Agenda and minutes

Dorset Council - Thursday, 14th December, 2023 6.30 pm

Please Note:

Our committee pages will be unavailable on Saturday 25 May due to website maintenance.

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

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

Note: We are aware of an issue with the display of the text below. To view the draft miutes for this meeting, please use the link to 'Printed draft minutes' above 

Media

Items
No. Item

Tribute to Councillor Tony Ferrari

The Chairman of Council paid tribute to Councillor Tony Ferrari who had recently passed away. All present stood in silence for one minute in memory of Councillor Ferrari.  Following the period of silence, tributes were paid by Councillors L O’Leary, N Ireland, J Orrell, L Fry and P Kimber.

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2023.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

47.

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 Jonathan Mair, the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

48.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported the death of Honorary Alderman and former Dorset County Council and North Dorset District Councillor, David Milstead and paid tribute.

49.

Public Participation - questions

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 submit either 1 question or 1 statement at each meeting. 

 

You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via MS Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.  If you submit a statement for the committee this will be circulated to all members of the council in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes of the meeting for the formal record but it will not be read out at the meeting.  The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received by Democratic Services will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline below:  

 

The full text of the question or statement must be received by 8.30am on Monday 11 December 2023. All submissions must be emailed to susan.dallison@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk 

 

When submitting your question or statement please note that:

Sub-divided questions will not be accepted;

Each question can consist of up to 450 words, including a pre-amble to set the context of the question;

When submitting a question please indication who the question is for, i.e., the name of the Portfolio Holder;

You will need to include your full name, address and contact details;

All questions and statements will be published in full with the minutes of the meeting as a matter of public record.

 

To view the procedure rules for the public participation period in full please click on the following link Part 2 Rules of Procedure - Council and Committee Procedure Rules.pdf (dorsetcouncil.gov.uk)

Minutes:

There were no questions or statements from members of the public or local organisations.

50.

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.

 

To view the procedure rules in full for the petitions scheme and deputations please click on the following link Part 2 Rules of Procedure - Council and Committee Procedure Rules.pdf (dorsetcouncil.gov.uk)

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations to report.

51.

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.

 

Minutes:

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:-

 

·       Multi-authority devolution deal

·       The benefits of lobbying government

·       Highways teams achieve national award.

52.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Monday 11 December 2023.

Minutes:

There were three questions received from councillors. A copy of the questions and the responses are attached at Appendix 1 to the minutes.

53.

Governance Arrangements for Dorset Council pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider a report by J Andrews, Service Manager Democratic & Electoral Services.

Minutes:

The Leader of Council reported that a review of the Council’s governance arrangements had been undertaken, with a cross-party Executive Advisory Panel meeting on a number of occasions since the motion was passed at Full Council to consider options for future governance arrangements.  The Panel met on 24 November 2023 and, in light of the decision of Full Council on 12 October 2023 to support further work by the Leader of the Council to secure a Devolution Deal for Dorset, proposed a recommendation to Full Council that a decision on the future governance arrangements of Dorset Council be deferred until such time as a decision on a devolution deal had been made.

 

It was proposed by S Flower seconded by N Ireland.

 

Decision

 

Full Council agree to pause and defer the review of the Governance Model until such time as a decision is made regarding a Multi-Authority Devolution Deal and an Expression of Interest submitted to the Secretary of State and a response from Government has been received.

54.

Flexible use of Capital Receipts Policy Report 2023/24 and 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 433 KB

To consider a report by S Cremer, Corporate Director Finance & Commercial.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy presented a recommendation which sought Full Council approval of the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy for 2023/24 financial year to 2024/25 financial year.

 

It was proposed by G Suttle seconded by C Brooks.

 

Decision

 

That the capital receipt policy for 2023/24 financial year to 2024/25 financial year with submission for approval to the Department of Housing, Levelling Up and Communities, be approved.

55.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To consider a recommendation by Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Capital Strategy proposed a recommendation with sought the adoption of the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25, with effect from 1 April 2024.

 

The recommendation was seconded by B Ridout.

 

A number of questions were asked and a request for further information as to the proportion of residents that would see a change resulting from the proposal would be circulated to all councillors.

 

Decision

 

That the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25 be adopted with effect from 1 April 2024.

56.

Polling District, Polling Station and Polling Place Review pdf icon PDF 279 KB

To consider a report by K Oliver, Senior Electoral Services Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors received a report which asked Full Council to consider responses to the consultation on the statutory review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations within Dorset and to approve the proposed arrangements.  The Council had a duty to carry out a review of polling arrangements within Dorset by 31 January 2025 in accordance with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.  It was noted that any changes would not come into force until 1 February 2024.

 

The recommendations were proposed by S Flower seconded by L Fry.

 

In response to points raised by councillors about the location of particular polling stations, the Chief Executive noted that arrangements could be reviewed in the future if necessary.

 

The constituency location of Three Legged Cross would be checked following the meeting.

 

Decision

 

That Full Council agree:

 

1.    That, having undertaken the statutory review, the polling districts, places and stations are as listed in Appendix 1 of the report to Full Council

2.    That the designation of temporary polling places be delegated to the Returning Officer.

57.

Home in on Housing - Dorset Council's Housing Strategy pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing presented the Dorset Council Housing Strategy which had been considered by the People and Health Overview Committee and Cabinet and proposed its adoption. This was seconded by S Jespersen.

 

Councillors considered the issues arising from the report and proposed strategy document and discussion included reference to the requirements in the Local Plan and emerging Local Plan, opportunities for the Council to become a builder of social and affordable housing, the Council’s role as a registered provider and links between planning and housing functions. The strategy was a living document and could be reviewed moving forwards.

 

As an amendment, it was proposed by G Taylor seconded by D Taylor that the approval of the Housing Strategy be deferred for consideration by the People and Health Overview Committee and review of the possibility of Dorset Council becoming a house builder.

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was LOST.

 

A vote was taken on the original recommendation.

 

Decision

 

That the Housing Strategy and its objectives be approved.

58.

Statement of Licensing Policy - Review of Cumulative Impact Area pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Licensing Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communities proposed the recommendation of the Licensing Committee to approve the retention of the Cumulative Impact Area, as set out in the report to the Licensing Committee.  This was seconded by J Andrews.

 

Decision

 

That the retention of the Cumulative Impact Area be approved, as set out in the report to the Licensing Committee.

59.

Statement of Gambling Licensing Policy 2024-2027 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Licensing Committee. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communities proposed the recommendation of the Licensing Committee to adopt the Statement of Gambling Licensing Policy 2024 – 2027, as set out in the report to the Licensing Committee.  This was seconded by J Andrews.

 

Decision

 

That the Statement of Gambling Licensing Policy 2024 – 2027 be adopted, as set out in the report to the Licensing Committee.

60.

Review of Timing of Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a recommendation by the Audit & Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council presented and proposed the recommendations of the task and finish group, which had considered the timing of committee meetings in preparation for the Calendar of Meetings 2024/25. The Leader noted that each recommendation would be dealt with separately. The recommendations were seconded by R Bryan.

 

The Chairman noted that if a recommendation was not supported, the existing timing would be retained.

 

Recommendation a

 

As an amendment, it was proposed by R Hope seconded by N Ireland that Full Council meetings will be held at 5:30pm.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was LOST.

 

The Council returned to the wording of the original recommendation a: During the period of British Summer Time, Full Council meetings will be held at 6.30pm. (April, May, July & October).

 

Decision

 

That during the period of British Summer Time, Full Council meetings will be held at 6.30pm. (April, May, July & October).

 

Recommendation b

 

As an amendment it was proposed by N Lacey-Clarke seconded by R Hope that Full Council meetings (December and February) will be held at 5.30pm.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was LOST.

 

The Council returned to the wording of the original recommendation b: During the period of Greenwich Mean Time, Full Council meetings will be held at 2.00pm. (December & February).

 

On being put to the vote the recommendation was LOST.

 

The Chairman confirmed that Full Council meetings in December and February would continue to be held at 6.30pm.

 

Recommendation c

 

As an amendment it was proposed by R Hope seconded by N Ireland that Cabinet will be held at 2.00pm all year.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was LOST.

 

The Council returned to the wording of the original recommendation c: During the period of British Summer Time, Cabinet will be held at 6.30pm. (April, May, June, July, September, October).

 

Decision

 

That during the period of British Summer Time, Cabinet will be held at 6.30pm. (April, May, June, July, September, October).

 

Recommendation d

 

As an amendment it was proposed by N Lacey-Clarke seconded by A Kirby that Cabinet be held at 6.30pm (November, December, January, March).

 

On being put to the vote the amendment received an equal number of votes for and against. With the Chairman’s casting vote, the amendment was LOST.

 

The Council returned to the wording of the original recommendation d: During the period of Greenwich Mean Time Cabinet will be held at 2.00pm. (November, December, January, March).

 

On being put to the vote the recommendation was LOST.

 

The Chairman confirmed that Cabinet meetings in November, December, January and March would continue to be held at 10.00am.

 

Recommendation e

 

Decision

 

That all meetings of Audit & Governance Committee will be held at 6.30pm.

61.

Calendar of Meetings 2024-2025 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To consider a report by K Critchel, Senior Democratic Services Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council presented the calendar of meetings for 2024/25 and proposed its formal adoption.

 

The recommendation was seconded by D Shortell.

 

It was noted that the Strategic and Technical Planning Committee scheduled for Monday 5 May 2025, fell on a Bank Holiday and this would be reviewed following the meeting under the delegation to the Director of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

Decision

 

1.             That the calendar of meetings for the period May 2024 to May 2025 be approved.

2.             That, to ensure effective political management, authority be delegated to the Director of Legal and Democratic Services to make any necessary changes, in consultation with relevant Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen.

62.

Flexibility to hold virtual Licensing Sub-committees pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Audit & Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council proposed the recommendations of the Audit and Governance Committee, which would enable meetings of the Licensing Sub-committees to be held virtually where appropriate.

 

The recommendation was seconded by B Heatley.

 

In response to points raised, it was noted that this was a 12-month trial and would be subject to review.

 

Decision

 

1.             That Council approve a 12-month trial period to give the Licensing Sub-committee the flexibility to meet virtually when appropriate to do so; and delegates to the Licensing Committee the authority to take a decision on whether this flexibility should continue and be made a permanent arrangement. 

 

2.             That delegation is given to the Director of Legal & Democratic (Monitoring Officer), to approve the virtual meeting protocol after consultation with the Chairman of the Licensing Committee and the Executive Director for Place.

63.

Honorary Alderman of the Dorset Council Area pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Audit & Governance Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of Council set out and proposed the recommendation of the Audit and Governance Committee relating to the criteria and process for awarding the title of Honorary Alderman of the Dorset Council area to former members of Dorset Council. The recommendation was seconded by V Pothecary.

 

A number of councillors addressed the meeting, with views both for and against the proposal.

 

Decision

 

That the Constitution be amended to include the criteria and process for awarding the title of Honorary Alderman of the Dorset Council area to former members of Dorset Council.

Extension of meeting beyond 3 hours

In accordance with the Constitution it was agreed by the Council to continue the meeting beyond 3 hours.

64.

To elect the Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee

Following the resignation of Cllr S Jespersen as Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee to elect a Chairman of the committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

Nominations:-

Cllr B Ridout to be proposed by Cllr S Flower seconded by Cllr M Penfold

 

Cllr J Andrews to be proposed by Cllr N Ireland seconded by Cllr L Fry.

 

 

Minutes:

Following the resignation of the Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee, councillors considered the election of a Chairman of the committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

It was proposed by S Flower seconded by M Penfold that B Ridout be elected Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

It was proposed by N Ireland seconded by L Fry that J Andrews be elected Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

Decision

 

That B Ridout be elected Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

65.

Notice of Motion - Cllr B Quayle pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider the motion “Backing Dorset’s farmers and food producers” proposed by Cllr Byron Quayle.

Minutes:

Full Council received the following Notice of Motion proposed by B Quayle seconded by M Roberts and supported by N Lacey-Clarke, S Christopher, L O’Leary, S Jespersen, B Goringe, J Haynes, P Batstone, M Penfold, J Robinson, C Brooks, J Somper, C Jones, S Flower, A Parry, M Parkes, A Brenton, P Brown and B Ezzard.

 

Motion narrative:-

 

Dorset Council is committed to supporting local farmers and food producers. Britain has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and Dorset Council should engage and work in partnership with our poultry, arable and livestock farmers to ensure their ability to enhance our countryside and with our fishing industry to protect the oceans. We need to strive to support them by being sympathetic to diversification opportunities and promotion of local produce. We will be vocal in opposing excessive regulation by central government, enabling them to prosper. Keeping in mind our commitment to climate change, Dorset Council should, wherever possible, commit to ensuring food provided at all council events is sourced from local suppliers. This includes meat, fish, dairy and plant-based produce. Dorset Council should also encourage people, wherever possible, to shop locally, taking advantage of home-grown, affordable, and nutritious food, both plant and meat based, thus reducing the “food miles” on our plates.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 14.3 (a) the Notice of Motion, upon being proposed and seconded, was debated by Full Council. In proposing the Notice of Motion, N Lacey-Clarke asked that a recorded vote be undertaken. The Notice of Motion and request for a recorded vote was seconded by M Roberts and supported by over ten other councillors, in accordance with the Constitution.

 

As an amendment, it was proposed by K Clayton seconded by B Bawden that the following wording be removed from the wording of the Notice of Motion: ‘We will be vocal in opposing excessive regulation by central government, enabling them to prosper.’

 

The results are shown in the table below.

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was LOST.

 

A vote was taken on the original Notice of Motion.

 

The results are shown in the table below.

 

Decision

 

Dorset Council is committed to supporting local farmers and food producers. Britain has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and Dorset Council should engage and work in partnership with our poultry, arable and livestock farmers to ensure their ability to enhance our countryside and with our fishing industry to protect the oceans. We need to strive to support them by being sympathetic to diversification opportunities and promotion of local produce. We will be vocal in opposing excessive regulation by central government, enabling them to prosper. Keeping in mind our commitment to climate change, Dorset Council should, wherever possible, commit to ensuring food provided at all council events is sourced from local suppliers. This includes meat, fish, dairy and plant-based produce. Dorset Council should also encourage people, wherever possible, to shop locally, taking advantage of home-grown, affordable, and nutritious food, both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Notice of Motion - Amendment Amendment Lost
Notice of Motion - Cllr B Quayle Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 66.

    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.

    67.

    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.

    Appendix 1 - Questions from councillors

    Questions submitted by Councillors

     

    Question 1 – submitted by Cllr P Kimber

    "Why is Portland hospital on DC's Asset Register as a future suitable site for 51 homes when we have been told many times by Health Authorities that it is not to close or be developed? 

     

    Response by Cllr D Walsh

    Local planning authorities have a duty to prepare Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs) which are intended to set out a record of sites that are assessed for their development potential, and owners can nominate sites for us to consider without prejudice to their existing continued use.  The assessment is an important source of evidence to inform plan-making but does not in itself determine whether a site should be allocated for development or grant any planning permission for its development.

     

    Portland Hospital was submitted to us by a planning agent acting on behalf of the owner/operator and we have a duty to report on all sites submitted to us. Therefore it is an identified SHLAA site but the details note it is a community use and that it does not have any planning permission for residential development. The details also have a caveat that its suitability would be subject to finding alternative provision for the healthcare. 

     

    Question 2 submitted by Cllr L O’Leary

    The central Littlemoor estate that is based off the main Louviers road is home a busy route to access hundreds, play facilities, a school, and a very busy shopping centre. Louviers road leads both ends onto Littlemoor road at two major junctions. With the construction of 500 homes to Littlemoors north, and approval granted to additional hundred homes on the south side of Littlemoor extra strain is going to be put onto the these wo junctions that already struggling. I know the cabinet member is aware and we have discussed it in the past but as building is underway will the council commit to action on these congested junctions in the form of mini roundabouts at both ends or other possible measures?

     

    Response by Cllr R Bryan

    The junction capacity modelling undertaken as part of the Local Plan transport base, and separately by the developers, shows the two junctions of Louviers Road with Littlemoor Road continue to work well within their capacity even with the additional traffic generated from the developments. There is no evidence that alternative junction types are required. The development proposals include a new pedestrian and cycle crossing facility across Littlemoor Road to the east of Canberra Road to provide an additional connection to the facilities at the local centre and further south. The site is connected by public transport and with active travel routes to give residents a choice about how they travel.

     

    Mini roundabouts aren’t recommended for where traffic calming is a concern, as drivers often cut across the middle of the roundabout if there’s nothing physically preventing them from doing so.

     

    Question 3 – submitted by Cllr B Bawden

    In spite of a stunning Christmas Tree and elegant, cool blue and silver lights adding to the wonder and delight created by imaginative and enticing window displays in our many independent shops and cafes, Lyme Regis seems like a ghost town at what should be one of our busiest times of the year.

     

    A disappointing trading year thanks to a wet August and successive road closures from early September is now exacerbated by the emergency road closure on 8 November at the bottom of Broad Street. I’d like to thank the Building Control Surveyor and Senior Conservation Officer for their very quick responses and clear communications, as well as the Highways team for reacting to my requests by creating road signage to show all the businesses and car parks are open as usual.

     

    However, as the weeks have rolled on and the large red ‘Road Closed’ signs have clearly deterred day visitors and Christmas shoppers alike, our businesses throughout the town are genuinely worried. Already students have been told there is no Christmas work for them, some owners fear they may need to make staff redundant and others fear closure altogether.

     

    Anecdotally the businesses are being told that the ‘Road Closed’ signs as far away as Beer on the coast road are encouraging shoppers to go to Sidmouth. I can attest to the usual heavy traffic on the A35 going west from Bridport but most of it is not going in to Lyme, reacting instead to the ‘Road Closed’ sign before drivers have time to read ‘Businesses open as usual’.

     

    I would be interested, if this is possible, to see the weekly statistics from the four Dorset Council car parks in Lyme and to discuss whether there is anything better Dorset Council Highways were able to do, along with Devon Highways, to enable drivers to see the yellow information signs showing the town centre businesses and car parks were open as usual before the ‘Road Closed’ and ‘Diversion’ signs put them off continuing into Lyme.

     

    If it isn’t possible for Dorset Council to reconsider my request for an additional two days of free parking this weekend to boost attendance at the Christmas Tree Festival, Santa’s Grotto, the Christmas Craft and Vintage Markets and Santa’s workshop in our restored Town Mill, could we perhaps discuss developing a longer term vision of fewer vehicle movements through Lyme’s town centre so residents, visitors and businesses could enjoy a safer and healthier public realm and learn to appreciate the benefits of a ‘people first’ town centre?

     

    Response by Cllr R Bryan

    I recognise that the Lyme Regis emergency road closure resulting from the structural failure of a private building is having a significant impact on the town. The residents and businesses have my utmost sympathy. I also thank Cllr Bawden for her positive words about how Dorset Council’s officers have responded to this difficult situation.

     

    Taking the individual points raised in turn:

     

    ·       The traffic management signage has been reviewed to ensure it is compliant with legislation and minimises the number of ‘road ahead closed’ boards that are used.

    ·       I will arrange for the car park usage figures to be sent to Cllr Bawden following this meeting.

    ·       In conjunction with their Devon colleagues, I will ask the Highways team to review the placement of the existing yellow information signs showing that the town centre businesses and car parks are open as usual.

    ·       Turning to the wider point about a ‘people first’ town centre: We will be developing a longer-term vision for transport in our town centres to encourage economic growth, healthier environments, and active travel, as part of the creation of a new Local Transport Plan for Dorset.  The public consultation on transport issues and opportunities to inform the development of the Plan starts in January, so we urge everyone to please put their views forward.  In addition, we’ll be working directly with Local Councillors, Towns and Parish Councils to get their views.