Agenda

County Council
Friday, 14th December, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: County Hall, Chichester

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

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2.

Members' Interests pdf icon PDF 30 KB

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

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3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 153 KB

The Council is asked to confirm the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the County Council held on 19 October 2018.

 

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10.45 am

4.

Appointments pdf icon PDF 21 KB

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.

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5.

Address by a Cabinet Member

At the discretion of the Chairman, to receive any address by a Cabinet Member on a matter of urgency and/or significant interest to the County Council and which relates to the powers and responsibilities of the County Council or which affects the Council.

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6.

Notices of Motion

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6a

Motion on Fire and Rescue Service Funding pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To consider the following motion, submitted by Mr Jones, which was referred to the Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities at the meeting of the County Council on 19 October 2018.

 

Note:With the Chairman’s agreement, Mr Jones has revised the wording of his motion to reflect that the decision maker for possible service changes would be the Chief Fire Officer rather than the Cabinet Member as set out below.

 

This Council notes the existing, and increasing, gap in the funding provided per person from the Government towards West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS), in comparison to the per-person funding in all of those Fire and Rescue Services immediately surrounding it.  Not only are many of these surrounding authorities receiving much higher sums to protect their communities, but with further government cuts in 2019/20, the gap is set to become far worse, and even more unfair, for West Sussex.  Moreover, the local government Settlement Funding Assessment for fire authorities shows West Sussex having the biggest funding cut in England, between 2016/17 and 2019/20, of 45%.  The English average is a 15% cut.

 

This Council also notes that despite assurances by the previous Chief Fire Officer that there would always be a minimum of 30 fire appliances and crews available, out of 35 across the county at any one time, that in practice, between 7 am and 7 pm, there are rarely more than 15 available, sometimes as few as 10, and that firefighters are having to work hard to keep such numbers and maintain the resilience of the Service.

 

This Council further notes that WSFRS has already had very deep cuts made to it in recent years, with £2.5 million and £1.6 million in 2012 and 2014 respectively, making it according to the FBU the second worst hit fire authority in the proportion of its overall number of firefighters lost in the whole of Great Britain, with a reduction of 37% of its firefighters, during that time.

 

The Council is aware that the Chief Fire Officer is due to take decisions in December which will result in a reduction of preventative measures which have proved to be a vital tool in reducing risk and saving lives through initiatives such as the Safe Drive to Stay Alive safety awareness campaign and the Firebreak scheme.  It is understood that cuts are also proposed which will reduce the availability of the technical response unit who deliver specialist rescue services, and reducing the staff complement for the Resilience and Emergencies Team (RET) in the region of 50%.

 

The Council is also aware the HMI inspection of WSFRS began in November with preliminary feedback expected to be provided in December but its final report is not due to be published until May 2019.

 

This Council believes in the context of the circumstances outlined above, and also because it is impossible to predict what issues or extra demands the HMI inspection may reveal which will require action, it would be inappropriate at  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6a

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6b

Motion on Gatwick Master Plan pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider the following motion, notice of which was given on 25 November 2018 by Mr Acraman.

 

‘This Council is resolved to oppose the Gatwick Master Plan published by Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL).  When the Government decided on a new runway at Heathrow, it was implicit that there would not be (nor need there be) further runways at either Gatwick or Stansted.  This attempt by GAL to use the emergency runway for take-off is to try to evade the conclusions arrived at by the Government and to achieve a second runway at Gatwick by the back door.

 

Our objections to this proposal are the same as they were to GAL’s original second runway proposal:

 

    Unacceptable noise increase over the whole of our area

    Influx of more population into an area with minimal current unemployment

    Pressure on housing

    Pressure on schooling

    Complete lack of road improvement suggestions to cope with the significantly increased traffic movement

    The geographical constraints on the London/Brighton rail line making increased train numbers an impossibility

 

In addition, the Master Plan is completely lacking in financial information on the potential costs of the development both within the airport and the surrounding environment.  There is no indication of what (if any) contribution GAL are prepared to make towards the sizeable infrastructure costs in the surrounding area and which would largely have to be borne by the County Council.

 

The Council calls on the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to oppose the Gatwick Master Plan.’

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6c

Motion on Gatwick Master Plan pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider the following motion, notice of which was given on 27 November 2018 by Mrs Russell.

 

This Council notes the aspirations in the Gatwick Master Plan for growth within the curtilage of the Airport in response to the ever increasing demand for air travel by residents and businesses, proposing various growth scenarios.

 

The County Council recognises the contribution made by Gatwick to the national economy and the economic benefits to the local economy of having a successful international airport in the county.

 

The Council also acknowledges the concerns of residents in areas close by who could be affected adversely and the potential growth in housing across the larger geographic area linked to by growth at Gatwick.

 

The Council continues to make the case for greater infrastructure investment in the county and in for any further growth at Gatwick this is paramount.

 

At this stage Gatwick Airport Limited has not done enough work to establish the impacts of its ambitions or the appropriate mitigation measures and it makes limited reference to how its proposals would work with or complement those of other organisations for growth or development within the wider area.

 

If there is to be a plan to safeguard land for a future additional runway it would be of benefit to our communities to have the certainty that this would not be developed at least during the period covered by the proposed Master Plan and a Memorandum of Understanding with the County and Borough Councils should be considered to achieve this guarantee.

 

If airport growth is to be sustainable and manageable it must be shown to be planned only as part of a compelling case which addresses:

 

    Noise footprint, air quality and environmental impact

    Airport surface access and associated infrastructure capacity for an optimum infrastructure solution

    The future employment and housing growth implications

    Economic, employment and community engagement strategies

    The timing of the indicative future investment projects

 

The Gatwick Master Plan is aspirational but lacks sufficient detail or evidence in specific areas to provide assurance that the above issues have been or are being fully considered.

 

This Council therefore acknowledges the Master Plan but, due to lack of evidence and clarity on important detail, requests the Leader and Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to work with Gatwick and the LEP to ensure that further work is undertaken to provide sufficient information to inform the Master Plan in the future.

 

The Council invites the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to ensure that these concerns are fully addressed in the Council’s response to the Gatwick Master Plan and that a Memorandum of Understanding is proposed to address the limits needed on the timing of any future additional runway on safeguarded land.

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6d

Motion on Women standing for Election pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider the following motion, notice of which was given on 26 November 2018 by Ms Flynn.

 

‘It is 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918, allowing many more men to vote and some women to vote as well as stand for election.  This Council celebrates the first two women councillors first elected, Ellen Chapman and the Hon Evelyn Gladys Cecil, who took their place in the Council in 1919 immediately after women were allowed to participate in local elections.  Progress has been made for a diverse representation of councillors but there is still some way to go.

 

This Council believes that a Woman’s place is in the Chamber – the Council Chamber – and supports all efforts between now and the County Council elections in 2021 to attract more women to put themselves forward to stand for election as a county councillor.’

 

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6e

Motion on Bus Services pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the following motion, notice of which was given on 27 November 2018 by Dr O’Kelly.

 

‘In West Sussex, some 27 million passenger journeys are made each year, many of which are made on commercial services.  This Council recognises the value of buses to the residents of West Sussex, not only in terms of transport for economic, leisure and education reasons, but also the social value they provide to our communities.

 

This Council recognises that the promotion of bus services and the Council’s support for non-commercial services helps to improve the quality of life for many people and assists in delivering these priorities set out in the West Sussex Plan:

 

(a)      Independence for later life: services that support older people in later life to live independently.  Availability of bus services enables older people to travel more without reliance on a car, avoiding the risks of social isolation that may come from a lack of ability to travel.

 

(b)      Best start in life: Good bus service provision provides access to early education and education settings for children and allows for greater choice.  It also helps young people to access a wider choice of further education and employment.

 

(c)      Strong, safe and sustainable place: Environmental sustainability can be achieved through modal shift to more use of bus services, reducing the number of cars on the road, which improves road safety and air quality.

 

(d)      A prosperous place: Good bus service provision forms a key sustainable infrastructure to support the economy and encourage the visitor economy, particularly into rural areas.  A good bus network helps to realise the aim that opportunities should be available to all and to help businesses to thrive through more sustainable transport and a reduction in traffic congestion.

 

In view of these strategic priorities, this Council asks the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure to make every effort to maintain existing service level provision (both in frequency and network coverage) for the current subsidised non-commercial services across the county.’

 

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6f

Motion on Post Offices pdf icon PDF 39 KB

To consider the following motion, notice of which was given on 27 November 2018 by Mrs Mullins.

 

‘(a)     This Council notes with concern that:

 

On 11 October 2018 it was announced that 74 crown post offices across the UK, including those in Crawley and Worthing will be franchised to WH Smith.  Taken together, successive franchise announcements mean the loss of 60% of the crown office network since 2013.

 

These privatisations are financed using millions of pounds of public money, despite the fact that the public has never endorsed the closures, indeed they have only ever protested against them.  Indeed, despite considerable campaigning over recent years with huge local public support (frequently with tens of thousands of local residents’ signing petitions) the crown post offices in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Horsham, Shoreham-by-Sea and Haywards Heath were all closed despite the overwhelming will of the public that they remain open.

 

In 2014/15 alone, £13 million of public money was used to pay compensation to get rid of post office staff, and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) estimates the staff compensation cost of the latest privatisation will be at least £30 million, affecting as it does, 800 staff.

 

Reports by Consumer Focus (2012) and Citizens Advice (2016) have identified issues with the franchising of post offices to WH Smith including poor accessibility for people with mobility impairments, longer queuing times, and inferior service and advice on products.

 

Franchising means the loss of jobs with good terms and conditions at the Post Office. WH Smith replaces experienced post office staff with new employees in typically minimum wage part time roles.  This is clearly bad for jobs in West Sussex and Post Office workers, many of whom are our local residents.

 

The closure of our Crown post offices and relocation to a WH Smith, also means the loss of prime high street stores and this contributes to the demise of our town centres.  No explanation has been given as to why the profit-making Crown post offices such as those of Crawley and Worthing are being handed to WH Smith.

 

All Crown post offices are under threat of closure and/or franchising in future, if the latest round of privatisations are allowed to go ahead, it could prove the tipping point for the viability of the entire post office network.

 

(b)      This Council notes that on 15 November 2018 the majority of members on Crawley County Local Committee agreed to call on the Leader of this Council, in her role as the lead on Economy matters, to respond to the consultation on the relocation of Crawley Post Office on behalf of the County Council, opposing the relocation.

 

(c)      This Council believes that:

 

Our post offices are a key asset for the community, and the expertise and experience of staff there is invaluable.

 

The relentless franchising and closure programme of the profit-making Crown post offices, points to a lack of vision rather than the plan for growth and innovation that is needed.

 

The Government should therefore  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6f

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Lunch (In the event that the morning business is finished before lunch the afternoon business will be brought forward as appropriate.)

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7.

Report of the Corporate Parenting Panel pdf icon PDF 54 KB

The County Council is asked to consider and note the report of the Corporate Parenting Panel.

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8.

Governance Committee: Delegation to other Local Authorities pdf icon PDF 32 KB

To consider a proposal that non-Executive committees should have the power to delegate functions to another local authority, in the light of a report by the Governance Committee.

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9.

Question Time pdf icon PDF 436 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 19 October 2018.  A supplementary report may be published.

 

(2 hours is allocated for Question Time)

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County Council concludes

Items not commenced by 4.15 p.m. will be deferred to the following meeting.

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