The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Full Council – 29 September 2021
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICHESTER HELD IN THE ASSEMBLY ROOM, THE COUNCIL HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2021 AT 2.00PM
- The Mayor (Councillor Hughes)
- Councillor Barrie
- Councillor Bell
- Councillor Carter
- Councillor Gaskin
- Councillor Gershater
- Councillor C Hughes
- Councillor K Hughes
- Councillor Plowman
- Councillor Quail
- Councillor Scicluna
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Joy)
- Councillor Apel
- Councillor Dignum
- Councillor Lishman
- Councillor Sharp
- Deputy Town Clerk
- Property Manager
- Mayoral/Administrative Assistant
- Member Services Support Officer
- Finance Assistant
- The Mayor’s Chaplain
- One member of the public
Councillor Harry had tried unsuccessfully to join the meeting via Zoom.
26. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
As recorded above
27. MINUTES OF COUNCIL
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of Council held on 23 June 2021 and the Special Meeting of Council held on 7 July 2021 having been printed and circulated be approved, adopted and signed as a correct record.
28. MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor mentioned the following events he and the Mayoress had recently attended:
(i) Charity Boat Row in Support of St Wilfrid’s Hospice
The Mayor was proud to have met with Mick Stanley (Captain of Tintanic) at the Canal Basin at the conclusion of his journey where he had rowed around the UK raising money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice. It had been a very enjoyable occasion.
(ii) 80th Anniversary Parade and Review of Sussex Wing RAF Air Cadets at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island
The Mayor was pleased to mention that he and the Mayoress had attended the RAF Air Cadets Anniversary Parade at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island.
(iii) Service in memory of Henryk Zygalski
The Mayor said he and the Mayoress had been particularly honoured to have been part of the memorial service held in the Memorial Gardens at Chichester Crematorium for Henryk Zygalski, a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma ciphers before and during World War II. The Service attended by the Polish Ambassador had been very moving.
Councillor Bell, who had arranged the Service, thanked the Mayor and Mayoress for attending and would be pleased to provide the historical background to anyone if requested.
29. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
There were no questions from members of the public being residents of the City pursuant to Appendix 1 of Chichester City Council’s Standing Orders (September 2020).
30. MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
(a) Planning and Conservation Working Group
It was moved by Councillor Plowman, Chairman of the Committee, that the Minutes of the meetings held on 24 June 2021, 22 July 2021, 19 August 2021 and 16 September 2021 be approved and adopted.
To consider the following recommendation:
(i) Noise Issues
(Minute 49 refers)
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council that:
A Working Group be set up to tackle the issue of anti-social road use including excessively loud engine noise (to which there are legal limits), in the City and, in particular along the A27.
Councillor Plowman introduced this item and said that a Committee had previously been set up to deal with noise issues within the north and south of the District. However, it was felt that this group was now too large and that a separate group to deal particularly with the south would now need to be set up.
Councillor Gaskin commented on the group being set up south of the Downs. She said there had been a great deal of anti-social behaviour. She then read to members a paper produced by Councillor Sharp, who was unable to be at this meeting, which outlined the problems encountered, which it was noted had been particularly exacerbated by the Pandemic.
Councillor Bell had been involved with the District-wide group and fully supported this initiative. He said that it was also very important to work with the other Parishes.
Councillor Scicluna also supported this very strongly and as a former representative of south ward noted how serious the situation now was.
Councillor Gershater appreciated the reasoning behind the group but wanted the terms of reference clarified.
Councillor Gaskin said that all information and actions from the group would be circulated to Councillors and officers. The main aim being to reduce noise and anti-social driving.
Councillors Bell, Gaskin, Sharp, and Quail expressed interest in joining the group. Councillor Scicluna enquired whether the group would report to the Planning and Conservation Committee and was advised that the Terms of Reference of the group would be discussed and circulated in due course.
It was therefore RESOLVED that a Working Group be set up to tackle the issue of anti-social road use including excessively loud engine noise (to which there are legal limits), in the City and, in particular along the A27.
It was further RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Plowman, that the Minutes of the meetings held on 24 June 2021, 22 July 2021, 19 August 2021 and 16 September 2021 be approved and adopted.
(b) Finance Working Group
It was moved by Councillor Scicluna, as Chairman of the Committee, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021 be approved and adopted.
Councillor Plowman said that he was very much looking forward to the “Over the Rainbow” event in Priory Park on 30 September 2021 at which the presentation of the Covid-19 Awards would take place.
To consider the following recommendation:
(i) CIL Infrastructure Plan – Additional Allocation for potential purchase of an electric van.
(Minute 34 refers)
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the City Council’s CIL Infrastructure Plan be amended to include an allocation for the purchase of an electric vehicle in the sum of £15,000.
After discussion it was RESOLVED that the City Council’s CIL Infrastructure Plan be amended to include an allocation for the purchase of an electric vehicle in the sum of £15,000.
It was further RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor Scicluna, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2021, be approved and adopted.
(c) Community Affairs Committee
It was moved by Councillor C Hughes, Vice-Chairman of the Committee, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2021, be approved and adopted.
Councillor Gershater commented on Minute 30 – City Council Website and Promoting Tourism and City Attractions. He said that he had been tasked with pursuing the presentation received on the Season of Culture 2022. He commented on a meeting he had attended with Caroline Sharman Mendoza who had taken over the organisation of this event and he had been briefed on the actions taking place. He said that there was a great opportunity to showcase the city with the number of anniversaries coming up in the future. He would like this to be moved forward faster than anticipated.
Councillor Plowman was concerned about budgets for this event and enquired of this. The Deputy Town Clerk said that the organisers had been informed that a City Council Grant could be applied for but this had not yet been forthcoming.
Councillor Gerhsater said there were a number of options and the organisers were currently exploring a sophisticated programme of sponsorship. He said the Season of Culture was District-wide and of great importance to the City.
It was RESOLVED that the original motion put by Councillor C Hughes, that the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2021, be approved and adopted.
31. CASUAL VACANCY – North Ward Update
The Deputy Town Clerk updated members on the current situation regarding the casual vacancy in the North Ward. She said that nominations could be put forward to Chichester District Council during the nomination period from 1 to 8 October 2021 and that if contested a by-election would be called by Chichester District Council.
Post Meeting Note: The Member Services Support Officer confirmed the following:
A by-election had been called by Chichester District Council to fill the vacancy on the City Council in North Ward.
The nomination period would run from Friday 1 October to Friday 8 October 2021.
Further to a press release from the District Council, the election was publicised on the City Council’s website on 22 September 2021.
32. REVIEW OF CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE MEETING ARRANGEMENTS
The Mayor sought the opinion of members on whether to continue the City Council’s meeting arrangements in their current format, ie: Working Groups meeting on Zoom and reporting to in-person Council meetings. A discussion took place at which the vast majority of Councillors felt that it was, for a variety of reasons, more practicable to continue with the current arrangements. The Mayor said that this would be reviewed at the next Full Council meeting on 8 December 2021.
Councillor Gershater addressed the meeting by saying that the level of infections was still extremely worrying and that he wished to support the current format.
Councillor Scicluna agreed that for the moment meetings should be continued under the present arrangements. Councillors Plowman and Gaskin endorsed this and thought that the current arrangements were very satisfactory.
Councillor K Hughes said that he felt more confident with meetings continuing as they were under the current arrangement.
Councillor Quail was opposed to this suggestion and would prefer to return to face-to-face meetings due to the interaction these gave.
The Deputy Town Clerk said that to hold meetings face-to-face the Council Chamber was not ideal due to its capacity and that meetings would need to continue in the Assembly Room in order to be able to satisfactorily socially distance.
After discussion, it was put to the vote and RESOLVED to continue with the current arrangements, ie: for all Working Groups to continue to meet on Zoom and report to in-person City Council meetings and further RESOLVED that the situation be reviewed at the next Full Council meeting on 8 December 2021 when the situation might become clearer.
33. CHICHESTER CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS PLAN – NOTICE OF MOTION RECEIVED FROM COUNCILLOR SHARP ON 18 SEPTEMBER 2021
Councillor Sharp had been unable to attend this meeting. Members were reminded of Councillor Sharp’s Notice of Motion (below) and Councillor Gaskin read a statement from Councillor Sharp in support of this.
““The Chichester City Business Plan is still on hold due to Covid and associated uncertainties.
CDC and WSCC face ongoing budget cuts that affect many services. Services which are discretionary risk being given low priority and in other cases services are only being progressed if they involve issues of safety. This may cause some dissatisfaction and puzzlement among residents.
As a prelude to any further discussions that may emerge with CDC and WSCC and conscious of the fact that we are now in the third of our four Mayoral years I request that an informal discussion involving Councillors and all staff in the form of a roundtable (unconstrained by agenda papers) be held to enable more wide-ranging discussion of the direction this Council may wish to take.
Different ways of financing projects and a wide range of topics should be able to be brought forward with the aim of enhancing the community and the lives of the residents of Chichester. Discussion should also carry with it a realistic expectation of staffing support necessary to make future intentions happen.”
The Mayor reminded members that it had previously been adopted by Council that the Business Plan would be re-worked by the Town Clerk in liaison with Councillor Gershater.
Councillor Gershater said that he had had a meeting with the Town Clerk and that one idea was that an ‘Away Day’ of Councillors who had a direct interest and to interrogate what a Business Plan is and what the objectives were. This had been in abeyance but he was keen that an Away Day be pursued. He said that understanding the plethora of the different layers of government in the city was required and added that he would be more than happy to get arrangements underway.
Councillor Barrie was disappointed to note that this had been discussed for some time but had not been moved forward. Councillor Plowman was also keen to move this forward.
Councillor Bell said that he wished it to be noted that the City Council had achieved an enormous amount on behalf of its residents. He spoke of his concern about the unsatisfactory condition of the pavements and would like to see issues such as this dealt with as a priority.
Councillor Carter addressed the meeting and although supportive of an Away Day being arranged wished to see this moved forward more speedily.
Councillor Gershater mentioned resource allocation and management for the next 5 years; he had an outline of draft ideas which he offered to send to members.
Councillor K Hughes said it was important to see where we were going in the future and was concerned about residents in need following the pandemic.
Councillor Quail was anxious that any Away Day arranged be in person and not via Zoom. Councillor Plowman said that this would be the most practicable way ahead and was anxious to move forward with this.
The Mayor said that when the Town Clerk returned from leave this could be moved forward. After discussion it was RESOLVED to continue with the original plan to arrange an ‘Away Day’ and that this would be discussed further with the Town Clerk on his return from annual leave.
34. REPORTS OF REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES
Councillor Gershater commented on the Chichester Community Network (CNN) meetings recently held and the action they had taken. Councillor Bell said that CCN had worked very effectively for the past 18 months.
Councillor Quail, as the City Council’s representative on BID, commented on the very successful Summer Party recently held and the favourable reception received from the community.
Councillor Quail, as the City Council’s representative on the Friends of Ravenna, said that they were now meeting in-person and had debated their forthcoming programme which was moving forward. She was extremely impressed with the quality of their programme.
Councillor Scicluna, as the City Council’s representative on the CCAAC said that they had held their annual walkabout in the city looking at various buildings of interest; McDowell’s and Langley House doctors surgery, also the Chapel in Mount Lane were amongst those viewed.
Councillor Scicluna, as the City Council’s representative on the Friends of Chartres, spoke of the successful meetings being held via Zoom. As a representative on the Friends of Valletta, Councillor Scicluna also mentioned an interesting talk on Air Heroes planned to take place in the Assembly Room.
Councillor Plowman, as the City Council’s representative on the Goodwood Aerodrome Consultative Committee, remarked on the recent loss of pilots in a plane crash which was currently under investigation.
35. WARD REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS
Councillor Plowman (West Ward) mentioned the tragic motor scooter/car accident resulting in fatalities. He said that Broyle Road, being a very straight road, was of concern regarding speeding and added that this had been exacerbated with the petrol crisis with queuing at the garage on both sides of the road being very concerning. This was being taken up with West Sussex County Council.
Councillor Gaskin, (South Ward) commented on the very successful UK Harvest Hub which utilised food which would normally go to landfill.
The Mayor (East Ward) said that he had recently experienced some ‘uninvited’ visitors to his property and asked Councillor C Hughes to elaborate. This had been a very unnerving experience for him and the Mayoress and unfortunately appeared to be one of a number of recent incidents which had taken place locally. The Mayor said that this seemed to be a regular occurrence, sometimes involving very young individuals, resulting in some residents being afraid to leave their homes, particularly at night.
36. REPORTS FROM CHICHESTER DISTRICT AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL’S WARD MEMBERS
Councillor Bell congratulated Councillor Plowman on the successful motion recently put to Chichester District Council which outlined the importance of Priory Park as the Jewel in the Crown and the importance of not holding too many larger scale events there which could have an adverse effect on the fabric of the park.
There were no questions from Members of Council pursuant to Standing Order 8.
38. 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 3.36pm