Agenda and minutes

Venue: Assembly Room, Guildhall

Contact: Claire Chaplin, Democratic and Civic Services Manager - Tel: 01905 722005 

Note: To view the live broadcast go to https://www.youtube.com/user/WorcesterCityCouncil 

Media

Items
No. Item

40.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Altaf and Griffiths.

41.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

42.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Of the meeting held on 13th July 2021 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 13th July 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

43.

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications the Mayor may wish to make.

Minutes:

Mayor’s Banquet

The Mayor thanked all who had attended his Inaugural Banquet the previous Friday evening. He also thanked Gill Preece and the Guildhall Service Team for all their hard work in helping to make the event a memorable success.

 

Titanic Exhibition

The Mayor highlighted his recent visit the City Art Gallery and Museum with the Mayoress to view the Titanic: Honour and Glory exhibition.  This exhibition had been a great success, attracting over 20,000 visitors from across the country, including as far away as Leeds and Torquay.

 

Future Events

The Mayor highlighted a number of forthcoming events:

2nd October – Charter Civic Event

10th October - Civic Service

14th November – Remembrance Sunday

 

Further information would follow regarding the exact details.

 

Council Photograph

The Mayor reminded Members that a Council photograph would take place after the Council Meeting. Once the photograph had been taken all Members were cordially invited to a Buffet Supper in the Lower Hall.

 

400th Anniversary of the Charter of James 1st

The Mayor explained that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the Charter of James I, which incorporated the City and established a Mayor. This was widely recognised as ‘creating’ the city of Worcester. Local organisations had been invited to get involved and to participate in a ‘Charter Day’ celebration on Saturday, 2nd October in the Guildhall. The Mayor summarised various key activities that were taking place to celebrate the anniversary. He then invited Councillor Gregson, who had worked with the Charter 400 Working Group, to address the Council. Councillor Gregson spoke about the history of the Charter. The Mayor also drew attention to the Edward Hurdman blue plaque and two commemorative Wentworth Pewter bowls, which were on display in the Assembly Room.

44.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, 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 Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

None.

45.

Questions

The Leader of the Council, the Deputy Leader of the Council or the Chair of any Committee or Sub-Committee to take any questions that may be submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

The Council considered the following questions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

 

Question No. 1

 

Question From:

Councillor Lewing

Question To:

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of the Council

Question

 

Hedgehog numbers have seen a sharp decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation with modern housing developments being built with impenetrable fences that interrupt the movement of hedgehogs in their quest to find food. As one of the few wild animals that happily choose to live alongside us and enjoy garden habitats, and noting the emerging policy wording in part iv of Section D in the SWDPR Policy 26, can we please show our support for these very special creatures by ensuring that hedgehog highways are included in all new developments, no matter what the size? And can we also promote the retrofitting of holes in existing boundaries to Worcester residents, which can be incorporated at very little cost, to help the hedgehogs in our city?

Answer:

 

As part of the suite of ‘Green Infrastructure’ related policies in the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review, emerging policy number 26: Biodiversity and Geodiversity expects all developments to deliver measurable net gains in biodiversity. Enhancements for wildlife within the built environment will be sought where appropriate from all scales of development. The level of net gain required will be proportionate to the type, scale and impact of development.

 

The Joint Advisory Panel of Members steering the SWDP review has considered this policy and it will be submitted to Place and Economic Development Committee as part of the package of SWDP policies for approval, prior to the public consultation on the SWDP next year under the Regulation 19 process.

 

In addition, the forthcoming Environment Bill sets out the government’s agenda for environmental reform, and it is anticipated that a mandatory percentage of biodiversity net gain will become law once the Bill receives Royal Assent. A range of biodiversity measuring tools are currently being produced to complement the Environmental Bill in order to help local authorities measure biodiversity net gain in planning applications.

 

On smaller schemes, meeting net gain requirements could be achieved through the provision of a bird box or bat roosting feature, or through the creation of hedgehog corridors. Providing greater habitat connectivity is certainly one avenue towards the achievement of biodiversity net gain in development.

 

Supplementary Question:

 

My concern is that every time we get a planning application at the moment, we cannot say to a contractor and developer that they should do it now. The problem is that every single development that goes up is another barrier that we will have to address in the future. We have seen that hedgehogs are on a massive decline, so time is really important, and every season that the hedgehogs are not increasing, or even maintaining their level, is a problem. They an indicated species, they actually tell us about the quality and health of our environment, and it’s not just hedgehogs that will benefit from the connectivity between houses, you get frogs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Notice of Motion

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

Carbon Tax

 

Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere continue to rise despite international agreements. Whilst targets can serve a purpose, what has been lacking are mechanisms to drive down emissions quickly. Crucially, this means a Carbon Tax, given that ‘Cap and Trade’ systems have failed to drive the change we need.

 

The moral and economic case for such a tax rests on the ‘polluter pays’ principle:

 

·        Currently the costs of climate breakdown are not born by the industries and activities that are causing the damage but by people and communities coming under increasing pressure and danger. As The Economist leader states (17/7/21); ‘The opportunity to pollute the atmosphere without penalty is … a kind of distorting subsidy’.

 

·        A Carbon Tax, set at the right level, will drive fossil fuel burning out of the economy and promote investment in clean alternatives.

 

·        Applied at the border it will have the same effect internationally.

 

A Carbon Tax will produce a dividend that can be used to ensure a just transition for communities facing rapid change, as well as to help communities around the world adapt to the inevitable change and disruption that climate breakdown is already bringing.

 

This approach is supported by a broad coalition of NGOs and civil society groups and was recently included in a set of proposals from the European Commission. COP26 should establish an international carbon tax framework, but if this doesn’t happen, the UK and other countries wishing to show leadership should introduce their own carbon taxes. By including a border tax adjustment this can drive other economies to follow suit.

 

Therefore to support our previously agreed Climate Emergency Declaration, Council resolves to support calls for a Carbon Tax by mandating the Managing Director to write to Robin Walker MP, to Alok Sharma, President of COP26, and to the Prime Minister, calling for the UK to:

 

1. propose an international carbon tax framework to the COP; the tax to be applied to imports as well as to domestic production

 

2. Introduce a UK-wide carbon tax by the end of 2022.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Stephen

 

Worcester - A Cleaner and More Pleasant City

 

The people of Worcester want to live in neighbourhoods that are litter free. Clean public spaces can stimulate economic investment, tourism and attract people to a community to live, work and socialise.  The amount of litter in the city annoys residents and visitors and places a significant burden on the council. The current bin review is welcome but it does not go far enough.

 

With an increase in the amount of food and drink being consumed 'on the go’ there is an increasing amount of packaging being dropped on our streets and it is often concentrated in hot spots near where the item was purchased. The government's litter strategy advocates that to tackle this councils need to influence behaviour and work alongside businesses of all kinds.

 

Other councils have adopted various strategies  ...  view the full agenda text for item 46.

Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notices of Motion, which had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8:

 

Carbon Tax

 

Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere continue to rise despite international agreements. Whilst targets can serve a purpose, what has been lacking are mechanisms to drive down emissions quickly. Crucially, this means a Carbon Tax, given that ‘Cap and Trade’ systems have failed to drive the change we need.

 

The moral and economic case for such a tax rests on the ‘polluter pays’ principle:

 

    Currently the costs of climate breakdown are not born by the industries and activities that are causing the damage but by people and communities coming under increasing pressure and danger. As The Economist leader states (17/7/21); ‘The opportunity to pollute the atmosphere without penalty is … a kind of distorting subsidy’.

 

    A Carbon Tax, set at the right level, will drive fossil fuel burning out of the economy and promote investment in clean alternatives.

 

    Applied at the border it will have the same effect internationally.

 

A Carbon Tax will produce a dividend that can be used to ensure a just transition for communities facing rapid change, as well as to help communities around the world adapt to the inevitable change and disruption that climate breakdown is already bringing.

 

This approach is supported by a broad coalition of NGOs and civil society groups and was recently included in a set of proposals from the European Commission. COP26 should establish an international carbon tax framework, but if this doesn’t happen, the UK and other countries wishing to show leadership should introduce their own carbon taxes. By including a border tax adjustment this can drive other economies to follow suit.

 

Therefore to support our previously agreed Climate Emergency Declaration, Council resolves to support calls for a Carbon Tax by mandating the Managing Director to write to Robin Walker MP, to Alok Sharma, President of COP26, and to the Prime Minister, calling for the UK to:

 

1. propose an international carbon tax framework to the COP; the tax to be applied to imports as well as to domestic production

 

2. Introduce a UK-wide carbon tax by the end of 2022.

 

The proposer, Councillor Stephen and the seconder, Councillor Laurenson, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke on the Motion, following which the Motion was put to the vote.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7.2 a named vote was requested and supported by four Members. On being put to the vote the Motion was lost.

 

For:

Councillors

Against:

Councillors

Abstain:

Councillors

Allcott, Bisset, Laurenson, Lawrance, Lewing, Stephen

A. Amos, B.  Amos, Bayliss, Carver, Cleary, Ditta, Geraghty, Hassan, Mrs L.  Hodgson, S. Hodgson, Johnson, Mackay, Mitchell, Roberts, Stafford, Stanley

Agar, Barnes, Collins, Cronin, Denham, Gregson, Hodges, Lamb, Norfolk, Riaz, Udall

Total: 6

Total: 16

Total: 11

 

Worcester - A Cleaner and More Pleasant City

 

The people of Worcester want to live in neighbourhoods that are litter free. Clean public spaces can stimulate economic investment,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Report from the Relevant Committee on Matters which are Referred to Council for Decision

To receive reports on matters which by law or in accordance with the Constitution are referred to Council for decision.

Minutes:

The Council received reports on matters which by law or in accordance with the Constitution are referred to Council for decision.

48.

Referral Report from Place and Economic Development Committee - Local Development Scheme 2021 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 293 KB

1.     That Council approve the Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2021-2024 set out at Appendix 1 and for the LDS to come into effect from 1st October 2021; and

 

2.     That delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director, Planning & Governance in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Place and Economic Development Committee to make minor amendments to the LDS prior to publication.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chair of the Place and Economic Development Committee.

 

The National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) stated that the Local Development Scheme (LDS) should be reviewed at least annually.  The Committee had considered a revised LDS at its meeting on 6th September 2021. In summary, it included the following main changes:

 

    Updates to the timetable of the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review (SWDP Review) work programme.

    Updates to the timetable of the Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD).

    Updates to the positions of Neighbourhood Plans and Minerals and Waste Planning.

    Updates to the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) to reflect the removal of the temporary measures previously applied relating to consultation methods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs L. Hodgson and seconded by Councillor Hodges and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree:

 

1.    To approve the Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2021-2024 set out at Appendix 1 and for the LDS to come into effect from 1stOctober 2021; and

 

2.    That delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director, Planning & Governance in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of Place and Economic Development Committee to make minor amendments to the LDS prior to publication.

49.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Member Champions pdf icon PDF 189 KB

That the Council agrees the terms of reference for Member Champions set out in Appendix 1 and authorises the Monitoring Officer to make the necessary changes to the Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

At February’s Council, Members supported a Motion to appoint a Children and Young People’s Member Champion with a remit that includes an annual report to Council on how the City Council is meeting its commitment to children and young people. 

 

At its meeting on 7th September 2021, in accordance with the Council’s approach to appointments of outside bodies and previous appointments to Champion and Lead Member roles, the Policy and Resources Committee agreed to appoint Councillor Lamb to the role of Children and Young People’s Champion.

 

As part of its consideration of this appointment, the Committee considered proposed terms of reference for Member Champions which had been drafted by the Monitoring Officer. There was some discussion about the process for reporting back to Council and about the term of office for Member Champions.

 

Having reviewed the terms of reference, the Committee agreed some modifications to reflect the points raised in the discussion. The revised terms of reference were appended to the report for the Council to consider and agree for adoption into the Constitution.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bayliss and seconded by Councillor Gregson and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree the terms of reference for Member Champions set out in Appendix 1 and authorises the Monitoring Officer to make the necessary changes to the Constitution.

50.

Report from the Leader of the Council on any matters which he is of the opinion require urgent consideration by The Council

To receive a report, if necessary.

Minutes:

None.

51.

Any Exempt Issues

To consider any exempt matters which might arise.

Minutes:

None.