Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP
Contact: Governance Email: email@example.com
To receive any apologies for absence from Members.
Apologies were received from Mr Cross, Mr Lowe and Mr Wilby.
The Chairman advised that the list of engagements had been circulated.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE LEADER, MEMBERS OF THE CABINET OR THE HEAD OF PAID SERVICE
The Leader announced that the Peer Review would now take place 25th-29th November 2019.
The Deputy Leader made the following announcement regarding the Local Plan:
“Colleagues will recall that in June I reported on the progress of the Local Plan at the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel. Over two months have passed since then and I believe it is appropriate that I bring you up to date with current situation this evening.
Officers continue to work on the Sustainability Appraisals covering social, economic and environmental assessments of the individual sites which have been put forward by land owners and developers along with reviewing their viability and deliverability. All of this work is required to develop an appropriate Spatial Strategy as laid out in the Government's Planning Policy Guidance.
The two larger sites, SGB and Woolfox, which have been put forward, are in the process of having a more detailed assessment in particular for their viability and the ability of the developer to deliver new homes over the Plan period. This is because when the Examiner comes to consider these sites he will need to be provided with evidence to this effect.
SGB has almost been completely assessed based on the November 2018 Evolving Masterplan. This has confirmed that SGB is viable but does require the Housing Infrastructure Fund funding of £30m. To date that bid, submitted in February 2019, has been fully scrutinised by Homes England, both of their external their consultants, MHCLG and against the Treasury's Green Book. Over 200 questions that have been asked and the answers provided seem to have been satisfactory however the bid still lies in the "to be decided" pile.
We continue to lobby government to make a decision, either way, so that we can decide whether SGB can be considered as part of the Local Plan or not. This lobbying has included contact with MOD, Homes England, MHCLG and via the Mayor of the Combined Authority, Cambridge and Peterborough as well as the Chair of the LGA who meets with the Secretary of State on a weekly basis. I am also in the process of arranging to meet the MHCLG Secretary of State in his constituency in Newark, Nottinghamshire in the next couple of weeks. To date no news has been forthcoming. Six bids have been announced as successful but these were on average for about
£100m. No bids have been rejected since our bid was submitted in February of this year.
Woolfox also continues to be assessed based on the information provided by the Agent, most recently a traffic assessment. This information has been on a drip feed basis from their consultants since last September.
The Planning Policy Team will continue to assess all of the evidence and come to a conclusion on an appropriate strategy which will be recommended to Cabinet in due course with time being provided for the GIR Scrutiny Panel to consider the Spatial Strategy and provide input to Cabinet ahead of their meeting. ... view the full minutes text for item 198.
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.
Mr G Brown declared an interest in item 10 of the agenda and stated that if there was any discussion regarding the key decision made by Cabinet on the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan, he would leave the meeting as he was involved with the development of the plan.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
To confirm the Minutes of the 283rd meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on 8 July 2019.
The Minutes of the 283rd meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on 8 July 2019 were confirmed by the Council and signed by the Chairman.
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.
No petitions, deputations or questions from members of the public had been received.
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.
i. Ms MacCartney
Can the portfolio holder please detail the measures that Rutland is taking to reduce our carbon footprint and what measures RCC is taking to promote renewable energy generation and use within Rutland?
Response provided by Mr G Brown (Portfolio Holder for Environment):
I don't know what measures Rutland is taking to reduce its carbon footprint but I can say that what RCC is planning.
I am in the process of drafting a Climate Change Action Motion to bring to Council within that Motion will be a series of proposals to reduce the Council's carbon emissions to zero by 2050. I would be happy to circulate the very rough draft to Councillors.
With regard to promoting renewable energy, the draft Local Plan published in 2017 Para 7.22 states
“The NPPF states that local planning authorities should have a positive strategy to promote energy from renewable and low energy sources and design their policies to maximise renewable and low carbon energy development while ensuring that adverse impacts are addressed satisfactorily, including cumulative landscape and visual impacts. RPL 36 explains how both wind farms including the most suitable locations and solar farms would be supported.”
Ms MacCartney asked the following supplementary question:
Could we invite applications from businesses that might be interested in promoting renewable energy?
Mr G Brown responded that the idea would be considered.
ii. Miss Waller
In light of recent press reports of the actions local authorities have put in place to mitigate the effects of Brexit, particularly a no deal Brexit, can the Leader tell us the actions RCC has taken to try to protect our population and employers in the short to medium term following Brexit?
In addition, can the Leader tell us what discussions RCC has had with our health authorities to ensure vulnerable residents will continue to receive their prescribed drugs, even when those drugs are manufactured outside the UK, and continue to receive treatment when EU citizens working in the health service return to their home countries?
Response provided by Mr Hemsley (Leader of the Council):
Although it is the Government’s responsibility to play a central role in co-ordinating the preparations for Brexit, local authorities have also been making their own preparations for the potential impact of Brexit on their localities. RCC has been developing plans with partners through the Leicestershire and Rutland Resilience Forum Partnership, on which our Strategic Director for Places is our designated Brexit Lead Officer. The Partnership has been preparing plans for some time and positive feedback has been received from Government on the work that has been undertaken and our level of preparedness.
The plans that have been prepared by the Partnership cover the themes of community engagement, advice and support to EU nationals seeking right to remain, support to business, employment, supply chains and communications. These plans will continue to be reviewed in the coming weeks as the current Brexit deadline approaches. In addition, the Partnership is undertaking a range of exercises/scenarios to test our preparedness, ... view the full minutes text for item 202.
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.
No Committee decisions had been referred.
CALL-IN OF DECISIONS FROM CABINET MEETINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM 5 JULY 2019 to 6 SEPTEMBER 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.
No call-ins were received.
To receive Report No. 123/2019 from the Cabinet on recommendations referred to the Council for determination and to note the Key Decisions taken at its meetings held on 16 July 2019 and 20 August 2019.
Report No.123/2019 from the Cabinet was received, the purpose of which was to consider the recommendations referred to the Council for determination and report the Key Decisions made by Cabinet since the publication of the agenda for the previous meeting of the Council held on 8 July 2019.
Mrs Stephenson introduced and moved the recommendations in the report. Mr Hemsley seconded the recommendations.
1) Council NOTED the Key Decisions made by Cabinet since the publication of the agenda for the previous meeting of the Council on 8 July 2019, as detailed in Appendix A to this report.
2) 16 July 2019
Decision No. 130
Report No. 99/2019
Moving Rutland Forward and Associated Documents
During debate the following points were noted:
i. Mr A Brown welcomed the inclusion of a potential relief road for Caldecott. Mrs Stephenson noted that external funding was essential for the project to take place.
ii. Miss Waller was concerned that a lot of the document was a wish list and questioned what the Council was going to do in the shorter medium term. Miss Waller felt that the document was repetitive and wordy.
iii. Mrs Stephenson stated that need for Rutland to be as accessible as possible and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Specific concerns regarding future highways management could be directed to the Highways and Transport Working Group where specific concerns would be logged and looked at.
iv. Moving Rutland Forward was a living document and would provide Rutland with a direction of travel.
Council APPROVED Moving Rutland Forward, and associated documents and assessments as an indicator of the direction of travel, understanding that financial implications would be considered with each individual policy as it was developed.
3) 20 August 2019
Decision No. 181
Report No. 115/2019
Council Tax – Council Tax Support, Care Leavers Relief and Empty Homes Premium
a) To continue with the existing Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme and to adjust it annually for inflation in line with the Governments Adjudications and Operations Circulars from 2020/21 financial year and onwards.
b) To retain the existing Discretionary Fund Policy and to approve the addendum to the Policy for Care Leavers detailed in Appendix A of Report No. 115/2019, effective from 2020/21 financial year and onwards.
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.
There were no reports from Committees of the Council.
REPORTS FROM SCRUTINY COMMISSION / SCRUTINY COMMITTEES
To receive the reports from the Scrutiny Commission / Scrutiny Panels on any matters and to receive questions and answers on any of those reports.
There were no reports from Scrutiny Commission or Scrutiny Committees.
JOINT ARRANGEMENTS AND EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS
To receive reports about and receive questions and answers on the business of any joint arrangements or external organisations.
i. Mr Bool – Combined Fire Authority
Mr Bool stated he was working to have councillors visit the fire station in Oakham. However it was proving difficult to find a date for maximum attendance.
ii. Mr A Brown – Rural Conference
Tuesday and Wednesday last week I was at Rural Services Network conference in Cheltenham.
Sponsored by Post Office.
1. PO largest retailer in UK, provides banking for every major bank. 93% of people live with a mile of a PO. Footfall predicted to double as more banks close. Are prepared to come and present to groups at any time.
2. Plenary session about rural communities. Presentation for HB villages which makes villages better places to live for vulnerable people. Later living accommodation needs economies of scale- at least 60 dwellings in a block. Schemes on edges of villages frees up other housing. Rural villages cannot be pickled in aspic they are living working spaces.
3. RSN document- Time for a Rural Strategy
Want Gov to have a long term funded rural strategy which is rural proofed-laudable objectives but not sure how it will be funded. No input from NFU/CLA and no mention of climate change.
4. Lord Foster of Bath- Chair of Select Committee on Rural Economy
Gov underestimates the ability of rural economies to contribute to national economy. Only 17% of population live in rural areas. Must have a ring fenced rural funding scheme pot post Brexit.
Gov admits rural proofing is needed but rejects we need a comprehensive rural strategy.
5. Chair of Institute for Economic development. By 2039 50% of houses will contain over 65s.
Productivity in rural businesses is 88% of the national average. Less than half of rural businesses take up superfast broadband where it is available.
6. Vectos-Rural Transport SMARTA- smart rural transport areas. Ringalink in Ireland is a scheduled bus service with no fixed route. Sopotniki in Slovenia and Rezopouce in France good examples. Got some interesting links and contacts to share with Cllr Stephenson.
Government must have a properly funded national rural strategy, it currently has a blind spot for rural areas and no real rural strategy. Bizarrely London Boroughs can get funding due to sparsity because of their parks and green spaces which is a flaw in the way funding is distributed.
The elephant in the room is adult social care and loneliness now has as much impact on health as smoking. A lot of underreporting of health issues in rural areas.
Main take away point:
No one should be disadvantaged because they live in a rural location.
To consider the Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Marc Oxley and seconded by Councillor Miranda Jones in accordance with Procedure Rule 34, the text of which can be found in the agenda pack.
The Notice of Motion submitted by Mr M Oxley in accordance with Procedure Rule 34 was received.
Mr Oxley introduced the motion and moved the recommendation below. Miss M Jones seconded the recommendation.
That Rutland County Council supports the motion that the Council should support and take any necessary action to retain the registration of Rutland as a Fairtrade County.
Council AGREED to support the motion.
To receive Report No. 129/2019 from the Monitoring Officer.
Report No. 129 was received from the Monitoring Officer.
Mr Hemsley introduced the report the purpose of which was to address an anomaly that has been raised in a meeting of the Constitution Review Working Group in relation to the appointment of vice-chairmen for scrutiny committees and to appoint a representative to the Victoria Hall Trustees Board.
Mr Hemsley moved recommendations 1 and 2 in the report but asked that the decision regarding the appointment of two representatives to the Victoria Hall Trusteed Board be deferred to a future meeting so the Council can have discussions with Victoria Hall prior to a decision being made.
Miss Waller seconded the recommendations.
1) To APPROVE a change to the Constitution to allow Procedure Rule 99 to apply to Scrutiny Committees.
2) To AUTHORISE the Monitoring Officer to make the required amendments to the Constitution to show the new application of Procedure Rule 88.
3) To DEFER the appointment of two representatives to the Victoria Hall Trustees Board to a future meeting.
To receive Report No. 138/2019 from the Chief Executive.
Report No. 138 was received from the Chief Executive, the purpose of which was to present the Rutland County Council Annual Report 2018/19 to Council and show how it will be used and distributed to highlight the impact the Council is making across the key service areas. The report also updates Council on the impact of the 2017/18 report and gives an introduction to the high level 2019/2024 Corporate Plan.
Mr Hemsley introduced and moved the recommendations in the report. Mr Oxley seconded the recommendations.
During debate the following points were raised:
i. Mr Oxley asked that a banner be placed on the website so the annual report could be easily accessible rather than having to search for it.
ii. Miss Waller asked that a large print copy of the report could be included on the website.
iii. Miss Waller expressed concern that the description of ‘outstanding schools’ in the introduction was misleading as it may be interpreted as ‘outstanding’ Ofsted results.
iv. The report had been circulated to all parishes.
To ENDORSE the RCC Annual Report 2018-19.
ANY URGENT BUSINESS
To receive items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.
No matters of urgent business were received.