Venue: County Hall, Kendal
Contact: Jackie Currie Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roll Call of Members
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
To elect a Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing municipal year.
The Chairman to make a declaration of acceptance of office
The Chairman asked for nominations for the Office of Chair of the Council. Ms Earl moved, seconded by Mr Barry that Mrs Bowditch be elected as Chairman for the ensuing year.
With only one nomination being received and with the agreement of the Council, it was
RESOLVED that Mrs C Bowditch be elected as Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year
On being invested with the Badge of Office by the retiring Chairman and having signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Mrs Bowditch took the Chair.
Mrs Bowditch in the Chair.
After thanking the outgoing Chairman, Mrs Bowditch spoke about her pride in being elected as a county councillor, her passion for Cumbria and her work with supporting people with learning difficulties. Her two chosen charities this year were People First and Mencap and she hoped members would support her choices.
The Group Leaders congratulated Mrs Bowditch on her election.
ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN
To appoint a Vice Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing municipal year.
The Vice Chairman to make a declaration of acceptance of office
The Chairman sought nominations for the Office of Vice Chair of the County Council.
With Mrs Carrick proposing and Mr Wearing seconding Mr Markley as Vice Chair and there being no other nominations, it was
RESOLVED that Mr A Markley be appointed as Vice Chair of the County Council for the ensuing year
Mr Markley signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and the Chairman then invested Mr Markley with the Badge of Office.
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 and Senior Manager for Legal and Democratic Services for advice in relation to the declaration of interests at meetings of the full Council. A complete list of declarations notified to the Acting Monitoring Officer by 5.00 pm on Monday 8 April 2019 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 Legal and Democratic Services.
Members are invited to 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 ... view the full agenda text for item 4.
There were no declarations made on this occasion.
Exclusion of Press and Public
To consider whether there are any items on the agenda for which the press and public should be excluded.
RESOLVED that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during discussion of any items on the agenda today.
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 questions, petitions or statements made to the Council on this occasion.
PRESENTATION - CUMBRIA CONSTABULARY
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster to give members the annual presentation from the Constabulary.
This should have been in January but due to a clash of diaries it had to be postponed.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster gave members the annual presentation from the Constabulary, which covered the following:-
· The challenges with finances
· The changing nature of policing
· Additional police officers
· Cyber crime
· Digital Media
· Control Room
· The values of the Constabulary
· Cumbria Constabulary Performance Figures
· New Regulations
· Investment in technology
· The multi layered police response
· Police Hubs
· Operation Horizon
The Leader of the Council asked the Deputy Chief Constable if he accepted that the reduction in the number of police officers on the ground had contributed to the levels of increase in reported crime.
The Deputy Chief Constable responded to say that the report from the Office of National Statistics set out the reasons for the statistics. Police data in general was poor in 2010, and unreliable. These days this is much improved, and had resulted in a greater shift in reporting crime. He accepted that in some areas of reporting there had been increases, however, this was not necessarily correlated to a lack of police officers on the ground.
Mr B Berry said he had a copy of a letter from the MP for South Lakeland, in which he stated that he thought the police were doing a ‘poor job’ in South Lakeland and that this was down to a lack of police officers on the ground. For the whole of South Lakeland there were only 8 police officers. He asked Deputy Chief Constable Webster to respond to this.
The Deputy Chief Constable was disappointed with the references in the letter to poor policing in South Lakeland, especially when the HMICFRS report into Cumbria’s performance had recently stated that Cumbria was sustaining its positive performance and it was confident that Cumbria Constabulary was well equipped for this to continue. The people of South Lakeland had also responded to say they thought the Constabulary were doing a ‘good job.
He accepted that the letter was correct in that there were only 8 officers patrolling in South Lakeland but behind the front line there were considerable numbers of Detectives, Public Protection Officers and Firearms Officers providing the policing service.
Mr S Collins quoted an incident recently where he tried to get through to make a report of debris on the road, which was causing a problem, only to find out that he was 10th in a queue of callers waiting to be dealt with. Due to the nature of the problem he ended up ringing 999, even though it was not a life threatening emergency. He asked the Deputy Chief Constable to look at resourcing the 101 number sufficiently so this could be avoided in future.
The Deputy Chief Constable responded to say the performance of the 101 service was interrogated on a daily basis, and if anyone experienced difficulty in getting through he advised them to use the 999 service instead.
Mrs E Williamson said there had been a disturbing increase in the number of drug related crimes in Whitehaven recently and she wondered if this was attributable to the ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14 February 2019 (copy enclosed).
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed with the following amendments:-
On Minute 68 – Announcements and Communications in the second paragraph from the bottom of the page add in the word ‘the late’ before Mr Fairburn’s name.
On Minute 70 – Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan, page 16 fourth paragraph change first sentence “but that choices should not be reported in isolation.” to read: “but that the choices presented should not be regarded in isolation.”
In the second sentence: “She referred to the chart on page 107 of the Budget paper and the largest area – the people directorate”, replace with: “…and the single largest area of expenditure.”
In the third sentence add to the end of the sentence “…but various mitigating actions were.”
Delete final sentence: “This had resulted in less than half of the £15m of savings being realised.”
Also on Minute 70 – add Mr B Shirley and Mr S Stoddart to the list of names of those voting against the recommendations so the total number adds up to 34.
Minute 72 – Questions in the third paragraph from the bottom amend the words ‘along the B5900 at Dubmill, where the road.....’ to read ‘B5300 at Dubmill, due to coastal erosion.
Announcements and Communications
To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.
The Chair announced that the details of the engagements undertaken by herself and the outgoing Chairman since the last meeting had been circulated to all members.
The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport announced that the additional £12.4 million of government funding for ‘pot hole’ repairs in the County had now been spent. Over £700,000 of this work had been delivered by the County Council’s Highways Teams.
He also announced that Windermere Ferry was now back in service. It had been taken out of service recently for essential maintenance.
The Chief Executive made an announcement about Mr Bob Mather, former Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance, who sadly passed away recently. Council members remembered Mr Mather fondly and asked that their condolences be passed on to Mr Mather’s family.
To consider a report from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council presented the report of the Constitution Review Group which sought Council’s approval to certain changes to update the Constitution.
Firstly, in relation to employment matters Council was asked to adopt the revised Part 3:15 Chief Legal Officer delegations, the revised terms of reference of the Chief Officers Committee (Part 2L), Staffing Committee (Part 2l) and Independent Persons Panel.
County Council was also asked to adopt the revised Part 5 Other Employment Procedure Rules: 6 Disciplinary Action and Dismissal.
Mr A McGuckin stated that the initial stages of the disciplinary procedure for statutory officers had been agreed at a national level. However, the Constitution Review Group had concerns about this as there was no right of appeal to a dismissal decision. This had been challenged nationally.
Following a review and consultation with the Workington Harbour Board, new terms of reference were proposed to accord with the Department for Transport’s ‘Ports Good Governance Guidance’ (March 2018) (‘the DfT Guidance’) in relation to the formation and membership of a local authority port committee.
It was proposed to change the name of the committee to the Workington Harbour Board Management Committee to reflect the fact it was already a committee of the County Council and consequently operated good governance principles within the structure of the local authority.
The functions of the Workington Harbour Board had been reviewed and it was recommended that County Council refreshed these to clarify the functions of the committee.
It was recommended that the Chair of the Workington Harbour Management Committee should be a County Council Councillor rather than an independent appointment to ensure that reporting lines and accountability to the Council were automatically maintained.
Section 5 of the proposed Terms of Reference recommended a new provision to reflect the fact that the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure had delegated authority to discharge all County Council functions relating to the Port of Workington and was the Duty Holder in accordance with the Port Marine Safety Code (‘PMSC’).
With reference to the scrutiny of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership the Leader reported that on 20 December 2018 Cabinet agreed that the Council would act as the ‘Accountable Body’ for Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
It was a requirement of the National Local Growth Assurance Framework (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2019) that LEPs must agree with their Accountable Body appropriate scrutiny arrangements to enable democratic scrutiny of LEP decisions.
The Council as Accountable Body agreed to take the lead in making arrangements for scrutiny. With the District Councils, a number of options have been considered, including using an existing committee, establishing a joint committee and each Authority carrying out its own scrutiny. The Council had sought to facilitate arrangements that were both compliant with the National Assurance Framework and had minimal impact on existing governance arrangements and costs.
Following consideration of options available to the Council, the recommendation was to establish a new scrutiny committee, for the purposes of LEP Scrutiny. The functions ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
ELECTION OF CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR OF SCRUTINY MANAGEMENT BOARD
To elect a Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board.
RESOLVED that Mr W Wearing be elected as Chair, and Mr M Wilson be elected as Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board.
To consider a report from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council presented a report which dealt with the constitution of the Council’s committees and other member bodies and asked members to appoint chairs and vice chairs of various committees and other bodies. In addition the Council was asked to confirm the Scheme of Delegation as set out in the Constitution. The schedule of appointments was circulated to members.
Mr A Lamb asked the Leader to confirm whether the Leader/Cabinet Members were eligible to be members of the Audit and Assurance Committee.
The Leader responded to say constitutionally the Leader and Cabinet Members were eligible. Guidance for Audit and Assurance Committee permitted this, but the current Cabinet chose not to follow this practice.
Mr C Whiteside commented that the formula used does not always produce political proportionality. He asked that when membership of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee was next reviewed the rules for proportionality needed to be applied.
The Leader responded to say that council could only ensure political proportionality for its own elected members, the District Councils would have their own rules for the political proportionality of their members.
Mrs H Carrick proposed that in Appendix 1 the words ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ be removed. This was AGREED.
RESOLVED that, Council
(1) approve the size (where optional) and terms of reference of ordinary committees of the Council and the allocation of committee places to political groups as set out in Appendix 1, with the removal of the words ‘As far as reasonably practicable’ be removed from the third column of the table under Local Enterprise Partnership Board (LEP) Scrutiny Board;
(2) note the nominations to sit on each committee and other Council bodies;
(3) appoint the Chair and Vice Chair of the member bodies set out in Appendix 2;
(4) appoint the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Overview and Scrutiny Advisory Boards as set out in Appendix 3;
(5) approve changes to appointments to certain bodies, if any, for the remaining two years of the Administration, in accordance with the allocations set out in Appendix 4;
(6) approve the appointment of the Leader of the Council to the Cumbria Leadership Board and the appointment of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance as the named substitute;
(7) approve the Chair of the Pensions Committee (and the Vice Chair to act in the absence of the Chair) to represent the Council on behalf of the Cumbria Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) on the Border to Coast Pension Partnership Joint Committee;
(8) appoint the Chair of the Pensions Committee (and the Vice Chair to act in the absence of the Chair) to exercise the Council’s rights as a shareholder of the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership company on behalf of the Council as administering authority of the Cumbria LGPS;
(9) confirm the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers (Part 3A of the Constitution).
The minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 21 March 2019 are 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.
The Leader presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 February 2019.
On Minute No 98 – Statements by the Leader and Cabinet Members Mr Hogg asked how the Borderlands Project may benefit the different areas of Cumbria.
The Leader replied to say that the Borderlands Partnership would be working together to deliver positive change across the region to encourage growth, help existing businesses and to encourage new businesses to set up in the area and had been established to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive growth. Whilst not everyone would see a project in their town, the projects/programmes, such as Broadband, Business Infrastructure and Quality of Place would benefit many areas of the county.
The next stage in the Borderland Project would be the agreement of the Heads of Terms, which it was hoped would be completed by the end of June. Once these were agreed there should be more clarity on the projects.
Mr Dew asked for confirmation of the number of risks contained in the Corporate Performance Monitoring Report and how many had missed key milestones. The Cabinet report stated 2 risks were rated as red, but the associated papers indicated that there were more than that.
The Leader referred the member to the Cabinet Report which contained all the information on the actions being delivered and the associated risks.
Mr Dew then asked why the occupation rates in some of the Care Homes were so low, for example Christian Head in Appleby only had a 50% occupancy rate.
The Leader responded to say that there were a variety of reasons why the homes were not at full occupancy rates, in one of the homes a refurbishment programme was underway, in another one the lift was out of action, and in some of them major repair work was being carried out, all of which had an impact on occupancy rates.
The Leader confirmed there were no current plans to close care homes in Appleby.
Mrs E Mallinson said members were concerned generally about the low occupancy rates in care homes across the county and wondered whether the relevant Scrutiny Panel should look at this.
The Leader said this was a matter for the Scrutiny Panel to consider as part of its work programme, but he confirmed he would welcome Scrutiny looking at this.
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board said the figures for occupancy rates in care homes would be presented to the next Scrutiny Performance Working Group.
Mr A Lamb said he had been shocked that the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue had commented at Cabinet that she thought that the Rapid Response Vehicles would provide a better response to the people of Cumbria.
The Cabinet Member responded to say that at this stage the scheme in Copeland was only a pilot, and that similar pilots had been run successfully in other parts of the Country. However, no decision had yet been made on this.
Mr P Turner said, ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities (copy enclosed).
The Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services presented the new Joint Public Health Strategy to Council for approval. The strategy, which had been developed with (and was also being approved by) District Councils, focused on the wider environmental, social and economic determinants of health and wellbeing.
The strategy itself set out how Cumbria County Council would work on the Health and Wellbeing Strategy theme of “Tackling the Wider Determinants of Health”. The focus would be on the wider environmental, social and economic factors rather than on lifestyles and behaviours.
Many partners had been involved alongside the County Council in shaping and developing this strategy, including all 6 district councils, the Lake District National Park Authority, colleagues from the third sector and the LEP. This demonstrated a strong commitment to joint working on health and wellbeing, which was key to working towards its ambitious aims.
This was a strategy that could not be delivered in isolation, and the council had been clear from the start that none of the aims in the strategy could realistically be achieved by the County Council on its own. This would involve all partners across Cumbria coming together to ensure a joint approach and responsibility for improving the health and wellbeing of communities across Cumbria.
The strategy had now been formally endorsed by the National Park Authority and 5 of the 6 district councils. Copeland Borough Council would be considering this at their meeting next week. Following the endorsement of all partners the next steps would be to develop action plans at a County level (owned by the Public Health Alliance) and at a District level (owned by the local Health and Wellbeing Fora).
Mrs E Williamson welcomed the joint strategy. In her role as a Children’s Champion she was delighted to read about the plans to improve the lives of children. She felt each of the local committees could help support this with their funding for 0-19’s. She felt all members should take this to their own local committees to develop some meaningful actions and discussions to help improve the outcomes for children.
Mr S Wielkopolski commented that he was disappointed that the strategy did not contain specific targets for reducing climate change.
Mr F Morgan said he felt the document attempted to try to improve outcomes for those living in poverty in Cumbria. He still had a number of concerns about the fact that Cumbria was still receiving less funding for public health than the rest of the country.
Dr Haraldsen said the strategy was a very interesting document and he understood that the detail for delivery of the outcomes would not necessarily fall to the County Council. However, there would be a number of outcomes which the Council would be responsible for delivering. He felt Cumbria County Council had a big role to play in shifting the environment to improve public health.
Mr C Whiteside said he hoped that in instances where outcomes were already being delivered well in Cumbria, ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
To consider a report from the Cabinet Member Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue (copy enclosed).
The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented a report which informed members that on the 21 March 2019, Cabinet reviewed the final IRMP 2019-2023 following analysis of the feedback from a comprehensive consultation period and agreed to recommend it to Full Council for approval.
The purpose of this report was to ask Full Council to approve the Integrated Risk Management Plan 2019 -2023 as part of the Policy Framework. The Plan was appended to the report (Appendix 1).
A draft IRMP and supporting Risk Based Evidence Profile (RBEP) were published on the 20 December and formed the basis for consultation with key stakeholders including Members, the public, partners and staff. This ended on the 8 February 2019.
During the consultation period, briefing sessions were offered to all Local Committees, and staff who may be directly impacted by the proposals. Whilst from the Local Committees there was support for the work of the service in general, Copeland Local Area Committee voted to specifically oppose the introduction of a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) at Frizington Fire Station.
In terms of staff engagement, the only specific queries came from the staff based at Frizington Fire Station. These concerns were addressed in a face to face meeting between staff and the Assistant Chief Fire Officer. The Assistant Chief Fire Officer also attended Arlecdon and Frizington Parish Council to provide them with a comprehensive briefing.
There were 167 responses to the consultation. The majority of these took the form of a standard response that raised similar concerns to those contained within the Fire Brigades Union response detailed in Appendix 2 of the report. The remaining responses, whilst having more detail, essentially raised similar concerns.
Cabinet were made aware of all of the consultation responses received as part of the consultation process.
Mr S Collins was pleased that the County Council was looking to obtain Rapid Response Vehicles which would be able to cover all of the areas in his division. There had been an incident in his division which had resulted in the loss of life due to the fact that the location was inaccessible to the large fire engines. He hoped that, even if the council decided not to go forward with the RRV’s after the pilot, that vehicles would be purchased which could access the hard to reach areas in the county.
Mr C Whiteside proposed a number of amendments to the resolution which included 3 additional recommendations, specifically:-
(1) That full Council approves the Integrated Risk Management Plan 2019-2023 with the following amendment on page 22 of the document, and page 196 of the full Council agenda, first bullet point under “Response, “ DELETE the word “Frizington” and move the immediately preceding word “and” to “Staveley”
(2) This Council also resolves that a full report on the evaluation of the pilot use of a Rapid Response Vehicle be brought back to Cabinet, Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board, and full Council before any decisions which are ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue (copy enclosed).
The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2017/18.
RESOLVED that the report be received and noted.
To consider a report from the Deputy Leader.
The Deputy Leader presented a report from the Director of Finance which sought Council approval to re-profile the agreed capital budget for the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) from 2020/21 to 2019/20.
This re-profiling was requested in order to enable continued design and development of the CSLR in advance of inclusion of the full grant from the national Housing Investment Fund in the Council’s Capital Programme.
Council recalled that Cumbria County Council had been successful in securing £102million of grant funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for the construction of the Carlisle Southern Link Road and this major infrastructure scheme would unlock thedelivery of up to 10,000 new homes as part of St Cuthbert’s Garden village development, bringing community infrastructure, employment opportunities and significant benefits to the city and the wider county.
The Deputy Leader explained that the terms and conditions of the grant had been received recently but to be able to keep to the ambitious timeline for delivery of the CSLR by Spring 2023 there needed to be procurement of the next phase of design services.
To enable this to happen, Council’s approval was needed to re-profile the already agreed Budget permission from 2020/21 to 2019/20 of £4.5M into this current financial year, 2019/20. This would enable the council to comply with our Financial Standing Orders and demonstrate good financial and contract management.
Mr C Whiteside commented that he hoped the A595 Whitehaven Relief Road would be the next scheme to receive Government/Highways England funding.
RESOLVED that Council approves re-profiled spend of £4.502m from the 2020/21 to 2019/20 Capital Programme to enable scheme development to continue in 2019/20 in advance of receiving funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
To consider a report from the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (copy enclosed).
The Chair of the Scrutiny Management Committee presented a report which updated Full Council on the work of Scrutiny and any issues and developments that have occurred since the last meeting of Full Council.
The Scrutiny Annual Report 2918-19 was presented as Appendix 1 to the report which looked back at the work of Scrutiny over the past year and highlighted some of the key areas of focus. It included a number of case studies which demonstrated the important contribution Scrutiny could make in different ways to the work of the Council in supporting service improvement, and ensuring the best outcomes for Cumbria.
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board felt that Scrutiny had made a valuable contribution to the work of the Council over the past year providing challenge, insight and suggestions about how the Council could meet the range of challenges presented by reducing budgets and increasing demand for services. Scrutiny Members looked forward to continuing their work over the coming year with other Members, Officers and partners to ensure they provide effective Scrutiny of decision making and performance; and also provide pre- scrutiny input to policy development.
RESOLVED that the report be received and noted.
To consider questions from Members, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 11.2, to the Leader, a Member of the Executive or the Chair of any Committee.
Mr M Brereton was delighted to hear about the work taking place at Grizebeck. He asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to confirm that he would still be working closely with local people, and listening to their ideas and input.
The Cabinet Member confirmed that he would work closely with the community and would listen to their ideas and input.
Mrs E Williamson asked the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services to give some examples of the work Cumbria County Council was doing to give children a voice in Cumbria.
The Cabinet Member responded to say that Cumbria County Council had carried out a survey over 12 months ago in relation to the ‘Voice of a Child’ in Cumbria. This was currently being revisited to assess if any additional work could be implemented to improve this.
The voice of the child had been listened to during the production of the Children Looked After Strategy, and young people were involved in the production of the strategy and consulted throughout the process. She urged members to read the strategy as it was important that all members understood their role as a Corporate Parent for looked after children.
The Cabinet Member would be inviting the youngsters involved in the production of the strategy to the next Corporate Parenting Board meeting.
Mr W Clark welcomed the Council’s commitment to become carbon neutral but he noted that there were no timescales for this in the Joint Public Health Strategy. He asked the Cabinet Member for the Environment about the timescales for delivery of this outcome.
The Cabinet Member for the Environment responded to say that the Joint Public Health Strategy made a strong commitment to work with partners to tackle climate change. The target for Cumbria needed to be credible and ambitious, but for this to happen, all partners would need to work together and contribute towards this.
Work was underway with the Cumbria Chief Executives’ Group and the Cumbria Leaders Board to consider timescales for the targets for climate change.
Mr H Graham asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, with the roll out of blue badges to those suffering from mental health conditions, what assessments had been carried out to make sure those with a physical disability were not disadvantaged.
The Cabinet Member said those with physical disabilities would not be disadvantaged by the new scheme.
Mrs Hanson said that at a time when most of the UK was suffering from very serious challenges in providing youth mental health services, the situation in West Cumbria is worse than anywhere else due to very high and rapidly increasing levels of demand, the near total collapse of CAMHs services and geographical isolation. She asked the Cabinet Member for Children's Services what Cumbria County Council could do about the youth mental health in West Cumbria?
The Cabinet Member responded to say that many of the challenges faced by West Cumbria's Youth Mental Health Services were under the governance of the NHS where we ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Minutes of Committees
To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Board held on 23 January 2019 (copy enclosed)
RESOLVED that the minutes of Workington Harbour Board held on 23 January 2019 be received and noted.
Notices of Motion
Mrs S Sanderson will move that:-
Cumbria County Council demands that the Government ensures funding for schools is sufficient for them to deliver a high standard of achievement and care, to support the requirements of a growing number of pupils with special educational needs and to have buildings that are maintained to a baseline acceptable standard.
Mrs S Sanderson moved the following motion as set out in the Council Agenda. The motion was set out in the agenda: as follows:-
‘Cumbria County Council demands that the Government ensures funding for schools is sufficient for them to deliver a high standard of achievement and care, to support the requirements of a growing number of pupils with special educational needs and to have buildings that are maintained to a baseline acceptable standard.’
The Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning spoke to say that the world was changing very quickly and the education of children and young people was important – they do not get a second chance to learn so maintaining schools to a baseline standard is crucial to this. She referred members back to the Cabinet Report Schools Maintenance – Liabilities and Funding in which members were provided with a projection of the funding required to maintain the County Councils school estate to a “safe, wind and watertight” standard, together with an overview of the schools maintenance activity undertaken in recent years. It was becoming increasingly challenging to maintain the schools to the standards that were expected and that the children of Cumbria deserved.
Over the last 5 years the funding that the county council received from government to maintain schools had fallen by nearly £2m from £6.7m to just £4.7m, and in the same period it had been necessary for the council to invest a staggering £16.4m, largely financed through prudential borrowing, in order to keep schools safe, wind and watertight.
The Cabinet Member felt that unless there were changes in the funding available for the maintenance of schools there existed a very real risk that schools may have to close due to the lack of basic maintenance necessary to keep Cumbrian children safe.
The Cabinet Member confirmed that all of this information had now been shared with the 6 Cumbrian MPs.
Mr B Shirley said the Conservative members supported the spirit of the motion, so that children get the best start in life, but there were many things the Government was doing now for schools in Cumbria such as the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (Sugar Tax), the development of redundant green space for school and community use, transforming outdoor areas so schools can have a focus on sport, providing key stage 1 outside provision and covering active play space and improving physical and mental health via outdoor learning. Cumbria was also set to receive an extra £8.4m of capital funding for schools, which would benefit 18 schools across the whole of Cumbria.
Mr Shirley referred to the £20m of Government funding for the building of Whitehaven Academy which would be a new state of the art school.
With reference to supporting the requirements of pupils with special education needs Mr Shirley reminded members that £8.6m had been invested in Sandside Lodge School in Ulverston to help enhance the lives of generations of children with special education needs.
Mr Shirley then proposed an amendment to ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
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 Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation.
Mrs R Hanson gave a speech on youth mental health. She started by asking members 4 questions:-
· What would you do if your child was seriously self-harming or trying to kill themselves and you couldn’t get them any help?
· After a year of trying to get help and getting nowhere – after a year of watching your child get worse how would you feel? Would you be off work with stress?
· How would you cope if you were a teacher trying to educate large classes of children, but several were dealing with very serious mental health issues?
· And, most importantly, how would you feel if you were a teenager – with a cacophony of negative thought hammering in your head – and you asked for help but didn’t get any?
She reported of stories she had heard on the doorstep and welcomed Mrs Burns’ announcement today of the creation of a Youth Mental Health Network in West Cumbria. She hoped that through this information would be shared with relevant partnerships to strengthen the many initiatives currently in place – including those set up by students themselves such as the inspirational We Will campaign.
Mrs Hanson felt that the Government’s education policy directly affected the mental health of our children. When new policies were developed, they should be subject to public and expert scrutiny and consultation which considered their impact on youth mental health.
Mr H Graham then gave a speech in which he said people with disabilities should have more wheelchair paths to peaks in the Lake District. He pointed out a lack of access in the national park which was home to more than 214 peaks and all of England’s highest mountains.
He called on the national park authority to develop more paths so disabled people could enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage Site. He said everyone should have a right and the ability to view the beauty of the Lakes and to see what Cumbria had to offer.
The disabled had access to the Lake District’s Miles without Stiles, but the highest point they can get to was just over 300m. Mr Graham felt that the Lake District should have at least one summit or peak that would lend itself to a wheelchair friendly path.
He called on the council to work with district authorities, the national park, sports bodies and third sector organisations to look at better access to the fells.
Mr M Wilson who had indicated he wished to speak informed members that due to the lateness of the day he would circulate his speech electronically to all members of the council. Once this had been actioned if any members had any questions he asked them to contact him.