Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal. View directions
Contact: Inge Booth
To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 May 2017 (copy attached).
RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 May 2017.
Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so before the commencement of the meeting. Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.
(1) Questions and Representations
To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.
(2) Deputations and Petitions
To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions, representations, deputations or petitions have been received from members of the public in respect of this meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.
Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)
Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.
If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.
Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items
To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the agenda.
To receive announcements by the Chairman.
A list of engagements attended by the Chairman since the last meeting had been circulated prior to the meeting.
The Chairman invited Councillor Mary Wilson to speak. Councillor Mary Wilson offered the congratulations of the Council to Councillor Anne Hall on her recent appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Councillor Hall had worked very hard for her community and Coniston had seen an amazing transformation from a small village into a vibrant and proactive centre.
Councillor Hall expressed her passion for her work and passed on thanks for the kind messages she had received.
Following changes in the Membership of Cabinet, to receive an update from the Leader of the Council on Deputy Leader and Cabinet appointments and delegations for the discharge of the Executive functions of the Council and to receive any updates on the Shadow Executive from the Leader of the Opposition.
The Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, wished former Cabinet Members, Councillors Sue Sanderson and Peter Thornton well in their new roles on the County Council’s Cabinet. He provided an update on Cabinet appointments and delegations for the discharge of the Executive functions of the Council and welcomed Councillors Philip Dixon and Brenda Gray as new District Council Cabinet Members. In addition, the Leader announced the appointment of Councillor Jonathan Brook as his Deputy.
Councillor Ben Berry, Shadow Leader, in turn provided an update on the Shadow Executive.
RESOLVED – That
(1) it be noted that the Leader has:-
(a) confirmed the following Cabinet portfolios and appointments:-
(i) Council Organisation and People Portfolio – Councillor Brenda Gray;
(ii) Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio – Councillor Matt Severn;
(iii) Economy and Assets Portfolio – Councillor Graham Vincent;
(iv) Environment Portfolio – Councillor David Fletcher;
(v) Finance Portfolio – Councillor Giles Archibald;
(vi) Housing and Innovation Portfolio – Councillor Jonathan Brook; and
(vii) Public Health and Wellbeing Portfolio – Councillor Philip Dixon; and
(b) appointed Councillor Jonathan Brook as Deputy Leader;
(2) the Leader’s update on the Scheme of Delegation for the discharge of the Executive functions of the Council, attached as an Appendix to these minutes, be received; and
(3) confirmation of the following appointments to the Shadow Executive be noted:-
(a) Council Organisation and People Portfolio and Deputy Shadow Leader – Councillor Tom Harvey;
(b) Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio – Councillor David Williams;
(c) Economy and Assets Portfolio – Councillor Janette Jenkinson;
(d) Environment Portfolio and Shadow Leader – Councillor Ben Berry;
(e) Finance Portfolio – Councillor Kevin Lancaster;
(f) Housing and Innovation Portfolio – Councillor John Holmes; and
(g) Public Health and Wellbeing Portfolio – Councillor James Airey.
Representation on Outside Bodies 2017/18
Further to Minute C/17 (2017/18) and following changes to Cabinet Membership, to consider the appointment of Councillor Brenda Gray (the new Portfolio Holder for Council Organisation and People) as the Council’s representative to the North West Local Authorities Employers’ Organisation.
Further to Minute C/17 (2017/18) and following the recent changes in Cabinet Membership, the Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, moved that Councillor Brenda Gray, Portfolio Holder for Council Organisation and People, be appointed as the Council’s representative on the North West Local Authorities Employers’ Organisation. Councillor Ian Stewart seconded the motion.
RESOLVED – That Councillor Brenda Gray be appointed as the Council’s representative to the North West Local Authorities Employers’ Organisation.
To consider the outturn figures and variance explanations, contributions to and from reserves and the draft Capital Programme.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder presented the Revenue and Capital Out-turn report for 2016/17, which set out the Council’s financial performance for the year and the impact on reserve balances.
Overall net service expenditure had shown an underspend of £4.2m, equivalent to 7.8% of the gross revenue budget. After carry forwards totalling £3.5m, the variances reduced to £0.7m (1.3%). The 2016/17 Capital Programme had an underspend of £1,585k, the majority of which had been approved to be carried-forward to 2017/18 onwards.
In moving the recommendation contained within the report, the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder pointed out that the report demonstrated the results of Members’ and officers’ work on projects funded by the Capital Programme to improve the public realm. Councillor Jonathan Brook seconded the motion.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the outturn figures and variance explanations set out in the report and appendices be noted; and
(2) the following be approved:-
(a) the contributions to and from reserves detailed in Appendix 1a to the report; and
(b) the revised Capital Programme in Appendix 3 to the report and the funding of the Capital Programme in Appendix 4.
To consider the 2016/17 Treasury Management Annual Report.
The Treasury Management Annual Report 2016/17, which reviewed treasury performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy, was introduced by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder.
The level of actual external debt had not changed during 2016/17. Gross borrowing remained below the Capital Financing Requirement, showing that the Council had not funded revenue activity through borrowing, and the Council’s investments had outperformance bench mark rates resulting in a weighted average return of 0.49%.
The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder drew attention to the fact that the current gilt held by the Council was due to mature in September and that a replacement investment would need to be sought.
In presenting the report, the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder reminded Members that he and other Cabinet Members were willing to meet up with any Member wishing to discuss concerns or suggestions.
The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder thanked those officers involved for managing the financial assets to the benefit of the Authority and moved that the report be approved. He was seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent, and it was
RESOLVED – That the 2016/17 Treasury Management Annual Report be approved.
To consider the Medium Term Financial Plan incorporating the Financial Strategy and the Budget Strategy.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, presented the draft Medium Term Financial Plan, incorporating the Financial Strategy and the Budget Strategy. The report had been considered by both the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on 14 and 19 July 2017 respectively. The Plan would ensure that the Council had a sound basis for allocating resources and effective financial management over the medium term. The overall position would be constantly reviewed and reported over the rest of 2017 and early 2018 as part of the budget process and update reports.
In presenting the report, the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder explained that the Council was in a good financial position in the short-term, but that in the long-term there were potentially significant risks. These included the effects of Brexit which currently dominated the political, social, economic and financial landscape, and Government uncertainties. He also referred to rising inflation and its effect on wages, and also on the country’s finances. He suggested that the possible lifting of the public sector wage cap, as well as falling migration, was likely to put increased pressure on wages. This could, in turn, have a large impact on the finances of the Council. The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder also referred to a recent Office for Budget Responsibility report which suggested that the British economy was more fragile now than in 2007, prior to the financial crisis, and would be less able to withstand a future financial crash. The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder stressed the need for the Council to protect itself against a potential worst case scenario. He moved that the draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 to 2022/23 be approved and was seconded by Councillor Jonathan Brook.
A lengthy discussion ensued during which the need for the Council to be financially prepared was acknowledged.
The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder thanked Councillor Peter Thornton, former Finance Portfolio Holder, and officers for their work in ensuring that the Authority was both financially prepared as well as being in a position to be able to both maintain and make improvements to the public realm.
It was, subsequently
RESOLVED – That the draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 to 2022/23, as at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.
To consider revised delegations to the Human Resources Committee.
In the absence of Councillor Annie Rawlinson, Chairman of the Human Resources Committee, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Sylvia Emmott, presented the report. Further to Minute C/9 (2017/18), detailed consideration had been given by the Human Resources Committee to revised delegations in respect of disciplinary and appeals panels, having regard to the Joint Negotiating Committee revisions to the Chief Executive terms and conditions of service (Minute HR/13 (201718) refers). The proposed changes referred to the terms and conditions relating to the Council’s three statutory officers.
Consequently, the Human Resources Committee was recommending to Council further revisions to the Committee’s delegations. In making the recommendations, the Human Resources Committee had asked that, wherever possible, a gender balance was achieved when drawing together any panels, and this had been incorporated into the revised Human Resources Committee Panel Membership process as shown at Appendix 2 to the report. It had also been confirmed that appropriate training would be provided to Members sitting on any of these panels.
Councillor Emmott moved the recommendation contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Mary Wilson.
RESOLVED – That the revised delegations to the Human Resources Committee be approved, as shown in Appendix 1 to the Human Resources Committee Report of 27 June 2017, the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) to update the Constitution to reflect the changes.
To consider the Member Development Annual Report 2016/17.
Councillor Brenda Gray, Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder presented the Member Development Annual Report for 2016/17 which provided an update on work carried out in relation to Member support and development in the last 12 months.
The Report had been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 21 July 2017, when it had been suggested that Members could approach officers with regard to convenient dates and times for holding training courses.
The Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder expressed thanks to both Members and officers involved in the Member Support Steering Group and, in particular, to Councillor Sue Sanderson, former Council Organisation, People and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, for her work in this area.
The Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder having moved that the report be received, was seconded by Councillor Mark Wilson, who praised the excellent work of the cross-party Steering Group.
RESOLVED – That the Member Development Annual Report 2016/17 be received.
(1) To receive the Look Forward 2017/18 Executive Reports from the Leader and Cabinet Members.
(2) To deal with any questions by Members to the appropriate Cabinet Members on the content of the reports.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, introduced the Cabinet Members’ respective Look Forward 2017/18 Executive Reports.
Councillor Andrew Jarvis referred to the report from Councillor Graham Vincent, Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, and asked for an update on the proposal for collaborative working between South Lakeland District, Barrow Borough and Lancaster City councils on economic development and other related initiatives.
Councillor Vincent responded by saying that both Barrow and Lancaster shared the same functional economy and had similar ambitions to those of South Lakeland. This was an opportunity to strengthen the economic position and to bring together the advantages of each of the areas, for example a top class university in Lancaster, a vibrant industrial programme in Barrow and South Lakeland’s high performing tourist industry, with a collective aim of attracting Government support. The letter of intent for collaborative working was about to be signed and key priorities to be determined.
This being a live issue of concern to all Members, the Chairman asked if all Members could be kept updated so that they could contribute to discussions.
Councillor Vincent agreed that this was of importance and also welcomed input moving forward.
Councillor Brian Cooper asked the Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jonathan Brook, whether he welcomed the news of proposals to ban the sale of new-build homes under leasehold instead of freehold.
Councillor Brook agreed that leasehold property ownership had been shown to be quite iniquitous and also welcomed the news.
Councillor Anne Hall referred to Councillor Vincent’s report and drew Members’ attention to Lancaster University’s input within Coniston initiatives. She welcomed Councillor Matt Severn to his new role as Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holder, and the contents of his report, however was of the opinion that the content was very much Kendal-focussed. Ulverston was mentioned only twice and Councillor Hall asked that future reports took a broader look. This sentiment was echoed by Councillor Dyan Jones who, although of the opinion that this was a good report, wished to know what was planned for Windermere and the heart of the Lakes now that World Heritage Site status had been awarded.
Councillor Severn acknowledged that Kendal was just one town and that there were contributions from throughout the district. He welcomed the recent announcement that the Lake District had become the first World Heritage Site based on its landscape and way of life. He pointed out that this was a springboard for attracting inward investment in culture, the economy, tourism and creative industries, amongst others. This was a means of supporting a whole way of life, which was why the Council had worked together with the Lake District National Park Authority on the project. Councillor Severn expressed thanks to Councillor Chris Hogg, former Culture and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, for his work, and also to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). Councillor Severn took the opportunity to draw attention to news that the Arts Council England had recently offered support to four organisations ... view the full minutes text for item C/34
Leader's Announcements and Cabinet Question Time (30 Minutes)
To receive announcements from the Leader and, in accordance with Paragraphs 10.2 and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, to deal with any questions to the Leader and/or Portfolio Holders on any topic which is within the jurisdiction or influence of the Council and is relevant to their Portfolio. Any Member who poses a question will be entitled to ask one supplementary question on the same topic.
Members are encouraged to give 24 hours’ written notice of questions to the Solicitor to the Council. If no notice is received, then the Portfolio Holder can reserve the right to give a written answer. Where written notice of questions has been given, these will be taken first. Should a Member wish to ask more than one question, questions should be listed in order of priority. If more than one Member sends in a question, these will be taken in alphabetical order of Members’ names, alternated from meeting to meeting. Each question and each response is restricted to three minutes.
In accordance with paragraphs 10.2 and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the following written question had been submitted to the meeting:-
From Councillor David Williams to Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder - Can you please supply me with the estimated extra cost to the residents of South Lakeland over a four year cycle of having annual as opposed to once every four yearly elections, such cost to make provision for the projected increase in the minimum wage in 2020 and estimated extra costs incurred by Members in discharging their duties-e.g. extra travel costs in attending extra Parish meetings in enlarged Wards?
Councillor Archibald reminded Councillor Williams that the costs to the Council had been previously indicated. Although central Government had been advised that South Lakeland preferred the existing arrangements, Councillor Archibald pointed out that the Council had been forced to make the change to the way in which its Members were elected. The Council had debated which of the two options on offer were preferable and had democratically decided on more regular elections. The costs of the new electoral arrangements would be an additional £56,500 per year, with no relief from central Government. There was £18,000 in the Council budget for councillors’ travel expenses which would be re-examined as the new arrangements evolved.
Councillor Williams wished to clarify the fact that, although this had been a Council decision, the Members of the Opposition had been unanimously against the motion.
Councillor Archibald acknowledged that the political parties would not always be in agreement, however, advised that he was always open to discussion and to listen to suggestions.
From Councillor Andrew Jarvis to Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder - We have all seen the dreadful events at Grenfell Tower. Can the housing portfolio holder update us on any implications for South Lakeland?
Councillor Brook explained that, following the tragedy, the Government had placed a requirement on all councils to provide information in respect of their housing stock on the number of properties more than 18 metres in height (six storey equivalent) and the use of aluminium composite material cladding. Councillor Brook advised that following announcement of the requirement, he had made a statement to Cabinet, on 21 June 2017 (Minute CEX/19 refers) regarding the Council’s position. He was now able to provide a detailed update, as follows:-
With regard to social housing:-
· South Lakeland District Council was no longer an owner of social housing, the stock having transferred to South Lakes Housing (SLH) in 2012. The Council had two residential houses and a small homelessness hostel, all held through the General Fund.
· The Council had sought and received assurance from SLH that:-
o They had provided a written response to Government, confirming that they only had one building (Yewbarrow Lodge) that could be considered to reach 18 metres in height and that it was clad in timber panelling.
o SLH had not specified or installed any Aluminium Composite Material ... view the full minutes text for item C/35
Minutes of Meetings
To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 24 April and 23 June 2017.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no comments or questions have been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 24 April and 23 June 2017.
Questions to Chairman of the Council or Chairman of any Committee or Sub-Committee
To deal with any questions under Rule 10.6 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, of which due notice has been given and/or the Chairman allows as a matter of urgent business and which are in relation to any matter over which the Council has powers or duties or which affect the area.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions have been received under Rule 10.6 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure.