The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Full Council – 23 September 2020
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE VIRTUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICHESTER HELD ON WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2020 AT 2.00PM
- The Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
- Councillor Apel
- Councillor Barrie
- Councillor Bell
- Councillor Bowden
- Councillor Carter
- Councillor Dignum
- Councillor Gaskin
- Councillor Gershater
- Councillor Harry
- Councillor C Hughes
- Councillor K Hughes
- Councillor Scicluna
- Councillor Sharp
- Councillor Joy
- Councillor Lishman
- Councillor Turbefield
- Deputy Town Clerk (Responsible Finance Officer)
- Mayor’s Chaplain
- Mayoral/Administrator Assistant
- Member Services Support Officer
- West Sussex County Councillor Simon Oakley
- West Sussex County Councillor Jeremy Hunt
19. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
As recorded above.
20. MINUTES OF COUNCIL
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Meeting of Council held on 25 June 2020 (pages 31-38) and the Special Meeting of Council held on 8 July 2020 (pages 39-41) having been printed and circulated, be approved, adopted and signed as a correct record at a later date, with the following amendment:
Councillor Sharp drew the attention of members to the following:
Minutes of Meeting held on 25 June 2020 – Minute 9 – Ward Reports from City Councillors
which should read: ……..over £1,000 had been raised enabling funding for approximately “70” trees and not “8” trees.
Post Meeting Note: In the recording of the debate of the Council meeting in question Councillor Sharp clearly states that the number of trees involved is 8.
21 MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor said that he wished to pay a special tribute to two former colleagues who had recently passed away. Former Mayor and City and District Councillor, Tony French, and Val Gostling former Deputy Mayor and City Councillor. The Mayor said that Tony had been particularly proud to receive the Freedom of the City last year.
The Mayor invited Councillor Scicluna to say a few words on behalf of members. Councillor Scicluna said that she and Tony had joined the City Council within 3 weeks of each other, Tony being the longer-serving. He served 36 years on the District Council and served as their Chairman for 4 years. He spent 40 years on the City Council only retiring in May 2019.
Councillor Scicluna mentioned several organisations that Tony had been actively involved with, including the formation of The Round Table and helping to create the New Park Centre. He was a fundraiser for the Planetarium and the Chichester Canal Trust. Tony had spent 25 years with the Chichester Welfare Trust and had been avidly involved with the Twinning organisations. He was very much an international person being involved with the Walled Towns Symposia.
Councillor Scicluna said, with great fondness, that she was proud to count Tony as not only a colleague, but a personal friend too.
The Mayor commented on the very moving tribute for Tony given by Councillor Apel at the District Council recently.
The Mayor added that Val Gostling was a well-respected member of the community and would be remembered for all her good work within the community, particularly the City Council’s Street Naming Book.
The Mayor asked members to take a minute to reflect on both Tony and Val who would be very much missed.
The Mayor mentioned some Mayoral engagements he had recently undertaken which he said had been carried out a little “differently” but which he nevertheless very much appreciated being a part of, as follows:
(i) Virtual launch and Ribbon Cutting of the Miller Homes Minerva Heights Neighbourhood development – this was a “first” for the Mayor.
(ii) The Alzheimer’s Society – Chichester and Bognor, Positive Thinkers teleconference
(iii) Induction Service for Reverend Helen Higgin-Botham in Priory Park
(iv) Open letters – the Mayor said that he had just written his nineth letter
There were no questions from members of the public.
23. MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
(a) Planning and Conservation Committee
25 June 2020 (pages 27-30)
23 July 2020 (pages 42-45)
20 August 2020 (pages 55-57)
17 September 2020 (pages 72-77)
It was moved by Councillor Bowden as Vice-Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meetings held on 25 June 2020, 23 July 2020, 20 August 2020 and 17 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
Minute 27 of the meeting held on 24 July 2020 – Applications for Planning Permission CC/20/01256/ADV.
He said that this application had been discussed at the District Council’s Planning Committee on 9 September 2020 when an objection to it had been raised.
Councillor Bowden further commented on Minute 39 of the meeting held on 20 August 2020 – Permitted Development Changes and Future Potential Changes to the Planning system. Some had taken place, ie: 39(i) and (ii). Currently responding to consultations 39(iii) and (iv). He said that Councillors may wish to consider making their own representations to these consultations.
Minute 40 – Councillor Bowden emphasised that it was the clinical provision group for the area who had taken the decision to remove the medical provision.
Minute 49 – Tractors and Trailers Through Chichester. The Mayor said that a Summit was to be arranged with owners and managers to discuss this further.
Councillor Apel asked if all west ward Councillors would be invited to the Directors meeting when Phase II of the Whitehouse Farm development was discussed. The Mayor would clarify this.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Bowden that the minutes of the meetings held on 25 June 2020, 23 July 2020, 20 August 2020 and 17 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
(b) Finance Committee
Special Meeting of Finance 30 July 2020 (pages 46-54)
Finance Committee 15 September 2020 (pages 62-71)
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna, as Chairman of the Committee that the minutes of the meetings held on 30 July 2020 and 15 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
Minute 39 – Councillor Sharp asked for clarification on the Solar Energy system whether 3 quotes had been obtained. The Member Services Support Officer clarified that this was a bespoke system designed in-house and had been assembled by the Property Team. It was therefore not subject to the usual procedure of obtaining 3 quotes.
Minute 36 – Councillor Sharp asked if there had been any updates on the proposed uplighting of the building. The Mayor confirmed no updates were yet available.
Councillor Scicluna drew the City Council’s attention to the following recommendations:
Minute 46 – Request from Chichester Canal Trust for CIL funding for Chichester Canal Projects
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 23 September 2020 that the City Council’s CIL infrastructure plan be amended to include a £10,000 allocation for the Canal Trust ON CONDITION that funding applications were successful from other sources.
Minute 54 – Community Wardens – Chichester District Council proposal to change funding structure
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 23 September 2020 that the City Council respond to the District Council to the effect that if the request for increased funding for the Community Wardens were to proceed then the City Council would look to reduce its contribution to the funding of the public toilets in Priory Park in an equal amount.
Councillor Dignum abstained from the voting on this item.
Minute 55 – Civic Awards and Covid-19 Awards
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 23 September 2020 that a new category of award be created, namely the Covid-19 Award to honour individuals and groups that had gone above and beyond to support others during the pandemic. It was further RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the nomination process commenced after the closure of the Civic Award nominations and with an Awards Ceremony to be held within the current Mayoralty.
Councillor Sharp said that she would re-submit the nomination form she had previously submitted in view of the update regarding the Awards criteria.
Property Sub-Committee 23 June 2020
Minute 3(c) – Allotments – Durnford Close
Full Council to approve the RESOLUTION of the City Council’s intention to give 12months notice to hand back the allotments to Hyde.
Councillor Apel asked if there was any way the allotments could be kept but was advised that in view of the current situation this could not be considered.
The Member Services Support Officer commented that to remove the allotments would require an application to be made to the Secretary of State and it was the opinion of the Planning Adviser that the land was land locked and difficult to get access to.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Scicluna that the minutes of the meetings held on 30 July 2020 and 15 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
(c) Community Affairs Committee
7 September 2020 (pages 58-61)
It was moved by Councillor Apel, as Chairman of the Committee, that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
Minute 16 – Item 6(e) – Proposal for a Friendship Link with Speyer, Germany. Councillor Gershater wished to clarify that it was his recommendation that an initial Zoom meeting with Speyer be set up. The Mayor said that this had now been proposed to Speyer but that they preferred for their first meeting with Chichester to be on a face-to-face basis. It was hoped that a formal meeting would be possible at a later date.
Minute 16 – Item 6(c). Councillor Apel wished to thank all the staff for their work in connection with the arrangements for the VJ Event held in Litten Gardens in August which she said had been a very moving experience for those participating.
Minute 18(c) – Representatives from the Friends of Chartres, Ravenna and Valletta
Councillor Scicluna updated Council on the distressing news of the recent fire damage to the Chairman of the Friends of Valletta’s property. Councillor Apel requested that a letter be sent on behalf of the City Council expressing sadness at this news. Councillor Scicluna reminded Council that those concerned were also Civic Award holders. The Mayor would write a suitable letter.
Minute 21 – Emergency Planning and Covid-19 – Preparedness for Second Wave of the Pandemic.
Councillor Gershater said that the status of second wave for preparedness was increasing and was interested to know what as a Council could be done to increase awareness. Councillor Gershater also mentioned the impact of the national disaster on the current planning processes for the future.
Councillor Sharp asked whether the issue of gaining access into flats had been discussed particularly to those who were elderly and vulnerable and also those who didn’t have internet access. This would be discussed at a later date after discussion with the Property Manager.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Apel that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2020 be approved and adopted.
24. STANDING ORDERS
The Mayor referred to the revised copy of the City Council’s Standing Orders previously circulated to members. He thanked the Deputy Mayor for his work in connection with the revision of the document and also the Member Services Support Officer for his work in the compilation of the document.
The Mayor said that some of the official wording in Standing Orders would be suspended due to the Covid-19 situation and it would be at the Officers discretion to issue a list of the Standing Orders affected by the pandemic.
RESOLVED that the Chichester City Council Standing Orders be approved and adopted.
25. REPORTS OF REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES
Councillor Apel, as the City Council representative on the St Wilfrid’s Welfare Trust, updated members. She said that because of the financial position with the Church of England they had been informed that they would not be getting another Priest (they currently had an interim Priest) and would have to share with another parish. There was concern about the vulnerable regarding another possible lockdown.
Councillor Bowden, as a representative on the Friends of Ravenna, said they had a fairly full programme which was going ahead via Zoom. He said that he would be speaking at one of the member presentations.
Councillor Sharp, as a representative on BID, said the Annual General Meeting would be held soon.
26. WARD REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS
Councillor Scicluna wanted to reiterate Councillor Bell’s comments about licensing and the parks regarding noise and disturbance.
Councillor Sharp, representing South Ward, updated members on forthcoming events, namely: Eco Trail – 3 weeks of wildlife planting for which small groups would be asked to pre-register. She also expressed concern about Liberator Place regarding advanced compartmentalisation; and fire risk.
The Mayor had attended the opening of the new lodge at Liberator Place and spoke highly of the work being undertaken by the Community Development Trust.
Councillor Bell commented on the appalling damage caused to a building at the Pallants by a utility vehicle. Councillor Scicluna, in response, said that she had tried to encourage West Sussex County Council Highways Department to address this which was a pinch-point for traffic and was a problem for HGV’s in particular.
27. REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER DISTRICT AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUINCIL’S WARD MEMBERS
Councillor Simon Oakley commented on the damage caused by a utility vehicle at the Pallants. He advised the City Council to write to the County Council Cabinet member highlighting the matter. However, he said that large vehicles would still need access to the area.
He mentioned Covid-19 Testing centre at Tangmere which, although not particularly well-used at the moment, would no doubt increase with time. He said that there was a very significant financial situation at the County Council with underlying demands on the services.
He mentioned the degradation of the highways as the amount traffic increased. He also said that the pop-up cycle lanes had received comments both for and against and that evidence was being gathered regarding vehicular movement and congestion throughout the city. Measurements were being taken of air quality and also queue lengths and speed of traffic. He said it would take time to get a full picture of the implications and to ascertain the effectiveness.
Government Consultations to the Planning system would also affect Country Council – affordable housing; social care aspects and infrastructure implications were also a matter of debate. Discussions were taking place with County Council officers regarding consultation responses. He mentioned the Task and finish Group on cycle ways.
Councillor Oakley said that he hoped the City Council would engage in discussions with the County Council Highways regarding farm traffic through the City. The Mayor confirmed that contact had been made with the Highways Department at the County Council.
The requirement of a medical facility within the Phase II of the Whitehouse Farm development had been highlighted in the Infrastructure Business Plan process and to what degree GP surgeries could be expanded within their existing resources.
The Mayor expressed thanks to Councillor Oakley.
Councillor Sharp enquired of Councillor Oakley about the cessation of the County Council Local Committee meetings which she had attended and would have been ideal for discussions about the cycle lanes. Councillor Oakley said that staff resourcing had meant that these meetings had not been continued. He added that County Councillors could still be approached about these matters.
There were no questions from members of the Council pursuant to Standing Order 8.
29. COMMON SEAL
The meeting closed at 3.45pm.