Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 5th November, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: Democratic Services Manager Tel: (01992) 564243  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

46.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Democratic Services Manager will read the following announcement:

 

“The chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).

 

If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

47.

Former Councillor N. Green OBE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman informed members that former Councillor Norma Green OBE had recently passed away.

 

Norma Green had represented the High Beach Ward of the District, as a Conservative district councillor from 1995 to 2002. She had served on many of the Council’s committees, working groups  and outside bodies during this time. She had been awarded an OBE for political services and received the Citizen of the Year by the Council in 2011.

 

Members paid tribute to the memory of the former district councillor and stood for a minute’s silence in her memory.

48.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2019 (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 September 2019 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

49.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor I Hadley declared a non pecuniary interest in agenda item 12 (Morton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Neighbourhood Plan) by virtue of being the District Ward Councillor for Morton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers. Councillor I Hadley advised that he would remain and vote on this item.

50.

Announcements

(a)        Apologies for Absence

 

(b)        Chairman’s Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          The Chairman’s Announcements

 

The Chairman advised that he had hosted a charity event on the 28 October 2019 in aide of Young Carers which had raised £1100. He had also organised a business network event for the promotion of small businesses which would be held in the Civic offices on 28 November 2019.

 

Furthermore, he had attended the recent Diwali celebrations at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandar in Chigwell and a Firework display at North Weald Airfield provided by the Epping & Ongar Round Table.

 

(b)          Flowers

 

The Chairman announced that he intended to send the flowers from the meeting to St Clare’s Hospice in Hastingwood.

51.

Public Questions

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within Part 4 of the Council Rules of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)        to the Leader of the Council;

 

(b)        to any Portfolio Holder; or

 

(c)        to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Any further questions, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

 

Question by D Rye to the Contracts and Technical Services Portfolio Holder

 

“At the last council meeting I attended, when questions were put to this council regarding the TFL issue in Chigwell.  Members were clearly told that the work that was being undertaken by TFL was, and I quote ‘ Emergency work to the embankment with regard to the subsidence’.

 

I wish to inform the council that since September, apart from erecting hoarding, there has been absolutely no work carried out on the embankment, nor will there be until, quote ‘Spring 2020’.

 

Considering that potentially no work will be carried out for at least 6 months, at a time when there is more chance of subsidence due to adverse weather;  does the council still consider this as emergency work and what action will it take to ensure that any extension on the lease of land in Lechmere Ave is adhered to by TFL and that TFL will not be allowed continuous extensions to this lease for months or years to come, regardless of the amount of money it is paying EFDC for the privilege to use this land?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Transport for London (TfL)– Works to the Central Line, Chigwell

 

Question by D Rye to Councillor N. Avey (Contracts and Technical Portfolio Holder)

 

“At the last council meeting I attended, when questions were put to this council regarding the TfL issue in Chigwell.  Members were clearly told that the work that was being undertaken by TfL was, and I quote ‘ Emergency work to the embankment with regard to the subsidence’.

 

I wish to inform the council that since September, apart from erecting hoarding, there has been absolutely no work carried out on the embankment, nor will there be until, quote ‘Spring 2020’.

 

Considering that potentially no work will be carried out for at least 6 months, at a time when there is more chance of subsidence due to adverse weather;  does the council still consider this as emergency work and what action will it take to ensure that any extension on the lease of land in Lechmere Ave is adhered to by TfL and that TfL will not be allowed continuous extensions to this lease for months or years to come, regardless of the amount of money it is paying EFDC for the privilege to use this land?”

 

Response given by Councillor A. Lion (Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder) on behalf Councillor N. Avey (Contracts and Technical Services Portfolio Holder)

 

“I would like to thank the member of the public who submitted a question and are present to address the Council this evening, regarding ongoing work to the Central Line in the Chigwell area. I may not be able to fully answer the questions raised tonight, as I need to rely on Transport for London (TfL) for some of the responses, but I will endeavour to address residents’ concerns in this regard.

 

The Central Line offers a key mode of transport for our residents, businesses and visitors. Due to the usage and age of the Central Line, it is necessary to carry out routine as well as any urgent repair works to the line in the Chigwell area should the need arise.  Regarding the question relating to ‘Emergency work to the embankment with regard to the subsidence’ and the fact that despite hoarding being erected since September, no work has currently been carried out by TfL, I would like to clarify the definition of works, in that TfL consider the works to be ‘Urgent’ and not emergency, as has been quoted in your correspondence. The embankment in question is electronically monitored by TfL and therefore should works be required prior to the proposed Spring 2020 date, then they will be aware of the requirement to attend.

 

As further explanation, TfL have responded and provided the following explanation:

 

‘The works are considered as urgent. In the interim prior to construction works commencing slope monitoring is being carried out on monthly basis until the start on site date to ensure there is no further slope movement since vegetation clearance.’

 

With regards to the licence granted to TfL by Epping Forest District Council,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Questions By Members Under Notice

To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within the Council’s rules in Part 4 of the Constitution on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the District:

 

(a)                  to the Chairman of the Council;

 

(b)                  to the Leader of the Council;

 

(c)                  to any Member of the Cabinet; or

 

(d)                  the Chairman of any Committee or Sub-Committee.

 

The Council’s rules provide that answers to questions under notice may take the form of:

 

(a)             direct oral answer;

 

(b)             where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication; or

 

(c)             where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner.

 

Answers to questions falling within (a) and (b) above will be made available to the member asking the question one hour before the meeting. Answers to questions falling within (c) above will be circulated to all councillors.

 

Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that there were no members questions under notice that had been submitted for consideration at this meeting.

53.

Reports from the Leader & Members of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To receive reports and any announcements from the Leader and members of the Cabinet on matters falling within their area of responsibility:

 

(a)        Report of the Leader;

 

(b)        Report of the Business Support Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(c)        Report of the Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(d)        Report of the Community and Partnership Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(e)        Report of the Contract and Technical Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(f)        Report of the Customer Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(g)        Report of the Housing and Property Services Portfolio Holder (attached);

 

(i)         Report of the Planning Services Portfolio Holder (attached); and

 

(j)         Report of the Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received written reports from Portfolio Holders. The Chairman invited the Leader of Council to provide an oral report and the opportunity for other members of the Cabinet to give updates on matters concerning their relevant portfolios.

 

(a)          The Leader of the Council

 

Councillor C Whitbread advised that he had been involved in a number internal and external meetings since the last Council meeting.

 

The Cabinet continued to prepare the forth coming budget, consider options for the St John’s Road Site and the Accommodation Strategy and progress the Council’s development company, which would be scrutinised at Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 November 2019. The forth coming budget included a number of innovative ideas including bringing back the Highway Rangers.

 

Finally, he had attended the recent South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) meeting to discuss some of the economic development issues in the surrounding areas.

 

(b)          Strategic Projects Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor A Lion advised that he had become the Deputy Chairman of the London, Stansted, Cambridge Corridor (LSCC) which incorporated the economic area around Epping Forest, Uttlesford, Harlow, Broxbourne and Hertfordshire and helped to influence the economic development within LSCC area.

 

He would also be attending the Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 6 November 2019, which would be scrutinising the proposals to relocate the Moorfields Eye Hospital from Islington to a new site in St Pancras.

 

Finally he had attended digital showcase regarding the Digital Innovation Zone for Epping Forest, Hertfordshire and Essex.

 

(c)           Commercial and Regulatory Services Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor A Patel provided the Council with an update on the Group Company Structure that had been approved by Cabinet on 11 July 2019. He advised that a members and officers steering group had been established and had met on a fortnightly basis since September 2019 to progress the project.

 

Following a request from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor M Sartin, an update on the Group Company Structure would be submitted to Overview and Scrutiny on 19 November 2019 for members to scrutinise. 

54.

Questions by Members Without Notice

The Council’s rules provide for questions by any member of the Council to the Leader or any Portfolio Holder, without notice on:

 

(i)            reports under the previous item; or

 

(ii)           any other matter of a non operational character in relation to the powers and  duties of the Council or which affects all or part of the District or some or all of  its inhabitants.

 

The Council’s rules provide that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:

 

(a)            a direct oral answer from the Leader or, at the request of the Leader, from another member of the Cabinet;

 

(b)            where the desired information is in a publication of the Council or other published work, a reference to that publication;

 

(c)            where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer circulated later to the questioner; or

 

(d)            where the question relates to an operational matter, the Leader or a member of the Cabinet will request that a response be given direct to the questioner by the relevant Service Director.

 

In accordance with the Council’s rules, a time limit of thirty minutes is set for questions. Any question not dealt with within the time available will receive a written reply. The Chairman may extend this period by up to a further ten minutes at their discretion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          People Strategy

 

Councillor S Heather asked the Leader whether he could assure members that the People Strategy was proceeding as planned.

 

Councillor C Whitbread advised that the People Strategy was progressing as planned and 77% of roles had gone to internal candidates before any external recruitment had taken place.  There had been no significant increase in leavers compared to previous  years and he was confident that the process would make the Council stronger.

 

(b)          Ivy Chimneys, Epping

 

Councillor J H Whitehouse asked whether the meeting mentioned in the Contacts and Technical Services Portfolio Holder report about Ivy Chimneys, in Epping was the meeting she had arranged on 14 November 2019.

 

Councillor C Whitbread replied on behalf of the Contacts and Technical Services Portfolio Holder and advised that he would asked Councillor N Avey and report back to Councillor J H Whitehouse.

 

(c)           Company Group Structure

 

Councillor S Murray asked the Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder whether he considered the appointment process for the Company Group Structure democratic and acceptable for the level of appointments made.

 

Councillor A Patel advised that he and Councillor S  Stavrou in consultation the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny, Councillor M. Sartin had requested that a report on the Company Group Structure and recent achievements would be brought to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee, for members to consider and scrutinize.

 

(d)          Recent Dispersal Order issued in Theydon Bois

 

Councillor S Jones asked the Community and Partnerships Portfolio Holder following the recent requirement of a Dispersal Order in Theydon Bois village centre on 31 October 2019; whether any other Dispersal Order’s had issued in the District and whether EFDC Police had been deployed.

 

Councillor N Bedford advised that a total of 24 officers had been deployed over the District on 31 October 2019, which had been a mix of Council Police teams, Loughton Community Police, 4 Park Guard Officers and 2 EFDC CCTV operators based on a geographical requirement.

 

A substantial number of fireworks had been seized and destroyed in Debden; a Dispersal Order was issued in Theydon Bois; and criminal damage had been reported in Epping High Street which had been caused by fireworks. There had been no arrests  made and the Police had advised if anyone could identify youths in the CCTV images in Epping, residents could report the information either online or to Community officers anonymously.

 

(e)          Company Group Structure

 

Councillor H Kauffman asked the Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder about the establishment of the Council Group Company and for further information on the following;

(i)            what the company entailed;

(ii)           whether a process could be put into place to ensure members of the Council were satisfied with development programme;

(iii)          what the Council’s liability was;

(iv)          what the remit of the company was; and

(v)           whether there was a non-executive director to ensure checks and balances were made.

 

Councillor A Patel asked that the Councillor H Kauffman put his questions in writing and he would consult with officers and reply to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Motions pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under the Council’s rules.

 

Motions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Fireworks

 

Moved by Councillor S. Murray and seconded by Councillor S. Neville

 

“This Council resolves:

 

(1)to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

(2)to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

(3)to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays; and

(4)to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.”

 

Amendment moved by Councillor S Murray and seconded by Councillor S Neville

 

That in (1) the word ‘requires’ was replaced it with ‘encourage’.

 

            Carried

 

Amendment moved by Councillor N Bedford and seconded by Councillor A Lion

 

That the following be added to the end of (3) “and in the case of Class 1, 2 and 3 fireworks to review the age that they can be sold”

 

Carried

 

Amendment moved by Councillor J McIvor and seconded by Councillor J Philip

 

That in (3) the following “to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB” was replaced with “urge the Government to review a suitable limit for the noise of fireworks

           

Lost

 

Motion as amended ADOPTED

 

RESOLVED:

           

This Council resolves:

 

(1)                    to encourage all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

(2)                    to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

(3)                     to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays and to seek the review of the current age limit restrictions on the sale of Class 1, 2 and 3 fireworks; and

(4)                    to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks.

 

56.

Constitution Working Group pdf icon PDF 269 KB

(Councillor S. Jones) To consider the attached report of the Working Group arising from its meeting on 24 September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor S. Jones Chairman of Constitution Working Group

 

Councillor S Jones advised that the Constitution Working Group had reviewed the anomaly in relation to public speaking and site visits for planning applications referred to the Council from the District Development Management Committee.

 

It was considered that the procedure for the registration of applicants, objectors and local town and parish councils (or representatives) to speak at a Council meeting should be applied to all planning applications referred to Council and that on the recommendation of the Service Director (Planning Services), the Chairman of Council approve a formal site visit for all members (where appropriate) on these applications.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED:

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)    That existing arrangements for public speaking in respect of planning applications that currently only apply to meetings of the District Development Management Committee and the Area Plans Sub-Committees, be extended to all planning applications considered by the full Council;

 

(2)    That any proposal for the holding of a formal site visit for all members with regard to any planning application to be considered by the full Council, be approved by the Chairman of the Council on the recommendation of the Service Director (Planning Services); and

 

(3)    That pursuant to recommendations (1) and (2) above, the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make necessary revisions to the Council’s Constitution to give effect to the adoption of arrangements for public speaking and the holding of member site visits, with regard to all planning applications considered by the full Council.

 

 

 

 

57.

Constitution - Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider the attached report of the Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer presented a report to the Council regarding revisions to the Council’s Scheme of Delegations (Delegation of Executive Functions) following the ongoing implementation of the People Strategy and the appointments to managerial and specialist positions.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED:

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1)    That the proposed revisions to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation (Delegation of Executive Functions) as attached be agreed; and

 

(2)    That pursuant to recommendation (1) above, the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make changes to the Scheme of Delegation contained within the Council’s Constitution, as required to give effect to the changes to the Scheme of Delegation.

 

58.

Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 279 KB

(Planning Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mover: Councillor J Philip, Planning Services Portfolio Holder

 

Councillor J Philip advised that under the Localism Act 2011, Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers had prepared a Draft Neighbourhood Plan, which had been through the relevant stages and now required the Council to ‘make’ the Neighbourhood Plan within an 8 week period of the referendum. This ensured that the Neighbourhood Plan would form part of the statutory development plan and sat alongside the Epping forest District’s Local Plan.

 

Report as first moved ADOPTED

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Neighbourhood Plan be ‘made’ (adopted) as part of the Epping Forest District’s statutory development Plan.

59.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee) To answer any questions without notice asked in accordance with Council Rules.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M Sartin advised that at the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 November 2019, Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) would be attending to give a presentation and to answer questions. She asked that members submit questions to the Democratic Services Manager, S Tautz before the meeting, so that they could be passed onto VAEF and answers could be provided at the meeting.

 

Furthermore, at this meeting there would also be an update on the Council’s Transformation Project, particularly focusing on the People and Accommodation Strategies, as well as the Group Company Structure. This would give members the opportunity to ask the relevant Portfolio Holders further questions.

 

Finally, the Committee would be inviting Transport for London (TfL) to a future meeting to discuss the recent action concerning the rescheduling of the timetable for the Central Line between Epping, Theydon Bois and Debden.

 

Councillor G Mohindra advised that at a meeting earlier in the day, issues had been discussed with TfL regarding the peak time trains in the District, changes to the Hainault loop, the car parks suggested for housing in the Local Plan and the issues mentioned earlier in the agenda regarding works in Chigwell.

 

He advised that the amended time table was due to be implemented on 26 January 2020 and it would be good to discuss this with TfL again before this date.

 

Councillor S Murray apologised for comments made in reference to the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor M Sartin at the last council meeting. Furthermore, he asked that she ensured detailed reports were provided to members before the meeting Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 November 2019 regarding the People Strategy, Accommodation Strategy and the Group Company Structure.

60.

Joint Arrangements & External Organisations

(a)          To receive from Council representatives, reports on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations and to answer to any questions on those bodies which may be put without notice; and

 

(b)          To request written reports from representatives on joint arrangements and external organisations for future meetings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)          Board of Governors of New City College and local advisory body for the Epping Forest Campus College

 

Councillor R Bassett advised as that he had attended a stakeholder forum for the Epping Forest Campus on 8 October 2019. At this meeting the Terms of Reference had been agreed and meeting were to be concluded every 2 months with information passed onto the main board and management of college.

 

He had been asked to the chair the stakeholder group and following a meeting with the Chief Executive, G Blakemore and Community and Partnership Service Director J Chandler with the deputy principle of the New City Board, there appeared to be commitment to the Epping Forest Campus. He would update members accordingly through the Members Bulletin.

 

Councillor S Murray asked whether Councillor R Bassett thought the stakeholder Forum would be able to bring enough influence on the decisions that mattered to the residents of the district and that he was sure if any local knowledge was required  Loughton Ward Councillors would assist him in his role. , knowledge of Loughton if required the local councillors give.

 

(b)          Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

 

Councillor C C Pond asked the Royal Gunpowder Mills Representative Councillor H Kane to give members an update on rumours circulating in the community about the visitor attractions site.

 

Councillor H Kane advised that the next meeting had been scheduled later in November 2019 and she report back to the next council meeting.