Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

C.56

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests

Minutes:

1.    Councillor Don Davis declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in relation to agenda item 7(e), Appointment to Outside Bodies.  His interest arose from the fact that he is currently employed by Ashfield Citizens’ Advice.

 

2.    Councillor Glenys Maxwell declared a Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interest in relation to her presidency of the Merchant Navy Association Mansfield and Ashfield and her volunteer work (administration) for Nottinghamshire Police.

 

3.    Councillor David Griffiths declared a Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interest in relation to item 9, Notice of Motion 3.  His interest arose from the fact that he is currently an associate member of the Mansfield Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association.

C.57

Minutes pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7th December, 2017, as now submitted, be received and approved.

C.58

Announcements from the Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet and the Head of Paid Service

Minutes:

Chairman

Personally I have two announcements to make.

 

First of all I’d like to thank Members that came to the Chairman’s Race Night.  We raised just shy of a thousand pounds, which takes the Chairman’s Charity now to well over £2,000 raised that’s going to benefit young people in Ashfield, so I thank you all very much for that.  If anyone would like to donate at any time, they don’t have to wait for the phone to ring, you can donate to the Chairman’s Charity by different means, contacting Emmy Hill, or please keep your eye out for the next events which are planned for later on in the year.

 

My second announcement is an unusual one, but I feel it important to note that today, of course it being Special Council day is an important day, but for one colleague it’s an important day in particular because he’s celebrating his 69th birthday.  So I’d like to congratulate Councillor Mike Smith on reaching this ripe old age, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to celebrating his 70th birthday in the Chair, so congratulations Mike, Happy Birthday.” 

 

Leader of the Council

Thank you Chair I have a couple of announcements to make.  Ashfield District Council once again have been crowned winner in the RSPCA’s prestigious community welfare awards for Stray Dog services.  We were awarded Gold, and we have been awarded Gold for the past nine years, and that’s the nine years since it’s started, so excellent.

 

This promotes responsible dog ownership, a great achievement for our officers and shows that we not only look after our residents but we also look after their pets as well.

 

The second one is regarding the fact that we are an exemplar authority for working with our taxi drivers in ensuring that they work within the legislation.  It’s thanks to Julian and his team in Licensing who have worked really closely with our taxi community.  They continue to encourage all Hackney Carriages to be wheelchair and assistance dog friendly.  Thank you.”

 

Deputy Leader of the Council

Thank you Chair.  I’ve just got one announcement really about the Idlewells Shopping Market that we have, the Indoor Market, just to really inform the Council that I take great pleasure in saying that we’ve almost completed the 1.8 million refurbishment of the Idlewells Market. 

 

This has been a 12 month project and has seen a new reconfigured layout.  Improved access ability for shoppers, and better lighting.  We’ve got some natural lighting come into there and it has a modern look and feel about it.  There’s a new ramp where we’ve got access onto Market Street and there’s new signage for the entrance and also some natural light coming in there. 

 

It’s been very well received by the traders within the Market.  I’ll give you some quotes here, Allen’s Family Butcher, Allen has said….’the future of the Market can only be good, it’s the most up to date market for miles around’ and then we’ve  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.58

C.59

Questions from the Public

(None received for this meeting)

Minutes:

There were no questions received from the public.

C.60

Petitions

(None received for this meeting)

Minutes:

No petitions were received for consideration.

C.61

Report on Urgent Key Decisions

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council advised as follows:-

 

“In accordance with Rule 17.2 of the Access to Information Procedure Rules it is necessary for me to inform Council when an executive decision has been taken pursuant to Rule 16 (Special Urgency Provisions).

 

I can inform the Council that two such decisions have been taken by me as a matter of urgency recently.

 

The decisions relate to the purchase of commercial investment properties, situated within the District, in line with the Council’s Property Investment Strategy. The proposed acquisition is a key decision and contains exempt information but the full 28 days’ notice could not be given due to the need to proceed with the transactions without delay and in order to comply with the tight deadlines imposed by the sellers.

 

The Rule 16 Notice and the non-exempt elements of the decision have been published.”

 

C.62

Annual Pay Policy Statement 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council was requested to approve and adopt the Pay Policy Statement for 2018-19.

 

RESOLVED

that the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for 2018-19, as presented, be received and approved.

 

Reason:

To ensure that the Council complies with Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 that requires local authorities to publish an up to date Pay Policy Statement each year.

C.63

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) – Car Cruising pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council were requested to consider enacting a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to take effect from 12th February, 2018 and approve the associated signage and publicity.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) within Ashfield be enacted with effect from the 12th February, 2018 with the PSPO prohibiting people from engaging in, encouraging or assisting in the carrying out of any ‘car cruising’ events on the public highway and other land to which the public has access;

 

b)    approval be given for appropriate signage to be installed at appropriate locations within the mapped area;

 

c)    approval be given for appropriate publicity to take place to raise awareness of the new power.

 

Reasons:

1.    Car Cruising on Junction 27 of the M1 Motorway and the A611 bypass has been a significant problem for a number of years.  Research indicates that the use of a Public Space Protection Order is an effective control measure to reduce nuisance and harm.  Given the ongoing problem with car cruising around Junction 27, creating a new PSPO to tackle this issue is the most practicable option.

 

2.    In 2015 Nottinghamshire County Council presented evidence to Nottingham County Court sufficient to support the granting of an injunction which expired on 16th January, 2018.  During 2017 large numbers of drivers have gathered in breach of the injunction causing distress and nuisance to local residents. Nottinghamshire Police have since reported that enforcement of the injunction is a bureaucratic and lengthy process, requiring numerous conditions to be met before enforcement action can be taken to address the problem.

 

3.    The Draft Order has been out for public consultation which ended on the 16th January, 2018. There has been no opposition to the Order.  All of the comments received, including from the Police and Crime Commissioner and Nottinghamshire Police fully endorsed all aspects of the Order with the exception of one comment which related to an enquiry on the consultation process.

 

C.64

Section 85(1) Local Government Act 1972 – Approval for Absence Exceeding Six Months - Councillor Jim Aspinall pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Minutes:

Council were requested to approve the continuation of Councillor Jim Aspinall’s absence from meetings due to an ongoing illness.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    the absence of Councillor Jim Aspinall, due to illness, be approved by the Council for the purposes of Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, and that Councillor Aspinall’s continued absence from meetings of the Authority be extended for a period of approximately 6 months until 5th October, 2018 (effective from the 5th April, 2018);

 

b)    the Council’s best wishes for a speedy recovery be forwarded onto Councillor Aspinall.

 

Reason:

To comply with the requirements of Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.

C.65

Appointments to Outside Bodies

Body:

Representative:

Term Ending:

 

Byron Charity - Hucknall

 

Term Ending For:

Cllr. Rachel Bissett

Cllr. Keir Morrison

Cllr. Nicolle Ndiweni

 

three representatives

31st March, 2021

Ashfield Citizens’ Advice Bureau Management Committee

 

Resignation Received: Cllr. Lauren Mitchell

 

one representative

31st May, 2020

 

Minutes:

In accordance with the Constitution and the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor Don David previously declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in relation to the Byron Charity - Hucknall.  His interest was such that he left the room for the duration of the appointments to the Byron Charity - Hucknall and took no part in the discussion and voting thereon.

 

Council was requested to consider appointments to outside bodies.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    Councillors Rachel Bissett, Keir Morrison and Nicolle Ndiweni be re-appointed as the Council’s representatives on the Byron Charity – Hucknall for the term ending 31st March, 2021;

 

b)    Councillor Mike Smith be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Ashfield Citizens’ Advice Management Committee for the term ending 31st May, 2020.

 

 

C.66

Recommendations from the Cabinet and the Council's Committees pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Minute No. CA.47

Cabinet – 18th January, 2018

General Fund and HRA Budget Monitoring to November 2017

and 2017/18 Budget Update

 

RESOLVED

that the budget changes, as listed in the Cabinet report and in accordance with Financial Regulations, be approved.

C.67

Notice of Motion 1

Motion 1

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor Jason Zadrozny and seconded by Councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey, as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that correspondence from the Chief Executive makes clear that Ashfield District Council has £38,410,000 in USABLE reserves.  We note with disappointment that the current administration is not being honest with local residents about the state of the Council's finances. 

 

This Council notes that Council Tax in the Ashfield District is one of the highest in the Country. We therefore call on this Council to look at using the usable reserves to reduce the Council Tax burden and protect vital services for residents.

 

We call on this Council to make a public announcement making clear the accurate position of the reserves and balances held by the Authority.  We call for this Council to undertake genuine participatory budgeting and do a full survey with residents on their priorities on how we move forward with this Council's finances.

 

We further call for an apology from the current Council Leader and the current administration for misleading local residents.  Council finances should be used to improve resident's lives.  Residents' money should not be for squirreling away whilst our services deteriorate.”

 

Motion 2

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor John Wilmott and seconded by Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that according to latest figures there are currently 647 empty properties in the Ashfield District.  Of these, 412 have been empty for more than 2 years, 194 for more than 5 years and 41 for more than 10 years.  We note the problems that empty houses cause to neighbouring residents.  They attract anti-social behaviour, dumping, vermin and have a detrimental effect on house prices.

 

This Council notes that we have failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months. 

 

At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty.  These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it across the District of Ashfield.

 

It is shameful that this Council has failed to use existing powers to end this scandal. Local families have spent Christmas homeless because of the inaction and ineptitude of the current Labour Administration.

 

We therefore call on Ashfield District Council to do a review into its procedures when dealing with empty homes across our District and make use of the EDMO powers to end the scandal of empty homes.”

 

Motion 3

To consider a notice of motion proposed by Councillor Helen-Ann Smith and seconded by Councillor Tom Hollis, as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that Remembrance Day this year will have particular significance and poignance as it marks 100 years since the end of World War One.

 

The Council further notes that many residents of  ...  view the full agenda text for item C.67

Minutes:

The Council received a notice of motion moved by Councillor Jason Zadrozny and seconded by Councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that correspondence from the Chief Executive makes clear that Ashfield District Council has £38,410,000 in USABLE reserves. We note with disappointment that the current administration is not being honest with local residents about the state of the Council's finances.

 

This Council notes that Council Tax in the Ashfield District is one of the highest in the Country. We therefore call on this Council to look at using the usable reserves to reduce the Council Tax burden and protect vital services for residents.

 

We call on this Council to make a public announcement making clear the accurate position of the reserves and balances held by the Authority. We call for this Council to undertake genuine participatory budgeting and do a full survey with residents on their priorities on how we move forward with this Council's finances.

 

We further call for an apology from the current Council Leader and the current administration for misleading local residents. Council finances should be used to improve resident's lives. Residents' money should not be for squirreling away whilst our services deteriorate.”

 

Councillor Jackie James moved an amendment to the motion, seconded by Councillor Cheryl Butler, in the following terms:-

 

“This Council notes that correspondence from the Chief Executive makes clear that at 1-4-2017, Ashfield District Council had £38,410,000 in USABLE reserves.  It also notes that this is an accounting term and most of these reserves are allocated to specific and necessary projects.

 

This Council also strongly notes the vital necessity for all political groups and individual Members to show the utmost honesty in communicating with Ashfield’s residents in all Council matters. This is particularly important in the area of Council finance.  Misinformation and distortion should play no part in local politics and this Council commits to continuing to act with the highest possible standards of honesty and probity across all Council services and urges all political groups to meet the same high standards.

 

This Council is aware that Council Tax in the District of Ashfield may be higher than some authorities in the country, but that it is also lower than a number of others.  When looked at in the round ADC does not bring in as much income as other councils who set lower rates due to the demographic and housing bands within each authority area.

 

We call on the Chief Executive, together with the 151 officer to make a public announcement and/or press release, making clear the accurate position of the Council’s finances including reserves and balances held by the Authority.  We agree for this Council to continue to undertake annual consultation with residents on their priorities for Ashfield and this Council's finances.”

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7.50 p.m. to enable Members to consider the amendment. The meeting reconvened at 8.01 p.m.

 

Having considered the suggested amendment, Councillors Jason Zadrozny and Robert Sears-Piccavey, as the mover and seconder of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.67

C.68

Notice of Motion 2

Minutes:

The Council received a notice of motion moved by Councillor John Wilmott and seconded by Councillor Helen-Ann Smith as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that according to latest figures there are currently 647 empty properties in the Ashfield District. Of these, 412 have been empty for more than 2 years, 194 for more than 5 years and 41 for more than 10 years. We note the problems that empty houses cause to neighbouring residents. They attract anti-social behaviour, dumping, vermin and have a detrimental effect on house prices.

 

This Council notes that we have failed to make use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO), powers used by local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least six months.

 

At a time when the homelessness crisis is worsening and more and more people are sleeping out in the cold on our streets, it is a scandal that so many homes locally are sitting empty. These homes could be turned into affordable places to live for those that need it across the District of Ashfield.

 

It is shameful that this Council has failed to use existing powers to end this scandal. Local families have spent Christmas homeless because of the inaction and ineptitude of the current Labour Administration.

 

We therefore call on Ashfield District Council to do a review into its procedures when dealing with empty homes across our District and make use of the EDMO powers to end the scandal of empty homes.”

 

Councillor Keir Morrison moved an amendment to the motion, seconded by Councillor Amanda Brown, in the following terms:-

 

“This Council notes that, according to the latest figures, there are currently 479 empty properties in the Ashfield District which have been empty for over 2 years and that could have empty homes action taken against them; a significant decrease on the 2009 figure of 3600 empty properties presided over by the then, Liberal Democrats.  This Council has worked hard to solve the problems that empty houses bring to neighbouring residents.

 

This Council further notes the availability of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO) powers which entitle local authorities to take over properties that have been empty for at least 6 months.  This Council also notes that the EDMO can only be used where a property is in disrepair, is the cause of anti-social behaviour and where the works required are of reasonable cost.  This Council is also aware that the use of an EDMO can take longer to complete and be more expensive than alternative options to deal with empty properties.

 

This Council further notes the growing national crisis of homelessness, the causes of which are complex and do not necessarily relate to the availability of homes.

 

This Council therefore resolves:

 

a)    to continue to review the option of using the EDMO powers, where those powers are deemed the most appropriate and effective in bringing empty properties back in use in Ashfield;

 

b)    to examine the use of alternative powers, such as those of Enforced Sales, for  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.68

C.69

Notice of Motion 3

Minutes:

The Council received a notice of motion moved by Councillor Helen-Ann Smith and seconded by Councillor Tom Hollis as follows:-

 

“This Council notes that Remembrance Day this year will have particular significance and poignance as it marks 100 years since the end of World War One.

 

The Council further notes that many residents of Ashfield proudly attend parades and services to honour those who have fallen to provide the freedoms we enjoy.

 

As this is such an important year for services and Remembrance this

Council:

 

1.    agrees to set up a cross party working group to look at the provisions of services and parades.

 

2.    invites members of the Church, Royal British Legion and any other interested community groups to feed into the process.

 

3.    commits to ensure all war memorials are properly cleaned and maintained over this coming year to make sure residents can see the pride we have in our monuments.”

 

Councillor Cheryl Butler moved an amendment to the motion, seconded by Councillor David Griffiths, in the following terms:-

 

“This Council notes that Remembrance Day this year will have particular significance and poignancy as it marks 100 years since the end of World War One.

The Council further notes that many residents of Ashfield proudly attend parades and services to honour those who have fallen to provide the freedoms we enjoy.

As this is such an important year for services and Remembrance this Council:

1.    Welcomes the additional financial commitment the Leader has agreed towards funding events and activities across the District.

 

2.    Appreciates the work officers are already doing to encourage, empower and aid members of the Church, Royal British Legion, Merchant Navy Association and other interested community groups to organise events in their own areas.

 

3.    Welcomes the fact that councillors are already involved in community led projects for the end of WWI celebrations.

 

4.    Supports the allocation of up to £10 000 towards the Nottinghamshire WWI Role of Honour Centenary Memorial.

 

5.    Commits to allocating one of our many parks to become a Centenary Field.

 

6.    Will work, in conjunction with all responsible agencies, to ensure our war memorials are properly cleaned and maintained over this coming year to make sure residents can see the pride we have in our monuments.

 

7.    Will re-sign the Armed Forces Covenant, being carried out as part of the County’s ‘The Great War One Hundred Year Commemorations 2018’.”

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9.07 p.m. to enable Members to consider the amendment. The meeting reconvened at 9.08 p.m.

 

Having considered the amendment, Councillors Helen-Ann Smith and Tom Hollis, as the mover and seconder of the motion, duly agreed to the change of wording.

 

Having been fully considered, the substantive motion was then put to the vote and it was

 

RESOLVED

that as this is such an important year for services and Remembrance, this Council:-

 

a)    welcomes the additional financial commitment the Leader has agreed towards funding events and activities across the District;

 

b)    appreciates the work officers are  ...  view the full minutes text for item C.69

C.70

To answer any questions submitted in writing by Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13, if any. pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Question 1

Question from Councillor Jason Zadrozny to the Leader of the Council:

 

“Kirkby-in-Ashfield Railway Station is not accessible for the disabled, barely accessible for the elderly, has no ticket office and no toilet facilities. The Sutton Parkway station is similarly poor. Ashfield is serviced by two of the worst railway stations in Britain.  

 

Does the Leader agree with me that urgent improvements are needed at Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Sutton Parkway Railway Stations?”

 

Minutes:

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.3, the Chairman advised that due to the lateness of hour and the fact that there was insufficient time for any questions to be asked, all responses would be duly provided to Members in writing.