Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual Meeting, Council - Tuesday 15th December 2020 6.00 pm

Contact: John Street, Corporate Manager Democratic & Civic Support  Telephone 01392 265106 or email  john.street@exeter.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

60.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Newby and Oliver.

 

 

61.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 579 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary meetings of Council held on 20 October 2020.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary meetings of the Council held on 20 October 2020 were moved by the Leader, seconded by the Deputy Leader Councillor Sutton, taken as read and approved for signing as correct at the earliest possible convenience.

 

62.

Councillor Rachel Lyons

Members will be aware that they have a statutory responsibility to attend at least one meeting of the authority every six months. If they fail to do this, they are disqualified with immediate effect, unless the Council has agreed to an extension to this period of absence.

 

Cllr Lyons last attended a meeting on 21st July, meaning her six month period for attendance would expire on 21st January.  Over the past few months she has been unwell including several periods in hospital, and she has been too unwell to attend any meetings. She has asked that the Council consider approving an extension to her period of absence to take her up to end of the 2020/21 municipal year, during which she hopes to have made a recovery which will allow her to resume her duties as a Councillor. 

 

Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 states, inter alia:

 

‘…if a member of a local authority fails throughout a period of six consecutive months from the date of his last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority, he shall, unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority before the expiry of that period, cease to be a member of the authority.’

 

RECOMMENDED

 

That in accordance with section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, it is approved that Cllr Rachel Lyons be granted an extension to her period of absence to the end of the 2020/21 Municipal Year, 5th May 2021.

 

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor welcomed Councillor Lyons to the meeting after her recent period of ill health including a spell in hospital and wished her a continued and speedy recovery.

 

 

 

63.

Official Communications

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor reported the following:-

 

·        the absence of John Street, Corporate Manager, Democratic and Civic Support, from the meeting because of the recent loss of his mother. The LM  extended his and Members’ condolences and support to John;

·        a virtual Remembrance Service on 8 November 2020 at Exeter Cathedral and a live streaming of a Remembrance Service held on 11 November 2020 which had included the laying of wreaths by the City and County Councils and the Battalion of the 6th Rifles;

·        his participation in an unique virtual civic reception for the Exeter Chiefs on 12 November 2020, held in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the 2019/20 rugby season, being crowned as the Heineken European Champions and the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Championships, therefore achieving a coveted double. They now enjoy local, national and international renown and are fine ambassadors for the City of Exeter;

·        the raising of the Polish Flag on 15 November 2020 above the Guildhall, an event marked every year, but this being the 80th Anniversary commemoration of the 307 Polish Squadron, in honour of their service to the city during the Second World War and the passing of Walter (Wladyslaw) Swirski, a former pilot of the 307 squadron at his home in Canada.  He had been a member of the Polish Air Force and one of the last remaining veterans of the Squadron;

·        as part of the preparations for Christmas, the city was holding a Virtual Christmas Market to showcase the online shops of Exeter retailers and many independent shops;

·        a video with a Christmas Message from the Lord Mayor, the Leader and the Dean of Exeter Cathedral had been posted on the City Council web site; and

·        a letter he had sent to the Commanding Officer of HMS Defender and copied to Brigadier Jock Frasier, Naval Regional Commander Wales and Western England, expressing his congratulations to HMS Defender for winning multiple successes in the Surface Flotilla Excellence Awards and which he had re-iterated in a conference call with Brigadier Frasier.

 

 

64.

Public Questions

Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting - by 10am on Thursday 10 December 2020. Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) with details about speaking at Council to be found here: Public Speaking at Meetings.

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor reported that no public questions had been received.

 

 

65.

Planning Committee - 12 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 12 October 2020 were presented by the Deputy Chair, Councillor Williams, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 12 October 2020 be received.

 

 

66.

Planning Committee - 26 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 424 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 26 October 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 26 October 2020 be received.

 

67.

Planning Committee - 16 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 16 November 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 16 November 2020 be received.

 

68.

Licensing Committee - 27 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 27 October 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Owen and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 27 October 2020 be received.

 

69.

Licensing Committee - 30 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 30 November 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Owen and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 19 (Amendment to Street Trading Policy and Terms of Reference for the Licensing Sub-Committee), the Chair moved and the Deputy Chair seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 30 November 2020 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

70.

Strategic Scrutiny Committee - 19 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee of 19 November 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 19 November 2020 be received.

 

71.

Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - 3 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee of 3 December 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Vizard and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 3 December 2020 be received.

 

72.

Audit and Governance Committee - 25 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee of 25 November 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Wardle, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 25 November 2020 be received.

 

73.

Executive - 3 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 345 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 3 November 2020 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 113 (Building Exeter Back Better – Exeter Covid-19 Recovery Plan), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and it was carried.

 

In respect of Minute No.114 (Local Air Quality Management), the Leader, in response to queries from Members,

 

·        requested that any detailed questions in respect of the report should be forwarded to the Director Net Zero Exeter and City Management for a response; and

·        advised that the Scrutiny Programme Board was responsible for setting the work programme for the Scrutiny Committees and, accordingly, would determine whether a report on the monitoring of the Air Quality Management Plan would go forward to Strategic Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

In respect of Minute No.115 (Review of Policy for Dealing with Unacceptable Customer Behaviour), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive held on 3 November 2020 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

74.

Executive - 1 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 1 December 2020 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.121 (Members’ Allowances 2021/22), Councillor Leadbetter, speaking as the Leader of the main opposition group, supported the recommendations.

 

The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendation was carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 122 (Freedom of the City), the Leader advised that this matter was the subject of the Extraordinary Meeting of Council which would follow on from this meeting.

 

The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and t following a vote, the recommendation was carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 123 (Overview of General Fund Revenue Budget 2020/21 - Quarter 2), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 124 (2020/21 General Fund Capital Monitoring Statement – Quarter 2), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 125 (2020/21 HRA Budget Monitoring Report – Quarter 2) the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 126 (Treasury Management 2020/21 Half Year Update), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 127 (Local Council Tax Support Scheme), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 128 (Future Strategic Planning with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Councils and Devon County Council), the Leader reported the following:-

 

·        his regret that it was the proposal for the Council to withdraw from the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan following the decision of neighbouring authorities to no longer participate in the Plan;

·        reassured Members that it was now this Council’s intention to work with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge Councils in partnership with Devon County Council to develop a non-statutory plan for the area;

·        work had commenced on the preparation of Exeter’s Local Plan, with one of the key elements being the provision of additional housing of 12,000 on nine identified strategic sites in the city as part of Liveable Exeter; and

·        in response to a Member’s question, the likely timescale for bringing forward the Plan was18 months to two years and would include the review of the Statement of Community Involvement. All Members of the Council would be fully involved in the development of the Plan.

 

The Portfolio Holder for City Development supported the recommendations and reassured Members that the production of the Plan would involve consultation with local stakeholders and the public as required by legislation and that a report on the scope and timetable for the Plan would be brought  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Notice of Motion by Councillor Oliver under Standing Order Number 6.

This Council notes that: 

 

The Covid-19 emergency has exposed major inequalities across the country, with children and families suffering disproportionately. Between March and August 2020 there has been a 115% increase in Universal Credit claimants nationally, and in Devon an even greater increase: 165% for all claimants and 173% for 16-24 years old. Trussell Trust research shows three million children in the UK are at risk of hunger during the school holidays. 

 

Foodbank use has dramatically increased. The Independent Food Aid Network recorded a 59% increase in demand for emergency food support between February and March 2020. The Exeter Foodbank statesthat figures from Citizens Advice show a 78% rise in enquiries about food banks in the past six months.

 

The UK Government has committed to UN Sustainable Development Goals, which have an international and domestic commitment to ending hunger by 2030.

 

The UK Government has asked businessman and cookery writer Henry Dimbleby to lead on producing a National Food Strategy.

 

This Council believes that: 

 

·         No one in Exeter should go hungry, and children least of all.

 

·         Food justice is about taking action on the causes of hunger such as affordability and availability of good quality nutritious food.

 

·         The current Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed on the majority of the City’s economic activities have revealed and exacerbated existing inequalities, leading to further unemployment and income insecurity, and more food poverty as a result.

 

·         Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, schools, faith and voluntary groups have played a key role in supporting those suffering food poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that should be recognised

 

The Council resolves:

 

1.    That the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture supported by the Member Champion for Equality and Diversity take responsibility to:

 

a)    develop a city-wide food action plan.  

b)    set up a working group to research and map the extent of food poverty in the city;

 

2.    To commit to setting up a food partnership with Devon County Council, city-based partners and stakeholders to develop and implement the Exeter Food Action Plan;

 

3.    To campaign, in association with Exeter MPs, for Government to:

 

a)    legislate the existing commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger by 2030;

b)    commit funding in the next spending review to increase access to nutritious food, whilst awaiting development of the National Food Strategy;

 

c)    support local food production and suppliers, so that food supplies are sustained throughout the pandemic and as a result of exiting the EU, to protect workers’ jobs, and to contribute to Exeter’s commitment to Net Carbon Zero 2030; and

 

d)    increase Universal Credit to help people suffering food poverty, with an equivalent uplift to those on legacy benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Williams, seconded by Councillor Ghusain, moved a Notice of Motion in the following terms as submitted by Councillor Oliver:-

 

This Council notes that: 

 

The Covid-19 emergency has exposed major inequalities across the country, with children and families suffering disproportionately. Between March and August 2020 there has been a 115% increase in Universal Credit claimants nationally, and in Devon an even greater increase: 165% for all claimants and 173% for 16-24 years old. Trussell Trust research shows three million children in the UK are at risk of hunger during the school holidays. 

 

Foodbank use has dramatically increased. The Independent Food Aid Network recorded a 59% increase in demand for emergency food support between February and March 2020. The Exeter Foodbank statesthat figures from Citizens Advice show a 78% rise in enquiries about food banks in the past six months.

 

The UK Government has committed to UN Sustainable Development Goals, which have an international and domestic commitment to ending hunger by 2030.

 

The UK Government has asked businessman and cookery writer Henry Dimbleby to lead on producing a National Food Strategy.

 

This Council believes that: 

 

·        No one in Exeter should go hungry, and children least of all.

 

·        Food justice is about taking action on the causes of hunger such as affordability and availability of good quality nutritious food.

 

·        The current Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed on the majority of the City’s economic activities have revealed and exacerbated existing inequalities, leading to further unemployment and income insecurity, and more food poverty as a result.

 

·        Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, schools, faith and voluntary groups have played a key role in supporting those suffering food poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that should be recognised

 

The Council resolves:

 

1.     That the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture supported by the Member Champion for Equality and Diversity take responsibility to:

 

a)     develop a city-wide food action plan.

b)     set up a working group to research and map the extent of food poverty in the city;

 

2.     To commit to setting up a food partnership with Devon County Council, city-based partners and stakeholders to develop and implement the Exeter Food Action Plan;

 

3.     To campaign, in association with Exeter MPs, for Government to:

 

a)     legislate the existing commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger by 2030;

 

b)     commit funding in the next spending review to increase access to nutritious food, whilst awaiting development of the National Food Strategy;

 

c)     support local food production and suppliers, so that food supplies are sustained throughout the pandemic and as a result of exiting the EU, to protect workers’ jobs, and to contribute to Exeter’s commitment to Net Carbon Zero 2030; and

 

d)     increase Universal Credit to help people suffering food poverty, with an equivalent uplift to those on legacy benefits.

 

During the debate the following points were made:-

 

·        the Government had made attempts to combat food poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic but the problem had existed before the pandemic and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

Notice of Motion by Councillor D. Moore under Standing Order Number 6

Council notes: 

 

·         The interest shown by developers to bring forward planning
applications for co-living developments in Exeter
;

 

·         Currently Co-living is not defined in the National Planning Policy
Framework or Exeter Planning Policy; and

 

·         Planning authorities in London and Manchester have sought to develop
planning policies to set out the requirements for Co-living so that
planning decisions may be clearly determined.


Council resolves: 

 

·         To develop planning policy to set out the requirements for Co-living
either by amending existing local supplementary planning policy or by developing new supplementary planning policy.

 

·         To set up a cross party working group of Members to consider the
matter and inform the drafting of planning guidance for
consideration by this Council; and

 

·         To progress this matter the working group is requested to prepare a
report for presentation to Council in April 2021.


Minutes:

Councillor D. Moore, seconded by Councillor M. Mitchell, moved a Notice of Motion in the following terms:-

 

Council notes: 

 

·        The interest shown by developers to bring forward planning
applications for co-living developments in Exeter
;

 

·        Currently Co-living is not defined in the National Planning Policy
Framework or Exeter Planning Policy; and

 

·        Planning authorities in London and Manchester have sought to develop
planning policies to set out the requirements for Co-living so that
planning decisions may be clearly determined.


Council resolves: 

 

·        To develop planning policy to set out the requirements for Co-living
either by amending existing local supplementary planning policy or by developing new supplementary planning policy.

 

·        To set up a cross party working group of Members to consider the
matter and inform the drafting of planning guidance for
consideration by this Council; and

 

·        To progress this matter the working group is requested to prepare a
report for presentation to Council in April 2021.

 

In presenting her Motion, Councillor D. Moore made the following points:-

 

·        invite Members to support this uncontentious proposal to develop local planning policy on co-living as there is no national planning policy framework;

·        such a policy will provide a framework for determining planning applications and will provide guidance for local developers, clarity for communities and can be referenced in the emerging revised community infrastructure levy policy. It will also help to delineate between purpose built student accommodation and co- living;

·        local authorities in London and Manchester are bringing forward local policies on co-living in their Local Plan; and

·        the practical approaches suggested are to develop the policy by amending Supplementary Planning Policy (SPD) or create new supplementary guidance drawing on aspects of already adopted policy that include relevant features of co-living.

 

Councillor Morse, the Portfolio Holder for City Management, made the following points:-

 

·        Co-living housing represented a new, emerging housing sector in the UK and developers were showing a growing interest in bringing forward co-living housing in Exeter. Co-living housing was not currently defined in either national or local planning policy;

·        work on a new Local Plan for Exeter had commenced and a report setting out the scope and timetable for the Plan would be brought to Executive and Council early in 2021;  

·        a formal co-living policy would need to come forward through the Local Plan, subject to the outcomes of the Government’s recent Planning White Paper.  The Local Plan would be subject to statutory public consultation and Member involvement at all stages. Member Governance arrangements were still to be determined, but could involve working groups focussing on specific issues such as co-living housing. As it progressed through statutory stages, the Local Plan would gain increasing weight in the determination of planning applications; and

·        it would not be possible to adopt a SPD on co-living housing until the Local Plan was in place, as SPD’s could only amplify adopted policy.

 

She stated that her Group would not support the preparation of interim planning guidance on co-living housing as it would carry very limited weight in the determination  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order Number 8.

Question from Councillor Hannaford

  1. Bearing in mind that the new Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 aims to raise awareness and understanding about the devastating impact of domestic abuse on victims, survivors, and their families, with a clear focus on the voice of the child, and seeks to further improve the effectiveness of the justice system in providing protection for victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice, and strengthen the support for victims of abuse by statutory agencies, can I please ask the Leader of the Council, how will Exeter City Council implement the areas in the Bill that specifically relate to District Councils, including the new “duty to comply”?
  2. How will Exeter City Council apply and monitor the areas in the Bill that specifically relate to social housing tenants?
  3. How will Exeter City Council work with all key stakeholders, service partners, agencies and charities to raise awareness, campaign and give help, advice and support?
  4. How will Exeter City Council interact with the Domestic Abuse Partnership (Board)?
  5. Can we please have further reports and updates on these specific matters through the scrutiny process?
  6. Can we please consider an annual report on domestic and sexual violence and abuse on an Exeter specific basis?

 

Minutes:

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

1.      Bearing in mind that the new Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 aims to raise awareness and understanding about the devastating impact of domestic abuse on victims, survivors, and their families, with a clear focus on the voice of the child, and seeks to further improve the effectiveness of the justice system in providing protection for victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice, and strengthen the support for victims of abuse by statutory agencies, can I please ask the Leader of the Council, how will Exeter City Council implement the areas in the Bill that specifically relate to District Councils, including the new “duty to comply”?

The Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 places a duty on tier one local authorities to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children within refuges and other safe accommodation. The Bill also requires tier two councils (districts) to co-operate with the lead local authority, so far as is reasonably practicable. 

Whilst the Council’s principal engagement with the planning and implementation of the new Bill is through the Safer Devon Partnership and the review of the Devon wide Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (DVSA) Strategy, the Council’s statutory duties in respect of housing are currently being met within our adherence to the Devon Homechoice Allocations policy (which has significant preferential measures in respect of DVSA need) and our application to statutory homelessness applications under part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

 

In addition, the Housing Needs and Homelessness Service has been working with the Devon County Council Domestic Abuse Service Commissioner on two development agendas as part of the homelessness strategy. The first being a working group with the Devon Districts developing additional places of safety for emergency housing need for DVSA victims (and also perpetrators). The current focus is on a registered social landlord providing accommodation options in districts to add capacity to what districts currently use which is primarily temporary accommodation and/or limited refuge spaces. The second piece of work is an Exeter-focused group of statutory and voluntary agencies assessing need and delivery options for housing and support for women in acute need, for example female rough sleepers with complex needs.

2.      How will Exeter City Council apply and monitor the areas in the Bill that specifically relate to social housing tenants?

The Housing Tenancy Service has a Housing Anti-social Behaviour Policy; a Domestic Abuse Policy and a Safeguarding Policy and will ensure that they are all compliant with the requirements of the Domestic Abuse Bill. The current review of the Housing Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Policy will also ensure that these documents are compliant. In particular, where the Council grants a new tenancy to someone for reasons connected with domestic abuse, if they previously had a secure lifetime tenancy, we will grant a new secure lifetime tenancy on the same terms. 

 

All housing policies and procedures are updated on a regular basis  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.