Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping
Contact: Council Secretary: Simon Hill Tel: 01992 564249 Email: email@example.com
This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Assistant Director of Governance and Performance Management 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.”
The Assistant Director of Governance and Performance Management 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.
Former Councillor Moran Farnsworth
The Council is invited to stand for a minute’s silence in tribute to the memory of former Councillor Morgan Farnsworth who had recently passed away.
Former Councillor Farnsworth represented the Grange Hill Ward of the District as a Conservative Councillor from 1979 to 1984. He also represented the County Council Chigwell Ward from 1985 to 1989.
He served on the Finance Sub-Committee, Grange Farm Management Sub-Committee, Grange Farm Review Committee, Recreation & Amenities Committee, Libraries & Museum Sub-Committee, Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee, Transportation and Audit Panel.
The Chairman informed members of the death of former Councillor Moran Farnsworth.
Moran Farnsworth had represented the Grange Hill Ward of the District as a Conservative Councillor from 1979 to 1984. He had served on many of the Council’s member bodies during his time and had also represented the County Council Chigwell Ward from 1985 to 1989.
Members paid tribute to the memory of former District Councillor and stood for a minute’s silence in his memory.
District Council By-Election - 19 October 2017
The Chairman to welcome Councillor Paul Stalker, who was elected on 19 October 2017 to represent the Lower Sheering Ward until May 2019.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Paul Stalker, who had been elected on 19 October 2017 to represent the Lower Sheering Ward until May 2019.
To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2017(attached).
That the minutes of the Council meeting on 26 September 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record subject the following amendments;
Public Questions (Minute 38) – that a typographical error be corrected to replace ‘Philips’ with ‘Philip’;
Questions by Members Without Notice - (e) Emergency Planning (Minute 42) - that a typographical error be corrected to replace ‘Councillor C C Pond’ with ‘Councillor C P Pond’; and
Joint Arrangements and External Organisations (Minute 48) - that Councillor J H Whitehouse asked the Council’s representative, Councillor G Mohindra for an update on the Epping Forest District Local Strategic Partnership.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest by members of the Council under this item.
(a) Apologies for Absence
(b) Chairman’s Announcements
(c) Extraordinary Council Meeting
To note that an Extraordinary Council meeting to consider the Local Plan has been arranged for Thursday 14 December 2017
(a) Announcements by the Chairman of Council
(i) Chairman’s Events
The Chairman informed members that he had attend a variety of events including the start of the construction for Waltham Abbey’s Leisure Centre with Hillhouse Church of England Primary School; and the official opening of Council built housing in Waltham Abbey.
(ii) Chairman’s Quiz
The Chairman of Planning Sub-Committee’s were asked to organise members teams from each of the Sub-Committee’s for the Chairman’s Quiz on 19 January 2017.
(iii) Extraordinary Council Meeting
The Council noted that the Extraordinary Council regarding the Local Plan would be held on 14 December 2017 at 6pm.
(iv) Floral Display
The Chairman announced that he intended to send the flowers from tonight’s meeting to Abbeyfield’s Rider House in Loughton.
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.
Questions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.
(a) Publicity of the Local Plan
Question from Terry Blanks to Councillor J Philip, Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder
“The Council is proposing to make public via the proposed Council Meeting on 14 December the result of their 5 year efforts to produce a Local Plan. Will you undertake any extra publicity of this event to ensure residents have the earliest opportunity to discover what you plan for their future.”
Reply of Councillor J Philip, Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder
“Residents who read the local newspapers or take an interest in the meetings of Epping Forest District Council may already recall a number of public statements I have issued indicating our intention to present the Local Plan for Regulation 19 representations at the extraordinary meeting of Full Council on 14 December.
With the approval of Full Council, I intend to publicise the Local Plan with an invitation to residents and stakeholders to make representations on its legality and soundness prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate early in 2018.
The urgency of the process has become apparent following recent government announcements suggesting that this district – and other council areas – could receive significant increases in housing allocations where Local Plans are not submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by 1 April. In the case of Epping Forest District, this could mean an increase of around 9,000 additional homes, over and above the 11,400 identified by our draft Local Plan in 2016.
However, as the Leader of Council and others have said before, the Local Plan is probably the most important single project being undertaken by the Council. The success of our Local Plan will have a direct bearing on the protection and preservation of the character of our district for years to come while providing the balance of new housing and infrastructure the district needs to meet the challenges of a changing and growing population.
In order to ensure that residents and stakeholders are aware of the Pre Submission Plan the Council will be updating the website to host the Plan and supporting materials.
In addition the Council will be:
On a personal note, similarly to our Regulation 18 consultation last year, I shall be making myself available for interview with our local media including, BBC Essex, local newspapers, local online news and any other reporters we can interest in the process. You can also follow me on my Twitter handle @cllrjohnphilip.”
Supplementary Question from terry Blanks ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
Questions By Members Under Notice
To answer questions asked after notice in accordance with the provisions contained within the Council 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 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.
The Council noted that there were no members questions submitted for consideration at the meeting.
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 Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder (attached);
(c) Report of the Environment Portfolio Holder (attached);
(d) Report of the Finance Portfolio Holder (attached);
(e) Report of the Housing Portfolio Holder (attached);
(f) Report of the Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder (attached);
(g) Report of the Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder (attached);
(i) Report of the Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder (attached); and
(j) Report of the Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder (attached).
(a) Leader of the Council
The Leader advised that the Council had a good track record in investment of the quality of services provided to the District residents, which had been achieved by prudent financial management and effective relationships with the public and private sector partnerships. In October, he had the pleasure of attending the opening of John Scott Court, which had been the first council houses built by the Council in 30 years. Secondly, he had attended the ground breaking event, which marked the start of construction for the new leisure centre in Waltham Abbey. He also advised that there were also improvement plans for the future of all the District’s leisure centres.
Furthermore, the Leader informed members that the Council’s number one priority would be the delivery of the Local Plan. He would be working with the Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder, listening to views and working closely with Ward Councillors before the meeting on 14 December 2014. There would be a lot of work to be done to get the final draft Local Plan in place, but everyone had risen to the challenge and he thanked everyone involved.
(b) Finance Portfolio Holder
Councillor G Mohindra advised that the annual consultation for the Council’s Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme had now closed. There had been 267 hits on the survey, although the majority had not completed the survey. An additional 12 responses had been received after the survey had been reopened but the majority supported the proposals being put forward and were not in receipt of council tax support.
The 100% rate retention bid had been submitted to the DCLG on Friday 3 November 2017, although Thurrock Council had decided to remove themselves from the bid. This withdrawal had been most unhelpful and had reduced the chances of the bid being successful with the DCLG’s stating preference for bids covering entire Counties but it had still been submitted with the 15 remaining authorities.
(c) Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder
Councillor S Kane updated members following the increased anti-social behaviour that had surrounded Halloween on 31 October 2017. He advised that a planned operational response had been delivered by the Community Policing Team which had been supported by EFDC Community Safety Team to help direct of police resources around the District.
(d) Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder
Councillor J Philip advised that he would be carrying out local plan briefing sessions with members on an area by area basis with an additional briefing before the publication of the Council’s agenda on 14 December 2017, so that any queries could be sorted out before that meeting. He asked members to contact himself or officers, if they had any queries before the meeting on 14 December 2017.
(e) Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder
Councillor A Lion advised that members would now be receiving their pay slips through the online system, iTrent. He informed members that drop in sessions had been provided before the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 31 ... view the full minutes text for item 57.
Questions by Members Without Notice
The Council 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.
Council Rules provide that answers to questions without notice may take the form of:
(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 Chief Officer.
In accordance with the Council 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 10 minutes at their discretion.
(a) Epping Forest Six Form Consortium
Councillor S Murray asked the Leader, whether he would;
i) note the success of the Six Form Consortium;
ii) congratulate the Teachers, Head Teachers, Governors and Students for the success of the consortium; and
iii) acknowledge that the first two years of the consortium had reversed the decision made 30 years ago to remove the Districts Six Forms.
Councillor C Whitbread advised that he applauded the success of the Six Form Consortium arrangements in the District and 30 years ago, there were probably a variety of decisions made, that people may now regret.
(b) Recycling Sacks
Councillor C C Pond asked the Environment Portfolio Holder whether he could have the estimated annual value of EFDC recycle sacks recovered at the recycling centre.
Councillor C Whitbread advised that he would have the answer put into the Members Bulletin.
(c) Local Plan
Councillor J M Whitehouse asked the Planning and Governance Portfolio Holder whether he had any progress and responses from Government concerning the Local Plan; and when would the responses to the Council’s Regulation 18 Consultation be published on the Council’s website.
Councillor J Philip advised that there had been no significant feedback from Government, although as an authority and as part of a co-operation board, the Council would be making responses to the consultation.
In regard to the Regulation 18 responses, officers were making sure that the responses had been redacted and this was in progress. He would be able update members at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 9 November 2017.
(d) Buckhurst Hill Parking Reviews
Councillor S Neville asked the Safer, Cleaner & Transport Portfolio Holder, if an update could be given on the Buckhurst Hill Parking Review consultation, which had taken place in March 2017, and included Walnut Way and Station Way.
Councillor S Kane advised that he would obtain a progress report and send it directly to Councillor Neville.
(e) Loughton Leisure Centre Crèche
Councillor R Brookes asked the Leisure & Community Services Portfolio Holder, asked whether there had been any progress on accommodating crèche facilities at the Loughton Leisure Centre when it reopens next year?
Councillor H Kane advised that she had no further updates to her report but she had asked Places for People to explore the feasibility of providing a new crèche and they were trying their best to accommodate.
(f) Retails Langston Road
Councillor S Murray asked the Assets and Economic Development Portfolio Holder how some members were regarding the Retail Park at Langston Road, as a flagship policy and why were pedestrians given no dedicated route to cross roads over to the retail park from the Roding Ward area.
Councillor A Grigg advised that some of the highways works were not completed and she was disappointed that residents were not able to cross safely into the retail park, but she would look into it and put an answer in the Members Bulletin. Regarding the flagship policy, she advised that some members saw the benefit to residents, the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 58.
To consider any motions, notice of which has been given under Council Rules.
Motions, if any, will follow if not received in time to be incorporated into the agenda.
The Chairman reported that there were no motions to be considered at this meeting.
(Chairman of Constitution Working Group) To consider the attached report.
Mover: Councillor M McEwen, Chairman of the Constitution Working Group
Councillor M McEwen presented a report on minor amendments to Working Group’s Terms of Reference; a discrepancy to Article 6 (Overview and Scrutiny) Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Public Questions; changes made to Article 10 – Changes to Membership of Area Plans Sub-Committee and Overview and Scrutiny – Consultation Documents; and a review on the Planning Code of Practice.
Report as first moved ADOPTED
That the following changes be adopted and the Constitution be amended to reflect these changes;
Terms of Reference
(1) That the Terms of reference for the Working Group be amended to remove the initial requirement to have reported to the full Council by March 2016 on the new Council Constitution;
Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Public Questions/Consultation Documents
(2) That the following revisions be made to the Procedure Rules of the Constitution:
(a) A Q3(1) (Revised) “Members of the public may ask questions of the Leader of the Council, any Portfolio Holder, or the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at ordinary meetings of the Council”;
(b) Q3(2) (New) “Members of the public may also ask questions of any Portfolio Holder at ordinary meetings of the Cabinet and of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at ordinary meetings of the Committee”; and
(3) That the following revision be made to Appendix 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution:
(a) 1(q) “to review the implications of consultation documents relating to matters affecting the Epping Forest District, where requestedby members or considered appropriate by the relevant Service Director, and to respond to such matters on behalf of the Council”;
New Planning Code of Practice
(4) That the Planning Code of Practice attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes be adopted; and
Article 10 – Changes to Membership of Area Plans Sub-Committees
(5) That the existing paragraph (3) of Article 10 of the Constitution be deleted and substituted with the words “(3) Newly elected members maybe appointed to the relevant Area Plans Sub-Committee at the next ordinary meeting of the Council”.
(Leader of Council) To consider the attached report.
Mover: C Whitbread, (Chairman of the Appointment Panel and Leader of the Council)
Councillor C Whitbread reported on further outstanding appointments to Committees, Partnership Boards and Outside Organisations for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year or stated term of office.
Report as first moved ADOPTED
(1) That Councillor P Stalker be appointed on the Joint Consultative Committee for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal;
(2) That Councillor S Kane be appointed to the Off-Street Car Parking Contract Partnership Board for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal;
(3) That Councillor P Stalker be appointed deputy representative to the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee, for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year;
(4) That Councillors S Kane and G Shiell be appointed as deputy representatives to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority until 30 June 2021; and
(5) That Councillor P Stalker be appointed a member of the Plans East Sub-Committee for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year.
Overview and Scrutiny Committee
(a) To receive any verbal update from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to answer any questions without notice asked in accordance with Council Rules.
The Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor M Sartin gave a verbal update from the meeting on 31 October 2017. This included guests speakers from Barts Health NHS Trust, regarding to the continued improvement of inpatient, outpatient and other medical and emergency services at Whipps Cross University Hospital; a final report from the Transformation Task and Finish Panel; the appointments of Councillor P Stalker to the Resources Select Committee and Councillor N Bedford to the Governance Select Committee; and that the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Resources Select Committee being confirmed as Councillor A Patel and Councillor D Sunger as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.
Finally, Members would have the opportunity to scrutinise Transport for London with regard to the bus services within the District delivered by them at the next meeting on 9 January 2018.
(a) To receive from Council representatives the reports (attached - if any) on the business of joint arrangements and external organisations and to receive answers 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.
(a) The Council received a written report regarding the Royal Gunpowder Mills from Councillor H Kane, as the Council’s representative; and
(b) Councillor G Mohindra advised that his report on the Local Strategic Partnership would be attached at Appendix 2 to these minutes and placed in the Members Bulletin.