Agenda and minutes
Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE
Contact: Matthew Evans, Democratic Services
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Graham Andrews, Polly Andrews, Bowes, Crockett, Fagan, Hey, Jinman, Hitchiner and Milln.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations of interest in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members in respect of items on the Agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve and sign the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 29 July 2022 and the extraordinary meeting held on 30 September 2022.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 29 July 2022 and the extraordinary meeting held on 30 September, subject to the updated appendix of public questions, be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive the Chairman and Chief Executive’s announcements.
Council noted the Chairman and Chief Executive’s announcements as printed in the agenda papers.
To receive questions from members of the public.
A copy of the public questions and written answers, together with supplementary questions asked at the meeting and their answers, is attached to the Minutes at Appendix 1.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL
To receive any written questions from members of the Council.
There were no questions from members of the Council.
To make appointments to the committees of the Council and outside bodies in line with the rules of political proportionality.
Council considered a report by the Director of Governance and Law to make appointments to the committees of the Council and outside bodies in line with the rules of political proportionality.
Councillor Sebastian Bowen proposed the recommendations in the report. Councillor Liz Harvey seconded the recommendations in the report.
The recommendations in the report were put to the vote and were carried by a simple majority.
a) the allocation of seats on each committee to political groups as set out at paragraph 8 be approved; and
b) the number of seats on the scrutiny management board and the allocation of those seats to political groups as set out at paragraph 9 be approved.
To receive a report from the leader on the activities of the executive (cabinet) since the meeting of Council on 29 July 2022.
Council received and noted the Leader’s Report which provided an update on the work of the cabinet since the previous ordinary meeting of Council on 29 July 2022. The Deputy Leader presented the report to Council.
Council questioned the Deputy Leader and the following actions were raised:
· To investigate whether there is an organisation to which the winter fuel allowance could be donated for distribution to people struggling with energy costs. If there was no such organisation the feasibility of the council establishing such a body was queried.
· To investigate the claim that 10% of the social housing stock in Herefordshire was proposed for disposal.
· To update members once the Luston wetlands site was functional.
· To provide a written response providing detail of the current position of the phosphate credit trading scheme.
· It was proposed that joint scrutiny, with other local authorities, of the Cabinet Commission – restoring the River Wye catchment – occurs.
· To provide a written response providing detail of the specific number of subsidised properties, listed as ‘Ready for Service’, under the Gigaclear scheme and a list of the communities in which future builds were planned and the timescales for those builds.
· To provide detail of the roll-out of the Fastershire programme in the Golden Valley North electoral division.
· To provide a written response concerning the Gigaclear grant and whether it will be rolled forward into the next financial year.
· To provide a written response with details of the conditions for the dispersal of the rural prosperity fund and what it would be used to support e.g. small business, villages halls.
· To provide a written response on why capital receipt reserves had been used in preference to prudential borrowing to fund the Maylords Centre.
· To provide a statement on the outcome of the review of the number of fabricated or induced illness (FII) cases in Herefordshire.
· Regarding the absence of a mention of ‘signs of safety’ from the delivery plan, to update members if there was to be any change to the use of the single practice approach used in Herefordshire.
· To provide a written response to answer questions regarding the process that is followed by the Council (to meet its responsibilities to safeguarding children) in cases of peer on peer abuse where there is no police involvement.
· Regarding the eastern river crossing, to provide an update to all members on the commissioning of the second stage, strategic outline business case.
· To provide an update to all members on progress to clear the traffic regulation order (TRO) backlog.
· To look into the cost of school transport of pupils from Hereford and Credenhill to Weobley High School.
· To provide a written response detailing the stability of the households and placements in which Ukrainian refugees have been accommodated.
· To provide a briefing note to members regarding funding available to support the housing of Ukrainian refuges and co-ordination with third sector organisations.
· To raise with the Cost of Living Commission the importance of undertaking an holistic view of the support ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
To consider Notices of Motion.
Motion – Cost of living crisis and energy efficiency
Councillor Ellie Chowns proposed the motion.
Council debated the motion.
In summary there was wide support for the elements of the motion concerning energy efficiency, particularly support for the insulation of homes and new homes building standards. There was however division across the Council for the areas of motion which related to the future use of fossil fuels.
Councillor Yolande Watson seconded the motion.
Councillor Chowns closed the debate.
The motion was put to the recorded vote and was carried by a simple majority of Council.
FOR (24): Councillors Paul Andrews, Bartlett, Bartrum, Boulter, Chowns, Clare Davies, Gemma Davies, Harrington, Harvey, Hewitt, Howells, James, Marsh, Matthews, Norman, Price, Stark, Summers, Symonds, Tillett, Toynbee, Tyler, Watson and Wilding.
AGAINST (6): Councillors Johnson, Mike Jones, Kenyon, Lester, Rone and Shaw.
ABSTENTIONS (11): Councillors Bolderson, Bowen, Durkin, Foxton, Gandy, Guthrie, I’Anson, Graham Jones, Probert, Stone and Swinglehurst.
RESOLVED – That:
This council believes that:
· Everyone has the right to a warm home that is affordable to heat;
· Improving energy efficiency is central to tackling the energy crisis and cost of living crisis;
· Fossil fuels should be left in the ground, and investment in energy supply should instead be targeted at renewables
· All new homes and workplaces should be built to the highest possible energy efficiency standards.
This council notes that:
· Herefordshire Council unanimously declared a climate emergency on 8 March 2019.
· Buildings account for 23% of UK greenhouse gas emissions
· Herefordshire Council has made significant commitments to supporting energy efficiency for homes and businesses in the county, but needs far more support from central government
· Current UK government investment in energy efficiency is nowhere near the level required to address fuel poverty or meet our legally binding UK climate targets.
The council therefore calls on the executive to write to the Prime Minister and to the Herefordshire MPs to call for:
· Immediate further direct financial support to help people to manage the cost of living crisis, with most support provided to low income households;
· A fully funded nationwide action plan to insulate all homes and businesses as quickly as possible to improve energy efficiency and reduce bills;
· A commitment to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and to invest instead in developing the renewable energy technologies and businesses that are essential for our future energy security;
· Immediate introduction of significantly improved energy efficiency standards for new buildings.
Motion – Proportional Representation
Councillor Nigel Shaw proposed and Councillor Barry Durkin seconded a motion under section 4.1.92 of the constitution to adjourn the debate on the motion on notice concerning proportional representation to the next meeting of the Council. The motion to adjourn the debate was carried by a simple majority of Council.
It was requested that the monitoring officer circulate clarification regarding the relevance of the proportional representation motion to the functions of the Council ahead of the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the debate on the proportional representation motion on notice be adjourned to ... view the full minutes text for item 36.