Venue: The Forum, 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 Atiya-Alla, Hill, Howgate and Pentney.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 4 November 2021.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay proposed and Councillor Mandy Darling seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council as set out below:
that the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 4 November 2021 be signed as a correct record by the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay.
To receive any communications or announcements from the:
· Civic Mayor – this will include a community presentation – Britain in Bloom for Torbay;
· Leader 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 Tim Eley to the meeting on behalf of Torbay in Bloom. Mr Eley gave a presentation on the Britain in Bloom South West Awards achieved for Torbay. On behalf of the Council, the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay thanked all those involved who won awards for Torbay and for their excellent effort.
On behalf of the Council, the Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay also thanked all those residents of Torbay who undertook the London Marathon on 3 October 2021 raising money for charity, in particular:
- Scott Green who ran 250 miles from Torquay to Trafalgar Square leading up to the event, raising money for the mental health charity Mind; and
- Simon Singleton who, in addition to the London Marathon, had completed a number of marathons to raise money for UK hospices.
The Leader of the Council:
a) also thanked Mr Eley for his presentation and referred to the learning and opportunities arising from the awards which would enhance the Council’s work with the community;
b) updated the Council on his attendance, as the Council’s representative, at the Heart of the South West Joint Committee held on 1 October 2021 including:
· the appointment of Chairman (Councillor Cllr Val Keitch) and Vice-Chairman (Cllr Nick Kelly)
· Coastal Productivity work
· the impact in recent months on the South West’s economy and that the region was one of the hardest hit by skills shortages e.g. HGV drivers and hospitality
· Housing Task Force and the issue of housing shortages;
c) referred to a recent meeting he had held with the Chief Executive and the Chief Executive of Live West to discuss opportunities for housing within Torbay;
d) thanked the Dartmouth Steam Railway for supporting the Christmas Train of Light trip for Torbay’s vulnerable children and advised that this type of event progressed the Council’s aspirations for a child friendly Torbay; and
e) referred to the ‘pay for hour stay for the day’ parking offer to support local businesses and encouraged members to support local businesses in light of the challenges they faced with the growth of online sales arising from the Covid pandemic.
To hear and respond to any written questions or statements from members of the public which have been submitted in accordance with Standing Order A24.
In accordance with Standing Order A24, the Council heard from Mr Nigel Hollyhead who had submitted a question in relation to reinstating the ‘No Cycling’ signs on Fore Street, Brixham. The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture responded to the question that had been put forward, plus a supplementary question asked by Mr Hollyhead.
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 Steve Darling, Law, Long, Loxton Morey, O’Dwyer and Stockman and was circulated prior to the meeting.
Supplementary questions were put and answered by Councillors Steve Darling, Law, Long, Loxton, Morey and O’Dwyer, arising from their responses to the questions in respect of questions 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 and 9.
(Note: In the absence of Councillor Pentney, Councillor Mandy Darling asked the supplementary question in respect of question 2.)
Thanks to the former Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay and her Escort for their term of office from 2019 to 2021
The Council to convey its thanks to the former Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay and her Escort and present the former Civic Mayor’s badge.
(Note: due to the Covid pandemic, the physical presentation of the former Civic Mayor’s badge was unable to take place at the Annual Council meeting.)
Councillor Amil proposed and Councillor Mandy Darling seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
that the Council express its sincere thanks and appreciation to Councillor Douglas-Dunbar and her escort, Councillor Carter, for the manner in which they carried out their duties during their term of office from 2019 to 2021.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay then presented Councillor Douglas-Dunbar with the past Civic Mayor’s badge.
(Note: this item had been postponed from the Annual Council meeting held in May 2021, due to the Covid pandemic resulting in the physical presentation of the past Civic Mayor’s badge being unable to take place.)
To consider the recommendation of the Cabinet on the 2022/23 Council Tax Support Scheme.
The Council considered the submitted report on a review of the current local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2022/23 and the recommendations of the Cabinet. 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 Carter proposed and Councillor Cowell seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
1. that the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2022/23 be approved;
2. that Council notes the scheme for 2022/2023 includes the standard annual uprating of the personal allowances and premiums. These values take into account 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 2022 in line with the prescribed Pensioner scheme and national working-age benefits, which are both set by the Government; and
4. that the Chief Finance Officer be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and the Cabinet Member for 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 2022/23.
Councillor Cowell proposed and Councillor Long seconded a motion, which was agreed (unanimously) by the Council as set out below:
1. that the calculation of the Torbay Council Tax Base for the year 2022/23 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 2022/23 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 2022/23 should be 46,194.82; and
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 2022/23 should be 6,185.57.
To consider a report and recommendations of the Cabinet, which seek approval of the Gambling Act 2005 – Licensing Statement of Principles 2022 to 2025.
Members received the submitted report and the Cabinet’s recommendation on the Gambling Statement of Principles 2022 to 2025, that outlined the procedures by which the Council will follow under the Gambling Act 2005.
Councillor Carter proposed and Councillor Ellery seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council as set out below:
that the Gambling Statement of Principles 2022 to 2025, as set out in the submitted report, be approved.
To consider a report that sets out proposals for appointing the external auditor to the Council for the 2023/24 accounts and beyond.
The Council considered the submitted report and the recommendations of the Audit Committee on the appointment of the Council’s external auditor for the 2023/24 accounts and beyond, within the national scheme for appointing auditors operated by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA).
Councillor Loxton proposed and Councillor O’Dwyer seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council (unanimously) as set out below:
that the Council accepts Public Sector Audit Appointments’ (PSAA) invitation to ‘opt in’ to the sector led option for the appointment of external auditors for five financial years commencing 1 April 2023.
To note a report that sets out the Treasury Management decisions made during the first part of 2021/22.
The Council noted the review of Treasury Management activities during the first part of 2021/22, as set out in the submitted report.
Statutory Officer Appointment - Scrutiny Officer
To confirm the statutory officer appointment for the Scrutiny Officer.
The Council was requested to confirm the statutory appointment for the Scrutiny Officer.
Councillor Douglas-Dunbar proposed and Councillor Bye seconded a motion, which was agreed by the Council (unanimously) as set out below:
that the appointment of Teresa Buckley as the Council’s statutory Scrutiny Officer be confirmed.
To note the schedule of Executive decisions to which the call-in procedure does not apply.
Members noted the submitted report setting out the executive decision taken (principles and publication of the first Torbay Bus Service Improvement Plan) to which the call-in procedure did not apply.
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