Agenda

Full Council - Wednesday, 13th October, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Main Auditorium, Portsmouth Guildhall

Contact: Stewart Agland  Email: stewart.agland@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Members' Interests

2.

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 18 May 2021 and the abandoned Council meeting held on 19 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:

3.

To receive such communications as the Lord Mayor may desire to lay before the Council, including apologies for absence

4.

Deputations from the Public under Standing Order No 24

Deputations by members of the public may be made on any item where a decision is going to be taken (those previously submitted for the abandoned July Council meeting will automatically be carried forward to this meeting). The request should be made in writing to the contact officer (stewart.agland@portsmouthcc.gov.uk) by 12 noon of the working day before the meeting (so Tuesday 12 October for this meeting), and must include the purpose of the deputation (for example, for or against the recommendations). Email requests are accepted

5.

Questions from the Public under Standing Order 25 (see attached) (1 carried forward) pdf icon PDF 121 KB

6.

Appointments

7.

Urgent Business - To receive and consider any urgent and important business from Members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order No 26 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

8.

Local Transport Plan 4 Adoption pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To receive and consider the attached report and recommendations from Cabinet held on 22 June 2021. Please note that the full Cabinet report is included within the Supplementary Matters document.

Additional documents:

9.

Portsmouth International Port Harbour Revision Order pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To receive and consider the attached report and recommendations from Cabinet held on 22 June 2021. Please note that the full Cabinet report is included within the Supplementary Matters document.

Additional documents:

10.

Modern Slavery Transparency Statement pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive and consider the attached report and recommendations to note for information only from Cabinet held on 22 June 2021. Please note that the full Cabinet report is included within the Supplementary Matters document.

Additional documents:

11.

Review of Political Proportionality on Committees and Panels pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To consider the attached report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Notices of Motion: Process information

Following the Full Council meeting of 21 July 2020, the Council agreed to change Standing Order (32(d)), meaning all Notices of Motion on the agenda will automatically be dealt with at this meeting, thereby dispensing with a three-minute presentation from the proposer and subsequent vote to enable its consideration. Note motions a-i inclusive have been carried forward from the July Council meeting.

12.

Notices of Motion

12a

Pesticide Use - Portsmouth City Council pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Proposed by Councillor Jeanette Smith

Seconded by Councillor Claire Udy

 

At last count, 38 different toxic pesticides were being used in UK towns and cities. They are sprayed in parks, playgrounds and other green spaces, road verges, pavements and around shopping centres, hospitals and schools. Almost all of the pesticides used are weed killers designed to do nothing more than keep places looking ‘neat and tidy’.

 

These chemicals are linked to an array of health problems including cancer, asthma, birth defects and reproductive issues. Vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant mothers and the elderly are particularly at risk.

 

Wildlife such as bees, birds and hedgehogs are increasingly seeking refuge in our towns and cities. However, the overuse of pesticides in urban areas is contaminating the natural resources that they depend upon. Our pets can also be susceptible to pesticide poisoning.

 

But urban pesticide use is unnecessary. There are many viable and cost-effective non-chemical alternatives available and more than 60 towns and cities across the UK have already taken action to end or significantly reduce their pesticide use.

 

This council calls on the administration to immediately ban the use of all forms of pesticides used on all areas of land under the authorities' control and change to non-chemical alternatives including planting urban wildflower meadows.

12b

Time to pause and rethink the Tipner West project pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Proposed by Councillor Cal Corkery

Seconded by Councillor Judith Smyth

 

Increasing numbers of local people are raising concerns about the Liberal Democrat administration's plans for Tipner. The council has already spent over £10m of taxpayer cash drawing up plans which would see the creation of a 'super-peninsula' through large scale land reclamation at Tipner West.

 

We share the concerns of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who are opposing the destruction of the intertidal mudflats that are legally protected as sites of scientific and environmental importance. Over 23,000 people have signed their petition calling for the proposals not to go ahead but the council doesn't seem to be listening.

 

Not only would the plans cause unacceptable damage to the local environment and wildlife, we are also concerned the kind of development being pursued is not what our city needs. Despite most of the Tipner West site being publicly owned land the current proposals include just 30% affordable housing meaning the majority of new properties on the site will be expensive luxury homes out of reach of many local people.

 

The council has already spent some £10.8 million on the Tipner regeneration proposals and expects to incur another £7.5 million getting it to the stage of applying for planning permission (figures correct as of report to Cabinet in October 2020).

 

Members of the Liberal Democrat Cabinet have themselves expressed concerns about being able to secure permission for their current proposals but are still prepared to gamble £18.3 million of public money on something that may well not go ahead.

 

Several important stakeholders including the HIWWT, the RSPB, The Portsmouth Society, heritage groups and others are against the current proposal and are asking for more extensive and effective consultation. This wider community engagement remit should include exploration of alternative proposals and options for developing the site. 

 

It’s time to pause and rethink the Tipner West project to ensure value for money is achieved, the environment is protected and the maximum possible levels of affordable housing are delivered.

 

Full Council therefore calls on the Cabinet to bring a report on the Tipner West project to a future Full Council meeting as a matter of urgency. This report should update councillors and members of the public on the current status of the project, including total spend to date. This report must also include consideration of viable alternative options for the site and set out a timeline for further decisions to be made in advance of the draft local plan being published and consulted on.

 

Additional documents:

12c

Parking for domiciliary care workers when working in Portsmouth

Proposed by Councillor Simon Bosher

Seconded by Councillor Lewis Gosling

 

Finding a parking space has long been challenging in many areas of Portsmouth. Lockdown and the rise of homeworking is making this situation worse as fewer people are away at work during the day.

 

Domiciliary care workers have a crucial role in keeping people safe and well. As well as being a good thing in itself, this also helps reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. Yet despite the importance of this role, it is not well paid, with take home pay levels typically being around the National Living Wage.

 

A large proportion of care is being procured and/or funded by the council and it therefore has a powerful incentive to support the workforce. Yet parking fines are a routine hazard faced by carers.

 

Many carers struggle to find parking spaces, particularly in residents’ zones. They often have to return to the same zone within the no-return period and often cannot find spaces. Violations result in fines and this soon becomes expensive.

 

Many local authorities have created carers’ parking permits. Brighton, Southampton, Devon and many London boroughs all run schemes to assist carers with parking when at work.

 

Council believes such a scheme should be created in Portsmouth. It calls on the Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation to take action and to create a scheme, bringing forward a decision report to the next Traffic and Transportation decision meeting. Council also  asks that all members are kept updated on the implementation on any actions agreed.

12d

Supporting a ban on conversion therapy

Proposed by Councillor Stuart Brown

Seconded by Councillor Claire Udy

 

This Council opposes the harm caused to our LGBT+ community in the past through the denial of rights and equal treatment and further recognises that discrimination does still occur today.  

 

This Council recognises and opposes the ongoing harm the practise of so-called conversion therapy causes to LGBT+ people.  

 

This Council calls on the Government to follow through on the promises made, not just in this year's Queen's Speech, but for the past three years, to ban the practise of so-called conversion therapy.

 

This Council calls on the Relevant Government Department & Minister to introduce an effective ban on conversion therapy within England, supported by a programme of work to help tackle these practices in all their forms.

 

Furthermore this Council asks Cabinet to highlight and promote the continued support, counselling and advocacy our local groups provide to members of the LGBT+ Community here in Portsmouth, recognising the excellent work done by local people and such as Portsmouth Pride, The 4U Youth Group, and our LGBTQ+ Champions, and extends it's thanks and support to them. 

12e

Tackling cyber-bullying pdf icon PDF 403 KB

Proposed by Councillor Hannah Hockaday

Seconded by Councillor Daniel Wemyss

 

The council notes and commends the progress made in increasing the awareness of cyberbullying, the negative and detrimental mental health implications that can occur as a result, as well as the embedding within the school curriculum and within the community.

 

The council supports the further accountability demanded upon social media companies by the government online safety bill and commends the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioners new programme designed to help secondary pupils stay safe online.

 

However, more legislative measures must be encouraged and brought forward in order to deter cyberbullying and protect against instances such as hate crime and the negative impact on mental health. The wide-scale ability to share non-factual information on social media about individuals, young people and local businesses is abhorrent. Social media firms should be further held to account.

 

Therefore, the council requests that the Chief Executive and all leaders of political groups write to the Secretary of State and Ministers for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as well as the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner to further lobby and investigate increased legislative measures to mitigate the possible decline in any individual’s mental health (including businesses) and quality of life due to cyberbullying and misinformation.

 

The council also calls on the administration for a local campaign to promote positivity online in Portsmouth; which in turn will promote businesses, our young people and sustain positive messages within our city and the wider community.

 

Council also places on record its thanks to city MP’s Stephen Morgan and The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt for their work in Parliament around tackling cyber-bullying.

12f

Bodmin Green

Proposed by Councillor Jo Hooper

Seconded by Councillor Gemma New

 

The proposed Bodmin Green echelon parking scheme in Paulsgrove, will provide an essential resource to local residents and the Victory Primary School. The project was originally conceived in the years 2011 and 2012, and is well remembered by former Councillors and residents alike, who now welcome the implementation of this much needed, and previously anticipated facility.

 

Unfortunately the programme stalled in the past, but the Council have now been approached by residents, former cross party Councillors and the Victory Primary School to address the issue of the lost facility

 

The Council should be reassured that a considerable amount of work has already been committed to the design of the scheme, which will benefit both residents and the school, where the pick up and drop off of pupils can be problematic on the busy thoroughfare that is Allaway Avenue.

 

Multiple meetings have now taken place on site and within the civic offices, and the scheme has been fully designed and costed. Officers have confirmed that the funding is available.

 

Housing Officers have also been fully engaged on this project, as the Council department in ownership of the land. It is envisaged that they will manage the car park with multi use echelon parking in mind, ensuring that both residents and the school have fair and equitable usage to best suit their needs. Matters will also be subject to resident consultation in order to ensure harmonious usage is provided and maintained, which takes the bespoke needs of multiple users into account.

 

Thank you to the multiple officers involved across regeneration and housing for all of their hard work and vision in regard to this project. It must also be stipulated that the engineer's design is a thoughtful undertaking that both respects the green credentials of the site, allowing the vast majority of leisure space to remain, whilst etching the echelon parking to the northern and western boundaries of Bodmin Green. Thank you as well to the staff from the housing department for responding to engineers' requests for meetings to discuss this crucial provision.

 

Along with Penny Mordaunt MP's compelling, sensible and ultimately 'green' aspirations to reopen the halt station in Paulsgrove, this project provides a pragmatic response to trying to manage parking in the ward of the City that is the most geographically remote, as well as assisting a local school. The need is obvious and essential.

 

This Council requests that the Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation bring forward a report outlining the timescale for approval and implementation of the scheme.

12g

House Building Target pdf icon PDF 8 KB

Proposed by Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson

Seconded by Councillor Hugh Mason

 

The City Council recognises that the Government have imposed a house building target of 17,000 new houses to be built in the city over the next 20 years.

 

The City Council rejects this for the following reasons:

 

1.            The decision on housing need in Portsmouth should be made by local people in Portsmouth and not imposed by Government since local people understand the opportunities, constraints and complexities of the City environment. Both Conservative and Labour led Governments have imposed house building targets and both were wrong.

 

2.            The target of 17,000 is too many. Portsmouth is an island with virtually no unprotected land to expand into. Our roads, hospital, schools, GPs and other services just can't cope with this amount of additional housing.

 

3.            There is a need for more affordable housing, but the Government will not allow the City Council to make developers build the housing that is needed by local people. In fact Government rules in many cases allow developers to avoid building any affordable housing whilst holding on to large profit margins.

 

4.            The Government target of over 17,000 additional homes cannot be achieved within the City of Portsmouth even if it proves possible to meet the stringent ecological and environmental regulations and develop the Tipner-Horsea Island area. It would be wholly wrong for the Government to require the Council to cause environmental harm by over-riding environmental protection legislation

 

The City Council therefore asked the Leader of the Council to write to the Government opposing plans for 17,000 new houses being imposed on Portsmouth, reiterates that the decision on the amount and sort of housing should be a local decision and asking for a lower target so environmentally sensitive areas are not forced into development by the Government.

Additional documents:

12h

Permanent Closure of Eastney Swimming Pool pdf icon PDF 6 KB

Proposed by Councillor John Smith

Seconded by Councillor Matthew Atkins

 

The Council regrets the closure of Eastney Swimming Pool.

12i

Biodiversity enhancement in urban Portsmouth pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Proposed by Councillor George Fielding

Seconded by Councillor Charlotte Gerada

 

Council notes:

 

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. The dramatic decrease in biodiversity across the world is both caused by, and is also contributing to, the acceleration of the climate crisis.

 

At present, Portsmouth City Council mows grass verges, de-weeds pavements and sends ‘Dirty Plot Notices’ to residents who re-wild sections of their allotments. This is despite environmental charities recommending that a proportion of allotments should be re-wilded to support biodiversity and local ecosystems.

 

Whilst we are aware of the policies being developed as part of the new Local Plan, we want to accelerate implementation of a better approach to biodiversity now rather than waiting for 18 months or more to do so.  When it comes to green issues, the Labour Party want more to be done and action to be quicker.

 

Council believes:

 

As part of the Council’s strategy to address the climate crisis, measures to enhance biodiversity should be central. Small actions taken by residents and the Council can increase the cumulative, positive impacts of re-wilding.

 

Local Authorities in the UK, and abroad, have taken a variety of measures to enhance biodiversity, such as re-wilding the tops of bus shelters or on council buildings, extensively planting wildflowers and greening built-up city areas. These are examples but the scope is virtually unlimited to make a significant impact to local biodiversity and by corollary have a direct effect upon our local environs and climate change. 

 

This Council should use its considerable influence and leadership to inform residents about the importance of enhancing biodiversity, by re-wilding for example. Additionally the Council is asked to take such steps as are necessary to make usage of householders' areas greener and more impactful thereby supporting biodiversity- eg strategies for removal of green waste, composting, hedging etc. 

 

Council resolves:

 

To request that the Cabinet reviews and updates all relevant policies and practices on urban biodiversity that might harm or undermine local ecosystems, such as reviewing grass cutting across the city and allowing some re-wilding on allotment plots to improve habitats for insects, including bees. In general, approaches should aim to positively contribute to re-wilding and support other approaches to re "greening" Portsmouth.

 

To request that the Leader of the Council provides bi-monthly updates to Members on the progress of this initiative.

Additional documents:

12j

Universal Credit

Proposed by Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson

Seconded by Councillor Suzy Horton

 

The City Council recognises the work the Government put in place to support families during the pandemic with the furlough scheme and the £20 uplift in Universal Credit.

 

The Council also recognises the work the City Council did to step in where Government funding ceased so that families with children receiving free school meals did get support in school holidays and half terms.

 

The Council wishes to place on record thanks to the City's Tackling Poverty Co-ordinator, the many local groups or organisations like the Hive and all the volunteers who worked in food banks and pantries across the city who worked so hard to support local families, along with support from both of the city MPs.

 

The Council opposes the Government's choice to end the £20 uplift in Universal Credit payments to families on the lowest incomes. This seems bizarre when those families face rising bills due to the energy crisis and the same Government's decision to use National Insurance - not income or wealth taxes - for the NHS and social care and end furlough.

 

Therefore, the Council asks the Leader of the Council and all Group Leaders write jointly to the Prime Minister and our local MPs to ask for a change in Government policy so the poorest families are able to survive.

12k

Aquind decision - Potential for Judicial Review pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Proposed by Councillor Graham Heaney

Seconded by Councillor Judith Smyth

 

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is due to make a decision on an application by Aquind for the development of an interconnector through Portsmouth by 21 October.

 

All parties on the City Council have opposed this application as have the two local members of Parliament and there has been a significant public campaign against the proposals.

 

A public petition by the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South has been presented to the House of Commons with over 6,200 signatures. The City Council has presented a strong case to the Planning Inspector arguing for the rejection of this proposal.

 

While we hope the Secretary of State will reject this proposal he may not do so. In this case Council therefore urges the Cabinet to demonstrate the city’s community leadership in this vital campaign by:

 

-     instructing officers to undertake initial work now to lead the preparation for any judicial review

-     setting aside the remaining allocated budget for legal advice and support to assist with any judicial review

-     commit to pursuing further funding if necessary to support this action if it were to proceed with this.

12l

Protecting Funds for Children and Education in Portsmouth

Proposed by Councillor Terry Norton

Seconded by Councillor Benedict Swann

 

The Council regrets that the Administration failed to ring-fence a large underspend in the Children Education and Families portfolio budget.

13.

To determine proposed revisions to the programme of Full Council meetings for the Remainder of the current Municipal year to enable these meetings to be held in the Guildhall Auditorium, commencing 2pm (except for Annual Council which commences at 10am)

November Meeting - Reschedule from Tuesday 9 November to Thursday 18 November  2021

 

December Meeting - Reschedule from Tuesday 7 December to Monday 13 December 2021

 

January Reserve Council meetingcurrently scheduled for 18 January 2022 (no change) (usually cancelled if a meeting in December is held)

 

February Meeting - Reschedule from Tuesday 15 February to Tuesday 1 February 2022

 

March Meeting - Currently Scheduled for Tuesday 15 March 2022 (no change)

 

May Meeting - Annual Council Meeting currently scheduled for Tuesday 17 May 2022 (no change)

 

Note: The Lord Mayor has confirmed his availability on these dates and Group Leaders have been notified in advance of the proposed revised dates.

14.

Questions from Members under Standing Order No 17 (those previously submitted for the abandoned July Council meeting have been carried forward to this meeting (1-10) - others subsequently received have also been included) pdf icon PDF 73 KB