Agenda and draft minutes

South Hams Council
Thursday, 25th March, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Via Teams

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

Items
No. Item

45/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 170 KB

to approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 11 February 2021

Minutes:

45/20              

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 11 February 2021 were approved as a true and correct record.

 

46/20

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 81 KB

the Chairman to announce if any item not on the agenda should be considered on the basis that he considers it as a matter of urgency (any such item to be dealt with under ‘Business Brought forward by the Chairman’);

 

Leisure – Fusion support on Re-opening

 

Minutes:

46/20 

The Chairman advised that she had agreed for one urgent item to be raised at this meeting that related to ‘Leisure – Fusion support on Re-Opening’’. This item was considered urgent in light of the associated time constraints and would be considered immediately.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)    A number of Members were of the view that the monies should be passported through to Fusion to ensure that the Leisure Centres could be re-opened from 12 April 2021.  In contrast, another Member expressed his concern that the Council was being asked to passport the funding without further information at this time on the future financial position of the organisation;

 

(b)    It was confirmed that all figures set out in the presented agenda report related to South Hams only and were not on a shared basis with West Devon Borough Council;

 

(c)    The importance of the role to be played by Fusion in the Health and Wellbeing agenda was recognised by Members; and

 

(d)    In expressing his opposition to the recommendation, a Member was of the view that:

 

-        Members had been given insufficient time to properly consider this urgent item; and

-        the Council had already allocated significant sums of money to Fusion.

 

It was then

 

RESOLVED

 

That the £170,985 of the National Leisure Recovery Fund (NLRF) funding be passported through to Fusion, to enable for the organisation to meet the costs of preparing and carrying out the re-opening schedule from 12 April 2021 onwards, in line with the national roadmap.

 

47/20

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:

47/20 

Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.

 

 

 

 

48/20

Business Brought Forward by the Chairman

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

Minutes:

48/20

The Chairman reminded the meeting that this was the last Full Council meeting before a new Chairman was to be appointed at the Annual Council meeting to be held on 20 May 2021.  In highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Chairman stated how difficult the last twelve months had been and she wished to thank officers and the wider membership for their guidance and support during such a testing period.

 

49/20

Investing in South Hams Economic Recovery pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

49/20                                      

The Council considered a report that set out a number of proposals to ensure that visitors would experience the best that the South Hams had to offer whilst also ensure that local residents would feel confident that towns and local businesses were as safe as possible, with the added benefit of returning consumer confidence.

 

In introducing the report, the Leader advised that, at the appropriate time, it would be her intention to PROPOSE a revised recommendation that would seek approval to an additional £100,000 of investment (from £498,000 to £598,000) to support the economic recovery that would be focused on improving the built / natural environment to deliver economic improvements within the smaller coastal communities and tourism centres in the South Hams.

 

In the ensuing debate, reference was made to:

 

(a)    support being expressed for the additional investment.  In welcoming the assurance that Modbury would be able to bid for these monies, it was also hoped that South Brent and Bickleigh would be able to do likewise;

 

(b)    the need for town councils to provide match funding.  Some Members considered the timing to be unfortunate to ask town councils to provide match funding when they had only just set their precept for the next Financial Year;

 

(c)    further Government guidance still being awaited.  Whilst guidance was still awaited, officers confirmed that each submitted Bid would be looked at on its own merits.

 

(d)    an amendment to the motion.  The following amendment was PROPOSED and SECONDED:-

 

3. That the proposed initiatives set out in the report be referred to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for its examination and scrutiny and thereafter it will submit its recommendations to the Executive.

4. That prior to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Members be encouraged to seek the views of the town and parish councils, residents and local businesses within their area.

5. That, meanwhile, the sum of £50,000 be allocated for expenditure in respect of any urgent measures to be undertaken or required prior to a final decision in respect of the proposed initiatives.

 

In introducing his amendment, the proposer stated that there was a lack of opportunity for the wider membership to adequately scrutinise the process.  In addition, the Member was of the view that the set of proposals were being rushed and there was a need for town and parish councils and local businesses to have the opportunity to be consulted.

 

During debate, reference was made to:-

 

-       any delay in allocating monies would have a detrimental impact on local businesses and this amendment was seen by some Members to be slowing down the process;

-       support for the need for wider engagement and consultation and the need to comply with the recently adopted Consultation and Engagement Strategy;

-       if approved, the amendment resulting in the matter being referred to the next Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting to be held on 1 April 2021; and

-       the Council’s Recovery Plan giving great  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/20

50/20

Enhancing the Democratic Decision-Making Process pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Minutes:

50/20              

 

The Council considered a report that sought approval to:

 

-        Bring forward changes to enhance and improve the democratic decision-making process, with the intention of the new arrangements coming into effect for the new Municipal Year (from May 2021); and

-        Instruct officers to undertake further work with a view to bringing forward further recommendations.

 

In discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

(a)    A Member wished to put on record that the proposals were by no means a reflection on the work of the current Chairman of the Council, who he felt had done an excellent job in such difficult circumstances;

 

(b)    The proposal to increase the number of scheduled Full Council meetings from four to six per year was welcomed;

 

(c)    Tributes were paid to the extent of consultation with all Members that had been undertaken by officers in reaching this point.  As a result, it was felt that this process had been an exemplar example of consultation and engagement with Members.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.      That the overarching aims and principles (as set out in section 4 of the presented report), be supported with any consequential amendments being made to the Council’s Constitution, and changes to come into effect from the Annual Council meeting in May 2021; and

 

2.      That officers continue to consult with Members prior to bringing a report and the amended Constitution to Annual Council on 20 May 2021.

 

 

51/20

2021/22 Capital Strategy; 2021/22 Treasury Management Strategy; and 2021/22 Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

51/20              

Consideration was given to a report that sought approval of the proposed Capital Strategy, Investment Strategy and Treasury Management for 2021/22, together with their associated prudential indicators.

 

In discussion, reference was made to:-

 

(a)    an amendment to the Capital Strategy was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows:

 

‘That the 2021/22 Capital Strategy be approved subject to:

 

·           Appendix A 6.6.3 “where applicable” should be deleted and “briefed” changed to “consulted”; and

·           6.6.9 (development on Council owned land) there is no mention of Ward Members in addition to local town and parish councils being briefed.  Add “Ward Members will be consulted at the earliest opportunity” in the same way as in section 6.6.3;’

 

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

 

(b)    the ability to review these draft Strategies.  Officers confirmed that, whilst there was a requirement for them to be in place by 1 April,   these draft Strategies could be reviewed at any given time during the year.

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Council has scrutinised and approve the 2021/22:

 

i)       Capital Strategy (as attached at Appendix A to the presented report) subject to:

 

·      Appendix A 6.6.3 “where applicable” should be deleted and “briefed” changed to “consulted”; and

·      6.6.9 (development on Council owned land) there is no mention of Ward Members in addition to local town and parish councils being briefed.  Add “Ward Members will be consulted at the earliest opportunity” in the same way as in section 6.6.3;

 

ii)      Treasury Management Strategy (as attached at Appendix B to the presented report); and

 

iii)     Investment Strategy (as attached at Appendix C to the presented report); and

 

2.    That delegated authority be given to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Finance, to make any minor amendments to these Strategies if required throughout the 2021/22 Financial Year.

 

52/20

Pay Policy Statement and Pay and Reward Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

52/20              

In line with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011, Members considered a report proposing adoption of the Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 and Pay and Reward Strategy for 2021/22.

 

In discussion, reference was made to:-

 

(a)  a minor typographical amendment to the Statement for 2021/22.  In proposing the recommendation, the following minor amendment was included:

 

o  Page 104, Section 11 of the published agenda papers being amended to read “SHDC and WDBC” as opposed to “WDBC and WDBC”;

 

(b)  the term ‘remuneration’.  In the context of the term ‘remuneration’, it was agreed that the Head of Human Resources would contact an interested Member outside of this Council meeting.   

 

It was then:

 

RESOLVED

 

1)     That the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 (as attached at Appendix A of the presented report) be adopted, subject to Page 104, Section 11 of the published agenda papers being amended to read “SHDC and WDBC” as opposed to “WDBC and WDBC”; and

 

2)     That the Pay and Reward Strategy 2021/22 (as attached at Appendix B of the presented report) be adopted.

 

 

53/20

Questions

to consider the following question received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

(a)   From Cllr Birch to Cllr Pearce (Leader of Council)

 

“Following the Leader of the Council’s answer to my question at the Executive meeting held on 11 March on the matter of Climate Change & Biodiversity (CC&B) projects, will she please list all the current projects contained in the CC&B Action Plan that are being implemented? 

 

Will she also please confirm that Members will receive regular updates on progress in respect of the CC&B projects in the Members’ bulletin?”

 

(b)    From Cllr Hodgson to Cllr Bastone (Deputy Leader of Council)

 

“What progress has been made with Traveller sites in the South Hams and how and when will formal sites be established for both transit and permanent use by the Traveller Community?”

 

Minutes:

53/20              

It was noted that one question had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8:

 

(a)    From Cllr Birch to Cllr Pearce (Leader of Council)

 

“Following the Leader of the Council’s answer to my question at the Executive meeting held on 11 March on the matter of Climate Change & Biodiversity (CC&B) projects, will she please list all the current projects contained in the CC&B Action Plan that are being implemented?

 

Will she also please confirm that Members will receive regular updates on progress in respect of the CC&B projects in the Members’ bulletin?”

 

Cllr Pearce responded by thanking Cllr Birch for his question and proceeded to refer him to Council Minute Number 28/30.

 

In reply to a supplementary question, Cllr Pearce confirmed that she was supportive of both more recent information being uploaded on to the website and regular progress updates in respect of Climate Change and Biodiversity projects being circulated via the Members’ Bulletin.

 

 

(b) From Cllr Hodgson to Cllr Bastone (Deputy Leader of Council)

 

“What progress has been made with Traveller sites in the South Hams and how and when will formal sites be established for both transit and permanent use by the Traveller Community?”

 

In reply, Cllr Bastone stated that, despite the National Lockdown, work had been going on behind the scenes.  Officers had visited two potential sites so far, pre-application discussions with current ‘caravan dwellers’ had been taking place to see if there was any potential with their sites in planning terms.  The Council would be looking to see if any sites that were currently occupied could be regularised through the planning process.  In addition, work with Devon County Council was ongoing and this would be undertaken with Teignbridge District Council, who may be keen to work in partnership on a transit site.  An update would be brought to Members once the National Lockdown had ended as further sites were due to be visited in the coming weeks.  The Gypsy and Traveller Forum was envisaged to take place in July 2021 when this could be undertaken outside.

 

Cllr Bastone responded to a supplementary question by confirming that the service was still working within the existing budget.

 

54/20

Notice of Motion

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

 

(a)     By Cllrs Hopwood and Austen

 

‘All types of businesses from the cake maker to the carpenter play a major role in our communities. They help to support economic growth from the ground up. Following the pandemic, these often innovative and dynamic small businesses are going to be key to our recovery.

The principle of shopping locally and supporting local trades is something that we can all do as we support each other to grow and thrive in the coming years and that can begin as local as your own street, community or village. As a Council (and elected Members) we can support and encourage support local and be ‘Support Local’ advocates within our communities.’

 

 

(b)     By Cllrs Hodgson and Rose

 

“In line with our formal declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency, and our commitment to actions to change behaviour to address the causes of this situation, and mitigate the impacts, this Council supports the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill proposed by a coalition of scientists, academics and lawyers with the aim of bringing the UK’s climate policy into one with evolving scientific evidence.  Currently this also supported by 96 cross-party members of parliament.  Nationally we need a strong legislative framework that embeds the Government’s targets in law, enabling us as supportive players, to plan and develop our future trajectories, to fit in with those targets.  

 

Council therefore resolves to:

         i.   Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill; and

        ii.   Inform the local media of this decision;

 

 

(c)     By Cllrs Birch and Holway

‘Following the decision of Full Council at its meeting on 11 February 2021 to allocate the sum of £200,000 to Climate Change and Biodiversity projects, it is resolved that part of this sum be allocated to Members as a CC&B Locality Fund for CC&B projects, in a similar manner to that adopted in respect of the Sustainable Community Locality Fund.

Each Member will be allocated the sum of £3,000 for distribution for CC&B projects and it is a condition that any funds distributed be in respect of projects that fall within the ambit of the Council’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan adopted on 17 December 2020 (and any subsequent amendments).

The Member allocating his/her budget or any part thereof to any project will submit six monthly reports from the recipient organisation. The reports shall comply with the reporting arrangements to be determined by the Leader of the Council and the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

The allocation will be initially for the financial year 2021-22, and to be reviewed during the budget setting process for 2022-23, when the spend, quality of projects and reports submitted by Members, along with any other competing budget pressures, will be taken into consideration.’

 

 

(d)     By Cllrs Brazil and O’Callaghan

 

‘South Hams District Council continues to lobby government to close the loophole that allows domestic properties to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 54/20

Minutes:

54/20              

It was noted that seven motions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10:

 

(a)     By Cllrs Hopwood and Austen

 

All types of businesses from the cake maker to the carpenter play a major role in our communities.  They help to support economic growth from the ground up.  Following the pandemic, these often innovative and dynamic small businesses are going to be key to our recovery.  The principle of shopping locally and supporting local trades is something that we can all do as we support each other to grow and thrive in the coming years and that can begin as local as your own street, community or village. 

As a Council (and elected Members) we can support and encourage support local and be ‘Support Local’ advocates within our communities.’

 

Since the agenda had been published, the Chairman advised that the proposer and seconder had given notice of their wish to formally withdrawn their motion.

 

 

(b)     By Cllrs Hodgson and Rose

 

‘In line with our formal declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency, and our commitment to actions to change behaviour to address the causes of this situation, and mitigate the impacts, this Council supports the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill proposed by a coalition of scientists, academics and lawyers with the aim of bringing the UK’s climate policy into one with evolving scientific evidence.  Currently this is also supported by 96 cross-party members of parliament. Nationally we need a strong legislative framework that embeds the Government’s targets in law, enabling us as supportive players, to plan and develop our future trajectories, to fit in with those targets.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

i.         Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill; and

ii.        Inform the local media of this decision;

 

At the discretion of the Chairman, the proposer of the motion wished to express her deep reservations at the decision of the Monitoring Officer to remove it from this meeting agenda due to the Council currently being in a Purdah Period.  The Member proceeded to advise that a similar motion had been accepted by the Monitoring Officer at Devon County Council and, in light of the extent of the public concerns in the matter, she asked that the Chairman reinstate her motion on to the agenda.

 

The Monitoring Officer apologised to the proposer for the unfortunate timing of his decision but remained of the view that his ruling was correct.  As a consequence of the professional advice given, the Chairman concluded that she was not willing to reinstate the motion on to this agenda and confirmed that it would therefore be rolled over to the Annual Council meeting on 20 May 2021 for consideration.

 

(c)     By Cllrs Birch and Holway

‘Following the decision of Full Council at its meeting on 11 February 2021 to allocate the sum of £200,000 to Climate Change and Biodiversity projects, it is resolved that part of this sum be allocated to Members as a CC&B Locality Fund for CC&B projects,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54/20

55/20

Reports of Bodies pdf icon PDF 125 KB

to receive and as may be necessary approve the minutes and recommendations of the under-mentioned Bodies

 

(* Indicates minutes containing recommendations to Council).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

54/20              

 

RESOLVED

 

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

 

a)    Audit Committee – 15 October 2020;

 

b)    Overview and Scrutiny Panel – 19 November 2020;

 

c)    Development Management Committee – 2 December 2020;

 

d)    Executive – 17 December 2020;

 

E.50/20 MONTH SEVEN REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2020/21 (to the end of October 2020)

 

RESOLVED

 

That £100,000 be transferred into a COVID Earmarked Reserve, to protect against future COVID losses in 2021-22 (as set out in Section 1.8 of the attendant report).

 

 

E.51/20 DRAFT REVENUE BUDGET PROPOSALS FOR 2021-22

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Council continue to be part of the Devon Business Rates Pool for 2021/22, subject to there being no announcements within the Finance Settlement (expected to be announced in the week commencing 14 December), which in the opinion of the S151 Officer (in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the lead Executive Member for Finance), would change this recommendation.

 

e) Development Management Committee – 6 January 2021;

 

f) Joint O&S Panel and Development Management Committee – 14 January 2021;

 

g) Overview and Scrutiny Panel – 14 January 2021;

 

h) Salcombe Harbour Board – 18 January 2021;

 

i) Executive – 28 January 2021

 

E.58/20 REPORTS OF OTHER BODIES

b) Joint O&S Panel and DM Committee – 14 January 2021

 

ii) OSDM.16/20: REVIEW OF FEES AND CHARGES FOR 2021- 22

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the level of fees and charges for Parks, Open Spaces and Outdoor Sports for 2021/22 be maintained at the current levels with no proposed increases (as set out in Appendix A of the presented agenda report to the Joint Meeting);

2.    That the Environmental Health charges for 2021/22 be maintained at the current levels with no proposed increases (as set out at Appendix B of the presented agenda report to the Joint Meeting);

3.    That the level of Fees and Charges for Planning Applications and Enforcement for 2021/22 be maintained at the current levels with no proposed increases (as set out at Appendix C of the presented agenda report to the Joint Meeting);

4.    That the proposed fees and charges for Street Naming for 2021/22 be approved as set out at Appendix C of the presented agenda report to the Joint Meeting;

5.    That the proposed Section 106 Monitoring fees for 2021/22 (as set out at Appendix C of the report presented to the Joint Meeting) be approved;

 

6.    That delegated authority be given to the Director of Place and Enterprise, in consultation with the lead Executive Member, to set the Dartmouth Lower Ferry Fees in order to take account of market conditions, including competitor charges;

7.    That the proposed changes to Boat Storage Charges (as set out in paragraph 3.10 of the presented agenda report to the Joint Meeting) be approved;

8.    That delegated authority be given to the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the lead Executive Member, to set the Local Land Charges as appropriate to ensure cost recovery;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55/20