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.
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.
The Mayor advised Members that they did not have to declare an interest as a Council Tax payer, or as a member of a parish council, on the item of business relating to the Council Tax, as there was a dispensation in place which removed this requirement.
With reference to item 13 – Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2019/20 Civic Year, Cllr Liz Durham declared a non pecuniary interest as being the person to be designated as Mayor and it was noted that she would leave the Chamber during consideration of this matter.
The Leader of the Council declared that she was a member of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2018 as a correct record.
That the minutes be approved as a correct record, subject to an amendment to minute 51 to state that the question from Cllr A Moran related to car parking charges in Crewe and Nantwich and an amendment to minute 50 – Notices of Motion, to state that motions 4,5 and 6 would stand referred to a special meeting of Council.
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Mayor.
1. Announced, with sadness, that over recent months four of the Council’s Honorary Aldermen had passed away. Since the last Council meeting she had represented the Council at the funerals of Andrew Thwaite, Michael Roberts and Kathleen Thompson. In the previous week the Council had been notified of the sad death of Honorary Alderman Ray Westwood, whose funeral was taking place on the day of the Council meeting and her Consort was, representing her at the funeral. She stated that she was sure that a number of Members would have attended the funeral had it not clashed with the Council meeting. The Leader of the Council, Cllrs Steve Hogben, Arthur Moran and Rod Fletcher said a few words of tribute, on behalf of their respective groups; following which a minute’s silence was observed and Council stood as a mark of respect to those Aldermen who had passed away.
2. Reported that. since the last Council meeting, she and the Deputy Mayor had represented the Council at 26 events, details of which had been circulated around the Chamber.
3. Reported that, in the run up to Christmas, she had had the pleasure of attending a number of very enjoyable festive events, including a number of pantomimes and the beautifully decorated Hall at Tatton. She also congratulated Tatton Park who had been highly commended for best in education at the recent National Farm Attractions Network annual awards in Edinburgh.
4. Reported that it had been her pleasure, earlier in the month, to attend the Best Kept Station Awards evening and congratulated Alsager Station for their success in being named Cheshire’s Best Kept Station. She also congratulated Chelford, Crewe, Goostrey, Handforth, Knutsford and Sandbach stations, who had also won awards.
5. Referred to the impact of knife crime on society and reported that, over the last couple of months, it had been her privilege to have attended two events organised by Queensberry Alternative Provision, an organisation who were doing a wonderful job to educate young people on the impact of knife crime. She congratulated them on the work that they were doing and encouraged all Members to attend one of their events, should they have the opportunity to do so.
6. Referred to the Holocaust Memorial Day service, which had taken place at Macclesfield Town Hall on Friday 25th January. The event had been very well attended and there had been a very moving personal testimony from Danny Herman, who at the age of four had been brought out of Germany on one of the last trains to leave before the start of the War. There had also been a wonderful performance from a children’s choir from the North Cheshire Jewish Primary School.
7. Announced that, on 10th March, she would be holding a charity Sunday lunch at the Swettenham Arms. Some Members had already purchased tickets and she encouraged those who had not to consider attending. Money would be raised for her two very ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
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.
1. Mr B Douglas asked a question, which he had submitted in advance of the meeting, regarding the Council’s policy on the environment. - The Leader of the Council undertook to provide a written response.
2. Mrs S Helliwell asked a question, which she had submitted in advance of the meeting, regarding the Little bus. - Cllr Bates, Finance and Communication Portfolio Holder, responded.
3. Middlewich Town Cllr J Parry asked a question regarding pothole repairs. - Cllr D Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder, responded.
4. Middlewich Town Cllr C Bulman asked a question relating to mental health services.-Cllr Wardlaw, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Health, responded.
5. Middlewich Town Cllr M Hunter asked a question relating to highway issues on Nantwich Road Middlewich. - The Leader of the Council undertook to provide a written response.
6. Ms J Dale asked a question relating to hunting with dogs in Cheshire. – Cllr J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration, responded.
7. Mr G Goodwin spoke in respect of Solutions EU Ltd. – The Acting Monitoring Officer responded.
8. Mr A Wood spoke in respect of teaching engineering and crafts to children.
9. Mr R Vernon spoke in respect of parking issues at Macclesfield hospital and reports regarding the design of and child safety at Upton Priory Park.
10. Ms H Faddes spoke in respect of improving awareness of the Increasing Social Care bill/Autism consultation.– Cllrs P Bates, Finance and Communication Portfolio Holder, and J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration, responded.
11. Ms C Jones spoke in respect of the state of the pavements in Crewe, asking that the highways section look at this and also asked whether something could be done regarding the floors at the Royal Arcade in Crewe, which became slippery when wet.
12. Honorary Alderman P Kent spoke in respect of the increased pressure on building control bodies, referring to the Notice of Motion later on the agenda, requesting that Cabinet support this. – Cllr P Bates, Finance and Communication Portfolio Holder responded with thanks.
13. Mr M Unett spoke in respect of potholes and the Fix my Street app. - Cllr D Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder responded.
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Leader.
The Leader of the Council made a number of announcements including reference to the budget, the Council’s Culture Review, service delivery, awards to Council departments, the Council’s Corporate Peer Challenge, Children’s Rights Month, Cheshire East Youth Challenge and provided updates in respect of the Crewe Green Roundabout, Sydney Road Bridge, the Congleton Link Road, Poynton relief Road and the Middlewich Eastern by pass. She also reported that preparatory work was about to take place in respect of the appointment of a Chief Executive to the Council, with a view to making a recommendation to Council in July 2019.
To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.
Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 February 2019, had considered a report on the third quarter review of performance for 2018/19 and had 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 and a supplementary revenue estimate of £1,450,638 relating to Adult Social Care Winter Funding, as detailed in Appendix 11.
1. That the fully funded supplementary capital estimates above £1,000,000, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, as detailed in Appendix 8 of the Cabinet report be approved.
2. That a supplementary revenue estimate of £1,450,638, relating to Adult Social Care Winter Funding, as detailed in Appendix 11 of the Cabinet report be approved.
To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.
Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 February 2019, had considered a report presenting the Medium Term Financial Strategy for Cheshire East Council for the years 2019/20 to 2021/22. The report set out how the Council would approach the financial challenges over the medium term and forecast a balanced budget for 2019/20. Cabinet had recommended to Council the items at Appendix A to the report.
The recommendation from Cabinet was proposed and seconded.
Following the proposing and seconding of the recommendation, an amendment was proposed and seconded.
(At this point the meeting was adjourned for lunch).
Following debate, the provision of advice from the Section 151 Officer and the Acting Director of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer, and following a short adjournment to consider the validity of the proposed amendment, the amendment was deemed invalid.
Following this, two further amendments were proposed and seconded:-
The following amendment was proposed and seconded:-
Scrap the rubble charges for local residents at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The details of any scheme would be worked out at scrutiny. For budget purposes it has been calculated that to give every resident one free bag of rubble per month would cost £65,000.
Increase the number of wardens and monitor and publish prosecutions for dog fouling and fly tipping. - For budget purposes it has been calculated that 2 new officers would cost £80,000. Ensure air quality action plans are drawn up and implemented. - Appointing a staff member to pursue implementation would cost £40,000. It should be noted that spend on improvement schemes (incl cycling schemes) would be capital.
Ask scrutiny to look into a scheme to give new entrepreneurial businesses up to 2 years exemption from business rate and allocate £90,000 to the scheme Improve recycling rates £50,000
Reduce the exemption on empty properties from 6 weeks to 4 weeks £195,000 Reduce energy consumption across the Council £5,000 Promote town mayors and reduce the support for the Cheshire East Mayor including abolishing the allowances saving £85,000 – rising to £95,000 if the mayoralty is abolished.
Reduce the Communications Team budget by £40,000 to concentrate on health & education campaigns supporting council services and reduce the work done on issuing press releases that attempt to promote the image of the Council.
(see Budget Consultation item 54)
It was noted that legislation required the recording in the minutes of how each Member voted on matters relating to the Budget. Accordingly, a recorded vote was carried out in respect of this amendment, with the following results:-
Councillors D Bailey, J Bratherton, S Brookfield, B Burkhill, S Corcoran, I Faseyi, D Flude, A Harewood, S Hogben, J Jackson, L Jeuda, N Mannion, J Nicholas, J Rhodes, B Roberts and A Stott.
Councillors C Andrew, A Arnold, G Baggott, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda Bailey, G Barton, P Bates, M Beanland, D Bebbington, E Brooks, D Brown, C Browne, P Butterill, J Clowes, H ... view the full minutes text for item 59.
To set the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2019/20.
Consideration was given to a report relating to the setting of the Council tax for 2019/20.
It was reported that 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
Town & Parish Council precepts
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire precept
Cheshire Fire Authority precept
Council was recommended to set the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2019/20, at £1,446.27, in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 13 of the report.
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 Council Tax. Accordingly, a recorded vote was carried out in respect of this item, with the following results:-
Councillor C Andrew, A Arnold, G Baggott, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda Bailey, G Barton, P Bates, M Beanland, D Bebbington, J Bratherton, S Brookfield, E Brooks, D Brown, C Browne, B Burkhill, P Butterill, 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, S Gardiner, P Groves, A Harewood, G Hayes, S Hogben, O Hunter, J Jackson, L Jeuda, A Kolker, D Mahon, N Mannion, A Martin, R Menlove, G Merry, A Moran, B Moran, J Nicholas, M Parsons, J Rhodes, 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.
The motion was declared carried with 62 votes for, 0 against and 0 not voting.
That the Council Tax for Cheshire East Council for the financial year 2019/20, be set at £1,446.27, in accordance with the formal resolutions as shown in section 13 of the report, as follows:-
1. That it be noted that on 13th December 2018 the Council calculated the Council Tax base 2019/20:-
(a) for the whole Council area as 149,517.54 (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 to the report.
2. Calculated that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2019/20 (excluding Parish precepts) is £216,242,730.
3. That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
a. £677,736,101 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out ... view the full minutes text for item 60.
To consider the recommendations from the Strategic Planning Board and Cabinet.
The Strategic Planning Board, at its meeting on 30 January 2019, and Cabinet, at its meeting on 5 February, had considered a report on the adoption of the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The Strategic Planning Board and Cabinet had endorsed the Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule, attached as Appendix 1 to the report, including the identified charging rates and zones and recommended to Council that the Community Infrastructure Levy be adopted, with an implementation date of 1st March 2019.
That the Community Infrastructure Levy be adopted, with an implementation date of 1st March 2019.
To consider the recommendation from the Staffing Committee.
Consideration was given to a report in respect of the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20.
Staffing Committee, at its meeting on 24 January 2019, had considered the draft Pay Policy Statement and resolved that Council be recommended to approve and publish the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20.
Section 38 of the Localism Act (2011) required Local Authorities to produce a Pay Policy Statement by 31st 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 2019/20, which reflected the expected position as at 1st April 2019 was attached as Appendix 1 of the report. Changes since the previous year’s Statement were outlined in section 6.4 of the report.
1.That the changes since the 2018/19 Pay Policy Statement be noted, as outlined in section 6.4 of the report.
To resolve that Councillor Liz Durham 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 2019-20, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 22 May 2019.
(The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Liz Durham, 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 2019/20 Civic Year. Council was requested to resolve that Councillor Liz Durham 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 2019/20, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 22 May 2019.
There were two nominations proposed and seconded to be designated as the Deputy Mayor Elect - Cllr Steven Edgar and Cllr Bernice Walmsley.
(Following their nomination, Cllrs Edgar and Walmsley declared a non-pecuniary interest and left the meeting during consideration of this matter).
A vote was taken in respect of the two nominations and it was resolved that Councillor Steven Edgar be designated as the Deputy Mayor Elect.
That Cllr Liz Durham be designated as the Mayor Elect and that Cllr Steven Edgar 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 2019/20, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 22 May 2019.
To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance with paragraph 1.34 of the Council Procedure Rules
Consideration was given to the following Notices of Motion, submitted in accordance with paragraph 1.34 of the Council Procedural Rules:-
1 Parental Leave for Councillors
Proposed by Cllr Jill Rhodes and Seconded by Cllr Steve Hogben.
This Council notes:
· That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors;
· That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.
This Council resolves:
· To adopt the parental leave policy set out below
Parental Leave Policy for Cheshire East Council
This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.
The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken.
Improved provision for new parents will contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority councillors. It will also assist with retaining experienced councillors – particularly women – and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.
There is at present no legal right to parental leave of any kind for people in elected public office.
(1) Leave Periods
1.1 Members giving birth are entitled to up to 6 months maternity leave from the due date, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks by agreement if required.
1.2 In addition, where the birth is premature, the Member is entitled to take leave during the period between the date of the birth and the due date in addition to the 6 months’ period. In such cases any leave taken to cover prematurity of 28 days or less shall be deducted from any extension beyond the initial 6 months.
1.3 In exceptional circumstances, and only in cases of prematurity of 29 days or more, additional leave may be taken by agreement, and such exceptional leave shall not be deducted from the total 52 week entitlement.
1.4 Members shall be entitled to take a minimum of 2 weeks paternity leave if they are the biological father or nominated carer of their partner/spouse following the birth of their child(ren).
1.5 A Member who has made Shared Parental Leave arrangements through their employment is requested to advise the Council of these at the earliest possible opportunity. Every effort will be made to replicate such arrangements in terms of leave from Council.
1.6 Where both parents are Members leave may ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
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.
Cllr L Jeuda referred to safer walking routes to schools and asked whether assurance had been given that lighting would be provided on the Middlewood Way. – Cllr J Clowes, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Integration, undertook to provide a written response.
Cllr A Moran referred to people paying to park on the Civic Hall car park, Nantwich, at a time when it was free to park. He asked how much revenue had been taken on a Sunday from the car parking machines, as this was not widely publicised. He said that this was stated on the machines, but the writing is too small. He stated that the same applied to the another car park in Nantwich, which was free after 3pm and he asked how much revenue was taken from that car park. - Cllr D Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder, undertook to provide a written response.
Cllr D Flude referred to HS2 and asked how a scheme with as much impact on a ward as this had reached RIP 2 , without Ward Members being informed and how a bridge could be connected to the main part of Nantwich Road without Ward Members being informed. - Cllr D Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder, undertook to provide a written response.
Cllr P Groves asked the Council to undertake a review of car parking arrangements in Nantwich, as part of its new Local Transport Plan, on a similar basis to that being launched in Wilmslow and asked that the review be undertaken as soon as possible.- The Leader of the Council responded in part and undertook to provide a written response.
Cllr S Hogben asked what action had been taken to date, by the Council, to submit an expression of interest in the Future High Streets Fund and whether there were plans to link such an expression of interest with the Crewe Station Hub Area Action Plan Development Strategy that was currently subject to consultation. – Cllr A Arnold, Housing, Planning and Regeneration Portfolio Holder, undertook to provide a written response.
Cllr R Fletcher revisited a question that he had asked at the December Council meeting, relating to Car parks in Alsager. – Cllr Stockton, Environment Portfolio Holder, responded. (Note - Cllr Fletcher had received a holding response and a commitment that a response would be provided by the end of February).
Cllr S Corcoran referred to Mr G Goodwin’s comments, made under public speaking, and the Leader’s statements, made at the last Council meeting, stating that they were incompatible and he asked the Leader whether she would like to clarify her statement. – The Leader of the Council and the Acting Monitoring Officer responded.
Cllr Harewood referred to a question that she had asked at the last Council meeting regarding the figures for Cared for Children and thanked the Portfolio Holder for the update. She sought further clarification on the figures and requested regular updates. – Cllr J Saunders, Children and Families Portfolio Holder, provided clarification and ... view the full minutes text for item 65.
Mayor's Closing Remarks
The Mayor reiterated her thanks to those Members who would not be standing for re-election.
The Mayor also thanked those officers responsible, for their work in producing the budget.