Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual meeting, Council - Tuesday 21st July 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct meetings remotely

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

Note: The deadline for questions to be submitted to Council is 10am on Thursday 16 July 2020 

Items
No. Item

23.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 April 2020.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting of the Council held on 21 April 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.

 

 

 

24.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Sills.

 

 

 

 

25.

Official Communications

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor passed on his condolences, and those of Council Members, to Councillors Atkinson and Wood, whose fathers had recently passed away.

 

The Lord Mayor also:-

 

·         reported that Alderman Landers had recently celebrated his 90th birthday and had been presented with a clock as a mark of the Council’s appreciation for his work when a Councillor and his continued service to the city in his role as Alderman;

·         advised of the cancellation of the annual Exeter Armed Forces Day Parade scheduled for 20 June because of Covid-19, the celebration having being held virtually through the City Council’s social media pages on Facebook with messages sent to various dignitaries, affiliated Armed Forces, cadets and veterans. A total of 18 video clips were received, which had been broken down into three videos and placed on Facebook reaching 13,171 people;

·         reported his attendance, and that of the Leader of the Council, at both St James’ Park, and Wembley, in the form of life-size cut-outs, supporting Exeter City in the playoff matches. This initiative had provided fans with the means virtually to attend the games being broadcast on Sky TV and helped generate much needed revenue for the club.  Unfortunately, Exeter City had failed to gain promotion on this occasion; and

·         receipt of a letter from the new Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, Vincent Owen, writing to advise of his wish to continue the valuable affiliation with Exeter City Council. Commander Owen had referred to the new phase of the ship’s operational life and forthcoming deployments and of hopefully meeting in the not too distance future.

 

 

26.

Petition - Save Our Historic Exeter

In accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, as the above petition contains more than 2,000 signatures it will be debated by the full Council. The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition and the petition will then be discussed by Councillors for a maximum of 15 minutes.

 

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor invited Andy Robinson, the petition organiser, to present a petition of 2,081 signatories on “Save Our Historic Exeter”.

 

Mr Robinson stated that:-

 

·                     more than 4,200 people have signed a petition titled  “Please help us stop developers destroying the city centre” with more than 2,000 having also signed from the EX area which is why this petition qualifies for discussion here;

·                     the petition asks Exeter City Council to put on hold any significant new developments that effect heritage assets that are not governed by existing policy and for which the City Council has not conducted a needs assessment until the appropriate research and policies are in place;

·                     it also asks that the Council urgently puts additional resources into the research and development of these polices and to ensure that the approval of historic bodies is gained before buildings are validated for public consultation;

·                     these policies are needed as, without them, developers will find it far easier to build something that maximises their own profits at the expense of the city, its heritage and citizens;

·                     the research and policies that are needed are a Housing Needs Assessment, backed by detailed in depth research, research backed policies for every kind of development, including co-living, detailed policies for development in conservation areas including maximum height and mass of buildings, detailed policies for permanent, affordable, sustainable housing and a detailed assessment of the need for a range of student accommodation from affordable to luxury, urgent assessment of infrastructure levies and policies for the protection of green spaces and trees;

·                     during the process of the Harlequins planning application, it became clear to Exeter residents that there are huge gaps in planning policy and we have seen many buildings going up without any respect for historic Exeter, bringing no public benefit and only benefiting investors who are, in most cases, not based in our city and many not even in the UK. Developers have money to pay for the historic assessments, light surveys, noise surveys and sustainability surveys and Exeter City Council, it seems, does not have the resources to give them proper scrutiny;

·                     developers’ claims and conclusions therefore have to be taken at face value and, inevitably, what is proposed is overwhelmingly about profit. It is not concerned about protecting Exeter, its heritage and its long term vision and it certainly is not about benefitting the people who live here; 

·                     thousands of people who signed the  petition want to say – “Stop and find out what is needed, find out what is wanted, create policies to take control of what is allowed and what is not, listen to the people who live and work here and those who visit.  We have a right to influence our own environment and we expect it to be improved and not destroyed. Do not build more short term developments that make money for those who already have it and brings nothing to those who have real needs”;

·                     the city’s prime real estate should be used to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Public Questions

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor reported the receipt of three questions from the public.

 

Mr Thompson to Councillor Bialyk, Leader.

 

Mr Thompson was not present and his question was read out by the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support.


Could the Leader confirm if Planning Applications, for example Planning Application 19/1105/FUL, would have consent reviewed if such applications were presented at  Internal Briefings (public excluded), rather than the  Planning Committee (open to the public), if it was subsequently considered this procedure had breached the City Council’s Planning Code of Conduct.

Response

It is not possible to give a specific response to a general question. Each case would be dealt with based on the relevant facts.


Marilyn Spurr to Councillor Sutton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Culture

 

Given the Council acknowledges the climate emergency, will it give the same prominence on your web site as the Coronavirus information? This would be an inexpensive way to inform the public, encourage them to take action and prepare them for the policies you will need to pursue to achieve your goals.

 

Response

Yes. Considerable prominence had to be given on social media platforms in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council website and social media platforms will be utilised to promote the Council’s response and ambitions to the Climate Emergency in order for all citizens and visitors to Exeter to respond positively to the challenges ahead.

 

Mrs Spurr asked a Supplementary question.

 

Can a timescale be provided?

 

Response

 

The website will shortly be updated as part of the Council’s Net Zero Carbon ambitions.

 

Adrian Sargood to Councillor Bialyk, Leader.

 

Whilst the Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan is not on the agenda it will be discussed at a 'Place Board'. In view of Exeter declaring a climate emergency, what priority will the Council and Place Board give to the Plan in relation to other plans the Council has, or will, develop?

 

Response

 

The minutes of Executive held on the 2June are being considered by Council tonight with a recommendation that Council adopt the net-zero Exeter 2030 Plan. It should be self-evident that, having adopted the Net Zero Plan, it will inform all priorities of the City Council. It is also recommended that, because the City Council cannot require other organisations to adopt the Net Zero Plan, the Liveable Exeter Place Board be requested to adopt the Plan on behalf of the city as a whole. This would potentially leverage in many more of the city’s key organisations and businesses and increase the influence and impact of the Council’s decision to adopt the Plan.  

 

Mr Sargood asked a Supplementary question.

 

Is there any budget being proposed for the implementation of the Plan?

 

Response

 

This is a very important issue but, because of the huge financial pressures the Council is under as identified in the Emergency Budget being considered this evening, there is no explicit budget for this purpose. The Council however is committed to working with organisations and communities in the city to achieve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Planning Committee - 16 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Minutes:

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

 

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

 

29.

Planning Committee - 27 April 2020 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 27 April 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Lyons, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 27 April 2020 be received.

 

30.

Planning Committee - 4 May 2020 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 4 May 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Lyons, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 4 May 2020 be received.

 

31.

Planning Committee - 1 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 1 June 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Lyons, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 1 June 2020 be received.

 

32.

Planning Committee - 29 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 29 June 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Lyons, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 29 June 2020 be received.

 

33.

Licensing Committee - 26 May 2020 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 26 May 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Owen and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 26 May 2020 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

34.

Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - 6 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor advised that the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee of 6 February 2020 had already been received at the previous meeting of the Council on 25 February 2020.

 

 

 

35.

Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - 25 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Minutes:

In respect of Minute No. 16 (Presentation on Covid-19 by Portfolio Holders and Questions from Members and Answers) the Portfolio Holder for Supporting People, in response to a query from a Member, advised that there were currently six individuals accommodated in the Junction and that Government guidance on social distancing was being followed with strict adherence to safety requirements.

 

The minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee of 25 June 2020 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Vizard and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 25 June 2020 be received.

 

 

 

36.

Strategic Scrutiny Committee - 12 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chair, the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee of 12 March 2020 were presented by the Deputy Chair, Councillor Newby and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 12 March 2020 be received.

 

 

 

 

37.

Strategic Scrutiny Committee - 2 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 687 KB

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chair, the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee of 2 July 2020 were presented by the Deputy Chair, Councillor Newby and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 2 July 2020 be received.

 

 

 

38.

Strata Joint Executive Committee - 16 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strata Joint Executive Committee of 16 June 2020 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 21 (Strata Business Plan 2020/21 and beyond), the Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendation and it was carried unanimously.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strata Joint Executive Committee held on 16 June 2020 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

 

39.

Executive - 2 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 2 June 2020 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 60 (Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan), the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Culture:-

 

·         commended the Plan to Council as Exeter’s visionary approach to the Climate Emergency, being one of the few authorities in the country to have identified the need to respond vigorously at an early stage;

·         referred to the many initiatives already being implemented by the Council to reduce its own carbon footprint including the installation of solar panels to generate electricity which, as well enabling the charging of its own vehicles, also provided electricity to the general grid;

·         emphasised the city wide objectives of the Plan in conjunction with the Council’s many partners in the city;

·         the financial challenge the Plan presented in light of the Covid-19 pandemic was recognised but that, nevertheless, the Plan would be front and centre of the Council’s future aspirations and would be progressed as part of the Council’s post Covid-19 Recovery Plan; and

·         in responding to a Member’s suggestion for the Council to support the newly created South West Mutual Bank and to lead on the creation of a Community Wealth Fund for local people to buy in and to keep the city’s wealth in the communities by creating jobs, establishing a training programme and supporting green businesses to grow and support a sustainable future, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that the Council’s Recovery Plan was aimed at helping the city’s economy recover as quickly as possible from the pandemic through job creation and support for all businesses;

·         responding further to the Member’s suggestion, she agreed that it was important not to delay initiatives seeking to reduce the carbon footprint and that encouraging green businesses was an element of this;

·         she commended the initiatives put forward by Exeter Community Energy although, in many cases, the Council was already taking a lead in these areas; and

·         in conjunction with Exeter City Futures all options would be considered and South West Mutual had briefed lead Councillors.

 

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

 

In respect of Minute No. 61 (Priority Asset Investment Programme), the Leader stated that six individual schemes totalling over £2.7 million had been identified prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 but had now been put on hold in order to bring forward the Emergency Budget in response to the crisis. Should it be decided to proceed with any of the schemes under the delegated powers sought in the recommendation, Members would be informed.

 

Councillor J. Moore, in moving the following amendment, made the following points:-

 

·         referred to recent problems caused by travellers and gypsies accessing sites around the city;

·         expressed the view that, rather than proceeding with anti-intrusion measures intended to prevent such incursions, safe, temporary sites should be identified for such groups;

·         it would also be important to assess the health and wellbeing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Executive - 7 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 7 July 2020 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 68 (Post-Pandemic Recovery of Leisure Services), the Leader reported that, to secure a long term future for the Council’s leisure services, a commitment was to be made to permanently in-source the service to ensure a viable and sustainable long term future. The impact of the pandemic on the leisure industry nationally had been devastating and the in-sourcing model proposed provided more direct control and was considered to be a safer approach given the high level of uncertainly caused by the pandemic. Many other authorities had expressed their admiration that the Council was able to commit to this policy change. He was particularly pleased that the staff would transfer to the Council under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) and they would have new benefits including access to the council staff pension scheme. The Leader also covered the cost implications as set out in the recommendations.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Physical Activity, in responding to a query from a Member on the implications of recent Government guidance on the re-opening of leisure facilities, confirmed that it was the intention to re-open facilities from September when it would be safe and practical to do so. No dates could be confirmed at this time as detailed health and safety risk assessments were required to ensure all aspects of the facilities are Covid-19 secure. Any necessary changes would be implemented as soon as possible but that public health and safety would always be paramount. There would be many issues to address including meeting new ventilation and air quality requirements, ensuring safe customer flows throughout facilities and some layouts may have to changes within the Leisure Centres to ensure social distancing for both staff and customers.

 

The Portfolio Holder stated that, bringing the service in-house was an exciting development for the city and that it provided the opportunity to align with the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot as well as the work around the Physical Activity and Built Facilities Strategies for leisure. He referred to the flagship St. Sidwell’s Point Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre and the refurbishment of the Riverside Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre, both of which could operate in a Covid-19 secure way.

 

During discussion the following points were raised:-

 

·         the allocation of £1.5 million was required for the fit out costs for St. Sidwell’s Point;

·         bringing the Leisure Service in-house was a significant defining step for the City;

·         the alignment with the Sport England pilot was important to encourage people to become more active and this encompassed activities in parks and open spaces supported by the City Council;

·         the move to bring the service in-house was welcome as it provided greater control for the Council and presented the best opportunity for securing a quality service; and 

·         the opening of the Riverside Leisure Centre on the completion of the  refurbishment would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Questions from Members of the Council Under Standing Order No. 8.

Question from Councillor D. Moore

 

Please can the Portfolio Holder set out the baseline year being used to
measure progress for the Exeter Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan and the

 1.    Net Exeter emissions of carbon dioxide for that year, and

 2.    Net Exeter emissions of each of the other targeted greenhouse
gases for the year that is the base year for that gas.

Can the Portfolio Holder ensure that this baseline and benchmark is
publicised by Exeter City Council and Exeter City Futures alongside the Plan?


 

 

Minutes:

 

(a)        In accordance with Standing Order No. 8, the following questions were put by Councillor D. Moore to the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Culture.

 

Please can the Portfolio Holder set out the baseline year being used to
measure progress for the Exeter Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan and the

 1.    Net Exeter emissions of carbon dioxide for that year, and

 2.    Net Exeter emissions of each of the other targeted greenhouse
gases for the year that is the base year for that gas.

Can the Portfolio Holder ensure that this baseline and benchmark is
publicised by Exeter City Council and Exeter City Futures alongside the Plan?

 

The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder responded that a detailed spreadsheet containing the baseline data and assumptions of the Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan could be downloaded from this page (by clicking the 'Net Zero Exeter Detail' button further down the page) https://www.exetercityfutures.com/insights/net-zero-exeter-plan/.

 

The Key Facts 2019 document, could be downloaded here: https://www.exetercityfutures.com/insights/exeter-key-facts-2019/. This was a summary document that collated existing data and statistics about Exeter (as of the end of 2019) and presenting them under the four key themes of the city's 12 Goals (Energy, Mobility, Sustainability and Capability) in order to identify areas Exeter might improve on.

 

The Key Facts 2019 document showed the figures around average CO2 emissions in Exeter from the Devon Climate Emergency Recovery Group (DCERG) report commissioned from the University of Exeter's Centre for Energy and the Environment. Their methodology used to generate this figure was available here: https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/devons-carbon-footprint/. It was important to note that the Council had not carried out its own analysis on the data included in this DCERG report.

 

Having robust data was critical to measuring progress towards the city's Net Zero goals, yet carbon accounting, especially for a whole city, was a difficult task. In this sense, Exeter City Futures was consciously and consistently exploring ways in which this could be achieved on a more detailed level for Exeter.

 

It was confirmed that work was underway with the University of Exeter to establish the City Council’s CO2 base line data, taking 2018 as the baseline for the measurement and that, whilst it was important to establish the scientific data as the basis, the key was to attain the goal of becoming net zero Carbon by 2030.

 

Councillor D. Moore asked a supplementary question on which Body, Board or authority should be tasked to keep account and reporting on the city’s annual Carbon budget?

 

The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder responded that this information would be obtained through the work being undertaken by Exeter City Futures and the University of Exeter for the City Council, with all proposals to come back through the Council’s democratic processes.

 

(b)        In accordance with Standing Order No. 8, the following question was put by Councillor Hannaford to the Portfolio Holder for Supporting People.

 

Does the Portfolio Holder agree that the Government’s untimely re-imposition of benefit sanctions will cause great stress, anxiety, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.