Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Monday, 9th March, 2020 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Governance  Email: governance@rutland.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

596.

APOLOGIES

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Coleman, Jones, Dale and Woodley.

597.

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Chairman.

598.

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

Minutes:

Councillor Walters, as the Cabinet Member for Health commented that the Council were aware of the Covid 19 issue and that government guidance was being followed. It was noted that there had been not reported instances of Coronovirus in Rutland but that all necessary plans were being implemented to mitigate risk and that updates and briefings would be issued as appropriate.

 

599.

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:

Councillor Lowe declared a personal non pecuniary interest in Item 15, as an Oakham Town Councillor and noted that he would abstain from voting.

 

600.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

To confirm the Minutes of the two hundred and eighty sixth, two hundred and eighty seventh and two hundred and eighty eighth meeting of the Rutland County Council District Council held on the 20th January, 27th January and the 24th February 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on the 20th January, 27th January and the 24th February 2020 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

601.

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:

There were none.

602.

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:

Councillor A Brown submitted a question in accordance with the Constitution:

“RCC stopped short of declaring a climate emergency and subsequently set up a Task and Finish group to look at bio-diversity. The bio-diversity task and Finish Group has now completed its work. I consider this to be very small first step in the things RCC need to do to combat the climate emergency. What will this council be doing next on this very important matter, and what is the timescale? The one thing we do not have much of is time”.

In response Councillor G Brown

I would remind Cllr Brown that when I presented the Motion to Council in October that I explained that we should not declare an Emergency but lay out an Action Plan and proceed to deal with the issues we face. Unfortunately, our initial progress has not been as rapid as I had wished with the personnel changes we have experienced in the Places Director level as well as in Property and Highways and now Environment. In addition, the time taken with the Local Plan and Council Budget over the last 3 months has also impacted on the work.

 

It is not possible to set out a fully comprehensive pathway to net zero in our initial plan, a?s the government has not yet mapped its plans for the country. Decarbonising some sectors, such as heat, will require national policy to direct the relevant technologies and provide a framework for action.

 

Work has been started in a number of areas and I am looking forward to receiving the Bio-diversity Task & Finish Group report.

 

In partnership with the Sustainable Land Trust we have taken the following actions so far:

 

·       Initial consultation into land based issues and actions – including a survey of stakeholders of which the results analysed and ready to be presented.

·       Liaison with organisations interested in becoming partners

·       Liaison with members of the public who attended the consultation meeting on 28th November

·       Creation of Rutland CAN brand, (Climate Action Network) Facebook page and Twitter/ Instagram account

·       Sustainable Land Trust application to become members of the international Climate Action Network

·       Expression of Interest submitted to National Lottery Climate Fund for funding for 2 officers (1 x land, 1 x infrastructure (housing, transport, industry, etc), plus marketing and resources

·       Brought together SLT to work with Kendrew Barracks to undertake mass tree planting

The next steps for the partnership are

1.     Meeting with partners and interested members of public on 31st March at 7.30pm at VAR. Councillors are welcome to attend

2.     Collate baseline information, set targets and indicators and agree priorities for action.  

3.     Create action plan and timetable.

4.     Identify and apply for funding/ donations/ contracts to deliver plan and timetable.

5.     Marketing the Rutland CAN concept and broadening the membership so that every person and parish knows about the group

6.     Identify locations for land based actions/ initiatives and work with relevant land owners.

7.     Cost the initiatives and determine where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 602.

603.

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:

There were none.

604.

CALL-IN OF DECISIONS FROM CABINET MEETINGS DURING THE PERIOD FROM 10th NOVEMBER 2019 to 18th FEBRUARY 2020 (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:

There was no call-in of decisions from Cabinet meetings.

605.

REPORT FROM THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Council to note the Key Decisions taken at the Cabinet meetings held on 21st January 2020 and 18th February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 57/2020 from the Cabinet was received, the purpose of which was to consider the Key Decisions made by Cabinet since the publication of the agenda for the previous ordinary meeting of the Council held on 20th January 2020.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Council NOTED the Key Decisions made by Cabinet since the publication of the agenda for the previous ordinary meeting of the Council on 20th January 2020 as detailed in Appendix A of this report.

 

606.

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

607.

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 the Scrutiny Commission or Scrutiny Panels

608.

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:

Councillor Waller explained that both she and Councillor Dale had made suggestions to Leicestershire Health Trust on their consultation process and how improvements could be made. It was explained that the long-tern plan was for 3 clinical commissioning groups with a joint Chief executive to work with promoting initiatives.

 

Councillor Oxley explained that there had been lots of publicity with regards to Fair Trade goods nationally and thanked officers for improving the links on the RCC website to the Fair Trade websites.

 

Councillor Fox reported that 4Oakham had held their first stakeholder meeting and that there would be further updates at various Council Committees in the near future.

609.

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 none.

610.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To receive Report No. 54/2020 from the Strategic Director of Resources

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader elaborated on the report presenting recommendations to the Council on a proposed Members’ Allowances scheme. He explained that the allowances had remained very low in comparison to other Council’s and considered the increase could attract a high calibre of potential candidates. It was noted that the majority of Councillors spent a vast amount of time and effort both in their Council work and their wards and stated that should any member vehemently oppose the increase they would have an option to sacrifice their allowance.

 

Councillor Oxley proposed the report and noted that there had been very few increases since the Council became Unitary and stated his preference would be for it to be index linked as there was a need for Councillors, especially in the future, to be compensated with the potential to attract younger people to become Councillors.

Councillor Cross declared that he was unaware that payments were made to Councillor and whilst he understood the concept that it could encourage younger people to enter into local politics, he considered that senior generations were more likely to give up their time.

 

Councillor Baines commented that the allowances should not be used as a deterrent nor as an incentive. He explained that claiming allowances facilitated Councillors in their decision-making role without which, the Council would be unable to function.

In response to questions asked, it was explained that a review of the allowances was a requirement of the Council and that it had not been included in the budget as, should the Council chose not to approve the increase, the budget figures would not be accurate. It was reported that the increase if approved would be included in future budgets.  It was further explained that despite an additional expenditure of £80k per annum, the Council would continue to look for savings and identify areas where costs could be cut.

 

Councillor Begy seconded the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Members Allowances scheme recommended by the independent Remuneration Panel (with a Basic Allowance be increased of £4,944 per annum) be approved

 

2.    That the new Scheme be effective from the 1st April 202 be approved

 

3.    That the annual increase in allowances be linked to the NJC pay award made to officers be approved.

 

611.

PAY POLICY STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To receive Report No. 34/2020 from the Strategic Director of Resources

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley, as the relevant Cabinet Member proposed the report and explained that the Council was required to review and publish on an annual basis its Pay Policy Statement. It was reported that 30 per cent of gross expenditure of the Council was on employees’ wages and on costs and there was recognition that there was a need to continue to develop and support staff.

 

Councillor Cross seconded the report and stated that the Council were very lucky to have hardworking, dedicated staff.

 

RESOLVED:               

 

1.    That the updated Pay Policy for 2020-21 be approved.

2.    That the latest update regarding the Local Government National Pay Award for 2020 be noted.

3.    That the value of the pay policy in the context of recruitment and retention be noted.

4.    That the Council’s Gender Pay Gap data for 31 March 2019 be noted.

612.

LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To receive report No: 59/2020 from the Chief Executive

Minutes:

Councillor Hemsley proposed the report which sought Council’s approval that Rutland join the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. It was noted that since 2017 and the creation of the Cambridgeshire Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) functions from the Greater Peterborough Greater Cambridgeshire LEP (GPGCLEP) had been transferred to the CPCA Business Board. Since the GCGP LEP ceased to exist in 2018, Rutland had been left without a LEP.

Councillor G Brown seconded the report.

 

Councillor Waller proposed and Councillor MacCartney seconded the amendment which read:

 

‘This Council defers the decision on report no 59/2020 until its meeting of the 20th April 2020 and that between now and then, a members’ briefing be arranged in order to fully inform members of all the implications relating to the recommendations within the report’.

 

In response to questions asked by Council, the Chief Executive stated that if the report was not approved, then the Council would in effect become ‘LEPless’ and to become part of Greater Lincolnshire LEP (GLLEP) would allow Rutland County Council access to their services. It was noted that the GLLEP had already supported some of Rutland’s local businesses and there had been an opportunity for Rutland to contribute to their Local Industrial strategy (LIS). The proximity and shared landscape could be beneficial to Rutland as an alignment with the GLLEP could be of benefit due to similarities in the rural economy, agriculture, tourism and food and drink sector. The Chief executive continued to inform Council that the sooner Rutland became part of a LEP, the sooner they would be able to take advantage of the services offered and would allow full membership on the Board thus having influence and the opportunity to share opinions. It was further explained that other local LEPS had been considered but that their focus had little affinity with the needs of Rutland.

 

Councillor Waller, having been satisfied with the clarification and updates from the Chief Executive withdrew her amendment. Councillor MacCartney seconded the withdrawal of the amendment.

 

Members debated the substantive motion.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Rutland join the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership based on the conditions outlined within the report

 

2.    That the Leader of the Council represent Rutland County Council as a member of the LEP Board and the Deputy leader as his substitute.

 

613.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

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

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.