The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Full Council – 11 September 2019
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICHESTER HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, THE COUNCIL HOUSE, NORTH STREET, CHICHESTER ON WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2019 AT 6.00PM
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
- Councillor Apel
- Councillor Barrie
- Councillor Bell
- Councillor Bowden
- Councillor Carter
- Councillor Gaskin
- Councillor Gershater
- Councillor C Hughes
- Councillor K Hughes
- Councillor Joy
- Councillor Norrell
- Councillor Scicluna
- Councillor Sharp
- West Sussex Councillors Fitzjohn and Sharp
- The Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- Councillor Dignum
- Councillor Harry
- Councillor Lishman
- West Sussex Councillor Hunt
- Town Clerk
- Deputy Town Clerk (Responsible Finance Officer)
- Mayor’s Chaplain
- Member Services Support Officer
29. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
As recorded above
30. MINUTES OF COUNCIL
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of Council held on 19 June 2019 having been printed and circulated be approved, adopted and signed as a correct record with the following amendments:
(i) That Councillor Bowden be recorded as present
(ii) Minute 16(c) to read as follows: It was RESOLVED “that the original motion put” by Councillor Scicluna, Chairman of the Committee, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019 be approved an adopted excluding the RECOMMENDATIONS in Minute 9,11,12,13 and 16 which would be discussed separately.
Further RESOLVED that the minutes of the Special Council Meeting held on 3 July 2019 and the Extraordinary Meeting of Council held on 15 July having been printed and circulated be approved, adopted and signed as a correct record.
31. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Deputy Mayor sent best wishes for a full recovery on behalf of the City Council to Councillor Dignum following his recent heart surgery.
Councillors were reminded to let Officers know if they would be attending the Civic Procession and Mass on Sunday 13th October 2019.
The Deputy Mayor further reminded Councillors about the presentation by the Chairman of Chichester BID, Colin Hicks, on Monday 14th October at 5.30pm. Councillors were encouraged to attend what should be a useful update on the activites of Chichester BID.
The Council was advised that the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress would be attending a memorial service for Colonel Roderick Arnold who was the President of the Royal Sussex Regimental Association. The service will take place on 20th September at the Church of St John the Baptist in Boldre in the New Forest.
32. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
There were no questions from members of the public being residents of the City pursuant to Standing Order 27.
33. MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
The Deputy Mayor advised Councillors that, due to the need for Councillor Apel to leave early, the Minutes for both Community Affairs meetings would be proposed and dealt with consecutively.
(a) Community Affairs Committee
It was moved by Councillor Apel that the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 June 2019 be approved and adopted.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Apel, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 June 2019, be approved and adopted.
(d) Community Affairs Committee
It was moved by Councillor Apel that the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019 be approved and adopted excluding the Recommendation in minute 29 (see Post meeting note below) which would be dealt with separately.
Councillor Bowden commented on Minute 25 and asked for clarification on what extra resource would be required to manage any changes to the current planting schemes and whether there was scope in the budget to make this resource available.
The Town Clerk advised that the current Property Team was fully employed with the City Council’s current property and maintenance responsibilities. The Councillors were further advised that the previous Administration had been made aware that any further additions to the property and maintenance portfolio would require a revisit to the current resourcing with a view to maintaining the high standards the team is achieving.
Councillor Scicluna commented on Minute 23(c), informing Councillors that the possibility of a formal Twinning link with Valletta was under very active discussion.
Minute 30 – Friendship link with Speyer, Germany
(Post meeting note – Agenda item 29 incorrectly numbered – corrected to item 30 for the purposes of the Minutes)
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council that a friendship link with Speyer, Germany, be progressed.
There was a discussion about the merits of pursuing a friendship link with several Councillors expressing strong support, especially in light of the existing friendship links between Speyer, Chartres and Ravenna.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Apel, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019, be approved and adopted.
(b) Finance Committee
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019 be approved and adopted.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Scicluna, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019, be approved and adopted.
(c) Planning and Conservation Committee
It was moved by Councillor Joy that the Minutes of the meetings held on 26 June 2019, 24 July 2019 and 21 August 2019 be approved and adopted.
Councillor Bowden commented on the Minutes of the meeting of 26 June 2019 stating that he had been present at the meeting as had been noted in the minutes of 24 July 2019; and that he had been assured that the previous minutes would be corrected.
The Town Clerk clarified that it was the responsibility of Committees to note the accuracy of and corrections to meeting minutes, not the Full Council. The correction in question having been made in the Planning and Conservation Committee Minutes of the 24 July 2019.
Councillor Joy updated Councillors that, under Minute 46 that amendments to application CC/19/01727/FUL regarding the D2 use had been received and the possible objection was withdrawn.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Joy, that the Minutes of the meetings held on 26 June 2019, 24 July 2019 and 21 August 2019, be approved and adopted.
Councillor Apel and the Mayor’s Chaplain left the meeting
(e) Finance Committee
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna that the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019 be approved and adopted.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Scicluna, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2019, be approved and adopted.
Councillor Scicluna left the meeting
34. NOTICES OF MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR SHARP
Councillor Sharp gave an overview of the Notices of Motion being presented to Council (see attached).
There was a lengthy discussion with several Councillors expressing strong support and putting forward ideas. Councillor Gershater mentioned urban beekeeping as a possibility.
Councillor Bowden suggested to Councillors that the wording of Measure five (iii) should be strengthened to state that locally grown flowers would be used rather than just wherever possible.
Councillor Norrell advised that, under Measure Four (green bus stops), she had begun discussions with Chichester Vision about the provision of new green bus stops and the possibility of retrospective conversion of existing bus stops to green rooves.
Councillor Gaskin gave strong support to the Motions and emphasised that it was important that the principles embedded in the document should be very closely incorporated in to upcoming large projects with the potential for high environmental impact such as the Southern Gateway redevelopment.
In accordance with Standing Orders the Notices of Motion were deferred as follows:
- Measure number 1: Planning and Conversation Committee
- Measure number 2: Property Sub-Committee
- Measure number 3: Property Sub-Committee
- Measure number 4: Property Sub-Committee
- Measure number 5: Community Affairs Committee
- Motion about electricity suppliers: Property Sub-Committee
Councillor Oakley left the meeting
35. REPORTS OF REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES
There were no reports from Representatives on Outside Bodies
36. WARD REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS
There were no Ward reports from Chichester City Council Councillors.
37. REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER DISTRICT AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL’S WARD MEMBERS
West Sussex County Council Councillor Fitzjohn updated Councillors on matters in the Chichester East Ward on behalf of Councillor Oakley who represents that Ward on West Sussex County Council.
Councillors were advised that the Charles Avenue Hub would be opening shortly. Also, work on the Westhampnett Junction would be completed soon and works to raise kerbs to prevent flooding in the Oving Road area were nearing completion. In addition, the new bus shelter in Swanfield would be considered by the City Council in October.
Councillors were further informed that the new traffic lights in Florence Road would be switched on by the end of the month (September) and that delays to this work had been caused by issues with underground cables.
Councillor Fitzjohn then responded to an earlier discussion under the Notices of Motion regarding the cost of planting new trees which had been stated as being charged by West Sussex County Council at a rate of £150 per tree. Councillors were advised that this figure covered the cost of the licence to plant, the tree and the planting of the tree rather than just the licence to plant the tree.
The issue of the Chichester Vision for the City Centre was then raised and Councillor Fitzjohn assured Councillors that all interested bodies were working together on the Vision, including the possibility of planting further trees, the use of better surfaces for the pedestrian areas and the importance of feasibility studies and surveys to map underlying structures and long forgotten services prior to any work being undertaken.
Councillor Fitzjohn advised Councillors that applications for Government grants aimed at revitalising large towns were in the process of being submitted.
Councillor Bell then raised the issue of the most recently installed pedestrian crossing next to the Giggling Squid restaurant on the junction of St Pancras and The Hornet. He expressed concerns about the increase in congestion that the positioning of this crossing had caused and asked whether there was any possibility of this crossing being removed or repositioned.
Councillor Fitzjohn advised that, in the short term, this would not be possible. He advised that the traffic lights had been incorrectly positioned and that, due to the proximity with the Market Road crossing, it was necessary to synchronise both sets of lights, causing all traffic to be stopped for approximately 30 seconds every minute.It was further advised that, as a planning consent had expired, it was now feasible to either remove the pedestrian crossing or replace it with a Zebra crossing. Councillor Fitzjohn assured Councillors that he was working with other West Sussex County Council Cabinet Members and Officers to progress this change to the crossing as well as advising that a petition of residents, drivers and businesses was being put together to apply pressure for the crossing change.
Councillor Bowden, in his capacity as a Councillor on Chichester District Council’s Planning Committee, informed Councillors that the Planning decision regarding the first phase housing on the Whitehouse Farm development had been deferred for various environmental reasons including insufficient reference to the Chichester District Council’s Climate Emergency declaration.
Councillors were advised that Chichester District Council Planning Officers had arranged a Public Members briefing with the Developers, to be held in The Assembly Room, The Council House, on the morning of Monday 30 September. It was not known at this time whether this was to be open to the general public.
There were no questions from Members of Council pursuant to Standing Order 24.
39. COMMON SEAL
RESOLVED that the Common Seal be affixed to any documents necessary to give effect to the resolutions passed at this meeting.
The meeting closed at 7.13pm
NOTICE OF MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR SARAH SHARP
Measure Number One – Trees
This Council notes:
The importance of trees in slowing the pace of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air, as well as providing a habitat for wildlife.
The contribution trees make to the environment in our towns including shading and cooling pollution and noise mitigation, as well speeding up floodwater drainage and improving the quality of our street scene.
This Council further notes:
- The Government’s pledge in 2018 to plant 11 million new trees by 2050, including in towns and urban areas, and the appointment of a national Tree Champion with a remit to make this happen.
In support of the national campaign to increase the number of trees being planted, particularly in our towns, this Council therefore:
(i) Calls for a review of current policies on, and attitude towards, the planting of trees in our urban area with a view to introducing a more proactive policy, which looks to increase the number and regularity of trees planted in our city and residential streets and parks and other open spaces;
(ii) Calls for a new strategy to include providing opportunities to educate children in understanding the benefits of trees and to get involved in tree planting;
(iii) Recommends closer partnership working with our County and District Councils, and landowners seeking sites for new tree planting
(iv) Recommends an urgent Tree Summit bringing together the City Council, District Council and County Council, BID and the Tree Wardens and members of the public to work out how to plant more trees on our city and residential streets and in our parks and other open spaces in order to provide more shade for future residents due to rising temperatures due to climate change, to provide more protection from pollution and improve air quality, to reduce our carbon footprint, and lastly to promote trees for improving our mental health and well being
(v) Recommends that our Council takes advantage of any outside funding to assist with costs including the Woodland Trust that enable residents and community groups to fund the planting and future maintenance of trees.
Measure Number Two – Wildflowers to support pollinators
The City Council is responsible for various open spaces for example Litten Gardens, St Martin’s Garden, St Bartholomew’s Church, St Paul’s Church.
Chichester City Council owns and manages a total of 14.5 acres of allotment land spread over seven sites within the City.
The way in which the Property Team manage this land which is under our control as City Council assets has an impact on wildlife and amenity .
Being cut several times each year means grass is cut before many wildflower plants have had a chance to flower. Wildflowers need to be available for insects when in flower and to be left long enough to have seeded before being cut. Cutting regimes should be timed to allow wildflower areas to self-perpetuate and improve the wildlife value of the land.
We recommend to the City Council that we:
(i) Review and reduce the timing and frequency of grass cutting across the City to increase biodiversity and manage some of our land as wildlife habitats, and work with partners to produce a pollinator action plan to guide cutting contracts. When managed correctly grass can support remarkable, diverse collections of species. The good news is that good management often involves simply doing less which saves money, allowing the space to develop and plants to set seed before cutting takes place.
(ii) Communicate to residents the reasons for the change of management and the importance of land as wildlife habitats especially because meadows and other species-rich grasslands now cover less than 1% of the UK.
Measure Number Three – Pesticide Free City
We note that:
(i) The Property Team has already terminated its using of Glyphosate based weedkillers and is experimenting with natural weedkillers.
(ii) We would like to congratulate the Property Manager on limiting the use of dangerous chemicals which could endanger the health of the City Council employees and the wider public.
(iii) We recommend to the Council that the Property Manager coordinates with his County and District Colleagues to reduce the use of pesticides in the city more widely.
(iv) We recommend the City Council joining the Pesticide Free Towns Network for a healthier environment for our citizens.
The Network of Pesticide Free Towns envisions a world where the use of pesticides is minimized and replaced with sustainable alternatives, hence, the health of citizens and the environment is safeguarded, biodiversity is enhanced and an improved quality of life is achieved.
To achieve this vision, we would encourage Chichester City Council to pledge to continue to adhere to appropriate policies and measures to ensure the following objective(s) are reached:
- Ban the use of herbicides in public areas under city’s control
- Ban the use of all pesticides in public areas under city’s control
- Help to extend the ban of pesticides to private areas with public access and agricultural areas next to where citizens live
- Step up and support the greening efforts towards local biodiversity enhancement already being championed by Transition Chichester under the direction of Mrs Mary Iden.
In order to put into effect the pesticide free vision for the Chichester we would commit specifically to:
- Develop and promote a campaign aimed at informing citizens about the transition to become pesticide-free, and the reasons for it; encourage citizens to actively support the transition by promoting the use of sustainable alternatives in private gardens and allotments
- Communicate with and involve all stakeholders (County and District Council employees and sub-contractors, local farmers, etc).
- Increase local biodiversity through municipal and citizen-driven activities
Measure Number Four – Green bus stops
We recommend that the City Council works with Stagecoach and the District and County Councils to initiate the use of Green roofs for bus stops in Chichester.
We recommend that sedum or other plants are used on the roofs of bus stops to attract more bees as pollinators, provide more plants to improve air quality and to be a visible sign that the City Council is actively reducing our collective carbon footprint.
Measure Number Five – Greening Flower Offer in the City Centre displays
The City organises much of the civic planting in the city. This Council recommends that every effort must be made to consider
(i) Drought resistance of the planting
(ii) Using pollinator friendly planting to encourage bees
(iii) Using locally grown flowers wherever possible instead of plants from abroad
(iv) Using native plants.
(v) Using perennials and wildflowers as much as possible to draw the public’s attention to the importance of supporting native species and encouraging bees in the hanging baskets, Cathedral beds and flower towers and other areas of planting the City is responsible for.
Motion about Electricity Suppliers
We note that the City Council has declared a Climate Emergency in the summer.
We note that one of the key actions that individuals, businesses and councils can take to reduce their carbon footprint is to source their electricity from renewable sources and change to a Green Tarriff.
We recommend that enquiries are made to compare different renewable energy providers as this would be an easy way to show the City Council’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
We recommend the City Council should evaluate the comparison prices between an 100% Green tariff and a Brown tariff and make a decision based on the environmental as well as economic objectives of the city council, prioritising Green energy within existing energy budgets.
We recommend that we evaluate the various ‘basket’ options including fixed and flexible pricing and the length of the contracts in consultation with the Property Manager and make a decision based on the environmental as well as economic objectives of the City Council, prioritising fuel-efficient and ‘green’ options within existing energy budgets
We recommend that the City Council looks into that the future review of energy supply contracts and should explore an energy procurement strategy that supports local community energy providers for example the County Council’s Your Energy Sussex https://www.yourenergysussex.org.uk/
We note as a City Council that costs need to be kept under control however we note that sometimes it is important to consider other implications of purchases.
Sheffield City Council, Oswestry Town Council, Brighton City Council and Lancaster City Council are all examples of councils which have recently switched to green tariffs in order to deliver changes needed by the climate change emergency we have declared.