Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday 18th December 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, High Street, Exeter

Contact: Sarah Selway, Democratic Services Manager (Committees)  Telephone 01392 265275 or email  sarah.selway@exeter.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

65.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Begley, Denham, Foale, Gottschalk, Henson D, Mrs Henson, Keen and Wright.

 

 

66.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary meetings held on 16 October 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary meetings held on 16 October 2018 were moved by the Leader, seconded by Councillor Sutton, taken as read, approved and signed as correct.

 

 

 

67.

Official Communications

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor congratulated the City of Exeter Partnership which had won the Britain in Bloom South West Tourism Cup and the RAMM, which had recently won a Silver award in the large attraction category of the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards. 

 

The Lord Mayor advised of some of the events he had attended in recent months including the Remembrance Service which marked 100 years since the end of World War I and the tree planting in memory of former Councillors David and Joan Morrish.

 

The Lord Mayor commented although, disappointingly they did not win, he congratulated the Council’s Democratic Services team who were again shortlisted for the team of the year award at the National Association of Democratic Services Officers’ awards.

 

The Lord Mayor informed Members of the receipt of two petitions.  The first, an on-line petition containing 327 signatures, related to the proposed disposal of a piece of land at Bull Meadow.  This would be reported to the next meeting of the Place Scrutiny Committee in January 2019. 

 

The second, containing 506 signatures, related to the green space at Clifton Hill.   Members would be aware that this was a matter for discussion later on the agenda as a Notice of Motion. The Leader presented this petition to the Lord Mayor.

 

 

 

68.

Planning Committee - 29 October 2018 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 29 October 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sutton, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 29 October 2018 be received.

 

 

69.

Planning Committee - 3 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 3 December 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sutton, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Min. No. 190 (Planning application No.18/0873/FULL – Land at Ribston Avenue), and in response to Members’ questions regarding the Class Use, reconsideration of the application and allowing questions of the speakers at the Planning Committee, the Chair stated that the decision on the planning application would not be reconsidered and that she had taken the decision not to allow questions of the speakers at the start of the meeting. 

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 3 December 2018 be received.

 

 

70.

Licensing Committee - 20 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 20 November 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Owen, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 20 November 2018 be received.

 

 

71.

People Scrutiny Committee - 1 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the People Scrutiny Committee of 1 November 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Wardle, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the People Scrutiny Committee held on 1 November 2018 be received.

 

 

72.

Place Scrutiny Committee - 8 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Place Scrutiny Committee of 8 November 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Place Scrutiny Committee held on 8 November 2018 be received.

 

 

73.

Corporate Services Committee - 22 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee of 22 November 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sheldon, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee held on 22 November 2018 be received.

 

 

74.

Audit and Governance Committee - 5 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee of 5 December 2018 were presented by the Chair, Councillor N Vizard, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.40 (Review of Corporate Governance Risk Register) and in response to a Member, the Chair stated that the issue of the Risk Register being published would be considered at the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 5 December 2018 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

75.

Executive - 13 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 13 November 2018 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Edwards, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.113 (Revision of the Air Quality Action Plan), Councillor Musgrave raised questions relating to the survey in the report on the work place parking levy and proposed an amendment to the recommendation in respect of (2) that a work place parking levy be taken forward, this was seconded by Councillor Mitchell.

 

The amendment was put to the vote and lost.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

(1)          Council adopts the Air Quality Action Plan; and

 

(2)          the feasibility of a work place parking levy be kept under review and an update be brought back to Place Scrutiny Committee as part of the annual review of the Air Quality Action Plan.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of Executive held on 13 November 2018 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

 

76.

Executive - 11 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 11 December 2018 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Edwards, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.120 (Leisure Complex and Bus Station), the Leader stated that the project did provide value for money, which was reiterated in the value for money report November 2018, whilst accepting that the costs had gone up, this proposal would now free up the whole of the site and provide city centre office space and homes on the site.

 

Some Members spoke against the recommendation. They raised concerns regarding the value for money of the project and better use of the £52 million, the high interest payments on the loan, that money should be spent on increasing recycling and air quality improvements and that the project was flawed and was not financially sound.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Health & Well-being, Communities & Sport commented that the Council had been prudent with its monies, had already set aside 65% of the funds for the project and there was a robust business case. The proposal would provide housing, two hotels, retail units, office space, excellent leisure facilities and improve the public realm.

 

Those Members supporting the recommendation stated that the project had a strong business case and would be a world class facility for everyone to enjoy.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

(1)        Members welcome the conclusions of Jones Lang LaSalle on the development demand and potential for the Sidwell Street and bus and coach station site and authorise the City Surveyor to progress work to identify options and, potentially, a preferred development partner, or partners, for a comprehensive scheme for the redevelopment of the wider Sidwell Street/Bus Station site (including options for the redevelopment of the Civic Centre site, Paris Street) and fund up to £300,000 to cover the associated costs of this work;

 

(2)        funding up to £90,000 be made available to cover the costs associated with exploring the potential, opportunity and viability to provide a multi-purpose performance venue as part of the wider development of Sidwell Street/Paris Street;

 

(3)        the allocation of an additional £11.88m to cover the programme costs and contract price of building a new leisure complex and bus station be approved; and

 

(4)        the Chief Executive & Growth Director be authorised to enter into written contracts with the successful tenderer for the construction of both projects

 

In accordance with Standing Order 27(1), a named vote on the recommendation was called for, and the voting recorded as follows:

Voting for:- Bialyk, Branston, Edwards, Foggin, Hannan, Harvey, Lamb, Deputy Lord Mayor, Morse, Owen, Packham, Pattison, Pearson, Robson, Sheldon, Sills, Sutton, Vizard M, Vizard N, Wardle, Warwick and Wood.

(22 Members)

Voting against:- Holland, Leadbetter, Mitchell, Musgrave, Newby, Pierce and Thompson.

(7 Members)

Abstentions:- The Lord Mayor and Prowse.

(2 Members)

Absent:- Begley, Denham, Foale, Gottschalk, Henson D, Mrs Henson, Keen and Wright

(8 Members)

In respect of Minute No.121 (Heart of South West Joint Committee Report), the Leader moved the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Sutton.

 

RESOLVED  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Notice of Motion by Councillor Bialyk under Standing Order No. 6

Exeter City Council notes with concern that:-

 

1.    On 11 October 2018 it was announced that 74 crown post offices across the UK,will be franchised to WHSmith. Taken together, successive franchise announcements mean the loss of 60% of the crown office network since 2013.

 

2.    These privatisations are financed using millions of pounds of public money, despite the fact that the public has never endorsed the closures, indeed they have only ever protested against them. In 2014/15 alone, £13 million of public money was used to pay compensation to get rid of post office staff, and the CWU estimates the staff compensation cost of the latest privatisation will be at least £30 million, affecting as it does, 800 staff.   

 

3.    Reports by Consumer Focus (2012) and Citizens Advice (2016) have identified issues with the franchising of post offices to WHSmith including poor accessibility for people with mobility impairments, longer queuing times, and inferior service and advice on products.

 

4.    Franchising means the loss of jobs with good terms and conditions at the Post Office. WHSmith replaces experienced post office staff with new employees in typically minimum wage part time roles. This is clearly bad for jobs in the local area and the Post Office workers, many of whom are CWU members

 

5.    The closure of Crown post offices and relocation to a WHSmith, also means the loss of prime high street stores and this contributes to the demise of town centres. No explanation has been given as to why the profit-making Crown post offices are being handed to a failing retailer with an uncertain future, and what will happen to these services if WHSmith folds.    

 

6.    All Crown post offices are under threat of closure and/or franchising in future, and if the latest round of privatisations, are allowed to go ahead, it could prove the tipping point for the viability of the entire post office network. 

 

This Council believes that:-

 

7.    Our post offices are a key asset for the community and the expertise and experience of staff there is invaluable 

8.    The relentless franchising and closure programme of the profit-making Crown post Offices, points to a lack of vision rather than the plan for growth and innovation that is needed.

9.    Government should therefore halt these closures and bring together stakeholders, including the CWU, and industry experts to develop a new strategy that safeguards the future of the Post office.

 

This Council resolves to:-

 

10.  Write to Government to raise concern about the apparent managed decline of the post office network across the UK and the impact on high streets, as well as the service in the franchised premises, and the poor quality jobs that result

11.  To join campaigns to raise awareness of the value of our Post Office and the need for it to remain an asset of and for the people. 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Bialyk, seconded by Councillor Newby, moved a Notice of Motion in the following terms:-

 

Exeter City Council notes with concern that:-

 

1.    On 11 October 2018 it was announced that 74 crown post offices across the UK, will be franchised to WHSmith. Taken together, successive franchise announcements mean the loss of 60% of the crown office network since 2013.

 

2.    These privatisations are financed using millions of pounds of public money, despite the fact that the public has never endorsed the closures, indeed they have only ever protested against them. In 2014/15 alone, £13 million of public money was used to pay compensation to get rid of post office staff, and the CWU estimates the staff compensation cost of the latest privatisation will be at least £30 million, affecting as it does, 800 staff.   

 

3.    Reports by Consumer Focus (2012) and Citizens Advice (2016) have identified issues with the franchising of post offices to WHSmith including poor accessibility for people with mobility impairments, longer queuing times, and inferior service and advice on products.

 

4.    Franchising means the loss of jobs with good terms and conditions at the Post Office. WHSmith replaces experienced post office staff with new employees in typically minimum wage part time roles. This is clearly bad for jobs in the local area and the Post Office workers, many of whom are CWU members

 

5.    The closure of Crown post offices and relocation to a WHSmith, also means the loss of prime high street stores and this contributes to the demise of town centres. No explanation has been given as to why the profit-making Crown post offices are being handed to a failing retailer with an uncertain future, and what will happen to these services if WHSmith folds.    

 

6.    All Crown post offices are under threat of closure and/or franchising in future, and if the latest round of privatisations, are allowed to go ahead, it could prove the tipping point for the viability of the entire post office network. 

 

This Council believes that:-

 

7.    Our post offices are a key asset for the community and the expertise and experience of staff there is invaluable 

8.    The relentless franchising and closure programme of the profit-making Crown post offices, points to a lack of vision rather than the plan for growth and innovation that is needed.

9.    Government should therefore halt these closures and bring together stakeholders, including the CWU, and industry experts to develop a new strategy that safeguards the future of the Post office.

 

This Council resolves to:-

 

10.  Write to Government to raise concern about the apparent managed decline of the post office network across the UK and the impact on high streets, as well as the service in the franchised premises, and the poor quality jobs that result

11.  To join campaigns to raise awareness of the value of our Post Office and the need for it to remain an asset of and for the people. 

 

In presenting his Notice of Motion, Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Notice of Motion by Councillor Mitchell under Standing Order No 6

Exeter City Council notes that:

  1. Green spaces within the city boundary are highly valued by residents and enhance our environment.
  2. The green space surrounding the Clifton Hill Sports centre is approximately nine acres and provides an inner-city haven for wildlife and residents.
  3. The “Save the Clifton Hill Green Space Group” has campaigned to keep the green space in public ownership, and to enhance biodiversity and community use of the site.
  4. The Council is planning its Physical Activity strategy, which will inform future use of all green spaces and related amenities.

The Council therefore resolves that the whole of the green space surrounding the Clifton Hill Sports Centre will remain in Exeter City Council ownership and form part of the city-wide Physical Activity strategy.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mitchell, seconded by Councillor Musgrave, moved a Motion in the following terms:-

Exeter City Council notes that:

  1. Green spaces within the city boundary are highly valued by residents and enhance our environment.
  2. The green space surrounding the Clifton Hill Sports centre is approximately nine acres and provides an inner-city haven for wildlife and residents.
  3. The “Save the Clifton Hill Green Space Group” has campaigned to keep the green space in public ownership, and to enhance biodiversity and community use of the site.
  4. The Council is planning its Physical Activity strategy, which will inform future use of all green spaces and related amenities.

The Council therefore resolves that the whole of the green space surrounding the Clifton Hill Sports Centre will remain in Exeter City Council ownership and form part of the city-wide Physical Activity strategy.

In presenting the Notice of Motion, Councillor Mitchell stated that it was important to safeguard the urban public green space to encourage residents to be more active and to protect wildlife, flora and fauna. This green space was vitally important to the local community which had been demonstrated by the petition presented to Council tonight and should be protected for generations to come. If there was no intention to sell the site then Members should support this motion and put local residents’ minds at rest.

The Local Ward Members acknowledged the local residents’ concerns regarding this valuable community green public space. They were engaging with the local community on the matter and had attended a public consultation which had been a valuable exercise. Until the outcome of the feasibility study of the site and the Physical Activity Strategy had come forward they stated that this Notice of Motion was premature. 

Members supporting the Notice of Motion commented that it was important that green space within the city centre should be protected and did not see why that decision could not be taken now. Whilst other Members felt that the outcomes of the feasibility study for the site and the Physical Activity Strategy should be considered before any decisions were taken.

The Notice of Motion was put to the vote and lost.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 27(1), a named vote on the recommendation was called for, and the voting recorded as follows:

Voting for:-

Holland, Leadbetter, Mitchell, Musgrave, Newby, Pierce, Prowse and Thompson.

(8 Members)

 

Voting against:-

Bialyk, Branston, Edwards, Foggin, Hannan, Harvey, Lamb, Deputy Lord Mayor, Morse, Owen, Packham, Pattison, Pearson, Robson, Sheldon, Sills, Sutton, Vizard M, Vizard N, Wardle, Warwick and Wood.

(22 Members)

Abstentions:- The Lord Mayor.

(1 Member)

Absent:- Begley, Denham, Foale, Gottschalk, Henson D, Mrs Henson, Keen and Wright

(8 Members)

 

79.

Notice of Motion by Councillor Musgrave under Standing Order No 6

Exeter City Council notes that:-

1.         On 13th June 2018, the Council resolved that Minute 56 of the Executive held on 12 June, concerning the Clifton Hill Sports Centre and surrounding land, be received and adopted.  

2.         The decision to close the Clifton Hill Sports Centre, demolish the building and sell the land; as well as to delegate authority to the City Surveyor “to include the sale of the adjacent driving range, ski slope and Exeter Small Bore Rifle Club areas of the Clifton Hill site as a single development site if this offers the best value to the Council”, without consultation, has proved highly controversial.

3.         The report presented to the Executive on 12th June contained several inaccuracies and appears to have underestimated the number of residents who made use of the sports centre facilities.  In addition, the report failed to describe the land surrounding the sports centre, including its size and amenity value.

4.         A city-wide petition opposing closure of the sports centre, signed by 1,800 supporters of the “Save the Clifton Hill Sports Centre” campaign group, was received by the Council on October 16th 2018; and a further petition calling for the council to retain ownership of the land surrounding the sports centre and “keep it green”, with 500 signatures collected door-to-door by the Save the Clifton Hill Green Space group, was received by Cllr. Pete Edwards on 13th November 2018.

5.         The Council plans to hold a consultation before presenting its Physical Activity and Built Facilities strategies, clearly demonstrating that the above decision relating to the Clifton Hill Sports Centre -- and the other facilities and land surrounding the centre -- was taken prematurely.

Exeter City Council, therefore, resolves that the decision taken at the Council meeting of 13th June be reversed.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Musgrave, seconded by Councillor Mitchell, moved a Motion in the following terms:-

Exeter City Council notes that:-

1.         On 13th June 2018, the Council resolved that Minute 56 of the Executive held on 12 June, concerning the Clifton Hill Sports Centre and surrounding land, be received and adopted.  

2.         The decision to close the Clifton Hill Sports Centre, demolish the building and sell the land; as well as to delegate authority to the City Surveyor “to include the sale of the adjacent driving range, ski slope and Exeter Small Bore Rifle Club areas of the Clifton Hill site as a single development site if this offers the best value to the Council”, without consultation, has proved highly controversial.

3.         The report presented to the Executive on 12th June contained several inaccuracies and appears to have underestimated the number of residents who made use of the sports centre facilities.  In addition, the report failed to describe the land surrounding the sports centre, including its size and amenity value.

4.         A city-wide petition opposing closure of the sports centre, signed by 1,800 supporters of the “Save the Clifton Hill Sports Centre” campaign group, was received by the Council on October 16th 2018; and a further petition calling for the council to retain ownership of the land surrounding the sports centre and “keep it green”, with 500 signatures collected door-to-door by the Save the Clifton Hill Green Space group, was received by Cllr. Pete Edwards on 13th November 2018.

5.         The Council plans to hold a consultation before presenting its Physical Activity and Built Facilities strategies, clearly demonstrating that the above decision relating to the Clifton Hill Sports Centre -- and the other facilities and land surrounding the centre -- was taken prematurely.

Exeter City Council, therefore, resolves that the decision taken at the Council meeting of 13th June be reversed.

Councillor Musgrave stated that the decision to close Clifton Hill Sports Centre had been made in haste and was based on an inaccurate report. He did not believe that the roof was beyond repair and disputed the figures for its repair.  A number of independent contractors had suggested that a new roof could have extended the life of the sports centre by another 25 years.  He was also concerned that more funding had been approved for the new Leisure Centre and Bus Station development (Minute 76 above refers) to the detriment of other facilities in the city.  He referred to the local community aspirations and their concerns regarding the decline of the sport offer in the city and called on Members to support the motion.

 

Councillor Mitchell, in seconding the motion, stated that local residents had not only expressed concern about the loss of the Clifton Hill Sports Centre, but believed that the St Sidwell’s Point facility had the potential for inequality. He expressed disappointment at the request for further funding of £11.88 million for St Sidwell’s Point. 

 

A Local Ward Member stated that it was unfortunate that Clifton Hill Leisure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order No 8

Question from Councillor Mrs Thompson

 

Is the Leader able to please confirm how much of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is being set aside from the major housing developments to fund the Bus Station redevelopment/ St Sidwells Point?

 

Question from Councillor Mrs Thompson

 

In the absence of a Planning Solicitor at a meeting of the Planning Committee is the Leader able to confirm who would be the appropriate person able to give legal advice and interpret the Constitution at Planning Committees should a legal query or point of order be raised as per the example queried on 3 December 2018 by Cllr. Yolonda Henson?

 

Question from Councillor Mrs Thompson

 

Could the Leader please confirm how many agreed Planning Consents for housing developments in this municipal year have not met the City Council's policy of 35% affordable housing?

Question from Councillor Mrs Thompson

 

Could the Leader please confirm if Chairs of Committees when chairing meetings are able to effectively unilaterally override all other Standing Orders by way of Standing Order 49?


 

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order No. 8, the following questions were put by Councillor Thompson to the Leader.

 

Question - Is the Leader able to please confirm how much of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is being set aside from the major housing developments to fund the Bus Station redevelopment/ St Sidwell’s Point?

 

The Leader responded that in accordance with the Executive Resolution on 10th February 2015 a total of £8m of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) had been set aside for the St Sidwell Project and the new Bus Station: £4 million was being set aside for the Leisure Complex and £4 million for the bus station making £8 million of CIL in total. He added that Devon County Council had not offered any contribution.

 

Councillor Thompson asked a supplementary question and referred to the level of development in Pinhoe and said that they would also like to benefit from CIL. She enquired what percentage of CIL was set aside for Pinhoe.

 

The Leader advised that he was unable to advise what the percentage was, but the resolution was that the CIL would be shared around the city rather than be given to one particular area. The new Leisure Complex and Bus Station would benefit everyone in the city. He agreed to provide the requested information on the breakdown of the CIL in due course.  

 

Question - In the absence of a Planning Solicitor at a meeting of the Planning Committee, is the Leader able to confirm who would be the appropriate person able to give legal advice and interpret the Constitution at Planning Committees should a legal query or point of order be raised as per the example queried on 3 December 2018 by Councillor Yolonda Henson?

 

The Leader responded that the Planning Officers were experts in the planning field, and there was no reason why they should not be able to deal with any planning related questions which may be posed.  It was part of the duties of the Democratic Services Officer, who is in attendance at all committee meetings, to offer any necessary procedural advice.

 

Councillor Thompson asked a supplementary question and said that one of the questions that she would have asked and which was not clarified clearly at the Planning meeting, was the argument of the classification of C2 and C2A, in relation to the Ribston Avenue application. She wished to seek legal clarification on whether it was possible, giving the circumstances of moving from one class to another, that class use for C2 was for a residential institution and C2A was for a secure residential institutions and not clarified in a legal context. She asked if it was possible through the scheme of delegation to move from C2 to C2A and if that matter could that be clarified.

 

The Leader stated that the officers at the Planning meeting had made it clear what was being voted for. It was not a secure unit and that was what the officers advised and Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.