Agenda and draft minutes

Lewes District Council Full Council
Monday, 25th February, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber at County Hall, St Annes Crescent, Lewes

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

45.

Minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Council dated 26 November 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 26 November 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

46.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were reported from Councillors Amy and Lorraine.

47.

Declarations of interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

48.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Council, Leader of the Council, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive. A list of the Chair of the Council's engagements since the previous meeting is enclosed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a list of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council’s engagements carried out between 26 November 2018 and 25 February 2019.  The Chair on behalf of the Council congratulated Councillor Carter on the birth of her baby since the last meeting.

 

The Leader of the Council announced that Lewes and Eastbourne Councils and East Sussex College Group had been confirmed by the Government as its preferred partners to take over the running of the University Technical College (UTC) in Newhaven.

49.

Urgent items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

50.

Questions from members of the public

To deal with questions which members of the public may wish to put to members of the Cabinet in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members of the public.

51.

Petitions

To receive petitions from councillors or members of the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13 (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions had been submitted for the Council agenda in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.

52.

Urgent decisions taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet members

In accordance with Scrutiny Procedure Rule 17, to receive details of any urgent decisions taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet members since the previous meeting (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was confirmed that no urgent decision had been taken by the Cabinet or Cabinet members since the last meeting. 

53.

Council budget and setting of the council tax for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of Councillor Giles on behalf of the Cabinet.

 

Councillors are reminded that in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct and Local Government Act 1992 Section 106, if you are two months or more in arrears with your council tax payments, you must disclose this at the meeting and must not vote at any decision being taken which might affect the level of the council tax or arrangements for administering it.  Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

 

Please note that the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 require named votes to be taken and recorded when setting the annual budget and council tax, this to include substantive motions and any amendments.

 

To consider the attached summary report, the recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 11 February 2019 (Minute Extracts for Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees in respect of the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account are attached at item 9a and 9b), and to consider the recommended amendments to the budget set out at item 9c.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Full Council received for consideration the recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 11 February 2019 (minute extracts for Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees in respect of the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account attached at items 9a and 9b to the agenda), and the report of the Chief Finance Officer tabled at the meeting setting out updated recommendations, based on the latest information and reflecting technical amendments that had been made to the Council Tax base figures, which had resulted in minor changes to the Town and Parish Council precepts.

 

Councillor Smith (Leader of the Council) moved, and Councillor Giles (Cabinet Member for Finance) seconded, the motion that:

 

‘The recommendations contained in the report of the Chief Finance Officer entitled ‘Council Tax Budget Summary and Setting of the Council Tax 2019/20’ as tabled be approved, and the recommendations of the Cabinet meeting held on 11 February 2019 in respect of Minute 62 ‘The Housing Revenue Account 2019/20’ and Minute 60 ‘General Fund Budget 2019/20’ be approved, subject to the amendments to the Cabinet recommendations set out in the Chief Finance Officer’s report tabled at the meeting’.

 

Councillor Osborne moved, and Councillor Smith seconded, five amendments to the budget as follows:

 

1. Citizens’ science project - Air quality monitoring  £10k - To provide residents with self-build sensors installed outside their homes that generate a continuously updated particular matter map from the transmitted data. This could focus on areas not already covered by local authority equipment.  The funding should include officer time and work with partners on the construction of the equipment and ensuring accurate calibration.  The principle of the project is to kick start an air quality partnership with private funding for the monitors in the future and provide an education opportunity.

 

2 .Biodiversity Improvements  £10k - For supporting bio diversity improvements on Lewes District Council land using a variety of improvements including nest boxes and wildflower, and to use it as a catalyst for more community engagement and interest in their local bio-diversity. Funding is to include officer time using established teams and to work with partners (such as Plumpton Headway, Mind) on the construction / supply of material and delivery in local communities.

 

3. Trade & Investment Account Manager - £25k - To pilot the creation of a new Trade and Investment Account Manager focusing on attracting new investment to Lewes District and supporting businesses to grow, trade locally, nationally and internationally.  Specifically targeting high growth scale-up businesses including priority sectors for the LEP, Newhaven Enterprise Zone and Greater Brighton City region.

 

4. Pop up and Flexible Business Space  -The proposed investment set out in these proposals are a cost effective way of bringing back underutilised council-owned assets into productive use. Furthermore, the proposed use would directly contribute to economic growth by supporting micro businesses to expand. By their nature, micro businesses are locally-owned; providing an environment where they can grow will help their owners who are likely to be residents of the district. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

53a

General fund revenue budget 2019/20 - Minute Extracts pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Extracts from the minutes of the Cabinet meeting on the 11 February 2019 and Scrutiny Committee held on 7 February 2019.

Additional documents:

53b

Housing revenue account budget 2019/2020 - Minute Extracts pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Extracts from the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet on 11 February 2019 and Scrutiny Committee held on 7 February 2019 are attached.

Additional documents:

54.

Matters referred from Cabinet and other Council bodies

The following matters are submitted to the Council for decision.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following matters were submitted to the Council for decision.

54a

Annual treasury management strategy statement and investment strategy 2019-2020 to 2020-2021 - Minute Extract pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of Councillor Giles on behalf of the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council, Councillor Gauntlet, moved and Councillor Catlin seconded the motion that the recommendation of the Cabinet held on 11 February 2019 relating to minute 61 (Annual treasury management strategy statement and investment strategy 2019-2020 to 2020-2021) be received and adopted.

 

The motion was put to the meeting and Declared Carried.

 

Resolved:

1)         To approve the treasury management strategy and annual investment strategy as set out in the Cabinet report and at appendix 5 to the Cabinet report.

2)         To approve the methodology for calculating the minimum revenue provision as set out at paragraph 2.3 of the Cabinet report and at appendix 2 to the Cabinet report.

3)         To approve the prudential and treasury indicators as set out in the Cabinet report.

4)         To approve the investment categories, limits and creditworthiness policy, set out at appendix 6 to the Cabinet report; and

5)         To approve the Capital Strategy as set out at appendix 1 to the Cabinet report.

54b

Review of Lewes District Council's Gambling Statement of Principles - Minute Extract pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Report of Councillor Adeniji on behalf of the Licensing Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council moved and Councillor Catlin seconded the motion that the recommendation of the Licensing Committee held on 11 December 2019 relating to Minute 12 (Review of the Lewes District Council’s Gambling Statement of Principles) be received and adopted.

 

The motion was put to the meeting and Declared Carried.

 

Resolved:

That the reviewed and revised Statement of Gambling Principles for Lewes District Council be adopted.

55.

Memberships

To note the appointment to the following committee:

 

·         Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Murray replacing Councillor O’Keeffe

 

Due to changes to the membership of the Council, a political balance review has resulted in the following changes for noting:

 

·         Devolution Committee – Councillor Murray replacing Councillor Osborne

 

·         Planning Applications Committee – Councillor Neave replacing Councillor Gardiner

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved to note that:

a)    Councillor Murray has replaced Councillor O’Keeffe on Scrutiny Committee; and

b)    As a result of a political balance review:

·         Councillor Murray has replaced Councillor Osborne on Devolution Committee; and

·         Councillor Neave has replaced Councillor Gardiner on Planning Applications Committee.

56.

Notices of motion. pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To consider notices of motion received.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council reported that the following notices of motion had been submitted under Council Procedure Rule 14.

1.    Renewable Energy – Proposed by Councillor Ient

Councillor Ient moved and Councillor Osborne seconded:

 

“That this Council resolves to bring forward the date for implementation of the renewable energy schemes motion which was carried on 16 July 2018 whereby the implementation period is brought forward from 1 September 2019 to 1 April 2019, in recognition that the Council is already in the position to put this in place from the earlier date of 1 April 2019”.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was Resolved (Carried).

2.    Amendment to deadline for receipt of Questions – Proposed by Councillor Ient

Councillor Ient withdrew this motion at the meeting, as following discussions with Councillor Nicholson he agreed that this would be better considered by a future Council when reviewing the Constitution. 

 

3.   Air Source Heat Pumps – Proposed by Councillor Rowell

Councillor Rowell moved and Councillor Catlin seconded that:

 

This Council will set aside up to £10,000 to undertake a feasibility study to assess whether the capital and running costs involved to both the Council and tenants of installing air source heat pumps in existing and new properties is a viable option both in terms of cost and carbon emissions reduction for the future and report back to Cabinet by 30 June 2019, subject to the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance identifying the funding for the feasibility study from limited contingency monies contained in the Council budget for 2019/20.’

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was Declared Lost.

4.   Clearing Litter on A26 and A27 – Proposed by Councillor Linington

Councillor Linington moved and Councillor Ient seconded that:

 

‘This Council calls on the Secretary of State for Transport, working as necessary with the Secretary of State for the Environment, to achieve the transfer of responsibility for clearing litter from the A26 and A27 within Lewes District to Highways England and that the Cabinet Member for the Environment shall write to the Secretary of State for Transport to make the case for this.’

 

In moving this motion, Councillor Linington advised that if the motion was supported she may appropriate other East Sussex Councils to join with Lewes Council on the request to Government, and it was suggested she might in addition seek support from the local MPs and Town and Parish Councils, although this did not form part of the formal motion.

 

The motion was put to the vote and it was Resolved (Carried).

5.    Tackling Littering – Proposed by Councillor Rowell

Councillor Rowell moved and Councillor Denys seconded that:

This Council will therefore set aside up to £50,000 to devise and implement a strategy that will look at education, prevention, extra bins and extra staff to reduce and if possible eliminate the reliance on volunteers to keep Lewes District clean and tidy, subject to Officers being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Written questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To deal with written questions which councillors may wish to put to the Chair of the Council, a Lead Councillor on the Cabinet or the Chair of any committee or sub-committee in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Carter submitted two written questions to the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12 as set out below:

 

Question 1

Along with my fellow Green Councillors, whilst we recognise and applaud the significant improvements the Council has made to our recycling rates, we wonder when we are going to set ourselves new and higher targets for recycling?  I note that Wales is aiming for a target of 70% recycled waste by 2025, and that in England there is a national commitment to meet a waste directive recycling target of 50% by 2020 – which is in only one year’s time.

Could the leader let me know what he will be doing to ensure we set and then meet a higher target for our food waste and recycling? “

 

Question 2

“As reported in the Independent and elsewhere, it seems that the Lewes job centre is no longer making referrals to the food banks for those in need. The DWP has given a national directive that the Lewes job centre has interpreted as meaning that they can no longer refer people to the food banks (although they will signpost them to other organisations to get a referral). This is really difficult as the job centre is often the authority in the best position to assess someone's financial need, and food banks need to have people properly referred. People who are already in need are being put into a really tricky and stressful situation as they have to then try and get a referral from another organisation such as the CAB who will not have as good an overview of their financial needs.

Whilst this situation is clearly not under the District Council's control, there are actions the council could take to help, such as discussions with the job centre or enabling council staff to help with food bank referrals.  

Please could the leader let me know what the council can do to help those residents in need access food banks?

(Report from the Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-banks-universal-credit-dwp-jobcentres-uk-a8769921.html)”

 

Councillor Carter had had to leave the meeting prior to asking the questions in person.  However, the Leader of the Council agreed to provide the following written responses to the questions:

 

Response to Question 1:

“The new co-mingled dry mixed recycling (DMR) service is performing very well. Collections of DMR have increased dramatically since the Council replaced the old system of boxes and bags with a single wheelie bin.  (DMR/Dry) Recycling rates for 2017/18 were 19.3% but now stand at 29.7%.  Food and garden waste collected add just over a further 10 percentage points to the total recycling.

 

The Food Waste Service is being heavily promoted by the new Waste and Recycling Engagement Coordinator working with schools and community groups; the offer of free caddy liners has been very popular and reminder training to collection operatives about the importance of collecting food waste is ongoing.  For January 2018 the food waste tonnage stood at 82.34tns, 2.89% of the total  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Questions to the Leader of the Council

To deal with questions (if any) which councillors may wish to put to the Leader of the Council. It will be at the Leader’s discretion to re-direct questions to relevant Members of the Cabinet. A councillor wishing to raise a question must notify the Chair of the Council of the text of the question prior to the commencement of the meeting. (NB This item is limited to a maximum of 5 questions, with no more than 1 question being asked per councillor. If a question requires a detailed or technical response, the Leader may decide that a written response is more appropriate).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following questions were asked to the Leader of the Council.  Using his discretion, the Chair waived the normal limit of 5 questions.

 

Questioner

 

Question

1.    Councillor Catlin

I hear rumours that new guidelines for the use of Lewes Precinct by traders etc are to be revised.  Will Lewes members be consulted on this or will it be an officer decision in the best tradition of big sibling?

 

 

Response

Councillor Smith advised that he understood these were at the early stages of development. There would be a consultation with Lewes Councillors, and in due course it would come back to the Licensing Committee for decision.

 

2.    Councillor O’Keefe

Two years ago a section of Lewes Town received poll cards giving the wrong polling station given.  Recently the same area of the town received poll cards for the local plan referendum with the same mistake made.  Staff have been quick to respond to my correspondence about this but I am concerned that it was possible for this to happen twice.  What is Lewes District Council doing to support the staff in the electoral services team to help to make sure that all polling cards in future have the correct polling station on them?

 

Response

Councillor Smith responded that he had received assurances that this had been taken on board and would be rectified in the polling station review, and he would hope that this was done before the next elections.

 

3.    Councillor Denis

In the light of recent correspondence between Lewes District Council and Lewes Community Land Trust (LCLT), which all Councillors will have seen, how will the Council ensure that Lewes town families on median local wages benefit from the "affordable" housing to be provided at North Street Quarter, and, given that Community Land Trusts like LCLT and the newly-formed Ringmer Area Community Land Trust, will embody asset locks to protect their assets in perpetuity for the benefit of their communities, what role do you envisage for Community Land Trusts?"

 

 

Response

Councillor Smith provided a written response stating that: The Council believes that CLTs like the Lewes Community Land Trust and Ringmer Community Land Trust are important partners in achieving the Council’s ambitions to deliver new homes for communities.  The Council works closely through Sussex Community Housing Hub to support any community that wants to set up a land trust and is fully supportive of applications to achieve grant funding available through Homes England.   

 

The Council is very supportive of the aims and objectives of the Lewes CLT and is currently working with them on a number of new homes in the town that would use Council land and government grant funding. 

 

The affordable housing element of the North Street Quarter development was approved by the planning authority (South Downs National Park Authority) as part of the detailed permission that was granted back in May 2016. 

 

The Council is committed to helping the Trust in its ambition to acquire new homes at the NSQ, but this is something that will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Ward issues

To deal with ward issues which councillors wish to raise (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No ward issues had been raised.

60.

Reporting back on meetings of outside bodies

To receive any reports from the Council's representatives who serve on outside bodies in respect of meetings they have attended:

 

-       Councillor Catlin will provide a verbal update on the Southern Community Rail Partnership AGM.  Copies of the notes from the AGM are available to Councillors from Committee Services on request.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.    Councillor Catlin provided a verbal update on the recent Southern Community Rail Partnership AGM, and advised that full copies of the AGM notes could be obtained from Committee Services on request.

2.    Councillor Nicholson provided a verbal update on the Police and Crime Panel meeting held on 1 February 2019, which had approved the precept.  He advised on how the increase would be spent, and highlighted the importance of maintaining Council links to this work.   

61.

Changes to Scheduled Meetings

The Council is asked to note the following changes to the schedule of meetings:

 

·         The annual meeting of the Council will now take place on the 20 May 2019 (6pm at County Hall) due to its close proximity of the original date to the District Council Elections.

·         The Planning Applications Committee, scheduled for the 22 May 2019 has been cancelled due to its close proximity to the annual meeting and next scheduled meeting.

·         Following the November 2018 Council meeting, the option of a fifth Council meeting on 25 September 2019 has been added to the calendar for 2019/20.  

·         The annual meeting of the Council in 2020 will now take place on the 13 May 2020.

 

The final calendar of meetings for 2019/20 will be presented for ratification at Annual Council on 20 May 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that:

·         The annual meeting of Full Council would now take place on 20th May 2019 (6pm) instead of 15th May 2019 due to proximity of original date to the elections.

·         The Planning Applications meeting scheduled for 22nd May 2019 had been cancelled due to the proximity to annual council and the next scheduled meeting.

·         The option of a fifth Council had been added to the calendar of meetings on 25 September 2019

·         The annual meeting of Council in 2020 would now be held on 13 May 2020.

·         Full Council would be asked to ratify its final calendar of meetings for 2019/20 at the annual council meeting on 20 May.