Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions
Contact: Jane Fulton
The Chair welcomed Councillors, representatives of the public, press and officers to the meeting.
Member of Staff Julie Hoggatt
The Chair stated that it was with great sorrow that she had to commence the meeting by announcing some very sad news which was the sudden death of Julie Hoggatt who had passed away on 20 June 2023.
Julie had first joined the Council on 27 November 2017 and had held numerous roles during her time at Arun, starting as TFN Development Worker, then becoming an Economic Regeneration Officer before becoming the Council’s Cost of Living Programme Manager.
The Council’s condolences were extended to Julie’s family, friends and colleagues.
Having received tributes from Councillors Gunner and Stanley, the Council then undertook a minute’s silence to her memory.
Apologies for Absence
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
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
Public Question Time
To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)
The Chair confirmed that no questions had been submitted for this meeting.
Questions from Members with Pecuniary/Prejudicial Interests
To receive questions from Members with pecuniary/prejudicial interests (for a period of up to 15 minutes)
The Chair confirmed that there were no questions for this meeting.
To consider any petitions received from the public.
The Chair confirmed that no petitions had been recevied.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 31 May 2023, which are attached.
The minutes from The Annual Meeting of the Council held on 31 May 2023 were approved by the Council as a correct record and would be signed by the Chair at the end of the meeting.
To receive such announcements as the Chair may desire to lay before the Council.
The Chair confirmed that Members had been circulated a list of engagements attended since 31 May 2023.
The Chair commended the Armed Forces Day events that had been held in both Bognor Regis and Littlehampton which she confirmed had been very moving.
The Chair also referred to her Civic Reception that had been held on 14 June 2023 to launch her civic year and to announce her chosen charity. This was AJ’s legacy and was in memory of Alex Bryant for the Antony Nolan Trust. The Chair confirmed that Gemma, Alex’s widow, had some very exciting events planned which the Chair would be supporting with the first being a Sports Day taking place on 22 July 2023 at the White Meadows Primary School with the Chair opening the event and spending time supporting the event. Plans were also in place organising a joint function for later in the year.
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.
The Chair confirmed that there were no urgent items for this meeting.
This report seeks Full Council approval of the extension of the appointment of one of the Co’ncil's Independent Persons under the Localism Act 2011.
The Group Head of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer presented this report outlining that the Council had three Independent Persons appointed to support the Standards Committee, this was a statutory requirement under the Localism Act 2011.
Usually, such appointments were approved by Full Council having been previously reported to the Standards Committee to approve the appointments and associated processes.
It was confirmed that John Thompson’s appointment as an Independent Person had expired on 18 July 2023. The remaining two Independent Persons’ appointments would expire in July 2024. As there was not a meeting of the Standards Committee scheduled prior to this meeting, it had been necessary to bring this report straight to Full Council without it first previously being reported to the Standards Committee so that Mr Thompson’s appointment could be extended now to allow the Council to undertake a full recruitment process for all three Independent Persons during 2023/2024 covering the next four year term.
Full consultation had been undertaken with the Chair of the Standards Committee, Councillor Huntley and all three Independent Persons.
The recommendation was then proposed by Councillor Huntley and seconded by Councillor Pendleton.
That agreement be given to extend the appointment of John Thompson as an Independent Person up to and including 14 July 2024.
The Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, Councillor Lury, will present recommendations from the meeting of the Planning Policy Committee held on 8 June 2023.
The recommendations for the Council to consider are set out below:
· Minute 40 [First Homes Local Allocation Policy]. The minutes along with the Officer’s report are attached.
· Minute 41 [Middleton-on-Sea Application for Designation of a Neighbourhood Area] – the Officer’s report is attached.
· Minute 43 [Arun Local Plan Update] – the Officer’s report is attached.
The Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, Councillor Lury, presented recommendations from the meeting of the Planning Policy Committee held on 8 June 2023.
Councillor Lury alerted Members to the first set of recommendations at Minute 40 [First Homes Local Allocations Policy] which he formally proposed. The recommendations were then seconded by Councillor Yeates.
RESOLVED – That
(1) The ‘Interim Affordable Housing Policy’ statement (to accommodate First Homes Policy) be adopted to include the local connections criteria, as set out under Paragraph 4.7;
(2) Should the criteria be further update by the Housing and Wellbeing Committee on 20 June that delegated authority be given to Officers to amend the criteria in accordance with Paragraph 4.8; and
(3) The amended Policy be uploaded to the Council’s website and reviewed annually.
Councillor Lury then turned to the next recommendation at Minute 41 [Middleton-on-Sea Application for Designation of a Neighbourhood Area] which he formally proposed. The recommendation was then seconded by Councillor Yeates.
That the specified area is designated without modification, as the Middleton-on-Sea Neighbourhood Area, for the reasons set out in the application and in light of the results of the public consultation which did not receive any representations.
Councillor Lury then alerted Members to the final set of recommendations at Minute 43 [Arun Local Plan Update] where he formally proposed all nine recommendations. The recommendations were then seconded by Councillor Yeates.
The first Councillor to speak was Councillor Stanley who confirmed
that he wished to propose an amendment to Recommendation 9 to read
as set out below [deletions have been shown using
“The Chair of the Planning Policy
This amendment was seconded by Councillor Wallsgrove.
The Chair invited debate on the amendment.
This saw many mixed views being expressed. Those speaking against the amendment had concern that a letter from the Chair of the Committee would not deliver a consistent cross-party message in terms of the difficulties being experienced. It was felt that a letter containing co-signatures would undermine the original philosophy put forward by the Committee and that a clear cross-party message was needed. It was felt that a letter from all Group Leaders would set out a more powerful message to Government and would hopefully be more effective. Disappointment was expressed that Group Leaders had not been consulted on the amendment prior to the meeting.
Those speaking in support of the amendment could not agree with the concerns being expressed by those opposing the amendment. This was because all Group Leaders would still be signing the letter confirming their support to the concerns being raised with the content of the letter being sent to all Group Leaders to approve. There would be thorough consultation on the content of the letter providing each Group Leader with ... view the full minutes text for item 161.
The Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Stanley, will present recommendations from the meeting of the Policy & Finance Committee to be held on 11 July 2023.
The minutes from this meeting will be circulated separately with recommendations being reported to Full Council via those minutes.
The Chair of the Policy and Finance Committee, Councillor Stanley, presented recommendations from the meeting of the Policy and Finance Committee held on 11 July 2023.
Councillor Stanley alerted Members to the first set of recommendations at Minute 132 [Economy Committee – 13 June 2023 – Minute 59 [Bognor Regis Arcade Floor Refurbishment[ which he formally proposed. The recommendations were then seconded by Councillor Nash.
In debating the recommendations concern was expressed over the £8m project costs with some Members confirming that they could not support what they saw as being an unviable financial commitment for the Council representing a £25k a year loss. Concerns were also expressed over the quality and standard of housing that would be provided under this scheme.
Those speaking in support of the recommendations reminded Members what the Arcade represented which was an integral part of Bognor Regis’ heritage and so it was vitally important to local residents that the council was seen to be supporting and investing in this site. Members were also reminded of the income received for the whole site. A fully redeveloped arcade would command higher rentals and would present a wider profit. Alternative options were not viable which was to sell at a loss. The Council needed sustainable alternatives to prevent the continuing drain on council finances and these proposals presented these.
Members were reminded that the proposals presented the council with -another chance to improve Bognor Regis working alongside other projects that had been successfully completed such as The Place St Maur and the LUF project moving forward for the Regis Centre.
The council’s Regeneration Consultant explained what the other options outlined in the report meant for the council.
Councillor Nash, as seconder of the recommendations, confirmed that he had been delighted to receive the report. This was because the Bognor Regis Arcade was an iconic building in Bognor Regis loved by its residents. The council had taken the decision to purchase it in 2017 and now had the responsibility of maintaining it ensuring that residents received a good return on the investment made.
Councillor Stanley, as the proposer of the recommendations, reassured Members that the recommendations did present sound financial management ensuring that very thorough checks and balances had been undertaken throughout the whole process. The Council’s external auditors, Ernst & Young had also confirmed that they were very happy with financial situation of the council. The proposals for the arcade represented the need to think about the wider impacts. This was a landmark site that would add to the economic prosperity of the town whilst also providing much needed housing [35 houses] to those that needed them most and on a brownfield site. This also formed part of the Council’s vision which Members had supported.
A recorded vote on the recommendations had been requested. Those voting for were Councillors Ayling, Batley, Birch, Blanchard-Cooper, Brooks, Butcher, Goodheart, Hamilton, Harty, Haywood, Huntley, Jones, Lawrence, Long, Lury, May, McDougall, Nash, Needs, Northeast, O’Neill, Oppler, Penycate, Stanley, Tandy, Wallsgrove, Walsh, Warr, Wiltshire, ... view the full minutes text for item 162.
The following Motion has been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure 15.1 and 15.2:
Proposer: Councillor Greenway
Seconder: Councillor Lloyd
Arun District Council recognises the importance of making defibrillators accessible and having them registered, especially in public places, sports grounds and Government-funded facilities.
This Council understands the role that it has in facilitating the delivery of new defibrillators across the Arun District.
The Council supports and welcomes the planned rollout of defibrillators by the Government to all state-funded schools that currently do not have one, with over 20,000 expected to be delivered to almost 18,000 schools by the end of the academic year.
This Council asks the Leader of the Council to:
(1) Commit to working with the local community to find suitable places to place defibrillators, acknowledging that they are most effective within three minutes of a person collapsing, and to support finding funding for defibrillators in public places and community spaces;
(2) Seek to register defibrillators held within District Council facilities with ‘The Circuit’, The National Defibrillator Network, supported by the British Heart Foundation; and
(3) Promote via the Council’s publications (including on social media) the benefits of having a defibrillator in the community and explaining how they can be used in an emergency situation.
The Chair confirmed that in line with requirements of the Constitution a motion had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedures 15.1 and 15.2.
The Chair invited Councillor Greenway to present and propose his motion.
Councillor Greenway confirmed that Rustington had 13 defibrillators registered with ‘The Circuit’ and that Bognor Regis had 27 also registered with ‘The Circuit’. Although this sounded like a lot of defibrillators, in the event of an emergency the ambulance service would only directed the public to a registered defibrillator it was just a few minutes away. This was why it was necessary to register as many defibrillators as possible to increase coverage across the district. Businesses, community groups and other councils were taking action and so this motion sought to register all defibrillators on their premises. For example, the Arun Leisure Centre and the Littlehampton Wave did not have registered defibrillators. Councillor Greenway confirmed that his Motion acknowledged the welcome provision from central government to fund schools with these lifesaving units, meaning that more children would have quicker access in a time of need.
Councillor Greenway asked the Leader of the Council to work with the community to help find suitable places for defibrillators and to look out for funding to help increase the coverage in public places. Councillor Greenway confirmed that had submitted this motion also to West Sussex County Council where it had received unanimous support. Finally, Councillor Greenway outlined that he had been touched by stories heard in the local and national media in terms of how heart problems had impacted those closer to home. He therefore felt it vital for the council to do all it could to help residents and so he urged Members to support the motion.
The Motion was then seconded by Councillor Lloyd.
Debate then took place with the Council fully supporting what they saw as a well-meaning Motion.
Councillor Stanley explained that he had received an email recently from William Quince, MP regarding this subject. The Council had already emailed out to all Town and Parish Council Clerks correspondence regarding this subject and encouraging them to look at defibrillators in their local community by registering them. It was highlighted that as many Councillors in undertaking their duties also supported local community groups and businesses, they needed to urge them to register defibrillators with ‘The Circuit’, and the National Defibrillator Network. Councillor Stanley stated that was also reaching out to Members who sat on the Arun Times Editorial Board to consider the content of this motion at its next meeting to assist in pushing it forward. Looking ahead, 16 October 2023 was “We start heart day” and so it was hoped that by working with the Council’s Communications Team this could be promoted using social media to gain some awareness.
Councillor Stanley confirmed that he wished to make an amendment to
Recommendation (3) to read as follows [any deletions have been
(1) Promote via the Council’s publications ... view the full minutes text for item 163.
To consider general questions from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14.3.
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 three questions had been received.
The Chair invited questioners to read out their questions which would be responded to by the appropriate Committee Chair. It was explained that the schedule of questions would be updated to include the responses provided and would be uploaded to the Council’s web page within ten working days of the meeting, in line with the Council’s Constitution.
Three questions had been submitted as bullet pointed below:
(1) From Councillor Greenway to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Wallsgrove regarding graffiti problems.
(2) From Councillor Gunner to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Stanley regarding Council expenditure since 1 June 2023; and
(3) From Councillor Gunner to the Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee regarding Liberal Democrat election pledges.
Any changes to Committee Memberships that need noting by the Council will be reported at the meeting.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Stanley, confirmed the following changes to Committee Memberships which were noted by the Council:
(1) Councillor Batley would replace Councillor Jones on the Standards Committee;
(2) Councillor Walsh would replace Councillor Batley on the Housing & Wellbeing Committee;
(3) Councillor Long would replace Councillor Needs on the Housing & Wellbeing Committee; and
(4) Councillor Blanchard-Cooper would replace Councillor Long on the Planning Committee
Representation on Outside Bodies
The Council is asked to approve any changes to its representation on Outside Bodies.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Stanley, formally proposed the following changes to representation on Outside Bodies:
(1) Councillor Walsh to replace Councillor Haywood on the Police and Crime Panel;
(2) Councillor Long to replace Councillor Needs on the West Sussex and Adult Social Care Committee
(3) Councillor Lury to replace Councillor Nash on the Coastal West Sussex Planning Board
(4) Councillor Nash is appointed to the new Littlehampton Town Centre Action Group as Chair of the Economy Committee, with Councillor O’Neill also being appointed as a Member representing the appropriate Ward being the River Ward.
Councillor Nash then seconded these changes.
In inviting debate, Councillor Northeast, as Leader of the Labour Group, confirmed that Councillor Wiltshire would be the River Ward representative for the Littlehampton Town Centre Action Group.
The Council then
RESOLVED – That
The following changes be made to representation on Outside Bodies:
(1) Councillor Walsh to replace Councillor Haywood on the Police and Crime Panel;
(2) Councillor Long to replace Councillor Needs on the West Sussex and Adult Social Care Committee;
(3) Councillor Lury to replace Councillor Nash on the Coastal West Sussex Planning Board; and
(4) Councillor Nash is appointed to the new Littlehampton Town Centre Action Group as Chair of the Economy Committee, with Councillor Wiltshire being appointed as a Member of the appropriate Ward being the River Ward.