Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal
Contact: Inge Booth
To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 18 December 2019.
Attention was drawn to the fact that, although incorrectly referred to as the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018 on the agenda front sheet, the correct set of minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 26 February 2019 had been attached for consideration by Members.
Councillor Kevin Lancaster raised a query with reference to Note (6) on the Appendix to the Minutes and the correction of an administrative error identified following the meeting updating the total Council Tax charges for a number of parishes. The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) explained that the figures relating to those parishes presented to Council on 26 February 2018 had been those relating to 2018/19. The calculation of Council Tax due was not, however, affected, as these particular parishes did not set precepts.
RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 26 February 2019.
Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting. Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.
(1) Questions and Representations
To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.
(2) Deputations and Petitions
To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.
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.
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.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that Councillor Roger Bingham declared an interest in Minute No.C/91.
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.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.
To receive announcements by the Chairman.
A list of engagements which the Chairman had attended since the last meeting had been circulated at the commencement of the meeting.
The Chairman took the opportunity, this being the last Council meeting in the Municipal Year and having regard to the District Elections in May, to thank Members on all sides of the Chamber for their commitment to the wellbeing of the community of South Lakeland, for their hard work and for the civilised way in which the Council’s business was generally conducted.
To those who would not return to South Lakeland District Council in its next Municipal Year, on behalf of all colleagues, he offered good wishes.
In closing, the Chairman welcomed Councillor Brian Cooper back to the Chamber following his recent bereavement.
To consider adoption of the Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy as part of the Council’s Budget and Policy Framework.
In the absence of Councillor Philip Dixon, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Dyan Jones, Environment Portfolio Holder, presented the draft Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy which was to supersede the existing South Lakeland District Council Public Health Strategy 2014-2019 as a Budget and Policy Framework document.
Councillor Jones reported that the draft Strategy had been presented to both the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet by Councillor Dixon who had thanked all involved in its production. Councillor Jones commended the Strategy as a fine example of collaborative working and stressed the potential for the Strategy to impact on more than just public health, highlighting its links with the issues of climate change and poverty.
The report indicated how officers with multi-disciplinary backgrounds and expertise from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), the other district councils, Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Authority had contributed to the writing and the shaping of specific thematic areas.
The Public Health Strategy sat under the Cumbria Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2029. This strategy was currently in production, and would be presented to the Cumbria Health and Wellbeing board in April. This was a document which set out how the Health and Wellbeing Board would work together over the next ten years. All Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authorities and NHS England plans would need to take the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy into account.
The vision of the Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy was to, “enable Cumbrian communities to be healthy and to tackle health inequalities.” This corresponded with the existing SLDC Public Health Strategy, and the proposed Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
The Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy took a different approach to previous public health strategies as, instead of focusing on individuals, it acknowledged the conditions in which a person was born, lived, worked and how ages impacted on their access and ability to live a healthier life. These were known as the wider determinants of health, and included housing, education, employment, working conditions, the natural environment, food production and water. These were incorporated into Figure 1 of the report – the wider determinants of health and how SLDC interacts with these different layers. Estimates varied, however, it was broadly accepted that health care was accountable for approximately 10% of the contribution to health. This meant that, whilst access to good quality health care was very important, health was primarily determined by socio-economic factors.
The framework of the Strategy was based on the “Five Capitals Model,” which included the following:-
· Natural Capital (Planet): A high quality natural environment that provides opportunities for engagement with the natural world.
· Human Capital (People): People with the skills, knowledge, and experience that give them the capacity to take part in society and have meaningful and fulfilling lives.
· Social Capital (Participation): A good social infrastructure, with networks and institutions that allow people to connect to each other.
· Physical Capital (Place): A good physical infrastructure including housing, transport, and a commercial environment that promotes healthy behaviours. ... view the full minutes text for item C/90
To consider adoption of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document as part of the District’s Development Plan (outside the National Parks) and the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Development Plan Document as part of the District’s Development Plan (outside the National Parks).
Note – Councillor Roger Bingham declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item of business by virtue of the fact that he was he was a member of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Landscape Trust. He remained in the Chamber and took part in the discussion and voting on the item.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder, presented a report seeking a Council resolution to complete the current Local Plan for the District (outside national parks) by adopting the final two elements, the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (DM DPD) and the Arnside and Silverdale AONB Development Plan Document (AONB DPD). These would join the Core Strategy, Land Allocations, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule and adopted Neighbourhood Plans as the main elements of the District’s Local Plan. Adoption would result in the replacement of the remaining saved policies in the old South Lakeland Local Plan (1997/2006), providing a suite of up-to-date policies, drive high quality development and provide a solid basis for the development of a future replacement plan. Each DPD had been subject to consideration by the Planning Inspectorate. Adoption was recommended following the receipt of the Inspector’s Reports into the examination of each DPD, confirming their soundness, subject to a number of modifications, full details of which were contained within the report.
For the district as a whole (outside the National Parks), the new DPDs would help ensure the delivery of sustainable forms of new development that supported the needs of South Lakeland’s communities and contribute to the protection and enhancement of the district’s environmental qualities. For the AONB, the DPD would ensure that new development, including new housing, would be delivered in a way that more closely reflected both local needs and the special qualities of the nationally designated landscape.
The decision before Council was whether to adopt the DPDs subject to the modifications which had been recommended by the Inspector, as detailed within the report. The Council could not adopt the DPDs in part or make substantive modifications. If the Council decided to adopt the DPDs, they would become Council policy and have development plan weight in determining planning applications, as well as ensuring that the Council had a robust and up-to-date local plan.
The AONB DPD had been adopted as part of the Local Plan for Lancaster District 2011-2013 by Lancaster City Council on 13 March 2019.
Subject to adoption of the DPDs by Council, there would be a six week period from the date of adoption during which a legal challenge to the decision to adopt the plans may be made. Following a resolution to adopt the DPDs, the Council would have to publicise the decision to adopt the documents in accordance with the relevant regulations 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2012).
Details with regard to the extensive consultation that had taken place in respect to the preparation of both DPDs were included within the report.
To consider the appointment of a new Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for South Lakeland District Council.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report informing Members that, following changes to the leadership structure which were being implemented from 1 April 2019 and with the existing Returning Officer leaving the Council on 31 May 2019, it was proposed that Simon McVey, who would be taking on the role of Operational Lead Support Services from 1 April 2019, be appointed Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer with effect from 1 June 2019.
The report further recommended that Tom Benson be confirmed as Deputy Electoral Registration Officer.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) drew attention to the fact that, although both the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer and Deputy were officers of the Council, the roles of the positions formed a personal responsibility, independent and separate from their duties as employees of the Council.
In moving the recommendations contained within the report, Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder, explained that there were three items on the agenda that arose as a result of the ongoing roll out of the Customer Connect Programme. He stressed the significance to the Council of the Programme, which was entering a crucial stage, and that this was reflected in the changes to staffing, structure and the Constitution, as set out within the papers.
Councillor Brook took the opportunity to pay tribute to the current Returning Officer and Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) who would shortly be leaving the employment of the Authority and whose imminent departure gave rise to this particular agenda item. Debbie Storr had played a key role at South Lakeland District Council for the last 20 years. She had steered a successful course through hundreds of meetings and many elections during her time at the Authority. Councillor Brook was personally grateful for Debbie’s support and input during his time as Council Chairman and Cabinet Member and highlighted the fact that other chairmen, leaders, Cabinet Members and councillors had been similarly well supported over the years. Debbie had been a great servant and ambassador for the Council. Councillor Brook thanked Debbie for her work, and pointed out that she left a strong legacy. He wished her well for the future.
As the Council moved into a new era, on behalf of Members, Councillor Brook congratulated Simon McVey and Tom Benson on their appointments.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, seconded the motion.
The Chairman and Councillors Matt Severn, Janette Jenkinson and Brian Cooper all echoed Councillor Brook’s words of appreciation for Debbie Storr’s support and commitment.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) confirmed that the roles of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer were distinct from that of the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer).
It was unanimously
RESOLVED – That
(1) Simon McVey be appointed, with effect from 1 June 2019, as the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer for South Lakeland District Council; and
(2) Tom Benson be ... view the full minutes text for item C/92
To note the appointments to the Operational and Lead Specialist roles and to appoint an Interim Monitoring Officer pending recruitment to the role of Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer).
The Chief Executive presented the report which indicated that, as part of the new Senior Management Structure which was being implemented from 1 April 2019, and as approved by Council on 10 October 2018, it had been agreed that the role of Monitoring Officer would move to sit with the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist. Transitional arrangements saw the Council’s current Monitoring Officer leave the Council on 31 May 2019. Recruitment to the new role was ongoing and, in order to ensure that the Council had appropriate governance arrangements in place from 1 June 2019, it was requested that Members approve the appointment of an Interim Monitoring Officer pending the outcome of the recruitment process.
The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources would be taking up his new position from 1 April 2019 and it was proposed that David Sykes be appointed Interim Monitoring Officer, from 1 June 2019, unless or until the post of Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) was recruited to in the meantime. It was further proposed that external support be sought on a temporary basis to assist with the requirements of this role and the Monitoring Officer functions, and to provide any necessary support to Council, Cabinet or committees, as required. Subject to this appointment, the Interim would appoint a Deputy Monitoring Officer to act in his absence.
The report also drew attention to the fact that the senior management roles of Operational and Specialist Leads had progressed and that the successful candidates had been confirmed, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.
In presenting the report, the Chief Executive was pleased to inform Members that the Programme was running in accordance with the timetable and within the agreed budget parameters.
He reminded Members that the Customer Connect Programme had been designed to improve the Council’s systems, providing more self-service options for its residents and to reduce processes to free up staff to assist the Council’s most vulnerable communities.
The Chief Executive took the opportunity to congratulate all the successful internal appointees to the Leadership Team; this had been an excellent demonstration of the existing talent within the Council.
The Chief Executive provided further details with regard to the recruitment for the role of Legal, Governance and Democracy (Monitoring Officer), explaining that the position had been advertised externally, having closed in the previous week. Shortlisting was taking place and interviews would be held mid-April. Interim measures had also been agreed to support the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources between the existing officers leaving and the new lead commencing. Interviews for an experienced interim Lead Officer, to include the expertise of the Monitoring Officer function, would be taking place on 3 April 2019. Candidates had already confirmed their availability to commence work, ensuring continuous cover.
The Chief Executive reported that, this week, the interview process for the next two tiers in the operating model, namely Specialist and Case Management, had been finalised. The new Leads were currently finalising who will be ... view the full minutes text for item C/93
To consider the Monitoring Officer’s Annual Review of the Constitution and suggested changes.
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.
Appendix 1 to the report set out proposed changes that had come through the review which Council was asked to approve.
With regards to Customer Connect and the new operating model and structure of the Council, new arrangements were to be implemented from 1 April 2019, as shown at Appendix 4 to the report. This required a review of the Council’s Delegation Scheme and Proper Officer appointments. As had been reported to Council in February, some transitional arrangements had been made to ensure that the Council had the appropriate governance arrangements in place throughout the change.
Following the changes to the management structure approved by Council on 10 October 2018, the Monitoring Officer role would sit with the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist, who would take on the function of Monitoring Officer following the departure of the Director Policy and Resources(Monitoring Officer), with effect from 1 June. That post was currently being recruited to and a report elsewhere on the agenda dealt with interim arrangements for Monitoring Officer.
The Finance Lead specialist, Helen Smith, would take on the function of Section 151 Officer and it was intended that this function would transfer from 1 April 2019 with support from the Assistant Director (Resources) continuing until 31 May 2019 for the close down of the 2018/19 accounts.
Appendices 2 and 3 to the report updated the required changes to the designations within the Delegation Scheme arising from the new leadership structure and operating model. The changes to Cabinet delegations had been reported to Cabinet at its meeting on 20 March 2019. Changes to the Planning Committee delegations had been approved and recommended by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 4 March 2019, shown within Appendix 1 to the report, together with the proposed revision to add clarity to the Public Participation at Planning Committee, shown at Appendix 5 to the report.
With regards to the Proper Officer appointments at Appendix 3 to the report, the Monitoring Officer functions would transfer to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist on 1 June 2019, subject to any interim arrangements which may be necessary. The designation of the Data Protection Officer had also now been included within these appointments which would sit with the Senior Specialist, Performance, Innovation and Commissioning. A separate report on the agenda dealt with the appointment of the Returning Officer with effect from 1 June 2019.
The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) informed Members that the delegations would be kept under review as the Council moved through the implementation stages.
Members, officers, parish councils and the public had been consulted as part of the annual review of the constitution. The Audit Committee, ... view the full minutes text for item C/94
Notice of Motion
The following Notice of Motion has been given in accordance with Paragraph 11.1 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure:-
“(1) The Council notes reported concerns that the K Shoes heritage artefacts may be taken away from Kendal; and
(2) The Council should consider ways to preserve this important Local History collection in Kendal or the immediate district.”
(signed by Councillor Roger Bingham)
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 Roger Bingham:-
“(1) The Council notes reported concerns that the K Shoes heritage artefacts may be taken away from Kendal; and
(2) The Council should consider ways to preserve this important Local History collection in Kendal or the immediate district.
In presenting the motion, Councillor Bingham explained the importance of the world-famous K Shoes brand to the economy of Kendal. He expressed strong concerns about the future of the collection of artefacts which were currently housed and on display at the K Village site and referred to rumours regarding plans for the collection to be dispersed to other parts of the country. He raised the need to ensure that this aspect of Kendal’s heritage was cared for and asked Council’s support for this aspect of social history to be preserved.
Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder seconded the motion, highlighting in addition the national importance of the collection. He explained that the artefacts formed a private collection and that any future home was likely to be in a destination independent from the Council, whose role was as an influencer and facilitator. Likewise, the former K Shoes site was a private and commercial operation needing to maximise return on the floor space. There were currently three collections which were being centralised by the Alfred Gillet Trust in Somerset. However, a few larger items remained in Kendal. The Trust was currently conducting conditioning work and archiving and was content to store the collection until a suitable home could be found in the Kendal area. Critically, Clarks had confirmed that they were happy for the collection to return to and reside in Kendal. There was, however, insufficient space to display the collection in Clark’s new shop in the Westmorland Shopping Centre. Discussions were ongoing regarding a future home for the collection. Councillor Ashcroft suggested that South Lakeland District Council’s role was to work in partnership with other stakeholders who would be better placed to take the lead role, for example Kendal Town Council.
Councillor Brian Cooper referred to a recent meeting of the Planning Committee at which, he said, Members had been assured that the artefacts currently situated at the K Shoes Village site would be moved to another location in Kendal.
Councillors Peter Thornton, Chris Hogg, Matt Severn and Sheila Capstick all spoke in support of the motion, referring to past memories and stressing the importance of the brand to the economy and tourism.
RESOLVED – That the motion be carried as submitted.
Council is asked to receive the Executive Reports (End of Year 2018/19) from the Leader and Cabinet and to deal with any questions raised by Members to the appropriate Cabinet Members on the contents of the reports.
To receive announcements from the Leader and, in accordance with Paragraphs 10.2 and 10.3 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, to deal with any questions to the Leader and/or Portfolio Holders on any topic which is within the jurisdiction or influence of the Council and is relevant to their Portfolio. Any Member who poses a question will be entitled to ask one supplementary question on the same topic.
Members are encouraged to give 24 hours’ written notice of questions to the Solicitor to the Council of questions to be raised under the Agenda Item. If no notice is received, then the Portfolio Holder can reserve the right to give a written answer. Where written notice of questions has been given, these will be taken first. Should a Member wish to ask more than one question, questions should be listed in order of priority. If more than one Member sends in a question, these will be taken in alphabetical order of Members’ names, alternated from meeting to meeting. Each question and each response is restricted to three minutes.
Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, introduced the Cabinet Members’ respective End of Year 2018/19 Executive Reports.
In presenting the reports, Councillor Archibald expressed his gratitude to officers, to Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader, and to all Members for their work and dedication throughout the year. Councillor Archibald also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Councillor Vivienne Rees and to acknowledge her outstanding service and dedication to the Authority and to the community. He further recognised the contribution which had been made to the Cabinet by Councillor Graham Vincent, Economy and Assets Portfolio Holder, commending his expertise and integrity. He also thanked Councillor David Williams, who had brought a good level of debate to the Chamber, for his service and dignified conduct.
Councillor Archibald highlighted a number of the year’s achievements, including the provision of affordable housing, an excellent refuse collection service, the Handyman Scheme, the LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) Scheme, the Climate Change Action Plan and improvements to play areas, more of which were due to be delivered in the coming year. He made particular reference to the continuing work in relation to settling refugees within South Lakeland. Councillor Archibald drew attention to the work carried out for the benefit of communities as a result of Members’ locality budgets; almost all of this money had been spent and he thanked those involved. He referred to the safe path which had been delivered for children walking or cycling to school at Master’s Grange in Kirkby Lonsdale and encouraged all Members to give consideration to ways in which to provide similar safe paths to school for children in their wards. Councillor Archibald stressed the Council’s commitment to try to help those in poverty and made reference to funding for additional homelessness shelters.
Councillor Archibald pointed out that 2019/20 would see the roll out of the Customer Connect Programme which would result both in savings and improvements to services to the residents of South Lakeland. He also highlighted the proposals for large investment in Ulverston Leisure Centre and for improvements to Grange Promenade and Lido, as well as the additional grant of £1m for further enhancement work on the Promenade at Grange.
Councillor Archibald, in closing, praised the dedication to public services of all councillors, without whom this work could not be achieved, adding that he looked forward to working with Members in the coming year.
Councillor David Williams referred to the section in the report from the Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Andrew Jarvis - Budgets and Medium Term Financial Strategy - where it was stated that it was now expected that there would be a minimal deficit in the Council’s 2019/20 Budget. He sought clarification with regard to the figure for the minimal deficit. Councillor Jarvis explained that monitoring to the end of Period 10 actually showed a small surplus. He pointed out, however, that at that time there had still been two months left in the financial year and that work had yet to ... view the full minutes text for item C/96
Minutes of Meetings
To receive Chairmen’s comments (if any notified) in respect of the minutes of the Committee meetings held between 21 January and 1 March 2019.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no comments or questions have been received in respect of the minutes of committee meetings held between 21 January and 1 March 2019.
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.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions have been received under Rule 10.6 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure.