Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre

Contact: Lisa Thornett  (01279) 446185

Items
No. Item

84.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Eugenie Harvey and Shannon Jezzard.

85.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any items on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillors Mike Garnett, Michael Hardware, Eddie Johnson and Clive Souter all declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 8b, Libraries, as Essex County Councillors.

86.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To agree the minutes of the meetings held on 7 and 28 February 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 7 February and 28 February 2019 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

87.

Communications from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the various events she had attended. She had attended the High Sheriff’s Awards, where Rainbow Services had won an award. She had also attended Crucial Crew which had been held at the Latton Bush Centre.

 

On 22 March she held her Dinner Dance and had also helped to launch the Great British Spring Clean in Harlow. Both of these had been highly successful.

 

Lastly, she said that the Livewire Trust had been nominated for the People’s Projects Award. She hoped that all Councillors would vote for them.

88.

Petitions from the Public

Minutes:

None.

89.

Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Minutes:

The questions, together with the answers, are appended to the minutes.

90.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Minutes:

The questions, together with the answers, are appended to the minutes.

91.

Motions from Councillors

91a

Affordable Housing

Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Danny Purton):

 

“This Council notes that Harlow’s emerging Local Plan was predicated on the assessment that 30% of all developments should be available for affordable housing and that this proportion is needed to meet Harlow’s Housing demand. 

 

Some recent development proposals have made no provision, or a ludicrously low provision, of affordable housing. These proposals are often supported by independently sourced viability assessments paid for by the developer. These viability assessments usually show that affordable housing is not viable at the 30% level in Harlow.

 

All development schemes must be assessed against defined criteria, but this Council notes that if planning is granted to schemes with less than 30% affordable housing our Local Plan will fail and our housing need will not be met.

 

This Council also notes the high rate of refusals that are overturned at appeal, taking little notice of the affordable housing need, with the result that the schemes go ahead and expose the Council to possible punitive costs and risk of special measures.

 

The Council urges the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State alerting him of the problems this is causing and urging him to include affordable housing need as a priority factor in planning appeal cases.

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Danny Purton):

 

“This Council notes that Harlow’s emerging Local Plan was predicated on the assessment that 30% of all developments should be available for affordable housing and that this proportion is needed to meet Harlow’s Housing demand. 

 

Some recent development proposals have made no provision, or a ludicrously low provision, of affordable housing. These proposals are often supported by independently sourced viability assessments paid for by the developer. These viability assessments usually show that affordable housing is not viable at the 30% level in Harlow.

 

All development schemes must be assessed against defined criteria, but this Council notes that if planning is granted to schemes with less than 30% affordable housing our Local Plan will fail and our housing need will not be met.

 

This Council also notes the high rate of refusals that are overturned at appeal, taking little notice of the affordable housing need, with the result that the schemes go ahead and expose the Council to possible punitive costs and risk of special measures.

 

The Council urges the Leader of the Council to write to the Secretary of State alerting him of the problems this is causing and urging him to include affordable housing need as a priority factor in planning appeal cases.”

 

Councillor Andrew Johnson proposed that the final sentence was amended to read as follows:

 

“The Council urges the Leader of the Council, and the Leader of the Opposition, to write to the Secretary of State alerting him of the problems this is causing and urging him to include affordable housing need as a priority factor in planning appeal cases.”

 

The amendment was agreed by the consent of the meeting and became part of the substantive motion.

 

RESOLVED that the substantive motion was carried.

91b

Libraries

Proposed by Councillor Tony Edwards (seconded by Councillor Jodi Dunne):

 

“This Council notes that:

 

             i)        Essex County Council (ECC) have not responded to the letter of concern about library closures sent by the Leader of Harlow District Council and co-signed by the Leader of the opposition on 7 January 2019.

 

            ii)        At the meeting of ECC on 12 March 2019, that council had concluded that as the libraries consultation had only just closed, it was too early to put forward a decision to their Cabinet on the matter and therefore a final closure decision has yet to be taken; and

 

This Council urges:

 

             i)        the Leader to write again to the Portfolio Holder responsible for the consultation around library closures asking for ECC to reconsider particularly in light of the (disproportionate) effect the proposed closures in this and immediately surrounding areas; and 

 

            ii)        Members to support the motion and this council’s position, both at district level and ECC members when the matter comes before them for decision.”

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Tony Edwards (seconded by Councillor Jodi Dunne):

 

“This Council notes that:

 

     i)        Essex County Council (ECC) have not responded to the letter of concern about library closures sent by the Leader of Harlow District Council and co-signed by the Leader of the opposition on 7 January 2019.

 

    ii)        At the meeting of ECC on 12 March 2019, that council had concluded that as the libraries consultation had only just closed, it was too early to put forward a decision to their Cabinet on the matter and therefore a final closure decision has yet to be taken; and

 

This Council urges:

 

     i)        the Leader to write again to the Portfolio Holder responsible for the consultation around library closures asking for ECC to reconsider particularly in light of the (disproportionate) effect the proposed closures in this and immediately surrounding areas; and

 

    ii)        Members to support the motion and this council’s position, both at district level and ECC members when the matter comes before them for decision.”

 

Councillors Edwards, as the motion’s proposer, proposed an amendment to the motion so that the word “adequately” was inserted into the first paragraph so that it read.

 

     i)        Essex County Council (ECC) have not responded adequately to the letter of concern about library closures sent by the Leader of Harlow District Council and co-signed by the Leader of the opposition on 7 January 2019.

 

The amendment was agreed by the consent of the meeting and became part of the substantive motion.

 

RESOLVED that the motion, as amended, was carried.

92.

References from Cabinet and Committees

92a

Referral from Licensing Committee - Private Hire Operator Application Procedure Update pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Licensing Committee recommended to Full Council that:

 

     i)        The revised Operator Licensing Procedures, attached as Appendix 2 to the report, is adopted with effect from 8 April 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Full Council received a referral from the Licensing Committee to update the Private Hire Operator application procedure.

 

Councillor Garnett raised concerns that a restriction of no more than two Private Hire Vehicles being parked outside of a residential address had been removed when there was no legal requirement to remove it.

 

Councillors agreed that the matter be referred back to the Licensing Committee so the legal implications of the decision could be fully considered.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mark Ingall (seconded by Councillor Mark Wilkinson) it was:

 

RESOLVED that the matter be referred back to the Licensing Committee so that the legal implications could be fully considered.

93.

Reports from Officers

Minutes:

None.

94.

Annual Reports from Councillors Appointed to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Full Council received the annual reports.

 

RESOLVED that the annual reports from Council representatives on outside bodies are noted.

95.

Minutes of Cabinet and Committee Meetings

To note the following Cabinet and Committee minutes:

95a

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 13 February 2019 of Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 185 KB

95b

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 27 February 2019 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 83 KB

95c

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 February 2019 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 239 KB

95d

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 12 March 2019 of Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 82 KB

95e

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 13 March 2019 of Audit and Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 187 KB

95f

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 19 March 2019 of Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 54 KB

95g

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 20 March 2019 of Development Management Committee pdf icon PDF 181 KB

95h

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 March 2019 of Cabinet pdf icon PDF 270 KB

96.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

The Chair said that Councillor Stevens was standing down as a Councillor. To thank Councillor Stevens for her service, the Chair presented her with flowers and a bottle of champagne.