Agenda and minutes

Annual meeting, Council
Wednesday 15th May, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Dobson  Tel: (01279) 502082 Email:  rebecca.dobson@eastherts.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman, former Councillor K Warnell opened the meeting. 

 

Former Councillor Warnell spoke of the numerous interesting events he had both arranged and attended during his tenure, including a bike ride on behalf of the Isabel Hospice, Music in the Garden, several quiz nights and a ball.  He was pleased to report that he had raised a total of £10,555, which had been divided between his charities, the Air Ambulance for Hertfordshire and Isabel Hospice.  The majority of the funds raised had been given to Isabel Hospice, and he had been delighted to present the charity with a cheque for £9,500. 

 

Former Councillor Warnell said his time as Chairman had been a marvellous experience.  He thanked Councillor Jonathan Kaye for attending several events on his behalf.  He thanked his PA for arranging his engagements, and his wife for her support throughout his year in office.

 

Former Councillor Warnell said he had compiled a slideshow of memorable occasions from his year as Chairman, which he invited Members to watch. 

 

The Leader, Councillor L Haysey, said the photo montage clearly showed the Chairman’s ability to make people feel part of the community.  In particular she recalled the moving Holocaust Memorial Day which the Chairman had shown was a truly inclusive event.  She thanked the Chairman for his dedicated service to the residents of East Hertfordshire, and presented him with a bouquet of flowers.  The Leader proposed the Council place on record its thanks to the Chairman. 

 

Councillor M Goldspink, seconding the proposal, thanked the Chairman on behalf of the Liberal Democrat group.  Members supported the proposal.

2.

Election of Chairman 2019/20

To elect the Chairman of the Council for 2019/20 following which the Chairman will make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J Jones and seconded by Councillor G Williamson that Councillor J Kaye be elected as Chairman of the Council for the civic year 2019/20.  After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, this motion was declared carried.

 

RESOLVED – that Councillor J Kaye be elected Chairman of the Council for the civic year 2019/20.

 

Councillor J Kaye made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office and took the chair.

 

3.

Appointment of Vice Chairman 2019/20

To elect the Vice Chairman of the Council for 2019/20 following which the Vice Chairman will make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by the Leader, Councillor Haysey and seconded by Councillor S Rutland-Barsby that Councillor K Crofton be appointed Vice Chairman of the Council for the civic year 2019/20.  After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared carried.

 

 

RESOLVED – that Councillor K Crofton be appointed Vice Chairman for 2019/20.

 

Councillor K Crofton made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.  He said he was honoured to accept the role of Vice Chairman, and would support the Chairman during the forthcoming year.  He thanked former Councillor K Warnell for his work as Chairman in the 2018/19 civic year.

 

4.

Further Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcement from the newly elected Chairman

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman, Councillor J Kaye, thanked former Councillor K Warnell for all he had done over the past year.  He had reached out to minority groups in East Hertfordshire, setting up an interfaith group, Living Together in East Herts.  He commended that group’s work, particularly in light of troubling events across the world over recent months.  He reminded Members there would be an inter-faith event in Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday 15 September 2019, with which he hoped former Councillor K Warnell would continue to be involved.  He wished him well for the future.

 

The Chairman said he aimed to accomplish his civic duties as effectively as possible.  He had chosen as his charities Isabel Hospice and Children’s Integrated PlaySchemes (CHIPS).  He said CHIPS arranged play schemes for children with learning and physical disabilities between the ages of six and nineteen.  The play-schemes were held on Saturdays and through the Summer, at locations in schools in Ware and Hertford.  He hoped that Members would support the events he proposed to hold in order to raise funds in support of his charities. He was considering holding a civic event which might involve something different, such as a lecture, perhaps by a celebrity historian, and listed a number of usual topics which he had investigated but had ruled out. 

 

The Chairman said he also intended to reach out to the District’s sports clubs.

 

The Chairman stated that with the consent of the meeting, he intended to change the order of the agenda and take Item 13, the Scrutiny Review, before Item 11, the Political Balance report.  This was supported.

 

 

5.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any Members’ apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A Curtis, M Pope, C Rowley and D Snowdon.

 

6.

Minutes - 5 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 5 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman said he had been advised that Councillor M Stevenson had attended the meeting on 5 March 2019 but had been omitted from the attendees.  It was moved by Councillor J Kaye and seconded by Councillor S Bell that the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2019, as amended, be confirmed as a correct and signed by the Chairman.  After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held  on 5 March 2019 as amended, be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to Councillor M Stevenson being added to the list of Members present.

 

7.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members' declarations of interest.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Wyllie declared a non-pecuniary interest as Member of The Rhodes Trust and of the Old River Lane Delivery Steering Group.

 

8.

Members' questions pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To receive any Members' questions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor A Ward-Booth asked the Executive Member for Communities what steps were being taken to support new Members to enable them to carry out their roles effectively”. 

 

The Executive Member for Communities stated that in 2011 the Council had gained the Member Development Charter, and since that date the Council had pledged to maintain the principles and aims set out in the Charter.  She invited the Opposition Group Leaders to make the same commitment. 

 

The Executive Member said a Member Development Group had been established to guide and review training for Members.  She outlined the programme for the induction of new Members, which was also available to returning Members.  The programme for the next three months included both external and in-house training, covering training for committee Members on the responsibilities of those committees and numerous other types of training such as guidance on social media use.  Information on training had been placed on the Members’ area of the East Herts intranet. Whilst most training was free to Members, where there was a cost involved for an individual to attend a specific course and prior authorisation from the Leader in consultation with the Executive Member was required. 

 

9.

Review of Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services submitted a report on a review of Scrutiny.  She referred Members to the recommendations for improvement.  These were to

 

·                    establish a single independent scrutiny committee (the Overview and Scrutiny committee) which would agree an annual programme of scrutiny of issues which reflected the concerns of residents and councillors;

·                    to require the Executive to minute and make formal its responses to the scrutiny committee recommendations in the form of a letter from the Leader to the Scrutiny committee chairman; and

·                    to decommission the Performance, Audit and Governance Scrutiny committee replacing it with a Performance, Audit and Governance Oversight Committee. 

 

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services explained the reasons for the recommendations, as detailed in the report.  She stated that a request had been received from a Member to include a reference to training for Members of the new committee on Standards.  This amendment to the Constitution, if approved, would be made as a consequential amendment.  Consequential amendments were those amendments which were necessary due to a change authorised by legislation or decisions taken through the year.  Such amendments were delegated to the Monitoring Officer.

 

Councillor E Buckmaster asked whether the wording of the Constitution was to be changed at tonight’s meeting.  The Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised that the Constitution would be amended to reflect the additional recommendation.

 

It was moved by Councillor J Goodeve and seconded by Councillor D Hollebon that the recommendations, as detailed, be approved.  After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

Councillors T Beckett, L Corpe and M Goldspink requested that their abstention from voting be recorded. 

 

RESOLVED – that (A) a single independent Scrutiny Committee (the Overview and Scrutiny Committee) be established;

 

(B)        The Overview and Scrutiny Committee agree an annual programme of scrutiny of issues reflecting the concerns of residents and councillors;

 

(C)        The Executive be requested to formalise its responses to the Scrutiny Committee in the form of a letter from the Leader to the Scrutiny Committee Chairman;

 

(D)       Performance, Audit and Governance Scrutiny committee be decommissioned and replaced with a Performance, Audit and Governance Oversight Committee, with the terms of reference to be as set out in the report to the meeting ; and

 

(E)To provide for training on Standards for members of the Performance, Audit and Governance Oversight Committee.

 

10.

Political Balance of the Council 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services submitted a report calculating the political balance of the Council following the ordinary election of all Members.  She said Council, at its annual meeting, was required to approve the decision-making arrangements for the discharge of functions as set out in the recommendations now detailed. The appointment of the Leader, Councillor L Haysey was proposed, together with the composition of the portfolios of Executive Members, and those appointed to those roles. 

 

Councillor L Haysey proposed the recommendations, which were seconded by Councillor E Buckmaster.  Council approved the recommendations as set out in the report and in the supplementary report.

 

RESOLVED – that (A) the following scrutiny committee, regulatory committees and joint committees be appointed, with the number of voting Members stated: 

 

Committee                         Number of Members

 

Overview and Scrutiny                                  14

 

Performance, Audit and

Governance Oversight                                   7

 

Development Management                         12

 

Licensing                                                          12

 

Human Resources                                          7

 

Chief Officer Recruitment                             5

 

East Herts Council and

Stevenage Borough Council

Joint Revenues and Benefits                         3

 

Joint CCTV Executive (3 from

East Herts)                                                       12

 

(B) the membership of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the regulatory committees (Development Management and Licensing Committees) and other committees (Performance, Audit and Governance Oversight, Human Resources, Chief Officer Recruitment and East Herts Council and Stevenage Borough Council Joint Revenues and Benefits Committees) be as set out in Essential Reference Paper ‘C’ with Members being appointed in accordance with the wishes of the political group to whom the seats on these bodies have been allocated;

 

(C) Councillor Linda Haysey be appointed Leader of the Council for the four year term of the Council;

 

(D) the intention of the Leader of the Council to appoint 7 Members to the Executive (in addition to the Leader) with the portfolio responsibilities as detailed in Essential Reference Paper ‘B’, be noted;

 

(E) the programme of Council meetings, as detailed at paragraph 5.1 of the report, be approved;

 

(F) the Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make changes in the standing membership of committees and joint committees in (A) above, in accordance with the wishes of the political group to whom seats on these bodies have been allocated;

 

(G) Appointments of representatives to outside bodies be taken by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader, under delegated authority; and

 

(H) the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make such amendments to the Council’s Constitution as may be necessary to account for the decisions in (A) to (G) above.

 

11.

Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services submitted a report on a review of the Constitution. 

 

It was moved by Councillor J Wyllie and seconded by Councillor A Alder that the recommendations as detailed be approved.  Councillor M Goldspink requested that her abstention from voting be recorded.

 

RESOLVED that (A) revisions to the Council’s Constitution as detailed, be approved;

 

(B)        the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any minor amendments, correct typographical or drafting errors required; and

 

(C)        the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any consequential changes to the Constitution arising from any legislative changes or other decisions that may be taken during the year.

 

12.

Annual Report of Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Wyllie submitted the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for 2018/19

 

The Annual Report set out the work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Performance, Audit and Governance Scrutiny Committee during the civic year 2018/19, and summarised the findings of an internal review and its key recommendations.

 

Councillor M Goldspink asked that consideration be given to amending the content of the template of one of the papers accompanying all reports.  This paper was the implications and consultations paper referred to as ERP A.  She asked that the template include reference to climate change emergency implications. 

 

The Chairman welcomed the suggestion.  The Head of Legal and Democratic Services said Officers could make the change to the template to include suitable wording.  Members’ received the report.

RESOLVED – that the report be received.

 

13.

Outside Bodies - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services submitted a report on Outside Bodies for 2018/19.  Reports from Members appointed during that year to be the Council’s representatives on Outside Bodies were submitted.  The report recommended that Council receive these reports as detailed.

 

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services said an additional recommendation was sought to confirm that Council approved delegation of appointments to representatives to outside Bodies, to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader.

 

It was moved by Councillor L Haysey and seconded by Councillor G McAndrew that the recommendations, as amended be approved.  (Councillors L Corpe and M  Goldspink requested that their abstentions from voting be recorded).

 

RESOLVED - that (A) the report as detailed be received; and

 

(B)   Appointments to Outside Bodies be delegated to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, in consultation with the Leader.

 

14.

Human Resources Committee: Minutes - 13 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Chairman: Councillor P Boylan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the meeting of the Human Resources Committee held on 13 March 2019 be received.

 

15.

Human Resources Committee - Minutes 10 April 2019 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

The Minutes of HR Committee, 10 April 2019 are submitted here as a draft.  Members of HR Committee are asked to approve the Minutes as they relate to the Pay Policy Statement which requires the approval of Council this evening.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor P Boylan submitted the draft Minutes of the meeting of the Human Resources Committee held on 10 April 2019.  Through the Chairman, he asked Members of that Committee to now approve those Minutes.  Members of the Human Resources Committee approved the Minutes.

 

In response to a question from Councillor M Goldspink regarding reference in the Minutes to an apparent abolition of job sharing policy, Councillor P Boylan said he would respond in writing.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development said he could provide a response now in that the policy on job sharing had not been abolished, but had been consolidated within the flexible working policy. 

 

Councillor I Devonshire asked a further question about apprenticeships in terms of the retention of apprentices.  Councillor E Buckmaster raised a point of order that the Minutes of Committee meetings were to be received only.  The content of those Minutes was not for debate at meetings of the Council.  The Chairman noted that the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development would respond outside the meeting to any written queries.

 

On a show of hands, Members received the Minutes of the meeting.

 

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the meeting of the Human Resources Committee held on 10 April 2019, be received.

 

15a

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development submitted a report on the Pay Policy statement and referred to the Minutes of the meeting of the Human Resources Committee held on 10 April 2019, which had been confirmed by Members of that Committee present tonight, as a correct record.  Members of the Human Resources Committee recommended to Council that the Pay Policy Statement 2019/2020 be approved.

 

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development said the Council was obliged to provide a pay policy statement in accordance with statutory requirements.  The policy statement had been developed for 2019/20 to reflect and set out the revised pay structure created following negotiations with Unison and to incorporate NJC and JNC awards as well statutory changes.  Feedback from East of England LGA following consideration by the Human Resources Committee was now presented for Council’s approval.

 

It was moved by Councillor L Haysey and seconded by Councillor P Boylan that the Pay Policy Statement be approved.  Councillors L Corpe and Cllr M Goldspink requested that their abstentions from voting be recorded.

 

RESOLVED - that the Pay Policy Statement 2019/2020 be approved.

 

16.

Performance, Audit and Governance Scrutiny Committee: Minutes - 22 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Chairman: Councillor M Pope

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the meeting of the Performance, Audit and Governance Scrutiny Committee, held on 22 January 2019, be received.

 

17.

Licensing Committee: Minutes - 6 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Chairman: Councillor D Andrews

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 6 February 2019, be received.

 

18.

Development Management Committee: Minutes - 13 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Chairman: Councillor T Page

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - that the Minutes of the meeting of the Development Management Committee held on 13 February 2019, be received.

 

19.

Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 16 KB

To receive Motions on Notice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M Goldspink proposed a motion on notice, which was seconded by Councillor C Wilson.

 

The motion submitted was that “This Council resolves, subject to legal advice, to put the proposed development of the Old River Lane site in Bishop's Stortford on hold, until further consultations have been carried out with Theatre Companies and Theatre Agents and with the residents of Bishop's Stortford.”

 

In support of the motion, Councillor M Goldspink said the proposed development of the site might jeopardise the future of The Rhodes Centre and Museum.  Cllr Goldspink described comments received during campaigning prior to the elections from residents anxious about the plans for a new car park at Northgate End, Bishop’s Stortford.  Views expressed by residents were that the Old River Lane scheme was strongly disliked.  Whilst she endorsed aspects of the proposals, consultation was needed with theatre companies and residents.  She commended her motion, and sought a recorded vote.

 

Councillor C Wilson said he appreciated the hard work of Officers and Members in developing the project.  The scheme was potentially a good one, but it was necessary to consult further.

 

Councillor G Williamson outlined the approach taken.  He said the proposals would provide retail space and better provision for arts and leisure activities.  He outlined the consultation carried out, including the establishment of a Steering Group, membership of which included local people. 

 

Councillor G Williamson said the development’s architect was now revisiting original designs.  This work would be published this Summer, when further consultation would take place. 

 

Councillor E Buckmaster said Members had undertaken visits to art theatres around the country in order to assess what worked well.  They had found that increasing such provision could multiply the benefits to the local economy and that it was important that high streets and town centres should adapt to survive.  Rather than deferring the Old River Lane development, Councillor E Buckmaster invited Members to agree it should be progressed.

 

Councillor J Wyllie said it was not the case, as Councillor M Goldspink had suggested, that the project would jeopardise The Rhodes Centre or Museum.  The Rhodes Centre was not under threat of closing, as had been made clear by Bishop’s Stortford Town Council.  The Centre was too small and that its access was too limited to be appealing to theatre companies.  Specifically, the back stage access did not permit access for scenery.  He invited Councillor M Goldspink to speak to the management of The Rhodes Centre, and asserted that the project at Old River Lane would complement it.

 

In response, Councillor M Goldspink thanked Members for their explanations.  She appreciated the limitations of The Rhodes Centre, but her question remained, had any theatre groups been asked if a larger theatre would encourage them to use the venue.

 

As per paragraph 16.9(a) of the Council’s Constitution, the debate was then put to the vote. 

 

At the request of 5 members per paragraph 18.5.1 of the Council’s Constitution, a recorded vote was taken, the result being: 

 

FOR

 

Councillors  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.