Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 10th November 2021 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Debbie Chambers, Democratic Services - email  dchambers@lancaster.gov.uk 

Note: Unfortunately, this meeting will not be live streamed due to technical difficulties 

Items
No. Item

69.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

70.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 29 September 2021 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2021 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

71.

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:

72.

ANNOUNCEMENT - Councillor Stewart Scothern

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

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Councillors of the sad death in October of Councillor Stewart Scothern after a period of illness.

 

Councillor Scothern was elected as a Conservative Councillor for the Upper Lune Valley Ward in May 2019. He would be sadly missed by his family, friends and fellow Councillors.

 

Stewart’s funeral was held on 14 October 2021.

 

Members stood in a minute’s silence in his memory.

 

 

73.

ANNOUNCEMENT - Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance Leaflet

Minutes:

On behalf of Councillor Thornberry, the Mayor drew Members’ attention to the “Cash First” leaflets which had been put given to them before the meeting. These had been produced by the Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance.

74.

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:

75.

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:

76.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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

Minutes:

The Leader noted that there was an error in her written report in paragraph 3.7 where the words “Minister of State for Transport” should have read “Minister for High Speed Rail”.

 

She then presented her report updating Members on various issues since her last report to Council. The Leader, assisted by the Portfolio holder for Planning and Place Making, Councillor Dowding, responded to a number of questions from Councillors.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted. 

 

77.

Motion on Misogyny pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider a motion on notice submitted by Councillor Parr and seconded by  Councillor Thornberry. The motion is enclosed with the officer briefing note.

Minutes:

Councillor Parr proposed the following motion having given the required notice to the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15:-

 

“Women and girls of the district, and in Lancashire as a whole, are suffering from misogyny, expressed in sexual harassment, domestic abuse and death. Lancashire women suffer a higher than average rate of deaths – the femicide census ranks Lancashire as 13th highest female killings in a list of 42 police forces in the UK.

 

There is evidence of a link between domestic abuse and terrorism.

 

We call upon the city council to write to the Minister of State for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, with the following requests:

 

   That he prepare legislation to make misogyny a hate crime, to be recorded as such by all police forces across the UK, and prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service with as much vigour as other hate crimes.

   That police forces should be required to record all instances of femicide, the killing of a woman or girl by a man, with immediate effect.

   That a task force be set up before the end of this year to assess the extent and impact of incel (involuntary celibate) groups both online and offline, and to work with voluntary groups and experts who have already begun work in this field.

   That all incidents of domestic violence should be treated as violent assault or grievous bodily harm, to be prosecuted automatically without the victim being required to make a formal complaint.

   That policing resources should be increased to ensure that police forces are able to do these new responsibilities. At the very least they should return to pre 2010 strength.

   That resources be made available to further study the links between domestic abuse and the perpetrators of terrorist actions.

 

We also call upon Lancaster City Council to use its social media presence to promote local organisations that can support women impacted by misogyny.”

 

Councillor Thornberry seconded the motion.

 

Officer comments were included in a briefing note to accompany the motion.

 

Councillor Parr responded to questions from Councillors and a lengthy debate followed.

 

At the conclusion of the debate a vote was taken and the motion was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:-

 

Women and girls of the district, and in Lancashire as a whole, are suffering from misogyny, expressed in sexual harassment, domestic abuse and death. Lancashire women suffer a higher than average rate of deaths – the femicide census ranks Lancashire as 13th highest female killings in a list of 42 police forces in the UK.

 

There is evidence of a link between domestic abuse and terrorism.

 

We call upon the city council to write to the Minister of State for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, with the following requests:

 

   That he prepare legislation to make misogyny a hate crime, to be recorded as such by all police forces across the UK, and prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service with as much vigour as other hate crimes.

   That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Annual Treasury Management Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead presented the Annual Treasury Management Outturn report for noting. She responded to questions from Councillors.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted.

 

79.

Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

Council considered a report submitted by the Chief Executive. The report noted that a vacancy had arisen on the Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality Council following the resignation of Councillor Lewis from that outside body.

 

The basis for the appointment to this body had previously been made by way of nominations and voting at full Council, therefore the Mayor asked for any nominations.

 

Councillor Caroline Jackson nominated Councillor Lenox seconded by Councillor Dowding. There were no further nominations therefore the Mayor declared Councillor Lenox appointed to Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality Council until the City Council elections in May 2023.

 

Resolved:


That Councillor Lenox be appointed to Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality Council until the City Council elections in May 2023.

80.

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Group Administrators to report any changes to Committee Membership.  

 

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services reported that, since the last Council meeting, appointments had been made to fill several vacancies:-

 

Councillor Sinclair had been appointed to the Eco-Socialist Independent Group vacancies on the Budget and Performance Panel and the Personnel Committee.

 

Councillor Austen-Baker had been appointed to the Conservative vacancy on the Chief Executive Recruitment Committee.

 

Councillor Budden had been appointed to the Conservative vacancy on the Appeals Panel.

 

Councillor Thomas had been appointed to the Conservative vacancy on the Standards Committee.

 

In addition, two named substitutes had been appointed by the Labour group to the Chief Executive Recruitment Committee; Councillors Hanson and Woods.

81.

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 three questions had been received by the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rules. All three questions were from Councillor Pritchard to Councillor Brookes.

 

Councillor Pritchard asked:

 

We have a problem with grass and weeds growing on our roads and pavements, this has got considerably worse since we stopped using weed killers in the Lancaster district, and consequently the roots are  causing damage to both our roads and pavements. The Council road sweeper is vital to clearing some of this from our roads, so I would like to know how often the roads are cleaned, particularly in the rural areas, although this is a distinct wide problem?

 

Councillor Brookes replied:

 

Before I deal with the question I just want to clarify the point made about the use of herbicide on roads and pavements. The City Council has stopped using glyphosate herbicide on its own land, except to deal with particularly problematic invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed. Roads and pavements belong to the County Council of course, and the City Council used to carry out weed treatment on the County Council’s behalf. We decided to stop doing this and return the responsibility back to the County Council at the end of 2019, partly because we didn’t want to use herbicide, and partly because we were only being paid a quarter of what it was costing to do the job.

 

So the County Council is now responsible for dealing with weeds on roads and pavements and, just to be clear, is using herbicide where it is carrying out treatment. In 2020, mostly due to the pandemic, County only managed to carry out reactive treatment of small areas in response to specific complaints.  This year, after some difficulty letting contracts, County contractors did start planned treatment in some areas in the summer, and I’ve been told there was a second spray in October. County says that it has also continued to carry out reactive treatment following complaints. Nevertheless, there have been lots of complaints about street weeds and County has acknowledged that it needs to allocated a larger budget to increase the geographical coverage of planned treatment in 2022. In the meantime, the advice from County is to use the ‘Report it’ system on the County Council’s website to flag up areas that need treatment.

 

On to sweeping. The frequency of sweeper visits is based on intensity of use and housing density. Lancaster city centre and Morecambe town centre are swept daily, streets close the centres weekly, other urban streets are on a two weekly or three weekly schedule, suburban and rural areas are typically on a six-week schedule. The cleansing team is also out regularly emptying litter bins and can provide a reactive service to deal with specific cleansing incidents between sweeper visits – contact Customer Services for this.

 

One thing I should add is that there have been a number of times over the last eighteen months where it has been necessary to use cleansing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To receive the Minutes of Meeting of Cabinet held on 14 September 2021. 

Minutes: