Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

Items
No. Item

45.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

46.

Disclosure of Interests

Minutes:

Council was informed that, under the Council’s Code of Conduct, all councillors had been given a dispensation by the Monitoring Officer to consider and vote on minute numbers 53 and 54 as all members had pecuniary interests in those items.

47.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2017 to be submitted and signed. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2017 were submitted and signed.

48.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Chairman’s Christmas Card

 

The Chairman stated that Chater School had provided some great designs for his Christmas card competition.  He attended an Assembly at the school and presented the prizes to the winners.

 

Chairman’s Charity Quiz

 

The Chairman announced that he would be holding his Charity Quiz and raffle on Wednesday 14 March at the Colosseum.  Teams of eight were invited.  The cost was £12 per person, including a fish and chip supper.  The proceeds would go to Watford Foodbank and Watford Mencap.  He asked councillors to contact the Member Development and Civic Officer to register their team.

 

Fairtrade in Watford

 

The Chairman reminded councillors that Watford was a Fairtrade Town and would be supporting Fairtrade Fortnight from 26 February to 11 March 2018.  There were a number of events taking place and the details could be found on the council’s website or by contacting Councillor Martins.

49.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    Minutes:

    A report of the Mayor had been circulated with the agenda.

     

    The Chairman invited Members to indicate whether they wished to ask a question of the Mayor.  Councillors Bell, Shah, Martins, Bashir and Turmaine indicated that they wished to ask questions.

     

    a)      Councillor Bell said that his question was about the Metropolitan Line Extension.  He asked the Mayor whether she agreed that this was important for the town and should be above party politics.  He also questioned whether she agreed that as the Mayor of London had never said he was against the scheme, and that the £73 million was still available, that Government ministers should cover the risk.  It was understandable that the Mayor of London would not want to go alone on the risk and the Government had the overall responsibility for the area beyond the Mayor’s Greater London boundary.

     

             The Mayor agreed that the Metropolitan Line Extension was an important issue for the town.  The Mayor of London would not be expected to take all the risk, however he expected the other partners to accept responsibility for any risks.  Transport for London (TfL) had already designed the scheme and would build it, but they expected the partners to bear all the risk whilst TfL bore none.  It was the equivalent of giving someone a blank cheque.

     

             The Mayor said that like most people she had been shocked and disappointed following the Mayor of London’s announcement that TfL was withdrawing from building the Metropolitan Line Extension.  It had been completely unexpected as the council and its partners, including the MP, Hertfordshire County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department for Transport and their officers had been working with TfL.  It was believed that if the ‘funding gap’ of £73 million could be raised, which was the estimated difference in the building costs that the partnership and TfL considered correct, then the scheme would go ahead.  The sum included a generous amount to cover any risks and overspends.  Previously she had said that she had been hopeful the funds would be found and then the ‘green light’ for the scheme would be given.  She had been pleased when Richard Harrington MP had advised that all efforts had worked and the Government had said that the money was available.  To then be told in the last couple of days that an additional £40 million was required to fully cover the risk that TfL thought might have occurred during the last 11 months; this was incredulous.  This was for five miles of track on a disused railway and all the preparatory works had been done.

     

             The Mayor felt the scheme was paying the price for two political decisions.  The first was that the Transport Minister had decided to withdraw £700 million of funding from TfL over a period of two to three years.  Secondly the Mayor had pledged not to increase fares.  She had been reliably told these had halted the project.  She understood that this was politics, but she did  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

51.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

52.

Business especially brought forward by the Chairman or the Head of Paid Service which in the opinion of the Chairman should be considered as a matter of urgency.

53.

Watford Borough Council's Scheme of Remuneration 2018-22 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

    Report of Democratic Services Manager

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Democratic Services Manager incorporating the Independent Members Remuneration Panel’s report and the recommendations for the 2018-2022 Scheme of Remuneration.

     

    Councillor Bell moved the following amendment, which was seconded by Councillor Asif Khan –

     

    “that the Mayoral salary be reduced by 50%.”

     

    On being put to Council the motion was LOST.

     

    Councillor Watkin moved the Independent Members Remuneration Panel’s recommendations contained in the report, which was seconded by Councillor Scudder.

     

    On being put to Council the recommendations were CARRIED.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that a scheme for members remuneration for 2018-22 as set out in 2 to 12 below be agreed subject to the council being able to request an interim review before the end of the four year period.  It was also noted that there may also be a need for a brief referral to the Panel after May if a new Mayor proposes changes to the political structure that is not provided within the approved scheme.

     

    2.      that the Elected Mayor’s salary shall remain unchanged for the period 2018/19. From April 2019 it shall be linked to local government pay settlements and be increased accordingly. 

     

    3.      that there shall be a contribution for pension payments added to the Elected Mayor’s salary equivalent to the employer’s pension contributions made in the local government pension scheme.  It shall be shown there is a pension contribution as part of the salary in the allowance scheme.

     

    4.      that in respect of the current Elected Mayor there shall be back pay of pension contributions from October 2015 to May 2018 (the period since the council stopped contributing to the Elected Mayor’s pension) at the prevailing employer pension’s contribution rate during this period.

     

    5.      that the travel allowance for the Elected Mayor shall remain unchanged.

     

    6.      that there shall be no increase in the basic allowance for 2018/19, from April 2019 it shall be linked to local government pay settlements and be increased accordingly. 

     

    7.      that there shall be no increase to the Special Responsibility Allowance for 2018/19 and that from April 2019 it shall be linked to local government pay settlements and increased accordingly.

     

    8.      that the Chairman’s allowance be increased to £4,000 and the Vice Chairman’s be increased to £2,000 and that mention of tax reimbursement be removed.

     

    9.      that the cap on the Group Leaders Allowance be removed.

     

    10.    that the travel and subsistence allowances remain unchanged.

     

    11.    that the co-optees allowance remains unchanged.

     

    12.    that the Dependent Carer’s Allowance scheme as appended to the report be approved.

     

    13.    that each Panel member be paid £800 and that the Chair be paid £1200 as a one off payment to cover the four year period 2018-22.

54.

Financial Planning pdf icon PDF 46 KB

    Report of Director of Finance

    Report of Cabinet 22 January 2018

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Director of Finance including

     

    ·             a report of the Cabinet meeting held on 22 January 2018

    ·             Council Tax Resolution 2018/19 report

    ·             Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017/18 to 2020/21

    ·             Income Charging Policy 2018/19

    ·             Treasury Management Strategy 2018/19

    ·             Section Head Pay – proposal for an extended pay band

    ·             Clarendon Road Improvements report

     

    The reports were circulated separately to councillors.

     

    The Mayor moved the budget report which was seconded by Councillor Watkin.

     

    Councillor Bell moved an amendment to the budget report, which was seconded by Councillor Asif Khan.  The amendment was as follows –

     

    “that a balanced budget be put forward, increasing Council Tax by 2%.  This includes –

     

    ·             50% cut to the Mayor’s office costs

    ·             Free bulky waste collection

    ·             Freeze burial fees for residents and an increase cost to non-residents

    ·             Set up an investment fund for North Watford St Albans Road

    ·             £50,000 seed funding for community energy scheme

    ·             £10,000 for a Private tenants’ association

    ·             Reinstatement of play workers, year 1 £150,000, year 2 £100,000 and year 3 £50,000”

     

    Members debated the original motion and the amendment.

     

    In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the votes were recorded as follows –

     

    The amendment was then put to the vote

     

    Those members voting in favour of the amendment

     

    The Chairman Councillor Dhindsa, Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Ahsan Khan, Asif Khan, Mauthoor, Mills, Shah, Smith and Turmaine

     

    Those members voting against the amendment

     

    Mayor Thornhill, Councillors Barks, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Crout, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, J Johnson, S Johnson, Kent, Laird, Martins, Parker, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Steele, Taylor, Walford, Watkin and Williams

     

    The amendment was LOST by 11 votes to 26.  There were no abstentions.

     

    The original motion was then put to Council.

     

    Those Members voting in favour of the original motion:

     

    Mayor Thornhill, Councillors Barks, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Crout, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, J Johnson, S Johnson, Kent, Laird, Martins, Parker, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Steele, Taylor, Walford, Watkin and Williams

     

    Those Members voting against the original motion:

     

    The Chairman Councillor Dhindsa, Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Ahsan Khan, Asif Khan, Mauthoor, Mills, Shah, Smith and Turmaine

     

    The original motion was CARRIED by 26 votes to 11.  There were no abstentions. 

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the proposals recommended by Cabinet on 22 January 2018 be agreed:

     

             a)      that the Council’s net General Fund expenditure for 2018/19 shall be £13.520 million.

     

             b)      that the continuation of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2018/19 be approved.

     

             c)      that the estimate of the surplus position on the Collection Fund be approved.

     

             d)      that the budget as laid out in the report be approved, including:

     

    ·             the base budget for 2018/19

    ·             the growth and savings

    ·             the Capital Investment Programme 2017-21

     

             e)      that the schedule of fees and charges be approved and that delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance in conjunction with the Managing Director and the Portfolio Holder (Resources) to implement any recommendations emanating from a full review of the Council’s discretionary fees  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Labour amendment to budget Amendment Lost
    Budget substantive motion Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item

55.

Corporate Peer Challenge: Final Report pdf icon PDF 47 KB

56.

Council Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 67 KB

57.

Compulsory Training pdf icon PDF 44 KB

    Report of Standards Committee 21 November 2017

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Standards Committee, which met on 21 November 2017, proposing changes to the frequency of compulsory training for councillors sitting or substituting on scrutiny committees for Development Management and Licensing Committees.  It also recommended compulsory training for councillors sitting or substituting on scrutiny committees, which should be renewed every two years. 

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that annual compulsory training for those councillors sitting or substituting on the Development Management and Licensing Committees be approved.

     

    2.      that compulsory training for those councillors sitting or substituting on scrutiny committees, which should be renewed every two years, be approved.

58.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

 

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