Venue: Concorde Room, Council Offices, Farnborough
Contact: Chris Todd, Democratic Support Officer on 01252 398825 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Under the Council’s
Code of Conduct for Councillors, all Members are required to disclose relevant
Interests in any matter to be considered at the meeting. Where the matter
directly relates to a Member’s Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other
Registrable Interest, that Member must not participate in any discussion or
vote on the matter and must not remain in the room unless they have been
granted a dispensation (see note below). If the matter directly relates to
‘Non-Registrable Interests’, the Member’s participation in the meeting will
depend on the nature of the matter and whether it directly relates or affects
their financial interest or well-being or that of a relative, friend or
close associate, applying the tests set out in the Code.
On 27th May, 2021, the Council’s Corporate Governance, Audit and Standards Committee granted dispensations to Members appointed by the Council to the Board of the Rushmoor Development Partnership and as Directors of Rushmoor Homes Limited.
Having regard to the Council’s
Code of Conduct for Councillors, no declarations of interest were made.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 9th January, 2024 (copy attached).
The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 9th January, 2024 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
To consider Report No. FIN2405 (copy attached), which sets out considerations and recommendations in respect of the work undertaken by the Council Tax Support Task and Finish Group to review the Council’s Council Tax Support Scheme.
Presented By: Cllr Diane Bedford, Chairman of the Council Tax Support Task and Finish Group
The Council Tax
Support Task and Finish Group had met on 24th July, 2023, 30th August, 2023,
26th September, 2023 and 11th January, 2024 to consider its recommendations to
the Cabinet. The Group had considered the on-going impact of Covid-19 and the
cost of living crisis and had paid specific attention to a number of matters
during its deliberations and these were set out in paragraph 2.3 of the Report.
This had led to the Group recommending that a public consultation exercise should
be carried out on potential changes to the scheme, which the Cabinet approved
at its meeting on 15th October, 2023. The consultation had run from 3rd
November, 2023 to 15th December, 2023 and had attracted a total of 522
responses. Having considered the results of the consultation exercise, the
Group recommended that, for the calculation of Council Tax Support for 2024/25,
the maximum Council Tax liability used should be increased from 88% to 100%.
This would mean that in cases where maximum support was granted, no Council Tax
would be payable. The rationale for this recommendation was set out in the
In discussing this
proposal, Members were assured that the change would be implemented, initially,
for a single year, with the ability to make further changes at the end of that
period. The Cabinet expressed gratitude to the Council Tax Support Task and
Finish Group for its work in producing these recommendations.
increase of the maximum Council Tax liability used to calculate Council Tax
Support from 88% to 100% be approved, to take effect from 1st April, 2024 and
to apply to all calculations made within the Council Tax Support Scheme
relating to liabilities occurring on or after 1st April, 2024; and
other respects of the current Council Tax Support Scheme for working age
customers be unchanged, with the addition of the annual uplift to rates used
within the calculation mirroring those applied to national housing benefit
rates, as advised by the Department for Work and Pensions; and
reduction of £20,000 in the budget for Exceptional Hardship during 2024/25, as
set out in Report No. FIN2405, be approved;
the deliberations and considerations
of the Council Tax Support Task and Finish Group in arriving at its
recommendations, as set out in the
Report, be noted; and
outcome of the public consultation exercise, as set out in the Report and at
Appendix 2 of the Report, be noted.
To consider Report No. ACE2401 (copy attached), which sets out performance monitoring information in relation to the Council Plan for the third quarter of 2023/24.
Presented By: Cllr Sue Carter, Community Portfolio Holder
The Cabinet received
Report No. ACE2401, which set out progress in delivering the Council Plan
projects during the third quarter of 2023/24. Members were informed that progress
against key activities and projects was included in the Report, along with the
Council’s business performance monitoring information and the Council’s
Corporate Risk Register. It was reported that, at the end of the third quarter,
90% of projects/activities were on track, with the remainder showing an amber
status. No project had a red status.
In considering the
Report, Members expressed satisfaction with the Council’s performance levels
and discussed matters around the improvement in the rate of abandoned phone calls,
missed bin rates, the timely payment of invoices, phone calls misdirected to
the Council’s switchboard relating to non-Council activities, recycling rates
and instances of violence at work.
The Cabinet NOTED the progress made towards delivering the
Council Plan and the changes highlighted in the Corporate Risk Register, as set
out in Report No. ACE2401.
To consider Report No. PEO2401 (copy attached), which sets out a number of updates in relation to the Council’s workforce.
Presented By: Cllr Ade Adeola, Digital First & Corporate Portfolio Holder
The Cabinet considered Report No. PEO2401, which set out a number of updates in relation to the Council’s workforce.
Members were informed that the Report contained updates on the implementation of elements of the Council’s People Strategy, which had been adopted in 2021, and provided key data on the Council’s workforce for 2023. Also being considered were a new Health and Wellbeing Statement of Intent and a Code of Practice relating to Health, Wellbeing and Stress Management. Members were also informed of the latest Pay Policy Statement and Gender Pay Gap calculations, which would be considered by the Corporate Governance, Audit and Standards Committee and approved by the Council.
The Cabinet RESOLVED that
(i) the Annual People Report, as set out in Report No. PEO2401, be noted;
(ii) the Health and Wellbeing Statement of Intent, as set out on the Report, be approved, noting the approach to implementation;
(iii) the Health, Wellbeing and Stress Management Code of Practice, as set out in the Report, be approved; and
(iv) the Pay Policy Statement and the Gender Pay Gap report, as set out in the report to the Corporate Governance, Audit and Standards Committee, be noted.
To consider Report No. REG2402 (copy attached), which sets the next steps in relation to regeneration in Farnborough and the delivery of a Leisure and Cultural Hub.
Presented By: Cllr Martin Tennant, Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder
The Cabinet considered Report No. REG2402, which set out an update on
regeneration within Farnborough town centre and on the Leisure and Cultural Hub
project in particular.
The Cabinet was reminded that, at its meeting on 17th October, 2023, it
had agreed the final project scope for the Leisure and Cultural Hub , the
schedule of accommodation, the forecasted budget required to complete the
pre-construction phases of the project and to submit the planning application.
Members were informed that this report now provided an update on the project,
the operator procurement and options for the next stages, taking into account
the work undertaken since October, impacts of inflation and implications for
the current funding strategy, given the position relating to the Council’s
future capital programme, as set out in the 2024/25 budget report.
expressed support for the proposed approach.
increase of £255,000 in the Capital budget for 2023/24, funded by a further
draw down from the Levelling Up grant, be approved; and
inclusion of the £1.725 million One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release Fund
grant in the 2023/24 and 2024/25 capital programmes, as appropriate, be
approved, to enable the demolition of the Pinehurst Car Park and site
preparation and utilities work across plots established by the Civic Quarter
revised costs of the current stage of planning and design work (RIBA Stage 3)
of £386,855, as set out in Report No. REG2402, be noted;
initial sum of £50,000 towards potential redesign work be approved;
undertaking of a costing exercise by Willmott Dixon on the RIBA 3 designs, to
provide market tested costs for consideration before the decision to move to
the next stage of design and development (RIBA Stage 4), be approved;
undertaking of a pre-planning consultation exercise in March, on the designs at
the conclusion of the RIBA 3 design process, be approved;
adjustment in the overall project timeline, to take into account the market
costing exercise and provide a period for any necessary design revisions as a
result of the report and the pre-planning public consultation exercise, as set
out in the Report, be noted;
undertaking of work as part of the Council’s Financial Resilience Plan to
address the affordability of the current and future capital programme and the
links to the decision to move fully to the next stage of design and development
(RIBA Stage 4) be noted;
revised funding strategy for the project, given the position set out in the
2024/25 budget report and supporting Financial Resilience Plan, be noted;
approach to the demolition of the Pinehurst Car Park and the temporary
relocation of the Council’s car boot sale to the High Street multi-storey in
Aldershot be noted; and
(i) the use of any slippage on the Civic Quarter capital budget in 2023/24 to progress elements of the Civic Quarter regeneration programme, ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
To consider Report No. FIN2406 (copy attached), which makes
recommendations on the budget, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2024/5 to 2027/8 and
Council Tax Requirement, for submission to the Council on 22nd February, 2024.
Presented By: Cllr Paul Taylor, Finance Portfolio Holder
(ii) RESOLVED that the earmarking of
£250,000 of the Stability and Resilience Reserve during 2024-25, to provide
capacity to address and deliver the Financial Resilience Plan and to enable the
Chief Finance Officer to continue to engage with expert external assistance and
advice, as set out in paragraph 5.8 of the Report, be approved.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
To consider resolving:
That, subject to the public interest test, the public be
excluded from this meeting during the discussion of the undermentioned item to
avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A
to the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against such item:
Item Schedule Category
No. 12A Para.
9 3 Information
relating to financial or business affairs
RESOLVED: That, taking into account the public interest test, the public be
excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the under mentioned item to avoid
the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to
the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against the item:
Minute Schedule Category
No. 12A Para.
53 3 Information relating to
financial or business affairs
THE FOLLOWING ITEM WAS CONSIDERED
THE GALLERIES, ALDERSHOT - UPDATE AND NEXT STEPS
To consider Exempt Report No. REG2401 (copy attached), which sets out an update on The Galleries regeneration scheme and seeks approval for the next steps.
Presented By: Cllr Martin Tennant, Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder
The Cabinet considered Exempt Report No. REG2401, which set out an update
on the Galleries regeneration scheme in Aldershot town centre.
Members were reminded that, in March, 2022, the Cabinet had agreed, in
principle, to the disposal of the existing High Street Multi-Storey Car Park in
return for the transfer of the former Conservative Club site at Little
Wellington Street to the Council, as part of proposals to realise the delivery
of the Galleries redevelopment. The report set out the due diligence that had
been undertaken to formalise the agreement, along with the draft Heads of Terms
for the Contract of Sale and a summary of the financial risks. Also included
was an update on the Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund monies.
The Cabinet RESOLVED that
the disposal of the Council’s legal interest in the
existing High Street Multi-Storey Car Park, Aldershot in exchange for the
freehold interest of the former Conservative Club site at Little Wellington
Street, Aldershot to the Council be approved, subject to the necessary terms
being agreed as detailed below, on the basis that a new, purpose-built public
car park of at least 250 spaces would be constructed by the developer prior to
handover, noting that best consideration under Section 123 of the Local
Government Act 1972 would be achieved, as set out in Appendix 1 of Exempt
Report No. REG2401;
the draft Heads of Terms for the Contract for Sale and
exchange of freehold, as set out in Appendix 2 of the Exempt Report, be noted,
with the Head of Regeneration and Development/Executive Head of Property and
Growth, in consultation with the Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder,
being authorised to agree final terms;
the amendments to the Housing Infrastructure Fund
Marginal Viability Fund agreement, by way of Deed of Variation, regarding the
extension of time to the availability period of the funding to December, 2024
and changes to the drawdown conditions, as set out in the Report, be noted; and
for the purposes of satisfying Housing Infrastructure
Fund Marginal Viability Fund drawdown conditions, the draft Mirrored Agreement,
as set out in Appendix 4 of the Exempt Report and the draft Entity Company
Guarantee, as set out in Appendix 5 of the Exempt Report, forming the basis of
clawback arrangements in the event of the Galleries scheme not meeting the
contract outputs be noted, with the Head of Regeneration and Development, in
consultation with the Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder, being
authorised to agree final terms.