Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Crout and Saffery.


Disclosure of Interests


There were no disclosures of interest.



The minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2016 to be submitted and signed. 


Copies of the minutes of this meeting are usually available seven working days following the meeting.


(All minutes are available on the Council’s website.)



The minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2016 were submitted and signed.


Official Announcements


Jo Cox MP


The Chairman stated that everyone had been shocked and saddened at the death of Jo Cox MP.  He asked all those present to stand and observe a minute’s silence as a tribute to her memory.


Audentior Awards


The Chairman informed Council that the nomination period for the Audentior Awards had opened.  He reminded members that it would close on 7 July.  All members had been given a link to the nomination form; it was also available through the council’s website.


Queen’s 90th birthday


The Chairman advised that on 12 June he had attended an event at Victoria House Day Centre to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.


Armed Forces Day


The Chairman reported that he had raised a flag outside the Town Hall on Monday 20 June to promote Armed Forces Day.


Big Events


The Chairman informed Council that the Big Screen on the Beach would start on 30 July and would continue until 29 August.  Films and the Olympics would be shown on the giant screen at the Parade Beach.


Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB


    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 Asif Khan, Bolton, Mills, Bell, Barks, Joynes, Bashir, Turmaine, Hofman, Dhindsa and Connal indicated that they wished to ask questions.


    a)      Councillor Asif Khan referred to an article in The Guardian newspaper which had reported that an EU resident had been refused access to a Watford nightclub.  In addition residents had contacted him feeling fear as a consequence of the referendum result.  He asked the Mayor if she agreed with him that racism, prejudice and abuse had no place in Watford.  It was one town and one people.


             The Mayor said the simple answer was ‘yes’ she did agree with him.  She had not been aware of the Guardian article and there had not been a Google alert.  Following the result of the referendum her immediate thoughts had been of the residents.  She referred to a conversation with Councillor Rindl and her personal feelings.  She described an incident during the mayoral election period and a conversation with the UKIP candidate.  It had been no surprise the same thing had started following the result of the referendum. 


             The Mayor informed members that one of the first things she did was to contact the Police and had been reassured that there had not been a rise in racist incidents when compared to last year.  However if he was hearing about incidents they were not being reported, as she had been reassured the figures were about the same.  There appeared to be an issue about people not reporting incidents.  To that end she had written to every place of worship and other groups and told them to report any incidents and to not be afraid to report problems.  It was important to report incidents to ensure the relevant people and organisations knew what was happening in the town.  She had received some nice responses from some of the different faith groups; thanking her for sharing her concerns.  The Police had contacted the Polish community and no concerns had been raised.  She had attended the local synagogue and had asked that her comments were read out at Friday prayers. 


             The Mayor stated that she hoped that between them, they had reassured the various communities.  It was important that everyone encouraged people to report incidents and not be afraid to challenge people. 


             The Mayor acknowledged that not all ‘Leave’ voters were racist.  It was necessary to move forward and work constructively with the result.  She had envisaged that Watford’s result would be a high percentage voting to leave.  However, it had been one of the closest results in the country.  Watford was often a microcosm of the rest of country, the MP came from the majority party and the result of the referendum was close reflecting the overall result of the country. 


             The Mayor finished by saying that she knew all councillors would challenge  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0


    No questions had been received.


Questions by Members of the Public under Council Procedure Rule 11.0 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

    The following question has been received from Andrew Moore:


    “At a West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust (WHHT) Meeting Board meeting in July 2015 the statement below is made on page 4. Can the council confirm when the additional 2m loan to the Trust was made and is the loan now recorded as a long term liability for its future accounts taking into account that the notes state that there was currently no structure to repayments. Additionally, will the council be forward funding the further maximum liability of 3.7M? I note that there is reference to the health campus link road funding at page 100 of the council’s 2014/15 audited accounts.


    “Under the Camus Agreement and overarching Business Plan the Trust is obliged to pay up to £9M towards the cost of the project infrastructure including the construction of the new link / access road and associated services. To date the Trust has already paid £7M, with the remaining £2 due, in full or part, if the total cost for the Infrastructure Business Plan exceeds £16.613M. The current estimate for the work exceeds £18.6M. On this basis the full £2M would be required from the Trust.


    Under the Agreement this money will be forward funded by Watford Borough Council, who will subsequently be reimbursed by the Trust through lump payments linked to the completion of clinical buildings built over the first 12 years of the project, or through annual instalments (timing and number not defined). Under the overarching Business Plan the Trust has a further maximum liability, capped at £3.7M, to support the remainder of the Business Plans included within the Agreement”.”


    The following question has been received from Sara Jane Trebar:

    “The Watford Allotments Promotion Programme updated in June 2015 states at item 17 that Watford Council and Veolia would “Outreach to community groups where lower take up of allotments were identified” with one of the measures of success taken from an increased uptake amongst targeted groups.

    Can the council provide a list of the targeted groups that it approached, what it and Veolia exactly did, the results from the measurement of success after the delivery date stated in the programme of the end of Summer 2015 and any further subsequent actions. The assumption would be that the council approached a number of community groups located within Vicarage Ward taking into account that approximately 50% of the total population are from an ethnic background”. 


    Council was informed that questions had been received from Andrew Moore and Sara Jane Trebar Moore.  Mr Moore and Ms Trebar were not present at the meeting.  A copy of the written response was circulated round the Council Chamber and would be sent to Mr Moore and Ms Trebar.


    The questions and answers are attached to the minutes as Appendix 1.


Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0


    No petitions had been received.


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.


    There was no urgent business.


Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0


    No motions had been submitted.


Watford Borough Council's reviewed vision, priorities and values and the Corporate Plan 2016-2020 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    Report of Cabinet 6 June 2016

    Additional documents:


    Council received a report that had been considered at Cabinet on 6 June 2016.  The Cabinet report and minutes of the meeting were provided to Council.  Following Cabinet’s decision to approve the final recommendations for the council’s new vision, values and priorities, Council was asked to approve the Corporate Plan 2016-2020.




    that the Corporate Plan 2016-2020 be approved.


Changes to the constitution pdf icon PDF 76 KB

    Report of Democratic Services Manager

    Additional documents:


    Council received a report of the Democratic Services Manager which provided details of changes recommended by Constitution Working Party following its meeting on 24 June 2016.




    1.      that the terms of reference for the Major Projects Board are amended (as shown in Appendix A to the report) to extend its remit to review the Property Investment Board strategy to diversify the investment portfolio.


    2.      that incidents of poor behaviour by councillors at a full council meeting be dealt with between meetings of Managing Director, Monitoring Officer, Chairman and Group Leaders.


    3.      that the following text be added to the Constitution (Article 5)


             “The Chairman and Vice Chairman when undertaking their civic and ceremonial roles should not:


           Bring the Council into disrepute through abuse of office

           Attend any function or otherwise give support to any organisation or person, whose objectives are contrary to law and / or council policy

           Solicit engagements or visits at home or abroad or otherwise procure favours by virtue of office

           Overspend their budget

           Use their position for party political purposes, including seeking their won re-election and avoid controversial political roles such as chairing major committees, standing for parliamentary and mayoral elections in Watford.”


    4.      that the order of business on a full council agenda be changed to move the motions to after the substantive business.


Neighbourhood Forum Annual Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    Report of Committee and Scrutiny Support Officer

    Additional documents:


    Council received a report of the Committee and Scrutiny Support Officer including the annual reports for each of the 12 wards within the borough.  Each report outlined how the ward had spent its allocated budget.




    that the annual reports (provided as Appendix 2 to the report) be noted.


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