Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Rosalind Reeves, Democratic Services Manager 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were none.

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillors McKinlay and Whyborn declared an interest in agenda item 8 as trustees of one of the third sector organisations concerned.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2018

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Public and Member Questions and Petitions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on the fourth working day before the date of the meeting

Minutes:

There were no public or member questions or petitions.

5.

Implementation of Enforcement Powers, Housing and Planning Act 2016 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Development and Safety

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety introduced the report which set out new enforcement powers contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Part 2), including the use of civil penalties. The criteria for deciding the levels of such penalties were contained in Appendix 2. He believed that this was good news providing extra flexibility to the Council so it could impose standards on the private rented sector, particular on houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

1.    With immediate effect, the ability of the Council to impose fixed penalties, as detailed in the report, and the criteria for determining the level of penalty as contained in  Appendix 2 be approved.

2.    With immediate effect, the Council’s use of powers to impose rent repayment orders, as detailed in this report be approved;

3.    The Council’s use of banning orders, as detailed in this report be approved, once Chapter 2, Part 2 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 is in force;

4.    The Director of Environment be authorised to take such actions and decisions as are necessary to facilitate the effective implementation and operation of the Council’s powers referred to in this report. 

6.

Proposed Disposal of freehold interest of 1 Halland Road pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the report and explained that 1 Halland Road was a residential property located on a private cul de sac in Leckhampton, and was held in the Housing Revenue Account.

 

The house was a large 4 storey semi-detached red brick Edwardian house that had been sub divided into 2 self-contained properties.

 

The property was let to Liveability which had served its 6 months break notice on the lease. The lease terminated on the 9th April 2018.

 

Together with Cheltenham Borough Homes the council had looked at the feasibility of retaining the property within the housing stock and this was detailed in the exempt appendix 3.

 

The recommended option was to dispose of the freehold interest which was supported by the Asset Management Working Group on 26 March.

 

The Cabinet Member then sought Cabinet agreement to include an additional third recommendation as follows :

 

Recommendation 3

 

Cabinet requests CBH to allocate the sale proceeds to the provision of additional affordable housing units aimed if possible (and subject to the Council’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy) at the under 35 age group.

 

This was supported by Members.

 

Members supported the recommendations, recognising the lack of affordable housing in the town with the provision of housing for the under 35s being crucial for the future of Cheltenham.

 

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

1.    The Head of Property & Asset Management (in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance) be authorised to market and dispose of the property for best consideration and upon such other terms as are deemed appropriate.

2.    The Borough Solicitor be authorised to prepare and conclude the necessary documentation to reflect the terms negotiated.

3.    CBH be requested to allocate the sale proceeds to the provision of additional affordable housing units aimed if possible (and subject to the Council’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy) at the under 35 age group.

7.

Replacement audio visual system in the Council chamber pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Corporate Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report and explained that there had been intermittent problems with the sound system in the Council Chamber for some time. A project was set up in September 2017 to consider the options for replacing the system and a Cabinet Member working group had been established to help define the priorities. The project aimed to replace the current audio system in the Council Chamber and add additional options dependent on costing, and business case, as well as to prioritise compliance with the requirement to provide assistive listening.  He was confident in the proposed solution which was a result of a thorough tender process in which BP Bastion was successful in terms of both price and quality. The wired system for the Council Chamber would be portable and fit for purpose. The proposal was to also have a wireless system for the Pittville Room. He wished to put on record his thanks to Rosalind Reeves, Democratic Services Manager and Garrie Dowling, Senior Capital Projects Surveyor for their valuable contribution to the process.

 

A Member asked whether with the new system the council would be fulfilling its duties in facilitating proper access to decision making for the hard of hearing. In response the Cabinet Member confirmed that the new system in the Chamber included assisted listening and there would be a much improved conventional system in the Pittville Room.

 

Finally, the Leader thanked both the Cabinet Member Corporate Services and the working group for their efforts and highlighted the importance of the council being able to communicate well.

 

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

1)    the essential and desirable items listed in paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 are purchased by Cheltenham Borough Council within a total cost of £66,000. 

2)    a sum of £5000 is provisioned for maintenance and support of the system over a 5 year period as follows:
i) £1000 for 2018/19 from the £75K allocated for the capital expenditure
ii) in subsequent years it is proposed to increase the current Municipal Offices maintenance budget by £1000 p.a to cover this either through a transfer from existing budgets or a growth bid. 

3)    the remaining £8Kfrom the £75 K allocated is retained during 2018/19 for additional unforeseen costs and contingencies that may arise during the implementation, and/or later enhancements to be authorised by the Head of Property Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member Corporate Services.

 

8.

Rent support grants to third sector organisations pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having declared an interest in this item Councillors McKinlay and Whyborn left the room and therefore did not participate in the debate.

 

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the report and explained that as part of this council’s ambitions to support a thriving voluntary and community sector, the council enabled VCS groups to rent its properties through offering a rent support grant scheme.

 

A revised rent support grant scheme was adopted in December 2016 by council with four outcomes as set out at paragraph 1.3 of the report. The policy permitted these groups to apply for a rent support grant either at the start of a lease or at the time of a rent review. An annual monitoring process was in place whereby recipients of these rent support grants must submit a monitoring form to explain the activities that have been delivered from the premises; this information would be reviewed by the AMWG. 

 

The Cabinet Member went on to explain that Gloucester and District Citizens Advice Bureau had under the criteria scored a 56% rent support grant. CAB provided an invaluable service to some of the most vulnerable residents in the town and she proposed that the additional discretionary amount of 10% be awarded. She highlighted that the outcomes and outputs that were detailed in their application stood testament to the absolute need to help sustain the CAB service in Cheltenham.

 

The Cabinet Member then reported that St Margaret’s Hall Users Group had under the scoring criteria scored a 72% rent support grant, and she proposed that an additional discretionary amount of 10% be awarded in recognition that activities being provided out of St Margaret’s Hall played a critical role in sustaining community life in Hatherley and Warden Hill.

 

With regards to the remaining two applications from the Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project, the Cabinet Member stated that, subject to Cabinet agreement, these would be deferred until the June Cabinet. She explained that additional information had been received and she wished to discuss with the relevant officer who was on annual leave and the relevant organisation prior to seeking Cabinet approval.

 

Members welcomed the proposals and expressed their pride in being able to support voluntary organizations to such a level which was unique in Gloucestershire and beneficial to the town. A question was raised as to the effect the Place Strategy would have on how this process was undertaken in the future. In response the Cabinet Member Finance explained that this had been acknowledged and it was important to review the policy to ensure that the criteria and outcomes expected linked to both. She informed that the Asset Management Working Group would have a monitoring role to play in assessing the success of the new policy.

 

 

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

1.    The following rent support grants be agreed :

 

·         St Margarets Hall Users Group-St Margarets Hall : A rent support grant of 82 % of the current market rent totalling £11,070

 

·         Glos and District CAB-3 St Georges Place : A rent support grant of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Briefing from Cabinet Members

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles informed Members that work on the Town Hall was continuing and a proposal would come forward to Cabinet and Council in July further to consultation with residents, businesses and other cultural organisations. She wished to put on record her thanks to her councillor colleagues for their attendance at the recent pre-Council seminar by a group of young people and said she hoped to extend that involvement. She reported that the Culture Board were due to meet shortly. Work had commenced at Leisure@ and was expected to complete by the start of the school summer holidays. A full briefing on weekly cash spend on the project was received each week and she thanked the Director Resources and Corporate Projects for facilitating this.

 

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety reported on the recent call-in by Overview and Scrutiny of the taxi and private hire policy. It had met and considered the issues on 28 March and had unanimously approved the decision made by Cabinet in March. The new policy was therefore now live.

 

The Cabinet Member Housing informed Members that the draft housing and homelessness strategy which was now out for consultation and would be brought to Cabinet for approval in July. He thanked officers for their time in producing the draft and invited all Members to submit their comments.

 

The Cabinet Member Corporate Services reported that a new telephone exchange system would be introduced on 12/13 May in addition to new telephones, a percentage of which would be video phones. The new system would provide more resilience in terms of being expandable to meet demand and should the telephone exchange fail calls would be picked up by the Forest of Dean.

 

The Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment referred to the Cemetery and Crematorium project which was on time and on budget. He wished to put on record his thanks to the Members on the Cabinet Member Working Group, 2 of whom would be retiring at the election. He hoped the cross party working group would continue following the election as there would be a further nine months of the project remaining.

 

The Leader announced that the Local Government Pay Settlement had now concluded and had been accepted on the basis of the Employers’ offer of 2 %.

 

Finally, as it was the last Cabinet before the elections the Leader thanked the Chief Executive and officers for the support provided to Cabinet and also thanked Cabinet colleagues for their contributions to the town.

10.

Cabinet Member Decisions since the last meeting of Cabinet

Minutes:

Cabinet Member

Decision

Link

Cabinet Member Housing

Grant funding to Gloucestershire Nightstop

https://democracy.cheltenham.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1080

Leader

Appointment to the role of Commercial Director GAL

(the candidate had subsequently not taken up the role therefore the appointment process is still in progress)

https://democracy.cheltenham.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1084

Leader

To authorise a property transaction

(Exempt decision)

Cabinet Member Development and Safety

To award a contract for the supply,installation and maintenance of a new parking and revenue control system at Regent Arcade to Scheidt and Bachmann UK Ltd

https://democracy.cheltenham.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1086

 

11.

Local Government Act 1972 - Exempt Business

The Cabinet is recommended to approve the following resolution:-

 

“That in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Paragraph 1: Information relating to any individual

 

Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular

person (including the authority holding that information)

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT

 

In accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely :

 

Paragraph 1 : Information relating to any individual

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

12.

A Property Matter

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the exempt report to Members. Members considered the recommendations and it was

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

The recommendations be approved.

13.

A Property Acquisition

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the exempt report and explained that the acquisition would build on the council’s investment portfolio in order to support the Medium Term Financial strategy and the economy of the town.

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

The recommendations be approved.

14.

A Financial Matter

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance introduced the exempt report which had been circulated with the agenda. Members considered the issue and

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

The recommendations be approved.