Agenda and draft minutes

Consultative meeting, Cabinet - Wednesday, 7th September, 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

42.

Public speaking

Minutes:

Lee Collins spoke on minute 59 Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy. He said he had lived in Exmouth for 25 years and was part of the van-life community. He stated that this community all had different reasons for living this alternative way of life but that everyone needed a place to call home. He asked that the lorry park in Exmouth be repurposed for motorhomes and campervans stating the council would get more income from this. He claimed presently there was an average of 15 vehicles there and that some residents had stated they liked the security this community brought to the area.

 

Kelly Avery spoke on minute 59 Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy. She said she was also part of the van-life community and was presently studying at Exeter University and could not afford to live elsewhere due to the rising cost of living costs. She asked that officers came to the lorry park to assess the community’s needs and that the spaces designed for lorries were never all used and if lorries parked up late at night and left early in the morning the council was not receiving any income anyway. She asked if consideration could be made to people who can prove they have a connection to the area where a special permit could be granted for a reasonable charge for them to reside in the area and feel safe, with the council receiving an income.

 

Dave Toomey spoke on minute 59 Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy. He said he was a resident of Exmouth and a motorhome user. He asked how the charge of £21 for 24-hour parking for motorhomes and campervan was arrived at especially as there were no facilities in Maer Road car park. He stated that the overnight trial started in 2018 with the provision of facilities to be looked at and four years later there were still no facilities even though the trial was deemed to be successful. He said that other local authorities within the area were charging approximately £8 per night and had high uptake for these parking spaces as well as the income created for local businesses from tourist spend. He thought the proposed £21 charge was too high.

43.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the consultative meeting of Cabinet held on 13 July 2022 were agreed.

44.

Declarations of interest

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

Minutes:

Min 51. Cranbrook Pump Track.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Family members living in Cranbrook.

 

Min 51. Cranbrook Pump Track.

Councillor Sam Hawkins, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

Min 52. Cranbrook Delivery Capacity.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Family members living in Cranbrook.

 

Min 53. Tourism Strategy for East Devon.

Councillor Vicky Johns, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Works at SW Academy of Applied & Fine Arts.

 

Min 54. Homes for Ukraine.

Councillor Peter Faithfull, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Member of Ottery Refugee Response Group.

 

Min 59. Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy.

Councillor Joe Whibley, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Min 59. Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy.

Councillor Paul Millar, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Kelly Avery (public speaker) is a friend.

 

Min 59. Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy.

Councillor Steve Gazzard, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Min 60. Customer Access - Reception Service (Face to face).

Councillor Joe Whibley, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Min 60. Customer Access - Reception Service (Face to face).

Councillor Steve Gazzard, Affects Non-registerable Interest, Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

45.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

Minutes:

None

46.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded. There are no items which officers recommend should be dealt with in this way.

Minutes:

None

47.

Minutes of Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group held on 19 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Minutes:

Members agreed to note the minutes of Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group held on 19 July 2022.

48.

Minutes of Recycling and Waste Partnership Board held on 20 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

Members agreed to note the minutes of Recycling and Waste Partnership Board held on 20 July 2022.

49.

Minutes of Overview Committee held on 21 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members agreed to note the Minutes of Overview Committee held on 21 July 2022. Members agreed to note the recommendation and would treat any report as they see fit when it comes forward to Cabinet.

 

Minute 6 Forward Plan

That any future decision by Cabinet on the future of Seaton Jurassic is a recommendation to Council.

50.

Former Councillor and Honorary Alderman J. Humphreys pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive updated Members to the fact that he had taken external legal advice earlier in the year with a report finalised for Cabinet in June, about the proposal to consider commissioning an independent investigation or enquiry by an appropriate independent body on this matter. He stressed the importance for a clear understanding of the legal framework being essential in this matter, the understanding and clarity for everyone involved in the legal situation was fundamental.

 

Councillor Jess Bailey questioned the validity of the calling of the EGM stating the Chair had not called the meeting and it was now a matter for those who had submitted the request. The Monitoring Officer wished it be noted that his position on this matter was not the same as Councillor Bailey’s and that there had been correspondence with her over the calling of the meeting.

 

Having listened and debated the suggestion from the Chief Executive, members noted the report presented on this agenda and RECOMMENDED that;

 

the Chair of Council call an EGM at the earliest opportunity with the Chief Executive bringing to that meeting an updated report incorporating the recently received correspondence from the Conservative Party, the proposed motion from Cllr Bailey and others and any other relevant update.

 

 

51.

Cranbrook Pump Track pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder Tourism, Sport, Leisure and Culture introduced the report which outlined the support needed for the delivery of a key facility for Cranbrook residents. He stated this was an important development in Cranbrook especially with the Town’s high number of young people.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers agree the principle of funding up to 25% of the total cost of the proposed pump track at Cranbrook in accordance with the fairer play principles for Town and Parish Councils and the forthcoming Play Strategy.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that;

a capital budget was approved of up to £10k to support the proposed pump track at Cranbrook.

 

REASON:

To support the delivery of a key facility for Cranbrook residents.

52.

Cranbrook Delivery Capacity pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Minutes:

The Service Lead Growth, Development & Prosperity presented the report which sought approval for a budget of up £50k to support additional project management capacity, so as to be able to progress multiple projects at Cranbrook over the balance of the present financial year. He updated members on the provision of the supermarket, retail units and nursey the construction of which had now started.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that;

a budget of up to £50k was made available for the balance of this financial year from the general fund to support project management capacity at Cranbrook.

 

REASON:

To ensure that there was sufficient capacity in place to support the delivery of a vibrant town centre for Cranbrook and the ongoing expansion of the town.

53.

Tourism Strategy for East Devon pdf icon PDF 329 KB

Minutes:

The Economic Development Manager’s and Senior Economic Development Officer’s report sought to endorsement for the proposed Tourism Strategy for East Devon. The report provided a summary of the key aspects of the Tourism Strategy which sought to support the tourism sector to achieve sustainable growth and deliver economic benefits to the district. The strategy document outlined the council’s strategic vision and key objectives in a mid-term 5-year strategy.

 

The Chair commended the entire economic development team for their imaginative use of funding opportunities and the excellent commissioning of the consultants for their fantastic report. The aim was to become the leading tourist destination in Devon leading to prosperity and a strong range of jobs.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers agree the proposed Tourism Strategy for East Devon.

 

REASON:

To ensure that the Council delivers on its vision and key priorities outlined in the Council Plan; especially its resilient economy priority, where the ambition to deliver a tourism strategy with emphasis on the green economy was outlined.

54.

Homes for Ukraine pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Lead Housing, Health & Environment informed members on the continued duties that the council had under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme. The UK Government asked that district councils make provision for a welcome and support service, property inspections, administering payments to Ukrainian guests and host households, and a re-matching scheme when host / guest relationships irreparably break down or when hosts decide to stop hosting.

 

The Portfolio Holder Sustainable Homes and Communities wished to credit John Golding and his team for successfully managing this scheme with limited resources and budget. The Portfolio Holder Finance wished to credit and thank Jamie Buckley for the work she had taken on with this scheme as well as her role as Engagement and Funding Officer.

 

Members noted the extended Service Level Agreement with Citizens Advice East Devon and the progress report, the Exemptions from Standing Orders to commission the welcome and wraparound support service and the report from Andrew Mitchell, Housing Solutions Manager, reviewing the staffing requirements of the Housing Options Team, where reference is made under section 6 to utilising funding in respect of the Ukrainian refugee scheme to finance a fixed term Housing Officer post to be created to specifically manage homeless applications from Ukrainian refugees facing homelessness at the end of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers approve the additional resource requirements as set out in the report to successfully administer the scheme.

 

REASON:

To provide Cabinet with a progress report on the council’s response to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, highlight the challenges that the scheme presented and identified an approach that ensures that Ukrainian refugees were welcomed and settled in this country and that host families were supported until a longer term exit strategy was developed by the UK Government.

55.

Review of Staffing Requirements of the Housing Options Team (Homelessness Service) pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Minutes:

The Housing Solutions Manager’s report reviewed and addressed staffing requirements within the Housing Options team one year on from the Cabinet report of 8th September 2021.

 

Members noted the report from the Homes for Ukraine report on the agenda, addressing the proposed utilisation of funding in respect of the Ukrainian refugee scheme, referencing an additional Housing Officer post to be created and funded to specifically manage homeless applications from Ukrainian refugees facing homelessness at the end of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, funding to be provided by the Homes for Ukraine budget.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council;

1.     To make the two fixed term Housing Officer positions agreed by Cabinet on 8th September 2021 permanent due to ongoing demand and a need for service stability through staff retention. Annual budget in the region of £70,135 for the two Housing Officer posts to continue is recommended to Council for approval, funding to be provided by the Homelessness Prevention Grant.

2.     To approve the additional budget in respect of an additional, permanent, full time Temporary Accommodation Officer post in order to cope with additional demand created through higher temporary accommodation numbers. Annual budget in the region of £34,380 is recommended to Council for approval, funding to be provided by the Homelessness Prevention Grant.

 

REASON:

To ensure the Housing Options service was sufficiently set up and equipped to tackle the level of pressure and homelessness demand.

56.

Annual Review of Public Health priority actions 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Minutes:

The Public Health Project Officer presented her report explaining public health was the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society. Public health covered both physical and mental health and wellbeing of everyone in the district. She went on to say the council had an overarching responsibility to consider health and wellbeing in all its activities. Each year this work was reviewed to see how targets and aspirations were met as part of the Public Health Strategic Plan.

 

Having received the report members noted and celebrated the contributions made by council services through their activities which were reviewed annually to underpin the Public Health Strategic Plan.

 

57.

Economic Development Capacity: Prosperity & Investment pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Minutes:

The Economic Development Manager updated Members to the proposal to endorse to recruit two additional Economic Development Officer posts for a fixed term of two years, funded through the business rate retention pilot reserve.

 

Having successfully recruited to one of those roles (Economic Development Officer –Prosperity & Investment) in April 2021, the officer resource has proved instrumental in the successful delivery of discretionary grant programmes ARG3 & 4, the development and delivery of the Innovation and Resilience Fund and the development and early submission of our UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) Investment Plan.

 

The purpose of the report was to seek endorsement for making permanent the existing fixed term role of Economic Development Officer - Prosperity and Investment.

 

The Portfolio Holder Economy and Assets on behalf of the cross-panel groups who met to assist business in the economy; who could not have done this without this officer, applauded the efforts he put in to deliver of these grants and funds.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council;

To approve making the existing Economic Development Officer – Prosperity & Investment role (currently due to end in April 2023) permanent and for this to be funded through the general fund.

 

REASON:

To ensure that the council retained a highly successful and effective Economic Development Officer role which, having developed its Investment Plan to access £1.8m UK Shared Prosperity Fund allocation, would ensure delivery of the included interventions and subsequent projects over the next three years and contribute directly to the ongoing attainment of external funding.

58.

Community Asset Transfer Procedure pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Minutes:

The report detailed the background to the Community Asset Procedure and final draft documentation which included a recommendation to adopt.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers adopt the draft Community Asset Transfer Procedure for General Fund assets.

 

REASON:

At the Asset Management Forum meeting held on 21 June 2022, the Forum noted the revisions to the draft Community Asset Transfer Procedure and recommended that Cabinet adopts the Policy.

59.

Motorhome & Campervan Framework Policy pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Parking Services Manager presented his report for consideration of the draft framework policy for overnight motorhome and campervan parking within East Devon car parks.

 

RECOMMENDED to Senior Officers;

1.     That the framework policy for campervans, vans and motorhomes using East Devon District Council pay and display car parks be approved.

2.     That the Council charge a variable tariff for overnight stopovers in car parks with a tariff that includes 24 hour parking at that location to support the local visitor economy. The tariff at each location should be determined in accordance with each local Tripartite TAFF with delegated authority to the Deputy S151 Officer in consultation with the Chair of the TAFF, the Portfolio Holder and Strategic Lead for Finance.

3.     That an additional seasonal Civil Enforcement Officer post be approved to enable effective management and enforcement of overnight stopovers during the peak summer period.

4.     That when the regulations for the coach / lorry park are reintroduced that any enforcement action against the van lifers is held so officers can explore other options to assist them with such a position to continue until EDDC determines that discussions are concluded and serves notice on the van lifers that the hold on enforcement is at an end.

5.     That officers look for additional sites for van lifers in Exmouth.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council;

  1. That the budget for the additional seasonal Civil Enforcement Officer post be approved.

 

REASON:

The recommendations were based on the continued popularity of the motorhome pilot scheme in Exmouth and the potential to expand and develop this offer in other locations within the District.

60.

Customer Access - Reception Service (Face to face) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

The Service Lead Revenues, Benefits, Corporate Customer Access, Fraud & Compliance presented her report to explain that since the start of Covid-19 pandemic, the council had been operating an appointment service for those residents who require face to face support both at Exmouth Town Hall and Blackdown House. Although Covid-19 restrictions were fully lifted in early 2022 this had been continued to maintain an ‘appointment only’ service.

 

Following concerns being raised by Members the report explained the background and reasons for operating an ‘appointment only’ service. It also set out the measures being put into place to improve accessibility for residents.

 

Councillor Steve Gazzard thanked Libby Jarrett for her report but expressed his concern that the town hall was not open. He explained that Exmouth town hall was very different to other town halls with having two other tenants. Figures do not show the people who were not turning up with a lot of misunderstanding to its opening hours and access. Homelessness in the town was getting worse with the national cost of living crisis going to have huge impact on the town. He wished for the town hall to reopen Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm, stating the need to trial this to get true information and be there face to face with the council’s residents.  

 

The Portfolio Holder Finance thanked Libby Jarrett for her report.

 

RECOMMNDED that;

Senior Officers agree to continue to operate the ‘appointment system’ for visitors at Exmouth Town Hall and Blackdown House and the position is formally reviewed again in February 2023 for the reasons highlighted in the report. If however in the interim the Chief Executive is satisfied that there is an adequate staffing resource then the town hall reception will reopen for a recommended period of time.

 

REASON:

Due to the reasons set out in the report it was considered that Members reviewing the position again in 6 months, would allow sufficient time for the intercom to be trialled, the lease renewal to be sorted and staff shortages addressed.

61.

Financial Monitoring Report 2022/23 - Month 4 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

The Finance Manager’s report gave a summary of the Council’s overall financial position for 2022/23 at the end of month four (31 July 2022).

 

Current monitoring indicated that;

The General Fund Balance was being maintained within the adopted levels. At this early stage of the financial year a favourable position was being reported largely because of employee cost savings due to large numbers of staff vacancies including those added to the 22/23 budget for additional staffing where recruitment was ongoing.

 

The Housing Revenue Account Balance was being maintained at or above the adopted level.

 

Having received the report members noted the variances identified as part of the Revenue and Capital Monitoring process up to Month 4.

 

62.

Exemption to Contract Standing Orders in respect of a consultant solicitor pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet were asked to approve an exemption to Contract Standing Orders in respect of a consultant solicitor to cover an unfilled vacancy.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers approve the exemption to contract standing orders in respect of the procurement of a consultant solicitor from Lighthouse Law Limited in accordance with Rule 2.3.1 of the Constitution.

 

REASON:

Legal Services has two vacant posts for commercial property lawyers which they had been unable to fill despite considerable advertising. After consideration of the market and in consultation with Human Resources, it had been decided to await the outcome of the reward review and to re-advertise the posts in the autumn.

 

In the meantime there was a need to ensure that there was sufficient capacity in the service and the wish to use the services of a consultant solicitor who had worked with EDDC previously. Legal Services had approached him direct through his own limited company rather than via an agency which meant that a need for an exemption to contract standing orders in respect of the procurement process.

63.

Response to the Broadclyst Neighbourhood Plan Submission pdf icon PDF 407 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The purpose of the report was to formally agree the response by EDDC to the submission consultation for the Broadclyst Neighbourhood Plan. Broadclyst 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.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

Senior Officers

1.     Note the formal submission of the Broadclyst Neighbourhood Plan and the producers of the plan be congratulated on their dedicated hard work and commitment throughout the process.

2.     Recommend that the proposed representation set out at paragraph 1.21 in the report be made in response to the 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.