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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive Board
Tuesday, 13th February, 2018 10.00 am

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall

Contact: Jane Johnson  Committee Manager

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

92.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Hugh Jones and Joan Lowe.

93.

Vice Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Hugh Jones, Councillor David A Bithell was appointed as Vice-Chair for today’s Meeting.

94.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, the declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting.  The following declarations were made:

 

Agenda Item 6 – Capital Programme 2017/18 – 2021/22

Councillors Bryan Apsley, Andrew Atkinson, David A Bithell, Adrienne Jeorrett, Tina Mannering, Graham Rogers and Phil Wynn – Personal and Prejudicial – School Governors.  The Councillors remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Paragraph 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct, taking part in the discussion and, in the case of Executive Board Members, voting thereon.

 

Agenda Item 7 – The Legacy Fund 2018 – 2020

Councillor Andrew Atkinson – Personal and Prejudicial – Previously a Director of Wrexham Citizens Advice Bureau.  The Councillor remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Paragraph 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct taking part in the discussion thereon.

Councillors Adrienne Jeorrett and Graham Rogers – Personal and Prejudicial – Communities First Cluster Board Member.  The Councillors remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Paragraph 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct taking part in the discussion thereon.

 

Agenda Item 9 – Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget and Rent Setting 2018/19

Councillors Terry Evans and Mark Pritchard – Personal – Rents a Council garage.  The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion and voting thereon.

95.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 January 2018

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 January 2018 be signed as a correct record.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 January 2018 be signed as a correct record.

96.

Presiding Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader vacated the Chair and the Vice-Chair, Councillor David A Bithell, presided over the next items on the Agenda to enable the Leader to present Agenda Items 6 to 8 in his capacity as Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance.

 

(Councillor David A Bithell in the Chair)

97.

Capital Programme 2017/18 - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the rolling programme for 2017/18 to 2021/22 as detailed in appendices 2 and 3 of report HF/11/18 be approved.

 

(ii)        That the capital programme be reviewed and reported to the Executive Board in July 2018.

 

(iii)       That the Treasury Management Activity and Prudential Indicators as detailed in Appendix 4 to report HF/11/18 be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         This report follows an earlier monitoring report in October in compliance with Financial Regulation 3.13 that requires that the Head of Finance monitors and reports to Members on the Capital Programme.

 

(ii)        Local Authorities are required under the Local Government Act 2003 to comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance. The indicators presented in Appendix 4 fulfil the requirements of the Code.

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 94 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/11/18) to review the 2017/18 – 2021/22 Capital Programme and Treasury Management Activity including Prudential Indicators.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and a discussion ensued.  Further information and a breakdown of costings was requested in respect of the Town Centre improvements, and the Lead Member confirmed that Officers would provide the information following the Meeting.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the rolling programme for 2017/18 to 2021/22 as detailed in appendices 2 and 3 of report HF/11/18 be approved.

 

(ii)        That the capital programme be reviewed and reported to the Executive Board in July 2018.

 

(iii)       That the Treasury Management Activity and Prudential Indicators as detailed in Appendix 4 to report HF/11/18 be noted.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         This report follows an earlier monitoring report in October in compliance with Financial Regulation 3.13 that requires that the Head of Finance monitors and reports to Members on the Capital Programme.

 

(ii)        Local Authorities are required under the Local Government Act 2003 to comply with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance. The indicators presented in Appendix 4 fulfil the requirements of the Code.

98.

The Legacy Fund 2018-2020 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the joint report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance and Lead Member for People – Youth Services and Anti-Poverty

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That of the three options for the use of the Legacy Fund identified in the report, option 3, Employment Support for a package of three elements designed to maximise opportunities to develop capacity and employability outcomes in former Communities First areas, be selected as the preferred option and referred back to Welsh Government for approval.

 

(ii)        That the targeting of the Legacy Fund be on those lower super output areas within the top 20% band of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

 

(iii)       That the lower super output areas listed in Appendix 2 of report HHE/10/18 (link available in the Background Papers section of this report) be included in the Communities for Work Plus programme.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to submit applications for the Legacy Fund and Communities for Work Plus to Welsh Government by the by the deadline of 13 February 2018.

 

(v)       That the Heads of Department responsible for early intervention and prevention programmes be instructed to consider the implications of the Welsh Government’s Flexible Funding project and report their findings.

 

(vi)      That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

To enable the Council to deliver and support tackling poverty-related activities consistent with the most effective aspects of the Communities First programme beyond its closure on 31 March 2018.  This matter is to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) to secure approval to submit applications to Welsh Government to meet the deadline of 13 February 2018.

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 94 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HHE/10/18) for Members to agree a preferred option to support tackling poverty activities through the Welsh Government’s Legacy Fund and to agree the targeting of Communities for Work Plus, following on from the cessation of the Communities First programme on 31 March 2018.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and advised that a meeting had taken place with Cluster Boards and various other stakeholders where it was identified that option 3 was the preferred option to take forward.  Clarification was sought on the framework for the Communities for Work employability programme.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         That of the three options for the use of the Legacy Fund identified in the report, option 3, Employment Support for a package of three elements designed to maximise opportunities to develop capacity and employability outcomes in former Communities First areas, be selected as the preferred option and referred back to Welsh Government for approval.

 

(ii)        That the targeting of the Legacy Fund be on those lower super output areas within the top 20% band of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

 

(iii)       That the lower super output areas listed in Appendix 2 of report HHE/10/18 (link available in the Background Papers section of this report) be included in the Communities for Work Plus programme.

 

(iv)      That the Head of Housing and Economy be authorised to submit applications for the Legacy Fund and Communities for Work Plus to Welsh Government by the by the deadline of 13 February 2018.

 

(v)       That the Heads of Department responsible for early intervention and prevention programmes be instructed to consider the implications of the Welsh Government’s Flexible Funding project and report their findings.

 

(vi)      That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

To enable the Council to deliver and support tackling poverty-related activities consistent with the most effective aspects of the Communities First programme beyond its closure on 31 March 2018.  This matter is to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) to secure approval to submit applications to Welsh Government to meet the deadline of 13 February 2018.

99.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Heath and Safety and Governance submitted a report (HCCS/12/18) asking Members to approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme for the period March 2018 to June 2018.

 

The Lead Member reminded Members of the importance of ensuring that items were added to the Forward Work Programme at the earliest opportunity.

 

RESOLVED - That the Forward Work Programme be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To approve the current list of items included in the Forward Work Programme.

 

(Councillor Mark Pritchard in the Chair)

100.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget and Rent Setting 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place - Housing

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the Target Rents for individual property types for 2018/19 be approved as follows:

 

(a) for Properties that are below the Target Rents for 2018/19

- an increase of rent of 4.5% plus a maximum of £2.16 per week (48 week basis) or a lower amount, if this achieves the Target Rent in 2018/19.

 

(b) for Properties at or above the Target Rents for 2018/19 no rent increase.

 

(c) an increase of 4.5% for garage rent to £7.89 per week (48 week basis);

 

(d) an increase of 4.5% for garage plots (annual charge of £52.25);

 

(e) an increase of 4.5% for Warden charge to £3.30 per week (48 week basis);

 

(f) an increase of 4.5% for charges for Travellers’ plots to £83.00 (and £98.20 per week for the larger plots) (52 week basis);

 

(ii)        The HRA budget for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix 1 to report HHE/04/18 be approved.

 

(iii)       That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To set the overall rent levels of Council house dwellings for 2018/19 in accordance with the WG rent policy and ensure that the HRA operates with appropriate levels of balances.

 

(ii)        This matter is to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) due to a requirement under the Housing Act 1985 section 103 that a Notice of Rent Variation is served to affected tenants. The period between the date on which it is served and the date on which it takes effect must be at least four weeks.

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 94 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHE/04/18) to seek Members’ agreement on the budget for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for 2018/19 and the resulting rent levels.

 

The Lead Member presented the report and a discussion ensued.  The following points were raised during the debate:

 

·         Discussion regarding the impact of Universal Credit on the number of people presenting as homeless, and further information sought, therefore, on the financial implications.

·         Confirmation that evictions would only ever be a last resort

·         Clarification sought on the number of vacant garages, and confirmation that a review of all garage stock would be undertaken shortly.

·         Acknowledgement that it could take a long time to achieve equal rent levels for all tenants.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the Target Rents for individual property types for 2018/19 be approved as follows:

 

(a) for Properties that are below the Target Rents for 2018/19

- an increase of rent of 4.5% plus a maximum of £2.16 per week (48 week basis) or a lower amount, if this achieves the Target Rent in 2018/19.

 

(b) for Properties at or above the Target Rents for 2018/19 no rent increase.

 

(c) an increase of 4.5% for garage rent to £7.89 per week (48 week basis);

 

(d) an increase of 4.5% for garage plots (annual charge of £52.25);

 

(e) an increase of 4.5% for Warden charge to £3.30 per week (48 week basis);

 

(f) an increase of 4.5% for charges for Travellers’ plots to £83.00 (and £98.20 per week for the larger plots) (52 week basis);

 

(ii)        The HRA budget for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix 1 to report HHE/04/18 be approved.

 

(iii)       That this matter be dealt with as an urgent item of business in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) of the Council’s Standing Orders.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To set the overall rent levels of Council house dwellings for 2018/19 in accordance with the WG rent policy and ensure that the HRA operates with appropriate levels of balances.

 

(ii)        This matter is to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 43 (1) due to a requirement under the Housing Act 1985 section 103 that a Notice of Rent Variation is served to affected tenants. The period between the date on which it is served and the date on which it takes effect must be at least four weeks.

101.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place - Housing

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - That Members approve the HRA Business Plan 2018/19 for submission to the Welsh Government.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with WG’s requirement to produce an annual HRA Business Plan and have a sufficient budget to deliver a Housing Capital Programme to bring its housing stock up to the WHQS by 2020.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHE/06/18) for Members to consider and approve the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2018/19 for submission to the Welsh Government (WG).

 

RESOLVED - That Members approve the HRA Business Plan 2018/19 for submission to the Welsh Government.

 

Reason for decision

 

To comply with WG’s requirement to produce an annual HRA Business Plan and have a sufficient budget to deliver a Housing Capital Programme to bring its housing stock up to the WHQS by 2020.

102.

Wrexham Bus Station pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the details of the contract awarded to an external operator to manage and operate the enquiry/information office be noted.

 

(ii)        That the Head of Environment and Planning, in consultation with the Lead Member for Environment and Transport, be authorised to make the necessary arrangements, including appropriate statutory procedures and consultation with stakeholders to provide:

 

a) the implementation of a three year phased increase in departure charges:

 

- 2018/19 - £0.41 per departure

- 2019/20 - £0.45 per departure

- 2020/21 - £0.49 per departure

 

b) the introduction of an annual permit charge per bay (£2,000) for those operators requiring the use of the existing lay-over spaces at the bus station.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To inform Members of the details of the contract award made concerning the operation and management of the enquiry/information office at Wrexham bus station.

 

(ii)        To ensure sufficient resource is available to sustain, support and enhance the on-going operation of Wrexham bus station.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (HEP/19/18) to inform Members of a planned programme of improvements to Wrexham bus station and a contract award for the operation and management of the enquiry/information office and to seek approval for a phased increase in departure charges and the introduction of an annual permit charge for the use of lay-over spaces.

 

The Lead Member presented the report, a discussion ensued and the following points were highlighted:

 

·         Confirmation that the proposed departure charges would not be disproportionate when compared to neighbouring authorities.

·         All operators would be welcomed into the Bus Station.

·         Assurances that there would not be any impact on Council staff, Shopmobility or other organisations.

·         Confirmation that Officers would be looking at options for displaying timetables and real time information electronically.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(i)         That the details of the contract awarded to an external operator to manage and operate the enquiry/information office be noted.

 

(ii)        That the Head of Environment and Planning, in consultation with the Lead Member for Environment and Transport, be authorised to make the necessary arrangements, including appropriate statutory procedures and consultation with stakeholders to provide:

 

a) the implementation of a three year phased increase in departure charges:

 

- 2018/19 - £0.41 per departure

- 2019/20 - £0.45 per departure

- 2020/21 - £0.49 per departure

 

b) the introduction of an annual permit charge per bay (£2,000) for those operators requiring the use of the existing lay-over spaces at the bus station.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(i)         To inform Members of the details of the contract award made concerning the operation and management of the enquiry/information office at Wrexham bus station.

 

(ii)        To ensure sufficient resource is available to sustain, support and enhance the on-going operation of Wrexham bus station.