Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Contact: Lynn Cain  Email: l.cain@ashfield-dc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

C.26

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests

Minutes:

1.    Councillors Amanda Brown, David Griffiths, Jackie James and Cathy Mason declared Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests in relation to agenda item 7(a) (Future Delivery of Housing Management). Their interests arose from the fact that they were currently members of the Ashfield Homes Board.

 

2.    Councillor Paul Roberts declared a Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interest in relation to agenda item 8 (Teversal Community Centre and Recreation Ground (Charity Number 522310) – Update).  His interest arose from the fact that he had previously partaken in discussions with Club representatives from the site but had not subsequently expressed an opinion.

C.27

Minutes pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21st July, 2016, as now submitted, be received and approved.

C.28

To receive any announcements from the Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet and the Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

Chairman

 

“I have two announcements to make.

 

The first is concerning local democracy week which is between the 10th and the 16th October as part of Ashfield District Council’s commitment to this.  Members of the Ashfield Youth Forum have been invited to a special Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 11th October at 6.30 p.m.  The event will be live tweeted on the Ashfield District Council’s twitter page and can be followed at @ADCAshfield.  The meeting and other related events will be accompanied by the hashtag #LocalDemocracyWeek.  In addition to this there are eighteen young people who turn 18 years of age during that week and the elections team have arranged for birthday cards to be sent to each of them.

 

The other item I have to mention is this coming Saturday and that is the inaugural breakfast club of the Ashfield and Mansfield Service Veterans and this will be held at the Bold Forester Public House in Mansfield. It is to be hosted by Councillor Sean McCallum, a Member of Mansfield District Council and himself a veteran of the second Gulf War and I will be attending in a personal capacity and that’s the only announcements I wish to make as Chair.”

 

Leader of the Council

 

“Thank you Chair, just a few updates from myself.

 

In the Members’ Digest:-

 

The Green Deal

Hundreds of people across the District are looking forward to a cosier winter after taking advantage of the green deal community fund to improve the efficiency of their homes.  The results of the work were showcased when the Department of Environment & Climate Change recently, at an afternoon tea, came for a celebration to look at the scheme’s success.  It is pleasing to note that Ashfield District Council is one of only 2 organisations in the UK to complete the scheme after being 1 of 24 councils receiving funding.  The scheme has led to the completion of 244 external wall insulation schemes and the installation of a boiler.

 

The Annual Voter Registration Canvass

The Elections Unit is currently busy undertaking the electoral registration household canvass; this is in readiness for the revised publication of electors on the 1st December.  62% of Ashfield households have responded which is a good increase on last time at this point.  Reminder forms should already be hitting the doormats and any outstanding non-responding properties will be personally canvassed this month.

 

Boundary Commission Update

There has been a 12 week consultation of all the national boundaries; maps of the proposals for the East Midlands are actually on display in our Council offices.  The proposals will see a reduction of 2 seats in the East Midlands region with the total number of MP’s in Parliament dropping from 650 to 600.

 

Merchant Navy Day

We had a Merchant Navy Day flag raising event; this was held on the 2nd September at the main Council offices where the red ensign remained raised for the weekend to celebrate the Merchant  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.28

C.29

Questions from the Public

From Ms. Samantha Deakin, Sutton in Ashfield:

 

To Councillor Don Davis –

 

“Given how upset many communities across Ashfield are at the prospect of your plans to develop on green open spaces, would you please explain why more brownfield sites are not being brought forward so as to minimise the impact on the spaces we the public would value keeping as they are?”

 

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, the following question had been submitted by Ms. Deakin who was present at the meeting in order to read out her question.

 

From Ms. Deakin, Sutton in Ashfield:-

 

“Given how upset many communities across Ashfield are at the prospect of your plans to develop on green open spaces, would you please explain why more brownfield sites are not being brought forward so as to minimise the impact on the spaces we the public would value keeping as they are?”

 

The Deputy Leader, Councillor Don Davis, responded to the question as follows:-

 

“Thank you Chair and thank you Ms. Deakin for your question.

 

Just to roll it back a little bit, as we all know the Council must have a Local Plan in place by early next year or this will be done for us.  The Council has consulted widely at every stage of the process of the Local Plan and at the start the Council asked landowners, Members and members of the public for sites to be submitted…which is known as the ‘call for sites’.

 

Only these sites can be put forward to the Local Plan and considered.  All sites that were put forward through that process were assessed in conjunction with evidence based on legal terms so let me give you a bit of background on that.  Earlier this year we consulted for 6 weeks on the Local Plan and during that period we received 683 responses from the District’s population.  Whilst some were very concerned about the Local Plan we did have support and welcome proposals for the Plan to provide homes for our children and their children’s children over the next 15 years.

 

To date, in terms of brownfield sites, only 1 site was considered through that process.  If I turn specifically to the brownfield sites, the Council has been using brownfield sites since 2001 and has managed to convert 31 hectares of brownfield land into new homes.  The Government has identified that Ashfield as a District falls within the lowest third of all authorities for development of brownfield sites throughout this land.  Compared to all the other authorities we are very sustainable.  All suitable and developable brownfield sites, put forward through the Council process or the SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment) as it is known, have been included and allocations to this effect will deliver over 1268 new homes which is approximately 15% of our allocation over the next 15 years.  I must reiterate that we cannot allocate any land whether its brownfield or greenfield without the owner’s consent….it has to come through the ‘call for sites’.

 

The brownfield sites in that process that were not suitable for development total 172 homes and the reasons why they were not put forward is for a variety of reasons including:-

 

·         they were potentially in the greenbelt;

·         in open countryside;

·         detached from urban areas and settlements;

·         in high flood risk zones;

·         they were for employment use or already allocated to employment  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.29

C.30

Petitions

To consider a petition submitted by Councillor Jason Zadrozny with 1352 signatories as follows:-

 

“I/We the undersigned call on Ashfield District Council Labour Group to rethink their plans to close Leisure Centres in Ashfield.  Both the Festival Hall in Kirkby and Huthwaite Leisure Centre are vital community resources.  Local residents value our leisure centres and we believe all areas of the District deserve to have their own facilities. We ask that the Council reconsiders their plans and invests in the centres so that they are fit to last for generations to come.  Our area has already had much taken away from it in recent years, enough is enough.”

Minutes:

The Council received a petition submitted by Councillor Jason Zadrozny as follows:-

 

“I/We the undersigned call on Ashfield District Council Labour Group to rethink their plans to close Leisure Centres in Ashfield. Both the Festival Hall in Kirkby and Huthwaite Leisure Centre are vital community resources. Local residents value our leisure centres and we believe all areas of the District deserve to have their own facilities. We ask that the Council reconsiders their plans and invests in the centres so that they are fit to last for generations to come. Our area has already had much taken away from it in recent years, enough is enough.”

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.6 and the Council’s Petition Scheme, Councillor Zadrozny addressed the Council for the prescribed five minutes and then the petition, containing over one thousand signatures, was duly debated for a maximum of fifteen minutes.

 

RESOLVED

that the Council confirms acceptance of the petition and agrees to consider its content as part of the wider consultation and second phase of the Leisure  Review.

 

(During consideration of the petition, Councillor Glenys Maxwell left the room at 7.40 p.m. and returned to the meeting at 7.42 p.m.)

C.31

Future Delivery of Housing Management pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were requested to consider various proposals arising as a result of the Council’s earlier decision to return the Housing Management Function in-house.

 

(Councillors Amanda Brown, David Griffiths, Jackie James and Cathy Mason had previously declared Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests in respect of this item.  In view of the nature of their interests, they remained in the meeting and took part in the discussion and voting thereon).

 

RESOLVED that

a)    a Housing Advisory Panel (HAP) be established, as set out in the report, to consist of two AFTRA Members, two Gateway Representatives and four Cabinet Members;

 

b)    delegated authority be granted to the Interim Service Director for Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Asset Management, to finalise the Terms of Reference for the HAP which will be consistent with the proposals set out in the report;

 

c)    approval be given to the proposed selection process for the HAP as outlined in the report and delegated authority be granted to the Interim Service Director for Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Asset Management, to produce the selection process guidance and application forms;

 

d)    the addition of dedicated housing performance scrutiny to the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as set out in the report, be approved;

 

e)    the selection of one representative from AFTRA and one representative from Gateway to be Tenant Representatives for Housing Scrutiny, be approved;

 

f)     approval be given for the proposed selection process for the Tenant Representatives for Housing Scrutiny, as outlined in the report, and delegated authority be granted to the Interim Service Director for Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Asset Management, to produce the selection process guidance and application forms;

 

g)    delegated authority be granted to the Assistant Chief Executive (Governance) and Monitoring Officer to make appropriate changes to the Constitution (Article 8 and the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules (Part 4)) to reflect the Council’s recommendations in relation to housing scrutiny;

 

h)   the revised Executive Scheme of Delegation, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be noted;

 

i)     the interim position in relation to Health and Safety as set out in the report together with the Revised Corporate Health and Safety Policy (as outlined at Appendix 2) and the Ashfield Homes Service Directorate Health and Policy Statement (as outlined at Appendix 3), be approved;

 

j)      the interim position in relation to Procurement, as set out in the report together with the minor revisions to Part 7 (Contract, Agreements and Tendering) of AHL’s Financial Regulations (as outlined at Appendix 4), be approved;

 

k)    the interim position in relation to all other existing policies, protocols and procedures be approved and it be noted that guidance will be given to officers to ensure they are able to apply the policies, protocols and procedures by replacing wording which is no longer relevant with wording which reflects the Council and the staffing structures;

 

l)     the Head of Paid Service be authorised, in consultation with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.31

C.32

Performance Capability/Attendance Management - HR Policies pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was requested to adopt the revised and updated HR Policies as presented.

 

RESOLVED

that the Performance Capability and Attendance Management HR Policies, as updated and presented to Council, be received and approved.

 

Reasons:

1.    To ensure the Council’s Policies and Procedures are updated and revised in line with legislation changes, best practice and remain fit for purpose.

 

2.    To ensure that the Policies and Procedures provide clear guidance and criteria to all employees.

 

(During consideration of this item, Councillors Robert Sears-Piccavey and Cathy Mason left the room at 8.01 p.m. and returned to the meeting at 8.02 p.m. and 8.03 p.m. respectively.)

 

C.33

Interim Review of Polling Places pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was requested to consider and approve the recommendations from the Polling Places Review Working Group regarding the proposals for revised polling districts and polling places following an interim review.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    the recommendations of the Polling Places Review Working Group as set out in the minutes of the meetings held on 11th August and 20th September, 2016, as appended to the report, be approved;

 

b)    the final proposals report setting out the changes to the polling districts and polling places and the revised schedule of designated polling places and polling districts, as appended to the report, be approved;

 

c)     it be agreed that should a polling place be unavailable in the run up to an election, the (Acting) Returning Officer be delegated authority to select an appropriate alternative and formal retrospective approval be sought from Council following the election should this be a permanent proposed change;

 

d)    it be noted that the approved changes will be incorporated into the revised Register of Electors upon publication on 1st December, 2016.

 

Reasons:

1.    To implement polling district changes that reflect the new electoral arrangements for Nottinghamshire County Council and to deal with urgent polling place issues.

 

2.    To ensure that all electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances and that, as far as is reasonable and practicable, polling places are accessible to disabled electors.

C.34

Changes to the Arrangements for the Appointment of External Auditors pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Minutes:

Council was requested to consider the options available for appointing External Auditors following closure of the Audit Commission and the end of the transitional arrangements at the conclusion of the 2017/18 results.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    the Local Government Association (LGA) setting up a national Sector Led Body by indicating an intention to “opt-in”, be supported;

 

b)    it be agreed to submit a further report to Council, on the preferred approach, setting out the likely impact on the budget.

 

Reason:

This route is considered the most cost effective for the Council while ensuring the quality of the service provided.

C.35

Recommendations from Cabinet and the Council's Committees pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2(ix), Council considered recommendations from the following:-

 

Minute No. CC.6

Charities Committee – 19th September, 2016

Teversal Community Centre and Recreation Ground

(Charity Number 522310) – Update

 

(Councillor Paul Roberts had previously declared a Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interest in respect of this item.  In view of the nature of his interest, he remained in the meeting and took part in the discussion and voting thereon).

 

During consideration of the item, the following amendment to the recommendations was moved and seconded as follows:-

 

To accept recommendations a) to d) and f) to h), as outlined in the schedule on pages 127 and 128 of the agenda, with the removal of recommendation e) in its entirety.

 

Following a lengthy debate, the amendment to the recommendations was put to the vote and duly approved.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    to note the current financial position as outlined in the report;

 

b)    to note the acceptance of the heads of terms by the Visitors Centre;

 

c)    amendment of the heads of terms with the Cricket Club to enable the temporary facility (provided by the Council) to remain on site until a permanent replacement is built, on a rolling one year extension, negotiated on an annual basis with such extension being subject to the Cricket Club progressing with its plans to build a new changing facility in a timely manner to the Council’s satisfaction;

 

d)    the Football Club’s proposals regarding the long term future of the operation of the Trust be noted and, in the event that the Football Club confirms its acceptance of the proposed lease terms by 31 October 2016, to authorise the Chairman of the Charities Committee, supported by relevant officers, to enter into a dialogue with the users of the site and in particular the Football Club to explore the Football Club’s proposal to take over operation of the Trust;

 

e)    to reiterate, in the event that all issues relating to lease proposals have been resolved, that the Council remains committed to working with all the Clubs and the Visitors Centre for the positive development of the site to ensure the long term future of the Trust site;

 

f)     to serve notice to quit on any Club, giving 6 months’ notice, which has not confirmed its acceptance of the proposed heads of terms by31 October 2016 and to seek interest from other similar sporting/recreational clubs/organisations with a view to offering leases (as previously approved at Council on 10 December 2015, Min. Ref. C.62 refers) which become vacant;

 

g)    agreement for the Rotary Foundation Charity End Polio Walk (Rotary Clubs of Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield) event to take place on Sunday, 25 September 2016.

 

(During consideration of the above recommendations, Councillor Helen Smith left the room at 8.21 p.m. and returned to the meeting at 8.22 p.m.)

 

 

Minute No. CC.7

Charities Committee – 19th September, 2016

Trust Funds

 

RESOLVED

that approval be given for the funds from the William Booth Charity for the Poor continue  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.35

C.36

Notices of Motion

Motion 1

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor Lauren Mitchell and seconded by Councillor Jackie James, as follows:-

 

“The Council calls upon the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6th April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification.

Hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little/no/personal notification of the changes. Some women had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age.

Many women born in the 1950's are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. Many of these women are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment.

Women born in this decade are suffering financially. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute - it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time.

The issue is that the rise in the women's state pension age has been too rapid and has happened without sufficient notice being given to the women affected, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.


The Council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6th April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.”

 

Motion 2

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor Ben Bradley and seconded by Councillor Kevin Rostance, as follows:-

 

‘'As part of Mark Spencer MP’s consultation with local residents in Bestwood Village about the Council’s boundary that runs down the middle of Moor Road, over 85% of residents in the village have expressed a wish for the whole village to fall under one single Council instead of being divided across both Gedling and Ashfield. They feel, and I agree, that this boundary has a negative impact on service and facilities for the residents.

 

The same boundary also has a huge impact in my own Ward, where Gedling’s proposed housing North of Papplewick Lane and at Top Wighay will have a huge impact on Ashfield. In order to make sure residents’ views are properly heard and taken forward, I propose that the Council sets up a cross-party and cross-COUNCIL working group with our colleagues at Gedling Borough to properly discuss potential solutions and outcomes, and to give this suggestion from local residents the proper examination.’’ 

 

Motion 3

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor Jason Zadrozny and seconded by Councillor Tom Hollis, as follows:-

 

“This Council recognises the public unrest around  ...  view the full agenda text for item C.36

Minutes:

The Council received a notice of motion moved by Councillor Lauren Mitchell and seconded by Councillor Jackie James as follows:-

 

“The Council calls upon the Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6th April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age (SPA) with lack of appropriate notification.

 

Hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little/no/personal notification of the changes. Some women had only two years notice of a six-year increase to their state pension age.

 

Many women born in the 1950's are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. Many of these women are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment.

 

Women born in this decade are suffering financially. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute - it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time.

 

The issue is that the rise in the women's state pension age has been too rapid and has happened without sufficient notice being given to

the women affected, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.

 

The Council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6th April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.”

 

(Following a lengthy debate and in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 16.10(d), a procedural motion ‘that the question be now put’ in relation to the amendment was moved and seconded.  Having been put to the vote it was duly carried.)

 

The motion was then put to the vote and it was

 

RESOLVED

that the Council calls upon the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after 6th April 1951, so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.

 

(During consideration of the motion, Councillors Tom Hollis, Lee Anderson and Don Davis left the room at 9.41 p.m., 9.44 p.m. and 9.47 p.m. and returned to the meeting at 9.51 p.m., 9.46 p.m. and 9. 50 p.m. respectively.)

 

Motion 2

When requested by the Chairman to present his motion, Councillor Bradley stated that due to the lateness of hour and the fact that there was insufficient time for an adequate debate to be undertaken, he would be content for the motion to be carried over, along with any other items of outstanding business (Council Procedure Rule 23 refers) to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.36