Venue: Phoenix Chambers, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Andrew Seaman Member Services Manager
Link: audio recording
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs J Frost, S J Penny and J Wright.
Cllrs N Bradshaw and S Chenore attended the meeting via Teams.
To receive any questions relating to items on the agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Paul Elstone asked:
Chair, before I ask my intended questions, I believe it appropriate to say that I am very mindful of tensions caused during public question time at the last Full Council Meeting.I know the agenda item for public questions at this Meeting says that questions must relate to items on the agenda.
But the Council’s Constitution states that, at Ordinary Full Council Meetings, this agenda item will allow this Council: “To receive questions from, and provide answers to, the public in relation to matters which in the opinion of Chairman are relevant to the Councils functions, OR business of the meeting”. I assure you that my questions are fully relevant to the Councils functions, and I hope you will allow me to ask these four short questions.
The last Council appointed 3 Rivers Director resigned on the 9th May. This administration has still to appoint a replacement, Director. A Council Director appointment which is key to protecting the interests of both the Council and Mid Devon Residents. Will this administration please appoint someone, with a strong commercial background, as a 3 Rivers Director?
It was stated, in answers to Public Questions at Cabinet, that part of the additional £4.5 million 3 Rivers loan impairment was due to the 3 Rivers Working Capital Account. It has also been stated, by the S151 Officer, that the 3 Rivers Loan interest payments to the Council are paid from the same 3 Rivers Working Capital Account. This would indicate that 3 Rivers has already, or is forecast to, enter interest payment default and is, or will be, operating while insolvent. Can a public explanation be provided?
I have seen that Sales Marketing for the St Georges Court Development has ceased.
That the marketing agent Hall and Scott have removed all reference to St Georges Court from their website. Is this development being sold to a Housing Association or similar entity?
The Government Statutory Minimum Interior Space Standards 2015 were introduced as a requirement to prevent unscrupulous developers from building undersized properties to the detriment of the health and welfare of residents.
The Council has recently approved its own application for the installation of a modular house that, it is believed, falls well below these Statutory Minimum Interior Space Standards. Will Full Council ask for a full investigation into this matter and that any remedial action required is taken to ensure this module meets all housing standards? Also, the modules for Shapland Place?
Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct (00:15:36)
To record any interests on agenda matters.
Members were reminded of the need to declare any interests when appropriate.
To consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 26 April & 24 May 2023.
The minutes of the Full Council meeting held on the 26 April 2023, were agreed as a correct record and SIGNED by the Chairman.
The minutes of the Full Council meeting held on the 24 May 2023, were agreed as a correct record and SIGNED by the Chairman, subject to more context given to minute 7.
Chairman's Announcements (00:19:31)
To receive any announcements which the Chairman of the Council may wish to make.
The Chairman announced that the pride flag had been flown during the month of June along with the Devon flag also raised outside Phoenix House. The Chairman had attended the Lammas Fair in Exeter on the 6 July 2023. In addition, the Chairman also visited the Tiverton Sea Cadet Unit and the Crediton Army Cadet Unit, as a representative from each unit would assist the Chairman in local civic duties. He encouraged young people to join these fantastic organisations.
To receive any petitions from members of the public.
No petitions were presented.
Notices of Motions (00:23:43)
1. Motion 593 (Councillor N Woollatt – 19 June 2023)
Motion: Leisure Services VAT
2. Motion 594 (Councillor N Woollatt – 19 June 2023)
To receive and consider the reports, minutes and recommendations of the recent meetings as follows:
- 6 June
To appoint Councillors to outstanding outside bodies.
Questions in accordance with Procedure Rule 13 (01:13:50)
To deal with any questions raised pursuant to Procedure Rule 13 not already dealt with during the relevant Committee reports.
There were no questions submitted under Procedure Rule 13.
Special Urgency Decisions (01:14:03)
To note any decisions taken under Rule 16 (of the Constitution) Special Urgency – …….
With regard to any decisions taken under Rule 16 (of the Constitution) Special Urgency taken since the last meeting. The Chairman informed the meeting that no such decisions had been taken in that period
Questions to Cabinet Members (01:14:10)
To receive answers from the Cabinet Members to questions on their portfolios from other Members.
Cllr J Downes asked the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration, that this Council look into siting solar panels at points along the distribution network. It should be made favourable for developers to do so. In addition, it was asked if business centres could be put on more suitable sites. Finally, that this Council sought to facilitate renewable energy.
The Cabinet Member for Climate Change welcomed these comments and advised that the Net Zero Advisory Groups was due to be re-established.
In response the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration agreed with the comments made and noted that legal implications needed to be considered and highlighted that on the 20 July 2023 there was a briefing on sustainability for Cllrs.
Cllr N Letch asked if there was a mechanism to find retrospective planning applications.
In response the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration reassured the Cllr that the Council had enforcement Officers but was happy to meet to discuss further.
Members Business (01:19:19)
To receive any statements made and notice of future questions by Members.
Note: the time allowed for this item is limited to 15 minutes.
The following was raised:
- The promotion of cadet forces was congratulated but mention was also raised that there were other units such as the Police Cadets and the Air Training Corps.
- That consideration should be given to the possibility of the Windrush 48 flag being flown and that the use of flags outside of Phoenix House was an ongoing process.
- That the Mid Devon Show was on the 22 July and attendance was encouraged.