Agenda

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall

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

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Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Election of Chair

3.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

4.

Appointment of Deputy Leader of the Council

5.

Cabinet Members and Allocation of Remits

The Leader of the Council to move:

 

"that the Council note that Members shown in the Appendix circulated to Members with the agenda of the meeting will be appointed to hold office until the date of the Annual Meeting in 2023, together with the remits shown therein.

6.

Minutes

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on

17 February 2022.

 

 

7.

Announcements

8.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

9.

Appointment of Committees pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Councillor Hughes to move:

 

(a) that in accordance with Standing Order 21 the County Council appoints those Committees, Joint Committees and Working Parties/Panels as shown in the Appendix circulated prior to the meeting and uploaded to the website with terms of reference set out in the Council's Constitution or set out therein for the period expiring at the date of the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2023;

 

(b) that, as required by section 16(1) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, Members of the Council be appointed as voting members to those Committees, Joint Committees, Joint Consultative Committees and Working Parties/Panels referred to at (a) above in accordance with the names notified to the Chief Executive by each of the Political Groups represented on the Council, to give effect to the proposed allocation of seats as between political party groups and set out for the time being in the Appendix circulated prior to the meeting and uploaded to the website;

 

(c) that, as in accordance with the Council’s Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the County Council appoints the total numbers of voting (v) or non-voting (nv) members to those Committees, Joint Committees and Working Parties/Panels referred to (a) above as thus denoted in the Appendix (the Council’s voting scheme) circulated with the agenda for the period expiring at the date of the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2023;

 

(d) that the Chief Executive be authorised to approve such changes to membership of the above bodies detailed in the Appendix circulated as may be notified from time to time by the relevant political group to which those seats have been allocated by the Council; and

 

(e) that additional Members of Scrutiny Committees, Highways and Traffic Orders Committees, the Standards Committee and the Farms Estate Committee as detailed in the aforementioned Appendix (or to be nominated by those bodies listed thereon) be appointed for the period expiring at the date of the Annual Meeting of the Council in 2023 or as otherwise shown (subject to any change notified by the nominating body) or, in the case of parent governor representatives on the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, following a ballot of eligible parent governors.

10.

Appointment of Chair's and Vice-Chair's of Committees

Councillor Hughes to move:

 

‘that Members shown in the Appendix circulated prior to the meeting and uploaded to the website be elected Chair and Vice-Chair of those Committees as indicated therein to hold office until the date of the Annual meeting of the Council in 2023’.

11.

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.

12.

Petitions from Members of the Council

13.

Questions from Members of the Council

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

FRAMEWORK DECISION

 

NIL

OTHER MATTERS

14.

Cabinet Member Reports

To consider reports from Cabinet Members.

15.

Minutes

To receive and adopt and / or approve the Minutes of the under mentioned Committees

 

15.(a)

Audit Committee - 24 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

15.(b)

Investment and Pension Fund Committee - 25 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

15.(c)

Appeals Committee - 7 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 185 KB

15.(d)

Appeals Committee - 25 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

15.(e)

Public Rights of Way Committee - 10 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 196 KB

15.(f)

Standards Committee - 22 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Including approval of Minute 15 and the adoption of the Council’s revised Code of Conduct, attached.

Additional documents:

15.(g)

Development Management Committee - 30 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

15.(h)

Appointments, Remuneration and Chief Officer Conduct Committee - 14 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Including approval of minute 21 relating to the appointment of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport.

15.(i)

Children's Scrutiny Committee - 15 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

15.(j)

Children's Scrutiny Committee (Special Meeting) - 6 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

15.(k)

Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee - 17 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

15.(l)

Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee - 24 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

15.(m)

Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee (Special Meeting) - 10 May 2022 pdf icon PDF 209 KB

16.

Scrutiny Annual Report 21-22 pdf icon PDF 10 MB

To receive the Scrutiny Annual Report, a copy of which can be viewed on the website at https://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13628&path=13626 and is attached to this agenda.

NOTICES OF MOTION

17.

Behaviour Change and Phasing Out Fossil Fuels (Minute 74 of 2 December 2021)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 103(c) 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: 

 

Further to the outcomes of COP26, which failed to secure strong commitments to phase out fossil fuels, this council will seek to support behaviour change in residents and businesses in the County by implementing initiatives modelled on the Welsh Government’s One Planet Standard and associated Policies. This will include a commitment to switch funding from fossil fuel intense (e.g. new road building) projects to alternative (e.g. Active Travel) projects that will support low carbon, and healthier lifestyles.

 

Background information at this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSDnAnpaGHs 

 

Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/21/01) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved:

 

‘that Council be recommended to endorse the spirit of the Notice of Motion, continues to help residents and businesses reduce their environmental impact, and continues to take opportunities to invest in low-carbon infrastructure for the people of Devon’.

 

18.

Community Composting Initiatives (Minute 75 of 2 December 2021)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 103(d)) 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: 

 

In the spirit of COP 26 to reduce the carbon footprint of waste recycling, this Council will encourage and support community composting initiatives that are supported by Parish Councils in the County.

 

Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/21/01) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved:

 

‘that Council be recommended to note the current position and the planned work on community composting and no further action be taken on the Notice of Motion’.

 

19.

Neonicotinoid Ban (Minute 90 of 17 February 2022)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 131(a)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Brazil and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely:

 

‘It is desperately disappointing that once again the Government has permitted the use of a pesticide known to have catastrophic effects on bees. This Council will not permit the use of thiamethoxam or any neonicotinoid pesticides on County farms or any County land. We would also encourage farmers to adopt more sustainable farming practices and reduce their reliance on toxic pesticides. The Government needs to support our farmers to do this and uphold its own ban on neonicotinoids’. 

 

Having had regard to the aforementioned, any factual briefing/position statement on the matter set out in Report (CSO/22/06) and other suggestions or alternatives considered at that meeting the Cabinet subsequently resolved:

 

‘that Council be recommended to endorse the spirit of this Notice of Motion given the significant environmental concerns relating to the use of neonicotinoids and calls on Government to carefully review its consideration of emergency use applications to ensure consistency with the objectives of the National Pollinator Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan.  It will continue to pursue relevant action in line with its Pollinator Action Plan’.

20.

Devon's Cost Of Living Crisis (Minute 91 of 17 February 2022)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 131 (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: 

 

Council notes with concern that;

 

According to the House of Commons Library, the UK cost of living has been rising since early 2021, but in December 2021 inflation reached its highest recorded level in decades, seriously affecting the ability of households to afford basic goods and essential services. Economic experts agree that the UK is now expected to experience will be the sharpest fall in disposable incomes since records began in 1990, as the cost of living crisis wreaks havoc among middle and lower-income households.

 

Inflation

Consumer prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) , were 5.4% higher in December 2021 than a year before – the highest inflation rate recorded since 1992. In mid-December, the Bank of England forecast the CPI inflation rate to remain around 5% over the winter, before rising to 6% in April 2022. However now against a backdrop of rising household energy prices, the Bank said inflation was on course to peak close to 7.25% in April, a sharp adjustment to its previous forecast.

 

Fuel and Petrol Prices

 

Petrol and diesel prices both fell over the first two months of the first lockdown. At the end of May 2020 they were at their lowest level for around five years: the UK average was 104.9 pence for a litre of petrol and 111.7 pence for diesel. Prices increased steadily during most of 2021 and particularly rapidly in October and November. Petrol reached a record price of 147.5 pence per litre on 29 November 2021. Diesel reached a record price of 151.3 pence per litre on the same day. Both prices have fallen slightly since then; on 17 January 2022 average prices were 144.8 and 148.7 pence for a litre of petrol and diesel respectively. However these prices were still historically very high and are even more economically regressive in a rural county like Devon, where driving is often essential.

 

Housing Costs

Particularly in the private rental sector ever rising costs are adding pressure to those in most in need. The latest HomeLet Rental Index figures show average monthly rental costs in the UK rose by 8.6 percent, with the average rent being £1,060. An article on the cost-of-living crisis in the homeless charity magazine, The Big Issue, noted, “Already, data shows that private rents are unaffordable for the poorest in the country, with data from 2021 showing that there are just two areas in England where the poorest families spend less than 30 per cent of their income on rent costs.”

 

As proven by the research done by Team Devon, the distortion of the rental market from ever more holiday homessecond homes , and an explosion in Airbnb properties, and the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 20.

21.

Motion for the Ocean (Minute 92 of 17 February 2021)

To receive and consider the recommendations of the Cabinet (Minute 131(c)) as an amendment to the following Notice of Motion submitted previously to the Council by Councillor Aves and referred thereto in accordance with Standing Order 8(2), namely: 

 

‘Devon County Council is developing the Devon Carbon Plan aiming to reach net zero carbon by 2050 at the latest. The Plan includes the ambition to enhance the ability of habitats along our 200 miles of coast, in our countryside and in our villages, towns and cities to store carbon. This offers tremendous opportunities to reverse the decline of biodiversity and restore healthy ecosystems. This council has shown its wider environmental values through its support of projects such as the Exe Estuary Management Partnership. 

 

In May 2019, after Devon County Council declared a Climate Emergency, a partnership formed to respond to the climate and ecological emergency in Devon. Its members represent private sector interests, environmental organisations, academic institutions, and public bodies, including our neighbours Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council. Plymouth City Council is leading the way in connecting people to the ocean through the development of the UK’s first National Marine Park, in Plymouth Sound and as the first Council to pass the Ocean Recovery Declaration.

 

International and national context

 

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development runs from 2021 to 2030. Last year the UK hosted COP26 in Glasgow and the G7 came to Cornwall. The UK Government has publicly declared its ambition to be a global leader in marine conservation. All eyes are on the ocean.

 

There is national and global recognition that the world ocean is in crisis. The impact of the climate crisis on the ocean is profound, including in our local waters. Raised atmospheric carbon dissolves in the seawater and causes ocean acidification, dissolving the shells, reefs and other hard parts of marine animals. The heating of the climate causes ocean heating too which makes some parts of the ocean intolerable for life and is changing what lives and is caught locally. It also increases the volume of the ocean which causes sea level rise, added to by ice melt at the poles. Thanks to a more turbulent climate, increased storminess and sea level rise is a serious threat to all coastal communities, economies and infrastructure including Devon coasts. Marine microplastics have been found in all marine environments and in the bodies of many species, including humans. Fish stocks collapse from permitted and illegal overfishing. Poor water quality is impacting seafood and preventing safe bathing.

 

We must play our part in securing the sustainability and health of the ocean. Action is needed at all levels, from individuals developing their ocean literacy (understanding of the relationship between people and the ocean), individual and collective marine citizenship (promoting and demanding an ocean recovery through local, national and international policy changes).

 

This Council declares an urgent need for Ocean Recovery.

 

We recognise that we need ocean recovery to meet our net zero carbon targets, and we need  ...  view the full agenda text for item 21.

22.

Better Buses For Devon

Councillor Hannaford to move:

 

That this Council:-

 

a)    Notes with great concern the huge reduction in the bus network across Devon, that has taken place since privatisation, deregulation, and under funding.

b)    Believes buses are essential to freeing up congested road space, to cleaning up the air that we all breathe and above all to connecting people to jobs, friends and life opportunities.

c)    Records the specific ongoing problems that our local school pupils and college students have in properly attending their places of education across Devon through inaccessible public transport.

d)   Concludes that the bus service in Devon now presents itself as a failed model, to the extent that it no longer has widespread public confidence, because of its serious long term poor performance and post pandemic dysfunctionality.

e)    Notes the completely unacceptable regional imbalances in funding for public transport services which prioritise the South East of England, and believes this must be radically reformed, and central government must do more to provide significant funding to revitalise local transport in the South West.

f)     Wants to develop, design and achieve a good public transport system that runs where people need it, when people need it and at a price that is affordable.

g)    Understands that the Government's impact assessment of the Bus Service Act (2017) highlighted that public control would better address six out of seven Local Transport Authority objectives compared to an enhanced partnership and was the only method likely to deliver a “significant increase in patronage”.

h)    Supports exercising powers to bring Devon’s bus services back under local control via franchising, at the earliest practicable date.

i)     Acknowledges that the costs of franchising cannot be estimated accurately until a “notice of intent” has been released and the associated statutory powers to access bus operators' commercial data is employed.

 

Therefore, this Council requests that the Administration:-

 

(i)            To conduct a statutory assessment of franchising at the earliest possible opportunity in 2022.

(ii)          Explore a notice of intent to prepare a franchising assessment at the earliest opportunity.

23.

First Homes Not Second Homes

Councillor Hannaford to move:

 

In response to Devon’s serious and ongoing housing crisis council supports the following measures :

 

1) New powers from Government for Councils to progressively raise taxes on holiday lets and unused second homes, up to a quadrupling of council tax, where homes are left empty for much of the year. 

 

2) A licensing regime for second homes, Airbnbs and holiday lets - with a minimum of 51% of homes in any community being for local people. Councils should have the powers to raise this level to reflect local circumstances. 

 

3) A " Last Shop in the Village Fund" - powers for local councils to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy on holiday lets and Airbnbs, administered by local authorities, to support local shops, pharmacies, post offices and pubs. 

 

4) Committment to build affordable homes and social housing across the South West with a priority for local people. 

 

5) Lock in the discount of new homes for future renters and buyers to ensure affordable homes are not lost after the first families move on. 

 

Council therefore resolves to formally write to the Government, including the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, requesting the appropriate changes in legislation to secure these much needed changes as a matter of urgency. 

 

Furthermore Council resolves to formally write to all our local Devon Members of Parliament advising them of the Councils decision, urging them to also urgently propose, lobby for, support and crucially vote for these vital measures in Parliament. 

24.

MOT Certification Scheme

Councillor Letch to move:

 

‘This Council recognises the value of the MOT Certificate scheme to assure roadworthiness of vehicles and will investigate the way to introduce an MOT Certificate scheme for the County's roads to assure everyone that they are fit for use by us all.’

25.

Implementation Process of 20mph Roads and Zones

Councillor Hodgson to move:

 

‘In light of the level of response to the recent call by DCC for Town and Parish Councils to nominate roads for 20mph speed limits and zones, the Council will seek to investigate, support and implement at least 50% of the applications in this financial year, and consider the remainder for implementation in 2022/23’.