Agenda and minutes

Full Council
Tuesday, 15th October, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Andy Cottell  01273 481935

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

31.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 457 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

31.1     RESOLVED – to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the County Council held on 9 July 2019 as a correct record.

32.

Chairman's business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

PROJECT RUDOLPH

 

32.1     The Chairman reminded all councillors that each year Christmas presents are collected at main council officers in Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes for children whose families live in financial crisis and who would not otherwise receive a present. This project is very much valued by the children and families and I would ask that you support this when Project Rudolph 2019 is launched.

 

VOLUNTEERS

 

32.2     The Chairman referred to the amazing contribution that volunteers make every day in East Sussex. There are many volunteers across the County and the Chairman stated that, on behalf of the Council, he would continue to show his appreciation to these unsung heroes.

 

CHAIRMAN’S ACTIVITIES

 

32.3     The Chairman reported that he had attended a number of engagements since the last meeting of the County Council including: memorial services for the Dieppe raids which he attended as the guest of the Mayor of Dieppe and The Mayor of Bexhill’s service at which our former colleague, Stuart Earl, was posthumously awarded ‘The Freedom of Bexhill’.

 

PRAYERS

 

32.4     The Chairman thanked Jez Field for leading the prayers before the meeting.

 

PETITIONS

 

32.5     The following petition was presented by a member immediately before the meeting:

Councillor O’Keeffe                                                                                            

- calling on the County Council to declare a climate emergency and to take action on a number of points to make East Sussex carbon neutral by 2030. 

 

 

33.

Declarations of Interest

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Minutes:

33.1     The following members declared personal interests in items on the agenda as follows:

 

Member

Position giving rise to interest

Agenda item

 

Whether interest was prejudicial

 

 

Councillor Philip Daniel

 

 

Self-employed economic consultant teaching public finance to graduate students and providing advice to the IMF and member states, which includes the fiscal treatment of extractive industry revenues   

 

 

Item 4

 

No

 

 

Councillor Webb

 

 

Member of the Pension Committee   

 

 

Item 4

 

No

 

Councillor Webb

 

 

Community organiser for the Greek Orthodox Church fund raising concert for the right to work for asylum seekers campaign

 

 

Item 8

 

No

 

 

34.

Petition pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

34.1     Julia Hilton (a representative of the petitioners) addressed the County Council prior to the debate. The Council agreed to vary procedure to enable all councillors who wished to speak to do so.

 

34.2     The following motion was moved by Councillor Bennett and seconded:

In order to maintain the momentum of its responsible approach to Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) considerations consistent with the Paris Agreement and the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2019), and building on the substantial progress on ESG matters made over the last 36 months by the Committee, this Council agrees to:

 

1.    Recognise the concerns raised through the petition.

 

2.    Note that the East Sussex Pension Fund is already recognized as having a strong approach to socially and environmentally responsible investment with a below benchmark exposure to both carbon and fossil fuels.

 

3.    Request that the Pension Committee asks its investment consultants to undertake a further investigation, with particular focus on the long term risks and opportunities to the Fund associated with climate change, and report back to the Committee on how, in the light of its need to fulfil its obligations to all pension scheme employers and members, it might further integrate ESG considerations including those relating to its approach to fossil fuel exposure, into its investment strategy.

 

34.3     The following amendment was moved by Councillor Stephen Shing and seconded:

To delete the motion and replace with –

The County Council agrees:

 

 

1)    To note that the Council’s current policy of “engaging” with fossil fuel companies has been unsuccessful, and its continued investments in fossil fuels are “no longer aligned with the interests of the East Sussex Pension Fund” and pose “a material financial risk” to the Fund

 

2)    that, in line with its Responsible Investment Policy, the East Sussex Pension Fund: (a) immediately freezes any new investment in the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies; and (b) divests from its existing investments in these companies within five years.

34.4     A recorded vote on Councillor Stephen Shing’s amendment was requested and taken. The amendment was LOST, the votes being cast as follows

 

FOR THE AMENDMENDMENT

Councillors O’Keeffe, Daniel Shing, Stephen Shing and Webb

 

AGAINST THE AMENDMENT

Councillors Barnes, Beaver, Belsey, Bennett, Bentley, Boorman, Bowdler, Charman, Charles Clark, Martin Clarke, Godfrey Daniel, Davies, Chris Dowling, Claire Dowling, Earl-Williams, Elford, Elkin, Enever, Ensor, Fox, Galley, Glazier, Liddiard, Loe, Maynard, Pragnell, Scott, Sheppard, Simmons, Smith, Standley, Stogdon, Taylor, Tidy and Whetstone

ABSTENTIONS

Councillors Philip Daniel, Field, Grover, Lambert, Osborne, Rodohan, Shuttleworth, Swansborough, Tutt, Ungar and Wallis

 

34.5     The following amendment was moved by Councillor Tutt and Seconded:

 

To delete the motion and replace with –

That East Sussex County Council believes that it would be possible for East Sussex Pension Fund to obtain either the same or greater return for the fund by divesting from shares in the fossil fuel based companies within their portfolio. To do so would also remove the financial risk that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

35.1     Copies of questions from Nina Ovenden from Easons Green, Isaiah Keal from Easons Green, Anou Rothschild from Easons Green and Ingrid Burniston from Easons Green and the answers from Councillor Claire Dowling (Lead Member for Transport and Environment) and Councillor Fox (Chair of the Pension Committee) are attached to these minutes. Supplementary questions were asked and responded to.

36.

Reports

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Minutes:

36.1     The Chairman of the County Council, having called over the reports set out in the agenda, reserved the following for discussion:

 

Cabinet report (16 July 2019) - paragraph 1 (Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources – State of the County)

Cabinet report (8 October 2019) - paragraph 1 (Council Monitoring)

Leader and Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development  report - paragraph 1 Notice of Motion: Right to work for those seeking asylum)

Place Scrutiny Committee report - paragraph 1 (Notices of Motion: Climate emergency)

 

NON-RESERVED PARAGRAPHS

36.2     On the motion of the Chairman of the County Council, the Council ADOPTED those paragraphs in the reports that had not been reserved for discussion as follows:

Governance Committee  report paragraph 1 – Amendment to Constitution – scheme of delegation to officers

36.3     The Chairman informed the Council that he was going to vary the order of the agenda by taking item 9 (report of the Place Scrutiny Committee) next

 

                                   

 

37.

Report of the Place Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

37.1     Councillor Bowdler moved the reserved paragraph (Notices of Motion: climate emergency) in the report of the Place Scrutiny Committee.

 

37.2     The following amendment moved by Councillor Tutt and seconded was LOST:

East Sussex County Council:

(i)            supports the aims and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

(ii)           recognises and declares a Climate Emergency.

(iii)          will set a target of achieving carbon neutrality from its activities as soon as possible and in any event by (insert) [2030] (delete) [2050, in line with the new target for the UK agreed by Parliament in 2019].

(iv)         will build upon the work we have undertaken to date, will commit resources where possible and will align our policies to address the Climate Emergency.

(v)          will set out a clear plan of action to reduce our carbon emissions.

(vi)         will report (insert) [six monthly to the County Council] (delete) [annually at the May County Council Meeting] on its progress towards the target.

(vii)        will investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment, as well as writing to central government with respect to the emergency to request funding to implement swift appropriate actions.

(viii)       will use our Environment Strategy to provide a strong unified voice in lobbying for support to address this emergency, sharing best practice across East Sussex and more widely through other partners

(ix)         (insert) [will include an environmental impact assessment on every Council report]

 

37.3     The following motion was moved by Councillor Bowdler was CARRIED:

East Sussex County Council:

(i)            supports the aims and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

(ii)           recognises and declares a Climate Emergency.

(iii)          will set a target of achieving carbon neutrality from its activities as soon as possible and in any event by 2050, in line with the new target for the UK agreed by Parliament in 2019.

(iv)         will build upon the work we have undertaken to date, will commit resources where possible and will align our policies to address the Climate Emergency.

(v)          will set out a clear plan of action to reduce our carbon emissions.

(vi)         will report annually at the May County Council Meeting on its progress towards the target.

(vii)        will investigate all possible sources of external funding and match funding to support this commitment, as well as writing to central government with respect to the emergency to request funding to implement swift appropriate actions.

(viii)             will use our Environment Strategy to provide a strong unified voice in lobbying for support to address this emergency, sharing best practice across East Sussex and more widely through other partners

38.

Report of the Cabinet - 16 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 293 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paragraph 1 (Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources – State of the County)

38.1     Councillor Glazier moved the reserved paragraph of the Cabinet’s report.

38.2     The motion was CARRIED after debate

39.

Report of the Cabinet - 8 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paragraph 1 (Council Monitoring)

39.1     Councillor Glazier moved the reserved paragraph of the Cabinet’s report.

39.2     The motion was CARRIED after debate

40.

Report of the Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

40.1     Councillor Glazier moved the reserved paragraph (Notice of Motion: Right to work for those seeking asylum).

40.1     The motion was CARRIED after debate.

41.

Questions from County Councillors pdf icon PDF 173 KB

(a)  Oral questions to Cabinet Members

(b)  Written Questions of which notice has been given pursuant to Standing Order 44

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

noF moi41.1    The following members asked questions of the Lead Cabinet Members indicated and they responded:

Questioner

Respondent

Subject

 

Councillor Field

Councillor Claire Dowling

Use of road ahead closed signs

 

Councillor Lambert

Councillor Glazier

Financial implications of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service withdrawing from the Obis pension administration service

 

Councillor Ungar

Councillor Glazier

Involvement of councillors in budget setting process 

 

Councillor Godfrey Daniel

Councillor Bentley

Road safety communication to councillors   

 

Councillor Charman

Councillor Standley

Timing of decision from Department for Education regarding funding for the Hastings Opportunity Fund

   

Councillor Galley

Councillor Standley

Consultation regarding the future of Fletching School

Councillor Scott

Councillor Claire Dowling

 Monitoring of road works to minimise impact on traffic flows and consideration of evening weekend working

 

Councillor Stephen Shing

Councillor Claire Dowling

Penalties issued for roadworks that overrun.

 

 

Councillor Stogdon

 

Councillor Bentley

 

Role of scrutiny in relation to road safety communications and associated toolkit.

 

Councillor Field

Councillor Glazier

Role of councillors in putting forward items for scrutiny

 

WRITTEN QUESTIONS PURSUANT TO STANDING ORDER 44

 

41.2     Four  written question were received from Councillors Lambert, Tutt, Ungar and Whetstone for the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability, the Lead Member for Strategic Management and Economic Development and the Lead Member for Resources. The questions and answers are attached to these minutes. The Lead Members responded to supplementary questions