Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday 16th November, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Katie Mogan  Tel: (01279) 502174 Email:  katie.mogan@eastherts.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

222.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman ran through the events he had attended since the last Council meeting in July:

 

·            He attended events over a two-week period after the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III. He said it was the greatest honour of his life to be involved in these events and he had received a card from the King thanking the Council for their kind condolences.

·            The charity race night raised £1,250 for his charity.

·            He and the Vice Chairman had attended Remembrance Sunday events across the four main towns.

·            He announced a further fundraising event on 15 April 2023 which would be an afternoon tea/BBQ event with a brass band. Invites would be sent to all county, district and town/parish councillors.

·            He said that he would be joining an initiative with the Mayor of Hertford to demonstrate how to cook cheap and easy meals to help families with the cost of living crisis and promote the reuse of food.

 

The Chairman announced that the Bishop’s Stortford BID had been re-elected for another five-year term and the Economic Development Team had won an award from the Federation of Small Businesses for their role in administering the covid grant schemes.

 

223.

Leader's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council said she was proud that the Council had played such an important role in the sad events following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the celebrations following the accession of King Charles III. She said it was a sad but historic event.

 

224.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any Members’ apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrews, Frecknall, Hollebon, Huggins, McMullen and Ward-Booth.

 

225.

Minutes - 27 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 27 July 2022.

Minutes:

Councillor Haysey proposed, and Councillor Kaye seconded a motion that the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2022 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman. On being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2022 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

226.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members' declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Councillors Haysey, Williamson, E Buckmaster and Snowdon declared an interest in Item 9c – Old River Lane Supplementary Planning Document as they were members of the Old River Lane Delivery Board. They declared that they would take no part in the discussion or voting of the item.

 

Councillor Beckett and Townsend declared an interest in Item 11 – Private Bill – Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Cemetery as they were members of Bishop’s Stortford Town Council. They declared that they would take no part in the discussion or voting of the item.

 

227.

Save Bengeo Field Landscape pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Veronica Fraser presented the following petition to the Council which had received 573 signatures online.

 

“We the undersigned petition the Council to protect the unique and outstanding landscape of the area north of Bengeo, known locally as Bengeo Field, for the whole community of Bengeo and Hertford. We ask that the East Herts District Council reject any further residential development, which would also place further stress on the local infrastructure with regards to highways, wastewater drainage, local health services, and schools.”

 

“We believe Bengeo Field needs to be protected from further development to prevent the destruction of a beautiful landscape that is much loved and utilised by the community. This area provides a much valued amenity thanks to the highly popular Byway 1. The pathway through Bengeo Field, which passes by the Lonely Oak, is extremely popular and surveys provide evidence that increasing numbers of people use it for a variety of activities. The unique views it offers to walkers across Rib Valley makes it imperative that we preserve this locally important landscape, which was described as having exceptional value by the Landscape Officer of Hertfordshire County Council. The landscape was also found to be of outstanding value by the Planning Inspector at the Planning Inquiry which rejected minerals extraction: "These landscapes are especially important as a foil to urban settlements [..] I consider that the appeal site is a landscape resource and visual amenity of considerable importance because of its proximity to the urban area. It seems contrary to that finding to allow residential development to destroy the same landscape.”

 

The Chairman said that the local Ward Members for Hertford Bengeo were members of the Development Management Committee (DMC) and had chosen to remain neutral on the petition so not to pre-determine any potential future application that might come before the committee. He said if any of the local Ward Members felt strongly either way about the petition, they would be able to speak but would need to bear in mind that this may exclude them for determining an application at DMC.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Growth replied to the petition. She said that as a strategic site allocation, which formed part of the Council’s overall approach to meeting its evidenced housing needs by 2033, the HERT4 site was removed from the Green Belt in its entirety on adoption of the District Plan in 2018.  The principle of development in this location has therefore already been established, subject to the detailed criteria in Policy HERT4 being met.  Any future planning application would be assessed against the contents of this policy and all other relevant policies in the Plan. 

 

228.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive any public questions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Royle, on behalf of the Sustainable Sawbridgeworth community group to ask Councillor Graham McAndrew, the Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability

 

“Sawbridgeworth Town Council produced its own Local Cycling and Walking Implementation Plan (LCWIP) in August 2018, over four years ago. It has not yet been implemented.

We note that in North Hertfordshire there has just been a consultation on the proposed walking and cycling improvements in Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Baldock, Royston and Knebworth, as part of their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

Can we please ask how the East Herts LCWIP work is progressing, has it actually started, what stage is it at, when and how can local groups feed into it and when is it due for completion?”

 

Response from Councillor Graham McAndrew:

“An LCWIP to cover the district is being jointly prepared in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), the lead authority on this project.  While East Herts Council is ready to commence work on the LCWIP at the earliest opportunity, a change in HCC staff has meant that this Council has been awaiting confirmation on the timeline for the next steps to progress this work. 

HCC has recently advised that a new member of staff is due to start shortly and also that a Project Manager has been identified at the consultancy who will be supporting the project, so it is therefore expected that initial work will commence in coming weeks.

Public consultation is a key element of LCWIPs and this will certainly occur as part of the East Herts project, the expected timeline for which will be finalised when the full programme is confirmed in due course.”

There was no supplementary question.

 

James Dean to ask Councillor Graham McAndrew, the Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability

 

“What are the council intending to do to mitigate the impact of the new parking proposal on residents who have no option but to park in public car parks?

 

The only parking we have near our house is a public car park, Crown Terrace in Bishop’s Stortford.  My partner works Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, leaving before 8.30am and returning around 6.30pm, parking overnight, and then paying for Fridays. The introduction of the new proposals will mean we have to pay for half a day (£3.60 - the car park opposite our house only does half and full day during the week) just to cover the additional 6.30pm to 8.30pm charging period, for an additional 5 days a week. Plus also £1.50 for Sundays. That means an additional £78 a month on top of what we already pay for parking to cover various eventualities here and there. We understand the need for the council to raise more money, and your proposals as stated are targeting commuters and shoppers who have at least one alternative option (bus, cycling, walking etc). But we have no other options. We have a 2 year old son as well, so can't just park miles away.”

 

Response from Councillor Graham McAndrew

“I  ...  view the full minutes text for item 228.

229.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive any Members' questions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Snowdon to ask Councillor Jan Goodeve, the Executive Member for Planning and Growth

 

Could the Executive Member please make a statement about the future of Launchpad once the Old River Lane works commence?

Response from Councillor Jan Goodeve

“We are aware that Launchpad is a popular and well used facility in the town and many businesses there are getting nervous about its future within the ORL development. We are actively seeking a new venue and have identified two possible options, one of which is quite advanced in terms of negotiations. We hope to have resolved the issue before Christmas and be in a new venue from 1 April 2023. Chris Smith, our award winning Economic Development Manager, is liaising closely with the businesses in the Launchpad about the options and I know several of them have committed to stay with us if and when we do move.”

There was no supplementary question.

 

Councillor Ben Crystall to ask Councillor Jan Goodeve, the Executive Member for Planning and Growth

 

In May this year the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ruled that all Grade II listed and most Grade II* listed properties can install solar panels without seeking listed building consent. In an order applying the change, the council said solar panels "would appear as an honest and clearly modern intervention, and normally read as part of the equipment necessary to service the uses conducted within the building", similar to water tanks, television aerials and other equipment.

Will East Herts Council introduce a similar change?

Response from Councillor Jan Goodeve

“The permission for solar panels on Listed Buildings referred to is as a result of a Local Listed Building Consent Order. These were introduced by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 but have not been widely used as of yet. If introduced, they can grant blanket consent for “works of any description for the alteration or extension of listed buildings” and means that the owners of those listed buildings specified in the Order will not have to make individual applications, but will be able to proceed with the works, provided they comply with any conditions that may be attached to the Order.

East Herts has around 4000 listed buildings (comprised of around 3100 listings), a similar total number to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, but the context is very different. We could not serve any sort of blanket order in the same way due to the variety of our building stock and the many vernacular buildings with features such as thatched roofs that would not be suitable for the introduction of solar panels. In many instances in predominantly rural areas like East Herts, solar panels are best placed within the grounds of a building or on outbuildings, rather than on the main roof of a Listed Building, where they could result in avoidable harm to the character and special interest of the Listed Building. There are many instances whereby solar panels can be installed on Listed Buildings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 229.

230.

Executive Report - 6 September and 25 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive a report from the Leader of the Council and to consider recommendations on the matters below:

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report setting out recommendations to the Council made by the Executive at its meetings on 6 September and 25 October 2022.

 

230a

Much Hadham Neighbourhood Plan - Adoption pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning and Growth presented the recommendation, which was referred to in the Executive report of 6 September 2022, regarding the Adoption of the Much Hadham Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Goodeve proposed that the recommendation in the report be supported. Councillor McAndrew seconded the proposal.

 

The Chairman, as the local ward member, thanked the Neighbourhood Plan steering group and its Chairman Ian Hunt who had put in a great deal of work over many years.

 

Councillor Goldspink referred to the Executive minutes included in the agenda and wished to ask a question on the Parking item.

 

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services said that the Council were not being asked to agree the minutes from the Executive meeting and they had been included in the agenda for information.

 

Councillor Goldspink wanted to ask when the car parking charges were being brought in.

 

Councillor Haysey said that the Council were being asked to make the decisions presented in the Executive report. She said the minutes would be agreed at the next Executive meeting.

 

The motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED - That the Much Hadham Neighbourhood Development Plan 2019-2033 be formally ‘made’.

 

230b

Hunsdon Neighbourhood Plan Adoption pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning and Growth presented the recommendation, which was referred to in the Executive report of 25 October 2022, regarding the Adoption of the Hunsdon Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Goodeve proposed that the recommendation in the report be supported. Councillor E Buckmaster seconded the proposal.

 

Councillor E Buckmaster said that this was another great Neighbourhood Plan for the ward and thanked all those involved for their hard work in producing it.

 

The motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED - That the HunsdonNeighbourhood Development Plan 2019-2033 be formally ‘made’.

 

230c

Old River Lane Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning and Growth presented the recommendations, which were referred to in the Executive report of 25 October 2022, regarding the Old River Lane Supplementary Planning Document.

 

Councillor Goodeve said that Old River Lane was a development site allocated in the East Herts District Plan 2018 (Policy BISH8) which formed a key opportunity for sustainable redevelopment in the heart of Bishop’s Stortford and an opportunity to complement the retail, community, and leisure provision in the town centre. The Old River Lane sets out a clear vision and development objectives, establishing placemaking and design principles, and by setting out a strategic master planning framework to bring forward appropriate redevelopment at Old River Lane.

 

Councillor Goodeve said that when adopted, the SPD would become a material consideration in assessing the quality of proposals on the site and in decision making on planning applications. She said that a draft version of the Old River Lane SPD was published for public consultation for four-weeks between 5 July and 2 August 2022. The consultation received over 400 comments from nearly 100 individual consultees. 

 

Councillor Goodeve proposed that the recommendations in the report be supported. Councillor Wyllie seconded the proposal and reserved his right to speak.

 

Councillor Goldspink said that she welcomed the report and supported its objectives. She was pleased to see reference had been made to the number of new dwellings remaining at around 100. She felt it was a little vague in some respects but felt it was a good report overall and was happy to support it.

 

Councillor Curtis referred to the tracked changes document which he felt did not reflect the number of consultation responses. He questioned if the council had got the balance right from the consultation and asked if the loan had been taken out yet to develop the cinema.

 

Councillor Goodeve said that the council could only take loans when it was required.

 

Councillor Wyllie said he supported the report but did have some concerns about over development. He said that he was concerned about any future developers trying to get out of any agreement and wanted to make sure that this agreement was watertight to ensure that Bishop’s Stortford got what it needed and not what future developers wanted.

 

Councillor Goodeve reminded the Council that the report was about the Supplementary Planning Document and not about a future planning application or any negotiations around a Section 106 agreement.

 

The motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – That (A) the responses to the consultation be noted and the officer responses and proposed changes to the Old River Lane Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) be supported;

(B)       the Old River Lane Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), be agreed for adoption; and

(C)         In accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 it has been determined that a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Old River Lane  ...  view the full minutes text for item 230c

230d

Waste Service Contract Design pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability presented the recommendation, which was referred to in the Executive report of 25 October 2022, regarding the Waste Service Contract Design.

 

Councillor McAndrew said that the Executive were asked to give authority to proceed with a competitive dialogue for the waste and street cleansing contract. He said that there were 21 recommendations for Executive with one needing agreement by Council. He said that the Council were being asked to approve the capital and estimated revenue spend in relation to the new contract. He thanked Officers who had spent a considerable amount of time on the project.

 

Councillor McAndrew proposed that the recommendation in the report be supported. Councillor Drake seconded the proposal.

 

Councillor Goldspink said she was delighted to see that there would be weekly food waste collections and was happy to support the recommendation.

 

Councillor Burmicz said that he had previously lived in Germany where they had food waste collections and there were massive problems with maggots and flies in the summer months. He said that he did not feel it was a good move.

 

Councillor McAndrew said that food waste collections would be weekly.

 

Councillor Townsend sought clarification on the 23 litre caddies and how they would be transported, as 23 litres roughly translated to 23 kilograms and could therefore be quite heavy to carry.

 

Councillor McAndrew said they were used across the country and  would almost never be full.

 

Councillor Curtis referred to paragraph 3.16 of the report and asked if the Executive Member would commit to having two separate options for the contract; have three weekly collections or remain at existing frequency. He said the council needed to make changes to its waste collection but wanted to make sure it had been thought through.

 

Councillor McAndrew said that the contract would be for a three weekly residual collection and weekly food waste.

 

Councillor E Buckmaster said there would be an educational element around the project. He said that a bin composition analysis had been undertaken across the county and it had found that 25-30% of waste in residual bins was food related. He said if the public disposed of waste correctly, it would mean less would be going into the black bins. He said that he was comfortable this was the correct route to go down.

 

Councillor Kemp said many other local authorities currently collect food waste separately and the results had been good.

 

Councillor Beckett said he supported the comments in favour of a separate food waste collection. He asked if the council would be providing  bin liners to residents.

 

Councillor McAndrew said he would ask Officers to look into that.

 

Councillor Haysey said that we should all be looking at what waste we were producing. She said that the council needed to note that the government would be bringing in legislation that food waste should be collected separately.

 

Councillor Kaye said that within East Herts, 43% of waste in the residual bins should not be in there and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 230d

231.

Electoral Review of East Herts - Outcome and implementation pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented the Electoral Review of East Herts report. She said that the Local Government Boundary Commission had completed its Electoral Review of East Herts and published its final recommendations in August 2022. In summary, she said that the Commission had agreed to leave the number of councillors representing East Herts at 50, however from May 2023, the District will be split into 26 wards instead of 30.

 

Councillor Haysey said that the report sets out a number of actions necessary including a Polling District and Polling Place review which will be undertaken between now and January 2023. She said that Members were encouraged to contribute to the review especially if they were aware of any local premises suitable to be used as a polling station. She said the register would be republished in February 2023 to incorporate these changes.

 

Councillor Haysey said that there were a couple of areas where the council may wish to carry out a Community Governance Review on certain parish boundaries. A list of suggested changes had been provided by Ware Town Council however, it was not possible to conclude all the statutory stages in time to implement before the May 2023 elections so it was proposed that Officers report to Council after the elections with the proposed terms of reference for the reviews.

 

Councillor Haysey proposed that the recommendations in the report be supported. Councillor Snowdon seconded the proposal and reserved his right to speak.

 

Councillor Curtis referred to the Community Governance Review in Ware. He said that not all suggested changes were included in the report and asked for clarification that all recommendations would be considered.

 

Councillor Haysey confirmed that they would.

 

Councillor Dumont said he was not convinced by the name of the new ward Great Amwell and Stansted but he said the new ward represents both areas better.

 

Councillor Crystall asked what the process was for letting Members know the results of the polling district review.

 

Councillor Haysey said that it was still under discussion about how to communicate to Members.

 

Councillor Kemp said he appreciated the prompt response to Ware Town Council’s request for a Community Governance Review.

 

Councillor Snowdon said that the ward names were decided by the Local Government Boundary Commission and were based on submissions from the public. He said that East Herts Council could change the name of the wards but would have to wait a minimum of  five years from the completion of the boundary review to do so. 

 

The motion to support the recommendations having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – That (A) the outcome of the Electoral Review of East Herts and the final recommendations of the review made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England be noted;

 

(B)       Subject to approval by Parliament, to implement the revised warding arrangements for East Herts recommended by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 231.

232.

Private Bill - Bishop's Stortford Town Council Cemetery pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Corporate Services presented the Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Cemeteries Private Bill report as the local Ward Member. He said that the report set out the case for a promotion of a Private Bill to enable the reuse of burial space in two cemeteries, either side of Cemetery Road, in Bishop’s Stortford. He explained that the promotion of the Bill would be on behalf of the Bishop’s Stortford Town Council at their request as opposed to an initiative of this Council.

 

Councillor Cutting said that the reasons why the Town Council have asked this Council to promote the Bill on its behalf is set out in detail in the ‘Background’ section of the report but in summary: there is only sufficient burial space to last until approximately 2036, the only practical way to resolve this is to  seek additional powers through a private Bill and there was no other suitable alternative land available to use for burials.

 

Councillor Cutting said that a public consultation was carried out by this Council, in addition to a previous consultation by the Town Council. There were seven responses to the consultation (six against and one in favour) and they have been summarised in paragraph 6.3 as well as the Council’s assessment of the responses, contained in paragraph 6.4. He added that there were no financial implications to this Council as all costs are being met by the Town Council.

Councillor Cutting proposed that the recommendations in the report be supported. Councillor Snowdon seconded the proposal.

 

Councillor Wyllie said he supported the report as the Leader of Bishop’s Stortford Town Council but questioned why the consultation was reported in the Herts Mercury and not in a Bishop’s Stortford newspaper.

 

The Head of Legal and Democratic Services confirmed that it was advertised in two Bishop’s Stortford newspapers.

 

The motion to support the recommendations having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

RESOLVED – That (A) the Council authorises the promotion and deposit of the private Bill on behalf of the Bishop’s Stortford Town Council to authorise the reuse of certain graves with two cemeteries in its area subject to appropriate protections substantially in accordance with the attached draft Bill;

 

(B)       The Council authorises the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, in consultation with the Executive Member for Corporate Services, to address procedural matters which may arise in relation to the promotion of the Bill and to enter into undertakings or commitments in relation to it; and

 

(C)       The Council authorises the Head of Legal and Democratic Services to agree to the making of any necessary amendments to the Bill that may arise during the course of the promotion of the Bill.

 

233.

Report of urgent non-key decision taken on 12 August 2022 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning and Growth presented the report asking the Council to note the urgent non-key decision taken on 12 August 2022.

 

Councillor Goodeve proposed that the recommendation in the report be supported. Councillor Bolton seconded the proposal.

 

The motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded was put to the meeting and upon a vote being taken, was declared CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED – That the urgent non-key decision taken by the Executive Member for Planning and Growth on 12 August 2022 be noted.

 

234.

Green Belt Land pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Snowdon proposed the following motion on notice:

 

“This Council notes: 

·        That Green belt land in Bishop’s Stortford has been split into residential-sized parcels for sale, with two recent examples being the Thorley Lane East Woods and the Meads Land, South of Meadowlands off Rye Street 

·        The Thorley lane East Woods are Green Belt Land, have a Tree Preservation Order on the site and are listed as Open Space in the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan 

·        The Rye Street land is Green Belt land, Local Open Space, and an Area of Archaeological Significance  

·        The sale of Green Belt and rural land in this manner is a problem across East Hertfordshire and beyond, with similar examples in Much Hadham, Braughing and Tewin 

·        The strong public feeling that Green Belt land should not be parcelled up into small chunks

·        The considerable public desire to protect the woodland on Thorley Lane East and the Meads Land Rye Street from development 

·        That both the Thorley Lane East Woods and Meads Land are considered by local people to be important local amenity land 

·        Bishop’s Stortford Town Council approached the sellers of both the Meads and Thorley Lane East Woods to try buy the land. In both cases the sellers were not willing to sell at the market rate for amenity land. In both cases the sellers were asking for prices closer to development land prices  

·        On 10th October 2022, Bishop's Stortford Town Council passed a motion substantially the same as this motion, and it received cross-party support

This Council believes: 

·        Green Belt land should be protected from being sold off in small plots 

·        Some prospective buyers of small plots of Green Belt land do not fully understand the planning challenges associated with trying to develop this land
 

This Council resolves: 

·        To ask the Leader of the District Council to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to: 

o   Express the Town Council’s frustration that Green Belt land is being sold in small parcels 

o   Ask the Secretary of State to consider new legislation and/or regulations to tighten up the rules about selling Green Belt land 

o   Ask the Secretary of State to ensure that there are strict rules around the information that is made available to prospective buyers of Green Belt land by sellers. In particular, a full assessment of the planning status of the land should be prominently displayed in any planning material 

·        To ask the Leader to write to the Thorley Lane East Woods Action Group to send them a copy of this motion”

Councillor Snowdon said there was significant public concern about the sale of green belt land in Bishop’s Stortford and other areas. He said the motion was carefully worded based upon a similar motion passed at Bishop’s Stortford Town Council recently although that motion went further because it was not a planning authority. He understood that some Members wanted the motion to go further but he thought it was the best motion the Council could pass.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 234.

235.

Cost of Living Crisis pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

Under paragraph 3.22.7 of the Constitution, Councillor Goldspink provided the meeting with an altered motion from the one she had submitted on notice. Copies of the altered motion were distributed to the meeting.

 

Councillor Goldspink proposed the following motion:

 

“We are all living in the midst of a serious Cost of Living Crisis and Emergency. Council does note the Government’s Decision, taken in June 2022, to impose a Windfall Tax on the super profits of the oil and gas companies and to redistribute this as a one-off payment to many households. Though this Windfall Tax is welcome, and the payments are helpful, not everyone is out of difficulty. Council believes that it does not go nearly far enough, and that the Government should be doing much more to support the people of East Herts through this Cost-of-Living Crisis. East Herts Council therefore acknowledges that we are in a “Cost of Living Emergency”.

 

Councillors on East Herts Council believe the primary objective of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement tomorrow should be support for the most vulnerable in our communities.

We welcome the support we have received from the Department of Work and Pensions on the Household Support Fund which amounts to £60,000 for food support and £60,000 for energy support. This money administered by the Community Alliance in East Herts went into supporting food banks and fuel poverty. The fuel support funding is in collaboration with housing associations.

 

We also welcome the £150 rebate in council tax earlier this year and the £326 followed by £324 for those on Universal Credit or indeed, other benefits. The £400 we shall all receive towards our energy costs has already started to take effect with £66 off our bills last month and more to come this winter.

With the proposed rise in National Insurance now cancelled and older people receiving between £500 and £600 in winter fuel allowance, we believe this is a good start to creating more stability in the economy to help fight inflation despite the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 

East Herts Council will be working with Hertfordshire County Council’s Cost of Living Taskforce to monitor any problems our residents face in the coming months.

 

We await the outcome of the Autumn Statement to hear what further support may be provided to our vulnerable residents. In the meantime we will continue to work with our District and County colleagues to provide the very best support we can.

We call upon the government to ensure that measures be taken to alleviate poverty and help those most in need. The Council asks the Leader of the Council to write on behalf of East Herts District Council to lobby the government to take further steps to help those most in need, including the elderly, the disabled, those on low wages and those on benefits.

 

This Council resolves to consider the measures to be announced in the Autumn Statement and will continue to lobby government through the District Councils Network and the LGA for financial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 235.