Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Park Suite, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham

Contact: Email: CommitteeServices@horsham.gov.uk  Direct Line: 01403 215465

Items
No. Item

CO/27

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 23 June 2021

(Note: If any Member wishes to propose an amendment to the minutes they should submit this in writing to committeeservices@horsham.gov.uk at least 24 hours before the meeting.  Where applicable, the audio recording of the meeting will be checked to ensure the accuracy of the proposed amendment.)

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 23 June were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

CO/28

Declarations of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members

Minutes:

Item 10:  Notice of Motion – Councillor Nigel Jupp declared a personal interest because he is a County Councillor.

CO/29

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Council, the Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive

Minutes:

Councillor Claire Vickers, Cabinet Member for Community & Wellbeing, announced that a number of residents were finding it difficult to get a GP appointment and she would look into what could be done to ensure older and vulnerable residents were able to visit their surgeries.  The Chairman stated that he was aware of this issue and supported the Cabinet Member in taking this forward.

 

Councillor Chris Brown, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, made the following announcements:

 

·         The Y-Wish Youth Employment Hub, located in Swan Walk, had fully opened after lockdown restrictions.  The Cabinet Member had recently spoken on Radio Sussex about this valuable resource for helping 18 – 24 year olds get back into employment.

 

·         The Cabinet Member urged Councillors to tell retailers in their wards about the West Sussex Retail Hub.  This was an on-line resource supporting retailers across West Sussex, offering training and advice with a focus on getting people back into the high streets. 

 

·         This year’s Jobs Fair was taking place in the Drill Hall on 2 October. Over 20 employers had signed up already.

 

·         The current round of the Council’s LEAP grants had just opened for applications.  These grants were for small to medium enterprises in the district and an important resource to help recovery.

 

·         So far 12 Shop Improvement Grants had been approved.  There was still approximately £50,000 worth of grants available and the Cabinet Member encouraged independent retailers in the district to apply.

 

Councillor Roger Noel, Cabinet Member for Leisure & Culture, made the following announcements:

 

·         The Wider Horsham District board had signed off the completed Nature Recovery Network.  This was a major milestone for recovering the natural environment and would give residents the opportunity to be part of our move towards a low carbon future.  He thanked the officers who had worked so hard to complete the NRN, and also thanked Councillor Jonathan Chowen, the previous Cabinet Member who had been instrumental in setting up the Wilder Horsham District project.

 

·         Jeremy Knight, Horsham Museum’s curator for 32 years, had announced his retirement.  The Cabinet Member thanked him for his commitment and expertise over the years and for the quality of the exhibitions he had curated. While the museum was closed during the pandemic its collections had been completely reorganised.  There would be a special evening event on 1 October for staff, volunteers and friends of the museum ahead of its opening to the public on 2 October.  The Chairman of the Council endorsed the Cabinet Member’s sentiments regarding Jeremy’s contribution and legacy.

 

Councillor Philip Circus, Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste, Recycling & Cleansing, made the following announcements:

 

·         He had visited the Depot with the Chief Executive and Director of Community Services to thank staff for their hard work in running the services within his portfolio.  Their loyalty had helped run a comprehensive service throughout the challenges brought by the pandemic.

 

·         Food waste collections were going to be trialled shortly, beginning with a number of properties in Billingshurst in September.  The Cabinet Member advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO/29

CO/30

Questions from the Public

To receive questions from the public under Rules 4a.2(f) and 4a.8-18

 

Minutes:

No questions relevant to the business of the meeting had been received.

CO/31

Recommendations from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To receive the recommendation from the meeting of Cabinet held on 22 July and, if approved, to adopt the recommendations therein:

 

Collection of Business Waste from West Sussex schools (report of the Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste, Recycling & Cleansing is online at:  Agenda item 12a )

Minutes:

Item withdrawn from the agenda.

CO/32

Recommendations from Committees pdf icon PDF 322 KB

To receive the recommendation of the Licensing Committee held on 15 June and, if approved, to adopt the recommendation contained therein:

 

DFT Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards – Amendments to Policy and Conditions (report of the Head of Environmental Health & Licensing is online at: Agenda item 9 )

Minutes:

Councillor John Blackall, Vice-Chairman of the Licensing Committee, advised that the Council’s Taxi and Private Hire Policy had been revised to reflect changes in the Department for Transport’s Taxi and Private Hire Standards.  These changes were aimed mainly at safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

 

Councillor Blackall confirmed that at the Committee meeting in June officers had answered queries regarding the new legislation and resulting changes to the Council’s procedures to the Committee’s satisfaction.  Public consultation on the revised policy had taken place and no representations had been received.

 

The recommendation to approve the adoption of the statutory Taxi & Private Hire Standards and Conditions was seconded by Councillor Gordon Lindsay.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the statutory Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Guidance (including standards and conditions), as set out in Appendix A to the Licensing Committee report, be adopted.

 

REASON

 

i) To protect the public.

 

ii) To ensure transparency and openness in decision-making.

CO/33

Grant Decisions Arising from the Covid-19 Emergency pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To receive the report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reminded Members that he had been granted the authority to use emergency powers to take decisions quickly to ensure that government funding made available to counter the impact of the pandemic could be spent in a timely manner. 

 

By allocating Additional Restrictions Grant funding without waiting for the cycle of meetings that would allow for Cabinet and Council endorsement, the Council had been able to secure a further £1.29m tranche of funding to help the district’s businesses recover.

 

The Chief Executive gave details of funding that had been allocated to projects supporting the mental health and wellbeing of younger people; by using the emergency powers this support had been available during the summer holidays. The Cabinet Member for Community & Wellbeing thanked officers for providing these extra services to young people when most needed.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that he used the emergency powers sparingly and had consulted with Cabinet Members and the Leader before taking these decisions.  

 

RESOLVED

 

i)          That the amendments to the Additional Restrictions Discretionary Grant scheme and the spend without budget on mental health services made by the Chief Executive under his Head of Paid Service powers outlined in section 3 be noted.

 

ii)         To delegate to the Chief Executive the approval of any further amendments to the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme, subject to reporting these back to the following Council meeting.

 

iii)        To approve the addition of £120,000 of grant to the Council’s community development budget.

 

REASON

 

i)          The use of Additional Restrictions Grant met the Government’s request to help businesses eligible for Restart Grants in July.  Using the remainder of the Council’s allocation of Additional Restrictions Grant in this way meant the Council was able to obtain an extra £1,289,093 grant to further help Horsham District’s businesses in the autumn and winter.  Allowing the Chief Executive to make changes to the Additional Restrictions Grant policies will allow him to quickly allocate money to businesses.   The Director of Corporate Resources already has a delegation for setting up projects  and their budgets in consultation with a group of Cabinet members and the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny.

 

ii)         The decision to spend the youth mental health grant immediately allowed critical work for the wellbeing of Horsham District’s young people to begin during the school holiday period.

CO/34

Reports of representatives

To receive reports from representatives on outside bodies

Minutes:

Councillor Liz Kitchen, the Council’s representative on GatCom reported that the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) were carrying out two consultations, one regarding night flights.

 

The second consultation was on the proposal to bring a second runway into regular use.  The impact of a second runway on the district would be profound and Councillor Kitchen stated that she would bring a Notice of Motion to the next Council meeting so that a consultation response agreed by the whole Council could be submitted.

 

The Chairman of the Council thanked Councillor Kitchen for her involvement with GatCom.  He encouraged other Councillors who were representatives on outside bodies to bring reports to future Council meetings.

CO/35

Notice of Motion

To consider the following Notice of Motion, submitted by Councillor Billy Greening in accordance with Rule 4a.26 of the Council’s Constitution:

 

Council notes the humanitarian disaster resulting from the fall of Afghanistan and Kabul to the Taliban.

 

Council further notes the efforts to evacuate many Afghan nationals, including those who have worked with the UK military and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, to the UK.

 

Council resolves to support efforts to resettle those refugees, working with the Home Office, charities and other agencies, and to help accommodate a fair and reasonable number locally alongside/as are many other local authorities, with appropriate Government funding and support.’

Minutes:

The following Motion was moved by Councillor Billy Greening and seconded by Councillor Peter Burgess:

 

‘‘Council notes the humanitarian disaster resulting from the fall of Afghanistan and Kabul to the Taliban.

 

Council further notes the efforts to evacuate many Afghan nationals, including those who have worked with the UK military and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, to the UK.

 

Council resolves to support efforts to resettle those refugees, working with the Home Office, charities and other agencies, and to help accommodate a fair and reasonable number locally alongside/as are many other local authorities, with appropriate Government funding and support.’

 

Members debated the proposal. The Cabinet Member for Housing & Public Protection confirmed that the Council was committed to doing what it can to house those allocated to the area and support them in finding a better life. She was working with West Sussex County Council, who had overall responsibility in facilitating the government’s resettling scheme.  Councillor Nigel Jupp confirmed that WSCC was playing a full part and was liaising with all district councils in West Sussex.

 

On being put, the motion was unanimously declared CARRIED.

CO/36

Members' Questions on Notice

To receive questions from Members under Rules 4a.20(b)-25

Minutes:

Three Questions on Notice had been received.

 

1.  Councillor Mike Croker asked Councillor Lynn Lambert, Cabinet Member for Planning & Development, the following question:

 

I note from Appendix 3 of the ‘Local Plan Evidence Base Summary' of the proposed Regulation 19 Horsham District Local Plan that was presented to Cabinet at Agenda Item 6 on 15 July that a Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document was apparently in preparation by somebody known as 'CSE'.  I also note in paragraph 9.7 of the draft plan that 'A Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document, to support Policies 36, 37 and 38 will provide further guidance on these matters'.

 

Please can the Cabinet Member for Planning & Development say when the drafts of these documents will be available for members' and/or public scrutiny?’

 

The Cabinet Member replied:

 

‘As you note, it is the Council’s intention to produce a Supplementary Planning Document on Climate change matters in order to support the Local Plan once it is adopted. We have started work on this at an early stage so that we can hit the ground running once we have a local plan in place.

 

The purpose of SPDS is to provide guidance on how to use or interpret planning policies. They do not set policies themselves. Therefore we cannot progress the SPD until we have a new Local Plan in place – until that time the policy wording could change or there may be updates from government which lead to policy changes.   

 

I am very happy to ensure that Members are involved in this process. However, this will need to follow the adoption of the plan which is programmed for 2023.’

 

In reply, Councillor Croker asked a supplementary question:

 

Will the Cabinet Member consider consulting Members about the SPD prior to 2023?

 

The Cabinet Member replied:

 

As already outlined the policy framework can be changed by the inspector or updated by government guidance during the Local Plan examination. This will mean updates to the SPD would be needed as well – making comments at this stage premature and possibly abortive.  

 

In addition, the Local Plan staff are now fully committed on Local Plan review work and we cannot resource additional work on other matters at this point in time.’

 

 

2.  Councillor John Milne asked Councillor Lynn Lambert, Cabinet Member for Planning & Development, the following question:

 

It has been determined in 3 recent planning appeals that HDC can no longer claim a 5-year-land-supply, with significant negative potential for the district.

 

HDC’s calculation in all 3 appeals counted 5 years forward from a base date of 1 April 2020, which was the most up to date figure available at the time.

 

However, the housing delivery figures to 31 March 2021 should now be finalised or about to be. According to planning guidelines, we can now legitimately advance the calculation by one year and switch to a 1 April 2021 base date, as will also be used in the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO/36

CO/37

Urgent Business

To consider matters certified by the Chairman as urgent

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.