Agenda and minutes

County Council
Thursday, 11th January, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Offices, Kendal

Contact: Nicola Harrison  Email: nicola.harrison@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

62.

Roll Call of Members

Minutes:

Mr Fairbairn, Mr H Graham, Mr Haraldsen, Mr McDevitt, Mrs Tarbitt, Mrs Tibble, Mr Wentworth-Waites and Mr Whipp sent apologies to the meeting.

 

At the start of the meeting, 76 members were present.

63.

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:

Mr Whiteside declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 53 of the Cabinet Meeting 21 December 2017(statement by the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property on Connecting Cumbria).  He declared that he is employed by Open Reach.

 

64.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 16 November 2017 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting on 16 November 2018 were approved with the following correction:

 

Page 18 – Minutes of the Audit and Assurance Committee.  It was agreed that in paragraph 4 the minute should read “The overall conclusion was that the Head of Internal Audit had provided partial assurance.”  The final sentence of the paragraph should read “The Committee had been satisfied that this did not necessarily reflect a decline in the Council’s arrangements”.

65.

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:

There were no items during consideration of which members resolved to exclude the press and public from the meeting.

66.

Public Participation

To receive petitions or questions from the public under the Public Participation Scheme for the Council. 

 

This item is time limited to 30 minutes.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no items of public participation at this meeting.

67.

Announcements and Communications

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

Minutes:

Mr Bell, Chair of the Council made the following announcements.

 

New Years Honours

The Chair informed members of honours awarded to people in Cumbria.

 

He offered congratulations to Mr Chris Whiteside, divisional member for Egremont North and St. Beeswho was awarded an MBE for political and public service.

 

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Mrs Deborah Louise Brownson of Barrow, for services to autism awareness.
  • Mr Charles Richard Butler of Ulverston, for services to music education.
  • Mr Philip Peter Buxton of Barrow, for services to mountain rescue.
  • Mr Malcolm Grindrod of Coniston, for services to mountain rescue.
  • Mr Thomas Frederic Metcalfe of Kirkby in Furness, for services to bell ringing.
  • Mr Adrian Treharne of Ulverston, for services to people with disabilities.

 

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Mr Anthony Robin Ardron of Workington, for services to people with disabilities.
  • Mr John Roger Kennedy of St Bees for services to the community in West Cumberland.
  • Mrs Sarah Gertrude Kennedy of St Bees for services to the community in West Cumberland.
  • Mr Carl Jonathan Scrivens of Glenridding, for services to the community in Glenridding. 

 

Members of the Order of the Companions of Honours

  • Lord Bragg of Wigton - For services to Broadcasting and the Arts.

 

Motor Neurone Disease Association

The Chair advised members of a stand in the foyer hosted by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and the work of the Association.

Holocaust Memorial Day

The Chair advised members that Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year.  Each year Cumbria County Council arranges an exhibition to take place where staff and the general public can attend to remember the significant episode in history.

The Chair announced that on the 24 January 2018 the Council will be welcoming a survivor of the Holocaust, Mr Arek Hersh MBE to Cumbria House, Carlisle to share his experiences. There would also be an exhibition on display in a number of Council offices and libraries around the county.

 

Mr Thornton, Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services, reminded members that the Council had previously adopted the Motor Neurone Disease Charter and would be signing it today (11 January 2018). He drew  members attention to  stands in the foyer and that information packs would be available for all members.

 

Miss Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services,  provided an update, and sought to reassure the Council, on the flu situation across the County.

 

Miss Earl explained that Australia had had a particularly bad flu season last year, and it is possible that the northern hemisphere will see something similar. She explained that it is important to note that the virus does not appear to be any more dangerous than usual to those who catch it.  In Australia the problem was simply that more people than usual caught flu, which in turn led to a higher than usual number of deaths.

 

Miss Earl explained that the UK flu season is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Minutes of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 23 November 2017 and 21 December 2017.

 

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Stewart, Leader of the Council presented the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 23 November 2017 and 21 December 2017.

 

Members asked the following questions.

 

Cabinet Meeting 23 November 2017, Minute 41 page 28  Statements by the Leader and Cabinet Members

 

Mr Dew asked the Leader of the Council about his statement on 23 November on the impact of the loss of funding by local government, which had been followed by the presentation of a report of the Chief Executive presenting an upbeat vision for the Council with new ways of working and key themes.  He asked if the Leader of the Council shared this vision? 

 

Mr Young stated that in the minute referred to he had been making a point about the response of Council staff to Storm Eleanor.  His point had been that the public expectation is that public services will be available to do what is necessary. Mr Young stated that if funding continues to be reduced, the Council will no longer be able to meet public expectations.  He said that the burden of the policy of austerity had fallen on local government which had responded magnificently. The Chief Executive’s paper set out the Council’s response, which Mr Young supported and which was the vision of the Administration.

 

Minute 44 page 31 Development of the Council Plan and Medium Term Financial Plan

 

Mr Airey asked the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance about consultation on the Council’s budget proposals, which he stated asked only one question, about Council Tax.  He asked if Mr Stewart could guarantee that the savings proposed in the budget consultation document will be delivered? He further asked when consultation on service changes would take place.

 

Mr Stewart stated that the details of specific budget savings would be consulted on when they come forward for implementation and those whose services would be affected by the proposals would be consulted. 

 

Minute 43 page 31 Cabinet Response to the Referral from Copeland Local Committee on Copeland Secondary School Provision

 

Mrs Hanson asked Mrs Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning how the action approved by the Cabinet in respect of Whitehaven Academy would be delivered?

 

Mrs Sanderson replied that the Council is meeting regularly and working closely with the Regional Schools Commissioner and Ofsted, and working with the local MP. She expressed frustration at the national policy position which meant that the Council had a limited role in relation to academies. However we will do all we can, in our remit, to assist in resolving the situation.

Minute 45 page 33  Fire Service Integrated Risk Management Plan – Year 3 Action Plan

 

Mr Cook referred to emails from the Fire Brigades Union regarding the proposals for Ulverston Fire Station.  He asked Mrs Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue how the new crewing structure at Ulverston compares with the crewing structure at Kendal in place since 2005?

 

Mrs Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue replied that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Review and Update of the Constitution pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider a report of the Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Young, Leader of the Council presented a report requesting the Council to approve amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules (Part 5H of the Constitution).  The proposed amendments had been considered by the Constitution Review Group at a meeting on 4 December 2017 and were supported by that Group. 

 

The proposed amendments reflect measures identified in the Action Plan prepared in response to the Amey Lessons Learned Report, which are designed to clarify and strengthen the regulation of contract management and disputes arising from contracts. The proposed amendments were set out in Appendix 2 of the report published with  the Council agenda.

Mr Whiteside spoke to welcome the proposals.  He asked for assurance that the implementation of the changes would be monitored to ensure the processes are strong and transparent?

Mr Young replied that the recommendations had arisen from consideration of the Amey Lessons Learned Report by the Audit and Assurance Committee. He was confident that the Committee would monitor implementation of the changes.

RESOLVED That

The Council approves the amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules (Part 5H) as set out at Appendix 2 of the report published with the Agenda for the Council meeting on 11 January 2018.

 

70.

Amendment to the 2017/2018 Minimum Revenue Provision Policy pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Stewart, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance presented a report which summarised proposed amendments to the 2017/18 Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy and processes, following an in depth review to ensure policy continues to be appropriate, prudent, compliant with statutory guidance for MRP and in line with best practice. 

 

Following consideration of a number of options, the conclusion of the review was that the 2017/18 policy and processes for MRP should be updated with the approval of those changes recommended to Council. 

 

The proposed changes to the 2017/18 MRP policy had been considered by the Audit and Assurance Committee on the 5 January 2018.

 

The principal proposed change in relation to the 2017/18 MRP policy for supported and pre-2008 borrowing was to the calculation of MRP from a 4% ‘reducing balance’ to 2% ‘straight line’ for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2016.

 

Mr Stewart explained that if agreed, this would result in an MRP charge which is more aligned with the period over which the underlying assets provide benefit.

 

The proposed change would result in an overprovision position in the period 1April 2009 to 31 March 2016 of £36.8m. This over provision can prudently be released as a reduction in the MRP charge to the revenue budget for 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 totalling £36.8m.  

 

RESOLVED That

The Council approves the proposed amendments to the Council’s 2017/18 MRP Policy and processes:

1)            That the MRP policy for supported and pre 2008 borrowing between 2009 and 2016 be changed from 4% reducing balance to 2% straight line;

2)            That the MRP Policy Statement be reworded to reflect the above resolution; and

3)            That the current process for the allocation of financing to capital expenditure (for MRP purposes) be reviewed to ensure it is optimal.  

71.

Annual Report of the Fire Local Pensions Board 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive the Annual Report 2016/17 of the Cumbria Fire Local Pensions Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue presented the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2016/17. 

Mrs Willis explained that the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board is required to report on its activities to the Council.  The Annual Report details developments of the Board and its activities during the year.

She highlighted that the Board had received a report from the Pensions Regulator which confirmed that the Council has appropriate procedures in place and fully complies with regulations.

RESOLVED That

The Council notes the Annual Report of the Fire Local Pension Board 2016/17.

 

72.

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 Wilson asked the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property if he would review the answer provided to his question asked at the Council meeting on 16 November 2017 and outline the proposed next steps in respect to Millom pool?  He asked for the condition report that resulted in the decision to close the pool.

 

Mr Southward replied that there was no intention that the Council would put more resources into the pool as this would be economically inappropriate.  However, officers would assist where possible in exploring options.  Mr Southward undertook to provide the latest update on the conditions report.

 

Mr Hughes asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport if he would confirm the funding arrangements for the temporary footbridge at Pooley Bridge?

 

Mr Little replied that the next major project at Pooley Bridge was to replace the temporary bridge. The Council was working with local businesses and other bodies including the Local Enterprise Partnership and Eden District Council to secure the remaining funding for a temporary footbridge. The Council would need to look at the possibility of a permanent footbridge.

 

Mr Lamb asked the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services what steps the Council was taking to tackle a shortfall of funding for extra care housing in Copeland?

 

Mr Thornton replied that the Council had a large number of extra care housing projects in place and extra care was being developed in every district.  Care was needed not to oversupply the market. He stated that there is a pipeline but the Council regularly reviews  its figures.

 

Mr Bingham asked the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property for the inventory of heritage assets, storage conditions and future proposals for the heritage assets in the Courts building.

 

Mr Southward replied that the heritage assets were being stored correctly while their future was determined.  He undertook to supply the inventory.

 

Mr Collins asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport if he would advise Government ministers that Kendal was not an appropriate diversion when there is disruption on the M6 and that a Kendal Northern development route was needed?

 

Mr Little replied that South Lakeland District Council and South Lakeland Local Committee have put funding into a Kendal Northern study. Further work was needed before an approach could be made to Government.  The Council would be dealing with the difficulties with the other Kendal route in the next 2- 3 years.

 

Mr Markley asked the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport what the Council is doing about coastal erosion on the B5300 at Allonby?

 

Mr Little replied that he acknowledged the route is vital and the Council would have to see how it could be maintained and do as much as it could.  He highlighted that motorists use the road when it is closed which aggravates the problems on the route.

 

Mr Dew asked the Leader of the Council if he was of the opinion that the Council is too “Carlisle-centric”?  He referred to remarks in a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Scrutiny Management Board pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To receive a report of the Chair of Scrutiny Management Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Wearing, Chair of Scrutiny Management Board presented a report on the activities of scrutiny since the last Council meeting.

 

He highlighted the strategic planning session which had taken place on 28 November 2018 which resulted in a report to Cabinet on 21 December 2017.  He noted that Cabinet had agreed four out of the five recommendations made by the Scrutiny Management Board.

 

Mr Wearing advised members of the outcome of the call in of the Cabinet decision of 23 November 2017 relating to school transport, which was considered by Scrutiny Management Board on 20 December 2017. 

 

Following scrutiny, Scrutiny Management Board had decided not to refer the decision back to Cabinet.

 

Mr Wearing had written to the Leader of the Council to highlight a number of points made during the meeting, to assist with future policies, and to advise that Scrutiny would welcome an opportunity for pre-scrutiny of this matter.

 

Mr Wearing thanked officers who had assisted with the call in.

74.

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.

74a

Workington Harbour Board pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Workington Harbour Board held on 23 October 2017.

Minutes:

Mr Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport presented the minutes of Workington Harbour Board on 23 October 2017.

 

RESOLVED To receive the minutes of the Workington Harbour Board of 23 October 2017.

75.

Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To consider a report of the Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Young, Leader of the Council presented a report informing members of decisions taken under the Council’s Constitutional urgency provisions.

 

He explained that the report notifies members of circumstances in which three urgent decisions have been taken in line with the Council’s Constitution since the last meeting of the Council:

1)    A price uplift of 8% for independent sector home care (in addition to the 2% uplift in April 2017) funded from the Better Care Fund.

2)    A loan guarantee agreement on behalf of the Cumbria Local Government Pension Fund.

3)    The purchase of the Eamont Building from Portakabin.  

 

RESOLVED That

The Council notes the report.

 

76.

Notice of Motions

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

Minutes:

No notices of motion had been submitted for this meeting.

77.

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 Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation.

Minutes:

No members made speeches at this meeting.

78.

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ASKED AT COUNCIL MEETING 11.1.18 pdf icon PDF 115 KB