Agenda and minutes

West Devon Hub Committee - Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Chamber - Kilworthy Park. View directions

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


*HC 21          

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Oxborough, Roberts and Sampson.



Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting.


            If Councillors have any questions relating to predetermination, bias or interests in items on this Agenda, then please contact the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.



*HC 22          

Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be discussed and the following were made:

Cllr Samuel declared a personal interest in Item 12: Civil Penalties for breaches of Housing Standards Enforcement Notices, by virtue of being a landlord.




Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes of meeting held 17 July 2018.



The Minutes of the Hub Committee meeting held on 17 July 2018 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Financial Strategy Review Working Group - Cllr Jory

Verbal Update



In accordance with the Council decision at its meeting on 27 March 2018 (Minute CM 73 refers) for updates to be included as a standing agenda item,  the Lead Member for Assets and Environment circulated to Members an update on the work of the Financial Stability Review Group.  The Group were due to meet again on 18 September, 2018.


The Lead Member for Assets and Environment had also circulated a note that outlined the intention of Plymouth City Council (PCC) to consult on the possibility of establishing a Marine National Park based on the Plymouth Sound.  The Committee endorsed the view that West Devon Borough Council should seek to engage in a collaborative partnership with PCC and as a formal consultee.






Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24 - Cllr Sanders pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Additional documents:



Members were presented with a report that set out the Council’s Medium Term Financial Position over a rolling five year timeframe to 2023/24.  The Council, along with other local authorities, had faced unprecedented reductions in Government funding since the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010.


The Leader presented the report and the s151 Officer and Head of Paid Service responded to questions that arose.  Recommendations relating to pensions and staff terms and conditions had caused some concern but the Leader explained the rationale for the recommendations. 


During discussion, some Members felt that Recommendation 9 within the presented report that related to Treasury Management and Borrowing Strategy should be amended to reflect that Council should set the upper borrowing limit.  The s151 Officer outlined the external advice that had been received that led to the presented recommendation, and in response to a question, the ramifications of ignoring that advice.  Other Members felt it was appropriate to accept the advice given.


It was then PROPOSED, SECONDED and on being put to the vote declared LOST, that the Hub Committee does not make a recommendation on the Upper Limit for External Borrowing (for all Council Services) and instead defers that decision to Council as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy as per Exempt Appendix G.  As a result, the recommendation as set out in the presented report was approved as part of recommendation 3 below, which stated that the Hub Committee recommend to Council an Upper Limit of £50 million on External Borrowing. 


ItwasthenRESOLVED that the Hub Committee:


1.     note the forecast budget gap for 2019/20 of £0.45 million and the position for future years;

2.     notes the current options identified and timescales for closing the budget gap in 2019/20 and future years, to achieve long term financial sustainability; and

3.     RECOMMENDS to Council to approve recommendations 1 to 10 as set out in the presented report.




Commercial Property Strategy Amendment - Cllr Jory pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:



Members were presented with a report that sought approval and implementation of a new commercial property strategy which combined the ability to make property acquisitions with in-borough asset developments, in line with the ‘Enterprise’ corporate strategic objective of creating places for enterprise to thrive and business to grow.


The Lead Member for Assets presented the report.


It was then RESOLVED that Council be RECOMMENDED to:


1.     Approve and Implement the commercial property strategy as detailed in Appendix A of the presented report; and

2.     Rescind the currently adopted commercial property acquisition strategy as detailed in presented Appendix E.





Quarter 1 Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/2019 - Cllr Edmonds pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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Members were presented with a report that enabled monitoring of income and expenditure variations against the approved budget for 2018/19, and provided a forecast for the year end position.


The Lead Member for Resources and Performance presented the report.


It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee note the forecast income and expenditure variations for the 2018/19 financial year and the overall projected underspend of £19,000.



Write Off Report - Cllr Edmonds pdf icon PDF 130 KB



TheLead Member forResources and Performance introduceda reportthat informed Members of thedebtwrittenoff forrevenuestreamswithinthe Revenueand Benefitsservice.  Debtsupto thevalueof £5,000werewrittenoffby the s151Officerunderdelegatedauthority.  Permissionwassoughtto writeoff individualdebts witha valueof morethan £5,000.   The Lead Member advised the Committee of the background to the debt for which permission was sought.  The s151 Officer confirmed that the debt was written off as a whole but that the cost to the Council was a portion of that debt.


ItwasthenRESOLVED that:


1.    in accordancewithFinancialRegulations,thatthe s151Officerhadauthorisedthe write-offofindividualWest DevonBoroughCouncildebtstotalling£27,950.96as detailedinTables1 and2 benoted; and

2.    the write off of individual debts in excess of £5,000 totalling £26,564.80, as detailed in Table 3 of the presented report, be approved.



Council Tax Reduction Scheme - Cllr Leech pdf icon PDF 142 KB

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Members were presented with a report that set out the annual requirement for Councils to revisit their existing council tax support scheme and decide whether to replace or revisit their scheme, the requirements for changing the scheme and the associated time constraints.


The Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing presented the report. The Benefit Specialist responded to questions of clarity.


It was then RESOLVED that:


1.     The proposal to consult on Option 1 (as set out in section 4 of the presented report) on a banded scheme which would assess the maximum level of Council Tax Reduction based on the net income of the claimant and partner, be approved; and

2.     The results of the consultation exercise be presented back to the Hub Committee prior to a revised scheme being considered for approval by the Council. 




Civic Penalties for breaches of Housing Standards Enforcement Notices - Cllr Leech pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:



Members were presented with a report that outlined how Civil Penalties had been introduced by government legislation as an alternative to traditional criminal law enforcement against landlords, mostly relating to Housing offences.  Local Authorities had the power to set civil penalty amounts locally up to a statutory maximum.  Civil Penalties allowed for a higher financial penalty than the currently low court fines, they would provide an effective deterrent and protect residents against rogue landlords, unscrupulous letting agents and other poor business practices.  Civil penalties would also deliver more cost efficient and faster enforcement in the area of housing disrepair.


The Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing presented the report. The COP Lead Environmental Health responded to questions and confirmed that there was statutory guidance that provided details on the considerations to be taken into account as part of the fine setting process.


It was then RESOLVED that Council be RECOMMENDED to update the existing Enforcement Policy with the Civil Penalty Policy.




Tamar Valley AONB Management Plan 2019-2024 Consultation Draft - Cllr Jory pdf icon PDF 56 KB



Members were presented with a report that outlined the process of the review of the Management Plan for the Tamar Valley AONB, the issues identified for consideration within the Plan review, and detailed the method by which members could contribute to the formal consultation response by the Council, with a view to bringing the final Plan to Hub Committee for adoption in early 2019.


The Lead Member for Assets and Environment presented the report, and the Specialist Assets and Place Making responded to questions.  During discussion, it was confirmed that the Management Plan would have a separate annex that would cover planning matters and would interact with Neighbourhood Plans and the emerging Joint Local Plan.  It was also confirmed that the annual contribution paid to the TVAONB was towards production and delivery of the Management Plan, and the majority of projects were separately grant funded.


ItwasthenRESOLVED that:


1.      The content of the Consultation Draft of the Management plan be noted, and members send any comments to the author of the report for incorporation into a formal Council consultation response before the end of October 2018;

2.     Authority be delegated to the COP Lead Place making the final content of the formal Council consultation response; and

3.     The final version of the Management plan for 2019-2024 be brought to Hub Committee prior to adoption in early 2019.




IT Systems Procurement - Cllr Edmonds




(Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)


Members were presented with an exempt report that sought direction on a preferred option in respect of the IT systems procurement.


The Lead Member for Resources and Performance presented the report.


It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee endorse the ICT systems procurement and recommendations to Council, as set out in the presented report.