Admin Agenda for First Meeting of New CBC Cabinet

A brief heads up ahead of the first meeting [pdf] of the new CBC Cabinet that takes place at the Town Hall on 6 June.

As expected, it’s an admin based agenda with little political policy to be handed back down to Full Council.

A ‘alliance’ majority of one Cllr means that this is the way ahead in the Town Hall for the next twelve months.

First up we have:

Northern Gateway – Approval of Heads of Terms for sale of land at Axial Way

This is Cabinet agreeing to hand out a lease to an unnamed healthcare provider at the Northern Gateway. It is claimed that “up to” 150 jobs might be created.

A long lease is being proposed. The Cabinet report mentions:

“There is a need for guaranteed capital receipts.”

Then we have:

Recycling Collections From Flats

This report proposes that the Council leases an extra refuse vehicle so that plastics can be collected from flats.

Plastic recycling in these properties has been problematic due to access and storage issues.

The extra vehicle is needed because the current fleet is running at full capacity.

The reason?

Plastic waste recycling is proving to be very popular.

Foodie fans in flats however will miss out on those cute little caddies:

“Consideration has been given to providing all residents of flats with a separate food waste collection, but this was not considered feasible at this stage.”

Another Cabinet RUBBISH item agenda next Wednesday is:

Arrangements for Retaining and Processing Recycled Food and Garden Waste

Food and garden waste in Colchester is currently passed to Essex County Council to process. Cabinet is proposing that CBC keeps the waste and does a deal to cut out the ECC middle man.

It’s a nice little earner as well – £66.32 is paid per tonne of waste that is re-cycled. The Cabinet report asks the Cllr’s to serve notice on ECC and to start the search for a new CBC contract.

And then we come to:

Colchester Business Improvement District

Oh Lordy.

“This report details how the Council as Billing Authority will collect the BID levy should the proposal be approved by the ballot.”

The Council will also collect any debt and instigate legal proceedings against local traders who don’t pay the BID tax – should it be successful with the ballot next month.

A new company has been set up for this purpose: Our Colchester Ltd.

Note the subtle semantic change in the resident-facing Council Twitter feed of @yourcolchester.

A quick search of Companies House shows that this was incorporated on 12 March. There is one Director to date – Bryan Johnson, a Solicitor.

The Cabinet report is the formal endorsement for CBC to agree on the ballot process and to take on the cash collecting responsibility.

Plus to:

“To instruct the Assistant Director – Policy and Corporate to vote “Yes” in the ballot on behalf of the Council in relation to its non-domestic rate-paying Council properties”

That will be a glowing endorsement of the extra tax on local traders from Cabinet then.

CBC has a vested interest here. There are 17 Council properties that fall under the footprint for the BID. It is estimated that the CBC contribution for the tax will be £11,000. There is currently no budget for this.

The report also confirms that the Returning Officer for the BID vote is the Council’s Returning Office – ie Chief Executive Adrian Pritchard.

No conflict of interest there.

Nope.

Further money is being spent by CBC to make sure that a YES vote is returned:

“A Marketing and Communications Strategy is being implemented to promote and engage with businesses to secure a vote in favour of the BID in June 2018.”

£62,000 of public money will be handed over to Colchester Presents CIC to “enable it to progress the BID proposals.”

It will cost a further £35,000 for CBC to collect the extra tax if the BID is agreed by local traders.

Sticking with finance and the next Cabinet agenda is:

Appointments to Revolving Investment Fund Committee

This is the Cabinet within a Cabinet. The members for the next twelve months will be:

Councillor Cory, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy

Councillor Barlow, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services

Councillor King, Portfolio Holder for Resources

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio for Business and Culture

Fly, wall etc Comrades.

Related the political fall out following the local elections in May is:

To remove Paul Smith as the Council’s appointed director on the Board of North Essex Garden Communities Limited.

*sad face*

And:

“To appoint Councillor T. Young as the Council’s appointed director on the Board of North Essex Garden Communities Limited.”

*particularly sad face*

And finally a quick read through of the Member Development Group Annual Report 2017-18 shows:

Councillor Jessica Scott-Boutell completed the LGA’s Leadership Academy programme.

Which is a bit of a blow as she lost her Stanway seat at the start of the month.

The report also noted that £152.50 of CBC money was spent on a Labour Group Training Day.

Money well spent, etc.

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