Agenda and minutes

County Council - Tuesday, 7th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Rd, Carlisle

Contact: Jackie Currie  Email: jackie.currie@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

33.

Roll Call of Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr Barbour, Mr Brereton, Mr Collins, Ms Driver, Miss Garton, Mr Graham, Mrs Gray, Mr Hitchen, Mr Lywood, Mr Whipp, Mr Wentworth-Waites, Mrs Williamson, and Mr D Wilson.

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

To disclose any disclosable pecuniary interests relating to any item on the agenda.

 

Members are asked to refer to the Monitoring Officer for advice in relation to the declaration of interests at meetings of the full Council.  A complete list of declarations notified to the Monitoring Officer by 5.00 pm on Monday ???  will be circulated at the meeting. If any member wishes to correct or add to the circulated list, guidance on what constitutes a disclosable pecuniary interest is set out below.

 

NB The following is a summary of what constitutes a disclosable pecuniary interest. Please seek advice from the Monitoring Officer.

 

Members must disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises

 

1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for       profit or gain.

 

2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority

 

(a)       Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be           executed; and

 

            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.

 

4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 

 

5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 

 

6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)

 

            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and

 

            (b)       The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.

 

7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where

 

(a)       That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the          area of the authority; and

 

(b)       Either –

 

(i)      The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one        hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or

 

(ii)     If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.

 

Note

 

A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).

 

Minutes:

Mr K Little declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 9 – 2020/21 Annual Report of Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board, as he was a recipient of a Fire Service Pension.

35.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether there are any items on the agenda in respect of which the press and public should be excluded during consideration of the item.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the press and public be not excluded from any items on the agenda today.

 

 

36.

Public Participation

To receive petitions or questions from the public under the Public Participation Scheme for the Council.  This item is time limited to 30 minutes.

 

Minutes:

There were no valid requests to ask public questions, present petitions or make statements to this meeting.

 

 

37.

Minutes

37a

Minutes of 15 April 2021 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 15 April 2021 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 April 2021 be agreed with the following amendment:-

 

Page 13 – Minute No 12 – Minutes of the Cabinet

 

In the last paragraph, 3rd line down change ‘Lancaster County Council’ to ‘Lancaster City Council’.

 

 

 

 

37b

Minutes of 24 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 24 June 2021 – Special Meeting (copy enclosed)

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 June 2021 be agreed as a true and accurate record.

 

 

38.

Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that the details of the engagements undertaken by herself and the Vice Chair had been circulated to members.

 

He informed members of the sad passing of former County Councillor Helen Horne.  Helen served as the County Councillor for Yewdale from 2001 to 2009 and was also a current member of the Health and Wellbeing Board, as Chair of Healthwatch.  She passed away peacefully on 30 June 2021.

 

On 3 September Merchant Navy Day was marked, which aimed to raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers, and the Chairman and the Cabinet Member for Environment had the pleasure of hoisting a Red Ensign flag on one of the Liebherr cranes at the Port of Workington. It was a great way for us to honour the brave men and women who kept our 'Island Nation' afloat during both World Wars and celebrate our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 90% of the UK's imports.

 

The Tour of Britain would return to Cumbria on 10 September, and the county would once again play host to some of the world’s top professional cyclists.  This would be the 10th time Cumbria had hosted the Tour and this year Cumbria County Council would be co-hosting Stage 6 which would feature Cumbria extensively.  The Chairman said thanks must go to all the teams involved in the planning, publicity and supporting of this event.

 

The impact of COVID had been far-reaching and affected many aspects of all lives including the notable impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Whilst there were a lot of people who had coped admirably during these difficult times, there were those who had struggled.

 

This Friday marked World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme would be ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.  The Chairman asked all councillors to help by sharing this information so that people know where to turn to for help, support and advice should they need it.

 

The Chairman ended his announcements by raising awareness of the Emergency Services Day, also known as 999 Day. This national day took place each year on 9 September.  Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service should be acknowledged for the work they had done during the Covid 19 pandemic.  The service had continued to operate as ‘business as usual’ and had ensured that residents and local communities remained unaffected and safe.   Members joined the Chairman to applaud the continued hard work and commitment alongside their other emergency services colleagues.

 

The Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services made an announcement on the Cumbrian response to the latest refugee crisis, this time in Afghanistan.

Cumbria County Council’s response to this crisis started a number of months ago, which members would be updated on during consideration of the Urgency Provisions report later in this meeting.

The Leader took the decision for Cumbria County Council to join the Afghan Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme after an urgent request by the Home Office. To date the authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Minutes of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 331 KB

The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 22 April 2021 are enclosed (copy attached)

 

The Leader will ask members if they have any questions on the minutes taking each page in turn. Members should state clearly the minute number of the item concerned.

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 22 April 2021. 

 

There were no questions for the Leader on this occasion.

 

 

40.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT ANNUAL REPORT 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider a report from the Deputy Leader of the Council (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader presented a report which detailed treasury management activities during 2020/21, in accordance with best practice recommended in the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management in Local Authorities.

 

The Report highlighted performance during the year and provided a record of activities undertaken to demonstrate that officers had properly fulfilled their responsibilities, as laid down in the Annual Strategy 2020/21 agreed by Full Council in February 2020.

 

A key activity of the team was the management of cash flow to ensure that the Council could, on a daily basis, pay its bills and, longer term, plan for the prudent financing of its capital investments including the borrowing and repayment of loans. This was very important activity for the Council, and was particularly prevalent throughout 2020/21 as the Finance team effectively managed the Council’s cashflow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Deputy Leader reported that the Council undertook no new borrowing during the year with the Council’s approved capital expenditure being financed by the Council’s short term cash balances.  This contributed to the Treasury Management outperforming the budget leading to an underspend of £1.5m in the year.

The Deputy Leader moved the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED,     that Council

 

(1)      Notes the treasury management annual report for 2020/21;

(2)      Notes the year-end position for the Prudential Indicators 2020/21 and full compliance with the Council’s treasury management policies and practices during the year; and

(3)      Notes the Treasury Management function reports a £1.488m underspend for 2020/21, due primarily to the Council’s tactical strategy to utilise internal reserves whilst available.

 

41.

2020/21 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CUMBRIA FIRE LOCAL PENSION BOARD pdf icon PDF 384 KB

To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr K Little declared a pecuniary interest in this item as he was a recipient of a Fire Service Pension. He took no part in the meeting during discussion of this item.

 

County Council considered a report from Cabinet Member for Customer, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, which presented the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2020/21. 

 

The Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board was required to report on its activities to the Council, and the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2020/21 detailed developments of the Board and its activities during the year.

Where the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board was concerned that due consideration had not been given to matters of non-compliance, the Board may submit a report for consideration by the Audit and Assurance Committee as the body designated by the Scheme Manager with the capacity to investigate such matters on its behalf.  There had been no matters raised with the Audit and Assurance Committee.

RESOLVED,     that members note the 2020/21 Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board.

 

 

42.

Questions

To consider questions from Members, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 11.2 to 11.5 to the Leader, a Member of the Executive or the Chair of any Committee.

Minutes:

Mr Whiteside asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to give a summary of the progress made in the last year in developing schemes to improve the functioning of the A595 as a whole system.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say this road played a vital role in connecting communities and business along the west coast of Cumbria and the Council had been proactive in the development and promotion of schemes along this corridor.

 

Over the past 12 months the A595 Grizebeck Improvement Scheme had been allocated funding from Government and work was now moving forward to delivery of the scheme.  A Planning Application was now being prepared for the scheme which would include preliminary design, environmental surveys and continued engagement with local communities.

 

The Cabinet Member agreed to provide a full written response to the member.

 

Mr Hughes asked the Chair of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee whether the Health Scrutiny Committee would be considering the recent unannounced CQC Inspection report of urgent, emergency care services, surgery and maternity services at University Hospital Morecambe Bay Trust at a future meeting. 

 

The Chair of Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee replied to say that she shared the member’s concerns and would be working with officers to ensure a report was prepared for the committee as soon as possible.

 

Mr Johnson asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport a question about Cumbria Transport Operations, and in particular about bus routes and adverts for new drivers.  He understood a number of routes had recently been retendered and was interested in those routes which had been retendered with no bus route confirmed.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say he would be happy to provide a full written response but gave the member a brief overview.

 

The Council’s in house service now operated 35 Home to School and SEND transport routes.  By operating this way the Council could ensure that home to school transport routes were provided where there were no bidders, and that the council received value for money in the bids which were received.

 

Some scheduled community transport services were also being operated in house where there was no current provision.  The County Council does not intend to compete with operators and would only provide services within communities where there was no provision. 

 

In respect of home to school transport routes, the County Council bid for these routes and these are assessed by our procurement and commissioning team. It is worth noting that where no tender returns were received from Independent operators the Council has stepped in to provide services on 5 routes. Again we can provide details in writing. 

 

Mr Betton asked the Leader of the Council whether he intended to go ahead with the Judicial Review mentioned in his pre action letter to Government, and if so how much would this cost the taxpayer.  He also asked for details of the cost incurred to allow the County Council to produce their preferred option.

 

The Leader said he took the decision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

CONSTITUTION REVIEW GROUP pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To consider a report from the Leader of the Council (copy enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report which recommended changes to the Local Committees Terms of Reference and the Officers Scheme of Delegation to clarify and strengthen the role of Local Committees in decision making relating to certain placed based investment schemes.  The funds in question were the Towns Fund, the Future High Streets Fund and District Council Levelling-Up Fund applications and other similar funds.

 

The Leader took members through the proposed changes and outlined the current governance structure, the role of the local committees and also the proposed changes.

 

He explained that the change to the local committee terms of reference had been agreed to try to reduce the amount of bureaucracy involved every time the government brought new funds/schemes forward.

 

Members were supportive of the proposals to devolve more power to local committees.  They also wondered if it would be possible to further devolve powers on to Town and Parish Councils.

 

The Leader responded to say he felt the issue of whether to devolve powers down to town and parish councils would be better left until the new unitary authorities were in place.

 

Mr MCGuckin arrived at the meeting at this point.

 

RESOLVED,     that members approve the proposed amendments to Part 2D Local Committees and Part 3A Scheme of Delegation as set out in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the report.

 

The meeting adjourned at 11.20am and reconvened at 11.30am.

 

44.

SCRUTINY UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider a report from the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (copy enclosed)

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report which updated members on the work of Scrutiny and any issues and developments that have occurred since the last update.

 

The current Scrutiny Work Programme, which Members were asked to note, was under ongoing review and regularly updated to reflect new and emerging issues.

 

The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board took members through matters which had been considered by the Scrutiny Boards since the last meeting of Council, and also detailed the recent Task and Finish reviews undertaken.

 

RESOLVED,     that Members note the work programme presented and note recent activity undertaken by Scrutiny set out in the report.

 

 

45.

Minutes of Committees

To receive reports from Committees of the Council and receive questions and answers in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 11.1 to 11.5.

45a

Audit and Assurance Committee pdf icon PDF 476 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 11 March 2021 and the draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2021 (copies enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 11 March 2021 and the draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2021 be received and noted.

 

45b

Cumbria Pensions Committee pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 8 June 2021 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the draft minutes of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 8 June 2021 be received and noted.

 

 

 

45c

Workington Harbour Management Committee pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Management Committee held on 16 April 2021 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the draft minutes of the Workington Harbour Management Committee meeting held on 16 April be received and noted.

 

 

46.

URGENCY PROVISIONS pdf icon PDF 307 KB

To consider a report from the Leader of the Council (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report, the purpose of which was to notify members of any urgent decisions taken in the period since the last County Council meeting. 

 

Four relevant decisions had been taken since the last meeting and the details of those decisions were set out at Appendix 1.  In all cases, the decisions were treated as urgent decisions as the requirements to advertise for at least 28 days prior to a key decision being taken could not be complied with. 

 

RESOLVED,     that the report be received and noted.

 

 

47.

Notice of Motions

To consider notice of motions for up to a specified period of one hour.

Minutes:

There were no notices of motion to this meeting.

 

 

48.

Speeches

To hear speeches (not exceeding five minutes each) for up to a specified period of 30 minutes, from individual members, of which at least 24 hours’ notice has been given to the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services.

 

Minutes:

Mr Whiteside gave a speech on Lessons Learned from West Cumbria Mining.

 

The following members left the room at 11.50am – Mr Betton, Mr Cassidy, Mr Cook, Mr Cotton, Ms Earl, Mr Hamilton, Mr Little, Mr Mallinson, Mr McEwan, Mr McGuckin, Mr Morgan and Mr Worth, as they were all members of the Development Control and Regulation Committee and wanted to avoid a possible conflict arising in the future should they have to reconsider the West Cumbria Mining application..

 

Mr Whiteside spoke about the lessons which could be learned from matters relating to West Cumbria Mining, about what the democratic processes and rules of the council say, and what they allowed, and how the County Council should look at improving them during the remaining months this council existed and what the rules of the two new unitary councils which would replace this one should say.

 

The following members returned to the room at 11.55am – Mr Betton, Mr Cassidy, Mr Cook, Mr Cotton, Ms Earl, Mr Hamilton, Mr Little, Mr Mallinson, Mr McEwan, Mr McGuckin, Mr Morgan and Mr Worth

 

Mr McGuckin gave a speech on the PFI at Carlisle Hospital, detailing both the cost of the building and also the dispute still ongoing which involved a number of ancillary workers not being paid for unsocial hours worked.  The PFI contractor had been paid the money from the NHS but the money had never been passed on to the employees.  He felt the Audit Office should be conducting an enquiry into this.

 

Dr Lockney gave a speech on Cumbria’s welcome to refugees.  She talked about the number of refugees needing support, hate crime and the possibility of the UK and Cumbria taking more refugees.