Agenda, decisions and minutes

Online Meeting, Response and Recovery Committee
Thursday 25 March 2021 7:30 pm

You can view the individual reports for this meeting by selecting the headings from the numbered list of items at the bottom of this page. Alternatively you can view the entire agenda by selecting 'Agenda Reports Pack' below.

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Venue: This meeting will be broadcast live on the Council’s YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Contact: Fiona Cotter, Democratic Services Team Leader  Tel: 0208 547 4607/email  fiona.cotter@kingston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

97.

Public Question Time

A period of up to 30 minutes during which any resident of the Borough or representative of organisations operating within the Borough (other than members of the Council) may ask questions on matters relevant to the Committee.

 

Questions must be submitted in writing to democratic services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am on the working day prior to the meeting (Wednesday 24 March 2021)

 

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted by members of the public.

98.

Petitions

To receive petitions which have not already been submitted electronically or in hard copy by Councillors or members of the public who live, work or study in the Borough. The petition must contain at least 20 signatures, and notice of the intention to submit the petition is given in writing to democratic.services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am on the last working day prior to the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No petitions had been submitted.

99.

Apologies for Absence and Attendance of Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

100.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Committee are invited to declare any pecuniary interests and any non-pecuniary (personal interests) relevant to items on the agenda.

Minutes:

As one of the Council’s representatives on the Cambridge Road Estate Joint Venture company, although Councillor Dunstone did not consider she had any conflict of interest, out of an abundance of caution, and in the interests of transparency, Councillor Dunstone withdrew from the debate and voting on this item.

101.

Minutes

To confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 February 2021 and to authorise the Chair to sign them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Response and Recovery Committee held on 16 February 2021 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

102.

Cambridge Road Estate - Programme Delivery pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To brief Members on the use of Compulsory Purchase powers and to seek a resolution to use these powers as a last resort to acquire land within the boundary of the proposed CPO1 area of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration scheme.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

1)    Subject to the Executive Director of Place being satisfied in relation to the progress of the planning application for the development, authorise the making of a CPO (“the Order”) under Section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ("the 1990 Act") to acquire the outstanding interests in the land shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 (“the Order Land”) and the submission of the Order to the Secretary of State for confirmation, and authorise the confirmation of the Order if the Council is given the power to do so by the Secretary of State under Section 14A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

 

2)    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to make any minor changes considered necessary to the Order Land and to finalise the Statement of Reasons to support the Order.

 

3)    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to issue notices and carry out actions under Section 172 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and where necessary, to enter on to land and carry out a survey of any land which the Council proposes to acquire compulsorily.

 

4)    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health and following confirmation of the Order, to publish and serve notice of confirmation of the Order, together with notice of the Council’s intention to make a General Vesting Declaration (“GVD”), and to make one or more GVDs (and to serve all appropriate notices in connection therewith) or to serve notices to treat and notices of entry (as appropriate) in respect of the Order Land.

 

5)    Authorise the use of powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to secure the removal of any apparatus of statutory undertakers or communication code operators from the land shown coloured pink on the Map.

 

6)    Authorise the acquisition by agreement of all third party interests in and over the Order Land under Section 227 of the 1990 Act before or after confirmation of the Order and in respect of any new rights required for the development or use of the Order Land.

 

7)    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to enter into agreements and to make undertakings, contracts and transfers on behalf of the Council with third parties with interests in the Order Land.

 

8)    Authorise Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to reach agreement with parties otherwise affected by the Order in order to secure the withdrawal of objections to the confirmation of the Order, including but not limited to  ...  view the full decision text for item 102.

Minutes:

(Note: Councillor Dunstone withdrew from the virtual meeting at this point and took no part in the deliberations on this item)

 

The Committee received and considered a report which briefed Members on the use of Compulsory Purchase powers and which sought a recommendation to Council to use these powers to acquire land within the boundary of the proposed CPO1 area of the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration scheme as a last resort if interests could not be acquired by agreement or negotiation.

 

Having considered the project requirements, programme duration and phasing it was not considered appropriate to make a single CPO covering the whole Estate. Instead, if necessary, there would be a series of CPOs, the first of which would be CPO1 (the area identified in Annex 1 to the report).

 

Guidance on the Compulsory Purchase Process and the Crichel Down Rules (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, February 2018) required acquiring authorities to consider at what point the land it was seeking to acquire would be needed and that they should plan a compulsory purchase timetable at the same time as conducting negotiations, which were currently on going.

 

It was considered that the acquisition of the land identified in CPO1 would facilitate the redevelopment or improvement of the land and was likely to contribute to all of the objectives set out in S226 (1A) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004).  It would ensure delivery of Phases 1 and 2 of the redevelopment programme and would provide a balance between achieving the redevelopment objectives, funding requirements (GLA Housing Zone & Building Council Homes for Londoners funding milestones), cost effectiveness and risks.

 

The CPO would need to be confirmed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Government (MHCLG), who would consider any objections to the making of the Order before reaching a decision. This process was expected to take ten to twelve months.

 

Subject to the exercise of the delegations, particularly in reference to recommendations 7 & 8, being reported back to members, it

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

1)    Subject to the Executive Director of Place being satisfied in relation to the progress of the planning application for the development, authorise the making of a CPO (“the Order”) under Section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ("the 1990 Act") to acquire the outstanding interests in the land shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 (“the Order Land”) and the submission of the Order to the Secretary of State for confirmation, and authorise the confirmation of the Order if the Council is given the power to do so by the Secretary of State under Section 14A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

 

2)    Authorise the Executive Director of Place, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, to make any minor changes considered necessary to the Order Land and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Review of Constitutional Arrangements pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To set out proposals for the streamlining of the Strategic Committee structure and a number of minor amendments to the Council’s constitutional arrangements and Contract Regulations.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

1)    the Corporate and Resources, Place and People Strategic Committees be established with the membership arrangements set out in paragraphs 22-26 and the terms of reference at Annex 1 to replace the current Strategic Committees and the temporary Response and Recovery Committee and Culture, Housing, Planning and Environment Committee with effect from the commencement of the 2021/22 Municipal Year;

 

2)    the rules of political proportionality be disapplied in respect of the seats allocated on the Strategic Committees as set out in paragraph 24.*

 

3)    the timetable of meetings for the 2021/22 Municipal Year, as set out at Annex 2, be approved.

 

4)    the Corporate Head of Democratic and Electoral Services, in consultation with the relevant Committee Chairs, be authorised to make any amendments to the timetable of meetings as prove to be necessary during the course of the Municipal Year;

 

5)    the proposals set out at Annexes 4 and 5 for changes to the constitutional arrangements and Contract Regulations be approved with effect from the commencement of the 2021/22 Municipal Year; and

 

6)    the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any further consequential minor changes arising from the proposals set out above as may be required, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Community and Engagement

 

 * In order to give effect to item (2) above no Member at Council must vote against it

Minutes:

(Note: Councillor Dunstone re-joined the virtual meeting at this point)

 

A report was presented to the Committee which set out proposals for the streamlining of the Strategic Committee structure and a number of minor amendments to the Council’s constitutional arrangements and Contract Regulations.

 

The report recommended a reduction in the number of Strategic Committees from five to three. This was designed to better fit current and anticipated volumes of business, enhance the quality and effectiveness of the decision making process and increase the capacity of Members through the release of time for casework and training and development activities. It would also enable both Members and Officers to better focus on the achievement of corporate priorities.

 

The three Committees, which would replace the established Strategic Committees and the temporary Committees operating during the Covid-19 pandemic, were broadly based on the separation of functions into Place and People based services together with a Committee with oversight of corporate resources and policy direction and their proposed terms of reference set out at Annex 1 to the report.

 

It was proposed that 13 Members serve on each Committee rather than 11 at present so as to provide a total of 39 seats, thereby ensuring that almost all Members who might wish to serve on a Strategic Committee could do so while still achieving a reduction from the present total of 55 seats. The political proportionality requirements could be waived to provide sufficient seats to the Conservative Group with a view to all Opposition Spokespersons in receipt of a Special Responsibility Allowance being able to sit on the relevant Committee and also to enable a seat to be allocated to the Member representing the Green Party.

 

A calendar of meetings for the 2021/22 Municipal Year based on these new arrangements was set out at Annex 2 to the report. Except for the reduction in Strategic Committees it is broadly similar to the arrangements agreed for 2019/20 which was the last time meetings were held in person.

 

The report also set out a number of proposed changes to the Council’s constitutional arrangements, including the Meeting Procedure Rules and Call-In Procedure Rules as well as recommending that the State of the Borough meeting no longer be a formal meeting of Council. A refresh of the Contract Regulations to ensure alignment with amendments to the Public Procurement Regulations following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU was also required.

 

Having noted a request that a future review consider the balance of delegation between officers and members and the reporting of the decisions which were about to be made, it was

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that:

 

1)    the Corporate and Resources, Place and People Strategic Committees be established with the membership arrangements set out in paragraphs 22-26 and the terms of reference at Annex 1 to replace the current Strategic Committees and the temporary Response and Recovery Committee and Culture, Housing, Planning and Environment Committee with effect from the commencement of the 2021/22 Municipal Year;

 

2)    the rules of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring 2020/21 - Month 9 pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To report the revenue and capital monitoring forecast outturn positions for 2020/21, including an updated financial impact of COVID-19 and note the way in which this will impact on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the forecast outturn position in respect of the General Fund for 2020/21 be noted;

 

2)    the 2020/21 forecast outturn position on the Housing Revenue Account be noted;

 

3)    the forecast in respect of the Schools Budget and the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for 2020/21 be noted;

 

4)    the forecast outturn position in respect of the capital programme for 2020/21 to 2023/24 be noted.

Minutes:

A report was presented to committee reporting on the revenue and capital monitoring forecast outturn positions for 2020/21 based on monitoring at month 9, which included an update on the financial impact of COVID-19 and noted the way in which this would impact on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the setting of next year’s budget.

 

The restrictions necessitated by the pandemic and their gradual lifting would have a lasting impact on the council’s financial position that was difficult to quantify.  There remained a high level of uncertainty on how and at what rate the economy and society could return to a ‘new normal’, the extent of the adverse impact on the economy and the knock on impact on the Council. Therefore it was difficult to forecast the impact on the Council’s in-year finances or medium term strategy.

 

Since November last year, there had been a number of additional ring-fenced grants allocated to local authorities to deal with pressures and additional requirements arising out of the pandemic response.  These grants were matched by increased expenditure and thus affected the net forecast variance. Claims had been submitted to Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for loss of fees and charges income for April to November totalling £5.2m and an estimate for the full year had been included of £7.6m (although this was subject to change with the ongoing impact of the national lockdown and COVID restrictions).

 

The impact of the pandemic on the Council’s future income sources was profound and would lead to a deficit in the Council Collection fund which would need to be provided for from the general fund. The MHCLG had issued details on how the collection fund deficits would be spread over the next three years: the estimated deficit in relation to 2020/21 had to be apportioned equally into 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24. The Council therefore had to set aside money in the General Fund to repay its share of the deficit into the Collection Fund over this time frame. At present Kingston’s share of the 2020/21 losses would be £5.553m for business rates and £2.478m for Council Tax, although the Council would receive additional funding to meet 75% of irrecoverable losses from Council Tax and Business Rates incurred during 2020/21.

 

The forecast revenue outturn position at month 9 was a nil variance, which was in line with the forecast at month 6.

 

The Council’s General Fund balance was held to mitigate against the financial risks inherent in delivering Council services. At the start of the year the general fund balance was £16.133m. The 2020/21 budget included a contribution of £3.5m to the General Fund Balance. The year-end balance would therefore be £19.633m if the balanced outturn position currently forecast was achieved.

 

In order to more closely monitor the delivery of savings plans in year, and in line with the process used in previous years, budget managers have been asked to provide a Red, Amber or Green (RAG) rating for all savings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.

105.

Urgent Items Authorised by the Chair

Minutes:

The Committee received an urgent item to note authorised by the Chair in order to comply with the Constitutional requirement to report urgent decisions taken under Procedural Rule 30 to the next meeting of the appropriate committee.

 

The matter related to reporting the approval of the agreement and conditions between the Department for Education and the Council in respect of Safety Valve funding for the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) high needs block for the financial years from 2020-21 to 2025-26 which could not be made public at the date of publication of the Agenda.