Agenda and minutes
Venue: The Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ
Contact: Clive Willoughby Tel: 01946 598328
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from:
Councillors: Jackie Bowman, Fred Gleaves, Ged McGrath, and Eileen Weir.
Officers: Julie Betteridge (Director of Growth and Inclusive Communities).
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 9 September 2019 and the Special Meetings held on 30 September 2019 and 19 November 2019 be signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
Councillors Dave Banks and Gemma Dinsdale declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 14 (Copeland Centre Private Finance Initiative Scheme) due to working in the same team as the Sellafield negotiating team.
Councillor Joan Hully declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items relating to Cleator Moor due to being a Cleator Moor Town Councillor.
The Chair made the following announcements:
In October, HMS Biter, a Royal Navy patrol craft, visited Whitehaven and gave Copeland residents an opportunity to tour the ship and meet the young trainees who crewed her.
Whitehaven gave the crew a warm welcome and the crew enjoyed a great evening on the town. HMS Biter has adopted Copeland and Whitehaven as an affiliated port and intends to visit us frequently.
Councillor Steve Morgan – a retired Admiral - welcomed HMS Biter to Whitehaven on behalf of Copeland Council and was presented with a ship’s plaque to commemorate the visit and officially establish our affiliation.
A ships plaque was then presented to the Chair by Councillor Steve Morgan, which will be displayed proudly.
The Chair, other Cleator Moor councillors and members of the joint churches attended a Crib dedication service at which the Cleator Moor Brass Band were also in attendance.
It was noted that no petitions had been received from members of the public.
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.
It was noted that no questions had been received from members of the public.
Questions by Members
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.
a) Written Questions
It was noted that no written questions had been received from Members.
b) Oral Questions
It was noted that there were no oral questions from Members.
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.
Before presenting his report, the Mayor paid special tribute to the Chief Executive, Electoral and Democratic Services Manager and the whole Elections Team for their hard work in preparing for, and delivering a successful General Election in the Copeland Constituency on Thursday 12 December. This was supported by Council.
Council were advised that a revised Page 53 of the agenda had been circulated before the start of the meeting.
Questions were then invited on the Mayor’s portfolio
Question from Councillor Sam Pollen: Regarding High Street funding, why was Egremont not included?
Response from the Mayor: Very pleased to announce that through the Borderlands deal,
£3 million will be allocated to Egremont.
Councillor Pollen in a supplementary welcomed the news and asked if further discussions could be held with Egremont councillors regarding the allocation of money.
In response the Mayor agreed for discussions to take place.
Questions on Councillor David Moore’s portfolio were invited.
There were no questions to Councillor David Moore regarding his portfolio.
Questions on Councillor Michael McVeigh’s portfolio were invited.
Councillor Sam Pollen thanked the Homelessness Team for the continuing work they do for the most vulnerable in our society, also Copeland Community Fund and Sellafield Ltd for their support in tackling domestic abuse.
In response, the Mayor stated that protecting the vulnerable remained the number one priority for this Council. The Mayor also stated that he had last week written to Katherine Fairclough as there was a proposal that the County Council remove £796k of funding through the Housing Related Support Funding, which is the wrong thing to do. A briefing paper is being prepared for Members.
Note: At this point Councillor Dave Banks declared an interest, due to his daughter working at Calderwood House.
Questions on Councillor Gwynneth Everett’s portfolio were invited.
Question from Councillor Peter Tyson, with reference to Well Whitehaven, why has he (as the Ward Councillor) not been told what is going on?
In response The Mayor stated that Emma Williamson will be briefing all Ward Councillors shortly.
Questions on Councillor Steven Morgan’s portfolio were invited.
Question from Councillor Tom Higgins: Regarding commercial recycling was there any progress?
The Chief Executive responded that a review of all commercial options was ongoing and a report will be presented to Executive in due course.
RESOLVED: That the Mayor’s Executive report be noted.
Councillor John Kane introduced this report, which was seconded by Councillor Sam Meteer.
Councillor Sam Meteer queried section 2.4.2 of the agenda report and clarification was provided by the Scrutiny Officer.
RESOLVED: that the update from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted.
Consideration was given to a report making amendments to Committees and Outside Bodies following Councillor Ged McGrath’s move from the Conservative group to become an Independent and the subsequent change to Political Balance.
Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by the Mayor.
RESOLVED: that the following amendments be made:
a) Standards and Ethics Committee –
Councillor Russell Studholme to replace Councillor Ged McGrath.
b) Audit Committee –
Councillor Jeffrey Haile to replace Councillor Ged McGrath.
Councillor Eileen Wier to replace Councillor Charles Maudling
c) Planning Panel –
Councillor Steve Morgan to replace Councillor Ged McGrath.
d) Overview and Scrutiny Committee –
Councillor Charles Maudling to replace Councillor Mike Hawkins.
e) Cumbria Community Foundation Board –
Deputy Mayor to replace Elected Mayor.
f) Cumbria Community Foundation – West Cumbria Grants Panel –
Councillor Felicity Wilson to replace Councillor Ged McGrath.
Consideration was given to an update on Copeland Borough Council’s Development of a Business Case for Whitehaven Against the Future High Streets Fund
The Mayor moved the report which was seconded by Councillor David Moore.
a) the application for, receipt and spend of an additional £350,000 to support the development of business plans for key individual projects as part of the Future High Streets Fund bid, with the expectation that each individual business plan will be developed for no more than £100, 000 be agreed; and
b) in line with a successful application and grant conditions, to receive and spend growth deal funding of at least £1m for land assembly and delivery from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership be agreed.
Consideration was given to the draft Corporate Strategy which forms part of the Budget and Policy Framework within an Elected Mayor authority.
RESOLVED – That the draft 2020-2024 Corporate Strategy be approved.
Consideration was given to a report dealing with constitutional changes relating to the Planning Panel and Licensing Committee.
Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by Councillor Doug Wilson.
Councillor Sam Meteer questioned why a Ward Councillor could not request a site visit.
Councillor David Moore responded that this was not so, a Ward Councillor can still make a request for a site visit to the Planning Officer as previously.
Councillor Brian O’Kane stated that the language used on page 112 of the agenda report was too strong and also asked for clarification of point 4.
Clarification was provided by the Chief Executive.
On a vote, by way of a show of hands the motion was declared CARRIED and it was
a) the recommendation from Overview and Scrutiny Committee to adopt the general protocol for Licensing Committee and Planning Panel members as shown in Appendix A to the agenda report be endorsed and the protocol approved.
b) the recommendations from the Standards and Ethics Committee to adopt the site visits protocol for Planning Panel members as shown in Appendix B to the agenda report be endorsed and the protocol approved.
Exclusion of Press and Public
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded for the following item 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).
It was then moved by Councillor Joan Hully duly seconded and agreed that a five minute adjournment take place and the meeting stood ADJOURNED.
(Note: Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman left the meeting)
The Copeland Centre Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Scheme
Consideration was given to a report regarding the accommodation of the Copeland Centre and the PFI scheme.
Councillor David Moore moved the report, which was seconded by The Mayor.
Members thanked all officers involved over the last couple of years in this piece of work.
a) Subject to the approval of, and the provision of, all funding by central government (MHCLG and the Treasury) that:
1) The Council issues a voluntary termination notice to Equitix (Copeland) Limited and Nationwide as a senior lender pursuant to clause 21 of the PFI Project Agreement dated 30th May 2003;
2) The Council enters into a deed of settlement with Equitix (Copeland) Limited setting out the terms upon which the parties agree to terminate the Project Agreement referred to in 1) and the sums payable by the Council to Equitix (Copeland) Limited in connection with the same (such sums being estimated and set out in paragraph 1.14 of the agenda report);
3) The Council accepts the external funding from Government to meet the cost of the voluntary termination (and associated additional request set out in paragraph 1.13 of the agenda report) with the capital programme adjusted to reflect such receipt (see paragraph 1.15 of the agenda report);
4) Either the existing facilities management contract between Equitix (Copeland) Limited and Kier Limited is assigned to the Council for continued facilities management, or, if inappropriate, that contract standing orders be waived to allow the Council to enter into a new facilities management contract with the existing provider (Kier Limited) to facilitate the continued provision of hard and soft facilities management services at the Copeland Centre in the short to medium term until such time as the Council has had opportunity to put in place more appropriate long term arrangements (paragraph 1.23 of the agenda report refers);
5) The risks and other items set out in paragraph 1.24 of the agenda report be noted;
6) If requested by Equitix (Copeland) Limited or any other party to the PFI Project Agreement arrangement to issue a certificate under the Local Government (Contracts) Act 1997 (‘a vires certificate’) that such certificate be issued and that the Chief Executive, Section 151 Officer or the Solicitor, as appropriate, be authorised to sign such certificate;
7) The Council accepts the assignment of the claim Equitix (Copeland) Limited have made against Balfour Beatty in relation to defects in the original building with a view to assessing whether to continue the claim provided that the Council, by accepting such assignment, does not expose itself to an award of costs being made against it should the claim be discontinued by the Council (see paragraph 1.24.6 of the agenda report); and
8) The timing of each of the above actions the final decision on the taking of each individual action and the detail of such action be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Section 151 Officer, the Solicitor, the Mayor and the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
b) That in ... view the full minutes text for item C 19/66
Date and Time of the Next Meeting
The next meeting of Council will be held on Monday 10th February 2020 at 2.00pm in the Bainbridge Room, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven, CA28 7SJ.
It was noted that the next meeting of Council would be held at 2:00pm on Monday 10th February 2020, venue to be confirmed.