Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday 21st July 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW

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

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Buswell, Hannaford, Martin, Newby, Pearson, Quance, and Wright.

 

 

31.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 471 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 27 April 2021 and of the Annual Meeting held on 18 May 2021.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Ordinary meeting of the Council held on 27 April 2021 and the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 18 May 2021 were moved by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk and seconded by Councillor Morse taken as read, approved and signed as correct.

 

 

32.

Simon Hill

Minutes:

Councillor Harvey, the Portfolio Holder for City Management, passed on his condolences, and those of Council Members, to the family and friends of Simon Hill, the Council’s Cleansing and Fleet Manager, who had passed away on the weekend.

 

 

33.

Kathy McVeagh

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor passed on her condolences, and those of Council Members, to the family and friends of Kathy McVeagh who had worked in the Customer Service Unit and who had passed away recently.

 

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Members declared the following interests:-

 

·        Councillor J.Moore - Minute 45  - regarding Minute No. 61 - disclosable pecuniary interest;

·        Councillor Morse - Minute 46 - regarding Minute No. 73 - non pecuniary interest; and

·        Councillor Vizard - Minute 46 - regarding Minute No. 73 - non pecuniary interest.

 

 

 

35.

Official Communications

Minutes:

The Lord Mayor confirmed the receipt of a petition with 48 signatures requesting the extension of the Article 4 restrictions on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) to include the rest of Sylvan Road, Sylvan Avenue and Moorview Close.  In accordance with the City Council’s Petition Scheme, this would be referred to the Planning Committee.

 

The Lord Mayor reported the following:-

 

·        a letter sent to the Bad Homburg Oberburgermeister to pass on the condolences of the City of Exeter for the loss of life in Germany following the recent extreme floods;

·        the receipt of a letter from Lady Studholme, the High Sheriff of Devon, congratulating the Lord Mayor on her appointment; and

·        the Lord Mayor’s intention to continue to uphold the tradition and maintain the links with HMS Defender, having already been in correspondence with the Commanding Officer.

 

The Lord Mayor also reported that Exeter had been honoured to receive a visit on 19 July 2021 from the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Prince Charles and HRH Camilla, who had attended a service at the Cathedral and officially opened the Exeter Bus Station.

 

 

36.

Petition - Protect Green Infrastructure in Pinhoe

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 referred to the Council’s Petition Scheme and invited Kate Jago, the petition organiser, to present and speak on the following petition, entitled “Protect Green Infrastructure in Pinhoe which had gained more than 2,000 signatures.

 

“We the undersigned petition the Council to safeguard Pinhoe’s natural landscape and skyline, urgently to protect our historic hedgerows and trees, and to recognise these wildlife habitats are essential to our community wellbeing and quality of life, as intrinsic features of our local distinctiveness and character.

We call for formal protection of Higher Field as open green space vital to our community and the diversity of local wildlife, and for robust protection of its critical landscape position as part of the Pinhoe Ridgeline connecting to northern Exeter’s distinctive woodland skyline, visible across the city. We call for protection and funded repair of wildlife habitats across Pinhoe within Exeter City Council’s strategic vision for Liveable Exeter and the corporate plan to “tackle congestion and accessibility, promoting active and healthy lifestyles and building great neighbourhoods”.

Kate Jago thanked the Council for its time and attention and to the Council officers for their guidance and advice in running the petition. She also thanked all of the individual and collective contributions made and the commitment to local democracy at this time of climate emergency.

 

She stated that the petition highlighted the extractive models of development which have hollowed out green infrastructure in Pinhoe. The petition sought the Council’s cross-party support for a transformative community-led vision for Pinhoe and for the city’s northern hills, to protect wellbeing, wildlife and wild spaces not only for Pinhoe but for the whole of Exeter, connecting the vital nature recovery network across the city and beyond.

 

When the parish of Pinhoe joined Exeter in 1966, it embraced its new role as a city suburb. Rural farming fields gave way to development - slowly at first, but with gathering speed. Pinhoe had played an important part in the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point area: hosting the Met Office and bordering the Science Park as part of the joint strategy for adjacent development. Substantial housing developments weave through and wrap around the village alongside all the accompanying traffic, business and educational infrastructure.

 

Exeter City Council’s efforts to contextualise development while under sustained pressure from successive Government targets was recognised but those protections had failed and the consequences were cascading towards collapse.

More than 1,500 cars an hour pass through the centre of Pinhoe during peak times. The traffic strategy for Pinhoe was already on the brink of collapse and this was a crisis, with changes needing to be made. Meanwhile, historic sunken lanes were breached; footpaths and rights of way removed and degraded; important landmark trees were vulnerable, isolated from the context of their landscape; wildlife corridors were being decimated. It was considered to be death by a thousand cuts.

 

In neighbouring East Devon, the ambitious Clyst Valley Regional Park has widespread public support, and having successfully achieved a bid for major funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Public Question

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 Friday 16 July 2021. 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 the receipt of aquestion from a member of the public.

 

Question from Cynthia Thompson

 

Mrs Thompson was unable to be present and her question was read out by the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support.

 

Could the Leader confirm if Exeter City Council’s private companies are available for public scrutiny through the City Council procedures, City Council website and City Council published documents?

Response

 

The Council Leader responded that he was not in a position to speak for the companies who had their own management boards and he suggested contacting the Managing Directors regarding any queries.

 

 

38.

Planning Committee - 29 April 2021 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 29 April 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 29 April 2021 be received.

 

 

39.

Planning Committee - 27 May 2021 pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 27 May 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 27 May 2021 be received.

 

 

40.

Planning Committee - 7 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 7 June 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 7 June 2021 be received.

 

 

41.

Planning Committee - 28 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Planning Committee of 28 June 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Morse, and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 28 June 2021 be received.

 

 

42.

Strategic Scrutiny Committee - 10 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee of 10 June 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Sills and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 10 June 2021 be received.

 

 

43.

Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - 1 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 474 KB

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee of 1 July 2021 were presented by the Chair, Councillor Vizard and taken as read.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 1 July 2021 be received.

 

 

44.

Executive - 1 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 1 June 2021 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 50 (Appointments to Outside Bodies 2021), the Leader moved and Councillor Morse seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried unanimously.

 

In respect of Minute No. 51 (Honorary Aldermen), the Leader moved and Councillor Morse seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried unanimously. 

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive held on 1 June 2021 be received and, where appropriate, adopted.

 

 

45.

Executive - 6 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 476 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 6 July 2021 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 55 (General Fund Capital Monitoring 2020/21 and Revised Capital Programme for 2021/22 and Future Years) the Leader moved and Councillor Williams seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 56 (Overview of General Fund Revenue Budget 2020/21), the Leader, in response to a question from a Member, advised that the sum of £380,000 awarded to the Council and its partners by the Government had been set aside as an earmarked reserve to help achieve key objectives for the city with a focus on physical regeneration projects such as, but not exclusive to, Liveable Exeter.

 

The Leader moved and Councillor Williams seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 57 (2020/21 HRA Budget Monitoring Report – Out-turn), the Leader moved and Councillor Williamsseconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried.

 

In respect of Minute No. 58 (Treasury Management 2020/21), the Leader moved and Councillor Williamsseconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 59 (Depot Relocation) the Leader, in response to questions from Members, stated that the £3.5 million set aside for the relocation of the Belle Isle Depot to Exton Road was an indicative budget and that the Belle Isle site would be available for disposal. He advised that he could not provide a definitive statement on the future of the site but that it was the intention to provide housing for people in Exeter and that the public would be consulted in line with the Consultation Charter.

 

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

 

In respect of Minute No. 60 (Liveable Exeter – Garden Communities and One Public Estate Funding Awards) and during discussion the following points were made:-

 

·        priority should be given to marketing and one way communication in line with Garden City principles and that early consideration be given as to what stage the community, both existing neighbours and new, would be invited to contribute to formulating plans for the sites;

·        welcome the Garden Communities concept which would help protect the green ridgeline around the city and the city’s valuable green spaces and that by meeting Exeter’s need for more houses it would be important to build up to protect the green spaces; and

·        it would be appropriate for consultation to take place in line with the processes set out in the Council’s Consultation Charter and there had been previous consultations on major Council schemes which had led to changes to original proposals.

 

The Leader moved and Councillor Williams seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried unanimously.

 

 

Councillor J. Moore declared a disclosable pecuniary interest and left the meeting during consideration of the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Executive - 8 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 377 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive of 8 July 2021 were presented by the Leader, Councillor Bialyk, and taken as read.

 

In respect of Minute No. 68 (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and Teignbridge Joint Strategy : Scope, Resourcing Timetable and Governance) and during discussion the following points were made:-

 

·        the proposal to co-ordinate action across the authorities was sensible;

·        the timetable for the consultation should be lengthened as a short period across the summer holidays on key matters was insufficient. A minimum period of eight weeks should be implemented with the timing of the consultation period reviewed;

·        welcome the explanation of the carbon footprint implications and the consultations proposed within the joint strategy will contribute to the emerging Devon Carbon Plan; and

·        need to clarify which target year the joint strategy is working towards given that each authority have different net zero climate dates.

 

The Leader advised that the City Council continued to work to its Net Zero target date of 2030 and with its three partners in bringing forward the joint strategy and that the City Council would also seek to learn from any lessons gained from Teignbridge District Council whose target date was 2025.

 

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

 

In respect of Minute No. 71 (Exeter Civic University Agreement)) and during discussion the following points were made:-

 

·        whilst supporting the strategic objectives, the report was premature as the public consultation survey would not close until 14 August. As the survey would help shape the Agreement, the results of the consultation should be analysed first;

·        practical actions should be identified, for example the University should underline its commitment to net zero by preventing students from bringing cars within the next couple of years unless required for mobility or academic reasons; and

·        request deferral of the report.

 

The Leader responded that any amendments to the Agreement were to be delegated to the Chief Executive & Growth Director in consultation with himself and that he would liaise with the Group Leaders on any changes should they wish to discuss them with him. He welcomed and valued the active engagement of the University in the life of the city and looked forward to further improved connectivity. He also referred to the five world leading climate scientists currently working at the University.

 

The Leader moved and Councillor Sutton seconded the recommendations and following a vote, the recommendations were carried. 

 

In respect of Minute No. 72 (Consultation Charter) the Leader moved and Councillor Sutton seconded the recommendation and following a vote, the recommendation was carried.

 

 

Councillors Morse and Vizard declared non-pecuniary interests and left the meeting during consideration of the following item.

 

 

In respect of Minute No. 73 (Parliamentary Constituency Boundary Review), the Leader moved and Councillor Sutton seconded the following motion to amend the minute to read as follows:-

 

(1)        the Pinhoe Council ward should be suggested for inclusion in the revised Parliamentary Constituency to the east of the City,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Change in Memberships

Minutes:

The Leader reported that Councillor Pearson had stepped down as an Executive Member and Portfolio Holder and thanked him for the work he had undertaken in this role. The responsibilities previously covered within his Portfolio Holder would be split between himself and the Deputy Leader.

 

The Leader also reported the following changes to the Harbour Board:-

 

Councillors Allcock and Pearce to replace Councillors Sills and Pearson.

 

 

48.

First Homes Planning Policy Statement

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for City Development presented the report seeking formal agreement of the content and publication on the Council’s website of a First Homes Planning Policy Statement, setting out how the Council’s existing planning policies on affordable housing would be interpreted in the light of the First Homes Written Ministerial Statement and Planning Practice Guidance.

 

It was important that the Council published a First Homes Statement as soon as possible as the Government had introduced the policy in June and it was now in practice. Due to this urgency and the timing of the Government’s First Homes announcement, it had not been possible to take this report to Executive before bringing it to Council. 

 

The Portfolio Holder explained that, instead of the shared principle of affordable housing, a First House Policy would be introduced to allow sale with a 30% discount of the market value. This was to be applied in perpetuity. The Council would not bind itself to the policy as it would be reviewed as part of the Local Plan process.

 

In response to a Member’s question, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that the following issues along with all other issues would be addressed as part of the Local Plan Review:-

 

·        the ability to set either a 40% or 50% discount if local evidence demonstrated that need and viability, the evidence to be tested through the Local Housing Needs Assessment being prepared to inform the emerging Local Plan; and

·        in respect of concerns regarding house prices and affordability especially for one or two bed flats, the ability to set a lower price cap if a need can be demonstrated.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

(1)        the content of the First Homes Planning Policy Statement attached as an appendix to the report, which included a revised version of Exeter Core Strategy Policy CP7 that took account of the Government’s Written Ministerial Statement and Planning Policy Guidance on First Homes, for use as a material consideration in determining relevant planning applications be agreed; and

 

(2)        the First Homes Planning Policy Statement be published on Exeter City Council’s website.

 

 

49.

Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order No 8

Minutes:

In accordance with Standing Order No. 8, the following question was put by Councillor Jobson to the Portfolio Holder for City Management.

 

Can the Portfolio Holder confirm that the glass re-cycling vehicle is back and working at full capacity and when residents might expect the backlog to be cleared and all glass re-cycling containers, including those at supermarkets, to be fully operational?

 

The Portfolio Holder for City Management responded that the glass collection vehicle is now back on the road, we are up to date with all glass igloo collections from around the city, and the backlog has been cleared. Guidance was awaited from the Government on the operation of the proposed Deposit Return Scheme included within the Environment Bill currently going through Parliament. Only when further information was known could changes be made to the Council’s bottle bank policy.

 

Councillor Jobson asked a supplementary question as to whether there was a contingency plan going to be put in place to prevent problems recurring?

 

The Portfolio Holder responded that there were no plans to change the Council’s approach until it was clear what was required under the Deposit Return Scheme.

 

 

 

In accordance with Standing Order No. 8, the following question was put by Councillor D. Moore to the Portfolio Holder for City Development.

 

Please can the Portfolio Holder detail the issues for consideration in reviewing Exeter’s CIL Charging Schedule?

 

The Portfolio Holder responded that the key issues currently being considered were:-

 

·                  proposed changes to planning policy via the Planning White Paper and the Planning Bill which identify revisions to the system for securing funding from development;

·                  the impact of Covid-19 on development viability and therefore the level of charge which can be levied on different types of development; and

·                  the need for further, coordinated viability work for the CIL review, the Local Plan and the Liveable Exeter programme.

 

Councillor D. Moore asked a supplementary question that, given the Council was going to great lengths to de-risk and secure investment for difficult Liveable Exeter sites, whether it should recoup its investment by ensuring developers of Liveable Exeter sites fully contribute to the CIL to the infrastructure necessary for sustainable communities?

 

The Portfolio Holder responded that an answer would be provided by the appropriate Portfolio Holder.