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Introduction

The full documents of all meetings can be found in our Meetings, Agendas, Report and Minutes area. The documents on this page provide an overview of the outcome of the meeting in question.

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Full Council: Wednesday, 16 April 2014

This Full Council meeting was attended by 30 of the 32 members (Cllrs Roberts and Waite giving their apologies, and Cllr Forward giving apologies for lateness). The meeting was chaired by deputy mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling in Cllr Alan Roberts' absence.

This was the last meeting of the municipal year, and at the start of the meeting council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch, and opposition group leader Cllr Robert Cooke, paid tribute to those members who were standing down at the end of the municipal year, Cllrs Corello, Daniel, Finch, Gurney, Kramer, Martin and Waite.

At the meeting a number of items were 'called' for discussion, but only one of these was for council decision.

The Council's pay policy statement was agreed without being 'called' for discussion (this relates to the provision of information on a range of issues relating to the pay of the Council's workforce, including its senior staff and its lowest paid employees; it is not about setting pay levels, which are negotiated nationally).

Amendments to the Council's constitution, as recommended by the working arrangements group and by cabinet, were agreed unanimously.

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Cabinet: Monday, 31 March

This Cabinet was attended by all seven Labour members, the Conservative group having indicated at the start of the municipal year that they would not be taking their seats on Cabinet.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to endorse the bathing water quality scrutiny review group's recommendations; to thank the review group and participants for their work and contributions; and to discussed the matter again at cabinet before Christmas in addition to further discussion by the review group in November 2014
  • Agreed unanimously the refreshed corporate complaints policy (including an unreasonable and unreasonably persistent complaints policy), to be implemented from 1st April 2014; that a programme of staff awareness and appropriate training is delivered to support the roll out of the refreshed policy; and that an annual report on complaints trends and responses is brought to cabinet starting in April 2015
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend to full council that the changes to the council's constitution are supported
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion that application be made to the secretary of state for communities and local government for the renewal of his direction under 'Regulation 7' of the town and country planning regulations, which means that express consent is required for estate agents' boards to be displayed along most of the seafront
  • Agreed unanimously to accept the findings of a report on street drinking issues, and endorse the work being carried out in relation to street drinking in Hastings
  • Agreed unanimously to support continued discussions leading towards the formation of a community interest company to carry forward the development of the Combe Valley countryside park; and that HBC assumes interim administrative support for the park from 01 April 2014
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to appoint a contractor for welfare funerals (the funeral of someone who has died where no suitable arrangements have been made by anyone else), and to delegate authority to the corporate director of environmental services or his nominee to finalise details relating to the implementation of the contract
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to receive the minutes of the museums committee of 11 March 2014

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 26 February

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission for a proposed change of use of existing five bedroom single private dwelling into a six bedroom House in Multiple Occupation along with the demolition/removal of an existing attached timber conservatory at 37A Brittany Road, St Leonards
  • Granted permission for the erection of two semi-detached 3 bedroom chalet houses at land rear of 197 Harley Shute Road, St Leonards

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the construction and installation of gates at Sussex Coast College Hastings

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Charity Committee Monday, 24 March 2014

This Charity Committee meeting was attended by all three members, and Mr Christopher May, the Protector.

At the meeting, the Charity Committee:

  • Agreed unanimously to re-appoint Christopher May as the 'Protector' of the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charity Trust for a period of three years, and to increase the daily rate allowance paid to the Protector by 10% from ?320 to ?352 up to a maximum of ?10 000 in any one year (the ?10 000 maximum remains unchanged). The Protector was not present when this item was discussed
  • Agreed unanimously to appoint Andrew Colquhoun, Richard Lewis and Barry Cooper to the grants advisory panel with immediate effect for a period of three years
  • Agreed unanimously to accept the recommendations of the grants advisory panel, and to approve the officer recommendations for additional grant awards. A report identifying potential improvements to the evaluation process will be brought to a further meeting of the charity committee
  • Agreed unanimously to accept the current financial position for 2013/14; to set the allocation of grants for 2014/15 at ?50 000 and the events grant at ?26 242; to approve the proposed expenditure on schemes funded from reserves, albeit further committee approval is required to proceed for a few schemes; to approve the budget for 2014/15; and to note that finance monitoring reports continue to be presented to each meeting of the charity committee
  • Agreed unanimously that the Foreshore Trust is included within the banking services contract being tendered by the council in conjunction with the procurement hub, and to delegate authority to the director of corporate resources or his nominee, in consultation with the chair of the charity committee, to award a contract to the supplier that offers the most economically advantageous terms

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Cabinet: Monday, 03 March

This Cabinet was attended by all seven Labour members, the Conservative group having indicated at the start of the municipal year that they would not be taking their seats on Cabinet.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to note the results of the public consultation on the refreshed East Sussex Joint Waste Management Strategy, and to approve the amended strategy
  • Agreed unanimously the updated Hastings and St Leonards play strategy 2014-19, and the development of an action plan in partnership with the local play forum to enable the delivery of the strategy. The strategy celebrates the memory of former colleague Julie Sutton.
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend the pay policy statement to full council for approval (please note this does not set rates of pay, which are negotiated nationally, but explains the council's pay policy)

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Budget Council: Wednesday, 26 February

This Budget Council was attended by 31 of the 32 member (23 Labour, 7 Conservative, 1 UKIP) Cllr Waite giving her apologies.

At the meeting, council:

  • Agreed (23 votes for, 8 abstentions) the council's corporate plan 2014/15 -2016/17, including an amendment to create an action plan to increase museum sponsorship and income; that delegated authority be given to the director of corporate resources, after consultation with the leader of the council, to make further revisions as necessary prior to publication to improve the design, layout and to use non-technical, user friendly language; that part III of the corporate plan be produced to include a retrospective year-end report on performance and the actual performance indicator information for 2013/14; that this information be presented to the overview and scrutiny committees in June, prior to consideration by the cabinet in July and to delegate authority to the cabinet meeting in July to agree part III; and to thank all who submitted views as part of the consultation process
  • Agreed (23 votes for, 8 abstentions) the revised revenue budget for 2013-14; a nil increase in Hastings Borough Council's portion of the council tax on the basis that the council tax freeze grant is receivable (equivalent to a 1% increase), it being noted that East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were increasing their elements of the council tax; the cultural regeneration initiative which would improve the town's cultural offer in the run-up to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 2016; the capital programme 2013/14 (revised) to 2016/17; the proposed expenditure from the renewal and repairs reserve, and information technology reserve, and items from other reserves that can proceed without further reference to cabinet or council; the transfer of any uncommitted monies within the area based grants reserve to the capital reserve; the use of the monies identified in the budget for 'invest to save' schemes be determined by the director of corporate resources in consultation with the leader of the council; the revised land and property disposal programme and agree that schemes marked with an asterisk in the capital programme can proceed without further reference to cabinet or council; agree that work on 'Priority Income and Efficiency Reviews' (PIER) should continue, and where possible identify a sustainable budget for a period in excess of one year, with a mid-year review, for members and officers, to be undertaken in the light of the continuing severe government grant reductions; and the detailed recommendations which relate to the setting of council tax. As noted, although HBC's element of the council tax was not increased, the other elements will increase (East Sussex County Council by 1.95%, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service by 1.94%, and Sussex Police by 1.95%); because of the size of these other elements, the council tax bills in Hastings will rise by a total of 1.66% from April 2014
  • Agreed unanimously the treasury management strategy, the minimum revenue provision policy and the annual investment strategy 2014/15
  • Agreed the draft 2014/15 revenue budget (23 votes for, 8 abstentions).

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Planning Committee: Tuesday, 25 February

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission for a residential development of 31 houses and 4 flats with garaging, car spaces and community amenity facilities at land south of Victoria Avenue

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for a first floor extension over living room creating four bedrooms with en-suite, an increase of three bedrooms at Mountside Nursing Home 9 -11 Laton Road
  • Refused permission for alterations to the front office to form a new committee room, staff room and server room. Alterations to public contact centre. Removal of external wall mounted clock to north east corner (retrospective) at Hastings Town Hall. This is a recommendation to the Secretary of State, not a decision on the application

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Full Council

This Full Council meeting was attended by 28 members (21 Labour, 6 Conservative, 1 UKIP), Cllrs Batsford, Finch, Gurney and Sinden giving their apologies.

At the start of the meeting Cllr Jeremy Birch announced that figures had been released today showing that our housing benefit performance was far better than the national average, and the best in East Sussex. The thanks of Full Council were passed on to all involved.

There were a number of items for decision, and at the meeting Full Council:

  • Agreed unanimously the mechanisms for producing a local list of heritage assets; to publish the relevant forms so that nominations can be made by the public and other interested groups; that the panel sit as soon as practicable after the council's adoption of the Development Management Plan to consider the first nominations to start the creation of the local list of heritage assets; and that the composition of the panel be determined by the Director of Regeneration in consultation with the Lead Member for Planning and Regeneration
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to adopt the proposed revised 2013 edition of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan.
  • Agreed unanimously to adopt the acting returning officer's recommendations following the polling places review, and to publish the results of the review
  • Agreed (by 21 votes for, 7 abstentions) to consider the planning inspector's recommendations contained in the report on the examination into the Hastings Planning Strategy; to adopt the Hastings Planning Strategy (incorporating the Main Modifications as recommended by the inspector); and to thank the planning policy team and the significant number of other staff within the Council for their hard work and commitment in achieving a sound planning strategy
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to approve the revised proposed submission version of the Hastings Development Management Plan, and the related revised policies map, subject to the Director of Regeneration or his nominee in consultation with the Lead Member for Regeneration having delegated authority to make final alterations; to accept the Sustainability Appraisal report and allowed to be published in support of the Development Management Plan; to publish the revised plans in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations, for a period of 6 weeks, to allow individuals and organisations to make representations on their contents; and that, in accordance with advice from the planning inspectorate, the comments from the previous consultation (January to April 2013) will continue to be submitted to the Inspector for examination unless those who submitted them request otherwise

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Budget Cabinet: Monday, 17 February 2014

This Budget Cabinet was attended by the seven Labour members, the Conservative group having indicated at the start of the municipal year that they would not be taking their seats on cabinet.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to budget council the Corporate Plan 2014/15 -2016/17, subject to the proviso that any significant amendment made to the Draft Budget be reflected in the final corporate plan text; that delegated authority be given to the Director of Corporate Resources, after consultation with the leader of the council, to make further revisions as necessary prior to publication to reflect decisions made on the council's budget, and to improve the design, layout and to use non-technical, user friendly language; that part III of the corporate plan be produced to include a retrospective year-end report on performance and the actual performance indicator information for 2013/14; that this information be presented to the overview and scrutiny committees in June, prior to consideration by the cabinet in July ; and that the council be asked to delegate authority to the cabinet meeting in July to agree Part III; and to thank all who submitted views as part of the consultation process
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to budget council the revised revenue budget for 2013-14; a nil increase in Hastings Borough Council's portion of the council tax on the basis that the council tax freeze grant is receivable (equivalent to a 1% increase), it being noted that East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were increasing their elements of the council tax; the cultural regeneration initiative which would improve the town's cultural offer in the run-up to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 2016; the capital programme 2013/14 (revised) to 2016/17; the proposed expenditure from the renewal and repairs reserve, and information technology reserve, and items from other reserves that can proceed without further reference to cabinet or council; the transfer of any uncommitted monies within the area based grants reserve to the capital reserve; the use of the monies identified in the budget for 'invest to save' schemes be determined by the director of corporate resources in consultation with the leader of the council; the revised land and property disposal programme and agree that schemes marked with an asterisk in the capital programme can proceed without further reference to cabinet or council; agree that work on 'Priority Income and Efficiency Reviews' (PIER) should continue, and where possible identify a sustainable budget for a period in excess of one year, with a mid-year review, for members and officers, to be undertaken in the light of the continuing severe government grant reductions; and the detailed recommendations which relate to the setting of council tax
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend that budget council approve the treasury management strategy, the minimum revenue provision policy and the annual investment strategy 2014/15

This was a short meeting; the Draft Corporate Plan, and Revenue and Capital budgets, are expected to be discussed in much more detail at Budget Council, attended by all 32 councillors, on Wednesday, 26 February.

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Cabinet: Monday, 03 February 2014

This Cabinet meeting was attended by the seven Labour members, the Conservative group gave notice at the start of the municipal year that they would not be taking their seats on Cabinet.

At the meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to recommend that Council adopts the Acting Returning Officer's recommendations following the recent review of polling places, and publish the results of the review
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend that Council considers the planning inspector's recommendations contained in the report on the Examination into the Hastings Planning Strategy; to recommend that the Hastings Planning Strategy (incorporating the main modifications as recommended by the inspector) be adopted by Council; and that the planning policy team and the significant number of other staff within the Council are thanked for their hard work and commitment in achieving a sound Planning Strategy. It was noted by Cllr Birch that the planning inspector was extremely complimentary about what was being achieved in Hastings, and what had been achieved since the last inspection ten years ago
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to Council that the revised proposed submission version of the Hastings Development Management Plan, and the related revised policies map be approved, subject to the Director of Regeneration or his nominee in consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member for Regeneration having delegated authority to make final alterations; that Cabinet recommends to Council that the sustainability appraisal report is accepted and allowed to be published in support of the development management plan; that the revised plans be published in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations, for a period of 6 weeks, to allow individuals and organisations to make representations on their contents; and that, in accordance with advice from the planning inspectorate, the comments from the previous consultation (January to April 2013) will continue to be submitted to the Inspector for examination unless those who submitted them request otherwise

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Under applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission for the erection of 6 detached, family dwellings at the site of former Hurst Court, 316 The Ridge

Under planning applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the redevelopment of the site at 311 Harold Road

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Planning Committee: Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Refused permission for the erection of a sculpture on Pelham roundabout
  • Granted permission for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 7 x two bedroom terraced dwellings at 309 to 311 Harold Road

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Cabinet: Monday, 06 January 2014

This Cabinet was attended by five of the seven Labour members, Cllrs Forward and Westley giving their apologies (the Conservative group gave notice at the start of the municipal year that they would not be taking their seats).

At the meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to endorse the high level of work being undertaken in Hastings to address poverty and agree that this should remain an absolute priority for the Council; to endorse both the action plan presented to Cabinet, and the proposed review of this in 2014/15 and to continue to work with the Association of London Councils, the Mayor of London's office, and the government to address inward migration caused by benefit reform
  • Agreed unanimously that the mechanisms outlined in this report for the production of a 'Local List of Heritage Assets' be recommended for adoption by Full Council; that the relevant forms are published and then nominations can be made by the public and other interested groups; that the panel sit as soon as it is practicable after the Council's adoption of the Development Management Plan to consider the first nominations to start the creation of the Local List of Heritage Assets and that the composition of the panel be determined by the Director of Regeneration in consultation with the Lead Member for Planning and Regeneration
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend that Full Council adopt the proposed revised 2013 edition of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ('AONB') Management Plan
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to agree that the Council Tax base for the year 2014-15 be 23,733 (this is a technical item only, and relates to the calculation of the tax base - the Council's budget, and council tax rate, will be set at Budget Council on Wednesday, 26 February)
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion that the completion and submission of national non domestic rates return be delegated to the head of finance in respect of 2014/15 and later years
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to increase the scope of the Council's Discretionary Rate Relief policy to include providing 100% relief to commercial properties such as warehouses, offices and shops completed between 01 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 that are not occupied, during the first 18 months after construction, such relief to be granted in line with government guidance and to increase the scope of the Council's Discretionary Rate Relief policy to include reliefs incorporated within the Government's Autumn Statement 2013, where such reliefs are to be determined by the Council and funding fully reimbursed by the government
  • Received the minutes of the Charity Committee held on 09 December 2013
  • Received the minutes of the Museums Committee held on 16 December 2013

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