Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 1st April, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Peter Druce - Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

96.

MINUTES SILENCE

Minutes:

The Chairman requested, and the meeting held a minute’s silence in respect of a number of recent tragic events:

 

·         The deaths of local young people: Libby Squire and Joel Langford

·         The massacre of innocent worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand; and

·         The victims of the Tram attacks in Utrecht, Netherlands.

 

97.

FILMING OF THE MEETING

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that notification had been received that a member of the public wished to film the meeting and he outlined the principles around filming/recording in the meeting.

98.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of Council held on Thursday 21 February 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 February 2019 be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman with an amendment agreed by the Meeting; in that under Minute 93 ‘Extension Works to Court Garden Leisure Complex – Procurement Process’ third paragraph ‘selling competitive tenders’ to be corrected to ‘seeking’.

 

99.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosed, he or she is asked if possible to contact the District Solicitor prior to the meeting.

 

Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

100.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive such communication as the Chairman of the Council may wish to make.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman updated the Meeting on his activities since the last Council meeting, he had:

 

·                  attended receptions at South Bucks and Chiltern District Councils;

·                  attended the evening with Ross Brawn (the Formula One Team Boss) in aid of the High Wycombe Mayor’s appeal;

·                  met with the Toolshed-Bucks and Wycombe Youth Action organisations:

·                  attended the Change of Command event at RAF High Wycombe, welcoming in the new Station Commander;

·                  taken part in the HWBidCo street clean in the High Street last Friday ; and

·                  attended the Royal British Legion Cadets Awards event at Aylesbury.

 

101.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Written questions may be asked of the Leader or any Cabinet Member if submitted to the Head of Democratic, Legal and Policy Services no later than 12 noon on Monday 25 March 2019. Questions will be submitted in the order in which they were received.

 

A questioner will have a maximum of 1 minute to ask a question and the answer shall not exceed 3 minutes. Any questioner may put one supplementary question without notice within a maximum time of 1 minute and the answer may not exceed 2 minutes.

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

a)     Question from Honorary Alderman P Cartwright to the Cabinet Member for Community.

 

On Tuesday 26 February before 9 p.m. I and others were refused another drink in the Falcon P.H as they were closing on police advice because travellers were in town and there was possible disturbance.  We left and were potentially at risk in the street if there were a disturbance.

 

Thames Valley Police deny responsibility and state that Town Centre CCTV were informed “who it appears made the decision via the PubWatch radio network requesting places to close”.

 

I assume that the WDC Licensing Officers were informed.

 

To whom is Town Centre CCTV accountable?

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor G Peart (Cabinet Member for Community).

 

Thanks for your question, I am troubled that your time of conviviality in the Falcon was cut short!

 

The town centre CCTV is managed by Wycombe District Council. The Pub Watch radio system referred to is an open channel for all members of the scheme and is managed by HWBiDCo, our CCTV control room also have a handset and many of the communications are primarily responded to by our operators. However on the evening of 26 February, the Police have now confirmed that they were the ones that gave a message over the Pub Watch radio system advising that Butlers Public House were closing and recommending that other premises did so as well.

 

Supplementary Question

 

I am glad the Cabinet Member has clarified, I was surprised on 5 March when the Thames Valley Police Deputy Commander stated he had not advised us to close. Before the Police make such statements they should be more careful.

 

Should there not be a protocol in place, given that tragic events like those the Chairman has just referred to in Christchurch and Utrecht, could occur here?

 

Supplementary Response

 

There is a protocol, the CCTV operators do not have the power to close pubs. The CCTV is a useful channel if there is an issue, the protocol is used to distribute information in such events.

 

b)     Question from Mr R Colomb to the Leader of the Council.

 

At the last Council Meeting Cllr Khalil Ahmed presented a petition requesting a Community Governance Review to ascertain whether a Town Council should be set up to cover the unparished area of Wycombe District.  In his lengthy introduction he stated that he believed that a Town Council could be established and run at no extra expense to the taxpayer residents of High Wycombe and he severely criticised two senior Councillors who had been distributing leaflets setting out the likely costs by identifying the precepts charged by the existing Town Councils in Buckinghamshire, which are of course very considerably in excess of the modest charges of the High Wycombe Town Committee’s Special Expenses.

 

Would you agree that Cllr Ahmed was disingenuous and misled the Council Meeting about the likely financial costs of a Town Council in High Wycombe to the hard pressed taxpayers?

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor Ms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Member must be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 25 March 2019.

 

A questioner will have a maximum of 1 minute to ask a question and the answer shall not exceed 3 minutes. Any questioner may put one supplementary question without notice within a maximum time of 1 minute and the answer may not exceed 2 minutes.

 

Questions shall be taken first from the Group Leaders of the political parties who shall be entitled to ask an initial Leader`s question from his/her group, of which written notice shall have been given to the Head of Democratic, Legal and Policy Services prior to the meeting.

 

The order of questions shall then permit the first question from each other Councillor to be asked before any subsequent questions from the same Councillor. One question will be taken in turn from the same Councillor unless there are no other questions to be asked.

 

Every member asking an oral question is permitted to ask one supplementary question without notice provided that it is not substantially the same as a question that was put to a Council meeting during the past 6 months.

 

Any question remaining unanswered after 30 minutes will be answered within 10 working days in writing after the meeting by the appropriate Member and appended to the minutes of the meeting. 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

a)     Question from Councillor R Raja to the Leader of the Council

 

Now that the bid to challenge the imposition of Cllr Tett Leader of Bucks County Council, as the leader of shadow unitary authority has been rejected, I assume that the Leader of the Council will say what the costs were of this futile exercise and that she would allow members at least the sight of the judgement.

 

Is she still minded to waste more of the public money on another irrelevant legal challenge whilst taking her place on the shadow executive under Cllr Tett? 

 

Verbal reply given by Councillor Ms K Wood (Leader of the Council).

 

Thank you for your question Cllr Raja. The total cost of preparing the JR is around £15,000 and that is to be shared by 3 councils so the cost to this council of the preparation is likely to be around £5,000.   The amount of officer time is fairly small as a junior barrister was used to prepare the pleadings.  The judgement is a matter of public record. In Wycombe our Cabinet meeting debated the issue and there was support for taking legal action so our officers were asked to obtain legal advice.  After we received advice, I consulted my colleagues before reaching a decision. 

 

We felt very strongly that the proposed Order would not allow the District Councils to have very much say in how the new council was configured and although we have always supported a move to unitary we felt it was important that those providing local services in places like Wycombe District should have a say in the new Council.  This was why we challenged the detail of the Order.  Whilst the Judicial Review case was running, the Order was not laid and as a result some suggestions have been made which will ensure that the process is more democratic.  We are very pleased with the way that MHCLG have responded to the concerns that we raised as part of the JR and although there is still no Order we are working with our County colleagues collaboratively to get on with the job of delivering the new council by working together as much as we can before the law is in place.  I'm sorry that you do not feel that this was a worthwhile exercise.  I don't share your view.    

 

Supplementary Question.

 

Talking of democracy it is strange how the Town Committee Chairman is appointed by the Majority Group, Local Area Forum’s are similar. £5K has been wasted. Does the Leader agree that any other Tory Leader of the Shadow Cabinet would be just as bad as Councillor Tett?

 

Supplementary Response.

 

I have made my position clear that I am content that the challenge we bought has served its purpose and that we are now working collaboratively with the County and government to deliver this new council.

 

 

b)     Question from Councillor M Knight to the Cabinet Member for Environment

 

Household waste collections are one of the most prominent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

PETITIONS

(i)            Council to receive any petition from a member of the public who lives, works or studies within the district or from a Councillor on his/her behalf as notified by the deadline of 5pm on Monday 25 March 2019.

 

(ii)          Council to consider any petition already received that meets the required number of signatures to qualify for a debate by Full council. (The petition organiser will have 5 minutes to present the petition and then the Council will debate the matter for a maximum of 15 minutes and decide how to respond to the petition).

 

 

Minutes:

No petitions were received by the deadline of Monday 25 March 2018.

 

104.

CABINET

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         Cabinet                                                          11 March 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 91 – Transition to a new unitary council – Appointments to the Shadow Executive.

 

A Member queried the absence of opposition members from the line-up of the Shadow Executive Board, it was clarified that the Board was not a politically balanced body. All Members would have the opportunity to apply to serve on a Scrutiny body to scrutinise the Shadow Board’s work in due course.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet 11 March 2019 be received, and the recommendations as set out at minute numbers 92 and 93 be approved and adopted.

 

105.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         Planning Committee                                   13 February 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee of 13 February 2019 be received.

 

106.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         Audit Committee                                          28 February 2019                                       

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee of 28 February 2019 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 49 be approved and adopted.

 

107.

HIGH WYCOMBE TOWN COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         High Wycombe Town Committee                         5 March 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 40 – Supplementary Item – Community Projects Update

 

It was confirmed that the £109K budget mentioned in respect of these projects was from the Community Portfolio budget rather than High Wycombe Town Special Expenses.

 

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the High Wycombe Town Committee of 5 March 2019 be received.

 

108.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         Improvement & Review Commission                               13 March 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 44 – Councillor Call for Action.

 

A Member queried the lack of ‘calls for action’ submitted under this provision. The Chairman of the Improvement & Review Commission responding that applications for issues to be scrutinised by the Commission were always welcomed for consideration for inclusion on the Commission’s Work Programme.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission of 13 March 2019 be received.

 

109.

REGULATORY & APPEALS COMMITTEE

To receive the minutes of and consider any recommendations from the following meeting(s):

 

·         Regulatory & Appeals Committee                         18 March 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee of 18 March 2019 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 33 be approved and adopted.

 

110.

NOTICES OF MOTION

To consider the following Notice of Motion submitted by the deadline of noon Thursday 21 March 2019.

 

The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor K Ahmed and seconded by Councillor R Raja.

 

Wycombe District Council is proud of its diversity, which is a huge asset to our area. A substantial proportion of Wycombe’s residents are Muslim, over 14,000 according to the 2011 census, and they are an integral part of the area’s make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of Wycombe district life. Wycombe district has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms. This council is subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty, and with this in mind, to compliment this and further define our regard for an important but sometimes vulnerable community, I move that this Council welcomes, endorses and adopts the MEND definition of Islamophobia as follows:

 

“Islamophobia is a prejudice, aversion, hostility, or hatred towards Muslims and encompasses any distinction, exclusion, restriction, discrimination, or preference against Muslims that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”

 

 

 

Minutes:

To consider the following Notices of Motion submitted by the deadline.

 

The following Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor K Ahmed and seconded by Councillor R Raja.

 

Wycombe District Council is proud of its diversity, which is a huge asset to our area. A substantial proportion of Wycombe’s residents are Muslim, over 14,000 according to the 2011 census, and they are an integral part of the area’s make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of Wycombe district life. Wycombe district has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms. This council is subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty, and with this in mind, to compliment this and further define our regard for an important but sometimes vulnerable community, I move that this Council welcomes, endorses and adopts the MEND definition of Islamophobia as follows:

 

“Islamophobia is a prejudice, aversion, hostility, or hatred towards Muslims and encompasses any distinction, exclusion, restriction, discrimination, or preference against Muslims that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”

Councillor Barnes proposed an amendment to the motion as follows:

 

Wycombe District Council is proud of the district’s its diversity, which is a huge asset to our area. A substantial proportion of Wycombe’s residents are Muslim, over 14,000 according to the 2011 census, and they are an integral part of the area’s make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of Wycombe district life.

 

Wycombe district has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms. This council is subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty, and with this in mind, to compliment this and further define our regard for an important but sometimes vulnerable community, I move that this Council welcomes, endorses and adopts the MEND definition of Islamophobia as follows:

 

“Islamophobia is a prejudice, aversion, hostility, or hatred towards Muslims and encompasses any distinction, exclusion, restriction, discrimination, or preference against Muslims that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”

 

this Council confirms that it takes seriously its responsibility under the act and works to eliminate all forms of prejudice including religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as advancing equality of opportunity between persons regardless of their age; disability; gender; sexual orientation; race; religion or belief. We furthermore call on all the residents of the district to share and support these commitments.

 

 

 

 

Revised Motion as amended

 

Wycombe District  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.

111.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted under Standing Order 11.2

 

112.

URGENT ACTION TAKEN BY CABINET OF INDIVIDUAL CABINET MEMBER

Individual Cabinet Member Decisions:

 

·                    26 February 2019 – WDC (Wycombe District Council) Safeguarding Adults Policy – 2/2019 Cabinet Member for Community

 

 

Minutes:

The Individual Cabinet Member Decisions as set out in the summons were noted.