Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 18th July, 2019 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

19.

Prayers

Minutes:

The Reverend Ralph Kemp said prayers, at the request of the Mayor.

20.

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:

Alex Thompson declared an interest in respect of item 12, regarding the recommendation from the Staffing Committee concerning the appointment of the Director of Financial and Customer Services and Section 151 Officer, and would leave the Chamber during its consideration.

 

Kath O’Dwyer declared an interest in respect of item 13, regarding the recommendation from the Staffing Committee concerning the amendment to Pay Policy Statement, and would leave the Chamber during its consideration.

21.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To approve as a correct record, the minutes of the Annual meeting of the Council, held on 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Annual meeting of the Council held on 22 May 2019 be approved as a correct record.

22.

Mayor's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Mayor:-

 

1.     Referred to the recent announcement that Jodrell Bank had been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site and asked that Members join with him in sending the Council’s warmest congratulations to the staff at Jodrell Bank and to Manchester University on this tremendous achievement.

 

2.     Reported that, since being appointed Mayor, he had undertaken almost 40 engagements and been made very welcome everywhere that he had been. He had made a very enjoyable visit to Leighton Academy in Crewe, where they were celebrating their success in teaching German to every child. It had also been his pleasure to meet a group of French exchange students from Macon, who had also visited Crewe.

 

3.     Announced that he had been delighted to be able to welcome HRH the Duke of Kent into Cheshire East when he had visited Morning Foods and British Salt on 25 June and that he hoped that there would be future Royal visits during his year in office.

 

4.     Announced that it had been his privilege, on 27 June, to entertain Bernard Morgan and his daughter to afternoon tea in the Mayor’s Parlour in Crewe. Mr Morgan was 95 and a much decorated D-Day veteran, who had served in the RAF in the Second World War. He had gone ashore on Gold Beach on D Day back in 1944. They had been joined by children from Pebblebrook Primary and Ruskin High schools, where Mr Morgan had given talks. The Mayor had been delighted that Cllr Dorothy Flude had been able to join them. 

 

5.     Reminded Council that he had written to Members recently about his commitment to food banks and how, during his year in office, he wished to support them. He indicated that he would be pleased to hear from Members if they had a food bank in their ward and would be delighted to visit them.

 

6.     Reported that he had received a cheque for £2,500 from the Highways team, raised through an annual football competition, to support his nominated charity to support food banks across Cheshire. He thanked the team for the money raised. 

 

7.     Announced that Julie North, Democratic Services Manager, would be leaving Cheshire East Council at the end of September. He had known Julie for many years; she had originally joined the former Macclesfield Borough Council in 1982 and had played a central role in the work of Democratic Services since the creation of Cheshire East Council. He asked Members to join with him in wishing Julie well for the future, and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

 

 

 

23.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 1.32 of the Council Procedure Rules and Appendix 7 to the rules, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. 

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given. It is not a requirement to give notice of the intention to make use of public speaking provision. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours notice is encouraged.

Minutes:

Mrs Sue Helliwell used public speaking time to address Council regarding Hassall Road play park in Alsager, with regard to a question that she had asked at the September 2018 Council meeting. The response to the question had stated that Mrs Helliwell would be “kept in the loop” with regard to what Section 106 monies were available and anticipated for such works. She had emailed the Council in October 2018 and February 2019, but stated that she had not received a response. She asked for an approximate start date and whether all of the money had been released to the Council. Cllr Toni Fox, Portfolio Holder for Planning, undertook to look in to this matter and to provide a written response.

 

Ms Jane  Smith used public speaking time to ask a question concerning the Council’s policy regarding 5G roll-out, and the impacts of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation on the borough's inhabitants. Cllr Laura Jeuda, Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Health and Cllr Jill Rhodes, Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Corporate Services, responded.

 

Mrs Carol Jones used public speaking time to ask a question concerning climate change and whether the Council would consider carrying out a campaign with a view to getting cars off the road. The Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Craig Browne, responded.

 

Mr Bob Fousert used public speaking time to make a statement regarding the Notice of Motion at item of the agenda 15 of the agenda.

 

Mr M Unett used public speaking time to address Council about the on-line highways reporting portal, which he considered was not user-friendly. He also referred to safety concerns on Lawton Road, Alsager. Cllr Brian Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste, agreed to meet with Mr Unett to discuss these issues.

 

Mr T Wall used public speaking time to refer to a letter from a former Cabinet Member, concerning seating arrangements at Cabinet meetings, which had been published in a local newspaper. The Leader of the Council, Cllr Sam Corcoran responded.

24.

Leader's and Deputy Leader's Announcements

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

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, in summary:-

 

1.     Thanked Cllr Stewart Gardiner for agreeing to continue as Champion for Equality and Diversity, Cllr Dorothy Flude for continuing as Champion for Mental Health and Cllr Suzie Akers Smith for agreeing to be Champion for Cycling and Walking.

 

2.     Announced that Cllr James Barber would be the Champion for Young People. (Cllr Barber spoke in respect of his new role).

 

3.     Referred to the Mayor’s announcement in respect of Jodrell Bank being made a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stated that he looked forward to working with the SKA in promoting this and Cheshire East.

 

4.     Referred to the RHS show at Tatton Park, which would be taking place at the weekend.

 

5.     Made reference to the LGA training event for new Cllrs across the North West, which would also be taking place at Tatton Park; and thanked the Interim Chief Executive for taking action to get the event arranged in the area, and encouraged all new Councillors to attend that event.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council, in summary:-

 

1.     Gave notice that there was to be a special meeting of the Cabinet to consider the next stage of the Local Plan, the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document, to be followed by a period of extensive public consultation. This would include provision for transit sites for gypsies and travellers.

 

2.     Referred to the slow down in productivity, both locally and nationally. He reported that, in order to counter this, the Council would be developing an Economic Strategy and would be consulting with residents and businesses over the Summer. At the same time the Council was working closely with the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership on the development of a Local Industrial Strategy at sub-regional level.

 

3.     Reported that the Council’s current Medium Term Financial forecast had a deficit of £11M for 1920/21 and that pressure on Local Authority funding had grown in recent years, with more responsibilities for services being placed on them, without adequate funding from central Government. He was concerned that this risked putting Local Authorities, such as Cheshire East, in a position where they would have to make cuts  to other services, in order to balance the books. He reported that, following on from a letter sent by the previous Leader of the Council to the Prime Minister, he had written to the two Conservative leadership candidates, asking them what they intended to do to reverse this trend and any steps that they would take in order ensure that Cheshire East would get a fairer allocation of Government funding in the future.

 

4.     Reported that Cllr Stott, as Portfolio Holder for Finance, would soon be bringing forward proposals for the following year’s budget setting process. Greater engagement from Members and members of the public was to be encouraged. A possible innovation for this would be workshops, to enable Members to develop the proposals. These would then be considered by the Scrutiny Committees, with feedback being invited  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Recommendation from Cabinet - High Speed Rail 2 Phase 2A - Qualifying Authority pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet seeking approval for the Council to become a Qualifying Authority for the construction of phase 2a of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2).

 

It was noted that the report, as submitted, had been amended since the Cabinet meeting, to provide some additional clarity on points raised at the meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cheshire East Council become a Qualifying Authority, as specified in part 2 of Schedule 17 of the High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill and that the Executive Director for Place, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, be authorised to sign the Planning Memorandum to enable this to happen.

 

 

26.

Recommendation from Cabinet - Outturn Review of Performance - Requests for Supplementary Capital Estimates and Virements pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider the recommendation from Cabinet.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet, requesting Council to approve fully funded supplementary capital estimates above £1,000,000, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, as detailed in Appendix 4, Table 6, of the Cabinet report relating to the Outturn Review of Performance.

 

RESOLVED

 

     That the fully funded supplementary capital estimates above £1,000,000 be approved, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, as detailed in Appendix 4, Table 6 of the report.

 

27.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee concerning a number of minor changes to the Cheshire East Health and Wellbeing Board’s Terms of Reference, as recommended by the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

The changes proposed by the Health and Wellbeing Board had been considered by the Constitution Committee and had been referred to Council for approval.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the changes to the Health and Wellbeing Board’s proposed revised Terms of Reference, as set out at Appendix 1 to the report to the Constitution Committee, be approved.

 

28.

Recommendation from the Constitution Committee - Review of the Terms of Reference of the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Constitution Committee.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the recommendation from the Constitution Committee concerning proposed revisions to the Terms of Reference for the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee(IDC), amended Employment Procedure Rules and a proposed IDC Handbook, which contained comprehensive guidance notes on the process.

 

It was reported that the Constitution Committee had been content with the proposed amendments to Appendix B - Employment Procedure Rules, but that further changes to the content of Appendix A – Terms of Reference for the IDC, and Appendix C – The associated document within Chapter 7 were required. These were shown as tracked changes and were circulated around the Chamber as a supplemental paper, for consideration by Members. 

 

RESOLVED

 

That:-

 

1.     the revised Terms of Reference for the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee and the Independent Persons Panel (Appendix A on pages 55 to 59 of the report pack, with the changes to paragraphs 53 and 62, as shown in the supplemental paper, as attached to these minutes)

 

2.     the proposed amendments to the Employment Procedure Rules (Appendix B on page 61 of the report pack)

 

3.     the inclusion into the Constitution (as an “associated document” within chapter 7 thereto) of the new IDC Handbook (Appendix C on pages 63 to 71 of the report pack, with the changes to paragraphs 7 and 21 shown in the supplemental paper, as attached to these minutes)

 

be approved.

 

29.

Recommendation from the Staffing Committee - Appointment of the Director of Financial and Customer Services (and Section 151 Officer) pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Staffing Committee.

 

 

Minutes:

(Alex Thompson had declared an interest in this item and left the meeting during its consideration).

 

The Staffing Committee, at it meeting on 28 June 2019, had resolved that Council be recommended to approve the appointment of Alex Thompson to the new position of Director of Financial and Customer Services, including the Section 151 Officer role, at the inclusive salary of £86,603, subject to satisfactory references and Cabinet consultation. Subsequently, Cabinet Members had been consulted and had supported the recommendation. Satisfactory references had also been received, following the selection process on 28 June 2019.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the appointment of Alex Thompson as the Director of Financial and Customer Services (and Section 151 Officer), on an inclusive salary of £86,603 per annum be approved.

 

30.

Recommendation from the Staffing Committee - Amendment to the Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To consider the recommendation from the Staffing Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Kath O’Dwyer had declared an interest in this item and left the meeting during its consideration).

 

The Staffing Committee, at its meeting on 28 June 2019, had considered a report seeking approval of the arrangements to commence the process to recruit to the post of Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive). In accordance with the Employment Procedure Rules, the Staffing Committee was required to approve the job description and specification, determine whether the post was recruited to internally or externally and agree the salary for the new appointment. The Council had recently engaged Penna Executive Search to support senior recruitment to key roles across the Council and it had been agreed that Penna be used to support an external recruitment process.

 

Consideration had been given by the Staffing Committee to the salary range for the position. The Council’s Pay Policy Statement gave the salary range for the Head of Paid Service as £156,075 to £166,075.  Following discussion, the Committee had proposed that the salary range should be reduced to £151,000 to £161,000 and that Council be recommended to amend the Pay Policy Statement to reflect this. 

 

The Committee had approved the job description and specification for the post of Head of Paid Service, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, and that the post be advertised externally and had recommended to Council that the Pay Policy Statement 2019-20 be amended as follows:-

 

          3.5 Chief Officer remuneration

 

Chief Executive – Tier 1

·       The salary package of the post is within the range of £151,000 to £161,000.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Pay Policy Statement 2019-20 be amended as follows:-

 

           3.5 Chief Officer remuneration

 

Chief Executive – Tier 1

·       The salary package of the post is within the range of £151,000 to £161,000.

 

 

31.

Political Representation on the Council's Committees and Terms of Reference of the Local Authority School Governor Nominations Panel pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

    Consideration was given to a report relating to the political representation on the Council's Committees. Appendix A to the report set out the political representation on ordinary committees and sub committees, this being based on the political structure of the Council as a whole.

 

     It was also reported that The Local Authority School Governor Nominations Panel had been established since the beginning of the life of the Council and that the Terms of Reference for the Panel needed to be included in the Constitution.  These were set out in Appendix B to the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.     That the political group representation, as set out in Appendix A to the report, and the methods, calculations and conventions used in determining this, as outlined in the report, be adopted and the allocation of places to Committees be approved and that it be noted that the Council’s Annual Meeting had appointed the listed Committees.

 

2.     That the terms of reference of the Local Authority School Governor Nominations Panel, as set out in Appendix B to the report, be included in the Constitution.

 

32.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the following Notices of Motion, which had been submitted in accordance with paragraph 1.34 of the Council Procedural Rules:-

 

1        Free TV Licences for Over 75s

 

Proposed by Cllr Andrew Gregory and seconded by Cllr Rachel Bailey

 

The decision by the BBC to withdraw free TV licences for the over 75s should be condemned by this Council; The BBC (who are responsible for the decision to withdraw funding for this service) should think again and change this decision given the impact this will have on many of the most poor and vulnerable people in the borough, who rely on terrestrial television as their main means of being kept informed and entertained.   

 

In addition this decision acts as a reminder that for many older people, access to the internet is not available to them meaning they can only rely on the national TV and radio stations.  If such people cannot afford to pay the annual licence fee, then many may have no means of entertainment to enjoy in their homes in their later years.   

 

With the D Day Landing celebrations only a few weeks behind us, it is unfortunate that the generation which gave so much to give us the freedoms we enjoy, could be penalised by such a short sighted measure.   

 

AMENDMENT

 

Following the proposing and seconding of the motion, an amendment was proposed and seconded, so that the motion should now read:-

 

“The decision by Government and the BBC to withdraw free TV licences for the over 75s should be condemned by this Council; they should think again and change this decision, given the impact this will have on many of the most poor and vulnerable people in the borough, who rely on terrestrial television as their main means of being kept informed and entertained.   

 

In addition this decision acts as a reminder that for many older people, access to the internet is not available to them meaning they can only rely on the national TV and radio stations.  If such people cannot afford to pay the annual licence fee, then many may have no means of entertainment to enjoy in their homes in their later years.   

 

With the D Day Landing celebrations only a few weeks behind us, it is unfortunate that the generation which gave so much to give us the freedoms we enjoy, could be penalised by such a short sighted measure”.   

 

The amendment was declared carried.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the motion, as amended, be approved.

 

 

2        Schools Funding

 

Proposed by Cllr Jos Saunders and seconded by Cllr George Hayes

 

That this Council recognises the work undertaken by the previous administration to counteract the continued challenges faced by our schools and colleges as a result of the inequitable National School Funding System.


Significant work has already been undertaken which has included leading a campaign lobbying local Members of Parliament and the Right Honourable Secretary of State for Education.

 

As a consequence we request that this Council resolves to continue lobbying and advocating for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Questions

In accordance with paragraph 1.18 of the Council Procedure Rules, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Mayor, the appropriate Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee any question about a matter which the Council, the Cabinet or the Committee has powers, duties or responsibilities.

 

At Council meetings, there will be a maximum question time period of 30 minutes. Questions will be selected by the Mayor, using the criteria agreed by Council. Any questions which are accepted, but which cannot be dealt with during the allotted period will be answered in writing. Questions must be brief, clear and focussed.

 

Minutes:

1.     Cllr A Moran asked whether the Portfolio Holder would consider removing the 10p increase in Car Parking charges in Nantwich, as per the amendment moved at the budget Council meeting. Cllr B Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste, agreed to respond to this question once he had looked at the implications.

 

2.     Cllr D Marren referred to the Staff Survey and asked whether it would be possible to see the questions asked and comments made by staff. - The Leader of the Council and Interim Chief Executive responded and undertook to provide a written response.

 

3.     Cllr P Findlow asked about the rationale around the grouping of responsibilities in the Health Portfolio and also the Portfolio Holder’s strategy for dealing with the inherited budget. - Cllrs J Rhodes Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Corporate Services, and Cllr A Stott, Portfolio Holder for Finance undertook to provide a written response.

 

4.     Cllr L Gilbert asked where the Council was up to with regard to the development of a policy for speed indicator devices  in speeding hotspots and whether Members were involved. - Cllr B Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste undertook to provide a written response.

 

5.     Cllr M Hunter thanked all those agencies involved for their hard work in helping to achieve green flag status for two areas in Middlewich. He asked whether the Council would be making a policy to work with Town and Parish Councils in the future. - The Leader of the Council responded.

 

6.     Cllr S Akers Smith referred to the Notice of Motion relating to air quality and asked whether there would be an opportunity to speak on this matter. – The Interim Chief Executive responded.

 

7.     Cllr J Clowes referred to supplementary capital estimates at item 9 of the agenda and asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance to clarify, by written response to all Members, where the money had come from for the A500 dualling scheme. - Cllr A Stott, Portfolio Holder for Finance, undertook to provide a written response to all Members.