Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 5th May, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held via remote access using Microsoft Teams.

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager 

Note: As a member of the public, you can dial into the meeting using: 0203 855 4748 ID: 331 394 882#. This will enable you to hear the live meetings proceedings only. You will not be able to view the meeeting live. A recording will be uploaded afterwards. Please pre-fix the number shown above with 141 to ensure your personal telephone number is not shown online. Please check with your phone provider to ensure the 141 functionality works as you may need to restrict your number from within your phone's settings. 

Media

Items
No. Item

CO119

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Angela Gunning, Ted Mayne, and Will Salmon.

CO120

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

CO121

Minutes pdf icon PDF 626 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 5 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council confirmed, as a correct record, the minutes of the budget meeting held on  5 February 2020. The Mayor signed the minutes.

 

CO122

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications or announcements from the Mayor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

COVID-19

On behalf of the Council, the Mayor expressed sincere condolences to all those who had been, or were being, affected by COVID-19; especially those who had lost a loved one.  The Mayor thanked the NHS and all front-line workers, including borough council staff, who were working hard day after day to ensure that essential services were provided to residents during this difficult time. 

 

As the Coronavirus continued to make an unprecedented impact on our lives, the Mayor had been impressed by the strength and resilience that the people of Guildford had shown during the lockdown period and was absolutely delighted to see how local communities had come together to help each other.

 

Victory in Europe Day Commemoration and Celebration

Although, the restrictions, whilst necessary, had been challenging, they had inspired us to find new ways of coming together to enjoy important moments.  The Mayor therefore hoped that councillors would take the opportunity to ‘virtually’ commemorate and celebrate the hugely important 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day on 8 May and throughout the weekend. 

 

End of Mayoral Year

The Mayor reported that it had been a strange end to his Mayoral year but expressed his gratitude to the huge number of people who had made it such a pleasure and had supported him throughout.  The Mayor announced that due to incredible support over £28,000 had been raised for his chosen charities – The Prostate Project, Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity and The Mayor of Guildford’s Local Distress Fund. 

 

New Mayoral Year

The Mayor was looking forward to sharing the mayoral responsibility with the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Marsha Moseley for the 2020-21municipal year, and once again visiting communities across our borough and thanking them personally for their efforts during the pandemic.

 

 

 

CO123

Leader's Communications

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader informed the Council that, following Councillor Fiona White’s decision to stand down as deputy leader on 19 March 2020, she had appointed Councillor Jan Harwood as deputy leader.  The Leader announced that, with immediate effect, Councillor Joss Bigmore had been appointed deputy leader of the Council, and that the following changes had been made to the Executive:

 

Lead Councillor

Portfolio

Responsibilities

Cllr Tim Anderson   

Resources 

Finance & Asset Management

Cllr Joss Bigmore   

Service Delivery 

Customer service, execution of corporate plan, governance

Cllr John Redpath   

Economy  

business development & economic support (also working with the Lead Councillor for Environment on tourism)

Cllr John Rigg 

Regeneration    

Major projects

Cllr Jan Harwood

Climate Change    

Climate Change and planning policy

Cllr James Steel

Environment    

Licensing, waste & recycling, street cleaning, allotments, parks and countryside (also working with the Lead Councillor for Economy on tourism)

Cllr Caroline Reeves 

Housing and Development Control                     

all aspects of our council and private housing services including advice and support, and homeless

Cllr Julia McShane

Community      

 

 

social enterprise, safeguarding, environmental health, emergency planning

 

The Leader placed on record her personal thanks for the hard work and achievements of the outgoing members of the Executive: Councillors Angela Goodwin, David Goodwin, Pauline Searle, and Fiona White.

 

CO124

Public participation

To receive questions or statements from the public.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions or requests to make statements from the public.

 

CO125

Questions from Councillors

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No questions on notice had been received from councillors under Council Procedure Rule 13.

 

CO126

COVID19 Emergency Budget pdf icon PDF 487 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Chief Finance Officer’s report on the need for the Council to approve an emergency budget due to the COVID 19 crisis. 

 

Councillors noted that Guildford Borough Council was a category 1 responder to civil emergencies under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.  This meant that the Council had a vitally important role in responding locally to COVID19, to save lives, protect the NHS, and ensure our residents were protected wherever possible.  We also had a duty to ensure that crucial council services continued to operate in these unprecedented times.

 

The purpose of the report was to set out the Council’s response so far to COVID-19, and the impact on services, for which an emergency budget was sought in order to support the response.

 

The report noted that the Council’s response to the pandemic had been intense and wide ranging across a number of critical services. Officers had predicted a range of financial implications for the Council depending on how long the government restrictions were in place.  The financial implications could be between £5million and £13.8million (10% to 31% of the Council’s Net budget requirement).  

 

Councillors were informed that the Council had received two general non-ringfenced grants totalling £1.523million.  Whilst this covered the majority of the costs being incurred, it did not cover the projected loss of income. The availability of further funding from government remained uncertain. 

 

Consequently, officers had recommended that the Council puts in place an emergency budget of up to £13.8million funded from reserves to cover both the costs being incurred and the potential loss of income from the COVID19 Pandemic.

 

Upon the motion of Councillor Joss Bigmore, seconded by Councillor Caroline Reeves, the Council:

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)    That the Council’s duties and response so far in dealing with the COVID19 pandemic be noted.

 

(2)    That the initial assessment of the impact on Guildford Borough Council’s short-term financial position be noted.

 

(3)    That a revenue supplementary estimate of £13.8million to be funded from general fund reserves, be approved and that such funding be drawn down only if further government support is not forthcoming or is insufficient to cover the financial impact of COVID19 on the Council and sufficient cost savings cannot be found.

 

(4)    That the advice of the Chief Finance Officer in paragraph 5.18 of her report regarding the level of reserves and the potential need to rebuild reserves to a sufficient level if government grant support falls short, be noted.

 

(5)    That the changes to Local Authority powers and duties introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020 be noted and that the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to amend service provision in accordance with the Council’s statutory duties as these may be varied by the Act, regulations and guidance made thereunder.

 

Reason:

To enable the Council to continue to respond to the COVID19 emergency.

 

Under the Remote Meetings Protocol, a roll call was taken to record the vote on this matter, the results of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO126

CO127

Regulation 18 consultation on Local Plan: Development Management Policies pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the proposed Regulation 18 Consultation on The Local Plan: Development Management Policies (‘the draft Local Plan’), which was the second part of Guildford’s Local Plan. Once adopted, it would together with the recently adopted Local Plan: Strategy and Sites document (LPSS), fully supersede the existing Local Plan 2003 as the Council’s Development Plan. The draft Local Plan provided the more detailed policies to be used by Development Management in the determination of planning applications. Councillors noted that the LPSS included a small number of development management policies where these were necessary in implementing the strategic policies, for example in relation to Green Belt, employment and retail.

 

The structure of the draft Local Plan was consistent with that contained in the LPSS. The chapters therefore consisted of: Housing, Protecting, Economy, Design, and Infrastructure and Delivery. A list of all the proposed policies and a brief summary as to their aims and how they sought to achieve those aims was appended to the report.

 

The Regulation 18 Consultation included both ‘issues, options’ and goes on to suggest a ‘preferred option’ for each policy.  This approach was designed to generate meaningful comments and concerns that would enable the Council to move straight to a Regulation 19 ‘proposed submission’ document.   This, in turn, would increase the possibility of being able to progress the plan to Examination without the need for main modifications and a further round of consultation. 

 

In considering the report, the Council noted that the draft Local Plan had been put before the Place Making and Innovation Executive Advisory Board (EAB) on 17 February 2020.  The report had included the comments submitted by the EAB which had been extracted from their draft minutes – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EAB had not had the opportunity of confirming the minutes by the time of this Council meeting.  Some councillors had disputed the accuracy of some of the comments attributed to the EAB.

 

It was noted that a further opportunity for the EAB to comment on the draft policies, once developed, would arise during the preparation of the Plan for regulation 19 consultation. 

 

Councillors noted that paragraph 6.4 of the report referred to the current COVID 19 related constraints under which the Council was operating and stated that we would be unable to provide public events as part of the proposed Regulation 18 Consultation, or make available for public inspection hard copies of the consultation documents during the COVID 19 lockdown.  The report had set out details of how the Council intended to mitigate the impact of this by enhancing the online consultation with the information that the Council was intending to provide at the public events, together with other measures to assist stakeholders in making formal responses to the consultation. 

 

Having considered this further and with due regard to

 

(i)    the intended scope of the consultation being open to all residents in Guildford (amongst a range of other stakeholders);

(ii)   the Local Planning Authority’s (LPA’s) obligations  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO127

CO128

Non-attendance at meetings: Proposed dispensation from the requirements of Section 85 Local Government Act 1972 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Under the provisions of Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, if a councillor failed throughout a period of six consecutive months from the date of their last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority, they shall, unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority before the expiry of that period, cease to be a member of the authority.

 

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Council was requested to agree that any councillor unable to attend a meeting for a period greater than six months for COVID 19 related reasons, should receive a dispensation from the requirements of section 85 until 9 December 2020 (the day after the date of the scheduled full Council meeting in December).  The Council could, if necessary, review the position at its meeting on 8 December.

 

Upon the motion of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Caroline Reeves, seconded by Councillor Jan Harwood, the Council

 

RESOLVED: That the Council waives the requirements of Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 andagrees that any councillor unable to attend a meeting for a period greater than six months for COVID 19 related reasons, receives a dispensation from the requirements of section 85 until 9 December 2020.

 

Reason:

To avoid triggering Councillor disqualifications due to non-attendance at meetings for COVID 19 related reasons.

 

Under the Remote Meetings Protocol, a roll call was taken to record the vote on this matter, the results of which were 40 councillors voting in favour, two against, and two abstentions, as follows:

 

For the motion

Against the motion

Abstentions

Cllr Paul Abbey

Cllr Nigel Manning

Cllr Richard Billington

Cllr Tim Anderson

Cllr Paul Spooner

Cllr Marsha Moseley

Cllr Jon Askew

 

 

Cllr Christopher Barrass

 

 

Cllr Joss Bigmore

 

 

Cllr David Bilbé

 

 

Cllr Chris Blow

 

 

Cllr Dennis Booth

 

 

Cllr Ruth Brothwell

 

 

Cllr Colin Cross

 

 

Cllr Graham Eyre

 

 

Cllr Andrew Gomm

 

 

Cllr Angela Goodwin

 

 

Cllr David Goodwin

 

 

Cllr Gillian Harwood

 

 

Cllr Jan Harwood

 

 

Cllr Liz Hogger

 

 

Cllr Tom Hunt

 

 

Cllr Gordon Jackson

 

 

Cllr Diana Jones

 

 

Cllr Steven Lee

 

 

Cllr Julia McShane

 

 

Cllr Ann McShee

 

 

Cllr Bob McShee

 

 

Cllr Masuk Miah

 

 

Cllr Ramsey Nagaty

 

 

Cllr Susan Parker

 

 

Cllr George Potter

 

 

Cllr Jo Randall

 

 

Cllr John Redpath

 

 

Cllr Maddy Redpath

 

 

Cllr Caroline Reeves

 

 

Cllr John Rigg

 

 

Cllr Deborah Seabrook

 

 

Cllr Pauline Searle

 

 

Cllr Patrick Sheard

 

 

Cllr James Steel

 

 

Cllr James Walsh

 

 

Cllr Fiona White

 

 

Cllr Catherine Young

 

 

 

 

CO129

Designation of the Council's Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Resources Specialist Services Manager (formerly the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer), Robert Parkin, had left the Council on 20 March 2020 to take up an appointment elsewhere. 

 

The Director of Resources had undertaken and implemented a restructure of the legal specialist team which had been agreed with the Corporate Management Team, details of which were set out in the Order Paper circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting. 

 

Councillors noted that Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 required the Council to designate one of its officers as monitoring officer. Under the restructure, the Council needed to put in place an arrangement that was flexible and provided a development opportunity for the two Senior Specialists – Legal (Sarah White and Diane Owens) both of whom were highly performing and suitably qualified members of staff. 

 

At its meeting on 6 March 2020, the Employment Committee had supported the recommendation that Sarah White (Senior Specialist Legal – (Lawyer - Planning, Regeneration & Litigation)) be designated as the Monitoring Officer for the Council with effect from her return to work in May 2020 on a part-time basis following maternity leave.  Diane Owens, who had been acting monitoring officer following Mr Parkin’s departure would be the principal Deputy Monitoring Officer in Sarah White’s absence.

 

Upon the motion of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Caroline Reeves, seconded by Councillor Jan Harwood, the Council

 

RESOLVED: That Sarah White (Senior Specialist - Legal (Lawyer - Planning, Regeneration & Litigation)) be designated as the Monitoring Officer for the Council with effect from her return to work following maternity leave in May 2020.

 

Reason:

To comply with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (as amended).

 

CO130

Minutes of the Executive pdf icon PDF 603 KB

To receive and note the attached minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 7 and 21 January and 18 February 2020, and the list of decisions taken by the Leader of the Council on 24 March 2020..

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received and noted the minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 7 and 21 January and 18 February 2020, together with the list of decisions taken by the Leader of the Council on 24 March 2020. 

 

 

CO131

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.

Additional documents:

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.