Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager. Tel: 01483 444102  Email: john.armstrong@guildford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

CO90

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the Councillors Nils Christiansen, Andrew Gomm, Angela Goodwin, Dennis Paul, Jenny Wicks, and David Wright, from Honorary Freeman Jen Powell, and from Honorary Aldermen Mrs C F Cobley, Mrs S Creedy, Mrs C F P Griffin, J Marks, and L Strudwick.

 

CO91

Disclosures of interest

To receive and note any disclosable pecuniary interests from councillors. In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

CO92

Minutes pdf icon PDF 720 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 26 February 2019.

Minutes:

The Council confirmed, as a correct record, the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 26 February 2019. The Mayor signed the minutes.

 

CO93

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications or announcements from the Mayor.

Minutes:

With his mayoral year drawing to an end, the Mayor thanked everyone who had supported him so far, in particular with fund raising events.  To date, over £43,000  had been raised for the Mayor’s charitable causes, and it was hoped to increase this significantly at the Mayor’s final event – Gatsby at the Mandolay – on Saturday 4 May 2019. 

 

Councillors were asked to contact the Civic Secretary as soon as possible if they wished to reserve a table.

 

 

CO94

Leader's Communications

To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

There were no communications from the Leader of the Council.

 

CO95

Public participation

To receive questions or statements from the public.

Minutes:

Mr John Rigg addressed the Council in support of the motion referred to in agenda item 11.  The Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Spooner responded to the representations.

 

CO96

Questions from Councillors

To hear questions (if any) from councillors of which due notice has been given.

Minutes:

(1)         Councillor Caroline Reeves asked the Lead Councillor for Licensing, Environmental Health, and Community Safety, Councillor Graham Ellwood, the following question:

 

“There has been a series of derogatory comments and misinformation on social media about the replacement stray dog service now that Treetops has closed. Please could the Lead Councillor for Licensing, Environmental Health, and Community Safety explain exactly what the new provision is and how it works, as well as a clear explanation of the charges? 

 

Also there is new legislation to cover the licensing of dog kennels, catteries and the breeding of dogs. Given the unfortunate stories we hear around bad practice and breeding farms, it would be beneficial to know what steps are taken to stop this. Please could the Lead Councillor give an explanation of how this new system functions?”

 

The Lead Councillor’s response was as follows:

 

“Thank you for your question regarding the recent social media interest in the Council’s stray dog service. I would like to explain the new service to reassure the public that animal welfare is at the forefront of the new service.

 

Following an open procurement process the Council has recently appointed a new contractor for the collection and kennelling of stray dogs. The new contract was extended to include the collection of stray dogs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rather than just evenings and weekends.  This not only provides an improved service to residents but allows the Council’s Dog Warden to focus on the recent introduction of more robust animal welfare regulations covering licensed animal establishments such as catteries and kennels during the working week.

 

The new contractor takes and logs all calls from Guildford residents about lost and found dogs 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When an owner is identified, the dog is delivered back to them instead of the owner having to travel to the kennels on the next occasion that the kennels are open. The service is operated in fully licensed and insured boarding kennels, which have recently achieved the highest star rating possible (5 stars) under the new animal welfare licensing regulations. The kennels are used mainly for commercial dog boarding and the stray block, located in a separate area, is to the same high standard as the rest of the kennels. The vans used to transport the dogs have secure fixed cages, as well as water and air conditioning for hot weather. The vans also have mobile telephones and breakdown cover in case of emergency. We have robust contract monitoring procedures in place that include inspections of the kennels to ensure that the dogs are well looked after.  

 

The kennels will provide the Council with details of where unclaimed dogs are placed after the statutory 7 day holding period. As previously, all unclaimed dogs will be sent to established rescue organisations or centres if the kennels are unable to find them homes themselves. We do not put down healthy dogs (unless the dog is one of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO96

CO97

Review of Probity in Planning – Local Code of Practice pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that The Probity in Planning - Local Code of Practice document set out in Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution had not been reviewed for some time and had been included as a part of the ongoing review of the Constitution. The document provided guidance for councillors and officers on their role and conduct in the planning process. The guidance included how councillors and officers should manage contact with applicants, developers and objectors or supporters. The purpose of the guidance provided in the document was to ensure that decisions made in the planning process were not biased and were taken openly and transparently, and based on material planning considerations only.

 

During the review, officers had undertaken a comparison process between the existing document and other councils’ local codes published more recently. The Planning Development Manager, the Principal Planning Solicitor and the Monitoring Officer had reviewed the document. During the course of this process, it was suggested that the updated Probity in Planning - Local Code of Practice could be amalgamated with other relevant information in respect of the determination of planning applications, including how the Planning Committee operated in that regard, and published as a ‘Probity in Planning Councillors’ Handbook’, which would be very useful for all councillors, particularly those newly elected following the Borough Council Elections on 2 May 2019.

 

A copy of the draft Handbook was attached as Appendix 2 to the report submitted to the Council.

 

The report had been considered by both the Planning Committee (on 27 March 2019) and Corporate Governance and Standards Committee (on 28 March 2019).  Both committees’ comments in support of the Handbook had been included  in the report.

 

Upon the motion of the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Matt Furniss, seconded by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Richard Billington, the Council

 

RESOLVED: That the ‘Probity in Planning Councillors’ Handbook’, attached as Appendix 2 to the report submitted to the Council, be adopted.

 

Reason:

To provide up to date and fit for purpose Probity in Planning guidance to councillors and officers, together with other relevant information on the planning process at the Council in a helpful handbook for councillors.

CO98

Appointment of co-opted Independent Members of the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee (May 2019 - May 2023) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that Article 10 of the Constitution provided that the composition of the Council’s Corporate Governance and Standards Committee included three non-voting, co-opted persons who were not councillors or officers of the Council (independent members), whose term of office would be for a four-year period, with serving independent members being eligible for re-appointment. 

 

Following a recruitment process, two applications had been received, one from the  current independent member Mrs Maria Angel MBE seeking re-appointment, and the other from Mr Murray Litvak.

 

On the basis that Mrs Angel had served very ably and impartially as an independent member on the Committee (and its predecessor committee) since 2013, officers had no hesitation in commending to the Council her re-appointment as an independent member for a further four-year term. 

 

Mr Litvak was interviewed on 6 March 2019 by a panel comprising the Chairman of the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee (Councillor Richard Billington), the Chief Finance Officer (Claire Morris) and the Deputy Monitoring Officer (Sarah White). 

 

Following the interview, the panel indicated that Mr Litvak was an extremely able and high calibre candidate with a good knowledge of standards and governance issues.  Mr Litvak was currently Chairman of the Spelthorne Members Code of Conduct Committee and also the statutory Independent Person at Runnymede Borough Council.  The panel had therefore recommended that Mr Litvak be appointed as an independent member of the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee.

 

Before the Council determined this matter, Councillor Michael Illman disclosed that he was a member of the same rowing club, and on the same committee at that club, as Mr Murray Litvak, who was a candidate for appointment as independent member of the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee. Mr Litvak had also coached Councillor Illman. Councillor Illman therefore withdrew from the meeting before any decision was taken.

 

Upon the motion of the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Matt Furniss, seconded by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Richard Billington, the Council

 

RESOLVED: That Murray Litvak be appointed, and Maria Angel MBE be re-appointed as independent members of the Council’s Corporate Governance and Standards Committeewith effect from May 2019, for a four-year term of office.

                                                              

Reason:

To comply with Article 10 of the Council’s Constitution.

 

 

CO99

Appointment of Independent Persons under Section 28 Localism Act 2011 (May 2019 - May 2023) pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Under Section 28 of the Localism Act 2011 (“the Act”) the Council was required to appoint at least one independent person whose views may be sought regarding any allegations of misconduct against a councillor and the arrangements under which any such allegations can be investigated and determined.

 

There were currently three Independent Persons who had been appointed by the Council in 2015 and their term of office would end in May 2019.

 

Although the role of Independent Person was voluntary, the Council was required to advertise the vacancy in such manner as the authority considered likely to bring it to the attention of the public.

 

As with previous appointments, the Council had entered into a joint arrangement with a number of other councils in Surrey to recruit and appoint Independent Persons.

 

The Council considered a report setting out details of the 2019 recruitment process, and the seven candidates who had been recommended for formal appointment as Independent Persons by this Council (and the participating councils) for the four year period from May 2019 to May 2023.  The report had also been considered by the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee, at its meeting on 28 March 2019.  The Committee had commended the appointment of seven candidates as this Council’s Independent Persons. 

 

Upon the motion of the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Matt Furniss, seconded by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Richard Billington, the Council

 

RESOLVED: That the following persons be appointed as the Council’s Independent Persons for a four-year term of office expiring in May 2023:

 

·        Vivienne Cameron

·        Bill Donnelly

·        Paul Eaves

·        Liz Lawrence

·        Roger Pett

·        Bernard Quoroll

·        John Smith

 

Reason:

To enable the Council to comply with its obligations under Section 28 (7) of the Localism Act 2011.

 

CO100

Notice of Motion Dated 28 March 2019

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, Councillor Bob McShee to propose, and Councillor Colin Cross to second, the following motion:

 

“This Council notes that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council has been called on Thursday 25 April 2019 for the purpose of considering whether the Local Plan should be formally adopted following receipt of the Inspector’s final report.

 

The Council

 

RESOLVES:

 

(1)     That consideration of whether the Council should adopt the Local Plan be deferred to a suitable and reasonable date after the Borough Council elections on 2 May 2019.

 

(2)     That, should the Council decide not to defer consideration of the adoption of the Local Plan, the proposed Extraordinary Council meeting currently arranged for 25 April 2019 be held at a venue with a much larger capacity than the Council Chamber in order to accommodate the large number of Guildford residents interested in the Local Plan who may wish to attend the meeting.

 

(3)     That, irrespective of the date and venue, public participation at the Extraordinary Meeting be extended by thirty minutes to one hour to allow the public to address the Meeting before the Council makes a decision on the possible adoption of the Local Plan."

 

Minutes:

Prior to the formal consideration of this matter, the Mayor drew the Council’s attention to the note circulated by the Managing Director to all councillors on 5 April 2019 specifically in respect of paragraph (1) of the proposed resolution in the motion.

 

A copy of the note had been appended to the Order Paper circulated to all councillors before the meeting.

 

The Council’s lead barrister on the Local Plan, Mr James Findlay QC was present to offer any further advice to councillors in order to deal with this matter appropriately.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, Councillor Tony Rooth proposed, and Councillor Colin Cross seconded, the adoption of the following motion:

 

“This Council notes that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council has been called on Thursday 25 April 2019 for the purpose of considering whether the Local Plan should be formally adopted following receipt of the Inspector’s final report.

 

The Council

 

RESOLVES:

 

(1)   That consideration of whether the Council should adopt the Local Plan be deferred to a suitable and reasonable date after the Borough Council elections on 2 May 2019.

 

(2)   That, should the Council decide not to defer consideration of the adoption of the Local Plan, the proposed Extraordinary Council meeting currently arranged for 25 April 2019 be held at a venue with a much larger capacity than the Council Chamber in order to accommodate the large number of Guildford residents interested in the Local Plan who may wish to attend the meeting.

 

(3)   That, irrespective of the date and venue, public participation at the Extraordinary Meeting be extended by thirty minutes to one hour to allow the public to address the Meeting before the Council makes a decision on the possible adoption of the Local Plan."

 

Councillor Rooth requested a recorded vote be taken in respect of paragraphs (1) and (2) of the motion, which was supported by four other councillors.

 

Following the debate on the motion, paragraph (1) was put to a recorded vote and was lost with 14 councillors voting in favour, 25 councillors voting against, and two abstentions as follows:

 

FOR:

AGAINST:

ABSTAIN:

Councillor Colin Cross

Councillor David Goodwin

Councillor Gillian Harwood

Councillor Liz Hogger

Councillor Mike Hurdle

Councillor Julia McShane

Councillor Bob McShee

Councillor Susan Parker

Councillor Tony Phillips

Councillor David Reeve

Councillor Caroline Reeves

Councillor Tony Rooth

Councillor Matt Sarti

Councillor Pauline Searle

Councillor David Bilbe

Councillor Richard Billington

Councillor Philip Brooker

Councillor Adrian Chandler

Councillor Alexandra Chesterfield

Councillor Geoff Davis

Councillor Graham Ellwood

Councillor David Elms

Councillor Matt Furniss

Councillor Angela Gunning

Councillor Christian Holliday

Councillor Michael Illman

Councillor Gordon Jackson

Councillor Jennifer Jordan

Councillor Nigel Kearse

Councillor Sheila Kirkland

Councillor Nigel Manning

Councillor Marsha Moseley

Councillor Nikki Nelson-Smith

Councillor Mike Piper

Councillor David Quelch

Councillor Jo Randall

Councillor Iseult Roche

Councillor Paul Spooner

Councillor James Walsh

Councillor Liz Hooper

Councillor Mike Parsons

 

Paragraph (2) was put to a recorded vote and was lost with 6 councillors voting in favour, 32 councillors voting against, and three abstentions as follows:

 

FOR:  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO100

CO101

Minutes of the Executive pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To receive and note the attached minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 19 February and the special meeting held on 7 March 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Council received and noted the minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 19 February and 7 March 2019. 

 

CO102

Retiring Councillors - Vote of Thanks

Minutes:

The Mayor expressed appreciation of the service to the community and the Council by the following councillors:

 

Councillor Tony Phillips (36 years on the Council)

Councillor Jenny Wicks (24 years)

Councillor Iseult Roche (8 years)

Councillor Murray Grubb Jnr (6 years)

Councillor Nils Christiansen (4 years)

Councillor Mike Hurdle (4 years)

Councillor Michael Illman (4 years)

Councillor David Reeve (4 years)

Councillor Matt Sarti (4 years)

 

who were not seeking re-election on 2 May 2019.  Between the nine councillors, they had achieved a combined total of 94 years of service, and had amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience which would be greatly missed by the Council and its residents. The Council joined the Mayor in expressing formally their thanks and appreciation to them and offering their best wishes for the future.

 

CO103

Common seal

To order the Common Seal to be affixed to any document to give effect to any decision taken by the Council at this meeting.

Minutes:

The Council

 

RESOLVED: That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any documents to give effect to any decisions taken by the Council at this meeting.