Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 28 March 2018 6.30 p.m.

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

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

C/91

Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 27 February 2018 (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 27 February 2018.

C/92

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:

Mr David Fone addressed Council with regard to New Road Common and public concerns.  He suggested that it defied logic that the old coal tar tarmac or any surface tarmac would not be contaminated from the years of pollution from motor vehicles parking on the common land when the sub base was.

 

Mr Fone referred to the fact that the Council had obtained an absolute freehold registered title to the site in 2005 under the voluntary registration scheme and expressed the view that the elected Council was merely custodian of the land.

 

Mr Fone suggested that the land should have been secured and that full public consultation should then have taken place prior to imposing the current scheme and cost to the Town.  He made reference to the Cabinet minutes of 16 July 2008 which detailed the risks and felt that this could have been better managed by the Council.  He hoped that the people’s views would be taken into consideration for future large projects in the area.  Mr Fone referred to communication to the Council dated 22 February 2018 from the Senior Commons Adviser who had drawn attention to the number of calls from concerned residents and had pointed out that Natural England would advise, where changes in management to a common land were planned, that the landowner considered the contents of both Finding Common Ground and A Common Purpose which pointed the reader towards the importance of community consultation.  Work had commenced a few days later.

 

Mr Fone queried why the insurance issues had not been picked up in 2005 when the freehold had been obtained, as the risks remained the same then as now.

 

Mr Fone referred to legalities and drew attention to a statement by the Birmingham ELM Director that there was potentially a point to be made concerning the Council’s actions not being in accordance with the Commons Act 1899 and referring to Government guidance on the managing of common land which stated that under the Commons Act ‘any management or improvement a local authority carries out must be in the public interest, to conserve nature, the landscape or archaeology and to protect access rights.’  The Birmingham ELM Director had stated that the Council’s actions did not appear to be in accordance with this guidance, as there was a long history of the land providing a public benefit by way of car parking and, as such, its closure was arguably not in the public interest and even more the case given the information that there were no replacement provisions for other free car parks in the area which harmed the economic vitality of Kendal.

 

Mr Fone informed Council that he had had sight of three barristers’ reports which said that the development of New Road Common required planning permission, if only for its change of use.

 

Mrs Helen Jones also addressed the Council with regard to New Road Common and clarified that she was not the leader of any action group, nor a member and  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/92

C/93

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 Councillor Chris Hogg declared an interest in Minute No. C/96.

C/94

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/95

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 this being the end of the municipal year, with all-out District Elections scheduled to be held in May 2018.  He took the opportunity to thank all Members for their hard work and commitment and wished those who would not be returning well for the future.

C/96

South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Plan 2018/19 (Budget and Policy Framework Decision) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Plan 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Note – Councillor Chris Hogg declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item of business by virtue of his positions within the Community Safety Partnership, the Arts Council England and Applied Theatre in Cumbria.

 

The Public Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Philip Dixon, presented the new South Cumbria Community Partnership (CSP) Plan 2018/19 which had been approved by the CSP on 13 March 2018.  The Plan formed part of the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework and had been recommended to Council for adoption by Cabinet on 21 March 2018 (CEX/125 refers).

 

The priorities proposed within the Plan were:-

 

           alcohol and violent crime;

           child sexual exploitation;

           domestic abuse; and

           mental health.

 

Specific actions under the priorities would be worked up with partners, delivering projects designed to add value to current community safety initiatives and activities county-wide.  Funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner supported the delivery of projects which would be monitored, with outcomes being reported back to the CSP at their conclusion.  Twice yearly progress reports were provided to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Dixon highlighted the Partnership’s emphasis on crime prevention due to the reduction in police numbers over the last few years.  He referred to issues which had previously been highlighted at meetings by District Councillors and reported that these were due to be addressed by the Partnership.  Councillor Dixon took the opportunity to express thanks to Brendan Sweeney, Chairman, and Rob O’Connor, Vice-Chairman, of the Community Safety Partnership, for their work.  Councillor Dixon moved the recommendation that the Plan be adopted and was seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent who highlighted the importance of the Community Safety Partnership and the Plan, drawing particular attention to the issue of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking and the need to encourage engagement in recognition of the signals.

 

Members spoke in support of the Plan and welcomed the work of the Partnership which was seen as crucial to the wellbeing of the residents of South Lakeland.

 

RESOLVED – That the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Plan 2018/19 be adopted.

C/97

Request by Allithwaite Upper Parish Council to Change the Parish Name to Lindale and Newton in Cartmel Parish pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider a request by Allithwaite Upper Parish Council to change the parish name to Lindale and Newton in Cartmel Parish.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council presented a report detailing a request from Upper Allithwaite Parish Council seeking the District Council’s approval for a change of name of Upper Allithwaite Parish.  The Parish Council had proposed that the parish should be renamed Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel Parish as this provided a clearer description of the relevant geographical areas.

 

At the request of a Parish Council, the District Council had power under Section 75 of the Local Government Act 1972 to change the name of the parish, provided that no other changes were proposed.

 

Councillor Sue Sanderson, District Ward Member for Staveley-in-Cartmel, who attended both Upper Allithwaite and Lower Allithwaite parish councils, was in support of the change of name which reflected more appropriately the area represented.  Having moved the proposal for approval, she was seconded by Councillor Gill Gardner, District Ward Member for Holker.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the Parish of Upper Allithwaite be renamed Lindale and Newton-in-Cartmel Parish; and

 

(2)        a Notice be published in accordance with the statutory requirements detailed within the report.

C/98

Temporary Appointment to Broughton East Parish Council pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To note the temporary appointment of a District Councillor to Broughton East Parish Council to enable it to remain quorate pending further election/co-option to the Parish Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council presented a report asking Council to note a temporary District Councillor appointment to Broughton East Parish Council to enable it to remain quorate pending further election/co-option to the Parish Council.  The Parish Council had five councillors but, up until recently, only two councillors had remained and, therefore, in accordance with Section 91(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 and agreed procedure, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, had appointed Councillor Sue Sanderson to the Parish Council until such time as the Parish Council was quorate again.

 

In response to a query raised by Councillor Kevin Lancaster, the Solicitor to the Council advised that appointments/elections to the District Council and parish councils were not linked and so the appointment of Councillor Sanderson could continue until such time as the situation was remedied or an election was reached.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Giles Archibald, seconded by Councillor Graham Vincent and, subsequently

 

RESOLVED – That the temporary appointment of Councillor Sue Sanderson to the Broughton East Parish Council, as detailed within the report, be noted.

C/99

Annual Review of the Call-in and Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider the findings of the 2017/18 annual review of the operation of the Constitution’s call-in and urgency provisions.

Minutes:

In accordance with paragraph 16(j)(ii) of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, a report on the operation of the provisions relating to call-in and urgency during the municipal year 2017/18 was presented to Council by Councillor Dyan Jones, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Jones reported that the urgency procedure had been used twice in the previous twelve months for decisions on 26 April 2017 (Proposed Extension of Environmental Liability Insurance relating to 2012 Housing Transfer (CEX/140 (2016/17) refers)) and on 25 October 2017 (2018/19 Budget process Update Report (CEX/68 (2017/18) refers)).  During 2017/17, one Executive Decision had been called-in in relation to CEX/38 (New Road – Common Land) and CEX/39 (New Road – Common Land – Vision for landscaping).  An additional meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been called on 15 September 2017 to consider the call-in.  Following consideration at that meeting, the original decisions made by Cabinet had been accepted.

 

Councillor Dyan Jones moved the recommendation contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Sylvia Emmott.

 

RESOLVED – That the contents of the 2017/18 Annual Review of the Constitution’s Call-in and Urgency Provisions be noted.

C/100

Annual Review of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider suggested changes to the Constitution and the Council’s public participation and petitions schemes as part of the annual review process.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report on the Annual Review of the Constitution. She informed Members that one of her duties as Monitoring Officer was to monitor and review, on an annual basis, the operation of the Constitution to ensure that its aims and principles were given full effect.  The views of Members, Officers, parish councils and also the public had been sought and suggestions put forward had been considered by the Constitution Review Working Group.  The recommendations of the Working Group were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.  The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) drew particular attention to the fifth suggestion in Appendix 1 and the Group’s proposals with regard to the amalgamation of the Composite Report of the Cabinet and Leaders Announcements and Cabinet Question Time.  Whilst she had originally put forward the merging of the items to ensure clarity around procedure at Council meetings, the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) was not recommending the suggestion for verbal questions to be taken from the floor prior to written questions and also to moving the item to earlier in the agenda.  She had expressed the opinion that there was the potential for written questions not to be reached if questions from the floor took priority and had commented that written questions provided some structure to proceedings.  In addition, she had commented that the current agenda prioritisation worked well and had the flexibility to allow movement of agenda items in situations where there was a clear interest at the meeting in doing so.

 

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) highlighted a number of other amendments required which had become apparent during the process.  She also informed Members that the Audit Committee had conducted its own annual review of the Constitution and had, at its meeting on 6 December 2017, recommended a number of changes, as set out at Appendix 2 to the report.  In addition, she referred to a review which had been carried out of the Council’s various public participation schemes.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the findings of that review and had recommended the proposals to Council for approval (Appendix 3 to the report).  Lastly, the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) referred to a review of the Council’s Petitions Scheme which had been carried out following a request received as part of the Annual Review of the Constitution.  The proposed changes arising from the review of the Petitions Scheme were set out at Appendix 5 to the report.

 

Subject to approval by Council, the Constitution would be amended to take account of the changes.

 

Councillor Brenda Gray moved approval of the recommendations contained within the report, with the exception of Nos.(2) and (3) regarding the merger of the Cabinet Reports and Cabinet Question Time, the timeslot and time limit for the item and the order of verbal and written questions.  Councillor Gray was of the opinion that these decisions should be made  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/100

C/101

Composite Report of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 74 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 End of Year Update 2017/18 Executive Reports.  In presenting the reports, Councillor Archibald expressed thanks to the Members of the Cabinet for their hard work and pointed out that the reports demonstrated what work had been carried out by the Council during the past year.  He also thanked officers for their assistance in the delivery of the Council Plan and highlighted a number of achievements, including the provision of affordable housing, playgrounds and kerbside and plastic recycling.

 

Councillor David Williams referred to the report from the Culture, Media and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Matt Severn, and asked for clarification with regard to the statistic of 59% of people having rated South Lakeland News as the most popular way to receive information about the Council’s activities.  Councillor Severn undertook to respond in writing.

 

Councillor Shirley Evans also referred to Councillor Severn’s report and reference therein to South Lakeland District Council being included in future in meetings of Cumbria County Council’s Children and Young People’s Working Group.  She pointed out that this Group had always invited representation from South Lakeland District Council however that neither councillors nor officers had attended for some time.  She asked Councillor Severn to ensure that they attended in future.

 

Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe enquired from Councillor Severn if the Council would continue to provide support for Lightburn Park and, likewise, for Croftlands Park.  He also drew Councillor Severn’s attention to the dangerous potholes nearby Bardsea Leisure Park and the beach.  Councillor Severn undertook to investigate the matter.

 

RESOLVED – That the End of Year Update 2017/18 Executive Reports be received.

C/102

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 questions had been submitted to the meeting:-

 

From Councillor David Williams to the Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, Councillor Graham Vincent – Is The Council convinced that planning consent is not required for the works currently being carried out at New Road and if not why?

 

In response, Councillor Vincent advised that the Council was satisfied that planning consent was not required.  The interim works currently being undertaken were the breaking up of the tarmac surface and removal of waste materials; the importation of top soil; laying the land to grass and other greenery and the creation of two paths.  The work was simply a landscaping scheme and did not amount to development under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  There was no need for planning permission relating to a change of use because the car parking that took place there was unlawful and did not constitute a planning use.  The lawful use of the land was as a common.  The landscaping works were consistent with its lawful use as a common.

 

Councillor David Williams referred to having had sight of two separate Counsel’s Opinions on the subject, one which indicated that planning permission may be required depending upon the scope of works and the other indicating that the works did need planning permission.  He urged Councillor Vincent to seek legal advice on the point from Mr Tim Leader.

 

Councillor Vincent responded that he was satisfied with the Counsel’s Advice provided to the Council.

 

From Councillor Vicky Hughes to the Public Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Philip Dixon – I have heard about the obesity conference last week and the council’s healthy weight declaration, could Councillor Dixon elaborate on this for us please?

 

In response, Councillor Dixon reported on the Conference and advised Members that this was an extremely serious issue.  The Healthy Weight Declaration had been initiated to support local authorities and Cumbria County Council was leading the six district councils in the development and implementation of policies which promoted healthy weight.

 

Councillor Hughes supported the work being carried out, however, drew attention to the problem of anorexia and stressed the need to ensure that young children were not driven to believe that they should be underweight.

 

From Councillor Chris Hogg to the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Giles Archibald – Does the leader welcome the successful £3.29m Northern Cultural Regeneration fund bid from Cumbria LEP for the World Heritage Lake District proposal? And would he like to take this opportunity to congratulate the LEP, Lakeland Arts and the Wordsworth Trust on their success?

 

In response, Councillor Archibald highlighted that this was an exciting opportunity.  He was pleased that Lakeland Arts and the Wordsworth Trust had been recognised in this significant way and congratulated them for their project and Cumbria LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) for their collective bid which was one of just three projects across the north to win  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/102

C/103

Minutes of Meetings

To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 29 January and 9 March 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no comments or questions have been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 29 January and 9 March 2018.

C/104

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/105

Notice of Motion

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

 

"This council is deeply concerned about the number of second homes in our district.  This is having a devastating impact on some of our communities and restricts the opportunity of young people in our community to get on the housing ladder.  We note:

 

·         The recent proposals from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to significantly increase Council Tax on second homes.

·         The debate around considering extending the definition of 'empty homes' eligible for Council Tax premium to include those that are uninhabited.

·         Owners of second homes that register for business rates and then claim Small Business Rate Relief may make no financial contribution to their community.

·         In Wales, second homes need to be let for at least 70 days a year to register for business rates.

 

Therefore, this Council calls for changes to legislation to:

 

·         Extend the empty homes council tax premium of 100% to include homes uninhabited for more than 2 years.

·         Require second homes to be actually let for 70 days per year to register for business rates.

·         Allow councils to implement an additional charge on second homes, relating to the housing needs of the area.  The income from such charges being used to support the affected communities.

·         Permit planning authorities to treat the change of use of property from permanent residential to either second-home or holiday let as being a material change of use and, therefore, requiring appropriate planning permission."

 

(signed by Councillor Andrew Jarvis)

Minutes:

Note – At this point in the proceedings, Councillors Roger Bingham, Tom Harvey, Chris Hogg, Sue Sanderson and David Williams all declared pecuniary interests in this item of business by virtue of having a financial concern in more than one property.  They left the Chamber for the remainder of the meeting.  During discussion on the item, Councillor Ben Berry also declared a pecuniary interest by virtue of being in the hotel trade which could potentially benefit  from any changes in Government legislation, however, making reference to the Localism Act 2011, indicated that he would remain in the Chamber during the discussion and voting on the item.

 

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

 

"This council is deeply concerned about the number of second homes in our district. This is having a devastating impact on some of our communities and restricts the opportunity of young people in our community to get on the housing ladder. We note:

 

·         The recent proposals from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to significantly increase Council Tax on second homes.

 

·         The debate around considering extending the definition of 'empty homes' eligible for Council Tax premium to include those that are uninhabited.

 

·         Owners of second homes that register for business rates and then claim Small Business Rate Relief may make no financial contribution to their community.

 

·         In Wales, second homes need to be let for at least 70 days a year to register for business rates.

 

Therefore, this Council calls for changes to legislation to:

 

·         Extend the empty homes council tax premium of 100% to include homes uninhabited for more than 2 years.

 

·         Require second homes to be actually let for 70 days per year to register for business rates.

 

·         Allow councils to implement an additional charge on second homes, relating to the housing needs of the area. The income from such charges being used to support the affected communities.

 

·         Permit planning authorities to treat the change of use of property from permanent residential to either second-home or holiday let as being a material change of use and, therefore, requiring appropriate planning permission."

 

In presenting the motion, Councillor Jarvis explained that he had nothing in principle against second homes or their owners.  The availability of holiday rental properties was an important element of South Lakeland’s visitor economy while many second home owners made a valuable contribution to their communities.  He explained, however, how too many second homes could be detrimental to local communities, drawing attention to the fact that more than one in three homes in Ambleside and Grasmere were second homes, with 75% or more in places like Elterwater or Chapel Stile.  This was driving down the supply of homes and pricing young families out of the area, hollowing out communities, closing schools and creating social isolation for elderly residents.  Councillor Jarvis drew attention to the lack of legislation and laws to address the issue, particularly within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/105