Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Full Council
Monday, 24th February, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber at County Hall, St Annes Crescent, Lewes

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

48.

Minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Council dated

25 September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 25 September 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair of the Council.

49.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were reported from Councillors Brett, Davis, Jones, Rutland and Saunders.

50.

Declarations of interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Maskell declared an personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 9(b) in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2020/21 and Council Tax Class C Discount, as a landlord..

51.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Council, Leader of the Council, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive. A list of the Chair of the Council's engagements since the previous meeting is enclosed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a list of the Chair of the Council’s engagements carried out between 26 September 2019 and 24 February 2020.

 

52.

Urgent items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

53.

Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To deal with questions which members of the public may wish to put to members of the Cabinet in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman read out a question from two local residents, Lin Heyworth and Rita Ellis directed at the Leader of the Council, a copy of which was tabled at the meeting. 

 

The question expressed concern that the St Anne’s site in Lewes adjacent to County Hall continued to lie unused and had been the subject of a resent arson attack.  It was asked if it was feasible for East Sussex County Council to come to an arrangement, financial or otherwise, in order to pass the site over to Lewes District Council for the development of much-needed social housing.

 

Councillor O’Brien (Cabinet member for planning and infrastructure) responded on behalf of the Leader.  She advised that she shared the frustration that the site had been vacant so long.  The land was in the ownership of East Sussex County Council and it was ultimately the County Council’s decision as to how any scheme progresses.  However, the District Council was happy to provide any support required from its planning, housing or development teams, in order to assist with the development of the site for housing or community benefit.

 

54.

Petitions

No petitions have been received for consideration under Council Procedure Rule 13.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions were considered for consideration.

 

55.

Council Budget and Setting of the Council Tax for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Report of Councillor Nicholson on behalf of the Cabinet.  Referred from Cabinet on 10 February 2020, incorporating the recommendations from the Cabinet reports on:

·         General Fund Revenue Budget 2020/21 and Capital Programme

·         Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revenue Budget and Rent Setting 2020/21 and HRA Capital Programme 2019-23

·         Treasury Management and Prudential Indicators 2020/21, Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy

 

A copy of a General Fund amendment received from Councillor Linington is attached.  Any further amendments received by the deadline of 6 pm on 23 February will be circulated.  

 

Please note that the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 requires named votes to be taken and recorded when setting the annual budget and council tax, this to include on the substantive motions and any amendments.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the Council Budget and Setting of the Council Tax report for 2020/21, including the Section 25 Statement of the Section 151 Officer (Chief Finance Officer), a General Fund Summary and the recommendations from the meeting of Cabinet held on 5 February 2020, in respect of the:  

  • General Fund Budget 2020/21 and Capital Programme
  • Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revenue Budget and Rent Setting 2020/21 and HRA Capital Programme 2019-23; and
  • Treasury Management and Prudential Indicators 2020/21, Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy

 

The recommendations 1 to 9 set out in the Chief Finance Officers’ report were moved by Councillor Nicholson and seconded by Councillor Carr. 

 

Councillor Linington moved and Councillor Burman seconded an amendment to recommendation 1 set out on the agenda papers: 

 

Amendment 1 - CLIFF (Coastal Loss Innovative Funding and Finance) Rapid Scoping Review   £10,000 – to join this project undertaken by Coastal Partnership East and Marsh to complete the work on considering potential finance or funding mechanisms to incentivise residents to relocate from high risk areas or provide financial protection to those that lose their homes. The first phase identified five potential financial options. The second phase will explore these in more detail and screen them for political sensitivity, financial viability, and social acceptability at different locations around the coast in England and Wales.”

 

Councillor Linington moved and Councillor Liz Boorman seconded a further amendment which had been circulated to Councillors: 

 

Amendment 2 - Wave Leisure Trust Ltd

£25,000 – to provide funding for one year towards two programmes that would otherwise be scaled back when Lewes District Funding ceases in April.  The first programme is the health and well-being rural outreach programme. The second is the youth activities in Newhaven including the activities that combat anti-social behaviour. The funding will be reviewed after six months.”

 

The Leader of the Council (Councillor Nicholson) presented her budget speech, and agreed to incorporate amendment 1 relating to the CLIFF Rapid Scoping Review in her budget recommendation.  As part of this speech she thanked the Chief Finance Officer and her team for the preparation of the budget.

 

Councillor Boorman spoke to Amendment 2 to recommendation 1 in relation to Wave Leisure Trust Ltd.  

 

The budget was debated by members from across the Council. 

 

Councillor Nicholson in summing up advised that she would not be supporting the amendment in relation to Wave Leisure Trust Ltd, as she had spoken to the Chief Executive of Wave Leisure Ltd that morning and understood the additional funding was not required. 

 

Amendment 2 (in relation to Wave Leisure Ltd) was put to a recorded vote (in accordance with statutory requirements) and declared lost by 16 votes to 20.  The recorded vote was as follows:

 

For the Motion: Councillors S Adeniji,  N Bikson, L Boorman, P Boorman,  R Burman, S Davy, L Duhigg, I Linington, J Lord, S Lord, R Maskell, J Miller, N Papanicolaou, J Peterson, K Rigden and I White. (16)

 

Against the Motion: Councillors G Amy, R Banks, M Bird,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Other matters referred from Cabinet or other Council Bodies.

The following matters are submitted to the Council for decision:-

Additional documents:

56a

Corporate Plan 2020-24 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Report of Director of Regeneration and Planning.   Referred from Cabinet on 10 February 2020. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Director of Regeneration and Planning and referral from the meeting of Cabinet held on 5 February 2020, in respect of the adoption of the Corporate Plan 2020-24.

 

Councillor Nicholson (Leader of the Council) moved and Councillor Clay seconded the recommendation to adopt the Corporate Plan, and thanked the public and all organisations who had contributed to the document.  Members from across the Council spoke to the contents of the plan, which set out the administration’s priorities. 

 

Among the points made in the discussion it was suggested that the reference to ‘loos’ in the document was replaced by ‘toilets’ and that ‘customers’ should instead be called ‘residents’.  Councillor Nicholson indicated that she was content to incorporate the change in relation to use of the word ‘toilets’ in her recommendation, and to have a wider conversation on the best terminology for future documents in terms of customers, residents and service users, all of which are widely used.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED: To adopt the new Corporate Plan 2020-24 attached at Appendix 2 to the Council Report, subject to the amendment to use the word ‘toilets’ as agreed above.

56b

Making the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of Councillor O’Brien on behalf of the Cabinet.Referred from Cabinet on 10 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the referral from the meeting of Cabinet held on 5 February 2020, in respect of the adoption of the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor O’Brien moved and Councillor Adeniji seconded the recommendation to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan, which had been three and a half years in the making. 

 

The recommendation was put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED: To formally adopt the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan as part of the Statutory Development Plan for the District.

56c

Adoption of the Lewes District Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report of Councillor O’Brien on behalf of Cabinet.   Referred from Cabinet on 20 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the referral report from the meeting of Cabinet held on 5 February 2020.  Councillor O’Brien moved and Councillor Robinson seconded the recommendations for the Adoption of the Lewes District Local Plan Part 2:  Site Allocations and Development Management Policies.  The delegation under recommendation 4) to make minor amendments included changes to reflect the adoption of the Seaford Neighbourhood Plan above.

 

One Councillor indicated that he could not vote for the plan due to the inclusion of one of the sites.  It was recognised that at this stage of the plan development, it could either be adopted or rejected not amended.  Overall, it was agreed that it was essential that the Council had a local plan in place, even if imperfect.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure encouraged Councillors to contribute instead to the development of the next plan, a process which was just beginning. 

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    To amend the Lewes District Local Plan Part 2, to incorporate the main modifications set out in the Examination Inspector’s report, and adopt it as part of the statutory development plan for the district in accordance with Section 23 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Regulation 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012;

2)    To publish the Lewes District Local Plan Part 2, together with the relevant adoption statements, Policies Map, and Sustainability Appraisal in accordance with Regulations 26 and 35 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)(England) Regulations 2012; and

3)    To authorise the Director of Regeneration and Planning to agree any minor editorial corrections identified prior to publication of the adopted Lewes District Local Plan Part 2.

57.

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2020/21 and Council Tax Class C Discount pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Director of Service Delivery.   Recommendation from the meeting of Cabinet on 28 October 2019.    Appendix 1 is circulated as a separate document.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Director of Service Delivery and referral from the meeting of Cabinet held on 23 October 2019.  The recommendations set out in the report were moved by Councillor Nicholson and seconded by Councillor Collier, and in addition it was moved that the recommendations be considered and voted upon in one block.

 

Members discussed the report.  Councillor Linington advised that the opposition could support the first recommendation for the adoption of the scheme itself, but could not support the changes to end the discount for empty or unfurnished properties or to provide relief as part of a pilot for those who are self-employed on low incomes.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That 2019/20 Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is adopted as the 2020/21 scheme;

2)    That the Council Tax Class C Discount for empty and unfurnished properties is ended from 1 April 2020;

3)    To establish a pilot scheme during 2020/21 to provide additional relief to the self employed on very low income;

4)    To delegate to the Director of Service Delivery authority to end the Council Tax Class C Discount from 1 April 2020; and

5)    To delegate to the Director of Service Delivery to establish a pilot scheme in 2020/21 to provide additional relief to the self-employed on a very low income.

58.

Appointment of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Assistant Director – Legal and Democratic Services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Assistant Director – Legal and Democratic Services on the appointment of a Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for Lewes District Council.

 

The recommendation set out in the report was moved by Councillor MacCleary and seconded by Councillor Denis.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED - That Ian Fitzpatrick, Deputy Chief Executive, be appointed as the Returning Officer for District, Town and Parish elections, and for polls and referendums within the Lewes District, The Acting Returning Officer for UK Parliamentary Elections and Referendums and the Electoral Registration Officer for the Lewes District.

59.

Governance Review Report pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of the Assistant Director – Corporate Governance and Assistant Director – Legal and Democratic Services (Monitoring Officer).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Monitoring Officer and Assistant Director – Corporate Governance, setting out proposals arising from a cross-party governance working party for a change to the governance structure and changes to debating rules in respect of motions.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were moved by Councillor Banks and seconded by Councillor O’Keeffe.   Councillors from across the Council spoke to the report, and thanks were extended to officers and members who had contributed to the review.   It was recognised that the changes would be subject to a further review after 12 months of implementation.

 

The recommendations were put to the vote and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED

1)    That Council approves the deletion of the Scrutiny Committee and the creation of a new Policy and Performance Advisory Committee as summarised in paragraphs 4.2 to 4.4 of the Council Report and in accordance with the articles, procedure rules and membership set out in Appendices 4, 5 and 6 to the Council Report;

2)    That Council approves the definitions for scrutiny call-in of Cabinet decisions as set out in paragraph 16.4 of the proposed Policy and Performance Advisory Committee procedure rules in Appendix 5 to the Council Report;

3)    That Council approves the adoption of revised debating rules in respect of motions as summarised in paragraph 5.6 and set out in Appendix 7 to the Council Report;

4)    That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make the necessary substantive changes along with any other technical changes to the Constitution in order to give effect to the above decisions; and

5)    That the democratic governance changes agreed above all come into force from the start of the 2020/21 municipal year (May 2020) and be reviewed after a full municipal year in operation.

60.

Calendar of Meetings 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To agree the proposed Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21. 

 

This includes amendments to the date of Annual Council to be 18 May 2020, and to the date of the first Cabinet of the new municipal year to be 11 June 2020.

 

Please note: The Council dates will be subject to final approval at the annual meeting of the Council, in accordance with legislation.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Miller moved and Councillor J Lord seconded approval of the calendar of meetings for 2020/21.  It was noted that in accordance with legislation, the final approval would take place at the annual meeting of Council. 

 

RESOLVED - That the Council agrees the proposed Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21.

61.

Urgent decisions taken by the Cabinet, Cabinet members or Officers

In accordance with Scrutiny Procedure Rule 17, to receive details of any urgent decisions taken by the Cabinet, Cabinet members or Officers since the previous meeting.

 

Additional documents:

61a

IT Provisions Decision Notice - Urgent decision taken by the Leader (18 December 2019) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted the urgent decision made since the last meeting by the Leader on 18 December 2019 in respect of IT Provisions.

 

61b

Newhaven Neighbourhood Plan Decision Notice - Urgent decision taken by the Deputy Chief Executive (27 November) pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted the urgent decision made since the last meeting by the Deputy Chief Executive on 27 November to adopt the Newhaven Neighbourhood Plan.

 

62.

Notices of motion. pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider notice of motion which has been received from Councillor Davy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council reported that one notice of motion had been submitted under Council Procedure Rule 14, by Councillor Davy for ‘A Local Town Connection Policy’. 

 

Councillor Davy introduced the motion, and Councillor Davy moved and Councillor Burman seconded that:

 

“I call upon Full Council to incorporate in the forthcoming Housing Allocation Policy Review a Local Connection criteria for towns, so far as is lawfully possible”.

 

Councillor Meyer, Cabinet member for housing, advised that officers had indicated that they were comfortable to consider what further amendments could be lawfully made to local connection criteria as part of a wider review of the Allocations Policy, which was due to take place shortly and would be reported to Cabinet. 

 

The motion was put to the vote and declared carried (RESOLVED).

63.

Written questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To deal with written questions which Councillors may wish to put to the Chair of the Council, a Lead Councillor on the Cabinet or the Chair of any Committee or Sub-Committee in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12 (if any).  The deadline for receipt of questions is 5 pm on 18 February 2020.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Banks had submitted a written question to Councillor Carr (Cabinet member for recycling, waste and open space) under Council Procedure Rule 12 as follows:

 

"West Sussex County Council's recent restriction on West Sussex residents only being able to use the Burgess Hill Household Waste and Recycling Site has led to East Sussex residents living near to the county border having to make longer car journeys to use East Sussex waste and recycling sites - both bad news for the environment and inconveniencing residents. What steps can the District Council take to persuade East Sussex County Council to negotiate a similar arrangement to that made by West Sussex and Surrey County Councils regarding the East Grinstead site?"

 

Councillor Carr thanked Councillor Banks for the question.  She advised that officers had raised the matter with colleagues in the waste management at East Sussex Council and received the following response:

 

‘Officers from East Sussex County Council are due to meet their West Sussex counterparts next month (March 2020) to discuss the issue of cross border Household Waste Site activity.   

 

In East Sussex, we have broadly operated our Household Waste Recycling Sites on the principle that residents – when seeking to use Household Waste Sites – sometimes do not recognise ‘formal’ district, borough and County borders and will therefore use the site most convenient to them. We know that we do accept waste that has travelled ‘in’ to East Sussex but also that waste travels ‘out’ of the County.

 

We always signpost people to sites within East Sussex and of course do not direct people outside of the County. However, whilst we do not – and are not currently planning to – carry out residency checks at our sites, we understand that it is completely within the gift of other authorities to introduce their own checks as is the case with West Sussex.

 

We are aware that this means, if sites outside of the County are unavailable, residents may have further to travel to a Household Waste Site (which we appreciate is less than ideal from an environmental point of view) but we are satisfied that our network of 10 household sites provides a very good standard of service provision.’

 

Councillor Carr agreed to write to East Sussex County Council to formally request that the County Council asks West Sussex County Council to review the access arrangements to the Burgess Hill Household Waste and Recycling Site at the meeting in March to allow East Sussex residents living in the vicinity to continue to use that facility.  Councillor Carr would circulate any response to all Councillors.

64.

Questions to the Leader of the Council

To deal with questions (if any) which Councillors may wish to put to the Leader of the Council.  It will be at the Leader’s discretion to re-direct questions to relevant Members of the Cabinet. A Councillor wishing to raise a question must notify the Chair of the Council of the text of the question prior to the commencement of the meeting.

 

(NB - This item is limited to a maximum of 5 questions, with no more than 1 question being asked per Councillor. If a question requires a detailed or technical response, the Leader may decide that a written response is more appropriate).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following questions were put to the Leader of the Council and answered by the Leader or relevant Cabinet Member:

 

Questioner

Question

1.    Councillor Macleod

I am delighted that we are so committed to doing things in a timely and proper manner. Previous consultations with taxi and private hire drivers have sometimes led to confusion.  Can we commit to people within our community especially those in the Taxi/private hire trade that we will improve our communication as for years they feel they have been massively let down?

 

Response

Councillor Denis responded that the question was really valuable as he had received lots of correspondence on this, and had been concerned that some of the recent consultations had been misunderstood. He committed to ensuring that future consultations were much clearer and included supporting information, such as frequently asked questions.  He would encourage other Cabinet members to do similarly.  

2.    Councillor Manley

Following a recent meeting with officers, Councillor Carr and A27 Clean Up Campaign, I am glad that this Council will be putting pressure on central government and Highways England to transfer the responsibility of A27 cleaning. Meanwhile we are thankful to the waste teams who have some litter picks planned for areas they can safely access. Does the Leader have any further feedback from the Department for Transport minister or Highways England?

 

Response

Councillor Nicholson advised that the Council was in dialogue with Highways England on this issue and making progress due to it being raised last year by Councillor Linington.  Councillor Carr responded that the Council had not received a further response from the minister, but would chase this.  In the interim, the Council was taking the lead on the A27 Clean Up Campaign, working with all the relevant local authorities. Thanks were extended to the Council’s waste team who had taken the opportunity of any road closures to carry out litter picking on stretches of the A27, often at night and in the rain.  In addition, she had asked for a review of the restrictions on some of the paths leading down to the A27, to see if they could also be cleaned.

 

 

65.

Ward issues

To deal with ward issues which councillors wish to raise (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

66.

Reporting back on meetings of outside bodies pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To receive any reports from the Council's representatives who serve on outside bodies in respect of meetings they have attended.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted written reports from Councillors in respect of meetings they had attended of outside bodies to which they have been appointed as Council representatives.