Agenda and minutes

St Edmundsbury Council
Tuesday 21 February 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Contact: Claire Skoyles  Email: claire.skoyles@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

218.

Prayers

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain, the Very Reverend Canon Mark Hackeson of St Edmunds’ Church, opened the meeting with prayers.

219.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2016 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The public and exempt minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor, subject to the following amendment:

 

Minute 210 (C)(1) ‘Referral from Cabinet: 8 December 2016: Barley Homes – Five Year Business Plan’: Councillor Sarah Broughton declared a local non-pecuniary interest as her business was she was employed by Prime-Purchase, a subsidiary of Savills PLC…..

 

 

 

220.

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on the civic engagements and charity activities which she and her Consort, and the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress had attended since the last ordinary meeting of Council held on 20 December 2016.

 

221.

Apologies for Absence

To receive announcements (if any) from the officer advising the Mayor (including apologies for absence)

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bob Cockle, Jane Midwood, Richard Rout, Andrew Speed, Frank Warby and Patsy Warby.

 

222.

Declarations of Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or local non pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when that item is reached and, when appropriate, to leave the meeting prior to discussion and voting on the item.

Minutes:

Members declarations of interest are recorded under the item to which the declaration relates.

223.

Leader's Statement pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Paper No: COU/SE/17/001

 

(Council Procedure Rules 8.1 – 8.3)  Members may ask the Leader questions on the content of both his introductory remarks and the written statement itself.

 

A total of 30 minutes will be allowed for questions and responses. There will be a limit of five minutes for each question to be asked and answered. A supplementary question arising from the reply may be asked so long as the five minute limit is not exceeded.

Minutes:

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, presented his statement as contained in Paper No: COU/SE/17/001.

 

In addition to his statement, Councillor Griffiths drew attention in his introductory remarks to the potential implications for St Edmundsbury and west Suffolk regarding the consultations on the Housing ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ White Paper and Industrial Strategy Green Paper; and the soon to be implemented changes relating to the revaluation of business rates. 

 

In response to a question, Council was informed that a relief road for central Bury St Edmunds was under the responsibility of the County Council; however, the Borough Council and other partners, worked closely with the County Council to address potential future infrastructure aspirations. The work on the emerging Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan, and the Civil Parking Enforcement proposals (for consideration later on the agenda) were examples of effective partnership working, which had common aims of making improvements to the borough and west Suffolk.

224.

Public Participation

(Council Procedure Rules Section 6) Members of the public who live or work in the Borough are invited to put one question of not more than five minutes duration. A person who wishes to speak must register at least fifteen minutes before the time the meeting is scheduled to start.*

 

(Note: The maximum time to be set aside for this item is 30 minutes, but if all questions are dealt with sooner, or if there are no questions, the Council will proceed to the next business.

 

Each person may ask one question only. A total of five minutes will be allowed for the question to be put and answered. One further question will be allowed arising directly from the reply, provided that the original time limit of five minutes is not exceeded.

 

Written questions may be submitted by members of the public to the Service Manager (Legal) no later than 10.00 am on Monday 20 February 2017.  The written notification should detail the full question to be asked at the meeting of the Council.)*

 

*For further information, see Public Information Sheet attached to this agenda.

Minutes:

No members of the public in attendance wished to speak.

225.

Referrals report of recommendations from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Report No: COU/SE/17/002

 

(A)    Referral from Cabinet: 7 February 2017

 

1.

Review of Abbeycroft Leisure Ltd Performance 2005-2016

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Joanna Rayner

 

2.

Treasury Management Report 2016/2017 – Investment Activity  (1 April to 31 December 2016)

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Ian Houlder

 

3.

Annual Treasury Management and Investment Strategy Statements 2017/2018 and Code of Practice

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Ian Houlder

 

4.

Delivering a Sustainable Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-2020

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Ian Houlder

 

This item will be considered separately as part of Agenda Item 9 below.

 

5.

Budget and Council Tax Setting 2017/2018 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-2021

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Ian Houlder

 

This item will be considered separately under Agenda Item 9 below.

 

6.

Joint West Suffolk Sex Establishment Licensing Policy

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Alaric Pugh

 

7.

Civil Parking Enforcement

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Peter Stevens

 

(Note: For ease of reference, Exempt Appendix A to Cabinet Report No: CAB/SE/17/016, ‘Civil Parking Enforcement’, is attached to this agenda at Agenda Item 15. )

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the Referrals report of Recommendations from Cabinet contained within Report No: COU/SE/17/002.

 

(A)    Referrals from Cabinet: 7 February 2017

 

1.       Review of Abbeycroft Leisure Ltd Performance 2005-2016

 

Approval was sought for Council to formally note the recommendations of Cabinet, which related to the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its review of Abbeycroft’s past performance since the operation of the Council’s leisure services had been transferred in 2005.

 

Councillor Joanna Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including thanking the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for its work.  The findings would provide a significant contribution to informing the development of a new Partnership Agreement with Abbeycroft, which would be presented to Cabinet and Council in spring 2017.

 

Councillor Terry Clements commended the work of Abbeycroft Leisure and the recently opened facility at Skyliner Way, Bury St Edmunds.

 

On the motion of Councillor Rayner, seconded by Councillor Clive Springett, and duly carried, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That note be taken of the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in developing a new Partnership Agreement with Abbeycroft moving forward, in particular:

 

(1)     the need for full transparency in costs to the Council of providing leisure services;

 

(2)     the need for the agreement to focus on the outcomes for the health and wellbeing of communities; and

 

(3)     the approach to developing a Partnership Agreement with Abbeycroft for at least 10 years and alignment of leases will deliver value for money service for the Council.

 

2.       Treasury Management Report 2016/2017 – Investment Activity

(1 April to 31 December 2016)

 

Approval was sought for the Treasury Management Report, which had been updated to include investment activity for the third quarter of 2016/2017.

 

Councillor Ian Houlder, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council.

 

On the motion of Councillor Houlder, seconded by Councillor Sarah Broughton, and duly carried, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Treasury Management Report 2016-2017, attached at Appendix 1 to Report No: TMS/SE/17/001, be approved.

 

3.       Annual Treasury Management and Investment Strategy Statements 2017/2018 and Code of Practice

 

Approval was sought for the Annual Treasury Management and Investment Strategy Statements for 2017/2018 and the Treasury Management Code of Practice.

 

Councillor Ian Houlder, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council.

 

On the motion of Councillor Houlder, seconded by Councillor John Burns, and duly carried, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That:

 

(1)     the Annual Treasury Management and Investment Strategy Statements 2017/2018, as contained in Appendix 1 to Report No: TMS/SE/17/002, be approved; and

 

(2)     the Treasury Management Code of Practice 2017/2018, as contained in Appendix 2 to Report No: TMS/SE/17/002, be approved.

 

4.       Delivering a Sustainable Medium Term Financial Strategy

2017-2020

 

The recommendations emanating from Cabinet’s consideration of this report was contained within Report No: COU/SE/17/004, ‘Budget and Council Tax Setting: 2017/2018 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-2021’ (minute 227 below refers).

 

 

5.       Budget and Council Tax Setting 2017/2018 and Medium Term Financial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 225.

226.

Report of the West Suffolk Joint Independent Remuneration Panel - Members' Scheme of Allowances pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Report No: COU/SE/17/003

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Report No: COU/SE/17/003 (and Report No: COU/SE/16/022 (revised), attached to Report No: COU/SE/17/003), which sought approval for a new Scheme of Members’ Allowances for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, as devised by the West Suffolk Joint Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

On 20 December 2016, this item was deferred by Council to allow Members further time to consider the extensive number of recommendations and to submit any comments they may have had on the proposals for consideration by the Panel.

 

The Panel had now considered Members’ comments on its proposals and had made a revision to its original report (Report No: COU/SE/16/022) presented on 20 December 2016, which as a consequence had meant that Appendix A attached to that report had also been revised.  The revision made by the Panel related to the chairmanship of the West Suffolk Joint Standards Committee, as highlighted in Section 2 of Report No: COU/SE/17/003.

 

For the reasons set out in paragraph 3.1 of Report No: COU/SE/17/003 and for clarity, the recommendations put forward by the Panel were reproduced in paragraph 3.2 of that report.

 

Councillor Houlder, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, thanked the Panel for taking the time to consider Members’ comments and for making an amendment to their report in light of those comments received. He acknowledged and commended the significant amount of work undertaken by the Panel; however he did not feel that the proposed new Members’ Allowance Scheme could be supported or adopted for the following reasons:

 

(a)     The changes were fundamentally different to the current scheme and it was not felt necessary to make this deviation from the current scheme.

 

(b)     Whilst changes to the existing scheme may be required in the future this was not the right time to do this.

 

(c)     The proposals would result in an unnecessary increase to the budget.

 

(d)     Given the changes proposed were so fundamental to the scheme, it was difficult to accept some parts without altering the rest, therefore it was considered appropriate for the proposals to be rejected completely at this time.

 

Councillor Houlder then moved the following alternative motion to that proposed in the report, which was duly seconded by Councillor Carol Bull:

 

That:

 

(1)     the 36 specific recommendations of the West Suffolk Joint Independent Remuneration Panel, as set out in Appendix A (Revised) to Report No: COU/SE/16/022, be rejected in their entirety and therefore a new Members’ Allowance Scheme for St Edmundsbury Borough Council not be adopted; and

 

(2)     as a consequence of the above, the current St Edmundsbury Borough Council Members’ Allowance Scheme be extended beyond 31 March 2017 until a date of expiry of 31 May 2019.  

 

Councillor David Nettleton proposed an amendment to the above substantive motion, as shown below  in bold and strikethrough as appropriate, which was duly seconded by Councillor Trevor Beckwith:

 

That:

 

(1)     The following be approved for incorporation into the existing Members’ Allowances Scheme:

 

(a)    The Basic Allowance should incorporate the £180 broadband payment for all 45 Members of the Council, resulting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 226.

227.

Budget and Council Tax Setting: 2017/2018 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-2021 pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Report No: COU/SE/17/004

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Report No: COU/SE/17/004, which presented the proposals for Budget and Council Tax Setting in 2017/2018 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2017-2021.

 

Councillor Ian Houlder, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including that Report No: COU/SE/17/004 set out details of the Council’s proposed revenue and capital budgets for 2017/2018.  The Cabinet had been required to consider the 2017/2018 budget for the authority and had recommended to Council a proposed council tax increase of 1.96%.  This equated to an increase in £3.51 for an average Band D property, therefore the level of Band D council tax for 2017/2018 would be set at £182.16.

 

In light of the significant transformation in the funding of local services, the Council continued to face considerable financial challenges in the short, medium and longer term.  Changes included reductions in Government grant funding, including the pending removal of the Revenue Support Grant which was expected not to be available to the Borough by 2019/2020; more business rates being retained locally (and the uncertainty around how that was going to work); plus the introduction, and then reduction of New Homes Bonus.  Further details and the implications of these particular matters were detailed in the report. 

 

Alongside these cuts, was the lowest bank base rate for years (resulting in the Council’s income from interest being significantly reduced), and increased demand in some services, such as housing.  Whilst the Government had maintained the 2% or £5 threshold (whichever was the higher) for council tax increases for 2017/2018 for shire districts, this local tax raised only one fifth of the Council’s income for local services.  Bridging the gap between income and demand was the single biggest challenge facing local government across the country.

 

St Edmundsbury Borough Council had been working in partnership with Forest Heath District Council (the West Suffolk councils) since 2010 and had saved in excess of £4 million annually through sharing services; however it was recognised that whilst the income received by the West Suffolk councils must be maintained, projects in which investment had been made, must be delivered in order to bridge the budget gap in the medium to longer term.

 

Some projects would require considerable investment through borrowing, but that investment would build a more financially resilient and self-sufficient council, with less reliance on uncertain Government, or other funding.  That focus on income-generating projects, which may span several years before making any returns, meant that the Council was unable to simply balance a budget for one year.  Section 1.6 of the report provided details on how the Council intended to support these projects and its investment in growth agenda.

 

The Council Tax Freeze Grant, which incentivised councils to freeze their council tax levels had not been included in the settlement since 2016/2017 onwards and any previous awards were now included within the Revenue Support Grant and phased out accordingly.

 

Councillor Houlder continued and thanked Members of the Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee for their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 227.

228.

Mayoralty 2017/2018

To receive a verbal report of the Chairman of the Mayoral Advisory Committee.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Mayoral Advisory Committee, Councillor Ian Houlder, reported that the Committee had recommended that:

 

        The present Deputy Mayor, Councillor Terry Clements be nominated for the office of Mayor of St Edmundsbury for the 2017/2018 civic year; and

 

        Councillor Margaret Marks be nominated for the office of Deputy Mayor of St Edmundsbury for the 2017/2018 civic year.

 

The elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2017/2018 would be held at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 18 May 2017.

 

Both Councillors Clements and Marks were delighted to accept their respective nominations and thanked Members for their support.

229.

Calendar of Meetings: 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Report No: COU/SE/17/005

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Report No: COU/SE/17/005, which sought approval for the proposed calendar of meetings for 2017/2018.

 

Councillor Ian Houlder, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including that other meetings not listed in the Council’s Constitution and those arranged on an ad-hoc basis would be scheduled throughout 2017/2018 and Members would be advised of these separately.

 

On the motion of Councillor Ian Houlder, seconded by Councillor Patrick Chung, and duly carried it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Calendar of Meetings for 2017/2018, attached as Appendix A to Report No: COU/SE/17/005, be approved.

230.

Questions to Committee Chairmen

Members are invited to ask questions of committee Chairmen on business transacted by their committees since the last ordinary meeting of Council on 20 December 2016.

 

Committee

Chairman

Dates of meetings

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Diane Hind

11 January 2017

Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Sarah Broughton

25 January 2017

Development Control Committee

Cllr Jim Thorndyke

5 January 2017

2 February 2017

Licensing and Regulatory Committee

Cllr Frank Warby

24 January 2017

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered a narrative item, which sought questions of Committee Chairmen on business transacted since the last ordinary meeting of Council on 20 December 2016, as outlined below:

 

Committee

Chairman

Dates of meetings

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Diane Hind

11 January 2017

Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Sarah Broughton

25 January 2017

Development Control Committee

Cllr Jim Thorndyke

5 January 2017

2 February 2017

Licensing and Regulatory Committee

Cllr Frank Warby

24 January 2017

 

No questions were asked of the above Chairmen (or in the absence of Councillor Frank Warby, Councillor Clive Springett, Vice-Chairman of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee)

 

231.

Urgent Questions on Notice

The Council will consider any urgent questions on notice that were notified to the Service Manager (Shared Legal) by 11am on the day of the meeting.

Minutes:

No urgent questions on notice had been received.

232.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded during the consideration of the following items because it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt categories of information as prescribed in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and indicated against each item and, in all circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

See minute 233 below.

233.

Exempt Appendix: Referrals Report of Recommendations from Cabinet (para 3)

Exempt Appendix 1 to Report No: COU/SE/17/002

 

(A)    Referral from Cabinet: 7 February 2017

 

7.

Exempt Appendix A: Civil Parking Enforcement (para 3)

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr Peter Stevens

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Exempt Appendix 1 to Report No: COU/SE/17/002 under Agenda Item 7(A)(7) above, however no reference was made to specific detail and therefore this item was not held in private session.

234.

Exempt Minutes: 20 December 2016 (para 3)

To confirm the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2016 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor under Agenda Item 1; however no reference was made to specific detail and therefore this item was not held in private session.