Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council - Wednesday 27th January, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Zoom Virtual Meeting

Contact: Gayle Roach  01900 702502

Link: View Meeting (Allerdale BC YouTube Channel)

Items
No. Item

282.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To agree as a correct record the minutes of the Council meetings held on 23 November and 9 December 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 23 November and 9 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

 

283.

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:

6.  Notices of Motion.

Councillor John Cook; Disclosable Pecuniary Interest; Due to private business having contractual arrangements with GLL.

 

284.

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.

 

285.

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:

None received.

 

286.

Notices of Motion

1.  Debate on the following motion was adjourned until the next meeting of Council under procedure rule 4.20.10 paragraph e), at the Council meeting on 9 December 2020 -

 

‘Given the current situation we all find ourselves in, recognising the public sector pay freeze for those on over £24,000 plus those working in the NHS, and not forgetting there is a consultation from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on MPs pay, this council resolves to ask the government and IPSA to freeze MP’s pay to show respect to all public sector employees.

Currently the private sector is in pain, people are losing their jobs, shops are closing and businesses are going into administration, we need to be aware of this in any debate, especially when you think most people in different walks of life, private and public have suffered and it’ll be this way for a while yet’.

 

 

2.  The following motion was submitted by Councillor George Kemp –

 

‘In our last full council meeting I raised concerns around our leisure centre facilities and concerns regarding Greenwich Leisure Ltd. It has now been featured in national media and is being talked about within the public domain that GLL, like others, have financial and operational problems. A recent article in the Guardian provided that the operator ‘is being bailed out by cash strapped local authorities in every area it operates as it struggles with the latest lockdown.’ 

The article then goes on to state that ‘Its chief executive, Mark Sesnan, warns that the lockdown has come at the worst time possible for a business built on new year’s fitness resolutions. He also fears the government help will not be enough to stop pools and sport centres closing for good. Various local bailouts have been secured in more than 40 of these areas, involving either direct grants, or deferred payments or loans, he said.’

Allerdale have already supported this company with a £40,000 grant to help mitigate the financial impact of the close of leisure facilities due to COVID 19 and paid in full their operational invoices even when centres are closed and their staff furloughed.

 

Allerdale Waste Services came from a decision made by an Independent-Conservative coalition council and we are still hearing about the success of this venture. One of our key considerations through introducing AWS was ensuring the work force received a living wage and not minimum wage, full time contracts and not zero hour contracts and Allerdale residents would benefit. I'm asking this executive looked at a similar plan for our leisure centres, it’s time to move this council forward and quickly develop a plan to bring our leisure centres back in house.

 

I move Council request Executive to consider an options appraisal to ensure that this Council has the most effective arrangements in place for the provision of leisure services for the benefit of the Allerdale community’.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Alan Pitcher requested to withdraw his motion, adjourned at the previous meeting of Council on 9 December 2020, as the passage of time had rendered it unnecessary.

With the consent of the Council the motion was withdrawn.

 

Councillor J Cook left the meeting for the following Motion.

 

 

Councillor George Kemp submitted the following motion –

 

‘I move Council request Executive to consider an options appraisal to ensure that this Council has the most effective arrangements in place for the provision of leisure services for the benefit of the Allerdale community’.

 

In moving his motion Councillor Kemp said;

 

‘In our last full council meeting I raised concerns around our leisure centre facilities and concerns regarding Greenwich Leisure Ltd. It has now been featured in national media and is being talked about within the public domain that GLL, like others, have financial and operational problems. A recent article in the Guardian provided that the operator ‘is being bailed out by cash strapped local authorities in every area it operates as it struggles with the latest lockdown.’ 

The article then goes on to state that ‘Its chief executive, Mark Sesnan, warns that the lockdown has come at the worst time possible for a business built on new year’s fitness resolutions. He also fears the government help will not be enough to stop pools and sport centres closing for good. Various local bailouts have been secured in more than 40 of these areas, involving either direct grants, or deferred payments or loans, he said.’

Allerdale have already supported this company with a £40,000 grant to help mitigate the financial impact of the close of leisure facilities due to COVID 19 and paid in full their operational invoices even when centres are closed and their staff furloughed.

Allerdale Waste Services came from a decision made by an Independent-Conservative coalition council and we are still hearing about the success of this venture. One of our key considerations through introducing AWS was ensuring the work force received a living wage and not minimum wage, full time contracts and not zero hour contracts and Allerdale residents would benefit. I'm asking this executive looked at a similar plan for our leisure centres, it’s time to move this council forward and quickly develop a plan to bring our leisure centres back in house’.

 

This was seconded by Councillor H Briggs.

 

Councillor C Armstrong said she felt it important for Allerdale to control all of its leisure centres and was in support of the motion.

 

Councillor J King was in support of the motion. She said many business were struggling in these Covid times not just the big national businesses, and it was the Governments responsibility to provide assistance to businesses at this time.

 

Councillor W Wilkinson commented that due to the current high number of cases of Covid the leisure centres were likely to stay closed, he was fully in support of the motion.

 

Councillor M Johnson said, the motion has raised some interesting points and served as a reminder there are still some big decisions to be made about the future of our leisure services in the coming years. Councillor Johnson moved an amendment to the motion to read as follows;

 

‘I move Council request Executive to consider an options appraisal to ensure that this Council has the most effective arrangements in place for the provision of leisure services for the benefit of the Allerdale community and that this activity is specifically included within the Council Delivery Plan for 2021/22, performance is reported to members in the quarterly performance updates and reports to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in line with the Strategic Commissioning and Procurement Strategy.’

 

This was seconded by Councillor O Martin.

 

Councillor I Greaney said there was not enough time to be looking at this option, that contingencies should be put in place to ensure that the leisure centres could continue to run if GLL was to cease. Councillor Greaney said the situation was a matter of urgency and felt that the amendment would draw out the process however; he would be supportive if a guarantee be given to its priority. 

 

As Portfolio Holder, Councillor T Markley explained the Council was currently in a contract with GLL to manage leisure facilities for Allerdale until 2024. Councillor Markley provided assurance that council officers would continue to work alongside GLL to open the facilities in a safe and appropriate manner when the pandemic was concluded. He said the administration would explore all options responsibly to ensure Allerdale residents received the best effective and efficient deal available to manage leisure facilities.

 

Councillor A Pitcher said the Council should not rush in to a deal or look to break a contract as it would financially be in trouble. He agreed that contingency plans should be looked at and was in support of the motion.

 

Councillor P Scott said it was about making sure the Council was in a position to pick up the leisure facilities if anything should happen now, but said it was also about having a longer term plan, linking in with our communities at grassroots level such as local sports clubs and gyms.

 

Councillor O Martin made reference to different quotes within the article referred to in Councillor Kemps introductory speech, which detailed GLLs confidence in remaining strong in spite of the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

 

Councillor M Grainger said he agreed with both the original motion and the amendment and felt that both together should work well.

 

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion, 40 in favour, 0 against and 1 abstention.

The motion was carried.

 

The motion was opened for debate.

 

Councillor M Heaslip said, every leisure in the country has been shut for months despite who runs it, providers are on their knees they have lost fortunes. It would have cost the Council much more than £40k if it had been in-house we would have been responsible for all the losses. We need to be careful in thinking we can run it more cheaply and professionally than they can who run the not for profit business right across the country.

 

Councillor I Greaney reiterated his point on urgency.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald said the contingency plan was to carry out an options appraisal now in preparation for when the contract ended, or sooner if necessary, in 2024.

 

In his right of reply Councillor M Johnson said, the Executive welcome the discussion on how we might provide leisure facilities to our residents in the future. We are committed to ensuring that Allerdale pursues value for money and continuous improvement for our services, we have a forward thinking and long term strategic approach to procurement and commissioning activities that support the council strategy priorities. We will undertake a comprehensive appraisal of leisure services to include consultation, gathering data, benchmarking and considering all options with the objective of providing the best possible services to our communities. We will have contingency plans in place should the worst happen for GLL.

 

A vote was taken, 41 in favour, the vote was unanimous.

The motion was carried.

 

Councillor J Cook re-joined the meeting

287.

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.

 

288.

Announcements from the Mayor, Leader or Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Minutes:

The Mayor made reference to her engagements since the previous meeting.

 

Councillor Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of the Council acknowledged the announcement made on 26 December 2020 regarding the allocation of £11.5m to Maryport through the Future High Street Fund which he said, would pave the way for significant investment in Maryport. Councillor Johnson said, I am really excited for the projects this will enable us to progress, and whilst there is still a lot of work to do I’m sure members will join me in congratulating the Chief Executive, Programme Director for Maryport and the rest of the team for all their hard work in getting us this far.

 

289.

Portfolio Holder Updates pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M Johnson, Deputy Leader of the Council presented the Portfolio Holders Update report.

 

Questions were asked on Workington regeneration, in particular the future of the Debenhams store, homelessness, Covid Street Marshals, Gypsy and Travellers, replacement bin lids, the reopening of leisure centres, public toilets and the Maryport Future High Street project.

 

With regards to the Food and Occupation Health team Councillor M Heaslip asked how much time were the Environmental Health Officers now spending on certifying exports to the EU since we left the single market on 1 January 2021.

Councillor J Lister agreed it would be looked in to.

 

290.

Executive Minutes pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To note the contents of the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 25 November 2020.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive meeting held on 25 November 2020 were noted.

 

291.

Calculation of Council Tax Base 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 408 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Lister moved the report and the recommendations. This was seconded by Councillor M Johnson.

 

A vote was taken, 41 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 2021-22, 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 2021-22, totalling 30,889.76 (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 30,889.76 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).

 

292.

Members Allowances 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor M Fitzgerald introduced the report from the Independent Panel for Councillors Allowances which recommended an increase to the Basic Allowance of £100. The Mayor opened the item for debate.

 

Councillor A Smith said the pandemic over the last twelve months had created a dire situation for certain members of our society and asked that members forego the increase to their allowance and moved that the Members Allowance Scheme 2021/22 be approved without the £100 increase to the Basic Allowance.

 

As a further comment Councillor A Smith asked that the Portfolio Holder for Policy, Governance and People Resources and the Deputy Leader work with officers in submitting a budget bid for the £4,900 to be used for community purposes such as the Foodbank Kings Church and Fareshare to be included in the 2021/22 budget for approval by all Members at the March Council meeting. He said he would also like them to consider including any potential underspend in the Democratic Services (Members) Budget in this community budget.

 

This was seconded by Councillor W Wilkinson, who highlighted he moved a motion this time last year for members to reject an increase to their allowances. Councillor Wilkinson said people out there were suffering due to the pandemic, some have lost jobs and members should not be getting an increase.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald agreed to ask officers to consider the suggestion made by Councillor A Smith as part of the budget process.

 

A vote was taken, 41 in favour, the vote was unanimous.

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  Allowance for the forthcoming year

 

b)  The Members Allowances Scheme 2021/22 be approved with allowances frozen at existing levels.

 

293.

Report from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Minutes:

Councillor M Heaslip, Co-chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee moved an update report for Council to note and provided a verbal update on the Committees work plan.