Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday 23 November 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms - East Pallant House

Contact: Democratic Services on 01243 534684  Email:  democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk

Note: Our Audio provider apologies for any inconvenience caused by the technical error which has resulted in the loss of the first few minutes of the meeting. 

Items
No. Item

55.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 386 KB

The Council is requested to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 21 September 2021 be approved.

 

56.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

57.

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:

Declarations of interest were declared as follows:

 

·         Item 10 – Cllr Duncton declared a personal interest as a member of West Sussex County Council.

·         Item 10 – Cllr D Johnson declared a personal interest as a member of West Sussex County Council.

·         Item 10 – Cllr O’Kelly declared a personal interest as a member of West Sussex County Council.

·         Item 10 – Cllr Oakley declared a personal interest as a member of West Sussex County Council.

·         Item 10 – Cllr Sharp declared a personal interest as a member of West Sussex County Council.

·         Item 12 – Cllr Oakley declared a personal interest as a member of the Southern Water CCG.

 

58.

Chair's Announcements

Apologies for absence will be notified at this point.

 

The Chair will make any specific announcements.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dignum.

 

The Chair wished members of the public a happy Christmas and New Year as this would be the last ordinary meeting of the Council this year.

 

59.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 301 KB

In accordance with Chichester District Council’s scheme for public question time 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 Chair’s discretion to extend that period.

Minutes:

The Chair explained that she had accepted five public speakers but wished to note that there were also additional requests to speak which were similar in nature to those already accepted.

 

The following questions and answers were heard:

 

Question from Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE (read by Democratic Services):

 

The government advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, has stated to government that there must be constraint of aviation due to the impact its growth is having on our planet.  Aviation releases a billion tonnes of carbon a year.  Now 2.4%, its share of greenhouse gas emissions is growing so is this council prepared to be party to increasing global warming?

 

British Airways state (7.11.21 Mail on Sunday) that green jet fuel is up to five times dearer than conventional jet fuel and represents 1% of aviation fuel used globally.  Gatwick is 65% down on flights compared to 2019; the hardest hit in the world according to the international aviation body (EuroControl3.11.21).

 

So, I ask you again how this council can support the rebuilding of the emergency runway as a second runway when I quote your website – 'as a council we are committed to working with you to tackle climate change. The opportunity to avoid dangerous levels of global warming is closing and action is required swiftly at all levels from the international to the individual. In making its declaration of a climate emergency in July 2019, the council announced its commitment to taking urgent action and asking others - residents, businesses, partner organisations, and the Government’?

 

There is nothing to stop Gatwick Airport from using the emergency runway in unison with the main runway 24/7 with 326,000 flights a year adding over 1 million tonnes of extra carbon a year with just the emergency runway.

 

Answer from Cllr Susan Taylor

 

Thank you for your question. The first thing to say is that the Council has not yet finalised its responses to the consultation on the proposals by the owners of Gatwick Airport to bring the northern runway into use alongside the main runway.

 

The draft officer responses to the consultation formed part of the agenda to the Council’s cabinet meeting of 2 November 2021. At that meeting the leader, Councillor Eileen Lintill announced that the matter would be referred to the Council’s Development Plan and Infrastructure Panel on 24 November to ensure that all members have the opportunity of commenting on the consultation questions when it is considered by DPIP. It is intended that all Members comments received will be considered alongside the officers’ draft responses and the public questions to the cabinet meeting to ensure that the discussion at DPIP is as informed as possible, after which the Cabinet Member for Planning Services will finalise and publicise the Council’s response.

 

Question from George Hibberd:

 

I’d like to ask the following question for the CDC meeting on 23rd November:

 

Having heard the very disappointing news that CDC backtracked on their promise to hold a Citizens’ Assembly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Adoption of Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Policy review and Adoption of Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy

The report can be found on pages 7-85 of the Cabinet agenda for 3 November 2021.

 

The Cabinet made the following recommendation to Full Council:

 

That the Statement of Licensing Policy 2022-2027 (Licensing Act 2003) at Appendix 1, and the Statement of Policy 2022-2025 (Gambling Act 2005) at Appendix 2, be approved for adoption and publication.

Minutes:

(Cllr Evans arrived during this item).

 

Cllr Sutton proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Lintill.

 

Cllr Sutton then introduced the item.

 

With reference to page 10 of the Cabinet papers for 2 November 2021 Cllr Bowden requested further information on who had been consulted on the gambling response. He also asked why the report said ‘none’ to health and wellbeing implications. Cllr Sutton confirmed that the report had been through the Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Committee for consideration. Mr Knowles-Ley added that it had also been considered by the designated Local Safeguarding Board and Sussex Police. With regard to health and wellbeing he explained that West Sussex County Council are able to feed into the process.

 

Cllr O’Kelly requested in future that health and wellbeing mitigations be referenced in the main report.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Statement of Licensing Policy 2022-2027 (Licensing Act 2003) at Appendix 1, and the Statement of Policy 2022-2025 (Gambling Act 2005) at Appendix 2, be approved for adoption and publication.

 

61.

Council Tax Review of Locally Defined Discounts and Premiums

The report can be found on pages 9-14 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 October 2021.

 

The Cabinet made the following recommendation to Full Council:

 

That the Council Tax Discounts and Premiums proposed in the Appendix to the agenda report be applied for the 2022-2023 financial year.

Minutes:

(Cllr Lishman left the meeting during this item).

 

Cllr Wilding proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Lintill.

 

Cllr Wilding then introduced the item.

 

Cllr Bangert asked why 405 houses remained empty. Cllr Sutton explained that this is something that the housing team monitor. He added that specific cases could be discussed outside of the meeting.

 

Cllr Bowden asked whether the council could charge a premium for second homes. Cllr Wilding confirmed that this is not within the powers of the council and would up to central government.  He explained that some long term empty homes are due to the properties being rural estates with high costs to repair. Mrs Rudziak added that the council is charging the maximum it can to bring empty homes back into use.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Council Tax Discounts and Premiums proposed in the Appendix to the agenda report be applied for the 2022-2023 financial year.

 

62.

Financial Strategy and Plan 2022-23

The report can be found on pages 87-113 of the Cabinet agenda for 2 November 2021.

 

The Cabinet made the following recommendations to Full Council:

 

a)    The key financial principles and actions set out in appendix 1 of the 5 year Financial Strategy report be approved.

b)    That having considered the recommendations of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, the Minimum Level of Reserves remains set at £4m.

c)    That the current 5 year Financial Model detailed in appendix 2 (Part 2) and the Resources Statement in appendix 3 to the Financial Strategy report be noted.

Minutes:

The Chair explained that at Cabinet when discussing the Financial Strategy report Mr Ward advised changing the inflation assumption for 2022-23 to 4% which is based on the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts. Cabinet agreed with this and requested that one of the appendices to the report, the 5 year model be updated for Full Council. The part II update was provided to members.

 

Cllr Wilding then proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Lintill.

 

Cllr Wilding then introduced the item.

 

Cllr Plowman requested information on the impact of the uncertainty of inflation on the financial model as a whole. Cllr Wilding explained that the effects are small over the five year model period.

 

Cllr Brown asked why the Strategy could not include more long term investments and borrowing. Cllr Wilding explained that they would be considered cautiously as a number of council’s had lost millions of pounds in making investments of this nature.

 

Cllr Oakley asked for more information on the Council Tax growth base. Cllr Wilding explained that Council Tax revenue growth had gone up by 1% in a year. Mr Ward added that the Model assumes 1% growth based on past experience. The Divisional Manager for the service had been consulted and based on recent case levels agreed no assumed change over the five year model.

 

Mr Ward clarified that the council is not legally allowed to borrow money for speculative purposes or for revenue return. Borrowing must relate to service provision. He gave an example of replacing refuse freighters.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

a)    The key financial principles and actions set out in appendix 1 of the 5 year Financial Strategy report be approved.

b)    That having considered the recommendations of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, the Minimum Level of Reserves remains set at £4m.

c)    That the current 5 year Financial Model detailed in appendix 2 (Part 2) and the Resources Statement in appendix 3 to the Financial Strategy report be noted.

 

63.

Funding for Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester

The report can be found on pages 87-113 of the Cabinet agenda for 2 November 2021.

 

The Cabinet made the following recommendation to Full Council:

 

The agreed continuation of funding to Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester for the provision of infrastructure support to the voluntary and community groups and charities in Chichester District as set out in para 5.2 of the report.

Minutes:

Cllr Briscoe proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Lintill.

 

Cllr Briscoe then introduced the item.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

The agreed continuation of funding to Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester for the provision of infrastructure support to the voluntary and community groups and charities in Chichester District as set out in para 5.2 of the report.

 

64.

Release of funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy to Chichester District Council Environment Team to fund Project IBP/842 Strategic Wildlife Corridors

The report can be found on pages 15-21 of the Cabinet agenda for 5 October 2021.

 

The Cabinet made the following recommendation to Full Council:

 

The approval of the release of £575,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy to Chichester District Council’s Environment Team to cover most of the costs of funding Infrastructure Business Plan Project 842 Strategic Wildlife Corridors.

Minutes:

Cllr Taylor proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Lintill.

 

Cllr Taylor then introduced the item.

 

Cllr Bangert requested assurance that the Hambrook stream would be included in the Local Plan as a wildlife corridor. Cllr Taylor explained that during the public consultation on the Local Plan Review Preferred Approach in 2018 which introduced new proposals for strategic wildlife corridors across the Chichester plan area, further evidence was submitted to the council relating to the proposed strategic wildlife corridors and their locations. As a result of this, the council recently published a technical consultation which proposed three amendments to the Strategic Wildlife Corridors, including the proposed inclusion of a Nutbourne to Hambrook Strategic Wildlife Corridor. The consultation ran from 30 July to 10 September 2021 and a number of responses were received, including in relation to the proposal to include the Nutbourne to Hambrook Strategic Wildlife Corridor. Officers are currently considering the responses, and it is envisaged that the Council will be able to make an announcement about the way forward in relation to the Strategic Wildlife Corridors before the end of the year.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

The approval of the release of £575,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy to Chichester District Council’s Environment Team to cover most of the costs of funding Infrastructure Business Plan Project 842 Strategic Wildlife Corridors.

 

65.

Motion from Cllr Moss pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Having complied with the Motions Procedure as set out in the council’s Constitution the motion attached will be proposed by Cllr Moss and if duly seconded it will then be discussed at this meeting.

Minutes:

The Chair explained that with regard to the motion submitted by Cllr Moss and following advice from the Monitoring Officer it had come to light that section 239 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires motions promoting a Bill of Parliament to be publicised in the press no less than 30 days before their discussion at a separate special meeting of Full Council. She added that Cllr Moss had consulted with Cllr Plant who submitted a major amendment to the motion and agreed to amend his motion in order that it could be heard.

 

Cllr Moss then proposed his amended motion which had been circulated to members prior to the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Sharp. The Motion was as follows:

 

This Council notes:

 

·         Local authorities play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated, renewable electricity.

  • The very large setup and running costs associated with selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers prevent local renewable electricity generators from doing so.
  • Making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to supply locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people and businesses.
  • Revenues received by councils from the sale of local renewable electricity can be used to help fund measures to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and to help fund local services and facilities.
  • The recent reintroduction of the Local Electricity Bill.  If enacted the new law would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply.
  • This Bill has received the support of 280 Members of Parliament. (November 8th 2021)
  • We should make every attempt to build a sustainable Britain after the Coronavirus crisis has passed. Our support for the Bill and this motion helps us achieve that.

 

Council resolves to:

 

1.    Ask Greg Hands, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy, to support the Local Electricity Bill.

2.    Ask our local Member of Parliament, Gillian Keegan, to support that Bill.

 

Cllr Moss explained that the third resolution in the original Motion had been removed. He added that the reason for the Motion was to request support from all members at Full Council rather than the Environment Panel members only.

Cllr Plant explained that the first and fourth bullet points above did not apply to the debate.

 

Cllr Oakley asked for information on the advice that was made available to the Environment Panel and the Cabinet Member in making the decision on involvement in the electricity supply market. Cllr Plant clarified that there are no financial implications as the Bill is currently a concept. She added that it had been through the Environment Panel twice.

 

Cllr O’Kelly requested clarification on when members and residents would have been made aware of the decision of the Environment Panel and letter issued if the Motion had not been brought forward. Cllr Plant confirmed that a press  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Motion from Cllr Brown pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Having complied with the Motions Procedure as set out in the council’s Constitution the motion attached will be proposed by Cllr Brown and if duly seconded it will then be discussed at this meeting.

Minutes:

Cllr Brown proposed his motion. This was seconded by Cllr O’Kelly. The Motion was as follows:

 

 This Council notes that:

 

      Chichester Harbour and local rivers are particularly threatened by continuing sewage discharges.

      Southern Water were sentenced to pay a record £90 million in fines for widespread pollution after pleading guilty to 6,971 unpermitted sewage discharges.

      Every river in England is now polluted beyond legal limits.

      The Environment Agency rated only 14% of rivers as ‘Good’ in 2019.

      In England, water companies released untreated human waste directly into our waterways over 400,000 times for a total of 3 million hours in 2020 alone.

      Government funding to the Environment Agency to monitor river quality and regulate farms and water companies has dropped 75% since 2010/11.

      In 2020 just 3.6% of pollution complaints made to the Agency resulted in penalties.

      Farms are now almost never inspected, water quality is not tested enough, and water companies can pump raw sewage into rivers and seas with virtual impunity

·         Council believes that, as host nation of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the UK Government should now commit to:

      Restoring Environment Agency budgets to deliver the necessary oversight.

      Increasing inspection regularity of water companies and farms, and rigorously prosecuting offenders through the Environmental Audit Committee and Ofwat.

 

Council resolves to:

 

1.    Formally ask Southern Water to install live update signs at each sewage outfall site in the district to enable residents to make informed choices about using the water.

2.    Should Southern Water refuse to so in a timely manner, investigate the cost of Council doing it, to be considered within the Future Services Framework prioritisation exercise.

3.    Agree with the Conservancy an improved Testing regime in Chichester Harbour with tests undertaken as close as possible to Southern Water discharge points immediately after high tide.

4.    Publicise the testing results on the District Council website.

5.    Include a link to the Southern Water “Beachbouy” warning system on the District Council website.

6.    Write to The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee to advocate for greater enforcement of existing regulatory powers.

7.    Write to The Chief Executives of Southern Water and OFWAT calling for urgent action to address the impact of waste-water discharges on our local rivers and harbours.

8.    Write to The Regional Director of the National Farmers’ Union requesting clarification on the action being taken locally by farmers to prevent nutrient run-off.

9.    Write to the charities River Action and The Rivers Trust expressing this Council’s support for their campaign to restore the health of Britain’s rivers.

10.Require the Chichester Water Quality Group to make a quarterly report to the Environment Panel.

 

Cllr Brown with reference to Cllr Plant’s proposed major amendments which had been circulated to members in line with the Motions Procedure explained that he wished to keep bullet point number 6. He confirmed that bullet points 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 did not require debate.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

Committee Calendar of Meetings May 2022 - May 2023 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

The Council is requested to consider the report and its appendix and make the following resolution:

 

That Full Council approves the committee calendar of meetings for May 2022 to May 2023 as detailed in the appendix.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair explained that the Bank Holiday listed on 30 May 2022 had been moved to 3 June 2022 with an additional Bank Holiday on 4 June 2022.

 

Cllr Lintill then proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Cllr Taylor.

 

Cllr Lintill then introduced the item.

 

Cllr Purnell asked whether there was any reason why the Overview and Scrutiny Committee scheduled for 6pm in September 2022 could be held online rather than in person. Mr Bennett explained that as the Cabinet and Full Council meetings in September 2022 were in person Overview and Scrutiny Committee had also been scheduled in person. He added that it could be discussed with the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee outside the meeting before a final decision is made.

 

Mrs Shepherd advised members that for staff and member welfare all evening meeting trials should have a 10pm cut off time. Cllr Lintill confirmed that she would do so for the Cabinet meeting.

 

Cllr Bowden asked whether the trial could be extended for two months. Cllr Tim Johnson also asked whether a meeting could be trialled with a 4pm start. Mrs Shepherd advised that in order to agree either would be to make a major amendment to the recommendation. The Chair explained she would take the recommendation as stated in the report.

 

Cllr Evans asked for further information on whether blended meetings could take place and what the process would be in deciding whether the trial is successful. Cllr Lintill explained that blended meetings or hybrid meetings are currently not legally possible. Mr Bennett added that the feedback from the trial would be taken through the Governance Review Task and Finish Group before being brought before Full Council in approximately a year’s time.

 

(Cllr Apel left the meeting).

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approves the committee calendar of meetings for May 2022 to May 2023 as detailed in the appendix subject to the Bank Holiday May 2022/June 2022 being amended.

 

68.

Questions to the Executive pdf icon PDF 29 KB

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

Minutes:

Due to the time the Chair explained that Questions to the Executive should be submitted in writing to Democratic Services. All responses would then be collated and circulated to members and published as a supplement to the minutes.

 

69.

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 Chair 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.

 

70.

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 I 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. The reports dealt with under this part of the agenda are attached for members of the Council and senior officers only (salmon paper).

Minutes:

The Chair read the Part II resolution in relation to agenda item 17. This was proposed by Cllr Lintill and seconded by Cllr Taylor. The Cabinet then voted to go into part II.

 

RESOLVED

 

That with regard to agenda item 17 the public including the press should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 namely Paragraph 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) 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.

 

71.

Westgate Decarbonisation Project

Following the decision from Cabinet to select the preferred contractor for the Westgate Decarbonisation project, Council are asked to approve the release of the remaining Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funds held by the Council, noting the risks identified in the report regarding the timetable for completion and subsequent funding requirements for the project. Report to follow.

 

Minutes:

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

 

Cllr Plant then introduced the item.

 

In a vote the following resolution was carried:

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council agrees the recommendations as detailed in section 2.1 and 2.2 of the report.