Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday 3 December 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: The Assembly Room - The Council House (Chichester City Council), North Street, Chichester. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:  democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk

Note: Please note this meeting will take place in the Assembly Rooms at Chichester City Council 

Items
No. Item

60.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 238 KB

The Council is requested to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2019.

Minutes:

The Chairman extended a warm welcome to all those present and read out the emergency evacuation procedure for Chichester City Council. The Chairman then welcomed Cllr Janet Duncton who had been elected to Loxwood ward at the recent by-election.

 

Mr Brown requested an amendment to minute 56, paragraph 3 to refer to Karen Alan, Customer Engagement.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 September 2019 subject to the above amendment.

 

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 September 2019 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting subject to the above amendment.

 

61.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce any urgent items which due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under Late Items.

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items.

 

62.

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:

Mr Hobbs declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 15 as Chairman of Visit Chichester.

 

Mr Plowman declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 15 due to an informal association with a local pressure group.

 

Mrs Duncton, Dr O’Kelly, Mr Oakley and Mrs Purnell all declared personal interests in respect of agenda item 15 as members of West Sussex County Council which is a partner in the Southern Gateway project.

 

63.

Chairman's Announcements

Apologies for absence will be notified at this point.

 

The Chairman will make any specific announcements.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

The Chairman gave a speech on behalf of all members wishing Mr Over, Deputy Chief Executive, a long, happy and healthy retirement after 33 years service at the District Council.

 

Mr Over then responded thanking the Chairman and members for their kind words.

 

64.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 61 KB

In accordance with Chichester District Council’s scheme for public question time as amended by Full Council on 24 September 2019 the Council will receive any questions which have been submitted by members of the public in writing by noon two working days before the meeting. Each questioner will be given up to three minutes to ask their question. The total time allocated for public question time is 15 minutes subject to the Chairman’s discretion to extend that period.

Minutes:

The following public questions were received. The responses are indicated in italics below.

 

Mr Dicker asked the following questions:

 

1.    Cabinet met this morning and may have made changes to the fundamental recommendations to this council this afternoon without time for public scrutiny due to the 2 day submission of public questions rule.  The public therefore request that in support of transparency any fundamental changes from this morning’s decisions should allow questions to this council on the agenda?  The question/s cannot of course be prepared in advance.

 

2.    Under issues raised no comment is made about the quality of the consultation document and in particular the different standards for assessing land suitability for the development including proximity to SDNP and Harbour boundaries.  How many comments were made and what are the council doing to address these valid concerns.

 

3.    In light of the changes to national planning policy how will the changes be reflected in the plan prior to the next round of consultation and specifically: “This guidance, along with other Government initiatives such as the emerging National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England will need to be reflected as appropriate in the ongoing technical work for the Local Plan Review.”

 

4.    Can the council please explain why the housing numbers have increased in line with this comment: The first new option (Option 1B) was developed from the Preferred Approach Option 1A, but sought to maximise numbers at the locations East of Chichester and South West of Chichester. With a small increase in the Parish numbers, this leads to an increase in housing provision from 4,900 to 5,625 (c.700 dpa).

 

5.    Why is there no identifiable option that looks at land around Goodwood for both employment and residential space.  Yet later in the document it states that further investigation is required around employment space near Goodwood. 

 

6.    When will this council make a decision on the unmet housing need from the SDNP

 

7.    The Peter Brett Report is very detailed.  From a scanned reading prior to the submission of questions I can see no mention of the modelling and policy excluding the link road that Councillor Taylor stated would be undertaken.  Where is this in the PB report or when will it be conducted if it is not in the report.  (This question is likely to change in light of the response from the cabinet)

 

Mrs Taylor provided the following responses:

 

Thank you for your questions.  Answering each in turn –

 

  1. The list in section 8 of the report, of significant issues is not intended to be exhaustive and members are asked to consider the full range of responses.  Section 5 of the report outlines the consultation process, and section 6 of the report reflects on the consultation process and how it may be improved.  With regards to the assessment of the suitability of land for development, the covering report highlights that further consideration will be given to landscape capacity and proximity to the sensitive environment of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Increasing the provision of the Council's Temporary Accommodation at Freeland Close, Chichester pdf icon PDF 62 KB

The Council is requested to note the urgent decision taken.

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that the Council is requested to note the urgent decision taken relating to increasing the provision of the Council’s Temporary Accommodation at Freeland Close, Chichester which could be found on page 29 of the agenda pack.

 

On behalf of the Council the Chairman formally noted the decision.

 

66.

Determination of Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020 - 2021

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 13 to 15 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019 and pages 1 to 32 of the Supplement to the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019.

 

The following recommendation was made to Council:

 

That the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 be approved.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mr Wilding to introduce the report and referred members to pages 13 to 15 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019 and pages 1 to 32 of the supplement to the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019.

 

Mr Wilding explained that the Welfare Reform Act and Local Government Finance Acts of 2012 abolished the national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme and a framework for local authorities to create their own local Council Tax Reduction (CTR) schemes was put in place from 1 April 2013. The council has been operating a CTR scheme for the last seven years and it is proposed to keep the scheme unchanged for the eighth year with the exception of alterations that bring the scheme in line with changes to legislation which have already occurred within the Housing Benefit scheme. These changes include the uprating of premiums, personal allowances and deductions. Mr Wilding confirmed that the council’s main aim remains to maintain levels of support to the least well off in its communities by maintaining levels of support which existed prior to April 2013 when localised CTR commenced. He explained that the council is one of a small number of councils that continues to provide a CTR scheme with up to a maximum award of 100%.

 

Mr Wilding proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Mrs Lintill.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 be approved.

 

67.

Financial Strategy and Plan 2020-21 to 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 17 to 22 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019 and pages 33 to 51 of the Supplement to the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019.

 

The following recommendations were made to Council:

 

1.    That the key financial principles and actions of the five year Financial Strategy set out in appendix 1 to the agenda report be approved.

2.    That the current five year Financial Model detailed in appendix 2 and the Resources Statement in appendix 3 to the agenda report be noted.

3.    That, having considered the recommendations from the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, the Minimum Level of the General Fund Reserves is set at £6.3 million.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mr Wilding to introduce the report and referred members to pages 17 to 22 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019 and pages 33 to 51 of the supplement to the Cabinet agenda for 5 November 2019.

 

Mr Wilding explained that the report updates the Financial Strategy and Plan for 2020/21 and creates the framework for how the council’s budget and council tax is set which will be considered by the Cabinet in February 2020. The 2020/21 financial strategy is set in the context of current political uncertainty and the continuing expectation of reduced central government funding for local government. The major changes that were expected to come in from the 2020-21 settlement have been delayed by a year, so now the 2020-21 settlement will be for one year only. Due to the delay the council will retain the business rates growth achieved so far for one year longer than anticipated. Much of the council’s other income remains dependent on the local economy and is therefore less predictable.

 

Mr Wilding outlined Appendix 1 which describes the council’s key priorities, one of which is to manage its finances prudently and effectively. He explained that the financial strategy is linked to this specific priority along with the council’s key financial principles that underpin the Council’s financial planning approach. Appendix 2 outlines the updated 5 Year Financial Model, reflecting the consolidated budget from the service areas, central government funding and the most up-to-date estimates for the wider council activities. There are a number of estimates contained within the Model including the assumption of a 2% increase in council tax each year. However, Mr Wilding explained that low taxing local authorities like Chichester District Council may be allowed to set a £5 increase in council tax. The final decision on the council tax rates will be made by Full Council in March 2020.

 

Mr Wilding then referred to the assumptions relating to pensions, West Sussex County Council cuts and the New Homes Bonus scheme and how it is likely that the Financial Model will continue to evolve. He then outlined Appendix 3 which sets out the anticipated resources position of reserves and assets in the medium term and confirmed that the capital programme remains affordable without the need to borrow.

 

Mr Hughes commented that a number of grammatical errors within the document. He gave examples relating to Outside Bodies and Investment Strategy. He also drew attention to the Brexit deadline which required updating. He explained that he was unhappy to support the document given the amendments required. Mr Ward clarified the reference to Outside Bodies referring to the number of examples across the council where Outside Bodies are used and the extensive shared services exercise across a number of services. With regard to investment strategy he confirmed that members had been invited to Treasury Management training on 16 December 2019 and the Treasury Management Strategy would come to Full Council for sign off next year. With regard to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Extending Ultrafast Public Connectivity

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 11 to 14 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019.

 

The report contains the following recommendation for the Cabinet to make to the Council:

 

That the Council underwrites the cost of the contract and that any costs not met by the Business Rates Pool for 2019/20 up to a maximum of £743,000 over a seven year period starting no earlier than 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mr Wilding to introduce the report and referred members to pages 11 to 14 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019.

 

Mr Wilding explained that in 2017 the council signed up to a countywide Gigabit project. Part of the project was an award to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) of a government grant funded contract to create a fibre network connection for public sector sites across the county. Cityfibre won the contract and the project is now in the final stages. He explained that the council now has an opportunity to use the cool off arrangement to connect a further 50 council assets in Chichester city such as Westward House, Westgate centre and offices. The project requires new fibre infrastructure installation across the city but in turn will provide ultrafast connectivity to the council’s assets and increase fibre and digital infrastructure across the city, benefitting the local community and the local economy. The cost of the project is estimated at £743,000 over seven years and is likely to be met from the WSCC Business Rates Retention Pool. Mr Wilding confirmed that there is also a project relating to better connectivity in the rural areas.

 

Mr Barrett requested clarification on whether the council’s servers would be updated to cope with the demand. Mr Mildred confirmed that the servers are in the process of being rebuilt to utilise the new connection including it linking to the disaster recovery system at the Depot.

 

Dr O’Kelly noted that it was positive that other more rural areas in the district would be considered for future projects.

 

Mr Plowman requested clarification on the projects funding. Mr Ward confirmed that it is fully anticipated that the project would be paid for by the Business Rates Retention Pool.

 

Mrs Lintill drew attention to section 6.3 of the Cabinet report which explained that the project would connect Chichester considerably quicker than the government scheme which anticipated adoption in 2033.

 

Mr Wilding proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Mrs Lintill.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Council underwrites the cost of the contract and that any costs not met by the Business Rates Pool for 2019/20 up to a maximum of £743,000 over a seven year period starting no earlier than 2021.

 

69.

Local Plan Review Way Forward

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 15 to 28 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019 and the supplementary appendices pack.

 

The report contains the following recommendations for the Cabinet to make to the Council:

 

1.    That:

a.     the Summary of Representations included as Appendix 1 to this report is noted.

b.    the proposed Council responses to the representations set out in that document are agreed, and

c.    the Director of Planning and the Environment be authorised, following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning Services, to make minor amendments to the Summary of Representations and Responses prior to its publication.

2.    That the issues raised in the Summary of Representations document and the other relevant issues summarised in section 9 of this report are noted as key considerations for the ongoing production of the Local Plan.

3.    That the programme of further technical work set out in section 11 of this report is endorsed.

4.    That the implications for the distribution of development set out in section 12 of this report are endorsed, subject to further technical work and testing through Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment being completed.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Taylor to introduce the report and referred members to pages 15 to 28 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019 and the appendices in the supplementary appendices pack.

 

Mrs Taylor explained that a consultation on the Local Plan Review took place over an eight week period from 30 December 2018 until 2 February 2019. A total of 3200 representations were received from 729 respondents. The report sets out a summary of the representations received for Part I of the Local Plan Review Preferred Approach which relates to Strategic Policies and Allocations. A separate report to Cabinet and Council will address representations on Part II of the Plan relating to Development Management Policies. Mrs Taylor drew attention to appendix 1 to the report which contains the initial council response and paragraph 8 of the report. She explained that paragraph 9 sets out a number of new issues which require consideration including the declaration of a Climate Emergency and the discharge of nitrates into Solent and the impact this has on future development. Mrs Taylor confirmed that A27 discussions remain ongoing with Highways England and WSCC regarding the nature and finance of improvement works and this uncertainty will need to be addressed within the Local Plan. She then drew attention to the Schedule as set out in appendix 3 to the report and the Sustainability Appraisal detailed in paragraph 4 of the report. She confirmed that further technical work is required.

 

Mrs Lintill then reminded members that in responding to the report they should consider that the council is currently in Purdah.

 

Mr Brown commented on the high number of noted responses and raised concerns about how this could give the public a negative perception of the council. With reference to the ongoing Road Transport Study he then referred to what he viewed as the critical Southbourne road bridge. Mrs Taylor responded to Mr Brown’s comments. She explained that officers had put a lot of time and work into the Plan to date and that they were dealing with a number of complex issues.

 

Mr Barrett noted that a number of responses were similar to the 2013 Local Plan Review. He requested clarification on why the Peter Brett Study had not included the northern bypass option. He also asked why a number of aspects of the current Local Plan had not been implemented. He then asked why there is no reference to Southern Gateway. He also asked when the southern option would start and how long it would take. Mrs Taylor responded to Mr Barrett’s questions. She explained that it was likely that the 2019 responses would be similar to the 2013 responses as people largely comment on the same main factors. With regard to the current Local Plan she explained that as it runs until 2029 there is ample time for more project implementation. She also explained that there was no Government funded road scheme in either RIS 1 or RIS 2 (Road Investment Strategy) for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Resurfacing and Improved Drainage at Westhampnett Depot pdf icon PDF 64 KB

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 29 to 37 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019 and its part II appendix.

 

The report contains the following recommendations for the Cabinet to make to the Council:

 

1.    That Cabinet approves the inclusion of environmental and operational enhancements to the scheme set out section 5, subject to Council’s approval of the additional costs.

2.    That Cabinet recommends to Council to increase the budget from £592,000 to £850, 000, £650,000 funded from reserves and £200,000 from the Asset Replacement Programme. To enable the inclusion of additional works as set out in Section 5.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Plant to introduce the report and referred members to pages 29 to 37 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019. The Chairman reminded members that the appendix to the report is a restricted document.

 

Mrs Plant introduced the item. She drew attention to the details of the proposal as set out on pages 29 to 37 of the report. The project seeks to overhaul the foul drainage system at the Depot and will create a pumped connection to Stane Street. The project will also overhaul the storm water drainage storage system creating new gullys, soakaways and a fuel interceptor. The HGV parking area will be levelled and fully resurfaced and a new enclosed vehicle washdown facility installed. Mrs Plant explained that the addition of several environmental and operational improvements would result in significant additional costs if carried out separate to the main project. She outlined the additional enhancements which include:

 

·         A new one way system for vehicles entering and exiting the site

·         LED Flood lighting

·         Electric vehicle charging including installation of cable stays under the surface

·         A rainwater storage system

·         Increased CCTV cameras

·         Number plate recognition at the entrance gate

 

Mrs Plant confirmed that the additional enhancements total £195,000 resulting in an overall total cost of £850,000. In addition WSCC have agreed in principle to connect the gypsy and traveller transit site to the main sewer system, funded by WSCC.

 

Mrs Plant advised that officers had secured a window of 14 weeks to store vehicles offsite during the works. Mr Ward added that due to the critical timescale outlined in section 4.9 of the report the Chairman of the Council had agreed to take the decision as urgent and as such the decision was not subject to call-in (please see urgent notice attached to the final minutes).

 

Mr Carter outlined a minor amendment to page 33 of the report which should refer to an existing budget of £592,000 rather than £595,000.

 

Mr Barrett requested clarification on whether the public amenity tip would remain open throughout the works. Mrs Plant explained that the works would take place at the Depot only.

 

Mrs Plant proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Mrs Lintill.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Council agrees to increase the budget from £592,000 to £850,000 of which £600,000 funded from reserves and £200,000 from the Asset Replacement Programme to enable the inclusion of additional works as set out in Section 5 of the report.

 

71.

Questions to the Executive

Members are invited to ask a question of a member of the Executive (maximum of 40 minutes duration).

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that there would be no Questions to the Executive during Purdah. Members should submit questions relating to the operational day to day running of the Council in writing to SLT who will respond in consultation with the relevant Cabinet member.

 

72.

Late Items

To consider any late items as follows:

 

a)    Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection.

b)    Items which the chairman has agreed should be taken as matters of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no late items.

 

73.

Exclusion of the press and public

The Council is asked to consider in respect of agenda item 15 whether the public, including the press, should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption under Parts 1 to 7 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as indicated against the item and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that the one exempt item for consideration is a recommendation made by the Cabinet at its meeting on 3 December 2019.

 

The Chairman read the resolution to exclude the press and public as detailed below.

 

Mrs Lintill proposed the recommendation to exclude the press and public which was seconded by Mrs Taylor.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (the Act) the public and the press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of agenda item 15 for the reason that it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that there would be disclosure to the public of ‘exempt information’ being information of the nature described in Paragraphs 1 (information relating to any individual) and 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

74.

Southern Gateway

The material relevant to this item is the report and its appendices contained in the restricted supplementary Cabinet agenda pack for 3 December 2019.

 

The report contains the following recommendation for the Cabinet to make to the Council:

 

Following “standstill” and dealing with any issues arising, and confirmation that WSCC have cleared their own governance processes, including call-in, that the Council select Developer A on Heads of Terms shown in Appendix 1 to deliver the Southern Gateway Masterplan regeneration project pursuant to the outcome of the Evaluation Report at Appendix 2 once matters of detail are finalised with the bidder.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mr Bell to introduce the report and referred members to the restricted supplement to the Cabinet agenda for 3 December 2019. Mr Over introduced two consultants who had been advising the council on the project who explained further detail regarding the recommendation contained within the report.

 

Mr Over and the consultants then responded to member’s questions and comments.

 

During the debate Mr Plowman put forward a proposal to defer the item until the new year to address member’s comments regarding the need for additional time to consider the documents associated with the report. Mr Plowman later withdrew his proposal.

 

The Chairman temporarily left the room and the Vice-Chairman took the Chair during that time.

 

Mrs Lishman left the meeting prior to the vote.

 

Mr Moss requested a recorded vote which was agreed by the wider membership.


The results of the vote were as follows:

 

Clare Apel - Against

Tracie Bangert – Against

Graeme Barrett - For

Heather Barrie – Abstained

Martyn Bell - For

John-Henry Bowden - Against

Roy Briscoe - For

Jonathan Brown - Against

Tony Dignum - For

Janet Duncton - For

John W Elliott - For

Gareth Evans - Abstained

Judy Fowler - For

Norma Graves - For

Elizabeth Hamilton – For

Francis Hobbs – For

Kevin Hughes - Abstained

Donna Johnson - Against

Tim Johnson - Against

Eileen Lintill - For

Sarah Lishman – left before the vote so no vote

Gordon McAra - For

Adrian Moss - Abstained

Simon Oakley - For

Kate O’Kelly - Against

David Palmer - For

Chris Page - For

Penny Plant – For

Richard Plowman – Against

Henry Potter - For

Carol Purnell – For

David Rodgers - Against

Sarah Sharp – For

Alan Sutton – For

Susan Taylor – For

Peter Wilding – For

 

Totals of 22 for, 9 against, 4 abstained and 1 no vote.

 

RESOLVED

 

Following “standstill” and dealing with any issues arising, and confirmation that WSCC have cleared their own governance processes, including call-in, that the Council select Developer A on Heads of Terms shown in Appendix 1 to deliver the Southern Gateway Masterplan regeneration project pursuant to the outcome of the Evaluation Report at Appendix 2 once matters of detail are finalised with the bidder.

 

The Chairman then formally closed the meeting and wished everyone a good Christmas.