Agenda and minutes

Tuesday, 14th January, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford  Tel: 01270 686472 Email:

No. Item


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 2 minutes. The Chairman or person presiding will have the discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate. 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.


Richard Hamilton referred to the 2018-2023 Air Quality Action Plan for the Sandbach area and asked why there were no actions detailed for the Air Quality Management Area adjacent to J17 of the M6. He also asked for a progress report on the actions for SAND1 and SAND2.


The Portfolio Holder for Communities undertook to provide a written response and to copy it to ward members for Sandbach.


Jane Smith referred to a report on the agenda relating to the management of Bovine tuberculosis on Council land and asked what type of 'essential variations' of lease clauses would be acceptable to Cheshire East. She also asked how the Council intended to promote badger vaccination as an option to landowners and farmers in the Borough between now and the autumn cull which would start in September.


The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration responded that an example of an essential variation of a lease would be where there was a change of legislation or a change of Governent guidance. He added that Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils jointly had a good track record on vaccinations; he outlined what action had been taken to date and what further action was proposed.


Sue Helliwell asked about the possibility of a direct bus service between Alsager and Leighton Hospital at weekends as had been provided for Middlewich.


The Deputy Leader responded that the Council supported the 317 service which provided a direct service to the Hospital during the week. The weekend service required a change at Crewe. The Council continually sought to maximise service coverage but had to operate within budgetary constraints. He would be exploring the opportunities for joint ticketing arrangements and was keen to work with town and parish councils and local employers to explore joint subsidy arrangements.


Debbie Jamison said that she had not received a response to highways and planning questions she had raised at the December Cabinet meeting.


The Portfolio Holder for Planning replied that she was aware of some outstanding queries and that a written response would follow.


Michael Unett referred to a public right of way near to Wood Park, Alsager which was becoming unusable due to its condition. In addition, a bridge on the right of way was starting to sink into the brook. Action needed to be taken to make the path passable and make the bridge safe. Mr Unett also referred to highways works on Meadow Croft and The Avenue, Alsager which had been programmed for 2019/20. He asked if the works would be completed in the current financial year.


The Deputy Leader undertook to respond on both matters in writing.



Questions to Cabinet Members

A period of 20 minutes is allocated for questions to be put to Cabinet Members by members of the Council. A maximum period of two minutes will be allowed for each member wishing to ask a question.  The Leader will have the discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.  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.


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 T Dean asked for consideration to be given to the provision of weekend bus services from Knutsford and Wilmslow to Macclesfield Hospital.


The Deputy Leader referred to the 130 service on Saturdays from Handforth, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge to Macclesfield Hospital for which the Council was providing support. He undertook to consider the position with regard to Knutsford and to send a written response.


Councillor S Akers Smith circulated copies of a report she had written setting out an action plan for improving the cycling and walking infrastructure throughout the Borough. In the report, Councillor Akers Smith raised a number of questions to which she sought answers.


The Leader received the report and undertook to provide a written response.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December 2019.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December 2019 be approved as a correct record.



Management of Bovine Tuberculosis on Council Land pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report on the management of Bovine Tuberculosis on Council land.


Cabinet considered a report on the management of bovine tuberculosis on Council land. The report set out the steps that the Council planned to take.


In considering the report, Cabinet was mindful of the risk management implications in paragraph 6.6.




That Cabinet


1.    recognises the impact of Bovine Tuberculous on cattle, wildlife, and the farming community in the Borough;


2.    endorses good bio-security in the rural environment to reduce the risk of transmission of Bovine Tuberculous;


3.    confirms that this Council will not support the culling of badgers on Council land and will seek to amend its new leases accordingly. Any essential variation of such a lease clause will be subject to a formal request in writing and subsequent consent;


4.    endorses vaccination as an important part of any long-term approach to reducing the general prevalence of the disease, risk to cattle or wildlife and its impact in Cheshire East and resolves to support badger vaccination programmes, particularly in those areas most at risk of the spread of Bovine Tuberculous, and to commit in principle to support them financially with Council and other resources; and


5.    notes the risks outlined in paragraph 6.6 of the report.



Media Relations Protocol Review 2020 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider the new draft Media Relations Protocol for Cheshire East Council.

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered a draft new Media Relations Protocol for Cheshire East Council. The Protocol set out the roles and responsibilities with regard to the Council’s public relations and media relations activity.


The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the Protocol at its meeting on 9th January 2020. During the Committee’s debate, the following comments had been made:


§  The successes of scrutiny should be promoted through the media.

§  In relation to quotes from ward Members and committee chairs, Members questioned whether it was appropriate for this to be done only in agreement with the Portfolio Holder, given that they were independent of the Executive.

Following consideration of the report, the Committee had recommended the Protocol to Cabinet for approval.


The Chairman of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor J Clowes, attended the Cabinet meeting and spoke on the matter.


The Leader asked that, once the new Protocol had been brought into operation, overview and scrutiny committee chairmen provide examples if they felt that any aspect of the new Protocol was not working well.




That Cabinet approves the Cheshire East Council Media Relations Protocol as set out in the Appendix to the report.



Revenues and Benefits Printing and Postal Service pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a report seeking approval to procure and award a contract for a Printing and Postal service which will support the Revenues and Benefits billing functions.


Cabinet considered a report on the procurement of a printing and postal service to support the Revenues and Benefits billing functions.






1.    a suitable competitive OJEU procurement exercise be undertaken for the provision of Printing, Graphics and Postal Distribution Services for the Cheshire East Council Revenues and Benefits Billing Departments; and


2.    authority be delegated to the Revenues Manager to procure and award a contract for Print and Post services following an appropriate and compliant procurement process.



Outcome of Ofsted Inspection of Cheshire East Local Authority Children's Services pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider the outcome of the Ofsted Inspection of Cheshire East Local Authority Children's Services.

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered a report on the outcome of the Ofsted inspection of Cheshire East Council’s children’s services in November 2019. The Ofsted report, which was published on 9th January 2020, detailed those areas where significant progress had been made since the previous inspection in 2015 and those areas where further improvement was needed.


The Deputy Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Children and Families asked that their sincere thanks be conveyed to those officers who provided invaluable services to some of the Borough’s most vulnerable children and young people and for their work on the inspection.




That Cabinet


1.    notes the contents of the Ofsted report at Appendix 1 to the report, both areas of strength and areas for development; and


2.    confirms the Council’s continued ambition and commitment to achieving good or outstanding services for Cheshire East’s children and young people.