Agenda and minutes

Budget, Council
Thursday, 22nd February, 2018 8.00 pm

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

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic & Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

Items
No. Item

71.

Minute Silence

Minutes:

The Mayor announced the recent death of Norman Gould who was the elected Member for Shinfield North from 2004 to 2011. Members stood in silent tribute.

72.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Alistair Auty, Parry Batth, Chris Bowring, David Chopping, Pauline Helliar-Symons, Charles Margetts and Barrie Patman.

73.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 288 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 23 November 2017 and the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on 19 January 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 23 November 2017 and the extraordinary meeting held on 19 January 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

74.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

75.

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.

 

75.1

Christopher Everett had asked the Executive Member for Environment the following question and, due to his absence at the meeting, the following written response was provided:

 

Question

There is always an increased amount of litter around Woosehill the day after the recycling bins have been emptied. Does the current service level agreement with the refuse contractor require their staff to pick up litter that escapes from the bins whilst they are being emptied?  If so, this needs to be enforced.

 

Minutes:

There is always an increased amount of litter around Woosehill the day after the recycling bins have been emptied. Does the current service level agreement with the refuse contractor require their staff to pick up litter that escapes from the bins whilst they are being emptied?  If so, this needs to be enforced.

 

Answer

The current service level agreement with Veolia includes them clearing any litter that they drop or cause to be dropped and all vehicles are equipped with a shovel and broom to enable them to do this at the time. If however, residents witness them not picking up litter that they have caused then they should report this to Customer Service and a complaint will be issued.

 

In relation to litter caused by strong winds, animals or vandalism, whilst Veolia will where possible try to address this they often can’t due to time constraints. In these cases we ask them to report it to us so that we can get the waste cleared as quickly as possible.

 

We are aware that spread litter causes an eyesore for the respective locality and if this is caused by Veolia we apologise. If litter is being scattered by animals or high winds ahead of collection there are ways that you can mitigate against this by; ensuring your blue bags are securely tied, place loose paper in the bottom of your box, place your blue bag on top of the box and if necessary place your blue bag in a normal dustbin from where we will collect the tied bag especially if you have to place your waste out overnight.

75.2

Jean Jacques Ellis had asked the Executive Member for Environment the following question and, due to his absence at the meeting, the following written response was provided:

 

Question

The access point from the Parklands estate in Woodley to the Highwood Nature Reserve is a bit of a mess. Please can you explain how it will be improved and when?

 

Minutes:

The access point from the Parklands estate in Woodley to the Highwood Nature Reserve is a bit of a mess. Please can you explain how it will be improved and when?

 

Answer

The planning permission granted for the Parklands estate in Woodley includes the provision of a new formal access point into Highwood Local Nature Reserve. The plans showed the entrance in the vicinity of the red circle on this map, however this access point is located in one of the areas still under construction and it appears that residents of the estate have in the interim constructed their own informal access to the site. The Council has not yet received detailed plans or timescales for the formal access point and is in contact with the developer to see what can be done to accelerate the delivery of the formal access point.

75.3

Jenny Cheng asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

The residents of Woodley deserve a better bus service - at present the 12 is not fit for purpose. Please can you explain what the Council is doing to ensure residents have a service that meets their needs?

 

Minutes:

The residents of Woodley deserve a better bus service - at present the 12 is not fit for purpose. Please can you explain what the Council is doing to ensure residents have a service that meets their needs?

 

Answer

The Council is following the European procurement process to secure a new bus service to commence in September 2018. This adds significant time to reach a conclusion as is open to the whole of the EU to submit an expression of interest in running this service.

 

This particular process has had unprecedented levels of consultation, both in terms of feedback and face to face meetings. For example, over 750 responses came in from the web-based consultations and the petition. The face to face meetings were held with two residents’ associations, namely the Maiden Erlegh Residents’ Association (MERA) and the northern Earley Residents’ Association (ACER). The outcome of those meetings was captured in their submission.

 

At the same time Earley Town Council and Woodley Town Council set up a joint working party which included representatives from the Residents’ Associations. Each individual Town Council’s Planning Committee discussed the issues and provided core comments to the joint working party which combined them into an agreed joint submission.

 

Officers were involved extensively in these discussions. The importance of the consultation is that the criteria for the new bus service takes into account the feedback from these consultations. Bus operators who would like to operate the bus service in future will have to demonstrate how they will provide a bus service that meets the key criteria approved at the January 2018 Executive meeting.

 

Supplementary Question

Please can you confirm whether the Council increased its subsidy to Reading Buses for the 12?

 

Supplementary Answer

Absolutely, yes we did.

75.4

David Hare asked the Executive Member for Environment the following question:

 

Question

When is Wokingham Council going to start kerbside recycling of glass, and so reach their 50% recycling target by 2020?

 

Minutes:

When is Wokingham Council going to start kerbside recycling of glass, and so reach their 50% recycling target by 2020?

 

Answer

In your recent newsletter you claim to have forced the Conservatives on Wokingham Borough Council to retain weekly waste collections. It has been the policy of the Conservative Group on this Council for many years to retain weekly waste collections. We issued a press release to that effect nearly a year ago. It appears you missed that.

 

In my leaflets in the 2007 election at which I was first elected to this Council I said we must retain weekly waste collections and encourage more recycling. David Chopping and Tim Holton made similar statements.

 

So that is another Liberal myth busted.

 

So what happens where Liberals are in control of a Council? Of those we checked, the vast majority have collections every two weeks rather than the weekly collections we have here in Conservative Wokingham.

 

So how often do they have collections in Cheltenham? Bi-weekly.

How often in Colchester? Bi-weekly.

How often in Eastleigh? Bi-weekly.

How often in Maidstone? Bi-weekly.

You get the picture.

 

The existing glass banks are well used so we capture most glass waste. By using bring banks we get the glass sorted into colours which improves the value for recycling. If it was collected kerbside then either it would be mixed or we would need collection vehicles with lots of compartments. Such vehicles would be expensive to buy and operate.

 

It offers our taxpayers better value to encourage greater use of the bring banks and to increase the number of bring banks. I would welcome your help in identifying more sites for bring banks and encouraging greater use of the bring banks.

 

Supplementary Question

Veolia are buying about 20 new vehicles to cope with the new collections. And, well done. We are getting food waste collected and more plastics are being recycled. Why didn’t you take this wonderful opportunity when new vehicles were being purchased to also include glass being collected from the kerbside, thereby being more able to hit the recycling targets?

 

Supplementary Answer

I thought that I had answered that. It would be very expensive to do that. It would require a separate compartment for glass. Either you put all the glass in one compartment, in which case you wouldn’t be able to recycle it and would probably use it for road ballast or you have lots of compartments on the vehicle. So we would need more vehicles or very large vehicles. We would also probably need to provide people with bins to put their bottles in before they were put out. All of that would cost a lot of money.

 

We have estimated that just collecting from the kerbside and throwing all the bottles in a vehicle would cost about £600k per annum. So, with the Capital costs and the running costs it doesn’t seem like best value for money. We do capture most glass in the bring banks. If we can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.4

76.

Petitions

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

Minutes:

Councillor Philip Mirfin presented a petition on behalf of residents from The Terrace, Wokingham.

 

The Mayor’s decision as to the action to be taken is set out against the petition.

 

 

Councillor Phillip Mirfin

 

Councillor Mirfin presented a petition with 38 signatures requesting the immediate restoration of resident parking on The Terrace to equivalent levels to the custom and practice over many years.

 

To be referred to the Executive Member for Highways and Transport.

 

 

77.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive any announcements by the Mayor

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members of the following items:

 

Mayor’s Ball – the event, held on 17 February, had been attended by 141 people and had been a major success, raising £9,500 for good causes.

 

Voluntary Sector Reception – the reception, held at the Finchampstead Baptist Centre on 21 February, had been a good opportunity to recognise the excellent work carried out across the Borough by voluntary sector organisations.

78.

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 2018/21 as set out on Agenda pages 57-72;

·           The Capital Programme and Strategy 2018/21 as set out on Agenda pages 73-102;

·           The Treasury Management Strategy 2018/21 as set out on Agenda pages 103-146;

·           The Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/21 – Revenue Budget Submission 2018/19 as set out on Agenda pages 147-152.

 

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

 

Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor, Leader of the Council, made a statement on the 2018/19 Budget (attached as Appendix A to the Minutes).

 

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

 

Following the two speeches, Members discussed the various aspects of the proposed Budget in detail.

Leader's Speech pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

78.1

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2018/21 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2018/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION  That Council is recommended to approve:

 

1)         The Housing Revenue Account budget;

 

2)        Council house dwelling rents be reduced by 1% effective from April 2018 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015;

 

3)        Garage rents be increased by 3.6% effective from April 2018 in line with Council

           fees and charges;

 

4)        Shared Equity Rents will be increased by 3.85% based on September RPI, effective from April 2018;

 

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

 

6)        The Housing Major Repairs (capital) programme for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix C;

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges to remain at £9.00 per night.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor and seconded by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner that the recommendations, set out on Agenda page 57, be approved, subject to the amendment of recommendation 7 as agreed by the Executive.

 

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 2018 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015;

 

3)        Garage rents be increased by 3.6%, effective from April 2018, in line with Council fees and charges;

 

4)        Shared Equity Rents will be increased by 3.85% based on September RPI, effective from April 2018;

 

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

 

6)        The Housing Major Repairs (capital) programme for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix C;

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges to increase from £9.00 to £9.50 per night, effective from April 2018.

78.2

Capital Programme and Strategy 2018/21 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme and Strategy 2018/21.

 

RECOMMENDATION Council is asked to:

 

1)         approve the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2018/21, Appendix A to the report;

 

2)         note the draft vision for capital investment over the next 10 years, Appendix B to the report; and

 

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor and seconded by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner that the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2018/21, as set out on Agenda pages 73 to 102, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)         the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2018/21, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

2)         the draft vision for capital investment over the next 10 years, as set out in Appendix B to the report, be noted;

 

3)         the developer contributions S106 and CIL, as set out in Appendix C to the report, be noted, also noting that the S106 and CIL values are estimated and that approval is sought up to the scheme budget.

78.3

Treasury Management Strategy 2018/21 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Treasury Management Strategy 2018/21.

 

RECOMMENDATIONThe Council is asked to approve:

 

1)         Capital Prudential indicators, 2018/19;

 

2)        Borrowing strategy 2018/19;

 

3)        Annual Investment Strategy 2018/19;

 

4)        Flexible use of capital receipts strategy;

 

5)        MRP policy; and

 

6)        Treasury Indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor and seconded by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner that the recommendations, as set out on Agenda page103, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That the following be approved: 

 

1)         Capital Prudential indicators, 2018/19;

 

2)         Borrowing Strategy 2018/19;

 

3)        Annual Investment Strategy 2018/19;

 

4)        Flexible use of capital receipts strategy;

 

5)        Minimum Revenue Provision Policy;

 

6)         Treasury Indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2018/19.

 

 

 

78.4

Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/21 - Revenue Budget Submission 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in relation to the Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/21 and Budget submission and Council Tax for 2018/19.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That Council is recommended to approve:

 

1)        the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2018/21, including the budget submission for 2018/19;

 

2)        the statutory resolution that sets out the 2018/19 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 Director of Corporate Services is delegated authority to enact all relevant changes to the MTFP, Statutory Resolution and council tax levels.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor and seconded by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner that the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/21, including the Revenue Budget Submission for 2018/19 and the Statutory Resolution setting out the 2018/19 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.

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Mark Ashwell

Prue Bray

John Kaiser

Keith Baker

Gary Cowan

Rob Stanton

Laura Blumenthal

Andy Croy

 

UllaKarin Clark

Lindsay Ferris

 

Richard Dolinski

Clive Jones

 

Michael Firmager

Ian Pittock

 

Kate Haines

Beth Rowland

 

Mike Haines

Imogen Shepherd-Dubey

 

Charlotte Haitham Taylor

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey

 

John Halsall

 

 

Emma Hobbs

 

 

Tim Holton

 

 

Philip Houldsworth

 

 

John Jarvis

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

David Lee

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Bob Pitts

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Malcolm Richards

 

 

Angus Ross

 

 

David Sleight

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Wayne Smith

 

 

Bill Soane

 

 

Alison Swaddle

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Oliver Whittle

 

 

ShahidYounis

 

 

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)     the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/21, including the Revenue Budget submission for 2018/19, be approved;

2)     the Statutory Resolution that sets out the 2018/19 Council Tax levels be approved and it be noted that, at its meeting on 19th January 2018, the Council calculated the following amounts for the year 2018/19 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)  68,669.10 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), as its council tax base for the year

 

(b) Part of the Council's area.

 

Arborfield and Newland1,272.4

Barkham                          1,594.4

Charvil                              1,409.7

Earley                               11,842.5

Finchampstead               5,769.5

Remenham                     320.0

Ruscombe                       496.8

St. Nicholas Hurst          1,058.1

Shinfield                           5,371.7

Sonning                           815.3

Swallowfield                    1,041.4

Twyford                            3,004.9

Wargrave                         2,110.3

Winnersh                         4,011.3

Wokingham                     15,052.5

Wokingham Without      3,179.5

Woodley                           10,318.8

 

                                           68,669.1

 

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.

 

2.

calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2018/19 (excluding Parish precepts) is £98,464,106. This includes £6,713,092 in respect of the Adult Social Care precept for 2018/19; this is based on a 2.5% increase on the 2017/18 council tax.

 

3.

the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2018/2019 in accordance with Sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, amended by the Localism Act 2011. However, the precepts shown below for the parishes of Earley, Shinfield, Winnersh, and Woodley are provisional and are subject to approval at the parishes annual precept meetings by the end of February 2018.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.4

79.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2017/18.

 

RECOMMENDATION That Council is asked to:

 

1)         approve the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2017/18;

 

2)         note the actual 2017/18 prudential indicators within the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2017/18 as set out on Agenda pages 153 to 178.The report gave details of treasury management operations during the first six months of 2017/18.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor that the recommendations set out on Agenda page 153 be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)         the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2017/18 be approved;

 

2)         the actual 2017/18 prudential indicators within the report be noted.

80.

Interim Review of Polling Places pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the results from a recent interim review of Polling Places.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council agrees that no changes are to be made to the designated Polling Places at this time.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report, set out on Agenda pages 179 to 182, which gave details of a review of polling places following the submission of a number of requests for change. The report recommended that no changes be made at this time.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Norman Jorgensen that the recommendation set out on Agenda page 179 be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED: That no changes be made to the Borough’s designated polling places at this time.

81.

Timetable of Meetings 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2018/19 Municipal Year.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That the Timetable of Meetings for the 2018/19 Municipal Year be agreed.

Minutes:

The Council considered the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2018/19 Municipal Year as set out on Agenda page 183.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor and seconded by Councillor David Lee that the 2018/19 Timetable of Meetings be approved.

 

Councillor Lindsay Ferris commented that consideration should be given to holding a Council meeting in January each year to enable further opportunities for debate.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Timetable of Meetings for 2018/19 Municipal Year, as set out in the Agenda, be approved.