Agenda and draft minutes

County Council
Thursday, 13th February, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kendal

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

Items
No. Item

88.

Roll Call of Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Miss H Fearon, Mr W Graham, Mrs E Mallinson, Mr J Mallinson, Mr S Stoddart, Mr T Wentworth Waites and Mr R Worthington.

 

89.

Declarations of Interest

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.

 

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

 

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

 

6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)

 

            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

(b)       Either –

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Note

 

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

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

Mrs B Gray arrived at the meeting at this point.

 

90.

Exclusion of Press and Public

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

91.

Public Participation

There were no questions, petitions or statements at the time of despatch

 

 

Minutes:

Ms Marianne Birkby attended to present a petition from Radiation Free Lakeland, which contained 472 signatures.  The petition was urging Cumbria County Council to fully recognise that nuclear power was not the ‘solution’ and to include a ‘No Nuclear’ clause in its climate change planning, and asked the Council to include a no nuclear clause in its Climate Emergency planning.  .

 

Ms Birkby said new nuclear, including so called ‘small modular reactors’ would increase the heat on the planet, and that nuclear was a major part of the problem, and not part of the solution.  The view of Radiation Free Lakeland was that the installation of small nuclear reactors in Cumbria would only make matter far worse, far faster.  Ms Birkby then went on the outline the reasons for this.

 

Mr Birkby said people were watching with increased frustration and horror as climate emergency resolutions were adopted by councils, which left the door wide open to nuclear, and she urged Cumbria County Council to fully recognise that nuclear power was not the ‘solution’. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Development thanked Ms Birkby for her presentation and gave the following response:-

 

The Council has made clear its commitment, through the Joint Public Health Strategy, to work in partnership to tackle climate change and to reach net zero carbon emissions. In September 2019 Cumbria County Councillors unanimously supported a motion “to become a ‘carbon neutral’ county and to mitigate the likely impact of existing climate change.  We also called upon the Government to produce a clear plan of action, backed up by sufficient resources, to address this existential threat. It is clear that very significant changes will be required in Cumbria, and across the UK, to bring about net carbon zero. These changes will include all elements of how we live, work, travel, manage our land and how we meet our future energy needs.

 

Cumbria County Council along with District Councils, Cumbria LEP and the National Park are represented at a county-wide climate change group. The group in its early stages has jointly commissioned a baseline carbon audit for the county. The aim of this study is to provide a detailed analysis of the total carbon footprint of our county and to set out the types of interventions that will be necessary to reach a point of being net carbon zero.

 

The Government has choices and decisions to make about how we move towards a low-carbon economy and will need to decide whether nuclear will continue to have a role in the future UK energy mix.  A clear national energy strategy is urgently required if we are, as a nation, to achieve net carbon zero. Such a strategy will need to review and make recommendations on the role that potential new nuclear power may have to meeting our current and future energy requirements, at least until such a time that sufficient renewable energy sources and associated storage are in place.

 

The development of Small Modular Reactors is a relatively new concept.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.

92.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9 January 2020 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed with the following amendment:-

 

Page 8 Minute No 72 – Declarations of Interest – amend the declaration of Mr Roberts to read ‘as a recipient of the Cumbria Local Government Pension Scheme’.

 

93.

Announcements and Communications

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

The Chair began by informing members that last month she had received a tour of Skirsgill Highways Depot in Penrith, and had thoroughly enjoyed her visit.  She had not realised the size of depot or how large an area of the county depended on it for keeping our highways safe and functioning.  The Chair had met from across the site, learning about their individual roles and how these changed according to season.

 

Whilst there she had visited the sign shop and had learnt about the process from design to printing and cutting, and also got to see the salt shed and had been dwarfed by the sheer volume of grit stored and ready to be spread.

 

The Chairman also got to sit in one of the 33 gritters in the county fleet which was an enjoyable experience and gave her a greater appreciation for highways staff who worked in all weathers, conditions and at all times of day just to keep everyone safe and moving.

 

Yesterday, alongside the Mayor of Carlisle, the Chairman had switched on the City of Lights in Carlisle. An event which saw numerous buildings and local landmarks illuminated with coloured lights and projections; the centre-piece on this occasion being a stunning visual spectacle in Carlisle Cathedral.

 

The City of Lights was an exciting new project which if successful, would take place annually in towns across the county. It was a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of areas whilst showcasing what it had to offer and celebrating its cultural heritage and history.

 

Finally, the Chair informed members about an exciting new initiative that had been launched this year by some incredible people.

 

The Prom Dress Appeal was a collaborative project between the council and other agencies, retailers and the community that offered a good selection of quality donated prom wear and accessories at no cost to the families.

 

Young people could be nominated through schools, support agencies and children’s workforce across Cumbria. They would then be invited to an event to choose items for their prom.

 

The Chairman then took the opportunity to thank all of the Council teams for their commitment and hard work during Storm Ciara. The storm brought high winds, significant rainfall, high tides, snow, and also a damaged water main.

 

The Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities made a statement about the coronavirus.

 

Coronaviruses were common across the world and typical symptoms included fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

 

Generally, these viruses could cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

 

This variant coronavirus caused flu like symptoms which were mild in most people, but like flu, could be fatal.  So far 45,171 confirmed cases had been identified globally, with the vast majority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

94.

Minutes of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 30 January 2020 are enclosed (copy attached)

 

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

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented the minutes from the Cabinet meeting held on 30 January 2020.

 

Mr Airey asked a question about Minute No 90 and 91 – SMB referral.  Mr Airey had attended the Cabinet meeting and was disappointed that Mr Collins, the Local Member for Staveley had been denied the opportunity to speak at the meeting.  He asked why this was not reflected in the minutes, and he also asked the Leader when the residents of Staveley would be informed of this decision.

 

The Leader responded to say that at the previous Cabinet meeting in December Mr Collins had attended under public participation, and he had also been the lead call in member when the decision was referred to Scrutiny Management Board.  He was therefore not allowed under the rules of the public participation scheme to speak again.  He was in attendance at the January Cabinet meeting as a member of the public, as the Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board had attended the meeting to present the findings from the call in meeting.  Mr Collins had interjected as a member of the public, which was not allowed.

 

With reference to the second question the Leader said the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services had made it clear that the County Council wanted to work with the community to understand their needs and wishes before any final decision on the site were taken.

 

In relation to Minute No 98 on Page 244 of the Cabinet minutes Dr Haraldsen said that whilst it was excellent that the County Council had once again received money from the Better care Fund/Improved Better Care Fund, he asked the Cabinet Member whether this funding would be used to help to bring down the figures for ‘transfer of care’.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services agreed to provide a written response.

 

95.

Draft Revenue Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Plan (2020-2025) and Draft Capital Programme (2020-2025) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider a report from the Deputy Leader/Cabinet Member for Finance (copy enclosed)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader presented the Revenue Budget 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2020-2025 and Draft Capital Programme 2020 – 2025 which advised that on 30 January 2020, Cabinet had agreed the budget proposal for recommendation to Council after consideration of the budget consultation process and that Council was asked to agree the recommendations as set out in Section 1 of the Report.

 

A copy of the Constitution Part 5F - Procedure for Budget Debate at Council was circulated to all members of the Council. It was clarified that proposed amendments to the budget are called “objections” in law and the Constitution referred to the same.  However, the Chairman notified members that to keep things simple during the debate these would be referred to as ‘amendments’. 

 

The Deputy Leader said the budget proposal had been prepared against a backdrop of continued uncertainty with public finances.  Over the period 2011-2020 the Council had agreed savings of £272.2m.  This report sets out the requirement for 2020-2025 which amounted to a further £44.0m.

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and the Council Plan demonstrated how the Council would align resources and priorities to deliver for the people of Cumbria.  However, the Deputy Leader reminded Council that the Spending Round announced in September by the Chancellor was a one year announcement for 2020/21 only, and that the 2019 Spending Review had been postponed until 2020. 

 

In addition, the Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention Reform both due to be implemented in 2020/21 had also been postponed until 2021/22.  It was expected that these changes to local government funding would change the level of funding received by county councils with Cumbria's share of the new level of government funding unlikely to be known until at least the summer of 2020.  The Deputy Leader said planning beyond 2021 was therefore, very challenging.

 

With the ever increasing pressures to support older people, adults and children with disabilities and vulnerable children and families the County Council continued to work to promote independence and support communities to flourish.  Central to this was enabling people to have independent lives, supporting families to stay together safely and ensuring resources were targeted to the most vulnerable members of communities. The plan for 2020 onwards would be to increase the focus on early help to individuals and communities and alongside partners to support real change and resilience in communities.

 

The Budget Proposal set out in this report secured a balanced revenue budget for 2020/21. The proposal assumed:-

 

·      Increase in General Council Tax of 1.99%;

·      An additional Precept of 2% on Council Tax for Adult Social Care purposes;

·      Increases in Fees and Charges as set out in the Fees and Charges Schedule (Appendix C);

·      New savings from 1st April 2020 which will reduce the Revenue Budget by £5.646m;

·      The Capital Programme is financed as set out in the report;

·      Business Rates are confirmed by District Councils and are consistent with planning assumptions; and

·      The Treasury Management Strategy is agreed as set out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.

96.

SCRUTINY UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Chair referenced the work of Scrutiny Management Board in relation to absence management, and reminded members that a Task and Finish Group’s report had been presents to Cabinet on 30 January, and all of the five recommendations made by Scrutiny Members had been agreed.

 

The Chair then updated members on the SMB call in for The Abbey Care Home in Staveley.

 

RESOLVED,     that the report be received and noted.

 

97.

Questions

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

Minutes:

Members asked whether the Council was planning to submit a Statement of Intent for funding from the Supported Bus Services and what would it be spent on, should it prove successful.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say the County Council was currently investigating this and details would be shared with members once firm proposals were known.

 

Mr Hughes welcome the additional funding for bus subsidies but he asked the Cabinet Member to ensure that local committees were consulted on how this additional money would be spent.

 

The Cabinet Member informed members that this was a bidding process for funding, and the County Council would be submitting a bid by the end of April.

 

Mr Betton asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whether he would be carrying put an investigation, and undertaking a lessons learned exercise in relation to the events on Warwick Road on during Storm Ciara.  Mr Betton had been one of the first on the scene, and he was disappointed in the response from all the authorities, which he felt was not quick enough.

 

The Cabinet Member assured the local member that a lessons learned exercise would be carried out and all relevant parties would be included in this.

 

Mr Turner asked the Leader when Special Planning arrangement (SPA2) was going to be signed and agreed by Cumbria County Council, which he understood to be the only party still to sign.  This delay was holding up major contract work involving nuclear waste from other areas of the UK.

 

The Leader responded to say the member had been misinformed, as there was no SPA2 yet in existence.  Cumbria County Council had been working for over 12 months with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on this, but so far the SPA2 was still awaited.  He reassured members that the County Council was ready to sign up to this once it had been produced.

 

Mr Whiteside asked the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services if she shared the concern which had been expressed by women in Copeland about the public health implications for mothers and babies of the redundancy of the breastfeeding co-ordinator at Howgill Family Centre, and whether she considered that this and other redundancies by Family Action were consistent with the spirit of the assurance that staff at the Howgill centre would be TUPE’d over to Family Action.

 

The Cabinet Member replied to say that there would continue to be breastfeeding services in West Cumbria.  Family Action had followed due process for all redundancies. These posts were not part of the contract that Family Actin took on so for these posts due process was not required to be followed.

 

Mr Lamb had watched the a programme on Channel 4 recently about West Cumbria Mining and was disappointed that the Leader of the Council had chosen not to defend Cumbria County Council and its officers, who had been working on this project for over 2 years.  By not commenting the Leader risked allowing the anti-nuclear pressure groups, who  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.

98.

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.

98a

Workington Harbour Management Committee pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Management Committee held on 31 January 2020 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the draft minutes of the Working Harbour Management Committee held on 31 January 2020 be received and noted.

 

99.

URGENCY PROVISIONS pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader presented a report which notified members of the circumstances in which an urgent decision had been taken in line with the Council’s Constitution since the last meeting of the Council.

 

Since the meeting of Council held on 9 January 2020, one decision had been made using the Council’s Urgency procedure, for an urgent decision taken by the Executive Director – People on 31 January 2020 for the Approval to Grant Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities and Support for Families with Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum 2020-21.

 

RESOLVED,     that the report be noted.

 

100.

Notice of Motions

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

Minutes:

There were no notices of motion on this occasion.

 

101.

Speeches

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

Minutes:

Mr W Clark gave a speech on 20 lakes where £20 isn’t plenty.  This was in relation to public protests about plans to make changes to byelaws at a number of lakes in South Lakeland, which had been designated as areas of peace and quiet.