Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

69.

Appointment of Substitutes

To receive details of any Member nominated to attend the meeting in place of a Member of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Denham for Councillor Hodges, Councillor Roberts for Councillor Mackay.

70.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

71.

Public Representations

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, with each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

None.

72.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Of the meeting held on 8th September 2020 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

73.

South Worcestershire Councils' Response to the Government White Paper - Planning for the Future pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Government White Paper Planning for the Future. The Deputy Director – Economic Development and Planning presented the report and explained that the Government had released two documents for consultation:

 

    Changes to the Current Planning System – closing date 1st October 2020

    White Paper – Planning for the Future – closing date 29th October 2020.

 

The report summarised the main aspects of both documents.

 

The Planning for the Future consultation proposed to streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed. 

 

The three South Worcestershire Councils had submitted a joint response to the former by the deadline and a copy was appended to the report.

 

A proposed response to the latter had been prepared and recommended for approval by the South Worcestershire Development Plan Joint Advisory Panel (JAP).  The Deputy Director explained that a few minor changes had subsequently been requested by JAP members. Furthermore, a number of additional comments had been prepared arising from the recent Worcester City All-Members briefing session on the consultation. These were summarised in the supplementary appendix to this report and it was recommended that they should also be submitted as part of the response on behalf of the City Council.

 

In the ensuing discussion, all Members who spoke expressed support for the comments made in the consultation responses. The main issues highlighted were the potential loss of localism, a reduction in community involvement in the planning process, the importance of maintaining high standards of design work in an historic city and a concern over local authorities’ ability to resource the proposed changes.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    note the South Worcestershire Councils’ response to the Government’s proposed changes to the current planning system (Appendix 1) which was submitted to the Government by the deadline of 1st October 2020;

 

2.    approve on behalf of Worcester City Council, the South Worcestershire Councils’ response to the Government’s consultation on the White Paper – Planning for the Future (Appendix 2); and

 

3.    authorise the Corporate Director – Place , in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Committee, to make any minor changes necessary to the South Worcestershire Councils’ joint response or to make any further comments specifically on behalf of Worcester City Council, and to submit consultation responses to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by 29th October 2020.

74.

Covid-19: Decisions Under Urgency Powers pdf icon PDF 266 KB

That the Committee notes the decisions, since the last report to Committee on 28 July, which have been taken by the Managing Director under urgency powers in response to the Covid-19 emergency incident.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the decisions taken by the Managing

Director, since the last report to Committee on 28th July 2020, under urgency powers in response to the Covid-19 emergency incident. The

Deputy Director - Governance presented the report and highlighted the main points. A summary of the current status of the Covid-19 corporate risks was appended to the report.

 

The main decisions highlighted were in relation to:

 

·         Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies

·         Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme

·         Local Restrictions Support Grant

·         Lower Wick Swimming Pool

 

The three financial assistance schemes reported above did not have a financial impact on the Council because they involve the direct distribution of Government funding.

 

The financial assistance for Lower Wick Swimming Pool was up to £74,000 for the period up until 31 January 2021. This would be funded from the Transformation Reserve in this financial year and it was proposed that the Transformation Fund be replenished by this amount as part of budget setting for 2021/22. The Committee had agreed that the balance on the Transformation Fund be increased by £500,000 to help support Covid-19 recovery activities at its meeting of 9th June 2020.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the decisions taken.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

75.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

None.