Agenda and draft minutes

County Council
Wednesday, 9th September, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: This meeting will not be taking place in a physical place. Please see the link below to join the meeting

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

Items
No. Item

102.

Roll Call of Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr M Barbour, Mr A Markley, Mrs M Rae, Mr S Stoddart, Mrs J Willis and Mr D Wilson.

 

103.

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 K Little declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 10 – 2019/20 Annual Report of the Fire Local Pension Board, as he was a recipient of a Fire Service Pension.  He took no part in the meeting during discussion of this item.

  

104.

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.

 

105.

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 public questions, petitions or statements made to the Council.

 

106.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 13 February 2020 (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 February 2020 be agreed with the following amendments:-

 

Page 11 - Minute 93 Second Paragraph

Final sentence there is a word missing – change from ‘The Chair had met from across the site’ to read ‘The Chair had met staff from across the site’ 

 

Page 12 – Minute 93 Third Paragraph from the bottom

Change from ‘there was around 40 premises’ to ‘there were around 40 premises’

 

Page 26 – Minute 97 Third Paragraph

First sentence – change the word ‘put’ to ‘out’

 

Page 28 – Minute 101 Speeches

20 isn’t plenty - remove the £ from the opening sentence to read 20 isn’t plenty

 

Also on page 28 – Minute 101 speeches - add in the following paragraph

 

Mr C Whiteside gave a speech on school transport, expressing concern that some 200 VI form students in Cumbria were affected by the interaction of school transport rules, funding arrangements for post-16 transport, and new regulations designed get a better deal to disabled customers.

 

Mr N Hughes proposed two further amendments from the floor:-

 

Page 25 – Minute 97 – Questions

Last paragraph the member suggested adding in the following sentence at the end of the paragraph ‘The portfolio holder also said that the Council does not have a policy on not subsidising buses’.

 

Page 26 – Minute  97 – Questions

At the end of the second paragraph add in an additional sentence ‘ The portfolio holder said that Local Committee Chairs would be consulted on this’.

 

 

107.

Announcements and Communications

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

 

Minutes:

 

The Chair began by saying that this was the first meeting of Council since the sad passing of County Councillor Lawrence Fisher.  She asked members to join her for a minute of silence as a mark of respect to Cllr Fisher. 

 

The Chairman, and the Leader of the Conservative Group, followed by the leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups expressed their condolences to Mr Fisher’s family and spoke about his character, his contribution to the County Council, and his constituents and of their sadness at his death.

 

The Chair informed members that she had circulated details of the Chairman and Vice Chairman’s engagements since the last meeting had been circulated by email, for information only.

 

She informed council that as a result of the COVID19 outbreak and the impact that this has had on the organisation she had agreed to stay on as Chair of Cumbria County Council until next year, making the full duration of my role two years.

 

The Chair expressed her heartfelt gratitude to everyone working for the County Council, from those on the front line and directly involved with the response, to those providing vital backroom support and maintaining their day job – and of course to you all as Members, for working closely and tirelessly with residents and local communities.

 

The impact of COVID had been far-reaching and had affected many aspects of people’s lives including: the education of children and the fact that residents in care had not been able to access the support of their nearest and dearest; as well as the notable impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

 

The Chair finished by mentioning the Emergency Services Day, also known as 999 Day, which was today, and asked member to join her in applauding all those that worked in the emergency services sector.. 

 

The Leader of the Council said the last few months had been difficult for everyone and he was afraid this was going to continue for the foreseeable future.  He wanted to add his thanks to those of the Chairman in thanking all the County Council staff, who, as well as dealing with their own personal circumstances had gone above and beyond in helping to keep county council services operating and running wherever possible to support residents.

 

He also took the opportunity to thank elected members, who had been heavily involved in supporting residents and their communities during the crisis.

 

The Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services made an announcement on Cumbria Care.

 

She thanked all of the care staff, who had worked tirelessly during the last six months supporting and caring for the most vulnerable through the pandemic.  As we adjust to living with the threat the staff continued to provide quality care and support for all residents and service users.

 

The Cabinet Member then brought members up to date with testing in residential homes and the reopening of day care services.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services was delighted to announce that last weekend Cumbria  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

MINUTES OF CABINET

108a

Minutes of the Cabinet - 11 June pdf icon PDF 108 KB

The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 11 June 2020 are enclosed (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 Chair invited members to ask questions of the Leader and Cabinet Members on the Cabinet Minutes from 11 June 2020.

 

Mr N Hughes referred to the last paragraph of Minute No 107 – Cumbria County Council’s Response to the Covid 19 Pandemic in which is stated that Government had assured all councils that they be compensated for Covid related costs.  He asked the Deputy Leader if this was still the position.

 

The Deputy Leader replied to say the minister that made the original statement was no longer the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government, but that he hoped the new minister would honour these assurances.  The Deputy Leader commented on the limited nature of the guarantee.  It was originally thought that the funding would cover both the costs and the loss of income suffered by Councils. However, this had proved not to the case.  The Leader and Deputy Leader hold frequent meetings with other councils and Cumbria appeared to be somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to the financial resilience of local authorities nationally.  Challenging conversations with Ministers took place at every meeting about this.

 

On Page 33 Minute No 107 Mr P Dew asked the Cabinet Member for Health and Care Services how the County Council viewed the private sector provision and in particular residential care homes, who he felt played an equally vital role in care provision in Cumbria.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say at all the recent Cabinet meeting she had talked about how brilliant all care and support workers had been during these unprecedented times, including those in the private sector.

 

RESOLVED,     that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2020 be noted.

108b

Minutes of Cabinet - 23 July pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 23 July 2020 are enclosed (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:

On Page 48 – Minute No 12 Carlisle Southern Link Road - Mr Clark applauded Cumbria County Council’s ambitious plans for the economic growth in Carlisle by providing significant financial support for the Carlisle Southern Link Road  He asked the Leader how Cabinet would ensure that all whole county, including both the south lakes and rural areas, continued to have a voice and received a fair share of the support they deserve.

 

The Leader responded by detailing the approach being used for investment within the county.  He mentioned specifically the Borderland Project, which covered all local authorities which bordered on the England/Scotland borders.  Both Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council was members of the Borderland Project Board.  As Leader of the County Council he was keen to ensure that resources secured through Borderlands was spread across the whole of the county.  He then detailed a number of these possible projects including the Windermere Gateway and the Cycleway over the southern side of Dunmail Raise. 

 

The Leader reassured members that he wanted to see investment and boost the economy throughout the whole of Cumbria.

 

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 23 July 2020 be noted.

 

109.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2020-2025 - FINANCIAL UPDATE pdf icon PDF 123 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

Mr A Wonnacott joined the meeting at this point.

 

The Deputy Leader presented a report which informed members that in February 2020 Council approved a Capital Programme of £286.379m (excluding Accountable Bodies) for 2020-2025.  The purpose of this report was to seek approval to re-profile spend between financial years within the programme and approve new schemes as recommended by Cabinet at its meeting on 11 June.

This report confirmed the revised Capital Programme 2020/21 – 2024/25 after taking account of these updates and other revisions which had been agreed by Cabinet at its meetings of 11 June and 27 August 2020.

In February 2020, Council approved the Capital Programme of £286.379m (excluding Accountable Bodies) for 2020-2025 and agreed to include any slippage from the 2019/20 programme into the 2020/21 programme.

Overall for 2019/20 there was a variance against the Council capital budget of £17.338m; with actual spend of £90.891m compared to the £108.229m capital budget. This variance is made up of (£18.329m) slippage, £1.206m of accelerated spend and an underspend position of (£0.215m).

Cabinet at its meeting in June approved the following amendments to the Capital Programme 2020-25.

·      the addition of £19.502m external funding to existing schemes including the allocation of £9.625m of Additional Pothole Action Fund to the Local Committees.

·      the addition of a £0.150m externally funded new scheme.

Council was asked to approve the following reprofiling of schemes within the Capital Programme from 2020/21 to future years.

·      Children’s - Inclusion Strategy (£1.660m) from 2020/21 and (£1.244m) from 2021/22 to £2.904m 2022/23 due to delays in site requirements for Alternative Provision. These have now been resolved and work is progressing.

·      People – Adults Extra Care Housing (£0.373m) from 2020/21 to £0.083m 2022/23 and £0.290m to 2023/24 due to restricted working methods due to COVID 19 on one site and delays in the programme delivery.

·      Economy and Infrastructure including:

-     £5.628m for DfT Flood Recovery Scheme from 2020/21 to 2021/22 due to delays in a small number of projects related to statutory approvals and agreements with land owners.

-     £3.475m for A595/A684 Road Safety Foundation Schemes from 2020/21 to 2022/23 due to delay in the release of funding from the Department for Transport.

-     £1.000m for Area Planning from 2020/21 to 2022/23 due to projects requiring a longer period of development than originally anticipated.

Council was also asked to approve the addition of new schemes to the 2020-25 Capital Programme.

-     The ESFA have recently confirmed the Basic Needs grant for 2020/21 of £1.847m and 2021/22 of £1.958m.

At its meeting of 27 August 2019, Cabinet agreed, in respect of the Carlisle Southern Link Road, the acquisition of land and new rights over land by agreement and the making and, if confirmed, implementation of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and a Side Roads Order (SRO) in order to construct the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) in order to unlock St Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV), improve the strategic highway network and address local transport issues.  Cabinet also approved the additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109.

110.

Treasury Management – Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 676 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

Mr A Wonnacott joined the meeting.

 

The Deputy Leader presented the Treasury Management Annual Report 2019/20 to Council, which detailed treasury management activities during 2019.20.

 

It highlighted performance during the year and provided a record of activities undertaken to demonstrate that officers had properly fulfilled their responsibilities, as laid down in the Annual Strategy 2019/20 agreed by Full Council in February 2019. The report was important as it provided information that enabled Members to review the treasury management function, its effectiveness and compliance with policies and objectives.

 

Despite ongoing volatility in the markets and in economic expectations, investment borrowing and investment activity was undertaken in accordance with the strategy and this resulted in a net interest budget outperformance (i.e. underspend) of £2.404m for 2019/20.  This outperformance was achieved within all prudential limits whilst also maintaining the Council’s prudent strategy regarding investment counterparties.

 

RESOLVED,     that Council notes the annual treasury management report for 2019/20; and the year-end position for the Prudential Indicators 2019/20 and full compliance with the Council’s treasury management policies and practices during the year.

 

111.

2019/20 Annual Report of the Fire Local Pension Board pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider a report from the Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue (copy enclosed)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr K Little declared a pecuniary interest in this item as he was a recipient of a Fire Service Pension.  He took no part in the meeting during discussion of this item.

 

County Council considered a report from Cabinet Member for Customer, Transformation and Fire and Rescue.  The report was presented by Mr Lamb,  who was a Board member, and introduced the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2019/20. 

 

The Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board was required to report on its activities to the Council, and the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board 2019/20 detailed developments of the Board and its activities during the year.

Where the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board was concerned due consideration had not been given to matters of non-compliance, the Board may submit a report for consideration by the Audit and Assurance Committee as the body designated by the Scheme Manager with the capacity to investigate such matters on its behalf.  There had been no matters raised with the Audit and Assurance Committee.

RESOLVED,     that members note the Annual Report of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board.

 

112.

CONSTITUTION REVIEW GROUP pdf icon PDF 95 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report by the Leader of the Council, which set out proposed changes to the membership of Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board to reflect changes in the health organisational landscape and the need to ensure the relationship between health and wellbeing and the criminal justice systems was reflected. 

 

This report also set out details of changes to the Constitution made by the Chief Legal Officer under her delegated powers.  These make certain temporary changes to the Constitution which applied to meetings of the Council held remotely during the coronavirus pandemic and minor changes to the terms of reference of the Cumbria Fire Local Pension Board to correct some errors.

 

In 2018 the Health and Wellbeing Board revised its terms of reference to include providers of health care as members of the Board.  Since then there had been considerable organisational change in the NHS environment.  It was therefore proposed to revise the terms of reference of the Board to reflect these changes and to ensure that the current NHS providers who operated in Cumbria were represented on the Board.  The Leader also explained the background to the appointment of the Chief Constable to the Board.

 

As a result of Covid-19 and the introduction of new regulations allowing for meetings to be held remotely until 7 May 2021 consequential amendments where required to the Constitution to allow attendance at meetings by of members and the public to be by remote means and for the publication of notices in electronic form.  These amendments were temporary and would only apply until 7 May 2021.

 

The Leader also informed Council of proposed changes to the terms of reference for the Cumbria Local Pension Board, and the appointment panel for the board.

 

Mrs Mallinson asked the Leader whether one district council member on the Health and Wellbeing Board was sufficient and wondered whether in fact all district councils should be represented.

 

The Leader responded to say that when the Health and Wellbeing Board was originally set up all six districts were represented.  An independent review then took place which recommended that the role of the Public Health Alliance be increased, on which all of the district and borough councils were represented.  The review had highlighted that district council responsibilities were aligned more with the Public Health Alliance than the Health and Wellbeing  Board, which resulted in the number of district council representatives being changed to a single member.  The Leader felt that any further changes to local authority representation should be left until after a decision had been made on local government reorganisation in Cumbria.

 

Many members spoke in support of continuing with the holding of remote meetings in the future for informal meeting of the council.  They felt that the County Council should now take the opportunity to consider how this technology may be used going forward, as it would save travel time and costs associated with both members and officers when attending meetings.

 

However, some concerns were raised about the use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.

113.

Scrutiny Update Report pdf icon PDF 101 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 Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/20 was circulated to all Members in spring, following the cancellation of the Council meeting in April where the report would normally have been presented. The report outlines scrutiny activity throughout 2019/20 and the impact it has had.

 

The Chair informed members that on 19 August, a session to which all non-executive Members were invited was held for briefing and discussion on issues relating to local government reform.  At this session, a number of issues were identified for the focus of Scrutiny engagement in relation to this issue over the coming weeks and months.  A scope for task and finish scrutiny activity throughout the autumn would be considered by SMB on 10 September, and the Scrutiny Work Programme would be updated to reflect the agreed activity.

 

In early October, Scrutiny would hold the first of a number of activities for all non-executive Members over the coming months to input into the Council’s strategic planning.

 

The Chair of Scrutiny Management Board welcomed the opportunity of a Task and Finish Group to consider how the council might make use of virtual meetings going forward.

 

RESOLVED,     that the report be received and noted.

 

 

114.

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 asked the Leader to join him in thanking the Government for the substantial financial assistance given to Cumbria County Council during the Covid pandemic, which was in the region of £30m, and he also asked the Leader for comment in terms of the economic value and regeneration of Government schemes such as Eat Out, and Furlough  Business Rate Relief.

 

The Leader responded to say that the costs of dealing with the consequences of Coronavirus have been enormous and all local authorities have had to incur additional expenditure to deal with this, as well as suffering a loss of income.  However, he did acknowledge and welcome the support the Government had so far provided for Cumbria and outlined the details of this for members.

 

In terms of the wider economic recovery for Cumbria the Leader said this would be a challenge and informed members that the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was leading on this. 

 

Mr M Wilson asked the Cabinet Member for Environment for an update on the reopening of Household Ware Recycling Centres and the potential removal of restrictions and the introduction of a booking system for these.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say that the HWRC in Cumbria were operated by Renewi and they operated the sites on behalf of the County Council. The 14 sites had been managed under temporary restricted conditions since reopening in May 2020, to allow for the safe running of the sites, whilst maintaining social distancing measures. 

 

On Monday 14 September, all HWRC sites would resume operation with the normal restrictions in place.  She confirmed that social distancing measures would still be implemented for both staff and customers.

 

Mr Cook informed members that he had received an email from a member of the public concerned about the disproportionate restrictions for visiting relatives with dementia in care homes.  He asked the Cabinet Member Health and Care Services if the visiting policy in care homes was flexible enough to meet people’s individual needs.

 

The Cabinet Member responded to say that a cumbria wide visiting policy for care homes was agreed by the SCG Care Home Sub Group and the Health Protection Board on the 6 July 2020.  This allowed for social distanced visiting to all care homes and supported living homes from that date.  This policy had been adopted by both Cumbria Care and all independent providers.  For the majority most visits were held outdoors and were sadly weather dependent.  More permanent solutions were currently being developed so that visiting could continue into the winter.  If residents were not well enough to go outdoors risk assessment and appropriate PPE kit should be available to allow visits indoors.  For those living with dementia there was a need to balance their health and wellbeing with the potential Covid 19 transmission risk and more frequent visiting arrangements were in place.

 

Mr Betton asked the Cabinet Member for Highway and Transport about the situation in relation to school buses for the new Newman School.  He had concerns about  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.

115.

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.

115a

Cumbria Pensions Committee pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 13 March 2020 and 23 June 2020 (draft) (copies enclosed)

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the minutes of the meeting of Cumbria Pensions Committee held on 13 March 2020 and the draft minutes of the meeting held on 23 June 2020 be received and noted.

 

115b

Audit and Assurance Committee pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To receive the minutes of a meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 29 July (draft) (copy enclosed)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,     that the draft minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Assurance Committee held on 29 July 2020 be received and noted.

 

116.

URGENCY PROVISIONS pdf icon PDF 146 KB

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

 

 

 

Minutes:

Member had before them a report from the Leader of the Council, which informed members of the circumstances in which urgent decisions had been taken in line with the Council’s Constitution since the last meeting of the Council.

Since the meeting of Council held on 13 February 2020, there have been a number of urgent decision taken by the Chief Executive and Executive Directors, most in response to the Covid 19 Pandemic. All of these decisions are set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

Did SY say anything else?

Questions from members?

 

RESOLVED,     that the report be received and noted.

 

117.

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.

 

118.

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 Ellis gave a speech on Kingmoor Energy Waste Plant.

 

Mr N Hughes gave a speech on remote meetings.