Agenda and minutes

Council - Monday, 4th November, 2019 6.45 pm

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

Items
No. Item

55.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Baines, Charles, Paling and Rollings, and from Honorary Aldermen Bush and Stott.

56.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Minutes:

The following disclosures of pecuniary and personal interests were made:

 

      i.        Councillor Fryer disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

    ii.        Councillor Miah disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

   iii.        Councillor Parton disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

   iv.        Councillor Parton also disclosed a personal interest in item 10.2 Town Deals as a Councillor Member of the Leicestershire County Council Town Team.

 

    v.        Councillor Poland disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

   vi.        Councillor Radford disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

  vii.        Councillor Seaton disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

 viii.        Councillor Shepherd disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

   ix.        Councillor Taylor disclosed a personal interest in item 8.1 Unitary Status Update, as a Member of Leicestershire County Council.

 

57.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Council meeting held on 2nd September 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 2nd September 2019 were confirmed and signed.

 

58.

Announcements

59.

Mayor's Announcements

 

To receive announcements from the Mayor (if any).

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements.

 

“I would like to mention that Charnwood Council now have a Mayoral Facebook page dedicated to the Mayor of Charnwood. A few of you have already liked the page and are following the updates about the engagements I have been attending. However, I would like to encourage more of you to like the page, which you can find by searching ‘Mayor of Charnwood’ on Facebook.

 

I am delighted to report that Loughborough has won gold at the Britain in Bloom finals. Earlier this year the town was selected to represent the region in the small city category at the national awards organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. This is the fourth time Loughborough has been at the Britain in Bloom finals. The town was awarded gold in 2016, a silver gilt in 2014 and achieved gold and was named the category winner in 2012. Well done to the many community groups, residents, businesses and organisations in the town that made this possible.

 

We are heading into a busy period.  I have recently attended the Diwali lights celebrations and fast approaching is the Opening of Loughborough Fair on 13th November and the big Christmas light switch on taking place on 24th November.

 

I encourage you all to attend either the Loughborough or Mountsorrel Remembrance Day parades on Sunday 10th November. However, I do understand that Councillors may attend a service which is in their local town or village.

 

The Mayor’s Community Carol Service is being held on Wednesday 18th December, at All Saints with Holy Trinity Loughborough Parish Church. The service starts at 7pm and it would be lovely to see you all there as well.”

 

60.

Leader's Announcements pdf icon PDF 84 KB

 

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

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements.

 

Madam Mayor I would like to announce that I have appointed Councillor Sue Gerrard as the Older Persons Champion until May 2023.  We now have a range of Member Champions:

 

  • Climate change – Cllr Needham
  • Tree Planting – Cllr Howe
  • Loneliness – Cllr Parton
  • Armed Forces – Cllr Fryer”

 

61.

Chief Executive's Announcements

 

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

Minutes:

The Chief Executive made no announcements.

 

62.

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:

Councillor Ward presented a petition on behalf of attendees of a Climate Strike event in Loughborough.

 

The Mayor confirmed that the petition would be considered and responded to in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme.

 

63.

Business Reserved to Council

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

64.

Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 98 KB

 

A report of the Cabinet to consider the adoption of an Investment Strategy for the remainder of the financial year 2019/20 and the financial year 2020/21, as recommended by the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet to consider the adoption of an Investment Strategy for the remainder of the financial year 2019/20 and the financial year 2020/21, as recommended by the Cabinet, was submitted (item 6.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

It was proposed by Councillor Barkley, seconded by Councillor Fryer and

 

RESOLVED that the proposals set out at Appendix B to the report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Services (attached as an Annex) be adopted and incorporated into the extant Capital Strategy.

 

Reason

 

To provide additional clarity to the extant Capital Strategy and enable the Council to increase the range of its investment activities.

 

65.

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.

 

66.

Position Statements

To consider a position statement submitted by the Labour Group under Full Council Procedure 9.10:

 

67.

Unitary Status Update pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

The Labour Group had requested that a position statement regarding the Unitary Status proposals from Leicestershire County Council be present at the meeting.

 

The Leader had given notice of a position statement (item 8.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The position statement was introduced by The Leader and the following issues were raised by Councillors:

 

      i.        the proposal of a Unitary Status Council was recurring, and the Council needed to be proactive in order to prepare for future events. The Councils in the area frequently communicated.

    ii.        there were other Local Authority models available, other than the unitary approach, which could be adopted instead.

   iii.        a Unitary Status Council would not make financial savings, due to high redundancy and pension costs.

   iv.        any change in the current Local Authority model would need to be in the interests of the residents in the area, rather than the Council itself.

 

RESOLVED that in addition to the Scrutiny Panel created to review the Unitary Status proposal, the matter be referred to the Cabinet.

 

Reason

 

To enable the Cabinet and Scrutiny Panel to consider the matter further in order for the Council to make appropriate preparations in the future.

68.

Motions on Notice

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

69.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's Working Definition of Antisemitism pdf icon PDF 103 KB

 

Motion submitted by Councillor Poland.

Minutes:

In accordance with Full Council Procedure 9.12, Councillor Poland had given notice of a motion on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism (item 9.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The motion was moved by Councillor Poland and seconded by Councillor Morgan, and

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    that the Council adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of Antisemitism.

 

2.    that the Council notes the examples set out in the motion which may serve as illustrations.

 

70.

Questions on Notice pdf icon PDF 337 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).

 

Climate Change

 

Councillor Gerrard did not have a supplementary statement or question.

 

Town Deals

 

Councillor Parton asked whether there was more information available on how the Towns Deal would benefit Loughborough.

 

Councillor Morgan stated that our Town Deal would make a significant impact on Loughborough and that the Council was in the process of finalising the details of the programme. The Chief Executive had called a meeting with Senior Officers to agree actions and deadlines and the scope of the deal would be submitted in late November. Proposed improvements at this stage included infrastructure, connectivity, retail space and an increased reduction in Loughborough’s carbon use.

 

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

 

Councillor Parton stated that fire safety should be incorporated into the Council’s Licensing Scheme. He suggested that resident’s additional criteria included bins, exteriors and noise and that this should be addressed within the Licensing Scheme. Councillor Parton was hopeful that the Scheme would be stringent.

 

Councillor Smidowicz stated that a further criterion which the Licensing Scheme should include was parking. She stated that the Council had over 20 recommendations for the Scheme and welcomed the support of colleagues in approving the evidence-based Scheme.

 

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

 

Councillor Draycott stated that the response received was contradictory and demonstrated a lack of communication. The Landlord in question had made numerous applications over time, all of which were incomplete and rejected, and Councillor Draycott believed that this information should have been communicated to the relevant Officers of the Council. She asked for reassurance that documentation received by the Council relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation would be passed to Licensing Officers for action.

 

Councillor Smidowicz referred to the mandatory licensing introduced by the Government in October 2018 and explained that the Landlord in question had not complied with this legislation, despite repeated correspondence from the Council. Legislation had been updated in 2016 and the Landlord had responded at this point and so had been prosecuted under the previous law. However, Councillor Smidowicz stated that the application remained incomplete and so the Landlord had not been compliant at any point. She assured the Council that action would be taken against any Landlord found to be not compliant with the Scheme. 

 

Following interaction with private Landlords, Councillor Smidowicz believed that the proposed Scheme would be supported by them.

 

Council Tax Arrears

 

Councillor Christine Harris thanked the Lead Member for the response but stated that the chart provided within it was unclear and misleading. The column containing data on Council Tax arrears in 2019 could not be considered as the year was incomplete. Councillor Harris also stated that the number of accounts in arrears did not necessarily represent the number of residents in arrears, as it was possible for residents to have multiple accounts.

 

Councillor Barkley stated that he did not anticipate that there was a significant number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Minute References

There are no minute references.

Minutes:

There were no minute references.

72.

Urgent Executive Decisions Exempted from Call-in - Acquisition of Properties pdf icon PDF 66 KB

A report of the Chief Executive to note a decision taken by the Head of Strategic and Private Sector Housing to acquire properties which were exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive, informing the Council of an urgent decision made by the Cabinet that was exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9, was submitted (item 12 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

Councillor Draycott stated that the Labour Group had previously been critical of the policy but was pleased that the Council had acquired four two-bedroom properties

 

Councillor Morgan thanked the Labour Group for their support.

73.

Urgent Executive Decisions Exempted from Call-in - Member Grants Scheme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

A report of the Chief Executive to note a decision taken by the Lead Member for Communities, Safety and Wellbeing to award a grant which was exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive, informing the Council of an urgent decision made by the Cabinet that was exempted from call-in in accordance with Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.9, was submitted (item 13 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

74.

Appointments to Committees pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To approve changes to the membership of Committees for the current Council year (2019/20).

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED

 

That Councillor Gerrard be appointed to the Housing, Planning, Regeneration and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee to replace Councillor Rattray.

 

Reason

 

To reflect the wishes of the Conservative Group in making appointments to committees and to comply with sections 11.2(d) and 12.4(a) of the Council’s Constitution.