Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 16th October, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Ashurst Main Hall - The Charis Centre. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Communications

To receive and consider any announcementsor communications.

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed Councillor Mwagale to the Council following her election to the Council in September and hopes she enjoys her time as a Councillor for Tilgate.

 

The Mayor provided the Full Council with a brief update on some of the Mayoral events he had attended, including the Fire and Safety Service Open Day, the Irish Festival which was also attended by the Irish Ambassador, the St Catherine’s Annual Boat Race and the WIKF Global Cup Karate Federations World Championships at K2 Crawley. There had also been the trip to Dorsten as part of the town twinning event.

 

2.

Disclosures of Interest pdf icon PDF 120 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 were set out in Appendix A to these minutes.

 

3.

Presentation of Long Service Badges

 

The Mayorwill present each of the following Councillorwith a badge commemorating their long service asa MemberofCrawley Borough Council:-

 

AWARD

NAME

  10 Years

  Councillor Thomas

 

Minutes:

The Mayor presented the following Members with a badge commemorating their long service as a Member of Crawley Borough Council and thanked them for their long and dedicated service with this Authority:-

 

            AWARD

            NAME

 

10 Years

Councillor Thomas

 

4.

Public Question Time

To answerpublicquestionsunder Council Procedure Rule10.The questionsmust be on matterswhich are relevanttothe functionsofthe Council, andshould not includestatements.

 

One supplementaryquestionfrom thequestioner will be allowed.

 

Up to 30 minutesisallocatedto PublicQuestionTime.

 

Minutes:

Questions asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 were as follows:

 

Questioner’s Name

Name of Councillor Responding

 

Mr Hall - (Langley Green)

 

I wrote to one of my ward Councillors recently and asked them who is responsible for cleaning the streets as I recently hosted some visitors who were appalled to see so many weeds as we walked down the A23. Unfortunately I have not received a reply.  So I would like to know, who is responsible? Why is it looking so shabby and why is nothing being done?  I also have a follow up question concerning the water feature in the town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementary Question

 

Thank you for your answer. However, the rubbish and debris that gathers starts to multiply so it gets to a situation where the actual cost of removing it starts to increase.  Also with regards to grass cutting in Langley Green at times it looks like the Serengeti after the rains.

 

 

 

Councillor Thomas

(Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

 

We can no longer afford to carry out routine weed spraying” – that is a statement from West Sussex County Council (WSCC).  We have certainly noticed throughout the town and on major roads there are weeds growing on the side of the road, whilst the grass verges are pretty well maintained. The weeds are growing up by the kerbsides and beginning to invade the pavements and blocking drains etc.  That is a WSCC responsibility.  As far as litter is concerned, there are two issues to consider; the first is how that litter is generated, if it is by the A23 it is potentially largely generated by people in cars.  We have prosecuted 5 people through fixed penalty notices throwing litter from cars observed by Community Wardens. In terms of the main residential areas of the town, there are about 30 members of staff who pick up litter (they have other tasks are well). Ideally I would like there to be no litter whatsoever, but with the reduction in Government funding I believe we are doing very well maintaining the level of service and I’m proud of the workforce who are enthusiastic and have high standards. We are also thinking innovatively about ways we can keep the town tidy.

 

 

 

Councillor Lamb

(Leader of the Council)

 

Unfortunately Councillor Brenda Smith a Langley Green Councillor has been in unwell and was in hospital and that is also why she wasn’t here at tonight’s meeting.

 

Mr Proctor - (Furnace Green)

 

I would like to ask this council why it is failing in its duty to protect the citizens and visitors to Crawley because of the ongoing and very serious problems we have in our town centre that include members of staff being threatened with firearms and being attacked, as I have been within the last 6 months. It is ridiculous in this town centre and we have a major problem with the homeless community who the council are refusing (in my view) to tackle. I would like to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To approve as a correct recordthe minutesofthe meetingof the Full Council held on 17 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 17 July 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor, subject to the follow amendment to minute 10 – Metro Bank, 25-29 Queens Square, Northgate, Crawley – Planning Committee, 4 June 2019. That the following line be added to the last line of the second paragraph:

 

Councillor Pickett in his response on this item commented that Councillor Crow made reference to a ‘common sense approach’ which was not a planning consideration and as such that was not and should not be a consideration by the Planning Committee when deciding upon the Metro Bank’s planning application or any application.

 

 

6.

Items for Debate (Reserved Items) pdf icon PDF 10 KB

Prior to the introduction ofthe Minutesofthe Cabinet, Overviewand Scrutiny CommissionandCommittees (ascontained in the BookofMinutes), Memberswill be given the opportunity to indicate on which items they wish tospeak.

 

TheseReservedItemswill then bethe onlymattersto bethe subject ofa debate.

 

Minutes:

Councillors indicated that they wished to speak on a number of items as set out in the following table:

 

Agenda  Page no.

Committee/

Minute no.

(and the Group reserving the item for debate)

Subject

(Decisions previously taken under delegated powers, reserved for debate only)

 

Subject

(Recommendation to Council, reserved for debate)

 

p.49

Licensing Committee,

9 September 2019,

(Minute 3)

 

Conservative Group

 

Update on Appendix L of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy.

 

p.62

 

Cabinet

25 September 2019,

(Minute 3)

 

Conservative Group

 

Public Question Time

 

p.62

Cabinet

25 September 2019,

(Minute 5)

 

Both Labour and Conservative Groups

 

 

Council Tax Empty Property Premiums

 

(Recommendation 1)

 

p.64

Cabinet

25 September 2019,

(Minute 5)

 

Both Labour and Conservative Groups

 

 

Crawley Homes Additional Staffing Requirements

 

(Recommendation 2)

 

 

7.

Minutes of the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Committees pdf icon PDF 189 KB

1)            Toreceive theminutes ofthe meetings ofthe Cabinet,Overviewand Scrutiny Commission and Committees, as listed on page 21, and set out in the appendices to this item.

 

2)            Toadopt any of therecommendationsto Full Council,which have notbeenreservedfor debate and as listed on page 21, and set out in the appendices to this item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

 

RESOLVED

 

·                Planning Committee – 22 July 2019

·                Audit Committee – 23 July 2019

·                Planning Committee – 27 August 2019

·                Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 3 September 2019

·                Cabinet – 4 September 2019

·                Licensing Committee – 9 September 2019

·                Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 23 September 2019

·                Planning Committee – 24 September 2019

·                Cabinet – 25 September 2019

·                Audit Committee – 30 September 2019

 

Councillors Malik and Rana left the Chamber in advance of the debate on the next item.

 

8.

Update on Appendix L of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy - Licensing Committee - 9 September 2019

Minutes:

Councillor Lanzer stated the rationale for bringing this item forward was that, whilst he had not attended the Committee meeting, he supported the sentiment of Recommendation 3 - namely the continuation of officers using their professional judgement when investigating complaints and undertaking enforcement relating to taxi drivers. He acknowledged that officers should continue to use their knowledge of the trade (both from a professional and cultural standpoint), taking into account the needs of customers and public safety, along with any evidence when investigating complaints to ensure a fair decision occurs.

 

Councillors Crow, Ascough, Lamb, Millar-Smith and Sharma all spoke during this wide-ranging discussion that included the importance of public safety and customer service, along with the need for cultural tolerance within Crawley’s diverse society both by the drivers and in regard to them also.

 

Councillor Jones ended the debate in commenting that he, like Councillor Lanzer, felt that the Taxi Licencing Team were very good at ensuring that Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers provided a high standard of service to residents and, if there were problems, the Team would investigate them fully, fairly and ensure that public safety was always at the forefront of its considerations. 

 

 

Councillors Malik and Rana returned to the Chamber at the conclusion of the debate.

9.

Public Question Time - Cabinet - 25 September 2019

Minutes:

Councillor Crow stated the rationale for bringing this item forward for debate. It related to the Leader’s response to a question raised during Cabinet’s Public Question Time on the proposed major development West of Ifield (WOI). The minute read that the ‘Council does not support the application’ over the WOI development. Councillor Crow queried how and when this decision was taken, as it was news to him and to the Conservative Group that this was the Council’s view.

 

Councillors McCarthy, Thomas, Burrett, Lanzer, Millar-Smith and P. Smith all spoke on this item.

 

Councillor Lamb in concluding the debate commented that as the development was outside of the Borough boundaries, the Council would not be making any significant decisions on the proposed WOI development. However, he and a number of Cabinet Members had some initial discussions with the developer Homes England and had made it clear that the Council would not be supporting the development if it was of detriment to our residents.  Based on the information currently available, it would be detrimental because of the seeming lack of clear road infrastructure to the proposed sites, which meant that construction traffic would mainly travel via Rusper Road, causing significant traffic issues in Ifield and across the town. Councillor Lamb reminded the Council that he had the executive delegated power to provide views and steers on the Council’s behalf. In relation to the public question, the response made the Council’s position intentionally clear as it was contrary to what had been stated in the Homes England press release which implied that Crawley Borough Council was fully behind the scheme.

10.

Council Tax Empty Property Premiums - Cabinet - 25 September 2019 - (Recommendation 1)

Minutes:

The Full Council considered report FIN/478 of the Head of Corporate Finance which had been previously considered by the Cabinet on 25 September 2019 and Overview and Scrutiny Commission on 23 September 2019. Councillor Lamb, as the Leader of the Council, presented the report and recommendations, which were based on national legislative changes that now gave billing authorities the ability to amend Council Tax premiums for properties that have been empty for a minimum of two years. It was explained that the recommendations were set in order to incentivise the occupation of empty homes – increasing the number of properties available to residents.

 

Councillor Millar-Smith also spoke on the item and the recommendation.

 

Councillor Lamb moved the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor Irvine.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approves:

 

a)            the Council Tax Empty Homes Premium from 1st April 2020 of 100% in respect of properties empty for between 2 and 5 years, and 200% in respect of properties empty for 5 years or more.

 

b)            the Council Tax Empty Homes Premium from 1st April 2021 of 100% in respect of properties empty for between 2 and 5 years, 200% in respect of properties empty for between 5 and 10 years, and 300% in respect of properties empty for 10 years or more.

 

c)            the removal of the premium on a property when it is ‘actively marketed’ if it meets the premium criteria rules.

 

11.

Crawley Homes Additional Staffing Requirements - Cabinet - 25 September 2019 - (Recommendation 2)

Minutes:

The Full Council considered report CH/186 of the Head of Crawley Homes, which had been previously considered by the Cabinet on 25 September 2019 and Overview and Scrutiny Commission on 23 September 2019. Councillor Irvine as the Cabinet Member for Housing presented the report and recommendation, noting that, following the introduction of Universal Credit, there had been an increased workload for Crawley Homes Housing Officers, and that there was a necessity for further posts to be created in order to provide efficient collection of rent.

 

Councillor Lamb moved the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor Irvine.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

That Full Council approves the additional budget of £265,500 per annum for the additional posts required in the 2019/20 budget (pro rata), and additional one off setting up costs as outlined in report CH/186.

12.

Councillors' Written Questions pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To answer Councillors’ writtenquestionsunder Council Procedure Rule 11.3.

 

Minutes:

Councillors’ written questions, together with the answers, were published in advance of the start of the meeting with the Council’s Supplementary Agenda under item 10

 

Questions were as follows:-

 

Questioner:                   Councillor Lanzer

Addressed to:                Leader of the Council

Subject(s):                     Occupational Sick Pay for Crawley Homes' Contractor

 

Questioner:                   Councillor Crow

Addressed to:                Leader of the Council

Subject(s):                    The proposed policy of a ‘4-day working week’ (32 hour maximum working week)

 

13.

Announcements by Cabinet Members

Anopportunityfor CabinetMembersto report verbally (ifnecessary)on issuesrelating totheirPortfolio not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet Member

Announcement

Councillor Irvine

(Cabinet Member for Housing)

 

The site of the former Kilnmead Car Park site has been named John Brackpool Close in honour of Private John Brackpool. The development encompasses 32 flats and five houses. The block of flats has been named John Brackpool Court.

 

The unveiling ceremony took place last week and it was a dignified, moving and emotional ceremony. I felt honoured to be able to say a few words on behalf of the Council. I would like the Chief Executive to pass on my thanks to the Communications Team and to those involved in assisting the event.

 

Councillor Thomas

(Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

There are now Fixed Penalty Notices being issued for people who throw litter out of their cars.  Also I would reiterate the sad circumstance that weed spraying by the County Council is no longer taking place.

Councillor Lamb

(Leader of the Council)

 

Gatwick have submitted their DCO, essentially their planning application for the change of current standby runway to a full runway. We do not get to rule on that as it is national infrastructure. It is going through a process with the Planning Inspectorate which is required to rule on it in line with existing Government Policy.  As a local authority we have an important role, both Crawley as a host and with our neighbours, in feeding into that application as it will impact our local area. Unlike the planning application, where the developer is required to pay you a fee, with the DCO the fee goes to the Government. As a result we are in the process of negotiating heads of terms with Gatwick. Gatwick will provide the Council (Crawley collectively with neighbouring authorities) an amount to try and find expertise to cover the relevant areas.  The phase we are currently in is the scoping element i.e. the matters to be considered by the Planning Inspectorate as part of the proposal. There has been some discussion as if we are ‘getting into an agreement with Gatwick’. I can assure everyone that this is not what is being discussed.  It is purely to ensure that we have an arrangement that officers will be compensated for their time and how we will be able to ‘buy in’ expertise that we do not have currently.

 

Councillor Thomas

(Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability)

Regarding the DCO process, please do not - any of us - underestimate the confidence, ability and diligence of the Planning Officers.

 

14.

Questions to Cabinet Members

To answer questionsto CabinetMembersunder Council Procedure Rule 11.2.

 

Up to 15 minutesisallocatedfor questionsto CabinetMember

Minutes:

Name ofCouncillor askingQuestion

Name ofCabinet Member Responding

Councillor Crow to the CabinetMember for Wellbeing

 

I have received complaints from residents about parking at K2 Crawley, particularly when events are on. Not only the difficulty of finding parking but in some cases cars parked where they should not be and impeding buses. Are you aware of the parking problems at K2 Crawley and are there fines issued?

 

Councillor Mullins –

(Cabinet Member for Wellbeing).

 

We recently increased the parking at K2 Crawley by 70 spaces so we now have a total of 570 spaces.  However bad behaviour is unacceptable.  I will ask officers and the contractor to investigate.

Councillor Lunnon to the Cabinet for Housing

 

How many tenancies have Crawley Homes had released this year?

Councillor Irvine –

(Cabinet Member for Housing).

 

Since 1 May 2019 190 social housing tenants started compared to 161 the previous year, thus showing an increase.   In addition there are another 105 applicants currently under offer waiting for their tenancies to start.  In Crawley’s “Inside Housing” magazine, Crawley Council is in the top 50 English Councils for projected house building over the next 5 years. 

 

Councillor B J Burgess to the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing

 

There was an event that took place at Tilgate Nature Centre involving children and young people with disabilities.  I was however concerned to learn that £4 was being charged for all those involved, both under 5 and up to 18 years of age. Please can you confirm if carers were allowed in for free and if the event occurs again, please can under 5’s be free?

 

Councillor Mullins –

(Cabinet Member for Wellbeing).

 

The normal policy for disabled groups is that the Nature Centre is informed in advance and the group is not charged.  Our normal policy is not to charge.  This is the first I’m hearing of this.  If you can let me know the group concerned I can investigate further.  

Councillor Mwagale to the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing

 

It is about the children’s play areas at Loppetts Road and Chichester Close. Both are in a sorry state and I wondered when the Council would be undertaking a refurbishment of these sites?

 

Councillor Mullins –

(Cabinet Member for Wellbeing).

 

All play areas are featured in a refurbishment programme and we are currently working through that programme. We have been talking about re-assessing them. I am happy to come and have a look at the sites.  Sometimes even if they are old they are still functional. The most important aspect is the safety of the site and ensuring that it is usable.

 

Councillor Pickett to the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development

 

What is the position on the Road Space Audit?

Councillor P Smith –

(Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development).

 

The Road Space Audit was carried out by WSCC over a year ago. I’ve had a meeting with Roger Elkins as the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure. Unfortunately there is not a schedule  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Questions to Committee Chairs

To answer questionsto Committee Chairs.

 

Up to 15 minutesisallocatedfor questionsto CommitteeChairs.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions asked to Committee Chairs.

Appendix A - Disclosures of Interest pdf icon PDF 120 KB