Agenda and draft minutes

SWT Annual Council, SWT Full Council
Tuesday, 4th May, 2021 12.00 pm

Venue: Webcasting - Virtual. View directions

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair

3.

Apologies

4.

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.)

    Additional documents:

    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 Mrs Hill

    All Items

    Taunton Charter Trustee

    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 C Morgan

    All Items

    Stogursey

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr S Nicholls

    All Items

    Comeytrowe

    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 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 N Thwaites

    All Items

    Dulverton

    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

     

5.

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

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair of the Council made the following announcements:-

    ·         She thanked Councillor Simon Coles for all his work and support over the previous municipal year and welcomed Councillor Richard Lees to the role.

    ·         A silence was observed for the passing of Mr David House, a former councillor of Taunton Deane Borough Council for the period 1999 – 2011.

6.

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

7.

Election of the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee

    The Scrutiny Chair shall be drawn from among those Councillors proposed to serve on the Scrutiny Committee who are not from the majority political group and are not Chair of any other Committee.

     

    Note:  If the Council resolves to add an additional Scrutiny Committee following consideration of the Council Governance Arrangements Working Group report at the Special Council meeting on 29 April 2021, Chairs will be appointed to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee and Community Scrutiny Committee

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Resolved that Councillor Gwil Wren be elected as Chair of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee for the ensuing municipal year.

     

    Resolved that Councillor Libby Lisgo be elected as Chair of the Community Scrutiny Committee for the ensuing municipal year.

8.

Public Participation

    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.

     

    Temporary measures during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Due to the Government guidance on measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), we will holding meetings in a virtual manner which will be live webcast on our website. Members of the public will still be able to register to speak and ask questions, which will then be read out by the Governance and Democracy Case Manager during Public Question Time and will either be answered by the Chair of the Committee, or the relevant Portfolio Holder, or be followed up with a written response.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Mr David Orr submitted the following:-

    When this new Council was formed, many Councillors here today lamented that the 2 years in its formation had not addressed the issue of a Town Council for Taunton.

    Here we are today with another 2 years gone by and we do not seem to be any closer to a Taunton Town Council. Why is that?

    There is an urgency, as it is possible that by July 2022, there will be a One Somerset unitary and then Taunton will be without a Town Council, as well as losing the voice of this District Council.

    I believe that the Taunton Town Council area needs to reflect Taunton as it is today and include all of the urban extensions approved i.e. out to Monkton Heathfield to the North and include the Staplegrove and Trull/Comeytrowe extensions too within its boundaries. To avoid a town split by a motorway, my view is that the M5 should be retained as the ongoing settlement and development boundary to the East and to the South.

    The existing Unparished Area (with the anomalous unparished wards) is clearly too small to constitute a modern Town Council area for Taunton and this easy option should, in my opinion, be excluded now.

    The A358 Highways England least cost and least benefit “Orange route” proposal with a new M5 junction at Killams would have enabled cross-M5 development and brought significant noise and light pollution to affected communities.

    Taunton Deane Borough Council championed the impacted communities and lobbied effectively to get Taunton to the better A358 scheme, with substantially higher economic and community benefits, that we have today.

    By comparison, the County Council appeared to simply acquiesce in the original A358 “Orange route” proposal and, many of us felt, at best were neutral. Impacted communities did not feel that the County Council were strong advocates for a better A358 scheme.

    County Council Highways sits within the Economy, Community and Infrastructure Directorate. That Economics come before Community is, I feel, not an accident but reflects their priorities.

    We cannot, for lack of planning and resource, now leave Taunton without any public body representing us within a unitary council that increasingly looks like “continuity County Council”.

    Without a Town Council, developers like Taylor Wimpey with 1,100 developable acres at Orchard Portman could exploit our lack of representation and shape Taunton into a Town split by a motorway. The County Council-based new unitary may again prioritise Economics over Community.

    Who will stand up for Taunton then?

    David Fothergill has assured me recently that One Somerset has a budget for the formation of a Town Council for Taunton.

    Bridgwater Town Council was created in 2003 as successors to the Charter Trustees for the Town with the first elections held in May that year. 16 Members represent seven wards.

    If Bridgwater managed this 18 years ago why can’t Taunton do this now?

    I would urge this Council to form a Shadow Taunton Town Council as a matter of urgency and include Taunton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

To receive any questions from Councillors in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Marcus Barr asked the following question:-

    I would like to ask the Leader a question at the next opportunity at a Full Council meeting about Wellington Christmas lights. 

    If you recall Wellington Town Council was charged £24,000 to have our lights put up by Somerset West and Taunton Council in 2019.

    The council then got a private company to do the lights for us in 2020 when they only charged £6,000, a massive saving of £18,000. 

    I would like to know from the Leader why Wellington Town Council was clearly ripped off.

     

    The Leader responded:-

    The Council employees were paid in accordance with the tartan handbook, their terms and condition were written primarily around day time working with supplements for working out of hours. This made out of hours working, which I understood was when most of the Christmas light installation occurred, very costly to the employer. External works (external to the council where an invoice was raised) such as described below were recharged on a full cost recovery basis.

    There was no requirement for the council’s workforce to be utilised by Wellington Town Council and as such Wellington Town Council had a choice in contractor, they chose to use our council’s workforce and latterly to use an alternative contractor.

    We would expect Wellington Town Council to request a quote for the work and agree the price in advance.

    If they had found a more cost effective contractor and no longer wished to use this council’s workforce then we supported that decision, it would be for Wellington Town Council to ensure that any contractor met with the necessary health and safety requirements and requirements for working in the carriageway.

    On the basis of the choice that Wellington Town Council had I don’t think it fair to conclude that SWT or its predecessor council had acted unreasonably in their pricing.  

10.

Council Committees for 2021/2022 and their Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 235 KB

    To decide which Committees to establish for the Municipal Year and to decide their size and terms of reference. To decide the numerical allocation of seats to political groups on Committees in accordance with the political balance rules and to make appointments to the Committees:

    ·         Scrutiny Committee

    ·         Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

    ·         Planning Committee

    ·         Licensing Committee

     

    Note: If the Council resolves to make the changes set out in the Council Governance Arrangements Working Group Report and Updates to the Constitution Report at the Special Council meeting on 29 April 2021, appointments will be made to the following Committees:

    ·         Corporate Scrutiny Committee

    ·         Community Scrutiny Committee

    ·         Audit and Governance Committee

    ·         Planning Committee

    ·         Licensing Committee

    ·         Standards Committee

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following point was raised:-

    ·         Councillors asked for clarification on the figures quoted for the compositions due to the by-election scheduled on 6 May 2021.

    The Monitoring Officer gave clarification and explained that was the reason for the additional recommendation.

     

    Resolved that Annual Council approved:-

    a)    The Committee structure as set out in section A below

    b)    The size of each Committee as set out in section B below

    c)    The Terms of Reference of those Committees as set out in Section C

    d)    The numerical political allocation as set out in Appendix H

    e)    The Councillor appointments to Committees as set out in Appendix I

    f)     That delegated authority be given to the Monitoring Officer to work on the committee compositions with the Group Leaders after the meeting of Annual Council.

     

    Section A - Establishment of Committees for the 2021/22 Municipal Year

     

    The Committees to be established for the 2021/22 Municipal Year were:

    ·         Corporate Scrutiny Committee

    ·         Community Scrutiny Committee

    ·         Audit and Governance Committee

    ·         Planning Committee

    ·         Licensing Committee

    ·         Standards Committee

     

    Section B - Size and Terms of Reference for those Committees

     

    Committee

    Size

    Corporate Scrutiny Committee

    15

    Community Scrutiny Committee

    15

    Audit and Governance Committee

    11

    Planning Committee

    15

    Licensing Committee

    15

    Standards Committee

    9

    Total Committee seats

    80

     

11.

Appointment of Representatives on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 220 KB

12.

To authorise the sealing or signing of documents to give effect to any decisions taken pdf icon PDF 209 KB