Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 29th April, 2021 6.45 pm

Link: To view the meeting using Microsoft Teams click here

Items
No. Item

Cl/100/04/21

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

At the start of the meeting, the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services advised that this meeting was being hosted remotely using conferencing software which allowed Members, Officers and public attendance whilst being able to protect themselves and others, whilst observing the Government’s social distancing measures.

The Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services also stated that all votes during this meeting would be taken through an informal recorded vote, though would not be noted as such in the minutes.

A Roll Call of all those Members in attendance remotely was then taken.

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Armstrong, Councillor Lawson and Councillor Thompson.

 

Cl/101/04/21

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of the existence and nature of any private interests, both disclosable pecuniary and any other registrable interests, in any matter to be considered or being considered.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Eyles gave a personal explanation in that he was intending to audio record the meeting for personal use.

 

Cl/102/04/21

Minutes

RECOMMENDATION that minutes Cl/86/03/21 to Cl/95/03/21 and Cl/96/04/21 to Cl/99/04/21 of the meetings of Council held on 25 March 2021 and 7 April 2021 respectively be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of those proceedings (copies previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes Cl/86/03/21 to Cl/95/03/21and CI/96/04/21 to CI/99/04/21 of the meetings of the Council held on 25 March 2021 and 7 April 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of those proceedings.  

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Cl/103/04/21

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

Highlighting Eden celebrated a successful 2020/21 project

 

Highlights Rural Touring and Eden District Council had invited communities across the district to engage in Covid-secure arts activities and events through their joint initiative: Highlighting Eden. The project had concluded last month.

In total, over 170 attendees took part in the varied range of virtual arts events, including creative writing, choir singing and make-a-puppet workshops.

And the project received feedback such as:

 

·        “Absolutely amazing. It really lifted my mood and it was wonderful to work on something so creative”

·        “I was apprehensive about taking part. It resulted in being one of the best experiences of lockdown. I felt I had achieved something good and worthwhile”.

 

Safe voting for upcoming Eden elections

Elections in Eden would be going ahead in early May, with extra safety measures to ensure Covid safety.

District Ward by-elections for Hartside and Skelton Wards and Parish by-elections for Penrith Town and Alston Moor Parish councils would take place on Thursday 6 May 2021. The Police and Crime commissioner election would also be going ahead on the same day.

 

Penrith walking group launched for local veterans and families

Forces Link, an initiative that looks to increase opportunities and support for the local ex-service community and their families, had announced its new weekly walking group: Forward Step.

Forward Step had been set up to give people a regular opportunity to get outside and improve their health and well-being through walking. The group provided chances to form new friendships, connections and support networks in a relaxed, informal environment.

 

Lockdown Easing – 12 April

 

Leisure centres in Appleby and Penrith had now reopened, as well as the Penrith Tourist Information Centre and Appleby Local Links.

 

Eden District Council launched a cashless parking payment system

Eden District Council had partnered with PayByPhone to offer drivers cashless parking in all Council-owned car parks.

The service was now live and drivers could pay for their parking safely and securely using their mobile devices.

 

Grant offers free energy saving measures worth up to 10k for Eden households

Eden District Council had announced the next phase in its Green Homes Grant (Local Authority Delivery) scheme.

Eden’s Green Homes Grant (LAD) scheme would provide funding of up to £10,000 for a range of energy saving measures in Eden households, such as solar panels, air source heat pumps and home insulation.

The Eden scheme was funded by Central Government and the Council was working in partnership with E.ON to deliver it locally.

In addition, more measures and funding may be available for some residents through the Council’s Eco Flex scheme. Details of which can be found at www.eden.gov.uk

Through the schemes, the Council was addressing the triple challenges of working towards zero carbon emissions, improving residents’ health and wellbeing and reducing fuel poverty in local residents’ homes.

 

Patterdale Community Land Trust receives £132,000 from Eden District Council

Eden District Council’s Community Housing Fund had awarded Patterdale Parish Community Land Trust £132,000 towards the cost of acquiring land for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item Cl/103/04/21

Cl/104/04/21

Questions by the Public

To receive questions from the public under Rule 10 of the Constitution

 

Minutes:

The following question was received from Councillor J Davies under Rule 10 of the Constitution:

 

“Could the leader please explain why she is proposing to further delay and frustrate the devolution of assets to communities and town and parish councils in Eden with her notice on motion that is before council this evening seconded by Cllr Robinson in a move that will risk assets been further removed from community ownership and control by the fast approaching restructuring of councils in Cumbria.”

 

The Leader responded as follows:

 

“I am pleased to be able to reassure Councillor Davies that the Motion will neither delay nor frustrate the devolution of assets to communities and Town and Parish Councils in Eden, rather the reverse. The Motion merely removes the deadline for completion of the process of devolution of assets. This means that existing negotiations can proceed, and indeed new ones may commence.”

 

Councillor Davies then asked a supplementary question:

 

“The Leader states that she is removing a deadline. There is no deadline other than the end of a grant period which the policy and position we have debated and approved in 2017 by Eden District Council. Can the Leader explain what the intention is by the removal of that deadline and the financial implications it will have on Eden Council and Council tax payers.”

 

The Leader responded as follows:

 

“There was a March 2022 deadline for the completion of this devolution of completion of assets and that is very close and if the transactions are not completed by then, under the terms of the policy this means that Town and Parish Councils could not adopt them and that there is a risk that Eden District Council would no longer maintain them. So there is the possibility that this would have unfortunate consequences which would be unintended but because of the last year very little has been able to take place and there are a number of transactions that were incomplete. In terms of the March 2022 deadline and the April 2022 deadline, these are one and the same.”

 

The following question was received from Mr J Thomson under Rule 10 of the Constitution:

 

“Omega Proteins operates a controversial animal rendering plant at a huge, already over intensified industrial site, at Wildriggs on the rural edge of Penrith. Omega has seven‘live’ planning applications before Eden District Council, dating back to March 2019 with some retrospective.

 

Under EDC’s planning procedures, Omega’s expansion continues unabated, but its planning applications lie unheard and unresolved.

 

The applications:

·        have objections lodged against them

·        are locally sensitive

·        have a 1,250 signature petition against them

·        are from an applicant with a history of causing an offensive odour nuisance (the Penrith ‘pong’), which significantly interferes with the enjoyment and use of local properties, adversely affecting peoples’ lives

 

There is:

·        a massive lack of transparency at EDC re-Omega planning applications

·        a lack of public confidence in EDC’s planning procedures

·        a lack of urgency and continued refusal to listen to, and represent, residents at  ...  view the full minutes text for item Cl/104/04/21

Cl/105/04/21

Questions by Members

To receive questions from Members under Rule 12 of the Constitution

 

Minutes:

Councillor Wickes asked the following question:

 

While it is noted that there is £750k allocated in the budget for project ‘Town Hall’, can the leader confirm the spend to date on the consultants who are undertaking the feasibility study and outline the project timescales and specifics going forward. In confirming the spend to date, can the Leader point Members to the allocated sums within the accounts/budget.”

 

The Leader responded as follows:

 

“To date the consultants have been appointed and have commenced the work on the brief issued as part of the competitive tender exercise. No finance has been paid as yet as the payment for the initial tranche of the work is not due until certain elements of the tender have been completed.

 

The overall budget for the consultancy work was agreed as part of the Medium Term Financial Plan as being £30,000 under the budget line “Feasibility study for Town Hall Redevelopment (Revenue)” which was agreed by Council on the 27 February 2020. It is expected the work will be completed by early summer and the work involves liaising with a number of Arts and Culture organisations to test their appetite for the use of the Town Hall building, developing a range of options for the future use of the Town Hall and developing a high level cost plan to inform future decision making on any renovations or future use of the building.”

 

Councillor Wickes asked a supplementary question:

 

Can the Leader confirm the scope and remit of the feasibility study i.e. is it purely limited to the arts facility and does she not agree that this would be an ideal project for Member and wider public consultation.

 

The Leader responded as follows:

 

“I do not have the Tender in front of me. I’m sure the Tender is available if you would like me to find it and send it to you. I think that there will be possibilities for Members and the community to feed in. Indeed, I know that the Town Council is very interested in the future of the Town Hall. I’m sure you have seen many Local Government Association webinars on High Street and Town Centre regeneration and its not at all controversial that a cultural use is an important one. As we know Town Centres are places that people will go to do things and that this is a superb building which can act as a Civic Centre and a gathering place and places in which the community and visitors can take part in interesting activities which will bring footfall to the High Street which will develop the visitor economy and the night time economy.”

 

Councillor Wickes asked the following question:

 

“Can the Leader confirm that the One Eden project conversion of Voreda House is now in its third ‘design’ and what this design includes to achieve Zero Carbon or Carbon Neutral status, and in outlining this for Members, can the Leader also confirm the exact costings of design to date.”

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item Cl/105/04/21

Cl/106/04/21

Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 336 KB

To consider the attached motion on notice under Rule 13 of the Constitution. 

 

Minutes:

The following notice was received under Rule 13 of the Constitution from Councillor Taylor:

 

Proposed by Councillor Taylor

Seconded by Councillor Robinson

 

“In July 2017 Eden District Council adopted a policy whereby Parishes were told that if they did not take responsibility for certain services, including public toilets and footway lighting, then Eden District Council would ‘very likely’ withdraw those services from March 2022.

This Council should indeed encourage Parish and Town Councils that wish to take on services for the benefit of the community to do so. However, the threat of withdrawing services if parishes and towns are unable or unwilling to take them on, is no basis for a constructive relationship between the District and Parishes & Towns.

The Executive is required to work within the Council’s policy framework. That framework is partly defined by the decision in July 2017 to cut rural services under the guise of devolution. That is not acceptable to me, the members of the Executive or, I imagine, any councillor who cares about protecting rural services.

I therefore urge Eden District Council to resolve to

1. Immediately rescind the March 2022 deadline for the withdrawal of rural services that Parish and Town Councils have not adopted, as defined in the report considered by Council in July 2017

2. Instruct officers to work with Overview and Scrutiny and partners – including Parish and Town Councils and/or their representatives - to develop a new policy that will support devolution of appropriate services to Parish and Town councils for the benefit of the communities we serve, rather than primarily to cut costs for Eden District Council.”

 

Members then debated the Motion on notice.

 

Councillor Nicolson requested an amendment to the Motion.

 

Proposed by Councillor Nicolson

Seconded by Councillor Wickes

 

“Eden District Council offers to refund the expenditure incurred by those Parish and Town Councils that have adopted the services and wish to take advantage of a refund, to put all Councils on an equal footing.”

 

Under Rule 17 (e) of the Council Procedure Rules a named vote on the substantive motion was demanded by Councillor Eyles and the following Councillors rose in support of it:

Councillors Baker, Greenwood, Rudhall and McCall

 

Vote on the amendment was a named vote.

 

For the amendment: 12

(Councillors I Chambers, M Clark, P Dew, H Fearon, J Lynch, E Martin, A Meadowcroft, G Nicolson, J Raine, D Ryland, H Sawrey-Cookson, D Wicks)

 

 

Against the amendment: 19

(Councillors P Baker, D Banks, A Connell, J Derbyshire, M Eyles, K Greenwood, M Hanley, L Harker, D Holden, N McCall, W Patterson, M Robinson, A Ross, M Rudhall, L Sharp, G Simpkins, D Smith, V Taylor, M Tonkin)

 

Abstentions: None

 

The motion, therefore, Fell.

 

Councillor Raine requested an amendment to the Motion:

 

Proposed by Councillor Raine

Seconded by Councillor Ryland

 

Vote on the amendment was as Follows:

 

For the amendment: 8

 

Against the amendment: 20

 

Abstentions: 3

 

The Motion, therefore, Fell.

 

Under Rule 17 (e) of the Council Procedure Rules a named  ...  view the full minutes text for item Cl/106/04/21

Cl/107/04/21

Acting Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Services pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services’ report G18/21 which outlines the resolutions of the Human Resources and Appeals Committee in respect of the Acting Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Services.

 

RECOMMENDED that:

 

1.         the current arrangements for sharing the Acting Chief Executive with Carlisle City Council be extended until 31 December 2021.

 

2.         the current remuneration arrangements for the Deputy Chief Executive position until be extended 31 December 2021.

 

3.         the current arrangements with the Interim Director of Corporate Services be extended until 31 December 2021.

 

Minutes:

Members considered report G18/21 from the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services which outlines the resolutions of the Human Resources and Appeals Committee in respect of the Acting Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Services.

 

Proposed by Councillor Greenwood

Seconded by Councillor Wickes

 

And Resolved that

 

1. the current arrangements for sharing the Acting Chief Executive with Carlisle City Council be extended until 31 December 2021.

 

2. the current remuneration arrangements for the Deputy Chief Executive

position until be extended 31 December 2021.

 

3. the current arrangements with the Interim Director of Corporate Services be

extended until 31 December 2021.

 

Cl/108/04/21

Date of Next Scheduled Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of Council be confirmed as its Annual Meeting on 27 May 2021.

Minutes:

The next scheduled meeting of Council be confirmed as its Annual Meeting on 27 May 2021.