Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Monday 3rd June 2019 11.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Lisa Cooper  01424 787813

Items
No. Item

CB19/1

Minutes

To authorise the Leader to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2019 as a correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

The Chairman was authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2019 as a correct record of the proceedings.

CB19/2

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor K.P. Dixon, Chairman of the Tourism Task and Finish Group and Robin Vennard, Assistant Director Resources.

CB19/3

Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.  Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made by Councillors in the Minutes as indicated below:

 

Vine-Hall                     Agenda Item 6 – Personal Interest in so far as he owns and runs a holiday let.

 

 

 

CB19/4

Recommendations of the Tourism Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet received and considered Minute OSC18/52 arising from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) held on 29 April 2019 that had considered the final recommendations of the Tourism Task and Finish Group (TT&FG).  The OSC had appointed the TT&FG to undertake a scrutiny review of the Council’s tourism activities.

 

The TT&FG had undertaken a thorough and comprehensive review by way of officer presentations and reports and presentations from relevant external organisations / stakeholders.  The review had focused on various aspects of the visitor economy, as well as updating the Visitor Economy Chapter of the Council’s Economic Regeneration Strategy, as attached at Appendix A to the report.  The work of the TT&FG culminated in the identification of eight main recommendations, which included improvements in marketing, visitor information, research, accommodation, events, strategic / partnership working, budget and funding and sharing economy.  It was also acknowledged that the Council’s capacity and priorities were of necessity shaped by the resources at its disposal; and that the Council had to target its activity at those areas where it could have the greatest impact.

 

During the debate the following points were noted:

 

·       Questions were raised regarding what services were provided by 1066 Country and the geographical area it covered.  Cabinet was advised that 1066 covered the whole of the Rother District, Hastings Borough and Eastern Wealden District including Hertsmonceux and Pevensey.  Members were encouraged to view 1066 Country’s website https://www.visit1066country.com/.  Further information was available from the Regeneration Team.

·       Members queried what services Brochure Connect provided.  It was confirmed that three Tourist Information Points (TIPs,) located within each of the main towns in the district were supported by the service, with a further network of 32 Local Information Points (LIPs).  They circulated and distributed all tourism literature across the district.  A suggestion was proposed that all literature be delivered to the Parish and Town Council Clerks to ensure maximum coverage, particularly across the rural areas.

·       It was considered important that stringent Key Performance Indicators were linked to the Economic Regeneration Strategy, monitored by the Lead Member for Public Realm, Culture and Tourism and reported to the OSC.

·       All organisations be made aware of the current policy and guidelines for the allocation of event funding.

 

Several amendments were proposed to the recommendations, as follows:

 

·       1) i. to remove the wording “three year” and include the words “to be reviewed annually” at the end of the sentence.

·       1) iii. be changed from annual to “6 monthly” basis.  Cabinet was reminded that the OSC set their own Work Programme, therefore it would be up to the Committee to review this, subject to the commitments of their Work Programme.

·       1) viii. to remove the word “available” and replace with “promoted”.

·       By the inclusion of “toilets” to paragraph 6 of section “As a service provider and legislator” after the word museums of Appendix A – Draft Visitor Economy Chapter to the Council’s Economic Regeneration Strategy.   

 

An amendment was proposed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item CB19/4

CB19/5

Call-in and Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

Members received and considered Minute OSC18/54 arising from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting held on the 29 April 2019 which detailed the Council’s Call-in and Urgency Procedures. 

 

The Call-In procedure was the mechanism by which the Council’s OSC could challenge decisions made by the Executive that were not yet implemented.  Members noted that no Executive decisions had been called-in, and four decisions of Cabinet, within the approved budget and policy framework had been deemed and resolved as urgent decisions.

 

Cabinet agreed that the current arrangements for Call-in and Urgency Procedures remained satisfactory.

 

RESOLVED: That the Call-In Procedure and the current arrangements for calling-in an executive decision be agreed.

CB19/6

Roles and Functions pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to the report of the Executive Directors on Cabinet’s role and functions.  As part of the Members’ Induction process a report outlining each Committee’s roles and responsibilities was presented to the first meeting of each Committee in the new municipal year, including Cabinet. 

 

The report gave details of the decision making structure at Rother which detailed how the Council operated a Leader and Cabinet Executive model of decision making since November 2001. Additionally, in accordance with the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, the Council had adopted the provisions of the “strong Leader” Executive Leader and Executive Cabinet model.

 

The report detailed workings of Cabinet in relation to its role and responsibilities, composition, meetings, decision making, the Forward Plan of Key Decisions, attendance and speaking at Cabinet meetings by non-Executive Members, and openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations (new public rights).  It was agreed that the report provided a useful guide for all Members.

 

Members reconsidered the start time of the meetings and it was agreed that all future Cabinet meetings from 1 July 2019 would commence at 6:30pm.  It was also requested that the decision not to audio / video record meetings be reconsidered at a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)     the report be noted;

 

2)     all future meetings of Cabinet from 1 July 2019 would commence at 6:30pm; and

 

3)     the decision not to audio / video recording meetings be reconsidered at a future meeting.

CB19/7

Irrecoverable Debts pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director concerning irrecoverable debts.  Debts in excess of £4,000 could only be written out of the Council’s accounts with the consent of Cabinet.  Where it was apparent that the debts would not be recovered, it was financially prudent for these to be excluded from the accounts; this did not mean that the Council could not take action in the future, if information was received indicating the debt could then be recovered. Furthermore, when residents / businesses having difficulty paying the Council approached the relevant service area, every effort was made to assist them through the application of e.g. relevant rate reliefs or discretionary hardship payments as appropriate.

 

Cabinet was asked to write off 12 cases in total relating to Housing Benefit overpayments (five cases), Council Tax (five cases) and two Non-Domestic Rate cases totalling £86,360.03. 

 

Members were reassured that the Council’s debt recovery work was robust and undertaken in accordance with current Council policy.

 

Cabinet requested that the Council’s Debt Management and Debt Recovery Policies be reviewed at a future meeting. 

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)    the debts totalling £86,360.03 be approved for writing out of the accounts; and

 

2)    Debt Management and Debt Recovery Policies be reviewed at a future meeting.

CB19/8

Treasury Management Update pdf icon PDF 479 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet agreed that this report be deferred to the meeting scheduled to be held on 1 July 2019.

 

RESOLVED: That Treasury Management Update be deferred and reported at the meeting scheduled to be held on 1 July 2019.