Agenda and minutes

Policy & Finance Committee - Monday, 20th January, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockcliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1HD.

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 & Email: info@leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

74/PF

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.

Minutes:

 Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R Berry.

 

75/PF

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

i)     Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

 

(ii) Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).

Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting. Councillor Morris declared an interest in item 5 Jazz up your Life as his wife was a volunteer at a local care home.  Councillor Freeman declared an interest in the same item as a Trustee of Buzzer Buses.

 

76/PF

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)

To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3(f) and 3(g).

Minutes:

A representative of Community Action Bedfordshire spoke to support the application for emergency funding to enable the current monthly Jazz up your Life programme to continue until such time as additional grant funding had been secured.

 

A member of the public spoke regarding the recent rejected Post Office planning application and how this provided an opportunity for a coordinated approach to how land south of the High Street could be used in the future.

 

77/PF

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 257 KB

To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Policy & Finance Committee meeting held on 18 November 2019 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received the minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee meeting held on 18 November 2019 for consideration.

 

Minute reference 61/PF (Community Governance Review): Central Bedfordshire Council had been approached to co-ordinate a meeting with parishes affected by the eastern development.

 

Minute reference 71/PF (Health Services): the first formal meeting of the Task and Finish group was likely to be at the beginning of March.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee meeting held on 18 November 2019 be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.

 

78/PF

JAZZ UP YOUR LIFE pdf icon PDF 628 KB

To consider a request from Community Action Bedfordshire in respect of the Jazz up your Life programme (to follow).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a request from Community Action Bedfordshire in respect of the Jazz up your Life programme, for funding to cover a five month period from February to June 2020.   The funding would cover the costs for marketing, fees for Swing dance MK, Buzzer Buses hire, refreshments, activity costs and staff time. A supporting document outlined the success of the scheme which was attended and enjoyed by many.

 

It was anticipated that further grant funding would be secured to allow continuation of the scheme thereafter.

 

RESOLVED to provide interim funding of £1,847 from Town Council general reserves and to approve the free use of Astral Park Sports and Community Centre for one afternoon per month, from February to June 2020.

 

79/PF

SUB-COMMITTEE MINUTES - Draft Standby and Call Out Policy pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To receive the following draft minutes and to consider any recommendation/s contained therein:

 

(a)  Personnel Sub Committee 6 January 2020

(b)  Community Safety Sub Committee 13 January 2020 (to follow)

(c)  Boundary Review working party 13 January 2020 (see agenda item 27)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        The Committee received the draft minutes of the Personnel Sub-Committee held on 6 January 2020.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the Standby and Call Out Policy, subject to the Community Emergency Plan being adopted by Council.

 

RESOLVED to receive the draft minutes of the Personnel Sub-Committee held on 6 January 2020.

 

(b)        The Committee received the draft minutes of the Community Safety Sub Committee held on 13 January 2020.

 

Minute reference 27/CS Operation Dodford – concerns were raised regarding how police resources could be used to address town centre issues raised by Pub Watch and Shop Watch members.

 

Minute reference 28/CS CCTV & Redeployable Cameras – it was confirmed that funding was allocated within the town council’s five year financial plan for digital upgrades of the cameras it owned. However, timing was dependant upon the relocation and upgrade of the Central Bedfordshire control room.

 

RESOLVED to request an update through the Partnership Committee in respect of the CCTV control room relocation and digital upgrade programme, including proposed timings.

 

RESOLVED that any underspend of the Community Safety revenue budget (4401/410) for 2019-2020 be put into the earmarked reserve for Community Safety (9042/920) until decisions and projects for the funds had been agreed.

 

RESOLVED to receive the draft minutes of the Community Safety Sub Committee held on 13 January 2020.

 

(c)         Boundary Review Working Party moved to agenda item 27.

 

80/PF

COMMITTEE OBJECTIVES AND WORKPLAN pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive and consider the Committee work plan for 2019-2020 (attached).

 

 

Minutes:

81/PF

FUTURE HIGH STREET FUND pdf icon PDF 453 KB

To receive a report regarding potential ideas for submission of a bid to the Future High Street Fund and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report regarding potential ideas for submission of a bid to the Future High Street Fund.  Members were informed a Drop-in Day on 12 February had been organised by Central Bedfordshire Council to encourage community involvement.   It was suggested that some minor amendments be made to the Project Ideas Submission form before submitting to Central Bedfordshire Council.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to endorse the content in the Project Ideas Submission Form, ready for submission to Central Bedfordshire Council.

 

82/PF

MULTI STOREY CAR PARK/CHANGING PLACES pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To consider the recommendation made by the Cultural & Economic Committee on 9 December 2019 (Minute reference 37/CE): that subject to final details being agreed, to write to Central Bedfordshire Council and indicate the Council’s willingness to proceed with the management of the new Changing Places facility in the public conveniences at West Street.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a recommendation made by the Cultural & Economic Services Committee on 9 December in respect of installation of a Changing Places facility in the public conveniences at West Street.

 

RESOLVED to write to Central Bedfordshire Council to indicate the Town Council’s willingness to proceed with management of the new Changing Places facility in the public conveniences at West Street.

 

83/PF

NINE MONTH BUDGET MONITORING REPORT pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To receive a budget monitoring report for the period April – December 2019 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received the nine-month budget monitoring report for the period April – December 2019. No queries were raised by Committee.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

84/PF

DECEMBER 2O19 AND JANUARY 2020 PAYMENTS pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive and note the schedule of payments made in December 2019 (attached) and January 2020 (to follow) (approved for payment by the Town Clerk and two bank signatories).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a schedule of payments which had previously been    approved for payment by the Town Clerk and countersigned by two account signatories.  There were no anomalies or matters of concern to draw to the attention of the Committee.   

     

The schedule for December 2019 dated 15 November 2019, included BACS payments amounting to £287,154.77 (page numbers 2669, 2671-2684 and cheque payments amounting to £3,708.31 (cheque numbers 17465-17477), including White House petty cash amounting to £125.06, Astral Park £70.56 and TACTIC £82.70.

 

The monthly salaries listing for December 2019 amounting to £94,247.95 gross was received.  A cash book report for December 2019, including details of all direct debit payments, was also received.

 

The schedule for January 2020 dated 10 January 2020 included BACS payments amounting to £86,010.55 (page numbers 2687-2695) and cheque payments amounting to £2,836.81 (cheque numbers 17478-17487), including White House petty cash amounting to £39.18, Astral Park £50.00 and TACTIC £26.88).

 

The monthly salaries listing for January 2020 amounting to £98,398.06 gross was received.  A cash book report for January 2020, including details of all direct debit payments, was also received.

 

RESOLVED to note the schedule of accounts for December 2019 and January 2020.

 

 

85/PF

INVESTMENTS pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To receive a report regarding investments (to follow) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and a brief verbal overview in respect of investments and considered the operational arrangements regarding day to day banking to maximise return on monies invested.

 

RESOLVED to reinvest the recently matured NatWest Treasury Reserve into Nationwide (Business 95-day Notice Account) offering 1.10% variable.

 

86/PF

BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDEN PARTY NOMINATION pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive and consider a nomination form from the Bedfordshire Association of Town and Parish Councils (attached) for a draw to attend a Summer 2020 garden party. 

 

 

Minutes:

 

The Committee received information from the Bedfordshire Association of Town and Parish Councils regarding the annual nomination for the Summer 2020 Garden Party. A number of Members were excluded from nomination due to having already previously attended a garden party.

 

RESOLVED to nominate Councillor R Goodchild for the draw to attend the 2020 Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

 

87/PF

2020-2021 RISK REGISTER AND ACTION PLAN pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To receive a report regarding the Town Council Risk Register and Action Plan for 2020-2021 (attached) and to consider the recommendations contained therein.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report regarding the Town Council Risk Register and Action Plan for 2020-2021 and considered the recommendations contained therein. No questions were raised in respect of the Risk Register or the proposed Action Plan.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the Risk Register and Action Plan for 2020-2021, to be signed by the Town Mayor and Responsible Financial Officer.

 

88/PF

CALENDAR OF MEETINGS 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To receive a report and consider a draft Calendar of Meetings (attached) for the municipal year 2020-2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a draft Calendar of Meetings for the municipal year 2020-2021 for consideration, based on the committee structure and meeting frequency approved by Council in June 2016.  A concern was raised regarding whether an additional Council meeting should be held between September and January but members agreed to retain the present format with the option of holding an additional, extraordinary Council Meeting if necessary.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the proposed Calendar of Meetings for the municipal year 2020-2021.

 

89/PF

MAYORAL REGALIA pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To receive a report regarding Mayoral regalia (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a report to consider the use of general reserves to purchase and refurbish civic regalia. It was noted that costs for the refurbishment of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor chains and pendants were indicative, having been based on photographs and measurements. Work would take approximately six weeks.

 

The Committee requested that consideration also be given to replacement of the chain on the Mayoress’ pendant.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(i)           approve the expenditure of up to £3,700 from general reserves for the purpose of refurbishment works to the Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral chains and pendants.

(ii)          approve the expenditure of up to £3,000 from general reserves for the purpose of purchasing a replacement Mayor’s Consort bar as well as additional Past Mayor, Past Mayoress and Past Consort pendants.

 

 

90/PF

INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To receive and note the Internal Audit Report 2019-20 (First Interim) (attached).

 

Minutes:

The Committee received an interim internal audit report for 2019-2020 and noted that no issues had been identified.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

91/PF

DRAFT COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To receive and consider recommending to Council approval of the draft Community Emergency Plan (original report presented to the Community Safety Sub-Committee of 13 January 2020 attached with draft, redacted, plan).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding the creation of a Community Emergency Plan to support the local authority in its statutory obligations by proving local knowledge and contacts. The plan provided a framework to be considered in the event of Central Bedfordshire Council calling an emergency situation, but the details of any response would depend upon the variables of the particular situation. Volunteer deployment would be through Central Bedfordshire Council to ensure insurance cover and provision of any relevant equipment.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the draft Community Emergency Plan.

 

92/PF

HIGHWAY MATTERS

To consider the recommendation made by the Planning & Transport Committee on 11 December 2019: to endorse the use of Highways Schemes earmarked reserves (9056/920) to fund a temporary trial of a controlled crossing at the West Street/Bridge Street junction.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a recommendation from the Planning & Transport Committee of 11 December 2019 to endorse the use of Highways Schemes earmarked reserves to fund a temporary trial of a controlled crossing at the West Street/Bridge Street junction. Costs were awaited from Central Bedfordshire Council but were not anticipated to exceed £5,000.

It was agreed that a wider traffic/transport strategy was needed for the whole of the town.

 

RESOLVED to fund the temporary trial of a controlled crossing at West Street/Bridge Street junction from the Highways Schemes earmarked reserves (90456/920).

 

93/PF

WHITE HOUSE ROOM HIRE pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To receive a report regarding White House meeting room use (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding White House commercial meeting room hire.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(i)           note the report.

(ii)          endorse that after Council use, priority continues to be given to free of charge use of White House rooms for not-for-profit groups (subject to room availability), ahead of commercial/private hire.

(iii)        endorse that existing hire charges and annual review arrangements for commercial/private use of White House meeting rooms remain unchanged, i.e. that an annual increase of September RPI plus 1% rounded up to the nearest 50p be applied from 1 April each year.

 

94/PF

TOWN COUNCIL OBJECTIVES pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To receive a report regarding Town Council objectives and longer term/partnership objectives, along with supporting documentation (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to the objectives endorsed by the Committee at its previous meeting and subsequently approved by Council on 30 September 2019, the Committee was asked to approve amendments to the Five Year Plan document. A minor amendment to two sentences in the Executive Summary was suggested.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the revised Five Year Plan for 2019-2024, to incorporate objectives agreed by Council on 30 September 2019.

 

At its previous meeting, the Committee had endorsed the creation of a Partnership Project List which would encompass the wider aspirations for the town which the Town Council could not achieve independently. It was suggested that the Partnership Committee with Central Bedfordshire Council be the primary vehicle through which such aspirations could be discussed further, along with any other suitable forums at which third parties and partner organisations would be present.

 

The proposed List comprised a number of the objectives endorsed in September 2019 as well as those proposals and ambitions arising from the previous Town Plans, Big Plan and Big Plan II, which remained outstanding and a matter for ongoing lobbying.

 

The Committee requested that additional comment be added to those older aspirations to bring the document up to date.

 

  RECOMMENDED to Council:

 

(i)           approval of the proposed Partnership Project list which incorporates aspirations agreed by Council on 30 September 2019 as well as ongoing aspirations carried forward from Big Plan II (town plan for 2011-2017), subject to adding up to date comment.

(ii)          that where considered relevant and appropriate, to seek the support of the Partnership Committee to lobby on behalf of the Parish in raising the profile of any project(s) as set out within the Leighton-Linslade Partnership Project List.

 

95/PF

FIVE YEAR FINANCIAL PLAN pdf icon PDF 189 KB

To receive and consider the latest draft five year financial plan document(subject to 2020-21 budget approval) (to follow)).

 

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report which outlined the most recent position in respect of the 5 Year Financial Plan and the proposed projects which would be included in it. This was an iterative document which would continue to be amended as projects came forward through the standing committees in more detail.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

96/PF

DRAFT BUDGET 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 409 KB

To receive a report regarding the 2020-2021 budget (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report for the budget setting process 2020-2021. The budget was predicated on draft committee budgets which had been reviewed and endorsed by Town Council Standing Committees during November/December 2019.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council: 

 

(i)           the approval of the precepting amount of £2,265,946 which Central Bedfordshire Council would collect on behalf of the Town Council for the financial Year 2020-2021

(ii)          that the Council Tax be raised from £149.58 to £155.50 (a 3.96% increase on a Band D equivalent) for the financial year 2020-21.

 

97/PF

INFRASTRUCTURE pdf icon PDF 303 KB

To receive and consider a discussion paper (attached), put forward by Councillor S Owen, dated 3 January 2020, in respect of Infrastructure.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a discussion paper proposed by Councillor S Owen regarding Infrastructure within the town following housing growth.

 

A question was raised regarding whether the Town Council should consider the production of a Neighbourhood Plan where specific requests could be addressed in respect of infrastructure deficits.  The Committee noted that developer S.106 contributions could only be used for infrastructure relating to the development to which the contribution related, rather than wider infrastructure requirements or indeed existing deficits.

 

After discussion the Committee agreed a workshop meeting should be set up with Officers from Central Bedfordshire Council to help inform Members how S106 money was allocated and the procedures involved with this.  A list of questions and concerns could be passed to Central Bedfordshire Officers in advance of the meeting to enable discussion to take place. 

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

98/PF

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

The Committee may consider it appropriate to consider the following resolution should they consider that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests: that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information. The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding:   2020 Honorary Burgess,

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.  The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding the following: 2020 Honorary Burgess Nominations and Boundary Review.

 

99/PF

2020 HONORARY BURGESS

2020 Honorary Burgess nominations: to consider the recommendation made by the Grants and Awards Sub-Committee on 4 November 2019:  to consider recommending to Council approval of a nomination for the 2020 Honorary Burgess award (information attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered recommendation made by the Grants & Awards Sub-Committee on 4 November 2019.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to approve the nominations of John Halstead and Mary Cheshire  for the 2020 Honorary Burgess award.

 

100/PF

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER 3(x)

Minutes:

It was noted that in order to continue the meeting past 1000 hours, Standing Order 3(x) would need to be suspended.

 

RESOLVED to suspend Standing Order 3(x) for a maximum of thirty minutes.

 

101/PF

BOUNDARY REVIEW

To receive the notes of the Boundary Review working party meeting held on 13 January 2020 (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Minutes:

The Committee received notes from the Boundary Review Working Party meeting held on 13 January 2020 and considered the recommendations contained therein.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the following response be submitted to the Boundary Commission in respect of its consultation on Central Bedfordshire Council Wards:

 

(i)           that 4 Wards be created to represent Leighton-Linslade and with surrounding parishes, to be represented by 11 Councillors.

 

(ii)          To suggest that Eggington parish be split into 2 wards to reflect the new profile of that Parish, given the recent housing development at Clipstone Park.