Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Stoke Mandeville Stadium Guttman Road Aylesbury HP21 9PP

Contact: Ian Hunt - Email: democracy@buckinghamshire.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: Arman Alam, Kirsten Ashman, Mohammed Ayub, Mary Baldwin, Steven Barrett, Paul Bass, Michael Bracken, Peter Brazier, David Carroll, Lesley Clarke, Anita Cranmer, Penny Drayton, Ron Gaffney, Tony Green, Paul Griffin, Arif Hussain, Mahboob Hussain, Paul Irwin, Jilly Jordan, Raj Khan, Rachael Matthews, Richard Newcombe, Nabeela Rana, Michael Rand, Sarfaraz Raja, Waheed Raja, Simon Rouse, Jonathan Rush, George Sandy, David Thompson, Paul Turner, Gurinder Wadhwa, Jonathan Waters and Katrina Wood.

 

Others: Lady Howe (Lord Lieutenant), and George Anson (High Sheriff).

 

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 720 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the last meeting of the Council held on 26 May be confirmed as a correct record.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

 

4.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman gave mention to some of the activities in which he had been engaged over the past month.

 

This included attendance at the flag raising ceremonies for the Armed forces, the BEM medals awards, presented to Bucks residents for their services to the community, education and for their efforts during the Covid pandemic. The Chairman congratulated Councillor Raj Khan for his BEM award received for services to residents of Aylesbury.

 

Members were also encouraged to attend any seminars or induction sessions relating to the Council`s corporate parenting role.

 

5.

Petitions

Minutes:

There were no petitions

 

6.

£3m Additional Investment in Roads pdf icon PDF 709 KB

Minutes:

A report was submitted which sought approval for the investment of an additional £3m into highways maintenance during 2021/22 and which would be funded from uncommitted earmarked reserves.  Given the Council’s high priority for improving Buckinghamshire’s roads, the further £3m would be added to the budget that was agreed by Council in February for highway maintenance (£2.5 million to address pothole using Plane and Patch, and £0.5million for road markings).

 

The report stated that the current approved budget on roads for 2021/22 was £23.9m, and would amount to a total £26.9m following approval of the additional £3m bringing the total investment on roads to £97.625m over the next four years. The total investment on roads and footways was budgeted at over £100m across the 4-year medium term Financial Plan. This was detailed in (Appendix A) to the report.

 

Councillor Broadbent explained briefly the rationale behind the report after which it was opened up to debate.

 

It was thereupon proposed by Councillor Christensen and seconded by Councillor Lambert that the resolution be amended as follows (additional wording, in BOLD):

“Council approve the investment of additional £3 million in highways maintenance and £3 million for specific footpath maintenance during 2021/2022 which will be funded from uncommitted earmarked reserves.”

 

Councillor Christensen explained the rationale for the amendment and highlighted the poor condition of the pavements within Bucks and suggested that they were in dire need of emergency repairs.  A number of Members concurred with this viewpoint and supported the amendment.  It was also suggested that additional monies carried over by many of the Community Boards could potentially be used for the purpose of improving pavements, further enabling local members to make local decisions regarding their Wards. 

 

The Leader who had reserved his right to speak later on in the debate (as seconder), voiced his concern over the proposed amendment, stating that a total of £7m had already been made available within the programme from which the proposer could access to prioritise pavements within his own area.  He emphasised that the additional £3m funding for pavements was simply not in existence, and the Council had to remain financially sound and operate within its means.

 

At the conclusion of the debate on the amendment, a requisite number of Members present requested that a recorded vote be held.  Following a recorded vote on it, it was declared to be LOST.

 

Voting was as follows:-

 

FOR: Councillors K Bates, A Baughan, A Christensen, P Cooper, T Dixon, M Fayyaz, E Gemmell, S Guy, D Hayday, O Hayday, T Hunter-Watts, Majid Hussain, T Hussain, S James, S Kayani, M Knight, S Lambert, S Morgan, A Poland-Goodyer, G Smith, M Smith, R Stuchbury, J Wassell, A Wheelhouse and S Wilson.

 

AGAINST: Councillors S Adoh, M Angell, D Anthony, R Bagge, D Barnes, J Baum, D Blamires, A Bond, S Bowles, C Branston, S Broadbent, T Broom, N Brown, T Butcher, M Caffrey, R Carington, B Chapple OBE,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Amendment: Agenda Item No. 6 (To include £3m additional funding for footpaths) Amendment Rejected
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 7.

    Annual Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 561 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members considered the Annual reports authored by each of the 6 Chairmen of the Select Committees which reflected on the work and the outcomes achieved over the past year. The reports detailed and examined the role and the key areas of work undertaken by each of the Select Committees together with its future programmes of work. The information was provided at (Appendix A) to the report.

     

    The Chairman of the Finance and Resources Committee commented that the Council operated a very robust scrutiny framework holding the Executive to account and that the process at Buckinghamshire was highly regarded by other councils, and by the LGA.  He took the opportunity to express his thanks to the Cabinet Members and officers for their time and for answering sometimes challenging questions regarding the scrutiny function. 

     

    Councillor Lambert also placed on record his thanks to support staff from Democratic Services in helping to guide and support members through their deliberations.

     

    RESOLVED: That the Annual Report of the Select Committees be noted.

    8.

    Honorary Aldermen Scheme for Buckinghamshire Council pdf icon PDF 596 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Standards and General Purposes Committee rose to present the report. The Council did not currently have an Honorary Alderman scheme in place and as such it was proposed that a new scheme be adopted as set out at (Appendix C) to the report, which would be subject to review prior to the next election. The report also requested that Honorary Alderman status be conferred to Mr Cartwright in line with the new proposed regulations within the scheme, and as recommended by the Standards and General Purposes Committee at its meeting on 7 July.

     

    The report stated that the Scheme sought to build on the legacy Schemes operated by the legacy Buckinghamshire Councils, and it was proposed that in order to ensure consistency, the new Scheme would apply to all Honorary Aldermen who had continued from the legacy Councils together with those that may be appointed by Buckinghamshire Council.

     

    Members were in favour of the recommendations and expressed support for the Honorary Aldermen and the service which they had both provided and continue to provide.

     

    RESOLVED: That

    (i)                  The proposed Buckinghamshire Council Honorary Alderman Scheme be adopted as set out at appendix ‘C’ to the report, and it be noted that it would be subject to a review prior to the 2025 Local Elections.

    (ii)                The Monitoring Officer be authorised to insert the Scheme into the Council’s Constitution.

    (iii)              Future nominations for Honorary Alderman status be considered in accordance with the proposed scheme

    (iv)              Honorary Alderman status be conferred to the individual identified in paragraph 3.6 of the report.

     

     

     

    9.

    Constitution Review - Member Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 587 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    A report was submitted which requested that the proposed changes relating to the Councillor Code of Conduct be adopted and that the Monitoring Officer be given delegated authority to amend the constitution. This was required to allow for the Constitution to include an updated Councillor Code of Conduct, thereby enhancing public accountability and confidence in councillors.

     

    Members were in support of the recommendations and a number rose to express this. One Member did highlight that it was vitally important that the Council`s actions and attitudes helped to support the concept of diversity and inclusivity.  

     

    RESOLVED: That

     

    (i)                 The proposals for changes to the Constitution relating to Councillor Code of Conduct detailed in (Appendix A) to the report be adopted,

    (ii)              Delegated Authority be given to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution.

     

    10.

    Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 557 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    A report was considered which requested that the Buckinghamshire Council Pay Policy Statement attached at (Appendix 1) to the report be approved. The Council was required to publish a Pay Policy Statement in accordance with Section 38(i) of th Localism Act 2011.

     

    The Pay Policy Statement had been considered by the Senior Appointments and Pay Committee on 16 June 2021, and following approval by Full Council, the Annual Pay Policy Statement and any amendments would be published on the website along with details of remuneration of the council’s Chief Officers.

     

    A Member rose to voice his concern over the need to incentivise, retain and attract staff to Bucks, an expensive county to reside in and as such to give consideration to the salaries and pay increases to the staff at the lower ends of the scale.

     

    RESOLVED: That the Annual Pay Policy Statement be approved

     

    11.

    Reports from Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    Minutes:

    (a)         Leader Councillor Tett

     

    The meeting was informed that if residents wished to receive updated information on council matters they should sign up to the newsletter on the council webpage.

     

    Members were also updated on the situation with regards to the Covid position in Buckinghamshire. The infection rate had risen to 315.3 per 100,000 residents which was significantly higher than the previous month. The highest rates were amongst the under 30s age group and there were under 10 people currently that had been hospitalised in Buckinghamshire Hospital Trust hospitals due to Covid.  Additionally, it was reported Bucks had performed highly in terms of vaccination rates with over 90% in the over 40 age range having received their first dose and 83% having received the second dose.  The Leader further encouraged young people not yet vaccinated to do so.

     

    The Leader wished to extend his thanks to all that had made the vaccination programme such a success.

     

    A member requested that the membership of the Little Marlow Sewage group be reviewed due to some issues of concern amongst the residents. This was referred to Councillor Watson the current sole representative who could potentially look to expanding membership on the group.

     

    Another question was asked in relation to the support that had been provided to businesses to help recovery and building of the economy due to the pandemic. It was confirmed that over £166m of grant money had been allocated to businesses with the additional restrictions grant which was applicable to medium and micro business in the county. The council was working in collaboration with Bucks Business First, to help advise businesses restarting during the recovery stage when cash flow was depleted. The Leader also stated that the overall recovery and growth proposition which had been put to the Government to raise the profile of the County and attract additional investment.

     

    (b)         Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing (Councillor A Macpherson)

     

    Members were urged to direct their residents to the Government guidance on how to take care during the heatwave.  This link would be circulated to all Members in due course.

     

    A question was asked regarding the funding for Adult Social Care from the autumn. It was confirmed that this would be forthcoming, and that the council had every intention of fulfilling the statutory objectives of the Care Act 2014. It was also highlighted that the ongoing sustainability of the care market was still of great concern and that officers were monitoring the care sector very carefully. Over £9m of grants to support providers had been allocated to date. It was emphasised that the council continued to lobby Government for a swift resolution to the funding issues in this regard.

     

    (c)          Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning & Regeneration (Councillor Williams)

     

    Some staffing issues were reported within the enforcement team and reference was made to a press release which was issued regarding the £59k in costs that had been reclaimed following the demolition of a house, the land of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

    12.

    Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 462 KB

    Minutes:

    (i)                    Cambridge to Oxford Development Arc

     

    The motion was proposed by Councillor Stuchbury and seconded by Councillor Wilson

     

    “The Cabinet took a decision last summer to withdraw from the Oxford to Cambridge ARC Leaders Group.  Earlier this year, the Government published a report setting out plans to create a long-term spatial framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, including Buckinghamshire, with the ambition of transforming the Arc into one of the world’s premier growth corridors.  The timeline for developing the spatial framework says that it starts off with a public consultation in summer 2021.  In light of the fact that the Cambridge to Oxford Expressway has been cancelled, this Council confirms that the Cambridge to Oxford Development Arc is now unsustainable and calls on the Government to withdraw the plans for a spatial framework for the Arc, so that all future developments are driven through the Buckinghamshire local plan in consultation with Buckinghamshire residents”.

     

    The proposer and seconder agreed that the motion was designed to safeguard the sovereignty of the Council and assist in the growth of Buckinghamshire. They called for all Members to stand together and collectively in favour of localism and speak out against the Government`s proposition of building 300 000 homes each year, a level of housing which was not required within the county.

     

    An amendment to the motion was proposed by the Leader and was seconded by Cllr Williams. This read as follows:

     

    The Cabinet took a decision last summer to withdraw from the Oxford to Cambridge ARC Leaders Group. Earlier this year, the Government published a report setting out plans to create a long-term spatial framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, including Buckinghamshire, with the ambition of transforming the Arc into one of the world’s premier growth corridors. The timeline for developing the spatial framework says that it starts off with a public consultation in summer 2021. In light of the fact that the Cambridge to Oxford Expressway has been cancelled, this Council confirms that the Cambridge to Oxford Development Arc is now unsustainable and calls on the Government to withdraw the plans for a spatial framework for the Arc, so that all future developments are driven through the Buckinghamshire local plan in consultation with Buckinghamshire residents.  reaffirms its decision to withdraw from the Arc. This council believes that rather than imposing ‘top down’ artificial geographies, effectively a return to Labour’s failed Regional Spatial Strategies, it supports the Prime Minister's focus on ‘County Deals’ announced last week. In that context it again supports Buckinghamshire’s ambitious ‘Recovery and Growth Proposal’ to Government and urges Government to respond positively.”

     

    Councillor Tett stated that the amendment looked to the future in a positive way, and presented an alternative to the original motion. It built on the Prime Minister’s announcement from last week based on the principle of County Deals. The amendment would help secure investment in infrastructure, in broadband in roads and in industries which would generate high quality jobs and increased opportunities for residents.

     

     

    Councillor Williams urged Members to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

    13.

    Questions on Notice from Members pdf icon PDF 384 KB

    Minutes:

    The written responses to questions from members, published as a supplement to the agenda were noted.

     

    14.

    Report for information - Key Decisions Report pdf icon PDF 382 KB

    Minutes:

    A list of decisions taken by Cabinet Members since the last Full Council meeting on 26 May were received and noted.

     

    15.

    Date of Next Meeting

    4pm, Wednesday 15 September 2021

    Minutes:

    The next full Council meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 15 September 2021 at 4pm.