Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Sandra Hobbs  0300 300 5257

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Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 May 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED

 

that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 May 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

 

13.

Members' Interests

To receive from Members any declarations of interest.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Councillors Bowater and Perham declared a personal interest in item 5 ‘Petitions’ as they had been in contact with the lead petitioner.

 

 

 

14.

Questions, Statements and Deputations

To receive any questions, statements and deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chairman invited the public speakers to make their statements in accordance with the Public Participation Scheme.

 

Everton Heath Primary School

 

Mr Mardi, Chair of Governors at Everton Health Primary Schools, spoke on the proposal for the school to become part of the CAM Multi-Academy Trust.  Mr Mardi referred to the Executive’s decision in March 2013 that the Trust would have to take over the responsibilities of any unpaid teacher pension payments for the period between 2007 and 2013.  Neither the Governing Body nor the Trust felt able to accept this liability.  He requested a meeting with the Council to resolve the issue.

 

The Executive Member for Children’s Services explained that since March 2013 there had been 20 Academy conversions, which had proceeded on the basis suggested by the Council.  However, he would respond directly to Mr Mardi.

 

Sewerage and Fly Tipping

 

Mr Briggs, a resident from Stanbridge, congratulated the Council on securing an Enforcement Order for the Kingswood Nursery Site for the prevention of the burning of industrial waste.  He raised concerns that there was no provision for drainage at the site which had led to foul smells.  An additional 6 caravans had moved onto the site meaning that there were now 30 using it with no proper sewerage provision.  The ditches around the crop fields were full of sewerage.

 

The Executive Member for Community Services would raise the concerns with the Environment Agency.  He would provide an update on the work being undertaken to Mr Briggs in writing.

 

Enforcement

 

Mr Gibson, a local resident, was concerned that the Council was not enforcing breaches of planning and green belt policy by the gypsy and traveller community.  He felt that the Council was turning a blind eye and that this had led to Central Bedfordshire having one of the highest concentrations of gypsy and traveller communities in the area.  This was having an impact on the communities living in Central Bedfordshire.

 

The Executive Member for Regeneration requested a list of specific concerns where it appeared that enforcement had not taken place.  He would look into these concerns and respond directly to Mr Gibson.  He explained that enforcement was a long and difficult process. 

 

The Leader of the Council confirmed that the Council treated everyone the same and had an effective enforcement policy.  He acknowledge the frustration and the difficulties with the enforcement policy and assured residents that it was not for the lack of trying that the Council did not always succeed.

 

Community Cohesion

 

Ms Dimmock, spoke about community cohesion between the gypsy and traveller and the settled communities in the Tilsworth and Stranbridge area.  She believed that these two groups followed different planning laws undermining community cohesion.  To improve the situation, the Council needed to show strong leadership by enforcing planning rules.  She referred to a recent planning application for Kingswood Nursery, Tilsworth where 140 objections were received.  Kingswood Nursery was an unauthorised site and a brick wall had been built in the drainage ditch where hedges  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Petitions

To receive and discuss petitions if any, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution:

 

·         To request the Council to repair and bring the pavements in the High Street, Leighton Buzzard back to its original standard.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Leighton Buzzard High Street

 

Mr Crowe, Chairman of Leighton Buzzard Society, presented a petition containing 615 signatures requesting the Council to repair the pavements in High Street, Leighton Buzzard back to their original standard.  Temporary repairs to the High Street had been undertaken, but this had left the pavement looking untidy.

 

The Executive Member for Community Services thanked Mr Crowe for his work on behalf of the residents in Leighton Buzzard.  A project would be carried out in the autumn to repair the footpaths and improve the street scene in the town centre.

 

 

 

16.

Chairman's Announcements and Communications

The Chairman to announce any matters of communication.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chairman announced that her charity for 2018/19 would be Cancer Research.

 

 

 

17.

Leader of the Council's Announcements and Communications

The Leader of the Council to announce any matters of communication.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Leader thanked the members of the public for attending the meeting and was pleased that the Executive Member for Community Services was able to confirm that works would be carried out in Leighton Buzzard town centre in the autumn.

 

 

 

18.

Executive Member Presentations

To receive reports from up to three Executive Members on recent matters of interest and ask questions on matters contained within the reports.

 

Reports are anticipated from:

 

·         Cllr Ghent, Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery

·         Cllr Young, Executive Member for Regeneration

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Councillor Ghent, Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery provided an update on the activities of the Assets Team:

 

·         a restructure had taken place to enable a greater focus on delivery;

·         the three main areas were facilities management; estates service; capital construction;

·         the Team was responsible for ensuring all the Council’s buildings, including schools, were compliant with appropriate health and safety requirements;

·         a digital help-desk had been launched to help the Team interact with customers quickly;

·         the Quadrant Accommodation Plan had been approved by the Executive;

·         the consultation on the Farm Estates Plan ended in August; and

·         the Commercial Estate Plan was being drawn up and would be submitted to the Executive by the end of December 2018.

 

In response to a question, the Executive Member explained that the move of Customer Services into the libraries did not fall within his remit.

 

Councillor Young, Executive Member for Regeneration provided an update on the activities taking place within his portfolio:

 

·         the Building Control Service had won six local authority building control (LABC) awards; and

·         Biggleswade was the fastest growing commercial area in Central Bedfordshire; and

·         he updated on the progress of Stratton Park, Biggleswade.

 

In response to a question, the Executive Member confirmed that he had not attended any award ceremonies and would advise the relevant Member if any officers had attended and the cost of this.

 

In response to questions, the Executive Member confirmed that any matters relating to schools were dealt with by the Executive Member for Families, Education and Children and that he was not aware of any S106 contributions for Sandye Place Academy. 

 

He confirmed that he would continue to put pressure on Highways England and Network Rail to improve the infrastructure in Biggleswade. 

 

The Council had supported a number of businesses that had been recognised in the 2018 Queens Award for Enterprise.

 

The Executive Member for Community Services advised that Modplan based in Arlesey had also won a LABC award for the construction of Houghton Hall.

 

 

 

19.

Recommendations from the Executive pdf icon PDF 19 KB

To consider a recommendation from the meeting of the Executive, 12 June 2018 and answer questions asked under Part 4A, Rule No. 13.1 of the Council’s Procedure Rules.

 

·         March 2018 – Capital Budget Monitoring Outturn Report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Council considered a recommendation from the meeting of the Executive held on 12 June 2018, seeking approval of the net overspend on:

 

·         Library and Leisure Centre, Dunstable - £1.596m

·         Flitwick Leisure Centre Redevelopment - £3.037m

·         Woodside Link - £1.101m

·         Fleet Replacement Programme - £0.624m.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the above net overspend be approved.

 

The decision was unanimous.

 

 

 

20.

Audit Committee Activity - 2017/18 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 68 KB

This report to Council summarises the activities of the Audit Committee during the 2017/18 financial year, as required under the Audit Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Council considered a report that summarised the work of the Audit Committee during the 2017/18.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the work of the Audit Committee during the 2017/18 financial year be noted.

 

The decision was unanimous.

 

 

 

21.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To summarise the activities undertaken by Overview & Scrutiny in the municipal year 2017/18 and outline the activity anticipated in 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Council received the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report that summarised the activities of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees during 2017/18 and the anticipated activity during 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2017/18 be noted.

 

 

 

22.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Council received reports from the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority, following its meetings held on 26 April 2018 and 31 May 2018.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the reports of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority be noted.

 

 

 

23.

Bedfordshire Police Authority pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Bedfordshire Police Authority.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Council received the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel activity report for 2017/18.

 

In response to a question, Councillor Downing explained that the Police and Crime Panel held the Police and Crime Commissioner to account and not the Police Service.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the report of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel be noted.

 

 

 

24.

Motions

To consider motions by Members of the Council under Part 4A, Rule No. 17 of the Council’s Procedure Rules in the order received.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

No motions were received.

 

 

 

25.

Written Questions

To answer written questions from Members of the Council under Part 4A, Rule No. 13.2 of the Council’s Procedure Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

No written questions were received.

 

 

 

26.

Open Questions

To answer Open Questions asked by Members of the Council under Part 4A, Rule No. 13.7 of the Council’s Procedure Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chairman invited the Minority Group Leaders to ask a question, prior to the consideration of questions that had been placed in the Open Question receptacle.

 

(1)     Councillor Zerny commented on the Leader of the Council’s election as the Leader of the Conservative Group on the Local Government Association.  He enquired whether the Leader would have the capacity to discharge his LGA responsibilities in addition to being Leader of this Council.

 

          The Leader confirmed that his first duty was to the residents of Central Bedfordshire and that he did have the capacity to take on this new role.

 

(2)     Councillor Ryan asked for an update on the proposals for the Kingsland Site, Houghton Regis.

 

          The Executive Member for Regeneration apologised that he had not been in a position to meet with ward Members regarding the Kingsland Site.  Discussions were still taking place with the Legacy organisation.  There were still plans to bring forward better leisure, community facilities, schooling and affordable housing to Houghton Regis.

 

(3)     Councillor Matthews asked how the review mechanism worked for approving developments where the number of affordable dwellings had not been compliant with the appropriate Local Plan.

 

          The Executive Member for Regeneration explained how the review mechanism worked by looking at the viability appraisal of a site.  If the houses on a development sold for more money than in the original viability appraisal, additional payments would be made to the Council and go towards affordable housing.

 

(4)     Councillor Mrs Goodchild asked about the Council’s bids for funds from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund; one focused on Biggleswade and one for Houghton Regis.

 

The Executive Member for Regeneration explained that the Council had submitted three bids to the Housing Infrastructure Fund.  A bid had been approved for Dunstable, the Council’s bid for £65m in Biggleswade had been shortlisted and officers were working to try and secure this funding.  The bid for Houghton Regis had not been shortlisted, but officers were working with Homes England to try to secure funding support.  Any funding secured would go towards affordable housing in Dunstable, Biggleswade and Houghton Regis.