Contact:

Contact:        Philippa Penney

Direct Dial:   01275 884010

E-mail:           philippa.penney@n-somerset.gov.uk

Date:              17th May 2016

 

 

**     CALL IN OF EXECUTIVE

MEMBER DECISION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Community and Corporate Organisation Policy & Scrutiny Panel,

and,

Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy & Scrutiny Panel

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 3.00pm, New Council Chamber, Town Hall

 

A joint meeting of the Panels will take place as indicated above.  The agenda is set out overleaf.

 

At the end of item 5, the two Panels may convene as separate meetings for consideration of any recommendations as any opinion reached may be made separately by each Panel.

 

In accordance with the provision of Policy and Scrutiny Panel Procedure Rules (SSO14), Councillors Mark Canniford and James Clayton have served notice to call in the decision of the Executive Member for Human Resources, Asset Management, Capital Programme and Transformation regarding Decision Number CSD 151 Adoption of land known as Portbury Nature Reserve, Portishead, North Somerset to the Community and Corporate Organisation Policy and Scrutiny Panel.

 

The reasons for the call in have been given as –

1.           “The failure of the levy collection system as part of a private contractual arrangement is not sufficient reason for North Somerset Council (NSC) to take on the responsibilities of the PWNR.”

2.           “In our current financial position and spending priorities it must be deemed hard to understand a decision to further burden the taxpayers of North Somerset to benefit a small group of residents (many of whom are very happy with the current arrangements) and increase the burden on our officers to effectively municipalise a nature reserve.”

3.           “The takeover is in essence uncosted.  The estimate of a cost of £40,000 per year is based on a very short time span of activity at PWNR and takes no account of any large capital items that will fall due in the next few years – replacement and repairs to hides and boardwalks, for example.  The risks of the pot of £400,000 being used up in less than 10 years are not properly examined in the decision and so no contingency plans exist for this unbudgeted activity.”

4.           “There is no examination of the legal costs relating to the covenants which would need to be removed each time a sale took place of a relevant property.”

5.           “There is no cost estimate for renovation work post-installation of Hinkley Point power lines.”

6.           “The cost implications to this council of taking on land with significant flood risk are not given.”

7.           “Given the very difficult financial position NSC finds itself in, the reputational risk to NSC of taking on the PWNR must be significant.  The pot of money transferring with the site is likely to be used more quickly than the estimated ten years in the report and there is no provision for the maintenance improvement for the site to hides, trackways, footpaths, which are very likely to be left to deteriorate.”

The Panel after consideration of the Executive Member’s decision may give its opinion to the Executive Member on the decision, and in doing so may ask the Executive Member to reconsider the decision.

Furthermore, in accordance with the provision of Policy and Scrutiny Panel Procedure Rules (SSO14), Councillors Donald Davies and Ian Parker have served notice to call in the decision of the Executive Member for Human Resources, Asset Management, Capital Programme and Transformation regarding Decision Number CSD 151 Adoption of land known as Portbury Nature Reserve, Portishead, North Somerset to the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy & Scrutiny Panel.

 

The reasons for the call in have been given as –

1.           PLANNING POLICY: It represents a fundamental change to the planning policy employed to safeguard the area now known as PWNR by switching from a local resident-funded privately-managed amenity to one managed by the local authority at the cost of all taxpayers. The impact of this decision is very likely to completely change the ability of NSC to implement future private management arrangements for green spaces with ongoing infrastructure, cost and control implications.”

2.           “FLOOD RISK: There are considerable concerns about the impact of rising sea-levels on the reserve area and the risks of significant flooding and so-called ‘realignment’ of sea defences and the reserve itself.  The decision does not properly explain the risks, preventative activity or the costs of containing this flood risk.”

3.           “REPUTATIONAL RISK: NSC has no expertise in the management of wildlife reserves and there are risks, both reputational and cost, from undertaking such activities.”

The Panel after consideration of the Executive Member’s decision may give its opinion to the Executive Member on the decision, and in doing so may ask the Executive Member to reconsider the decision.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Head of Legal and Democratic Services

 

 

 

 

To:       Members of the Community and Corporate Organisation Policy and Scrutiny Panel

 

Councillors:

 

Terry Porter (Chairman), Jan Barber (Vice-Chairman), Mark Canniford, James Clayton, Sarah Codling, Peter Crew, Bob Garner, John Ley-Morgan, Richard Nightingale, Jerry O’Brien, David Oyns, David Shopland.

 

Members of the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy and Scrutiny Panel

 

Councillors:

 

Chris Blades (Chairman), Marcia Pepperall (Vice-Chairman), Jan Barber, Peter Burden, Peter Crew, John Crockford-Hawley, Donald Davies, David Jolley, Terry Porter, James Tonkin, Richard Tucker, Nick Wilton.

 

 

This document and associated papers can be made available in a different format on request.

 

 

 

 

 


Agenda

 

1                    Confirmation of Chairman

2                    Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

3                    Public Discussion (Standing Order SSO 9)

To receive and hear any person who wishes to address the Panel.  The Chairman will select the order of the matters to be heard.

 

4                    Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (Standing Order 37)

A Member must declare any disclosable pecuniary interest where it relates to any matter being considered at the meeting. A declaration of a disclosable pecuniary interest should indicate the interest and the agenda item to which it relates. A Member is not permitted to participate in this agenda item by law and should immediately leave the meeting before the start of any debate.

 

If the Member leaves the Chamber in respect of a declaration, he or she should ensure that the Chairman is aware of this before he or she leaves to enable their exit from the meeting to be recorded in the minutes in accordance with Standing Order 37.

 

5                    Call in of Executive Member Decision – the adoption of land known as Portbury Nature Reserve, Portishead, North Somerset.

A copy of the Executive Member decision no. CSD 151 is attached (page 1)

           

____________________________________

 

 

Exempt Items

 

Should the Panel wish to consider a matter as an Exempt Item, the Panel will be invited to pass the following resolution –

 

“(1)      That the press, public, and officers not required by the Members, the Chief Executive or the Director, to remain during the exempt session, be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the ground that its consideration will involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in Section 100I of the Local Government Act 1972.”

 

Also, if appropriate, the following resolution should be passed –

 

“(2)      That members of the Council who are not members of this Panel be invited to remain.”

 

Mobile phones, PDAs and other mobile devices

 

All persons attending the meeting are requested to ensure that these devices are switched to silent mode. The chairman may approve an exception to this request in special circumstances.

 

Filming and Recording of Meetings

The proceedings of this meeting may be recorded for broadcasting purposes.

Anyone wishing to film part or all of the proceedings may do so unless the press and public are excluded for that part of the meeting or there is good reason not to do so, as directed by the Chairman. Any filming must be done as unobtrusively as possible from a single fixed position without the use of any additional lighting, focusing only on those actively participating in the meeting and having regard to the wishes of any members of the public present who may not wish to be filmed. As a matter of courtesy, anyone wishing to film proceedings is asked to advise the Chairman or the Head of Legal and Democratic Service’s representative before the start of the meeting so that all those present may be made aware that it is happening.

Members of the public may also use Facebook and Twitter or other forms of social media to report on proceedings at this meeting.

 

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

 

ON HEARING THE ALARM – (a continuous two tone siren)

 

Leave the room by the nearest exit door.    Ensure that windows are closed.

 

Last person out to close the door.

 

Do Not stop to collect personal belongings.

Do Not use the lifts.

Follow the green and white exit signs and make your way to the assembly point.

Do Not re-enter the building until authorised to do so by the Fire Authority.

Go to Assembly Point C – Outside the offices formerly occupied by Stephen & Co