Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 4 February 2020 9.30 am

Venue: Committee Room 2, East Pallant House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:  democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

97.

Chairman's Announcements

The Chairman will make any specific announcements for this meeting and advise of any late items which due to special circumstances will be given urgent consideration under Late Items.

Minutes:

Mrs Lintill greeted Chichester District Council (CDC) members, officers and all those present.

 

Mrs Lintill then read the emergency evacuation procedure.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Graves.

 

98.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Cabinet is requested to approve as a correct record the minutes of its meeting on Tuesday 7 January 2020.

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2020 which had been circulated with the agenda.

 

There were no proposed changes to the minutes.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 January 2020 be approved.

 

99.

Declarations of Interests

Members are requested to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests they might have in respect of matters on the agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

100.

Public Question Time

In accordance with Chichester District Council’s scheme for public question time as amended by Full Council on 24 September 2019 the Cabinet will receive any questions which have been submitted by members of the public in writing by noon two working days before the meeting. Each questioner will be given up to three minutes to ask their question. The total time allocated for public question time is 15 minutes subject to the Chairman’s discretion to extend that period.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

 

101.

Draft Treasury Management, Investment and Capital Strategy 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendices and make the following resolutions and recommendation to Council as set out below:

 

1.    That Cabinet considers the Treasury Management Policy Statement, the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Investment Strategy and relevant Indicators for 2020-21.

 

2.    That Cabinet considers the Council’s Capital Strategy for 2020-21 to 2024-25.

 

3.    That the documents in 2.1 and 2.2 are recommended to Council for approval.

Additional documents:

Decision:

*RECOMMENDED TO THE COUNCIL

 

That having considered the comments from the Corporate Governance & Audit Committee, Cabinet recommends to Council:

 

1.    That the Treasury Management Policy Statement, the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Investment Strategy, and the relevant Indicators for 2020-21, as amended be approved and;

2.    The Capital Strategy for 2020-21 to 2024-25 be approved.

Minutes:

Mr Wilding introduced the report. He explained that the council is required by both the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) to approve a Treasury Management Strategy, an Investment Strategy and Capital Strategy each year. He drew attention to new section to the Treasury Management Strategy (page 14 of the Supplement to the agenda pack). The new section to read as follows:

 

Ethical Investments

Statutory guidance issued by CIPFA and MHCLG makes it clear that all treasury investments must adopt security, liquidity and yield (SLY) principles; ethical issues then play a subordinate role to those priorities. Nevertheless, there are a growing number of financial institutions and fund managers promoting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) products. The Director of Corporate Services will consider such investments when deemed appropriate within the Council’s overall treasury management policies, objectives and the risk management framework set out in this document.

 

Mr Wilding outlined a number of other changes to the draft Treasury Management and Investment Strategy (the page numbers referenced relate to the small figures in the agenda pack):

 

  • On page 6, the figures in table 2 now include Forecast CIL balances.
  • On page 7, a new section on proportionality has been included.
  • On page 9 and 10: The limit on non LAPF pooled funds has been increased from £25 million to £30 million and a new investment vehicle, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) included with an investment limit of £4 million.
  • On page 14, Table 5 increased Treasury Investment Limits for each type of investment.
  • On page 16, Table 6 increased limits for external debt.

 

Mr Wilding added that last year the council was required to publish a Capital strategy for the first time. The Strategy is an overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contribute to the provision of local services and how associated risk is managed by the council. The Capital Strategy for 2020/21 to 2024/25 remains unchanged from last year except for updated figures in the tables.

 

Mr Wilding explained that the Treasury Management, Investment and Capital Strategy were reviewed by the Corporate Governance an Audit Committee on 23 January 2020 and the Committee made the following recommendations:

 

  • In the Treasury Management Strategy, a new section on Ethical, Social and Governance Investments should be included at the end of the section on pooled funds on page 12.  A copy of this has been distributed to members of the Cabinet.
  • Before making a potential investment decision with respect to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) officers will after obtaining the appropriate professional advice consult the Cabinet Member for Financial Services and the chairman of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee

 

Officers were also asked for clarification on the CIL figures used for Table 2 detailed on page 6 of the agenda pack and the New Homes Bonus figures on page 4 of the Capital Strategy. Officers amended the New Homes Bonus figures for publication in the Cabinet agenda.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

Budget Spending Plans 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendices and make the following resolutions and recommendations to Council as set out below:

 

That the Cabinet recommends to the Council:

 

1.    That a net budget requirement of £14,235,800 for 2020-20 be approved.

 

2.    That Council Tax be increased by £5.00 from £160.81 to £165.81 for a Band D equivalent in 2020-21.

 

3.    That the uncommitted revenue budget of £483,900 be transferred to the General Fund Reserve to mitigate the deficit expected in 2021-22.

 

4.    Should the final settlement differ from the draft settlement, the sum in 3.1 (c) above be adjusted accordingly.

 

5.    The capital programme, including the asset renewal programme (appendix 1c and 1d of the agenda report) be approved.

That the Cabinet further notes:

 

1.    The current estimated resources position set in appendix 2 of the agenda report, and

 

2.    The budget variances included in the Draft Budget Spending Plan as set out in appendix 1b of the agenda report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the current estimated resources position set in appendix 2 of the agenda report be noted, and

2.    The budget variances included in the Draft Budget Spending Plan as set out in appendix 1b of the agenda report be noted.

 

*RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL 

 

1.     That a net budget requirement of £14,235,800 for 2020-21 be approved.

2.     That Council Tax be increased by £5.00 from £160.81 to £165.81 for a Band D equivalent in 2020-21.

3.     That the uncommitted revenue budget of £483,900 be transferred to the General Fund Reserve to mitigate the deficit expected in 2020-21.

4.     That should the final settlement differ from the draft settlement, the sum in 3.1 (c) above be adjusted accordingly.

5.     That the capital programme, including the asset renewal programme (appendix 1c and 1d of the agenda report) be approved. 

Minutes:

Mr Wilding introduced the item. He explained that the report follows on from Council’s approval of our Financial Strategy in December 2019. He confirmed that Full Council will set the budget and Council tax in March 2020. He explained that the report focusses on the Budget Spending Plans of each of Cabinet member’s portfolios and how these aggregate and underpin the balanced budget presented.

 

Mr Wilding acknowledged that the budget process involves co-operation between individual budget managers and the council’s finance team, overseen by the Strategic Leadership Team. The process ensures that service delivery priorities are met within the constraints on public sector financial resources.

 

Mr Wilding then confirmed that the draft financial settlement from the Government had been broadly as anticipated with the 2020-21 settlement effectively an extension to the previously agreed four-year settlement due to the Government Funding reforms being delayed until 2021-22.    

 

Mr Wilding then drew attention to some of the key variables and issues that impact the forthcoming financial year detailed in the report and supporting appendices, namely, income from fees, charges and rents; use of reserves; and Council tax. With  regard to Council Tax he explained that he felt that the council should take up central government’s offer of allowing a rise in Council Tax by £5 for Band D properties (or less than 10 pence per week) and equivalent increases for other property Bands. He explained that it will help to offset the continued reduction of central government funding by generating an extra £270,667 per year to assist in closing the budget deficit that would otherwise emerge in the medium term.  He confirmed that to not approve an increase would leave the council with a deficit to address in later years. In addition there will be continued work on the 2016 deficit reduction plan which aims to generate further income and savings amounting to just under £1 million over the next 5 years.

 

Mr Wilding then explained the overall 2020-21 budget summarised in the income and expenditure statement as detailed at pages 62 and 63 of the agenda pack.  He added that a corrected page 63 was circulated as a supplementary agenda paper. There is a net revenue requirement of £14.236 million with the draft budget showing a net surplus of £484,000 for 2020-21.  However, the Financial Strategy shows that in the two subsequent years the total deficit is forecast to be £500,000. Mr Wilding explained that it is therefore prudent to reserve the 2020-21 surplus by transferring it to the council’s General Fund Reserve in order to off-set future deficits and avoid unwanted service reductions.

 

Mr Wilding then drew attention to pages 64 - 69 of the supplement pack which details the major variances by department and service area between the 2019-20 budget and that for 2020-21. The most significant variation is the loss of recycling credits which amounts to £769,000 per year.

He then outlined the budget summaries by portfolio on pages 71-86, of the supplement pack.  He explained that the details  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Consideration of consultation responses and modifications to the District Council's Infrastructure Business Plan 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendices and make the following recommendations to Council as set out below:

 

The Cabinet recommends to the Council that it:

 

1.    Approves the proposed responses to the representations received and subsequent modifications to the Infrastructure Business Plan (IBP) as set out in Appendix 1; and

 

2.    Approves the amended IBP including CIL Spending Plan attached as Appendix 2.

 

Please note that full version of appendix 2 is available online only.

Additional documents:

Decision:

*RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

1.    That the proposed responses to the representations received and subsequent modifications to the Infrastructure Business Plan (IBP) as set out in Appendix 1 be approved; and

2.    The amended IBP including CIL Spending Plan attached as Appendix 2 be approved.

Minutes:

Mrs Taylor introduced the report. She confirmed that the Infrastructure Business Plan (IBP) is updated each year. The IBP prioritises the strategic infrastructure projects from the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) necessary to deliver the growth identified in the Chichester Local Plan, particularly within the five year period 2020-2025. It includes updates and new projects put forward by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the key infrastructure commissioners. The IBP sets out the methodology for selecting which infrastructure projects have been prioritised for funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) during the five year period from 2020 to 2025, which will be funded from S106/S278 agreements and which infrastructure projects are or would need to be, funded from other sources.

 

Mrs Taylor confirmed that the IBP was subject to six weeks consultation from 7 October to 18 November 2019 with the city, town and parish councils, WSCC, Neighbouring Planning Authorities including the South Downs National Park Authority and key infrastructure delivery commissioners.

 

Mrs Taylor then drew attention to appendix 1 and appendix 2 which details the views of the Chichester Growth Board which met on 9 January 2020 and the Development Plan and Infrastructure Panel (DPIP) which met on 16 January 2020 to consider the proposed responses to the representations received as a result of the consultation.

 

Mrs Taylor explained that since the implementation of the CIL on 1 February 2016 at total of £9,828,007 had been collected to date (4 December 2019). At the end of October 2019 the total amount handed over to parishes was £1,666,648.

 

Mrs Taylor then outlined two new transport projects requested by WSCC:

 

·           IBP/840 - (College Lane/Spitalfields Road Junction improvements) to make it suitable for shared use in years 2021/22 (cost estimate £60,000 to be fully funded from CIL)

·           IBP/841 - (Chidham Sustainable Transport Improvements) to widen the existing footways to accommodate shared use to start 2022/23 (requesting £500,000 from CIL together with S106 from new developments at total cost estimate of £1.8 – 2 million)

 

Mrs Taylor explained that WSCC also sought a number of amendments.

 

With regard to IBP/349 - A286 Birdham Road/B2201 (Selsey Tram Roundabout) junction WSCC is currently undertaking feasibility work. The project is currently included in the CIL Spending Plan for £111,000 however the costs have increased and the CIL request is now for £440,000. Mrs Taylor explained that the increase is due to a change in the options under consideration which are different from the scheme envisaged at the time planning permission was granted.

 

With regard to IBP/353 (Sustainable transport corridor, City Centre to Westhampnett) Mrs Taylor explained that the project had been moved back from 2019/20 to 2020/21.

 

With regard to IBP/659 (school access improvements – drop off and pick up arrangements at expanded primary schools – Manhood Peninsula) Mrs Taylor confirmed that the project had been moved back from 2020/21 to 2021/22.

 

Mrs Taylor then explained that IBP/665, 655 and 654 had been amalgamated into two projects and the costs equally divided resulting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Authority's Monitoring Report 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendix and make the following resolutions:

 

1.    That Cabinet approve the Authority’s Monitoring Report 2018-2019 for publication.

 

2.    That the Director of Planning and the Environment be authorised, following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning Services, to make any minor amendments to the Authority’s Monitoring Report prior to its publication. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Authority’s Monitoring Report 2018-2019 be approved for publication.

2.    That the Director of Planning and the Environment be authorised, following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning Services, to make any minor amendments to the Authority’s Monitoring Report prior to its publication. 

Minutes:

Mrs Taylor introduced the report. She explained that the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) is the main mechanism for assessing the performance implementation and outcomes of the current adopted Local Plan within the Local Plan area. The AMR covers the period 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019 and includes significant events that have occurred since that time.

 

Mrs Taylor outlined the key highlights including:

 

·         Following responses to the Local Plan preferred response approach consultation between December 2018 and February 2019 additional evidence is now being prepared.

·         North Mundham and Sidlesham Neighbourhood Plans have received designations.

·         CIL receipts totally £48,000 have been spent on the Lavant Bio-Diversity opportunity area and Brandy Hole Copse.

·         Section 106 funding totalling £400,000 has been spent on recreational mitigation at Chichester and Pagham harbours with £1.6 million received for the A27.

·         Employment floor space completions totalled 23,000 square metres due largely to 10,000 square metres achieved at Glenmore Business Park.

·         654 net dwellings have been completed, significantly exceeding the 435 net dwellings requirement of the Local Plan housing requirement.

·         300 dwellings are underway at the Shopwhyke Lakes Strategic Site with outline planning permission permitted for the remaining 580 dwellings.

·         The 300 dwellings at Westhampnett have commenced

·         The reserved matters have been permitted for 750 on the Land West of Chichester site following outline planning permission permitted in April 2018.

·         A development partner has been selected for the Tangmere Strategic Development Site.

·         Parts of the Chichester Harbour SSSI were reclassified from unfavourable recovering to unfavourable no change in February 2019. The SSSI area is currently 90.3% favourable or recovering which is less than the Natural England target of 95%. The council is working to address this with Natural England through policy and planning applications.

·         Domestic carbon emissions have fallen.

·         AMR changes have been made since the Development Plan and Infrastructure Panel on 16 January 2020:

o   The A27 upgrade rising cost of mitigation is acknowledged.

o   The Section 106 section of report has been revised to highlight that over £4.5 million has been secured in relation to the A27 improvements.

o   A link has been provided to the waste water improvements information available on the Southern Water website.

 

Mrs Plant highlighted the time required to bring forward new homes. Mrs Taylor acknowledged Mrs Plants comment and added that last year the council exceeded its target. Mr Frost explained that the number of completed dwellings has seen a rise over recent years due to the lead in time required for the council’s four main strategic sites. It is hoped this will continue given the progress on the sites.

 

Mrs Plant requested bullet point 2 on page 37 of the pack be amended to nitrogen dioxide rather than nitrogen. She also requested section 2.5 on page 143 of the pack be amended to confirm that the cost to mitigate the scheme has risen. She added that the figures on page 205 of the pack need to be reviewed.

 

Mr Briscoe highlighted the importance of the impact of New Homes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.

105.

Corporate Debt Recovery Policy pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendix and make the following resolutions as set out below:

 

1.    That the Cabinet approves the new Corporate Debt Recovery Policy.

 

2.    That the Cabinet notes the Council’s response to the recommendations from the Money Advice Service.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the new Corporate Debt Recovery Policy be approved.

2.    That the Council’s response to the recommendations from the Money Advice Service be noted.

Minutes:

Mr Wilding introduced the report. He explained that the council first approved a Corporate Debt Recovery Policy in 2014, which was in response to the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014. This policy was refreshed in 2017 to reflect some minor amendments, and a new separate write-off policy was created. The new policy for Cabinet to consider has been completely redrafted to reflect an overarching approach, taking into account the different legislative requirements for the various council services income streams, and to incorporate the write off policy. The objective was to create a new income collection and debt management policy which was comprehensive, co-ordinated, consistent, clear and considerate especially for vulnerable people who might need additional assistance in addressing their financial affairs. The policy expresses the council’s approach for applying interest payments for late payments, embracing a fair debt collection approach, reflecting the write-off arrangements, and a new regular reporting requirement to the Strategic Leadership Team. Taking into account the Council’s approach to debt recovery, the report also sets out the positive response in paragraph 5.7 of the report to the Money Advice Service, and its ‘Stop the Knock’ campaign which made six recommendations for all local authorities to consider.

 

Mr Wilding added that the Corporate Debt Recovery policy was considered by the Corporate and Governance and Audit Committee on 23 January 2020 where members welcomed and commended the aims and approach of the new draft policy and supported the extra support for vulnerable people facing indebtedness. No amendments were made to the draft policy for Cabinet to consider.

 

Mr Wilding then clarified that although the draft policy states on page 46 of the pack that it would be effective from 1 March 2020, this would in fact be later in order to take account of the meetings cycle for the Cabinet and the Council.           

 

With reference to page 41 of the pack Mrs Taylor asked whether the council assigns debts to other organisations and what approach is taken to supporting individuals. Mrs Belenger confirmed that the council does not assign debts in that manner to receive full income and the organisations then pursues the debt. Also the Council only uses enforcement agents as a last resort. The council will always try to signpost individual to appropriate organisation that can help with wider debt management such as the Citizens Advice Bureau based at East Pallant House.

 

With reference to section 6.1 on page 51 of the pack Mrs Lintill asked whether the priorities are weighted. Mrs Belenger confirmed that each case is dealt with on an individual basis.

 

Members gave their support to the debt recovery approach.

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet then voted unanimously to make the resolutions below.

 

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the new Corporate Debt Recovery Policy be approved.

2.    That the Council’s response to the recommendations from the Money Advice Service be noted.

 

106.

New Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2020 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendices and make the following resolution as set out below:

 

That Cabinet approves the new Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) for the period 2020 – 2024, as detailed in Appendix 1.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the new Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) for the period 2020 – 2024, as detailed in Appendix 1 be approved.

Minutes:

Mrs Plant introduced the report. She explained that the district supports a wide variety of wildlife including 10 internationally designated sites, 38 sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and 130 wildlife sites. The council has a statutory duty to have regard to conserving its biodiversity. Mrs Plant explained that one of the ways to demonstrate compliance is through the council’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

 

She outlined the key successes in the previous plan which include:

 

·         Supporting the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group including securing over £500,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for delivering the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands Project (FLOW)

·         Mitigating the increased recreational disturbance at Chichester and Pagham harbours

·         Delivering a £50,000 biodiversity enhancement scheme across a stretch of the River Lavant

 

The 2020 Action Plan includes:

 

·         The Strategic Wildlife Corridors project to provide biodiversity enhancements to the proposed wildlife corridors

·         Naturalising Chichester’s green spaces by wilding parks

·         Local Plan review policy support

 

Mrs Plant asked what would happen if the National Lottery funding application is not successful. Mrs Evans explained that alternative funding would be investigated and if necessary the projects would be taken forward in a more modest way.

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet then voted unanimously to make the resolution below.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the new Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) for the period 2020 – 2024, as detailed in Appendix 1 be approved.

 

107.

Revenues System Contract Renewal pdf icon PDF 68 KB

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and make the followingresolution as set out below:

 

That Cabinet approve the extension of the support and maintenance contract with Northgate Public Services for Revenues & Benefits software for five years.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the extension of the support and maintenance contract with Northgate Public Services for Revenues & Benefits software for five years be approved.

Minutes:

Mr Wilding introduced the report and explained that the council currently uses Northgate Public Services revenues and benefits software. He added that the report recommends a five year extension to the contract.

 

There were no questions.

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet then voted unanimously to make the resolution below.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the extension of the support and maintenance contract with Northgate Public Services for Revenues & Benefits software for five years be approved.

 

108.

Late Items

a)    Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection

 

b)    Items which the chairman has agreed should be taken as matters of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be reported at the meeting

Minutes:

There were no late items.

 

109.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Cabinet is asked to consider in respect of agenda item 14 (Disposal methodology for land at Church Road, Chichester) whether the public including the press should be excluded from the meeting on the following ground of exemption in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 namely Paragraph 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Note: The report and its appendices within this part of the agenda are attached for members of the Council and relevant only (printed on salmon paper).

Minutes:

Mrs Lintill read the part II resolution in relation to agenda item 14 which was seconded by Mrs Taylor.

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet then voted unanimously to go into part II.

 

RESOLVED

 

That with regard to agenda item 14 the public including the press should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 namely Paragraph 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

110.

Land at Church Road, Portfield, Chichester

The Cabinet is requested to consider the agenda report and its appendix and make the following resolutionas set out below:

 

That Cabinet note the site remains surplus to requirements and agree that officers proceed with the disposal process as set out in section 5.2 of this report.

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That it be noted that the site remains surplus to requirements and the Cabinet agrees that officers proceed with the disposal process as set out in section 5.2 of this report.

Minutes:

Mr Bell introduced the exempt report. He drew attention to background to the site and the proposal as set out in the report.

 

Questions were put forward by Mrs Lintill, Mrs Taylor and Mr Wilding.

 

Mrs Lintill also allowed Mr Oakley and Mr Potter to speak from the audience.

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet then voted unanimously to make the resolution below.

 

RESOLVED

 

That it be noted that the site remains surplus to requirements and the Cabinet agrees that officers proceed with the disposal process as set out in section 5.2 of this report.