Contact: Democratic Services
The Chairman was authorised to sign the minutes of the Council meeting held on 21 December 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.
Declarations of interest were made by Councillors in the Minutes as indicated below:
Brewerton Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as a member of the Executive.
Byrne Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as a member of the Executive.
Field Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as a member of the Executive.
Prochak Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as both an Executive Member and Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee.
Timpe Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as both an Executive Member and Member of the Planning Committee.
Vine-Hall Agenda Item 7 – Personal Interest in CB20/102 as both an Executive Member and Chairman of the Planning Committee.
The Chairman reported that with just two months having passed since the last Full Council meeting and all that time being within another period of Government lockdown, he had not had the opportunity to visit anywhere either in person or virtually in his capacity as Chairman of Council.
The Chairman had however been able to look in on a certain online Parish Council meeting in Cheshire East. He hoped to continue visiting more of the districts local Councils in the future and he was restarting early in March with a virtual visit to Dallington Parish Council.
The big story over the last two months had of course been the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the Centres in Rother charged with the delivery. The Bexhill Primary Care Network made up of four surgeries in the Town was able to start vaccinations at The Sidley Medical Practice in late December followed by Etchingham Village Hall which served seven rural surgeries and latterly Ticehurst Pharmacy.
The overwhelming feedback was that the staff and volunteers working at the Vaccination Centres across Rother had simply been amazing. They had been widely praised for their reassuring and efficient operations, all delivered with a friendly attitude. When it was safe to do so, the Chairman intended visiting both centres to thank them on the Council’s behalf in person, for their fantastic work, although for now, it would have to be just at this meeting.
The Chairman realised that it was not just the staff and volunteers at the Centres who were making the Programme work and so he would also need to thank the many volunteers who gave up their time and petrol to get people to and from the centres.
The Chairman also thanked Rother District Council staff who had been working long and hard to support businesses, households and individuals across Rother since March. The Chief Executive was asked to pass on the Council’s thanks to everyone within Rother and those staff working within our shared services, for their commitment.
The Chairman and the Chief Executive signed the Community Governance Order which marked the final step in the process of creating a Council for Bexhill. It was a bit different from hundreds of people filling Town Hall Square on 21 May 1902 watching the delivery of The Royal Charter from King Edward VII. This time it was just Mr Johnston and I, watched by The Mayor of Bexhill, Councillor Lynn Langlands and of course, all socially distanced. Bexhill residents could now look forward to the Elections in May and having a similar level of local representation to that afforded to other Rother residents.
Sadly, since the last Full Council meeting another former member of this Council had passed away. Keith Bridger, who had served as Councillor representing Bexhill Sidley Ward from 2003 to 2007 and had also been an East Sussex County Councillor from 1997. Councillors Bayliss, Gray, Field and Maynard recorded their personal tributes to Keith.
In accordance with paragraph 3.2(a) of the Council Procedure ... view the full minutes text for item C20/58.
De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust
The Chairman of Council had invited Stewart Drew, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) to provide an update to Members on recent operations at the DLWP during the current lockdown restrictions.
It was moved, seconded and agreed that Council Procedure Rules 3.2 (a) (varying the order of business), 14.4 (content and length of speeches) and 14.5 (when a member may speak again) be waived for the duration of this item.
1. Pursuant to Paragraph 10 of the Council Procedure Rules the following question was put by Mr Bernard Brown and answered by Councillor Vine-Hall.
Question: The Planning Inspector allowed the appellants appeal on the case of Outline Planning Refusal at Clavering Walk, Bexhill. (RR/2018/3127/P). What were total the costs, direct and indirect, to the Council of the Appeal? What was the value of the New Homes Bonus forfeited as a result of the lost Appeal?
The total costs direct and indirect were £73,387 appeal costs New Homes Bonus approx. £500,000 (depending on the number of units approved at reserved matters).
The Appeal by Sea Change Sussex and Westcott Leach the Buckholt Lane Application has now been held but at the time of asking this question the decision has not been announced. What estimates and/or provisions have been made for costs to the Council for:
For the record this appeal has yet to be determined.
1. Worst case scenario: Lost appeal and costs awarded: What is the estimate of appellants and Council’s costs to be met by the Council?
A total of £35,500 estimated costs to the Council for defending the Councils case broken down as follows:
Barrister - £3,500 (hearing only)
Landscape Officer - £7,000 (statement preparation and hearing)
Ecology Officer - £7,000 (as above)
Design Officer - £9,000 (as above)
Planning Officer - £9,000 (as above)
Whilst the appellant has submitted a costs claim (in principle) as part of the appeal (which was vigorously opposed by the Council at the hearing) the appeal has yet to be determined. Therefore, the costs claim also remains yet to be determined and the amount will only be disclosed to the Council by the appellant if the costs claim is successful.
2. Second level scenario: Whatever the result, the Council’s own costs having to be met by Council: What is the estimate of the costs to be met?”
As above £35,500.
Supplementary Oral Question: My supplementary question relates specifically to the Buckholt Lane planning application. If the Council lost the appeal, the cost to the Council Tax Payer would probably be in excess of £100,000. If, however, the Council won the appeal, the Rother economy stands to lose £1.94m of Government funding. SELEP will have to re-allocate the money away from the SeaChange project, because the funding is planning permission dependant, before the end of this financial year. Whichever way you look at it, whether it’s £100,000 or £1.9m, it would appear that Rother Tax Payers lose again. This seems bizarre, as the Council actually owns 6.63% of SeaChange Sussex, is registered at Companies House as a Person of Significant Control, and even has a director on the board.
My supplementary question is, does the administration accept that together with all these items, that we’ve got over £2m which has been lost on housing applications which have gone to appeal because we got it wrong – you may not agree with it, but we got it wrong – ... view the full minutes text for item C20/60.
8 February 2021
Ø Draft Revenue Budget 2021-22 (CB20/98) (See Agenda Item 9)
Ø Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy (CB20/99)
Ø Capital Strategy 2021/22 TO 2025/26 (CB20/100)
Ø Development of a Local Lottery to Support Community Funding (CB20/101)
Ø Town Hall Redevelopment Proposals (CB20/102)
1. It was moved by Councillor Oliver and seconded that the reports of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 8 February 2021 (there were no recommendations to Council at the meeting held on 11 January 2021), as set out in the Agenda be approved and adopted with the exception of Minute CB20/98 which would be considered at Agenda Item 9.
2. The Chairman of the Council having called over the reports, the following Minutes were reserved for discussion:
Cabinet 8 February 2021 CB20/100, CB20/101 and CB20/102
3. On the Motion of the Chairman of the Council, duly seconded, the Council approved and adopted the following report:
CB20/99 – Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy
Cabinet – 8 February 2021
CB20/100 – CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2021/22 TO 2025/26 CAPITAL STRATEGY
2) the updated Capital Programme 2020/21 to 2025/26 at Appendix B to the report be approved subject to the inclusion of provision for the redevelopment of the Bexhill Leisure Centre.
The Amendment on being put, was declared LOST.
CB20/101 – DEVELOPMENT OF A LOCAL LOTTERY TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY FUNDING
CB20/102 – TOWN HALL REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS
It was moved by Councillor Bayliss, and seconded that the recommendation be amended by the addition of the following words:
“and that the Head of Service – Acquisition, Transformation and Regeneration consult with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to procuring the services required to complete the detailed designs.”
The Amendment on being put, was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED: That Minutes CB20/100, CB20/101 and CB20/102 be approved and adopted, as submitted and amended.
Duration of Meeting
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9, it was moved by Councillor Maynard, and seconded that the meeting continue beyond three hours.
The Motion on being put, was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED: That the meeting continue beyond three hours and all remaining business be concluded.
Report of the Head of Paid Service on Decisions Taken by Cabinet as Matters of Urgency
It was moved by Councillor Oliver and seconded that it be noted that there were no executive decisions taken by Cabinet as matters of urgency at its meetings held 11 January and 8 February 2021.
RESOLVED: That the report be received.
CB20/98 – DRAFT REVENUE BUDGET PROPOSALS 2021-2022
It was moved by Councillor Oliver, seconded and agreed that Council Procedure Rules 14.4 (content and length of speeches) and 14.5 (when a Member may speak again) be waived for the duration of this item.
It was moved by Councillor Oliver and seconded by Councillor Prochak that the formal Council Tax Resolution at Appendix A to the report be approved and adopted and Minute CB20/98 from the Cabinet meeting held on 8 February 2021 be received.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17.5(b) a vote by roll call for the Motion was taken.
FOR the Motion (23): C.A. Bayliss, J.H.F. Brewerton, T.J.C. Byrne, C.A. Clark, S.J. Coleman, Mrs V. Cook, P.C. Courtel, K.P. Dixon, B.J. Drayson, S.J. Errington, K.M. Field, P.J. Gray, K.M. Harmer, A.K. Jeeawon, L.M. Langlands, C.A. Madeley, A.S. Mier, Rev. H.J. Norton, D.B. Oliver, S.M. Prochak, R.B. Thomas, H.L. Timpe and J. Vine-Hall.
AGAINST the Motion (13): J. Barnes, Mrs. M.L. Barnes, R.K. Bird, G.S. Browne, J.J. Carroll, G.C. Curtis, A.E. Ganly, J.M. Johnson, Mrs E.M. Kirby-Green, C.R. Maynard, M. Mooney, P.N. Osborne and G.F. Stevens.
The Motion being put forward was declared CARRIED.
1. (a) Council approves the Rother District Council General Fund Council Tax Requirement of £7,096,741 for 2021/22 and the resultant Band D tax of £188.71 as set out in this report.
(b) The expenses incurred by the Council, set out in the minutes of the Cabinet of 8 February 2021 in the sum of £624,080 in respect of Bexhill and £62,680 in respect of Rye, be approved as the Special Expenses chargeable to residents of Bexhill and Rye respectively. All other expenses incurred by the Council (excluding Parish Precepts) be approved as general expenditure for the purposes of section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. (This resolution will be reviewed annually).
2. That it be noted, the following amounts for the year 2021/22 in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, made under section 33 (5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:-
(a) 37,606.6 being the amount calculated by the Council in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, as its Council Tax base for the year.
being the amounts calculated by the Council in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Regulations, as the amounts of its Council Tax base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate.
3. That the following amounts ... view the full minutes text for item C20/65.
1. It was moved by Councillor Mier, Chairman of the Licensing and General Purposes Committee, and seconded that the report of the Licensing and General Purposes Committee held on 18 January 2021 be approved and adopted.
2. The Chairman of the Council having called over the report, no minutes were reserved for discussion.
3. On the Motion of the Chairman of the Council, duly seconded, the Council approved and adopted the following report:
LG20/18 – Licensing Policy 2021
Nominations for Chairman and Vice-Chairman 2021/22
(In accordance with normal practice, this process is intended to determine the names to be put forward at the Annual Council Meeting).
Nominations were received for the re-appointment of Councillor Drayson as Chairman and Councillor Harmer for Vice-Chairman respectively of the Council for the Council Year 2021/22. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman had been unable to enjoy the experience of the undertaking the roles and all Members were supportive of them fulfilling the duties for a second year.
RESOLVED: That the names of Councillors Drayson and Harmer be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Council for appointment respectively as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council for the Council Year 2021/22.