Agenda and draft minutes

Consultative meeting, Cabinet - Wednesday, 4th May, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Online via the Zoom app.

Contact: Amanda Coombes, Democratic Services Officer  01395 517543 or email  acoombes@eastdevon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

211.

Public speaking

Minutes:

Liz McLean spoke on minute 227 Car Park Issues. She said she and her husband owned a pet shop in Temple Street which was one of the main roads in Sidmouth. Along with other small businesses their customers used the limited free car parking spaces in Temple Street. She wanted to stress the impact of taking away such parking spaces on businesses that don’t benefit being in the centre of the town. She asked whether feedback on previous free charging car parks that were now charging would be provided, to see if there had been any impact to local businesses.

 

Mike Goodman spoke on minute 226 UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus. He stated that the Government had allocated £2.6bn to the Shared Prosperity Fund and that East Devon would receive £1.796m, this was a good opportunity to secure substantial funding over the next three years. He suggested that this would help businesses particularly retail, with improving skills, climate change and poverty a few areas identified for possible funding. He said the local partnership group was important and asked if Cabinet would consider adding South West Enterprise Partnership, Devon Wildlife Trust and the Chamber of Commerce to this list. He thought all three met the criteria and would add value to the group. He asked if tasks groups be considered to discuss specific local initiatives to collect feedback from across EDDC to what matters to them.

 

Mike Goodman also spoke on minute 227 Car Park Issues. He asked whether this was an opportunity to have a task and finish group to look at the wider future strategy of car parks. He said it was disappointing that EDDC would not allow the views of residents to be heard and a new strategy review would allow for this.

 

He challenged the lack of any documentation on equalities. He stated that EDDC’s equalities policy plan said that Equality Impact Assessment form for key services and policy changes should be completed. Car parking was a key change and the well-being of residents was identified as a concern.

 

Robert Kathro spoke on minute 227 Car Park Issues. He acknowledged car parks was a complex issue and his specific concern was for motorhomes and overnight camping in Exmouth. He stated the policy and enforcement needed revision and review.

 

212.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the consultative meeting of Cabinet held on 30 March 2022 were agreed.

213.

Declarations of interest

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

Minutes:

Min 223. Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Has family members living in Cranbrook.

 

Min 224. Seaton Moridunum site.

Councillor Dan Ledger, Personal, Resident of Seaton and Seaton Town Councillor.

 

Min 224. Seaton Moridunum site.

Councillor Jack Rowland, Personal, Lobbied on Seaton issue and Ward Member.

 

Min 224. Seaton Moridunum site.

Councillor Marcus Hartnell, Personal, Seaton Town Councillor.

 

Min 224. Seaton Moridunum site.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Lobbied on Seaton issue and clerk to All Saints Parish Council, Chardstock Parish Council and Axminster Town Council.

 

Min 225. Axe Valley Project and Levelling Up Fund Round 2.

Councillor Dan Ledger, Personal, Resident of Seaton and Seaton Town Councillor.

 

Min 225. Axe Valley Project and Levelling Up Fund Round 2.

Councillor Jack Rowland, Personal, Ward Member.

 

Min 225. Axe Valley Project and Levelling Up Fund Round 2.

Councillor Paul Arnott, Personal, Lives in the Axe Valley and Coly Valley Ward Member.

 

214.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

Minutes:

The Chair made the following statement:

 

‘Members and the public will be aware of the formal resignation today of the MP for much of the East Devon district, Mr Neil Parish. This was an unhappy matter and I will not add to the reams of commentary. For historical purposes I recommend Martyn Oates full interview with Mr Parish transmitted on BBC Politics South West last Sunday, still available on iPlayer. Long after all the tractor jokes have gone this will remain as the tragic record of a broken man. It is not possible to condone what he did in the chamber of the House of Commons but in his overnight decision to resign by Saturday morning and the astonishingly frank interview he gave, Mr Parish leaves a long political career having abided by the codes regarding resignation, so blithely ignored by his superiors in the Conservative Party.

 

However, my purpose in raising this tonight is that this of course has immediate side effects on the work of this district council. Some months ago, a meeting was fixed for last Friday morning from 10am-11am between me, as Leader at EDDC and Mark as our CEO, Neil Parish MP, and Simon Jupp MP. A first-rate agenda on matters of concern for the people of East Devon had been produced from the council end, and all was set fair. There was a poor start when Simon Jupp gave a late apology and didn’t show up. Neil Parish, however, was there on Zoom and we had a good hour with a set of identified outcomes. This is what he agreed he would help us with:

        Mr Parish was to endorse our bid to government under the Levelling Up fund for major works on Seaton seafront, industrial units in Seaton, and regeneration projects in Axminster.

        He said he would personally fight on for the missing £1.6 million his and Mr Jupp’s government promised they would help the council with two years ago if we kept LED running through the pandemic.

        He was going to work with us on the phosphate pollution into the River Axe which has led Natural England to say no more homes in Axminster can be built until that is mitigated. As a farmer, with all the problems of leaking slurry lagoons and fertiliser run offs from fields, he would have been a considerable figure in all this.

        We appealed to him to have a word with government about the huge strain put on a district council when it is suddenly asked to distribute energy rebate payments via the means of the council tax system.

        We asked, yet again, to help with a change to housing policy, especially what happens if we graft to create new social housing only for it to be privately purchased within a few years.

 

Mr Parish pledged to help us with all the above and I was grateful to him for the meeting, which was professional and civil. I have no doubt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 214.

215.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

Minutes:

None

216.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to recommend the contents of the Forward Plan for key decision for the period 1 June 2022 to 30 September 2022 for approval.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

 

217.

Minutes of Scrutiny Committee held on 17 March and 7 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to note the minutes and recommendations of Scrutiny Committee held 17 March and 7 April 2022.

 

Recommendation from 7 April 2022;

Minute 64 Forward Plan

That, at the earliest opportunity, Cabinet sets up a high level meeting with all relevant

organisations and agencies, to discuss serious concerns relating to pollution and the lack of enforcement capability.

 

The Committee agreed that future meetings with South West Water should proceed as set out in the Forward Plan.

 

218.

Minutes of Poverty Working Panel held on 21 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to note and recommend the minutes and recommendations of the Poverty Working Panel held on 21 March 2022.

 

Minute 31 Energy Briefing Update

·        To lobby government for more support with energy costs including for a

price cap on heating oil and LPG so that they are provided the same level of

protections that consumers have with electricity and gas.

·        To lobby government on further emergency funding to continue to help

people to eat, now that the Housing Support Fund is finishing.

·        To lobby government to impose a 300% council tax charge for second home

owners.

·        To lobby government for a register of private sector landlords.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

 

219.

Minutes of Housing Review Board held on 24 March and 7 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to note and recommend the minutes and recommendations of Housing Review Board held on 24 March and 7 April 2022.

 

Recommendations from 7 April 2022;

Minute 54 Housing Revenue Account and Housing Capital finance report

that Cabinet recommend the Housing Revenue Account and Housing Capital Finance report for approval.

 

Minute 55 HouseMark membership renewal

that Cabinet recommend that membership to HouseMark be renewed at this year’s annual cost of £7,830 + VAT.

 

Minute 58 Electrical safety policy

that the Housing Review Board recommends that Cabinet recommends to Council that the electrical safety policy for housing is adopted.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

220.

Minutes of LED Monitoring Forum held on 12 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to note and recommend the minutes and recommendations of LED Monitoring Forum held on 12 April 2022.

 

Minute 124 Colyton Leisure Centre and All Weather Pitch

RECOMMENDED TO Cabinet and Council:

1.     To wait for the Leisure Strategy before the proposals for Colyton Leisure Centre and All Weather Pitch are considered again at LED Monitoring Forum.

2.     To ask Colyton Grammar School whether, during the break time, pupils could be using more appropriate footwear for the All Weather Pitch, to help prolong its life.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

221.

Council Tax (Energy) Rebate - Discretionary Fund pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead Revenues, Benefits and Corporate Customer Services informed members that as part of the government’s package of support to help households with rising energy bills, the Council Tax Rebate scheme also included discretionary funding to support households who are in need but not eligible under the terms of the main scheme. Discretionary funding could also provide carefully targeted ‘top-up payments to the most vulnerable households.

 

The Portfolio Holder Finance led Members’ thanks and congratulations to Libby and her team for their diligence and hard work in getting these funds paid to eligible households as quickly as possible.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers

1. Approve the Council Tax Rebate Discretionary Fund scheme as set under section 2.3 of the report and the associated policy is approved.

2. Give delegated authority to the Service Lead for Revenues, Benefits, Customer Services, Corporate Fraud & Compliance in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and S151 Officer, to make consequential changes to the policy to ensure that government funding is fully directed to support vulnerable households.

 

REASON:

To ensure that Members were fully supportive of the proposed policy being recommended which aimed to target support to those most in need.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

222.

Response to the Luppitt Neighbourhood Plan Submission pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The purpose of the report was to formally agree the response by the Council to the submission consultation for the Luppitt Neighbourhood Plan. Luppitt Parish Council had formally submitted their Neighbourhood Plan to the District Council. The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (Regulation 16) require the District Council to formally consult on the Plan for a minimum of 6 weeks. Cabinet noted the formal submission of the Luppitt Neighbourhood Plan.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers

1.     Congratulate the producers of the plan on their dedicated hard work and commitment in producing the document; and

2.     Submit the proposed representations set out at paragraph 1.20 in the report in response to the Submission consultation.

 

REASON:

To ensure that the view of the District Council was formally recorded and informed the consideration of the Neighbourhood Plan by the independent Examiner.

223.

Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead Growth, Development & Prosperity presented the report which followed on from one on the same subject that was considered by Cabinet in July 2021. It put forward proposals for how the Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund could be constituted and operationalised including associated decision making. Endorsement was sought for an eight stage process in this respect. The Fund would benefit residents and help to address ongoing viability challenges in relation to the expansion areas for Cranbrook.

 

The Chair said he had asked StreetScene to undertake a review of bin charging and collection methods across the district.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior officers

endorse the eight stage process for operationalising the Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund as set out in paragraph 2.5 of the report.

 

REASON:

To enable the Cranbrook Local Infrastructure Fund to be established and for individual investments to come forward.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

224.

Seaton Moridunum site pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Project Manager Place, Assets & Commercialisation provided information on the vacant Moridunum site on Seaton seafront. She explained that the key decision was whether to continue with Fosseway Transition Ltd for them to acquire the Moridunum site, or whether the site should be marketed.  FTL were able to deliver their own Fosseway Court development without the council’s land.  The council was keen to support delivery of their scheme. FTL were not precluded from bidding in the future.  Marketing the site allowed the council to better influence the redevelopment and public realm outcomes. 

 

Discussions included the following:

·        Need to move forward as not progressing and need to speed this up

·        Encourage Fosseway Transition to put in a bid as well as encourage bids from others, in order to present fresh ideas to improve its aesthetics as well as the economy and Seaton seafront

·        The possibility of a joint venture for the selected developer with EDDC

·        Seaton seafront has glorious vistas but this site is an eyesore

·        Redevelopment was an integral part to improving the seafront for residents and visitors, this had been going on too long

·        The need for a timetable to when we get decision for when EDDC would be in a position on this redevelopment

·        How can assurance be given that any new development was delivered in a timely manner

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior officers

1. Agree undertaking a marketing exercise of the Moridunum site for disposal, where the redevelopment of the site will include the re-provision of public realm over the top of the site and to include a ransom strip or similar to ensure the council’s long term ransom interest is protected.

 

2. Agree that the council should work collaboratively and cooperatively with FTL in order to facilitate the delivery of the Fosseway Court residential development including necessary legal agreements and financial transactions.

 

3. Agree that delegated authority is given to the Service Lead for Place, Assets & Commercialisation, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets to review how the redevelopment of the Moridunum site could be expeditiously progressed, including the potential for the council to pursue a joint venture.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council;

4. That a budget of £15,000 be made available to provide additional technical resources to the Place, Assets & Commercialisation Service to ensure the ability to engage on technical matters regarding the work being undertaken at Fosseway Court.

 

REASON:

To enable to decide how best to deliver the redevelopment of the Moridunum site bearing in mind the importance of the site for Seaton and in order to satisfy its obligations to achieve best consideration in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.

 

To enable the council to work collaboratively with the developers of Fosseway Court in order to support the delivery of Fosseway Court ensuring that all appropriate and authorised use of council land was managed effectively, safely and in a timely manner.

 

To ensure that the council could engage on technical matters affecting council land in relation to the redevelopment of Fosseway Court.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 224.

225.

Axe Valley Project and Levelling Up Fund Round 2 pdf icon PDF 531 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Project Manager Place, Assets & Commercialisation provided information on the outcome of the Axe Valley Regeneration Project – Stage 1, now completed by the council’s consultants, Avison Young. She set out details of potential projects that could be considered as a package of projects for funding bids including the Levelling Up Fund.

 

Cabinet noted the Axe Valley Study and its findings and opportunity to be presented to the Council in respect of the Levelling Up Fund Round 2 in relation to the Axe Valley Project.

 

Discussion included the following:

·        Frustration with issues in the report as not strong enough to support a bid, there was lack of in-depth detail from the consultants (officers clarified that more detail would be added in this next stage in preparing for a bid as outlined in the Avison Young report).

·        This provides opportunities for Axminster with development of small business units at Cloakham Lawns

·        The report guides officers, the public and members to what they want to see achieved in the Axe Valley

·        Make sure funding is used effectively to the benefit of residents

·        How much money was being spent on the bids?

·        Concern of the lack of a local MP

·        The need for the ownership of any land in question as a main criteria

·        East Devon had now moved up to Level 2 so increases any chances of a successful bid

·        The need to at least try for funding through a bid

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior officers

1.     Confirm that Option 2 of the Funding Package options as set out in paragraph 3.7 for a Round 2 Levelling Up Bid should be pursued.

2.     Approve the inclusion of the Moridunum site within the Option 2 of the Funding Package for the Axe Valley Project (including seafront regeneration) and instruct our retained consultant to draw up plans for a redevelopment of the Moridunum site, including public realm improvements, and to undertake, as a matter of urgency, a topographical survey of the site to determine what can realistically and aesthetically be delivered on that site.

3.     Approve a contribution of up to a minimum 10% match funding via use of the PWLB will be offered within the LUF Funding Bid which would be recovered through future investment income from the employment sites package.

4.     Agree to accept a further report with a final recommendation on the proposals to be included in any bid for LUF.

 

REASON:

To enable the Project Team to prepare a Levelling Up Round 2 funding bid in order to meet the funding application deadline of 6 July 2022.

226.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead Growth, Development and Prosperity updated members on the prospectus for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which was published on the 13 April 2022. This would provide an important source of funding over the next three year period. He provided an overview of the main provisions of the prospectus as they apply to the Council. Three particular aspects were highlighted; the need to work in partnership to develop and submit an Investment Plan by the 1 August, the relationship with the County Deal process and the importance of robust programme management.

 

Cabinet noted the publication of the prospectus for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and its associated provisions. During discussions it was stated for the need to have an elected Exmouth member on any panel and the need for a broad and balanced group of stakeholders. The Portfolio Holder Finance agreed to give up his seat on the Progamme Management Panel to the Portfolio Holder Tourism, Leisure, Sport and Culture who is an Exmouth member.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior officers

·        Agree the establishment of a local partnership group with external partners to guide the development of the Investment Plan for the District and advises on the proposed membership of this group.

·        Approve use of the initial £20k administration payment to secure resource to help formulate the Investment Plan submission.

·        Agree to establish a Programme Management Panel reporting to Cabinet to have oversight of the deployment of the Fund. The panel to be comprised of a cross-party group of members, comprising the Leader, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder Tourism, Leisure, Sport and Culture and Portfolio Holder Climate Action & Emergency Response, two Conservative members, one of the Independent members and one Cranbrook Voice member, to be nominated by the respective Groups.

·        Receive a further report on the Investment Plan prior to it being submitted to government.

 

REASON:

To ensure that the Council was properly prepared for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and was able to access the associated funds.

 

DECISION:

The recommendation(s) was/were approved by a Senior Officer. The Senior Officer Decision Notice is listed above under Additional Documents.

227.

Car Park Issues pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To consider new arrangements for collection of cash from pay and display car parks and to consider recommendations from the East Devon Car Parks’ TAFF in respect of a policy for campervans and motorhomes. 

Minutes:

The report purpose was to consider new arrangements for collection of cash from pay and display car parks and to consider recommendations from the East Devon Car Parks’ TAFF in respect of a policy for campervans and motorhomes. It sought to approve the recruitment of two additional Officers to deliver the new in-house cash collection service and to provide effective management and enforcement of the rules and restrictions around campervans and motorhomes.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior officers approve

·        The proposed arrangements for cash collection and an exemption to contract standing orders to enable Teignbridge District Council to provide the service and delegate authority to the Strategic Lead Finance to finalise the terms and enter into an appropriate agreement.

·        The recruitment of an additional officer within the car parks team to enable in-house cash collection.

 

Cabinet agreed that the remainder of the issues (the policy for use of EDDC pay and display car parks by campervans and motorhomes, recruitment of an additional officer (with budget request of £30k) to enable effective management and enforcement of the campervans and motorhomes policy and future use of Exmouth Lorry Park) be brought back to a future meeting of Cabinet.

 

REASON:

To approve an exemption to standing orders in respect of tendering a contract for cash collection services on the basis that our customers were now moving towards card and mobile-phone payment options. A policy to set out our rules for overnight parking of campervans and motorhomes in public car parks would enable officers to properly manage and enforce inconsiderate and inappropriate behaviour that impacts on the environment and on neighbours. An in house staffing solution to delivering both of these would give flexibility and offers value for money.