Venue: The Forum, Riviera 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 Dart, Sykes and John Thomas.
The Chief Executive advised that Councillor Barbara Lewis had indicated she would be leaving the meeting early.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29 July 2021.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay proposed and Councillor Mandy Darling seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
Subject to Minute 221 being amended to reference Councillor Stockman, not Councillor Stockton, the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29 July 2021 be signed as a correct record by the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay.
Declarations of interests
No interests were declared.
To receive any communications or announcements from the:
· Civic Mayor – this will include a presentation from Brendon Prince, founder of the Above Water charity, a
· eader of the Council;
· Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinator;
· Council’s representative on the Heart of the South West Joint Committee; and
· Chief Executive.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay welcomed the High Sheriff of Devon and Mr Brendon Prince to the Council Meeting. Members were advised that Mr Prince, the founder of the Above Water Charity and a sea safety campaigner, was the first person to complete a round trip of mainland Britain on a paddleboard in 141 days – The Long Paddle 2021. On behalf of the Council, the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay thanked Mr Prince for his achievement and the High Sheriff of Devon presented Mr Prince with the High Sheriff of Devon’s award in recognition of his achievement and for raising the profile of the importance of sea safety.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay advised members of the recent passing of Mr Tony Key, who was a former Leader of the Council and Freeman of Torbay and offered condolences to Mr Key’s family on behalf of the Council.
The Chief Executive advised members of a serving member of staff, Rob Wills, who had also sadly passed away. The Chief Executive then led a minute’s silence in memory of both Mr Key and Mr Wills.
The Leader of the Council updated members on:
a) a joint letter from Torbay, Teignbridge and North Devon’s Council Leaders, sent to the Home Office Secretary of State, highlighting the challenges faced from the shortage of HGV drivers to deliver essential Council Services and requested more flexibility for the recruitment of HGV drivers and to allow for European drivers. Members were also advised of the Council’s approach to train its own drivers for refuse and recycling collections;
b) a letter from the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, sent to Torbay’s MP, on the impact the Government’s changes to Universal Credit would have on those in need Torbay’s communities; and
c) a visit to Torbay by colleagues from North Somerset Council which was hosted by Cabinet members and senior officers. The visit provided an opportunity to share the Council’s best practice in respect of managing the summer season’s pressures and the Council’s investment in regeneration.
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 Cowell, Steve Darling, Law, Long, Morey and Stockman and was circulated prior to the meeting.
Supplementary questions were put and answered by Councillors Cowell, Steve Darling, Long and Morey arising from their responses to the questions in respect of questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
During the members’ questions session, the Chief Executive advised, that due to an administrative error, question 22 would be taken in the first round and not the second round as published.
To consider a report that seeks agreement to list the Corporate Parenting Strategy as a Policy Framework Document.
The Council considered the recommendation of the Cabinet, together with the submitted report, which sought the approval for the Corporate Parenting Strategy to be added to the Council’s list of Policy Framework Documents.
Councillor Law proposed and Councillor Morey seconded a motion that was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
that the list of Policy Framework documents in the Constitution be updated to include the Corporate Parenting Strategy.
To consider the recommendations of the Cabinet on the proposed Equality Objective.
The Council considered the recommendation of the Cabinet and the submitted report on refreshed Equality Objectives for 2021-2025.
Councillor Carter proposed and Councillor Stockman seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
that the Council be recommended to agree the following Equality Objectives for 2021-2025:
1. Ensure a wide range of voices are reached and heard in decision making and designing and delivering services.
· Ensure all relevant groups are included in consultations, providing support as appropriate.
· Improve the accessibility of our events, meetings, information and communications.
· Strengthen our relationship with our communities and encourage participation.
· Ensure equality considerations are appropriately addressed within our procurement processes and contract management arrangements.
2. Reduce inequalities so Torbay and its residents thrive.
· Deliver on our Community and Corporate Plan ambition we will work to:
o Ensure that all children are given the best start in life and families are supported.
o Tackle lifestyle and economic issues which lead to inequality and poor health.
o Ensure that older people age well and are physically, mentally and socially active.
3. Consider and if approved implement the recommendations from the Torbay Racism Review Panel.
· Maintain a legacy of the review.
· Strengthen engagement networks.
4. Support the diverse needs of our workforce. Our staff are one of our biggest assets and our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds with a variety of skills and knowledge. We are committed to supporting our staff and enabling them to provide the best possible service to our customers.
· Demonstrating our Core Values, we will always be approachable, calm and respectful.
· Create an environment where we act professionally and treat everyone with respect.
· Ensure that policies and initiatives are in place so our staff can feel safe at work and carry out their duties without feeling bullied or discriminated against.
· Support staff to continue to improve their cultural competence and confidence to improve workforce inclusivity and engage with our diverse population and communities.
(Note: Councillor Barbara Lewis left the meeting after consideration of this item.)
To consider the recommendations of the Harbour Committee and the Cabinet on the proposal to approve capital spend for Torquay harbour to carry out urgent and essential pontoon replacement and repair works to the Torquay Town Dock.
The Council considered the recommendations of the Harbour Committee and the Cabinet (as set out in the submitted report), which sought approval of capital funding in order to carry out urgent and essential pontoon replacement and repair works to the Torquay Town Dock, Torquay Harbour.
Councillor Amil proposed and Councillor Carter seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
1. that borrowing is approved for up to £1.2m for the Torquay Town Dock infrastructure improvements, as set out in the submitted report, and that the Harbour budget will meet the additional borrowing costs, expected to be £115,500 per annum, from increased revenue, commencing in 2024/25; and
2. that the Torquay Town Dock Infrastructure Improvements Project be added to the Council’s Capital Programme.
To consider a report on the above.
The Council considered the submitted report on a proposal for financial renumeration for the post of Independent Person for the Audit Committee.
Councillor Loxton proposed and Councillor Long seconded the motion, as set out below:
1. that an allowance of £500 per annum be offered as renumeration to the Independent Person for Audit Committee and that the Monitoring Officer be instructed to update the Members Allowance Scheme accordingly; and
2. that the Head of Governance readvertise the post, in light of, the decision set out in 1. above.
During the debate, Councillor O’Dwyer recommended an increase in the allowance of up to £1,000 and for the Chief Executive to approve the actual amount paid. Councillor Loxton and Councillor Long accepted Councillor O’Dwyer’s recommendation, which was then incorporated in the original motion and was agreed by the Council (unanimously) as set out below:
1. that an allowance of up to £1000 per annum (with the actual amount to be approved by the Chief Executive) be offered as renumeration to the Independent Person for Audit Committee and that the Monitoring Officer be instructed to update the Members Allowance Scheme accordingly; and
2. that the Head of Governance readvertise the post, in light of, the decision set out in 1. above.
To note the schedule of Executive decisions to which the call-in procedure does not apply.
Members noted the submitted report setting out the Cabinet’s decision taken (namely: Contract Award Key Worker and Temporary Accommodation – Richmond Hotel, Torquay) to which the call-in procedure did not apply.
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