Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: via video conference

Contact: Ian Hunt 

Media

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Members of the Council to the meeting. The Chairman also welcomed Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher, Lord Lieutenant, and Andrew Farncombe, the High Sheriff, who were also in attendance.

The number of events the Chairman and Vice-Chairman had been able to attend over recent weeks had been restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The prospect of the Chairman and Vice Chairman attending events and other face-to-face meetings over the next few months may be limited, even with social distancing rules starting to be relaxed. However, following social distancing rules, the Chairman was able to attend the raising of the Armed Forces flag at the beginning of Armed Forces week on 22nd June in both Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

On behalf of Council, the Chairman thanked all the staff who have responded so brilliantly to support residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chairman congratulated Wycombe Wanderers Football Club for reaching the Championship division of the Football league after a successful season ended in playoff success.  On behalf of the Council, the Chairman had written to the Chairman and Manager of the Club to congratulate them.

 

Armed Forces Covenant

The Chairman advised that in 2012, all five Buckinghamshire Councils signed the Armed Forces Covenant, alongside many of the Council’s partner organisations.  All of the predecessor councils had a strong affiliation with the armed forces and this was something the new Council wished to continue and build upon. 

The creation of Buckinghamshire Council had triggered the requirement for a new Armed Forces Covenant to be signed.  The new Covenant would enable the Council to continue the work to support existing and previous members of the Armed Forces which was carried out at each of the former councils.  The Covenant aimed to recognise the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community within the county and help provide support for them and their families.  

Members were therefore asked to agree that the Chairman sign the Armed Forces Covenant at today’s full Council meeting with the understanding that the Council signs the more detailed agreement of the Covenant later in the year when social distancing would allow this event to be recognised in a manner that befits its importance to both the Council and our Armed Forces colleagues across the county.

Resolved:

That the Armed Forces Covenant be signed.

 

Minutes silence

A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect for our colleague Bibaa Henry and her sister Nicole Smallman. The awful circumstances surrounding Bibaa and Nicole’s murders shocked and upset everyone at Buckinghamshire Council and had been particularly distressing for Bibaa’s colleagues in Children’s Services. Bibaa was a highly-valued and well-respected social worker, looking after some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the county. Bibaa was much loved by everyone who knew her and she would be dearly missed.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from M Hanif, G Hollis, J Langley, W Matthews, W Raja, D Varley, L Wood and F Wilson.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr K Ahmed and Mrs M Harker declared a personal interest in item 5; Mr Ahmed as a Member of Wycombe Food Hub and Mrs Harker as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Community Impact Bucks.

 

Mrs C Paternoster, Mr W Whyte and Mr M Winn declared a personal interest in item 6; Mrs Paternoster who represented the Council on the Strategic Overview Board of Aylesbury Garden Town and Mr Whyte and Mr Winn who had joined the Aylesbury Garden Town Board.

 

Mr N Hussain and Mr R Khan declared a personal interest in item 7; Mr N Hussain and Mr R Khan provided services on mainstream and SEN Home to School Contracts with Buckinghamshire Council.

 

Mr C Branston declared a personal interest in item 9, specifically the motion on climate change due to his employment.

 

4.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions presented to full Council.

5.

Covid-19 Update

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Full Council received a presentation from the Leader of the Council, Mr M Tett, on the work of the Council during the Covid-19 pandemic and the support provided to the residents of Buckinghamshire. The Leader was joined by the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Mrs A Macpherson, the Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, Mr G Williams, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Mr N Naylor, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, Mr B Chapple, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Mr M Shaw, the Cabinet Member for Education, Mrs A Cranmer, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Mrs I Darby, and the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, Ms K Wood. The presentation can be seen appended to these minutes where full details can be viewed. Key points highlighted included:

 

  • The overwhelming amount of work which had been carried out by the Council to keep the vulnerable and shielded residents of Buckinghamshire safe with thanks being placed on record to staff, partners, councillors, schools and education settings, businesses and suppliers, voluntary and community organisations, town and parish councils and residents and communities who have done their best to keep one another healthy and safe throughout the pandemic.
  • Ten support cells had been implemented by the Council to support with the Council’s response, each covering their own area led by a member of the senior management team and aligned to a cabinet member.
  • 172 staff members had been repurposed into roles to support Local Support Hubs, food distribution, making calls to the vulnerable, providing out of hours support, Community Impact Bucks, Crematoria and temporary places of rest.
  • Collaborative work with partners across the various sectors was key throughout the pandemic. The Council was determined to build on the strength built through this partnership working.
  • Olympic Lodge at Stoke Mandeville stadium was set up as a reablement facility to free up hospital beds in just three weeks as part of contingency planning. A rapid discharge to assess model had also been developed by the adult social care service.
  • The Council kept in contact with 1,200 vulnerable clients by making over 18,000 personal calls to ensure that they were managing and to help with social isolation. The calls had been well received with this service now continuing in the business as usual work.
  • Financial support for care homes had been put in place with funds received from central government and infection control plans had been developed for care homes.
  • A strong two-way relationship with the voluntary sector was developed to provide support and galvanise budding volunteers. The Council worked with Community Impact Bucks and The Clare Foundation to establish and manage a very successful volunteer bank. In excess of 1,800 volunteers were recruited to support residents.
  • A coronavirus councillor crisis fund of £250k had been set up with an additional £50k supplied by the Rothschild Foundation which supported local initiatives.
  • 8 local support hubs had been set up which had provided support for over  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Aylesbury Garden Town - Masterplan and Governance pdf icon PDF 583 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Bowles, Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, introduced the report which asked full Council to approve the Masterplan and 2050 Vision for Aylesbury Garden Town (AGT) which provides the basis of a comprehensive delivery strategy to transform Aylesbury into a Garden Town over the coming decades.

Mr Bowles thanked Mr Chapple as the current Board Chairman, the Board and the officer team for all their hard work thus far.

Mr Bowles explained that the Vision and Masterplan had been the subject of extensive engagement with key stakeholders throughout its development. The public consultation on the Draft Masterplan took place from the 6th January until 14th February 2020 and received largely positive feedback. In response to the main issues raised, a series of key changes and actions had been made to move the Draft AGT Masterplan to a final version (available here: https://www.aylesburygardentown.co.uk/masterplan).  A Statement of Community Involvement, which sets out the key issues raised and the responses to these key issues, was available alongside the Masterplan. Specifically, appropriate images had been sourced and amended within the Vision (attached as Appendix 1) and final Masterplan to convey aspirational and inspirational examples of high quality sustainable development. An Executive Summary of the Masterplan was attached at Appendix 2. 

Mr Bowles advised that officers were currently undertaking a socio-economic and commercial impact assessment of the Town which would help the Council understand the detailed impact of Covid-19 on the programme. Nevertheless, the Masterplan was an agile and flexible document which could accommodate change over the next three decades.  It provided a vision and framework for transforming Aylesbury and importantly created a structure around which more detailed work could be carried out.

Mr Bowles added that the Masterplan and Vision had been approved by Cabinet and approval from full Council would provide the documents with the status and weight needed to ensure that the Vision and Masterplan objectives would be realised to make Aylesbury a truly transformational Garden Town.

In the discussion which followed a number of comments were made welcoming the updates which had been made to the Vision and Masterplan. 

In response to concerns raised regarding the governance structure for the Aylesbury Garden Town project, Mr Bowles clarified that following a governance review, a new Strategic Oversight Board would be formed shortly and would include representation from parish councils, the Aylesbury Town Council and other key stakeholders. Mr Bowles emphasised that this was a project to benefit all residents in Aylesbury.

Following a concern raised that residents would have to wait a number of years to see any changes, Mr Bowles confirmed that there were various projects already underway to reduce congestion, improve air quality and reduce pollution in addition to the plans for the Aylesbury Garden Way and Town Centre action plan. Funds had also been made available to improve the Station Quarter as well as the Market and Kingsbury Square areas.

Following a comment from a member who welcomed the encouragement of walking and cycling in the Vision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Reports from Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Full Council received update reports from each of the Cabinet Members. These were appended to the agenda pack and members were invited to submit questions ahead of the meeting. Due to the large volume of questions received, not all could be presented during the meeting although written responses would be provided following the meeting. Cabinet members briefly presented their written updates and where questions were asked these have been summarised below: -

The Leader, Martin Tett

 

Mr Tett welcomed Rebecca, a student from Wycombe High School, who was attending today’s council meeting. It was the first council meeting that Rebecca had ever attended. It was hoped that by encouraging Rebecca to watch this meeting, it would also encourage other young people in Buckinghamshire to become interested in local politics.

 

In relation to the Community Governance Review which took place for the Wycombe area, it was confirmed that the Shadow Executive had previously agreed to defer decisions on the outcome of this to the new Council. At the Standards and General Purposes Committee held on 2 July where the arrangements for the boundary review were discussed, it was agreed that logically the most appropriate action based on Boundary Commission advice would be to defer decisions on this until the outcome of the electoral review.

 

In response to a question on Covid Government funding, Mr Tett advised that council expenditure in relation to Covid had been recompensed but the Council had suffered significant losses on fees and charges with the examples of lost car park revenue and property income given. The Government had confirmed an allocation of £500m additional funding for councils, but it was not yet known how this would be distributed across the country.  The Government have also agreed that on fees and charges, after a 5% subtraction 75p of every £1 would be recompensed. The Council was hoping to get more guidance on how this would work later this week. There was also an expectation in the Council’s budget that savings would be made as a result of the formation of the new council but these savings had been unable to progress during the lockdown period so these savings opportunities had not yet been achieved.

 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Angela Macpherson

 

Mrs Macpherson explained that 75% of the £6.25m Buckinghamshire had received from the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund had been provided to care homes to support infection control.  Mrs Macpherson advised that the Council had a level of discretion over the other 25% and had been working with domiciliary care providers and supported living providers to discuss the best use of these funds. As plans developed further, these would be shared.

 

In response to a question on what the Council was doing to support care homes and prevent them from closure, Mrs Macpherson advised that there were significant concerns that not all providers across the county would be able to survive the impact of Covid and that sadly the Council was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 642 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The written responses to questions from members were published as a supplement to the main full Council agenda and could be viewed on the Council’s website.

9.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 470 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Climate Change

The Chairman advised that the following Motion had been submitted and was consequently moved by Mr M Tett and seconded by Mr B Chapple.

 

This council notes that Climate Change is a global emergency. Whilst the UK constitutes only 1% of global carbon emissions (with China, India and the USA constituting over 50%) it is important that the UK plays its part in leading the way. This change must come both within the UK but also globally.

 

This council meeting therefore believes that mitigating Climate Change should be a priority for the new council. This should form an integral part of the council’s ambitious approach to the environment and ensuring the maintenance and enhancement of all that makes Buckinghamshire special.

 

Council therefore proposes that the Cabinet produce proposals to work alongside national Government with the objective to achieve net carbon zero for Buckinghamshire as a whole by 2050. The council should also evaluate reaching ‘net zero’ for its own emissions no later than 2050 and possibly before this, potentially by 2030, subject to resources.

 

These proposals to include, but not be limited to:

 

  • Introducing Supplementary Planning Guidance that requires all new development to contribute to the net zero target via energy efficiency
  • Proactively providing for sustainable transport.
  • Working with the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership to raise awareness of the importance of working towards meeting zero carbon targets and investing in new ‘Green’ business and industry proposals.
  • Extensive Carbon offset via new tree planting in partnership with communities and utilising the council’s own assets.
  • Working with suppliers to develop a pathway to zero carbon emissions.
  • Encouraging Community Boards to lead in their localities for carbon reduction.
  • Working with partners and local communities to identify local schemes that can contribute to this ambition.

 

Mr Tett explained the reasoning behind the motion and noted that urgent action had to be taken to tackle this global threat. Mr Tett advised that although the UK was responsible for around 1% of carbon emissions it nevertheless had an important part to play in carbon reduction. 2050 was described as a challenging target to become net zero and carbon reduction was a priority outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan.

 

Mr Chapple added that the motion addressed the issue in an honest and practical way and represented a realisation of the journey the Council had to take. Mr Chapple explained that in order to avoid mass unemployment and a recession, it was going to take time for industries and services to make the changes required.  It was noted that air quality had improved over the lockdown period but in parallel the lockdown had led to significant employment losses and financial struggles for residents and businesses. Mr Chapple advised that a change of culture was also required and this was likely to take a generation.  Mr Chapple ended by stating that a collective approach must be taken to both reduce carbon emissions and keep Buckinghamshire a healthy and pleasant place to live in.

 

An amendment to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Date of next meeting

16 September 2020 at 4.00 pm.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16th September 2020 at 4.00pm