Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday 20 September 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms, East Pallant House. View directions

Contact: Bambi Jones on 01243 534685  Email:  bjones@chichester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

142.

Minutes

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on Tuesday 19 July 2016.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2016 be signed as a correct record.

 

143.

Urgent Items

Chairman to announce any urgent items which due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under the agenda item below relating to Late Items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration at this meeting.

 

144.

Declarations of Interests

Members and officers are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests they may have in respect of matters on the agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman read out the following statement:

 

The Council are debating the A27 route (agenda item 9) and I note that many members own land (including their home) or have an interest in a business affected by one of the potential highway changes being debated. There are a variety of routes which are under consideration and I note the questions which may be put before Council that may refer to other routes which are not subject to the report but which members may wish to debate.

 

The Monitoring Officer has written to all members providing them with his thoughts on potential interests upon the debate.

 

The Monitoring Officer’s conclusion is that it is appropriate to grant dispensations to all members for them to speak at the debate today. The dispensation is made for a defined period being today only (20 September 2016).

 

145.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman

 

1)      advised that August had been a quiet month in respect of events at which she and the Vice-Chairman were requested to represent the community;

2)      reminded members of the All Parishes Meeting taking place on Wednesday 28 September 2016;

3)      commented on the success of Recycling Week and invited the Cabinet Member for Environment, Mr R Barrow, to say a few words. Members and Officers were thanked for their time and attendance.

 

146.

Public Question Time

Questions submitted by members of the public in writing by noon on the previous working day (for a period up to 15 minutes).

 

 

Minutes:

Four questions about the improvement of the A27 were asked by Ms Heather McDougall, Ms Linda Boize, Ms Zoe Neal and Ms Emma Horton and answered by Mrs Susan Taylor (Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning) as follows:-

 

Question from Ms Heather McDougall:

 

Throughout this consultation, I have tried to read as much of the publicly available information as possible;  I have attended the public exhibitions, where Highways England confirmed to me that Option 2 would drive more traffic into Chichester; I have emailed Highways England for more facts to help me understand, but this has yet to be answered; I have attended other Council meetings, where the options have been referred to as a bad bunch that won’t solve the problem;   I have heard the overwhelming views of Donnington residents about the detrimental impact Option 2 will have, and as a Donnington resident myself, I find myself analysing all these facts and wondering if saving an average 5 minutes and 40 seconds really is worth all the pain to the residents, to the environment , to our local roads? Therefore my question to you is, can you clearly articulate the benefit to local communities that Option 2 will provide and can you, in weighing up the costs and benefits, truly support this as being a good option for the people of Chichester?

 

Answer: 

 

The broad arguments which are considered to justify the Council giving qualified support to Option 2 are set out in the Cabinet report, and summarised at Paragraphs 5.27 – 5.28 of the report. Based on the information available, Option 2 is considered to offer the greatest long term benefits for the Chichester area. This option performs best in terms of travel and accessibility, providing the greatest reductions in journey times, the greatest improvements in journey time reliability and the best performance in reducing accidents. These benefits would occur not only along the A27 itself, but also to/from Chichester city, whilst the Stockbridge Link Road offers potential journey improvements to/from the Manhood Peninsula. Therefore, it is considered that Option 2 (or an amended version of it) offers the greatest potential to support economic growth and future development to meet the area’s needs.

 

It is accepted that Option 2, as currently proposed, would have some detrimental impacts (as would any option). The report and the proposed Council response to HE in Appendix 3 make clear that further assessment will be needed through additional studies and design work to avoid or mitigate the potentially significant impacts on the landscape, natural and historic environment, and the loss of land and property. However, it also needs to be emphasised that the A27 Bypass and the existing issues of traffic congestion and safety already cause substantial detrimental impacts for local residents and the environment and that these effects will only continue to worsen unless a scheme for significant improvements is brought forward.

 

Question from Ms Linda Boize:

 

'Do you think it acceptable to support Option 2 which focuses on cars and lorries when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

147.

Surface Water and Drainage Supplementary Planning Document for Adoption

(See report at agenda item 5 (pages 17 to 19) of the Cabinet agenda of 6 September 2016 and pages 1 to 124 in the supplement to the agenda)

RECOMMENDED BY THE CABINET

 

1)      That the Surface Water and Foul Drainage Supplementary Planning Document (set out in Appendix 1 to this report) be adopted.

2)      The proposed responses to representations received (set out in Appendix 2 to this report) be approved.

 

 

Minutes:

Mrs Taylor (Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning), seconded by Mrs Lintill, moved the recommendations of the Cabinet. She stated that the Surface Water and Foul Drainage Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was a planning guidance document for developers and their agents to assist them in determining whether there was sufficient infrastructure available to meet the needs of their proposed development to ensure the safe discharge of both foul and surface waste water. It sets out the procedures to be followed prior to submitting a planning application. The SPD went out for public consultation on 28 March 2016 for a period of six weeks. 

 

Mr Oakley welcomed the overall thrust of the document in consolidating all the guidance in one place to assist the planning process. However he was concerned at the non-requirement to carry out winter ground water monitoring before the submission of the primary application for a site as without that information it limited the Planning Committee as to whether the surface water drainage system proposed for a site could be achieved. 

 

Mr Ransley wished to know what timescales had been set to allow the review and update of the document. Mrs Taylor undertook to provide a written response to this question.

 

Mr Ransley also referred members to the debate that took place on this matter during the Overview & Scrutiny Committee’s review of Southern Water (SW) recently when SW undertook to take positive steps on addressing the long term issue the Council has experienced in relation to the maintenance of ditches and waterways (hence his reason to address the regularity of the reviews). He stated that if anything came out of that proposal it would bring about positive changes to the document. Mrs Apel (Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee) advised that she had received a positive email from SW following the meeting and that she hoped this now provided the basis for good communication between SW and the Council in future.

 

Mr Barrow requested that where a resident had taken the trouble to respond to the consultation and their response had not been taken into account, it was important to acknowledge these comments and also to pass them to SW in order that they may be addressed.

 

Mr Plowman commended this document for its clarity and clear flow charts, stating that it provided good help and guidance for the future. He was supported by Mrs Apel and Mr Hayes.

 

Mr Barrett had an issue with ground water testing, saying that the Manhood Peninsula was low lying and the water table high so there was a risk of flooding. Mrs Taylor advised that the document referred to ground water testing needing to be carried out by the developer for developments of five or more houses, with the Council arranging this testing direct for developments of under five houses. Mr Carvell advised that SW’s preference was for ground water testing prior to construction rather than at the detailed planning application stage. Mr Frost continued that the question appeared not to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 147.

148.

Avenue de Chartres Car Park - Tender Evaluation

(See report at Agenda Item 6 (pages 20 to 27) of the Cabinet papers of 6 September 2016)

 

RECOMMENDED BY THE CABINET

 

1)          That funding for the essential upgrade of the perimeter vehicle barriers, pedestrian railings and associated works be approved to achieve compliance with current health and safety standards and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

2)          That funding to refurbish the 5 access towers and clean the concrete retaining wall and paved surfaces be approved and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

3)          That the asset replacement programme be re-profiled to enable the replacement of the existing lighting installation with a more energy efficient LED system and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

4)          That the release from capital reserves of the sum identified in the report be authorised to fund the cost of this refurbishment not provided for within the Asset Replacement Programme.

 

Minutes:

Mr Finch (Cabinet Member for Support Services), seconded by Mr Dignum, moved the recommendations from Cabinet. Mr Finch informed the Council that the Avenue De Chartres car park had been built in 1991 and on 7 April 2015 the Cabinet had approved a project initiation document with indicative costs for:

 

·         essential structural and aesthetic refurbishment works

·         optional flexible resurfacing of the intermediate and lower decks 

·         optional vehicle guidance system

·         optional electric charging points

·         optional refurbishment of the stairwells, five access towers, retaining walls and paved surfaces

 

In these cost constrained times the recommendations had been split into two parts - those which were essential to meet structural or health and safety standards and those which provided a modern, safe, car park which was aesthetically attractive to encourage greater use.

 

Mr. Finch did not propose to move forward with either the vehicle guidance system, as it was costly or the levels of occupancy in the car park did not justify it, or the electric charging points, as grant funding was no longer available. However the £45,000 approved in December 2015 to support this initiative would be reconsidered as part of a wider policy across the district.

 

Noting that the optional flexible resurfacing of the intermediate and lower decks were not required for structural reasons, Mr Ransley enquired whether the resurfacing would consist of the usual black and white surface or a multi-colour option. Mr Finch confirmed that it was most likely the black and white option saying that it was prudent to undertake this work now as it was important for the long term health of the building.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)      That funding for the essential upgrade of the perimeter vehicle barriers, pedestrian railings and associated works be approved to achieve compliance with current health and safety standards and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

2)      That funding to refurbish the 5 access towers and clean the concrete retaining wall and paved surfaces be approved and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

3)      That the asset replacement programme be re-profiled to enable the replacement of the existing lighting installation with a more energy efficient LED system and officers be authorised to invite invitations to tender for these works.

4)      That the release from capital reserves of the sum identified in the report be authorised to fund the cost of this refurbishment not provided for within the Asset Replacement Programme.

 

149.

Deficit Reduction Strategy

(See report at Agenda Item 7 (pages 28 to 37) of the Cabinet papers of 6 September 2016)

 

RECOMMENDED BY CABINET

 

That the Head of Finance and Governance be authorised to submit a request to the Department of Communities and Local Government for a four-year settlement and that this Deficit Reduction Plan is used as the basis for that request.

Minutes:

Mrs Hardwick (Cabinet Member for Finance & Governance), seconded by Mr Dignum, moved this recommendation from Cabinet. She stated that in May 2013 the then Cabinet had approved a Deficit Reduction Plan to yield £2.4m of savings and income, aiming to close an anticipated deficit in the then 5 year model.  Since then through the hard work of officers and members the Council had achieved savings of £3.6m (over £1.2m more than expected through both revenue savings of £2.2m and additional income of £1.4m). Despite these achievements, the financial forecast remained challenging, with ongoing risks including the full localisation of business rates by 2020, New Homes Bonus likely to be reduced, a possible general downturn in the economy which would inevitably hit income streams and challenging amended waste and recycling targets. The latest five year plan model showed a predicted £2.5m deficit by 2021/22, assuming current policies are continued.  If the Council recognises the further risks and cost pressures and agrees and implements the policy decisions, the predicted deficit would grow to £3.8m by 2021/22.

 

However Officers and Members have continued to develop plans for more savings and yet further income generation and these policies are modelled to generate savings and further income year on year rising to just under £3.9m by 2021/22. The model had assumed modest council tax increases but the need for this would be reviewed annually. In December 2015 the Government offered the Council a specific four year financial settlement if we submitted an ‘efficiency plan’ demonstrating that we could achieve a balanced budget, however if we did not take up this offer we were likely to achieve worse settlements year on year.

 

Mr Oakley queried the tax base growth rate of 1.1% and the level of housing delivery rate this would equate to; the costs or estimates of cultural grants when they transfer from being funded from reserves to revenue; and any other ‘unknown unknowns’ that could undermine the Council’s planned balanced budget. Mrs Hardwick advised that the model built in prudence at every level, however implicit in these figures were some uncertainties. Mr Ward confirmed that local government finance was going through a significant period of change. Moving from 50% to 100% localisation of business rates and the Government’s review of the Needs Assessment (effectively the baseline funding position) could create significant risk for the council. A prudent approach had been taken in forecasting. The tax base growth rate was not derived from housing numbers but the equivalent of band D properties and net of discounts e.g. council tax benefits. There was an item within the five year model for grants including cultural grants.

 

Mr Cullen queried whether it would be at the end of the four year period, when we had received our entire grant, that we could say that we hadn't achieved the savings. Mrs Shepherd (Chief Executive) responded that the model was reviewed quarterly and that there was a legal requirement that each local authority balance its books. This council had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

A27 Chichester Bypass Improvement Scheme Response to Highways England Public Consultation

(See report at agenda item 4 (pages 1 to 64) of the Cabinet papers of 20 September 2016)

 

DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS

 

1)          That the overall conclusions of this report set out in paragraphs 5.27 to 5.29, providing qualified support for Option 2, based on the information published by Highways England at this stage, be agreed; and

2)          That the comments set out in Appendix 3 for submission as Chichester District Council’s formal response to the Highways England consultation on options for the A27 Chichester Bypass Improvement scheme, be approved.

 

Minutes:

Mr Dignum (Leader of the Council), seconded by Mr Finch, moved these recommendations from the Cabinet.

 

He advised that in July this year Highways England (HE) published its long awaited consultation document on the proposed A27 Chichester Bypass improvement scheme.  The consultation period was for a ten week period from 14 July until 22 September 2016 and contained five online options. Officers had analysed the proposals in detail having regard to the Council’s corporate priorities, assessing the potential benefits and disadvantages of each of the options. They had concluded that Option 2, based on the evidence provided to date, appeared to offer the best outcome in terms of reduced journey times both for east-west through traffic as well as for local traffic, particularly to and from the Manhood Peninsula,  together with the greatest improvement in journey time reliability and reduction in accidents.  However, support for Option 2 was qualified and it was recommended that HE were asked to consider a number of further measures at recommendation 3.

 

Only the five options that are the subject of the public consultation had been considered as these were the only options being proposed by HE. The Council was asked to support these recommendations for submission as the Council’s formal response to HE.

 

We should recognise that whichever option was ultimately selected would have disadvantages as well as benefits and would not please everyone. But it was essential that the current levels of congestion on the A27, with the resultant adverse effects on journey times and reliability, which in turn impedes development and quality of life, does not continue. It was important therefore that the opportunity was taken to comment on the available proposals in a constructive manner to ensure that improvements to the A27 could be progressed.

 

Mrs Apel made a statement on behalf of the Fishbourne residents, who were not represented at this meeting, stating that Option 2 would destroy the AONB and the economy. The construction would take time and damage communities. The residents recommended that all options be ruled out and that true transparency was provided by HE in explaining why the northern route was discounted.

 

Mr Barrow was inclined to support officers’ recommendations as Option 2 provided the best way forward for Chichester in getting traffic through and on and off the Manhood Peninsula smoothly, however he had grave concerns regarding the southern link road damaging communities, the environment and historic buildings. He claimed that the Southern Link Road would not be sustainable and could, in future, become a dual carriageway.  HE had not done a particularly good job as the two northern options had got into the public domain which had raised false hope for residents of the Manhood Peninsula. He was taken aback by the massive support in the south for a northern option and suggested that HE be encouraged to look at this again and to explain the reasons why the northern routes had been rejected.

 

Mr Ridd commented on the huge turnout of local residents,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.

151.

Making the Chidham and Hambrook Neighbourhood Development Plan

(See report at agenda item 5 (pages 65 to 66) of the Cabinet papers of 20 September 2016)

 

DRAFT RECOMMENDATION

 

To make the Chidham & Hambrook Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).

 

Minutes:

Mrs Taylor (Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning), seconded by Mrs Duncton, moved the recommendations from Cabinet.

 

Mr Cullen requested that the volunteers, who had put in a lot of hard work, should be congratulated on a successful outcome. It was noticeable that six/seven years ago the turnout for the Parish Plan was around 90% but for this Neighbourhood Development Plan the turnout had been 30% which was significantly lower.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Chidham & Hambrook Neighbourhood Development Plan be made part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).

 

152.

Approval of the Infrastructure Business Plan 2017-22 for consultation with the City, Town and Parish Councils and key Infrastructure Delivery Commissioners

(See report at agenda item 6 (pages 67 – 130) of the Cabinet papers of 20 September 2016)

 

DRAFT RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Infrastructure Business Plan 2017-2022 be approved for consultation with the city, town and parish councils, neighbouring local authorities including the South Downs National Park Authority and key infrastructure delivery commissioners for a period of six weeks from 3 October to 14 November 2016.

 

Minutes:

Mrs Taylor (Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning), seconded by Mr Dignum, moved these recommendations from Cabinet. She explained that the purpose of the Infrastructure Business Plan (IBP) was to enable the Council to prioritise and select the infrastructure that was most needed; when and where it was needed. Projects selected from the IBP would aid the cumulative growth of the area and ensure that the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was spent to best effect; that a transparent prioritised approach was taken to selecting projects to be funded and that all sources of funding infrastructure were taken into account including S106 monies.

 

In September 2015 the first draft IBP was reported to Cabinet and subsequently to Council for consultation with WSCC and other Stakeholders. It was emphasised that it was a living document and would be reviewed annually. In February 2016 CIL was adopted by the Council thus giving greater certainty about future funding for infrastructure to support development in the Local Plan. The Council was now beginning to receive income from CIL, although future years’ receipts were still estimated.

 

In assessing the infrastructure requirements and means of meeting those requirements, collaboration would be essential. In April this year a workshop was held with stakeholders and projects identified. The proposed Cashflow and Spending Plan was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Liaison Group, comprising officers and members from West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the Council, and it was agreed that the Smarter Choices proposals and the Primary School places projects, together with the requested funding for the new Medical Centre on the West of Chichester Strategic Development Location should be subject to further detail and evaluation.

 

For the period 2016–2021 there would be a projected shortfall of £2,503,870 on the total costs of projects proposed for CIL funding. Therefore it was important that projects were prioritised that would meet the infrastructure needs of development.

 

The draft IBP would go out for consultation for a period of 6 weeks from 3 October to the 14November. The results of the consultation would be discussed by the Joint Liaison Group before being reported back to Cabinet.

 

Mr Shaxson suggested that the foreword be amended to add a sentence to indicate that this plan covered all areas excluding the South Downs National Park (SDNP) and that the Park Authority had its own CIL arrangements. Mrs Taylor advised that the SDNP was referred to as one of the consultees but that this could be included.

 

Mr Oakley endorsed the comments on Smarter Choices, education and health projects. However he was concerned that the Council was looking to spend this amount of money on projects which would be very difficult to measure. Mrs Taylor advised that further details and an explanation were currently awaited and that all stakeholders agreed that nothing should be spent without good evidence.

 

Mr Ransley stated that it was essential to know that the infrastructure would be available in order to be able to support development. There would need to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 152.

153.

Chichester Electoral Review: Draft Recommendations

RECOMMENDED

 

That the Council informs the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) that it supports the Commission’s draft recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Chichester District Council, with the following exceptions:

1)          Its proposal to include the parish of Elsted & Treyford in Midhurst Ward. Instead this parish should be included in Harting Ward, as in the Council’s original submission, on the grounds that in this case the criteria of community identity and effective and convenient local government should outweigh the fairly marginal electoral inequality.

2)          Its proposals for the proposed Bosham & Donnington and North Mundham & Tangmere wards are accepted, but the wards should be named respectively Harbour and Tangmere Wards.

3)          Its proposal to transfer Velyn Avenue from Chichester South Ward to Chichester Central Ward; the flats on the western side of Velyn Avenue, with Peter Weston Close should be so transferred but the eastern and southern sides of Velyn Avenue should remain with the rest of Whyke in Chichester South Ward with which it has more community identity.

4)          Its proposal to transfer the Pound Farm area from Chichester South Ward to Chichester East Ward, thus creating a very small and unviable city council ward. Under the Commission’s proposal, electors in this area will be in Chichester South for County Council elections, Chichester East for District Council elections, and Chichester Pound Farm for City Council elections. This will be confusing for electors, and is not conducive to convenient and effective local government.

5)          The name of its proposed Chichester Portfield Ward; Chichester Arundel Park Ward is preferred.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Mr Ridd (Chairman of the Boundary Review Panel), seconded by Mr McAra, moved these recommendations.

 

Mr Ridd advised that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) published its recommendations for ward names and boundaries for the Council to take effect in May 2019. The consultation period runs until 10 October.

 

A small number of recommendations contained within this Council’s original submission to the LGBCE were not agreed and the LGBCE had instead devised their own different proposals for those areas. The Council’s Boundary Review Panel had focussed on these differences, and had not considered matters where the LGBCE had simply accepted the Council’s original submission. Firstly, the Harting ward, to include the parishes of Elsted and Treyford, were not agreed by the Commission who thought that they more realistically sat with Midhurst. Mr Shaxson had submitted his defence of the original recommendation on the basis of community identity and of convenient and effective local government. The panel had considered this and now recommended this option. Both parishes had also submitted their recommendations to the LGBCE.

 

Secondly the LGBCE had not accepted the whole swathe of parishes from Bosham to Tangmere due to the variances proposed. They reconsidered the whole group and proposed a three member ward with Bosham in the west stretching across to Donnington via Fishbourne in the centre and south of the city and this three member ward also included Chidham and Hambrook and Donnington. The panel considered this revised proposal and as there was no overwhelming evidence to overcome this it was accepted with a change of name to Harbour Ward.  This then threw up problems to the east because Hunston (which was to be included with Donnington) then had to be accommodated with the eastern ward. The Commission then came back with a two member North Mundham and Tangmere ward (consisting of the parishes Hunston, North Mundham, Oving and Tangmere) with a variance of 4% and again there was no overwhelming evidence to counter that and it was accepted by the panel.

 

There were some minor changes in Chichester City which the LGBCE discussed directly with the City Council. Finally the panel recommended that name of the proposed Chichester Portfield Ward be changed to Chichester Arundel Park Ward.

 

Mr Oakley advised that in his view the best way of representing wards was by single member wards. There was an issue with development at Shopwyke which would increase the numbers by 2021. The Council’s estimates had been very conservative and at variance with what developers were saying. He didn’t support the revised LGBCE recommendation as there would be issues with community identity, no co-terminosity with County divisions and ineffective local government.

 

Mr Ridd, along with Mr Ransley and Mr Cullen, also members of the panel, confirmed that Mr Oakley’s views had been considered by the panel, however after a lengthy debate it had been agreed to stick to the LGBCE’s recommendations. 

 

Mrs Purnell and Mr Connor were concerned that the LGBCE was driven by numbers in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 153.

154.

Questions to the Executive

(maximum of 40 minutes duration)

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Questions to members of the Cabinet and responses given were as follows:

 

a)          Question: Rapid transport in the city

 

Mr Dunn requested the Leader to give mind to the need for rapid transport in Chichester City.

 

Response:

 

Mr Dignum advised that Chichester Vision and the WSCC’s road space audit took account of journeys into and out of the city. There was a need to make it safer and more comfortable for people to be able to cycle in and consider a way of routing buses through Chichester. Trams were expensive and very few had broken even.

 

b) Question: West Sussex Collective’s funding for EU Funding Officer

 

Mr Oakley queried the recent suggestion on pooling of business rates and the desire to allocate a sum of money to fund an EU Funding Officer.

 

Response:

 

Mrs Shepherd (Chief Executive) replied that the proposal was not going ahead and that there were no alternatives.

 

c) Question: Road quality of A27 through Chichester

 

Mr Oakley queried whether the WSCC or the Council was responsible for cleaning the road surface through Chichester. He was particularly concerned at the unkempt condition of the verges, central reservations etc. between Crockherhill and Fishbourne.

 

Response:

 

Mr Carvell, Executive Director, advised that the Council had responsibility for litter picking on the A27 and Highways England had responsibility for maintenance but that in practical terms there may be some overlap of functions. A meeting was shortly to take place with Highways England and a written response would be provided to Mr Oakley following the meeting.