Meeting Details

Cabinet
12 Sep 2017 - 18:30 to 20:50
Occurred

Documents

Agenda

Items
1. Apologies
To receive any apologies of absence.
2. Cabinet Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Leader and members of the Cabinet.

To approve, and the Chair to sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 11 July 2017 (Item 3).

4. Disclosures of Interest

Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, or personal interests (including other pecuniary interests) they may have in the business to be transacted, and officers to disclose any interests they may have in any contract to be considered.

5. Deputations and Petitions

(a)     To receive a deputation from residents of Westcroft with reference to Westcroft Reserve Site 3.

The object of the deputation has been advised as follows:

“The residents of Westcroft are opposed to and will fight any proposal for modular housing on Westcroft Reserve Site 3 because of the adverse impact the development would have on the whole estate including roads, resident parking, pressure on an already heavily oversubscribed GP surgery, and school places provision especially at primary levels.  Furthermore the very square designs for modular housing types would not integrate well with the existing traditional housing in Westcroft and would have a detrimental impact on the whole street scene and the amenity value of the area.

The existing Development Brief from 2014 considered all of these issues, was fully consulted on, had and still has, residents’ support and the support of the Parish Council and Ward Councillors.   The press announcement by Councillor Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Housing, in MK Citizen 29 June 2017 came totally out of the blue and completely disregards the current Development Brief.  This is totally unacceptable to residents.  Councillor Long has since stated that he has no current proposals for this site but this cuts right across what he said in his press statement and leaves residents very concerned.

In the light of this uncertainty, residents request Councillor Long and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Marland to further clarify their position and to:

(i)     Make a statement in MK Citizen that Westcroft Reserve Site is “off the table completely” as a site for modular housing for the homeless.

(ii)     Remove this site from the Council’s web site as a possible site for modular housing for the homeless.

(iii)     Clarify the position on the current Development Brief for Westcroft Reserve Site 3 and if this Brief is considered out of date, to clearly state the reasons for this and commit to developing a new Development Brief, in consultation with residents.”

(b)     To receive a petition from residents of Nightingale Crescent Bradville with reference to over grown trees and hedges which have been allowed to get out of hand and are now causing unnecessary damage to private properties. 

6. Questions from Members of the Public

To receive questions from residents and electors of the Borough.

7. Councillors' Items

(a)     Item submitted by Councillor Walker

Overgrown Trees and Shrubs - Nightingale Crescent, Bradville

“In light of the concerns of residents in Nightingale Crescent, Bradville regarding severely overgrown trees and shrubs surrounding their properties, I would ask Cabinet to:

(i)     Ask the environmental team to attend a site visit;

(ii)     A breakdown of the work needed to be provided; and

(iii)     Provide an action plan and a timetable for work.”

(b)     Item submitted by Councillor Bald

Westcroft Reserve Site 3

“It is very clear from tonight’s Deputation that Westcroft residents’ are very upset by the rather shoddy way in which “new” proposals for Westcroft Reserve Site 3 were released to the press without prior discussion with anyone - not Ward Councillors, not the Parish Council and not residents.

Councillor Long has since stated that he did not know that his Cabinet, after full consultation with local residents, had signed off a Development Brief for this site to include housing and a dementia care centre.  The purpose of this Member’s item is to put on public record:

(i)     That Westcroft residents are not opposed to housing development on this site, but it must be the right development;

(ii)     That we have been expecting proposals to come forward, in line with the Development Brief, since 2014 when the Development Brief was agreed;

(iii)     That residents, Ward Councillors and the Parish Council believe that this site is not suitable for modular housing; and

(iv)     That we would like to work with the Council, Milton Keynes Development Partnership, Your MK, and whoever it is necessary to work with to move plans for this site forward, in consultation with residents.”

(c)     Item submitted by Councillor Bald behalf of all Tattenhoe Ward Councillors

Westcroft Library

“Westcroft library is the second busiest library in Milton Keynes.  It services a very wide area.  It has 1235 borrowers in Tattenhoe grid square alone.  Families and children are the biggest users, but many people use the library to access the internet including pensioners.  At holiday time and weekends the library is absolutely buzzing.

The new library to be constructed at Westcroft close to the existing library is a welcome move, although we wish it were bigger to accommodate the increasing footfall.  However what is most concerning to us is the lack of clarity over transitional arrangements. The current library is to be vacated at the end of September and will be rehomed at Tattenhoe Pavilion until the new library is ready; originally this was to have been summer 2018, but we understand on the grapevine that this may have slipped by several months. 

Meanwhile current users at Tattenhoe Pavilion will no longer be able to use the big hall.  Despite many attempts to ascertain who will be affected – the Council redirected my questions to Hertsmere who at the time of writing this Members’ item had not responded to my  telephone call or e mail, we still do not know who will be impacted by the library’s occupation of the main hall at Tattenhoe Pavilion.  To compound matters nearby Westcroft Pavilion is being refurbished, a long awaited and much delayed project which normally would perhaps be able to take displaced users from Tattenhoe, but again we are completely in the dark with regards to potential opportunities there.

This really has been a most frustrating project from the start.  Original rebuild plans were thrown out and had to be restarted because the new library was too small and poorly designed.   Then the proposal was for a one day a week mobile library to replace the Westcroft library while the new library was built.  This was also thrown out.  We are now very nervous about the whole transition period and worry that a one year transition period could slip to at least 18 months.

Ward councillors request the Cabinet to urgently:

(i)     Publish a proper plan and milestones for the new library and transition arrangements;

(ii)     Be clear about the risk to completion dates and how these risks will be managed;

(iii)     Be open and clear about the displaced users at Tattenhoe Pavilion; and.

(iv)     Tell us when the Westcroft Pavilion will be fully open after refurbishment.”

(d)     Item submitted by Councillors Hosking and McLean

Emberton Country Park

"Emberton Country Park (ECP) has existed for over 50 years; in fact the park is older than Milton Keynes itself.  It was the first county park to be created in Europe.

In recent years, the park has suffered from a significant shortage of investment into its ageing infrastructure and facilities.  Therefore, we request that Cabinet ask officers to identify organisations/partners with the resources capable of running the park in the long term interests of local residents and visitors.  Such organisations should operate on a 'not for profit' basis and be committed to retaining ECP's status as a leading country park, as was first intended.

We also request that any options appraisal should be undertaken with the input of the stakeholders previously involved with the now defunct Park Liaison User Group and that this should be prominently advertised around ECP, local print and broadcast media, the Council’s website and social media."

8. Councillors' Questions (15 Minutes)

Councillors to ask questions of the Leader of the Council or a Cabinet Member on issues within their Portfolio.

(a)     Referral from Development Control Committee - 29 June 2017

Application for Approval for an Increase in Planning Fees

“3.     That Cabinet be recommended to allocate the additional funding revenue to the Planning Service.”

A copy of the report considered by the Development Control Committee on 29 June 2017 is attached at Item 9(a).

9 References from Other Bodies

(b)     Referral from Budget Scrutiny Committee - 18 July 2017

Home to School Transport

“That the Cabinet be requested to consider whether it should be a political priority to “require” families in ‘out of area’ temporary accommodation for more than one term to find a school place local to their accommodation; all options should be discussed with such families with a presumption in favour of parental choice.”

Response from Councillor Nolan, the Cabinet member for Children and Families:

“It is worth noting that where a family is deemed eligible for housing and then offered accommodation in Milton Keynes, this probably would not be in the local area that they used to live in, and so a change of school place would be likely in any event.

Any child, regardless of their circumstances, has a right to free home to school transport if they live more than a specific distance from the nearest available school with places.  This distance is usually two miles for younger children and three for older children. For families placed in temporary accommodation from other areas, the Council has this duty.  For families the Council places in other areas, the relevant local council has this duty.  

There is not a separate legal duty to provide home to school transport to families living in temporary accommodation out of the area. Where a family is confirmed to be living in temporary accommodation for more than one term, the Council’s approach is to expect parents to choose a local school to continue their child’s education.  The alternative would be a long daily journey each way, often unaccompanied, at considerable cost to the tax payer, which could last for many months.

There is an exceptions and appeals process that families can use should there be circumstances that mean remaining in a particular school is important, for example, a child about to take public examinations."

(c)     Referral from Budget Scrutiny Committee - 18 July 2017

Financial Sustainability Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy (2018/19 to 2021/22)

(a)     That the Cabinet be requested to explore the possibility of borrowing money, on a similar basis to that borrowed to fund construction of the Residual Waste Treatment Facility, in order to purchase a supply of houses under the General Fund to alleviate the chronic shortage of available temporary accommodation and thus address the forecast shortfall of £4m in the temporary accommodation budget.

(b)     That once purchased, these properties remain in the General Fund until such time as the shortage of social housing has eased and, if no longer required as temporary accommodation, and they become an asset which can be sold for the Council’s benefit.

(c)     That the Cabinet Members for Adult Care & Housing and Resources and Innovation, together with the Service Director: Finance and Resources, be requested to meet with the local MPs to discuss the level of the new Flexible Home Support Grant received by the Council, stressing that this is inadequate to support the social housing needs of a rapidly developing and expanding area such as Milton Keynes.

(d)     Referral from Council 19 July 2017

Petition from residents of Loughton about the Controlled Parking Zone In Loughton Village, the Introduction of Parking Charges and Resident Parking Permits.

16. Procurement and Commissioning

To receive the Minutes of the meeting of Procurement and Commissioning held on 15 June 2017.

Copies of the Minutes are available at the following link:

Procurement and Commissioning - 15 June 2017



Notice of Intention to Hold the Meeting in Private

The public and press may be excluded from the remainder of the meeting by virtue of Paragraph 3 (Information Relating to the Financial or Business Affairs of the Authority) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, in order that the meeting may consider the Annexes to Item 18 (Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement).

The Proper Officer of the Council has determined that the Annexes should be considered in the absence of the public and press as disclosure would not be in the public interest.

No representations have been received about why those matters referred to above should be considered with the public and press present.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider excluding the public and press from the meeting by virtue of Paragraph 3 (Information Relating to the Financial or Business Affairs of the Authority) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, in order that the meeting may consider the Annexes to the following report.

To consider Item 18.
  1. Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement_Annex A
    • Information which is likely to reveal the identify of an individual;
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
  2. Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement_Annex B
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
    • Information which is likely to reveal the identify of an individual;
  3. Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement_Annex C
    • Information which is likely to reveal the identify of an individual;
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
  4. Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement_Annex D
    • Information which is likely to reveal the identify of an individual;
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
  5. Milton Keynes Council Insurance Premium Procurement_Annex E
    • Information which is likely to reveal the identify of an individual;
    • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);

Meeting Documents

  1. pdf Decision Sheet (218Kb)
  2. pdf Minutes (575Kb)

Declarations of Interests

Officers in Attendance

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