Agenda, decisions and minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest

To receive any apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Ranger. 

 

Councillor Barker declared a non-pecuniary interest as an Essex County Councillor.

 

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on…

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

3.

Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the report on the Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan.

Decision:

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan be formally ‘made’ as part of the statutory development plan for the District.

Minutes:

The Chairman brought the item forward in the proceedings.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services gave a summary of the report. The Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan had been produced by Thaxted Parish Council and had subsequently undergone a successful examination and referendum in accordance with neighbourhood planning regulations. The District Council was now required to ‘make’ the plan so that it could become part of the development plan for Uttlesford District.

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan be formally ‘made’ as part of a statutory development plan for the District.

 

4.

Budget Covering Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider the budget report for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED to recommend for approval by the Council the 8 budget reports for 2019/20 as attached to the report in Appendices A to H and the associated Annexes.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration gave a summary of the report and its appendices. The Council was required to prepare detailed reports to enable the annual budgets for the General Fund and Council Tax, Housing Revenue Account and the Capital Programme to be set.

 

The Section 151 Officer was also required to provide Members with a Section 25 report giving advice and assurance on the reserves position.  The Council also had to provide a number of supporting strategies. All of these documents were presented in the report.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Lodge, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration said he did not believe that setting up an investment advisory group was necessary for the Council to consider taking up additional investment opportunities. The Council already took significant external advice.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Lodge, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration said the recommendation to reduce the investment limit was prompted by a perception of change in the quality of local authority debt.

 

The Portfolio Holders for Finance and Administration and for Housing noted that the lifting of the local authority debt cap presented an opportunity to invest in expanding the council’s housing stock, but that this would only happen if the investment was affordable. The Portfolio Holder for Housing said in the wider context, Uttlesford District Council was already good at building council housing.

 

RESOLVED to recommend for approval by the Council the 8 budget reports for 2019/20 as attached in Appendices A to H and the associated Annexes. The reports and individual recommendations are detailed in the table shown in paragraph 10 of the budget report. The Equalities Impact Assessment is attached as Appendix I.

 

5.

Business Rates Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the report on the Business Rates Relief Policy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that:

1)    the discretionary Retail Relief Discount for the years 2019/20 and

2020/21 be adopted as set out in the report and the Business Rates Policy

(Appendix B) under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988

2)    authority for decision making on awarding Retail Relief to eligible

businesses be delegated to the Section 151 Officer

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration gave a summary of the report. The Government announced in the Budget on the 29th October 2018 that it would provide a business rates retail discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 for the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21. The retail relief awarded by the Council would be fully reimbursed via a section 31 grant.

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Council for approval to:

1)    Adopt the discretionary Retail Relief Discount for the years 2019/20 and 2020/21 as set out in this report and the attached Business Rates Policy (Appendix B) under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

2)    Delegate authority for decision making on awarding Retail Relief to eligible businesses to the Section 151Officer.

 

6.

Corporate Plan Refresh 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider the report on the Corporate Plan Refresh for 2019-23.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the draft Corporate Plan 2019-23 be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman gave a summary of the report. The Corporate Plan was a key document that set out the Council’s vision and priorities for the next four years. It was good practice to review the Corporate Plan annually to ensure it remained fit for purpose, in that it reflected the needs and priorities of the residents, communities and businesses of the District.

 

The Chairman noted three key themes had been added to the Corporate Plan:

·         to manage and minimise the environmental impact of our activities

·         to maximise the use of digital and SMART technology to enhance well-being

·         to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion

 

RESOLVED to recommend the draft Corporate Plan 2019-23 to Council for approval

 

 

The meeting ended at 8.20pm.