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Contact: Paul Mountford Executive Democratic Services Officer
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.
Public Speaking Time/Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 3.33 of the Cabinet Procedure Rules, a period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relevant to the work of the Cabinet. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding 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 are not required to give notice to use this facility. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours’ notice is encouraged.
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.
Peter Kent spoke in relation to the Notice of Motion on building regulations to be considered later in the meeting and indicated his support for the proposals set out in the report.
Mike Benson asked about the current position with the delivery of the Middlewich Eastern Bypass. The Portfolio Holder for Environment responded that the Council continued to make good progress towards delivering the Bypass. Based on the programmes developed with Balfour Beatty, the main construction works were expected to start in January 2021 with the bypass opening to traffic by October 2023. All dates remained subject to review pending final confirmation of planning permission, land acquisition and Government funding for the scheme, which was expected at the end of 2020.
Sue Helliwell asked if the Council had a policy on netting used on hedges in connection with new housing developments. The Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Economic Development responded that netting had not been a significant issue in the Borough to date. However, the Council did have wide ranging policies through its Local Plan to support biodiversity, protect trees and hedges and encourage responsible development. Whilst the Council could not retrospectively control sites that already enjoyed planning permission, it did have powers to impose suitable conditions to restrict or limit netting should that become necessary.
Questions to Cabinet Members
A period of 20 minutes is allocated for questions to be put to Cabinet Members by members of the Council. Notice of questions need not be given in advance of the meeting. Questions must relate to the powers, duties or responsibilities of the Cabinet. Questions put to Cabinet Members must relate to their portfolio responsibilities.
The Leader will determine how Cabinet question time should be allocated where there are a number of Members wishing to ask questions. Where a question relates to a matter which appears on the agenda, the Leader may allow the question to be asked at the beginning of consideration of that item.
Councillor R Fletcher referred to the need for signage to be provided and a 40 mph speed limit to be made permanent at a new roundabout in Linley Lane, Alsager.
Councillor Fletcher also referred to an overgrown hedge in Arrowsmith Drive, Alsager which obscured a lamppost. The Council had previously indicated that the owner of the hedge would be asked to cut it but no action had yet been taken.
Councillor Fletcher also referred to the need for a pedestrian crossing to be provided in Crewe Road, Alsager near Goss Place. This had been raised previously but a response was still awaited.
Finally, Councillor Fletcher indicated that he was still awaiting a reply to a question regarding car parks in Alsager and inconsistencies in the conditions of use compared with other parts of the Borough.
The Leader gave an undertaking that a written reply would be provided for the first three questions. The issue regarding Alsager car parks was still under consideration and a full reply would be made in due course. The Leader reminded Councillor Fletcher that such matters should in future be raised and pursued through the Member Enquiry Service.
Councillor S Corcoran asked the Leader to reveal the full amount paid to the former S151 Officer on his departure from the Council. The Leader referred to the requirements of the constitution and Member Code of Conduct and advised that she was not in a position to share information relating to staff or former employees. Councillor L Wardlaw added that it was necessary to be compliant with HR rules and to protect the privacy of staff.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12th March 2019.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 12th March 2019 be approved as a correct record.
To consider the Notice of Motion.
Cabinet considered the following motion which had been moved by Councillor N Mannion and seconded by Councillor B Roberts at the Council meeting on 21st February 2019 and referred to Cabinet for consideration:
“This Council notes the conclusions that have been reached so far concerning the Grenfell Tower disaster. In particular it notes the section in the Hackitt report which highlights the “mindset of doing things as cheaply as possible and passing on responsibility for problems and shortcomings”. One longstanding and illogical result of this is that building control remains the only regulatory function of local government to be subjected to competition. Commercially compromised regulation sees safety margins engineered out and corners cut.
The private sector recruits people who have been trained at public expense, and cherry-picks the most lucrative schemes, while leaving the rest to councils – who of course pick up the bill for enforcement and other essential regulatory Tasks
We call for:
(a) the use of inflammable cladding materials on high rise residential
buildings to be banned without further delay
(b) adequate compensation for councils faced with essential but
significant costs in remediation
(c) local authorities to be the sole provider of building control services in
high residential buildings
(d) recognition of the essential role of regulation and an end to the
constant denigration of Health and Safety
(e) the eventual return of this essential regulatory service to local authorities”
The report responding to the motion indicated that Points (a) – (d) in the motion had already been addressed by Government actions. Point (e) in the motion was supported by the recommendations in the report.
Councillor B Roberts attended the meeting and spoke in support of the motion.
1. rejects the motion by Cllr Mannion as worded, but supports the spirit of the motion; and
2. agrees that the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration write to the Secretary of Statefor Housing, Communities and Local Government to:
(a) support the Government’s decision to take forward all the recommendations in the Hackitt review;
(b) support the changes in the Building Amendment Regulations 2018 requiring the use of non-combustible cladding materials on high rise buildings;
(c) support the Government’s decision to compensate councils faced with remediation costs in relation to high-rise buildings with ACM cladding;
(d) advocate that local authorities should be the sole provider of building control services in high residential buildings; and
(e) advocate that the Government consider the return of this essential regulatory service to local authorities in relation to all development as, in the interests of health and safety and the wellbeing of residents, it should not be possible for a developer to choose their own building control regulator.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The report or a part thereof relating to the remaining item on the agenda has been withheld from public circulation and deposit pursuant to Section 100(B)(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the matter may be determined with the press and public excluded.
The Cabinet may decide that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the item pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and the public interest would not be served in publishing the information.
That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and the public interest would not be served in publishing the information.
Supported Local Bus Service Review - Proposals for Little Bus Service
To consider a report on proposals for the Little Bus Service.
Cabinet considered a report on proposals for the Little Bus Service.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication reported receipt of correspondence which had a bearing on the matter now before Cabinet. The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 2.35 pm to enable Cabinet members to consider the correspondence and to receive the advice of officers. The meeting resumed at 3.00 pm.
The Acting Chief Executive indicated that she was satisfied that Cabinet had given full consideration to the matters referred to in the correspondence and that Cabinet could now proceed to consider the report.
1. notes the correspondence received in relation to the matter referred to in the report;
2. notes that the current contract for the provision of the Little Bus service expires in July 2019;
3. approves the recommendations set out in the report; and
4. invites the Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee to review the proposals prior to their implementation to provide assurance that due process has been followed.