Agenda and draft minutes

West Devon Hub Committee
Tuesday, 20th October, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Via Skype

Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

*HC 21

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

*HC 21                         

No apologies were received.

 

 

*HC 22

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.

 

Minutes:

*HC 22            

Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be discussed and none were made.

 

 

*HC 23

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Minutes of meeting held 15 September 2020

Minutes:

*HC 23      

The Minutes of the Hub Committee meeting held on 15 September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

*HC 24

Public Questions

-a period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public

Minutes:

*HC 24 

There were no questions submitted by the Public

 

 

*HC 25

Hub Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 558 KB

Minutes:

*HC 25         

Members were presented with the Hub Committee Forward Plan setting out items on the agenda for Hub Committee meetings for the next four months. 

 

The contents of the Forward Plan were agreed. 

 

 

*HC 26

Capital Budget Monitoring Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 435 KB

Minutes:

*HC 26            

The Lead Member for Resources and Performance gave an update on the attendant report.  There were no questions to this report.

 

Proposed by Cllr Edmonds and seconded by Cllr Cheadle.

 

It was then RESOLVED to endorse the contents of the attendant Report.

 

 

*HC 27

Medium Term Financial Strategy for the five years 2021/22 to 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

HC27                   

The Leader presented Members with a report that outlined the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2021/22 to 2025/26.

 

The budget gap for 2021/22 was estimated at £176,000.  It was noted that the Amended budget this year had used some of the reserves but it would not be expedient to use for next year’s budget gap, therefore there may be a need to look at a structured approach to tackle the gap.  Options for closing the gap would be reported to Hub Committee at the meeting on the 1st December which would be the start of the normal round of budget review that would culminate in Full Council being asked to adopt the budget at its meeting on 16 February 2021.  It was confirmed that lobbying of Central Government for more funding would continue.  The recommendations asked for the Hub Committee to note the gaps and the timetable to tackle them.

 

During the debate it was clarified that the anticipated income from Leisure Centres had been based on the current renegotiated situation.  The S151 Officer confirmed that the Members Locality Fund had now been built into the base budget and that it was still available for Members to use, with any unspent carried forward.  However, monies could not be rolled over at the end of a four year Council administration.

 

Following a discussion regarding the cumulative budget gap, it was agreed that this aspect of the Medium Term Financial Strategy would be discussed at the next Financial Stability Review Group meeting to determine whether this figure should still be included.

 

It was noted that no council tax collection fund surplus was assumed.  The collection rates within West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) remained at one of the highest levels within Devon, however, the Revenues Team were monitoring the situation with reminder notices going out in early November and a review on collection rates would be held thereafter.  Any deficit or surplus would be highlighted to the precepting authorities as they would also be impacted. 

 

Following a Member’s enquiry, the S151 Officer confirmed that representatives from the Community Safety Partnership were due to present their annual report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 10th November which would detail the current contribution (just under £17k) in staffing costs from the Council.  In the event of any Members wishing to recommend any increase in funding to the Partnership, then this would be considered during the normal budget setting process as follows:

 

-        Hub Committee meeting: 1 December 2020;

-        Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting: 19 January 2021;

-        Hub Committee meeting: 2 February 2021; and

-        Council meeting: 16 February 2021.

 

It was acknowledged that although WDBC has a good pictoral pie chart of where Council Tax was spent, it was felt that more could be done to show this, perhaps outlining how much a teacher costs, as an example.  The Communications Team were tasked with working on this request.

 

The Leader moved the recommendations which were then  ...  view the full minutes text for item *HC 27

*HC 28

Housing Strategy 2021 to 2026 pdf icon PDF 648 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

*HC 28            

The Lead Member for Homes gave an update on the Housing Strategy progress, aiming for adoption in 2021 for a 5 year strategy linking in with South Hams District Council.  The draft strategy would go out for public consultation in December 2020.  Better homes better lives – suggested strategy.  It was noted that the Housing, Revenue and Benefits Team had been under pressure to develop processes to deal with the Covid-19 situation and attendant grants.  It was noted that a further spike in Covid may impact on the team’s ability to stay on target but refocusing attention from recovery phase back to response phase may impact on this project.

 

The recommendations were moved by Cllr Sellis and seconded by Cllr Samuel, and carried by a unanimous vote.

 

It was then RESOLVED that:

 

1.      the progress of the Housing Strategy to date be acknowledged; and

 

2.      the proposed way forward be endorsed and for all Members to continue to contribute to this key policy development

 

 

*HC 29

Springhill Update pdf icon PDF 800 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

HC 29             

The Lead Member for Homes then presented a report that updated on the Spring Hill project.  This was outlined as an exciting opportunity with the best option to demolish the existing building and then rebuild using material salvaging, to produce 1 or 12 units. 

 

In discussion, it was confirmed that energy efficiency measures would be at the forefront of the project design.  A number of Members welcomed this assurance and reiterated the importance of the Council’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency declaration.

 

Cllr Sellis moved the recommendations, which were seconded by Cllr Pearce, and carried by a unanimous vote.

 

It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee RECOMMEND to Council to:

 

1.       Note the project aims and objectives as detailed in Section 3 of the attendant report.

 

2.       Support the current design direction, as detailed in Section 4 of the attendant report, recognizing the opportunities for external funding, and

 

3.       Note the draft business case in the Exempt Appendix B of the attendant report.

 

*HC 30

Emergency Powers pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

*HC 30         

The Committee considered a report presented by the Leader that outlined the need for urgency powers to respond to the track and trace hardship payments scheme, as the scheme was required to be set up by 12th October with a very short lead time.  Therefore the Chief Executive had exercised his urgency powers to enable the Council to adopt a scheme:  the attendant appendix detailed the arrangements that had been put in place.

 

Cllr Jory proposed the recommendations, which were seconded by Cllr Leech and carried unanimously.

 

It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee noted the urgency action taken by the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Hub Committee, to approve the discretionary element of the Track and Trace Support Payment.

 

*HC 31

Green Homes Grant pdf icon PDF 272 KB

PART TWO ITEMS ARE THOSE WHICH MAY BE TAKEN IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS ON THE GROUNDS THAT EXEMPT INFORMATION IS LIKELY TO BE DISCLOSED (if any)

If any, the Committee is recommended to pass the following resolution:

“RESOLVED that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the Meeting on the grounds that exempt information may be disclosed as defined in the paragraphs given in Schedule 12A to the Act.”

 

 

 

 

This document can be made available in large print, Braille, tape format, other languages or alternative format upon request. Please contact the Committee section on 01822 813664 or email janice.young@swdevon.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

*HC 31          

The Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing introduced the Green Homes Grant report.  The grant is to be used to raise energy efficiency of low income homes. It was acknowledged that a large amount of the housing stock in WDBC was old houses which were hard to treat.  The grant would allow for 14 external wall installations and six heat pumps and the work needed to be done by end of March 2021. 

 

During discussions, it was confirmed that there were several Government schemes running concurrently which would impact on the availability of companies able to perform the upgrades, and potentially also on the availability of the hardware.  However, officers confirmed a good working relationship with a provider and that they were confident this work could be accomplished in time. 

 

Officers confirmed they would be taking forward leads raised during previous grants but would ensure good coverage across the whole Borough.  Members acknowledged the Officer’s work in achieving this grant. 

 

Cllr Leech then proposed the recommendations, which were seconded by Cllr Mott and unanimously approved.

 

It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee NOTED the successful bid and award of the sum of £224,500 from the Government’s Green Homes Grant Scheme.

 

 

 

(NOTE: THESE DECISIONS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MINUTES HC 27 AND HC 29 WHICH ARE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE FULL COUNCIL MEETING ON 8 DECEMBER 2020, WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE FROM WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2020 UNLESS CALLED IN, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULE 18).