Venue: The Burdett Room, Riviera International Conference Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, TQ2 5LZ
Contact: June Gurry
Opening of meeting
The meeting was opened with a prayer.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Amil, Barnby, Dart, Howgate, Kavanagh, Kennedy and John Thomas.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council and Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 13 and 27 October 2022.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay proposed and Councillor Brown seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council as set out below:
that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 13 October 2022 and the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 27 October 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay.
To receive any communications or announcements from the:
Ø Civic Mayor, to include the presentation of Long Service Certificate Awards;
Ø Leader of the Council;
Ø Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator;
Ø Council’s representative on the Heart of the South West Joint Committee; and
Ø Chief Executive.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay and the Chief Executive presented long service certificates to both councillors and officers. The following councillors and officers received certificatesin recognition of their dedication to public service in Torbay:
Councillor Steve Darling
Councillor David Thomas
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay provided an update on:
a) her attendance at a number of Remembrance services held in Torquay and Paignton;
b) the recent Civic coffee morning which raised funds for the Civic Mayoral charities;
c) Civic Mayoral visits to clinics and hospitals to thank those working within the health service and social care; and
d) the forthcoming Civic Carol concert due to be held on 9 December 2022 and encouraged members to attend.
The Leader of the Council advised that the recent meeting of the Heart of the South West Joint Committee held on 2 December 2022 was not quorate and had been adjourned.
With the agreement of The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay, the Leader of the Council requested the following Cabinet Members to provide communications on his behalf.
The Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture referred to a number of achievements and improvements to services provided by SWISCo, which were highlighted at a recent all councillor visit to SWISCo. The Cabinet Member also referred to the new garden waste collection service which was working well since its introduction.
The Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing provided an update on the progress of a number of projects including Torre Marine, St Kildas, Debenhams, Crossways and Tweenaway Cross.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services referred to Children’s Services Learning Academy being shortlisted as one of four national finalists at the recent Children and Young People Now awards for workforce development and congratulated those involved.
The Chief Executive led a minute’s silence for Margaret Smith, a serving member of staff, who had sadly passed away.
To receive petitions and any oral representations from the public in accordance with Standing Order A12.
In accordance with Standing Order A23, the Council received a petition requesting the Council to provide double yellow lines on the junction of Barnfield Road and Marldon Road, Paignton (approximately 118 signatures).
At the invitation of the Worshipful of the Mayor of Torbay, Councillor Douglas-Dunbar, as ward councillor, addressed the Council in relation to the petition on behalf of the residents.
The Chief Executive advised that the petition would be referred to the Director of Place for consideration in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture.
To respond to the submitted questions asked under Standing Order A12.
Members received a paper detailing questions, notice of which had been given in accordance with Standing Order A13. The paper also contained the answers to the questions which had been prepared by Councillors Atiya-Alla, Carter, Cowell and Morey, and was circulated prior to the meeting.
Supplementary questions were put and answered by Councillors Atiya-Alla, Carter, Cowell and Morey, arising from their responses to the questions in respect of questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
To consider a report that provides the background of the current scheme and recommendations for the 2023/24 local Council Tax Support scheme.
The Council considered the submitted report on a review of the current local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2023/24. Members noted that the Local Government Finance Act 2012 required local authorities to review their local schemes annually. The Council had a statutory duty to provide a local Council Tax Support Scheme for working-aged households. In addition, pension age households were subject to statutory provisions determined nationally, which had been incorporated within the Council’s scheme.
Councillor Cowell proposed and Councillor Steve Darling seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
1. that the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2023/24 be approved;
2. that Council notes the scheme for 2023/2024 includes the standard annual uprating of the personal allowances and premiums. These values consider the statutory inflationary increase in personal allowances used to calculate entitlement to Council Tax Support. These allowances represent a households basic living needs;
3. that Personal Allowances and Premiums, used to calculate Council Tax Support, are uprated from 1 April 2023 in line with the prescribed Pensioner scheme and national working-age benefits, which are both set by the Government; and
4. that the Director of Finance be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Equality & Diversity and Corporate and Community Services, to make any further adjustments required to the Exceptional Hardship Policy and fund.
To consider a report on the above.
Members considered the submitted report which set out the Council tax base for council tax purposes for 2023/24.
Councillor Cowell proposed and Councillor Steve Darling seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council as set out below:
1. that the calculation of the Torbay Council Tax Base for the year 2023/24 be approved as shown in Appendix 1 to the submitted report;
2. that the calculation of the Brixham Town Council Tax Base for the year 2023/24 be approved as shown in Appendix 2 to the submitted report;
3. that, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Torbay Council as its Council Tax base for the year 2023/24 should be 46,620.10;
4. that, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Torbay Council as the Council Tax base for Brixham Town Council for the year 2023/24 should be 6,211.39;
5. that, in principle, from April 2024 subject to the relevant legislation being in place, Council adopts a 100% Council Tax premium in respect of second homes;
6. that, in principle, from April 2024 subject to the relevant legislation being in place, Council adopts a 100% Council Tax premium in respect of empty premises that have been left unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of between 1 and 2 years; and
7. that a consultation is undertaken early in 2023 to consider a change to the threshold (currently 70%) in calculating the Council’s Council Tax Support Scheme to be applicable from April 2024 with a report to be brought back to Cabinet.
To consider the recommendation of the Cabinet in respect of the Torbay Economic Growth Strategy.
The Council considered the recommendations of the Cabinet on the proposed Torbay Economic Growth Strategy 2022 - 2030 (as set out in the submitted report). It was noted the Strategy provided strategic direction for the Council and its partners in respect of the economic development of Torbay. Torbay’s economy continued to fall behind the UK average and the new Strategy set the framework and key actions to transform the economy.
Councillor Long proposed and Councillor Cowell seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
1. that the Torbay Economic Growth Strategy be approved, as set out in the submitted report; and
2. that subject to 1 above the Torbay Economic Growth Strategy Action Plan be presented to a subsequent Cabinet meeting for approval.
To note the schedule of Executive decisions to which the call-in procedure does not apply.
Members noted the submitted report setting out the following executive decisions taken to which the call-in procedure did not apply:
Governance Oversight of Capital Spend;
Investment Zones in England – Expression of Interest; and
Torquay Town Deal – Land Assembly.
To receive details from the Leader of the Council of the composition and constitution of the Cabinet, together with the record of delegations of Executive functions (in accordance with Standing Order C2).
At the invitation of The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay, the Leader of the Council updated the Council on a change he had made to the Cabinet, namely the inclusion of Equality & Diversity within the Cabinet Member for Corporate and Community Service’s portfolio. The Leader of the Council advised that he would provide an update at the next Cabinet meeting.
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