Minutes – Full Council – 20 April 2022
The agenda and papers for this meeting are available here: Full Council – 20 April 2022 – agenda and papers
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Full Council – 20 April 2022
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICHESTER HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, THE COUNCIL HOUSE, NORTH STREET, CHICHESTER ON WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL 2022 AT 2.00PM
- The Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Joy)
- Councillor Apel
- Councillor Barrie
- Councillor Corfield
- Councillor Gaskin
- Councillor C Hughes
- Councillor K Hughes
- Councillor Plowman
- Councillor Quail
- Councillor Scicluna
- Councillor Sharp
- Councillor Lishman (via Zoom)
- Town Clerk
- Member Services Support Officer
- Committee and Communities Officer
- West Sussex County Councillor Simon Oakley
81. APOLOGIES AND RECORD OF ABSENCE
Apologies with a supporting reason were received from Councillors Carter, Dignum and Lishman (who attended as a viewer on Zoom)
Apologies without a reason given were received from Councillor Bell.
Councillors Gershater and Harry were absent from the meeting.
It was noted that West Sussex County Councillor Jeremy Hunt had sent apologies.
82. MINUTES OF COUNCIL
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Meeting of Council held on 23 February 2022, the meeting of Council-in-Committee held on 9 March 2022 and the Extraordinary Meeting of Council held on 21 March 2022, be approved and signed as a correct record.
83. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor welcomed the new Committee and Communities Officer, Katy Coffey, and wished her well during her time at the City Council.
He informed Members that a small ceremony had been held in the Mayor’s Parlour on Thursday 14 April 2022 to present Chris Holgate with his 2021 Civic Award. Members were further informed that the extra ceremony had been arranged because the recipient had been unable to attend the event held at the cathedral earlier in the year.
The Mayor also informed Members that the week ahead would see him planting a tree at the Platinum Jubilee Country Park (Medina Heights) and attending an event at the cathedral on Saturday 23 April 2022 to celebrate St George’s Day and the 100th anniversary of the St George’s Day Service that had been held in St George’s Chapel since 1922.
Members were advised that, prior to the cathedral service, a march would be taking place, starting from Priory Park and which would include the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and veterans from the Royal Sussex Regimental Association. The march would pass the Council House where the salute would be taken by the Mayor of Chichester and the Mayors of other towns in Sussex that had bestowed Honorary Freedoms on the regiment.
To complete the week, the Mayor informed Members that on Sunday 24 April 2022 he would be attending the Scouts St George’s Day service at the cathedral followed by a march past on the Cathedral Green.
In response to a question from Councillor Apel, the Town Clerk clarified the arrangements for the regimental march and service.
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).
85. MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
a) Community Affairs Working Group
It was moved by Councillor Apel, Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meetings held on 21 March 2022 and 11 April 2022 (Grants) be approved and adopted.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Apel, that the minutes of the meetings held on 21 March 2022 and 11 April 2022 (Grants); be approved and adopted.
b) Planning and Conservation Working Group
It was moved by Councillor Plowman, Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 March 2022 be approved and adopted.
Councillor Plowman mentioned the following:
- The Neighbourhood Plan was proceeding well and it was hoped that the Council would approve the spending items that would be raised under the Finance minutes.
- The appeal regarding the District Council’s refusal of planning permission for the building of houses on the Daffodil Field at Raughmere had been dismissed.
In response to a question about the resurfacing of the city centre precinct, Councillor Plowman advised that the need to undertake the work had been widely accepted and that work was currently under way to resolve the funding of the project.
It was then RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Plowman, that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 March 2022; be approved and adopted.
c) Finance Working Group
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna, Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2022 be approved and adopted.
Council was asked to consider the following recommendations:
(i) Neighbourhood Plan – request from the Planning and Conservation Working Group to increase the CIL funding allocation (minute 103b refers)
It was AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council on 20 April 2022 that the Neighbourhood Plan CIL funding allocation be increased to £100,000 from the current £70,000.
It was RESOLVED that the Neighbourhood Plan CIL funding allocation be increased to £100,000 from the current £70,000.
(ii) Neighbourhood Plan – payment of John Pegg invoice for a Landscaping report commissioned by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (minute 103b refers)
It was AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council on 20 April 2022 that the invoice for a Landscaping report compiled by John Pegg be paid in the sum of £4,500+VAT to be paid from the Neighbourhood Plan CIL allocation.
It was RESOLVED that the invoice for the Neighbourhood Plan landscaping report from John Pegg be paid in the amount of £4,500, payable from the Neighbourhood Plan CIL allocation.
(iii) Speed indicator device – request for CIL funding to install two pavement sockets to enable the installation of the Speed Indicator Device in St Pancras (minute 105 refers)
It was AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council on 20 April 2022 that an order be placed with Crown Civil Engineering to install two pavement sockets in St Pancras at a cost of £1,080 + VAT to be paid from CIL funds.
After a short explanation of the purpose of the sockets by Councillor Scicluna, it was RESOLVED that an order be placed with Crown Civil Engineering for the installation of two pavement sockets in St Pancras for the purpose of mounting the Speed Indicator Device in the amount of £1,080 + VAT payable from CIL funds.
(iv) Modification of Standing Orders
It was AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council on 20 April 2022 that the following text be added to section 15 of the Chichester City Council Standing Orders as adopted on 23 September 2020 (minute 106 refers)
The Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and the Chairmen of the Finance, Community Affairs and Planning and Conservation Committees shall be ex-officio and voting members of every Standing Committee.
Councillor Scicluna reminded Councillors that the suggested wording had been included in previous versions of the Standing Orders but had been missed out from the currently adopted version.
It was RESOLVED that the additional wording as outlined above be added to section 15 of the Chichester City Council Standing Orders as adopted on 23 September 2020.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Scicluna, that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2022; be approved and adopted.
86. REVIEW OF CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE MEETING ARRANGEMENTS
The Town Clerk advised the Council that there was nothing further to report on the Government’s Call for Evidence about the extension of remote or hybrid meetings to Councils in England.
The Town Clerk expressed disappointment that the Government had not extended the situation in Wales to England whereby it was possible for meetings to held face to face, remotely or by hybrid means.
He also repeated his advice to the Council that meetings making decisions should now be held face to face pending a decision on the Call for Evidence and that to continue to hold meetings virtually was unlawful.
87. NOTICE OF MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR GASKIN
Councillor Gaskin had proposed the following motion for consideration by Chichester City Council:
This Council calls upon Central Government to revisit the present First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system and to replace it with a fairer system of proportional representation. A Parliament that more accurately reflects the views of the nation, enabling people to feel that their votes count, is more likely to develop an environmental, social and economic agenda that benefits Chichester residents.
Councillor Gaskin advised Members that one of her reasons for presenting the Notice of Motion was that the FPTP system was no longer fit for purpose and it didn’t produce results that accurately represented the wider voting outcome. She also advised Members that the UK and Belarus were the only countries in Europe still using this style of voting system.
Councillor Gaskin highlighted the Proportional Representation voting system as a valid alternative which was in use in 80 countries around the world including for the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies as well as the Scottish Parliament.
To emphasise the disparity of results per votes cast, Councillor Gaskin gave Members the example of the Democratic Unionist Party securing 10 seats from 292,316 votes cast compared with the 12 seats secured by the Liberal Democrats from 2.4 million votes.
Councillor Gaskin further outlined the alternatives to FPTP currently being used around the UK at various levels of government and urged Members to consider City Council membership of organisations such as Councils for Proportional Representation, formed in January 2022, to press the case for a change to the voting system.
Members expressed strong support for the principles as presented in the Notice of Motion.
Councillors Apel and Plowman reminded Members that the introduction of the Proportional Representation voting system had long been a policy of the Liberal Democrat Party while Councillor K Hughes informed Members that there was a movement within the Labour Party that was pressing for changes to the voting system.
In response to a remark from the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Apel reminded Members that the previously held national referendum had asked people to vote on the Alternative Vote System (AVS) rather than on the Proportional Representation system that was being discussed.
After a short further discussion, it was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED to adopt the Notice of Motion as presented by Councillor Gaskin in support of the Council calling on Central Government to replace the First Past the Post voting system with the fairer Proportional Representation system.
88. REPORTS OF REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES
Councillor Quail, as the City Council’s representative on Chichester BID, presented her report that had been circulated with the agenda.
She advised Members that the report gave a good summary of the BID’s activities and the reasons for them.
Councillor Plowman, as the City Council’s representative on the Goodwood Motor Circuit Consultative Committee, reported that he had recently attended a meeting of the Committee and that the following updates were available:
- There had been a very positive response to the planned Eroica Britannia cycle event which would be the “Revival for Bicycles” and feature pre-1987 bicycles and accessories and include a large group cycle ride around the Sussex countryside.
- The inaugural race of Air Race 2022 (formerly Red Bull Air Racing) would be taking place in July in the skies over the race course.
He also advised Members that Goodwood itself was gradually returning to normal after the challenges presented by the pandemic.
89. WARD REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS
Councillor Apel highlighted concerns from the Centurion Way Users Group about the entrance way to the new Platinum Jubilee Country Park from Centurion Way.
She advised Members that, due to the layout of the path and issues with visibility, there was the potential for serious accidents to occur between pedestrians and cyclists, some of whom travelled at considerable speed without being aware of pedestrians crossing in front of them.
Councillor Apel further advised that she had discussed these concerns with the Whitehouse Farm developers and West Sussex County Council and had been informed that the unmade section of path in question would not be surfaced due to the costs involved.
Councillor Apel’s concerns were echoed by other Members of the City Council.
The Deputy Mayor said he would raise the matter with the County Council and advised Members to report their concerns to their County Councillors so that greater awareness of the issue could be raised and greater leverage given to those County Councillors when the issues were discussed with Officers at the County Council.
Councillor Barrie informed the meeting that she had ridden along the path in question recently and highlighted the lack of warning signs which left path users unaware of the hazards.
Councillor Quail reminded Members about the Love West Sussex website that could be used to report any concerns members of the public had with footpaths and highways.
The Mayor and other Members agreed that this was an important issue and one that it was right to raise.
In response to a suggestion from Councillor Plowman, the Mayor agreed to write to the County Council expressing strong concerns about the safety issues that had been highlighted by the condition of the path on Centurion Way near the new Platinum Jubilee Country Park entrance.
90. REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER DISTRICT AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL’S WARD MEMBERS
Councillor Sharp presented her report that had been circulated with the agenda.
She also added some further updates:
- A meeting had taken place within South Ward regarding residents’ concerns about smells from the local candle factory and the effects on the surrounding area. Members were advised that the smells were some times bad enough to make people feel ill and prevent them from using their gardens.
- The specifications for the proposed “Mens’ Shed” had now been received.
Councillor Sharp also expressed the opinion that, further to a recent email circulated by the Town Clerk regarding road resurfacing works around the city; the number of works would be inconvenient in the short term, but that the end result and improved roads would be worth it.
The Mayor and Councillor Scicluna thanked those Councillors who had submitted written reports in advance of the meeting, giving them the chance to properly understand what was being reported.
Councillor Apel, as the Chairman of Chichester District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, reminded Members about the impact that policies put forward through her Committee often had on the District Council and residents in Chichester. She asked that fellow City Councillors publicise the work of her Committee and encourage people to attend and see what was happening and informed the meeting that she would ensure that agendas for these meetings were sent out more widely in advance.
Councillor Sharp advised Members that the District Council regularly issued information on various aspects of that Council’s activities and the extra help and support that was available. She also advised that she had paper copies available for other Members to take and pass along to constituents who might not be able to access the information online.
Councillor Oakley (Chichester District and West Sussex County Councils) supported the comments made by Councillor Sharp and reminded Members that the County Council made copies of its bulletins and other information available at Chichester Library.
He also responded to the comments that had been made regarding the Centurion Way safety concerns and suggested that the City Council could pursue a Community Highways Project as had recently happened with the Story Road to Lidl car park pathway given that some of the land involved was not the responsibility of West Sussex County Highways.
There were no questions received from Members of the Council pursuant to Standing Order 8.
At this point, Councillor Apel asked that a note of thanks to the Mayor and Mayoress be included in the minutes for their work during their Mayoral year. All Members supported this proposal.
The Mayor thanked the Councillors for their thoughts and personally thanked the Mayoress for all her support during his Mayoralty.
92. 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 2.51pm