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Meeting Details

Council
18 Jul 2018 - 18:00 to 00:00
Occurred

Documents

Agenda

Part A
1 Welcome and Announcements (Council)
The Mayor will welcome members of the public and Councillors and will ask the Chaplain to say a prayer. The Mayor will also remind everyone to use microphones at all times when they are speaking, explain action required in the event of an emergency, mobile phones switched to silent and audio-recording of the meeting.
2 Have Your Say! (Council)
The Mayor will invite members of the public to indicate if they wish to speak or present a petition on any item included on the agenda or any other matter relating to the business of the Council.  Please indicate if you wish to speak at this point if your name has not been noted by Council staff.

268
Mark Goacher addressed Council pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 6(5) on behalf of a number of residents of Castle ward who had expressed concern about the proposed new development at St Botolphs.  The Council had promised to develop the area into a cultural quarter.  However, the plans proposed a block of student housing which would dominate the area.   Concerns had been expressed across all political groups.  The proposals included no cultural facilities and were driven by profit.  There were major concerns in particular about the size and density of the development.  It would block views of Firstsite from Queen Street.  The Council should listen to the views of the local community about the future development of the Cultural Quarter, particularly those who cared about the arts. 

Councillor Barlow, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, responded and explained that proposals for the redevelopment of the area had been discussed since he was first elected in 2007.  The original proposals brought forward in 2007 were almost identical in terms of size and mass.  It was always envisaged that there would be a residential element to the development.  This was a major redevelopment of a brownfield site, and would bring investment and footfall to the Cultural Quarter. 

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, also responded and stressed that the development would add to the Cultural Quarter.  It would provide accommodation for students at the University or the Institute studying the arts .The development would include a performance arts space and would have an art curator.  Improved drawing of the development would be produced. The Council would listen to the concerns that had been raised and design changes would be made. The alternative was to start again which would only lead to further delays in the development of the Cultural Quarter.

Victoria Weaver addressed Council pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 6(5) in support of the principle of unitary authorities. A unitary authority made government truly local. Unitary authorities also reduced bureaucracy, brought services together and allowed for better strategic decision making, which in turn would strengthened the local business environment.  The Policy Review Panel should look at a strategy for the establishment of Colchester as a unitary authority.   

Councillor Cory, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy, responded and explained that he believed there were advantages to unitary authorities, and suggested that she might raise the idea with the Policy and Public Initiatives Panel.  He also highlighted that the Council was seeking to work more closely with Essex County Council.

John Akker addressed Council pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 6(5).  He noted that this was an historic date as it was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.  A number of members of Council had spoken about the need to drive party politics out of the Local Plan process and he called on Council to make this a reality.  The process needed a consensus across all groups, not just the ruling group, and whole Council support: It was not just a matter for the Local Plan Committee.  The Council should also seek to work with and engage community groups and build a consensus with them.  The existing Local Plan had some rough edges to it. For example, it was noted that the allocation of new homes for Mersea Island was 200 new homes over two sites, but he understood that it had been stated at a training event that if the Local Plan were approved, planners would press for greater numbers if the sites could take a greater density of housing.  

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, explained that some of the matters raised were for the Local Plan Committee.  He understood that point on the 2 sites issue was incorrect, but he would ask that this be clarified. The Local Plan would come to Full Council for approval and all members would have the opportunity to vote on it.   Together with the Leader of the Council he would be holding a listening session with community groups in the near future, and the views expressed would be fed into the Local Plan process.  

Mr Orton addressed Council pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 6(5) to raise concerns about the service an elderly tenant had received after reporting an issue with her accommodation.  She had been given incorrect advice and had to wait an unacceptably long time for repairs.  This was contrary to the Council’s repairs policy and the Council’s housing policies needed to be looked at again. He had sought to discuss the matter with the Portfolio Holder but had not received a response.

Councillor Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities responded and explained it would not be appropriate to discuss the full details of the case at a Council meeting.  However she was satisfied that the right policies had been in place and had been followed. The issue had now been resolved, although it was accepted that it could have been resolved more quickly.
 
3 Minutes of the Previous Meeting (Council)
A.... Motion that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.
267
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.
4 Declarations of Interest
Councillors will be asked to say if there are any items on the agenda about which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest which would prevent them from participating in any discussion of the item or participating in any vote upon the item, or any other pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest.
5 Items (if any) referred under the Call-in Procedure (Council)
The Council consider any items referred by the Scrutiny Panel under the Call-in Procedure because they are considered to be contrary to the policy framework of the Council or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with, the budget.
6 Mayor's Announcements
The Mayor to make announcements.
269
The Mayor thanked Councillors for the support he had received since his election and announced the following events:-

A visit to the Air Ambulance Airfield at Earls Colne on 23 July 2018;
Essex Wildlife Trust were holding a Family Wildlife Day in the Castle Park on 23 August 2018;
On 22 September 2018, the Mayor would be walking the new Colchester Orbital Route and Councillors were welcome to join him. 
 
7 Recommendations of the Cabinet, Panels and Committees
Council will consider the following recommendations:-
B... Motion that the recommendations contained in draft minute 116 of the meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee on 10 July 2018 be approved and adopted.
270
RESOLVED that the recommendations contained in minute 116 of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting of 10 July 2018 be approved and adopted (MAJORITY voted FOR). 
C... Motion that the recommendation contained in the minute of the Scrutiny Panel meeting on 17 July 2018 be approved and adopted  (to follow),
271
RESOLVED that the recommendation contained in minute 171 of the Scrutiny Panel meeting of 17 July 2018 be approved and adopted (MAJORITY voted FOR).
D... Motion that the recommendation contained in the minute of the Member Development Group meeting of 18 July 2018 be approved and adopted.
272
It was proposed by Councillor King that the recommendation contained in minute 5 of the Member Development Group meeting of 10 July 2018 be approved and adopted.

A secondary amendment was moved by Councillor Arnold that the recommendation contained in minute 5 of the Member Development Group meeting of 10 July 2018 be approved and adopted subject to the deletion of the following words in paragraph (f) 

“Where, in the opinion of the Monitoring Officer, the withholding of the payment of the allowance is likely to cause financial hardship then this provision shall not apply”

Councillor King indicated that the secondary amendment was accepted and the motion was deemed amended accordingly.

The motion was then put to the vote and was carried (MAJORITY voted FOR).
 
8 Notices of Motion pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 11

Council will consider the following Motions:-

(Note: The maximum length of time for the consideration of all such motions shall be 80 minutes. In the event that a motion is still being debated when the 80 minutes have elapsed the Mayor shall invite the proposer of the motion to
respond to the debate and then move straight to the vote. )

E.... Proposer: Cllr Liddy

This Council resolves:

1. To ensure that the Council’s procurement practices do not support modern slavery  the Council will adopt and apply the Co-operative Party’s Charter Against Modern Slavery (as far as is legally possible), by

Training its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

Requiring its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.

Challenging any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon a potential contractor practising modern slavery.

Highlighting to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

Publicising its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

Requiring its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

Reviewing its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

Highlighting for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies.

Referring for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

Reporting publicly on the implementation of this policy annually, in accordance with CBC Modern Slavery Act 2015 Transparency Statement 2016/17.

2. Ensure that it will do everything reasonably possible to tackle modern day slavery in line with the Local Government Association’s guidance and that it will also seek to ensure that any company that it has shares in will also do everything reasonably possible to tackle modern day slavery in line with the Local Government Association’s guidance.

3. Write to government to ask that support for victims of modern day slavery is extended beyond the current 45 days.

As the motion relates to an executive matter, it will stand referred to Cabinet unless Procedure Rule 11(2) is suspended.

 
274

It was proposed by Councillor Liddy that:-

 

This Council resolves:

1. To ensure that the Council’s procurement practices do not support modern slavery  the Council will adopt and apply the Co-operative Party’s Charter Against Modern Slavery (as far as is legally possible), by

Training its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.

Requiring its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.

Challenging any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon a potential contractor practising modern slavery.

Highlighting to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

Publicising its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

Requiring its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

Reviewing its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.

Highlighting for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies.

Referring for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

Reporting publicly on the implementation of this policy annually, in accordance with CBC Modern Slavery Act 2015 Transparency Statement 2016/17.

2. Ensure that it will do everything reasonably possible to tackle modern day slavery in line with the Local Government Association’s guidance and that it will also seek to ensure that any company that it has shares in will also do everything reasonably possible to tackle modern day slavery in line with the Local Government Association’s guidance.

3. Write to government to ask that support for victims of modern day slavery is extended beyond the current 45 days.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was approved and adopted (UNANIMOUS). 

 
9 Questions to Cabinet Members and Chairmen pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10
Cabinet members and Chairmen will receive and answer pre-notified questions in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10(1) followed by any oral questions (not submitted in advance) in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10(3).

(Note: a period of up to 60 minutes is available for pre-notified questions and oral questions by Members of the Council to Cabinet Members and Chairmen (or in their absence Deputy Chairmen)).
275

Questioner

Subject

Response

Questions

Councillor Laws

Could the Leader of the Council guarantee that the Zones teams will be given the resources to keep on top of their work especially in respect of street cleaning, and would appropriate enforcement action be taken against those who drop cigarette butts?

Councillor Cory, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy, explained that the administration was providing a further £300,000 towards cleaning up and promoting the town centre. Enforcement action would be taken against those who dropped cigarette butts.

Councillor Barber

Could the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities arrange for policies to be reviewed so that brownfield sites owned by Colchester Borough Homes on estates could be made available for residents’ parking?

Councillor Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, explained that housing land was an asset that was managed by Colchester Borough Homes and any use had to be in accordance with the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. A number of brownfield garage sites had been redeveloped as Council housing sites.

 

The Council was looking to undertake feasibility studies on other such sites and bid for funding from central government for funding to build more Council housing. It was rare for such sites to be used for parking provision. If the details of particular sites were provided she would look into the position.

Councillor Fox

Could the Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture provide details of the ballot on the Business Improvement District and what benefits it would bring?

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, explained that 85% had voted in favour, on a 35% turn out, which was a comparatively high turnout for a BID ballot. It would be for the BID board to decide how to spend the BID levy. The Board was looking to involve all types of businesses in its decision making. The Council would not be reducing its services in the town centre, so businesses could only gain.

Councillor Buston

Councillor Buston provided details of questions he had asked of Cllr Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Community Safety and Licensing, in respect of the travellers on King George V playing field.

No response necessary.

Councillor Moore

Given that the Council promoted Mersea Island as a tourist destination, what further resources would be put in place to improve infrastructure and enforcement of bye laws? At what point would Mersea Island reach saturation point in terms of tourism?

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture explained that Mersea Island was an important part of Colchester’s tourism offer. He had held productive meetings with West Mersea Town Council, and was liaising with other Portfolio Holders to see what extra resources could be provided.

Councillor Jarvis

Why did the administration’s views towards the Tollgate Village development change following the election? Could the administration also rethink its strategy towards the proposed St Botolph’s development?

Councillor T. Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture explained that the administration took a pragmatic view. Tollgate Village had been granted permission on appeal, and there would no benefit in continued dispute. They had met the developers and been reassured that they were not looking to damage the economy of the town centre.

The principles of the St Botolph’s development were right and would lead to a high quality development which would complement the cultural quarter.

Councillor Luxford Vaughan

Residents in Wivenhoe had reacted positively to the idea of funding Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs). Did the investment in the alliance plan mean an increase in the police presence on the streets?

Councillor Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Public Safety and Licensing explained that the Council had suffered from a lack of police officers. Some additional funding had been made available and would be used to fund PCSOs. An announcement would be made in due course, once the final details had been agreed with the police. The priority would be for an increased presence in the town centre. It was accepted that rural areas wanted a more visible police presence and the administration would look at provision in rural areas also. Communities could also fund a Special Constable, who had powers of arrest.

Councillor Pearson

Could the Chairman of the Planning Committee confirm that she was familiar with the Planning Committee Procedures Code of Practice and that she would abide by the section 1 of the Code?

Councillor Hazell, Chairman of the Planning Committee, confirmed that she was familiar with the Code of Practice and would look at section 1.

Councillor Barton

Following discussions with Drury Road allotment holders, did the Council have a robust allotments policy and was there an effective enforcement policy to ensure that plots that were not being used were made available to those on the waiting list? Was it possible for the holders of plots to take over the maintenance of the site?

Councillor Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, explained that there was currently a waiting list of two people for Drury Road allotments.

 

The Council did welcome applications for allotment holders to become site stewards. Site stewards were given appropriate training and had access to officers for advice and guidance on the management of the sites.

Councillor Davies

Could the Portfolio Holder for Resources provide reassurance that the item on Strategic Plan Spending Priorities recently considered by Cabinet would be referred to the Scrutiny Panel and when would this take place?

Councillor King, Portfolio Holder for Resources, indicated he was happy to provide such a reassurance. More details on the proposals would follow soon and this would be brought forward to the Scrutiny Panel as early as it could be. The administration was working on a principle of openness on the proposals.

Councillor Davies

Could the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Community Safety and Licensing confirm that the additional funding for PCSOs would be from the additional £1.95 million allocated in the Strategic Plan Spending Priorities report? Could he provide reassurance that this would be an ongoing commitment and that funding would be made available in the base budget to fund this on an ongoing basis?

Councillor Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Community Safety and Licensing, indicated that it would be funded from the £1.95 million. The proposals were for more than funding for a PCSO and the full details would be announced once agreed. The detailed figures would be brought to the meeting of the crime and Disorder Committee in September.

Councillor Jarvis

Would the Leader of the Council distance himself from personal comments made about the competency of the Chair of Planning Committee both immediately after her first meeting as Chair and in this meeting?

Councillor Cory, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy, explained that he was seeking a new approach. There had been political “knockabout” from both sides in the past. The comments were not attacks but criticisms but he hoped that criticism could be made in a more constructive way in future.

 

F.... Motion that the decision set out in the report by the Assistant Director, Policy and Corporate, be approved and adopted.
276
RESOLVED that the decision contained in the report by the Assistant Director, Policy and Corporate, be approved and adopted.
To note the Schedule of Portfolio Decisions for the period 6 February 2018 - 29 June 2018.
277
RESOLVED that the Schedule of Portfolio Holder decisions for the period 6 February 2018 - 28 June 2018 be noted.
12 Urgent Items (Council)
Council will consider any business not specified in the Summons which by reason of special circumstances the Mayor determines should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
13 Reports Referred to in Recommendations

The reports specified below are submitted for information and referred to in the recommendations specified in item 7 of the agenda:

14 Exclusion of the Public (not Scrutiny or Executive)
In accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public, including the press, from the meeting so that any items containing exempt information (for example confidential personal, financial or legal advice), in Part B of this agenda (printed on yellow paper) can be decided. (Exempt information is defined in Section 100I and Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972).
Prayers
265
The meeting was opened with prayers from the Mayor's Chaplain, the Reverend John Richardson.
Apologies
266
Apologies were received from Councillor Goss.
Suspension of Procedure Rule 11(2)
273
RESOLVED that Council Procedure Rule 11(2) be suspended for the following item to enable Council to debate and determine the motion. 
Part B

Meeting Documents

Declarations of Interests

Visitors

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