Agenda and draft minutes

Strategy and Resources Committee - Monday, 4th May, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual - Online meeting. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Link: Audio available here

Items
No. Item

119.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received.

120.

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2020 (attached). pdf icon PDF 324 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2020 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

121.

Items brought forward which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

(a) Selaine Saxby MP Update

 

Councillor Saxby in her capacity as MP for North Devon addressed the Committee.  She advised the Committee that the Government was working hard to protect everyone’s health and supporting businesses.  The provision of grants to businesses was positive.  She invited anyone to get in contact with her if they required any help.

122.

Declarations of Interests

(Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting.  Interests must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary).

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were announced:

 

Councillor D. Spear

Item 6: Personal interest as a Braunton Parish Councillor

 

Councillor L. Spear

Item 6: Personal interest as a Braunton Parish Councillor

 

123.

Disposal of Public Open Space, Braunton pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Report by Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (circulated previously) regarding the disposal of public open space to Braunton Parish Council.

 

The Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer highlighted the following issues:

 

·         Proposed site for adoption by Braunton Parish Council as detailed in Appendix 1.  The area of land outlined in red was owned by North Devon Council.  The area of land outlined in blue was currently owned by Tescos however North Devon Council maintained the land.

·         Braunton Parish Council had approached North Devon Council to request the transfer of the public open space within North Devon Council’s control.

·         North Devon Council had engaged with Tesco Superstores regarding the completion of the transfer of public open space.

 

Councillor L. Spear re-declared a personal interest in the item as the Chair of Braunton Parish Council.

 

In response to questions, the Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer advised that Tescos Superstores had stopped engaging with North Devon Council approximately 12 months ago.  In October 2019, North Devon Council sought Tescos view on transferring the Public Open Space directly to Braunton Parish Council rather than NDC.  This request was acknowledged and NDC were advised that they would take instruction, however no reply had been received.  If Tescos were not prepared to engage with NDC then the Council would have no other option but to stop maintaining the open space in Tesco ownership and could pay back the remaining unspent Section 106 revenue contribution. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)

That the placing of a statutory advertisement under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972, for the disposal of land to Braunton Parish Council, at a nil value for the benefit of the environmental and social wellbeing of the community be approved, for:

 

 

(i)

Land known as Bats Meadow and associated open space, Braunton, and show as red on the Plan as detailed in Appendix 1;

 

(ii)

Land in the ownership of Tesco, Braunton subject to a public open space adoption by NDC, shown as blue on the plan as detailed in Appendix 1;

 

(b)

That the Chief Financial Officer be delegated authority to consider the responses received, and make a decision based on that consideration whether or not to proceed with and carry out that disposal.

 

124.

Approval and Release of Section 106 Public Open Space Funds - Chulmleigh and Heasley Mill pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Report by Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (circulated previously) regarding the approval and release of section 106 public open space funds towards projects in Chulmleigh and Heasley Mill.

 

The Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer highlighted the following:

 

·         Enhancement of the playing field car park at Chulmleigh as detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the report.

·         Improvements to the car park and picnic area at Heasley Mill Village Hall as detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the report.  Funding of £2,000 was required to meet the funding shortfall.  The Ward Member was in support of this project.

 

Councillor Davies addressed the Committee as Ward Member for Chulmleigh and was in support of the project to enhance the Playing Field car park.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)

That £18,500 be allocated to Chulmleigh Parish Council towards the enhancement of the Playing Field car park;

 

(b)

That £2,000 be allocated to Heasley Mill Village Hall Management Committee towards the cost of the refurbishment of the village car park and picnic area;

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

(c)

That Council vary the Capital Programme by £20,500 and that funds be released, subject to a Funding Agreement upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed by the Senior Solicitor, for external projects.

 

125.

Approval and Release of Section 106 funds, South Molton pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Report by Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer (circulated previously) regarding the approval and release of section 106 funds towards a project within South Molton.

 

The Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer advised of a typographical error contained within paragraph 5.1 of the report, which should be amended to refer to planning application 60512 “land west of Nadder Lane, South Molton”.

 

The Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer highlighted the following:

 

·         The Council had been working with South Molton Football Club to identify a suitable site which was available on the open market and was flat for the relocation of the club.

·         The land was located near to the new Primary School at Limers Lane, South Molton.

·         The relocation of the football club had been identified through the Local Plan and the North Devon Playing Pitch Strategy.

 

In response to questions, the Project, Procurement and Open Space Officer advised the following:

 

·         South Molton Football Club had tried to purchase other pieces of land in the past, but had been unsuccessful as these were usually purchased very quickly and the club had missed several opportunities.

·         A private buyer had put an offer on the table to the Football Club who agreed that the buyer purchase the land until such times as the Football Club had sufficient funds to purchase off of the buyer.  There would be no uplift in the amount that the Football Club would pay to purchase the land from the private buyer.

·         The Local Plan identified that South Molton needed a new sports hub. This was originally due to be located at the rear of the Secondary School.  In terms of pitch allocation, South Molton Rugby Club had secured a new pitch at the rear of the Secondary School however the landowner would not release any further land.

·         The new site was located to the south east of the new Primary School. 

·         Public Open Space included pitches and built recreation.  The Leisure Centre was pay and play.  South Molton Football Club and the running club would be the legal owners therefore any hire or usage would be managed by them.

·         It would be managed through an open membership through both the Football Club and the running club.  The grounds would not be open to the public.  This was the same arrangements for other clubs such as rugby clubs.

·         Maintenance of the pitch would cost approximately £9,000 per annum.

·         A scheme for the site had been prepared but was not yet in the public domain.  The planning application had not yet been considered by the Planning Committee.

·         The Club was working with a conveyancing solicitor.  A legal charge would be placed on the land registering the Councils interest.  

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised that public access would be considered as part of the planning permission process. The section 106 funds for this project had been specifically collected for built open space.  By opening the grounds up to public access would result  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.

126.

North Devon+ Brexit Funding pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Report by Chief Executive (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding the funds received from the Government to assist in preparations for Brexit. 

 

The Chief Executive highlighted the following:

 

·         Discussions had taken place with Torridge District Council regarding North Devon+ regarding the provision of a support package to be rolled out to businesses in Torridge and North Devon areas.  Small to medium sized businesses would be targeted.

·         Torridge District Council (TDC) had already agreed to contribute £30,000 to North Devon+ to deliver the Brexit package of support.

·         TDC had retained some funding awarded by the Government to use for work being undertaken with the shellfish industry.  North Devon Council (NDC) did not have any schemes which the Government funding could be used for.

·         North Devon+ would use the existing business support networks such as the Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses to deliver the support to local businesses.

·         As there were more small to medium sized businesses located within the NDC area, North Devon+ could be requested to support more businesses in the NDC area.

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:

 

·         The Government funds awarded to NDC was ringfenced for Brexit preparedness and could not be used for other purposes.

·         Councillors would be advised of any appropriate events planned for businesses. 

·         Business grants were administered by NDC.  North Devon+ provided general business support and had provided 10 business support packages to date.

 

In response to questions, the Head of Resources advised that the Government grant was awarded in three tranches of £17,500.  There was a need for the support to be provided by one organisation to avoid duplication of work.  There were significant higher number of businesses located in North Devon compared to Torridge District Council area.

 

Councillors Prowse and Worden declared personal interests as Directors of North Devon+.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)

That a maximum of £52,452 be provided to North Devon+ as grant funding in order for North Devon+ to deliver the Brexit support package, funded from the Provision for Brexit earmarked reserve;

 

(b)

That a report on the success of the programme be brought back to a later Committee;

 

(c)

That a letter be written to the MP for North Devon requesting that she lobby Ministers to avoid a no deal Brexit especially as our employers were reeling and closing due to Covid 19.

 

127.

Recovery Phase for North Devon's local economy: Update

Head of Place to report.

Minutes:

The Committee received an update from the Head of Place regarding the recovery phase for North Devon’s local economy.  He outlined the work that was being undertaken with partners from the public and private sector as part of the group “North Devon Futures” which also included Torridge District Council and that a virtual meeting would be taking place this week.  The Council was also working in partnership with Devon County Council and the Local Resilience Forum on the recovery process for both northern Devon and the whole of Devon.  Further work was being carried out on the application to the High Street fund.  The Chamber of Commerce had arranged a webinar on Friday for businesses with MPs.  Officers were contacting businesses who had not already applied for a business grant to encourage them to apply.  North Devon+ were receiving referrals from businesses for support.  A weekly newsletter would be produced to be sent to businesses which would include the support being provided by North Devon+.  The Council had recently undertaken a survey of busineses which had received 520 responses.  The responses were currently being analysed.  The Council was working with the Government on funding that had already been awarded to renegotiate terms and completion dates.  The Council was seeking to achieve transformation through the growth agenda and was working closely with Devon County Council Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

The Committee requested a copy of the presentation to be forwarded to all Members for information via the Weekly Information Sheet.

 

The Chief Executive advised that the most important aspect was the recovery of the economy and that there was an opportunity for the Council to lead on the recovery phase.  The Head of Place was in the process of preparing a draft plan which would be circulated to all Members within the next week and that an informal Council briefing would then be arranged.

128.

Tarka Leisure Centre pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Report by the Contracts Delivery Manager (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Contracts Delivery Manager (circulated previously) regarding the Tarka Leisure Centre.

 

The Contracts Delivery Manager highlighted the following:

 

·         Construction of the new Tarka Leisure Centre was due to start in July but before works commenced a planning condition needed to be discharged. 

·         To discharge this condition, a statement was needed from the Council as landowner that the existing leisure centre would close prior to the new one opening.  It also needed to confirm that any new use within the existing leisure centre would require a separate planning application.

 

In response to questions, the Contracts Delivery Manager advised the following:

 

·         At the last project meeting with Parkwood and the builders it was confirmed the new leisure centre was still scheduled to open on 1 February 2022.  This date could change following lockdown, but at present the building programme was not effected.

·         A new interim contact had now been signed with Parkwood Leisure for the current leisure centre until the new leisure centre opened.  The interim contract arrangements prevent the contractor from closing the existing leisure centre for any length of time before the new one opens without a very good reason.  It was not in the contractor’s interest to do this and it’s intended the existing centre would close before the new one opens.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that the current arrangements in place were clear in that the two facilities would not be open at the same time.

 

RESOLVED that the existing leisure centre close prior to the opening of the new leisure centre and any new use within the existing leisure centre be subject to the approval of a separate planning application.

 

129.

North Devon Council's Participation in the UK Resettlement Scheme for Refugees pdf icon PDF 329 KB

Report by Head of Environmental Health and Housing (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Environmental Health and Housing Services (circulated previously) regarding participation in the UK Resettlement Scheme for refugees.

 

The Head of Environmental Health and Housing advised that the Council had participated in resettlement through endorsement of Community Sponsorship and these schemes have been successful.

 

In response to questions, the Head of Environmental Health and Housing advised the following:

 

·         There were no revisions to the dates contained within table in the Briefing Paper.

·         The funding had not been announced for each person for the next year.

·         The Council would seek to lease properties through private sector leasing.  Two units would not have an adverse impact on the local housing market.  Other support services needed to be commissioned.

                          

RESOLVED:

 

(a)

That the Council pledges to secure two properties to accommodate new arrivals of refugee families under the local authority managed resettlement scheme in this area in 20/21;

 

(b)

That the Council pledges to support a further four Community Sponsorship schemes, and gives delegated authority to the Head of Service for Environmental Health and Housing, to determine applications in consultation with the Lead Member for Housing;

 

(c)

The Council pledges to secure up to two properties per year to accommodate refugee families under the local authority managed resettlement scheme in this area post 20/21, subject to:

 

 

(i)

Government confirmation of the numbers of people and associated funding.

 

 

(ii)

The Council’s organisational capacity to undertake this responsibility.

(d)

That the Council’s ongoing participation in the Devon Syrian Resettlement Governance partnership be approved, which was administered by Devon County Council.

 

130.

Public Spaces Protection Orders Dog Control pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Joint report by Environmental Protection Service Lead and Senior Solicitor (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report by the Environmental Protection Service Lead and Senior Solicitor (circulated previously) regarding Public Spaces Protection Orders Dog Control.

 

Following concerns raised by the Committee, the Chief Executive advised that if the Committee were minded to defer the consideration of the consultation proposals for one month there were still time to carry out the consultation as the existing cover did not run out until October.  This would give the opportunity for further consultation to take place with Councillors. The controls also operated in other areas such as play areas and there was a need to be sensitive regarding controls on beaches.  It was anticipated that this survey would receive the most responses that the Council had received.

 

RESOLVED that the consideration of the report be deferred for one cycle to enable the opportunity for further consultation to take place with Councillors regarding the wording of the proposed questions and that Councillors be requested to feedback to the Environmental Protection Lead within the next two weeks.

 

131.

Urgent Decision Taken by the Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 254 KB

To note the urgent decision that has been made by the Chief Executive in accordance with paragraph 3.48, Annexe 2, Part 3 of the Constitution (attached).  

Minutes:

The Committee noted the urgent decision that had been made by the Chief Executive in accordance with paragraph 3.48, Annexe 2, Part 3 of the Constitution (circulated previously) regarding the response to the South West Inshore and South West Offshore Marine Plan.