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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Online Meeting

Contact: Kieran Elliott  Email: kieran.elliott@wiltshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

70.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Anna Cuthbert, Nicholas Fogg MBE, Hayley Illman, and Melody Thompson.

71.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 21 July 2020 and 9 September 2020.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 21 July 2020 and 9 September 2020 were presented for consideration, and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the meetings held on 21 July 2020 and 9 September 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

72.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Ian Thorn declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 9 of the agenda – Consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’ – Government White Paper. He stated he would participate and vote on the item.


Councillor Johnny Kidney also declared a non-pecuniary interest Item 9 of the agenda, and confirmed he would participate and vote on the item.

 

 

73.

Announcements by the Chairman

To receive any announcements through the Chair.

Minutes:

1)    Chairman’s Engagements - Details were provided of engagements carried out by the Chairman since the last ordinary meeting of the council, as follows:

 

3 September 2020   Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day flag raising ceremony, County Hall, Trowbridge.

 

8 October 2020       The Royal Visit of HRH The Princess Royal to officially open King’s Gate Primary School, Amesbury.

 

10 October 2020     Opening of The Willows Care Farm, Broughton Gifford.

 

12 October 2020     The Royal Visit of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to County Hall. To meet and discuss the work of the Council and its partners who have been involved in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic over

 

2)    Honours - The Chairman congratulated Wiltshire residents listed in the recent national honours awards.

 

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Simon Routh-Jones

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Paulette Cote

Timothy Dawson

Alison Paul

James Taylor

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Michael Bigger

Arthur Curtis

Alison Edgar

Andrew Lord

John Lyons

Hywell Morgan

Belinda Southwell

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Philip Courage

Joy Guy

Richard Jefferies

Pamela Webb

Mandy Wood

 

3)    Recorded Voting – On the proposal of the Chairman, seconded by the Vice-Chairman, it was,

Resolved:

 

To suspend Paragraphs 22.6.2-22.6.4 of Part 4 of the Constitution in respect of recorded voting.

 

Note: It was agreed to hold a recorded vote in respect of Minute 78 – Consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’ – Government White Paper.

74.

Petitions Received

No petitions have been received for this meeting.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The council noted that no petitions were formally received by the Council for the meeting.

75.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public. During the ongoing Covid-19 situation the Council is operating revised procedures and the public are able participate in meetings online after registering with the officer named on this agenda, and in accordance with the deadlines below.

Guidance on how to participate in this meeting online.

Statements

Members of the public who wish to submit a statement in relation to an item on this agenda should submit this electronically to the officer named on this agenda no later than 5pm on 15 October 2020. Up to three speakers are allowed for each item.

Each statement must:

·         State whom the statement is from (including if representing another person or organisation);

·         state points clearly, and;

·         be readable aloud in approximately 3 minutes.

Questions

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions electronically to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 13 October 2020 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 15 October 2020.

Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent. Details of any questions received will be circulated to members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website; they will be taken as read at the meeting.

Minutes:

The procedure for public speaking was detailed. No questions were received for the meeting. Statements would be taken under the relevant agenda item. The Chairman would allow four speakers in relation to Item 9 on the agenda, Consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’, Government White Paper.

76.

Capital Programme Additions Quarter 1 2020/21

A report from the Chief Executive.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement and Commercial Investment, presented a report on the Capital Programme. At its meeting on 18 August 2020 the Cabinet had recommended additions of £0.464m to be made to the Capital Programme to allow schemes to proceed in relation to the Carbon Reduction Budget and the Wiltshire Online fibre broadband project, which was moved by Councillor Church. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Richard Clewer.

 

The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the report and presentation.

 

Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, noted the proposal was part of the normal practice of budgetary adjustment during a financial year. Councillor Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, welcomed the additional funding for the Carbon Reduction Programme as a vital move, and sought clarifications on references to S.106 contributions in the report. Councillor Ricky Rogers, Leader of the Labour Group, supported the proposals.

 

There were no further comments received in debate.

 

It was therefore,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve additions to the capital programme of £0.464m as per Appendix A of the report.

77.

Corporate Parenting Strategy Update and Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report

Report from the Chief Executive.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills presented the report on the Corporate Parenting Strategy and Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report and moved the recommendations, which were seconded by Councillor Peter Hutton.

 

Councillor Mayes thanked those who worked all year to support children in care and emphasised that all Members of the Council were corporate parents for those 467 looked after children and 175 care experienced young people aged between 18-21. The strategic priorities had been refreshed in consultation with young people, and details were provided on ongoing efforts to recruit new foster carers and monitoring work by the Corporate Parenting Panel of relevant data and engagement with the young people.

 

The council then heard from Nebraska Hayward, a care leaver currently at university, on her experiences of care and the support she had received. The Chairman thanked Nebraska on behalf of the council for speaking about her experiences with them.

 

The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the report and presentations received.

 

Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, thanked Nebraska for her contribution and emphasised the huge importance of the council’s work with looked after children, and thanked officers and carers for their efforts in the past year, made more difficult with the Coronavirus pandemic. He challenged all Members including himself to consider if they knew anyone who might be suitable and consider becoming a foster carer.

 

Councillor Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, endorsed the comments made including praising Nebraska for speaking to the meeting. He praised Councillor Mayes for her leadership in such a vital area which could transform lives.

 

Councillor Ernie Clark, Leader of the Independent Group, thanked Nebraska for her comments, welcomed the report and thanked officers for their work

 

Councillor Ricky Rogers, Leader of the Labour Group, added his thanks to Nebraska, and noted the comprehensive nature of the report, and the complexity of devising support packages for the hundreds of young people in the council’s care.

 

The item was then opened for general debate. Chairman of the Children’s Select Committee, Councillor Jon Hubbard, confirmed that as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic the Committee had not been able to consider the report at a formal meeting, but a briefing had been arranged with himself and the Vice-Chairman for comment before publication.

 

During debate the quality and detail of the report for the year was noted, along with positive details relating to the stability of care placements despite the Coronavirus pandemic and the use of virtual health checks to conduct some form of health assessment in a timely manner.

 

Other issues raised including how further increase the numbers of council foster carers, and if there were lessons that could be learned from similar, rural authorities on placement of children within 20 miles of their homes, though it was noted this could be difficult. Comments were made about improvements which had been made within the fostering service which the council could be proud of, but that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Consultation on 'Planning for the Future' - Government White Paper

A report from the Chief Executive.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Investment, presented a report on how the council should respond to government proposals in respect of the ‘Planning for the Future’ White paper and other changes. Councillor Sturgis introduced the item and noted that the consultation period closed on 29 October 2020, and that as one of the largest planning authorities in the country Wiltshire Council should make a response to that consultation. Councillor Sturgis stated he supported many of the aims of the White Paper, but that there was still some uncertainty on issues such as the changes to the Standard Method for Housing Needs Assessment.

 

Public Statements were then received from Janet Amos on behalf of Amesbury Town Council, Ian James (read by Isabel McCord), Isabel McCord on behalf of Bremhill Parish Council, and Steve Perry.

 

Councillor Sturgis thanked the public speakers for their contributions, and that many of their concerns were reflected in the draft response.

 

Councillor Sturgis moved a motion as set out in Appendix 2, circulated during the meeting, seconded by Councillor Richard Clewer, which included draft responses which would serve as guidance for the preparation of a response on behalf of the Council by the Director of Economic Development and Planning in consultation with the Leader and himself as Cabinet Member. The draft responses took into account the views of Members at a briefing on 2 October 2020 and those attending a meeting on the future of Neighbourhood plans on 9 October 2020 and would further take into account comments made during the council meeting.

 

Councillor Clewer presented the detail of the current draft response to each question, as set out in detail in Supplement 2. He noted that whilst it was proposed the council agree with some of the government proposals, it also included areas of disagreement.

 

Points raised included, but were not limited to:

·       Welcoming improvements to digital access of planning, without disadvantaging those without digital access or less access to high speed internet connections, such as potentially the Travelling community and older people;

·       Priorities included development of connected communities with better enforceable standards of design and master planning and energy efficiency;

·       That the imposition of a zonal planning system in the manner proposed was too simplistic and not appropriate for a large rural area, and that a method to force developers to develop allocated strategic housing sites may be appropriate;

·       Simplified national policies for development management, with minimum standards and some local context, was broadly supportable;

·       A consolidated test for sustainable development including consideration of environmental impact was a good idea;

·       Required formal cooperation between authorities can cause some difficulties, but there are strategic issues where it might be needed;

·       That the council did not support a standard method for establishing housing requirements;

·       Affordability and extent of existing urban areas was not an appropriate indicator of the quantity of development that should be accommodated;

·       There should be automatic outline permission for areas of substantial development once allocated;

·       The council did  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Consultation on 'Planning for the Future' - Government White Paper Motion

To approve the draft response to the questions set out in the White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ to provide guidance for the preparation of the Council’s response, to be prepared by the Director of Economic Development and Planning in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Investment, and Group Leaders.

Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 79.

    Proposed Changes to the Constitution

    To receive a report from the Monitoring Officer.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Adjourned from 1345 to 1415

     

    Councillor Richard Clewer, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Corporate Services, presented a report and recommendations on changes to the Constitution, with minor changes to the Policy Framework and the name of the Audit Committee as set out in the report. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Simon Jacobs.

     

    The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the report and presentation.

     

    Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Ernie Clark, Leader of the Independent Group, and Councillor Ian McLennan for the Labour Group, supported the proposals.

     

    There were no further comments received in debate.

     

    It was therefore,

     

    Resolved:

    That Full Council approve the proposed changes to Part 3B of the Constitution as detailed in Appendix C of the report.

    80.

    Notices of Motion

    To consider the following notices of motions:

    Minutes:

    The following motion was received for the meeting.

    81.

    Notice of Motion No. 23 - Footpath and Cycleway Links

    To consider the attached motion.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    A motion on notice was moved by Councillor Richard Clewer, seconded by Councillor Pip Ridout, as detailed in the agenda papers. Councillor Clewer noted previous council debates regarding cycleway provision and housing developments requiring adequate access links. The motion aimed to ensure that the council was able to better facilitate planning and delivery of links for developments and adjoining communities.

     

    The relevant Cabinet Member, Councillor Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Investment, spoke to the motion, welcomed and supported the motion, but noted that the connections being sought would not always be possible if necessary land was outside the ownership of the owner or the council, but where practicable this should be a focus.

     

    On the proposition of the Chairman, seconded by the Vice-Chairman, it was agreed to debate the motion.

     

    The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the motion.

     

    Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, supported the motion, noting examples of recent estates proposed without appropriate links and work to address that, and praised the preparation behind the motion.

     

    Councillor Ruth Hopkinson, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, welcomed and supported the motion. Councillor Ernie Clark, Leader of the Independent Group, stated any efforts to encourage reduction in car transport would be beneficial and supported the motion. Councillor Ian McLennan, for the Labour Group, supported the intentions of the motion.

     

    The motion was then opened up for general debate. Some comments in debate felt that the motion was not as ambitious as Motion 21 as debated and rejected on 21 July 2020 but supported the aims of the motion. Others noted that ideally footpath and cycleway connections were developed at the planning stage, and it could be difficult to achieve this later for some sites, with cost of purchasing land and public objections two of the issues that could arise.

     

    Councillor Ian McLennan provided examples of isolated developments and difficulty addressing the problem, then proposed an amendment as follows:

     

    Where new residential or commercial developments are granted, or have been granted planning permission, and they are in locations that don't link with existing footpaths and cycleways in adjoining communities that, the Council will undertake to ensure, where practicable, footpath and cycleway links are planned for and delivered in order that our communities can benefit fully from using non-vehicular transport. Where the development is a single unit, a financial contribution is taken.

     

    The amendment was seconded by Councillor Jon Hubbard but noted that there should be clarity on the final sentence from the mover, but the principal sought by the amendment was supportable.

     

    The amendment was then debated. It was stated that any links needed to serve the entire town, and therefore there needed to be work on a wider network at the same time, and also that the original motion needed more detail, and that the qualifier ‘where practicable’ could undermine the purpose of the motion. Other comments were concerned removing the words ‘where practicable’ meant that the motion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

    82.

    Appointment of an Independent Remuneration Panel for Wiltshire

    A report from the Chief Executive.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Richard Clewer, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Corporate Services, presented a report and recommendations for arranging the constitution of an Independent Remuneration Panel to review and make recommendations regarding Members’ allowances. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Philip Whitehead.

     

    The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the report and presentation.

     

    Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, noted reviews were required by law and that the report was about recruiting a Panel and not regarding any recommendations. Councillor Ruth Hopkinson, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, and Councillor Ian McLennan for the Labour Group, supported the proposals.

     

    There were no further comments received in debate.

     

    It was therefore,

     

    Resolved:

     

    That Council:

     

    a)    Agrees to constitute an Independent Remuneration Panel of 3 members and to delegate authority to the Director of Legal and Governance, in consultation with Group Leaders (or their nominated representative), to undertake the selection process and recommend Panel appointments to Full Council;

     

    b)    Notes that Panel members will be appointed for a 4-year term and the Terms of Reference for allowance reviews will be agreed by the Panel, once appointed;

     

    c)    Delegates to the Director of Legal and Governance, in consultation with Group Leaders (or their nominated representative), to appoint an Independent Advisor to the Panel if this becomes necessary during the review period;

     

    d)    Delegates to the Director of Legal and Governance to agree, where appropriate, remuneration for members and advisors supporting the Panel.

    83.

    Appointments to the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee and Local Pension Board

    A report from the Chief Executive Officer.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement and Commercial Investment, presented a report and recommendations on appointments to the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee and Local Pension Board. The recommended appointments had followed a recruitment process set out in the terms of reference of the Committee and Board, and would take effect immediately. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Tony Deane, Chairman of the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee.

     

    The Chairman then invited Group Leaders to comment on the report and presentation.

     

    There were no further comments received in debate.

     

    It was therefore,

     

    Resolved:

     

    That Council:

     

    a)    Marlene Corbey to the Local Pension Board for a four-year term as a Scheme Member Representative.

     

    b)    Tracy Adams to the Wiltshire Pension Fund Committee for a four-year term as an Employer Member Representative.

    84.

    Announcements from Cabinet and Committees

    a) The Leader, Cabinet members and Chairmen of Committees will be invited to make any important announcements.

     

    b) Councillors will be given the opportunity to raise questions to the Chairmen of Committees or to the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Authority on the minutes of their meetings, available here.

     

    c) Councillors will be given an opportunity to raise general issues relating to Area Boards but not specific local issues.

     

     

    Minutes:

    There were no announcements by Cabinet Members or Chairs of Committees.

    85.

    Membership of Committees and Review of Allocation to Political Groups

    To determine any requests from Group Leaders for changes to committee membership in accordance with the allocation of seats to political groups approved by the Council.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Following requests from Group Leaders including a review of allocation of seats to political groups, changes were appointed on the motion of the Chairman and seconded by the Vice-Chairman, as follows:

     

    Resolved:

     

    To make the following appointments to Committees

     

    ·        Councillor Peter Fuller to be removed from the Western Area Planning Committee and Standards Committee, as a Conservative Member, but appointed to those committees as an Independent Member. Councillor Fuller also to be removed from the Appeals Committee, Environment Select Committee and as a substitute member from the Electoral Review Committee and Health Select Committee.

    ·        Councillor Peter Hutton to be removed from the Police and Crime Panel.

    ·        Councillor Brian Mathew to be added to the Police and Crime Panel.

    ·        Councillor Tony Trotman to be removed from the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee.

    ·        Councillor Atiqul Hoque to be added to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee.

    ·        Councillor Bob Jones MBE to be removed from the Standards Committee.

    ·        Councillor Richard Britton to be added to the Standards Committee

    ·        Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe to be added as a substitute member of the Standards Committee.

    ·        Councillor Tony Trotman to be added to the Environment Select Committee.

    ·        Councillor Andrew Davis to be added to the Appeals Committee and Councillor Philip Whalley to be added as a substitute member of the Appeals Committee.

     

    86.

    Councillors' Questions

    Councillors were required to give notice of any such question in writing to the officer names on the first page of this agenda no later than 5pm nine clear working days before the meeting – Tuesday 6 Octoberin order to be guaranteed a written response.

     

    Any question received after 5pm on 6 October 2020 and no later than 5pm four clear working days before the meeting, Tuesday 13 October 2020, may only receive a verbal response at the meeting. Any questions received after this date will be received at the next meeting.

     

    Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman determines the matter is urgent.

     

    Details of any questions received will be circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

     

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Questions were received from Councillors Ian Thorn and Clare Cape, with responses as detailed in Agenda Supplement 1.

     

    In respect of question 20-24 and on behalf of Councillor Thorn, Councillor Hopkinson asked a supplementary question about whether the Executive agreed that the response to Covid-19 was led by officers and this should be recognised and not politicised.

     

    Councillor Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council, responded to the supplementary question setting out the excellent officer response led by the Cabinet, and set out what he considered to be politicisation of Covid-19 and other issues by the Liberal Democrats.

     

    In respect of 20-25 Councillor Cape asked a supplementary question stating that local people might perceive the proposals relating to the Chippenham Highways Investment Fund (HIF) bid as determined and would there be meaningful consultation including with local members.

     

    Councillor Whitehead stated that due to the HIF bid details for a distributor road were public prior to a planning application, as would normally be the case. However, the matter was not determined, and any infrastructure proposals and housing development would still go through normal planning processes including public consultation, but investment in infrastructure had been sought upfront.

     

    In respect of 20-26 Councillor Cape asked a supplementary question on whether traffic modelling took account of vehicle movements from additional housing and employment land.

     

    Councillor Whitehead stated traffic modelling had taken place several years ago but would be updated to take account of all relevant factors and variables, and the proposed road should help relieve congestion as well as link houses together.

     

    In respect of 20-27 Councillor Cape asked a supplementary question asking if the estimate for new homes included the development at Rawlings Farm.

     

    Councillor Whitehead stated he believed that the estimate did include that development and noted that the town had been developed to the west but not to the east and noted the overall housing need in Wiltshire.

     

    In respect of 20-28 Councillor Cape asked a supplementary question on the HIF funding for major infrastructure needs such as schools and doctors, and what benefits elsewhere in Chippenham would be obtained.

     

    Councillor Whitehead stated that appropriate facilities would be obtained through community infrastructure levies and s106 contributions from any housing development, but a masterplan for the siting of schools and other facilities linked with cycleways and highways would enable benefits.

     

    In respect of 20-29 Councillor Clare Cape asked a supplementary question on whether current planning legislation ensure the road and development would be carbon neutral, and if not would ensure it.

     

    Councillor Whitehead stated no plans had yet been submitted so the specific impacts would not be known. He stated he supported the drive for carbon neutrality, however this did not mean more housing could not be built, as there would still be a need for homes and roads. Making sure the homes were delivered in as eco friendly a way as possible would be an aim, and the HIF fund bid enabled better design and planning for delivery of homes that would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

    Member Attendance

    Supporting documents:

     

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