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Declaration of Interests
Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item. Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.
No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest were made.
In accordance with Standing Order No. 17, Minute No. 45 of the Executive of 9 April 2019 on the Results of Consultation on Public Toilets was called in by Councillors D. Henson, Holland, Mitchell, Musgrave, Pierce, Prowse and Mrs Thompson.
The Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Place will be in attendance to answer any questions regarding the report and Executive decision.
The Chair advised that, in accordance with Standing Order 17, a special meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee had been called following the decision made by Executive on 9 April 2019, for the closure of a number of public conveniences in Exeter. The decision had been taken in support of the Council decision made on 26 February 2019 to remove £60,000 from the budget, so that a balanced budget could be set.
Following the publication of the decision made by Executive and in accordance with Standing Order 13 (1) Councillors D. Henson, Holland, Mitchell, Musgrave, Pierce, Prowse and Mrs Thompson indicated that they wished to Call-In the decision. The Members, also known as the Subscribers gave the following reasons and grounds on which they had submitted the Call-In :-
The decision maker had failed to take account of relevant factors by:-
1. not adequately addressing the issues raised within the Equalities Impact Assessment, with particular regard to the impact upon individuals with disabilities, long term health conditions and members of the homeless community, and
2. not adequately addressing and committing to the implementation of a community toilet scheme, which is cited within the Equalities Impact Assessment as the means of mitigating against the negative impact of the closures upon the groups mentioned above.
It was noted that the report of the Interim Public & Green Space Service Manager to the Executive on 9 April had set out the responses from the public consultation on the future of public toilets across the City, and Members had endorsed the approach to achieve the required budget savings, whilst retaining some degree of service provision. The Executive on 9 April 2019 had resolved the following:-
(1) the results of the consultation exercise be noted;
(2) the decision to close all of the 13 public conveniences listed in the report presented to the meeting be supported with immediate effect, in addition to the two already closed. (Leaving 11 public conveniences in operation as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report);
(3) the City Surveyor be authorised to divest the running of the toilets to other organisations, or to explore alternative uses including potential disposal, to achieve best value for the authority. Priority consideration should be given to alternative uses which would incorporate a publically accessible toilet; and
(4) the introduction of a Community Toilet scheme be investigated.
The Chair invited Members to review the process by which the Executive made their decision, paying particular attention to the information provided. If it was considered that the Executive did not have all the relevant information in front of them at the meeting on the 9 April, a recommendation could be made to the Executive to reconsider this matter giving the reasons for doing so, and to this effect a meeting of the Executive had been provisionally scheduled for 29 April 2019. He confirmed that the Leader of the Council and Councillor Harvey, as the relevant Portfolio Holder for Place and Commercialisation, were present to answer any questions ... view the full minutes text for item 23.