Agenda and minutes

Council
Friday, 28th February, 2020 2.00 pm

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interests. pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

Councillors Backhouse, Casey, Cross, Green, Jefferson and Riley each declared a personal interest in agenda item 8, Motion in respect of fireworks for the following reasons:

Councillor Backhouse - Chairman of Burniston & Cloughton Village Hall which held an annual Bonfire Night Fire and Fireworks display which was a public event for which an entrance fee was charged.

Councillor Casey - President of Filey Lions which held a Bonfire and Firework Event annually.

Councillor Cross - he was a member of Filey Lions which held a Bonfire and Firework Event annually.

Councillor Green - a member of Cayton Parish Council and helped to organise the parish council's annual public fireworks display.

Councillor Jefferson - she chaired the Seafest Steering Group and fundraised for the firework displays which were in turn overseen by the Borough Council.  She also stewarded at various other Borough Council firework displays

Councillor Riley - he was a member of the RSPCA and trustee/committee member of the Scarborough branch of the RSPCA.

 

 

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

See above.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 3 and 6 January 2020 to be read or taken as read as the case may be. pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 3 and 6 January 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 25 February 2020 (if it relates to an item on the agenda) or by 5pm on 24 February 2020 (in any other case).  Each speaker should limit themselves to 2 minutes speaking time.

 

Minutes:

Ms Wanda Maciuszko was in attendance to put two questions to the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Operations, Councillor Jefferson.  The questions and responses given are set out below.

 

  1. Has the Council drawn up a plan for action on climate change following the resolution passed last year?  I think Scarborough is in a unique position to create a carbon free town which will encourage more visitors and enhance residents' lives.

 

The Council declared a climate emergency in January 2019 and has made some progress to respond to this issue.  The Council recognised the importance of effective leadership and governance and the key role that a cross party Overview and Scrutiny Task Group can take in helping to formulate a comprehensive climate change strategy as well as fostering new connections with stakeholders and the community to face this challenge together.

 

The Council has a number of notable success stories, such as levering £3.5m investment into improving household energy efficiency, securing a £1m investment into local cycling and walking infrastructure and developing a clean growth strategy in partnership with the LEP.  The Council will now also take a community leadership role in tackling this issue, through effective engagement, supporting community action and mobilising community assets, promoting and fostering community networks and providing resource and capacity where practical to do so.  To commence these works, the Council has committed a seed fund of £80k and a range of strategic objectives and actions will be developed in partnership with the community by the O&S Task Group and reported back to Council in June.

 

  1. Has the Council considered any innovative short term plans to alleviate the scarcity of affordable housing e.g. use of empty shops in the town centre?  Also what are the long term plans of the Council to address this problem?

 

The Council has an adopted Housing Strategy for the period 2016/17 to 2021 that sets out its plans to help facilitate the provision of affordable homes. Within that strategy an ambitious target was set to work with Registered Providers to deliver over 800 new affordable homes over a 5 year period.  To date, since the strategy was adopted 525 new affordable homes have been completed with a further 296 due for completion by March 2021.  The vast majority of these homes are rented and include a mix of family housing, flatted accommodation and schemes for older people.

 

The provision of these homes has been delivered through a variety of means including:

•          The Councils planning policy requirements (e.g. section 106 agreements)

•          The release of Council land

•          Registered Provider led schemes

•          The maximisation of Homes England grant

•          The Council’s Rural Housing Enabler and Community Led Housing and;

•          The acquisition and conversion of empty homes

 

According to the Government’s own figures over a  5 year period between 2013 to 2018 we were the 10th highest out of all the 21 Yorkshire and Humber local authorities and the highest Council in the whole of York and North Yorkshire in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

To consider any announcements by the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that a corporate peer challenge through the Local Government Association had been arranged for the period 4-6 March in which a number of councillors would be involved.

 

 

6.

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

6a

Proposal of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Freemen (20/18) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In moving the recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet, Councillor Siddons proposed to replace recommendation (iii) with the following:

‘To approve that the honours be bestowed at a special meeting of the Council to be confirmed in due course.’

He explained this amendment because, notwithstanding the logistical difficulties of combining both this ceremony and Mayor-making at the same meeting, he felt that the nominees for Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Freemen merited a separate, special meeting.  This proposal was seconded.

RESOLVED that the Council:

i       Invite Mr Richard Grunwell to accept admittance as Honorary Freeman of the Borough;

ii      Invite Messrs Godfrey Allanson, David Billing, Tom Fox, Colin Haddington, Norman Murphy and Joe Plant to accept admittance as Honorary Aldermen of the Borough; and

iii     Approve that the honours be bestowed at a special meeting of the Council to be confirmed in due course.

 

Reasons

To honour former councillors and other persons of distinction for their services to the borough.

 

 

7.

Any reports going direct to Council

7a

Selection of Mayor and Deputy Mayor 2020/21

To consider a verbal report by the Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

Members were advised that one nomination had been received for the position of Mayor, Councillor Broadbent, and one for the position of Deputy Mayor, Councillor Roxanne Murphy.  Councillor Broadbent was proposed and seconded by Councillor Siddons and Councillor Colling respectively, and Councillor Roxanne Murphy by Councillor Jefferson and Councillor Kershaw.  Both Councillors Broadbent and Murphy returned thanks for their nominations.

RESOLVED that Councillor Broadbent be proposed as Mayor and Councillor Roxanne Murphy as Deputy Mayor for 2020-21.

 

 

7b

Changes to the membership of committees pdf icon PDF 279 KB

To consider the report of the Director (LD) (Reference 20/49) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 20/49) in respect of changes to the membership of the Council’s committees in light of changes to the membership of the Council’s political groups and forthcoming changes to the membership of the Cabinet.  Councillor Chance maintained that Councillor Cross should remain in his position as Chair of the Audit Committee given his considerable experience in that role.  Leader of the Independent Group and Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson explained that Councillor Cross had occupied one of the Independent Group’s seats on that committee, and since Councillor Cross had resigned from that group, he had been replaced as Chair by Councillor Backhouse who also had much experience.  In reply to a query, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that, as stated in the main body of the report, Councillor Phillips was replacing Councillor Mallory on the Audit Committee.  Further, Councillor Forbes announced his resignation with immediate effect from the Planning and Development Committee.

RESOLVED that the Council:

(i)   Approves the revised membership of the Council’s committees as set out in Appendix A of the report, subject to Councillor Phillips replacing Councillor Mallory on the Audit Committee and Councillor Forbes’ removal from the Planning and Development Committee; and

(ii)  Notes the revised membership of the Cabinet with effect from 2 March 2020, consisting of Councillor Siddons (Chair), Councillors Colling, Donohue-Moncrieff, Jefferson, Kershaw, Carl Maw, and Randerson.

 

Reasons

To ensure the good governance of the Council.

 

 

7c

Financial Strategy and Council Tax Setting 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 872 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (Reference 20/59) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/59) which sought approval of (i) the level of Council Tax for 2020/21, (ii) the Financial Strategy, and (iii) Council Tax discounts and premiums.  Moving the report’s recommendations, the Leader, Councillor Siddons outlined the background to the budget before Members, referring to a reduction in core government funding of 66% between 2010/11 and 2019/20, and a significant recalibration of the financing of local government to come into effect in 2021/22 which was expected to see the Council worse off.  The proposals constituted a balanced budget based on a Council Tax increase of 2.13% for the Borough Council’s proportion of the Council Tax, investment in priority areas, ongoing efficiency savings, and protection of frontline services.  In seconding the report, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Operations, Councillor Jefferson thanked the Director, Mr Edwards and his team for all their work in preparing the report and briefing Members in the preceding weeks, and thanked the members of the public who had participated in the consultation on the draft budget proposals.  She also referred to the explanation of ‘Where your Council Tax goes’ on the back of the Council Tax bill, the proposed increases throughout all the Council Tax bands on page 33 of the Financial Strategy, the diverse collection and recovery scheme for both residents and businesses, and the revised Collection of Council Tax Arrears Good Practice Protocol as agreed by Citizens Advice.  Other Members then commented on the report.  Councillor Abbott questioned what provision there was in the budget to mitigate the potential impacts of Coronavirus.  Several spoke against the proposed increase in Council Tax for a range of different reasons: that 2/3 of the public responses to the consultation opposed the increase; that this increase would not be required if money had not been wasted on the Sands and Futurist site developments; that funding reductions could be made in respect of the Oliver’s Mount races, councillor expenses and new public conveniences strategy instead; that the Council had received a generous Government finance settlement for 2020/21, and had made a sizeable saving of £1.75m in respect of the annual (back funded) contributions needed to fund historic deficits on the Council’s share of the North Yorkshire Pension Fund; that the proposed Council Tax increase would only aggravate problems of deprivation in the Borough; and then when considered alongside other preceptors’ increases, and the rise in garden waste collection charges, the burden on residents was excessive.  Councillor Chance raised concerns about the sharp increase in capital expenditure outlined in the Financial Strategy and that most of this was funded from borrowing.  He noted the risk highlighted in the report that the Council’s ability to recover VAT on its expenditure may be affected by slippage in capital schemes and requested further details about this risk, and how likely it was to occur.  He questioned the Council’s Financial Objective 1 in particular the statement that ‘the revenue budget is not supported by one  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7c

8.

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

8a

Motion in respect of fireworks pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Proposer: Councillor Guy Coulson

Seconder: Councillor Clive Pearson

 

Dated: 3 December 2019

 

Minutes:

It was agreed that Council Procedure Rules be suspended for this item to enable the motion to be debated.  In moving the motion, Councillor Coulson proposed that it be amended as follows:

‘Scarborough Borough Council recognises the enjoyment and spectacle that fireworks bring to our events and festivals.

 

We also recognise that they pollute the atmosphere leaving metal particles and toxins in the air that deposit on our land and seas, this is in addition to the noise from fireworks that can cause distress and fear to both vulnerable people and pets, farm animals and wildlife. 

 

This Council proposes:-

·             to honour our commitment to our declaration on the Climate Change emergency and work towards carbon neutrality 

·             to investigate a licensing system for public fireworks display

·             to investigate the use of 'green ' less polluting fireworks for the displays that SBC is responsible for.

·             to purchase carbon offsets for the displays that SBC hold 

·             to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people 

·             to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks 

·             to write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays 

·             to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ greener and biodegradable fireworks for public display.’

The amended motion was seconded by the seconder of the original motion, Councillor Pearson.  Members then spoke in support of the amended motion, referring also to the damaging effect of fireworks on birds and other wildlife.  On being put to the vote, the amended motion was carried.

 

 

9.

To receive a statement by the Leader and deal with any questions arising from that statement. pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Siddons presented his Leader’s statement.  He provided an update on the preparation of Town Investment Plans for Scarborough, Whitby and Filey, the establishment of Town Deal Boards for Scarborough and Whitby, and the preparation of Town Deal funding bids for these two towns; and also on progress with Yorkshire devolution and the current feasibility work on a York & North Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority of which the Borough Council would be a part.  Further, he was pleased to report that the Whitby East Pier Link Bridge had now been installed.  Members then put questions to the Leader on the implications of the devolution agenda for two-tier local government; how the Council’s climate change emergency agenda was being recognised by the Town Deal Boards and through the forthcoming community engagement process; and more generally about the effectiveness of this community engagement; and why the draft independent review report of the Council’s role in the creation of the Yorkshire Coast Destination Business Improvement District (DBID) had not already been shared with Members.  In response, the Leader noted that North Yorkshire’s position as a shire county with two-tier local government was unusual in respect of the Government’s devolution agenda.  Whilst acknowledging that there was no desire for added tiers of government, he noted there was still much work to do on this aspect of Yorkshire devolution.  Most importantly, the sub-region needed to obtain a good deal from Government enabling greater investment in, and control over services and infrastructure projects.  In respect of Town Deals, Councillor Siddons commented that climate change mitigation had already been identified as a priority area for investment in the funding bids.  Further, officers were following Government guidance closely on the operation and composition of the Town Deal Boards which would ensure meaningful and constructive community consultation and engagement.  In respect of the independent report on the DBID,  clarification had been sought on a number of points in the draft report, which the author was providing.  Once finalised, the report would be published and presented to a public meeting of the Audit Committee – there was no intention to conceal.  Lastly, Councillor Phillips enquired about progress with the cross-party Member Working Group in respect of the development of the former Argos building in Scarborough mentioned at the Council meeting on 12 July 2019.  Councillor Siddons undertook to provide a written reply to Councillor Phillips.

 

 

10.

To receive statements from each of the Cabinet Members and deal with any questions arising from those statements. pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Colling presented her statement as Portfolio Holder for Economy, Communities and Commercial, thanking the local Fair Trade Group for providing refreshments in the mayoral corridor before the meeting, and urging the public to take part in the current consultation on the review of the anti-social Public Space Protection Order in the Borough.  Members then put questions to Councillor Colling.  Councillor Rich Maw asked the following question to which Councillor Colling replied as set out below:

Question:  Buying an electric car in the UK in 2020 is far more complex than stumping up the cash and plugging it in. Range, charging and location all come into play. And even then, the majority of the time our cars are switched off either on the street, drive or at a car park. Why not have a scheme or club where members can share an E-Vehicle? Could the Council help in some way? The Club should provide Electric Cars with the idea that SBC provide some infrastructure.  A Scarborough electric car club could target reducing the number of resident petrol\diesel cars significantly.  And with the proposed 2035 ban looming, it's time to get ahead of the game.

Reply: Having reliable and affordable transport connectivity is absolutely vital if we are to achieve our good and inclusive growth strategy.  This was a central finding in the recent House of Lords report Regenerating Seaside Towns and is also a key theme in the Government’s recently published Towns Fund Prospectus, on which Members were offered a briefing recently.  In our Town Centre Strategy, we acknowledge the need to become a smart town and embrace the opportunities that an exciting digital future can offer.  Our emerging Local Industrial Strategy has carbon neutrality at the heart of our thinking, reflecting the climate emergency we have declared as a Council.  There are models in other parts of the UK (indeed close to home in Malton though that may not be electric cars but hybrid or low emission vehicles) where successful car clubs and care share schemes operate and I will ask the relevant Director to undertake a piece of work and report back to Cabinet in due course.

 

Councillor Jefferson presented her statement as Portfolio Holder for Finance and Operations.  In reply to a Member’s question, she explained that the multi-agency Port Emergency Exercise planned for 20 March would make provision for the care of casualties as part of the exercise.  Councillor Atkinson then asked the following question to which Councillor Jefferson replied as set out below:

Question: At the beginning of last summer some rides were installed at the Bulge in the North Bay; they looked to be well worn and in poor condition.  The safety of the equipment with regard to the keeping of the fuel to drive the generators and the electrical installation was under question at the time.  The rides operated without the required planning consent for the whole of the summer season.  For many years the once glorious but now demolished North Bay swimming  ...  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 136 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Coulson presented his statement as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, thanking the retiring Vice-Chair, Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff for her contribution to the work of the Board, and looking forward to working with the new Vice-Chair, Councillor Smith.  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.

 

 

Council 20200228 Q&As for publication with minutes pdf icon PDF 380 KB