Agenda and minutes

MOVED FROM 17 SEPT 2019, Council - Thursday 19 September 2019 6.30 pm, NEW

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Contact: Claire Skoyles: Democratic Services Officer  Email: claire.skoyles@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Note: **Please note that this meeting is in place of the meeting originally arranged for Tuesday 17 September 2019 

Items
No. Item

23.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2019 (copy attached).

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

24.

Chair's Announcements pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To receive announcements (if any) from the Chair.

 

A list of civic events/engagements attended by the Chair and Vice-Chair since the last ordinary meeting of Council held on 16 July 2019 are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair reported on the civic engagements and charity activities which he and the Vice-Chair had attended since the last ordinary meeting of Council on 16 July 2019.

 

Special thanks were conveyed to Councillor Richard Alecock who had attended the West Suffolk Skills Share Fair on behalf of the Chair on 16 August 2019.

 

25.

Apologies for Absence

To receive announcements (if any) from the officer advising the Chair (including apologies for absence).

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tony Brown, Simon Brown, Terry Clements, Jason Crooks, Andy Drummond, Mary Evans, Beccy Hopfensperger, Paul Hopfensperger, James Lay, David Palmer, Andrew Smith, Peter Thompson and Frank Warby.

 

Councillor John Augustine was also unfortunately unable to attend the meeting.

26.

Declarations of Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or local non pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when that item is reached and, when appropriate, to leave the meeting prior to discussion and voting on the item.

Minutes:

Members’ declarations of interest are recorded under the item to which the declaration relates.

27.

Leader's Statement (Paper No: COU/WS/19/005) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Paper No: COU/WS/19/005

 

(Council Procedure Rules 8.1 – 8.3)  The Leader will submit a report (the Leader’s Statement) summarising important developments and activities since the preceding meeting of the Council.

 

Members may ask the Leader questions on the content of both his introductory remarks and the written statement itself.

 

A total of 30 minutes will be allowed for questions and responses. There will be a limit of five minutes for each question to be asked and answered. A supplementary question arising from the reply may be asked so long as the five minute limit is not exceeded.

Minutes:

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, presented his Leader’s Statement as outlined in Paper No: COU/WS/19/005.

 

The Leader drew attention to a number of items summarised in his Statement, including commending the work of the West Suffolk Rural and Environment and Climate Change Taskforces, both of which had made good progress since their inceptions in May 2019. He also made reference to the proposed approval of the Western Way Development (WWD) business case and the adoption of the Forest Heath Local Plan, both of which were to be considered later on the agenda at this Council meeting. 

 

If approved and subject to planning consent, the WWD was considered to be a nationally ground-breaking step forward in how public and private organisations could successfully work together. At the core of the project was the proposed benefits to the community by providing greater access to services and improved leisure facilities, whilst aiming to achieve better outcomes for health, education and employment.

 

If the Forest Health Local Plan was adopted, this would provide greater certainty over proposed development across West Suffolk (as the former St Edmundsbury’s Local Plan had been adopted some time ago), meaning growth would be managed in an appropriate way, thus assisting with providing guidance for developers as part of the planning process.  Adoption would also support the development of the new Local Plan for the whole of the West Suffolk district, the early stages of which had already commenced.

 

Since the publication of his Statement, Councillor Griffiths was pleased to report that many of West Suffolk’s towns, country parks and open spaces had won Anglia in Bloom awards.  These accolades positively complemented the Green Flag awards received in the summer 2019 and was testament to all those involved with their upkeep. 

 

The Leader responded to a range of questions relating to:

 

(a)     the lobbying of West Suffolk’s MPs to address and help reduce homelessness.  West Suffolk’s team were commended for their sterling work in reducing homelessness and government would continue to be lobbied to seek additional funding to support their efforts; and

 

(b)     figures quoted in paragraph 8 and 9 the Statement relating to the performance of Toggam Farm Solar Farm were gross figures; however emphasis was placed on recognising that the Council had one of the largest field based solar farms in the country which was not only contributing to a carbon emission reduction for the district but was generating a significant income for the Council.

28.

Public Participation

(Council Procedure Rules Section 6) Members of the public who live or work in the District may put questions about the work of the Council or make statements on items on the agenda to members of the Cabinet or any Committee. A person who wishes to speak must register at least fifteen minutes before the time the meeting is scheduled to start.

 

(Note: The maximum time to be set aside for this item is 30 minutes, but if all questions/statements are dealt with sooner, or if there are no questions/statements, the Council will proceed to the next business.)

 

Each person may ask one question or make one statement only. A total of five minutes will be allowed for the question to be put and answered or the statement made. If a question is raised, one supplementary question will be allowed provided that it arises directly from the reply and the overall time limit of five minutes is not exceeded.

 

If a statement is made, then the Chair may allow the Leader of the Council, or other Member to whom they refer the matter, a right of reply.

 

Written questions may be submitted by members of the public to the Monitoring Officer no later than 10.00 am on Wednesday 18 September 2019. The written notification should detail the full question to be asked at the meeting of the Council.

Minutes:

The following members of the public spoke under this agenda item:

 

1. Richard Hallewell of a residence located within the district, asked a question in connection with whether the Council should agree to the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly so that the creation and implementation of climate related policy should be separated from all political and commercial agendas.

 

In response, Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council welcomed those seated in the public gallery to the meeting, adding that the Council shared their concerns regarding climate change and the adverse impacts on the environment and biodiversity.

 

He stated that in order for the Council to make an informed decision on whether to agree to supporting a Citizens’ Assembly, he would refer the matter to the Environment and Climate Change Taskforce to consider as part of its remit.

 

In a supplementary statement, Mr Hallewell stated he would be pleased to work with the Taskforce to provide further information on this matter.

 

2. Julia Wakelam of Bury St Edmunds, made a statement in connection with the climate crisis she considered the world was currently facing. Ms Wakelam welcomed the Cabinet’s recommendation for the Council to declare a climate emergency and supported the establishment of the Environment and Climate Change Taskforce and its proposal to work with stakeholders. However, Ms Wakelam expressed concern that whilst such commitment had been demonstrated by the Council, it needed to ensure measurable actions emanated from that commitment. She considered that the Council should aim for the district to be carbon neutral by 2030 and provided examples of how this could be achieved.  Ms Wakelam referred to the motion put by Councillor Diane Hind to the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council in December 2017 which looked to improving air quality by requesting that anti-idling zones be introduced outside schools etc. She felt that action taken to tackle this specific issue could have been taken more quickly.

 

In response, Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, drew attention to the range of actions that had already been taken to address adverse environmental impacts, including actions taken to improve air quality, and the measurable outcomes that had been achieved by taking such action.  He acknowledged that more could be done and expected the Environment and Climate Change Taskforce to look in depth at the various issues that were contributing to climate change and the impact on the environment, and West Suffolk’s role to help mitigate the effects.   

 

3. Robert Possnett of a residence located within the district, asked a question in respect of whether the Council supported the Global Strike that was expected to be held on Friday 20 September 2019. 

 

In response, Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council stated that he was not in a position to have a fully informed view on the matter; however, he supported the initiative to mitigate the effects of climate change that were within the powers of the Council to make a difference.

 

In response to a supplementary question,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Referrals Report of Recommendations from Cabinet (Report No: COU/WS/19/006) pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Report No: COU/WS/19/006

 

(A)    Referral from Cabinet: 23 July 2019

 

1.       Proposal to Establish a West Suffolk Environment and Climate Change Taskforce - Proposed Declaration of a Climate Emergency

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr John Griffiths

 

(B)    Referrals from Cabinet: 10 September 2019

 

1.       Annual Treasury Management Report 2018/2019 (FHDC)

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Sarah Broughton

 

2.       Annual Treasury Management Report 2018/2019 (SEBC)

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Sarah Broughton

 

3.       Treasury Management Report – June 2019

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Sarah Broughton

 

4.       Single Issue Review (SIR) of Core Strategy Policy CS7: Planning Inspector’s Report and Adoption

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr John Griffiths

 

This item will be considered separately as part of Agenda Item 8 below (Report No: COU/WS/19/007).

 

5.       Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP): Planning Inspector’s Report and Adoption

 

Portfolio Holder: Cllr John Griffiths

 

This item will be considered separately under Agenda Item 9 below (Report No: COU/WS/19/008).

 

6.       Western Way Development: Final Business Case

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Joanna Rayner

 

This item will be considered separately under Agenda Item 10 below (Report No: COU/WS/19/009).

 

7.       Exempt: Investing in our Commercial Asset Portfolio (para 3)

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Susan Glossop

 

As this referral is exempt, it will be considered separately in private session under Agenda Item 17 below (Exempt Report No: COU/WS/19/012)

Minutes:

Council considered the Referrals Report of Recommendations from Cabinet, as contained within Report No: COU/WS/19/006.

 

(A)    Referrals from Cabinet: 23 July 2019

 

1.       Proposal to Establish a West Suffolk Environment and Climate Change Taskforce – Proposed Declaration of a Climate Emergency

 

At the Annual Meeting of Council held on 22 May 2019, Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council announced that he would be proposing to set up two taskforces, one of which would be requested to look at ways in which the Council could improve on its current and previous actions taken to mitigate the effects of adverse environmental factors and climate change.

 

On 23 July 2019, the Cabinet agreed to establish an Environment and Climate Change Taskforce.  Report No: CAB/WS/19/016 contained proposals for the terms of reference for the Environment and Climate Change Taskforce that had been announced at the Annual Meeting. In summary, the Taskforce aimed to ensure that the Council used the opportunity to review and assess its existing activities and future opportunities in response to increased societal awareness of environmental issues. The Taskforce would explore how the Council could enhance its environmental stewardship, recognising the need for balance with other urgent social and economic priorities.

 

It was anticipated that initial findings and feedback would be presented to Cabinet in autumn 2019, with final recommendations coming forward in 2020.

 

In addition to the recommendations contained in the report and in recognition of a Climate Emergency being called for the whole of Suffolk, the Cabinet agreed to recommend to West Suffolk Council that it declared a Climate Emergency. Acknowledgement was given at the Cabinet meeting to how West Suffolk would specifically play its part, including what exactly calling a Climate Emergency in West Suffolk would actually mean, and more importantly, the action needed to be taken to make a significant difference.

 

Councillor John Griffiths drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including the current work and performance of the Council in this area and how it was within the remit of the Taskforce to make recommendations to Cabinet in respect of how the Council should report, set targets and measure progress on mitigating the effects of climate change and the impact on the environment and biodiversity.

 

Emphasis was placed on ensuring actions were implemented that emanated from the Council’s aspirations. Examples were given where the Council could make a difference. 

 

On the motion of Councillor Griffiths, seconded by Councillor Margaret Marks, it was put to the vote and with the vote being 49 for the motion, none against and one abstention, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That a Climate Emergency be declared.

 

(B)    Referrals from Cabinet: 10 September 2019

 

1.       Annual Treasury Management Report: 2018/2019 (FHDC)

 

Councillor Sarah Broughton, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including that the report provided the Annual Treasury Management Report for the former Forest Heath District Council for the complete 2018/2019 financial year. Recognition was given to the Financial Resilience Sub-Committee and the Performance and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Single Issue Review (SIR) of Core Strategy Policy CS7: Planning Inspector’s Report and Adoption (Report No: COU/WS/19/007) pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Report No: COU/WS/19/007

 

(**Note: Due to their size, the appendices to this covering report will be circulated as a separate supplement to the agenda papers**)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Sarah Broughton declared a non pecuniary interest in this item as she was a personal acquaintance of the owner of land at Hatchfield Farm, Newmarket and remained in the meeting for the consideration of the item.)

 

Council considered this report, which sought approval for the adoption of the Single Issue Review (SIR) of Policy CS7, including both the main and additional modifications.

 

The preparation of the Forest Heath Core Strategy Single Issue Review (SIR) of Policy CS7 had now reached the end of the plan making process.  The Inspector’s Report had been received and, subject to incorporating the associated Main Modifications identified by the Inspector, they had concluded that the Local Plan was sound.

 

The following documents were also attached to this report:

 

·         Appendix A set out the Inspector’s Report which found the Local Plan sound and considered it an appropriate basis for the planning for the area of West Suffolk District Council, formally known as Forest Heath.  The main modifications were attached to the Inspector’s Report.

 

·         Appendix B set out the suggested additional modifications by Officers made to the SIR document to-date.

 

·         Appendix C set out the final version of the SIR of Core Policy Strategy CS7, which included all of the main modifications required by the Planning Inspector and the additional modifications suggested by Officers.

 

·         As a result of the modifications, the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) (Appendix D) and the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) (Appendix E) documents had also been updated.

 

This Local Plan Single Issue Review set out the overall housing requirement for the area (formally Forest Heath) which was 6,800 homes (340 dwellings per annum) and its broad distribution across the settlements.  The Inspector had dealt with concerns arising from the horseracing industry, noise and environmental constraints and had found the document sound and an appropriate basis for planning in the area formally known as Forest Heath.  The Inspector’s report was very supportive of the work the Council had done and praised the Authority, including on the extensive consultation that was carried out.  This was a huge achievement for the Council.

 

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including that adoption of this Local Plan, which would sit beside the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s adopted Local Plan, would provide certainty in respect of meeting the Council’s legal requirements and providing the community, developers and Members certainty of where development could take place.  This would help protect the whole of the district and minimise the risk of speculative development. In turn this would support the formulation of a new West Suffolk Local Plan, which was now in the early stages of development.

 

A detailed discussion was held and the following issues were raised:

 

(a)     That very few new homes were planned for Brandon over the next 12 years, which meant the town would see very little benefit from s106 monies during that period.  It was however, acknowledged that Brandon had its own challenges to overcome, principally due to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP): Planning Inspector’s Report and Adoption (Report No: COU/WS/19/008) pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Report No: COU/WS/19/008

 

(**Note: Due to their size, the appendices to this covering report will be circulated as a separate supplement to the agenda papers**)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Sarah Broughton declared a non pecuniary interest in this item as she was a personal acquaintance of the owner of land at Hatchfield Farm, Newmarket and remained in the meeting for the consideration of the item.)

 

Council considered this report which sought approval for the adoption of the Site Allocations Local Plan, including both the main and additional modifications.

 

The preparation of the Forest Heath Site Allocations Local Plan (SALP) had now reached the end of the plan making process.  The Inspector’s Report had now been received and, subject to incorporating the associated Main Modifications identified by the Inspector, they had concluded that the Local Plan was sound.

 

The following documents were also attached to this report:

 

·         Appendix A set out the Inspector’s Report which found the Local Plan sound and considered it an appropriate basis for the planning for the area formally known as Forest Heath.

 

·         Appendix B set out the additional modifications suggested by Officers to the SALP document.

 

·         Appendix C set out the final version of the SALP, along with a Policies Map Book showing the allocations (Appendix D).  These documents included all of the main modifications required by the Planning Inspector and the additional modifications suggested by Officers.

 

·         As a result of the modifications, the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) and the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) documents had also been updated.

 

The Forest Heath Site Allocations Local Plan contained the site specific housing, employment and other allocations to meet the requirements of the Core Strategy.  This Plan would complete the suite of Local Plan documents for the former Forest Heath area and for West Suffolk.  The Inspector had dealt with concerns arising from the horseracing industry, noise and environmental constraints and had concluded finding the document sound and an appropriate basis for planning in the area formally known as Forest Heath.  The Inspector’s report was very supportive of the work that the Council had done and praised the Authority, including on the extensive consultation that was carried out.  This was a huge achievement for the Council in order for development to be delivered in a planned way.

 

Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including reiterating the issues raised during consideration of Report No: COU/WS/19/007.

 

The majority of Members recognised the need for adopting the Site Allocations Local Plan and Map Book, which together with the Single Issue Review of Core Strategy Policy CS7 (Report No: COU/WS/19/007), had been found sound by the Planning Inspector. Members of the former Forest Heath area and the team of officers involved with the process were commended for their significant amount of work in reaching this point.  Emphasis was then placed by some on urging Members to trust the Examination process. This had involved consideration of extensive evidence presented to the Inspector which had culminated in his decision in finding the Plan sound.  

 

Members also considered that by adopting the Local Plan, it could successfully work with Suffolk Highways, developers and other partners  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Western Way Development: Final Business Case (Report No: COU/WS/19/009) pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Report No: COU/WS/19/009

 

(**Note: Background papers to this report are NOT provided in paper form but are available to view via the modern.gov app or on the intranet/website**)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered this report which sought approval for the Final Business Cases for the Western Way Development (WWD), Bury St Edmunds and, as part of the wider scheme, the replacement of the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, allowing the project to be delivered on the basis set out in those Business Cases and the Council’s Constitution.

 

Councillor Joanna Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council and particularly wished to thank officers for all the significant work undertaken on the delivery of this project to-date.  Councillor Rayner also re-iterated that the Final Business Cases had been written on the basis that, having considered alternative options, Councillors and partners had already agreed, in principle, to redevelop the Western Way site in the manner proposed.

 

Members noted that although public consultation had already taken place on both the 2016 Masterplan and the future of the leisure centre, a further community consultation on the WWD had been carried out over the Summer and would close at midnight on 10 September 2019.  The main purpose of this process was an informal pre-application consultation for any future planning applications, given people the chance to influence the design and transportation aspects of the scheme. 

 

A summary report of the pre-application consultation had been circulated to Members as a late paper (Appendix 4) to Report No: COU/WS/19/009.  In addition to over 32 forms completed at a drop-in exhibition on 6 September 2019, 267 people had completed the detailed online questionnaire upon close of the consultation on 10 September 2019.  The most prevalent topics were traffic, transport, parking and health and leisure facilities.  This feedback would assist in refining the proposals in the next stage of the project, if the Business Case was approved.  There were, however, no issues arising in the consultation that would prevent consideration of the Final Business Case, not least as many of the issues raised in the consultation would be thoroughly tested through the formal planning process.  A full report on the consultation, with responses to all comments made, would then be included in any later planning application.

 

The 2018 Outline Business Case had been approved on the basis of Council receiving an external gateway review before making final decisions on the project.  This was primarily to be focused on the financial and delivery vehicle aspects of the project, as these were the new dimensions compared to other hub projects.

 

As the Final Business Case demonstrated, having absolute certainty on the partner requirement would shape how the first phase of the project was tendered and then actually delivered.  The proposed design was flexible enough to adapt to however this requirement ended up.  Therefore, there was no reason to hold up a planning application.  However, the core focus of the gateway review was only ready at this point to be approved in principle and then clarified before the contractual spending decisions were taken.  Therefore, it was being proposed that this review was a condition of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Electoral Review of Suffolk County Council (Report No: COU/WS/19/010) pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Report No: COU/WS/19/010

Minutes:

Council considered this report which sought approval for the proposed approach to consultation for the Electoral Review of Suffolk County Council.

 

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) was carrying out an electoral review of Suffolk County Council, which would run from 2019 to 2020, in time for implementation at the next County elections in 2021.   Other than supplying data in its electoral registration function to allow the Commission to prepare forecasts, West Suffolk Council had no direct role in the review and was simply a third party consultee. 

 

Members noted how the review and consultation would be conducted, together with the proposed approach for responding to the consultation.

 

Councillor Carol Bull, Portfolio Holder for Governance, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including that as with the recent parliamentary boundary review (and the approach taken by the former St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Councils to that review), it was proposed that West Suffolk Council would not submit any formal ‘corporate’ response to the LGBCE consultation, other than the Electoral Registration Officer highlighting any technical errors in the proposals under their statutory role.

 

Instead, it was proposed that individual councillors, local political parties/groups and any other interested parties such as Parish / Town Councils be encouraged to respond to the Commission direct during each round of consultation.  The Commission was always clear that a well-argued representation containing detailed factual information, and local insight, carried the most weight with them, irrespective of who provided it.  In that context, a well prepared response from an individual elector would carry as much weight as one from this council.  Furthermore, unless there was complete unanimity, any formal response from this council would have to highlight any varying councillor viewpoints, in any event.  So the effect with the Commission would be largely the same as those councillors responding directly.

 

This approach was also consistent with the approach taken by Suffolk County Council to participating in the 2018 electoral review for the new West Suffolk Council.

 

Members noted the proposed timeline for the review and how they would be notified of the various stages of the consultation, including being provided with guidance on how to take part, should they wish to do so.

 

Some concern was expressed that West Suffolk Council was missing an opportunity to show its support for a desired amount of Suffolk County Councillors, particularly within Bury St Edmunds’ town divisions where there may be some changes to the boundaries should the initial proposals be implemented.  Some concern was also expressed regarding the LGBCE’s processes and accuracy of data used when referring to the Electoral Review recently carried out for the creation of West Suffolk Council.

 

The majority of Members were however, satisfied with the proposed approach as summarised above.

 

On the motion of Councillor Bull, seconded by Councillor John Griffiths, it was put to the vote and with the vote being 46 for the motion, two against and two abstentions, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposal set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Review of Political Balance and Appointment to Politically Balanced Bodies

The Monitoring Officer has received notification that Councillor Frank Warby has resigned from the Spectrum Group.  Group leaders have indicated they are supportive of the proposal to allocate Councillor Warby a seat on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, currently allocated to the Spectrum Group.  The Monitoring Officer has reviewed the political balance and is satisfied that this proposal is compliant with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. 

 

As such, Council is requested to RESOLVE to allocate Councillor Frank Warby a seat on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee and reduce the allocation of the Spectrum Group on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee from three seats to two seats. The allocation of seats to Substitute Members on the Committee currently remains unchanged.

Minutes:

Council considered a narrative item, which sought approval for appropriate arrangements following the resignation of Councillor Frank Warby from the Spectrum Group.

 

Group leaders had indicated they were supportive of the proposal to allocate Councillor Warby a seat on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, currently allocated to the Spectrum Group.  The Monitoring Officer had reviewed the political balance and was satisfied that this proposal was compliant with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. 

 

As such, Council was requested to consider whether Councillor Frank Warby should be allocated a seat on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee and reduce the allocation of the Spectrum Group on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee from three seats to two seats. The allocation of seats to Substitute Members on the Committee currently remained unchanged.

 

Councillor John Griffiths,  Leader of the Council, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council.

 

On the motion of Councillor Griffiths, seconded by Councillor David Nettleton, it was put to the vote and with the vote being 48 for the motion, none against and two abstentions, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor Frank Warby be allocated a seat on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee and the allocation of seats to the Spectrum Group on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee be reduced from three seats to two seats.

 

35.

The Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust

The Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust was set up by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in 1983 to support the Council’s clock collection, the bulk of which is the Gershom Parkington clock collection.  It is a separate charity to the main Gershom Parkington bequest, also managed by the Council.  The Borough Council made an initial donation of £500.  This sum was supplemented with other small donations in the following years. 

 

The objects of the Memorial Trust are to advance the education of the public in understanding the development of horology and to encourage a practical interest in scientific matters particularly amongst students and school children.  To achieve that, its rules allowed it to spend its funds on a range of activities relating to acquiring, maintaining, displaying and interpreting clocks and watches.  Trustees were drawn from the local council, local community and also horological organisations.

 

The charity was dormant for over 20 years, with accrued funds of around £11,500 by 2015.  At that time, it was re-activated to consider two specific funding requests, each of £5,000.  One from the Bury St Edmunds Heritage Trust relating to the display of clocks loaned from the Council collection in the refurbished Guildhall.  The other was for a new ICT display system for interpreting the clock collection at Moyse’s Hall.  Both requests were approved, leaving a balance of funds of just under £2,000 by summer 2019.

 

Given the small amount of funding remaining, and there being no plans for more fund-raising, the trustees met earlier in the summer to discuss their future options.  It was agreed that the charity had served its purpose, and could close.  In keeping with Charity Commission guidance, it was also agreed to pass the remaining funds to another local charity, the Friends of Moyse’s Hall (on the basis that the clock collection is now on display at the museum).  The Friends would be asked to ring-fence the money to supporting the clock collection and ensure that the funds were spent as soon as possible.  In making their decision, the trustees also wanted to highlight the continuing legacy of Frederic Gershom Parkington and have asked that the transfer of funds is publicised. 

 

It is a grey area as to whether the Trust needs the consent of any third party to close itself down.  However, its original deed does say that, should the charity ‘fail’ for any reason, then the Council may, by resolution, terminate it and redistribute its funds to a similar charitable purpose within the local area.  In this context, it would seem that the safest procedure would be for the Council to agree to implement the trustees’ decision above. 

 

Accordingly, it is RECOMMENDED that the resolution of the Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust at its meeting on 31 July 2019 be endorsed and, in accordance with that resolution, the Charity be terminated and its remaining funds be redistributed by the Council to the Friends of Moyse’s Hall on condition they are spent in a timely manner, consistent with the charitable objects of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 35.

Minutes:

(Councillor Diane Hind declared a non pecuniary interest in this item as she was the Council’s nominated representative in an observer capacity on the Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust, and was also treasurer of the Friends of Moyse’s Hall museum. She remained in the meeting for the consideration of the item.)

 

Council considered a narrative item, which sought approval for the termination of the Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust.

 

The Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust was set up by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in 1983 to support the Council’s clock collection, the bulk of which was the Gershom Parkington clock collection.  It was a separate charity to the main Gershom Parkington bequest, also managed by the Council.  The Borough Council made an initial donation of £500.  This sum was supplemented with other small donations in the following years. 

 

Councillor Joanna Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including providing background, purpose and remit of the Memorial Trust.

 

Members noted that the charity had been dormant for over 20 years, with accrued funds of around £11,500 by 2015.  At that time, it was re-activated to consider two specific funding requests, each of £5,000, as summarised in the narrative item. Both requests were approved, leaving a balance of funds of just under £2,000 by summer 2019.

 

Given the small amount of funding remaining, and there being no plans for more fund-raising, the trustees met earlier in the summer to discuss their future options.  It was agreed that the charity had served its purpose, and could close.  In keeping with Charity Commission guidance, it was also agreed to pass the remaining funds to another local charity, the Friends of Moyse’s Hall (on the basis that the clock collection was now on display at the museum).  The Friends would be asked to ring-fence the money to supporting the clock collection and ensure that the funds were spent as soon as possible.  In making their decision, the trustees also wanted to highlight the continuing legacy of Frederic Gershom Parkington and had asked that the transfer of funds be publicised. 

 

Council supported the proposed approach.

 

On the motion of Councillor Rayner, seconded by Councillor David Nettleton, it was put to the vote and with the vote being unanimous, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the resolution of the Gershom Parkington Memorial Trust at its meeting on 31 July 2019 be endorsed and, in accordance with that resolution, the Charity be terminated and its remaining funds be redistributed by the Council to the Friends of Moyse’s Hall on condition they are spent in a timely manner, consistent with the charitable objects of the Memorial Trust.

36.

Motion on Notice (Paper No: COU/WS/19/011) pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Councillor Lisa Ingwall-King has given notice of a motion under paragraph 9.1 of the Council Procedure Rules, as attached as Paper No: COU/WS/19/011.

 

Paragraph 9.6 of the Council Procedure Rules states:

 

‘Any motion on notice under paragraph 9.1 above of these Rules, on being moved and seconded, will usually, without discussion, be referred to the appropriate forum for consideration.  If the Chair considers it appropriate, allow the motion to be dealt with at the meeting at which it is moved and seconded provided that the motion, if carried, would:

 

(a)     Not involve the Council incurring expenditure not included in the Council’s approved revenue or capital budget.

 

(b)     Not involve the Council being committed to take action which would usually require public consultation or a statutory process to be followed prior to it being made.’

Minutes:

Councillor Lisa Ingwall King had given notice of a motion for consideration by Council. This was attached to the agenda as Paper No: COU/WS/19/011.

 

Councillor Ingwall King was duly invited to put her motion adding that it was commendable that Council had resolved to declare a Climate Emergency and that Cabinet had established an Environment and Climate Change Taskforce to look at the impacts of adverse environmental factors and climate change in detail.

 

Councillor Ingwall King wished to highlight the challenges further, encouraging Council to commit to the additional declaration of an Environment Emergency as set out in her motion.  She referred to scientific data and evidence that had indicated how the picture was apparently bleak on a global level and how specifically, the potential adverse impacts consumption was having on the environment in the United Kingdom was becoming increasingly concerning.

 

Emphasis was placed on how Members could directly make a difference, particularly in respect of ensuring environmental issues were a significant feature in shaping the emerging three revised key policy documents, namely the West Suffolk Strategic Framework, Medium Term Financial Strategy and West Suffolk Local Plan.

 

Councillor David Nettleton was duly invited to second the motion.  He acknowledged that in accordance with the Constitution, consideration of the motion may involve some expenditure and would therefore be required to be referred to the appropriate forum for debate.

 

The Chair agreed and stated his intention to refer this matter to the appropriate forum, without debate, as if carried, the motion was likely to have budgetary implications.  The appropriate forum was Cabinet, specifically, the Cabinet’s Environment and Climate Change Taskforce. It was expected that final, meaningful, purposeful recommendations emanating from the Taskforce would be presented to Cabinet for approval and subsequent action in 2020.

 

The Chair referred the motion to Cabinet for further consideration, without debate, and moved to the next agenda item.

37.

Any Other Urgent Business

To consider any business, which by reason of special circumstances, should in the opinion of the Chair be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgent business considered on this occasion.

 

(Councillor Max Clarke left the meeting at the conclusion of this item.)

38.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded during the consideration of the following item because it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt categories of information as prescribed in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and indicated against the item and, in all circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

As the next item on the agenda was exempt, on the motion of Councillor John Griffiths, seconded by Councillor Sara Mildmay-White, and duly carried, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the press and public be excluded during the consideration of the following item because it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt categories of information as prescribed in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and indicated against the item and, in all circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

39.

Exempt: Referrals Report of Recommendations from Cabinet (para 3) (Exempt Report No: COU/WS/19/012)

(B)    Referrals from Cabinet: 10 September 2019

 

1.       Exempt Report No: COU/WS/19/012

          Investing in our Commercial Asset Portfolio (para 3)

 

            Portfolio Holder: Cllr Susan Glossop

Minutes:

(Councillor Aaron Luccarini declared a pecuniary interest in this item as his wife was employed by the principal tenant that occupied the property under consideration. He moved to the public gallery and therefore did not vote on this item.)

 

Council considered this exempt report, the contents of which had been recommended by Cabinet for approval. Members were advised of the opportunity to acquire a commercial property investment.  It was considered that this purchase offered the opportunity to protect jobs with a major employer, provide an addition to the Council’s commercial asset portfolio to generate revenue income and provided strategic opportunities.  The overall investment would also be in line with the Council’s principles of its Investing in Growth Strategy.

 

Councillor Susan Glossop, Portfolio Holder for Growth, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council and duly responded to questions raised.

 

The majority of Members recognised the benefits of making the proposed acquisition and supported the recommendations.

 

On the motion of Councillor Glossop, seconded by Councillor John Burns, it was put to the vote and with the vote being 44 for the motion, four against and no abstentions, it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the recommendations contained in Exempt Report No: COU/WS/19/012, be approved.

 

(This decision and associated papers will be available in the public domain in due course)