Agenda and minutes

Council Business Committee
Thursday, 2nd November 2017 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Tessa Mott, Democratic Services - 01524 582074 or email  tmott@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

35.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the duration of the 2017/18 municipal year.

Minutes:

The Chairman requested nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman of Council Business Committee for the 2017/18 municipal year.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Phillippa Williamson and seconded by Councillor Nick Wilkinson that, Councillor Joan Jackson be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Council Business Committee. There being no further nominations, the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That Councillor Joan Jackson be appointed Vice-Chairman of Council Business Committee for the 2017/18 municipal year.

36.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 26 January, 2017 (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of 26 January 2017 (previously circulated) were approved by the Chairman as a correct record.

37.

Items of Urgent Business Authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

38.

Declarations of Interest

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

Members 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, Members 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, Members 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.

39.

Council Response to Government Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Planning System pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Report of the Chief Officer (Regeneration and Planning).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Officer (Regeneration and Planning) to enable Members to prepare a formal response the Government’s consultation on a range of proposed changes to the planning system, in particular the Government’s emerging approach to re-calculating housing need. The Planning and Housing Policy Manager presented the report and emphasised that the consultation set out four main areas where development was needed and that the most significant was that of calculating housing need.

 

It was explained that the consultation had previously been before the Planning Policy Cabinet Liaison Group (PPCLG) for discussion. The Senior Planning Policy Officer explained the contributions from PPCLG Members, which included comments regarding the removal of ‘housing backlog’ from future calculations of housing need and the support for flexibility for the Council to be able to borrow money to deliver new social housing in future.

 

Members asked various questions of the Officers present regarding the draft consultation response. Topics included: the affordable housing infrastructure and section 106 agreements; planning fees and increases with particular reference to ‘land banking’ (and the suggestion of an implemented penalty for doing so) and neighbourhood plans.

 

The Chairman reminded the Committee that the consultation was to close on 9th November 2017 and therefore a method for agreeing the final draft was required.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Andrew Warriner and seconded by Councillor Phillippa Williamson:

 

‘That the Planning Policy Officers present incorporate Members’ suggestions into the draft consultation response and delegated powers be given to the Chairman of Council Business Committee to approve the final draft of the response outside of the meeting, in order for the consultation to be submitted on time.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the Planning Policy Officers incorporate Members’ suggestions into the draft consultation response.

 

(2)    That the Chairman of Council Business Committee be given delegated powers to approve the final draft consultation response, outside of the meeting, in order for the consultation to be submitted on time.

40.

Community Governance Review of the District pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Democratic Services Manager to agree the timetable for the Community Governance Review of the whole of the Lancaster District, and the format for the initial consultation stage.

 

The Elections Manager presented the report and referred to the previous Community Governance Review that Members considered, regarding the creation of Aldcliffe-with-Stodday Parish Council. The Elections Manager explained that a full review of the district is required every 10-15 years. It was noted that there was not a prescribed method at this stage and Members’ views were sought regarding the process.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Tracy Brown and seconded by Councillor Ian Clift:

 

‘That recommendations (1) and (2) set out in the report be approved.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition.

 

Members then discussed various ways in which the Community Governance Review could be utilised and be most effective. It was emphasised that the use of social media was imperative and should be utilised, as well as local press releases and other media channels. Other suggestions included: liaising with Parish Councils (including potential features in village newsletters) and discussions with Ward Councillors to find out ‘key’ influential people within their wards to spread the message.

 

It was then proposed by Councillor Phillippa Williamson and seconded by Councillor Joan Jackson:

 

‘That recommendation (3) set out in the report be approved.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

(1)    That the indicative timetable for the Community Governance review, set out in paragraph 2.2 of the report, be approved.

 

(2)    That two additional meeting dates be approved for February and July, to fit with the indicative timetable set out in paragraph 2.2 of the report.

 

(3)    That with regard to the first stage of the consultation, particular emphasis be made on the use of social media, local press releases and other media channels, as well as liaising with Parish Councils and Ward Councillors to find effective and Parish-specific ways of communicating with local communities and with the most appropriate key influencers.  

41.

Committee Timetable 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Democratic Services Manager to agree the timetable of committee meetings for the 2018/19 municipal year. The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and explained reasons for the proposed changes to meeting times/dates. This was predominantly due to the effect of statutory bank holidays, as well as an additional Audit meeting being generated to allow sufficient time for the Annual Governance Statement to be considered. It was also noted that there was a mistake within Appendix A and it was clarified that the start time of Annual Council was to remain at 6.30pm.

 

Members raised concerns regarding Budget Council and asked about the possibility of the meeting being deemed a ‘one item agenda’ to solely consider the budget. The Democratic Services Manager explained that this would involve a change in the constitution and the matter would need to be referred to the Monitoring Officer to consider the best way forward. Members were in agreement with the draft timetable, set out in Appendix B, however Members felt that consideration should be made to Lancashire County Council’s 2017/18 meetings timetable to avoid any major clashes for those Members who were both City and County Councillors.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Phillippa Williamson and seconded by Councillor Joan Jackson:

 

‘That the draft timetable, set out in Appendix B of the report, be approved subject to no major clashes with Lancashire County Council’s meeting timetable for the 2017/18 municipal year. As well as the matter of Budget Council being a one item agenda be referred to the Monitoring Officer.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the draft timetable, set out in Appendix B of the report, be approved subject to no major clashes with Lancashire County Council’s meeting timetable for the 2017/18 municipal year.

 

(2)    That the matter of Budget Council being a one item agenda be referred to the Monitoring Officer.

 

42.

Ward Councillors Speaking at Planning pdf icon PDF 314 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Democratic Services Manager to consider the time allotted to Ward Councillors to speak at meetings of the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee.

 

The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and explained that if there was to be an increase in time limit for Ward Councillors, then it would be best practice to increase the time limit for all public speakers in the interest of fairness and to avoid exposing the Council to allegations of bias.

 

It was explained that the appended report had previously been before the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee on 18 September 2017 where their views on the matter were sought. It was noted that Planning Committee Members voted unanimously to maintain the three minute time limit for Ward Councillors.

 

Council Business Committee Members felt that Ward Councillors should have more time to speak at Planning Committee as their views represented the views of a number of people. Members asked various questions of the Officers present regarding the public speaking process and the practices currently in place.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Ian Clift and seconded by Councillor Nick Wilkinson:

 

‘That no change is made to the current time limit of three minutes for Ward Councillors speaking at Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, three Members voted in favour of the proposition and four against.

 

It was then proposed by Councillor Tracy Brown and seconded by Councillor Phillippa Williamson:

 

‘That Council be asked to consider increasing the time limit for Ward Members speaking at Planning and Highways and Regulatory Committee from three to five minutes.”

 

Upon being put to the vote, five Members voted in favour of the proposition and two against.

 

Resolved:

 

That Council be asked to consider increasing the time limit for Ward Members speaking at Planning and Highways and Regulatory Committee from three to five minutes.

 

43.

Code of Conduct for Members pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Report of the Standards Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Standards Committee to advise the Council Business Committee of its recommendations to append the definition and examples of bullying and harassment, as set out in paragraph 3.0 of the report, to the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members.

 

The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and explained that, following the Standards Committee meeting on 18 September 2017, the Monitoring Officer had been asked to amend the Members’ Code of Conduct accordingly.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Tracy Brown and seconded by Councillor Phillippa Williamson:

 

‘That the recommendations set out in the report be approved.”

 

Members voted in favour of the proposition when put to the vote.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the definition and examples of bullying and harassment, as set out in paragraph 3.0 of the report, be appended to the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members (Part 7, Section 2 of the Constitution).

 

(2)    That the Monitoring Officer be asked to amend the Members’ Code of Conduct accordingly.

 

44.

Designation of Veterans' Champion pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Democratic Services Manager to consider recommending to Council that the title of ‘Veterans’ Champion’ be changed to ‘Armed Forces Champion’.

 

The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and explained that the report was a result of the current Veterans’ Champion seeking a change of name to encompass the wider remit of the role.

 

Members discussed the report and potential change of name. It was suggested by Members that ‘Veterans’ and Armed Forces Champion’ would be a more fitting name as Members didn’t feel it was appropriate to omit ‘Veterans’ from the Champions title. Members also referred to the Veterans’ Champion role and how it specifically mentions ‘service leavers’ when reaching their decision.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Tracy Brown and seconded by Councillor Nick Wilkinson:

 

‘That the Committee recommends to Council that the title of ‘Veteran’s Champion’ be reconsidered to reflect the work undertaken in the role.’

 

Upon being put to the vote, Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the Committee recommends to Council that the title of ‘Veteran’s Champion’ be reconsidered to reflect the work undertaken in the role.

 

45.

Appointments to Committees and Changes to Membership

Minutes:

There were no appointments to committees or changes to membership.