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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Christchurch

Contact: Sarah Culwick 01202 795273  Email: democraticservices@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

Link: To watch this meeting click here (Right-click to open on new window)

Items
No. Item

147.

Prayers

Prayers will be said by the Mayor’s Chaplain, the Reverend Canon Charles Stewart.

Minutes:

Prayers were led by the Reverend Richard Partridge on behalf of the Mayor’s Chaplain.

 

148.

Declarations of Interest by Members

Members are reminded that any disclosable pecuniary interests must be declared including any issues which may arise through pre-determination or bias.

Pro forma for this purpose are available from the Members' Room. (Guidance on declaring an interest is included on subsequent page.)

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received on this occasion.

 

149.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2018.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 4 September 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.

 

150.

Announcements pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To receive a schedule of Civic functions attended by the Mayor since the last meeting and any announcements from the Mayor, Council Leader or Chief Executive and Town Clerk.

Minutes:

1.       The Mayor

 

The Mayor announced that, since the last meeting of the council, she had been privileged to attend some wonderful engagements, highlighting the twin town visit to Aalen which had been a wonderful experience, the visit to Christchurch from some Aalen school children where the Mayor had given a talk on the work of the Borough. The Mayor further advised council that she had represented the Borough at recent events marking 100 years since the end of World War One, including the silent sailor, silent sailor. In relation to this the Mayor advised Members that beacons are being lit on November 11 2018 in commemoration of the 100 years one of which is being lit on Christchurch Quay, and further to this reminded Members of the forthcoming Remembrance Day Services.

In closing the Mayor advised Members of forthcoming briefings which have been scheduled in relation to the future proposals regarding the formation of Christchurch Town Council.

The full schedule of events had been circulated to each Member, a copy of which appears as Appendix A to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

2.       The Leader

 

The Leader advised Council that he along with the Deputy Leader continue to work with the Shadow Executive in attendance of their meetings together with the Task and Finish Group meetings and the delivery board meetings which is an ongoing process.

 

3.       Chief Executive

 

The Chief Executive and Town Clerk thanked Members for their cards and well wishes and advised that he would soon be back to work full time. In relation to LGR the Chief Executive advised that his focus now was to ensure that staff transfer in as smooth and seamless a way as possible to the new councils.

 

151.

Questions by Members of the Public

    To deal with questions to the Council Leader or Committee Chairmen submitted in writing by members of the public under Council Procedure Rule 10.

     

    Note:  Questions by members of the public have to be received by midday five clear working days before the meeting (Monday 22 October 2018)

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that one question had been submitted under Council Procedure Rule 10.

    QUESTION FROM MR BRIAN CASE

    Following the recent restructure the council’s committee membership, and in light of the more recent decision by Mr Chris Loder, Dorset area chairman of the Conservative group, to overturn the original censure motion where he referenced that there was “a lack of credible evidence”. Will the Council leader now act on Mr Loders final recommendation that the nine councillors concerned, Cllrs Claire Bath, Bernie Davies, Tavis Fox, Cllr Wendy Grace, Vicki Hallam, Ray Nottage, Lisle Smith, Sue Spittle and Trevor Watts be reinstated to the committees from which they were removed so that Christchurch can benefit from the experience they have in their contributions to those committees? I further add that if Mr Loders recommendations are not to be implemented could it then be argued that local infighting is being prioritised over the wider interests of Christchurch residents?

    RESPONSE BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR DAVID FLAGG

    Part of your question deals with the censure of nine councillors which is a party political matter and not the business of this council. With regards to Christchurch Borough Council committees, I would refer you to the agenda item 4, minute 115, the notice of motion was tabled in accordance with the constitution procedural rules 12 and 15, and the motion was carried with members voting 13:8 with 1 abstention. The committees consist of experienced councillors all working for the best interests of Christchurch residents as we move towards the new unitary authority. Mr Loders recommendation that you refer to does not form part of the business of this council.

    SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION FROM MR BRIAN CASE

    Would you therefore agree with me that because the BCP unitary authority is now in place less than six months away do you agree with me that you should encourage all your fellow Christchurch councillors to work collaboratively with all the other BCP Shadow Authority councillors across the conurbation for the future benefits and interests of Christchurch?

    RESPONSE BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR DAVID FLAGG

    As far as I’m concerned all the Members on this Council are working towards the new unitary authority, both on the Shadow Executive as I mentioned earlier and the Shadow Authority and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which are now involved with the process of moving forward to April 2019.

     

152.

Petitions by Members of the Public

    To deal with petitions or similar communications submitted by members of the public under Council Procedure Rule 10.

     

    Note: Petitions have to be received by midday five clear working days before the meeting (Monday 22 October 2018).

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that no petitions had been received under Council Procedure Rule 10.

     

153.

Questions by Members of the Council

    To deal with questions to the Council Leader or Policy Committee Chairmen submitted in writing by Members of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 11.

     

    Note: Questions by Members of the Council have to be received by 12 noon one clear working day before the date of the meeting (Friday 26 October 2018).

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that two questions had been received from a Member of the Council under Council Procedure Rule 11.

    QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR COLIN BUNGEY TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

    1)          Following the letter to Cllr Walton of Poole Borough Council, Chairmen of the new Shadow Executive, from the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government which indicated that a seven year council Tax Harmonisation period would be the maximum period allowed although a shorter time could be acceptable should all parties agree?  What response will this council be making to both the Minister and the Shadow Executive?

    2)          In the final paragraph of the ministers letter there also appears to be provision allowing for the Harmonisation of Council Tax from day one using the Ministers letter as a base of the new Unitary of Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth, by taking an average of the Council Taxes paid across the area of all three Authorities and setting that as the base rate from day one. This would appear to have little or no effect on the income of the new Unitary and could in fact give a slight increase in the projected figures.  It would also have the desired effect for Christchurch residents of a considerable reduction in council tax in the first year of the new Unitary Authority with no loss of income. A win, win, situation for all.

    Is the Leader able to assure members that this Council will be preparing figures to support the case for Harmonisation from day one and making representations to the Minister by the closing date of the 9th November in an effort to ensure that Christchurch residents do not have to subsidise Poole and Bournemouth Councils for seven years?

    RESPONSE BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR DAVID FLAGG

    The policy position of the Council has not changed in that council tax harmonisation should take place from day 1 of the new unitary authority. Both the Deputy Leader and myself have taken this approach since attending the Shadow Executive and Task and Finish Group meetings.  Detailed council tax harmonisation modelling was presented to the Shadow Executive joint committee meeting of the 16 April 2018 which included a weighted average amount at option D, however only options C, G, J, M and N were considered as meeting the joint committees resolution. Minute 49 of that meeting sets out the decision that was made and it is noted that Councillors David Flagg and Trish Jamieson requested that their dissent from the decision be recorded. It is my understanding that copies of the modelling presented at the meeting were included in the presentation to the Minister. I will once again write to the Minister to explain that whilst the Shadow Executive may agree to a 7 year harmonisation period the policy of this Council remains the same.

    SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR COLIN BUNGEY TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

    It would appear from the answer that although the Minister has given the opportunity for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 153.

154.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 50 KB

155.

Change to Political Group Membership and Allocation of Seats pdf icon PDF 53 KB

    To note a change to the political group membership and to approve the allocation of seats on committees other than by political balance

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council submitted a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

    Contrary to the recommendation contained within the agenda the Leader proposed the recommendation that Councillor Mrs Derham Wilkes be replaced on the Community, Resources and Ethical Governance Committees.

    RESOLVED that Councillor Mrs Derham Wilkes be replaced on the following committees with those members shown below:-

    Community Committee – Councillor Mrs Dedman

    Ethical Governance Committee – Councillor Hall

    Resources Committee – Councillor Geary

    Voting: Nem.Con. (1 Abstention)

     

156.

Urgent Business Item - Notice of Motion

    • 0

    In accordance with procedure rule 12 (Motions on Notice) and with the agreement of the Mayor to include this item on the agenda as a matter of urgency, the following Motion is proposed by Councillor David Jones and seconded by Councillor Mrs Margaret Phipps.

     

    It is RECOMMENDED that this Council, considering the question of Council Tax harmonisation in the new authority:

     

    1.      Notes the letter from the Secretary of State to the Leader of the Shadow Authority which indicates that the Secretary is minded to allow a tax harmonisation period of up to seven full years

     

    2.      Notes that for this time Christchurch residents will be subsidising the rest of the Authority to their considerable financial disadvantage

     

    3.      Notes and commends the Shire Dorset Authority for its decision to harmonise Council Tax in the Shire County from Day One of the new Authority

     

    4.      Urges the Shadow Executive to reconsider its position on this matter

     

    5.      Urges Members of the Shadow Authority to raise this matter at the Shadow Authority’s meeting on 19 December.

     

    (Although this item did not appear on the agenda, the Mayor agreed that it be dealt with as a matter of urgency in view of the notification and decision timeline of this matter)

    Minutes:

    The Council was advised that in accordance with procedure rule 12 (Motions on Notice) and with the agreement of the Mayor to include this item on the agenda as a matter of urgency, the following Motion was proposed by Councillor David Jones and seconded by Councillor Mrs Margaret Phipps.

     

    That this Council, considering the question of Council Tax harmonisation in the new authority:-

    1.      Notes the letter from the Secretary of State to the Leader of the Shadow Authority which indicates that the Secretary is minded to allow a tax harmonisation period of up to seven full years;

    2.      Notes that for this time Christchurch residents will be subsidising the rest of the Authority to their considerable financial disadvantage;

    3.      Notes and commends the Shire Dorset Authority for its decision to harmonise Council Tax in the Shire County from Day One of the new Authority;

    4.      Urges the Shadow Executive to reconsider its position on this matter; and

    5.      Urges Members of the Shadow Authority to raise this matter at the Shadow Authority’s meeting on 19 December.

    Following comprehensive debate, the motion as set out above was put the vote and was carried.

    Voting: Nem.Con. (3 Abstentions)

     

157.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    Items in this part of the Agenda are exempt from disclosure prior to consideration by the Committee and the press and public may be excluded from the meeting while the items are discussed.  Whether the items remain exempt after the meeting will be reviewed in light of the public interest test.

     

    RECOMMENDED that in view of the nature of the business to be transacted it is likely that if members of the public were present during the following item there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information' as described in the category indicated and they be therefore excluded from the meeting in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that in view of the nature of the business to be transacted it is likely that if members of the public were present during the following item there would be disclosure of ‘exempt information’ as described in the category indicated and they be therefore excluded from the meeting in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

158.

Highcliffe Zig Zag Replacement Project

    Exempt Information – Category 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority hold that information)

    To note an urgent key decision which has been made in relation to the letting of the tender for the Highcliffe Zig Zag Replacement Project

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive and Town Clerk informed Council that in accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Part 3 (Responsibility for Functions), Section A, paragraph 1.4, a delegated urgent ‘Key Decision’ had been made by the Strategic Director following consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Chairman of the Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee. A copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book

    RESOLVED that Council noted the urgent Key Decision.

    Voting: Nem.Con.

     

 

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