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Contact: Email: Member.Services@swdevon.gov.uk
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.
If Councillors have any questions relating to predetermination, bias or interests in items on this Summons, then please contact the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.
The Mayor invited Members to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.
Business brought forward by or with the consent of the Mayor
The Mayor informed that he had agreed for one urgent item to be raised at this meeting that related to the appointment of two representatives to serve on the Devon County Locality Committee. The item was deemed urgent in light of the next meeting of the Committee taking place before the next West Devon Borough Council full Council meeting.
It was moved by Cllr P R Sanders and seconded by Cllr R F D Sampson and declared CARRIED and RESOLVED that Cllrs B Lamb and A F Leech serve on the Committee for the remainder of the 2017/18 Municipal Year.
Report of the SH/WD Joint Steering Group
PART TWO ITEMS WHICH MAY BE TAKEN IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS ON THE GROUNDS THAT EXEMPT INFORMATION IS LIKELY TO BE DISCLOSED (if any)
If any, the Committee is recommended to pass the following resolution:
“RESOLVED that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the Meeting on the grounds that exempt information may be disclosed as defined in the paragraphs given in Schedule 12A to the Act.”
The Council was presented with a report that sought approval to submit a proposal to the Secretary of State to form a single second-tier Council for South Hams and West Devon from 1 April 2020.
The Leader introduced the report and explained that the proposal was not a merger, but the dissolution of West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council and the creation of a new Council. It would require a Parliamentary process and the Department of Communities and Local Government had made clear that a Boundary Review would have to take place. West Devon Members would have no influence or control and there could be a significant reduction in numbers of West Devon Member representatives. The other major issue was the equalisation of Council Tax. Currently, residents in a Band D property in West Devon paid approximately £63 per annum more in Council Tax than their South Hams counterparts. The report set out the options available to equalise Council Tax but this would take time. In the interim period, there were still financial challenges to be met.
The Leader responded to a number of questions on the future governance structure, the consultation process, how the budget gap would be closed before 2020/21 and the different views of the two Councils on the risks associated with commercial property investments.
At this point, it was moved by Cllr R J Oxborough and seconded by Cllr R Cheadle:
‘That the proposal for a single council be deferred for a period of 12 months to allow time for further budget screening to be undertaken, including the examination of existing staffing levels and costs, to examine additional ways to generation income, drawing specifically on measures used by other councils around the country and thirdly to allow for issues raised around governance, location and leadership to be examined and clarified.’
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19, a recorded vote was then undertaken. The voting on this motion was recorded as follows:
For the motion (9): Cllrs Ball, Cann OBE, Cheadle, Cloke, Leech, Oxborough, Roberts, Sheldon and Watts.
Against the motion (22): Cllrs Baldwin, Davies, Edmonds, Evans, Hockridge, Jory, Kimber, Lamb, McInnes, Moody, Mott, Moyse, Musgrave, Parker, Pearce, Ridgers, Sampson, Samuel, Sanders, Sellis, Stephens and Yelland.
and the motion was therefore declared LOST.
It was then moved by Cllr P R Sanders, seconded by Cllr L Samuel that:-
‘The Council submits a proposal to the Secretary of State no later than 30 November 2017 to form a single second-tier Council for South Hams and West Devon from 1 April 2020, as set out in Section 3 of the presented report.’
During debate on this motion, points made included the following:
- There had been a great deal of talk about money but little had been heard about the residents in West Devon, who wanted services provided by West Devon Borough Council. A reduction in the number of Members would result in very poor representation ... view the full minutes text for item CM 36
Waste and Cleansing Commissioning - Service Scope
Report of the Group Manager – Commercial Services
(Resolved that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that exempt information is likely to be disclosed as defined in Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12(A) to the Act).
An exempt report was presented by the Lead Member for Commercial Services that sought endorsement of the service scope principles that had been proposed by the Project Board for consideration during the commissioning process for waste collection, recycling and cleansing services.
It was then moved by Cllr R F D Sampson, seconded by Cllr C R Musgrave and duly CARRIED and “RESOLVED that the service scope principles proposed by the Project Board for consideration during the commissioning process for waste collection, recycling and cleansing services be endorsed.”
It was then moved by Cllr P R Sanders and seconded by Cllr L Samuel and declared CARRIED and “RESOLVED that the press and public be re-admitted to the meeting.”