Venue: Meeting to be held pursuant to Statutory Instrument 2020/392. Link to public live stream will be available at https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Contact: Ian Ford Email: email@example.com or Telephone 01255 686584
Apologies for Absence
The Council is asked to note any apologies for absence received from Members.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Cawthron.
The Council is asked to approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on Tuesday 26 January 2021.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 26 January 2021be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.
With regard to the Council’s consideration of the budget and Council Tax proposals and the statutory provisions in respect of Members’ declarations of interest thereon, the Monitoring Officer reminded Members of the salient points contained in her joint advice with the Council’s Section 151 Officer that had been recently circulated to them by email on 9 February 2020.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members on this occasion.
Announcements by the Chairman of the Council
The Council is asked to note any announcements made by the Chairman of the Council.
The Chairman of the Council (Councillor Land) reminded Members that The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 required local authorities to hold a named vote on the Budget motion and any and all amendments thereto.
Announcements by the Chief Executive
The Council is asked to note any announcements made by the Chief Executive.
There were none on this occasion.
Statements by the Leader of the Council
The Council is asked to note any statements made by the Leader of the Council.
Councillors may then ask questions of the Leader on his statements.
Decision of the Supreme Court – Designation of Mistley Quay as a Village Green
The Leader of the Council (Councillor Stock OBE) referred to the recent decision of the Supreme Court to designate Mistley Quay as a Village Green. He extended his congratulations to the legal services team at Essex County Council and all those involved on their success after many years of unstinting effort.
Councillor Stock informed Council that Officers from both Essex County Council and Tendring District Council were examining the full implications of this landmark decision.
Councillor Stock then responded to questions raised by Councillors Turner and G V Guglielmi.
Statements by Members of the Cabinet
The Council is asked to note any statements made by Members of the Cabinet (Portfolio Holders).
Councillors may then ask questions of the Portfolio Holders on their statements.
Action on Climate Change
The Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder (Councillor Talbot) made the following statement:-
At our 26th January meeting I reported to Council the fact that Climate change was being included in my Portfolio and that the subject and the Council’s agreed aim to be ‘Net Zero Carbon” by 2030 in respect of those emissions from our business operations that we have control of, should be on everybody’s lips and part of the Council’s consideration of all future reports written and received by all departments of the Council. I further said I would be raising the whole issue with my Cabinet colleagues.
This I did on the 29th of January and received support from the Council Leader and fellow members, for my intention to keep the Climate Change issue and our Net Zero Carbon aim for TDC, referred to regularly on our reports when prepared, and to disseminate further to our Towns and Parishes, inviting them to do the same.
In line with this intention, Senior Council Officers are being requested to ensure that all reports contain a section on the environmental impacts of the decision in light of the Council’s Policy of its operations becoming carbon neutral by 2030”.
After the support I received from our Cabinet members, you will have noticed a large Logo on the Home Page of your TDC computer equipment. This obviously as a reminder of our agreed policies and to keep the matter alive in Members’ minds.
Next, last Friday with the support of the Cabinet, I had a letter sent to all Town and Parish Councils in Tendring, inviting them to regularly consider any business they deal with in the light of our declared Net Zero Carbon Policy, by perhaps including an item on their Council’s Meeting Agenda, or by any other suitable means. I cannot say how pleased I was to discover beforehand, that some Councils in the District are already considering this on a regular basis, the very thing my letter was inviting them to undertake.
All the above is about communication, but we must begin to actually make some real changes.
We must examine if our Parks and Open Spaces officers can use electric vehicles, either by purchase or by hiring them on contract and when we as a Council hire a bus, should we request an electric bus?
There is a lot to be done and I will be treading on some people’s ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
To present to Council the Cabinet’s General Fund budget proposals including the Council Tax for District and Parish/Town Council Services for 2021/22.
The Council gave consideration to the Cabinet’s General Fund budget proposals for 2021/22 and the amount of Council Tax for District and Town and Parish Council services for the financial year 2021/22, for each category of dwellings within the District of Tendring, to support the proposed level of expenditure.
Members were aware from Minute 123 (A.8) of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 29 January 2021, that the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Corporate Finance and Governance Portfolio Holder, had been authorised to submit a report to this meeting in respect of the formal draft resolutions necessary to implement the Cabinet’s budget proposals, together with any late information, or notifications received from the Government, as might necessarily affect the budget.
The Council was advised of all the resolutions and recommendations made by the Cabinet on 29 January 2020, together with the additional recommendations necessary to set the Council Tax levy. Those resolutions and recommendations were before the Council, as contained within item A.1 of the Report of the Cabinet.
Members were aware that the Cabinet’s proposed budget had been subject to the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules, which had included scrutiny by the Council’s Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Members were also aware that the Town and Parish Councils within the District had met to set their precepts and those precepts were contained within Appendix G to the Report of the Cabinet, which detailed the Precepts on the Collection Fund.
The Council was also aware from Appendix H that the average District and Parish Council Tax for a Band D property would increase to £221.01, an increase of 2.84%.
The Leader of the Council (Councillor Stock OBE) made the following budget statement:
“When thinking about my introduction to the budget report in front of us tonight, I was faced with reflecting on our new virtual working environment – with that in mind my opening words will be briefer than in previous years, but hopefully they will still touch on the positivity and enthusiasm that all of us so passionately demonstrate in our role as members of Tendring District Council.
Last year I spoke about making sure that our commitments and ‘cash backed’ promises started to be seen on the ground. Unfortunately we were then hit by COVID 19.
There are two important points I would like to make about what happened next, in what has been a remarkable year for a number of reasons.
The first is the way this Council responded to the pandemic and how almost instinctively we all came together to ensure we were there for our residents and businesses. This included the provision of direct support via the various business grant schemes, setting up essential shielding activities for the most vulnerable within our District, the implementation of two phases of the Members’ small grants scheme, working together politically along with supporting our public sector partners in a host of other ways. The list could ... view the full minutes text for item 83.
To present to Council the Cabinet’s Housing Revenue Account budget proposals for 2021/22 including the increase in dwelling rents for 2021/22.
The Council gave consideration to the Cabinet’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget proposals for 2021/22, including the proposed increase in dwelling rents for 2021/22.
Members were aware from Minute 124 (A.9) of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 29 January 2021 that the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Housing Portfolio Holder, had been authorised to adjust the forecast / budget, including the use of reserves, if the financial position had changed prior to this Council meeting.
The Council was advised of all the resolutions and the recommendation made by the Cabinet on 24 January 2020, together with the additional recommendations necessary to set the HRA budget, fees and charges and dwelling rents for 2020/21. Those resolutions and recommendations were before the Council, as contained within item A.2 of the Report of the Cabinet.
The Portfolio Holders’ report submitted to Cabinet on 29 January 2021 had highlighted that further changes to the budget were expected that related to salary costs and recharges. Those two areas of the budget had now been finalised with the following changes made:
i) Increase in salary costs - £0.025m
ii) Increase in recharges from the General Fund - £0.009m
The above changes had resulted in a small deficit for the year of £0.022m, a change of £0.034m compared with the small surplus of £0.012mthat had been reported to Cabinet on 29 January 2021. That deficit was to be met by calling money from the HRA general balances.
Members were aware that the Cabinet’s proposed HRA budget had been subject to the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules, which had included scrutiny by the Council’s Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Leader of the Council (Councillor Stock OBE) made the following budget statement:-
“All of the positive things I talked about earlier when introducing the General Fund budget equally apply when discussing the HRA.
Being recognised as one of the best landlords in the country is built on the back of a robust and strong financial position and business plan.
This springboard allows us to keep maintaining our tenants’ homes to an excellent standard, and it also allows us to embark on our house building plans.
This is in spite of the 1% reduction in rents that we saw over recent years. As I talked about earlier, we can only focus on what we can control rather than what we can’t, and we managed to ‘weather’ this rent reduction period without adversely affecting the services we provide to our tenants. Quite a tall order, as it is estimated that the combined effect of the 4-year period of rent reductions removed at least £30m from our HRA budget over the long term, given its telescopic effect.
Similarly to the argument about council tax increases, increasing rents is always a compromise and balance we need to strike with providing good quality homes in a sustainable and long term way.
We are recommending a 1.5% increase in rents in 2021/22, which I think helps ... view the full minutes text for item 84.
Urgent Matters for Debate
The Council will consider any urgent matters submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 3(xv), 11.3(b) and/or 13(p).
There were no urgent matters for debate on this occasion.