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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf. View directions

Contact: Wayne Hemingway/Alex Saul, Democratic Services Officers 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Howard Doe (Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services), Councillor Mike O’Brien (Children’s Services) and Neil Davies (Chief Executive).  

2.

Record of decisions pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 9 August 2016 was agreed and signed by the Leader as a correct record. 

3.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

Councillor David Brake (Adult Services) declared an interest in agenda item 4 (Business Rate Relief) because he is the Chairman of the Medway Towns District Scouts Council. He withdrew from the meeting for the discussion and voting thereon.

 

Councillor Andrew Mackness (Corporate Services) declared an interest in agenda item 4 (Business Rate Relief) because he is the Chairman of the Chatham Maritime Trust. He withdrew from the meeting for the discussion and voting thereon.

4.

Business Rate Relief pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report proposed a consultation exercise be undertaken on options for a revised set of guidelines for the award of discretionary relief from National Non-Domestic (Business) Rates for charities and other non-profit making organisations.

 

The current policy for the determination of awards of relief and the guidelines that underpin such awards were set out in a report to Cabinet on 12 March 2013. These guidelines were included at Appendix 1 of the report.

 

It was noted that at the 8 March 2016 meeting of the Cabinet it had been agreed to rescind the existing guidelines with effect from 31 March 2016 and that Cabinet was to be asked to implement the new guidelines for the award of discretionary relief for charities and other non-profit making organisations to take effect from 1 April 2017, following the proposed consultation.

 

It was also noted that the results of this proposed consultation would be analysed and considered by a Special Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee in early January, before final consideration and the approval of the new scheme by Cabinet on 17 January 2017.

 

The report recommended that all three options presented in the report be consulted upon with option 2 as the preferred option at this time.

 

The addendum report detailed the five principles used in designing the guidelines found in Option 2 of the main report, the intention being to give priority to organisations seeking to improve the quality of life for children, the elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable members of society.Within this option all charities and community amateur sport clubs would continue to receive their mandatory relief. However, the addendum report also stated the following in regards to Option 2;

·         It would take away some support from organisations supporting animal welfare or conservation and those supporting lifestyle choices.

·         It would not offer any support to organisations supporting heritage and regeneration.

·         It would also limit charity shops and cafes to receiving their mandatory relief.

 

Decision

Number:

 

Decision:

107/2016

The Cabinet authorised officers to consult on the three options, including the preferred option, outlined in Section 5 of the report.

 

Reasons:

 

To ensure that consultation is undertaken on the options prior to a final decision.

5.

Government Consultation: 100% Business Rates Retention pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report detailed the Government consultation that had been commenced on 1 July 2016 on proposals for local authorities and their preceptors to retain 100% of the business rates collected, in return for the cessation of central grant support to local government. The consultation was to examine the impact of the reforms on the balance of local and central accountability, as well as to seek views on the current method of accounting for business rates through the Collection Fund.

 

The Cabinet considered the 36 consultation questions and the Council’s proposed response to each as laid out at Appendix 1 of the report, as well as the range of options for devolution of responsibilities which were summarised in Appendix 2.

 

The Cabinet also took note of the addendum report which detailed the views of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee following their consideration of the report on 25 August 2016.

 

Decision

Number:

 

Decision

 

The Cabinet noted the comments of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

108/2016

The Cabinet approved the Council’s response to the consultation “Self-Sufficient Local Government: 100% Business Rates Retention” as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Reasons:

 

To ensure that the Council’s response to this consultation is submitted before the deadline of 26 September 2016.

6.

Recruitment Freeze pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report presented information on vacancies that officers had requested approval to commence recruitment for, following the process agreed by Cabinet on 7 January 2003 (decision number 9/2003).

 

Details of the posts were set out within Appendix 1 to the report, with two additional posts tabled at the meeting in an addendum report.

 

Decision number:

Decision

 

109/2016

 

The Cabinet agreed to unfreeze the following posts, as detailed in Appendix 1 of the main report and as detailed in the addendum report to enable officers to commence the recruitment process:

 

Business Support

a) Paralegal – Legal Services (People)

b) Management Accountant

c) Management Accountant

d) Head of Finance Strategy

 

Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation

e) Communications Account Executive

f) Markets Superintendent

 

Children & Adults

g) Admin Support Officer

h) Social Worker

i) Data and MI Officer.

 

Reasons:

 

The posts presented to Cabinet will support the efficient running of the Council.