Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 19 December 2017 6.30 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal. View directions

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

C/53

Minutes pdf icon PDF 290 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 12 October 2017 (copy attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 12 October 2017.

C/54

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 before the commencement of the meeting.  Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.

 

(1)        Questions and Representations

 

            To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.

 

(2)        Deputations and Petitions

 

            To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions, representations, deputations or petitions have been received from members of the public in respect of this meeting.

C/55

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/56

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/57

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 to Members.

 

The Chairman referred to the Budget Briefing Session which had been held prior to the commencement of the meeting and took the opportunity to raise the issue of the timing of such sessions and Member availability.  He asked Members wishing to comment or put forward suggestions to pass these on to either himself or to the Monitoring Officer.

C/58

Councillor Resignation, Political Balance and Committee Places pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To note the revised political balance calculation following the resignation of Councillor Keith Hurst-Jones as Burneside Ward Member and that since the resignation is within six months of the 3 May 2018 elections there will be no by election to fill this vacancy. An updated committee list will be circulated prior to the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the recent resignation of Councillor Keith Hurst-Jones as Burneside Ward Member, the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) asked Council to note the revised political balance calculation and advised that, since the resignation had been within six months of the 3 May 2018 elections, there would not be a by-election to fill the vacancy.  Prior to the commencement of the meeting and following consultation and agreement with Group Leaders, Members had been provided with a revised copy of the document, “Size and Seats to be allocated to Political Groups on Committees” together with an updated list of committee memberships.

 

The political make-up of the Council was now as follows:–

 

Liberal Democrat – 31 Members

Conservative – 16 Members

Labour – 2 Members

Independent – 1 Member

One Vacancy

 

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

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the revised size of the committees and the seats of each committee allocated to political groups as set table set out below:-

 

 

Liberal Democrat

Conservative

Labour

Independent

Committees (68 places)

42

22

3

1

Audit (7)

4

2

0

1

Human Resources (9)

6

3

0

0

Licensing Regulatory (15)

9

5

1

0

Overview and Scrutiny (12)

7

4

1

0

Planning (18)

11

6

1

0

Standards (7)

5

2

0

0;

 

(2)        seats on those committees that are not subject to political balance rules remain as set out below:-

 

 

Liberal Democrat

Conservative

Labour

Independent

Committees (31 places)

 

 

 

 

Lake Administration (24 Members in total – 16 District Councillors)

10

5

1

0

Licensing (15)

9

5

1

0; and

 

(3)        nominations of Councillors to serve on each committee, as circulated at the meeting.

C/59

Report from the Independent Remuneration Panel for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To consider adoption of the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Members’ Allowances with effect from 1 April 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr David Holden, Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP), was invited to present the Panel’s report to Council. The report detailed recommendations for Members’ allowances for 2018/19, namely:-

 

           an increase up to a maximum of 1% on the Basic Allowance for 2018/19 to bring it up to £4,038 per annum;

 

           no change to existing Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) apart from the removal of an allowance for the Vice-Chairman of the Council;

 

           other than the Group Leaders’ Allowance, Members should receive no more than one SRA;

 

           out of County Mileage Allowance to remain part of the single travel allowance scheme as per the previous year;

 

           travel expenses to be in accordance with the maximum rates set by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs without attracting a tax charge (currently 45p per mile), this to apply to the first 150 miles of a return journey regardless of the destination and 25p per mile thereafter;

 

           subsistence expenses to increase by Retail Price Index as at 1st April 2018;

 

           no change to Childcare/Dependant Carers’ Allowance. Payments to remain at a maximum allowance of £15 per hour.  The Allowance to be paid from the time the recipient leaves home to time of return; and

 

           co-optees’ Allowance be increased by up to a maximum of 1% to bring it up to £37.63 per meeting

 

Mr Holden made reference to the good response which had been received from Members.  The Panel was grateful for this input which had assisted in informing discussion.

 

In proposing that the recommendations put forward by the IRP be adopted, Councillor Giles Archibald expressed thanks to Mr Holden and the Panel for their work.  Councillor David Williams seconded the motion.

 

Members echoed their thanks to the IRP for the independent assessment and, on the whole, expressed support for the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED - That the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel and the Members’ Allowance Scheme for 2018/19, as attached at Appendix B of the Panel Report, be adopted with effect from 1 April 2018.

C/60

Report on Proposed Amendments to the Recruitment Scheme for Independent Remuneration Panel Members pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To consider proposed amendments to the eligibility criteria to become a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report on proposed amendments to the recruitment scheme for Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) members.

 

The eligibility criteria for prospective IRP members had last been updated in 2014 in response to concerns raised regarding the perceived independence of the IRP members. The changes made had included precluding an application from anyone who worked for any authority anywhere within the country and requiring any member of the IRP to reside within South Lakeland. Since the changes had been implemented, there had been two recruitment processes, both of which had received a low number of applications.

 

This report proposed that the IRP eligibility criteria be amended as below:-

 

·        to require any candidates not to be a member of any authority that the IRP makes recommendations for;

·        to have a prohibition on those working for any authority in the County of Cumbria rather than any authority anywhere in the country; and

·        to allow any person who has previously been a member of the IRP but not completed a four year term (or a subsequent four year term) the ability to reapply without the need to wait for four years to have elapsed since the last term of membership provided that the initial term of membership will be of a period equivalent to the amount of time remaining in the partially completed four year term.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald referred to the fact that there was no political involvement in the recruitment process for IRP members and expressed thanks to those officers involved.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Jonathan Brook, seconded by Councillor David Williams, and

 

RESOLVED – That the amendments to the eligibility criteria to become a member of the Independent Remuneration Panel, as set out in the report, be approved to take effect from 1 January 2018.

C/61

Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update) (Budget and Policy Framework Decision) pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 update) for adoption as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A revised version of Appendix 1 had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

Councillor Brenda Gray, the Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder, presented the 2018 update of the Council Plan 2014-2019.

 

The Council Plan outlined the Council’s vision and priorities and how they would be delivered. It summarised progress made in the past year, plus key projects which would help to achieve the Council’s four priorities. The measures of success had been updated and amended as part of the 2018 review and would continue to be reported through quarterly performance monitoring reports.

 

The development of the Council Plan had been realigned with the Council Plan and Budget Process Timetable for 2018-19 approval.

 

Councillor Gray moved that the Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update) be adopted as part of the Council’s Policy Framework and the proposal was seconded by Councillor Matt Severn.

 

A lengthy debate ensued.  Councillors Peter Thornton, Jonathan Brook, Ian Stewart, Sue Sanderson, Giles Archibald, Annie Rawlinson, Stan Collins, Graham Vincent, Chris Hogg and Matt Severn each spoke in turn in support of the proposal.  They commended the Plan in terms of its excellent aspirations for the area with regard to the four priorities of Economy, Housing, Environment and Culture and Wellbeing.  Reference was also made to the fact that the Authority was leading in terms of digital innovation and on how the Customer Connect Programme would make changes and improvements in the way the Council worked.

 

Councillors Ben Berry and James Airey, although in support of some of the content of the document, expressed views that the main priority of the Plan should be with regard to the economy of South Lakeland and that New Road Car Park should be re-opened  Councillor Bingham pointed out that the low unemployment figures within the area were due to current Government policy and a sound economy throughout the country and raised that there was a need for co-operative working between political groups.  He also expressed concern regarding the Council having put in funding towards play areas mainly within the Kendal area.

 

A request having been received from the requisite number of Councillors, the following vote on the motion was recorded:-

 

The following Members voted in favour (27) – Councillors Giles Archibald, Jonathan Brook, John Clough, Stephen Coleman, Stan Collins, Nick Cotton, Joss Curwen, Philip Dixon, Sheila Eccles, Sylvia Emmott, Shirley Evans, Clare Feeney-Johnson, Alvin Finch, Brenda Gray, Chris Hogg, Vicky Hughes, Andrew Jarvis, Dyan Jones, Eric Morell, Annie Rawlinson, Vivienne Rees, Sue Sanderson, Matt Severn, Ian Stewart, Peter Thornton, Graham Vincent and Mary Wilson.

 

The following Members voted against (9) – Councillors James Airey, Ben Berry, Roger Bingham, Brian Cooper, Anne Hall, Tom Harvey, John Holmes, Amanda Rigg and David Williams.

 

There were no abstentions.

 

The motion was carried and it was

 

RESOLVED – That the Council Plan 2014-2019 (2018 Update) be adopted as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

C/62

Corporate Financial Monitoring Quarter 2, 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the financial position of the Council as at 30 September 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Giles Archibald, presented the second quarter financial monitoring report which provided details on the financial position of the Council at 30 September 2017.

 

In presenting the report, Councillor Archibald expressed disappointment at Councillor Roger Bingham’s comments during the previous item and asked how good Government policies could result in 128,000 children being classified as homeless this Christmas.  Councillor Bingham took some comments made as a personal affront and asked Councillor Archibald to retract them.  Councillor Archibald said that he retracted any, if personal, comments that may have come across as such.  Councillor Bingham thanked Councillor Archibald for this retraction and asked that it be placed on record.

 

Councillor Archibald drew particular attention to the projected £415,000 underspend by year end.  He felt that this was a thorough report which demonstrated the Authority’s prudential financial management.  He moved the recommendations contained within the report, drawing attention to the need for Council to approve a cost neutral budget adjustment within the Waste and Recycling Service, and was seconded by Councillor Jonathan Brook.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the following be noted:-

           

            (a)        the contents of the report; and

 

            (b)        the revised approved procurement schedule, as at Appendix 4 to the report; and

 

(2)        the cost neutral budget adjustment within the Waste and Recycling Service, as set out in 3.1.1d to the report be approved.

C/63

2018/19 to 2022/23 Draft Budget (Budget and Policy Framework Decision) pdf icon PDF 310 KB

To consider the draft budget proposals for the financial years 2018/19 to 2022/23.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, presented a first draft budget for 2018/19 to 2022/23. The development of the Budget was an iterative process which would take place until the meeting of Council on 27 February 2018. The assumptions, proposals and calculations included within the report would be subject to change as more information from internal and external sources was provided and decisions around final proposals could be made.

 

Councillor Archibald was confident that this was a sound budget and highlighted in particular the continued freeze on hourly and daily car park charges, the continuation of low cost early bird tariffs in Kendal and the potential for an increase in Council Tax on empty homes.  He alluded to uncertainty regarding future government grants and the need to protect the Authority with regard to future potential reductions.  He drew attention to the amended Capital Programme and, in particular, to the request for £140,000 to support upgrades to the Council’s car parking machines to make them credit/debit card compliant.

 

Councillor Archibald moved that the recommendations contained within the report be approved and was seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent.

 

Councillor David Williams expressed concern with regard to the fact that whilst there were proposals for car parking schemes in the Grange area, there did not appear to be any proposals for the Bowness and Windermere areas.  A number of Members expressed support for what was felt to be a good, cautious and prudent budget.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the proposals contained in the report to achieve a balanced budget in 2018/19 based on the latest information be noted, this includes the proposed fees and charges for 2018/19, and it be noted that the development of the budget is an iterative process and the assumptions, proposals and calculations will be subject to change;

 

(2)        the projected deficit position of circa £1.2m in 2019/20 rising to circa £1.3m by 2022/23 (reducing to circa £0.5m when the full impact of the £850k Customer Connect saving is included) be noted;

 

(3)        the amended 2017/18 Capital Programme as presented at Appendix 6, noting that the future years programme is still under development, be approved; and

 

(4)        it be noted that proposals (1) and (2) will form the basis of statutory consultation with stakeholders.

C/64

Review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Budget and Policy Framework Decision) pdf icon PDF 205 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 2018.

Minutes:

A report asking Members to consider whether the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme was the most appropriate for the Council for the financial year commencing 1 April 2018 was presented by the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Giles Archibald.

 

In moving the recommendations contained within the report, Councillor Archibald reminded Members that the Council was not required to have a scheme at this level, but pointed out that this was a small way in which it could make a difference for vulnerable residents in the District.  He was proud to announce that South Lakeland was one of only 37 Councils operating such a relief programme.  He was seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent, Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder.

 

A number of Members spoke in support of the scheme which was aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the most vulnerable people in the district.  In response to a query raised by Councillor Ian Stewart regarding young people leaving care in Cumbria, the Revenues and Benefits Service Manager confirmed that South Lakeland’s scheme, dependant on the care leaver’s income, offered up to 100% support to these individuals.  The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) was aware of ongoing County-wide discussions and Councillor Archibald undertook to ensure that full written details were provided to all Members.

 

RESOLVED – That the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is the most appropriate scheme for this Council for the financial year commencing 1 April 2018, 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 Housing Benefit Circular when it is issued in December 2017/January 2018 by the Department of Work and Pensions; and

 

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

 

Note – The Chairman took the opportunity, on behalf of Members, to express thanks to Lyndsey Williams, Shared Benefits Manager, who would shortly be leaving the Council’s employment following ten years’ service, firstly in Human Resources prior to joining Revenues and Benefits.  Lyndsey had been one of the officers who had created and championed the South Lakeland Council Tax Reduction Scheme and had also played a part in ensuring that the Council had received its first Unqualified Housing Benefit Subsidy claim for many years this year.  The Chairman wished her every success for her future career.

C/65

Review of the Local Code of Governance pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To consider the results of the review of the Council’s Local Code of Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ian Stewart, Vice-Chairman of the Audit Committee, presented the results of the review of the Council’s Local Code of Governance. The main changes arising from the review had been to tidy up the local code provisions that referred to partnership working and to make these more principles-based with reference to a Partnership Guidance document.  As part of the annual review, officers would also update the partnerships register to evidence that the principles of the local code were being followed and that partnership guidance was being considered.

 

Councillor Stewart moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Andrew Jarvis.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the review of the Local Code of Governance be noted; and

 

(2)        the amended Local Code, as at Appendix 2 to the report, be approved.

C/66

The South Lakeland (Electoral Changes) Order 2017 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To note the South Lakeland (Electoral Changes) Order 2017, the Schedule of Elections from 2018 to 2021 and the order of retirement of councillors.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report setting out the South Lakeland (Electoral Changes) Order 2017, the Schedule of Elections from 2018 to 2021 and the order of retirement of councillors.

 

Following a proposal by Councillor Sue Sanderson, seconded by Councillor Ian Stewart, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the making of the South Lakeland (Electoral Changes) Order 2017; and

 

(2)        the Schedule of Elections from 2018 to 2021 and order the retirement of councillors.

C/67

Polling District and Polling Place Review pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To consider the findings of an interim review of polling districts and polling places.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The findings of an interim review of polling districts and polling places was presented by the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer).

 

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England had conducted an electoral review of South Lakeland District Council and had published recommendations for new wards across the area, as well as new parish wards in Kendal and Windermere.  As a consequence of these changes, the current scheme of polling districts did not meet the legislative requirement of each parish being a polling district.  In addition, two polling stations in the area had become permanently unavailable in the period since the last review.

 

Consequently it had been decided to conduct an interim polling district review. Due to the short lead-in time for implementing changes before the May election, a decision had been made to only review those polling districts and places where changes were deemed necessary to aid the administration of elections. A full review would be carried out after October 2018. The recommendations of the review were contained within Appendix 1 of the report.

 

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed Members that, since writing the report, further representations had been received regarding the possibility of reinstating a polling station in Oxenholme.  She indicated that she would try to address this prior to May 2018.

 

In moving the recommendations contained within the report, Councillor Sue Sanderson thanked the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) for her work on the review.  The proposals were seconded by Councillor Dyan Jones.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald proposed an amendment to Recommendation (1) as follows:-

 

“(1)      approves the revised polling district and polling places changes as detailed in the report and requests the Returning Officer to consider further the provision of a polling station in Oxenholme with regard to Polling District BR at Kendal Oxenholme.”

 

The proposed amendment was seconded by Councillor Brenda Gray.  Both Councillors Sanderson and Jones agreed to take the suggested amendment on board within the substantive motion.

 

Councillors Roger Bingham and Brian Cooper, District Ward Members for Burton and Holme, both referred to polling stations within their district which they felt to be inappropriate due to either location or with regard use on polling day for additional purposes.  The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) referred to the guidance to be followed in selecting suitable polling stations and to the associated issues.  She appreciated that some of the stations were situated in remote locations and explained that every endeavour was made to ensure full use of the venue on the day.  She advised Members that the full review due to be carried out in 2018 would allow an opportunity for representations to be put forward.  Councillor Gray who was District Ward Member for Kendal Oxenholme and Natland stressed the importance of the need for a polling station in Oxenholme and drew attention to the difficulties currently faced by those having to travel from Oxenholme to Natland Village Hall in order to cast their vote.

 

RESOLVED –  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/67

C/68

Protocol on Good Practice in Licensing for Members pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the draft Protocol on Good Practice in Licensing for Members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Matt Severn, Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holder, presented a Protocol on Good Practice in Licensing for Members which accorded with legislation and best practice.  Councillor Severn moved that the Protocol be adopted and was seconded by Councillor Sheila Eccles, Chairman of the Licensing and Licensing Regulatory Committees.  Both thanked the Principal Food, Licensing and Safety Officer for her work in the production of the Protocol.

 

RESOLVED – That the Protocol on Good Practice in Licensing, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be adopted.

C/69

Public Participation in Planning Matters pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To consider a revised Planning Committee Public Participation Scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Wilson, Chairman of the Planning Committee, presented a report which reviewed the scheme of public participation in planning matters with a view to making it clearer to understand, fair and transparent for all parties involved in the planning process and easy to administer.  The report had been brought to Council having been recommended by the Planning Committee on 30 November 2017 (Minute P/106 (2017/18) refers) and following the subject having been considered at a workshop consisting of Members of the Planning Committee.  Councillor Wilson referred to Appendix 2, Proposed Public Participation in Planning Matters scheme, and the need for a slight amendment in the penultimate paragraph of the section named “How do I register to speak?” where it was suggested that the word “working” needed to be inserted between “48” and “hours”.  Councillor Wilson moved the recommendations within the report, and was seconded by Councillor Sylvia Emmott who raised the importance of the public having the ability to express their views on matters which affected their lives.

 

Some discussion took place with regard to the term “48 hours” which, it was felt, could be interpreted in a number of ways.  Although Members understood the intention of the phrase, they wished to ensure that this was written in a clear manner which could not be open to challenge.  The Solicitor to the Council reminded Members of the Chairman’s discretion regarding any ambiguities in applications to address the Planning Committee, however, confirmed that she would take this away and review the final wording in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee.  The Solicitor to the Council also undertook to look into arranging for an automated holding response to be sent to requests to speak which were submitted electronically.

 

Councillor Wilson highlighted the fact that, should the scheme be approved, it would be implemented on 1 January 2018.  However, in view of the fact that there was a Planning Committee scheduled to take place on 4 January, she explained that a flexible approach would be taken for that meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        subject to the clarification being made as discussed at the meeting, the revised Planning Committee Public Participation Scheme, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report, be approved for implementation with effect from 1 January 2018; and

 

(2)        the Solicitor to the Council be authorised, in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee, to make amendments to the Scheme that are necessary in order to address any minor corrections.

C/70

Composite Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 32 KB

(1)        To receive the Executive Reports from the Leader and Cabinet Members.

 

(2)        To deal with any questions by Members to the appropriate Cabinet Members on the content of the reports.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, introduced the Cabinet Members’ respective Mid Year 2017/18 Executive Reports.  In presenting the reports, Councillor Archibald expressed thanks to the Chief Executive and officers for the achievements made during 2017.  In addition, he thanked the leaders of the opposition groups for their contribution.  He thanked Councillor John Holmes for his work in relation to South Lakes Housing and asked him to convey his thanks to the other Board members and staff within that Organisation.  He thanked Councillors Ian Stewart and Nick Cotton and other county councillors for their collaborative work.  He finally expressed gratitude to all Members for their important part in the work of the Council and reminded them that they were all encouraged to come forward with ideas for schemes for the benefit of their communities.

 

Councillor Annie Rawlinson as Chairman of the Human Resources Committee took the opportunity to refer to the Council Organisation and People Portfolio Holder’s report and to commend the Human Resources Manager for his work in relation to the new Employee Assistance Programme and his aspiration to work towards South Lakeland District Council becoming an employer of choice.

 

RESOLVED – That the Mid Year 2017/18 Executive Reports be received.

C/71

Leader's Announcements and Cabinet Question Time (30 Minutes)

To receive announcements from the Leader and, in accordance with Paragraphs 10.2 and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, to deal with any questions to the Leader and/or Portfolio Holders on any topic which is within the jurisdiction or influence of the Council and is relevant to their Portfolio.  Any Member who poses a question will be entitled to ask one supplementary question on the same topic.

 

Members are encouraged to give 24 hours’ written notice of questions to the Solicitor to the Council.  If no notice is received, then the Portfolio Holder can reserve the right to give a written answer.  Where written notice of questions has been given, these will be taken first.  Should a Member wish to ask more than one question, questions should be listed in order of priority.  If more than one Member sends in a question, these will be taken in alphabetical order of Members’ names, alternated from meeting to meeting.  Each question and each response is restricted to three minutes.

Minutes:

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

 

From Councillor Dyan Jones to Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder – "The UK living wage aims to relieve 'in work' poverty created by stagnant wages and rising inflation with a higher hourly rate than the current legal minimum wage. Would Cllr Archibald tell us what ambitions there are to introduce this to this authority thus providing a model for other employers in the district to follow?"

 

Councillor Archibald responded by saying that the future increases in poverty as a result of restrictions on benefits and real wages was of great concern.  The Council wanted to set an example as a good employer, at the same time properly managing the resources provided by the Council Tax payer.  The current voluntary Living Wage Foundation rate at £8.75 per hour was in excess of the National Living Wage which employers were required to pay.  A few of the Council’s employees were paid less than voluntary living wage and Councillor Archibald suggested that he would like the Council to achieve a minimum wage rate which was equivalent to £8.75 an hour plus inflation by 2019/20.  He said that officers had been asked to build into the next iteration of the budget a phased process and for management in reviewing the salary structures to work towards realising this aspiration.

 

From Councillor Andrew Jarvis to Councillor Matt Severn, Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holder – “Recently UNESCO highlighted the need for alternatives to the private vehicles for travel in the Lake District. Yet we are seeing the government cutting investments in the line to Windermere; a new franchisee deteriorating service on the Lakes Line, with a sharp decline in user numbers; and the prospect of being bypassed by HS2. What is the Council’s position on the needs for sustainable rail transport for our community and visitors to our World Heritage Site?”

 

Councillor Severn explained that the recently awarded World Heritage Site to the Lake District National Park had highlighted more than ever the increasing need to improve and upgrade both capacity and frequency and modernisation on the Lakes Line, which was a critical asset for the economy of the North, providing a direct connection from Manchester and the West Coast Mainline to the very heart of the UNESCO English Lake District.

 

Growth projections for increasing visitor numbers, in particular international and overseas visitors, would re-enforce the need for better and more sustainable transport links. This included better and more frequent rail links (to the West Coast Mainline and Manchester Airport in particular), and better road and rail connections to Furness, the Western Lakes and the Cumbrian Coast. It would also generate a need for better and more sustainable traffic management within the District and particularly along the Windermere/Ambleside/Grasmere corridor.

 

Councillor Severn explained that the Council was:-

 

·        working with colleagues at the County Council and the Lakes Line Community Rail Partnership  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/71

C/72

Minutes of Meetings

To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 18 September and 24 November 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no comments or questions have been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 18 September and 24 November 2017.

C/73

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.

C/74

Urgent Decisions pdf icon PDF 112 KB

In accordance with Paragraph 17.3 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules, to receive details of any urgent Executive Decisions taken since the last scheduled meeting of Council on 12 October 2017.

Minutes:

Details of an urgent Executive Decision (CEX/68 (2017/18)), which had been taken with regard to the delegation of the final decision on whether the Council should join the Cumbria 100% business rate pilot and the content of any such bid, were reported, in accordance with paragraph 17.3 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedural Rules.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Giles Archibald, seconded by Councillor Sylvia Emmott, and

 

RESOLVED - That the urgent Executive Decision (CEX/68 (2017/18)) be noted.