Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Tuesday 28 January 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms, East Pallant House. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

75.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 174 KB

The Council is requested to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2019.

Minutes:

The Chairman extended a warm welcome to all those present and read out the emergency evacuation procedure.

 

There were two amendments to the minutes:

 

·         Minute 69, paragraph three to be replaced with ‘The Chairman reminded members'.

·         Minute 69, paragraph 13, line 12 to be replaced with ‘consider the implications of the closure of the Oving Lights junction on the A27’.

 

Mr Plowman asked for clarification on whether further records were available for members relating to the discussion on Southern Gateway. Officers agreed to discuss further with Mr Plowman outside of the meeting.

 

In a show of hands the Council voted to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 3 December 2019.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 3 December 2019 subject to the above amendments be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.

 

76.

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 late items.

 

77.

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:

Mrs Duncton, Dr O’Kelly, Mr Oakley and Mrs Purnell declared personal interests in relation to item 10 as West Sussex County Council (WSCC) members as WSCC had been a consultee.

 

Mr Plowman sought clarification on whether he was required to declare a personal interest in item 10 as a Chichester City Council member. He was advised that it would not be necessary.

 

Dr O’Kelly also wished to declare a personal interest in relation to item 12 as a WSCC member.

 

78.

Chairman's Announcements

Apologies for absence will be notified at this point.

 

The Chairman will make any specific announcements.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Barrett and Cllr Plant.

 

The Chairman announced that Chichester District Council had joined the ‘Premier League’ of public toilets after winning an array of awards at the Loo of the Year Awards 2019. Two members of staff from the service were present to receive the awards which were presented by the Chairman. Members congratulated the staff and the wider service on their success.

 

The Chairman then drew attention to the new Novium exhibition about the Mystery Warrior. She explained that the Exhibition had been previewed on television and would be running until 25 September 2020.

 

79.

Public Question Time

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 from Mr Dicker. The responses are indicated in italics below.

 

Reading the minutes from the last council meeting I have a number of concerns about the preferred approach item 69.  This prompts the following questions:

 

Question 1 - Mr Dicker

 

Reading the minutes from the last council meeting I have a number of concerns about the preferred approach item 69.  This prompts the following questions:

 

Why did Councillor Lintill advise councillors that they are in Purdah especially as the Local Government Association advises that councils should 

 

“Continue to discharge normal council business - including determining planning applications, even if they are controversial.”

 

The following answer was read by The Chairman:

 

I took advice from the Monitoring Officer (the senior solicitor to the Council) as to whether purdah was in operation and how it should operate in respect of significant projects.  Whilst your question states that you believe purdah was not in operation, the heightened restrictions on publicity known as purdah did apply from 6 November 2019 through to the date of the election itself on 12 December 2019.

 

A second element of your question is then how Purdah should have impacted this particular matter.

 

The relevant government guidance is contained in many sources including case law, Statute and the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity (which itself is issued under section 4 of the Local Government Act 1986).  The relevant paragraph in the Code of Recommended Publicity is:

 

41. The period between the notice of an election and the election itself should preclude proactive publicity in all its forms of candidates and other politicians involved directly in the election. Publicity should not deal with controversial issues or report views, proposals or recommendations in such a way that identifies them with individual members or groups of members. However, it is acceptable for the authority to respond in appropriate circumstances to events and legitimate service enquiries provided that their answers are factual and not party political. Members holding key political or civic positions should be able to comment in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member level response to an important event outside the authority’s control. Proactive events arranged in this period should not involve members likely to be standing for election.’

 

In this matter Mr Bennett advised members that whilst the Council could and would respond to “business as usual” enquiries in respect of projects at this time, that the Council should not generate pro-active correspondence where it could be avoided until after the purdah period.

 

Question 2 – Mr Dicker

 

Councillor Barrett asked for clarification on why the Peter Brett Study had not been included the northern bypass option.   According to the minutes he received no answer so I now ask the same question?

 

The following answer was read by Mrs Taylor:

 

The northern bypass option is not included in the Peter Brett study as in the absence of inclusion of a scheme for the A27  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Climate Emergency

The material relevant to this item is the report on pages 17 – 33 of the Cabinet agenda for 7 January 2020.

 

The following recommendation was made to Council:

 

That a Climate Emergency officer post at a total cost of £120,000, plus an operational budget of £30,000, is funded from reserves for 2 years (full time) to support delivery of the Action Plan.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Lintill on behalf of Mrs Plant to introduce the item and drew attention to the report which could be found on pages 17 to 33 of the Cabinet agenda for 7 January 2020. She confirmed that there was one recommendation to Council detailed on the agenda front sheet.

 

Mrs Lintill drew attention to the local level response to the Climate Emergency Declaration and explained that the council would endeavour to do the following as part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan:

 

·         Implement carbon reduction measures

·         Access funding through Homes England from the Graylingwell development

·         Increase tree planting

·         Reduce green waste

·         Consider transport options with local partners

·         Consider lifestyle options with local partners

 

Mrs Lintill then explained that the Environment Panel had been tasked with evaluating all possible options for how best to implement the Action Plan and had agreed on a recommendation to fund a permanent full time Climate Emergency Officer with funding currently available for a two year period. The Panel had agreed that the postholder should ideally be experienced in carbon reduction and energy management projects.

 

Mr Oakley asked whether the post provides value for money and whether the postholder would be able to achieve the climate impact the council requires. He gave examples of how else the money could be spent including land drainage to mitigate climate change, environmental protection, recycling and food waste. He also asked whether the existing grants scheme could be utilised to seek additional funding. Mrs Lintill responded and explained that the post had already been considered by the Environment Panel and officers had also expressed a need for a dedicated officer. Mrs Evans was invited to respond further and explained that consideration had been given to the existing Environment unit and it is felt that it would not be possible to begin additional projects without losing other workstreams. She added that the new post would help to achieve the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

 

Members shared their support for the new post. Mr Oakley confirmed that he was reassured by the responses. He then asked how the performance indicators for the postholder would be measured. Mrs Lintill explained that this would be addressed by officers. Mrs Sharp added that the Environment Panel had discussed the postholder’s involvement in reducing carbon emissions which would be measurable by percentage.

 

Dr O’Kelly wished to encourage the postholder to address joint partnership working across the county.

 

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

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That a Climate Emergency officer post at a total cost of £120,000, plus an operational budget of £30,000, is funded from reserves for 2 years (full time) to support delivery of the Action Plan.

 

81.

Motions Procedure pdf icon PDF 81 KB

1.    That the Constitution be amended to replace the current Motions guidance with the revised Motions Procedure as set out in the Appendix to this report.

 

2.      That the time permitted at Full Council for “Questions to the Executive” be reduced from 45 to 30 minutes.

 

Please note that at the time of going to print these are the recommendations being made to the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee. If the Committee makes any amendments Full Council will be informed at its meeting.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that the item had been withdrawn from the agenda following discussion at the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee. It had been agreed that a Task and Finish Group would be established reporting first to the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee and then to Full Council. Any member interested in taking part should contact Mr Bennett.

 

82.

Adoption of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The report relating to this item is included in the agenda pack.

 

The Council is requested to make the following resolution:

 

That the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism be adopted.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Lintill to introduce the item and drew attention to the report which could be found on pages 25-26 of the agenda pack. She confirmed that there was one recommendation to Council detailed on the agenda front sheet.

 

Mrs Lintill confirmed that all council’s had been asked to adopt the working definition of anti-semitism and referred members to section 3.2 of the report.

 

Mrs Apel was invited to speak. Members commended Mrs Apel for her moving speech and it was requested that it be recorded in full in the minutes.

 

Mrs Apel’s speech was as follows:

 

This has come up the day after the 75th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz.

 

In 1938 on the 12 March the Nazi’s marched into Austria and Vienna. My father was a Jew who edited two papers (one of which was anti-Nazi so he was wanted by Hitler). My mother was English but she had two half Jewish children; my brother Anthony aged 10 months and my brother Peter aged three. They got out of their flat with what they stood up in. My mother took my two brothers on the train from Vienna (and it’s a long journey from Vienna to the Swiss border). She had forged documents which had been given to her by the British consort. She realised she would have to destroy her genuine papers so she threw them out of the window of the train. Two hours later the Nazis got on the train and took her and the two boys out and took them to a place where they were stripped naked and searched completely. After several hours they were put back on the train. My mother had no food. There was a man on the carriage who was watching them. She got to the Swiss border and when they got over the border the man got up and gave her some money to feed the children and just got out; what an angel. They managed to get back to the UK and my father went via Czechoslovakia as it was free. In 1939 when war was declared he was rounded up as an enemy and put on the Isle of Man for 18 months which was the best university in the world. You had the Amadeus quartet, the German and Austrian Nuclear Physicists who happened to be Jewish and all the big publishers; it was an extraordinary place. When he came back I came on the scene a few months later. In 1945 when the camps were all liberated he discovered that everybody apart from two cousins had been gassed; Auschwitz and Treblinka. My father in law discovered in 1945 that 200 of his family had been gassed which included his first wife, their two small children, his grandfather and endless aunts and cousins.

 

It’s been tough being a child of a survivor of the Holocaust so I know exactly what antisemitism is. Antisemitism if you support or don’t support Israel that is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Review of Political Balance pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report to follow.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Lintill to introduce the item and drew attention to the report which could be found in the supplement to the agenda pack. She confirmed that there was one recommendation to Council detailed on the front of the supplement pack.

 

Mrs Lintill explained that the only change since the report was last presented to Council in September relates to the Loxwood By-Election. She confirmed that the Conservatives would take four seats on Standards Committee and the Green Party would no longer sit on Standards Committee. She referenced the Conservative entitlement to six seats on Overview and Scrutiny Committee and confirmed that the current arrangement of five Conservatives would remain until Annual Council in May.

 

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

 

In a show of hands the Council voted in favour.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the review of political balance arrangements set out below be approved and tables 1, 2 and 3 be applied in making appointments to committees.

 

84.

Review of Street Trading controls in Chichester City Centre pdf icon PDF 81 KB

The report and appendices relating to this item are included in the agenda pack.

 

The Council is requested to make the following resolution:

 

That Council passes a resolution for the re-designation to further areas within Chichester city centre, outline in section 3.3, pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 from prohibited streets to consent streets.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Graves to introduce the item and drew attention to the report and appendix for this item which could be found on pages 27-35 of the agenda pack. She confirmed that there was one recommendation detailed on the agenda front sheet.

 

Mrs Graves explained that the report seeks to pass a resolution for the re-designation to further areas within Chichester city centre from prohibited streets to consented streets. ‘Street Trading’ is currently prohibited within the city centre, other than the pedestrianised areas of East Street, North Street and Crane Street and part of St Martin’s Street. These four areas are designated ‘consent streets’ under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and it is therefore only these areas which are currently able to host a consented bona fide market or an event involving the sale of goods under the authority of a Street Trading Consent.

 

Mrs Graves explained that at its meeting on 1 October 2019 the Cabinet agreed a request for officers to undertake a consultation to review the existing street trading restrictions in place for Chichester city centre, to include all of the city’s four main shopping streets and some side streets, which would offer greater flexibility for local events, open up Chichester’s side streets, and encourage visitors to explore other areas of the city. She drew attention to a full list of the proposed areas is illustrated by map on page 31 of the agenda pack.

 

Mrs Graves added that the Licensing Team undertook a stakeholder consultation between 28 October 2019 and 22 November 2019. Stakeholders included Chichester BID, West Sussex County Council Highways, Chichester Cathedral and Chichester City Council. She reference supportive comments received from Chichester City Council and Chichester Cathedral detailed at pages 33 and 35 of the agenda pack.

 

Mrs Graves clarified that whilst in support Chichester Cathedral expressed their concern regarding the inclusion of Canon Lane given that it was mainly residential. Canon Lane has therefore been removed as a proposed area.

 

Mrs Graves then confirmed that a ‘Notice of Intention’ was duly published in the Observer newspaper series setting out the Council’s intention to pass such a resolution. Comments were invited by 1 January 2020 but no comments have been received.

 

Mrs Graves then explained that if the proposal is agreed a further ‘Notice of Intention’ must be published four weeks in advance stating the variation will be taking effect, however this would not invite comment.

 

Mrs Graves re-iterated that the variation, if supported, will mean that street trading in those parts of the streets designated as ‘consent streets’ will continue to be prohibited unless it takes place under the authority of a Street Trading Consent issued by the Council which is subject to receipt of an application and considered on a case by case basis.

 

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

 

With reference to page 31 Mr Plowman asked whether Little London Car Park could be included in the order as consultation results  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Retirement Costs

The Council is requested to note the following:

 

A member of staff has had to be retired early on ill health grounds, having met the criteria for this as determined by an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) appointed by the Council, under the rules of the Local Government Pension Scheme. In such cases the Council has no practical discretion, and the retirement is an entitlement for the member of staff concerned under the pension scheme. The additional costs to access the pension early in such cases is met by the employer. In this particular case the cost is £131,970 which will need to be met from the Council’s General Fund reserves.

Minutes:

On behalf of the Council the Chairman noted the following:

 

A member of staff has had to be retired early on ill health grounds, having met the criteria for this as determined by an Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) appointed by the Council, under the rules of the Local Government Pension Scheme. In such cases the Council has no practical discretion, and the retirement is an entitlement for the member of staff concerned under the pension scheme. The additional cost to access the pension early in such cases is met by the employer. In this particular case the cost is £131,970 which will need to be met from the Council’s General Fund reserves.

 

86.

Motion to the Council relating to divestment pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Having complied with the advance written notice requirement in Standing Order 18.1 and the subject requirement in Standing Order 18.2 of the Chichester District Council Constitution the attached motion will be proposed by Cllr Sharp and if duly seconded it will then be discussed at this meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Sharp to move her motion. Mrs Sharp moved her motion which was seconded by Miss Barrie.

 

Mrs Sharp then outlined her motion:

 

Chichester District Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and will need to place climate change at the heart of our forward plans in order to meet our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

 

Chichester District Council employees are members of the West Sussex County Council Local Authority Pension Fund, which has funds invested in the fossil fuel industry.  Mark Carney is one of many leading advisers signalling that investments in fossil fuels are not safe in the long-term.  There is a growing movement across the UK for councils and organisations to divest from their fossil fuel investments, as a first step in their move towards carbon neutrality.

The following motion was passed by Worthing Borough Council and Adur District Council before Christmas and Arun District Council in January. I hope that this council will agree with, and support this request.


This Council calls upon the Trustees of the West Sussex County Council Local Authority Pension Fund (of which the Council’s employees are members) to divest that fund of all investments in fossil fuel stocks, equities and funds and it instructs the Council’s Chief Executive to write to the Trustees of the fund with a copy of this Motion and ask them to take action.

 

The Chairman invited Mr Wilding as Cabinet Member for Corporate Services to respond. Mr Wilding thanked Mrs Sharp for her motion. He explained that if the council were to approve the proposed motion, the Trustees of the Pension Fund would have no obligation to act on it.West Sussex County Council Local Authority Pension Fund has very substantial funds, which are managed by a Panel of Trustees on behalf of 80,000 members and over 200 employers.   CDC is just one employer and its element makes up some 4% of the fund.  The other two authorities you mentioned may have similar stakes in the Fund.The Trustees take Environmental, Social and Governance issues very seriously.

 

Mr Wilding then explained that the fund’s investment in fossil fuel companies has reduced from 4.1% of the total fund value in September 2016 to 2.4% of the total fund value in December 2019. This movement is due to the fund managers using their discretion about which stocks to retain, acquire or dispose of. The fund managers appointed by the Trustees consider: environmental, social, high standards of governance and financial benefit when making a decision to buy, sell or hold a stock.

 

Mr Wilding confirmed that the Fund had currently chosen to invest responsibly rather than divest or restrict the investment opportunities. As a result the managers invest considerable resources to support their long term stewardship and engagement with companies on the future direction and the risks associated with their business.  The benefit of this was illustrated recently when Royal Dutch Shell announced new carbon emissions targets that will directly link to executive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Motion to the Council to support a national community energy campaign pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Having complied with the advance written notice requirement in Standing Order 18.1 and the subject requirement in Standing Order 18.2 of the Chichester District Council Constitution the attached motion will be proposed by Cllr Sharp and if duly seconded it will then be discussed at this meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mrs Sharp to move her motion. Mrs Sharp moved her motion which was seconded by Mr Brown (please note Miss Barrie had briefly left the room but returned for the remainder of the item).

 

Mrs Sharp then outlined her motion below:

 

That Chichester District Council:

(i) acknowledges the efforts that this council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;  

(ii) recognises that councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity;  

(iii) further recognises  

 

  • that very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so, 
  • that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and
  • that revenues received by councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

 

(iv) accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, (supported by a cross-party  group of 115 MPs in the previous Parliament) and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply; and  

(v) further resolves to  

 

  • inform the local media of this decision,
  • write to Gillian Keegan, our local MP, asking her to support the Bill, and
  • write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at 8 Delancey Passage, Camden, London NW1 7NN or info@powerforpeole.org.uk) expressing its support

 

The Chairman invited Mrs Lintill to read a statement provided by Mrs Plant the Cabinet Member for the Environment to respond. Mrs Lintill thanked Mrs Sharp for her motion. In the statement Mrs Plant explained her understanding that the Bill would allow local people to purchase renewable energy directly from local suppliers, such as a local solar farm, rather than the supplier exporting the electricity to the grid and the purchaser buying the electricity back via utility companies from the grid.  Currently local suppliers can only supply directly to the purchaser if there is a private wire arrangement.  This is what West Sussex County Council have proposed for some of their solar PV projects,  but this is only feasible where there is a short distance to the end customer as the supply wires will also need to be paid for. The Bill will enable the set up and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply, effectively making the costs and complexity of being able to sell local-generated energy to local people proportionate to the size of the community energy companies.  If enacted by Parliament, it would give generators of electricity the right to become local suppliers and therefore be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

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 invited Questions to the Executive.

 

Mrs Apel asked about the impact of the WSCC cuts to social services. Mrs Shepherd referred Mrs Apel to WSCC.

 

Miss Lishman asked whether there were plans to mitigate the shortfall of taxis following the removal of the taxi rank from the train station. Mr Bell confirmed that on street parking policy is set by WSCC. Mrs Shepherd added that an updated could be provided outside of the meeting.

 

Mrs Bangert requested information on what could be done to address the charges faced by residents accessing recycling centres with particular reference to Southbourne residents who are located between recycling centres. Mrs Lintill agreed to discuss the matter further with Mrs Plant but explained that the matter lies within WSCC’s remit.

 

Rev Bowden requested the percentage of the council’s recycled plastic waste that is recycled. Mrs Purnell (as a WSCC member) explained that the issue had been raised at WSCC where it had been stated that none of the districts waste is exported to China. Recycled waste is either turned into biofuel or recycled to companies who create products from the material. Mrs Shepherd stated that the WSCC website had detail on where recycling material ends up.

 

Mr Oakley with reference to fly tipping asked whether Chichester Contract Services (CCS) had seen an increase in demand for its bulky waste collection service. Mr Briscoe outlined the approximate cost of collecting fly tipping. Mr Ward agreed to share the figures with members outside of the meeting.

 

Mr Sutton asked whether the council had prepared an emergency protocol for infections given the national news story on the Coronvirus. Mrs Lintill explained that any procedure would be led by Public Health England but it is likely that the council would use a similar procedure to the plan in place for pandemic flu. She also confirmed that the Sussex Resilience Forum would be meeting shortly.

 

Mr Sutton then asked about the progress of the new homelessness fund. Mrs Lintill announced that the council had received a grant for £230,000 to assist with activities to support the homeless.

 

Mr Brown requested an update on the Peter Brett study into a footbridge for Southbourne. Mr Frost confirmed that there was no update at present.

 

Mr Oakley requested information on the plans in place if the Peter Brett Transport Study cannot devise a suitable scheme for the A27 bypass. Mr Frost confirmed that if there were no suitable scheme then alternatives would be explored. The alternatives are likely to include phasing of the development, considering other areas with less A27 impact and the overall level of housing that can be delivered in the Chichester Local Plan area. Mrs Lintill added that she had recently met MP Mrs Keegan with the Chief Executive to discuss the A27 funding gap.

 

Mr Moss explained that he had sent a question to Mrs Plant regarding litter picking.  He then asked whether the council has a policy on whether it supports the Gatwick expansion plans.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

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.

 

90.

Exclusion of the press and public

There are no restricted items for consideration at this meeting.

Minutes:

There was no requirement to exclude the press or public.