Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting via Zoom

Contact: Neil Terry
Democratic Services Lead
01903 221073  Email: neil.terry@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

C/61/20-21

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that he had received apologies from Cllr Paul Baker.

C/62/20-21

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:

Councillor Daniel Humphreys declared an interest as a Board Member of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. 

 

Councillor Louise Murphy declared an interest as a Non-Executive Director of Worthing Homes and a pecuniary interest in Item 7C as an employee of HSBC with a minor shareholding in HSBC. Cllr Murphy left the meeting during consideration of Item 7C.

 

Councillor Noel Atkins declared an interest in Item 9 as an elected member of West Sussex County Council.

 

Councillor Ed Crouch declared an interest as his partner worked for Worthing Homes.

 

Councillor Val Turner declared an interest as a Trustee for South Downs Leisure.

 

Councillor Steve Wills declared an interest as a Non-Executive Director of Worthing Homes.

 

C/63/20-21

Confirmation of Minutes

To approve the minutes of the Council Meetings held on the 15 December 2020, copy of which has been previously circulated.

 

A copy is available to view at https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=158&MId=1504&Ver=4

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2020 be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Mayor.

C/64/20-21

Questions from the Public

 

To receive any questions from members of the public addressed to Members 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.

Minutes:

The following question had been received in advance of the meeting.

 

1)     Question submitted by Mr Cothard, Friends of West Worthing Park Chairman

 

For the Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing

 

Friendship/Chat benches

 

Following October's statement of being "only too happy to help" community groups with such a proposal WHY has the reality been anything but?

 

Firstly, we are signposted to The Friendly Bench CIC, but they only operate in central England and can only support 2 benches nationally, will that recommendation be officially withdrawn?

 

Secondly, why has there been no progress on a council approved template design involving local businesses which can be publicised and would make life much easier for community groups interested in the scheme?

 

Thirdly, I have been met with nothing but obstacles trying to get my proposal up and running - such as outdoor spread out seating being Covid risk (despite the council continuing with their own projects involving seating and enclosed places), ASB (despite the ward having a rate of 60% of the national average), questions over my group's constitution (despite it being the own council's template c/o Andy Edwards) and Consultation (despite none being required for the council's own seating or memorial benches plus no indication given as to whether the council would consult or when).

 

Fourthly, why has the Member failed to either respond or acknowledge polite correspondence from myself and other councillors seeking a way forward and clarity? I find this unprofessional, unhelpful and unkind.

 

The Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing replied that the Council would like to reiterate that officers were only too happy to help with these offers, and would also reiterate that suggestions and advice given in the pursuit of these improvements was with the best intentions, based on the Council’s experience of the park in question and of similar projects.  As custodians of open spaces, on behalf of Worthing residents and park users, the Council had a duty to show that there had been due consideration to the governance required to install such features. ASB, covid, constitutions of decision making bodies, and the testing of public opinion were all valid lines of inquiry, and the Council must make sure that all of those points were adequately satisfied before progress could be made.

 

The proposal with this project specifically was to do a light touch consultation exercise that meant the Council could make sure that it had listened to all voices to help decide what happened next. The Council would work with stakeholders such as Friends of West Worthing, to make sure that the design of this process was appropriate.  This would happen as soon as possible, and in order to make sure the opportunity for funding of this project did not slip by, the Council had taken steps to speak to WSCC to safeguard those funds should the consultation exercise prove that the project was indeed the best option for the park’s greater good.

 

2)     Question submitted by Mr Loggenberg, a Worthing Resident

 

For the Leader of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/64/20-21

C/65/20-21

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

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Council on his work as Armed Forces Champion, thanked the Worthing Food Foundation for their invitation to visit and see the work being undertaking and updated Members on the virtual events he had attended since the last Council meeting, including the Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations. 

 

There were no announcements from the Leader or the Chief Executive. 

 

The Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services updated the Council on investment in the Town Centre. A new team had been created in house to reinstall the floral displays in the town.

C/66/20-21

Items raised under Urgency Provisions

To consider any items the Mayor has agreed are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items raised under the urgency provisions.

C/67/20-21

Recommendations from the Executive and Committees to Council pdf icon PDF 185 KB

To consider recommendations to the Council, details of which are set out in the attached items as 7A, 7B and 7C.

 

Full reports are available on the website as listed below:

 

 

Executive / Committee

Date

Item

A

Joint Governance Committee

26 January 2021

 

Scheme of Officer Delegations

B

Worthing Executive

1 February 2021

 

Budget Estimates 2021/22 and setting of 2021/22 Council Tax

C

Joint Strategic Committee

9 February 2021

Joint Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy 2021/22 to 2023/24, Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council

 

 

Minutes:

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

 

Extract of these minutes had been circulated as items 7A, 7B and 7C.

 

 

Item 7A           Joint Governance Committee  - 26 January 2021

 

Scheme of Officer Delegations

 

The Chairman of the Joint Governance Committee presented the recommendation from the Joint Governance Committee meeting held on 26 January 2021.

 

The proposal was seconded by Councillor Steve Wills.

 

On a vote: For 33, Against 0, Abstentions 3

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council noted the Joint Governance Committee’s consideration of the comments of the Worthing Planning Committee, recommending proposed changes to the Scheme of Delegation to Officers, and approved their adoption as part of the Constitution to Worthing Borough Council.

 

Item 7B           Worthing Executive - 1 February 2021

 

Budget Estimates 2021/22 and setting of 2021/22 Council Tax

 

The Mayor informed the Council that the recommendations from Worthing Executive would be considered under Item 9 on the agenda.

 

 

Item 7C           Joint Strategic Committee - 9 February 2021

 

Joint Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy

2021/22 to 2023/24, Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council

 

The Leader presented the recommendation from the Joint Strategic meeting held on 9 February 2021.

 

The proposal was seconded by Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes.

 

On a vote: For 22, Against 4, Abstentions 9

 

Resolved

 

That the Council

 

a)     noted the TMSS and AIS for 2021/22 to 2023/24, incorporating the

Prudential Indicators and Limits, and MRP Statements, including the

increase in the counterparty limit for the UK bank Handelsbanken from £3m to £4m for both Adur and Worthing Councils; and

 

b)     approved the Prudential Indicators and Limits, and MRP Statements.

 

 

C/68/20-21

Suspension of Council Procedure Rules

The Council is asked to suspend Council Procedure Rules where they conflict with the Budget Procedure Rules in accordance with paragraph 7.2 of the Budget Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

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.

 

Having been proposed by Councillor Kevin Jenkins, seconded by Councillor Noel Atkins the Council unanimously agreed to suspend Council Procedure Rules for the consideration of Item 9 on the agenda.

C/69/20-21

Council Tax 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider and set the Council Tax for 2021/22.

 

A budget pack, produced by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, is included as item 9, and the recommendation from the Executive, at item 7B, will also be considered as part of this item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor introduced the item explaining that item 7B, the recommendation from the Executive, would be considered as part of this discussion with the full proposed recommendation being contained in the papers circulated with the agenda.

 

As required by the Regulations there would be a recorded vote on any amendments to the proposed budget together with a final vote.

 

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

 

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 Elizabeth Sparkes.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group on the Council, Councillor Beccy Cooper, addressed the Council and proposed 11 amendments to the budget, details of which are appended to these minutes as Appendix B.

 

The proposed amendments were seconded by Councillor Jim Deen. 

 

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group on the Council, Councillor Robert Smytherman, addressed the Council.

 

The Independent UKIP Member on the Council, Councillor Mark Withers, addressed the Council acknowledging the need for Councillors from all parties to work together

 

Members in the Chamber debated the proposed budget and budget amendments. 

 

In accordance with Budget Procedure Rules, the Leader of the Opposition and the Executive Leader were given rights of reply.

 

The Mayor put each of the amendments to the Council for a vote. Recorded votes were taken, the results of which, are set out below:-

 

Amendment 1

 

For (13): Councillors Barrett, Chowdhury, Cooper, Deen, Howard, McCabe, Mulholland, Silman, D Smith, S Smith, Smytherman, Thorpe and Walker.

 

Against (22): Councillors Atkins, Barraclough, Bickers, Crouch, K Harman, High, Humphreys, James, Jenkins, McDonald, Mercer, Murphy, Nowak, Sim, Sparkes, Turner, N Waight, S Waight, Westover, S Wills, T Wills and Withers.

 

Abstentions (1): Councillor L Harman.

 

Resolved that amendment 1 was not supported.

 

Amendment 2

 

For (14): Councillors Barrett, Chowdhury, Cooper, Deen, Howard, McCabe, Mulholland, Silman, D Smith, S Smith, Smytherman, Thorpe, Walker and Withers.

 

Against (20): Councillors Atkins, Barraclough, Bickers, K Harman, High, Humphreys, James, Jenkins, McDonald, Mercer, Murphy, Nowak, Sim, Sparkes, Turner, N Waight, S Waight, Westover, S Wills and T Wills.

 

Abstentions (2): Councillors Crouch and L Harman.

 

Resolved that amendment 2 was not supported.

 

Amendment 3

 

For (13): Councillors Barrett, Chowdhury, Cooper, Deen, Howard, McCabe, Mulholland, Silman, D Smith, S Smith, Smytherman, Thorpe and Walker.

 

Against (22): Councillors Atkins, Barraclough, Bickers, Crouch, K Harman, High, Humphreys, James, Jenkins, McDonald, Mercer, Murphy, Nowak, Sim, Sparkes, Turner, N Waight, S Waight, Westover, S Wills, T Wills and Withers.

 

Abstentions (1): Councillor L Harman.

 

Resolved that amendment 3 was not supported.

 

Amendment 4

 

For  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/69/20-21

* The meeting was adjourned at 9.28pm and reconvened at 9.38pm

C/70/20-21

Report of the Leader on Decisions taken by the Executive pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To receive a report from the Leader as item 10. 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 12. 

 

(Note: Papers relating to items under 7 and 10 have been previously circulated and can be viewed on the Council’s website).

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 10.

 

A question was received in relation to the release of s106 monies for schemes in Tarring Ward. The Executive Member for Regeneration agreed to provide a written response following the meeting.

C/71/20-21

Schedule of Meetings 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 56 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 11.

 

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 of the Council and joint meetings for 2021/22.

 

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 2021/22 was proposed by Councillor Daniel Humphreys,  seconded by Councillor Noel Atkins and unanimously supported.

 

Resolved

 

That Worthing Borough Council approved the Schedule of Meetings for 2021/22.

C/72/20-21

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 19 February at 12 noon.

 

Questions should 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 18 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 were 30 minutes allowed for questions with 11 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 Bickers, Chowdhury, Deen, Howard, James,  Murphy, Nowak, D Smith, S Smith, Walker, T Wills and Withers.

 

First rotation:

 

Question from Councillor Henna Chowdhury to the Executive Member for Customer Services

 

What are the council doing to encourage landlords to bring empty properties back into use and how many of those they know about?

 

The Executive Member for Customer Services replied that owners or landlords could make use of the Landlord’s Repair Grant Assistance or the Opening Doors scheme to obtain funding to bring properties (including empties) up to standard and give the Council nomination rights.

 

The latest figures showed that in October 2020 there were 398 properties in Worthing that had been empty for longer than 6 months (Long-Term Empty (LTE)). This compared with 402 in October 2018 and 336 in October 2019 and equated to 0.95% of the total housing stock in Worthing. The range for local authorities (according to Action on Empty Homes figures) ranged between 3.66% and 0%.

 

LTE as defined did not include properties under probate and so the reported figures were the nationally accepted number of LTE.

 

Question from Councillor Mark Withers to the Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services

 

My Ward Northbrook has been known as one of the poorer or more deprived areas of the Borough. It has come to my attention from a constituent in the past a perception that in wealthier areas of the Borough such as around Grand Ave and its surrounds for instance there is constant sweeping of pavements and gutters whereas less affluent areas like the Tyne area south of Columbia Drive have not seen any cleaning for many years. This leads to a perception that residents of such areas are being treated as second class citizens although subject to the same taxes payable to the borough. What answer or reassurance would the council give to any constituents with such perceptions?

 

The Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services replied that Adur & Worthing Environmental Services carried out street sweeping to clean up rubbish and debris on Worthing’s streets. The sweeping regime was based on level of need by taking account of pedestrian traffic, proximity to shops and fast food outlets etc.

 

The Council did not sweep areas based on the affluence of an area, or indeed the differing expectations of residents. Each area was additionally inspected by officers with the work being allocated accordingly. The Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/72/20-21