Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

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

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Items
Note No. Item

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401.

Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2019 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2019 be signed as a correct record.

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402.

Items Requiring Urgent Attention

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

 

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Minutes:

There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.

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403.

Announcements

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Minutes:

There was no announcement by the Chair at this meeting.

 

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404.

Petitions

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Minutes:

There was no petition received from a Member of the Public or the Council.

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405.

Question(s) from Members of the Council

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Minutes:

There was no question from a Member of the Council.

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406.

Question(s) from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair exercised his discretion to bring this item of business forward on the agenda.

 

In accordance with the Council's Public Participation Rules, the relevant Cabinet Member responded to seven questions from Members of the public on the global environmental impacts of animal agriculture and the steps being taken by the Council to encourage staff and residents to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, the power to cancel 5G exposure, speed of internet access over safety regarding 5G, invitation to independent non industry funded experts to future Council meetings regarding the impacts of non-ionizing radiation, the appropriateness of ICNIRP guidelines and application of the precautionary principle, the duty of care and democracy, attendance at international conference and the health effects of exposure to non-ionizing radiation and the provision of independent peer reviewed studies.

 

Copies of the responses would be sent to those who could not be present at the meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member 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]

FRAMEWORK DECISIONS

Additional documents:

407.

Heart of the South West Joint Committee Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of the Chief Executive (CX/19/01) providing an update for the Constituent Authorities on the Heart of the South West (HOtSW) Joint Committee’s governance arrangements and budgetary position for 2019/20, attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

(Councillor Davis declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Member of the Joint Committee, appointed by Exmoor National Park).

 

(Councillor Dewhirst also declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a substitute Member of the Joint Committee, appointed by Teignbridge District Council).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Chief Executive (CX/19/01) which had been 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 Report provided an update for Constituent Authorities on the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Joint Committee’s governance arrangements and budgetary position for 2019/20 and contained recommendations for amendments to the Committee’s Arrangements document, following a governance review.

 

The Council had been a member of the Heart of the South West Joint Committee since its

creation in August 2015 and the Committee had become a formal body in March 2018 with currently twenty-one members. The Committee acted as a single voice to Government on socio-economic and environmental issues and made the case for additional powers and funding for the benefit of the people of Devon and Somerset.

 

In terms of the review of the role and functions of the Joint Committee, it had refined its focus into strategic policy development, influencing Government and key agencies to achieve direct intervention, support, funding and powers, designing and delivering strategic HotSW responses to ‘Government’ offers, designing and delivering public sector reform where this would deliver improved productivity, e.g. in health and education, delivering at scale (beyond what individual councils could achieve) and oversight of the delivery plan.

 

The refinements to the focus of the Committee had been reflected in amendments to the list of functions in the Joint Committee’s ‘Arrangements’ document, at Appendix A of the Report.

 

The Report also outlined that the Committee had agreed to change its meeting arrangements to achieve a better balance between formal decision-making meetings (fewer) and more opportunities for informal engagement and challenge sessions.

 

In January 2018, the Constituent Authorities had appointed Somerset County Council as the Administering Authority for a two-year period from 22 January 2018. The Report recommended a reappointment of Somerset County Council for a further two-years (until 22 January 2022), which had been endorsed by the Joint Committee.

 

The diagram in Appendix B to the Report showed the revised management support arrangements of the Joint Committee.

 

The Joint Committee remained reliant on the Constituent Authorities for its budget to support running costs and delivery of the work programme. Contribution levels for each Council tier were based on population levels. The Joint Committee approved ‘in principle’ to seek agreement from Constituent Authorities to double the 2018/19 core contributions as a one-year arrangement for 2019/20. For the County Council this meant a maximum of £21,000, but the additional monies would only be requested if the budget proved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 407.

408.

Devon County Council's Updated Corporate Energy and Carbon Strategy pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/35) recommending an approach setting a revised energy and carbon strategy for the Council’s (DCC) operations in response to the climate emergency, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment is attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.

 

A meeting of the Climate Change Standing Overview Group (Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee) will take place on Friday 4th October 2019 and will be making comment accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Atkinson, Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Greenslade, Hannaford and Whitton 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/19/35) on a revised Energy and Carbon Strategy, setting carbon reduction targets for the Council’s activity, 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 heard from the Chair of the Climate Change Standing Overview Group (Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee) updating the Cabinet on a meeting that took place on 4th October 2019. The Group had supported the recommendations in the Cabinet paper to declare the Authority would be carbon neutral by 2030 through the Corporate Carbon Footprint and Supply Chain Carbon Footprint targets outlined in the recommendations.

 

Additionally, the Climate Change Standing Overview Group had asked the Cabinet to

 

(a) Add additional targets and strategies in the plan to address the 30% (of current figures) residue corporate emissions after 2030 and not rely on carbon offset;

 

(b) Undertake discussions with Town and Parish councils to switch off streetlights;

 

(c) Write carbon reduction expectations into contracts for new leases;

 

(d) Review the heating strategy across the Council estate to encourage less carbon being used;

 

(e) Ask the LEP to invest in improvements in the link with national grid to support greater use of renewable sources of energy;

 

(f) Use influence to Improve and increase the grid capacity for electric vehicles;

 

(g) Explore the local opportunities around school transport to move to carbon neutrality;

 

(h) Explore the encouragement of train travel on Council business by putting on a shuttle bus to the station;

 

(i) In line with the Friends of the Earth ’33 actions local authorities can take on climate change’ report; Does not have a default position to build new roads, considering other options where possible, and have regard to the carbon impact of building new roads; and

 

(j) Explore greater opportunities to use the residual heat from waste processes including incineration for heating in localities.

 

The Leader highlighted that the issues raised could be considered further by the Cabinet Member for Community, Public Health, Transportation and Environmental Services and the Environmental Performance Board for incorporation into a revised Energy and Carbon Strategy.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Council’s corporate carbon footprint had fallen by almost 40% since 2012/13. The current target was to reduce the 2012/13 emissions by 50% by 2030, which was likely to occur by 2021, therefore a more ambitious target was needed, with consideration of when and how to achieve carbon neutrality. The Authority also explicitly needed to increase efforts to reduce emissions from its supply of procured goods and commissioned services, not currently included in the corporate carbon footprint.

 

The proposal was that the Authority should elect to be carbon neutral by 2030 by implementing a number of activities within its corporate carbon footprint and supply chain carbon footprints.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 408.

KEY DECISIONS

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409.

South West Exeter Housing Infrastructure Fund: Update on Project and Tender pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/36) which provides an update on the project as well as seeking approval for elements to allow the project to progress, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Atkinson, Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst, Hannaford and Whitton 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/19/36) which provided an update on the project and sought approval for certain aspects to allow progression of the project, 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 Report followed the successful bid which had been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in September 2018 for funding from the

Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). The bid was for £55.1 million towards infrastructure to support development at South West Exeter. The Council was working positively with Homes England, who were acting on behalf of MHCLG, to enter into a contract for the funding.

 

In order to ensure the project remained on programme, the Council had been progressing those elements of infrastructure which were on the critical path, outlined below;

 

Eastern Junction – a new access junction to a development parcel between the Devon Hotel and Matford roundabouts, the delivery of which would ensure the junction was able to unlock both landownerships. Subject to modifications of the planning conditions, delivery of the junction by the Council would include a mechanism to ensure that both parcels could be unlocked.

 

Interim School Access Junction - a free school had been secured and to facilitate the delivery of this, it was necessary for the Council to deliver a suitable access.  The proposal was for a signalised junction, with sufficient capacity.

 

Interim School Access Earthworks - the location of the new school (above existing road level) meant earthworks were required. Earthworks were also required by the developer, therefore it was proposed to undertake these in a single contract.  As the developer would need to be recompensed, it was suggested this cost be offset against future repayments of the HIF funding, thereby being cost neutral to the Council.

 

Pedestrian / cycle bridge - linked to the delivery of the proposed all-through school was the delivery of a pedestrian / cycle bridge across the A379 to provide a safe crossing. The proposed design was of a skew parabolic arch, plans of which were included in Appendix I of the Report.

 

Peamore Park and Ride - employment development was proposed at Peamore, therefore it was proposed to deliver a roundabout to access the development as well as upgrade the electricity infrastructure. It was also proposed to try and secure land for a park and ride site. A feasibility study had been undertaken which identified a preferred option, which was included

in Appendix II. The Local Member asked (and the Head of Service agreed) that consideration be given to extending the planned cycle route (past Peamore) towards Kennford (over the A30) to prevent 'rat running' from the village to the proposed Park and Ride site.

 

The Report outlined the Consultation and Stakeholder Engagement proposals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 409.

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410.

Stokeinteignhead Flood Improvements pdf icon PDF 781 KB

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/37), on proposed flood Improvements in Stokeinteignhead, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment for the Devon Local Flood Risk Management Strategy is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Dewhirst 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/19/37) on proposed flood Improvements in Stokeinteignhead, 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 Report informed the Cabinet on the progress made in developing the flood improvements for Stokeinteignhead, the challenges experienced to date and current proposals for scheme delivery. It also updated the funding allocations that were previously reported in the 2019/20 Flood Risk Management Annual Action Plan presented to and approved by Cabinet in March 2019.

 

Stokeinteignhead had up to 45 properties at risk of flooding from an event with a high (1 in 5-year event) probability of occurrence. During the severe weather in 2012, 12 of those properties suffered internal flooding. There were two watercourses merging in the centre of the village, together with numerous surface water flow paths, all flowing towards the low-lying area of the village where the majority of at-risk properties were located.

 

Works were carried out in 2016 to improve the drainage conveyance and discharges back into the watercourse for the lower end of the village. This had reduced the risk of flooding to a small number of properties, but was also an essential element of works to support the current proposals.

 

The proposed scheme incorporated three separate elements which were Property Flood Resilience (PFR) installation to individual properties, improvements to the local highway drainage network; and the installation of Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures in the upper catchment. Accompanying the PFR measures, on individual properties, a programme of highway drainage improvements would be undertaken, as illustrated in Appendix A.

 

The Report highlighted the alternative options that had been considered and that key stakeholders had been involved from an early stage and throughout development of the scheme proposals, including the Parish Council, District Council, land owners, local MP, local flood group and individual property owners. Discussions with the District Council’s Conservation Officer had also taken place as a number of properties were Listed Buildings.

 

The Cabinet noted that a business case was currently being finalised for submission to the Environment Agency for Flood Defence Grant in Aid. The partnership funding calculator had indicated a figure of £200k should be requested. The various funding sources were illustrated in the revised table, circulated at the meeting, appended to these minutes including spend prior to 2019/2020 and the costs for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

 

An environmental appraisal had been carried out on the proposals which indicated that, with appropriate mitigation, there would be limited impact upon landscape, historic and ecological interests. The scheme would look to maximise any ecological opportunities, reuse materials excavated on site and utilise naturally occurring materials as part of the Natural Flood Management proposals, to reduce the carbon footprint of the scheme.

 

The Head of Service’s Report also incorporated an Impact Assessment for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 410.

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411.

Construction of a community facilities building in Cranbrook Town Centre providing flexible space for County Council services including children's, youth and libraries pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/19/38), on the construction of a community facilities building, including space for children's, youth and libraries facilities, attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett, Hannaford and Randall Johnson 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/19/38) on the construction of a community facilities building, including space for children's, youth and libraries facilities, 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 new town of Cranbrook (East Devon) was expected to grow to about 7,750 homes with over 18,000 residents by 2031. The town had been delivered through a commercial delivery model with no public sector control of land. The model was dependent on a legally binding (section 106 agreement) that established trigger points for the delivery of facilities with financial payments and delivery of land.

 

The process of coordinating infrastructure and service requirements was complex and the

Council and other agencies faced significant challenges in supporting the health and social needs of the growing number of residents. The early delivery of a community facility would allow provision of critical County Council services to support the growing population, in line with the Council’s aim to promote resilient, healthy, prosperous, connected and safe communities.

 

The Cabinet also noted the establishment of a Cranbrook Strategic Delivery Board (an advisory board) comprising Members of the County Council, District Council and Cranbrook Town Council. The board would meet quarterly and focus on coordinating the delivery of future assets and services for Cranbrook.

 

The proposal was for a multi-purpose integrated building to meet the functions of the Council and ability to adapt to future changes in service provision. This would provide flexible space for children’s, youth, adult and library services with potential use for public health and highways services and council working space, in particular, the Council’s Public Health Nursing Service.

 

Subject to funding to enable early delivery, the aim would be to complete the building within the next two years, subject to other processes such as the transferring of necessary land and potential renegotiation of existing planning agreements.

 

Public consultation had been undertaken at appropriate stages of preparing the Cranbrook

Plan, which had been submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local

Government for examination. There were ongoing discussions with Local Members and formal public consultation would be undertaken as part of the statutory procedures for determining the planning application for the building.

 

The Council would seek partnerships with a range of organisations to develop the facilities and services within. It would also seek a range of capital funding from local and national partners to accelerate the delivery. Feasibility and design work had yet to be undertaken, therefore the estimated cost was unknown. Also, the funding gap between this and the money available from the existing planning agreement would not be known until this was renegotiated with the developers.

 

The development would be subject to full environmental analysis as part of the design and

planning application process, but the provision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 411.

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412.

Devon Permit Scheme for Road and Street Works pdf icon PDF 646 KB

Report of the Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste (HIW/19/74) on the Council’s proposals to introduce a Permit Scheme across the County for works on the highway, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Biederman, Connett, Dewhirst and Hannaford 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/19/74) outlining proposals to introduce a Permit Scheme across the County for works on the highway, 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 highlighted that roadworks were an emotive issue and featured highly in many Members and Officers email inboxes. The Council was currently consulting with key stakeholders, utility companies and the Council’s contractors, on changing how the Council planned and managed works on the highway network. The Council currently operated a ‘noticing’ regime and the alternative arrangement being considered was a Permit scheme. Under a permit scheme, works promoters would have to ask permission from the Council which would be approved, rejected or with various conditions, giving the Council greater control over the network.

 

Permits would incur a charge, although maximum fees were set by DfT. Other Highway Authorities who had introduced such schemes had generally seen reductions of between 5-10% in the disruption on the network.

 

The Report outlined the steps that had been taken to assess the impact of introducing such a scheme, how the scheme would run and the reasoning behind the proposed recommendations.

 

There was a cost to the Authority to administer the scheme, for example additional staff and amendments to existing software to cater for permits. However, the costs would be recovered through the fee income and the scheme was intended to be broadly cost neutral over a three-year period. The initial set-up costs (project management, training and ICT infrastructure) were estimated at £157,099 (See Table 1 in Appendix 2). It had been calculated that 18 staff would be needed, which would require the appointment of an additional 12.4 FTE new posts (the total additional costs associated with these new posts was £647,150, but a full breakdown included at Table 2 in Appendix 2).

 

Full detail of the proposed scheme (the Permit Plan) was in Appendix 1 of the Report.

 

An informal consultation was held between May – July 2019 but a dedicated micro site had been developed and was being publicised for interested parties  https://www.devon.gov.uk/workspermit-scheme. Subject to approval, a formal consultation would be held in October / November 2019 as part of the statutory Legal Order advertising process.

 

The scheme could potentially reduce emissions due to less delay caused by roadworks (less queuing and diversions) and other benefits by allowing reduced permit charges for companies that either site shared or worked in the same trench lines. Other benefits could be achieved by offering discounted permit fees for works promoters who used environmentally friendly methods of working.

 

The Chief Officer’s Report incorporated an Impact Assessment circulated for the attention of Members. This outlined that the scheme should encourage efficient roadworks, reduce congestion, therefore be a positive visual and audible impact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 412.

STANDING ITEMS

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413.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

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

 

[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 – 9 September 2019

Personnel Partnership – 2 October 2019

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414.

Delegated Action/Urgent Matters pdf icon PDF 35 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 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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415.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 138 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 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). Since the publication of the agenda, there had been the addition to the plan - ‘the NHS long term plan’ (the website being updated accordingly).