Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

02/02/2024 - Larkstone Watersports Hub - Lime Kiln and Bridge Link Works ref: 3701    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Chief Financial Officer

Decision published: 21/02/2024

Effective from: 02/02/2024

Decision:

To provide a seating area on the top of the Lime Kiln at Larkstone Watersports and a bridge link to the Café Balcony to increase occupancy numbers and improve viability.

Wards affected: Ilfracombe East Ward;

Lead officer: Helen Bond


02/02/2024 - Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) Ref: WK/202305010 ref: 3700    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Chief Financial Officer

Decision published: 19/02/2024

Effective from: 02/02/2024

Decision:

External ramped access and replacement of dining room window with a Upvc door and side window to provide full wheelchair access from car park to property.

Lead officer: Nick Dabney


08/12/2023 - Planning for Traveller Sites ref: 3699    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Joint Planning Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 08/12/2023 - Joint Planning Policy Committee

Decision published: 13/02/2024

Effective from: 08/12/2023

Decision:

The Committee considered the report, the purpose of which was to inform Members of the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan policies relating to gypsies and travellers, evidence that has been prepared on this matter and the future provision of traveller sites. 

 

The Senior Planning Policy Officer (NDC) presented this item and highlighted to Members the key elements within the report.

 

During the discussion the following points/concerns were raised:

 

A lack of site capacity in terms of transit provision.

 

The Report states no direct resource implications.  This statement questioned if there is a need to commission a Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment.  It was confirmed that this would form part of the work to support the new local plan and that it is needed to confirm the level of needs now in comparison to 2015.  There is a need to ensure adequate resources are allocated to ensure the Assessment is done swiftly.  It was cited that due to unauthorised encampments there are financial implications.

 

Councillor Hodson agreed with bringing forward for discussion the Assessment earlier than the Local Plan. The issue of access to services, such as being near to a school, when considering sites was highlighted. It was acknowledged that Travellers have the same rights as settled communities and that from an equality perspective this needs to be recognised.

 

Difficulties in planning for 15 pitches over 20 years.  The challenge is that no sites in sustainable locations have been historically identified, which is a matter both Councils will need to consider.

 

Members discussed the possibility of the laybys on the Link Road being used as transit sites.  Councillor Hicks identified that Devon County Council (the owner) had previously been approached but they had indicated that they have alternative uses for the sites.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Worden, seconded by Councillor Walker that the report be noted.

 

(Vote:  For – Unanimous)

 

It was proposed by Councillor Worden, seconded by Councillor Hackett that the Committee approach Devon County Council in relation to the potential for the layby sites on the Link Road to be used as transit sites.

 

(Vote:  For – Unanimous)


08/12/2023 - To agree the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th October 2023 ref: 3696    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Joint Planning Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 08/12/2023 - Joint Planning Policy Committee

Decision published: 13/02/2024

Effective from: 08/12/2023

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held 13 October 2023 be approved as a correct record.

 


08/12/2023 - Date of next meeting and to agree future meeting dates ref: 3697    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Joint Planning Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 08/12/2023 - Joint Planning Policy Committee

Decision published: 13/02/2024

Effective from: 08/12/2023

Decision:

It was proposed and seconded that the following future meeting dates be agreed:

 

Next meeting date 15 March 2024

 

14 June 2024 – 10am

20 September 2024 – 10am

6 December 2024 – 10am

 

14 March 2025

16 May 2025

 

(Vote:  For – Unanimous)

 


08/12/2023 - Local Plan Update - Next Steps ref: 3698    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Joint Planning Policy Committee

Made at meeting: 08/12/2023 - Joint Planning Policy Committee

Decision published: 13/02/2024

Effective from: 08/12/2023

Decision:

The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration (NDC) and the Planning Manager (TDC) gave a detailed and informative joint slide presentation updating on the Local Plan and the next steps going forward.

 

The slide presentation comprised of the following:

 

Comprehensive details on the New Plan-making Process and Timeframes Questions to prompt discussion on the proposed Plan preparation process, when to start the process, how much preparation work to do in advance of that start date, Visioning and Engagement. 

 

The questions are listed below:

 

·       What are Members ambitions in terms of the speed of plan preparation?

·       Is there an acceptance of risk with completing early work?

·       What are Members thoughts on being a front-runner?

·       Do we seek to lobby around the transitional arrangements?

·       How do we set up Governance and meaningful Member involvement in the process?

·       Would Members welcome thematic Working Groups?

 

The presentation given by the Planning Manager (TDC) related to the first four points set out above.

 

The Senior Planning Policy Officer (TDC) explained the term “front-runner” and the benefits and risks linked to that.  The Government has indicated that from November 2024, 10 Authorities could act as front-runners to be the first Authorities to drive forward a new Plan and would benefit from support from Central Government. 

 

During the discussion the Senior Planning Policy Officer (TDC) responded to questions/concerns raised by the Committee.

 

Councillor Leather asked if any of the work could commence straight away on the new Plan, even if not a front-runner and how soon will we be told we can start the new Plan?  Members were advised that there was an expectation that expressions of interest to be a front-runner would be invited in the Spring.  It had been indicated that a letter will be sent to all Councils inviting them to put themselves forward as a front-runner, but the timing of that needs to sit with Policy or guidance coming out confirming that process. It was highlighted to Members that there would potentially be value in lobbying, not only around being a front-runner but also transitional arrangements.  A discussion around the work we can and should be getting on with in advance of the formal commencement of the new plan making system to be brought back to this Committee.

 

Further comments made included:

 

Opportunities for Social and Affordable Housing – would there be any scope in the new Local Plan to be more prescriptive for smaller houses, shared housing etc.  The Planning Policy Officer (TDC) advised there is scope to be more forceful, Officers have been successful in negotiating smaller units on sites, but it is more challenging for the smaller sites with 5 dwellings or less.  This is a matter to be looked at and how we best deliver for communities.

 

The Planning Manager (TDC) said Officers would welcome direction from the Committee as to what is needed to be brought forward to the March meeting or whether an intervening meeting is required. 

 

Councillor Prowse gave his support to moving forward as quickly as possible because the issues faced are not dependant on the shape of the Local Plan.  He stated there was a need for a new vision in terms of development for North Devon.  All Councillors need to be involved from the start of this exercise.

 

Councillor Walker mentioned how important it is to look at housing mix and agreed for work to start immediately.

 

Following further discussion, it was proposed by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor Hackett that the item be noted.   No vote was taken at this stage.

 

The Planning Manager (TDC) presented the final two points listed above.  Governance has already been set up and there is a signed Agreement on how the Committee will function.  The Committee were asked to give their views on whether they would prefer thematic Working Groups to deal with a particular individual themes.

 

Councillor Knight referred to Sustainable Development which he said does impact on the aspirations to be carbon zero by 2050.   He suggested that each Councils Climate Working Group meet as soon as possible prior to the next meeting because it is vitally important to concentrate on being carbon zero by 2050.

 

The preference expressed by the Committee was for Thematic Working Groups to be set up as soon as possible.

 

The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration (NDC) presented a slide entitled Visioning and gave comprehensive details on the following questions:

 

·       How would Members like to go about visioning?

·       Do Members recognise the need to revisit the previous visioning work?

·       What did you like about the previous approach(es) to visioning?  What would you do differently?

·       How would you like to go about it this time around?

·       How do we ensure that we derive a vision for norther Devon that is aspirational, transformational and locally distinctive?

 

The Committee were in agreement for visioning events and for all Members of both Councils to be included.  

 

The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration advised that Workshops will be held with all Members being invited, following which to then look at setting up Working Groups for certain issues.

 

The final slide presented was in relation to Engagement.  The questions were as follows:

 

·       When and where do we (re)launch the plan-making project to communities and stakeholders?

·       Do we retain the People and Place Branding? Or does it need a refresh or a re-brand?

·       What are Member’s perspectives on early community and stakeholder engagement?

·       At what stage do we start to engage with individual local communities?

·       How do we engage and align with other frameworks such as One Northern Devon and other strategies such as the Cultural Strategy?

·       How do we ensure that there is corporate buy-in and that the plan both reflects and shapes Council priorities?

 

The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration (NDC) explained that the purpose of the slide was to get feedback from Members on:

 

·       How they would like Officers to engage with communities and stakeholders and at what stage.  

 

·       Whether to retain the People and Place Branding or to revisit.

 

Further comments received from the Committee included:

 

  • That the People and Place Branding be retained.

 

  • Recognition of the importance of community engagement but the challenge of apathy and a sense that views are not considered. Importance of managing expectations given that the plan is at an early stage.

 

  • The importance of involving organisations such as One Northern Devon and other such Groups.

 

  • Whether there is the scope for a Citizens Assembly.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Hicks, seconded by Councillor Lane that –

 

  • The report be noted.
  • There is support for carrying out consultation.
  • Individual Working Groups to be set up for important themes.

(Vote:  For – Unanimous)

 


09/01/2024 - Appointment of Co-opted Independent Member ref: 3673    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive regarding the Appointment of a Co-opted Independent Member (circulated previously).

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised the Committee:

 

·         The appointment of an independent member was following a guidance recommendation by CIPFA, but was not a statutory requirement.

·         CIPFA recommended that anyone appointed to a Governance Committee in this role would be deemed to be in an advisory role and not allowed voting rights.

·         Neighbouring Authority, Torridge, had previously appointed an independent member although other Devon authorities had not.

·         There was a challenge in recruitment. The Devon Audit Partnership (DAP) had been actively trying to recruit for these roles since December 2023.

 

The Internal Auditor advised that the DAP did now have six candidates to screen and that despite there being a nominal payment involved, it was more likely to be considered to be a voluntary role as those interested appeared to be less motivated by financial reasons.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that any recruitment would be dealt with by the DAP but that any final decision would be made by Full Council.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Chief Executive confirmed that:

·         Although the report explained the reasoning behind such an appointment, the success would be largely dependent on the individual appointed.

·         If appointed as a non-voting member, the member could attend remotely.

·         If the process was found to be of little benefit to the Council it could be removed via a change to the Constitution.

 

RECOMMENDED that;

 

(a)  The appointment of a Co-opted Independent Member to the Governance Committee be recommended to Full Council,

 

(b)  A separate report setting out the required changes to Part 3 Annexe 1 paragraph 5 of the Constitution be considered at the next full Council, and

 

(c)  Full Council be recommended to amend the scheme of Members Allowances for 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26 to include a special responsibility allowance of £200 per annum for the Co-opted Independent Member of the Governance Committee.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Jon Triggs


09/01/2024 - Adjournment of Meeting ref: 3660    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED that it being 8:24 p.m. and the meeting be adjorned

 

RESOLVED that it being 8:32pm, the meeting be recommenced.

 

 


09/01/2024 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 14th November 2023 ref: 3657    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14th November 2023 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

 


09/01/2024 - Role of Lead Members ref: 3671    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered a report on the Role of Lead Members by the Head of Governance (circulated previously).

 

The Head of Governance advised the Committee that Annual Council, at its meeting in May 23, appointed 6 Councillors as Lead Members, to act as an advocate or spokesperson for a specific area of the Council as set out in paragraph 4.1 of the report.  However, the expectations of the role of a Lead Member was not clearly defined. A draft Lead Member Protocol was set out in Appendix A to add this definition, which included that Lead Members would:

 

·       Actively contribute to policies, budgets and service delivery for the areas they lead

·       Consult and communicate with members, officers and key partners to ensure decisions are well informed and then promoted

·       Provide Full Council with an annual report on their work and performance.

 

In return the Council would:

 

·       Designate a Lead Officer to support each Lead Member

·       Ensure the Lead Member have then necessary training they require, and

·       take appropriate action to promote the Lead Member role and ensure they are correctly consulted on matters relating to their interests

 

The Governance Committee was asked to recommend to Full Council that the Lead member Protocol be adopted and incorporated within Part 7 of the Council’s Constitution.

 

The Chief Executive agreed that the item would be discussed by the Group Leaders.

 

RESOLVED that the Lead Member Protocol (detailed in appendix A of the report) be adopted by Full Council, and incorporated within part 7 of the Council’s Constitution, in principal, subject to further discussion with Group Leaders.

 

Lead officer: Beverley Triggs


09/01/2024 - Work Programme 2023-2024 ref: 3661    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered the work programme for 2023-24 (circulated previously).

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  that the item “Introduction to New External Auditors - Bishops Fleming” be considered at the Governance Committee of 11th March 2024.

 

(b)  That the work programme for 2023-24 be noted.

 

 


09/01/2024 - Relocation Package Policy ref: 3675    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Organisational Development regarding the Relocation Package Policy (attached).

 

The Head of Organisational Development advised the committee that the Authority had a relocation package available previously, but that it had been suspended on the understanding that it could be reinstated in future if required.  It had been revised to meet current regulations, but would be presented to Work-force Matters for final sign-off if approved.  It would only be used as-and-when required in order to recruit specific staff, and would only be paid up-to the maximum allowable to cover relocation costs.

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations;

 

(a)  Members support the reintroduction of an updated Relocation Policy, and

 

(b)  Delegated power be given to the Chief Executive to designate posts to receive the allowance at particular times.

 

Be APPROVED.

 

Lead officer: Nikki Gordon


09/01/2024 - Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents ref: 3662    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

(b)  That, all documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 


09/01/2024 - Audit Recommendation Tracker ref: 3674    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered the Audit Recommendation Tracker report by the Chief Executive in respect of actions taken to address internal and external audit recommendations (circulated previously).

 

The Committee noted the following updates:

 

·         Table A contained the current/live audits

·         Nine recommendations had been included in table B  (recommendations completed since the last meeting of the Governance Committee)

·         Table C detailed two recommendations for which time extensions were being requested:

o   21 BCFU 07 was now 90% completed

o   22 MAS 04 only required an extension to enable arrangements to be put into place by Civica.

·         There were no outstanding recommendations (table D).

 

RESOLVED:

(a)          that the time extensions requested in the Audit Recommendation Tracker be approved; and

 

(b)          that the Audit Recommendation Tracker be noted.


17/01/2024 - Strategy and Resources Committee ref: 3691    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

(i)             8 January 2024

a.    Council Tax Reduction Scheme

b.    Council Tax Discounts and Premiums

 

The Director and Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised Council of a proposed additional recommendation to be incorporated within minute 77 (b) Council Tax Discounts and Premiums and that the recommendation also include “that the additional monies raised from second homes Council Tax Premiums is ring fenced across the Devon wide system of preceptors to address housing challenges.”

 

In response to a question, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that all District Councils were putting forward a recommendation to ring fence monies raised from second homes Council Tax premiums in their respective areas.  It was proposed that the Council would ring fence its element of the monies.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 8 January 2024 (circulated previously) be noted and adopted subject to minute 77 (b) Council Tax Discounts and Premiums be amended to also include “that the additional monies raised from second homes Council Tax Premiums is ring fenced across the Devon wide system of preceptors to address housing challenges.”

 


17/01/2024 - Strategy and Resources Committee ref: 3682    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

It was moved by Councillor Roome and seconded by Councillor Orange “that Councillor Milton be appointed to replace Councillor Biederman on the Strategy and Resources Committee for 2023/24.”

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Milton be appointed to replace Councillor Biederman on the Strategy and Resources Committee for 2023/24.


17/01/2024 - Appointments to Committee 2023/24 ref: 3690    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered changes to appointments of Members to the following Committee for 2023/24:


17/01/2024 - Report by Chief Financial Officer (attached) ref: 3689    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Chief Financial Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Statement of Accounts for 2022/23.

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that:

 

·       Draft Statement of Accounts for year ended 31 March 2023 which were signed by the Chief Financial Officer on 8th June 2023.

·       The target date for published, audited accounts was 30 September.  Last year the target date was extended to 30 November 2023. 

·       Due to national resource pressures a significant number of audits have not been carried out across the sector.  The Council was one of only a small number of Local Authorities to have had their 2022/23 accounts audited.

·       External Audit of Accounts (Grant Thornton) audit of financial statements had taken place through October – December 2023 and being concluded through January 2024.

·       Audit Findings Report was presented to Governance Committee on 9 January 2024.  An Unqualified Opinion on Financial Statements was reported and there were seven recommendations (one high, three medium and three low) following the Key Findings which had been accepted by management and responses had been built into the Action Plan.

·       The Narrative Report (pages 28 to 38 of the accounts) sets out the challenges we face, how we aim to meet those challenges (Medium Term Financial Plan) and reviewed the last financial year 2022-23.

·       Review of year ended 31 March 2023.  Quarter 3 reported as at December 2022 a small net surplus of £19,000.  Favourable variances seen in last quarter since last reported position; most notably additional income from planning fees, a reduction in the Temporary Accommodation additional cost pressure that was forecast, additional interest receivable on our investments and additional Business Rates and Government Grant income. The final outturn position achieved a net budget surplus of (£693,000); this was (£604,000) in previous year.  The detailed main variances including adverse and favourable were included on the table on pages 32 and 33 of the accounts.

·       The proposals and options for balances of £693,000 to be placed into earmarked reserves were detailed on page 34 of the accounts.

·       Green Lanes Shopping Centre - Members approved in June 2021 to proceed with the acquisition of Green Lanes Shopping Centre; which the Council completed the purchase in November 2021. The financial modelling demonstrated that revenue income generated from the centre would cover both the repayment of the loan and asset management costs and would return a contribution to the Council which could be used towards mitigating future risks on income volatility, investment back into the centre and the overarching council budget.  The financial outturn for the Centre produced a net return (income less costs) for the 2021/22 year of (£243,600) due to minimal borrowing costs for last financial year as these commenced in 2022/23. The 2022/23 trading position produced a net return of (£291,000), including borrowing costs. This was a positive return for the Council and was in line with the original forecasting. 

·       The general fund reserve balance as at 31 March 2023 was £1.238m. The earmarked reserves of £11.134m were detailed on pages 62 and 63 of the accounts.  The balances left the Council in a stronger position to deal with the risks and challenges it faced moving into 2023/24.  It was positive for the Council to be able to put balances into reserves at year end especially after such a challenging financial year following the pandemic and inflationary pressures experienced in 2022/23 year.

·       The Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2023-2029 (pages 29 and 30 of the accounts) was refreshed annually and built into service planning.  The continued pressure and uncertainty on the Council’s funding sources remained as the Government’s Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention changes, originally planned for 2023/24 year had again been delayed by a further two years until April 2025.   The refreshed forecasted cumulative budget gap/surplus for 2023-24 to 2028-29.

·       Key performance indicators as detailed on pages 39 to 43 of the accounts.

·       Main statements of the accounts as detailed on pages 45 to 51 of the accounts which included:

·       Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement (page 45)

·       Movement in Reserves Statement (page 47)

·       Balance sheet (page 48) which included net assets of £106.7m (£59.5m increase from 2021-22 year). The long term assets had increased by £8m (pages 87 and 88). Net assets had increased by £2m. The Pension fund net liability had decreased by £50m due to change in financial assumptions. Fund liabilities had decreased by £53m. Fund assets decreased by (£2.5m).  Further analysis in pension note 42 on pages 109 to 115 of the accounts.  The Pension Fund History for the last 6 years were detailed on page 113 which showed net liability (£63m through to £14m).  The Pensions deficit was offset by the same balance in Unusable reserve (note 27 on pages 95 and 98).  The Pensions deficit would be made good by increased contributions over the remaining working life of employees; as assessed by the actuary every 3 years.  Capital Grants Receipts in Advance increased by £1.2m.

·       Cash Flow Statement (page 49 of the accounts).

·       Collection Fund (pages 50 and 51 of the accounts).

·       Accounting Policies (pages 52 to 71 of the accounts) detailed the rules and concepts in preparing the accounts. There had been no material changes for 2022-23.

·       Notes to the Accounts (pages 72 to 122 of the accounts). Included disclosures notes and further analysis of figures contained within the main statements.

·       Draft Auditors report (pages 123 to 128 of the accounts) – the Audit findings report was presented to the Governance Committee on 9 January 2024.  The opinion was “that the financial statements give a true and fair view of the financial position of the authority”.

 

The Chair of the Governance Committee presented the recommendations of the Governance Committee held on 13 June 2023 and 9 January 2024 (circulated previously) and thanked the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive for their work.

 

It was moved by Councillor Norman and seconded by Councillor Jones that the recommendation in the report be adopted.

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor Biederman “that the recommendation in the report be adopted and that Council write to the MP requesting that she meet urgently with the Levelling Up Minister to request funding for projects in North Devon”.

 

Councillor Norman and Councillor Jones agreed to take this amendment on board.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that he would provide a breakdown of the split on spend on statutory and non-statutory services that the Council provided and circulated to all Councillors.

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive and his team were thanked for their remarkable work and achievements with limited budgets and real term reduction in funding received from the Government. Councillors were proud of officers and what they have managed to achieve with less funding.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  that the Statement of Accounts 2022-23 be approved, and that the Chairman of the Council sign and date the Statement of Accounts as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015; and

(b)  that Council write to the MP requesting that she meet urgently with the Levelling Up Minister to request funding for projects in North Devon.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Jon Triggs


17/01/2024 - Annual Governance Statement 2022/23 ref: 3688    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Head of Governance (circulated previously) regarding the Annual Governance Statement 2022/23.

 

The Head of Governance advised the following:

 

·       The Annual Governance Statement sets out the processes and procedures in place to enable the Council to carry out its functions effectively, based on the core principles of the governance framework.

·       Key elements of the framework included work of the Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council in setting budgets, strategies and corporate objectives.

·       The review of the Council’s governance arrangements had been supported by the internal auditor as the Devon Audit Partnership had carried out 16 audits during the year. Their Annual audit opinion was of ‘reasonable assurance’ that there was generally sound system of governance, risk management and control in place.

·       During 2022/23 there had been several improvements to the governance arrangements which included:

o   The production of an Annual Equality Report and Communication Strategy

o   Introduction of a new suite of key performance indicators and improvement of the reporting of progress towards the corporate plan

o   Rationalising the number of risks on the corporate risk register

·       There were some improvements that still required including:

o   Finalising of the Community Engagement Strategy

o   Updating the Procurement Strategy

o   Improving Information Governance (Information security and management)

·       The Governance Committee at its meeting on 13 June 2023 had recommended that the draft Annual Governance Statement 2022/23 be approved.

 

It was moved by Councillor Bushell and seconded by Councillor Roome that the recommendation be adopted.

 

RESOLVED that the Annual Governance Statement for 2022/23 (as detailed in Appendix A) be approved.

Lead officer: Adam Tape


17/01/2024 - Update to Part 4 of the Constitution ref: 3683    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer (circulated previously) regarding updates to Part 3 and 4 of the Constitution.

 

The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer advised the following:

 

·       A supplementary report and appendices had been published which also included proposed amendments to paragraph 5.25 to Part 3, Annexe 2 of the Constitution.

·       Following the publication of the supplementary report and appendices, the numbering of the appendices needed to be amended.  Appendices 1 and 2, should be renamed as Appendices A and B respectively.  Appendices 3 and 4 should be renamed as Appendices D and E respectively.

·       Due to a technical issue, the tracked changes that had been included on appendices B and E to identify the proposed changes had been accepted and were therefore not visible. 

·       He outlined the proposed changes to the Contract Procedure Rules as detailed in Appendix A.

·       He outlined the proposed changes to paragraph 5.25 to Part 3 Annexe 3 of the Constitution as detailed in Appendix D of the report to remedy an error in delegated powers for the Head of Planning Housing and Health as regards to which applications need to be referred to the Planning Committee in relation to land owned or occupied by the Council or where the Council is submitting an application. He advised that there was a further amendment required to the exclusions to these delegated powers contained in paragraph 5.25 (a) (iii) to include the following additional wording “is for outline permission, reserved permission, full permission, listed building consent or is for the development of land without compliance with conditions under section 73…..

 

It was moved by Councillor Prowse and seconded by Councillor Crabb that the recommendations be adopted as amended.

 

In response to questions, the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer advised the following:

 

·       Supply South West was the Council’s procurement system.

·       If a Councillor or Officer submitted a non-material application, then the Planning Committee would be required to determine the application.

 

In response to a question, the Chief Executive advised that he believed that councillors are not generally consulted on non-material amendment or discharge of condition applications in relation to the applications affected by the proposed amendment to paragraph 5.25 to Part 3 Annexe 3 of the Constitution but that the point is that this was not treating these applications for or on behalf of the Council any differently to any other applicant.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)  The Council varies the Contract Procedure Rules in Part 4 of the Constitution as at Appendix A to this report;

(b)  The Council varies paragraph 5.25 to Part 3 Annexe 2 of the Constitution as at Appendix D to this report subject to paragraph 5.25 (a) (iii) being amended to include the following additional wording “is for outline permission, reserved permission, full permission, listed building consent or is for the development of land without compliance with conditions under section 73…..

Lead officer: Simon Fuller


17/01/2024 - Strategy and Resources Committee ref: 3679    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

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

 

(i)             4 December 2023

a.    Minute 70 (c) and (d): Future High Street Fund – Budget Position

 

 


17/01/2024 - Planning Committee ref: 3678    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

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

 

(i)             13 December 2023

 

 


17/01/2024 - Licensing and Community Safety Committee ref: 3680    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

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

 

(i)             14 November 2023

a.    Minute 20: Functions and Structure of Community Safety in North Devon

 

 


17/01/2024 - Governance Committee ref: 3681    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

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

 

(i)             14 November 2023

a.    Minute 43: Update to Delegated Powers in the Constitution

 


09/01/2024 - Letter of Representation ref: 3663    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered the Letter of Representation, presented by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously).

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive explained that:

 

·         The Letter of Representation formally outlined, to the External Auditors, the governance arrangements in place and the Authority’s responsibilities on the financial statements presented.

·         There had only been one change to the document since it was presented last year. That was to note (xi.) within the ‘Financial Statements’ information which set out detail and clarification in relation to Equal Pay claims. It confirmed the Council was satisfied that no liability needed to be recognised in relation to Equal Pay claims.

·         The Letter was presented to the Committee today, in advance of the Full Council meeting taking place on 17 January 2024.

·         The Letter was required as part of the final process for the approval of the Statement of Accounts for 2022/23

 

RECOMMENDED that the Letter of Representation be approved by Full Council.

 

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered the Letter of Representation on behalf of the Council (circulated previously).

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive explained that the Letter of Representation formally outlined to the External Auditors the governance arrangements in place and the Authority’s responsibilities on the financial statements presented.  This letter was a standard letter and the only addition to the letter was in relation to the possible litigation in respect of equal pay claims.  There was no further work proposed by the Council as no equal pay claims had been submitted. The Letter was required as part of the final process for the approval of the Statement of Accounts for 2022/23 and would enable the Auditors to issue their final opinion.  This Council would be one of a few Local Authorities that would have their Statement of Accounts for 2022/23 signed off.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Roome and seconded by Councillor Maskell that the recommendation be adopted.

 

RESOLVED that the letter of representation on behalf of the Council be approved and signed by the Chief Financial Officer. 


09/01/2024 - Polling District and Place Review 2023 ref: 3659    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 09/01/2024 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

The Committee considered a report from the Senior Election Services Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Polling District and Place Review 2023.

 

The Head of Governance advised that there were three changes to make members aware of which were:

 

·         Ebrington Arms, Knowle – There had been ownership issues, but recent communication indicated that it would be available again for use as a Polling Station and that would be the preferred option. The best alternative would be the Church Hall at Christchurch, Braunton although this would be outside of the Polling District. The situation would be kept under review.

·         South Molton – to be split into 2 Polling Districts- which would be re-lettered from DY to EJ

·         St Johns Community Centre – This was currently closed to the public due to a leaking roof. It was not known when it would re-open. The situation was being monitored.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Chief Executive advised that:

 

·         Every effort is made to have the Polling Station within the Polling District where possible, however this was not necessarily the nearest polling station to a particular voter.

·         The split within South Molton (to two Polling Districts) was only for polling purposes and did not affect the number of councillor seats in the town.

 

Councillor Walker advised the Head of Governance that there was a similar issue with the Tomlin Hall, Bickington, in that it was having a new roof. The Head of Governance noted that he would look into the situation.

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council, that the Arrangements of the Polling Districts and Places 2023 (as contained in Appendix A of the report) are adopted.

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 09/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Head of Governance to the Governance Committee on 9 January 2024 (circulated previously) regarding the Polling District and Place Review 2023.

 

The Head of Governance provided the following updates:

 

·       Ebrington Arms, Knowle – the premises had now become available as a polling station which was the Council’s preference. However, the best alternative would be to use the Church Hall at Christchurch in Braunton and the situation would be kept under review.

·       The Governance Committee at its meeting on 9 January 2024 had recommended that the Arrangements of Polling District and Places 2023 as detailed in Appendix A be adopted.

 

In response to a question, the Head of Governance advised that enquiries would be made in relation to the potential use of mobile libraries as polling stations.

 

It was moved by Councillor Norman and seconded by Councillor Bell that the recommendation be adopted.

 

RESOLVED that the proposed Polling District and Polling Places within the North Devon Constituency as required by the Electoral Administration Act 2006 be adopted, in accordance with appendix A, Arrangements of Polling District and Places 2023 annexed to the report.


17/01/2024 - To consider motions of which notice has been submitted by Members in accordance with Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution ref: 3677    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

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

 

Councillor Maskell outlined the reasons for the submission of her notice of motion to Council as a lot of complaints from residents had been passed to her in relation to the lack of toilet facilities at the station. Passengers waiting for buses could wait for up to an hour for a bus without access to toilet facilities. This lack of facility certainly discouraged people from travelling to the town.   She advised that the Strategy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 8 January 2024 had considered the re-opening of the café and the reconfiguration of toilets open to the public and it was anticipated that the toilets and café would be re-open by Easter 2024.  This would give passengers greater confidence to travel. Therefore she withdrew her notice of motion to Council.

 

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

 

Councillor Wilson presented her notice of motion to Council.

 

Councillor Wilson declared for transparency reasons that she was an employee of Pickwell Foundation.

 

It was moved by Councillor Wilson and seconded by Councillor Prowse that the notice of motion be adopted.

 

Councillor Walker declared for transparency reasons that she was a sponsor

host under the Home for Ukraine scheme.

 

It was moved by Councillor Walker and seconded by Councillor Maskell “that the notice of motion be referred to the Strategy and Resources Committee for further consideration”.

 

RESOLVED that the notice of motion be referred to the Strategy and Resources Committee for further consideration.

 

 

 

 

 


17/01/2024 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2023 (attached) ref: 3676    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2023 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


17/01/2024 - Proposed Committee Timetable for 2024/2025 ref: 3684    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Senior Corporate and Community Services Officer (circulated previously) regarding the proposed committee timetable for 2024/25.

 

It was moved by Councillor Maskell and seconded by Councillor Worden that the recommendation be adopted.

 

RESOLVED that the timetable of Council and Committee meetings for 2024/2025 (as detailed in Appendix A) be adopted.

Lead officer: Aurienna Dunbrook


17/01/2024 - Council Tax Base 2024/25 ref: 3686    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 17/01/2024 - Council

Decision published: 06/02/2024

Effective from: 17/01/2024

Decision:

Council considered a report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding the Council Tax base for 2024/25.

 

It was moved by Councillor Crabb and seconded by Councillor Biederman that the recommendation in the report be adopted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That the report for the calculation of the Council Tax Base for 2024/25 be approved;

(b)   That pursuant to the report and in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by North Devon District Council as its schedule for 2024/25 shall be as shown on the schedule attached to the report.                                                                                           

Lead officer: Julie Dark


29/09/2023 - Street Marshals ref: 3693    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Head of Place, Property and Regeneration

Decision published: 02/02/2024

Effective from: 29/09/2023

Decision:

The continuation of Street Marshal provision until the end of March 2024. Specification attached.

Wards affected: Barnstaple Central Ward;

Lead officer: Hannah Harrington