Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall Watford
Contact: Sandra Hancock Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
There were no apologies.
Disclosure of interests (if any)
There were no disclosures of interest.
Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2020 to be submitted and signed.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2020 were submitted and signed.
Conduct of meeting
The Mayor confirmed that the agenda would be dealt with in the order it was printed. He welcomed Councillor Bell, Labour Group Leader, and Councillor Turmaine, Chair of Finance Scrutiny Committee to the meeting.
Report of the Section Head – Financial Planning and Analysis
This report enables Cabinet to consider service level expenditure, funding and council tax levels for the medium term 2020/21 to 2022/23 including the use of reserves.
Cabinet received a report of the Section Head - Financial Planning and Analysis which enabled members to consider service level expenditure, funding and council tax levels for the medium term 2020/21 to 2022/23, including use of reserves.
Councillor Watkin, at the invitation of the Mayor, provided Cabinet with the headlines contained in the report. He advised that the budget was prudent, cautious but still allowed for innovative schemes, for example the new transport schemes. He explained about the expected budget gap and its prospective growth to £2 million. He referred to additional funding for the council announced by the Government in December and an increase in the New Homes Bonus. He stated that the net result would mean a 2% increase in council tax. The increase was below inflation.
The Chair invited Councillor Turmaine, the Chair of Finance Scrutiny Committee, to provide a summary of the scrutiny committee’s comments.
Councillor Turmaine highlighted the scrutiny committee’s discussions and had sought assurances from officers, which had been given. It was noted that an extract of the scrutiny committee’s minutes had been circulated prior to the meeting.
The Mayor informed Cabinet that following discussions about the proposed charges for non-resident children’s burials; it had been agreed that these charges should be removed from the proposed 2020/21 fees and charges schedule, attachment 2 to the report.
Cabinet noted Councillor Johnson and the Managing Director’s comments about the shortfall in property investment income. The long term strategy was to generate greater revenue in the future. A key objective was to increase industrial space for businesses at Watford Business Park. This would have a huge advantage for businesses and the council.
Following a question from Councillor Bell about the car park at Riverwell, the Mayor commented that the new car park would double current provision. Officers had worked hard on the scheme and it was envisaged the build would be completed by the end of 2021.
The Managing Director added that alternative options for the car park had been considered however the level of risk had not been fair to the council or Kier. The car park development was an important factor for the hospital’s future. Work was being carried out on the final agreement with Kier; funding needed to be secured and a contractor would be appointed later this year.
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the votes were recorded as follows –
Those in favour
Mayor Taylor, Councillors Collett, Johnson, Sharpe, Watkin and Williams
The resolutions as set out in the report and amended at the meeting were CARRIED by 6 votes to 0.
1. That Cabinet delegates to the Director of Finance and Portfolio Holder the ability to amend the budget figures in accordance with decisions taken at the Cabinet meeting, Council on 28 January 2020 and any minor variations that may occur before the Council meeting.
Cabinet recommends to Council that it:
2. resolves in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) ... view the full minutes text for item 56.
Report of the Group Head of Democracy and Governance
The report seeks approval for officer changes to Watford Commercial Services Ltd, Hart Homes Development LLP and Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP.
Cabinet received a report of the Group Head of Democracy and Governance which sought approval for officer changes to Watford Commercial Services Ltd, Hart Homes Development LLP and Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP.
1. that Alison Scott, currently Shared Head of Finance and proposed Acting Director of Finance, be appointed as a Director of Hart Homes (Watford) Limited and as a Member of the Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP Partnership Board with effect from 3 February 2020.
2. that Elaine Tuck, Group Head of Commercial, be appointed as a Director on Watford Commercial Services Ltd and Hart Homes (Watford) Limited with effect from the commencement of her employment on 24 February 2020.
3. that Donna Nolan be appointed as a Member of the Partnership Board of Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP on the resignation of Manny Lewis from the Board.