Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 17th July 2019 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Debbie Chambers, Democratic Services - telephone (01524) 582057 or email  dchambers@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

39.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gina Dowding, Merv Evans, Debbie Jenkins, Mandy King, John Wild and Peter Yates.

40.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 26th June 2019 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

41.

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:

Several Councillors advised of a personal interest in the motion on notice regarding Freeman’s Wood (minute 48 refers) for the following reasons:

 

Councillor Wood, as a member of the Save Freeman’s Wood Facebook group.

 

Councillor Penny as a member of the Save Freeman’s Wood Facebook group and a fundraiser.

 

Councillor Bannon as a Friend of Freeman’s Wood.

 

Councillor Sinclair as a member of the Save Freeman’s Wood Facebook group.

 

Councillor Budden declared a prejudicial interest in relation to the report on Catering Concessions and said that he would leave the Chamber for that item. (Minute 49 refers.)

 

Councillor Dennison enquired about declaring an interest in the Wray with Botton Neighbourhood Plan, since he was a member of Morecambe Town Council, which was also going through the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan. This was not an interest and did not need to be declared.

42.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

43.

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 informed Council that Honorary Alderman Roger Mace had registered to ask a question as a member of the public.

 

The question was to the Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Tourism, about the Grand Theatre and was worded as follows:

 

Back in April, I asked Councillor Blamire: “Has the Leader received confirmation from Mike Hardy, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Grand Theatre that he is now able to proceed without delay to apply for funding?”

 

Council minute 171 shows that Councillor Blamire replied: "Not directly, however the Council can say that it is fully supportive of the Grand Theatre proposals to extend its foyer and improve its facilities. The Council has written to Mike Hardy at the Grand Theatre to confirm its intention to facilitate proposed works and enter into a lease agreement to extend the existing car park."

 

The Canal Quarter Project is expected to go ahead with a mix of housing and retail and entertainment spaces, of which both the Grand Theatre and the Musicians Co-op form part and the two organisations need to co-exist.

 

Constructing the iconic new Foyer- for which the Trustees of the Grand Theatre have to raise funding - and the renovation of the Musicians Co-op, for which the Council has to raise funding - need to proceed in harmony.

 

There is a pressing need to confirm that the plans for the Grand can go ahead, since delay is very costly to them and it has already been delayed six months since receiving planning permission. As matters stand, there appears to be an unresolved conflict with the Musicians Co-op, arising from the City's belated - but justifiable - show of support for the aspirations of the Co-op, for the renovation of the Co-op building.

 

I now ask "What has the Council done since April, and what remains to be done, in order to ensure that any conflict of interest between the Theatre and the Musician's Co-op on the use of the Council's land and buildings in the Canal Quarter is resolved - and fund raising for the Theatre's new Foyer can be started?"

 

Councillor Parr responded to say that the Council had been working closely with Mike Hardy at the Grand Theatre with a view to supporting and assisting him with the proposals to build a new entrance foyer and associated facilities. The Council had instructed a valuation of the proposed extended demise, to include the lean-to at 1, Lodge Street. A structural survey was to be undertaken to ascertain the feasibility of demolishing the lean-to and to have a specification of works prepared to undertake the same.

 

The Grand would be offered a 125 year lease of the existing car park and land to the rear of 1, Lodge Street, at either a premium or by way of an annual rent with the usual 5 year rent reviews. This would provide the funders with the necessary security required in order to make any future grant award.

 

A letter  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

PETITIONS AND ADDRESSES

To receive any petitions and/or addresses from members of the public which have been notified to the Chief Executive in accordance with the Council's Constitution. 

Minutes:

There were no petitions or addresses.

45.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 72 KB

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

Minutes:

46.

Musicians' Co-operative pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Tourism.

Minutes:

Council considered a report presented by the Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Tourism. The report was simply for noting and provided an update on progress towards fulfilling the Council resolution, made on 14 November 2018, in respect of 1, Lodge Street, Lancaster and the Musicians’ Co-operative.

 

Councillor Parr responded to a number of questions from Councillors and agreed to provide written answers to the following questions:

 

To Councillor Heath, a response about whether there could be steps taken to consider transferring 1, Lodge Street as a community asset to the Musicians’ Co-op.

 

To Councillor Mumford, information about whether there were inconsistencies between the plans for 1, Lodge Street and the Grand Theatre.

 

However, since more questions followed, including an enquiry about whether 1, Lodge Street was a health and safety hazard and who was responsible should an incident occur, Councillor Parr offered to hold an update briefing session for all Members in the near future, to provide information on all the issues raised. Members accepted this offer and the report was noted.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted.

47.

Local Plan pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council had submitted a report and letter for Council to note. The letter was from the Planning & Housing Policy Manager reconfirming in writing, to the Planning Inspector, the council’s position in accordance with advice given by Counsel for Lancaster City Council on Tuesday 23 May 2019.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report and letter be noted.

 

 

48.

MOTION ON NOTICE - FREEMAN'S WOOD pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To consider the motion to be proposed by Councillor Mandy Bannon. Seconded by Tim Hamilton-Cox, Dave Brookes, Abi Mills and Gina Dowding.

 

“Full Council notes that the letter from council officers to the Planning Inspector, which has gone online from 3/7/2019, says:

 

"Land at Willow Lane, Lancaster (Policy DOS5), Local Green Spaces(Policy SC2).

With regard to the Inspector’s judgement that available evidenceindicates that the area identified as SC2.1 of Policy SC2 and referredto in Policy DOS5 does not fulfil the criteria set out in paragraphs 76and 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) for designationas a local green space and accordingly, this site (SC2.1) should bedeleted and the policies amended as necessary:The Council accepts the direction of the Inspector and will, through theprocess of proposed modifications, consult on the removal of the NPPFLocal Green Space designation at Freemans Wood, Lancaster, accompaniedby the consequent revision to the Local Plan Policies Maps to delete thearea identified by Policy SC2.1."

 

However, Council disagrees with this response. Instead, Council resolves to seek advice from an experienced planning counsel on ways that evidence provided by the planning consultants Satnam on Local Green Space designation for Freeman's Wood can be challenged. Council wishes to defend Freeman's Wood and will seek best advice on how to do this.

 

The advice sought from counsel will be agreed in conjunction with the cabinet member for Planning and Marsh Ward councillors. Full Council will be informed of the response and will decide on how to proceed accordingly.”

 

An officer briefing note is attached.

Minutes:

Councillor Bannon had submitted the following motion, giving the required notice to the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15:-

 

"Land at Willow Lane, Lancaster (Policy DOS5), Local Green Spaces(Policy SC2).

With regard to the Inspector’s judgement that available evidenceindicates that the area identified as SC2.1 of Policy SC2 and referredto in Policy DOS5 does not fulfil the criteria set out in paragraphs 76and 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) for designationas a local green space and accordingly, this site (SC2.1) should bedeleted and the policies amended as necessary:The Council accepts the direction of the Inspector and will, through theprocess of proposed modifications, consult on the removal of the NPPFLocal Green Space designation at Freemans Wood, Lancaster, accompaniedby the consequent revision to the Local Plan Policies Maps to delete thearea identified by Policy SC2.1.”

However, Council disagrees with this response. Instead, Council resolves to seek advice from an experienced planning counsel on ways that evidence provided by the planning consultants Satnam on Local Green Space designation for Freeman's Wood can be challenged. Council wishes to defend Freeman's Wood and will seek best advice on how to do this.

The advice sought from counsel will be agreed in conjunction with the cabinet member for Planning and Marsh Ward councillors. Full Council will be informed of the response and will decide on how to proceed accordingly.”

Following submission of the motion, Councillor Bannon informed Democratic Services that she wished to alter the motion to:

 

“This Council notes that the letter from council officers to the planning inspector, which has gone online from 3/7/2019, says:

 

“Land at Willow Lane, Lancaster (Policy DOS5), Local Green Spaces(Policy SC2).

With regard to the Inspector’s judgement that available evidenceindicates that the area identified as SC2.1 of Policy SC2 and referredto in Policy DOS5 does not fulfil the criteria set out in paragraphs 76and 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) for designationas a local green space and accordingly, this site (SC2.1) should be deleted and the policies amended as necessary:The Council accepts the direction of the Inspector and will, through theprocess of proposed modifications, consult on the removal of the NPPFLocal Green Space designation at Freemans Wood, Lancaster, accompaniedby the consequent revision to the Local Plan Policies Maps to delete thearea identified by Policy SC2.1."

 

Full Council maintains that Freeman’s Wood is a precious and much-used, wildlife-rich, green space in the Marsh area of Lancaster.

 

Accordingly, should the Inspector still see fit to remove the NPPF Local Green Space designation in his final report, Full Council resolves to utilise other options within its power to protect this valued open green space from development.

 

Action by the Council should include but not be restricted to:

 

  • Maintaining protection via the Local Plan process for Freeman’s Wood under its current designation - Policy SC3: Open Space, Recreation and Leisure; and,
  • Ensuring that Tree Preservation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Catering Concessions pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

(Having previously declared a prejudicial interest in the following item, Councillor Budden left the Chamber at this point.)

 

The matter of Catering Concessions in Morecambe, which had originally been brought as a motion on notice to the Council meeting on 26 June 2019, was brought back to Council for consideration. 

 

Councillor Brookes presented the report updating Council on the further soundings taken by Cabinet following the June meeting and setting out outcomes that were considered important from concessions on Council owned land. These were:

 

·   Maximising income to contribute to the Council’s budget.

·   Delivering in such a way as to contribute to meeting the climate emergency.

·   Moving towards a position where all staff operating from Council land were paid at the real living wage – irrespective of age.

·   Providing high levels of customer service, positively contributing to the wider visitor offering and community wellbeing.

·   Ensuring that there was an appropriate balance between concessions on Council land and shop based businesses.

Councillor Brookes responded to questions from Members before proposing the recommendations set out in the report, seconded by Councillor Heath.

 

After a short debate, the Mayor called for a vote. Councillor Hartley raised a point of order at that point, that the proposer had not been offered the opportunity to sum up. In view of this, a vote was taken again after that opportunity had been offered to Councillor Brookes. The proposition was then carried unanimously.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)        Regarding Ice Cream Concessions on Morecambe Promenade, that:

 

a)    For the remainder of this season tenders will be invited for the five pitches currently allocated on the promenade

b)    A review of the ice cream vending operation on Morecambe promenade takes place ahead of the 2020 season, and is brought back as part of the 2020 budget process.

(2)       Regarding Cafés, that discussions will take place over the summer with the two tenants whose lease ends on 31st October 2019. The purpose of these discussions would be to explore if they would be interested in delivering their operation in a way that met the defined outcomes (see paragraph 2.3), from which a model of operation could then be brought forward to Cabinet. 

 

(3)       That further work take place to develop principles around the commercial use and operating models of the Council’s property.

 

(Councillor Budden returned to the Chamber.)

50.

Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan - Adoption (Making) of the Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider the report of the Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration.

 

Councillors please note: Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of this report are published electronically and can be found on the Council website at:

 

https://committeeadmin.lancaster.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=305&MId=7285&Ver=4

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Reynolds presented a report of the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration to formally ‘make’ the Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan with immediate effect, with the consequence that it would become part of the statutory Development Plan for the area.

 

There were no questions. Councillor Reynolds proposed the recommendation, as set out in the report, seconded by Councillor Pritchard.

 

There was no debate and the proposal was carried unanimously when put to the vote.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

That the Council, under section 38A(4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, formally make the Wray-with-Botton Neighbourhood Plan with immediate effect, with the consequence that it becomes part of the statutory Development Plan for the area.

51.

Allocation of Seats to Political Groups pdf icon PDF 95 KB

(Report to follow)

Minutes:

A report was considered advising Council of the calculations relating to the allocation of seats following the resignation of Councillor Clifford from the Labour group, in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Councillor Clifford was now an independent member with no political affiliation.

 

Regarding the new calculation, Councillor Whitehead seconded by Councillor Wood proposed:

 

“That the change in political composition be noted and the new calculation be approved.”

 

The proposition was clearly carried when put to the vote.

 

With the calculation approved, the Labour Group was then required to give up one place on a committee to the Morecambe Bay Independent (MBI) Group.

 

Regarding the adjustments, the Labour Group administrator informed Council that his Group wished to give up Councillor Penny’s seat on the Appeals Committee to the MBI Group. The MBI’s appointed a named substitute, Councillor Greenall, to that seat and nominated Councillor Dennison to be the named substitute.

 

The adjustments were seconded by Councillor Heath and a vote was taken to approve the changes to the Appeals Committee membership.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)        That the change in political composition be noted and the new calculation be approved.

 

(2)        That Councillor Penny of the Labour Group, be replaced on the Appeals Committee by Councillor Greenall of the MBI Group to effect the necessary adjustment.

 

(3)    That Councillor Dennison be appointed a named substitute for the MBI group for the Appeals Committee.

 

52.

Appointment of Independent Persons pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer had submitted a report recommending that he commence recruitment for further Independent Person(s) for the Standards Committee.

 

Councillor O’Dwyer-Henry proposed the recommendations, as set out in the report. Councillor Black seconded the proposal.

 

There was no debate and the proposition was clearly carried when put to the vote.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)        That Council authorises the Monitoring Officer to commence, in accordance with s28 of the Localism Act 2011, the recruitment process in respect of the appointment of further Independent Person(s) for the Council’s Standards Committee.

 

(2)       That a letter of thanks be sent to Gerald Callen in recognition of his services as Independent Person.

53.

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Group Administrators to report any changes to Committee Membership.  

 

Minutes:

No changes were proposed.

54.

QUESTIONS UNDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 12

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 one question had been received by the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rules. The question was from Councillor Barber to Councillor Hamilton-Cox, as follows:

 

Members of the local community have recently been expressing their concerns regarding the numbers of shoppers using the Wednesday and Saturday Markets in Lancaster and the number of stalls seemed to have declined

 

Does the Council have any figures on the number of stall holders and shoppers to substantiate this?

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox thanked Councillor Barber for her perceptive question. He explained that the number of stalls on the Charter Market could vary quite a bit from week to week, depending on weather, trader holidays, bank holidays, etc. The average number of stalls on the market for the months of June in 2019, 2018 and 2017 was:-

 

 

Wed

Sat

2019

20

28

2018

28

33

2017

28

37

2016

28

39

 

 Figures on shoppers was hard to calculate, however the Business Improvement District in Lancaster did have cameras in place to help estimate footfall. The UK national average figures for town centres was showing a 2.5% reduction, whilst the reduction in Lancaster was lower, at 1.9%. In addition, car parking revenue had increased in the city centre. So this might be interpreted as an indication that the city centre was still busy but fewer shoppers were walking around the area of the Charter Market.