Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 10th April 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

153.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Geoff Knight and James Leyshon.

154.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 27th February and 13th March 2019 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 27 February and 13 March 2019 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

155.

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 personal, non-pecuniary, interests in item 15, the Standards Committee Investigation in Leaked Sensitive Information and Members’ Conduct (Minute No.166 refers.):

 

Councillor Clifford, as a person affected by the leak of sensitive information.

 

Councillors Gardiner, Yates and Wild as the subject members complained of.

156.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Mayor thanked all Members, whether standing for re-election on 2 May 2019 or not, for their contribution to the Council during their years as Councillors.

157.

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:

158.

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:

The Mayor informed Members that no petitions or requests to address Council had been received from members of the public.

159.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 61 KB

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

Minutes:

Councillor Blamire presented her final report as Leader of the Council, updating Members on various issues since her last report to Council. She thanked all Councillors, particularly the group leaders, for their support and co-operation during her years as Leader of the Council.

 

The Leader then responded to a number of questions from Councillors. She agreed to provide a written answer to Councillor Edwards, who asked why Lancaster City Council had not volunteered for the Voter ID pilot scheme.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted. 

160.

MAYOR'S ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Mayor.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Article 5.02(g) of the Constitution, the Mayor presented his Annual Report for 2018/19 and responded to questions.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be received.

161.

EXECUTIVE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To receive the Executive Annual Report containing the Business Progress Reports of the Leader and each Cabinet Member in accordance with Article 7.06 (j).

 

Whilst the Executive Annual Report will be published as a separate document in due course, the reports of individual Cabinet Members are included in this agenda and will be presented at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Article 7.06(k), the Leader and each Member of Cabinet had produced a written progress report for 2018/19. 

 

The Leader presented her annual report and answered a number of questions.

 

Councillors Burns, Clifford, Hanson, Hughes, Pattison, Warriner and Whitehead then presented their annual reports and responded to Members’ questions.

 

Resolved:

 

That the annual reports of the Leader and Cabinet Members be received.

162.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To receive the Annual Report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Article 6.03(c) the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2018/19 had been published and was presented to Council by the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Goodrich, and the Chairman of the Budget and Performance Panel, Councillor Brookes.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report be received.

163.

AUDIT COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Audit Committee.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Section 8.13 of Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution, the Chairman, Councillor Abbott Bryning, presented the 2018/19 Annual Report of the Audit Committee.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be received.  

164.

MEMBER CHAMPIONS ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 33 KB

To receive the Annual Reports submitted by the Council’s Champions.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Part 6, Section 5 of the Constitution, annual reports were presented to Council by the Member Champions: Councillor Scott (Veterans’ Champion); Councillors Guilding and Cozler (Champions for the Disabled) and Councillor Brown (Champion for Children and Young People).

 

The Champions responded to questions from Councillors.

 

Resolved:

 

That the reports be received.

165.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Council is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following item(s):- 

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Members are reminded that, whilst the following item(s) have been marked as exempt, it is for Council itself to decide whether or not to consider each of them in private or in public.  In making the decision, Members should consider the relevant paragraph of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their discretion Members should also be mindful of the advice of Council Officers.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Council that it had been recommended to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the following item on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information.

 

Councillor Thomas moved that press and public be excluded from the meeting, however he withdrew his proposition.

 

Councillor Edwards then moved to exclude press and public, seconded by Councillor Parkinson.  Councillor Edwards requested a recorded vote, however he did not receive the required support from members to enable this, in accordance with council procedure rule 19.4.

 

There was some debate on the motion at this point. Legal advice was sought from, and provided by, the Deputy Monitoring Officer, before a vote was taken and, with 14 Councillors voting ‘for’ and many against, the motion was clearly lost.

 

Members of the press and public were permitted to remain in the Chamber for the following item and the exemption was therefore lifted on the report.

 

The report is now attached to these minutes as a public report.

166.

INVESTIGATION INTO LEAKED SENSITIVE INFORMATION AND MEMBERS' CONDUCT

Report of the Standards Committee

Minutes:

(Having previously declared an interest, Councillor Clifford left the meeting at this point.)

 

The Standards Committee submitted a report on the outcome of the Single Purpose Standards Committee (SPSC) hearing held on 6 March 2019. Councillor Whitehead, as Chairman of the Committee, presented the report, which set out the SPSC’s findings and recommendations.

 

Members asked a number of questions, which Councillor Whitehead and the Deputy Monitoring Officer (Legal) responded to. In response to a question about the cost of the enquiry, the Monitoring Officer said this had cost £4,500.

 

The report was simply for noting.

 

(Council adjourned for a comfort break at 8pm, in accordance with council procedure rule 10.1. The meeting re-convened at 8.15pm.)

 

 

 

167.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that one of the appendices to the report was exempt from publication by virtue of paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. He reminded Members that there was a recommendation to move into private session if discussions centred on the legal advice provided. In view of this, Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Edwards, proposed:

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

The Monitoring Officer was asked why the appendix in question was exempt from publication. He explained that the document contained legal advice provided to the Council and was subject to legal professional privilege.

 

A vote was then taken on the proposition to exclude press and public, which was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Schedule 12A of that Act.

 

(Members of the press and public left the chamber at this point.)

 

 

 

 

 

168.

DIGITAL CONSTITUTION 2019 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report of the Constitution Working Group

 

NB: The new Constitution is electronic, not paper-based. Members will be emailed a link to the digital document by Democratic Services to enable them to access it.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead, Chairman of the Constitution Working Group, introduced the report and thanked the officers who had assisted the Group with the review of the constitution. The Monitoring Officer demonstrated the online functionality of the document to council using a laptop device and a large screen television.

 

It was noted that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had asked for clarification from the Monitoring Officer about two issues they had raised in August 2018:

 

(i)      Clarification of what should be referred to Cabinet or Council regarding spending of the City Council’s reserves.

 

(ii)     Request the Constitutional Working Group to consider additional parameters should be set on the amount Cabinet can spend from the City Council’s Reserves.

 

Councillor Whitehead explained that there was a limit of £150k for individual Cabinet Members; any spend over £150k could only take place after consultation with the relevant Director or the Chief Executive. The Monitoring Officer showed the page onscreen where this was set out in the constitution (Cabinet Procedure Rules paragraph 3 number 4).

 

Councillor Whitehead and the Monitoring Officer responded to a number of questions from Councillors.

 

In regard to recommendation (1) in the report, Councillor Whitehead proposed that:

 

“That a decision on the issue regarding Members’ Access to Information be postponed until after the May elections.”

 

Councillor Mace seconded the proposition, which was clearly carried when put to the vote.

 

Councillor Whitehead proposed a new local method of calculating political balance, set out in Appendix B of the report, and appended to these minutes. Councillor Mace seconded the proposition.

 

Before calling for a vote, the Mayor informed Councillors that a unanimous vote was required, in law, to adopt a local method of calculating political balance. A vote was then taken, and the result was a unanimous decision to adopt the new method.

 

Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Mace, then proposed, in relation to recommendations (3) to (6):

 

“(3)    That the new digital constitution, revised in line with the resolutions of Council made on 13 March 2019, be approved.

 

(4)     That the new constitution comes into force from Monday 6 May.

 

(5)     That officers be requested to complete formatting and proof-reading the digital document for uploading to the Council’s website in time for the commencement date.

 

(6)     The Monitoring Officer may make minor consequential editing and grammatical amendments to the text and correct typographical, referencing and consistency errors.

 

Councillor Brookes proposed an amendment to the propositions, by way of addendum, to add the words “That an automated log be set up to monitor all changes to the constitution, which identifies who made the changes.”

 

Councillor Barry seconded Councillor Brookes’ amendment.

 

Initially, this was not accepted as a friendly amendment by Councillor Whitehead, who sought advice from the Monitoring Officer on the feasibility of such a log. After discussion with Councillor Brookes, Councillor Whitehead and her seconder agreed to accept the following wording as a friendly amendment:

 

“That officers investigate including an automatic log to monitor all changes to the constitution, which identifies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 168.

169.

Wennington Neighbourhood Plan – Adoption (Making) of the Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Report of the Director for Economic Growth & Regeneration

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hanson presented the report of the Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration on the adoption of the Wennington Neighbourhood Plan.

 

There were no questions. Councillor Hanson, seconded by Councillor Blamire, proposed that the recommendation, as set out in the report, be approved.


The proposition was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

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

170.

Designation of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

(The Acting Head of Legal Services left the meeting at this point, as he was named in the following report.)

 

Council considered a report of the Chief Executive, to enable Members to designate an officer to be Monitoring Officer with effect from 11 April 2019.

 

It was noted that the current Monitoring Officer, Mr David Brown, was leaving Lancaster City Council, his last day of work being 10 April 2019. It was therefore necessary to appoint a new Monitoring Officer.  Mr Rephael Walmsley, current Acting Head of Legal Services, was recommended to Council for appointment.

 

Councillor Barry, seconded by Councillor Mace proposed that the recommendation, as set out in the report, be approved.

 

Councillor Mace thanked Mr Brown for the work he had done for the Council during his time as Interim Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Acting Head of Legal Services, Mr Rephael Walmsley, be designated as the Council’s Monitoring Officer with effect from 11 April 2019.

171.

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, from Councillor Mace to Councillor Blamire.

 

Councillor Mace asked:

 

“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?”

 

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.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Mace gave the example of the note left for David Cameron by Gordon Brown when Mr Cameron took over as Prime Minister. He asked:

 

“Will the Leader leave a  note for her successor to say that the Grand Theatre is no less valuable than the Dukes, yet receives no funding?”

 

Councillor Blamire spoke at length about her constant support for the arts over the last 32 years, saying that both theatres were valuable and much needed and that museums and the arts were one of the things that made life worth living.

 

 

 

172.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To receive the Minutes of Meeting of Cabinet held 5th March 2019. 

Minutes: