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

167.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council MOVED and it was duly SECONDED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 be signed as a correct record.

 

The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

168.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Council paid tribute to all those staff who went the extra mile to keep Devon moving during the January snow and ice and to those who continued to provide services to those in need.

 

She reported that Fairtrade Fortnight was approaching (25 February to 10 March 2019), where Fairtrade brought a producer to Devon to ‘tell their story’. It was an opportunity to show the Council’s commitment to Fairtrade, especially in Fairtrade Devon’s 10th Anniversary year.

 

The Chair announced that Scomis, who worked on behalf of the Council in delivering high quality ICT and telephony services, had received national recognition at the BETT Awards. Furthermore, they had been invited to partake in the Parliamentary Review to be launched next month. The Council congratulated all at Scomis for their achievements.

 

Also highlighted was the event being hosted by the Chair on the 8th March (International Women’s Day) for inspirational women who had made a difference in Devon. Residents had been asked to nominate the County’s female community champions to celebrate these unsung heroes. There had been some 250 nominations.

 

Last, the Chair wished Alderman Saxon Spence a happy 90th birthday, sending the Council’s best wishes and many happy returns.

169.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

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Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

170.

Public Participation: Petitions, Questions and Representations pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no petition received from a member of the public.

 

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the relevant Cabinet Members responded to four questions from Member(s) of the public on highways officers and site visits at Crockernwell, spending on the road network, evaluation and investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, climate change and the views of research scientists, severity of the impact of climate change and the need to act for future generations.

 

The Cabinet Members responded verbally to one supplementary question arising from the above and would also respond direct to three questions received from members of the public, who were not present at the meeting.

 

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the Council received and acknowledged oral representations made by Mr M Spurway on the IPCC Special Report published in October 2018 on climate change and the plan to enable the Council to go Zero Carbon by 2030, referring to current ‘tipping points’ in relation to climate change.

 

Further representations were made by Mr C Hughes and Miss S Hughes on the decision facing the council to declare a Climate Emergency and recent notifications that Carbon Neutrality by 2050 was not sufficient, was a continuation of the status quo and the impacts on the next generation.

 

There was also a verbal representation from Mr J Rose representing the youth interest in declaring a state of climate emergency for Devon and the next generation, referring to many other contributory factors such as plastics, agricultural systems and chemicals and deforestation.

 

Mr R Knight highlighted the success of the climate accord in Paris and Mrs G Westcott reported that the time to act was now. Ms Lopez and Ms C Byng spoke in support of the climate change motion and the importance of safeguarding the future.

 

Mr Yi Postelnik, offered a faith perspective on the matter of climate change, referring to moral injury. 

 

Anthea Simmons, Spokesperson for Devon for Europe spoke on the Brexit Motion, also being dealt with later on the agenda.

 

The Chair thanked the presenters acknowledging that their representations had been heard by Members present.

 

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to these minutes and are also available on the Council’s Website at http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=132&Year=0 and any supplementary questions and answers may be observed through the webcast of this meeting – see Notes below]

171.

Petitions from Members of the Council

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Minutes:

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

172.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 543 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s Procedure Rules, the Leader and relevant Cabinet Members provided written responses to ten questions submitted by Members of the Council relating to the South Devon Highway and progress with Part One compensation claims, research by Sheffield Hallam University on the average spend on food and drink for council-funded residents and the figures for food in homes supported by the Council, the numbers of qualified specialist teachers for deaf children in Devon, specialist schools and the work being done locally, regionally and nationally on this issue, Energy to Waste plants working at capacity, landfill waste and measures to increase recycling rates, public health activity champions, maintenance of cycleways and key routes, the response to previously submitted question relating to changes as a result of Integrated Care Management, infrastructure investment, the impact of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ for local authorities keeping children safe relating to cross-border police and judicial cooperation mechanisms and the recent climate change protest by young people and authorised absences from school.

 

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

 

[NB: See also responses to Questions referred to at Minute 170 above. 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].

173.

Revenue Budget 2019/2020, Medium Term Financial Strategy & Capital Programme 2019/2020 to 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

In the exercise of its Public Sector Equality Duty, as set out below, the County Council must have full regard to and consider the impact of any proposals in relation to equalities prior to making any decisions and any identified significant risks and mitigating action required.  The overview of the impact assessments for all service areas entitled ‘2019/20 Budget Impact Assessment’  has been circulated separately and is available to all Members of the Council for consideration under this item (alongside any specific equality impact assessments undertaken as part of the budget’s preparation) at https://new.devon.gov.uk/impact/budget-2019-2020

 

(b) To receive and approve the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/6) together with the Minutes of the Cabinet held on 15th February 2019 relating to the budget and the Minutes of the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Committee, containing all Scrutiny Budget Resolutions from 29th January 2019, attached.

 

The Report of the County Treasurer and Cabinet Minutes will follow and the minutes can be viewed here shortly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[All Members of the Council had been granted a dispensation to allow them to speak and vote in any debate on the setting of the Council Tax or Precept or any fees and charges arising therefrom as a consequence of simply being a resident of or by virtue of being a resident of or a land, business or property owner in the administrative County of Devon or by being a County Council representative on a local authority company or  joint venture or by being a parent or guardian of a child in a school on any matter relating to school meals and school transport, or in relation to being an approved foster parent, providing placements for the Council’s Children in Care or in relation to the setting of members’ allowances or as a parent or a guardian of a child in care or in receipt of statutory sick pay or a state pension.]. 

 

The Council considered the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting (Minute 300 of 15th February 2019), together with the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/6) on the Revenue Budget for 2019/20, Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2022/23 and Capital Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24, including an assessment of the adequacy of reserves, a range of prudential indicators concerning the financial implications of the capital programme and an assessment that identified risks associated with the budget strategy, together with how the risks would be managed.  This year, for the first time, there was a requirement to prepare a Capital Strategy in line with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities 2017 and this was also included.

 

The book contained;

 

·         Revenue Budget Overview;

·         Statement on the Robustness of the Budget Estimates, Adequacy of Reserves and Affordability of the Capital Strategy;

·         Capital Strategy and Programme Overview 2019/20 - 2023/24;

·         Service Budgets;

·         Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 - 2022/23;

·         County Fund Balance and Earmarked Reserves 2019/20;

·         Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 - 2021/22 and Prudential Indicators 2019/20 - 2023/24;

·         Risk Analysis of Volatile Budgets;

·         Fees & Charges; and

·         Abbreviations.

 

The Chairs of the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, Health and Adult Care Scrutiny and Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny having MOVED and it having been duly SECONDED that the Minutes of the those budget Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 21st, 24th and 29th January 2019 relating to the annual estimates be approved, the motion was subsequently put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

 

The Council noted that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee had at its meeting on held 29th January 2019 considered the proposed Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20, and Capital Strategy, prior to determination of the budget for that year.

 

The County Treasurer’s Report (CT/19/6) contained details of the County Council’s revenue and capital budgets together with associated financial and operational information.  The Council’s financial plans were drawn up with reference to the Council’s major policies and objectives, performance frameworks, demographic changes, consultation with local residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 173.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Budget Amendment - in the name of Councillor Hannaford Amendment Lost
Budget Motion - in the name of Councillor Hart Motion Carried
Budget Amendment - In the name of Councillor Connett Amendment Lost
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 174.

    Heart of the South West - Local Industrial Strategy pdf icon PDF 158 KB

    To receive and approve the Report of the Chief Executive (CX/18/1) with proposals for the Governance arrangements relating to the Local Industrial Strategy, together with the Minute 265 (a-e) of the Cabinet held on 12 December 2018.

     

    The Report is attached.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendations of the Cabinet held on 12 December 2018 relating to proposals for the Governance arrangements relating to the Local Industrial Strategy.

     

    The Leader of the Council MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the recommendations of Cabinet be approved and that Governance arrangements relating to the Local Industrial Strategy, as set out at Minute 265 of the Cabinet, be endorsed.

     

    The motion was put to the vote and, nem con, declared CARRIED.

    175.

    Pay Policy Statement 2019/2020

    To receive and approve the Councils Pay Policy Statement, as recommended by the Appointments and Remuneration Committee (15 January 2019) (Minute 47), attached and can be viewed here.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendations of the Appointments & Remuneration Committee held on 15 January 2019 relating to the adoption by the County Council of the proposed Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20.

     

    The Leader of the Council MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the recommendations of the Appointments & Remuneration Committee be approved and that the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 (and consequential changes to the Council’s Constitution) as set out at Minute 47 of that Committee be endorsed and the Constitution amended accordingly.

     

    The motion was put to the vote and, nem con, declared CARRIED.

    176.

    Cabinet Member Reports pdf icon PDF 71 KB

    To consider reports from Cabinet Members.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    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 circulated a Report, as requested by Councillor Brennan on the impact that a ‘No Deal Brexit’ could have on the Council’s finances, its ability to provide statutory services and any lobbying activities to Government.

    The Leader referred to the current uncertainty of which Brexit scenario might prevail from the Parliamentary process and referred to the recent report in the Western Morning News to voice his concerns about the impacts on Devon’s communities and economy.  He also said how difficult it was to predict and plan for such an unprecedented event, but the Council was determined to play a lead role in assisting both communities and businesses.

    The Leader then outlined the work of the Council in preparing for a ‘No Deal Brexit’, for example the role of the Local Resilience Forums, the updating of Business Continuity Plans to plan for this, working through professional associations to ensure the dissemination of information and good practice and pressing Government to release impact assessments to inform the planning and preparedness process.

    Members were further advised that the Council had played a central role in advising Government about the place, service and community impacts of Brexit, including the Chief Executive chairing the HoSW Joint Committee’s Brexit Resilience and Opportunities Group and also the work of the Economy and Enterprise Service. Brexit was also a standing item on the regular meetings of the Devon Emergency Planning Service.

    In terms of the Council’s finances, the Leader stated that the Council Tax increase from April 2019 had been determined, the business rates position was clear and the settlement agreed with central Government. In the short term, there would be no impact on the Council’s finances. Longer term, there could be an impact on future business rates income and potential cost increases from imports and exports, but at present this was not possible to quantify.

    Furthermore, the Council was in regular contact with business representative organisations and in relation to the recent business closures none had cited Brexit as a reason for closure. However, the Economy, Enterprise and Skills team were working with businesses to keep a close eye on performance and impacts on the Devon economy.

    The Leader summarised by saying the Council had contingency planning in place to enable the provision of statutory services and also planning for all eventualities including any supply issues (e.g. fuel and food). Government recently announced that it had put funding of £56.5m aside to assist Local Authorities with Brexit planning, of which the Council had a share of £175,000.

    (b)        Economy and Skills

     

    Councillor Gilbert circulated a Report, as requested by Councillor Hannaford on the new contract awarded to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 176.

    177.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 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                                           -           7 January 2019

    Appointments & Remuneration Committee          -           15 January and 15 February 2019

    Development Management Committee               -           30 January 2019

    Procedures Committee                                      -           6 February 2019

     

    Children’s Scrutiny (ordinary meeting)                 -           21 January 2019

    Health & Adult Care Scrutiny (ordinary meeting)  -           24 January 2019

    Corporate Infrastructure & Regulatory                 -           29 January 2019

    Services Scrutiny (ordinary meeting)

                           

    The Motion was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

    178.

    Devon County Council and Fracking (Minute 159 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(a)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Hodgson and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely;

     

    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.

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that the Committee on Climate Change will advise government on a revised ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions target.  Government will then need to consider the contribution that shale gas can make to meeting that target.  It is therefore recommended that as there is no government consultation on extending permitted development rights for ‘fracking’ it is not necessary to write to the Secretary of State on this matter.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 159 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Hodgson that: 

                           

    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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(a) of 9 January 2019:

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted, that the Committee on Climate Change will advise Government on a revised ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions target.  Government will then need to consider the contribution that shale gas can make to meeting that target.  It is therefore recommended that as there is no Government consultation on extending permitted development rights for ‘fracking’, it is not necessary to write to the Secretary of State on this matter and no further action be taken on the Notice of Motion.

                           

    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.

    179.

    British Sign Language (Minute 160 of 6 December 2019)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(b)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Dewhirst and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely 

     

    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.

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that the County Council writes to the BBC and ITV in support of a campaign for Spotlight South West and West Country News to be signed in BSL and that the Council asks other partners and stakeholders such as the Police, NHS and voluntary sector to join in support of the Deaf Community in taking this action.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 160 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Dewhirst that: 

                           

    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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(b) of 9 January 2019

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and that Notice of Motion be approved and that the County Council writes to the BBC and ITV in support of a campaign for Spotlight South West and West Country News to be signed in BSL and that the Council asks other partners and stakeholders such as the Police, NHS and voluntary sector to join in support of the Deaf Community in taking this action.

     

    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.

    180.

    Devon’s Housing Need / CPRE Reports (Minute 161 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(c)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Shaw and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely 

     

    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.

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that whilst the County Council recognises and welcomes the engagement of the CPRE in the planning process it is also recognises that the local planning authorities are required to comply with the government requirements in setting housing numbers in local plans and ensuring housing delivery. The County Council’s role is to ensure the necessary infrastructure is planned for and in this role it is considered that it is not necessary for DCC to commission work on the CPRE reports.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (Councillor Shaw declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Member of the CPRE).

     

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 161 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Shaw that:

                           

    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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(c) of 9 January 2019:

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and that whilst the County Council recognises and welcomes the engagement of the CPRE in the planning process it is also recognised that the local planning authorities are required to comply with the Government requirements in setting housing numbers in local plans and ensuring housing delivery. The County Council’s role is to ensure the necessary infrastructure is planned for and in this role it is considered not necessary for DCC to commission work on the CPRE reports, therefore that no further action be taken on the Notice of Motion.

     

    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.

    181.

    The Impact of Brexit to Devon’s Economy (Minute 162 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(d)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Shaw and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely 

     

    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.

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that the Council be recommended to endorse the work being carried out to support Devon residents and businesses through the Brexit period, to help understand and minimise the impacts where possible and take advantage of opportunities.  The Council will continue to work with businesses during the transition period and beyond to support our local economy, including working with district colleagues and the HotSW LEP.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 162 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Shaw 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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(d) of 9 January 2019:

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and the Motion be amended and that the Council be recommended to endorse the work being carried out to support Devon residents and businesses through the Brexit period, to help understand and minimise the impacts where possible and take advantage of opportunities.  The Council will continue to work with businesses during the transition period and beyond to support our local economy, including working with district colleagues and the HotSW LEP.

     

    The amendment in the name of Councillor Hart was put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

     

    Councillor Shaw then MOVED and Councillor Wright SECONDED that the Motion be amended by the addition of the following words;

     

    The Council recognise that a ‘No Deal Brexit’ is likely to cause serious harm to Devon and calls on the Government and Parliament as a matter of urgency to take all necessary steps to prevent this situation from arising.

     

    The amendment in the name of Councillor Shaw was put to the vote and declared LOST.

     

    The Motion in the name of Councillor Hart was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

    182.

    Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee (Minute 163 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Procedures Committee (Minute 57) to address the Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Biederman and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely:

     

    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.   

     

    Having had regard to the factual briefing statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/3) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Procedures Committee subsequently RESOLVED to support the Motion in terms of the emphasis on transparency and open democracy and recommends to the Council;

     

    (a) that group leaders and whips be asked to consider the matter of representation and terms of appointment on the Committee when those allocations and appointments are reviewed prior to the Annual Council Meeting in May 2019; and

     

    (b) that the issues of public participation at, and webcasting of, the LEP Scrutiny Committee meetings be raised as part of the evaluation of the operation of the Committee in Autumn 2019, highlighting that Devon supports both processes being introduced, notwithstanding any changes to the terms of reference will need to be agreed by both the Procedures Committee and subsequently all Constituent Authorities.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 163 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Biederman 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.   

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Procedures Committee as set out in Minute 57 of 6 February 2019:

     

    Councillor Chugg MOVED and Councillor Hart SECONDED that the Procedures Committee’s resolution be accepted and;

     

    (a) that the Notice of Motion be supported in terms of the emphasis on transparency and open democracy;

     

    (b) that group leaders and whips be asked to consider the matter of representation and terms of appointment on the Committee when those allocations and appointments are reviewed prior to the Annual Council Meeting in May 2019; and

     

    (c) that the issues of public participation at, and webcasting of, the LEP Scrutiny Committee meetings be raised as part of the evaluation of the operation of the Committee in Autumn 2019, highlighting that Devon supports both processes being introduced, notwithstanding any changes to the terms of reference will need to be agreed by both the Procedures Committee and subsequently all Constituent Authorities.

                           

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

    183.

    Fair and Adequate Funding to Local Authorities (Minute 164 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(e)) 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 

     

     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.

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that Council be asked to agree with the rapporteur’s findings and makes use of the UN report to underline and intensify the ongoing campaigning work described in this note for fair and adequate funding to meet local people’s needs in Devon.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 164 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Atkinson 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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(e) of 9 January 2019:

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and that Notice of Motion be approved and Council agrees with the rapporteur’s findings and makes use of the UN report to underline and intensify the ongoing campaigning work described in this note for fair and adequate funding to meet local people’s needs in Devon.

     

    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.

    184.

    Devon and Cornwall Police Funding (Minute 165 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(f)) 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: 

     

    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.

     

     

    Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/19/2) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved that it be recommended that the Council writes to Devon’s Members of Parliament, thanking them for the increased precept but highlight the new challenges and rising demand which are putting the Devon and Cornwall Police under stress and urges MPs to support the introduction of a fair funding formula which takes account of all the demands on Police Forces nationally.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 165 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Atkinson 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.

     

    and having had regard to the advice of the Cabinet set out in Minute 290(f) of 9 January 2019:

     

    Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and that spirit of the Notice of Motion be approved and that it be recommended that the Council writes to Devon’s Members of Parliament (MP’s), thanking them for the increased precept but highlight the new challenges and rising demand which are putting the Devon and Cornwall Police under stress and urges MPs to support the introduction of a fair funding formula which takes account of all the demands on Police Forces nationally.

     

    The amendment in the name of Councillor Hart was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

     

    Councillor Connett MOVED and Councillor Dewhirst SECONDED that the motion be amended to remove the words ‘thanking them for’ and replace with ‘whilst acknowledging’.

     

    Councillor Hart indicated his intention to accept the amendment and the Motion was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED.

    185.

    Climate Change (Minute 166 of 6 December 2018)

    To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 290(g)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Hodgson and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely:

     

      Full Council notes:

     

    1.   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;

     

    2.   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[i];

     

    3.   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;

     

    4.   Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

     

    5.   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;

     

    6.   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;[ii]

     

    7.   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;[iii]

     

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

     

    Full Council believes that:

     

    1.   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;

     

    2.  Local Authorities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions;[v]

     

    3.   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,

     

    4.   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  ...  view the full agenda text for item 185.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Pursuant to County Council Minute 166 of 6 December 2018 relating to the Notice of Motion set out below as previously submitted and formally moved and seconded by Councillor Hodgson that: 

               

      Full Council notes:

     

    1.   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;

     

    2.   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;

     

    3.   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;

     

    4.   Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

     

    5.   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;

     

    6.   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;

     

    7.   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;

     

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

     

    Full Council believes that:

     

    1.   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;

     

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

     

    3.   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,

     

    4.   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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 185.

    186.

    Public Health

    Councillor Connett to move:

     

    Devon County Council notes:

    ·         the vital role played by Public Health in helping Devon residents to lead healthier lives by, for example, avoiding diseases, unwanted pregnancies, support to stop smoking, and eating better;

    ·         with grave concern the announcement of a further £85m cut to the Public Health Budget, as one of 12 Ministerial statements published by the Government on the last day of the Parliamentary term before Christmas, only weeks after the Secretary of State for Health described prevention as his priority; and

    ·         this is on top of cuts to the Public Health budget announced since Summer 2015, now totalling just over £600 million.

    This Council meeting further notes:

    ·         the comments of the Health Foundation, who described these cuts as a false economy and who have calculated that an additional £3bn a year is required to reverse the impact of government cuts to the Public Health grant to date and have called for this increased budget to be allocated according to need; and

    ·         the warnings from the King’s Fund that such cuts could put pressure on councils to cut non-statutory sexual health prevention services, which could lead to more sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

    This Council believes that our Public Health team perform vital work to help keep the residents of Devon healthy and to avoid more costly admissions to hospital and other interventions by our NHS and that this should be properly funded by central Government.

    This Council meeting resolves to:

    ·         thank our Director of Public Health and her team for the great work they do across Devon despite continued financial challenges;

    ·         condemn the Government’s use of the time just before Christmas to make announcements such as this;

    ·         call on the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member to consider carefully the required cuts to services will be implemented; and

    ·         ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on the Government to deliver increased investment in Public Health and to support a sustainable health and social care system by taking a “prevention first” approach

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Connett MOVED and Councillor Dewhirst SECONDED;

     

                      Devon County Council notes:

     

    ·         the vital role played by Public Health in helping Devon residents to lead healthier lives by, for example, avoiding diseases, unwanted pregnancies, support to stop smoking, and eating better;

    ·         with grave concern the announcement of a further £85m cut to the Public Health Budget, as one of 12 Ministerial statements published by the Government on the last day of the Parliamentary term before Christmas, only weeks after the Secretary of State for Health described prevention as his priority; and

    ·         this is on top of cuts to the Public Health budget announced since Summer 2015, now totalling just over £600 million.

     

                      This Council meeting further notes:

     

    ·         the comments of the Health Foundation, who described these cuts as a false economy and who have calculated that an additional £3bn a year is required to reverse the impact of government cuts to the Public Health grant to date and have called for this increased budget to be allocated according to need; and

    ·         the warnings from the King’s Fund that such cuts could put pressure on councils to cut non-statutory sexual health prevention services, which could lead to more sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

    ·         This Council believes that our Public Health team perform vital work to help keep the residents of Devon healthy and to avoid more costly admissions to hospital and other interventions by our NHS and that this should be properly funded by central Government.

     

                      This Council meeting resolves to:

     

    ·         thank our Director of Public Health and her team for the great work they do across Devon despite continued financial challenges;

    ·         condemn the Government’s use of the time just before Christmas to make announcements such as this;

    ·         call on the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member to consider carefully the required cuts to services will be implemented; and

    ·         ask the Leader and Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on the Government to deliver increased investment in Public Health and to support a sustainable health and social care system by taking a “prevention first” approach

     

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

    187.

    Boniface Patron Saint of Devon

    Councillor Way to move:

     

    There is increasing interest in Crediton-born Winfrith, who became Saint Boniface, being recognised as Patron Saint of Devon. The Boniface Link Association is a secular organisation campaigning for the adoption of Boniface as Patron Saint of Devon. With links to Fulda in Germany and Dokkum in Holland, this initiative has gained letters of support from many churches and prominent civic figures from across the county.

     

    Devon’s most famous native-born saint, Boniface was born in the Crediton area circa 680AD. He is highly regarded for his missionary work across a large part of Europe. A significant historical figure he is often referred to as the First European. He studied at the monastery at Exeter, then at the monastery at Nursling, near Southampton.

     

    In 716 he set sail to convert the tribes in Frisia (now Friesland) in the Netherlands to Christianity. Subsequent work in Frisia and Hesse gave him a reputation as an outstanding missionary and administrator. In 722, Pope Gregory made him Bishop of all Germany East of the Rhine. Much of his later work laid the foundations of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire 50 years later. In 754 he was martyred at Dokkum and buried at Fulda in Hesse. 

     

    The national shine to Boniface is at the Roman Catholic church at Crediton and the many references to him in Crediton’s Parish church attract visitors to the town. A blue plague can be seen at Tolleys, Crediton traditionally regarded as his birth place. An impressive statue of St Boniface is located at Newcombes Meadow.

     

    Proud of Devon’s heritage and recognising Boniface as a significant historic figure this Council supports the initiative to adopt Saint Boniface as Patron Saint of Devon.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Way MOVED and Councillor Connett SECONDED;

     

    There is increasing interest in Crediton-born Winfrith, who became Saint Boniface, being recognised as Patron Saint of Devon. The Boniface Link Association is a secular organisation campaigning for the adoption of Boniface as Patron Saint of Devon. With links to Fulda in Germany and Dokkum in Holland, this initiative has gained letters of support from many churches and prominent civic figures from across the county.

     

    Devon’s most famous native-born saint, Boniface was born in the Crediton area circa 680AD. He is highly regarded for his missionary work across a large part of Europe. A significant historical figure he is often referred to as the First European. He studied at the monastery at Exeter, then at the monastery at Nursling, near Southampton.

     

    In 716 he set sail to convert the tribes in Frisia (now Friesland) in the Netherlands to Christianity. Subsequent work in Frisia and Hesse gave him a reputation as an outstanding missionary and administrator. In 722, Pope Gregory made him Bishop of all Germany East of the Rhine. Much of his later work laid the foundations of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire 50 years later. In 754 he was martyred at Dokkum and buried at Fulda in Hesse. 

     

    The national shine to Boniface is at the Roman Catholic church at Crediton and the many references to him in Crediton’s Parish church attract visitors to the town. A blue plaque can be seen at Tolleys, Crediton traditionally regarded as his birth place. An impressive statue of St Boniface is located at Newcombes Meadow.

     

    Proud of Devon’s heritage and recognising Boniface as a significant historic figure this Council supports the initiative to adopt Saint Boniface as Patron Saint of Devon.

     

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

     

    188.

    Parental Leave Policies and Councillors

    Councillor Atkinson to move:

     

    This Council notes:

     

    ·         That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017.

    ·         That across England, Labour has improved its representation of women, with 45% women compared with 40% in 2014, and the Liberal Democrat's representation is up from 34% to 36% whilst the Conservative Party saw a fall from 31% to 29% in the share of its councillors who are female;

    ·         That as of the 2017 DCC elections, only 18 out of 60 county councillors are women. Only three women were under 45 years of age

    ·         As of summer 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales have parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society;

    ·         That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their age or background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to have more children to remain as councillors;

    ·         That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption and fostering leave to support those who choose to adopt and foster.

    ·         As there are County Council elections in 2021 the Council needs to review its policies with a view to encouraging prospective people who may be interested in standing for the County with a view to improving a wider range of people of younger age and gender to better reflect the Devon Community  

     

    This Council resolves:

     

    ·         To refer to the Procedures Committee this motion to consider whether to recommend the adoption of the attached parental leave policy (see below) to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting and fostering;

    ·         To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

     

    Parental Leave Policy for Councils

     

    Introduction

     

    This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.

     

    The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken. 

     

    Improved provision for new parents will contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority councillors. It will also assist with retaining experienced councillors – particularly women – and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.

     

    There is at present no legal right to parental leave of any kind for people in elected public office. This applies to MPs as well as Councillors, and has been the subject of lengthy debate. Legal advice has been taken on these  ...  view the full agenda text for item 188.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Atkinson MOVED and Councillor Asvachin SECONDED;

     

    This Council notes:

     

    ·         That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017.

    ·         That across England, Labour has improved its representation of women, with 45% women compared with 40% in 2014, and the Liberal Democrat's representation is up from 34% to 36% whilst the Conservative Party saw a fall from 31% to 29% in the share of its councillors who are female;

    ·         That as of the 2017 DCC elections, only 18 out of 60 county councillors are women. Only three women were under 45 years of age

    ·         As of summer 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales have parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society;

    ·         That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their age or background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to have more children to remain as councillors;

    ·         That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption and fostering leave to support those who choose to adopt and foster.

    ·         As there are County Council elections in 2021 the Council needs to review its policies with a view to encouraging prospective people who may be interested in standing for the County with a view to improving a wider range of people of younger age and gender to better reflect the Devon Community  

     

    This Council resolves:

     

    ·         To refer to the Procedures Committee this motion to consider whether to recommend the adoption of the attached parental leave policy (see below) to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting and fostering;

    ·         To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

     

    Parental Leave Policy for Councils

     

    Introduction

     

    This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.

     

    The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken. 

     

    Improved provision for new parents will contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority councillors. It will also assist with retaining experienced councillors – particularly women – and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.

     

    There is at present no legal right to parental leave of any kind for people in elected public office. This applies to MPs as well as Councillors, and has been the subject of lengthy debate. Legal advice has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 188.