Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 15th December, 2011 2.00 pm

Venue: Congleton Town Hall, High Street, Congleton, CW12 1BN

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

66.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G Barton, L Gilbert, A Harewood, O Hunter, W Livesley, D Marren, S McGrory and A Moran.

67.

Minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2011 and the Special Meeting of the Council held on 14 November 2011 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To approve the minutes as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meetings held on 13 October and 14 November 2011 be approved as correct record.

68.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive such announcements as may be made by the Mayor.

Minutes:

The Mayor:-

 

1          Announced that, since the last Council Meeting, he and the Deputy Mayor had undertaken over 90 engagements representing Cheshire East Council, which had included a number of events associated with his nominated charity and had raised a total of £8,000 for the charity.

 

2          Announced that he had met with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, at an event held at Manchester Town Hall where he had the opportunity of extolling the virtues of Cheshire East as an investment location.

 

3          Announced that he had the pleasure of appearing live on SouthCheshire Hospital radio, at Leighton Hospital where he was interviewed and had the opportunity of playing a selection of his favourite music. He was also interviewed on Canal Side Radio. These media appearances had given him an excellent opportunity to talk about the work of the Council.

 

4          Announced that he had attended the Macclesfield & Wilmslow Business Awards, Cheshire Silk FM’s Local Hero Awards and a Princes Trust Presentation Evening and on Sunday 22nd November, he had the privilege of spending the day with some of those hoping to compete in the London 2012 Special Olympics. 

 

5          Announced that, on Remembrance Sunday, he and the Deputy Mayor had attended five Services within the Borough of Cheshire East.

 

6          Reported that Christ the King Primary School in Macclesfield has been invited to a reception at No.10 Downing Street to represent the North West of England at the School Games Party, hosted by the Prime Minister.

 

7          Asked Members to support the Cheshire East Adult Safeguarding Board’s ‘Stay Warm, Stay Well, Stay Safe’ campaign and encouraged them to be ‘Good Winter Neighbours’ by being vigilant and giving support, if needed, to elderly neighbours or those with a disability or chronic illness. 

 

8          Announced that the Olympic Flame would blaze a trail through the Cheshire East borough on 31 May 2012.  It had been announced that the torch relay would pass through Crewe, Congleton, Knutsford and Macclesfield. These four towns were amongst over 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games through which the Olympic Flame would be carried in the relay.  The Organising Committee would be working closely with the Council to devise the route and street by street detail would be confirmed later in the year.

 

9          Announced the sad death of Honorary Alderman Les Cooper, who had Mayor of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in 1976-1977 and was made an Honorary Alderman in 1999.

 

 

69.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

Cllr S Hogben declared a personal interest in item 12 – Local Service Delivery Committee Membership, by virtue of being a Cheshire East Allotment holder.

 

Cllr R Domleo declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 7 – Notice of Motion relating to Feed in Tariffs, by virtue of being a shareholder in the main company in the country who supplied solar panels. He left the room during consideration of this matter.

70.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 35 and Appendix 7 to the rules, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. 

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given. It is not a requirement to give notice of the intention to make use of public speaking provision. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours notice is encouraged.

Minutes:

Mrs Charlotte Peters Rock, representing Knutsford Area for Knutsford Action, used public speaking time to report that she had presented a three part petition, to the Mayor, in advance of the Council meeting, which represented the views of more than 6000 people who objected to “the current policy of removing local services for local people from local areas”. The first part of the petition consisted of more than 3000 signatures gathered in Knutsford, the second part consisted of a similar number of signatures from the towns and villages  across Cheshire East and on its borders and the third part was a 275 signature petition on the single topic of “Save Stanley Centre”, which had been begun by family members of an adult who attended the Stanley Centre, Knutsford. She stated that, as the other relevant bodies were not represented at the meeting, namely East Cheshire Hospital Trust, Central and East Cheshire PCT, PCT Cluster Board for Cheshire, Wirral and Warrington GP Commissioning Consortium, Eastern Cheshire GP Commissioning Consortium - Vale Royal, and the GP Commissioning Consortium South Cheshire – Health, she expected the Council to act as disseminator.

 

Mrs Judy Collins used public speaking time to thank Knutsford Area for Knutsford Action group for their hard work in respect of the petition which had been handed to the Mayor. She quoted the Right Honourable John Denham MP with regard to the rights of citizens to defend local facilities and stated that she felt that this was not happening with the partnership between Cheshire East and Cheshire West Councils and the NHS and that she expected Cheshire East Council to take the lead on this matter. 

 

Dr John Shaw used public speaking time to make comment about the cost of the Mayorality. He had submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Council, which had the cost of this.  He questioned where the money was spent and whether all the Mayoral engagements were necessary. He suggested that many of the events should be attended by the Town Mayors and some did not require attendance at all. He also stated that the Mayoral car and chauffeurs were very expensive to run and caused carbon monoxide pollution to the environment. He suggested that requests for attendance by the Mayor should be prioritised; that the Mayor should be allowed to attend additional events to support his Charity, at no extra cost to Ratepayers; that an executive car company should be used for the hire of a car and chauffeur; that to reflect the reduced workload, Mayoral allowances should be in line with those of Committee Chairmen and that there should be a total budget cap of £20,000 per year. He asked the Council to support the immediate implementation of these measures.

71.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To consider the attached Notices of Motions, submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 12.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)               Consideration was given to the following Notice of Motion, submitted by Cllr Brickhill and seconded by Cllr Murphy :-

 

“In view of the obvious and continued failure of the Cabinet system, as evidenced by their inability, for a second year running, to manage their budget, letting it overrun by a predicted £16,000,000, with the resultant reductions of reserves to a dangerously low level, this Council instructs its Constitution Committee to prepare the necessary amendments to bring about a proven successful system of governance, similar to the earlier committee systems of the successful predecessor Councils, to begin from the start of the 2012/13 financial year.”

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion stands referred to the Constitution Committee for consideration.

  

(b)               Consideration was given to the following Notice of Motion, submitted by Cllr Newton and seconded by Cllr Hogben:-

 

“This Council believes that elected Members are entitled to be provided with accurate and meaningful financial information, upon which they can form views and base judgments during the ongoing budget preparation and scrutiny process.”

 

 RESOLVED

 

That the motion stands referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(Cllr R Domleo had declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the following Notice of Motion and left the room during consideration of this matter).

 

(c)               Consideration was given to the following Notice of Motion, submitted by Cllr Fletcher and seconded by Cllr Hough :-

  

“FEED IN TARIFFS

 

This Council notes that increasing numbers of households are installing photo voltaic panels on their roofs, lowering the carbon usage and dependency on fossil fuels.

 

This has resulted in the creation of new jobs.

 

Social Landlords have installed, or are considering installing PV panels on some multiple tenanted properties, with tenants able to use the electricity generated to reduce fuel poverty.

 

This Council also notes the consultation on changes to the feed in tariff, which currently helps to fund these installations

 

Council is concerned that halving the tariff at short notice is causing problems for installers and users. Any reductions in the number of systems being installed will mean fewer jobs and will undermine the aim of increased low carbon energy supplies.

  

The proposal to apply a lower tariff to multi installation schemes could exclude social Landlords and their tenants from the scheme.

 

Council, therefore, agrees to write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for energy and climate change asking that:

 

1 The tariff is reduced progressively to enable the industry and householders to adjust. NO reductions before April 2012.

 

2 A community Tariff for social housing providers is established, excluding them from the proposed multi-user lower rate.

 

3 That the Local Government Association be copied into any correspondence to help in their lobbying work with the Government.”

 

The Mayor reported that, due to the time limits of the consultation period in respect of this matter, he had agreed that this motion should be dispensed with at the meeting, this being conducive to the despatch of business.

 

The Environment Portfolio Holder suggested a number of additions to the motion,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Recommendation from Cabinet - Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To consider the recommendation of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet regarding the approval of the Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference be referred back to the Shadow Health and Wellbeing Board and Cabinet for further consideration. 

 

73.

Recommendation from the Resources Portfolio Holder - Council Tax Base pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Resources Portfolio Holder.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Resources Portfolio Holder regarding the setting of the Council Tax Base.

 

RESOLVED

 

That, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the amount calculated by Cheshire East Council as its Council Tax Base for the year 2012/13 is:

for the whole area – 146,807.37 

for each Parish area, as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

74.

Recommendation from the Strategic Planning Board - Notice of Motion relating to the Photovoltaic Roof Panel Scheme pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Strategic Planning Board regarding a Notice of Motion submitted to the Council meeting on 13 October 2011, which suggested that the Council should notify any enquirers that planning permission was not required for the installation of Photovoltaic Roof Panels and to cease to require details, drawings or charges except for listed buildings or conservation areas for which permission is still required.

 

Part 40 of the Town & Country Planning (General Development Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) granted extensive permitted development rights to householders wishing to establish solar panels on their property. In most cases planning permission was, therefore, not required. However planning consent may be required if the solar panels exceeded a certain size or occupied a certain position either on or within the grounds of a property. These parameters were clearly detailed within the specific legislation but were also simplified on the Council’s website where residents could access links to an interactive ‘virtual’ house.

 

The Constitution Committee had recommended that the Council should continue to adopt the approach as advocated within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Council continue to adopt the approach as advocated within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order.

 

 

 

 

75.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Notice of Motion Relating to the Rescission of Officer Delegated Powers Relating to Car Parking Charges pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee regarding a Notice of Motion, which had been submitted to the Council meeting on 13 October 2011, relating to the proposed rescission of Officer Delegated Powers Relating to Car Parking Charges.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)   That the Constitution be amended to provide that decisions relating to the variation of off-street parking places charges be made by the relevant Cabinet Member at a Portfolio Holder meeting; and

 

(2)   That the Borough Solicitor be authorised to make such changes to the Constitution as she considers necessary.

 

 

76.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Notice of Motion Relating to Local Service Delivery Committee Membership (Including Approval of Terms of Reference) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee regarding a Notice of Motion submitted to the Council meeting on 13 October 2011, relating to the Local Service Delivery Committee membership and also to the approval of Terms of Reference for the Local Service Delivery Committees.

 

An amendment to refer this matter back to the Constitution Committee for further consideration and to report back to the next meeting of the Council was moved and seconded and declared carried.

 

RESOLVED

 

That this matter be referred back to the Constitution Committee for further consideration, with a report back to the next meeting of the Council. 

77.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Calendar of Meetings 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Constitution Committee.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee regarding approval of the Calendar of Meetings 2012/13.

 

In considering the Calendar, Members made several suggestions, including a request that provision be made for the migration of Calendar dates into Members’ electronic calendars, early publication of the Council diary, inclusion of Police and Fire Authority Meeting dates and a note to say that all planning site visits would be on the Friday before the relevant Committee meeting. Members also asked for consideration to be given to later start times for Portfolio Holder meetings, that some meetings take place in the evening to enable those members who worked and had young children to attend and that consideration be given to holding all Council meetings at Congleton Town Hall, it being a more central location for most Members.

 

The Chairman of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Findlow, reported a change to the date of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from 10 July to 20 July 2012.

 

RESOLVED

 

That, subject to consideration of the above matters and the change in date of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from 10th to 20th July 2012, the Calendar of Meetings for 2012-2013 be approved.

 

 

78.

Recommendation from the Standards Committee - Appointment to Fill the Vacancy for a Parish Representative on the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Standards Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Standards Committee regarding an appointment to fill the Vacancy for a Parish Representative on the Committee.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Barbara Lawton, of Odd Rode Parish Council, be appointed to Cheshire East Council Standards Committee, as a Parish Member for the same term of office as existing Parish Members.

 

79.

Member Mileage Rates pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To approve the amendments to mileage rates which may be claimed by Members of the Council, as set out in the report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which recommended changes to mileage rates which may be claimed by Members of the Council. This followed the recent collective agreement which had resulted in a reduction of the mileage rates which may be claimed by officers of this Council from those set out in the NJC Agreement.  The majority of Group Leaders supported a reduction in the mileage rate which may be claimed by Members, notwithstanding that the current scheme which linked the rates payable to the NJC scheme.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the current Scheme of Members’ Allowances be amended to reflect the following mileage rates which may be claimed by Members of the Council:

 

Miles per annum

451-999 cc

1000+ cc

Per mile, first 8,500

46.9p

52.2p

Per mile, after 8,500

13.7p

14.4p

 

That the above rates shall apply to all claims for reimbursement of the cost of travel, with effect from 1st December 2011.

 

That the Borough Solicitor and Monitoring Officer be authorised to make consequential changes to the Scheme of Members’ Allowances, which forms part of the Constitution.

 

 

80.

Supplementary Estimates - Mid Year Review pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To approve the Supplementary Estimates, as set out in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Consideration was given to a report, which brought forward Cabinet recommendations for Supplementary Estimates, contained within the Mid Year Review of Performance report for Council approval. 

 

RESOLVED

 

1        That a Supplementary Revenue Estimate of up to £860,000 to be met from general reserves to meet one-off costs of the Pay Harmonisation package in 2011-12, as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

 

2        That a Supplementary Capital Estimate/Virement of over £1,000,000 for Church Lawton School, as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report, be approved. 

 

 

81.

Questions

In accordance with Procedure Rule 11, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Chairman, the appropriate Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee any question about a matter which the Council, the Cabinet or the Committee has powers, duties or responsibilities. Questions must be sent in writing to the Monitoring Officer at least 3 clear working days before the meeting.

 

At Council meetings, there will be a maximum question time period of 30 minutes. Questions will be selected by the Mayor, using the criteria agreed by Council.Any questions which are accepted, but which cannot be dealt with during the allotted period will be answered in writing. Questions must be brief, clear and focussed.

Minutes:

The Following questions had been submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 11:-

 

Question 1 from Cllr B Murphy to the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services

 

Refuse Collection on 30 November 2011

 

Whilst we are grateful to our employees who ensured the delivery of services on 30th November  and, at the same time, we acknowledge and respect the right of those who took industrial action on a matter of legitimate concern,  why did the Council not have a contingency plan to avoid inconvenience and anxiety to taxpayers by ensuring the continuation of vital public health services to them, in particular the collection of putrescent refuse material in the Tytherington and Bollinbrook and other places in Cheshire East?

 

Response

 

The industrial action affected a significant number of households across the Borough and that meant it was impossible to catch up on the missed collections without disrupting many other residents within the Borough whose collections were scheduled for the subsequent days.  In transforming our waste collection services over the past few months we have moved to a completely new system and the collection rounds have been designed to optimise collection efficiency, based on a fortnightly collection.  To introduce additional collections over and above the fortnightly cycle would increase operational costs and this is an area that the Council has tried very hard to reduce.

 

To provide additional collections to catch up, the added work would need to be done either after the normal working day or at weekends.  This work would then be classed as overtime and this is paid at a higher rate than normal working time.  This means that there would be additional revenue pressure on Council budgets to provide additional collections and any savings in salary costs resulting from the day of industrial action would be more than offset by the cost of paying overtime.

 

Furthermore, there would have been practical barriers to managing and disposing of the waste if it were collected during the week after a normal day’s work or at weekends eg the opening times of the landfill sites and garden waste deposition sites.

 

Although we were unable to catch up on the normal waste collection services, if we were made aware of any residents who had specific needs, e.g people who were extremely ill and had no way of disposing of extra waste themselves – and were in severe difficulty, we did our very best to assist them.

 

The plan for this week is collect all waste materials placed out for collection on 14 December 2011 as this coincides with the fortnightly collection schedule for those properties affected by the industrial action.  A memo has been issued to all front line staff to this effect.

 

Supplementary Question

 

Cllr Murphy asked, in view of the likelihood of further industrial action, whether this matter could be referred to the Staffing Committee for further discussion.

 

 

Question 2 from Cllr D Brickhill to the Cabinet Member for Procurement and Shared Services

 

Places Payroll

 

Please account for the massive 66%  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.