Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 18th October, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: The Ballroom, Sandbach Town Hall, High Street, Sandbach, CW11 1AX. View directions

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

25.

Prayers

Minutes:

The Rev Helen Byrne, standing in for the Mayor’s Chaplain, said prayers, at the request of the Deputy Mayor.

26.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

27.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 26 July 2018 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 July 2018 were approved as a correct record.

28.

Mayor's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Deputy Mayor:-

1.     Reminded Members the Mayor was unable to attend the meeting.

2.     Informed Council that, since the last meeting, the Council had been informed of the death of Honorary Alderman Walter Wright, who had for many years been a Member of the former Macclesfield Borough Council and was Mayor of Macclesfield in 2000/01. The Mayor had attended his funeral on 6 September, as had a number of other Members.  The Council stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.

3.     Referred to the prayers said at the start of the Council meeting, noting that they had not been led by the Mayor’s Chaplain on this occasion, as she was away on a well earned holiday and that the Rev Helen Byrne had stood in for the Chaplain. The Deputy Mayor informed Council that Helen had been extremely active in providing support to Syrian refugees in Cheshire East. On behalf of the Council, she thanked Helen for all the work that she had led.

4.     Reported that, since the previous meeting of Council, she and the Mayor had undertaken 50 engagements, details of which had been circulated in advance of the meeting.

5.     Reported that the Mayor had asked her to thank those Members who had attended her Civic Service on Sunday 7 October.

6.     Announced that, on Saturday 6 October, Foden's Band, which was based in Cheshire East, had competed at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, held at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The contest had featured the top 20 brass bands from around the UK who had qualified from competing at various area contests across the country. She was delighted to be able to report that the band had won the event and had been crowned as British Champions and she understood that the Mayor had written to the band to offer the Council’s congratulations.

7.     Announced that, on Saturday 24 November 2018, the Mayor would be holding a Charity Christmas Ball at Crewe Hall and she encouraged all to attend. Members had all already been notified about this event by e-mail, but the Democratic Services team, in attendance at the meeting, had information about the Ball if Members wished to book places.

 

 

29.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 1.32 of the Council Procedure Rules 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:

1.     Mr Phillip Irlam asked a question relating to the decision to close Lime Tree Drive, Crewe for the 8 months that the Sydney Road bridge would be out of action and the effect that closing this road would have on the rest of the town, asking for this to be reconsidered.– Cllr D Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder,responded.

 

2.     Ms Suzy Firkin asked a question relating to a recent Buzzfeed freedom of information request to the Council, which she stated had found that an analysis produced by the authority had found that of the top 100 companies in the area, 14 firms contributing almost  £1bn to the local economy, had been assessed as being at “high risk” from leaving the EU.  She referred to a recent letter from the Leader of the Council to the Congleton Chronicle  and asked her to explain what this actually meant by way of practical support to businesses in the region.

 

3.     Mr John Arnold asked a question concerning the exit deal with the European Union, asking what plans the Council had made against the possibility of a no deal Brexit, including food, supplies to local businesses and whether any plans had been made to ensure that medicine stocks were maintained at Leighton Hospital, particularly those that had a short shelf life, such as insulin.

 

4.     Mr Arnold also asked a question on behalf of Mr C Foster, asking what consultations had the Council undertaken with local businesses to assess the impacts of Brexit for them and what were the main findings of that research.

 

5.     Ms Sarah Murphy also asked a question relating to Buzzfeed news, which she said had stated that an analysis by Cheshire East had found that, of the top 100 companies in the area, 14 firms contributing almost £1Bn to the local economy had been assessed as being at high risk from leaving the EU and another 43 companies had been judged to be at ‘medium risk’ and investment proposals were being put on hold. She asked for confirmation as to whether this was accurate and whether the Council had received the Government’s regional impact assessments on Brexit and how much money/resource had the Council set aside to mitigate the impacts identified.

 

(The Leader of the Council responded to all the Brexit-related questions later in the meeting, under her announcements, but undertook to follow up the issue in respect of stocks of medicine at Leighton hospital).

 

6.     Mr J Buchsbaum, Chair of the Jewish Representative Council for the Manchester region, spoke in respect of antisemitism and hate crime and thanked the Council for adopting the HRA definition of antisemitism.

 

7.     Mr A Wood spoke in respect of support for engineering and crafts in schools and his request to the Council for the release of land for a market and also in respect of problems with parking.

 

8.     Middlewich Town Cllr Jonathan Parry spoke in respect of the recent decision relating to charging for bin services.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Leader's Announcements

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

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council addressed Council regarding a number of issues, including the Brighter Future Together (Culture) Programme, awards received by the Council’s services, the Council’s capital investment programme, HS2 and the Town and Parish Council Conference. She also responded to the various questions relating to Brexit, asked under public speaking time. The Leader also announced that Alex Thompson was taking on the Council’s Acting Section 151 statutory officer responsibilities.

 

The Leader then called on Cllr Janet Clowes, Adult Social Care and Integration Portfolio Holder, to speak in respect of her role on the Rural LEP Strategic Board.

 

 

31.

Recommendation from Cabinet -2018/19 Mid-Year Review of Performance pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet, at its meeting on 9 October 2018, had considered a report on the Mid-Year Review of Performance for 2018/19.

 

Recommendation 3 of the Cabinet report recommended that Council approve fully funded supplementary capital estimates above £1,000,000, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, as detailed in Appendix 8 to the Report.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the fully funded supplementary capital estimates above £1,000,000, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, as detailed in Appendix 8 to the Cabinet Report be approved.

 

 

 

 

32.

Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Public Rights of Way Public Path Orders: Change to Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 20 September, had considered a proposed amendment to the scheme of delegation to provide that the determination of public path order applications that were not contested or contentious at the pre-order consultation stage could be undertaken by the Executive Director of Place, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee.

 

Council was recommended to approve that the scheme of delegation be amended to enable the Executive Director Place to determine, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee, any Public Path Order applications that were not contested or contentious at the pre-order consultation stage.

 

RESOLVED

 

That approval be granted for the scheme of delegation to be amended to enable the Executive Director Place to determine, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee, any Public Path Order applications that are not contested or contentious at the pre-order consultation stage.

 

33.

Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Shared Services Joint Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 20 September, had considered a report on revised terms of reference for the Shared Services Joint Committee. Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils now shared eight shared services, whereas at the formation of the Joint Committee there had been approximately sixty-five such services. The work of the Joint Committee had altered from overseeing the sharing of services to contributing to the development and shaping of the change agenda where the two Councils could share services. The terms of reference had been amended to reflect the Joint Committee’s changing role. The revised terms of reference were set out at Appendix A to the report.

 

Council was recommended to approve the amendment to the Constitution to include the revised terms of reference for the Shared Services Joint Committee, as set out in Appendix A of the Constitution Committee report.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the amendment of the Constitution to include the revised terms of reference for the Shared Services Joint Committee, as set out in Appendix A to the Constitution Committee report, be approved.

 

34.

Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Proposed Changes to Grant Application Process pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 20 September, had considered a report on proposed changes to the grant application process. The current process required officers to seek Member approval, prior to submitting a bid for grant funding. By the very nature of grant funding opportunities, there was often insufficient time available to proceed through the member approval routes and to meet the timescales associated with a grant funding offer. The proposed changes would remove those time constraints whilst ensuring that appropriate member oversight continued. Member approval would still be required to accept a successful bid.

 

The Committee recommended that Council approve the required amendments to the constitution. A report seeking Council approval for the necessary changes to the constitution, proposed by the Monitoring Officer to implement the recommendation from Constitution Committee, was submitted.

 

RESOLVED

 

       1.That Paragraph 6.26 of the Financial Procedure Rules be replaced with the   following:-

          Chief Officers are authorised, as set out in the Officer Scheme of Delegations, to submit applications for grant funding that align with Council priorities and initiatives in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder. In the event that an application is successful, the decision making process for approval of the application, including acceptance of any conditions, will follow that set out  at paragraphs 2.40 and 2.45 of these rules. 

. 

 

               2.That the Chief Officer Scheme of Delegations be amended to reflect an     additional  delegation to all chief officers as follows:-

To submit applications for grant funding that align with the Council budget and policy framework, in consultation with the relevant portfolio holder.

 

                3.That an additional delegation be included in the Officer Scheme of Delegations for the Section151 Officer as follows:-

               To approve, in consultation with the portfolio holder for Finance and Communications) supplementary capital or revenue estimates where those estimates are fully funded through the ring-fenced grant funding awarded to enable the Council to accept awarded grant funding and apply it for the purposes for which it has been awarded.

 

35.

Annual Report of Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit and Governance Committee, at its meeting on 31 July 2018, had considered the draft version of the Annual Report of the Committee for 2017/18.

 

The report provided details of the work undertaken by the Committee and the assurances received during the year.

 

Subject to a small number of typing corrections, the report had been approved for consideration by Council.

 

Representatives from each of the political groups spoke in respect of this item.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Annual Report of Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18 be received and noted.

36.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance with paragraph 1.34 of the Council Procedure Rules

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the following Notices of Motion:-

 

The Deputy Mayor reported that, although the general approach to Notices of Motion, in line with the Constitution, was for them to be referred to the appropriate decision-making body without comment or debate, due to the subject matter of the Notices of Motion, as proposed by Councillors Corcoran and Fletcher and the second Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Flude, she had decided that these should be debated and dealt with at the Council meeting. 

 

1.       Breaking Point

 

Proposed by Councillor S Corcoran and Seconded by Councillor
N Mannion

 

This Council notes that many council budgets are now at Breaking Point. Austerity has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, and children’s centres;

        Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010;

        Councils had to spend an extra £800m last year to meet the demand on vital services to protect children by over;

        With an aging population and growing demand adult social care faces a gap of £3.5 billion – with only 14% of council workers now confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for

        Government cuts have seen over 500 children’s centres and 475 libraries close, potholes are left unfilled, and 80% of councils’ workers now say they have no confidence in the future of local services

        Northamptonshire has already gone bust due to Tory incompetence at both national and local level, and more councils are predicted to collapse without immediate emergency funding

        Councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’ and meeting additional demand. Even Lord Gary Porter, the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, has said ‘Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring’

 

This Council condemns Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss for stating on BBC Newsnight on 1st October 2018 that the government is “not making cuts to local authorities”, when all independent assessments of government spending show that this is entirely false; and that this Council further notes that Prime Minister Theresa May has also claimed that “austerity is over” despite planning a further £1.3bn of cuts to council budgets over the next year;

This Council agreeswith the aims of the ‘Breaking Point’ petition signed by Labour councillors across the country, in calling forthe Prime Minister and Chancellor to truly end austerity in local government by:

        Using the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets;

        Immediately investing £2bn in children’s services and £2bn in adult social care to stop these vital emergency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Questions

In accordance with paragraph 1.18 of the Council Procedure Rules, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Mayor, 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.

 

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:

1.     Cllr L Jeuda asked how many people who had taken voluntary redundancy in the last 18 months had been engaged as agency staff.- Cllr P Findlow, Corporate Policy and Legal Services Portfolio Holder, responded briefing and undertook to provide a written response.

 

2.     Cllr D Flude referred to recent press articles and stated that the MP for Congleton had assured her electorate that Cheshire East schools now had increased funding. She asked the Portfolio Holder to confirm that the local MP was correct in her statement that Cheshire East schools were now well funded.– Cllr J Saunders, Children and Families Portfolio Holder, undertook to provide a written response.

 

3.     Cllr S McGrory referred to the Middlewich Station railway line and asked whether the Leader could guarantee future funding for the railway line. -The Leader of the Council responded.

 

4.     Cllr G Hayes asked how the additional funds from the sugar tax had been utilised to the benefit of children and families across Cheshire East. – Cllr J Saunders, Children and FamiliesPortfolio Holder, responded.

 

5.     Cllr S Gardiner asked the Leader of the Council if she would join him in thanking the wonderful staff who had been involved in the recent Pride event. He also referred to the new lanyards, which had been issued in order to identify Members and Officers and he requested that the appropriate lanyards be worn. – Cllr L Wardlaw, Health Portfolio Holder, responded.

 

6.     Cllr J Wray asked a question in respect of the Homelessness Strategy, on behalf of Cllr G Merry, who had needed to leave the meeting. He asked the Portfolio Holder to explain what was been done to alleviate rough sleeping, including the utilisation of government funding received and how it was proposed that this would be reported back to Members. – Cllr A Arnold, Housing, Planning and Regeneration Portfolio Holder, responded.

 

7.     Cllr S Hogben referred to low carbon heat networks, which he said were showing a slight reduction, and stated that Crewe was one of only six areas in the UK identified as having the potential to exploit deep geothermal energy and that the Council had received Heat Network Delivery Unit funding to carry out detailed feasibility studies in Crewe town centre, Macclesfield town centre and various rural areas. He asked what the outcome of this had been. – The Leader of the Council responded briefly and undertook to provide a written response.

 

8.     Cllr B Burkhill sought clarification as to whether the funding from Homes England for the Handforth Garden Village was in the form of a grant or a loan. – Cllr Arnold, Housing, Planning and RegenerationPortfolio Holder, responded.

 

9.     Cllr R Fletcher referred to the reduction in the amount of plastic recycling and asked the Leader whether she could account for what Cheshire East Council had reduced in the last three years and whether she could give an assurance that only rubbish from the black bins would be incinerated. – The Leader of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.