Agenda and draft minutes

Special Meeting, SWT Full Council
Thursday, 29th April, 2021 6.15 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

168.

Apologies

169.

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 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 A Milne

    All Items

    Porlock

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr C Morgan

    All Items

    Stogursey

    Personal

    Spoke and Voted

    Cllr D Perry

    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 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

     

    Councillor S Pugsley further declared a prejudicial interest on Agenda Item 8 – Decision taken under the urgency rules regarding Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme.

    The following Councillors further declared a personal interest on Agenda Item 8: Councillors I Aldridge, M Blaker, P Bolton, S Buller, N Cavill, C Ellis, R Habgood, A Hadley, M Hill, R Lees, S Lees, L Lisgo, M Lithgow, F Smith, A Trollope-Bellew, and T Venner.

170.

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.

     

    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:

    No members of the public had requested to speak on any item on the agenda.

171.

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

172.

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

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council gave the following announcements:-

    ·         The Council had received a commendation at the award ceremony for the Rural Town Planning Institute Awards for the work in bringing forward the Local Development Order for smaller enterprises.

    ·         The Council had received a certificate of excellence for automated intelligence in record management and digital transformation.

173.

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

174.

Items deferred from the meeting of Full Could held on 30 March 2021

174a

Motion to ban sky lanterns and ceremonial balloons on Council land and raise awareness of their environmental impact. pdf icon PDF 108 KB

    To consider a motion proposed by Councillor Ed Firmin, seconded by Councillor Alan Wedderkopp. 

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

    ·         Councillors had brought forward the Motion due to the environmental impacts on the surrounding countryside and the concern that the lanterns created a fire risk in the area.

    ·         Councillors supported the Motion as it was an ongoing problem and action needed to be taken.

    ·         Some concern was raised that the Motion did not go far enough, it should also include fireworks within the ban.

    ·         Councillors supported the Motion as it provided some protection for the wildlife with the surrounding areas.

     

    Resolved that Full Council:-

    1)    Ended the use of sky lanterns and balloons for ceremonial release to the open air from Council-owned public land.

    2)    Requested the Leader of the Council to write a letter to the Environment Secretary of the UK Government to initiate legislation to ban sky lanterns and balloons for ceremonial use.

    3)    Raised public awareness of the harmful environmental effects and risk to animals as a result of the release of sky lanterns and balloons.

174b

To consider the Annual Report from the Chair of Scrutiny - for noting only. pdf icon PDF 548 KB

174c

To consider the Annual Report from the Chair of Audit, Governance and Standards - for noting only. pdf icon PDF 278 KB

175.

Decision taken under the urgency rules regarding the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme pdf icon PDF 316 KB

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

     

    This report details the decision taken on 16 March 2020 by the Chief Executive under the urgency rules contained within paragraph 5 of the Budget and Policy Framework within the Council’s Constitution. 

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

    ·         Councillors highlighted that the officers had done a brilliant job in processing the grants during the Covid Pandemic.

    ·         Councillors thanked the officers on behalf of the businesses within their Wards.

     

    Resolved that Full Council:-

    2.1Noted the decision madeby the Chief Executive on 16 March 2021 under paragraph 5 of the Budget and Policy Framework within the Council’s Constitution in relation to the release of funds to the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme.

    2.2Reflected this new expenditure within the approved Budgets for the current year and next year.

    a)    Delegated authority to the S151 Officer to bring forward any outstanding budget amounts from financial year 2020/21 to 2021/22 to reflect timing of expenditure within the overall additional budget of £1,377,895.

176.

Report of the Council Governance Arrangements Working Group pdf icon PDF 358 KB

    This matter is the responsibility of the Council Governance Arrangements Working Group – Chair, Councillor Ross Henley.

     

    The purpose of this report is to provide Members with an update on the work of the Council Governance Arrangements Working Group and to make recommendations as to how to proceed.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

    ·       Some councillors were disappointed that it was too late for the Committee System to be introduced for the 2021 Municipal Year.

    ·       Councillors agreed that there had been good cross party action taken within the Working Group.

    ·       Councillors thanked the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources for his work in steering the Working Group.

    ·       Councillors believed that they should do what was best for the community and residents.

    ·       Some councillors believed that the Committee System was too slow for the decision making process.

    ·       Some councillors opposed the introduction of a Committee System with the creation of a Unitary Authority on the horizon.

    ·       Councillors wanted to ensure that all councillors were included in the decision making process, which included back-benchers.

    ·       Some councillors highlighted the good work and fast decisions that had been made with the use of an Executive Model, especially during the Covid Pandemic.

    ·       Some councillors believed that the Committee System would be a better democratic process.

    ·       Councillor Thwaites proposed that recommendation 2.4 be removed from the report.  This was duly seconded by Councillor Cavill.

    ·       Concern was raised that officers were overstretched and that the introduction of a second Scrutiny Committee would not achieve the desired results.

    ·       The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources would not support the amendment.

    ·       Councillors highlighted that the removal of recommendation 2.4 would impact on recommendation 2.5.

    ·       Some councillors stated that they had requested two Scrutiny Committees in 2019 when the New Council was formed.  Now with the creation of a Unitary Authority on the horizon, they did not believe it was the right time to introduce a second Scrutiny Committee.

    ·       Some councillors agreed that the introduction of a second Scrutiny Committee would give councillors the opportunity to look into more varied topics.

    ·       The vote was taken and the amendment was lost.

    ·       Councillor Weston proposed an amendment to change the wording to recommendation 2.1 to: The Council moved to a Committee system of governance from the Council AGM on 10 May 2022, unless a decision was made to set up a Unitary Council for the area from 2023.  This was the original wording agreed by the Working Group and was duly seconded by Councillor Mansell.

    ·       The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources thanked the Working Group for their hard work on the project and apologised for the changed wording in recommendation 2.1.  The amended wording was as result of the debate held at the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee on 12 April 2021.

    ·       Councillors supported the amendment and queried the procedure used for a Shadow Council.

    ·       Concern was raised on whether it was the right time to introduce a Committee System, as it would be a waste of resources for the Council during the short time left as Somerset West and Taunton Council.

    ·       The vote was taken and the amendment was carried.

    ·       Councillors discussed the pros and cons and the differences between a Committee System and an Executive Model.

    ·       Councillors gave feedback from the Working Group.

    ·       Councillors thanked officers and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 176.

177.

Constitution Update Report pdf icon PDF 382 KB