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To receive any apologies for absence.
No apologies were received.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee.
(Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 16 March 2022 circulated with the agenda)
Resolved that the minutes of the Executive held on 16 March 2022 be confirmed as a correct record.
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.)
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:-
Councillor Chris Booth further declared a personal interest on Agenda Item 9 as a committee member for Wellington Town Council.
Councillor Sarah Wakefield further declared a personal interest on Agenda Item 9 as a committee member on Wellington CIC.
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.
We are now live webcasting most of our committee meetings and you are welcome to view and listen to the discussion. The link to each webcast will be available on the meeting webpage, but you can also access them on the Somerset West and Taunton webcasting website.
Councillor J Lloyd registered to speak on behalf of Wellington Town Council on Agenda Item 9 and would do so when the item was debated.
To receive items and review the Forward Plan.
(Copy of the Executive Forward Plan, circulated with the agenda).
Councillors were reminded that if they had an item they wanted to add to the agenda, that they should send their requests to the Governance Team.
Resolved that the Executive Forward Plan be noted.
This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Councillor Dixie Darch.
During the discussion, the following points were made:-
· Councillors were very supportive of the report.
· Councillors who had been on the Joint Committee gave feedback on how well the shared working had proved.
· Councillors thanked the Portfolio Holder for Climate Change for their work on the report.
· Councillors were keen to transfer the Action Plan over to the New Council.
· Councillors highlighted that they believed the most common contradiction raised was between grass cutting and cultivation of wildlife to encourage pollinators, which they faced in a lot of their case work.
· Councillors agreed that communications were required on the subject of grass cutting and the perception shift between cost savings and cultivating local wildlife.
· Councillors were happy to see that the comments made at Community Scrutiny Committee were added to the report.
Resolved that the Executive were invited to comment on the recommendations that would be put to Full Council:
1.3The ecological vision and action plan were approved.
1.4Existing governance arrangements identified in the Somerset West and Taunton/Sedgemoor District Council Joint Climate Change Delivery Partnership were maintained and used as a framework for delivery and monitoring of the action plan.
1.5Somerset West and Taunton with Sedgemoor District Council lead the creation and delivery of ecological recovery.
1.6Annual reporting would be undertaken in conjunction with CNCR reporting.
This matter is under the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Housing, Councillor Francesca Smith.
During the discussion, the following points were raised:-
· Councillor D Mansell gave some background information on the report as the Chair of the Task and Finish Group. He highlighted that the report addressed several concerns, fuel poverty being one. He praised the cross-party approach to the work and that there had been good involvement from officers.
The Assistant Director for Development and Regeneration advised that he hoped to bring the Draft Strategy to a member briefing by the Autumn.
· Councillors agreed that the Strategy was a necessary piece of work.
Resolved that the Executive:-
2.2Noted the report of the Task and Finish Group on Council Housing Zero Carbon Retrofit and thank Councillors on the Group for their efforts.
2.3Requested officers to consider the recommendations in the report, in particular, during the forthcoming development of the Low Carbon Retrofit Strategy and Delivery Plan. Officers would also reflect on the report as they prepared a significant Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2 bid to be submitted late summer 2022.
2.4Requested that the Draft Strategy returned through the Democratic Path (via Community Scrutiny) by January 2023 for Full Council in March 2023.
Access to Information - Exclusion of the Press and Public (Appendices only)
During discussion of the following item (Agenda Item 9 – Appendix 1 and 4 only, Agenda Item 10 – Appendix 2 and 3 only) 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. 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 (Agenda Item 9 – Appendix 1 and 4 only, Agenda Item 10 – Appendix 2 and 3 only) 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).
Resolved that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the next items of business (Agenda Item 9 – Appendix 1 and 4 only, Agenda Item 10 – Appendix 2 and 3 only) on the grounds that it involved 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).
This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation, Councillor Mike Rigby.
During the discussion, the following points were made:-
· Councillors were happy to support the acquisition report.
· Councillors spoke as representatives from Wellington Town Council (WTC) and highlighted how pleased they were that Somerset West and Taunton Council was purchasing the piece of land, which would provide more allotments for the residents of Wellington. WTC had previously tried to purchase more land and had used some of the Community Infrastructure Levy funding to acquire some fields. The Clerk from WTC had also sent in a letter which had been circulated to the members of the Executive.
· Councillors queried why the land had been fragmented on one of the maps in the agenda pack.
The Heritage Project Manager advised the pieces of land had been split due to the water courses that ran through the area.
· Councillors queried why the ponds had not been included and whether there were any options to purchase them to protect their future use.
The Heritage Project Manager advised that the ponds belonged to Tonedale Mill and if the ownership of the Mill changed, then they could look into the options that might be available.
Resolved that the Executive sought approval for the recommendations set out the Confidential Appendix 1 to go on to Full Council.
This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor for Housing, Councillor Fran Smith.
Resolved that the Executive approved the purchase of the private dwellings as set out in Confidential Appendix 2.