Agenda and minutes

West Devon Hub Committee - Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 3.00 pm

Venue: Chamber - Kilworthy Park. View directions

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No. Item


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 Agenda, then please contact the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.



*HC 33          

Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be discussed and the following were made:


Cllr P R Sanders declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 8: Public Conveniences – Clarification for Parishes (Minute *HC 39 below refers), by virtue of being a Member of Dartmoor National Park Authority.  He remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and vote thereon.           




Items Requiring Urgent Attention

To consider those items which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered by the Meeting as matters of urgency (if any)



The Chairman had agreed to a late agenda item, being a presentation from a representative of the South West Mutual Bank.  The item was deemed urgent as the Chairman sought views from the wider membership to report on to the forthcoming meeting of the Devon Districts Forum which would take place on Friday 26 October 2018 and at which the matter of the South West Mutual Bank was an agenda item.


Mr Tony Greenham of the South West Mutual Bank gave his presentation to Members and responded to a number of questions of clarity.  Members were generally supportive of the Bank, and it was then PROPOSED and SECONDED and on being put to the vote declared CARRIED that:


Subject to a report to full Council containing details, to be presented to the meeting on 4 December 2018, the Hub Committee RECOMMENDS that this Council support the South West Mutual Bank.




Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes of meeting held 11 September 2018



The Minutes of the Hub Committee meeting held on 11 September 2018 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Financial Stability Review Group Update pdf icon PDF 59 KB



In accordance with the Council decision at its meeting on 27 March 2018 (Minute CM 73 refers) for updates to be included as a standing agenda item,  the Lead Member Assets and Environment and s151 Officer jointly presented an update on the work of the Financial Stability Review Group.   The Lead Member for Assets and Environment had circulated an update to Members following the recent Member Budget Workshops that had taken place.




Next Steps - Enabling homes to meet the needs for all pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:


* HC37        

Members were presented with a report that provided an up to date position following Members request for a detailed business case for the formation of a Housing Wholly Owned Company (WOC) (Minute HC 6 refers). 


The Lead Member for Assets and Environment introduced the report. He and the COP Lead Assets responded to questions of clarity.



ItwasthenRESOLVED that the Hub Committee agree the following principles:


1.     That there is no requirement to form a West Devon Borough Council Housing Wholly Owned Company at this time;

2.     That Council borrowing in order to acquire or develop affordable homes is acceptable in principle;

3.     That Affordable homes may be acquired or developed via the community housing strategy OR through existing work with Registered Providers or Developers.  These properties will be allocated in accordance with local lettings plans and may be managed via the Council’s Direct Lets service; and

4.     To guide the Council’s affordable housing development/acquisition plans as detailed in section 5 of the presented report.



Bere Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 45 KB



Members were presented with a report that sought approval to ‘make’ the Bere Peninsula Neighbourhood Development Plan.


The Lead Member for Customer First introduced the report, and the Lead Member for Strategic Planning and Housing responded to questions.  One of the local Ward Members wished to record thanks to officers, in particular the Specialist (Elections) for her hard work and professionalism during the Referendum.  Members noted the hard work required to achieve an adopted Neighbourhood Plan, and the Chairman wished to record thanks to the parish council.  Finally, a number of Members wished to pay tribute to the late Cllr Mike Benson, for all his hard work in getting the Neighbourhood Plan started, and asked that his family be sent a formal letter of thanks.


It was then RESOLVED that:


The Bere Peninsula Neighbourhood Development Plan be made (adopted).



Public Conveniences - Clarification for Parishes pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:



Members were presented with a report that requested consideration of the options for implementing the decision of the Hub Committee in July 2018 (Minute *HC 19 refers) to approve and deliver efficiencies of £50,000 (or more) in 2019/20 in operating the current public toilet service.


The Lead Member for Commercial Services presented the report.  During discussion, Members expressed concerns over some parishes being unable to take on the financial liability as set out in the presented report, and smaller parishes within the Dartmoor National Park area being disadvantaged as the public conveniences were used by visitors and tourists rather than for the benefit of residents.  In response, the Lead Member for Commercial Services advised that discussions would take place with affected parish and town councils and a report brought back to the Hub Committee at a later date. 


In response to concerns from the Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing about the health and wellbeing implications of closure of public conveniences, assurances were given that a full Comprehensive Impact Assessment would be undertaken on any proposed public convenience closures where that closure affected the overall provision in an area and the appropriate Lead Member would be kept informed.


In view of the concerns over affordability for parishes, an amendment to the presented recommendations was put forward as follows:


1.     ii.  Make a contribution towards the cost of running public toilets equivalent to 50% of all direct costs

2.     that the 50% contribution be increased . . . . .


The amendment was PROPOSED, SECONDED and on being put to the vote declared LOST.


It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Committee:


1.    in respect of the rural public toilets (listed in Appendix A), resolve that Parish and Town Councils are requested to either:


i.          Assume responsibility for the public toilets in their area including a transfer of the freehold or leasehold property; or

ii.         Make a contribution towards the cost of running public toilets equivalent to 75% of all direct costs (which includes staff and management costs).


2.    that the 75% contribution be increased over the following three years based upon actual spend as per the payment profile shown  in Appendix A, to reach a point where full costs are covered by the Parish and Town Councils.


3.    that where a Parish or Town Council agrees neither to accept a transfer of the facility nor make the requested contribution (as set out in Recommendation 1 (i) and (ii))  it will be recommended to Council that the facility will be closed before the end of the financial year 2018/19. 



4.    that where any facility will benefit from pay on entry equipment in order to reduce overall costs, the council will work with the relevant Town or Parish Council on a business case and implementation programme to achieve best value.