Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council
Thursday, 17th October, 2019 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Susan Dallison  01305 252216 - Email: susan.dallison@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Pauline Batstone, Janet Dover, Ryan Hope, Howard Legg, Emma Parker, David Shortell, Clare Sutton, John Worth and Matt Prosser (Chief Executive).

32.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 393 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019 were confirmed and signed.

33.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

In respect of item 10 on the agenda, Cllr G Suttle declared a general interest as his family had interests in mineral sites.  The Monitoring Officer advised that under the code of Conduct members had to declare pecuniary interests for themselves and their spouses and would need to leave the room whilst this was discussed.  In this instance a general declaration was being made and this did not warrant Cllr Suttle leaving the room whilst this item was discussed.

 

In respect of item 11 on the agenda and in relation to his question, Cllr B Pipe declared a general interest as he had been a Member of the Conservative Friends of Israel for the past 20 years.

34.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman explained that the Chairman had arranged for Kaye Wright from Friends of Dorset Care Leavers to address the Council.  

 

Ms Wright thanked members for their support prior to the meeting.  She then explained how Friends of Dorset Care Leavers had been created to reduce isolation and promote work and care for care leavers; support they provided, particularly at Birthday and Christmas times; that many care leavers received universal credit; and that they had applied for charity status. Particular attention was drawn to National Carers Week which started on 28 October 2019 and this would include a sponsored head shave at County Hall Reception.

 

The Vice-Chairman wished the Charity well for the future and stated that members would do all they could to provide support.

 

The Vice-Chairman then reminded members of the Remembrance Service being held on 11 November at 10.45am and encouraged them to attend if they were not attending other services.

 

She then informed members of a change to the order of agenda items in that questions from Councillors would be brought forward to item 8, following the announcements from the Leader of the Council.

35.

Public Participation - Questions and Statements pdf icon PDF 65 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. 

 

The deadline for receipt of the full text of questions and statements is 8.30am on Monday 14 October 2019.

 

Guidance can also be viewed at:

 

https://moderngov.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s15138/PublicParticipationatFullCouncilMeetings.docx.pdf

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The public statements together with the responses from the Portfolio Holder for  Planning were set out in Appendix 1 to the minutes.

36.

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 procedure rules relating to deputations can be viewed at:

 

https://moderngov.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s14858/Part%202.%20Pages%2096-183%20-%20Rules%20of%20Procedure.pdf

 

 

 

   

Minutes:

No petitions or deputations were received at the meeting.

37.

Announcements and Reports from the Leader of Council and Portfolio Holders

To receive any announcements and reports from the Leader of Council and Portfolio Holders.

Minutes:

The Leader reminded members that-

 

·           the LGA Corporate Peer Review had taken place on 1-4 October 2019.  Initial feedback had been received and the formal report would be available at the end of October/early November;

·           he had written to the Chancellor regarding the lack of Central Government funding for Dorset.  The provisional announcement was likely to include additional funding for Education, SEND and Adult Social Care.  No figures were yet available but the Chancellor's budget on 5 November 2019 might give more details.

·           a brief overview of progress on the 9 cross-Party EAPs was given: Climate Change Emergency, Local Plan for Dorset, Economic Growth and Skills, IT and Digital, Diversity, Inclusion, Relationships with Town and Parish Councils, Leisure Centre Review and Rural Access to Services .  Members of all groups had made a positive contribution to the work of the EAPs which illustrated cross-party collaboration.  Details of the EAPs' work were now available on the intranet, were regularly updated and played an essential part in creating change at pace.  Completion dates would also be added to their forward plans. The LGA Peer Review commented on the cross-party involvement as being positive.  The work of the EAPs would be referred to the Cabinet and relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee before being considered by Dorset Council for approval.   He thanked members for their involvement and contributions during a challenging and difficult time.

·           he was in the process of meeting neighbouring Council Leaders: he had already met with the Leaders of Wiltshire and Hampshire Councils to discuss matters of common interest and these had been well received.  Meetings with Somerset, Devon, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, New Forest and South Somerset Councils were planned. 

·           he drew attention to awards won by the Council and where it had been praised for its efforts.  Details were available on the Dorset Council Website.  Although this performance was good, it could be improved and he drew particular attention to the Council's work on climate change where it was rated as one of the top 20 councils in the country.  Wiltshire Council were top and he had gained information from its Leader which might help improve Dorset's current performance; and

·           a Leader's bulletin would be published the following date.

 

Cllr N Ireland was glad that the Leader had written to the Chancellor about additional funding and asked whether there had been correspondence with local MPs.  The Leader confirmed that his letter had been copied to them and that he had met them to ask for their support in getting a better deal for Dorset.

 

Cllr R Legg stated that in previous years there had been regular meetings between the Leadership, opposition groups and local MPs.  The current cross-party unity could be used to show Dorset as a united authority and should be better funded.

 

Cllr P Kimber asked for the Leader's letter to be circulated again so that members could lobby the main opposition parties and their leaders.  The Leader agreed to provide this again and welcomed any further  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Monday 14 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllrs C Jones, B Pipe, B Ezzard, S Jones, P Kimber, L O'Leary and N Ireland asked questions of the Leader and Portfolio Holders for Finance, Commercial and Assets, Children, Education and Early Help, and Highways, Travel and Commerce.  These along with the responses were attached to the minutes at Appendix 2.

 

With regard to the question raised by Cllr N Ireland about Mountjoy School, Cllr R Knox, as Vice-Chairman of Governors, welcomed the opportunity to speak with Cllr Ireland following the meeting.  She stated that the Governors were fully aware of the current situation and that all staff had some health qualification.  The School were unable to fund a school nurse and there were also barriers to employing one.  The Governing Body were clear about their responsibilities, steps were in place to mitigate the situation and the children were not at risk.

39.

Youth Justice Plan pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 1st October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr A Parry, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, presented the report and recommendations.  The Plan had already been approved by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, the Youth Justice Board and the Youth Offending Partnership Board. 

 

Cllr R Legg referred to the graph on page 65 and asked whether the level of young people being referred into the youth justice system in Dorset had increased, when the graph showed that first time entrants were no worse than in 2013?  The report also suggested that if grants had been applied for last year, this might have resulted in young offenders being diverted away from the youth justice system and not being counted in the statistics.  He asked whether other local authorities successful in bidding for grants had reduced their statistics to show an improvement?  The Portfolio Holder stated that this would require a technical response and he would provide this outside of the meeting.

 

Cllr B Pipe referred to page 57 of the report and links between the Youth Justice System and other plans and structures.  He informed members that the Criminal Justice Board no longer existed and its work diverted to the Community Safety Partnership.

 

It was proposed by Cllr N Lacey-Clarke and seconded by Cllr S Jespersen

 

Decision

 

(a) That the Youth Justice Plan be approved;

(b) That an update be provided in 6 months-time on progress with the plan.

40.

Council Tax - Support for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 1st October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr A Parry, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, presented the report and recommendations.  He referred to the address from the Friends of Dorset Care Leavers and that their work should be supported.  The credit exemption  would help care leavers living in the Dorset Council area and would provide them with the best opportunity in life going forward.

 

Cllrs T Coombs and B Pipe added that the Corporate Parenting Panel unanimously supported the exemption and urged members to support this.

 

Cllr R Legg asked whether any thought had been given to creating a small group of trained people to help care leavers with applying for exemptions or to direct them to those with relevant training. 

 

Cllr M Rennie highlighted that members did not necessarily know which officers to approach with regard to welfare benefits and it was often by chance that they found the appropriate officer.  

 

Cllr D Beer added that the Citizens Advice Bureau might provide the necessary support.

 

It was proposed by Cllr T Coombs and seconded by Cllr N Lacey-Clarke

 

Decision

 

that Dorset Council agrees to exercise its discretionary powers, under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, to award Council Tax discounts, effective from 1 April 2020, in the following cases.

 

a. that a 100% Council Tax discretionary discount be awarded in respect of those cases where the care leaver is under the age of 25 and is solely responsible for the Council Tax

 

b. that where a care leaver, who is under the age of 25, lives with someone else who is responsible for the Council Tax, they are disregarded for the purposes of determining whether a 25% single person’s discount applies.

 

c. that support will only be provided in respect of those care leavers:

 

i. for whom Dorset Council has a corporate parenting responsibility,

and

ii. who live in the Council’s area

 

d. that, in the case of a above that support will be automatically awarded where the care leaver is in regular contact with Children’s Services. In all other cases the Taxpayer will be required to apply for the discount or disregard.

41.

Adoption of the Dorset and BCP Mineral Sites Plan pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 1st October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr D Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning, introduced the report. He reminded members that the Dorset and BCP Minerals Sites Plan had taken four years to produce, including consultation with the public and stakeholders.  An examiner had been appointed by the Secretary of State and, following two hearings, it had been deemed "sound" to be adopted.  The Plan could not be changed and, when in place, would protect areas such as heathlands.  He commended the Plan for adoption.

 

It was proposed by Cllr J Andrews and seconded by Cllr J Haynes

 

Decision

 

1.   That the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset Mineral Sites Plan be

adopted subject to its inclusion of the main modifications that are appended to the Inspector’s Report;

2.   That the formal adoption date will begin two weeks from the date at which both BCP Council and Dorset Council have resolved to adopt the plan;

3.   That delegated authority be given to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, after consultation with the Executive Director for Place:

(a)  any additional (non-material) modifications to the Plan which were the subject of consultation, together with any other additional modifications which benefit the clarity of the Plan;

(b) authority to expedite any technical/procedural matters associated with adoption of the plan, including those connected with Dorset Council’s role as the Competent Authority on matters relating the Habitats Regulations Assessment of the Plan.

42.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

43.

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 3 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.

Minutes:

There was no exempt business.