Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Conference Room, Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE

Contact: Sarah Buffrey 

Link: Watch the recording of this meeting on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

Items
No. Item

137.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from the following cabinet members: Cllr Pauline Crockett, Cllr John Harrington and Cllr Ange Tyler.

138.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

139.

MINUTES

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:       That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2022 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.

 

 

140.

Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive questions from members of the public.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.

141.

Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To receive questions from councillors.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.

142.

Nutrient Certainty - Luston Integrated Wetland pdf icon PDF 260 KB

As the competent body under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) Cabinet is asked to note the progress being made towards creating Integrated Wetlands phosphate reduction and steps being taken to ensure Nutrient Certainty to the required standard of beyond reasonable scientific doubt.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The cabinet member infrastructure and transport introduced the report.

 

The interim delivery director waste transformation & wetland project summarised the content of the report and provided an update on progress on construction of the wetland at Luston. It was highlighted that the council would continue to explore what more it could do to address the issue of phosphate pollution and as part of this a cabinet commission was proposed.

 

Cabinet members welcomed the report as a first step in the journey and were pleased at the progress it represented.

 

The chairperson of the environment and sustainability scrutiny committee commented on the committee’s recent discussion of the proposal for a cabinet commission. The scrutiny committee welcomed the leadership shown on this issue and had made two recommendations to the cabinet. The chairperson of the committee noted the responses of the cabinet to these recommendations, highlighted the scrutiny committee’s desire to see as many councillors as possible given the chance to contribute and the need to continue to engage with national governments in Cardiff and Westminster as intervention and funding were required at a national level to fully address the issue.

 

The Cabinet member infrastructure and transport thanked all those who had worked on the project. He highlighted that the council was limited in what it could do to mitigate the impact of phosphate pollution and that it relied on national bodies to engage and to enforce national measures.

 

Group leaders and representatives presented the comments and queries from their respective groups. It was noted that:

·       long term solutions would require government action and changes in farming practices and effluent discharge;

·       the work of the nutrient management board should be recognised;

·       developers at the head of the queue had already been informed about the trading process and others were in the process of being contacted;

·       government proposals on nutrient trading schemes within the Levelling Up bill were welcomed and Herefordshire had offered to share the experience and expertise gained;

·       the council could provide advice to anyone wanting to bring forward private wetland developments and would encourage them to seek pre-application advice;

·       the trading system had tighter links than carbon credit trading as it was directly linked to the river;

·       it was important to get other bodies involved, including on the Welsh side of the border to tackle impacts upstream;

·       additional resources had been secured for the planning service in readiness for processing the planning applications as they were released;

·       the terms of reference of the cabinet commission were still to be finalised and would address some of the points raised in the discussion.

 

The chairperson of the nutrient management board was thanked for the work of that body. She welcomed the progress made and the fact that as an early adopter, Herefordshire would be able to share knowledge and experience with others seeking to develop their own schemes.

 

It was unanimously resolved that cabinet:

 

a)      Agree that all necessary due diligence to confirm Nutrient Certainty has now been achieved; 

 

b)      Authorise the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 142.

143.

UK Shared Prosperity Plan Submission to Government pdf icon PDF 460 KB

To seek cabinet approval to submit the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Investment Plan to government on 1 August 2022. Government has allocated Herefordshire £7.6m of UKSPF, subject to the submission and approval of an Investment Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The leader of the council introduced the report and welcomed the allocated share of £7.6m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

 

Cabinet members noted that while Herefordshire was an attractive place to live, it still had pockets of deep deprivation. It was important to plan how to deliver the projects identified so that they could start as soon as the funding was confirmed by government.

 

The director of economy explained that the proposed bid would build on activity already delivered and look ahead for the next two years. The projects would like to the economic plan and a further report would be brought to cabinet in the autumn with more detail on the activities and shape of the board.

 

Group leaders and representatives gave views and comments from their respective group. The funding was welcomed and it was noted that:

·       The schemes would need to be able to achieve their aims within the funding currently available as the revenue funding would not necessarily continue beyond this point;

·       Fuel poverty and energy efficiency were highlighted as key issues to address.

 

It was unanimously resolved that:

 

a)    Cabinet approve the submission of the Herefordshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan to government, in order to secure up to £7.6m of funding for the county;

b)    Authority to make technical amendments to the final Investment Plan submission is delegated to the Corporate Director for Economy and Environment;

c)    Should the Investment Plan be approved, Herefordshire Council agrees to be the accountable body for the implementation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation and the resulting projects; and

d)    Authority is delegated to the Chief Executive Officer and the Section 151 officer to formally submit the bids by the 1 August 2022 deadline.

 

144.

2023/24 Budget Setting Timetable pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Cabinet is required to publish its timetable for making proposals to Council for the following financial year’s revenue and capital budgets and estimates of future years’ revenue resources by way of a Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Cabinet is also required to set out its approach public consultation on the budget proposals.

Minutes:

The cabinet member finance, corporate services and planning introduced the report. She explained that it set out the overall arc of the consultation process for the 2023/24 budget. Technology would be used to support the consultation process but, in addition, face to face consultations would be re-introduced in the market towns and large villages.

 

The chairperson of the scrutiny management board explained that the board was exploring how to include scrutiny of the budget in its work programme. It was noted that the contribution of scrutiny was important and that if the government spending review date slipped, this would be taken into account. Cabinet members were keen that scrutiny have an input at the start of the process.

 

Group leaders and representatives on behalf of their groups noted the proposed timetable and hoped for a good response rate. It was highlighted that it had proved difficult in the past for scrutiny to make comments early on as not enough information had been available. The need for longer term funding settlements was also noted.

 

It was unanimously resolved that:

 

That:

a)    the proposed timetable for the development and adoption of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the 2023/24 budgets be approved; and

b)    the proposed approach to the budget consultation is approved.