Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall

Contact: Karen Strahan 01392 382264  Email: karen.strahan@devon.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

149.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Council MOVED and it was duly SECONDED that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 October be signed as a correct record.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

150.

Announcements

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Minutes:

The Chair of the Council reported on the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant Employers recognition scheme, which was particularly poignant in that 2018 marked a significant year in Devon’s remembrance. The Armed Forces Covenant was ‘a promise from the nation ensuring that those who were serving and / or who had served, and their families, were treated fairly. The Council would also work towards achieving the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold status.

 

The Leader of the Council and Lt Col Jon Penhale from 6 Rifles signed the covenant. 

 

The Chair also reminded Members to view the exhibitions in the Ante-Chamber relating to Devon Remembers and also the Vote 100.

 

The Devon Remembers display focused on Food, Farming and Fishing in Devon during the First World War, a unique snapshot of the impact of the onset of the First World War on local agriculture and farms.

 

The Vote 100 exhibition included a Candidates photography exhibition of women who stood for election in 2017, a Polling Station, information about the 1918 vote and opportunity to debate and vote on issues of today, a timeline of women elected as Devon Councillors and MPs, and information about the suffrage campaign.

151.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

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Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

152.

Public Participation: Petitions, Questions and Representations

Petitions, Questions or Representations from Members of the public in line with the Council’s Petitions and Public Participation Schemes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader was presented, by Mr and Mrs Naybour, with a petition containing approximately 100 signatures relating to speeding and speed limits in Grenofen.

 

The Leader indicated that the relevant Cabinet Member or Head of Service would be asked to respond direct to the petitioner on the issues raised, within 15 days.

 

There was no question from a Member of the public.

 

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the Council received and acknowledged oral representations made by Members of the School Council from the Exeter Deaf Academy on the issues raised by the Notice of Motion on British Sign Language, later in the agenda, particularly highlighting good communication and inclusion by both the BBC and ITV for news programmes to be signed in British Sign Language.

 

Further oral representations were made by Anthea Simmons, Peter Sturdgess and Julian Andrews who spoke on the issues raised by the Notice of Motion in relation to Brexit, the aerospace industry and the importance of a Peoples Vote.

 

The Chair thanked all the public speakers for their contributions.

 

[NB: The representations may be observed through the webcast of this meeting – available for 12 months after the meeting]

153.

Petitions from Members of the Council

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Minutes:

There was no Petition received from a Member of the Council.

154.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Answers to questions from Members of the Council pursuant to Standing Order 17.

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Minutes:

(Councillor Greenslade declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Member of North Devon District Council)

 

In accordance with the Council’s Procedure Rules, the Leader and relevant Cabinet Members provided written responses to 10 questions submitted by Members of the Council relating to activities on County Estates Farms and tenancy agreements, staff pay scales and the living wage, drains, gullies and the policy for maintenance, school budgets and availability of additional funding, early and positive intervention in relation to children’s services as preventative measures for their futures, overpayments of carer’s allowances, recovery of monies and the scale of over payments in this area, resilience testing on key supplies and services for the County post Brexit, the tower block at the Barnstaple Civic Centre, breakdowns of numbers of gagging agreements / clauses over the last five years, victims of child sexual exploitation and parental rights.

 

The Leader and relevant Cabinet Members also responded orally, as appropriate, to any supplementary questions arising therefrom.

 

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to the signed minutes and any supplementary questions and answers may be observed through the webcast of this meeting – see Notes below]

155.

Cabinet Member Reports pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider reports from Cabinet Members.

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Minutes:

(Councillor Greenslade declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Non-Executive Director of Exeter Airport).

 

The Council received reports from the relevant Cabinet Members on matters of interest or service developments relating to their remits which had occurred since the previous meeting or were likely to have an impact in the future or on specific issues upon which they had been asked to comment, as set out below:

 

(a)        Policy, Corporate and Asset Management

           

Councillor Hart commented, as requested by Councillor Hannaford on the Business Rates Retention Pilot, including an update on bids and projects.

 

The Leader highlighted that the pilot, on updated estimates, estimated a financial benefit of £16.6 millions to the Council, although the authority made a contribution of £5 million to the Business Rates Risk Reserve to cover any potential collection fund deficits arising in 2019/20 with the remaining £11.6 millions be made available to service areas to submit requests for investment, using criteria such as supporting the sustainability of Social Care Services, grow or protect the Business rates base and / or result in revenue savings.

 

The total value of requests were £25.5 millions.

 

However, at the same time the Council was faced with increasing pressures in Children Services around placements and market sufficiency and a decision taken to apply the fund to support the future management of these pressures, with invest to save initiatives, for example to support Edge of Care, Crisis Care, Troubled Families, the Devon Inclusion Project and fixing the system for Children in Care Placements.

 

He circulated information, again as requested by Councillor Hannaford on autumn budget implications for regional military capacity, the ‘Sunset for the Royal Marines’ campaign, progress to secure contracts at Devonport Shipyard to decommission nuclear vessels and possible Brexit implications for the regional private sector defence industry, highlighting that the defence sector was a very important part of Devon’s economy. The bases provided jobs both directly and in their civilian supply chains.  Defence manufacturing was also a major employment sector and recent modelling suggested the sector accounted for up to 26,000 jobs across The Heart of South West LEP area.

 

Devonport Naval base directly accounted for 10% of employment in Plymouth. 

 

The Leader made reference to the Chancellors announcement of a £1 billion uplift to the Ministry of Defence in his Autumn Budget, in addition to the £600m already allocated to the MOD for 2018/19 earlier this summer, together with approximately half of the additional £800m allocated for 2019/20, would be used to pay for Dreadnought costs running above previously budgeted levels.

 

The Ministry of Defence said in January 2018 that it still intended to close RMB Chivenor by 2027, but had provided few details on the exact plans or timetable.

 

Plymouth had secured the future of the amphibious ships and the type 26 frigates would be base-ported in Plymouth.  The future location of the marines was uncertain, pending the modernising defence programme.  Plymouth was the only site in the UK to decommission  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To receive and approve the Minutes of the under mentioned Committees

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council MOVED and it was duly SECONDED that the Minutes of the under-mentioned meetings of Committees be approved.

 

Appeals Committee                                           -           8 October, 5 November and 3

                                                                                    December 2018

Procedures Committee                                      -           7 November 2018

Audit Committee                                                -           8 November 2018

Standards Committee                                        -           12 November 2018

Public Rights of Way Committee                        -           15 November 2018

Investment & Pension Fund Committee              -           16 November 2018

Development Management Committee               -           28 November 2018

 

Health & Adult Care Scrutiny                              -           22 November 2018

Children’s Scrutiny                                            -           26 November 2018

Corporate Infrastructure & Regulatory                 -           27 November 2018

Services Scrutiny

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

157.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Merger (Minute 147 of 4th October 2018)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 255(a)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Atkinson and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely: 

 

Since 2015, Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police (DC&D) have been working together through a 'Strategic Alliance'. Operational police departments such as Operations, Roads Policing and Prevention as well as 17 other business areas are already operating across the three counties with a further 11 departments currently going through changes which will see them aligned.

 

The Chief Constables of DC&D Police recently announced their intention to explore a voluntary merger of the two forces. There are no recent examples of successful voluntary mergers of police forces.

 

Work is now underway to develop a business case for the merger for submission to the Home Office in October 2018, with a decision expected in January 2019.

 

·         The PCC commenced a public engagement programme across the three counties in August which ended on 28th August, the full business case was not be shared with stakeholders or the PCP before the end of this consultation.

·         It is understood that at a PCP meeting on 5th October some of the business case may be shared with the PCP before its submission to the Home Office.

·         DCC had not formally been consulted and this has not been discussed at DCC cabinet or Scrutiny Committee

 

The proposed merger will impact funding and on Council Tax across Devon A much higher proportion of Devon and Cornwall’s total funding (61.5%) comes from government. Only 53% of Dorset’s funding comes from government and a higher proportion comes from the police precept element.

 

Overall, government funding is more per head for Devon and Cornwall (£103) than Dorset (£85). This would fall to £97.6 per head for a combined force.

 

Having received minimal information regarding the financial impact or benefits of the potential merger, it is difficult to know whether current levels of funding, alongside the substantial reserves held by both forces, would prove sufficient to underwrite any additional costs arising from the merger of the force areas. This is particularly relevant in attempting to understand how the additional 430 police officers or staff would be funded as a result of the merger At the moment, tax payers in Dorset in an average Band D property pay around £18 a year more for their policing than householders in Devon and Cornwall. Legally, the levels of police precept for both areas must be harmonised for the merger to take place. Will Dorset rates are harmonised down to the Devon and Cornwall level? This seems to have been ruled out.  Another proposal is that the rate for Devon and Cornwall will be increased to the Dorset level to fund extra police officers. The estimated increase would mean an extra payment of £1-3 per month (£18 per year) for average Band D residents in Devon and Cornwall. 

 

This motion proposes that:

·         The Council writes to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 157.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Pursuant to County Council Minute 147 of 4 October 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Atkinson that: 

Since 2015, Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police (DC&D) have been working together through a 'Strategic Alliance'. Operational police departments such as Operations, Roads Policing and Prevention as well as 17 other business areas are already operating across the three counties with a further 11 departments currently going through changes which will see them aligned.

 

The Chief Constables of DC&D Police recently announced their intention to explore a voluntary merger of the two forces. There are no recent examples of successful voluntary mergers of police forces.

 

Work is now underway to develop a business case for the merger for submission to the Home Office in October 2018, with a decision expected in January 2019.

 

·         The PCC commenced a public engagement programme across the three counties in August which ended on 28th August, the full business case was not be shared with stakeholders or the PCP before the end of this consultation.

·         It is understood that at a PCP meeting on 5th October some of the business case may be shared with the PCP before its submission to the Home Office.

·         DCC had not formally been consulted and this has not been discussed at DCC cabinet or Scrutiny Committee

 

The proposed merger will impact funding and on Council Tax across Devon A much higher proportion of Devon and Cornwall’s total funding (61.5%) comes from government. Only 53% of Dorset’s funding comes from government and a higher proportion comes from the police precept element.

 

Overall, government funding is more per head for Devon and Cornwall (£103) than Dorset (£85). This would fall to £97.6 per head for a combined force.

 

Having received minimal information regarding the financial impact or benefits of the potential merger, it is difficult to know whether current levels of funding, alongside the substantial reserves held by both forces, would prove sufficient to underwrite any additional costs arising from the merger of the force areas. This is particularly relevant in attempting to understand how the additional 430 police officers or staff would be funded as a result of the merger At the moment, tax payers in Dorset in an average Band D property pay around £18 a year more for their policing than householders in Devon and Cornwall. Legally, the levels of police precept for both areas must be harmonised for the merger to take place. Will Dorset rates are harmonised down to the Devon and Cornwall level? This seems to have been ruled out.  Another proposal is that the rate for Devon and Cornwall will be increased to the Dorset level to fund extra police officers. The estimated increase would mean an extra payment of £1-3 per month (£18 per year) for average Band D residents in Devon and Cornwall. 

 

This motion proposes that:

 

·         The Council writes to the PCC to request that the full  ...  view the full minutes text for item 157.

158.

Children's Bed Poverty (Minute 148 of 4th October 2018)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 255(b) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Hannaford and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely 

 

More children are living in poverty than at any other time in the past ten years, with 4.1 million children across the UK living below the breadline.

 

Shockingly its thought that there are over 400,000 children in the UK who do not have a bed of their own.

 

Without somewhere to rest their head, bedtime routines become difficult, stress levels rise, and getting a good night’s sleep is often near to impossible.

 

Furthermore, educational performance deteriorates and safeguarding risks rise.

 

Over the last five years, Dreams Beds has provided Buttle UK with nearly 10,000 children’s beds to donate to those families in desperate need — more than ever before. With the number of beds that they supplied during those five years rising by 77 per cent.

 

We applaud the work of this charity, and businesses, social enterprises, church groups, and others across the country in trying to tackle this national scandal.

 

As Corporate Parents with a duty of care to all of Devon’s children, we resolve that the Council formally writes to The Rt Hon. James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and our local members of Parliament, to highlight this issue and call for serious consideration to be given for a national grants scheme that allows those in need to apply for help and assistance, to put an to end children’s bed poverty.

 

Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter as set out in Report (CSO/18/32) and other suggestions considered at that meeting, the Cabinet subsequently resolved to accept the Notice of Motion and make representations to James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, copying the same to local Devon MPs, raising the issue of bed poverty, endorsing the work of the Buttle Trust and seeking support for a national scheme that would enable families to get the support they need.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Pursuant to County Council Minute148 of 4 October 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Hannaford that,  

                           

More children are living in poverty than at any other time in the past ten years, with 4.1 million children across the UK living below the breadline.

 

Shockingly its thought that there are over 400,000 children in the UK who do not have a bed of their own.

 

Without somewhere to rest their head, bedtime routines become difficult, stress levels rise, and getting a good night’s sleep is often near to impossible.

 

Furthermore, educational performance deteriorates and safeguarding risks rise.

 

Over the last five years, Dreams Beds has provided Buttle UK with nearly 10,000 children’s beds to donate to those families in desperate need — more than ever before. With the number of beds that they supplied during those five years rising by 77 per cent.

 

We applaud the work of this charity, and businesses, social enterprises, church groups, and others across the country in trying to tackle this national scandal.

 

As Corporate Parents with a duty of care to all of Devon’s children, we resolve that the Council formally writes to The Rt Hon. James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and our local members of Parliament, to highlight this issue and call for serious consideration to be given for a national grants scheme that allows those in need to apply for help and assistance, to put an to end children’s bed poverty.

 

and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 255(b) of 12 November 2018:

 

Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that Notice of Motion be accepted and the Council make representations to James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, copying the same to local Devon MPs, raising the issue of bed poverty, endorsing the work of the Buttle Trust and seeking support for a national scheme that would enable families to get the support they need.

 

The amendment in the name of Councillor Hart was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED and subsequently thereafter also CARRIED as the substantive motion.

159.

Devon County Council and Fracking

Councillor Hodgson to move:

 

I am aware that South Devon has little if any shale reserves that could attract potential fracking exploration or would be economically viable to extract. However, as part of a national support to prevent controversial planning matters being able to avoid public consultation and protest and also to support a permanent ban on fracking in the UK, I am also requesting this motion regarding permitted development rights which has now been allowed for Fracking planning applications.  This means that applications can by-pass the usual pubic consultation and objection processes and publicly represented decision making bodies such as council planning committees.  France, Ireland, Bulgaria, Germany, Victoria, in NSW Australia, four provinces in Canada New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec have all banned fracking and Germany has placed an indefinite moratorium, Netherlands has placed a temporary moratorium on fracking. This also supports this Council’s agreement in principle to support initiatives that will prevent or mitigate climate change.

 

1.    Will write to the Secretary of State to object to applications for fracking having permitted development rights such that applicants can avoid the usual planning system. 

2.    Supports a national ban on fracking in the UK on public safety and climate change grounds.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hodgson MOVED and Councillor Biederman SECONDED that in accordance with Standing Order 6(6), the Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Hodgson be considered at this meeting.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared LOST.

 

Councillor Hodgson then MOVED and Councillor Biederman SECONDED

 

I am aware that South Devon has little if any shale reserves that could attract potential fracking exploration or would be economically viable to extract. However, as part of a national support to prevent controversial planning matters being able to avoid public consultation and protest and also to support a permanent ban on fracking in the UK, I am also requesting this motion regarding permitted development rights which has now been allowed for Fracking planning applications.  This means that applications can by-pass the usual pubic consultation and objection processes and publicly represented decision making bodies such as council planning committees.  France, Ireland, Bulgaria, Germany, Victoria, in NSW Australia, four provinces in Canada New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec have all banned fracking and Germany has placed an indefinite moratorium, Netherlands has placed a temporary moratorium on fracking. This also supports this Council’s agreement in principle to support initiatives that will prevent or mitigate climate change.

 

1.     Will write to the Secretary of State to object to applications for fracking having permitted development rights such that applicants can avoid the usual planning system. 

2.     Supports a national ban on fracking in the UK on public safety and climate change grounds.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

160.

British Sign Language

Councillor Dewhirst to move:

 

This Council passionately believes that good communication lies at the heart of a civilised society and furthermore believes that inclusion is a vital part of a fair society.

 

To that end this Council realises that there is a large number of British Sign Language (BSL) users in Devon and so offers Deaf people an on-line interpretation service to enable people whose first language is BSL to communicate and interact with our Council.

 

The BBC offer in-vision BSL interpretations of some popular and topical programmes however it is not provided for the local and live news services.   They do however offer the option for subtitles to be used for their programmes for Deaf people or people with limited hearing.   Sadly, Deaf people find this service less than helpful and often very confusing - try watching the news with the sound off and just subtitles.   ITV offer no services for Deaf people.   Many Deaf people in Devon wish to keep up with the news in our County and wish that the BBC and ITV offered a similar interpretation service to our Council.   This currently happens in America and most western countries.

 

In a spirit of inclusion this Council resolves to ask the BBC and ITV to start a process of full inclusion by asking the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to ask for Spotlight South West to be signed in BSL and to the Managing Director of ITV Westcountry to ask for West Country News to be signed in BSL.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dewhirst MOVED and Councillor Connett SECONDED;

 

This Council passionately believes that good communication lies at the heart of a civilised society and furthermore believes that inclusion is a vital part of a fair society.

 

To that end this Council realises that there is a large number of British Sign Language (BSL) users in Devon and so offers Deaf people an on-line interpretation service to enable people whose first language is BSL to communicate and interact with our Council.

 

The BBC offer in-vision BSL interpretations of some popular and topical programmes however it is not provided for the local and live news services.   They do however offer the option for subtitles to be used for their programmes for Deaf people or people with limited hearing.   Sadly, Deaf people find this service less than helpful and often very confusing - try watching the news with the sound off and just subtitles.   ITV offer no services for Deaf people.   Many Deaf people in Devon wish to keep up with the news in our County and wish that the BBC and ITV offered a similar interpretation service to our Council.   This currently happens in America and most western countries.

 

In a spirit of inclusion this Council resolves to ask the BBC and ITV to start a process of full inclusion by asking the Chief Executive to write to the Director General of the BBC to ask for Spotlight South West to be signed in BSL and to the Managing Director of ITV Westcountry to ask for West Country News to be signed in BSL.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

161.

Devon's Housing Need

Councillor Shaw to move:

 

Devon County Council welcomes the reports published by the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (Devon branch), 'Devon Housing Needs Evidence' and 'A Review of Government Housing Policy and Its Impact on Devon' and the extensive research from which they result. Noting that the reports conclude that Devon's real housing needs are substantially less than currently assumed, Council asks Cabinet to commission a full evaluation of the implications of these reports for both the Council's policies and relevant joint ventures including the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.

 

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Minutes:

Councillor Shaw MOVED and Councillor Biederman SECONDED

 

Devon County Council welcomes the reports published by the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (Devon branch), 'Devon Housing Needs Evidence' and 'A Review of Government Housing Policy and Its Impact on Devon' and the extensive research from which they result. Noting that the reports conclude that Devon's real housing needs are substantially less than currently assumed, Council asks Cabinet to commission a full evaluation of the implications of these reports for both the Council's policies and relevant joint ventures including the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

162.

Brexit Referendum and Economic Impacts

Councillor Shaw to move:

 

While welcoming the Devon Councils' support for Flybe, this County Council expresses its alarm that Brexit has contributed to the airline's crisis and that it has been followed by the announcement of the closure of the Schaeffler factory in Plymouth. 

 

In view of (a) this accelerating harm to Devon's economy, which also threatens our agricultural, health, university and small business sectors and living standards, and (b) polling evidence which suggests that a majority of Devon voters and Devon districts now oppose Brexit, Council calls on the Government to organise a referendum in which voters are offered the choice of accepting the deal which the Government has negotiated or remaining in the European Union.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shaw MOVED and Councillor Biederman SECONDED that in accordance with Standing Order 6(6), the following Notice of Motion be considered at this meeting.

 

Councillor Brennan then MOVED and Councillor Hannaford SECONDED that, in accordance with Standing Order 32, the vote on debating the motion at the meeting shall be by a roll call vote.

 

The Motion for the roll call vote was put to the vote and declared LOST.

 

The Motion to debate the Notice of Motion at the Council meeting was put to the vote and also declared LOST.

 

Councillor Shaw then MOVED and Councillor Biederman SECONDED that:

 

While welcoming the Devon Councils' support for Flybe, this County Council expresses its alarm that Brexit has contributed to the airline's crisis and that it has been followed by the announcement of the closure of the Schaeffler factory in Plymouth. 

 

In view of (a) this accelerating harm to Devon's economy, which also threatens our agricultural, health, university and small business sectors and living standards, and (b) polling evidence which suggests that a majority of Devon voters and Devon districts now oppose Brexit, Council calls on the Government to organise a referendum in which voters are offered the choice of accepting the deal which the Government has negotiated or remaining in the European Union.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

 

(In accordance with Standing Order 32(4) Councillors Ackland, Atkinson, Asvachin, Aves, Brazil, Brennan, Connett, Dewhirst, Hannaford, Hodgson, Shaw, Way and Whitton asked that their vote in support of debating the Notice of Motion at the meeting be recorded).

163.

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee

Councillor Biederman to move:

 

This County Council welcomes the fact that the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee has now met, but believes that for effective scrutiny to take place:

 

(1) two of the Council's four places on the Committee should be made available to opposition groups from next May;

(2) there should be an opportunity for the Non-Aligned Group to be represented from time to time;

(3) an opportunity for public participation should be provided;

(4) proceedings should be webcast.   

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Biederman MOVED and Councillor Shaw SECONDED that:

 

This County Council welcomes the fact that the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee has now met, but believes that for effective scrutiny to take place:

 

(1) two of the Council's four places on the Committee should be made available to opposition groups from next May;

(2) there should be an opportunity for the Non-Aligned Group to be represented from time to time;

(3) an opportunity for public participation should be provided;

(4) proceedings should be webcast.   

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Procedures Committee for consideration.

 

164.

Fair and Adequate Funding to Local Authorities

Councillor Atkinson to move:

 

Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur has found that Local government in the UK has been “gutted” by government policies reflecting the “dismantling of the social safety net”.  He finds that since the onset of austerity, cuts to local government funding have transferred service costs to users who are “least able to pay” and local authorities are “even struggling with the basic services they are statutorily obligated to provide” such that the “overall social safety net is being systematically dismantled” as local authorities, especially in England, which perform vital roles in providing a real social safety net have been gutted by a series of government policies.

 

The UN official referenced the National Audit Office’s finding that local government has incurred a 49% cuts in funding since 2011-2018 (but 75% cut in revenue funding to fund services in Devon County Council ) community and youth centres have been shrunk and underfunded, public spaces and buildings including parks and recreation centres have been sold off and 14 million people – one fifth of the population – live in poverty, and noted that Institute for Fiscal Studies calculations predict a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022. He also says that despite these factors, Alston claimed ministers were in “a state of denial” about UK poverty. Other areas in which social security have been undermined include cuts to legal aid and benefit reductions.

 

This Council agrees with the raporteur’s findings and urges the government to introduce fair and adequate funding to local authorities to meet local people’s needs in Devon.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Atkinson MOVED and Councillor Aves SECONDED that:

 

Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur has found that Local government in the UK has been “gutted” by government policies reflecting the “dismantling of the social safety net”.  He finds that since the onset of austerity, cuts to local government funding have transferred service costs to users who are “least able to pay” and local authorities are “even struggling with the basic services they are statutorily obligated to provide” such that the “overall social safety net is being systematically dismantled” as local authorities, especially in England, which perform vital roles in providing a real social safety net have been gutted by a series of government policies.

 

The UN official referenced the National Audit Office’s finding that local government has incurred a 49% cuts in funding since 2011-2018 (but 75% cut in revenue funding to fund services in Devon County Council ) community and youth centres have been shrunk and underfunded, public spaces and buildings including parks and recreation centres have been sold off and 14 million people – one fifth of the population – live in poverty, and noted that Institute for Fiscal Studies calculations predict a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022. He also says that despite these factors, Alston claimed ministers were in “a state of denial” about UK poverty. Other areas in which social security have been undermined include cuts to legal aid and benefit reductions.

 

This Council agrees with the raporteur’s findings and urges the government to introduce fair and adequate funding to local authorities to meet local people’s needs in Devon.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

165.

Devon and Cornwall Police Funding

Councillor Atkinson to move:

 

The government has been more interested in terrorism and high-end threats but less focused on local crimes and policing.  Steep budget reductions and a widening mission for the police has forced Devon and Cornwall Police to make the difficult decision to cut budgets for local policing.  Austerity cuts in other public services have also impacted on the police who are often the service of last resort for people with mental health conditions.

 

The National Audit Office report castigated the government’s handling of the police. The NAO assesses the government did not fully understand the actual impact of these cuts on police forces such that policing is at the tipping point.  This Council calls on the government and local MPs to ensure that the anticipated review of police funding agrees a fair funding formula for police forces that ensures an increase in funding for Devon and Cornwall Police which does not pass funding increases on through council tax beyond the current permitted up to 2% annual increase in the police precept.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Atkinson MOVED and Councillor Hannaford SECONDED that:

 

                  The government has been more interested in terrorism and high-end threats but less focused on local crimes and policing.  Steep budget reductions and a widening mission for the police has forced Devon and Cornwall Police to make the difficult decision to cut budgets for local policing.  Austerity cuts in other public services have also impacted on the police who are often the service of last resort for people with mental health conditions.

 

                  The National Audit Office report castigated the government’s handling of the police. The NAO assesses the government did not fully understand the actual impact of these cuts on police forces such that policing is at the tipping point.  This Council calls on the government and local MPs to ensure that the anticipated review of police funding agrees a fair funding formula for police forces that ensures an increase in funding for Devon and Cornwall Police which does not pass funding increases on through council tax beyond the current permitted up to 2% annual increase in the police precept.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6(6) the Notice of Motion was referred, without discussion, to the Cabinet for consideration.

166.

Declare a Climate Emergency

Councillor Hodgson to move:

 

Full Council notes:

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.  Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.  Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm).  This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

 

In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible;

 

Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

 

Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

 

Devon County Council has already shown foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of climate change when back in 2004 we signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change and has since recognised this in its strategy for responding to the Climate Change Act 2008 which underpins its strategies, actions plans, public statements and advice to businesses, residents and parish councils;

 

Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough.  The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit before 2050;

 

The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published last month, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 degrees Celsius, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities;

 

Local Authorities around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

 

Full Council believes that:

 

All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognize this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.  It is important for the residents of Devon and the UK that counties commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

 

Local Authorities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions;

 

The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,

 

Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).

 

Full Council calls on the Leader to:

 

1.    Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

 

2.    Pledge to make the county of Devon carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions (scope 1,2,3);

 

3.    Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;

 

4.    Work with other governments  ...  view the full agenda text for item 166.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hodgson MOVED and Councillor Shaw SECONDED that in accordance with Standing Order 6(6), the following Notice of Motion be considered at this meeting

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared LOST.

 

Councillor Hodgson then MOVED and Councillor Shaw SECONDED that:

 

Full Council notes:

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.  Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.  Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm).  This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

 

In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we as a species reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible ;

 

Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

 

Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

 

Devon County Council has already shown foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of climate change when back in 2004 we signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change and has since recognised this in its strategy for responding to the Climate Change Act 2008 which underpins its strategies, actions plans, public statements and advice to businesses, residents and parish councils;

 

Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough.  The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit before 2050;

 

The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published last month, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degrees Celsius rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 degrees Celsius, and told us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities;

 

Local Authorities around the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.

 

Full Council believes that:

 

All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognize this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.  It is important for the residents of Devon and the UK that counties commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

 

Local Authorities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions;

 

The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,

 

Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).

 

Full Council calls on the Leader to:

 

1.     Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

 

2.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 166.