Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 26th February, 2015 10.00 am

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

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

63.

Prayers

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain said prayers, at the request of the Mayor.

64.

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.

65.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2014 as a correct record

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes be approved as a correct record.

66.

Mayor's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Mayor announced:-

1.    That since the last meeting of Council, he and the Deputy Mayor had attended over thirty events and details of these events had been circulated around the Chamber.

 

2.      That it had been his honour to represent the Council at the consecration of the Rev Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, at York Minster, the first woman to serve as a Bishop in the Church of England.

 

3.      That this was his last meeting of Council as a serving Councillor. He would have the privilege of chairing the start of the Annual Meeting of Council, which would take place after the elections and this would give him the opportunity of formally handing the Mayoral chain of office onto his successor. However, he was very aware that some Members would be standing down and he took the opportunity to formally thank Members for putting their faith in him as Mayor and for the friendship that had been shown to him in his time as a Councillor. It had also been a real privilege to serve the people of Wilmslow and he thanked them for putting their trust in him. 

67.

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:

Sue Helliwell used public speaking time to express concern regarding the decision to withdraw two reasons for refusal and  not to contest the issues at the forthcoming Appeal for a planning decision on a site in Alsager and the potential consequences of this decision with regard to building in the open countryside.

 

Sylvia Dyke using public speaking time to express concern in respect of the lack of response from officers of the Council to e-mails that she had submitted regarding White Moss Quarry in Alsager. She also raised concerns regarding applications by the  site owner to work on Sundays. She also considered that there were other areas of neglect in Alsager and had concerns in respect of any future extension to settlement zones, without an increase in jobs. She considered that investment in jobs appeared to be taking place in the North of the Borough, rather than the South. 

 

The Mayor stated that he had not in any way influenced this matter, but that Mrs Dyke had raised her concerns regarding the White Moss Quarry site, at the last meeting of Cabinet and that officers of the Council were working to provide a response to her concerns. 

 

Mr John Gilbert stated that he wished to address Council regarding an application which was due to be considered by one of the Council’s Licensing Committees. The Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer advised that it would not be appropriate to raise this matter in advance of its consideration by the Licensing Committee as this may pre determine the members of that Committee and therefore prejudice the decision making process.  At the request of the Mayor, the Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer left the meeting to explain this advice to Mr John Gilbert.

68.

The Council's Medium Term Financial Strategy 2015/18 pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To consider the recommendations from Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet in respect of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2015/16 to 2017/18.

 

The following key proposals had been included:

§  An additional £6.5m would be spent on improving our highways.

§  Annual spending on Adult Social Care would be increased by over £1m.

§  Council tax was proposed to be frozen for a fifth consecutive year, saving local taxpayers £210 on average per year if inflationary increases had been applied.

§  Net Revenue spending was being reduced by £7.7m to deliver a balanced position in 2015/16.

§  External loans would be reduced by £8.5m.

 

Appendix A to the Cabinet report summarised the resolutions that Cabinet were requested to recommend to Council.

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy Report for the period 2015/16 to 2017/18 was set out at Appendix B.

 

The Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Raynes had indicated at the Cabinet meeting that since the MTFS report and budget had been produced, the Council had received confirmation that it would receive an additional £241,000 as part of the final settlement. It was proposed that the whole amount would be transferred to the Council’s emergency assistance earmarked reserve to allow this additional funding to be called on when needed.

 

Councillor Raynes had also referred to a proposed saving of £100,000 for Home to School Transport which was referred to in the report. This saving had in fact already been achieved by other methods.

 

The final version of the budget report had been updated to reflect these changes and to correct any minor typographical errors.

 

Government regulations required the recording in the minutes of how each Member voted on any decision relating to the Budget or Council Tax. Accordingly, a recorded vote was carried out in respect of this item, with the following results:-

 

For

 

Councillors C Andrew, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda  Bailey, G Barton, D Brown, L Brown, J Clowes,  H Davenport, S Davies, R Domleo, J P Findlow, W Fitzgerald, H Gaddum,  S Gardiner, P Groves, J Hammond, M Hardy, P Hayes, Hoyland, O Hunter, M Jones, F Keegan, A Kolker, W Livesley, J Macrae, Marren, P Mason, R Menlove, G Merry, B Moran, P Raynes,  J Saunders,  M Simon, L Smetham, D Stockton, A Thwaite, D Topping,  G Wait, G M Walton, M J  Weatherill, R West, P Whiteley, S Wilkinson,J  Wray

 

Against

 

Brickhill, B Burkhill,  R Fletcher, D Hough, S Jones, D Neilson, M Parsons, B Silvester.

 

Not voting

 

D Bebbington, P Butterill, R Cartlidge, S Corcoran, K Edwards, P Edwards, I Faseyi, D Flude, M Grant, A Harewood, K Hickson, S Hogben, J Jackson, L Jeuda, D Mahon, A Moran, B Murphy, D Newton.

 

The motion was declared carried by 44 votes for, 8 against, with 18 not voting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the following be approved:-

 

1.    The Revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Recommendation from Cabinet - Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To consider the recommendations from Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet relating to the Treasury Management Strategy and the MRP Statement for 2015/16.

 

Strong financial management had strengthened the Council’s balance sheet, enabling the Council to continue its policy of utilising investment balances instead of taking out new external borrowing in order to finance capital expenditure. The Council remained committed to delivering appropriate levels of capital investment to support service improvement and local economic growth.

 

The key elements of the strategy were set out in paragraph 1.6 of the Cabinet report. The strategy itself was set out at Appendix A of the reporrt and had also received consideration by the Audit and Governance Committee.

 

The Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Raynes, had advised that the Council had been able to pay back debt and had made an adjustment to its investment strategy in order to reduce exposure to risk.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy and MRP Statement for 2015/16 as set out in Appendix A to the Cabinet report be approved.

 

 

 

 

70.

Council Tax 2015/16 Statutory Resolution pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To set the Council Tax for the financial year 2015/16 in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 18 of the report.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report relating to the setting of the Council Tax for 2015/16. The Council, as a billing authority, was responsible for the billing and collection of Council Tax due from local taxpayers and must set the overall Council Tax level. This meant that the authority also collected Council Tax income to cover not only its own services but also precepts set by other authorities.

 

The Council Tax levied was, therefore, made up of four elements:

 

·         Cheshire East Borough Council element

·         Town & Parish Council precepts

·         Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire precept

·         Cheshire Fire Authority precept

 

As referred to in minute 68 Government regulations required the recording in the minutes of how each Member voted on any decision relating to the Budget or Council Tax. Accordingly, a recorded vote was carried out in respect of this item, with the following results:-

 

For

 

Councillors C Andrew, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda  Bailey, G Barton, D Bebbington, D Brown, J Clowes,  S Corcoran, H Davenport, S Davies, R Domleo,  K Edwards, I Faseyi, J P Findlow, W Fitzgerald, D Flude, H Gaddum, S Gardiner,, M Grant, P Groves, J Hammond,  A Harewood, P Hayes, K Hickson, S Hogben, Hoyland, O Hunter, J Jackson, L Jeuda,  M Jones, F Keegan, A Kolker, W Livesley, J Macrae, D Mahon, Marren, A Martin,  P Mason, R Menlove, G Merry, B Moran, D Newton, P Raynes,  J Saunders,   M Simon, L Smetham,  D Stockton, A Thwaite, D Topping, G Wait, G M Walton, M J  Weatherill, R West, P Whiteley, J  Wray

 

Against

 

D Brickhill, B Burkhill, B Murphy, B Silvester

 

Not voting

 

L Brown, P Butterill, R Cartlidge, P Edwards, R Fletcher, M Hardy, D Hough, S Jones, A Moran, D Neilson, M Parsons

 

The motion was declared carried by 55 votes for, 4 against, with 11 not voting.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2015/16 be set at £1,216.34, in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 18 of the report, as follows:-

 



Formal Resolution

 

That it be noted that on 11th December 2014 the Council calculated the Council Tax base 2015/16

(a)   for the whole Council area as 138,764.49.

(b)   for individual parishes, as in Appendix A.

Calculated that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2015/16 (excluding Parish precepts) is £168,784,797.

That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2015/16 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:

a. £662,844,028

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils.

b. £488,551,528

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Leader's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Leader announced :-

 

1.    That, following on from approval of the budget, the Council would be bringing forward a number of strategic documents, including “Giving the Best Start in Life-Every Child Matters”, which would be sent to all school heads, the “Adult Social Care: Our Plan for all our futures” and “Helping Everyone Achieve the Best Health–Today” a strategic document, which had been produced in line with the Care Act.

2.    That the Council was making a £2m commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing across Cheshire East.

3.    That the Council had introduced a direct fuel offer for its residents with its partner OVO based in Crewe, which would seek to provide cheaper energy for local people. 

4.    That the Council would be putting out a strategic document entitled “Where Rural Communities Matters” within the next few weeks

5.    That the Council would be issuing a document, for submission to the Secretary of State, that would support neighbourhood Plans.

6.    That he would be recommending to Civic Sub Committee that some of the Council’s most experienced and respected Councillors, who would be standing down from the Council in May, be made Freemen of the Borough.

7.    That he would be writing to the secretary of State with a view to restricting unsustainable development in Alsager.

8.    That the Council was working with Key multi national companies in the Borough to facilitate major growth plans including Assurant Solutions in Crewe aiming to increase head count by 600 new jobs; HPLP in Nantwich; a company from Australia, who would be working with Silk Heritage, creating new jobs in Macclesfield; Astra Zeneca, Macclesfield and companies who would be located at Alderley Park.

9.    That he would be withdrawing his name from the nominations for the LGiU Leader of the Year award.

At this point the meeting was adjourned for 35 minutes and reconvened at 1.55pm.

72.

Recommendation from Cabinet - Pay Policy Statement 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To consider the recommendations from Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(The Mayor reported to Council that officers present at the meeting had an interest in matters in respect of the Pay Policy Statement. It was agreed that they should be allowed to remain in the meeting during consideration of this item).

 

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet relating to the Pay Policy Statement for 2015/16.

 

The Statement, which reflected the position as at 1st April 2015, was attached at Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report. Key changes since the previous year’s Statement were outlined in Section 11 of the summary report.

 

AMENDMENT

 

An amendment to refer paragraphs 3.2, 3.3 and 9 of the Pay Policy Statement back to Cabinet and the Staffing Committee was declared lost.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Pay Policy Statement for 2015/16 be approved for adoption on 1st April 2015.

 

 

 

73.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 12

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer made a statement regarding decision making in respect of the decision concerning the Waste Transformation Project, at Lyme Green, Macclesfield as follows:-

 

“Cabinet on 14 March 2011 approved the Waste Transformation Project. On 14 September 2011 a delegated decision was taken by an officer to waive the requirement for an additional tendering exercise before awarding the interim recycling contract at a value of £240,000. On 4 October 2011 a further delegated decision was taken by an officer to approve the main contract for works. Cllr Michael Jones assumed responsibility as Finance Portfolio Holder on 01 September 2011 and did not take any of the decisions I have set out”.

 

Consideration was given to the following Notices of Motion:-

 

Motion of No Confidence

 

Proposed by Councillor D Newton and Seconded by Councillor
S Corcoran

 

This Council has no confidence in its Leader.

 

AMENDMENT

 

The following amendment was proposed and seconded and declared carried :-

 

“We are greatly disappointed that the Labour group resort to dubious and personal attacks as opposed to serious debate on issues that affect our residents and retain full confidence in the Leader”.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion, as amended, be accepted.

 

2          Farewell

 

Proposed by Councillor S Corcoran

 

This Council bids you farewell.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion be accepted.

 

 

3          Party Political Communications

 

Proposed byCouncillor R Cartlidge and seconded by Cllr B Murphy.

 

 

Following the recent controversial incident of party-political twittering, this Council

 

1.    deplores the involvement of council officials in party political communications of any kind,

 

2.    welcomes the Chief Executive's commitment to appropriate disciplinary measures to ensure a "zero tolerance" policy for the future

 

3.    looks forward to the early publication of a protocol in this respect,

 

4.    requests that a thorough and comprehensive review of the communications function in all respects be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion stand referred to Cabinet.

 

4          Confidentiality Agreements

 

Proposed by Councillor A Moran and Seconded by Councillor B Murphy

 

Subject to statutory and common law requirements and what can be deemed “good and fair practice in relation to innocent third parties”, this Council calls for an outright ban on Confidentiality Agreements (aka compromise/non-disclosure/gagging agreements), particularly in relation to financial payments by the Council. In the interests of transparency, honesty and public accountability, the Council requests the Cabinet to produce a protocol or policy document for this Council’s approval.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion stand referred to Cabinet.

 

5          Incentive Payments

 

Proposed by Councillor B Murphy and Seconded by Councillor A Moran

 

This Council recognises that the successful delivery of its services depends on the team effort of every single employee and therefore calls for the immediate suspension of any performance related pay or bonus scheme that is not available to every single employee.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion stand referred to Cabinet.

 

6          Planning Policy on Method Statements

 

Proposed by Councillor B Murphy and Seconded by Councillor
M  Parsons

 

The Council requests the production of a planning protocol  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Calendar of Meetings pdf icon PDF 17 KB

To consider the recommendations from the Constitution Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee regarding approval of the draft calendar of meetings for 2015/16.

 

During consideration of the draft Calendar by the Constitution Committee, Members had expressed concern that meetings of the Northern and Southern Planning Committees often went on into the evening and the Committee, therefore, recommended that meetings of the Northern and Southern Planning Committees commence at 10.00 am, with a break for lunch at 1.00 pm as required.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the draft Calendar of Public Meetings for Cheshire East Council 2015 - 2016 be approved, subject to an amendment in respect of the start time of meetings of the Northern and Southern Planning Committees, so that they commence at 10.00 am, with a break for lunch at 1.00 pm as required.

 

 

 

 

 

75.

Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Antisocial Behaviour, Police and Crime Act 2014 pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To consider the recommendations from the Constitution Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee regarding the key implications of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

 

The report to the Constitution Committee, which was also submitted to Council, proposed amendments to the officer scheme of delegation to enable enforcement powers under the Act to be exercised. The amendments were set out in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

The Committee had also recommended that Council be provided with a list of the specific actions that officers would be able to take under the delegation and these were set out in Appendix 3 of the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the proposed changes to the Council’s Scheme of Officer Delegation as set out in Appendix 2 of the report be approved.

 

76.

Questions

In accordance with Procedure Rule 11, 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:

Members asked the following questions:-

 

Cllr Gardiner, in respect of contributions to secondary education from developers submitting planning applications – The Safeguarding Children and Adults Portfolio Holder, Cllr Rachel Bailey responded.

 

Cllr Hammond, in respect of neighbourhood planning in Cheshire East – The Housing and Jobs Portfolio Holder, Cllr D Stockton, responded.

 

Cllr Mason, in respect of devolvement of the health budget from Manchester to Cheshire East - The Care and Health in the Community Portfolio Holder, Cllr J Clowes, responded.

 

Cllr Hunter, in respect of the Older People action Group, in Crewe – The Care and Health in the Community Portfolio Holder, Cllr J Clowes, responded.

 

Cllr Merry, in respect of the recent Portfolio Holder decision concerning car parking charges in Crewe, under the Car Parking Consolidation Order 2015 – Cllr D Topping, the Service Commissioning Portfolio Holder, responded to say that this matter had been called in for consideration by the relevant Scrutiny Committee and it would not, therefore, be appropriate for him to comment at this stage .

 

Cllr Neilson, in respect of what the Leader of the Council was doing to protect Cheshire East services, in view of the closer working with the Manchester Authorities and devolvement of the NHS budget to Manchester – The Deputy Leader and Strategic Outcomes Portfolio Holder,Cllr D Brown responded.

 

Cllr A Moran, in respect of disruption caused by the amount of highway works in Nantwich- The Service Commissioning Portfolio Holder, Cllr D Topping responded.

 

Cllr K Edwards, in respect of the budget for neighbourhood planning – The Housing and Jobs Portfolio Holder, Cllr D Stockton and the Finance Portfolio Holder P Raynes responded.