Agenda/Speakers:

1.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes: none

2.  MINUTES

  • To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 20 October 2020.

Minutes: none

3.  RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE

  • To receive the recommendations from the Policy and Resources
  • Committee meetings held on 2 November 2020 and 7 December 2020
  •  
  •  The Minutes P&R
  • Committee meeting held on 2 November 2020 can be viewed using the weblink
  • below:
  •  
  • https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/policy-and-resources-committee-minutes
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • PR62/20        LOCAL
  • PLAN DEVELOPMENT SCHEME
  •  
  • Recommend:
  •  
  • That Council agree the Local Development Scheme as set out
  • in Appendix 1 below.
  •  
  • Background papers
  •  -05-20-11-02-pr-i-local-development-scheme
  •  
  • -05-appendix-1-local-development-scheme-nov-2020
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • PR64/20 BUDGET MONITORING - MONTH 6 (SEPTEMBER)
  •  
  • Recommend:
  •  
  • That the following revenue and capital budget variations be
  • approved and incorporated into the three-year medium-term financial plan:-
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Variance
  •  
  • 2020/21
  •  
  • £
  •  
  • 2021/22
  •  
  • £
  •  
  • 2022/23
  •  
  • £
  •  
  • Revenue - (Favourable)/ Unfavourable
  •  
  • 191,000
  •  
  • 4,352
  •  
  • (35,648)
  •  
  • Capital - Increase / (Decrease)
  •  
  • (1,145,500)
  •  
  • 1,164,000
  •  
  • 0
  •  
  • Background report
  •  
  • -07-20-11-02-pr-i-budget-monitoring-period-6-cover-report
  •  
  • -07-20-11-02-pr-i-budget-management-report-app
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • PR66/20       MOTIONS
  • UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11
  •  
  • Recommend:
  •  
  • That Council approve the paying of the real living wage.
  •  
  • Background information - see motion below.
  •  
  • Paying the real living wage
  •  
  • Council notes its decision in 2013 to pay the Real Living
  • Wage (RLW) to all employees.
  • Council further notes that this decision was not extended to
  • staff employed on a casual basis and believes that this was incorrect.
  • Council understands that only the Real Living Wage is
  • independently calculated each year and is based on the minimum that employees
  • and their families need to live.
  • Council believes that as a responsible employer this wage
  • should be extended to all employees, regardless of their contract type, and to
  • contracted staff, such as cleaners and security officers.
  • Council therefore requests that all employees of contractors
  • and Council staff employed on a casual basis should be paid the RLW as soon as
  • practically possible, and that discussions take place with SLM regarding the
  • pay of employees at our leisure facilities.
  • Council also commits to becoming an accredited Living Wage
  • Employer.
  • Note: the cost of this has been estimated by TRDC to be
  • around £10,500pa.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • MINUTE PR71/20 BUSINESS RATES POOLING
  •  
  • Recommend:
  •  
  • That Council agrees that, subject to a final review following
  • the Local Government Settlement for 2021/22, Three Rivers District Council
  • enters into the Hertfordshire Business Rates Pool.
  • Recommend Council delegate authority to the Chief Executive
  • and the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of
  • the Policy and Resources Committee to sign up to the Hertfordshire Business
  • Rates Pool, within 28 days of the Local Government Finance Settlement.
  •  Background papers:
  •  
  • -05-20-12-07-pr-i-business-rates-pooling-report
  •  
  • -05-20-12-07-pr-i-business-rates-pool-agreement-herts-2021-22-signed-version-redacted

Minutes: none

4.  INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL

  • To receive a report from the Panel.

Minutes: none

5.  COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME FOR 2021/22

Minutes: none

6.  COUNCIL TAX BASE FINANCIAL YEAR 2021/22

Minutes: none

7. AMENDMENTS TO RULE 17

  • To
  • agree the proposed amendments to Rule 17 - Procedure Rules for Budget Setting.

Minutes: none

8.  TO RECEIVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 2 DECEMBER 2020 ON THE EXTENSION OF THE LICENSING POLICY - WITH PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

  • Recommend:
  •  
  • Authorise Officers to continue to adopt the existing
  • Statement of Licensing Policy 2016-2021 for an interim period up until 23
  • February 2021.
  •  
  • Authorise Officers to review the policy in line with the
  • Schedule of Implementation in the revised Appendix B.
  •  
  • Revised appendix B
  •  
  • appendix-b_revised
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Background papers:
  •  
  • -05-extension-of-existing-policy-report_licensingcommittee
  •  
  • -05-appendix-a
  •  
  • -05-appendix-b

Minutes: none

9.  TO RECEIVE ANY PETITIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 18

  • None received.

Minutes: none

10.  QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 15

  • None received.

Minutes: none

11.  CHAIR OF COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes: none

12.  REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER AND LEAD MEMBERS UNDER RULE 14

  • Under the new Rule 14 any written questions not dealt with
  • at the meeting will not be carried over to the next meeting.  The written question and answer will be
  • provided in the minutes.  At the next
  • meeting the Member whose question was not dealt with may ask one supplementary
  • question on the written answer provided. 
  • The time limits in Rule 11(5) will apply. The following written
  • questions and answers have been provided in the minutes of the meeting held on
  • 20 October 2020 but all the Members whose question was not dealt with may ask
  • one supplementary question on the written answer provided.  The questions not dealt with at the meeting
  • along with the written answer are provided below:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • LEISURE, ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY
  •  
  • 12a Question to Councillor Roger Seabourne, Lead Member for
  • Community Safety and Partnerships from Councillor Alex Hayward
  •  
  • Now that the children are back at school and the PSPO at
  • Shepherd School has elapsed can we be updated on the traffic conditions?
  •  
  • Written response provided:
  •  
  • Although technically, traffic conditions are outside the
  • scope of TRDC, as this is a matter for HCC Highways, I do not wish to ‘split
  • hairs’ on a technicality; parking is our responsibility and the two are
  • inexorably linked, albeit with a rather muddled, confused cause and
  • effect.  As such it is neither sensible,
  • practical nor productive to treat them separately.
  •  
  • Following notice of your question, I visited the site and
  • felt, just as a couple of one off snapshots (although of course I was very
  • careful not to take photographs) the general situation was worse than when the
  • PSPO was in force, but still better than it had been previously.
  •  
  • Following receipt of your question, officers contacted
  • Shepherds School for their comments and/or observations. Perhaps, not
  • surprisingly, the Head Teacher expressed concerns that parking conditions have
  • worsened around the school at dropping off and collection times in terms of
  • blocked driveways and parking on double yellow lines.  However, the school apparently did not
  • consider the problems severe enough to warrant contacting the Council before
  • being approached.
  •  
  • This was a pilot, and therefore no precedents for actions or
  • procedures were available, but I think it fair to assume officers would
  • probably not have followed up in any proactive way without some requests to do
  • so.  Your question, which prompted some
  • inquiries which produced some comments, has prompted some action, and I thank
  • you for that.
  •  
  • An increased PEO presence in the vicinity of the school over
  • the next few weeks has been requested and we will be reviewing the parking
  • controls in the wider area in the future.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • RESOURCES AND SHARED SERVICES
  •  
  • 12b Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor David Sansom
  •  
  • I am sure all Councillors are aware that this Council has
  • identified "Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle" in the TRDC Strategic Plan
  • as one of the Councils aims. Rickmansworth Bowls Club and the British Legion
  • Bowls Club contribute to our stated aim by providing Exercise and a Social
  • Network for a large number of Local Residents. 
  • Will this Council confirm that it will continue to serve our residents
  • and support the Bowls club which promotes a healthy physical and mental outdoor
  • lifestyle?
  •  
  • Written response provided:
  •  
  • Yes
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12c Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Joan King
  •  
  • Given the area designated for the new market in South Oxhey
  • is now completed, can the Lead Member advise when this Council will inform
  • Watford Rural Parish Council where stall holders’ vans will be allowed to park
  • and at what cost?
  •  
  • Written response provided:
  •  
  • Discussions are still ongoing with the Parish Council and
  • Countryside and it is currently anticipated that Henbury Way car park will be
  • utilised.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12d Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Stephen King
  •  
  • What percentage of affordable/social housing does the Lead
  • Member believe should be stipulated in this Council’s local policies in future
  • to at least guarantee that the present target of 45% affordable/social housing,
  • which is so infrequently achieved, is henceforth always met?
  •  
  • Written response provided:
  •  
  • The Council remains committed to its policy of seeking 45%
  • affordable housing.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12e Urgent Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead
  • Member for Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Paula Hiscocks
  •  
  • Would this Council be prepared for the Rickmansworth Bowls
  • Club building to be acquired by Batchworth Community Council as a Community
  • Asset?
  •  
  • Written response provided:
  •  
  • The Council would be extremely unlikely to offer either a freehold
  • or long leasehold interest in the clubhouse or the bowling green as they are an
  • integral part of the Three Rivers House campus. Any sale would therefore be
  • unlikely to represent Best Value. But in principle we would of course consider
  • a (short) lease along similar lines to that already under discussion with the
  • bowls club. I suggest the Clerk contacts officers if the community council has
  • a proposal they want to discuss.
  •  
  •  
  • 12f Report from Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council
  •  
  • So we are now out of 'Lockdown 2' and in to Tier 2. While
  • tiers are theoretically to be reviewed every two weeks, it is not thought to be
  • likely that we will move before Christmas. It continues to be a very difficult
  • time for all of us.
  •  
  • Covid continues to cause enormous damage to families and
  • businesses around us, heart breaking, our hospitality industry is particularly
  • hard hit. We will continue to work hard to help. But what has been wonderful
  • has been how our officers have stepped up and adapted to changed priorities,
  • how so many of our residents have volunteered to help those more vulnerable
  • members of our communities, and how the majority of our residents have followed
  • the rules and so helped to keep our infection rates down. We will all have
  • continue with this for the while, but I do believe that we can finally see the
  • light at the end of the tunnel. We must continue to be vigilant to keep our
  • infection numbers on the correct trajectory.
  •  
  • Details of local cases can be found using the HCC dashboard:
  • https://hcc-phei.shinyapps.io/covid19_public_dashboard/       
  •  
  • We have a shared commercial Environmental Health Service
  • with Watford BC and they have been supporting the Council’s operational
  • response to the current pandemic. They have been working closely with HCC to
  • monitor and respond to local cases and ensure appropriate response measures are
  • in place.  The Environmental Health
  • Officers have been proactively engaging and supporting businesses across the
  • District with their response to the evolving legislation. They have been
  • working closely with the Police and our licensing officers. In the run up to
  • Christmas we will be working with our larger stores to ensure they have
  • adequate plans in place to promote mask wearing and social distancing as stores
  • get busier. Queuing in a supermarket is not, I’m afraid, going to be a very
  • attractive proposition at this time of year.
  •  
  • We have had a significant communication push promoting the
  • Covid-19 messages. This has recently involved an Ad Van traversing the District
  • and targeted social media messages. Currently we have additional staff
  • patrolling our larger parks at the weekend, they are seeking to engage, to
  • explain and to encourage visitors to our parks to follow the rules.  Information banners have also been erected at
  • key locations around the District.
  •  
  • I will give a verbal update at the meeting on Covid, a very
  • fast moving situation.
  •  
  • As many of you know, I’m not a great one for church going
  • but one service I never miss is the Annual Remembrance service at my local
  • church where I lay a wreath on behalf of the Offices and members of the
  • council. It was a very different experience this year as I know it was for many
  • of you, laying the wreath with just the vicar and one of his team filming for
  • their on line service. Reading the names on the memorial board always gives me
  • shivers, so many of the surnames familiar to me from my local community. I know
  • many of you laid wreaths in the same quiet way. Even in these difficult times
  • we will never forget.
  •  
  • At the end of November I spoke at two on line induction
  • sessions for new staff, it was a strange way to meet new team members, some of
  • who haven’t met colleagues or any members face to face since they started. I
  • was impressed, though, with their enthusiasm and flexibility, some doing
  • secondments to jobs that were not what they applied for. I hope we can meet
  • them, and each other, face to face soon.
  •  
  • In spite of the pandemic the normal work of the council
  • continues such as work on the local plan and keeping in touch with our major
  • stakeholders, business as usual.
  •  
  • The start of the Christmas season for so many years has been
  • the switching on of the lights in Croxley. It was heart breaking to hear of the
  • death of 'Mr Christmas', as he was known locally, a day before this years 'switch
  • on'. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Farewell 'Mr Christmas',
  • thanks for all the joy and pleasure you gave to so many.
  •  
  • As this is our last Full Council before Christmas I would
  • like to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and, all being well, a much
  • better 2021 than 2020.
  •  
  • I know some restrictions are being lifted for a few days
  • over Christmas, but please please do take care to protect yourself and everyone
  • else from infection, we really do not want our 'Christmas break' to cause another
  • spike afterwards. And remember:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Questions to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the Council
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12g Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Michael Revan
  •  
  • When did our current local plan expire? When was our current
  • local plan due to originally be published and what is the new estimated
  • timeline?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • The Core Strategy, Development Management Policies LDD and
  • Site Allocations LDD which make up our current local plan for the District
  • doesn’t expire until 2026 and remains in place until the new Local Plan is
  • adopted.
  •  
  • The new Local Plan’s original publication date was
  • originally anticipated to be published in December 2018 as detailed in the
  • Local Development Scheme that was prepared in February 2017. The Local
  • Development Scheme (November 2020) anticipates the publication of the Local
  • Plan will be November/December 2021.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12h Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Marilyn Butler
  •  
  • Does this Council accept that any further delay to our local
  • plan at this stage will set the process back by at LEAST ONE Year if not two or
  • three?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • A delay in the production of the Local Plan can be due to a
  • number of issues, including but not limited to, changes in national planning
  • policy, the number of evidence based studies and delays to evidence based
  • studies that have to be prepared, decisions made by Committees and consultation
  • requirements. It will depend on the reason for a delay as to how long the Local
  • Plan process will be delayed. For example, the Government has recently
  • indicated that they are considering a levelling up between the north and south
  • of the Country though there is little or no detail to this as yet. This may
  • mean housing targets are reduced for our area and increased for more northern
  • parts of the Country. It has been announced that some Government departments
  • are to move to Birmingham from London for example. This may mean that by the
  • time we have to finally decide on sites are target numbers have reduced and the
  • Local Plan reviewed accordingly.
  •  
  • Legislation requires that the Local Development Scheme
  • (which sets out the timetable for the production of the Local Plan) is updated
  • on a regular basis and published on the Councils website to keep residents and
  • stakeholders informed.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12i Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Alison Wall
  •  
  • A Facebook post from a District Councillor stated that due
  • to Covid a review of sites and methodologies is needed in the local plan
  • process. What revisions are needed? What does this administration feel will be
  • the change needed in land use in the district post Covid, that would render all
  • work toward the local plan in need of review?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • The Covid situation has resulted in many of our residents
  • making more use of open spaces and we need to ensure that the Local Plan
  • contains policies that will protect these spaces and other community facilities
  • that people have come to rely on over the past months. There may be some
  • revisions needed to the Local Plan to accommodate this but this would not
  • render all work toward the Local Plan in need for review.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12j Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Paula Hiscocks
  •  
  • Does this Council have a greater obligation to approve development
  • applications that would otherwise be refused due to a lack of Local Plan?
  • Should our residents be worried that due to TRDC being unable to show a 5 year
  • housing supply a presumption in favour of development applies to all
  • applications?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • The Core Strategy, Development Management Policies LDD and
  • Site Allocations LDD which make up our current local plan for the District
  • remains in place until the new Local Plan is adopted. However, as we are unable
  • to demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, which has been the case since the
  • Government introduced the Standard Method for Calculating Housing Needs, the
  • presumption in favour of sustainable development has to be applied in the
  • consideration of planning applications.
  •  
  • We have been applying the presumption in favour of
  • sustainable development since December 2018. The presumption puts the onus on
  • national policy, however the Local Plan is still a material consideration in
  • decision making on planning applications. Being a Green Belt authority this has
  • meant very little has changed to planning committee decision making.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12k Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Stephen Cox
  •  
  • Does the Administration agree that the Government’s proposed
  • pay freeze for public sector works is unacceptable particularly when it is
  • those people that have been at the vanguard of keeping services to the general
  • public running during the present on-going pandemic?  If the Administration agree will the Leader
  • write to the Prime Minister advising him of this?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  • Although it is very disappointing that the Government has
  • recently announced a public sector pay freeze, this does seek to protect all
  • front-line medical workers and all public sector workers on below-median earnings,
  • but no increases to higher-paid public sector workers away from the medical
  • front line. At a time when so many in the private sector are seeing pay
  • freezes, pay cuts or losing their jobs, this does appear to give some balance.
  • Given that in August the Consumer Prices Index (12 month inflation rate) was
  • 0.5%, in September 0.7%, in October 0.9%, and likely to rise further due to
  • Covid and Brexit, people who have worked so hard keeping services running and
  • worked flexibly to support our residents, especially the most vulnerable, will
  • once again be hit with a reduction in earning in real terms. This is clearly
  • very disappointing and I wish it was not so, there are clearly going to be some
  • difficult decisions to be made in the coming months.​
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12l Question to Councillor Sarah Nelmes, Leader of the
  • Council from Councillor Alex Michaels
  •  
  • Can you please update the Council on local plan progress,
  • which seems to be stalling/delayed? Specifically, some Councillors asked for
  • new criteria to be introduced contrary to professional officer progress made,
  • which has since been ruled unlawful.  How
  • has this impacted the plan?  Can you also
  • please give your view on the impact on the District of presumption for
  • development, which is a consequence of a delayed local plan?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  • The majority of the work has been completed with regard to
  • the evidence based studies and the assessment of sites, including
  • infrastructure considerations such as education establishments for which we
  • rely on the county council. There are still some pieces to be completed, for
  • example the Transports Assessment which we rely on the County Council for
  • assistance. The majority of the policies that will form part of the Local Plan
  • have already been approved by Policy and Resources Committee and can be viewed
  • from the Council web site at the following links:
  •  
  • https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/meeting/policy-and-resources-committee-20-july-2020
  • (see Item 6)
  •  
  • https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/meeting/policy-and-resources-committee-7-september-2020
  • (see Item 5).
  •  
  • The revised Local Development Scheme that has been approved
  • by the Policy & Resources Committee and to be approved by Full Council on
  • the 8 December sets out the timetable for the production of the Local Plan.
  •  
  • We have been applying the presumption in favour of
  • sustainable development since December 2018. The presumption puts the onus on
  • national policy, however the Local Plan is still a material consideration in
  • decision making on planning applications. Being a Green Belt authority this has
  • meant very little has changed to planning committee decision making.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  •  
  • Reports from the Lead Member for Transport and Economic
  • Development (Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst), Lead Member for Infrastructure and
  • Planning Policy (Cllr Steve Drury), Lead Member for Housing (Cllr Andrew
  • Scarth).
  •  
  • 12m Report from Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead
  • Member for Transport and Economic Development
  •  
  • Rickmansworth High Street
  •  
  • The County Council has now installed the more user friendly
  • “swing gates” and the “plastic “barriers have been removed. Additional signage
  • has been requested. I have followed up with the County Council the need for
  • some seating by the temporary bus stop in Northway.
  •  
  • They have confirmed that the bus stop has now been marked
  • with appropriate bus stop markings and pole. They are looking at installing a
  • shelter here, but the footway width isn't particularly generous so will
  • probably require a narrow roof-type shelter to be installed.  They hope to go on site to determine what's
  • possible once the current lockdown situation is eased, but the shelter company
  • has been advised.
  •  
  • Ebury Road
  •  
  • We are progressing to include further short stay car parking
  • bays (near the car park) close the High Street.
  •  
  • Croxley Green Controlled Parking Zone
  •  
  • The Statuary advertisement has finished and the comments
  • will be reviewed by myself and officers within the next week to see if any
  • changes are required. Pending this we expect to publish the final order which
  • will come into effect six weeks later. I have asked officers to set up a
  • contractor to install the required signage etc. as soon as possible after this
  • date and still anticipate that the scheme will be up and running before the end
  • of the fiscal year.
  •  
  • Rickmansworth West Controlled Park.
  •  
  • Meetings have been held with Ward Councillors and officers
  • are progressing to the next stage of consultation with, for some roads, a
  • separate letter seeking confirmation of inclusion or not, due to some generic
  • objection letters.
  •  
  • Pavement Parking consultation
  •  
  • A response to the Government consultation has been submitted
  • making it clear that any blanket prohibition, with possible exemptions, would
  • require substantial enforcement powers and staffing.  We are proposing that this rests with the
  • Police.
  •  
  • Delta Gain shopping parade upgrade
  •  
  • We still await full legal agreement from the land owner
  • before works can progress.
  •  
  • Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs)
  •  
  • I have attended a workshop with other Councillors on
  • developing this plan for Three Rivers and Watford led by the County
  • Council.  We had a valuable discussion on
  • a proposed cycle network and core walking zones (CWZs) (and routes).
  •  
  • High Elms Lane works
  •  
  • The County Council has finally responded on the plans for
  • improvements here to enhance safety and parking. A detailed breakdown of
  • undertaking work section by section is now been sought.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12n Question to Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead
  • Member for Transport and Economic Development from Councillor Alex Hayward
  •  
  • Why have we failed our residents and issued PCN fines during
  • lockdown when many people have to work from home?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • Parking Enforcement has continued during the 2nd lockdown,
  • the decision to maintain the service taken having regard to the length and
  • context of the current lockdown.  Whilst
  • it was acknowledged many residents would continue to remain at home, many
  • premises remained open and accessible resulting in traffic on our local
  • roads.  It was considered appropriate to
  • ensure parking enforcement was maintained to ensure the safe and free flow of
  • traffic on our roads and in our car parks. 
  • This decision was also taken having regard to general advice issued from
  • the British Parking Association and the actions of our neighbouring
  • authorities.
  •  
  • 12o Question to Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead
  • Member for Transport and Economic Development from Councillor Joan King
  •  
  • As the Government has announced it is bringing forward a ban
  • on new petrol and diesel cars in the UK to 2030 and we should all be going
  • electric, what publicly available charging points have been installed to date
  • in the Three Rivers District Council area and how many of those are on land
  • owned by this authority.  What plans
  • exist for this council to expedite the roll-out of electricity charging points
  • for cars in the District?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  •  The District has the
  • highest number of publicly-accessible charge points in Herts (42 out of 182
  • across Hertfordshire in April 2020). This is over twice the regional average
  • (which is 20 per 100k popn) but a third lower than London (63 per 100k popn).
  • While 2 are on District Council land, most are provided commercially
  • While Government grants have not been made available since
  • 2015 for introducing public charging infrastructure (which like petrol pumps
  • are often provided by the market), this Council’s Retail Parade Revitalisation
  • Programme includes plans to introduce charging points in District car parks
  • this year, specifically to enable and encourage drivers to visit local shops.
  • A pilot scheme will launch in Abbots Langley and
  • Rickmansworth, with further points planned in all the District Centres if this
  • scheme proves popular.
  • The Parking Standards draft policy approved by the Local
  • Plan sub-committee and Policy & Resources Committee for the new Local Plan
  • encourages the delivery of infrastructure to support the use of low carbon
  • transport, including requiring electric vehicle charging points to be provided
  • as part of new development.
  • 12p Question to Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead
  • Member for Transport and Economic Development from Councillor Stephen King
  •  
  • Large vehicles, including dustcarts, have been seen
  • constantly driving over grass verges at the entrance to Mullion Walk which has
  • had the effect of blocking the gullies, leading to flooding, and an unsightly
  • mess and creates hazardous conditions. 
  • Given the county council refuses to widen the splay at the entrance will
  • this council commit to hardening the verges as required to improve the
  • environment for residents?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  • Yes, the District Council is planning to install hardening
  • on one side and is looking into access by refuse vehicles.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12q Question to Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead
  • Member for Transport and Economic Development from Councillor Stephen Cox
  •  
  • Can I be assured that this Council has not subsidised bus
  • services on the W19 route which have been axed and therefore not operated
  • during the on-going pandemic?
  •  
  •  Updated written
  • response:
  •  
  • Additional information has been received from HCC regarding
  • the W19 bus route
  •  
  •  The W19 service has
  • not been axed but did not operate between March lockdown to June; it was
  • reinstated on the 1 June except for two journeys (1939 and 2039) which still
  • aren’t running.
  •  
  •  However, HCC have
  • confirmed ‘the government rules are that LA’s (which includes districts and
  • boroughs) have to continue paying operators the pre-Covid amounts.
  •  
  •  The early morning and
  • early evening routes are still therefore being subsidised by TRDC.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  12r Report from
  • Councillor Steve Drury, Lead Member for Infrastructure and Planning Policy
  •  
  • There is no report from the Lead Member for Infrastructure
  • and Planning Policy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12s Question to Councillor Steve Drury, Lead Member for
  • Infrastructure and Planning Policy from Councillor Reena Ranger
  •  
  • Does this Administration believe that elected
  • representatives are there at the behest of residents, elected to protect,
  • preserve and enhance the District to the very best of our abilities? That
  • Councillors should act in the interest of all residents, our communities and District
  • above self-interest and it is its duty to ensure good planning, suitable
  • development and have a clear vision for the District, as it is vital to serve
  • future generations and keep the District a special place for all who reside
  • here.
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • I certainly agree that elected representatives are here for
  • residents and should act for all. For planning and development matters the
  • Council must, in planning for the future, have full regard to National Planning
  • policy, and also housing numbers prescribed to us by MHCLG. All efforts are
  • made to achieve the best for our residents both now and in the future, given
  • those requirements.​
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12t Report from Councillor Andrew Scarth, Lead Member for
  • Housing
  •  
  •  Following an
  • ‘Everyone in’ directive from central Government regarding assisting rough
  • sleepers or those of risk of rough sleeping, I am delighted that even with a
  • very short deadline for application, the Head of Housing has been successful
  • with two bids; one short term funding of £35,940 to work with clients that are
  • still in temporary accommodation. This has to be spent in 2020/21.
  •  
  •  
  •  The long-term scheme
  • has resulted in the Council being granted £513,015 to enable it to deliver five
  • long-term assets in the form of supported move-on homes for people recovering
  • from rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping. New Hope trust will be
  • supporting such clients. Due to grant conditions, Watford Community Housing
  • will own and manage the properties with legal agreement from the Council.
  •  
  •  
  • On 16 November, the Head of Housing and myself had a good
  • virtual meeting with Tina Barnard; CEO of Watford Community Housing who went
  • through the Housing Association’s (HA) new Business Plan 2020 -2025. It was
  • good to note that this HA wished to remain local and keep in touch with its
  • tenants as well as looking at joint ventures.
  •  
  •  
  • 12u Question to Councillor Andrew Scarth, Lead Member for
  • Housing from Councillor Alex Michaels
  •  
  • Can you please update Council on progress made towards
  • readying TRDC to accept additional refugees since the motion passed in
  • September? Do you support Council's motion?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  • Following agreement of the motion at the Extra Council
  • meeting on 1 September 2020, a report was presented at Policy and Resources
  • Committee on 7 September. P&R agreed that the resettlement programme does
  • not begin until 2021/22. However, in accordance with the report presented to
  • P&R, as a new resource is required, work has begun on the job description
  • and person specification for the new post so that we are prepared in time for
  • the new financial year.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • LEISURE, ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY
  •  
  • Reports from the Lead Member for Leisure (Cllr Chris Lloyd),
  • Lead Member for Environmental Services & Sustainability (Cllr Phil
  • Williams), Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships (Cllr Roger
  • Seabourne) and questions.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12v Report from Councillor Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for
  • Leisure
  •  
  • On Thursday 26 November we found that we are in Tier 2.
  •  
  • At the Leisure Environment and Community Committee we
  • received an update on Watersmeet.  We
  • have made use of the Government grant to put in safety measures and have
  • reduced numbers. The first film is due to be shown on 9 December 2020.
  •  
  • Rickmansworth Golf Course, William Penn Leisure Centre,
  • South Oxhey Leisure Centre and SJA MUGA have reopened on 2 December. They play
  • important in mental health as well as physical health. I would like to thank
  • all the staff at Everyone Active who have made this possible.
  •  
  • We are also due to open the tennis courts and MUGAs along
  • with outdoor Gyms and Skate parks from 2 December.   This will be confirmed in my verbal update
  • at Full Council. We still need to follow social distancing measurers.  The Leisure Environment and Community
  • Committee recently considered and recommended for approval as part of the
  • budget setting process a PID for replacing the current equipment over a 3 year
  • plan.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12w Report from Councillor Phil Williams, Lead Member for
  • Environmental Services and Sustainability
  •  
  • 71 trees have been ordered. This includes the 50 trees that
  • fell in storms, 2 for the 750 year celebration at St Mary’s, 8 to replace the 4
  • which will be removed from the depot, and the remainder to replace dangerous or
  • trees throughout the District.
  •  
  • Half of the funding for the storm damaged trees (£3,750)
  • will be from the Climate Change budget. 11 of these have been sourced from a
  • new supplier in Hertfordshire who specialise in locally grown native trees.
  •  
  • Charlotte Gomes has been linking with Jo Hewitson on the
  • Climate Change strategy as part of the Youth Council. Proposal to Youth Council
  • for a project to look at idling engines outside of schools. The children will
  • then propose a way to tackle it. For all those who take part, we can provide
  • them with wildflower seeds and some information on how to create a wildflower
  • area on their school grounds.
  •  
  • Leavesden Country Park has been awarded a Defra Bees’ Needs
  • Champions Award 2020 for its work helping to protect bees.
  •  
  • The Trees and Landscape Strategy will be led by the new
  • Principal Tree and Landscape Officer who will advise timescales accordingly.
  •  
  • Principal Tree and Landscape Officer appointed – Alex
  • Laurie.  Due to commence on 7 December.
  •  
  • Grant application submitted for Public Sector Low Carbon
  • Skills Fund to employ a consultant to asses and apply for £1 million of funding
  • from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Capital Fund. This would be used for a
  • deep retrofit of Three Rivers House, Watersmeet and Maple Cross Sports
  • Pavilion.
  •  
  • The Climate Change Consultation has now concluded, having
  • shared the strategy at the Environmental and Local Area Forums, Croxley Danes
  • School student environment group, and carrying out a social media campaign.
  • Over 150 responses have been received at time of writing, and credit must be
  • given to Elen Roberts and Jo Hewitson for a great job.
  •  
  • Following the consultations, officers have commenced
  • engagement with informed residents and environmental groups to begin informing
  • a Climate Crisis Action Plan and improve communication and engagement with the
  • wider community
  •  
  • Our recycling rate has increased from 63% (in 2018/19) to 64.1%
  • (in 2019/20) making us top in Hertfordshire and third in the country. We are
  • awaiting where 64.1% will put us nationally for 2019/20. Full credit must be
  • given to our expert in this field, Jennie Probert and her team.
  •  
  • Cemeteries - the memorial garden at Woodcock Hill Cemetery
  • is almost complete.
  •  
  • A water partnership group is being formed to tackle the
  • problem of over abstraction and pollution of our chalk steams, the river Colne,
  • and to ensure safe and sufficient water supply through this century.
  •  
  • An Environmental Science graduate Ellie Nathan – has joined
  • the team in a voluntary capacity to aid us in calculating the District’s
  • current emissions.
  •  
  • We are submitting a bid to win funds from Green Homes Grant
  • Local Authority Delivery for low income low EPC homes identified by an
  • assessment of all properties in the District carried out by the Energy Saving
  • Trust. The target is to move 150 homes out of fuel poverty by improving thermal
  • performance. One of these bids is working in conjunction with Watford Community
  • Housing who will in addition be improving approximately 100 homes in our
  • District.
  •  
  • We have provided Watford and Three Rivers Trust with a grant
  • for £10,000 to voluntary organisations that are struggling as a result of
  • Covid. The grant is to support voluntary groups whose aim is to tackle climate
  • change and sustainability issues, or unrelated charities who need help to carry
  • out sustainability initiatives as part of their climate change action plan.
  •  
  • We will be assisting Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust to
  • improve 350m of the River Gade which will establish a corridor to enable 2
  • populations of water voles on either side to mix and thus help ensure their
  • future.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12x Question to Councillor Phil Williams, Lead Member for
  • Environmental Services and Sustainability from Councillor Paula Hiscocks
  •  
  • With the green energy initiatives such as solar panels on
  • Council owned buildings, can we be advised how much income/ savings this has
  • generated over the last 2 years
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • The response to this question is particularly complex.  Officers will try to get a written answer to
  • the Lead Member in time for it to be circulated to Members for the
  • meeting.  Under Rule 14(2) it does allow
  • that “In exceptional circumstances a written answer will be circulated at the
  • meeting. If the matter is particularly complex, a written answer may be
  • circulated to all Members as soon as practicable after the meeting and a record
  • kept with the minutes of the meeting.”
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12y Question to Councillor Phil Williams, Lead Member for
  • Environmental Services and Sustainability from Councillor Alison Wall
  •  
  • Please can you direct us to the register of all green
  • measures on TRDC land or buildings?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • We do not currently have a register of green measures. Green
  • initiatives were managed as part of the Green Expectations Action Plan, the
  • latest update took place in January 2020 and can be found in the climate change
  • section (item 8) of the Full Council meeting on 25 February 2020 – link
  • provided below:
  •  
  • https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/meeting/full-council-25-february-2020
  •  
  • We are presently consulting on the new strategy and then a
  • new action plan will be written in the first part of 2021 which will include
  • green measures.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12z Question to Councillor Phil Williams, Lead Member for
  • Environmental Services and Sustainability from Councillor Alex Michaels
  •  
  • We declared a climate emergency in May 2019. Little progress
  • has been made. The motion called for a strategy to be in place by December
  • 2019. We are now a year on and no such strategy has been forthcoming
  • (admittedly a flimsy vision has been produced). As discussed a lot of these
  • steps are things we could have done immediately and some in instances things
  • that we could stop doing (as opposed to time consuming or costly things to
  • start doing, e.g. cutting verges on a large scale). Some of these have now been
  • discussed on multiple occasions. What do you think the impact is of the 18
  • month lag in seeing action? Public consensus on the matter through media outlets
  • widely available is clear they want action.
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • The Draft Climate Change Strategy finished consultation on
  • 30 November. This will be reviewed and re-presented to the Leisure Committee in
  • January. Thereafter an Action Plan will be written. Throughout the consultation
  • process we have engaged with a number of local activists all of whom will have
  • helped to add breadth to the final strategy. During the 6 months since an
  • officer has been in post a number of initiatives have been commenced this
  • includes; an application for grant funding to improve the carbon emissions of 4
  • public sector buildings, application to Green Homes Grant funding together with
  • the supply chain to lift 150 homes out of fuel poverty by fabric improvements
  • to their homes,  measurement of District
  • and TRDC operation carbon emissions in order to inform target setting for
  • action plan, an analysis of the carbon 
  • emission of every building in the district – the results of which will
  • be used to inform the action plan, preparation to assess the Biodiversity
  • opportunities of the District’s land, a water action plan for County led by our
  • officer to help lead the way reducing water consumption and pollution of the
  • chalk rivers. We have also recently agreed to set up a water partnership group,
  • and support to Herts and Middlesex wildlife trust to open up a stretch of the
  • River Gade to allow free movement of water voles and other wildlife. Watford
  • and Three Rivers Trust are also launching a community grants fund in
  • partnership with Three Rivers DC to offer funding to community groups and
  • charities to recover from Covid in a more sustainable way and support climate
  • change. 
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12aa Question to Councillor Phil Williams, Lead Member for
  • Environmental Services and Sustainability from Councillor Reena Ranger
  •  
  • The recently unanimously passed motion to have one tree
  • plant for everyone removed, will this Council agree to increase the number of
  • trees from one to two to move into line with Hertfordshire County Council?
  •  
  • Written response:
  •  
  • This will be considered as part of the Climate Change Action
  • plan.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12bb Report from Councillor Roger Seabourne, Lead Member for
  • Community Safety and Partnerships
  •  
  •  As many Members may
  • be aware, Andy Stovold has left the Council’s employment.  I did not get the opportunity to say
  • “goodbye” and I was not able to wish him well.
  •  
  •  Aimee Carson, another
  • successful product of our own ‘academy’, has also left.  You would (under normal circumstances) still
  • have seen her around as she is, very kindly, helping us out until her
  • replacement is able to take up post. 
  • Hopefully we will still see her around after that as she was effectively
  • “head hunted” by the police who saw the quality of the work she was doing.  I was able to thank her and wish her well.
  •  
  •  I have continued to
  • have regular meetings and briefings with officers, police, the Police
  • Commissioners office as well as colleagues in other Districts since I last had
  • the opportunity to report to Council. 
  • The patterns we have been seeing are not significantly different to any
  • of the other 9 Districts.
  •  
  •  Whilst it is a sad
  • fact that some aspects of our work have seen massive increases, in particular
  • the amount of domestic abuse, I have been amazed and truly impressed by the
  • amount and quality of the partnership work that has been carried out. If there
  • are any “silver linings” to this terrible pandemic, one is that new productive
  • partnerships have been formed and existing ones strengthened in order to help
  • deal with some of the issues.  I am sure
  • you will all have noted Shivani’s weekly Partnership Bulletins, what they do
  • not show is the amount of work going into all of that. 
  •  
  •  My main concern is
  • what might happen with the domestic violence caseload over the next few months
  • as restrictions get tighter, there are fewer opportunities to “get out”,
  • tolerance levels are lower generally and we move into the time of year when
  • reports usually rise anyway.  (NB this
  • was written before the announcement of a second lockdown).
  •  
  •  While quarterly
  • reports have, up until now, been suitable to minimise the likelihood of ‘blips’
  • perhaps indicating false trends, I have asked for more regular reports as we
  • enter this critical time.
  •  
  •  Although the number
  • and the increase in the number of reports is of great concern, it is pleasing
  • to note so many residents obviously now have the confidence to report incidents
  • in an area where there has always been a reluctance to report and underreporting
  • has always been an issue.  It is also
  • good to note that the number of positive outcomes from police intervention (in
  • percentage as well as actual terms) has increased considerably compared to last
  • year.  However, like the virus itself,
  • what we do not know is how many cases are out there that we are not aware of.
  •  
  •  I am happy to receive
  • any questions and answer them by email should Members prefer to do that rather
  • than wait until the Council meeting.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • RESOURCES AND SHARED SERVICES
  •  12cc Report from
  • Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for Resources and Shared Services
  •  Updates from the
  • national Government spending review 25 November:
  •  
  • The announcements around Local Government funding were in
  • line with previous expectations and the overall message for District
  • Authorities is ‘No change’. The detail of the settlement is expected in late
  • December. We may benefit from some of the additional funding announced for
  • Covid-related costs and rough sleeping. The pay-freeze for higher-paid public
  • sector workers does not directly impact local government but may still be
  • followed. As further information becomes available, it will be incorporated
  • into the Council’s budget-setting process.
  •  
  • Business rates will be frozen next year (rather than rising
  • in line with inflation) but Councils will be fully compensated for this.  There will be no other changes to business
  • rates next year pending publication of the conclusions of the full review of
  • business rates in spring 2021.
  •  
  • Implications of Croydon Council’s s114 notice
  •  
  • Croydon Council published a report into the causes of their
  • financial crisis on 13 November showing that one of the key contributing
  • factors to Croydon’s difficulties was their housing development company. Officers
  • have reviewed the report to check if there are lessons for Three Rivers.
  • Officers have confirmed that Three Rivers’ arrangements differ significantly
  • from Croydon’s through stronger and more transparent reporting and governance;
  • and through all developments handled as partnerships with Housing Providers who
  • have expertise in development and management of housing stock.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12dd Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor David Raw
  •  
  •  Can this Council
  • itemise the top 5 savings they have made this financial year.
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  • Per the period 6 budget monitoring these are:
  •  
  • £73k saving in temporary staffing in Leisure
  •  
  • £23k saving on hiring of rooms for Active Community
  • Development Fund
  •  
  • £34k due to additional transport subsidy from HCC
  •  
  • £15k additional building control income
  •  
  • £71k additional property income
  •  
  • These will be updated at Period 8.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12ee Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Stephen Cox
  •  
  •  What plans, if any,
  • does this authority have to bring the Pavilion in Green Lane, back in to local
  • community use, instead of being for private hire?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  •  None presently the
  • property is let on a long lease.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 12ff Question to Councillor Matthew Bedford, Lead Member for
  • Resources and Shared Services from Councillor Alex Michaels
  •  
  • Can you please update Council on property investment
  • outlook? One tenant has not paid rent since 25 March 2019, is this still the
  • case and what annual cost is this to TRDC, including indirect costs such as
  • officer time and any services (e.g. debt collection). Are there any other costs
  • from these other properties?
  •  
  •  Written response:
  •  
  •  The only shortfall is
  • with Jigsaw who are on a CVA currently paying 20% of their rent plus top up
  • turnover rent.  Jigsaw full rent is £5k
  • per month.  The impact of the reduction
  • in rent income is included in the Council's budget monitoring reports and
  • mid-term financial planning."

Minutes: none

13. REPORTS AND QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIRS OF AUDIT, PLANNING, LICENSING AND REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEES (RULE 14)

  • AUDIT COMMITTEE
  •  
  • Report from and questions to the Chair of the Audit
  • Committee (Cllr Margaret Hofman).
  •  
  • Report from Councillor Margaret Hofman, Chair of the Audit
  • Committee
  •  
  • Due to Covid 19, the publication date of audited accounts
  • for all local authorities moved from July to November.  Draft statutory accounts for TRDC have been
  • published and are available to view on the Council’s website.
  •  
  •  However, the external
  • audit of the draft statement of accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 has
  • not yet been completed by our external auditors due to resources pressures as
  • additional audit work has been required due to pandemic.
  •  
  •  Due to unknown impact
  • of COVID 19, the Audit Committee has requested additional information and more
  • frequent reporting from officers so that the Committee can perform its key role
  • more effectively. That is as a source of assurance about the Council’s
  • arrangements for managing risk, internal controls and reporting on financial
  • and non- financial performance.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • PLANNING COMMITTEE
  •  
  • Report from and questions to the Chair of the Planning
  • Committee (Cllr Chris Lloyd).
  •  
  • There is no report from the Chair of the Planning Committee.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • LICENSING
  •  
  • Report from and questions to the Chair of the Licensing
  • Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett).
  •  
  • There is no report from the Chair of the Licensing Committee
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • REGULATORY SERVICES
  •  
  • Report from and questions to the Chair of the Regulatory
  • Services Committee (Cllr Martin Trevett).
  •  
  • There is no report from the Chair of the Regulatory Services
  • Committe

Minutes: none

14. MOTIONS UNDER PROCEDURE RULE 11

  • 1. Councillor Joan King, seconded by Councillor Stephen Cox,
  • Councillor Sarah Nelmes, and Councillor Alison Scarth to move the amended
  • motion under Notice duly given as follows:
  •  
  • This Council notes:
  •  
  • Fireworks are an important part of British life and that
  • letting them off responsibly for celebratory reasons such as important events,
  • including religious festivals provides entertainment, a spectacle, joy and
  • spiritual comfort. Whilst acknowledging that fireworks can bring much enjoyment
  • to some, they can cause significant injury, problems and fear for other people
  • and animals.  In particular, the sudden
  • loud noises that many fireworks make can cause distress.
  •  
  •  This Council
  • resolves:
  •  
  • to require all public firework displays within the local
  • authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing
  • residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people
  • to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the
  • impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the
  • precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks and encouragement to consider
  • the use of lower noise fireworks(under 90dB)
  • to write to the Government urging it to introduce
  • legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90 decibels for
  • those sold to the public for private displays
  • to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock lower
  • noise fireworks both for private use or public display.
  •  
  •  
  • Motion 2 Councillor Paula Hiscocks, seconded by Councillor
  • Alison Wall to move under notice duly given as follows:
  •  
  • Will this Council collectively express their sympathy and
  • immense gratitude for the service the late Mr Christmas, Mr Dave Edwards, gave
  • to the residents of Croxley and wider Three Rivers community and for embodying
  • the Christmas spirt through his light displays and supporting charities. Can
  • this Council send a letter with these sentiments on behalf of all at TRDC to
  • his family.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Motion 3 has been withdrawn. Members are referred to Motion
  • 1 above.
  •  
  •                                                        
  •                                                
  •  
  • Joanne Wagstaffe
  •  
  • Chief Executive

Minutes: none