Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: County Offices, Kendal

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

Items
No. Item

42.

Roll Call of Members

43.

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 9 September 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 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.

 

44.

Exclusion of Press and Public

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

45.

Public Participation

4.1       Mr John Hall from Kendal wishes to make a statement about Climate Change.

 

 

Minutes:

Mr John Hall attended to make a statement about Climate Change.  During his presentation to Council he asked that the council declares a climate emergency and act on it.  He felt that there was the opportunity for Cumbria County Council to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gases, so helping to limit as far as possible the devastating impact of climate change. 

Mr Hall felt that climate change was the single most important threat facing the future of our planet. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report last year warned that the human race had just twelve years to limit the most devastating impacts of global heating, and that this needed to be done without delay to prevent the global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees centigrade. There was great concern that global temperatures were rising faster than predicted. The effects of climate change had already had an impact in Cumbria. Serious flooding in Kendal in December 2015, flooding in Cockermouth in November 2009. Carlisle flooded twice in recent years, and in July this year Cumbria had record temperatures across the UK.  Lincolnshire was flooded in June this year and at the end of July, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire saw flash flooding on a biblical scale.

The two cyclones hitting Mozambique this year caused massive flooding with serious loss of life. Wild fires had raged uncontrollably in Alaska, Siberia, Canada, Greenland and Portugal this summer. Since 1980 the world was experiencing a three-fold increase in the number of extreme weather events, now over 800 events per year, and as global temperatures rose the number of extreme weather events would increase and become more severe.   Loss of land, reduced crop yield and water crises would increase poverty, migration and conflicts.

Mr Hall was asking Cumbria County Council to:-

·      confer with city councils which were shaping up well in reducing their city’s GHG emissions. For example, Stroud, Nottingham, Bristol and Oxford.

·      Convene a citizens’ assembly to raise proposals to tackle the climate crisis.

·      You need to examine the risk in your investments which must include their carbon impact.  The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, in his 2015 speech to Lloyds “Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizons” warned of the impact of a carbon budget on the fossil fuel industry, and stresses the importance of decarbonisation of our economy.  Over the past six years there have been more than 1000 divestments from Carbon Polluting funds, which of course threaten the value and security of investments in fossil fuel industries.  Amongst these are insurance companies and NY City who divested it’s $189 billion pension fund. So, CCC must study its investments, for example the pension funds, and divest funds invested in fossil fuels to financial institutions which support low carbon industries.

·      Support the provision of green jobs especially in socially deprived areas such as in renewable energy technologies, tree planting on a major scale and woodland maintenance, and re-wilding areas.

·      Give incentives for using public transport by subsidising fares  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 27 June 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 June 2019 be agreed with the following amendments:-

 

Page 10 – Minute No 29 – Minutes of the Cabinet on paragraph 6 reference to SEN children should read ‘She then asked Council to note that although mainstream schools in Cumbria have the highest percentage, in England, of children with EHCPs in them, these children achieve better results than similar schools nationally. However.....’

 

Page 11 the sentence at the top of the page be amended to read ‘...specifically those rail schemes to enhance rail links on the west coast of Cumbria and also to enhance and reintroduce links on the north east coast.’  

 

Page 12 – Minute 30 paragraph 6 final sentence be amended to read ‘The Deputy Leader believed Dr Haraldsen had a point and would speak to officers to look at including more detail in future reports.’

 

Page 17 Minute No 37 – Questions in paragraph 5 change the name from Mr Worth to Mr Wilson.

 

47.

Announcements and Communications

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

Before she started her announcements the Chair asked members to join her in congratulating Mr Holliday, the Local Member for St John’s and Great Clifton, who this year had been involved with Cumbria County Council for 60 years.  Mr Holliday was employed by Cumberland, latterly Cumbria County Council, for 40 years as an area foreman and then as a Resource Manager, retiring in 1999.  Upon retirement he became employed as clerk to the governors of Harrington St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, and a further two Parish Councils, one of which he was still a member of today.

 

In 2001, he was elected to serve on Cumbria County Council and joined the governing bodies of two schools, Derwent Vale Clifton and Harrington Junior School. There he assisted with the merger of the three schools to form Beckstone Primary School. He later spent several years with Victoria Infants School Governors.

 

In 2007, he was elected to serve on Allerdale Borough Council, and became the Mayor for 2011-12, and in 2015 was elected to Workington Town Council.

 

On behalf of the Council, the Chair thanked Mr Holliday for his 60 years of service and hoped this would continue.  This was a tremendous achievement and she asked all members to join her in congratulating Mr Holliday.  Mr Holliday received a round of applause and was given a small gift to mark the occasion.

 

The Chair then made an announcement about the county’s sporting heroes and those who had really pushed themselves and their sports in recent months, including:-

 

·                Cockermouth’s Ben Stokes - Cumbria’s cricket World Cup hero following a man-of-the-match performance in the final, and one of the most amazing games of cricket ever, against New Zealand helping England lift the cup for the first time.

·                Barrow’s Georgia Stanway was part of England’s Lionesses squad which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup. The team was now on track for the biggest ever attendance for a Lionesses match on home soil when they play host to Germany at Wembley Stadium.

·                Wigton’s Helen Housby one of the best shooters in world netball had just helped England take bronze at the Netball World Cup, not missing a single shot against South Africa.  Last year, Helen who was a former Nelson Thomlinson School student, helped England win Commonwealth Games gold, sinking the shot which saw England beat hosts Australia in the final.

·                Kendal’s Caitlin Whitehead came second in last month’s English Girls’ Open Amateur Golf Championship. A fantastic achievement for the sixteen year old especially considering her season had been cut short due to sitting her GCSEs.

·                Whitehaven Rugby Club were crowned champions of Betfred League 1, securing promotion to the Championship. They were led to victory by their manager Gary Charlton – a Highways Steward here at the Council.

 

At the last full council a raffle was launched with the help of the Armed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Minutes of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 23 KB

The receive the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 25 July 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

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

 

Minutes:

The Leader presented the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 July 2019.

 

On Minute 32 – Award of Contract to an Open Framework Support at Home Service Mr Dew asked the Cabinet Member for Health and Care how current providers had responded to this innovation and whether there was a danger that the increased competition would destabilise the ‘support at home’ service.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say the care market was fragile and the County Council had to consider carefully any actions taken which may effect this.  She agreed to provide a written response to Mr Dew.  

 

Lord Liddle asked where the award of this contract fits in to the County Council’s overall strategy for homecare.  He had concerns about staff conditions and exploitation, market failure and how this linked to the Integrated Care Communities Project.

 

In reply to the question the Leader said this contract had been designed to address some of these difficult issues.  He understood all of the current providers had agreed to move to the new framework, but the Cabinet Member for Health and Care would confirm this in her response.  Where there was market failure Cumbria County Council had an obligation to provide this service, so it made sense for the authority to move back into the market for providing domiciliary care, both as a regulator, for price and quality, and also to protect the terms and conditions for staff.  The County Council’s aim was to secure 40% of the market for domiciliary care.

 

Mr Bingham asked about whether the County Council ever used cross county care facilities when considering providers.  Often neighbouring local authorities care facilities were closer to those in need than our own.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services said Mr Bingham made a good point and this should be considered when someone needed a service.

 

The Leader offered further reassurance to members that new providers, even those across county lines, could apply at any time to be added to the list of providers on this framework.

 

Mrs Evans arrived at the meeting at this point.

 

49.

Corporate Parenting Board Annual Update 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services presented a report which provided an annual update to Council on the activity of the Corporate Parenting Board.

 

In December 2018 Cabinet agreed a new Children Looked After Strategy. The vision for the strategy was written by the Children in Care Council and it set out how we would meet the young people’s aspirations.

Care Leavers had been a big priority for the Corporate Parenting Board. In December 2018 the Council had to publish its Care Leaver Offer. This set out the support a young people in care could expect when they turned 18.  It included entitlements to things like Council Tax relief (which we negotiated with District Councils to implement), as well as entitlements in relation to personal finance, relationships, health and employment. The council was continuing to work with a group of Care Leavers on developing the digital/online version of the offer, and was continuing to improve what was included in the offer.

In June the County Council had a visit from the Department for Education appointed independent champion for care leavers. He had endorsed the work of the Corporate Parenting Board and recommended that the Board be expanded to include representation from the DWP, Police and other statutory bodies. He also recommended that the council should develop a new Care Leaver Ambassador role, which the Board was currently developing.

Another major priority was to increase the number of Foster Carers who were in-house. A major publicity campaign was launched, and the Cabinet Member said this had resulted in more new people becoming foster carers than leave, including many who had transferred from private foster caring agencies to the Council.  Members noted that the main reason for Foster Carers leaving was retirement, and the council was now replenishing the numbers who left with new people. This showed the impact of Cabinet’s decision last year to increase substantially the money for foster carers.

Foster carers continued to be a real strength, and there were now 3 foster carer representatives on the Corporate Parenting Board, and their contribution had done much to raise Member awareness of what it’s actually like for young people in care.

The Cabinet Member commented that over the next year the Board would be looking at how all members of Council could be assisted, as Corporate Parents, to support the Corporate Parenting agenda.

Finally, the Cabinet Member thanked the 3 young people that had represented Cumbria over the past 3 years as youth parliamentarians.  Their contribution had been outstanding.   Members thanked the youngsters for their hard work and wished them well for the future.

 

Mr Dew said the report stressed the importance of listening to the voice of carers and the children who were being looked after.  He attends the Corporate Parenting Board and also the Foster Carer Steering Group and the Children in Care Council for Carlisle and Eden, and one of the commonly recurring concerns, expressed by both carers and looked after children, was that of staff changes,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Scrutiny Update Report pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board (SMB) presented a report which updated members on the work of Scrutiny and any issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of the council.

 

He reported that Scrutiny Management Board would be leading on a task and finish group looking at the management of absence within the County Council.

 

Mr Hughes asked what progress the LEP Scrutiny Board had made in relation to the performance of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

The Chair of SMB said this, along with other aspects of the LEP, would be discussed at a meeting early next week.  He invited Mr Hughes to attend and observe if he was interested in listening to this. 

 

RESOLVED,      that the report be received and noted.

 

51.

Questions

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

Minutes:

Mr Airey was aware that Cumbria County Council was still resolving problems caused by Storm Desmond nearly four years on.  Victoria Bridge in Kendal had again been closed during the summer, which had caused chaos in Kendal and the surrounding areas. Mr Airey understood this bridge was not programmed to be fixed permanently until next summer.   He asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport what would happen if there were further instances of extreme weather during the winter months.  He asked for reassurance that businesses and residents in Kendal, plus those needing to use the town if the M6 was closed would have the access they needed.

 

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport responded to say that in relation to the work still to be completed from Storm Desmond he would ask the IRP Team to circulate the list of planned works to the political groups. 

 

With reference specifically to Victoria Bridge the Cabinet Member said the work to repair the bridge had taken place immediately after Storm Desmond and that the bridge had been open for 4 years.  Over the past 4 years a cofferdam had been installed, which was an enclosure built in pairs across the River Kent to allow the enclosed area to be pumped out.  However, during the recent periods of heavy rain in August, the velocity of the water meant the water was channelled down one side instead of both, and this had resulted in further scarring on the bridge, which had meant the bridge had to be closed on safety grounds.  Since then the cofferdam has been lowered and it was hoped this would mean the bridge would remain open during the winter months.

 

Mrs Williamson, the local member for Kells and Sandwith said she had been approached recently be parents from Kells, Woodhouse, Greenbank and Mirehouse about the lack a school bus taking children from these areas to St Benedict’s School.  She asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whether he was aware of this and whether he would work with her to provide a solution which would work for all.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say that he was not sure whether this would be a County Council run service, but may be a private service provider. He agreed to work with Mrs Williamson to look at possible solutions.       

 

Mr Whiteside said recent accidents on the A595 had demonstrated that several stretches of the A595 were effectively a ‘single point of failure’ for the entire road network in parts of the county.  However, some of those stretches were managed by Highways England.  He asked The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whether Cumbria County Council had a policy to address that issue, and if so, what was it.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say that whenever accidents occurred on the road network in Cumbria an investigation was carried out and results logged.  If accidents kept occurring in the same location then the County Council would take action to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

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.

52a

Cumbria Pensions Committee pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 11 June 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair of Cumbria Pensions Committee presented the draft minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019.

 

RESOLVED,     that the draft Cumbria Pensions Committee minutes from the 11 June be received and noted.

 

52b

Audit and Assurance Committee - 26 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 26 June 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Audit and Assurance Committee presented the minutes of the meetings held on 26 June and 26 July 2019.

 

On presenting the minutes she highlighted the following reports to members, due to their importance and significance:-

 

·                Prevention of and placement sufficiency of Children Looked After

·                2018/19 Quarter 4 Risk Report

·                Internal Audit Report 2018/19

·                Annual Governance Statement 2018/19

·                Accounts Overview 2018/19  

 

In highlighting the Accounts Overview the Chair of the Audit Committee was pleased to report that Grant Thornton, the Council’s external auditor had indicated they anticipated issuing an unqualified, clean audit opinion in respect of both the County Council and the Local Government Pension Scheme sets of accounts for 2018/19.   The also anticipated issuing an unqualified Value for Money conclusion in respect of the Council securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources.  This is the first time since 2011/12 that the Council had achieved this Value for Money conclusion.

 

She thanked everyone involved in achieving this outstanding outcome.

 

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Audit and Assurance Meetings held on 26 June and 26 July be received and noted.  

  

52c

Audit and Assurance Minutes 26 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To receive the draft minutes of a meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 26 July 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

Minute No 52 (b) refers.

 

52d

Workington Harbour Management Committee pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Management Committee held on 18 July 2019 (copy enclosed)

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport presented the draft minutes from the Workington Harbour Management Committee meeting held on 18 July 2019.

 

RESOLVED,     that the draft minutes of Workington Harbour Management Committee held on 18 July be received and noted.

53.

Notice of Motions

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

 

Ms R Hanson will move:-

 

Cumbria County Council has long recognised the importance of tackling Climate Change. This Council remains fully committed as we seek to reduce our own carbon emissions. To date this Council has:-

 

   Reduced emissions through our waste contract and reducing waste to landfill

   Introduced low energy schemes in many of our buildings

   Introduced the use of low emission fleet vehicles and pool cars

   Installed LED street lighting

 

However, this Council cannot tackle Climate Change in isolation and we will collaborate with our 6 district authorities and our national parks colleagues as indicated in the Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy - "To become a “carbon neutral” County and to mitigate the likely impact of existing climate change".

 

This Council therefore welcomes the recent decision by Parliament to declare a Climate Change Emergency in the UK, including Cumbria. We now call upon the Government to produce a clear plan of action, backed up by sufficient resources, to address this existential threat.

 

 

Minutes:

Mrs Hanson moved the following motion as set out in the Council Agenda:-

 

‘Cumbria County Council has long recognised the importance of tackling Climate Change. This Council remains fully committed as we seek to reduce our own carbon emissions. To date this Council has:-

 

   Reduced emissions through our waste contract and reducing waste to landfill

   Introduced low energy schemes in many of our buildings

   Introduced the use of low emission fleet vehicles and pool cars

   Installed LED street lighting

 

However, this Council cannot tackle Climate Change in isolation and we will collaborate with our 6 district authorities and our national parks colleagues as indicated in the Cumbria Joint Public Health Strategy - "To become a “carbon neutral” County and to mitigate the likely impact of existing climate change".

 

This Council therefore welcomes the recent decision by Parliament to declare a Climate Change Emergency in the UK, including Cumbria. We now call upon the Government to produce a clear plan of action, backed up by sufficient resources, to address this existential threat.’

 

Mrs Hanson said that in Cockermouth communities had experienced 1 in 1000 year floods on at least a couple of occasions in the last 10 years and these were becoming more and more common.  With rising sea levels and extreme weather no-one should be questioning whether there was a climate change emergency.

 

Mrs Hanson referred to an event being held next week in Carlisle called the Climate Emergency Action Summit, and encouraged all members to attend.

 

Mr Ellis commented that although he supported the motion, he had concerns about the notion that Climate Change was responsible for all of the flooding issues, which were becoming more prevalent.  He referred to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which stated there was no correlation between increases in temperature and the flooding being experienced throughout the world.  Mr Ellis also felt there was a misconception of the timescales being quoted last year which were saying that the human race had just twelve years to limit the most devastating impacts of global heating, and that this needed to be done without delay to prevent the global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees centigrade.  Mr Ellis said he thought Cumbria should take advantage of the assets in the county and develop more sustainable solutions such as wind generation and solar energy.

 

Mr Marriner said that climate change was not a new concept, and had been around for a very long time.  There were many activities which impacted on the effect of climate change and he urged the Government to find solutions by using new technology.

 

Many members spoke in support of the motion and recognised that the planet was facing a serious threat from climate change, and that there was ‘no Planet B’. 

 

On conclusion of the debate it was RESOLVED unanimously that Cumbria County Council call upon the Government to produce a clear plan of action, backed up by sufficient resources, to address this existential  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

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:

Mrs Williamson gave a speech on Suicide Awareness and made reference to ‘Every Life Matters’ the new suicide prevention charity established with the aim of addressing the County's high suicide rate. Their slogan was Suicide Safer Copeland and their goal was to shatter the stigma that surrounds suicide whilst increasing understanding of when a person was potentially at risk of committing suicide.

 

Yesterday marked the annual Suicide Awareness Day.Within the United Kingdom as a whole, one in fifteen people would at some point attempt suicide and of those that do turn thoughts into suicide 75% would be male.

 

Mrs Williamson referred to a new project being established in Copeland called ‘Mind Ya Marras’ and outlined what the project was about. It had been set up on the Mirehouse estate ran by a dedicated group of volunteers who were trained as mental health first aiders, providing a meeting place for men to talk, play games and enjoy food and non-alcoholic beverages. Any man who had experienced mental health issues were encouraged to attend.

 

At the end of the speech Mrs Williamson suggested that all members should undertake Suicide Awareness Training.

 

The Chair thanked Mrs Williamson for her speech.