Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 20th October, 2016 11.00 am

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

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

43.

Prayers

Minutes:

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

44.

Apologies for Absence

45.

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:

Councillors S Gardiner and S McGrory declared an interest in item 15 – Notice of Motion relating to Fossil Fuel Investments, by virtue of being a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme, as former Local Government employees.

 

(This would be noted for all other affected Members).

46.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2016 as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes be approved as a correct record.

47.

Mayor's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Mayor:-

 

1.     Referred to the previous meeting of Council, where it had been her pleasure to present Gold Local Council Awards to two local Councils who had reached that very high standard. She was delighted to report that one more Council; Somerford Parish Council, had achieved this accolade. She called upon Cllr Geoff Bell and the Clerk to the Council, Julie Mason, to step forward to receive the award. They were accompanied by Stuart Hulse, Vice Chairman of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils. 

 

2.     Reported that, since the last meeting of the Council, she and the Deputy Mayor had attended almost 80 events, details of which had been circulated around the Chamber. She thanked all those who had attended the Mayor’s Ball on the previous Saturday. This had been a very enjoyable evening and she was delighted to be able to inform Members that  just over £8,000 had been raised for her two, well deserving charities. She would, of course, be continuing to raise money for her charities for the remainder of her term of office. By holding a Mayor's Grand Charity Ball, she hoped that she had started a tradition that future Mayors would follow. She thanked the Mayoral team, who had been exceptional in the work that they had carried out to make the event happen.

 

3.     Stated that, during her year in office she was keen to visit as many schools as possible and since the start of the school year in September, she had visited almost 20 schools. She had thoroughly enjoyed each visit and had been made very welcome by both the staff and the children that she had met. She had written to Members previously, asking them to nominate volunteers from their wards to attend afternoon tea in either the Mayor’s Parlour in Crewe or Macclesfield and she thanked those who had made nominations. The teas had been very enjoyable and provided an invaluable opportunity for those active in communities, to come together, learn about each other and, most importantly, communicate. She thanked all those involved for what they did. There were more teas scheduled to take place and she asked those Members  who had not yet done so, to put forward names for their areas.

 

 

 

 

 

48.

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 J Griffiths used public speaking time to speak to and present a petition regarding a request to replace the current 40 MPH speed limit on the A49 at Spustow with a 30MPH limit.

 

Cllr D Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder thanked Mrs Griffith and undertook to arrange for a full site inspection to take place and stated that he would feed back in due course.

 

Mrs S Helliwell used public speaking time to ask the following question:-

 

“Would Cheshire East Council consider changing the ward boundary of Alsager to include all the new builds around Close Lane and White Moss Quarry, so that the council tax comes to Alsager because of the total impact of new residents. This will include welfare services, school places and most definitely infrastructure will be placed heavily on Alsager”.

 

Cllr P Groves, Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder, thanked Mrs Helliwell for raising this question and suggested that a conversation take place outside the meeting with Mrs Helliwell n respect of this issue.

 

Mrs C Peter Rock used public speaking time to ask a detailed question in respect of the provision of Adult Social Care in the Borough.

 

Cllr J Clowes briefly responded to each element of the question and undertook to provide a written response.

 

49.

Recommendation from Cabinet - 2016/17 First Quarter Review of Performance pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet, at its meeting on 13 September, had considered a report and recommendations in respect of the 2016/17 First Quarter Review of Performance.

 

Cabinet had approved a number of recommendations, as set out in the report and had  recommend that Council approve fully funded supplementary capital estimates and virements above £1,000,000, as set out in Appendix 7 of the Cabinet report in accordance with Finance Procedure Rules.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the fully funded supplementary capital estimates and virements above £1,000,000, as set out in Appendix 7 of the Cabinet report be approved, in accordance with Finance Procedure Rules.

 

50.

Leader's Announcements

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

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council:-

1.     Congratulated the Mayor on her fantastic achievement with her sponsored slim.

2.     Welcomed two new officers to the Council; namely Frank Jordan, Executive Director-Place and Mark Palethorpe, Strategic Director of Adult Social Care and Health.She considered that these appointments would help towards the important cohesion work under the Caring Together programme and heralded an approach of working together.

3.     Referred to mental wellbeing in Cheshire East. She believed that this should be key to everything that the Council did and particularly in working with local communities and groups and opportunities in taking on parks and open spaces. She referred to her recent visit to South Park, Macclesfield, where she had officially opened the Action Zone sports and leisure facility, which had been established by volunteers on the tennis court site. She had also visited Queens Park in Crewe, which had been awarded the Green Flag Award. She also referred to her recent visit to Teggs Nose Country Park, where she had met an individual who obtained respite there. Cllr David Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, reported that Congleton Park had also received the Green Flag Award.

4.     Referred to the success of local Olympians and Paralympians. She felt it appropriate to recognise their achievements and announced that it was proposed to arrange a special meeting of Council in December to honour them.

5.     With regard to highways issues, reported that progress was being made with the Congleton Link Road and that the public consultation had commenced in respect of the proposed Middlewich bypass.

6.     Reported that the final stage of the six week Local Plan hearing had now been reached. She thanked all those who had been involved in the process.

7.     Announced that she proposed to set up a cross-party working group to explore what the aspirations were for Cheshire East in terms of devolution. She considered that large scale infrastructure projects would be key, together with public transport, skills and health services. There would also need to be discussion around a joined-up approach to higher and further education.

8.     Stated that she was aware that the Council would need to decide how to appoint external auditors in the future.  There was a national scheme to be operated by the Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA), who already administered the current audit contracts.  The decision to opt into the national scheme required approval by full Council, but would be considered by the Audit and Governance Committee in the first instance.

9.     Reported that the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder had submitted the Council’s financial forecasts to the Department of Communities and Local Government on the previous Friday.

10.Referred to the recent Tour of Britain Cycle race, where Cheshire East had been showcased via national television and through visitors to the area. She also referred to the positive feedback which had been received from local businesses. Cllr David Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Substitute Members at Planning Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 15 September 2016, had considered a report recommending that a pool of trained members be created to supplement existing arrangements for the provision of substitute committee members at planning committee meetings.

 

The current substitution arrangements provided that a substitute on a planning committee must have received appropriate training and must be a member of one of the other two planning committees. These requirements made it difficult on occasions for Group whips to find substitutes for planning meetings. It was therefore proposed that a limited pool of additional members with the required training be established and drawn from as required.

Council was, therefore, recommended to approve that a pool of 9 planning substitutes be established.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That a pool of 9 planning substitutes be established (5 Conservative: 2 Labour: 2 Independent);

 

2.     That the pool will supplement the existing Constitutional provisions which enable planning substitutes to be drawn from any of the Council’s planning committees: Northern Planning, Southern Planning and Strategic Planning Board;

 

3.     That, subject to the requirement that each member of the pool must have received appropriate and up-to-date planning training, the political groups may nominate their members to the pool as and when necessary.

 

4.     That the Director of Legal Services, in consultation with the Chairman of the Constitution Committee, be given authority to make such changes to the Constitution as he considers are necessary to give effect to the wishes of Council.

 

 

 

52.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Audio Recording of Meetings pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 15 September 2016, had considered a report seeking clarification and guidance on the arrangements for the audio-recording of decision-making meetings. The Committee had taken the view that the requirement to record should apply to the meetings of all decision-making bodies, including Overview and Scrutiny committees.

 

The Committee had also considered whether the audio recordings should be published on the Council’s website.

 

The Constitution Committee had made four recommendations to Council. Recommendations 1 and 2 comprised firm proposals which Council was asked to agree. However, recommendations 3 and 4 required further consideration by Council. Recommendations 1 and 2 were, therefore, considered together as a package and recommendation 3 and recommendation 4 were considered separately.

 

Recommendations 1 and 2, as set out in the draft Constitution Committee minutes were proposed and seconded.

 

A requisition for a named vote was submitted and duly supported, with the following results:-

 

For - Cllrs C Andrew, A Arnold, D Bailey, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda  Bailey, Baggott, P Bates, G Baxendale, M Beanland, D Bebbington, S Brookfield, E Brooks, D Brown, B Burkhill, P Butterill, S Carter, C Chapman, J Clowes, S Corcoran, H Davenport, W S Davies, M Deakin, T Dean, B Dooley, L Durham, S Edgar, I Faseyi, P Findlow, R Fletcher, T Fox, D Flude, H Gaddum, S Gardiner, S Gardner, L Gilbert, P Groves, J Hammond, M Hardy, A Harewood, S Hogben, D Hough, O Hunter, J Jackson, L Jeuda, M Jones, A Kolker, J Macrae, D Mahon, N Mannion, D Marren, A Martin, S McGrory, R Menlove, G Merry, A Moran, B Moran, M Parsons, S Pochin, J Rhodes, B Roberts, J Saunders, M Sewart, M Simon, L Smetham, D Stockton, A Stott, G Wait, B Walmsley, G M Walton, L Wardlaw, M Warren, M J  Weatherill, H Wells-Bradshaw, G Williams and J  Wray.

 

Against -  Cllr C Browne.

 

The motion was declared carried, with votes 75 for and 1 against.

 

RESOLVED

 

That

 

1.     That, subject to the following principles, the audio recording of meetings shall take place:

 

(a)  All decision-making meetings of the Council be subject to audio-recording, including overview and scrutiny committees (but not informal non-decision-making bodies such as working groups) unless the press and public have, by resolution, been excluded from the meeting;

 

(b)  Any member who was a member of a decision-making body at a meeting of that body, including anyone attending as a substitute, may request that the audio recording of that meeting be reviewed in order to clarify the wording of a draft minute;

 

(c)  Such a request for review of the audio recording must be made on a working day before the day of the meeting at which the draft minutes are to be submitted for approval; and

 

(d)  The audio recordings be retained for a period of 6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Urgent Decision Procedures pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Constitution Committee, at its meeting on 15 September 2016, had considered a report on recommended changes to the procedures for taking urgent decisions. The current procedures, which had been introduced in 2011, were considered deficient in certain respects as outlined in the report.

 

With regard to the proposed changes to the urgency provisions relating to executive decisions, the Leader of the Council had been consulted.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the amended procedures for taking urgent decisions as set out below be approved and the Director of Legal Services be given delegated authority to amend the Constitution accordingly:

 

1.     The procedure for taking urgent regulatory decisions under Committee Procedure Rule 25 be amended as follows:

 

“The Chief Executive or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief Executive (or in their absence their nominee) in consultation with the Chairman and/or Vice-Chairman of the relevant committee or sub-committee have delegated authority to take any non-executive decision subject to the following requirements being met:

 

§  The decision-maker is satisfied that the matter is urgent and cannot await the next meeting of the decision-making body, or an urgently convened meeting;

§  The decision is reported for information to the next available meeting of the decision-making body;

§  The provisions of legislation are complied with;

§  Advice has been taken from the Council’s Director of Legal Services and Section 151Officer;

§  All Members of the Council are notified of the decision taken by electronic means.”

 

2.     The procedure for taking urgent Council decisions under Council Procedure Rule 18 be amended as follows:

 

“If a decision would normally be required to be made by full Council the decision may be made by the Chief Executive or in his/her absence the Deputy Chief Executive (or in their absence their nominee) in consultation with Group Leaders and the Mayor (or in his/her absence the Deputy Mayor) subject to the following requirements being met:

 

§  The decision-maker is satisfied that the matter is urgent and cannot await the next meeting of the Council, or an urgently convened Council meeting ;

§  The decision is reported for information to the next available meeting of the Council;

§  The provisions of legislation are complied with;

§  Advice has been taken from the Chief Executive, Council’s Director of Legal Services and Section 151 Officer;

§  All Members of the Council are notified of the decision taken by electronic means.”

 

3.     The procedure for taking urgent executive decisions under Cabinet Procedure Rule 53 be amended as follows:

 

“The Leader of the Council, or in his/her absence the Deputy Leader of the Council, or in his/her absence the relevant portfolio holder has delegated authority to take any executive decision in consultation with the Chief Executive subject to the following requirements being met:

 

§  The decision-maker is satisfied that the matter is urgent and cannot await the next meeting of the Cabinet, or an urgently convened Cabinet meeting;

§  The decision is reported for information to the next available meeting of the Cabinet;

§  The provisions of legislation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2015/16 .

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee, Cllr Lesley Smetham,  presented the Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2015/16 to Council.

 

It was agreed that the report be received and noted.

55.

Approval of absence from Council meetings pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To seek the approval of Council in respect of a Councillor’s absence from Council meetings for a period over six months, due to reasons of ill-health.

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report seeking the approval of Council in respect of Cllr David Newton’s absence from Council meetings for a period over six months, due to reasons of ill-health.

The Mayor, Leader of the Council and other Memebers of the Council expressed their good wishes to Cllr Newton and wished him a speedy recovery. The Mayor undertook to write to Cllr Newton, on behalf of the Council.

RESOLVED

     That Councillor David Newton’s absence from Council meetings for a period of over six months, due to reasons of ill-health be approved; such approval to apply until the day after the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting of Council in 2017.

 

56.

Changes to Committee Places pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To approve changes to group nominations to the membership of Committees.

 

 

Minutes:

           Consideration was given to a report relating to  number of proposed changes to the membership of Committees and offices.

 

A list of the proposed changes were circulated at the meeting, as follows.

 

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Delete Cllr J Weston - Add Cllr B Dooley

Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Add Cllr L Smetham as Chairman

Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Delete Cllr S Pochin from Committee and as Vice-chairman – Vacancy

Add Cllr B Dooley as Vice-chairman

Jobs, Regeneration and Assets Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Delete Cllr J Weston from Committee and as Vice-chairman - Vacancy

Audit and Governance Committee

Delete Cllr L Smetham from Committee and as Chairman - Vacancy

Add Cllr G Baxendale as Chairman 

Constitution Committee

Delete Cllrs G Wait and D Marren  – Add Cllrs M Deakin and G Williams

Delete Cllr D Newton - Add Cllr L Jeuda

Add Cllr M Beanland as Vice-chairman

Strategic Planning Board

Delete Cllr D Brown – Add Cllr L Smetham

Delete Cllr S McGrory - Add Cllr T Fox

Delete Cllr D Newton - Add Cllr S Hogben

Northern Planning Committee

Delete Cllr T Fox - Add Cllr M Warren

Staffing Committee

Delete Cllr D Newton – Add Cllr D Flude and Cllr S Hogben(Sub)

Appeals Sub-Committee

Delete Cllr D Marren – Add Cllr M Beanland

Delete Cllr M Warren - Add Cllr A Stott

Corporate Parenting Committee

Delete Cllr M Simon – Add Cllr G Wait

 

The Leader of the Council expressed her thanks to Cllr Lesley Smetham for her work as Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee and to Cllr David Marren for his work as Vice-chairman of the Constitution Committee.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the proposed changes, as circulated at the meeting and as set out above be approved.

57.

Notice of Motion pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the following Notice of Motion, submitted to Council in Accordance with Procedure Rule 12

 

Fossil Fuel Investments

 

Proposed by Cllr Sam Corcoran

 

This Council should write to the Cheshire Pension Fund Trustees asking how they intend to meet their fiduciary duty by assessing climate risks and the threat of stranded fossil assets, and modify accordingly their investment strategy in the light of the speech by Mark Carney at the Annual Arthur Burns Memorial Lecture in Berlin on 22 September in which he highlighted the financial risks associated with climate change, referring to work that will reveal how the valuations of companies that produce and use fossil fuels might change over time and to the collapse in the value of major US coal producers.

 

It was noted that formal decision on the issues raised in the Notice of Motion would be taken by the administering authority’s Section 151 Officer, which in this case was the Director of Finance at Cheshire West and Chester Council, as advised by the Pension Fund Committee.

 

RESOLVED

 

That a letter be sent to the Section 151 Officer of Cheshire West and Chester Council, referring the issues raised in the Motion to him for consideration.

58.

Questions From Members

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:

The following questions were submitted:-

 

1.     Cllr C Browne, in respect of a petition handed in by an Alderley Edge Parish Councillor at the previous Council meeting. He stated that the petitioner had not received a response to date and asked for this to be investigated. - Cllr D Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, undertook to look into this.

2.     Cllr M Hardy , in respect of the preparation and treatment of the Borough’s roads for the winter and seeking reassurance that Cheshire East residents would be adequately  served in this regard. – Cllr D Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, responded and provided this reassurance.

3.     Cllr P Butterill in respect of free parking at Christmas. She requested that consideration be given to the extension of “Free after 3” car parking to all Cheshire East car parks during the Christmas shopping period, in order to help local businesses. – Cllr D Brown Deputy, Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, responded and undertook to look into this.

4.     Cllr J Jackson, in respect of the evaluation work relating to Corefit. – Cllr R Bailey, Leader of the Council, undertook to provide a written response.

5.     Cllr D Flude, in respect of access to Press Officers by Members. She asked when Members would have the opportunity to get advice from the Council’s Press/Communications officers in respect of press releases etc.. and asked that all Members be notified when press releases were issued. - Cllr R Bailey, Leader of the Council and Cllr P Groves, Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder, undertook to look into this matter.

6.     Cllr N Mannion, in respect of the publication by Central Government of its proposals relating to the registration of houses in multiple occupation. He asked that a summary of the proposals be shared with Members, as soon as possible and that a cross party response to the consultation be submitted. – Cllr A Arnold, Housing and Planning Portfolio Holder, responded.

7.     Cllr D Bailey, in respect of comments regarding the recent Cabinet decision concerning Safer Routes to Schools. – Cllr L Durham, Children and Families Portfolio Holder, responded.

8.     Cllr B Burkhill in respect of the decision regarding the introduction of a non standard junction at Clay Lane with the junction of the A6 MARR. - Cllr Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Highways and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, responded.

9.     Cllr E Brookfield, in respect of the amount of public money paid over to private landlords in housing benefits for what she considered to be poor standard accommodation. She asked whether Cllr A Arnold, the Planning Portfolio Holder, would work with Ward Councillors to establish a Compulsory Landlord Register, in view of many of the streets in the lesser affluent areas in Crewe being within the private rented sector and she considered that this was impacting on the health, wellbeing and environmental budgets of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.