Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 9 October 2019 6.30 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

C/37

Minutes pdf icon PDF 475 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 23 July 2019 (copy attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 23 July 2019.

C/38

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/39

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.

C/40

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/41

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.

 

On behalf of the Council, the Chairman asked Councillor Peter Thornton to pass on congratulations to Councillor Suzie Pye who had recently given birth.

 

The Chairman made particular reference to the New Union Tavern in Kendal which had recently become CAMRA UK Cider Pub of the Year.

 

Councillor Phil Dixon took the opportunity to also congratulate Councillor Ben Berry on the recent birth of his child.

C/42

Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 1, 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 272 KB

To consider the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 1 2019/20 and officers’ planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by the end of the financial year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, Councillor Andrew Jarvis, presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring report for Quarter One of 2019/20, highlighting the Council’s expenditure and income during the first three months of the financial year, but also including current projections of expenditure for the remainder of the year.

 

The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 16 August 2019 and by Cabinet on 11 September 2019.

 

Councillor Jarvis took the opportunity to provide Cabinet with a brief update on the budget for 2020/21 and subsequent years.  He referred to the Autumn Statement in which the Chancellor had confirmed that there would be a one year settlement for Local Government, with the restructuring and reset of Non-Domestic Rates being postponed to 2021/22.  There were important details that remained unclear, for example around the continuation of Council’s ability to increase Council Tax by £5, or of business rates pooling.  However, the initial indication was that this temporary settlement would leave the Council in a better financial position than in the Medium Term Financial Plan presented to Council in July 2019.  Councillor Jarvis, however, reminded Members that this showed a £620,000 deficit for 2020/21, and the Council’s first priority was to close this.  Councillor Jarvis said that considerable uncertainty around the settlement also remained.  Councillor Jarvis also made reference to the move by the Government earlier in the day to increase Council borrowing rates by 1% point for all new borrowing.  He undertook to keep Cabinet and Council updated on next year’s budget.

 

Councillor Jarvis, in closing, thanked the Finance Team for their work and moved that the report be noted.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, seconded the motion, also thanking Councillor Jarvis and officers.  Councillor Archibald expressed pride in the work achieved by the Council for the community in relation to playgrounds, kerbside recycling and locality budgets, to name but a few.  He pointed out that this work, carried out in partnership with other organisations, was possible due to the fact that the Council was, and continued to be, managed in a financially prudent manner.

 

It was suggested that the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder might, in future, consider circulating any updates to his report to Members on the day before the meeting in the form of a late representation.  Councillor Jarvis explained, however, that the material provided verbally was not new and that he was simply emphasising key points contained within the report.

 

In response to a query relating to collection of sundry debts and the need for the Council to reduce the figure to nil, Councillor Jarvis informed Members that the Lake Administration Committee had, on 4 October 2019, been provided with a detailed report on action being taken in relation to encroachments on a debt by debt basis, and that other debts continued to be pursued.  The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) added that officers worked hard to pursue debts by all means possible, by  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/42

C/43

Member Support Steering Group - Annual Update pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider the 2018/19 Annual Update from the Member Support Steering Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Eric Morrell, Customer and Commercial Services and People Portfolio Holder, presented the annual update from the Member Support Steering Group (MSSG), expressing appreciation for the contribution made from all political groups.

 

The report and Appendix A provided statistics regarding Member attendance at training sessions during 2018/19.  The statistics showed that there was a low take up of training, with sessions having had, at times, to be cancelled at short notice due to the withdrawal of Members.  The MSSG was, therefore, making proposals to break training down into two categories; mandatory and optional, as outlined at Appendices B and C to the report.  Furthermore, in order to ensure maximum attendance at mandatory training events, it was being suggested that a reporting process for non-attendance be introduced.

 

Councillor Morrell pointed out that most Member training was provided in-house and he thanked officers for their efforts and patience in this regard.  He drew attention to the recommendation for all Members to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) in order to ensure that there was an accurate picture of Member skills, knowledge and behaviours and so that a relevant learning calendar could be designed to support these needs.  It was felt that PDPs would support any requests made by Members who submitted ad hoc requests for external training, ensuring value for money and also that investment in such activity was relevant and aligned to the Member’s needs to support their ward and the wider district.  Council was, further, being asked to approve updates to the Member Development Strategy, attached at Appendix E to the report, in order to reflect the recommendations from the MSSG, as well as changes to officer roles since 2017.

 

The report made reference to Member Role Profiles which had also been reviewed by the MSSG and which were attached at Appendix D to the report.  These had been updated to reflect the changing role of councillors and in order to make training and development integral to each role and reflect the commitment that the Authority made to each elected Member.

 

The report outlined the digital offering available to Members and attention was drawn to the fact that officers would be arranging training sessions to demonstrate the online training available.  It was also stressed that officers were available to provide assistance to Members on an ongoing basis.

 

Councillor Morrell moved the recommendations contained in the report and was seconded by Councillor Mark Wilson.

 

A lengthy discussion ensued, during which strong concern was voiced with regard to the use of the word “mandatory”, which a number of Members felt should be replaced with the word “compulsory” or “obligatory”.  Some Members were of the opinion that it should be their own choice as to which training they attended, as long as the need to uphold the seven principles of public life was adhered to.  They were of the opinion that they had been elected to serve their communities and that, as such, they should carry out their work in the way they  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/43

C/44

Review of Anti-Fraud Policies pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider updates to the Council’s anti-fraud policies to reflect changes in the organisational structure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Coleman, as Chairman of the Audit Committee, presented a report setting out proposed amendments to the Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption and the Anti-Money Laundering policies.  The required amendments had arisen as part of the Audit Committee’s annual review of the Anti-Fraud policies.  The proposed changes reflected new job titles and roles arising from Phase 1 of the Customer Connect Programme and changes in the Council’s organisational structure.

 

The recommendation contained within the report having been proposed by Councillor Coleman, and seconded by Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the following be approved:-

 

(1)        the amendments to the Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption Policy, as shown at Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)        the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Policy as shown at Appendix 2 to the report.

C/45

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 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.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Giles Archibald, alluded to recent developments in Syria and expressed concern with regard to the suffering of thousands of people as a result of events.  He also referred the 800,000 homes in California currently without electricity, the reason for which, he said, could be traced back to Climate Change.

 

Councillor Archibald encouraged those Members who had been unable to attend the recent Kendal Vision community planning event, at which a vision for Kendal had been outlined, to visit the JTP Architects Website.  He commended the work of the Kendal Futures Board and those businesses and residents who had participated.

 

Councillor Archibald updated Members with regard to the settlement in Cumbria of 200, mostly Syrian, refugees, with six families having been homed in South Lakeland.  He wished to place on record his thanks to the County Council for its tremendous and discreet work in this regard.  Councillor Archibald felt proud of the part played by South Lakeland District Council in changing these people’s lives and thanked its officers for their involvement.

 

In accordance with paragraphs 10.2. and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the following written questions had been submitted to the meeting:-

 

From Councillor Ian Wharton to Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder - Could you please provide an update on the redevelopment of Ulverston Leisure Centre?”

 

Councillor Ashcroft explained that, as Members would be aware, the Council had been investigating the development of a new leisure facility at the Priory Road site in Ulverston.  This was a project which was supported by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to bring new and combined facilities to replace the Council’s ageing facilities and to enable future development of the GSK site.  Councillor Ashcroft explained that Cabinet had approved for work to progress to develop the necessary information on facility mix, capital cost and future revenue operating cost in order to enable a future Cabinet decision to implement a new facility.  Since then, work had involved engagement with the construction supply chain to more accurately investigate the options for construction methods, associated cost and procurement routes.  Officers had been talking with principal contractors, specialist suppliers and quantity surveyors and expected to be in a position to advise Cabinet of the best way forward within the next couple of months.  Of great importance was what the project would deliver for the residents of Ulverston and officers were engaging with user groups regarding the balance of facilities on offer; the Council was determined to ensure that the right mix of facilities that worked for all was achieved.  Councillor Ashcroft drew particular attention to the fact that both officers and himself were holding regular meetings with the Lawn Tennis Association and residents regarding concerns.  This was a work in progress and Councillor Ashcroft undertook to update Members as necessary.

 

From Councillor Matt Severn to Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder - Please can you update me as to the latest developments on the Lancaster  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/45

C/46

Minutes of Meetings

To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 3 June and 6 September 2019.

Minutes:

No comments or questions had been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 3 June and 6 September 2019.

C/47

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.

C/48

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 23 July 2019.

Minutes:

No urgent Executive Decisions had been taken since the last meeting of the Council on 23 July 2019.

C/49

Notice of Motion

The following Notice of Motion has been given in accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure:-

 

“The council warmly welcomes the launch of the Government’s new Tourism Sector Deal, which will benefit almost 1,000 tourism-related businesses in South Lakeland and has been described by the British Tourist Authority as a game-changer for tourism;

 

Notes that as part of the ground-breaking Deal, the Government will also pilot up to five new Tourism Zones where additional support will be provided to help grow local visitor economies through initiatives like targeted help for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training;

 

And confirms that the council will be play a full and active role in ensuring a successful bid is submitted for one of the five new Tourism Zones to encompass South Lakeland when the application process opens in December 2019.”

 

(signed by Councillor James Airey)

Minutes:

In accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the following notice of motion had been put to Council by Councillor James Airey:-

 

“The council warmly welcomes the launch of the Government’s new Tourism Sector Deal, which will benefit almost 1,000 tourism-related businesses in South Lakeland and has been described by the British Tourist Authority as a game-changer for tourism;

 

Notes that as part of the ground-breaking Deal, the Government will also pilot up to five new Tourism Zones where additional support will be provided to help grow local visitor economies through initiatives like targeted help for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training;

 

And confirms that the council will be play a full and active role in ensuring a successful bid is submitted for one of the five new Tourism Zones to encompass South Lakeland when the application process opens in December 2019.”

 

In moving the motion, Councillor Airey highlighted the benefits of the Deal which would support the creation of 10,000 apprenticeships for those building careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.  He drew attention to the £1m recruitment and retraining programme for staff; he felt that those working in the industry were low paid and that this was good work to aspire to.  He welcomed the predicted additional nine million visitors to the UK over the next five to six years and referred to the Tourism Sector Deal’s commitment for the building of more than 130,000 new hotel rooms across the UK and £250,000 for the improvement of broadband connectivity in conference centres for business visitors.  Councillor Airey hoped that the Council would support a bid for a Tourism Zone, drawing attention to the benefits that this could bring to the whole of Cumbria’s current thriving tourist economy.  He drew attention to the opportunity to encourage day-trippers to stay longer and to visit different parts of this fantastic County.  Councillor Airey urged Members to support the motion, which was seconded by Councillor Tom Harvey.

 

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, accepting the importance of tourism to the local economy, was in support of the motion, however, proposed a short amendment to the third paragraph, as follows:-

 

“The Council confirms it will continue its current full and active role in ensuring a successful bid is submitted for one of the five new Tourism Zones to encompass South Lakeland when the application process opens in December 2019.”

 

Councillor Airey confirmed that he would be pleased to alter the motion accordingly.

 

Members welcomed the motion as altered and the opportunity to widen Cumbria’s tourism offer.  It was acknowledged that tourism was key to the economy of South Lakeland which was blessed with tremendous assets, stunning landscape, outdoor activities, and a large heritage and cultural offer.  Strong concerns were, however, raised with regard to the proposed £30,000 salary threshold for skilled migrants and to the potential detrimental impact on the hospitality trade which was made up of mainly EU  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/49