Minutes – Full Council – 14 December 2022
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Full Council – 14 December 2022
MEETING OF COUNCIL
Date: 14 December 2022
Time: 2.00pm – 3.15pm
Location: The Council Chamber – The Council House • North Street • CHICHESTER • West Sussex • PO19 1LQ
PRESENT: The Mayor (Councillor Joy) and Councillors Apel, Bell, Chant, Corfield, Dignum, Gaskin, Gershater, Quail, Scicluna and Sharp
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Town Clerk, Mayor’s Chaplain, West Sussex County Councillor Oakley
49. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
RESOLVED to accept and approve apologies and reasons for absence from the meeting from the Deputy Mayor (Councillor Plowman) and Councillors Barrie, Carter, C Hughes, J Hughes and Lishman.
50. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE IN MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING
Councillors Apel, Bell and Dignum declared an interest as Members of Chichester District Council.
Councillor Scicluna declared an interest as a member of the Murray Club.
51. MINUTES OF COUNCIL
RESOLVED to approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting of Council held on the 28 September 2022, the meeting of Council-in-Committee (Annual Awards) held on the 12 October 2022 and the Special Meeting of Council held on the 24 October 2022.
52. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor brought Members’ attention to a list of events and appointments that he had attended since the last Meeting of Council and that had been distributed to Councillors prior to the meeting.
53. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
No questions had been received from members of the public being residents of the City pursuant to Appendix 1 of Chichester City Council’s Standing Orders (September 2020).
54. DISCRETIONARY GRANTS
It was noted that the following Discretionary Grants had been paid to the organisations:
- 12th Chichester Scout Group – £500
- Chichester Men’s Shed – £500
- Chichester Symphony Orchestra – £500
- Priory Park Society – £500
- Rotary Club of Chichester Harbour – £500
- West Sussex Mediation Service – £500
- Chichester Information Shop for Young People – £2,000
- Children’s Bookfest, Chichester – £1,360
- Friends of Centurion Way – £2,500
- Pregnancy Options Centre – £2,000
- Terry’s Place – £1,819
- West Sussex Scout Council – £1,500
55. MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
a) Community Affairs Committee
It was moved by Councillor Apel, Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meetings held on 3 October 2022 (Special Meeting – Grants) and 14 November 2022 be approved and adopted.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 3 October 2022 (Special Meeting – Grants) and 14 November 2022 be approved and adopted.
b) Planning and Conservation Committee
It was moved by Councillor Quail, as the Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meetings held on 13 October 2022 and 10 November 2022 be approved and adopted.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 13 October 2022 and 10 November 2022 be approved and adopted.
c) Finance Committee
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna, Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meetings held on 13 October 2022 (Special Meeting), 18 October 2022 and 21 November be approved and adopted with the exception of minutes 37, 38, 43, 50 and 53.
Councillor Sharp referred to Woolstaplers Section 106 funding for public art (minute 90, Finance Committee, 21 November 2022, refers).
After a short discussion, this item was referred back to the Finance Committee for further consideration. It was also agreed that clarification should be sought regarding the choice of the artist to ensure transparency of the decision making process in light of the many other artists in the Chichester area.
Councillors were then asked to consider the following recommendations:
i. City Council budget 2023/2024 (Minute 83 – 21 November 2022 – refers) with the additional note regarding a variation of the overall budget figure
a) That the original recommendation to Council made on 21 November 2022 be modified to propose that the budget for 2023-2024 be £907,265 with a precept demand of £767,615 and a band D precept of £64.02, a decrease of 0.081% provided the tax base remains the same at 11,990.60.
b) That the Earmarked Reserves balances to 21 November 2022 be approved
c) That the updated planned maintenance programme for 2019-2029 be noted
d) That the schedule of fees and charges for 2023/2024 be approved
ii. Ownership of the Murray statue (Minute 84a refers)
It was then RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 14 December 2022 that the City Council proceed with transferring ownership of the Murray statue from the Murray Club to the City Council, noting that the resin statute would be transferred to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth when the final bronze casting was installed outside the Council House.
Members discussed the recommendation and concerns were raised about the potential insurance and security issues related to the statue.
The Council agreed that the matter should be referred back to the Finance Committee for further consideration, in particular the insurance cost and security implications associated with the transfer of ownership and future plans for a bronze to be installed.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 13 October 2022 (Special Meeting), 18 October 2022 and 21 November 2022 be approved and adopted with the exception of Minute 84a (Murray statue) which would be referred back to the Finance Committee for further investigation.
Members noted the contents of the following Sub-Committee minutes:
12 October 2022
7 November 2022
56. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN WORKING GROUP
It was AGREED that Councillor Quail would fill the City Councils place on the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group that had been vacated by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Plowman.
As a separate issue, Councillor Gershater advised the Council that he had been asked by the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group to join the group so that they could benefit from a particular area of his expertise.
57. SPEYER TWINNING LINK
The Mayor, Councillors Scicluna, Gershater and the Town Clerk updated the Council about the recent visit to Speyer, Germany when the Twinning Deed between Chichester and Speyer was signed.
The warmth of welcome and especially the interest shown in Chichester were overwhelming. Speyer had set up a Friends of Chichester and arrangements would be made for a Friends of Chichester group to be consolidated via a public meeting in the New Year.
Members were informed that the Speyer civic delegation would be returning to Chichester from 5th to 8th March 2023 for a reciprocal twinning ceremony and the Friends of Chichester, some 40 in number, were coming to Chichester in July/August 2023 for 3 days as part of a wider UK visit.
The representatives who attend Speyer considered that the possibilities for future collaborative working were amazing. The Town Clerk advised that he had already put three Speyer schools in touch with Chichester Schools.
58. VACANCY IN CHICHESTER CITY (PARISH) NORTH WARD
The Council noted that, due to ill health, Councillor Catherine Harry had not been able to attend meetings for a period of six consecutive months and had also been unable to attend meetings in the extension of time granted to her which expired on 1st December 2022.
The Town Clerk advised the Council that as the date of 9th November had passed, this being the date marking the six-month period prior to the May 2023 Parish (and District) elections; the City Council were not obligated to fill the vacancy and further that the requirement to advertise the vacancy and thus potentially trigger a call by 10 local government electors for the vacancy did not apply in these circumstances.
The Council were informed that they could either move to co-opt a person, as happened recently when Councillor Chant was co-opted, or to hold the vacancy in abeyance until the 2023 elections. However, that there was a vacancy on the City Council would still need to be given public notice.
It was AGREED, with four abstentions, that, bearing in mind the proximity to the 2023 elections, no action be taken to fill the vacancy by co-option and the vacancy remain in being for the remaining life of the current administration.
59. RECRUITMENT OF THE TOWN CLERK
The Town Clerk declared a personal interest in this item.
It was reported that the Interview Panel appointed by the Personnel Sub Committee had interviewed six candidates on 30th November and 1st December 2022. The interview Panel, who had worked well together, had been assisted by David Maycock of South East Employers.
It was further reported that the panel had agreed to offer the job to Sam (Samantha) Tate who was currently the Clerk of East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council.
Members were informed that Sam had previously worked for Selsey Town Council and West Sussex County Council as well as in the private sector. She was suitably qualified to enable the City Council to continue to exercise the General Power of Competence from the Annual Meeting of the City Council in 2023.
Highly satisfactory refences had been received.
It was therefore AGREED to ratify the appointment of Sam Tate as the new Town Clerk of Chichester City Council, her actual start date and handover period being the subject of further discussion between her and the present Town Clerk.
60. REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES
No reports had been received.
61. WARD REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS
Members noted without comment the Chichester City West ward report that had been received from Councillor Quail.
62. REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER DISTRICT AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL’S WARD MEMBERS
Councillors noted the reports that had been received and circulated with the agenda.
Members noted reports from Councillor Sharp (District and County Councils) and from Councillor Oakley (County Council).
No questions had been received from members of the public pursuant to Standing Order 8 of the City Council’s Standing Orders (September 2020).
64. PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960
RESOLVED that the public and press be excluded from this meeting for agenda item 17 due to the nature of the business to be transacted, namely confidential business matters.
65. THE MARKET HOUSE – CHANGES TO THE HEADS OF TERMS LEASE FOR UNIT 4
Details of the changes, having been circulated to the Council, were approved and it was AGREED that the Council’s Solicitor be instructed to conclude arrangements with the Solicitor acting for the City Council’s Development Partner Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd.
66. COMMON SEAL
RESOLVED that the Common Seal be affixed to any documents necessary to give effect to the resolutions passed at this meeting.
DATE OF NEXT ORDINARY MEETING: Wednesday 22 February 2023 at 2.00pm
The meeting closed at 3.15pm