Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kendal
Contact: Jackie Currie Email: email@example.com
Roll Call of Members
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs HF Carrick, Miss HJ Fearon, Mr HGG Graham, Mr JS Holliday, Mr J Mallinson, Mr S Stoddart, Mrs V Tarbitt, Ms H Wall, Mr Whipp, Mr MH Worth and Mr R Worthington.
There were 69 members present at the start of the meeting.
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.
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).
Mr K Little declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 11 – Update Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board – 2019/20, as an ex firefighter he is in receipt of a pension from the Fire Services pension fund.
Mr G Roberts declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 11 – Update Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board – 2019/20, as a recipient from the Pension Fund.
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 any item of business 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 public questions, petitions or statements made to the Council.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7 November 2019 (copy enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 November 2019 be agreed as a true and accurate record.
Announcements and Communications
To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive
The Chair announced the details of the engagements undertaken by herself and the Vice Chair had been circulated to all members.
The Chair reminded members that before Christmas, the County Council held the annual Christmas celebration events for our looked after children, foster carers and their families from across Cumbria. The events took place in both Carlisle and Barrow in December, and were both a huge success. This event was a great opportunity for the council to show its appreciation to the foster carers for their ongoing support and commitment.
The Chair was privileged to have attended both events and said it was wonderful to see so many happy children enjoying the day.
Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, announced recently that several Cumbrian people had been named in this year's New Year's Honours List, including:-
· Mr Paul Foster of Cockermouth, for services to Business (CBE)
· Mr John Campbell Hudson of Troutbeck, for services to the Royal Navy and to Naval Shipbuilding and Design (CBE)
· Ms Sascha Hilary Wells-Munro of Kendal, for services to the NHS and Patient Safety (OBE)
· Mr Ben Stokes of Cockermouth, for Services to Sport (OBE)
· Mr John Howarth of Cockermouth, for services to General Practice (MBE)
· Ms Elizabeth Cornford of Grange-over-Sands, for services to Young People (MBE)
· Mr John Butler of Ulverston, for services to Further Education (MBE)
· Mr Mark McCree of Kendal, for services to Public Libraries (BEM)
· Mr John Shakeshaft of Ulverston, for services to Young People in Ulverston (BME)
· Ms Cassandra Rees of Greenheys, for services to the Community in Cumbria (BME)
The Chair reminded members that Monday 27 January was national Holocaust Memorial Day, which was a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who had been murdered or whose lives had been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. This year marked 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.
The County Council would have a range of activity to commemorate this national day.
In December Cabinet agreed to provide a long lease on Ellerthwaite House, the Windermere library building, to the Lake District Paradise Project. A special event marking this handover would take place on Holocaust Memorial Day.
Lastly, on behalf of the Council the Chair extended thoughts and prayers to those in Australia affected by the bushfires that continued to grip the country. Whilst it was impossible to imagine the truly devastating effect on its residents and communities, as a county that had experienced the impact of severe weather, Cumbria County Council could appreciate, more than most, the short, medium and long-term impact of this event.
The Chair then invited Cabinet Members to make any announcements.
The Leader made reference to the treasury announcing that the Government would deliver its first budget on the 11 March 2020. He also spoke of the joint letter, which had ... view the full minutes text for item 76.
Presentation from Cumbria Constabulary
Chief Constable Michelle Skeer to give members the annual presentation from the Constabulary.
The Chief Constable wanted to take this opportunity to appraise members of the challenges being faced by Cumbria Constabulary, along with some significant improvements made and which had yielded impressive results.
Financial challenges were always there, the changing profile of the police workload meant that resources had to be distributed commensurate with the emerging crime trends. Crime patterns were changing, for example Cybercrime had increased by 44% and now made up 5% of all crime.
Demand in serious crime had increased, and the Constabulary routinely investigated offences of modern day slavery, child sexual exploitation, historical sexual abuse and county lines all of which were very complex and difficult to deal with.
However, although demand had increased, national crime and investigations data, up to June 2019, showed that Cumbria had the third lowest level of all recorded crimes in England and Wales, was the second lowest level for drug offences, fifth lowest level for violence against the person, and seventh lowest for sex offences.
The Chief outlined proposals for Cumbria as result of Operation Uplift, the Government’s national commitment of an extra 20,000 police officers. The anticipated extra 100 officers would take the establishment to the highest number of officers seen for a long time.
The Chief Constable then gave some examples of recent investigations, including Operation Nile, a county lines drug supply operation in North Cumbria, and Operation Rumble, which secured convictions for nine defendants who all received between 4 and 7 years imprisonment each for their varying roles in the conspiracy to steal connected to ATM attacks.
However, crime although more complex and increasing resource intensive only represented about 20% of incidents reported to the police. The largest category of incidents reported to the police involve public safety issues – concerns for welfare, missing persons and dealing with vulnerable individuals with mental health issues. As a Force Cumbria experienced a high volume of demand to protect vulnerable people.
Over 3500 people were reported missing, nearly 55% of those classed as high risk, which indicates an immediate response is required. No crime had been committed but until the missing person was located and the circumstances ascertained no assumptions could be made. This behind the scenes action/resource was unseen by the public.
Cumbria had been graded as a good performing Force across all strands by HMICFRS. However, to keep people and communities safe the constabulary needed to work with partner agencies, something which was evidenced extremely well across the local focus hubs in the county across the three territorial policing areas.
The Chief Constable cited Egerton Court in Barrow which had seen a reduction of 83% in incidents reported to the police since the Hub had been established. There had been over 520 referrals to the hubs since January 2018, 38% of those relating to antisocial behaviour and 20% relating to vulnerable people. The hubs drive local partnership working and delivered partnership support therefore assisting in reducing demand.
The Chief Constable finished by mentioning the police maintaining a relationship with the ... view the full minutes text for item 77.
Presentation - Children in Care Council
To receive a presentation from representatives from the Children in Care Council to discuss the Children in Care Awards, Respect, the Children in Care Council and the Care Leaver Offer.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services introduced young care leavers to Council, who were attending to update members on a number of issues, including:-
· Children in Care Council
· What the young people have to say
· Celebrating Us Awards 2019
· County Care Leavers Forum
· Local Care Leavers Forums
Members were delighted to receive the update from the care leavers and at the end of the meeting they received a huge round of applause.
The Chair congratulated the youngsters and thanked them for their informative presentation.
The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 14 November 2019 and 19 December 2019 are enclosed (copies 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.
The Leader of the Council presented the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 14 November 2019 and 19 December 2019.
Cabinet - 14 November Meeting
Mr Dew commented on Minute No 57 – Statements from the Leader and Cabinet Members where the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services congratulated the Cumbria members of the Youth Parliament on their work, that it was worth noting that one of the key issues in Cumbria was children and young people’s mental health. He wondered whether the Cabinet Member was aware that there was a well-documented link between the climate change issue and CYP mental health, the symptoms of which included an increasing fear of environmental doom and a sense of helplessness and despair.
Mr Dew asked whether the Cabinet Member would agree with him that elected members should temper their language and be more considered in the way they addressed the climate change issue given its impact on the wellbeing of vulnerable and impressionable children and young people.
The Cabinet Member responded to say the statement was about the success of the young people involved in the Youth Parliament, and how successful they had been in this role, and nothing else. Although, the Cabinet Member was certain that the Youth Parliament took the issue of climate change seriously.
Mr Hughes asked the Cabinet member for Economic Development whether he shared his satisfaction with how well Cumbria County Council contracting with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in each distinct part of the county appeared to be working and does he agree that a nationally-imposed elected mayor model of governance might well put this success in jeopardy.
The Cabinet Member agreed that the SMEs were working well in each district. With reference to the whether the nationally elected mayor would put this in jeopardy the Cabinet Member felt this was difficult to ascertain. What Cumbria needed was sufficient financial resources to allow improvements such as infrastructure improvements to be implemented, rather than an additional mayoral tier.
Mr Lamb asked, with reference to Minute 31- Award of Framework for Capital Works 2020-2024, what steps had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the problems experienced during the development of the Blue Light Hub, Ulverston.
The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue agreed to provide a written response.
Mr Dew was aware that during the discussions on Minute 62 – English National Concessionary Travel Scheme a conversation took place about so called ‘wealthy pensioners’ coming to Cumbria in their millions and ‘running around on our buses’. He was concerned to hear this and asked the Deputy Leader for comment.
The Deputy Leader wondered whether it was appropriate to question something which was not actually detailed in the Cabinet minutes. However, he reassured Council that he was not criticising pensioners, nor being ageist. His comments were simply about the possible need for the ENCS scheme to be reviewed.
Mr Airey asked the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services about the proposed ... view the full minutes text for item 79.
To consider a report from the Leader of the Council (copy enclosed)
The Leader presented a report which explained that all Councils were required annually to make a scheme for the payment of basic and other specified allowances to elected members. This report sought approval for a scheme for the financial year 2020-2021.
Before making a scheme the Council must have regard to the recommendations of its independent remuneration panel.
The Panel was asked to consider the following as part of the review:-
· The level of basic allowance
· Special Responsibility Allowances
· Dependents’ Carers’ Allowances
· Travelling and Subsistence Allowance (Regulation 8)
· Co-opted Members Allowances (Regulation 9)
· Indexation (Regulation 10)
Following the review the Independent Remuneration Panel recommended:-
Basic Allowance - an increase to £8,744.46 (+2%) (paragraph 4 of report of the Independent Remuneration Panel)
Special Responsibility Allowances - the Panel recommend an increase of 2% in SRAs specified below with effect from 1 April 2020:
· Leader of the Council – increase to £26,270 per annum (+2%)
· Deputy Leader – increase to £14,711 per annum (+2%)
· Cabinet Members – increase to £10,508 per annum (+2%)
· Chair of Scrutiny Management Board – increase to £10,508 per annum (+2%).
Dependents’ Carers’ Allowance – the Panel concluded that current arrangements are inadequate and recommends that the rate of dependents’ carers’ allowance should be set at the level of the national minimum wage at time of implementation of the recommendations up to a maximum of £2000 per annum.
Travel and Subsistence Allowances - the Panel recommends that subsistence claims should be only paid upon presentation of receipts and should be covered by the existing out of pocket allowances. However the panel recognised that some members may elect to stay with friends or family and in recognition of this a £25 out of pocket expense should be claimable without presentation of a receipt.
Co-optee Allowances - provision is made under the Scheme for the payment of an annual allowance to any co-opted or appointed member who serves on any committee or sub-committee of the County Council. The Panel noted the change of circumstances regarding the position of Chair for the Workington Harbour Management Committee and concluded that should there be requirement for a co-opted Chair then an increase of allowance consistent with the increase in other SRAs (2%) is justified.
Indexation of Allowances - the Panel made no recommendations for increases in allowances to be determined with reference to an index and recommended that a comprehensive and in depth review of the structure and rates for all allowances be carried out when the Panel next convenes.
The Leader moved the proposals and this was then put to vote. With 31 voting for and 25 abstaining, it was
RESOLVED, that Council.
(1) consider the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel and make a scheme for members’ allowances for the year beginning 1 April 2020;
(2) note that the Constitution will be updated as necessary by the Monitoring Officer to reflect the Members Allowances Scheme made by the Council.
To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue (copy enclosed)
Mr K Little declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 11 – Update Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board – 2019/20, as an ex firefighter he is in receipt of a pension from the Fire Services pension fund. He took no part in the discussion.
Mr G Roberts declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 11 – Update Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board – 2019/20, as a recipient from the Pension Fund. He took no part in the discussion.
The Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented a report which updated members of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board for the half year ending 30 September 2019.
The Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board (Cumbria FLPB or ‘the Board’) was required to report twice yearly on its activities to the Council.
The Cumbria FLPB met once during the period (23 April 2019). In addition to this the October meeting of the Board considered the six month period to 30 September 2019. Council received updates on the following,
· Cyber Security:
RESOLVED, that the report be received and noted.
To consider a report from the Leader of the Council (copy enclosed)
The Leader presented a report from the Constitution Review Group, which made proposals for full Council to approve the establishment of a Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, and if approved, to delegate to the Monitoring Officer authority to finalise the terms of reference of the joint committee and to appoint members and substitute members to the joint committee.
There was an existing joint committee in operation but this only covered South Cumbria and North Lancashire (Morecambe Bay Footprint). It was envisaged that this committee would continue and be convened to consider any specific proposals which related only to that footprint. Any change to the existing joint committee’s terms of reference would require a decision of Council and the agreement of Lancashire County Council.
Lancashire County Council had taken the lead on establishing the new Joint Committee. The draft terms of reference were considered and the establishment of the Joint Committee supported by the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee on the 7 October 2019.
The terms of reference presented in Appendix 1 had been drafted by the four local authorities. While the main principles had been agreed between the Health Scrutiny Chairs for the four authorities, the terms of reference were not yet in final form. Council was asked to delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to approve the final form of the terms of reference on behalf of the Council.
Council was asked to approve the inclusion of the final terms of reference in Part 5C (Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules) of the Constitution. It would be necessary to make incidental amendments to Part 1 (paragraph 6.6), and Part 2C (paragraph 1.3) to add the name of the committee "Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System” to these Parts. Council was asked to authorise the Monitoring Officer to make these changes to the Constitution.
Full Council is the appointing body for members of the Joint Committee as a non-executive committee carrying out scrutiny functions. Since the terms of reference for the Joint Committee were not yet in final form, Council was asked to authorise the Monitoring Officer to make the appointments to the Joint Committee up to the annual meeting of the Council in 2020, in line with the wishes of the political groups, acting in accordance with the final terms of reference.
RESOLVED, that Council
(1) Approve the establishment of a Joint Health Scrutiny Committee for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System in accordance with the principles set out in the draft terms of reference (Appendix 1);
(2) Authorise the Monitoring Officer to finalise the terms of reference for the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee in consultation with the Chair of the Cumbria Joint Health Scrutiny Committee;
(3) Authorise the Monitoring Officer to formally appoint members and substitute members to the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee to serve up to the annual meeting of the Council 2020, on the nomination of the political groups acting ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
To receive a report from the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (copy enclosed)
The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report which updated Council on any issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of Full Council.
Scrutiny Management Board met on 27 November where they received updates on the Performance Working Group and individual Boards. The Board considered and agreed the Scrutiny feedback on Strategic Planning to be submitted to Cabinet on the 19 December.
All non-executive Members were invited to a session on the 26 November where they received a presentation on the policy context and financial position of the Council from the Deputy Leader, Chief Executive and Director of Finance. Members had the opportunity to consider the budget proposals and discuss recommendations which Scrutiny Management Board will make to Cabinet.
These recommendations were discussed, refined and agreed at the Scrutiny Management Board on the 27November and subsequently reported to Cabinet on the 19 December.
The Scrutiny Performance Working Group met on 9 October when the Quarter 1 Performance Monitoring Report was considered. Members considered progress with delivery of the Children Looked After Recovery Plan.
Scrutiny Management Board (SMB) commissioned a full day Task and Finish Group session, with a focus on attendance management, organisational development and a specific deep dive into the absence within the ‘People’ directorate. The Task and Finish Group held a one-day session on 14 November 2019 in County Hall, Kendal, it made a number of recommendations which will be made to Cabinet in January.
A Call In was received on 26 November in relation to the decision Cabinet made on 14 November 2019 to cease residential care at The Abbey in Staveley. A Call In meeting took place on the 18 December where it was resolved that this matter be referred back to Cabinet.
RESOLVED, that the report be received and noted.
The meeting broke for lunch at 12.30pm and reconvened at 1.05pm
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 C Whiteside asked the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services if she could provide an update to members on the current state of proposals before Durham County Council to begin fluoridating water supplies and which would if adopted affect a number of residents of this county in the Alston area. What was the current state of this council’s plans to ensure residents were appropriately consulted.
The Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services thanked Mr Whiteside for notifying her in advance of the questions. She said the process for establishing a new fluoridation scheme was complex and strictly laid out in legislation. Following approval by Durham’s Cabinet, Durham County Council had been required to write to the Secretary of State for Health requesting his permission to proceed with the consultation. This stage had been delayed by the general election, however Cumbria County Council had now been informed that this request was made in mid-December. Durham County Council hoped to have a response from the Secretary of State this month.
Once the Secretary of State approved this Durham would then formally approach Cumbria County Council, along with six other local authorities also affected, to seek views and to request participation in a joint committee that would formally consult with the public and reach a decision on the matter.
The County Council would have up to three months to respond to this request, however, this would be a decision for Cabinet whether or not to participate in this joint Committee.
Regardless of the Council’s response, and whether or not the council decide to participate in the joint committee, a public consultation would take place. It was the responsibility of Durham County Council to lead on the processes for this consultation, which must be for a minimum of 12 weeks.
The affected Cumbrian residents would be part of this consultation exercise, which would then inform the decision taken by the joint committee, currently expected in September 2020.
The Cabinet Member asked members to note that the processes for running the joint committee was strictly laid out in legislation, and that within that, the votes on the committee were weighted by affected population. The very small number of Cumbrian residents affected in comparison to the scheme as a whole would therefore translate into very limited impact on the decision.
The Cabinet Member agreed to continue to work with both Councillor Whiteside and Councillor Driver to ensure that they were kept fully informed and engaged appropriately in the consultation.
Mr Whiteside thanked the Cabinet Member for her detailed response.
Mr Airey asked whether given there was now a majority Government solidly behind devolution, strong investment in the North and Local Government reorganisation, the Leader and Deputy Leader would join with him in asking Government to move forward swiftly with a much slimmed down model of local Government in Cumbria headed up by an elected Mayor.
The Leader responded to say that he had recently met with Jake Berry, the Cabinet Minister ... view the full minutes text for item 84.
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.
To receive the minutes of the Audit and Assurance Committee meetings held on 17 September (final) and 9 December (draft) (copies enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the Audit and Assurance Committees held on 17 September 2019 (final) and 9 December 2019 (draft) be received and noted.
To receive the minutes of the Cumbria Pensions Committee meetings held on 24 September (final) and 13 December (draft) (copies enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 24 September 2019 (final) and 13 December 2019 (draft) be received and noted.
To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Standards Committee held on 29 October 2019 (copy enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes from the Standards Committee held on 29 October 2019 be received and noted.
To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Board held on 30 October 2019 (copy enclosed)
RESOLVED, that the minutes of the Workington Harbour Management Committee held on 30 October 2019 be received and noted.
Notice of Motions
To consider notice of motions for up to a specified period of one hour.
There were no notices of motion on this occasion.
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.
Mrs Hanson gave a speech on the lack of consultation of the development of a national education policy.
Mrs Mallinson gave a speech on helping people with disabilities to achieve their ambitions.
Mr C Whiteside gave a speech on the A595 Road Network.
Mr S Collins gave a speech on Adult Social Care and the need for the accurate presentation and representation of information.