Agenda

Council - Wednesday, 7th December, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Ocean Suite, Ocean, Queens' Drive, Exmouth EX8 2AY

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 686 KB

3.

Apologies

4.

Declarations of interest

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

 

5.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

6.

Announcements from the Chair and Leader

7.

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.

 

8.

To answer questions asked by Members of the Council pursuant to Procedure Rules No. 9.2 and 9.5

9.

Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports pdf icon PDF 388 KB

9a

Minutes of Cabinet held on 2 November 2022 Minute numbers 79 - 98 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

9b

Minutes of Cabinet held on 30 November 2022. Minute numbers 99 - 110 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

9c

Minutes of Cabinet held on 5 December 2022. Minute numbers 111 - 115 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

9d

Minutes of Scrutiny Committee Briefing meeting held on 2 November 2022. Minute numbers 39 - 41 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

9e

Minutes of Scrutiny Committee Briefing meeting held on 3 November 2022. Minute numbers 42 - 44 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

9f

Minutes of Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 3 November 2022. Minute numbers 45 - 53 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

9g

Minutes of Housing Review Board meeting held on 11 October. Minute numbers 18 - 32 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

9h

Minutes of Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 7 October 2022. Minute numbers 43 - 49 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

9i

Minutes of Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 1 November 2022. Minute numbers 50 - 59 pdf icon PDF 490 KB

9j

Minutes of Planning Committee meeting held on 25 October 2022. Minute numbers 53 - 61 pdf icon PDF 178 KB

9k

Minutes of Planning Committee meeting held on 15 November 2022. Minute numbers 62 - 63 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

9l

Minutes of Licensing and Enforcement Committee meeting held on 26 October 2022. Minute numbers 10 - 16 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

9m

Minutes of Audit and Governance Committee meeting held on 17 November 2022. Minute numbers 14 - 26 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

9n

Minutes of the Personnel Committee meeting held on 28 November 2022. Minute numbers 48 - 57 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

10.

Report: Changes to governance arrangements pdf icon PDF 182 KB

11.

Motion: Local government needs adequate immediate and longer-term government funding

According to a recent comment by the Local Government Association (LGA) “Local government is the fabric of our country. It provides more than 800 services and positively impacts the daily life of every person in every community. However, the future financial sustainability of councils is on a cliff-edge, and the scale of the pressures cannot be met by reducing costs, making efficiencies or raising council tax.

 

Many now face the prospect of having to make severe cutbacks to local services. This would not only damage our communities but massively undermine Government ambitions to boost economic growth, level up the country and help residents through the cost-of-living crisis. Inflation is not going to come down overnight. Reserves can only be spent once. A local service cannot be cut twice”.

 

In October James Jamieson, Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association said “Councils are now having to try to find ways to meet these costs this year and limit the damage to the local services that so many people rely upon.

In the past decade, councils have done more than their fair share of the heavy lifting when it came to putting public finances on a more sustainable footing, having faced a £15 billion real terms reduction to core government funding between 2010 and 2020.

 

The Government needs to ensure councils have the funding to meet ongoing pressures and protect the services that will be vital to achieve its ambitions for growth and to produce a more balanced economy, level up communities and help residents through this cost-of-living crisis”.

 

All of this provides a backdrop to the current financial difficulties facing local authorities as the LGA has calculated that rising inflation, National Living Wage and energy costs have left councils facing £2.4 billion in extra cost pressures this year (2022/23), with estimated funding gaps of £3.4 billion in 2023/24 and £4.5 billion the year after. 

 

Indeed, the LGA has warned against further cuts to local government funding, in addition to their cumulative loss of £15 billion of central government during the decade from 2010. Underfunding local services also has a knock-on effect on the wider economy, businesses and residents, and other public services.

 

To reinforce the difficult financial challenges facing local authorities on 1 November Conservative Leader of Devon County Council, John Hart said "I have been a county councillor for more than 30 years and leader of Devon County Council for nearly 14 years during which time we have been through the austerity years and the pandemic, but our financial situation has never been so bleak as it is now."

 

Indeed, this council has lost, £51.8 million in government financial support since 2010. This has held back service development, investment in key infrastructure, including building our own homes and led to local residents and businesses having to pay more as a result.

 

However, with adequate funding, councils can protect and invest in local services, deliver for our communities, support economic growth and level up everywhere.

This is why the LGA is  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

12.

Motion: Voter identification

The Government has recently instructed East Devon District Council, and other local authorities, that people attending polling stations to vote in the District and Parish/Town Council elections scheduled for May 2023 must provide photographic identification before being permitted to vote. This requirement would place a considerable burden on Returning Officers, Presiding Officers, and polling staff who would have to adjudicate on identification issues. Staff at polling stations would inevitably have to deal with angry would-be voters turned away from the polling stations. 

  

In addition, the cost to this, and other councils, of administering elections under the new rules would increase substantially. This is extremely regrettable at a time when council budgets are under unprecedented pressure, threatening the council ability to provide essential services for residents. 

  

This Council considers that the introduction of photographic ID for elections is completely unnecessary, as voter fraud is extremely rare, and would have the effect of suppressing voter participation in democratic processes. 

 

The Council therefore agrees;  

 

1  To ask the Local Government Association (LGA) and the District Councils Network (DCN) to raise the matter with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities expressing its great concern about the proposed use of photographic identification for May 2023 elections.  

 

2  In particular the Council stresses its concern about the procedures to be introduced, which will have a disproportionately detrimental impact on younger voters for whom the procedures will be more challenging than for older voters. The Council asks the LGA and the DCN to press the Government to actively seek to encourage young people to participate in elections, not to place obstacles in the way of young would-be voters. 

 

Asks the LGA and the DCN to press the Secretary of State not to introduce voter photographic identification for the scheduled 2023 elections. The Council also asks the LGA and the DCN to urge the Secretary of State to engage in debate with the LGA and DCN about the need for voter photographic identification, and should it be concluded that it is necessary that a more acceptable system be considered. 

  

4. The Council agrees to send a copy of its message to the LGA and the DCN to its three MPs. 

 

Proposed by: Cllr Jess Bailey

Seconded by: Cllr Jo Whibley

Supported by Cllrs: Paul Millar, Geoff Pratt, Jake Bonetta, Tony Woodward, Vicky Johns, Megan Armstrong, Olly Davey, Paul Hayward, Sarah Jackson, Paul Arnott