Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Wednesday, 24th February 2021 6.00 p.m.

Venue: THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING

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

Note: This is a remote meeting of Council which members of the public can join using MS teams by clicking the link in box on the front of the agenda. 

Items
No. Item

105.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were presented.

 

It was noted that Councillor Carrington was on parental leave and that Councillor Wild was unable to access the meeting due to technical difficulties.

106.

MINUTES

To receive as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the City Council held on 27 January 2021 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

107.

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:

There were no declarations of interest. 

 

When asked, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that Members would be able to take part and vote on the review of Councillors’ Allowances Scheme (minute number 111 refers).

108.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Mayor had no formal announcements to make. He informed Councillors that he intended to take Item 13, the review of the Councillors’ Allowances Scheme, before Item 8, the Leader’s Report, as members of the Independent Remuneration Panel were in attendance and the Chair would be presenting the Panel’s report.

109.

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:

110.

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.

111.

Councillors' Allowances Scheme: Review pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Ryan Hyde, Chair of the Independent Remuneration Panel, presented report which contained a number of recommendations following the Panel’s annual review of the City Council’s Councillors’ Allowances Scheme. It was noted in the report that Council must have due regard to the report and recommendations of the Panel in agreeing a Councillors’ Allowances Scheme for 2021/22.

 

Councillor Wood, seconded by Councillor Black proposed that all of the Panel’s recommendations, as set out in the report, be accepted in making a new scheme for 2021/22. It was noted that this had been a ‘light touch’ review and a full review would be carried out by the Panel before the next elections, which were scheduled for May 2023.

 

The Mayor and Councillors spoke in appreciation of the Panel and asked that their thanks be recorded for the time and effort Panel Members had given to carrying out the review.

 

There were no indications that any Councillor wished to speak or vote against the proposition, therefore the Mayor declared it clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel, set out below, be approved to take effect from 1May 2021:

 

With regard to the Basic Allowance:

 

(1)            That the basic allowance be increased, year on year, in line with Employee Pay Awards, unless the IRP recommends otherwise. Should the IRP recommend otherwise, its recommendation will be put to Council at the appropriate time.

 

With regard to Special Responsibility Allowances:

 

(2)       That the figure of £4,370.70 per annum be recommended to Council as the appropriate allowance for the Licensing Committee Chair;

 

(3)       That £1,000pa be allocated for SRAs for the Council’s Champions to be divided equally between serving Champions up to a cap of £250 each Champion per annum; and

 

(4)        That all SRAs be reassessed during the full review in 2022/23.

 

With regard to Travel Allowances:

 

(5)       That no change be made to the arrangements for travel outside the district and that Councillors be encouraged to use public transport wherever possible.

 

(6)       That the list of approved duties remain as it is currently, without the addition of Champion’s duties.

112.

LEADER'S REPORT pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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

Minutes:

113.

Budget and Policy Framework 2021/22 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Report of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Councillors that, since recommendations (1) and (2) in the report were budget decisions, Rule 19.7 of the Council Procedure Rules would apply. A recorded vote would have to be taken on those issues.

 

Councillor Whitehead, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, presented Cabinet’s final budget proposals to allow Council to complete its revenue budget setting for 2021/22.

 

Councillor Whitehead then proposed:

 

“That recommendations (1) to (4), as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillor Hamilton-Cox seconded the proposition.

 

A lengthy debate followed before the Mayor called for a recorded vote to be taken.

 

The votes were recorded as follows:

 

For the proposition: Councillors Anderson, Bannon, Biddulph, Black, Brookes, Bryning, Cleet, Clifford, Dowding, Evans, Frea, Goodwin, Greenwell, Hamilton-Cox, Hanson, Hartley, Jackson (Caroline), Jenkins, King, Lewis, Mills, O’Dwyer-Henry, Parr, Penny, Pritchard, Redfern, Reynolds, Robinson, Sinclair, Stubbins, Thornberry, Whearty, Whitaker, Whitehead, Wood and Young (36).

Against the proposition: Councillors Austen-Baker, Barber, Budden, Dennison, Duggan, Gardiner, Guilding, Heath, Jackson (Joan), Knight (Geoff), Knight (Sarah), Matthews, Scothern, Whitworth and Yates (15).

Abstentions: Councillors Boyd-Power, Dant, Greenall and Thomas (4).

(Councillor Anderton was offline during the vote).

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the General Fund Revenue Budget of £17.774M for 2021/22 be approved, resulting in a Council Tax Requirement of £9.833M, excluding parish precepts, and a Band D basic City Council tax rate of £236.95.

 

(2)       That the supporting General Fund Revenue Budget proposals be approved, as summarised at Appendices A and B of the report.

 

(3)       That the budget transfer (virements and carry forwards) limits be approved as set out in Appendix D 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 £3.5M (an increase of £1.0M), to provide for added uncertainty.

 

 

 

114.

Housing Revenue Account Budget Framework 2020 to 2025 pdf icon PDF 531 KB

Report of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Councillors that budget decisions would be required in relation to recommendations (1) and (2) of the report. These would require a recorded vote, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19.7 and regulations.

 

Councillor Caroline Jackson presented Cabinet’s final budget proposals in relation to the Housing Revenue Account to enable Council to complete its budget setting for 2021/22 and update its financial strategy to 2025.

 

Councillor Caroline Jackson responded to questions before proposing:

 

“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

The proposition was seconded by Councillor Young. There was a short debate before the Mayor called for a recorded vote.

 

Votes were recorded as follows:

 

For the proposition: Councillors Anderson, Anderton, Bannon, Biddulph, Black, Boyd-Power, Brookes, Bryning, Cleet, Clifford, Dant, Dowding, Evans, Frea, Goodwin, Greenwell, Hamilton-Cox, Hanson, Hartley, Jackson (Caroline), Jenkins, King, Lewis, Matthews, Mills, O’Dwyer-Henry, Parr, Penny, Pritchard, Redfern, Reynolds, Robinson, Sinclair, Stubbins, Thornberry, Whearty, Whitaker, Whitehead, Wood and Young (40).

Against the proposition: Councillors Austen-Baker, Barber, Budden, Duggan, Gardiner, Guilding, Jackson (Joan), Scothern, Whitworth and Yates (10).

Abstentions: Councillors Dennison, Greenall, Heath, Knight (Geoff), Knight (Sarah) and Thomas (6).

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That Cabinet’s recommendation to approve the council housing rent levels for 2021/22, 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 additional budget proposals, as set out at Appendix B of the report, be approved.

 

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

 

(5)        That the minimum level of HRA unallocated balances be retained at £500,000 from 01 April 2021, and that the full Statement on Reserves and Balances, as set out at Appendix D of the report, be approved.

 

(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.

115.

Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2021/22-2024/25 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Report of Cabinet (published 18 February 2021).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehead, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, presented Cabinet’s final budget proposals to enable the Council to approve a General Fund Capital Programme for 2021/22 to 2024/25 and a Capital Strategy 2021/22.

 

Councillor Whitehead responded to questions from Councillors, before proposing:

 

“That the recommendation, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

Councillor Evans seconded the proposition.

 

A lengthy debate followed. At the conclusion of the debate a roll call vote was taken. With 36 voting for the proposition, 17 against and 3 abstentions, the motion was carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)            That the General Fund Capital Programme be approved, as set out at Appendix A of the report, subject to recommendation 2 below.

 

(2)            That the Portfolio Holder for Finance be given delegated authority to update the capital programme and associated documents to reflect the outcome of the current external funding bid.

 

(3)        That the Capital Strategy, at Appendix B of the report, be approved.

 

(The Mayor called for an adjournment at this point, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10. The time was 8.15pm. The meeting re-convened at 8.25pm.)

116.

Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Report of Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The portfolio holder for Finance and Resources, Councillor Whitehead, presented a Cabinet report setting out the 2021/22 Treasury Management framework for Council’s approval.

 

The recommendation, as set out in the report, were proposed by Councillor Whitehead and seconded by Councillor Hamilton-Cox.

 

Debate followed. With 38 Councillors voting ‘for’, 14 ‘against’ and 4 abstentions, the Mayor declared the proposition carried.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted and that the Treasury Management Framework and associated Prudential Indicators, as set out in Appendices A to C of the report, be approved.

 

 

117.

Medium Term Financial Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Report of the Chief Financial Officer (published 20 February 2021).

Minutes:

Council considered a joint report of the Director of Corporate Services and Section 151 Officer providing an update of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2020/21 to 2023/24. The report was for noting.

 

Councillor Whitehead presented the report, which was for noting.

 

Resolved:


That the report be noted.

 

118.

Council Tax 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 503 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer (to follow).

Minutes:

The Mayor referred to the report of the Chief Finance Officer which had been circulated after the main agenda. The report was seeking Council’s approval of the 2021/22 Council tax rates for the district.

 

Approval of the 2021/22 Council tax rates, as set out in the report, was moved by Councillor Whitehead, seconded by Councillor Hartley.

 

There was no debate and a recorded vote was taken in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

 

The votes were recorded as follows:

 

For the proposition: Councillors Anderson, Anderton, Austen-Baker, Bannon, Barber, Biddulph, Black, Boyd-Power, Brookes, Bryning, Budden, Cleet, Clifford, Dant, Dennison, Dowding, Duggan, Evans, Frea, Goodwin, Greenall, Greenwell, Guilding, Hamilton-Cox, Hanson, Hartley, Heath, Jackson (Caroline),  Jenkins, King, Knight (Geoff), Knight (Sarah), Lewis, Matthews, Mills, O’Dwyer-Henry, Parr, Penny, Pritchard, Redfern, Reynolds, Robinson, Scothern, Sinclair, Stubbins, Thomas, Thornberry, Whearty, Whitaker, Whitehead, Whitworth, Wood, Yates and Young (54).

Against the proposition: (0)

Abstentions: Councillors Gardiner and Jackson (Joan) (2).

 

Resolved:

 

 

(1)        That itbe notedthat, underdelegated powersin accordancewith section84 ofthe

Local Government Act 2003, the following amounts have been calculated for the year 2021/22, 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)  41,500.00being theamount ofits counciltax basefor thewhole district[item Tin the formula in section 31B of the Act];

 

(b)  17,061.88being theamount ofits counciltax basefor thenon-parishedpart ofthe district; and

 

(c)

Parish

Tax Base

Parish

Tax Base

Aldcliffe with Stodday

145.66

Nether Kellet

275.58

Arkholme-with-Cawood

170.56

Over Kellet

358.99

Bolton-le-Sands

1,679.65

Over Wyresdale

126.44

Borwick

87.73

Overton

352.82

Burrow-with-Burrow

103.68

Priest Hutton

95.10

Cantsfield

56.49

Quernmore

241.92

Carnforth

1,648.76

Roeburndale

21.27

Caton-with-Littledale

1,104.17

Scotforth

144.59

Claughton

55.29

Silverdale

822.49

Cockerham

276.21

Slyne-with-Hest

1,308.82

Ellel

1,047.58

Tatham

212.98

Gressingham

86.17

Thurnham

235.32

Halton-with-Aughton

      1,060.06

Tunstall

63.73

Heaton-with-Oxcliffe

664.73

Warton

901.04

Hornby-with-Farleton

341.75

Wennington

62.11

Ireby and Leck

111.17

Whittington

159.59

Melling-with-Wrayton

150.21

Wray-with-Botton

213.01

Middleton

207.93

Yealand Conyers

107.317

Morecambe Town Council

9,585.55

Yealand Redmayne

151.66

 

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

 

(2)         Thatin accordancewith section35 ofthe LocalGovernment FinanceAct 1992,it be notedthat thereare noexpenses tobe treatedas theCity Council’sspecial expenses.

 

(3)         That thefollowing amountsbe nowcalculated bythe CityCouncil forthe year2021/22 in accordancewith Sections31 to36 ofthe Act,as amendedby theLocalism Act2011:

 

(a)  £120,026,645.04 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)£109,378,368.00 being the aggregate of  the  amounts  which  the  City  Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act;

 

(c)  £10,648,277.04  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

Appointments to Outside Bodies - Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Report of the Head of Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report to enable Council to make an appointment to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee (LEPJSC). The report requested that Council decide the basis of the appointment and make an appointment at the meeting, if appropriate.

 

Councillor Lewis proposed that the appointment be by nominations and voting at Council. She nominated Councillor Brookes. Councillor Dowding seconded the nomination.

 

No further nominations were received and there were no indications that any Councillor wished to vote against the proposal.

 

The Mayor declared Councillor Brookes appointed to the LEPJSC.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)           That the basis of appointment to the LEPJSC be by nomination and voting at Council; and

 

(2)           That Councillor Brookes be appointed to the LEPJSC for 2021/22.

120.

Executive Arrangements pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of the Director of Corporate Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council noted a report of the Director of Corporate Services, setting out recent changes to Cabinet.

 

The two changes reported were the resignation from Cabinet of Councillor Parr, the portfolio holder for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing. Her portfolio had been taken by Councillor Hartley, newly appointed to Cabinet.

 

The addition of Food Poverty had been made to the areas of responsibility of Councillor Dowding, the portfolio holder for Sustainable Neighbourhoods.

 

The updated list of Cabinet responsibilities is attached to the minutes.

 

Resolved:

 

That the report be noted.

121.

APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES TO COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Group Administrators to report any changes to Committee Membership.  

 

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Councillors that there were no changes to report since the last Council meeting.

122.

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 Rule 12.2 (b). This was a question from Councillor Reynolds to Councillor Brookes.

 

Councillor Reynolds asked:

 

Graffiti and general damage to public property is costly to local councils, how much has this cost Lancaster City Council taxpayers in the last year?

 

Councillor Brookes replied:

 

Removal of graffiti is carried out as part of the street cleansing operation. The net spend on street cleansing is approximately £1.4million / per year. Over the last 12 months we responded to 87 cases on Council assets . We would estimate this cost about £20,000, which equates to roughly 1.5% of the street cleansing budget. 

 

By way of a supplementary question Councillor Reynolds asked :

 

Do you have a message to people who see fit to damage and / or deface public property and what should people do if they witness such acts of vandalism?

 

Councillor Brookes responded:

 

The cleansing team shouldn’t have to clean away graffiti, clear up dog poo, or pick up litter except from the bins provided. Dealing with anti-social behaviours like these takes up valuable Council resources that we could be doing something much more constructive with.

 

If people witness acts of vandalism they should of course report them to the Police and the City Council. Graffiti is an offence and can lead to spot fines or prosecution.

 

But on a wider level prevention is better than a cure. The recent spate of graffiti is likely linked to the current pandemic situation of schools and colleges being closed, and reduced employment opportunities for younger people.

 

It isn’t an excuse for anti-social behaviour, but I think more generally graffiti is also symptomatic of the current lack of funding for youth services, which is largely a function of the County Council, and I believe was one of the earliest casualties of austerity.

123.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To receive the Minutes of Meetings of Cabinet held on 8 December 2020 and 19 January 2021. 

Additional documents:

Minutes: