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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY

Contact: Democratic Services on 01424 451484  email:  democraticservices@hastings.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

109.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors O’Callaghan and Louise. Apologies were also received from Councillors Barnett and Berelson from minute 114 onwards.

110.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor

Minute

Declaration

Rankin

112

Prejudicial – Owns an HMO property.

Lee

112

Prejudicial – Lives in an HMO property

Forward

112

Prejudicial – Close family member owns an HMO Property

 

111.

Draft Corporate Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sinden, the Right Worshipful Mayor, proposed a motion, seconded by Councillor Beaver, and agreed unanimously as follows.

 

RESOLVED that in order to facilitate full discussion on cabinet’s proposal for the draft Corporate Plan and any proposed amendment to cabinet’s recommendations, council suspends Rule 16(6)(b) of council procedure rules (only one amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time. No further amendment may be moved until the amendment under discussion has been disposed of) to permit the Deputy Leader’s motion and all amendments to be on the table and open for discussion at the same time.

 

Councillor Forward proposed a motion, seconded by Councillor Rogers, that the recommendations set out in minute number 240 of Budget Cabinet on the 10th February 2020, ‘Draft Corporate Plan 2020/21’ be approved.

 

Councillor Patmore, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, proposed an amendment, seconded by Councillor Edwards, with four parts, to the draft corporate plan.

 

a)    On Page 11 - Under; Tackling poverty, homelessness and ensuring quality housing amend the wording which currently reads:

“Managing the provision of disabled facilities grants and enforcing mandatory licensing of rented accommodation”

to read:

“Managing the provision of and actively promote disabled facilities grants. Enforcing mandatory licensing of rented accommodation”

b)    On Page 12 –

Delete the wording ‘Aim to build 192 homes at Bulverhythe’

c)    Also on Page 12, amend the wording which currently reads

“Regulate the quality and supply of housing in the town through a new licensing scheme”

to read:

“Regulate the quality and supply of rented housing in the town through a new licensing scheme”

d)    On Page 13, under ‘Delivery of our major regeneration schemes’, replace

“Progress with plans for the development of West Marina”

with

“Progress with plans to make West Marina a destination alongside sympathetic development”

 

The meeting adjourned at 6.26pm to allow Councillors to read and consider the amendment. The meeting reconvened at 6.32pm.

 

Councillor Forward accepted amendments 1a) and 1c), but did not accept 1b) and 1d).

 

Councillors discussed the draft corporate plan and amendments 1b) and 1d) together. Councillors discussed how the plan was exciting and that the vision presented within it was very welcomed. Councillors also discussed the West Marina development.

 

The Mayor proposed that the vote be taken in two parts – voting on the draft corporate plan with the selective licensing elements, and the draft corporate plan without the selective licensing elements.

 

DRAFT CORPORATE PLAN (WITHOUT SELECTIVE LICENSING) RESOLVED (by 21 votes for, 8 against)

 

Councillors Forward, Lee and Rankin left the room due to prejudicial interests for this vote.

 

DRAFT CORPORATE PLAN (WITH SELECTIVE LICENSING) RESOLVED (by 20 votes for, 4 against)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.That the content of the attached documents form the basis of the council’s corporate plan 2020/24, subject to the proviso that any significant amendment made to the council’s draft budget be reflected in the final corporate plan text.

 

2. That delegated authority be given to the Director of Corporate Services and Governance, after consultation with the Deputy Leader  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.

112.

Revenue Budget 2019/20 Revised and 2020/21, plus Capital Programme 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A petition was received titled ‘Proposed cut of 31.31 posts and a reduction of services by Hastings Borough Council.’

 

Wendy Goodliffe the lead petitioner spoke on behalf of the petitioners:

 

-       The petitioners are aware of the difficult decisions being made.

-       The petitioners believe that the cuts seem to be short term fixes, with not much thought put into the future needs of the council.

-       The petitioner stated that that not only will staff feel the effect of these cuts but will also impact on services.

-       The petitioner believes all staff will be affected directly if not indirectly and worries about the mental health of the staff affected.

-       The petitioner also mentioned the errors within the process which have caused severe impact on staff, from people being told they are not at risk to later finding out they are, and vice versa.

-       The petitioners are not blaming any specific area for this but hope that the council can learn from the mistakes made.

Councillors thanked the petitioner for speaking. Councillors responded by saying that due to the extent of the cuts, unfortunately services may be made poorer, but they are savings that need to be made. The Councillors said they would take on the considerations that the petition has brought forward and will work to make the process better in the future. Councillors also wanted to make it clear they are deeply saddened by the staff savings that have had to be made and understand how difficult this is for all staff involved.

 

Councillor Sinden, the Right Worshipful Mayor, proposed a motion, seconded by Councillor Beaver, and agreed unanimously as follows:

 

RESOLVED that in order for Councillors to take advice from the Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues, and other officers, under Rule 16(14) of council procedure the council proceed as if in committee.

 

Councillor Chowney, Leader of the Council, proposed a motion, seconded by Councillor Forward, that recommendations as set out in minute 241 of the Cabinet meeting on the 10th February 2020 ‘Revenue Budget 2019/20 Revised and 2020/21, plus Capital Programme 2020/21 - 2022/23’ be approved.

 

Councillor Lee, the Leader of the Opposition, proposed four amendments to the budget. Amendments 1 and 2 were seconded by Councillor Patmore. Amendments 3 and 4 were seconded by Councillor Beaver.

 

Amendment 1 –

 

This Council supports, in principle, a move to all out elections from 2024 onwards. Full Council to receive a report setting out the issues and a timetable at their next meeting.”

This is because the Council currently runs a two-year election cycle, and there could be savings made by moving to a four-yearly cycle.”

 

Amendment 2 –

 

“This Council reduces Councillor Basic Responsibility Allowances by 2% and freezes all Councillor Responsibility Allowances for 2020/21

 

This is in order to show solidarity with the staff savings currently being made

 

Amendment 3 –

 

“This Council moves the Community Contact Centre to Muriel Matters House from the Town Hall and that an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.

113.

Reports of Committees pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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.

(Table Goes Here)

Notes:

 

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.

113a

Treasury Management, Annual Investment Strategy and Capital Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors Berelson and Barnett were not present for the discussion of this item.

 

It was agreed to call minute 242 of Cabinet on the 10th February 2020, the ‘Treasury Management and Annual Investment Strategy and Capital Strategy 2020/21’ which is a council decision.

 

Councillor Chowney, Leader of the Council, proposed a motion, seconded by Councillor Batsford, that recommendations as set out in minute 241 of the Cabinet meeting on the 10th February 2020 ‘Treasury Management, Annual Investment Strategy and Capital Strategy 2020/21’ be approved.

 

Councillor Chowney also took the chance to thank everyone for their support, as this will be his last Budget Council meeting as Leader of the Council.

 

RESOLVED (by 19 votes for to 8 against) that:

 

1. The Council approve the Treasury Management Strategy, Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy, Annual Investment Strategy, and the Capital Strategy.

2. The strategies listed are updated as necessary during 2020/21 in the light of changing and emerging risks and the Council’s evolving future expenditure plans.

 

3. The Financial rules and the Financial Operating Procedures of the Council are reviewed and revised as necessary to meet the requirements of the Code of Practice.

 

4. The Cabinet and full Council note that there is likely to be the use of Money Market Funds in 2020/21 – as already allowed for in the investment strategy.

 

5. Due to the previous amendments to Agenda Item ‘Revenue Budget 2019/20 Revised and 2020/21, plus Capital Programme 2020/21 – 2022/23’, there will be minor changes to the use of reserves.

 

The reasons for these decisions were:

 

1. The Council seeks to minimise the costs of borrowing and maximise investment income whilst ensuring the security of its investments. The Council continues to make substantial investments in commercial property, housing and energy generation initiatives, and this will continue to involve the Council in taking on additional borrowing.

 

2. The sums involved are significant and the assumptions made play an important part in determining the annual budget. The CIPFA Treasury Management Code of Practice (2017 Edition), adopted by the Council last year, was released to take account of the more commercialised approach being adopted by councils and the enhanced levels of transparency required. The Code represents best practice and helps ensure compliance with statutory requirements.

 

3. The Council has the ability to diversify its investments and must consider carefully the level of risk against reward against a background of historically relatively low interest rates. Investments can help to close the gap in the budget in the years ahead and thus help to preserve services, assist in the regeneration of the town, provide additional housing and enhance the long-term sustainability of the town. However, over reliance on such income streams would involve taking unnecessary risks with the future of the Council and its ability to deliver statutory services.

 

4. The Council has the option of using Money Market funds within its Investment Policy already. These are on occasion providing higher rates of return than some straight deposit accounts and as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113a

 


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