Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday 16th September, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Zoom Virtual Meeting

Contact: Gayle Roach  01900 702502

Link: View Meeting (Allerdale BC YouTube Channel)

Items
No. Item

124.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To agree as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 22 July 2020.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

 

125.

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.

 

126.

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.

 

127.

Questions and Petitions

The following question was submitted by Mr John Quinn -

 

‘What are the possibilities of the updating of the now mostly defunct lighting system on the HUB artwork/sculpture based in the Washington Square shopping centre Workington, Cumbria.

 

The Lamp system on the HUB is a series of 8 lamps which produce a wonderful display of various colour patterns that colour the area around it.

The last time I checked the system for working lamps was around 6 months ago. All but 2 of the lamps had ceased working. When the checks to the HUB Sculpture were being carried out it was noted that the system of lamps was in need of replacement.

Property Services at the council had a survey done of the lamps and had costed an LED replacement system. As far as I can make out, from the limited information available to me, it was deemed that the cost of the replacing the old lighting system, which has been there since around 2006, with a new LED system was deemed to be too costly.

 

The HUB Artwork is now an instantly recognisable feature of the Washington Square Shopping Centre, and therefore Workington as a whole. Surely a great asset for Workington and the area as a whole.

To upgrade the coloured lighting system on what is a great asset for the Town, and any money spent on the HUB is surely money well spent, to help ensure the success of the town and surrounding areas.

My interest in this subject is that I am owner and admin of the Workington, Cumbria Facebook group on the World wide web, whose membership is about to exceed  4000. I feel that the renewal of the lamp system would be a great aid to me in carrying out my goal of promoting Workington to the World. The Workington, Cumbria Facebook group has members from many parts of the World and the HUB sound and lighting system deserves to be shown off as what Workington has to offer’.

Minutes:

Four questions were received -

 

  1. Mr John Quinn submitted the following question for Councillor Mike Johnson - 

 

‘What are the possibilities of the updating of the now mostly defunct lighting system on the HUB artwork/sculpture based in the Washington Square shopping centre Workington, Cumbria.

The Lamp system on the HUB is a series of 8 lamps which produce a wonderful display of various colour patterns that colour the area around it.

The last time I checked the system for working lamps was around 6 months ago. All but 2 of the lamps had ceased working. When the checks to the HUB Sculpture were being carried out it was noted that the system of lamps was in need of replacement.

Property Services at the council had a survey done of the lamps and had costed an LED replacement system. As far as I can make out, from the limited information available to me, it was deemed that the cost of the replacing the old lighting system, which has been there since around 2006, with a new LED system was deemed to be too costly.

The HUB Artwork is now an instantly recognisable feature of the Washington Square Shopping Centre, and therefore Workington as a whole. Surely a great asset for Workington and the area as a whole.

To upgrade the coloured lighting system on what is a great asset for the Town, and any money spent on the HUB is surely money well spent, to help ensure the success of the town and surrounding areas.

My interest in this subject is that I am owner and admin of the Workington, Cumbria  group on the World wide web, whose membership is about to exceed 4000. I feel that the renewal of the lamp system would be a great aid to me in carrying out my goal of promoting Workington to the World. The Workington, Cumbria Facebook group has members from many parts of the World and the HUB sound and lighting system deserves to be shown off as what Workington has to offer’

 

Councillor M Johnson responded to say -

 

‘I am aware that that the lighting system at the hub is not currently fully working. I understand that due to the age of the technology within the hub it is no longer possible to source replacement bulbs and other parts and it is would therefore be necessary to replace the entire lighting system. Due to ongoing pressures on local authority finances and the need to prioritise expenditure, we have been unable to fund the replacement of the lighting system. I recognise that a working lighting system would enhance this prominent feature within the town centre and we will continue to explore whether there are funding sources we may be able to access to allow us to replace the lighting system in the future’.

 

 

  1. Councillor A Daniels submitted the following question for Councillor T Markley -

 

‘Now that cash payments have been restored for our parking meters in our car parks, can I be assured that this will become permanent, as I have heard persistent rumours that there are plans to return to cashless meters. This will impact the segment of the population who do not have smart phones or credit cards. Further to this, the technology for using phones and cards to pay is not fit for purpose and totally unreliable, one only has to walk through one of our car parks to find a queue of bewildered and frustrated people trying to make payment. Recently a carpark not owned but managed by ABC had to use their own staff to collect payments. I have spoken to many councillors who share my concerns and this problem needs to be resolved’ 

 

On behalf of Councillor T Markley Councillor J Cook responded to say -

 

‘Over recent months, we have all become more accustomed to cashless payment as part of efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. 

We believe that cashless payment systems will help to ensure that we continue to play our part to stop the spread of the virus, as well as offering more flexibility for people who visit and use our car parks. 

However, we have experienced a number of technical issues with the mobile phone signal and card readers at many of our carpark locations – and this has been particularly significant in Keswick.

Whilst we are working to resolve these issues with our machine suppliers, we have re-introduced the cash payment options and have no plans to switch this option off until the machine and signal issues are fully resolved. 

In the UK, nearly 90% of the population own a Smart Phone, and around 98% of adults have a debit card. 

There are many benefits to cashless parking. Customers are now accustomed to using electronic payments and appreciate the convenience it offers. It also helps the Council to realise savings and increase revenue’. 

 

In response, Councillor Daniels said that with regards to the figures provided by Councillor Cook, ‘when you begin to look at people over the age of 65 and 70 the figures drop to 70% and 50% in respect of ownership of smart phones and credit cards’. He continued, ‘as 30% of the population in Allerdale are over 65 surely we should be caring about our population’.

Councillor Daniels still sought assurance that the idea to go cashless would cease for as many years as possible.

 

Councillor J Cook responded to request that Councillor Daniels send in his figures and information quoted in the reply to the relevant officers and members for everyone to consider together.

 

 

  1. Councillor A Kirkbride submitted the following question for Councillor T Markley - 

 

‘Can the portfolio holder for Environmental quality please confirm what monthly bin collection rates have been achieved for April, May, June, July and August.

Also is this a percentage increase or decrease in collections on the previous 3 months figures’

 

On behalf of Councillor T Markley Councillor A Pitcher responded by proving the following information -

 

  • April collection rate – 375,673 containers collected – of which 303 were missed – all of which were returned to within 48 hours of being report. This represents a collection rate of 99.92% and 100% following the bins being reported as missed. We don’t have the collection rates for the previous month as the records were maintained by FCC

 

  • May collection rate – 413,476 container collected – of which 497 were missed – with 24 not being collected within 48 hours of being reported. This represents a collection rate of 99.98% and 99.99% following the bins being reported as missed. This is a percentage increase in collection rates on the previous month

 

  • June collection rate - 448,240 containers collected – of which 437 were missed – with 3 not being collected within 48 hours of being reported. This represents a collection rate of 99.90% and 99.99% following the bins being reported as missed. This is a percentage decrease in collection rates on the previous month

 

  • July collection rate - 483,302 containers collected – of which 482 were missed – with 9 not being collected within 48 hours of being reported. This represents a collection rate of 99.90% and 99.99% following the bins being reported as missed. This maintains collection rate of the previous month

 

  • August collection rate – 414,272 containers collected – of which 351 were missed – with 11 not being collected within 48 hours. This represents a collection rate of 99.92% and 99.99% following the bins being reported as missed. This is a percentage increase in collection rates on the previous month

 

Due to poor internet signal during the response, it was agreed that the information be circulated to all members following the meeting.

 

 

  1. Councillor G Kemp submitted the following question for Councillor T Markley -

 

‘Can the portfolio holder for Environmental quality give the amount of trade waste customers we currently service and is this a percentage increase or decrease on figures pre lockdown. Also have we in the last twelve months noticed any large cancelations or block defections of trade waste customers’

 

On behalf of Councillor T Markley Councillor M Fitzgerald responded to say -

 

‘During the lockdown restrictions many of our Trade Waste customers had to suspend their contracts.  I am pleased to say that as of the 14 September we have 85% of our customers back in contract, and many more in the process of re-opening.

A small number of customers have decided not to renew their contracts due to a variety of reasons’.

 

128.

Notices of Motion

Councillor P Little submitted the following motion –

 

‘Cumbria County Council took the decision to re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres on 12th May with restrictions in place.

To comply with social distancing, CCC in conjunction with their contractor (Renewi Cumbria Ltd) decided to restrict the number of vehicles and anticipated that this would lead to some queuing and congestion. Although there is no longer a problem at some HWRCs, others namely those at Clay Flatts in Workington and Maryport are still experiencing long queues.

Whilst I appreciate these measures are under review in accordance with the guidance from the government as the risk of infection from Covid-19 changes, I can see no reason as to why trailers/ vans (with permits) cannot be permitted access.

 

Now that we have established a 'new normal' following the peak of the pandemic, I believe that social distancing can be observed if people are able to access HWRCs using vehicles towing trailers.

Not only would it reduce our carbon footprint, it would reduce congestion by allowing people to dispose of more items and therefore result in people making infrequent trips.

I would like to point out that HWRCs are an essential public service. Whilst this local authority does offer the removal of goods under its bulky item collection, this is a fee paying service and unfortunately many people are struggling financially especially in the current climate.

Contrary to my understanding that fly tipping in the Allerdale area as a direct result of these restrictions has been minimal, I have received numerous complaints and concerns from residents in my ward on instances of fly tipping. It was also reported recently in the local media of an incident of fly tipping near a memorial.

 

I therefore ask that members support the motion that this Council will write to the Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and ask that the decision to close the Household Waste Recycling Centres to the general public for the use of trailers and vans be reconsidered at the earliest opportunity’.

 

Minutes:

Following an announcement made by Cumbria County Council with regards  to the reopening of HWRCs Councillor P Little withdrew his motion from the agenda.

 

129.

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:

Councillor H Briggs spoke for 5 minutes on issues in his ward of Harrington and Salterbeck, raising concerns on highways works and the clean-up required following a traveller encampment on Harrington Marina.

 

130.

Announcements from the Mayor, Leader or Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

The Mayor made reference to the events she had undertaken since the previous meeting, those being flag raising events on 14 August for VJ Day and on 9 September for the Merchant Navy.

 

Councillor M Johnson, Deputy Leader of the Council announced that the Council had recently received a letter from the CEO at Radioactive Waste Management inviting us to join a working group to work together to devise the best way to work with our communities in any siting of a nuclear geological disposal facility(GDF). Councillor Johnson said ‘in our response we have made clear that our position on the matter remains that as part of the current host community for the majority of the planned inventory for a GDF then Allerdale is affected whatever happens with the UK’S radioactive waste, so we are keenly interested to fully understand how the siting process will work. Our interest is in no way to be interpreted as a willingness to host a GDF. It is also important to make clear from the outset that our involvement in the working group discussions is conditional on their agreement that there will be no consideration of any sites within the Lake District National Park. I have therefore nominated Councillor M Fitzgerald to attend the meetings of the working group alongside the Policy Manager (Nuclear) and we will keep you all updated on progress as and when it happens’.

 

131.

Portfolio Holder Updates pdf icon PDF 297 KB

To consider reports from Members of the Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Questions were asked on Local Government Re-organisation and Devolution, a proposed new Sports Village for Workington, issues with vermin, the Visit Allerdale tourism website, the authorities Housing Company, the reopening of customer service centres and track and trace in Allerdale.

 

Councillor G Kemp asked why were the Keswick Pool and Maryport Wave still closed, as other leisure facilities had been opened, and when would they be reopening?

 

Raising issues with payments at carparks, Councillor S Lansbury asked for an assurance that the Council would do a proper audit of recent carpark income figures before a decision was made to go ahead with cashless payments.

 

Councillor I Greaney asked for some reassurance for residents that they would not be required to pay for any repairs or replacements of the cardboard recycling bins and asked what was the Council doing to resolve the issue going forward.

 

Councillor C Armstrong asked over the last 10 years, how much money had been spent on legal expenses and on the clean ups of illegal sites with regards to gypsies and travellers.

 

In the absence of the Environmental Services Portfolio Holder, it was agreed that a written response be provided to the above questions for all members following the meeting.

 

Councillor L Williams left the meeting

132.

Executive Minutes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To note the contents of the minutes of the meetings of the Executive held on 24 June and 15 July 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive meetings held on 24 June and 15 July 2020 were noted.

 

133.

Changes to Committee Memberships pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Minutes:

Council was asked to approve changes to committee memberships in line with Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and The Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990, to ensure political balance on committee memberships.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald moved recommendations 1-6 of the report. This was seconded by Councillor M Johnson.

Recommendations 1-6 were approved by Council.

 

Councillor A Pitcher moved that Councillor Alan Tyson be appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee. This was seconded by Councillor M Johnson.

 

Councillor J King moved that Councillor Carole Armstrong be appointed as Chair of Audit Committee. This was seconded by Councillor H Briggs. 

 

A vote was taken on the motion to appoint Councillor Armstrong as Chair of Audit Committee, 13 in favour, 21 against and 0 abstentions.

The motion was lost.

 

Councillor R Munby lost connection at this point in the meeting

 

A vote was taken on the motion to appoint Councillor Tyson as Chair of Audit Committee, 20 in favour, 10 against and 3 abstentions.

The motion was carried. 

 

Councillor A Smith moved that Councillor Mary Bainbridge be appointed as Vice-chair of the Audit Committee; this was seconded by Councillor M Johnson.

 

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 8.40pm

 

Councillor R Munby left the meeting

 

The Mayor reconvened the meeting at 8.52pm

 

A vote was taken on the motion to appoint Councillor Bainbridge as Vice-chair of the Audit Committee; 20 in favour, 5 against, and 8 abstentions. The motion was carried.

 

Resolved

 

That –

 

1.  The distribution of seats across committees as set out in paragraph 1.7 of the report be approved, to accord with the rules on proportionality as far as is practicable

 

2.  Councillor Marion Fitzgerald be appointed to the Chief Officers Employment Panel for the Allerdale Conservatives Group

 

3.  Councillor Malcolm Grainger be appointed to the Personnel Tribunal for the Allerdale Conservatives Group

 

4.  Councillor Sally Lansbury be removed from the Licensing Committee, but remains a substitute member

 

5.  Councillor Stephen Stoddart be appointed to the Licensing Committee

 

6.  Councillor Owen Martin be replaced by Councillor Alan Tyson on the Licensing Committee

 

7.  Councillor Alan Tyson be appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee to replace Councillor Janet King

 

8.  Councillor Mary Bainbridge be appointed as Vice-chair of the Audit Committee to replace Councillor Alan Tyson.

 

134.

Update from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Minutes:

Councillor I Greaney, Co-chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee moved an update report for Council to note.