Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Monday, 16th September, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

Mayor's Opening Remarks

On behalf of the Council, the Mayor welcomed the new Chief Executive, Mr Mike Greene to his first meeting of the Council.  In reply, Mr Greene thanked all Members for the warm welcome he had received since joining the Council and looked forward to meeting more people and getting to know the Borough over the coming weeks.

 

 

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Colling declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 (19/153) in her capacity as a Trustee of Scarborough and District Citizens Advice.

 

Councillor Jefferson declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 (19/153) in her capacity as a Trustee of the Rainbow Centre, Member of North Yorkshire County Council and Chair of the County Council’s Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Joanne Maw declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 (19/153) in her capacity as the Council's representative on the Board of Scarborough and District Citizens Advice.

 

Councillor Swiers declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 (19/153) in her capacity as a Member of North Yorkshire County Council and the County Council's representative on the Board of Scarborough and District Citizens Advice.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 1 July and 12 July 2019 to be read or taken as read as the case may be. pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 1 July and 12 July 2019 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.

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

5a

Adoption of Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847 and of Naming and Numbering Policy (19/162) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

RESOLVED that the Council:

i)      adopt the Town Improvement Clauses Act 1847 (including 1875 Public Health Act and 1907 Public Health Acts Amendment Act) as the basis for its decision-making on matters appertaining to street naming and numbering; and

ii)     adopt the Street Naming and Numbering Policy.

 

Reasons

The adoption of the Act and Policy will provide both a framework and guidance for the Authority to operate its Naming and Numbering functions for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors. This will ensure that streets are named and properties can be located by emergency services, visitors and will assist with the reliable delivery of services and products.

 

 

5b

Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 (19/153) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson thanked all stakeholders, staff and elected Members for their invaluable contributions to the development of the new strategy.  She then summarised and commented on the report, noting  the very positive external peer review earlier this year of homelessness services in the Borough; the increased burdens placed on local authorities by the Homelessness Reduction Act for which the Council had prepared well; the steady rise in homelessness and rough sleeping nationally; the continuing impact of austerity and public sector funding cuts, not least the County Council’s decision in January to reduce the homeless support services budget by 40%; and further funding cuts proposed to other key services including the Young Persons’ Pathway which Councillor Jefferson had raised through her chairmanship of the County Council’s Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  She went on to note that the County Council had a duty of care to house 16/17 year olds, and with regard to looked after children leaving care the eligible age extended to 25.  The Borough had the highest number of looked after children in North Yorkshire.  Reports on the Young Persons’ Pathway would be brought to both the County Council Mid-cycle Briefing and to her Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  She also urged dual-hatted councillors to bring this issue to their Area Constituency Meetings.  She then outlined key elements of the Action Plan which underpinned the Strategy including the employment of a new Rough Sleeping Coordinator and the renewed commitment towards the development of a refuge for victims of domestic violence.  Members then commented on the report.  There was wholehearted support for the new strategy, particularly the in principle agreement to develop the new refuge for victims of domestic violence, the £500k funding package for the development of temporary accommodation, and the four year grant agreements with local voluntary sector organisations.  Members were also pleased to see the recognition of people with mental health problems and veterans in the strategy.  In light of the high levels of deprivation, domestic abuse and child poverty in the Borough, the Leader echoed Councillor Jefferson’s and other councillors’ call for dual hatted members to lobby the County Council to provide the necessary funding for these vital services including the proposed women’s refuge.

RESOLVED that the Council:

1)    Approve the adoption of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy and Review 2019-23.

 

2)    Note the Cabinet’s decision to approve recommendations within the strategy that have key financial implications. These are:

 

a)    Approval for the use of £500K in capital funding (s106 monies) to support the development of temporary accommodation for homeless people (subject to further consent on each individual development that comes forward). 

 

b)    Enter into four year Grant Agreements with voluntary sector organisations to support the delivery of the strategy. These are:

·         CAB – £73,525 per annum

·         Rainbow Centre – £16,000 per annum

·         Foundation Housing/ Making Safe - £5,000 per annum  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5b

5c

Local Support for Council Tax Scheme 2020/21 (19/169) pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Siddons and duly seconded.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson noted that no changes to the scheme were recommended for 2020/21; however, for the LSCT in 2021/22 it was proposed to re-establish a task group of Members to design a banded scheme which would better manage for the benefit of claimants the impact of Universal Credit.

RESOLVED that the Council:

(i)            Approves no change to the current LSCT scheme for 2020/21 which means the scheme will retain the following key elements:

 

  1. Maximum liability of 87.5%
  2. All other elements of the 2019/20 LSCT scheme are retained in the 2020/21 LSCT scheme which broadly mirrors current Housing Benefit legislation.

(ii)          Seeks nominations from Group Leaders to establish a cross party working group to consider potential alterations to the 2021/22 LSCT scheme.

 

Reasons

The Council has an obligation and duty to annually set a Local Support for Council Tax scheme in accordance with Schedule 1A Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (Council Tax Reduction Schemes).

 

The Council approved and implemented a one year LSCT scheme for 2019/20 on 5 November 2018 and has to agree and set a scheme for providing support for Council Tax in 2020/21 by March 2020.

 

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, it’s residents and effects on the local economy.

 

The request for a future working group is due to the implementation of Universal Credit (UC). Presently, the amount of LSCT awarded is determined by a means test, which compares the household income to a household needs allowance. Every time a customer has a change to their income it is necessary to recalculate the customer’s LSCT award. As UC is responsive to minor changes in the customer’s income, UC awards are often changed on a monthly basis.  Therefore, under the existing Working Age LSCT scheme, UC customers who also receive LSCT will also have their LSCT claim amended on a monthly basis to reflect their latest UC award. This is confusing to residents whose monthly scheduled payments are frequently changing and causes difficulties in collecting the charge. The working group will be tasked with making future schemes easier for residents to understand whilst ensuring collection rates are not adversely affected.

 

 

6.

Reports on Urgent Decisions in accordance with Access to Information Rule 16.

6a

25 July 2019 - Lease of (part of) the former Futurist site, Foreshore Road, Scarborough for an Observation Wheel (19/163) pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the decision be noted.

 

 

6b

31 July 2019 - BID Levy Operating Agreement (19/164) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

Some Members raised concerns about the process underpinning the Yorkshire Coast DBID and that the continuation of this initiative should be a matter for Council debate.  The Leader commented that this item was to note, reminding the Chamber that following the Secretary of State’s decision to reject the appeal against the DBID, the Council had taken considered advice as to how to proceed in respect of this business-led initiative.  This advice included confirmation of the Council’s legal position as levy-collector and that the process behind the development of the DBID including the conduct of the ballot had complied with the relevant legislation.  Councillor Colling further advised that the context for this urgent decision had been the need for the Council to ensure that both the Council and the other levy-collecting authority, East Riding of Yorkshire adhered to the same collection timetable. 

RESOLVED that the decision be noted.

 

7.

Any reports going direct to Council

7a

Appointment of Council representatives to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the report of the Director (LD) (Reference 19/165) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 19/165) in respect of the appointment of Council representatives on outside bodies.  Members were advised that Councillor Norton had withdrawn her nomination as deputy Council representative on Yorkshire Coast and Ryedale Disability Forum.  It was therefore proposed that Councillor Bailey be appointed as the Council representative on this organisation, and Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff be appointed as his deputy.  This motion was put to the vote and was carried.

RESOLVED that the Council:

(i)            Approves the appointment of Councillor Bailey and Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff as Council representative and deputy respectively on Yorkshire Coast and Ryedale Disability Forum;

(ii)          approves the appointment of Councillor Stewart Campbell to fill one of the Council’s three vacant positions on Whitby United Charities; and

(iii)         notes the Cabinet Member for Legal, Democratic and Governance, Councillor Randerson’s appointment to the Parking & Traffic Regulations outside London Joint Committee (PATROL) Joint Committee instead of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Operations, Councillor Janet Jefferson.

 

Reasons

To ensure good governance and promote partnership working within the borough

 

 

8.

To receive a statement by the Leader and deal with any questions arising from that statement. pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Siddons presented his Leader’s statement also providing updates on the development of the Futurist site, the governance review and recent funding announcements for the Borough.  Members were reminded in respect of the Futurist site that there were still two key aspects to this process which needed to be addressed: first, an understanding of how the Council got to this point, the business case, and the process followed; and second, the assurance that the resulting development was right for the overall vision of the borough, town and South Bay.  The Leader had tasked the new Chief Executive with carrying out a review of the first aspect.  The intention was to involve external partners to bring a robustness to the process with a completion date by the end of the autumn.  Once this review was complete and the Leader’s concerns had been addressed, then it would be for the Council to engage with the developer to ensure the proposed development was right for the borough.  In respect of the governance review, Members were advised that an initial consultation exercise and seminars at the Town Hall had now been carried out.  Feedback from these exercises would then be assessed and next steps considered.  His aim was to present a report to Members in the late autumn, with a view to introducing shadow arrangements before formal adoption of any new structure at the Annual Council Meeting next May.  Councillor Siddons expressed disappointment that some Members, particularly from the opposition group had failed to attend the seminars, and reminded the Chamber that the whole aim of the review was to get all councillors involved in the policy development and major decision-making process, in contrast to the Strong Leader model according to which the Leader and a small cabal of Members made decisions without involvement of the wider membership who were kept in the dark.   The Leader welcomed recent funding awards for the borough, namely: up to £2m of Heritage Action Zone funding to provide further improvements to Eastborough and the lower town area; Future High Streets funding for Scarborough, and Towns Fund monies for both Scarborough and Whitby.  These two funds had the potential to attract up to £60m of investment in both towns which would spread outwards to other parts of the borough.  Members then put questions to the Leader.  Councillor Chatt voiced frustration that he had repeatedly been denied the opportunity to ask the following question:

Who on the selection panel for the new Chief Executive had shared information about the candidates to a third party?  And why did the Council not report itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours as required by law on being made aware of this potential breach by Councillor Chatt in his email dated 2 May 2019?  And why had Councillor Chatt been denied his right to ask this question?  The Mayor advised that this was an operational matter for the new Chief Executive, who would provide Councillor Chatt with an appropriate response.  The Monitoring  ...  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 93 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Colling presented her statement as Portfolio Holder for Economy, Communities and Commercial commenting on the Town Centre Strategy Team which had held its inaugural meeting earlier that day.  She extended her sincere thanks to the new team which encompassed people with diverse backgrounds, skills and experience, and looked forward to engaging with them in developing the business case for the Future High  Street Fund.  Members then put questions to Councillor Colling and commented on her report.  In reply to Councillor Chatt and his comments on the section on the Barrowcliff Big Local, Councillor Colling clarified that her statement intended to mean that the Big Local Partnership had been instrumental in pioneering and financing a number of new projects in recent months, and that this partnership received ongoing development support from the Council’s Community Regeneration Team.  Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff commended the Community Regeneration Team for their work in supporting the successful Community Fridge in Hunmanby and then asked the following questions about the Yorkshire Coast DBID to which the Portfolio Holder provided responses as detailed.

 

Q1. At the Council meeting on 1 March 2019 during the debate on a motion relating to DBID the following was minuted:

“In response to a query by Councillor Siddons, the Monitoring Officer, Mrs Dixon confirmed that if the Secretary of State were to reject the appeal, then the DBID would go ahead, and then according to Councillor Nock’s amendment, the Council would take considered advice on how to address local businesses’ concerns and any other relevant matters.”

How did SBC “address local business concerns” when the appeal failed? What advice and from whom did the council take in order to address those concerns?

The Council has responded to all queries that have come in from concerned businesses in relation to the role it played in carrying out the ballot and any other requests through its usual information governance procedures and normal business processes.  Businesses groups or individual businesses that have submitted queries or requests to the Council in relation to DBID organisational matters and processes, beyond the Council’s responsibility, have been directed to the DBID organisation.

Q2.  As part of their ratification of the DBID levy collection process, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Cabinet agreed to recommend to Full Council that an amendment to the scheme of delegation for the relevant Director be made to specifically include the collection of BID levies.

Has SBC amended the scheme of delegation in its Constitution to authorise the collection and enforcement of the DBID levy?

I am informed that it is not necessary for any amendment to be made to the Council’s Constitution. It already provides the appropriate authorisation for the collection and enforcement of the levy.

Q3.  In the period between 14/09/17 and 02/05/19 Scarborough Borough Council paid c. £88k to the Mosaic Partnership who was responsible for the management of the Yorkshire Coast DBID project. This had been subject to a lot of commentary by campaigners who oppose the DBID levy.

Could the Portfolio Holder  ...  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 49 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Coulson presented his statement as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board.  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.