Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting using Zoom meeting software. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 March 2022. The draft minutes can be viewed at: https://modgov.southsomerset.gov.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?bcr=1

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 March 2022 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Tiffany Osborne.

3.

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. 

Planning Applications Referred to the Regulation Committee

The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council’s Regulation Committee:

Councillors Adam Dance and Dean Ruddle.

Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee.  In these cases the Council’s decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee.  Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee.  They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Louise Clarke declared a personal interest in agenda item 9: Making the Most of Martock (M3) – Update as she attended their meetings.

4.

Date of next meeting

Councillors are requested to note that the next Area North Committee meeting is scheduled to be held at 2.00pm on Wednesday 27 July 2022, with meeting arrangements to be confirmed nearer the date (but likely to be a virtual meeting using Zoom).

Minutes:

Members noted the next meeting of Area North Committee was scheduled for Wednesday 27 July 2022 at 2.00pm.

 

5.

Public Question Time

Minutes:

A member of the public addressed the Committee and raised concerns and frustrations about the delay, lack of communication and inaccessibility of officers regarding a planning application for their business. She gave some context to their situation, and referred to the impact the delays were having on the business. She acknowledged that communication channels had recently reopened with an officer and she asked for a guarantee that this would continue. It was also asked if the planning department could be more accessible, and possibly a more visible way to escalate issues such as those they had experienced particularly regarding absent communication.

 

The Chairman thanked the member of the public for their comments and questions, and acknowledged the struggles they had experienced. In response, he advised that the comments would be forwarded to the planning department for officers to provide a written response.

 

Ward member, Councillor Neil Bloomfield, briefly commented and made reference to the phosphates situation and the potential impact of different agricultural practices.

6.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded everyone present that in order to enable members to continue holding remote, virtual meetings, Full Council agreed in December to amend Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution to allow its remote meetings to function as consultative meetings and delegate decisions to the Chief Executive.

7.

Reports From Members

Minutes:

Councillor Gerard Tucker was happy to advise members that the new cricket nets and bowling machine were now installed and being used at Long Sutton Cricket Club. He thanked Area North Committee for supporting the project with a community grant.

8.

Community Grant - Upgrade to High Ham Parish Council's Play Area (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that a grant of £9,462 be awarded to High Ham Parish Council towards the upgrade of the play area at High Ham playing field. The grant to be allocated from the Area North capital programme and subject to SSDC standard conditions for community grants (appendix A).

 

Reason:

To consider a grant funding request for upgrading the play area at High Ham playing field.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Locality Officer presented the report which asked members to consider the awarding of a grant towards the upgrade of the play area at High Ham playing field.   He explained that since the report had been published, there had been a revision to the amount of funding requested due to a change of specification for an item of equipment being purchased, which had reduced the installation costs. The updated figures were detailed to members and in summary the parish council were now requesting £9,462 instead of £11,000. He advised that a member of the parish council was present to answer any question from members regarding the project.

 

Ward member, Councillor Gerard Tucker, noted that although the play area was quite remote within the parish, it was located near to the school and there was often much activity at the playing field many weekday afternoons. He highlighted there had been much fundraising. He fully endorsed the project and proposed the recommendation.

 

There being no further discussion, it was agreed to recommend to the Chief Executive that a grant of £9,462 be approved, as per the officer recommendation.

 

The representative of the parish council thanked members for their support.

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that a grant of £9,462 be awarded to High Ham Parish Council towards the upgrade of the play area at High Ham playing field. The grant to be allocated from the Area North capital programme and subject to SSDC standard conditions for community grants (appendix A).

 

Reason:

To consider a grant funding request for upgrading the play area at High Ham playing field.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

9.

Making the Most of Martock (M3) - Update pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend that the Chief Executive agrees to continue to nominate a representative from the Area North Committee to the Making the Most of Martock Community Partnership (M3CP).

 

Reason:

To continue to assist the Making the Most of Martock Community Partnership (M3CP) by appointing a District Councillor representative.

 

(Voting: 7 in favour, 1 against, 0 abstentions)

Minutes:

The Locality Manager introduced the report which gave a brief overview of what the partnership was set up to do, an update on the current situation with M3 (Making the Most of Martock) and provided members with an opportunity to consider the future relationship of SSDC with the local partnership. He reminded members that the report had initially been discussed at the March meeting of Area North Committee (Informal) where members had deferred the report in order to obtain comments of the representative member to the group. He highlighted that the group did not ask for any funding or officer support from SSDC.

 

Two members of the public addressed members and some of their comments included:

·        A letter from the group, which included their comments, had been circulated to all Area North members. They had no new comments to raise at this meeting.

·        Reference to all the good work that the group had done, and does, in the community. It cost nothing for SSDC to be a core partner of the partnership so please could SSDC continue in the role.

 

County Division Member, Councillor John Bailey, acknowledged the good work done by the volunteers in the community. From making enquiries in his County Councillor role, he understood that Somerset County Council had not formally withdrawn from the partnership. He saw no reason to not support the partnership.

 

Ward member, Councillor Louise Clarke, commented she could see no reason to stop SSDC representation to M3. She noted it was a fantastic group with many representatives from other groups within the community.

 

Ward member, Councillor Neil Bloomfield, commented that no one was saying that the group should not exist. He felt there were some constitutional failings with the group as for example it did not meet in public and there had been no Annual General Meeting. Attendance at meetings had also declining. He noted the group was fairly unique in that it used SSDC branding and he felt the matter of SSDC support was about consistency and equality. He felt it was a question of whether SSDC needs to attach itself to the organisation.

 

During discussion, some of the comments raised by members included:

·        M3 has existed for a number of years and delivered many projects. Now may be a time to not only reflect on what has been done but also the future, and perhaps consider how could be more publicly accessible.

·        Any organisation such as this with volunteers should be supported.

 

In response to other comments made the Locality Officer clarified that:

·        From an officer perspective there was no recommendation to withdraw from the group, it was about how we interpret SSDC's role with the partnership.

·        Cannot see anything in the activities happening that is inappropriate or aren't supported locally.

·        It is a local partnership and SSDC had a representative on the group as we had been asked to have one. No reason why current situation could not continue. It would be difficult to withdraw from something for which we  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Area North Committee - Appointment of Members to Outside Organisations and Groups for 2022/2023 (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that  the appointment of members to the outside organisations and groups for 2022/2023, be as follows:-

 

·     Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group Executive Board – Councillor Gerard Tucker

·     Langport Abattoir Liaison Group – Councillors Tiffany Osborne and Mike Stanton

·     Martock Community Planning Partnership (M3CP) – Councillor Louise Clarke

·     Huish Episcopi Leisure Centre Board – No appointment made

 

Reason

To review and re-appoint Councillors to outside organisations and working groups within Area North for 2022/23.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the item which asked the Committee to review its appointments to outside organisations within Area North.

 

Some brief updates were provided by the existing appointed members including:

 

·        Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group - the last grant had been awarded  and there might be some review work to ensure expectations of the funding have been met. If there was a need to engage, the existing appointed member was happy to continue.

·        Langport Abattoir Liaison Group - with the move to a unitary authority both of the existing members would cease to be councillors next year. For continuity, it was suggested Councillor Mike Stanton, as he is also a County Councillor, become one of the representatives and attend meetings with the remaining SSDC member, Councillor Tiffany Osborne.

·        Martock Community Planning Partnership (M3CP) - consideration of continuing an appointment to the group had been agreed at the previous item on the agenda. The existing representative was happy to continue.

·        Huish Episcopi Leisure Centre Board - the Centre was now run by a private provider. Both appointed members had since been asked, and subsequently advised by Legal, to resign from the Board, which they had done recently. There was much discussion ongoing about how future reporting will take place and to which committee. There was no longer a need for SSDC to make any appointment to the Board.

 

During a brief discussion a member noted an enormous amount of funding had been provided to Huish Leisure Centre over the years, and he hoped there would be no loss of public access to the facility. In response, the exiting representatives noted there had been much discussion with SSDC officers and the legal team, in order to ensure reporting would continue and that user agreements are honoured.

 

It was proposed, and unanimously agreed, to make the following appointments for the 2022/23 municipal year:

·        Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group Executive Board – Councillor Gerard Tucker

·        Langport Abattoir Liaison Group – Councillors Tiffany Osborne and Mike Stanton

·        Martock Community Planning Partnership (M3CP) – Councillor Louise Clarke

·        Huish Episcopi Leisure Centre Board – Appointment no longer required.

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that  the appointment of members to the outside organisations and groups for 2022/2023, be as follows:-

 

·      Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group Executive Board – Councillor Gerard Tucker

·      Langport Abattoir Liaison Group – Councillors Tiffany Osborne and Mike Stanton

·      Martock Community Planning Partnership (M3CP) – Councillor Louise Clarke

·      Huish Episcopi Leisure Centre Board – No appointment made

 

Reason

To review and re-appoint Councillors to outside organisations and working groups within Area North for 2022/23.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

11.

Scheme of Delegation - Development Control - Nomination of Substitutes for Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2022/23 (Area North) (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive the appointment of Councillors Crispin Raikes and Dean Ruddle  to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice Chairman to make decisions in the Chairman’s and Vice Chairman’s absence on whether an application should be considered by the Area Committee as requested by the Ward Member(s) in line with Development Control Revised Scheme of Delegation.

 

Reason:

To review and re-appoint Councillors to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice Chairman in the exercising of the Scheme of Delegation for planning and related applications for 2022/23.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

 

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the report which asked the Committee to review the appointment of two members to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in the exercising of the Scheme of Delegation for planning and related applications.

 

There was no debate. It was proposed that Cllr Crispin Raikes continue to be the first substitute and Cllr Dean Ruddle as second substitute, which was unanimously agreed by members.

 

RESOLVED:

That Area North Committee recommend to the Chief Executive the appointment of Councillors Crispin Raikes and Dean Ruddle  to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice Chairman to make decisions in the Chairman’s and Vice Chairman’s absence on whether an application should be considered by the Area Committee as requested by the Ward Member(s) in line with Development Control Revised Scheme of Delegation.

 

Reason:

To review and re-appoint Councillors to act as substitutes for the Chairman and Vice Chairman in the exercising of the Scheme of Delegation for planning and related applications for 2022/23.

 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

12.

Area North Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

There was no discussion and members were content to note the Forward Plan.

13.

Planning Appeals (for information) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

There was no discussion, and Members were content to note the report that detailed the planning appeals which had been lodged, dismissed or allowed.