Venue: Remote Meeting
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(The Mayor, Councillor Hazel Thorpe, opened the meeting as Chairman)
The Mayor addressed the Council.
Election of the Mayor
To elect the Mayor of the Borough until the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2021.
It was proposed by Councillor Steve Wills and seconded by Councillor Daniel Humphreys that Councillor Lionel Harman be elected to serve as Mayor for the coming year.
Resolved that Councillor Lionel Harman be elected Mayor of the Borough of Worthing for the 2020-21 Municipal Year.
There was a short pause in proceedings whilst the newly elected Mayor put on the Insignia before making his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
(The Mayor, Councillor Lionel Harman, in the Chair)
The Mayor addressed the Council.
Appointment of the Deputy Mayor
To appoint a Deputy Mayor of the Borough until the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2021.
The Mayor proposed that Councillor Sean McDonald be appointed to serve as Deputy Mayor in 2020/21, this was seconded by Councillor Steve Wills.
Councillor Beccy Cooper put forward a second nomination, that Councillor Jim Deen be appointed to serve as Deputy Mayor in 2020/21. This was seconded by Councillor Carl Walker.
Following a vote, the Council
Resolved that Councillor Sean McDonald be appointed Deputy Mayor for the 2020-21 Municipal Year.
Councillor Sean McDonald made his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence received.
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.
Councillor Louise Murphy declared a personal interest in Item 14A(i) as a non-Executive Director of Worthing Homes.
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 Thursday 21 May 2020 at 12 noon. Questions to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
No questions from the public had been received in advance of the meeting.
Confirmation of Minutes
To approve the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 18 February 2020, copies of which have been previously circulated.
Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2020 be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Mayor.
Vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor
Proposed by the Mayor, seconded by Councillor Bob Smytherman and
Resolved that the Council placed on record its sincere thanks to Councillor Hazel Thorpe for the fine manner in which she upheld the tradition of the Office of Mayor of the Borough, for her service to the community of Worthing during the year, and for the fair business like way in which she presided over the meetings of the Council during the year; and that the Council also expressed its sincere thanks to Robin Rogers for the dedicated and friendly manner in which he carried out the duties of Mayor’s Consort.
The Mayor advised that he was unable to present the outgoing Mayor with her Past Mayor insignia and Mr Robin Rogers with the past Mayor’s Consort insignia as this was a remote meeting. He advised that this would be presented as soon as it was possible to do so.
To note the Youth Mayor and Deputy Youth Mayor for 2020/21.
Council noted the appointment of Will Nyss as the Youth Mayor and Henny Sonneman-Petty as the Deputy Youth Mayor for 20-21.
The Mayor announced that he was looking forward to presenting them both with their insignia at a later date.
Announcements by the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Executive Members or the Head of Paid Service
The Mayor informed the Council of his charities for the forthcoming year.
The Chief Executive advised the Council of the work that had been undertaken during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Items raised under Urgency Provisions
To consider any items the Mayor has agreed are urgent.
There were no urgent items.
To consider a report from the Monitoring Officer, attached as item 11.
Before the Council was a report by the Monitoring Officer, copies of which had been distributed to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 11.
The Council’s Monitoring Officer had recently made some changes to various documents within the Council’s Constitution under her delegated authority. The report sought the endorsement of the Council to the changes that had been made to the Worthing Borough Council Constitution.
An amendment was proposed by Councillor Helen Silman, seconded by Councillor Jim Deen, and supported following a vote;
For 30, Against 0, Abstentions 7
Council approved the recommendations in the report, as amended, following a vote;
For 36, Against 0, Abstention 1
1. That the Council noted and endorsed the changes made by the Monitoring Officer and agreed to formally adopt the following documents into the Worthing Borough Council Constitution:-
i. the Council Procedure Rules on the 22nd April 2020;
ii. the Protocol for Remote Council and Committee Meetings on the 22nd April 2020;
iii. the Protocol on Public Speaking at Remote Council Planning Committee Meetings on the 6th May 2020;
iv. The Council’s Petition Scheme on the 12th May 2020;
v. the Joint Committee Agreement with Adur District Council on the 12th May 2020.
2. That the Council agreed to refer the following proposed amendment to the Borough Council of Worthing Petition Scheme, clause 6(2), to the Joint Governance Committee for consideration:-
Lines 9 to 12 of the Petition Scheme, clause 6(2), be amended to read as follows:
The Petition Organiser will be given five minutes to read the petition at the meeting and make any representations, ‘before Members discuss the petition’, in accordance with Council’s Standing Orders as contained in Part 4 of the Constitution.
At the end of the discussion and before any proposition is voted on, the Petition Organiser will be given 3 minutes (maximum) to make a closing statement.
To consider a report from the Monitoring Officer, attached as item 12.
Before the Council was a report by the Monitoring Officer, copies of which had been distributed to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 12.
Council was informed that Local Government legislation provided that a Councillor would cease to be a Member of a Local Authority, if they failed to attend a meeting of the Council for a period of 6 months, without approval for their absence.
The report had sought the Council’s approval for the absence of a Councillor from meetings. However, it was noted that as Councillor Louise Murphy was present at the meeting, it was not necessary for Council to approve her absence.
The report also sought the Council’s endorsement to the cancellation of the Worthing Borough Council meeting scheduled to take place on 21st April 2020 which had been cancelled due to the global pandemic.
The recommendation in the report was proposed by Councillor Louise Murphy, seconded by Councillor Kevin Jenkins and supported following a vote;
For 36, Against 0, Abstentions 1
The Council noted the cancellation of the Worthing Borough Council meeting scheduled to take place on 21st April 2020 and the Chief Executive’s use of delegated powers in this regard.
To consider a joint report by the Acting Director for Housing and Wellbeing and the Solicitor to the Council, attached as item 13.
Before the Council was a report by the Acting Director for Housing & Wellbeing and the Solicitor to the Council, copies of which had been distributed to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 13.
The report outlined a number of decisions required by Council to ensure that the decision making structure for 2020/21 was determined according to the Council’s Constitution, this included:
It was noted that an updated Appendix B had been circulated in advance of the meeting.
The recommendations outlined in the report, were proposed by Councillor Daniel Humphreys and seconded by Councillor Ed Crouch.
An amendment proposed by Councillor Beccy Cooper, that Councillor Carl Walker be appointed as the JOSC Chairman, was seconded by Councillor Jim Deen but not supported.
Council approved the recommendations following a vote;
For 22, Against 0, Abstentions 14
That the Council
i. noted the decision making structure of the Council and the political balance of the Council as referenced in paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2;
ii. confirmed the Terms of Reference of the Council, Executive, Committees and Sub-Committees as outlined in Part 3 of the Constitution including those relating to Joint Committee Agreements;
iii. appointed to the Committees in accordance with the wishes of the Political Groups on the Council, as detailed in Appendix B;
iv. agreed that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Committees, as detailed in Appendix B, be appointed until the Annual Meeting of the Council in May 2021;
v. noted the Group Leaders and Deputy Leaders as confirmed to the Proper Officer as outlined in Appendix B; and
vi. in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 39, the Council noted the appointment of the Leader of the Labour Group on the Council, as the Leader of the Main Opposition.
*The meeting was adjourned at 20.14 and reconvened at 20.24.
To consider recommendations to the Council, details of which are set out in the attached items.
Full reports are available on the website.
Council had, before it, recommendations from the Joint Strategic Committee.
Extracts of these minutes had been circulated as items 14A(i), 14A(ii) & 14A(iii).
Item 14A(i) Joint Strategic Committee - 10 March 2020
Adur and Worthing Councils Housing Strategy 2020-2023: ‘Enabling communities to thrive in their own home’
The Leader of the Council presented the recommendation from the Joint Strategic Committee meeting held on 10 March 2020.
The proposal was seconded by Councillor Heather Mercer.
Members generally expressed support for the Strategy and acknowledged that Covid 19 was likely to have a negative impact on housing in the future.
The substantive motion was supported on a vote:
For 35, Against 0, Abstentions 1
That the Council approved the adoption of the new Adur and Worthing Housing Strategy for 2020-2023.
Item 14A(ii) Joint Strategic Committee - 10 March 2020
Strategic Property Investment Fund 2020 and the Annual Commercial Property Investment Strategy 2020/21
The Leader presented a recommendation from the Joint Strategic Committee meeting held on 10 March 2020.
The proposal was seconded by Cllr Elizabeth Sparkes.
During discussion of the item, the Leader of the Opposition raised concerns regarding the strategy and the associated risks.
The Leader of the Council reiterated the importance of the approach, stating that there were no obvious alternatives for delivering revenue. Risks were being mitigated where possible, for example, aiming to have a maximum of 30% of the portfolio in any one area.
On a vote: For 24, Against 10, Abstentions 3
That the Council approved the adoption of the Commercial Property Investment Strategy for 2020-2021.
Item 14A(iii) Joint Strategic Committee - 10 March 2020
Brooklands Park - Masterplan Development
The Leader presented a recommendation from the Joint Strategic Committee meeting held on 10 March 2020.
The proposal was seconded by Cllr Keith Bickers.
During discussion of the item, Members generally expressed support for the proposals, noting the net increase in provision of play equipment at the park.
A Member expressed concerns regarding the level of borrowing required for the project and questioned the viability of increasing prudential limits at this time.
On a vote: For 25, Against 10, Abstentions 2
That Worthing Borough Council
1) approved an additional budget of £2.35m funded by
· External and S106 funding of £250,000;
· Virement from the public convenience budget of £83,000;
· Prudential borrowing of £2.012m;
the revenue implications of which were to be funded from the Major Projects budget set aside to fund projects arising from ‘Platforms’; and
2) approved increasing the prudential limits to allow for the increased capital spend and borrowing requirements.
To receive a report from the Leader as item 15. 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 16.
(Note: Papers relating to items under 14 and 15 have been previously circulated and can be viewed here on the Council’s website
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 15.
Questions were asked regarding Southdown Leisure’s Five Year Strategy in relation to Childhood Obesity, Capital Investment and development of the Worthing Integrated Care Centre.
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 Thursday 21 May 2020 at 12 noon. Questions to be submitted to email@example.com
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
The Mayor announced that the Proper Officer had received 6 questions from Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12. He 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 was 30 minutes allowed for questions with 4 rotations of speakers possible. At the end of 30 minutes the Mayor explained that he would extend the time to conclude the current rotation of questions.
The Mayor announced that the following Councillors had submitted questions:
Councillors Jim Deen, Henna Chowdhury, Martin McCabe, Helen Silman, Bob Smytherman and Sally Smith
The order would be
First rotation: Councillors Sally Smith and Martin McCabe
Second rotation: Councillors Henna Chowdhury and Bob Smytherman
Third rotation: Councillor Helen Silman
Fourth rotation: Councillor Jim Deen
Question from Councillor Sally Smith to the Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing
What assessment will there be of the impact of the coronavirus on the well being of the community, given the well documented rise in issues such as domestic violence and mental health difficulties?
The Executive Member replied that throughout the Covid crisis the Council had continued to develop the community response and as part of that, had been dynamically assessing a range of issues facing our community including domestic abuse, mental health, food poverty, digital exclusion and debt. The Council had also been working with partners such as Safe in Sussex, West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, Mind and Citizens Advice to understand levels of reporting, emerging issues and identify opportunities to co-ordinate support and resources. The Council had been facilitating and participating in a range of multi agency meetings to understand the level of current and emerging needs in our communities.
The assessment process was ongoing and would allow the Council to reorient services and resources moving forward. It was anticipated - in line with other areas - that there would be a peak in demand for domestic abuse and mental health support as lockdown restrictions were eased. Whilst West Sussex had the responsibility for domestic abuse services, the Council was in the process of ensuring that our Housing and Wellbeing team were equipped to respond to this demand.
The Council had a great deal of expertise in the Communities and Wellbeing Team to support our residents, including One Junction, Wellbeing Advisors and Social Prescribers. The Council would also continue working alongside GPs, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Mind and other services to understand how Adur and Worthing Councils could best support residents to access the appropriate services. The Council would be reviewing its community response work and the impact on those that had been supported.
Councillor Sally Smith asked a supplementary question regarding how such services would be funded in the long term.
The Executive Member replied that these were considerations for West Sussex County Council and other partner agencies.
Question from Councillor Martin McCabe to the Leader
Motion from Councillor Sally Smith - Thanks to NHS and Key Workers
To consider a Motion on Notice, submitted by the Proper Officer on behalf of Councillor Sally Smith, detailed as item 17.
Before the Committee was a report by the Acting Director for Housing and Wellbeing, 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 Sally Smith and seconded by Councillor Carl Walker.
During consideration of the motion, an amendment was proposed by Councillor Kevin Jenkins and seconded by Councillor Heather Mercer.
The motion, as amended, was approved unanimously.
That Worthing Borough Council wished to formally recognise and thank key workers and volunteers from across all sectors in our community who have worked tirelessly to keep our town and country running and to help keep us all safe in these unprecedented times.
Amongst those we thank the staff of Adur and Worthing Councils who have demonstrated an excellence and dedication to their work, supporting our communities; especially those who are vulnerable and in need of help.
Not least we recognise the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and other responders who have worked so hard fighting the effects of Covid19.
Amongst those, some have sadly lost their lives to this virus and we offer our condolences to their friends and families."