Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: via Remote Video Link

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

Items
No. Item

CO/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on:

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 1 July and 23 July were approved as correct records and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.

CO/21

Declarations of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

CO/22

Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling & Waste announced that the number of families taking part in the Hot Bin Trial had been extended to six.  The results of this six-month trial would determine whether this type of food composter should be promoted widely to residents across the district.

 

The Cabinet Member for Leisure & Culture stated that, despite these challenging times, he had three pieces of uplifting news:

 

-    The Capitol had been awarded £185K from the Arts Council’s Cultural Recovery Fund. He urged Councillors and residents to visit the newly refurbished venue to see one of the live performances, which were booking well. 

 

-    A talented Horsham musician had won the 2020 Sussex Young Musician Competition.  He had joined a samba band run by the Council’s Arts Development service when he was eight, and was now studying percussion at the Royal College of Music.

 

-    Horsham Park had gained the prestigious Green Flag Award.  The judges had commented that it was one of the best maintained urban parks they had judged, and was a credit to the Council.

 

The Chief Executive made two announcements:

 

-    In response to ongoing financial challenges caused by the pandemic, the Council was consulting on a proposed organisational restructure that would deliver £2M annual savings.  The proposal included consultation with officers and Members, and sought to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.  

 

-    He had been assured by Councillor Haigh that her Notice of Motion, to be debated later in the meeting, was not intended to imply any criticism of the conduct of Councillors or Officers, or imply that decisions have been made that are not consistent with the Constitution or the Nolan Principles.  He also stated that this Council’s threshold of £250K for key decisions was much lower than that of many other councils, and that Councillor Haigh’s proposal would hamper the ability to gather sufficient information before making key decisions.

CO/23

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/24

Recommendations from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To receive the recommendations from the meeting of Cabinet held on 23 July 2020 and, if approved, to adopt the recommendations therein:

 

Purchase of property in Slinfold by Horsham District Homes (Holdings) Limited (the report of the Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing is online at: Cabinet Agenda item 11 )

 

To receive the recommendations from the meeting of Cabinet held on 24 September 2020 and, if approved, to adopt the recommendations therein:

 

Update on the Council’s financial position(the report of the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance & Assets is online at:

Cabinet Agenda item 6)

 

The review of Building Control Charges Scheme (the report of the Cabinet Member for Planning & Development is online at:

Cabinet Agenda item 12)

Minutes:

Councillor Tricia Youtan, Cabinet Member for Community & Wellbeing, moved the recommendation from the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 23 July to approve the purchase of property in Slinfold by the Council’s Housing Company (Horsham District Council (Holdings) Ltd).  The business case for the purchase of the affordable rental homes had been approved by Cabinet.  Councillor Roger Noel seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the transfer of s106 funds to Horsham District Homes (Holdings) for the purchase of the homes be approved.

 

REASON

 

Approval of the recommendations will deliver four affordable rental homes for the benefit of households on the housing list.

 

 

Councillor Ray Dawe, Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance & Assets, outlined the recommendations from the Cabinet meeting held on 24 September relating to the update on the Council’s financial position and the impact of the pandemic on the 2020/2021 budgets and the MTFS.  Two recommendations from Cabinet relating to support for rough sleepers accommodation were no longer relevant because unfortunately funding from the MHCLG had not been granted. The Leader moved the amended recommendations.  Councillor Roger Noel seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)    That a £50K capital budget for the refresh and refurbishment of the museum whilst it remains closed during 2020/21 be approved.

 

(ii)   That a £125K capital budget increase to the £180K Henfield Library car park capital project, to address significant issues in the foundations, be approved.

 

REASON

 

(i)    Work is needed to modernise and refresh museum displays, introduce a digital cultural heritage offer, and improve the customer experience.

 

(ii)   The more expensive dig-out and rebuild of the car park in Henfield will address structural defects and make the asset last much longer and is therefore more economical in the long term.

 

 

Councillor Claire Vickers, Cabinet Member for Planning & Development, moved the recommendation from the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 24 September to approve the updated Building Control Charges Scheme.  Councillor Lynn Lambert seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the revised Charges Scheme as set out in appendix A of the report to Cabinet be approved.

 

REASON

 

To ensure Building Control Charges are able to recover the costs associated with the relevant functions and kept in line with inflation.

CO/25

Recommendations from Committees pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive the recommendations of the Audit Committee and, if approved, to adopt the recommendations contained therein:

 

Capital Strategy 2020/21 incorporating Investment and Treasury Management Strategy (the report of the Director of Corporate Resources is online at:  Audit Committee Report ) 

Minutes:

Councillor Stuart Ritchie, Chairman of the Audit Committee, moved the recommendation from the Audit Committee to approve the Treasury Management Strategy and the Investment Strategy. The Committee had already approved the Capital Strategy as an appropriate overarching strategy for the Council.  Councillor John Blackall seconded the motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)    That the Treasury Management Strategy for 2020/21 and the associated limits and specific indicators included in section 4 and appendix B of the report be approved.

 

(ii)   That the Investment Strategy for 2020/21 and the associated limits and specific indicators included in section 5 and appendix C of the report be approved.

 

REASON

 

(i)    The Council is required to have regard to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice 2017 Edition (the CIPFA Code) and Prudential Code which requires the Council to approve a Capital strategy, Investment strategy and Treasury Management Strategy before the start of each financial year.

 

ii)    The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) issued revised guidance on local authority investments in 2017 that the Council is required to have regard to.

CO/26

Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To receive the report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reminded Members that the Council was required to appoint an Independent Remuneration Panel to consider Members’ allowances. An interim report had been carried out in 2018, but it was over four years since the last full review was agreed and implemented.   

 

Following a recruitment process, three suitable candidates had come forward and had met the approval of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, who agree with the recommendation.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)    To delegate to the Chief Executive the approval of the appointment of up to three independent members to sit on the Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

(ii)   That the appointed Panel Members be paid £700 each upon conclusion of the review and that any travelling and subsistence expenses should be paid at the current approved rate for Members.

 

REASON

 

To comply with statutory requirements, in particular (i) the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and (ii) the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003.

CO/27

Reports of representatives

To receive reports from representatives on outside bodies

Minutes:

No reports of representatives on outside bodies were received.

CO/28

Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To consider three Notices of Motion, submitted in accordance with Rule 4a.26 of the Council’s Constitution by:

 

(a)        Mike Croker

(b)        Claire Vickers

(c)        Frances Haigh

Minutes:

Councillor Karen Burgess, Chairman of the Council, stated that three notices of motion had been received in accordance with Rule 4a.26 of the Council’s Constitution.  In order to dispose of each motion this evening she asked the Council to agree that the time allocated to this item be extended from the 30 minutes allowed in the Constitution to 45 minutes.  Councillor David Skipp seconded this proposal.  There were no objections.

 

The following Motion was moved by Councillor Claire Vickers, Cabinet Member for Planning & Development, and seconded by Councillor Liz Kitchen:

 

‘This Council believes that there is a need for additional housing within the district but that this requires consideration of a wide number of factors that are absent from the Government‘s proposal for altering the Standard Methodology used to calculate the number of homes that it would require to be built in the District. This proposal sits alongside the Government’s consultation on other changes to the current planning system.

 

We believe that the proposed methodology places impossible requirements as regards building rate levels on this District for the following reasons and we ask that it is withdrawn and more consideration is given to the following points: 

 

This District already has an infrastructure deficit and the Government’s proposal would more than double the District’s housing targets. This would require huge investment in infrastructure and severely impact our ability to address issues of climate change and biodiversity. 

 

The raising of the on-site Affordable Housing provision threshold as proposed to be only applicable to 50 homes or more, would result in a huge reduction in affordable housing provision and particularly effect our rural areas.

 

Without an ability to oblige developers to build on the sites that have planning permission Local Planning Authorities such as ours will not be able to deliver the homes the Government requires and thus the proposals to amend the planning system will not meet the objectives.

 

For these reasons this Council calls on the Government to withdraw the proposals and resubmit ones that focus on supporting towns and cities that need and want regeneration rather than placing unachievable requirements that would change predominately rural areas and are devoid of the necessary infrastructure investment and network.’

 

Paul Kornycky, a member of the public, addressed the Council in support of the Notice of Motion.

 

The Cabinet Member urged all Members to support the motion and stated that these concerns would be raised again in the Council’s response to the Government’s Planning for the Future public consultation.  Members debated the motion with comments of support.

 

On being put, the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

 

The following Motion was moved by Councillor Mike Croker and seconded by Councillor Bob Platt:

 

‘Horsham District Council takes note of the Black Lives Matter protests within the district earlier this year. In response, Council resolves to tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it, and to continue to work with the community and Sussex Police to ensure that policing in the county is  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO/28

CO/29

Members' Questions on Notice

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

Minutes:

Councillor Mike Croker asked Councillor Claire Vickers, Cabinet Member for Planning & Development, the following question: 

 

‘Would the Cabinet Member for Planning and Development join me in congratulating the South Downs National Park planning authority for adopting a Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which, amongst other measures, encourages use of Passive House standards for all new dwellings, and requires Passive House certification for 10% of all new dwellings in a development of 10 or more dwellings?’

 

The Cabinet Member replied:

 

‘I am happy to join you in congratulating the South Downs National Park.  We work closely with the SDNP and will be applying the new SPD in the determination of any planning applications we make as part of our delegated authority agreement.’

 

In reply, Councillor Croker asked a supplementary question:

 

‘I’m pleased that you join me in this.  But recognising the significance of this SPD and the current climate emergency, would she also consider the production of a similarly rigorous SPD by Horsham District Council that is fit for the challenges presented by the ongoing climate emergency, bearing in mind that policy 39 of the draft Horsham District Local Plan requires that all development should maximise energy efficiency?’ 

 

The Cabinet Member replied:

 

‘As you are probably aware, a SPD has to hang off a policy in an adopted Local Plan and the SDNP have recently adopted their Plan.  This Council however is in the process, as you know, of renewing its Local Plan so the Strategic Planning team are fully focussed on the preparation of the next stage of this Plan, which will contain enhanced environmental policies.  Once the Plan and its policies are in place we can then look to provide supplementary guidance where we feel there is benefit in doing so.’

 

Councillor Croker made a final statement:

 

‘I thank the Cabinet Member for her relatively positive approach to this and look forward to working with her in future once we get the Horsham District Local Plan past the finishing post.’

CO/30

Urgent Business

To consider matters certified by the Chairman as urgent

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

CO/31

To consider the following exempt or confidential information:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Paragraph 2 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual)), and in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

CO/32

Pay Policy Implications of Efficiency Savings

(Exempt by virtue of Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual)

 

To receive the report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a report on the proposed organisational restructure, which was currently being consulted on. A number of redundancies would be required to help achieve the necessary efficiency savings.   Council approved the recommendations.