Decisions

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Decisions published

14/03/2019 - Locally Important Projects 2019 ref: 3993    For Determination

Decision Maker: Delegated Executive Decisions

Made at meeting: 14/03/2019 - Delegated Executive Decisions

Decision published: 15/03/2019

Effective from: 23/03/2019

Decision:

(Director People and Places)

 

Summary

 

Consideration was given to grants which had been recommended by the Locally Important Projects (LIPs) Panel.

 

The New Homes Bonus had commenced in April 2011 and Cabinet had established that 40% of the funds would be apportioned to LIPs.  LIPs funding could be used to support the delivery of appropriate infrastructure works such as additional, or extension of, social facilities and improvements to paths, walkways and the local environment. Parish and town councils and community organisations were eligible to apply for funding for a LIP.   Projects would have to meet local community aspirations and needs, address community infrastructure needs and provide good value for money and deliverability.

 

A seventh round of bids had been opened in December 2018 and 27 applications had been received. The applications had been considered by Members, with officer support, and had been scored against an agreed criteria which included value to the community and disadvantaged groups, links to Council Plan priorities and a high level of match funding and partner buy-in.  Grant awards would be subject to any requests for clarification and relevant criteria being satisfied, and the signing of a funding agreement.

 

Decision

 

(1)        The grants be awarded, as recommended by the Locally Important Projects Panel, shown in paragraph 3.6 of the report and set out below:-

 

ORGANISATION

PROJECT

PROPOSED GRANT

Argles Memorial Hall

Upgrade to Windows in Hall

£2,000

Arnside Educational Institute

Stage and Facilities Refurbishment

£5,000

Arnside Parish Council

Pier Railing Replacement

£5,000

Crosthwaite Exchange

Upgrades to Kitchen

£2,000

Dent Parish Council

Fencing around Playground

£3,000

Ford Park Community Group

Infrastructure Improvements

£5,000

Furness Youth Theatre

New Printer

£250

Kendal Civic Society

Nobles Rest Entrance

£12,000

Levens Parish Council

Levens Village Hall

£40,000

Levens Playing Field Committee

Levens Playing Field Development

£7,500

Preston Patrick Memorial Hall

Car Park Resurface

£2,000

Quaker Tapestry

New Entrance Facilities

£3,700

Space2Create

New Reception Facilities

£7,500

Stainton Parish Council

B4RN for Stainton

£20,000

Staveley Parish Council

Jacks Corner – Community Space

£2,700

The Coniston Institute

Toilet Block

£20,000

The New Hutton Institute

Kitchen Extension

£5,000

Ulverston Town Council

North Lonsdale Road Play Area

£20,000

Windermere and Bowness Civic Society

Accessibility to Biskey Howe Point

£2,271

 

 

 

Total recommended:

£164,921

 

(2)        Officers be authorised, in consultation with the Solicitor to the Council, to finalise terms of the separate funding agreements with each organisation.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

This will support the Council Plan’s Housing priority – “We will continue to use our resources (e.g. New Homes Bonus and Second Homes Fund) and assess how they are best applied to different delivery models, to help build affordable housing and to support locally important projects.”

 

The allocation of funding to Locally Important Projects supports the delivery of appropriate infrastructure works which address priorities identified in local communities.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

The recommendations for allocating the Locally Important Projects funds have been based on an approved objective assessment process.  No alternatives are available if the funding is to be allocated within the scheme.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Simon Blyth


26/02/2019 - Notices of Motion ref: 3983    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 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.

 

Note – The Chairman thanked all Members and guests for their contribution to the discussion, saying that this was a good example of collaborative agreement on what would be pivotal for coming generations.


26/02/2019 - Political Balance and Committee Places ref: 3981    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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.


26/02/2019 - Review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. ref: 3986    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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.

 

As it stood, the implications and the impact of these changes continued to be limited in regard to the overall cost of the Council’s scheme, however, they would be monitored going forward.  Implementation of these national welfare proposals would result in a requirement to undertake a full consultation process as they would be classed as significant changes to the Council’s existing Scheme. This would be considered again as part of the review process for the 2020/21 Scheme.

 

In the current financial year 2018/2019, awards under the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme currently totalled £4,979,481 (£4,941,253 in 2018/19).  Although only part way through the current year, the current level of Council Tax Reduction remained broadly similar, despite the significant increases in Council Tax in April 2018.  Providing the economic circumstances remained broadly similar, there was no reason not to expect the level of support to increase greatly, however, further Council Tax increases would increase the upward pressure of the scheme.  The shortfall in Government grant at the introduction of Council Tax Support had been met by a reduction of over 10% in expenditure since the grant level had been frozen at 90% of 2012/13 Council Tax Benefit expenditure (£5.7m).

 

The report included a breakdown of the caseload and awards in respect of each group at the end of December 2018.

 

If any changes were considered to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, these could only apply to Working Age applicants.  Only 49% of applicants fell into this category.  This would also trigger the legal requirement to undertake a formal consultation process to amend the Council’s Scheme.

 

The current Scheme in its present state continued to provide those residents in South Lakeland on the lowest income the maximum amount of support with their Council Tax liabilities.  In common with all other Cumbrian local authorities, maintaining South Lakeland’s current Scheme for April 2019 kept South Lakeland’s position as one of only 37 councils offering a fully funded Council Tax reduction scheme for working age claimants.

 

In moving the recommendation contained within the report, the Portfolio Holder acknowledged that the cost to the Authority of the Scheme was significant, however, supported the Council’s objective of alleviating poverty.  This was not something that the Council had to do, but chose to, in so doing helping to protect the poorest and most vulnerable residents in the District.  Councillor Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, seconded the proposal.

 

Councillors Matt Severn and Graham Vincent, Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, expressed pride in supporting the Scheme which would assist in combatting inequality and help the most vulnerable resident of South Lakeland.

 

Councillor Dixon closed by saying that the Scheme demonstrated the Council’s commitment to look after those who were vulnerable.  He pointed out that South Lakeland was one of only 37 authorities in a position to have such a scheme due to the sound fiscal management of the authority’s finances.

 

It was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is the most appropriate scheme for this Council for the financial year commencing 1st April 2019, subject to the Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Finance Portfolio Holder, being authorised to:-

 

(1)        make all necessary updates to this Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme to comply with any statutory requirements that may be issued by Central Government;

 

(2)        make all necessary amendments to the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme to uprate the allowances and premiums in accordance with Revised HB Circular issued in December 2018 by the Department of Work and Pensions; and

 

(3)        publish the updated scheme in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 2012.

Lead officer: Michael Fisher


26/02/2019 - Council Plan ref: 3985    For Determination

The Council Plan sets out a vision, underpinned by three priorities that will guide how we work together with partners to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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.  Monitoring the success of the Council Plan through scorecards informed improvements and ensured Council services address the needs of residents in an open and transparent way.

 

The Plan had been developed following meetings held with Cabinet Members and officers.  Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the Plan on 11 January 2019 and the views and identified improvements raised at that meeting had further informed its development.  The Plan had been approved by Cabinet, on 6 February 2019, for recommendation to Council for adoption.

 

In presenting the report, Councillor Archibald took the opportunity to commend the remarkable work being carried out by the Council in relation to a number of areas, including Kerbside Recycling, Parks and Playgrounds, Housing, the Handyman Scheme and Refugee Settlement.  He praised the partnership work being carried out and the excellent results achieved with regard to parks and playgrounds, for example at Waterhead.  The Council’s grants to community groups had assisted in attracting additional funding for such projects.  He pointed out that the Council would face challenges in trying to implement the aspirations of the new Plan, which would require collaboration across tiers of government.  In closing, Councillor Archibald referred to the issue of poverty which was emphasised within the new Plan.  He hoped that all Members were proud of both what the Council had achieved in the past and what it aimed to deliver in the future.  Councillor Archibald moved that the Council Plan 2019-2024 be adopted and was seconded by Councillor Peter Thornton.

 

Councillor Vivienne Rees expressed support for the new Council Plan and raised the issue of the increase in the aging population in the area and the importance of the provision of suitable facilities and services, such as outdoor trim gyms, to maintain their health and wellbeing.

 

Councillor Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, pointed out that a large part of the Council Plan related to Health and Wellbeing.  He also drew attention to his ongoing work with town and parish councils in relation to localism and reminded Members that “working together” was at the heart of the Plan.  He took the opportunity to express gratitude for the work and assistance provided by town and parish councils which were the frontline of civil society.

 

Councillor Peter Thornton commended this second Plan and thanked the Leader and Cabinet for their work in its development.

 

Councillor Graham Vincent, Environment Portfolio Holder, pointed out that the Council Plan had been developed to address the challenges faced in the coming years.

 

Whilst opposition Members supported a lot of what was contained within the Plan, they were unable to support it in its entirety and did not necessarily agree on the ranking of the priorities, and Councillor Berry emphasised the fact that people were more interested in the outputs.

 

RESOLVED – That the Council Plan 2019-2024 be adopted as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Note – Council adjourned for a break at 8.00 p.m. and reconvened at 8.10 p.m.

Lead officer: Paul Mountford


26/02/2019 - Council Policy on Climate Change ref: 3982    For Determination

The corporate Council Policy on Climate Change is adopted to form part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 on Climate Change.

 

Councillor Archibald thanked Councillor Jones for her leadership on the issue of Climate Change and M/s Kelly for her representation demonstrating commitment to the cause.  Councillor Archibald drew attention to the catastrophe which was unfolding worldwide through, for example violent weather, flooding and loss of livelihood.  The current trajectory was becoming ever more dramatic, suggesting the potential for millions to be without water, the spread of disease, that the coral reef would die, the weather would become more violent and sea levels would rise.  Past forecasts had been too conservative and there was a need for all to take responsibility and to act now.  Councillor Archibald stressed that the Council took this responsibility seriously and drew attention to the action list which had been drawn up and to how both Councillor Jones and himself had travelled throughout the district to talk with communities to seek suggestions to expand the list.  He urged Members to work together to tackle the emergency.

 

Councillors Eamonn Hennessy, Peter Thornton, Roger Bingham and Anne Hall also spoke in support.  This issue was beginning to resonate strongly with people and now was the time to show commitment and take positive action on this non-political topic, all Members and officers working together to effect change.  Councillor Anne Hall, also in support, referred to inconsistencies in the bus service provided in her ward, and further stressed the need for dialogue between all tiers of authorities.

 

A vote was taken on adoption of the corporate Council Policy on Climate change and it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That the corporate Council Policy on Climate Change be adopted as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Note – Discussion and voting on the second Notice of Motion included at Agenda Item No.16, Climate Emergency 2019, took place at Minute No.C/72 below.

Lead officer: Dan Hudson, Paul Mountford


26/02/2019 - 2019/20 to 2023/24 Budget ref: 3987    For Determination

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 incorporating the Chief Finance Officer's Advice on the Robustness of Estimates and the Adequacy of Reserves.

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 budget had been proposed by opposition Members and closed in saying that the Budget before Council was the right budget for the people of South Lakeland.  This was the outcome of a long process of work over the past nine months and Councillor Jarvis thanked officers for their hard work.

 

Councillor Jarvis moved the recommendations contained within the report.  He was seconded by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, who thanked all involved in the work on the Budget.  He stressed that work would continue on finding savings and pointed out that the Customer Connect Programme was on track to deliver a saving of £1.55m.  He commended the contents of the Capital Programme which supported projects throughout the District.

 

Councillor Ben Berry explained that in previous years, the alternative budgets presented by the opposition, had been condemned, their contents then being adopted and implemented in the following year by the administration,  He drew attention to the original budget for New Road of £430,000 which had subsequently been revised to £286,000; to the £340,000 for car park ticket machines following which most of the functionality had been removed; to K Village and the loss of £100,000; and to the cost of £47,000 relating to the error regarding disabled parking administration.  Councillor Berry alluded to the plans for the refurbishment of South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall which, he suggested, was a poor way to spend Council Tax payers’ money.  He referred to the contents of the Corporate Financial Monitoring Report discussed at Minute No.C/73 above and expressed concern at the figures shown for the two main services provided by the Council, Planning, showing a £24,000 overspend on staffing and an income shortfall of £128,000, and Waste Collection, showing an overspend of £128,000.  Councillor Berry drew attention to the section within the report on Government funding and highlighted a number of areas where increases or additional grants had been allocated, for example the Rural Services Delivery Grant, reimbursement for the additional cost of Small Business Rate Relief and Brexit costs.  He elaborated on the contents of the previous alternative budgets proposed by the opposition and subsequently implemented by the administration, for example Wifi for town centres; reduced charges for under-used car parks; Braithwaite Fold Caravan Site works; and Building Control Budget, however, pointed out that the only thing which had not adopted by the administration was keeping the Council Tax low.  Councillor Berry closed, outlining the aspirations of opposition Members to turn the Council into a real environmental force for good, focussing on good jobs, celebrating tourism and delivering the A590 economic corridor and keeping the Council Tax low and cancelling the South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall redevelopment, instead investing in the people of South Lakeland.

 

Councillor Matt Severn spoke in support of the Budget, in particular praising the inclusion of £6m within the Capital Programme in relation to loans to housing associations utilising the Right to Buy receipts accumulated to date and the £461,000 in relation to developing additional homelessness accommodation for families.  He also commended the £9.2m in relation to Ulverston Leisure Centre.

 

Councillor Chris Hogg, although grateful for Government funding, however, also drew attention to vast cuts in Government grants to local authorities.  He highlighted the devastating results of a 0% rise in Council Tax at Northamptonshire Council and explained that there was an additional cost for delivery of services in rural areas.

 

In response to a query raised by Councillor David Webster, the Director People and Places provided clarification with regard to the contents of the revised copies of Appendix No.4 to the report, Pay Policy Statement 2019/20.  He reported that the Statement had been considered and recommended to full Council for approval by the Human Resources Committee on 12 February 2019.  He explained the details of the new arrangements relating to Statutory Officer Remuneration.  With regard to the Monitoring Officer role, an additional allowance of 10% of annual salary would be paid to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist, with an additional allowance of 5% of annual salary being paid to the Deputy Monitoring Officer.  Likewise, an additional allowance of 10% of annual salary would be paid to the Finance Lead Specialist with regard to the role of Section 151 Officer, and an additional allowance of 5% of annual salary to the Deputy Section 151 Officer.

 

Councillor Peter Thornton referred to a number of previous decisions voted against by opposition Members, for example Mintworks.  He stressed that the modern facilities which would be offered by the refurbishment of South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall would make savings.  He expressed support for the Budget.

 

Councillor Jarvis pointed out that the Council’s Waste Collection Service was extremely well-rated.  He stressed the fact that the refurbishment of South Lakeland House/Kendal Town Hall was not only for use by the District Council and drew attention to the potential impacts of not carrying out the work resulting in a year on year cost to the Council Tax payer.  Councillor Jarvis again commended the Budget to Members.

 

The Solicitor to the Council provided additional clarification with regard to the revised Appendix 4 circulated at the start of the item, pointing out that the figure shown within the section on Statutory Officer Remuneration for the allowance for the Returning Officer in respect of District and Parish Council elections now read £3,538.68 and not £3,327.84 as shown in the Appendix attached to the report.  She also clarified that the Monitoring Officer and Section 151 officer and deputy roles would transfer from 1 June 2019.

 

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; Brian Cooper; Tom Harvey; John Holmes; Kevin Holmes; Helen Irving; and Kevin Lancaster.

 

The following Members abstained (2) – Councillors Anne Hall and Amanda Rigg.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        a Net Revenue Budget for 2019/20 of £14,005,200, as set out in Section 2 of the Draft Budget Book (Appendix 1 to the report) be adopted;

 

(2)        the £5 (2.6%) increase in the Band D Council Tax to £195.63 for District Council Services for 2019/20 be approved as part of a balanced revenue budget;

 

(3)        the detailed service budgets as set out in Section 3 of the Draft Budget Book be approved;

 

(4)        the latest Collection Fund Estimates, Parish Council precepts and Parish Council taxes for 2019/20, as set out in Section 4 of the Draft Budget Book, be noted;

 

(5)        the Capital Programme, as set out in Section 5 of the Draft Budget Book, be approved;

 

(6)        the Reserves, as set out in Section 6 of the Draft Budget Book, be approved;

 

(7)        the Fees and Charges Book for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report, be approved;

 

(8)        the Chief Finance Officer’s Statutory Report on setting the 2019/20 Budget, as set out in Appendix 3 to the report, be noted;

 

(9)        the Statutory Pay Policy Statement, as set out in the revised Appendix 4 to the report circulated at the meeting, be adopted and published; and

 

(10)      it be noted that the proposals contained in the report have been incorporated into the Procurement Schedule, Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management Framework elsewhere on the agenda.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Lee Hurst, Helen Smith


26/02/2019 - Calculating and Setting the 2019/20 Council Tax ref: 3988    For Determination

Report setting details of the proposed Council Tax for 2019/20

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 Parish Councils;

 

(b)        £53,465,545.00 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act; including Revenue Support Grant and retained Business Rates;

 

(c)        £10,596,694.40 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated in accordance with section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year (Item R - P in the formula in Section 31B of the Act);

 

(d)        £232.83 being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R) all divided by Item T(1(a) above) calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including parish precepts);

 

(e)        £1,692,890.40 being the aggregate of all special items (parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per the attached Appendix C to the report); and

 

(f)        £195.63 being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its District to which no parish precept relates.

 

(4)        it be noted that the County Council and the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner have provisionally issued precepts to the Council in accordance with Section 40 of the Act for each category of dwellings in the Council’s district as indicated in the Appendix to these minutes;

 

(5)        the Council, in accordance with Sections 30 and 36 of the Act, hereby sets the aggregate amounts shown in the Appendix to these minutes as the amounts of Council Tax for 2019/20 for each part of its District and for each of the categories of dwellings; and

 

(6)        it be determined that the Council’s basic amount of Council Tax for 2019/20 is not excessive in accordance with principles approved under Section 52ZB of the Act.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Michael Fisher


26/02/2019 - Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 3 2018/19 ref: 3984    For Determination

Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 3 2018/19

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 the Council continued to incur expenditure and receive income in the form of Housing Benefit to cover the costs of lettings.  It was, therefore, necessary to establish interim budgets for the remainder of 2018/19 to ensure proper authority to incur expenditure was in place.  Council was, therefore, being asked to approve the creation of a £140,000 expenditure budget for the Social Lettings scheme, along with a corresponding £140,000 income budget for only the 2018/19 financial year, with a commitment from management to review service provision in future years, as recommended by Cabinet on 6 February 2019.

 

Councillor Jarvis closed, thanking officers of the Finance Team for their work and in particular to the Chief Accountant who would soon be leaving the Authority.  He expressed gratitude to the officers for their work in highlighting the challenges in the budgets and allowing the Management Team to take corrective action.

 

Councillor Jarvis moved the recommendations contained within the report.  He was seconded by Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, who pointed out that the report demonstrated that the Council Plan was being delivered within budget and that the Council was in a comfortable financial position.  Councillor Archibald echoed thanks to the Finance Team.

 

In response to a query raised by Councillor John Holmes, the Director People and Places provided reassurance with regard to the Development Control salary overspend £24,000 and income shortfall of £128,000 relating to planning applications.  It had been necessary for a number of temporary appointments to be made in order to meet a shortfall in staff, however, the variances in budget were being managed and the service being brought back into line.

 

Councillor Pat Bell queried the underspend of £80,000 on Community Grants and activities, explaining that she was aware of several applications which had been made for grants.  She was advised that a written response would be provided.

 

Councillor Helen Irving referred to the Capital Programme monitoring document at Appendix 2 and the Festival Infrastructure Scheme which showed that £24,000 was being used for the development of lamp post banners in Kendal.  She enquired why no allocation was shown for Ulverston and was offered a written response.

 

Councillor Ben Berry queried the variances relating to Kerbside Recycling which was projected to be overspent by £128,000, with an £80,000 overspend forecast on salaries and a £35,000 underspend on advertising.  He expressed dissatisfaction with the  management of the service and, in addition, enquired how much of the Council’s waste was exported overseas.  Councillor Jarvis explained that the overspend on the salary budget was largely due to the practice of reducing salary budgets by 4% to reflect turnover but that this may not be appropriate in this instance where it was necessary to ensure services were provided and would be reviewed for the future.  He did not accept Councillor Berry’s comments regarding the service and advised that the Council did not send any waste abroad.  Councillor Archibald resisted Councillor Berry’s comments with regard to the Recycling Service and highlighted its good ratings.  He felt that it was unrealistic to criticise a service based on the figures shown within a financial report and pointed out the difficulties of rolling out Kerbside Recycing within rural areas.  Councillor Dyan Jones also expressed disappointment in Councillor Berry’s comments with regard to a successful and highly rated service.

 

It was, subsequently

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the contents of the report be noted; and

 

(2)        the budget changes to increase the income and expenditure budgets by £140,000, as outlined in paragraph 3.5.1 to the report and outlined above be approved.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Lee Hurst, Helen Smith


26/02/2019 - 2019/20 Procurement Strategy and Procurement Schedule ref: 3989    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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.

Lead officer: Helen Smith


26/02/2019 - Notices of Motion ref: 3992    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 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.


26/02/2019 - Treasury Management and Capital Strategies 2019/20 - 2023/24 ref: 3990    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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.

Lead officer: Claire Read


26/02/2019 - Senior Management Restructure ref: 3991    For Determination

To update Council on recruitment to the Senior Management Structure

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 26/02/2019 - Council

Decision published: 11/03/2019

Effective from: 26/02/2019

Decision:

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 the opportunity to commend those officers who would be leaving the Authority, in particular the current Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) and Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer), and expressed thanks for their work over the past years.  The Chief Executive welcomed Councillor Berry’s comments and explained that Members would have an opportunity to show their appreciation to those officers who had chosen different paths at a future time.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the update on the Customer Connect Programme and recruitment to the Senior Management Structure be received; and

 

(2)        the following be noted:-

 

(a)        the following appointments, with effect from 1 April 2019:-

 

·         David Sykes as Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources; and

·         Simon Rowley as Director of Customer and Commercial Services; and

 

(b)        the transitional arrangements, as set out at paragraph 3.4 and 3.5 of the report and outlined above.

Lead officer: Debbie Storr