Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Monday, 21st October, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber. View directions

Contact: Peter Druce - Democratic Services Officer 01494 421210 (ext 3210) Email: peter_druce@wycombe.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

36.

MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 19 August 2019.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sarfaraz K Raja asked that the minutes of the previous meeting (19 August 2019) be amended in respect of Minute Number 35 ‘Adoption of the Wycombe District Local Plan 2013-2033’ in that he had specifically objected to the Plan in respect of the land adjacent to Glynswood within his ward and he wished this omission to be corrected.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 August 2019, subject to the above correction, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

37.

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 we no declarations of interest.

38.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

 

Minutes:

The Chairman then reported on his recent engagements carried out;

 

·         Attendance at two Buckinghamshire New University graduation ceremonies for ‘Health & Social Work’ and ‘Nursing’, at which he had been amazed at the excitement and enthusiasm of the students graduating;

 

·         Attending the Action for Youth ‘Big Night Out’ event at Aylesbury;

 

·         Seeing the Wycombe Neighbourhood Watch association receive their Queen’s Award for voluntary service from the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire;

 

·         Similarly attending the award of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to local company Oxford Instruments at their premises on the Cressex Industrial Estate; and

 

·         The Sport Aid lunch; Sports Aid being a fabulous charity enabling young and disabled persons’ sports both nationally and locally.

 

The Chairman remarked that this was effectively a snapshot of some of the many achievements in the Local Area, to be much applauded, he hoped that such good news stories would be picked up by social media and local press coverage.  

 

39.

LEADER'S STATEMENT

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported that following a recent motion at Buckinghamshire County Council highlighting the current issues in Kashmir, she had discussed with Councillor Arif Hussain about holding a similar debate at Wycombe District Council. However whilst Buckinghamshire County Council’s constitution allowed for a debate on the issue, the constitution at Wycombe District Council’s stated that a motion or debate on anything that the Council had no control over could not be held. Therefore this was the case with the issues and events in Kashmir, as they were outside the remit of the Council.

 

Since then, the Leader reported, that she had held discussions with Conservative colleagues; Councillors Zia Ahmed, Arif Hussain, Mahboob Hussain, Maz Hussain, Sarfaraz Khan Raja and Saeed Saddique regarding the situation in Kashmir. They had explained to the Leader how the events in Kashmir were directly affecting the wellbeing of people who lived there, including their friends and family members.

 

The Leader shared her fellow Councillors’ concerns and so indicated that she was committing to the outcome of the motion passed at Buckinghamshire County Council and writing personally to the local Members of Parliament to make known Members’ concerns. Councillor Ms Wood reported that she would ask local MP’s to listen to these concerns and raise them, as appropriate, with the Foreign Secretary.

 

40.

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 14 October 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 Mr R Colomb to the Cabinet Member for Community

 

When I left the Council in May 2015 plans were progressing smoothly to utilise the S106 funds available from the Wellesbourne Development to create a Community Centre for the residents of Terriers and Amersham Hill Ward on the site of the Sports Pavilion at the Recreation Ground off Walton Drive.

 

Why does there appear to have been no progress in bringing this much needed project to fruition in the last four and a half years?

 

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

 

Following two community consultation workshops undertaken in 2016 residents’ preferences for improved community and open space facilities led to a significant programme of improvements to the range of open space facilities at Totteridge Recreation Ground. This project, investing  £399k in the site was completed in February 2019 and incorporated 7 of the 10 suggestions from residents including  a new cricket square , a perimeter pathway with new fitness trim trail of gym equipment , outdoor all weather table tennis tables , rebound ball wall, new seating and benches and an in-ground trampoline . This has seen a real improvement to the site with the fitness trail proving a very popular addition. Totteridge Rec is one of Wycombe’s hidden gems. 

 

A new community building was also suggested, however as the Council does not embark on community building projects without a partner to take on the operation of the facility Council Officers pursued this with further meetings at the time. Meetings were held with 2 potentially interested groups, Widmer End Football Club and Terriers Playgroup and at that time 2016/17 neither felt in a position to take on such a commitment and responsibility or that the scale of a modest community building would actually be able to meet their respective needs. The project paused at that point. 

 

Officers will now revisit the potential for this facility with any interested parties from the community or an alternative which would still meet the Section 106 conditions.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Can I take it that the Section 106 monies will not be lost?

 

Are they time limited?

 

50% of the public houses in the area have closed and been replaced by residential units, there are now a thousand plus more housing units as whole in the area, community facilities for this larger population will be vital.

 

Supplementary Response

 

The Section 106 monies are secure at the present time. We hope to have a viable management plan in due course in respect of proposed community facilities.

 

b)  Question from Mr A Thompson to the Leader of the Council.

 

Closed for some four years, the King William IV public house is a Grade II listed building, within the Conservation Area of Speen.  

 

Like many pubs, the King William was a valued community asset and a focal point of social activity and cohesion for the village.  The pub is currently an unkempt eyesore in the centre of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

Questions to the Leader or any Cabinet Member must be submitted by 12 noon on 14 October 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

 

Would the Leader of the council like to tell us what specific preparations have been undertaken by WDC to deal with the aftermath of Brexit? 

 

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

 

Our Acting Chief Executive has been nominated as the Council’s Brexit lead officer, and the Head of Housing, Environment and Community Services is deputising on day-to-day Brexit matters.

 

In preparation for a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit on October 31st, Wycombe has been involved as a full participant in local and regional planning processes and exercises. This work has featured internal arrangements at Wycombe and has also involved joint working with partners in the Local Resilience Forum such as the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance services, as well as colleagues from the County Council and the other districts.

 

The Council is taking part in a Buckinghamshire wide task and finish group on Brexit where information and plans are shared among the four district councils and the County Council. This group has two weekly telephone conferences, and will continue to meet for as long as is needed. This process supports a coordinated approach across Buckinghamshire.

 

The council is part of the working and reporting arrangements put in place by the government to enable any problems that might that arise to be identified and addressed quickly by the right agencies. Frequent reports are made to central government, as we are effectively their presence on the ground. This situation reporting regime will intensify as 31st October draws nearer and will continue for as long as it is deemed necessary.

 

In the face of an upcoming possible ‘no deal’ Brexit deadline, the Council’s existing business continuity plans are central to its response and preparedness, and these plans have been reviewed recently. The plans have been tried and tested in the past, and already provide a response to the most likely modelled no deal Brexit scenarios. These plans are intended to ensure that the Council can continue to deliver services to residents and so it can also play its role in supporting the community and other agencies.

 

Supplementary Question

 

I am pleased to hear this, but are we actually informing our residents and business leaders of this and making them aware of what we are doing? What if there is a Brexit deal?

 

Supplementary Response

 

As part of the Buckinghamshire wide task and finish group, Wycombe is talking to its third sector partners and is prepared to assist them if need be in the run-up to, and in any aftermath of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, as they provide invaluable support to vulnerable communities. ‘Bucks Business First’ is supporting businesses by offering a voucher scheme to enable them to access funding to pay for professional advice and to implement critical changes to ensure businesses understand the effects of Brexit and to help them prepare.

 

Finally, the Council already operates a ‘Gold’ rota of senior managers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

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 14 October 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 prior to the deadline of 5pm Monday 14 October 2019.

43.

CABINET

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

 

·         Cabinet                                                                      27 August 2019

 

·         Cabinet                                                                      16 September 2019

 

·         Cabinet                                                       21 October 2019 (to follow)        

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Minute 21 – Joint Waste Contract Procurement

 

A Member commented on the rise in the number of complaints re the waste Contract especially in respect of communal areas, 7 complaints had been received by the Councillor in the last month.

 

The Leader acknowledged these problems with communal area waste and confirmed that officers were working on remedying them.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet 27 August 2019 be received.

 

44.

CABINET

Minutes:

Minute 29 – Capital Refresh

 

A Member commented that they were delighted to see the recommendation in respect of the Keep Hill footpath. When would this be in operation?

 

On this the Leader agreed to report back with a date.

 

Minute 28 – Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter

 

A Member thanked Cabinet for the adoption of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter to which the Leader indicated that a small article would appear in respect of this in the next edition of ‘District Times’.

 

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet of 16 September 2019 be received, and the recommendation as set out at minute number 29 be approved and adopted.

 

45.

CABINET

Minutes:

Minute 36 – Cabinet Response to the River Wye Task & Finish Group Recommendations

 

A Member felt that the West side of town did not need to generate more footfall, the one opportunity to de-culvert the River Wye had not been taken at the time of the development of Eden. Regeneration efforts would be better concentrated on the eastern, more historic side of the town centre.

 

The Leader assured Members that the Council had a far more positive vision of town centre re-development as a whole and wished to pass this onto the new Unitary Authority. There was a passion for High Wycombe and it was envisaged that those Members who found themselves on the new Council would very much take Wycombe with them.

 

In response to another Member’s description of the Future High Streets Fund award as ‘good news’, the Leader advised that that was one of the questions that had been unable to be put and the answer would therefore be available after this meeting.

 

Minute 37 – High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan and Public Realm Improvements

 

In respect of the Masterplan a Member again questioned the success of the improvements already carried out namely the planters shared space set up in Oxford Road / West Wycombe Road and the new Queen Victoria Road / High Street junction.

 

In response the Leader emphasised that the release of £500K was an ideal opportunity to effect changes here and now, whilst the Council still existed.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet of 21 October 2019 be received.

 

 

46.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Planning Committee                                               26 June 2019

 

·         Planning Committee                                               24 July 2019

 

·         Planning Committee                                               21 August 2019

 

·         Planning Committee                     18 September 2019 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee of 26 June 2019, 24 July 2019, 21 August 2019 and 18 September 2019 be received.

 

47.

REGULATORY & APPEALS COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Regulatory & Appeals Committee                         31 July 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee 31 July 2019 be received.

 

The Chairman of the Regulatory & Appeals Committee: Councillor J Savage confirmed that the next scheduled meeting of the Committee, which had been the following day (Tuesday 22 October 2019) had as advised, been postponed. The new date for which was still to be decided; Councillor Savage was due to meet officers shortly to organise this new date.

48.

HIGH WYCOMBE TOWN COMMITTEE

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

 

·         High Wycombe Town Committee                         10 September 2019            

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the High Wycombe Town Committee 10 September 2019 be received.

 

49.

IMPROVEMENT & REVIEW COMMISSION

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

 

·         Improvement & Review Commission                   11 September 2019

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Improvement & Review Commission 11 September 2019 be received.

 

50.

PERSONNEL & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Personnel & Development Committee    17 October 2019 (to follow)

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Personnel & Development Committee 17 October 2019 be received.

 

 

51.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

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

 

·         Audit Committee                                          17 October 2019 (to follow)

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee 17 October 2019 be received.

 

 

 

52.

NOTICE OF MOTION

To consider the following Notice of Motion submitted by the deadline

of noon Thursday 10 October 2019.

 

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

 

World leaders are at last taking an interest in the potential devastation caused by global warming and climate change. Climate Science Experts from around the world tell us that unless we switch away from fossil fuels within the next 12 years, we will be unable to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We face a Climate Emergency. Reducing energy use and switching to clean energy will increase our energy security, improve our air quality, minimise fuel poverty, boost our local economy and provide jobs and training.

Wycombe District Council is prepared to play its small part in this big debate by declaring a climate emergency and committing to being carbon neutral by the year 2030. This move will raise the profile of this vital issue with our residents and enable us to secure additional external support and funding. WDC also agrees to sign up to the covenant of Mayors, to track our progress and link itself with Towns around the world who are engaged in cutting emissions.

Minutes:

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

 

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

World leaders are at last taking an interest in the potential devastation caused by global warming and climate change. Climate Science Experts from around the world tell us that unless we switch away from fossil fuels within the next 12 years, we will be unable to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We face a Climate Emergency. Reducing energy use and switching to clean energy will increase our energy security, improve our air quality, minimise fuel poverty, boost our local economy and provide jobs and training.

Wycombe District Council is prepared to play its small part in this big debate by declaring a climate emergency and committing to being carbon neutral by the year 2030. This move will raise the profile of this vital issue with our residents and enable us to secure additional external support and funding. WDC also agrees to sign up to the covenant of Mayors, to track our progress and link itself with Towns around the world who are engaged in cutting emissions.

Councillor R Raja in proposing the motion described the climate emergency as more important than Brexit.

The planet was truly in the grip of an emergency and an environmental catastrophe was unfolding before us. The environmental collapse was already affecting people around the world ranging from natural disasters and extreme weather events (heavy rains, unprecedented flooding and severe droughts) whilst the higher levels of Carbon Dioxide were reducing the polar ice caps and melting glaciers; reducing the flow of life giving water for billions of people in the coming decades.

It may not have been the unanimous view of scientists around the world, but the overwhelming majority were of the view that human activity was contributing to a rise in the world’s temperature and this was being caused by increased levels of CO2.The world community appeared to have agreed that although it was going to be challenging we needed to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. (Indeed most of the world was signed up to a Carbon Neutral world by 2050).

In addressing what was CO2? Councillor Raja explained that Carbon Dioxide was a greenhouse gas which occurred naturally in the atmosphere. It was natural and harmless in small quantities but as levels rise it can be dangerous to human health. CO2 was produced for example by the air we exhale.

CO2 was an essential ingredient in photosynthesis, the process by which plants make food and energy. Levels of atmospheric CO2 had increased since the Industrial Revolution and the primary causes were deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. As CO2 levels had risen, so had its effects on air pollution. Carbon dioxide accounted for less than 1 per cent of the atmospheric gases and there was a delicate balance between carbon dioxide and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 11.2

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted under Standing Order 11.2

54.

COMMITTEE CHANGES / APPOINTMENTS

Full Council are requested to note the following appointments to an Outside Body:

 

·         Councillors S Broadbent & L Wood - Standing Deputies – South Eastern Employers

 

Members are also asked to note the recent change of party name registered with the Electoral Commission in respect of the East Wycombe Independent Party, in that this party is now known as the Wycombe Independent Party.

 

The party currently having 3 Members on the Council: Councillors Ms A Baughan, M Knight & Ms J Wassell.

Minutes:

The change to membership of the outside body as set out in the summons as follows was duly noted.

 

South Eastern Employers

 

Councillors S Broadbent & L Wood to serve as standing deputies.

 

Members also noted the recent change of party name registered with the Electoral Commission in respect of the East Wycombe Independent Party, in that this party was now known as the Wycombe Independent Party.

 

The party currently having 3 Members on the Council: Councillors Ms A Baughan, M Knight & Ms J Wassell.