Cabinet
Tuesday, 6th March, 2018 7.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Concorde Room, Council Offices, Farnborough

Contact: Chris Todd, Democratic Services  on 01252 398825 or e-mail:  chris.todd@rushmoor.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

71.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 6th February, 2018 (copy attached).        

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 6th February, 2018 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

72.

BUSINESS RATES - DISCRETIONARY RATE RELIEF POLICY FOR DISCRETIONARY REVALUATION RELIEF pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To consider Report No. FIN1812 (copy attached), which sets out proposed amendments to the Council’s existing Discretionary Rate Relief Policy to reduce business rates liabilities to those Ratepayers most affected by the 2017 national revaluation.

Presented By: Cllr Gareth Lyon, Concessions and Community Support Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. FIN1812, which set out proposed amendments to the Council’s existing Discretionary Rate Relief (Revaluation) Policy to reduce business rates liabilities to those ratepayers most affected by the 2017 national revaluation.

 

Members were informed that these revisions were necessary to allow the Council to maximise the support available to local businesses.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)        the increase of the percentage relief awarded to qualifying ratepayers from 42% to 57%, as set out in Report No. FIN1812, be approved; and

 

(ii)       the reduction of the restriction that relief would only be granted where the increase in rates payable between 2016/17 and 2017/18 was greater than 12.5% to greater than 10% be approved.

73.

UPDATED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE POLICY FOR HOUSING GRANTS AND LOANS pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider Report No. EHH1808 (copy attached), which sets out proposed amendments to the Council’s Financial Assistance Policy for Housing Grants and Loans.

Presented By: Cllr Barbara Hurst, Health and Housing Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. EHH1808, which set out an updated Financial Assistance Policy for Housing Grants and Loans.

 

Members were informed that this policy was a requirement of the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 and allowed flexibility in the way that the Council administered discretionary grants, loans and mandatory Disabled Facility Grants. It was explained that the updated Policy would continue to ensure that the discretionary grant and loan budget was spent on repairs and improvements for vulnerable residents living in poor housing conditions.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that the adoption of the updated Financial Assistance Policy for Housing Grants and Loans, as set out at Appendix 1 to Report No. EHH1808, be approved.

74.

PROPOSED TAXI SHARING ARRANGEMENTS FOR FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW 2018 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider Report No. EHH1809 (copy attached), which outlines proposals for public consultation on a taxi-sharing scheme to run for the duration of the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

Presented By: Cllr Ken Muschamp, Business, Safety and Regulation Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. EHH1809, which outlined proposals for a taxi-sharing scheme to run for the duration of the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

 

Members were informed that similar schemes had operated successfully at each Airshow since 2004. It was reported that this year’s proposed scheme was identical to that implemented in 2016. Details of how the scheme would operate were set out in the Report.

 

In discussing the proposal, Members agreed that this represented an attractive proposition for both taxi operators and customers and provided an opportunity to increase taxi capacity, which would complement the traffic arrangements put in place to accommodate the Airshow.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)        the proposed taxi-sharing scheme, as set out in Report No. EHH1809, be approved for public consultation; and

 

(ii)       following the period of public consultation, the Head of Environmental Health and Housing, in consultation with the Business, Safety and Regulation Portfolio Holder, be authorised to approve the final Scheme, taking account of any responses received during the consultation exercise.

75.

REVIEW OF CHARGING FOR PRE-APPLICATION PLANNING ADVICE pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider Report No. PLN1805 (copy attached), which sets out a review of the arrangements for charging for pre-application planning advice and proposes amendments to the scheme.

Presented By: Cllr Ken Muschamp, Business, Safety and Regulation Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. PLN1805, which set out a review of the financial returns and impact on services of the introduction of charges for pre-application planning advice. It was also proposed to make some amendments to the scheme.

 

Members were reminded that the charges had been in place since 1st February, 2017 and a breakdown of the charges received was included in Section 3 of the Report. It was now proposed to increase the charges to reflect Government policy regarding planning application fees. It was also recommended to introduce some exemptions from charges in respect of applications from charities and community groups.

 

In response to a question, it was confirmed that the introduction of charging for pre-application advice had not led to a decline in the quality of planning applications received by the Council.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)                       the continuation of charging for pre-application discussions be approved;            

 

(ii)          the increase in charges to £720 for major schemes, £240 for small to medium sized developments and £40 for householder and minor developments be approved;

 

(iii)         exemptions from pre-application advice charges be approved in respect of:

 

-               Wellesley / Grainger PLC schemes in relation to the Aldershot Urban Extension;

 

-               the Council’s own developments and those of Hampshire County Council, where they relate to the provision of public services in the Borough; and

 

(iv)         the application of the new minimum householder / minor development charge of £40 to all requests for pre-application advice, irrespective of the proposal type, made by community / charity groups be approved, subject to the group meeting the following criteria:

 

-               a registered charity;

 

-               headquarters in the Rushmoor area;

 

-               involved in activity serving the people of Rushmoor; and

 

-               not part of a national charity with multiple UK or international offices.

76.

NEW DEPOT CONSTRUCTION pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider Report No. COMM1803 (copy attached), which sets out the current position in relation to the Design and Build Contract for the Council`s new depot in Lysons Avenue, Ash Vale and seeks a supplementary capital budget for 2018/19.

Presented By: Cllr Martin Tennant, Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. COMM1803, which set out the latest position in relation to a design and build contract for the construction of the Council’s new depot in Lysons Avenue, Ash Vale and sought a variation to the Council’s Capital Programme .

 

The Report set out the process to date and Members were reminded that the build contract had been awarded to Neilcott Construction, following the design work provided by Kier Construction. Members had been advised previously that additional costs had been likely to accrue due to issues relating to the novation of contractors that had carried out work for Kier and the significant increase in the amount of soil needed to be removed which contained low levels of contamination. The latest cost report from the Council’s Quantity Surveyor had indicated an estimated overspend of £210,000 on the agreed budget of £3,180,000. Completion of the construction was due in mid-June 2018. The Report stated that other unforeseen costs might yet be incurred in relation to this project.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)           a variation of £210,000 to the Capital Programme for the financial year 2018/19, for the construction of the new Council depot, be approved;

 

(ii)          additional General Fund full financial year revenue costs in relation to the supplementary budget at (i) above, amounting to £1,260 interest on borrowing in 2018/19 and a minimum revenue provision of £5,250 commencing in the year 2019/20, be approved;

 

(iii)         an additional capital budget for further contingency requirements for the construction of the new Council depot of £100,000 for the financial year 2018/19 be approved, with any spend being agreed in consultation with the Head of Financial Services; and

 

(iv)         additional General Fund full financial year revenue costs in relation to the additional contingency budget at (iii) above, amounting to £600 interest on borrowing in 2018/19 and a minimum revenue provision of £2,500 commencing in the year 2019/20, be approved.

77.

VOYAGER HOUSE, SOUTHWOOD BUSINESS PARK pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To consider Report No. LEG1803 (copy attached), which provides an update to the Cabinet in relation to the provision of primary and community health care within the West Farnborough locality, as advised by the North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Presented By: Cllr Barbara Hurst, Health and Housing Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. LEG1803, which set out an update from the North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group on the provision of primary and community health care within the West Farnborough locality.

 

The Report described how the position had been worsening progressively. This meant that the acquisition of Voyager House, to provide a local health facility, was becoming urgent. It was confirmed that an item would be coming to the Cabinet at its next meeting in this respect.

 

The Cabinet NOTED the increasing need for the earliest practicable acquisition of Voyager House to provide improved service access and an Integrated Care Centre for the population of Farnborough, as set out in Report No. LEG1803.

78.

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 items to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraphs of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against such items:

 

Item                Schedule      Category

Nos.               12A Para.

                        No.

 

9 and 10        3                      Information relating to financial or business affairs

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That, taking into account the public interest test, the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the under mentioned items to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against the items:

 

Minute           Schedule      Category

Nos.               12A Para.

                        No.

 

79 and 80      3                      Information relating to financial or business affairs

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE CONSIDERED
IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PUBLIC

79.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ACQUISITIONS UPDATE AND PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF PLOT NO. 13 INVINCIBLE ROAD, FARNBOROUGH

To consider Exempt Report No. LEG1802 (copy attached), which updates the Cabinet on commercial property acquisitions generally and sets out a proposal for the Council to acquire Plot No. 13 Invincible Road, Farnborough.

Presented By: Cllr Paul Taylor, Corporate Services Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Exempt Report No. LEG1802, which sought approval to acquire Plot No. 13 Invincible Road, Farnborough and provided an update on progress in relation to the acquisition of the Meads, Farnborough and on the financial implications of the acquisition of Voyager House, Farnborough.

 

The Report contained all the relevant financial information relating to the acquisitions. Members considered that all three sites were of strategic importance to the Council. It was confirmed that the Council would continue to borrow at short-term interest rates for the time being.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)                       the capital expenditure for the acquisition of Plot No. 13 Invincible Road, Farnborough, associated capital costs, full year General Fund revenue income and revenue expenditure, in the sums set out in Exempt Report No. LEG1802, be approved;

 

(ii)          the decision taken to acquire the Meads, Farnborough for the sum set out in the Exempt Report, together with associated capital costs, full year General Fund revenue income and revenue expenditure, be noted; and

 

(iii)         the estimated costs for the acquisition of Voyager House, Farnborough, in the context of the Commercial Property Acquisitions budget for 2018/19, as set out in the Exempt Report, be noted.

80.

ALDERSHOT TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION HOUSING INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

To consider Exempt Report No. CD1802 (copy attached), which provides an update in relation to the funding allocation of £8.4 million recently secured via the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Presented By: Cllr Martin Tennant, Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Exempt Report No. CD1802, which, following the Council’s success in securing £8.4 million of funding towards Aldershot Town Centre regeneration projects, provided an update on the bid process and set out the implications of accepting the funding allocation and the next steps.

 

Members were informed that the monies had been received from the Housing Infrastructure Fund - Marginal Viability Gap Fund and, in particular, would support the delivery of the two key development sites at Union Street East and The Galleries.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that

 

(i)           the implications for the Council and the terms and conditions of the Housing Infrastructure Fund be noted and accepted;

 

(ii)          the Head of Financial Services be authorised to enter into any funding agreement associated with the Housing Infrastructure Fund Marginal Viability Gap Fund grant;

 

(iii)         the Solicitor to the Council be authorised, following receipt of appropriate valuation advice, to negotiate and acquire, by agreement, any legal interests or rights held in respect of the Union Street properties listed in Paragraph 3.9 of Exempt Report No. CD1802;

 

(iv)         the Corporate Director / Principal Regeneration Officer be authorised to submit planning applications and to secure the appropriate permissions as required to enable the regeneration of Aldershot Town Centre, to include a scheme for Union Street, as set out in Paragraph 3.7 of the Exempt Report;

 

(v)          the Solicitor to the Council be authorised to enter into and agree the terms of:

 

(a)          any legal documentation necessary in respect of the purchases or acquisition of rights authorised by (iii) above and to undertake any ancillary action in connection therewith;

 

(b)          the Development Agreement, Lease and any ancillary documentation with the developer of the Galleries scheme (subject to the developer meeting the Council’s reasonable legal costs);

 

(c)          any funding agreements to release Housing Infrastructure Fund monies to any development partner (subject to the developer meeting the Council’s reasonable legal costs); and

 

(vi)         the future financial implications associated with entering into a new long term lease arrangement for a new public car park, be noted.