Venue: The Tenants' Hall,Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6QN. View directions
Contact: Katie Small Tel: 01270 686465 Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors M Addison, J Bratherton, S Carter, B Evans, D Jefferay, L Roberts, D Marren, R Moreton, J Parry, B Puddicombe, J Rhodes and M Simon.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes of Previous Meeting PDF 368 KB
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 20 July 2022.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2022 be approved as a correct record.
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Mayor.
The Deputy Mayor, in summary:
1 reported the apologies of the Mayor, who was attending a funeral in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
2 thanked all those who had paid tribute to the Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II using the Council’s books of condolence and the on-line book. The books of condolence would be transferred to the County Records Office.
3 thanked the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and the Dean of Chester for the service of commemoration for the Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II held at Chester Cathedral on the day before her funeral and reported that Cheshire East Council has been well represented at the service.
4 reported that Helen Davies, Democratic Services Officer, was moving on to work for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and wished her well in her new job.
5 highlighted engagements that the Mayor had undertaken since the last meeting of Council. These had included a visit to the local charity ‘The End of Life Partnership’, and attendance at the Everybody Awards where they had presented a ‘1st place award’.
6 invited Members to enjoy the wonderful grounds at Tatton Park after the meeting.
7 reported that those Members who had ordered wreaths for Remembrance Sunday would be able to collect them at the end of the meeting.
Public Speaking Time/Open Session PDF 187 KB
In accordance the Council Procedural Rules, a total period of 30 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 2 minutes, but the Chair will have discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting and should include the question with that notice. Questions should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Callum and Crystal, representing all Care experienced young people in Cheshire East, explained why the six pledges for Cared For and Young People were important, and also why all needed to act on the pledges for children and young people of Cheshire East. Councillor K Flavell, Chair of Children and Families Committee, thanked Callum and Crystal for taking the time to attend the meeting and for explaining the importance of the pledges.
Mr Stuart Redgard stated that in his opinion the highways department was not fit for purpose and gave four examples of failings in the Wilmslow area relating to the street lighting asses register, the winter gritting routes risk assessment, the two vehicle barriers on Grove Street, and the Gully Inspection programme.
In response the Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, Cllr C Browne, stated that updating of the Street Lighting asset inventory was an ongoing process and was aware that there were still several areas where updates were required. He had been assured that the updates relating to the lighting on A538 were being dealt with as a priority and the asset data would be updated within the next 4 weeks.
With regards to the winter gritting routes risk assessment, he was not clear which roads where being referred to. As part of the winter service policy the Council’s Highways Service undertakes a comprehensive annual review which considers any changes to the network, reported incidents, new roads, revisions to bus routes, feedback from drivers and correspondence. The outcome of this process for the 2021/22 winter season was reported to Highways and Transport Committee in July. A conscious decision was made not to remove any roads which were previously part of qualifying bus routes, pending a full review of this aspect after the 2022/23 winter season.
Cllr Browne reported that a joint inspection of the condition and operation of the Grove Street barriers had been undertaken on the morning of 17 October by officers from Highways and Parking Services teams and both barriers had been found to be operable with no defects preventing opening or closing.
Cllr Browne went on to stated that during the undertaking of the gulley emptying programme there were a small number of gullies which on first visit were unable to be emptied due to access issues. This could be from stuck covers or parked vehicles. These gullies were tagged by the highways team, logged on the system and subsequently revisited for emptying at a later date with additional equipment to ensure that they could be emptied. This applied to around 3.5% of the overall gulley numbers across the highway network. During the current programme, an additional number of gullies had been identified, emptied and added to the asset inventory. This had resulted in the programme to empty over 99,000 gullies taking slightly longer and it would now be completed in November 2022. The programme dates on the progress tracker were regularly reviewed and updated.
Honorary Alderman David Neilson congratulated the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Leader's and Deputy Leader's Announcements
To receive such announcements as may be made by the Leader and Deputy Leader.
The Leader, in summary
1 referred to the recently launched report by the Cheshire and Warrington Sustainable Inclusive Growth Commission, which set out projects which would help to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and encouraged all to read the report.
2 encouraged those present to search on the Cheshire and Merseyside All Together Active website for details of the campaign to encourage residents to regularly undertake 75 minutes of physical activity to reduce the risk of colon cancer, dementia, and type two diabetes.
3 reported that the Council was planning for increased demand for services to support residents who were experiencing financial stress, including the established support such as the household support fund, emergency assistance, housing benefit and council tax support. The Council would continue to provide essential food and fuel vouchers.
4 announced that the Council would be launching a Warm Places scheme to provide spaces where people could go, free of charge, to spend time to keep warm if they were struggling to heat or keep their homes warm.
5 reported that the Council was facing extreme financial pressures due to rising energy prices, high inflation rate and increased costs to deliver and commission essential services. The Council would be joining with other councils to call on the government to provide funding so that it could ensure that the most vulnerable were supported and aware of the help available to them.
6 reported that the Council had been working with town councils to produce Town Centre Vitality Plans and encouraged all to look at these plans.
7 encouraged those eligible to get their flu vaccine and covid booster vaccine.
8 reported that Crewe Pride was taking place on Saturday 22 October 2022 from 12 noon to 4 pm at Crewe Market Hall, with a parade through the town centre.
The Deputy Leader, in summary
1 reported that the Council was supporting residents through established support schemes such as the Household Support Fund, workplace schemes and was also providing winter wellbeing items to those residents most in need such as warm clothing and energy saving products as well as essential food.
2 reported that the Council was facing extreme financial pressures due to raising energy price, rising inflation and increased delivery costs.
3 reported that the Council had secured a grant of £151,000 to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 15 locations in Cheshire East, including Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Congleton, and Nantwich.
4 reported that the Council had submitted expression of interests forms for several Investment Zones in Cheshire East
5 reported that the Inspector had issued his final report on the examination of the draft SADPD. The Council would now prepare a version for adoption at the Council meeting on 14 December 2022.
6 provided an update on the HS2 petitioning process and reported that the Council had submitted petitions against the Phase 2 Hybrid Bill, setting out objections to the Bill and how would like them to be resolved.
Cared for Children and Care Leavers Strategy Pledges PDF 236 KB
To accepted and endorsed the Cared For Children and Care Leavers Strategy Pledges.
Consideration was given to the Cared for Children and Care Leavers Strategy 2022-2026 and the six Pledges contained within the Strategy.
That the Pledges be accepted and endorsed by the Council in order to make a commitment to the Cared for Children and Care Leavers as Members and Officers and to ensure that there was a clear and joined vision to supporting Cared for Children and Care Leavers and this being everyone’s responsibility.
First Financial Review 2022/23 PDF 165 KB
To approve fully funded supplementary revenue estimates for specific grants coded directly to services over £1,000,000, and capital virements over £5,000,000 in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules.
Consideration was given to the report seeking approval for supplementary revenue estimates and capital virements as part of the First Financial Review 2022/23.
The Corporate Policy Committee, at its meeting on 6 October 2022, had considered the report and noted the recommendations to Council.
RESOLVED: That Council approve:
1 three fully funded supplementary revenue estimates for specific grants coded directly to services over £1,000,000, in accordance with the Financial Procedural Rules, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.
2 capital virements over £5,000,000 in accordance with the Financial Procedural Rules, as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report.
Audit and Governance Annual Report 2021/22 PDF 476 KB
To receive the annual report of the Audit and Governance Committee.
Cllr James Nicholas, Vice Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, presented the Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2021/22 to Council.
The report provided details of the work undertaken by the Committee and the assurances received during that year.
The Annual Report was received and noted.
Political Representation on the Council's Committees PDF 158 KB
To determine the political representation on the Council’s committees.
Consideration was given to a report relating to the political representation the Council’s Committees, which addressed a recent change in political group membership as the result of a group member becoming a ‘non-grouped independent’ councillor.
That the political group and other representation, as set out in the Appendix to this 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.
Appointment of Vice Chairs PDF 305 KB
To appoint the Vice Chairs of the Council’s committees.
Consideration was given to the appointment of the Vice Chairs of the Environment and Communities Committee and the Southern Planning Committee.
That Councillor S Akers Smith be appointed as the Vice Chair of the Environment and Communities Committee, and Councillor P Butterill be appointed as the Vice Chair of the Southern Planning Committee.
The meeting adjourned for a short break
Recommendation from Audit and Governance Committee: Member Code of Conduct PDF 304 KB
To consider the recommendations from the Audit and Governance Committee.
Consideration was given to the recommendations of the Audit and Governance Committee in relation to the Code of Conduct.
The Audit and Governance Committee recommendations were moved and seconded. During the debate an amendment was proposed to refer the matter back to the Audit and Governance Committee’s Working Group to reconsider and bring forward a Code of Conduct which was supported by all on the Audit and Governance Committee.
The amendment was proposed, seconded, and put to the vote and declared lost.
Following debate on the substantive recommendations, these were put to the vote.
RESOLVED: That Council:
1 adopt the draft Member Code of Conduct, incorporating all amendments proposed by the Group Leaders, and
2 adopt the draft Member Code of Conduct Complaints Procedure to take effect following adoption of the Members Code of Conduct.
The meeting adjourned for short break.
To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules.
Consideration was given to the Notices of Motion which had been submitted in accordance with the Council’s Procedural Rules.
1 Fair Tax Declaration
Proposed by Councillor P Williams and Seconded by Councillor N Mannion
Recognising that Cheshire East Council already meets some of the requirements of the Fair Tax Declaration, Council resolves to sign-up to the Declaration in its entirety
That the Motion be referred to the Corporate Policy Committee or such other appropriate committee, based upon the constitutional terms of reference
Post meeting note – the Notice of Motion was referred to the Finance Sub Committee.
2 Safe Night-time Travel for Workers
Proposed by Councillor L Smith and Seconded by Councillor S Handley
This Council notes that;
• Shift work is widespread in many industries, particularly hospitality, as well as health and care workers, retail , cleaning, security and porter staff and can often entail late-night working;
• Many workers, especially women, are increasingly worried about their safety travelling to and from work at night
This Council believes that;
• While employers may feel their duty of care to staff ends when an employee finishes a shift, they also need to take into consideration journeys home, especially during unsocial hours;
• The weakness of enforcement of the law against sexual assault, including up-skirting, on public transport is appalling and only 2% of victims go on to report sexual harassment on public transport;
• The Get Me Home Safely campaign - Get ME Home Safely | Make Our Communities & Workplaces Safer , which calls on employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure workers are able to get home safely from work at night, is greatly needed and should be supported;
• Greater numbers of trained staff and stronger enforcement of the law against sexual assault and harassment on public transport are urgently needed;
This Council will;
• Use its powers - as others such as East Dunbartonshire Council - and adopt a policy that our licensing board will ensure the process for approving late night licences will be linked to the provision of free transport home.
• Calls on Cheshire East Council to use its powers - as others have done – to allow our licensing board include additional criteria when considering late opening applications from licensed premises dependent on venues providing free transport home for night shift employees. This will significantly benefit the safety and wellbeing of hospitality workers, particularly women, who often cannot afford, or access, safe transport options late at night and benefit our community.
• Publicly call for improvement to late night and off-peak transport service provision and use the Government’s Safety of Women at Night Fund to provide extra night services, as well as work with employers to use the fund for supplementary taxi travel.
• Publicly call for the lowering of fares and opposition to any cuts to public transport funding and for our local council to use their powers and political platforms to achieve this.
• Publicly call for the municipal ... view the full minutes text for item 45.
In accordance the Council Procedure Rules, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Mayor or the Chair of a Committee any question about a matter which the Council, or the Committee has powers, duties or responsibilities.
At Council meeting, there will be a maximum question time period of 30 minutes. A period of two minutes will be allowed for each Councillor wishing to ask a question. The Mayor will have the discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.
Councillor L Anderson asked what the Council was doing to encourage companies to generate renewable energies in Cheshire East to help the Cheshire East residents move away from fossil fuels and become net zero. Councillor N Mannion, Chair of Economy and Growth Committee, responded that all were aware of support schemes for energy bills for households. The government had indicated, but not provided details of support for small and medium enterprises. Councillor Mannion undertook to provide a written response.
Councillor S Brookfield on behalf of Councillor L Smith stated that Children’s Services, along with other essential services, had been operating in a context of significantly reduced funding from central government for over a decade whilst demand had continued to rise. She stated that the government were failing to support children as early as needed which could lead to greater problems in the future. She asked if it was about time that every single member of the Council called upon the richest in society to pay their tax which they could well afford and stop expecting everyone else to foot the bill. In response Councillor K Flavell, Chair of Children and Families Committee stated the reduction year on year of funding for the council has caused tremendous pressures in children’s services and adults etc. and yet many of these services were statutory so there was no choice but to provide these services, - 70% of council tax was spent on services for adults and children. The government had continually cut funding, and many Councils were facing financial difficulties because of the lack of funding in areas of high needs. so yes, I would agree we need to call for better funding for children’s services from the government.
Councillor S Gardiner stated he wanted the committee system to work and that if it was going to be effective, councillors’ needed to be properly prepared in advance of those meetings by reading the papers and attending the briefing meeting. However, agenda papers were not always received in time to do this. Cllr Gardiner asked if consideration could be given to this matter. Councillor S Corcoran, Chair of Corporate Policy Committee, responded that, ideally, agenda papers should arrive in time to allow member to read them before the briefings but due to issues with the postal service this was not always happening. He reminded Members that agenda papers were always available online and, for climate change reasons, he encouraged members to access their agenda papers this way to save on paper and printing costs.
Councillor A Gage stated he have visited Delamere House - a multi-use Cheshire East office block in Crewe. When he had reached the floor of his destination, he found that 50 desks were occupied by roughly 4 individuals and on visiting the floor above had found this to be a similar experience. He asked what percentage of usual desk staff were currently not at their desks and what methods were being used to monitor and measure the performance ... view the full minutes text for item 46.