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Charity Committee: Monday, 27 July 2015

This Charity Committee meeting was attended by three members (Cllrs John Hodges (chair) and Andrew Cartwright, plus Cllr Warren Davies - Cllr Kim Forward having given her apologies).

At the meeting, the committee:

  • Agreed unanimously to support the proposed White Rock area promenade improvements subject to planning consent; to approve an additional £18,000 to supplement the existing business plan allocation towards the scheme for surfacing costs; an option to improve the White Rock water feature is considered after the tendered prices are received and there is more certainty over the Trust's financial position; an option for invest to save funding for a kiosk is considered after an independent commercial appraisal and marketing exercise; and delegated authority is given to the Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues, in consultation with the Chair, to proceed or otherwise with the water feature and/or kiosk once the financial position is confirmed
  • Agreed unanimously the current financial position for 2015/16, the risk register; and the reserves policy
  • Agreed unanimously to grant consent to the works on the area leased to the adventure golf; and to delegate to the Estates Manager the authority to agree terms for a licence to carry out the works on Trust land, and a maintenance agreement
  • Received the minutes of the Coastal Users Group meeting held on 09 June 2015

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Full Council: Wednesday, 22 July 2015

This Full Council, the first since Annual Council in May, and since the by-elections on 09 July, was attended by 30 of the 32 councillors (22 Labour, 8 Conservative), Cllrs Tania Charman and Kim Forward giving their apologies.

At the start of the meeting the Mayor welcomed the two new members, Cllrs Terri Dowling (Labour) and Martin Clarke (Conservative).

There were a number of items for Full Council decision, and considerable debate on a number of these. At the meeting it was:

  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion the Audit Committee Report 2014/15
  • Agreed (23 votes for, 2 against, Cllrs Hodges, Pragnell, Scott, Webb and Wincott having declared a prejudicial interest - as members of East Sussex County Council - and left the Council Chamber for the debate; that the Director of Corporate Services and Governance, be given delegated authority, in consultation with the leader and the leader of the opposition, to:
    • a) Agree Heads of Terms with East Sussex County Council for the lease of space in the Town Hall for 10 years
    • b) Design and implement a programme of refurbishment to accommodate the civic functions within Aquila House and any other accommodation works as required to facilitate the move, to a maximum cost of £200,000
    • c) Renegotiate the existing Aquila House internal refurbishment work contract to undertake the works, rather than tender the additional works on the grounds of expediency and urgency
    • d) the replacement of the existing microphone system, and the purchase of new audio visual equipment at an estimated cost of £50,000
  • Agreed (22 votes for, 8 abstentions) to maintain the existing number of members at 32 members, across 16 wards in respect of the council size, and that that this recommendation is submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  • Agreed unanimously the changes to the council's constitution
  • Agreed unanimously the sex establishment policy
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion the annual treasury management report for 2014/15 and its recommendations

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Cabinet: Monday, 06 July 2015

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative)

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed (by 6 votes for, 2 against) to recommend to Full Council that we maintain the existing number of members (32), across 16 wards in respect of the council size, and that this recommendation is submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  • Agreed without the item being 'called’ for discussion to recommend to Full Council its approval of the changes to the Council's constitution
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to members to committees, working groups, partnerships and representative bodies, and to appoint the Chairs and Vice Chairs of Museums Committee, as listed at http://hastings.moderngov.co.uk/documents/b5692/Supplementary%20documents%20for%20agenda%20item%20number%207%2006th-Jul-2015%2018.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=9 (Cllr Beaver has withdrawn his nomination from the Local Government Association Coastal Issues Group, so all positions were unopposed)
  • Agreed (by 6 votes for, 2 against) to consider the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees be considered in respect of the retrospective report on performance during 2014/15; that the year-end performance for 2014/15 and proposed performance indicator targets for 2015/16 be approved for publication (the 25th February Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to approve these); and to support intentions to review corporate performance and planning arrangements in line with the transformation programme approved by Council on 25 February 2015
  • Agreed unanimously to endorse the draft sex establishment policy, and recommend that it is adopted by Full Council
  • Agreed to welcome the opportunity for the Council and the Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group to work together to address health inequalities; to approve the development and delivery of the projects described in this report, within the financial resources available; and to authorise the director of operational services to take the necessary steps to develop and deliver the projects in consultation with the deputy leader
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to review the outturn position on the general fund for 2014-15; to review the capital outturn position for 2014/15 of £5.719m; and to take the 2014-15 outturn position, along with the revised estimates for 2015-16 into account when preparing the 2016-17 budget
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion the annual treasury management report for 2014/15 and its recommendations
  • Agreed unanimously to give delegated authority to the director of operational services and the deputy leader of the council and housing, communications and equalities portfolio holder to sign a letter of support agreeing to enter into a partnership agreement on the EU funded SHINE ‘Sustainable Houses in Inclusive NEighbourhoods) cooperation project and deliver the associated outcomes
  • Received the minutes of the Charity Committee held on 23 March 2015

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 01 July 2015

Under Planning Applications, members:

  • Refused permission for the change of use from a dwelling house to an HMO (house in multiple occupation) to provide 8 bedrooms for students with associated facilities at 101 Cambridge Road
  • Granted permission for the erection of three detached houses and garages at 26 Beauharrow Road
  • Granted advertisement consent for a painted advertisement on the roof of the Little Fish and Chip Shop, Lower Promenade

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 03 June 2015

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, members:

  • Granted permission for the variation to windows, relocation of bin store, amendment to roof light design, removal of pergola and decrease in length of wall along East elevation facing No.2 Godwin Road at 20 Ashburnham Road, Hastings
  • Granted Listed Building consent for conversion of basement from ancillary storage to a bar area in connection with the existing premises at ground floor Premises at 26 George Street Hastings

Under Planning Applications, members:

  • Granted permission for the demolition of existing property and garage and erection of 4 No. dwellings with off-street parking at 5 Collinswood Drive, St Leonards
  • Granted approval of reserved matters following the granting of outline planning consent for the erection of a detached two-storey dwelling house at 29 Magpie Close, St Leonards
  • Granted permission for the erection of 3 dwellings at 815 - 817 The Ridge, St Leonards

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Annual Council: Wednesday, 20 May 2015

This Annual Council meeting, held at St Mary in the Castle, was attended by all 30 members (23 Labour, 7 Conservative, former councillor Matthew Lock having just resigned).

The meeting started with one minute's silence in memory of Jeremy Birch, council leader until his sad death on 06 May. Tributes were paid to Jeremy Birch from members of both political groups throughout the meeting.

At the meeting, Cllr Bruce Dowling was unanimously elected mayor for the municipal year 2015/16, and Cllr Judy Rogers was unanimously elected deputy mayor for the municipal year 2015/16.

Cllr Peter Chowney was unanimously elected leader of the council, and he announced that Cllr Kim Forward would be deputy leader.

Cllr Peter Chowney then advised the meeting that cabinet would consist of 8 members, 2 of which would be offered to the Conservative group. He also advised that cabinet lead members would be as follows:

  • Councillor Chowney: Leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder
  • Councillor Forward: Deputy Leader of the Council and Housing, Communications and Equalities Portfolio Holder
  • Councillor Poole: Regeneration, Communities and Culture Portfolio Holder
  • Councillor Davies: Environment, Leisure and Amenities Portfolio Holder
  • Councillor Cartwright: Corporate Services Portfolio Holder
  • Councillor Hodges: Charity Committee Chair

The overview and scrutiny committees' terms of reference were agreed unanimously, as follows:

Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Services

Strategy Targets, reviewing progress on the implementation of cabinet decisions, policy development work with portfolio holders, officers and partners and service reviews.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Resources

Collection of Council Tax and other charges, payment of benefits, management of resources, public sector efficiency programmes, progress on the implementation of Cabinet decisions, policy development work with portfolio holders, officers and partners, service reviews and cross cutting issues.

The membership of the council's committees were agreed unanimously, as follows:

  • Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Services: Councillors: 7; Non-councillors: 0
  • Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Resources: Councillors: 7; Non-councillors: 0
  • Audit Committee: Councillors: 5; Non-councillors: 0
  • Standards Committee: Councillors: 5; Non-councillors: 2
  • Licensing Committee: Councillors: 15; Non-councillors: 0
  • Council Appointments Committee: Councillors: 5; Non-councillors: 0
  • Employment Committee: Councillors: 4; Non-councillors: 0
  • Employment Appeals Committee: Councillors: 4; Non-councillors: 0
  • Planning Committee: Councillors: 10; Non-councillors: 0
  • Environment and Safety Committee: Councillors: 5; Non-councillors: 0

The year's programme - which Cllr Peter Chowney promised would not be boring - was agreed (23 votes for, 7 abstentions).

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Under items attracting a petition, members:

  • Granted permission for the variation of approved drawings (doors/windows adjustments, internal layout changes, alterations to materials, additional windows, reduced roof profile, additional Juliette balconies/flues/vents at land adjacent 33 West Street and 1 East Beach Parade
  • Granted listed building consent for 33 West Street and 34 West Street and 1 East Parade

Under planning applications, members:

  • Granted permission for the erection of a detached single storey dwelling at 44 Birch Way
  • Granted permission for the erection of studio house and parking on rear garden of 28 Dane Road

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Full Council: Wednesday, 15 April 2015

This full Council meeting was attended by 28 of the 32 members (23 Labour, 5 Conservative), Cllrs Liam Atkins, Maureen Charlesworth, and Alan Roberts giving their apologies; Cllr Lock did not attend.

The following motion was agreed (23 votes for, 4 against, Cllr Matthew Beaver not voting as he arrived during the debate):

"This Council is concerned that the Investor-State Dispute Mechanism (ISDS) of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated by the USA and the European Union will threaten our ability, as an elected local council to:

  1. Pursue interventionist policies promoting social equity and community cohesion
  2. Choose the most effective way to provide contractual services
  3. Foster environmental protection or protect the public health to the benefit of the citizens of Hastings and St Leonards

The European Commission's proposal on 'regulatory co-operation' will further jeopardise Hastings Borough Council's powers to implement an autonomous regulatory framework for procuring, managing and guaranteeing best social and commercial value from our most important outsourced contracts. Specifically, Hastings Borough Council seeks guarantees that the implications of this are not to give powers to companies to dictate terms favourable to themselves at the expense of the public interest.

We therefore resolve to:

  1. Write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, our MP and MEPs raising our concerns about TTIP
  2. Contact the local governments of our twin towns within the EU with a copy of this motion, with the objective of making a joint statement to the EU Trade Commission and to urge our MEPs to lobby on our behalf
  3. Write to the Local Government Association to urge them to lobby on behalf of all local authorities on the potential impact of the TTIP

Although other items were 'called' for discussion, none of these required a Council decision.

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 01 April 2015

At the meeting, members:

  • Granted permission for a change of use from A1 Shop to Laundrette and A3 Cafe including new access doors at Buss Buildings, Waldegrave Street
  • Granted permission for a change of use of ground floor to form 2 x 1 second floor two bedroom apartment to 2 x1 bedroom apartments (alterations at first floor to facilitate proposed scheme) at Hastings Spiritualist Church, Portland Place
  • Granted permission for removal of condition regarding affordable housing at 25-29 Ashburnham Road, Hastings

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Cabinet: Monday 30 March

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative), there was also a packed public gallery.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to acknowledge the success of the Hastings houses in multiple occupation additional licensing scheme; and that a further exit review is carried out in the final year of the scheme
  • Agreed (4 for, 2 against, Cllrs Forward and Chowney having declared a prejudicial interest and left the council chamber) - that all privately rented dwellings in Braybrooke, Castle, Central St Leonards, Gensing, Old Hastings, Ore and Tressell wards are designated as subject to selective licensing under the Housing Act 2004 on the grounds of persistent or significant anti-social behaviour associated from the private rented sector
    to instruct officers to urgently explore the new legislative provisions relating to the implementation conditions required for selective licensing, which is likely to come into force on 01 April 2015 and to report back to Cabinet about the potential to introduce licensing to other wards and the requirements involved
    that the designation comes into force on the 26th October 2015 and lasts for a period of five years
    the licensing conditions and the proposed fee structures
    that the reduced rates on licence fees offered through the additional houses in multiple occupation licensing scheme are harmonised to match the reduced rates offered via the proposed licensing scheme
    and that the director of regeneration be given delegated authority to sign the council's designation for an area for selective licensing from 30 March 2015
    It was then agreed (2 for, 2 abstentions, Cllrs Forward, Poole, Chowney and Hodges having declared a prejudicial interest and left the council chamber) that charitable organisations that own and/or manage housing in the designated area are subject to licensing but exempted from paying a fee
  • Agreed unanimously to thank the Overview and Scrutiny review team for their work on outsourced contracts, and the three recommendations in the original report (that the sustainable procurement policy is updated and submitted to Cabinet for approval; that procedures are embedded to readily assist transparency of social value built into procurement through the procurement initiation document template, and that Overview and Scrutiny Committee are informed when the training on Public Contracts Regulations 2015 has been delivered)
  • Agreed unanimously the contents of the refreshed Hastings leisure facilities strategy, and the proposed recommendations and actions
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion that S202 review investigations and decisions by IRL or any other contractor; and that Cabinet retrospectively ratify any S202 review decisions carried out by IRL from January 2008
  • Received the minutes of the Museums Committee held on 16 March
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion a 'Part II' (confidential matter) relating to 4 Stanier Road

At the end of the meeting Cllr Jeremy Birch (joined by Cllr Peter Pragnell) noted that this was Neil Dart's final Cabinet meeting, and formally thanked him for all the work he had done during his many years of service to the council, and for all the meetings he had attended (noting that Neil retired tomorrow but had still attended the Cabinet meeting tonight!)

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Charity Committee: Monday 23 March

This Charity Committee meeting was attended by all three members.

At the meeting the charity committee:

  • Agreed unanimously to approve the events grants recommendations of the 'Grant Advisory Panel' and that the remaining un-allocated balance be added to the Foreshore Trust Small Grants Programme due to be launched in April 2015. The grant advisory panel's recommendations are at http://hastings.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g1285/Public%20reports%20pack%2023rd-Mar-2015%2018.00%20Charity%20Committee.pdf?T=10
  • Agreed unanimously the current financial position for 2014/15; that the allocation of general grants for 2015/16 be set at £50,000 and events grants at £20,000; to approve the proposed expenditure on schemes funded from reserves, albeit that further committee approval to proceed is required for a small number of schemes; to approve the budget for 2015/16; and that financial monitoring reports continue to be presented to each meeting of the Charity Committee
  • Noted the minutes of the coastal users group of 03 March

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Special Council: Wednesday, 11 March 2015

This Special Council was attended by 24 Members (20 Labour, 4 Conservative), Cllrs Batsford, Beaver, Howard, Lock, Pragnell and Turner giving their apologies.

At the start of the meeting, council leader Cllr Jeremy Birch noted that this would be Neil Dart's final council meeting, and paid tribute to Neil's service, noting that he joined local government in 1967, and had worked here since 1984 and so had attended over 20 annual council and budget meetings, and numerous other meetings too. There was a unanimous round of applause for Neil.

At the meeting it was agreed (23 for, 1 abstention) to ratify the resolution of the Employment Committee of 02 March 2015 to designate Jane Hartnell as the Head of Paid Service from 01 April 2015, and that with effect from 01 April 2015, the Council's Monitoring Officer be Christine Barkshire-Jones, and the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer be Jane Hartnell.

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 04 March 2015

Under applications attracting a petition, members:

  • Refused permission for the retention of holiday let building (with reduction to balcony area to the dimensions permitted by HS/FA/12/00952) and access ramp. Relocation of solar panels to roof of holiday let building at Rocklands Private Caravan Park, Hastings

Under planning applications, members:

  • Granted permission for the proposed side extension to form new bedroom and ensuite. Proposed rebuilding of attached store to form new porch area. Proposed demolition of WC and porch to form new lobby area to rear elevation. Proposed raised decking area leading to conservatory. Insertion of 3 No. rooflights. Internal alterations to facilitate proposals. New detached studio/storage building at Little Warren Cottage, Fairlight Road, Hastings
  • Granted permission for the erection of a new visitor centre at Hastings Country Park, Coastguard Lane, Hastings
  • Granted permission for a single storey flat roofed rear extension together with front facing dormer window at 63 St Helens Park Road, Hastings
  • Granted permission for the demolition of existing garage and storage building and erection of an apartment building containing four flats at 28 Lower South Road, St Leonards

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Cabinet: Monday, 02 March 2015

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative).

There was a shorter agenda than usual and at the meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously the contents of the revised 'Play Space Strategy' and associated actions
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to appoint Councillor Roberts to the Member Training and Development Group, in place of Councillor Batsford

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Budget Council: Wednesday, 25 February 2015

This Budget Council meeting was attended by 31 of the 32 members (23 Labour, 8 Conservative), Cllr Richard Street giving his apologies. It was a lively meeting at times, as the budget meeting often is.

At the meeting, Council:

  • Agreed (by 23 votes for, 8 abstentions) the Council's corporate plan 2015/16 - 2017/18, subject to the proviso that any significant amendment made to the Council's 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 to the plan prior to publication to reflect decisions made on the Council’s budget; that a retrospective year-end report on performance and the actual performance indicator information for 2014/15 be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny committees in June, prior to consideration by the Cabinet in July 2015; to delegate authority to that Cabinet meeting to agree 2015/16 performance indicators based on previous year’s performance; and that all who submitted views as part of the consultation process be thanked for their contributions
  • Agreed (by a recorded vote, 23 votes for, 8 abstentions) the revised revenue budget for 2014-15; the draft 2015/16 revenue budget; a 1.9% increase in the borough council's part of the council tax; the coastal space initiative, a grant of £875,000 being payable, as detailed in Appendix P and the main body of the report considered by Council; the capital programme 2014/15 (revised) to 2017/18; that the use of the monies identified in the budget for ‘Invest to Save’ schemes be determined by the head of finance in consultation with the leader of the council; the revised land and property disposal programme, and that disposals can be brought forward if market conditions make it sensible to do so; 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, and that a mid-year review, for members and officers, be undertaken in the light of the continuing severe government grant reductions; revised parking charges from April 2015 with no further increase for a period of 24 months; and the detailed recommendations which relate to the setting of Council Tax in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Act 1992
  • Agreed unanimously the treasury management strategy, minimum revenue provision (MRP) policy and annual investment strategy (2015/16); and that the current year’s strategy remains unaltered

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Full Council: Wednesday, 18 February 2015

This Full Council meeting was attended by 30 of the 32 members (23 Labour, 7 Conservative), Cllrs Mathew Beaver and Michael Wincott giving their apologies.

At the start of the meeting, the leader of the council, Cllr Jeremy Birch, asked that Richard Homewood's contribution to Hastings Borough Council over more than 40 years (he started work for HBC in 1974) be formally acknowledged and recorded. Cllr Birch outlined Richard's career, and also made the point that he had served not just one Hastings, but two, explaining the work that Richard had done for Hastings Sierra Leone. There was a unanimous round of applause for Richard.

A number of items were 'called' for discussion, but these were items which had been agreed previously by Cabinet.

There was one item for Council decision, the 2015/16 pay policy, and this was agreed without being 'called' for discussion. As I mentioned in my note to the 2nd February Cabinet meeting, where this was first discussed, this is not about setting rates of pay as such, they are determined by national negotiations, and have recently been agreed. The Localism Act 2011 requires Hastings Borough Council to prepare and publish a pay policy statement for each financial year, which sets out current policy, practice and procedures adopted by the Council. It is cross referenced to other documents including the Council's severance scheme and transparency requirements.

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Budget Cabinet: Monday, 16 February 2015

This Budget Cabinet was attended by seven of the eight members (6 Labour, 1 Conservative), Cllr Liam Atkins giving his apologies.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to the Council that the content of the reports considered form the basis of the Council's corporate plan 2015/16 - 2017/18, subject to the proviso that any significant amendment made to the Council's 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 to the plan prior to publication to reflect decisions made on the Council's budget; that a retrospective year-end report on performance and the actual performance indicator information for 2014/15 be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny committees in June, prior to consideration by the Cabinet in July 2015; that the Council be asked to delegate authority to that Cabinet meeting to agree 2015/16 performance indicators based on previous year's performance; and that all who submitted views as part of the consultation process be thanked for their contributions
  • Agreed unanimously to recommended that Council approves the revised revenue budget for 2014-15; approves the draft 2015/16 revenue budget; approves a 1.9% increase in the borough council's part of the council tax; approves the coastal space initiative, a grant of £875,000 being payable, as detailed in Appendix P and the main body of the report considered by Cabinet; approves the capital programme 2014/15 (revised) to 2017/18; approves the proposed expenditure from the renewal and repairs reserve, and information technology reserve and those items from the other reserves shown that can proceed without further reference to Cabinet or Council; approves the use of the monies identified in the budget for 'Invest to Save' schemes be determined by the head of finance in consultation with the leader of the council; approves the revised land and property disposal programme and agrees that disposals can be brought forward if market conditions make it sensible to do so; agrees that schemes marked with an asterisk in the capital programme can proceed without further reference to Cabinet or Council; agrees 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, and that a mid-year review, for members and officers, be undertaken in the light of the continuing severe government grant reductions; approves revised parking charges from April 2015 with no further increase for a period of 24 months; and approves the detailed recommendations which relate to the setting of Council Tax in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Act 1992
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend that Council approves the treasury management strategy, minimum revenue provision (MRP) policy and annual investment Strategy (2015/16); and that the current year's strategy remains unaltered

The budget council meeting takes place on Wednesday, 25 February when the corporate plan and 2015/16 budget should be agreed.

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 04 February 2015

Under applications attracting a petition, members:

  • Granted permission for the construction of Queensway Gateway Road, a new road linking Sedlescombe Road North (A21) with Queensway (B2092)
  • Refused permission for proposed change of use from Dwelling House (C3) to HMO (Sui Generis) at 101 Cambridge Road

Under applications, members:

  • Granted permission for the development of site to provide five dwellings at land at Church Street
  • Granted permission for the erection of 5, four bedroom homes, with associated gardens, garages, landscaping and access at The Ramparts, 101 Castle Hill Road
  • Granted permission for the erection of 10no. family dwellings and associated parking and access road at land off Robert Tressell Close
  • Granted permission for the demolition of bungalow and garages, erection of pair of semi-detached two storey dwellings plus parking at 27 Linley Drive
  • Refused permission for the siting of the historic statue of Prince Albert (formerly part of the Albert Memorial Clock Tower in Hastings Town Centre) alongside Hastings Town Hall
  • Granted permission for the proposed demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 10 new dwellings with 15 parking spaces on land at and adjacent to, 37 Charles Road West

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Cabinet: Monday, 02 February

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative).

At the meeting, Members:

  • Agreed unanimously (Cllrs Chowney and Forward having declared a prejudicial interest and left the council chamber) to pilot a private sector accommodation leasing scheme in 2015/16 as part of the establishment of a social lettings agency
  • Agreed unanimously, in principle, to adopt a discretionary reduction in liability policy; and that delegated authority be given to the head of finance to finalise the policy in conjunction with the other East Sussex authorities and to make minor amendments in future years to ensure that the policy remains fit for purpose
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to full council the 2015/16 pay policy. Please note this is not about setting rates of pay as such – they are determined by national negotiations, and have recently been agreed – but the Localism Act 2011 requires Hastings Borough Council to prepare and publish a pay policy statement for each financial year which sets out current policy, practice and procedures adopted by the Council and it is cross referenced to other documents including the Council's severance scheme and transparency requirements
  • Received the minutes of the museums committee meeting of 12 January 2015

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Cabinet: Monday, 05 January

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative, with Cllr Liam Atkins now Conservative group leader and Cllr Peter Pragnell deputy Conservative group leader, as previously advised - Cllr Jeremy Birch welcomed Cllr Peter Pragnell back to Cabinet at the start of the meeting)

At the meeting, Members:

  • Agreed unanimously to acknowledge the comments received by individuals and organisations which have helped shape the final draft seafront strategy document, and to adopt the refreshed seafront strategy as set out in the appendix to the report (http://hastings.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g1273/Public%20reports%20pack%2005th-Jan-2015%2017.30%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10)
  • Agreed unanimously to acknowledge the petitioners' concerns about the condition of Bottle Alley; to support the inclusion in the draft budget of a proposed £160,000 capital allocation in 2015-16 for a new lighting scheme and surface concrete repairs; and that the full cost of a Bottle Alley restoration scheme be considered following the 2015 intensive survey and investigations into external funding possibilities
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion that the Council Tax Base for the year 2015-16 shall be 24 281 (this is a technical item only, the level of Council Tax will be discussed at Budget Council on 25 February)
  • Agreed without the item being ‘called’ for discussion that authority be given to the Director of Corporate Resources or his nominee, in conjunction with the Leader of the Council, to award the cash collection contract to the supplier that offers the most economically advantageous terms, through the East Sussex Procurement Hub
  • Agreed unanimously to acknowledge the work of all partners and the continued interest of the scrutiny review team on bathing water quality; to support ongoing efforts for further improvements by 2015 and the realisation of a long term sustainable solution thereafter; and that a further report be brought to Cabinet at the end of the 2015 bathing season
  • Agreed unanimously to approve the expenditure of £103,017 against the £100,000 allocated in the capital programme for crematorium chapel enhancements; and to delegate the acceptance of the most economically advantageous tender for the pergola and associated works to the corporate director of environmental services
  • Agreed without the item being ‘called’ for discussion a scheme of delegations as required by the Antisocial Behaviour Police and Crime Act 2014, these being delegated to the director of environmental services and his nominees
  • Agreed unanimously to thank the officers concerned for their comments received during the formal consultation period on the senior officer structure; to re-affirm its decision of 26 November regarding the restructuring of the chief officer team in the light of consultation responses received; and to instruct the Executive Manager, People and Organisational Development to make the necessary arrangements for the appointments process
  • Agreed unanimously changes to the membership of committees, working groups, partnerships and representative bodies
  • Received the minutes of the Charity Committee held on 08 December 2014

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Full Council: Wednesday, 17 December 2014

This Full Council meeting was held at the Stade Hall and attended by all 32 members (24 Labour, 8 Conservative).

At the meeting, Council agreed unanimously that Cllr Pragnell sit on Cabinet, and Cllr Rob Lee replace Cllr Peter Pragnell on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, following Cllr Matthew Lock's resignation as Conservative group leader (as advised in Members' Bulletin last week, Cllr Liam Atkins is now Conservative group leader, Cllr Peter Pragnell deputy group leader).

There were no other items for council decision.

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Charity Committee: Monday, 08 December 2014

This charity committee meeting was attended by its three members and the 'Protector', Mr Chris May.

At the meeting the charity committee:

  • Approved the annual report of the Grant Advisory Panel 2013/14
  • Approved the recommendations of the Grant Advisory Panel in relation to changes to the funding application form and assessment criteria
  • Agreed the current financial position report of the Foreshore Trust
  • Agreed that authority be given to the Director of Corporate Resources or his nominee in consultation with the Chair of the Charity Committee, to award a cash collection contract to the supplier that offers the most economically advantageous terms for the Foreshore Trust
  • Agreed that authority be given to the relevant director or his nominee in consultation with the Chair of the Charity Committee, to award a contract to the suppliers that offer the most economically advantageous terms for the Foreshore Trust for each of the aforementioned contracts
  • Received minutes of the Coastal Users Group held on 18 November 2014
  • Approved additional, urgent item to appoint Charles Sharrod to the Grants Advisory Panel with immediate effect for a period of three years

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 03 December 2014

Under Planning Applications, members:

  • Agreed the erection of a restaurant/public house, associated residential accommodation, car park, access, landscaping and ancillary works at the site of former Hurst Court, The Ridge
  • Agreed the erection of six no. 1 bedroom flats and 1 two bedroomed flat at 48 - 49 Caves Road
  • Agreed the fitting of a galvanised metal mesh roof over the existing bin store at the bin store adjacent to Castleham Business Centre (West), Stirling Road

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Cabinet: Monday, 01 December 2014

This Cabinet meeting was attended by seven of the eight members (6 Labour, 1 Conservative), Cllr Lock giving his apologies.

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously the proposed actions in response to the consultants' reports on Rocklands caravan park, contained in paragraphs 43-54 of the report presented to Cabinet, and the responses contained in appendix 2 of the report. The report, and its recommendations, can be seen at https://hastingsintranet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g1272/Public%20reports%20pack%2001st-Dec-2014%2018.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10
  • Agreed unanimously the formation of a 'community interest company' for the Combe Valley Countryside Park, in partnership with Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council; and that Groundwork South undertake the necessary steps to form the community interest company
  • Approved unanimously (a number of members of Cabinet leaving the council chamber for the vote on items that they had a declared a prejudicial interest in) the grant appraisal panel's recommendations on the applications for community partnership funding grants in 2015-16 and 2016-17, subject to the decisions of the Budget Cabinet meeting in February 2015; and to delegate to the director of regeneration in consultation with the lead member for community services authority to agree final contractual outputs, outcomes and grants. (The full recommendations are contained in the committee papers referred to above i.e. at https://hastingsintranet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g1272/Public%20reports%20pack%2001st-Dec-2014%2018.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10)

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Special Cabinet: Wednesday, 26 November 2014

This Special Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative); it had a single substantive item, the proposed changes to the senior officer structure of the council.

At the meeting, cabinet agreed unanimously:

  • That the current three directors posts be abolished and be replaced by two new posts. The two new posts are proposed to be:
    • a) Director of corporate services and governance, which will be the designated head of paid service, and have the heads of service for finance, corporate services and marketing and communications reporting to it
    • b) Director of operational services which will have the heads of service for housing and development, regeneration and planning policy, environmental services and amenity, resorts and leisure reporting to it
  • To instruct the executive manager, people and organisational development to:
    • i) produce, in consultation with the leader, person specifications and job descriptions to reflect the specific requirements of each post taking into account the consultation response referred to above and the move away from generic job descriptions
    • ii) commence formal consultation with the three directors on the proposals to abolish the three director's posts and the alternative proposed arrangements
    • iii) commence formal consultation with other staff directly affected by this proposal

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 05 November 2014

Under Planning Applications, members:

  • Agreed the erection of wooden reception building and retrospective consent for play equipment at Shearbarn Holiday Park, Barley Lane
  • Agreed the variation of condition 10 at land north of 14 Fern Road
  • Agreed the variation of condition 22 at the site of Old Roar House
  • Agreed approval of reserved matters of appearance, layout and scale proposed subject to a wall being provided to the southern boundary in the vicinity of plots 14 and 15 at the former Nursery site, Redgelands Rise

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Cabinet: Monday, 03 November 2014

This Cabinet meeting was attended by all eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative)

At the start of the meeting Cllr Jeremy Birch welcomed Cllr Liam Atkins to his first meeting (at Full Council on 22 October Cllr Matthew Lock advised that he was taking over from Cllr Robert Cooke as Conservative group leader, with Cllr Liam Atkins becoming his deputy)

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to approve the medium term financial strategy
  • Agreed unanimously to support the recommendations contained in the report of the LGA (Local Government Association) peer review of economic development and support to business in East Sussex, and the development of an action plan, the detail of the latter delegated to the director of regeneration in consultation with the leader and deputy leader
  • Agreed unanimously to welcome the ‘Direction’ of the secretary of state for communities and local government, meaning that estate agents’ boards will not be granted consent along the majority of Hastings seafront (between Grosvenor Gardens and Pelham Place) except in the most exceptional circumstances; it was noted that the secretary of state had agreed to the council’s request and made the ‘Direction’ effective in perpetuity, rather than having to be renewed every five years, as had previously been the case
  • Agreed (by 6 votes for, 2 abstentions) to adopt the museum forward plan and key actions to support our application for reaccreditation by the Arts Council
  • Received the minutes of the charity committee meeting and the annual public meeting of the Foreshore Trust held on 29 September 2014

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Full Council: Wednesday, 22 October

This Full Council meeting was held at the White Rock Theatre due to the Town Hall lift being out of order.

The meeting was attended by of the 32 members (23 Labour, 8 Conservative), Cllr Roberts giving his apologies.

At the meeting, Council:

  • Agreed unanimously a motion that the current list of possible persons to be recognised as new street names be supplemented with a list comprised of those from Hastings and St Leonards who served the United Kingdom during World War One and were awarded a gallantry medal for their actions and others who made a contribution during those years
  • Agreed unanimously the following committee membership changes:
    • Cllr Emily Westley to replace Cllr Trevor Webb on Audit Committee
    • Cllr Andrew Cartwright to replace Cllr Emily Westley on Charity Committee
    • Cllr Liam Atkins to replace Cllr Robert Cooke on Cabinet
    • Cllr Robert Cooke to replace Cllr Liam Atkins on Licensing Committee
    • Cllr Lock to replace Cllr Cooke on Council Appointments Committee (the latter three changes were as a result of Cllr Matthew Lock advising that he was taking over from Cllr Robert Cooke as leader of the Conservative group)
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to enter in principle a business rate pool with other East Sussex authorities and the following conditions that are being put before each local authority - Wealden District Council be nominated as the lead authority; the basic principle that no authority will receive a lower level of funding than they would have received without the pool; to split resources gained on the basis of the levy amount that was saved by individual authorities, the basis of the split being 40% to East Sussex County Council, 10% to the Fire Authority and the remaining 50% split amongst the District/Borough Councils; that the finalisation of the submission, agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding, and the final decision on whether to partake in the pool, along with the annual review, is delegated to respective Chief Finance Officers; and Chief Finance Officers to review membership of the Pool on an annual basis. Should an authority decide to withdraw membership, notification of intent to do so to be given to the remaining authorities at the earliest opportunity
  • Agreed unanimously the street trading and highways licensing policy, with authority delegated to the director of environmental services and the lead member for licensing to agree a discount for an initial transitional year for street trading consent fees applied to approved markets
  • Agreed unanimously the community trigger proposals as required by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to continue with the existing council tax support scheme for 2015/16

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 08 October

Under items attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission for the erection of a pair of semi-detached houses on land rear of 38 - 40 Nelson Road
  • Granted permission for the residential development of 12 flats on land adjoining Upper Broomgrove Road

Under planning applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 10 new dwellings with 15 parking spaces on land at and adjacent to 37 Charles Road West
  • Granted permission for the erection of a detached five bedroom house and detached double garage on land to rear of the site of former Hurst Court, 316 The Ridge

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Cabinet: Monday, 06 September 2014

Prior to the meeting proper starting this evening, Cllr Jeremy Birch informed Cabinet that Cllr Emily Westley had tendered her resignation from Cabinet, and he thanked her for the contribution she had made to its meetings.

Cllr Birch also advised that it was not intended to replace Cllr Westley for the remainder of the municipal year, but her responsibilities would be shared between other Cabinet members. Cllr Peter Chowney would take on responsibility for waste, Cllr Andrew Cartwright would take on responsibility for community safety and licensing, and Cllr Dawn Poole would take on responsibility for environmental health and emergency planning.

The meeting was attended by eight members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative)

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to Full Council that the street trading and highways licensing policy be agreed
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to approve the revised local code of corporate governance
  • Agreed unanimously to recommend to Full Council that the 'community trigger' proposals (as set out in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014) be agreed
  • Agreed unanimously that the director for regeneration, in consultation with the lead member for regeneration, be authorised to submit a full application at stage 2 of the application process for the coastal communities fund round 3, including any necessary variations in the funding profile
  • Agreed unanimously the preferred location for a new interpretive centre in the country park (on the opposite side of the access road to the existing visitor centre), on the Hastings side of the borough boundary; the timeline for its construction, and to delegate to the director of environmental services in conjunction with the lead member for amenities, resorts and leisure the awarding of the construction contract to the most economically advantageous tenderer; and to approve the expenditure up to £250,000 allocated in the capital programme as the council's contribution to the cost of construction of the new interpretive centre
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend to Full Council that the existing council tax support scheme continues for 2015/16
  • Received the minutes of the Museum Committee held on 15 September

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Charity Committee: Monday, 29 September 2014

This Charity Committee meeting was attended by three members (Cllr Andrew Cartwright standing in for Cllr Emily Westley, who gave her apologies), and the 'Protector', Mr Chris May.

At the meeting, the charity committee:

  • Agreed unanimously to approve the grant advisory panel's recommendations to award small grants
  • Agreed unanimously the current financial position for 2014/15
  • Agreed unanimously to approve the annual report and financial accounts for 2013/14
  • Agreed unanimously to delegate to the chair of the charity committee, in consultation with the lead member for tourism and the head of finance, authority to agree the granting of a lease of the former ladies toilets at Verulam Place to the Hastings Pier Charity
  • Received the minutes of the coastal users group of 09 September

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 10 September

This Planning Committee meeting was attended by ten members, Cllr Wincott giving his apologies; Cllr Charman substituted for him.

At the meeting, Members:

  • Agreed unanimously (Cllr Dowling having declared a prejudicial interest and left the Council Chamber for the duration of the debate on the item) to allow a proposed additional extension to the second floor to provide a new bedroom at 9 St Margarets Terrace, St Leonards TN37 6EN
  • Agreed unanimously to allow a new extraction flue/stack at the rear of The Crown public house, 64 - 66 All Saints Street, Hastings TN34 3BN
  • Agreed unanimously to allow a variation of a planning permission at The Barn, Fairlight Place, Barley Lane, Hastings TN35 5DT, including a new emergency exit, a new secondary wall, changes to external walls, the removal of a tree and new vehicular access

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Cabinet: Monday, 01 September 2014

Cabinet was attended by eight of the nine members (6 Labour, 2 Conservative), Cllr Westley giving her apologies.

At the meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to approve the report on the final accounts 2013/14, and that the 2013-14 outturn position, along with the revised estimates for 2014-15, be taken into account when preparing the 2015-16 budget
  • Agreed unanimously in principle to enter a business rate pool with other East Sussex authorities and agreed the following conditions that are being put before each local authority - Wealden District Council be nominated as the lead authority; the basic principle be agreed that no authority will receive a lower level of funding than they would have received without the pool; to split resources gained on the basis of the levy amount that was saved by individual authorities, the basis of the split being 40% to East Sussex County Council, 10% to the Fire Authority and the remaining 50% split amongst the District/Borough Councils; that the finalisation of the submission, agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding, and the final decision on whether to partake in the pool, along with the annual review, is delegated to respective Chief Finance Officers; and Chief Finance Officers to review membership of the Pool on an annual basis. Should an authority decide to withdraw membership, notification of intent to do so to be given to the remaining authorities at the earliest opportunity
  • Agreed (7 votes for, 1 abstention) to undertake a feasibility study (including costs) of constructing a new factory unit for BD Foods, a local company on Castleham; and that subject to the capital costs not exceeding £700,000 delegation is given to the Director of Resources in consultation with the Leader of the Council to complete tendering, contracting, lease and other arrangements to deliver the new factory unit
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to receive the minutes of the Charity Committee held on 30 June 2014

A 'Part II item (containing confidential information) relating to the building of the additional factory unit on Castleham was not called for discussion.

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 13 August

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the variation of condition at 2 Tilekiln Lane, Hastings
  • Granted permission for the installation of one new condenser unit, one condenser pack and two air conditioning units at Victoria Inn, 290 Battle Road, St Leonards

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Full Council: Wednesday, 23 July 2014

This Full council meeting - the first full council meeting since annual council in June - was attended by 31 members (24 Labour, 7 Conservative), Cllr Cooke giving his apologies.

A number of questions were asked at the meeting, and a number of items 'called' for discussion, although these had previously been agreed at Cabinet. There were two items for council decision, although neither was 'called',

At the meeting, Members:

  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to accept the audit committee report for 2013/14
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to approve the 2013/14 annual treasury management report

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 16 July

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Refused permission for the change of use from former care home to supported living accommodation at 13 - 14 Linton Road, Hastings
  • Granted permission for an extension to the car parking area at The Uplands, St Leonards

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the alterations to front elevation to install new shop front and installation of ramp at The Victoria Inn, 290 Battle Road, St Leonards

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Cabinet: Monday, 07 July 2014

Cabinet was attended by seven of the nine members (6 Labour, 1 Conservative), Cllrs Cooke and Westley giving their apologies.

At the meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed unanimously to approve detailed recommendations (including some in 'Part II', containing confidential information) and approve the making of compulsory purchase orders in respect of 27 long term empty properties
  • Agreed (6 votes for, 1 abstention) Part III of the corporate plan, which includes a summary of year-end performance for 2013/14 and proposed performance indicator targets for 2014/15
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion the contents of the revised local development scheme (part of the local plan process). The local development scheme is a public statement setting out details of which local plan documents will be produced over the next few years, in what order, and when
  • Agreed (6 votes for, 1 against) to recommend to Full Council the submission of the revised proposed submission version of the development management plan; to delegate to the director of regeneration or his nominee in consultation with the lead member for regeneration authority to make minor amendments to the document; and to submit representations from previous consultations to the planning inspector
  • Agreed (6 votes for, 1 abstention) the content of the revised statement of community involvement - part of the local plan process - and for this to be published on the Council's website
  • Agreed (6 votes for, 1 against) to welcome the report of the overview and scrutiny review of the changes to the welfare system, expressing its appreciation of the work of members on assessing the impact of reforms on local people and organisations; and to accept the recommendations set out in the management response to the review
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to recommend that Full Council approve the annual treasury management report 2013-14
  • Agreed unanimously the procurement process for the renewal of the Council's minor works maintenance contract, beginning on 1st April 2015 and running for five years with the option of two years' extension in annual increments; to delegate authority to the director of environmental services or his nominee, in consultation with the lead member, to award the contract to the most economically advantageous tenderer; to support the officers' view that the contract should be awarded to a single multi-trade contractor; and to support further investigation of an in-house or shared service for minor maintenance works where that can be shown to be cost-effective
  • Agreed unanimously to acknowledge that the freeholder's proposals for the refurbishment of Aquila House provides an opportunity to drive organisational change, which will support the transition to more flexible working practices, improved productivity and efficiency, more focus on coordination of service delivery and a further development of the 'one council' philosophy; to approve an increase of £200 000 in the budget allocation in the capital programme for office accommodation work; to increase the IT reserve by £50 000 to support more flexible working and improved efficiency; and to support the transition to a 'One Council' philosophy
  • Received without the item being 'called' for discussion the minutes of the charity committee meeting held on 05 June
  • Received without the item being 'called' for discussion the minutes of the museums committee meeting held on 26 June

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Charity Committee: Monday, 30 June 2014

This Charity Committee meeting was attended by two members, and Mr Christopher May, the Protector and Cllr Westley giving their apologies.

At the meeting, the charity committee:

  • Agreed unanimously the current financial position for 2014/15 and that the business plan be revised to accommodate additional works and contributions being made in respect of the White Rock Baths (subject to external funding being confirmed). The Risk Register (Appendix 4) and The Reserves Policy (Appendix 5) were also agreed
  • Agreed unanimously that the committee will support a review and replacement of our many, old existing byelaws with the model byelaws, tailored for Hastings' requirements and to support the recommendations of the Zoning Working Group to include the general activities listed in the proposed model byelaws within the report

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 18 June

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Refused retrospective permission for the minor amendment showing change of ground floor plan, additional and altered window positions and extended at Rocklands Private Caravan Park, Hastings
  • Granted permission for the use of part of existing car park for the erection of a petrol station at Asda, Battle Road

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for the replacement of pole mounted frontage signs at Shearbarn Holiday Park, Barley Lane, Hastings
  • Granted permission for the extension of existing convenience retail floor space at Supermarket, Little Ridge Avenue, St Leonards
  • Granted permission for the proposed conversion to form 2 no. self contained maisonette flats between the ground floor and basement level at 239 Priory Road, Hastings

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Cabinet: Monday, 09 June

This Cabinet meeting, the first of the new municipal year, was attended by all 9 members (7 Labour, 2 Conservative)

At the meeting, Cabinet:

  • Agreed (by 4 votes for, 2 abstentions, and Cllrs Forward, Hodges and Westley having declared a prejudicial interest in the item and left the council chamber during the debate as members of the Charity Committee, the Foreshore Trust owning the White Rock Baths), subject to funding being obtained from East Sussex County Council, to approve the proposal to create a BMX/Skateboard facility at White Rock baths; and to delegate to the director of regeneration in consultation with the director of corporate resources and the chair of the Foreshore Trust and lead member for regeneration to complete tendering, contracting, lease and other arrangements to deliver the proposed scheme at White Rock baths
  • Agreed unanimously to adopt the Hastings walking and cycling strategy
  • Agreed without the item being 'called' for discussion to join with the 'procurement hub' in the contract for banking services; and to delegate authority to the director of corporate resources or his nominee, in consultation with the lead member, to award a contract to the supplier that offers the most economically advantageous terms
  • Agreed membership of committees, working groups, partnerships and representative bodies (colleagues in democratic services hold the full list of appointments) and to appoint Cllr Poole as chair, and Cllr Howard as vice chair, of the Museums Committee
  • Received the minutes of the Charity Committee held on 24 March

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Special Charity Committee: Thursday, 06 June 2014

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

At the meeting, the Charity Committee agreed unanimously to approve the proposal to create a BMX/skateboard facility at White Rock Baths, including an investment by the Foreshore Trust in the building of £150k, subject to funding being obtained from East Sussex County Council and Hastings Borough Council; and to delegate to the director of regeneration acting in consultation with the director of corporate resources, the chair of the Foreshore Trust and the lead member for regeneration, to complete the tendering, contracting, lease and other arrangements to deliver the proposed scheme at White Rock Baths.

A report on the White Rock Baths is also going to the Cabinet meeting on Monday 09 June.

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Annual Council: Wednesday, 04 June 2014

This Annual Council meeting, the first of the new municipal year, was attended by 31 of the 32 members (24 Labour and 7 Conservative), Cllr Edwards giving his apologies.

The meeting was held in two parts.

In the first, more ceremonial section, Cllr Bruce Dowling was elected Mayor, and Cllr Judy Roberts was elected Deputy Mayor; Cllr Jeremy Birch was elected Leader, and he announced that Cllr Peter Chowney would be Deputy Leader.

It was noted that Cabinet would have nine members, and be politically balanced, with seven Labour and two Conservative members.

Lead members and their portfolios were agreed, as follows:

Cllr Jeremy Birch

  • Leader of the Council and budget portfolio holder

Cllr Peter Chowney

  • Deputy Leader of the Council and regeneration portfolio holder

Cllr Andrew Cartwright

  • Corporate services (including revenues and benefits) portfolio holder

Cllr Kim Forward

  • Housing and community services portfolio holder

Cllr Dawn Poole

  • Leisure and amenities portfolio holder

Cllr Emily Westley

  • Environment and safety portfolio holder

Cllr John Hodges

  • Charity committee chair

After a musical interlude provided by The Big Choir, the meeting adjourned and reconvened at 6pm when the programme for the year was discussed.

Cllr Cooke indicated that the Conservative group would be taking their seats on Cabinet this municipal year (they did not last municipal year).

After some debate, the annual programme for the year (attached) was agreed (24 votes for, 7 abstentions).

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 14 May

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission for the erection of a 7 storey building comprising 223 student rooms, 11 of which will be wheelchair accessible and 1 staff/warden flat at Station Plaza site, Devonshire Road, Hastings
  • Granted permission for alterations and conversion of the existing building to 12 apartments (7x1 bedroom and 5x2 bedroom) at 25 - 29 Ashburnham Road, Hastings

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Planning Committee: Wednesday, 23 April

Under Planning Applications attracting a petition, Members:

  • Granted permission to remove requirement of power washer to be used with timber garage only at 790 The Ridge, St Leonards

Under Planning Appeals and Delegations, Members:

  • Thanked officers for their work regarding appeals that had been dismissed and it was noted that between 17 March 2014 and 11 April 2014, 64 delegated decision had been granted and 10 had been refused

Under Planning Applications, Members:

  • Granted permission for approval of reserved matters (new detached dwelling) at land adjacent to 7 Ganton Place, St Leonards
  • Granted permission for the redevelopment of site with 10 houses and 4 apartments including the retention and enhancement of existing areas of woodland at the site of former Old Roar House, 104 Old Roar Road, St Leonards
  • Granted permission for the repair/remove defective render, replace rainwater goods, repair balconies/soffits and railings/plinths at The Alexandra, 32 - 35 Eversfield Place, St Leonards

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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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