Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

Items
No. Item

48.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Martins and Mills.

49.

Disclosure of Interests

Minutes:

The Head of Democracy and Governance informed members that, under the Council’s Code of Conduct, all Councillors had been given a dispensation to enable them to consider and vote on minute number 56 as all Members had pecuniary interests in that item.

50.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 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.)

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2016 were submitted and signed.

51.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Graham Taylor OBE

 

The Chairman invited the Mayor and Councillor Bell, leader of the Labour Group to speak about Graham Taylor.

 

The Mayor said that she felt it was important that Council should mark the death of Graham Taylor, who had been made a Freeman of the Borough in 2001.  She was aware that he was proud to be a freeman of the town.  He had been a friend of the town.  He had lived locally and his children had attended local schools.  Although he had worked away from Watford at times, his heart remained here.  The funeral was to be held at St Mary’s Church.

 

The Mayor added that Graham Taylor had ensured that Watford Football Club had become a family friendly club that included a family enclosure.  His legacy included Watford Community and Sports and Education Trust, which carried out good work in the community.

 

The Mayor stated that Graham Taylor had been a true friend of the town and would be sorely missed.

 

Councillor Bell echoed the Mayor’s comments.  He had been an example of decency.  He had put the town on the map for the right reasons.

 

Council stood and observed a minute’s silence in memory of Graham Taylor.

 

Christmas Card Competition

 

The Chairman stated that Knutsford School had provided some great designs for his Christmas card competition.  He had attended their assembly to give out the prizes to the talented winners.

 

Chairman’s Charity Quiz

 

The Chairman informed Council that he would be holding a charity quiz on 14 March in the Colosseum.  Details had been included in the latest Members’ Bulletin.  He asked members to start thinking about their teams. 

 

Surface Pros

 

The Chairman commented that he was pleased to see members using their surface pros.  He advised that there would be a members’ workshop on Thursday 9 February.  As part of the council’s Digital Watford priority, members would be working with less paper.  He reminded members that if they needed any help they could contact the IT helpdesk or speak to the Democratic Services team.

 

Councillor Martin Greensmyth, Mayor of Broxbourne Borough Council

 

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Greensmyth, Mayor of Broxbourne Borough Council, to Watford.

 

Nick Fenwick, Deputy Managing Director Place Shaping and Corporate Performance

 

The Chairman also welcomed Nick Fenwick, the council’s new Deputy Managing Director.

52.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 77 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 Barks, Turmaine, J Johnson,Asif Khan, Grimston and Dhindsa indicated that they wished to ask questions.

     

    a)      Councillor Barks commented that it had been noted in several newspapers about the metropolitan line and its funding.  Also it had not been on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s funding plan for the next few years.  He asked the Mayor if she could provide an update and help ensure this vital development went ahead, bringing benefit to Watford.

     

             The Mayor responded that it was important this had been raised.  Otherwise people only had information through rumours, gossip or the newspaper, it was important that she explained what she understood was happening.  She added that she needed to add a caveat that it was to the best of her knowledge.  She confirmed that the metropolitan line extension was not in the Mayor’s current plan and as a result people started questioning the reason it had not been included.  She understood that the reason was connected to the considerable increase in construction costs.  It was not yet clear how that funding gap would be met.  She believed that this was why the rumours had started.  It was not included in the plan as the scheme was not fully funded.  However, she had not heard anything official.

     

             The Mayor added that there were also rumours that the construction work had stopped.  She understood that the first section of work had been completed.  The next phase would be the construction of the viaduct.  She had not heard any reasons why this would not be going ahead. 

     

             The Mayor stated that the scheme had had cross party for support for decades.  One of the first letters she wrote on becoming Mayor was to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London at that time.  She asked about his plans for the Croxley Rail Link, the original name for the scheme.  All members understood the significance it would bring to the town.

     

             The Mayor reiterated that there was a shortfall in the funding.  It was understood that Transport for London would be making a bid to the Government’s growth fund.  The council was concerned by the rumours.  The Managing Director would represent the council at a meeting of the partners on Friday.  There were plans to lobby and ensure Mayor Khan’s administration was aware of the scheme’s benefits.  She asked the Labour councillors to do the same.  The Mayor added that she had written to the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross suggesting a meeting at City Hall.  On Wednesday the Mayor would be meeting Richard Harrington MP to discuss what he could do at the Department for Transport. 

     

             The Mayor finished by saying that she hoped it was rumours.  There were known facts, the construction costs, which made people question what was happening.  She stated this was a good scheme, millions  ...  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.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

    Minutes:

    No petitions had been received.

55.

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.

56.

Financial Planning pdf icon PDF 85 KB

    Report of Director of Finance

     

    Report of Cabinet 16 January 2017 (to follow)

     

    Please note that this report has been printed separately for Budget Panel on 10 January, Cabinet on 16 January and Council on 24 January. Members are reminded to bring their copy to this meeting, including any updates received.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report that had been considered at Cabinet on 16 January 2017 and Budget Panel on 10 January 2017.  The Cabinet minutes and Council Tax Resolution 2017/18 report 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, attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes, which was seconded by Councillor Asif Khan.  The amendment included the following proposals –

     

    “ – cutting the costs of mayor’s office – saving £237k

    - pegging the Mayor’s salary to the leader of HCC

    - freeze council tax – not increased

    - remove the council tax subsidised Mayor’s Lib Dem adviser £130k over 3 years

    - cut to printing budget – saves £225k over 3 years

    - work with children’s play workers to make it self-sufficient over 3 years

    - consultants – freeze the costs

    - freeze taxi and cemetery fees – this reverses all increases and leaves income budgets set at 2016/17 level

    - scrap bulky white goods

    Use of reserves to create a £1,000,000 earmarked reserve for the regeneration of St. Albans Road: this will be a transfer from the Economic Impact Reserve “

     

    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

     

    Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Dhindsa, Joynes, Ahsan Khan, Asif Khan, Mauthoor, Shah and Turmaine

     

    Those members voting against the amendment

     

    Mayor Thornhill, the Chairman Councillor Walford, Councillors Barks, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Crout, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hastrick, Hofman,

    J Johnson, S Johnson, Kent, Laird, Maestas, Rindl, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Steele, Taylor, Watkin and Williams

     

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

     

    The original motion was then put to Council.

     

    Those Members voting in favour of the original motion:

     

    Mayor Thornhill, the Chairman Councillor Walford, Councillors Barks, Bolton, Cavinder, Collett, Crout, Dychton, Fahmy, Grimston, Hastrick, Hofman,

    J Johnson, S Johnson, Kent, Laird, Maestas, Rindl, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Steele, Taylor, Watkin and Williams

     

    Those Members voting against the original motion:

     

    Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Dhindsa, Joynes, Ahsan Khan, Asif Khan, Mauthoor, Shah and Turmaine

     

    The original motion was CARRIED by 25 votes to 10.  There were no abstentions. 

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the proposals recommended by Cabinet on 16 January 2017 be agreed:

     

             a)      that the council’s net General Fund expenditure for 2017/18 shall be £14,261,936.

     

             b)      that the Capital Programme shall be as set out in the Cabinet report.

     

             and in approving these recommendations

     

             c)      to have regard to the Director of Finance’s assessment of financial risks and the level of balances and provisions required, as set out in the Cabinet report.

     

    2.      Setting the amount of Council Tax for Watford borough Council

     

             That Watford Borough Council’s Council Tax Base for 2017/18 has been calculated at 32,062.1 in accordance with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Amendment to the Councils Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    Report of Head of Democracy and Governance

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Head of Democracy and Governance setting out an amendment to the council’s scheme of delegation following the appointment of the Deputy Managing Director Place Shaping and Corporate Performance.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the responsibility for Council Functions A2A14 and A26A34 relating to Town and Country Planning and Development Control be amended to insert the Deputy Managing Director Place Shaping and Corporate Performance.

     

    2.      that the responsibility for Council Functions A15A25, A35, A37, B39, B40, B41 and I15 be amended to insert the Deputy Managing Director Place Shaping and Corporate Performance. 

58.

Appointment of Auditors pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    Report of Audit Committee

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Audit Committee held on 7 December 2016 setting out its recommendation regarding the council’s requirement to appoint its own external auditor for the audit of the 2018/19 accounts.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    that for the first round of appointments the council opts into the PSAA Appointing Person arrangement, subject to confirmation of the details of the scheme.

59.

Chief Officer Pay Policy pdf icon PDF 45 KB

    Report of Head of Human Resources

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Head of Human Resources which included the Chief Officer Pay Policy.  The policy set out the council’s position in relation to specific areas, including remuneration levels, other payments, incremental progression, performance related pay, bonus payments, redundancy, severance/compensation and retirement payments.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    that the Chief Officer Pay Policy be approved.

60.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

    The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Tim Williams and seconded by Councillor Stephen Cavinder

     

    “This Council notes that high speed accidents are regularly occurring along the A405 from its junction with the A41 and its junction with St. Albans Road (A412). These accidents are often due to excessive speed along this stretch, and due to its close proximity of many local schools we call upon Herts County Council, as our Highways Authority to:-

     

    1) Investigate and implement a safer traffic management scheme along this stretch in particular the junction with Greenwood Drive.

     

    2) Investigate and implement a safer lighted pedestrian crossing point at the long-about outside the Woodside Leisure Park.

     

    3) Investigate and implement other means of addressing the current level of excessive speed including reducing the speed to 40 mph for the whole stretch, installing Speed Indicator Devices and setting up Speed Camera's.

     

    4) Liaise with the Hertfordshire Police Commissioner in order for the police to attend regularly with speed cameras.

     

    We call upon the Mayor to write to:-

     

    i) John Wood, Herts County Council's Chief Executive, to address the excessive speeding along this stretch, to implement a safer crossing point outside the leisure park and to establish a safer traffic management scheme at the junction of the A405 and Greenwood Drive

     

    ii) David Lloyd, Police Commissioner for Hertfordshire, for the police to attend this stretch of the A405 with speed cameras”

     

    Minutes:

    Council was informed that one motion had been received.

     

    The following motion was proposed by Councillor Tim Williams and seconded by Councillor Stephen Cavinder

     

    “This Council notes that high speed accidents are regularly occurring along the A405 from its junction with the A41 and its junction with St Albans Road (A412).  These accidents are often due to excessive speed along this stretch, and due to its close proximity of many local schools we call upon Herts County Council, as our Highways Authority to:-

     

    1) Investigate and implement a safer traffic management scheme along this stretch in particular the junction with Greenwood Drive.

    2) Investigate and implement a safer lighted pedestrian crossing point at the long-about outside the Woodside Leisure Park.

     

    3) Investigate and implement other means of addressing the current level of excessive speed including reducing the speed to 40 mph for the whole stretch, installing Speed Indicator Devices and setting up Speed Camera’s.

     

    4) Liaise with the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in order for the police to attend regularly with speed cameras.

     

    We call upon the Mayor to write to:-

     

    i) John Wood, Herts County Council’s Chief Executive, to address the excessive speeding along this stretch, to implement a safer crossing point outside the leisure park and to establish a safer traffic management scheme at the junction of the A405 and Greenwood Drive

     

    ii) David Lloyd, Police Commissioner for Hertfordshire, for the police to attend this stretch of the A405 with speed cameras.”

     

    Members discussed the motion.

     

    On being put to council the motion was AGREED.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    this Council notes that high speed accidents are regularly occurring along the A405 from its junction with the A41 and its junction with St Albans Road (A412).  These accidents are often due to excessive speed along this stretch, and due to its close proximity of many local schools we call upon Herts County Council, as our Highways Authority to:-

     

    1) Investigate and implement a safer traffic management scheme along this stretch in particular the junction with Greenwood Drive.

     

    2)        Investigate and implement a safer lighted pedestrian crossing point at the long-about outside the Woodside Leisure Park.

     

    3)        Investigate and implement other means of addressing the current level of excessive speed including reducing the speed to 40 mph for the whole stretch, installing Speed Indicator Devices and setting up Speed Camera’s.

     

    4)        Liaise with the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in order for the police to attend regularly with speed cameras.

     

    We call upon the Mayor to write to:-

     

    i) John Wood, Herts County Council’s Chief Executive, to address the excessive speeding along this stretch, to implement a safer crossing point outside the leisure park and to establish a safer traffic management scheme at the junction of the A405 and Greenwood Drive

     

    ii) David Lloyd, Police Commissioner for Hertfordshire, for the police to attend this stretch of the A405 with speed cameras.

 

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