Venue: The Arts Centre, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton
To receive Disclosures of Interest on any matter before the Council
Councillor Fox declared an ‘other’ interest in all items on the agenda (reason: Whaley Bridge Town Clerk)
It was moved by Councillor Ashton and seconded by Councillor Kemp that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 be approved as a correct record, subject to the correction of the spelling of Cllr Siddall’s surname on page 7 of the minutes.
The Mayor was authorised to sign the minutes.
The Mayor reminded councillors that her “Civic Bash” would take place on 9 March 2019.
During the item, Councillor Ashton announced that Councillor Pritchard would not be seeking re-election at the forthcoming elections, and, along with other members of Council, paid tribute to Councillor Pritchard’s long service and contribution to the Council.
Councillor A McKeown also announced that Councillors Claff and Jenner would also not be seeking re-election and paid tribute to their contribution to the Council.
Questions of which notice has been given
Five residents of Whaley Bridge submitted the following question to the Executive Councillor for Housing and Communities:
‘We, the undersigned, are tenants of High Peak Borough Council.
Nos. 7, 9, 11 and 13 Park Road, Whaley Bridge are a block of four OAP bungalows. They replaced the ‘prefabs’ constructed after the Second World War. At the time of the construction of the bungalows, the living rooms at the rear and the kitchens at the front were switched around so that all the drainage was changed too. Rats have been a problem since that time.
This problem came to a head when new roofs were installed under the Government’s Decent Homes Standard programme which was introduced in 2000. Workmen for the construction company on site were exposed to dozens of rat-infested nests and inches of rat droppings. The men refused to continue with the job. The Council employed a specialist team wearing protected overalls, masks, gloves and Wellington boots to gather all the nests in the infested roofs and throw them into skips below. Since that time, the tenants have lost count of the dozens of visits by pest control operatives to replace rat poison in the roofs.
In 2018, the rat infestation was highlighted when the Council approved the installation of a new wet room at No.13 Park Road. The electrical contractors who were employed by the Council refused to enter the roof space when they noticed the rat nests and rat droppings. Another team of workmen was sent to clear out the insulation material, the rat nests and the decomposing bodies of dead rats; after that, the electricians returned and carried out their interrupted work. It was many months later before the insulation in the roof was replaced following requests by the tenants who found their bungalow unbearably cold.
The Year 2018
During 2018, an inspection of Nos. 7, 9, 11 and 13 was undertaken. Scaffolding was erected and roof tiles were taken off. Rat nests were exposed around chimneys and above front doors; these nests were cleared away and new roof tiles were installed.
Drains at the front have been inspected; broken sewage pipes have been replaced and holes have been repaired. Wire mesh has been put into holes under the eaves. Despite all the investigations and works that have been carried out, the Council has failed to find and block the entry point (or points) used by rats to access the roof spaces of the four bungalows.
The Year 2019
The continuing presence of rats has been confirmed by the Council’s pest control operative.
The continuing problems of rat infestation are:
- Loss of sleep caused by rats scratching and scampering above bedroom ceilings
- The smell and stench from the decomposing bodies of rats is unbearable and offensive
- Rats carry disease and tenants have to live with this health hazard every day
- Tenants’ Contents Insurance becomes null and void if a fire is caused by rats chewing through electrical cables
- New tenancy ... view the full minutes text for item 18/32
a) 2019/20 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 to 2022/2023
It was moved by Councillor Thrane and seconded by Councillor Ashton that Council:
· Approve the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2019/20 as detailed in Appendix A (section 8)
· Approve the revised Medium Term Financial Plan (2019/20 to 2022/2023) as detailed in Appendix A, including the revised Capital Programme (attached at Annex A) for the General Fund and HRA
· Approve the Capital Strategy detailed in Appendix B
· Approve the updated HRA 30 Business Plan detailed in Appendix C
· Approve the Fees and Charges for 2019/20 as detailed in Appendix D
· Approve the Procurement Forward Plan for 2019/20, providing the authority to procure based on procurement activity detailed in Appendix E
· Approve a Band D Council Tax of £191.76 for 2019/20 (an increase of 2.9% from 2018/19)
· Approve the following HRA charges:
o Dwellings rents to reduce by an average of 1% (over 52 weeks) from £70.00 to £69.40 average per week (over 53 weeks)
o Garage rents to be increased by 5% (over 53 weeks) from £6.47 to £6.79 average per week
o Other charges including service charges to increase by a maximum of 5% for current tenants
o Fuel charges at individual blocks have been reviewed and the 2019/20 charges is based on 2017/18 actual fuel usage / prices, charged on an individual scheme basis
· Note that the Chief Finance Officer’s View is that the level of reserves are adequate for the Council based on this budget and the circumstances in place at the time of preparing it (Appendix A section 7)
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, councillors voted as follows with regard to the recommendations provided within section 2.1 of the report:
The recommendations were declared carried, and it was RESOLVED accordingly.
b) Statement of Community Involvement
It was moved by Councillor Ashton and seconded by Councillor Kemp that the Statement of Community Involvement be approved and adopted, subject to the modifications as set out within the report and as recommended by Economy and Growth Select Committee.
When put to the vote, it was RESOLVED accordingly.
It was moved by Councillor Douglas and seconded by Councillor A McKeown:
a) External Audit – 2018/19 Audit Plan
That the Council notes the External Audit – 2018/19 Audit Plan.
b) Treasury Management Update
That the Council notes the current Treasury Management position (as at 31 December 2018).
c) 2019/20 Treasury Management Strategy
That the Council approves the 2019/20 Treasury Management Strategy.
When put to the meeting, it was RESOLVED accordingly.
It was moved by Councillor Thrane and seconded by Councillor Ashton that the following amounts be now calculated by the Council in accordance with Sections 31A and 31B of the Local Government Act 1992 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011):
(a) £47,111,276 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) of the Act. (Gross Expenditure on General Fund Services, and Parish Precepts)
(b) £40,648,320 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) of the Act. (Gross Income including External Financing and the Use of Reserves)
c) £6,462,956 being the amount by which the aggregate at (a) above exceeds the aggregate at (b) above calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A (4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year (Amount to be Funded from Council Tax)
(d) £211.38 being the amount at (c) above divided by the tax base, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31 (B) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year. (Average Local Council Tax)
(e) Appendix B being Council Tax for the HPBC Borough divided by the tax base plus the Parish Precept and any amounts of special items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council’s area divided the local tax base. (Band D Charges for each Parish)
(f) Appendix C being the amounts given by multiplying the amount at (e) above by the number which, in the proportion 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 as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different valuation bands (Charges for all Bands)
(g) Appendix D being the aggregate of the local charges in (f) above and the amounts levied by major precepting authorities. (Total Council Tax charge for each Band in each Parish)
Local Council Tax at Band D – 2019/20
(Total of the Borough charge plus the named Town or Parish Council)
Local Council Tax All Bands – 2019/20
(Total of the Borough charge plus the named Town or Parish Council)
It was moved by Councillor Thrane and seconded by Councillor Ashton that the Pay Policy Statement 2019/2022 be approved.
When put to the meeting it was RESOLVED accordingly.