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Brentwood Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: NEW VENUE: Army Reserve Centre, Clive Road, Warley CM13 3UJ

Contact: Jean Sharp (01277 312655) 

Items
No. Item

70.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Gareth Barrett, Laplain, Morrissey and Miss Sanders (Deputy Mayor).  In Cllr Miss Sanders’ absence Cllr Mrs Pound took her place to assist the Mayor in noting which Members’ wished to speak.

71.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were declared at this stage of the meeting.

72.

Mayors Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members of the engagements he had undertaken and invited nominations for Aldermen and Alderwomen and Freemen and Freewomen which needed to be made before the end of October.

73.

Minutes of the 5.12.18 Ordinary Council meeting pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 5.12.18 Ordinary Council meeting were APPROVED as a  true record.

74.

Minutes of the 27.2.19 Ordinary Council meeting pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 27.2.19 Ordinary Council (Budget) meeting were APPROVED as a true record.

75.

Minutes of the 15.5.19 Annual Council meeting pdf icon PDF 503 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 15.5.19 were APPROVED as a true record.

76.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

Mrs Gearon-Simm put the following questions to the Leader of the Council:

 

The world’s leading scientists have produced 1,800 pages of detailed evidence that our wholesale destruction of the biosphere threatens humanity just as much as climate change.

 

The time has surely come for politicians to act urgently to take non-partisan, bold courageous action to back transformative economic and social change in pursuit of the public good.

 

Will Brentwood Borough Council join more than 100 other councils across the country to declare a climate emergency?

Will councillors pledge that Brentwood will be carbon-neutral within 11 years?

 

 

Cllr Hossack thanked Mrs Gearon-Simm for her continued enthusiastic participation and keen interest in local democracy.

 

He advised that as the government had already declared a national emergency in relation to climate change he preferred to focus on practical steps that could be taken by the Council to tackle the climate issue.

 

A report was to be considered at the 10 July 2019 Policy, Resources and Economic Development  Committee to directly deal with some green issues .  Cllrs Hossack and Tumbridge (Chair of PRED Committee) had discussed promoting Brentwood as a pioneering town which encouraged specifically green technology companies to come and use innovative technology, electric changing points, etc and set the tone for the Borough.

 

Electric vehicles were already being used within the Council’s fleet and there were electric charging points at the Depot. Electric charging points were also being installed at the renovated Town Hall.

 

Cllr Hossack had discussed with the Vice-chair of Planning and Licensing Committee a proposal of including in Planning Policy the requirement that all developments were built to Standard A of the EPC Certificate rating.

 

Cllr Hossack advised he could not pledge that Brentwood would be carbon neutral within 11 years as this may not be deliverable.  However, he proposed a partnership between the Council and townsfolk that being mindful of the types of cars driven and energy used in homes and businesses Brentwood would move towards the carbon neutral target and pledged that the Council would take this message to residents and business owners.

 

 

 

77.

Memorials or Petitions

Minutes:

No memorials or petitions were presented.

78.

Committee Chairs Reports and Members Questions pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Committee chairs reports were provided for Members’ information and four written questions had been received, as follows:

 

Cllr Chilvers put a question to the Chair of Environment, Enforcement and Housing, Cllr Hossack.

 

When attending committee meetings, non-committee members customarily - although not constitutionally - feel compelled to use the phrase: “Thank you chair for allowing me to speak even though I am not a member of your committee”.  This conduct is antiquated and brings nothing to the debating chamber apart from adding time and making us appear outdated as an organisation.  A simple “Thank You Chair” would surely suffice? Given it is now 2019, will the leader agree to dispense with this allowing the focus to be discussing the items on the agenda for our residents’ benefit and modernising Brentwood council?

 

Cllr Hossack advised that he would not dispense with the use of the customary phrase which he considered served a practical purpose as well as being polite and traditional: whereas at full council meetings all Members were able to speak and vote, using the phrase enabled the public to differentiate between voting and non-voting Members at Committee meetings.  He believed ceasing to use the phrase would be an erosion in standards and took the opportunity of referring to an erosion in the traditional standards of some Members’ dress in the Chamber as neck ties and jackets were not being worn as was expected of Councillors.

 

 

Cllr Aspinell put a question to the Chair of Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee, Cllr Tumbridge:

 

Would the Chair of Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee support a proposal that the Council undertakes a planning seminar to discuss the effects on the Borough of recent changes by the Government to planning policy and guidelines.  The aim of the seminar would be to discuss all aspects of the changes, its effects and how we locally could introduce conditions to protect our existing residents from the new development pressures.

 

Cllr Tumbridge advised that he welcomed questions from Members relating to serious issues such as planning.  He believed that discussion on planning matters fell to the Planning and Licensing Committee rather than under the auspices of Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee.  However, at the 10 July 2019 PRED Committee meeting, one of the agenda items would be the programme of Members’ training, opportunities for which Cllr Tumbridge was a great advocate and supporter.  He hoped that the proposed elements of planning training currently being planned would address the kind of content that Cllr Aspinell hoped to discuss.

 

 

Cllr Tim Barrett put a question to the Chair of Policy, Resources and Economic Development Committee, Cllr Tumbridge:

 

Can the timetable for progression of the Local Development Plan (LDP) from this meeting to formal adoption be outlined and confirmed?

 

Cllr Tumbridge said that part of the question could be answered definitively in that the Senior Planning Officer was bringing a paper to the 10 July 2019 PRED meeting to outline the stage the Council had reached in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded that at Annual Council on 15 May 2019, the terms of reference for each committee for the municipal year 2019/2020 were approved.

 

Part 3.1 of the Constitution listed the powers and duties of the Committees appointed by Annual Council for 2019/2020 which were subject to amendment by the individual committees throughout the year with Council’s approval.

 

The proposed Terms of Reference for Ordinary Council were appended to the report for Members’ information.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED the recommendations in the report, slightly amended from ‘Chief Operating Officer’ to ‘Chief Executive Officer’ and following a discussion a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY

 

1.    That the Committee notes the Terms of Reference (Appendix A to the report) of the Ordinary Council.

2.    That any amendments addressed by the Committee are reported to Chief Executive Officer/Corporate and Democratic Services Manager and a report to be taken to appropriate Ordinary Council Meeting for approval.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

The Council operates a committee system form of governance and is required by law to establish certain committees and has discretion to appoint other committees to facilitate the effective conduct of business under that committee system.

 

 

 

80.

Council Representation on Outside Organisations pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were advised that following a change to the Council’s Constitution in  January 2017 Council representatives were now appointed to a number of outside organisations by Ordinary Council.  Many of the outside organisations supported and advanced the broad objectives of the Authority.  Representations came about either through the Authority initiating the appointment, or an organisation requesting a representative being nominated or a Charity Commission rule that a Council representative be appointed.  

 

Cllr Hossack advised that all Group Leaders had had input into the proposed list of nominations and MOVED and Cllr Mrs Hones SECONDED the recommendations in the report.

 

Following a discussion a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY

 

1.    That the list of outside bodies and nominated representatives/point of contact for 2019/20 shown in Appendix A be approved.

(For clarity Appendix A is appended to these minutes)

 

2.    A review of the Outside Organisations to be undertaken yearly and reported back to Ordinary Council at the start of the municipal year.

 

 

81.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Eight Notices of Motion had been received.

1.         Cllr Aspinell MOVED and Cllr Clarke SECONDED the following Motion:

‘This Council resolves to investigate the possibility of installing electric charging stations for electric powered vehicles at various strategic positions within the Borough. We would suggest the ideal sites for these could be the major junctions with the M25 (A12 / A127). Such charging stations would be powered by green energy, i.e., windmill, solar panel or heat source. We believe this would generate much needed revenue to the Council and be a major contributor to reducing carbon emissions. Obviously, these stations would not be the only provision of charging within the borough but they would provide facilities for vehicles travelling through the road network. As technology advances towards 2030, where the Government had decided only electric vehicles will be permitted on our roads, it may not be just charging points required, but a facility to exchange fully charged units’.

 

The Leader, Cllr Hossack, proposed an AMENDMENT whereby a section of wording was omitted and Cllr Aspinell ACCEPTED the proposed AMENDMENT.

 

Following a discussion a vote was taken on a show of hands and it was

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY:

 

‘This Council resolves to investigate the possibility of installing electric charging stations for electric powered vehicles at various strategic positions within the Borough. As technology advances towards 2030, where the Government had decided only electric vehicles will be permitted on our roads, it may not be just charging points required, but a facility to exchange fully charged units’.

 

 

2.         Cllr Fryd MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED the following Motion:

This Council resolves to remove the Authority’s preferred site of 75 houses in Priests Lane from our submission of our Local Development Plan and allocate this number of dwellings to an alternative site within the borough such as the Dunton Hills development. The Priests Lane site would then be changed to a Conservation and wildlife area. The benefit of this status would aid the reduction of carbon dioxide monoxide emissions from an already over polluted and heavily traffic congested area.

 

Following a discussion a recorded vote was requested in accordance with the Constitution and Members voted as follows:

 

FOR:  Cllrs Aspinell, Dr Barrett, Chilvers, Clarke, Sarah Cloke, Mrs Davies, Mrs Fulcher, Fryd, Haigh, Keeble, Kendall, Lewis, Naylor and Mynott (14)

 

AGAINST:  Cllrs Bridge, Jon Cloke, Hirst, Mrs Hones, Hossack, Jakobsson, Kerslake, McCheyne, McLaren, Mrs McKinlay, Nolan, Parker, Mrs Pearson, Poppy, Mrs Pound, Reed, Tanner, Mrs Tierney and Tumbridge (19)

 

ABSTAIN (0)

 

The MOTION was LOST.

 

 

3.         Cllr Mrs Fulcher MOVED and Cllr Haigh SECONDED  the following Notice of Motion:

This Council resolves to commission a report from a suitably qualified organisation to carry out a study of HGV journeys to and from local businesses and to explore what beneficial changes could be made to improve weight restriction enforcement and to report on the environmental and commercial benefits from any potential changes.

 

Following a discussion a vote was taken on a vote of hands and the MOTION  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Variation in the Order of the Agenda

Minutes:

During the previous item, Notices of Motion, following debate on Motion 4, given the time constraints on the meeting the Mayor proposed and Members agreed to a variation in the order of the agenda so that full consideration could be given to Urgent Business.

83.

Urgent Business - Senior Management Structure – Appointment of Statutory Officers pdf icon PDF 209 KB

An item of business may only be considered where the Chair is of the opinion that, by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the Minutes, the item should be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report before Members had been circulated as a confidential item but it was subsequently decided that it was appropriate that the matters under consideration be discussed in open session. 

 

Members were advised that the Staff Appointments Committee met on the 20 June 2019 to discuss the senior Management Structure and the Appointments of Statutory Officers.

 

A proposed senior officer structure had been approved by Policy, Projects and Resources Committee on 5th February 2019. Following an internal recruitment process for the vacant position of Director of Corporate Resources it was recommended by Staff Appointments Committee that Jacqueline Van Mellaerts be appointed to the role.

 

Since the Annual Council meeting had taken place it had been agreed that the current Chief Executive, Philip Ruck,  would leave the Council due to retirement,  his termination date having been 20 June 2019.

 

The Senior Management structure had since been reviewed and a revised management structure was attached to the report as Appendix A.

 

As the Chief Executive position was vacant, the Leader wished to proceed with recruitment for a full time position which would include the roles of Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Director of Seven Arches Investment Limited (SAIL). The recruitment process would be carried out in accordance with statutory requirements for the recruitment of the Head of Paid Service.

 

Pending the recruitment of a Chief Executive, it was recommended by the Staff Appointments Committee that Steve Summers be appointed as Interim Chief Executive which role would include the statutory position of Head of Paid Services and Returning Officer and he would receive an acting up allowance.

 

Members noted that a new post of Director of Housing and Enforcement had been included in the revised management structure shown in Appendix A. The appointment of this post was subject to job evaluation and recruitment process as a secondment opportunity for 6 months.

 

Cllr Hossack MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED the recommendations in the report.

 

During the ensuing discussion, Cllr Bridge MOVED and Cllr Tim Barrett SECONDED that Members should Move to the Vote.  A vote was taken on a show of hands and it was  and it was RESOLVED ACCORDINGLY.

 

A vote was taken on a show of hands and it was

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY that

 

 

Following recommendation from Staff Appointments Committee:

 

1.    The Council approves the appointment of Jacqueline Van Mellaerts, currently Interim Chief Finance Officer as Director of Corporate Resources (Section 151 Officer).

 

2.    The Council approves the recruitment of a Full time Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, which includes the role of Returning Officer and Director of Seven Arches Investment Limited (SAIL).

 

3.    The Council approves the appointment of Steve Summers, currently Chief Operating Officer, as Interim Chief Executive which includes the statutory position of Head of Paid Services and Returning Officer, pending the recruitment of a Chief Executive with the provision of an acting up allowance, which increases his total remuneration to £95,000 with effect from 21 June 2019.

 

4.    To note the resignation of Philip  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Urgent Business - Audit and Scrutiny Terms of Reference Report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

Members were reminded that at Annual Council on 15 May 2019, the terms of reference for each committee for the municipal year 2019/2020 were approved.

 

At the Audit and Scrutiny meeting on 18 June 2019 Members considered the Terms of Reference and following discussion resolved the following:

 

‘That any amendments made by the Committee are delegated to the Chief Operating Officer in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the committee with a report to be made to Ordinary Council Meeting for approval.’

 

Following discussion with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Audit and Scrutiny      Committee it was considered that to meet the matters raised by the committee   

that the following be deleted from the Audit and Scrutiny Committee Terms of Reference for 2019/20:

 

‘To identify and recommend any matters that need to be scrutinised to the Policy, Resources and Economic Committee for approval as set out in the Audit and Scrutiny rules.’

 

Cllr Nolan MOVED and Cllr Hossack SECONDED the recommendations in the report and it was

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY

 

1.    That the Council agrees the amendments to the Terms of Reference approved at 15 May 2019 Annual Council as set out in the report as follows:

a)    To add: ‘That any amendments made by the Committee are delegated to the Chief Operating Officer in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the committee with a report to be made to Ordinary Council Meeting for approval.’

b)   To delete ‘To identify and recommend any matters that need to be scrutinised to the Policy, Resources and Economic Committee for approval as set out in the Audit and Scrutiny rules.’

 

2.    That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make the necessary changes to the Council’s Constitution.  

 

 

Reasons for Recommendation

 

The Council operates a committee system form of governance and is required by law to establish certain committees and has discretion to appoint other committees to facilitate the effective conduct of business under that committee system.

 

 

 

_________________________

 

 

The meeting ended at 10.15pm

85.

Appendices pdf icon PDF 167 KB