Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Simon Lewis  Committee Officer

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

Available papers

The members had before them:

 

A.    The Agenda papers (previously circulated);

 

B.    13 questions submitted to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services (previously circulated); and

 

C.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

2106.

Apologies and Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies and invite any councillor to declare any interest in any of the items on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Ms P Agar, Mr R M Bennett, Mr C J Bloore, Mr P Grove, Ms P A Hill, Mrs A T Hingley, Dr C Hotham, Mr J A D O’Donnell, Mr P A Tuthill.

 

Mr J H Smith declared an interest in item 6 as his wife Mrs F Smith was proposed as Vice-Chairman of Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and did not participate.

 

Mrs L C Hodson, Dr A Hopkins, and Mr R C Lunn declared interests in item 7 Notice of Motion 2 as parish councillors, and Mr M J Hart as a parish clerk.

2107.

Public Participation (Agenda item 2)

To allow a member of the public to present a petition, or ask a question relating to the functions of the Council, or to make a comment on any matter on the agenda.

 

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 17 July 2019). Further details are available on the Council’s website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Pezzini-Rhodes asked questions in relation to a travel plan to address parking issues at County Hall, the Hospital, Kings Court, Warndon Six Development and surrounding residential streets.

 

The Chairman thanked Ms Pezzini-Rhodes for her contribution and said she would receive a written response from the relevant Cabinet Member.

2108.

Minutes (Agenda item 3)

To approve as a correct record and authorise the signing of the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019 (previously circulated electronically).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

2109.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)

To receive any announcements to be made by the Chairman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted.

2110.

Reports of Cabinet Matters which require a decision - Minerals Local Plan (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the reports of the Cabinet and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:

 

a)    Reports of Cabinet – Matters which require a decision (Yellow pages); and

b)    Report of Cabinet – Summary of decisions taken (White pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Minerals Local Plan.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure introduced the report and commented that subject to Council’s agreement, the Minerals Local Plan would go out to pre-submission consultation from the middle of August until the end of September. Subject to any modifications, the Plan would be submitted to the Secretary of State for formal Examination in Public. Following the report of the Inspector and subject to further modification, the Plan would return to Council for final approval. This process would take approximately 18 months. The Plan gave an indication of where resources were available in the county but was not associated with the planning process. He assured the residents of Lea Castle, near Kidderminster that their concerns about mineral extraction would be taken into account should an application for planning permission be submitted for consideration by the Planning and Regulatory Committee and he anticipated that any subsequent planning conditions would be rigorously enforced. He encouraged local residents to establish community liaison groups to enable the Council to better understand their concerns. It was vital that any proposals for housing developments did not sterilise the availability of mineral resources

·         The Leader of the Council commented that the Plan had taken a long time to get to this point. The best way to govern minerals extraction was to have a relevant Minerals Local Plan. The alternative was to rely on regulation through the NPPF which represented a far more open and liberal means of regulation. This Plan gave the Council greater control over the planning process in terms of being able to set of robust conditions, hours of operation and site restoration

·         The Council needed to be able to access minerals within the county to provide support to the local construction industry. It was also environmentally beneficial to use local resources rather than bringing material into the County from elsewhere

·         The Plan was not only important to establish where materials could be sourced but also to demonstrate the Council’s approach to site restoration

·         The Plan did not set out where minerals would be extracted but would establish the local parameters in which applications for mineral extraction would be considered

·         The plan would enable the Council to control speculative and opportunistic applications for minerals extraction in the county, particularly in the Lower Severn Strategic Corridor

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Council for the work of Marianne Pomeroy and Emily Barker in preparing the Plan.

 

RESOLVED: that

 

a)    the Publication Version of the Worcestershire Minerals Local Plan for Regulation 19 consultation be approved;

 

b)   the Director of Economy and Infrastructure be authorised to carry out such Regulation 19 consultation;

 

c)    the Director of Economy and Infrastructure be authorised to approve any minor amendments to the Publication Version of the Minerals Local Plan arising from the Regulation 19 consultation, prior to submission to the Secretary of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2110.

2111.

Reports of Cabinet - Summary of decisions taken (Agenda item 5)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported the following topics and questions were answered on them:

 

·         Future provision of overnight unit-based short breaks for children with disabilities and adults replacement/respite care

·         Worcestershire Passenger Transport Review and Strategy Public Consultation

·         Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring.

2112.

Constitutional Matters (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider the appointment of the Vice-Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Yellow pages).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the appointment of the Vice-Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

In the ensuing debate, the appointment of Mrs Smith was commended to Council as she was knowledgeable, very capable and had previously held the position of Vice-Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the nominee of the District Council representatives on the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), Mrs Frances Smith, be appointed as Vice-Chairman of HOSC.

 

2113.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 1 - The Living Wage (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on any Notices of Motion received by him (Lilac pages).

 

Councillors are asked to note that any Notices of Motion must be received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services no later than noon on 9 July 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr P M McDonald, Mr R C Lunn, Mr P Denham, Mr L C R Mallett, Ms C M Stalker, and Mr R M Udall.

 

The motion was moved by Mr P M McDonald and seconded by Mr R C Lunn who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

Those in favour of the motion made the following points:

 

·         This Council should lead by example and follow the other 5,000 employers in the country who paid the living wage by ensuring that organisations carrying out work for the Council also paid the living wage. Many public sector workers received poverty pay and had second or third jobs to make ends meet which impacted on health, family life and productivity. The majority of people using foodbanks were in employment. Anyone receiving below the living wage was living in poverty. There was no excuse for contractors to pay their staff so poorly. The living wage was an independent assessment which was higher than the Government’s minimum wage. The minimum wage particularly penalised young people under the age of 25

·         If the motion were adopted, contractors would need to adopt the living wage in order to win Council contracts. As a result, the Council would be encouraging a change in behaviour of employers as well as improving the welfare of the lowest paid in the community and boosting its own reputation

·         The reliance of low paid workers on foodbanks and state benefits meant that the state was subsidising cheapskate employers who refused to pay a decent living wage

·         There was a balance to be struck between obtaining the best contract price for the benefit of local taxpayers and establishing a fair wage for employees. It was morally wrong for Council to award contracts to contractors who paid low wages at the expense of those who were paying the living wage. A low paid economy damaged society and undermined the Council’s objectives

·         A number of other councils were insisting that contractors paid the living wage and there was no reason why this Council could not

·         The Council attempted to influence people’s lives in so many ways yet seemed reluctant to do so in this instance.

 

Those against the motion made the following points:

 

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Commissioning commented that this Council paid the national living wage or above to all of its staff. The Council did not mandate supply organisations on matters such as staff terms and conditions of employment. The Council did mandate supply organisations to comply with national legislation and all the relevant suppliers did so. Applying additional constraints on the Council’s supply base would have significant economic and practical implications on their businesses as well as this Council financially

·         The Council paid the national living wage which had increased above the rate of inflation. In addition, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2113.

2114.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 2 - Parish and Town Councillors (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr P Middlebrough, Ms K J May, Mrs L C Hodgson, Mr R W Banks, Mr A A J Adams, Mr B Clayton, Dr K A Pollock, Mr A T Amos, Mr A I Hardman, and Dr C Hotham.

 

The motion was moved by Mr P Middlebrough and seconded by Dr A J Hopkins who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         This Council had always relied on volunteers to create the social, environmental and caring fabric of the county. The Council should renew its commitment to these volunteers following the recent town and parish council elections. Parish and town councillors were at the heart of local communities and worked in partnership with district and the County Council. This Council should continue to make use of their knowledge and skills to help develop local communities and services for the benefit of residents

·         Parish councils received plenty of criticism and very little thanks for their work. They had an important role in challenging planning permissions, developing neighbourhood plans, administering the Lengthsman Scheme as well as many other aspects of local work. They were a valuable source of knowledge, expertise and local information

·         The Chairman might wish to consider in future sending a letter of thanks for the contribution of all parish councillors who were retiring after 25 years of service

·         Parish councils played a pivotal role in the democratic make-up of the county

·         Some parish councils had expressed frustration with district councils and the County Council particularly concerning planning applications for housing developments

·         The work of the local Highways Liaison Officer in the Malvern Hills district in liaising with parish councils was commended

·         Parish councils helped engender an ethos of voluntary work which transferred to other aspects of life across the whole of society

·         More volunteers should be encouraged to stand for election to avoid uncontested elections and reduce the number of vacancies across the county. A note of caution was added that some parish councils found the elections process to be prohibitively expensive to administer

 

A closure motion was moved and seconded that the question be now put. A Point of Order was then raised arguing that it was not possible to move a closure motion after previously speaking on that motion. The Head of Legal and Democratic Services advised under the constitution that was not the rule and it was possible for a member to move a closure motion at the end of a speech of another. This requirement had been met. No discussion of the closure motion was permitted. Here, the Chairman must firstly decide whether the subject matter of the notice of motion had received sufficient consideration in order for the closure motion to take effect. If the Chairman felt that that was the case then the closure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2114.

2115.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 3 - Availability of sanitary products (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Ms C M Stalker, Mr R M Udall, Mr R C Lunn, Mr P Denham, Mr P M McDonald, Ms P Agar, Mr A Fry, Ms P A Hill and Mr L C R Mallett.

 

The motion was moved by Ms C S Stalker and seconded by Mr R M Udall who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         Although the Government had now agreed to provide free sanitary products to schools, this Council could do more to make these products more freely available to all women who needed them, for example in all County Council buildings. The Council should ensure that no woman missed out due to lack of mean. This Council could help bring an end to period poverty

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Education and Skills commented that as the Government had agreed to fund this scheme then this Council should support it. The Council was yet to be informed of its share of the £250,000 Government funding available nationally. All middle and high schools had been contacted and 36 schools had replied. The consensus of responders was that where issues arose, charities, large companies and food banks provided support to girls in need. He would consider bringing a report to Cabinet and make efforts to reduce period poverty

·         It was queried whether the problem with period poverty was as bad as was being made out.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED: “Council welcomes the decision of HM Government to fund free sanitary products in all primary and high schools, Council asks the Cabinet Member with Responsibility (CMR) to consider bringing a report to Cabinet on the progress towards implementation of the new initiative, to provide details of how it will be monitored and to ensure the maximum possible uptake.  Furthermore, Council asks that the CMR report considers all other ways to reduce period poverty in the county and to consider all possible means to ensure period poverty is eliminated within Worcestershire."

 

2116.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 4 - Recycling of hard plastics at Quantry Lane Household Recycling Centre (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2117.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 5 - Public Footways (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2118.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 6 - Road Verge Biomass Harvesting (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2119.

Report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive the report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities on current issues and proposed developments within her area of responsibility and to receive answers to any questions on the report (Green pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities presented her report

 

The Cabinet Member then answered a broad range of questions from members.

 

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for her report.

2120.

Question Time (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To receive answers to any questions asked by Councillors (Orange pages).

 

(Members are reminded of the timescale adopted by Council for notice of questions. A Councillor may only ask a question if:

 

·         It is delivered in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services by noon on 9 July 2019 or

·         If it relates to urgent business, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services is notified at least half an hour before the start of the meeting.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Thirteen questions had been received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and had been circulated in advance of the meeting. 7 were answered on the day. The answers to all the questions are attached in the Appendix.

2121.

Reports of Committees - Pensions Committee (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the reports of Committees and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows (White pages):

 

a)    Pensions Committee; and

b)    Planning and Regulatory Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Pensions Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2122.

Reports of Committees - Planning and Regulatory Committee (Agenda item 10)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Planning and Regulatory Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.