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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Link: ATTENDING THE MEETING - if you would like to register to speak you MUST do so by telephoning Democratic Services on 01684 272021 NOT by clicking this link. However if you would like to attend and observe the meeting - please book a space using this link - spaces will be limited due to social distancing rules so you have to book to observe an Agenda Item of interest

Items
No. Item

13.

Announcements

1.    When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

      In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the building.

2.     To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Meeting and/or the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

13.1          The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.

14.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

14.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L A Gerrard, J K Smith and P N Workman.  

15.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

15.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

15.2          There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2021.

Minutes:

16.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2021, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.  

17.

Items from Members of the Public

a)   To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Council Rule of Procedure.12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 16 June 2021).

 

b)   To receive any petitions submitted under the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

Minutes:

17.1          There were no items from members of the public.  

18.

Member Questions properly submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To receive any questions submitted under Rule of Procedure 13. Any items received will be circulated on 21 June 2021.

 

(Any questions must be submitted in writing to Democratic Services by, not later than, 10.00am on 14 June 2021).

Minutes:

18.1          The following question had been received from Councillor Cody to the Lead Member for Built Environment.  The answer was given by the Lead Member for Built Environment, Councillor Gore, but was taken as read without discussion.

                 Specifically referring to Planning Application 21/00039/ENFB - Part Parcel 8917, Tewkesbury Road, Coombe Hill, Gloucester, planning permission was given to this application with the specific condition that ancient hedgerow was not to be removed.  

                 Following the removal of the hedge, the Council’s response that the situation is disappointing - but that it has been satisfactorily appeased by the promise of planting a new hedge - surely misses the point. 

                 Ancient hedges cannot simply be replaced by new - not only do these take years to establish, but the current wildlife is stripped of its habitat and quite often these hedges and trees are not watered or cared for properly and die anyway. In addition to the ecological damage, there is also the immorality and the avoidance of any sanction which set precedent for others to do the same elsewhere. 

                 The approved plans indicate that the eastern hedgerow running parallel with the A38 was due to be altered in order to incorporate the new highway access and its visibility splays and the relocation of the existing north bound bus stop. Altered does not mean removed. 

                 Question:

                 What is the point of planning permission and conditions associated with them if they can just be blatantly ignored? 

                 Answer:

                 Where appropriate, Officers will seek the retention of trees and hedgerows on development sites through the application process although this is not always possible.

                 The approved plans for the development adjacent to the Swan public house indicated that the eastern hedgerow, running parallel with the A38, was due to be altered in order to incorporate the new highway access and its visibility splays and the relocation of the existing north bound bus stop. The County Archaeologist was consulted as part of the application and did not identify any ancient hedgerows on the site.

                 Given the proximity of the pre-existing hedgerow to the carriageway this could only realistically be achieved by removing the hedgerow. A replacement hedgerow will be secured through the approval of the landscaping plan – this new hedge will enjoy protection for at least five years following completion of the development.

                 The clearance of the site was overseen by a qualified ecologist. Officers were advised that vegetation and boundary hedgerows were thoroughly checked but no nesting birds were discovered. Other wildlife checks were also carried out.

18.2          The Mayor invited the Member to ask a supplementary question. The Member indicated that she had no supplementary question on this occasion.

18.3          The following questions had been received from Councillor Munro to the Lead Member for Built Environment.  The answers were given by the Lead Member for Built Environment, Councillor Gore, but were taken as read without discussion.

                 Question 1:

                 At Council in January 2020, an assurance was given that the planning Scheme of Delegation would be reviewed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Consideration of a petition requesting that the Council Instigates a full transparent review of planning and water management policy for the area of Ash Lane and Down Hatherley Lane in Down Hatherley. pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To consider the details of a petition and request Officers to consider the planning issues raised by the Petition as part of the review of the Joint Core Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1           The Mayor welcomed the representative of the petitioner and invited her to present the petition to the Council. She thanked Members for the opportunity to speak. She indicated that Tewkesbury Borough Council promised good quality of life for all residents, however, the residents of Ash Lane and Down Hatherley Lane felt the development taking place in the area showed no consideration for their quality of life, which was in serious jeopardy, and they were looking to the Council to address that and help them to continue to live in a safe and sustainable neighbourhood. The signatories to the petition felt that developers were being allowed to treat the community with disrespect and avoid having to invest in the infrastructure to ensure development was fit for purpose or that the area was safe from flooding and drainage problems.

19.2           She highlighted three issues of concern. Firstly, development was being approved in a piecemeal way which allowed developers to avoid contributing to overall infrastructure. The Regulation 2 stage process avoided the need to consider the infrastructure impacts that developments of ten or more dwellings would require and she questioned what the strategic plan was to govern that situation as it ran counter to the Down Hatherley Neighbourhood Development Plan and was not good for the community. Secondly, she questioned why the usage of a private road, which residents paid for, had not been included in the planning process – in fact residents had been told they were not a consideration for planning applications and she wondered how the Council could develop an approach which acted in the collective interest rather than ignoring residents. Lastly, she felt flooding concerns were being ignored. Last winter, Ash Lane had suffered more from flooding and backed up sewers than ever before as had Down Hatherley Lane. This all coincided with local development and would be exacerbated as the effects of climate change continued. There was evidence in the Twigworth and Down Hatherley Flood Watch Group report which spelt that out and it was suggested that needed to be reflected in any plans for the area. She asked that an Officer carry out investigations and liaise with local residents and the Parish Council, which could be arranged through the petition organiser, to look into all immediate issues and pick up the specific issues highlighted in the second petition which was being considered by the Council to address flooding risks and, in the meantime, to agree an interim policy restricting further approvals. She felt the Council needed to find a means of restricting further development so that quality of life, rather than greed, was placed at the top of the agenda.

19.3           The Head of Development Services thanked the petitioners for highlighting the issues. In presenting her report, she explained that the Council had a Joint Core Strategy and emerging Local Plan. It had a duty to consider planning applications so could not refuse to deal with them. Concern had been expressed by Ash Lane residents in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Consideration of a petition requesting that the Council Reduce flooding, examine flood risk in detail before allocating more development sites pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider the details of a petition and request that Officers ensure the issues raised within it are considered as part of the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment prepared in connection with the review of the Joint Core Strategy which will inform the identification of strategic site allocations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1           The Mayor welcomed the representative of the petitioner to present to the Council.  

20.2           The representative explained that the petition was put together in the communities and collected the required number of signatures to force a Council debate almost immediately which was impressive during lockdown. He knew the Council was well aware of the flooding specifics and strength of feeling in the community but the petition reflected concerns the community had regarding shortfalls due to the limitations of the Environment Agency, the impact of climate change and the lack of cohesive protections in the Inspector’s modified JCS piecemeal approach and there was now flooding to dwellings which had not flooded in 2007. The representative felt the Council not only owed a duty of care to residents but also to those who may be affected in the future if the Council did nothing or put off doing something. By adopting the petition, and agreeing to commission a cumulative food risk assessment, it not only supported affected residents but also demonstrated the Council’s commitment to providing protection to all residents in the Borough. Paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) stated that “strategic policies should be informed by a strategic flood risk assessment and should manage flood risk from all sources” and government guidance on “how to prepare a strategic flood risk assessment” stated that Councils may need to review a strategic flood risk assessment when there were changes to the predicted impacts of climate change on flood risk, the forecasts had changed or there were changes to the Local Plan, spatial development strategy or relevant local development documents. In addition, even at the lowest level 1 strategic flood risk assessment should also include a supporting report with information on the cumulative impacts of development, expected effects of climate change, opportunities to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding and recommendations on how to address flood risk in development; it also stated that “you may need to commission new or updated modelling if climate change allowance (predicted effects of climate) in the model was not in line with current climate change allowances” and those were now recognised as higher than those at the time of the original JCS. JCS policy INF2 stated that “development proposals must avoid areas at risk of flooding, in accordance with a risk-based sequential approach. Proposals must not increase the level of risk to the safety of occupiers of a site, the local community or the wider environment either on the site or elsewhere. For sites of strategic scale, the cumulative impact of the proposed development on flood risk in relation to existing settlements, communities or allocated sites must be assessed and effectively mitigated”. The petition raised points that would support the Council in achieving that and should contribute towards alleviating some of the problems currently being seen. One example was the Innsworth A40 gateway project where a watercourse was blocked during construction and was working with a lack of drainage consent and monitoring of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Recommendations from Executive Committee

The Council is asked to consider and determine recommendations of a policy nature arising from the Executive Committee as follows:- 

21a

Treasury and Capital Management pdf icon PDF 74 KB

At its meeting on 3 March 2021 the Executive Committee considered a range of policies, strategies and statements in respect of the Council’s treasury and capital management and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the following be ADOPTED:

·         The Capital Strategy 2021/22.

·         The Investment Strategy 2021/22.

·         The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2021/22.

·         The Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22.

·         The Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy 2021/22. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1          At its meeting on 3 March 2021, the Executive Committee had considered a range of policies, strategies and statements in respect of the Council’s treasury and capital management. It had recommended to Council the adoption of the Capital Strategy 2021/22; the Investment Strategy 2021/22; the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2021/22; the Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22; and the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy 2021/22.  

21.2          The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 45-77.

21.3          The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation and the Vice-Chair seconded it.  

21.4          A Member noted that the Council was in extremely difficult times financially and she questioned whether there were any plans for Member seminars in 2022/23 to help Members understand the specific detail of the policies. The Head of Finance and Asset Management agreed that many of the financial reports the Council had to make were very complicated and he was happy to provide Members with specific training if they needed it, as well as providing information sessions for all Members as necessary. Another Member agreed that approach would be helpful as Councillors could never be too informed. In respect of Page No. 47, Paragraph 2.5, the Member advised that the Treasury Management Strategy talked about investment income and interest being higher than income. He understood the Council was gaining a positive return on investment income so asked for clarification. In response, the Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that this referred to the money invested from cash balances and the money borrowed from capital investments; he was happy to provide training on elements like that as well should Members so wish.

21.5          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the following be ADOPTED:

·      The Capital Strategy 2021/22.

·      The Investment Strategy 2021/22.

·      The Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2021/22.

·      The Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22.

·      The Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy 2021/22.

22.

Annual State of the Borough Report pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To receive the annual ‘State of the Borough’ report and receive a verbal update from the Leader of the Council.  

Minutes:

22.1           The Leader of the Council was invited to make his State of the Borough presentation which covered the following key points:

·         Our COVID response - the Council had responded very quickly and efficiently to the demands of the pandemic on its community – the Leader of the Council felt the structure put in place by the Council had been second to none and he thanked all Officers involved for their hard work in delivering it; the Council had supported local businesses to gain access to government COVID-19 support grants – with more than £30 million awarded to over 1,500 local businesses since March 2020; businesses had been supported throughout the pandemic through the Growth Hub – including around 100 webinars to more than 360 attendees – topics included online marketing, video development, social media and goal setting; the Council had provided support to reopen the high streets and retail centres across the Borough through a range of promotion activity funded by the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund; the Council had worked with community groups to provide a winter grant scheme which had helped 556 vulnerable families struggling to pay for food, essential supplies and fuel costs; a COVID-19 microsite had been built and maintained so information was easier to access and digest; the countywide response and recovery to homelessness had been actively supported – the Leader of the Council explained that the country had a huge housing problem and the Council was responsible for making strategic plans and providing housing for those that needed it - there were two priorities in the Council Plan that aimed to address that; and delivery of 81 virtual Committees and Member Working Groups. 

·         Key achievements included – the Tewkesbury Garden Town was awarded £2.4 million of funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) – the Leader of the Council advised that he could not stress enough how significant this was and the support and commitment it showed from the government to ensure the Council achieved its ambitions; a crucial part of the infrastructure needed for Tewkesbury’s emerging Garden Town, a bridge over the railway at Ashchurch and Northway, had been permitted by the Planning Committee; building on the Council’s longstanding commitment of improving sustainability through its Clean and Green Environment Portfolio, it had one of the best recycling rates and had approved a climate change and carbon reduction action plan with the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030; the Garden Waste Club now had more than 18,500 customers enabling them to dispose of their garden waste in a sustainable way; a new long term lease for Cleeve Hill Golf Club was agreed with Cotswold Hub Co with the facilities and area set to be completely transformed – the Leader of the Council advised that this had responded to a very difficult problem when the previous organisation had pulled out he expressed how pleased he was at the way the situation had turned around and he thanked the Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Annual Overview and Scrutiny Committee Report pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive the annual report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

23.1          Attention was drawn to the report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 89-117, which attached the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s annual report for 2020/21. Members were asked to approve the report.

23.2          The Mayor invited the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to present the report.  Members were advised that it would be remiss not to mention the challenging environment of working virtually over the last year and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chair thanked the Officers from the Democratic Services and ICT teams for ensuring the meetings had gone as smoothly as possible. In terms of his Committee, the Chair indicated that it had continued to work effectively despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 and had continued to review the delivery of the Council Plan and the new COVID-19 Recovery Plan. It had also considered updated strategies for Customer Care and Communications as well as received progress reports on key strategies such as Economic Development and Tourism, Housing and Workforce Development. The Council had also entrusted the Committee to scrutinise and make recommendations on two motions. The Chair advised that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had a comprehensive work programme for 2021/22 and that had already been added to by the Committee requesting oversight of the action plan which would come from the review of the planning service. He thanked everyone involved with scrutiny for their involvement and hard work in the process.

23.3          A Member questioned when the motion on the local electricity bill would be brought back to Council and the Chief Executive confirmed that it had been dealt with by the Committee following a motion to Council and would therefore not be brought back to the Council.

23.4          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the annual Overview and Scrutiny report be NOTED.

                  

24.

COVID-19 Emergency Decision Taken under Urgency Powers in Accordance with Part 3 of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To note the urgent decision taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

24.1          The report of the Chief Executive, circulated at Pages No. 118-122, advised Members of a decision which had been taken by the Chief Executive under the urgency powers set out in Part 3 of the Constitution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members were asked to note the decision taken in compliance with the requirements of the Constitution.  

24.2          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           That the decision taken by the Chief Executive, in consultation                                   with the appropriate Lead Member, as set out in the Appendix                             to the report be NOTED.

25.

Notice of Motion: Support of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill - PLEASE NOTE THIS ITEM HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM THE AGENDA

The following Motion will be proposed by Councillor Cody and seconded by Councillor Jordan:

 

Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by over 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise—this far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity.

Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040. Therefore, the current UK target of net zero by 2050 is not sufficient. It is too little too late.

The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

Council notes that:

 

1. Many local authorities are playing an important role in the UK taking action to achieve net zero.

 

2. There is a Bill before Parliament — the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the Climate and Ecology Bill)— according to which the UK Government must develop an emergency strategy that: 

 

i.   requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with at least a 66% chance of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures; this corresponds to the most ambitious global mitigation pathway available according to the 2018 IPCC 1.5C Report.

 

ii. ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for, including international aviation and passenger shipping; 

 

iii. ensures that steps to mitigate emissions do not damage ecosystems, food and water availability, and human health;

 

iv. ensures that steps taken to increase the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations and ecosystems follow the mitigation and conservation hierarchy – avoid, minimise, restore and offset;

 

v. restores and expands natural ecosystems and enhances the management of cultivated ecosystems to protect and enhance biodiversity, ecological processes and ecosystem service provision, including optimising the state of resilient carbon sinks;

 

vi. includes measures to protect, restore and enhance ecosystems in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, where activity is generated from within the United Kingdom that is harmful to ecosystems;

 

vii. ensures an end to exploration, extraction, export and import of fossil fuels by the United Kingdom as rapidly as possible; and

 

viii. sets up an independent citizens’ assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with the UK Parliament and UK Government and help develop the emergency strategy. 

 

Council therefore resolves to: 

 

1. Support  ...  view the full agenda text for item 25.

Minutes:

25.1          Members were advised that the proposer of the Motion had withdrawn it.  

26.

Separate Business

The Chair will move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

26.1          The Mayor proposed, and it was  

                 RESOLVED           That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act                         1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following                            items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of                                 exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the                              Act.   

27.

Review of Temporary Management Arrangements

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

 

To consider the Council’s temporary management arrangements.

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

27.1          Members considered the Council’s temporary management arrangements and agreed the proposed senior management arrangements to be established on a permanent basis.