Agenda and draft minutes

Full Council - Wednesday 9th November 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, at the Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF

Contact: Jane Fulton 

Media

Items
No. Item

394.

Welcome

Minutes:

          The Chair welcomed Councillors, representatives of the public and officers to the meeting.

395.

Former Member of Staff, Frank Wheatley and Former Councillor David Botting

Minutes:

        The Chair stated that sadly she had to commence her first Full Council meeting by announcing the death of former member of staff Frank Wheatley who had worked in the Council’s Finance Section as a Senior Accountant and had passed away on 20 October 2022.

 

        The Chair also confirmed that the Council had been informed on 7 November 2022, that former Councillor David Botting has passed away on 2 November 2022 following a long battle with ill health.  It was announced that former Councillor Botting had first become a Councillor in 2007 representing the Wick and Toddington Ward with Councillor June Caffyn. 

 

        As former Councillor Botting had been a Liberal Democrat Councillor, Councillor Walsh, as Leader of the Liberal Democrat, spoke and provided a tribute to his memory.

 

        The Chair passed on the condolences of the Council to Mr Wheatley and former Councillor Botting’s family and friends.  The Council then undertook a minute’s silence to respect both of their passings.

 

396.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

397.

Declarations of interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declarations of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the item or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)  the item they have the interest in

b)  whether it is a pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interest

c)  the nature of the interest

d) if it is a pecuniary or prejudicial interest, whether they will be exercising their right to speak under Question Time

Minutes:

The Declaration of Interest Sheet set out below confirms those Members who had made a declaration of their personal interest as a Member of a Town or Parish Councillor or a West Sussex County Councillor, as confirmed in their Register of Interest as these declarations could apply to any of the issues to be discussed at the meeting. 

                   

Name

Town or Parish Council or West Sussex County Council [WSCC]

Councillor Tracy Baker

Littlehampton

Councillor Kenton Batley

Bognor Regis

Councillor Jamie Bennett

Rustington

Councillor Paul Bicknell

Angmering

Councillor Billy Blanchard-Cooper

Littlehampton

Councillor Jim Brooks

Bognor Regis

Councillor Ian Buckland

Littlehampton and WSCC

Councillor David Chace

Littlehampton

Councillor Mike Clayden

Rustington

Councillor Andy Cooper

Rustington

Councillor Alison Cooper

Rustington and WSCC

Councillor Sandra Daniells

Bognor Regis

Councillor Roger Elkins

Ferring and WSCC

Councillor Paul English

Felpham

Councillor Steve Goodheart

Bognor Regis

Councillor Pauline Gregory

Rustington

Councillor June Hamilton

Pagham

Councillor Shirley Haywood

Middleton-on-Sea

Councillor David Huntley

Pagham

Councillor Henry Jones

Bognor Regis

Councillor Martin Lury

Bersted

Councillor Claire Needs

Bognor Regis

Councillor Mike Northeast

Littlehampton

Councillor Francis Oppler

WSCC

Councillor Jacky Pendleton

Middleton-on-Sea and WSCC

Councillor Vicky Rhodes

Littlehampton

Councillor Emily Seex

Littlehampton

Councillor Martin Smith

Aldwick

Councillor Samantha Staniforth

Bognor Regis

Councillor Matt Stanley

Bognor Regis

Councillor Will Tilbrook

Littlehampton

Councillor Isabel Thurston

Barnham & Eastergate

Councillor Sue Wallsgrove

Barnham & Eastergate

Councillor James Walsh

Littlehampton and WSCC

Councillor Jeanette Warr

Bognor Regis

Councillor Amanda Worne

Ford and Yapton

Councillor Gillian Yeates

Bersted

 

          There were no Declarations of Interest made.

 

398.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 294 KB

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that thirteen public questions had been submitted for this meeting.  She announced that with this number of questions together with the responses that would be provided, the fifteen minutes allocated for Public Question would be extended to allow all questions from the public to be asked and responses provided.  However, once all responses had been provided, she would end Public Question Time at that point and would not allow supplementary questions. 

 

The questions have been very briefly summarised below:

 

(1)  From Mrs Smith to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding ongoing issues surrounding planning application AL/121/16/PL, enforcement matters and a boundary fence

(2)  From Mrs Smith to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman, regarding planning application AL/121/16/PL and enforcement matters

(3)  From Mrs Smith to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman, regarding planning application AL/121/16/PL and enforcement matters

(4)  From Mrs Smith to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman, regarding planning application AL/121/16/PL and enforcement matters

(5)  From Mr Cosgrove to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Gunner regarding the Levelling-Up project for the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis

(6)  From Mr Cosgrove to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Gunner, regarding Levelling-Up project for the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis and project deadline issues

(7)  From Mr Cosgrove to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Gunner, regarding the regeneration of the Regis Centre and Hothamton

(8)  From Mr Fennell to the Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, Councillor Bower, regarding the use of farmland for development and the need to priorities brownfield sites,

(9)  From Parish Councillor Hamilton-Street to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding planning processes and compliance,

(10)        From Parish Councillor Hamilton-Street to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding development and developers

(11)        From Mr Wild to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding protected species at Outerwyke Farmhouse, Felpham Way, Felpham

(12)        From Mr Wild to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding protected species at Outerwyke Farmhouse, Felpham Way, Felpham

(13)        to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding protected species at Outerwyke Farmhouse, Felpham Way, Felpham

 

The Chair then drew Public Question to a Close.

 

(A schedule of the full questions asked, and the responses provided can be found on the Public Question Web page at: Public question time | Arun District Council).

399.

Questions from Members with Pecuniary/Prejudicial Interests

To receive questions from Members with pecuniary/prejudicial interests (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

Minutes:

          There were no questions for this meeting.

400.

Petitions

To consider any petitions received from the public.

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that a petition containing 2,263 signatures had been delivered to the council on the afternoon of 24 October 2022.

 

This petition was asking the Council to protect services provided to the public at the Bognor Regis Town Hall. Subject to the usual validation checks taking place, the Chair confirmed that this petition would be presented to Full Council on 18 January 2023 for debate.

 

401.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meetings of the Council held on 14 and 29 September 2022, which are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Minutes from the meetings of Full Council held on 14 and 29 September 2022 were approved as a correct record with the Chair confirming that she would sign these at the end of the meeting.

 

402.

Chair's Announcements

To receive such announcements as the Chairman may desire to lay before the Council.

Minutes:

          The Chair confirmed that a list of events attended would be provided ahead of the next meeting of Council, but she wished to highlight some events that she had attended recently in her capacity as Vice-Chair of the Council, these were:

 

·       11 September 2022 – representing the Council at West Sussex County Council’s proclamation of the accession of King Charles III in Chichester with the High Sheriff of West Sussex

·       2 October 2022 – Arundel Mayors Platinum Jubilee service in Arundel Cathedral

·       7 November 2022 – NSPCC’s Sussex and Mid Sussex Branch’s AGM at Arundel Castle.

 

403.

Urgent Matters

To deal with business not otherwise specified in the Council summons which, in the opinion of the Chairman of the Council (in consultation with the Chief Executive), is business of such urgency as to require immediate attention by the Council.

Minutes:

          The Chair confirmed that there were no urgent matters for this meeting to consider.

404.

Adoption (Making) of the Lyminster and Crossbush Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2031 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

A successful Neighbourhood Planning Referendum on the Lyminster and   Crossbush Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) 2020-2031 was held on 11 October 2022, where 86.88% of voters casted a ‘Yes’ vote.

 

 If more than 50% of those voting on the day, vote ‘yes’ then the local planning authority, under section 61E(4) of the 1990 Act, needs to ‘make’ (adopt) the Plan.

 

The purpose of this report is to make the Lyminster and Crossbush NDP 2020-2031 which is a legislative requirement.

 

Minutes:

          The Director of Growth presented his report to the Council confirming that a successful Neighbourhood Planning Referendum on the Lyminster and Crossbush Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) 2020-2031 had been held on 11 October 2022 where 86.88 per cent of voter had cast a ‘yes’ vote.

 

          It was highlighted that if more than 50 per cent of those voting on the day voted ‘yes’, then the local planning authority under Section 61E(4) of the 1990 Act, needed to ‘make’ (adopt) the Plan.

 

          The recommendation in the report to ‘make’ the Lyminster and Crossbush NDP 2020-2031 was then proposed by Councillor Bower, as Chair of the Planning Policy Committee and this was then seconded by Councillor Hughes as Vice-Chair of that Committee.

 

          Having received thanks from Councillors to Lyminster and Crossbush Parish Council and to the Council’s Principal Planning Officer,

 

          The Council

 

                     RESOLVED

 

That the Council ‘makes’ the Lyminster and Crossbush Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2031 and it becomes part of the Development Plan for Arun District Council.

 

 

405.

Recommendations from Service Committees, Regulatory and Standards Committees and from Working Parties

Minutes:

          The Chair confirmed that there were no recommendations to present to this meeting.

406.

Motions

The following Motion has been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 15.1 and 15.2.

 

Proposer – Councillor Oppler

Seconder – Councillor Walsh

 

At this time of financial hardship, many Arun residents are looking at ways of cutting down on their financial expenditures. They are closely examining what they can cut out and what is really needed for the future.

 

Our residents are also facing year-on-year council tax rises, and many residents in Arun are on fixed incomes, so these increases become even more of a struggle.

 

Since the last boundary review, Arun District Council has cut hundreds of members of staff from the council. Departmental budgets have continued to contract year on year. Residents and staff have all paid the price for these reductions.

 

The last boundary review in 2012 missed a golden opportunity to significantly reduce the number of councillors, it settled for a total reduction of two.

 

If Arun were to reduce the number of councillors by twenty, the council would save well in excess of £100,000 per year.

 

            Therefore, this council agrees to:-

 

1)?   Invite the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to carry out a review of:-

 

a)?  The number of councillors needed at Arun, but with a specific focus of reducing members by a maximum of twenty.

 b)  ?The warding arrangements in the Arun district.

 

2)?  Instruct officers to carry out an assessment of how much an      individual member costs the council. This should include the basic allowance, IT provision, and all hidden officer support.

 

Minutes:

          The Chair confirmed that a Motion had been submitted for this meeting from Councillor Oppler.  The detail of the Motion is set out below:

         

This council agrees to:-

 

1)      Invite the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to carry out a review of:-

 

a) The number of councillors needed at Arun, but with a specific focus of reducing members by a maximum of twenty.

b) The warding arrangements in the Arun district.

 

2) Instruct officers to carry out an assessment of how much an    individual member costs the council. This should include the basic allowance, IT provision, and all hidden officer support.

 

          The Chair invited Councillor Oppler to present his motion.  Councillor Oppler outlined that during this time of financial hardship, many of Arun’s residents were looking at ways of cutting down on their financial expenditures and were closely examining what they could cut out and what they might really need for the future.

 

Councillor Oppler stated that residents were also facing year-on-year council tax rises, and many were on fixed incomes, so these increased were becoming an ever-increasing struggle. Since the last boundary review, Arun District Council had cut hundreds of members of staff from the council; departmental budgets had continued to contract year on year; and residents and staff had had to pay the price for these reductions. The last boundary review undertaken in 2012 had missed a golden opportunity to significantly reduce the number of councillors, with it settling for a total reduction of two Councillors out of the then fifty-six.  Councillor Oppler stated that when he had been Deputy Leader of the Council, he had looked into progressing this matter, however, it had coincided with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and so having received guidance from the then Chief Executive and in looking at staff resources at that time, it had not been possible to move considering such proposals forward.

 

Councillor Oppler believed that the timing was now right to progress this work and he suggested that the Council should seek advice from other Councils, such as Chichester District Council, who had achieved a positive outcome from reviewing Councillor numbers. Councillor Oppler felt that it would be pertinent to focus on a reduction of between 36 and 40 Councillors and he outlined that there was software available through a company called Express Mapping that could help facilitate reviewing Councillor numbers and ward mapping. Councillor Oppler felt strongly that this was something that this Council should consider but more importantly he referred to the fact that staff and residents had had to make sacrifices over the last few years and that by reducing the number of Councillors the Council could make significant savings. Councillor Oppler provided some examples one of which was that if the council were to reduce the number of councillors by twenty, the council would save well in excess of £100,000 per year.

 

In concluding his motion, Councillor Oppler highlighted the need to start this work now as the review process was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 406.

407.

General Questions from Members [by advance notice] [30 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider general questions from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14.3.

Minutes:

          The Chair referred Councillors to the Questions from Members that had been submitted in line with Council Procedure Rule 14.3 and the schedule of questions that had been circulated to the meeting. This confirmed that seven questions had been received. 

 

          The Chair confirmed that eight questions had actually been submitted in line with the constitution with Councillor Coster’s second question (Question 8) having been accidentally omitted from the schedule. The Chair confirmed that Councillor Coster would be invited to ask his question to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman at the end of Member Questions.

 

Eight questions had been submitted as bullet pointed below:

 

(1)  From Councillor Stanley to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Edwards, regarding the Place St Maur, Bognor Regis;

(2)  From Councillor Stanley to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Edwards, regarding the Place St Maur, Bognor Regis;

(3)  From Councillor Stanley to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Edwards, regarding the Place St Maur, Bognor Regis;

(4)  From Councillor Stanley to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Edwards, regarding the ice rink at the Place St Maur, Bognor Regis and why this was now going to be held at the London Road Lorry/Coach Park

(5)  Councillor Stanley to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding the parking of vehicles on a new development

(6)  Councillor Coster to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Gunner regarding Article 2 of the Constitution

(7)  Councillor Oppler to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Gunner regarding the Chairing of meetings

(8)  Councillor Coster to the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chapman regarding trees and tree preservation orders and the Planning Committee

          Supplementary questions and responses were asked and provided to some of the questions asked.         

A copy of the Member Question schedule would be uploaded to the Full Council web page following the meeting.

 

408.

Committee Memberships

Any changes to Committee Memberships that need noting by the Council will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

          The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gunner, announced the following changes to Committee Memberships which were noted by the Council:

 

·       Councillor Madeley had replaced Councillor Pendleton on the Environment Committee

·       Councillor Bower had replaced Councillor Madeley on the Corporate Support Committee

 

409.

Representation on Outside Bodies

The Council is asked to approve any changes to its representation on Outside Bodies.

Minutes:

          The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gunner, proposed the following change in the Council’s representation to the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board.

 

          This was that Councillor Pendleton had replaced Councillor Edwards. It was also proposed that Councillor Gunner would become a substitute Member.

 

          Councillor Pendleton then formally seconded this change in representation.

 

 

          The Council

 

                     RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Pendleton would replace Councillor Edwards as this Council’s nominated representative on the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board, with Councillor Gunner becoming a substitute Member.

 

410.

Exempt Business

The Council is asked to consider passing the following resolution:

 

          That under Section 100a (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and accredited representatives of newspapers be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

 

Minutes:

          Having been proposed by the Chair and seconded by Councillor Cooper, the Council

 

          RESOLVED

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and accredited representatives of newspapers be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

 

411.

Appointment to the Post of Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer (Exempt - Paragraph 1 - Information Relating to Any Individual)

This report asks Full Council to approve an appointment to the post of Group Head of Finance (Section 151 Officer) in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a report asking the Council to approve the appointment to the position of Group Head of Finance (Section 151 Officer) following the interim arrangement that had been approved by the Council and had been in place over the last year.

 

Following questions, requests were made to have placed on record the Council’s thanks to the Interim Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer, for her hard work, commitment and dedication over the past year. The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gunner, in conveying his thanks to those Members of the Interview Panel for their work in the recruitment process then proposed the recommendations in the report which were then seconded by Councillor Pendleton.

 

The Council

 

          RESOLVED – That

 

(1)           It confirms the appointment of Antony Baden to the post of Group Head of Finance (Section 151 Officer) in accordance with the Council’s constitution; and

 

(2)           That it agrees to the extend the contract of the Interim Group Head of Finance until the permanent postholder can start in the role to ensure that the statutory role of the Section 151 Officer is covered.