Agenda and minutes

Executive
Tuesday 8th January 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

100.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no Apologies for Absence.

 

The Chair welcomed Justin Jupp, Head of Programmes, to his first meeting of the Executive.

 

101.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018 be signed as a true record.

102.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

103.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

104.

E/18/43 Council Housing Rents and Service Charge Levels 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

To ask Executive to recommend to Council a 1% reduction in 2019/20 for housing rents, an increase to garage rents equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1%, and a change to sheltered scheme specific service and utility charges.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

104.1   Councillor MacDonald introduced the report, explaining that housing rents would be reduced by 1% for the 2019/20 financial year, as required by government. For 2020/21 it was anticipated that rents would increase by the rate of the Consumer Price Index plus 1% as this had been announced by government in October 2017.

 

104.2   Councillor MacDonald reported that the service and utility charges for Sheltered Accommodation residents had previously been pooled and that, as a result of a recommendation from the Housing Quality Network, these were now to be charged at an individual scheme level. The housing garage and hard standing charges were proposed to be increased by CPI plus 1% as these were not subject to government regulation.

 

104.3   In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor Fisher

‘Please could you explain the financial cost to the Council of reducing the service & utility charges for sheltered housing residents over the next 4 years? Could you also confirm if this change is mandatory to retain the accreditation for the HQN's Income Management Programme?’

 

Councillor MacDonald explained that it was good practice for the Council to charge for services and energy used at each scheme rather than pooling the charges across all 15 schemes. The change was not mandatory and failure to make the change would not affect the Council’s accreditation with HQN.

 

Councillor MacDonald noted that whilst the charges were reducing, there was no cost to the Council as the charges reflected the actual cost of services and energy used by the individual schemes.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

    i.         that Executive recommend to Council that it determine an appropriate change in rent level from 1 April 2019, in time to give written notice to tenants of a rent decrease by 4 March 2019, and;

 

Reason: In order to implement an appropriate rent level and comply with legal notice requirements.

 

  ii.         that Executive recommend to Council that it approve the new ‘scheme by scheme’ calculation of service and utility charges for sheltered schemes from 1 April 2019 as set out at Appendix 1 to the report, and;

 

Reason: To recover estimated costs of providing the services

 

    iii.      thatExecutive recommend to Council that it approve an increase of 3.4% from 1 April 2019 for housing garage and hard standing rents as set out at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Reason: In order to implement an appropriate rent level.  

 

105.

E/18/44 Urban Character Study Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) pdf icon PDF 420 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Carole Jones

 

The purpose of this report is to explain the proposed draft Urban Character Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). 5 of the 8 Urban Character SPDs were adopted over 2014-2015.

 

In accordance with the Urban Character SPDs already adopted, the proposed draft SPDs identify assets and characteristics that are valued as distinctive elements of the townscape of Ipswich and give different neighbourhoods their individual character. They will enable valued characteristics to be taken into account when changes affecting an area are proposed as part of a planning application and will ensure that development and change reinforces local distinctiveness.

 

The Executive is asked to approve the draft documents for the purposes of public consultation, preparatory to its adoption as the final elements of the SPD. Following the consultation, and subject to the necessary revisions, a final draft of the documents will be referred to Executive and full Council for approval and adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

105.1   Councillor Jones introduced the report, explaining that the Urban Characterisation Studies described, for the benefit of those considering development, areas of Ipswich not covered by a conservation area. The remaining three documents had already been consulted on with relevant Councillors and Officers and it was proposed that the public be given the opportunity to make their views known.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

i.             that Option 1, as set out in paragraph 4.1 of the report, be approved and that the draft Urban Character Supplementary Planning Document (the ‘Consultation Documents’) be approved for public consultation for 6 weeks from 16th January 2019.

 

Reason: To support the implementation of adopted Local Plan policies.

 

ii.          that, up to the start of the consultation period, the Planning and Development Operations Manager be authorised to make minor changes to the wording or layout of the draft Consultation Documents referred to in resolution i, provided that the changes do not materially change the meaning of the Consultation Document.

 

Reason: Prior to the start of the consultation period it is likely that officers will identify areas where the document could be improved in wording and layout terms without impacting on meaning. This recommendation will provide the Planning and Development Operations Manager with the ability to undertake any such changes.

106.

E/18/45 Contaminated Land Strategy pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

This report summarises the review of the current Contaminated Land Strategy 2013 - 2018 and proposes that the new Strategy is approved for 2019.

There is a legal duty on the Council to have a Contaminated Land Strategy under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The report and accompanying strategy detail how Ipswich Borough Council will deal with contaminated land.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

106.1   Councillor Ross introduced the report, explaining that there had been only fairly minor changes made to the strategy. The amendments which had been made were mostly in response to government rule changes.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Contaminated Land Strategy as attached at Appendix 1 be approved for implementation.

 

Reason: The Council is required to have a strategy and the strategy attached to this report meets the legal requirements and takes into account the current statutory guidance published by DEFRA.

107.

E/18/46 HEARS Services and Charges Review pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

This report sets out the background, explores options and makes recommendations following a review of the HEARS service and the associated charges.  It recommends Executive agree to the proposed changes in order to ensure the Council continues to provide an efficient, effective service.

Minutes:

107.1   Councillor Ross commented that the HEARS service had developed into a successful venture, providing a valuable reassurance to its users. The Council would also be investing £35,000 into the service to improve the use of technology.

 

107.2   In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:

 

Question 2 – Councillor Lockington

‘In paragraph 2.13 we are told that only 40 customers are not paying by direct debit. There could be several reasons why these 40 customers are not paying using direct debit and I would assume these reasons have been looked in to, could the Portfolio Holder inform us what the reasons are? If these Customers cannot change the way they pay will you stop their contract? Could it be that another family member pay for the service?’

 

Councillor MacDonald explained that there would be further investigation as to why the remaining 40 customers were paying by a method other than Direct Debit and that if they were not able to pay by Direct Debit then they would remain, as existing customers, able to pay by an alternative method.

 

Question 3 – Councillor Lockington

‘In paragraph 2.14 you automatically include the buying of the Key Safe box with joining up with the responding service. I have no issue with you asking customers to have a Key Safe Box and that you have the offer of installing it, but you could let the customer buy their own and getting it installed themselves, it could save the customers several pounds.’

 

Councillor Ross reported that customers that subscribed to the Monitoring & Responding service would be advised that they would need a key safe box installed as part of the package. This would assist the responders as and when customers called for assistance. The key safe box did not need to be supplied by the HEARS services and could also be installed by the customers privately; however, it would be a requirement that they had a box. Councillor Lockington commented that the report did not make the option of customers fitting their own boxes clear.  

 

107.3   Councillor Ellesmere asked whether the HEARS service was working to integrate new technology into the existing service. The Operations Manager for Customer Services confirmed that the service was buying future-proof systems which would allow integration with new technology as it was developed. Councillor Ross explained that the service was working with Ipswich Hospital to identify new technology which could be used by the HEARS service but noted that it was important that new technology was only used once its effectiveness had been proven.

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the proposed new charging structure set out in Appendix 1 to the report and the revised HEARS service described in the report be approved.

108.

E/18/47 Ipswich Museum - Inspiring a New Generation pdf icon PDF 251 KB

This report updates Executive on progress made in respect of the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum. It seeks approval:

·         to accept a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Development Grant of £461,600;

·         to accept funds raised by the Friends of Ipswich Museum of £10,000;

·         to commit match funding of £300,000 in order to develop a Stage 2 application to HLF.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

108.1   Councillor Jones reported that the Council had been successful in its Stage 1 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and an offer of a grant of £461,000 in order to develop a Stage 2 application for the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum. The Council would need to allocate £300,000 to the project as partial match funding, with the friends of Ipswich Museum also giving £10,000 towards the project.

 

108.2   Councillor Jones noted that this had been the last round of this method of funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and competition for grants had been significant; Councillor Jones attributed the success of the application to the hard work of the officers involved and the Council’s proven commitment to the project.

 

108.3   Councillor Ellesmere commented that it was very pleasing that the Stage 1 application had been successful and that if the Stage 2 bid was approved the project would make the Ipswich Museum significantly better.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

i.             that the commitment of £300,000, as contained in the capital programme, to enable the development of the Stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum be confirmed.

 

Reason: To provide funding required to develop a Stage 2 application to the HLF.

 

ii.            that the Head of Culture and Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer, to enter into a grant award agreement with the Heritage Lottery Fund for £461,600 in order to develop a Stage 2 application to HLF for the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum.

 

Reason: This funding will contribute to the costs that will be incurred by the Council to develop a Stage 2 application to the HLF.

 

iii.          that the Head of Culture and Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer to enter into an agreement with the Friends of Ipswich Museum for £10,000 in order to develop a Stage 2 application to HLF for the redevelopment of Ipswich Museum.

 

Reason:  This funding will contribute to the costs that will be incurred by the Council to develop a Stage 2 application to the HLF.

109.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it was likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

110.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes from Previous Meeting

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018 be signed as a true record.