Background
Background

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 01946 598328

Items
No. Item

C80

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jackie Bowman, Anne Bradshaw, Yvonne Clarkson, Neil Ferguson, Allan Forster, Jeanette Forster, Fred Gleaves, Mark Holliday,  Alan Jacob, William Kirkbride, Alistair Norwood, Dave Riley, Graham Roberts, Peter Stephenson, Peter Tyson, Doug Wilson and Felicity Wilson.

C81

Minutes of the meetings held on 5 February 2019 and 19 February 2019. pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meetings held on 5 February 2019 and 19 February 2019 be signed by the Chair as a correct record, subject to:

 

Minute C63 ((b) Oral questions from Members) Councillor Gillian Troughton stated that reference to ‘papers’ should read ‘detailed scheme’.

 

Minute C64 (Independent Remuneration Panel-Members Allowances 2019/20) Councillor Gillian Troughton stated that Paragraph 3 should read ‘accepting the allowance was not always a personal choice’.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton further stated that within Paragraph 14, the question regarding scheme for members with disabilities was a separate question. The question raised was why there was still no scheme and why this was not addressed.

 

Arising from the Minutes

 

Minute C68 (Update on Copeland Borough Council’s Economic Regeneration Programme) Councillor Sam Meteer stated that his request made for a list of schemes funded by the Copeland Community Fund and for the information to go to personal e-mail address had not been completed.

In response, Councillor David Moore apologised and assured Councillor Meteer that this would be done without delay.

 

C82

Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items:

Minutes:

Councillor Dave Banks declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 8 (Executive Report) due to his daughter being an employee at Calderwood House and Phoenix Enterprise Centre due to being a director.

 

C83

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded Councillors that tablets, cables and chargers should be returned to Democratic Services by 26 April 2019. Mobile phones to be returned post election.

Councillor Chris Reay asked why some Members had been asked to return their equipment prior to this meeting.

 

The Monitoring Officer advised that all Councillors had received the same email request, but some Councillors had chosen to had their devices in already.

 

Members were informed that Related Party Transaction Forms had been placed on the tables and each Councillor was asked to complete and return to Finance as soon as possible.

 

Council was then reminded that it was here to conduct its business, but should remember that we are currently in Purdah.

 

C84

Petitions

Minutes:

It was noted that no petitions had been received from members of the public.

 

C85

Questions from Members of the Public

To receive questions from members of the public.  Maximum time allowed 30 minutes.  Questions must be submitted to the Head of Governance and Commercial  at least three working days prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

It was noted that no questions had been received from members of the public.

 

C86

Questions by Members

a)      Written questions to the Mayor or any other Member of the Council in relation to content of any recommendations or reports before the Council.  Questions must be submitted in writing to the Head or Governance and Commercial at least three working days prior to the meeting. (45 minutes allowed) – Procedure Rule 11.2.

b)      Oral questions to the Mayor on any matter where the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Borough.  (60 minutes allowed plus any unused time from (a) above) – Procedure Rule 11.1.

Minutes:

(a)      It was noted that no questions had been received from Members.

 

 

(b)     Oral questions from Members.

 

Question from Councillor Chris Reay:  Can we have the past Mayors portraits back in the Bainbridge Room and the two stone tablets reinstated?

 

Response Councillor David Moore:  They are on display in The Beacon, together with the civic regalia.  We are not certain that we will be holding future meetings of Council in this building. 

 

Question from Councillor Sam Pollen:  Can the Mayor provide an update on the Red Lion and associated buildings on Egremont Main Street?

 

Response from the Mayor:  This is of great concern to me and residents of Egremont. The buildings have been vacant since 2004 and have fallen into state of dilapidation.   There are numerous works going on. I cannot compromise the Council’s legal position, but significant progress has been made.  The buildings are to be demolished, but at the moment it is difficult to comment due to the legalities.

 

Question from Councillor Sam Pollen:  This morning Councillor Michael McVeigh and myself carried out an inspection at the Orgill estate prior to the start this month of the £8M flood development scheme.  Pat Graham did a fantastic job and massive thanks to her and all partners involved.  We inspected all the drains around the estate.  Maintenance hasn’t been kept up and approx. 90% of them are blocked, can we pick that up.  Some residents are getting flood defence doors and others aren’t, can we clarify and give information?

 

Response from the Mayor: The Mayor agreed that the Council’s Officers led by Pat Graham have done a fantastic job. In regards to the other points, clarification is being sought from the Environment Agency.

Response from the Chief Executive:  Shared a response from Environment Agency regarding replacement flood doors in Church View, Croadella Avenue and St Bridget’s Lane.  The Chief Executive agreed to follow up and update all relevant members.

 

Question from Councillor Sam Pollen: Can we ensure maintenance on the drains is done?  This hasn’t been done for many months. 

 

Response from the Chief Executive:  Drains are a multi-agency responsibility, but we will contact all partners as a matter of urgency.

 

Question Councillor Chris Reay:  I would like to thank the Officers, in particular Member Services for their help over the last four years.  I know Member Services will be laying on more training for the next Council. I hope the Mayor will give his full backing to this and that all Councillors make full use of it.

 

C87

Mayor's Executive Report pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In asking the Mayor, Mike Starkie to introduce his Executive Report, Members were advised that questions would be taken at the end of each portfolio report. 

 

The Mayor began by saying that this was the last Council of the current term. 

All departing Councillors would be invited to the Annual meeting in May.

He thanked all members, from all parties, for their work in last four years.  It’s not an easy task.  All come in with the right intentions and for the right reasons. 

In particular the Mayor thanked Councillor Ray Gill and paid tribute for his contribution to Copeland, Whitehaven Town Council and in his many roles.  He was wished a long and happy retirement.

 

Questions were invited on the Mayor’s portfolio

 

There were no questions on the Mayor’s portfolio report.

 

 

Questions on Councillor David Moore’s portfolio were invited.

 

Question from Councillor Sam Pollen: Regarding the Geological Disposal Facility Siting Process

Position Statement, what are the risks to the environment and local communities regarding the current interim storage of waste on Sellafield site?

 

Response from Councillor David Moore:  We recognise the risks that are associated.  Sellafield site is High Risk/High Hazard.  The Council has also supported that Geological Disposal, wherever that may be, is currently the best proposed route for high active waste.  If the waste was to leave this community that is something we would be happy to be working with, clearly this statement is a holding statement while we assessed what happening.  There is further work to do, we should be engaged financially as well through Government funding as hosts of the current waste.  Risks are high on the Sellafield Site, would it be safer in the geological disposal – we believe yes. Where that will be and when it will take place has not been put forward yet. The process will be developing and a key piece of that work is how waste is moved from this area.  How can this waste be moved and we need to understand how the waste would leave.

 

Supplementary from Councillor Sam Pollen: Would like it noted in the minutes that he does not agree with this mission statement and principle – not comfortable with Councils position statement and in favour of a GDF.  Waste is safe and secure at the moment.  The financial rewards are an insult to this community.  Not everyone is comfortable with the Government’s or this Council’s position. I certainly am not comfortable with a GDF. It is important that we take part in consultation and if elected I would look forward to doing that.

 

Response from Councillor David Moore:  It is clear that this statement does not commit us to anything. It is a holding statement only and lets us gain more information before a future Council can make decisions.

 

Question from Councillor Dave Banks:  I sit on a sub-committee of the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group.  For over 6 years we have talked about the waste from submarine nuclear reactors, the MoD agreed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item C87

C88

Housing Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a proposed Copeland Housing Enforcement Policy 2019.

 

Councillor Martin Barbour declared an Interest due to being a landlord, but not a House of Multiple Occupancy.

 

The Council’s Solicitor then provided clarity to Council regarding declaring an interest.

 

Councillor Allan Holliday moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor David Moore.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton referred to section 3.1 of the policy (Mandatory HMO Licensing) and suggested that the wording ‘though in Copeland many of our potential (HMO’s) are not classed as the residents sole or main residence and so do not need to be licensed’ be removed.

 

Councillor Sam Pollen raised concern regarding the resources available to enforce the policy and was assured by Councillor Allan Holliday that the Council did have sufficient staff and that we needed to keep on top of rogue landlords.

 

Councillor Bob Kelly stated he thought it was a comprehensive policy and asked how many cases has there been in the last 12 months.

 

In response, Councillor Allan Holliday agreed to provide a written response.

 

Councillor Graham Sunderland stated that Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) rules have changed in that it does not have to be a three storey house.  

 

RESOLVED:- that the Copeland Housing Enforcement Policy 2019 be approved, subject to the removal of the wording ‘though in Copeland many of our potential HMO’s are not classed as the residents sole or main residence and so do not need to be licensed’ in Section 3.1

 

C89

Community Asset Transfer Policy pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor Allan Holliday.

 

Councillor Bob Kelly stated he was not opposed to this policy but regrets this sort of thing has to happen.  There is a duty of care, Copeland Borough Council should not wash their hands over this, please bear in mind the bodies taking over these responsibilities may need help.

 

In response Councillor David Moore stated it is valuable and I have seen it work.  We will help and guide because we want these transfers to succeed.  Need to look at opportunities.

 

Councillor Tom Higgins outlined the success of the Community Asset Transfer of Lowes Court Gallery in Egremont. They pay a peppercorn rent and are now looking at an extension, car park and offering classes. It will be expanding into the community for years and years.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton highlighted a couple of typos in the Policy and if the applicant is required to obtain any planning permission for the asset the applicant will be required to do so at this point of the process.

 

In response Councillor David Moore acknowledged the typos and agreed to have them corrected and would also be happy to change the wording where suggested.

 

Councillor Sam Meteer asked for confirmation that Copeland still had a procedure to register an asset.

 

In response Councillor David Moore confirmed that we did.

 

RESOLVED: that Community Asset Transfer Policy and associated procedures, attached as Appendix A to the report, be adopted.

 

C90

St Bees Head Heritage Coast pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Allan Holliday moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor David Moore.

 

Councillor Chris Reay referred to the dark blue area on the map (page 105 of the agenda) and asked if Copeland could get some money for this to re-enforce and protect the West Pier from storm damage and provide us with a safe piece of coastline which we could use for a car park?

 

In response Councillor Allan Holliday stated that was part of the reason for moving it into a Heritage Site because it did attract funding towards coastal protection and the like. It would help Copeland to maintain this particular part of the coastline. I thought this was an excellent idea and would be good for tourism in the area. All members should be behind and promote as much as they could.

 

RESOLVED: that

a)   The Proposed Extension to St Bees Head Heritage Coast Defined Area be

     approved,

b)   The new name of St Bees and Whitehaven Heritage Coast be approved, and

c)   Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive to sign the agreement with

     Natural England, that adopts the newly defined area when it is produced.

 

C91

Safeguarding Children Policy Revisions pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor David Moore.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton referred to the last paragraph on page 137 of the agenda report and asked what the intent of this was and it needed to be clear.

Page 145 of the agenda report regarding safeguarding concerns relating to the conduct of an Employee or Elected Member, Councillor Troughton was not sure that she or anyone would understand what they were supposed to do.

The report should be easy to understand so that you could read it and get to the bit you would need.  It should read that we should report concerns whether at home or work or in the community, because this read as though it should only be at work.

 

No reference to overarching HR policies regarding the checks we make including DBS checks and who should have them.  There was reference to Beacon Staff but there was also a need to include Parks and Open Spaces who work with young people all the time in positions of trust and work with young people.

 

No reference to training for role.  If it was not referred to in this policy, it should refer to the policy where it is referenced.

 

In response the Executive Director Operations stated that if a complaint came in we would use the complaints procedure, then make the decision if it needed to go through any other disciplinary process.  We could tidy this section up.

 

We are part of the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub and if the complaint was serious, it would be reported straight to them.  This decision would be made by an officer who was trained to level three.

 

With regard to Appendix E of the report and open spaces staff, we have lone working policies and were making sure staff were safe in their working environment.  There were other policies in place to cover this. We constantly look at those when we review jobs.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton stated that safeguarding should come first before any complaint and training should be included.  Should be much more explicit and refer to other policies.  Concerned that we are putting staff in vulnerable positions and that our staff are at risk.

 

In response the Mayor confirmed that there were five members on the Working Group who looked at this policy which had also been to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  Training is mandatory.

 

Councillor Denise Burness referred to page 154 of the agenda report stating that calling 999 should be used, as 101 as was not fit for purpose as it stood at the moment.

 

RESOLVED:- that the revised Safeguarding Children Policy be agreed.

 

 

A 10 minute adjournment was taken at this point of the meeting.

(Note: Councillors John Burns and Sam Pollen left the meeting)

 

C92

Safeguarding Adults Policy Revisions pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor David Moore.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton stated it was a really important policy and would like to see it much easier to read if you needed to refer to the document.  Councillors were all in a potentially coercive position, we needed to protect ourselves.  Councillors needed training to ensure they were not put at risk.  There should also be reference to training and HR Policies as she had said before.

 

In response the Mayor stated that training was mandatory and we would retrain with the new members after the elections in May.  The policy had been through Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Executive and their comments had been taken into account. He stated that some fantastic work had been done in putting these policies together.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton further stated that regarding membership of the steering group, she would have put herself forward for this if she had known it was taking place and apologised for raising the issues now when she could have brought these points up in the Steering Group.

 

RESOLVED:- that the revised Safeguarding Adults Policy be agreed.

 

C93

Gambling Act 2005 - Statement of Policy update pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Whalley presented this report on behalf of the Licensing Committee which had met earlier today.

 

Council was advised that Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005 required a licensing authority to prepare, every three years, a statement of the principles that they proposed to apply in exercising their functions under the Act during that three year period and, once prepared, to publish such statement. Copeland’s last policy expired on 31st December 2018.

 

Councillor Whalley then outlined the timetable for moving the matter forward with the aim of having a revised statement in force by 5 August 2019.

 

RESOLVED:- that

a)            the current position and proposed timetable for adoption of a statement of licensing

policy to be made under Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005 be noted and

b)            the comments of the Monitoring Officer be considered and noted.

 

C94

Honorary Alderman Protocol pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor Allan Holliday.

 

Councillor Bob Kelly stated that he would like to see that Aldermen were invited to Council meetings.

 

In response Councillor David Moore confirmed that Aldermen received invitations and an agenda for Council meetings. He also believed there was a role for the Alderman/woman going forward and that their views would add value.  In addition to being invited to Council, they were also invited to civic events.

 

Councillor Chris Reay stated that a number of Members would be retiring at this election and we would find a large number of them could qualify to be an Alderman. He suggested that there should be no limitations regarding numbers at this time.

 

In response Councillor David Moore confirmed that any number of nominations would be accepted and each one would be considered on its own merit.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton asked if the proposed protocol included Elected Mayors, Leaders, Portfolio Holders or shadow Portfolio Holders.

 

In response Councillor David Moore confirmed that everyone would be considered and would seek clarification regarding an Elected Mayor.

 

Councillor Dave Banks stated that in the past, an Alderman had given many years of valuable service and would agree that more use should be made of their experience.

 

Councillor Denise Burness made reference to the title of ‘Chairman’ in the proposed protocol and was dismayed at the gender specific titles, she suggested that the title of ‘Chairman’ be changed to ‘Chair’.

 

In response Councillor David Moore confirmed he was happy to make that change.

 

Councillor Graham Sunderland asked for clarification on how this would be voted on in Council and whether people had to rely on majority vote. He also queried the requirement for a limit on number and length of service.

 

Councillor Ray Gill stated that the only criteria was ‘Eminent Service’ and it was up to Council to support each nomination on its merit.

 

RESOLVED:- that the Protocol for the Appointment of Honorary Aldermen be agreed, subject to the minor alterations suggested.

C95

Outside Bodies Annual Report pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor Allan Holliday.

 

Councillor Moore expressed disappointment that only 40% of reports had been received at the time the agenda was published. Further reports had been received since and these would be included in the report that was made public on the website.

 

Councillor Ray Gill on behalf of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee asked that there could be more officer involvement and that the Annual report process be reviewed.

 

Councillor Gill then took the opportunity to thank all his fellow Councillors and Officers for their support over the years.

 

In response Councillor David Moore agreed that the process did require a review.

 

Councillor John Kane stated that the process was outdated and we should look at a reference guide to where minutes of the Outside Body could be found.

 

Councillor Gillian Troughton stated that although she is shown as the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Champion, she had resigned from that role some time ago.

 

(Note: Councillor Gwynneth Everett left the meeting at 4:45pm, during the discussion of this item.)

 

RESOLVED: that the Outside Bodies Annual Report be noted.

 

C96

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded for the remaining item items of business in view of likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

C97

Industrial Solutions Hub - Request to act as accountable body

Minutes:

Council considered a report seeking approval to the Council acting as an accountable body for the receipt of a Grant to enable the Council to develop initiatives in relation to the Sellafield Transformation Programme by leading the Industrial Solutions Hub project.

 

RESOLVED: that the recommendation be approved.

 

 

In public.

 

C98

Date and Time of the Next Meeting:

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 21 May 2019 at 2:00pm, in the Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of Council would be the Annual General Meeting to be held at 2:00pm on Tuesday 21 May 2019 in the Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Whitehaven.

 

Before closing the meeting the Chair took the opportunity to thank all the Officers for their full support since he became a Councillor in 1980.

He also thanked all the Councillors.

Finally all those Councillors standing for re-election were wished good luck.

 

 

 

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