Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: The Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ
Contact: Clive Willoughby Tel: 07385 362806
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jackie Bowman, Graham Calvin, James Date, Allan Forster, Jeanette Forster, Fred Gleaves, Jeffrey Hailes, Ged McGrath, Russell Studholme, Carl Walmsley, Eileen Weir, Doug Wilson and Felicity Wilson.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman declared a non pecuniary interest in both agenda items due to being ward councillor at Cleator Moor.
Councillor Joan Hully declared a non pecuniary interest in both agenda items due to being Chair of Cleator Moor Town Council and a director of Regeneration North East Copeland.
Councillor Hugh Branney declared a non pecuniary interest in both agenda items due to being a member of Regeneration North East Copeland and the Council’s representative on the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board.
The Chair reminded all Councillors to ensure their Declarations of Interests forms were up-to-date and also to advise Democratic Services of holiday dates and dates when they were unavailable.
Mayor Mike Starkie presented this item which updated Council on the current position regarding the Cleator Moor Town Deal and requested acceptance of potential match funding applications to deliver the Town Investment Plan.
The recommendations were seconded by Councillor David Moore.
During discussion of this item, Councillor Michael McVeigh expressed his disappointment that Egremont had not been included in the Town Deal
Councillor Mike Hawkins asked if any consultation had taken place with the Cumberland Shadow Authority and if the Shadow Authority would need to sign this off.
The Chief Executive responded that consultations with the Shadow Authority had taken place and were ongoing. It was also confirmed that the Shadow Executive would be required to sign off at the appropriate time.
Councillor Joseph Ghayouba referred to the budget gap that the new Cumberland Council would have and asked for clarification regarding the funding for Towns Fund.
The Mayor clarified that Cumberland’s budget gap related to revenue budget, whereas the Towns Fund was capital budget. He further explained that £22.5m of funding for the Cleator Moor Town Fund was coming from Government and £17.8m was match funding from various sources including the NDA, Copeland Community Fund and the Social Impact Fund.
Councillor Sam Pollen stated that he would have liked a member briefing prior to the meeting on this subject and requested a briefing before the Millom Town Deal paper came to council. He also expressed his disappointment that Egremont had missed out.
Councillor Pollen asked what the main financial risks were.
In reply, the Director of Financial Resources stated that each project has its own risks and confirmed that these had been factored into the business case. It was confirmed that the risks would be assessed further as each project progressed.
(a) in compliance with the Heads of Terms offer issued on 8th June 2021 that four business case summary documents are being submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) towards drawing down funding of up to £22.5m in the respect of the Town Deal bid for Cleator Moor by 30th June 2022 be noted;
(b) the update on the projects with business cases developed to deliver the Cleator Moor Town Investment Plan, including costs, outputs and outcomes, timescales and key risks and mitigations raised through the Business Case Assurance process and where the Council (CBC) is Project Owner be noted;
(c) Subject to (a) the applications for external grant/match funding being successful and (b) the Chief Executive in consultation with the Elected Mayor and Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee being satisfied with any grant conditions imposed that the proposed receipt of up to £6,726,034 against current applications to potential external funders, includingCopeland Community Fund and Sellafield Ltd Social Impact Fund, to support Cleator Moor Town Deal be approved. The approval was made on the basis that the external income will be reflected in the Council’s capital budget with spend then being dealt with in accordance with schemes submitted ... view the full minutes text for item C 22/17
Councillor David Moore presented a report regarding the Industrial Solutions Hub (ISH) that would deliver new economic activity and job prospects for Copeland and Cumberland residents, reducing the reliance on the Sellafield site as an economic driver but utilising the skills and expertise in the nuclear supply chain workforce to stimulate economic diversification. In tandem with the Cleator Moor Town Deal and the Councils acquisition of Leconfield Industrial Estate plans for rolling out the development of the ISH company and the Enterprise campus at Leconfield will have specific benefits to Cleator Moor and its residents. This report specifically sought Council approval to accept the offer of grant funding towards the costs of the operation of the iSH company and the development of the Enterprise campus at Leconfield. It was also seeking Council approval to accept funding from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for further development of the Enterprise campus at Leconfield, should a proposed application be successful.
Before moving the recommendations, Councillor Moore made an amendment to recommendation 1b shown on the agenda report, removing the wording in brackets, as the NDA decision had already been made.
The amended recommendations were seconded by Councillor Steven Morgan.
Questions from members were then invited.
Councillor Michael McVeigh asked if the site would be used for storage.
Councillor Moore confirmed it would not.
Councillor Sam Meteer referred to the Monitoring Officers comments in the agenda report regarding the further advice being sought and asked if the advice had been received.
The Monitoring Officer replied that the advice had not yet been received, however, the iSH had obtained their own legal advice and the M.O. was confident that no negative advice would be forthcoming.
Councillor John Kane welcomed the report and asked if anything was being done on the medical provision in the area.
The Mayor responded to advise that work was going on in the background to bring significant medical support to the area.
Councillor Sam Pollen asked if there were any Compulsory Purchase Orders in place and also was the iSH part 1 and 2 development dependent on the purchase of Bowthorn Park Farm.
Councillor Moore replied that the answer to both questions was no.
Councillor Morgan in response to Councillor Kane’s earlier question provided a brief update on the work currently underway between the NHS trust in Newcastle and the North Cumbria Integrated Care Trust to bring more medical facilities and personnel to the area. Councillor Morgan supported the proposal which would benefit the Copeland area, not just Cleator Moor, but would capitalise on the technology and expertise of the area.
Councillor Joan Hully asked if there was any chance of better public transport in Cleator Moor.
Councillor Moore replied that this was not part of the agenda item, but would hope that with the new job opportunities the transport infrastructure would be looked at by the new council.
Councillor Hawkins asked what funding would be coming to Whitehaven and was reminded that this was not on today’s agenda.
Councillor Sam ... view the full minutes text for item C 22/18