Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 4th February 2009 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Gillian Noall, Head of Democratic Services - telephone (01524) 582060 or email  gnoall@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

90.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ken Brown, Mike Greenall, Roger Plumb, Bob Roe and Jude Towers.

 

In receiving apologies, the Mayor welcomed Councillor Johnson to the meeting who had recently been absent due to ill health.  

91.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 17th December, 2008 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17th December 2008 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

92.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Members advised of the following declarations of interest at this stage:

 

Councillors Sarah Fishwick, Stuart Langhorn and Robert Redfern declared prejudicial interests in respect of the item relating to Pay and Grading Structure due to each having a relative employed by the Council.  (Minute No. 106 refers).

 

Councillors Eileen Blamire, Shirley Burns, Tony Johnson and Joyce Pritchard declared personal interests in respect of Williamson Park as Members of the Board referred to in the Cabinet Minutes of 20th January 2009.

 

Councillors Susie Charles, Roger Dennison, Sarah Fishwick, Janice Hanson, Tony Johnson, David Kerr and Roger Sherlock declared personal interests in the item relating to the Lancashire Local Joint Committee Constitution as members of the Committee. (Minute No. 109 refers.)

93.

HONORARY ALDERMAN ARTHUR BRIGGS

To receive any announcements which may be submitted by the Mayor or Chief Executive.  

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Members of the sad death of former Councillor and Honorary Alderman Arthur Briggs who had died on 19th January 2009 aged 101.  He had served as a Conservative Ward Councillor for Bolton le Sands from 1973 to 2004 and had been elected Mayor of the City of Lancaster in 1987/88.

 

Council stood for a minute’s silence in his memory.

94.

MORECAMBE BAY COCKLING TRAGEDY

Minutes:

The Mayor also referred to the fact that it would shortly be the fifth anniversary of the cockling tragedy when many had died in Morecambe Bay on the night of 5th and 6th February 2004.  Council agreed to mark the anniversary on behalf of the citizens of the District and stood for a further minute’s silence in memory of those who died.

 

Council stood for a minute’s silence in their memory.

95.

MEMBER DEVELOPMENT CHARTER AWARD

Minutes:

Members were reminded that the Council had recently been awarded the North West Charter for Member Development and were advised that the trophy and that for the Municipal Journal Prize for the best entry in 2008 would be on display at the end of the meeting.

 

96.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC UNDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 11

To receive questions in accordance with the provisions of Council Procedure Rules 11.1 and 11.3 which require members of the public to give at least 3 days’ notice in writing of questions to a Member of Cabinet or Committee Chairman.  

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that no questions had been received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 11.

97.

QUESTIONS UNDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 12.2 pdf icon PDF 26 KB

To receive questions in accordance with the provisions of Council Procedure Rules 12.2 and 12.4 which require a Member to give at least 3 working days notice, in writing, of the question to the Chief Executive.  

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that 11 questions had been received by the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rules as follows:

 

(1)         Councillor Robison to Councillor Fletcher regarding the use of swimming pools

(2)         Councillor Chapman to Councillor Kerr regarding empty council houses

(3)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Archer regarding new build on Chatsworth Gardens

(4)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Archer regarding a conversion scheme on Chatsworth Gardens

(5)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Archer regarding funding for Chatsworth Gardens

(6)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Mace regarding Area Based Grant

(7)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Kerr regarding social rented housing the West End

(8)         Councillor Robinson to Councillor Kerr regarding the principle of ‘rent to buy’

(9)         Councillor Barnes to Councillor Bryning regarding the Storey Institute

(10)     Councillor Coates to Councillor Kerr regarding council housing tenancies

 

Details of the questions and answers together with any supplementary questions and responses are included at Appendix A to the minutes.

98.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 20 KB

To receive the Cabinet Leader’s report on proceedings since the last meeting of Council. 

Minutes:

The Mayor invited the Leader to present his report on the proceedings of Cabinet since the last meeting of Council.

 

In introducing his report, the Leader resigned as Leader of Council and Cabinet.

 

In response to this announcement, it was moved by Councillor Langhorn and seconded by Councillor Archer that Council adjourn to enable Members to consider how the position could be resolved.

 

The vote being clearly carried the Mayor announced a 15 minute adjournment.

 

Council adjourned at 2.30pm and reconvened at 2.55pm

99.

ITEM OF URGENT BUSINESS - ELECTION OF LEADER

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that he had agreed to the consideration of an item of urgent business at this point in the meeting in order to elect a Leader of Council and Cabinet following the resignation of Councillor Mace.

 

The meeting was reminded of the provisions of Article 7 and the procedure to be followed for the election of Leader.

 

Councillor Abbott Bryning was nominated by Councillor Sands and seconded by Councillor Grattan.

 

Councillor Evelyn Archer was nominated by Councillor Kerr and seconded by Councillor Burns.

 

Councillor Jon Barry was nominated by Councillor McCulloch and seconded by Councillor John Whitelegg.

 

On being put to the vote, 25 Members voted for Councillor Bryning, 11 Members voted for Councillor Archer and 13 Members voted for Councillor Barry.

 

A second vote was then taken when 25 Members voted for Councillor Bryning and 24 voted for Councillor Barry.

 

The Mayor then declared Councillor Bryning elected as Leader of the Council and Cabinet.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Abbott Bryning be elected Leader of the Council and Cabinet for the remainder of the 2008/09 Municipal Year.

100.

ITEM OF URGENT BUSINESS - ELECTION OF CABINET

Minutes:

The Conservative Group Administrator confirmed that following the resignation of Councillor Mace as Leader, the Conservative Group nominations for the PR Cabinet were Councillors Charles and Mace.

 

There were no other amendments to the membership of Cabinet as a result of the change of Leader.

101.

Budget and Policy Framework 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the recommendations of Cabinet from its meeting on 20th January 2009 :

 

(a)             Corporate Plan 2009/10

 

(b)             General Fund Revenue Budget

 

(c)             General Fund Capital Programme

 

(d)             HRA Budget and Capital Programme

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the report and recommendations on the Budget and Policy Framework would be considered in sections and invited the Leader to present the report and answer questions on each section in turn.

102.

CORPORATE PLAN AND POLICY FRAMEWORK

Minutes:

Councillor Bryning, as Leader, presented the Cabinet report and answered a number of questions on that part of the report relating to the Corporate Plan and Policy Framework documents.   He then moved the recommendations as set out in the report.

 

Councillor Thomas seconded the proposition and on being put to the vote, 30 Members voted for the proposition and 2 against, whereupon the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)   That the current version of the Corporate Plan, attached at Appendix B to the report, be approved.

 

(2)   That the remaining outstanding sections of the Plan be completed accordingly and referred to the Council's Business Committee for further consideration prior to Council formally signing off the Plan.

103.

GENERAL FUND REVENUE BUDGET

Minutes:

The Leader then presented that part of the Cabinet report which related to the General Fund Revenue Budget and answered a number of questions particularly in relation to the ability of Cabinet to achieve budget proposals which would limit the Council tax increase in 2009/10 to 4%.

 

He advised that he could not at this stage ask Council to approve the Cabinet budget proposals but would ask that Council support Cabinet by noting the proposals to date and approving a 4% increase.

 

The recommendations set out in the report, including noting the budget proposals were moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Sherlock.

 

A vote was taken separately on each recommendation.  On each vote, many Members voted for the proposition, whereupon the Mayor declared each proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That the General Fund revenue budget proposals to date, as set out in section 3 of the report be noted.

 

(2)     That the 2008/09 Revised Budget of £23.782M be approved, with the net overspending of £571K being met from Revenue Balances.

 

(3)     That the minimum level of General Fund Balances be retained at £1M from 01 April 2009.

 

(4)     That a City Council Tax increase of 4% be approved for 2009/10.

104.

GENERAL FUND CAPITAL PROGRAMME

Minutes:

Council then considered that part of the Cabinet report relating to the General Fund Capital Programme which updated Members on the current position and advised that further work was required to achieve a balanced programme.   

 

It was moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Sherlock:

 

‘That the current General Fund Capital Programme position as set out in section 4 of the report be noted.’

 

On being put to the vote the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That the current General Fund Capital Programme position as set out in section 4 of the report be noted.

105.

HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader then presented that part of the Cabinet’s report relating to the Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme and answered a number of questions.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Sherlock.

 

On being put to the vote the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revised Budget for 2008/09 be approved, as set out at Appendix B to the minutes.

 

(2)     That the minimum level of HRA Balances be retained at £350K from 1st April 2009, and that the Statement on Reserves and Balances (as set out at Appendix H to the report) be noted.

 

(3)     That the HRA Budget for 2009/10 be approved, also as set out in Appendix B to the minutes.

 

(4)     That the Council Housing Capital Programme be approved, as set out at Appendix C to the minutes.

106.

Approval of Pay and Grading Structure pdf icon PDF 33 KB

To consider the recommendations of Cabinet from its meeting on 20th January 2009.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Sarah Fishwick, Stuart Langhorn and Robert Redfern declared prejudicial interests in respect of the following item due to each having a relative employed by the Council.) 

 

Council consider the recommendations of Cabinet regarding its preferred new pay and grading structure.  It was further reported that Personnel Committee had also considered the proposal and had confirmed its support for the structure 9.5.4.5 being recommended by Cabinet.

 

The Chief Executive clarified a number of issues raised by Members.

 

The recommendation set out in the report was then moved by Councillor Bryning and seconded by Councillor Kerr.

 

On being put to the vote the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That structure 9.5.4.5 be approved as the new pay and grading structure.

107.

City Council Meetings Timetable and Meeting Times - 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the recommendations of Council Business Committee from its meeting on15th January 2009.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Smith as Chairman presented a report of the Council Business Committee on a proposed timetable of meetings for 2009/10 as well as recommendations relating to changes to future meeting times.

 

He outlined some of the reasoning behind the recommendations agreed by the Committee.   He also highlighted a number of other issues contained within the report, in particular the proposal to cancel the special Council meeting for 2009 only as a cost saving measure.

 

It was also noted that contained within the report was a suggestion put forward since the meeting of Council Business Committee that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Budget and Performance Panel should be merged.

 

It was agreed to take each element of the recommendations separately and Councillor Smith moved recommendation (1) as set out in the report, subject to amendments to the dates of Planning Committee in line with the supplementary report circulated at the start of the meeting.

 

The recommendation was seconded by Councillor Leytham.

 

It was then moved by Councillor Dennison and seconded by Councillor Ashworth by way of an amendment:

 

‘That in relation to the start times set out in Recommendation (1), the current start time of Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee remain unaltered at 10.30am in view of the quasi legal nature of Planning Committee and its involvement of outside professionals and significant numbers of staff.   Altering start times could result in significant deterioration in this Committee's level of service to the public.’

 

There followed a lengthy debate following which on being put to the vote the Mayor declared the amendment clearly carried.

 

It was then moved by Councillor Wade and seconded by Councillor Taylor by way of further amendment:

 

‘That the start time of the Licensing Act Committee remain at 2pm’

 

There followed a further debate at the conclusion of which 22 Members voted for the amendment, 26 against and one abstained, whereupon the Mayor declared the amendment lost.

 

A vote was then taken on the substantive motion as amended which the Mayor declared clearly carried.

 

Recommendation (2) as set out in the report was then moved by Councillor Smith and seconded by Councillor Trolinger.

 

On being put to the vote the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

In relation to recommendation (3) in the report it was moved by Councillor Langhorn and seconded by Councillor Archer:

 

‘That no action be taken in respect of the proposed merger of Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Budget and Performance Panel.’

 

On being put to the vote the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That the Council’s timetable of meetings for 2009/10 be approved as set out in         Appendix D and as follows:

 

Meeting

Start Time

Venue

Annual Council (Ceremonial)

12 noon

LTH

Annual Council  (Business)

6.00 pm

MTH

Council

2.00 pm

MTH

Council Business Committee

5.00 pm

MTH

Audit Committee

6.00 pm

MTH

Budget and Performance Panel

6.00 pm

LTH

Cabinet

10.00 am

LTH/MTH alternating

Licensing Regulatory Committee

1.00 pm

LTH

Licensing Act Committee

4.30 pm

LTH

Overview and Scrutiny Committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

Establishment of Morecambe Town Council - The Lancaster City Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order 2009 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 87, Members considered a report of the Chief Executive containing a draft Reorganisation Order which would enable the establishment of the Parish of Morecambe from 1st April 2009, with elections to a Parish Council in June 2009.

 

The report contained details of the recommendations of the Morecambe Town Council Working Group, in particular the proposed level of precept to enable the elected Council to function in 2009/10.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were moved by Councillor Archer and seconded by Councillor Hanson.

 

It was then moved by Councillor Trolinger by way of an amendment that recommendation 3(a) be amended to refer to one training event.

 

Councillor Archer, as proposer indicated that she was not prepared to accept this as a friendly amendment and with the agreement of the meeting, Councillor Trolinger withdrew her amendment.

 

A vote was then taken on the proposition, whereupon the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

(1)               That the draft Order be approved as set out at Appendix E, including a precept for 2009/10 of £220,500

(2)               That a Shadow Morecambe Parish Council be established with effect from 1st April 2009 comprising the City Council Ward Councillors for Bare, Torrisholme, Heysham North, Westgate, Harbour and Poulton Wards.

 

(3)               That having considered the recommendations of the Working Group in relation to other issues to assist with the establishment of a Morecambe Town Council:

 

(a)      The Head of Democratic Services arrange two ‘Prospective Councillor’ training events at Morecambe Town Hall during April 2009 for members of the public wishing to stand for election to the Town Council.

 

(b)      The existing Working Group be extended until the Shadow Parish Council is inaugurated on 1st April 2009 to enable further consideration to be given to any matters which may arise.

 

(c)      The Chief Executive be requested to report back to the next meeting of Council on the implications for the City Council to enable decisions to be taken on the remaining requests of the Working Group as set out in paragraph 2.6.2 of the report.

109.

LANCASHIRE LOCAL LANCASTER DISTRICT JOINT COMMITTEE - AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillors Susie Charles, Roger Dennison, Sarah Fishwick, Janice Hanson, Tony Johnson, David Kerr and Roger Sherlock declared personal interests in the following item relating to the Lancashire Local Joint Committee Constitution as members of the Committee.)

 

The Chief Executive submitted a report which set out details of a revised Constitution for the Lancashire Locals – Lancaster District Joint Committee proposed by Lancashire County Council who were keen to expand the remit of Lancashire Locals and develop the model further in the light of experience since 2006, allowing each Joint Committee across the County to focus on different elements of County Council services according to local priorities at any given time.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were moved by Councillor Blamire and seconded by Councillor Thomas.

 

On being put to the vote, the Mayor declared the proposition clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)     That the City Council accept the proposed amendments agreed by Lancashire County Council to the Constitution of the Lancashire Local – Lancaster District Joint Committee and formally adopt the Constitution as set out at Appendix A to the report.

 

(2)     That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to make any necessary amendments to the City Council’s Constitution to include the revised Joint Committee Constitution and any future amendments to the delegation arrangements approved by either the City Council or County Council.

 

110.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive the Minutes of Meetings of Cabinet held on 9th December, 2008 and 20th January, 2009. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the Cabinet minutes of the meetings held on 9th December 2008 and 23rd January 2009.  The Leader and Cabinet Members responded to a number of questions.

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes be noted.