Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 07385 362806

No. Item

C 21/77

Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors James Date, Joseph Ghayouba, Fred Gleaves, Jeffrey Hailes, Mike Hawkins, Carl Walmsley and Eileen Weir.

Also from Steven Brown (Director of Financial Resources),


C 21/78

Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items


There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting. 


C 21/79

Chair's Announcements


The Chair stated that following the Budget meeting on 8th February, the membership of the Council Tax Setting Committee was checked and confirmed the appointments made at the Annual Meeting last May were correct.

The Council Tax Setting Committee members were Councillors Gemma Dinsdale, Gwynneth Everett, Tom Higgins, Michael McVeigh, David Moore, Brian O’Kane, Andy Pratt, Peter Tyson and Carl Walmsley.

The Council Tax Setting Committee meeting would be held on Tuesday 1st March at 2:00pm.  


C 21/80

Appointments to Outside Bodies - The Alliance pdf icon PDF 394 KB


Councillor David Moore presented a report regarding the Council’s continued membership of The Alliance. This item was referred to OSC by Council at the meeting held on 7 December 2021.


The recommendation from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to continue membership of the Alliance until this Council ceases to exist from 1 April 2023, was supported by Executive at their meeting on 1 February 2022.

An additional recommendation was made that Council’s representative on the Alliance be changed from Councillor Andy Pratt to Councillor Michael McVeigh.


The recommendations were seconded by Councillor Sam Pollen.


During the discussion that followed, Councillor Sam Meteer asked who was responsible for the incorrect and misleading report that was presented to Council on 7 December 2021.

Councillor Moore replied that the report to Council on 7 December 2021 was correct.


Councillor Michael McVeigh accepted the nomination to be Copeland’s representative on the Alliance.


RESOLVED: That Council agree with Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s recommendation for Copeland to remain a member of the Alliance and the subscription fee to be paid.

It was also agreed that Councillor Michael McVeigh replace Councillor Andy Pratt as the Copeland representative.


C 21/81

Decision to Opt Into the National Scheme for Auditor Appointments managed by PSAA as the 'Appointing Person' pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Additional documents:


The Mayor introduced this report which was to mitigate the legal risk to the Council if local government reform was delayed, this report set out proposals for appointing the external auditor to Copeland Borough Council for the accounts for the five-year period from 2023/24 to 2027/28. 


The recommendation was seconded by Councillor Steven Morgan.


Councillor Michael McVeigh raised the following questions on behalf of Councillor Eileen Weir.


As there are currently 9 audit providers eligible to audit local authorities and other relevant bodies under local legislation.

This means that a local procurement exercise would seek tenders from the same firms as the national procurement exercise, subject to the need to manage any local independence issues. How is it fair that local firms cannot be invited to BID?

When there is such a shortage of national audit providers, there ought to be exceptional circumstance legislation, to allow local firms to Bid i.e tender for local procurement opportunities?


The Mayor replied that

“Criteria to become an eligible auditor is set out in legislation; the ‘Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014’. Any firm can apply to become an eligible auditor but must meet the criteria. Changes to legislation that may allow local firms to bid is the responsibility of Government and is not a matter for Council to consider although representations may be made to Government on this matter.”

A written response would be forwarded to Councillor Weir.






RESOLVED: That the Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the appointment of external auditors to principal local government and police bodies for five financial years from 1 April 2023 be accepted.


C 21/82

Establishment of a 'Cumberland' Council Joint Committee pdf icon PDF 598 KB


Councillor David Moore introduced this report which recommended that as one of the Councils making up the area which will be covered by the forthcoming Cumberland Council, that a Cumberland Joint Committee be established.


The recommendations were seconded by Councillor Doug Wilson.


Councillor Michael McVeigh made the nominations for the Labour Group as Councillor Mike Hawkins and Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman.


Councillor David Moore for the Conservative Group nominated Mayor Mike Starkie.








1)  the establishment of the Cumberland Joint Committee as detailed in

     the report and to the Committee’s Terms of Reference (Appendix 1)

     be agreed.


2)  the Non-Executive functions within the Terms of Reference be

     delegated to the Cumberland Joint Committee.


3)  the making of any minor changes to the terms of reference following

      consideration by the 3 other councils forming the Joint Committee be

      delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the



4)  the necessary amendments to the Council’s Constitution and

     updating, as required and appropriate, the Council’s Scheme of

     Delegation in Chapter 12 of the Copeland Borough Council

     Constitution be delegated to the Monitoring Officer


5)  nominations to the positions on the Cumberland Joint Committee in

      accordance with the determined political representation/balance

      calculation be received and are Mayor Mike Starkie, Councillor Mike

      Hawkins and Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman.


6) the authority to agree which of the ‘Cumberland’ Councils acts as the

     host authority for the Cumberland Joint Committee for the operation

     and servicing of Members appointed be delegated to the Chief

     Executive, in consultation with the Mayor,


7)  this Joint Committee is the Cumberland Joint Committee (convened

      for and appointed by ‘West’) for the purposes of the LGR Cumbria

      (Structural Changes) Order 2022 be agreed.

C 21/83

Exclusion of Press and Public


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


C 21/84

Establishing the Industrial Solutions Hub (ISH) Company


Councillor David Moore presented this report which provided the background to the Industrial Solutions Hub (ISH) project and sought Council agreement to the establishment of the ISH company. When stating the recommendations, an amended Recommendation 6 was stated.


The recommendations were seconded by Councillor Steven Morgan.


Councillor Morgan then made a statement in support of the recommendations.


Councillors then took the opportunity to raise questions that were answered by the Portfolio Holder and the Chief Executive.


Councillor Joan Hully proposed an amendment to Recommendation 6, which was seconded by Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman.


At this point an adjournment was requested to allow for legal advice to be taken.

The meeting stood adjourned at 2:52pm


The meeting resumed at 3:27pm


Having taken advice, Councillor Joan Hully revoked her proposed amendment.


Councillor Michael McVeigh proposed that Recommendations 1-5 be agreed and Recommendation 6 be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee for further consideration and that a recommendation be made by OSC to a future meeting of Council.

Councillor Jackie Bowman seconded the proposal.


After further discussion, it was unanimously






RESOLVED: That recommendations 1 - 5 in the agenda report be agreed without amendment and recommendation 6 be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider further and make a recommendation back to Council.



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