Proposal forms received:
1. Convention on the appointments of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen – Cllr Millar
2. Scrutiny of the performance of South West Water by reference to (a) its sewage discharges into rivers in our district and the sea (b) processing of domestic sewage in our district – Cllr Bailey
The Committee agreed to change the published order of the proposal forms and to first consider the proposal form submitted by Cllr Bailey.
Scrutiny of the performance of South West Water by reference to (a) its sewage discharges into rivers in the district and the sea (b) processing of domestic sewage in the district.
Cllr Bailey introduced the proposal form which raised the matter of sewage discharge in East Devon’s rivers and coastal waters and which proposed that South West Water be invited to address the Committee’s concerns at a future meeting.
Discussion of the proposal included the following points:
· The Environment Agency could also be invited to attend at the same time as South West Water.
· Information on water quality would be beneficial on a year round basis, rather than just being provided between May to October.
· As this is a key local issue, it would be advantageous to hold an Extraordinary meeting with this as a single agenda item.
· Beach quality is a function of EDDC and it was suggested that Environmental Health should also be involved in the discussions going forward.
· Members were in support of holding a daytime meeting and, if possible, on a face to face basis.
· There are implications for planning going forward if South West Water are not able to manage increasing development.
Ed Freeman advised that this issue had been raised through Strategic Planning Committee and that Officers are committed to discussing future growth aspirations with South West Water and how that impacts on the planning process. Future implications for growth would be better addressed by Planning Officers through the Strategic Planning Committee.
Ed Freeman further advised that the current Local Plan encourages sustainable drainage systems whereby surface water is captured and held and used on site in order to relieve pressure on South West Water’s infrastructure. South West Water may be able to advise on the effectiveness of on site sustainable drainage systems.
Further discussion of Cllr Bailey’s proposal included the following points:
· It would be more effective for the Committee to focus its meetings separately with South West Water, the Environment Agency and other organisations.
· The primary focus should be on South West Water and East Devon’s watercourses and coast.
That the Scrutiny Committee invites South West Water to attend an Extraordinary meeting of the Committee to investigate the sewage contamination of East Devon’s waterways.
Convention on the appointments of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen
The Committee considered the proposal form submitted by Cllr Millar regarding the convention for appointing Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen.
Cllr Millar introduced the proposal and expressed his concern that there is currently no written protocol for making the appointments. As this is the case, Cllr Millar also had concerns as to how to previous round of appointments was made and is of the view that it is important for the Scrutiny Committee to look in to this and that the public deserve to know . Across the country there is a variety of approaches to appointing Honorary Aldermen and Alderwoman and examples of protocols are available.
Members discussed their understanding of the basis for making the appointments in previous years, raised the issue of whether the position should continue to exist and questioned how recent appointments had come about with no written protocol in place. Should a protocol be put in place going forward, it should include a process for the removal of Honorary Aldermen and Alderwomen.
It was noted that, apart from length of service, the main criteria for the appointment is that an eminent contribution has been made by the nominee.
That a report be provided for the Scrutiny Committee setting out the following:
· How Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Alderwomen have been selected in the past, what criteria were used and on whose recommendation,
· What does eminent or meritorious conduct include,
· A breakdown by party and qualification of those who have received the honour in the past twelve years,
· Options for the future, including processes for granting and removal of the honour,
· Referenced examples of protocols from other areas.
With the addition of the above proposals, the Forward Plan was noted.
The Scrutiny Committee thanked the Car Parking TaFF for its work which has had significant achievements with regard to camper vans, electric charging points and eco scooters. The Committee considers that there is now some urgency with regard to formulating a car parking strategy for the approval of Council and time constraints mean that this process is better served if this is now considered by Cabinet.