Venue: Zoom Virtual Meeting
Contact: Ian Hinde 01900 702544
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2021
The minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2021 were signed as a correct record.
Declaration of Interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
To answer questions from members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm on a working day, allowing two clear working days before the day of the meeting.
To hear representations from members of the public on items which appear on the agenda – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting.
Update on Workington and Maryport programmes and next steps
The Programme Director (Workington) provided an update on the Workington programme.
As part of the Town Deal process, the Workington Town investment plan was submitted to government on 30 October 2020. Workington was then chosen as one of the forty-five successful towns and was provided with a head of terms offer on 03 March 2021. Agreement to the Head of Terms offer was required to be returned to government by 24 March 2021, this was submitted and agreed by the Town Deal board and the council via a delegated leader decision.
The head of terms offer is for £23.1 million of funding and five of the six priority projects have been identified as within scope.
The projects within scope are;
· Port of Workington – Logistics and Energy hub
· Workington Innovation Centre and Entrepreneurship programme
· Town Centre improvement project
· Sports Village
· Workington Digital Accelerator Programme (acquisition of high end computing equipment to enhance digital skills)
The project that wasn’t included in the offer was the Opera House project. The Council has however entered into an agreement to acquire and clear the site using part of the £750k received as part of the Town Deal accelerated funding award. The remaining funds are being used for public realm improvements to the underpass access to the Cloffocks Car park and for the development of an outdoor gym at the Leisure Centre.
Members were then advised of the next steps of the process. Within 2 months the Council has to submit further details to the MHCLG, this includes;
· Details of projects to take forward
· Financial profile for the Town Deal
· Plans to address key conditions
Within the next 12 months the Council is required to submit the relevant business cases and the Town Deal summary document.
In relation to the approval process, the Council is the accountable body for the Town Deal and business cases will follow the usual assurance processes in conjunction with the Town Deal board.
Members then asked questions relating to governance/scrutiny of the projects, public engagement, project accountability and project management of the Sports Village.
The Chair also agreed that the Workington Town Deal will be put onto the Work Programme for 21/22.
The Project Manager for Maryport then provided an update on the Maryport programme.
Members were provided with a timeline of the actions to date. The Council submitted expression of interest bids for Maryport to the both the Future High Street Fund and to historic England. Both bids were successful, approx. £11.5 million was awarded as part of the Future High Street bid and £600k from Historic England.
As the initial bid to the Future High Street fund was for £16.5 million, some of the proposed plans had to be scaled down, following discussions with the key stakeholders six key projects have been agreed on in principle,
· Conversion of Carlton Cinema
· Empire Yard
· The Wave – E-Bike Hub and Public Pool
· Christchurch – Conversion into Museum
· Scaled down Public Realm improvements to Senhouse Street and Curzon Street
· Grant Scheme ... view the full minutes text for item 384.
Local Government Reorganisation - discussion of the Council's response to the Government consultation
The Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy, Policy and Performance) provided an update to members.
Members were reminded of the background to the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) proposals.
On 09 October 2020 the council received letter asking for proposals on LGR. The Council submitted their proposal which had to be submitted by 09 December 2020, all Cumbrian Authorities had to complete the same task.
This led to four submitted proposals, they were
· A single Unitary Authority for Cumbria
· North/South Split
· East/West Split (Allerdale’s submitted proposal)
· Cumbria and Morecambe Bay
The secretary of state formally launched consultation on all of the four proposals, which closes on 19 April 2021.
The Council is encouraging residents and stakeholders to complete the consultations; however, Council resources can not be used to campaign on any specific proposal. The Council also has the details of all four proposals on its website
The next steps are to prepare the Councils submission and officers are looking at all aspects of each bid. A draft response will be prepared on behalf of the Council by 01 April 2021 and this will be a leader decision.
The LGR cross party working group and members workshops will continue to be held to receive comment and feedback from members.
After the 19 April 2021, government will consider all proposals and make a decision.
Councillor Johnson (Executive Member: Economic Growth, Community Development and Placemaking) was also in attendance at the meeting to answer questions from members.
Members asked questions in relation to the Councils preferred proposal, and whether local authorities can ‘veto’ any decision made by government. Officers confirmed that the decision of the Secretary of State is final.
Members also debated elected Mayors with Councillor Johnson confirming that elected Mayors are eligible for increased funding from the government.
Councillor Johnson also confirmed that all Cumbrian MPs and local authorities do not support a single unitary authority for Cumbria.
a) Liaison with Audit Committee
b) New advice from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny
a) Liaison with Audit Committee
The chair provided an update of liaising with the Audit Committee but another meeting has not been held since the report to committee last month.
The Audit committee will follow up on the recommendations made from the Procurement Task and Finish Group.
b) New advice from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny
The Chair referred to the ‘The Governance, Risk and Resilience Framework’ Report from the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.
The report provides a helpful framework around the work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the relationship to officers and the Audit Committee.
Councillor Grainger as Chair of Members Development Group agreed that the report is useful and will distribute to all members of the Council.
Members noted the contents of the update
Update report from Response to the Pandemic Task and Finish Group
The Chair provided an update to members, the group has looked at the impact of the Pandemic on Families and the impact on poverty, children and communities.
Recently the group has been working on the impact on the Council, and the operating model for the Council, including staff training and development and
potential impacts arising from home working.
A further update will be provided in future meetings.
Councillor McCarron-Holmes requested that the group look at the Marmot Review, the National Institute for Health Protection, and the impact of the government white paper on future health and care priorities. The Chair agreed to add these items onto the Pandemic Task and Finish Group Work programme.
Update report from the Budget Task and Finish Group
The Chair provided an update, advising that the group looked at how the budget is put together, including reducing the budget gaps.
The group were satisfied that the process was undertaken in a sound and robust way and a balanced budget had been produced.
The group advised that they would begin this process for the 2022/23 budget in approx. 6 months’ time.
The Policy Officer (Scrutiny and Partnerships) advised members of changes to the forward plan since agenda publication;
· The Allerdale Economic Strategy and Workington Investment plan have been moved to the Executive Committee meeting on 12 May 2021
· Revised Climate Change Action Plan is due to go to the 21 April 2021 meeting of the Executive Committee
· Two new items have been added to the 12 May 2021 meeting of the Executive Committee;
o Hybrid Mail Procurement
o New contract for Regulatory Service, and Built Environment applications
Members noted the contents of the forward plan
The Chair advised that members of external scrutiny bodies will be invited to attend the meeting on 23 April 2021, to answer questions from the committee. The Chair then provided a draft of suggested questions for ask the members, and these were circulated to members for comment.
The Chair also requested that the Committee reviews the annual reports from members of outside bodies, this will be added as an agenda item to the next meeting.
Members discussed the Work Programme for 2021/22, all members of the Council will be canvassed for suggestions and this will be discussed in detail at the next meeting.
Members noted the contents of the Work Programme for 2020/21.