Venue: The Lecture Theatre, Institute of Technology, Exeter College Main Site Campus, Hele Road, Exeter
Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer Telephone 01392 265107 or email email@example.com
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs Henson, Quance and Packham.
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 17 February 2022. 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
The Lord Mayor reported the receipt of a question from a member of the public.
Mr Cox to Councillor Bialyk, Leader.
A CCTV room, manned, managed, properly could save lives. You claim "safe city”, but too often run it neglectfully after acquiring almost £500,000 to support safer streets. Why is funding not found to man adequately to keep everyone safe, in turn confirming that lives matter more than money?
The Deputy Leader, Councillor Wright, on behalf of the Leader responded that the Safer Streets funding was a one off capital grant from the Home Office and not an ongoing revenue funding - meaning that it could not be used for staffing and salaries. Funding had been spent on updating and expanding the CCTV equipment and infrastructure to give better coverage, improve images and recordings facilities and to make the system simpler and more efficient for our controllers to operate. This would improve the detection of crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of evidence gathered to aid the police.
The Council always aimed to have two people in the control centre which was achieved for the vast majority of the time, however, due to instances of unexpected sickness it was not always able to achieve that.
In order to guarantee two members of staff for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week accounting for unforeseen sickness and absence, five members of staff needed to be employed. This created an additional funding need of £155,550 per year.
Currently, there was insufficient revenue funding to employ the five additional staff members required to guarantee a minimum of two people in the control room on every shift, but continued ways to achieve this, would be addressed, one of which was to continue talks with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.
The Deputy Leader thanked Mr Cox and acknowledged the work that he and his family were doing to help shape ongoing discussions and partnerships across the City.
The Lord Mayor invited Mr Cox to ask a supplementary question.
Mr Cox stated that he could only respond with his immediate thoughts as he had not been appraised of the response prior to the meeting. He referred to an email he had sent to Members further detailing a number of his concerns including the failure to ensure the CCTV system was fully operational at all times and that the control centre was adequately staffed.
Referring to the detail set out in the response that a comprehensive staffing of the control centre would require five staff at a cost of £155,000, he urged the Council to commit itself to making this investment. Following on from the tragedy of the loss of his daughter Lorraine, he believed that the incident may have exacerbated the fears many already had about safety in the city centre, particularly at night. It was paramount therefore for the Council to commit itself to such funding to restore residents’ confidence that the city was safe, that the ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
To pass the following resolution:-
(1) That the following, as submitted in the Estimates Book, be approved:-
(a) the Revenue estimates for 2022-2023;
(b) the Capital programme for 2022-2023;
(c) the Treasury Management Strategy for 2022-2023
(d) the Prudential indicators for 2022-2023 (incorporating the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement
(e) the Capital Strategy for 2022-2023
(2) that it be noted that, at the meeting of the Executive on the 11 January 2022, the Council calculated the figure of 37,666, as its council tax base for the year 2022-2023 in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;
(3) that the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2022-2023 in accordance with Sections 31A of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992:-
(a) £111,826,010 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2)(a) to (f) of the Act;
(b) £105,420,892 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3)(a) to (d) of the Act;
(c) £6,405,118 being the amount by which the aggregate at (3)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (3)(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year;
(d) £170.05 being the amount at (3)(c) above divided by the amount at 2 above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year;
(e) Valuation Bands
Being the amount given by multiplying the amount at (3)(d) above by the number which, in the proportion set out in Section 5(1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation band D, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 36(1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of categories of dwellings listed in different valuation bands.
(4) That it will be noted that, for the year 2022-2023, Devon County Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority have stated the following amounts on precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with Section 83 of the Local Government Act 2003, for each of the categories of the dwellings shown below:-
Devon County Council
Devon County Council - Adult Social Care
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall
Minutes 4 (General Fund/HRA Estimates and Capital Programme 2022/23), 5 (Capital Strategy 2022/23), 6 (The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (Incorporating the Annual Statement of Minimum Revenue Provision) and 7 (Treasury Management Strategy Report 2022/23) of the meeting of the Combined Strategic Scrutiny and Customer Focus Scrutiny Committees held on 10 February 2022 were taken as read and noted.
Minute 8 (Council Tax Base and NNDR 1 2022/23) of the meeting of Executive held on 11 January 2022 was taken as read and adopted.
The Leader moved, and Councillor Wright seconded, the resolution as set out in the agenda and circulated papers in respect of the Council Tax for Exeter for 2022/23.
The following alternatives had been submitted by the Progressive Group and the Conservative Group respectively:-
Alternatives to the proposed budget by the Progressive Group – received Monday 14 February 2022
Proposed by Cllr K. Mitchell
Seconded by Cllr M. Mitchell
That the Council employ a full time Planning Enforcement Officer Grade G in 2022/23.
The total cost of this post including the market surcharge and on costs is £41,196.00.
The cost of this additional post be found by the Council introducing a charging regime for its Pre Application Advice Service to developers.
Using a system similar to Plymouth City Council in regard to a major development deemed to be 10 properties or more, the scale of charges is £2,028-£3,728. There is a higher negotiated scale of charges for developments involving more than 150 properties.
Last year, the Council was involved in pre application advice regarding 26 “major developments”. Therefore, using the Plymouth scale, the income that Exeter could have raised last year would have been a minimum of £52,728.
Councillor K. Mitchell, as a co-leader of an opposition group and in moving the first alternative, made the following points:-
· a planning enforcement officer would contribute to developers taking planning conditions more seriously;
· there was currently a back log of approximately 160 planning enforcement cases and an increasing number of residents were concerned about the flouting of Planning Committee conditions;
· public confidence in the planning system was vital and a key element was knowing that the City Council would quickly investigate and enforce planning breaches;
· a need for a Planning Enforcement Officer has been longstanding as recognised by the employment of a temporary Agency Officer for a six month period costing the Council £43,000. The proposal for a permanent post would cost £41,196 per annum to be funded by charging for major pre-application advice;
· major applications are defined as more than 10 dwellings or more than 1,000 square metres of floor space. For larger developments of 150 plus dwellings or larger than 4 hectares, a higher fee can be negotiated; and
a charging scheme
should more than cover the cost of a permanent
Councillor M. Mitchell, in seconding the first alternative, made the following points:-
· an effective and efficient enforcement policy is vital for planning decisions to be robustly enforced;
· many other ... view the full minutes text for item 3.