Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: The Ridgeway, The Beacon, Portway, Wantage, OX12 9BY

Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Services Manager 01235 422526 Email: steven.corrigan@southandvale.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

43.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Constance, Crick, Hayward, Howell, McCarthy, Murray and Webber.

44.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 October 2018 and the special Council meeting held on 19 November 2018 – attached. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 October 2018 and the special Council meetingheld on 19 November 2018.

45.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

Minutes:

None.

46.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

The Chairman provided housekeeping information. She advised that her Civic Dinner would take place on 9 February at Milton Hill House. She referred to the successful Community Awards Lunch at which the voluntary work of residents was recognised.

 

With the agreement of Council, she agreed to alter the order of the agenda to take agenda item 8 Council Tax Empty Homes Premium prior to agenda item 8 Council Tax Base because decisions taken on the empty homes premium could impact on the council tax base.

47.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

No public speakers had registered to address Council.

48.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

49.

Council Tax Empty Homes Premium pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 7 December 2018, will consider a report on the level of premium to be applied to long-term empty dwellings.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 7 December, is attached.

 

The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated to all councillors on 7 December.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 7 December 2018, on the level of premium to be applied to long-term empty dwellings.

 

 

RESOLVED:  that in accordance with the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018 the Long Term Empty Property Premium (currently set at a 50%) is:

 

(i)        increased to 100% from 1 April 2019 for those properties which are empty for two years and over;

(ii)       increased to 200% premium from 1 April 2020 for those properties which are empty for five years and over;

(iii)      increased to 300% premium from 1 April 2021 for those properties which are empty for 10 years and over. 

 

50.

Council Tax Base 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 7 December 2018, will consider a report on the council tax base for 2019/20.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet will consider on 7 December, is attached.

 

The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated to all councillors on 7 December.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 7 December 2018, on the council tax base for 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    to approve the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 7 December 2018 for the calculation of the council’s tax base and the calculation of the tax base for each parish area for 2019/20;  

 

2.    that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Vale of White Horse District Council as its council tax base for the year 2019/20 be 51,706.2; and

 

3.    that, in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Vale of White Horse District Council as the council tax base for the year 2019/20 for each parish be the amount shown against the name of that parish in Appendix 2 of the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 7 December 2018. 

 

 

51.

Joint Gambling Policy pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 7 December 2018, will consider the recommendations of the Licensing Acts Committee, made at its meeting on 28 November 2018, on the Joint Gambling Policy following the statutory consultation.

 

The report of the head of housing and environment, which Cabinet will consider on 7 December, is attached.

 

The recommendations of Cabinet will be circulated to all councillors on 7 December.

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 7 December 2018, on a Joint Gambling Policy developed with South Oxfordshire District Council.

 

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.    adopt the Joint Gambling Policy attached to the council agenda for the meeting held on 12 December 2018;

 

2.    authorise the head of housing and environment to make minor editorial changes to the joint gambling policy; and

 

3.    authorise the head of housing and environment to publish the joint gambling policy in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005 (Licensing Authority Policy Statement) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006. 

 

 

52.

Vale of White Horse Scrutiny Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To receive the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report attached.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Hallett, Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee, presented her annual report and referred to the important role the committee played to ensure the council learns from past experiences.

 

Councillor Monica Lovatt, the council’s representative on the Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, confirmed that the committee produced an annual report in May each year. She undertook to circulate it to councillors.

 

On behalf of Council the chairman thanked Councillor Hallett for her report.

 

53.

Report of the leader of the council pdf icon PDF 63 KB

(1)       Urgent cabinet decisions

 

In accordance with the scrutiny procedure rules, a cabinet decision can be taken as a matter of urgency, if any delay by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the council’s or the public’s interest.  Treating the decision as a matter of urgency must be agreed by the chairman of the Scrutiny Committee and must be reported to the next meeting of the council, together with the reasons for urgency.

 

To receive any details of urgent cabinet decisions taken since the last ordinary meeting of the council, (if any).

 

(2)       Delegation of cabinet functions

 

To receive details of any changes to the leader’s scheme of delegation. 

 

(3)       Matters affecting the authority arising from meetings of joint committees, partnerships and other meetings

 

To receive the report of the leader (if any). 

Minutes:

Councillor Roger Cox, Leader of the council, provided an update on a number of matters. The text of his address is attached to these minutes.

54.

Questions on notice

To receive questions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 33. 

 

1.    Councillor Debby Hallett to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

My question comes from my growing concern about the level to which we are performing on our duty to maintain and repair our property assets.

The most recent instance was Old Abbey House, which has been allowed to fall into disrepair, making it attractive for vandalism and anti-social behaviour nearby. A decision was made to board up the access points and place a security fence around this property right in the centre of Abingdon-on-Thames.

 

Members will be aware of other recent examples of buildings we own needing significant amounts spent on Planned and Preventive Maintenance (PPM). How does this council budget for PPM on properties that we own? Where can we find those amounts in our annual budget? If we have NOT been including this in our budget each year, shouldn’t we be doing so?

 

Could the Cabinet member provide a list of our property assets, their location, value and condition, and the PPM costs for the past four years. 

 

2.    Councillor Judy Roberts to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Partnership and Insight

What will be the mechanism by which the Vale representatives on the Growth Deal’s three working sub-groups (Infrastructure, Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, and Housing) periodically and regularly feed back to full Council to let members know how the Growth Deal is progressing, the impact on our communities and how we can contribute to the plans?

Please can the Cabinet member tell us this evening what each group is prioritising and detail the work done by our representatives on our behalf so far?

3.    Councillor Jenny Hannaby to Councillor Alice Badcock, Cabinet member for Community Services

Reductions in grants from central government and the probable reduction or disappearance of New Homes Bonus leaves our non-statutory services incredibly vulnerable. Leisure projects such as the Wessex Leisure Centre are clearly at risk of not going ahead - evidenced by this council’s pause in capital spending.

What is the Cabinet member’s contingency plan to pay for the Wessex Leisure Centre and other leisure provision if the New Homes Bonus is reduced or

scrapped by the Conservative government?

 

4.    Councillor Emily Smith to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Planning 

In 2015, the Vale Conservatives stated that the Vale was in a position to front fund the Lodge Hill slip roads. 

The developers of the 950 homes North of Abingdon were given outline planning permission in July 2017, which included their s106 contribution towards the Lodge Hill southern slips. But we still do not have a reserved matters application from the developer.

            Can the Cabinet member confirm that Vale administration is still able to 'front   fund' the Lodge Hill slips and assure us that the diamond interchange will be delivered by 2020 whether the North Abingdon development goes ahead or not?

5.    Councillor Bob Johnston to Councillor Elaine Ware, Cabinet member for Housing and Environment  ...  view the full agenda text for item 54.

Minutes:

1.    Councillor Debby Hallett to Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet member for Development and Regeneration

My question comes from my growing concern about the level to which we are performing on our duty to maintain and repair our property assets.

 

The most recent instance was Old Abbey House, which has been allowed to fall into disrepair, making it attractive for vandalism and anti-social behaviour nearby. A decision was made to board up the access points and place a security fence around this property right in the centre of Abingdon-on-Thames.

 

Members will be aware of other recent examples of buildings we own needing significant amounts spent on Planned and Preventive Maintenance (PPM). How does this council budget for PPM on properties that we own? Where can we find those amounts in our annual budget? If we have NOT been including this in our budget each year, shouldn’t we be doing so?

 

Could the Cabinet member provide a list of our property assets, their location, value and condition, and the PPM costs for the past four years. 

 

Answer:

In the absence of Councillor Mike Murray, Councillor Ed Blagrove responded as follows:

 

The council owns a very large number of property assets, ranging from very small parcels of land to large office premises such as Abbey House. As one would expect, different approaches are appropriate for different properties in order to deliver value for money and best use of public funds.

 

Following the recent in-sourcing of property management, work has commenced on an updated asset review of all property held by the council.  Budgets are being reviewed and accordingly I will be asking to include an essential growth item within the 2019/20 budget to provide the council with an ongoing repairs and maintenance budget to enable PPM to be delivered where required.  Under the new management structure, a new permanent property manager has been appointed and will join the council in January.  That property manager will lead on the commissioning of a PPM report for all the relevant council assets during 2019.  Accordingly, a further essential growth item in the proposed 2019/20 budget will be funded to undertake this full PPM study that will then inform the council what budgets are required for future years for PPM work.  A report will be brought to members once this PPM report is complete.

 

Supplementary question:

In response to a supplementary question, seeking confirmation of when the inventory of council owned property will be available, Councillor Blagrove responded that Councillor Murray, as the responsible Cabinet member, would provide a written response.

 

2.    Councillor Judy Roberts to Councillor Roger Cox, Cabinet member for Partnership and Insight

What will be the mechanism by which the Vale representatives on the Growth Deal’s three working sub-groups (Infrastructure, Joint Statutory Spatial Plan, and Housing) periodically and regularly feed back to full Council to let members know how the Growth Deal is progressing, the impact on our communities and how we can contribute to the plans?

Please can the Cabinet member tell us  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Motions on notice

No motions have been submitted in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

 

 

Minutes:

No motions were submitted for consideration.