Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Allanson declared a personal interest in agenda item 8, The Living Wage - Annual Review (18/35) since his relatives worked for the Borough Council.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 8 January 2018 to be read or taken as read as the case may be. pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.  The Leader congratulated the Mayoress for her recent charity head shave to raise monies and awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening and commended her bravery in facing this disease.

 

 

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

Schedule of Meetings 2018/19 (18/09) pdf icon PDF 37 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 adopt the Schedule of Meetings for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

Reasons

Approval of the Schedule of Meetings will ensure that Council business is conducted efficiently.

 

 

6b

The Living Wage - Annual Review (18/35) pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded.  The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Turner expressed her disappointment that the Council was still not in position to review the Council’s Living Wage pay supplement pending the outcome of the national pay negotiations, but she remained supportive of the UK Living Wage whilst wishing to make a fully informed decision.  Councillor Colling proposed that instead of adopting recommendations (ii) and (iii) in the report, the Council resolve to pay as a minimum the Living Wage Foundation wage rate to all employees with effect from 1 April 2018.  In seconding the amendment, Councillor Siddons urged the Council to commit to the UK Living Wage now to address the Borough’s national low wage reputation, noting that the additional cost of introducing this minimum wage level was minimal when compared with other discretionary items in the budget. Other Labour Group Members also spoke in support of the amendment.  Councillor Turner rejected the criticism that she was ducking a difficult decision, but rather she felt it was incumbent on the Council to determine this matter with full knowledge of the facts and implications.  The Council voted on the amendment which was lost, and then on the original motion which was carried.

RESOLVED that the Council:

(i)         Note the report;

(ii)       Defer the decision to review the Council’s Living Wage pay supplement until all the details of the national pay deal are known;

(iii)      Approve that the Council’s Living Wage pay supplement be applied at the time the period of employment commences and the supplement be reviewed at the same time as the Council’s budget setting process in January/February each year.

 

Reasons

This report provides an update on the implementation of the UK Living Wage and invites Members to consider a number of issues as part of the annual review that is required to be undertaken in relation to the continued payment of the UK Living Wage.

 

 

6c

Adoption of Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (18/06) pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded.  Some Members were critical of the delivery of affordable homes locally, noting the reduction in affordable housing thresholds in planning policy and the country’s deepening housing crisis.  The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Plant commented that the Council’s provision of 478 homes in the Borough over the last five years through the planning process compared favourably with national and sub-regional figures.  The Leader agreed with comments that the need for affordable housing locally was very great given average house prices and wage levels, but commended Councillor Plant’s and officers’ continuing efforts, noting that a common barrier to the delivery of social housing was the availability of land.  It was further acknowledged that the Council was trying hard within the parameters set by national Government and this was reflected in the proposed Supplementary Planning Document.

RESOLVED that the Council adopt the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and that the document is thereafter used in the consideration of planning applications.

 

Reasons

Since the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was updated and adopted in November 2015, the Local Plan has been adopted (3rd July 2017), further affordable housing viability work has been completed and the Government has been successful in challenging the quashing of the Ministerial Statement of 28th November 2014. Following the latter, the relevant parts of the online Planning Practice Guidance were immediately updated by Government, with the thresholds for the provision of affordable housing and the ‘vacant building credit’ rule both being re-instated. As a consequence the Borough Council’s previously adopted Affordable Housing SPD is not in accordance with current national and local planning policy.

 

 

6d

Revised Whistleblowing Policy (18/33) pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded.  Members welcomed the revised policy including the addition of contact details to obtain independent, external advice in respect of raising a concern.

RESOLVED that the Council:

(a)       adopts the revised Whistleblowing Policy;

(b)       amends the Irregularities Response Plan accordingly; and

(c)       appoints a Dedicated Whistleblowing Officer whose details are to be included in the revised documents;

 

to reflect best practice and to incorporate the recommendations arising from the Mazars review.

 

Reasons

To ensure that the Council maintains its commitment to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability.

 

 

7.

Any reports going direct to Council

7a

Financial and Asset Management Maintenance Strategy and Council Tax Setting 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 374 KB

To consider a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 18/43 attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 18/43) which sought approval of (i) the level of Council Tax for 2018/19, (ii) the Financial and Asset Management Maintenance Strategies, and (iii) the Environment and Regulation Service fees and charges 2018/19.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mallory noted that this finalised version of the Council’s budget included an increase to the Council’s prudential borrowing limits which would give the Council more leeway to explore more opportunities as they arose in future.  She then provided a summary of the proposals before Members: a proposed increase in Council Tax of 2.99%; the ongoing work to identify efficiency savings through the transformation programme, work of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, and review of service level agreements with external organisations whilst protecting frontline services and continuing to invest in the Council’s key priorities; the budget identified £2.122m of savings of the £5.2m needed to balance the funding gap over the next three years; the proposal to draw £200k from the General Fund Reserve to balance the budget in 2018/19 would offset the cost of the proposed national pay award which included a significant increase for the lower pay grades of £8.50 per hour in 2018/19 and £9.00 per hour in 2019/20; the longer lead in time to identify savings through outline proposals for 2019/20 and 2020/21; the emphasis not only on balancing the books but on improving the Borough and supporting local communities; the prudent approach not to overcommit capital resources; however, since the previous year, many of the capital schemes on the reserve list were now starting to be delivered, for example, works at Peasholm Park and the crematorium and further contributions to coast protection.  Councillor Mallory also referred to other schemes in the budget including new sports facilities in Whitby and Filey and grass cutting improvements, and she hoped to be able to announce further improvement projects in the year ahead.  Councillor Mallory further highlighted the new Commercial Strategy which would provide the basis to deliver a clear commercial vision for the authority and a revised Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy to be brought forward in 2018.  With the focus on the future, she added that this budget included a gateway to invest up to £12m in commercial investments, which, along with transformation, would play an increasingly important role in the delivery of services.  Councillor Mallory thanked all councillors, and especially the Cabinet and officers for their support in developing this budget, and then moved the recommendations in the report, which were duly seconded.  Councillor Billing noted the challenging financial environment in which the Council had to operate owing to further reductions in Government funding, but added that the Labour Group could not support the budget and the proposed Council Tax increase because of the administration’s failure to raise Council Tax in previous years by accepting the Council Tax Freeze Grant.  Councillor Billing also called for a longer period of consultation on the budget and less last  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a

7b

Whitby Piers refurbishment pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 18/46 attached)

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 18/46) seeking Members’ approval of a total budget of £9m for this project.  The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Cockerill commented that the Council’s approval would enable the Cabinet to engage a contractor to start work on the refurbishment of the Whitby Piers as soon as sufficient funding had been secured.  Councillor Siddons, on behalf of the Labour Group, supported the recommendations in the report but proposed an additional recommendation that an independent review be carried out of the definition of beneficiary according to the partnership approach to funding coastal defence projects introduced through the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, together with an analysis of the potential beneficiaries in respect of the Whitby Piers project.  This amendment was seconded, put to the vote and was carried.  Members agreed that such a review should not delay the Whitby Piers project, but rather assist the Council in securing funding for future coastal protection projects.

RESOLVED that the Council:

1.    approve a total project budget of £9m for the Project including £1,397k contingency, subject to the Council obtaining a satisfactory level of external funding to finance the Project, noting that the Council’s current maximum contribution to coastal protection schemes across the Borough is £5m

 

2.    note that the detailed Project scheme risk matrix will be reviewed with the Audit Committee Risk Champions in due course;

 

3.    note that the decision to award the contracts for the completion of the Project is a decision for the Council’s Executive and as such will be subject to further report to Cabinet;

 

4.    commission an independent review of the definition of beneficiary according to the partnership approach to funding coastal defence projects introduced through the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, together with an analysis of the potential beneficiaries in respect of the Whitby Piers project, subject to this review not delaying the implementation of the Whitby Piers project.

 

Reasons

To enable the Whitby Piers Project to proceed as quickly as possible once the funding decisions are known in relation to the Council’s grant applications.

 

 

7c

Changes to membership of committees pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 18/47 attached)

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 18/47) in respect of a revision to the membership of the Standards Committee following a change to the political composition of the Council.

RESOLVED that the Council approve the revised membership of the Standards Committee 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 motions of which due notice has been given in accordance with Paragraph 12.1 of the Council Procedure Rules:-

(i)            Sky Lanterns

 

‘This Council bans the use and release of sky lanterns on all Council owned properties and land.

 

Many thousands of sky lanterns are now sold in the UK each year, a number of them intended for mass lantern releases to mark an occasion. While these light shows can look appealing, most people are unaware of the deadly consequences fallen lanterns can have for animals and the environment.

 

Birds and wildlife can become entangled in the wire or bamboo frames leading to injury or death and livestock can accidentally eat fallen lantern parts which can cause internal bleeding, leading to a slow painful death. There is also a risk to sea life as many of fallen lanterns end up in the sea.

 

The fallen sky lanterns also pose a significant fire hazard with a number of reported incidents. One fire caused by a sky lantern at a recycling plant cause £6 million worth of damage.

 

The RSPCA and many other organisations including the Marine Conservation Society, Women’s Food & Farming Union (WFU), Soil Association and National Farmers Union (NFU) all support a ban on sky lanterns.’

 

Proposer: Councillor Chatt

Seconder: Councillor Mallory

 

(ii)          Sustainable Beach Net Fishing for Sea Trout

 

‘This Council requests the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, to protect the sustainable beach net fishing for sea trout, predominantly in Filey Bay, by not accepting the current proposal from the Environment Agency.’

 

Proposer: Councillor Cockerill

Seconder: Councillor Derek Bastiman

 

Minutes:

(i)         Sky Lanterns

 

The Council considered the following motion which was proposed by Councillor Chatt and seconded by Councillor Mallory:

 

‘This Council bans the use and release of sky lanterns on all Council owned properties and land.

 

Many thousands of sky lanterns are now sold in the UK each year, a number of them intended for mass lantern releases to mark an occasion. While these light shows can look appealing, most people are unaware of the deadly consequences fallen lanterns can have for animals and the environment.

 

Birds and wildlife can become entangled in the wire or bamboo frames leading to injury or death and livestock can accidentally eat fallen lantern parts which can cause internal bleeding, leading to a slow painful death. There is also a risk to sea life as many of fallen lanterns end up in the sea.

 

The fallen sky lanterns also pose a significant fire hazard with a number of reported incidents. One fire caused by a sky lantern at a recycling plant caused £6 million worth of damage.

 

The RSPCA and many other organisations including the Marine Conservation Society, Women’s Food & Farming Union (WFU), Soil Association and National Farmers Union (NFU) all support a ban on sky lanterns.’

 

It was agreed that the Council Procedure Rules be suspended for this item to enable the motion to be debated. Introducing the motion, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Chatt explained that, subject to Council approval, the ban would be implemented through the Council’s events management policy.  Councillor Cluer proposed an amendment to the motion that the ban also include the release of helium balloons.  There was concern among some Members as to how the ban would be enforced and that a consultation was needed first.  The amended motion was seconded, put to the vote, and was lost.  A vote was then taken on the original motion which was carried.

 

(ii)        Sustainable Beach Net Fishing for Sea Trout

 

The Council considered the following motion which was proposed by Councillor Cockerill and seconded by Councillor Derek Bastiman:

 

‘This Council requests the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, to protect the sustainable beach net fishing for sea trout, predominantly in Filey Bay, by not accepting the current proposal from the Environment Agency.’

 

It was agreed that the Council Procedure Rules be suspended for this item to enable the motion to be debated. Introducing the motion, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Cockerill explained that he had proposed the motion for two reasons: the effect on the local community, and secondly that the Environment Agency’s proposed new byelaws to protect salmon were a blunt instrument that would decimate Filey’s and other north east coastal areas’ small-scale sea trout fishery.  Consisting of just seven boats, the Filey fishery was low-impact and sustainable, and the local fishermen already recognised the endangered status of salmon.  Fishermen at Filey had been voluntarily releasing salmon for over a decade, and they focused their commercial operation on catching sea trout. Many of the salmon that were caught were  ...  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 49 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Derek Bastiman presented his Leader’s statement, adding in respect of the Sands development that Benchmark had exchanged contracts with Whitbread to construct a 107 bed Premier Inn next to the Waterpark.  Subject to planning consent, Benchmark expected to commence construction in the next months.  Benchmark had also advised that the new equipment for the spa at the Waterpark was expected to be delivered on site in the next week or so.  The spa was expected to be completed and open later in the year.   Councillor Bastiman also thanked Council staff for their hard work in dealing with the recent snow and wave overtopping, whilst condemning those wave-dodgers who put their and other people’s lives at risk.  Members then put questions about the upgrading of four junctions in the Stepney/Woodlands area, the match funding for the expansion of the Construction Skills Village, and the importance of involving Eastfield Town Council and local ward councillors in the planning and delivery of regeneration activity in the Eastfield area arising from the Middle Deepdale Development.  In response, Councillor Bastiman undertook to ensure that local cyclists were consulted about the upgrading of the critical junctions.  He undertook to provide a written reply to Councillor Randerson with details of the funding to match the £25k allocated to the Skills Village from the Eastfield regeneration pot.  In respect of the framework for the delivery of future regeneration activity in the Eastfield area which would be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Board the following week, Councillor Bastiman confirmed that the considerable monies from the Council’s capital receipts in regard to the Middle Deepdale development were designated for the regeneration of the wider Eastfield area, and that both Eastfield Town Council and local ward councillors were key stakeholders and consultees in the development and delivery of this masterplan.  Councillor Fox reminded the meeting of the aim which would be reflected in the masterplan to unite Middle Deepdale and Eastfield as a single community.

 

 

10.

To receive statements from each of the Cabinet Members and deal with any questions arising from those statements. pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Chatt presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Housing drawing Members’ attention to the update on the Selective Licensing scheme and the penalties for landlords renting out properties in the designated area without a licence.  There were no questions.

 

Councillor Cockerill presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Major Projects, adding that the work to infill the lake in front of the stage at the Open Air Theatre was now expected to be completed in the first week of April because of the inclement weather.  He also referred to the current extreme conditions in Scarborough Outer Harbour, the 9m high waves and the sinking of a vessel the day before.  In reply to a question, Councillor Cockerill could not comment on progress with the dredging of the lake in Peasholm Park since this was not his portfolio. 

 

Councillor Jenkinson presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Leisure commending the benefits of the Open Air Theatre for the whole of the Borough.  Members then put questions and made comments about the ongoing problem of unauthorised parking on grass verges, how the Council was dealing with the issue of ticket touts and inflated ticket prices for the Open Air Theatre, progress with the development of the new cinema on the North Bay, the need for handrails at the football ground in the Leisure Village because of the steep tiers, and the lateness in providing the financial figures for the Open Air Theatre requested at the previous Council meeting.  In reply, Councillor Jenkinson agreed with the seriousness of the problem of unauthorised parking on grass verges and confirmed that he and other dual-hatted Members would continue to raise the matter at County Hall.  He undertook to provide a written reply to Councillor Paul Cross about ticket touts, and apologised for the late provision of financial information on the Open Air Theatre.  Councillor Jenkinson explained that the need for handrails at the football ground would be evaluated at the close of the season.  With regard to the new cinema, Councillor Jenkinson advised that officers were doing everything they could to support Benchmark to bring forward the cinema development.  However, he understood that Benchmark were having to amend their previously approved planning application to accommodate the operators, which would be the subject of their meeting with the Council’s planning officers the following week.  This would affect the timetable for the delivery of the scheme about which he would report to Members further in due course.

 

Councillor Mallory presented her statement as Portfolio Holder for Corporate Investment.  There were no questions.

 

Councillor Nock presented his statement as Portfolio Holder for Legal and Governance, alluding to the recent increased security measures introduced at the Town Hall in order to bring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.  Originally planned for the end of April, these had been brought forward to gain greater control over who entered the building, the degree of access within it and to eliminate the possibility of unauthorised people having  ...  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 56 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Siddons presented his statement as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board.  There were no questions.

 

 

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.