Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Tuesday, 17 December 2019 6.30 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

C/50

Minutes pdf icon PDF 322 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9 October 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9 October 2019.

C/51

Public Participation

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 by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before 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.

Minutes:

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.

C/52

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.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised under this item.

C/53

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.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.

C/54

Chairman's Announcements

To receive announcements by the Chairman.

Minutes:

A list of engagements which the Chairman or Vice-Chairman had attended since the last meeting had been circulated at the commencement of the meeting.  The Chairman drew attention to his visit to the Lake District Holocaust Project on 8 December 2019.  He recommended Members to visit the Project at Windermere Library to learn about the 300 child Holocaust survivors who had been welcomed to the Lake District in 1945.

C/55

Corporate Financial Update Quarter 2, 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To note the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 2 2019/20 and officers’ planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by the end of the financial year and to consider the updated Capital Programme and the updated Procurement Schedule 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, introduced the Corporate Financial Monitoring Update for Quarter 2 2019/20.

 

Appendix 1 to the report set out the revenue variances to date. The approved net revenue budget for 2019/20 set by Council in February 2019 had been £14m which had included a Customer Connect savings target of £740,000 and a vacancy factor savings target of £593,000.  Additionally, carry forward requests of £510,000 had been approved by Cabinet on 24 April 2019.  Expenditure budgets had been increased in accordance with those approved carry forwards along with the matching funding from reserves.  Overall, at the end of Quarter 2, budget monitoring had identified a forecast year-end overspend of £422,000; this included the saving target for Phase 2 of Customer Connect, which was to be identified later in the financial year and transition costs of implementing Phase 1 of Customer Connect.  Since the initial Quarter 2 update report had been prepared for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet, the Phase 2 job offers had been made.  As a result, the allocation for redundancy costs was capable of funding the transition costs associated with staff changes.  This would reduce the forecasted year-end overspend to £218,000 before the savings target for Phase 2 and to £60,000 if Phase 2 savings were achieved, as was expected.  At the same time in 2018/19, a total of £612,000 in overspends and outstanding savings target had been reported. The Council had then gone on to achieve an underspend of £9,000 at outturn.  Excluding savings targets, the overspend in year was estimated to be £264,000 against an overspend of £251,000 in 2018/19.  Trends identified in these budget monitoring results would be fed into the 2020/21 budget setting process.

 

Appendix 2 to the report set out the position on the Capital Programme.  The capital budget for 2019/20 approved by Council in July 2019 had been £16.4m.  Table 4 in the report summarised requests to update the Capital Programme, including the £325,000 purchase of land at Dowker Lane, Kendal, the re-profiling from 2018/19 of Ulverston Town Hall grant and various minor adjustments.  Expenditure against the Programme to the end of Quarter 2 was £2.292m.  Following the review of the Capital Programme with leads and portfolio holders, £10.6m of re-profiling had been identified and was included in the revised Capital Programme at Appendix 4 to the report for Council to approve.

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided an update on Treasury Management for the quarter.  Investments had performed better than the relevant benchmarks.  No repayment of existing borrowing or new borrowing was anticipated up to the end of the financial year.

 

Since April 2016, the Council’s Constitution had permitted officers to conduct and conclude the contracting processes without further approval, providing it was in line with the Procurement Schedule, to be approved by Council at least annually. Where a procurement process was over budget then approval would still be required in accordance with the Financial Procedure Rules.  Where an officer sought approval for a  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/55

C/56

Council Plan and Biodiversity Policy pdf icon PDF 319 KB

To consider the Council Plan update and the Biodiversity Policy for adoption as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jonathan Brook, presented a report proposing an update to the current Council Plan (2019 to 2024).  The revised Plan, which would run from 2020 to 2025, was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  A number of minor changes were outlined, the most important being additional updated text on working across boundaries reflecting progress on the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region and additional emphasis on the Climate Change emergency and the Council’s response in this regard.

 

Councillor Brook turned to the issue of Biodiversity and referred to the motion carried by Council on 23 July 2019 (Minute No.C/36 (2019/20) refers).  The scope of the Green Team had subsequently been widened to address this and, as a starting point, a corporate policy on Biodiversity had been drafted, which was attached at Appendix 4 to the report.  The policy sought to maximise the ways in which the Council could use its direct and indirect influence to ensure that the impact of human activity within South Lakeland on Biodiversity was as positive as it could be.

 

Councillor Brook informed Members that the Council Plan and the Biodiversity Policy had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 25 October 2019 when Members had suggested the need for reference to transport within the Council Plan.  This request had been implemented prior to consideration of the Council Plan and Biodiversity Policy by Cabinet on 27 November 2019 when both documents had been recommended to Council for adoption.  Councillor Brook now took the opportunity to strengthen the importance placed by the Council on sustainable transport, proposing an amendment to the bullet point under Climate Change on Page 7 of the Council Plan to instead read, “Working with Cumbria County Council and other partners to promote and encourage the provision of and access to sustainable public transport across the District.”

 

Subject to the inclusion of this amendment, Councillor Brook moved adoption of the Council Plan and the Biodiversity Policy as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.  He was seconded by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, who emphasised the importance of the documents as well as the need for partnership working in order to deliver what communities wanted.  He encouraged all Members to work with their parishes and for those representing South Lakeland District Council on outside bodies to present the Council Plan to those organisations in order to seek means by which to meet the aspirations contained therein.  Councillor Archibald also stressed the need for the Council to contribute to mitigating Climate Change and reversing Biodiversity loss, and for strong consideration of these issues throughout all decision making.

 

Councillor Tom Harvey, as Leader of the Opposition, explained that whilst his Group supported much of the content of the Council Plan, there were elements with which they did not agree.  He, therefore, requested that two separate votes be taken in relation to adoption of each of the documents under consideration,  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/56

C/57

Polling District and Polling Place Review pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To consider the outcome of the Polling District and Polling Place Review.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Customer and Commercial Services and People Portfolio Holder, Councillor Eric Morrell, introduced the report, informing Members that the Council had a duty to divide the District into polling districts, with each parish being a separate polling district, and to designate a polling place for each of these polling districts.  The authority to do this rested with the Council; the Returning Officer then had a duty to provide a polling station within each of the identified polling places as far as possible.

 

Section 16 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 had introduced a number of changes to the 1983 Act, including the requirement for the Council to review UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places arrangements at least every four years. The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 had introduced a change to the timing of such reviews, with the current compulsory review starting and to be completed between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020.

 

The review had been undertaken in accordance with the relevant legislation and the Electoral Commission’s guidance, and had commenced on 16 September 2019, with the consultation period ending on 1 November 2019.  A total of 45 responses had been received, summaries of which were provided.  Additional consultation had been undertaken in respect of the polling arrangements in Grasmere.  It had been suggested that the polling arrangements within Kendal wards may benefit from a more detailed review and it was, therefore, being recommended that this commenced during 2020, with more in-depth consultation on any proposed changes.

 

Councillor Morrell moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder.

 

Attention was drawn to the recommendation regarding the forthcoming detailed review of polling arrangements in Kendal and the need to take into consideration the views raised at that time, for example those in relation to polling place arrangements for Kendal Oxenholme.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the following be noted:-

 

(a)        the outcome of the review; and

 

(b)        that a more detailed review of the polling arrangements in Kendal will commence during 2020; and

 

(2)        the following be approved:-

 

(a)        the renaming of polling districts within Kendal East to match with Kendal Town Council wards and the merging of two Selside polling districts within Kendal Rural as set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(b)        the designated polling station for Lakes Grasmere (CE) moving from Grasmere Sports Pavilion to Grasmere Village Hall, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

C/58

Leader's Announcements and Cabinet Question Time, including the Composite Report of the Cabinet (1 Hour Maximum) pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Council is asked to receive the Executive Reports (Mid Year Update 2019/20) from the Leader and Cabinet and to deal with any questions raised by Members to the appropriate Cabinet Members on the contents of the reports.

 

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 of questions to be raised under the Agenda Item.  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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, introduced the Cabinet Members’ respective Mid Year Update 2019/20 Executive Reports.

 

In presenting the reports, Councillor Archibald congratulated the Acting Returning Officer and his team for the efficient manner in which the Parliamentary Election had been run, also thanking all those who had supported the process, as well as all parties involved.  Councillor Archibald wished everyone a restful and well-deserved festive break.

 

No queries were raised in relation to the content of the Executive reports.

 

In accordance with paragraphs 10.2 and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, no written questions having been submitted to the meeting, the following verbal questions were taken from the floor:-

 

Councillor Eamonn Hennessy referred to the fact that the Climate Conference in Madrid had just ended.  He asked Councillor Dyan Jones, Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder, if she shared his disappointment with the results of that Conference and whether she had any thoughts on how the Council could influence the British Government as it began to prepare for next year’s Conference in Glasgow.  Councillor Jones responded, explaining that COP25, governments from around the world who collectively recognised the growing urgency of the climate crisis, had just spent two weeks of talks on the need to bridge gaps between existing targets set in 2015 and scientific advice that said that much more needed to be done.  It was reported that few significant commitments had emerged from these meetings, against growing public pressure, frustration and anger.  Councillor Jones stressed that strong public and political pressure was vital now more than ever.  As a local authority, the Council was in a strong position to lobby and add to this pressure, working together with partners, both established and newly-formed, working across Cumbria and beyond.  Councillor Jones believed that how organisations worked together over the next decade to move towards a greener collective would demand more commitment and resources from the UK’s new Government.  Protecting natural resources for children, grandchildren and great grandchildren had to be a priority and she hoped that political differences could be put aside and that work could be carried out collectively, the Council leading by example.  Councillor Jones wanted a clear message to be sent to Glasgow next year, that expectations were high and answers were sought.

 

Councillor Philip Dixon expressed his surprise at reference by the Council’s independent auditors, Grant Thornton, to increased levels of inequality in Great Britain.  He asked Councillor Suzie Pye, Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder, to provide details on increases in levels of inequality in South Lakeland and whether the Council should anticipate any further rise in social inequality in the near future.  Councillor Pye thought it was important for the Council to remind itself why it should be striving for a more equal society, where residents were presented with equal opportunities regardless of background and circumstances.  According to the Equality Trust, “People in more equal societies lived longer, had better mental health and had better  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/58

C/59

Minutes of Meetings

To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 9 September and 1 November 2019.

Minutes:

No comments or questions had been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 9 September and 1 November 2019.

C/60

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.

Minutes:

No questions had been received under this item.

C/61

Urgent Decisions

In accordance with Paragraph 17.3 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules, to receive details of any urgent Executive Decisions, if any, taken since the last scheduled meeting of Council on 9 October 2019.

Minutes:

No urgent Executive Decisions had been taken since the last meeting of the Council on 9 October 2019.