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In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
The disclosures of interests made by councillors are set out in Appendix A to these minutes.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 19 July 2023.
The minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 19 July 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Extraordinary Full Council held on 19 September 2023.
The minutes of the meeting of the Full Council held on 19 September 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
To receive and consider any announcements or communications, including any additional Cabinet Member announcements.
The Mayor updated the Council on events since the last meeting, which included that she had attended the Hawth on a few occasions to support Crawley’s local dementia group as well as a Disability Open Day and the Junior Citizen event, both of which were arranged by Crawley Borough Council. She also helped launch Black History Month at Crawley Museum and attended the concert to celebrate 50 years of Town Twinning with Dorsten in Germany.
Cabinet Members Councillors Irvine, Nawaz and Noyce provided Full Council with further context to their Cabinet Member Announcements, as contained within the Supplementary Agenda Order Paper.
Public Question Time
To answer public questions under Full Council Procedure Rule 1.1-E. 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.
Recommendation 1 – 2023/2024 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 1
The Full Council considered report FIN/633 of the Head of Corporate Finance on the 2023/2024 Budget Monitoring Quarter 1. The Leader of the Council presented the report which set out a summary of the Council’s actual revenue and capital spending for the quarter to June 2023 together with the main variations from the approved spending levels and impact on future budgets. The recommendation was seconded by Councillor Nawaz.
Councillors Crow and Lanzer spoke on the recommendation.
The Mayor then called for a vote on the recommendation which was carried unanimously.
That Full Council approves:
a) the addition to the Capital Programme of £1,052,466 for Disabled Facility Grants funded from the Better Care Fund. (para 8.4 of report FIN/633).
b) a Supplementary Capital estimate of £6,000,000 for HRA acquisitions of land or dwellings to be funded from 1-4-1 receipts of £2,400,000 and £3,600,000 of borrowing. (para 8.9 of report FIN/633).
c) the addition to the HRA Programme Maintenance budget of £6,792,086, this will be funded from SHDF Wave 2 Grant. (para 8.9 of report FIN/633)
Recommendation 2 - Future Acquisitions for Affordable Housing Delivery - (PART B report)
The Mayor informed the Full Council that it was intended to hold the discussion on Recommendation 2 - Future Acquisitions for Affordable Housing Delivery in open public session (Part A), noting that report CH/201 of the Head of Crawley Homes was exempt (Part B).
The Full Council considered the exempt report CH/201 of the Head of Crawley Homes. The Leader of the Council presented the report, which sought approval to acquire affordable housing opportunities from the market, to be funded from the HRA Acquisitions Budget for Crawley Homes ownership.
The recommendation was seconded and supported by Councillor Irvine.
Councillor Crow also spoke on the recommendation.
The Mayor then called for a vote on the recommendation which was carried unanimously.
That Full Council delegates authority to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Head of Corporate Finance, the Leader of the Council and the Chair of the Governance Committee that the Constitution (and its associated documents) be updated to include the acquisition methods, listed in Section 5.1 of report CH/201, to maximise the Council’s opportunity to purchase land and housing schemes for affordable housing delivery purposes.
To consider, in accordance with Full Council Procedure Rule 1.1-H, the Notice of Motion to be moved by Councillor Lamb and seconded by Councillor Yasmin Khan.
The Full Council considered Notice of Motion 1 – Improving Policing in Crawley – as set out on page 85 of the agenda. The Motion was moved and presented by Councillor Lamb, who in doing so gave further explanation of the reasoning behind the Motion. It was seconded and supported by Councillor Y Khan.
Councillors S Mullins, Crow, Pritchard, Millar-Smith, Lanzer, and Burgess all spoke during the debate on the Motion.
The Mayor then called for a vote on Notice of Motion 1 – Improving Policing in Crawley which was carried by 20 votes in favour, 14 against and 0 abstention.
This Council notes:
· That overall responsibility for policing in England and Wales continues to rest with the Home Secretary
· That since the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011), the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner has borne ultimate responsibility for policing across West Sussex, East Sussex, and Brighton and Hove.
· That day-to-day responsibility for operational decisions is held by the Chief Constable across Sussex, and within Crawley by the District Commander
· That while s17 of the Crime and Disorder Act (1998) created a general responsibility for local authorities to do what they reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder within their area, since the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011), councils have lacked any formal influence over the actions of their local police
· That despite this, Crawley Borough Council has a democratic obligation to act upon the concerns of local residents
This Council further notes:
· The incredible work of police officers and police community support offers in Sussex, who regularly put themselves at risk to protect others from harm
· That despite the work of individual officers and PCSOs, official statistics now show that of the 11,875 crimes reported in Crawley over the last 12 months, just 6% resulted in a suspect being charged
· That when discussing criminal activity with the council and its representatives, residents and businesses regularly state that they no longer report criminal activity to the police due to a disbelief that it will be acted upon
· That the Labour Party has announced plans for an addition 13,000 neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs
This Council believes:
· That the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner is failing to take the concerns of local residents and businesses seriously
· That a failure to act to address anti-social behaviour and low-level criminal activity encourages the growth of more serious criminal activity
· That the policing needs of the Crawley community are best addressed through a return to local neighbourhood policing
· That residents should not be forced to wait until the return of a Labour Government to see their concerns acted upon
This Council resolves:
· To call upon the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner to refocus the strategic priorities of Sussex Police to place a greater emphasis on neighbourhood policing
· To support the work of the Safer Crawley Partnership and the Cabinet Member for Public Protection in creating an ongoing programme of regular public meetings across Crawley which will allow a greater ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To consider, in accordance with Full Council Procedure Rule 1.1-H, the Notice of Motion to be moved by Councillor Crow and seconded by Councillor Hellier.
The Full Council considered Notice of Motion 2 – Recycling Rates – as set out on page 87 of the agenda. The Motion was moved and presented by Councillor Crow, who in doing so gave further explanation of the reasoning behind the Motion. It was seconded and supported by Councillor Hellier.
Councillor Jones moved and presented Amendment 1 to the Notice of Motion (as detailed on page 15 of the Supplementary Agenda Order Paper). The amendment was seconded by Councillor Noyce. Councillors Lamb, Piggott, Nawaz, Lanzer, S Mullins and Millar-Smith also spoke on the item. Councillor Crow used his right to reply on the proposed Amendment and on what had been debated.
At the conclusion of the debate the Mayor called for a vote on the proposed amendment to Notice of Motion 2 – Recycling Rates which was carried by 20 votes in favour, 14 against and 0 abstention.
The Mayor then called for a vote on the substantive Notice of Motion Notice of Motion 2 – Recycling Rates as amended which was carried by 20 votes in favour, 0 against and 14 abstentions.
This Council notes the Local Authority Waste Performance Statistics released by DEFRA in March 2023, showing the latest available household waste recycling data for the seven District and Borough Councils within West Sussex for three years from 2019/20. (Appendix A) This data shows Crawley having by far the lowest household waste percentage in West Sussex that is sent for recycling, having made little progress, and being one of only two local authorities to go backwards in 2021/22.
This Council also notes the letter sent by DEFRA to the Leader of Crawley Borough Council on 27 July 2017, that expresses concern about Crawley’s low recycling rate and offers assistance, and his subsequent reply. (Appendix B)
This Council resolves to:
Restate its strong commitment to improving Crawley’s household waste recycling rate, aiming to reach a more equitable level with the six other waste collection local authorities in West Sussex, while taking into account the differing challenges the Borough has in comparison to those areas, and in exploring options, seek learning from other local authorities and waste experts.
Request the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to look into setting up a cross-party Scrutiny Panel, to look at how household waste recycling rates in Crawley can be improved.
In the meantime, request the Cabinet Member for the Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change writes on behalf of Crawley Borough Council to West Sussex County Council calling on them to reinstate the recycling credits payment scheme which the Conservative administration at County Hall abolished in 2020 that used to help borough and district councils within the county area to pay for and implement initiatives to increase recycling.
To consider, in accordance with Full Council Procedure Rule 1.1-H, the Notice of Motion to be moved by Councillor Millar-Smith and seconded by Councillor Mwagale.
The Full Council considered Notice of Motion 3 – Support for Care Leavers – as set out on page 91 of the agenda. The Motion was moved and presented by Councillor Millar-Smith who in doing so gave further explanation of the reasoning behind the Motion. It was seconded and supported by Councillor Mwagale.
Councillor Jones moved and presented Amendment 3 – Support for Care Leavers (as detailed on page 15 of the Supplementary Agenda Order Paper). The amendment was seconded by Councillor S Mullins. Councillors Crow, Irvine and Burgess also spoke on the item.
Councillor Millar-Smith, using her right to reply, commented that she would accept Councillor Jones’ amendment and include it as part of the substantive recommendation. The Mayor then called for a vote on the substantive recommendation as amended which was carried unanimously.
This Council notes that the Care Leavers Service in West Sussex supports young people to exit care successfully as they move towards independence, operating under a clear legislative framework provided by the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The Children and Social Work Act 2017 introduces corporate parenting principles which comprise seven needs that local authorities in England must have regard to.
This Council further notes that the West Sussex Care Leavers Service and increasingly it’s partners, operate in line with these principles which centre around the promotion of physical and mental health and wellbeing of those children and young people to encourage them to express their views and to take those views into account to:
• Help gain access to and make the best use of services provided by the local authority and its relevant partners.
• Promote high aspirations and seek to secure the best outcomes.
• Ensure they are safe, and have stability in their home lives, relationships and in education or work, and ultimately to prepare them for adulthood and independent living.
This Council welcomes the existing support given by Crawley Borough Council to local care leavers, including the provision of free leisure centre access to K2 Crawley to support their health and wellbeing.
In seeking to provide further support for care leavers, this Council resolves to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council to assist it in fulfilling its statutory duties, by:
Engaging directly with the West Sussex Care Leavers Service, to proactively help the service move towards Good and onto Outstanding status through the exploration.
and implementation of additional initiatives, including potentially:
• Providing a shopfront facing community base for our care leavers - a communal space to meet with facilities such as laundry, life skills coaching, WiFi and a place to meet Leaving Care Personal Advisors
• Linking to the above objective, a space for the County Council’s Youth Emotional Support Service for meeting with children from across the county.
And also requesting officers of Crawley Borough Council to review the council’s recruitment policy and procedure to incorporate potential opportunities for any care leaver who wanted to explore this ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
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 also verbally ask questions during the CQT.
Councillors have the opportunity to ask oral supplementary questions in relation to either of the methods above.
Vote to Extend the Meeting (Guillotine)
As the business of the meeting had not been completed within the scheduled two hours and 30 minutes, a vote on continuation in line with Council Procedure Rule 8.3 was held. The Mayor required the Full Council to consider if it wished to continue with the meeting.
Having put it to the vote, the Council agreed that the meeting be continued for an additional period not exceeding 30 minutes.
Councillors' Questions Time (Continued)
Receiving the Minutes of the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Other Committees including Items for Debate
To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Committees, as listed on page 35, 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.
Moved by Councillor Kiran Khan (as the Deputy Mayor) :-
That the following reportsbe received:
· Planning Committee – 24 July 2023
· Planning Committee – 29 August 2023
· Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 4 September 2023
· Audit Committee – 5 September 2023
· Cabinet – 6 September 2023
· Governance Committee – 11 September 2023
· Licensing Committee – 12 September 2023
· Overview and Scrutiny Commission – 25 September 2023
· Cabinet – 27 September 2023
There were no items for debate.