13th January 2021

 

 

Dear Councillor

 

This is to inform you that a Meeting of the Council will be held via Zoom at 7.30p.m. on Wednesday 20th January 2021, to which you are summoned, for the transaction of the following business.

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82197748937?pwd=VGlWalZXRGRPNTMwL21uaE5rdEk1QT09

 

 

Meeting ID: 821 9774 8937

Passcode: 178697

 

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Yours sincerely,

 

Description: CALloyd

C A Lloyd

Town Clerk

AGENDA

1.               APOLOGIES

            To receive apologies for absence if any.

2.               DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS

Members are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary and/or personal interests that they may have in relation to items on this Agenda.

 

You should declare at this part of the meeting or when it becomes apparent your interest by stating:

 

(a)             the item you have the interest in

(b)        whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest and the nature of the interest, whereupon you will not participate in the discussion or vote on that matter, unless dispensation has been requested and granted

(c)        whether it is a personal interest and the nature of the interest

 

Members are also reminded of their obligation to report any amendment to their Register of Interests to the Town Clerk as soon as it becomes apparent.

3.               TO NOTE THE ADVICE FROM NALC REGARDING PERSISTENT ABSENCE FROM MEETINGS

To note the attached advice.

4.               QUESTION TIME

Fifteen minutes of the Meeting will be given over to questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Council.

5.               MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meetings held on 29th July 2020, 12th August 2020, 26th August 2020 and 21st October 2020 (copies attached).

 

In accordance with Standing Order 12;

 

a.       The draft minutes of a preceding meeting having been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, shall be taken as read.

b.       There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of the preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved in accordance with standing order 10(a)(i).

c.        The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.

d.       If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, they shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:

       “The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the (   ) held on [date] in respect of (   ) were a correct record but their view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”

6.               ACTIONS FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS

To note the attached

7.               MOTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

In accordance with Standing Orders to consider the following motions from Councillors;

 

MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR RICHARD GRIFFITHS

 

Attached are three sketches that I have prepared for submission to Council on 11 Nov 2020 relating to a Community Stadium facility at Birchwood. The coloured drawing is on A2 paper which was the most convenient size in order to demonstrate to members where the facility will be sited.

 

This proposal is for use for Community Sporting and Leisure activity covering sports that are played outdoors or even on occasions for sports generally recognised as indoor sports but can take pace externally during summer periods.

 

Men and women’s football, boys and girls football, the same for rugby, hockey, and boxing and wrestling in the summer.  The Stadium will be a comfortable sitting area whilst activities are taking place on the pitch.

 

Scope is available for all sporting organisations to be able to develop their own activity as far as they want to take it, some, such as boxing could take place on our stage.

 

Some organisations might want to set up annual events, there is a lot of scope.

 

I believe we will be able to obtain funding through the S.106 route, and, perhaps, extensions to the sides of the proposals could be obtained through sponsorship.

 

I am aware that there may have to be some changes to accommodate land ownership between the Town Council and Birchwood and deHavilland Playing Fields Trust.

 

I move that the Council advertise for Architects/Engineers/Quantity Surveyors so that all the necessary approvals and prices can be obtained for consideration.

 

 

MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR JACQUELINE BRENNAN

 

Over many months there has been discussion in Hatfield Town Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on sustainable transport (specifically cycling).  Also, we have discussed the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan to start the process of identifying what we do and don’t want in Hatfield.

 

I propose that we link the two ideas together and start the Neighbourhood Development Plan by considering what we want in Hatfield by way of dedicated cycle provision.  We have some cycle paths but they don’t connect up. Some are too narrow and do not meet new requirements.  In the longer term this will make part of our contribution to the possible removal of the subways and providing reduced traffic (or no traffic) flow along Queensway as the number of dwellings in town increases dramatically.

 

This motion is a starting point to a process that could take quite a long time.  If we never start we will never have a Neighbourhood Plan.  In future, the plan may give us access to new funding or a more forceful voice in discussions about the Town Centre developments.

 

The motion to be voted on is “This council will establish a group of interested people from the local community to define the Neighbourhood for the plan and to identify the cycling initiatives to investigate”

 

 

MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR EAMES-PETERSEN

 

Adding to the Motion from Cllr Brennan, I wish to request that Members add to the Neighbourhood Plan the following items;

 

1) Four areas of Hatfield have been suggested as " Conservation areas"  whilst I have been a Town Councillor and I believe have restrictive covenants on land

 

A) Old Hatfield

B) The Ryde

C) Ellenbrook and College Lane areas

D) Lemsford village - with the old water mill , Lemsford Springs 

 

We could ask how these can be incorporated in a Neighbourhood Plan for Hatfield.

 

2) "Preserving tasteful character and limiting housing development in Hatfield".  After the Borough Council has granted planning permission over the last 20 years for 10,000  houses but without proper community and infrastructure development, we need the adequate infrastructure added now e.g. a new secondary school, a new GP practice and road development, to develop appropriate community.

 

3) sustainable transport development 

 

Liaison with County and Borough Councils for better cycle paths, electric charging points, public transport, bus routes and electric buses and school buses.

 

 

8.               SETTING THE PRECEPT

To consider the recommendation of the Resources and Policy Committee held on 13th January 2021 (To follow)

9.               DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Council is 31st March 2021.

 

Distribution: All Councillors

 


 

AGENDA ITEM 3

ADVICE FROM NALC’S SOLICITOR

I consider this a governance issue as opposed to a strictly legal one and advise accordingly.

As I understand a Councillor gave reasons for absence; these were not accepted and the meeting continued. The Councillor then appeared, which I suspect may be due to an attending Councillor pre warning/messaging the Councillor in question. This Councillor was then admitted into the meeting; in the same way they could walk into a council room if the meeting was being held in person.

In my view, as soon as the Mayor admitted him, he attended the meeting; it does not matter whether the meeting was under Exclusions of Press and Public or not, the fact is, he was in attendance at a Council meeting. I do not see an issue with whether he voted or not, nor attended for less than 3 minutes. For the purposes of the minutes, he was present at a meeting of the Council.

Whilst noting his reason for absence was not approved early on in the meeting, he then later attended, before the business of meeting was concluded. It is unusual to tender apologies and then turn up. I also do not see the issue with him attending for less than 3 minutes, nor the issue with having microphone problems. It could be argued that he could make himself ‘heard’ by using online chat function, or other ways of non-verbal communication. I believe his attendance at the meeting, albeit for an incredibly short period of time would still be considered as attendance, and therefore he is still a councillor.

I would quickly point out that this is not good practice; to attend for such a short period to keep within the 6 month rule, which is what I suspect the Councillor has done. I would strongly recommend further Councillor training and reminding the Councillor [and if needed, the wider council] about their Code of Conduct and duty to the Council. If the Council are concerned about the Councillor’s behaviour then they should speak to their monitoring officer for further advice.”


 

AGENDA ITEM 6

ACTIONS FROM COUNCIL

 

DATE OF MEETING

ACTION

BY WHOM

DATE UPDATED

4th March 2020

War Memorial Cleaning - Town Clerk obtain a quotation from Enviroclean

 

Town Clerk.

Mayor and Leader, Deputy Leader and Cllrs asked for opinion.  Mayor advised to use Justin Burgess.

War Memorial cleaned 4/11.

 

4th March 2020

Health and Safety Sub Committee meet as soon as possible to discuss a Stress Policy

 

Councillors.

 

Due to meet Feb/Mar 2021 to look at Risk Assessments for 2020/21 (legal requirement)

 

4th March 2020

Proposed By Cllr Eames-Petersen and seconded by Cllr Brandon that the Labour Group request a review of the use (number of times used and what events), costs and profits of the new Catering Trailer bought last year - with a view to future cost effectiveness. 

 

Chairman and Head of Ops

Held in abeyance during CoVid and will be reviewed as part of full income and expenditure review at R&P Committee

4th March 2020

Proposed By Cllr Eames-Petersen and seconded by Cllr Brandon that the Labour Group wishes officers to explore with the Planning Committee consideration of the possibility of a Hatfield Neighbourhood Plan, with a core team from Hatfield Town Council members who wish to be involved and would form a temporary sub committee for consideration of the scope, guidance and commitment involved.  It was noted that Ellenbrook Residents Association would be willing to be involved in the process. 

 

Training secured by Town Clerk for Members but held in abeyance during CoVid

Town Clerk contacted James Parker (trainer) at request of Mayor Jan 2021.  2 hours’ seminar for Members will cost £120 and can be arranged Feb/Mar 2021.

4th March 2020

Proposed By Cllr Eames-Petersen and seconded by Cllr Brandon that the Labour Group wishes Officers to write to Howe Dell school to require that the Parking spaces allocated to Howe Dell Hall, as defined in the land registry plans, within the joint grounds, are duly released for use by Hatfield Town Council and hall users.  Bookings have been limited in the day time because of the lack of parking made available, when the school uses spaces which do not strictly belong to them.  The letter and response to be reported to the next Sport and Leisure Committee.

 

Head of Estates

Held in abeyance during CoVid secure measures.

 

Howe Dell School has exclusive use of Hall to Sept 2021.

 

Following R&P 13/1/21 Head of Ops exploring ways in which JTC can recoup business rates on the Hall.

29th July 2020

WEBSITES - investigate the hosting of the .gov domain for emails by alternative companies

 

Town Clerk.

Various hosts have been sourced.  Working on optimising Office 365 to assist any transition.

 

Work still on-going (Nov 2020) to make website Accessible.

 

Dec 2020 All emails moved to 365.  All Cllrs requested to contact John Merritt to facilitate the move.

 

John Merritt can be contacted on 07711 130052

 

29th July 2020

LEMSFORD VILLAGE HALL –

Investigate use by St John’s School if not needed negotiate with Apple Daycare

 

Officers/Group Leaders

 

 

Apple Daycare took up hire from January 2021.  License has been signed.

26th August 2020

EDSV LICENSE FOR ROE HILL HALL –

Three year License to be signed

Town Clerk

The 2020/21 and 2021/2024 Licenses have not yet been signed by Mr Highton

 

26th August 2020

AGAR 2019/20

Town Clerk

Complete & advertised on website.

 

21st October 2020

Amendment to Standing Order 19(c)

Head of Operations

Standing Order has been amended on website and master copy held on Council computer.

 

21st October 2020

Training for Cllr Brandon as recommended by WHBC Standards Sub Committee

 

Mayor to write to Cllr Brandon

Letter sent 23/10/2020.  Training scheduled for Feb 2021

21st October 2020

Training for all Councillors as recommended by WHBC Standards Sub Committee

Head of Operations to source training and report costs to R&P Cttee

HAPTC contacted 22/10/2020.  Recommended training cost £425.  Mayor is requesting training costs from HR Services Partnership.

Training scheduled for Feb 2021

 


 

AGENDA ITEM 8

PRECEPT 2021/22

 

Local Government Finance Act 1992 Section 50 Calculation of budget requirement;

 

(1)         In relation to each financial year a local precepting authority shall make the calculations required by this section.

 

(2)         The authority must calculate the aggregate of –

 

(a)     the expenditure the authority estimates it will incur in the year in performing its functions and will charge to a revenue account for the year;

 

(b)     such allowance as the authority estimates will be appropriate for contingencies in relation to expenditure to be charged to a revenue account for the year;

 

(c)     the financial reserves which the authority estimates it will be appropriate to raise in the year for meeting its estimated future expenditure; and

 

(d)     such financial reserves as are sufficient to meet so much of the amount estimated by the authority to be a revenue account deficit for any earlier financial year as has not already been provided for.

 

These were shown on the budget papers previously circulated to Members and available from the Town Clerk (town.clerk@hatfield-herts.gov.uk). 

 

(3)        The authority must calculate the aggregate of -

 

(a)             the sums which it estimates will be payable to it for the year and in respect of which amounts will be credited to a revenue account for the year, other than sums which it estimates will be so payable in respect of any precept issued by it; and

 

(b)       the amount of the financial reserves which the authority estimates that it will use in order to provide for the items mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) above.

 

(4)       If the aggregate calculated under subsection (2) above exceeds that calculated under subsection (3) above, the authority must calculate the amount equal to the difference; and the amount so calculated shall be its budget requirement for the year.

 

(5)       For the purposes of subsection (2)(c) above an authority’s estimated future expenditure is -

(a)       that which the authority estimates it will incur in the financial year following the year in question, will charge to a revenue account for the year and will have to defray in the year before the following sums are sufficiently available, namely, sums -

 

(i)               which will be payable to it for the year; and

(ii)             in respect of which amounts will be credited to a revenue account for the year; and

 

(b)       that which the authority estimates it will incur in the financial year referred to in paragraph (a) above or any subsequent financial year in performing its functions and which will be charged to a revenue account for that or any other year.

 

Members have previously considered the Reserves Policy.  The Resources and Policy Committee considered three budget options on 13th January and RECOMMENDS an increase of 3.5% at Band D creating a precept of £900,951.

The proposed Budget works with the Reserves Policy and the Council’s future medium and long term plans to provide a balanced budget placing money into reserves for capital expenditure plans for the future whilst adequately providing for revenue expenditure in 2021/22 and keeping the Band D at 3.5% increase.

 

 

2021/22

BUDGET HEAD

Income

Expenditure

Net

DEMOCRATIC

£0

£6,700

-£6,700

CENTRAL

£0

£251,716

-£251,716

EVENTS

£0

£4,300

-£4,300

ALLOTMENTS

£3,000

£2,250

£750

BIRCHWOOD

£182,050

£369,115

-£187,065

ESTATES

£0

£329,568

-£329,568

HOWE DELL

£0

£2,330

-£2,330

LEMSFORD

£22,313

£19,749

£2,564

NEWGATE STREET

£150.00

£1,900

-£1,750.00

OXLEASE HOUSE

£0

£6,097

-£6,097

ROE HILL

£24,550

£32,288

-£7,738

TO RESERVES

£0

£107,000

-£107,000

£232,063

£1,133,013

£900,951