Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 9th January, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, BCP Civic Centre, Bournemouth BH2 6DY. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

50.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors C Adams, J Bagwell, J Butt, P Cooper, E Connolly, D d’Orton-Gibson, B Dove, J Edwards, A Filer, R Maidment and C Matthews.

51.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

Janie Berry, Monitoring Officer, declared a pecuniary interest in respect of Agenda Item 14 and confirmed that she would leave the room for the duration of the item.

 

52.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 531 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 7 November 2023.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2023 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

53.

Announcements and Introductions from the Chairman

To receive any announcements from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman updated Council on her activities since the last meeting. These included attendance at:

-       remembrance Services at Purewell Cross and Christchurch Priory

-       a welcoming of a delegation of Bournemouth University politics students for a tour of the chamber and presentation of regalia

-       Winton Community Pantry with the Mayor of Bournemouth

-       an art exhibition hosted by the Soroptimists

-       the Admiralty Carol Service with other civic dignitaries and the Leader in aid of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

-       Christchurch Priory to read a lesson at the Carol Service

-       the 100th Birthday celebration for Gwen Taylor at the Fairhaven Christadelphian Care Home

 

The Vice Chairman updated Council on his activities since the last meeting on behalf of the Chairman.

These included attendance at:

-       the remembrance parade and service in Poole

-       the Indian Cultural Association of Dorset’s Ayyappa Swamy Padi Pooja

-       Royal British Legions Service of Dedication for a new County Standard in Wimborne Minster

 

The Chairman invited Councillor Kieron Wilson (Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services) to provide an update on the knife crime motion which was supported at the Council meeting in September 2023.

 

Councillor Wilson thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to update members on the progress of the Community Safety Strategy, paying particular attention to knife crime.

 

Council was advised that the Portfolio Holder, the chair of the Community Safety Panel (CSP) and officers attended the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board on 5 December to provide the annual report on this subject. The report contains a detailed overview of the crime disorder across the BCP area, along with details of the significant partnership work taking place. Councillors can access the annual strategic assessment and key performance indicators for the CSP along with the hotspot mapping and trend analysis.

 

The Portfolio Holder advised that:-

 

  • there was no statistical significant change in public place recorded violent crime between 2021/22 and 2022/23, bucking a national trend;
  • there was a 7.6% reduction between the number of recorded domestic abuse violent crime incidences in 2022/23 compared to 2021/22;
  • a 5% reduction in the total number of serious sexual offences when compared over the same period, and
  • a 12% decrease in the total number of all ASB reported to the police, with 10,952 incidences reported in 2022/23, as compared to 12,440 in 2021/22.

 

Under the serious violence duty, we are required to monitor from 31 January, 2024, data around three of the following KPIs. A reduction in hospital admissions for assaults with a knife or sharp object. A reduction in knife and sharp object enabled serious violence recorded by the police, and homicides recorded by the police.

 

Knife crime is recorded against crime groups, such as violence against the person, possessions of a weapon, public order, etc., rather than a specific category of knife crime, depending on the incident, and therefore requires the police data to be flagged when a knife has been involved. The serious violence needs assessment identified that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view in Part 4D (Meeting Procedure Rules) of the Constitution:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of public questions is midday 3 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

(a)           Public Questions

Public Question from Adam Osman

We know that we need to act radically to combat the effects of climate change, I’d also like to highlight the 100 cyclists killed per year in the UK. We know we need to halve the number of miles driven in order to meet climate change goals, even if we switch all cars to EVs. In order to combat this in the most cost-efficient way possible, a 20mph speed limit would encourage more cycle journeys and pay dividends in public health through air quality and fewer fatalities. You have a 1 in 10 chance of dying at 20mph, 1 in 4 at 30mph. How can we justify 4 times more deaths, especially when a lower speed limit has been empirically proven to reduce average journey times.

Will BCP implement a 20mph default speed limit? Further to this, will you listen to the recommendations of the upcoming community assembly on 20mph?

Response by Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities

Adam, thanks for your summary of the benefits of 20MPH as a default speed limit, and your questions.  

20mph by default in our built up urban area would be beneficial to people walking, wheeling and cycling, and as you highlight also benefit public health and air quality.  

I represent Newtown & Heatherlands ward in Poole and we have seen the benefits of a large scale 20mph speed limit which was introduced in 2010 and extended in subsequent years to cover almost the whole ward. I would like to see other communities able to benefit from a safer and healthier environment, like we have. 

Parties forming the Three Towns Alliance highlighted an intention to improve road safety by implementing 20mph speed limits in more areas or as the default speed limit, in our election material. Many other urban areas across the country are ahead of us in making progress. It is important that we have collaboration from Dorset Police in enforcing speed limits, and we are working with them on means to improve that for 20mph zones.  

So will BCP implement a 20mph default speed limit? Yes, that is our intention. There will be some roads that are exempt, on the basis of need and capacity. It is also likely that rollout will take some time, working alongside communities and finding a means to funding such a widespread change. 

Will we listen to the recommendations of the upcoming community assembly on 20mph? We are keen to hear views from the whole community on proposed changes, but we will be pleased to receive the output from your assembly deliberations, and I’m grateful for the efforts of volunteers to engage in the debate. 

I would also add that we have a meeting later this week with representatives of the ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ organisation so we can learn from the experience of other places who have implemented change. 

Public Question from Ralph Doe

In March 2023 there was an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Cabinet 13 December 2023 - Minute No. 66 - Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update pdf icon PDF 283 KB

It is RECOMMENDED that Council: -

(d)           Further to Councils decision on 12 July 2022 to apply a council tax premium to second homes and an empty homes premium, to approve the formal determination as required by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

Note – resolutions (a) – (c) were resolved matters by the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Mike Cox presented the report on the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update and outlined the recommendations as set out on the agenda.

RESOLVED that Council: -

(d)           Further to Councils decision on 12 July 2022 to apply a council tax premium to second homes and an empty homes premium, to approve the formal determination as required by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

Note – resolutions (a) – (c) were resolved matters by the Cabinet.

Voting: 59:3 (3 abstentions)

Councillor Tony Trent left the meeting at 20:04

56.

Cabinet 13 December 2023 - Minute No. 67 - Corporate Strategy 2023 – 2027 – High level summary pdf icon PDF 246 KB

It is RECOMMENDED that: -

(a)           the consultation report, summarising feedback from residents and stakeholders, be noted;

(b)           the revised Corporate Strategy High level Summary be adopted;

(c)           the Corporate Strategy and supporting Performance Management Framework continues to be aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Purpose Goals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places, Councillor Vikki Slade presented the report on the Corporate Strategy 2023-2027 – High Level Summary and outlined the recommendations as set out on the agenda.

Comprehensive discussion took place on the item with Members raising the importance of oversight and scrutiny. In addition, Members raised the matter of the closure of the Kings Park Nursery which had been recently publicised.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)          the consultation report, summarising feedback from residents and stakeholders, be noted;

(b)          the revised Corporate Strategy High level Summary be adopted;

(c)          the Corporate Strategy and supporting Performance Management Framework continues to be aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Purpose Goals.

Vote: Nem.Con (12 abstentions)

 

57.

Cabinet 13 December 2023 - Minute No. 68 - Consultation on the Draft BCP Local Plan and the Draft BCP CIL Charging Schedule pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Cabinet RESOLVED that an additional appendix be presented with the papers to Council setting out any change to policy and significant changes to wording, and that these changes be delegated to the Director of Planning in consultation with the Leader and the Lead Member for Strategic Planning to agree.

RECOMMENDED that: -

(a)          the Draft BCP Local Plan and Draft CIL Charging Schedule are approved for public consultation for a period of six weeks from January 2024;

(b)          any minor changes following Council on 9 January to the Draft BCP Local Plan and Draft CIL Charging Schedule are delegated to the Director of Planning and Destination in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places for inclusion in the consultation versions;

(c)          the Draft BCP Local Plan is updated to reflect any changes to the corporate strategy resulting from the outcome of Council on 9 January 2024;

(d)          subject to no major amendments being required following consultation, the decision to submit the Draft BCP Local Plan and the Draft CIL Charging Schedule to the Secretary of State for examination is delegated to the Director of Planning and Destination in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places; and

(e)          the Local Development Scheme is approved to reflect the amended timetable.

NOTE: In the interests of clarity the appendices received by Cabinet are appended to the Council agenda and the additional appendices requested by Cabinet have been circulated as a supplementary pack made up of three documents, these being: -

-       Appendix 1 - A clean version of the local plan

-       Appendix 4 - A new Local Development Scheme

-       Appendix 6 – the schedule showing the changes to Appendix 1 and 4

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Place, Councillor Vikki Slade presented the report on the Consultation on the Draft BCP Local Plan and the Draft BCP CIL Charging Schedule and outlined the recommendations set out on the agenda.

Councillor Philip Broadhead tabled an amendment which was detailed in length and required consideration by officer. The meeting adjourned at 20:41 and reconvened at 21:08.

(Councillor Jo Clements left the meeting at 20:41)

Following the reconvening of the meeting, Councillor Broadhead withdrew the initial amendment.

Councillor Broadhead proposed an alternative amendment to the recommendations which was seconded by Councillor Rampton that an additional recommendation be included at (f) to read:

(f)            That the Director of Planning and Destination, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places to consider the Conservative Groups amendments to the draft Local Plan as part of the process set out in recommendation (b)

Comprehensive discussion took place on the amendment where concerns were expressed with regards to Talbot Heath and in particular Highmoor Farm.

Following comprehensive discussion a proposal was made that the motion now be put, this was put to the vote and carried with voting: 55:8.

Following the proposal the proposed amendment as set out above was put to the vote and fell with voting: 9:52 (1 Abstention)

Members then proceeded to debate the original recommendation as set out on the agenda where discussion focused on the provision of affordable homes.

 

RESOLVED that:-

(a)           the Draft BCP Local Plan and Draft CIL Charging Schedule are approved for public consultation for a period of six weeks from January 2024;

(b)           any minor changes following Council on 9 January to the Draft BCP Local Plan and Draft CIL Charging Schedule are delegated to the Director of Planning and Destination in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places for inclusion in the consultation versions;

(c)           the Draft BCP Local Plan is updated to reflect any changes to the corporate strategy resulting from the outcome of Council on 9 January 2024;

(d)           subject to no major amendments being required following consultation, the decision to submit the Draft BCP Local Plan and the Draft CIL Charging Schedule to the Secretary of State for examination is delegated to the Director of Planning and Destination in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places; and

(e)           the Local Development Scheme is approved to reflect the amended timetable.

 

Voting: 55:5 (3 Abstentions)

 

Councillor Michael Tarling left the meeting at 22:03

 

58.

Cabinet 13 December 2023 - Minute No. 70 - Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS) 2023-2028 pdf icon PDF 917 KB

PLEASE NOTE: Should the Council wish to discuss the detail of the exempt appendices it will be necessary to exclude the press and public and move into exempt session. If applicable, the following resolution should be moved: -

"That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act and that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs such interest in disclosing the information."

RECOMMENDED that Council approve: -

(a)           A revised capital budget (Total scheme Cost) of £33,360,000 for the Hillbourne Housing project, previously approved in 2018 and in April 2022, for 110 homes;

i.        Awarding the build works for the 110 home Hillbourne housing project and satisfying outstanding planning conditions etc, to Wates Residential in the sum provided in the confidential section of this report.

ii.       The delegation to the relevant Service Director, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer of the authority to enter into the Contracts for build works with Wates Residential, provided that all key parameters (including delivery within the approve capital budget) are met.

iii.      Resolves that the Council as local housing authority appropriates the land shown edged red on the plan annexed at Appendix 7 for housing purposes pursuant to section 19 of the Housing Act 1985. The transfer of land shown edged red on the plan annexed at Appendix 7 from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to enable the development of the affordable housing.

(b)      BCP Council execute the Deed of Variation to the Homes England Agreement entitled Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (5069) - AHP 21 - 26 Grant Agreement (LA), previously approved at September 2022 Cabinet & Council meetings; and

(c)      BCP Council execute the Grant Agreement (Local Authority) in relation to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme 2023 –2028.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services Councillor Kieron Wilson presented the report on the Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS) 2023-2028 and outlined the recommendations as set out on the agenda.

In presenting the report the Portfolio Holder expressed thanks to Nigel Ingram the Head of Housing Delivery who had recently left the Council.

Members spoke in support of the report and recommendations.

RESOLVED that Council approved:-

(a)           A revised capital budget (Total scheme Cost) of £33,360,000 for the Hillbourne Housing project, previously approved in 2018 and in April 2022, for 110 homes;

                   i.           Awarding the build works for the 110 home Hillbourne housing project and satisfying outstanding planning conditions etc, to Wates Residential in the sum provided in the confidential section of this report.

                 ii.           The delegation to the relevant Service Director, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer of the authority to enter into the Contracts for build works with Wates Residential, provided that all key parameters (including delivery within the approve capital budget) are met.

                iii.           Resolves that the Council as local housing authority appropriates the land shown edged red on the plan annexed at Appendix 7 for housing purposes pursuant to section 19 of the Housing Act 1985. The transfer of land shown edged red on the plan annexed at Appendix 7 from the General Fund to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to enable the development of the affordable housing.

(b)           BCP Council execute the Deed of Variation to the Homes England Agreement entitled Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (5069) - AHP 21- 26 Grant Agreement (LA), previously approved at September 2022 Cabinet & Council meetings; and

(c)           BCP Council execute the Grant Agreement (Local Authority) in relation to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme 2023 – 2028.

Voting: Nem.Con

 

59.

Cabinet 13 December 2023 - Minute No. 72 - Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) Strategy and Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Grant pdf icon PDF 294 KB

RECOMMENDED that Council: -

(a)           adopts the BCP Public Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (PEVIS) Strategy to 2030;

(b)           accepts the £1.447m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) capital funding from the Department for Transport Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (subject to confirmation of award); and

(c)           delegates delivery of the LEVI programme to the Service Director for Infrastructure in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy, Councillor Andy Hadley presented the report on the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) Strategy and Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Grant and outlined the recommendations as set out on the agenda.

An amendment to the recommendations was proposed by Councillor Sharon Carr-Brown and seconded by Councillor Patrick Canavan that an additional recommendation be included at (d) to read:

(c)           continues to investigate a range of technologies and solutions, such as gullies, pop-up and lamp post chargers, to facilitate and establish comprehensive on-street electric vehicle charging on residential roads to help residents without access to driveways to transition conveniently and affordably to electric vehicles which is a crucial part of our ambitions to address climate change.

The proposer of the original recommendations supported the amendment which was carried with voting: Unanimous

Members spoke in support of the recommendations and the additional amendment.

RESOLVED that Council: -

(a)           adopts the BCP Public Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (PEVIS) Strategy to 2030;

(b)           accepts the £1.447m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) capital funding from the Department for Transport Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (subject to confirmation of award);

(c)           delegates delivery of the LEVI programme to the Service Director for Infrastructure in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy; and

(d)           continues to investigate a range of technologies and solutions, such as gullies, pop-up and lamp post chargers, to facilitate and establish comprehensive on-street electric vehicle charging on residential roads to help residents without access to driveways to transition conveniently and affordably to electric vehicles which is a crucial part of our ambitions to address climate change.

Voting: Nem.Con

 

Meeting adjourned at 22:16

Meeting reconvened at 22:25

 

Councillors Hazel Allen, Brian Hitchcock, Pete Miles, Felicity Rice and Vanessa Ricketts left the meeting at 22:18

 

60.

Audit and Governance Committee 30 November 2023 - Minute No. 46 - Review of the Council's Constitution - Recommendations of the Constitution Review Working Group pdf icon PDF 413 KB

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that: -

(a)           in relation to Issue 1 (Planning Committee Structure and Arrangements) the proposed amendments to Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, be approved with an implementation date of 7 May 2024;

(b)           in relation to Issue 2 (Establishment of Transportation Advisory Group) the proposed amendments to Parts 2, 3 and 4 as set out in Appendix 2 to this report, be approved with an implementation date of 7 May 2024;

(c)           any necessary and consequential technical and formatting related updates and revisions to the Constitution be made by the Monitoring Officer in accordance with the powers delegated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee. Councillor Marcus Andrews presented the report on the Review of the Council’s Constitution – Recommendation of the Constitution Review Working Group and outlined the recommendations as set out on the agenda.

Comprehensive discussion took place primarily around the formation of the two Planning Committees and the requirements of political balance.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)           in relation to Issue 1 (Planning Committee Structure and Arrangements) the proposed amendments to Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, be approved with an implementation date of 7 May 2024;

(b)          in relation to Issue 2 (Establishment of Transportation Advisory Group) the proposed amendments to Parts 2, 3 and 4 as set out in Appendix 2 to this report, be approved with an implementation date of 7 May 2024;

(c)          any necessary and consequential technical and formatting related updates and revisions to the Constitution be made by the Monitoring Officer in accordance with the powers delegated.

Voting: (a) 42:8 (5 abstentions); (b) 48:4 (3 abstentions) and (c) Nem.Con (1 Abstention)

Councillors John Challinor and May Haines left the meeting at 23:04

 

61.

Calendar of Meetings for 2024/25 and 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

The Council is asked to consider and approve the schedule of meetings for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 municipal years and any associated issues.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Vikki Slade presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Council was asked to consider and approve the schedule of meetings for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 municipal years and any associated issues.

RESOLVED that: -

(a)    The schedule of meetings for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 municipal years as attached at Appendix 1 and 2 to the report be approved; and

(b)    Following Council approval of the recommendations from the Audit and Governance Committee 30 November 2023 the Planning Committee scheduled meetings (A & B) be renamed accordingly.

Voting: Nem.Con.

 

62.

BCP FuturePlaces Limited - Appointment of Director and Changes to Articles of Association pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Cabinet decided on 27 September 2023 to close BCP FuturePlaces Limited, the council’s arm’s length regeneration company, and bring in-house the development and investment activities of the company. The work and staff have since transferred to the council. This report requests Council to make changes to the company governance arrangements to align them with the requirements of the final closedown phase.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Council was advised that Cabinet decided on 27 September 2023 to close BCP FuturePlaces Limited, the council’s arm’s length regeneration company, and bring in-house the development and investment activities of the company.

In relation to this Council was advised that the work and staff have since transferred to the council and that this report requests Council to make changes to the company governance arrangements to align them with the requirements of the final closedown phase.

It is RESOLVED that: -

(a)          Council appoints Chris Shephard, Head of Operations Strategy, as a director of BCP FuturePlaces Limited

(b)           Council delegates to the Chief Executive, the appointment of any future directors of BCP FuturePlaces Limited

(c)          Council approves the amendments to the Articles of Association, Shareholder Agreement, and Terms of Reference as set out in paragraphs 10 - 12.

Voting: Nem.Con

 

63.

Appointment of the Director of Law and Governance as the Council's Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 166 KB

The Chief Executive took an urgent decision on 1 December 2023 to appoint Janie Berry to the position of Director of Law and Governance, (and the Council’s Monitoring Officer), in accordance with the Council's Constitution and statutory requirements.

Under Section 5 of the Local Government & Housing Act 1989 (as amended), the Council has a duty to designate the role of Monitoring Officer to an officer of the authority. 

The urgent decision by the Chief Executive enabled Janie Berry to take up her new appointment from 11 December, whereas any later decision would have delayed her start into the New Year, waiting for the next council meeting would have delayed her start until 1 February, at the earliest It was in the Council’s interest that the appointment was made as soon as possible.

A copy of the urgent decision record is appended to this agenda.

It is RECOMMENDED that Janie Berry (Director of Law and Governance) is appointed as the Council’s Monitoring Officer in accordance with the statutory requirements.

Background Papers: Published works

Minutes:

Council were advised that the Chief Executive had taken an urgent decision on 1 December 2023 to appoint Janie Berry to the position of Director of Law and Governance, (and the Council’s Monitoring Officer), in accordance with the Council’s Constitution and statutory requirements.

RESOLVED that Janie Berry (Director of Law and Governance) is appointed as the Council’s Monitoring Officer in accordance with the statutory requirements.

Voting: Nem.Con

(Janie Berry, Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) declared an interest in this item and left the room for the discussion and voting thereon.)

 

64.

Notices of Motion in accordance with Procedure Rule 10

Lift the Ban Motion on Asylum Seekers

The following motion submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 10 of the Meeting Procedure Rules has been proposed by Councillor M Gillett and seconded by Councillor C Rigby:-

BCP council notes that:

(i)       in BCP, there are over 500 people seeking asylum in receipt of Section 95 support (Immigration Compliance Network (ICN) December 2023);

(ii)      since 2002, people seeking asylum have only able to apply for the right to work after they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over a year, and only if they can be employed into one of the professions included on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List;

(iii)     people seeking asylum are left to live on £6.77 per day (or £9.58 per week if in a contingency hotel), struggling to support themselves and their families, and left vulnerable to destitution, isolation, and exploitation;

(iv)     allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would increase tax revenue by £1.3 billion, reduce Government expenditure by £6.7 billion, increase GDP by £1.6 billion, and improve the wellbeing of those individuals (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NISR) June 2023);

(v)      81% of people polled by Lift The Ban agreed with the statement: “when people come to the UK seeking asylum it is important they integrate, learn English and get to know people. It would help integration if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process”;

BCP Council believes that:

(vi)     people seeking asylum want to be able to work so that they can use their skills and make the most of their potential, integrate into their communities, and provide for themselves and their families;

(vii)    enabling those seeking asylum to work would allow them to prove their ability to pay rent and therefore reduce the risk of them requiring council support for housing once they are granted leave to remain;

(viii)   restrictions on right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy of BCP and the UK;

(ix)     allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would therefore lead to positive outcomes for those seeking asylum in BCP and for the local and national economy;

BCP Council resolves to:

(x)      join the Lift the Ban Coalition, which is campaigning to restore the right to work for everyone waiting for more than 6 months for a decision on their asylum claim;

(xi)     asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary seeking an urgent change to legislation to give people seeking asylum the right to work unconstrained by the shortage occupation list after they have waited six months for a decision on their initial asylum claim or further submission.

Minutes:

The following motion was submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 10 of the Meeting Procedure Rules and was moved by Councillor M Gillett and seconded by Councillor C Rigby: -

BCP council notes that:

      i.         in BCP, there are over 500 people seeking asylum in receipt of Section 95 support (Immigration Compliance Network (ICN) December 2023);

     ii.         since 2002, people seeking asylum have only able to apply for the right to work after they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over a year, and only if they can be employed into one of the professions included on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List;

    iii.         people seeking asylum are left to live on £6.77 per day (or £9.58 per week if in a contingency hotel), struggling to support themselves and their families, and left vulnerable to destitution, isolation, and exploitation;

   iv.         allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would increase tax revenue by £1.3 billion, reduce Government expenditure by £6.7 billion, increase GDP by £1.6 billion, and improve the wellbeing of those individuals (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NISR) June 2023);

  1. 81% of people polled by Lift The Ban agreed with the statement: “when people come to the UK seeking asylum it is important they integrate, learn English and get to know people. It would help integration if asylum-seekers were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process”;

BCP Council believes that:

   vi.         people seeking asylum want to be able to work so that they can use their skills and make the most of their potential, integrate into their communities, and provide for themselves and their families;

  vii.         enabling those seeking asylum to work would allow them to prove their ability to pay rent and therefore reduce the risk of them requiring council support for housing once they are granted leave to remain;

 viii.         restrictions on right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy of BCP and the UK;

   ix.         allowing people seeking asylum the right to work would therefore lead to positive outcomes for those seeking asylum in BCP and for the local and national economy;

BCP Council resolves to:

     x.         join the Lift the Ban Coalition, which is campaigning to restore the right to work for everyone waiting for more than 6 months for a decision on their asylum claim;

  1. asks the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary seeking an urgent change to legislation to give people seeking asylum the right to work unconstrained by the shortage occupation list after they have waited six months for a decision on their initial asylum claim or further submission.

Comprehensive discussion took place on the motion before Council moved to the vote.

RESOLVED: -

BCP council notes that:

      i.         in BCP, there are over 500 people seeking asylum in receipt of Section 95 support (Immigration Compliance Network (ICN) December 2023)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Questions from Councillors

The deadline for questions to be submitted to the Monitoring Officer is 29 December 2023.

Minutes:

Question by Councillor Duane Farr

Last summer Councillor Adams and I supported a funding bid via the Community Infrastructure Neighbourhood Portion for Fernheath Community Sports Association to match fund a much needed upgrade for their multi-use games area. This was duly submitted on time, however since then there has been no communication back confirming whether the bid was successful or not, because the assessment panel has been repeatedly delayed in making the decisions. This means the local charity is left in limbo regarding the availability of funding, not knowing if they should seek funding elsewhere so the facilities are left unusable, and leaving them in a position whereby other funders towards the upgrades may not continue to be so patient.

At time of writing on 15 December 2023 it currently states the following on the council website: 

“Round 5 will open in June 2023 with bids accepted to 31 July 2023. We will announce successful grant awards in September 2023.”

Further down the page it goes on to state: 

“Round 5 - closed 31 July 2023, successful bids will be announced in November 2023”

It is now January 2024 – 5 months later.

Please can the Cabinet Member confirm the date when successful grants will be announced so that Fernheath Community Sports Association and other local charities will have an idea when funding will be granted?

Response by Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities

Thank you Cllr Farr. Applicants were notified of the decisions regarding their applications on 22 December. I’m delighted that Fernheath Community Sports Association were successful in their bid along with 27 other community projects across 16 wards.

It is regrettable that the decision period took so long – this was down to trying to find a suitable date for the CIL panel to meet due to the availability of councillors and officers, and also the capacity in the Planning Team who were working hard to finalise the Local Plan.

Supplementary Question by Councillor Duane Farr

I'm pleased to hear funds have since been awarded despite the unfortunate delay. What does the cabinet member intend to do to improve communication with funding applicants to avoid them being left in limbo in future?

Response by Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities

When we are looking at the next rounds, we need to make sure that they are aligned with the timetables of other activities that are going on within planning.

This got left behind because of that timetable alongside a huge amount of work in the local plan. Hopefully, now that we have passed the local plan through Council, the next round should be a lot smoother, and we'll have a bit more of an opportunity to get a bit more pace around it rather than it being sporadically rounds here and there. It will be smoother from here on in.

Question by Councillor P Canavan

Can I thank the Leader for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Urgent Decisions taken by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Constitution

To be advised of any urgent decisions taken by the Chief Executive in accordance with the Constitution.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive confirmed the urgent decisions taken as follows:

1.    Appointment of the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer on an interim basis, and;

2.       Approval of the submission of the LEP integration template in order to meet the government's timescale to submit it by 30 November 2023.