Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 11th March, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP

Contact: Natasha Taylor, 01572 720991  Email: ntaylor@rutland.gov.uk

Link: Audio recording

Items
No. Item

663.

APOLOGIES

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mr Conde, Mr Callaghan and Mr Mann.

664.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that the list of engagements and those of the Vice Chairman had already been circulated.

665.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE LEADER, MEMBERS OF THE CABINET OR THE HEAD OF PAID SERVICE

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Leader, Members of Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.

666.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

Mr Parsons declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda as he was a member of the Rutland Agricultural Society and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mrs Fox declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda as she was a member of the Rutland Agricultural Society and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Cross declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda as he was a member of the Rutland Agricultural Society and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Baines declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda as he was a member of the Rutland Agricultural Society and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Brown declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda as he was a member of the Rutland Agricultural Society and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Begy declared an interest in Item 10 of the agendas he was a member of the Oakham Rugby Club who used the showground and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Lowe declared an interest in Item 10 of the agenda and would not take part in the vote on this item.

 

Mr Oxley declared an interest in Item 16 of the agenda as Chairman of the Joint Safety Committee.

667.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

To confirm the Minutes of the 279th and 280th meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on 21 January 2019 and 25 February 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes the Minutes of the 279th meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on 21 January 2019 were confirmed by the Council and signed by the Chairman. 

 

The minutes the Minutes of the 280th meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on 25 February 2019 were confirmed by the Council and signed by the Chairman. 

668.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

To receive any petitions, deputations or questions received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 28. The total time allowed for this is 30 minutes.  Petitions, deputations and questions will be dealt with in the order in which they are received and any which are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting.

Minutes:

i.    The following deputation was presented by Mrs S Seed - South Luffenham Parish Council:

 

I wish to address the issue of how the quarry impacts on the financial viability and therefore scale of St Georges barracks project.

 

My lack of confidence in the MOD and RCC outline financial viability model which has driven the commitment to build this huge development. Such a development and indeed its sheer size is not simply not needed in this county.

 

It is assumed the MOD owns the mineral rights though we are aware that some people strongly contend that.

 

Let’s assume they do, there is an estimated 20 million tons of minerals lying beneath the mineral extraction site. The value of these minerals that could be extracted has not yet been identified or published.

 

At the 27th February advisory board meeting the viability model was discussed. It is this viability model which has driven the MOD to identify that they need to build 2,215 houses within the wire at St George’s barracks to ensure the financial viability of the site.

 

At the same time we were advised that the MOD considered the mineral extraction site a separate project. Therefore the significant value of the minerals underneath the 200 hectare’s outside the wire have been excluded from the viability equation.

 

This has resulted in the MOD’s view that to break even, they need to build a new town the size of Uppingham on the site.

 

Any viability assessment should be supported by appropriate available evidence. This should follow the government’s national planning guide and be proportionate, simple, transparent and publicly available. This will help with future assessment and provide more accountability.

 

What is the mod’s plan of restitution? This must be in place. We have seen no evidence that the MOD or RCC will be adopting best practice in the requisite environmental principles established by the government’s 25 year plan.

 

The indicative time frame for the massive adjacent quarry which will blight the site for many years has yet to be identified.

 

Who will want to buy, bring up children and raise a family or go to school near such a quarry site?

 

We believe that RCC need to broaden their vision for St Georges barracks. The starting point should be to identify appropriate employment which will attract high quality jobs to the site. Our leaders and planners need to look at large corporations like pharmaceutical co / tech co or universities. Quality jobs well paid jobs that could encourage younger families to live in a small quality development.

 

Both MOD and RCC need to be honest and include properly all the financial income that can be expected from this St Georges barracks site. We can then move forward together knowing we are working for a better county future.

 

Questions from Members:

 

  • Mr Brown requested clarification on the claim that the mineral rights did not belong to the MOD.

Mrs Seed confirmed that the statement referred to the fact that this was unknown, she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 668.

669.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

To receive any questions submitted from Members of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 30 and 30A.

Minutes:

      i.          Miss Waller

 

Many people in the rural parts of Rutland rely on the internet to secure essential purchases.  However, finance companies are in the process of changing their security and to use credit or debit cards in future to make these purchases people will need to enter a code the card company will text to them.  This will be impossible to receive for many of us who have no mobile signal where we live and will make on line purchasing extremely difficult.  What is RCC doing to improve the mobile network in the County, especially as in some cases the Council gave planning permission for new mobile masts which have either not been erected or have been erected but not activated?

 

Response provided by Mr Hemsley (Leader of the Council):

 

Access to high quality fixed and mobile broadband is seen by Rutland County Council as strategically important for the County. The Council recognises the importance for residents and businesses to be able to access both, whether they are at home or on the move, to help them run their businesses, keep in touch with friends and family, shop and pay bills online etc.

 

The Council has held meetings with three of the leading mobile operators to understand their current and future roll out plans for Rutland and received positive feedback from the operators on their intentions to improve coverage across the County. The operators were questioned on the issues of disparity between indoor and outdoor signals, particularly impacted in stone built properties. OfCom has recently held auctions of bandwith at frequencies which will provide both better coverage in rural areas and better indoor quality going forward.  Mobile operators are also developing new equipment (including external antennae on homes to boost the signal) and new technology (such as WiFi calling, which will allow mobile phone calls and texts to be made and received over WiFi).

 

The Council is also bidding for funding to central government to roll out full fibre to strategic public assets across the County, bringing greater access to full fibre (1Gigabit capability) fixed broadband. In doing so, this will also provide the ability to accelerate the roll out of 4G and ultimately 5G mobile broadband services to more rural parts of the County.

 

Unfortunately, despite the Council granting planning approval for a number of new mobile masts, it has no legal power to insist that these are erected by the mobile operators. Whether they choose to proceed with such masts will depend upon their own business plans, which change as new technologies develop. It is likely that Rutland will never get 100% full mobile coverage of 2G, 3G or 4G because of the rurality and topography of some areas in the County, but the Council will continue pushing to get coverage to as high a level as possible, and press mobile operators to roll out other technologies, such as those previously described, to maximise access to the network.

 

Miss Waller asked the following supplementary question:

 

Can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 669.

670.

REFERRAL OF COMMITTEE DECISIONS TO THE COUNCIL

To determine matters where a decision taken by a Committee has been referred to the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 110.

Minutes:

No Committee decisions had been referred.

671.

CALL-IN OF DECISIONS FROM CABINET MEETINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM 19 January 2019 to 8 March 2019 (INCLUSIVE)

To determine matters where a decision taken by the Cabinet has been referred to Council by the call-in procedure of Scrutiny Panels, as a result of the decision being deemed to be outside the Council’s policy framework by the Monitoring Officer or not wholly in accordance with the budget by the Section 151 Officer, in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 206 and 207.

Minutes:

No call-ins were received.

672.

REPORT FROM THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To receive Report No. 65/2019 from the Cabinet on recommendations referred to the Council for determination at its meetings held on 15 January 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 65/2019 from the Cabinet was received, the purpose of which was to consider the recommendations referred to the Council for determination at its meeting held on 15 January 2019.

 

Mrs Stephenson introduced and moved the recommendations in the report.  Mr Wilby seconded the recommendations.

 

Mrs Stephenson highlighted the important role that Rutland Agricultural Society played in the Rutland community and that plans to expand would benefit Rutland.  Rutland Agricultural Society had previously had a loan which had been repaid on time.

 

In response to a point of order from Mr Oxley, Mr Horsfield, Monitoring Officer, confirmed that members of the Planning Committee would not be precluded from taking part in the debate and decision of this item.

 

During debate the following points were noted:

 

      i.         This loan was considered to be low risk in light of the previous good record the organisation had in relation to the repayment of a previous loan;

     ii.         Mr Gale and Mr Lammie requested information with regard to other sources of funding that the organisation might have looked into, including requesting support from existing members.  Mrs Briggs, Chief Executive, confirmed that before the previous loan was agreed checks had been made as to other sources of funding and it would be unusual for these checks to have not been carried out in this instance.  Written confirmation of the alternative sources looked into could be provided.

 

RESOLVED

 

To APPROVE the proposed loan and associated conditions to the charitable organisation the Rutland Agricultural Society.

 

673.

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

a.            To receive reports from Committees on matters which require Council approval because the Committee does not have the delegated authority to act on the Council’s behalf.

b.            To receive reports from Council Committees on any other matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were no reports from Committees of the Council.

674.

REPORTS FROM SCRUTINY COMMISSION / SCRUTINY PANELS

To receive the reports from the Scrutiny Commission / Scrutiny Panels on any matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.

Minutes:

There were no reports from Scrutiny Commission or Scrutiny Panels.

675.

JOINT ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS

To receive reports about and receive questions and answers on the business of any joint arrangements or external organisations.

Minutes:

      i.         Miss Waller - information circulated in writing to members

     ii.         Mr Baines - Northern Region Environment Agency Flood Defence Committee

18 January 2019 meeting.  Reported there would be no increase in that precept and the Chairman did stress that he felt that external agencies should not require additional funds from Local Authorities.

   iii.         Mr Baines - Rutland Water Partnership Meeting

22 February 2019 meeting. Parking and traffic issues were a perennial problem.  The Portfolio Holder and Officer had attended the last meeting and confirmed a survey would be carried out this summer as part of overall county wide parking scheme.  Secondly, there would be an application coming forward from Anglian Water for Solar Farm at the eastern end of the reservoir*.

   iv.         Mr Baines - Welland Partnership

8 March 2019 meeting.  Leaflet had been produced for Neighbourhood Plans in areas which had river frontage.  Ketton Primary School will be taking advantage of field work being organised by the partnership.  Promotion of River Warden Scheme underway, Tesco in Oakham had given £1000 but conditional on being in the Oakham Tesco area, Braunston and the Gwash might be interested in that scheme.  Also young man doing PhD at Leicester University on natural capital which was interesting.

    v.         Annual Meeting of the Court of Leicester University

15 February 2019 meeting.  Sir Lawrence Howard Scholarship launched in autumn, strengthened the link that Rutland has traditionally had with Leicester University and in process of formalising the process for this scholarship scheme.

 

*This was later clarified by Mr Brown, who confirmed that issues around environmental impact assessment were currently being considered in relation to the proposed Solar Farm and discussions were ongoing with Anglian Water.

 

--o0o--

Mr Cross left the meeting and did not return.

--o0o--

 

 

676.

NOTICES OF MOTION

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted by Members of the Council in accordance with Procedure Rule 34 in the order in which they are recorded as having been received.

Minutes:

There were no notices of motion.

677.

PAY POLICY 2019 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To receive Report No. 36/2019 from the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 36/2019 was received from the Chief Executive, the purpose of which was the annual review of the Council’s Pay Policy as required by the Localism Act 2011.

 

Mr Hemsley moved the recommendations in the report.  Mr Brown seconded the recommendations in the report.

 

During debate the following points were noted:

 

      i.         Officers were congratulated for implementing the new pay scales in good time;

     ii.         It was confirmed that figures given in relation to Male/Female hourly rates in relation to gender pay gap reporting were mean averages.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)    To APPROVE the updated Pay Policy for 2019-20.

2)    To NOTE the introduction of the new NJC Pay Scale for April 2019.

3)    To NOTE the value of an effective pay policy on recruitment and retention.

4)    Ro NOTE the Council’s Gender Pay Gap data for 31 March 2018.

 

678.

RCC HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To receive Report No. 50/2019 from the Deputy Director for Places.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 50/2019 was received from the Deputy Director for Places, the purpose of which was to approve the RCC Health and Safety Policy.

 

Mr Oxley moved the recommendations in the report. 

 

Mr Oxley requested that in relation to Part C of the Policy, which was still under review, any amendments were provided to members.  Also that proposed changes to procedures were delegated to Officers, but proposed changes to policies were delegated to the Joint Safety Committee and then the final report should be brought back to Council in order to finalise and approve proposed changes to Part C of the Policy.

 

Mr Brown seconded the recommendations and the amendment as put forward by Mr Oxley.

 

During debate the following points were noted:

 

      i.         Under Section 17 of the report reference should be made to vaping as well as smoking;

     ii.         An Annual Report from the Joint Safety Committee would be welcomed.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)  To NOTE the approval of the Policy by Cabinet;

2)  To APPROVE the new proposed RCC Health and Safety Policy (v1.0) (attached at appendix 1 of Report No. 50/2019) subject to the requirements for further approval of Part C as detailed above.

 

679.

CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive Report No. 43/2019 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 43/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources, the purpose of which was to present an updated Constitution for approval.

 

Mr Hemsley moved the recommendations on the report.  Mr Gale seconded the recommendations.

 

Mr Horsfield, Monitoring Officer, provided a brief introduction highlighting some of the main changes in the report and acknowledging the work that had been put into reviewing all the revised sections by the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

During debate the following points were noted:

 

      i.         Members requested that a note be put in the glossary to confirm that where the text referred to “he” this also referred to “she” and vice-versa;

     ii.         It was confirmed that the proposal was that Vice Chairs be appointed by the respective Committees.  Chairmen would continue to be appointed by Council;

   iii.         New members should be fully briefed on the contents of the Constitution and be provided with a link to access the electronic version;

   iv.         The revised version was in an easier format and had been scaled down considerably.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)  To APPROVE the Constitution in so far as these fall within the powers of Council as detailed in the table at 2.3.3 of Report No. 43/2019.

2)  To NOTE the approval of the Leader for those powers that fall within the remit of the Executive as detailed in the table at 2.3.3 of Report No. 43/2019.

 

680.

BREXIT FUNDING pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive Report No. 57/2019 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

Minutes:

Report No. 57/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources, the purpose of which was to seek approval to include a government grant for Brexit in the Council’s 18/19 and 19/20 budget.

 

Mr Hemsley moved the recommendation in the report.  Mr Foster seconded the recommendation.

 

During debate the following points were noted:

 

      i.         The first tranche of funding had been received, it was not ring-fenced but conditional that it would be used to mitigate the impact of Brexit.  Work was currently being done with other neighbouring Local Authorities to risk assess the possible impacts of Brexit.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)     To APPROVE the inclusion of a Government grant of £105k into the Council’s budget for 18/19 and a further £105k for 19/20 for Brexit.

2)     To NOTE that the Chief Executive will manage and allocate this budget accordingly.

 

 

681.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

To receive items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.

Minutes:

There was no other urgent business.

 

--o0o--

The Chairman noted that there was a possibility that the April Council meeting may be cancelled due to lack of business.  As such, he wished to thank the Chief Executive, Officers and Members for all the work that had been done over the last four years.

 

The Chairman also wished express thanks to all those members who would not be returning, who were owed a debt of gratitude and proposed a warm vote of thanks to those members who had served for many years on the Council.

 

Mr Hemsley, Leader of the Council, also added his thanks to the members and officers for their support in his year of leadership.  He also hoped that those members that wished to return were successful and looked forward to working together in the future.