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MAYOR - Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

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                                   EPSOM AND EWELL
     Minutes of the Meeting of the COUNCIL of the BOROUGH OF EPSOM AND EWELL
                 held at the Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom on 22 February 2005

                                       __________________

                                             PRESENT-

The Mayor (Councillor Brian Angus); The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Jonathon Reed); Councillors
Michael Arthur, John Beckett, Pamela Bradley, Alan Carlson, Sheila Carlson, Lesley Danbury, Graham
Dudley, Lindsey Fisk, Robert Foote, Carol Jay, Eber Kington, Robert Leach, Jonathan Lees, Christine
Long, John Lucas, Keith Mann, Nigel Pavey, Franco Pedace, Derek Phillips, Mike Richardson, Vince
Romagnuolo, Jean Smith, Ruby Smith, Clive Smitheram, Jean Steer, John Sullivan, Colin Taylor, Alan
Winkworth, Charles Wood and David Wood.

In attendance: Honorary Alderman Ron Gee, OBE; Michael Teesdale (lay member of the Standards
Committee).

Apologies for absence: Councillors Paul Green, Simona Hartley, Jan Mason, Nigel Petrie and Natalie
Rogers. Honorary Aldermen Mrs PM Ballard, WR Carpenter, Mrs DB Clark, HW Davison, AE Faulks,
BJR Kibble, RL Lewis, RA Saviel, Mrs JM Storer and MJC Staples.; Honorary Freeman RB Richmond.
                                      __________________

                  The Meeting was preceded by prayers led by the Mayor’s Chaplain.
                                      __________________



71     DEATH OF JIM BLUNDEN. The Council stood in silence for one minute in tribute to Jim
       Blunden, Council Car Park Supervisor, who died following a heart attack on Monday. The
       Mayor and Councillors spoke of Jim’s dedication to his work and offered sympathy to his wife
       and family.


72     HONORARY ALDERMAN MRS JOYCE STORER. The Council offered its best wishes for a
       speedy recovery to Honorary Alderman Mrs Joyce Storer, who is in hospital.


73     MINUTES. The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 14 December 2004 were agreed
       as a true record and signed by the Mayor.


74     MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS. The Mayor announced that this year’s Active Citizen Award
       had been presented to John Garlick.


75     QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER NO. 6.

       (a) Off-street parking in Epsom town centre. Councillor Colin Taylor asked the following
       question and was answered by the Chairman of the Environment Committee, Councillor Michael
       Richardson.

       Question:
       In view of the comments made by a number of members at the recent meeting of the Planning
       Committee about the adequacy or otherwise of the current provision for public off-street parking
       in Epsom town centre and the Council's official view of it, together with the intended start of

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005                                                                 65


       DPE enforcement from April, will you ask for a report to be presented to a meeting of your
       Committee at an early appropriate date about the future supply of, and demand for, off-street
       parking spaces, with a view to formulating an agreed statement of this Council's policy on the
       subject."

       Reply:

       I understand that the question arises from a report on the Emperor House, land at Station
       Approach, Epsom, which can be found elsewhere on this agenda. I do not wish to pre-empt or
       prejudice the debate in respect to this item and therefore will confine my reply to the general
       facts in relation to off-street parking in this Borough.

       It would be inappropriate for the Environment Committee to consider this issue as the Local
       Plans Sub-Committee, as Councillor Taylor will be aware being a member of that sub-committee,
       has decided to review current policy in respect of the level of car parking provision that should be
       made for new developments.

       In the short term when DPE is introduced I am confident that the increased number of cars that
       will be seeking off-street parking can be accommodated as the existing parking demand in Hook
       Road, Upper High Street and Depot Road car parks is currently running at approximately 65% to
       70% of available capacity.


       (b) Photocopying charges. Councillor John Sullivan asked the following question and was
       answered by the Chairman of the Environment Committee, Councillor Michael Richardson.

       Question:

       Why is it that a resident in this area is required to pay £11.60 for the photocopying of two A3
       sheets with regard to a planning application when in the County Council Library it would cost
       him/her only 40p, or with the cashcard facility, 30p?

       Reply:

       It is not clear from the question as to which aspect of a planning application the charge related but
       the charges for Planning & Building Control / Development Control are those adopted, without
       dissent, by the meeting of Council in February 2004 at which Councillor Sullivan was present.

       The cost reflects the need to locate the file, extract the document, copy and, in some cases, a
       copyright charge. However, the Residents Association Council has introduced efficiencies into
       the service and therefore some of the charges have now been abolished for the benefit of
       residents.


       (c) Depot Road Car park – occupation by travellers. Councillor John Sullivan asked the
       following question and was answered by the Chairman of the Environment Committee,
       Councillor Michael Richardson.

       Question:

       Bearing in mind the recent occupations of the Depot Road Car Park by travellers, why does the
       Council not introduce height restriction barriers in order to eliminate this problem?




Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
66                                                           Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005


       Reply:

       This has previously been considered by the Council but rejected on the basis that to introduce
       height restriction barriers at Depot Road and Upper High Street car parks would seriously
       inconvenience other users of the car park and have a deleterious effect for residents, shoppers and
       traders.


76     STRATEGY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE. The recommendations arising from the meeting
       of the Strategy & Resources Committee held on 1 February 2005 were received.

Resolved

       that recommendation 67M be approved and adopted.


77     STANDARDS COMMITTEE. The minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on
       17 January 2005 were received and adopted.


78     LICENSING COMMITTEE. The recommendations arising from the meeting of the Licensing
       Committee held on 7 February 2005 were noted. In accordance with Counsel’s advice received
       after circulation of the Council agenda, recommendations 68N, O and P were not considered by
       the Council.

       It was Moved by Councillor Alan Winkworth, SECONDED by Councillor Clive Smitheram and
       AGREED that recommendation 68 Q be approved.


79     SCRUTINY COMMITTEE. The minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee held on 9
       February 2005 were received and adopted.


80     PLANNING COMMITTEE. The recommendations arising from the meeting of the Planning
       Committee held on 10 February 2005 were received.

       Upon Recommendation 69R it was MOVED by Councillor Keith Mann and SECONDED by
       Councillor Clive Smitheram:

           "That Recommendation R be referred back to the Planning Committee for further negotiations
           on the siting of equipment.”

       Upon being put the MOTION was CARRIED there being 20 Members in favour and 3 against.

Resolved

       that recommendation 69R as amended above be approved and adopted

(Note: In accordance with the Local Code of Conduct, Councillors John Beckett and Christine Long
declared their personal and prejudicial interests in the above item by virtue of their current and past
employments respectively and left the Chamber, taking no part in the debate).

       Upon Recommendation 70S it was MOVED by Councillor Colin Taylor and SECONDED by
       Councillor Charles Wood:




                                                                           Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005                                                                 67


           "That a further condition be added to the planning permission to the effect that the car park be
           re-allocated so that sufficient spaces are provided on the basis of one parking space per
           dwelling”

(At this point, at 8pm, the Mayor adjourned the meeting owing to a disturbance in the public gallery.
The meeting resumed at 8.10pm)

       Upon being put the MOTION was LOST, there being 10 Members in favour and 17 against.

Resolved

       that recommendation 70S be approved and adopted .


81     2005/06 BUDGET AND COUNCIL TAX. The Council gave consideration to its 2005/06
       budget, including policy committee budgets, cost centre information, fees and charges, the
       corporate capital programme and Council Tax amounts for each band of dwelling (and including
       recommendations 59A, B and C, 60D, 61E and F, 62G. 63H and I and 64J, 65K and 66L of the
       Environment, Social, Leisure and Strategy & Resources Committees).

       In moving the reception and adoption of recommendation 61E, Councillor Ruby Smith MOVED
       the adoption of the charges for vehicle licensing set out on page 47 of the agenda.

       In presenting the recommendations, the Chairman of the Strategy & Resources Committee,
       Councillor Eber Kington made a statement to the Council on the budget for 2005/06.

       It was thereupon MOVED by Councillor Vince Romagnuolo and SECONDED by Councillor
       Alan Carlson:

           "That Recommendations (1) to (10) be changed to allow the figures to reflect a Council Tax
           increase of 2.5%, which is in line with inflation, as outlined in Appendix 14 to the report. This
           means for a property in band D the increase in Council Tax will be £3.18.”

       Upon being put the MOTION was LOST, there being 4 Members in favour and the majority
       against.

       It was further MOVED by Councillor Colin Taylor and SECONDED by Councillor Jonathan
       Lees:

           "That an additional recommendation be approved as follows:

           Nevertheless, considering:

             The General Fund Working Balance is estimated to fall to its target floor by 2007/08 and to
              £2 million by 2008/09;
             The annual Forecast Budget Shortfall (requiring the use of working balance) is estimated as
              rising rather than falling by 2008/09;
             In the current year 2004/05 the use of working balances is expected to rise from the
              budgeted £463,000 to £680,000 despite officers’ best efforts;
             The established trend for the Government’s support grant not to match inflation;
             The likely effects on support grants in the South East of the government’s intended
              revaluation exercise;
             The estimated figures for 2005/06 and future years are based upon “challenging” savings
              targets;


Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
68                                                           Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005


           more radical measures will need to be in place by or before 2007/08 to avoid the need for an
           unsupportable council tax increase that would invite capping, leading to severe financial
           difficulties for the Council.
           Accordingly an appropriate form of expenditure review panel should be set up forthwith to
           recommend the measures needed to prevent this situation arising”.

     Upon being put the MOTION was LOST, there being 5 Members in favour and the majority
     against.

     The Council then resolved:

     (1)      That the following estimates recommended by the policy committees be approved:-
               a. The revised revenue estimates for the year 2004/05 and the revenue estimates for
                  2005/06, and
               b. The revised capital programme for the year 2004/05, the capital programme for 2005/06
                  and the provisional programme for 2006/07 – 2008/09, as summarised in the capital
                  strategy statement.
     (2)     That the Fees and Charges recommended by the policy committees be approved for 2005/06,
             including the proposed charges for vehicle licensing set out on page 47 of the agenda..
     (3)     That requests for approval of supplementary estimates in 2005/06 be considered only if the
             committee making the request can clearly demonstrate that equivalent savings have already
             been made or sufficient additional income generated.
     (4)     That it be noted that under delegated powers the Director of Finance calculated the amount of
             30,853.30 as its Council Tax Base for the year 2005/06 in accordance with regulation 3 of the
             Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 made under section
             33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (LGF Act 1992).
     (5)     That the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2005/06 in
             accordance with sections 32 to 36 of the LGF Act 1992:

                 (a) £32,186,030 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the
                     items set out in section 32(2)(a) to (e) of the Act
                 (b) £24,527,076 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the
                     items set out in section 32(3)(a) to (c) of the Act
                 (c) £7,658,954 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the
                     aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with section 32(4)
                     of the Act, as its budget requirement for the year.
                 (d) £3,544,975 being the aggregate of the sums which the Council estimates will be
                     payable for the year into its general fund in respect of redistributed non-domestic
                     rates, revenue support grant, additional grant or special grant reduced by the amount
                     of the sums which the Council estimates will be transferred in the year from its
                     general fund to its collection fund in accordance with section 97(4) of the Local
                     Government Finance Act 1988 (Council Tax Deficit).
                 (e) £133.34 being the amount at 5(c) above less the amount at 5(d) above, all divided by
                     the amount at 4 above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with section 33(1) of
                     the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year
                 (f) Valuation Bands




                                                                          Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005                                                                    69



                                       Band               Billing Authority
                                                               Amount
                                                                  £
                                       A                        88.89
                                       B                        103.71
                                       C                        118.52
                                       D                        133.34
                                       E                        162.97
                                       F                        192.60
                                       G                        222.23
                                       H                        266.68
                being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at 5(e) above by the number which, in
                the proportion set out in Section 5(1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a
                particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to
                dwellings listed in valuation band D, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section
                36(1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories
                of dwellings listed in different valuation bands.
       (6)      That it be noted that for the year 2005/06 Surrey County Council and Surrey Police
                Authority have stated the following in precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with
                section 40 of the LGF Act 1992, for each of the categories of the dwellings shown below:-

                                                         Precepting Authority

                     Valuation                Surrey County                    Surrey
                      Band                       Council                  Police Authority
                                                    £                             £
                         A                        613.80                         102.84
                         B                        716.10                         119.98
                         C                        818.40                         137.12
                         D                        920.70                         154.26
                         E                      1,125.30                         188.54
                         F                      1,329.90                         222.82
                         G                      1,534.50                         257.10
                         H                      1,841.40                         308.52
             (7) That, having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 5(f) and 6 above, the
                 Council, in accordance with section 30(2) of the LGF Act 1992, hereby sets the following
                 amounts as the amounts of Council Tax for the year 2004/05 for each of the categories of
                 dwellings shown below: -




Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
70                                                           Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005


                                     Valuation            Council Tax
                                      Band                    £
                                        A                   805.53
                                        B                   939.79
                                        C                 1,074.04
                                        D                 1,208.30
                                        E                 1,476.81
                                        F                 1,745.32
                                        G                 2,013.83
                                        H                 2,416.60

      (8)   That the Council receives the Director of Finance’s Statement on the Reserves as attached at
            Appendix 9.
      (9)   That the Council agrees the Prudential Indicators and Authorised Limits for 2005/06 as set out
            in Appendix 12 including: -
              a.      Affordability Prudential Indicators
              b.      The actual and estimated Capital Financing Requirement
              c.      The estimated levels of borrowing and investment
              d.      The authorised and operational limits for external debt
              e.      The treasury management prudential indicators
      (10) That the Council receives the budget risk assessment and notes the conclusion of the Director
           of Finance that these budget proposals are robust and sustainable as concluded in this report.


      The Council asked that its thanks to Council staff be recorded for their dedication to the Council,
      and particularly to the Director of Finance and his staff for their innovative approach, hard work
      and expertise during the year. Congratulations were also expressed to the Operational Services
      team for increasing the re-cycling rate, to the Best Value Review of Bureaucracy team and to the
      Chairman and Officers of Planning Committee.


82    APPOINTMENT OF A COUNCILLOR TO THE PLANNING AND LICENSING
      COMMITTEES. Following the resignation of Councillor Michael Guest, the Council was asked
      to appoint a Councillor to the Planning and Licensing Committees.


      It was MOVED by Councillor Clive Smitheram, SECONDED by Councillor Michael Arthur and
      CARRIED without a division:
              that Councillor Michael Richardson be appointed to the Planning Committee.
      It was MOVED by Councillor Derek Phillips, SECONDED by Councillor Clive Smitheram and
      CARRIED without a division:
              that Councillor John Lucas be appointed to the Licensing Committee.

Resolved

      That Councillor Michael Richardson be appointed to the Planning Committee and Councillor John
      Lucas be appointed to the Licensing Committee.




                                                                          Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
Meeting of the Council, 22 February 2005                                                               71


83     APPOINTMENT OF A COUNCILLOR TO THE EPSOM AND WALTON DOWNS
       TRAINING GROUNDS MANAGEMENT BOARD. Following the resignation of Councillor
       Michael Guest, the Council was asked to appoint a Councillor to the Epsom and Walton Downs
       Training Grounds Management Board with immediate effect.


       It was MOVED by Councillor Jonathan Lees and SECONDED by Councillor Nigel Pavey:
               “That Councillor Charles Wood be appointed to the Epsom And Walton Downs Training
               Grounds Management Board.”
       It was thereupon MOVED by Councillor Jean Smith and SECONDED by Councillor Clive
       Smitheram:
               “That Councillor Jean Steer be appointed to the Epsom And Walton Downs Training
               Grounds Management Board.”
       There being more nominations than the number of positions to be filled, the Council resolved to
       waive Standing Order 15 in order to vote on these motions by show of hands rather than by ballot.
       There being 6 votes in favour of Councillor Charles Wood and 20 in favour of Councillor Jean Steer,
       the Council resolved:

       That Councillor Jean Steer be appointed to the Epsom and Walton Downs Training Grounds
       Management Board.


84     APPOINTMENT OF A COUNCILLOR TO THE REVIEW TEAM FOR THE BEST VALUE
       REVIEW OF CUSTOMER CONTACT. The Council resolved to appoint Councillor John
       Beckett to the review team for the Best Value Review of Customer Contact.



The meeting ended at 9.35pm




                                                                                                 MAYOR




Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

				
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