Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual, Council - Wednesday, 28th April, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Online via the Zoom App

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

Media

Items
No. Item

134.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed members of the public and Councillors to the meeting and explained that all participants were taking part remotely and the meeting was also being viewed online and recorded.

 

The Chair then started the meeting by doing a roll call of those present, and confirmed that the meeting was quorate.

 

During the meeting the public would be able to participate if they had pre-registered to speak.  Two members of the public had pre-registered to speak, but one was unable to join the meeting.

 

Janine Gardner wanted to address the Council on behalf of Cranbrook Town Council, in relation to the recommendation of Cabinet to undertake a Community Governance Review of the current Cranbrook Town Council area, with a view to establishing whether expansion of the current town boundary is considered to be appropriate and to agree terms of reference and arrangements for consultation. The decision was not whether the parish boundary of Cranbrook be changed which will come later in the light of the review and further reports which will be brought to Cabinet. The Town Council requested the review to provide clarity on the way forward for both the Town Council and its neighbours.

The Town Council has demonstrated that it is able to undertake responsibility for the ownership, management and maintenance of public open space and going forward, both East Devon and Devon Councils are likely to restrict their activities in the town to those which are required by statute. Ii this situation, it would be expected that the local administration will need to pick up the same roles and responsibilities which have hitherto been picked up by the Town Council.

It is the view of the Town Council that an expanded Cranbrook would be best administered by a single local council rather than several. However, should East Devon consider that a review is not needed or that the existing boundary should not be changed, the result will be that the surrounding parishes will have to take responsibility for open spaces within the respective parishes or allow estate rent charges to exist for their residents.

It has been suggested that the town boundary remains unchanged and that any expansion of Cranbrook to circa 8 000 homes be within the existing town boundary. We know that is not realistic nor feasible.

It is for East Devon as the planning authority to determine the eventual size and scale of the Town and to allocate land for strategic development through the Local Plan and emerging Cranbrook Development Plan Document or DPD.

It has been suggested that the review is premature and should await the outcome of the DPD but both can run in parallel. The key point being that there is nothing which has emerged from the DPD to date which gives any indication that the Inspector would be minded to reject the proposed development plans. Discussions about issues like land values do not impact on the proposed scope, scale and layout of the town.

The Town Council has been consistent in its view that it supports the surrounding settlements in their desire to maintain their independence and separation. That remains the case today despite the boundary issue being raised again. None of the proposed boundary changes lead to the town joining up with the surrounding settlements and the Town Council wants to ensure that remains the case.

The development of Cranbrook to around 8,000 homes is a key element in East Devon’s Local Plan delivery with over half of the District’s housing delivery being provided in Cranbrook. That has been the case for many years and the proposals in the DPD are not new. The only question is whether the expansion areas will be situated within a revised boundary of the town or remain within the existing boundary of each surrounding parish and the purpose of the review is to explore those options.

 

In response, Cllr Arnott confirmed that this matter would be picked up under item 9a on the agenda.

135.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 513 KB

Minutes:

Following a vote by those present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on 24th February 2021 were confirmed and agreed as a true record.

 

Before moving to the next item, the Chair stated that apologies had been received from Cllr Allen, and it is understood that he is experiencing a difficult time at present personally. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this time.

 

 

136.

Declarations of interest

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

 

Minutes:

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

Councillor Kevin Blakey, Personal, Questions 3-5. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

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

Councillor Kim Bloxham, Personal, Questions 3-5. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

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

Councillor Sam Hawkins, Personal, Questions 3-5. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

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

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Questions 3-5. Member of Broadclyst Parish Council.

 

141. Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports.

Councillor Kevin Blakey, Personal, Cabinet minutes of 3 March. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

141. Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports.

Councillor Kim Bloxham, Personal, Cabinet minutes of 3 March. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

141. Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports.

Councillor Sam Hawkins, Personal, Cabinet minutes of 3 March. Member of Cranbrook Town Council.

 

141. Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, Cabinet minutes of 3 March. Member of Broadclyst Parish Council

137.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgency.

138.

Announcements from the Chairman and Leader

Minutes:

The Chair invited the Monitoring Officer to address the meeting on the matter of how meetings will be held in future.

The Monitoring Officer outlined that the recent High Court case brought by Hertfordshire County Council (and LLG / ADSO) seeking a declaration that virtual meetings can continue was dismissed today (28 April). The full Judgement is included here - Hertfordshire County Council & Ors v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities And Local Government [2021] EWHC 1093 (Admin) (28 April 2021).

 

The court concluded that:

 “…. the Secretary of State was correct in November 2016 and July 2019 to say that primary legislation would be required to allow local authority “meetings” under the 1972 Act to take place remotely. In our view, once the Flexibility Regulations cease to apply, such meetings must take place at a single, specified geographical location; attending a meeting at such a location means physically going to it; and being “present” at such a meeting involves physical presence at that location.  We recognise that there are powerful arguments in favour of permitting remote meetings. But, as the consultation documents show, there are also arguments against doing so. The decision whether to permit some or all local authority meetings to be conducted remotely, and if so, how, and subject to what safeguards, involves difficult policy choices on which there is likely to be a range of competing views. These choices have been made legislatively for Scotland by the Scottish Parliament and for Wales by the Senedd. In England, they are for Parliament, not the courts”.

 

The outcome means that the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 and Public Bodies (Admissions to meetings) Act 1960, together with other related legislation, apply from 7th May 2021 as they did prior to the flexible meeting regulations coming into force. The Judgment did not address the issue of the public attending meetings and the Court have agreed to consider this further and decide the matter. So there are further implications that will need to be worked through.

 

EDDC officers are investigating proceeding so that the decision making body is physically present in a room to meet the legal requirements but otherwise the public, non-committee members and those reporting / advising are able to continue to participate remotely.

 

The Chair confirmed that this recent news had caused consternation from some members about having to attend meetings in confined spaces.

In response to requests to re-schedule Annual Council, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that current Local Government legislation required them to be held in March, April or May, so other options were being explored, for example, to hold Annual Council at Westpoint, since the Council Chamber would not be COVID compliant. He went on to explain that the Chamber could hold 16 people safely, which covered all committees. Planning Committee was the largest with 16 members, so that all Committee members would be able to attend, with minimal public access, specifically three people who could be seated in the public gallery.

The Monitoring Officer confirmed that he would be contacting all Town and Parish Councils the following day to inform them of the decision by the High Court and its implications. Local Councils had previously been advised by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) on the need to prepare for the eventuality of the court case being lost.

Cllr Arnott stated that this was a legal decision but one which demonstrated how little central government understood local government. He also expressed his view that this was dangerous in terms of putting people at risk by virtue of being in a vulnerable category as well as many younger people who had not yet received COVID vaccines. He proposed that Devon Leaders and Chief Executives should be in contact with each other as soon as possible and lobby Government strongly on this issue.

The Monitoring Officer confirmed that there had been no suggestion of further legislation before the summer recess.

The Chair then announced the resignation of Cllr Luke Jeffery as an EDDC Cllr and Ward Cllr for Honiton St Michaels, recently. He was elected in May 2019 and made a valuable contribution to the work of the Council in his role and she thanked him for the service he gave whilst serving for EDDC. She also expressed her view that it was a great pity to lose another young Councillor so soon, which indicated how difficult it was for people to consider taking on the role alongside employment and other commitments.

In her role as Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Wragg confirmed that he had been a valuable member of the Group, with a wealth of knowledge on environmental issues. In July 2019, shortly after being elected, he had proposed and been supported in presenting a Motion to Council which had resulted in agreement to endorsing the state of climate emergency and for EDDC to work to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

139.

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 no confidential or exempt items.

140.

To answer questions asked by Members of the Council pursuant to Procedure Rules No. 9.2 and 9.5 pdf icon PDF 478 KB

Minutes:

Nine 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 questions asked and the responses is set out below.

Q3: Cllr Hawkins asked why it cost so much more for emptying bins in Cranbrook compared to Axminster or other local towns.

In response, the Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment stated that a comprehensive response had been provided in writing and that services provided in different areas could not be compared on a like by like basis.

 

Q4: Cllr Blakey stated that the written response had not answer his question and asked for further clarification on services and costs.

In response, the Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment stated that he was unable to provide the information at the meeting but would provide a further detailed response after consulting with the relevant officers.

 

Q5: Cllr Bloxham said the answer provided was factually incorrect in that litter picking and street cleansing around the bins was charged separately, rather than included in one charge as suggested, and that  she would welcome more engagement with the Town Council and Ward Members in reviewing these matters.

In response, the Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment stated that services across the District were not uniform for various reasons, and had originated in a wide range of complicated arrangements including developers and management agents in the past. A specific contract had been agreed with the Town Council some time ago, which would be approached differently if it were to be done now.

 

Q7: Cllr De Saram asked how the Council could justify taking money from General Reserves in a crisis, in order to grass over an asset which could generate income in future.

In response, the Portfolio Holder for Finance stated that it was the view of the Queens Drive Delivery Group that the space should be returned to community open space. The temporary car park agreement had expired, and the costs of extending it to make it a permanent car park would far outweigh what will be spent to return it to open space. It is also likely that as a result of covering such costs, the public would seek other car parks nearby.

 

141.

Reports from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees and questions on those reports pdf icon PDF 347 KB

141a

Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 March 2021. Minute numbers 332 - 350 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Arnott presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 3rd March 2021. Following a vote by those present the minutes and recommendations contained therein, were agreed.

 

141b

Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17 March 2021. Minute numbers 351 - 356 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Arnott presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17th March 2021. Following a vote by those present the minutes and recommendations contained therein, were agreed.

 

 

141c

Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31 March 2021. Minute numbers 357 - 381 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Arnott presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31st March 2021.

 

Arising from consideration of the minutes the following minutes were called by Councillor Moulding:-

1)    Cabinet of 31 March, minute number 365 – Minutes of the Arts & Culture Forum held on 24th February 2021, with specific reference to item 28, ‘Resilience, Adaptation & Innovation Fund for East Devon Businesses’.

 

Cllr Moulding wanted to point out that the existence of this fund had been announced at Cabinet, to members of the Arts & Culture Forum and the public, but had subsequently seemed in doubt which had been confirmed by the Portfolio Holder for Economy & Assets.

Cllr Rowland stated that the setting up of the fund had been done in good faith but government advice had changed due to the need for ARG funds to be fully spent by 30 June. He understood that the fund had, therefore been delayed but was not off the agenda altogether, and an update for those who wished to bid for it would be made available in due course.

 

Following this debate and a vote by those present, the minutes of Cabinet on 31st March and recommendations contained therein, were agreed.

 

 

141d

Minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 4 March 2021. Minute numbers 131 - 139 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Brown presented the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 4th March 2021. He also wanted to point out that the recommendations from the committee were not the result of impartial scrutiny debate, but the recommendations sent by private email to certain members of the committee by a member of Cabinet, proposing recommendations that the committee should make, thus exerting undue influence and undermining the process.

 

Cllr Ranger stated that at the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee on 8th April, an amendment had been agreed to the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting on 4th March. Due to the timing of the publication of the Council agenda, the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting on 8th April were unavailable to be included. The relevant extract from the minutes and amendments are included as follows;

“141. Cllr Val Ranger proposed that the minutes of the previous meeting on  4th March 2021 be amended to include the following at Minute 137, ‘Comments and questions raised by Committee members and responses from the Chief Executive and Mark Everden including:’

·         Early informal verbal intervention in the event of any suggestion of bullying should be considered

·         Restorative justice as a form of mediation should be considered

 

The amendments were agreed and the minutes of the meeting held on 4th March 2021 were agreed as a correct record.”

 

Arising from consideration of the minutes the following minutes were called by Councillor Bond, and also by Councillor Parr:-

1)    Scrutiny Committee of 4 March, minute number 137 – Report on Staff Morale 

 

Cllr Bond wanted to express concerns about the meeting. She stated that during eight years of being a Cllr, she had never known a member of the leading group attempting to influence the outcome of the Scrutiny Committee debate. The Cabinet member stated that they had acted solely on their own behalf, but she wanted to request through the Chair that the Cabinet member respects process and allows non-Cabinet members to scrutinise without interference.

 

Cllr Parr asked the relevant Portfolio Holder to update members on the number of meetings that have been held to discuss the information and survey data in line with resolution 4 of the Scrutiny Committee, since this matter is vital and urgent. At the following Scrutiny Committee in April the Performance Monitoring Report was received which showed that staff sickness was of major concern. This report should have been addressed at the March meeting but the meeting went on so long that it had to be deferred. It is urgent that members hear there is some progress and that meetings are being held to come up with actions to resolve this situation about staff sickness, low morale and bullying.

Cllr Loudoun stated that he was happy to provide answers for Cllr Bond and Cllr Parr. He said that he made clear to all cllrs when he responded to what he felt was a biased email from the Chair of Scrutiny Committee regarding the matter, that he had referred himself to the Monitoring Officer under the Code of Conduct procedures. He had invited the Chair of Scrutiny Committee to do so if he felt it was appropriate. Since he had not done so, he referred himself.

On the matter of meetings to discuss the issues raised, most work was being done by the Chief Executive and members of SMT, but that he had met with the Chief Executive on two or three occasions to date, since the Committee meeting on 4th March.

 

Following this debate and a vote by those present, the minutes of Scrutiny Committee on 4th March and recommendations contained therein, were agreed.

 

 

141e

Minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 23 February 2021. Minute numbers 103 - 113 pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Ledger presented the minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 23rd February. Following a vote by those present the minutes  were agreed.

 

 

141f

Minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 30 March 2021. Minute numbers 114 - 123 pdf icon PDF 293 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Ledger presented the minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 30th March. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed.

 

 

141g

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15 February 2021. Minute numbers 213 - 221 pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Wragg presented the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th February. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed.

 

 

141h

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10 March 2021. Minute numbers 222 - 232 pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Wragg presented the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10th March. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed.

 

 

141i

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 17 March 2021. Minute numbers 233 - 242 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Wragg presented the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 17th March. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed

 

141j

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 7 April 2021. Minute numbers 243 - 254 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Wragg presented the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 7th April. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed

 

141k

Minutes of the Audit & Governance Committee meeting held on 18 March 2021. Minute numbers 75 - 86 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Hawkins presented the minutes of the Audit & Governance Committee meeting held on 18th March. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed

 

 

141l

Minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Committee meeting held on 17 February 2021. Minute numbers 60 - 67 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Whibley presented the minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Committee meeting held on 17th February. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed.

 

 

141m

Minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Sub-Committee meeting held on 24 February 2021. Minute numbers 32 - 36 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Whibley presented the minutes of the Licensing & Enforcement Sub-Committee meeting held on 24th February. Following a vote by those present the minutes were agreed.

 

142.

Learning Review - Report from the Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 174 KB

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer outlined that this was a short report to request that Council approve a budget of £18,150 (exc VAT) and an exemption to contract standing orders, to enable the East of England Local Government Association to be appointed to assist in carrying out the learning review.

Cllr Bond asked for more information and background to this report.

Cllr Loudoun explained that he had had meetings with the Monitoring Officer to identify who would be most appropriate person to look into the matter, given that so many people had been involved internally. They had agreed that an external body would be the most appropriate to consider the information, provide an analysis and come up with recommendations in a report, if Council agree.

The Monitoring Officer asked members through the Chair to vote on the recommendation as written. Following a vote by those present, the recommendation was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

That Council approve a budget of £18,150 (exc VAT) and an exemption to contract standing orders, to enable the East of England Local Government Association to be appointed to assist in carrying out the learning review.

 

143.

Standards Complaints Procedure pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer explained that this report was to seek Council’s approval to a revised complaint process for dealing with complaints that Members have breached the Member’s Code of Conduct together with related revisions to the Constitution.  The urgency was with a view to addressing this prior to Annual Council, since it impacts upon the numbers of Committee Members required as part of the nomination process from different Groups.

He explained that the intention had been for minutes of the Standards Committee to be added to the agenda, so that it was clear that the recommendations were based on the view of the Committee after considerable work over recent months, however, due to recent events which included the cancellation of meetings following the passing of HRH Prince Philip and the subsequent short notice of the Committee meeting, the meeting was inquorate and the minutes could not be presented, hence the presentation of this report.

 

Debate on the issues raised included the following comments and points;

·         Given that 3 out of 5 members were unable to attend the Committee meeting, the Council should agree to enlarge the Committee and then ask the enlarged committee to discuss the procedure at the first meeting in the new Council year

·         Since the meeting was inquorate the Council would be open to challenge, so agreement should be deferred until the first meeting of the Committee after Annual Council

·         The Monitoring Officer clarified that the issue of quoracy was dealt with by the fact that a report (rather than minutes) had been produced by himself. This dealt with the legality issues, and the report was based on the work undertaken by the Standards Committee over several months.

·         Several members expressed the view that if the meeting was not quorate the process has not been followed properly

·         Several members expressed the view that the issue of being quorate is irrelevant given that there is a report from the Monitoring Officer

·         The fact is that there is an increasing number of complaints to deal with and it is an appropriate time to put something else in place to bolster what currently exists

 

Cllr Arnott proposed that Council should vote on the report of the Monitoring Officer and the recommendations included as written.

Cllr Rylance seconded that proposal.

 

Cllr Thomas proposed and Cllr Wragg seconded holding a recorded vote. This was carried by a vote of those present.

 

The Chair then moved to a vote on the proposal, which was not carried.

 

Recorded vote:

Councillors Paul Arnott, Denise Bickley, Andrew Colman, Olly Davey, Cathy Gardner, Nick Hookway, Sarah Jackson, Vicky Johns, Geoff Jung, Fabian King, John Loudoun, Dawn Manley, Val Ranger, Marianne Rixson, Jack Rowland, Eleanor Rylance, Brenda Taylor, Joe Whibley, Tony Woodward, Eileen Wragg, - voted in favour – 20.

 

Councillor Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham, Susie Bond, Colin Brown, Maddy Chapman, Iain Chubb, Bruce De Saram, Alan Dent, Peter Faithfull, Ian Hall, Marcus Hartnell, Sam Hawkins, Stuart Hughes, Ben Ingham, David Key, Andrew Moulding, Helen Parr,  Geoff Pook, Philip Skinner, Ian Thomas, Phil Twiss, Tom Wright – voted against – 22.

 

Councillor Megan Armstrong, Steve Gazzard – voted to abstain – 2.

 

Cllr Thomas then proposed a recommendation to increase the number of EDDC members on the Standards Committee to 7, with further discussion on membership at the next Standards Committee meeting.

Cllr Bond seconded the recommendation.

 

The Chair invited those present to vote on the recommendation which was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

That the number of EDDC members on the Standards Committee be increased to 7, with further discussion on the revised complaint process at the next meeting of the Standards Committee.

144.

Motion: To Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

Preamble;

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040. Therefore the current UK target of net zero by 2050 is not satisfactory. It is too little too late.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

Council notes that;

(i) This council has declared a climate emergency;

(ii) Many local authorities have established Citizens’ Assemblies that are    playing an important role in assisting them in their plans to achieve net zero by 2030 or before; and that

(iii) There is a Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”)—according to which the Government must develop an emergency strategy that:

(a) requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures;

(b) ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

(c) includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

(d) protects and restores biodiverse habitats along overseas supply chains;

(e) restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species

populations to healthy and robust states, maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

(f) sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

(i)    Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

(ii)   Inform the local media of this decision;

(iii)  Write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill; and

(iv)   Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill,

expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk

 

Proposed by; Cllr Olly Davey

Seconded by; Cllr Tony Woodward

Supported by Cllrs; Denise Bickley, Steve Gazzard, Paul Hayward, Sarah Jackson, Val Ranger.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr Davey to speak as the proposer.

Cllr Davey stated that the time for action to address climate change was now. The COVID pandemic had shown that the Government was capable of taking swift action in an emergency. The Bill is needed because although the Government is already taking action and some progress is being made, there are also a lot of failings and it is not on track to achieve its stated goals.

The Climate Change Committee 2020 report shows how little we have progressed in reality and provides many examples of this. We have all the technology we need to effect change now. The Bill requires the UK to play its role fully and to be responsible for the supply chains it uses.

 

As seconder, Cllr Woodward reiterated that whilst the motion was long, its four recommendations were concise and straightforward.

 

Debate included the following comments;

·         That the Government reverting to making all Local Authority meetings physical in buildings was a retrogressive step for a green agenda with all of the practical implications of the requirement to travel

·         That according to experts conducting research and reporting in the press, the three biggest issues to resolve related to travel by planes, carbon emitting food and how to effectively insulate millions of homes satisfactorily

·         The UK should be tackling everything it can and there is a lot it can afford to do compared to many other countries. This is a very non onerous Bill to support

·         We have a moral responsibility to our children to correct what has gone wrong in our time

·         How many Cllrs have read the Bill? Aiming criticism at middle-England is not appropriate compared to other countries, but there is a debate to be had about what this Council can do in East Devon.

·         Some members expressed shock at the failure to take the emergency seriously, and urged others to support the Bill and add the Council’s voice to it

·         This Council has already declared a Climate Emergency and it is shocking to see more floods and fires on our doorstep

·         The motion is to support or not support the Bill, and support for it will not distract the Council from continuing to both take local action and support national action

 

Following debate Cllr Arnott proposed and Cllr Thomas seconded holding a recorded vote. This was carried by a vote of those present.

 

The Chair then moved to a vote on the Motion, which was carried.

 

Recorded vote:

Councillors Megan Armstrong, Paul Arnott, Denise Bickley, Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham, Susie Bond, Colin Brown, Andrew Colman, Olly Davey, Alan Dent, Peter Faithfull, Cathy Gardner, Steve Gazzard, Ian Hall, Marcus Hartnell, Sam Hawkins, Nick Hookway, Stuart Hughes, Ben Ingham, Sarah Jackson, Vicky Johns, Geoff Jung, David Key, Fabian King, John Loudoun, Dawn Manley, Andrew Moulding, Geoff Pratt, Val Ranger, Marianne Rixson, Jack Rowland, Eleanor Rylance, Brenda Taylor, Ian Thomas, Phil Twiss, Joe Whibley, Tony Woodward, Eileen Wragg, Tom Wright - voted in favour – 39.

 

Councillor Bruce De Saram, Philip Skinner – voted against – 2.

 

Councillor Helen Parr – voted to abstain – 1.

 

RESOLVED;

That this Council:

(i)    Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

(ii)   Inform the local media of this decision;

(iii)  Write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill; and

(iv)   Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support

145.

Motion: Role of the Chair of Council

ref Article 5 page 19 to be modified as per section b shown in italics:-

 

b) The Chair shall be elected annually by the Council. The Chair will have the following responsibilities:

1. To uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution, and to interpret the Constitution when necessary having regard to appropriate advice;

2. To preside over meetings of the Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of Councillors and the interests of the community;

3. To ensure that at the Council meeting Councillors who are not on the Cabinet or who are not Chairmen of Committees are able to hold the Cabinet and Committee Chairmen to account.

4. Generally, to be the conscience of the Council

5. Shall exercise neutrality and be an exemplar of the highest standards of conduct and ethics consistent with the Council’s Code of Conduct and by promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by Councillors, co-opted Members and Council officers to serve the best interests of the Community

 

Proposed by; Cllr Mike Allen

Seconded by; Cllr Philip Skinner

Supported by Cllrs; Andrew Moulding, Bruce de Sarum, Ben Ingham

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair stated that at the request of the proposer and with the agreement of the seconder, this Motion has been postponed to the next Full Council meeting which should be in July.

146.

Motion: Future of our High Streets

In the light of the positive response from Simon Jupp MP to the recent letter we sent to him about the Future of our Highs Streets in East Devon like Exmouth, we recommend to Council the implementation as soon as possible of a cross party TAFF whose membership will be determined by the monitoring Officer in the usual manner in order for our District to get a strong bid in for the government’s multi-billion-pound Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Funds. We are all aware that The Levelling Up Fund is currently open for applications of up to £20 million to regenerate and improve High Streets in places like Exmouth. It's fantastic to see that the new funds build on the work of the smaller schemes which predate the pandemic, including the Future High Streets Fund. As Exmouth members Cllr Caygill, Cllr Chapman and myself urge this Council to set up this TAFF and work with Simon Jupp MP so that ultimately, we put in a successful bid for the benefit and wellbeing of all our residents at this time of great need” 

 

Proposer Cllr Bruce De Saram

Seconder Cllr Fred Caygill

Supporters Cllrs; Maddy Chapman, Alan Dent, Helen Parr, Ben Ingham and Andrew Moulding.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair stated that her understanding was that the proposer had a suggestion for changing the Motion and making an amendment. She then invited Cllr De Saram to propose the amendment and for someone to second it.

 

Cllr De Saram read out his amendment as follows following discussion with colleagues;

 

In the light of the positive response from Simon Jupp MP to the recent letter we sent to him about the future of Highs Streets in East Devon, Council requests that the Cabinet, working cross-party with all council members, prepare and submit a strong bid benefitting both Exmouth and the Axe Valley to the government’s multi-billion-pound Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Funds. We are aware that The Levelling Up Fund is currently open for applications of up to £20 million per Parliamentary constituency to regenerate and improve High Streets in places like Exmouth and elsewhere in the district. We strongly maintain that the funding provided by government should be utilised to work up appropriate bids which are supported by our local MPs and submitted for the benefit and wellbeing of our residents at this time of great need.

Cllr Moulding seconded the amended Motion.

Cllr De Saram went on to say that Government funding for Exmouth had been discussed on many occasions in the past and that it was now time to apply for Levelling Up Funds, following a meeting recently between local MPs and members of the Cabinet. The Three themes of Smaller Transport Projects, Town Centre and High Street Regeneration, and support for maintaining world leading heritage and assets, gave a variety of options from which to develop a strong bid.

As seconder, Cllr Moulding stated that in terms of the Axe Valley, the North-South relief road was much anticipated and was included in the local plan. The plan is ready to go and he looked forward to working together and with MPs to develop a bid which could be supported.

Cllr Rowland reported that the meeting on 14 April with two local MPs was very helpful, and involved other Cabinet members and officers, in trying to establish what would be acceptable to gain the support of MPs by way of a bid, which was a requirement. He confirmed that work had already been started on a bid by officers since that meeting. Exmouth was discussed, but due to the fact that the constituency of Neil Parrish MP covered more than one District Council, any discussion relating to a bid involving the Axe Valley was currently confidential.  The deadline for officers to submit a detailed bids and gain the written support of MPs was 18 June.

Debate included the following comments;

·         Clarification was given that this Council has already been working with MPs, and will always be willing to do so

·         The issues arising from the Motion put to the last Council meeting in relation to the Future High Streets Fund had still not been responded to, but in the spirit of moving forward, it was hoped that the future would herald more positive working together

·         There will be a lot of competition for the funds with other local Councils who will be bidding alongside EDDC

Cllr Gazzard put forward the proposal that the Motion be now put.

After a vote by those present which was carried, the Chair then invited members to vote for the substantive motion.

The Motion was carried following a vote by those present.

 

RESOLVED that;

In the light of the positive response from Simon Jupp MP to the recent letter we sent to him about the future of Highs Streets in East Devon, Council requests that the Cabinet, working cross-party with all council members, prepare and submit a strong bid benefitting both Exmouth and the Axe Valley to the government’s multi-billion-pound Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Funds. We are aware that The Levelling Up Fund is currently open for applications of up to £20 million per Parliamentary constituency to regenerate and improve High Streets in places like Exmouth and elsewhere in the district. We strongly maintain that the funding provided by government should be utilised to work up appropriate bids which are supported by our local MPs and submitted for the benefit and wellbeing of our residents at this time of great need.

 

The Chair thanked everyone who participated in the meeting or watched online, and declared the meeting closed at 8.43pm.