Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
Note No. Item

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280.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 be signed as a correct record.

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281.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

 

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282.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Mr Hipkin who was attending the meeting in his capacity as a Co-opted Member of the Council's Standards Committee to observe and monitor compliance with the Council’s ethical governance framework.

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283.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader was presented, by Mrs G Hexter with a petition organised online and in writing by the residents of Sea Lawn Terrace, Dawlish containing approximately 21 signatures asking that the Council delay a decision on whether to cease to maintain council street lights in unadopted roads with public access, until Councillors had been provided with the information required to make an informed decision and that the decision be made by Full Council.

 

The Chair indicated that the Cabinet Member and / or Head of Service would be asked to respond direct to the petitioners on the issues raised, within 15 days.

 

[NB: The relevant Head of Service would be asked to respond direct to the petitioners on the issues raised, within 15 days, letting him/her know how long it would take to undertake the requested review in line with the Council’s Petition Scheme (http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=132&Year=0) and when that would be concluded and published and/or considered by the relevant Highways & Traffic Orders Committee thereafter.]

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284.

Question(s) from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Cabinet Procedure Rules, the Leader and relevant Cabinet Members responded to seven questions from Members of the Council on Risk Management and Brexit Risk Register, Brexit and Support to Devon’s Businesses, Emergency Planning and Preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit and the autumn Budget Allocation of £18.75 million and the allocations made, the methodology and contractor availability and allocation to Exeter City.

 

The Leader and Cabinet Members also responded orally to supplementary questions arising from the above.  

 

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to these minutes and are also available on the Council’s Website at http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcc/committee/mingifs.html and any supplementary questions and answers may be observed through the webcast of this meeting  – see Notes below]

 

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285.

Question(s) from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(In line with the Public Participation rules, the Chair exercised their discretion to change the order of business and take this item prior to the substantive issue being debated later on the agenda – minute *288 refers)

 

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the relevant Cabinet Members responded to 7 questions from Members of the public on the transferred ownership of streetlighting to owners of private/unadopted roads, the definition of a ‘private road’ in the 2019 Street Lighting Policy and the affected roads in Devon, the leaving on of streetlights, savings anticipated from the proposed streetlighting policy, cost of implementation of the proposed policy, the IPCC Special Report published in October 2018 and the plans of the Council to be Zero Carbon by 2030 and the public awareness and consultation of the proposed policy on Street Lighting in Devon.

 

Cabinet Members also responded orally to supplementary questions arising from the above. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Community, Public Health, Transportation and Environmental Services would respond directly to a supplementary question on whether the Council would consult with the public and use the Citizens Assembly to help combat the issues of Climate Change.

 

[NB: A copy of the questions and answers are appended to these minutes and are also available on the Council’s Website at http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcc/committee/mingifs.html and any supplementary questions and answers may be observed through the webcast of this meeting  – see Notes below]

 

 

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286.

Target Budget: 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/1) on the provisional local government settlement and preparation of the budget for 2019/2020, attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett, Hannaford, Biederman, Atkinson, Dewhirst and Shaw attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/1) on the provisional local Government Settlement for 2019/2020 circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement (announced on 13th December 2018) and level of funding was broadly as expected. 2019/20 was the final year of the four-year settlement and the core funding Provisional settlement of £101.5 millions. The grants the authority would receive were outlined in paragraph 2.5 of the Report, but some were still awaited and Members would be updated as part of the budget report in February.

 

Due to the Provisional Settlement being as anticipated, the 2019/20 Budget Targets set at the December Cabinet could remain unchanged.

 

The Settlement also confirmed the Winter Pressures Grant of £3.6 millions, the Adult Social Care Grant of £6.1 millions and the Improved Better Care Fund Grant of £24.7 millions; again all as expected.

 

The Department for Education had, since the Settlement, announced an additional £350 millions for Special Educational Need; of which £100 millions was Capital. The detail of this was awaited but early indications were that Devon’s share of the revenue element could mean an additional £1.5 millions in both 2018/19 and 2019/20.

 

Members noted that in relation to the 2019/20 75% Business Rate Retention Pilots, the Devon authorities submitted a bid to join the new pilot, but unfortunately Devon had not been selected as one of the pilot areas. 

 

The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the County Treasurer’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:

 

It was MOVED by Councillor Barker, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that the Provisional Settlement of £101.5 millions be noted;

 

(b) that the Council Tax increase that will trigger the need for a Referendum be noted as 3% for 2019/20; and

 

(c) that Members note that the Devon application to be a 75% Business Rates Pilot in 2019/20 had not been successful.

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287.

Budget Monitoring: Month 8 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the County Treasurer (CT/19/2) on the budget monitoring position at Month 8, will follow.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Hannaford, Connett, Biederman, Atkinson and Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the County Treasurer (CT/18/9) on the budget monitoring position at Month 8, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Cabinet Member for Resources Management highlighted that the total overspend at month 8 was forecast at £4.8 millions, a decrease of £3.3 millions from month 6. The position assumed a request to carry forward £2.4 millions to next years Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), yet to be agreed by the Devon Education Forum and also reflected the impact of some of the corporate savings initiatives and confirmation of additional funding to support high needs pressures. 

 

Adult Care and Health Services were forecast to underspend by £385,000. At month 6 the Service was forecasting an underspend of £488,000. The position took into account £84,000 of management action yet to be delivered but considered achievable.

 

The Department of Health and Social Care had announced additional funding to support Adult Social Care in alleviating winter pressures and the Council received an additional allocation of £3.6 millions for 2018/19 and 2019/20. The position reported assumed the funding would be fully spent within the current financial year.  

 

Children’s Services were showing a forecast overspend of £11.1 millions, an increase of £1.2 millions from month 6, with, in the main, overspending on children’s social care (£7.3 millions). Pressure continued within residential placements but were also appearing across the disabled children short breaks service and from legal disbursements.

 

Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste were also forecasting an underspend of £2.4 millions at month 8 against a break-even position in month 6. As part of the corporate savings initiatives adopted in November a review of the capital programme took place to determine if increased capital works could enable revenue savings. This review resulted in a forecast underspend of £2 millions within highways. 

 

Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (COPHEP) were showing a forecast underspend of £762,000 compared to a forecast overspend of £153,000 at month 6. The review of the capital programme to determine if capital works could enable savings had resulted in a forecast saving of £255,000.

 

Corporate Services were forecasting a breakeven position, pressures within County Solicitors and HR were being offset by forecast underspends within Digital Transformation and Business Support. 

 

Non-service items were forecast to underspend by £2.8 millions, mainly due to additional investment income and the capitalisation of revenue schemes.

 

The capital programme for the Council was £150.4 millions, with a year end forecast of £129.7 millions, of which £111.8 millions was externally funded, so slippage of £20.7 millions, in the main, could be attributed to scheme variations and programme delays in Adult Care & Health (£2.9 millions) and Planning and Transportation (£13.7 millions) which reflected the complexity of the major schemes within these service areas.

 

Like many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 287.

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288.

Street Lighting Policy and Contract pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/19/1) on proposed changes and additions to the existing Street Lighting Policy and seeking approval to retender the Street Light Term Service Contract, attached.

 

An impact assessment is also attached for the attention of members at the meeting.

 

The Cabinet is also asked to note that the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 17th November 2018 (minute 98) refers, considered the report of the Commissioning Liaison Members who had met with officers of the Council to discuss the proposed street lighting policy. The Committee considered the proposed Street Lighting Policy which made several proposals on the Outline Policy Statements and also detailed the input that Scrutiny had made. Members further discussed the proposal ‘Attaching non-highway equipment to lighting columns’.

 

The Committee RESOLVED that (a) the Street Lighting Policy Member Report be endorsed and commended to Cabinet and be considered in conjunction with the Street Lighting Service, Policy and Contract Report, prepared for the Cabinet meeting on 9 January 2019; and (b) that the Scrutiny Committee support the exploration of the use of advertising banners as a revenue stream.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett, Hannaford, Biederman, Atkinson, Dewhirst, Shaw, Hodgson and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Officer for  Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/19/1) on proposed changes and additions to the existing Street Lighting Policy and sought to retender the Street Light Term Service Contract, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Council was responsible for a street lighting asset in excess of 88,000 inventory items which consumed over £3m in energy costs this financial year. Whilst through the Challenge Fund over 5,400 columns had been replaced and about 25,000 high wattage lanterns converted to low energy LED, the Street Lighting Policy continued to primarily focus on the corporate objectives of reducing Devon’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. 

 

The proposal was largely a continuation of existing established practices and policies, which had evolved over time but with a few additions, which was attached as Appendix A to the Report, covering eight distinct areas as set out below:

 

·         to maintain a safe asset;

·         minimising energy consumption, revenue expenditure and carbon footprint of the asset whilst also protecting the environment;

·         adopt road lighting on new developments;

·         requests for additional lighting;

·         private roads;

·         attaching equipment or banners to lighting columns; and

·         facilitating on-street charging.

 

The current contract was currently in its second year of a four-year extension period. With the contractor reluctant to continue with the extensions and changing technology, it was an appropriate time to retender the contract. 

 

The Cabinet also noted there were two e-petitions live on the County Council’s website.

 

The Cabinet acknowledged that whilst the thrust of the policy was to generally facilitate savings, there was a recognition that the columns were a deteriorating asset that would need investment.  The energy reduction over the past five years had resulted in savings of over £800k in real terms but had been offset by energy price inflation.

 

In recent months (October 2018), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that ‘urgent and unprecedented’ changes were needed. Converting street lights to LED could reap significant reductions in energy consumption which could help to reduce impact on climate change. This supported the Authority’s targets for reducing carbon emissions and reduce its liability for the Carbon Climate Levy. 

 

In progressing the proposal, an Impact Assessment had been prepared and circulated to the Cabinet Members and was also available at:  https://new.devon.gov.uk/impact/published/.

 

The Cabinet noted that significant impacts were expected. Part-night lighting and reducing energy consumption were well established from previous policy position.  However, there could be some impact on residents in private roads if the authority determined these should be funded by the residents, not being part of the public highway.

 

The Report also outlined the options and alternatives that had been considered in determining the proposed policy changes and concluded that the proposals to adapt the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 288.

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289.

E4 (Section 8) Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge across Summer Lane, Exeter pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report of the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/1) on the E4 (Section 8) Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge, seeking approval, subject to the granting of full planning consent, to construct a walking and cycling bridge over Summer Lane, Exeter, providing improvements to 100 metres of existing route, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment for the scheme is also attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Hannaford, Ackland and Connett attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/1) on the E4 (Section 8) Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge, seeking approval, subject to the granting of full planning consent, to construct a walking and cycling bridge over Summer Lane, Exeter, providing improvements to 100 metres of existing route, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The principle of a strategic cycle network for Exeter was endorsed by Cabinet on 8 June 2016 and it was also agreed that work should continue with the development of the Network, giving priority to E4 cycle route between Monkerton and the City Centre. 

 

The Report sought approval for Phase 3 (Section 8), an overview of the design being shown in Appendix 2A and 2B of the Report, which was predominantly an 18m span, 4.5m clear width bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over Summer Lane, with ramps on either side that would connect to the existing paths in Exhibition Fields and Bettys Mead Playing Fields. 

 

The ramps would have a maximum gradient of 1:20 to ensure they were not overly challenging for those less able to cycle and parents with pushchairs or people with physical disabilities and lighting columns would also be installed to the west and east of the ramps.

 

The proximity of the railway was a major constraint and the existing Western Power Distribution (WPD) compound would be relocated to the north of its existing location to accommodate the span of the bridge. Whilst three mature willow trees and one mature oak would need to be removed, the planting and landscape proposals included reinstatement of a hedge and provide for the planting of five silver birch trees to the south of the proposed bridge and a further four trees would be planted on the existing bank between the car park and cycleway as mitigation.

 

The overall construction cost of the proposal was estimated to be £1,305,000, with £871,398 of the funding from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) that the Council was successful in securing for a package of improvements and match funded by £433,602 Section 106 contributions from the Brickworks development. 

 

The Head of Services Report included an Impact Assessment which had been circulated for the attention of Members at the meeting.

 

The proposals met equality requirements in numerous ways, for example, improved routes not just for cyclists but also other non-motorised users, wheelchair users or those with prams to have easier access across side roads, offered safer routes for young people, enabled disadvantaged groups to gain access to training and employment, improved access to help people better connect with their communities and helped to tackle health problems, such as those associated with obesity.

 

In the short term, during the construction works, it was anticipated that some negative economic impact would be realised as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 289.

290.

Notice(s) of Motion pdf icon PDF 182 KB

The following Notices of Motion submitted to the County Council in accordance with Standing Order 8(2) have been referred to the Cabinet for consideration, to refer it to another committee or make a recommendation back to the Council:

 

(a)   Devon County Council and Fracking (Councillor Hodgson)

(b)   British Sign Language (Councillor Dewhirst)

(c)   Devon’s Housing Need / CPRE Reports (Councillor Shaw)

(d)   The Impact of Brexit to Devon’s Economy (Councillor Shaw)

(e)   Fair and Adequate Funding to Local Authorities (Councillor Atkinson)

(f)    Fair Funding Formula for Police Forces (Councillor Atkinson)

(g)   Climate Change (Councillor Hodgson)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Devon County Council and Fracking (Councillor Hodgson)

 

(Councillor Hodgson attended in accordance with Standing Order 8 and spoke to this item).

 

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.

 

Members considered the Officer’s factual briefing note on the matter (CSO/19/2) which referred to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s consultation on ‘Permitted development for shale gas exploration’ to seek views on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration development should be granted planning permission through a permitted development right. It also noted that, in Devon, there were no viable geological formations with potential for shale gas and was highly unlikely that there would be any planning applications for shale gas exploration.

 

The Cabinet considered the recommendation now before them and the actions now proposed and already undertaken and any other relevant factors (e.g. public health, financial, environmental, risk management and equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact):

 

It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Croad, and

 

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.

 

(b) British Sign Language (Councillor Dewhirst)

 

(Councillor Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 8 and spoke to this item).

 

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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 290.

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291.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes of the bodies shown below are circulated herewith for information or endorsement as indicated therein:

 

Farms Estate Committee – 3rd December 2018

 

[NB: Minutes of County Council Committees are published on the Council’s Website:

Minutes of the Devon Education (Schools) Forum:  

Minutes of the South West Waste Partnership

Minutes of the Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Panel

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor McInnes, and

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the following and any recommendations to Cabinet therein be approved:

 

Farms Estate Committee – 3 December 2018

 

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292.

Delegated Action/Urgent Matters pdf icon PDF 36 KB

The Registers of Decisions taken by Members under the urgency provisions or delegated powers will be available for inspection at the meeting in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.  A summary of such decisions taken since the last meeting is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Registers of Decisions taken by Members and property transactions approved by NPS under the urgency provisions or delegated powers were available for inspection at the meeting in line with the Council’s Constitution and Regulation 13 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012; a summary of decisions taken since the last meeting had been published with the Agenda for this meeting. Decisions taken by Officers under any express authorisation of the Cabinet or other Committee or under any general authorisation within the Council’s Scheme  of Delegation  set out in  Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution may be viewed at  https://new.devon.gov.uk/democracy/officer-decisions/

 

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293.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 85 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet is requested to review the list of forthcoming business (previously circulated) and to determine which items are to be defined as key and/or framework decisions and included in the Plan from the date of this meeting.

 

[NB: The Forward Plan is available on the Council's website at:http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=133&RD=0&bcr=1 ]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Cabinet reviewed the Forward Plan and determined those items of business to be defined as key and framework decisions and included in the Plan from the date of this meeting onwards, including the item below, reflecting the requirements of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 (at http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=133&RD=0)

 

·         Highways Budget:  Allocation of additional capital funding for carriageway structural maintenance and bridge structural repairs