Agenda and minutes

County Council - Friday, 18th September, 2020 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

16.

Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1     The Chairman reported that the County Council had received the Gold Award for its work on fulfilling the Armed Forces Covenant. She offered congratulations to everyone involved, particularly Cllr Bradbury, the County Council’s Armed Forces Champion.

17.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1     Apologies were received from Cllr Barton, Cllr Bridges, Cllr Fitzjohn, Cllr A Jones, and Cllr Sudan.

 

17.2     Apologies for part of the afternoon session were received from Cllr Arculus who left at 2.40 pm and re-joined the meeting at 3.40 pm and then left at 4.25 pm.  Cllr Elkins gave his apologies and left at 4.00 pm. Cllr Barling left at 2.35 pm, Cllr Cloake at 3.00 pm, Cllr Smith at 3.05 pm, Cllr Purchese at 3.10 pm, Cllr Hillier at 3.25 pm, Cllr R J Oakley at 3.35 pm, Cllr Oppler at 3.55 pm, Cllr McDonald at 4.00 pm and Cllr Goldsmith at 4.15 pm.

 

18.

Members' Interests pdf icon PDF 99 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1     Members declared interests as set out at Appendix 1.

19.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 109 KB

The Council is asked to confirm the minutes of the ordinary meeting of the County Council held on 17 July 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1     It was agreed that the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the County Council held on 17 July 2020 (pages 7 to 28) be approved as a correct record.

20.

Review of Proportionality pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Following a recent change to group affiliation, the County Council has a statutory duty to review the proportionality on its committees.  A brief explanation of the proportionality rules and how they are applied is set out in the attached report, together with the proportionality following the changes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1     Following a recent change in group affiliation, the Council has a statutory duty to review the proportionality on its committees following the by-election.  A paper on the application of the proportionality rules and how they were applied, together with a table showing the number of seats on committees, was set out on pages 29 and 30.

 

20.2     Resolved –

 

That the proportionality be agreed.

21.

Appointments pdf icon PDF 49 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1     The Council approved appointments as set out below.

 

Committee

Change

Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Pendleton in place of Cllr Barling*

Cllr Hillier as Chairman*

Cllr Brunsdon in place of Cllr Lea

Cllr Lea in place of Cllr Brunsdon as substitute

Cllr Oxlade to fill vacancy

* with effect from 25 September

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Montyn in place of Cllr Barton

Fire and Rescue Service Scrutiny Committee

Cllr David Barling in place of Cllr M Jones

Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee

Cllr M Jones in place of Cllr Oxlade

Cllr Oxlade in place of Cllr M Jones as substitute

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Hillier in place of Cllr Barling

Cllr Quinn in place of Cllr Oxlade as substitute

Planning Committee

Cllr Baldwin in place of Cllr Barton

Cllr Sudan to fill vacancy

Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee

Cllr Lea in place of Cllr M Jones

Rights of Way Committee

Cllr Sudan in place of Cllr Brunsdon

Standards Committee

Cllr Lea in place of Cllr Brunsdon

Staff Appeals Panel

Cllr Sudan to fill vacancy

 

22.

Address by a Cabinet Member pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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.

 

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:

22.1     Members received addresses by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People on the Council’s Children First Improvement Plan and by the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health on the public health emergency.

 

22.2     In response to questions the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health agreed to provide members with responses as set out below.

 

·        Cllr O’Kelly: the current waiting time results for tests and how many staff members were self-isolating.

·        Cllr Brunsdon: the percentage of patients in the dataset used that had needed to be hospitalised.

·        Cllr M Jones: the levels of cases by district/borough areas (information to be sent to all members).

23.

Motion on Support and Recognition for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Edwards, which was referred to the Leader and Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at the meeting of the County Council on 13 December 2019:

 

‘This Council advocates better treatment of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and better recognition for those who have died as a result of this disorder. The County Council takes the wellbeing of all those who have served extremely seriously and is continually considering how it can better understand the needs of ex-services persons who are suffering from PTSD and provide the best possible support.

 

In this country there is a National Memorial Arboretum to commemorate those who have given their lives in the service of our country. Families are able to spend time there remembering their loved ones. Every name, in one place, a calm, respectful space, where people can reflect and honour these heroes. However, those veterans who have taken their own lives, succumbing to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by combat, are not remembered at the National Memorial Arboretum.

 

This Council believes that this must change. These service personnel have given their all in their service for our country and in many cases have been medically discharged from service because of the trauma they have seen and taken part in.  Subsequently, as civilians, they take their own life and therefore are recognised as combat related casualties.

 

This Council calls upon the Leader of the Council and the Armed Forces Champion to:

 

(1)        Lobby the Ministry of Defence to provide a fitting memorial to those who have served and ultimately succumbed to PTSD;

 

(2)        Continue to work with partners through the West Sussex Civilian Military Partnership Board to improve the lives of veterans and promote the services available to them with particular emphasis on mental health services, including use of the Forces Connect South East App to all staff as a signposting mechanism;

 

(3)        Encourage staff to undertake Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid training; and

 

(4)        Work with the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health to ensure that health and wellbeing matters affecting veterans, including PTSD, are recognised in health and wellbeing strategies including the forthcoming refresh of Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2020.’

 

and the report of the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

23.1     At the County Council meeting on 13 December 2019 a motion had been moved by Cllr Edwards, seconded by Cllr Atkins, and referred to the Leader and Cabinet Member for Adults and Health for consideration.

 

23.2     A revised version of the motion was circulated as set out below (change shown in bold, italic text). Due to technical issues experienced by Cllr Atkins, Cllr Walsh acted as seconder for the revised motion.

 

23.3     Members noted that the word ‘not’ had been omitted in error from the final line of paragraph 3 which should read ‘not recognised’. A report by the Leader and Cabinet Member was included with the agenda (pages 37 and 38).

 

‘This Council advocates better treatment of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and better recognition for those who have died as a result of this disorder. The County Council takes the wellbeing of all those who have served extremely seriously and is continually considering how it can better understand the needs of ex-services persons who are suffering from PTSD and provide the best possible support.

 

In this country there is a National Memorial Arboretum to commemorate those who have given their lives in the service of our country. Families are able to spend time there remembering their loved ones. Every name, in one place, a calm, respectful space, where people can reflect and honour these heroes. However, those veterans who have taken their own lives, succumbing to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by combat, are not remembered at the National Memorial Arboretum.

 

This Council believes that this must change. These service personnel have given their all in their service for our country and in many cases have been medically discharged from service because of the trauma they have seen and taken part in.  Subsequently, as civilians, they take their own life and therefore are recognised as combat related casualties.

 

This Council calls upon the Leader of the Council and the Armed Forces Champion to:

 

(1)         Lobby the Ministry of Defence and other appropriate bodies to provide a fitting memorial to those who have served and ultimately succumbed to PTSD’

 

(2)         Continue to work with partners through the West Sussex Civilian Military Partnership Board to improve the lives of veterans and promote the services available to them with particular emphasis on mental health services, including use of the Forces Connect South East App to all staff as a signposting mechanism;

 

(3)         Encourage staff to undertake Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid training; and

 

(4)         Work with the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health to ensure that health and wellbeing matters affecting veterans, including PTSD, are recognised in health and wellbeing strategies including the forthcoming refresh of Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2020.’

 

23.4     The revised corrected motion was carried as set out below.

 

‘This Council advocates better treatment of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and better recognition for those who have died as a result of this disorder. The County Council takes the wellbeing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Motion on Government Planning Consultation pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Bradbury, notice of which was given on 21 August 2020:

 

‘This Council notes the Government’s consultations on changes to the current planning system alongside the consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, and welcomes the focus on building on brownfield sites, better energy efficiency standards and the requirement to enhance bio-diversity.

 

This Council also welcomes simplifying the planning process and the proposal to replace S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy with a new Infrastructure Levy and to apply it to permitted development.  However, it believes that planning should be kept local with public participation at its heart, with sufficient funding for local infrastructure that flows to the infrastructure provider.  Therefore, the County Council must have a statutory role in the operation of the new levy and secure an appropriate share of the funds that are raised.

 

However, the Council calls for an urgent review of the housing allocation algorithm which concentrates housing numbers in the suburbs and rural areas, which already have an infrastructure deficit, and away from towns and cities, which post Covid-19, are crying out for regeneration of town centres and high streets. The Council registers its concern over the impact that this algorithm will have on West Sussex regarding:

 

(1)         The almost doubling of housing targets will impact the environment, loss of agricultural land, building on flood plains and the county’s ability to combat climate change. The county already suffers from a lack of infrastructure such as roads, public transport, rail, and others and has just experienced water shortages in some areas;

 

(2)         Insufficient account is taken of the areas covered by national parks, AONBs and coastal flood plains, leading to mass development outside of these areas;

 

(3)         The need in rural areas is for affordable rented housing. The change to affordable housing thresholds would mean that in approximately 70% of small parishes no affordable housing contributions would be required on sites of fewer than 40 to 50 dwellings, this would mean that no affordable housing would be delivered in these communities which will be catastrophic for their sustainability.

 

Planning is not just about housing and it will be important to understand how the proposed changes to the operation of the planning system impact upon the County Council’s statutory minerals, waste and other planning functions.

 

Council also supports the recommendation in the Glover Review to give AONBs statutory consultee status for planning applications in their area to strengthen their role in the planning system.

 

This Council therefore calls upon the Cabinet Member for Environment working with the Leaderto liaise with the district and borough councils and Members of Parliament in making these points in the response to the consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

24.1     The following motion was moved by Cllr Bradburyand seconded by Cllr Kitchen.

 

‘This Council notes the Government’s consultations on changes to the current planning system alongside the consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, and welcomes the focus on building on brownfield sites, better energy efficiency standards and the requirement to enhance bio-diversity.

 

This Council also welcomes simplifying the planning process and the proposal to replace S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy with a new Infrastructure Levy and to apply it to permitted development.  However, it believes that planning should be kept local with public participation at its heart, with sufficient funding for local infrastructure that flows to the infrastructure provider.  Therefore, the County Council must have a statutory role in the operation of the new levy and secure an appropriate share of the funds that are raised.

 

However, the Council calls for an urgent review of the housing allocation algorithm which concentrates housing numbers in the suburbs and rural areas, which already have an infrastructure deficit, and away from towns and cities, which post Covid-19, are crying out for regeneration of town centres and high streets. The Council registers its concern over the impact that this algorithm will have on West Sussex regarding:

 

(1)     The almost doubling of housing targets will impact the environment, loss of agricultural land, building on flood plains and the county’s ability to combat climate change. The county already suffers from a lack of infrastructure such as roads, public transport, rail, and others and has just experienced water shortages in some areas;

 

(2)     Insufficient account is taken of the areas covered by national parks, AONBs and coastal flood plains, leading to mass development outside of these areas;

 

(3)     The need in rural areas is for affordable rented housing. The change to affordable housing thresholds would mean that in approximately 70% of small parishes no affordable housing contributions would be required on sites of fewer than 40-50 dwellings, this would mean that no affordable housing would be delivered in these communities which will be catastrophic for their sustainability.

 

Planning is not just about housing and it will be important to understand how the proposed changes to the operation of the planning system impact upon the County Council’s statutory minerals, waste and other planning functions.

 

Council also supports the recommendation in the Glover Review to give AONBs statutory consultee status for planning applications in their area to strengthen their role in the planning system.

 

This Council therefore calls upon the Cabinet Member for Environment working with the Leaderto liaise with the district and borough councils and members of Parliament in making these points in the response to the Consultation.

 

24.2     An amendment was moved by Cllr O’Kelly and seconded by Cllr Walsh as set out below:

 

‘This Council notes the Government’s consultations on changes to the current planning system alongside the consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, and welcomes the focus on building on brownfield sites, better energy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Motion on unaccompanied Child Asylum Seekers pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Lord, notice of which was given on 1 September 2020:

 

‘During summer 2020, the number of people arriving by boat to seek asylum in the UK has increased with an associated raised media profile for this issue. In August, Kent County Council announced that it is has now reached its capacity to accommodate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. West Sussex County Council is signed up to the voluntary National Transfer Scheme and has taken six unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Kent since June.

 

This Council:

 

(a)        Recognises the United Kingdom’s proud tradition of welcoming people fleeing conflict and persecution;

 

(b)        Asks the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People to continue to work with other local authorities through the National Transfer Scheme, particularly Kent and Portsmouth, to meet the needs of as many Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children as we are able;

 

(c)        Acknowledges the role of West Sussex County Council’s Children’s Services and the foster carers who provide a safe home for our Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children and expresses our gratitude for their ongoing work; and

 

(d)        Acknowledges that, notwithstanding differing personal views, anyone engaged in discourse on this issue, including elected members, has a responsibility to treat the people involved with dignity, compassion and respect.’

Additional documents:

Minutes:

25.1     The following motion was moved by Cllr Lord and seconded by Cllr Barling.

 

‘During summer 2020, the number of people arriving by boat to seek asylum in the UK has increased with an associated raised media profile for this issue. In August, Kent County Council announced that it is has now reached its capacity to accommodate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. West Sussex County Council is signed up to the voluntary National Transfer Scheme and has taken six unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Kent since June.


This Council:

 

(1)         Recognises the United Kingdom’s proud tradition of welcoming people fleeing conflict and persecution;

 

(2)         Asks the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People to commit to continue to work with other local authorities through the National Transfer Scheme and to continue our dialogue with our near neighbours, particularly Kent and Portsmouth, to meet the needs of as many Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children as we are able;

 

(3)         Asks the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People to acknowledge the role of West Sussex County Council’s Children’s Services and the foster carers who provide a safe home for our Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children and expresses our gratitude for their ongoing work; and

 

(4)         Acknowledges that, notwithstanding differing personal views, anyone engaged in discourse on this issue, including elected members, has a responsibility to treat the people involved with dignity, compassion and respect.’

 

25.2     The motion was carried.

26.

Motion on Post-16 Support Services pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr M Jones, notice of which was given on 1 September 2020:

 

‘This Council notes that the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted on the education of young people over the age of sixteen in this County over the last six months or so. Those who have recently taken A levels, GCSEs and BTec examinations have had a particularly stressful time due to changes in the way exams were graded which impacted on choices for onward study for some young people.  For those who were planning on seeking employment or apprenticeships after completing their education, the situation is even worse due to the current state of the economy.

 

Now more than ever these students need support to ensure they do not find themselves Not in education, employment or training (NEETs).  Moreover, given the likely long term impact of the effects of the pandemic on the economy, it will become even more important than ever for this Council to be able to provide support for future generations of school-leavers.

 

This Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to reprioritise funding to enable the reversal of the decision taken at full Council in February to reduce the post-16 support service that provides interventions and careers guidance for young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) and instead to consider whether current staffing levels are adequate or should in fact be increased.’

Additional documents:

Minutes:

26.1     The following motion was moved by Cllr M Jones and seconded by Cllr Oxlade.

 

‘This Council notes that the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted on the education of young people over the age of sixteen in this County over the last six months or so. Those who have recently taken A levels, GCSEs and BTec examinations have had a particularly stressful time due to changes in the way exams were graded which impacted on choices for onward study for some young people.  For those who were planning on seeking employment or apprenticeships after completing their education, the situation is even worse due to the current state of the economy. 

 

Now more than ever these students need support to ensure they do not find themselves Not in education, employment or training (NEETs).  Moreover, given the likely long term impact of the effects of the pandemic on the economy, it will become even more important than ever for this Council to be able to provide support for future generations of school-leavers.

 

This Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to reprioritise funding to enable the reversal of the decision taken at full Council in February to reduce the post-16 support service that provides interventions and careers guidance for young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) and instead to consider whether current staffing levels are adequate or should in fact be increased.’

 

26.2     The motion was referred to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills for consideration.

27.

Allocation of Additional Funding to support response to Covid-19 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

The Council is asked to approve an addition to the Council’s revenue budget of grant funds allocated to the County Council by the Government to support the work of the Council related to the public health emergency and to note how the allocations have been deployed, in the light of a report by the Director of Finance and Support Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

27.1     The Cabinet Member for Finance moved the report on the allocation of additional funding to support the response to COVID-19.

 

27.2     The recommendations were put to a recorded vote under Standing Order 3.36.

 

(a)           For the recommendations – 59

 

Cllr Acraman, Cllr Arculus, Cllr Atkins, Cllr Baldwin, Cllr Barling, Cllr Barnard, Cllr Barrett-Miles, Cllr Bennett, Cllr Boram, Cllr Bradford, Cllr Brunsdon, Cllr Burgess, Cllr Burrett, Cllr Catchpole, Cllr Crow, Cllr J Dennis, Cllr N Dennis, Cllr Duncton, Cllr Edwards, Cllr Elkins, Cllr Goldsmith, Cllr Hall, Cllr High, Cllr Hillier, Cllr Hunt, Cllr M Jones, Cllr A Jupp, Cllr N Jupp, Cllr Kennard, Cllr Kitchen, Cllr Lanzer, Cllr Lea, Cllr Lord, Cllr Magill, Cllr Markwell, Cllr Marshall, Cllr McDonald, Cllr Millson, Cllr Mitchell, Cllr Montyn, Cllr O’Kelly, Cllr R J Oakley, Cllr S J Oakley, Cllr Oppler, Cllr Oxlade, Cllr Patel, Cllr Pendleton, Cllr Purnell, Cllr Quinn, Cllr Russell, Cllr Simmons, Cllr Smytherman, Cllr Sparkes, Cllr Turner, Cllr Urquhart, Cllr Waight, Cllr Walsh, Cllr Whittington and Cllr Wickremaratchi.

 

(b)           Against the recommendations - 0

 

(c)            Abstentions – 0

 

27.3     Resolved –

 

(1)        That grant funding received in connection with the current pandemic and which is not ring fenced is allocated pro rata to the expenditure incurred in relation to each service area;

 

(2)        That ring-fenced grant funding is allocated according to the purposes and in accordance with any rules specified; and

 

(3)        That the Total Performance Monitor report will report on the use and allocation of this funding during the course of 2020/21.

28.

Question Time pdf icon PDF 253 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 17 July 2020.  A supplementary report may be published.

 

(2 hours is allocated for Question Time)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

28.1     Members asked questions of members of the Cabinet on matters relevant to their portfolios and asked questions of chairmen, as set out at Appendix 3.  This included questions on those matters contained within the Cabinet report (pages 43 to 48) and written questions and answers pursuant to Standing Order 2.38 (set out at Appendix 2).

29.

Governance Committee: Minor changes to the Constitution: Rights of Way Committee, Pension Advisory Board and Pensions Committee pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider minor changes to the terms of reference of the Rights of Way Committee, the Pension Advisory Board and the Pensions Committee, in the light of a report by the Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

29.1     The Council considered minor changes to the terms of reference of the Rights of Way Committee, the Pension Advisory Board and the Pensions Committee, in the light of a report from the Governance Committee (pages 49 to 54).

 

29.2     Resolved –

 

(1)        That the proposed changes to the Rights of Way Committee terms of reference and Delegation Code of Practice, as set out at Appendix 1, be approved;

 

(2)        That the amendment to the terms of reference of the Pension Advisory Board set out in paragraph 2 be approved; and

 

(3)        That the amendment to the membership of the Pensions Committee set out in paragraph 3 be approved.

30.

Report of Urgent Action: Regulation 19 pdf icon PDF 96 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:

30.1     The report of urgent action taken under regulation 11 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 (pages 55 and 56) was noted.