Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

Items
No. Item

17.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

18.

Disclosure of Interests

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

19.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017 to be submitted and signed. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017 were submitted and signed.

20.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Former Councillor Ruth Atkin

 

The Chairman informed council of the passing of former councillor Ruth Atkin on 20 June.  He was sure that everyone’s thoughts were with her family at this time.

 

Big Events

 

The Chairman reminded Council that the Big Screen on the Beach would start on 28 July and continued until 28 August.

21.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 57 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 Bashir, Connal, Bell, Turmaine, Kent and Mills indicated that they wished to ask questions.

     

    a)      Councillor Bashir said that it was good to see the Mayor back in the chamber following her recent hospital treatment.  He stated that he had noted there was something missing in the Mayor’s report.  There was no update on the Metropolitan Line Extension.  Everyone in the chamber agreed that the extension had to go ahead in order to unleash the economic prospects for the town.  He commented that he was a member of the planning committee that had recently agreed to a massive regeneration project in Ascot Road and at Watford Riverwell.  Both units had an underlying premise, namely that the infrastructure had to be in place for those projects to go forward.  He asked the Mayor to give assurances and an update on the situation with regards to the Metropolitan Line Extension, particularly following comments by the previous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Chris Grayling MP.

     

             The Mayor advised that there had been no further information to add since her last report.  The council was clear that there was an agreement with the Minister for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, through to the Watford MP, the council’s partners including the County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.  Transport for London agreed to take on some of the funding and absorb any uplift in costs.  The London Mayoral election then took place and a Labour Mayor was returned.  Some of the previous agreements between the Mayor’s office and the Minister for Transport were withdrawn.  She said that the council had sought legal opinion about the Mayor of London being able to overturn a decision made by the previous Mayor.  He was able to overturn previous mayoral directions.  She felt Watford was in the middle of a political row.  The Mayor of London’s plan supported suburban lines but not the Metropolitan Line Extension.  However she felt that at heart he would support the extension scheme.

     

             The Mayor informed Council that she had not given up.  The Metropolitan Line Extension was too good a scheme which had cross party agreement.  Many businesses had invested millions in Watford on the back of this scheme going ahead.  She understood that the Watford MP was meeting with someone from the Treasury.  The council would continue working through its formal routes; working with officers from Transport for London to try and progress the scheme.  She was sure that when there was good news everyone would share it.

     

    b)      Councillor Connal said that Watford was a Fairtrade Town.  Shehad noticed that Sainsbury’s was not providing as many Fairtrade products.  Many items had the sign ‘fairly traded’.  She asked the Mayor to join her in telling people that ‘fairly traded is not Fairtrade’.

     

             The Mayor thanked Councillor Connal.  She felt that ‘fairly traded is not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

    Minutes:

    No questions had been received.

23.

Questions by Members of the Public under Council Procedure Rule 11.0

    The following question has been received from Mrs Pearse:

     

    “What annual revenue is the Council expecting to receive from the decision to charge for collection of additional green bins as outlined in the Summer 2017 About Watford magazine?”

     

    Minutes:

    A question had been received from Mrs Pearse, which was included on the agenda.

     

    Mrs Pearse asked what additional annual revenue the council expected to receive by charging for green bins as outlined in the summer 2017 About Watford magazine.

     

    Councillor Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Client Services, thanked Mrs and Mr Pearse for coming to the meeting and writing in with the question.  He advised that it had been calculated that it would raise £30,000 per annum.  He reminded council that everyone was entitled to one green lidded bin and there would be no charge.  The scheme would only affect those people who had more than one green bin.  He was aware of one household which had 11 green bins.  The question was whether the council should subsidise those with many green bins when the council’s finances were under great pressure.

     

    The Chairman invited Mrs Pearse to pose a supplementary question if she wished to do so.

     

    Mrs Pearse referred to the article in About Watford.  She said that the majority of Watford residents would consider the most vital service the council provided was a clean environment and the disposal of general and recyclable waste.  Council Tax was paid to provide this service.  She noted the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ article.  It mentioned that less waste going to landfill was better for the environment.  People who recycled their waste were saving the council money.  The article had said that 670 tonnes of green waste had been collected in two months.  Based on a disposal rate of £86 per tonne, this would save the council £58,000 for two months or £350,000 for the year.  She considered this to be a saving to the council.  Those residents who recycled the most saved the council money; they were now to be charged an additional green bin tax. 

     

    Mrs Pearse said her supplementary question was to ask what additional tonnage the council anticipated would go to landfill as a consequence of this environmentally damaging and short-sighted decision to tax additional green bins.

     

    Councillor Taylor thanked Mrs Pearse for her additional question.  He advised that Watford Borough Council was the only Hertfordshire local authority that still provided a weekly waste and recycling collection.  He considered it to be an excellent service.  Half of Hertfordshire’s authorities charged for all green waste collection, including Three Rivers District Council.  He said that tough decisions had to be made and the council had to consider various options, including whether to reduce the frequency of collections or charge those who had many green bins.  When looking at other authorities, for example Three Rivers, the take up had been much higher than officers had anticipated.  People had continued to use the service as it was convenient and represented good value for money.  The decision had not been taken lightly.  He felt that people should be proud of the fact that Watford was the only Hertfordshire council which still provided weekly recycling and waste collections.  Also Watford was one of half  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

    Minutes:

    No petitions had been received.

25.

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.

26.

Appointment to West Herts Crematorium Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 56 KB

    A report of the Committee and Scrutiny Officer.  To appoint a representative from Watford Borough Council to the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee.

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Committee and Scrutiny Officer asking members to agree the appointment to the West Herts Crematorium Scrutiny Committee.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    that Councillor Rabi Martins be appointed to the West Herts Crematorium Scrutiny Committee.

27.

Neighbourhood Forum Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

28.

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme Amendment pdf icon PDF 67 KB

    Report of Head of Revenue and Benefits to ask Council to amend the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

     

     

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Head of Revenues and Benefit setting out a request to disregard any charitable payments when calculating a resident’s entitlement to local council tax reduction.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that Watford Borough Council uses its ability under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to fully disregard any amount received by a resident in receipt of Local Council Tax Reduction.

     

    2.      that any future trusts and charitable payments made following a terrorist attack or major catastrophe are disregarded in full.

29.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

    1.     The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Mark Hofman and seconded by Councillor Asif Khan

    “Council notes:

     

    That on Friday 16th June, Herts Valleys CCG informed families across Watford that they would no longer be funding its contribution of £600k to run Nascot Lawn Children’s Respite Service. Consequently Nascot Lawn will be forced to close on 31st October 2017.

     

    Council further notes:

     

    That Nascot Lawn Respite Centre provides regular overnight respite and care for a community of 60-80 children and young adults with severe learning and physical disabilities with additional complex medical needs. A day care service for children under 5 is also provided.

     

    That Nascot Lawn is the only CCG funded respite centre in Hertfordshire, operated by Hertfordshire Community Trust.

     

    That Nascot Lawn allows parents and carers to take a much needed break, confident in the knowledge that their child is receiving the highest standard of care by familiar staff.

     

    That the CCG has been formally placed in ‘financial turnaround’ by NHS England and £45m cuts to health and care provisions must be made.

     

     

    Council believes:

    ·      That removing services at Nascot Lawn will have a devastating effect on the families who are most in need of support, and that the CCG should reconsider their decision.

    ·      That providing support for the most vulnerable children in our society is a basic function of a health and care system, and that withdrawing this service will have a disproportionately negative impact on those who need access to respite care the most.

    ·      That the £45m cuts forced on the CCG by the Government are the reason for this decision.

    ·      That the £600k saving that the Herts Valleys CCG will achieve will be dwarfed by the additional costs incurred by the County Council in providing replacement services for these families and young people.

    ·      That the 31st October 2017 deadline for closure is unrealistically too short to enable the County Council to establish alternative provision for these families and young people within Watford.

    ·      That as it has a legal responsibility to support these children that the County Council uses £600k of its recent £3m underspend of funds to ensure the continuing operation of Nascot Lawn for a further year to enable it to conduct a full review of all such services across the county.

     

    Council therefore resolves:

     

    That the Mayor as a matter of urgency writes to the Chief Executive of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council to:

     

    ·      Inform the CCG that this council strongly opposes the closure of the Nascot Lawn respite centre.

    ·      Ask that HVCCG and Herts County Council work together to ensure that Nascot Lawn patients are able to access the appropriate respite facilities for their needs, and that Herts County Council are given the time necessary to find suitable alternatives that provide a high standard of support for the children and families that rely on Nascot Lawn care services in Watford.

     

    Council further resolves

     

    That the Mayor writes to the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 29.

    Minutes:

    Council was informed that four motions had been received, two of which were on a similar subject.

     

     

    Motion 1

     

    The following motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Hofman and seconded by Councillor Asif Khan

     

    Council notes:

     

    That on Friday 16th June, Herts Valleys CCG informed families across Watford that they would no longer be funding its contribution of £600k to run Nascot Lawn Children’s Respite Service. Consequently Nascot Lawn will be forced to close on 31st October 2017.

     

    Council further notes:

     

    That Nascot Lawn Respite Centre provides regular overnight respite and care for a community of 60-80 children and young adults with severe learning and physical disabilities with additional complex medical needs. A day care service for children under 5 is also provided.

     

    That Nascot Lawn is the only CCG funded respite centre in Hertfordshire, operated by Hertfordshire Community Trust.

     

    That Nascot Lawn allows parents and carers to take a much needed break, confident in the knowledge that their child is receiving the highest standard of care by familiar staff.

     

    That the CCG has been formally placed in ‘financial turnaround’ by NHS England and £45m cuts to health and care provisions must be made.

     

    Council believes:

    ·             That removing services at Nascot Lawn will have a devastating effect on the families who are most in need of support, and that the CCG should reconsider their decision.

    ·             That providing support for the most vulnerable children in our society is a basic function of a health and care system, and that withdrawing this service will have a disproportionately negative impact on those who need access to respite care the most.

    ·             That the £45m cuts forced on the CCG by the Government are the reason for this decision.

    ·             That the £600k saving that the Herts Valleys CCG will achieve will be dwarfed by the additional costs incurred by the County Council in providing replacement services for these families and young people.

    ·             That the 31st October 2017 deadline for closure is unrealistically too short to enable the County Council to establish alternative provision for these families and young people within Watford.

    ·             That as it has a legal responsibility to support these children that the County Council uses £600k of its recent £3m underspend of funds to ensure the continuing operation of Nascot Lawn for a further year to enable it to conduct a full review of all such services across the county.

     

    Council therefore resolves:

     

    That the Mayor as a matter of urgency writes to the Chief Executive of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council to:

     

    ·             Inform the CCG that this council strongly opposes the closure of the Nascot Lawn respite centre.

    ·             Ask that HVCCG and Herts County Council work together to ensure that Nascot Lawn patients are able to access the appropriate respite facilities for their needs, and that Herts County Council are given the time necessary to find suitable alternatives that provide a high standard of support for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

 

rating button