Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Tuesday 23rd July 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, High Street, Exeter

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

Items
No. Item

33.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Begley and Wood.

 

 

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 16 April 2019 and of the Annual Meeting held on 14 May 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting of the Council held on 16 April 2019 and the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 14 May 2019 were moved by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk and seconded by Councillor Sutton, taken as read, approved and signed as correct.

 

 

35.

Official Communications

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor confirmed the receipt of a petition with 39 signatures, from residents of Hamlin Gardens regarding the proposed new bin storage arrangements.  In accordance with the City Council’s Petition Scheme, this would be referred to the next meeting of the People Scrutiny Committee on 5 September 2019.

 

The Lord Mayor congratulated the following for their respective achievements:-

 

  • Chester Long Court had recently won the “Design through Innovation” Award at the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors South West Awards, as well as the “Residential Property of the Year (for 35 units and under)” award at the recent Michelmores Property Awards.  These awards were testament to the cutting edge Passivhaus design of the properties, and the sterling work of the Housing Development team. It was noted that all of the units were now occupied;

 

  • The RAMM – which had been shortlisted for the “Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year” at the recent Exeter Business Awards;

 

  • The Exeter City Community Trust, the Lord Mayors Charity for the year, recently winning the “Business Contribution to Sport in the Community” award at the Devon Sports Awards;

 

  • The staff at the Materials Recycling Facility, who had supplied the Gas Tower Stage at the recent Glastonbury Festival – this was a remarkable achievement bearing in mind it was built entirely from 10,000kgs of plastic which had been recovered from beaches all across the South West;

 

  • The Red Coats Guides were recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an OBE for organisations.  This was a major accolade for the hard work of the volunteers who offer guided tours on the history and other important aspects of the city all for no cost;

 

  • The highly successful Exeter Festival which brought, amongst other things, live music and outdoor cinema performances to packed houses at Northernhay Gardens.

 

The Lord Mayor congratulated the Chief Executive & Growth Director, Karime Hassan, who had been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Exeter, in recognition of his work in promoting growth and wellbeing in Exeter and East Devon over the last two decades. All Members agreed that this was well deserved recognition.

 

The Lord Mayor commented on his recent attendance at a passing out parade of the latest recruits at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone on 19 July. He said he was honoured to attend the event to see the recruits receiving the coveted Green Beret after 32 weeks of intensive training.

 

The Lord Mayor formally welcomed the ten Councillors elected to the Council in May, to the first Council meeting of the civic year, namely Councillors Yvonne Atkinson, Christine Buswell, Amal Ghusain, Michael Mitchell, Diana Moore, Jemima Moore, Trish Oliver, Alys Quance, Ian Quance and Ruth Williams.

 

The Leader of the Council also referred to the impressive list of achievements which all deserved recognition and congratulated the Chief Executive & Growth Director.

 

 

 

36.

Planning Committee - 15 April 2019 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 15 April 2019 were presented by the then Chair, Councillor Sutton, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 15 April 2019 be received.

 

 

37.

Planning Committee - 24 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 24 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Lyons, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 24 June 2019 be received.

 

 

38.

Licensing Committee - 28 May 2019 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 28 May 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Owen, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 28 May 2019 be received.

 

 

39.

People Scrutiny Committee - 6 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the People Scrutiny Committee of 6 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Vizard and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of People Scrutiny Committee held on 6 June 2019 be received.

 

 

40.

People Scrutiny Committee - Special - 26 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the special meeting People Scrutiny Committee of 26 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Vizard and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the special meeting of People Scrutiny Committee held on 26 June 2019 be received.

 

 

41.

Place Scrutiny Committee - 13 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Place Scrutiny Committee of 13 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 13 June 2019 be received.

 

 

42.

Place Scrutiny Committee - Special - 18 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the special meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee of 18 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.36 (Tackling Climate Change) and in response to clarification sought by Councillor Williams, the Portfolio Holder Climate & Culture stated that the statement that Exeter’s Energy Recovery Facility is the largest single source of emissions requires some context: it is one of a small number of strategic waste treatment facilities in Devon and treats waste from a catchment area well beyond the Exeter boundary.  Incineration with energy recovery was environmentally preferable to disposing of waste to landfill.  Diverting food waste as well as more plastic and glass waste away from energy recovery and towards recycling, which was the subject of a separate report to Place Scrutiny Committee, would reduce net carbon emissions.  This would free up capacity at the Energy Recovery Facility to divert more of Devon’s non recycled waste away from landfill.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the special meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 18 June 2019 be received.

 

 

43.

Place Scrutiny Committee - Special - 25 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the special meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee of 25 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the special meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 25 June 2019 be received.

 

 

44.

Corporate Services Committee - 27 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee of 27 June 2019 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sheldon and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 27 June 2019 be received.

 

 

45.

Executive - 11 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 11 June 2019 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 52 (Report on the Towards Carbon Neutral Exeter), the Leader sought Member’s support for any debate  on this matter as it was included in the minutes of the Executive held on 9 July.

 

In respect of Minute No. 53 (Report on the Empty Homes Strategy), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Sutton seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 54 (Report on the Adoption of Hoarding in Council Properties Policy , Councillor Hannaford referred to the debate at People Scrutiny and also at Executive and welcomed the discussion as this had dealt with an emotionally sensitive issue. A Member was pleased that the stance had been tempered and individuals found to be hoarding would not be made homeless, but decanted into another property. The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 55 (Report on the Proposal to Adopt an Updated Animal Licensing Policy, the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 56 (Report on the Review of the Constitution), the Leader stated that the Working Group had been established. He advised that the reference in the minutes with regard to the Members’ Allowances was a matter for the Independent Remuneration Panel to discuss. The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 57 (Report on the Honorary Alderman), Councillor D Henson sought clarification on the process.  The Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support confirmed that at the Executive on 9 July, it was noted that protocol excluded any nominee who was a current County Councillor.  The request would be deferred until such a time as the nominee, Mr Percy Prowse was no longer a serving Devon County Councillor.

 

In respect of Minute No. 58 (Outside Bodies List), the Leader examined that the change would ensure that any vacancies were filled more timely.  He moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of Executive held on 11 June 2019 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

46.

Executive - 9 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 9 July 2019 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No.64 (Report on the Environmental Health & Licensing Statutory Service Plan), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 65 (Report on the In Exeter Business Plan 2020 - 2025),  Councillor Hannaford welcomed the extension of the BID area but sought advice as to how the St Thomas shopping centre and specifically Cowick Street could be included.  He felt this was an area with a strong identify which would benefit from the cohesive and formal structure of the BID. The Portfolio Holder Environment & City Management advised that the BID operated independently and it would be for the BID to decide to increase its size using a set methodology, but he suggested an application could be made to the BID Board.

 

Councillor J Moore referred to the many positive impacts on the city from the BID including Christmas lights, enhanced cleaning services and support for smaller businesses in carbon saving and recycling, but was disappointed in the offer of free parking in the city’s car parks on Thursdays after 6.00pm, which she felt was not in line with the carbon neutral target. She felt this approach would do little to curb the traffic, congestion and improve air quality, particularly in the run up to the Christmas late night opening and, she welcomed visitors to the city, but hoped that more innovative ways relating to public transport would continue to be explored. The Portfolio Holder Environment & City Development responded and welcomed the effort to attract more people to the city centre, and he commented on the balance between increasing car parking charges and supporting local businesses, by boosting the local evening economy as well as creating a spread of the traffic during the week instead of just at the weekend.

 

Councillor Williams stated that data quoted at a presentation made at the Place Scrutiny Committee on 18 June was averaged over a month and not a dynamic measurement attributed to a particular day.  Councillor J Moore referred to the data which included detail of an increase in poor air quality during the months in the lead up to Christmas, due to increased traffic coming into the city.

 

The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 66 (Report on the Towards Carbon Neutral Exeter, The Leader confirmed that Councillor. D. Moore had indicated that she wished to propose an addition to the recommendation referring to the need for an urgent reduction in carbon emissions and sought an enhancement to the recommendation to reiterate the importance of biodiversity and trees in particular - "That Council recognises the connected biodiversity crisis, and the vital role of biodiversity in tackling climate change and its contribution to our quality of life. The roadmap will set out measures to improve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Notice of Motion by Councillor D Moore Under Standing Order No 6

Community Infrastructure levy for Purpose Built Student Accommodation

 

Council welcomes the review of its current Student Accommodation policy for the city.

 

Council notes the purpose of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)‘ isexpected to “Have a positive economic effect on development across a localplan area.” The current CIL charging statement was adopted for Exeter on 15thOctober 2013.

 

The rapid construction since this date of Purpose Built Student Blocks (PBSB’s),

particularly in the city centre wards has already brought forward a 8,017 bed

spaces and 2,802 are currently in construction.

 

That while developers have enjoyed a discount on the CIL levy compared to housebuilders, a significant number of the PBSB’s have been priced and marketed as ‘luxury’ accommodation. These are not affordable to many students nor do they help achieve the Council’s goal of encouraging students to take advantage of this accommodation rather than in Houses of Multiple Occupation.

 

Council therefore resolves:

 

1.         The CIL charging schedule rate for Purpose Built Student Housing no longer serves a useful purpose and has a disproportionate affect on the city centre wards of the local plan area

2.         To bring forward a new charging schedule as soon as possible to replace the current schedule.

3.         A new charging schedule will no longer apply a lower charging rate of CIL to purpose built student housing compared to residential charging. However, a relief may be applied where affordable student accommodation is to be provided (to be defined in the new schedule).

4.         That until such time a new Charging Schedule is adopted by the Authority Section 106 Agreements are put in place on PBSB’s to make such developments acceptable in planning terms. These agreements must include specific benefits for the local community, and may be up to the equivalent to the CIL levy contribution for an equivalent sized residential development.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor D Moore, seconded by Councillor K Mitchell, moved a Motion in the following terms:-

 

Exeter City Council notes the purpose of the community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is

expected to “Have a positive economic effect on development across a local

plan area.” The current CIL charging statement was adopted for Exeter on 15th

October 2013. The rapid construction since this date of purpose built student blocks (PSPBs), particularly in the city centre wards has already bought forward a 8,017 bed spaces and 2,802 are currently in construction. That while developers have enjoyed a discount on the CIL levy compared to housebuilders, a significant number of the PBSBs been priced and marketed as ‘luxury’ accommodation. These are not affordable to many students nor do they help achieve the Council’s goal of encouraging students to take advantage of this accommodation rather than in Houses of Multiple Occupation.

 

Councils therefore resolves:

1. The CIL charging schedule rate for Purpose Built Student Housing no longer serves a useful purpose and has a disproportionate effect on the city centre wards of the local plan area.

2. To bring forward a new charging schedule as soon as possible to replace the current schedule.

3. A new charging schedule will no longer apply a lower charging rate of CIL to purpose built student housing compared to residential charging. However, a relief may be applied where affordable student accommodation is to be provided (to be defined in the new schedule).

4. That until such time a new Charging Schedule is adopted by the Authority Section 106 agreements are put in place on PBSBs to make such developments acceptable in planning terms. These agreements must include specific benefits for the local community, and may be up to the equivalent to the CIL levy contribution for an equivalent sized residential development.

 

In presenting the Notice of Motion, Councillor D Moore stated that it was a matter of importance to all. She agreed with the cross party consensus that students made a significant contribution to life in Exeter, however she had received complaints from students that the purpose built student blocks were expensive to live in and for many students unaffordable. She appreciated that it would take time for any change, but she hoped that plans to mitigate the student built blocks would be made.  She considered that the CIL charging schedules were no longer serving a useful purpose and had a disproportionate effect on the availability of accommodation in the city centre. She suggested that a new charging schedule be introduced as soon as possible to encourage zero carbon building regulation standards. This would also ensure that when affordable student accommodation was provided that there would be affordable homes for young people. She requested that more of Section 106 money should be set aside to make the developments acceptable. She appreciated that there were significant developments coming forward but urgent action was needed. She commented on the Council’s supplementary planning document and the Section 106 payments made in 2014. She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Notice of Motion by Councillor J Moore Under Standing Order No 6

Exeter City Council notes that:

1.         The decision to sell the green space at Clifton Hill, close the Clifton Hill Sports Centre and sell land currently leased by Exeter Ski Club, as confirmed at the Council meeting of 26 February 2019, has proved highly contentious.

 

2.         The council received several petitions and numerous other representations opposing the sale: 1,800 people signed an online city-wide petition to save the sports centre; 500 signatures were collected door-to-door by the Save the Clifton Hill Green Space group, and the petition to save the Ski Slope was presented at the Council meeting on 26th February with a total of 2,624 signatures. All were ignored.

 

3.         On May 2nd of this year Independent Cllr Jemima Moore, one of the Clifton Hill green space campaigners, was elected with 1,359 votes, pushing voter turnout in the Newton and St. Leonard’s ward up from 34% to 39%.

 

4.         Clifton Hill was earmarked for sale before the consultation on Exeter’s Physical Activity Strategy, and thus the Ski Slope, Sports Centre and green space were excluded from city-wide strategic planning intended to enhance the wellbeing of people in Newtown and the whole of Exeter.

 

5.         We are facing a climate emergency, loss of biodiversity and dangerous levels of air pollution.  Exeter needs open spaces and trees to provide “green lungs” that mitigate rising temperatures and pollution.  The ambitious Exeter Garden City vision cannot be achieved if we build on the last remaining city centre green spaces.

 

6.         There is no guarantee that sale of the Clifton Hill site will achieve the expected £8.5 – £9 million, and yet this estimate has repeatedly been used as the sole justification for the decision.  Failure to meet this target could result in accusations of maladministration, or a legal challenge.

 

7.         The Council holds other assets that could either be sold to raise revenue or used for social housing to address local need and generate income in the longer term.  The sale of buildings and car parks should always be prioritised, before our green spaces, trees and wildlife are lost forever.

 

8.         It is not too late to rethink the Council’s decision to sell the Clifton Hill site, and for all of us to work together to seek a better solution.

 

Exeter City Council therefore resolves to put the decision to sell the Clifton Hill site on hold, pending a four month review period during which other options for raising revenue – including a full and transparent assessment of other Council assets that could be sold without losing green space – are explored.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor J.Moore, seconded by Councillor D.Moore, moved a Motion in the following terms:-

 

Exeter City Council notes that:

1.         The decision to sell the green space at Clifton Hill, close the Clifton Hill Sports Centre and sell land currently leased by Exeter Ski Club, as confirmed at the Council meeting of 26 February 2019, has proved highly contentious.

 

2.         The council received several petitions and numerous other representations opposing the sale: 1,800 people signed an online city-wide petition to save the sports centre; 500 signatures were collected door-to-door by the Save the Clifton Hill Green Space group, and the petition to save the Ski Slope was presented at the Council meeting on 26th February with a total of 2,624 signatures. All were ignored.

 

3.         On May 2nd of this year Independent Cllr Jemima Moore, one of the Clifton Hill green space campaigners, was elected with 1,359 votes, pushing voter turnout in the Newton and St. Leonard’s ward up from 34% to 39%.

 

4.         Clifton Hill was earmarked for sale before the consultation on Exeter’s Physical Activity Strategy, and thus the Ski Slope, Sports Centre and green space were excluded from city-wide strategic planning intended to enhance the wellbeing of people in Newtown and the whole of Exeter.

 

5.         We are facing a climate emergency, loss of biodiversity and dangerous levels of air pollution.  Exeter needs open spaces and trees to provide “green lungs” that mitigate rising temperatures and pollution.  The ambitious Exeter Garden City vision cannot be achieved if we build on the last remaining city centre green spaces.

 

6.         There is no guarantee that sale of the Clifton Hill site will achieve the expected £8.5 – £9 million, and yet this estimate has repeatedly been used as the sole justification for the decision.  Failure to meet this target could result in accusations of maladministration, or a legal challenge.

 

7.         The Council holds other assets that could either be sold to raise revenue or used for social housing to address local need and generate income in the longer term.  The sale of buildings and car parks should always be prioritised, before our green spaces, trees and wildlife are lost forever.

 

8.         It is not too late to rethink the Council’s decision to sell the Clifton Hill site, and for all of us to work together to seek a better solution.

 

Exeter City Council therefore resolves to put the decision to sell the Clifton Hill site on hold, pending a four month review period during which other options for raising revenue – including a full and transparent assessment of other Council assets that could be sold without losing green space – are explored.

 

In presenting the Notice of Motion, Councillor J.Moore, said that she had been delighted that the Leader had made the recent announcement that the Clifton Hill green space and ski club site had been saved. She said that she and her colleagues and residents in the area had been campaigning for this. She welcomed his invitation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order No 8

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order No.8, Councillor Newby put the following question to the Leader.

 

Question - Has this Council which owns homes and buildings in and around the city been asked to take part in the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Consultation programme?

 

The Leader welcomed Councillor Newby back to the Council Chamber, confirming that the City Council had been asked to take part in the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service consultation programme. He advised that as part of its wider restructure, the fire service was collating information on areas of operational risk across its area. The Exeter Strategic Board had invited the Fire Service to attend a future meeting, which he hoped would be accepted to discuss the city’s fire service provision as this was a very important matter. However, the Fire Service had declined the invitation to attend the Exeter Strategic Board.

 

Councillor Newby asked a supplementary question that if the cover area for the fire authority would be reduced, is there anything the Council could to ensure there would be no cuts?

 

Councillor Newby reiterated his concerns that the outcome of the review might be a reduction in provision of fire cover in the city, from five to four appliances being available. He referred to recent fires and the potential for a different outcome as a result of the delay caused by a tender coming from further afield. He was very concerned that, with four appliances, there would be, in effect, only 20 fire fighters for the city and he requested that the Fire Authority be asked to keep the provision at five.

 

The Leader responded stating that he also did not wish to see any aspect of this public service diminished and he would contact the local MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw and also Sir Hugo Squire MP for East Devon to pass on Councillors Newby’s request for retaining the fire provision. He said that he would also raise this issue in order to seek support at a forthcoming Devon Leaders’ meeting on Friday.