Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Simon Lewis  Committee Officer

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

Available papers

The members had before them:

 

A.    The Agenda papers (previously circulated);

 

B.    7 questions submitted to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services (previously circulated); and

 

C.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2019 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

2085.

Apologies and Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies and invite any councillor to declare any interest in any of the items on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology was received from Mr P A Tuthill.

 

Mr J H Smith declared an interest in item 9 (b) as his wife Mrs F Smith was proposed as Vice-Chairman of Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and he did not participate in that item.

2086.

Chairman (Agenda item 2)

To elect a Chairman of the Council to hold office until his or her successor becomes entitled to act.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The outgoing Chairman described his year of office and thanked Council and its officers for their support.

 

RESOLVED that Mr R P Tomlinson be elected Chairman to hold office until his successor becomes entitled to act.

 

2087.

Vice-Chairman (Agenda item 3)

To appoint a Vice-Chairman of the Council to hold office until immediately after the election of a Chairman at the next Annual meeting of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The nomination of Mr G R Brookes was moved by Mr A A J Adams and seconded by Mr A P Miller.

 

It was then proposed by Mr R C Lunn and seconded by Mr L C R Mallett that Mr P Denham be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that Mr G R Brookes be appointed Vice-Chairman to hold office until immediately after the election of a Chairman at the next Annual meeting of the Council.

 

2088.

Public Participation (Agenda item 4)

To allow a member of the public to present a petition, or ask a question relating to the functions of the Council, or to make a comment on any matter on the agenda.

 

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case Thursday, 15 May 2019). Further details are available on the Council’s website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr R C Lunn presented a petition in relation to calls for a safe road crossing at the junction of St Davids House and Willow Way, Redditch.

 

Ms J Phillips presented a petition to urge the Council to reduce the speed limit on the A44 at the junction of Peopleton and Drakes Broughton villages.

 

The following public participants all spoke in support of Notice of Motion 3 – Climate Change:

 

Mr J Rhymer made comments in support of the request in Notice of Motion 3 calling on the Council to declare a “Climate Emergency”.

 

Mr R Brakspear asked a question about the designation of a lead councillor with the remit of champion for Climate Change

 

Ms J Higgins asked a question about setting up a working party of councillors and other interested partners to design a county plan to reduce Worcestershire's agricultural greenhouse gas contributions and to devise and implement farm-based carbon sequestration measures.

 

Mr P Oliver made a comment and asked a question about pension fund investment in fossil fuels.

 

Ms L Lewis-Farley asked a question about measures to both minimise further impact on biodiversity and also work to improve biodiversity opportunity.

 

Ms N Addo asked questions in relation to the Council’s tree-planting strategy.

 

Mr C Lewis-Farley asked a question about bike parking spaces at County Hall, Worcester.

 

Mr C Haines made a comment and asked a question about the Council’s staffing and resourcing commitment to its sustainability and other agendas.

 

The Chairman thanked all the public participants for their contribution and said they would receive a written reply from the relevant Cabinet Member.

2089.

Minutes (Agenda item 5)

To approve as a correct record and authorise the signing of the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2019 (previously circulated electronically).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

2090.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 6)

To receive any announcements to be made by the Chairman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted.

2091.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 3 - Climate Change (Agenda item 10)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On being put to the vote, it was agreed that Notice of Motion 3 – Climate Change be brought forward for consideration on the agenda.

 

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mrs E B Tucker, Prof J W Raine, Mrs F M Oborski and Mr M E Jenkins.

 

The motion was moved by Mr M E Jenkins and seconded by Mrs E B Tucker who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         The science was clear about the impact of planetary warming. Difficult decisions needed to be made now to protect future generations. The motion asked Council to declare a “Climate Emergency” and to take action now by setting tough targets to reduce emissions

·         The Council had a good record on sustainability but must do more. For the Council to reach net zero emissions would mean making all council property more energy efficient, increased use of renewable energy, the Council fleet using non-fossil fuel power, the implementation of smart energy storage solutions and increased tree planting. Up-front investment would lead to long-term savings. The process needed to be speeded up and the Council should sign up to the pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030

·         The Council’s sustainability team should have an adequately resourced plan that set out all available options to address the “Climate Emergency”.

 

The following amendment was then moved by Mr A P Miller and seconded by Dr K A Pollock:

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their October report stated that if the planet wants to avert dangerous climate breakdown, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030, and hit zero by the middle of the century.

 

Worcestershire is already committed to reducing emissions from our own estate and activities by 20% from a 2015/16 baseline by the end of March 2021. Our performance so far has exceeded this goal.

 

The IPCC's report suggests that the world has just a dozen years left to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  Should they increase by 2 degrees Celsius, humanity's capacity to prevent catastrophic food shortages, floods, droughts, extreme heat and poverty will be severely impaired.

 

The IPCC says that limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible, but only with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities.

 

The Climate Change Committee, in their report published two weeks ago, recommends that the Government aim for a zero carbon society by 2050, replacing the existing target of an 80% reduction, as required in the 2008 Climate Change Act. 

 

As a result, we call on Worcestershire County Council to:

 

1.    Note the Government has declared a "Climate Emergency";

2.    Pledge to make Worcestershire County Council in all areas where it is directly responsible, carbon neutral by 2050, taking into  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2091.

2092.

Reports of Cabinet - Matters which require a decision - New Grant to support additional costs that may arise as a result of Brexit (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider the reports of the Cabinet and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:

 

a)    Reports of Cabinet – Matters which require a decision (Yellow pages); and

b)    Report of Cabinet – Summary of decisions taken (White pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a new Grant to support additional costs that may arise as a result of Brexit.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         The Leader of the Council introduced the report and commented that although the Government had made it clear that there might be further funding, the Council needed to agree an increase to the revenue budget cash limits to reflect the use of £0.175 million grant funding over 2018/19 and 2019/20 to support additional costs that may arise because of Brexit

·         Should the cost of Brexit be higher than expected for this Council, would the Government rather than Council taxpayers be approached for additional funding? The Leader responded that the costs to the Council of Brexit were unknown at this stage. When the final cost was known, if necessary, a case would be made to Government for further funding.

 

RESOLVED that an increase to the Financial Services revenue budget cash limits be approved to reflect the use of £0.175 million grant funding over 2018/19 and 2019/20 from MHCLG to support additional costs that may arise because of Brexit, noting that central Government has indicated this is not the only funding it may allocate to Local Government for this purpose.

2093.

Reports of Cabinet - Summary of decisions taken (Agenda item 7)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported the following topics and questions were answered on them:

 

·         Development of Worcestershire Children First

·         Progress Update on Joint Local Area Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Written Statement of Action/Improvement Plan

·         Resources Report – Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring to Period 10 (Month ending 31 January 2019)

2094.

Constitutional Report - Worcestershire Pension Fund Governance Arrangements (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To consider changes to the Worcestershire Pension Fund Governance Arrangements (Yellow pages).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered changes to the Worcestershire Pension Fund Governance Arrangements.

 

The recommendation in paragraph 1 on page 7 of the agenda papers was moved by Mr R M Banks and seconded by Mr A I Hardman.

 

An amendment was proposed by Mr L C R Mallett and seconded by Mr R C Lunn that the number of Worcestershire County Council voting representatives on the Investment Sub-Committee be increased from 3 to 5 members. 

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         The problem with the make up of a relatively small sub-committee was that the absence of one or more members impacted on its decision-making capacity

·         As the Sub-Committee had become a formal meeting, there was merit in increasing the number of representatives including from an additional opposition Group.

 

The mover and seconder of the recommendation accepted the amendment that the number of Worcestershire County Council voting representatives on the Investment Sub-Committee be increased from 3 to 5 members in accordance with political balance, which then became the substantive motion.

 

The rationale was queried for reducing the number of the non-voting representatives from a relevant union from 2 members (on the previous Pension Investment Advisory Panel) to 1 member on the Investment Sub-Committee and for making the co-opted member non-voting, given the increased decision-making responsibility of the Sub-Committee. The Head of Legal and Democratic Service advised that it was a matter for Council but there was a distinction between employer representatives from the councils and union representatives.

 

An amendment to the substantive motion was moved by Mr L C R Mallett and seconded by Mr R C Lunn that there should be up to 2 co-opted employee representatives with voting rights on the Pension Investment Sub-Committee.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         Although voting was rarely necessary, the Sub-Committee would be making important decisions about current and former employee’s pension contributions and therefore it would be appropriate to have up to 2 co-opted employee representatives with voting rights on it

·         Although the employee representative on the Sub-Committee would be acting in an observer capacity, their views would still be reported to the Pensions Committee

·         The report was not clear as to whether the Sub-Committee had decision-making powers or acted in an advisory capacity to the Pensions Committee. It was also unclear as to whether the membership of the Sub-Committee would be politically balanced or based on knowledge and skills

·         The report indicated that the Sub-Committee would be a decision-making body and therefore it was important that the employers and employees worked in partnership for the benefit of pension fund members

·         The Chairman of the Pensions Committee indicated that the issue of co-option was a matter for the Committee to decide upon.

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was lost.

 

On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was agreed by a strong majority.  

 

RESOLVED: that

 

a)   the creation of the Investment Sub-Committee (replacing the Pensions Investment Advisory Panel) be endorsed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2094.

2095.

Constitutional Matters (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider a report on (a) Council Meeting dates, and (b) Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Member Bodies (Yellow pages).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)   Council meeting dates 2020

 

County Council meeting dates were currently scheduled up to November 2019. To enable the 2020 meetings programme to be produced and help members plan their commitments, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services suggested that further meetings of the Council were now scheduled for 2020. In accordance with the usual practice and pattern of meetings, further meetings (Cabinet, Committees and Panels) would be arranged in the light of the Council dates and members notified in due course.

 

RESOLVED that the Council meeting dates for 2020-21 be approved as follows:

 

16 January

13 February

14 May

16 July

10 September

12 November.

 

b)  Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of Member Bodies

 

The Council needed to make the appointments to various chairmanships and vice-chairmanships of member bodies and of Lead Scrutiny Members. The nominations for a number of appointments were set out in the Appendix to the report.

 

As Council had agreed to set up the Investment Sub-Committee which will report to the Pensions Committee, it was subsequently asked to appoint its Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

 

RESOLVED that the constitutional appointments as set out in the Appendix to the report be confirmed.

 

2096.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 1 - The Living Wage (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on any Notices of Motion received by him (Lilac pages).

 

Councillors are asked to note that any Notices of Motion must be received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services no later than noon on Tuesday, 7 May 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2097.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 2 - Parish and Town Councillors (Agenda item 10)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2098.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 4 - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Agenda item 10)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2099.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 5 - Availability of sanitary products (Agenda item 10)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

 

2100.

Report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To receive the report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways on current issues and proposed developments within his area of responsibility and to receive answers to any questions on the report (Green pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways presented his report to Council which covered various topics.

 

The Cabinet Member then answered a broad range of questions from members.

 

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for his report.

 

2101.

Question Time (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive answers to any questions asked by Councillors (Orange pages).

 

(Members are reminded of the timescale adopted by Council for notice of questions. A Councillor may only ask a question if:

 

·         It is delivered in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services by noon on Tuesday, 7 May 2019 or

·         If it relates to urgent business, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services is notified at least half an hour before the start of the meeting.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Seven questions had been received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The answers to all the questions are attached in the Appendix.

 

2102.

Reports of Committees - Audit and Governance Committee (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the reports of Committees and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:

 

a)    Audit and Governance Committee (White pages);

b)    Pensions Committee (White pages);

c)    Planning and Regulatory Committee (White pages); and

d)    Standards and Ethics Committee (White pages).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Audit and Governance Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2103.

Reports of Committees - Pensions Committee (Agenda item 13)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Pensions Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2104.

Reports of Committees - Planning and Regulatory Committee (Agenda item 13)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Planning and Regulatory Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2105.

Reports of Committees - Standards and Ethics Committee (Agenda item 13)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Standards and Ethics Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.