Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 20th July, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Crematorium Meeting Room - North Devon Crematorium. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Note: From the 7 May 2021, the law requires all councils to hold formal meetings in person. The Council is also ensuring that all venues used are Covid secure and that all appropriate measures are put in place. This meeting will be webcast on https://watch.obitus.com/. The username is huna6118 and password is 212750. A recording will be available for 28 days following the meeting. There are limited spaces available for members of the public to attend in person, therefore if you would like to book a place, please contact Corporate and Community Services by 12noon on Monday 18 July 2022 by telephoning 01271 388253 or emailing member.services@northdevon.gov.uk. 

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bulled, Bushell, Cann, Henderson, Knight, Ley, Luggar, Patrinos, Phillips and Saxby.

12.

To approve as correct records the minutes of the meetings held on 6 April 2022 (attached) pdf icon PDF 342 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 6 April 2022 (circulated previously) be approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

13.

Chair's announcements

(a)  Former Councillor Reg Cane

Minutes:

(a)  Former Councillors Reg Cane and Sue Croft and former Council employee Michael Tichford

 

Council stood for a minute silence in memory of former Councillors Reg Cane and Sue Croft and former Council employee Michael Tichford who had recently passed away.

 

The Chair advised that condolence cards would be sent to the families of Michael Tichford and former Councillor Sue Croft on behalf of the Council if any Member wished to sign.

14.

Business brought forward by or with the consent of the Chair

Minutes:

(a)  Chairs functions

 

The Chair provided an update to Council on the events that she had attended in her capacity as Chair of the Council and Councillor Tucker had attended in her absence since the last meeting of Council.

15.

Replies to any questions submitted by the Public and/or to receive Petitions under Part 4, Council Procedures Rules, Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Constitution

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by the Public and/or to receive Petitions under Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Constitution.

16.

To consider motions of which notice has been submitted by Members in accordance with Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution

(a)  To consider the following notice of motion from Councillor Topham

 

“Cost of Living emergency

 

It is shocking and extremely worrying for many local residents in North Devon on limited incomes, that Ofgem announced that the energy price cap could rise to £2,800 in October 2022.  

 

Earlier this year on 1 April 2022, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent. 

 

Over the coming summer months, North Devon residents who in the main are already financially challenged, face the average standard tariff energy bill increasing by £693 per year. The average pre-pay meter energy bill increasing by £708 per year (Ofgem, 2022) 

 

On 6 April 2022, the Government increased National Insurance by 1.25 percentage points, which is another extra demand on North Devon families.

 

The cost of petrol and diesel has hit an all time high with it costing over £100 to fill up an average car. In rural North Devon where there is little or no public transport this is causing real hardship and in addition is putting enormous pressure on our Council’s waste and recycling budget. A recent report by the Countryside Alliance showed that rural households that depend on their cars will need to spend nearly £800 a year more on fuel than people who live in urban areas.

 

Inflation is at a forty year high and many are struggling to feed their families. The impact of the war in Ukraine is also causing prices to rise further.

Prices of houses and rents have rocketed making it extremely difficult for residents to cope with all these price rises.

Many people on fixed incomes and low income families are really struggling and wage rises are not keeping pace with inflation.

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to: 

 

  1. Welcome the imposition of the ‘Windfall Tax’ on the super profits of oil and gas companies and question whether this has gone far enough. 

 

  1. Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for at least one year, saving the average family £600. 

 

  1. Introduce a fuel rebate scheme for rural areas like North Devon with, for example, extending the discount scheme for rural garages which has been successful at Lynton (Barbrook).

 

  1. Extend free school meals to all those families on universal credit.

 

  1. Extend the cost of living payment of £650 to those on legacy and contributions based benefits as people on these benefits have higher costs of living already due to long term health conditions or disability.”

 

(b)  To consider the following notice of motion from Councillor Walker

 

“Motion regarding pavement parking in North Devon

 

This Council notes that inconsiderate parked vehicles can cause a hazard and restrict the movement of many people, including those with visual impairments, mobility issues, parents with young children and the general public who may have trouble placing waste and recycling on the pavement for collection.

 

This Council also notes that the Government would  ...  view the full agenda text for item 16.

Minutes:

(a)  To consider the following notice of motion from Councillor Topham

 

Councillor Topham presented her notice of motion to Council.

 

It was moved by Councillor Topham and seconded by Councillor Walker “that the notice of motion be adopted”.

 

Following Council debate, Councillor Topham as mover and Councillor Walker as seconder of the motion amended the motion to also include “that benefits training be provided for all Councillors to enable Councillors to signpost ward constituents appropriately and that the types of support available be considered by the Policy Development Committee.”

 

RESOLVED that this Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and:

 

(a)   instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to: 

 

1.    Welcome the imposition of the ‘Windfall Tax’ on the super profits of oil and gas companies and question whether this has gone far enough. 

 

2.    Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for at least one year, saving the average family £600. 

 

3.    Introduce a fuel rebate scheme for rural areas like North Devon with, for example, extending the discount scheme for rural garages which has been successful at Lynton (Barbrook).

 

4.    Extend free school meals to all those families on universal credit.

 

5.    Extend the cost of living payment of £650 to those on legacy and contributions based benefits as people on these benefits have higher costs of living already due to long term health conditions or disability.

 

(b)  that benefits training be provided for all Councillors to enable Councillors to signpost ward constituents appropriately and that the types of support available be considered by the Policy Development Committee.

 

(b)  To consider the following notice of motion from Councillor Walker

 

Councillors Biederman, Davis, Leaver, Roome and Yabsley declared personal interests as Devon County Councillors.

 

Councillor Walker presented her notice of motion to Council.

 

It was moved by Councillor Walker and seconded by Councillor Lofthouse “that the notice of motion be adopted”.

 

RESOLVED this Council:

 

(a)  asks that Devon County Council (DCC) as the Highways Authority to make a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to prohibit pavement parking throughout North Devon, allowing Exemptions in specific places where pavement parking is necessary;

(b)  also asks that DCC Civil enforcement officers are used to enforce the TRO, which should be a self funding option; and

(c)  also asks for the support of the MP for North Devon in this matter, in supporting the council in this motion.

 

17.

Declarations of Interest

(NB. Members only need to re-declare any interests previously declared at Committee and Sub-Committee meetings if the item is discussed at Council).

 

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were announced:

 

Councillor Hunt: Item 19 (c) – personal interest as a trustee of the Bridge Trust

 

Councillor Prowse: Item 19 (c) – personal interest as a trustee of the Bridge Trust

 

Councillor Lofthouse: Item 19 (c) – personal interest as a trustee of the Bridge Trust

 

18.

Chair's replies to any questions to Council by Members submitted under Part 4, Council Procedures Rules, Paragraph 10 of the Constitution

Minutes:

There were no questions received by Members submitted under Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, Paragraph 10 of the Constitution.

19.

Report of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Report by Leader of the Council (attached).

Minutes:

Council considered and noted a report by the Leader of the Council (circulated previously) regarding work that had been undertaken since the last Council meeting.

 

Councillor Worden advised of a typographical error in the report and it should have referred to “Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards”.

 

In response to a question, the Leader advised that the costs for the Yelland planning appeal had not yet been confirmed.

 

The Chief Executive advised that the claim for costs had not yet been received and that Members would be notified when the costs were known.  There were time limits for when the claim for costs could be made and that as the costs were likely to high, a report would be presented to Members.  The Council’s element of costs for the appeal were approximately £75,000.

20.

Questions by Members pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Questions to the Leader or the Chair of a Committee submitted under Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, paragraph 10.4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

The following questions were submitted in advance of the meeting and responses provided by the Leader were circulated separately:

 

(a)   Question for the Leader from Councillor Lane “With the difficulty of recruiting staff to the planning Department, can you confirm that the pay scale in other authority areas are similar to that being offered by this authority for staff of the same pay scale planning experience?” Councillor Worden, Leader’s response “Most local authorities are having very real difficulties recruiting staff to different areas and professions. The most well publicised example has been HGV drivers but it also affects many other areas including housing, environmental health and planning. The salaries paid to officers working within the council are settled by evaluating the posts against other posts of equal complexity, skill or hardship. This is to ensure that good practice is followed around equal pay. It is probably fair to say that when comparing pay within the council to pay at other authorities, the position varies depending on which profession or post is being compared against with councils.”  In response to a supplementary question, the Chief Executive advised that all posts were evaluated and benchmarked. Compared to other Councils, some positions were paid higher and some were paid lower.  The grading of Planning Officers salaries differed across Councils as some allocated different responsibilities and therefore it would not possible to compare “like for like”. There was currently a national shortage of planning officers. The Council had met with the RTPI and asked them to promote that working for local authorities was a good career choice.  Similar comments had also been made to the Local Government Association. If Members wished to see the comparisons, this information could be provided, however Members could not be involved in the evaluation process.

 

(b)   Question for the Leader from Councillor Pearson “Could we please have an update on the replacement of incandescent bulbs with LEDs, and the plans for installing solar panels on NDC property to help offset increasing energy costs and give security of energy supply?” Councillor Worden, Leader’s response “In relation to LED lighting, the capital bid to progress this is on the Full Council agenda for approval as part of the Quarter 4 performance report. Once approved, the project will progress. In relation to PV panels, we are currently assessing all of the council buildings for suitability for installation and will then be examining the best approach to funding for installation.”

21.

Performance and Financial Management Quarter 4 of 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 608 KB

(NOTE: A copy of the report that was considered by the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4 July 2022 is attached).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the Performance and Financial Management report for Quarter 4 of 2021/22 to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4 July 2022 (circulated previously).

21a

Report of the Policy Development Committee pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To receive the report of the Policy Development Committee held on 14 July 2022 (to follow).

Minutes:

Councillor D. Spear, Chair of the Policy Development Committee presented the Committee’s report on the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 4 of 2021/22 to the Policy Development Committee on 14 July 2022 (circulated previously).

21b

Report of meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To receive the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 (attached).

Minutes:

Councillor Worden, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee reported the recommendations of the Strategy and Resources Committee on the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 4 of 2021/22 (circulated previously).

 

It was moved by Councillor Worden and seconded by Councillor Roome “that minute 29(f) of the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 regarding the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 4 of 2021/22 be adopted.”

 

Councillor Worden thanked the Director of Resources and his team for their hard work in achieving a budget surplus.

 

RESOLVED that minute 29(f) of the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 regarding the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 4 of 2021/22 be adopted.

 

Councillor Prowse left the meeting.

22.

Annual Treasury Management Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1016 KB

(NOTE: A copy of the report that was considered by the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4 July 2022 is attached).

Minutes:

Council considered the Annual Treasury Management report for 2021/22 to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4 July 2022 (circulated previously).

22a

Report of the Policy Development Committee pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To receive the report of the Policy Development Committee held on 14 July 2022 (to follow).

 

Minutes:

Councillor D. Spear, Chair of the Policy Development Committee presented the Committee’s report on the Annual Treasury management report for 2021/22 to the Policy Development Committee on 14 July 2022 (circulated previously).

22b

Report of meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee pdf icon PDF 11 KB

To receive the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 (attached).

 

Minutes:

Councillor Worden, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee reported the recommendations of the Strategy and Resources Committee on the Annual Treasury management report for 2021/22 (circulated previously).

 

It was moved by Councillor Worden and seconded by Councillor York “that minute 30 of the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 regarding the Annual Treasury Management report for 2021/22 be adopted.”

 

RESOLVED that minute 30 of the report of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4 July 2022 regarding the Annual Treasury Management report for 2021/22 be adopted.

23.

Afghan Re-settlement Scheme/Afghan Policy pdf icon PDF 524 KB

Report by Service Lead, Housing Options and Homelessness (attached).

Minutes:

Council considered a report by the Service Lead, Housing Options and Homelessness (circulated previously) regarding the Afghan Re-settlement Scheme/Afghan Policy.

 

In response to questions, the Service Lead, Housing Options and Homelessness advised the following:

 

·       A report had been recently issued where families can find their own accommodation.  If an Afghan secured their own accommodation in the North Devon Council area, the Council would still receive funding and would be required to provide support.

·       South West Councils had agreed the policy of selecting families alphabetically as it was considered to be fair.

·       The provision of accommodation was not being enforced on the Council, however in accordance with the schemes the Council would be required to provide accommodation.  The Home Office was requesting that all Councils sign up to the scheme.

·       The Council had currently 364 active housing cases and 64 families using units of temporary accommodation.

·       The Government had only currently confirmed funding for Councils for the first 12 months. Councils were being advised that if there was an impact on temporary accommodation that funding could be applied for through Devon County Council.

·       The Council had secured a number of self-contained units for temporary accommodation which needed to be retained for temporary accommodation. The Council tried to find alternative accommodation where possible as it understood the impact that this could have on local communities.  However, there was less impact on families requiring temporary accommodation compared to staying in Bed and Breakfast accommodation.  Temporary accommodation was not long term.  There was currently a lack of accommodation for larger families. The Council could not disclose information regarding families staying in temporary accommodation.

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following

 

·       That the number of second homes and holiday homes in North Devon was now approximately 3,500.  The Council along with other Councils were currently lobby Government in relation to the loss of homes for rent to second homes and holiday homes. The Council had lost 467 properties from the rental market over the past 12 months to the holiday market.  Officers were due to meet with the Housing Minister tomorrow, which had been cancelled due to the changes in Government. Once the new Government was in place, the Council would continue to lobby.

 

In response to questions, the Service Lead, Housing Options and Homelessness outlined the potential risks in relation to the Afghan Re-settlement Scheme/Afghan Policy:

 

·       The Council did not have sufficient number of temporary accommodation currently.

·       Officers were working hard to prevent households from becoming homeless and to keep them in their homes.

·       The Council only had a small housing team and were lobbying the Government for additional resources to assist with the Afghan Re-settlement Scheme/Afghan Policy.

·       Local Authorities were shouldering the risk of national immigration.

 

Councillor Davis left the meeting.

 

It was moved by Councillor Worden and seconded by Councillor Lofthouse “that the recommendation be adopted and that the Council express that it was not happy with the situation it was facing due to the current housing crisis facing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Homes for Ukraine Update pdf icon PDF 486 KB

Report by Service Lead, Housing Options and Homelessness (attached).

Minutes:

Council considered a report by the Service Lead Housing Options and Homelessness (circulated previously) regarding the Homes for Ukraine update.

 

It was moved by Councillor Worden and seconded by Councillor Lofthouse “that the recommendation be adopted and that the Service Lead Housing Options and Homelessness and her team be congratulated for all their hard work and that Pickwell Foundation also be thanked for their support which was appreciated.”

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)   the potential impact the continuing rise in numbers could have on NDC services be noted;

(b)   the Service Lead Housing Options and Homelessness and her team be congratulated for all their hard work; and

(c)   Pickwell Foundation also be thanked for their support which was appreciated.

 

Councillor Walker declared a personal interest as a host of a Ukrainian family.

25.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund pdf icon PDF 655 KB

Report by Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

 

Councillor Worden declared a personal interest as a member of the North Devon+ board.

 

It was moved by Councillor Tucker and seconded by Councillor Roome “that the recommendation be adopted.”

 

RESOLVED that the intervention themes proposed by the Northern Devon Futures Board, serving as the required Local Partnership Group for inclusion in the UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment plan for North Devon Council to be submitted before 1 August 2022 be approved.

 

 

 

26.

Ocean Recovery Motion pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To note the letter received from Rebecca Pow MP, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (attached) in response to the decision taken by the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting held on 4 April 2022 and minute 104 (a) of the meeting of Council held on 23 February 2022.

Minutes:

Council noted the letter received from Rebecca Pow MP, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (circulated previously) in response to the decision taken by the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting held on 4 April 2022 and minute 104 (a) of the meeting of Council held on 23 February 2022 in relation to the Ocean Recovery motion.

27.

Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 6 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Governance Committee held on 14 June 2022 (attached).

 

(NOTE: A copy of the report by the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer presented to the Governance Committee on 14 June 2022 is attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report by the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer (circulated previously) presented to the Governance Committee on 14 June 2022.

 

Councillor Roome, Chair of the Governance Committee presented the recommendation of the Governance Committee held on 14 June 2022 (circulated previously) to Council.

 

It was moved by Councillor Roome and seconded by Councillor Leaver “that minute 8 of the Governance Committee held on 14 June 2022 regarding the Constitution Update be adopted.”

 

RESOLVED that minute 8 of the Governance Committee held on 14 June 2022 regarding the Constitution Update be adopted.

 

Councillor Chesters left the meeting.

28.

Outside Body Appointments

28a

Devon Rail Forum

To consider the appointment of 1 Member to the Devon Rail Forum for the life of Council following the resignation of Councillor Mack from the Forum.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor York be appointed to the Devon Rail Forum for the life of Council following the resignation of Councillor Mack from the Forum.

28b

PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) Adjudication Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 11 KB

To consider the appointment of 1 Member to PATROL for the life of Council.

 

(NOTE: PATROL has requested that the Council consider nominating a Councillor to the Joint Committee. Background information is attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Walker be appointed to PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Order Outside London) Adjudication Joint Committee for the life of Council.

 

28c

Bridge Trust pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To consider the appointment of one Trustee to serve on the Bridge Trustee Board following the resignation of Councillor Biederman from the Board. (NOTE: A copy of the constitution is attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Tucker be nominated to be appointed as a Trustee to serve on the Bridge Trustee Board following the resignation of Councillor Biederman from the Board.

29.

Licensing and Community Safety Committee - Appointment of a Member

To consider the appointment of 1 Liberal Democrat Councillor to the Licensing and Community Safety Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year following the resignation of Councillor Orange from the Committee.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Walker be appointed to the Licensing and Community Safety Committee for the 2022/23 municipal year following the resignation of Councillor Orange from the Committee.

30.

Report of Lead Member for Climate Change pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Report (attached)

Minutes:

Council considered and noted an update report by the Lead Member for Climate Change (circulated previously).

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that following the approval of the capital business cases as part of the Quarter 4 Performance and Financial Management report, that the business case for changing to low energy lighting and fittings had been approved at a capital cost of £80,000, which it was estimated would save the Council £30,000 per annum in revenue energy costs.

31.

Minutes of Committees

Council is recommended to note the schedule of Committee minutes and approve recommendations as listed below:

 

31a

Building Control Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 226 KB

(i)             12 May 2022

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Building Control Joint Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             12 May 2022

31b

Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 272 KB

(i)             14 June 2022

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Governance Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             14 June 2022

 

31c

Harbour Board pdf icon PDF 193 KB

(i)             3 May 2022

(A) Minute 7: Appointment of Independent Representative to the Harbour Board

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Harbour Board (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             3 May 2022

a.    Minute 7: Appointment of Independent Representative to the Harbour Board

 

31d

Licensing and Community Safety Committee pdf icon PDF 209 KB

(i)             12 April 2022

(A) Minute 4: Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy Amendments (NOTE: This recommendation is incorporated within the Constitution Amendments under item 17 on the agenda)

(ii)            27 April 2022

(iii)          12 May 2022

(iv)          14 June 2022

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Licensing and Community Safety Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             12 April 2022

(A) Minute 4: Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy Amendments (NOTE: It was noted that this recommendation had incorporated within the Constitution Amendments under item 17 on the agenda)

(ii)            27 April 2022

(iii)          12 May 2022

(iv)          14 June 2022

 

31e

Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 257 KB

(i)             13 April 2022

(ii)            25 April 2022

(iii)          11 May 2022

(iv)          25 May 2022

(v)           8 June 2022

(vi)          27 June 2022

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Planning Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             13 April 2022

(ii)            25 April 2022

(iii)          11 May 2022

(iv)          25 May 2022

(v)           8 June 2022

(vi)          27 June 2022

 

 

31f

Policy Development Committee pdf icon PDF 279 KB

(i)             14 July 2022 (to follow)

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Policy Development Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             14 July 2022

31g

Strategy and Resources Committee pdf icon PDF 385 KB

(i)             4 April 2022

(ii)            9 May 2022

(iii)          6 June 2022

a.    Minute 15 (d): Gap Funding 21 Social Rents at Woolacombe

(iv)          4 July 2022

a.    Minute 31 (b): New Woodland at Frankmarsh, Barnstaple

b.    Minute 37 (e): Approval and Release of S106 Public Open Space Funds – Barnstaple and Chulmleigh

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee (circulated previously) be noted and adopted as follows:

 

(i)             4 April 2022

(ii)            9 May 2022

(iii)          6 June 2022

a.    Minute 15 (d): Gap Funding 21 Social Rents at Woolacombe

(iv)          4 July 2022

a.    Minute 31 (b): New Woodland at Frankmarsh, Barnstaple

b.    Minute 37 (e): Approval and Release of S106 Public Open Space Funds – Barnstaple and Chulmleigh