Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Monday, 12th October, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtuual

Contact: Governance  Email: governance@rutland.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Harvey, Cross, Bool and Dale.

2.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Chairman that on the 9th October 2020 the East Midlands Women of the Year awards were presented and asked Council to note and recognise the achievements specifically Uppingham who for the third year running has had successful candidates; The Deputy Mayor Liz Clarke got the award for Business Woman of the year and Cllr Stephenson got the Best Market Town Leader of the year.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Razzell to address Council who proceeded to update Members on the Remembrance Day arrangements. He reported that they were in the advanced stage of preparations and thanked the various branches of the Royal British Legion for their assistance. Due to the circumstances, the event would much smaller than normal but would be duly reverent for the occasion.

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE LEADER, MEMBERS OF THE CABINET OR THE HEAD OF PAID SERVICE

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the Interim Chief Executive to address Council.

 

Mr Andrews explained that the current seven day Covid rate was one hundred and forty- three. It was reported that there had been a spike in the number of cases nationally due to a substantial number of previously unrecorded cases being included in the figures. Mr Andrews reported that the Prime minister had announced a new three tier system to deal with Covid with Rutland being in the first tier of restrictions.

 

The Chairman invited Cabinet Members to address Council.

 

The Leader commented on the rise in the number of Covid cases noting that it was everybody’s duty to take responsibility for their actions. He thanks residents of Rutland for their continued work in minimising infections rates.

 

Councillor Stephenson reported that a review of the Highways Transport Working Group (HTWG) was to be undertaken. A report would be submitted to Cabinet in December 2020. Parish and Town Councils could continue to submit their highway concerns which would be logged in date order until the review was completed.

 

Councillor Walters explained that there had been an article in local press suggesting that Rutland Memorial Hospital was to close. Councillor Walters explained that this may have caused some alarm to residents and advised Council that the CCG had met with the Council to examine how Health care could be provided in Rutland in order to protect and enhance services whichever building that may be in.

 

 

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

To confirm the Minutes of the Council meeting of the Rutland County Council held on 14th September 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meeting held on the 14th September were confirmed as a true record.

6.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the Virtual Meetings Regulations (s1 2020 392) and the subsequent RCC Procedure Rules agreed at Council on 20 May 2020 and revised by Council on 14 September 2020. (Please see link: Revision to Virtual Meetings Protocol.)

The total time allowed for this is 30 minutes.  Petitions, deputations and questions will be dealt with in the order in which they are received and any which are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

To receive any questions submitted from Members of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 30 and 30A.

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that a question had been submitted by Councillor MacCartney as set out below:

 

“Could the portfolio holder please give us an update on the latest situation in the negotiations with the MOD et al., regarding the terms and conditions of the HIF grant.  Also the latest developments in terms of who will bear responsibility for what, and finally, an update on the costs involved as I imagine that these have changed / progressed since we last had sight of them in December.  This may require entering private council session at the exclusion of the public, and if so I am happy to propose this”.

 

In response, Councillor G Brown, as the relevant Cabinet member responded as below:

 

As Councillors will recall, we were provided with a set of outline conditions which were discussed by Council in January. It was agreed at that meeting that when the details on the terms and conditions were ready, they would be brought back to Council following a recommendation from Cabinet.

 

Since that time progress has been slow. Earlier in the year outline agreement was reached  between RCC, DIO and HE that there should be a tripartite agreement which would identify the respective parties responsibilities, however it was not until late July that Homes England produced their standard template agreement which did not deal adequately with a tripartite arrangement.

 

Subsequent discussions have resulted currently in a broad understanding between the parties that all three parties will agree to the Homes England template, suitably modified, and that there will be a separate agreement between DIO and RCC which will layout each parties responsibilities. Personally this was not the process which I would have preferred but Homes England are insisting on both DIO and RCC generally following their template, called the General Distribution Agreement.

 

The three sets of lawyers and officers are just starting to discuss the principles which are incorporated in the General Distribution Agreement. This currently runs o over 80 pages and I suspect will be over 100 pages by the time that we are finished.

 

In addition, the first draft of that document between DIO and RCC called the Allocation Agreement was produced by our legal team just last week and I understand that the DIO plan to review it with their legal team during this week. It is a slow process.

 

From my experience of completing legal agreements, these take time, first to resolve the principles which is where we are at now, before you can get down to the detail and then the final dotting the “I”s and crossing the ”t”s.

 

Homes England are keen to see completion of the documentation at the earliest possible date but both the officers and myself have made it clear the final agreement must be right for Rutland in terms of the risks to which we might be exposed, the delivery mechanisms which DIO will be putting forward and that we need an appropriate timescale to take it through  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

REFERRAL OF COMMITTEE DECISIONS TO THE COUNCIL

To determine matters where a decision taken by a Committee has been referred to the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 110.

Minutes:

There were none.

9.

CALL-IN OF DECISIONS FROM CABINET MEETINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM 14th SEPTEMBER TO THE 12TH OCTOBER 2020

To determine matters where a decision taken by the Cabinet has been referred to Council by the call-in procedure of Scrutiny Panels, as a result of the decision being deemed to be outside the Council’s policy framework by the Monitoring Officer or not wholly in accordance with the budget by the Section 151 Officer, in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 206 and 207.

Minutes:

There were none.

10.

REPORT FROM THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To receive Report No. 123/2020 from the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council received Report No.123/2020 and noted the Key Decision taken at its meetings held on 15th September 2020.

 

11.

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

a.            To receive reports from Committees on matters which require Council approval because the Committee does not have the delegated authority to act on the Council’s behalf.

b.            To receive reports from Council Committees on any other matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were none.

12.

REPORTS FROM SCRUTINY COMMISSION / SCRUTINY PANELS

To receive the reports from the Scrutiny Commission / Scrutiny Panels on any matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were none.

13.

JOINT ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS

To receive reports about and receive questions and answers on the business of any joint arrangements or external organisations.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that Councillor Bool had emailed members his update on the Fire Authority and appended to the minutes.

 

The Chairman invited Councillors Waller and Oxley to update Council.

 

Councillor Waller explained that she and the Leader had attended East Midland Council AGM on Friday 9th October and the notes taken by Councillor Waller had been circulated

 

On the 23rd September, Councillor Waller and Councillor Harvey had attended the LLR Health Scrutiny Committee. A Covid update had been delivered by the Director of Public Health. It was further noted that a NHS11 First, a national initiative, to allow patients to be triaged over the phone had been launched but was very much in its infancy. It was considered that the approach would reduce people contact and the number of hospital admissions.

 

Councillor Oxley explained that the Fair Trade Foundation were would be placing emphasis on the internet in order to promote their cause and increasing their presence on all forms of social media.

 

14.

NOTICES OF MOTION

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted by Members of the Council in accordance with Procedure Rule 34 in the order in which they are recorded as having been received.

Minutes:

There were none.

15.

POLITICAL BALANCE AND ALLOCATION OF SEATS TO POLITICAL GROUPS pdf icon PDF 349 KB

To receive Report No:120/2020 from the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley proposed the report which sought Councils approval of the changes to the make-up of the political groupings of the Council. He explained that the Group Leaders had met and discussed the report and proposed that following the resignation from the Conservative Group, Councillor Blanksby be removed from the Planning and Licensing Committee and the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Woodley would be appointed to the Planning and Licensing Committee and Councillor Oxley would be appointed to the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee as the Independent Group were entitled to an additional Committee place.

 

Councillor Razzell seconded the report.

 

Members discussed the report and voted for the recommendations.

 

Upon a recorded vote there voted in favour:

 

Councillors Ainsley, Baines, Begy, A Brown, G Brown, Burrows, Coleman, Fox, Hemsley, Jones, Lowe, MacCartney, Oxley, Payne, Powell, Stephenson, Waller, Walters, Webb, Wilby and Woodley.

 

Councillor Blanksby abstained:

 

RESOLVED:

 

i)     That Councillor Blanksby be removed from the Planning and Licensing Committee and the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

 

ii)   Councillor Woodley be appointed to the Planning and Licensing Committee and Councillor Oxley be appointed to the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee

16.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: WHITE PAPER pdf icon PDF 341 KB

To receive Report No. 124/2020 from the Interim Strategic Director for Places.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor G Brown introduced Report no: 124/2020 and noted that Council were being asked to debate and comment on the Planning White Paper to inform the response of Cabinet.

 

Councillor G Brown commented that there was a distinct lack of detail and substance to the proposal to the paper, the origin of which was formed as a research document of a think tank. He reported that no practising Town Planners were on the panel during preparation of the report. Thanks was given to the officers involved in drafting the comprehensive response.

 

Councillor Hemsley seconded the report.

 

Councillor Jones thanked officers for the response and noted that the drafted response raised many questions. She expressed concern about S106 and CIL monies being used for general funding and commented that community engagement would be greatly diminished and digitising information would not encourage people to get involved. On the matter of Climate change she suggested that the response only made parting reference to it and considered the response to be an opportunity to address environmental issues including carbon reduction.  She stated that the current planning process ensures that housing developments were in suitable and sustainable places and reported that Rutland need houses but we there was a need for houses where there were employment opportunities.

 

Councillor A Brown said considered the white paper to be ill-conceived and ill- thought out. In contrast, he stated that the drafted response was well written and addressed some of the anomalies in the paper. He believed that the proposal on the white paper would take away involvement and scrutiny at a local level and would further erode the powers of local authorities with local communities having less involvement in local planning applications. He considered there to be distinct lack of clarity and detail in the report and suggested that it would only benefit housing developers, suggesting that it could be perceived to be a developers’ charter.

 

Councillor Ainsley commented that the white paper was complex document and explained that he believed that Rutland need to develop so that young people have tenure to live and remain in Rutland. Reform of planning system was long overdue as there was a lack of affordable housing and housing for young people. He commented that a consolidated levy should not be incurred at expense of individual. He concurred that there was a need for the planning system to be streamlined and noted that there were some positive aspects of the document and he supported the thrust of it. However, he noted that there were numerous questions outstanding and there was not enough detail. He thanked the Planning Policy team for writing the robust response.

 

Councillor Razzell commented that the document had taken large amount of time from officers and thanked them for their detailed response. He suggested that the document needed to be written for the user and not the owner and those making a planning application would be hindered and not helped. He commented that the delivery of the white  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

To receive items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.

Minutes:

There were none.