Agenda and draft minutes

South Hams Council
Thursday, 21st February, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Follaton House. View directions

Contact: Email: Member.Services@swdevon.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

50/18

Minutes pdf icon PDF 168 KB

to approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 6 December 2018;

Minutes:

50/18              

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 6 December 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

51/18

Business Brought Forward by the Chairman

to consider business (if any) brought forward by the Chairman;

Minutes:

51/18 

The Chairman made the following announcements:

 

1.     Civic Service

 

The Chairman wished to thank Members for their support at his Civic Carol Service on Sunday, 16 December 2018.

 

2.     Special Council Meeting – 21 March 2019

 

By way of a reminder, the Chairman advised that he had agreed that an additional Special Council meeting should be arranged to be held on Thursday, 21 March 2019 at 2.00pm.

 

 

52/18

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;

Minutes:

52/18

 

Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting.

 

Cllrs K Pringle, P C Smerdon and R J Vint each declared a personal interest in agenda item 7: ‘2019/20 Revenue Budget Proposals’ (Minute 53/18 below refers) specifically in relation to the funding recommendations to the South Hams Community and Voluntary Service (CVS).  Cllr Pringle declared her interest by being a Council appointed representative of the South Hams CVS.  Cllr Smerdon declared his interest by virtue of being a Council appointed representative and trustee of the South Hams CVS.  Cllr Vint declared his interest by virtue of having recently donated some monies from his Member Locality Fund to the South Hams CVS.  All three Members remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and vote thereon;

 

Cllrs D Brown and J P Green declared a Personal Interest in Items 7: ‘2019/20 Revenue Budget Proposals’ (specifically in relation to the funding recommendations to the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)) and 13: ‘South Devon AONB Management Plan Review 2019/24 Final Draft’ (Minutes 53/18 and 59/18 below refers) by virtue of being the Council’s two appointed representatives on the AONB Partnership Committee.  Both Members remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and vote on these agenda items;

 

53/18

2019/20 Revenue Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

53/18              

Consideration was given to a report that detailed the formal proposals of the Executive to achieve a balanced Budget for 2019/20.

 

In discussion, reference was made to:-

 

(a)   an alternative set of Revenue Budget Proposals.  In accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules, the Chairman informed that an alternative set of Revenue Budget Proposals had been submitted three working days in advance of this Council meeting.  At this point, the proposals were MOVED and SECONDED as follows:-

 

1.     Following the outsourcing of rubbish collection and other commercial services, re-organise the Senior Leadership Team (saving £200,000);

2.     Use internal borrowings (up to £3 million) to fund the leisure investment/waste expenditure rather than Public Works Loan Board (saving £53,300);

3.     Cease funding the Local Enterprise Partnership (saving £5,000);

4.     Reduce car parking charges in our market town centres by 10% (costing £175,000) with a target to reduce charges by 50% by 2022/23;

5.     Stop the introduction of Pay On Entry for public toilets (costing £36,000) for 2019/20;

6.     Cancel cuts to the South Hams CVS and the South Devon AONB unit (costing £22,300);

7.     Employ a dedicated officer to monitor Environmental Mitigation Measures (£30,000);

8.     Start the immediate and systematic transfer of assets (including car parks) but not liabilities (public toilets) to the relevant Town or Parish Council.  (These can then be leased back to SHDC at a Peppercorn Rent);

9.     Set up a wholly owned housing company to act as a vehicle to deliver genuinely affordable and social housing for young working families and reduce the housing waiting list that currently stands at over 1,600;

10.  Accelerate the investment from Reserves (including Section 106 Monies) in incubator and start-up business units and the delivery of genuinely affordable housing based on the average local wage;

11.  Work with Devon County Council and other Devon District Councils to harmonise rubbish collection and car parking enforcement (on and off-street);

12.  Lobby Central Government for local councils to charge up to 200% or more Council Tax on Second and Holiday Homes.  And continue to call for an end to the business rates loophole for domestic properties.  If these changes were implemented, this would raise in the region of £1 million for the District Council.  These extra funds would be used to reduce car parking charges in our market towns and invest in social housing;

13.  Direct commercial investment into town centres so as to secure their future in the face on on-line shopping;

14.  Take urgent steps to identify opportunities for the expenditure of £1,671,000 of the Community Housing Fund on affordable social housing projects and report to Members within two months.

 

This is a dynamic, vibrant and strategic budget for the medium and long term. It supports our local businesses, market towns and the tourism industry. It will help to unlock the potential of our young entrepreneurs and creative talents in order to drive economic growth in the South Hams and build genuinely affordable housing for young working families.’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53/18

54/18

Capital Budget Proposals for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

54/18                         

Consideration was given to a report that sought to approve the Capital Programme proposals for 2019/20.

 

During the debate, an amendment was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows:-

 

‘Will the Council consider funding £24,226 from the Capital Contingency Budget for the urgent “Rock Face Remedial Stabilisation Project’ behind Marldon Village Hall which is required for public health and safety reasons and if not urgently remedied would involve the permanent closure of Marldon Village Hall.’

 

In support of the motion, the proposer emphasised the health and safety implications of the wall not being repaired and felt that the Council should consider funding this project.

 

During the ensuing debate, a number of other Members made the point that neither the wall, land or village hall were within the ownership of the District Council.  Therefore, these Members were of the view that it was more appropriate for the parish council to set its precept accordingly to ensure that the necessary works were undertaken.

 

In line with statutory requirements, a recorded vote was then undertaken on the amendment.  The voting on the amendment was recorded as follows:    

 

For the amendment (2):      Cllrs Hitchins and Pennington

 

Against the motion (21):     Cllrs Baldry, Bastone, Birch, Blackler, Bramble, Brazil, Cane, Cuthbert, Foss, Green, Holway, May, Pearce, Pringle, Rowe, Saltern, Smerdon, Steer, Vint, Wingate and Wright.

 

Abstentions (0):                   

 

Absent (7):    Cllrs Brown, Gilbert, Hawkins, Hicks, Hodgson, Hopwood and Tucker

 

and the vote on the amendment was therefore declared LOST.

                  

In line with statutory requirements, a recorded vote was then undertaken on the motion.  The voting on these parts was recorded as follows:-

 

For the motion (18):Cllrs Bastone, Blackler, Bramble, Cane, Cuthbert, Foss, Hitchins, Holway, May, Pearce, Pennington, Pringle, Rowe, Saltern, Smerdon, Steer, Wingate and Wright.

 

Against the motion (4): Cllrs Birch, Brazil, Green and Vint

 

Abstentions (1): Cllr Baldry

 

Absent (7): Cllrs Brown, Gilbert, Hawkins, Hicks, Hodgson, Hopwood and Tucker

 

and the vote on the motion was therefore declared CARRIED.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the content of the Capital Programme Proposals for 2019/20 totalling £1,290,000 (as outlined at Appendix A of the presented agenda report) be approved;

 

2.     That the content of the Capital Programme Proposals for 2019/20 totalling £14,001,000 (as outlined at Exempt Appendix B of the presented agenda report) be approved; and

 

3.     That the proposed financing of the 2019/20 Capital Programme of £15,291,000 be funded from the sources set out in Section 4 of the presented agenda report.

 

55/18

Review of the Staffing Establishment pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

55/18              

The Council considered a report that outlined a review of the Staffing Establishment and also sought approval of the appointment of the current Head of Paid Service to the role of Chief Executive.

                       

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)   A Member expressed her disappointment at the lack of any reference to any additional resource being allocated to supporting the Neighbourhood Planning function.  By way of assurance, officers informed that, once the Joint Local Plan had been adopted, there would then be some additional resource available to support this function;

 

(b)   In reply to a question, officers confirmed that staff would not now be in receipt of a formal annual appraisal.  In place of the annual appraisal would be a ‘Personal Continual Improvement’ approach with regular 1:1 discussions between staff and their appropriate manager.  Officers also confirmed that the effectiveness of this new approach would be monitored and kept under close review;

 

(c)    An amendment to the recommendation was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows:-

 

‘That agreement be given to extending the interim senior management arrangements with a report being brought to Council recommending a new structure within six months of the 2019 Council elections, with the objective of finding cost reductions.’

 

In support of their amendment, the proposer and seconder made reference to the outcome of the recent waste review and were of the view that this should result in savings being generated due to the consequent spare management capacity.

 

When put to the vote, the amendment was declared CARRIED.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the impact of the T18 Transformation Programme on the Establishment be noted;

 

2.     That, with effect from 21 February 2019, the Roles identified at paragraph 3.13 of the presented agenda report be added to the Establishment;

 

3.     That, with effect from 21 February 2019, the current Executive Director for Service Delivery and Head of Paid Service be appointed to the role of Chief Executive;

 

4.     That agreement be given to extending the interim senior management arrangements with a report being brought to Council recommending a new structure within six months of the 2019 Council elections, with the objective of finding cost reductions;

 

5.     That the current approach to staff appraisals and the outcome of the recent steadier state review of roles and salaries be noted; and

 

6.     That the new Pay and Grading structure (in line with new national pay spines) be approved.

 

 

56/18

Peer Challenge Report pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

56/18              

Members were presented with a report that set out a summary of the Peer Challenge Team’s findings and proposed next steps with regard to developing an Action Plan for considering and implementing the Team’s recommendations.

 

During discussion, particular reference was made to:-

 

(a)   the recommendation to produce a Housing Strategy.  Some Members expressed their support for the Team’s findings whereby the housing priority ‘lacked strategic direction and a structured means for delivering a longer-term housing programme’ and therefore welcomed the proposal to produce a Housing Strategy;

 

(b)   joint working with West Devon Borough Council.  In citing the recent good examples of joint working on the Leisure and Waste Reviews and the Joint Local Plan with West Devon Borough Council, some Members welcomed the proposal that a Joint Working Group should be reformed;

 

(c)    rationalising office accommodation.  Having been invited to provide some initial thoughts on this being an option to further ensure financial viability, the Deputy Leader expressed his personal view that to develop a new Council Headquarters facility would be financially unsustainable at this time;

 

(d)   political balance provisions.  It was agreed that, when nominating those Council representatives to serve on the Working Group, the Leader should bear in mind the political balance provisions of the Council.

                       

It was then:

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the recommendations set out in the Peer Challenge report (as attached at Appendix A of the presented agenda report) be endorsed;

 

2.     That agreement be given to the formation of a Member/Officer Working Group to develop a draft Action Plan, jointly with West Devon Borough Council, with delegated authority being given to the Leader of the Council to nominate the Member representatives for South Hams District Council (in so doing, these nominations should reflect the political balance of the Council); and

 

3.     That the draft Action Plan be presented to the Executive for approval at its meeting on 14 March 2019, with responsibility for the ongoing monitoring of progress against the Action Plan being allocated to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

 

57/18

Draft Calendar of Meetings 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

57/18

The Council considered a report that sought approval of the draft Calendar of Meetings for 2019/20.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)   Whilst the report was suggesting that the start time of Development Management Committee meetings should be fixed at 10.00am, the majority of Members felt that the status quo should be retained whereby a meeting start time should be set once the length of the agenda became apparent;

 

(b)   A Member stated that he could not support the draft Calendar as it had been published because it included provision for Development Management Committee meetings to be held during the month of August.

                       

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Calendar of Meetings for 2019/20 (as detailed at Appendix A of the presented agenda report) be approved, subject to the status quo being retained for the start times of Development Management Committee meetings.

 

 

 

 

58/18

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

58/18  

The Council considered a report that sought approval to the adoption of a new four banded Council Tax Reduction Scheme to come into effect from 1 April 2019.

 

In discussion, Members wished to put on record their thanks to the lead officers who had worked tirelessly to produce the new Scheme.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

That, with effect from 1 April 2019, a new four banded Council Tax Reduction Scheme (ranging from 85% to 25%) be adopted for 2019/20 as set out in Appendix 1 of the presented agenda report.

 

 

59/18

South Devon AONB Management Plan Review 2019-2024 Final Draft pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

59/18              

Consideration was given to a report that presented the final South Devon AONB Management Plan for adoption prior to submission to DEFRA before 31 March 2019.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)   It was acknowledged that some of the language contained within the Management Plan was both subjective and emotive.  As a result, it was agreed that the Head of Place Making, in consultation with the lead Executive Member, should be given delegated authority to review the language and tone of the Plan before it was ultimately adopted;

 

(b)   Officers acknowledged the need for closer working relations to be developed between Development Management officers and their colleagues from the AONB Unit.  In addition, it was agreed that the Planning Protocol that had been referred to in the Management Plan would be circulated to all Members for their information and reference;

 

(c)    The importance of ongoing AONB related Member training being included as part of the Learning and Development Programme was emphasised;

 

(d)   A Member felt that the provisions of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 whereby a new footpath would be required around areas such as the River Yealm was wholly impractical.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the content of the Final Draft of the Management Plan be noted following the formal consultation exercise; and

 

2.     That the final Management Plan for 2019/24 be confirmed for adoption, subject to the Head of Place Making, in consultation with the lead Executive Member, being given delegated authority to review the language and tone before its publication.

 

60/18

Tamar Valley AONB Management Plan Review 2019-2024 Final Draft pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

60/18              

Consideration was given to a report that presented the final Tamar Valley AONB Management Plan for adoption prior to its submission to DEFRA before 31 March 2019.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)   Members noted that, whilst the proposed amendments to the Management Plan could be deemed to be minor, they were nonetheless very important;

 

(b)   In referencing the South Devon AONB Management Plan (Minute 59/18 above refers), a Member highlighted the stark differences between the two Plans and felt that a more joined up approach should have been adopted to ensure greater consistency between the two.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the content of the Final Draft of the Management Plan be noted following the formal consultation exercise; and

 

2.     That the Final Management Plan for 2019/24 be confirmed for adoption, subject to the addition of two amendments to Annex C of the Management Plan as detailed in Section 3.5 of the presented agenda report.

 

61/18

Questions

to consider the following questions (if any)  received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

Minutes:

61/18

It was noted that no questions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

62/18

Notice of Motion

to consider the following motions received (if any) in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.1

Minutes:

62/18

It was noted that no motions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

 

 

63/18

Reports of Bodies pdf icon PDF 142 KB

* Indicates minutes containing recommendations to Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

63/18

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes and recommendations of the undermentioned bodies be received and approved subject to any amendments listed below:-

 

(a)     Development Management Committee     12 December 2018

      

(b)     Executive                                                    13 December 2018

 

E.55/18: Business Rates – Section 47 Discretionary Rates Relief Policy

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Business Rates – Section 47 Discretionary Rates Relief Policy (for the consideration and award of applications for Discretionary Rate Relief) be adopted.

 

E.56/18: Clean Air Strategy Following Public Consultation

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Clean Air Strategy for South Hams and West Devon, including proposed Air Quality Action Plans for Ivybridge and Dean Prior, be adopted.

 

E.58/18: Capital Programme Monitoring

 

RESOLVED

 

That £56,601 of the remaining 2017/18 Capital Programme Contingency Budget of £155,000 be approved to be allocated to the two Capital Projects as shown below:

 

-        Café, Cliff House Gardens, Salcombe: £41,601; and

-        Air Handling Unit, Council Chamber: £15,000.

 

E.62/18: Commercial Development Opportunities

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the acquisition of 10 acres of employment land at Sherford be funded from the Business Rates Retention Earmarked Reserve (as detailed in Appendix C of the agenda report presented to the Executive);

2.     That £500,000 be allocated from S106 Funding from Land at Torhill Farm, Godwell Lane, Ivybridge (27_57/1347/14/F) to fund the Ermington Employment Units (thereby freeing up £0.5 million of Capital Receipts Funding); and

 

3.     That the £610,215 upfront borrowing costs be funded during the construction period of the projects (as set out in Exempt Appendix H of the agenda report presented to the Executive) from a combination of the Business Rates Retention Earmarked Reserve (£285,215) and the Business Rates Pilot gain for 2018/19 (£325,000).

 

 (c)    Development Management Committee     16 January 2019

 

(d)     Joint Overview & Scrutiny Panel & Development Management Committee                                                   24 January 2019

 

(e)     Overview and Scrutiny Panel                    24 January 2019

 

O&S.81/18: Review of Procedure for Dealing with Standards Complaints

 

RESOLVED

 

That, with effect from May 2019, the:

 

1.     revised ‘Dealing with Standards Complaints’ Procedure (as attached at Appendix A of the agenda report presented to the Panel) be adopted; and

 

2.     review of the associated Hearing Procedure be delegated to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

 

(f)      Salcombe Harbour Board                       28 January 2019

 

SH.25/18: Harbour Master’s Report

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Moorings Policy (as set out at Appendix 3 of the agenda report presented to the Board) be approved, subject to delegated authority being given to the Harbour Master, in consultation with the Chairman of the Board, to make any non-substantive amendments prior to publication.

 

SH.27/18: Batson Workshops – Decision Gateway

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Harbour Board commit to the repayment of the cost of the development (capped at £800,000) which is capped at £36,000 expenditure per year for the lifetime of the loan.

 

(g)     Audit Committee                                         31 January 2019

 

A.43/18: Review of the Council’s Constitution: Rules of Procedure and Scheme of Members’ Allowances

 

RESOLVED

 

That the amendments to Part 4 (Rules of Procedure) and Part 6 (Scheme of Members’ Allowances) of the Council Constitution (as summarised in paragraph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63/18