Venue: Council Chamber - Council Chamber. View directions
Contact: Jane Fulton (Ext 37611)
The Chairman welcomed Councillors, representatives of the public, press and officers to the Council Meeting.
She announced that the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Mrs Warr, had been taken poorly earlier on in the day and had been rushed to hospital, however, she could confirm that Councillor Mrs Worne was now at home recovering.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Mrs Baker, C Blanchard-Cooper, Mrs Caffyn, English, Mrs Erskine, Northeast, Miss Seex, Smith and Mrs Warr and from Honorary Aldermen Mrs Goad, Mrs Morrish and Squires.
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
A Declaration of Interest Sheet had been displayed to the meeting setting out 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. This table is set out below:
Public Question Time
To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)
The Chairman invited questions from members of the public who had submitted their questions in advance of the meeting in accordance with the rules of the Council’s Constitution.
The Leader of the Council was asked a question which followed on from the urgent update that had been provided at the Cabinet meeting held on 10 February 2020 on the unprecedented flooding events experienced following storm Ciara at Climping. Reference had been made to a meeting with the Environment Agency on 12 February 2020 and the questioner asked if he could be told what had happened at that meeting and if a new action plan had been agreed; if a new stakeholder group had been established to review the established strategy allowing the necessary changes to be made in light of events. The questioner asked was it not clear that the erosion of the defences at Climping were damaging enough for Climping itself, but also impacted far beyond – all of this had been predicted many years ago – a solution needed to be found.
Councillor Dr Walsh responded stating that he had attended the meeting called by the Parish Council with the Environment Agency (EA) on 12 February 2020 with Officers of the Council. The Council had encouraged the EA to publish its report for the future of the beach which had been due for some time. The report was vital as it would make it easier for all to have a sensible and mature conversation over what should be the way forward.
Councillor Dr Walsh confirmed that the Council remained committed to participating in the ongoing dialogue and fulfilling its role in an emergency if this became necessary. However, it needed to be made clear that the EA was the responsible body for formulating plans for the future of Climping Beach, however, as a Council, Arun would not be taking direct action to prevent a further breach by the sea.
Finally, Councillor Dr Walsh stated that he would be providing a further update report on the impact of storms Ciara and Dennis under Urgent Business and that this would provide a follow-up from the question that had just been asked.
The Chairman then invited the questioner to ask a supplementary question.
The questioner outlined that recent events had demonstrated, beyond doubt, that the sea breach threatened the future of Littlehampton’s maritime industry in its entirety and so without the Council’s intervention this could result in overtopping on the West Bank. The questioner stated that the Strategy in place needed urgent review and that a sustainable plan for Climping and the West Bank needed to be implemented. He asked the Leader of the Council to not close his mind and to consider entering into such a partnership project with the EA to deliver a scheme for Climping and the West Bank, in line with what the Council did for the flood defences at East Bank.
Councillor Dr Walsh responded stating that he agreed with the first part of the ... view the full minutes text for item 454.
Questions from Members with Pecuniary/Prejudicial Interests
To receive questions from Members with pecuniary/prejudicial interests (for a period of up to 15 minutes)
There were no questions from Members with prejudicial/pecuniary interests.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 15 January 2020, which are attached.
The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 January 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive such announcements as the Chairman may desire to lay before the Council.
On behalf of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman alerted Members to the list of engagements attended since the Council Meeting held on 15 January 2020 – these had been emailed to Councillors recently.
She confirmed that the Special Meeting of the Council scheduled for 22 April 2020 would be cancelled.
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 Leader of the Council outlined that he thought that it would be helpful to provide a brief update on the impact that storms Ciara and Dennis had had across the District.
Firstly, in respect of Climping, he understood that the Environment Agency (EA) had asked the Littlehampton Harbour Board (LHB) to have requested that all shingle remaining in the stockpile on West Beach would now be allocated for the use of the EA at Climping. No further material would be taken for disposal. The LHB Contractor would remove their machinery and the EA would move in theirs.
The Council’s Director of Place and the Engineering Services Manager would be meeting with the EA shortly to discuss what the short- and medium-term plans would be.
With regard toPagham, the Council’s Engineers had been closely monitoring weather forecasts. When it had become clear that there was a chance of storm damage, the decision had been made to proactively bolster East Front Road with shingle won from the nearshore bank. This work had commenced on 8 February 2020 and had continued as the storm impacted upon the beaches. Machinery had been kept on the beach for the entire week and the Council’s contractors and staff had worked tirelessly to ensure that the risk to residents was minimised. Overall, all the beaches managed by the Council had appeared to have stood up well.
(Having provided this update, Councillor Dr Walsh declared a Personal Interest as a Member of the Littlehampton Harbour Board [representing West Sussex County Council].
The Council is asked to consider the Revenue and Capital Budgets for the 2020/2021 financial year for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.
A report from the Group Head of Corporate Support confirming the recommendations being made to the Council is attached. Members will also be asked to refer to the recommendations contained within the Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 10 February 2020 with regard to the Budget for 2020/2021, which will have to be circulated separately.
The 2020/2021 Budget was considered at the meeting of the Overview Select Committee held on 28 January 2020 and these Minutes can be accessed by clicking on Overview Select Committee - Minutes
Details of the associated statutory resolutions in agreeing the Budget, following receipt of the West Sussex County Council and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner precepts, will be circulated at the meeting.
This item will be presented using the order below:
(i) Welcome by the Chairman – Councillor Mrs Warr
(ii) Leader of the Council’s Budget Statement – Councillor Dr Walsh will make his Budget Statement and will propose the recommendations, including the associated statutory resolutions required in agreeing the Budget, which will be circulated at the meeting.
To be moved by – Cllr Dr Walsh
(iii) Cllr Oppler to second (may reserve his right to speak)
(iv) Cllr Chapman to respond on behalf of the Conservative Group
(v) Cllr Dixon to respond on behalf of the Independent Group
(vi) Cllr Ms Thurston to respond on behalf of the Green Group
(vii) Open Debate
(viii) Cllr Oppler to respond as seconder
(ix) Cllr Dr Walsh to respond as proposer
(x) VOTE REQUIRED
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Dr Walsh, presented his Budget Statement, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of the Minutes.
An extract from the Minutes from the meeting of Cabinet [Minute 433] held on 10 February 2020; an amendment to those recommendations, an amended Appendix 1, and Appendix 4 setting out the statutory resolutions that the Council was also required to consider, were tabled at the meeting.
In proposing the recommendations at Minute 433 from the Cabinet meeting held on 10 February 2020, Councillor Dr Walsh confirmed that he needed to propose an amendment to include the additional statutory recommendations listed in the Group Head of Corporate Support’s report as set out on page 26 of the agenda.
The amendment added further recommendations (8), (9) and (10) which had also been circulated as part of the second bundle of papers. The additional wording has been set out below in bold:
(1) The General Fund Revenue Budget as set out in Appendix 1 is approved;
(2) Arun’s Band D Council Tax for 2020/21 is set at £186.57, an increase of 2.73%;
(3) Arun’s Council Tax Requirement for 2020/21, based on a Band D Council Tax of £186.57, is set at £11,612,863 plus parish precepts as demanded, to be transferred to the General Fund in accordance with statutory requirements;
(4) The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget as set out in Appendix 2 is approved;
(5) The HRA rents for 2020/21 are increased by 2.7% (CPI plus 1%) in accordance with the provisions of the rent standard;
(6) HRA garage rents are increased by 5% to give a standard charge of £12.31 per week (excluding VAT), and heating and water/sewerage charges increased on a scheme by scheme basis, with a view to balancing costs with income;
(7) The Capital Budget as set out in Appendix 3 is approved;
(8) The statutory resolutions required by the Council in agreeing its budget for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix 4 circulated at the meeting, be approved;
(9) It be noted that the Group Head of Corporate Support, in consultation with the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Support, has approved i) a Council Tax base of 62,244 for 2020/21 and ii) the submission of the Council’s NNDR1 return (the estimate of the Council’s Business Rate income for 2020/21) to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; and
(10) For 2020/21, any expenses incurred by the Authority in performing in part of its area a function performed elsewhere in its area by a Parish/Town Council or the Chairman of a Parish Meeting shall not be treated as special expenses for the purposes of Section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
The Leader opened his statement by stating that he firstly wished to thank the Group Head of Corporate Support and the Financial Services Manager for putting together the Budget; presenting this to political groups and to Cabinet in such an easy to understand way. ... view the full minutes text for item 459.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 3.0, the Council needs to agree a programme of dates for Council Meetings prior to the commencement of the new municipal year. This report therefore proposes the arrangements for the Calendar of Meetings for 2020/2021.
The Council received a report from the Group Head of Council Advice & Monitoring Officer which proposed arrangements for the Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21.
Having been proposed by Councillor Dr Walsh and seconded by Councillor Oppler, the Council
That the Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21 be approved.