Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Angela Cox, Democratic Services Specialist - 01935 462148  Email: angela.cox@southsomerset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

that Councillor Paul Maxwell be elected as Chairman of the Council for the Municipal Year 2019/2020.

 

Minutes:

The retiring Chairman welcomed all returning and newly elected Councillors and asked that they work together with officers and respect each other.  He thanked his retiring Vice Chairman and officers for supporting him in his year of office.

 

He called for nominations for the position of Chairman of Council.

 

Councillor Henry Hobhouse, seconded by Councillor Peter Gubbins nominated Councillor Paul Maxwell as Chairman of the Council.

 

Councillor Linda Vijeh, seconded by Councillor Nick Colbert, proposed Councillor Colin Winder as Chairman of Council. 

 

A vote was taken and Councillor Paul Maxwell was declared elected as Chairman of Council (voting: Paul Maxwell: 36, Colin Winder: 13, 1 abstention).  It was therefore:

 

RESOLVED:

that Councillor Paul Maxwell be elected as Chairman of the Council for the Municipal Year 2019/2020.

 

Following his appointment Councillor Maxwell read and signed the formal declaration of acceptance of office, and thanked Members for their support

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

that Councillor Jenny Kenton be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Council for the Municipal Year 2019/2020.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all Councillors to their first meeting and proposed that Councillor Jenny Kenton be appointed to the position of Vice Chairman of Council. This was seconded by Councillor John Clark.

 

Councillor Linda Vijeh, seconded by Councillor Sue Osborne, proposed Councillor Gina Seaton as Vice Chairman of Council. 

 

A vote was taken and Councillor Jenny Kenton was declared elected as Vice Chairman of Council (voting: Jenny Kenton: 36, Gina Seaton: 12, 2 abstentions).  It was therefore:

 

RESOLVED:

that Councillor Jenny Kenton be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Council for the Municipal Year 2019/2020.

 

Following her appointment Councillor Kenton read and signed the formal declaration of acceptance of office, and thanked Members for their support

 

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ben Hodgson, Michael Lewis, Tricia O’Brien, Dean Ruddle, Garry Shortland, Alan Smith, Gerard Tucker and Martin Wale.

 

4.

Minutes

To approve and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on Thursday, 21 March 2019.

Minutes:

Due to their late publication, the signing of the minutes of the last meeting of Council were deferred to a future meeting. 

5.

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.

Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest.  Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council. 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made by Members.

6.

Public Question Time

Minutes:

The Council were addressed by two members of the public and two students regarding Agenda item 12: Motion to Declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.  Their comments included:

 

·         I would remind you of Sir David Attenborough’s speech at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in December 2018 when he said “If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon”

·         We urge you to plant 100,000 trees this year, review your Local Plan and Carbon Reduction Plan and work with Somerset County Council to establish a Citizens Assembly as many local residents will respond positively to help you.

·         I want you to be aware the planet is in danger and the ice is melting fast. 

·         We have declared an emergency on climate change and it is time to put the fire out.

·         We can all take individual responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle but it is not enough.  You have the power to make plans and bring in policies.

·         The Met Office predict a 1m rise in sea level which could mean the loss of parts of the Somerset Levels.  This could be a 2m rise by 2100.

·         We urge you to show leadership by pledging to make the district of South Somerset carbon neutral by 2025 and act now by planting trees.  The future of the planet and much of Somerset is in your hands.

 

7.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman thanked the immediate retiring Chairman, Councillor Tony Capozzoli, and, the immediate retiring Vice-Chairman, Councillor Mike Best for their service. 

 

He also advised of the sudden death of ex-District Councillor Adrian Cavendish who was the Ward Member for Eggwood from 2003 to 2007 and also Chairman of Hinton St George Parish Council.  He said Mr Cavendish had worked passionately for his community and would be greatly missed.

 

He welcomed the newly elected District Councillors to their first Council meeting and hoped they would find the role both rewarding and enjoyable.

 

He concluded by paying tribute to Councillors Derek Yeomans and Andrew Turpin who had unsuccessfully sought re-election to the Council. 

8.

Chairman's Engagements pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes:

The list of Chairman’s Engagements was noted.

9.

Appointment of Member Level Bodies 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Decision:

 

Council agreed to:-

 

Recommendation (1) – to agree the appointment of Leader of the Council

 

RESOLVED:

that Council appointed Councillor Val Keitch as Leader of the Council for a period of four years, starting on the day of her election (May 2019) and ending on the day of the post 4-year Council election annual meeting (May 2023).          

 

Recommendation (2) – to agree the appointment of Deputy Leader of the Council

 

RESOLVED:

that Council appointed Councillor Peter Seib as Deputy Leader of the Council to hold office (subject to Article 7.03) until the end of the term of office of the Leader (May 2023).

 

Recommendation (3) - Appointment of Membership and establishment of District Executive Committee

 

RESOLVED:

that the Leader appointed the following Members and Portfolio responsibilities for 2019/20;

 

Val Keitch

Lib Dem

Leader: Strategy & Housing

 

Peter Seib

Lib Dem

Deputy Leader: Finance, Legal & Democratic Services

 

Mike Best

Lib Dem

Health & Well-Being

 

John Clark

Lib Dem

Economic Development including Commercial Strategy

 

Sarah Dyke

Lib Dem

Environment

 

Tony Lock

Lib Dem

Protecting Core Services

 

 

Jason Baker

Lib Dem

Area West Chair

 

Adam Dance

Lib Dem

Area North Chair

 

Henry Hobhouse

Lib Dem

Area East Chair

 

Peter Gubbins

Lib Dem

Area South Chair

 

Recommendation (4) – Re-establishment of member level bodies for 2019/20

RESOLVED:

that the following member-level bodies be re-established for 2019/20:

 

4 Area Committees (geographical representation)

Scrutiny Committee (14 members)

Audit Committee (10 members)

Regulation Committee (14 members)

Licensing Committee (15 members)

Appointments Committee (8 members)

Standards Committee (6 District Council members plus 5 co-optees)

 

Recommendation (5) - Appoint Members to Member-Level Bodies

RESOLVED:

that the memberships of the bodies established as in recommendation (4) be approved as follows for 2019/20 having regard to the principles of political balance as set out in the report and giving effect to the wishes of the party political groups:

Area North Committee

12 members (exempt from political balance)

 

Neil Bloomfield

Lib Dem

 

Louise Clarke

Lib Dem

 

 

Adam Dance

Lib Dem

Chairman

 

Mike Hewitson

Lib Dem

 

 

Tim Kerley

Lib Dem

 

Crispin Raikes

Lib Dem

 

 

Mike Stanton

Lib Dem

Vice Chairman

 

Gerard Tucker

Independent

 

Dean Ruddle

Independent

 

 

Malcolm Cavill

Conservative

 

 

Clare Paul

Conservative

 

 

Tiffany Osborne

Conservative

 

Area South Committee

19 members (exempt from political balance)

 

John Clark

Lib Dem

 

 

Nicola Clark

Lib Dem

 

 

Karl Gill

Lib Dem

 

 

David Gubbins

Lib Dem

 

 

Peter Gubbins

Lib Dem

Chairman

 

Kaysar Hussain

Lib Dem

 

 

Andy Kendall

Lib Dem

 

 

Mike Lock

Lib Dem

 

 

Pauline Lock

Lib Dem

 

 

Tony Lock

Lib Dem

 

 

Graham Oakes

Lib Dem

 

Wes Read

Lib Dem

 

 

David Recardo

Lib Dem

Vice Chairman

 

Peter Seib

Lib Dem

 

 

Alan Smith

Lib Dem

 

 

Jeny Snell

Lib Dem

 

 

Andy Soughton

Lib Dem

 

 

Rob Stickland

Lib Dem

 

 

Gina Seaton

Conservative

 

 

Area East Committee

13 members (exempt from political balance)

 

Sarah Dyke

Lib Dem

 

 

Henry Hobhouse

Lib Dem

Chairman

 

Kevin Messenger

Lib Dem

 

 

Paul Rowsell

Lib Dem

 

 

Tony Capozzoli

Independent

Vice Chairman

 

Robin Bastable

Conservative

 

 

Hayward Burt

Conservative

 

Nick Colbert

Conservative

 

Charlie Hull

Conservative

 

 

Michael Lewis

Conservative

 

Lucy Trimnell

Conservative  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

The Leader of Council stated that the new Portfolio Holders responsibilities would be aligned to the Council Plan themes and Areas of focus for 2019/20.  In response to a question she advised that very recent MHCLG advice said that authorities should consider a member’s experience, expertise, interests, ability to act impartially, ability to work as part of a group, and capacity to serve as well as the ability to lead and build a sense of teamwork and consensus among committee members when appointing Chairmen of Scrutiny Committees.

 

The Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Linda Vijeh, ask for her groups disappointment be recorded that the Area Committees would not be afforded the opportunity to appoint their own Chairman.

 

During discussion the following points were made:

 

·         Councillors appointed as Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Committees should all undertake the Chairing Skills training courses offered.

·         Councillors and any potential substitutes on the Audit, Licensing and Regulation Committees must undergo the full training for these committees.

·         The Independent Members’ Remuneration Panel should be reconvened to review the current Members Allowance Scheme.

 

The Chairman asked for Members to consider each recommendation individually and it was resolved that:-

 

Recommendation (1) – to agree the appointment of Leader of the Council

 

It was proposed by Councillor Peter Gubbins and seconded by Councillor Anthony Vaughan that Councillor Val Keitch be appointed Leader of the Council.  On being put to the vote, the motion was carried.  It was therefore:

 

RESOLVED:

that Council appointed Councillor Val Keitch as Leader of the Council for a period of four years, starting on the day of her election (May 2019) and ending on the day of the post 4-year Council election annual meeting (May 2023).    

 

Recommendation (2) – appointment of Deputy Leader of the Council

 

RESOLVED:

that Council note the appointment of Councillor Peter Seib as Deputy Leader of the Council to hold office (subject to Article 7.03) until the end of the term of office of the Leader (May 2023).

 

Recommendations (3 & 4) - Appointment of Membership and establishment of District Executive Committee

 

RESOLVED:

that the District Executive committee be established and that Council  note the Leader’s appointment of the following Members and Portfolio responsibilities for 2019/20:-

 

Val Keitch

Lib Dem

Leader: Strategy & Housing

 

Peter Seib

Lib Dem

Deputy Leader: Finance, Legal & Democratic Services

 

Mike Best

Lib Dem

Health & Well-Being

 

John Clark

Lib Dem

Economic Development including Commercial Strategy

 

Sarah Dyke

Lib Dem

Environment

 

Tony Lock

Lib Dem

Protecting Core Services

 

 

Jason Baker

Lib Dem

Area West Chair

 

Adam Dance

Lib Dem

Area North Chair

 

Henry Hobhouse

Lib Dem

Area East Chair

 

Peter Gubbins

Lib Dem

Area South Chair

 

Recommendation (5) – Re-establishment of member level bodies for 2019/20

RESOLVED:

that the following member-level bodies be re-established for 2019/20:

 

4 Area Committees (geographical representation)

Scrutiny Committee (14 members)

Audit Committee (10 members)

Regulation Committee (14 members)

Licensing Committee (15 members)

Appointments Committee (8 members)

Standards Committee (6 District Council members plus 5 co-optees)

 

Recommendation (6) - Appoint  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Notification of an Urgent Executive Decision to Fit Out the First Floor of Yeovil Innovation Centre (YIC) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Council noted that the Chief Executive in consultation with Council Leader approved:-

 

a.

capital funding of up to £320,000 from the useable capital receipts reserve to meet the cost of fit-out works and furniture for First Floor at YIC2;

 

 

b.

to add the revenue income stated in the confidential appendix to the Medium Term Financial Plan;

 

c.

that expenditure shall only be committed if a legally binding agreement for lease has been concluded with the tenant on the basis set out in this report;

 

d.

that prior confirmation shall be obtained from partners in YIC that SSDC may retain the full revenue impact of this letting to provide return on this capital and recovery of that capital until the full sum has been recovered, and thereafter revenue will accrue to YIC in the normal way; and

 

e.

the Director of Commercial Services and Income Generation be authorised to approve the details of specification and lease terms, or to delegate as appropriate.

Reason:

To report the details of an urgent decision taken by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Council Leader for approval for SSDC to fund fit-out works for the first floor at Yeovil Innovation Centre phase 2 (YIC2) three years ahead of forecast. 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of Council advised that the decision had been taken urgently to secure the tenant who could bring up to 100 jobs to the area.

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive and the Director for Commercial Services & Income Generation confirmed that:-

·         heads of terms had been agreed with the tenant but no money would be expended until the lease terms were agreed with the tenant.

·         the fit-out works were for the benefit of the Landlord (YIC) not the tenant, but necessary for the tenant to be able to occupy the accommodation and pay the proposed rent.  This included basics such as carpets, plug sockets and lights. These would be a permanent benefit to the YIC, not the tenant if they should leave the premises in future.

 

There was no debate and Council noted the decision taken by the Chief Executive in consultation with Council Leader.

 

RESOLVED:

That Council noted that the Chief Executive in consultation with Council Leader approved:-

 

a.

capital funding of up to £320,000 from the useable capital receipts reserve to meet the cost of fit-out works and furniture for First Floor at YIC2;

 

 

b.

to add the revenue income stated in the confidential appendix to the Medium Term Financial Plan;

 

c.

that expenditure shall only be committed if a legally binding agreement for lease has been concluded with the tenant on the basis set out in this report;

 

d.

that prior confirmation shall be obtained from partners in YIC that SSDC may retain the full revenue impact of this letting to provide return on this capital and recovery of that capital until the full sum has been recovered, and thereafter revenue will accrue to YIC in the normal way; and

 

e.

the Director of Commercial Services and Income Generation be authorised to approve the details of specification and lease terms, or to delegate as appropriate.

Reason:

To report the details of an urgent decision taken by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Council Leader for approval for SSDC to fund fit-out works for the first floor at Yeovil Innovation Centre phase 2 (YIC2) three years ahead of forecast. 

 

11.

Report of Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The report of Executive decisions taken since the last meeting of Council was noted.

12.

Motions pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Council agreed to:-

1.  Note the background information provided.

2.  Declare its recognition of a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’.

3.  Develop a Strategy by the Full Council meeting in the Autumn of 2019, that sets ambitious targets to protect the environment and ecology; to reduce Carbon Emissions; and for a) South Somerset District and b) the Council to become carbon neutral.

4.  Develop a delivery plan that sets out the necessary policies, projects and actions to deliver the targets, and identifies the resources necessary to enable the delivery of the strategy.

5.  Work with councils and other partners in Somerset to develop collaboration, joint approaches and share resources in tackling climate change and protecting the environment.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Henry Hobhouse proposed his Motion to Council which was seconded by Councillor Mike Hewitson.  He said that a strategy would take time to be drawn up and all SSDC owned buildings would be carbon neutral by 2023.  He also confirmed that:-

·         although the Government were increasing VAT on solar panels, SSDC would investigate funding a proportion of this for local residents. 

·         the pension scheme investments would be reviewed.

·         the Strategy would be developed in partnership with other Councils.

 

The Leader of Council said that as a responsible Council, they would work towards doing all they could to mitigate climate change however, they could not solve all the problems on their own although this was no reason for inaction.  She said the Council was now in a financial position to invest in its community and they would commit additional resource to deliver the amended recommendations.  She proposed that recommendation 3 be amended so that the Strategy document be prepared by Autumn 2019 to allow sufficient time for officers to research evidence and for Members and others to be engaged in the development of the strategy.

 

Councillor Linda Vijeh said the Strategy document should have clear targets and it should be drawn up in liaison with other Councils and interested members of the Extinction Rebellion group. 

 

During discussion, several Members expressed their support for the Motion and for proposals to plant trees, invest in electric vehicle charging points and solar panels.

 

Councillor Henry Hobhouse concluded by urging Members to support the motion and asked that interested public groups be included in the meetings to discuss the Strategy. The amended Motion was put to the vote and unanimously carried.

 

RESOLVED:

That Council agreed to:-

 

1.   Note the background information provided.

 

2.   Declare its recognition of a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’

 

3.   Develop a Strategy by the Full Council meeting in the Autumn of 2019, that sets ambitious targets to protect the environment and ecology; to reduce Carbon Emissions; and for a) South Somerset District and b) the Council to become carbon neutral

 

4.   Develop a delivery plan that sets out the necessary policies, projects and actions to deliver the targets, and identifies the resources necessary to enable the delivery of the strategy

 

5.   Work with councils and other partners in Somerset to develop collaboration, joint approaches and share resources in tackling climate change and protecting the environment

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

13.

Questions Under Procedure Rule 10

There have been no questions submitted by Members under Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by Members under Procedure Rule 10.

14.

Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the Full Council is a reserve date of 20th June 2019. 

Unless there is any urgent business to progress on this date, the next scheduled meeting of the Full Council will take place on Thursday, 18th July 2019 in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil commencing at 7.30 p.m.

 

 

Minutes:

Members noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Full Council was a reserve date of 20th June 2019. 

 

Unless there was any urgent business to progress on this date, the next scheduled meeting of the Full Council would take place on Thursday, 18th July 2019 in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil commencing at 7.30 p.m.