Full Council – 14 July 2010

Present

THE DEPUTY MAYOR – Councillor Ali

Councillors Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Barkworth, Berry, B Briggs, J Briggs, Mrs Bromby, Carlile, Cawsey, Clark, Collinson, Davison, Eckhardt, Ellerby, L Foster, Glover, Gosling, Grant, Jawaid, Kirk, O’Sullivan, Poole, Mrs Redfern, Regan, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Mrs Sidell, Mrs Simpson, Stewart, Swift, K Vickers, P Vickers, Waltham, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson.

The council met at Pittwood House, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe.

1877 DEPUTY MAYOR’S REMARKS – The Deputy Mayor welcomed fellow councillors, officers and members of the public to the meeting.

The Deputy Mayor indicated that when he became Deputy Mayor in May it had never occurred to him that he might be chairing a full meeting of the council this year. However, due to the Mayor’s unfortunate accident, he was chairing the meeting. He also asked all members to join with him in wishing the Mayor, Councillor Allan Smith a speedy recovery.

The Deputy Mayor reported that since the Mayor’s accident, he had covered 39 events on his behalf and had enjoyed every one of them.

1878 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – Declarations of personal interest were indicated as follows.

Member
Subject/Minute
Councillor M Ali Licensed Hackney Carriage Driver
Councillor J Briggs Humberside Fire Authority – Member
Councillor W Eckhardt Chairman Regional Arthritis Council
Councillor I Jawaid Humberside Police Authority
Councillor Mrs E Redfern North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member
Councillor D Stewart Agenda Items 7 and 8
Councillor R Waltham North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member

1879 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the council held on 17 March and 12 May 2010 having been printed and circulated amongst the members be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the Mayor.

1880 (8) POLITICAL COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report on the political composition of the council following changes to the membership of one of the political groups on the council and the formation of a third political group and in relation to other constitutional changes.

The report indicated that Councillor John Berry had ceased to be a member of the Conservative Group and that Councillor Neil Poole had become a member of that group. The necessary documents had been delivered and gave effect to these changes.The Chief Executive had also been notified that, in accordance with the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 made under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, Councillors Don Stewart and John Berry had decided to form a political group to be known as Group of 2 Independents.The necessary documents had been delivered to give effect to that. The Leader of the Group would be Councillor Stewart and the Deputy Leader/Specified Representative would be Councillor Berry.

As a result of these changes the report set out the current political composition of the council and indicated that such changes to political composition automatically triggered a review of the allocation of seats to the political groups and it was necessary therefore to review the political balance of the council to determine if the allocation of seats on committees had to be changed. The report set out the current political balance of the council and indicated that as a result of these changes there was no need to change the present allocation of seats to the labour and conservative groups.The conservative group had therefore given notification that Councillor Poole would be appointed to the vacant places on the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel and the Appeals Committee which had previously been allocated to Councillor Berry.However, the changes to political balance following the creation of a group of 2 independents did impact on the seats previously allocated to the Liberal Democrat and Independent members of the council.Under the new arrangements the group of 2 independents were entitled to seats as set out in paragraph 2.6.As a result, that group had appointed Councillor John Berry to the Licensing Committee and Councillor Don Stewart to the Appeals Committee.Under these arrangements the independent member of the council would not be entitled to a seat. However, the group of 2 independents had agreed that Councillor Barry Briggs should retain his seat on the Planning Committee. It was also proposed that he should be appointed to take up the vacant place on the Standards Committee which was not subject to the political balance requirements.

The establishment of a third political group on the council also impacted on Procedure Rule D1.16 (e) Notices of Motion and paragraph 8 set out the current arrangements in relation to that motion and suggested changes to take account of the changes in political composition.

Finally, discussions had been held about the possibility of speeding up the approval of disabled facilities and other grants to enable grants below a specified financial threshold to be dealt with as soon as possible. The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment and the Cabinet Member for Housing and Strategic Planning had considered this matter and it was proposed that the officer delegations be amended as set out in paragraph 2.9 to enable such grants to be speeded up.

Resolved (a) That the information in the report be noted; (b) the appointment of members as detailed in paragraphs 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 of the report be approved, and (c) that the proposed changes to the council’s constitution as detailed in the report be approved.

1881 (9) TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT STRATEGY – ANNUAL REPORT 2009/2010 – The Service Director Finance submitted a report on the performance of the council’s Treasury Management Function in 2009/2010.Performance was measured against the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy set by the council at its meeting held on 25 February 2009.

The report explained that each year the council approved a Treasury Management and Investment Strategy which was prepared in line with:

  • The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice for Treasury Management
  • The Prudential Code
  • The Local Government Finance Act 2003
  • Guidance on Local Government Investments from the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)

The report also implemented expected changes to the codes which had been re-published in November 2009. The codes require:

  • Full council to receive a report on Treasury Strategy at the start and after the end of each financial year with a further mid-year review.
  • Cabinet or other designated body to take responsibility for regular monitoring
  • Delegation of day to day implementation, in our case to the Service Director Finance
  • The allocation of the scrutiny role in the case of North Lincolnshire to the Audit Committee

The adoption of the revised codes had been formally approved by council on 24 February 2010 and these were supported by revised and updated Treasury Management Practices which underpinned the day to day arrangements for the Treasury Management Function from 2010/11.Cabinet approved these on 9 June 2010.

The Department for Communities and Local Governmentalso worked with CIPFA to ensure that their investment guidance was complementary. Its revised guidance took effect from 1 April 2010 but did not apply for 2009/2010.Details were set out in paragraph 2.4.

The 2009/2010 Treasury Management Strategy which was outlined in the report with supporting appendices covered:

  • The Investment Strategy
  • The Borrowing Strategy
  • How the council performed
  • Icelandic Investments

The Service Director in his report detailed how the strategy had been implemented during 2009/2010 and referred to the key results which were that the council:

  • Invested with a narrow range of counterparties
  • Generated an average return of 0.6 per cent for the year, 0.1 per cent above base rate
  • Deferred borrowing for the Capital Programme
  • Kept the cost of borrowing below six per cent of revenue stream
  • Recovered further sums from Heritable Bank, the UK subsidiary of Landsbanki

Resolved – That the council notes the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy Annual Report for 2009/2010.

1882 VARIATION OF ORDER OF BUSINESS – It was moved and seconded that in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.20(o) the order of business of the meeting be varied to enable agenda item 15 – questions from members of the public to be dealt with.

Motion Carried

1883 QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC – (INCLUDING TOWN AND PARISH COUNCILS) – The Leader of the Council referred to the format of full council meetings which enable members of the public to ask questions.The following members of the public attended the meeting and asked a question of the Leader.

Question – Mr Abdul Wadud

“In light of the fact that one of the candidate for the contract to operate the Baths Hall has recently withdrawn, do we have reason to fear that the contract is not attracted to operators without the annual expenditure of large amounts of public money?”

Response – The Leader thanked Mr Wadud for his question and interest in the Baths. He said that the council was going through the procurement process and that as part of that firms can drop out. He also said that we started off with a large number but were now down to two – that was perfectly normal. The last firm to withdraw did so citing reasons not to do with the Baths.The scheme was moving forward and we hoped to announce a successful operator in September.

Question – Mr Liam Overfield

“As it is clear that government funding to councils is to be reduced to bring it into line with what the country can afford, can we have an assurance that no front line services or jobs will be sacrificed to meet the cost of the Baths Hall? Can we have assurance that if the developing picture shows that we cannot afford all of our commitments, schemes such as the Baths Hall will be sacrificed before child care workers etc?”

Response – The Leader agreed that funding was being cut due to the government who were reducing services such as children’s services and adult services. Because of this he could not give any assurances.Looking at 25 per cent of cuts but had previously promised, and would continue to protect front line services.Precise implications would be announced in November time and the budget would be set in February as normal.The ruling group had no intention of sacking social workers but who knows what the government has in store?

Question – Mr R Nixon

“Does the Leader of the Council think it is right that any member of the council who defects to another political party should on moral grounds resign and stand in a bi-election in his/her ward under their new political colours”.

Response – The Leader stated that he took no pleasure in having to discuss this issue and that a lot had already been said and he would not labour the issue.The Labour group had been consistent in calling for by-elections when members crossed the floor, including when a Labour member joined the Conservatives. It was not a witch hunt against one person. Councillor Poole should follow his own advice and ‘let local people decide.’

1884 (10) PROMOTING THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL’S STAFF – A report was submitted by the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel in relation to promoting the Health and Wellbeing of North Lincolnshire Council’s staff. The report aimed to complement the report of the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel about a Revisit of the Review of Sickness Absence in North Lincolnshire. The report contained 16 detailed recommendations.

Resolved – That the recommendations contained in the report be received and referred to cabinet for detailed consideration.

1885 (11) LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME (LDS) – The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development submitted a report informing members of the issues involved in preparing a revised LDS and asking members to approve that scheme.

The Local Development Scheme is the project plan for the delivery of the North Lincolnshire Local Development Framework (LDF).The current LDS had been approved by council on 18 November 2009 and since that time there had been a number of issues that had impacted on its deliverability and would require the timetabling to be amended accordingly.There were a number of amendments proposed to the timetable.The first of these related to the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD).It had been agreed initially that the submission draft would be published to allow representations on soundness to be made in February/March 2010.However, due to the need to agree the Exceptions Test strategy with the Environment Agency and the timetable to get that agreement and the completion of the evidence base it had not been possible to publish the document until the end of May 2010.This was reflected in the amended timetable.

Further amendments related to the Lincolnshire Lakes Area Action Plan (AAP) and the Minerals and Waste DPD.The timetable for the production of the Lincolnshire Lakes AAP was always considered to be fluid due to the availability of funding. It was proposed that the first round of consultation would now take place in February/March 2011, with the second round in July/August 2011.The final round of consultation on the submission draft was proposed to take place in March 2012 with submission to the Secretary of State in August 2012 and the independent examination taking place in December 2010.Adoption was anticipated in July 2013.

In respect of the Minerals and Waste DPD, the first round of public consultation had been scheduled to take place July/August 2010.However, there had been a number of problems obtaining relevant data about waste and minerals as part of the evidence base to underpin the document.In addition, sufficient time was required to allow the sustainability appraisal and habitats regulations assessment to be undertaken.Accordingly it was proposed to undertake the first round of public consultation on the DPD in November/December 2010.

The report indicated that it was important to note that the timetable as proposed in the revised LDS for the production of the Housing and Employment Land Allocations DPD, Proposals Map and Minerals and Waste DPD was dependent on the impact of the Independent Examination of the Core Strategy DPD in terms of its outcome and workload.Any delay on the core strategy would subsequently impact on the adoption of the other documents and therefore the timetable included the contingency to address this issue in the event of it occurring.

Present government guidance provided by the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber and the Planning Inspectorate was to proceed with the delivery of the LDF even with the abolition of Regional Spacial Strategies.Council would be informed of any changes in future planning and legislation as soon as practicable.

The report contained further information about this issue and attached as an appendix was a copy of the LDS.

Resolved – (a) That the revised Local Development Scheme be approved, and (b) that the Scheme be amended as appropriate, should any legislative changes arise in order to ensure it was continually up to date.

1886 (12) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK – STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (SCI) – REVIEW – A reports was submitted by the Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development informing members about the comments received during the recent consultation on the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) – Review Document and seeking approval to adopt the revised SCI as part of the Local Development Framework.

At the meeting of the council held on 18 November 2009 approval had been given to the publication of a revised SCI to allow the public and other interested parties to make comments on the content.The consultation, which ran from 25 November 2009 to 13 January 2010 on the revised SCI attracted a total of 26 representations from 12 organisations or individuals.

A copy of the representations received, together with officer comments was appended to the report at appendix 1.The representations received focussed on two main areas – the process for the preparation of the documents as part of the emerging LDF and the community involvement in planning applications. Other representations related to making sure that the SCI reflected PPS12: Local Spatial Planning, involving gypsies and travellers in the planning process, ongoing wishes to be involved in the LDF process as a consultee, the status of Crowle as well as minor typographical errors.

The report referred in detail to these representations which had been considered and the SCI amended where appropriate. A copy of the adoption draft SCI was appended to the report at appendix 2.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted, and (b) that the revised Statement of Community Involvement be adopted as part of the Local Development Framework.

1887 FORWARD PLAN FOR THE COUNCIL – Councillor Mark Kirk, the Leader of the Council, introduced his forward plan for the period July to October 2010, as required by the Local Government Act 2000 and the council’s Constitution. He then invited and answered questions on the plan’s contents.
Subject
Subject raised by
Response by
(i) Budget Review July 2010 Councillor D Stewart Leader of the Council – referred to the processes in place to continuously monitor the budget. Also referred to the unprecedented need to make in-year cuts to the budget of around £3m and the action being taken to deal with this.
(ii) Appointment of a Management Operator for the Baths Hall Councillor J Briggs Leader of the Council – referred to the ongoing work in relation to this matter. In due course, a decision would be made on the appointment of a suitable operator.
(iii) Budget Review July 2010 Councillor S Armitage Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood and Environment – referred to the Waste Collection Service as part of the budget review and indicated that at the outturn, the level of recycling in North Lincolnshire had grown to 51.4% which was the second highest in all single tier authorities. This had therefore generated a saving to council tax payers of £600,000 per year.
(iv) Appointment of a Management Operator for the Baths Hall Councillor W Eckhardt Leader of the Council – referred to the previous question and answer in relation to this matter and to the development of North Lincolnshire for the benefit of all residents.
(v) Appointment of a Management Operator for the Baths Hall Councillor I Jawaid Leader of the Council – updated members in relation to the appointment of a management operator for the Baths Hall and to the two significant interested parties.
(vi) Budget Review July 2010 Councillor T Barker Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services – referred to the Building Schools for the Future Programme in relation to the second wave – rural areas. Disappointment was expressed about the government’s decision to stop the scheme which would have an impact on rural schools in North Lincolnshire who were in the second wave.
(vii) Budget Review July 2010 Councillor T Ellerby Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture – referred to the government’s decision to end free swimming for under 16’s and over 60’s which would have a severe impact on a very successful scheme. However, the cabinet member indicated that the council would be providing funding to extend the scheme for the under 16’s until the end of the summer holidays.

1888 PLANNING COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on 10 March, 7 April, 5 May and 2 June 2010 be received with the exception of minute 1228.

1889 INCOMPLETE DEVELOPMENTS – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was –

Moved by Councillor Collinson and seconded by Councillor Whiteley –

That the minute be received.

Motion Carried

1890 LICENSING COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Committee held on 28 January, 9, 15, 24 and 25 March, 2010, be received.

1891 AUDIT COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 13 April 2010 be received with the exception of minutes 154 and 160.

1892 INTERNAL AUDIT PLAN, STRATEGY AND TERMS OF REFERENCE 2010/2011 – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was –

Moved by Councillor Whiteley and seconded by Councillor Wilson –

That the minute be received.

Motion Carried

1893 VALUE FOR MONEY STRATEGY – BETTER VALUE TOGETHER – With regard to excepted portion (b) it was –

Moved by Councillor Whiteley and seconded by Councillor Wilson –

That the minute be received.

Motion Carried

1894 STANDARDS COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Standards Committee held on 25 March and 10 June 2010 be received.

1895 APPEALS COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Appeals Committee held on 2 and 12 March, 8 April and 16 June 2010 be received.

1896 SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel held on 2, 16 and 30 March, 27 April, 3 and 22 June be received with the exception of minute 245.

1897 HUMBERSIDE POLICE – POLICING PLEDGE – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was –

Moved by Councillor Davison and seconded by Councillor Waltham –

That the minute be received.

Motion Carried

1898 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel held on 8 and 22 March, 6 and 19 April, 7 and 14 June 2010 be received.

1899 HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES AND OLDER PEOPLE SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel held on 9 and 23 March and 25 May 2010 be received.

1900 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CORPORATE ISSUES SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel held on 15 February, 1, 15 and 29 March, 12 and 26 April 2010 be received.

1901 SCRUTINY CO-ORDINATING PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel held on 7 June 2010 be received.

1902 QUESTIONS RELATING TO HUMBERSIDE POLICE AUTHORITY – Councillor D Barkworth asked the following question in relation to the Humberside Police Authority –

“Despite the government’s recent announcement regarding budget cuts, can Humberside Police Authority guarantee their continued support for Neighbourhood Action Teams in North Lincolnshire.”

Councillor I Jawaid responded to that question.

Councillor P Carlile asked the following question in relation to the Humberside Police Authority –

“Given the present economic climate and the threat of budget cuts from the new government, will the Humberside Police Authority give a commitment to protect PCSO’s in North Lincolnshire and the wider Humberside Police area.”

Councillor I Jawaid responded to that question.

1903 TIME OF MEETING

Moved by Councillor Mrs Redfern and seconded by Councillor J Briggs –

That the council’s Procedure Rules be suspended to enable the meeting to continue to deal with all the notices of motion.

At the request of members and in accordance with Procedure Rule D1.23 (d) the names of members voting for, against and abstaining from the motion are as follows:

FOR: Councillors Berry, J Briggs, Mrs Bromby, Clark, Eckhardt, Glover, Poole, Mrs Redfern, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Mrs Sidell, Stewart, K Vickers, P Vickers, Waltham and Wells

AGAINST: Councillors Ali, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Barkworth, B Briggs, Carlile, Cawsey, Collinson, Davison, Ellerby, L Foster, Gosling, Grant, Jawaid, Kirk, O’Sullivan, Simpson, Swift and Wilson

ABSTAINING: Councillor Whiteley

Motion Lost

1904 NOTICE OF MOTION – INCREASE IN VAT

Moved by Councillor Kirk and seconded by Councillor L Foster –

“This Council notes the government plans to reduce the national deficit much further and faster than the Labour government with a consequent threat to the recovery and greater damage to public services.

Therefore this council condemns the coalition government’s brutal and savage attack on North Lincolnshire Council services, forcing unprecedented levels of in-year cuts.

This council also condemns the coalition government’s decision to increase VAT to 20 per cent – a regressive tax bearing hardest on North Lincolnshire’s least well off.”

Moved by Councillor Mrs Redfern and seconded by Councillor J Briggs as an amendment –

“This council welcomes the coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats that is putting the country first to correct the financial disaster that is the legacy of the previous labour government.”

Amendment Lost

Moved by Councillor Stewart and Seconded by Councillor Berry as an amendment –

“In 1997 the then incoming Labour Government inherited an extremely favourable economic situation. This council therefore condemns that government’s thirteen years of economic and financial mismanagement of that situation and the UK economy leading to the current disastrous national deficit which means having a severe impact in North Lincolnshire.

The council also notes the difficult situation which are, and will, have to be made by the coalition government in order to reduce that deficit. It also commends the plans and actions being prepared to rescue the UK economy, including the necessary decision to increase the level of vat which is a direct consequence of the inability of the previous labour government to take early and decisive action to assist economic and financial recovery.”

Amendment lost

At the request of members and in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.23(d) the names of members voting for and against, and abstaining from the motion are as follows –

FOR: Councillors Ali, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Barkworth, Carlile, Cawsey, Collinson, Davison, Ellerby, L Foster, Gosling, Grant, Jawaid, Kirk, C O’Sullivan, Simpson, Swift, Whiteley and Wilson.

AGAINST: Councillors Berry, J Briggs, Mrs Bromby, Clark, Eckhardt, Glover, Poole, Mrs Redfern, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Mrs Sidell, Stewart, K Vickers, P Vickers, Waltham and Wells.

ABSTAINING: Councillor B Briggs.

Motion Carried

1905 TIME OF MEETING – PROCEDURE RULE D1.07 GUILLOTINE – The time having reached 9.00 p.m. the Mayor informed the meeting that in accordance with procedure Rule D1.07, the remaining business of the council would be put to the meeting for decision without speech or debate.

1906 NOTICE OF MOTION – BUDGET DEFICIT – Moved by Councillor Mrs Redfern and Seconded by Councillor J Briggs –

“In light of the extraordinary challenges faced by this council due to the scale of the budget deficit, the council commits to holding extraordinary meetings of the council to allow all members to contribute to a process of identifying the options in order to protect front line services and the employees who provide them.”

Motion Lost

1907 NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCIL JOBS –

Moved by Councillor Barry Briggs and seconded by Councillor Mark Kirk

“That this council protects jobs of employees to the best of its ability, despite recent announcement of budget cuts by the Coalition Government.”

Motion Carried