Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 30th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Opening Prayer

Minutes:

The opening prayer was read by the Vice-Chairman.

2.

To receive questions from members of the public pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

None.

3.

To confirm Minutes of the meeting of Council pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 12 December 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

To received declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda

Minutes:

In relation to item 7, Councillor Andrew Lea declared an interest as a West Sussex County Councillor. Councillor Jones declared an interest as a West Sussex County Councillor in relation to the report of the Cabinet Member for Community at item 13.

 

5.

To consider any items that the Chairman of the Council agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members attention to a letter received from the Royal British Legion Sussex County Branch, thanking the Chairman for the level of Council support at British Legion events over the past year. He also confirmed that over £6,000 has been raised for his chosen charity Sullivan’s Heroes, and thanked the Democratic Services team for their support in arranging the events.

7.

Report of the Constitutional Group 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Holden moved this item which detailed the findings of the Constitutional Review Group 2018/19.  He proposed that the report be approved and this was seconded by Councillor MacNaughton.

 

In answer to questions from Members, Councillor MacNaughton confirmed that additional wording of ‘where applicable’ should be included in the Constitution to clarify when items can be interchanged between the District Planning Committee and the evening Planning meetings. Items where experts are required to attend will remain at the daytime District Planning Committee. With regards to the Scrutiny Committees he felt that the proposed distribution of portfolios would ensure an even balance between the three committees.

 

It was confirmed that the overall scrutiny of progress with the economic growth programme would remain under the remit of the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance, as part of the quarterly performance report.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendations, including the clarification of wording regarding the planning committees. These were agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council agrees that:

 

            3.1       The work of the Cabinet Member for Community transfers to the                            Scrutiny Committee for Customer Services and Service Delivery.

            3.2       The work of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth transfers                           to the Housing and Planning Scrutiny Committee.

            3.3       The Leader, Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee                                    retains the scrutiny of the Leader’s role which includes working                           with outside bodies to generate economic development.

            3.4       Two Planning Committees be established each with a                                              membership of 12 from a planning base of 20 trained planning                           members as detailed in this report.

            3.5.      The changes at Appendix 1 be agreed in the planning                                              delegations.

            3.6       The changes to the Financial Standing Orders at Appendix 2 be                              agreed.

 

8.

The Mid-Sussex District Council (Identification in Polling Stations) Pilot Order 2019 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council introduced the report and confirmed that if the Council agrees the Pilot Order, it will then be presented to the Minister for Parliamentary Approval. In addressing Member’s concerns he confirmed that there is a wide range of acceptable photo card ID should electors not have a photo driver’s license. He encouraged Members to advise residents to bring their poll card to the polling station as the main form of ID to vote. If it is lost, they can contact the Electoral Services team for it to be reissued.

 

The Chairman proposed that the recommendation be approved and this was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED                                                                          

 

Council approves:

 

The Mid-Sussex District Council (Identification in Polling Stations) Pilot Order 2019, and;

 

(a)  That Council authorises the Head of Regulatory Services (The Returning Officer) to accept such minor amendments as the Cabinet Office or The Minister may require.

 

9.

Polling Places and Polling Scheme for 2019 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council introduced the report to seek Council’s agreement of the polling places that lie outside the council wards for any electoral events that arise in 2019.

 

The Chairman proposed that the recommendations be approved and these were agreed unanimously.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

Council approves that:

 

The polling places for all polling districts be defined as the entire District Council ward in which the polling district is situated, with the following exceptions:

 

(a)        Polling Place for Polling District BAC in Ashurst Wood Ward be designated East Court, College Lane, East Grinstead;

 

(b)        Polling Place for Polling District BCF in Herontye Ward be designated East Court, College Lane, East Grinstead;

 

(c)        Polling Place for Polling District FCB in High Weald Ward be designated King Edward Hall, High Street, Lindfield;

 

(d)        Polling Place for Polling District IE in Cuckfield Ward be designated Ashenground Community Centre, Vale Road, Haywards Heath.

 

(e)        Polling Place for Polling District KEE in Dunstall Ward be designated St Edward the Confessor Church Hall, Burgess Hill;

 

(f)        Polling Place for Polling District KFB in Victoria Ward be designated St Wilfrid’s Parish Hall, Station Road, Burgess Hill; and

 

(g)        Polling Place for Polling District HBB in Haywards Heath Franklands Ward be designated the Baptist Church, Sussex Road, Haywards Heath.

10.

Appointment of Representatives to the Independent Remuneration Panel from 1 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Thomas-Atkin moved the item in order to begin the recruitment process. This was seconded by Councillor Wall who noted that the outgoing Remuneration Panel had provided a sound platform for the Council to move forward with regards to setting appropriate allowances. 

 

As there were no Members wishing to speak, the Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was approved unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council agreed:

 

To appoint a panel of three Members (being the Deputy Leader, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, and the Cabinet Member for Community) for the interviewing purpose in order to recommend three persons to join the Independent Remuneration Panel for a 4 year term.

 

11.

Hackney and Private Hire Driver Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Knight proposed that the report be approved, noting that the information had been debated and endorsed by the Licensing Committee on 18 September. He confirmed that the Council sets high standards for its taxi fleet and drivers and this is a further endorsement to ensure the public continues to be protected. The proposal was seconded by Councillor Webster who confirmed that the Code of Conduct will become part of the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage policy and is an addendum to the terms and conditions and licensing rules that drivers have to abide by. The wider policy comprehensively covers inappropriate behaviour such as alcohol consumption and smoking, with drivers fully aware that if they breach the terms, they will be brought before the Licensing Committee and may have their license removed. Enforcement is carried out by the Taxi Licensing Officer who regularly carries out spot checks.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was approved unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Council approved the Programme as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report. 

 

12.

To receive the Leader's Report

Minutes:

The Leader acknowledged the benefits of rationalising the workloads of the three scrutiny committees and offered to attend the committees at any point to address any issues Members wished to raise. He noted that the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth recently considered the draft Corporate Plan and Budget in detail which will be presented to Council in February. He acknowledged the wider economic position in terms of local government funding and the impacts of the Brexit position, noting that it was recently announced that all Local Authorities in the Country have been awarded modest funding to assist in planning for Brexit.

 

The Leader highlighted the important recent development regarding the Business Rates Pilot. The whole of West Sussex has been successful in bidding to pilot 75% business rates retention in 2019/20, with the potential to allocate £19m for investment in a digital full fibre infrastructure across the County. He thanked the Head of Digital and Customer Service for his exemplary work in taking this forward.

 

With regards to the shadow Board for Transport in the South East, the Leader confirmed the body is aiming to become a statutory body by 2020, making it only the second such sub regional transport body in the Country. This is significant because as a statutory body it will have significant influence over Government and the Department of Transport investment decisions in roads and railways. He also noted that progress within the Greater Brighton Economic Board continues to be good and yesterday they agreed their priorities for the next 5 years.

 

In conclusion, he commented on the importance of the partnership the Council has with Homes England. Members attended a briefing for towns and parishes with Homes England recently in which they presented the ongoing work to plan the Northern Arc in detail, the quality of work and scale of investment.

 

13.

Report of Cabinet Members, including questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.1

Minutes:

Report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

 

The Deputy Leader echoed the Leader’s comments regarding the importance of the business rates pilot as it offers a huge opportunity to provide a competitive advantage for the West Sussex economy, particularly with the enhanced digital connectivity.

 

He confirmed that the Micro Business Grant scheme has recently concluded with over 40 businesses successfully receiving grants of over £70,000 in total. This in turn resulted in over £160,000 match funding being secured. He also confirmed that preparations are underway for the Open-For-Business event being held at the Harlands Road College site, which will be co-hosted by the annual apprenticeship fair run by Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council. Speakers will include a panel discussion from the Young Apprenticeships Ambassador Network allowing young people to share their experiences of apprenticeships.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance

 

The Cabinet Member confirmed that the draft Corporate Plan and Budget will be presented to Council in February, following recent scrutiny by members of the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth.

 

She drew Members attention to a report circulated today on the Empty Homes Premium, the purpose of which is primarily to bring homes back into use, and to maximise the income available. She noted that there are a number of circumstances where the premium will not apply. For example circumstances could include properties qualifying for council tax exemption, probate cases and people attempting to sell the property. The local discretionary council tax relief policy would also allow the Council to provide support for customers suffering hardship. In response to Members questions, the Cabinet Member confirmed that the Council Tax Inspectors have records of empty properties and can carry out site visits to check. The Empty Homes Premium also applies to housing association property.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer Services

 

The Cabinet Member provided Members with an update on the Voter ID Pilot and communications to residents. A redesigned leaflet with clear information and Frequently Asked Questions will be issued with Household Notification Letters, Council email signatures will include appropriate messaging and the Pilot will feature in the next edition of Mid Sussex Matters, to be delivered to all households in March.

 

She acknowledged that the Council’s Business Administration apprentice has been in post for 2 months and is an established part of the Comms team. The team have recently made a short film for social media promoting the Council’s independent retailer training and has positive received comments from a local business who have found the training beneficial in cutting costs and increasing productivity.

 

In conclusion the Cabinet Member confirmed that the latest edition of the Mid Sussex More e-newsletter was issued on Monday.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Service Delivery

 

The Cabinet Member thanked the Scrutiny Committee for Customer Service and Service Delivery for their positive remarks concerning the recycling trial carried out with the British Heart Foundation.

 

With regards to waste management,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Questions from Members pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2

Minutes:

None.