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 the Chief Executive and Councillors Asker, Barker, Dean and Pavitt.

 

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2020 were approved as a true and correct record.

 

3.

Questions or Statements from Non-Executive Members of the Council (standing item)

To receive questions or statements from non-executive members on matters included on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Day said consideration should be given to holding a stand alone Council meeting dedicated to the Budget. He said the agenda for the meeting held in February was too long and there was too much political point scoring on show.

 

The Leader said this would be looked at for next year.

 

In response to a Member question relating to the number of homes that have been granted planning permission in the past decade but have yet to be built, the Leader said the appropriate officer would be asked to produce a report to be shared with Members.

 

 

4.

Consideration of reports from overview and scrutiny committees (standing item)

To consider any reports from overview and scrutiny committees.

Minutes:

Councillor Gregory updated Cabinet on the current work of the Scrutiny Committee. He said he was looking into the matter of school transport in the District, due to a number of incidents which dropped well below expected standards.

 

Councillor Day said he had been looking at this subject for some time and he would welcome assistance and support in dealing with Essex County Council in relation to school transport.

 

The Leader said he would meet with Councillors Day, Eke and Sutton to discuss the various school transport issues that they had encountered and the Scrutiny Committee would be kept up to date on their progress. 

 

5.

Outside Bodies' Appointment

To appoint Cllr LeCount to the Stansted Airport Community Trust.

Decision:

RESOLVED to nominate Councillor LeCount as Uttlesford District Council’s appointment to Stansted Airport Community Trust.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was asked to consider nominating a trustee for Stansted Airport Community Trust.

 

The Assistant Director – Governance and Legal Services said he had been sent information on the Stansted Airport Community Trust which he could circulate to Members. The information indicated that the Trust had no reason to meet in future as contributions from Manchester Air Group (MAG) had come to an end and there was no significant funding left to allocate.

The Leader proposed the nomination of Cllr LeCount and requested an investigation  to ascertain the legal position as to whether contributions from MAG should continue.

 

Councillor Gregory said he welcomed Councillor LeCount’s involvement in the Trust as it provided an opportunity to ensure the organisation was being run properly.

 

RESOLVED to nominate Councillor LeCount as a  trustee of  the Stansted Airport Community Trust.

 

6.

Energy and Climate Change Working Group - Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To amend the Energy and Climate Change Working Group’s Terms of Reference approved by Cabinet in September 2019 in light of the Green Party Group’s formation and the Youth Council’s request to participate in meetings of the Working Group.

Decision:

RESOLVED to adopt the revised Terms of Reference for the Energy and Climate Change Working Group as appended to the report.

Minutes:

Councillor Pepper presented the revised Terms of Reference for the Energy and Climate Change Working Group (ECCWG). These had been revised to reflect the Green Party Group’s formation and the Youth Council’s request to participate in meetings of the ECCWG.

 

In response to Member questions, Councillor Pepper said the Youth Councillors would be nominated to sit on the working group by the Youth Council itself. She added that the community as a whole would be engaged on the matter of climate change by way of a conference and the ECCWG’s strategy would be presented in draft form in the coming month.

 

RESOLVED to adopt the revised Terms of Reference as appended to the report.

 

7.

Budget Outturn Forecast - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

To consider the Budget Outturn - Quarter 3 report.

Decision:

RESOLVED to approve the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme outturn forecast position and the updated use of reserves.

Minutes:

Councillor Hargreaves summarised the report outlining the Budget Outturn Forecast for Quarter 3.

 

In response to a Member question relating to Superfast Broadband project, the Director – Finance and Corporate Services said the £500,000 match funding had been rolled into the General Reserve as performance targets had not been met and the grant had been withheld. 

 

                        RESOLVED to approve the General Fund, Housing Revenue

Account and Capital Programme outturn forecast position and the updated use of reserves.        

 

8.

Exemption of Public and Press

Consideration of a report containing exempt information within the meaning of section 100I and paragraph 3 part 1 Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to exclude the public and press due to consideration of a report containing exempt information within the meaning of section 100I and paragraph 3 part 1 Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972.

 

9.

Investment Opportunities 3 and 4

To consider Investment Opportunities 3 and 4.

 

The Investment Board is meeting on Thursday, 27 February and its comments and recommendations will inform the ‘Investment Opportunities 3 and 4’ report that is to be considered by Cabinet.

 

Therefore, the report is to follow and expected to be circulated on Friday, 28 February. The report and appendices to be considered by the Investment Board have been attached for information.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED to endorse the conclusions of the Investment Board and that:

 

a.    The property purchases as set out are agreed:

 

i.               Investment Opportunity 3, up to the sum of £21,500,000

ii.              Investment Opportunity 4, up to the sum of £7,000,000

 

b.    The funding ratio is on an 80% interest only and 20% repayment basis.

 

c.     The purchase costs are capitalised.

 

d.   The purchases are made as a direct investment by Uttlesford District

Council.

 

e.    To authorise the Director of Finance and Corporate Services in

consultation with the Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and

Budget to conclude the acquisition; subject to recommendation f.

 

f.      To request Council to endorse the purchases and to authorise the

necessary borrowing.

 

g.    The income generated in 2020/21 is allocated to funding the actions,

including climate change, contained in the 2020/21 Corporate Plan

Delivery Plan.

Minutes:

The Leader said the investment opportunities before Members had been considered by the Investment Board and had been recommended for approval. He asked the Director – Finance and Corporate Services to present the report.

 

The Director – Finance and Corporate Services outlined the two investment opportunities and summarised the risks posed by the proposed acquisitions.

 

Members discussed the issues of parking, access and succession planning in regard to Investment Opportunity 3.

 

In response to a Member question, the Director – Finance and Corporate Services said these would be direct investments of the Council and not purchased through Aspire, the commercial arm of the Council. He added that this approach was supported by legal advice.

 

The Leader said the potential risks had been debated at length during the meeting of the Investment Board and he was more than comfortable with the proposal, particularly as the opportunities before Cabinet would significantly diversify the Council’s investment portfolio if accepted. He said the additional income generated by these investments would be used to maintain council services and fund the green agenda. 

 

RESOLVED to endorse the conclusions of the Investment Board and that:

 

a.    The property purchases as set out are agreed:

 

i.              Investment Opportunity 3, up to the sum of £21,500,000

ii.             Investment Opportunity 4, up to the sum of £7,000,000

 

b.    The funding ratio is on an 80% interest only and 20% repayment basis.

 

c.    The purchase costs are capitalised.

 

d.    The purchases are made as a direct investment by Uttlesford District Council.

 

e.    To authorise the Director of Finance and Corporate Services in

consultation with the Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Budget to conclude the acquisition; subject to recommendation f.

 

f.     To request Council to endorse the purchases and to authorise the necessary borrowing.

 

g.    The income generated in 2020/21 is allocated to funding the actions, including climate change, contained in the 2020/21 Corporate Plan Delivery Plan.

 

 

 

The meeting ended at 5.15pm.