Agenda and minutes

Budget, Full Council
Thursday, 22nd February, 2018 2.15 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX

Contact: Neil Aggett  Email: comsec@teignbridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

332.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 January 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 January 2018 were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

333.

Chairman's announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman and Members welcomed newly elected councillors Evans and Wrigley to the meeting.  He also reminded Members of the Teignbridge Civic Service which would take place in Bishopsteignton on Sunday, 4 March.

334.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

335.

Public questions session under Council Procedure Rule 4.5(j) (if any)

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

336.

Councillor questions under Council Procedure Rule 4.5(k) (if any)

Minutes:

Question submitted by Cllr G Hook:

 

What has been the cost of the See It, Hate It, Report It anti-litter campaign and how many £75 prosecutions have resulted?

 

Answer by Cllr Lake, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services

I am pleased to say we have had a successful campaign to a challenging problem.

 

·       We have a near 50%  increase in Fixed penalty notices with 11 issued for the period September 2017 to date.

·       There was a reduction in the amount of litter collected at problem sites ranging from 45% to 94%.

 

The campaign was targeted at reducing litter in targeted hotspots. Local litter surveys were carried out at eight lay-by litter hotspots before the campaign in August and then once a month until November.  At all eight sites there was a reduction in the amount of litter collected, ranging from 45% to 94%.

 

Our campaign was also the subject of a debate on Radio Devon and members of the public who phoned in were extremely supportive and felt strongly about littering.

 

As the campaign has been successful in reducing litter in the targeted hotspots we will continue to develop the branding throughout the district where there is a need.

 

We have offered campaign packs, which include stickers and Foamex signs, to Town and Parish Councils to use in their areas at problem hotspots local to them.  Sixteen councils have asked to be included and will be sent packs and will be asked to feedback the impact of littering levels.

 

We will continue to promote the campaign using our vehicle livery and many of the original banners which are still in situ.  Trial litter bins will now be fixed on sites and be included in cleansing schedules.  Environment Wardens will continue to investigate reports generated via the Report It web form andI thank the public for their support.  So, on balance I think it a successful campaign for the cost of £8650.

 

It was agreed that as Cllr Hook was unable to be present, he could submit a supplementary question to the following the meeting.

 

Question submitted by Cllr Clemens:

 

How much did it cost the Council tax payers of Teignbridge for the, 1 aborted attempt, and 1 'found unsound' attempt to write a local plan prior to 2014 when the current plan was adopted?

 

Answer by Leader of Council

It is not possible to answer this question with any degree of certainty, since it would involve an assessment of what proportion of staff time within the spatial planning and delivery team was spent on the local plan rather than on a variety of other work and projects including policy advice on planning applications, Community Infrastructure Levy work, green infrastructure and cycle delivery, master-planning, monitoring, research, corporate policy input and management.

337.

Notices of motion under Council Procedure Rule 4.5(l) (if any)

The following notice of motion has been submitted by Councillor G Hook and supported by Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Keeling, Nutley and Rollason:

 

" This Council notes with concern

+ That 300 million tonnes of new plastic is made each year, half of which is for single use plastic such as packaging and convenience foods. In many cases, such as plastic straws, takeaway food containers and coffee cups, there are practical alternatives available that are either reusable or sustainable.

+ That in 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that by weight, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish, as soon as 2050. As plastics are durable and strong they will stay in the environment for up to an estimated 600 years. (Columbia University)

+ That marine plastic leads to coastal/offshore dead zones, entanglement, death through ingestion, toxic transfer and, once degraded into micro plastics, contamination of the food chain... including our own. We are quite literally eating the plastic that has ended up in our seas.

 Council welcomes

+ Moves towards Deposit Return Schemes

+ The success of the "Plastic Bag Levy" introduced by the Coalition Government of 2010-15, which has led to a 90% reduction in plastic bag usage.

+ The success reported from councils both in Devon and around the country in reducing plastic waste and improving recycling figures by the introduction of a three weekly residual waste service.

Therefore this council commits to playing its full role in reducing plastic waste, specifically 

+ That the Council will undertake an audit, within existing resources, of single use plastics used by the Authority and seek to replace with sustainable or renewable alternatives wherever practical.

+That the Council will play its part in educating the public about plastic waste, specifically by including information on reducing plastic waste in both online and written materials.

+ That the council will introduce, following appropriate trials, a three weekly residual waste collection scheme to encourage plastic recycling ( as well as all other recycling) and thus start to improve our recycling figures which have been flat lining for far too long.

+That the Council will use its best offices to work with all other local authorities in Devon to achieve a Devon wide consensus to see a similar system implemented by all collection authorities within the county

+ To write to both our members of Parliament and the European Parliament, and to the secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, urging them to consider legislation and regulations which will reduce the amount of single use plastic used by society

+ To use all links that we have with business in Teignbridge to encourage them to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and specifically to contact our major supermarkets asking them to consider introducing a "plastic free aisle" in the local stores on a trial basis.”

 

Minutes:

Members considered a Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor G Hook and supported by Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Keeling, Nutley and Rollason:

 

"This Council notes with concern:

·         That 300 million tonnes of new plastic is made each year, half of which is for single use plastic such as packaging and convenience foods. In many cases, such as plastic straws, takeaway food containers and coffee cups, there are practical alternatives available that are either reusable or sustainable.

·         That in 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that by weight, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish, as soon as 2050. As plastics are durable and strong they will stay in the environment for up to an estimated 600 years. (Columbia University)

·         That marine plastic leads to coastal/offshore dead zones, entanglement, death through ingestion, toxic transfer and, once degraded into micro plastics, contamination of the food chain... including our own. We are quite literally eating the plastic that has ended up in our seas.

 

Council welcomes

·         Moves towards Deposit Return Schemes

·         The success of the "Plastic Bag Levy" introduced by the Coalition Government of 2010-15, which has led to a 90% reduction in plastic bag usage.

·         The success reported from councils both in Devon and around the country in reducing plastic waste and improving recycling figures by the introduction of a three weekly residual waste service.

 

Therefore this council commits to playing its full role in reducing plastic waste, specifically

·         That the Council will undertake an audit, within existing resources, of single use plastics used by the Authority and seek to replace with sustainable or renewable alternatives wherever practical.

·         That the Council will play its part in educating the public about plastic waste, specifically by including information on reducing plastic waste in both online and written materials.

·         That the council will introduce, following appropriate trials, a three weekly residual waste collection scheme to encourage plastic recycling ( as well as all other recycling) and thus start to improve our recycling figures which have been flat lining for far too long.

·         That the Council will use its best offices to work with all other local authorities in Devon to achieve a Devon wide consensus to see a similar system implemented by all collection authorities within the county

·         To write to both our members of Parliament and the European Parliament, and to the secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, urging them to consider legislation and regulations which will reduce the amount of single use plastic used by society

·         To use all links that we have with business in Teignbridge to encourage them to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and specifically to contact our major supermarkets asking them to consider introducing a "plastic free aisle" in the local stores on a trial basis.”

 

Cllr J Hook advised that plastic pollution had become a frontline issue.  Plastic was not biodegradable and would eventually find its way into the food chain.  She highlighted the amount of plastic used advising a responsible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 337.

338.

Referral from Executive - Final Financial Plan Proposals 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

 

To consider the Executive’s Final Financial Plan Proposals 2018/19 to and set the Council Tax 2018/19.

 

Appendices 1 to 7, 10, 11, 11a, 12 and 14 are attached.

Appendices 8, 9, 13, and 15, as detailed in paragraph 1.3.3 of the report attached, will follow.

 

Members are kindly requested to note the following from the Council's Constitution: Part 3, Section 2 (Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules), Paragraph 2.2 (Process for Developing the Budget and Policy Framework), paragraph (e):

 

"That any Member who wishes to propose major changes, i.e. changes to the proposed Council Tax levels, or levels of reserves (to the budget proposed by the Executive) be required to give notice of such changes, in writing, to the Democratic Services Manager and the Chief Finance Officer at least 5 working days before the start of the Council (Budget) Meeting, e.g. if the meeting is at 10.00 a.m. on Monday the alternative proposal will need to be received by 10.00 a.m. on the immediately preceding Monday, so as to enable proper consideration to be given to the proposal........"

 

Alternative proposals that affect the council tax and levels of reserves will need to be submitted in writing before 2.15p .m., Thursday, 15 February 2018.

 

Information relating to a proposed major change to the budget will be circulated to all Members at least 24 hours before the Council Meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a recommendation from the Executive in relation to the Final Financial Plan Proposals 2018/19 to 2020/21.    

 

In presenting the budget, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources thanked officers for their help in the preparation of the budget.  He advised that Teignbridge would be setting a budget which was fair to residents.

 

He highlighted the following:

·         Revenue support grant becoming zero by 2020;

·         Rate relief being used for economy regeneration;

·         Capital had already been allocated for housing;

·         Government changing the formula resulting in a declining New Homes Bonus;

·         dwindling resources and increasing expenses;

·         budgeting for a 2% staff pay increase;

 

Cllr Barker proposed the recommendations as set out in the agenda papers.  Cllr Christophers seconded the proposals.

 

Cllr Dewhirst presented the Liberal Democrat budget proposals, as follows:

 

1)    A second Litter and Graffiti Hit Squad will be established at an initial set up cost of £80.000.

This will be funded by at least £30,000 underspend on the departments new bailer, a reduction of £36,000 in the new bins budget and £3000 from increased income from Osborne Street car parking. In addition a charge of £55 will be made on all second homes who have opted to be classified as business properties and are therefore not paying for their waste bins to be emptied. They will be given the option of paying or having their bin removed. This is estimated to raise £11,000 plus from approx. 200 properties.

 

2)    Further income will be generated by adaptions to the Leisure Centre offer. We seek to encourage healthier life styles and produce increased income from increased footfall. Income has declined of late, and this trend must be reversed. The following are therefore proposed.

·       a 4 month run of different activity offers Jan-April (inclusive)

·       Friday lunch time swim+50% off selected normal prices

·       weekend court hire (2-4pm) +50% off normal prices +Sep-Dec (incl.)

·       targeted fitness classes+50% off normal prices

These well promoted offers will stimulate interest and increase vital footfall when capacity exists. All such schemes will be well advertised, closely monitored and reviewed at regular intervals.

 

3)    To encourage greater use of Osborne Street Car Park in Newton Abbot a new parking permit scheme for local residents in near-by streets unable to participate in the Devon County Council Residents Parking Scheme will be introduced. The initial annual charge for this permit will be £250 (plus VAT). In the first instance 12 such permits will be made available, generating £3000. It is anticipated that this figure will rise.

 

4)    We will introduce variable charges in appropriate car parks to reflect variable use during the day. This measure is intended to help local business and to reduce air pollution. As an example, Newton Abbot is “bursting at the seams” on Saturday mornings, but is virtually empty on Saturday afternoons. This means that cars “crawl” through town in the mornings emitting noxious pollutants, while shops are “empty” in the afternoons. To redress this imbalance hourly parking rates will be altered to encourage visitors in the afternoons.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 338.

339.

Political Balance pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider the political balance following the recent by-elections on 15 February, 2018. 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which set out the political allocation of seats following the recent by-elections in Chudleigh and Dawlish Central & North East where two Liberal Democrats councillors had been elected. 

 

The proportional membership of the Council was now: Conservatives 52.17% (24 seats); Liberal Democrats 36.96% (17 seats); Independents 10.87% (5 seats).  Cllr Haines suggested the total figure for the Liberal Democrat seats should be rounded up.  The Leader, in response to a question, confirmed he had previously offered a seat on the Strata Scrutiny Committee to an Independent Member, he would consider this matter outside of the meeting.

 

Resolved

 

(a)        To accept the changes to the committee places as reported by the Monitoring Officer.

 

(b)        To approve the allocation of seats as detailed by the Monitoring Officer.

 

(c)        That any subsequent adjustments to appointments and substitute Members be advised by the Group Leaders.

340.

Update on the Standards Review by the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Chairman of the Standards Committee, Councillor Prowse to report. 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the current position of the work of the Standards Committee. 

 

The Chairman of the Standards Board, Cllr Prowse, advised that:

·       a review of the current Code of Conduct and processes had commenced;

·       attendees at a recent clerk’s workshop had been asked for their views on the review; they voiced concern at the increasing amount of bullying; and the use of social media were matters of great concern;

·       adverts seeking interest from a member of the public to sit as an independent person on the Board had been placed, with a closing date of 13 April 2018;

·       a Members’ workshop would be held on 27 April to review the Teignbridge Code and to agree a response to national consultation.  Members were reminded of the importance of attending the workshop.

 

Cllr Connett referred to the complaints procedure, advising he would not wish to see an open ended ‘sifting process’, suggesting extending the current 14 day process would adversely affect both the councillor and the complainant.

 

In conclusion, Cllr Prowse advised that the Standards Board would meet on the 2 May with recommendations from arising from the meeting being considered by full Council on 14 May 2018.

 

The Chairman and Members thanked Cllr Prowse for her report, it was then unanimously:

 

Resolved

 

(a)        That the Council note the interim report, prior to a final report in May 2018 at the end of the review process.

 

(b)        That the Council adopt the terms of reference for the Standards Committee as set out in the report.

 

341.

Review of the Council's Pay Policy pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the annual pay policy report which is a requirement of the Localism Act 2011. 

 

The Portfolio Holder for Assets & Resources advised that:

·       the Policy had been reviewed by the Appointments & Remuneration Committee (ARC); 

·       the policy set out:

o   officer role definitions;

o   detail of the job evaluation scheme and process;

o   relationship between the highest and lowest paid staff.

 

The policy was recommended to Council for adoption.  Cllr Connett questioned the re-engagement of officers following redundancy within four weeks, he submitted that if another job was available, why were they not re-deployed.  In response, Cllr Barker advised he shared the concerns and would raise them with ARC at next year’s review.

 

The Portfolio Holder recommended the report for approval.

 

Resolved

 

That the Annual Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19 be approved.

342.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC FROM THE MEETING

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business  on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule12A of the Act.

 

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part I of Schedule 12a of the Act.

 

343.

Chief Finance Officer

Minutes:

Members noted the recommendation of the Appointment & Remuneration Committee on the appointment of a Chief Finance Officer for the Council.  Members voiced their appreciation at Mr Flitcroft’s financial knowledge and expertise and fully supported his appointment, it was therefore:

 

Resolved

 

That Martin Flitcroft be appointed permanently as Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) with immediate effect.

344.

Consideration of Staff Honorariums

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendations from the Appointments & Remuneration Committee meeting held on 8 February 2018 regarding the salary level for the Business Lead (Director) and the payment of honorariums.  Members raised a number of questions, these were dealt with by a representative of Anthony Collins Solicitors, who confirmed the payment of honorariums was a Council policy and had been paid where duties had been performed outside the scope of the postholder over an extended period, following discussion, it was:

 

Resolved

 

That the report be approved as circulated.

345.

Sealing of Documents

“That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any document or documents necessary to give effect to the resolutions passed by the Council at this meeting.”

Minutes:

Resolved

 

The Common Seal of the Council be affixed any document or documents necessary to give effect to the resolutions passed by the Council at this meeting.