Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Reading

Contact: Michael Popham - Democratic Services Manager  Email: michael.popham@reading.gov.uk

Link: webcast of meeting

Items
No. Item

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 75 KB

The Mayor to sign the Minutes of the proceedings of the Council Meeting held on

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

35.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Questions in accordance with Standing Order 9.

Minutes:

 

Questioner

Subject

Answer

1.

Ayotunde Sokule

Gosbrook Road Pedestrian Crossing

Cllr Page

2.

Roger Lightfoot

Council’s Leisure Procurement Project

Cllr Hoskin

3.

Roger Lightfoot

Preferred Bidder for Arthur Hill Pool

Cllr Hoskin

4.

Ginnette Hargreaves-Lees

Drug Related Deaths

Cllr Hoskin

5.

Richard Stainthorp

Arts Awards

Cllr Hacker

6.

John Hoggett

Meetings in Closed Session

Cllr Lovelock

7.

Peter Burt

Reading Sport and Leisure

Cllr Hoskin

 

(The full text of the questions and replies was made available on the Reading Borough Council website).

36.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Questions in accordance with Standing Order 10.

Minutes:

 

Questioner

Subject

Answer

1.

Cllr Eden

Illegal and Anti-Social Encampments

Cllr James

2.

Cllr McGonigle

Engine Idling

Cllr Page

3.

Cllr Josh Williams

Reading’s Vision for the Future

Cllr Page

4.

Cllr White

Deaths of our Homeless Residents

Cllr Ennis

 

(The full text of the questions and replies was made available on the Reading Borough Council website).

37.

Approval of the Local Council Tax Support Scheme and the Council Tax Base for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report by Director of Resources

Minutes:

Further to Minute 61 of the Policy Committee held on 14 January 2019, the Director of Resources submitted a report regarding the Council Tax support scheme, estimated Council Tax collection rate and Council Tax base for the 2019/20 financial year.  The report explained that Section 33 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 required the Council as the Billing Authority to calculate a Council Tax Base for its area by 31 January each year.  The Welfare Reform Act 2012 and Local Government Finance Act 2012 had replaced the Council Tax Benefit scheme with a locally determined Council Tax Reduction Scheme (also known as a local Council Tax Support Scheme), which was effectively a type of Council Tax discount.  The legislation required the Council to approve the scheme by the end of January preceding the start of the financial year.  The recommended scheme for 2019/20 was a continuation of the scheme that had been agreed by Council at its meeting on 23 January 2018 (Minute 28 refers) for the 2018/19 financial year.

 

The following motion was moved by Councillor Lovelock and seconded by Councillor Page and CARRIED:

 

Resolved –

(1)           That a Council Tax collection rate of 99% for 2019-20 be noted;

(2)           That the existing Council Tax Local Reduction Scheme be retained for 2019/20;

(3)           That the 2019/20 Council Tax Reduction Scheme allowances would be updated in line with the scheme’s regulations, be noted;

(4)           That the Reading Borough Council’s Council Tax Base for the financial year 2019/20 be set at 55,884;

 

(5)     That an estimated surplus on the Council Tax Collection Fund in 2018-19 of £200k of which the Council’s share was £173k be noted.

38.

Unpaid Trial Shifts for Prospective Employees

Councillor Barnett-Ward to move:

 

This Council notes:

 

That legislation around the use of unpaid trial shifts for prospective employees is unclear and allows unscrupulous employers to exploit job seekers.

 

That Unite the Union has reported a six-fold increase in complaints related to unpaid trial shifts.

 

That an attempt to introduce national legislation to require trial shifts to be paid at least minimum wage failed the second reading because it was ‘talked out’ by the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility.

 

This Council believes:

 

That workers should be paid for their work, including training time.

 

That making a job offer conditional on the job seeker being willing and able to work for free is a discriminatory practice, particularly disadvantaging job seekers with caring responsibilities, or who require special accommodations to work.

 

That responsible employers who require trial shifts before making an offer of employment should pay the applicant at least the national minimum wage for the time they work.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To ask officers to report back to an appropriate committee on the development of an accreditation scheme that encourages and celebrates ethical recruitment practices by Reading’s employers, including, but not limited to, a commitment to paying people during any trial period.

Minutes:

Pursuant to Notice, a motion was moved by Councillor Barnett-Ward and seconded by Councillor Emberson and CARRIED:

 

Resolved -

This Council notes:

 

That legislation around the use of unpaid trial shifts for prospective employees is unclear and allows unscrupulous employers to exploit job seekers.

 

That Unite the Union has reported a six-fold increase in complaints related to unpaid trial shifts.

 

That an attempt to introduce national legislation to require trial shifts to be paid at least minimum wage failed the second reading because it was ‘talked out’ by the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility.

 

This Council believes:

 

That workers should be paid for their work, including training time.

 

That making a job offer conditional on the job seeker being willing and able to work for free is a discriminatory practice, particularly disadvantaging job seekers with caring responsibilities, or who require special accommodations to work.

 

That responsible employers who require trial shifts before making an offer of employment should pay the applicant at least the national minimum wage for the time they work.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To ask officers to report back to an appropriate committee on the development of an accreditation scheme that encourages and celebrates ethical recruitment practices by Reading’s employers, including, but not limited to, a commitment to paying people during any trial period.