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DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY COUNCILLORS
2.1 There were no declarations received.
It was RESOLVED: -
That subject to the following amendments the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2019 be confirmed and signed as a true record:
Page 3 Third paragraph amend ‘beenn’ to ‘been’
Paragraph 9.5 amend ‘Councillor Flatman, Cabinet Member for Environment’ to ‘Councillor Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities’.
Paragraph 10.1 amend ‘Shawne’ to ‘Shawn’
Councillor Eburne referred to paragraph 3 on page 3 of the minutes and stated that Members had not received any daily headliners nor a briefing note.
4.1 Councillor Hadingham, the Chair of the Council, referred Members to Paper MC/19/18, which was for noting.
4.2 She thanked those, who had attended the Home Start Charity Event on the 31st of August and said that the event had raised over £1700 for Home Start.
MC/19/19 LEADER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
5.1 There were no announcements from Councillor Morley, the Leader of the Council.
TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF PETITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, The Chief Executive will report the receipt of any petitions. There can be no debate or comment upon these matters at the Council meeting.
6.1 None received.
QUESTIONS BY THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
The Chairs of Committees to answer any questions from the public of which notice has been given no later than midday three clear working days before the day of the meeting in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.
7.1 None received.
QUESTIONS BY COUNCILLORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
The Chairman of the Council, Chairs of Committees and Sub-Committees and Portfolio Holders to answer any questions on any matters in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affect the District of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.
8.1 None received.
Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee
9.1 Councillor Welham provided a summary of report MC/19/20 and informed Members that the buffer for the Five-year Housing Land Supply was 20% and not 5% as stated in the report on page 21.
9.2 Councillor Eburne enquired if the Gypsy and Traveller Steering Group meeting had been held and he responded that the Group had met and had made arrangements for further meetings.
CMU1 – Leader and Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments
CMU2 – Leader, Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments and Cabinet Member for Customers, Digital Transformation & Improvement (Law and Governance)
CMU3 – Cabinet Member for Communities
CMU4 – Cabinet Member for Customers, Digital Transformation & Improvement
CMU5 – Cabinet Member for Economic Growth
CMU6 – Cabinet Member for Environment
CMU7 – Cabinet Member for Finance
CMU8 – Cabinet Member for Housing
CMU9 – Cabinet Member for Planning
10.1 Councillor Morley, the Leader of the Council, introduced Cabinet Members’ reports and asked that questions be directed to the relevant Cabinet Members.
CMU1 Leader and Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments
10.1 Councillor Matthissen referred to his question in the tabled papers:
Councillor John Matthissen to the Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments:
When will you next revalue the retail and restaurant properties bought by CIFCO, bearing in mind the sector has another round of closures under way?
CIFCO re-values all of its assets on an annual basis. Its valuers (Knight Frank) are due to revalue the portfolio again in March 2020.
10.2 Councillor Eburne referred to paragraph 4.4 in the report and asked if there was enough staff to manage the development of social housing.
10.3 Councillor Morley responded that all the resources were with the growth company.
That report CMU1 be noted.
CMU2 Leader, Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments and Cabinet Member for Customers, Digital Transformation and Improvements (Law and Governance)
10.4 Councillor Mansel asked if the Council was preparing for a resilience programme in line with other authorities.
10.5 Arthur Charvonia, Chief Executive, responded that the Council was working with all other District Councils and Suffolk County Council to prepare for Brexit in cooperation with businesses and communities. Specific areas, which would be directly affected by Brexit, such a Felixstowe Harbour, were being tested for resilience. Central Government had also provided funding, some of which had been pooled together for the Suffolk Centre of Commerce.
10.6 Councillor Passmore added that the Public Sector Leaders were also making plans and he would know more after the upcoming meeting.
10.7 Councillor Otton asked what arrangements were made for the possible upcoming general election in November, and the risk to electors and staff, due to the risk of poor weather conditions.
10.8 The Chief Executive responded precaution would be implemented in line with the usual preparations for elections if a general election would take place in November.
10.9 Councillor Carter enquired what arrangements were in place for EU Citizens ability vote in the general elections.
10.10 The Chief Executive explained that the arrangement would follow the statutory election rules and normal election procedures.
10.11 Councillor Matthissen asked how many UC1 forms had been returned before the EU election on the 23 May 2019, and officers responded that an answer would be provided after the meeting.
It was RESOLVED:
That report CMU2 be noted.
CMU3 Cabinet Member for Communities
10.12 Councillor Welham referred to his questions in the tabled papers.
Councillor Keith Welham to the Cabinet Member for Communities
Earlier this year, Council approved a Communities Strategy. Could the Cabinet Member for Communities, please:
1. Give some examples of where the strategy has enabled joint working to deliver new or improved services to rural communities
2. Give some examples of strategic delivery partnerships which have been set up
3. Tell us if there have been any new services or activities set up or developed which ... view the full minutes text for item 54.
MOTION ON NOTICE
Council has previously, in 2017, endorsed the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, promoted by the Woodland Trust. It is now time to put more of the Charter principles into action.
- Trees and woodlands are fundamental to all living things on earth, and a key part of local green infrastructure.
- Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to wood which may remain as a carbon store either as permanent woodland or through use in construction and other semi-permanent purposes. To increase tree cover would, along with other green policies, help the Council’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
- Trees contribute to quality of life, being visually prominent in the landscape. They offer opportunities for recreation where public access to large scale planting is available, bringing leisure benefits such as den-building, and encourage dying crafts such as coppicing and hedge-laying. They also reduce particulate pollution in urban areas.
- Woodlands provide a range of benefits to physical and mental health and wellbeing and have been found to provide a safe space for more vulnerable groups within society.
- The value of trees to agriculture is increasingly being recognised, in reducing soil run-off, shading outdoor livestock, supporting beneficial species and other symbiotic relationships - a farming system known as agro-forestry.
1. Council pledges to increase the District's tree cover.
· indirectly through landscaping conditions on planning permissions,
· directly to strengthen and fill gaps in identified biodiversity corridors.
· directly by investing in land purchase, targeting poor quality farmland where the open space survey for Joint Local Plan has shown there are deficiencies.
· directly by allowing re-wilding of some areas, with the central idea that natural processes should be allowed to take their course
2. Officers will work with communities to identify opportunities for community woods and orchards, including via planning applications, the Neighbourhood Planning process and the Joint Local Plan land allocations. There is a particular emphasis in the Charter for Trees, Woods and People that everyone should have access to woodland, so we should be working to achieve that.
3. Council pledges to increase support to the network of Parish Tree Wardens, both through training and also material help with trees, stakes and guards.
In addition, Council asks Cabinet to investigate
possibilities for a carbon offset scheme to fund afforestation,
available alongside planning permissions to balance embodied
emissions and offered more widely to other
Proposer: Councillor Oliver Amorowson
Seconder: Councillor Andy Mellen
15.1 The Chair of the Council invited Councillor Amorowson to move the Motion.
15.2 Councillor Amorowson began with an introduction and MOVED the Motion as detailed in the Agenda.
15.3 Councillor Mellen SECONDED the Motion.
15.4 Members then debated the Motion.
15.5 Councillor Humphreys did in principle agree with the overall aim of the Motion. However, he stated that nationally the Urban Tree Challenge had funded the planting of 130,000 tress across the U.K. He was concerned about several issues in the Motion, including the cost implications and the planning policy. He encouraged the Cabinet Member for Environment to seek further information on this issue and bring a report to Council.
15.6 Councillor Eburne supported the Motion, as woodland space had proven to improve mental health and the general wellbeing, which would benefit communities.
15.7 Councillor Passmore agreed with Councillor Humphreys. He thought that a Task and Finish Group could work to find a workable and productive solution for how to increase tree planting in the District.
15.8 Councillor Caston said that the Climate Change Motion agreed at the last Council Meeting had established a Task Force, which was meeting on the 9th of October and that he would take any comments made by the Council to the first meeting.
15.9 Councillor Otton supported the Motion, though there were a few issues which need to be clarified. She stated that more preservation orders for trees and mature woodland should be issued to help preservation of these. She also asked that plastic sleeves for protection of trees were not to be used.
15.10 Councillor Meyer agreed with Councillor Caston and thought that there was a risk of undermining the Task Force, if the Motion was agreed.
15.11 Councillor Stringer declared a non-pecuniary local interest as a member of the Woodland Trust. He said that the Council declared an emergency and had to undertake the work now.
15.12 Councillor Richardson supported the principle of the Motion but thought it would be duplication of the work of the taskforce and work around the green corridors. There was a mixture of other initiatives, which could support the work to achieve carbon reduction. There was not sufficient detail in the Motion to undertake the practical side of implementing the suggested actions in the Motion.
15.13 Councillor Pratt suggested that new ideas were considered. Farmers who were entrenched in debt could provide farmland for re-wilderment.
15.14 Councillor Hicks disagreed with Councillor Stringer and said that work for the Emergency Climate change had already been undertaken and he thought it was a mistake to issue a decree to the Task Force for Emergency Climate Change. The sentiment in the Motion was right however, the timing was wrong. He stated that Climate Change was a top priority.
15.15 Councillor Geake said that locating enough land for planting trees was difficult. However, the Council controlled land at Planning Committee and also owned land in the District. She thought the Council needed to act as a corporate body to ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CABINET / COMMITTEES
At its meeting on 29 July 2019, the Joint Audit and Standards Committee considered Paper JAC/19/4 Annual Treasury Management Report 2018/19 - attached.
The recommendations set out in the report were accepted.
It was RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:
1) That the Treasury Management activity for the year 2018/19 be noted. Further, that it be noted that performance was in line with the Prudential Indicators set for 2018/19.
2) That it be noted that Mid Suffolk District Council treasury management activity for 2018/19 was in accordance with the approved Treasury Management Strategy, and that the Council has complied with all the Treasury Management Indicators for this period.
Note – It is a requirement of the legislation that the Annual Treasury Management Report is submitted to the Full Council for noting.
11a.1 Councillor Muller, Chair of the Joint Audit and Standards Committee, introduced report JAC/19/4 and MOVED recommendation 3.1, which was SECONDED by Councillor Ekpenyong.
11a.2 Councillor Eburne referred to page 86 in the report, Appendix C, paragraph 2.3.6 and asked if the company folded, would the debt incurred by MSDC (Suffolk Holdings) Ltd be a liability to the Council’s tax payers.
11a.3 In response to Councillors Eburne’s and Passmore’s questions, the Assistant Director for Assets and Investments responded that the accounts for Gateway 14 were consolidated and that the loan for Gateway 14 was secured against the asset and that the Holding Company held the debt for Gateway 14.
11a.4 The recommendations were put to members for the vote and the vote was CARRIED.
It was RESOLVED: -
That the Treasury Management activity for the year 2018/19 be noted. Further that the performance was in line with the Prudential Indicators set for 2018/19 be noted.
Cabinet Member for Planning
12.1 Councillor Burn, the Cabinet Member for Planning, introduced report MC/19/21 and MOVED recommendation 3.1 in the report, which was SECONDED by Councillor Flatman.
12.2 In response to Councillor Eburne’s question, the Professional Lead Key Sites and Infrastructure clarified that work was ongoing for CIL Funding and that a review of the expenditure framework had been undertaken, which would be detailed at Member briefings.
12.3 Councillor Humphreys had concerns regarding the risk measures and if there would be enough CIL funding to cover the required infrastructure in the communities the Council served.
12.4 The Professional Lead for Key Sites and Infrastructure explained that the way the CIL costs were chartered would be refreshed. However, there were prospects of a gap in funding and a priority CIL delivery plan was being determined. An assessment for the requirements were part of the Joint Local Plan.
12.5 Councillor Field queried that a total of £587,315.95 CIL funding had been collected, but only £20,972.57 had been spent.
12.6 The Professional Lead for Key Sites and Infrastructure explained that CIL funding was paid twice yearly into Parish Council’s bank accounts, and that Parish Councils had spent some CIL funding. However, some Parish Councils were working with the CIL team to identify their priorities, using the Parish Infrastructure Investment Plans (PIIP) to establish the measures they would like to achieve.
12.7 The recommendation was put to Members for the vote and the vote was UNANIMOUS.
It was RESOLVED: -
That the Mid Suffolk CIL Regulation 62 Monitoring Report for 2018-19 be noted.
Leader of the Council
13.1 The Chair of the Council advised Members to email the Corporate Manager for Democratic Services with any queries they might have regarding report MC/19/22.
13.2 Councillor Morley PROPOSED recommendation 2.1, which was SECONDED by Councillor Fleming.
13.3 The recommendation was put to Members for the vote and the vote was UNANIMOUS.
It was RESOLVED: -
That the draft Committee Timetable for 2020/21 be approved.
14.1 Councillor Morley, the Leader of the Council, MOVED that Councillor John Whitehead be appointed as a representative on the on the Employers Pension Fund Committee, which was SECONDED by Councillor Humphreys.
14.2 The Motion was put to Members for the vote and the vote was UNANIMOUS.
It was RESOLVED: -
That Councillor John Whitehead be appointed as a representative on the Employers Pension Fund Committee.