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Contact: Jackie Currie Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROLL CALL FOR MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
Mr DE Southward was unable to log onto the remote meeting.
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises
1 Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
2 Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
3 Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority
(a) Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and
(b) Which has not been fully discharged.
4 Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority.
5 Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer.
6 Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)
(a) The landlord is the authority; and
(b) The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.
7 Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where
(a) That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and
(b) Either –
(i) The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.
A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).
There were no disclosures of interest made on this occasion.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.
RESOLVED, that the press and public be not excluded from any items on the agenda today.
STATEMENTS BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL AND CABINET MEMBERS
To receive statements by the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members.
There were no statements made to this meeting.
There were no questions, petitions or statements at the time of despatch
There were no public questions, petitions or statements made on this occasion.
There were no referrals from Scrutiny to this meeting.
There were also no referrals from local committees made on this occasion.
To consider a report by the Chief Executive (copy to follow).
Cabinet had before it a report from the Chief Executive, which presented a High-Level Proposition and Business Case for Local Government Reform in Cumbria. Approval was sought prior to submission of the two documents to the Government. The Proposition and Business Case set out the case for the creation of a single new council to replace the existing Cumbria County Council and six District Councils in the county.
Reform of Local Government in Cumbria had been subject to discussion between the Leaders of the local authorities in the county over a number of years. In December 2018 Cabinet agreed, following a debate at Full Council in November 2018, to submit to Government an expression of interest in exploring options for local government reorganisation to a unitary model in Cumbria. The Leader of the Council subsequently wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in December 2018.
Discussions then took place in late 2019 and into 2020 between the then Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, and then his successor Simon Clarke MP, the current Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, senior Government officials and the Leaders of the County Council and 6 District Councils.
The most recent discussions took place within the context of the emerging aspirations for ‘levelling up’ across the regions and to extend devolution deals across more areas of the country, and the desire for simplified local governance as a necessary platform for devolution.
The latest of these Ministerial discussions took place in early July 2020 and the local authorities in Cumbria were encouraged, if they so wished, to submit an expression of interest in receiving an invitation from the Secretary of State to submit proposals for local government reorganisation in Cumbria.
Subsequently, the Leader of Cumbria County Council submitted a joint expression of interest with the Leader of Allerdale Borough Council and the Mayor of Copeland Borough Council.
There was no shared position between the three Councils on a model/models for reform of local government. Cumbria County Council officers started work on a proposition and supporting business case for a single unitary council. It was understood that alternative propositions may be submitted by District Councils.
The draft Proposition was a high-level proposal and outline Business Case that would meet the Government’s expected initial timescales of an early September submission. The expected process over the coming weeks would involve further detailed development and dialogue with Government.
The Leader of the Council said that at the centre of the proposals was the empowerment of local communities and the strengthening of Town and Parish Councils. The aspiration was to build on existing locality arrangements and progress on a principle of ‘local first’, based on ambitious devolution to Town and Parish Councils. Further work and engagement with Members, residents and partners on how to achieve this, including the models that could be put in place, would be a key priority to further develop these proposals over the coming weeks.
To consider a report by the Executive Director – People (copy to follow).
The Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services presented a report from the Director of Public Health which set out proposals for two key aspects of the County Council’s responsibilities for Covid 19 Outbreak Control. Firstly it asked Cabinet to agree a mechanism for the Cumbria County Council to exercise its powers of direction under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No 3) Regulations 2020, and secondly, how the County Council intended to allocate monies allocated to the County Council under the Local Authority Test and Trace Service Support Grant.
In recent months the number of Covid 19 cases had come down significantly, however, the virus was still circulating and could come back in a second spike. To help to keep the virus under control would require a process of really good local prevention and outbreak control. The Cabinet Member outlined two of the key ways in which local actions can help to prevent a second spike.
The first concerns the use of new powers under the Coronavirus Regulations. The County Council now had powers to put conditions on or to close down particular venues, events or public outdoor space where there was a serious threat to public health.
It was important to note that these powers applied to individual settings – the Council does not have the power to impose a wider local lockdown of the sort that had been seen recently in Leicester, Greater Manchester or parts of Lancashire, those decisions were taken by government.
The second key action concerned the use of the local Test and Trace Grant. This £1.7 million grant had been given to the County Council to enable Cumbria to maintain its local test, trace and outbreak control capability over the longer term.
In two-tier areas such as Cumbria it was a requirement of the grant that Cumbria County Council worked with District Councils on taking this work forward. It was proposed that funding would be given to District Councils equivalent to the value of two environmental health officers each for 12 months. This will give them individually and jointly the capacity and resilience that they would need to continue doing this work while starting to return to business as usual.
Cabinet was asked to agree to delegate the decision making on the use of County Council powers under the Coronavirus Regulations to the Chief Executive, and to note the proposal to allocate Test and Trace Grant monies to the District Councils, as set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the report.
Cabinet had concerns about the use of political boundaries for local lockdowns, which did not seem to make much sense. Members commented that postcodes would be a far more sensible way of dealing with this issue. These comments were noted.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) agrees to delegate the powers to make directions under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No 3) Regulations 2020 to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, Deputy Leader and relevant Cabinet Member, under 1.4 ... view the full minutes text for item 28.