Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday 23rd June 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Members to access the meeting via Teams. Members of the press & public may listen to the live stream on the Council's website: https://democracy.maldon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=130&MId=2138

Contact: Committee Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman's notices

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to this remote meeting of the Maldon District Council, held under new regulations which had come into effect in response to the COVID-19 situation.  The Chairman then went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.

 

A roll call of those Members present was taken.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were none.

3.

Declaration of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6 - 8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).

Minutes:

Councillor R G Boyce advised that in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Notice of Motion he had a bias, had spoken to the motion mover and would be abstaining from voting on this item of business.

 

Councillor S P Nunn declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Items 7 – Notice of Motion and 12 – Joint Standards Committee – Parish Councillor Co-optees as he was currently a member of the Joint Standards Committee.

 

Councillor C Mayes declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Items 10 – Bradwell B Project – Stage 1 Consultation and Agenda Item 16 – Leisure Contract.

 

Councillor W Stamp declared a non-pecuniary interest advising she wanted Members to know that she had visited the Chairman because she was concerned for his health and wellbeing following his resignation from the Conservative Group.

 

Councillor Mrs P A Channer declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items relating to Essex County Council as she was a County Councillor.  She also disclosed a pecuniary interest in relation to Agenda Item 10 – Bradwell B Project – Stage 1 Consultation as her property fell within some of the areas identified in the consultation document and having sought advice from the Monitoring Officer would be leaving the meeting for this item of business.

 

Councillor M F L Durham declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Member of Essex County Council and advised that he was Deputy Cabinet Member for economic development which included planning and the Bradwell B consultation (Agenda Item 10) feel within this portfolio.

 

Councillor Miss S White declared a non-pecuniary interest Agenda Items 7 – Notice of Motion and 12 – Joint Standards Committee – Parish Councillor Co-optees as a member of the Joint Standards Committee.

 

Councillor Mrs M E Thompson advised that she was a Member of the Joint Standards Committee but had not been a Member the last time the Committee had met and referred to a report regarding a matter considered by the Committee.  Councillor Stamp raised a point of order regarding the report referred to.

 

Councillor B E Harker declared the same interest as the Chairman in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Notice of Motion and would be abstaining from voting on this matter.

 

Councillor K W Jarvis asked that be noted that he had been a substitute on the Joint Standards Committee.

4.

Minutes - 28 May 2020 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the council meeting held on 28 May 2020 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 28 May 2020 be agreed.

5.

Public Questions

To receive questions from members of the public, of which prior notification in writing has been received (no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the day of the meeting).

 

Should you wish to submit a question please complete the online form at www.maldon.gov.uk/publicparticipation.

Minutes:

There were none.

6.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to attending a flag raising day for the Armed Forces.  He paid tribute to the Armed Forces including their recent support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.

Notice of Motion

In accordance with notice duly given under Procedure Rule 4, Councillor W Stamp to move the following motion duly seconded by Councillor R H Siddall:

 

“Maldon District Council has a statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by its councillors and co-opted Members - Section 27(2) of The Localism Act 2011 (The Act) requires the council to adopt a Code of Conduct.  It is not required in law for MDC to adopt a joint standards committee but it is good practice - and why wouldn't they?

 

In light of external investigations, I propose the following motions to council:

 

The motions have been set out separately for ease of voting.

 

Motion 1

To disband the Joint Standards Committee in its current form and all appointed councillors.

 

Motion 2

The council waives the overall political control of the authority (political balance) to reconstitute the Joint Standards Committee.

 

Motion 3

The committee will consist of 8 elected members - four from each political group, plus 2 Parish Council observers (no voting rights) and the Independent Person (no voting rights).

 

Motion 4

i) The Chairman and Vice-Chairman to be appointed not from the same political group.”

Minutes:

Councillor J V Keyes joined the meeting at this point.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 4, four motions proposed by Councillor W Stamp and seconded by Councillor R H Siddall were received on 10 June 2020.  Amendments to motions 3 and 4 were received on 11 June 2020.  The revised motion is as follows:

 

“Maldon District Council has a statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by its councillors and co-opted Members - Section 27(2) of The Localism Act 2011 (The Act) requires the council to adopt a Code of Conduct. It is not required in law for MDC to adopt a joint standards committee but it is good practice - and why wouldn't they?

 

In light of external investigations, I propose the following motions to council:

 

The motions have been set out separately for ease of voting.

 

Motion 1

To disband the Joint Standards Committee in its current form and all appointed councillors.

 

Motion 2

The council waives the overall political control of the authority (political balance) to reconstitute the Joint Standards Committee.

 

Motion 3

The committee will consist of 8 elected members - four from each political group, plus 2 Parish Council observers (no voting rights) and the Independent Person (no voting rights).

 

Motion 4

i) The Chairman and Vice-Chairman to be appointed not from the same political group.”

 

Councillor Stamp spoke to her motions, providing further explanation.

 

Councillor Siddall had formally seconded the motion and proposed that a further amendment be made to motion 3 to read as follows:

 

The Committee will consist of eight elected members, plus two Parish Council observers (no voting rights) and the Independent Person (no voting rights).  The eight members should reflect the balance of the membership of the Council; however, no group should have a majority on the Committee.  All political groups (a group is defined as having three or more members and is recognised as a political entity) within the council should have representation.  Any substitutions must be made from the same political group.

 

This amendment was duly seconded.

 

In response to a question regarding political balance, the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer provided some guidance on the principles of political balance and how this would be applied to a Committee made up of eight members.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 13 (3) Councillor W Stamp requested a recorded vote.

 

The Chairman clarified at this point that the Council would debate all four motions prior to taking separate votes on each motion.

 

A lengthy debate ensued, and a number of Members commented on the tabled motions.  Following a question and comments raised, the Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer provided some clarification on the wording of motion 2.  In response, Councillor E L Bamford proposed that Motion 2 be reworded, as follows, to add clarity that this motion only related to the Joint Standards Committee.

 

That the Council waives political balance to reconstitute the Joint Standards Committee.

 

This proposal was duly seconded and supported by both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Minutes of Meetings of the Council

To note that since the last Council, up until Monday 15 June 2020 (Council agenda dispatch) the following Committees have met, and to receive any questions in accordance with Council and Committee Procedure Rule 6 (2).

 

Minutes NOT finalised for publication:

 

District Planning Committee

3 June 2020

North Western Area Planning Committee

8 June 2020

South Eastern Area Planning Committee

10 June 2020

Central Area Planning Committee

12 June 2020

 

 

Minutes:

The Council noted the list of Committees that had met since the last meeting of the Council, up to Monday 15 June 2020 for which Minutes had been published.

9.

Questions in accordance with Procedure Rule 6(3) of which notice has been given

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

In accordance with her earlier declaration Councillor Mrs P A Channer left the meeting at this point.

10.

Bradwell B Project - Stage 1 Consultation pdf icon PDF 807 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors B E Harker and Miss S White left the meeting during this item of business and did not return.

 

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking endorsement of a recommended response to the Stage 1 Consultation relating to the proposed Bradwell B power station proposals set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

The report provided background information regarding the identification, by the Government, of Bradwell as one of eight sites considered suitable in principle for the siting of a new nuclear power station.  Details of the work undertaken in respect of this and the stage 1 consultation were also provided, and it was noted that in light of the COVID-19 health emergency the consultation period had been extended.  Members were advised that following the consultation stages a decision would be made by the developer (BRB) as to whether a Development Consent Order application to the planning inspectorate would be submitted.

 

The Council received detailed presentations from the Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager and the Bradwell B Planning Lead.  The presentations highlighted the:

·                 Council’s adopted policy in respect of the development of a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea;

 

·                 BRB’s consultation programme and Maldon District Council’s governance in relation to the stage 1 consultation;

 

·                 Stage 1 proposals for the power station both when operational and during the construction period.

 

Following the Officer presentations, Councillor A S Fluker presented the report and thanked Officers for the work they had undertaken in relation to this project.  He proposed that an additional recommendation be added, that Members are regularly consulted with from the start of the Development Consent Order (DCO) Stage 2 Statutory consultation process, so that they were able to understand and see what was involved as part of the consultation.  This was duly seconded.

 

A lengthy debate ensued during which a number of questions and comments were raised by Members.  The following information was provided by Officers in response to some of these.

·                 The consultation lacked detail and further information was required on a wide range of topics, including the proposals for the management of nuclear waste;

 

·                 The proposal for Bradwell B was for a conventional power station and not one of the micro units currently being developed by Rolls Royce.

 

·                 In terms of the scale of the proposal the Council had to consider what was presented in the Stage 1 consultation.  There was concern about the potential landscape impact across a wide area but ongoing discussions with BRB may provide some mititgation.

 

·                 BRB’s Statement of Community Consultation had set out how it would consult during the Stage 1 consultation.  In light of the COVID-19 health emergency Officers outlined the changes that BRB had made to the consultation to support community involvement and the response rate to date.  The Council had submitted a letter in April 2020 to BRB raising concerns about the loss of public exhibitions and highlighting the commitment within the Statement of Community Consultation.

 

·                 Technical appraisals would be undertaken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Approval to Adopt the Lists of the Local Heritage Assets for Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M F L Durham left the meeting during this item of business and did not return.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval to adopt the Lists of Local Heritage Assets for Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham (attached as Appendix 1 to the report).

 

It was noted that a draft of the Local Lists for Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham had been approved for public consultation in February 2020 and a table summarising the consultation responses received was attached as Appendix 2 to the report. 

 

Members were reminded that up-to-date Parish Lists of Local Heritage Assets highlighting and promoting locally important historic buildings in each parish would be a useful tool in meeting the Council’s objectives.

 

Prior to the Officers’ presentation, the Leader of the Council presented the report and paid tribute to Mr Howson, the Council’s Conservation Officer for the work had done and continued to do in keeping track of the heritage assets within the District. 

 

A number of Members commented on the Lists of Local Heritage Assets and the work undertaken by the Officer. 

 

The Leader of the Council proposed that the recommendation as set out in the report be agreed and that the Council’s thanks be given to Mr Howson.  This was duly agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Lists of Local Heritage Assets for Bradwell-on-Sea and Tillingham (Appendix 1 to the report) are approved for formal adoption.

12.

Questions to the Leader of the Council in accordance with Procedure Rule 1 (3)(m)

Minutes:

Councillor C Morris asked the Leader of the Council what the rainbow flag outside of the Council signified.  In response the Leader explained that this flag showed the Council’s recognition and support of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and advised that the Council had recently been flying different flags in recognition of diverse groups.  In response to a further question by Councillor Morris, the Leader advised that should any Councillor wish to make a complaint against another Councillor they needed to follow the correct procedures in addition to speaking to the Monitoring Officer.

13.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

To resolve that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

 

At this point the Chairman thanked members of the public for joining the meeting and confirmed that the live stream was now turned off.

14.

Leisure Contract

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery advising Members of the current position with the Leisure Services Contract and seeking authorisation to negotiate a change in the contract terms to deal with the impact of COVID-19.  Appendix A to the report provided detailed information along with a summary of the recommended approach.

 

The report provided background information regarding the Council’s two leisure facilities, the Blackwater Leisure Centre and Dengie Hundred Sports Centre and set out the matters for consideration by the Council.

 

The Leader of the Council referred to the need to move forward quickly and proposed that recommendations (i) - (iii) be deleted and a Leisure Contract Working Group comprising of Councillors M F L Durham CC, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, K W Jarvis, C P Morley, S P Nunn and W Stamp and Miss S White be set up immediately to look the financial implications of the leisure contract in relation to the health emergency and thereafter report to the Council no later than 16 July 2020 with the intent that a report comes back to the Council meeting on 2 July 2020.  This proposal was duly seconded. 

 

During the lengthy debate various information was provided to Members by the Officers present in response to questions raised.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 13(3) Councillor K M H Lagan requested a recorded vote.  The Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Fluker to the Council and the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors E L Bamford, M G Bassenger, Miss A M Beale, V J Bell, Mrs P A Channer, R P F Dewick, M R Edwards, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, M S Heard, M W Helm, A L Hull, K W Jarvis, C Mayes, C P Morley, S P Nunn, R H Siddall, N J Skeens, W Stamp, C Swain and Mrs M E Thompson.

 

Against the recommendation:

Councillor K M H Lagan.

 

Abstentions:

Councillor R G Boyce, C Morris and J Stilts.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)        that a Leisure Contract Member Task and Finish Working Group comprising of Councillors Morley, Fluker, Durham, Jarvis, Miss White, Mrs Fleming, Nunn and Stamp be set up immediately;

 

(ii)       that the Leisure Contract Member Task and Finish Working Group reviews the financial implications of the leisure contract in relation to the health emergency and thereafter reports to the Council no later than 16 July 2020 the intent being that a report comes back on 2 July 2020.