Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 27th February 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

124.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the Deputy Mayor and Councillors Brett Cooper, Abi Mills, Jane Parkinson, Sylvia Rogerson, Elizabeth Scott and Susan Sykes.

 

125.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on January 30th 2019 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30th January 2019 were considered for approval.

 

The Mayor informed Council that, immediately following the meeting in January, Councillor Edwards had informed the Deputy Monitoring Officer that he had forgotten to declare an interest in the Statement of Gambling Policy item, and had contributed to the debate and voted. The interest was in respect of his employment, where there was a gaming machine on the premises. The error will be recorded in the minutes of today’s meeting. It should be noted that the policy statement was clearly carried and Councillor Edwards’ vote would not have changed the resolution.

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

126.

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:

Members advised of the following interests at this stage:

 

Councillor Hanson declared a prejudicial interest in relation to the Housing Revenue Account budget item as she had a close relative who occupied council housing.  She would not take part in the debate or the voting. (Minute No. 137 refers.)

 

Councillor Mace declared a non-prejudicial interest in the revenue budget item as a committee member of the Friends of the City Museum. (Minute No. 131 refers.)

 

Councillor Barry declared a non-prejudicial interest in the Housing Revenue Account budget item as Chairman of the Marsh Community Centre, which received funding from the Council. (Minute No. 137 refers.)

 

Councillor Charles declared a non-prejudicial interest in the revenue budget as a patron of The Dukes theatre, which received grant funding from the Council.  (Minute No. 131 refers.)

 

127.

ANNOUNCEMENTS - Honarary Alderman Paul Woodruff

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

Minutes:

The Mayor reported the sad passing of Honorary Alderman Paul Woodruff. Paul was elected to represent the Halton-with-Aughton ward in 1995 as an independent councillor and served until 2017 when he was made an Honorary Alderman. In 2011 he was the Mayor of the district with his wife Dee as his Mayoress.

 

Paul funeral would take place on Thursday 7th March at 12.30pm at Beetham Crematorium followed by refreshments at the Scarthwaite Hotel.

 

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

128.

ANNOUNCEMENT - Charity Quiz Night

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Councillors that he would be holding a Charity Quiz night on Friday 29th March at Lancaster Town Hall commencing at 7.00pm. Tickets were on sale priced £6.50 from the Mayor’s office, which would include a hotpot supper.

 

The Mayor told Members that he intended to re-order the agenda to take the deferred items on the Property Investment Strategy and the Investment Governance Framework after the Capital Programme Report and before the Treasury Management report, as this was the most logical order for dealing with all the budget-related items.

129.

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:

130.

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:

Mr. Robin Ashcroft addressed Council about the King’s Own Royal Regiment collection in Lancaster City Museum. A copy of his address had been previously circulated.

 

The appropriate Cabinet Member, Councillor Clifford, thanked Mr Ashcroft for presenting such a positive address to Councillors about the City Museum.

 

131.

Budget Framework 2019 to 2023 Revenue Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider the report of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor asked Councillors whether there was any wish to suspend Council procedure Rule 17.4 to allow extended budget speeches for Group Leaders and proposers of the motion and any amendments. No request to suspend the rule was received.

 

Councillors were reminded that recommendations (1) to (3) of the report were ‘budget decisions’ within the terms of regulations and Procedure Rule 19.7 of the Constitution, which required a recorded vote to be taken. Consequently he would be asking for a recorded vote for those matters.

 

Before presenting the Cabinet report, Councillor Whitehead declared a non-prejudicial interest as a Patron of The Dukes theatre, which received grant funding from the Council. She then put forward Cabinet’s final budget proposals to allow the Council to complete its revenue budget setting for 2019/20. The proposals were as set out in the report, with the addition of an inflation increase to grants made to voluntary and arts sector organisations. The cost of this, approximately £10,000, would be met from reserves, and would have no impact on the General Fund Revenue Budget figure which Council was being asked to approve.

 

There were a number of questions from Councillors, which Councillor Whitehead, Councillor Warriner and the Interim Head of Finance/Section 151 Officer responded to. Councillor Warriner agreed to supply a written answer to Councillors to a question asked by Councillor Thynne about how funding for homelessness was being spent.

 

Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Blamire, proposed the recommendations as set out in the report:-

 

“(1)      That the General Fund Revenue Budget of £15.937m for 2019/20 be approved, resulting in a Council Tax Requirement of £9.396m, excluding parish precepts, and a Band D basic City Council tax rate of £226.95.

 

(2)       That the supporting General Fund Revenue Budget proposals be approved, as summarised at Appendices 1 and 2 of the report and that an inflation increase for 2019/20 be applied to Council grants to voluntary and arts sector organisations, the cost of this to be met from reserves.

 

(3)       That the Reserves Strategy be approved, as set out at Appendix 4 of the report.

 

(4)       That Council notes the Section 151 Officer’s advice regarding robustness of budget estimates, the adequacy of reserves and balances, specifically the advice that the minimum level of balances be increased to £2m (an increase of £0.5m), to provide for added uncertainty.

 

(5)       That the budget transfer (virements and carry forwards) limits be approved as set out in Appendix 5 of the report.”

 

An amendment from the Green Group was proposed by Councillor Hamilton-Cox and seconded by Councillor Barry:-

 

“Council to use an electricity supplier with a much lower carbon footprint than npower. Allow up to 10% of current electricity costs. Money to be taken from reserves and from an energy-saving initiative during 2019/20.”

 

Debate followed on this amendment, before a vote was taken and the amendment was clearly lost.

Councillor Hamilton-Cox then proposed another amendment, seconded by Councillor Barry:-

 

“Council asks that the study into rationalising the Council’s premises is given  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.

132.

Budget Framework 2019 to 2023 Capital Strategy and Capital Programme 2018/19 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead introduced the Budget Framework’s Capital Strategy and Capital Programme report. Councillor Whitehead and the Interim Head of Finance/Section 151 Officer responded to Councillors’ questions. It was noted that the first bullet point of paragraph 6.12 of the strategy, under the heading “Governance and Scrutiny”, was to be removed.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Bryning:

 

“(1)      That the General Fund Capital Programme, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved.

 

(2)       That the Capital Strategy, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report, but with the first bullet point of paragraph 6.12 removed, be approved.”

 

Councillor Caroline Jackson, seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox, proposed an amendment:

 

“That a ‘climate emergency’ element is built into the scoring system for capital bids.”

 

After debate, a vote was taken on the amendment, which was clearly lost.

 

Debate on Councillor Whitehead’s proposition followed, which was carried by 33 votes to 14, and three abstentions, when put to the vote.

 

Councillor Mace requested that his individual vote be recorded in the minutes. Councillor Edwards made the same request. It is noted that Councillor Mace voted against the proposition, as did Councillor Edwards.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the General Fund Capital Programme, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved, subject to a ‘climate emergency’ element being built into the scoring system for capital bids.

 

(2)       That the Capital Strategy, as set out in Appendix 2 of the report, but with the first bullet point of paragraph 6.12 removed, be approved.

 

 

133.

PROPERTY INVESTMENT STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Referral from Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead presented a draft Property Investment Strategy, deferred from the last meeting, to Council for approval. She responded to Members’ questions and explained some amendments which had been made to the strategy in response to feedback received. These had been circulated at the start of the meeting and were:-

 

Page 5 – Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 “Corporate Asset Management Group” (CAMG) to be replaced with “Capital Strategy Group”.

 

Page 7 – Paragraph 4.9 ‘other’ category to be replaced with ‘Green or Alternative Investments’.

 

Page 8 – Inserted after Paragraph 4.20 as new Paragraph 4.21 (existing Paragraph 4.21 becomes 4.22):

 

“Lancaster City Council must consider how the proposed investment might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Lancaster district area, and how, in conducting the process of investment, Lancaster City Council might act with a view to securing the economic, social and environmental improvement.”

 

Approval of the Strategy, with inclusion of the amendments set out above, was proposed by Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Hanson.

 

There was a lengthy debate about the Strategy. At the close of debate, the Mayor called for a vote, which was clearly carried. Councillor Mace asked that it be recorded in the minutes that he had abstained from voting.

 

Resolved:

 

That the draft Property Investment Strategy, subject to the amendments set out below, be approved.

 

Page 5 – Paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 “Corporate Asset Management Group” (CAMG) to be replaced with “Capital Strategy Group”.

 

Page 7 – Paragraph 4.9 ‘other’ category to be replaced with ‘Green or Alternative Investments’.

 

Page 8 – Inserted after Paragraph 4.20 as new Paragraph 4.21 (existing Paragraph 4.21 becomes 4.22):

 

“Lancaster City Council must consider how the proposed investment might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Lancaster district area, and how, in conducting the process of investment, Lancaster City Council might act with a view to securing the economic, social and environmental improvement.”

 

134.

PROPOSALS FOR THE GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR INVESTMENT DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Referral from Cabinet

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead presented a Cabinet report providing proposals for the governance of investment decisions for Council to consider for approval. The item had been deferred from the January Council meeting and there were a number of change to the arrangements, which had been made in the interim as well as a revised draft process chart (Appendix B). A note of the changes and revised chart had been circulated at the start of the meeting. The changes were:

 

Page 16 - To remove paragraph 1.2. References to ‘commercial investment strategy’ or ‘investment strategy’ should be changed to ‘Property Investment Strategy’.

 

Page 17 – Remove paragraphs 2.5 and 2.6.

 

Page 18 – Remove paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3.

 

Page 19 – Legal implications – second sentence to be removed.

 

Page 23 – new Appendix B.

 

Regarding the paragraphs to be removed from pages 17 and 18, the sheet of amendments explained that these paragraphs were to be removed based on the latest discussions which were covered in the revised flow chart which showed that under the current constitution, all final decisions on property investments would be made at a Cabinet meeting, which followed on from a joint Cabinet/Scrutiny consideration of any final proposal.

 

The constitutional limits would be set on the recommendation of the Constitution Working Group which was due to meet for the final time on 28 February 2019 and recommend a new Constitution to Council on 13 March 2019.

 

Councillor Whitehead responded to questions from Members, before proposing the following recommendations:

 

“(1)      Council approves the delegation of investment decisions to the leader in accordance with the policy framework set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

(2)       Council notes that there will be further changes to the Constitution to follow.

 

(3)       Council approves the principles and outline process in Appendix A to include the amendments detailed above, revised Appendix B, Appendix C and Appendix D.

 

(4)       Council requires Scrutiny Committee to consider and approve the detailed scrutiny process and recommend any changes to the procedure rules.

 

(5)       Council requires the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider a work programme to include i) review the effectiveness and outcomes of any individual decision ii) carry out a review of the investment portfolio. Such review to make any recommendations for improvement to the decision making or governance by January 2020.”

 

Councillor Hanson seconded the proposal.

 

There was debate on the proposition before a vote was taken and the proposition was clearly carried. Councillor Mace asked that it be recorded in the minutes that he had abstained from voting.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       Council approves the delegation of investment decisions to the leader in accordance with the policy framework set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

(2)       Council notes that there will be further changes to the Constitution to follow.

 

(3)       Council approves the principles and outline process in Appendix A to include the amendments detailed above, revised Appendix B, Appendix C and Appendix D.

 

(4)       Council requires Scrutiny Committee to consider and approve the detailed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.

135.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead introduced the Cabinet report setting out the 2019/20 treasury management framework for Council’s approval.

 

There were questions from Councillors, which Councillor Whitehead responded to, before proposing:

 

“That the report be noted and that the Treasury Management Framework, and associated Prudential Indicators, as set out in Appendices 1-3 of the report, be approved.”

 

Councillor Clifford seconded the proposition.

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted and that the Treasury Management Framework, and associated Prudential Indicators, as set out in Appendices 1-3 of the report, be approved.

 

136.

Budget Framework 2019 to 2023 Medium Term Financial Strategy Update - 2019/20 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the Budget Framework Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) update 2019/20 to 2023/24.

 

Councillor Whitehead presented the report, which provided a refresh of the MTFS.

 

Councillors asked a number of questions which Councillor Whitehead responded to.

 

The MTFS, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, was proposed for approval by Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Clifford.

 

Debate followed before the Mayor called for a vote and approval of the MTFS was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Medium Term Financial Strategy, as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved.

137.

Housing Revenue Account Budget Framework 2019 to 2023 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider the report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Councillors that recommendations (1) to (4) of the report were ‘budget decisions’ within the terms of regulations and Procedure Rule 19.7 of the Constitution, which required a recorded vote to be taken. Consequently he would be calling for a recorded vote for those decisions.

 

Councillor Warriner then presented Cabinet’s final budget proposals in relation to the Housing Revenue Account, to allow the Council to complete its budget setting for 2019/20 and update its financial strategy to 2023.

 

Members asked questions and Councillor Warriner responded, before proposing the recommendations in the report:

 

(1)       That Cabinet’s recommendation to approve the council housing rent levels for 2019/20, as set in accordance with statutory requirements, be noted.

 

(2)       That the Housing Revenue Account budgets and future years’ projections be approved, as set out in Appendix A of the report.

 

(3)       That the revenue growth proposals as set out at Appendix B of the report be approved.

 

(4)       That the minimum level of HRA unallocated balances be retained at £0.5M from 01 April 2019, and that the full Statement on Reserves and Balances as set out at Appendix C of the report be approved.

 

(5)       That the Council Housing Capital Programme be approved, as set out in Appendix D of the report.

 

(6)       That Council notes the Section 151 Officer’s advice regarding robustness of budget estimates, the adequacy of reserves and balances and the affordability of borrowing.

 

Councillor Reynolds seconded the proposition.

 

An amendment, in the form of an additional point (7), was proposed by Councillor Hamilton-Cox, seconded by Councillor Barry:-

 

“Council congratulates the housing department on their retro-fitting of properties on the Vale Estate. Council asks that a report on this work be brought back to Cabinet and Budget and Performance committees with a view to rolling out further similar projects elsewhere in the district.”

 

This was accepted as a friendly amendment by Councillor Warriner and his seconder.

 

There was debate on the proposition, complete with friendly amendment, before the Mayor called for a recorded vote on (1).

 

The votes were recorded as follows for (1):-

 

For:

Councillors Ashworth, Barry, Betts-Patel, Biddulph, Blamire, Brayshaw, Brookes, Brown, Bryning, Burns, Clifford, Clift, Denwood, Devey, Frea, Hall, Hamilton-Cox, Hartley, Hughes, Caroline Jackson, Kay, Kershaw, Knight, Leyshon, Metcalfe, Parr, Pattison, Redfern, Reynolds, Rivet, Robinson, Sands, Thynne, Warriner, Whitaker, and Whitehead. (36)

Against:

Councillors Charles, Guilding, Helme, Joan Jackson, Mace, Peter Williamson, Phillippa Williamson and Yates. (8)

No abstentions.

 

Recorded vote on (2) was as follows:-

 

For:

Councillors Ashworth, Barry, Betts-Patel, Biddulph, Blamire, Brayshaw, Brookes, Brown, Bryning, Burns, Clifford, Clift, Denwood, Devey, Frea, Hall, Hamilton-Cox, Hartley, Hughes, Caroline Jackson, Kay, Kershaw, Knight, Leyshon, Metcalfe, Parr, Pattison, Redfern, Reynolds, Rivet, Robinson, Sands, Thynne, Warriner, Whitaker, and Whitehead. (36)

Against:

Councillors Charles, Guilding, Helme, Joan Jackson, Mace, Peter Williamson, Phillippa Williamson and Yates. (8)

No abstentions.

 

The votes for (3) were recorded as follows:-

 

For:

Councillors Ashworth, Barry, Betts-Patel, Biddulph, Blamire, Brayshaw, Brookes, Brown, Bryning, Burns, Clifford, Clift, Denwood, Devey, Frea, Hall, Hamilton-Cox, Hartley, Hughes, Caroline Jackson, Kay,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 137.

138.

Pay Policy Statement 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider the report of Personnel Committee

Minutes:

Councillor Kershaw, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, presented a report of the Committee, to enable Council to consider a revised pay policy statement for 2019/2020 for approval by Council, as required by the Localism Act 2011.

 

Councillor Kershaw responded to questions from Members before proposing approval of the statement, seconded by Councillor Pattison.

 

There was a short debate, followed by a vote. Approval of the statement was carried unanimously.

 

Resolved unanimously:

 

That the pay policy statement for 2019/20 be approved.

139.

Council Tax 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Financial Services Manager

 

Report to follow

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Interim Head of Financial Services to approve 2019/20 council tax rates for the district.

 

Approval of the recommendations, as set out in the report, was moved by Councillor Whitehead and seconded by Councillor Metcalfe.

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That it be noted that, under delegated powers in accordance with section 84 of the Local Government Act 2003, the following amounts have been calculated for the year 2019/20, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended) made under section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (the “Act”):

(a)  41,400.00 being the amount of its council tax base for the whole district [item T in the formula in section 31B of the Act];

(b) 

(c)

 
16,984.24being the amount of its council tax base for the non-parished part of the district; and

 

Parish

Tax Base

Parish

Tax Base

Aldcliffe with Stodday

Arkholme-with-Cawood

Bolton-le-Sands

Borwick

Burrow-with-Burrow

Cantsfield

Carnforth

Caton-with-Littledale

Claughton

Cockerham

Ellel

Gressingham

Halton-with-Aughton

Heaton-with-Oxcliffe

Hornby-with-Farleton

Ireby and Leck

Melling-with-Wrayton

Middleton

Morecambe Town Council

145.97

172.27

1,680.02

88.49

104.27

54.24

1,664.22

1,087.83

56.51

265.58

1,023.55

84.83

992.43

668.08

344.76

114.80

148.23

211.79

9,678.08

Nether Kellet

Over Kellet

Over Wyresdale

Overton

Priest Hutton

Quernmore

Roeburndale

Scotforth

Silverdale

Slyne-with-Hest

Tatham

Thurnham

Tunstall

Warton

Wennington

Whittington

Wray-with-Botton

Yealand Conyers

Yealand Redmayne

278.27

353.20

125.25

357.06

92.59

241.94

21.04

144.27

824.21

1,309.86

215.94

239.29

62.97

869.06

56.52

164.10

211.98

109.43

152.83

 

being the amounts of its council tax base for each parish within the district.

(2)          That in accordance with section 35 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, it be noted that there are no expenses to be treated as the City Council’s special expenses.

(3)          That the following amounts be now calculated by the City Council for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act, as amended by the Localism Act 2011:

(a)   £129,028,450.61 being the aggregate of the amounts which the City Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by parish councils;

(b)   £118,969,407 being the aggregate of the amounts which the City Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act;

(c)   £10,059,043.61 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the City Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year. [Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act];

(d)   £663,343.61 being the aggregate amount of all special items (parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act;

(e)   £9,395,700.00 being the council tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2019/20 (excluding parish precepts);

(f)    £242.97 being the amount at 3(c) above [Item R], all divided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 139.

140.

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Group Administrators to report any changes to Committee Membership.  

 

Minutes:

No appointments or changes to committee memberships were proposed.

141.

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 two questions had been received by the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rules. Both questions were from Councillor Hamilton-Cox to Councillor Whitehead and had been circulated.

 

The first question was:

 

“As at 1st January 2019, what is the number of (non-purpose-built) properties, and the number of bedrooms within those properties, in city council wards which claim exemption from council tax as student accommodation?”

Question two, and the supplementary were:

 

“As at 1st January 2019, what is the number of bedrooms in purpose-built student accommodation which claim exemption from council tax?”

Has the city council received any information from Lancaster University, formally or informally, in the past 12 months which helps to identify the predicted supply and demand for additional student accommodation from September 2019 onwards, for the next five years?”

 

As it was late in the evening at this point, Councillor Hamilton-Cox agreed to receive written answers to his questions.

 

 

 

142.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To receive the Minutes of Meeting of Cabinet held 15th February 2019. 

Minutes: