Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

Items
No. Item

53.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Crout and Steele.

54.

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 number 61 as all members had a pecuniary interest in that item.

55.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018 to be submitted and signed. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018 were submitted and signed.

56.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Councillors’ IT

 

The Chairman informed Council that as part of updating the council’s IT, all staff and members would be moved on to Office 2013.  Members were advised that their equipment could be left with the Democratic Services Manager and Committee and Scrutiny Officer and the update would be carried out.  Alternatively a different date could be arranged by contacting the Democratic Services Manager.

 

Chairman’s Charity Fund Raising Quiz

 

The Chairman announced that he would be holding his Charity Fund Raising Quiz and raffle on Tuesday 26 February at the Colosseum.  The cost was £12 per person, which included a fish and chip supper.  The proceeds would go to his two mental health charities Signpost and Guideposts.  He asked councillors to contact the Member Development and Civic Officer if they were interested in registering a team.

 

Chairman’s Reception and Awards Ceremony

 

The Chairman stated that all councillors should have received a message about his reception and awards ceremony which would be taking place on Friday 8 March 2019 at Watford Football Club.  The tickets were £45 and all proceeds would go to his two charities.  The evening would include his community awards.  He thanked all those councillors who had already made nominations.  The deadline for nominations was 11 February 2019.  He asked councillors to contact the Member Development and Civic Officer if they wished to purchase tickets.          

 

Kashmir visit

 

The Chairman advised that Councillor Hamid had arranged a visit by the former Prime Minister from Azad Kashmir.  Members should have received notification and were invited to come along.  He asked that members contacted Councillor Hamid if they wished to attend.  The visit was due to take place on Tuesday 5 February.

57.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 87 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, Mauthoor, Bashir, Bolton and Turmaine indicated that they wished to ask questions.

     

    a)      Councillor Bell referred to Watford’s historic charter market.  He noted the market’s initial problems and concerns raised by local residents and traders about the increased costs for traders.  He asked the Mayor what guarantee residents and traders would be given to show that the Mayor was a strong supporter of the charter market.  He also referred to the Mayor’s predecessor and the relocation of the market.

     

             The Mayor responded that his predecessor had listened to residents and ensured a market was retained.  He said that he had visited the market and met stallholders many times.  He felt the report in the Watford Observer was very unfortunate.  He advised that 68% of stallholders had actually had their fees cut or stayed the same.  He did not consider that all stallholders had had their fees ‘hiked’.  Previously some stallholders had not signed contracts; there had been different levels of fees not based on the size of their plot.  Now the market was being properly managed.  There had been big investments in the toilets, signage and lighting.  He would continue to meet with stallholders and would ensure the town had a market that was vibrant and had a good future.

     

    b)      Councillor Mauthoor mentioned the new development in Oxhey Park which would have facilities for skateboarding and BMX.  She asked whether the scheme would be replicated in North Watford.

     

             The Mayor commented that there had been many discussions about improvements in Garston Park and there were plans to provide some facilities there for skaters and cyclists.  The work in Oxhey Park had been a long process and there had been consultations with local residents.  There would also be a café as well as the new cycle, skateboard and play facilities.  The work would begin in the next few weeks.  In the north of the town there was the multi-million pound project at Woodside.  This would include investment in the cricket and boxing clubs.  The council was investing across the town.

     

    c)      Councillor Bashir said that the Mayor had made reference in his report to the Metropolitan Line Extension (MLX) scheme and it had come to a ‘dead end’.  There had been huge potential for the link.  It probably had not been helped by the scathing attacks of the Mayor’s administration on Mayor Sadiq Khan.  Given the acquisition of Croxley Business Park and how it could be vital for the council’s future income, he enquired whether a shorter proposal from Watford Junction to Croxley Station had been considered.  It would increase the potential for that part of Watford and ease congestion.

     

             The Mayor stated that one of his first meetings on becoming Mayor was with Transport for London. They had advised that the scheme was dead and timed out.  The project  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

59.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

60.

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.

    Minutes:

    There was no urgent business.

     

    Councillor Bell asked if the council had heard anything about the announcement regarding funding for local authorities in connection with Brexit.

     

    The Director of Finance advised that the council had been informed it would receive £35,000 to spend as it wished.

61.

Financial Planning pdf icon PDF 74 KB

    Report of Cabinet 21 January 2019

     

    Report of Director of Finance

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Director of Finance including

     

    ·             a report of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 January 2019 and its supporting documents

    ·             Council Tax Resolution 2019/20 report

    ·             Budget Gap, as amended by the decision by Council 23 January 2019

    ·             Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019 – 2022, as amended by the decision of Council 23 January 2019

     

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

     

    Councillor Bashir moved an amendment to the budget report, which was seconded by Councillor Khan.  The full amendment was circulated at the meeting.  (It has been attached to these minutes as Appendix 1.) 

     

    The key points were as follows –

     

    ·             “Cancel on demand transport scheme, making a total saving of £990,000 over the four years of the Medium Term Financial Strategy

    ·             Reduction in the Mayor’s office costs, £100,000 for the next four years

    ·             Reduction in redundancy costs which were still to be determined

    ·             An additional £38,000 each year for four years to Citizen’s Advice

    ·             An additional £31,000 each for four years towards homelessness

    ·             Womens Centre to receive £25,000 each year for four years

    ·             £75,000 each year for four years to fund three PCSOs, to be located in Leggatts, Meriden and Central wards

    ·             Bus Fund £56,000 each year for four years”

     

    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 put to the vote

     

    Those members voting in favour of the amendment

     

    Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Dhindsa, Khan, Mauthoor, Mills, Shah, Smith and Turmaine

     

    Those members voting against the amendment

     

    The Chairman, Councillor Martins, Mayor Taylor, Councillors Barton, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hamid, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, J Johnson, S Johnson, Kloss, Laird, Parker, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Stotesbury, Walford, Watkin and Williams

     

    The amendment was LOST by 25 votes to 10.  There were no abstentions.

     

    The original motion was then put to Council.

     

    Those Members voting in favour of the original motion:

     

    The Chairman, Councillor Martins, Mayor Taylor, Councillors Barton, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hamid, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, J Johnson, S Johnson, Kloss, Laird, Parker, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Stotesbury, Walford, Watkin and Williams

     

    Those Members voting against the original motion:

     

    None

     

    Those Members abstaining

     

    Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Dhindsa, Khan, Mauthoor, Mills, Shah, Smith and Turmaine

     

    The original motion was CARRIED by 25 votes to 0.  There were 10 abstentions. 

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the proposals recommended by Cabinet on 21 January 2019, as amended by the decision taken at Council on 23 January 2019, be agreed:

     

             a)      that in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the amount calculated by Watford Borough Council as its Council Tax Base for the year 2019/20 is 32,840.6 as outlined in the report.

     

             b)      that the continuation of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 be approved.

     

             c)      that the budget (Attachment 1) as laid out in the report, as amended by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Labour Group Budget Amendment Amendment Lost
    Budget Motion as set out in the report Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item

62.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

 

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