Agenda and minutes

Dorset Council - Tuesday, 18th February, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: Susan Dallison  01305 252216 - Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019  were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.


The Chairman reported the sad loss of Mike Lovell a former Dorset County Councillor and member for Purbeck District Council.  She also reported on the death of former West Dorset District Councillor Michael Pengelly and advised that a Service of Thanksgiving had taken place at St Nicholas’ Church, Abbotsbury on 13 January 2020.


Council took a moment to sit in silence as a mark of respect.


Public Participation - Questions and Statements pdf icon PDF 159 KB

A period of 15 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to questions and statements, on the business of the Council in the following order:

(a) Questions and statements from Town and Parish Councils;

(b) Questions and statements from those living or working in the Dorset Council area;

A person or organisation can ask either 2 questions, or 2 statements or 1 question and 1 statement at each meeting. 


The full text of the question or statement must be received by 8.30am on Thursday 13 February 2020.


Details of the Council’s procedure rules can be found at: Public Participation at Full Council



The public questions together with the response from Portfolio Holders are set out in appendix 1 attached to these minutes.


Public participation - petitions and deputations

A period of 15 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to petitions in accordance with the council’s petitions scheme.


A period of 15 minutes is allocated to receive and respond to deputations in accordance with the council’s constitution.


The petitions scheme and procedures relating to deputations can be viewed at :




There were no petitions or deputations to report.


Announcements and Reports from the Leader of Council and Cabinet Members

To receive any announcements and reports from the Leader of Council and members of the Cabinet.





The Leader of the Council reported that considerable progress had been made by the cross-party Climate and Ecological Executive Advisory Panel (EAP) under the Chairmanship of Cllr R Bryan. Councillors and officers had been engaged with young people, communities, organisations and town and parish councils to explore opportunities to collaborate on this important work.


Task and Finish groups were taking forward ideas, including those on transport, buildings and assets, natural environment, leadership and influence and waste and energy.


He further advised that members of the public were invited to submit ideas on how the council might be able to tackle climate change and ecology concerns. The council had received over 500 ideas and many of those would contribute to the formation of the council’s draft Climate and Ecological Change Strategy and action plan.  This would be published for consultation in the summer.


Cllr R Bryan had also attended a Climate Emergency Conference in January and the Local Government Association made it clear it was committed to working with councils to get the appropriate support from central government to combat the impact of climate change.


The Leader further reported on the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards. The ceremony would take place on 18 March 2020 and Dorset Council had been shortlisted for four awards.

·                Business transformation – Joint submission with BCP on the subject of creating two new unitary councils.

·                Driving Efficiency Through Technology – Education Health and Care Plan Tracker

·                Environmental; Services – Low Carbon Dorset

·                Housing initiative – health Homes Dorset pilot project and the Warm Home Fund Initiative Strand


He indicated this was a celebration of excellence and  that he was delighted to see Dorset Council in so many categories. He took this opportunity to wish everyone the best of luck at the award ceremony.


Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To receive questions submitted by Dorset Councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Thursday 13 February 2020.


Questions put by councillors to the Leader and relevant Portfolio Holders are attached to these minutes at appendix 2, together with the responses.


Dorset Council Plan Adoption pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To consider recommendations from the Cabinet meeting held on 28 January 2020.

Additional documents:


In recommending the Dorset Council Plan for adoption, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change reminded Council that all members had been invited to attend a number of workshops and a series of seminars.  Public conversations were also held in order to formulate the plan that was before members for decision.


Cllr M Roberts seconded the recommendation.


In response to questions and concerns raised regarding the link to climate change within the Dorset Plan, the Portfolio Holder advised that there were a number of actions around climate change underpinning wider actions for the council.  He also acknowledged that social deprivation needed to be considered as part of the overarching action plan and performance would be continually monitored by Cabinet.




That the Dorset Council Plan be adopted


Reason for Decision


To provide clarity about the Council’s priorities for the next four years.


Budget Strategy Report pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To consider the Budget Strategy Report.

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commerical and Assets set out the budget paper for 2020 – 2021.  He welcomed the input given to the budget from the Scrutiny Café event which had been a constructive challenge to the budget process.  He noted the transfer of additional resources to adults and children’s social care, the movement of funding from back office to front line services and that the proposals set out a balanced budget for 2020/21 which supported those in most need in the community.


Cllr T Ferrari proposed the budget for 2020 – 2021 and this was seconded by Cllr S Flower.


The Chairman invited Group Leaders to respond to the budget proposals.


Cllr S Flower noted that it was a well presented budget which had been brought together with the cross party involvement of councillors including the key role of the scrutiny committees.  He referred to work already undertaken to achieve initial convergence and further transformation work to be undertaken.  Although there had been a need to increase council tax, this would enable investment in adults and children’s services and the ability to safeguard services.  He expressed full support for the budget as set out in the recommendations presented to Council.


Cllr N Ireland expressed gratitude that the budget proposals refrained from cutting services.  He noted that the report was honest about the challenges faced by the council but felt that the budget did not cover all areas that needed to be considered, including funding for the council’s response to the climate emergency.  In particular he made reference to the use of reserves, the lack of funding from central government which did not acknowledge the need in social care, social mobility indicies and noted that residents were being faced with the maximum council tax increase.  He added that he expected the Leader to engage with all councillors and for there to be ongoing monitoring and challenge through the scrutiny process.  The Liberal Democrat Group had established  a Shadow Cabinet in order to work on and offer genuine options for consideration.


Cllr L Fry expressed thanks to all who had worked on the budget and a desire to progress action required.


Cllr C Sutton noted that since 2010, councils had suffered huge reductions in funding from central government.  She welcomed additional funding for adult and children’s services and noted that the budget process had been an inclusive process.  She thanked all staff who had assisted the council but who were no longer with the council.  She noted that the Green Group would be proposing amendments to the budget and it was felt that the budget could be more ambitious in the use of reserves.


Cllr P Kimber speaking as an individual, expressed a level of concern about where the budget was being spent and made particular reference to issues of deprivation and housing.


The following amendment was proposed by Cllr C Sutton and seconded by Cllr B Heatley:-


Change the CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation assumption underlying the budget  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Budget Strategy Report Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • Meeting adjournment

    The Chairman of Council advised that a ten minute adjournment would be held.


    Councillor Stella Jones left the meeting at this point.


    The Council reconvened at 21.24pm.


    The Chairman sought the agreement of Full Council to continue beyond 3 hours, as set out in the Constitution.  This was agreed by those present.



    Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    To consider a report by the Corporate Director, Legal and Democratic.

    Additional documents:


    The Leader of the Council presented a report and recommendation to amend the Constitution of Dorset Council which was adopted by the Shadow Council in April 2019.


    The review of the Constitution had been brought forward after consultation with Group Leaders, the Chief Executive and the Monitoring Officer. This would enable any changes to the structure of committees and the roles of members to be approved by the Council, to be implemented at the Annual Council Meeting in May so that they take full year effect.


    It was proposed by Cllr S Flower seconded by Cllr C Sutton




    That the Council:-


    (a)       Supports the changes to the Constitution set out in the following sections of the report to Council of 18 February 2020:


    (i)         10.4    To enable the Leader to designate up to six members from the controlling group as Lead Members to work alongside portfolio holders.


    (ii)        11.10  To replace the existing four overview and scrutiny committees with two overview committees and two scrutiny committees.


    (iii)       11.11  That the Chairmen of the two scrutiny committees shall be members of the largest opposition group and the vice chairmen shall not be members of the controlling group.


    (iv)       11.12  That People and Health Overview Committee should include the statutory education co-optees (for education business only) and that the People and Health Scrutiny Committee should exercise the Council’s statutory health scrutiny and crime and disorder functions


    (v)        12.3 to 12.6   To simplify and clarify the role and composition of the Staffing Committee when making senior officer appointments.


    (vi)       13.1    To add the arrangements for the appointment and terms of office of co-opted members of the Harbours Committee.


    (vii)      14.3    To implement the recommendation of a multi-agency task and finish group that the pan-Dorset Community Safety & Criminal Justice Board be disbanded. 

    (viii)     15.1    To delete the interim arrangements which operated between 1 April 2019 and the first elections to Dorset Council.

    (iv)       15.2    To make other consequential changes including to Council Procedure Rule 9 (Public Participation) to reflect the importance of the voice of Parish and Town Councils and the experience of the Chairman of Council and Democratic Services in operating the rules.

    (x)        16.1    To give the Leader authority after consulting the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee to make necessary drafting changes prior to publication of the Constitution.


     (b)      And that the Council


    (i)         Ask the Audit and Governance Committee to determine any changes needed to those parts of the Constitution which contribute to the internal control environment.


    (ii)        Ask the Independent Remuneration Panel to include the outcomes of the review the Constitution in their review of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances. 


    (iii)       Agree that the next major review of the Council’s governance arrangements should not take place before February 2022.



    Reason for Recommendation:  


    To provide the Council with the good governance arrangements needed to enable the Council to be effective and efficient and achieve its ambitions for Dorset’s communities - Member led and governance lite.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


    Appointments of Co-Opted Independent Members of the Harbours Committee pdf icon PDF 50 KB

    To consider a recommendation from the Harbours Committee.

    Additional documents:


    It was proposed by Cllr K Wheller and seconded by Cllr S Williams




    That Lee Hardy be appointed as a Co-opted Independent Member of the Harbours Committee for an initial term of three years.


    Reason for Recommendation:    


    To ensure the membership of the Harbours Committee is in accordance with the Dorset Council Constitution and industry best practice.


    A vacancy existed after 3 of 4 Co-opted Independent Members transferred from Weymouth’s Harbour Management Board to Dorset Council’s Harbours Committee.  The vacancy was advertised widely in the usual way.


    A selection panel comprising the Chair of the Committee Cllr Kate Wheller, Cllr Rob Hughes and Cllr Mark Roberts, supported by Weymouth Harbour Master, interviewed 5 candidates for co-opted membership of the Harbours Committee on 14th October 2019.  The panel concluded that Lee Hardy be recommended for approval by the Harbours Committee and Full Council.  Lee lived in Dorset and had wide experience in marine affairs, management and business.


    Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 64 KB

    To consider a report by the Chief Executive.

    Additional documents:


    The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change advised members that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, Council was responsible for approving the annual pay policy statement for 2020/21.


    It was proposed by Cllr P Wharf seconded by Cllr L O’Leary




    (a)       That the provisions of the Localism Act and content of the Pay Policy Statement for the 2020/21 financial year be noted


    (b)       That the Pay Policy Statement for 2020/21be approved.


    Reason for Recommendation:    


    The Full Council is responsible for approval of the annual pay policy statement.


    Urgent items

    To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.



    There were no urgent items to report.


    Exempt Business

    To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

    The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.


    There was no exempt business.

    Public Questions and Responses - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

    Councillor Questions and Responses - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 98 KB