Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 5th November 2020 11.00 a.m.

Venue: THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk  this is a virtual teams live meeting: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_NGIxZDE3NDYtODAyNS00NDAwLTg3MmQtODA5NjIxZjM3OWQw%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2261b49b28-22c1-4c9

Items
No. Item

77.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Councillors are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Councillors should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Councillors are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this point.

78.

Public Speaking

To consider any such requests received in accordance with the approved procedure.

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been no requests to speak at the meeting in accordance with Cabinet’s agreed procedure.

 

At this point the Chair requested that standing order 17 (Cabinet Procedure Rule 17) be suspended to allow for questions to be taken from all members as the reports were introduced. The proposal was moved by Councillor Brookes, seconded by Councillor Frea and there was no dissent to the proposal.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1) That Standing Order 17 (Cabinet Procedure Rule 17) be suspended.

79.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM DEVELOPMENTS pdf icon PDF 558 KB

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Lewis)

 

Report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Lewis)

 

Cabinet received a report from the Chief Executive to request Cabinet’s endorsement of the outline case for a unitary authority for The Bay area and that Cabinet recommend this to council, noting that the Government had now requested unitary proposals from Cumbria be submitted on or before 9 November.

 

The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:

Option 1: Submit a proposal for a unitary council for The Bay

Advantages: This would mean that the opportunity and benefits of a unitary council, based on the footprint of the three councils around The Bay, would remain on the table and be considered by Government. Delivery of The Bay Prosperity and Resilience Strategy would be enhanced by unitary status with further influence over budgets and delivery of services on The Bay footprint. The district, representing the interests of its residents and businesses, will have a direct role in influencing development of unitary proposals building on between the strong relationships between the three councils, existing joint working arrangements and a shared health services footprint. The draft Outline Proposal at Appendix A highlights in more detail the economic, social and environmental benefits and opportunities which could be realised for residents and businesses.

Disadvantages: The benefits and opportunities highlighted in the draft Outline Proposal would be foregone if a proposal were not submitted as The Bay option will no longer be on the table. By not submitting a proposal, the Council would significantly reduce its influence in the reorganisation of local government and the ability to achieve reform rather than simply structural change. If The Bay option is no longer on the table, the default option for Lancaster district will be, if matters proceed further, to become part of a North Lancashire/ Blackpool unitary, for which no case has been made but which appears to offer few benefits for the district, in terms of building on shared services, TTWAs, economic and community links, shared purpose and strategy, other than at the pan Lancashire level.

Risks: The high-level case does not meet government requirements. This will be mitigated by ensuring compliance with criteria is clear and a compelling case is made based on evidence and public opinion. The three councils have secured strong external advice to ensure criteria can be met. Proposal does not gain support of local bodies and the public. Early communications suggest strong support for the proposal but further detailed engagement will highlight the views of partners and public. The councils would not wish to submit a proposal without strong local support Page 9 Local government reform distracts from other priorities. Although this is not an ideal time, the government has set the timetable for these developments and the Council can prioritise work to ensure the right arrangements that secure the best benefits for residents, for the short, medium and long term future, are agreed for the district.

 Option 2: Do not submit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.