Agenda item - The following Notices of Motion have been submitted by Members for consideration:

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Agenda item

The following Notices of Motion have been submitted by Members for consideration:

(1)       Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies.  Proposed by Councillor Sykes on behalf of the Green Group.

 

(2)       End of Austerity.  Proposed by Councillor Littman on behalf of the Green Group.

 

(3)       HRA Housing Cap.  Proposed by Councillor Mears on behalf of the Conservative Group.

 

(4)       Failure to Progress the King Alfred Project.  Proposed by Councillor Nemeth on behalf of the Conservative Group.

Minutes:

(1)  CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY EMERGENCIES

 

55.1      The Notice of Motion as listed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Sykes on behalf of the Green Group and seconded by Councillor Greenbaum.

 

55.2      Following a debate on the matter in which councillors Mitchell, Janio, Gibson, Hill, Morris, O’Quinn and Sykes spoke, the Mayor then put the following motion to the vote:

 

“This Council notes with concern the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate change impacts and the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports on global species and habitat loss. Council notes also that our coastal city on the edge of the South Downs is affected by these threats, which are projected to intensify.

 

Further to this, Council:

 

(1)    Declares its recognition of global climate and biodiversity emergencies;

(2)    Requests the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee to:

 

·           undertake a short review of BHCC governance policies and progress aimed at addressing locally these twin threats and to report on findings;

·           consider a target date of 2030 for whole city carbon neutrality;

·           consider how the Council can strengthen local protection and enhancement of species, habitats and ecosystems services under available powers;

 

(3)    Request the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating the concern of the Council with respect to the above, the likely national impact on the economy and on the wellbeing of citizens, and requesting government funding be made available to implement swift appropriate actions in response.

 

55.3      The Mayor confirmed that the motion had been agreed unanimously.

 

(2)  END OF AUSTERITY

 

55.4      The Notice of Motion as listed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Littman on behalf of the Green Group and seconded by Councillor Phillips.

 

55.5      Following a debate on the matter in which Councillors Daniel and Littman spoke, the Mayor then put the following motion to the vote:

 

“This Council welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement that ‘Austerity’ is finally at an end and that unprecedented cuts to public expenditure will be reversed1.

 

As a result, this Council requests the Chief Executive:

 

·           To write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking exactly how soon we can expect Government funding for public services, including but not limited to: The Revenue Support Grant to BHCC and all other Local Authorities; and funding for the Police service and other emergency services, to return to their 2009-10 levels.

 

·           To write to the Prime Minister to ask when we can expect the UK will review welfare policies2, such as the current form of Universal Credit3, and other policies that have disproportionate or adverse effects on women, children, and disabled people4.”

 

55.6      The Mayor confirmed that the motion had been carried by 28 votes to 18 with no abstentions.

 

(3)  HRA HOUSING CAP

 

55.7      The Notice of Motion as listed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Mears on behalf of the Conservative Group.  She welcomed the Government’s decision to remove the cap on the HRA and noted the implications for the council in terms of providing council housing and ensuring that developers met the 40% affordable housing element in new projects.  She therefore sought a report to the next meeting of the Housing & New Homes Committee and noted that at the last Council meeting the Chair of the Committee indicated her support to review the position.

 

55.8      Councillor Bell formally seconded the notice of motion and reserved his right to speak.

 

55.9      Councillor Gibson moved an amendment on behalf of the Green Group and stated that it sought to strengthen the motion and noted the need to suspend the Right to Buy option, in order to retain council housing rather than see the continued loss of housing at a faster rate than it was being replaced.

 

55.10   Councillor Druitt formally seconded the amendment and reserved his right to speak.

 

55.11   Councillor Hill stated that the lifting of the HRA Cap was a positive step and noted that a report had been considered at the last Housing & New Homes Committee meeting in November.  She also noted that the council was already delivering affordable new homes and in partnership with Hyde Housing Association would be able to provide further homes in the future.

 

55.12   Councillor Druitt stated that there was a need to look at why the housing situation was in the position it was and to seek to address that, hence the proposed amendment.  He also noted that during the previous Green Administration there had been some social rent housing built and this needed to be provided in the future.

 

55.13   Councillor Bell stated that he believed a report should come to the Housing & New Homes Committee in January and then should it be appropriate the aims of the Green amendment could be put forward.  He felt that the report needed to be considered in the first instance and therefore could not support the amendment at this stage.  There was also a concern that with the Joint venture, HRA land could be cherry-picked which was not necessarily a good thing.  The aim had to be to provide more homes at a reasonable cost.

 

55.14   Councillor Gibson moved a point of clarification in that the current Joint Venture was based on General Fund land rather than HRA.

 

55.15   Councillor Mears noted the comments and confirmed that the amendment would not be accepted and noted that previous Governments had not attempted to remove the Right to Buy and that the HRA had already paid the General Fund for sites to build on.

 

55.16   The Mayor noted that the amendment had not been accepted and put it to the vote which was carried by 28 votes to 18.

 

55.17   The Mayor then put the following motion as amended to the vote:

 

“This council resolves:

 

(1)  To call upon the Chair of Housing to bring a report to the next meeting of the Housing & New Homes Committee, on 16th January 2019, that details a revised policy in the light of changes to HRA Borrowing Cap and the failure of current policies to achieve replacement of truly affordable social rents lost under the ‘Right to Buy.’ (RTB);

 

(2)  Since LGA research reveals councils have only been able to replace 1 in 5 homes sold under the RTB since 2011/12, to ask that the Chief Executive writes to the Secretary of State, requesting the option for councils to suspend RTB sales in areas where there is a shortage of affordable homes;

 

(3)  That the Chief Executive writes to the Secretary of State asking that the 30% limit on investment of RTB receipts in affordable housing be lifted; and that councils are able to include the full value of council land in the cost of building, thereby enabling scope for providing new homes at living and social rents.”

 

55.18   The Mayor confirmed that the motion had been carried by 28 votes to 18 with no abstentions.

 

(4)  FAILURE TO PROGRESS THE KING ALFRED PROJECT

 

55.19   The Notice of Motion as listed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Nemeth on behalf of the Conservative Group.  He noted that there was a general dissatisfaction held by residents with the King Alfred project and there appeared to be a lack of responsibility for its progress.  The previous disbandment of the King Alfred Project Board in favour of the Strategic Delivery Board had not helped and there appeared to be no recognition of the failings of Crest Nicholson to adhere to the development brief and their continued attempts to change its requirements.  He believed that clear action was needed and a decision made on the future of the project.

 

55.20   Councillor Wealls formally seconded the motion and reserved his right to speak in the debate.

 

55.21   Councillor Gibson moved an amendment on behalf of the Green Group which sought to recognise the failings of the Developers in taking the project forward and sought to stress that at the very least it should include 20% affordable housing.  He noted that despite having a Government grant of £15.2m the Developers were seeking to reduce the affordable contribution and suggested that when the next report came to committee in January, consideration should be given to taking the project forward in-house.

 

55.22   Councillor Mac Cafferty formally seconded the amendment and stated that the uncertainty over the project had gone on for too long and residents needed to know what was happening.  The Developers had treated the council in an unacceptable manner and needed to be held to account and the council should explore all options available to ensure the project can be delivered.

 

55.23   Councillor Yates formally moved an amendment on behalf of the Labour & Co-operative Group and stated that there were 49 days left to get a deal and noted that successive Administrations had been unable to address the need for a new state of the art leisure centre.  There had been a number of missed opportunities and if an agreement could not be reached, then alternative options had to be considered.  The Strategic Delivery Board had cross-party representatives and was responsible for overseeing all the major projects coming forward in the city.  There was a need for all councillors to enable the delivery of the project.

 

55.24   Councillor Moonan formally seconded the amendment and reserved her right to speak in the debate.

 

55.25   Councillor Druitt stated that the nub of the problem had been the dissolution of the King Alfred Project Board in favour of the Strategic Delivery Board (SDB).  The SDB was not able to keep fully abreast of all the major projects and therefore unable to manage them effectively.

 

55.26   Councillor Peltzer Dunn welcomed the Green Group’s amendment but stated that he could not support the Labour & Co-operative amendment.  He believed that the responsibility for the project lay with the Administration and the chosen Developer and they needed to be held accountable for its delivery.

 

55.27   Councillor Bewick stated that delivery of the project was a collective endeavour which was overseen by the committee system and with only 49 days left, all councillors should be working together towards a solution that was right for the city.

 

55.28   Councillor Mears noted that a number of councillors had not been on the Council in 2008 when the first scheme failed and a plan B was required.  She hoped that the Leader of the Council had a Plan B and if the scheme was to fail then the city would need to know what was going happen.

 

55.29   Councillor Hamilton stated that there had been a number attempts by the previous Hove Borough Council to resolve the provision of a new leisure facility without anything coming to fruition.  The Gehry scheme in 2007 had planning permission granted but the Developer failed to deliver on the project and the following Administration failed to bring forward any further plans.  There was clearly a need to work together on this issue if a viable project was to be taken forward.

 

55.30   Councillor Moonan stated that residents across the city wanted a new sports facility and whilst several schemes had been brought forward over the years, the council had done all it could to bring a viable scheme forward which had cross-party support.  The Developer was seeking to alter the project’s specifications in favour of profit margins and this could not be accepted.  The Labour & Co-operative Group’s amendment sought to clarify where the responsibility was and to enable the scheme to be signed-off or an alternative option agreed.

 

55.31   Councillor Wealls referred to the notes of the King Alfred Project Board meetings in 2014 and noted that he had raised concerns over aspects of a scheme to provide a new sports centre and housing.  He accepted that it was a challenging site for any developer but believed that the council had been hoodwinked by Crest Nicholson and there was now a need to have a level playing field.  For that reason he could not support the Labour & o-operative amendment but would accept the Green amendment.

 

55.32   Councillor Nemeth welcomed the Green amendment and stated that he shared Councillor Gibson’s concerns and felt that there should be a lead Member responsible for the project.  Whilst the Strategic Delivery Board had an oversight, it was not able to review every project fully.  He was also concerned that should the Developer sign the Development Agreement, they could leave the site untouched for a year without any penalty.

 

55.33   The Mayor noted that the Green Group’s amendment had been accepted and therefore put the following motion as amended to the vote:

 

“This Council sadly notes the failure of the Administration to make sufficient progress on the redevelopment of the King Alfred site since Crest Nicholson was chosen as Preferred Developer in January 2016.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.  Formally censure the Administration for its failure to make progress.

 

2.      Request that the Administration immediately makes clear which Councillor is overseeing the project.

 

3.      Underline its wish to deliver the agreed aims of the original King Alfred Project proposals, including seeking to maximise the delivery of affordable housing to achieve the 20% pledged by Crest Nicholson and sports facilities therein.

 

4.      To request that the Chief Executive write to Crest Nicholson, expressing dismay that despite the award of £15.2m in government funding, Crest Nicholson is seeking to reduce its affordable housing contribution to maintain its desired profit levels.

 

5.      That in the event of the failure of the development agreement with Crest, that the council explores ‘in house’ options for the development.”

 

55.34   The Mayor noted that the motion as amended had been carried unanimously and therefore put the Labour & Co-operative Group’s amendment to the revised motion to the vote which was lost by 18 votes to 28 with no abstentions.

 

55.35   The Mayor therefore put the revised motion to the vote (as amended by the Green Group’s amendment) and confirmed that it had been carried by 28 votes to 0 with 18 abstentions.

Supporting documents:

 


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