Agenda and minutes

Dorset Council - Thursday, 12th October, 2023 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Susan Dallison  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13th July 2023.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2023 were confirmed and signed.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct.  In making their decision councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.



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 death of Honorary Alderman Della Jones MBE, who served as a Member of North Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council. She also reported on the death of Honorary Alderman Jeffrey Miller who also served as a member of North Dorset District Council.  She paid tribute to both Honorary Alderman.


The Chairman took this opportunity, on behalf of the council and residents, to thank John Sellgren, Executive Director of Place, who had recently announced his retirement at the end of the year. She thanked him for his service and commitment to the Council over the last 5 years.


Finally, the Chairman shared that Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of the Council since 2019, had been shortlisted for the Local Government Information Unit “Leader of the Year” Award. She wished him luck at the awards ceremony due to be held on 16 November 2023.


Public Participation pdf icon PDF 71 KB

A period of 30 minutes is allocated for the Public Participation Period.


Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work, or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit either 1 question or 1 statement for each Full Council meeting.  You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via Microsoft Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.  If you submit a statement for the Full Council meeting this will be circulated to all members in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes of the meeting for the formal record but will not be read out at the meeting.  The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received from members of the public or organisations for each meeting will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline set out below.

Further information on the Public Participation Period can be found in the Council’s Constitution Part 2 Rules of Procedure - Council and Committee Procedure Rules.pdf (


The full text of the question or statement must be received by 8.30am on Monday 9 October 2023. All submissions must be emailed to 


When submitting your question or statement please note that:

·       You can submit 1 question or 1 statement to each meeting.

·       A question may include a short pre-amble to set the context.

·       It must be a single question, any sub-divided questions will not be permitted.

·       Each question will consist of no more than 450 words and you will be given up to 3 minutes to present your question.

·       When submitting your question please indicate who the question is for (e.g. the name of the Portfolio Holder).

·       Include your full name, address and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting.

·       Questions and statements  received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

·       All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.


Public questions, statements and the responses from the Leader of the Council or the appropriate Portfolio Holder are set out in Appendix 1 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:


Part 2 Rules of Procedure - Council and Committee Procedure Rules.pdf (



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 advised members that his bulletin would be published at the conclusion of the meeting and some of the areas covered by the bulletin included:-


·       Lobbying Government for a better deal for Dorset

·       Congratulating officers of their recent success at the Highways Awards

·       Congratulations to the Digital Champions scheme at the Connected Britain Awards

·       Dorset Council was also shortlisted for Decarbonisation Work, and he also reported on the Community Safety Team’s recent visit to the Home Office.



Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Monday 9 October 2023.


There were four questions received from councillors. A copy of the questions and the responses are attached at Appendix 2 to these minutes.


Devolution Deal for Dorset pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director of Place.

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Levelling Up advised that at its meeting on 25 July 2023, Cabinet considered a report titled ‘A devolution deal for Dorset’.  Set out in the context of a further announcement by Government about devolution deals being struck and against a commitment for all areas of England which wanted one, to have a devolution deal by 2030, Cabinet thought it appropriate to consider this proposal for Dorset Council.


He continued by reporting that work had commenced to progress a devolution deal for Dorset; but it was clear that such a deal would be finalised not in the current but under a future Parliament. However, for this to occur work needed to commence now. The Portfolio Holder reported that it was generally considered that English devolution had gained a strong foothold and therefore he considered it to be prudent for Dorset Council to prepare proactively in order to be able to secure the best outcome for Dorset in the future.


The report set out the potential wider policy implications of a devolution deal and sought council’s endorsement of the need to widen the scope of the Council Plan. The Portfolio Holder acknowledged that there was no appetite for a directly elected mayor model, however, there were other models to be considered and these were set out within the report.


Councillor N Ireland, Group Leader for the Liberal Democrats group indicated that the group would be supporting the recommendation, however he advised that he did find the report vague, which was indicative of the current situation around devolution in England. He saw no reason not to support the recommendation, but expressed concerns that it would not be the financial solution for properly funded local government going forward.


Other members expressed similar concerns and sought assurances around governance, a reduction in autonomy and the potential impact on council sovereignty.


In response to questions and concerns, the Leader of the Council agreed that Council needed more information to build on this proposal before any final decision was made.  However, he sought support from members to continue conversations regarding a devolution deal for Dorset.  He confirmed that this would not affect the sovereignty of individual councils and advised that the government had acknowledged that the mayoral model doesn’t work for all areas. In response to a question around which councils Dorset was in conversation with, the Leader of the Council indicated that he was in early negotiations with some local authorities and needed to respect the Leaders of those councils, who needed to have further discussions with their own councillors and Chief Executives before proceeding.  He confirmed that all councillors would be kept fully informed of progress.


It was proposed by Cllr S Gibson and seconded by Cllr S Flower




(a)           That the pursuit of a Devolution Deal for Dorset be added to all sections of the approved Council Plan, be agreed.


·       Protecting our natural environment, climate, and ecology

·       Creating stronger, healthier communities

·       Creating sustainable development and housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Appointment of Co-opted Members to the Audit & Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider a recommendation by the Audit & Governance Committee.

Additional documents:


The Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee set out the committee’s recommendation to appoint 2 new co-opted members to the Audit and Governance Committee.


It was proposed by Cllr R Biggs seconded by Cllr S Cocking




That Mr S Roach and Mr R Ong be endorsed as co-opted members of the Audit and Governance Committee.


Appointment of Co-opted Committee Member to the Harbour Advisory Committee pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To approve the appointment of a co-optee to the Harbours Advisory Committee.


The Chairman of the Harbours Advisory Committee set out a report on the recruitment process and recommendation for a new co-opted member of the Harbours Advisory committee.


It was proposed by Cllr M Roberts and seconded by Cllr R Hughes




That the co-option of Mr Mark Saxby as a co-opted member of the Harbours Advisory Committee be endorsed.


Dispensation Under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider a report by the Democratic Services Team Leader.


Cllr S Flower, Leader of the Council introduced a report to approve a dispensation for Cllr P Wharf due to ill health.


It was proposed by Cllr S Flower and seconded by Cllr N Ireland




That a dispensation for Cllr P Wharf from attending meetings of the Council until 2 May 2024, by reason of ill health be approved.


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  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 is no exempt business scheduled for the meeting.



There was no exempt business to report.

Appendix 1 - Public Question and Response pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Appendix 2 - Councillor Questions and Responses pdf icon PDF 111 KB