Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Sandra Hancock  Email: democraticservices@watford.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

64.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hamid.

 

65.

Disclosure of Interests

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

66.

Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2021 to be submitted and signed. 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2021 were agreed and will be signed at the next non-virtual meeting.

67.

Official Announcements

Minutes:

Civic death

The Chairman announced the death of ex-councillor Judi Jackson, who was a councillor from May 1983 until May 1991.

Councillor Bell paid tribute to the former councillor Judi Jackson.

 

The Chairman invited the meeting to observe a minute’s silence in her memory.

 

Elections 2021

The Chairman announced that this would be the last Council meeting for some members who had decided not to re-stand in the elections in May.  She thanked them on behalf of the Council for their service to the council and the Watford community and wished them all the best for the future.  She read out the names of those who were standing down:

Iain Sharpe – first elected May 1991

Derek Scudder – first elected May 1994

Kareen Hastrick – first elected May 2006

Karen Collett – first elected May 2010

Mo Mills – first elected October 2011

Sohail Bashir – first elected May 2014

Stephen Bolton – first elected May 2014

Jane Johnson – first elected May 2016

 

Charity event

The Chairman referred to her charity event, Watford Moves Together, and informed the members that a Go Fund Me link would be circulated the following day. 

 

Related Party Transactions

The Chairman reminded members to return their related party transaction forms to the Group Head of Democracy and Governance, as soon as possible.

 

 

68.

Mayor's Report pdf icon PDF 365 KB

    Minutes:

    A report of the Mayor had been circulated with the agenda.  The Mayor thanked the Chairman for her service this year under extremely difficult circumstances and for chairing the virtual meetings.  He also thanked those councillors standing down.  They had all served their community with dedication.  He wished them all the best for the future.

     

    The Chairman invited members to indicate whether they wished to ask a question of the Mayor.  Councillors Ezeifedi, Bashir, Bell, Turmaine and Dhindsa all indicated they wished to ask a question.

     

    1)     Councillor Ezeifedi raised the issue of women’s safety which had come to the fore following the recent kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard.  She also mentioned the petitioner who had spoken at the previous meeting about a sexual assault in Oxhey Park and necessary improvements to CCTV.  She asked about the Mayor’s plans to improve women’s safety in Watford and his thoughts about the cultural change required for individuals to be able to move around the town safely. 

     

                The Mayor replied that everyone had been appalled by the murder of Sarah Everard and offered condolences to her friends and family.  He pointed out that both parties within the council had campaigned against the county council’s decision to switch street lights off at night.  He said that everyone need to work towards the safety of people as they walked across the town.   He noted that Councillor Ezeifedi had referred to a cultural change.  This was an issue for the whole society and not just women. He suggested that everyone needed to have conversations not only with their daughters, but also their sons to educate them on respectful relationships, tackling harassment and inappropriate behaviour.  He recognised that there was a need to do more and that he was happy to work with members from all parties.

     

    2)     Councillor Bashir referred to the ‘ArrivaClick’ bus service.  He expressed regret that the service had seen less use than hoped for, but understood that this was most probably as a result of the onset of the pandemic and lockdown.  He was pleased to note that the service was being used to take people to and from the vaccination centres.  He asked if the Mayor had any statistics on the service’s use for this purpose and would this service be used to take Watford residents to vaccination centres outside the Borough. 

     

    The Mayor replied that to the best of his knowledge, that people were already able to use the service to travel to vaccination centres outside the Borough and named specific centres.  If Councillor Bashir was aware of any issues then to let him know. He stated that he did not have figures for usage to take people to and from vaccination centres.  However it was an important service to ensure people were able to get their vaccinations.  He hoped that as the lockdown eased the service could be expanded.  The government had made a recent announcement about expanding similar schemes in the country.  He agreed with Councillor Bashir  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Questions by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 10.0

    Minutes:

    There were no written questions received from members. 

     

     

70.

Questions by Members of the Public under Council Procedure Rule 11.0

    Minutes:

    No questions from the public 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.

Vice Chairman 2021/22 Nominations pdf icon PDF 375 KB

    • View the background to item 73.

    Report of the Democratic Services Manager

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report of the Democratic Services Manager which set out the procedure and nominations for the election of the Vice Chairman for 2021.

     

    The Chairman announced that following members’ votes, Councillor Amanda Grimston had been elected as Vice Chairman for 2021/22.

     

    RESOLVED –

     

    1.  that Council approves the election of Councillor Amanda Grimston as Vice Chairman for 2021-2022.

     

    2. that the voting procedure be amended as set out in the report for those occasions when there are more than two candidates.             

     

     

74.

Adopting the LGA Model Code of Conduct for Councillors pdf icon PDF 452 KB

75.

Appointment of Section 151 Officer pdf icon PDF 367 KB

    Report of the Group Head of Democracy and Governance

    Minutes:

    Council received the report of the Group Head of Democracy and Governance setting out the proposed appointment of the Section 151 officer.

     

    RESOLVED –

                      

    that with effect from 1 April 2021 Alison Scott becomes the S151 Officer and the Director of Finance for Watford Borough Council.

     

76.

Review of Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 442 KB

77.

Motions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 13.0 pdf icon PDF 322 KB

    1.      The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Collett and seconded by Councillor Wenham –

     

             This Council notes that: 

    ·         The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible toilets to install new signage.  This is to help stop stigma and discrimination towards people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and other invisible conditions. 

    ·         There have been instances nationally where such individuals using an accessible toilet have been accused by staff members of being ineligible to use them. 

    ·         The charity signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo ‘Not every disability is visible’. 

    ·         The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people - known as Changing Places - will be made compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues.

     

    Council resolves to: 

    ·         Ensure that accessible toilets on Council operated and / or directly managed premises bear these signs. 

    ·         Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible toilets. 

    ·         Seek advice from the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to council staff members. This is so they understand these conditions and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them. 

    ·         Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are properly signposted for visitors.” 

     

    2.      The following motion has been proposed by Councillor Hofman and seconded by Councillor Khan –

     

              “Council notes that:

    1.             Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of residents in Watford and across the rest of the UK;

    2.             Key workers have put themselves on the frontline throughout the pandemic to keep society going;

    3.             The Covid-19 vaccination roll out has been going well across the UK and it is one of the key routes out of lockdown alongside having an effective track and trace programme;

    4.             Watford Borough Council have been working hard to ensure the successful roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine across the borough, converting the town hall into a vaccination hub, providing free transport to vaccination appointments, and redeploying council staff to support the vaccination programme;

    5.             Local government elections are due to take place on 6th May, when it is anticipated that not everyone will have received even their first dose of vaccination.

     

    Council believes that:

    1.             High vaccination rates are essential to protecting everyone in our community and further afield, but vaccine hesitancy still exists among some people and the impact it may have on vaccination take-up is concerning;

    2.             An effective test, track and trace system is also essential in keeping our economy going and protecting lives, but so far in the pandemic the government have not succeeded in making this system the most effective it can be;

    3.             Teachers, police and frontline key workers need to be prioritised for vaccinations after the most vulnerable cohorts in our community to protect people and ensure public services and the economy  ...  view the full agenda text for item 77.

    Minutes:

    Council was informed that three motions had been received.

     

    Motion 1

     

    The following motion was proposed by Councillor Collett and seconded by Councillor Wenham.

     

    This Council notes that: 

    ·        The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible toilets to install new signage.  This is to help stop stigma and discrimination towards people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and other invisible conditions. 

    ·        There have been instances nationally where such individuals using an accessible toilet have been accused by staff members of being ineligible to use them. 

    ·        The charity signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo ‘Not every disability is visible’. 

    ·        The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people - known as Changing Places - will be made compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues.

     

    Council resolves to: 

    ·        Ensure that accessible toilets on Council operated and / or directly managed premises bear these signs. 

    ·        Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible toilets. 

    ·        Seek advice from the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to council staff members. This is so they understand these conditions and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them. 

    ·        Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are properly signposted for visitors.” 

     

    Members debated the motion.

     

    On being put to Council, the motion was agreed. 

     

    RESOLVED –

                      

    This Council notes that: 

    ·        The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK is encouraging venues providing accessible toilets to install new signage.  This is to help stop stigma and discrimination towards people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and other invisible conditions. 

    ·        There have been instances nationally where such individuals using an accessible toilet have been accused by staff members of being ineligible to use them. 

    ·        The charity signs have two standing figures and a wheelchair user with the words Accessible Toilet and the logo ‘Not every disability is visible’. 

    ·        The Government has decided recently that large accessible toilets for severely disabled people - known as Changing Places - will be made compulsory for large new buildings, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues.

     

    Council resolves to: 

    ·        Ensure that accessible toilets on Council operated and / or directly managed premises bear these signs. 

    ·        Ask town and district centre retailers and leisure outlets to do likewise with their accessible toilets. 

    ·        Seek advice from the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK on the information and training we should provide to council staff members. This is so they understand these conditions and to prevent potential embarrassment for those who suffer with them. 

    ·        Ensure that any Changing Places toilets in our buildings are properly signposted for visitors. 

     

    Motion 2  

                                         

    The following motion was proposed by Councillor Hofman and seconded by Councillor Khan.

     

    “This Council notes that:

    1.      Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of residents in Watford and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

 

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