Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 26th February, 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Honiton

Contact: Susan Howl, Democratic Services Manager  01395 517541; email  showl@eastdevon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

56.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed those present and invited members of the public to address the Council.

Two members of the public indicated they wished to speak.

 

Emma Wood of Hawkwell Park wanted to ask about the legality of the Hawkwell Park Enforcement, given that the Council had housed homeless families on the site which was intended for travellers and gypsies only. She queried whether this was legal or whether EDDC had broken their own planning regulations.  She went on to ask whether it was acceptable for 12 families to be made homeless from the site when no social housing was available for them.

 

In response, the Chief Executive said that he was aware of the issues and the history of the site. He confirmed that enforcement notices had recently been issued but that there was a period of six months to make an appeal. He understood that there had been close liaison between the Planning Enforcement and Housing Teams of the Council prior to the enforcement notices being issued, and that the Housing Team had been in contact with occupants on the site to give assistance in relation to potential homelessness issues.

 

Ian Churchill also wanted to comment on the travellers’ site at Hawkchurch to the effect that there had been controversy over the years about it. He expressed his view that it appeared that the site owners and the Council were saying that there was no need for a site at all since non traveller families were being housed there. As such the site should go back to being retained as a field meadow.

 

57.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 18 December 2019 were confirmed and signed as a true record.

 

Arising from consideration of the minutes of the last Full Council meeting held on 18 December, the following was raised by Councillor Wragg.

Ø  Council of 18 December, minute number 51 b) with reference to the discussion about the Peer Review Report and associated Action Plan

Cllr Wragg wanted to point out that the minutes were correct but the information they contained was not. She wanted to be clear that Cllr Arnott was not the only councillor to raise concerns at meetings of the Peer Review which had not been documented.

The Monitoring Officer, Henry Gordon-Lennox clarified that the minute simply reflected Cllr Moulding’s comments at the meeting.

Cllr Arnott confirmed that this issue was in reference to the Group Leader’s meeting with the Peer Review Panel attended by Cllrs Moulding, Wragg and Arnott and he would also like to correct Cllr Moulding’s comments.

 

Following this clarification, the Chairman moved the minutes of the Full Council held on 18 December 2019, which were then confirmed and signed as a true record.

 

58.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

63. Revenue Estimates, Capital Programme & Council Tax Resolution 2020/21.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, Personal, Trustee of Axminster Skate Park, President of Cloakham Lawn Sports Centre.

 

63. Revenue Estimates, Capital Programme & Council Tax Resolution 2020/21.

Councillor Ian Hall, Personal, Member of Devon County Council, Chairman of Axminster Skate Park, and Cloakham Lawn Sports Centre.

 

63. Revenue Estimates, Capital Programme & Council Tax Resolution 2020/21.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to three Parish Councils which are precepting authorities.

 

66. Motion: Fireworks.

Councillor Eileen Wragg, Personal, Cat owner.

 

66. Motion: Fireworks.

Councillor Geoff Pook, Personal, Dog owner.

 

66. Motion: Fireworks.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to a Parish Council which organises an annual fireworks display.

 

67. Motion: Proposed Review of Cabinet Decisions on Budget.

Councillor Phil Twiss, Personal, Member of Devon County Council.

 

67. Motion: Proposed Review of Cabinet Decisions on Budget.

Councillor Phil Twiss, Personal, South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

 

67. Motion: Proposed Review of Cabinet Decisions on Budget.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Personal, South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

 

59.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were none.

60.

Announcements from the Chairman and Leader

Minutes:

The Chairman had three announcements to make.

Firstly, he congratulated Jill Elson on being honoured with an MBE in the New Year’s Honour List for her political activity and community work. Jill was a former councillor serving on EDDC for 36 years until May 2019, and was conferred the title of Honorary Alderwoman at the Council on 18th December 2019.

Jill has been a Governor of Exmouth Community College since 1995, and in that time has been Chair of Finance, Chairman of Governors and currently Chairman of Resources. She was also the founder and current Chairman of Exmouth and District Community Transport Group, started in 1990 which provides accessible transport door to door. She is also a Volunteer for Exmouth Lympstone Hospiscare.

Secondly, he congratulated another former Councillor and currently an Honorary Alderman, David Atkins, for his long service of 51 years in public office. David joined the Council in 1972 and has served on Lympstone Parish Council since 1968. He has previously been Chairman of Lympstone Parish Council on 3 occasions (1980-1984, 1992 -1994 & 2005 – 2007). He also served for a long period of time as Clerk to Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council.

The Chairman presented David with a certificate in recognition of his long and eminent service for Lympstone.

In response, David Atkins said a few words to thank the Council for the award and kind words.

Sadly, the Chairman’s third announcement was to inform councillors of the peaceful passing of Honorary Alderwoman Jennifer Sharrattlast Friday, 21st February. She was at home and her three daughters were with her. She was 89 Years old.

Her funeral will take place on Wednesday 11th March at 11.30am at St John’s the Baptist Church at Hawkchurch.  The wake will be held at the Old Inn opposite the church.   More details will be in the Midweek Herald.

 

 

61.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway, but if confidential minutes from Cabinet and/or the Council’s Committees are being discussed, Officers may recommend consideration in the private part of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

62.

To answer questions asked by Members of the Council pursuant to Procedure Rules No. 9.2 and 9.5 pdf icon PDF 656 KB

Minutes:

Thirty seven questions had been submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 9.2 – the questions and answers had been circulated with the agenda and published on the website.  Councillors submitting questions are entitled to put a related supplementary question (Procedure Rule 9.5). A summary of the supplementary question asked and response is set out below.

 

a)   Q3 Cllr Millar wanted to ask a supplementary question about settlement agreements. Having taken his original question from a motion proposed by the Leader when he was in opposition he wanted to ask if the Leader had considered the negative mental health impact of gagging orders on both staff and councillors?

In response, the Leader said that the motion was raised over a year ago and that he now knew that the Council had a robust process in place. He had spoken to officers and checked the records to reach this conclusion, and this had been done over the last twelve months.

b)    Q33 Cllr Hayward thanked the Leader for the comprehensive answers to his questions and with reference to Registers of Interest for Staff, he wanted to know where the Employee Code of Conduct could be found.

In response, the Monitoring Officer, Henry Gordon-Lennox stated that this could be found in the Constitution, immediately after the Members’ Code of Conduct.

                

              The Monitoring Officer also wanted to note a correction to Q29 where the figure of the number of employees from BAME should be 2.3%.

 

Cllr Allen wanted to raise a point of order in the form of a request to amend the order of items on the agenda so that item 13 could be brought forward before item 9 due to its relevance to its relevance to items 9 and 10.

The Chairman stated that he was going to move onto item 9 immediately without changing the order of the agenda.

63.

Revenue Estimates, Capital Programme & Council Tax Resolution 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

a)    To consider the report of the Council’s Section 151 Officer, Strategic Lead - Finance, and the recommendations contained therein which include approval of the recommendations of the Cabinet on 5 February 2020 relating to the Council’s Revenue and Capital Estimates for 2020/21 and precept details of the parish and town councils, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

b)    To approve the calculations for setting the Council Tax in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended by the Localism Act 2011.  These calculations form the basis of the formal setting of the Council Tax for the District.

 

Note 1 The precept levels of other precepting bodies will be detailed in the report. The figures will be collated and the report sent out on Tuesday 18 February. 

 

Note 2 A recorded vote will be taken of the vote on this itemso that there is a record of how Members have voted in budget setting (legislation which came into force on 25 February 2014 - The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014).

 

Note 3 Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 precludes councillors from voting on the setting of the Council’s budget / council tax where there is an outstanding council tax debt of over two months. It is also a requirement, where you attend any meeting to set the budget and this preclusion applies, that you must declare the fact you are precluded from voting. A failure to do this is a criminal offence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members to consider the report of the Section 151 Finance Officer and the recommendations of the Cabinet from its meeting on 5 February 2020 relating to the Revenue and Capital Estimates, the purpose of the report being to enable the Council to calculate and set the Council Tax for 2020/21.

The precepts from Devon County Council, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, and town and parish councils (preceptors) had been added to EDDC’s Council Tax requirement. The Council, as billing authority, would formally set the Council Tax for the area to include all the amounts to be collected.

 

The Council Tax requirement for 2020/21 be set at £8,827,496 with a resulting Council Tax Band D amount of £146.78 (an increase of £5 a year (3.53%) which was within the threshold stipulated by government before triggering a council tax referendum) and that the budget be agreed as presented in the Council papers. The Chairman moved the printed recommendations set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

Members were reminded that in line with legislation that came into force on 25 February 2014, The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote would now be taken on the budget decision.

 

The proposal, to agree the formal Council Tax Resolution, as printed in Appendix A to the report was put to the vote and carried.

 

Recorded vote on the budget:

Councillors Megan Armstrong, Paul Arnott, Jess Bailey, Dean Barrow, Denise Bickley, Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham, Susie Bond, Colin Brown, Fred Caygill, Sarah Chamberlain, Maddy Chapman, Iain Chubb, Olly Davey, Bruce De Saram, Peter Faithfull, Ian Hall, Marcus Hartnell, Sam Hawkins, Paul Hayward, Nick Hookway, Stuart Hughes, Ben Ingham, Sarah Jackson, Paul Jarvis, Vicky Johns, Geoff Jung, David Key, Fabian King, Dan Ledger, Dawn Manley, Tony McCollum, Kathy McLauchlan, Paul Millar, Andrew Moulding, Helen Parr, Christopher Pepper, Geoff Pook, Val Ranger, Marianne Rixson, Jack Rowland, Eleanor Rylance, Philip Skinner, Brenda Taylor, Ian Thomas, Phil Twiss, Joe Whibley, Eileen Wragg, Chris Wright, Tom Wright- voted in favour – 50.

 

Councillor Mike Allen - against – 1.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      It be noted that on 18th December 2019 Council (minute reference 54 refers) calculated the Council Tax Base 2020/21

 

(a)  for the whole Council area as 60,141 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the "Act")] ; and

 

(b)  for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates as detailed in Schedule 1 attached.

 

2.    As a preliminary step, calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2020/21 (excluding Parish precepts) is £8,827,496.

 

3.      That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2020/21 in accordance with Sections 30 to 36 of the Act:

 

(a)  £90,438,863 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils.

 

(b)  £77,352,954 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

 

(c)  £13,085,909 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act).

 

(d)  £217.59 being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts).

 

(e)  £4,258,413 being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per the attached Schedule 1).

 

(f)   £146.78 being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no Parish precept relates.

 

(g)  The amounts stated in column 5 of the schedule 1 attached given by adding to the amount at 3(f) above the amounts of the special item or items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council’s area specified in column 1 of Schedule 1 divided in each case by the amount at 1(a) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with

 

Section 34(3) of the Act, as the basic amounts of its Council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area set out in column 1 of Schedule 1 to which one or more special items relate.

 

(h)  The amounts set out in Schedule 2 attached given by multiplying the amounts at 3(g) above by the number which, in the proportion set out in Section 5(1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation band D, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 36(1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different valuation bands.

 

4.    That it be noted that for the year 2020/21 Devon County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority have stated the following amounts in precepts issued to the District Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, for each of the categories of dwellings shown below:

 

 

Precepting Authority

 

           

Valuation Bands

Devon County Council

Police & Crime Commissioner for Devon & Cornwall

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue

A

   £959.64

   £147.76

  £58.83

B

£1,119.58

   £172.39

  £68.63

C

£1,279.52

   £197.01

  £78.44

D

£1,439.46

   £221.64

  £88.24

E

£1,759.34

   £270.89

£107.85

F

£2,079.22

   £320.15

£127.46

G

£2,399.10

   £369.40

£147.07

H

£2,878.92

   £443.28

£176.48

 

           

5.      That, having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 3 (h) and 4 above, the Council, in accordance with Sections 30 and 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, hereby sets the amounts set out in Schedule 3 attached as the amounts of council tax for the year 2020/21 for each of the categories of dwellings shown in Schedule 3.

 

6.      The Council has determined that its relevant basic amount of Council Tax for 2020/21 is not excessive in accordance with principles approved under Section 52ZB Local Government Finance Act 1992.  As the billing authority, the Council has not been notified by a major precepting authority that its relevant basic amount of Council Tax for 2020/21 is excessive and therefore the billing authority is not required to hold a referendum in accordance with Section 52ZK Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

 

64.

Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman requested that he receive minutes of the following committees and approve any recommendations to Council.

 

64a

Minutes of Cabinet held on 8 January 2020 Minute numbers 106 - 123 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Ingham presented the minutes of Cabinet held on 8 January. These were agreed.

 

64b

Minutes of Cabinet held on 5 February 2020 Minute numbers 124 - 145 pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Ingham presented the minutes of Cabinet held on 5 February. These were agreed.

 

 

64c

Minutes of Scrutiny Committee held on 6 February 2020 Minute numbers 50 - 59 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Chapman presented the minutes of the Scrutiny meeting held on 6 February. These were agreed.

 

64d

Minutes of the Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committees Budget meeting held on 15 January 2020 Minute numbers 1 - 6 pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Hookway presented the minutes of the Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committees Budget meeting held on 15 January. These were agreed.

 

64e

Minutes of the Overview Committee held on 30 January 2020 Minute numbers 40 - 49 pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Hookway presented the minutes of the Overview Committee meeting held on 30 January. These were agreed.

 

 

64f

Minutes of Housing Review Board held on 23 January 2020 Minute numbers 45 - 62 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Minutes:

Cllr McCollum presented the minutes of the Housing Review Board held on 23 January. These were agreed.

 

 

64g

Minutes of Development Management Committee held on 7 January 2020 Minute numbers 83 - 88 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

Cllr McLauchlan presented the minutes of the Development Management Committee held on 7 January. These were agreed.

 

 

64h

Minutes of Development Management Committee held on 4 February 2020 Minute numbers 89 - 96 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Minutes:

Cllr McLauchlan presented the minutes of the Development Management Committee held on 4 February. These were agreed.

 

64i

Minutes of Audit & Governance Committee held on 30 January 2020 Minute numbers 23 - 32 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Hawkins presented the minutes of the Audit & Governance Committee held on 30 January. These were agreed.

 

64j

Minutes of Licensing & Enforcement Committee held on 12 February 2020 Minute numbers 26 - 33 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Jarvis presented the minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Committee held on 12 February. These were agreed.

 

64k

Minutes of Licensing & Enforcement Sub Committee held on 12 February 2020 Minute numbers 11 - 16 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Jarvis presented the minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Sub Committee held on 12 February. These were agreed.

 

64l

Minutes of Standards Committee held on 21 January 2020 Minute numbers 9 - 17 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman, Cllr Hughes, presented the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 21 January. These were agreed.

 

65.

Changes to the political balance, the committee allocations and the Constitution pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following a number of changes since the last Council meeting, the Monitoring Officer, Henry Gordon-Lennox, had produced a report with a revised political balance of the Council and related changes to committee allocations and membership.

There was one further amendment to be added which was that the Independent EDA group wanted to re-allocate their seat on the Licensing & Enforcement Committee from Cllr Manley to Cllr Millar.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Council agreed:

 

(i)        the revised political balance of the Council as;

 

Independent Group

 

Conservative Group

(18 members) – 30%

 

(19 members) – 32%

32 seats

 

35 seats

 

Independent EDA

 

Liberal Democrats Group

 

Green Party

 

Independent

(12 members) – 20%

 

(8 members) – 13%

 

(2 members) – 3%

 

(1 member) – 2%

22 seats

 

14 seats

 

3 seats

 

2 seats

 

Total

 

(60) 100%

 

108 seats

 

 

(ii)       the revised allocation of seats on committees as detailed in Appendix A to the report,

 

(iii)      the changes to the committee appointments detailed in paragraph 5 of the report, with the addition of Cllr Millar replacing Cllr Manley on Licensing & Enforcement and the change to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Scrutiny Committee as detailed in paragraph 6 of the report.

 

66.

Motion: Fireworks

This is modelled on motions approved by Councils in Torbay, Lincoln, Neath Port Talbot, Bradford, Lancaster and West Dumbartonshire and seeks to clarify policy while taking into account advice from our officers. 

            That this Council agrees to;

(i)   request the organisers of all public firework displays within East Devon, of which the Council is aware or becomes aware, to advertise them in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

(ii)  continue to support public awareness about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

(iii) write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90 decibels for those sold to the public for private displays;

(iv) encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public use; and

(v) recommends that Cabinet adapts the Drone Policy (being recommended to it from Overview Committee 30 January 2020) so as to prohibit;

a)    the release of lanterns from EDDC property and land

b)    the release of any firework (above 90db) from EDDC land.

 

 

Proposed by Councillor Mike Allen

Seconded by Councillor David Key

Supported by Councillors Paul Millar, Paul Arnott and Val Ranger 

 

 

Minutes:

The following motion was proposed by Councillor Mike Allen; seconded by Councillor David Key and supported by CouncillorsPaul Millar, Paul Arnott and Val Ranger.

 

This is modelled on motions approved by Councils in Torbay, Lincoln, Neath Port Talbot, Bradford, Lancaster and West Dumbartonshire and seeks to clarify policy while taking into account advice from our officers. 

 

                That this Council agrees to;

(i)   request the organisers of all public firework displays within East Devon, of which the Council is aware or becomes aware, to advertise them in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

(ii)  continue to support public awareness about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

(iii) write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90 decibels for those sold to the public for private displays;

(iv) encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public use; and

(v) recommends that Cabinet adapts the Drone Policy (being recommended to it from Overview Committee 30 January 2020) so as to prohibit;

a)    the release of lanterns from EDDC property and land

b)    the release of any firework (above 90db) from EDDC land.

The proposer of the motion, Cllr Allen referred to the increasing noise of fireworks which had caused concern for the RSPCA, to the extent that they had brought forward recommendations which had been accepted by a number of councils. The noise also affected people. The motion was asking that any public displays are advertised in order to create awareness amongst the public and in time for measures to be taken to assist people and animals. It would also be helpful to encourage suppliers not to sell noisy fireworks. Cllr Allen had received a suggestion that the motion could include balloons released in large numbers. He was happy to accept slight amendments to include drones and lanterns.

The following points were made by councillors during consideration of the motion;

·         That this could be taken further to include anyone wanting to have fireworks displays

·         That the wording needed beefing up so that words such as, ‘request’ and ‘encourage’, be replaced with stronger phrases to discourage potentially negative responses from organisers or suppliers

·         That Chinese lanterns can cause considerable damage if they land in an indiscriminate manner on land or buildings

·         That consideration needs to be given to environmentally sensitive areas such as the Exe

·         That only banning lanterns from public land would have a cost implication to EDDC that has not been considered, as well as how we could take practical measures to stop them

·         That there are other noises used for purposes such as bird scaring, on occasions such as memorial events or similar which are over 90db, so actions taken by the Council could lead to unintended consequences

·         That in areas such as Budleigh, it is a common occurrence for birthday parties to include firework displays, so the Council would need to consider how it would be able to put any measures in place which could be enforced

Cllr Bickley had circulated an amendment to the motion to councillors.

The Chairman had not received an amendment to move, but the Monitoring Officer confirmed that Cllr Allen had accepted elements of what had been suggested by Cllr Bickley, specifically that the release of balloons would be added under point 5, and that a point should be added about writing to the government about lanterns.

The Chairman invited Cllr Allen to give his right to reply.

Cllr Allen confirmed his agreement with many of the points made by Cllr Bickley and suggested that officers give consideration to progressing them outside the meeting. He moved the motion with the alterations already agreed.

Cllr Key seconded the motion.

The Chairman invited those present to vote, and it was carried unanimously.

RESOLVED;

That this Council agrees to;

(i)   request the organisers of all public firework displays within East Devon, of  which the Council is aware or becomes aware, to advertise them in advance, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

(ii)  continue to support public awareness about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

(iii) write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90 decibels for those sold to the public for private displays;

(iv) encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public use; and

(v) recommends that Cabinet adapts the Drone Policy (being recommended to it from Overview Committee 30 January 2020) so as to prohibit;

a)    the release of lanterns and balloons from EDDC property and land

b)    the release of any firework (above 90db) from EDDC property and land.

           (vi)  write to the UK Government urging them to urgently ban the sale of sky lanterns (supported by the Fire Service, RSPCA, Marine Conservation Society, Women’s Food and Farming Union, Soil Association and National Farmers Union).

 

 

 

67.

Motion: Proposed Review of Cabinet Decisions on Budget pdf icon PDF 312 KB

The enclosed Housing Review Board papers show the council’s debt rising from £81 million to £141 million by 2041. This includes a figure of £10,000 per house, totalling £42 million, to reduce carbon emissions, and £20 million to replace the houses the council has to sell under right-to-buy.  

The latest estimate per house of upgrades necessary, presented to Cabinet and Overview, is £25,000. Independent estimates from Government suggest that £40,000 may be needed to raise standards to the required levels. So If we add this in to the budget for our 4,200 properties, we will need to spend a further £15,000 to £30,000 per property, so we will have an additional debt of between £63 million and £126 million to factor in. 

The Cabinet has also made decisions creating further uncounted liabilities for phase 4 flood alleviation in Feniton, and the Exmouth seafront projects.

The Council is aware of the major deficit in the revenue account in the next few years and this has been delayed, not eliminated 

Council therefore resolves that it has no confidence in the future financial plans of this Council and that no approval of the 2021/22 budget expenditures shall occur until the Council is presented with an updated budget and forward plan for 2021-2026 and the full implications to the Housing Revenue Account and General Fund account can be shown to be funded

Proposed by Cllr Mike Allen

Seconded by Cllr Dean Barrow 

Supported by Councillors Moulding, Hall, Twiss, Dent, Skinner and De Saram.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The following motion was proposed by Councillor Mike Allen, seconded by Councillor Dean Barrow, and supported by CouncillorsMoulding, Hall, Twiss, Dent, Skinner and De Saram.

The enclosed Housing Review Board papers show the council’s debt rising from £81 million to £141 million by 2041. This includes a figure of £10,000 per house, totalling £42 million, to reduce carbon emissions, and £20 million to replace the houses the council has to sell under right-to-buy.  

The latest estimate per house of upgrades necessary, presented to Cabinet and Overview, is £25,000. Independent estimates from Government suggest that £40,000 may be needed to raise standards to the required levels. So If we add this in to the budget for our 4,200 properties, we will need to spend a further £15,000 to £30,000 per property, so we will have an additional debt of between £63 million and £126 million to factor in. 

The cabinet has also made decisions creating further uncounted liabilities for phase 4 flood alleviation in Feniton, and the Exmouth seafront projects.

The Council is aware of the major deficit in the Revenue account in the next few years and this has been delayed, not eliminated.

Council therefore resolves that it has no confidence in the future financial plans of this Council and that no approval of the 2021/22 budget expenditures shall occur until the Council is presented with an updated budget and forward plan for 2021-2026 and the full implications to the Housing Revenue Account and General Fund account can be shown to be funded.

 

The Chairman invited Cllr Allen as proposer to speak to the motion. He stated that the current administration of the Council are only looking at the short term financially and that as a consequence the Cabinet does not have the confidence of the Council overall in relation to its operation of budgetary matters.

 

The seconder of the motion Cllr Dean Barrow, was keen to support this motion in order to make all councillors more aware of how important it is to have a sound budget.

 

The following points were made by councillors during consideration of the motion;

·         That the last administration left the budget in a good position whilst the current administration want to borrow more money to support climate change initiatives

·         Councillors want to see a Forward Plan and budget for future years

·         That it is the view of some councillors that this motion has been hijacked for political purposes, since it was a Conservative national government which has put local government into such a difficult financial position, and do not agree with the suggestion that the last administration left EDDC in a good financial position

·         That there is a need to develop more affordable housing in East Devon

·         This administration cannot build more housing because of the Conservative government’s Right to Buy policy

·         That the current Cabinet is having to deal with the climate change crisis, the effects of long term austerity measures and poverty, whilst having the financial support of central government taken away from local authorities

·         That the motion is an indicator of political point scoring with no other purpose

·         That the current government has had 10 years to deal with various crises but have failed to do so

·         Budgets can be altered over time according to circumstances but crises cannot be left indefinitely as they have been

·         That the budget of EDDC was handed over to the current administration in a good state, but that it is still in a good state, and the current administration should be congratulated on the work it has done over recent months and the investment it is considering making on its housing, on climate change and many other initiatives

·         That the question be put to those present as to how many of them have read the financial documents being considered at the meeting

·         That the current administration has used professional expertise, considered local options and knows exactly what it is doing to take the Council forward in a sound manner, and how much it will cost through considering the re-basing of the business rate and similar work

·         That it is a nonsense to ask for future budgets since councillors have just gone through the process to determine a budget for the coming year, as it will do in future years

·         The consequences of not voting for the budget would be dire and so some Councillors suggested that the motion is withdrawn

·         That the Conservative group are not in a position to criticise the current administration since it is tackling the most difficult issues very competently

 

The Chairman invited Cllr Allen to give his right to reply.

 

Cllr Allen commented that councillors had missed the point of the motion and may find themselves personally liable if the Council acts irresponsibly.

 

A recorded vote was proposed by Cllr Bailey and seconded by Cllr Thomas. A vote was taken and it was agreed that the vote on the motion should be recorded.

 

Recorded vote on the motion:

Councillors Megan Armstrong, Paul Arnott, Jess Bailey, Denise Bickley, Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham, Susie Bond, Sarah Chamberlain, Andrew Colman, Olly Davey, Peter Faithfull, Sam Hawkins, Paul Hayward, Nick Hookway, Ben Ingham, Sarah Jackson, Paul Jarvis, Vicky Johns, Geoff Jung, Fabian King, Dan Ledger, Dawn Manley, Tony McCollum, Kathy McLauchlan, Paul Millar, Geoff Pook, Val Ranger, Marianne Rixson, Jack Rowland, Eleanor Rylance, Brenda Taylor, Ian Thomas, Joe Whibley, Eileen Wragg, Chris Wright – voted against - 35

 

Councillors Mike Allen, Dean Barrow, Colin Brown, Fred Caygill, Maddy Chapman, De Saram, Ian Hall, Marcus Hartnell, David Key, Andrew Moulding, Helen Parr, Christopher Pepper, Philip Skinner, Phil Twiss, Tom Wright – voted for – 15

 

Following the recorded vote the motion proposed by Cllr Allen was lost.

 

 

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 7.40pm.