Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Monday, 24th February, 2020 6.30 pm

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

Items
No. Item

100.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Bokor, Brookes, Paling, Parton and Savage, and Honorary Aldermen Bush, Stott and Tormey.

101.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 requires that a Councillor who owes arrears of Council Tax which have been outstanding for more than two months must declare this at any Council meeting which considers the setting of a budget and the Council Tax, and that they should not vote on those matters.  Failing to comply with those requirements if they apply is an offence.  If this applies to any Councillors at this meeting, they are therefore advised to make the required declaration and to leave the meeting during consideration of item 6.1.

 

It is a requirement of the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members that the existence and nature of all personal interests must be disclosed.  Therefore, in the case of item 6.1 on the agenda, 2019/20 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets, it is suggested that members of precepting authorities declare such interests.  (For example, this would relate to members of Leicestershire County Council, the Combined Fire Authority and Parish and Town Councils).

Minutes:

The Mayor drew Councillors’ attention to Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 required that a Councillor who owed arrears of Council Tax which had been outstanding for more than two months must declare that at any Council meeting which considered the setting of a budget and the Council Tax, and that they should not vote on those matters.

 

In addition it was noted that it is a requirement of the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members that the existence and nature of all personal interests must be disclosed.  Therefore, in the case of item 6.1 on the agenda, 2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets, it is suggested that members of precepting authorities declare such interests.  (For example, this would relate to members of Leicestershire County Council, the Combined Fire Authority and Parish and Town Councils).

 

The following disclosures of pecuniary and personal interests were made:

 

      i.        by Councillor Barkley - a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Leicestershire County Council and as Chairman of Syston Town Council.

    ii.        by Councillor Bentley – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Leicestershire County Council and the Combined Fire Authority.

   iii.        by Councillor Charles – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Thurcaston and Cropston Parish Council.

   iv.        by Councillor Forrest – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as the Chair of Barrow Upon Soar Parish Council.

    v.        by Councillor Fryer – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Leicestershire County Council.

   vi.        by Councillor Gerrard – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of East Goscote Parish Council and Syston Town Council.

  vii.        by Councillor Howe – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Birstall Parish Council.

 viii.        by Councillor Lowe – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Thurmaston Parish Council.

   ix.        by Councillor Miah – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Leicestershire County Council.

    x.        by Councillor Morgan – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special Expenses and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets) as a member of Leicestershire County Council.

   xi.        by Councillor Needham – a personal interest in item 6.1 on the agenda (2020/21 Special  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Council meeting held on 20th January 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 20th January 2020 were confirmed and signed.

103.

Announcements

104.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor (if any).

Minutes:

The Mayor made no announcements.

105.

Leader's Announcements pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements:

 

“Madam Mayor, I am pleased to announce that Charnwood, amongst other partners in the region, has been successful in achieving the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) + Inclusion Award. This award, which was administered and verified by the Leicester LGBT+ Centre, aims to provide visible recognition for organisations across the region for their commitment to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender inclusive practices. Councillor Poland as Lead Member for Equalities will be presented with our award tomorrow, at an event hosted at De Montfort University.”

 

“Charnwood, as a Borough, has a diverse population and as a result of this we recognise that our residents, customers and employees have very different backgrounds and life experiences. We therefore aim to ensure that we continue to provide services and facilities that meet the varying needs of our residents and that, as an employer, we achieve fair recruitment and provide a work environment that is free from discrimination.”

 

The Leader congratulated the Right Honourable, The Baroness Morgan of Cotes on her appointment and acknowledged the substantial contribution that she had made to Loughborough and its residents as Loughborough MP. The Leader also congratulated her successor, Jane Hunt MP, on her appointment of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Cabinet Office, and stated that he looked forward to the continuation of the positive work.

 

106.

Chief Executive's Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Chief Executive made no announcements.

107.

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.

108.

Business Reserved to Council

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

109.

General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets and Council Tax 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

A report of the Cabinet, setting out the proposed General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets for 2020/21 along with the proposed Council Tax Levy, and the 2020/21 proposals to increase rent and service charges within the ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account, is attached.

 

The full Council Tax Recommendations, which the Council must consider in order to set a Council Tax Levy and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets for 2020/21, will be circulated once the major preceptors have confirmed their precepts.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet, setting out the proposed General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets for 2020/21 along with the proposed Council Tax Levy, and the 2020/21 proposals to increase rent and service charges within the ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account, was submitted (item 6.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

Following confirmation from major preceptors regarding their precepts, the full Council Tax Recommendations, which the Council had to consider in order to set a Council Tax Levy and General Fund and HRA Revenue Budgets for 2020/21, were circulated (item 6.1 supplementary report filed with these minutes). 

 

Councillors were reminded that it was a legal requirement that all votes taken on this item, including votes on amendments must be recorded votes.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Barkley and seconded by Councillor Rollings that recommendations 1 to 17 outlined in the supplementary report of the Cabinet be approved for reasons 1 to 17 in that report.

 

For the motion – Councillors Bailey, Baines, Barkley, Bentley, S Bradshaw, Campsall, Capleton, Charles, Fryer, Gerrard, Grimley, Hadji-Nikolaou, Harper-Davies, Howe, Hunt, Lowe, Mercer, Morgan, Murphy, Pacey, Parsons, Poland, Popley, Radford, Ranson, Rattray, Rollings, Seaton, Shepherd, Smidowicz, Snartt, Tassell and Taylor.

 

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

 

Abstentions – Councillor Needham.

 

RESOLVED that the Council adopts recommendations 1-17 as set out in the supplementary report of the Cabinet.

 

Reason

 

To enable the Council to adopt a General Fund Revenue Budget, a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget and a Council Tax levy for 2020/21 in line with legislative requirements.

110.

Capital Strategy, including Treasury Management Strategy, Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

A report of the Cabinet, setting out the Capital Strategy, the Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy for 2020/21, together with the changes to the Council’s financial regulations, and other elements of the Constitution necessary to enable delivery of the Investment Strategy, is attached,

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet to set out a Capital Strategy, the Treasury Management Strategy Statement, the Annual Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy for 2020/21, together with changes to the Council’s Financial Regulations and other elements of the Constitution necessary to enable delivery of the Investment Strategy, for consideration and approval, was submitted (item 6.2 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

A supplementary report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Services was later circulated to set out revised recommendations in respect of this item.     (item 6.2 supplementary report filed with these minutes).

 

In response to concerns raised about the blanket exemption of the Scrutiny Call-in procedure for decisions relating to the acquisition of commercial properties, it was explained that the Chair of the Scrutiny Commission had been fully briefed and supported the approach, which was no dissimilar to the acquisition of properties under the HRA. It was further noted that the approach had been selected for pre-decision scrutiny at the meeting of the Commission on 9th March 2020.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

1. that the Capital Strategy (including Treasury Management Strategy) 2019/20, approved by Council on 25th February 2019, and the current Investment Strategy, approved by Council on 4th November 2019, be extended until superseded by a new strategy; 

 

2. that the proposed changes to the Constitution, set out in the appendix to this report and recommended by Cabinet on 13th February 2020, be approved, with immediate effect.

 

Reasons

 

1. To allow scrutiny of the Capital Strategy (including the Treasury Management Strategy) 2020/21 by the Audit Committee prior to its approval by Council.

 

2. To enable the efficient and timely execution of the Investment Strategy incorporated within the overall Capital Strategy.

111.

New Capital Plan 2020-21 to 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

A report of the Cabinet setting out a new Capital Plan 2020/21 to 2022/23 and sources of funding for consideration and approval, is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet setting out a new Capital Plan 2020/21 to 2022/23 and sources of funding was submitted for consideration and approval (item 6.3 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the new Capital Plan for 2020/21 to 2022/23 for the General Fund and HRA schemes, set out in Appendix 1 to the report of the Head of Finance and Property Services, was approved.

 

Reason

 

So that the new Capital Plan becomes the basis for capital spending by the Council for the next 3 years.

112.

Corporate Plan 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

A report of the Cabinet setting out the final version of the Corporate Plan for 2020-2024, is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet to consider a Corporate Plan for 2020-2024 was submitted (item 6.4 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

In considering this item it was acknowledged that the Residents Survey 2019 had not been supplied as an appendix to the report and it was suggested that Councillors may find it beneficial to have this circulated to them.

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  That the new Corporate Strategy 2020-2024 attached to the report of the Chief Executive (attached as an Annex) be approved.

 

2.  That delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, to make minor amendments to the Plan.

 

3.  That delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, to design the final document for publication.

 

4.  That the Corporate Plan be renamed the Corporate Strategy.

 

Reasons  

 

1.  To enable the draft Corporate Plan to set out the direction for the Council for the period 2020-2024.

 

2.  To allow minor corrections and amendments to be made in a timely manner prior to publication.

 

3.  To ensure that a designed version of the Corporate Plan can be developed for public circulation.

 

4.  To ensure the consistency in all strategies of the Council.

113.

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) in respect of Allowances Paid to Members of Charnwood Borough Council for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

A report of the Chief Executive, enabling the Council to consider the findings and the recommendations of the IRP in respect of allowances paid to Members of the Council and the scheme of Members’ Allowances for 2020/21, is attached.

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive enabling the Council to consider the findings and the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel in respect of allowances paid to members of Charnwood Borough Council (attached as Appendix A to the report) and the Scheme of Members’ Allowances for 2020/21 (attached as Appendix B to the report), and to seek re-appointment of two members of the Panel was submitted (item 6.5 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

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

 

RESOLVED

 

1.  That the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel, submitted in accordance with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 as set out in Appendix A be noted and that the proposed Scheme of Members’ Allowances for the 2020/21 financial year, as set out at Appendix B to the report, be adopted.

 

2.  That the re-appointments of the following Panel members be confirmed for further four year periods as follows:

 

? Mr Paul Smith (up to and including 2023/24) 

? Mr Patrick Cleere (up to and including 2024/25).

 

Reasons

 

1.  To ensure compliance with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003. 

 

2.  To extend the appointments to the Panel for the two relevant Panel members for a further four years each, based on their original appointment dates. 

114.

Appointment of a Co-opted Parish Member of the Member Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 109 KB

A report of the Monitoring Officer, enabling the Council to make an appointment of a Co-opted Parish Member of the Member Conduct Committee to fill a vacancy, is attached.

Minutes:

A report of the Monitoring Officer, enabling the Council to make an appointment of a co-opted parish member of the Member Conduct Committee to fill a vacancy was submitted (item 6.6 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

In considering this item, the Chair of the Member Conduct Committee took the opportunity to thank the previous parish representative, Dennis Marchant, for his work on the Member Conduct Committee up until his recent resignation.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Tassell, seconded by Councillor Murphy and

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Eric Ellingworth, a member Barrow Upon Soar Parish Council, be appointed as a non-voting co-opted parish member of the Member Conduct Committee until 24th June 2023 or until he ceases to be a parish councillor, whichever is the sooner.

 

Reason

 

To fill a vacancy on the Committee which provides the opportunity for parish/town councillors to contribute to the work of the Committee.

115.

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.

116.

Position Statements

To consider the following position statements requested by the Conservative Group and the Labour Group under Full Council Procedure 9.10:

 

117.

The Community Safety Partnership and Crime pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To update the Council on the Community Safety Partnership and Crime within Charnwood, added to the agenda by a Cabinet Member.

Minutes:

The Conservative Group had requested that a position statement regarding the Community Safety Partnership and Crime be presented at the meeting. The Leader had given notice of the position statement (item 8.1 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The position statement was introduced by Councillor Taylor. She outlined the successes of the Community Safety Partnership and emphasized the significance of the collaborative structure.

 

A number of Councillors praised the Partnership and stated that they had seen the positive impact of the work undertaken in the community. Inspector Mark Botte, Commander for Charnwood Neighbourhood Policing Area was specifically commended for his substantial contribution to the reduction of crime in Charnwood. Response times from the Police were quick and engagement with the Community had improved. An increase in visible Policing across the Borough provided an increased sense of safety and confidence for residents.  

 

Councillor Taylor stated that the increase in hate crime reports meant that the public were more confident in reporting this type of crime. In order for the Police and the Community Safety Partnership to understand hate crime and the solutions to overcome it, there was a need for incident reporting. Councillor Taylor also confirmed that she was liaising with the Deputy Chief Constable at Leicestershire Police in order to make preparations for the release of offenders associated with Operation Lionheart.

 

Councillor Miah stated that the work of the Community Safety Partnership was reviewed at the Neighbourhoods and Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee on a six-monthly basis.

 

118.

Combined Authorities pdf icon PDF 44 KB

To update the Council on the letter sent by the Leader of the Council dated 28th January 2020 regarding devolution and the opportunity to work with the government on its forthcoming Devolution Framework, added to the agenda by the Labour Group.

 

Minutes:

The Labour Group had requested that a position statement regarding Combined Authorities be presented at the meeting. The Leader had given notice of the position statement (item 8.2 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The position statement was introduced by Councillor Morgan. He outlined the detail of a letter recently circulated regarding devolution and the collaboration between Charnwood Borough Council and neighbouring Councils.

 

Councillor Miah stated that he was in support of the agreement and believed that it would provide an opportunity to make savings while retaining the identity of Charnwood Borough Council.

 

119.

Motions on Notice

No motions on notice have been received.

Minutes:

No motions on notice had been submitted.

120.

Questions on Notice pdf icon PDF 230 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).

121.

Litter and Dog Bins Policy

 

Question submitted by Councillor Radford.

Minutes:

Councillor Radford thanked the Leader Member and Officers for the response but stated that she was already aware of the Litter and Dog Bins Policy 2011. She stated that some dog bins were not in the most appropriate places and this resulted in littering. She believed that the cost of installing dog litter bins in specific places would be cheaper than the cost of the cleaning currently required.  

 

Councillor Harper-Davies responded by requesting further detail on the requirements of dog litter bins in the area referred to by Councillor Radford.  

122.

Tree Policy

 

Question submitted by Councillor Radford.

Minutes:

Councillor Radford thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the response and stated that she was aware of a tree that required an inspection and that this had not been undertaken despite the issue being reported.

 

Councillor Harper-Davies responded by requesting further information on the specific tree being referred to and that she would ensure an inspection took place.

123.

Empty Homes Remit

 

Question submitted by Councillor Parton.

Minutes:

Councillor Parton was not present at the meeting and so was unable to ask a supplementary question or make a supplementary statement.

124.

Town Deal Board Work Plan

 

Question submitted by Councillor Parton.

Minutes:

Councillor Parton was not present at the meeting and so was unable to ask a supplementary question or make a supplementary statement.

 

125.

Charnwood Community Grants

 

Question submitted by Councillor Parton.

Minutes:

Councillor Parton was not present at the meeting and so was unable to ask a supplementary question or make a supplementary statement.

 

126.

Investment in Fossil Fuels

 

Question submitted by Councillor Needham.

Minutes:

Councillor Needham thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the response and stated that there were indirect associations with fossil fuels. Charnwood Borough Council’s pension fund was administered by Leicestershire County Council, which had around £160 million invested in fossil fuels and related industries. She enquired whether the Council would ask Leicestershire County Council to divest these assets, as the fossil fuels industry was becoming increasing redundant.

 

Councillor Rollings responded by stating that the Council had no direct control over pensions administration and the investments that Leicestershire County Council were involved in. He highlighted that the Council was dedicated to carbon neutrality and invited Councillor Needham to further discuss the matter with him. 

 

127.

Hastings Ward People Zone

 

Question submitted by Councillor Draycott.

Minutes:

Councillor Draycott thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the response and asked whether they had considered applying for grants and researching other opportunities to provide funding for the extension of the Marios Tinenti Centre.

 

Councillor Taylor responded by requesting that Councillor Draycott supplied information on the funding opportunities she had identified. However, she stated that as a Local Authority, the Council would not be eligible to apply for some grants.

128.

Land at Moor Lane, Loughborough

 

Question submitted by Councillor Draycott.

Minutes:

Councillor Draycott thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the response but highlighted the inconvenience to residents the situation currently causes. She enquired whether the residents affected would be entitled to a reduction in their Council Tax as some services, such as waste collection, were disrupted.

 

Councillor Morgan responded by stating that the road had not been adopted by Leicestershire County Council Highways and in its current condition was not suitable for refuge lorries to use due to safety concerns. The Council had ensured that there were waste collection points available to the residents of the area.

129.

Charnwood News Distribution

 

Question submitted by Councillor K Harris.

Minutes:

Councillor Keith Harris thanked the Lead Member and Officers for the response and stated that he was satisfied that a review of distribution would take place imminently.

 

130.

Minute References

There are no minute references.

Minutes:

There were no minute references.

131.

Urgent Executive Decisions Exempted from Call-in

132.

Acquisition of Properties pdf icon PDF 106 KB

A report of the Chief Executive to note decisions 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).

 

133.

Delegation of an Executive Function - Participating in the UK Resettlement Scheme pdf icon PDF 103 KB

A report of the Chief Executive informing Council of a delegation of an Executive function confirming the Council’s participation in the UK Resettlement Scheme, is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Chief Executive to inform Council of a delegation of an Executive function confirming the Council’s participation in the UK Resettlement Scheme (item 13 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

Councillor Morgan confirmed that the scheme was agreed across the Leicestershire districts and that a balance had been identified in terms of providing a solution that is suitable for Charnwood.

134.

Nomination of Deputy Mayor Elect for 2020/21

To receive nominations for Deputy Mayor Elect for 2020/21 (subject to nomination and appointment at Annual Council, scheduled for 18th May 2020).

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Morgan, seconded by Councillor Miah and

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Baines be nominated as Deputy Mayor Elect for the 2020/21 Council year.

 

Reason

 

To ensure that a nomination was made for Deputy Mayor of the Borough for 2020/21.

135.

Nomination of Mayor Elect for 2020/21

To receive nominations for Mayor Elect for 2020/21 (subject to nomination and appointment at Annual Council, scheduled for 18th May 2020).

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Morgan, seconded by Councillor Miah and

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Snartt be nominated as Mayor Elect for the 2020/21 Council year.

 

Reason

 

To ensure that a nomination was made for the Mayor of the Borough for 2020/21.

 

136.

Appointments to Committees

To consider any changes to Committee membership for the current Council year (2019/20) (if any).

Minutes:

There were no proposals to consider.