Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Only decisions taken after 5th March 2012 will be included in this search

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

28/10/2022 - Encroachment Application to Extend the Existing Jetty With a Traditional Wooden Jetty At Land Adjacent to Tarnedge Lakeside Windermere ref: 4890    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Lake Administration Committee

Made at meeting: 28/10/2022 - Lake Administration Committee

Decision published: 18/01/2023

Effective from: 28/10/2022

Decision:

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Specialist (Deputy Monitoring Officer) read out the resolution of the Committee and it was

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  The Director of Customer and Commercial Services be delegated authority to defer the application for the extension of the existing concrete jetty with a traditional wooden Jetty at land adjacent to Tarnedge, Lakeside, Windermere;

 

(2)  Ask officers to engage with the parties to see if a compromise can be reached; and

 

(3)  Such application to be deferred to the next Lake Administration Committee in January 2023 for definitive consideration and response.


28/10/2022 - Encroachment Application to construct a new boat house and jetty with associated dredging at Innesfree Windermere ref: 4891    For Determination

Decision Maker: Lake Administration Committee

Made at meeting: 28/10/2022 - Lake Administration Committee

Decision published: 18/01/2023

Effective from: 28/10/2022

Decision:

The Service Delivery Manager presented an encroachment application for the Construction of a new boat house and jetty with associated dredging at Innisfree, Windermere.

 

The boathouse would consist of a wet dock and first floor day room with glass balustrade terrace.  This would include a traditional wooden jetty.  Measurements would be subject to a survey following completion if the application was approved.  The appearance of the boathouse would be typical of other boathouses along the Lakeshore, with slate stone walling and Westmorland grey slate to be used for the roof.  Dredging would also be carried out, with a silt curtain to be used around the perimeter of the working area to allow settle-back within the location.  Dredged material would be drained on site before removal.  The applicant would use appropriate measures to minimise sediment mobilisation and impact on biodiversity to prevent and minimise environmental harm.  There would be no impact on the Arctic Char spawning grounds.  The applicant has provided confirmation of the approved planning consent by the Lake District National Park Authority and Environment Agency approval had been obtained.  Informal consultation had also taken place with the Lake Wardens.

 

No questions were raised by Members.

 

RESOLVED – That the Director of Customer and Commercial Services be delegated authority to grant permission for the encroachment application to construct a new boathouse and jetty with associated dredging at Innisfree, Windermere, subject to the completion of a new private encroachment agreement for the following:-

 

(1)        construction of a new boathouse;

 

(2)        construction of a new jetty; and

 

(3)        carrying out associated dredging.

Wards affected: Windermere;

Lead officer: Frankie Flannigan


28/10/2022 - Encroachment Application to remove the existing wooden jetty and replacing with a new floating jetty at Brathay Manor Windermere ref: 4892    For Determination

Decision Maker: Lake Administration Committee

Made at meeting: 28/10/2022 - Lake Administration Committee

Decision published: 18/01/2023

Effective from: 28/10/2022

Decision:

The Service Delivery Manager presented an encroachment application to remove the existing wooden jetty and replace with a new floating jetty at Brathay Manor, Windermere.

 

Details of the removal and construction of the jetties were contained within the application which included a bridge link.  Measurements would be subject to a survey following completion if the application was approved.  The applicant would use appropriate measures to minimise sediment mobilisation and impact on biodiversity to prevent and minimise environmental harm.  There was no impact on the Arctic Char spawning grounds. The Northern Jetty was already a floating jetty, this was to help manage water levels as a floating jetty would rise with the water. The applicant had provided confirmation of the approved planning consent by the Lake District National Park Authority and Environment Agency approval had been obtained. Informal consultation had also taken place with the Lake Wardens.

 

RESOLVED – That the Director of Customer and Commercial Services be delegated authority to grant permission for the encroachment application to remove the existing wooden jetty and replacement with a new floating jetty at Brathay Manor, Windermere, subject to the completion of a new private encroachment agreement for the removal of the existing jetty and replacement with a floating jetty.

 

Members at this stage in the proceedings expressed how the Committee was working well together while being guided by officers. Members new to the Committee reiterated these comments.

Lead officer: Frankie Flannigan


10/11/2022 - External Audit Opinion on Accounts - Audit Findings Report ref: 4889    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2022 - Audit Committee

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 10/11/2022

Decision:

Copies of the report, which was marked “to follow” on the Agenda, had been circulated to Members on 4 November 2022.

 

Hebe Dyson, External Audit presented the Audit Findings report. The report presented the observations arising from the audit that were significant to the responsibility of those charged with governance to oversee the financial reporting process as required by International Standard on Auditing (UK) 260.

 

It was highlighted that External Audit had not completed the Value for Money work and so were not in a position to issue the Auditor’s Annual Report. They expected to issue their Annual Report by the end of February 2023, which was in line with the National Audit Office’s revised deadline. As part of the work, External Audit had considered whether there were any risks of significant weakness in the Council’s arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources. To date, no weaknesses in the Council’s arrangements had been identified.

 

External Audit had substantially completed their audit of the Council’s financial statements and, subject to outstanding queries being resolved, anticipated issuing an unqualified audit opinion following this meeting.

 

Members were asked to note and receive the Audit Findings made by the External Auditors and also note the External Audit action plan, which formed recommendation 6 as set out in the report under Agenda Item No. 6 (Audited Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement 2021/22) and formed Appendix A to the Audit Findings Report.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the Audit Findings made by the External Auditors for the year ending 31 March  2022 be noted and received; and

 

(2)        the External Audit action plan be noted.


10/11/2022 - Internal Audit Progress Report 2022/23 (October 2022) ref: 4887    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2022 - Audit Committee

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 10/11/2022

Decision:

Note – Following a request from the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) the Chairman proposed that the item to be considered under Minute No. AUD/19 below be brought forwards in the agenda.

 

The Internal Audit Manager introduced the Internal Audit Progress Report 2022/23 (October 2022). Appendix 1 provided a summary of the progress against the Internal Audit Annual Plan as at September 2022. She informed Members that no audits had been completed since the previous meetings and that no changes had been made to the Annual Plan, however an additional review of Payroll was to be undertaken at the request of the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer).

 

Members were informed that work was underway on the remaining reviews set out in the Annual Plan and the reviews were on track to be brought to the March 2023 meeting.

 

With regard to the additional review of Payroll, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) highlighted that External Audit had asked for additional assurances, which could be provided by an additional review by Internal Audit.

 

The Internal Audit Manager drew members’ attention to the follow up review (Appendix 2), which highlighted that 37 recommendations were monitored, with 22% of those being implemented. 

 

Members expressed concern that Appendix 2 noted that 29 recommendations were outstanding. It was felt that the proposed implementation date for a number of these recommendations had been delayed a number of times without being implemented. In response, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) noted that the recommendations were reviewed by Leadership Team and the Internal Audit Manager added that those that may not be implemented due to the LGR process could be marked separately to focus on the recommendations that could be implemented before the end of March 2023.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the progress achieved in 2022/23 in completing the Audit Plan set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted; and

 

(2)        the summary of progress achieved in implementing recommendations from previous reviews as set out in Appendix 2 to the report be noted.


10/11/2022 - Audited Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement 2021/22 ref: 4888    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2022 - Audit Committee

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 10/11/2022

Decision:

The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer)/ Finance Specialist (Deputy Section 151 Officer) introduced the draft Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement 2021/22. She noted that the updated report and appendices had been circulated ahead of the meeting and that they had superseded the previous version.

 

Note – Members passed a resolution to briefly adjourn the meeting at 6.53 p.m. The meeting was the reconvened at 6.56 p.m.

 

The unaudited Statement of Accounts had been approved and published by the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) on 5 July 2022 and had been opened up to scrutiny and comment from the public on the 8 July 2022 as well as being reported to the 28 July 2022 Audit Committee. There was a statutory deadline of 30 November for publication of the 2021/22 Statement of Accounts, or as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt of the Audit Opinion

 

The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members of a number of amendments which had been identified in the updated Appendix 1, which was circulated before the meeting and that the letter of representation had been adjusted. The report proposed that the Chairman be authorised to sign the Statement of Accounts and sign the letter of representation once the amendments had been made.

 

Members expressed thanks to officers for their continued hard work through an extremely difficult period due to Covid-19 and the pressures of Local Government Reorganisation.

 

Members were asked to approve recommendations 1-5 as set out in the report and consider recommendation 6 as set out in the report under Agenda Item No. 8 (External Audit Opinion on Accounts – Audit Findings Report).

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the Statement of Accounts 2021/22 be approved;

 

(2)        the letter of representation be approved;

 

(3)        the Chair of the Audit Committee be authorised to sign the letter of representation and the Statement of Accounts on behalf of the Committee;

 

(4)        the Chair of the Audit Committee be authorised to re-sign the Statement of Accounts in the event of further amendments following the final audit findings report; and

 

(5)        the Annual Governance Statement action plan be noted.

 

 


10/11/2022 - Audit Committee 2022/23 Work Programme (October 2022) ref: 4886    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2022 - Audit Committee

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 10/11/2022

Decision:

The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) introduced the Audit Committee 2022/23 Work Programme and noted that the items that had been marked to follow on the agenda published for the (adjourned) 6 October meeting, had been circulated to Members ahead of the meeting.

 

Members were informed that the Annual Review of Anti-Fraud Policy and Activity had been delayed and would be brought to the 8 December meeting.

 

The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer), in response to a query from Members, noted that work was underway to ensure that items that would normally have gone to the April Audit Committee meeting, would be brought to the March 2023 meeting. This meeting had been brought forward due to the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) process that would mean SLDC would be abolished and replaced with the Westmorland and Furness Council following 31 March 2023.

 

Members requested an update on the arrangements being made for the District Council Audit Functions. The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) noted that a legacy team, which would be created at the two Unitary Authorities created by the LGR process, would prepare the accounts for the current sovereign authorities and that Grant Thornton would continue to work with the District and County Council to audit the accounts. She added that work was underway to appoint Internal Auditors and develop the Constitution as well as the Whistle Blowing and Anti-Bribery policies.

 

Following a request from Members, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) undertook to provide an update report on the progress made on the closing down of the Sovereign Councils’ and the development of the new Unitary Authorities’ Audit Functions.

 

RESOLVED – That the progress against the 2022/23 Work Programme be noted.


15/12/2022 - Asset of Community Value Nomination - Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team Base, Busher Walk, Kendal ref: 4885    For Determination

To consider a nomination to list Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team Base, Busher Walk, Kendal, as an asset of community value.

Decision Maker: Delegated Executive Decisions

Made at meeting: 15/12/2022 - Delegated Executive Decisions

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 15/12/2022

Decision:

Summary

 

Consideration was given to the entry of the Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team (KMSRT) Base, Busher Walk, Kendal on the list of unsuccessful nominations of Assets of Community Value.

 

The nomination stated that the asset was essential to the effective functioning of KMSRT and was essential as a base for an average of sixty callouts per year. Furthermore, the nomination added that the community gained reassurance that there was an organisation of trained volunteers ready to assist them in an emergency.

 

The nomination did not provide any evidence that the community make use of or have access to the asset, or that they were likely to in the future.

 

Section 88 of the Localism Act 2011 states that a building or other land can be considered as an asset of community value if the use is non-ancillary and furthered either social wellbeing or social interests of the local community. In this case, the evidence submitted related to the work done by KMSRT, with the asset serving as a base for these activities. The report stated that the KMSRT as an organisation may have met the criteria, however there was no evidence to suggest that the actual use of the asset did.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That the Kendal Mountain Rescue Team Base, Busher Walk, Kendal be entered on to South Lakeland District Council’s list of unsuccessful nominations of Assets of Community Value.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The decision was made as the nomination does not meet the requirements of the relevant legislation.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

An alternative option would be to list the land as an asset of community value. However it is likely that it could be proven on appeal that the listing would not satisfy the requirements of the relevant legislation.

Wards affected: Kendal North;

Lead officer: Tom Dugdale


01/11/2022 - Lake Administration Committee ref: 4884    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022

Decision:

Council was being asked to receive a proposed change to the Lake Administration Committee, with Councillor Ian Wharton to replace Councillor Jonathan Brook. 

 

It was proposed by Councillor Jonathan Brook, seconded by Councillor Vicky Hughes and it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That Councillor Ian Wharton replace Councillor Jonathan Brook on the Lake Administration Committee, with immediate effect.


01/11/2022 - Standards Committee ref: 4883    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022

Decision:

The now Monitoring Officer informed Council that at C/10 (2022/23), two ungrouped Members had been appointed to committees, namely Councillor Hanlon, Independent Member, to the Standards Committee and Councillor Judy Filmore, Green Party Member, to the Planning Committee.  Councillor Hanlon had recently requested to be removed from the Standards Committee and, in accordance with legislation, Councillor Filmore had been asked, although was unable to accept, the vacant seat on the Standards Committee.  The appointment, therefore, fell to Council to determine, with the available options being to agree to leave the seat on the Standards Committee vacant or to receive nominations and, upon a vote, appoint another Member to the position.  The report indicated that there was one further meeting of that Standards Committee scheduled to be held prior to 31 March 2023.

 

Councillor Tom Harvey moved recommendation (1) in the report, to accept the resignation of Councillor Hanlon and approve her removal from the Standards Committee and was seconded by Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder.  Councillor Tom Harvey, seconded by Councillor Janette Jenkinson, proposed Councillor Kevin Lancaster as replacement Member to serve on the Standards Committee.  Councillor Jonathan Brook  proposed Councillor Janet Willis and was seconded by Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder.

 

Votes having being taken on both motions, it was

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the resignation of Councillor Fiona Hanlon be accepted and removal of Councillor Hanlon from the Standards Committee be approved, with immediate effect; and

 

(2)        Councillor Janet Willis be appointed as replacement Member to serve on the Standards Committee, also with immediate effect.


01/11/2022 - Changes to Committee Membership ref: 4882    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022


01/11/2022 - Grange-over-Sands Lido and Promenade ref: 4880    For Determination

To take the additional funding request to full council for recommended approval, subject to cabinet on 1 November

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022

Decision:

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder, presented a report on the Grange-over-Sands Lido and Promenade. He outlined the Council’s plans to open the Lido site to the general public for the first time in 30 years and noted the importance of the site as a heritage asset.

 

The report provided a summary of the history of the site and highlighted the recent decisions to open the site up to the public and improve the promenade, which had been considered by Cabinet in March 2021 as well as by the Planning Committee (SL/2019/0803, SL/2019/0804 and SL/2020/0103). Members’ attention was drawn to the rationale for intervention and delivery of the full scheme, which was driven by the rapidly deteriorating structural elements at the Lido. It was noted that there was a risk of structural failure and potential heritage enforcement action if the Lido site was not repaired.

 

The report set out details in relation to the delivery of the full scheme, including both the Lido and the Promenade and the projected costs at an estimated £6.8 million.  Councillor Brook highlighted the project shortfall of £1,793,800 and informed Members that the proposal was to fund the shortfall through CIL contribution and the NNDR Pool reserve.  He added that, due to the unstable economic conditions, there was a risk of increased costs if the project was delayed.  The report further indicated the potential in the future for the Council to access new funding streams to fund the project, such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Rural Prosperity Fund.

 

Councillor Brook informed Council that Cabinet had, earlier in the day, given approval for the scheme, and that Council was now being asked to approve the additional funding of £1,793,800 to be included in the Capital Programme 2022/23 for undertaking the full scheme to repair and refurbish the Lido and Promenade in Grange-over-Sands.  He moved the recommendation contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder.

 

Cllr Giles Archibald referred to the long history of the site and expressed support for the project.  He thanked Councillor Brook, Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder and the Finance Lead Specialist for ensuring the prudent management of the Council’s finances which enabled this project to go ahead.  He pointed out that there was still potential for the site to become a lido again, with Save Grange Lido still strongly engaged in the matter.

 

Councillor John Holmes, although fully supportive of the project, expressed disappointment in the time taken.  He further expressed strong concerns regarding the project having to go out to tender again and the potential problems that this could bring.  Councillor Holmes sought assurance that the project would work and further queried the increase in projected costs at 3.4.2.8.

 

Councillor Brook agreed that this had taken a lot longer than originally envisaged but stressed the fact this was a highly complex programme in relation to a heritage asset.  It had been difficult to make progress and new issues had constantly been emerging.  Despite this, he informed Members that it was intended for a start to be made in February 2023.

 

Councillor Jarvis provided an explanation with regard to the costs and process required to be followed regarding the procurement process.  He explained that, in relation to the decision taken in March 2020, those costs were no longer sufficient to cover scope and value of the scheme.  He stressed the fact that, should the Council approve the recommendation this evening, the tender exercise would commence on 4 November.

 

Councillor Peter Thornton, supporting the proposal, further expanded on the history of the site, including additional problems as a result of the listing of the site and, in addition, the Save Grange Lido group then having come forward with the challenge to make the site work as lido.  He felt that it was wrong to suggest that nothing had happened and stressed the need for a start to be made now.

 

Councillor Fiona Hanlon thanked officers, the Acting Operational Lead for Assets and Commercial Services and the Economy and Culture Specialist, for their work on this complex issue and expressed her support.  She referred to the proposal earlier in the day for a footpath and cycleway around the Bay and its likely positive impact on the lido.  She questioned the potential of separating the playground out from the whole project and to prioritise that work.

 

Councillor Brook reassured Councillor Hanlon that it was proposed that the play area would be the first thing dealt with as part of the plan should Council approve the recommendation today.  If the footpath and cycleway round the Bay came to fruition, he agreed that this would have a positive impact on the lido.  This asset was not simply one for Grange but also for South Lakeland and for Westmorland and Furness.  He also drew attention to the forthcoming increase in the BAE Systems workforce and the fact that these people would need places for leisure.  He hoped that the lido would play a part in this in the future.

 

Councillor Janette Jenkinson said that Grange pool had a special place in her heart.  She also expressed disappointment in the delays, however, backed the additional funding required.  She drew attention to comments raised by Councillor Ashcroft at a meeting of the Cabinet earlier in the day.  He had been pleased to view this as an investment in future place making and the health and wellbeing of the community.  In addition, Councillor Roger Bingham had mentioned the old mangle outside the changing rooms and had made reference to knitted bathing suits!  This, she reminisced, had been fantastic, and she hoped also that Save Grange Lido succeeded in the future and wished the Group well.

 

Councillor Kevin Lancaster said that the state of Grange had been an issue for many years and certainly since 1974 when this Council had come into being.  He referred to problems which had arisen in the 1860s when a railway had been put in to join to Furness, work on which he suggested had been carried out on the cheap.  The biggest issue, he felt, was with regard to the bridges, responsibility for which, he believed, should have been passed on to British Rail and not to this Council.  He stressed the fact, though, that the promenade at Grange still looked good and expressed support for the proposal, adding that he also felt that Westmorland & Furness would do the same.

 

Councillor Hanlon suggested that if work on the playground commenced before February, then this would not incur the need for another planning application.  The Chair explained that the planning permission was simply for the Lido and not the playground and the Acting Operational Lead for Assets and Commercial Services informed Council that the planning permission for the promenade expired four months later.

 

Councillor Tom Harvey shared many Members’ thoughts.  He pointed out, however, that only 1% of the people shown in photos at the lido were actually in the pool, and felt this great tourist attraction to be slightly overstated.  This facility, he suggested, was on the wrong side of the rail tracks and was not easy to access.  He shared strong reservations raised regarding the tender process and timescales and was concerned as regards what would happen to the site as it moved to the new authority.  He also expressed concern on the use of CIL money which, he pointed out, was a charge applied to new developments to help pay for new infrastructure.  He felt that there was a tenuous link in this regard.

 

Councillor Brook informed Members that he was aware that there were contractors who had indicated that they were keen to submit tenders to carry out the work.

 

Councillor Ashcroft who had seconded the proposal, taking a District and new Authority-wide view, stressed that the Council had to spend £2.4 million which would deliver a slightly improved version of what existed.  This, he said, made sense, by investing and turning a liability into an asset.  He referred to the impacts of the pandemic, the war in Europe and increases in the costs of materials, however, pointed out that the Council was close to delivering a plan.  Councillor Ashcroft further referred to projects of this type assisting in attracting a young professional workforce to the area.  He also expressed confidence in the Save Grange Lido group which, he believed, had the ability and commitment to recreating a lido an pool and pointed out that Phase 1 would unlock opportunities for future funding.  This project would see a return economically both in Grange and beyond.

 

It was subsequently unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That approval be given for the additional funding of £1,793,800 to be included in the Capital Programme 2022/23 for the purposes of undertaking the full scheme to repair and refurbish the Lido and Promenade in Grange-over-Sands.

 

Wards affected: Grange;

Lead officer: Ruth Leahy, Paul Scullion


01/11/2022 - Corporate Financial Update Quarter 1, 2022/23 ref: 4881    For Determination

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022

Decision:

The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder, Councillor Andrew Jarvis, presented the first quarter financial monitoring report of 2022/23.  The report provided the projected year end position based on performance to the end of Quarter 1 and officers’ planned actions to ensure a balanced budget by the end of the financial year.

 

The report and appendices included details relating to the revenue budget, capital expenditure, collection of Council Tax and business rates and the Council’s current position with regard to debt collection.

 

The report had also been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 26 August 2022 and by Cabinet on 31 August 2022, when Council had been recommended to approve the revenue virements listed therein.  Councillor Jarvis explained that the report had been delayed in coming to Council due to the rescheduling of the meeting and that the Quarter 2 Financial Update Report had not been prepared prior to the publication of the agenda for this meeting.  He therefore proposed to brief Council using the Quarter 1 report but would also update Council on subsequent developments.

 

Councillor Jarvis referred Members to the Revenue Budget and drew attention to the fact that the country was currently facing the first significant inflation in a generation.  The Council was not immune to this and this was reflected in the outlook for the rest of the year, with salary increases now looking certain to be way above the 2% assumed in the budget in February.  The current offer from employers, which had been rejected by unions, was an increase of £1,925 on all pay points.  A settlement at this level would cost the Council an additional £678k compared to what had been included in the budget.  In addition, there was significant inflation in some bought-in costs, and a further £132,000 had been included for fuel costs versus the budget.  However, the adverse impact of inflation was largely offset by a number of corporate, financial items.  In particular, with higher interest rates a very significant surplus of around £350,000 was expected on the Council’s investment income versus budget.  The Council had had managed to undertake recent capital investment without resorting to the expected borrowing.  This had saved about £207,000 in interest payments.  Additionally, the slightly lower capital spending than expected reduced Minimum Revenue Provision charges by £89,000.  There was a wide range of other variances both up and down emerging in other budgets, and details of these were presented in Section 3.1 of the report and in Appendix 1.  In total, these other factors added up to a forecast overspend of around £65,000.  Employee costs, before the impact of the assumed salary settlement, remained in line with the budget.  Councillor Jarvis said that, at this time, there were also a number of virements for which Council approval was sought.  These were listed in Section 3.1.2 of the report and included, example, budgets relating to the Rough Sleeping Initiative, grants relating to homelessness, receipt of funding for asylum seekers and the Contain Outbreak Management Fund.  Councillor Jarvis pointed out that the items on Green Home Grant and Sustainable Warmth Cumbria listed in Section 3.1.2 were within Cabinet delegation limits and that those virements had already been approved.

 

As a result of all of this, the Council had a projected overspend in the business-as-usual revenue budget at the end of Quarter 1 of £228,000 as summarised in Table 1.  However, Councillor Jarvis pointed out that this level of overspend was similar to previous years and was confident that this gap was likely to be closed by the end of the year.  In addition, within the budget, an allowance had been made for £261,000 costs associated with the Covid pandemic.  Currently, it was not envisaged that this would be required, which reduced the pressure on the Council’s finances.

 

While this would leave the Council’s revenue budget roughly balanced for the year, Councillor Jarvis informed Members that there were initial indications that the revenue position had worsened significantly in recent months.  There appeared to be a growing shortfall in some areas of income, particularly car parks.  At the same time costs had been reassessed in the light of inflation, and this indicated significant additional pressure on a number of budget, for example, on the utilities budgets.  The Finance Team was assessing the scale of these impacts, and was working with the Senior Leadership Team to identify mitigating actions.  Councillor Jarvis said that he would report back on these with the Quarter 2 update in December.

 

Councillor Jarvis turned to the Capital Programme and drew attention to the fact that, as often was the case in Quarter 1, capital expenditure was relatively low, with £800,000 having been spent and a further £1.8m committed.  Appendix 2 to the report provided details of progress on the Capital Programme.  Whilst this reflected a reassessment of the timing of expenditure on a number of projects, Councillor Jarvis expected that a more comprehensive review would be completed as part of the Quarter 2 update.  This would also reflect key decisions being made, including the inclusion of the agreed programme for Grange Lido and the Promenade.

 

The rest of the report dealt with Treasury matters and Collection rates.  The Quarter 1 Treasury Management Update was attached as Appendix 3.  This provided a detailed review of the Council’s current position, however, there was little significant change from previous quarters to highlight here.  Collection, debts and creditor rates were presented in sections 3.4 to 3.6.  Overall this showed satisfactory performance.  There was a small shortfall in the expected collection of Council Tax.  However, this could be explained by the time required for processing the energy rebates on behalf of the Government, meaning that some customers were receiving initial bills later than usual.  Non-domestic rates collection was running well ahead of normal, although this was likely to have been impacted by the higher levels of retail relief.

 

Councillor Jarvis, in closing, said that, overall, this first view of 2022/23 performance highlighted two things.  Firstly, that the Council was not immune to the economic ill-wind.  Significantly higher costs would be seen coming through, particularly in terms of employees and of fuel.  Secondly, that the Council remained in a robust financial position.  Councillor Jarvis was confident that the Council would be able to offset the worst of the economic shocks facing it, and avoid carrying large deficits into the new Authority.  However, this would require ongoing vigilance and work by officers to control expenditure and accurately forecast budgets.  Councillor Jarvis undertook to keep Council updated on this in December.  He thanked officers for their work and moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor Stephen Coleman.

 

Councillor Tom Harvey drew attention to Appendix 2 to the report with regard to Quarter 1 Capital Monitoring and KRE70 (Design Work Stramongate Kendal), the budget of £246,000 was due to be spent by November.  He pointed out that expenditure to date was only £6,951 and that it was already November and sought clarification as to whether the project would still go ahead or not.  The Chief Executive explained that agreement was being sought from external partners to extend the expenditure deadline.

 

Councillor Giles Archibald referred to the current volatility in interest rates and enquired whether officers were empowered to pay off loans should rates hit a spike where it was more appropriate for a loan to be repaid.  Councillor Jarvis said that any decision on debt should be taken in co-ordination with the other sovereign councils which constituted the Westmorland & Furness Authority.

 

Councillor David Webster expressed strong disappointment with regard to Appendix 2, KSC91 (Vehicle Purchase) and the comment which stated that three electric vehicles for parking were planned but probably not going ahead this year due to infrastructure issues.  Councillor Jarvis explained that, moving forward, the vehicle stock of all four councils which would make up the Westmorland & Furness Authority needed to be examined and that it would be prudent to delay this project for a few months.  He stressed that there was no lack of intention to purchase electric vehicles.  Councillor Dyan Jones, Climate Action and Biodiversity Portfolio Holder, pointed out the fact that there was currently no infrastructure in the District for hydrogen powered vehicles and undertook to discuss the matter with Councillor Webster outside of the meeting.

 

Councillor Janette Jenkinson sought clarification with regard to Appendix 2 and the £2m given by Glaxo Smith Klein towards the Ulverston Leisure Centre.  She sought assurance that this money would remain allocated to this project moving forward into the new Authority.  Councillor Jarvis highlighted the fact that the money had not yet been given but simply promised and that discussions remained ongoing.  The Chief Executive added that the Council was in constant contact with Glaxo Smith Klein and undertook to provide a written update to all Members within the next seven days.  Councillor Jenkinson reiterated the need for clarification that the Westmorland & Furness Council would commit to the project following receipt of any money given by Glaxo Smith Klein.

 

It was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the contents of the report and Appendices 1 to 3 thereto be noted; and

 

(2)        the revenue virements listed at 3.1.2a, 3.1.2b, 3.1.2e and 3.1.2f be approved.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Claire Read


01/11/2022 - Appointment of Monitoring Officer ref: 4879    For Determination

Appointment of Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officers

Decision Maker: Council

Made at meeting: 01/11/2022 - Council

Decision published: 12/01/2023

Effective from: 01/11/2022

Decision:

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder, reported that the former Monitoring Officer having left the Council’s employment in September 2022, the function had in the interim been undertaken by the current Deputy Monitoring Officer. This was the first Council meeting when this appointment could be made. Following interim changes to the Legal, Governance and Democracy Team structure, the Council was now being asked to make formal appointments to the roles of Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officers until 31 March 2023 in order to provide the necessary cover pending the dissolution of South Lakeland District Council.  No changes were proposed to the Council’s Pay Policy Statement around arrangements for the roles.

 

Councillor Brook having moved the recommendations contained within the report was seconded by Councillor Janette Jenkinson and it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        Julia Krier be appointed as Monitoring Officer for South Lakeland District Council, with effect from 1 September 2022 until 31 March 2023, to ensure legislative requirements are met; and

 

(2)        Danielle Walls and Josie Smith be appointed as Deputy Monitoring Officers, for the same term.

Lead officer: Simon McVey