Agenda, decisions and minutes

County Council - Tuesday, 17th December, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Shire Hall. View directions

Contact: Paul Williams  Democratic Services Team Leader

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

General

Additional documents:

1(1)

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Sarah Boad, Mike Brain, Jenny Fradgley, Dan Gissane, Caroline Phillips and Chris Williams

1(2)

Members’ Disclosures of Pecuniary and Non-pecuniary Interests

 

Members are required to register their disclosable pecuniary interests within 28 days of their election of appointment to the Council. A member attending a meeting where a matter arises in which s/he has a disclosable pecuniary interest must (unless s/he has a dispensation):

 

·         Declare the interest if s/he has not already registered it

·         Not participate in any discussion or vote

·         Must leave the meeting room until the matter has been dealt with.

·         Give written notice of any unregistered interest to the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of the meeting

 

Non-pecuniary interests must still be declared in accordance with the Code of Conduct. These should be declared at the commencement of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With reference to agenda item 4 Education (Schools) Capital Programme 2019/20, Councillor Judy Falp declared a non-pecuniary interest with two of the schools referenced in the report located in her division. In addition, she is a governor at Campion School.

1(3)

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 214 KB

 

 To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019 be approved as a correct record.

Minutes:

 

Council considered the draft minutes from the meeting of 15 October 2019.

 

Resolved

That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019 be approved as a correct record.

1(4)

Chair's announcements

 

To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Council, Leader, Cabinet Members or Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A series of announcements were made to Council.

 

  1. The recent death of former Warwickshire County Councillor Antoinette Gordon was announced. Antoinette Gordon represented the Council from 1989 – 2001. From 1997 until 2001 she served on the Effective Management Scrutiny & Review Committee, Economic Development SubCommittee and Environmental Strategy Committee. Councillor Les Caborn (Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health) led tributes to ex- Councillor Gordon stating that she served various councils in a robust fashion and with a strong sense of duty. Councillor Richard Chattaway (Leader of the Labour Group) acknowledged the dedication of Councillor Gordon to the community she served. Councillor Jerry Roodhouse (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) informed Council he had worked with Mrs Gordon on a number of committees; she was a person who stood up for what she believed in. Councillor Judy Falp stated that whilst she had not always agreed with Councillor Gordon, she recognised her commitment to her community. Council stood in tribute to Antoinette Gordon.

 

  1.  The Chair announced the retirement of Helen King (Deputy Director of Public Health). In 2007 Helen was appointed Deputy Director of Public Health for Warwickshire Primary Care Trust and was acting Joint Director of Public Health until 2009. Over the next few years she led Warwickshire in a range of Public Health with a focus on Children and Maternity Services. Helen became Interim Director of Public Health in March 2019 pending the appointment of a new Director of Public Health. Members joined in commending Helen King for the leadership, diplomacy and positive approach she has always displayed. Her work on Swine Flu and the development of the 0-5 Strategy were particularly commended. Helen King thanked members for their words of appreciation adding that the support they had provided had been invaluable.

 

  1. The Chair commended the Fire and Rescue Service for its effective response to the fire that had occurred at Nuneaton Town Hall on 16 December.

 

  1. Council was informed of the recent signing of the Armed Forces Covenant by the Warwick District Branch of the Royal Naval Association. The signing ceremony attended by the Lord Lieutenant had been held at the Lord Leycester Hospital. 

 

  1. A ceremony was recently held in Coventry to recognise the work of 31 Magistrates who were set to retire. It was reported that between them they had contributed around 500 years’ service.

 

  1. The Chair had recently attended the County Council’s long service awards with 51 members of staff present who had delivered a combined 1250 years of service. Councillor Izzi Seccombe (Leader of the Council) added that it is important to recognise the contribution of all staff in delivering services to the people of Warwickshire.

 

7.    The Chair had recently attended a concert by young musicians. This was one of a series of such concerts organised by the County Music Service across Warwickshire. It was, the Chair added, a credit to the young musicians, teachers and support staff involved.

1(5)

Petitions

To receive any petitions submitted in accordance with the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None

1(6)

Public Speaking

To note any requests to speak on any item on the agenda in accordance with the Council’s Public Speaking Scheme (see note at end of the agenda).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None

2.

A452 Kenilworth to Leamington Spa Cycling Scheme pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Cabinet Portfolio Holder: Councillor Jeff Clarke

 

A report that asks that Council approves an allocation of £4.749 million from the Capital Investment Fund to the Kenilworth to Leamington Spa Cycling Scheme and its addition to the Capital Programme.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

That Council approves an allocation of £4.749 million from the Capital Investment Fund to the Kenilworth to Leamington Spa Cycling Scheme and its addition to the Capital Programme.

Minutes:

Councillor Jeff Clarke (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning) moved the recommendation and was seconded by Councillor John Cooke. In proposing the motion Councillor Clarke reminded Council that the cycleway between Kenilworth and Leamington had been long sought by residents and campaigners. Having the funding in place is a major milestone but he added, a number of physical challenges remain to overcome before the route comes into use. The current timescale is for construction to be undertaken in 2021/22.

 

Members of Council added the following points:

 

• Warwick District Council, Leamington Town Council and Kenilworth Town Council have expressed their full support for the scheme.

• The project fits well with the declared climate emergency and the need to establish a network of green transport.

• The route will be well used by cyclists and pedestrians. Many will wish to access Warwick University.

• After a long wait Kenilworth secured a new station. The cycleway will be worth waiting for too.

• The Leamington Road (between Kenilworth and Leamington) can be dangerous especially at night.

• The project will be welcomed by Public Health as it encourages people to take exercise.

• There is an urgent need to improve the air quality in Warwick District.

• A cycling strategy that joins up cycle routes in Warwickshire is required.

• Any increase in cycling will assist in reducing traffic levels and congestion. • Modal shift cannot be achieved rapidly. In the Netherlands it took 30 years to develop the cycle network.

• Strategic cycle routes serve a purpose, but local cycle routes should be developed at either end.

• Cycle routes are cheap to develop compared to major road projects.

• The Kenilworth to Leamington project is one of 40 identified routes in Warwickshire. It will be important to press for the others to be progressed.

• The finances for the project have arisen through careful management of the Council’s budget.

• The contribution and advice made by local cycle groups in getting to this stage should be acknowledged.

 

The Council was reminded that a special Communities OSC is scheduled for the 9 January 2020. The recommendation was put to the vote. It was agreed unanimously

 

Resolved:

That Council approves an allocation of £4.749 million from the Capital Investment Fund to the Kenilworth to Leamington Spa Cycling Scheme and its addition to the Capital Programme.

3.

Capital Investment - Nuneaton pdf icon PDF 984 KB

Cabinet Portfolio Holder: Councillor Izzi Seccombe

 

This report asks that Council approves the allocation of £19.42m funding from the Capital Investment Fund (CIF) to enable the development of a new library and business centre in Nuneaton and add the project to the Capital Programme at the cost of £19.42m.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

The Council approves the allocation of £19.42m funding from the Capital Investment Fund (CIF) to enable the development of a new library and business centre in Nuneaton and add the project to the Capital Programme at the cost of £19.42m.

Minutes:

In moving the recommendation Councillor Izzi Seccombe explained that a report on the proposal to build a new public facility in Nuneaton had been considered at Cabinet on 14 November 2019. The decision required ratification by Council.

 

The proposed new library supported office facilities and public space will form an iconic gateway to the town centre. It will be one of the largest single investments in the centre of Nuneaton for many years generating around 200 new jobs and supporting 120 new businesses. Councillor Jeff Morgan seconded the recommendation adding that in developing the new library, it will be important to remember the importance of books as sources of information and pleasure.

 

Members of Council added the following points:

• The new facility will serve to attract fresh private investment to the area.

• Universities and the local hospitals should be encouraged to invest and have a presence in Nuneaton town centre.

• The scheme before Council dates back as far as 2001 and the outcome of the Library Best Value Working Party.

• The work of officers and members in getting to this stage in the project is to be commended.

• The project conveys a message that Warwickshire County Council is committed to investment in town centres.

• Nuneaton is a post-industrial town that many residents feel a strong affection for.

• Development in Nuneaton will have a positive knock-on effect on neighbouring towns e.g. Bedworth.

• If existing retail businesses are to be made to re-locate, to make way for the scheme, it will be important to assist them in identifying suitable locations.

• Once the current library has been vacated it will be important to ensure that it is not left to stand empty. Pop up facilities for art and other functions should be considered to assist in avoiding it becoming derelict.

• The inclusion of changing provision for adults is particularly welcome. Without such facilities it can be very difficult for parents/carers to accompany people with physical or mental health disabilities into town centres.

• The new library in Worcester is a good model for Warwickshire to follow for Nuneaton.

• The business start-up centre will be a major asset for the town.

• Funding for the scheme has been provided via the CIF which in turn has become available through growth in Warwickshire. The more growth there is in the economy the more funding will be available via CIF.

 

Councillor Izzi Seccombe closed by noting that a principal purpose of the Council is to grow a sense of pride in the area. Nuneaton is the largest town in Warwickshire, but its centre as defined by the (somewhat constraining) ring road and is currently too reliant on retail. The WCC business centres in the Nuneaton area currently have a 95% occupancy rate. The business centre in the town will provide extra capacity and will be an asset for Nuneaton and the people who use it. The recommendation was put to the vote. It was agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Education (Schools) Capital Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Cabinet Portfolio Holder: Councillor Colin Hayfield

 

This report recommends proposals for allocating resources in the Education (Schools) Capital Programme to specific projects.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

That Council approves the addition of £15,694,411 to the capital programme to deliver the schemes outlined in Section 3.

Minutes:

Councillor Colin Hayfield (Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning) explained to Council that the purpose of the Education Capital Programme is to ensure that there is sufficient capacity in schools to accommodate all children. The reason the report was before Council was because of the value of the funds being allocated. Councillor Yousef Dahmash seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.

 

Members of Council made the following observations and comments.

 

• School expansions are generally to be welcomed but the growth of one school can be detrimental to its neighbours, if it draws children away from them.

• It is important that members and officers communicate well over proposals. This helps to ensure that sufficient funding is made available for expansion.

• The way in which schools are funded means that there can be a lengthy delay between the commencement of operation of an expanded school (with additional staff and pupils) and the funding for that operation being delivered.

• Funding for education is not evenly distributed across the country. A levelling of that funding would be welcomed in Warwickshire where it is significantly lower than some other areas.

• It currently takes too long to commission and build new primary schools in areas of major residential development such as Rugby and Nuneaton.

• Secondary schools will soon see a significant increase in their roll.

• There is too much reliance on developers playing their part in providing new schools as part of expansion. Not only should the council ensure that developers contribute what is owed but this should be done in a timely fashion.

 

In response to members’ comments, Councillor Hayfield noted that the Council has no control over which school parents and carers send their children to. Good schools will always be popular. Predictions for places, he added, tend to vary from year to year.

 

The system of predicting demand needs to be able to cope with the vagaries of parental choice etc. Council was reminded that every school carries an environmental impact. It is important to ensure that any new developments are as environmentally sustainable as possible. Council was informed that the Nuneaton Challenge Board is examining issues around achievement in schools in that area. The recommendation was put to the vote. It was agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

That Council approves the addition of £15,694,411 to the capital programme to deliver the schemes outlined in Section 3 of the published report.

5.

Notices of Motion

To consider the following motions submitted by members in accordance with Standing Order 5:

 

Motion 1.

 

This Council requests a report to go to Cabinet by April 2020 that:

 

1.    Clarifies and prioritises the Authority’s powers and key objectives in relation to bus provision to enable more consistent and effective negotiations with bus operators. This should include investigating multi-operator ticketing, bus priority measures and improved bus information.

 

2.    Analyses the success of s.106 contributions which have been used to pump prime new bus routes over the last 10 years in Warwickshire and investigates alternative frameworks to incentivise long term successful routes around new developments if necessary.

 

3.    Fully scopes the use of Advanced Quality and Enhanced Partnership schemes as set out in the Transport Act 2000 and Bus Services Act 2017, including engagement with operators and sets a date no later than December 2020 to assess whether implementation of the AQ or EP schemes are necessary to achieve the Authority’s key objectives.

 

4.    Considers and assesses the resources required to successfully deliver the Council’s key objectives recognising that any strategy or objectives that emerge from this process must be fully costed before they can be presented to Cabinet and all sources of funding identified.

 

Proposer: Councillor Keith Kondakor

 

Seconder: Councillor Jonathan Chilvers

 

Motion 2.

 

This Council encourages all Warwickshire residents to leave excess packaging at supermarket checkouts.

 

Proposer - Councillor Jonathan Chilvers

 

Seconder - Councillor Keith Kondakor

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1)    Bus Services in Warwickshire

Councillor Keith Kondakor moved the first motion stating: “This Council requests a report to go to Cabinet by April 2020 that:

 

1. Clarifies and prioritises the Authority’s powers and key objectives in relation to bus provision to enable more consistent and effective negotiations with bus operators. This should include investigating multi-operator ticketing, bus priority measures and improved bus information.

 

2. Analyses the success of s.106 contributions which have been used to pump prime new bus routes over the last 10 years in Warwickshire and investigates alternative frameworks to incentivise long term successful routes around new developments if necessary.

 

3. Fully scopes the use of Advanced Quality and Enhanced Partnership schemes as set out in the Transport Act 2000 and Bus Services Act 2017, including engagement with operators and sets a date no later than December 2020 to assess whether implementation of the AQ or EP schemes are necessary to achieve the Authority’s key objectives.

 

4. Considers and assesses the resources required to successfully deliver the Council’s key objectives recognising that any strategy or objectives that emerge from this process must be fully costed before they can be presented to Cabinet and all sources of funding identified”.

 

Councillor Jonathan Chilvers (Leader of the Green Group) seconded the motion reserving the right to speak. In support of the motion Councillor Keith Kondakor informed Council that although 14 million trips have been made on buses in Warwickshire in the last year, this was down on previous figures. Improvements to bus services can bring about rapid enhancements in terms of accessibility and reductions in congestion and pollution. The key is to kickstart greater bus use so that it becomes the preferred mode of transport for more people.

 

Amendment 1

Councillor Jerry Roodhouse (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) moved an amendment. This changed the first paragraph of the motion and stated, “This Council supports the call by the “Campaign for Better Transport” report called “The Future of the Bus” and requests that a report to go to Cabinet by April 2020 that………” In proposing the amendment Councillor Roodhouse observed that the report cited should be brought to the fore. He added that more should be done to work with the bus operators, Stagecoach. Councillor Clive Rickhards seconded the amendment adding that the issue of bus service provision should be considered by Cabinet. With fewer than 50% of small rural settlements in the UK being served by buses a national and a Warwickshire bus strategy are required. The amendment tabled by the Liberal Democrat Group was accepted by the Green Group as a friendly amendment.

This then became the substantive motion.

 

Amendment 2

Councillor Jeff Clarke (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning) tabled the following amendment. “This Council requests supports the call by the “Campaign for Better Transport” report called “The Future of the Bus” (that the Strategic Director Communities takes a report to Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee in June 2020) by 30 April 2020 that:

 

1. Clarifies and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Member Question Time (Standing Order 7)

A period of up to 40 minutes is allocated for questions to the Leader, Cabinet Portfolio Holders and Chairs of Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1)    Restoration of the Former Daw Mill Colliery Site

Councillor Kondakor to Councillor Clarke

Councillor Kondakor asked why progress on the restoration of the site of the former Colliery at Daw Mill was not being progressed.

In response Councillor Clarke stated, “In June 2018, we requested Harworth Estates to submit and implement the restoration scheme. In October 2018 Harworth's indicated that they were unlikely to do anything further in this respect unless an Enforcement Notice was served seeking restoration of the site. As a result, since the end of 2018 we have been preparing an appropriate Enforcement Notice.

This is a complex and detailed piece of work and it is imperative that we get the wording and the structure of the Notice correct to ensure that it can be effectively implemented, and that we do not enter into a lengthy and costly legal argument with Harworth Estates. We have therefore been required to access specialist legal advice, including from Counsel.

We have also been in discussion with the lawyers acting for Harworth Estates and given the complexity of the site we must also liaise with statutory consultees (Environment Agency, Environmental Health, Natural England, ecology etc) on the wording of the Notice and their requirements before we serve it. We now have a draft Enforcement Notice, but we are seeking further Counsel’s opinion on this in January 2020 and hope to be able to move forward on this following advice. Throughout this process the representatives of the community have maintained a keen interest and are kept informed”

 

2)    Year of Wellbeing

Councillor Kondakor to Councillor Caborn

Councillor Kondakor, recognising the success of the 2019 Year of Wellbeing asked what plans were in place to build on its legacy.

In reply Councillor Caborn informed Council that a series of legacy projects are being planned. The messages for the Year of Wellbeing will be embedded in communication and projects like the “Good Gym” initiative will be supported. Councillor Kondakor proposed developing the initiative into a “Decade of Wellbeing”.

 

3)    Refreshing the Dementia Strategy

Councillor Gifford to Councillor Caborn.

Councillor Gifford asked what steps are being undertaken to refresh the Dementia Strategy and what account is being taken of carers.

Councillor Caborn explained that the refresh is underway with a three-phase approach being adopted. Phase one is engagement with those who have lived the experience e.g. carers. Phase two is a review of the Strategy. For this, the Council is working with the Alzheimer’s Society. The third phase will commence when the refreshed Strategy is in draft form. At this point it will be shared with partners and carers etc.

 

4)    Paving in Bedworth Town Centre

Councillor Chattaway to Councillor Clarke.

Councillor Chattaway informed Council of a recent spate of people tripping on unsafe paving in Bedworth. He asked Councillor Clarke if he would be prepared to undertake another site visit to see the problem for himself.

In reply, Councillor Clarke noted that the Council’s highways team does undertake inspections and responds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Any Other items of Urgent Business

To consider any other items that the Chair considers are urgent.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None

 

The meeting closed at 13.05.