Agenda and minutes

South Hams Executive
Thursday, 6th June, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Repton Room - Follaton House. View directions

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

to approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 14 March 2019;


The minutes of the Executive meeting held on 14 March 2019 were confirmed as a true and correct record and signed off by the Chairman.




Urgent Business

brought forward at the discretion of the Chairman;


The Chairman advised that she had exercised her discretion to allow for one item of urgent business to be considered at this meeting that related to the recent IT connectivity issues. 


The Chief Executive apologised to Members for the recent problems that they had experienced with the connectivity of their IT devices.  The cause did not relate to the devices themselves, but a problem that affected the whole Council, including officers.  The Deputy Chief Executive added that the problem had taken longer to rectify as the European Elections and the closure of accounts both had to take place before any updates were applied to the system.  A report setting out more detail would be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel at its meeting on 13 June 2019.




Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;


Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of this meeting and the following were made:


Cllr N A Hopwood declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in Item 9:  ‘Devon Wide Housing Assistance Policy’ (Minute E.08/19 below refers), and she left the meeting for the duration of this item.



Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 6 KB

a period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with questions submitted to the Council in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules;


It was noted that the following public questions had been received in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules, for consideration at this meeting.  The responses are shown in italics.  Supplementary questions were asked as shown.


Cllr Pearce responded to each of the following questions:


Question 1 from John Cummings:

 “Will SHDC ensure that its Executive members and other councillors are trained and briefed about the IPCC and IPBES reports and that they obtain the knowledge required to engage in informed debate on climate change and biodiversity loss?”



The Climate Change report going to the Executive on June 6, 2019 includes a recommendation to the Executive for the convening of an all Member Workshop to help scope the challenges, set the priorities and inform the content of the draft Action Plan.  The workshop will include briefing and training for Members and will involve external experts(s).


Supplementary question:

“Will the Council consider taking up offers to talk to councillors about climate change which have already been made, such as that from David Ramsden OBE, Founder of the Barn Owl Trust?”



Cross Panel experts will be identified through work likely to be led by Exeter University and organised by Devon County Council.



Question 2 from Gill Coombs:

“Does the Council have, or is it planning, a procurement policy to buy locally whenever possible? This would not only support local businesses and the local economy, but would avoid the carbon footprint of long distance transportation.”



The Council procures products and services through a range of methods including frameworks at present and are bound to a degree by financial and legislative rules and laws.

There are discussions underway with Plymouth City Council, one of our Joint Local Plan partners, to develop a procurement policy to support local business and reduce carbon. Procurement will form part of the Action Plan recommended in the Climate Change Report.


Supplementary Question:

Does the Council agree that, given the emergency, financial considerations are less important and Climate Change will be given priority?



In recommending to full Council that a Climate Change Emergency is declared, the importance of responding to the challenges of climate change is recognised.  The Council has a duty to manage a range of conflicting priorities whilst delivering key services to the community and setting a balanced budget.  The proposed Action Plan will look at the costs and potential economic benefits of meeting the climate change challenge.



Question 3 From Trudy Turrell:

“Now Plymouth City Council, Devon County Council and soon West Devon Borough Council, have declared a Climate Emergency with a 2030 date, the South and West Devon Joint Local Plan becomes conflicting and unworkable. Will the JLP be reviewed and rewritten to comply and achieve the zero carbon target?”



The Joint Local Plan (JLP) sets, in Policy DEV32, a carbon reduction target in line with formal Government policy / targets that is to be achieved through effective implementation of its policies.

Officers are currently preparing the JLP Supplementary Planning  ...  view the full minutes text for item E.4/19


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 107 KB


Members were presented with the Executive Forward Plan setting out items on the agenda for Executive meetings for the next four months and noted its content without any comment. 



Climate Change pdf icon PDF 79 KB


Members were presented with a report that outlined recent developments with regard to climate change and set out proposals to investigate how the council could further reduce its carbon footprint in response to the IPCC report and the declaration of a ‘Climate Change Emergency’.


The Leader introduced the report and, as part of her introduction, updated the Members following her attendance at the Devon Districts Forum and Devon Local Government Steering Group meetings held on 31 May 2019.  In so doing, she advised that Teignbridge District Council had now started to commission scoping work for a district council and this Council had agreed to share the costs with them as this would be a sensible way of moving forward. 


The Leader concluded by stating that the intention was to take an informed and evidence based approach working with partners and the public.


During discussion, points raised included the following:


·           How to work with local town and parish councils.  The Leader responded that this could be addressed as part of the scoping work;

·           How to address biodiversity and habitat loss as part of the Action Plan.  The Leader responded that this should be raised in the Member workshop;

·           Whether the workshop invitation could be extended to staff and tenants, and whether steps could be taken to make Follaton plastic free.  The Lead Member for Customer Satisfaction responded that the Waste Working Group had undertaken work on the use of plastics and an update would be sought;

·           That work had been done by other agencies that could support some of the initiatives being discussed such as DCC who had produced an Action Plan on what they could do about plastics and the work of Devon Pensions on assessing their carbon footprint;

·           Whether it would be possible to host a forum on the Council website to enable residents to share their ideas and experiences.


Members supported the report and thanked the Leader for the work undertaken to produce the report in a short space of time.  The Leader asked that thanks be noted to the Specialists Manager who had written the report.


It was then:




That the Executive RECOMMEND to Council that:


1.   The Council declares a Climate Change Emergency;


2.    An Action Plan be developed that outlines how the Council will address the Emergency, and meet or exceed the targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including an assessment of the viability of a 2030 target, to be brought to Council for approval within 6 months;


3. The Council commits to collaborating with Devon County Council, all the Devon District Councils, Plymouth City Council and other agencies, to address the Emergency;


4. The Action Plan identifies key performance indicators measured against any relevant national standards;



That the Executive RESOLVES to:


5. approve the convening of an all Member Workshop to help scope the challenges, set the priorities and inform the content of the draft Action Plan; and


6.  delegate authority to the Head of Paid Service, in conjunction  ...  view the full minutes text for item E.6/19


Customer Satisfaction Action Plan Progress pdf icon PDF 69 KB


The Executive was presented with a report that detailed progress made since March 2019 on improving customer satisfaction and also included recommended next steps to continue to improve the customer experience by further honing the Council website, to pre-empt customer needs and manage expectations.


The Lead Member for Customer Satisfaction introduced the report, and gave an example of service improvements.  She also asked that an additional recommendation be included, that the Action Plan Progress report be presented to Executive on a quarterly basis, rather than monthly.


It was then:




1.   The progress made to date in improving customer satisfaction as detailed in section 3 of the report be noted;

2.   The next steps as outlined in section 5 of the report be supported; and

3.   That future progress reports be presented on a quarterly basis.




Devon Wide Housing Assistance Policy pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:


Members were presented with a report that provided an outline of proposals to change the existing policy to better utilise the budget with more flexible assistance packages that will be available to a greater number of vulnerable residents.


The Lead Member for Wellbeing introduced the report, and the Senior Specialist Environmental Health responded to questions.


It was then:




That Council be RECOMMENDED that the existing 2018-19 Homes Assistance Policy be updated with the revised 2019-21 Devon Housing Assistance Policy.





Granting of long leases in Dartmouth, Salcombe and Kingsbridge pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:


Members were presented with a report that set out the details of three new long leases that were proposed for a term greater than 15 years.


The Lead Member for Assets introduced the report.


It was then:




1.   That the granting of three long leases be approved, to formalise the historic use of an area in Dartmouth and to support the commemoration of 150 years of the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Lifeboat; and

2.   That final agreement of the Heads of Terms be delegated to the Head of Assets Practice in consultation with the Lead Member for Assets.