Agenda and minutes

County Council - Thursday, 3rd November, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Offices, Kendal

Contact: Jackie Currie  Email:

No. Item


Roll Call of Members


Apologies for absence were received from Mr Barbour, Mrs C Bell, Mrs P Bell, Mr Berry, Miss Fearon, Dr Haraldsen, Mr Hawkins, Mr Hitchen, Mr Johnson, Mr Kennon, Lord Liddle, Dr Lockney, Mr Mitchelson, Mrs Sanderson, Mr Shirley, Mr Stoddart, Ms Wall, Mr Watson, Mr Wilson, Mr Wonnacott, Mr Worth and Mr Worthington.




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 31 October 2022 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.




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).



There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.




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.



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




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.



There were no public questions, statements or petitions on this occasion.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7 September 2022 (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2022 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




Announcements and Communications

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



The Chairman began by informing members of the sad passing of two former County Councillors Mr J Garnett and Mr R Mein.  Mr Garnett served as a County Councillor on three different occasions, in the Risedale, Newbarns and Walney South divisions. He passed away on 30 September.  Mr Mein served as the County Councillor for Cartmel and he passed away on 5 October 2022.


The Chairman had officially opened the new Gooseholme Bridge in Kendal on the 14 October.  This was a significant milestone in reconnecting the local community with parts of Kendal and the park after Storm Desmond damaged the original bridge.  He thanked everyone involved with this project, and also the local residents, community and businesses for their patience and understanding while these works took place.


The Chairman was looking forward to attending Cumbria Archive Service’s celebration event on Saturday 12 November to mark the 60th anniversary by planting a tree and welcoming the public to Lady Gillford’s House and Cumbria Archive Centre.


He then informed members of the recent award given to the 3dadswalking, who had raised more than £800,000 for charity following the suicide of their daughters.  One of the dads was Andy Airey who was born and bred in Cumbria, and wanted to continue to highlight the fact that suicide was the biggest killer of young people across the entire UK, following the death of his daughter.  The 3dadswalking wanted to highlight the work of PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, by walking between the parliaments of the 4 nations.


Lastly, the Chairman reminded everyone that Remembrance Sunday would be held on the 13 November.  He would be attending the County Memorial Service in Rickerby Park, Carlisle, and other members would also be attending services across the county to commemorate those fallen, our veterans and those who were currently serving.  


The Leader of the Council made an announcement about the proposed reductions planned by the BBC to cut local radio stations.  He shared his dismay with members and hoped all of them recognised the importance of local radio, especially during times such as Storm Desmond and other local emergencies.  The Leader would be writing to the Secretary of State to raise these concerns.


The Cabinet Members for Highways and Transport made an announcement about this year’s Community Rail Awards, which were hosted by the Community Rail Network and held in Manchester Central Convention Centre on 6 October 2022 with over 430 guests.  The Awards recognised the vital work delivered by passionate and dedicated officers and volunteers across Great Britain who collaborated with the rail industry to improve, enhance and transform our railway stations, train services and customer experiences for the better.  Community Rail Cumbria were delighted to be shortlisted for four categories during the ceremony.


·           Community Creative Projects and Station Arts Project 175, a celebration of 175 years of Furness Railway and Lakes Line;

·           Best Community Engagement Project for the ‘Our Flimby’ Project;

·           Station Friends and Adopters at the Heart of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Minutes of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 260 KB

The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 22 September 2022 (copy enclosed).


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.



On page 20 - Minute 26 Statement by the Cabinet Member – Health and Care Services Mrs Mallinson asked a question about the issue of lack of capacity in care homes, and how this was going to be resolved.


The leader responded to say that capacity in care homes will be at the top of the County Council’s agenda during the winter.  However, there were a number of things which would also need to be considered such as the trajectory of the number and severity of covid cases, and the effects of flu during the winter months.  The Cabinet Member had held a series of meetings with officers about this, and these were still ongoing.


On page 26 – Minute 32 Children Looked After Placements Sufficiency Mr Dew asked the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services whether she thought there would be any issues with sufficiency of places going forward.


The Cabinet member said the strategy had been put in place to ensure the two new unitary authorities would not be left without sufficiency of places for children. However, there was a vast shortage of places for residential care for children and the costs are rising, and she felt the Government should be looking at this.  


RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 22 September 2022 be received and noted.




Amendments to the Approved Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 255 KB

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


Additional documents:


Members considered a report which detailed amendments to the approved Capital Programme which set out the Council’s investment plans over the current and following four years to achieve the Council’s priorities and vision.  Whilst it was recognised that the County Council would no longer exist from 1 April 2023 the importance that the longer term financial planning continued in order to support the future planning by the new unitary councils was highlighted.  


Council was asked to approve the changes, as recommended by Cabinet, to the Capital Programme for 2022-2027.  Officers explained that if approved this would result in a revised Capital Programme of £418.721m for 2022-2027.


The recommendations were moved by the Deputy Leader and seconded by the Leader. 


The Local Member for Cleator Moor wanted to know what had happened to the extra care housing scheme for Cleator Moor, which seemed to have disappeared from the list.   The County Council had allocated land at Ehenside to be used for the extra care housing scheme but the developer had withdrawn from the scheme, saying they would be interested in building houses on this site, but not extra care housing. The Local Member hoped that this land was kept for the development of housing for aged care.


The Deputy Leader responded to say that although extra care housing was a priority for the County Council it was provided by the private sector.  The current financial crisis was affecting the ability of the private sector to develop viable schemes.


The Local Member for Stanwix Urban raised the issue of the Section 106 developer contribution for the design of the North Carlisle Primary School.  With more houses being built the contribution from the developers would be crucial to the development of this and she hoped this would be a priority for the new Cumberland Council.


The Leader of the Council reminded members about a previous council decision taken on the closure of Belah School, even though plans indicated there would be a future need for more houses and school places.  He felt pressure should be put upon the developers to deliver on the contribution required in line with the Section 106 agreement.


The recommendations were then put to a vote, which was unanimous.


RESOLVED,     that


(1)     the proposed revised Capital Programme 2022-27 of £418.721m (as detailed in Table 1 paragraph 4.4 of the report) be noted;


(2)     the following be approved:-


                                           (a)  the addition of £7.670m to the Capital Programme 2022-2027 for new schemes (as detailed in Table 2 paragraph 5.1 of the report) financed from external grants and contributions;


                                           (b)  the re?profiling of £56.119m from 2022/23 to future years (as set out in Table 3 in paragraph 5.2 of the report);


                                           (c)   the accelerated expenditure of £2.000m into 2022/23, £1.000m from 2023/24 and £1.000m from 2024/25 into 2022/23 for the Strategic Acquisition Fund to meet inflationary cost pressures in 2022/23 (as detailed in Table 4 paragraph 5.3 of the report);


                                           (d)  the virements of £3.469m from the Strategic Acquisition Fund  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Treasury Management Half Year Strategy Review 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 799 KB

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



Members considered a report which detailed treasury management activities during the first half of the 2022/23 financial year and highlighted performance and activities which confirmed all Treasury Management activities undertaken during the period were in compliance with the Annual Strategy agreed by Members at Council in February 2022.


Council was informed there had been a review of the 2022/23 Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) which included the Annual Investment Strategy.  The review had concluded that no amendments were required to the Strategy.


The Deputy Leader moved the recommendations, which were seconded by the Leader and put to a vote.  The vote was unanimous.


RESOLVED,     that the following be noted:-


(1)     following a half yearly review, no amendments are required to the Treasury Management Strategy Statement which includes the Annual Investment Strategy;


(2)     following a half yearly review, Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management Indicators have been fully complied with and that no amendments are required to these indicators;


(3)     the Treasury Management function is forecasting a £3.306m underspend (as at 30 June 2022) for 2022/23, due, in part, to the Council’s tactical strategy to utilise internal reserves whilst available, albeit that this will be kept under review given various uncertainties, including interest rate movements and cash flow requirements. The forecast underspend also reflects interest received on cash balances currently held by the Council.





To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services (copy enclosed).



Mrs B Gray arrived at the meeting during this item.


Members received a report which provided an update on the Corporate Parenting Board’s activity over the past year, plans for the next year and afforded the opportunity to hear directly from the Children in Care Councils about the experiences of children looked after.


The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services took members through the report and then moved the recommendations, which were seconded by Mrs S Evans.


Mr Dew asked the Cabinet Member whether the new unitary Councils would support the vital function played by the Corporate Parenting Board, and what would happen to the Children in Care Council.


The Cabinet Member responded to say the County Council would have no say in what would happen to the Corporate Parenting Board or the Children in Care Council, but she had spoken to the portfolio holders in both unitary councils and they were aware of the issues of corporate parenting.


The Leader of the Council proposed an amendment to recommendation 3.1 to change the word poverty to parenting.  This was agreed.


All members supported the need to champion good communication with children and young people, and hoped the new authorities would learn from the County Council’s best practice for corporate parenting. 


The Cabinet Member said that with the current cost of living crisis and rising inflation the need for everyone to understand what it meant to be a corporate parent would need to be a priority going forward. 


The recommendations were then put to a vote, which was unanimous.


RESOLVED,     that


(1)     the Council endorses the report and continues to champion this important programme of work, as well as committing to work with Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council to ensure the ongoing commitment and prioritisation to corporate parenting;


(2)     all Members ensure they are signed up to and promoting Our Promise to children and young people.


The meeting then broke at 11.20am and reconvened at 11.35am.




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.



Mr Whiteside asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport if he could ensure that the Council used social media to promote and publicise the National Highways engagement sessions.


The Cabinet Member agreed to ensure press releases were published and that this was backed up with social media posts.


Mrs Williamson asked the Leader of the Council whether he agreed that the delay re: the decision on West Cumbria Mine was unacceptable.


The Leader responded to say there was a need to urge the Government to make a decision one way or another to end the uncertainty.


Mr Collins asked the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities whether she would urge the Covid Vaccination Teams to make sure they engaged with partners to offer wider publication of their programme to ensure the public were aware of the location of the vaccination sites.  In his village the publicity was poor and many residents missed the opportunity to attend. 


The Cabinet Member agreed to speak to the Director of Public Health about this.


Mr Betton asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport a question about an inspection of Durranhill Viaduct undertaken in January 2020 which identified a number of issues with the viaduct.  In September 2021 further work identified the need for further additional works.  It had been anticipated the cost of the work would be in excess of £1 million.  The viaduct had appeared on the Carlisle Local Committee list for the 2019/20 year but was withdrawn due to the fact that there was no bridge infrastructure money provision.  Despite the member raising this through the highways hotline, HIAMS, directly to officers and also via a freedom of information request nothing had been done to resolve this.  He asked the Cabinet Member whether he would ask the Executive Director to commit to finding the money for this scheme to go ahead as soon as possible.


The Cabinet Member responded that said he was aware that officers had been working closely with Mr Betton and Carlisle Local Committee to explain the remedial works identified as a result of Bridge Inspections and further investigations at Durranhill Viaduct.  The Cabinet Member took all matters associated with providing a safe and serviceable highway network seriously and he was aware of the findings of inspections and investigations of this structure.


In preparing future programmes of work the Bridges team followed a priority assessment process to ensure we spend the limited funding we receive from Government in the locations where there was the greatest risk.  Unfortunately there were insufficient funds currently available this year to undertake this scheme but the County Council would continue to inspect and monitor this structure until funding could be made available.


Mr Betton then asked a supplementary question about the scheme and whether the Cabinet Member would conduct an internal investigation and ensure the money could be found to progress this.


The Cabinet Member urged Mr Betton to meet with the Highways Manager  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.



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


Additional documents:


tThe Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report which updated members on the work of Scrutiny and any issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of full Council.


The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board took members through the report.


On 7 September 2022 Cumbria County Council had agreed a motion asking Scrutiny to review the impact of the cost of living on children’s access to food; to review all options to prevent any child going hungry and to report back to Council in November.


Scrutiny Members had completed this review at pace, receiving a wide range of witness testimony and reports.  The report setting out the findings and recommendations from the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group was included as Appendix 1 to the report.  The Chair said there was no need for this report to go back to Scrutiny Management Board, and that if any decisions were needed urgently they could be taken as a Leader’s Decision rather than waiting until Cabinet in December.


Council was asked to support the recommendations made, and to refer the report to Cabinet to consider the outcomes and allocate funding as part of the Quarter 2 monitoring report.


The Chair then moved the recommendations, which were seconded by Mr M Wilson.


The Leader of the Council thanked the Chair of SMB and the members of the task and finish group for the scrutiny review.  He commented that for some of the recommendations in the review there would be a resource implication which would need to be considered by Cabinet, but that he would be happy to take any urgent decisions as Leader Decisions if necessary.


Members were keen for this decision to be taken as soon as possible given the urgency of the situation.


Members also commented that local committees may also be able to provide some financial support during the current cost of living crisis, but this would be a decision for the local committees to take.


After the debate the recommendations were then put to a vote.  The Cabinet abstained from the vote due to the fact that this was being referred to cabinet for a decision.  The rest of the members voted for the recommendations.


RESOLVED,     that Members:

(1)      Note the recent activity undertaken by Scrutiny set out in this report; and,

(2)      Support the recommendations set out in the Scrutiny Review report ‘No Child Goes Hungry: Cost of Living and Children’s Food Security’ attached as Appendix 1; and,

(3)      Refer the report to Cabinet to consider the outcomes and allocate funding as part of the Quarter 2 monitoring report; and 

(4)          Note the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2022/23 attached as Appendix 2.


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.


Audit and Assurance Committee pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 8 September 2022 (copy enclosed).


RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Audit and Assurance Committee meeting held on 8 September 2022 be received and noted.



Cumbria Pensions Committee pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 13 September 2022 (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Cumbria Pensions Committee meeting held on 13 September 2022 be received and noted.



Notice of Motions

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



None for this meeting.




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 Monitoring Officer.



None for this meeting.