Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 7.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

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:

A question was received from Cilla De Lande Long

 

My question relates to Item 13B on today’s agenda. This motion proposes the re-establishment of the Sustainability and Climate Change Panel. However, I notice that the Sustainability Strategy adopted by Council in March 2018 had already agreed that this Panel would be reconvened ‘advising on progress to the sustainability programme of work’. What happened between March last year and the present; and how can the failure to action this plan over the last 15 months give residents any confidence that Council takes seriously the impacts of climate change and gives high priority to scrutiny of its actions on this issue?

 

Response from Councillor John Belsey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery

 

I thank you for your question about this very important priority for the Council.

 

Our Sustainability Strategy is a five-year plan running from 2018 to 2023. A set of measures and targets, including Green House Gas emissions, underpins the Plan. Of course, not all actions happen at once. They are planned over the five-year period.

 

We have now reached the point where we have a new Council and are setting up the Sustainability and Climate Change Panel. Setting up this panel was due to be done once the relevant national legislation, such as the Environment Act, was enacted. However, after a year of positive actions we have decided not to wait.

 

Our progress in delivering the Strategy was reported to the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth on 12th March 2019 and I trust you will find that this is a rewarding read.

 

Some of our positive actions include:

 

           significantly reducing the use of single-use plastics. This has included the Refill campaign, with over 50 cafes and pubs signed up in Mid Sussex to provide free water bottle refills.

 

           reducing our electricity use from 2017 to 2018 by 16% and producing nearly 24,000 kWh of solar electricity from our PV panels.

 

           Agreeing a £180,000 investment programme for expanding electric vehicle charging points in public car parks.

 

           Expanding our green waste collection service to 19,212 subscribers

 

           Working with the Local Energy Advice Partnership to support 250 people switching to the Sussex Energy Tariff which uses Sussex produced green energy.

 

We have been far from complacent in the last year. This council is committed to sustainability and I will be front and centre as we implement our Sustainability Strategy for the benefit of all of our communities.

 

A supplementary question was asked by Cilla de Lande Long regarding the Council’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions in terms of housing development. She noted that a recent development in Scaynes Hill was agreed in 2018 with no requirement for renewable energy and asked when Council will begin to enforce this commitment. The Cabinet Member noted that the District Plan policy DP39 called for sustainable design and construction ‘where appropriate and feasible’ and agreed to provide a written response after further investigation into the planning application for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

To confirm Minutes of the meetings held on 27 March 2019 and 22 May 2019. pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 27 March and 22 May 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

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

Minutes:

Councillors Andrew Lea, Stephen Hillier and Liz Bennett declared that they are West Sussex County Councillors. In relation to Motion B, Councillor Eggleston declared that he is a Burgess Hill Town Councillor.

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 announced that his chosen charities for the forthcoming year will be the Children’s Unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital, and Woodlands Meed School. He also drew Members attention to recent engagements attended by the Vice Chairman and himself, which are detailed on the Council’s website.

7.

Review of the Housing Allocations Scheme. pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Walker moved the item, highlighting that a change in legislation since the Scheme’s adoption in 2018 has necessitated some amendments. These were presented to the Scrutiny Committee for Community Housing and Planning in March 2019 where the changes were endorsed. This was seconded by Councillor MacNaughton. A Member welcomed the ability for Clarion Housing tenants in Mid Sussex to join the housing register as it gives them a chance to stay in or near their existing community. A Member queried the processes behind decisions to remove people from the register and it was confirmed that many factors are taken into consideration before exclusion, including medical history. It was also confirmed that a past conviction does not necessarily mean or lead to automatic exclusion.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendations, which were agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council agrees:

 

To approve the revised Housing Allocation Scheme at Appendix 1 to take effect from the 1st of August 2019.

8.

Representatives on Outside Bodies. pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman moved this item, drawing Member’s attention to the tabled paper which provided multiple nominations for the positions available on 10 of the Outside Bodies. For the contested places he took Members to a vote to determine the successful representative based on the highest number of votes received. On the uncontested items he sought agreement en-bloc.

 

Outside Body

Votes received for Contested Nominations.

Action in Rural Sussex (1 place available)

John Belsey - 27

Matthew Cornish - 17

Adastra Hall Management Committee

(1 place available)

Samantha Smith - 27

Sue Hatton - 16

Friends of Ashenground and Bolnore Woods Steering Group (1 place available)

Anne Boutrup - 27

Richard Bates - 16

Beech Hurst Steering Group

(2 places available)

Ruth de Mierre - 27

Sandy Ellis - 27

Richard Bates - 16

Burgess Hill Business Parks Association

(1 place available)

Stephen Hillier - 27

Matthew Cornish - 12

Robert Eggleston - 14

Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network

(2 places available)

Samantha Smith - 25

Emma Coe-Gunnell White - 26

Anne Eves - 17

Robert Eggleston - 18

Jack and Jill Society for the Preservation of Jill Mill (1 place available)

Samantha Smith - 27

Alexander Sparasci - 16

 

Mid Sussex Cycle Forum (1 place available)

Andrew Lea - 28

Paul Brown - 17

Sheddingdean Community Association

(1 place available)

Emma Coe-Gunnell White - 27

Simon Hicks - 16

Sidney West Centre - Board of Trustees

(2 places available)

Samantha Smith - 28

Emma Coe-Gunnell White - 26

Anne Eves - 18

Janice Henwood - 16

 

 

RESOLVED                                      

 

Council agrees to approve the following nominations to outside bodies:

 

 

Organisation

 

 

Nominated Member(s)

 

Action in Rural Sussex

John Belsey

Adastra Hall Management Committee

Samantha Smith

Clarion Housing Regional Scrutiny Board in Mid Sussex

Andrew MacNaughton, Portfolio Holder

Age UK East Grinstead & District

Dick Sweatman

Age UK West Sussex

Phillip Coote

Friends of Ashenground and Bolnore Woods Steering Committee

Anne Boutrup

Armed Forces Community Covenant Champion

Linda Stockwell

Beech Hurst Steering Group

Ruth de Mierre

Sandy Ellis

Bolnore Village Community Partnership

Anne Boutrup

Burgess Hill Business Parks Association

Stephen Hillier, Portfolio Holder

Coast to Capital Joint Committee

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader

Court of the University of Sussex

Colin Trumble, Chairman

Crawley Down Community Centre Association

Roger Webb

District Councils’ Network

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader

East Grinstead Business Association

Stephen Hillier, Portfolio Holder

Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee

Stephen Hillier

Nominated Substitute – Jim Knight

Greater Brighton Economic Board

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader

Nominated Substitute – Judy Llewellyn-Burke

Greater Brighton Economic Board – Call In Panel

Jim Knight, Chair of Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance.

 

Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network

Samantha Smith

Emma Coe-Gunnell White

Haywards Heath Business Association

Stephen Hillier, Portfolio Holder

The High Weald Joint Advisory Committee

Pete Bradbury

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action

Rachel Cromie

Jack and Jill Society for the Preservation of Jill Mill

Samantha Smith

James Bradford Almshouses, Haywards Heath – Board of Trustees

Ruth de Mierre

LGA General Assembly

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader

Local Strategic Partnerships

Jonathan Ash-Edwards,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Tabled Paper - Representatives on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Minutes:

See item 8.

10.

Member Development Working Group. pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ellis moved the item, highlighting that the Working Group’s remit was to identify Member’s training needs and offer access to training and development. This was seconded by Councillor Webster who noted past achievements of the Working Group such as the improved New Member Induction Programme and the significant number of training sessions provided for Members to ensure they have the skills to serve their community well.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendations, which were agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

Council approves:

(i)         The establishment of the Member Development Working Group

(ii)        The Member Development Strategy attached as appendix A to the report.

11.

Recommendations from the Cabinet Meeting of 3 June 2019. pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman moved the report and took Members to the recommendations, which were agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

            Council Approves:

(i)         that grant income as set out in paragraph 13 to 18 and 20 to 25 of the Cabinet report be transferred to Specific Reserves;

 

(ii)        that grant income as set out in paragraph 19 of the Cabinet report be transferred to General Reserve;

 

(iii)       that balance of interest totalling £360,127 as set out in paragraph 27 of the Cabinet report is transferred to the General Reserve;

 

(iv)       that Dividend income totalling £17,369 as set out in paragraph 30 of the Cabinet report is transferred to the General Reserve;

 

(v)        that the 2019/20 capital programme be increased by £966,000 as a result of slippage of some 2018/19 capital projects as detailed in Table 2 of the Cabinet report;

 

(vi)       that £14,823 be transferred to the Car Parking Strategy Specific Reserve as detailed in Appendix C note 32 of the Cabinet report;

 

(vii)      that £3,177 be transferred to Burgess Hill Growth Specific Reserve as detailed in Appendix C note 17 of the Cabinet report; and

 

(viii)     that the revenue underspending in 2018/19, totalling £459,000, be transferred to Specific Reserves as set out in Table 1 of the Cabinet report.

 

12.

To receive the Leader's Report.

Minutes:

The Leader welcomed the Chairman’s choice of charities and encouraged all Members to support fund-raising activities.

 

He updated Members on a recent visit to the Goddards Green waste water treatment centre as the Council has secured over £10m from Government to upgrade it, and he welcomed the fact that Southern Water has now added £5m as their own investment.

 

He provided an update of a recent visit to Bolney by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal to open a development of 12 affordable homes on a rural exception site in Bolney, noting that the homes will be kept in perpetuity for local residents.

 

The Leader of the Council reminded Members of Gatwick Airport Limited’s (GAL) consultation in 2018 on a draft Masterplan for Gatwick Airport. This considered a number of options for the airport’s future growth, and the Council responded. Following the start of GALs work to progress option 2 within this Masterplan (utilising the standby runway), a letter was sent last week by the Leader and 8 other Council Leaders. This expressed concerns about GALs approach, especially the rapid timetable which it appears to be working to. He also noted the need to ensure GAL follows proper statutory processes particularly the requirement for GAL to pay the costs of Local Authorities to allow proper scrutiny of their proposals. GAL has now confirmed that its Board is meeting on 27 June and is being recommended to agree that it should progress plans to convert the standby runway into passenger operation. The Leader noted that the Council is not the decision maker but acknowledged that local authorities do have influence through the process (Development Consent Order) and must use it, especially relating to infrastructure and environmental consideration. Once GAL has published their final plans, the Chief Executive and Leader will hold a briefing to share in more detail, this work with Members.

13.

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

Minutes:

Report of the Deputy Leader

 

The Deputy Leader drew Member’s attention to the recent Performance Outturn report presented to the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance which indicates that performance has significantly increased in comparison to the previous year. For the first time, there are no red indicators, meaning that all performance indicators are within 10% of target. This report will be presented to Cabinet on 8 July.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

 

The Cabinet Member commended the Leader for the robust Economic Development Strategy, as he had received positive feedback on it from outside organisations.  He is currently liaising with key stakeholders and wishes to have more liaison with Towns and Parishes, encouraging Members to approach him to discuss aspirations. He recently met with the CEO of a large local employer who confirmed that their biggest challenge is recruitment and so he is actively working to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, both with schools, parents and employers. He welcomed the fact that provision for Microbusiness grants have been included in the budget and thanked the Officers involved in presenting the recent applications.

 

In response to a Member’s comment on ensuring sustainability is built into the villages as they expand, the Cabinet Member welcomed the opportunity to work together with Parish Councils to ensure residents have the opportunity to work locally.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer Services

 

The Cabinet Member welcomed the opportunity to be the portfolio holder in this area. She noted that the Customer Service team continues to excel. She recently spent the day shadowing the Contact Centre and was impressed with the efficiency, helpfulness and kindness shown to those making enquiries. The average call waiting time is 21 seconds compared to a target of 30 and in terms of queries resolved first time the performance is at 88% against target of 75%. She also confirmed that the Revenues and Benefits team has just been selected as a finalist in all three categories of the national Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards.

 

With regards to the Council’s full fibre broadband pilot she confirmed that in February 2019 the Cabinet agreed to commence procurement once the Government releases the £2.2m to develop fibre connectivity in the district. The programme is anticipated to start this year.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery

 

The Cabinet Member confirmed that £26,000 funding has been secured towards community clean-ups and litter picks and all of the 16 groups who applied for funding were successful. A Member welcomed this funding and thanked SERCO and the Waste Team for their assistance in a litter picking event with St Wilfred’s School.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted the Council’s strong sustainability agenda and is keen to meet with local groups and Councillors to establish what they would like to achieve. With the re-establishment of the Sustainability and Climate Change Panel he has hopes for the Council becoming the leading Authority in this area.

 

Report of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Motions on Notice.

A.        HAYWARDS HEATH COLLEGE

 

Proposed by:               Cllr Jonathan Ash-Edwards

Seconded by:              Cllr Jim Knight

 

That Full Council:

 

·         Expresses its support for the substantial work undertaken by MSDC in partnership with WSCC, the LEP and the Government, with the support of Rt. Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, to deliver the opening of sixth form provision at the Harlands Road site in Haywards Heath.

·         Welcomes the appointment of the Chichester College Group to run the new Haywards Heath College.

·         Fully supports the bid to be made by Chichester College Group to the LEP for £1m of capital funding to match fund contributions made by CCG and Government towards the fit out of the building, and urges the LEP to consider this bid positively.

 

 

B.        ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Proposed by:               Cllr Andrew Lea

Seconded by:              Cllr John Belsey

 

That Full Council notes and supports the declaration by Parliament on 1 May 2019 of an environment and climate change emergency and the intention of Parliament of 12 June 2019 to legislate for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  Mid Sussex District Council recognises the responsibility that it has to protect our own environment and tackle climate change.

 

Therefore, Full Council:

 

·         Commits to continue to actively seek ways to protect the environment and help to tackle climate change.

·         Reaffirms its support for its Sustainability Strategy, progress against which is monitored by the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

·         Agrees to re-establish the Sustainability & Climate Change Panel with 8 Members, to provide advice to the Cabinet Member for Environment & Service Delivery on these issues.

·         Requests that the Cabinet Member and Officers investigate the feasibility and implications of introducing food waste collection in Mid Sussex and report to the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

·         Expresses support for the West Sussex Climate Pledge which has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

 

Full Council also notes, supports, and will build on the significant actions MSDC has already taken:

 

·         Reducing residual waste and increasing recycling, including the trial of kerbside collection of textiles and small electrical equipment and expanding garden waste collection.

·         Installing energy efficiency measures at MSDC’s offices, including the installation of PV panels.

·         Working to reduce the use of single use plastics. 

·         Signing up over 50 cafes, restaurants and businesses to the national Refill scheme to make free water available and reduce single-use plastics.

·         Installation of electric vehicle charging points in MSDC car parks, with up to 26 further points approved by Cabinet in April 2019.

·         Provision for electric vehicle charging points in the Northern Arc development.

·         Securing Green Flag awards at Beech Hurst Gardens and St John’s Park, with an application made for a Green Flag award at East Court & Ashplats Wood.

·         Investment in 2019-20 to improve facilities for residents in key parks.

·         Negotiating the transfer from Homes England of at least 75 hectares of parks and open spaces to the Council to manage.

·         Progressing plans for cycle routes between Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Hassocks whilst looking to support cycle initiatives across Mid Sussex

·         Adopting District Plan policies  ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members attention to the tabled paper which contained details of proposed amendments to the Motions. He confirmed that a vote would be held on each amendment and on the main motion put forward.

 

MOTION A - HAYWARDS HEATH COLLEGE

 

The Motion was proposed by Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards who confirmed that the Chichester College Group has been appointed as the provider for the site, with a new Principal appointed and a provisional opening date of September 2020. He urged Members to agree the Motion which included support for a bid made by the Chichester College Group to the LEP for £1m of capital funding to match fund contributions made by the CCG and Government towards the fit out of the building. This was seconded by Councillor Knight who noted the benefits that the College will have to future students and parents both in a reduction of travel time and cost and an increase in learning opportunities. The Motion was supported by Members who welcomed the reopening of the College.

 

The amendment was proposed by Councillor Bates and seconded by Councillor Dempsey in order to ensure that a wide range of courses were provided by Chichester College Group. Members queried the wording of the amendment as it implied that the site is the only 6th form college in the District, when there is provision in East Grinstead. It was also noted that it was not the Council’s remit to set school curriculum.

 

The Chairman took Members to a vote on the amendment which was lost with 12 Members in favour of the amendment and 32 against.

 

The Chairman then took Members to the substantive motion which was agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council:

 

           Expresses its support for the substantial work undertaken by MSDC in partnership with WSCC, the LEP and the Government, with the support of Rt. Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, to deliver the opening of sixth form provision at the Harlands Road site in Haywards Heath.

           Welcomes the appointment of the Chichester College Group to run the new Haywards Heath College.

           Fully supports the bid to be made by Chichester College Group to the LEP for £1m of capital funding to match fund contributions made by CCG and Government towards the fit out of the building, and urges the LEP to consider this bid positively.

 

 

MOTION B - ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 

The Motion was proposed by Councillor Andrew Lea who recognised the Council’s responsibility to tackle climate change and protect the environment. This was seconded by Councillor John Belsey.

 

Members discussed the provisions that the Council has in place to ensure sustainability in new developments and a range of related matters which included how the planning framework could be used to support sustainability.

 

The first amendment to the Motion was proposed by Councillor Cornish and seconded by Councillor Henwood to create a modal shift of journeys by cycle in Mid Sussex from 1% to 5% of all travel by the end of 2022. A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Tabled Paper - Amendments to Motions pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Minutes:

See item 14.

16.

Questions from Members pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2.

Minutes:

None.