Agenda item

Cabinet Member Presentations

(Copy herewith.)


Councillor Nunn submitted his report as the Leader of the Council and congratulated the Mayor on his Gala Dinner. He updated Members on work being carried out with regards to Unitary Status including the Structural Changes Order and the integration of Health and Social Care. The Town Centre Masterplan had been adopted as a Council document but presently did not contain any detail; this would be developed around upcoming consultations; it was anticipated that the Market Square would be looked at first. Councillor Nunn explained that timelines had been extended; a submission to MHCLG was now required by 31st January 2020, with a full business case to be submitted by the end of April and an announcement expected in the summer of 2020. Councillor Nunn further explained that the private sector were responding positively, noting a recent apartment development on Wellingborough Road and stated that this showed there was increasing demand for professional living accommodation in the town centre. He further noted the recent CityFibre’s £40m investment in the town and hoped that Members took the time to speak with them before the meeting. Councillor Nunn also noted discussions that had taken place regarding the Guildhall road block and Sol Central whose owners had secured a new occupier.


In response to questions, Councillor Nunn confirmed that he would work with the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer to have the Community Governance Review minutes published on the Council’s website and circulated amongst Members. He explained that the Joint Committee would have more work to do following changes to the Structural Changes Order. He further explained that where Members sat as both unitary and borough/district/county councillors for a final year, they would be given a choice as to which allowance they would take. Responding to further questions, Councillor Nunn stated that Unitary Status would be a matter for the government to decide after the General Election. With regard to the design workshops, Councillor Nunn stated that cross party consultation would continue as it worked well and was unique to NBC. Councillor Nunn further stated that the town relied upon the vital contribution that the voluntary sector gave and that the strong links between NBC and the voluntary sector would continue.


At this juncture the Mayor invited Councillor Kilbride to congratulate residents and volunteers in his and Councillor Malpas’ ward for their hard work and awards won in both Northampton and East Midlands in Bloom.


Councillor Larratt presented his report as Deputy Leader and highlighted several events that would be taking place over the Christmas period, including the light switch-on and Frost Fair.


In response to questions, the Deputy Leader confirmed that there was a desire to include Northampton in the East/West Rail scheme; as a concept, it was not originally envisaged to serve Northampton. With regard to the Oxford corridor, the Deputy Leader advised that talks had taken place around services between Northampton, Swindon and Bristol.


In response to a question around the ongoing Community Governance Review consultation exercise, the Deputy Leader stated that he was not previously aware of any issues surrounding the length of the consultation period and would look into any issues with urgency. He further stated that he understood issues around letter-drops in Far Cotton and Delapre to be resolved. He noted that the upcoming General Election and local government reorganisation had no impact on the creation of parish councils.


Councillor Hibbert submitted his report as the Cabinet Member for Housing and highlighted key areas of work, including further development with the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper’s Strategy. He reminded Members that the Council would be carrying out its rough-sleepers count and asked them to volunteer, if able. He noted that the Telecare Services Association had assessed the Call Care team as “outstanding” and an example of best practice in a number of areas, following a 2 day audit.


In response to a question, Councillor Hibbert confirmed that following the Rough Sleepers Count, a position statement would be published confirming the number of people believed to be sleeping rough on any one night, ensuring that the number of rough sleepers will be set in context. He further confirmed that discussions were ongoing with the Hope Centre to extend its opening hours during SWEP.


Responding to a question regarding enforcement, Councillor Hibbert advised that the Enforcement team had been making surprise house calls through the use of court warrants


Responding to a question around HMO licences, Councillor Hibbert confirmed that a property with an existing licence would automatically be renewed on 1st February 2020, subject to no enforcement action. Any unlicensed properties from 1st February would be subject to enforcement action.


Councillor Hill submitted his Cabinet Member report as the Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning. He explained that in October Cabinet approved, for public consultation, the Council’s proposal to introduce a Borough wide Article 4 Direction for houses in multiple occupation (HMO). He further announced that planning permission had been granted to redevelop the former Angel Hotel on Bridge Street and thanked officers for their work on bringing the project forward.


In response to questions, Councillor Hill confirmed that there were sufficient officers to deal with unauthorised building works. In respect of Belgrave House, Councillor Hill advised that NPH were dealing with issues, however this fell under the portfolio of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise. Councillor Hill advised that recommendations made by the Scrutiny Panel would be considered as part of reserved matters applications in respect of the university.


Councillor Hill confirmed that the 319 inspections carried out by Building Control had been undertaken since April 2019.


Councillor Hallam submitted his Cabinet member report as the Cabinet Member for Environment and stated that the enforcement officers issued a total of 455 Fixed Penalty Notices during September and October. He gave his thanks to all of the community groups and volunteers that took part in Bloom. Councillor Hallam advised that a new CCTV camera was now in operation in the town centre and would be instrumental in providing evidence for prosecutions relating to fly-tipping and noted that additional areas were being considered for more CCTV coverage.


In response to questions, Councillor Hallam confirmed that there was generally an 8 day turnaround for bulky waste collections and noted that bookings had increased by 50% compared to the same time last year. He further confirmed that the next Climate Change Forum would be taking place on 12th November.


Councillor Hadland advised that parking in council-owned, town centre car parks would be free in the run-up to Christmas, on Saturdays commencing 23rd November and evenings commencing 19th December.

Supporting documents: