Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 29th January 2020 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

109.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To receive apologies from Councillors and consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager regarding Councillor Mumford.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gina Dowding, Adrian Duggan, Tricia Heath and Michael Mumford.

 

The Mayor advised the meeting that the report regarding Councillor Mumford’s continued absence due to ill health had been withdrawn due to an error in the dates in the report.  A revised report would be submitted to March Council if required.

 

 

 

110.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 18 December 2019 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2019 were signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

111.

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:

Members advised of the following interests at this stage:

 

Councillor Clifford declared a personal interest in Item 13 in view of him being the subject of the report.

112.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that he had several announcements to make.  Firstly, it had been Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January and this year marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Councillors would also be aware of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.  The Mayor asked that Councillors stood with him for one minutes’ silence to observe the holocaust anniversary and show support for the people of Wuhan, China.

 

Members stood for a minutes’ silence.

 

The Mayor advised that he would be holding a Charity Beer tasting event on Thursday 27 February at 7.30pm in the Mayor’s Parlour at Lancaster.  Tickets were priced at £9.50 and available from the Mayor’s secretary with all proceeds going to the Defying Dementia charity.

 

The Mayor confirmed that he intended to re-order the agenda, as there was a public speaker for Item 10, Mellishaw Traveller Site and that item would be considered directly after the speaker had finished her address for the convenience of members of the public. 

 

Councillors were then advised of a further change to the order of the agenda with item 12, the Strategic Priorities Update being considered prior to Item 11, the Budget and Policy Framework report.  A recorded vote would then be required for the decision regarding the Budget and Policy Framework, to comply with Regulations and in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19.7.

113.

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 advised that no questions had been received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 11.

114.

PETITIONS AND ADDRESSES pdf icon PDF 521 KB

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. 

 

Professor Imogen Tyler FacSS has registered to speak on Item 10, Mellishaw Traveller Site – Future Arrangements on behalf of the Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission. A copy of the text of her address is included with this agenda. 

 

Minutes:

Professor Imogen Tyler  addressed Council on behalf of Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission (MBPTC) in support of the proposal for Lancaster City Council to take ownership of Mellishaw Park Gypsy and Traveller site.  A copy of her address had been published with the agenda. The Mayor thanked Professor Tyler and invited her to return to the public gallery. 

115.

Mellishaw Traveller Site - Future Arrangements pdf icon PDF 640 KB

Report of the Director of Communities and Environment

Minutes:

Having previously announced a revision to the order of the agenda the Mayor invited Councillor Caroline Jackson, the Cabinet Member for Housing, to introduce a report that sought approval to transfer Mellishaw Traveller site from Lancashire County Council to Lancaster City Council for a nominal fee.

 

Councillor Jackson responded to a number of questions from Councillors before proposing:

 

(1)          “That Council approves the transfer of ownership and subsequent management of Mellishaw Traveller site from Lancashire County Council to Lancaster City Council for a nominal fee.

 

(2)          That the transfer takes place as soon as practical.

 

(3)          That delegation be given to the Director for Communities and the Environment in conjunction with the Cabinet Member for Housing to procure the necessary capital improvements provided they stay within the approved budget.”

 

 

Councillor Frea seconded the proposition.

 

Councillor Barber proposed the following amendment, which was seconded by Councillor Gardiner:

 

“That the City Council work with the County Council and tenants to see if a third party organisation could be found to take ownership of the site and that officers be requested to look at alternative solutions and not one that increases debt on the City Council.”

 

Councillors then voted on the amendment which was lost with 23 votes for and 32 against.

 

After further debate the Mayor called for a vote on the substantive motion.  30 Members voted for the substantive motion, 14 against with 10 abstentions whereupon the Mayor declared the proposal to be clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That Council approves the transfer of ownership and subsequent management of Mellishaw Traveller site from Lancashire County Council to Lancaster City Council for a nominal fee.

 

(2)          That the transfer takes place as soon as practical.

 

(3)          That delegation be given to the Director for Communities and the Environment in conjunction with the Cabinet Member for Housing to procure the necessary capital improvements provided they stay within the approved budget.

116.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 200 KB

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

Minutes:

The Leader presented her report updating Members on various issues since her last report to Council. The Leader reported that along with the Leaders of South Lakeland and Barrow Councils she had written to the Secretary of State with regard to cross boundary arrangements and the Leaders and Chief Executives would be meeting on Friday afternoon for further talks.  She then responded to a number of questions from Councillors.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

117.

Committee Timetable 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the revised proposed timetable of meetings, times and revenues for the 2020/21 municipal year.  Consideration of the timetable had been deferred from December Council in order that officers could address the aspects of the timetable which some Councillors had been dissatisfied with. 

 

Approval of the proposed timetable of meetings, times and venues for the 20/21 municipal year, as set out in the report, was moved by Councillor Joan Jackson and seconded by Councillor Wood.

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the revised proposed timetable of meetings, times and venues for the 2020/21 municipal year, as appended to the minutes, be approved.

118.

Council Plan: Strategic Priorities Update pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader presented a report from Cabinet, which sought agreement of the Council’s strategic priorities for the purpose of informing budget decisions for 2020-21 and future years, and developing a comprehensive strategic plan in consultation with stakeholders.  The Leader commended the priorities: A Sustainable District, An Inclusive and Prosperous Local Economy, Health and Happy Communities and A Co-operative, Kind and Responsible Council and the cross cutting themes of Climate Emergency, Community Wealth Building and Community Engagement.

 

Adoption of the priorities, as set out in the report, was moved by the Leader and seconded by Councillor Sinclair.

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That Council adopt the priorities as set out in Appendix B and appended to the minutes, as the basis for further development of its Policy Framework including budget decisions for 2020/21 and future years.

119.

Budget and Policy Framework Update 2020/21 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Report of Cabinet

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Councillors that a recorded vote would be required on the following item to comply with regulations and in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19.7 as these were ‘budget decisions’ within the terms of the regulations.

 

Councillor Whitehead, Cabinet Member with the portfolio for Finance, presented a report to update Council and gain its feedback on the latest position regarding the development of the Budget and Policy Framework for 2020/21 to 2023/24 and, in that context, to seek approval of the level of council tax increase for 2020/21 and for Cabinet’s proposed revenue budget for 2020/21.  Technical updates on savings and additional income analysis and the impact of Cabinet Decisions/Discussions together with an updated table on the medium term budget gaps had been made available to Councillors prior to the meeting.

 

Councillor Whitehead, the Leader and the Director for Communities and the Environment responded to questions from Members before Councillor Whitehead proposed recommendation (1), as set out in the report.

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox seconded the recommendation.

 

After debate on the proposals, a recorded vote was taken.  Votes were recorded as follows:-

 

For the proposition:

Councillors Bannon, Biddulph, Black, Brookes, Bryning, Dant, Frea, Greenwell, Hamilton-Cox, Hanson, Hartley, Jackson Caroline, King, Lewis, Mills, O’Dwyer-Henry, Parr, Penny, Prichard, Redfern, Reynolds, Robinson, Sinclair, Stubbins, Thornberry, Whearty, Whitaker, Whitehead, Wood, and Young (30)

 

Against the proposition:

Councillors Anderton, Austen-Baker, Barber, Boyd-Power, Budden, Cleet, Clifford, Dennison, Evans, Firth, Gardiner, Goodwin, Greenall, Guilding, Jackson Joan, Jenkins, Knight Geoff, Knight Sarah, Matthews, Scothern, Thomas, Whitworth, Wild and Yates (24)

 

Abstention:

Councillor Anderson (1)

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That a City Council tax increase of £5 for 2020/21, together with a year on year target of the maximum allowable under the Government’s local referendum thresholds for future years be approved.

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 8.00pm for a ten minute interval in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 in the Constitution.  The meeting reconvened at 8.10pm.  Councillor Clifford, having declared an interest on the next item on the agenda did not return to the meeting at this point.

120.

Councillor Darren Clifford pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Report of the Standards Committee

Minutes:

Councillor King, the Chair of Standards Committee presented a report to inform Council of the findings of the Standards Committee, and the sanctions imposed, following two separate hearings into breaches of the Councillor’s Code of Conduct by Councillor Darren Clifford.

 

The report was submitted in accordance with Rule 2.1 (i) of the Council Procedure Rules in the Council’s Constitution and was for noting.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

 

Councillor Clifford returned to the meeting at this point.

121.

Allocation of Seats to Political Groups pdf icon PDF 293 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a report to advise Council of the calculations relating to the allocation of seats, following a change to political groupings, in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. As a result of Councillor Cleet resigning from the MBI group to become an Independent Councillor, unaligned to any political group, the MBI group was required to pass a committee seat to the Labour group.  It was noted that Councillor Cleet had been a member of the Council Business Committee and the MBI group wished to pass that vacant seat to the Labour group.

 

Councillor Knight proposed the recommendations as set out in the report.  Councillor Greenall seconded the proposals.  There was no debate and when put to the vote the proposition was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

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

 

(2)          That the MBI group pass a seat on the Council Business Committee to the Labour group.

122.

Executive Functions - Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Report of the Director of Corporate Services

Minutes:

The Director of Corporate Services submitted a report to inform Council of a change to the Scheme of Delegation made by the Leader.  The Leader had agreed to an amendment to the Scheme of Delegation to enable the Director for Communities and the Environment to appoint suitable qualified officers to act on behalf of the Council under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.  This related to licensing of animal activities, namely dog and cat boarding, dog breeding, hiring out horses, selling animals as pets and keeping or training animals for exhibition.

 

No questions were raised. Council were requested to note the report as required by Paragraph 4(b) of section 2 of Part 3 of the Constitution.   

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the report be noted.

123.

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Group Administrators to report any changes to Committee Membership.  

 

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that the Labour group were required to nominate a Member for the place on Council Business Committee that had been passed from the MBI group earlier in the meeting.

 

Councillor O’Dwyer-Henry proposed that Councillor Wood be appointed to the Council Business Committee and Councillor Black seconded the proposal.

 

There were no further changes.  A vote was taken on the proposal, which was clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That Councillor Wood be appointed to the Council Business Committee.

124.

QUESTIONS UNDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE 12 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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 as follows:

 

(1)      Councillor Greenwell to Councillor Frea regarding the Council’s electricity from renewable sources

(2)      Councillor Greenwell to Councillor Frea regarding whether the Council intends to increase the percentage of renewable electricity that it uses

(3)      Councillor Clifford to Councillor Sinclair regarding  Public Space Protection Orders

 

Details of the questions and answers together with any supplementary questions and responses are appended to the minutes.

 

125.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 3 December 2019 (copy attached). 

Minutes:

Council considered the Cabinet minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2019.  No questions were raised.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the minutes be noted.