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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Anthony Jackson, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4328 Email: anthony.jackson@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Clare Coghill and Councillor Ros Flowers.  Councillor Clyde Loakes, the Deputy Leader, chaired the meeting.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Ali.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Interests are defined on the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

Councillors Naheed Asghar, Ahsan Khan, and Liaquat Ali declared a pecuniary interest in connection with agenda item 5 [Licensing of Private Rented Sector Properties – Review and Preparation for Possible Future Designation] as they were landlords.  The Councillors left the room during discussion of the item.

3.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 17 July 2018, were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Licensing of Private Rented Sector Properties - Review and Preparation for Possible Future Designation pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  noted the significant progress in tackling anti-social behaviour and improving the private rented sector through the borough-wide property licensing scheme to date;

 

(b)  agreed for work to be undertaken to evaluate the impact of the existing licensing scheme, to identify the potential benefits of a further designation;

 

(c)  ...  view the full decision text for item 4.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader varied the order of business to take this item as the first substantive item of business. 

 

Councillor Louise Mitchell introduced the report and recommendations. She stated that the scheme was operating well and was receiving attention from Central Government and the Greater London Authority (GLA).  She impressed the importance demonstrating a need for the Scheme and why it worked well and added that it had an impact on anti-social behaviour and made residents feel safe and secure.  She confirmed that a report on the Scheme would come back to a later Cabinet for further review. 

 

Councillor Limbajee praised the Scheme and explained that, in general, it was supported by landlords.  He confirmed that the cost to landlords who joined the Scheme was very cheap and added that he hoped that the Scheme could be re-designated, as was the case with the London Borough of Newham.    

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  noted the significant progress in tackling anti-social behaviour and improving the private rented sector through the borough-wide property licensing scheme to date;

 

(b)  agreed for work to be undertaken to evaluate the impact of the existing licensing scheme, to identify the potential benefits of a further designation;

 

(c)  delegated to the Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regeneration and the Director of Governance and Law, authority to identify the proposed nature and scope of any further designation, informed by the work described in paragraph 2.1.2 of the report, and to consult as necessary with landlords, tenants and other stakeholders regarding future scheme options; and

 

(d)  noted that Cabinet will receive a further report with the finalised outcomes of the consultation and recommendations in relation to designation of property licensing beyond the expiry of the existing Selective Licensing scheme in May 2019 to enable time for any application for approval by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to be confirmed and published before it expires on 31 March 2020.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

 

As part of the decision-making process alternative options or measures in addition to, or instead of, Selective Licensing need to be considered in relation to tackling private rented housing issues in Waltham Forest.

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  noted the revised assumptions contained in the MTFS at Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(b)  noted the new wave of Business Rates retention pilots in 2019/20 as set out in the letter from Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government dated 25 July 2018 at Appendix  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader introduced the report and recommendations. He noted that the decisions being taken were ones made from a strong and stable position and that the Council would need to start looking at the implications of Brexit and how it could impact the work of the Council, such as goods and services, how the Council recruits and the environmental agenda. 

 

The Deputy Leader gave thanks the officers who had produced the report.  He also referred to the fact that this was Terry Borkett’s (Director of Financial Management and Accounting) last meeting and thanked her for her stewardship and commitment to the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  noted the revised assumptions contained in the MTFS at Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(b)  noted the new wave of Business Rates retention pilots in 2019/20 as set out in the letter from Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government dated 25 July 2018 at Appendix 2 of the report;

 

(c)  agreed in principal that the Council enters the London Business Rates Pilot Pool 2019/20 (including accepting the Designation by the Secretary of State as an authority within the Pilot Pool and delegating authority over it administration to the lead authority) subject to this being recommended by officers; and

 

(d)  delegated to the Director of Finance and Governance, in consultation with the Leader, the decision to proceed with putting forward any proposal for the London Business Rates Pilot Pool for 2019/2020 and to enter into any agreements necessary to secure the Council’s place in the pilot for 2019/2020, subject to a decision being taken by Full Council as part of its budget setting.

 

 

6.

Re-tender of the Council's Insurance Portfolio pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approved the tender process for the Council’s insurance services for the period 01 April 2019 to 31 March 2024; and

 

(b)  delegated the award of contract(s) to the successful provider(s) to the Strategic Director – Finance & Governance in consulation with the Leader of the Council.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader introduced the report and recommendations.  He stated that it was important for the Council to find ways of saving money by doing things slightly differently.  He said that the Council could do some things better. 

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approved the tender process for the Council’s insurance services for the period 01 April 2019 to 31 March 2024; and

 

(b)  delegated the award of contract(s) to the successful provider(s) to the Strategic Director – Finance & Governance in consulation with the Leader of the Council.

 

7.

Potential Shared Internal Audit Service for Waltham Forest and Enfield pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  agreed to create a new Chief Officer position of Assistant Director – Internal Audit & Anti-Fraud Shared Service, with costs to be shared equally by the London Borough of Enfield;

 

(b)  noted that temporary arrangements will be made  to fill the position of  the Assistant Director – Internal Audit  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

Minutes:

Councillor Ali introduced the report and recommendations and confirmed that both the London Boroughs of Enfield and Waltham Forest were in support of the shared service arrangement. 

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  agreed to create a new Chief Officer position of Assistant Director – Internal Audit & Anti-Fraud Shared Service, with costs to be shared equally by the London Borough of Enfield;

 

(b)  noted that temporary arrangements would be made  to fill the position of  the Assistant Director – Internal Audit & Anti-Fraud Shared Service on an equal part time basis to the London Borough of Enfield which would be subject to the usual Staffing Committee appointment process set out in the Employment Procedure Rules;

 

(c)  delegated the decision to proceed with a shared Internal Audit & Anti-Fraud service to the Director of Finance and Governance in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Member for Transformation and Commercial Operations; and

 

(d) noted that in the event a decision not to proceed was taken Cabinet would receive a report regarding the Chief Officer position concerned.

 

 

8.

Digital and Technology Strategy pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approve the Digital and Technology Strategy as set out in Appendix A of the report;

 

(b)  approved one-off implementation costs of £4.5 million for the Foundation projects (as described in paragraph 3.6.1 of the report), which will be funded; £2 million from borrowing and financed from current revenue  ...  view the full decision text for item 8.

Minutes:

Councillor Ali introduced the report and recommendations and said that he was pleased to see the Council introducing new and innovative ways of working.  He stated that all Councillors were now paperless and that the Strategy was impacting residents in a positive way.  Councillor Ali gave thanks to Rhona Cadenhead, Strategic Director for Corporate Development, Paul Neville, Director of Digital and ICT and other relevant officers for the work on the Strategy.   

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approved the Digital and Technology Strategy as set out in Appendix A of the report;

 

(b)  approved one-off implementation costs of £4.5 million for the Foundation projects (as described in paragraph 3.6.1 of the report), which will be funded; £2 million from borrowing and financed from current revenue budgets, £400,000 from a current Budget Strategy Reserve provisions, £1.5 million from an earmarked allocation from the Investment Fund and an additional allocation of £600,000 from the Investment Fund;

 

(c) approved the on-going revenue requirement of £740,000 for the Foundation projects which will be incorporated within the MTFS refresh;

 

(d) delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Corporate Development in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transformation and Commercial Operations and the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance, to procure and award new contracts or vary existing Council contracts for technology solutions as outlined in the Digital and Technology Strategy;

 

(e) noted the growing need for enhanced cyber security and the responsibility of members and officers to understand the risks posed and importance of mitigating action;

 

(f) noted the proposed governance and approach to secure investment for            further digital projects via Return on Investment business cases; and

 

(g) adopted the Local Digital Declaration launched by the UK Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

 

9.

London Business Rates 2018/19 100% Pilot Pool Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approved the Lead Authority’s recommendations for the pan-London allocation of ‘London Business Rates 2018/19 100% Pilot Pool Strategic Investment Pot’ funding, as detailed by the Consultation Report, July 2018 (Appendix 1 of the report); and to implement the decision immediately in line with the Council’s urgency  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

It was agreed that the restricted appendices would not be discussed and, consequently, the press and public would not be excluded for the item. 

 

Councillor Miller introduced the report and recommendations.  Councillor Miller gave thanks to Rebecca Davey, Head of Business Growth, Investment and Employment, and her team for their work in producing the report.  He then explained that the Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) would contribute to growth, addressing market failures and to secure further business rates income. 

 

Cllr Ali then introduced the Local London Fibre Infrastructure Initiative section of the report. He confirmed that the initiative would enable greater connectivity borough-wide at 52 times the current broadband speed.   

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  approved the Lead Authority’s recommendations for the pan-London allocation of ‘London Business Rates 2018/19 100% Pilot Pool Strategic Investment Pot’ funding, as detailed by the Consultation Report, July 2018 (Appendix 1 of the report); and to implement the decision immediately in line with the Council’s urgency provisions detailed in paragraph 3.6 of the report;

 

(b)  delegated authority to the Director of Regeneration and Growth, in consultation with the Strategic Director Finance and Governance, to prepare and submit detailed bids relating to the ‘Upper Lee Valley Boroughs Productive Valley’ proposal and to enter into grant agreements in relation to the allocation of the SIP funding; and

 

(c) delegated authority to the Director of Digital and ICT, in consultation with the Strategic Director Finance and Governance, to submit detailed bids relating to the ‘Local London Investment in Fibre’ and enter into grant agreements in relation to the allocations of the SIP funding.

 

10.

School Term Dates 2019/20 and 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)  agreed the school year dates for academic year 2019/20, set out in a Table in Appendix A to the report. These dates are as follows:

 

Autumn Term: (75 days) Monday 2 September 2019 to Friday 20 December 2019. Half term holiday Monday 21 October, 2019 to Friday  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams introduced the report and recommendations.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)  agreed the school year dates for academic year 2019/20, set out in a Table in Appendix A to the report. These dates are as follows:

 

Autumn Term: (75 days) Monday 2 September 2019 to Friday 20 December 2019. Half term holiday Monday 21 October, 2019 to Friday 25 October 2019.

 

Spring Term: (60 days) Monday 6 January 2020 to Friday 3 April 2020. Half term holiday Monday 17 February 2020 to Friday 21 February 2020.

 

Summer Term: (60 days) Monday 20 April 2020 to Friday 17 July 2020. Half term holiday Monday 25 May 2020 to Friday 29 May 2020.

 

(b)  agreed that the proposed calendar of 195 days includes a maximum of 5 INSET days (for teacher training) which can be set and deducted by individual schools to ensure that schools meet their statutory obligation to be open for 190 pupil days;

 

(c) noted that the school year dates do not include any fixed closure days for the 5 INSET days, which are to be set by individual schools;

 

(d)  agreed that two academic years of term dates may be consulted on at a time to enable schools to plan in advance.  Consultation to take place in May of each year;

 

(e) agreed in principle, the term dates for 2020/21 (as indicated in Appendix A of the report), with the understanding that these dates will be consulted upon and be set in July 2019.  These dates are as follows:

 

Autumn Term: (72 days)Thursday 3 September 2020 to Friday 18 December 2020.  Half term holiday Monday 26 October to Friday 30 October 2020.

 

Spring Term: (59 days) Monday 4 January 2021 to Thursday 1 April 2021.  Half term holiday Monday 15 February 2021 to Friday 19 February 2021.

 

Summer Term: (64 days) Monday 19 April 2021 to Friday 23 July 2021.  Half term holiday Monday 31 May 2021 to Friday 4 June 2021.

 

(f)   noted that the Council, in partnership with SACRE, is to continue to issue guidance to governing bodies on consulting with their school communities on religious holidays and on how best to teach pupils about the significance of particular religious festivals, within the schools that choose to remain open during a religious festival.

11.

Monthly Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted:

 

(a)  the projected revenue expenditure position of a spend to budget as at month 4.

 

(b)  the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

(c)  the capital financial position at month 4, as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

(d)  a budget allocation  ...  view the full decision text for item 11.

Minutes:

Cabinet noted:

 

(a)  the projected revenue expenditure position of a spend to budget as at month 4.

 

(b)  the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

(c)  the capital financial position at month 4, as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

(d)  a budget allocation of £35,000 from the Investment Fund: £15,000 to develop a business case and £20,000 for a technical feasibility study on the Assembly Hall; and

 

(e)  a new growth item of £24,000 being funded from contingency for the new PCI Pal ‘mid-call’ solution for telephone payments and a one-off cost of £56,000.

 

             

 

12.

London Business Rates 2018/19 100% Pilot Pool Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) - Appendix 1