Venue: The Ballroom, Sandbach Town Hall, High Street, Sandbach, CW11 1AX. View directions
Contact: Julie North Senior Democratic Services Officer
The Mayor’s Chaplain said prayers at the request of the Mayor.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors S Gardner, L Gilbert, P Groves, J Hammond, M Hardy, J Jackson, D Marren, A Martin, J Rhodes, G Wait, M Warren and H Wells-Bradshaw.
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.
With regards to Item 14 – Notices of Motion and the motion on Schools Funding, the Acting Director of Legal Services/Acting Monitoring Officer advised that all school governors and trustees would be recorded as having declared an interest.
In relation to Item 14 Notice of Motion and the motion on Schools Funding, Councillor C Browne declared that his wife was an employee at a Cheshire East School and therefore would not take no part in the debate or vote. Councillor P Bates declared that his partner was a teacher and would take no part in the debate or vote.
To approve the minutes of the ordinary meeting and special meeting of the Council held on 14 December 2017, as a correct record.
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 14 December 2017.
That, subject to the inclusion of Councillor D Bailey in the list of attendees for the special meeting of Council, the minutes of the meeting of Council and special meeting of Council held on 14 December 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Mayor.
1 announced the death earlier this month of Honorary Alderman Mrs Diana Millett. Mrs Millett was Mayor of Macclesfield Borough in 2002/3. Members stood for a period of silence as a mark of respect.
2 reported that on 24 January he had welcomed Prince Charles to Cheshire East; who visited Quarry Bank, Styal and then Congleton. The Duchess of Cornwall had visited Styal Prison and then went on to join Prince Charles in Congleton. The Mayor paid tribute to Congleton Town Council who co-ordinated, at short notice, the Congleton element of the visit.
3 reported he had represent Cheshire East at Cheshire’s Best Kept Railway Station Awards evening. Alsager Chelford, Goostrey, Wilmslow, Handforth, Nantwich and Poynton stations had received awards.
4 reported that Cheshire East had held its annual Holocaust Memorial Day service at Sandbach Town Hall on 26 Janaury. Those present had heard a moving testament from two Holocaust survivors, both in their nineties. Students from Sandbach School and Knutsford Academy had performed at the event. He encouraged those Members who were not able to be there to attend next year at what is an important event.
5 thanked those who had supported his recent charity dance, and announced that on Sunday 29 April he would be holding a charity Sunday lunch at the Swettenham Arms. Details of which would be circulated shortly.
6 presented the National Association of Local Councils Gold Award to Paul Woods, Deputy Chairman of Gawsworth Parish Council.
7 made reference to the report of the LGA Review of Culture and reminded Members about their behaviour at the meeting by stating that he expected to see respectful behaviours which demonstrated to officers, fellow Councillors and members of the public that all were committed to change.
Public Speaking Time/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 1.32 of the Council ProceduralRules 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.
Mr J Crowther spoke in relation to the proposed closure of Mountview Day Care Centre and asked what the Council had in mind for the building’s alternative use. The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration responded that the proposal would be decided at this meeting but Mountview would not close until appropriate alternative provision was made available.
Suzy Firkin spoke on behalf of Mountview Day Care Centre user and carers and asked what was being proposed, and why had it not been discussed with them. The Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration responded that the consultation undertaken had been about establishing people’s views. The cost of maintaining Mountview could not be justified in the current financial situation - it was not about a cut in service but provision in other locations. Consultation would take place after any decision today and services users would be involved.
Linda Buchanan asked, as the details of why the Chief Constable of Cheshire had been suspended, when details would be given why the Cheshire East Monitoring Officer, Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer had been suspended. The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Policy and Legal Services responded that in accordance with the Council’s constitution the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee continued to consider the allegations which resulted in the suspension of the three senior officers, one of whom resigned in December 2017. The suspensions were a neutral act taken in the interests of both the Council and the relevant senior officers. If a decision was made to dismiss, then Council would be asked to consider this, and at this point the matter may be heard in public, depending on any exemptions to exclude public access to meetings. The procedures relating to the Chief Constable were laid in the Police Regulations and required that misconduct hearings be heard in public. There were no similar requirement for Councils.
Mrs Charlotte Peters Rock, representing Knutsford and District War Memorial Forum, spoke in relation to the proposed demolition of the Cottage Hospital War Memorial which was built on land that had been gifted and covenanted for that purpose only, and presented a petition to the Council.
Councillor David Kidd, on behalf of Disley Parish Council, thanked the Council for revising the proposal to close Disley Library, which had caused much concern in Disley. The Parish Council had recently moved their officers into the building and would work with library staff to create a community hub. It was hoped that the reduced hours would not reduce the numbers using the library.
Mr David Bilsborough commented on the problem of Bentley Motor employees using local streets and roads to park surrounding the factory in Crewe. The situation was causing distress to residents. He asked that the Portfolio Holder revisit this matter and consider putting full restrictions on the roads.
Caroline O’Brien, Chief Executive of CVS Cheshire East referred to a six month gap between the ending of some early help and prevention service contracts at the end of March ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Leader.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Rachel Bailey, spoke on the following:
Cultural Review – referred to the Executive Summary of the report which recognised the difficult journey which the Council had been on over the last 8 years to embed culture in the new unitary authority. She thanked Sarah Messenger of the LGA for her work, and also staff for the manner in which they responded. The report gave the Council a platform to move forward with and refresh the values of the organisation.
Member Led Council – referred to the need to understand what being a member led Council meant, with Members providing a democratic mandate to the Council and setting the policy framework and officers putting the policies into effect.
Constitution – made reference that in the Cultural Review report staff felt that the adoption of the new Constitution was a positive step forward.
Growth – reported that there had been significant progress with a programme of economic growth. Housing was a key economic driver but the current housing mix did not meet the requirements. There was a requirement to ensure there was affordable housing for young professional so as to attract a skill set which in turn would drive economic growth.
Budget – made reference to the very significant financial challenge faced by the Council with a reduction in grants of £12.8m from central Government and an increasing demand for services, along with rising costs as a result of the increases in the national minimum wage and national pay offer for local government. The recent announcement of the additional £900,000 grant for adult social care was welcome but still a long way short of the funding required to meeting the needs of an increasing aging population. In the MTFS there were proposals for £2 million for community priorities over the next 2 years funded from the New Homes Bonus Community Fund, with scrutiny presently working on how the funding would be delivered.
Work of Scrutiny – referred to the recent consideration of the removal of the second fire engine in Crewe and how this showcased how scrutiny could draw together information, which enabled cross party Fire Authority representatives to safeguard services in the borough.
To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.
Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet on the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018-21.
Cabinet, at its meeting on 6 February 2018, had recommended that Council approve the items at Appendix A of the Cabinet report.
In moving the Cabinet recommendations, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communications, Cllr P Bates, proposed the following additional matters:
· financial amendments, related to the Final Local Government Settlement 2018/19 that should be reflected in the MTFS, specifically the receipt of Adult Social Care Support Grant of £907,000 to be treated as Specific Government Grant income that is allocated to the Earmarked Reserve for Enabling Transformation pending receipt of detailed grant conditions and subsequent decisions for its use.
· A financial amendment, related to treatment of the expenditure of the Homelessness Specific Grant of £37,000 that should be reflected in the MTFS as growth within the Housing Services Budget, mitigated by an equivalent increase in the use of Earmarked Reserves.
· A financial amendment to remove the savings proposal at budget item 89, relating to the withdrawal of car parking refunds for leisure centre users using Snow Hill, Nantwich and the former Library car park in Crewe, from the Leisure Centre Client Commissioning budget, mitigated by a reduction in the contribution of the financing reserve of £45,000.
Following the proposing and seconding of the above recommendation of Cabinet and the additional matters, a number of amendments were proposed and seconded:-
“A financial amendment, relating to the removal of savings proposal 31 – Highways Contract of £150,000, mitigated by an equivalent increase in the Use of Earmarked Reserves.”
That a further £2,000,000 be provided for Highways improvements funded through the Strategic Capital Project budget.”
The amendment was proposed and seconded.
Legislation required the recording in the minutes of how each Member voted on this matter as related to the Budget. Accordingly, a recorded vote was carried out in respect of this amendment, with the following results:-
Councillors A Andrew, A Arnold, G Baggott, D Bailey, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda Bailey, G Barton, P Bates, G Baxendale, M Beanland, D Bebbington, J Bratherton, S Brookfield, E Brooks, D Brown, C Browne, B Burkhill, P Butterill, S Carter, C Chapman, J Clowes, S Corcoran, H Davenport, S Davies, M Deakin, T Dean, B Dooley, L Durham, S Edgar, I Faseyi, JP Findlow, R Fletcher, D Flude, T Fox, H Gaddum, S Gardiner, M Grant, A Harewood, G Hayes, S Hogben, D Hough, O Hunter, A Kolker, J Macrae, D Mahon, N Mannion, S McGrory, R Menlove, G Merry, B Moran, H Murray, J Nicholas, M Parsons, S Pochin, B Roberts, J Saunders, M Sewart, M Simon, L Smetham, D Stockton, A Stott, B Walmsley, G Walton, L Wardlaw, J Weatherill, G Williams and J Wray.
Councillor A Moran
The motion was declared carried with 67 votes for and 1 not voting.
“To allocate £345,000 to transition funding to cover voluntary sector provision in the period April-September 2018. This will be funded from ... view the full minutes text for item 66.
To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.
Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet on the Treasury Management Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement (MRP) for 2018/19.
Cabinet, at its meeting on 6 February 2018, had recommended to Council the approval of the Treasury Management Strategy Strategy and the MRP Statement for 2018/19 to 2020/21, as set out at Appendix A to the Cabinet report.
That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2018/19 to 2020/21, as set out at Appendix A to the Cabinet report, be approved.
To set the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2018/19, at £1,404.28, in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 13 of the report.
Consideration was given to a report relating to the setting of the Council tax for 2018/19.
Cheshire East Council, as a billing authority, was responsible for the billing and collection of Council Tax due from local taxpayers and must, therefore, make a resolution to 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 (includes Social Care Precept)
· Town & Parish Council precepts
· Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire precept
· Cheshire Fire Authority precept
The motion in respect of the setting of the Council Tax was proposed and seconded.
Legislation 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:-
Councillor C Andrew, A Arnold, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda Bailey, G Barton, P Bates, G Baxendale, M Beanland, D Bebbington, E Brooks, D Brown, C Browne, P Butterill, J Clowes, H Davenport, S Davies, M Deakin, T Dean, B Dooley, L Durham, S Edgar, JP Findlow, R Fletcher, H Gaddum, S Gardiner, G Hayes, D Hough, O Hunter, A Kolker, J Macrae, D Mahon, S McGrory, R Menlove, G Merry, B Moran, H Murray, S Pochin, J Saunders, M Sewart, M Simon, L Smetham, D Stockton, B Walmsley, G Walton, L Wardlaw, J Weatherill, G Williams and J Wray.
Councillor G Baggott, D Bailey, J Bratherton, S Brookfield, B Burkhill, S Carter, C Chapman, S Corcoran, I Faseyi, D Flude, T Fox, A Harewood, S Hogben, N Mannion, J Nicholas, B Roberts and A Stott.
Councillor A Moran
The motion was declared carried with 48 votes for, 17 against and 1 not voting.
That the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2018/19, be set at £1,404.28, in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 13 of the report, as follows:-
1 That it be noted that on 14th December 2017 the Council calculated the Council Tax base 2018/19.
(a) for the whole Council area as 147,003.80 (item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)).
(b) for individual parishes, as in Appendix A.
2 Calculated that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2017/18 (excluding Parish precepts) is £206,434,496.
3 That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2018/19 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
a. £654,829,981 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. £441,033,298 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section ... view the full minutes text for item 68.
To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.
Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet in relation to the Patient Passport – Delivering Access to Health and Care Records.
Cabinet, at its meeting on 6 February 2018, had recommended to Council the approval of a Supplementary Revenue Estimate of £2.665m for 2018/19, fully funded from the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund monies.
That a Supplementary Revenue Estimate of £2.665m for 2018/19, fully funded from the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund monies be approved.
To consider the recommendation from the Staffing Committee.
Consideration was given to a report in respect of the Council’s Pay Policy Statement 2018/19.
Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 required Local Authorities to produce a Pay Policy Statement by 31 March on an annual basis. Regard continued to be given to any guidance from the Secretary of State in producing this statement and the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.
The Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19, which reflected the expected position as at 1st April 2018, was attached at Appendix 1 of the report. Changes since last year’s Statement were outlined in Section 12 of the report.
The Staffing Committee, at its meeting on 25 January 2018, had considered the Statement and recommended it to Council for approval and publishing.
1. That the changes since the 2017/18 Pay Policy Statement be noted, as outlined in Section 12.2 of the report.
2. That the Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19, as recommended by Staffing Committee, as set out at Appendix 1 of the report, be approved and published accordingly.
To resolve that Councillor Lesley Smetham be designated as Mayor Elect and that a second Member be designated as Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election and appointment as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2018-19, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 23 May 2018.
The Deputy Mayor, Councillor L Smetham, had declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of this item and left the Chamber during its consideration.
Consideration was given to a report relating the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2018/19 Civic Year. Council was requested to resolve that Councillor Lesley Smetham be designated as the Mayor Elect and that a second Member be designated as the Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election and appointment as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2018-19, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 23 May 2018.
It was proposed and seconded that Councillor Liz Durham be designated as the Deputy Mayor Elect.
Following her nomination, Councillor Durham, declared a non-pecuniary interest and left the meeting during consideration of this matter.
That Councillor Lesley Smetham be designated as the Mayor Elect and that Councillor Liz Durham be designated as the Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election and appointment as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2018-19, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 23 May 2018.
To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance withparagraph 1.34 of the Council Procedural Rules
The following Notices of Motion had been submitted in accordance with paragraph 1.34 of the Council Procedural Rules:
1. Alternative Forms of Governance
Councillor J Nicholas and Seconded by Councillor
“To convene a cross-party Working Group, at the start of the next municipal year, to consider the implementation of alternative forms of governance, with the recommendations being presented to this Council.”
That the Motion stand referred to the Constitution Committee.
2. Cheshire East Road and Footpath Network
Councillor I Faseyi and Seconded by Councillor
“This Council notes concerns in respect of a managed decline of our road network and supports the LGA's call for the government to deal with the disparity in funding between national roads (Motorways & Major trunk Roads) and local roads.
Whilst the building of new roads and by-passes funded via Central government capital grants is welcome, it merely highlights the increasingly dilapidated state of a large proportion of the rest of the Cheshire East’s road and footpath network.
The hard winter, combined with a lack of any meaningful programme of preventative road maintenance on all but the main trunk roads in Cheshire East in recent years, has resulted in many local & estate roads now rapidly deteriorating to the verge of becoming a danger to road users and pedestrians in places.
The ongoing reliance on merely filling potholes with "blobs" of tarmac rather than a programme of proper structural repairs is both only a temporary, and also an inefficient use of the shrinking available resources-a case of "penny wise, pound foolish”?”
That the Motion stand referred to Cabinet.
3. Deprivation Levels
Proposed by Councillor S Brookfield and Seconded by
“This Council notes the view that it is widely acknowledged that Cheshire East is a diverse unitary authority with some areas having recognised 'Executive Wealth' status; and that it is therefore disturbing to note that deprivation levels in some parts of the Borough have declined further since 2010 with disparity widening. According to Public Health England (July 2017) 'life expectancy is 10.3 years lower for men and 8.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Cheshire East.
That the Motion stand referred to the Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Board.
4. Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
Proposed by Councillor D Flude and Seconded by Councillor B Roberts
“This Council notes the
concern that the Licensing of Taxis and Private HireVehicles
(Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill was 'talked out' by
Cheshire East Children ... view the full minutes text for item 72.
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.
The following questions were asked by Members:
1 Councillor M Deakin asked if the Council could consider using the CCTV on refuse vehicles to monitor pot holes. Councillor D Stockton, Portfolio Holder for Environment responded.
2 Councillor S Corcoran referred to previous statements made in relation to sleep in payments and the National Minimum Wage. Councillor J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration responded.
3 Councillor D Flude raised concerns about double charging when a family member died in a care home and asked if the policy of paying for two weeks could be adopted by the Council. Councillor J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration undertook to provide a written response.
4 Councillor S Gardiner asked about using a smart phone app to report highways faults. Councillor D Stockton, Portfolio Holder for Environment responded.
5 Councillor M Simon sought clarification on service standards of work by utility companies on roads and verges. Councillor D Stockton, Portfolio Holder for Environment responded.
6 Councillor C Browne asked whether the Council had a Tree Management Plan and he also sought clarification over the inspection of trees on London Road, Alderley Edge. Councillor A Arnold, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration undertook to provide a written response.
7 Councillor N Mannion referred to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s report on the role of Overview and Scrutiny in local authorities and asked for the report to be considered by the Council. Councillor R Bailey, Leader of the Council responded.
8 Councillor D Bailey referred to issues raised earlier in public speaking by Cllr J Parry and called on the Leader to ask the Chair of the Staffing Committee to resign. Councillor R Bailey, Leader of the Council responded.
9 Councillor C Chapman commented on the poor state of bus shelters and asked if the Council had a programme for repair and maintenance of them. Councillor D Stockton, Portfolio Holder for Environment responded.
10 Councillor J Bratherton asked about the marking of key historic anniversaries, such as the centenary of the signing of the Armistice in November 2018, centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 2019 and the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Councillor R Bailey, Leader of the Council undertook to provide a written response.
11 Councillor T Fox sought clarification on two outstanding planning applications in her ward. Councillor A Arnold, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration undertook to provide a written response.
12 Councillor B Roberts asked if the proceeds from the Fixed Penalty Notices for Littering could be invested back into the local community and voluntary sector. Councillor J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration responded.
13 Councillor Rhoda Bailey asked what the Council was doing to reduce plastic waste. Councillor D Stockton, Portfolio Holder for Environment responded.
14 Councillor A Harewood asked what plans the Council had to reduce homelessness. Councillor A Arnold, Portfolio Holder for Housing, ... view the full minutes text for item 73.