Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council
Wednesday 29th January, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Allerdale House. View directions

Contact: Gayle Roach  01900 702502

Items
No. Item

319.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 359 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 11 December 2019.

 

Minutes:

Councillor J Farebrother moved an amendment under Minute number 278 to include her request that the Council look to address a gender balance on the membership of the Independent Panel, to which Councillor J Cook agreed.

 

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2019 were agreed subject to the above amendment.

 

320.

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.

Minutes:

None declared.

 

321.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To consider whether there are any items on the agenda for which the press and public should be excluded.

Minutes:

There were no items on the agenda for which the press and public should be excluded.

 

322.

Questions and Petitions

To answer questions under Procedural Rule No. 4.16 from members of the public and from Councillors under Procedural Rule No. 4.17.2 and to receive Petitions under Access to Information Rules.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Semple asked the following question;

 

‘Active participation in team sport has positive benefits to health and social inclusion. In an Olympic year, what is the council's strategy to ensure help is given to communities and groups that need particular support?’

 

Councillor G Kemp responded by saying;

 

‘The Council will be working with Active Cumbria and National Governing Body partners to pull together details of a range of support opportunities from various sources which will be available to clubs who want to raise the profile of their sports and clubs through the Olympic Games, encouraging people to take part in their activities.

Clubs and Groups who want to use the Olympics to showcase their club to the community, offering a package of activity around taster weekends/family sports days, corporate team games etc can also apply to the Allerdale Festival and Events Fund for a small grant.

The leisure centres will also have promotional activities on for adults and young people who want to have a go at sports on offer in their centres, activities like the 10p swims, climbing opportunities, racquet sports will all be available’.

 

 

Councillor Markus Campbell-Savours asked the following;

 

‘Pursuant to my question at previous Council meeting, can the Executive member for Environmental Quality please confirm what the monthly bin collection rates have been achieved for December and January? Is this a percentage increase (improvement) or decrease since the last period?’

 

Councillor G Kemp responded by saying;

 

‘The number of missed bins in December was 303, all but 5 were rectified the following day, the total number of bins missed up until 24 January was 252, all but 1 was rectified the following day. Overall this represents a percentage decrease since the last period’.

 

Councillor M Campbell-Savours asked a supplementary question;

 

‘Despite the fact that the new contract was designed to collect less bins as part of the design for the service is it true that FCC are actually using more vehicles to deliver less?’

 

Councillor G Kemp responded to say he was not aware of the figures and agreed to provide a written response following the meeting.

 

323.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 647 KB

1.  Councillor Janet Farebrother submitted the following Motion –

 

‘This council notes

Though slavery was abolished in the UK in 1833, there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggest that there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery across the world, with nearly 25 million held in forced labour.

There were 3805 victims of modern slavery identified in the UK in 2016. A rising number but still well below the 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims estimated by the Home Office.

Modern Slavery is happening nationwide. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. This can include sexual and criminal exploitation.

 

This council believes

That action needs to be taken to raise awareness of modern slavery and the fact that it is happening all over the UK.

That the current support for victims is not sufficient and needs to go beyond the 45 days they are currently given by the government.

That councils have an important role to play in ensuring their contracts and supplies don’t contribute to modern day slavery and exploitation.

 

This council resolves

To adopt the Co-operative Party’s Charter against Modern Slavery to ensure our procurement practices don’t support slavery.

 

Charter Against Modern Slavery

 

Allerdale Borough Council will:

 

1.  Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern

slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply (or similar course from an alternate training provider).

2.  Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery

Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance.

3.  Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do

not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

4.  Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join

a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

5.  Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle

on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

6.  Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing

policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

7.  Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any

potential issues with modern slavery.

8.  Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern

slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

9.  Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national

referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

10.  Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually’.     

 

2.  Councillor Peter Little submitted the following Motion –

 

‘Over recent times I have witnessed an increase in homelessness in Allerdale. Many people find themselves homeless due to a number of factors – the breakdown of a marriage, ex-service personnel struggling to adapt to civilian life, financial burdens. These are the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 323.

Minutes:

  1. Councillor Janet Farebrother submitted the following Motion –

 

‘This council notes

Though slavery was abolished in the UK in 1833, there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggest that there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery across the world, with nearly 25 million held in forced labour.

There were 3805 victims of modern slavery identified in the UK in 2016. A rising number but still well below the 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims estimated by the Home Office.

Modern Slavery is happening nationwide. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. This can include sexual and criminal exploitation.

 

This council believes

That action needs to be taken to raise awareness of modern slavery and the fact that it is happening all over the UK.

That the current support for victims is not sufficient and needs to go beyond the 45 days they are currently given by the government.

That councils have an important role to play in ensuring their contracts and supplies don’t contribute to modern day slavery and exploitation.

 

This council resolves

To adopt the Co-operative Party’s Charter against Modern Slavery to ensure our procurement practices don’t support slavery.

 

Charter Against Modern Slavery

 

Allerdale Borough Council will:

 

1.  Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern

slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply (or similar course from an alternate training provider).

2.  Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery

Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance.

3.  Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do

not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.

4.  Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join

a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.

5.  Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle

on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

6.  Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing

policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.

7.  Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any

potential issues with modern slavery.

8.  Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern

slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.

9.  Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency’s national

referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.

10.  Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually’.     

 

Councillor J Farebrother moved the motion and said since she had submitted the motion she’d noticed a heightened awareness of modern slavery in the press, it was reported in the recent local press that modern slavery was on the rise in Cumbria and the police had received 111 more intelligence reports than the previous year.  She continued, the Co-operative party had brought the Charter forward because it was inspired by the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to compliment and fill in some of the gaps.

 

This was seconded by Councillor A Smith.

 

Councillor M Johnson proposed an amendment to the motion which was tabled at the meeting (as attached). Councillor Johnson said he had confidence in this Councils procurement practices including the work we already do with other responsible authorities through the multi-agency hub on the issue and that the Procurement team were in the process of drafting a refresh of the Commissioning and Procurement Strategy for 2020-23.

 

This was seconded by Councillor M Fitzgerald.

 

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 7.21pm for 5 minutes to allow members time to read the amendment.

 

Councillor A Semple said the amendment took out the reference to training staff, training is ongoing, why would you take out the requirement to continue to develop the staff around modern slavery.

 

Councillor A Pitcher said he agreed with the amendment as it brings it back in to Allerdale’s power, something that Allerdale can do rather than have it as Government policy.

 

Councillor M Heaslip said he didn’t understand the need to take out the reference to the current support to victims not being enough, he said surely we want to see further support to the victims of modern slavery.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald said she commended the original motion, the reason they felt an amendment was appropriate was to make it fit better to Allerdale and what’s already happened here. With reference to the 45 days, she said the feeling was that sometimes it isn’t sufficient, sometimes it’s a little too much and sometimes it’s about right so we wanted to leave that open, each case was different.

 

In her right of reply Councillor J Farebrother said she was disappointed there had been amendments to the Charter as many Council’s across the Country had already adopted the motion in its entirety.

Councillor Farebrother said as detailed in the portfolio holder report a Strategic Commissioning and Procurement Strategy was being refreshed for a revised launch in April 2020, which would support the Charter and not replace it.

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion; 27 in favour, 10 against and 1 abstention. The motion was carried.

 

 

A vote was taken on the motion; it was unanimous 38 in favour. The motion was carried.

 

 

  1. Councillor Peter Little submitted the following Motion –

 

‘Over recent times I have witnessed an increase in homelessness in Allerdale. Many people find themselves homeless due to a number of factors – the breakdown of a marriage, ex-service personnel struggling to adapt to civilian life, financial burdens. These are the harsh realities we face nationally, and I personally find it upsetting that homelessness is reaching crisis point.

 

I must commend the Homelessness Team here at Allerdale Borough Council for their dedicated work ethic and welcome the recent news that local churches are looking for volunteers to help run a new night shelter in Workington (for which I have volunteered myself).

However, given that we strive to be a Great Place to Live, Work and Visit I feel it is our duty to support those less fortunate and ensure they are a part of Allerdale’s ambitions. In light of this, I therefore call upon you to support this motion in that:

 

-  Allerdale Borough Council continues to have a cohesive relationship with homeless charities and organisations throughout the Borough, County and indeed nationally

-  We ask Central Government to continue to review their legislation and to increase finances and raise awareness of homelessness numbers increasing

-  Fellow councillors be encouraged to pledge their support to the Diocese of Carlisle and the night shelter in Workington’

 

This was seconded by Councillor S Stoddart.

 

Councillor A Semple said it was a complete disgrace that we have this issue locally. He said the elephant in the room was the Government and moved an amendment to the motion;

 

‘We ask Central Government to give this problem the attention it deserves - appoint a special Minister for homeless intervention and provide local government with the resources required to tackle this issue’.

 

This was seconded by Councillor A Smith.

 

Councillor C McCarron-Holmes commented that offenders leaving custody are 50% more likely to reoffend which in turn causes lots of homelessness. There has to be some clear and constructive mechanisms to assist all groups and the Government needs its strategies long term to bring the figures down. She said she was in support of the amendment.

 

Councillor S Stoddart said as Portfolio Holder for housing options I welcome this motion. Cumbria has just been allocated over £400k as part of the rough sleeping initiative by central Government. We continue to work with our homeless partners, charities and Government to help reduce homelessness across Allerdale. 

 

Councillor J Farebrother was in support of the amendment and said unless the Government had a long term strategy and recognises the extent of the problem she could not see the problem going away.

 

Councillor A Smith said the issue hasn’t just come about, it has been increasing over the past 9 years of Conservative Government austerity, they have cut and cut and cut and its why this Council is in this position now. He said the amendment calls upon the Government to get its act together and sort this problem out.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald said she was looking to Councillor P Little for a nod on whether he agreed with the amendment which she said basically takes what you have said and turns it in to something rather stronger in terms of asking central Government for their long term strategy. She said I think we all agree that more needs to be done and we do need a long term strategy.

 

Councillor M Johnson rose to support the original motion.

 

Councillor M Campbell-Savours said the original motion quite rightly praises what’s been done in the third sector to support this issue however he continued, if you speak to those who work in that sector they will tell you the actions of the Government since 2010 looking at topics such as Universal Credit and the bedroom tax we cannot deny that that hasn’t been an issue.

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion; 35 in favour, 0 against and 3 abstentions. The motion was carried.

 

Councillor A Pitcher moved an amendment to include ‘and dealing with PTSD’ in the first paragraph as follows;

 

 

‘Many people find themselves homeless due to a number of factors – the breakdown of a marriage, ex-service personnel struggling to adapt to civilian life and dealing with PTSD, financial burdens’.

 

Councillor Pitcher said it was a modern day issue and there’s a lot of ex-service men out there who are homeless due to PTSD.

 

This was seconded by Councillor T Markley.

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion; 38 in favour the vote was unanimous. The motion was carried.

 

A vote was taken on the motion; it was unanimous 38 in favour. The motion was carried.

 

 

The Mayor moved to extend the time on the agenda item for a further 15 minutes.

 

 

  1. Councillor Alan Smith submitted the following Motion –

 

This Council notes with interest the proposed review of A&E provision at the West Cumberland Hospital and wishes to highlight to the Trust the importance of involving the Council in this review and asks the Chief Executive, or his representative, to contact the Trust Chief Executive direct to ensure meaningful engagement’.

 

In moving the motion Councillor Smith said when I hear the word review from the Health Trust I become worried. Allerdale does not have a major hospital in our Borough, we rely on Carlisle and Whitehaven, and at present the A&E services are at stretching point. He continued, I remember the closer to home review about 6 years ago and the review of cottage hospitals. When we aren’t involved in these consultations we become at risk. Councillor Smith said this is not a political motion, it is for everyone in this room to realise that we could be at risk from this review.

 

This was seconded by Councillor J Farebrother.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald said she was in support of the motion but moved to amend it slightly to read ‘to remain in contact with the Trust Chief Executive direct to ensure meaningful engagement’.

 

Councillor Fitzgerald said the Councils Acting Chief Executive had already spoken to Prof John Howarth, Deputy Chief Executive and he has confirmed that their CEO is committed to 24/7 provision of A&E at West Cumberland Hospital and the Trust is committed to the outcome of the public consultation made in March 2017 for a 24/7 A&E provision at West Cumberland Hospital.

They do have some forthcoming staffing challenges and so are embarking upon an ambitious recruitment plan to attract more medics to work in the area. Innovative recruitment plans have been developed for medics to come and work in West Cumbria offering opportunities across the critical care pathway. Their recruitment and senior leadership team in A&E are working to develop posts across the critical care pathway that offer experiences and opportunities that other Trusts can’t. 

Next month the trust is launching engagement activities to understand priorities of the community for the £33m capital investment that has been secured for the next phase of the West Cumberland Hospital redevelopment. This is a significant investment that will enable the trust to deliver high quality modern health care services for the residents of West Cumbria.

 

 

Councillor A Smith accepted the amendment and it therefore became the substantive motion on the floor.

 

Councillor A Pitcher said he was in full support of the motion, the Council needed to keep in touch with this Trust.

 

A vote was taken on the motion; it was unanimous 38 in favour. The motion was carried.

 

Councillor T Annison left the meeting

324.

Councillor Speeches

To hear speeches (not exceeding 5 minutes each), for up to a specified period of 15 minutes, from individual members on a local issue in the Member’s Ward, of which 24 hours’ notice has been given to the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

None received.

 

325.

Announcements from the Mayor, Leader or Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor made reference to the engagements she and the Deputy Mayor had undertaken since the last Council meeting held on 11 December 2019.

 

 

The Leader of the Council announced changes to the Executive, hard copy documents outlining changes to the portfolio responsibilities were tabled at the meeting.

The Leader welcomed Councillor Jim Lister as the new Executive member for Finance and Legal and confirmed Councillor Mike Johnson as Deputy Leader of the Council following Councillor Mark Jenkinson stepping down from the position following the General election on 11 December 2019.

 

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 8.06pm

The Mayor re-opened the meeting at 8.16pm

326.

Portfolio Holder Updates pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Minutes:

Councillor M Fitzgerald, Leader of the Council, presented the Portfolio Holders update report.

 

Questions were asked around tree planting in the borough, Neighbourhood Plans for Town and Parish Councils, Devolution, progress on the LATCo (Local Authority Trading Company) for Waste, progress on the Housing Company and the community stadium.

 

With reference to the Strategic Commissioning and Procurement Strategy due to be re-launched in April 2020, Councillor J Farebrother asked if an update could be provided on how many training courses do take place with regards to modern slavery and human trafficking.

Councillor P Scott agreed to provide an update.

 

327.

Executive Minutes pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To note the contents of the minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 27 November and 2 December 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive meetings held on 27 November and 2 December 2019 were noted.

 

328.

Calculation of Council Tax Base 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M Johnson moved the recommendations. This was seconded by Councillor M Fitzgerald.

 

A vote was taken, 37 in favour, the vote was unanimous. The motion was carried.

 

Resolved – That –

 

a)  The calculation of the Authority’s Council Tax Base for the financial year 2020-21, as set out in the Appendices to the report, be approved

 

b)  In accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated as its Council Tax Base for the whole area for 2020-21, totalling 30,905.23 (Band D equivalent properties), be approved

 

c)  The major precepting authorities (Cumbria County Council and the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cumbria) be notified of the Council Tax Base for the purpose of calculating the basic amount of its council tax

 

d)  The tax base of 30,905.23 be used by Allerdale Borough Council for the purpose of calculating the basic amount of council tax in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended).

 

Councillor V Hodgson left the meeting

329.

Members Allowances 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Cook moved the recommendations in the report from the Independent Panel for Councillors Allowances. This was seconded by Councillor S Stoddart.

 

Councillor W Wilkinson said that when he stood to be elected in May 2019 a promise had been made to ‘deliver more for less’, he continued that the recommendations from the Independent Panel did not paint a good picture to the electorate and therefore moved an amendment to the motion not to accept a £100 increase to the basic allowances and that the Members Allowances Scheme remains as that in 2019.

This was seconded by Councillor S Stoddart.

 

There was a full and frank debate on the motion in the Chamber.

 

Councillor W Wilkinson requested a recorded vote. A vote was taken on the request for a recorded vote, which was approved.

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion, 23 in favour, 12 against and 1 abstention. The motion was carried.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the Motion, viz. –

 

In favour:

 

Councillors C Bell, H Briggs, N Cockburn, J Cook, M Fitzgerald, P Gaston, M Grainger, I Greaney, J Holliday, D Horsley, M Johnson, G Kemp, J King, A Kirkbride, P Little, A Markley, R Munby, A Pitcher, B Sansom, P Scott, S Stoddart, A Tyson, W Wilkinson and L Williams.

 

Against:

 

Councillor J Farebrother.

 

Abstentions:

 

Councillors M Bainbridge, M Campbell-Savours, J Crouch, H Harrington, M Heaslip, P Kendall, J Lister, E Lynch, C McCarron-Holmes, A Semple and A Smith.

 

The vote was 24 in favour, 1 against and 11 abstentions. The motion was carried.

 

Resolved – That –

 

a)  The recommendations and report of the Independent Panel not be endorsed, and members forgo an increase to the basic  allowances for the forthcoming year

 

b)  The Members Allowances Scheme 2020/21 be approved with allowances frozen at existing levels.

 

330.

Report from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Minutes:

Councillor I Greaney moved an update report from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Council to note.

 

Resolved – That the report be noted.