Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Elizabeth House, Stratford-upon-Avon

Contact: Mr Alan Sheepy 

Items
No. Item

87.

Disclosure of Interests

Members are reminded that, unless they have been granted a dispensation, if they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter as defined by Regulations made by the Secretary of State where the interest is theirs, their spouse’s or civil partner’s, or is an interest of somebody with whom they are living as a husband or wife or as if they were civil partners, they may not participate in any discussion of or vote on the matter and must also leave the room for the duration of the matter.  They must also disclose the interest if it has not yet been entered on the Authority’s register unless it is a sensitive interest.

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest were made at this point of the meeting.

88.

Minutes

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 20 May 2013.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 May 2013 were confirmed and signed.

89.

Methodology for Identification of Local Service Villages

To consider the recommendations contained in Minute 68 of the meeting of the Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Committee held on 30 April 2013.

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Saint – Leader of the Council

 

The Cabinet was presented with recommendations from the then Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Panel (PHPAP) meeting held on 30 April 2013 outlining a revised methodology for identifying Local Service Villages (LSV) and the scale of housing development in them that applied a qualitative assessment for the following three key services:

 

·         general store;

·         primary school; and

·         public transport,

 

together with the existing size of settlement, that utilised the following scoring system:

 

Size of settlement:   Large (600-1000 dwellings) = 3 points

Medium (250-600 dwellings) = 2 points     

Small (100-250 dwellings) = 1 point

 

General Store:          Large/long opening hours = 3 points

Small/long opening hours = 2 points

Small/short opening hours = 1 point

 

Primary School:        Large (>200 pupils) = 3 points

Medium (100-200 pupils) = 2 points

Small (<100 pupils or only infant or junior) = 1 point

 

Public Transport:      Very good (at least hourly Mon-Sat) = 3 points

Good (at least two hourly Mon-Sat) = 2 points

Fair (less than two hourly) = 1 point

 

In connection with the foregoing, The Cabinet:

 

a)     noted that the table attached as an Appendix to the PHPAP Minutes provided the current indicative scores for the various villages in the District based on the above approach. It was acknowledged that the Appendix was a dynamic list which would be actively monitored over the coming years; and

 

b)     acknowledged that the indicative scores were the officers’ current understanding of the relevant facilities for each LSV listed. Members with accurate local knowledge that could necessitate a change in a particular score were encouraged to contact the officers.

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to

 

1.      agree to the recommendation as presented which supported a revised methodology for identifying LSV’s and the scale of housing development:

 

2.      refer the matter to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration and report; or

 

3.      refer the matter to the Leaders Advisory Group.

 

During the ensuing debate, the following comments were made:

 

·         Councillor Horner had sent an e mail to all Members of The Cabinet expressing his concerns and separate representations had been received in respect of the methodology as it related to Bearley, Hampton Lucy and Wilmcote. A copy of the e mail had been forwarded to the Policy Manager;

 

·         an assurance was given to Councillor Hayter that as Snitterfield was within the Green Belt development in such villages would be controlled in a manner consistent with the Green Belt Policy;

 

·         reference was made to the situation relating to LSV where the school was already full to capacity. It was confirmed that in such situations proposals to extend the school would be supported;

 

·         the suggested methodology supported a pragmatic approach for the dispersal option. In addition, a common sense approach should also be adopted for the emerging Core Strategy policies;

 

·         in response to concerns raised by Councillor Hayter on behalf of Hampton Lucy and Snitterfield, an assurance was given that a policy promoting development at a scale in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Special Landscape Areas Policy

To consider the recommendation contained in Minute 69 of the meeting of the Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Committee held on 30 April 2013.

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Saint – Leader of the Council

 

The Cabinet was presented with recommendations from the then Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Panel (PHPAP) meeting held on 30 April 2013 which outlined the findings of the White Consultants Study that had been commissioned into whether a local landscape designation in the Stratford-on-Avon District would be appropriate and, if so, what areas should be covered by such designation.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Study had recommended the following in relation to the previous Special Landscape Areas (SLAs):

 

·         Arden - Reinstate but exclude areas north of Bidford-on-Avon and north and west of Stratford-upon-Avon which reflected more the character of the Avon Valley;

 

·         Cotswold Scarp Slopes –

 

o        Reinstate southern area with two minor changes to the previous boundary but change name to Cotswold Fringe; and

o        Reinstate eastern area with one minor change to the previous boundary but change name to Ironstone Hills as it is distinctive type of landscape from the Cotswolds.

 

·         Feldon Parklands - Reinstate with three minor changes to the previous boundary; and

 

·         Leam Valley - Do not reinstate as it was a small isolated area and neighbouring local authorities (i.e. Rugby and Warwick) did not intend designating the other parts of the previous SLA.

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to

 

1.      agree the recommendations as presented which supported the principle and extent of a SLA designation in Stratford-on-Avon District, together with the proposed policy;

 

2.      refer the matter to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration and report; or

 

3.      refer the matter to the Leaders Advisory Group.

 

In considering the options The Cabinet, in considering the recommendations from the Panel accepted that:

 

a)     the Study produced for the Council should provide robust evidence for justifying the designation of SLAs in the Core Strategy;

 

b)     whilst there could be a wish to widen the extent of the SLA designation to cover other parts of the District, this was not founded on evidence currently available to the Council and to do so could weaken the purpose of such a designation and undermine the credibility of the Council’s case when the Core Strategy was examined; and

 

c)     in any case, there would be a separate policy in the Core Strategy covering landscape and the impact of development on it, which would be applicable to the whole of the District.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

(1)              That the principle of Special Landscape Areas and their proposed extent, as summarised in the preamble to this Minute, be supported; and

 

(2)              That proposed policy on Special Landscape Areas, as presented to the Panel, be endorsed for inclusion in the Core Strategy.

 

NOTE: This item is subject to call-in to the OSC

91.

Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation

To receive a report on the consultation exercise undertaken in respect of the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation.

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Saint – Leader of the Council

 

In accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, The Cabinet was invited to agree the designation of the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan Area that included a:

 

·         map identifying the area to which the area application related;

 

·         statement explaining why the area was considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area, and

 

·         statement that the organisation or body making the area application was a relevant body for the purposes of Section 61G of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as Amended).

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to either:

 

1.      approve the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan area so that it would be designated as such, and enable the further development of the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan; or

 

2.      refuse the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan area designation and to publish a notice of its refusal on the Council’s website in line with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet acknowledged that:

 

a)     the application contained a map showing the proposed neighbourhood plan area;

 

b)     Welford-on-Avon Parish Council qualified as a relevant body to submit an area application to the District Council;

 

c)     the area application included a statement that ‘our parish boundary to be suitable and ideal as it encompasses all of Welford on Avon and some isolated residences to which a Neighbourhood Plan would be important’ as an explanation why the area was considered appropriate as a neighbourhood area; and

 

d)     consultation has been carried out on the proposed area application in line with the Regulations during the period 28 March and 17 May 2013.

 

Having regard to the above, The Cabinet accepted that the application, if approved, would be the first formal stage in the neighbourhood planning process and would enable further development of the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan. Accordingly, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the Welford-on-Avon Neighbourhood Plan Area be designated in accordance with the Map submitted as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

NOTE: This item is subject to call-in to the OSC

92.

Langley Community Plan

To consider the assessment of Langley Community Plan 2013.

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Saint – Leader of the Council

 

Consideration was given to an assessment of the Langley Community Plan 2013 that had been adopted by the Parish Council in May 2013.

 

The Options open to The Cabinet were:

 

1.      to adopt the Plan, as presented at the meeting;

 

2.      to amend parts of the Plan, if deemed necessary; or

 

3.      not to adopt the Plan.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet acknowledged that the Plan:

 

·         was a good example of how a community could prepare a Plan that was both a good source of local community information; and

 

·         provided a sound basis through the Action Plan to address the needs and aspirations of the community being consistent with the policy framework established by the current Local Plan Review 1996.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the Langley Community Plan 2013 be adopted as:

 

·         a material consideration in processing planning applications, in accordance with the Local Plan Review; and

 

·         an important source of local information.

 

NOTE: This item is subject to call-in to the OSC

93.

Review of Sourcing Strategy for Services

To receive a paper presenting the:

 

·         annual progress report detailing the progress of shared services opportunities with Cherwell and South Northamptonshire District Councils; and

 

·         Terms of Reference for the Joint Arrangements Steering Group.

 

In addition, the paper seeks delegations to The Cabinet on future shared service opportunities.

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Thirlwell – Deputy Leader and Partnerships Portfolio

 

Further to the Sourcing Strategy adopted under the provisions of Minute 577 (2011/12), consideration was given to a paper that:

 

1.      presented the annual progress report detailing the progress of shared services opportunities with Cherwell and South Northamptonshire District Councils;

 

2.      presented the Terms of Reference for the Joint Arrangements Steering Group; and

 

3.      sought delegation to The Cabinet on future shared service opportunities.

 

The paper drew The Cabinet’s attention to one of the principles for adopting a shared service in the best interest for the Council being:

 

In deciding on the best option for the tax payer the Council will seek to achieve better service performance at lower cost, while improving service resilience;

 

In respect of the above, to assist the Council in making the above determination the adopted strategy provided the necessary structure in that:

 

The Council will consider a business case, including a financial and performance appraisal, prior to:-

 

·         any service contract procurement exercise;

·         commissioning an alternative service provider;

·         operating a service on behalf of another agency; and,

·         implementing a new service.

 

In accordance with the above, there were a number of service areas for which detailed business cases were being prepared for consideration, including ICT and Legal.

 

The relevant Portfolio Holders proposed minor amendments to the Shared Service and Commissioning Schedule to more accurately reflect the position for ICT Operations and Refuse & Recycling.

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to:

 

1.      agree the draft Terms of Reference for the Joint Arrangements Steering Group;

 

2.      determine the Council’s representation on the Joint Arrangements Steering Group; and

 

3.      review and agree the programme for the development of service provision across the Council.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet acknowledged that:

 

·         the Council had operated a mixed economy for the provision of services for many years although there had been little change in the provider of services over the past five years;

 

·         by assessing each service in turn the Council could decide the level of service it wanted to provide and then the most appropriate provider, e.g. in-house provision, public sector, private sector or voluntary sector;

 

·         the Council had made good progress in developing shared services proposals over the last year and these were to be presented to The Cabinet for consideration;

 

·         it was evident that shared services would need to deliver significant efficiency gains for the Council as further resources were likely to be withdrawn through the Spending Review 2013;

 

·         although Cherwell District Council and South Northants Council remained the Council’s preferred partners for the development of Shared Service opportunities, other options would be considered if viable business cases could be achieved; and

 

·         the introduction of the sourcing strategy had clarified the Council’s approach to service delivery and provided a strong basis for future transformation work in the coming years.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

(1)              The annual progress report detailing the progress of shared services opportunities with Cherwell and South Northamptonshire District Councils, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

94.

Capital Outturn 2012/13 and Capital Slippage

To receive the Capital Outturn for 2012/13 and consider requests for Capital Slippage to 2013/14.

Minutes:

Councillor Jennie Ellard – Finance and Business Administration Portfolio

 

The Cabinet was presented at its meeting with a revised report:

 

·         providing details on the final 2012/13 Capital Expenditure against budget (Minute Annex to these Minutes);

 

·         detailing requests made for some capital budgets to be slipped to 2013/14, as follows:

 

o        £50,000 – Disabled Facilities Grants with an additional £100,000 being utilised as an Earmarked Reserve;

o        £37,378 – Minor Works Assistance & Home Repair Grants;

o        £60,000 – Empty Homes with an additional £90,000 being utilised as an Earmarked Reserve;

o        £2,778 – Market Towns – Shipston;

o        £96,441 – Market Town Regeneration;

o        £358,750 – Affordable Housing Investment Programme; and

o        £317,750 – Local Public Service Agreement Round 2 (LPSA2),

o        £52,071 – Section 106 Monies.

 

all as detailed in the report and summarised in Appendix 1 of these Minutes; and

 

·         outlining a suggested Capital Budget for 2013/14 if all requests for slippage and the establishment of Earmarked Reserves were approved; and

 

·         providing an updated summary of the Section 106 funds held by the Council, Appendix 3 to these Minutes.

 

Details of the expenditure compared to budget for each scheme was indicated in the said Minute Annex to these Minutes.

 

During consideration of the report The Cabinet noted that the budget for the schemes in question had previously been approved by The Cabinet and the unspent balances were required to complete each of the projects.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)              That the Capital Budget for 2013/14 be increased by £923,727, as detailed in Appendix 2 to these Minutes for slippage to be financed from the capital receipts as budgeted for in 2012/13; and

 

(2)              That the following Earmarked Reserves be established at the level indicated:

 

a.      Disabled Facilities Grant (£100,000);

b.      Empty Homes (£90,000); and

c.      Landlord Accreditation Scheme (£24,000).

 

NOTE: This item is subject to call-in to the OSC

95.

Draft Revenue Outturn 2012/13 and Revenue Slippage

To receive the Draft Revenue Outturn position for 2012/13 and to consider requests for Revenue Budget slippage to 2013/14.

Minutes:

Councillor Jennie Ellard – Finance and Business Administration Portfolio

 

Consideration was given to a report that

 

·         identified and explained the significant variances between actual expenditure and the approved estimates in 2012/13; and

 

·         identified and requested approval for budget slippage where, for various reasons, it had not been possible to spend the budget within the year.

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to note the outturn figures, as presented, and to either approve the revenue slippage requested or to approved revised proposals.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet noted that:

 

·         for various reasons explained within the report, the Council had an under spend of £269,129 in 2012/13;

 

·         proposed slippage of £379,000 for the following items would give a draft general revenue reserve balance of £2,453,264:

 

o        £289,000 – Development Control; and

o        £90,000 – Policy Planning.

 

·         the following Earmarked Reserves were no longer required and the balances transferred to the general revenue reserve:

 

o        LABGI reserve - £27,424; and

o        Maintenance Reserve - £516,827.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)              That the draft 2012/13 outturn figures, as presented, be noted and the explanation of variances accepted;

 

(2)              That Revenue slippage of £379,000 as detailed in the report and summarised in the preamble to this Minute, from 2012/13 to 2013/14 be approved;

 

(3)              That the underspend of £269,129 be added to the General Fund Revenue balances leaving a draft reserve of £2,453,264; and

 

(4)              That the balance of the Earmarked Reserves for LABGI and Maintenance summarised above be added to the General Fund Revenue balances

 

NOTE: This item is subject to call-in to the OSC

96.

Prudential Indicators - 2012/13 Outturn Position

To receive details of the Prudential Indicators Outturn position for the year ended 31 March 2013.

Minutes:

Councillor Jennie Ellard – Finance and Business Administration

 

Details were reported of the Prudential Indicators outturn position for the year ended 31 March 2013, as reflected in the Capital and Revenue outturn reports considered above.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

            That the report be noted.

 

NOTE: This item is not subject to call-in.

97.

Corporate Strategy Monitoring Year End Report 2012/13

To receive the Year End Performance Report for the Corporate Strategy Strategic Indicators 2012/13.

Minutes:

Councillor Jennie Ellard – Finance & Business Administration Portfolio

 

The Cabinet was presented with the Year End Performance Report for the Corporate Strategy Strategic Indicators 2012/13, details of which were contained in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to:

 

1.      note achievement against targets; or

 

2.      request further information.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet noted that:

 

·         of the 13 Strategic Indicators, 9 (69%) had been achieved and 4 (31%) had not been achieved;

 

·         compared to 2011/12 performance had improved in 8 (62%) of the Indicators, 1 (7%) had remained static and performance had fallen for the remaining 4 (31%) of the Indicators; and

 

·         actions had been identified to ensure that performance improved across all underperforming areas.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

          That performance during 2012/13 be noted.

 

NOTE: This item is not subject to call-in to the OSC

98.

Community Transport Task and Finish Group

To consider recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Gray – Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Short now disclosed a Personal Interest in this item as a Trustee of the Stratford Town Trust.

 

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Community Transport Task and Finish Group that had been endorsed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) at its meeting on 17 April 2013 (Minute 898 (2012/13) refers).

 

The options open to The Cabinet were to either:

 

1.      agree the recommendation as contained in the said Minute 898; or

 

2.      refer the item back to the OSC for further consideration.

 

In considering the options, The Cabinet noted the comments made by the Task and Finish Group that:

 

·         the proposal provided a realistic opportunity to introduce a sustainable Community Transport Scheme which was essential for residents across the District;

 

·         the new scheme would appeal to a wider range of residents and make a more efficient use of vehicles through the zoned area approach; and

 

·         although the scheme was predominantly ‘demand responsive’ it would provide the flexibility to cater for the more vulnerable and elderly resident who currently used Community Links.

 

Having regard to the above and acknowledging that if the implementation of the Scheme was endorsed detailed arrangements would be presented to The Cabinet for consideration as part of the budget development process in September, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That work commence on implementing a Community Transport Scheme to be operational by 1 April 2014.

 

NOTE: This item is not subject to call-in as The Cabinet have endorsed the recommendation from the OSC

99.

The Cabinet Work Programme

To note The Cabinet Work Programme for the period July to October 2013.

 

NOTE: The Programme is due to be published on 14 June 2013 and copies will be available at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted the Work Programme for July 2013.

100.

Member Development Working Group

To receive the Minutes of the meeting of the Group held on 21 March 2013.

Minutes:

Councillor Gillian Roache – Community Safety, Health & Wellbeing Portfolio

 

On the presentation of the Minutes of the meeting of the Member Development Working Group held on 30 April 2013, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

          That the Minutes, as presented, be received and noted.

 

NOTE: This item is not subject to call-in to the OSC

101.

Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Panel

To receive the Minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 April 2013.

 

(NOTES

 

1.      Minute 67 was dealt with by The Cabinet under Minute 31 (2013/14);

 

2.      The recommendation contained in Minute 68 is contained in Agenda Item 5 above; and

 

3.      The recommendations contained in Minute 69 are contained in Agenda Item 6 above.)

Minutes:

Councillor Gillian Roache – Community Safety, Health & Wellbeing Portfolio

 

On the presentation of the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Panel held on 30 April 2013:

 

(a)              Minute 67 – Implications of Welfare Reform for the Affordable Housing Development Programme

 

The recommendation contained in this Minute had been dealt with by The Cabinet at its meeting on 20 May 2013 (Minute 31 (2013/14) refers).

 

(b)              Minute 68 – Methodology for the Identification of Local Service Villages

 

The recommendation contained in this Minute was dealt with under Minute 89 above.

 

(c)              Minute 69 – Special Landscape Areas Policy

 

The recommendation contained in this Minute was dealt with under Minute 90 above.

 

Thereafter, it was

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That, subject to the decisions taken on these Minutes, the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning and Housing Policy Advisory Panel held on 30 April 2013 were received and noted.

 

NOTE: This item is not subject to call-in to the OSC.

102.

Urgent Business

To consider any business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, is urgent in accordance with the provisions of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.