Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday 9th November 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: The Forum, Towcester, NN12 6AF

Note: Please use the following link to view the meeting from 6pm: 

No. Item




Councillor Jonathan Nunn

Councillor Malcolm Longley


Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.


There were none


Minutes pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 12th October 2021



A councillor queried why the comments in the minutes were not attributed to individual members.


The Chair advised that the style of minutes used by the council was consistent and was deemed to be best practice.



Chair's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chair.


The Chair announced that the traffic light system would be used for speech timing at the meeting.



Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.





Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 787 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

a) Acknowledged the work of the Democracy & Standards Committee;

b) Endorsed the proposed amendments to the Constitution and makes such further proposals as it thinks fit;

c) Recommended the revised Constitution to Full Council for approval.



a) A review of the Constitution by the Democracy & Standards Committee were agreed by Full Council on 20 May 2021 and Cabinet on 8 June 2021.

b) Conducting a review of the Constitution would help ensure that it is legally compliant, complete, reflects the character and culture of the authority and supports decision making.



The alternative choices were to not conclude a Constitution review at all, or to conclude the review at a later date or in accordance with a different timetable. These options were not recommended as a need for a review had been identified and it is important to ensure the Constitution was fit for the new Council’s purposes and compliant with all current legal requirements as soon as possible.


At the Chair’s invitation councillors made the following comments.

  • It was felt that recommendation B should not be included.
  • With regard to point 26.1 of the Council Procedure Rules (priority opposition motions) it was suggested that  the leader of the largest opposition group should have discretion to nominate another member to move the priority motion. Also, there was also no mention of a vote.
  • At point 28.5 of the Council Procedure Rules regarding motions, it was queried whether these should be dealt with in a random order and not in order received.
  • Point 10.1 of the Council Procedure Rules stated that the ending of the meeting would be at 9:30pm, it was suggested that due to motions this might not be realistic and a 10:00pm finish could be better.
  • Regarding the protocol for speaking at Planning Committees, concern was raised about how point 8.6 noted that there would be a limit to the number of speakers.
  • The document itself was a living one, so there was always room for improvement.
  • Concern was raised that it seemed as though officers would receive an increase in the amount of money they could spend without confirmation from councillors.
  • The document seemed to suggest that parties would have a more limited number of motions in the future.
  • It was felt that meetings and the council should be more accessible to the public.


The Chair advised that the cross-party working group that had worked on the constitution had met several times before the report had been presented to Cabinet.


Councillor Mike Hallam stated that the opposition had had a large amount of input at the working group and advised that any amendments be put forward to the working group. It was agreed that accessibility was important, and the council would always look at ways to do this within the scope of the law. The committee and those present were reminded that members of the public were always welcome to come to the meeting. 



Cottesbrooke Conservation Area pdf icon PDF 676 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

a) Endorsed that public consultation be undertaken on the draft Cottesbrooke Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan SPD (appendix A)

b) Endorsed that public consultation be undertaken on Article 4(1) Directions controlling development with regards to:

·         Alteration of windows

·          Alteration of doors

·         Alterations to roofing

·         Alterations to porches

·         Alterations to walls, gates and fences

·         Painting of exterior walls

·         Alterations to chimneys.



To accord with the council’s Consultation and Engagement Framework, the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and Section 71 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, which requires local authorities to hold a public meeting to publicise draft proposals within an

appraisal, for the relevant stakeholders of the affected area.



The alternative option would have been not to agree to the public consultation on the draft Cottesbrooke Conservation Area Appraisal and Management as an SPD.


At the Chair’s invitation Councillor Rebecca Breese presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated. Cabinet were advised that the report would now go to the Planning Policy Group and had only been brought to Cabinet for permission to go out for consultation.


The Chair advised that much work had been done previously by Daventry District Council.


No questions were asked.



Harmonisation of the Garden Waste Collection Service Across West Northamptonshire pdf icon PDF 697 KB

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RESOLVED: That Cabinet

a) Agreed that a charge was made for kerbside garden waste collection for all residents of West Northamptonshire who opt into this service of £42 per bin per year, from 1 April 2022;

b) Approved the decision to run the customer service and administration of the garden waste collection service in-house for all residents of West Northamptonshire, thus removing its administration from West Northamptonshire Norse, in the Daventry area.

c) Approved the establishment of a subsidised home composting scheme, to be launched at the same time as the charge 2022/23, to offer residents an alternative.



a) The introduction of a charge for the collection of garden waste would bring the south of West Northamptonshire into harmony with the rest of the council area. The scheme would be run council-wide with the level of charge, terms and conditions and service standards the same across west Northamptonshire.

b) Charging for the collection of garden waste would ensure that only those who wish to use the service pay for it and in that way, supports the Polluter Pays Principle. Therefore, those who home compost, or who don’t have gardens or who take their garden waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre would not pay for the collection service.

c) The Council would be permitted to levy a ‘reasonable’ charge for the garden waste service (under the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012). The proposed charge would generate income essential to part fund the waste collection services provided to the residents of West

Northamptonshire. This includes approximately £800,000 in additional net income to the council in 2022/23 for the south area, where the charge would be newly introduced. It would also maintain the approximate £2.2 million of annual income from the areas of the council where there was an existing charge.

d) The £42 charge recommended for 2022/23 would be the same as was charged in the Daventry and Northampton areas in 2021/22 and so would represent no increase for those residents and is identified as average across the region.

e) The proposal to bring the customer service and administration of the garden waste collection service would enable the Council to have a direct interface with residents who wish to opt-in to this service, ensuring they receive the best possible customer service.

f) The subsidised home composting scheme would provide an alternative option for residents who do not want to pay the collection fee. It also promotes home composting, which in waste management terms is a preferred option.



a) In reviewing the council’s garden waste service, several alternative options were considered for harmonising it across the whole of West Northamptonshire. Appendix A of the report showed a table of the

considered options, along with the positive and negative considerations of each option and the financial impact of each.

b) Officers had considered whether it would be appropriate and possible to offer discounts, for example in the following circumstances:

·         A resident pays by direct debit; or

·         A  ...  view the full decision text for item 63.


At the Chair’s invitation Councillor Phil Larratt presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated. The committee was advised it was a responsibility and a requirement to harmonise services under West Northants Council and this report had provided a review of the charges. Currently garden waste was collected on a fortnightly basis with Northampton and Daventry residents paying a yearly fee, whereas no fee was charged in South Northamptonshire. Approval of the proposal would ensure a fair system for all residents with the understanding that there are many people who live in flats and as such garden waste collections would not be required. Residents would be encouraged to compost, bins would be provided for this, it was agreed that it was important to keep residents informed of this.


Councillors made the following comments.

·         It was felt that the proposed fees were not required, that the residents already paid for this service through their council tax payments.

·         It was asked if there would be a reduction in the council tax to offset this extra payment.

·         It was queried whether this charge would cover the cost of opening the household waste and recycling centres 7 days a week.

·         It was felt that this was an unreliable income stream as not all residents would sign up for the scheme.

·         A full consultation on this issue across the whole area should take place.

·         It was noted that a cost neutral option had not been mentioned in the report.

·         The report had not mentioned Christmas Tree collection, would this still take place?

·         WNC was now 8 months old, it was queried why this had not been implemented earlier on.

·         It was queried whether there would be an increase in residents placing their garden waste in their black bins.

·         It was noted that some residents may not be able to pay the fee in one go, could there be an option added to pay weekly or to add it to the council tax.

·         The DEFRA report that is expected should arrive before Christmas, would it be prudent to introduce a charge now that might be overturned in a few months’ time.

·         The report did not mention any investigation that had happened with regards to residents not being able to pay.

·         It was advised that the options mentioned in Appendix A didn’t seem to add up.


Councillor Phil Larratt made the following points.

·         There had been complaints made to the ombudsman regarding this issue.

·         63% of Councils now charge for Garden Waste collection with the national average £43.

·         As far as he was aware Christmas Tree collection would remain in place.

·         There had been no significant increase in the amount of garden waste placed in black bins.

·         To begin with there was a budget provision in place for 3000 compost bins.

·         This fee was to ensure that every resident would be paying the same amount, this making the process fair. 

·         It was advised that it was not a statutory responsibility of the council to provide  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area pdf icon PDF 633 KB

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RESOLVED: That Cabinet

a) Adopted the UNVGP SPA SPD for the West Northamptonshire Council area

b) Endorsed the UNVGP SPA SPD – Addendum to the SPA SPD: Mitigation Strategy for consultation.



The above recommendations were proposed so that, as the competent authority, West Northamptonshire Council, could protect Unit 1 of the SPA from adverse impact from recreational pressure resulting from proposed and windfall housing growth within 3km of Unit 1 the SPA.

Protection of the SPA and its qualifying features would not only meet the requirements of the Habitats Regulations but also help protect the SPA now and in the future so that protected bird species would remain present, and it could be enjoyed by residents and visitors. Adoption of the SPD

and endorsement of the consultation for the mitigation strategy would align with the council’s Green and Clean, Environment and Wellbeing priority within its Corporate Plan.





At the Chair’s invitation Councillor Rebecca Breese presented the report copies of which had been previously circulated. This had formerly been an NBC project, a draft had been prepared and section 1.2 summarised the mitigation that would be used. The report would be out to consultation during November and  December 2021.



Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 563 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

a) Noted the contents of the report.

b) Recommended to Council a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022-2023:

i) to include the proposed changes

ii) to amend the LCTRS Regulations for pensioners in line with the uprating announced by DLUHC and

iii) to uprate the working age Regulations in line with those announced by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

c) Recommended to Council that delegated authority would be given to the Executive Director Finance to make any changes to the LCTRS up to and including 31 January 2022 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance.



To enable a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for West Northamptonshire Council to be approved for the financial year 2022-2023 and for the final scheme to be in place by 31 January 2022.



Proposal One:

For the financial year 2021-2022, members agreed a Council Tax discount for care leavers and a local policy was agreed. Under this policy, care leavers are required to apply for LCTRS and can then apply for an exceptional hardship award to help with any Council Tax payment required.

This additional support is funded from the exceptional hardship pot. The proposal is to include this additional support for care leavers up to the age of 25 as part of the LCTRS for 2022-2023.


Proposal Two

The current scheme allowed for a 100% disregard of War Widows and War Disablement pensions when calculating entitlement to LCTRS. The proposal was to offer enhanced support to those of working age in receipt of War Widows and War Disablement pensions and who currently must pay a minimum Council Tax contribution of 20%. This proposal would remove the minimum contribution and allowed LCTRS to be calculated on 100% of Council Tax liability therefore enabling these claimants to receive up to 100% support.


The Chair presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated. The committee was informed that much focus had been placed on how to support care leavers and presented the recommendations to Cabinet.


Councillors made the following comments.

·         It was noted that many care leavers had various social problems when leaving care, this scheme went some way to help them.

·         It was felt that the forms they were required to complete were very complex and daunting to many of them.

·         Cabinet was asked to consider a three year no tax for care leavers.


Councillor Fiona Baker agreed that the forms were difficult, there had been some work carried out on this and amendments had been made.



Grant of Long Lease to the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire of Barnes Meadows Nature Reserve, Northampton pdf icon PDF 719 KB


RESOLVED: That Cabinet

a) Authorised a 99-year lease with a peppercorn rent to The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire of Barnes Meadows, Northampton.

b) That this authorisation was subject to the conduct of public notification for disposal of open space as required by Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972 and no material and substantive objections being received (and not withdrawn).



a) The WT managing the Barnes Meadow nature reserve would help to ensure it was managed in a fashion which would maximise the benefits for people and the environment.

b) This course of action would also be the most cost-effective and would remove a management and maintenance liability from the Council.

c) There would also be consistency with previous decisions if this land was to be managed by the WT.



a)The Council could have:

·         Granted the proposed lease.

·         Managed the land in house.

·         Have sought to dispose of the land entirely.

·         Have sought to put the land to some other use, such as development.

b) The Council could offer the land to third parties (potentially including the WT) for freehold disposal. Whilst potentially removing all future liabilities in relation to the land, it would also remove any ability for the Council to use the land differently in the future.




At the Chair’s invitation Councillor Larratt presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated. It was advised that The Wildlife Trust was experienced and they could access the necessary funding. The recommendations were put to Cabinet.


No questions were asked.



Decisions taken by the Leader of the Council under urgency procedures: Northampton Partnership Homes - Westbridge lease and development, Planning Policy Committee and Appointment to West Midlands Rail Ltd pdf icon PDF 583 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That Cabinet noted the decisions taken by the Leader of the Council set out at Appendices A, B and C.



a) Where decisions that would otherwise be taken by Cabinet have been taken by the Leader of the Council, it was considered best practice to report those decisions to the next available meeting of the Cabinet.

b) In the case of NPH, the decision taken provided NPH with accommodation that enables them to operate effectively and deliver against the management agreement with Council.

c) In the case of the Planning Policy Committee, the agreement of the terms of reference for this committee enabled items that would otherwise be taken by Cabinet to be taken by that committee. This improved the efficiency of Cabinet decision making, while improving the accountability of planning policy decision by including members who are not part of the executive as non-voting members of the committee.

d) In the case of West Midlands Rail Ltd. The Council was required to appoint a director in its capacity as one of the partner local authorities.

e) Full reasons for the recommendations were set out in the decision records appended to this report.



The options considered were whether to wait for the next Cabinet meeting or to proceed under the Leader’s statutory powers. Cabinet members were consulted and agreed the proposed solution was beneficial to the Council and it was important to meet the timeframe of NPH’s board to ensure that a decision in principle could be communicated.


The Chair presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated the three decisions were presented individually to Cabinet.


A councillor queried whether the planning policy committee was a sub-committee of Cabinet and as such Cabinet would have voting power, this was then confirmed.