Agenda and minutes

Dorset Council - Thursday, 15th April, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Susan Dallison  Email:


No. Item


Minute Silence to observe the passing of the Duke Of Edinburgh


The Chairman of Council paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh and a minutes silence was held in a mark of respect.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 February 2021.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 16 February 2021 were confirmed and agreed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


Cllr O’Leary declared an interest the Old Fish Market, Custom House Quay, Weymouth as he knew the potential purchaser.  He declared that he would not take part in the decision and would leave the meeting.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.


The Chairman announced the sad death of former West Dorset District  councillor Janet Page and invited Cllr Stella Jones to pay tribute to her.


Public Participation - Questions and Statements pdf icon PDF 140 KB

A period of 30 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. 


**Important**The full text of the question or statement must be received by 8.30am on Monday 12 April 2021 and each question or statement is limited to 450 words.


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic public speaking has been suspended, however questions and statements will be published on the website and the Chairman of Council will decide whether a question or statement is to be read out aloud in whole, in part or not at all in the meeting.  The Chairman will invite the relevant member to respond to the questions and statements at the meeting.


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



Public questions, statements and the responses from the Leader of the Council and appropriate 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 :

Temporary Council Procedure Rules



There were no petitions or deputations.


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.





Council was advised that the Leader’s Bulletin would be published following the Council meeting and the Leader highlighted the following points.


Tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Cllr Spencer’s meeting with the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government.

Government lobbying for virtual meetings and the High Court Case on 21 April.

The un-locking of tourism in Dorset and the multi-agency arrangements in place.

SEND provision, acquisition of the St Mary’s School and future use of the site.

The Dorset Local Plan.


Cllr Ray Bryan made a statement regarding Weymouth Harbour and asked all councillors to attend an all member seminar on 22 April.


Question from Cllr Bill Trite

In his bulletin the Leader refers to the extent of changes that may be needed to the draft Dorset Local Plan following the recent consultation which ended on 15th March. I'm glad he raised the emerging Local Plan, because there were at least two proposals in there which were entirely inappropriate for Swanage, one of which provoked the distribution of anonymous leaflets in the Town. These leaflets led to many residents gaining a very misleading impression of the position of Cllr Gary Suttle and myself in relation to that particular proposal.   While I recognise that the Leader is not here today to announce changes to the draft Local Plan, can Cllr Suttle and I be given an assurance that there will be action to ensure that full account is taken of consultation feedback from local residents in this matter, before the next iteration of the Local Plan is published for a further period of public  consultation later this year?


Response from Cllr David Walsh.

Thank you Leader and thank you Cllr Trite for your question and for giving me the opportunity to provide clarity on this important point.. I publicly declared my disappointment in hearing of the distribution of the anonymous leaflets in Swanage, especially as they gave the false impression of the position of both Cllr Gary Suttle and yourself in relation to a particular proposal, the literature for which, I publicly stated was neither prepared nor endorsed by either of you.


On the second point, I am happy to assure Cllrs Suttle and Trite that there will be action to ensure that full account is taken of consultation feedback from local residents in this matter, before the next iteration of the Local Plan is published for a further period of public consultation later this year.




Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Monday 12 April 2021.


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


Councillor Code of Conduct Arrangements pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Audit & Governance Committee.

Additional documents:


The Chairman of the Audit & Governance Committee set out the recommendations from the Audit and Governance Committee.


Proposed: Cllr Matt Hall

Seconded: Cllr Clare Sutton




1.         To adopt the Local Government Association Model Councillor Code of Conduct including those provisions of the Model Code relating to other registrable interests.

2.         That Dorset’s Town and Parish Councils be invited to consider adopting the LGA Model Code.

3.         To adopt the proposed new arrangements for dealing with Code of Conduct complaints against Councillors.


Reason for Decision:

To support councillors in maintaining high standards of conduct and to ensure a proportionate approach to the assessment and hearing of complaints against councillors.



Notification of Urgent Decision pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To receive a report by A Dunn, Executive Director, Corporate Development S151.


The Council’s Chief Finance Officer presented a notification of an urgent executive decision he had taken in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate Development & Change and the Chairman of the Place & Resources Scrutiny Committee in order to secure £2.7m of grant funding to improve digital connectivity.


Cllr Wharf announced that he was delighted with the grant and thanked all those who were involved in securing this finance.






Sale of Old Fish Market, Custom House Quay, Weymouth pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Harbours Committee.


The full report is exempt and is appended to the Council agenda as an exempt appendix to the recommendation report.  If members wish to discuss the exempt report then Full Council will need to move into exempt business by going into a separate Teams Meeting.  


The Chairman of the Harbours Committee set out the recommendations and background from the Harbours Committee.


Proposed: Cllr Mark Roberts

Seconded: Cllr Tony Ferrari


Cllr Jon Orrell the Ward Member was supportive of the recommendation. Cllr Paul Kimber sought assurance that the building would be safeguarded as a character building and the fabric of the building would remain unchanged.  The Harbours Committee Chairman assured Cllr Kimber that the building had listed status and that future planning applications would have to meet and be agreed by the listed building status.  The council would preserve the characteristics and features of the building.


Decision: That the sale of the freehold of the Old Fish Market, Custom House Quay, Weymouth be agreed on the terms as set out in the exempt 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 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


There was no exempt business to discuss.


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.

Appendix 1 - Questions submitted for the Public Participation Period pdf icon PDF 718 KB

Appendix 2 - Questions submitted by Councillors pdf icon PDF 55 KB