Agenda and minutes

Council - Monday, 24th June, 2019 6.45 pm

Venue: The Preston Room, Woodgate Chambers, Woodgate, Loughborough

Items
No. Item

14.

Opening Thoughts and Reflections

Minutes:

TheMayoropened themeeting and welcomed the Councillors.

 

TheMayorstatedthat thatthemeetingwasbeingrecordedandthesound recordingwouldbemadeavailableontheCouncil’swebsite.   Inaddition, undertheOpennessofLocalGovernmentBodiesRegulationspeoplemay film,record,tweetorblog themeeting and thatwasoutsidetheCouncil’s control.

 

The Mayor’s Chaplin  introduced himself and said prayers.


 

15.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Paling and Lowe and Honorary Aldermen Bush and Stott.

16.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Minutes:

No disclosures of pecuniary and personal interests were made.

 

17.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Council meeting held on 20th May 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 20th May 2019 were confirmed and signed.

18.

Announcements

18.1

Mayor's Announcements

 

To receive announcements from the Mayor (if any).

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcement.

 

“I would like to mention that Michael Hopkins, Democratic Services Officer and previous manager of the Democratic Services Team is attending his last Council meeting as he is hotfooting it over to the Planning Team this Wednesday. Michael has worked with the team for several years, providing advice, knowledge and support for his colleagues and Councillors. The Democratic Services’ loss is Planning’s gain. Congratulations to Michael, we will all miss you.”

 

 

 

 

18.2

Leader's Announcements

 

To consider significant, recent matters affecting the Council or the Borough (if any).

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcement.

 

Madam Mayor on 20th June 2019 I made a Leaders decision confirming the re-appointment of Councillor Hilary Fryer as the Armed Forces Member Champion until May 2023”.

 

18.3

Chief Executive's Announcements

 

To receive announcements from the Chief Executive (if any).

Minutes:

The Chief Executive made no announcements.

19.

Petitions

To allow councillors to formally submit petitions for consideration under the Council’s petition scheme, as set out in Full Council Procedure 9.8.

Minutes:

No petitions were submitted.

20.

Business Reserved to Council

To consider the following matters reserved to Council in accordance with Section 5 of the Constitution:

Minutes:

To consider the following matters reserved to Council in accordance with Part 5 of the Constitution.

 

20.1

Appointment of Co-opted Parish Members of the Member Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 89 KB

 

A report of the Monitoring Officer, enabling Council to make appointments of co-opted parish members of the Member Conduct Committee following the parish and town council elections in May 2019, is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Monitoring Officer, enabling Council to make appointments of co-opted parish members of the Member Conduct Committee following the parish and town council elections in May 2019, was submitted (item 6.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

It was proposed by Councillor Poland and seconded by Councillor Tassell and

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         ThatCouncillor Victoria(Vicky) Ball,a memberof AnsteyParish Council, and Councillor Dennis Marchant, a member of Quorn Parish Council,be re-appointedas non-votingco-optedparishmembersoftheMember ConductCommittee for a periodoffour yearsor untilthey ceaseto bea parishcouncillor,whicheveris the sooner.

 

2.         That  Councillor  Julie  Jones,  a  member  of  Sileby  Parish  Council,  be appointedas non-votingco-opted parishmembers ofthe MemberConduct Committee for a period of four years or until she ceases to be a parish councillor, whichever is the sooner.

 

Reasons

 

1.         Tofill twoof thethree vacanciesfor co-optedparish membersof the Committee,who providethe opportunityfor parishand towncouncillors to contribute to the work of the Committee,whichhavearisenattheendof thetermofoffice of CouncillorBall’sandCouncillorMarchant’sprevious appointments.

 

 

2.         Tofillthe thirdof thethree vacanciesforco-optedparishmembersof theCommittee, whoprovidetheopportunityforparishandtown councillorsto contributeto theworkoftheCommittee,whichhasarisen followingtheretirementofthepreviousappointee.

 

20.2

Election Fees and Expenses for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

 

A report of the Chief Executive, enabling Council to approve scales of election fees payable to the Returning Officer for any Borough or Parish Council elections during 2019/20, is attached.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive, enabling Council to approve scales of election fees payable to the Returning Officer for any Borough or Parish Council elections during 2019/20, was submitted (item 6.2 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The motion was proposed by Councillor Morgan and seconded by Councillor Miah and

 

RESOLVED that the scales of election fees set out in the appendix to this report be adopted for 2019/20 in relation to any Borough or Parish Council by-elections which may be required.

 

Reason

 

To ensure an approved scale offees can be applied in respectof any Borough or Parish Council elections which take place during 2019/20.

 

 

21.

Call-in References

There are no references to Council following the call-in of a Cabinet decision under Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.7.

Minutes:

There were no call-in references from Scrutiny.

22.

Position Statements

No requests for position statements were received.

Minutes:

No position statements had been requested.

23.

Motions on Notice

To consider the following motions on notice submitted under Full Council Procedure 9.12:

23.1

Climate Change pdf icon PDF 62 KB

 

Motion submitted by Councillor Vardy.

Minutes:

In accordancewith FullCouncil Procedure9.12,CouncillorVardy had  given  notice  of  a  motion on climate change  (item9.1 ontheagendafiledwith theseminutes).

 

The motion wasmovedbyCouncillorVardy andsecondedbyCouncillor Morgan.

 

Councillor Needham addressed the Council and said that she felt the motion did not go far enough to address the climate emergency.

 

She asked if the Council’s subcontractors would be committed to be carbon neutral by 2020 and stated that if they did not achieve this the Council would be in danger of not meeting its stated aims.

 

Furthermore she asked that the Council update its local planning guidance to ensure it is providing the highest energy efficient standards in all new build properties.

 

She concluded by saying that the Council needed to consider every decision it made and weigh it against its carbon impact.

 

Councillor Brennan proposed that the motion be amended to include the 9 phrases that had been circulated to Members for consideration (and which are filed with these minutes). The amendment was seconded by Councillor Ward.

 

For the amendment – Councillors Boldrin, Bolton, J. Bradshaw, Brennan, Draycott, Forrest, Goddard, Hamilton, C. Harris, K. Harris, Miah, Needham, Tillotson and Ward.

 

Against the amendment – Bailey, Baines, Barkley, Bentley, Bokor, S. Bradshaw, Brookes, Capleton, Charles, Fryer, Grimley, Hadji-Nikolaou, Harper-Davies, Howe, Hunt, Mercer, Morgan, Murphy, Pacey, Parsons, Parton, Poland, Popley, Radford, Ranson, Rattray, Rollings, Savage, Shepherd, Smidowicz, Snartt, Tassell, Taylor and Vardy.

 

Abstaining – Councillor Seaton.

 

The amendment was defeated.

 

The members then voted on the original motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

That this Council notes:

 

(i)     TheInternational Panelon ClimateChange publisheda reportin October

2018 whichconcluded thatwe haveless than12 yearsto actto avoidthe worst impactsof climatechange.   The report describesthe enormous harmthat a2°C risein globaltemperatures islikely tocause comparedto a 1.5°C rise.  It told us that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possiblewith ambitiousaction acrossall nationalgovernments thatsigned the Paris Agreement.

 

(ii)    On12th June2019, theUK governmentamended itstarget underthe

2008 ClimateChange Act,to reachnet-zero greenhousegases by2050

– thefirst majornation toagree tothis target,and whichaccords withthe

Paris Agreement’s aim to limit warming to 1.5°C.

 

(iii)   CharnwoodBorough Counciladopted itsClimate ChangeStrategy in

2018, whichsets outhow theCouncil willaddress theissue. TheClimate Change Strategy contributes to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.1

24.

Questions on Notice pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To deal with the following questions on notice, submitted under Full Council Procedure 9.9(a):

Minutes:

The questions on notice and the responses of the Leader or his nominee were submitted (item 10 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

24.1

Rent Arrears

 

Question submitted by Councillor Draycott.

Minutes:

Councillor Draycott thanked the Lead Member for his response. She reiterated the figures of tenants receiving Universal Credit and the level of debt which showed an increase.

 

She said that the benefits system was affecting people adversely, in the Charnwood area generally and in her own ward and asked whether further information regarding the amount of tenants vacating properties due to rent arrears caused by Universal Credit could be supplied.

 

The Lead Member responded that the supply of information requested would be supplied. He went on to say that in fact the level of rent arrears had dropped whereas the number of people claiming Universal Credit had doubled. He confirmed that no tenants had cited Universal Credit as the reason for ending their tenancy and no tenants had been evicted due to Universal Credit. He believed this was due to the Council working hard to introduce Universal Credit smoothly and that it was testament to the hard work of the officers in the Landlord Services Team.

 

 

 

24.2

Housing Repairs

 

Question submitted by Councillor K. Harris.

Minutes:

Councillor K. Harris made a supplementary statement in relation to his question regarding lack of communication between the Council sub-contractors and residents. He stated that he had spoken to one of the Council officers who advised on the reasons for the lack of communication and who agreed that it was not satisfactory. Councillor Harris commented that he was pleased that his involvement had expedited the works but hoped that in future that the process would be dealt with better.

 

He also commented on the level of complaints received and said that he hoped the Council would focus its efforts on reducing those.

 

The Lead Member responded to confirm that he regularly met with officers to review performance, to highlight any problems and identify solutions. He reminded Members that if they had any problems they should first raise them with the relevant officer and if they did not get a satisfactory response then to raise the issue with the Lead Member.

24.3

Election Count

 

Question submitted by Councillor Draycott.

Minutes:

Councillor Draycott highlighted that there had been an article in the latest staff newsletter that referred to the recent election and that staff had been able to contribute to the review process. Councillor Draycott asked if members could also be included.

 

The Leader advised Members to contact the Chief Executive in his capacity as the Returning Officer with any comments they may have.

24.4

Medical Training for Council Staff

 

Question submitted by Councillor J. Bradshaw.

Minutes:

Councillor J. Bradshaw thanked the Lead Member for their response and that the matter had been raised to reassure any members or visitors working out of hours. Councillor Bradshaw noted that one of the Members present had First Aid training but it was important that other members be given the opportunity to attend First Aid training. It would be useful when out with residents as well as for any Council meetings. She asked if First Aid training could be made available for members.

 

Councillor Poland advised that he would contact the relevant officers to discuss providing training for Members.

24.5

Social Housing Centenary

 

Question submitted by Councillor Tillotson.

Minutes:

Councillor Tillotson made a statement regarding the history and implementation of social housing. She commented on the introduction of Right to Buy which gave home owners some profit from the sale of their property but meant that the number of social housing properties reduced for those in need.

 

Councillor Mercer responded and gave some more detail about the history of social housing and Right to Buy and highlighted that it was the 60th Anniversary of the Labour Party proposing the scheme to enable home owners to own their own home.

24.6

Gender Pay Gap

 

Question submitted by Councillor Hamilton.

Minutes:

Councillor Hamilton thanked the Lead Member for their response. It was highlighted that the same question had been asked a year ago when the gender pay gap was 17%. This year the gender pay gap was 17.6%. A comparison was made to neighbouring Councils which had a lower gender pay gap.

 

Council Hamilton suggested that when the action plan was reviewed there was an opportunity for officers to speak to Members as there was a learning opportunity available. He also stated that it was important to retain good staff of both sexes.

 

Councillor Poland responded by saying that it was important to remember that a gender pay gap was not the same as an Equal Pay comparison. He also mentioned the outsourced services the Council operated as those staff did not contribute towards the figures although the temporarily employed staff at the Council did which affected the figures.

 

He stressed that the data and figures provided were taken as a snapshot at a moment in time and were subject to change. He finished by advising Members that officers were happy to hear from them with any suggestions on how the Council could improve.

 

 

 

24.7

Loneliness and Social Isolation in Charnwood

 

Question submitted by Councillor Parton.

Minutes:

Councillor Parton stated that 1.1 million British citizens had declared themselves as lonely, but the real figure was thought to be around 9 million with the risk of causing pre-mature death believed to be around 50%. The NHS was putting money into assisting those people and the results were positive. Along with Councils and charities people were recognising how important the problem was but it was complicated.

 

He asked the Council to support and commit to the three following issues:

 

1.    To acknowledge that loneliness is a serious epidemic

2.    To work together in a non-political way

3.    To deliver solutions as suggested by the relevant professionals.

 

Councillor Taylor responded by saying that the Council carried out a lot of good work within the Borough and there was a lot of support available for residents. Members were reminded that it was also their job to help support residents and signpost them to the help that is available in the Borough.

24.8

Decent Homes Contract Settlement

 

Question submitted by Councillor Miah.

Minutes:

Councillor Miah questioned why the question and response was exempt from the public and asked if the Mayor felt the information should be available to the public.

 

The Mayor advised Members that they needed to vote to go into exempt session to consider this matter, which was scheduled for later in the meeting.

24.9

Presentation of Statistics

 

Question submitted by Councillor Mercer.

Minutes:

Councillor Mercer advised he was happy with the response received and had nothing further to add.

 

Councillor Poland had no response.

25.

Minute References

Reference of an exempt minute will be considered under item 16 on the agenda.

Minutes:

There was reference to an exempt minute which would be considered under item 16 on the agenda.

26.

Urgent Executive Decisions Exempted from Call-in pdf icon PDF 3 MB

A report of the Chief Executive, informing Council of three decisions that were exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9, is attached.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive, informing the Council of three decisions taken by the Head of Strategic and Private Sector Housing that were exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9, was submitted (item 12 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

No questions were submitted in relation to the report.

27.

Changes to Cabinet Responsibilities pdf icon PDF 77 KB

A report of the Chief Executive, informing Council of changes to the responsibilities of members of the Cabinet, is attached.

Minutes:

A report to Council to inform members of changes to the responsibilities of the Cabinet was considered.

 

No questions were submitted.

28.

Appointments to Committees

To consider any changes to Committee membership for the current Council year (2018/19) (if any).

Minutes:

There were no proposals to consider.

29.

Exempt Information

It is recommended that members of the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item on the grounds that it will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that members of the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of items 10.8 and 16.1 on the grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 3 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemptions outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

30.

Decent Homes Contract Settlement

Minutes:

Councillor Miah asked why the question on notice submitted (see minute 24.8) needed to be considered in exempt session as he felt it was in the public interest to make the information public.

 

The Monitoring Officer advised that the reason for exemption was as set out in the report.

 

A summary of the Council’s discussion on this matter is provided in the exempt minute (Council 30E 2019/20).

 

 

 

 

31.

Minute Reference: Revenues and Benefits - Future Service Delivery Options

 

The minute of the Cabinet decision taken on 6th June 2019 in respect of Revenues and Benefits – Future Service Delivery Options has been referred to Council by five councillors in accordance with Council Procedure 9.11(b).  A report setting out the Cabinet’s decision and the report considered by the Cabinet has been circulated to councillors.

Minutes:

This matter was considered under exempt session and the minutes are exempt.

 

AsummaryoftheCouncil’s discussiononthismatteris providedin theexempt minute(Council 31E 2019/20).