Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 20th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Astley Room - Castle. View directions

Contact: Geoff Durham  01782 742222

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors’  Gardner, Moffat, Olszewski and Pickup.

2.

GORDON BANKS OBE

Minutes:

A minute’s silence was held for Gordon Banks OBE who had recently passed away.

 

The Leader, Councillor Simon Tagg led the tributes followed by Councillors Gary White, Kearon and other Members.

 

Gordon had been awarded Freedom of the Borough of Newcastle under Lyme last year.

 

The Leader said that the news had been sad to hear and said that Gordon had been thought of with great affection by everyone for his footballing and fundraising.  It was a shame that he had not been awarded the Knighthood that he truly deserved.  Condolences were sent to the family.

 

Gordon was described as a true gentleman by Councillor Gary White.  He did a lot for the local community and had been proud to have been awarded the Freedom of the Borough. Councillor Kearon described him as a legend and said that the community was poorer for his passing. Councillor Brian Johnson said that Gordon had been a great supporter of Madeley and meant a lot to Madeley High School.  Councillor Johnson added that the Council should see what else it could do to honour him.

 

The Mayor reiterated everything that had been said by Members, saying that he would be truly missed.

 

 

 

 

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive declarations of interest from Members on items contained within this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest stated.

4.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting(s)

Minutes:

Resolved:                 That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January, 2019 be agreed as a correct record.

5.

MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Minutes:

The Mayor advised members of three upcoming events:-

 

Annual Civic Mass on Sunday 3 March

Mayor’s Charity Ball on Saturday 6 April.

Tribute Night on 20 April.

 

6.

REVENUE AND CAPITAL BUDGETS AND COUNCIL TAX 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

 

The Leader of the Council introduced this report and moved the recommendations which set out the recommendations of Cabinet for Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2019/20 and sets out the recommendations for setting the 2019/20 Council Tax.  In summary the Council’s updated Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as reported to Cabinet indicated a forecast budget shortfall of £1.891m for 2019/20.  The Council had a duty to deliver a balanced budget.

 

Cabinet proposed an increase in council tax for 2019/20 of £5.69 per year from the 2018/19 amount.  This represented an increase of 2.99 percent from 2018/19.  Detailed recommendations were set out in Appendix A of the report.    Appendix B set out the proposed Revenue Budget for 2019/20.  A summary of additional income, additional expenditure and loss of income and new pressures was given in the report.

 

A summary of savings and funding strategies to bridge the £1.891m gap had been identified and agreed with managers and were given at Appendix C.

 

A review of the Council’s Balances and Reserves together with a risk assessment had been carried out. Details were given in Appendices D and E.  The MTFS and budget proposals had been scrutinised by the Finance, Assets and Performance Scrutiny Committee. 

 

The Capital Programme for 2019/20 was given in Appendix F of the report.

 

The Interim Executive Director of Resources and Support Services, Jan Willis and her team were thanked for the work that had been put into the preparation of the Budget.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency, Councillor Stephen Sweeney thanked officers for their hard work in preparing the budget.  Particular reference was made to Dave Roberts, the Council’s Head of Finance who would be retiring on 28 February after 48 years’ service at Newcastle.  Councillor Sweeney thanked him for his dedicated service, referring to him as a ‘tremendous guy’  and wished him a happy retirement.

 

Councillor Sweeney was enthused by the budget and was honoured to second it.

 

Councillor Robinson queried why there was no mention of the Kidsgrove Sports Centre within the budget.  Councillor Reddish asked that the Cabinet explore how Kidsgrove Sports Centre could be brought forward by a year.

 

Councillor Holland acknowledged Councillor Reddish’s suggestion and said that the Cabinet would like to look carefully at the provision of the sports centre and spending at the right time.  The Council has a good working relationship with the Community Group.

 

Councillor Holland responded to Councillor Robinson’s question asking why amendments had not been submitted to the budget in respect of funding for the Sports Centre.

 

Councillor Shenton queried why there was no mention of borrowing costs for 20/21 and 21/22.

 

Councillor Brian Johnson asked the Leader if he felt that the Green Waste charge was fair.

 

The Leader received Members’ comments and advised that a ten year strategy was now required by government.

 

With regard to Kidsgrove Sports Centre, the community group had met with the Council’s Chief Executive, Martin Hamilton and there was a commitment by the Cabinet and Council to get  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency sought approval of the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20, including the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy contained within it.

 

Resolved:     (i)         That the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 be

                                                approved.

 

                        (ii)        That the Minimum Revenue Provision Policy contained

                                                within the report be approved.

 

8.

CAPITAL STRATEGY 2019 TO 2029 pdf icon PDF 553 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency advised Members that this was a new Strategy required by law and covered ten years.

 

The advantage of having a ten year strategy meant that the Council could plan ahead.

 

Councillor Shenton appreciated that the Council had to have the ten year Capital Strategy but stated that more detail could have been given, in particular, no one knew what impact Brexit would have.

 

Resolved:     That the Capital Strategy report for 2019 / 2029 be approved. 

9.

PUBLICATION OF A PAY POLICY STATEMENT FOR 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council introduced this item by stating that the Localism Act 2011 requires local authorities to prepare and publish a pay policy statement for each financial year.  Full details were given in the Appendices of the report. 

 

Councillor Shenton asked if the statement could, in future, look at the gender pay gap and equality issues.

 

The Leader would look into this and refer back to Councillor Shenton.

 

Resolved:     That the Pay Policy Statement attached at Appendix A to the

report be approved and published on the Council’s website by 31 March, 2019.

 

10.

QUESTIONS TO THE MAYOR, CABINET MEMBERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Kyle Robinson asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Growth if he would work with the Planning Department at Newcastle to ensure that Taylor Wimpey would be held to account over public open space issues on the Bluebell Croft Estate in Butt Lane.

 

Councillor Paul Northcott stated that he would liaise with the Council’s Head of Planning, Guy Benson and ask for regular updates.

 

Councillor Robinson asked if the Council would ensure that  Taylor Wimpey return to the site and remove the sand to stop any waterlogging.

 

Councillor Northcott stated that he would liaise with Mr Benson over this issue.  Members were advised that the Council was in the process of bringing out a Planning Enforcement protocol, which was due to go through the final stages of publication.

 

 

Councillor Robinson asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Growth to outline how much funding had been secured via Section 106 Agreements for parks and play areas in the Talke and Butt Lane Wards over the last two years.

 

Councillor Northcott advised that this information was published on the Council’s website when it was presented to the Planning Committee twice yearly. The last four reports had been presented on 3 January, 2019;  17 July, 2018; 2 January, 2018 and 23 May, 2017.  Councillor Northcott confirmed that a table could be provided to Councillor Robinson containing the information for the two wards.

 

Councillor Robinson stated that he would like to see how Members could have more of a say how section 106 monies were spent and asked Councillor Northcott to look more closely at what the money was actually being spent on.

 

Councillor Northcott confirmed that talks were now going ahead with the Chief Executive as to how this money was applied.  In addition, Section 106 monies was currently being evaluated as to how it could be more transparent.

 

 

Councillor Fear asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency what mechanism was in place for monitoring the implementation of the Council’s Capital Programme.

 

Councillor Sweeney stated that there was a Capital Review Group.  The Programme would also be helped by the ten year Capital Strategy, ensuring value for money.

 

Councillor Fear asked what the Member involvement was in the Group.

 

Councillor Sweeney confirmed that, at present there was no Member involvement – it was run by officers.  However, the Group would now be chaired by himself.

11.

RECEIPT OF PETITIONS

To receive from Members any petitions which they wish to present to the Council.

Minutes:

No Petitions were received.

12.

STANDING ORDER 18 - URGENT BUSINESS

To consider any communications which pursuant to Appendix 7 – paragraph 7 of the constitution are, in the opinion of the Mayor, of an urgent nature and to pass thereon such resolutions as may be  deemed necessary.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.