Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Monday 10th February 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: The Pink Room, at the Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 5LF

Contact: Jane Fulton (Ext 37611) 

Items
No. Item

424.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members, members of the public and Officers to the meeting.  He extended a warm welcome to Chief Inspector Carter from the Sussex Police who was in attendance for the Public Spaces Protection Order item.

425.

Apology for Absence

Minutes:

            An apology for absence had been received from the Cabinet Member for Residential Services, Councillor Mrs Gregory.

 

426.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers are invited to make any declarations of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on the agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the item or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and officers should make their declaration by stating:

a) the item they have the interest in

b) whether it is a pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interest

c) the nature of the interest

d) if it is a pecuniary or prejudicial interest, whether they will be exercising their right to speak under Question Time

Minutes:

Councillors Purchese and Dr Walsh declared their Personal Interests in Agenda Item 9 [Arun District Council Budget – 2020/21] as Members of West Sussex County Council.

 

427.

Question Time

a) Questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes).

b) Questions from Members with prejudicial interests (for a period of up to 15 minutes).

Minutes:

 

The Chairman confirmed that two Public Questions had been submitted in line with the Council’s Constitution and that both of these were for the Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Councillor Mrs Gregory to respond to.

 

As both questions related to the Public Spaces Protection Order [Agenda Item 7] he proposed that these questions be asked at this item to allow both questioners to hear the presentation from the Chief Inspector; any updates from Officers and the debate and views of Cabinet Members. 

 

428.

Urgent Business - The Effects of Storm Ciara

The Cabinet may consider items of an urgent nature on functions falling within their responsibilities where special circumstances apply. Where the item relates to a key decision, the agreement of the Chairman of the Overview Select Committee must have been sought on both the subject of the decision and the reasons for the urgency. Such decisions shall not be subject to the call-in procedure as set out in the Scrutiny Procedure Rules at Part 6 of the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that he wished to update Members on the effects that Storm Ciara had had across the District.  The strong winds, heavy rain and raging seas had caused numerous issues for the Council, the emergency services and other agencies to deal with and he stated that he wished to pay tribute to those who had worked over the weekend to make the District safe.

 

The Chairman then provided an update on the situation at Climping Beach which had suffered a deterioration of the defensive banks east of Climping Street and the beach west of the Car Park allowing sea water to flood around the properties at the southern end of Climping Street. Luckily, no-one had suffered internal flooding, however, as a result of recent tide surges, this had caused extensive flooding of the fields south of the A259 including Ferry Road, Littlehampton which had been closed cutting off residents in that area.

 

At Pagham, the Council’s Coastal Engineers had been tracking the weather system, which had also coincided with spring tides, and had put into place pre-emptive works in East Front Road.  No properties had been damaged, and work was continuing to reinforce the beach crest.

 

The Chairman allowed Councillor Buckland to also provide an update on the flooding of Ferry Road and the Ropewalk area. 

 

429.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 January 2020 (as attached).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 January 2020 were approved by the Cabinet as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 

 

430.

Budget Variation Reports

To consider any reports from the Head of Corporate Support.

Minutes:

There were no matters discussed.

431.

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) - 2020 to 2023 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

This report informs Cabinet of the findings of a public consultation exercise to review the existing Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which expires on 31 March 2020.  The report recommends to Cabinet options for a new PSPO to be effective from 1 April 2020.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  Option 2 be adopted for the provision of a new Public Spaces Protection Order;

 

(2)  Option 2 contains the following restrictions and requirements at all times.  The order and geographical areas are as set out in Appendix B of the report:

 

(a)  Alcohol Restriction

No person shall refuse to stop drinking alcohol or refuse to hand over any container believed to contain alcohol when required to do so by an authorised Officer

 

(b)  Anti-Social Behaviour

All persons are prohibited from behaving in a way which causes or is likely to cause nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress to a member or members of the public

 

(3)  The new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is implemented and effective from 1 April 2020; and

 

(4)  A sum of £10,000 is allocated for the promotion and signage of the agreed PSPO.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Councillor Mrs Yeates, presented this item stating that the current PSPO in Arun would expire on 31 March 2020 and Cabinet was being asked to consider two proposals and to confirm its preferred option for a new order to be effective from 1 April 2020 to March 2023.  She explained that both options had been formulated from both public and Member consultations that had taken place last year and in January 2020.

 

The report outlined the scope and purpose of the proposed PSPO options, the legal requirements of making such an order along with the outcomes of the consultation and an options appraisal matrix to assist the Cabinet in making its decision.  Councillor Mrs Yeates stated that she had pleasure in welcoming Chief Inspector Jon Carter, the District Commissioner for Arun, to the meeting who had worked closely with the Council, however, it had to be emphasised that it was the Council who had responsibility for deciding and making the order.

 

The Chairman then invited the Group Head of Community Wellbeing to present the highlights of his report.  He reminded Members that the Council was obliged to consult on any new order that it wished to make and that an extensive consultation exercise had been undertaken to consider the options for the new order.  He reminded Members that it was the Council who made the new order for the benefit of its communities, but that the enforcement of it would be a joint endeavour between the Council, its agents and Sussex Police.

 

The purpose of the order was to tackle anti-social behaviour in geographically defined areas based on reported incidents and the likelihood that anti-social behaviour would have a detrimental effect on the lives of those living in the community. Where these incidents had been identified, consideration had been given to either a prohibition or a restriction of activities that promulgated such behaviours.  Members were asked to note that where a prohibition was proposed, this would affect everyone in the restricted area.

 

            The two proposals offered for consideration had evolved following consultation in accordance with PSPO guidelines.  Proposals were then offered for public consultation and resulted in 749 responses.  These had been summarised in Section 1.2 of the report.  Finally, a workshop had been held for all Members of the Council to explain the proposals put forward.  The two proposals for the Cabinet to consider were:

 

Option 1 – an alcohol-free zone in the Town Centres of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton and an alcohol restriction across a wider area of both Towns, which included a prohibition for behaving in an antisocial manner; and

 

            Option 2 – which was the same as option 1, but without the alcohol-free zones in             the Town Centres.

 

Finally, Cabinet’s attention was drawn to the resources available to enforce the current PSPO and any new order.  These were the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Caseworkers, Sussex Police and if suitably qualified, agents such as the Business Wardens.

 

The Chairman then invited Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 431.

432.

Budget Monitoring Report to 31 December 2019 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

The Budget Monitoring Report sets out the Capital, Housing Revenue and General Fund Revenue budget performance to the end of December 2019.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  That the report in Appendix 1 be noted; and

 

(2)  It be noted that the overall performance against budget is currently on track

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Support introduced this report stating that financial performance was monitored on a regular basis to ensure that spending was in line with Council policies and that net expenditure was contained within overall budget limits.  The report covered performance against approved budget to the end of December 2019 in relation to General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital.   It was outlined that this report had a close link to the Budget 2020/21 which was the next item on the agenda.

 

The Chairman then invited the Financial Services Manager to work through the key highlights of the budget monitoring report and to take questions.

 

The Financial Services Manager outlined that this was the third report of the year to the end of December 2019.  The Council’s financial position had been detailed at Appendix 1 and it confirmed that the Council had a general fund underspend of £99k against current budget profile.  Net expenditure of nightly paid accommodation had put pressure on the budget with Full Council agreeing a supplementary estimate to regularise the financial position in January 2020.

 

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED - That

           

(1)  The report and Appendix 1 be noted;

 

(2)  It be noted that overall performance against budget was currently on track.

 

 

             The Cabinet confirmed its decision as per Decision Notice C/035/10020, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the Minutes.

 

433.

Arun District Council Budget - 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

The report sets out the Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2020/21 for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  The Group Head of Corporate Support, in consultation with the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Support, has approved a Council Tax base of 62,244 for 2020/21; and

(2)  The Budget report in Appendices A, 1, 2 and 3 be noted.

 

The Cabinet also

 

RECOMMEND TO THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON 19 FEBRUARY 2020 – That

 

(1)  The General Fund Revenue Budget as set out in Appendix 1 be approved;

 

(2)  Arun’s Band D Council Tax for 2020/21, based on a Band D Council Tax of £186.57, is set at £11,612,863 plus Parish precepts as demanded, to be transferred to the General Fund in accordance with statutory requirements;

 

(3)  The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget as set out in Appendix 2 is approved;

 

(4)  The HRA rents are increased by 5% to give a standard charge of £12.31 per week (excluding VAT) and heating and water/sewerage charges increased on a scheme by scheme basis, with a view to balancing costs with income; and

 

(5)  The Capital Budget as set out in Appendix 3 is approved.

Minutes:

In introducing the report, the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Support stated that the Budget for 2020/21 was proposing an increase in Council Tax of £4.95 or 2.73% for a Band D property.  This equated to just 10p per week.   

 

            It was highlighted that this report set out the Capital, Housing Revenue and General Fund Revenue Budget for 2020/21 which Cabinet would review making recommendations to the Special Meeting of the Council to be held on 19 February 2020.

 

The Group Head of Corporate Support was then invited to provide an overview of the Council’s Budget for 2020/21 highlighting what was felt were the significant areas that Members should be made aware of. 

 

In presenting the Budget it was explained that the Budget was a positive one, but the risks and main strategic issues were as follows:

 

·                     The draft Budget had been presented to the meeting of the Overview Select Committee held on 28 January 2020 and had received general support.  An extract from the minutes of that meeting had been presented to Cabinet to consider.

·                      The draft settlement had finally been issued on 21 December 2019 and set out the Government’s approach to the 2020/21 settlement.  The Council was expecting significant reductions due to several issues, but this had now been rolled forward to 2020/21.

·                     The Council stopped receiving Revenue Support Grant (RSG) in 2018/19 and the negative payment of £430k proposed for 2019/20 had been cancelled and also for 2020/21.

·                     Looking at Government funding, it was outlined that for New Homes Bonus (NHB) the budget included a one-off windfall and then it would only be legacy payments received from 2021/22.  The Council was not anticipating any NHB from 2023/24 from a high of receiving £4m in 2016/17.

·                     The Business Rate Retention Scheme, which would result in a reset of the growth in business rates was now anticipated for 2021/22.  It was expected that this would have a very negative impact on the Council as the accumulated growth would be wiped out when the baseline was reset, though there would be a transition period in which Officers would be able to monitor the situation – this had been set out at Paragraph 2.10.

·                      Looking at the General Fund Budget, the main highlights were a planned reduction in the General Fund Balance of £671k reducing the Council’s balances to around £6m by the end of 2020/21.  The Council was required to keep higher levels of balances given the threats to government funding forecasted for the future.  The major budget variations were highlighted. These were recently approved supplementary estimates to support the cost of homelessness nightly paid accommodation and the contingency budget increase for housing related activities; the loss of £1m of recycling credits from West Sussex County Council over two years; the invest to save scheme of £250k and the Council’s strategic targets.

·                     Looking at the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) the stock development programme had increased to what had been set out in the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 433.

434.

London Road Coach/Lorry/Car Park - Bognor Regis pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Cabinet resolved on 23 July 2018 to market the disposal of freehold land at London Road, Bognor Regis for redevelopment to include student accommodation, whilst retaining public car parking. In line with the Cabinet resolution, progress has been made on this proposal and a preferred bidder has been selected. 

 

Since the original decision, there has been a further proposal made that the re-development allows for the re-provision of public toilets.   As this was not part of the original decision made in July 2018, the Cabinet is being asked to approve the extension of the proposals to include this further element.

 

Decision:

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED

 

            That the proposals agreed by Cabinet on 23 July 2018 (Ref: C/008/230718) relating to the Council’s freehold land at London Road, Bognor Regis be extended to include the re-provision of public toilets.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Technical Services, Councillor Stanley, presented this report outlining that back in July 2018 the then Cabinet decided that London Road lorry/coach/car park was to be sold for redevelopment to provide student accommodation, whilst retaining public car parking and enhancing the approach to the adjacent Hotham Park.

 

 

The decision taken at that time was that the public toilets on the site would not be re-provided. This report sought to amend that decision to allow for public toilets to be re-provided as part of the development. This was because although there was toilet provision within Hotham Park, the facilities in the coach park had historically always been very well used by visitors; visitors to the nearby school and the library. 

 

The Group Head of Technical Services then provided further details stating that since the decision made by Cabinet in July 2018, an open market exercise had been undertaken and a preferred bidder had been selected, that contracts were being worked on and that the developer was preparing a planning application for the site.  The Cabinet Member for Technical Services had requested that the public toilets be re-provided within the proposed development.  The Council’s property team had undertaken negotiations with the preferred developer who had now agreed to build new public toilets in exchange for a £50k reduction in capital receipt.  He emphasised that if approved, there would be no other changes to any other elements of the decision made in July 2018.

 

The Cabinet spoke in support of this proposal stating that much campaigning had taken place as there were Members who were sternly against the removal of toilets from this site previously.  It was felt that the retention of public toilets was vital to the local community as these were very well used facilities. 

 

            The Chairman confirmed that Councillor Chapman had requested to speak.  He was interest to know exactly what was going to be constructed; what would be the built span of the new block; how long would it be situated on site for and what would the total ongoing costs be?  The Chairman responded confirming that the new block would be on site for the life of that building however long that would be.  The facilities would require periodic refurbishment depending upon the level of usage, there were no figures on present usage available at the moment.

 

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED

 

That the proposals agreed by Cabinet on 23 July 2018 (ref: C/008/230717) relating to the Council’s freehold land at London Road, Bognor Regis be extended to include the re-provision of public toilets.

 

The Cabinet confirmed its decision as per Decision Notice C/037/100220, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the Minutes.

 

 

 

435.

Gas Supply Contract for Corporate and Housing Sites pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To authorise entering into a Contract for the supply of gas to the Council’s corporate and housing sites from 1 April 2020 for a term of up to three years, renewable annually and to regularised authority for the previous agreement ending 31 March 2020.

Decision:

The Cabinet

 

            RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  The appointment of the Council’s existing gas supplier until 31 March 2020 be approved;

 

(2)  The appointment of the Council’s new gas supplier procured through the Crown Commercial Services Framework agreement for the supply of energy and ancillary services, for a term of up to 3 years, renewable every 12 months be approved;

 

(3)  Retrospective delegated authority be given to the Group Head of Corporate Support to enter into the current contract;

 

(4)  Delegated authority be given to the Group Head of Technical Services to enter into the contract commencing on 1 April 2020.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Technical Services, Councillor Stanley, presented this report confirming that it was asking Cabinet to authorise entering into a contract for the supply of mains gas to the Council and to regularised authority for the previous agreement ending 31 March 2020.

 

            The Cabinet

 

                        RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  The appointment of the Council’s existing gas supplier until 31 March 2020 be approved;

 

(2)  The appointment of the Council’s new gas supplier procured through the Crown Commercial Services Framework agreement for the supply of energy and ancillary services, for a term of up to 3 years, renewable every 12 months be approved;

 

(3)  Retrospective delegated authority be given to the Group Head of Corporate Support to enter the current contact; and

 

(4)  Delegated authority be given to the Group Head of Technical Services to enter into the contract commencing on 1 April 2020.

 

The Cabinet confirmed its decision as per Decision Notice C/038/100220, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the Minutes.

 

436.

Overview Select Committee - 28 January 2020

To consider any recommendations from the meeting of the Overview Select Committee held on 28 January 2020 (which will be circulated separately).

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that the extract from the Minutes from the meeting of the Overview Select Committee held on 28 January 2020 in relation to Minute 405 [The Arun District Council Budget 2020/21] had already been considered earlier.