Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: virtually - Microsoft Teams Live. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@crawley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minute Silence and Tributes to Former Councillor Beryl MeCrow

Minutes:

The Full Council observed a minute’s silence in memory of Beryl MeCrow, a former Councillor and Cabinet Member, who had sadly passed away since the last meeting of the Full Council. 

 

The Mayor then invited representatives from each party to pay tribute to former Councillor MeCrow. Councillors Crow, Lamb, Lanzer, Mullins, Pickett and the Mayor on behalf of the Council paid their respects with heartfelt and touching tributes.

2.

Disclosures of Interest pdf icon PDF 132 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillors of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.

Minutes:

The disclosures of interests made by Councillors are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 551 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 26 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 26 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

 

4.

Procedural Motion - 11 q) To suspend a particular Full Council Procedure Rule.

Minutes:

Before the Mayor could commence with agenda item 3 – Election of the Mayor 2020/ 2021, Councillor Lamb, the Leader of the Council, moved a Procedural Motion – 11 q) To suspend a particular Full Council Procedure Rule. In doing so he proposed that Virtual Committee Procedure Rule 10.4 – For any Committee held virtually, all voting will be held via a recorded vote taken by the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR or other Legal Officer/Democratic Services Officer on behalf of the Chair be suspected for the current meeting. Instead it was proposed that each political Group be able to use a Block vote, where one Councillor be nominated to vote on behalf all of their respective Group. Councillor Lamb suggested that the Group Whip would be logical Councillor to be using the block vote.

 

Councillor Crow, the Leader of the Opposition, then seconded the Procedural Motion and confirmed his support for the proposal.

 

For clarification it was confirmed the reason why a Full Council Procedural Motion related to the Virtual Committee Procedure Rule (VCPR), as the VCPR took precedent over any other Procedure Rules if the meeting was being held virtually. It was also explained to the meeting that should the Full Council accepted the proposed Motion enacting Block Voting, all individual Councillors would still have the opinion to vote individually rather within their Group’s vote, should they so wish.

 

The Mayor then invited the Democratic Service Manager to commence the recorded voting process on the Procedural Motion - 11 q) To suspend a particular Full Council Procedure Rule in relation to Virtual Committee Procedure Rule over all voting being held via a recorded vote, and to enable Block Voting be enacted to allow the Group Whip to vote on behalf of their respective Group as a block vote.

 

The names of the Councillors voting for and against the Procedural Motion were recorded as set out below:

 

Voting in Favour: Councillors: Ascough, Ayling, A Belben, T Belben, B Burgess,

R Burgess, Burrett, Crow, Eade, Flack, Guidera, Hart, Irvine, Jaggard, Jhans, Jones, Lamb, Lanzer, Lunnon, Malik, McAleney, McCarthy, Millar-Smith, Mullins, Mwagale, Peck, Pendlington, Pickett, Purdy, Rana, Sharma, B Smith, and P Smith. (33)

 

Voting Against: None (0)

 

Abstentions: Councillors Fiveash and Sudan (2)

 

The Mayor declared the Procedural Motion was carried votes in favour 33, and votes against 0 with 2 abstentions.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Full Council approves that:

 

·                Virtual Committee Procedure Rule 10.4 – For any Committee held virtually, all voting will be held via a recorded vote taken by the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR or other Legal Officer/ Democratic Services Officer on behalf of the Chair be suspended for the current meeting

 

·                Block Voting be enacted to allow the Group Whip to vote on behalf of their respective Group as a block vote.

 

·                Any individual from within their Group would still retain the right to use their own vote as an individual and not be included within their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Election of Mayor 2020/ 2021

To elect a Mayor for the Council year 2020/ 2021.

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Sharma made a short speech to the Council about his Mayoral year.  A copy of the speech is attached as Appendix B to these minutes. The Mayor then sought nominations for the position of Mayor for the Municipal year of 2020/ 2021.

 

Councillor Crow proposed, seconded by Councillor Mwagale, that Councillor Guidera be appointed as Mayor. With no other nomination the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Manager to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the nomination: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes. (33)

 

Against the nominations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (2)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Francis Guidera be elected as Mayor of the Council year 2020/ 2021.

 

 

The newly elected Mayor was invested with the Mayoral Chain, made the statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Chair. The new Mayor made a speech conveying the honour to be elected as the Mayor of Crawley. The Mayor announced that his wife Andrea would be his Consort for his year in office. He also announced that his Mayoral charities as Manor Green College and the Manor Green Primary School. A copy of his speech is attached as Appendix C to these minutes.

 

Councillor Lamb and Councillor Burrett respectively, welcomed the new Mayor on behave of their Group.

 

6.

Election of Deputy Mayor 2020/ 2021

To elect a Deputy Mayor for the Council year 2020/ 2021.

 

Minutes:

The new Mayor then sought nominations for the position of Deputy Mayor for 2020/ 2021.

 

Councillor Lamb proposed, seconded by Councillor B Smith and Councillor Pickett that Councillor Malik should continue in his position as Deputy Mayor. With no other nomination the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Manager to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the nomination: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes, Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (35)

 

Against the nominations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: None. (0)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Shahzad Malik be elected as Deputy Mayor for the Council year 2020/ 2021.

 

7.

Communications including Vote of Thanks to the Retiring Mayor and their Consort.

To receive and consider any announcements and communications.

 

·         The Mayor will, during this item, move a vote of thanks to the Retiring Mayor and Mayor's Consort.*

 

·         It is noted that the current Youth Mayor (Leon Mukazi) and Youth Deputy Mayor (Shelly Sharma) are continuing their positions in 2020-21.

 

·          To receive any written Cabinet Members’ announcements.

 

 

*NB – There will no presentation of Mayoral Badges to the Retiring Mayor due to the meeting taking place virtually. Instead this will take place at the first non-virtual Full Council meeting.

Minutes:

The Mayor commented that normally at this point in the meeting he would be presenting the retiring Mayor Councillor Sharma and his wife and Consort Bhavna, with their commemorative Past Mayor’s Badge and Consort Badge, along with a photo album containing photographs commemorating their time in office. However the presentation would be delayed until it could happen in person at the first non-virtual Full Council meeting, hopefully later this year.

 

Councillor Lamb moved a vote of thanks, seconded by Councillor B Burgess and supported by Councillor Pickett, to the retiring Mayor and Mayor’s Consort for all their hard work during their very unusual the year in office, especially relating to their strong support for their Mayoral charities as Manor Green Community College and the Posh Club.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the thanks and appreciation of the Council to accorded to Councillor Raj Sharma, the retiring Mayor, for the work undertaken during his year in office and for the support given to him during that time by the Mayor’s Consort Bhavna.

8.

Notice of Motion 1 - Motion of No Confidence pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider, in accordance with Full Council Procedure Rule 1.2–H, the following Notice of Motion to be moved by Councillor Crow and seconded by Councillor McCarthy.

Minutes:

Councillor Crow was invited to move and present Notice of Motion 1 - Motion of No Confidence, however Councillor Crow rather that moving the Notice of Motion, he instead withdraw the Motion. In doing so Councillor Crow explained that given the seriousness of the situation he was pleased both groups had reached an agreement on the way forward.  The challenges over the last few months had been well documented and it was believed that the people of Crawley wanted us their elected representatives to work together. We were putting the people of Crawley and this town first.  The deal would work well for the Council and ensure stability. 

 

Councillor Lamb responded, thanking Councillor Crow for withdrawing the Motion. It was noted that there had been positive responses to the agreement.  He highlighted that difficult decisions were facing the Council’s future but we would get through them as a unified Authority.

 

 

 

9.

Review of Political Proportionality, Constitution of Committees and Appointments to Outside Organisations and Proposed Cabinet and their Portfolio Holder Responsibilities for 2020 - 2021 (Recommendation 1 and 2) pdf icon PDF 445 KB

To consider report LDS/159 of the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR.

(Report to Follow)

Minutes:

The Full Council considered the report of the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR, LDS/159, which detailed the review of the representation of different Political Groups on the Council and to determine the size and membership of the Council’s Committees for the municipal year 2020/2021 in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and associated Regulations. The report also detailed the nominations for membership for each Committees and outside bodies, along with Chair and Vice Chair of those Committee, as proposed by each of the Political Groups.

 

The report also detailed the Leader of the Council’s Cabinet and the associated proposed Portfolio Descriptions and the associated delegations, along with the Terms of Reference and Appointments for the Cabinet Advisory and Working Groups 2020/2021

 

Councillor Lamb moved the report and the recommendations, which Councillor Crow seconded. Councillor Sudan also spoke on the report.

 

Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democracy Services Manager to commence the voting process on Recommendation 1.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none of either of the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the recommendations: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes. (33)

 

Against the recommendations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (2)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Council approves the establishment of Committees, the allocation of seats, and the appointment of Councillors to those seats (based on political proportionality); along with the Chairs and Vice-chairs for those Committees and the Outside Bodies and Organisations for the municipal year 2020/2021 as set out in Appendix D

 

 

 

The Mayor then called for a standard vote on Recommendation 2.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Full Council notes the details of the Leader of the Council, Cabinet and their Portfolio Holder responsibilities along with their appointments to Outside Bodies related to their Portfolios and the Terms of Reference and Appointments for the Cabinet’s Advisory, Working Groups and Member Development Executive Support Group 2020/2021 as detailed in Appendix D.

 

10.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To answer public questions under Full Council Procedure Rule 1.2-D. The questions must be on matters which are relevant to the functions of the Council, and should not include statements.

 

One supplementary question from the questioner will be allowed.

 

Up to 30 minutes is allocated to Public Question Time.

Minutes:

Question to Councillor P Smith as the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development from Mr Richard Symonds

 

It has been said unity does not mean sameness - it means oneness of purpose. It is in that spirit of unity I ask this question:

 

At the end of last year*, it was reported this Council did not support Homes England's £3bn masterplan for 10,000 houses West of Ifield.

 

Can this Council confirm they still do not support Homes England's masterplan, even though they have allowed this developer to establish an office within the Town Hall?

 

(* "10,000 homes not supported", West Sussex County Times, October 10 2019)

 

 

Response by Councillor P Smith – (Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development)

 

I would like to thank Mr Symonds for his question. I think it is clear that the Council is not supporting at this time, the Homes England’s proposals in as much as we know them. We are as a Planning Authority talking to Homes England, to try to understand their proposals as part of preparing our Local Plan but the Council itself does not support the proposals as much as we understand them.

 

Renting space in the town hall to other organisations is a way of helping us to pay our bills and a way to avoid having to make cuts when faced with a £2m shortfall in our budget in 2020/21. All the rent we can get from the commercial properties that we own goes towards that and reduces the amount of money we need from the taxpayer. 

 

The two things are completely separate that we have given a lease to Homes England to occupy a space in the Town Hall it doesn’t in any way affect any decision we will make in either the forward planning or the development management of the Local Plan and planning in Crawley and it does not influence our position on any proposals that Homes England may make on West of Ifield or any other proposals for that matter, they are completely separate. I hope that is helpful Mr Symonds and thank for raising this interesting question.

 

 

 

The Democratic Services Manager left the meeting for the next item

 

 

11.

Appointment of Interim Monitoring Officer - (Recommendation 3)

Minutes:

The Full Council considered report CEx/51of the Chief Executive which detailed that the Council has a statutory duty to appoint a Monitoring Officer, under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 as one of its designated Officers. The Council’s current Monitoring Officer – Ann-Maria Brown, Head of Legal, Democracy and HR, will be retiring on the 30 September 2020, as such the post of Monitoring Officer will become vacant. The report proposed that an interim Monitoring Officer, be appointed until such time as a permanent Monitoring Officer could be appointed.

 

The Leader of the Council moved the report and in doing so paid tribute to Ann-Maria Brown. Councillor Crow in seconding the report also thanked Ann-Maria Brown, for hard work for the Council.

 

Councillor Mullins and the Mayor on behalf of the Council also thanked Ann-Maria Brown and wished her all the very best for her retirement.  

 

Following the invitation from the Mayor invited Ann-Maria Brown, to say a few words about her career and her service to the Council.

 

Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Officer to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none of either of the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the recommendations: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes, Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (35)

 

Against the recommendations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: None. (0)

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Full Council approves

 

a).        That with effect from 1 October 2020 Chris Pedlow (Democratic Services Manager and current Deputy Monitoring Officer) be appointed Interim Monitoring Officer until a permanent appointment is made, which will be presented to the Full Council in due course.

 

b).        That the Interim Monitoring Officer be empowered to amend the Council’s Constitution and the relevant Sub-Delegation Schemes to take into account the above appointment, to ensure that the Council is able to function seamlessly in the interim.

 

 

 

The Democratic Services Manager returned to the meeting at the conclusion of the debate.

 

12.

Budget Monitoring - Quarter 4 - Cabinet 24 June 2020 - (Recommendation 4)

Minutes:

The Full Council considered report FIN/500 of the Head of Corporate Finance which set out a summary of the Council’s outturn for both revenue and capital spending for the financial year running from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. It identified the main variations from the approved spending levels and any potential impact on future budgets. It was noted that the report had been prepared toward the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and thus the full financial consequences of the crisis were not included within the report and would instead be reported on in future Budget Monitoring reports.

 

Councillor Lamb moved the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor P. Smith.

 

Councillor Crow also spoke on this item.

 

Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Manager to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none of either of the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the recommendations: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes, Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (35)

 

Against the recommendations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: None. (0)

 

The Mayor declared the recommendation was carried votes in favour 35, and votes against 0 with 0 abstentions.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council retrospectively approve a transfer of £1.192m to the business rates equalisation reserve as outlined in paragraph 9.2 of report FIN/500.

 

13.

HRA Budget for Purchase of Land or Property - Cabinet - 24 June 2020 (Part B item) - (Recommendation 5)

Minutes:

Exempt Paragraph 3 Information relating to financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information)

 

The Full Council considered report CH/190 of the Head of Crawley Homes which sought changes to agreed budgets and delegations to enable the Council to purchase land or property for the delivery of housing within the HRA. The item had been previously considered at the Cabinet held on the 24 June 2020.

 

Councillor Lamb moved the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor P. Smith. Councillor Crow also spoke on the report.

 

Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Manager to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none of either of the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the recommendations: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes, Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (35)

 

Against the recommendations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: None. (0)

 

The Mayor declared the recommendation was carried votes in favour 35, and votes against 0 with 0 abstentions.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approves

 

a)         the change to the budget heading of Acquisition Buy Back of Dwellings to Acquisition of Land or Dwellings.

 

b)         the change to the budget heading of Purchase of Edinburgh House to Purchase of Properties.

 

c)         the delegation of joint authority to the Head of Crawley Homes and the Head

of Corporate Finance* in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing  and the Leader of the Council to purchase suitable land or property for the delivery of housing within the limits of the HRA budgets identified in 2.1 a and b.

 

*(Generic Delegation 8 will be used to enact this recommendation).

 

d)         the amendment to the financial approval levels within the Constitution to ensure that they reflect the ability of the Council to purchase acquisitions efficiently within the agreed budgets.

 

14.

Decisions Taken Under Emergency Urgency Powers - Governance Committee - 6 July 2020 - (Recommendation 6)

Minutes:

The Committee considered report LDS/161 of the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR, which had been considered previously at the Governance Committee on 6 July 2020. The report detailed to that the Constitution provided general provision for the Chief Executive to take decisions under Urgent Action.  Under that provision, on 1 April 2020 the Chief Executive, with the support of the Leader, Opposition Leader and the Mayor, approved additional Emergency Urgency Powers.  Those additional powers enabled the Council to continue to work effectively and take appropriate decisions in light of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Councillor Lunnon moved the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor Burrett.

 

Following the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor invited the Democratic Services Manager to commence the voting process.

 

Before the vote commenced, it was confirmed that none of either of the Labour or Conservative Members requested to vote as an individual, rather through their respective Group’s Block Vote.

 

For the recommendations: Labour Block vote of 16 votes, Conservative Block vote of 17 votes, Councillors Fiveash and Sudan. (35)

 

Against the recommendations: None. (0)

 

Abstentions: None. (0)

 

The Mayor declared the recommendation was carried votes in favour 35, and votes

against 0 with 0 abstentions.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council

 

a)         notes all the decisions taken by the Chief Executive under Emergency Urgency Powers (as set out in paragraph 6.1 of report LDS/161).

 

b)         confirms that the Emergency Urgency Powers will cease on 31 July 2020.

 

c)         delegates to the Chief Executive, with the agreement of the Leader, the Opposition Leader, and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Governance Committee, the power to decide that Emergency Urgency Powers can be reinstated should the situation change with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic and it be deemed necessary to do so.

 

15.

Councillors' Questions Time pdf icon PDF 170 KB

There will be a maximum of 30 minutes for Councillors’ Question Time (CQT). Councillors may ask questions relating to either a Portfolio issue or with regard to the functions delegated to a Committee.

 

There are two methods for Councillors asking questions:

 

1.    Councillors can submit written questions in advance of the meeting and written answers will be provided on the evening of the Full Council.

 

2.    Councillors can verbally ask questions during the CQT.

 

Councillors have the opportunity to ask oral supplementary questions in relation to either of the methods above.

Minutes:

Name of Councillor asking the Question

Name of Cabinet Member(s) Responding

 

Councillor Crow to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development

 

It is very good to see the market is up and running again in its current location and it’s been good to see the reopening of the town centre.  But what I would like to ask is given the works to Queensway are complete is the Cabinet Member able to let us know when the market will be moving to its new planned location and also if the council is currently the market operator how long is that arrangement likely to continue? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope we can get a successful market up and running in the location we planned for and adopted. I wasn’t aware there were going to be additional costs but if the Cabinet Member could keep members informed I’d be very grateful.

 

Councillor P Smith – (Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development)

 

We have designed the Queensway and The Pavement to be the long term permanent location for a market and that includes installing facilities and infrastructure under the paving for water and power and to have a market that complements the shopping offer in that area that actually works for both for the shops in the retails units adjacent but also for the market so they can have complementary offerings. We do recognise however that the market we operate at the moment (the borough council operates it directly) is a temporary arrangement. We put that together because the previous arrangement delivered very little. We have been running the market on an ad hoc basis for several years now. This was particularly due initially to the hard work of Alfredo Mendes who has now retired and I thank him for his hard work. The question about when are we going to launch the market in the new location is interesting as we have invested a lot of time and effort in the infrastructure to support a long term solution to the market, to have a quality market that works within a retail environment. We therefore need to have proper funding in order to set up and decide on the method of operation, perhaps arrange a community interest company, or a co-operative but no decisions have been made.  But the launch is important to get the market going successfully and it depends on budget.

 

Yes I’ll consult and keep members informed. We do this on the Economic Regeneration Working Group. The costs would be around launch costs, setting up the publicity etc.

Councillor T Belben to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development

 

Sadly the number of cases of Covid19 have risen in Crawley. Are you happy that Crawley Borough Council has done everything possible to ensure residents practise social distancing particularly in Queens Square?  Also is there anything all members could do to assist in promoting social distancing please?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is good that we’re allowing retailers to put cordons out for people to queue.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Receiving the Minutes of the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Other Committees including Items for Debate pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Committees, as listed on page 27, and set out in the appendices to this item and to debate any Reserved Items contained within those Minutes.

 

 

NB:  In advance of the meeting Political Groups can identify any items they wish to debate as a Reserved Item.  These Reserved Items will then be the only matters to be the subject of debate.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Moved by Councillor Malik (as the Deputy Mayor):-

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That the following reportsbe received:

 

·           Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 9 March 2020

·           Planning Committee – 10 March 2020

·           Cabinet – 11 March 2020

·           Planning Committee – 27 April 2020

·           Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 8 June 2020

·           Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 22 June 2020

·           Cabinet – 24 June 2020

·           Planning Committee – 29 June 2020

·           Governance Committee – 6 July 2020

 

 

It was noted that there were no items other reserved for discussion.

 

Appendix A - Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Appendix B - Councillor Sharma farewell Mayoral speech pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Appendix C - Councillor Guidera inaugural Mayoral speech pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Appendix D - Appointments including details of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 308 KB