Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall
Contact: Stewart Agland Email: email@example.com
Note: The Council meeting is available to watch at http://livestream.com/accounts/14063785
Declarations of Interests under Standing Order 13(2)(b)
· the extraordinary Council meeting held on 11 July 2017
· the ordinary Council meeting held on 11 July 2017
· the extraordinary Council meeting held on 2 August 2017.
Communications and Apologies for Absence
Deputations from the Public under Standing Order No 24
Questions from the Public under Standing Order No 25
Urgent Business - To receive and consider any urgent and important business from Members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order No 26
To receive and consider the attached report and recommendations by the Cabinet held on 28 September 2017 (minute 43 refers).
To receive and consider the attached report and recommendations by the Cabinet held on 28 September 2017 (minute 44 refers).
To receive and consider the attached report of the Resources portfolio held on 12 October 2017 (recommendations to follow).
To receive and consider the attached Paper, including the referred motion, and response recommendations by the Scrutiny Management Panel held on 26 July 2017 (minute 13 refers).
Notices of Motion: Process information
Standing Order (32(d)) requires a vote by members before each motion to determine whether or not the motion is to be debated at the meeting or stand referred to the Cabinet or relevant Committee (including Scrutiny) to report back to a future meeting.
Notices of Motion
Notice of Motion (a) - The Committee System
Proposed by Councillor Colin Galloway
Seconded by Councillor Stuart Potter
The current system of governance within our council, that of a portfolio holder selected by the Leader of the Administration to lead a small group of councillors in decision making in the various Cabinets. This system has its merits insofar as decisions can be made quickly and the overall responsibility for the final decision rests with the portfolio holder. The merits, however, tend to be overshadowed by the flaws, the main one being that the portfolio holder can simply overrule any suggestion that is not advantageous to the administration. Although opposition members are encouraged to attend Cabinet meetings they do not have a voice at these meetings which will sway any decision made by the portfolio holder.
The idea of having truly open and transparent committee meetings has already been put to this chamber previously but no vote was elected as a report had suggested that such a system would be expensive. I believe that it is now time to take that vote and begin the process to change to a committee system of governance in the interest of fairness and as a duty to our residents to show how their councillors support them and to work together to bring our city back to a safe, vibrant and prosperous place to live.
We therefore request this council to ask the Governance Audit and Standards Committee which has responsibility under the Constitution for such matters, to consider this issue and report back to this Council for our full council meeting in February 2018 or before, should time permit.
Notice of Motion (b) - Economic Viability Assessments from Developers
Proposed by Councillor Steve Pitt
Seconded by Councillor Ben Dowling
This council recognises the need to provide quality homes which are affordable to those on low and middle incomes in Portsmouth, and for transparency in regard to planning applications to ensure that the council’s own policies, on affordable housing requirements, as laid out in the Portsmouth Plan, are met.
It has become clear that there are companies who are openly boasting in their promotion, that they can help developers to avoid paying Section 106 monies and making appropriate levels of affordable housing provision.
These companies produce what are known as Economic Viability Assessments or EVAs, in order to demonstrate that developers are not making sufficient profits to enable councils to insist on full 106 or affordable housing contributions.
This issue has caused concern among councillors across the political spectrum in the city, along with notable contributions from both members of the public and party activists of different hues.
Whilst some of these EVAs are no doubt submitted in good faith, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the reports are often prepared in such a way as to attempt to confuse local planning committees and present a misleading picture. Indeed, some councils, especially in London, are now insisting that EVAs are no longer able to be submitted unless they are able to be viewed by members of the public and in open session at planning committee meetings.
In principle, this council supports this view and will take every action possible in order to ensure that there is transparency in this regard and that developers are making the appropriate contributions to benefit our communities.
Accordingly, this council, which is committed to increasing the delivery of affordable housing as set out in the Portsmouth Plan, requests that the Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development, commissions the development of a Draft Development Viability Supplementary Planning Document to:
1. Consider offering a ‘fast-track’ planning service to applications which deliver 30%, or more, affordable housing, to incentivise this behaviour by developers.
2. Require any planning application which does not meet the affordable housing requirement, contained in the Portsmouth Plan, to submit an Economic Viability Assessment which must be fully public and will be published online alongside the other planning application materials.
3. Require such Economic Viability Assessments to be in a standard form, to be agreed by Portsmouth City Council, to aid understanding and comparison by members of the planning committee and the public.
4. Consider a threshold approach to internal review of Economic Viability Assessments, whereby large applications would be reviewed by external experts to ensure the accuracy of the assessments, especially around residual land values and assumed sales rates.
5. Employ ‘clawback’ mechanisms as standard when large applications cannot comply with the affordable housing thresholds, to ensure that any subsequent improvement in viability is accompanied by an appropriate increase in the affordable housing provision.
Such a document would enable these factors to become a material consideration for the Planning Committee dependent on the circumstances of individual applications.
Notice of Motion (c) - Flooding
Proposed by Councillor Luke Stubbs
Seconded by Councillor Hugh Mason
As a low lying city with an extensive coastline, Portsmouth will be dangerously exposed if climate projections that show rising sea levels and more frequent storms prove to be accurate.
It is therefore welcome news that the City Council has secured £5.8m from the Environment Agency to work up a detailed scheme to protect homes and businesses in Southsea from the increased risk of flooding that may arise over the coming century.
While acknowledging the critical role public consultation has to play, the City Council is keen for this work to progress. It is opposed to any suggestion which would involve the War Memorial and the Pyramids being moved and it considers the likely cost of an underground car park to be prohibitive. It notes that central government funding is not available for any works not directly associated with reducing flood risk and it acknowledges the pressure on its own capital resources, which it expects to continue for the foreseeable future.
The City Council therefore puts on record its support for the general approach to flood defences taken by this administration and by its predecessor.
Notice of Motion (d) - Living Wage
Proposed by Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson
Seconded by Councillor Leo Madden
"The City Council recognises that many people in Portsmouth working in both the public and private sector have not seen a pay rise for some years. The rise in inflation caused by the fall in the value of the pound means this is a real wage cut for many.
The City Council therefore supports the removal of the public pay cap. Increases in pay should be funded by central government.
Council recommends to the Employment Committee that in respect of PCC, it also supports the payment of the Living Wage (as defined by the Living Wage Foundation) to all employees in Portsmouth".
Notice of Motion (e) - Cycling
Proposed by Councillor Hugh Mason
Seconded by Councillor Matthew Winnington
Portsmouth City Council aims to protect residents and visitors from road danger, air and noise pollution, and improve the health economy and wellbeing of our local communities. The Council recognises that creating a public environment that encourages cycling and walking is a low cost and highly effective way of achieving these aims and should therefore invest in changing patterns of travel towards walking and cycling.
This Council showed initiative by being the first to introduce a city-wide 20 mph limit in residential roads. This has improved safety. The Council recognises that the Cycling UK's 'Space for Cycling' campaign highlights areas where further improvement should be made.
To date, little practical work has been done to achieve Portsmouth Cycle Forums "A city to Share" which would also help to progress the aims of Space for Cycling
In order to progress this the City Council request that the Cabinet
a. Develops a strategy to implement in full Portsmouth Cycle Forum's 'A City to Share'; such strategy to include a costed network of safe, accessible and direct routes that link places and people
b. Identifies all implementation costs associated with the strategy and seeks financing for these costs through bids to the Department for Transport and other relevant bodies and that the Cabinet also considers proposing the allocation of at least 5% of all Local Transport Plan capital funds each year towards the accomplishment of the strategy.