Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 8 December 2020 10.00 a.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal

Contact: Inge Booth  Senior Committee Services Officer

Link: View the live stream of the meeting here

Items
No. Item

CEX/96

Chairman's Introduction

Minutes:

Following confirmation that the live stream of the meeting had commenced, the Leader referred to the new Government legislation allowing councils to conduct remote meetings and explained in detail to all taking part, and for the benefit of members of the public, the procedures for the meeting.  He then invited Members of the Cabinet, the Shadow Cabinet and the Leader of the Labour Group to introduce themselves, to advise whether they were taking part by video or audio and to confirm that they were able to see (where practicable) and hear all Members participating in the meeting.  All Members present, including the Leader himself, having indicated that this was the case, he referred to officers present at the meeting who would introduce themselves when asked to address the meeting.

 

The Leader, prior to moving to items on the agenda, advised Members that Shadow Executive member Councillor James Airey had recently resigned from the Council. The Leader thanked Councillor Airey for his public service. He expressed gratitude for Councillor Airey’s contribution in his role as on the Shadow Cabinet (Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio) and as Leader of the opposition. Councillor Mark Wilson (Leader of the Labour Group) endorsed the comments made by the Leader. 

CEX/97

Cabinet Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 322 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 25 November 2020.

Minutes:

No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the Executive Decisions made by Cabinet on 25 November 2020.

CEX/98

Emergency Delegated Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 407 KB

To receive Emergency Delegated Executive Decisions taken by the Chief Executive since the last meeting of Cabinet in accordance with the Leader’s decision noted by Cabinet at CEX/104 (2019/20).

Minutes:

No Member having raised concern when asked by the Chairman, it was

 

RESOLVED – That the Emergency Delegated Executive Decision made by the Chief Executive on 13 November 2020 (011), in accordance with the Leader’s decision noted by Cabinet at CEX/104 (2019/20), be received.

CEX/99

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda and to consider any dispensations.

 

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:

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) reminded Members that a dispensation had been granted to all Members with regard to allowances in respect of matters relating to Local Government Reform and Devolution for a period of four years.

 

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) informed Members that, for Agenda Item No. 7 regarding Local Government Reform, councillors who were dual-hatted, i.e. District Councillors and County Councillors, would have an Other Registrable Interest under the Code of Conduct.  The other registrable interest would be recorded and, unless any Member considered themselves to be biased or predetermined, they could speak and vote on the items.

CEX/100

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:

There were no excluded items on the agenda.

CEX/101

Public Participation

Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting.  Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.

 

(1)        Questions and Representations

 

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

 

(2)        Deputations and Petitions

 

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

Minutes:

No questions, representations, deputations or petitions had been received from members of the public in respect of this meeting.

CEX/102

Local Government Reform - Proposal for Bay Area pdf icon PDF 515 KB

To consider the full proposal for a Bay Area Unitary Authority (appendices 1 and 3 to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

Copies of Appendices 1 and 3 to the report, which had been marked “to follow” on the agenda had been circulated to Members and published on the Council’s website on 4 December 2020. In addition copies of updated page 13 of the report had also been circulated and published prior to the meeting.

 

Copies of correspondence from the Fire and Rescue Authority regarding Local Government Reform had been circulated to Members on 8 December 2020.

 

The Leader of the Council and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder reported that at the meetings on 5 November 2020 Cabinet and Council had authorised the submission of an outline proposal to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The outline proposal was agreed by Lancaster City and Barrow Borough Councils and submitted by the required deadline of 9 November 2020. Since that date work had continued on the development of the full proposal which was to be submitted by the deadline of 9 December 2020.

 

Members were being asked to consider and agree the full proposal for a unitary council for the Bay area and recommend it to Council for consideration and approval for submission, by the Leader and Chief Executive, to the Government by 9 December 2020.

 

In presenting the report the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder informed Members that the proposal presented the case for a new unitary council for the Bay and focused on the cohesiveness of the area and its communities. It indicated the opportunities, strengths and strategic needs of the area’s communities and economy and how they may best be addressed through leadership and resources of local government, based on the geography of the functioning economic area and health service footprint.

 

The proposal set out the approach which had been followed in order to develop and clear and justified proposal which met the criteria for local government reorganisation. It demonstrated that the Bay was a credible geography and population size, that the proposal had a strong level of local support, that it would deliver affordable and efficient local government and that it was deliverable.

 

The proposal identified the critical importance and opportunity for public services transformation and it set out an opportunity for a new relationship between communities, the third sector and public services.

 

The proposal provided comparisons with alternative proposals against the criteria for reorganisation and it presented a financial assessment which identified the net financial benefits and sustainability of the Bay.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder expressed thanks and gratitude to the officers and consultants, who had worked under extraordinary pressure, for their hard work and incredible effort which had achieved the full proposal in accordance with the timescales which had been set by Government.

 

The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That 

 

(1)        the full proposal for a unitary council for the Bay area (with the updated Page 13 and as attached at Appendix 1) be recommended to  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/102

CEX/103

2021/22 to 2025/26 Draft Budget pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To consider the draft budget proposals for the financial years 2021/22 to 2025/26.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder presented the 2021/22 to 2025/26 Five Year Draft Budget. The expected outcome was that the Council would be in a position to deliver the priorities set out in the Council Plan within its resources. This would enable the statutory requirement to agree a balanced budget and to set the appropriate Council Tax level for 2021/22. Council on 15 December 2020 would be asked to approve the re-profiling of the 2020/21 – 2024/25 capital budgets which formed part of the draft capital programme.

 

The Customer Connect programme had substantially reduced future budget deficits. However, the impact of Covid-19 had a fundamental impact on the Council’s financial position. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder explained that without the impact of Covid-19 the Council would have been in a position to balance the budget for 2021/22. At the time the report had been written the Government’s one year spending review and local government financial settlement had not been announced but it was expected to delay the reduction in income expected as part of the reform of local government funding. Options were being developed to balance future budgets.

 

The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder highlighted that the projected deficit would have been met through the use of reserves as agreed at Council in June 2020, however he emphasised the importance of finding ways to ensure that the level of reserves were rebuilt.  

 

The final proposed revenue budget and capital programme, including any further amendments, would be taken to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January 2021 and would then be put forward for approval by Council on 23 February 2021.

 

The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        it be noted that the development of the Budget is an iterative process between now and Council on the 23rd February 2021. The assumptions, proposals and calculations included within it will be subject to change as more information from internal and external sources is provided and decisions around the final proposals can be made;

 

(2)        the proposals contained in this report and Appendices 3 to 14 to achieve a balanced budget from April 2021 be considered;

 

(3)        the proposals for Fees and Charges from April 2021 set out in Appendix 14 (excluding car parking) and the proposed increase in car          parking fees as set out in Appendix 13 be considered;

 

(4)        the projected deficits starting at £1.0m for 2021/22 (including £1.4m direct costs of Covid-19) rising to circa £2.3m by 2025/26 be noted;

 

(5)        the removal of the £100k grant to Lakeland Arts from the Capital Programme be approved;

 

(6)        Council be requested to approve the carry forward of unspent estimates in Appendix 10;

 

(7)        Council be requested to approve the virement of £92,800 from the Community Housing Fund in paragraph 5.6;

 

(8)        the decision on whether to continue membership of Cumbria business rate pool (key decision) be delegated to the Finance Lead Specialist and Resources Portfolio Holder;  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/103

CEX/104

Kendal Vision pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To consider funding towards the development and delivery of agreed activities in the Kendal Vision and Kendal Town Centre Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder drew Members attention to an amendment to the recommendation at 2.1 of the report. The additional recommendation (3) was confirmed as follows:-

 

(3) Requests Council to approve the use of £150,000 of the NNDR Pooling Reserve, £134,294 from the Kendal Town Centre Masterplan and up to £246,000 of s106 funding, as set out in section 7.1.

 

The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder introduced the Kendal Vision report.  He explained that Kendal, similar to many other towns in the UK, faced significant challenges. The increase in online shopping and decline in high street retail had resulted in a changed high street. It had been estimated that nationally there was 25% more retail space than was needed on our high streets and this trend had been further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. South Lakeland had been one of the areas most highly impacted by the pandemic, with 40% of its workforce furloughed and at risk of redundancy. A further challenge for Kendal and the wider South Lakeland area was its aging population and its attractiveness and affordability for young people to live and work in the area.

 

The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder explained that whilst it was challenging, there was an opportunity for positive change. SLDC and Kendal Futures Community Interest Company (CIC) (which represented leading business in the town) had, in collaboration with local stakeholders and community groups, developed an ambitious vision and strategy to transform Kendal.

 

Members were being asked approve the approach to supporting and partnering with Kendal Futures Community Interest Company (CIC) to establish the delivery model and enabling the development of key activities in the Kendal Vision and Kendal Town Centre Strategy.

 

A lengthy discussion ensued and the Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder and the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder responded to questions and concerns raised by Members.

 

In response to a suggestion made by the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder, the Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder undertook, ahead of the Council meeting in February 2021, to arrange a Councillor Briefing on the topic of Kendal Vision and invite representatives from the Kendal Future’s Board.

 

The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the approach to supporting and partnering with Kendal Futures CIC on the delivery of Kendal Vision as set out in Paras 3.9-3.12 be approved; 

 

(2)        authority be delegated to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Legal Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist and Finance Lead Specialist, to put in place the necessary legal agreements to enable the funding of the project and manage any risks faced by the Council; and

 

(3)        Council be requested to approve the use of £150,000 of the NNDR Pooling Reserve, £134,294 from the Kendal Town Centre Masterplan and up to £246,000 of s106 funding, as set out in section 7.1.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The proposal links positively  ...  view the full minutes text for item CEX/104

CEX/105

Annual Health and Safety Report pdf icon PDF 280 KB

To consider the Annual Health and Safety Report 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Summary

 

The Customer and Commercial Services and People Portfolio Holder introduced the Council’s Annual Health and Safety Report 2019/20 which demonstrated that the Council was moving steadily in improving health and safety performance. The Council had set ambitious targets for 2019/20 and a detailed summary of action taken to meet those targets was provided. The report had also been presented to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee, the Joint Consultative Panel and the Human Resources Committee.

 

The Customer and Commercial Services and People Portfolio Holder highlighted a number of specific areas of the report and drew attention to the priorities which had been identified to drive staff safety and health during 2020. It was highlighted that the Council had undertaken its responsibilities surrounding Health and Safety extremely seriously which was reflected through the steady decline of reported accidents from 30 in 2018/19 to 23 in 2019/20.


The Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder spoke in support of the recommendation and expressed her gratitude to Officers for their hard work during the challenges and anxiety induced situations that had arisen as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent. 

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the Annual Health and Safety Report 2019/20 be received.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The Council continues to work towards the Council Plan by empowering people and ensuring excellence and openness.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

There were no alternative options. The report provided a review of health and safety within the Council for the period of 2019/20.