Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Worthing Town Hall

Contact: Neil Terry
Senior Democratic Services Officer
019032 21006  Email: neil.terry@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

C/60/19-20

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Roy Barraclough, Beccy Cooper, Karen Harman, Charles James and Louise Murphy.

C/61/19-20

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.

 

If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.

Minutes:

The following interests were declared:-

 

The Monitoring Officer had granted a dispensation under section 34 of the Localism Act 2011, to enable all Members to participate and vote on item 8 on the agenda.

 

Councillor Martin McCabe declared an interest in item 11 as a member of Worthing Community Chest.

 

Councillor Richard Nowak declared an interest in item 7A(ii) as a landlord.

 

Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes declared an interest as a Member of West Sussex County Council.

 

Councillor Paul High declared an interest as a Member of West Sussex County Council.

 

Councillor Noel Atkins declared an interest in item 11 as a Member of Worthing Community Chest.

 

Councillor Bob Smytherman declared an interest in item 11 as the president of Sight Support Worthing.

C/62/19-20

Confirmation of Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Annual Council Meeting held on Tuesday 17 December 2019 and the Special Council Meeting held on Tuesday 17 December 2019, copies of which have been previously circulated. 

 

Copies are available to view at Council Minutes & Special Council Minutes

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the Ordinary and Special Council meetings held on 17 December 2019 be approved as correct records and that they be signed by the Mayor.

C/63/19-20

Questions from the Public

 

To receive any questions from members of the public addressed to Member of the Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11. There is up to 5 minutes for each question, one supplementary question may be asked arising from the original question.

 

Questions must relate to any matter the Council has power or which affects the Borough, except no questions may be asked in relation to

a)    A specific planning or licensing application

b)    A specific staffing appointment or appeal, or Standards determination

 

Public question time will last up to 30 minutes; questions will be taken in the order of receipt. The deadline for submission of questions is Friday 14 February 2020 at 12 noon.

 

Questions to be submitted to democratic.services@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that 2 questions had been submitted ahead of the meeting.

 

Q1 - Mr Davey, a Worthing resident, asked the following question:-

 

The recent consultation on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan is a welcome first step in developing active and sustainable transport in Adur & Worthing. It is vital that cycling and walking is made safer and more attractive urgently if we are to make a contribution to tackling the Climate Emergency.

 

Could the Leader of the council please outline what will happen next? Specifically what he sees as being the priority area for investment and whether he anticipates making an application to the government's recently announced cycling fund.

 

The Leader replied that the Council was already making good progress on this issue. The Council had recently consulted on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. Offices were currently analysing the consultation responses received and a report would be considered by the Joint Strategic Committee later in the year. The plan would enable the Council to bid for government funds to support projects in Worthing and Adur.   

 

Mr Davey asked a supplementary question regarding the safety of existing cycling facilities and the conducting of a road safety audit.

 

The Leader advised that there was a road space order being led by West Sussex County Council and safety issues were very much part of that work. The Leader would consider whether there was a need for a separate road safety audit.

 

Q2 - Mr Davey, a Worthing resident, asked the following question:-

 

It is good to see Worthing included in the Centre for Cities analysis of the 63 largest cities and towns. Less welcome is its inclusion in the list of the most polluted areas. Particulate, PM2.5, pollution is particularly problematic. This pollution, mostly from motor vehicles, is literally killing people.

 

Since I last raised this with the council in October a number of UK towns and cities have announced plans for a variety of Clean Air Zones,  Low Emission Zones and car free areas. Most recently Brighton & Hove with cross party support.

 

Could the Leader of the council please let us know whether he will be considering any similar measures for Worthing.

 

The Leader replied that the Council was not ultimately responsible for highways, this responsibility resided with other authorities. The Council was trying to provide alternatives for residents through the Cycling and Walking Plan and the provision of electric charging points.

 

Mr Davey asked a supplementary question regarding the provision of no idling zones outside schools and hospitals.

 

The Leader replied that no idling zones was the remit of West Sussex County Council rather than the Borough Council.

 

A local resident in the gallery indicated that he also wished to ask a question.

 

Q3 - Mr Baeza, a Worthing resident, asked a question regarding the adequacy of IT provision in the town whilst the Library was closed.

 

The Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services advised that West Sussex County Council was the appropriate  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/63/19-20

C/64/19-20

Announcements by the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Executive Members or the Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

A minute's silence was held to remember Mr John Davenport and Mr Peter Bailey.

 

The Mayor wished to place on record the Council’s thanks to Mary D’arcy, Director for Communities for all her work and commitment during her time at Adur & Worthing Councils. The Council noted that Mary would be leaving to take up a new role as the Executive Director for Homes, Communities and Culture at Southampton City Council and the Council wished her the very best in her new role.

It was noted that the Mayor and the Chairman of Adur District Council had recently presented Long Service Awards to the following officers who had worked at Adur & Worthing councils for 25 years:-

Charmaine Dore, a homelessness prevention team leader

Lorraine Clark, Digital Support Officer

Peter Whish, Head Gardener

Julie Dunsmure, Bereavement Services Officer

Paul Cherriman, Grounds Maintenance Operative

The Mayor updated the Council on a number of civic engagements that she had attended since the last meeting of Full Council and the following, forthcoming Mayor’s Charity Events, were signposted:-

 

Bohemian Rhapsody film night - Monday 24 February;

Essential Tremors - an introduction - Saturday 7 March from 1.00pm; and

Mayor’s Charity Swim at Splashpoint Leisure Centre - Saturday 21 March from 4.00pm.

 

There were no announcements from the Leader, Executive Members or the Head of Paid Service.

 

C/65/19-20

Items raised under Urgency Provisions

To consider any items the Mayor has agreed are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items raised.

C/66/19-20

Recommendations from the Executive and Committees to Council pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To consider recommendations to the Council, details of which are set out in the attached items. 

 

Full reports are available on the website as listed below.

 

 

Executive / Committee

 

Date

Item

A

Joint Strategic Committee

14 January 2020

i) JSC/079/19-20 Council Tax Support Schemes for 2020/21

 

ii) JSC/080/19-20 Council Tax “long term empty” premium and discounts

 

B

Joint Governance Committee

 

28 January 2020

i) JGC/059/19-20 Review of the Code of Conduct for Members

C

Worthing Executive

 

3 February 2020

i) Budget Estimates 2020/21 and Setting of 2020/21 Council Tax

D

Joint Strategic Committee

 

11 February 2020

i)  Delivering our Housing Strategy - Adur and Worthing Councils’ Housing Allocations Policies

 

ii) Joint Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy 2020/21 to 2022/23, Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council had before it recommendations from the Joint Strategic Committee, Joint Governance Committee and Worthing Executive.

 

Extracts of these minutes had been circulated as items 7A(i) & (ii), 7B(i), 7C(i) and 7D(i) & (ii).

 

Item 7A(i)        Joint Strategic Committee - 14 January 2020

 

Council Tax Support Schemes for 2020/21

 

The Leader of the Council presented recommendations from the Joint Strategic Committee meeting held on 14 January 2020.   

 

The proposal was seconded by Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes.

 

During consideration of the item, Members discussed the fairness of the proposals and who should be asked to pay. It was noted that there was a Hardship Fund to help those most in need and that the proposals aimed to create a fair system that enabled people to come forward and pay their share. 

 

On a vote: For 19, Against 12, Abstentions 1

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council approved that the Council Tax Support scheme for Worthing Borough Council in respect of working age customers for 2020/21:-

 

should be based upon the scheme for 2019/20 with the £5.00 weekly restriction retained; and

that the discretionary budget to support those in severe financial difficulties should be retained; and

no other changes should be made beyond necessary technical amendments required to keep the scheme consistent with the national rules in respect of Housing Benefit

 

 

Item 7A(ii)        Joint Strategic Committee - 14 January 2020

 

Council Tax “long term empty” premium and discounts

 

The Leader presented recommendations (a), (b) and (c) from the Joint Strategic Committee meeting held on 14 January 2020. The Council noted that 3(d) was not a recommendation to Council.

 

The proposal was seconded by Cllr Heather Mercer.

 

On a vote:  For 22, Against 0, Abstentions 10

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council approved

 

that the “long-term empty premium” should be increased in accordance with the maximum figures detailed in paragraph 3.5 of the report;

 

that a discretionary policy should no be introduced; and

 

that the local discount in respect of unoccupied properties undergoing structural alterations should be abolished with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

 

Item 7B(i)        Joint Governance Committee - 28 January 2020

 

Review of the Code of Conduct for Members

 

The JGC Chairman introduced a recommendation from the Joint Governance Committee meeting held on 28 January 2020. 

 

The proposal was seconded by Councillor Bob Smytherman.

 

The Council acknowledged the need for Elected Members to have Code of Conduct training at least once, every two years. 

 

On a vote:  For 31, Against 0, Abstentions 1

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council approved the adoption of the revised Code of Conduct for Members, attached to the JGC report as Appendix 1, as amended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7C(i)        Worthing Executive - 3 February 2020

 

Budget Estimates 2020/21 and setting of 2020/21 Council Tax

 

The Mayor informed the Council that the recommendations from Worthing Executive would be considered as part of Item 8 on the agenda.

 

 

Item 7D(i)        Joint Strategic Committee - 10 March 2020  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/66/19-20

C/67/19-20

Council Tax 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider and set the Council Tax for 2020/21.

 

A separate budget pack, produced by the Director for Digital and Resources, shall be circulated as items 8(a) and 8(b), and the recommendation from Worthing Executive, at item 7C(i), will also be considered as part of this item.

Minutes:

 

The Mayor introduced the item explaining that item 7C(i), the recommendation from the Executive would be considered as part of this discussion with the full proposed recommendation being contained in the papers placed before Councillors in the Chamber.  As required by the Regulations there would be a recorded vote on any amendments to the proposed budget together with the final vote.

 

The Mayor advised that the item would be dealt with under the new budget procedure rules and therefore, ordinary rules of debate did not apply. 

 

The Council was asked to suspend Council Procedure Rules where they conflicted with the budget procedure rules, in accordance with paragraph 7.2 of the budget procedure rules. 

 

The suspension of Council Procedure Rules was proposed by the Mayor and seconded by Councillor Edward Crouch.

 

On a vote:  For 32, Against 0, Abstentions 0

 

The Mayor invited the Leader of the Council to address the Chamber. 

 

The Leader of the Council introduced the budget and setting of the council tax to members and a copy of the Leaders budget speech is appended to these minutes as Appendix A.

 

The proposal was seconded by the Councillor Kevin Jenkins.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Group on the Council, Councillor Deen, addressed the Council, acknowledging the hard work of officers in producing a balanced budget and the difficulties that lay ahead with an even more challenging year to come. 

 

Concerns were raised in regards to the delayed fairer funding deal, the loss of New Homes Bonus,  the Council’s strategy of investing in commercial property, reduced services (including fewer bin collections) and the overall problem of under provision in the local area.

 

The Labour Group had considered putting forward an alternative budget following conversations with over 20,000 local residents but saw little point in putting forward a transformative budget as it was hardly likely that the Council would accept the proposals and it would not be debated sensibly. It was noted that the Labour Group would take its plans to residents on 17 March instead.      

 

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group on the Council, Councillor Robert Smytherman, addressed the Council stating his group was committed to getting the people of Worthing what they want. There was much in the budget that the group could support, however, he considered that the budget process was a charade and would therefore abstain from the budget.            

 

Councillor Mark Withers, UKIP, addressed the Council, acknowledging the limited resources available whilst expressing reserved support for the proposals. In addition, concerns were raised about the Council’s investment in Commercial Property. 

 

Members in the Chamber rose to debate the budget with Councillors stating their broad support.  

 

The Leader was given the right of reply. 

 

As no amendments had been put forward, the Mayor put the substantive motion to the Council for a vote. A recorded vote was taken, the results of which, are set out below:-

 

For (20): Councillors Atkins, Baker, Bickers, Crouch, L Harman, High, Humphreys, Jenkins, McDonald, Mercer,  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/67/19-20

Appendix A - Leader's Budget Speech pdf icon PDF 69 KB

C/68/19-20

Report of the Leader on Decisions taken by the Executive pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To receive a report from the Leader as item 9. The report contains decisions taken by the Executive, Executive Members and the Joint Strategic Committee since the last Council meeting.

 

There will be up to 15 minutes for Executive Members to make any statements on the report. There will also be up to 15 minutes for Executive Members to respond to questions on the report. These questions will not be the same as any to be asked under Item 11.

 

(Note: Papers relating to items under 7 and 9 have been previously circulated and can be viewed here on the Council’s website

https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/meetings-and-decisions/)

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented his report on decisions taken by the Executive since the last Ordinary meeting of the Council, which were detailed in Item 9. 

 

A question was asked in relation to the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change.

C/69/19-20

Schedule of Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To receive from the Proper Officer, the Director for Communities, the schedule of meetings for the Council and other meetings in the next Municipal Year. A copy of the schedule is attached as item 10.

 

The Council is invited to formally approve the dates for its meetings and to note the proposed meeting dates for Committees.

Minutes:

Before the Council, was the schedule of meetings for the Council and joint meetings for 2020/21. Council was invited to formally approve the dates for its Meetings during this period whilst noting the proposed dates for other committees.

 

The Schedule of Meetings for 2020/21 was proposed by Councillor Daniel Humphreys and seconded by Councillor Heather Mercer.

 

A proposal to change the time of the Annual Council meeting was not supported.

 

On a vote: For 28 Against 0 Abstentions 4

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council approved the Schedule of Meetings for 2020/21.

 

C/70/19-20

Members Questions under Council Procedure Rule 12

Members question time will last up to 30 minutes, with questions being taken in the order of receipt and in rotation from each political group on the Council. The deadline for submission of questions is Friday 14 February 2020 at 12 noon. Questions to be submitted to democratic.services@adur-worthing.gov.uk

 

Questions can be asked of the following:

a) The Mayor

b) A Member of the Executive

c) The Chairman of any Committee

d) The Council’s representative on any outside body

 

Questions cannot be asked in relation to the following:

a) A specific planning or licensing application

b) A specific staffing appointment, appeal or Standards determination

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that the Proper Officer had received 6 questions from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12. She advised that one supplementary question could be asked which must arise out of the original question, or, the reply. 

 

Questions would be asked in rotation of the Groups represented in the Chamber and there were 30 minutes allowed for questions with 2 rotations of speakers possible. At the end of 30 minutes the Mayor explained that she would extend the time to conclude the current rotation of questions.

 

The Mayor announced that the following Councillors had submitted questions:

 

Councillors Martin McCabe, Sally Smith, Bob Smytherman, Carl Walker and Mark Withers.

 

The order would be

 

First rotation:  Councillors Sally Smith, Bob Smytherman and Mark Withers.

Second rotation: Councillors Carl Walker, Martin McCabe and Mark Withers.

 

First rotation:

 

Question from Councillor Sally Smith to the Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services

 

The removal of mature shrubs from the south end of Beach House Park has horrified park users who previously enjoyed an effective screen from the noise and pollution generated by traffic in Brighton Rd. Could the Executive member for the Environment please explain the rationale for the removal of shrubs without consultation, especially in view of the Council's declared carbon-neutral target?

 

The Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services replied that a consultation had been carried out regarding the removal of the shrubs as well as some wider works and the future plans for the park.

 

The Council had engaged key stakeholder groups, including the bowling clubs, the café, creative waves and the resident gardeners. A community event also took place at the Community Centre in East Worthing on the 15th January to communicate the logic behind the proposals and to gather views.

While the Council had considered all of the views presented, it wasn’t possible to create solutions that represent the range of views in the context of our wider approach to managing our parks and open spaces.The Parks team have made the best use of the information gathered during the consultation with our professional knowledge to identify the best course of action.

The Council managed the parks in a way that maintained aesthetics whilst also safeguarding the health of flora and fauna. The planting and maintenance plans for the park had accounted for wildlife corridors and the filling of habitat space.  To a lesser extent we also take into account complaints of Anti-Social Behaviour in the area.

In the case of Beach House Park, we had the opportunity to remodel the planting in a way that would:

increase biodiversity,

allow for better management of the area, and

reduce Anti-Social Behaviour that had been consistently under-reported in the area.

The Council believed that once these areas became established there would be a net gain for all involved.

Clearly there are some residents that had differing views on the management of the park's planting. The Council would welcome the opportunity to create a Friends Group for the Park that enabled  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/70/19-20

C/71/19-20

Motion on Notice pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Motion from Councillor Martin McCabe - Chat Benches

 

To consider a Motion on Notice, submitted by the Proper Officer on behalf of Councillor Martin McCabe, detailed as item 12.

Minutes:

 

Before the Committee was a report by the Director of Communities, which had been circulated to all members and a copy of which is attached to the signed version of these minutes.

 

The motion was proposed by Councillor Martin McCabe and seconded by Councillor Bob Smytherman.

 

Resolved,

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the Motion was noted and immediately referred to the Joint Strategic Committee.

C/72/19-20

Motion on Notice pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Motion from Councillor Sean McDonald - Definition of Anti-semitism

 

To consider a Motion on Notice, submitted by the Proper Officer on behalf of Councillor Sean McDonald, detailed as item 13.

Minutes:

Before the Committee was a report by the Director of Communities, which had been circulated to all members and a copy of which is attached to the signed version of these minutes.

 

The motion was proposed by Councillor Sean McDonald and seconded by Councillor Lionel Harman.

 

An amendment to the wording of the motion had been circulated prior to the meeting and was proposed by Councillor Helen Silman and seconded by Councillor Sean McDonald.

 

The motion, as amended, was approved unanimously.

 

Resolved,

 

That Worthing Borough Council adopts the following definition of anti-semitism developed by The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

 

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

To guide International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance  in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (eg gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War 2 (the Holocaust)

 

Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg., by claiming that the existence of a  State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (eg. Claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

 Drawing comparisons  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/72/19-20

C/73/19-20

Motion on Notice pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Motion from Councillor Bob Smytherman - EU Citizens

 

To consider a Motion on Notice, submitted by the Proper Officer on behalf of Councillor Bob Smytherman, detailed as item 14.

Minutes:

Before the Committee was a report by the Director of Communities, which had been circulated to all members and a copy of which is attached to the signed version of these minutes.

 

The motion was proposed by Councillor Bob Smytherman and seconded by Councillor Martin McCabe.

 

Resolved,

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the Motion was noted and immediately referred to the Joint Strategic Committee.