Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Friday, 12th February, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Clare Jones on 033 022 22526  Email:  clare.jones@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

70.

Death of Cllr George Barton

Additional documents:

Minutes:

70.1     The Chairman reported the death of a current member of the Council, Cllr George Barton, who had represented the Sompting & North Lancing division since 2017.

 

70.2     Members held a minute’s silence.

71.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

71.1     Apologies were received from Cllr Fitzjohn and Cllr Simmons. Cllr Smithwas absent.

 

71.2     Cllr Bridges gave her apologies and left at 12.15 p.m. Apologies for the afternoon session were received from Cllr Barnard. Cllr Hall arrived at 2.27 p.m. for the afternoon session. Cllr Goldsmith gave her apologies and left at 4.40 p.m.

72.

Members' Interests pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Members are asked to disclose any pecuniary or personal interests in matters appearing on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

72.1     Members declared interests as set out at Appendix 1.

73.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 168 KB

The Council is asked to confirm the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the County Council held on 11 December 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

73.1     It was agreed that the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the County Council held on 11 December 2020 (pages 7 to 32) be approved as a correct record.

74.

Committee Appointments

To consider any proposed changes by the Groups to appointments. Any proposals will be circulated and changes will take effect from the end of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

74.1     There were no appointments to consider.

75.

Independent Remuneration Panel

Mr Steve Cooper, Mr Kevin Scutt and Mrs Charlotte Pexton were first appointed to the Panel in February, October and December 2017, respectively, for a four-year term.

 

The Council is invited to appoint them for a second term, to run to February 2025 for Mr Cooper, October 2025 for Mr Scutt and December 2025 for Mrs Pexton.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

75.1     The Council was informed that Mr Steve Cooper, Mr Kevin Scutt and Mrs Charlotte Pexton had been first appointed to the Panel in February, October and December 2017, respectively, for a four-year term.

 

75.2     The Council was invited to appoint them for a second term, to run to February 2025 for Mr Cooper, October 2025 for Mr Scutt and December 2025 for Mrs Pexton.

 

75.3     Resolved –

 

That Mr Steve Cooper, Mr Kevin Scutt and Mrs Charlotte Pexton be appointed to the Independent Remuneration Panel for a second term to run to February 2025 for Mr Cooper, October 2025 for Mr Scutt and December 2025 for Mrs Pexton.

76.

Address on Children First Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People will make a statement on the Council’s Children First Improvement Plan. A report is also attached. Members may ask questions of the Cabinet Member in accordance with Standing Order 2.33.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

76.1     Members received an address by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People on the Council’s Children First Improvement Plan, together with a report (pages 33 to 36).

77.

Address on the Fire & Rescue Service Covid-19 Inspection

The Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities will make a statement on Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid19 Inspection of the Fire & Rescue Service. Members may ask questions of the Cabinet Member in accordance with Standing Order 2.33.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

77.1     Members received an address by the Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities on the Fire & Rescue Service Covid-19 inspection.

 

77.2     In response to a question from Cllr Smytherman, the Cabinet Member agreed to provide him with information relating to the disposal of surplus buildings within the Fire and Rescue Service, specifically any monies from receipts.

78.

Address on letter from Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government

Additional documents:

Minutes:

78.1     Members received an address by the Leader on a letter from the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government which states that his Department will no longer seek any formal oversight of the Council’s progress on its improvement journey for governance.

79.

WSCC Reset Plan 2021/22 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The Council is asked to consider and approve the West Sussex County Council Reset Plan 2021/22 to 2024/25, in the light of a report by the Leader.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

79.1     The Council considered the West Sussex County Council Reset Plan 2021/22 to 2024/25, in the light of a report by the Leader (pages 37 to 68).

 

79.2     Resolved –

 

That the WSCC Reset Plan (2021/22 to 2024/25), as set out at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

80.

Revenue Budget 2021/22 and Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

The Council is asked to consider and approve the County Council budget for 2021/22, the Capital Strategy 2021-26 and the Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2021/22, in the light of a report pack by the Cabinet Member for Finance which is enclosed with the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

80.1     The Cabinet Member for Finance moved the report on the Revenue Budget 2021/22, Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2025/26 and Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2021/22 (budget pack pages 1 to 176).

 

80.1     An amendment was moved by Cllr Walshand seconded by Cllr Lord as set out below.

 

Proposed changes to the Revenue Budget

 

Growth

 

Ongoing changes to the revenue budget

2021/22

2022/23

Transitional Funding to enable the Children and Family Centres, Youth and Find It Out centres to remain open to support families and young people coming out of the pandemic

0.550

0.400

Transitional Funding to enable the Shaw day services to remain open for current users post pandemic until such time as satisfactory alternative provision has been put in place for the service users

0.375

0.000

Resource 2 additional posts within the highways team to facilitate work in more walking and cycling within communities, one post in the cycling team and the other in the Rights of Way team

0.080

0.000

Formally ring-fence the £300k in the highways budget allocated to Rights of Way maintenance and supplement this sum with a further £100k

0.100

0.000

Funding to deliver additional mental health support provision for children and young people by funding an additional mental health support team for two academic years and increasing the number of emotional literacy support assistants to ensure there is one in every school

0.429

-0.034

Total

1.534

0.366

 

Reduction

 

Ongoing changes to the revenue budget

2021/22

2022/23

Increased discretionary fees and charges by 3%

0.600

0.000

40% reduction to the Communications budget spread over two years

0.300

0.200

Intelligence & Performance (6% reduction to budget)

0.080

0.000

HR & Organisational change (3% reduction to budget spread over two years)

0.080

0.080

Policy Team (21% reduction to budget)

0.060

0.000

Executive PAs (24% reduction spread over two years)

0.100

0.050

Finance (3% reduction to budget)

0.160

0.000

Customer experience (8% reduction to budget spread over two years)

0.080

0.040

Apply a 25% reduction to the Special Responsibility allowances for members

0.088

0.000

Total

1.548

0.370

Budget Surplus

0.014

0.004

 

80.1     The amendment was put to a recorded vote under Standing Order 3.36.

 

(a)         For the amendment – 13

 

Cllr Buckland, Cllr N Dennis, Cllr M Jones, Cllr Lord, Cllr Millson, Cllr O’Kelly, Cllr Oppler, Cllr Oxlade, Cllr Purchese, Cllr Quinn, Cllr Smytherman, Cllr Sudan and Cllr Walsh.

 

(b)         Against the amendment - 45

 

Cllr Acraman, Cllr Atkins, Cllr Baldwin, Cllr Barling, Cllr Barrett-Miles, Cllr Bennett, Cllr Boram, Cllr Bradbury, Cllr Bradford, Cllr Burgess, Cllr Burrett, Cllr Catchpole, Cllr Cloake, Cllr Crow, Cllr J Dennis, Cllr Duncton, Cllr Edwards, Cllr Elkins, Cllr Hall, Cllr High, Cllr Hillier, Cllr Hunt, Cllr A Jones, Cllr A Jupp, Cllr N Jupp, Cllr Kennard, Cllr Kitchen, Cllr Lanzer, Cllr Markwell, Cllr Marshall, Cllr McDonald, Cllr Mitchell, Cllr Montyn, Cllr R Oakley, Cllr S Oakley, Cllr Patel, Cllr Pendleton, Cllr Purnell, Cllr Russell, Cllr Sparkes, Cllr Turner, Cllr Urquhart, Cllr Waight, Cllr Whittington and Cllr Wickremaratchi.

 

(c)         Abstentions – 4

 

Cllr Arculus,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Council is asked to approve the Pay Policy Statement 2021/22, in the light of a report from the Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

81.1     The item on the Pay Policy Statement 2021/21 was deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.

82.

Motion on Bus Lanes

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Michael Jones, notice of which was given on 26 January 2021.Note: The Chairman has indicated she intends to refer the motion to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure for consideration. It will therefore not be debated at this meeting.

 

This Council considers that licensed Hackney Carriages and private hire taxis offer a means of getting around the county for those who either do not have access to their own vehicle or need to get to places that are not already served by other forms of public transport. This Council considers that licensed Hackney Carriages and private hire taxis carrying more than one passenger results in a reduction of carbon emissions, which contributes towards this Council’s ambition to tackle climate change. This Council also believes that this would also assist in reducing traffic congestion at peak times, so would have a substantial impact on reducing pollution in general.

 

This Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to:

 

(1)        Facilitate a 12-month pilot scheme to enable licensed hackney carriages and private hire taxis to utilise the bus lanes in Crawley (excluding the Fastway network of guided bus lanes);

 

(2)        Report back to the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee ahead of the end of the pilot scheme on the benefits or otherwise ahead of a decision whether to make it a permanent arrangement; and

 

(3)        Explore opportunities when future new developments and infrastructure improvements are programmed and designed to expand the bus lane network around the county to facilitate the reliability and punctuality of the public transport network and contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions.’

Additional documents:

Minutes:

82.1     The motion on bus lanes was deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.

83.

Motion on Romance Fraud

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Michael Jones, notice of which was given on 26 January 2021. Note: The Chairman has indicated she intends to refer the motion to the Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities for consideration. It will therefore not be debated at this meeting.

 

This Council recognises that romance fraud has been a growing problem since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with many people experiencing loneliness potentially being targeted.

 

Romance fraud is the engineering of a supposed friendship or relationship for fraudulent, financial gain. Criminals invest significant amounts of time into socially engineering their victims – knowing that as they gain the victim’s trust, their chances of extracting considerable funds from them simultaneously increase.

 

This Council notes that Sussex Police indicated in October 2020 that nearly £3m had been lost by victims of romance fraud in 128 incidents, with a total of 195 reports of romance fraud being received from January to September 2020. It is concerned to note that this was a 56% rise on the previous year from the same period and that there are estimates that this could be only a fraction of the true extent of the crime, with many victims either too embarrassed to report it, or simply unaware that they have been deceived. Moreover, in 2020 the Times newspaper described Sussex as ‘the nation’s dating fraud capital’.

 

This Council welcomes the work undertaken so far by the Council’s Community Safety Team to promote awareness and educate on the risks of romance fraud to residents of West Sussex, but calls on the Cabinet Member for Fire & Rescue and Communities to continue to commit to supporting the ‘Get Safe Online’ initiative as well as putting stronger energy, capacity and resource into efforts to support the Sussex Police campaign to provide a seamless solution, through continuing to reach potentially vulnerable residents via virtual means while restrictions on movement remain in place during 2021.’

Additional documents:

Minutes:

83.1     The motion on romance fraud was deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.

84.

Governance Committee: Appointment of co-opted Independent member of Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee and change to Joint Scrutiny Arrangements pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider a proposal for the inclusion in the constitution of the Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee of an independent member and a minor change to the joint scrutiny arrangements, in the light of a report by the Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

84.1     The proposals for the inclusion in the constitution of the Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee of an independent member and for a minor change to the joint scrutiny arrangements were deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.

85.

Report of Urgent Action pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To note urgent action taken under regulation 11 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

85.1     The report of urgent action taken under regulation 11 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 was deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.

86.

Question Time pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Questions to the Leader and Cabinet Members on matters contained within the Cabinet report, written questions and any other questions relevant to their portfolios.  Members may also ask questions of the Leader on anything that is currently relevant to the County Council. The report covers relevant Council business or developments in respect of portfolios arising since the meeting of the Council on 11 December 2020. A supplementary report may be published.

 

(2 hours is allocated for Question Time)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

86.1     The report of the Cabinet on matters relevant to their portfolios and written questions and answers pursuant to Standing Order 2.38 were deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.