Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Full Council
Wednesday, 25th September, 2019 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

32.

Minutes of the meeting held on 15 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Council dated 15 July 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 July 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair of the Council.

33.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were reported from Councillors Adeniji, Papanicolaou and Robinson.

34.

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:

The Chair of the Council advised that the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services has confirmed that Councillors need not declare if their sole interest related to them being a patient at one of the Seaford Surgeries.

 

Councillor Saunders declared a personal and prejudicial interest as a Council-appointed trustee of Wave Leisure under Agenda Item 8, Petition from Downs Development Neighbourhood Voice, but remained in the room but did not speak or vote under Paragraph 12 (3) of the Code of Conduct.

35.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 146 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 15 July 2019 and 25 September 2019.

36.

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.

37.

Questions from members of the public

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:

There were no questions from members of the public.

38.

Urgent decisions taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet members

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent decisions to report.

39.

Discussion of Petition from Downs Development Neighbourhood Voice pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To discuss the petition Petition to stop the Development on the Downs Leisure Centre site. Save our Recreation Grounds, keep Doctors in Seaford Town’ presented by Downs Development Neighbourhood Voice at the last Full Council meeting in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.  The petition statement is attached as an appendix.   

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that at the last meeting a petition had been presented by Downs Development Neighbourhood Voice (DDNV) containing over 1,500 signatures and therefore referred to this meeting for discussion, and set out the procedure for the meeting.

 

Karen Hall representing DDNV spoke first to advise that the petition ‘Save our Recreation Grounds and Keep Doctors in Seaford’ had now received 4,294 signatures.  She outlined the petitioners’ principle objections to the proposals for a single health hub outside the town centre, whilst wishing for the best possible health care in Seaford, in addition to those set out in the petition statement, these included:

 

·         Concern as to the loss of access to free outdoor sports and recreation space, where there was already a shortfall, and where such access equated to good health equality and outcomes;

·         Concern as to the impact on cafes and other businesses in the town centre from loss of footfall;

·         Concern as to the impact on the local economy of town's largest employer being moved away from the town centre;

·         Concern as to traffic congestion, pollution and parking issues around the Downs site;

·         Concern as to loss of green space as a community asset; and

·         Concern as to the impacts on environment and residents' health.

 

Dr Daniel Elliot (representing the GP practices and CCG) and Duncan Kerr of Wave Leisure, had been invited by the Chair to provide an alternative view to aid Councillors’ discussions, and addressed the Council.  Dr Elliot advised on why GPs and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) felt that the development was essential to meeting the health care needs of residents of Seaford today and in the future.  It was intended that the co-location of GPs alongside other services would enable a shared approach to health and wellbeing in line with national policy, would offer the space and facilities for extended hours, additional services, and recruitment and retention of clinical staff, which were unable to be provided at the current locations.  He expressed his concern as to the shape of general practice in Seaford in the future if this did not proceed. Duncan Kerr emphasised the benefits of co-location of GP practices with leisure and other services, to enable effective treatment through participation, peer support for those with similar conditions, preventative care, rehabilitation, and the ability to improve health outcomes and enable people to live healthier lives.

 

Councillor Brett, as Vice-Chair of the Scrutiny Panel set up to investigate the matter, advised that the panel had met 4 times and had interviewed a wide range of interested individuals and groups, and a copy of the remit of the Panel was tabled at the meeting.  It was anticipated that the Panel would next meet in mid-October, with a view to its final report being reported to Scrutiny Committee for consideration on 28 November 2019, and referred on to Cabinet for a decision on 2 December 2019.

 

Councillors then discussed the matter and made the following points:

-       All the contributions from the speakers were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Amended Code of Conduct for Members pdf icon PDF 33 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer and recommendation from the Audit and Standards Committee on 16 July 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Peterson, Chair of the Audit and Standards Committee, moved the recommendations of the report for the adoption of the amended Members Code of Conduct and this was seconded by Councillor Burman.

 

Councillor Peterson commended the amendments to the Council, and recommended that any Councillors who were also Parish or Town Councillors to urge their local councils to in turn adopt these changes.

 

RESOLVED

(1)  That Council adopts the amended Code of Conduct for Members, set out at report Appendix 3; and

(2)  That the Council authorises the Monitoring Officer to make the amended Code of Council available to all Town and Parish Councils in the Lewes district, with a view to those Councils adopting it for consistency.

41.

Financial Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Finance Officer and recommendation from the Audit and Standards Committee on 16 July 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Peterson, Chair of the Audit and Standards Committee, moved the recommendations of the report for the approval of the updated Financial Procedure Rules, as part of the Council’s Constitution and this was seconded by Councillor Burman.

 

Councillor Peterson commended the amended rules, which had received a good level of challenge at the Audit and Standards Committee.  Councillor Nicholson welcomed Appendix 1, which outlined the key changes to the document in a concise and clear way.

 

RESOLVED – That the Council approves the Financial Procedure Rules attached as Appendix 2 to the report, for inclusion as part 4 of the Council’s Constitution.

42.

Treasury Management Report - Referral from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To consider the recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 16 September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Nicholson, Leader of the Council, moved the recommendation referred from Cabinet to agree the Annual Treasury Report for 2018/19 and approve Prudential and Treasury Indicators, and this was seconded by Councillor Peterson.

 

Councillor Peterson and Councillor Gauntlett commended to the Council the excellent training session held with the Council’s Treasury Managers, Arlingclose, and encouraged all members to attend any future sessions.

 

RESOLVED –To agree the Annual Treasury Report for 2018/19 and approve the 2018/19 Prudential and Treasury Indicators included in the report (and attached as Appendix 1 to the referral report).

43.

Notices of motion.

In accordance with council procedure rule 14, the following notices of the motion have been received for the consideration of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council reported that three notices of motion had been submitted under Council Procedure Rule 14. 

43a

Motion 1 - Local Authority Mental Health Challenge (Cllr Macleod) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Macleod motion and Councillor Collier seconded: -

 

We call on the Council to sign the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge and we call of the Council:

1.    To commit to appointing an elected member as “Mental Health Champion”.

  • The Member Champion will advocate for mental health issues in council meetings and policy development and will reach out to the local community to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge stigma.
  • The Member Champion will listen to people with personal experience of mental health and get their perspective on local needs and priorities.
  • The Member Champion will scrutinise areas that have an impact on people's mental health such as Housing needs, developments and other areas.
  • The Member Champion will look at fostering local partnerships between agencies to support people with mental health problems more effectively.
  • The Member Champion will identify at least one priority each year for focused work.
  • The Member Champion will respond to occasional requests from the challenge coordinator for updates on activities undertaken in the role of member champion.
  • The Member Champion will have access to advice and support from the mental health challenge national partners, access to resources on the challenge website, and an annual meeting with other member champions to share information, experience and ideas.

2.    We will also seek to identify a current member of staff within the council to act as a lead officer for mental health:

  • Advising the member Champion on current issues and priorities
  • Supporting implementation of strategies initiated by the member champion.
  • Raising awareness within the council’s staff about mental health issues.
  • Seeking external support for activities led by the council to promote mental health and wellbeing.
  • Providing information to the member champion to support their work
  • Liaising with mental health challenge national partners to secure information and advice.
  • The lead officer will also have access to the benefits described above for member champions.

3.    The council will also look to support positive mental health in our community, including in local schools, neighbourhoods and in all other areas of our community.

 

4.    We will work with local partners to offer effective support for people with mental health needs, we will also work to tackle discrimination on the grounds of mental health in our local community and to proactively listen to people of all ages and backgrounds about what they need for better mental health.”

 

Councillor Collier, as the relevant portfolio holder, welcomed the proposals and suggested that as a similar motion had been passed by Eastbourne Board Council on 10th July and Phil Evans, Director of Tourism and Enterprise, had been appointed as the staff Mental Health Champion, he should be the nominated staff champion for Lewes District Council as well.

 

In relation to the appointment of Member Mental Health Champion, Councillor Collier recommended that Councillor Macleod be the Member Champion, but he committed to support both post holders in their roles.

 

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

43b

Motion 2 - Speaking at Planning Applications Committee (Cllr Davy) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Davy (as Chair of Planning Applications Committee) moved and Councillor Saunders seconded that:

 

“I call upon Full Council:

 

To amend Part 10, Public Speaking at Planning Applications Committee, Procedure at meetings in our Constitution as follows:

 

“If a Member of the Committee is also a Local Ward Member, wishes to speak against, or in support, of an application in that capacity and has registered to speak, then they are allowed to withdraw from the meetings proceedings for that item only and speak for 5 minutes on that particular item.  In this event, they would not take part in the debate nor have a vote on the determination of the application on which they spoke. Having spoken, they would be required to leave the room.

 

They then may return to the Committee to determine the remaining items.”

 

It was noted Councillors had been able to do this in the past with the permission of the Chair, but this would regularise the procedure and had the support of the Head of Planning.

 

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

43c

Motion 3 - Waste and Recycling Facilities - (Cllr L Boorman) pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Liz Boorman moved and Councillor Burman seconded that:

 

“I call upon Full Council to request: that officers carry out a thorough review of the waste and recycling facilities at all blocks of flats across Lewes District and rectify the balance between waste and recycling bins, where needed, and that this is completed within the next 6 months.”

 

Councillor Carr moved and Councillor Manley seconded an amendment to the motion to read:

 

“I call upon Full Council to request that officers carry out a thorough review of the waste and recycling facilities at all Lewes District Council-owned blocks of flats across the District and rectify the balance between waste and recycling bins, where needed, and that this is completed within the next 6 months.  The Council will then take stock and consider extending the review to all blocks of flats in the District.”

 

The Council debated the motion and noted that the Council’s rules permitted a proposed minor modification to be made to Councillor Carr’s amendment, at the sole discretion of Councillor Carr.

 

The meeting was adjourned for a period of 5 minutes at 7.35 pm to allow for an agreement on the form of words.

 

On resumption of the meeting Cllr Carr indicated that she was prepared to make a minor modification to her amendment so that it read:

 

“I call upon Full Council to request that officers carry out a thorough review of the waste and recycling facilities at all Lewes District Council-owned blocks of flats across the District and rectify the balance between waste and recycling bins, where needed, and that this is completed within the next 6 months.  The Council will then take stock and will extend the review to all blocks with the District, to within 12 months in total.

 

Councillor Liz Boorman and Councillor Burman agreed to accept the motion as amended.

 

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

44.

Written questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 41 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).  Those received by the deadline of 19 September 2019 will be circulated separately.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Brett had submitted a written question to the Leader under Council Procedure Rule 12 as follows:

 

I have had residents contact me to ask what the District Council will do after Brexit, should trucks be turned away at Newhaven Port and park up in the wider residential roads of Seaford and / or on the Esplanade whilst they await the correct paperwork. In particular:

 

·         Whatwill LDC do to ensure the drivers’ sanitation needs are met?

·         Can we please have a public phone number made available for residents to ring if this situation happens in their neighbourhood?

People are especially concerned if these situations occur at weekends or at night.“

 

Councillor Nicholson thanked Councillor Brett for the question, and advised this was an issue that could affect the whole district, including Seaford and Newhaven, and advised that the Cabinet had agreed to write to the Department of Transport on the issue, and invited Councillor MacCleary to provide additional details. Councillor MacCleary advised that the information received from the Government to date was that it was going to be fine but that was insufficient to give confidence, and as a result the Cabinet was seeking reassurance, and to enable the Council to show that it has taken every step possible should the port struggle.  This would include dealing with health and safety issues from drivers parking if there was an overflow from the port.  In the first instance, residents should raise concerns with the neighbourhood first team. The Council would call in additional support if required.

 

Councillor Brett asked a supplementary question, asking if Neighbourhood First had an emergency and out-of-hours number should it be required.

 

Councillor Nicholson confirmed that one would be made available if required.

45.

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 the relevant Portfolio Holder.

 

Questioner

 

Question

1.    Councillor Liz Boorman

When can Full Council expect to receive reports from Councillors on outside bodies, as there are none at Agenda Item 16? 

 

Response

Councillor Nicholson thanked Councillor Boorman for raising the matter, and confirmed that she would ensure administration councillors brought appropriate updates to the next meeting or in the interim if needed, and invited opposition members to do so as well.

2.    Councillor Miller

Does the Leader of the Council welcome Maria Caulfield MP’s work in lobbying the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick for the award of £25m pounds funding from the Towns Fund to Newhaven?

 

Response

Councillor MacCleary advised that the fund, if received, would build on the hard work that officers had done with the future high streets fund.  He had received clarification from the secretary of state that the fund was not automatic, but required a bidding process.  Once this process was open, officers would put forward a full funding proposal and he would report back in due course.

3.    Councillor Phil Boorman

Will the Leader of the Council congratulate the previous Conservative Leader over the past eight years on over doubling recycling rates from 19% to 43% as at July, and what does the coalition plan to do to increase recycling?

 

Response

Councillor Nicolson responded that she had already commented on the achievements of the previous administration in getting from 20% to 43% which was amazing, but the Council was not yet in the top quartile in the country.  On the forward plan there was a paper due to come to Cabinet which would look to improve recycling rates to much higher levels. 

4.    Councillor Burman

Would the Leader explain to the Council and residents the basis on which the co-operative alliance was founded as of course each element was elected on separate and differing manifestos and I believe our residents are entitled to be shown the documents of their agreement and the platform and policies on which they are agreed, as was promised when the administration took over control of the Council?

 

Response

Councillor Nicholson welcomed the interest of residents, and confirmed that they were working together on the Corporate Plan which would enshrine the work to be taken forward over the next 4 years, and residents and members would be consulted on it in due course.

 

46.

Ward issues

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No ward issues were notified to be raised at the meeting.

47.

Reporting back on meetings of outside bodies

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No Councillors had asked to report back on meetings of outside bodies.

 

Councillor Saunders advised that he had hoped to bring a report at this meeting on his role as a Trustee of Wave Leisure, but there were a number of issues that were currently commercially sensitive, and therefore he hoped to be in a position to report at the next meeting.