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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 for absence were received from Councillor Clare Coghill and Councillor Paul Douglas. 

 

The Deputy Leader chaired the meeting.

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:

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

BUDGET & COUNCIL TAX SETTING 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 517 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(1)          recommended to Full Council that the Waltham Forest basic amount of council tax, including the levying bodies, will be increased by 2.99% in 2019/20;

 

(2)          recommended to Full Council that the balance of 1% permitted increase for Adult Social Care will be applied bringing the total increase to  ...  view the full decision text for item 4.

Minutes:

Councillor Loakes introduced the report.  He stated that, during difficult and challenging times, residents of the London Borough of Waltham Forest were not being taken for granted and that there were clear plans for how the increase in council tax would be used.  He referred to the importance of protecting the most vulnerable residents in the borough.  Councillor Loakes then went on to say that there was currently a review of the funding of local government which was a cause of concern and referred to the fact that there was a period of austerity in relation to finances.  He paid tribute to officers for their good and innovative service provision in the face of such challenges, particularly John Turnbull – Strategic Director for Finance and Governance and his finance team. 

 

Councillor Williams stated that in relation to placements for the borough’s looked after children, it was not only about responding but also about planning for placements.  She congratulated relevant officers for their innovation and their ability to respond to the needs of residents.  She praised the new integrated commissioning model which enabled the Council to better address certain challenges.  Councillor Williams also referred to the importance of Central Government considering new funding streams. 

 

Councillor Limbajee also praised John Turnbull and his finance team for their sterling work.  He stated that, in relation to adult social care, a Green Paper was due to be published in the spring however it was expected to be delayed due to Brexit.  Councillor Limbajee stated that he expected the Green Paper to provide a more sustainable approach to adult social care.  He also gave thanks to the Adult Social Care team for all their hard work. 

 

Councillor Khan echoed earlier comments and thanked the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance and his team for their work.  He then stated that there was a clear correlation between crime in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and austerity.  He pointed out that there had been an increase in the number of Police officers and the cost of this was being charged to residents through their council tax payments. He gave the view that the funding of Police officers should come from Central Government and not from council tax payers.  He also explained that a Violence Reduction Partnership had been introduced to try and address the increase in crime. 

 

Councillor Miller described the report as excellent and diligent work.  He said that it put this Council in a position to borrow, invest and grow and assisted in building a secure future for residents of the borough.  Councillor Loakes agreed and stated that it was possible to demonstrate that this Council had not been paralysed by austerity and to continue to give residents hope.  He referred to the EMD Cinema and described it as a fantastic project and an excellent example of transforming a community asset and improving the social and community infrastructure within the Borough.

 

Councillor Ali stated that Central Government had been making cuts since 2010 and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGET AND HOUSING RENTS AND CHARGES 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)          That, from 1 April 2019, the rents excluding temporary accommodation, for existing tenants are reduced by 1%;

 

(2)          that, from 1 April 2019, rents for new tenancies are set at the 2015/16 formula rent for their property less 3.94%; existing exemptions from this policy continue to apply  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

Minutes:

Councillor Mitchell introduced the report and gave thanks to all the work undertaken by relevant finance and housing officers.  She confirmed that extensive work had been undertaken on estates within the borough which included removing inefficient storage heaters to provide a lower cost heating source.  Councillor Mitchell explained that CCTV had been installed in certain estates which would be charged to residents of that estate.  She also referred to the issues that some residents experienced in relation to parking and said that controlled parking zones had been introduced in a number of estates.  Councillor Mitchell also referred to universal credit and gave tribute to staff for their understanding of residents and the pressures they were under as it often concerned individuals who could not pay rather than would not pay.  She confirmed that affected tenants had been consulted in relation to new charges.    

 

Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)          That, from 1 April 2019, the rents excluding temporary accommodation, for existing tenants are reduced by 1%;

 

(2)          that, from 1 April 2019, rents for new tenancies are set at the 2015/16 formula rent for their property less 3.94%; existing exemptions from this policy continue to apply where the policy would otherwise result in an increase in rent and for sheltered housing and hostels the rent for new tenancies will be the 2015/16 formula rent less 2.1%;

 

(3)          that rents for temporary accommodation are unchanged for 2019/20;

 

(4)          to increase the charge for sites at the Travellers’ Site by 3% to £84.87 per week from 1 April 2019 consistent with the general increase in fees and charges approved by Cabinet on 15 November 2018;

 

(5)          to increase garage rents and parking space charges from 1 April 2019 by 3%, consistent with the general increase in fees and charges approved by Cabinet on 15 November 2018;

 

(6)          that service charges to tenants are set in accordance with Council policy to recover the costs from all tenants receiving the service as set out in appendix 4 of the report;

 

(7)          that service charges for sheltered accommodation are increased by 1% from 1 April 2019;

 

(8)          to make no change to existing heating charges in 2019/20;

 

(9)          to make no change in hostel service charges; and

 

(10)       that the HRA Budget for 2019/20 and medium term forecast  be agreed, as shown in Appendix 1 of the report. 

6.

SCHOOL ADMISSION DETERMINED ARRANGEMENTS 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the school admissions determined arrangements for 2020/21 for community and voluntary controlled schools (Attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

 

Determining the admission arrangements on an annual basis is a statutory requirement.

 

Not determining the admission arrangements would put the Local Authority in breach of  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams introduced the report and paid tribute to the Head of Admission Commissioning and his team for their work.  She said that every year the admissions process became more difficult due to increasing pressure for school places.   She said the admissions team was highly effective and stated that young people in the London Borough of Waltham Forest were second on a list of London boroughs which were most likely to be assigned their first choice school.  Councillor Williams also paid tribute to the Business Support Team and the Pupil Place Planning Team for their hard work. 

 

Councillor Loakes agreed that school admissions was becoming an increasingly difficult landscape and echoed Councillor Williams’ words of thanks. 

 

Cabinet approved the school admissions determined arrangements for 2020/21 for community and voluntary controlled schools (Attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

7.

SHAREHOLDER COMMITTEE: TERMS OF REFERENCE AND MEMBERSHIP UPDATE pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)          changes to the terms of reference of the Shareholder Committee as set out in Appendix 1 of the report and to report those changes to Council for information; and

 

(2)          appointments to the  Shareholder Committee as set out in paragraph 3.8 of the report and to report  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

Minutes:

Councillor Loakes introduced the report.

 

Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)          changes to the terms of reference of the Shareholder Committee as set out in Appendix 1 of the report and to report those changes to Council for information; and

 

(2)          appointments to the  Shareholder Committee as set out in paragraph 3.8 of the report and to report those appointments to Council for information.

 

8.

FINANCIAL MONITORING: MONTH 9 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(1)          noted the projected revenue expenditure position of £118,000 underspend as at month 9. This position is forecast after mitigating actions have manged the gross overspend within Families and Homes and Corporate Development Services;

 

(2)          noted the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(3)  ...  view the full decision text for item 8.

Minutes:

Councillor Loakes introduced the report.  He also welcomed new members of staff Jake Bacchus – Director of Finance Services, Jennifer Kelly – Executive Officer, Louise Sutherland – Executive Support Officer and Rob Manning – Director of Return on Investment to the Council.  He also announced that Anthie Zachariou – Labour Group Officer, would be leaving the Council and that this was her last Cabinet meeting.  He thanked Anthie for her hard work and wished her good luck in future endeavours. 

 

Cabinet:

 

(1)          noted the projected revenue expenditure position of £118,000 underspend as at month 9. This position is forecast after mitigating actions have manged the gross overspend within Families and Homes and Corporate Development Services;

 

(2)          noted the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(3)          noted additional funding of £239,000 for Disabled Facilities Grant 2018/19; and

 

(4)          noted that where services are forecasting to overspend (including non-achievement of savings), that in line with the ground rules for financial control, appropriate mitigating action must be put in place by those services as previously agreed.

 

 

9.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

Minutes:

Cabinet resolved to exclude the press and public from consideration of the following item in accordance with Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended, on the grounds that consideration of the item would  involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1, paragraph 3

of Schedule 12A to the Act.

10.

AWARD OF NEIGHBOURHOOD SERVICES CONTRACT COMPRISING OF WASTE COLLECTION, STREET CLEANSING, AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE SERVICES pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(1)          awarded the Neighbourhood Services Contract (the Contract) to Urbaser SA starting from 3 October 2019 for an initial period of 8 years with the option to extend for a further period, or periods, of up to 8 years, subject to not exceeding the maximum contract length of 16  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

Minutes:

Councillor Loakes introduced the report and gave thanks to the Director of Neighbourhoods – Jarlath Griffin and his team including Paul Ticker - Contracts Monitoring Officer, Kirsty Waugh – Environmental Strategy Manager and to Michele Moloney – Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services for exemplary oversight over the project.

 

Mr Esom said that the tender exercise had been smooth without any glitches and thanked all officers involved. 

 

Councillor Loakes explained that it was important for the chosen contract to provide both a competitive price and quality.  He said that the previous contract was an excellent deal and that there would be a cost increase in relation to the next contract selected.  He explained that the Council was now locked in a 28 day ‘cool off’ period to give bidders who were not successful the opportunity to challenge.  Councillor Loakes went on to say that with Brexit, there was a large amount of legislation coming from Europe however he stated that he was confident that the Council had the best proposition to deliver a good service.  He also provided assurances that officer would ensure that the current contract provider would continue to provide a high level of service until the contract ended.   

 

Cabinet:

 

(1)          awarded the Neighbourhood Services Contract (the Contract) to Urbaser SA starting from 3 October 2019 for an initial period of 8 years with the option to extend for a further period, or periods, of up to 8 years, subject to not exceeding the maximum contract length of 16 years;

 

(2)          noted the annual value of the Contract - £13,996,936.16 and the financial considerations in Section 7.1 of the report.

 

(3)          approved additional budget to cover the contract increase of £1,282,600 identified in the financial section of the report. This additional budget is captured in the Medium Term Financial Strategy as part of the 2019/20 Budget and Council Tax Setting Report;

 

(4)          delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Neighbourhood and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Director of Goverance and Law, to finalise any outstanding contractual matters to enter into and execute the Contract and other documents and agreements required to give effect to this decision following the conclusion of the standstill period;

 

(5)          delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Neighbourhood and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Director of Property and Asset Management and the Director of Goverance and Law to finalise the terms and the grant of lease(s) and licences to the new Contractor of such Council premises as the Contractor may occupy for the purpose of the performance of the Contract; such lease(s) and licences to run concurrently with the Contract;

 

(6)          delegated subject to financial viability authority to the Strategic Director of Neighbourhood and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Strategic Director of Finance and Goverance and the Deputy Leader to agree the implementation of a Commercial Waste Service.