Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Tuesday, 26 February 2019 6.30 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

C/65

Minutes pdf icon PDF 516 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 18 December 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 18 December 2018.

C/66

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:

Gillian Kelly, who had been researching and giving talks about global warming for over two years, addressed Council with regard to the second motion at Agenda Item No.16, Climate Emergency 2019.  M/s Kelly, due to the fast acceleration of climate change, rather than referring to climate change or global warming, referred instead to climate breakdown, climate chaos and, soon to be, climate catastrophe.  She pointed out that the statistics shown within the motion were already out of date.  Scientists had agreed that around 355ppm of CO² in the atmosphere was acceptable to support life and, as stated in the motion, in 2017 it had been 405.5ppm, but in 2018, it had topped 411ppm, and the meteorological office had said that that this year was on course to be the hottest yet.  Emissions of CO² were also forecast to be the highest on record.  M/s Kelly said that, beyond a rise of 2?C, any chance of controlling the heating up of the planet and natural systems would break down.  The IPCC report of October 2018 had been unequivocal about the peril faced by the world and, although the report allowed 11 to 12 years to turn things around, experts were saying that that there was not that much time.  M/s Kelly pointed out that it was not possible to overstate the danger the world was in and drew attention to the potential for future generations to face extinction if action was not taken.  M/s Kelly stressed the need to be deeply alarmed and perturbed and asked Members to pass the motion.  She pointed out that to take action on the motion would take courage of the highest order.  Truly radical changes were required, led by Central Government.  Some of the measures needed would prove unpopular and M/s Kelly felt that Members should be prepared to work together, across party lines, giving up on what she might call “political tribalism.”  For the sake of the population being governed by South Lakeland District Council, she again urged Members to pass the motion.

 

On behalf of Alan Brenton, Councillor Shirley-Anne Wilson addressed Members.  Mr Brenton had been contacted by residents from Monument Way in Ulverston who had been dismayed that a planning condition had been breached by developers at a site at Sir John Barrow Way.  The developers had claimed that they were opening access for another group of residents at Lund Farm whose statutory right of access had been blocked by the same developer.  Mr Brenton felt that this access should have been subject to an additional planning application.  Residents had challenged a large convoy of fleet vehicles which had stopped next to a lamp post displaying the condition that banned the vehicles from entering that part of the estate.  Residents and local councillors had pointed out the obvious breach of condition and the mistrust caused by this action.  A response to the question as to why this had happened had appeared in the local press from the developer’s operations  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/66

C/67

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/68

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/69

Chairman's Announcements

To receive announcements by the Chairman.

Minutes:

A list of engagements which the Chairman had attended since the last meeting had been circulated at the commencement of the meeting.

C/70

Political Balance and Committee Places pdf icon PDF 22 KB

To note that the political balance of the Council remains unchanged following the Arnside and Milnthorpe District Ward By-Election on 20 December 2018, and to receive the updated Committee Membership List.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Giles Archibald, seconded by Councillor Ben Berry and

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        it be noted that the political balance of the Council remains unchanged following the Arnside and Milnthorpe District Ward By-Election on 20 December 2018; and

 

(2)        the updated Committee Membership List (as at 15 January 2019) be received.

 

Note – In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Part 4, Rule 12 (Motions without Notice), a motion to change the order of business in the agenda, moved by Councillor Giles Archibald and seconded by Councillor Ben Berry, was carried.

C/71

Council Policy on Climate Change pdf icon PDF 230 KB

To consider a corporate Council Policy on Climate Change for adoption as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dyan Jones, Environment Portfolio Holder, reported that, as part of the work of the Green Team, a corporate Council Policy on Climate Change as detailed in Appendix 3 to the report, had been drafted.

 

The Policy represented a public recognition of the importance of Climate Change, an awareness of the economic and other opportunities offered by both tackling and adapting to meet the challenge of climate change and a series of ways in which the Council could reflect the importance of climate change, both in how it managed itself and how it worked with partners at the local, regional and national level.

 

The Policy set out the following Council commitments:-

 

           Work with central government, county and neighbouring councils, national park authorities and other stakeholders, to contribute, at a local level, to the delivery of the target for carbon dioxide reduction set out in the UK Carbon budget by 2022 and other local and regional carbon reduction targets.

           Participate in local and regional networks for support.

           Develop plans and support projects with our partners and local communities to progressively address the causes and the impacts of climate change, according to our local priorities, securing maximum benefit for our communities.

           Publicly declare, within appropriate plans and strategies, the commitment to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our own authority's operations, especially energy sourcing and use, travel and transport, waste production and disposal and the purchasing of goods and services.

           Assess the risk associated with climate change and the implications for our services and our communities of climate change impacts and adapt accordingly.

           Encourage all sectors in our local community to take the opportunity to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and to make public their commitment to action.

           Monitor the progress of our plans against the actions needed and publish the result.

           Work with others to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

 

Members were informed that Cabinet, on 6 February 2019, had approved the Policy for recommendation to Council for adoption as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Councillor Jones commended this fine example of collaborative working and hoped that all Members would be content to endorse the Policy, which sat comfortably with the Council Plan priorities.  She moved the recommendation to adopt the Policy, saying that she felt proud to be part of an authority that took seriously its role with regard to Climate Change.  The proposal was seconded by Councillor Giles Archibald.

 

Councillor Jones turned to the second Notice of Motion included at Agenda Item No.16, Climate Emergency 2019, stressing the need to address the problem quickly.  She acknowledged M/s Kelly’s earlier comments regarding the fact that some of the figures shown in the motion were already out of date.  Councillor Jones having moved the motion, was seconded by Councillor Ben Berry.

 

A number of Members spoke in support of the proposal to adopt the corporate Council Policy  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/71

C/72

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

Further to Minute C/71 above and in accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, discussion continued with regard to the second motion at Agenda Item No.16, Climate Emergency 2019, the motion having already been put to Council by Councillor Dyan Jones, Environment Portfolio Holder, and seconded by Councillor Ben Berry.

 

Councillor Matt Severn expressed support for the motion, stating that the recent floods experienced in South Lakeland were as a result of climate change and stressing the need for immediate action.

 

In response to a query raised by Councillor Chris Hogg, Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio explained that it was intended that future Council and committee reports included a section identifying how the proposed decision was likely to impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, raised an amendment to the motion to include the word “net” within the last paragraph so that it would read, “Council now urges government to recognise this urgency and to work with local authorities, health services, businesses, consumers, farmers, educational institutions and all other interested bodies to reduce to net zero as quickly as possible our carbon emissions and their equivalents.”  Both Councillors Jones and Berry were content to accept the amendment.

 

Councillor Ben Berry also stressed that now was the opportunity to take action and commended the cross-party stance.  He highlighted the fact that action moving forward would take courage.

 

It was, subsequently, unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That, with regard to Climate Emergency 2019, Council confirms that it is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and continues to look at all areas of policy and delivery.  The Climate Change Policy and the work of the Green Team demonstrates and clarifies our position and ambitions.

 

Council recognises that many organisations have been working hard locally and nationally to identify and address climate change in their own communities and with partners.  However, Council believes action needs to happen faster.  Business as usual is not enough and there is a growing urgency to implement these actions more rapidly.

 

Council notes:-

 

·         the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5?C special report which provides, with sobering clarity, the evidence of the impact of climate change;

·         the wider acknowledgement from some bodies that there is a 50% chance of a 2?C rise by the end of this century;

·         the World Meteorological Organisation in their annual bulletin (November 2018) state that carbon dioxide levels hit new highs of 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015;

·         the UN Gap Report published before the COP24 in Poland this year, reminding us that the Paris Agreement targets are off track; and

·         UK Met Office’s 2018 Prediction offering an assessment of what we can expect to experience - higher sea levels, rise in temperatures, disrupted rainfall patterns, and as we have seen recently, flooding, over heating and torrential unpredicted rain;

 

Council confirms that we are facing a climate emergency.

 

Council now urges government  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/72

C/73

Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 3 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To consider the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 3 2018/19 and the changes to the 2018/19 revenue budget as outlined in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented the third quarter financial monitoring report of 2018/19.  The report provided an update on how the financial situation was progressing during this year.  In part, it was backward looking, highlighting the Council’s expenditure and income during the first nine months of the financial year, but also including the Council’s current projections of expenditure during the rest of the year.

 

The Portfolio Holder provided details relating to the revenue budget, capital expenditure, collection of Council Tax and business rates and the Council’s current position with regard to debt collection, details of which were contained within the report and appendices.

 

Appendix 1 set out the revenue variances to date.  Overall, at the end of Quarter 3, budget monitoring had identified a forecast year-end underspend of £260,000.  In addition, there were projected to be £273,000 of carry-forward requests.  Trends identified in these budget monitoring results had been fed into the 2019/20 budget setting process.

 

Appendix 2 set out the position on the Capital Programme. The capital budget at Quarter 2 2018/19 had stood at £9.795m. Carry-forwards to 2019/20 of £1.557m relating to the ERDF Flood Alleviation scheme and £300,000 relating to the Cross-a-Moor junction and an increase to the Millerground Play scheme of £12,000 due to additional funding had been approved by Council on 18 December 2018 as part of the updated Capital Programme submitted with the 2019/20 Draft Budget.  This resulted in a 2018/19 Capital Programme of £7.950m at the end of Quarter 3.  Expenditure against this Programme to the end of Quarter 3 had been £3.205m.  There was anticipated to be significant expenditure during Quarter 4 and £0.458m of further re-profiling had been identified.  A revised Programme was presented as part of the budget process, including any new schemes prioritised against the available funding.  Councillor Jarvis informed Members that he remained concerned with regard to the continued over-estimation of the speed with which capital expenditure was undertaken, which was of particular importance as the Council was now undertaking several very large projects.  He reminded Members that a Strategic Project and Asset Management Board was being set up to enable enhanced scrutiny of capital expenditure.

 

Appendix 3 provided an update on Treasury Management for the quarter.  There was one issue to report in terms of compliance with the approved Treasury Management Strategy relating to counterparty limits which had arisen as a result of an administrative error, as detailed within the report.  Investments had performed better than the relevant benchmarks except in relation to long-term core investments due to the change in interest rates.  No repayment of existing borrowing or new borrowing was anticipated up to the end of the financial year.

 

As part of the 2018/19 Budget Setting process, Council had agreed the removal of budgets in relation to the Social Lettings scheme, as Government had announced an end to the initiative.  Subsequently, a reversal of Government policy had led to the Council continuing to provide this service.  No budgets existed for this service, but  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/73

C/74

Council Plan pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the draft Council Plan 2019 to 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council Plan set out the Council’s vision and priorities and formed part of a suite of corporate documents and linked closely with the Medium Term Financial Plan.  These documents formed part of the Council’s Policy Framework and underpinned the Council’s approach to governance and community leadership.  The current Council Plan was for the period 2014 to 2019, and had been updated on an annual basis since 2014.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, presented a new draft Plan which was intended to run from 2019 to 2024.  In developing the Plan, the vision had been revised to add the words “working together” to reflect that the Council could not achieve its ambition alone, and that it worked with partners to deliver on its vision and ambitions.

 

The vision, as stated in the draft Council Plan, was, “Working together to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.”  To achieve the vision, the Council’s areas of focus were:-

 

           creating an environment for people to thrive;

           delivering excellent value-for-money, services;

           playing a leading role and influencing others;

           empowering customers and communities; and

           forward thinking, innovative Council.

 

As with previous versions, the Council Plan retained the following values:-

 

           Empowering People - By listening to our customers and our employees their ideas and comments will help us make improvements to customer service and workforce development.

           Excellence - Seeking continuous improvement in what we do, ensuring that our actions address the needs of South Lakeland.

           Open and Transparent - Being courteous, efficient and transparent in our dealings with the public.

 

The Council Plan set out the challenges and opportunities that the district faced in the short, medium and long term.  These were described in detail in Appendix 3 to the report.  In brief, the challenges and opportunities were:-

 

           South Lakeland’s demography;

           financial resilience;

           affordable housing;

           sustainability;

           rise in obesity levels and inactivity;

           access to better training and development; and

           education and skills.

 

In order to meet the challenges and maximise opportunities, the Council Plan set out the delivery of the vision by:-

 

           working across boundaries to deliver to communities;

           creates the right balance across different age groups;

           reduces inequalities so that no one is left behind; and

           creates a sustainable and inclusive economy.

 

In addition to the Council Plan, an Executive Summary, detailed at Appendix 4 to the report, had been developed.  This document stated the high level priorities across the cross-cutting themes to deliver the overall strategic aims of the Council.

 

Developing a sustainable and inclusive economy was a key element of the new Council Plan.  This reflected growing awareness of the importance of Climate Change and the Council’s role in tackling it.

 

In line with the Performance Management Framework, the Council Plan Performance Monitoring reports detailed measures of success against the priorities within the Council Plan.  These were reported quarterly to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/74

C/75

Review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To consider whether the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is the most appropriate for this Council for the financial year commencing 1 April 2019.

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented a report, informing Members that the Local Government Finance Act 2012 (as amended) now required Local Authorities to approve their Council Tax Reduction Scheme on an Annual Basis by the 11 March for the following financial year (was previously 31st January).

 

On 18 December 2012 (Minute C/70 refers), Full Council had resolved to adopt the Default Scheme as prescribed by the Secretary of State as the Council’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme to replace Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013, with the costs of the Scheme to be funded by reducing Council Tax discount on second homes from 10% to 0%.  The local arrangements for fully disregarding War widows’ pensions, war disablement pensions and Armed Forces Compensation payments were to remain in the calculation of income for the Scheme.

 

Central Government had previously paid 100% grant to Local authorities under the national scheme, but on the transfer of responsibility, the grant had been reduced to 90%.  South Lakeland District Council, with the support of Cumbria County Council and the Cumbria Police Authority, had met the cost of the 10% grant reduction, about £560,000, by making technical changes to Council Tax.  This had included removing the discount on second homes, introducing a 100% Council Tax on properties unoccupied over six months and a 50% premium on properties empty for over two years.

 

On 17 December 2013 (Minute C/65 refers), Full Council had resolved that the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2014/2015 would remain unchanged, subject to the annual uprating of applicable amounts, premiums, etc., in accordance with either the Housing Benefit Scheme Regulations or the Local Council Tax Reduction Prescribed Scheme for pensioners.

 

Minute C/65 of Full Council on 17 December 2013 had resolved that the next review of the scheme be undertaken in July 2014.  A review had been undertaken on 15 July 2014 by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which had recommended that the existing scheme which mirrored the previous Council Tax Benefit Scheme was the most appropriate for this Council.

 

On 19 December 2017 (Minute C/64 refers), Full Council had resolved to maintain the existing Scheme for 2018/19 after having undertaken a comprehensive review of the Scheme during 2014/15.

 

The Council’s Scheme would still not reflect the changes which had been announced in the Budgets of July 2015 or March 2016, which would adversely affect some of South Lakeland’s residents’ entitlements to support, namely:-

 

           removal of Family Premium for new claims;

           reduction of backdating period from six months to one month;

           freezing of applicable amounts within Housing Benefit until 2020/21;

           withdrawal of Council Tax Reduction where a person leaves the Great Britain for four weeks or more;

           limiting the number of dependants’ additions to a maximum of two (this will apply to all Housing Benefit cases with effect from 1 April 2017);

           removal of the Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity Component; and

           phasing in of European migrants access to benefits.  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/75

C/76

2019/20 to 2023/24 Budget pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Note – In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the consequential change to Council’s Rules of Procedure, this item will automatically be subject to a recorded vote in respect of setting the Council Tax and on any amendments proposed at the meeting.

 

To consider the recommendations from Cabinet to determine the Council’s Budget for 2019/20 onwards, including fees and charges, the Capital Programme, the Pay Policy and the Chief Finance Officer’s Advice on the Robustness of Estimates and the Adequacy of Reserves.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prior to discussion on the item, revised copies of Appendix No.4 to the report, Pay Policy Statement 2019/20, were distributed to Members.

 

The Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Andrew Jarvis, presented the draft budget proposals for 2019/20 onwards, including fees and charges, the Capital Programme, the Pay Policy and the Chief Finance Officer’s Advice on the Robustness of Estimates and the Adequacy of Reserves. The proposals set out a net revenue budget for 2019/20 of £14,005,200, including a £5 (2.6%) increase in the Band D Council Tax for District Council Services.  This increase was consistent with expectations of Central Government set out in the multi-year settlement for 2016/17 onwards, but was below the latest expectation of Central Government of an increase of below 3%.

 

The draft budgets had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 11 January 2019.  Further reports had also been considered by the Lake Administration Committee, Licensing Committee and Planning Committee. At its meeting on 6 February 2019, Cabinet had recommended the draft budget to Council for approval.

 

Councillor Jarvis highlighted a number of areas within the report, drawing attention to the key changes incorporated since the December update to Council which were shown in Appendix 1 to the report.  This included the £200,000 revenue cost impact of the South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall refurbishment, particularly due to lower rental income during changes and a £50,000 cost for contribution to carbon reduction schemes.  This was more than offset from a £120,000 higher financial settlement than had been expected, £200,000 lower interest projections and £110,000 lower base budget costs.  Consequently, a small contribution of £42,000 to reserves was expected, rather than the Council being required to use reserves.

 

Councillor Jarvis pointed out that although there was a balanced budget in 2019/20, from 2020 onwards there was a deteriorating picture, with a projected deficit of £620,000 in 2020/21, rising to £2m by 2023/24, despite Customer Connect rising to over £1.5m each year.  This gap had significantly reduced from that presented in December and now included the full impact of savings from key investment projects, notably South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall refurbishment and Ulverston Leisure Centre.  The gap was almost entirely the result of prudent assumptions of reductions in funding through the Government cutting the amount of Non-Domestic Rates retained by the Council.  The extent to which this materialised will only become clear when details of the new funding settlement for local authorities was announced, later in the year.

 

Councillor Jarvis drew attention to the Council’s ambitious Capital Programme, also outlining a number of schemes where the business cases were not yet sufficiently advanced to include within the Medium Term Financial Plan capital budget.

 

Councillor Jarvis informed Members that the budget showed that the Council was in robust financial health and was prudently planning for the changes in local government funding that lay ahead.  This balanced budget was only possible due to the necessary actions having been taken to restructure and generate savings.  He pointed out that no alternative  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/76

C/77

Calculating and Setting the 2019/20 Council Tax pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Note – In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the consequential change to Council’s Rules of Procedure, this item will automatically be subject to a recorded vote in respect of setting the Council Tax and on any amendments proposed at the meeting.

 

To consider a report to enable the Council to calculate and set the Council Tax for 2019/20. At the time of printing the Agenda, formal confirmation of the precepts from Cumbria County Council and the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner are awaited and, if these differ from assumptions, revised figures will be issued as soon as possible.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented a report which would enable the Council to calculate and set the Council Tax for 2019/20.  The precepts from Cumbria County Council and the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner had been confirmed, at the values previously proposed, on 14 February and 20 February respectively.  As the billing authority, South Lakeland District Council was required to undertake a series of calculations in order to determine the Council Tax to be set for each parish within the District.

 

Once the Council Tax had been approved, Council Tax bills would be issued to each household in South Lakeland during March 2019 in accordance with the amounts set, subject to any reductions for discounts, exemptions or reliefs.

 

Councillor Jarvis proposed that the suggested Council Tax Resolution contained within Appendix A of the report be approved.  This was seconded by Councillor Matt Severn who emphasised the fact that the decision related to the collection of money, not only for the District Council, but the County Council, the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and local parishes.

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the Council’s Rules of Procedure, a recorded vote was taken on the recommendations as follows:–

 

The following Members voted in favour (29) – Councillors Giles Archibald; Rupert Audland; Helen Chaffey; Stephen Coleman; Tracy Coward; Philip Dixon; Alvin Finch; Eamonn Hennessy; Hazel Hodgson; Chris Hogg; Rachael Hogg; Vicky Hughes; Anne Hutton; Andrew Jarvis; Dyan Jones; Dave Khan; Helen Ladhams; Pete McSweeney; Ian Mitchell; Eric Morrell; Jon Owen; Doug Rathbone; Vivienne Rees; Matt Severn; Peter Thornton; Graham Vincent; David Webster; Mark Wilson; and Shirley-Anne Wilson.

 

The following Members voted against (12) – Councillors Caroline Airey; James Airey; Pat Bell; Ben Berry; Matt Brereton; Sheila Capstick; Anne Hall; Tom Harvey; John Holmes; Kevin Holmes; Kevin Lancaster; and Amanda Rigg.

 

There were no abstentions.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        it be noted that on 27 December 2018, under powers delegated under Paragraph 8.1 of Section 8 of Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution, the Assistant Director (Resources) and Section 151 Officer calculated the Council Tax Base for the financial year 2019/20 by means of an Administrative Decision:-

 

(a)        for the whole of the District as 45,513.49 (Item T in the formula in Section 31(B) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (”the Act”), as amended); and

 

(b)        for dwellings in those parts of the District to which a Parish Precept relates as in the attached Appendix C to the report;

 

(2)        the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for the financial year 2019/20 (excluding parish precepts) be calculated as £8,903,804. No costs are to be treated as special expenses;

 

(3)        the following amounts be calculated for the financial year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:-

 

(a)        £64,062,239.40 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/77

C/78

2019/20 Procurement Strategy and Procurement Schedule pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider the updated Sustainable Procurement and Commissioning Strategy and the Procurement Schedule for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, reported that the Council’s three-year Sustainable Procurement and Commissioning Strategy had been approved in 2016.  During 2019, an exercise would be carried out to review the document to ensure that it met the Council’s needs in the future under the Customer Connect model.  During 2018, the Local Government Association had published an updated National Procurement Strategy.  Many of the proposals in this national strategy were already reflected in the Council’s Strategy, but some minor changes were proposed around strategic contact management, supplier engagement and social value.  References to legislation and the Council Plan had also been updated. Appendix 1 to the report updated the Council’s existing Strategy to reflect these changes.

 

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 waiver or exemption under the Contract Procedure Rules, this was also included in the Procurement Schedule.

 

The Procurement Schedule for 2019/20 was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.  There were 78 procurement projects identified, which was slightly lower than the 83 procurement exercises originally approved for 2018/19.

 

The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 1 February 2019 and the Strategy and Schedule recommended to Council for approval by Cabinet on 6 February 2019.

 

Councillor Jarvis moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Dyan Jones, Environment Portfolio Holder.

 

Councillor Ben Berry requested that separate votes be taken on each recommendation, advising that the opposition Members, although in support of the Strategy, were against a number of the procurement projects contained within the Schedule.  Councillor Jarvis explained that the most of the projects shown within the Schedule had already been approved within the Budget.  The Chairman acknowledged this fact and was unwilling to hold separate votes.

 

It was, subsequently, unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That Council be recommended to approve the following:-

 

(1)        the updated Sustainable Procurement and Commissioning Strategy attached at Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)        the Procurement Schedule for 2019/20 attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

C/79

Treasury Management and Capital Strategies 2019/20 - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider the Treasury Management Strategy and Capital Strategy for 2019/20 – 2023/24 and the authorised borrowing limits.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance Portfolio Holder, presented a report setting out the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Capital Strategy for 2019/20 – 2023/24. The Strategies had been updated to reflect the 2019/20 Budget and Capital Programme.

 

The framework fulfilled five key legislative requirements relating to the setting of prudential indicators, the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy, the Treasury Management Strategy Statement the Investment Strategy and the Capital Strategy, details of which were provided.

 

The report reflected the budget proposals which had been approved for consultation by Council on 18 December 2018.

 

The Treasury Management Strategy was based on the proposed Capital Programme for 2018/19 – 2023/24 as considered by Council on 18 December 2018 and Councillor Jarvis felt that it was both prudent and professional, whilst allowing the Council to deliver above benchmark returns, generating year-on-year income that supported its revenue budget.

 

The Capital Strategy included potential capital expenditure not currently in the proposed Programme and arising from the review of Council Assets.  The resulting indicators in the Capital Strategy were, therefore, higher as it included potential expenditure and borrowing which might not arise, depending on future decisions around service delivery.  The Capital Strategy would assist in ensuring that the Council had funds available in the future to meet future opportunities which might arise.  It also considered organisational issues, including how the Capital Programme would be prioritised and considerations, including capacity to deliver.  Councillor Jarvis drew attention to an error within Section 5 of the Capital Strategy under paragraph 5.2 where the figure earned by the Council in relation to its 23 investment properties should read £0.464m and not £0.325m.

 

The Strategies ensured that the Council had robust arrangements for investing and that it only borrowed where it was appropriate and affordable.

 

The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 11 January 2019.  Cabinet, on 6 February 2019, had recommended approval by Council of the Strategies and authorised borrowing limits.  Councillor Jarvis pointed out that publication of this Capital Strategy in such detail improved the transparency of the Council and hoped that it provided reassurance that the Council continued to operate in a prudent and professional manner.

 

Councillor Jarvis moved approval of both of the strategies, thanking officers who had worked on them.  This was seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent, Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, and it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That the Treasury Management and Capital Strategies and the authorised borrowing limits within the report be approved.

 

Note – In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Part 4, Rule 8 (Rules of Procedure), a motion to continue the meeting past 9.30 p.m., moved by Councillor Matt Severn and seconded by Councillor Dyan Jones, was carried.

C/80

Senior Management Restructure pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To update Council on the recruitment to the Senior Management Structure.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to C/47 (2018/19), the Chief Executive provided an update on the Customer Connect Programme and recruitment to the Senior Management Structure, first expressing gratitude to all staff who had continued to deliver services whilst the Council moved forward with its transformation.

 

Following conclusion of the employee consultation on Phase 1 Leadership, Strategy and Support Services on 16 November 2018, representations had been considered by the Head of Paid Service.  This had not resulted in any substantial changes requiring further Council approval.

 

Applications for voluntary redundancy had been considered in accordance with the Council’s Redundancy Policy agreed criteria, with 20 applications having been approved.

 

Recruitment had commenced with regard to the senior leadership structure, with interviews having taken place for the two Director posts, a cross-party Panel of Members having been drawn from the Human Resources Committee.  The successful candidates had been confirmed for those two posts, and the Chief Executive took the opportunity to thank all those who had applied for the roles.  Recruitment was ongoing for the remainder of the leadership posts, interviews having recently taken place for the lead operational and specialists posts.  The successful candidates were currently considering formal offers and the appointments were due to be announced during the following week.  All other Phase 1 interviews were due to commence during week commencing 11 March 2019.

 

Following the consultation process, it had been considered appropriate for some transitional arrangements to be made pending recruitment to the statutory roles under the new structure.  It was intended that the responsibility for Returning Officer (once confirmed by Council) would transfer following the May elections from 1 June and that the existing Returning Officer would continue in the interim.  A report to the March Council meeting would update on this as the leadership recruitment continued.  The Monitoring Officer function would also be retained by the Director of Policy and Resources during this transition.  With regard to the statutory officers of Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer, the recruitment process was ongoing and the Assistant Director (Resources) (Section 151 Officer) would remain in that role until 31 May 2019 to support the production and statutory close down of the 2018/19 accounts.  Council would be notified with regards to the appointment process and the Constitution updated once the appointments had been determined.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald moved the recommendations contained within the report.  Councillor Philip Dixon, who was Vice-Chairman of the Human Resources Committee and who had chaired the Panel which had made the appointments to the Director posts, seconded the proposal.  He informed Members that the Panel had been impressed by all those interviewed and reported that the decisions on the appointments to the two Director posts had been unanimous.  He thanked the Human Resources Team the other Members who had sat on the Panel for their part in the process.

 

Councillor Ben Berry acknowledged the importance and expressed support for this part of the Customer Connect process and looked forward to continue to work with the newly-appointed Directors.  He took  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/80

C/81

Notices of Motion

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

 

(1)       Adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism

 

Council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK.  This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes.  Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism.

 

We therefore welcome the UK Government’s support of the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

 

‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations of antisemitism as including:

 

·         ‘Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

·         Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

·         Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

·         Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

·         Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

·         Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·         Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

·         Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

·         Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.’

 

Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations.

 

Council hereby adopts the above definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism.”

 

(signed by Councillor Giles Archibald)

 

(2)       Climate Emergency 2019

 

Council confirms that it is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and continues to look at all areas of policy and delivery. The Climate Change Policy and the work of the Green Team demonstrates and clarifies our position and ambitions.

 

Council recognises that many organisations have been  ...  view the full agenda text for item C/81

Minutes:

In accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, in addition to that debated at Minute No.C/72 above, a notice of motion had been put to Council by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, with regard to adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

 

Councillor Archibald, in proposing the motion, expressed sadness at having to bring it to Council and horror in the fact that antisemitism still existed in this day and age.  He referred to the role played by Cumbria in 1945 and the wonderful reception provided when 300 child survivors of concentration camps were brought to Windermere to recouperate.  Councillor Archibald informed Council that the motion was to be seconded by a Member of the Labour Party and stressed that he had never witnessed any hint of antisemitism within that party.  He asked Members to unite together in condemning antisemitism.

 

Councillor David Webster expressed pride in seconding the motion, pointing out that he was not, nor ever had been, anti-Semitic or racist.

 

Councillor Matt Severn showed support for the motion, pointing out that the definition had been adopted by 130 councils in the country and also referred to Cumbria’s history, some residents whose grandparents had died during the Nazi régime.

 

Councillors Ben Berry and Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, also expressed support for the motion.

 

It was, subsequently, unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That, with regard to adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, Council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK.  This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes.  Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism;

 

We therefore welcome the UK Government’s support of the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:

 

‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’

 

The guidelines highlight manifestations of antisemitism as including:

 

·         ‘Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

·         Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

·         Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

·         Accusing the Jews  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/81

C/82

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, indicated that he had nothing further to add, having raised all necessary comments throughout the meeting.

 

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 Anne Hutton to Councillor Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder - I have become interested in the provision of food banks in South Lakeland and I wondered if Councillor Dixon could elaborate on the current need for such organisations, especially in the light of the further roll out of Universal Credit.

 

Councillor Dixon reported that the food banks in the District were extremely busy.  He wished to put on record thanks to the food banks and volunteers at the Methodist Church in Windermere, Kings Church in Kendal, Bethany Evangelical Church in Ulverston and that run from a private home in Grasmere.  He commended their charitable and sacrificial work.

 

From Councillor Doug Rathbone to Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder (in the absence of Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder) - How successful has the Council been, so far, against their ambitious target of helping to deliver 1,000 new affordable homes for rent by 2025?

 

Councillor Archibald reported that it was a keystone commitment of the Council to facilitate the building of affordable housing and, more particularly, affordable housing for rent.  Further to a suggestion by Councillor Peter Thornton, a target had been set for the creation of 1,000 new affordable homes for rent between 2014 and 2025.    Councillor Archibald thanked Councillor Thornton for his leadership and focus on this priority and was pleased to inform Members that the Council was on track to deliver 1,000, and was likely to exceed this figure.  460 affordable homes for rent had been delivered by the last quarter housing 460 families in decent homes with affordable rent.

 

From Councillor Matt Severn to Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder - After December’s debate, in which the Council resolved by 26 votes to 1, to write to the Secretary for Communities & Local Government expressing its dismay at rising child poverty and seeking his support in requesting additional funds be provided to Local Authorities by Central Government to help those most disadvantaged; has the Sec of State managed to reply yet?

 

Councillor Archibald reported that, as of the previous day, he had not received a response and suggested that he could send a reminder, again expressing concern with regard to increasing levels of poverty.  He stressed the need for engagement with Government at all tiers.

 

The written questions having been presented and answered, the following verbal questions were then taken from the floor:-

 

Councillor Chris Hogg asked Councillor Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, to provide an update on Applied Theatre in Cumbria.  Councillor Dixon explained that this was a partnership project whereby a small group of actors put on performances to  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/82

C/83

Minutes of Meetings

To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 26 November 2018 and 18 January 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no comments or questions have been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 26 November 2018 and 19 January 2019.

C/84

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:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions have been received under Rule 10.6 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure.

Appendix to Minutes pdf icon PDF 342 KB