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Apologies For Absence
To receive apologies for absence from the meeting
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dart, Brenton, Brown, Bushby, Laws and Hicks.
Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 1 July 2019.
It was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Inch and -
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 1 July be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to the following amendments to recommendation 3 - Minute 6 – Climate Change:
“To include a caveat that TDC had signed up to a target date of 2030 and not DCC target of 2050.
Consideration be given to agriculture within the Devon County Declaration, and the Agricultural Industry be consulted”.
(Vote: For 20, Against 1, Abstentions 9)
15 minute period for public contributions
Mr Chris Hassell addressed the meeting with regard to Brunswick Wharf. He referred to the article in last week’s newspaper which reported on the signing of the Contract with the Developers Red Earth. He mentioned the history to the site and trusted that due diligence had been undertaken with regard to the ability and reliability of the Developer.
Mr Hassell raised the following concerns:
· Contract – who signed it?
· No details of the development scheme for the site
· Previous planning application, scheme never developed
· Public Consultation to demonstrate details of the proposed scheme
· Council to progress with matters asap prior to full planning application
Declarations of interest
Members with interests to declare should refer to the Agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is being discussed.
Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.
Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II
There were no Part II items.
To consider correspondence or other business especially brought forward by the direction of the Chair
The following matters were raised by the Chair:
· Following a request from the Atlantic Racquet Centre to give a Presentation to Full Council, Councillor Christie advised that the Chair, Councillor Brenton, now wished to seek Member approval to all future Presentations.
Members agreed that the Atlantic Racquet Centre be permitted to give
a Presentation at a future meeting of Full Council.
· Constitution Working Group – a Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17 September had been cancelled. This was due to the number of apologies received and the distance the LGA and the Cornwall Councillor had to travel.
To answer questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9
A question had been submitted by Councillor Christie under Procedural Rule A9.
In accordance with the constitution, a written answer to the question had been circulated at the meeting to all Members.
Question from Councillor Christie
Could officers list specific actions that have been taken to prepare Torridge for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
The Head of Paid Service is a member of the Heart of the South West LEP ( Devon and Somerset) Brexit Resilience and Opportunities Group and has been actively engaged with this group including a two hour telephone conference call on 9 September 2019 (which included representatives from the LEP, NFU, BEIS, DEFRA, MHCLG, DfT, the Blue Light Services and all the Councils from across Devon and Somerset The group is chaired by the Chief Executive of Devon County Council, Phil Norrey, who is also one of the 9 regional Chief Executives chosen to liaise directly with the Government departments.
The Local Resilience Forum ( blue light/emergency planning services) are meeting regularly and have contingency plans prepared.
Brexit has been raised and discussed at the Corporate Risk Management Group meetings. Whilst the levels of impact and likelihood of detrimental impacts are somewhat challenging to determine one significant action recommended was ensuring that Operational Managers have reviewed and updated their Business Continuity Plans.
The reason for doing so is that the Council has plans in place to evaluate any impacts as they emerge and what and how we can continue to operate the Council’s critical services.
A link to the Government Guidance on Brexit has been put on the Council’s website.
We are doing everything we can to prepare but we are reliant upon central government to provide instructions/guidance as to preparations and we will continue to monitor any directions or guidance issued and implement accordingly.
To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources)
The Strategic Manager (Resources) presented the report, and informed Members of the legal requirement for a report to be brought to Full Council in order to comply with the CIPFA Code of Practice in Treasury Management in the Public Sector. The report included the treasury management activity and actual prudential indicators for 2018-2019.
When presenting the report, the Strategic Manager (Resources) referred Members to Appendix 2 attached to the report (Policy on Local Loans) which set out the framework to allow Council’s to make local loans. He explained the process involved, should an organisation come forward requesting a loan.
Councillor McGeough proposed that recommendations 1 and 2, as set out in the report, be noted, but did not agree with recommendation 3 – Policy for Local Loans. There was no seconder.
Councillor Inch proposed the recommendations as set out in the report, subject to the following amendment:
“That details of loans over the past five years be included”.
This motion, together with the amendment, was seconded by Councillor Pennington, which he later withdrew.
When debating this item, the following points were raised:
· Due diligence to be carried out when considering the applications
· Have any approaches been made in the past for loans, and if so how many? It was confirmed that in the past requests had been received
· A summary of historic loans be provided, to include recipients, those who have defaulted and those who have repaid the loans
· A reduction in the amount from £250,000 to £100,000
· Risks associated with advancing S106 monies
· Loans to be from Council monies and not through an intermediary - will not below market rate
Following discussions it was proposed by Councillor Newton, seconded by Councillor Jones and –
That this item be deferred to enable Councillors to have sight of information with regard to historic loans.
(Vote: For 27, Against 3)
To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service
Councillor A Inch declared a personal interest – dual hatted – Devon County Council.
The Head of Paid Service explained that the purpose of the report was to provide an update for the Constituent Authorities on the Joint Committee’s governance arrangements and budgetary position for 2019/20. The report contained recommendations for amendments to the Committee’s Arrangements document following the governance review.
The Head of Paid Service gave brief background information on this item and the developments and procedures undertaken to date. The meeting was informed of the following additional recommendation:
“That Somerset County Council be re-appointed as the administering Authority for a further two year period from January 2020”.
The following matters were raised and addressed during the discussion:
· HotSW Joint Committee (Draft Arrangements) – the Membership paragraph referred to the appointment of Council Leaders, but this did not include Torridge District Council - assurance was given that the Leader and Deputy Leader had attended meetings and it was confirmed this was an oversight.
· Reference was made to the joint Interest of Torridge District and ND Councils in ND+ – the Head of Paid Service declared an interest as Joint Chief Executive of ND+ and Councillor Manley mentioned she is on the Board of ND+.
· HotSW (Local Enterprise Partnership) – The Head of Paid Service explained the role and representation of the organisation.
It was proposed by Councillor Christie, seconded by Councillor Inch and -
· That the amendments (shown in red) to the Committee’s list of functions in the Arrangements document, attached to the report as Appendix A, be approved.
· That the updated budget position for 2019/20 be noted.
(Vote: For – Unanimous)
Constitution Working Group
To receive a verbal update
The Head of Paid Service updated Members on the current position with regard to the Constitution Working Group. As explained previously the Working Group meeting scheduled for the following day had been cancelled.
The first meeting that had recently taken place, was attended by the Head of Paid Service, Leader, Deputy Leader, Chair, Vice-Chair and Councillor Lock who had been invited to assist with any proposed changes to Planning, and with support also being given from the Local Government Association and a Councillor from Cornwall Council. The meeting had recommended that, as the Constitution is a large document, each meeting of the Working Group to review different parts of the document. It is anticipated any suggested changes to be made will be brought to Full Council early in the New Year for consideration by Members.
The Head of Paid Service and Deputy Leader responded to questions and concerns raised in relation to the composition of the Working Group. The initial meeting was just a scoping meeting when the Constitution had been reviewed and broken down into various parts for consideration by the Working Group.
Councillor Christie expected all Members to be invited to the Working Group meetings, and for any suggestions they may have to be forwarded to their Group Leader.
To receive petitions (if any)
There were no petitions.
Notices of Motion
There were no notices of motion.