Agenda item

Notice of Motion

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


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requirements as regards building rate levels on this District for the following reasons and we ask that it is withdrawn and more consideration is given to the following points: 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 proportionate and fair to all residents.’


Councillor Tricia Youtan, Cabinet Member for Community & Wellbeing, proposed the following amendment to the motion, which was seconded by Councillor Philip Circus, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling & Waste:


‘Horsham District Council notes the Black Lives Matter protests against racism that have taken place recently.  We have long condemned racism, along with all other forms of discrimination on grounds of gender, religious belief, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics that are in Section 4 of the 2010 Equality Act.  This Council specifically requires all Members to adhere to that non-discrimination policy in Section 3.2 of the Members Code of Conduct and we will continue working with partner agencies, including Sussex Police, to meet these requirements.’  


Members debated the proposal. 


On being put, the motion, as amended, was declared CARRIED. 



The following Motion was moved by Councillor Frances Haigh and seconded by Councillor Tony Bevis:


‘This Council notes with concern that in recent months:


1.    The Government has issued multi-million pound contracts without following due diligence for the award of purchase contracts.

2.    The Government has introduced legislation to enable the breaking of an international legal agreement, lowering the status of the UK internationally and risking reputational harm and loss of qualifications for those MPs who hold legal qualifications.


This Council therefore confirms that in all its dealings it will:


1.    Uphold the rule of law and its own constitution so that no officers or Councillors have to put at risk their professional standing.


2.    Act in full accordance with its own constitution and the Nolan Seven Principles of Public Life, which are:

2.1 Selflessness:  Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

2.2 Integrity:  Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

2.3 Objectivity:  Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

2.4 Accountability:  Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

2.5 Openness:  Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

2.6 Honesty:  Holders of public office should be truthful.

2.7 Leadership:  Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.


Council thus recognises its responsibility to maintain public confidence and ensure that its constitution and processes are subject to continuous improvement.


It therefore instructs the Governance Committee to review the following update to the Constitution and report back to full Council within three months-


“Article 11.5 Key Decision: Add

c) any proposed decision to invite contract proposals for a feasibility study, appraisal, out-line plan or the like, which might lead to a project with a value of over £250,000, even if it of itself does not involve expenditure of £250,000, shall be deemed to be a Key Decision subject to the same approvals and scrutiny as all others.” ’


Councillor Ray Dawe, Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance & Assets, proposed an amendment to the Notice of Motion, which was seconded by Councillor Christian Mitchell.  He proposed that:  references to Government actions and the rule of law be deleted because they were not relevant to Council business; reference to the Nolan Principles be deleted because these were adhered to by Members as part of the Members Code of Conduct; and the proposal to review and update the Constitution be amended. In summary, Councillor Dawe proposed the following amended motion:


‘This Council instructs the Monitoring Officer, in line with Article 13 of the Constitution, to review the effects of a Constitutional change that would make any proposal for a feasibility study, appraisal, out-line plan or the like, which might lead to a project with a value of over £250,000, even if it of itself does not involve expenditure of £250,000, a Key Decision. This review to be done within three months and to report those findings to the Governance Committee which will then consider any changes it might recommend to Full Council.’


Members debated the proposal.


On being put, the motion, as amended, was declared CARRIED.

Supporting documents: