Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Watford

Contact: Caroline Harris 

Items
No. Item

63.

Attack in Christchurch, New Zealand

    Minutes:

    At the start of the meeting the Chairman asked all councillors, officers and guests to remain standing.  He asked everyone to join him for a minute’s silence to remember those who had died in the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

64.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hamid and Mills.

65.

Disclosure of Interests

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

66.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 to be submitted and signed.  Also the minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 23 January 2019 to be submitted and signed. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 23 January (Extraordinary Council) and 29 January 2019 were submitted and signed.

67.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Past Mayor Sybil Tuckwood

 

The Chairman stated that the council was saddened to hear that Sybil Tuckwood had passed away.  She had been Civic Mayor in 2001/02 and Mayoress for Sheila Rosser in 1997/98 during the Borough’s 75th Charter Anniversary year.

 

The Chairman invited Councillors Bell and Williams to speak.

 

Councillor Bell said that Sybil Tuckwood had been a councillor for Woodside and then Meriden.  He was sure many would remember her.  When she was Mayor homelessness had been her theme for the year and she had chosen New Hope Trust and the GROW as her charities.  She was a distinctive figure with an unmistakeable voice, a well-liked person who was always smiling.  He wished to pay tribute to a great character.

 

Councillor Williams commented that he endorsed everything Councillor Bell had said.  Sybil was a much respected councillor, Mayoress and Mayor.  He had first become aware of Sybil when she was Mayoress to Sheila Rosser as Mayor.  They had both brought great fun to the roles with beaming smiles.  They had deserved an encore which happened a few years later when Sybil became Mayor and Sheila was her Mayoress.  He quoted her comments about the Sanctuary, part of New Hope Trust, when she had become Mayor.  Words that were still relevant today.  She would be greatly missed.  He asked Councillor Bell to pass on his group’s condolences to Sybil’s family.  Her passing was a tremendous loss for Watford.

 

The Chairman added that he wished to express his and the council’s condolences to Councillor Crout on the loss of his partner Jerry.  The thoughts of everyone were with him at this time.

 

The Chairman asked everyone present to stand and join him in a minute’s silence of remembrance.

 

Councillors standing down

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Collett to speak.

 

Councillor Collett said that firstly she wished to acknowledge the Chairman and the way he had conducted himself with respect and dignity throughout his year.

 

Councillor Collett stated that she wanted to say goodbye to fellow councillors who were standing down at the end of this municipal year.  They had been a wonderful group of councillors.  There were two people she wished to single out.  Councillor Jackie Connal was elected to the council on the same day as her and Jackie had become a dear friend, not just a colleague.  Jackie had been a great supporter of Fairtrade, Watford Museum and her constituents.  She was a kind and loving woman.  She said to Jackie that she would be missed.  She had been a marvellous councillor.

 

The next person Councillor Collett wanted to speak about was Councillor Stephen Cavinder, her fellow ward councillor who she would miss.  He had been like a rock for her.  They were often seen together.  He was the type of councillor who loved his community.  As Portfolio Holder he had driven her to different events and meetings.  He loved meeting new people.  He had attended all the diversity events and was a great supporter.  Whenever she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 511 KB

    Minutes:

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

     

    The Mayor stated that it had been a privilege to work with the Chairman, Councillor Martins during his first year as Elected Mayor.  They had been to numerous community engagements together.  He concurred with his deputy’s comments about the councillors standing down, all of whom would be missed especially ‘Aunty’ Jackie.

     

    The Chairman invited Members to indicate whether they wished to ask a question of the Mayor.  Councillors Bashir, Turmaine, Williams, Smith, Dhindsa and Cavinder indicated that they wished to ask questions.

     

    a)      Councillor Bashir referred to the Watford Junction situation and the car park exit.  The report included a reference to possibly opening up the exit on to St Albans Road; the exact location was not clear.  He wondered whether consideration could be given to an exit via The Range.

     

             The Mayor said that as councillors were aware there had been roadworks in that area.  Often when people were stuck in traffic jams they started tweeting, including to him.  Discussions had been held with highways.  The existing exit on to St Albans Road had been used at times but it required marshalls to be on duty.  The council was in discussion with various people about the redevelopment of that whole site.  He agreed that the current situation with the car park was not good enough.  There was a masterplan and one of the key aspects was improvements to pedestrian access with a new footbridge to Watford Junction, opening up access to Tudor ward.  It would require significant investment from Homes England and meetings had been held to try and progress this.  The council recognised there needed to be an improvement.

     

    b)      Councillor Turmaine said that efforts were welcomed to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town.  However he wished to raise concerns about reported increase in drug dealing and petty crime in West Watford, both by residents and local business owners.  He asked the Mayor whether he was aware of the situation and if it was related to policing work being undertaken in the town to reduce levels of crime in the town centre.  In addition he enquired if the Mayor would raise it during his discussions with the Police.

     

             The Mayor advised that he was aware of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in the area.  Chater School had contacted him about issues in the area.  He had been in contact with the school and there had been an improvement.  There was increased policing across the town.  It was the number one issue he always raised with the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Inspector.  He asked them about increasing the capacity of the local police service.  He advised that he had been informed of complaints when people dial 101 and the length of time to get a response.  He stressed that the level of crime in Watford was very low.  The town centre was seeing a significant increase in policing but he did not want this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

    Minutes:

    No questions had been received.

70.

Questions by Members of the Public under Council Procedure Rule 11.0

    Minutes:

    No questions had been received.

71.

Petitions presented under Council Procedure Rule 12.0

    Minutes:

    No petitions had been received.

72.

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.

73.

Corporate Plan 2019/2020 including revised corporate priorities pdf icon PDF 46 KB

74.

Council Tax - Changes to long term empty homes premium pdf icon PDF 45 KB

    A report of the Revenues Manager

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Revenues Manager which had originally been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 11 February 2019.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    that the proposed changes to the Council Tax long term empty homes premium be adopted with effect from 1 April 2019. 

75.

Council Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 353 KB

    Report of the Head of Human Resources

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Head of Human Resources including the Council Pay Policy Statement February 2019.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    that the Council Pay Policy Statement be approved.

76.

Local Development Scheme: Timetable for the Watford Local Plan Review 2018-2021 pdf icon PDF 482 KB

    Report of Spatial Planning Manager

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Spatial Planning Manager which included the Local Development Scheme timetable.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that the Local Development Scheme be adopted.

     

    2.      that, minor updates to the Local Development Scheme can be made by the Deputy Managing Director in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Development.

77.

Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 575 KB

    Report of the Democratic Services Manager following a review of the Constitution by Councillor Bolton.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Democratic Services Manager which provided the results of the constitution review carried out by Councillor Bolton.  The proposals had been discussed at Constitution Working Party on 5 February 2019.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.      that Major Projects Board be renamed as Major Projects Forum.

     

    2.      that the number of meetings of the Major Projects Forum be reduced from four to three per year.

     

    3.      that the terms of reference for Major Projects Forum be amended as set out in Appendix B to the report.

     

    4.      that the Highways Forum be abolished.

     

    5.      that the revised terms of reference for the Planning Policy Advisory Group be approved, as set out in Appendix C to the report.

     

    6.      that Planning Policy Advisory Group be scheduled to take place quarterly.

     

    7.      that the revised terms of reference for the Housing Policy Advisory Group be approved, as set out in Appendix D to the report.

     

    8.      that the Licensing Committee and Licensing Committee (Licensing Act 2003) be combined into one Licensing Committee to cover all areas of Licensing.

     

    9.      that Budget Panel be renamed Finance Scrutiny Committee, retaining a membership of nine councillors.

     

    10.    that Outsourced Services Scrutiny Panel and Community Safety Partnership Task Group be abolished and their work to be covered by Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

     

    11.    Overview and Scrutiny Committee to meet nine times per year to cover its increased remit.

     

    12.    that three non-politically balanced task groups be set up per year, chaired by different councillors.

     

    13.    that a Health and Wellbeing Forum be established with a membership of nine to be appointed at Annual Council.

     

    14.    that a Sustainability Forum be established with a membership of nine to be appointed at Annual Council.

     

    15.    that the following bullet point be added to the Constitution to help to clarify what negates a motion when an amendment is proposed

     

    ·             An amendment must not:
    1) be a direct negative of a motion or
    2) seek to introduce into the motion a new issue unrelated to the subject dealt with in the motion.

     

    16.    that the revised role profile for the Chairman be agreed, as set out in Appendix A to the report.

     

    17.    that a new way of selecting the Vice Chairman of the Council be adopted as set out in paragraph 5.11.4.3 of the report.

     

    18.    that the revised Contract Procedure Rules be approved, as set out in Appendix E to the report.

     

    19.    that Digital Watford Board be abolished.

     

    20.    that the Leader of the Main Opposition Group be allowed a supplementary question during the Mayor’s report at Full Council meetings.

78.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0

    1.     The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Asif Khan and seconded by Councillor Karen Collett

     

    “Charter Against Modern Slavery


    ?This council believes that modern slavery is on of the great evils of our time and that it needs to be stamped out. In order to do this, and reflect the views of the people of the town, we will sign the charter against modern slavery as mentioned below. 

     

    Watford Borough Council will:

    1. Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

    2. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance.

    3. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

    4. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

    5. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

    6. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern

    slavery.

    7. Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

    8. Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

    9. Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding

    modern slavery.

    10. Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.”

     

    2.     The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Turmaine

     

    “The Windrush generation of migrants came to the United Kingdom on the Empire Windrush between 1948 and 1971. Hundreds of thousands of people have made their homes here to build a better life and contribute to our country.

     

    In 1971 they were granted indefinite leave to remain. However, as a result of government legislation in 2012, children who had come to the UK but had no documentation were subject to administrative chaos and considered to be appropriate for deportation.

    The injustice that some of the Windrush generation have been subject to, through no fault of their own, has come to the fore again with the recent deporting of people and the Commons Public Accounts Committee accusing the government of complacency in dealing with this issue and that it had “failed to take ownership.”

    Immigration into the UK and specifically from the Windrush generation, has brought massive benefits to our National Health Service, public services and the economy in general.

    This council agrees to write to the Home Secretary via the Elected Mayor to:

    Oppose the criminalisation of Windrush families.

    Introduce support for the Celebrate Windrush Day.

    Call on government to hold a public enquiry into the treatment of Windrush victims.

    Offer support and signposting to any  ...  view the full agenda text for item 78.

    Minutes:

    Motions submitted under council procedure rule 13.0

     

    Council was informed that three motions had been received. 

     

    Motion 1

     

    The following motion was proposed by Councillor Asif Khan and seconded by Councillor Karen Collett

     

    “Charter Against Modern Slavery

     

    This council believes that modern slavery is one of the great evils of our time and that it needs to be stamped out. In order to do this, and reflect the views of the people of the town, we will sign the charter against modern slavery as mentioned below.

     

    Watford Borough Council will:

     

    1. Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

    2. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance.

    3. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

    4. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

    5. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

    6. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

    7. Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

    8. Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

    9. Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

    10. Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.”

     

    Members debated the motion.

    On being put to Council the motion was AGREED.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    Charter Against Modern Slavery

     

    This council believes that modern slavery is one of the great evils of our time and that it needs to be stamped out. In order to do this, and reflect the views of the people of the town, we will sign the charter against modern slavery as mentioned below.

     

    Watford Borough Council will:

    1. Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

    2. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance.

    3. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

    4. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

    5. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

    6. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

 

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