years - Appendix C;

 

4)         approve the developer contributions S106 and CIL as set out in Appendix D. The S106 and CIL values are estimated and approval is sought up to the scheme budget;

 

5)        note the commercial activities of the Council – Appendix E.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Anthony Pollock that the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2019/22, as set out on Agenda pages 93 to 130, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)   the Capital Strategy for 2019/22, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

2)   the three year Capital Programme for 2019/22, as set out in Appendix B to the report, be approved;

 

3)   the draft Vision for Capital Investment over the next 10 years, as set out in Appendix C to the report, be noted;

 

4)   the developer contributions, S106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), as set out in Appendix D to the report, be approved (noting that the S106 and CIL values are estimated and approval was sought up to the scheme budget);

 

5)   the commercial activities of the Council, as set out in Appendix E to the report, be noted.

93.3

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

 

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION That the Council approve the following:

 

1)         Capital Prudential indicators, 2019/20;

 

2)        Borrowing Strategy 2019/20;

 

3)        Annual Investment Strategy 2019/20;

 

4)        Flexible use of capital receipts strategy; 

 

5)        MRP policy; and

 

6)        Treasury indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Anthony Pollock that the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/22, as set out on Agenda pages 131 to 174, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That the following be approved:

 

1)   Capital Prudential Indicators, 2019/20;

 

2)   Borrowing Strategy 2019/20;

 

3)   Annual Investment Strategy 2019/20;

 

4)   Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy;

 

5)   Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy;

 

6)   Treasury Indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2019/20.

93.4

Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/22 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

 

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in relation to the Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/22 and the Budget submission and Council Tax for 2019/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION That Council is recommended to approve:

 

1)         the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2019/22, including the budget submission for 2019/20.

 

2)         the statutory resolution that sets out the 2019/20 council tax levels (as set out in Appendix A to the report).

 

3)        that in the event that there are any changes to the provisional precept of the Fire Authority or parishes, arising from their precept setting meetings being held before the end of February, the Deputy Chief Executive (S151 Officer) is delegated authority to enact all relevant changes to the MTFP, Statutory Resolution and council tax levels.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Following the Budget debate, it was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Anthony Pollock that the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2019/22, including the Revenue Budget Submission for 2019/20 and the Statutory Resolution setting out the 2019/20 Council Tax levels, be approved.

 

In line with the requirements of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote was taken.

 

The voting was as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Alistair Auty

Rachel Burgess

John Kaiser

Keith Baker

Gary Cowan

 

Parry Batth

Andy Croy

 

Laura Blumenthal

Carl Doran

 

Chris Bowring

Lindsay Ferris

 

Jenny Cheng

David Hare

 

UllaKarin Clark

Clive Jones

 

Richard Dolinski

Sarah Kerr

 

Guy Grandison

Ian Pittock

 

Kate Haines

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey

 

Mike Haines

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey

 

Charlotte Haitham Taylor

 

 

John Halsall

 

 

Pauline Helliar-Symons

 

 

Tim Holton

 

 

Philip Houldsworth

 

 

John Jarvis

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Malcolm Richards

 

 

Angus Ross

 

 

Daniel Sargeant

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Shahid Younis

 

 

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)   the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2019/22, including the Budget submission for 2019/20 and the changes put forward at the meeting, be approved;

 

2)   the Statutory Resolution that sets out the 2019/20 Council Tax levels, as set out in the revised Appendix A (as tabled at the meeting) be approved;

 

3)   in the event that there are any changes to the provisional precept for the Fire Authority or Parishes, arising from the precept setting meetings being held before the end of February 2019, the Deputy Chief Executive (S151 Officer) be delegated authority to enact all relevant changes to the MTFP, Statutory Resolution and Council Tax levels;

 

4)   it be noted that, at its meeting on 14th December 2018, Council calculated the following amounts for the year 2019/20 in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and the Local government Finance Act 2012;

 

a)   70,176.60 being the amount calculated by the Council (Item T) in accordance with Regulation 31B of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Government Finance Act 2012;

 

b)   Part of the Council’s area:

 

Arborfield and Newland

1,292.3

Barkham

1,687.1

Charvil

1,411.9

Earley

11,894.1

Finchampstead

5,933.3

Remenham

326.3

Ruscombe

498.8

St. Nicholas Hurst

1,064.4

Shinfield

5,656.8

Sonning

817.6

Swallowfield

1,069.9

Twyford

3,011.8

Wargrave

2,119.6

Winnersh

4,117.7

Wokingham

15,513.8

Wokingham Without

3,232.4

Woodley

10,528.8

70,176.6

 

being the amounts calculated by the Council, in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Regulations, as the amounts of its Council Tax base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates;

 

5)   the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2019/20 (excluding Parish precepts) is £104,137,162. This includes £7,363,631 in respect of the Adult Social care precept for 2019/20; this is based on a 0.5% increase on the 2018/19 Council Tax;

 

6)   the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.4

94.

Continuation of the Meeting

Minutes:

At this point in the meeting, 10.20pm, in accordance with Procedure Rule 4.2.12 (m) the Council considered a Motion to continue the meeting beyond 10.30pm for a maximum of 30 minutes to enable further business on the Agenda to be transacted. This was proposed by the Mayor and seconded by Julian McGhee-Sumner.

 

Upon being put to the vote, the Motion was declared by the Mayor to be carried.

95.

Treasury Management - Mid Year Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2018/19.

 

RECOMMENDATION That Council is asked to:

 

1)        approve the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2018/19;

 

2)        note the actual 2018/19 prudential indicators within the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2018/19, as set out on Agenda pages 181 to 206. The report gave details of Treasury Management operations during the first six months of the 2018/19 Municipal Year.

 

The report stated that, as at September 2018, the Council was forecast to exceed its investment return budget and there had been no external loans taken out in the first six months of 2018/19. It also confirmed that there had been no breaches of the Treasury Management Strategy in the first six months of the year.

 

It was proposed by Anthony Pollock and seconded by Chris Smith that the recommendations set out on Agenda page 181, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)         the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2018/19 be approved;

 

2)        the actual 2018/19 Prudential Indicators, as set out in the report, be noted.

96.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019 / 2020 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To reconsider the decision made by Council on 24 January 2019 and adopt a revised Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Council agree the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 as set out in the report.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 207 to 212, which gave further consideration to the adoption of a Localised Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The matter was considered initially at the Extraordinary Council meeting on 24 January 2019. Following that meeting, the Leader of the Council requested that the scheme approved by the Council be brought back for further consideration. In line with the Council’s Constitution, 14 Members had signed a Motion to rescind the original decision.

 

The amended scheme, set out in the report, addressed concerns expressed by Members at the previous meeting, for example the way in which child maintenance income was considered.

 

It was proposed by Lindsay Ferris and seconded by David Hare that the report be amended by adding a second recommendation in relation to the establishment of a Safety Net Fund, as follows:

 

“That Council agree:

1)         the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20;

 

2)        to set up a Safety Net Fund in the sum of £100k to support vulnerable residents who may not be able to afford even the reduced Council Tax they are expected to pay.”

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner stated that he accepted the proposed amendment.

 

Anthony Pollock stated that, due to the improvements to the scheme set out in the report, it was likely that a Safety Net Fund would only be called upon in extremis.

 

Chris Smith apologised for any distress caused to vulnerable residents over the past month and confirmed that the development of future Council Tax Reduction Schemes would be the subject of detailed cross party scrutiny.

 

Andy Croy stated that there were still issues of concern in the amended scheme, such as the disregard of Carers’ allowances, which should be addressed in the development of the scheme for 2020/21.

 

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Pauline Jorgensen that the recommendation set out in the report, as amended, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)         the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 be approved;

 

2)        a Safety Net Fund in the sum of £100k be set up to support vulnerable residents who may not be able to afford even the reduced Council Tax they are expected to pay.

97.

Timetable of Meetings pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To consider the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That the Timetable of Meetings for the 2019/20 Municipal Year be agreed.

Minutes:

The Council considered the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2019/20 Municipal Year, as set out on Agenda page 271.

 

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by John Halsall that the 2019/20 Timetable of Meetings be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Timetable of Meetings for the 2019/20 Municipal Year, as set out on page 271 of the Agenda, be approved.

98.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To consider proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

RECOMMENDATION That Council agree the following changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group:

 

1)         that Section 4.2.9.7 Asking the Question at the Meeting and Section 5.4.31 Asking the Question at the meeting [Executive] be amended as set out in paragraph 1 of the report;

 

2)         that Section 4.2.11 Motions on Notice be amended as set out in paragraph 2 of the report;

 

3          that Section 3.5.4.2 Debating a Petition at a Council Meeting be amended as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

4)         that Sections 6.3.29 Call In-6.3.36 Dispute be amended as set out in Appendix 2 to the report;

 

5)         that Section 8.4 Licensing And Appeals Committee Procedure Rules be amended as set out in Appendix 3 to the report;

 

6)         that Section 11 Officers be amended as set out in Appendix 4 to the report;

 

7)         that Sections 1.6.4 Authentication of Documents and 13.3.3.2 Table – Acceptance of Tenders and Signing of Contracts be amended as set out in paragraph 7 and Appendix 5 to the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report, set out on Agenda pages 213 to 270, relating to changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

Gary Cowan expressed concern about the proposed changes to Section 3.5.4.2 “Debating a Petition at a Council meeting” in relation to the 10 day deadline for the submission of a Motion linked to a petition.

 

Keith Baker stated that the proposed changes to Section 3.5.4.2 would increase transparency and openness. Councillor Baker felt that petitioners would be able to work with a nominated Member to amend the submitted Motion to reflect the Council debate.

 

Lindsay Ferris commented that the 10 day deadline could be given further consideration by the Constitution Review Working Group but the proposed changes relating to petitions should be implemented. If the changes did not make the process more effective, further amendments could be considered as necessary at a later date.

 

Andy Croy expressed concern that petitioners were generally not aware of the Council’s rules and procedures and it was important to ensure that they were given control over the Motion to be considered by Council.

 

Carl Doran expressed concern that the proposals relating to Section 6.3.29 “Call-In” could introduce a lengthy delay in the process for holding the Executive to account.

 

Chris Bowring stated that the Council’s Constitution was evolving over time. If any of the proposed changes did not achieve their stated aims, the issue/s could be given further consideration by the Constitution Review Working Group before discussion and agreement at full Council.

 

It was proposed by Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Chris Bowring that the recommendations set out in the report be approved.

 

Prior to a vote being held, six Members, in accordance with Rule of Procedure 4.2.15.5, requested that a recorded vote be taken on the proposal.

 

The voting was as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Keith Baker

Gary Cowan

Rachel Burgess

Parry Batth

 

Andy Croy

Laura Blumenthal

 

Carl Doran

Chris Bowring

 

John Kaiser

Jenny Cheng

 

 

UllaKarin Clark

 

 

Richard Dolinski

 

 

Lindsay Ferris

 

 

Guy Grandison

 

 

Charlotte Haitham Taylor

 

 

John Halsall

 

 

David Hare

 

 

Pauline Helliar-Symons

 

 

Tim Holton

 

 

Philip Houldsworth

 

 

John Jarvis

 

 

Clive Jones

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

Sarah Kerr

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Malcolm Richards

 

 

Angus Ross

 

 

Daniel Sargeant

 

 

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey

 

 

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Shahid Younis

 

 

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the following changes to the Constitution, as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group, be approved:

 

1)     that Section 4.2.9.7 “Asking the question at the meeting (Council) and Section 5.4.31 “Asking the question at the meeting (Executive) be amended as set out in Paragraph 1 of the report;

 

2)     that Section 4.2.11 “Motions on Notice” be amended as set out in Paragraph 2 of the report;

 

3)     that Section 3.5.4.2 “Debating a Petition at a Council meeting” be amended as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

4)     that Sections 6.3.29 “Call-In” and 6.3.36 “Dispute” be amended as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.