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Brentwood Borough Council

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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY

Contact: Jean Sharp (01277 312655) 

Media

Items
No. Item

328.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Clarke, Sarah Cloke, Mrs McKinlay and McLaren.

 

The Mayor advised that Cllr Mrs Pound would be acting as Deputy Mayor for the duration of this meeting as Cllr Miss Sanders was incapacitated.

329.

Variation in the Order of the Agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In view of the large number of reports needing to be considered the Mayor proposed and it was agreed that agenda items 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 be dealt with following Item 4 – Minutes of the previous meeting.

330.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at this stage of the meeting.

331.

Mayors Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members of the engagements he had undertaken since the last Full Council meeting and reminded Members of their opportunity to nominate community-minded people for a Civic Award.

332.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 419 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Tumbridge proposed a change to the wording on Page 196 of the minutes under Minute 229 – Public Questions, as follows:

 

In response to the second question Cllr Tumbridge advised on behalf of Cllr Hossack that the High Court had recently made given judgement against the claimants case. Therefore in light of the High Court decision it would not be possible  appropriate for the Council to consider such a motion as set out in the question.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the minutes as a true record, subject to the proposed amendment.

 

333.

Brentwood Local Development Plan: Addendum of Focussed Changes to the Pre-Submission Local Plan (Regulation 19) pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) required local planning authorities to produce a Local Plan for their area.  Brentwood Borough Council was producing a new Local Development Plan and had reached Publication stage (Regulation 19).  To reach this stage consultation had taken place on a Pre-Submission Local Plan (February 2019) and an Addendum of Focussed Changes to the Pre-Submission Local Plan (October 2019). 

 

Consideration of representations received in response to the Pre-Submission Local Plan, specifically concerns regarding new homes proposed in Blackmore and Shenfield, resulted in further public consultation on focussed changes.  Consultation on the Addendum of Focussed Changes concluded in November 2019.  Responses to this consultation were summarised in Appendix A. 

 

The Council had approved delegated authority for the Director of Strategic Planning, in consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council, to finalise and submit the Pre-Submission Local Plan (and supporting documents) with non-material amendments if required.   For the Addendum of Focussed Changes to be submitted alongside the Pre-Submission Local Plan, approval was required from the Council.

 

The next stage of the plan-making process was Submission of the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State (Regulation 22), to take place in January 2020.

 

Members were advised of some additional wording being added to paragraph 3 of the main published report which was included when the recommendations was moved. 

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Tumbridge SECONDED the recommendation in the report with the additional wording.

 

Cllr Keeble MOVED and Cllr Kendall SECONDED an AMENDMENT that sites R25 and R26 be removed from the Local Development Plan and placed at Dunton Hills Garden Village.

 

Cllr Hossack DID NOT ACCEPT the AMENDMENT  and following a discussion a recorded vote was requested and taken.  Members voted as follows:

 

FOR: Cllrs Aspinell, Barrett, Dr Barrett, Chilvers, Mrs Davies, Fryd, Haigh, Keeble, Kendall, Laplain, Lewis, Morrissey, Mynott and Naylor (14)

 

AGAINST: Cllrs Bridge, J. Cloke, Hirst, Mrs Hones, Hossack, Kerslake, McCheyne,  Nolan, Parker, Mrs Pearson, Poppy, Mrs Pound,

Reed, Miss Sanders, Tanner, Mrs Tierney and Tumbridge (17)

 

ABSTAIN: Cllr Jakobsson (1)

 

The AMENDMENTwas LOST.

 

Returning to the SUBSTANTIVE MOTION, following a discussion during which Cllr Tumbridge MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED and it was RESOLVED that ‘The question be now put’,  a recorded vote was requested and taken and Members voted as follows:

 

FOR:  Cllrs Bridge, J. Cloke, Hirst, Mrs Hones, Hossack, Jakobsson, Kerslake, McCheyne,  Nolan, Parker, Mrs Pearson, Poppy, Mrs Pound,

Reed, Miss Sanders, Tanner, Mrs Tierney and Tumbridge (18)

 

AGAINST:  Cllrs Aspinell, Barrett, Dr Barrett, Chilvers, Mrs Davies, Fryd, Haigh, Keeble, Kendall, Laplain, Lewis, Morrissey, Mynott and Naylor (11)

 

ABSTAIN: Cllrs Barrett, Dr Barrett and Morrissey (3)

 

The MOTION was CARRIED and it was RESOLVED:

 

1.            To approve that Appendix B - the Addendum of Focussed Changes to the Pre-Submission Local Plan be submitted to the Secretary of State as part of the Brentwood Local Plan Examination-in-Public process.

 

2.            For clarification, in relation to item b. of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 333.

334.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme pdf icon PDF 656 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader agreed to review the arrangements of the Revenue and Benefits Partnership between Brentwood and Basildon Council following a decision at Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee and some Members concerns of the service area.

 

Following that review, it was recommended that Full Council approve a replacement to the current Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) for 2020/21.  This alternative scheme would introduce a newer, less complex Council Tax Reduction scheme (CTR) for residents who were of working age in Brentwood. 

 

More households would be positively affected by the implementation of the new scheme.

 

Public consultation on a replacement scheme was undertaken from 4 November 2019 to 15 December 2019. All Members were notified on 1November 2019 with access to the consultation.

 

Members noted that if approved the scheme would be implemented for the financial year 2020/21 and it was a requirement for approval by full council by 31 January 2020.

 

Members received a presentation on the proposed Scheme by the Shared Services Revenues & Benefits Manager.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED the recommendation in the report and following a discussion and vote by a show of hands it was RESOLVED

 

To approve the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21, as set out as Option B of the report.

 

 

 

 

335.

Draft Corporate Strategic Plan pdf icon PDF 281 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report before Members provided an update on progress of the Draft Corporate Strategy 2020 – 2025 and sought approval for it to be agreed and published from January 2020.

 

The Corporate Strategy would cover a five-year period, 2020 to 2025. The plan will be referred to as Brentwood’s Corporate Strategy and set out the strategic direction for the Council over the 5 year period. It would replace the previous plan which ran from 2016 to the end of 2019.

 

The report also summarised achievements against the previous plan and the consultation that was undertaken to assist in informing the content of the Draft Corporate Strategy. 

 

Cllr Hossack introduced the Draft Strategy and MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED the recommendation in the report.

 

Following a discussion and vote on a show of hands it was RESOLVED:

 

1. To agree the new corporate strategy 2020-2025 and delegate any minor changes to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, prior to final publication.

 

2. To agree to the development of work programmes by officers to deliver the Corporate Strategy 2020-2025, details of which will be reported back to appropriate future committees for decision

 

Reasons for Recommendations

 

1.    The recommendations are based on the returns from the consultations, political group consultation and political priorities. 

 

2.    The Council is required to have a corporate strategy that is published.

 

3.    The Council needs to be ever more efficient, develop a modern thinking and delivering council.

 

4.    It is noted that further work is required to identify the programmes of work in which the strategy can be delivered.

 

 

 

 

336.

Appointment of Statutory Officer pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded that at the Extraordinary Council on 18 September 2019 it was agreed to proceed with the recruitment for the role of Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer (Director of Law & Governance) in accordance with statutory requirements.

 

Following this the Council engaged the services of a specialised local authority employment company to undertake the recruitment of a Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer (Director of Law & Governance).

 

The recruitment process included the candidates undertaking technical interviews on 5 November2019 with a specialised local authority employment company and another local authority Monitoring Officer.

 

The candidates were also interviewed by the Councils Staff Appointments Committee on the 19 November 2019. The Staff Appointments Committee consisted of Cllrs Aspinell, G Barrett, Mrs Hones, Fryd, Hossack, Naylor, Poppy and Tumbridge.

 

Following these interviews, the Staff Appointments Committee made the recommendation as set out in 2.1 of the report.

 

In addition, following the September meeting, the appointed Interim Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, Paula Harvey, left the Council on 13 December 2019.

 

As the Monitoring Officer role was vacant, the Chief Executive appointed Steve Summers as the Council’s Monitoring Officer on an interim arrangement with effect from the 12 December 2019.

 

Pending the arrival of the permanent Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer, it was recommended that Steve Summers should act in the statutory position of Monitoring Officer.

 

The new Senior Management structure was set out as Appendix A.  It was noted that Chris Leslie was Managing Director of Seven Arches Investments.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED the recommendations in the report and following a discussion it was RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY that

 

1.     Upon the recommendation of the Staff Appointments Committee,

to approve the appointment of Amanda Julian as Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer with effect from  2 March 2020.

 

2.  To confirm the appointment of Steve Summers as Interim Monitoring Officer with effect from the 12 December 2019 until the arrival of the permanent Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer as above.

 

Reasons for Recommendations

 

The Council is required by Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 to designate one of its officers as its Monitoring Officer, to discharge statutory responsibilities relating to the Council’s Constitution and arrangements for effective governance. The appointment must be approved by full Council following a recommendation by the Staff Appointments Committee.

 

 

337.

Urgent Business - Council Tax Technical Changes 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

An item of business may only be considered where the Chair is of the opinion that, by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the Minutes, the item should be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor had accepted this report as Urgent Business as the proposed amendments to the Council’s scheme would need to be implemented on 1 April 2020.

 

The report had been presented to Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee on 8 January 2020 and now required Full Council’s approval.

 

Amendments were recommended to the scheme of Council Tax Discounts and Premiums with effect from 1 April 2020, using discretionary powers granted by the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018. The report outlined the changes and the potential impact on the tax base.

 

Members noted that exceptions would be operated to ensure that people with valid reasons for empty homes would not be punished.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Tumbridge SECONDED the recommendation in the report and following a discussion a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY

 

That, in exercise of powers granted to billing authorities in the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018, Full Council approves the following amendments to this Council’s scheme of council tax premiums chargeable on empty dwellings:

 

• 100% where empty for more than two years, commencing 1 April 2020

• 200% where empty for more than five years, commencing 1 April 2021

300% where empty for more than ten years, commencing 1 April 2022

 

338.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, a member of the public resident within the Borough may ask a maximum of two questions relating to the business of the Council providing notice has been received by 10.00am two working days before the relevant meeting.

 

Mrs Jan Gearon-Simm had submitted the following question:

 

1.     A group of YouTube stars have raised more than $6m (£4.7m) to plant trees around the world.

 

YouTubers have created the #Team Trees project.

 

All donations are sent directly to the ARBOUR DAY FOUNDATION,  a US non profit organisation dedicated to planting trees, which they will plant around the world starting in January 2020 with the aim of completing the project within 3 years.

 

Will Brentwood Borough Council contact the ARBOUR DAY FOUNDATION, having first identified areas in Brentwood where trees can be planted?

 

Cllr Hossack responded as follows: Thank you, Jan, as always your questions are welcome and always well intended.  The nub of your question is really whether we will contact the Arbour Day Foundation.  To put in context, we are moving on with this, I don’t need to contact the Arbour Day Foundation.  I do wonder if there is any value in contacting them as it is a US non profit organisation, they might be interested in Brentwood Tennessee, not Brentwood, Essex; but I’ll tell you what I’ll do for you.  If you write me the letter as a concerned resident, I will put a covering letter to it, stick in an envelope with a stamp on it, as I know you don’t email.  It would be much more efficient and environmentally friendly if you were to email and I would encourage you to do so; remember we have a contract with residents to go green.  If you send that to me, I will forward it on to the Arbour Day Foundation, but it doesn’t deter from what we have already resolved to do; we have 5 country parks and we made a decision last week to plant out in Hutton as a starter, we have a very ambitious arbocultural assistant and I am quite confident that through him we will do some excellent tree planting work in the coming years.  These are the sorts of things you will see suggested and covered in our Corporate Strategy.  So I think we’re on it, but to keep you happy, as you know I’m very fond of you Jan, you send me a letter and I will send it on to the Arbour Day Foundation, and we’ll make a joint approach.

 

 

Mrs Patricia Smith had submitted two questions:

1.    What obligation is there upon Brentwood councillors, (and what mechanisms are in place to ensure), that Brentwood Council members respectfully and fully consider and properly answer a resident's questions; that residents can physically easily hear the verbal response in the Council chamber in it's entirety, from where they are obliged to sit (at the back, with councillors sitting at a distance and speaking in a direction away from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 338.

339.

Memorials or Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No notices of Memorials or Petitions had been received.

340.

Committee Chairs Reports and Members Questions pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution a brief written report by each committee Chair covering their area of responsibility was provided for Members’ information at each Ordinary Council meeting.

 

Any Member might ask a Chair a written or oral question on

 

(a)  any matter included in a Chair’s written report; or

(b) any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Council’s area and which falls within the area of responsibility of the Chair’s committee.

 

Two written questions were submitted by Cllr Chilvers, as follows:

 

  1. Last summer, during major building works in Shenfield, wheelchair users were forced to use the main road carriageway to travel as the footpath was completely blocked with no adequate access provided for them. 

 

Will the Chair of the Planning Committee confirm that Brentwood Borough Council policy will change by the start of the municipal year 2020/21 to ensure that this inequitable and dangerous situation cannot occur again? 

 

Cllr McCheyne responded as follows:

 

The LPA has no authority over highway land or the ability to insist on how it’s managed in this way.   It is a matter for the Highway Authority and the developer.   

 

  1. During 2019, it was agreed by the then Leader of the Council that all Brentwood Borough Council buildings would display a sign saying “Assistance Dogs Welcome” (as is the law) and any now redundant signage would be removed. Can the current Leader of the Council confirm this is now in place?

 

Cllr Hossack responded as follows:

 

I can confirm this has been completed.

 

 

Two written questions were submitted by Cllr S Cloke which Cllr Chilvers read out in Cllr Cloke’s absence, as follows:

 

  1. For over a decade, council meetings were webcast allowing Brentwood residents to watch live or to catch up later and making us a transparent council in this regard. 

In 2017 when the council moved out of the Town Hall temporarily, a motion was agreed - unanimously - that audio recordings would fill the void left due to difficulties arising from being nomadic. The promise was that visual recording would return. 

 

It has not yet returned and initially this was said to be due to staff training requirements. More recently a casework enquiry has informed us that a decision on its return has yet to be made. 

 

Please can the leader confirm when webcasting will return and that audio recording will continue until that time?

 

Cllr Hossack responded as follows:

 

The Motion passed was as below on the 19th July 2017.

 

‘On 31st May 2017, after over 15 years of making Brentwood Council open and transparent to its residents, webcasting ceased.


Although it is understood that the contract has ended and the intention is to start it up in the future, there are many important decisions to be made over the coming months.

These days, we do not have to rely on a webcasting company to host our meetings.  Therefore, this council will work towards having an interim/cost effective solution in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 340.

341.

Urgent Business - Snakes Hill Sewerage Plant Renewal

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor had agreed to accept this item as Urgent Business to enable officers to seek approval from Full Council for the award of a contract to allow for contract negotiations, relevant work notices to be served and for work to commence by the end of March 2020.

 

This report was discussed in private session as it contained Exempt information.

 

Following issues with the Snakes Hill treatment plant and the subsequent installation of a nursery tank, a dedicated specialist project manager and project team was established in July 2019 in order to resolve this matter.

 

The project team was now in a position to award the contract with Members approval for works to be completed by the end of July 2020.

 

Cllr Parker MOVED and Cllr Mrs Pound SECONDED the recommendation in the report and following a discussion a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was it was RESOLVED:

 

To approve the award of contract to the identified bidder as set out in this report at paragraph 20.

 

Reason for Recommendation

 

In line with procurement governance, we are seeking approval for award of contract to allow for contract negotiations, relevant work notices to be served and for work to commence by the end of March 2020.

 

 

342.

Notices of Motion

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Fourteen Notices of Motion had been submitted in accordance with Rule 3 in Part 4.1 of the Constitution - Council Procedure Rules and were listed in order of the date received.

 

 

1.            Cllr Hossack had submitted the following Notice of Motion:

 

This council has in place a ban on the release of balloons and lanterns from Council owned land. Given the implications to the environment and wildlife, we would encourage private land owners and venues to do likewise.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Hirst SECONDED the motion,  a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was RESOLVED accordingly.

 

2.         Cllr Poppy withdrew his motion.

 

3.            Cllr Peter Jakobsson submitted the following Notice of Motion:

 

That Council endorses the work already being undertaken by Officers in setting up a Brentwood Dementia Action Alliance to make Brentwood Dementia Friendly. In addition to the Health and Wellbeing Board reporting to the Community and Health Committee annually, progress is also reported to full council on an annual basis.

 

Cllr Jakobsson MOVED and Cllr Mrs Davies SECONDED the motion having proposed the wording be AMENDED to which Cllr Jakobsson AGREED.

 

A vote was taken on a show of hands and it was RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY:

 

That Council endorses the work already being undertaken by Officers in setting up a Brentwood Dementia Action Alliance to make Brentwood Dementia Friendly. In addition to the Health and Wellbeing Board reporting to the Community and Health committee at every meeting,  progress is also reported to full council.

 

4.            Cllr James Tumbridge had submitted the following Notice of Motion

 

That officers be instructed to make arrangements to aid members in the simplification of the updating of members interests.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED the motion which was RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY accordingly.

 

5.         Cllr Chilvers submitted the following Notice of Motion:

Brentwood residents are excellent recyclers and make a superb effort to recycle as much as they can. 

 

However, a number of items are not easily recyclable and, no doubt, this weighs heavily on their consciences. One item type that isn’t commonly recyclable is pet food packaging. 

 

An average cat, fed on pet pouches, dry food and treats will fill the equivalent of a standard bath full of non-recyclable waste each year. 

 

There are solutions available with companies such as Terracycle

 

After conducting due diligence via feasibility studies and reporting to the appropriate committee, Brentwood Borough Council will seek to assist its residents by introducing a pet food packaging recycling service within the next twelve months. 

 

Cllr Chilvers MOVED and Cllr Laplain SECONDED the motion.

 

Following a discussion Cllr Chilvers proposed that ‘within the next twelve months’ be removed from the motion and it was RESOLVED

accordingly.

 

 

6.            Cllr Aspinell submitted the following Notice of Motion:

 

This Council pledges to support the residents of Warley in committing the full weight of Brentwood's available resources, officer's time, legal/financial requirements with the objective of returning Five Acre Farm to its original green belt, green field condition and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 342.