Agenda and minutes
Venue: Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY
Contact: Deniz Musa on 01424 451486 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The recording of this meeting is available on line at: https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/cm/?video=296609631&meeting=Full%20Council%20Meeting%20-%2017%20October%202018&CId=168&MId=3111&Ver=4
Items No. Item
Declarations of Interest
No declarations were made.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the council meeting held on 11 July 2018 and the minutes of the reconvened meeting on 23 July 2018 be approved and signed by the Mayor as a correct record of the proceedings.
Announcements from the Mayor and Leader
The Right Worshipful, the Mayor gave a speech in remembrance of Ion Castro, a former Councillor, who had sadly passed away. He stated achievements such as the creation of Happy Harold for the town. The council were then asked to hold one minute’s silence.
There were no announcements from the Leader of the Council.
Questions from Members of the Public Under Rule 11
A written question was received from a Mr Russell Hall, directed to Councillor Andy Batsford. The question was as follows:
“The Prime Minister announced on 3 October 2018 that the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap for council house building will be lifted (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-new-generation-of-council-housing). Hastings Borough Council does not have an HRA as there is no council housing in Hastings.
The council has chosen not build council housing itself, I believe due to the 'Right to Buy' undermining such an effort, so it will be unable to take advantage of the lifting of the HRA borrowing cap yet on 3 October our council Leader again decried the "desperate shortage of genuinely affordable housing" in Hastings. The developers and Housing Associations that the council relies upon to meet this need have clearly failed to do so.
Given the above, how does Hastings Borough Council plan to meet the need for new genuinely affordable housing?”
The answer was as follows:
“In 2017/18, 75 new affordable homes were created in the town, exceeding the target of 70. However, the council will need to continue to explore new ways of working with both private and social developers as part of its new Housing Strategy to increase the supply of all types of accommodation, but particularly affordable housing, to meet growing demand.
The council has recently appointed a Planning Development and Housing Enabling Officer to work closely with both private and social sectors in supporting the provision of affordable housing and ensure the number of units are maximised. The council also has plans to develop its own land for housing, including affordable housing, in line with its broader regeneration and income generation priorities. Development of key residential sites, such as Harrow Lane and the lower tier site at Bexhill Road, provide an opportunity to significantly improve housing supply and increase various forms of housing provision in future years if the council is able to successfully bring these sites forward. The council is also recruiting a Housing Development Manager, to advise the council and its housing company on the viability of potential development opportunities and secure funding to deliver a programme of residential development.”
Questions from Councillors Under Rule 12
A written question was received from Councillor Foster, to the Leader of the Council, as set out below;
“‘Given the Prime Ministers recent announcement that the Government will lift the borrowing cap on councils to help support more housebuilding. Once funding is available, what direction do you think this will take the council, regarding the overall housing strategy?’”
The answer to this from the Leader of the Council was as follows:
“The changes recently announced by the Government, give local authorities with existing housing stock held in a Housing Revenue Account the ability to borrow more money to support the development of new housing. The borrowing capability of stock-holding authorities was based on an assessment of the size, value and condition of their existing stock. The difference between this figure and the actual levels of Housing Revenue Account was referred to as headroom, many councils had limited headroom left and were therefore unable to borrow funds to support new developments. The recent announcement indicates that the government is going to remove this requirement and enable councils to borrow within their Housing Revenue Account at a level which is considered prudential.
The changes will have a limited impact on non-stock holding local authorities, including Hastings Borough Council, as we do not have a Housing Revenue Account (HRA). Re-opening a HRA would require approval by the Secretary of State, the council would also be open to the risk of the right to buy on any of the new units it developed, which authorities with existing stock are able to offset against their wider portfolio. As part of its broader income generation strategy, the council has established a housing company to acquire new accommodation. Properties owned by the housing company are exempt from the right to buy.
As part of the development of its Housing Strategy, the council is continuing to explore new ways of working with both private and social developers to increase the supply of all types of accommodation, but particularly affordable housing, to meet growing demand. This includes the development our own sites to provide residential accommodation, and work is currently underway to model the viability of opportunities in the town and secure additional funding.
If government policy should change to limit or get rid of the Right to Buy, and to allow councils with no existing stock to borrow and start building council housing again, then I would want us to pursue this option.”
Questions to the Leader, Deputy Leader and other Lead Members were asked and answered in accordance with rule 12.1 as follows:
Questioners and Councillor
Reply Given by Councillor
Commercial Property Purchase Plan: There is currently a limit to the funds in the plan on commercial property purchases. Is there a plan to increase the limit, and if so, by how much?
Councillor Chowney replied that it depends on what is made available to use up. To use up any available funds, there would be an agreed increase, to attempt to reduce ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
Motion (Rule 14)
Councillor Rankin proposed a motion, as set out in the resolution below, which was seconded by Councillor Lee.
RESOLVED (by 8 votes for, 22 against, with 0 abstentions) that:
The council do not accept the motion, as set out below;
“In order to assist in the process of setting sustainable budgets this council undertakes to establish a reasonable estimate of costs at an appropriate point each year for delivery of:
A - its statutory services (as required by law)
and, if necessary:
B - its 'core offer' or desired objectives over and above it's legal requirements in item (a)”
Membership of Committees
To give effect to any request received from a political group for a change in their representation on committee(s).
Councillor Chowney proposed a motion regarding the membership of committees, as set out in the resolution below
RESOLVEDthat the council adopt the following arrangements for the membership of committees:
1. Councillor Turner to resign from Planning Committee and be appointed to Overview and Scrutiny Committee
2.Councillor Webb be appointed to Planning Committee
3. Councillor Berelson to resign from Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to be appointed to Audit Committee.
4. Councillor Louise to resign from Audit Committee
a) To resolve that the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of any items considered while the public were excluded by the relevant committee because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in the respective paragraphs of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 referred to in the minutes of the relevant committee.
b) To receive and consider the recommendations and any decisions of the following committees.
Cabinet Member / Chair
SPECIAL CABINET – 23 JULY 2018
New Property Development & Purchase – Bexhill Rd (Part 2 report)
CABINET – 3 SEPTEMBER 2018
Medium Term Financial Strategy
Site at West Marina (Part I)
Site at West Marina (Part II)
Unit 1 Bexhill Road Retail Park
CABINET – 1 OCTOBER 2018
Petition – No Marina at Rock a Nore
Appointment of a Member to E&S
Update on Temporary Accommodation
Lower Tier Site, Bexhill Road
Temporary Accommodation Purchase
1. The Mayor will call over the minutes and members will rise and indicate those items which they wish to have discussed.
2. No discussion shall take place at this stage upon part II minutes covered by the resolution 9a) above. Any such discussion shall be deferred to item X on the agenda.
- Printed minutes 03rd-Sep-2018 18.00 Cabinet , item 28. PDF 71 KB
- Printed minutes 01st-Oct-2018 18.00 Cabinet , item 28. PDF 300 KB
The Mayor having called over the minutes set out in the agenda, the undermentioned minutes were reserved for discussion.
RESOLVED under rule 13.3 that the reports and minutes of committees set out in the agenda be received. Only those items which were reserved were discussed, as follows: -
Cabinet – 3 September 2018
98 – Medium Term Financial Strategy
Cabinet – 3 September 2018
99 – Site at West Marina (Part I)
Cabinet – 1 October 2018
104 – Petition – No Marina at Rock a Nore
Cabinet - 1 October 2018
106 – Update on Temporary Accommodation
Councillor Lee, having declared a prejudicial interest in minute 99 of Cabinet on 3 September 2018, Site at West Marina (Part I), did not take part in the vote.
No motions for reference for Overview and Scrutiny Committee or reference back to Cabinet were approved in respect of the items reserved for discussion and they were therefore received.