Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 6th November, 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

Mayor's Opening Remarks

The Mayor was pleased to announce two awards: the Yorkshire Finance Director Award 2017 for the Council’s Director, Mr Nick Edwards for his contribution to the county, and the Britain in Bloom Silver Gilt awarded to Whitby in Bloom.  The Mayor congratulated Mr Edwards and all those involved in winning the Silver Gilt, and presented Mr Edwards with his award.

 

 

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Chance declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 7, Scarborough Spa Coast Protection Scheme (paragraph 5,7) in that on 14 November 2017 he would be sitting as a member of the Executive of North Yorkshire County Council to decide the County Council's overall financial commitment to both this scheme and the Whitby Piers project.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 4 September 2017 to be read or taken as read as the case may be pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Nock proposed an amendment to the draft minutes in respect of the recent Northern Rail consultation, clarifying that as a result of his and others’ representations, Northern Rail had not withdrawn their proposals to reduce services stopping at Hunmanby station, but rather amended their proposed timetable for 2018 to the effect that most trains on that route would now stop at Hunmanby.

RESOLVED that, subject to the above amendment,  the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

 

4.

To consider any announcements by the Chief Executive

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

 

 

5.

Questions (if any) of which notice shall have been given.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive advised that no questions had been received.

 

 

6.

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

6a

Local Support for Council Tax Scheme 2018/19 (17/184) pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

RESOLVED that the Council note the contents of the report and:

·      Approve the LSCT local scheme for 2018/19 in accordance with Schedule 1A Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (Council Tax Reduction Schemes) with no amendments to the current scheme. This means the scheme will retain the following main elements

o    Maximum liability of 87.5%

o    All other elements of the 2017/18 LSCT scheme are retained in the 2018/19 LSCT scheme

o    An Exceptional Hardship scheme to continue

 

Reasons

The Council approved and implemented a one year LSCT scheme for 2017/18 and has to agree and set a scheme for providing support for Council Tax in 2018/19 by 31 January 2018.

 

The decision will form part of the overall budget-setting process and in designing a scheme due regard has been given to achieving a balanced budget whilst trying to achieve a fair and equitable scheme for the overall benefit of the Borough, its residents and effects on the local economy.

 

 

6b

Vincent Pier Toilets and Harbour User Facilities, Scarborough Harbour (17/231) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded.  Some councillors were concerned that these proposals entailed a reduction in public conveniences in an area popular with visitors, whilst others welcomed the new harbour user facilities as a necessary investment in the marina. 

RESOLVED that the Council:

1.    Approve the allocation of £180,000 from Harbour Reserves for the construction of new harbour user facilities and public toilets at Vincent Pier Scarborough Harbour.

 

2.    Enter into a Design and Build NEC3 Short Contract with Hughie Construction Limited to undertake works to construct new harbour user facilities and public toilets at Vincent Pier Scarborough Harbour.  

 

Reasons

To facilitate the construction of new harbour user facilities and public toilets at Vincent Pier, Scarborough Harbour.

 

 

6c

Self-Build Housing and the Self-Build Register (Charging and Eligibility Criteria) (17/206) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

RESOLVED that the Council:

  1. note the requirements of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as Amended) and the need for the Borough Council to publish a self-build register and meet its duty to grant planning permission for sufficient serviced plots within the Borough (excluding the North York Moors National Park Area); and
  2. agree to the introduction of the charging schedule as set out in this report (the proposed fees to be reviewed on a regular basis) for inclusion on Part 1 of the Self-build register;
  3. agree to the introduction of eligibility criteria for inclusion on Part 1 of the Self-build register as set out in this report.

 

Reasons

The provision of self-build plots is a requirement as set out in the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as Amended). In terms of the provision of such plots these should be directed towards genuine need within the Borough. Housing land is a finite resource and it is considered that without restrictions on who can apply to be on the register, persons could have their name on more than one register in North Yorkshire or wider. This would result in an over-estimation of need in the wider area and put pressure on ‘more popular’ areas to provide self-build plots. Scarborough, Whitby and Filey are very popular areas for second homes and retirement and, if left uncontrolled, could see wide interest in building self-build housing from persons with no local connection or without appropriate funds to realise a self-build project. The introduction of a charge, albeit modest, also allows the authority to recover a small part of the cost of managing the register and associated work involved.

 

 

6d

Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2017/18 (17/222) pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded.  The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Siddons was critical of the Borough’s low wage, low skill economy and of a range of lifestyle indicators shown as red in the report such as crime rates, life expectancy, and out of work benefits,  He also highlighted poorly performing  service performance indicators such as household waste recycled, dog prosecutions and harbour pontoon occupancy.  The Green Group Leader, Councillor Vesey was pleased that the Council was meeting its CO2 emission targets, but noted that this performance would be harder to sustain, and encouraged the Council to plant more trees in the Borough.

RESOLVED that the Council:

i.          note the significant achievements made by the Council over the last 12 months including: adoption of a new Local Plan for the Borough, the opening of the new leisure village and football ground, supporting the opening of the UTC and new Coventry University Campus, delivery of major events such as the Tour de Yorkshire, the continuing success of the Open Air Theatre and the opening of the new Alpamare Waterpark;  

ii.         note the significant progress made by the Council in delivery of its Corporate Aims and Objectives, and the continuing improvement in performance achieved over the last 12 months;

iii         approve the publication of the Annual Report and Improvement Plan 2017/18.

 

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.

 

 

6e

Composition and Operation of the Appointments Committee (17/183) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

RESOLVED that the Council:

(i)        Approve the changes to the composition and operation of the Appointments Committee outlined in paragraph 5.1 of the report;

(ii)       Remove the Appointments Committee’s function listed at 8.8 (ii) (c), namely ‘The nomination to Council of elected members to sit on external bodies in accordance with the Protocol for the Appointment of Members to External Bodies, but excluding appointments which form part of the portfolio of a member of the Executive’ which is not consistent with the Protocol nor with current practice; and

(iii)      Delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to amend the Council’s Constitution accordingly.

 

Reasons

  • To allow more equitable representation on the Appointments Committee
  • To simplify the committee’s operation whilst enabling councillors to serve on the committee through their political groups according to their experience and expertise

 

 

7.

Any reports going direct to Council

7a

Scarborough Spa Coast Protection Scheme pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Executive (Reference 17/245 attached)

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Chief Executive (Reference 17/245) in respect of the Scarborough Spa Coast Protection Scheme.  Moving the recommendations in the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Cockerill noted the many years it had taken the Council to reach this point because of the scheme’s complexity, cost and benefits, and the extensive investigative and survey work required.  He outlined the works involved in this first phase of the project which would give peace of mind to the 400 properties located above the Scarborough Spa, and noted that all the funding had been secured for this phase, in addition to a £2m contingency to cover any unknowns, in accordance with professional advice.  Councillor Turner then asked Councillor Cockerill about the risk of the project’s costs increasing and the potential adverse impact on the Whitby Piers project, why certain agencies had been approached for contributions for one project and not the other, and the projected start date for works on the Whitby Piers.  In reply, Councillor Cockerill acknowledged this link in respect of funding between the two projects, and reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to the Whitby Piers project, reminding the Chamber that all the required funding for the project – some £8.5m – needed to be secured before entering into contract.  He commented that the work to secure all of the necessary funding was complex, time consuming and, at times, very frustrating, but that was the system within which the Council operated.  Most funding agencies required confirmation of the firm overall cost of any project before even accepting a funding bid.  Different funders had different criteria dependent on the project.  For example, the Council had applied to the Marine Management Organisation for a contribution towards the Whitby Piers but not for the Spa Cliff Stabilisation, since the latter did not fall within the MMO remit.  He then summarised the current funding situation in regard to the Whitby Piers project:

           Environment Agency had allocated £4.8m

           Ongoing dialogue with the County Council as a significant beneficiary was bearing fruit, with the County Council Executive expected to ratify funding details for both projects on 14 November

           Awaiting outcome in March of £1m bid to the MMO

           £2.7m second stage bid submitted to European Structural and Investment Fund administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government.  Decision expected by early February

           Applied to the Local Enterprise Partnership for funding.  Decision expected by the end of February

 

Councillor Cockerill added that the project start date depended on the outcome of the funding applications and Council approval of the grant aid.  To avoid any delays, he was looking into the possibility of bringing a report to Council seeking conditional approval to enter into the contract for the work but qualified on securing all of the necessary funding before commencing the work.  In this way, a start on site could be made almost as soon as all the funding was secured.   He reminded the Chamber that the current three major  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a

7b

Changes to membership of committees pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 17/238 attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 17/238) in respect of changes to the membership of the Council’s committees following a change in the political composition of the Council.  The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Chatt made a plea for the vacant position to be filled on the Licensing Committee.

RESOLVED that the Council approve the revised membership of Council committees set out in Appendix A following the change to the political composition of the Council outlined in paragraph 3.1 of the report.

 

Reasons

To ensure the good governance of the Council.

 

 

8.

To consider the following motion of which due notice has been given in accordance with Paragraph 12.1 of the Council Procedure Rules:-

"Scarborough Borough is the low pay capital of Great Britain - a fact we should all be ashamed of.  Despite inward investment and the promise of Potash and Offshore industries we have the lowest median employee salary in the U.K. at £19,925.  The Great Britain figure is £28,442.  We call on Scarborough Borough Council to improve this damning state of affairs by taking the lead locally and:-

 

1) Paying at least the Living Wage Foundation rate to all employees

2) Working collaboratively with all existing suppliers and contractors to the council to encourage them also to pay at least the Living Wage Foundation rate

3) Working to ensure that SBC procurement and commissioning expenditure, is where possible, made in the Borough with businesses paying at least the Living Wage Foundation rate."

 

Proposer: Councillor Liz Colling

Seconder: Councillor Steve Siddons

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the following motion which was proposed by Councillor Colling and seconded by Councillor Siddons:

"Scarborough Borough is the low pay capital of Great Britain - a fact we should all be ashamed of.  Despite inward investment and the promise of Potash and Offshore industries we have the lowest median employee salary in the U.K. at £19,925.  The Great Britain figure is £28,442.  We call on Scarborough Borough Council to improve this damning state of affairs by taking the lead locally and:-

 

1) Paying at least the Living Wage Foundation rate to all employees

2) Working collaboratively with all existing suppliers and contractors to the council to encourage them also to pay at least the Living Wage Foundation rate

3) Working to ensure that SBC procurement and commissioning expenditure, is where possible, made in the Borough with businesses paying at least the Living Wage Foundation rate."

 

It was agreed that Council Procedure Rules be suspended for this item to enable the motion to be debated.  Councillor Colling introduced the motion, citing a number of statistics.  Despite a commendable employment rate in the Borough of 78.6%, the average weekly wage rate was £460.30, some way short of the regional average of £498.30.  Further, almost 40% of households in the Borough had an annual income of less than £13k.  There was clear evidence therefore that a significant proportion of the Borough’s residents were suffering the indignity of work poverty together with its associated problems of debt and deprivation.  Recognising the good work that was already being done locally, Councillor Colling maintained the Council could do more to accelerate the growth of wages locally to build a prosperous economy with a highly skilled and aspirational workforce.  She believed the Council should show leadership and set an example to local businesses by providing its employees with enough pay to live on this the low pay capital of the UK.  This would then give the Council the moral authority to encourage its suppliers and contractors also to pay the UK (Living Wage Foundation) Living Wage.  She added that paying the UK Living Wage had been shown to boost staff morale, improve retention and increase productivity, thereby making commercial sense.  Councillor Siddons seconded the motion, encouraging all Members to support it, given the minimal costs involved, through the forthcoming budget setting process for 2018/19.  In response, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Turner stated her agreement with the aspiration behind the motion, adding that she had asked officers to prepare the necessary information, not only the financial implications, but also the impact on other Council employees and the spinal pay column, in order to make an informed decision on the UK Living Wage.  She reminded the Chamber that the Council could not compel other employers to pay the UK Living Wage, but could encourage and lead by example.  Councillor Jeffels reminded Members of the bigger picture in respect of the Council’s key role in working with partners including the Local Enterprise Partnership, Coventry University, the County  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

To receive a statement by the Leader and deal with any questions arising from that statement. pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Derek Bastiman presented his Leader’s statement.  Members then put questions on the following matters: residents’ dissatisfaction with Benchmark’s maintenance of the area of land between North Cliff Golf Club and Waterpark and could some of this area be de-designated for Great Crested Newts and the long grass cut back?; Councillor Randerson’s failure to receive detailed costings of the Futurist demolition and cliff stabilisation despite repeated requests; why wasn’t the former Indoor Pool being sold on the open market instead of special purchaser rights granted to Benchmark?; in respect of Scarborough Business Park and the Local Growth Fund bid to the Local Enterprise Partnership, could the Leader provide assurance that the proposed new road would connect the A64 with the A165 and so alleviate traffic congestion through Cayton?  In response, the Leader undertook to look into the proposal to de-designate land for Great Crested Newts and arrange a reply.  He assured Councillor Randerson that he would receive a response to his request for detailed costings of the Futurist demolition scheme by the end of the day.  The Leader explained that Benchmark had been granted special purchaser rights in their capacity as developer of the adjoining land, and the Indoor Pool site would be disposed of at market value, according to an independent valuation.  He further assured Councillor Siddons that he would be strongly advocating that the new link road through the Business Park connect the two A roads as suggested, and hoped for swift progress in this matter.

 

 

10.

To receive statements from each of the Cabinet Members and deal with any questions arising from those statements. pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chatt presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Housing.  Members then put questions on the following matters: numbers on the Choice Based Lettings social housing waiting list in Whitby (this was currently 408); assurance that if the Yorkshire Coast Homes and Coast and Country Housing merger went ahead, that the resulting larger social landlord would be committed to delivering more social housing to address the high demand in the Borough;  assurance that the Council would seek to address the 1.4% increase in small businesses in the Borough failing within their first year, particularly in respect of the newly renovated Market Hall, and in view of the departure of the Town Centre Manager; why the Borough Council was the only district council in North Yorkshire not to participate in the county’s Children’s Refugee Scheme; progress with the delayed Women’s Refuge scheme in Newby;  under the new Street Trading Policy, an update on problems faced by fundraising charities and voluntary organisations; and in light of the demise of the Council’s Sustainability Working Group, staff reductions including the 50% reduction in staff time dedicated to energy management, how at a local level could the Council do more to tackle climate change in light of scientific advice that the commitments enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement would not be sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change.  In response, Councillor Chatt commented that the merger of the two housing associations was still under negotiation, but there was a clear aspiration on the part of both organisations to deliver more social housing, and that he had been appointed to the Board of Yorkshire Coast Homes to ensure residents in the Borough were not disadvantaged by the proposed merger.  In respect of the Market Hall, Councillor Chatt confirmed that a new Town Centre Manager would be appointed, the Council would continue to support small businesses, for example through IT training, and he was encouraged by the increasing footfall and vibrancy in the Market Hall.  In relation to the resettlement of child refugees, Councillor Chatt admitted that he had initially been unsure of the scheme; however, the Syrian refugee scheme was working well in the Borough, and after he and the Leader had met with Migration North Yorkshire, he was now minded to sign up to the Children Refugee Scheme.  Regarding the proposed Women’s Refuge, Councillor Chatt would ask the Housing Manager to send Members a detailed written reply.  In respect of street trading, Councillor Chatt had asked officers to investigate other councils’ use of dispensations for voluntary groups and community events to help improve the Council’s policy.  In relation to sustainability, Councillor Chatt acknowledged that this was an important part of his portfolio, and even though because of continuing austerity, there was no longer an officer to support the Sustainability Working Group, he would continue to work closely with officers to address these types of issues.

 

Councillor Cockerill presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Project Leadership, Harbours, Coast and Flood Protection, adding that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

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 65 KB

Minutes:

The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Councillor Siddons presented his report.  Councillor Andrew Backhouse, Chair of North Yorkshire Fire Authority, proposed an amendment to the report that: ‘The Board supported North Yorkshire Fire Authority’s proposal for a Representation Model’.  This amendment was accepted, since the Fire Authority had proposed the Representation Model and the Board had endorsed the County Council’s position in support of it.

 

 

12.

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.