Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Pat Thornton 

Items
No. Item

48.

Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Connal, Derbyshire, Lovejoy and Mills.

     

    No apologies were received from Councillors Ayre and McLeod.

     

49.

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 58 and 60 as all Members had pecuniary interests in those items.

     

50.

Minutes

    The minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2013 to be submitted and signed.  (All minutes are published on the Council’s website.)

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2013 were submitted and signed.

     

51.

Official Announcements

    Minutes:

    Civic Carol Service

     

    The Chairman thanked all the Members who had attended the Civic Carol service and Christ Church for their donation to the Chairman’s charities from the collection taken at the service.

     

    Chairman’s Quiz

     

    The Chairman informed Council that he was proposing to hold the annual Chairman’s Quiz and that the details would be circulated soon.

     

    Holocaust Memorial Day

     

    The Chairman informed Council that Holocaust Memorial Day had been held this week.  He had accepted an invitation from a local synagogue to attend a Holocaust Memorial event.  He referred to holocaust and genocide events in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; it was therefore an important event to mark.  He asked Members to take a few moments to reflect on this country’s democracy and values and this week’s events.

     

52.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 68 KB

    Minutes:

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

     

    a)      Councillor Bell referred to the proposed charges for the Gade Avenue car park in Cassiobury Park and asked whether there were plans to introduce parking charges to any other similar car parks in the Borough.

     

              The Mayor responded that parking charges were introduced to regulate a situation.  In Gade Avenue the majority of people using the car park were commuters; it had become a long stay car park for people using Watford Met Station.  This was not acceptable.  She advised that the car park had a high usage.  People drove along residential roads hoping to park free of charge but when they arrived they would find it full and would then have to drive back through the residential streets and park in the Town Centre.  The rationale behind the charges was to stop commuter parking.  If people knew that there was a charge for parking, instead of driving through the estate they would go directly to the Gade Car Park in Rosslyn Road.

     

              The Mayor stated that Cassiobury Park was a wonderful free entertainment place for everybody.  Many other authorities charged people to park and to use paddling pools.  It had always been free to use the latter facilities and it would continue to be free.  She advised that Cassiobury Park was a high maintenance site.  If it was possible to generate some income from those who travelled by car to the park and this would help the Council to continue to provide other park facilities free of charge.  She referred to the report later in the agenda, the Heritage Lottery Fund project for Cassiobury Park.  The details of the scheme for the car park had still to be finalised and they would be listening to people’s views.

     

              In response to the second part of Councillor Bell’s question, the Mayor informed Council that there was a similar problem at the Timberlake car park, next to Watford Rugby Club.  This car park was used by people who parked all day whilst at work.  It had been provided for people going to the allotments and the park.  The charge for this site would be to ensure the right people could use it.  She was unaware of any specific proposals for any other sites.

     

    b)      Councillor Joynes asked for information about any plans for 4 August to commemorate the outbreak of the first world war.

     

              The Mayor advised that discussions had taken place.  An internal group had been set up and was headed by the Museum and Heritage Manager.  They were looking at all different suggestions.  The Mayor said that if Councillors had any ideas they should contact the group.  She confirmed that Watford would be marking the commemoration in a number of ways.

     

    c)      Councillor Turmaine said that he was fascinated to note that Watford Junction forecourt appeared to be uniting all political parties.  All parties agreed it needed to be resolved.  He referred to the meeting detailed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

    Minutes:

    No questions had been received.

     

54.

Questions by Members of the Public under Council Procedure Rule 11.0

    Minutes:

    No questions had been received.

     

55.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

    Minutes:

    No petitions had been received.

     

56.

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.

     

57.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

    Minutes:

    No motions had been received.

     

58.

Members' Remuneration 2014-2018 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    Report of the Democratic Services Manager

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Democratic Services Manager including the Independent Members’ Remuneration Panel’s report.

     

    Councillor Dhindsa moved the following amendment which was seconded by Councillor Joynes:

     

    “The salary of the position of the Mayor is far too high for a council structure of Watford. The Mayor's salary must reflect the reality of a non-metropolitan district council, with limited powers, lower budgets to manage, and smaller populations than other comparable authorities. As the table below illustrates that Watford has the most expensive Mayor, as compared to similar authorities. In fact it is well above the other non-metropolitan district.

    Therefore I propose that the salary should be reduced by 20% from £65,738 to £52590.4 a saving of £13,147.6

               

    Local Authority

    Post

    Type

    Current Mayor

    Party

    Estab-lished

    Salary

     

    Watford Borough Council

    Mayor of Watford

    Non-metropolitan District

    Dorothy Thornhill

    Liberal Democrat

    2002

    £65,738

     

    Bristol City Council

    Mayor of Bristol

    Unitary authority

    George Ferguson

    Independent

    2012

    £65,738

     

    Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

    Mayor of Tower Hamlets

    London borough

    Lutfur Rahman

    Independent

    2010

    £65,000

    £1 Billion Budget

    Salford City Council

    Mayor of Salford

    Metropolitan borough

    Ian Stewart

    Labour

    2012

    £62,694

     

    North Tyneside Council

    Mayor of North Tyneside

    Metropolitan borough

    Norma Redfearn

    Labour

    2002

    £61,734

     

    Bedford Borough Council

    Mayor of Bedford

    Unitary authority

    Dave Hodgson

    Liberal Democrat

    2002

    £60,000

     

    Mansfield District Council

    Mayor of Mansfield

    Non-metropolitan district

    Tony Egginton

    Independent

    2002

    £53,151

     

    Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

    Mayor of Doncaster

    Metropolitan borough

    Ros Jones

    Labour

    2002

    £48,480

     

    Torbay Council

    Mayor of Torbay

    Unitary authority

    Gordon Oliver

    Conservative

    2005

    £25,714

     

     

    In accordance with paragraph 18.4, Part 4 Rules of Procedures of the Council’s Constitution, the requisite number of Councillors demanded a named vote.

     

    Those Members voting in favour of the amendment:

     

    Councillors Bell, Brandon, Dhindsa, Joynes, Khan, Shah and Turmaine

     

    Those Members voting against the amendment:

     

    Mayor Thornhill, Councillors Aron, I Brown, J Brown, Collett, Counter, Crout, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, Johnson, Lynch, Martins, Meerabux, Saffery, D Scudder, L Scudder, Sharpe, Taylor, Walford, Watkin and Williams

     

    Those Members abstaining from voting

     

    The Chairman Councillor Rackett and Councillor Greenslade

     

    The amendment was LOST by 7 votes to 22.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the Remuneration Panel’s recommendations set out in Appendix 2 to the report and detailed in paragraph 5.0 of the report be approved.

     

    2.      that a Scheme for 2014-2018 be agreed subject to the Council being able to request an interim review before the end of the four year period should the economic climate change significantly.

     

    3.      that each Panel member be paid £800 and that the Chair be paid £1,200 as a one off payment to cover the four year period 2013-2017.

     

59.

Update on the progress of Cassiobury Park HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) Project and to approve final stage 2 submission & budget pdf icon PDF 32 KB

60.

Financial Planning - Draft Revenue and Capital Estimates 2014-2018 and the Treasury Management Strategy 2014-17 - RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CABINET 20 JANUARY 2014 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

    Report of Cabinet – 20 January 2014       

     

    Members are reminded to bring their copies of the report to Cabinet to the meeting.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of Cabinet, including the original report presented to Cabinet at its meeting on 20 January 2014 and an additional report from the Shared Director of Finance setting out the Council Tax Resolution for 2014/2015.

     

    The Mayor moved the budget report incorporating the following amendment to recommendation 2.1 b) in the Council Tax Resolution 2014/2015, which was seconded by Councillor Watkin:

     

    “that the capital programme shall be set out in the Cabinet report with an addition of £80k added to the community and leisure services capital budget to fund approved improvements in non Council owned community centres where the need for support is established.”

     

    Councillor Bell moved the following amendment which was seconded by Councillor Dhindsa:

     

    “Economic Impact Reserve – Proposed forecast balance 31/3/14 £1,836,900–

    We propose to draw down this reserve by £1,200,000 (Remained unchanged since 2010/11)

    Future Pension Funding Reserve – Proposed forecast £1,375,000

    We propose to draw down the reserve by £507,800 (Remained unchanged since 2005/6)

    Therefore we propose to use a very modest amount of £1,707,800 of the reserves on new expenditure

     

    We would fund projects related to combatting and addressing domestic violence with the Women’s Centre.

    2014/15          £44,000

    2015/16          £44,000

    2016/17          £44,000

    2017/18          £44,000 – Fund the project for 4 years (£44,000x4= £176,000 funded from drawing down on reserves)

     

    Anti-social behaviour officer.

    Anti-social behaviour officer – £40,000

    2014/15          £40,000

    2015/16          £40,000

    2016/17          £40,000

    2017/18          £40,000 – Fund the project for 4 years (£40,000x4=£160,000 drawing down from the reserves)

     

    St Albans Road Regeneration Investment

    2014/15 £1,500,000

     

    The Mayor’s Office

    The office costs £158,500 (p102-Budget Book)– on top of this a salary of £65,738 it comes to £224,238. We propose a cut of 20% to the office costs – saving of £31,700

    We propose a cut of a Budget to pay for the Lib Dem Group hospitality involved in their meetings which comes to £350. (p103 Budget Book).

    We propose a freeze to the CPZ for this year.

    Proposals

    2014/15

    2015/16

    2016/17

    2017/18

    Total cost of proposals

    Womens Centre

    44,000

    44,000

    44,000

    44,000

    176,000

    Anti Social Behaviour

    40,000

    40,000

    40,000

    40,000

    160,000

    St Albans Road

    1,500,000

     

     

     

    1,500,000

    Mayors Office

    -31,700

    -31,700

    -31,700

    -31,700

    -126,800

    Liberal Democrats Group Hospitality

    -350

    -350

    -350

    -350

    -1,400

    CPZ Freeze

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

     

     

     

     

     

    1,707,800

     

    1,584,000

    84,000

    84,000

    84,000

    1,836,000

     

    -32,050

    -32,050

    -32,050

    -32,050

    -128,200

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Use of Reserves

    2014/15

    2015/16

    2016/17

    2017/18

    Total cost of proposals

    Economic Impact Reserve

    1,200,000

     

     

     

    1,200,000

    Pension Fund Reserve

    351,950

    51,950

    51,950

    51,950

    507,800

    Revenue Reserves Balance

    -8,413,437

    -6,561,427

    -6,353,557

    -6,503,347

    1,707,800

    Total Reserves Balance

    -13,327,258

    -9,916,924

    -9,828,554

    -9,978,344

     

     

    CPZ Freeze Assumptions

    Assume no other changes to number of permits issued etc.

    In the fees and charges report there was an assumption that if the price goes up then the demand will decrease, therefore no additional income was assumed

    Due to this I have not made any changes to income as it can be assumed that demand and income will remain as it currently is if this proposal is implemented.”

     

    On being put  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

 

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