Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - Tuesday, 13th February, 2024 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

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

Media

Items
No. Item

68.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2023.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2023 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

69.

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.

 

Minutes:

The Director, Legal and Democratic and Monitoring Officer, confirmed that the following members had declared an interest in item 12 and would leave the room and not take part in that item:

 

Cllrs: Rod Atkins, Pauline Batstone, Toni Coombs, Spencer Flower, Robin Legg, Jon Orrell, Mike Parkes, Gary Suttle, Gill Taylor, William Trite and Sarah Williams.

 

Cllrs: Shane Bartlett, Tim Cook and Molly Rennie declared an interest in item 10 as they had relatives who worked for the Council.

 

70.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman of Council.

Minutes:

Following the announcement this week from the Palace, the Chairman had sent best wishes on behalf of Dorset Council to the King for a speedy recovery. 

Vivienne Broadhurst, Executive Director People and Adults was leaving the Council and the Chairman thanked her for her leadership, resilience, and hard work.

 

71.

Public Participation pdf icon PDF 138 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 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 Thursday 8th February 2024. 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.

      

 

Minutes:

There were four questions received from members of the public. A copy of the questions and the responses are attached at Appendix 1 to the minutes.

 

72.

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:

Council Procedure Rules

 

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations

73.

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 presented his 19th leaders bulletin, possibly being the last Full Council before the 2nd May elections.

 

He reflected on the last 5 years of the Council and the ethos of cross-party working which had been successful.  His shortlisting for the Local Government Information Unit’s Council Leader of the Year award was testament to the ambition, outcomes and achievements of the whole Council.

 

He highlighted the constant lobbying for a better deal for Dorset funding and

DEFRA had announced Dorset Council to be the number one unitary authority in the country for waste re-cycling.

A huge amount of work had been done for the Local Plan, transformation had been embraced and he thanked everyone for all the work done on behalf of the people of Dorset.

 

In response to member questions the Leader advised that Simon Hoare one of the local North Dorset MPs had been instrumental in achieving the extra £3.9m funding in the recent Government settlement.

74.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  The deadline for receipt of questions is 8.30am on Thursday 8th February 2024.

Minutes:

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

75.

Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the Budget recommendations from Cabinet.

 

Appendix 2 will be published as a supplement to this agenda as soon as it becomes available.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Finance, Commercial & Capital Strategy Portfolio Holder presented the Budget strategy and medium-term financial plan (MTFP).

A copy of his speech is attached at appendix 3 to these minutes.

 

The Chairman invited the Group Leaders to present their replies to the budget proposals.

 

Cllrs Ireland, Sutton and Hughes presented their budget speeches which are attached at appendix 4 to these minutes.

 

The Finance, Commercial & Capital Strategy Portfolio Holder responded to the comments from the Group Leaders.

 

Cllr B Heatley proposed, Cllr C Sutton seconded the following amendment.

 

“To remove from the budget reliance on savings from the Our Future Council programme of £8.1m, and to replace this with £8.1m funding from reserves.

 

Motion

 

In the Revenue Budget summarised in Appendix 1 in the Addendum, amend the line entitled General Funding under Central Finance by replacing the single line.

 

General funding

5473

(167)

(697)

(32516)

(8122)

(36030)

 

by the two lines.

 

General funding

5473

(167)

(697)

(32516)

0

(27908)

Movement to and from reserves

0

0

0

0

(8122)

(8122)

 

 and make any consequential amendments required to the other tables in Appendix 1.”

 

The Leader responded to the amendment attached as appendix 5.

 

Members debated the amendment as proposed, comments included:

 

Concerns that it was unknown how the 8.1m savings would be made, however it was standard for there to be assumed savings within all the budgets.  Additionally, since Dorset Council was formed savings had been made historically, each year through efficiencies. 

 

In accordance with procedure rule 19.6 a recorded vote was taken.

 

Those who voted in favour of the amendment: Cllrs: B Bawden, A Brenton, A Canning, K Clayton, T Cook, R Crabb, D Gray, B Heatley, R Holloway, R Hope, R Hughes, P Kimber, H Legg, R Legg, D Morgan, J Orrell, M Rennie, A Starr, C Sutton, R Tarr, D Tooke and K Wheller.

 

 

 

Those who voted against the amendment: Cllrs: R Adkins, A Alford, J Andrews, M Barron, S Bartlett, P Batstone, L Beddow, D Beer, R Biggs, D Bolwell, C Brooks, R Bryan, T Coombs, S Cristopher, J Dunseith, S Flower, S Gibson, P Harrison, J Haynes, N Ireland, S Jespersen, S Jones, C Jones, A Kerby, N Lacey-Clarke, C Lugg, L O’Leary, E Parker, M Parkes, A Parry, M Penfold, B Pipe, V Pothecary, B Quale, B Ridout, M Roberts, D Shortell, J Somper, G Suttle D Taylor, W Trite, D Walsh, J Worth, and S Williams.

 

Those who abstained: Cllr B Goringe.

 

Following a recorded vote, 22 for,44 against and 1 abstention the amendment was LOST.

 

Members debated the original proposal and the Leader summed up prior to going to the vote.  Attached at appendix 6.

 

Proposed by Cllr G Suttle, seconded by Cllr S Flower

 

In accordance with procedure rule 19.6 a recorded vote was taken.

 

Those who voted in favour of the recommendations: Cllrs: R Adkins, A Alford, J Andrews, M Barron, S Bartlett, P Batstone, B Bawden, L Beddow, D Beer, A Brenton, C Brooks, R Bryan, S Christopher, T Cook,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Budget Strategy and Medium Team Financial Plan Amendment Lost
Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 76.

    Pay Policy Statement 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

    To consider a report by N Adam, HR Service Manager.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cllrs: S Bartlett, T Cook and M Rennie had declared an interest in this item, they left the meeting and did not take part in the debate or vote.

     

    The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Transformation presented the Pay Policy Statement 2024/25.

     

    In the absence of comments or questions, the Chairman went straight to the vote.

     

    Proposed by Cllr J Haynes, seconded by Cllr S Flower.

     

    Resolved:

     

    (i)             That the provisions of the Localism Act and content of the Pay Policy Statement for the 2024/25 financial year were noted.

    (ii)            That the Pay Policy Statement for 2024/25 was approved.

     

    77.

    Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 118 KB

    To consider a Notice of Motion proposed by Cllr N Ireland.

    Minutes:

    Full Council received the following Notice of Motion: Proposed by Cllr N Ireland, seconded by Cllr S Jones and supported by: Cllrs M Rennie, L Fry, D Gray, P Kimber, B Ezzard, S Williams, C Sutton, K Wheller, D Morgan, D Tooke, P Barrow, D Bolwell, A Canning, M Roe, R Holloway, G Taylor, S Jones, R Legg, R Crabb, B Bawden  

     

    Motion Narrative and Action Required

    “Council notes that: 

    • The two-child limit, introduced by the Conservative Government in 2017, restricts support in Universal Credit and tax credits to two children in a family. 
    • Analysis by the Child Poverty Action Group shows that 900,000 children living in poverty in England do not currently qualify for free school meals because the Conservative Government introduced an arbitrary £7,400 household income threshold in 2018.
    • A new report by the Commons Education Select Committee warns mental health problems and cost-of-living pressures on families are among the complex reasons for increased absenteeism. 
    • Scrapping the two-child limit is the most cost-effective way to reduce child poverty. It would lift 250,000 children out of poverty and mean 850,000 children are in less deep poverty. 

    Council resolves to: 

    • Call on the UK Government to scrap the two-child benefit cap.
    • Ask the Council’s Chief Executive to write to Members of Parliament representing Dorset Council, expressing the Council’s support for the scrapping of the two-child benefit cap.”

     

    Cllr L O’Leary proposed, Cllr A Kerby seconded the following amendment.

     

    “Obviously the leader of the opposition brining a motion on a policy in Place for 7 years the last likely meeting before an election isn't for political reasons and instead brought forward to benefit the lowest earning in society so i would like to amend it.

    Low-income families have been hit hard by inflation and a cost of living crisis. Low paid workers often face the brunt of this via our unfair and regressive tax system.

    Therefore this council calls on the government to

    Raise the basic rate of income tax threshold to from £12,571 to £20,000 taking millions of the lowest paid working people in this country out of tax all together especially has inflation has pushed more and more people into income tax. This would help push growth in the economy and make work pay"

     

    On a point of order the amendment was not relevant to the original motion and was over-ruled by the Chairman.

     

    Members debated the original motion and commented on the effect of malnourishment on children and although in agreement with the sentiment there were concerns of the knock-on effects and implications regarding where the finances would be sourced.

     

    Generally, members were supportive of the motion and although sceptical that it would not go anywhere, agreed that support was needed by many households, not just those with children but working adults on a low income also.

     

    The Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communities felt that this was a debate that the Council had no power over.  There was a lot of excellent work going on in Dorset  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

    78.

    Council Tax Premiums on Second Homes and Empty Properties pdf icon PDF 225 KB

    To receive a report from K Hale, Head of Revenue and Benefits.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cllrs: Pauline Batstone, Toni Coombs, Spencer Flower, Robin Legg, Jon Orrell, Mike Parkes, Gary Suttle, William Trite and Sarah Williams had declared an interest in this item, they left the meeting at 21:15 and did not participate in the item.

     

    The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Transformation presented the report to consider the potential power to levy Council Tax Premiums, there was a one-word amendment to 7.1 in the policy to read: “Any amount of premium received will be part of the Council’s Collection Fund and will be shared between the Council and ALL Precepting authorities in line with their share of the Council Tax.”

     

    Cllr N Ireland proposed and Cllr R Hope seconded the following amendment.

     

    Delete item 4.

     

    Replace with …

    4.

    4.1           40% of the additional income from the council tax on second homes in Dorset is allocated to the Housing budget annually.

    4.2           Any unused or unallocated funds from this budget are transferred to Housing reserves at the end of the financial year and ring-fenced for new supply.

    4.3           Any income clearly generated from this budget to be transferred to Housing reserves.

    4.4           The budget to be used for the following purposes:

    ·     In support of new build, on site, affordable housing from s106 agreements. These properties should be viable however there are occasions when they are not and s106 off site contributions are required to deliver them. In the absence of sufficient off site s106 funding, this budget may be used.

    ·     To spot purchase properties as required for temporary accommodation for homeless residents.

    ·     To be available for matched funding for government grants, as and when they become available, to increase the amount of affordable housing in Dorset.

    ·     To be used in support of increasing the amount of affordable homes owned by Dorset Council with due regard to the need for a Housing Revenue Account.

    4.5           Delegation to officers for spend of <=£200K. Spend in excess £200K to be authorised with the agreement of the relevant portfolio holder, Head of Housing and s151 officer.

     

    Members debated the amendment and while all in agreement that there was a requirement for more affordable housing in Dorset there were some concerns that the council was hypothecating part of its budget.  The amendment could unfairly commit a new council following the May elections and the amount of revenue from the scheme could not be predicted.

     

    On being put to the vote the amendment was CARRIED. 

     

    Proposed By Cllr S Jespersen, seconded by Cllr L O’Leary 

     

    Decision: In accordance with procedural rule 8.1 a vote was taken, the committee agreed to exceed the 3-hour meeting time limit.

     

    Members voted on the substantive motion.

     

    Proposed by Cllr J Haynes, seconded by Cllr M Roberts

     

    Resolved:

     

    1.      That from 1 April 2025 a 100% Council Tax premium would apply to all dwellings occupied periodically (second homes) other than those included as exceptions.

     

    2.      That from 1 April 2024 the 100% Council Tax premium for properties which have been empty and unfurnished would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

    79.

    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.

    80.

    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.

    Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

    Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

    Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

    Appendix 4 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

    Appendix 5 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    Appendix 6 pdf icon PDF 109 KB