Full Council – 24 September 2008
The Mayor – Councillor Jawaid
Councillors Ali, Appleyard, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Berry, B Briggs, J Briggs, Bunyan, Carlile, Cawsey, Clark, Collinson, Davison, Eckhardt, Ellerby, England, LFoster, Glover, Gosling, Grant, Kirk, O’Sullivan, Poole, Mrs Redfern, Regan, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Mrs Sidell, Mrs Simpson, Smith, Stewart, Swift, Waltham, Wardle, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson.
The Council met at Pittwood House, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe.
1620 MAYOR’S REMARKS – The Mayor welcomed fellow councillors, officers and members of the public to the meeting.
The Mayor asked everyone to join with him in wishing Councillor Barkworth well with the hope that he is soon back on his feet. He then reported that since the last meeting of the council he had attended 85 events in North Lincolnshire and had met many interesting people. He also indicated that the Mult-Faith Partnership Peace Day and Civic Service at Normanby Hall last week had brought together people of many ages and cultures. North Lincolnshire was proud to have such a wide cultural community. He was also very proud that the council had been rated in the top 25 to work for in the country. This had been announced on 23 September and showed that the council’s employees think that the council is a good one to work for.
1621 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – Declarations of personal interests were indicated as follows –
|Councillor M Ali||Licensed Hackney Carriage Driver|
|Councillor S Armitage||Humberside Fire Authority – Member|
|Councillor T Barker||Environment Agency Regional Flood Defence Committee – Severn Trent|
|Councillor J Berry||Ancholme Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor B Briggs||Isle of Axholme Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor J Briggs||Humberside Fire Authority – Member
North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member
Isle of Axholme Internal Drainage Board
|Councillor L Cawsey||North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member|
|Councillor P Clark||North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member|
|Councillor W Eckhardt||South Axholme Internal Drainage Board
Isle of Axholme Internal Drainage Board
|Councillor J England||Messingham Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor L Foster||North Lincolnshire Homes – Board Member|
|Councillor T Gosling||Grimsby/Scunthorpe Board of Rape Crisis – Trustee|
|Councillor I Jawaid||Humberside Police Authority – Member|
|Councillor M Kirk||Yorkshire Forward Board Member|
|Councillor N Poole||Messingham Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor Mrs E Redfern||Isle of Axholme Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor N Sherwood||Ancholme Internal Drainage Board|
|Councillor R Waltham||Scunthorpe Internal Drainage Board|
1622 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the council held on 25 June 2008, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the Mayor, subject to the addition of Councillor P Clark declaring a personal interest as a member of the North Lincolnshire Homes Board and as a proprietor of a small business in minute 1593.
1623 (9) ORDERS AND BYLAWS – The Service Director Legal and Democratic and the Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a joint report proposing changes to the Constitution in order to delegate powers in connection with the making of “gating orders”, and reviewing the boundary of the Atkinsons Warren Nature Reserve so as to remove an area of inappropriate land and to amend the relevant byelaws accordingly.
The Local Government Act 2000 required the council to adopt a Constitution. Part of the Constitution relates to delegated powers. The council declared a new Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on an area of 33.2 hectares at Atkinsons Warren, Scunthorpe on 28 July 2004 in accordance with Sections 19 and 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The LNR byelaws for the site were confirmed by the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 17 September 2007. A recent review of the boundary of the LNR indicated that an area of 0.08 hectares of land was included although it had no public access and no significant wildlife value.
In relation to delegated powers, it was necessary to consider changes in the Constitution to consider powers relating to gating the highway. Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 Section 29A of the Highways Act 1980 had been amended to include new powers with regard to gating the highway. The amendment gives the Highway Authority additional powers for the gating of minor highways that attract anti social behaviour. These provisions allow the Highway Authority in certain circumstances to erect, or allow the erection of barriers to restrict public access to a highway over which the public ordinarily would have right of passage. The new powers are similar to the existing powers under the Highways Act; the major difference being that the new power does not permanently extinguish rights of way and the area does not need to be designated by the Secretary of State as a problem crime area. However, the powers do not offer a simple solution to closing “problem” alleyways or footpaths, as there were still strict criteria to be met before proceeding with a closure.
A register of gating orders must be kept and that register must be kept under regular review by the authority. If the circumstances change the order may be varied or if the restriction is no longer required the order must be revoked. In order to progress with this it was suggested that the process be delegated to the Service Director Highways and Planning.
Resolved – (a) That the powers to make gating orders under Section 129A of the Highways Act 1980 be delegated to the Service Director Highways and Planning; (b) that the boundary of the Atkinsons Warren Local Nature Reserve be amended to remove 0.08 hectares of land as shown on the plan attached to the report, and (c) that the byelaws be amended, in consultation with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to take account of the boundary changes.
Resolved – That the recommendations contained in the report be received and referred to Cabinet for consideration.
1626 FORWARD PLAN FOR THE COUNCIL – Councillor Mark Kirk, Leader of the Council introduced his forward plan for the period October 2008 – January 2009, 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 raised by
|(i) Decriminalisation of on street parking enforcement||Councillor C O’Sullivan||Leader of the Council – Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning updated the council on the work in relation to the decriminalisation of on street parking enforcement.|
|(ii) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Mid Term Review||Councillor D Wells||Leader of the Council – Cabinet Member for Highways and Planning – in response to the question about 20 mph safety zones around schools he indicated that there were a number of elements in relation to this matter and that the council was working with schools on these.|
|(iii) Budget Review October 2008||Councillor T Ellerby||Leader of the Council – indicated that the council was constantly monitoring budgets including fuel bills.|
|(iv) New Entertainment Venue Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe||Councillor D Stewart||Leader of the Council – indicated that a great deal of work was still to be done in relation to the proposed new entertainment venue, including management options and he could not therefore comment as yet on detail.|
|(v) Decriminalisation of on street parking enforcement||Councillor N Poole||Leader of the Council indicated that the cabinet member for Highways and Planning had already updated council on this matter.|
1627 PLANNING COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on 18 June, 23 July, 13 August and 10 September 2008 be received, approved and adopted.
1628 LICENSING COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Committee held on 19 and 24 June, 8, 10 and 24 July 2008 be received, approved and adopted.
1629 AUDIT COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 30 June 2008 be received with the exception of minute 76.
1630 EXTERNAL AUDIT AND INSPECTION PLAN 2008/2009 – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was –
Moved by Councillor Swift and seconded by Councillor Davison –
That the minute be received.
1631 STANDARDS COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 24 July 2008 be received.
1632 APPEALS COMMITTEE – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Appeals Committee held on 13 March, 28 August, 3, 4 and 5 September 2008 be received.
1633 SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel held on 16 June and 26 August 2008 be received.
1634 HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES AND OLDER PEOPLE’S SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Healthier Communities and Older People’s Scrutiny Panel held on 2 and 30 June and 1 September 2008 be received with the exception of minute 71.
1635 OBESITY IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was –
Moved by Councillor Barker and seconded by Councillor Mrs Sidell –
That the minute be received.
1636 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 9 June, 7 July and 8 September 2008 be received with the exception of minute 64(ii).
1637 NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE MARKETS – With regard to excepted portion (a) it was
Moved by Councillor Smith and seconded by Councillor Wardle –
That the minute be received.
1638 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SCRUTINY PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel held on 23 June 2008 be received.
1639 SCRUTINY CO-ORDINATING PANEL – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel held on 24 June 2008 be received.
1640 QUESTIONS RELATING TO NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE HOMES – Councillor T Ellerby asked the following question in relation to North Lincolnshire Homes –
“Why are there large inconsistencies in the amount of service charges placed on residential “leaseholders” by North Lincolnshire Homes and furthermore are there any plans to eradicate these discrepancies by introducing a fairer and more equitable system of charging?”
Councillor L Foster responded to that question.
1641 QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC (INCLUDING TOWN AND PARISH COUNCILS) – The Leader referred to the format for full council meetings which enabled 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 J Corlett
“Given the huge extent of the intended track side clearance of vegetation by Network Rail, through the night, over 18 consecutive weekends, commencing in October, is it the intention of the council to request a formal planning application from Network Rail detailing its proposals in full, and if not, why not?
“Network Rail has applied for a Section 61 Notice, under the Control of Pollution Act, in respect of the excessive noise levels that the clearance work will inevitably generate. Has the council asked Network Rail precisely what steps it would take to reduce the noise levels from trains, especially heavy goods trains, when it removes the trees that currently absorb much of this noise, and which the Section 61 Notice does not cover?”
The Leader responded to that question as follows –
- “The Environmental Protection Team received a draft application for a Section 61 Consent on 06 August 2008. Having considered the draft application the Environmental Protection Team asked for further information concerning the works to be carried out and the steps to be taken to minimise noise resulting from the works. Network Rail’s contractors have been looking into the noise concerns raised and indicated that a formal application for a Section 61 Consent will be made by 26 September 2008.
- Work is due to start on 28 October 2008 for a period of about 18 weeks.
- As Mr Corlett indicates in his question, the Section 61 Consent will only be able to cover the noise associated with the maintenance work being carried out on the railway bank. That is, it only covers the noise associated with the work of clearing the vegetation. It cannot cover any impact on the noise environment that may result on the completion of the works to remove the vegetation. This is due to the scope of Section 60 and 61 of the Control of Pollution act 1974, which refers specifically to noise from construction sites (including engineering and maintenance).
- Any noise mitigation achieved as a result of the position of the railway in the cutting as it presently exists is due to the bank itself, rather than the vegetation on the bank. The trees are not able to absorb significant amounts of noise from the railway. Although the trees and shrubs may provide some visual barrier, they do not offer an effective acoustic barrier and therefore the removal should not have a significant impact on noise levels at residential properties.
- However, as a result of Mr Corlett’s enquiry, I have approached Network Rail to ask whether any noise mitigation work is proposed after the removal of the vegetation. I await a response from their Customer Relations Department.”
Question – Mr R Bell
“Now that the consultation on gypsies and travellers has finished, what happens next? Why are we doing this?”
The Leader asked the cabinet member for Housing and Strategic Planning to respond as follows –
- “Like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation – we had 850 responses which sought the views of the people, including gypsies and travellers.
- The gypsies and travellers already live here, the majority on unauthorised pitches. We need to create permanent, properly managed and secure sites for these people.
- They have a right to be here and their children have the right to be educated, just like everyone else.
- It is not an option to do nothing. We cannot sit on our hands. People may be aware of the problems at Conesby Quarry and we had to get a court order to move them on. But if we have permanent, managed sites, in future, we can avoid a repeat of this.
- It’s a shame the minority spoil it for the majority
- We now need to look in close detail at the responses and we will make a decision at Cabinet
- However, I must stress that despite comments that have been made – and published we have NOT made any decisions
- The council is not about ignoring consultation.
- Whatever decision we do make will not be taken lightly. We will seriously consider what people have to say
- The Conservative’s comments have been put in one document with nothing from individual ward councillors.
- Part of this document actually says they ‘don’t want these people here’. It gives no reason, it just says that. That’s disgraceful.
- What we do have focuses on the number of sites. That’s not what we are consulting on. We’re consulting on locations.
- Reference was made to a letter here from Lucky the Labrador.
- I must reiterate, we are not talking about moving families from other areas into North Lincolnshire. What this consultation is about is creating permanent, properly managed sites for those who already live in this area
Question – Mr B Watson
“In relation to the Baths Hall Entertainment Venue, can the Leader inform me if the council has yet considered the pricing policy for the venue and particularly whether or not there will be any concessions for local people?”
The Leader of the Council responded to that question as follows –
- “Like to thank Mr Watson for his question
- The interim business plan has a number of average pricing bands which have been used to calculate the income from different types of event
- This is similar to what works at the Plowright Theatre
- There is no discount for local people at the Plowright and it has not yet been considered for the new venue.
- But it is not something I would rule out and it could be something we look at in terms of a loyalty scheme which could give a discount on certain tickets
- People want top quality entertainment as proved with Lee Evans selling out in 1 hour at £25 a time.
- The new venue will attract similar calibre acts of all genres at affordable prices.”
1642 NOTICE OF MOTION – FLOOD MANAGEMENT PLANS –
Moved by Councillor J England and seconded by Councillor J Briggs –
“This council rejects and condemns the River Trent Catchment Flood Management Plan’s unacceptable proposals, which result directly from the Labour Government’s cuts to the funding available to the Environment Agency, to reduce the flood protection measures within North Lincolnshire and calls upon the local MPs to lobby the government to provide sufficient funding to maintain and improve existing flood defences. Further, the council invites the Environment Minister to discuss the implications of these proposals, which could have a significant, adverse effect on the area’s sustainability and prosperity and the way of life of residents.”
Moved by Councillor Regan and seconded by Councillor Barker as an amendment –
“This council recognises that the flooding of low lying areas is a symptom of climate change and the failure of environmentally responsible bodies such as the previous Conservative administration has contributed to this cause.
“Furthermore this council is committed to reducing the risk of future flooding by participating in the government’s climate change action plan, concentrating on the causes rather than the symptoms of global warming and continuing to lobby government for increased funding.”
Moved by Councillor S Swift and seconded by Councillor L Foster – that in accordance with procedure rules 1.19 (n) and 1.20(g) the question be now put.
The council then voted on the original motion and the amendment to that motion.
Substantive Motion Carried
1643 NOTICE OF MOTION – POLICY EXCHANGE –
Moved by Councillor Mrs M Simpson and seconded by Councillor Kirk –
“This council rejects proposals by the right-wing think tank Policy Exchange – created by Tory MP Michael Gove and Conservative member Nicholas Boles – which states northern towns and cities, including Scunthorpe, should cease to receive funding for regeneration and should be allowed to ‘shrink naturally’. The authority also condemns those behind the report for describing Scunthorpe as a ‘small coastal city’ and for suggesting the population should be moved to the South East.”
Moved by Councillor Mrs Redfern and seconded by Councillor J Briggs as an amendment –
“Whilst this council could indeed reject the proposals regarding allowing Scunthorpe to “shrink naturally”, whilst condemning the two Liberal Democratic party activists who co-authored the report, Oliver Marc Hartwich who used to work for Lib Dem peer, Lord Oakeshott and Dr Tim Leunig who advises the Liberal Democrats on transport and economics, it would be a pointless political grandstanding exercise about a silly report the recommendations of which, we all know will come to nothing. Whilst the council should recognise that it was the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher that began the regeneration programme of our urban centres and whilst it could request that Councillor Poole contact and represent his party colleagues on behalf of his Labour colleagues, there are far more important matters affecting the lives of the people of North Lincolnshire, that the council should be dealing with.
“Thus, at this time, when after a decade of Labour rule, Cambridge University researchers now report that the North/South divide is at its widest for 60 years, this council, commits to focus on helping the people of North Lincolnshire through the dire times ahead, instigated by the election of yet another inept, tax and spend labour government, lacking the economic understanding required to ever create more than the mere impression of fiscal competence. The council recognises the utter futility of pointless and yet again inaccurate, political grandstanding and resolves to do so no more until the lives of residents are relieved of the burden of an unfit for purpose Labour council administration, government and a Prime Minister pre-occupied with career preservation, as we witnessed yesterday.”
At the request of members and in accordance with procedure rule 23(d) the names of members voting for, against and abstaining from the motion are as follows –
FOR: Councillors Ali, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, B Briggs, Carlile, Cawsey, Collinson, Davison, Ellerby, L Foster, Gosling, Grant, Jawaid, Kirk, O’Sullivan, Poole, Regan, Simpson, Smith, Swift, Whiteley and Wilson.
AGAINST: Councillors Appleyard, Berry, J Briggs, Bunyan, Clark, Eckhardt, England, Glover, Mrs Redfern, C Sherwood, Mrs Sidell, Waltham, Wardle and Wells.
1644 NOTICE OF MOTION – SCHOOL LEAVING AGE –
Moved by Councillor B Briggs and seconded by Councillor Poole –
“This Council embraces the increase in the school leaving age for 17 year olds by 2013 and 18 year olds by 2015.
“That this Council is proactive in ensuring that the framework is in place to accommodate the possible increased demands placed on our education facilities.”
Moved by Councillor Waltham and seconded by Councillor Mrs Sidell as an amendment –
“This council embraces the increase in the school leaving age to 17 years by 2013 and to 18 years by 2015.
“The council calls on the Labour government to address the education funding imbalance that sees North Lincolnshire massively under funded, so that it may seek to provide education programmes more tailored to the unique needs of individual pupils, in order to assist them to achieve their aspirations.
“The council also recognises that the public may view dimly motions put forward “embracing” initiatives encouraging young people to pursue further education, when the motion comes from and is supported by, members who voted for the council budget that included the cuts to post 16 education transport funding that saw 500% increases in the cost of travel for students”.