Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Monday, 27th July, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: https://www.youtube.com/ScarboroughCouncil

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Sharma declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 6, Selective Licensing within parts of the  Weaponness and Ramshill Ward (20/96) since he was a private landlord in the area.

 

Councillor Forbes declared a personal interest in agenda item 6, Selective Licensing within parts of the  Weaponness and Ramshill Ward (20/96) since his home address was in the Ramshill area.

 

Councillor Atkinson declared a personal interest in agenda item 9, SLM contract variation following closure of leisure centres as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (20/88) - 31 March 2020 since he was a member shareholder of Scarborough Athletic Football Club Society..

 

Councillor Jefferson declared a personal interest in agenda item 10, One year discounted membership to join Federation of Small Business (FSB) (20/93) - 9 April 2020 since she was a member of the Federation of Small Business and owned a business in the Borough.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 28 February 2020 to be read or taken as read as the case may be. pdf icon PDF 676 KB

Minutes:

In respect of his questions put to the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Randerson at the Council meeting on 28 February 2020 and the replies subsequently provided in the annex of the minutes, Councillor Chance disputed the responses to question 3a ‘was permission granted on normal commercial terms for the Labour Party rally at Whitby Rifle Club during the General Election campaign in December 2019?’ and question 3e ‘who at the Council gave consent for the Labour Party during the recent General Election campaign to set up a stall and electioneer at Dock End, Whitby?.  Councillor Chance contended in respect of 3a that the rally did take place on Council land, which was a Council controlled facility and therefore that there was a clear breach of purdah in that Council facilities may not be used to promote a political party unless it was under the normal terms of business, so clearly consent was required.  His original question therefore stood: who gave consent?  In respect of 3e, Councillor Chance noted that all Labour Party activities were clearly advertised by Scarborough & Whitby Labour Party, and therefore the reply that officers were unaware was obtuse.  Councillor Chance then rephrased his question to Councillor Randerson: Did you or any member of the administration have knowledge of or give consent for the use of Dock End for political purposes during the General Election Campaign? And if not, will a charge be levied?  In respect of item 6(i) in the minutes, Proposal of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Freemen, Councillor Chatt sought an update of when the special meeting to confer the honours would be held.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2020 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

 

4.

Public Question Time

Members of the public may ask questions at this meeting if they have given notice and provided the text to Democratic Services, email: democraticservices@scarborough.gov.uk by 5pm on 22 July 2020 (if it relates to an item on the agenda) or by 5pm on 21 July 2020 (in any other case).  Each speaker should limit themselves to 2 minutes speaking time.

 

Minutes:

Mr James Corrigan was in attendance to put a question to the Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth, Councillor Colling.  The question and reply given are set out below.

Would the Council please confirm who got the best deal out of the purchase of the Travelodge when it was purchased on 10 October 2018 for £14 million. Was it the Council or the Seller?

The public report dated 17 September 2018 recommended the acquisition of the freehold interest in the Travelodge premises and was subsequently approved by the Property Investment Governance Board and Commercial Director. The report included extensive input and reporting from specialist independent advisors as follows;

           Edgerley Simpson Howe, a firm of Chartered Surveyors, with extensive property investment experience

           NJB Hotels, a firm of Chartered Surveyors with extensive specialist hotel investment experience,

           Paragon Building and Project Consultants provided a building condition survey report

           Cushman & Wakefield Chartered Surveyors provided a detailed RICS ‘Red Book’ valuation of the property

All of this independent advice was used in the preparation of a comprehensive business case, included in the report, which looked at the risks involved and also provided a full financial appraisal. The business case considered and addressed issues such as covenant strength, lease terms, title issues, and repair before agreeing to purchase the Travelodge. The Cushman & Wakefield RICS Red Book valuation also gave the Council ‘belt and braces’ comfort that it was paying the right price for the asset, given the market conditions at that time.

If, at that time, the independent advice and resulting business case had indicated the Council was not paying the right price then the Council would not have proceeded with the acquisition.

When invited to comment on the response, Mr Corrigan noted it still did not ease his concerns about this and other Council investments.

 

 

5.

To consider any announcements by the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive extended his thanks to officers across the organisation who had worked with passion, flexibility and commitment to ensure continuity of Council services during the pandemic.  He also congratulated Nick Bracken, a student apprentice in Parks and Countryside Services who had won the Student Apprentice of the Year award at Bishop Burton College.  The Leader of the Council, Councillor Siddons then addressed the meeting, echoing the Chief Executive’s gratitude to Council staff for their hard work during the pandemic across a range of services.  He noted too that despite the challenges, life continued and local businesses faced an uncertain future.  It was the Council’s job therefore not withdraw from its responsibilities but to support businesses and rebuild communities where it could by continuing to pursue an ambitious regeneration and devolution agenda.  His administration would shortly be announcing plans to extend the season to try and replace the early part of the season lost to lockdown.  Councillor Siddons noted too the success of virtual meetings: the high viewing figures, the positive impact on the environment, and the very high attendance at this meeting.  Finally, he reminded Members to give sufficient notice of their questions to enable them to be answered at the meeting.

 

The Mayor then invited all those present to stand in silence as a mark of respect following the recent deaths of former councillors Herbert Tindall and John Flinton.

 

 

6.

To consider and pass resolutions on the following 'A' items:-

6a

Selective Licensing within parts of the Weaponness and Ramshill Ward (20/96) pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.

RESOLVED that Council:

1)    Note the feedback from the public consultation exercise on the Selective Licensing of private rented accommodation.

 

2)    Approve the introduction of a Council led scheme for the Selective Licensing of Private Rented Accommodation in the area defined as ‘Scarborough South’. This area incorporates parts of the Weaponness and Ramshill ward as shown on the map in Appendix B of this report.

 

3)    Approve the proposed fee structure along with recommended discounts and exemptions.

 

4)    Approve an application to be made to the Secretary of State for the designation of Selective Licensing of Private Rented Accommodation in the area defined as ‘Scarborough South’.

 

5)    Subject to approval of the Secretary of State, approve the preparation and publication of a Public Notice of designation under sections 80 and 83 of the Housing Act 2004. This Notice shall allow for the designation of the chosen area for the introduction of a Selective Licensing Scheme. 

 

6)    Approve amendments to its policy for the Selective Licensing of Private Rented Accommodationas highlighted within this report.

 

Reasons

The Council has been operating two schemes for the Selective Licensing of Private Rented Accommodation. The first one was designated in parts of the Northstead (formerly North Bay ward) and Castle Wards in July 2017, and the second one was designated in June 2019 in parts of the Castle, Central and Northstead (formerly North Bay ward).

 

In December 2019 Cabinet considered report 19/257 and approved the business case for the introduction of a third phase of Selective Licensing within parts of the Weaponness and Ramshill ward. Officers were instructed to undertake a public consultation exercise on these proposals.

 

This report provides an overview of the consultation responses. The report seeks approval to introduce Selective Licensing in an area defined as ‘Scarborough South’ (see appendix B). The report seeks approval for the adoption of the fee structure. Approval is also required to make an application to the Secretary of State, and subject to approval by the Secretary of State, to take forward the formal designation of the proposed area.

 

Finally the report also seeks approval to make some minor amendments to the Council’s Selective Licensing Policy.

 

(In accordance with his declaration in Minute 1, Councillor Sharma withdrew from the meeting during the debate and determination of the above item)

 

 

 

6b

Unreasonably Persistent Complainants and Unacceptable Behaviour Policy (20/95) pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.  With regard to paragraph 5.17 of the report, Councillor Chance requested that a protocol be established in consultation with the Chairman of the Audit Committee to ensure that the report on complaints was presented to a particular quarterly meeting of the Audit Committee annually.  Councillor Phillips requested details of the policy that covered the duty of care for elected members in particular.

RESOLVED that the Council approve amendments to the Council’s Policy on Persistent and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants.

 

Reasons

To ensure that the Policy remains fit for purpose

 

 

6c

Review of the Council's governance structure (20/99) pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.  In reply to a query about the ongoing delay to the publication of the Independent Remuneration Panel’s Review of Member Allowances, the Leader commented that this had been put on hold pending the outcome of the governance review and would now be considered by the Cabinet in September and then by full Council.

RESOLVED that Council:

 

i       notes the work undertaken to review the Council’s governance structure;

 

ii      notes the feedback received from the recent LGA Peer Challenge Review of the Council in respect of using the governance review as an opportunity to refresh the scrutiny function to make better use of its powers, whilst supporting councillors in their community leadership roles through member training on community engagement and overview and scrutiny and the potential development of councillor locality budgets;

 

iii     tasks officers with developing proposals for councillor locality budgets for consideration by the Governance Working Group, the Cabinet and full Council;

 

iv    approves the adoption of Option 2 (Leader and Cabinet model with enhancements), as outlined in Section 5 of the report which includes the establishment of two thematic overview and scrutiny committees and the creation of a new Democratic Services Officer post to increase officer support for the function and the delivery of member training on overview and scrutiny and community engagement;

 

v      approves the revised schedule of meetings 2020/21 at Appendix C whilst noting that this schedule is necessarily provisional in accordance with the Local Authorities (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Meetings) (England) Regulations 2020; and

 

vi    delegates authority to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (Director LD) to make the appropriate changes to the Council’s Constitution to bring the new governance arrangements into effect.

 

Reasons

1.            to enhance the policy development and pre-decision scrutiny roles of the Council’s overview and scrutiny function

2.            to make the Council’s decision-making more responsive, inclusive and transparent by enabling the overview and scrutiny function to:

  • continue publicly to hold the Council’s Executive (Cabinet) to account
  • undertake more scrutiny of Cabinet decisions before they are made
  • contribute more to policy review and development
  • examine in-depth more matters of wider public interest
  • rebuild trust with the Borough’s communities and enhance the Council’s reputation

3.            to involve more Members in the overview and scrutiny function by dividing the work among two thematic committees

 

 

6d

Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2020/21 (20/129) pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.  Councillor Chance expressed concern that only 56% of target indicators had been met and at the lack of reference to Whitby Town Centre in the Town Centres Strategy Priority Project.  The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson alluded to the effect of the pandemic on Council services and that this had hampered the collection of recent performance data, however, she would ensure information in the report on the Town Centres Strategy Priority Project would include Whitby Town Centre in future.  Councillor Goodberry voiced concern at the future of Whitby Pavilion and Scarborough Spa venues: how much revenue had been lost?  Had the staff been put on job retention schemes or made redundant?  Would the Council be able to use any reserves to support the theatres and would they consider reverting to running both businesses?  With regard to the Priority Projects to develop a Strategic Business Plan for Whitby Harbour and to explore opportunities to regenerate Whitby Upper Harbour, Councillor Goodberry was also concerned at the delays occasioned by the ongoing objection to the accounts.  Councillor Jefferson explained that this matter had been raised at the recent Audit Committee with a reply provided.  In respect of Whitby Pavilion and Scarborough Spa, the Leader would provide an update on Sheffield International Venues in his statement, and she would endeavour to provide the financial details he had requested in a written reply.  In respect of residents parking schemes, Councillor Casey asked the Portfolio Holder to consider developing such as scheme for Filey for which there was great demand.  Councillor Jefferson undertook to look into this matter.

RESOLVED that Council:

(i)            Notes the significant achievements made over the last 12 months, including:

a.    Completion of the £13.453 million scheme to stabilise the cliffs behind the Scarborough Spa complex

b.    Delivery of the Community Led Development scheme projects

c.    £560,000 of funding secured for the establishment of a permanent Skills Village on the High Eastfield Farm site at Middle Deepdale

d.    £1.1 million government funding package secured to be spent on the Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track

(ii)          Notes that this will be the final Annual Report which relates to the current Corporate Plan, ‘Towards 2030’.

(iii)         Approves the publication of the Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2020/21

 

Reasons

Current best practice and rules on Data Transparency require the Council to publish its performance information and to make the details available to the public and partners in as many formats as possible.

 

 

7.

Details of Urgent Decisions in accordance with Access to Information Rule 16 and Schedule 3 - Scheme of Delegation to Officers, para 4.1(v)

7a

COVID-19 - Business Support Grants (20/89) - 31 March 2020

7b

SLM contract variation following closure of leisure centres as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (20/88) - 31 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 226 KB

7c

One year discounted membership to join Federation of Small Business (FSB) (20/93) - 9 April 2020

7d

Temporary accommodation for the homeless during the COVID-19 crisis (20/94) - 9 April 2020

7e

COVID-19 and Sheffield International Venues (SIV) (20/92) - 9 April 2020 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

7f

COVID-19 Hardship Fund Discount (20/100) - 19 May 2020 pdf icon PDF 209 KB

7g

Review of Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) (20/97) - 4 June 2020

7h

Discretionary Business Support Grants Scheme (20/109) - 4 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

7i

Urgent Decisions - Planning Applications - 12 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 247 KB

7j

Variation of rental terms to Travelodge Hotels Limited at St Nicholas Cliff, Scarborough (20/117) - 17 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the above urgent decisions be noted.

 

 

8.

To receive a statement by the Leader and deal with any questions arising from that statement. pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Siddons presented his Leader’s statement providing an update on the work to agree a devolution deal for North Yorkshire and York.  Councillor Siddons noted the long history of discussion on devolution across the Yorkshire and Humber region, and that members had long argued for a One Yorkshire Deal that would deliver significant benefits to the greater region – an aspirations shared by many councils and MPs.  However, the Government had preferred to push for a number of smaller devolution deals across the region, which locally, was for North Yorkshire and York.  In the knowledge that this was the only option on the table to hand significant powers and resources to the region to help the Borough prosper, the Leader with members across the chamber and region had worked in good faith to develop a deal.  However, as a prerequisite of a devolution deal the Government was now insisting on the reorganisation of local government and creation of a unitary structure across North Yorkshire and York, although a decision had not yet been made on the shape of that structure.  If done properly, the Leader believed that reorganisation would help address the confusing nature of the two tier system and deliver modern and efficient services for local residents.  Councillor Siddons noted that the County Council was now revisiting its proposals for a single unitary authority which had been previously rejected by Government for covering too large an area and too large a population.  The Leader himself supported the Local Government Minister’s view underpinned by empirical studies that 300,000-400,000 was the optimum population for a unitary authority encompassing a meaningful geography.  He believed along with other district council leaders that a North Yorkshire County unitary authority and a City of York unitary would create a marriage of unequal partners and potential conflict under a single directly mayor whilst not delivering local services.  Over the coming weeks the district councils in North Yorkshire would be working together to develop a model which would ensure better outcomes for local residents and preserve local identities.  At this historic moment, Councillor Siddons expressed his wish to engage with all members across the chamber, whatever their political differences, in coming up with this model for the benefit of future generations.  Members then put questions to the Leader.  Councillor Cockerill asked the Leader to comment on the media report that suggested that the Borough Council had been ignoring attempts by the DBID Company to work together; that the DBID Company was still awaiting further information from the Borough Council on the acceptance of a six month deferral for recovery if they issued the levy bills, to allow them additional time to continue their representation to Government.  Councillor Siddons replied that the Council remained in dialogue with the DBID company in a number of different ways, whether this be actively encouraging the DBID company to engage with businesses and discussing the available option for a deferral of the levy bills.  The DBID company had now provided the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

To receive statements from each of the Cabinet Members and deal with any questions arising from those statements. pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Colling presented her statement as Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Growth, thanking all those involved in the successful running of the first virtual Planning and Development Committee meeting held on 24 July.  Members then put questions to Councillor Colling.  Councillor Chance asked in light of the additional effort being put into marketing the Yorkshire Coast, what consideration was being given to ameliorating the concerns of residents over the possible spread of Covid-19 into smaller coastal communities, where social distancing was impossible and the influx of tourists and day trippers far exceeded the capacity of the community.  Councillor Colling replied that she was well aware this challenge, noting that North Yorkshire County Council had already introduced signage and road closures in some affected areas.   More could be done and the Borough Council in conjunction with the County Council and the Police would continue to tackle this issue.  Councillor Chance also asked with regard to the Council’s Estates what the total estimated cost to the Council’s Commercial Rental Portfolio was of discounted and negated commercial rents due to the Covid-19 pandemic and how it was proposed to cover this cost in the Council’s budgets.  Councillor Colling undertook to provide a written response.  In respect of the EU funded projects outlined in the statement, Councillor Phillips asked if a breakdown could be provided by ward which the Portfolio Holder undertook to do.  As Chair of the Borough branch of the Yorkshire Local Councils Association, Councillor Phillips also referred to the skills base of local parish councils which could assist the Borough Council in the process of local government reorganisation and the potential creation of a town council in Scarborough.  Councillor Colling acknowledged the vital contribution of parish and town councils in this process and would make this point to the Council’s external consultants.  Councillor Pearson asked if the Construction Skills Village was still on target for the September intake of students and if the building cost was within the estimated limits.  He also referred to the recent fire and the discovery of asbestos, and how these additional project costs would be funded.  Councillor Colling noted that the funding profile for this project was at set out in her executive decision to be made on 29 July.  In respect of the need for a Skills Strategy raised by Councillor Bailey to help the Council address the social and economic challenges created by the pandemic, Councillor Colling noted that the current strategy needed updating and would charge officers with this task.  Councillor Chatt commended Councillor Colling for her efforts in tackling the COVID crisis, and commended too the Audit Committee for its work in investigating the Council’s role in the Yorkshire Coast DBID ballot and that the wider matter of the future of the DBID had been referred to the overview and scrutiny function.  However, he asked her to meet with the campaigners in Whitby who opposed the DBID to see how the matter could be progressed, and queried further how the Council’s ongoing funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

To receive a statement from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board and deal with any questions arising from that statement pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Councillor Coulson presented his statement.  There were no questions.

 

 

11.

To receive Minutes of the Council's Executive and Committees published since Council last met and appended hereto.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings be received.

 

 

12.

Exclusion of the public

To consider the following motion:

“that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (and subject to consideration of the public interest under Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act), namely information;

(a) relating to any individual;

(b) which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and/or

(c) relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)”.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (and subject to consideration of the public interest under Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information (as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act), namely information;

(a) relating to any individual;

(b) which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual; and/or

(c) relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

13.

To consider and pass resolution on the following 'A' item:-

13a

Leisure Operating Contract: impact of COVID 19

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet in respect of proposals for business recovery, risk management and financial support relating to the sports centres within the Borough, were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.

RESOLVED that the recommendations in the report be approved, which are recorded in the Council's Restricted Minute Book.

 

Reasons

  • To comply with the procedure outlined in the Council’s Leisure Operating Contract (LOC) relating to changes in the law.
  • To support the ongoing viability of the Council’s leisure facilities and to provide a framework that provides short term support, whilst moving towards the re-establishment of “normal” contractual arrangements as quickly as possible.
  • To protect the longer term financial position of the Council, which would be significantly affected were the leisure operator to become financially unviable leading to a termination of the contract at this stage.

 

 

Council Questions & Answers for publication with the minutes pdf icon PDF 289 KB