Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Media

Items
No. Item

51/20

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Cooper, L James, Keating and Potter.

52/20

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Reid declared a pecuniary interest in relation to agenda item 8 – Council Tax Discretionary Discounts and Council Tax Support Scheme and left the meeting.

53/20

Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 410 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2020 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Mayor.

54/20

Announcements

Minutes:

Tributes were paid to former Mayor and Councillor Anne Court following her sad death.

55/20

Questions from members of the public

To receive and answer any questions from the public.

(Questions must be received in writing by Democratic Services no later than noon on Tuesday 15 December 2020)

Minutes:

Question 1 – Paul Beevers

 

Will Cabinet prioritise planning for landscape protections and ecological/nature recovery networks ahead of planning for development and hard infrastructure, for the South West Basingstoke Vision and at every stage of policy making and plan making from now on, so that nature receives the prioritisation it warrants?

 

Answer – Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Natural Environment

 

Can I thank Mr Beevers for a useful and pertinent question holding us all up to the standard that is expected of us. The short answer I hope and expect and would want is yes. The long answer is as follows:

 

A sustainable future and the protection of the environment lie at the heart of this Vision for Land North of the M3 at Junction 7 and in the wider plan making role of the borough council.  The draft Vision includes a number of principles to guide the future of this area which include prominent references to Ensuring Sustainable Development and Combating Climate Change, Protecting Local Villages and Heritage Assets, and Delivering a Green Infrastructure Network.  The draft Vision highlights some of the key environmental assets of this area including existing woodland.  At the same time, the Vision sets out how important landscape, biodiversity and heritage resources can be protected through such measures as potentially designating green corridors and also Strategic Gaps for North Waltham and Dummer to complement the existing Gap for Oakley.  The council already has a duty, in the exercise of its planning powers, to ensure a net gain for biodiversity.  I am confident that the Vision will, in the event of it being adopted by the council early next year, provide a strategic framework that ensures both sustainable development and the protection of our key environmental resources. 

 

This emphasis on protecting the environment and ensuring a sustainable future will continue as core and guiding objectives of the Local Plan Update, in line with national and local priorities. This will be balanced with ensuring that the future needs of the borough are met and that the necessary infrastructure is in place to deliver a truly sustainable future.

 

Supplementary Question

 

I would just like to emphasise that self-evidently the South West Basingstoke Vision prioritises development over nature as the council has done over 60 years.  It does not come across as showing at least equal treatment with nature and I hope Councillor Ruffell will give that some thought?

 

Supplementary Answer

 

Can I say to Mr Beevers, his instincts are of course right, the land comes into question because of development proposals by land owners, whether it be for housing or for hospitals or other things that may be being discussed.  That in itself causes harm to nature and that harm is something that I am acutely aware of.  I want to see us adopting a net biodiversity gain in everything that we do now before the legislation comes into force through the Environmental Bill and through other Acts that are coming through from Parliament.  I want us  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55/20

56/20

Petitions

Petitions cannot be presented to virtual council meetings but should be sent to the council for consideration.

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

57/20

Resignations and appointments pdf icon PDF 376 KB

a)    If necessary, to review the allocations of seats to political groups

 

b)    to receive resignations from Committees and to make any necessary re-appointments

 

c)    to receive resignations from Outside Bodies and to make any re-appointments and (ii) fill any existing vacancies.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1)            Allocation of seats to political groups

 

Resolved: That the revised scheme of proportionality and allocation of seats as set out in the report be agreed.

 

2)            Appointments to Committees

 

a)    Councillor Harvey be appointed to the Development Control committee.

 

b)    Councillor Tilbury be appointed as a reserve Member on the Development Control Committee.

 

c)    Councillor Vaux be appointed to the Economic, Planning and Housing Committee.

 

 

58/20

Council Tax Discretionary Discounts and Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Services (S151 Officer)

Minutes:

Council considered a report which set out details of the discretionary aspects of Council Tax and the Council Tax Support Scheme.

 

In response to a question from Councillor McCormick regarding the premium charge for properties that have remained empty for over ten years, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement clarified that a premium charge was also applicable to properties that had remained empty for between two and ten years.

 

Resolved: That Council approve

 

1)      The Council Tax Support Scheme which is unchanged for 2021/2022.

 

2)      The care leavers council tax discount which is unchanged for 2021/2022.

 

3)      That council tax discretionary discounts are maintained at the 2020/21 levels for 2021/22 with the exception of long-term empty properties over 10 years; and

 

4)      The premium charge for properties that have remained empty for over ten years is increased to 300%

 

59/20

Change of Name of Parish Council - Section 75 Local Government Act 1972 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Report of the Monitoring Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a request from Wootton St Lawrence Parish Council to change its name to Wootton St Lawrence with Ramsdell Parish Council to better reflect the geographic composition of the parish.

 

Resolved: The renaming of Wootton St Lawrence Parish Council to Wootton St Lawrence with Ramsdell Parish Council be approved.

 

60/20

Dispensation Consideration pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Report of the Head of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

Resolved: That a dispensation for Councillor Keating from attending meetings of the Council on the grounds of ill health until 10 May 2021 be approved.

 

61/20

Calendar of Meetings 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To approve the calendar of meetings for 2021/22 municipal year.

 

Minutes:

Resolved: That the calendar of meetings for the 2021/22 municipal year be agreed.

 

62/20

Notice of Motion - Doctor's Surgeries

Proposer: Councillor K Taylor
Seconder: Councillor Watts

 

In Basingstoke & Deane, over a period of recent years many GP services have been in crisis. 

 

Practice after practice is struggling and more GPs are retiring or leaving the service. Over the past 3 years we have seen significant problems where GP practices have given up their contracts usually after a period of instability. We have seen mergers that do not work, and takeovers by large private organisations with resulting poor service to the community. 

 

Since 2017 we have seen six GP practices in difficulty and two in the last month have given contracts back. This is not the future we envisioned for our local health services depicted in our Horizons 2050 vision. 

 

This Council through its responsibility for Community Well-Being has a direct role to play working with partners to press for improved local health services to be delivered in our communities. 

 

The CCG have oversite of this situation and it is vital that this Council develop a much closer and more regular working partnership with them to develop clear plans for securing services and improving those where needed, and to monitor progress and performance.

 

This Council refers the issue of GP services in Basingstoke and Deane to the CEP committee and tasks it to urgently review and gather evidence on the current factors affecting GP practices, the reasons for the failure of recent partnerships, for contracts being returned and to receive plans and KPI for securing GP services and updates from the CCG on the progress of those plans. 

 

This Council further asks the Leader of the council to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and ask for an early investigation and intervention by his Department in respect of the provision of GP services in the Borough. 

 

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor K Taylor and seconded by Councillor Watts:

 

In Basingstoke & Deane, over a period of recent years many GP services have been in crisis.

 

Practice after practice is struggling and more GPs are retiring or leaving the service. Over the past 3 years we have seen significant problems where GP practices have given up their contracts usually after a period of instability. We have seen mergers that do not work, and takeovers by large private organisations with resulting poor service to the community.

 

Since 2017 we have seen six GP practices in difficulty and two in the last month have given contracts back. This is not the future we envisioned for our local health services depicted in our Horizons 2050 vision.

 

This Council through its responsibility for Community Well-Being has a direct role to play working with partners to press for improved local health services to be delivered in our communities.

 

The CCG have oversite of this situation and it is vital that this Council develop a much closer and more regular working partnership with them to develop clear plans for securing services and improving those where needed, and to monitor progress and performance.

 

This Council refers the issue of GP services in Basingstoke and Deane to the CEP committee and tasks it to urgently review and gather evidence on the current factors affecting GP practices, the reasons for the failure of recent partnerships, for contracts being returned and to receive plans and KPI for securing GP services and updates from the CCG on the progress of those plans.

 

This Council further asks the Leader of the council to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and ask for an early investigation and intervention by his Department in respect of the provision of GP services in the Borough.

 

Members fully debated the motion and made a number of comments and raised concerns which included:

 

·         Deterioration in service following the merger of GP practices.

·         Lack of scrutiny and accountability of the management of GP practices.

·         Lack of consultation with residents to changes to services.

·         Pressures faced by GP practices such as the lack of and reduction of GPs, difficulty recruiting GP’s, GP partner recruitment, part-time GP working hours etc.

·         CQC shows with the exception of two practices in the borough a rating of good and none in special measures.

·         NHS should be held to account to explain and instil confidence, in how new services are being designed, how they will work, and that they are monitored and evaluated.

·         There is significant concern regarding GP practices and the future of those practices from residents across the borough.

·         The lack of access to appointments, inability to get the care needed and lack of communication and engagement by GP practices are significant concerns of residents.

·         Lack of communication between healthcare professionals can result in some patients falling through the gap and not receiving the right care.

·         Data protection issues with personal information being shared  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62/20

63/20

Notice of Motion - Fireworks

Proposer: Councillor McCormick

Seconder: Councillor Jones

 

This Council resolves: 

 

·           to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

 

·           to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

 

·           to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays; and 

 

·           to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the following motion moved by Councillor McCormick and seconded by Councillor Jones:

 

This Council resolves:

 

·         to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

 

·         to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

 

·         to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays; and

 

·         to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.

 

The motion was fully debated with a range of comments made.  Most Members were supportive of having fireworks however concerns were raised regarding the volume of noise of fireworks, the distress caused to animals and the distress to people who may have mental health issues.  It was clarified that the council cannot require firework displays to be advertised and powers were minimal in respect of private land, however it was suggested that the council could encourage organisers of public displays to provide advance advertising of events particularly for those events being held on private land.  It was clarified that Trading Standards were responsible for the licensing of the sale of fireworks through Hampshire County Council, the noise level was set out in legislation and enforcement of regulations rests with the Police. 

 

The mover and seconder of the motion agreed to amend the wording of the motion from ‘require’ to ‘request’ in the first paragraph.

 

Some Members felt they could not support the motion as it restricted the rights of individuals to hold a firework display on their own land and it was not the role of council to restrict the volume of fireworks.  Whilst most people were considerate of others there was recognition that some individuals were not, anti-social behaviour should be dealt with rather than placing further restrictions on people.

 

Upon a vote the amended motion was carried with 35 votes in favour, 13 against and 6 abstentions.

 

Resolved: The motion as amended be carried and referred to the CEP committee.

 

64/20

Questions to the Chair of Cabinet and/or a committee

To receive questions from members in relation to the minutes of the meetings detailed below:

 

Committee

Meeting Date

Community, Environment and Partnerships

16 September 2020

Human Resources

17 September 2020

Scrutiny

22 September 2020

Development Control

23 September 2020

Human Resources

24 September 2020

Audit and Accounts

28 September 2020

Human Resources

29 September 2020

Cabinet

6 October 2020

Development Control

7 October 2020

Manydown Overview Committee

14 October 2020

Council

15 October 2020

Community, Environment, Partnerships

21 October 2020

Licensing

2 November 2020

Economic, Planning, and Housing

5 November 2020

Cabinet

10 November 2020

Development Control

11 November 2020

Standards

16 November 2020

Economic, Planning and Housing

19 November 2020

Audit and Accounts

23 November 2020

Scrutiny

24 November 2020

 

Minutes:

Referring to the Council meeting held on 15 October 2020, Councillor Wooldridge referred to minute item 49/20, and asked whether the Cabinet Member for Homes and Families had received a response to his letter to Robert Jenrick concerning policy regarding no fault section 21 evictions.

 

The Cabinet Member for Homes and Families responded that a response had not been received but would forward a copy to Councillor Wooldridge once one was.

 

65/20

Questions from Members of the Council on notice

Question 1

 

From:  Councillor Vaux

To:       Cabinet Member for Homes and Families

 

At this festive time, when the weather can be awful, wet and cold, our thoughts are with those less fortunate.  Please would the Cabinet member for Homes and Families update us with the numbers of people who are rough sleeping, and what the borough is doing to support them?

 

 

Minutes:

Question 1

 

From:  Councillor Vaux

To:       Cabinet Member for Homes and Families

 

At this festive time, when the weather can be awful, wet and cold, our thoughts are with those less fortunate.  Please would the Cabinet member for Homes and Families update us with the numbers of people who are rough sleeping, and what the borough is doing to support them?

 

Answer

 

Throughout the year, the Social Inclusion Partnership, of which the council are a part, work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable in the Borough. After committing to eradicating rough sleeping in the Borough by 2024, I am proud to be able to say that we currently have no-one sleeping on our streets, and further, no households in Bed and Breakfast accommodation either. These fantastic achievements are entirely down to the innovative approach and joint working of the SIP, and deliver on our public pledge to eradicate rough sleeping in Basingstoke and Deane by 2024.

 

As Cabinet Member, I've been privileged to work as part of a team dedicated to achieve this goal. Back in 2016, we had 26 rough sleepers in the Borough, but this has consistently fallen due to the tremendous progress that has been made in tackling rough sleeping and the causes of rough sleeping, particularly with support tailored to each individual and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. By bringing the council, voluntary sector, accommodation providers, and key services together in the SIP, we've allowed the Borough to deliver something truly special, changing many lives for the better. I would like to thank my predecessor, Councillor Terri Reid for her hard work, commitment and long-term support.

 

Since Covid bit in March our specialist team of housing officers have provided advice and support to 1,039 residents, which prevented homelessness for 90% of those households. Of the remaining households, 63 were supported into settled accommodation and 41 found alternative arrangements.

 

I’m also pleased to be able to confirm that we are bringing forward plans for a new, bespoke 23-bedroom building with 24-hour support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The new building at 180 Culver Road will help us tackle invisible forms of homelessness and ensure no resident has to turn to the streets again. I’d like to thank the Ward Members, Councillor Jack Cousens and Councillor Mike Westbrook for their ongoing support for this key project.

 

While this is a fantastic achievement, collectively we all agree, the hard work starts now to keep this figure at, or close to zero. We must not be complacent, and will continue working with our partners and local charities to build on our successes and find new solutions to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and support them in their journey away from the streets.

 

Question 2

 

From: Councillor Wooldridge

To:     Cabinet Member for Homes and Families

 

At the start of the pandemic in March, the Chancellor, Rushi Sunak, recognised that the basic rate of Universal Credit (and the tax credit equivalent) was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65/20