Agenda and decisions

Venue: Conference Hall - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: James Kinsella, Governance Manager  Tel: 020 8937 2063; Email:  james.kinsella@brent.gov.uk

Note: Due to the current limits on meeting venue capacity at the Civic Centre any press and public wishing to attend this meeting are encouraged to follow proceedings via the live webcast. The link to follow the meeting is available via the Livestreaming page on the Democracy in Brent section of the Council's website or link on the front page of the published meeting agenda. 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mili Patel.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary or personal interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 319 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on Monday 8 November 2021 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on Monday 8 November 2021 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

4.

Matters Arising (if any)

To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Additional documents:

Decision:

None.

5.

Petitions (if any)

To discuss any petitions from members of the public, in accordance with Standing Order 66.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet NOTED the comments made by a member of the public, Nicola O’Brien, presenting a petition with 236 signatures requesting the reinstallation of a water standpipe in Roundwood Park.  Referring to a response received on the petition, she began by highlighting what was felt to be the disproportionate response to the recent vandalism of the standpipe involving its entire removal.  Whilst recognising the issue about water wastage as a result of the damage caused, it was pointed out that the standpipe had been suffering from a slow leak which was unrelated and had remained unfixed prior to the vandalism.  Although advised that the standpipe had not been designated for public use, Nicola O’Brien pointed out it had been relied upon and used by park users without any previous objection or issue prior to the current vandalism.  She also queried its use purely as a source of water for the surrounding habitation pointing out that the design of the standpipe included an auto shut-off press tap which faced away from the flowerbed and towards the public footpath.  As such it was felt the design encouraged use by park users looking for a quick supply or refill of water.

 

In terms of the alternative option suggested regarding use of the café to purchase or supply water, those who had signed the petition did not feel this was appropriate given the busy nature of the café, costs and fact this would involve the supply of plastic bottles which would also be wasteful and more damaging to the environment than use of a public water supply.  Whilst noting the proposal currently being investigated to restore the original public water fountain by the main entrance to the park, concerns had been expressed that no timescale had been provided on this.  It was noted that similar water supplies appeared to be available in other parks and green spaces with the petitioners feeling the removal of the standpipe to be unjustified given the impact on park users.  As a result, Nicola O’Brien advised that the petitioners were asking the Council to reconsider its original decision and to reinstall the standpipe and tap.

 

In responding, Councillor Krupa Sheth (as Lead Member for Environment), began by thanking Nicola O’Brien for her presentation and advised that the original decision to remove the standpipe had been made due to a number of acts of vandalism that had taken place in quick succession of repairs being undertaken.  This had included damage to the auto shut-off tap, which it was acknowledged had been a feature of the standpipe.  Given the constraints on the Parks Service budget, the combination of the repeated vandalism and associated cost of repairs along with the resulting loss of water the decision had reluctantly been made to remove the pipe and ensure there was a connection only for use by the contractor for watering the surrounding flowerbeds.  Confirmation was provided that, although used by the public, the standpipe was not designed for that purpose with its intended use only  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

6.

Reference of item considered by Scrutiny Committees (if any)

To consider any reference reports from the Council’s two Scrutiny Committees.

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no references from Scrutiny submitted for consideration at the meeting.

7.

Draft Budget 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 502 KB

This report sets out the Council’s budget proposals for 2022/23 and provides a general update on the Council’s overall financial position, including an assessment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s October 2021 Autumn Budget.  Subject to the results of consultation and scrutiny, these proposals will then form the basis of the budget to be agreed at the Full Council meeting in February 2022.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted the comments made by Councillor Kennelly who had requested to speak at the meeting on the draft budget item.  In addressing Cabinet, Councillor Kennelly whilst recognising the challenging nature of the budget position faced by the Council, was keen to highlight the importance in maintaining a focus on key infrastructure requirements, including maintenance of footways.  Highlighting the support expressed locally for the repairs and maintenance undertaken on footways in his ward he also outlined the wider importance of this in terms of supporting the Council’s objectives towards encouraging more active forms of travel and in tackling the Climate Emergency.  As a result he asked Cabinet to ensure that the consideration was given, as part of the budget proposals, to securing and maintaining the necessary levels of investment required to support the need for ongoing and future infrastructure investment, especially in relation to footways.

 

In responding to the comments raised, Councillor Butt (as Leader of the Council) highlighted the challenges needing to be addressed in securing the necessary funding to be able to support the key objectives identified as priorities by the Council, given the constraints on available funding.  The issue raised in relation to securing long term invest to support infrastructure, including footways had been recognised with discussions also being pursued with key stakeholders, including TfL.

 

Cabinet RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To note the Council’s overall financial position.

 

(2)     To endorse the budget proposals for 2022/23 that were previously agreed at the Council meeting of 22 February 2021, as set out in Appendix A of the report.

 

(3)     To agree to consult on a Council Tax increase of 3% in 2022/23.

 

(4)     To agree to participate in a sub London Business Rates Pool in 2022/23 and delegate authority to the Director of Finance to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the participating authorities as may be necessary to implement and/or regulate the pool.

 

(5)     To delegate authority to the Director of Finance to agree to participate in such pools in subsequent years (in consultation with the Lead Member) and to enter into Memorandum of Understandings in respect of any such subsequent pools.

 

(6)     To note the position with regard to the funding for Schools and the Dedicated Schools Grant, as set out in Section 7 of the report.

 

(7)     To consult on a rent increase of 4.1% (CPI + 1%) for the 2022/23 Housing Revenue Account budget, as set out in Section 8 and Appendix B of the report.

 

(8)     To note the position with regard to the Capital programme, as set out in Section 9 of the report.

8.

Brent Infrastructure Funding Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

This report introduces the Council’s second Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS), which has been prepared in line with the CIL Regulations (as amended).

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet RESOLVED:

 

(1)    To note the content of the report and Appendix 1 “Brent Infrastructure Funding Statement 2020/21”

 

(2)    To approve the Infrastructure Funding Statement for publication.

9.

Digital Strategy and Business Case 2022-2026 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

This report sets out the draft Digital Strategy 2022-26 for agreement. The draft strategy builds on the 2019-23 strategy that was agreed in October 2019. The report also presents an Outline Business Case (OBC) for an extension of the Digital Programme to 2026 and the capital investment required to deliver the strategy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet RESOLVED:

 

(1)     To agrees the Digital Strategy 2022-26 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

 

(2)     To agree the Outline Business Case as set out in Appendix 2 of the report with the funding identified to deliver the programme.

 

(3)     To approve the establishment of a Business Support Fund as set out in Appendix 2 and Section 3.19 of the report.

 

(4)     To delegate authority to the Strategic Director of Customer and Digital Services in consultation with the Lead Member for Resources to agree eligibility criteria for the Business Support Fund.

 

(5)     To delegate to the Strategic Director of Customer and Digital Services authority to administer and award assistance from the Business Support Fund.

10.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The following items are not for publication as they relate to the category of exempt information set out below, as specified under Part 1, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Agenda Item 9:         Digital Strategy and Business Case 2022-26 - Appendix 1 to the Outline Business Case (attached as Appendix 2 of the report) detailing the expected benefits within the business case.

 

The above appendix is classified as exempt from publication under Para 3 of Part 1, Schedule 12A of the 1972 Local Government Act, namely: “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).”

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no items that required the exclusion of the press or public.

11.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or her representative before the meeting.  Any decision taken urgently under this item must comply with the provisions outlined in paragraphs 12 and 36 of the Council’s Access to Information Rules (Part 2 – Constitution).

Additional documents:

Decision:

None.