Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Zoom with Public Access via YouTube https://tinyurl.com/TorridgeYouTube - https://tinyurl.com/TorridgeYouTube. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@torridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

184.

Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brown, Cottle-Hunkin, Ford, Hepple, Hutchings and Rossi.

185.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To receive the minutes of the Extraordinary meeting held on 29 March 2021, the Full Council meeting held on 12 April 2021 and the AGM meeting on 26th April 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor McGeough and -

 

Resolved:   That the minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 29 March 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Vote: For 28, Against 0, Abstention 1)

 

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor McGeough and -

 

Resolved:   That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 April 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to the vote in minute 180: Covenant for the Hotel Site Westward Ho! being amended to correctly reflect Councillor Manley abstaining.

 

(Vote: For 28, Against 0, Abstention 1)

 

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor McGeough and -

 

Resolved:   That the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 26 April 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Vote: For 26, Against 0, Abstention 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

186.

Public Contributions

15 minute period for public contributions. The deadline for registering to speak is by 2pm Thursday 10th June 2021. To register please email dem.services@torridge.gov.uk.

Minutes:

There were no public contributions.

187.

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.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.

188.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded by Councillor Hackett and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the agenda as circulated be agreed.

 

(Vote: For – unanimous)

 

189.

To consider correspondence or other business especially brought forward by the direction of the Chair

Minutes:

There were no matters brought forward.

190.

To answer questions submitted under Procedural Rule A9

Minutes:

Questions had been submitted under Procedural Rule A9 by Councillors Ford, Christie and Hicks.  

 

In accordance with the Constitution written answers to the questions had been circulated to all members.

 

Question from Councillor Ford

 

Please could you put forward the following question. 

 

Having had several in depth and positive meetings with the Chief Exec in recent weeks, I was informed that DBS are on a voluntary basis. I was wrongly of the opinion they were compulsory. Could this council make them mandatory as soon as possible as to adhere to best practice, may I suggest it would be appropriate for Cllr. Hackett to forward a notice of motion at the next full council to enact this change? However, if this is not acceptable I will introduce a motion in my name. 

 

Response

 

I have copied below an extract from TDCs Constitution, which details the position on DBS checks for Councillors.

 

It’s contained within our Member Code of Conduct

 

Councillors are expected and encouraged to undertake DBS checks and a record of those undertaken will be published on our website”

 

It was previously debated at Full Council back in 2018 when the intention was to make it mandatory, but we have found that it is not possible hence the entry in the members Code of Conduct.  The minutes from that meeting are:

 

  

Constitution update 2018

 

The Senior Solicitor & Monitoring Officer presented the report, the purpose of which was for Member approval of the updates to the Constitution detailed on the attached Appendices to the report. 

 

The report was broken into 2 sections, the first section covering 2 more significant amendments:

 

Members Code of Conduct to include a requirement that newly elected Members undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

 

Members were asked to consider whether or not all newly elected Councillors

should be asked to undergo DBS check.  The Senior Solicitor & Monitoring Officer outlined the current legislative provision and advised that, although not a legal requirement, introduction of the proposal would promote public confidence.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Pennington and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the Members Code of Conduct be amended to include a requirement that newly elected Members undergo a DBS check.

 

(Vote: For 25, Against 4)

 

 

As mentioned above we did explore whether could make them compulsory for Councillors as is the case for officers within relevant posts. This point was discussed when the amendments were presented to FC in September 2020 and through the Constitution WG.  It was originally in the Constitution as mandatory but was amended in the recent update because there’s nothing we can do to make Members undertake DBSs.

 

In addition to that entry it is also recorded against each Councillors’ profile on our website whether or not they have undertaken the check as highlighted below.

DBS Check:  Completed

In the absence of Councillor Ford, the question and response were noted.

--------------------------------------

 

Question from Councillor Christie

 

This council has been given nearly £800,000 which has to be spent on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 190.

191.

TDC Carbon Plan pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To receive the report of the Public Health & Housing Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Public Health & Housing Manager presented the report, the purpose of which was to seek approval by Full Council for a Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan for Torridge District Council.

 

Councillor Pennington declared a personal interest and took part in the discussion.

 

As Councillor Hames is the Lead Member for Climate Change he was invited to speak. He expressed his gratitude to the Public Health & Housing Manager for the Plan and that it is a brilliant piece of work. Thanks was also given to the Members of the Climate Change Working Group for their help and input and looks forward to working with the new joint Climate Change & Sustainability Officer.

 

Confirmation was given to a query surrounding offsetting, it will be part of the Carbon Plan to help reach the carbon-neutral target by 2030 with the Carbon Audit being a priority for the new joint Climate & Sustainability Officer.

 

In response to queries, the Public Health & Housing Manager confirmed clarification will be sought from Devon County Council on the duplication of Agriculture and Forestry on the graph on page 83 of the report, flexible working is being reviewed and lobbying opportunities will arise through the review of the Local Plan.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Hames, seconded by Councillor Laws and -

 

Resolved: That the Carbon, Environment and Biodiversity Plan for Torridge District Council be approved.

 

(Vote: For 27, Against 2, Abstention 0)

 

Councillor Dart joined the meeting at 7:05pm.

 

 

 

192.

Councillor Allowances pdf icon PDF 258 KB

To receive the report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented the report, the purpose of which was for Members to consider the response of the Independent Renumeration Panel regarding Councillor Allowances.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Hodson, seconded by Councillor James and -

 

Resolved: That all recommendations be approved with an amendment to recommendation B that Vice Chairs of Committees continue to receive an allowance.

 

(Vote: For 13, Against 15, Abstention 2)

 

Motion lost.

 

 

Councillor Dart declared an interest as she is the Vice-Chair for Community & Resources Committee.

 

Suggestion was made that Lead Members receive a payment for their roles.

 

 

 

It was proposed by Councillor Newton, seconded by Councillor Christie and -

 

Resolved: That all the recommendations from the Renumeration Panel be adopted.

 

(Vote: For 15, Against 13, Abstention 2)

 

Motion carried.

 

193.

Play Strategy pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Communities & Place

Minutes:

The Head of Communities & Place presented the report, the purpose of which was to seek a resolution following a difference of opinion on the allocation of a specific budget for the maintenance of play facilities between Community and Resources Committee and the Scrutiny Committees.

 

Confirmation was given that within the Play Strategy consideration will be given to disabled facilities and that existing equipment is repaired however there is no specific budget for play areas.

 

A debate then commenced with points and concerns raised as follows:

·         Prioritise needs of the district.

·         Assessments from outside contractors is required.

·         Play equipment is removed not repaired.

·         Communication with communities is required to establish responsibility and ownership.

·         Progress in not quick enough.

·         Concerns on the Play Strategy.

·         Previous Tivoli report provides information on conditions of stock which could be used.

 

The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) explained the practicalities of setting a specific budget.

 

It was proposed by Cllr Leather, seconded by Cllr Langford and –

 

Resolved: That there be a separate budget allocated for play areas.

 

No vote was taken.

 

It was proposed by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor Newton and -

 

Resolved:

 

That the Community & Resources decision be accepted and that there be no specific maintenance budget for play areas.

 

(Vote: For 20, Against 10, Abstention 0)

 

194.

Non-elected Members on Internal Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive the report of the Strategy, Performance & ICT Manager & Chair of Internal Overview & Scrutiny.

Minutes:

The Head of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer) presented the report, the purpose of which was for Members to reappoint the two non-elected Members on the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

Following a query, the Chief Executive advised clarity would be sought on whether an Independent Member’s planning application should automatically go to Planning Committee.

 

An explanation was given by the Head of Legal & Governance (Monitoring Officer), in response to a query, on the re-election procedure for non-elected Members.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Newton, seconded by Councillor Bushby and –

 

Resolved:

 

That Members approve the reappointment of Mr Harper and Mr Dengate as non-elected representatives on the Council’s Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

(Vote: For – unanimous)

 

195.

Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive the report of the Head of Communities & Place

Minutes:

The Head of Communities & Place presented the report, the purpose of which outlined the proposals for Torridge District Council’s final submission for the Levelling Up Fund to the Ministry of Housing Community Local Government for the regeneration of Bideford Town Centre, to request Full Council’s commitment to the proposal and to agree to support the co-funding requirements of £3,311,560.

 

Following feedback from MHCLG following the future High Street Fund changes had been made to the scheme to make the bid more relevant to the Levelling Up Fund criteria and stronger overall.

 

Two elements were to be considered with the financial aspect being presented in Part II and the vote taken in Part I.

 

In response to a query, the Head of Communities & Place confirmed that the virtual “Town Hall” event held on 10th June had positive feedback from traders.

 

It was moved by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor Bushby and –

 

Resolved:

 

That Members:

  • In consideration of the costs and risks associated with the project highlighted in Appendix A (Part 2 )- financial sensitivity analysis which forecasts that investment costs of the project will be recoverable through returns approve;
    • That the Capital Programme be increased by £10.9 million covering the full cost of the scheme.
    • To underwrite the costs net of external grants of £3.3 million to fund the project and submit the bid to MHCLG.
    • That the funding requirement will take the form of external borrowing.
    • That the Council’s external borrowing limit be increased by £3.3million to £9.9million

 

 

(Vote: For 29, Against 0, Abstentions 1)

 

196.

Exclusion of Public

The Chair to move:

 

“That the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting because of the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972”

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Christie and –

 

Resolved:

 

That under Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act (as amended) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 and Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

(Vote: For – unanimous)

 

197.

PART II - (CLOSED SESSION)

 

Items which may be taken in the absence of the public and press on the grounds that exempt information may be disclosed.

 

198.

Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund - Financial Analysis

To receive a presentation from the Finance Manager (S151 Officer)

Minutes:

The Finance Manager (S151 Officer) delivered a presentation outlining the financial implications depending on the amount of funding granted.

 

A discussion took place with explanations given to Members following questions and concerns raised.

 

Further reports will be presented at Full Council.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Newton and -

 

Resolved:

 

That the press and public be readmitted.

 

(Vote: For – unanimous)

199.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any)

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

200.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

There were no notices of motion.