Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108

Items
No. Item

36.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29 November 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 29 November 2017 be approved, and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

37.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.

 

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

 

Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

38.

Mayor's Announcements

Including a presentation from Power of Parenting.

Minutes:

Presentation from Power of Parenting

 

The Mayor welcomed Paul Adams, Founder and Trustee of Power of Parenting, who had been invited to the meeting to talk to the Members present about the charity.

 

Mr Adams advised the meeting of his own personal fostering journey and explained that he was passionate that ‘Life as it should be’ for looked after children (LAC) should be improved.

 

He explained the charity’s objectives were:

·         to provide financial and moral support for LAC to fulfil their academic/sporting achievements in the form of a bursary

·         to raise the profile of all foster carers especially in Bracknell Forest in relation to the invaluable work they do with young people

·         help recruit more foster carers

 

He described the successful fundraising in the charity’s first two years which had achieved £20k to date and had enabled the first £12,000 bursary to be available.

 

His long-term objective for the charity was to own a building in Bracknell called the “POP” building which would be a place of safety, where looked after children would be always be welcome, with an area of accommodation and learning and development, run and maintained by the charity.

 

In response to Members’ queries, Mr Adams made the following points:

·         The charity had no overheads as Mr Adams was able to cover the costs through his work as a safeguarding consultant.

·         He reported that his plan to recruit more foster carers was focused on using his network of retired police officers who he believed had the skills of public protection and understanding of behavioural science.

·         He was working with Red Snapper Plc to market the opportunities of fostering to their database of police officers.

·         He hoped that he could develop the model of Power of Parenting at a local level and that the model could be repeated elsewhere in the country.

 

The Mayor thanked Mr Adams for attending the meeting.

 

Mayoral Charity Collection days

 

The Mayor thanked everyone who had supported the two collection days and announced that over £2,000 had been raised for her charity, the Firefighter’s Charity.

 

Naming Waste Truck Raffle

 

The Mayor reported that due to her illness she had needed to delay the official naming ceremony for the two trucks until 14 February.

 

Thanks to Past Mayors

 

The Mayor thanked the Immediate Past Mayor and Past Mayors who had attended events to represent the Council in December on her and the Deputy Mayor’s behalf while she was unwell.

 

Team working on recycling

 

CouncillorMrs Hayes MBE, Executive Member for the Environment shared with the meeting an image of a large amount of glass which had been left around recycling bins obstructing access. Working with partners Councillor Ms Merry had helped remove 40 trolleys worth of glass and was thanked for her efforts with a gift by Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE.

 

The Mayor in turn gave Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE a gift in recognition of her support in organising the naming of the waste truck raffle.  Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE replied that she thoroughly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Executive Report pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To receive the Leader’s report on the work of the Executive since the Council meeting held on 29 November 2017.

 

Council is asked to note the Executive decisions detailed in the report.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bettison OBE, presented his report on the work of the Executive since that reported at the Council meeting on 29 November 2017. The Executive had met once on 19 December 2017.

 

The Council noted the Executive decisions detailed in the report. The Leader highlighted the following matters that had been considered:

 

·         The Capital Programme & Revenue Budget proposals were agreed. The six week consultation with Overview & Scrutiny and the public had begun. A full debate would be held at the February Council meeting.

 

·         The Rights of Way Improvement Plan had been agreed which built on the plan published in 2016 and incorporated consultation feedback.

 

·         The consultation for the Thames Basin Heath SPA Supplementary Planning Document was launched on 8 January running until 19 February 2018. The document would provide greater clarity on regulations, buffer zones and SANG’s.

 

·         The Corporate Performance Overview Report for Quarter Two was reviewed and performance was largely back on track. Highlights included the opening of the Lexicon, the re-opening of Coral Reef, positive Care Quality Commission Local Area Review and the launch of the new Resources Directorate. He noted that other achievements in 2017 were the Ofsted inspection, launch of “Help Yourself” digital platform, introduction of Family Safeguarding Model, successful NPIF bid for dualling of Downshire Way and delivery of £7m+ of transformation programme savings.

 

In relation to the Revenue Budget 2018/19 Councillor Mrs Temperton asked why it was stated in the report at paragraph 5.2.3 that the Commercial Investment Strategy was providing £1m of income when it had been previously reported at the November Council meeting that it was generating £2million. Councillor Bettison confirmed that this was an error in the report and the amount of income being delivered by the strategy was £2m per annum.

 

In relation to the Council Plan Overview Report Councillor Mrs Temperton enquired why vacancies and staff illness rates had not been included in the second quarter Quarterly Service Reports. She stated that she found the data a useful indicator of wellbeing of the Council’s staff. Councillor Bettison agreed to respond after the meeting once he had investigated the omission.

40.

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 925 KB

To consider the Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report regarding the Council’s Pay Policy Statement which it is required to publish in accordance with the 2011 Localism Act and aligned with the requirements of the Transparency Regulations.

 

On the proposition of Councillor McLean, Chairman of Employment Committee and seconded by Councillor Allen it was:

 

RESOLVED that the Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19 be agreed.

41.

Question Submitted Under Council Procedure Rule 10

By Councillor Mrs Temperton to Councillor Birch, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing:

 

Universal Credit is coming to Bracknell in February. What preparations are in place to advise and support claimants especially during any five/six week wait for receipt of their money?

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs Temperton asked Councillor D Birch, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing the following published question:

 

Universal Credit is coming to Bracknell in February. What preparations are in place to advise and support claimants especially during any five/six week wait for receipt of their money?

 

In response Councillor D Birch stated that the question was not accurate as the Autumn budget had revised the implementation date to May 2018. He added that Universal Credit for single people had been operating in Bracknell Forest since September 2015. Officers were monitoring and supporting single people on universal credit  and 52 people moved onto it so far in 2017-18. The Council was contracted by Department for Work and Pensions to provide budgeting support for people referred to them by Job Centre and would continue to help couples and families with this life skill. The Autumn budget also proposed that new applicants would also get housing benefit for two weeks after their initial claim which would provide a financial buffer. Bracknell Forest officers were advising residents of the changes and there was the ability to ask for advance payments if they were in demonstrable hardship. He stated that the Council’s administration cared about its residents and offered means tested financial support.  

 

Councillor Mrs Temperton stated that she was pleased that the implementation date had been delayed, enquired what ICT support was available and whether residents were being offered support to complete the complicated forms. In reply to the supplementary question Councillor D Birch said that the Council had introduced ‘My benefits’, use of the site was increasing and it assisted claimants to assess benefits claims. He described the support system options that were available as officers were giving advice to residents who visited the offices, going out to sheltered housing schemes to  provide advice as well as training appropriate onsite staff such as wardens or attending people’s homes to provide direct advice or assisting family members. He concluded that support would be established and increased by April 2018 for people in the most need of support.