Agenda and draft minutes

Special Full Council, SWT Full Council
Monday, 27th January, 2020 6.15 pm

Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions

Contact: Marcus Prouse Email: m.prouse@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk and Clare Rendell Email: c.rendell@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

104.

Apologies

105.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.

     

    (The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)

    Minutes:

    Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-

     

    Name

    Minute No.

    Description of Interest

    Reason

    Action Taken

    Cllr L Baker

    All Items

    Cheddon Fitzpaine & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Barr

    All Items

    Wellington

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Blaker

    All Items

    Wiveliscombe

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr P Bolton

    All Items

    Minehead

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Booth

    All Items

    Wellington and Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr N Cavill

    All Items

    West Monkton

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Coles

    All Items

    SCC & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr H Davies

    All Items

    SCC

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Ellis

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr A Govier

    All Items

    SCC & Wellington

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr J Hunt

    All Items

    SCC & Bishop’s Hull

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Lees

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Lees

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr L Lisgo

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Lithgow

    All Items

    Wellington

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr J Lloyd

    All Items

    Wellington & Sampford Arundel

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr A Milne

    All Items

    Porlock

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Morgan

    All Items

    Stogursey

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Palmer

    All Items

    Minehead

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Perry

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Peters

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr P Pilkington

    All Items

    Timberscombe

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr H Prior-Sankey

    All Items

    SCC & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr M Rigby

    All Items

    SCC & Bishops Lydeard

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr F Smith

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr F Smith-Roberts

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr V Stock-Williams

    All Items

    Wellington

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr R Tully

    All Items

    West Monkton

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr T Venner

    All Items

    Minehead

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr A Wedderkopp

    All Items

    SCC & Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Wedderkopp

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr B Weston

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr L Whetlor

    All Items

    Watchet

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr G Wren

    All Items

    Clerk to Milverton PC

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

     

106.

Public Participation - To receive only in relation to the business for which the Extraordinary Meeting has been called any questions, statements or petitions from the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 14,15 and 16

    The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.

     

    For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.

    Minutes:

    Mr Shawn Rutter (No Taunton BID) made the following statement in relation to Agenda Item 12 – Taunton Business Improvement District Ballot:

     

    Good evening, I’m speaking for No Taunton BID, representing the significant number of businesses opposed to the new Taunton BID proposal, some of whom have joined me tonight. 

    BID is an emotive subject, probably more-so because of Taunton’s poor BID history. Whilst some voters might see value and can easily afford it, there are many that just don’t see the value, and don’t want to be forced to part with their hard earned cash, at a time when high street running costs are high enough.

    But let’s move onto my main point, your BID ballot voting decision for your properties, and the moral dilemma you face in making that decision.

    This Council is legislated as a BID partner, and has a vested interest in BID businesses investing in one of it’s towns, but this council also has a moral responsibility to do right by both voting sides. All this makes you a very different voter.

    The only way a fair ballot can be achieved for the businesses BID is meant to be for, is if this council does the right thing and abstains from voting for its properties, in order to let the businesses decide for themselves.

    At average BID ballot turnout, just this councils ballot vote for its 11 properties, will amount to about 6% of the total votes cast, and 11% of the cumulative rateable-value vote.  This is significant block voting bias from just one voting decision, and if the poor turnout at the YES campaign event last week is anything to go by, this weighting could be a lot more.

    Despite being a NO campaigner, note that I’m not stood here asking you to vote NO for your properties as perhaps I should – because morally that’s not fair given it would cause voting bias against those businesses wanting a BID. So you should not vote NO.

    And so by the same reasoning you should not vote YES for your properties, as it would cause voting bias against all those businesses not wanting a BID.

    If Taunton is to do BID yet again, it will only work if the true majority of real businesses vote it in, and the only way that can happen is a ballot without council voting influence.  Only last week I spoke with a Director of the last BID, and he said what made it exceptionally hard last time was not having the full support of businesses, and we all know how that BID ended. 

    Say you vote YES for your properties, and your block vote effectively swings BID in, do you really want to be known as the council that despite Taunton’s BID history and being warned, helped force BID in against the will of the true majority of businesses?

    So far you have done all the right things as a council by supporting development of this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.

107.

To receive any communications or announcements from the Chair of the Council

    Minutes:

    A minutes silence was observed at the start of the meeting to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

     

    The Chair of the Council made the following announcements at the start of the meeting:-

    ·         Councillors were reminded that they were required to complete the Hospitality Book and Register of Interests with any amendments.

    ·         The Chair passed round the sponsorship form for the Swimathon for Councillors to show their support for the team.

    ·         Councillors were reminded about the Songs for Summer event being held on Saturday 29 February 2020 at St James’ Church in Taunton.

108.

To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council made the following announcement:-

    ·         She had attended the Holocaust Memorial Service and thanked all Councillors and Officers that had attended and encouraged all Councillors to attend the civic services that were held across the district.

109.

To receive only in relation to the business for which the Extraordinary Meeting has been called any questions from Councillors in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13

110.

Environment Bill (For Information Only) pdf icon PDF 259 KB

    This document is for information only.

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

    ·         Councillors queried whether the District Council analysed the Bills that were sent through Parliament and believed that they should be scrutinised.

    The Chief Executive advised that officers submitted their opinions to any consultations that had been sent out, however, he was happy to include Councillors within that process in the future.

    ·         Councillors were glad to see that flood and coastal erosion had been included in the Bill.

     

    Resolved that the report was noted.

111.

Somerset West and Taunton Meeting Timetable pdf icon PDF 175 KB

    The attached document presents the meeting dates for the new municipal year, 2020-21.

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were made:-

    ·         The Chair of the Council advised that the Annual Meeting of Full Council would be changed to 5 May 2020.

    ·         The Section 151 Officer advised that he had added some budget setting meetings of Scrutiny, Executive and Full Council to the calendar.

    ·         Councillors requested that the member briefings were held in both the Deane House and West Somerset House.

     

    Resolved that the meeting timetable for the municipal year 2020-21 was noted.

112.

East Quay Wall pdf icon PDF 359 KB

    This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Asset Management and Economic Development, Councillor Marcus Kravis.

     

    This report sets out the current situation with the East Quay wall, Watchet and the options that the Council have to maintain this asset into the future. It does not seek approval of a permanent solution for the repair at Splash Point, this will be dealt with separately once possible design options have been established, but does request financial approval of the design work for this permanent repair.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

    ·         The Chair of the Council thanked Chris Hall and his team on behalf of all the Councillors for all the hard work that they had done on the project.

    ·         Concern was raised on Splash Point and the money being spent and whether it would ‘future proof’ the area from future damage.

    ·         Concern was raised that Government did not help Council like Somerset West and Taunton in situations like that.

    Central Government funding was held by the Environment Agency and Local Councils could bid for that.  Somerset West and Taunton was in the process of bidding for some but were not likely to get help with the emergency repairs but it was possible that help might be given for Splash Point due to the vulnerable domestic properties located along the Esplanade.

    ·         Councillors were pleased to see in the report that the southern section was not going to be as expensive to work and that the area had been described as ‘sound’.

    ·         Councillors queried who was responsible for the dredging of the Marina and when it was last carried out.

    The Council was responsible for the harbour area and the Marina Operator was responsible for the Marina.  Officers were in contact with the Marina Operator to ensure they were compliant with their lease agreement.

    ·         Concern was raised on the design costs and whether the two costs could be combined to save money.

    Clarification was given on the two designs needed, the fees were high as they came with a guarantee for the professional services required for the design work, which would be put through the procurement process.

     

    Resolved that Full Council approved the following additions to the Capital Programme, which would be funded through borrowing:-

    1)    The following to the Capital Programme for 2019/20:

    The sum of £100k be allocated to the wall design works at Splash Point and

    The sum of £100k be allocated to the wall design works at East Quay

    2)    And the following to the Capital Programme for 2020/21:

    The sum of £500k be allocated to reinforce the East Quay wall in the central section and

    The sum of £40k for project management resource to deliver this project to its conclusion.

113.

Access to Information - Exclusion of the Press and Public

    During discussion of the following item(s) it may be necessary to pass the following resolution to exclude the press and public having reflected on Article 13 13.02(e) (a presumption in favour of openness) of the Constitution.  This decision may be required because consideration of this matter in public may disclose information falling within one of the descriptions of exempt information in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.  The Executive will need to decide whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption, outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

     

    Recommend that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the next item of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 respectively of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).   

    Minutes:

    Resolved that the press and public be excluded during consideration of agenda items 11 and 12 on the grounds that, if the press and public were present during the item, there would be likely to be a disclosure to them of exempt information of the class specified in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended as follows: The items contained information that could release confidential information that related to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information). It was therefore agreed that after consideration of all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

114.

Housing Revenue Account Acquisitions

Minutes:

Resolved that Full Council approved the confidential recommendations included with this report.

115.

Taunton Business Improvement District

Minutes:

Resolved that Full Council approved the confidential recommendations included with this report.