Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Street, Buckinghamshire Council, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury HP19 8FF

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

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Items
No. Item

1.

Honorary Aldermen Mr Bruce Allen and Mrs Freda Roberts MBE

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Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of official business, tribute was paid to two Honorary Aldermen, Mr Bruce Allen and Mrs Freda Roberts, who had recently passed away.  The Chairman recorded sincere condolences to Mr Allen’s family and to Freda’s children (Tim and Sally) and wider family on their sad losses.

 

Mr Bruce Allen – Councillor I Darby paid tribute to Bruce Allen who had served as a member of Buckinghamshire County Council for the Chalfont St Peter East Division from 1997 to 2005, and for the Chalfont St Peter Division from 2005 to 2013. He had served as Chairman of the Personal Care Scrutiny Committee from 2001 to 2002, and as Chairman of the Adult Services Scrutiny Committee from 2005 to 2009.  In 2014, he had been made an Honorary Alderman by Buckinghamshire County Council for his long service, and subsequently an Honorary Alderman of Buckinghamshire Council.

 

Mrs Freda Roberts MBE – The Chairman and then Councillor S Lambert paid tribute to Freda Roberts who had first been elected as a councillor for Southcourt on the Aylesbury Borough Council in 1963 before the local authority reorganisation in 1974, when it became Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

 

Freda’s service to the County, Aylesbury Vale District, Aylesbury had included serving as Buckinghamshire County Councillor from 1968 to 1977 and from 1981 to 2013, representing the Aylesbury West Division.  During that time, she had served on committees including the Aylesbury Vale Local Committee, Governance Panel, Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Adult Services, and the Standards Committee.

 

Freda had first been elected to AVDC in 1974 for the Southcourt Ward, and was an AVDC Councillor for 41 years from 1974 to 2015.  During that time, she served on many committees and outside bodies including the Development Control Committee, Licensing Committee and the Standards Committee, and the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust Board, Bucks County Scout Movement (Vice President) and the Aylesbury Scout Movement (President).  She had been fundamental in the re-establishment of Aylesbury Town Council throughout the 1990s, and was Mayor of Aylesbury on three occasions.  She had been awarded an MBE in 1985. Mrs Roberts had made an Honorary Alderman by Bucks County Council in 2014 and by AVDC in 2015.  In 2016, she had been awarded the title of Honorary Freewoman of the Parish of Aylesbury, in recognition of over 52 years exceptional service to the people of Aylesbury.

 

Members then observed a minute`s silence in memory of Mr Bruce Allen and Mrs Freda Roberts MBE.

2.

Apologies

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors S Adoh, K Bates, A Baughan, D Blamires, C Branston, T Broom, S Chhokar, A Christensen, L Clarke OBE, A Collingwood, C Etholen, T Green, M Harker OBE, C Heap, G Hollis, T Hunter-Watts, P Irwin, D Johncock, I Macpherson, P Martin, J Ng, J Rush, N Southworth, Sir B Stanier Bt, M Stannard, J Towns, P Turner and J Waters.

 

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

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 535 KB

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Minutes:

It was noted that Councillor Birchley’s apologies had not been noted for the meeting on 21 July 2021, and that questions asked by Councillor D Watson during the Cabinet reports item had not been recorded.  Councillor Watson had asked questions to the:

·                     Cabinet Member for Transport regarding the current e-scooter trial in Buckinghamshire.

·                     Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets on whether income from filming in the Little Marlow area, whereby a temporary film set had inconvenienced local residents for many months, would be set aside for capital improvement works to the Little Marlow Country Park.

·                     Deputy Cabinet Member for Education and Skills on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Education Sufficiency Strategy and the proposed closure of boarding at the Alfriston School, Knotty Green.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 21 July 2021 be agreed as a correct record, subject to the additional information, as noted.

4.

Declarations of Interest

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Minutes:

Councillor R Carington declared a personal interest in agenda item 6 Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) as a Trustee of Lord Carrington’s 1963 Settlement which is landowner in the VLAP area, and left the meeting for the duration of consideration of the item.

 

 

5.

Chairman's Update

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Minutes:

Members noted that the Chairman had recently been able to attend a number of events due to the easing of coronavirus restrictions. The Chairman had been pleased to represent Buckinghamshire Council at the Paralympic Games opening ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. The ceremony had put Buckinghamshire on the world stage, and had also been attended by the Japanese Ambassador to the United Kingdom. The Chairman expressed thanks to the officers and everyone involved that had made the event a success.

The Chairman had attended the opening of the Lady Ryder Memorial Garden, to support the volunteers there carrying out activities for SEND children, and the wider community. Members were encouraged to visit the garden to see the fantastic work of the volunteers first hand.

6.

Petitions

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Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) pdf icon PDF 209 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Williams, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration introduced a report on the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP).  A supplementary report had also been issued to amend a minor error regarding a site area, and to ask for authority to be delegated to the Cabinet Member, in consultation with the Service Director for Planning and Environment, to make further minor amendments that would not alter the implementation of the plan.

 

Following its submission in 2018, the appointed Inspector had completed his Examination of the plan and prepared his binding report setting out how the VALP should be modified in order to be sound.  To fully enact the plan, as modified to accord with the Inspector’s report, it had to be adopted by the Council.  If the plan was not adopted, it would need to be withdrawn leaving the North and Central areas of the council without an up to date Development Plan.

 

The Cabinet Member stressed that it was important for the Aylesbury Vale area of the Buckinghamshire Council to have an adopted Local Plan as it would support the delivery of 30,134 homes, including 16,000 in and around Aylesbury. Of these numbers, approximately 8,000 homes would be built to take the unmet housing needs from the southern part of the Council’s area.  An adopted local plan would allow local people and the Council to determine and decide where development took place rather than be subject to unwanted opportunistic and speculative applications from developers. Lastly, the VALP would also provide an incremental increase in the amount of green belt space in the Vale, which was highly unusual for a Local Plan to achieve.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to questions on the VALP as follows:

·                     That while 76% of the allocations in the VALP had already been completed or committed, not adopting the VALP would be unlikely to stop the planned growth at areas such as Hampden Fields or Woodlands.

·                     That as the information in the VALP regarding the expressway was out-of-date and not linked to a policy, the Cabinet Member would be looking to treat this as a factual correction, should Council give him delegated authority to make further minor amendments that would not alter the implementation of the plan.

·                     On some of the initiatives and tools in the VALP to protect biodiversity and the environment, which included adding 98.6 hectares of green belt to Buckinghamshire.

·                     On the methodology that had been used to calculate social and affordable housing numbers.

·                     That, as stated at the Cabinet meeting earlier in the week, the Council would engage with the Whaddon Parish Council at the earliest opportunity with regards to a SPD on the Shenley Park development.

·                     that the Council would continue to support Town and Parish Councils with the formation of their Neighbourhood Plans.

·                     It was confirmed that the Council would be looking to develop a new transport plan for Buckingham.  In addition, Officers had been asked to undertake a study on the A421 corridor.

·                     That some wind  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Reports from Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Minutes:

Cabinet Members introduced their reports. There was then an opportunity for Members to ask questions of individual Cabinet Members about matters and issues affecting their portfolios:

Leader of the Council, Councillor Tett

The Leader updated Members on the position with refugees from Afghanistan.  Buckinghamshire had made an initial offer to the Government to support 10 families, with an aspiration to support 30 families.

 

(i)                  Afghan Refugees – the Member was supportive of the Leader and the Council’s efforts to support refugees. A request was made to reach out to local Members and communities (e.g. mosques) who might be able to assist with further support.  Members were informed to contact the ‘Helping Hand’ service on the website if they could provide support and that clothes collections were not required at the moment.  Donations of money were encouraged from those able so that cultural sensitive clothing and household goods could be purchased for refugees.

 

Members were also informed of the processes that were being put in place to welcome refugees and to make them feel a part of the Buckinghamshire community.

 

(ii)                Support for Refugees – the Member thanked the Council for the efforts and support being put in place for refugees.

 

(iii)              20 mph Speed Limits – Members were informed that the Leader was supportive of effective action being taken that would reduce speed limits where this was deemed appropriate. People also had a responsibility to ensure that they observed these limits when driving. It was also highlighted that a key issue was enforcement, that was a police responsibility.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health and WellBeing, Councillor A Macpherson

Councillor A Macpherson highlighted the recent Government announcement on new plans for adult and social care.  A new levy and additional funding for local Government would assist with delivering much needed reform to social care. The Council was working to unpick and understand all of the details of the proposals. The Cabinet Member also highlighted the information in her report relating to adult safeguarding.

 

(i)                  Short Break Service and Respite Care – The Cabinet Member confirmed the importance of re-looking at day care and respite care options, particularly due to changes (as well as demand issues) that needed to be addressed due to the pandemic and other factors. The Cabinet Member gave an assurance to write to the Member with details of a review timetable and when Members would be involved.

 

(ii)                Buckinghamshire Autism Strategy Plan – Members were informed that work was being done on the strategy, which was an all age strategy, and that diagnosis and referrals were the responsibility of NHS partners. The Cabinet Member would welcome questions such as that raised by the Member being submitted to the Health and Wellbeing Board. The Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services also commented on assistance provided for young people with autism.  In total, 24 young people with autism were being home schooled. There were 6 specialist schools across the County that catered specifically for autistic children.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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Minutes:

(i)                 Adult and Social Care Funding

 

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

 

“In anticipation of a steadily ageing population (an increase of nearly 18,000 65s+ by 2030, +17% versus 2021 in Buckinghamshire according to ONS) and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this Council agrees that the Adult & Social Care Precept, linked to a Council Tax cap, is an unsustainable mechanism for funding adult and social care in the mid and long-term.

 

The Council calls on the Leader to send a cross-party letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health & Social Care urging the Government to address this critical matter in its forthcoming spending review with the relevant plans and legislation put in place to enable local government to support our elderly and most vulnerable appropriately.”

 

An amendment to the motion (additional wording, in BOLD) was proposed by Councillor A Macpherson and was seconded by Councillor C Jackson.  This read as follows:

 

“In anticipation of a steadily ageing population (an increase of nearly 18,000 65s+ by 2030, +17% versus 2021 in Buckinghamshire according to ONS) and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council agrees that the Adult and Social Care Precept, linked to a Council Tax cap, is an unsustainable mechanism for funding adult and social care in the mid to long term.

 

The Council acknowledges the Government’s recent announcement on social care funding and calls on the Leader to send a cross-party letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to urging the Government to address this critical matter in its forthcoming spending review with the relevant plans and legislation put in place:

1.                  Welcome the Government’s announcement as an important first step towards putting social care funding on a sustainable footing and to improve the quality and availability of social care services.

2.                  Welcome the Government’s commitment to work with local authorities, social care users and other stakeholders to develop a new social care white paper supported by sufficient long term investment.

3.                  Set out our concerns regarding the severe financial pressures on local government in the short to medium term and the need for funding to alleviate these pressures in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to enable local government to support our elderly and most vulnerable appropriately.”

 

Councillor A Macpherson stated that the amendment took into account the recent announcement and publication by the Government on 7 September 2021 of the ‘Build Back Better’ report, that was a welcome starting point to look at health and social care reforms.  Members were also informed of the many pressures impacting on the sustainability of adult social care funding including, demography, an ageing population, complexity of need, the increase in resident need for care by the Council, and caring for residents with physical and learning difficulties.

 

Councillor Jackson urged Members to support the amendment stating that it was right that the motion text be updated following a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Motion without Notice - to refer the 'Climate Change' NOM to the Audit and Governance Committee Motion Carried
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  • 10.

    Questions on Notice from Members pdf icon PDF 762 KB

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    Minutes:

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

    11.

    Report for information - Key Decisions Report pdf icon PDF 155 KB

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    Minutes:

    A list of decisions taken by Cabinet Members since the last Full Council meeting on 21 July 2021 were received and noted.

    12.

    Date of Next Meeting

    4pm, Wednesday 24 November 2021

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    Minutes:

    The next full Council meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 24 November 2021 at 4pm.