Agenda and draft minutes

Hybrid meeting, Council - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Hybrid meeting accessible via Microsoft TEAMS and YouTube

Contact: Charlotte Lynch  Email: charlotte.lynch@southribble.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

5.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from the Mayor (Councillor Harry Hancock) and Councillor Stephen Thurlbourn.

6.

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 26 February 2020 of Council pdf icon PDF 355 KB

To be signed as a correct record by the Chair.

Minutes:

RESOLVED (Unanimously):

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 26 February 2020 be signed as a correct record by the Mayor.

 

7.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to indicate at this stage in the proceedings any items on the agenda in which they intend to declare an interest. Members are reminded that if the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct) they must leave the room for the whole of that item. If the interest is not a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, but is such that a member of the public could reasonably regard it as being so significant that it is likely that it would prejudice their judgment of the public interest (as explained in the Code of Conduct) then they may make representations, but then must leave the meeting for the remainder of the item.

Minutes:

Councillors Michael Green and Barrie Yates declared prejudicial interests in Item 11 – Combined Authority Update and would not take part in the vote.

8.

Thanks

Minutes:

As the Mayor could not make the meeting, the Deputy Mayor read out a statement of thanks on his behalf:

 

At this stage of the meeting I feel it is only right and proper that we express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those involved in the care and support shown to the residents of South Ribble during this time of COVID-19.  Particular thanks should go to all members of the NHS for their tireless work who have been - and still are - on the front line. To all those who work in Care Homes, and to those in the teaching profession who have made sure that children of key workers have been looked after to enable parents to go to work.  Not forgetting our own excellent staff here at South Ribble who have kept our services running and to all those connected with the Community Hub who have made sure that the elderly and vulnerable have been fully supported during these very difficult times.  I am very pleased to say that discussions have taken place with The Citizens Advice Bureau, Progress Housing, KEY, schools and others to keep the Community Hub going forward.

 

Members and officers of the Council stood in applause as a show of appreciation to all these groups of people for all their dedication and hard work.

9.

Cabinet pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Cabinet held on Wednesday, 24 June 2020 attached.

Minutes:

Members received a general report of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 24 June 2020.

 

It was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Mick Titherington, and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the report be noted.

10.

Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To receive and consider the reports of the Governance Committee held on Tuesday, 16 June and Wednesday, 8 July attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a general report on the Governance Committee meetings held on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 and Wednesday, 8 July 2020.

 

It was proposed by the Chair of the Governance Committee, Councillor Ian Watkinson, seconded by the Vice-Chair, Councillor Colin Sharples and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the report be noted.

 

11.

Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Scrutiny Committee and Scrutiny Budget and Performance Panel held on 22 June, 2 July and 9 July 2020 attached.

Minutes:

Members received a general report of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on Thursday, 9 July 2020 and the Scrutiny Budget and Performance Panel meetings of Monday, 22 June 2020 and Thursday, 2 July 2020.

 

It was proposed by the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Councillor David Howarth, seconded by Councillor Will Adams and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the report be noted.

12.

Urgent Decisions Taken Due to COVID-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Report of the Assistant Director of Scrutiny and Democratic Services attached.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Assistant Director of Scrutiny and Democratic Services which informed of decisions taken using urgency powers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Due to the pandemic all decision-making meetings were cancelled between March and May 2020. Decisions were therefore taken using the urgent decision procedure in accordance with section 35 of the Council’s constitution, which permits decisions to be made by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader or relevant Cabinet Member.

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee was also consulted within the process and members were notified of decisions taken through a weekly update email.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Damian Bretherton, members were informed that the take-up of business grants was currently at 93%.

 

Councillor Colin Clark queried why the adoption of the Council’s tree policy had been taken as a delegated decision, as opposed to an urgent decision. Commitment to responding to Councillor Clark by email was provided.   

 

It was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Mick Titherington, and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the report be noted.

13.

Shared Services Agreement pdf icon PDF 378 KB

Report of the Shared Service Lead for Legal attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, presented a report on the redrafted Shared Services Agreement which sought approval for signing.

 

The Agreement included sections on functions, involved employees and liability and included provisions for exit management. Three briefings had been held for members and the Agreement had been approved by the Shared Services Joint Committee and Full Council at Chorley Council.

 

The Leader of the Council commended the Agreement and thanked senior officers involved in the implementation of Shared Services between South Ribble and Chorley Councils.

 

Some concern with the role of and authority granted to the Shared Services Joint Committee in overseeing performance was expressed. Assurances were provided that the Joint Committee’s role would be to make recommendations on the performance management and progress of Shared Services to each authority, who retain sovereignty.

 

Queries were also raised regarding the issue of advance notification of substitutes on the Shared Services Joint Committee and voting in the event of a tie. The Leader of the Council disagreed that advance notice should be required and was of the opinion that allowing substitutes up until the beginning of the meeting would ensure that each authority was well-represented on the Joint Committee.

 

In response to a query around the need for a casting vote, it was clarified that such provision is not included within the Agreement and the Leader of the Council acknowledged that a need for a casting vote would indicate a breakdown in communication and significant challenges within the Joint Committee.

 

Councillor Damian Bretherton requested further clarification on the cost of implementing Shared Services. Members were advised that all costs had been factored into the budget as approved in February 2020 and would be reviewed annually. Costs are shared across all areas within Shared Services expect for Visitor Economy, as this is more established at Chorley Council.

 

It was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Mick Titherington, and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the draft Shared Services Agreement be approved for signing.

14.

Annual Governance Statement 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 495 KB

Report of the Director of Governance attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Director of Governance which presented the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

 

The report was received by the Council in the interests of transparency and members were informed that the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement under the previous administration remained to be signed off by the council’s External Auditors. A number of discrepancies had been highlighted within these documents and the Leader of the Council expressed his concern with this.

 

Internal audits had been undertaken over the previous 12 months and the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement were updated as a result. Explanations had been provided to external partners, agencies and auditors around the historic misleading statements but there remained a possibility of further sanction being imposed on the Council.

 

Although concerns had been raised at the time, the need to accept responsibility and make better progress was acknowledged. A Management Recovery Plan was now in place and the Leader of the Council was confident that all actions in this would be completed by the end of 2020.

 

There was feeling within the Chamber that the findings of the Annual Governance Statement appeared to place blame on those members on the Governance Committee, despite a significant amount of cross-party challenge during meetings. In response, it was asserted that this was not the case, with the Annual Governance Statement recognising many reasons for such governance failings. However, conclusion of some fault of the Governance Committee was drawn from the committee’s approval of a draft Annual Governance Statement which was later found to be factually incorrect, but it was recognised that blame should not solely rest with the Governance Committee.

 

The Leader of the Council reiterated that the need to uphold transparency and informed members that all information is shared with the Scrutiny Committee by the current Labour administration.

 

It was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Mick Titherington, and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That

 

1.    the Annual Governance Statement for the years 2018/19 and 2019/20 be noted and

 

2.    Council supports the improvements contained in the action plan of the Annual Governance Statements.

 

15.

Standards Annual Report pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Report of the Shared Services Lead for Legal attached.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Shared Services Lead for Legal which presented the Standards Annual Report for 2019-20.

 

Information was received on the number of complaints made against members and the action taken if the individuals were found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

 

With reference to a recent case where a member formally apologised for breaching the Code of Conduct at a Cabinet meeting, Councillor David Howarth was of the opinion that all group leaders had agreed that in such an event, an apology should be done in public at Full Council meeting. The Leaders of the Labour and Conservative groups concurred with Councillor Howarth’s sentiments.

 

It was widely acknowledged that the Standards Committee was limited in its powers to sanction members but Councillor Margaret Smith queried the possibility of South Ribble Borough Council adopting localised sanctions as some other authorities had done. In response, the council’s Monitoring Officer confirmed that he would be happy to look into this further.

 

Special thanks were also given to the council’s Independent Persons for their recent work in disciplinary proceedings against the former Chief Executive.

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That Council note the report. 

16.

Combined Authority Update pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive attached.

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive which sought confirmation of support for South Ribble Borough Council’s involvement in current discussions to create a combined authority for Lancashire and for the inclusion of a directly elected mayor and local government reorganisation as part of a devolution deal.

 

The Council had previously supported the principles of a combined authority in Lancashire and it was acknowledged that the issue of local government reorganisation had gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, explained that a White Paper on local government reform was expected to be published in autumn 2020 and would be shared with Full Council in due course.

 

Emphasis was placed on finding the most appropriate solution for South Ribble’s residents and communities.

 

Debate ensued across the chamber on Lancashire County Council’s stance on the matter. Councillor Paul Foster informed members that the County Council had expressed a desire for enhanced unitary authorities in Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen and a combined authority consisting of other district councils in Lancashire. In response, Councillor Michael Green argued that Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet had not yet indicated any such support.

 

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Councillor David Howarth, expressed some concern on behalf of his group regarding the gradual erosion of local democracy. Councillor Howarth felt that a directly-elected Mayor would be unaccountable to communities and moved an amendment to the proposal as follows:

 

“That Council recognises the prominent roles of town and parish councils and agrees to bring forward proposals to parish the whole borough”.

 

In response, the Monitoring Officer suggested alternative wording that the council would “agree to investigate bringing forward proposals to parish the whole borough” as the Council did not have the power to impose such change. Councillor Howarth was amenable to this change and the amended motion was seconded by Councillor Angela Turner.

 

Following debate, the voting on the Amended Motion was recorded and the members present at the time voted as follows:

 

FOR THE AMENDED MOTION:

 

Councillors Will Adams, Jacky Alty, Jane Bell, Renee Blow, Aniela Bylinski Gelder, Mal Donoghue, Bill Evans, James Flannery, Derek Forrest, Paul Foster, Mick Higgins, David Howarth, Sue Jones, Chris Lomax, Keith Martin, Christine Melia, Colin Sharples, David Shaw, Mick Titherington, Caleb Tomlinson, Matthew Tomlinson, Matthew Trafford, Angela Turner, Ian Watkinson, Carol Wooldridge.

 

AGAINST THE AMENDED MOTION:

 

Councillors Damian Bretherton, Matt Campbell, Carol Chisholm, Colin Clark, Colin Coulton, Mary Green, Jon Hesketh, Caroline Moon, Jacqui Mort, Peter Mullineaux, Alan Ogilvie, John Rainsbury, Margaret Smith, Phil Smith, David Suthers, Karen Walton, Gareth Watson, Paul Wharton-Hardman.

 

Councillor Jim Marsh ABSTAINED.

 

Councillors Michael Green and Barrie Yates did not vote on the amended motion.

 

It was declared that the Amended Motion was carried and it was RESOLVED (Yes: 25 No: 18 Abstain: 1)

 

That

 

1.    the council confirms its support for South Ribble Borough Council’s involvement in the current discussions to create a combined authority for Lancashire, subject to the final proposals being agreed by full  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Coach House Lottery Project pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Report of the Director of Neighbourhoods and Development attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Leisure, Councillor Mick Titherington, presented a report on the restoration of Hurst Grange Park Coach House which sought approval to begin the tender process. 

 

Councillor Titherington commended the project in making the building a visitor attraction and community asset and praised the officers involved in securing a grant of £513,100 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which was one of only two funding awards made in the North West.

 

In addition to the National Lottery funding, £17,000 had been raised by the Friends of Hurst Grange Park along with £5,700 worth of volunteer time and this would be supplemented by a contribution of £253,000 from the council as part of an overall project cost of £789,325.

 

The report had been considered by the Scrutiny Budget and Performance Panel and Councillor Titherington informed members that further consultation had taken place with residents as a result of recommendations made by the Panel.

 

As ward councillor for the area, Councillor Angela Turner expressed her support but requested that a price cap be placed on the project to ensure financial sustainability. Assurances were provided that, if approved, the result of the tender process would be taken to Cabinet and the costs of the project would be monitored with the potential to review the scope if necessary.

 

Other members also expressed concern regarding the value-for-money of the project and emphasis was placed on the need for revenue to provide a return on investment.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Mick Titherington, seconded by Councillor Paul Foster and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That

 

1.    Council welcomes the award of £513,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Hurst Grange Coach House refurbishment project;

 

2.    Council approves the commencement of a formal tender process for the refurbishment of the Coach House building and surroundings at Hurst Grange Park, Penwortham as part of Heritage Lottery project costed at £789,325;

 

3.    Council requests that the tender criteria as outlined in Appendix 1 to this report is used for the tender process to ensure that social value is incorporated into the process;

 

4.    Council approves an uplift in the council’s financial contribution to £253,600 due to an increase in costs outlined in the report; and

 

5.    Council requests that the final award of the tender is taken to the Council’s Cabinet for the final approval in accordance with procurement rules.

18.

Adoption of the Climate Emergency Strategy pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of the Director of Neighbourhoods and Development attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report on the council’s Climate Emergency Strategy for adoption.

 

The Strategy was developed to identify proposals by the Council to achieve its adopted goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 and to complement the work of the Climate Emergency Task Group. It outlined the current position of the council and the areas to concentrate efforts in reducing carbon emissions.

 

Many questions were posed to the Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Sue Jones, around maturity age for trees and provisions for electric-car charging within the borough and Councillor Jones resolved to answer these in writing.

 

Councillor Colin Clark queried the omission of enforcement against burning inappropriate materials in wood-burning stoves. In response, the Chair of the Climate Emergency Task Group, Councillor Keith Martin, advised that members and residents have an individual responsibility to dissuade others from burning such materials and that change should be approach positively and not enforced.

 

A written representation was submitted by a member of the public, which queried the number of air quality monitoring stations within the borough; requested that street lighting is reduced to minimise light pollution especially in rural/semi-rural areas; stated it would be more beneficial to plant semi-mature trees; queried the specific height or types of trees that that it is proposed to plant over the next several years and; requested the council develop a policy in pre-planning whereby developers submit plans to work within existing conditions in Greenfield sites, to avoid wholesale ecological clearance.

 

Responding to many of these points, Councillor Sue Jones advised that the Climate Emergency Strategy focused on the reduction of greenhouse gases across the borough and that a separate Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) dealt with air quality issues. It was also reported that there are 43 monitoring points covering 32 locations across South Ribble.

 

Whilst it was accepted that the level of street light could be investigated further, some roads require a minimum amount of lighting to be provided and the provision of street lighting falls under the remit of Lancashire County Council.

 

In response to queries regarding the number and type of trees planted, this was acknowledged as a different project which is not managed by the Climate Emergency Strategy.

 

Councillor Jones provided assurances that planning policy already includes guidance on greenfield sites, biodiversity and the provision of open space.

 

Councillor Jones committed to providing a written response to the member of the public.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Keith Martin, seconded by Councillor Paul Foster and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That members adopt the Climate Emergency Strategy.

 

 

 

19.

Updates to the Constitution

19a

Constitution - Public Participation pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Report of the Director of Governance attached.

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Governance which sought approval for temporary amendments to procedures in council meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Due to government guidance around social distancing, many council meetings were held remotely using virtual technology as permitted under the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

 

It was consequently proposed that the council’s procedure rules be amended to provide members of the public the right to submit any written questions based on agenda items for that particular meeting up to two working days prior to the meeting, in lieu of physically attending the meeting.

 

The importance of public participation at Planning and Licensing Committees, particularly, was acknowledged and it was suggested that members of the public retain the right to verbally address the committee. It was therefore proposed that the number of speakers be reduced to 3 people against and 3 people for. Any speakers would be required to register their interest two working days prior to the meeting.

 

As Licensing matters such as taxi and premises licences are typically dealt with in closed session, it was not necessary to amend procedures. For those items considered in public it was proposed to adopt the same approach to what was proposed for Planning Committee.

 

Several members spoke against the proposals, citing the lack of passion allowed for in written representations and the ability of new videoconferencing technology to promote public participation.

 

The Leader of the Council argued that these proposals would help to facilitate public meetings in extraordinary circumstances but reiterated that these were only temporary measures in place until May 2021.

 

In response to a query regarding the ability of members not on a committee to speak at relevant meetings, it was reported that members should submit written representations in the same way as members of the public.

 

Members were interested to know how many people were watching the meeting via livestream to YouTube. At that point in proceedings, there were 20 viewers and the maximum number at any one time was 30.

 

Following a request by Councillor Mary Green, the voting on the Substantive Motion was recorded and members present at the time voted as follows:

 

FOR THE SUBSTANTIVE MOTION:

 

Councillors Will Adams, Jacky Alty, Jane Bell, Renee Blow, Aniela Bylinski Gelder, Mal Donoghue, Bill Evans, James Flannery, Derek Forrest, Paul Foster, Mick Higgins, David Howarth, Sue Jones, Chris Lomax, Keith Martin, Christine Melia, Colin Sharples, David Shaw, Mick Titherington, Caleb Tomlinson, Matthew Tomlinson, Matthew Trafford, Angela Turner, Ian Watkinson, Carol Wooldridge.

 

AGAINST THE SUBSTANTIVE MOTION:

 

Councillors Damian Bretherton, Matt Campbell, Carol Chisholm, Colin Clark, Colin Coulton, Mary Green, Michael Green, Jon Hesketh, Jim Marsh, Caroline Moon, Jacqui Mort, Peter Mullineaux, Alan Ogilvie, John Rainsbury, Margaret Smith, Phil Smith, David Suthers, Karen Walton, Gareth Watson, Paul Wharton-Hardman and Barrie Yates.

 

The Deputy Mayor declared that the Motion was carried and it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

That

 

1.    the proposed approach to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19a

19b

Constitution - My Neighbourhoods pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Report of the Director of Governance attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Governance which sought approval for amendments to the wording of My Neighbourhood Procedure Rules within the council’s Constitution.

 

Under the proposals, current My Neighbourhood Forums would be renamed  My Neighbourhood Community Hubs and decision-making authority would be delegated to the relevant Chair and Vice Chair in consultation with the relevant Director. Assurances were sought and provided that all members of the My Neighbourhood Community Hub would continue to be consulted on decisions as a result of these changes.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by Councillor Aniela Bylinski Gelder and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That

 

1.    the proposed changes to My Neighbourhood Procedure Rules be approved; and

 

2.    authority be delegated to the Director of Governance/Monitoring Officer to make any minor ancillary changes to other parts of the Constitution as a consequence of renaming My Neighbourhood Areas as “My Neighbourhood Community Hubs”.

19c

Constitution - Appointment and Employment Panel pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Report of the Director of Governance attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a report of the Director of Governance which sought approval of updates to the terms of reference of the Appointment and Employment Panel.

 

Following a recent difficult employment-related process and discussions with the Local Government Association, it was deemed appropriate to amend these terms of reference to provide greater clarity.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, requested an amendment to the proposal to remove the Initial Filter Panel from the process of dealing with disciplinary matters.

 

An example of where the Initial Filter Panel had dismissed a complaint against a senior officer that was later found to have merit was cited as reason for its removal from the terms of reference of the Committee.

 

Some members of the Conservative group expressed concern with the lack of notice of this amendment and queried whether this would comply with the Joint Negotiating Committee’s Model Disciplinary Procedure. Assurances of this were given.

 

The Amended Motion was seconded by Councillor Mick Titherington and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That, subject to the removal of the Initial Filter Panel from the disciplinary process, the proposed Terms of Reference for the Appointment and Employment Panel for insertion in the council’s Constitution be approved.

20.

Questions to the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Councillor Michael Green asked the Leader if he was confident that the council was complying with GDPR requirements to which the Leader responded that he was and that the council was making good progress on recommendations to improve the approach to GDPR.

21.

Questions to Members of the Cabinet

Minutes:

a)    Questions to the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member (Health, Wellbeing and Leisure)

 

Councillor Alan Ogilvie requested an update on the opening of the borough’s leisure centres following the COVID-19 lockdown. The Cabinet Member, Councillor Mick Titherington, informed members that Leyland Leisure Centre, including its pool, would reopen from 25 July 2020 with reduced hours to allow for extra cleaning to take place. Bamber Bridge and Penwortham Leisure Centres did not yet have a date for reopening due to issues with the internal air flow.

 

b)    Questions to the Cabinet Member (Finance, Property and Assets)

 

Councillor Damian Bretherton requested clarification on the meaning of value-for-money, as referenced in a Cabinet report from October 2019 on the McKenzie Arms site which implied a permanent loss of capital of £750,000.

 

In response, the Cabinet Member, Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, explained that options for use of the site were limited but he was confident that the property would deliver a return. Councillor Tomlinson assured Councillor Bretherton that he was happy to discuss the subject further with him and that further details on the history of the site would be available in autumn 2020.

 

c)    Questions to the Cabinet Member (Planning, Regeneration and City Deal)

 

Councillor Michael Green asked the Cabinet Member if he knew of the implications of the appeal decision regarding development on Chain House Lane in Whitestake and requested a copy of the decision.

 

In response, the Cabinet Member, Councillor Bill Evans, stated that he was not aware a decision had been made on the appeal.

 

Councillor Phil Smith requested a progress update on Leyland Town Deal, to which the Cabinet Member informed the Council that the Town Deal Board had met four times and had appointed a local businessowner as the Chair. An initial £164,000 and additional £750,000 worth of funding had been received to date. Officers and consultants were currently working on a bid to be submitted in October 2020.

 

Councillor Phil Smith then followed up by asking the Cabinet Member if he could clarify that the £750,000 received was for separate projects and not for the Town Deal fund. In response, the Cabinet Member stated that the money had been earmarked to buy land for the Leyland Masterplan but he would confirm this in writing.

 

d)    Questions to the Cabinet Member (Environment)

 

Councillor Colin Clark asked several questions around the Council’s tree policy that was adopted in March 2020, relating to the amount of backlogged inspection work; the number of trees in the database; the timescale for implementing a digital record system; how many of the 110,000 trees planted will be on Council-owned property; and the current and predicted costs associated with the inspection and maintenance of these trees.

 

Due to the volume of questions posed by Councillor Clark, the Cabinet Member, Councillor Susan Jones, committed to responding in writing.

 

Councillor Michael Green asked the Cabinet Member if she would accept an invitation of a tour of play areas in need of improvement in his ward, Moss Side.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Questions to Chairs of Committees and My Neighbourhood Areas

Minutes:

a)    Questions to Chairs of My Neighbourhood Forums

 

Councillor Michael Green asked the Chair of the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum when she expected meetings to begin again. In response, the Chair of the Forum, Councillor Jane Bell, stated that meetings would resume around September-October 2020 due to ongoing restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic. Councillor Bell indicated a possibility of meetings being held virtually via TEAMS.

 

b)    Questions to Chairs of Committees

 

Councillor Keith Martin asked the Chair of the Planning Committee if the planning appeal regarding the Chain House Lane site in Whitestake had been resolved yet. The Chair of the committee, Councillor Caleb Tomlinson, informed the council that no decision had been made yet and this was confirmed by the Interim Chief Executive.

23.

Questions to Member Champions and Representatives on Outside Bodies

Minutes:

No questions were received to any Member Champions or representatives of outside bodies.

24.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph(s) 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Paragraph 4: Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the authority.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item of business as it involved the discussion defined as exempt from publication under paragraph 4 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the authority.

25.

Shared Services Terms and Conditions Review

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive attached.

Minutes:

Council considered a confidential report of the Deputy Chief Executive which outlined proposals for changes to the contractual terms and conditions of employees within Shared Services, following review and consultation.

 

It was reported that the vast majority of the proposals remained unchanged throughout the review process but that some areas, including working hours and annual leave provisions, had been amended following consultation with staff.

 

Briefings had been held for members and the proposals were approved by the Shared Services Joint Committee and Full Council at Chorley Council.

 

In response to a query regarding the impact of the changes to working hours on those employees not currently working within Shared Services, members were informed that there would be no impact immediately but that these differences in terms and conditions could be harmonised in the future.

 

Councillor Margaret Smith requested an update on the lease car scheme offered to employees and a report on this would be presented to the Shared Services Joint Committee in August 2020.

 

It was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Foster, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Mick Titherington, and subsequently

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That

 

1.    the proposals for the terms and conditions for shared services be agreed and;

 

2.    the next steps for the terms and conditions implementation, including car/travel scheme options, be noted.