EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Meeting: 8th June, 2005 at 2.00 p.m. PRESENT:- Councillors T. L. Waiting (Chairman), Pidduck (Vice-Chairman), Barlow, Bell, Groundwater, Guselli, Joughin, Morgan, Opie, Pears, J. Waiting and Williams. NOTE: Councillor T. L. Waiting (Chairman) in the Chair for items (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, 17 and 20). Councillor Pidduck (Vice-Chairman) in the Chair for items (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 and 21). 1 – The Local Government Act 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 – Urgent Items RESOLVED:- That by reason of the special circumstances outlined below the Chairman is of the opinion that the following items of business not specified on the agenda should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency in accordance with Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972. Item Reason Request for Extended Compassionate To enable the postholder to be afforded Leave (Minute No. 16) extended compassionate leave in accordance with the Council’s Policy. International Festival of the Sea – To enable the Deputy Mayor to attend the Portsmouth, 28th June, 2005 International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth (Minute No. 17) 28th June. The next meeting of the Executive Committee is not scheduled to take place until 13th July, 2005. Extension of Liberata Contract (Minute To enable the contract with Liberata to be No. 19) extended to provide value for money for the Council and with a view to making Barrow a Centre of Excellence. Amendments to the Capital Programme To enable the two companies to be (Minute No. 20) accommodated in view of the urgent need for the Consumer Direct Training process. Also to enable footpath renewal work to be undertaken in Barrow Park before formal reopening of the Park. 2 – The Local Government Act, 1972 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act, 1985 Discussion arising hereon it was RESOLVED:- That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 (Minute Nos. 15 and 16) and Paragraph 12 (Minute No. 19) of Part One of Schedule 12A of the said Act. 3 – Disclosure of Interest Councillor Guselli declared a personal interest in (Extension of Liberata Contract) (Minute No. 19). He is a landlord and receives Housing Benefit for tenants. Councillor J. Waiting declared a personal interest in Agenda Item No. 12 (Housing Strategy: Arrangements with Other Cumbrian Authorities) (Minute No. 9). She is appointed by the Council to the Cumbria Housing Group. She also declared a personal interest in Agenda Item No. 17 (Future of West Lakes Renaissance) (Minute No. 14). She was present at the Board meeting of West Lakes Renaissance held on 10th May. Councillor T. Waiting declared a personal interest in Agenda Item No. 17 (Future of West Lakes Renaissance) (Minute No. 14). He is appointed by the Council to the West Lakes Renaissance Board. Councillor Williams declared a personal interest in (Extension of Liberata Contract) (Minute No. 19). He is a landlord and receives Housing Benefit for tenants. 4 – Minutes The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th April, 2005 were agreed as a correct record. 5 – Appointments on Outside Bodies, Panels, Working Groups etc. The Chief Executive reported that at the Annual Council meeting on 23 rd May, 2005 the allocation of seats in respect of Forums, Panels, Working Groups etc. and certain Outside Bodies had been agreed. With the exception of the Housing Management Forum the membership of which had been agreed by Council delegated authority was given to the appropriate Committees to make the necessary appointments. Group Leaders had supplied details of the recommended appointments for confirmation by this Committee. The Chief Executive reported that the Cumbria Improvement Programme Leadership Academy Outside Body be deleted and that the Member Training Working Group be added to the Membership of Forums, Panel, Working Groups etc. for 2005/06. RESOLVED:- (i) To agree the appointments recommended by the political groups as shown below:- (N.B. Seat allocations in brackets in the order Labour: Conservative: Independent) (1) AIR TRAINING CORPS (NO. 128 SQUADRON) The Mayor (Councillor M A Roberts) (2) ALLOTMENTS LIAISON COMMITTEE (9 seats - 6:3:0) Councillors Burton, Dawes, Irwin, James, Major, Maltman, Messingham, Morgan and Wilson. (3) ANCHOR STAYING PUT BARROW-IN-FURNESS ADVISORY GROUP Councillors Garside and Pidduck. (4) BARROW AND DISTRICT COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE Councillor Irwin. (5) BARROW AND DISTRICT ACCIDENT PREVENTION COMMITTEE Councillors Major and Wilson. (6) BARROW BOROUGH ARTS FORUM Councillors Irwin and Pidduck. (7) BARROW BOROUGH DISABILITY SPORT AND LEISURE FORUM: GENERAL COMMITTEE Councillor Pidduck (Substitute: Councillor J Waiting). (8) BARROW CHILDREN’S CENTRES ADVISORY GROUP Councillor J Waiting. (9) BARROW EARLY INTERVENTION DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT: MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor Thomson. (10) BARROW FOOD FORUM Councillor Burton. (11) BARROW-IN-FURNESS CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP Councillors Joughin and T L Waiting. (12) BARROW-IN-FURNESS LOCAL COMMITTEE: HIGHWAYS ADVISORY GROUP (2:1:0) Councillors Barlow, Flanagan and Williams. (13) BARROW-IN-FURNESS LOCAL JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (9 seats - 5:3:1) Councillors Flanagan, Guselli, Irwin, Jackson, Joughin, Pears, Pidduck, Wilson and Wood. (14) BARROW –IN-FURNESS PUBLIC SAFETY SCHEME LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Garside, Garnett, Pears, Pidduck, T L Waiting and Williams. (15) BARROW-IN-FURNESS SEA CADET CORPS COMMITTEE The Mayor (Councillor M A Roberts) (16) BARROW AREA COMMUNITY LIAISON FORUM Councillors Joughin and T L Waiting. (17) BARROW BOROUGH SPORTS COUNCIL (3 seats - 2:1:0) Councillors Callister, Irwin and Pears. (18) BARROW PORT STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TEAM Director of Regeneration. (19) BARROW TRANSPORT ADVISORY GROUP Councillor T L Waiting (20) BILLINCOAT CHARITY TRUST Councillors Bell, Crosthwaite, James, Major, Murray and Mr J Dent. (Appointments until 2007) (21) BRITISH GAS HYDROCARBON RESOURCES LTD: LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Guselli, Major, Pidduck, J. Waiting and Williams. (22) BRITISH NUCLEAR FUELS LIMITED: RAMSDEN DOCK TERMINAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Burton, Guselli, Pidduck, T L Waiting and Williams. (23) BUCCLEUCH HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor Bell. (24) CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIUM LIAISON COMMITTEE (5 seats – 3:2:0) Councillors Burton, Irwin, Crosthwaite, James and J Waiting. (25) CITIZENS' ADVICE BUREAU Councillors Garside and Pidduck. __________ COMMUNITY CENTRES (26) ASKAM AND IRELETH COMMUNITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Crosthwaite, T L Waiting and two Councillors representing Dalton North Ward (Councillors Bell and Major). (27) HAWCOAT COMMUNITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Richardson and D. Roberts and one Councillor representing Hawcoat Ward (Councillor Joughin). (28) ORMSGILL COMMUNITY HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Forbes and J Waiting and one Councillor representing Ormsgill Ward (Councillor Wilson). (29) ROOSEGATE COMMUNITY HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Guselli and J Waiting and one Councillor representing Roosecote Ward (Councillor Williams Substitute: Councillor McClure). (30) COMMUNITY REGENERATION COMPANY (CRC): MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor T L Waiting. (31) COUNTY/DISTRICT TRANSPORT LIAISON GROUP Councillors Barlow and Pidduck. (32) CUMBRIA BRANCH OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (3 seats - 2:1:0) Councillors Joughin, Pidduck and T L Waiting. (33) CUMBRIA COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES PARTNERSHIP: Councillor Garnett. (34) CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE Councillor Pidduck. (35) CUMBRIA PENSIONS FORUM Councillor T L Waiting. (36) CUMBRIA PLAYING FIELDS ASSOCIATION Councillor Pidduck. (37) CUMBRIA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Councillor T L Waiting Substitute: Councillor Pidduck. (38) CUMBRIA STRATEGIC WASTE PARTNERSHIP Councillor J Waiting. (39) CUMBRIA SUB-REGIONAL HOUSING OFFICERS GROUP Councillor J Waiting. (40) CUMBRIA SUPPORTING PEOPLE FORUM Councillor J Waiting. (41) CUMBRIA TOURIST BOARD General Council: Councillor Pidduck Deputy: Councillor Messingham. (42) CUMBRIA VALUATION TRIBUNAL Councillor D Pidduck (Appointed to 31.3.2009) Mr R A Bedgar (Appointed to 31.3.2006) (43) CUMBRIA VISION BOARD: BARROW/SOUTH LAKELAND Councillor T L Waiting. (44) DALTON DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP Councillor Major. (45) DALTON TOWN STRATEGY CONSULTANTS REFERENCE GROUP Councillors Bell and Major. (46) DUDDON ESTUARY PARTNERSHIP Councillors Bell and Major. (47) EQUALITIES WORKING PARTY Councillor J Waiting. (48) FAIRTRADE WORKING GROUP Councillors Messingham and Thomson. (49) FRIENDS OF WALNEY Councillor Murphy. (50) FURNESS COLLEGE BOARD Councillor J Waiting. (51) FURNESS DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONCERN: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Councillor Charlton. (52) FURNESS DRUG REFERENCE GROUP Councillor Charlton. (53) FURNESS ENTERPRISE AND FURNESS PARTNERSHIP: RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP Councillor J Waiting. (54) FURNESS ENTERPRISE: SUPERVISORY BOARD Non Executive Directors – Councillors Joughin and T L Waiting. Executive Director – The Chief Executive. (55) FURNESS GREENWAYS PARTNERSHIP STEERING GROUP Councillor Messingham. (56) FURNESS MARITIME TRUST Council of Trustees: Councillors Crosthwaite, Irwin, Murphy and Pidduck plus the Chief Executive and Director of Finance. (57) FURNESS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP (3 seats - 2:1:0) Councillor Joughin, Pidduck and T L Waiting plus the Chief Executive. (58) HEALTH AND SAFETY JOINT SUB-COMMITTEE (9 seats – 5:3:1) Councillors Bell, Callister, Crosthwaite, Flanagan, Forbes, Groundwater, Joughin, Pears and Tongue. (59) HEALTH SCRUTINY CROSS PARTY WORKING GROUP: (CUMBRIA HEALTH OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE) Councillor Garnett. Substitute 1: Councillor Irwin Substitute 2: Councillor Messingham (60) HEART OF BARROW BOARD Councillors Pears and T L Waiting plus Chief Executive. (61) KEEPING OUR FUTURE AFLOAT CAMPAIGN Councillor T L Waiting. (62) LAKE DISTRICT PENINSULA TOURISM PARTNERSHIP Councillor Pidduck plus Assistant Director (Regeneration). (63) LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: COURT The Mayor (Councillor M A Roberts) (64) LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION: GENERAL ASSEMBLY Councillor T L Waiting. (65) LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION NUCLEAR ISSUES SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP Leader of the Council: (Councillor T L Waiting) Deputy: Deputy Leader of the Council (Councillor Pidduck). (66) LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION UNIT: MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor T L Waiting. (67) NATIONAL PARKING ADJUDICATION SERVICE COMMITTEE Councillor Jackson (substitute: Councillor Pidduck). (68) NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR CLEAN AIR Councillors Callister, M A Roberts, Thomson and the Chief Environmental Health Officer or a member of his staff. (69) NORTH WEST COUNCILS AGAINST FLUORIDATION Councillor T L Waiting. (70) NORTH WEST ENGLAND OBJECTIVES 2 AND 3 PROGRAMME: CUMBRIA COUNTY WORKING GROUP Councillor T L Waiting. (71) NORTH WEST ENGLAND OBJECTIVES 2 AND 3 PROGRAMME: EXECUTIVE GROUP Assistant Director (Regeneration). (72) NORTH WESTERN LOCAL AUTHORITIES' EMPLOYERS' ORGANISATION The Chairman of the Executive Committee (Councillor T L Waiting) Substitute: Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee (Councillor Pidduck) (73) NORTH WEST RAIL STEERING GROUP Councillor Pidduck. (74) NORTH WEST REGIONAL ASSEMBLY Councillor T L Waiting. (75) PARISH COUNCIL LIAISON MEETINGS (1) Askam and Ireleth Dalton North Ward Councillors (Councillors Bell, Crosthwaite and Major) and five Members of the Executive Committee – Councillors Joughin, Pears, Pidduck, J Waiting and T L Waiting. (2) Dalton with Newton Dalton North Ward Councillors (Councillors Bell, Crosthwaite and Major), Dalton South Ward Councillors (Councillors James, Maddox and Murray) and five Members of the Executive Committee – Councillors Joughin, Pears, Pidduck, J Waiting and T L Waiting. (76) SELLAFIELD LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Observer: Councillor Garnett. (77) SENIOR CITIZENS' CLUBS: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Councillors Garside and Irwin. (78) SUPPORTING PEOPLE COMMISSIONING BODY Councillor J Waiting and Housing Manager. (79) SURE START BARROW: SUPERVISORY BOARD Chairman of Executive Committee (Councillor T L Waiting). (80) WEST LAKES RENAISSANCE BOARD Director: Chairman of the Executive Committee (Councillor T L Waiting). (81) WILDLIFE AND HERITAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (9 seats – 6:2:1) Councillors Bell, Crosthwaite, James, Messingham, Morgan, Murphy, M A Roberts, Thomson and Wood. MEMBERSHIP OF FORUMS, PANELS, WORKING PARTIES ETC. 2005/2006 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Housing Management Forum Councillors Barlow, Crosthwaite, Forbes, Irwin, James, Major, Richardson and J Waiting. Medical Assessment/Housing Applications Appeals Panel 3 Members selected by Chief Executive in accordance with proportionality rules. Review Board – Housing Register/Homeless Applicants 3 Members selected by Chief Executive in accordance with proportionality rules. Private Rented Accommodation Group (Accredited Letting Scheme and Proposed Licensing) 3 Members selected by Chief Executive in accordance with proportionality rules. Renovation Grants Panel (3:2:0) Councillors Garside (Chairman), Burton, Flanagan, James and Richardson. Local Plan Working Group (4:1:1) (Three Members Executive Committee and three Members Planning Committee). Labour Conservative Independent Councillors Joughin (Executive) Wood (Planning) Burton (Planning) Pidduck (Executive) Thomson (Planning) T L Waiting (Executive) (ii) To agree to delete the Cumbria Improvement Programme Academy Outside Body; and (iii) To appoint the under-mentioned Councillors to serve on the Member Training Working Group:- Councillors T L Waiting, Pidduck, Garside, Pears and Williams. 6 – Review of Electoral Arrangements – Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council The Chief Executive reported that together with a number of other districts and owing to reduced elector numbers the Borough had developed a significant disparity in the councillor/electorate ratio since the recommendations of the last review completed in 1997 had given effect by the implementation of new warding arrangements introduced by the Electoral Changes Order 1998. The total electorate had just fallen below 50,000. The 1996 figure was 54,913 and the 2004 projection in the last review put at 55,400. Six wards had a +/- 10% variance from the average based on the December 2004 figures. In the relevant wards those variances range from -35% (Barrow Island) to +21% (Dalton North). Those variances were as follows:- Ave No. of % Variance Ward Name Cllrs Electorate electors from the per cllr average 1 Barrow Island 2 1,700 850 -35% 2 Central 3 3,242 1,081 -18% 3 Dalton North 3 4,748 1,583 21% 4 Dalton South 3 4,418 1,473 12% 5 Hawcoat 3 4,239 1,413 8% 6 Hindpool 3 3,307 1,102 -16% 7 Newbarns 3 4,156 1,385 6% 8 Ormsgill 3 3,866 1,289 -2% 9 Parkside 3 3,869 1,290 -2% 10 Risedale 3 3,601 1,200 -8% 11 Roosecote 3 4,368 1,456 11% 12 Walney North 3 4,133 1,378 5% 13 Walney South 3 4,140 1,380 5% Total - 38 49,787 1,310 - Some initial discussions had taken place with a Boundary Committee representative and information had been supplied in support of the indications which were given of likely residential development. That included an extract from New Vision for Furness and West Cumbria dealing with the Barrow Port Masterplan and the Local Plan Review 1996-2006 proposed alteration to Chapter 3 Housing second deposit version. However, at its meeting on 28th April, 2005 the Commission had decided to direct its Boundary Committee to undertake an electoral review of Barrow-in-Furness along with ten other authorities (Basingstoke and Deane, Castle Morpeth, Crewe and Nantwich, East Northamptonshire, Mendip, North Wiltshire, South Lakeland, Wansbeck, Welwyn Hatfield and West Wiltshire). The Electoral Commission had issued a formal direction to the Boundary Committee on 12th May, 2005. The Commission had indicated that it was the intention to commence the reviews for those authorities which elected by thirds on 6th September, 2005. That would allow for the implementation of the new arrangements at the elections in 2008. Each review would be carried out according to the procedure prescribed in Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1992 and would provide for: A period of not less than twelve weeks within which representations with respect the subject matter of the review may be made to the Boundary Committee. A period of not less than eight weeks within which representations in respect of draft recommendations may be made. RESOLVED:- To note the decision of the Electoral Commission to issue a direction to its Boundary Committee to conduct a further review of the electoral arrangements of Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council. 7 – Local Government Association/Environment Agency: Memorandum of Understanding – Working Better Together – Protocol 6 Fly-Tipping and Illegal Waste Activities The Chief Environmental Health Officer informed the Committee that in February 2003, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Environment Agency (EA) had agreed and signed a joint agreement ‘Working Better Together’. Local Authorities and the Environment Agency had powers and duties that complemented each other in contributing towards the protection of the environment and enhancing the quality of life of local communities. ‘Working Better Together’ contained a commitment to work together to deliver specific environmental outcomes. A series of local protocols sets out the framework for achieving the desired outcomes. The protocols may be amended and agreed locally within the national template to meet local circumstances. The fly-tipping protocol was one in a series of eight being drafted under the ‘Working Better Together’ agreement and he had been asked by his counterpart in the EA Cumbria Regional Office to progress acceptance of the protocol as a policy principle before development of a local agreement. A copy of Protocol 6 with relevant appendices was considered by the Committee. He was supportive of the principle that local authorities and the Environment Agency clarified roles in respect of fly-tipping enforcement and work together to effect improved enforcement. However, he was concerned that the allocation of enforcement responsibilities as detailed in Appendix 1 of the protocol would represent an increase in workload for enforcement staff based on the profile of the size and content of fly-tipped incidents recorded in Barrow through the ‘Flycapture’ national database, the vast majority of which would fall to his staff to enforce if the protocol was followed slavishly. RESOLVED:- (i) To agree, in principle, the Working Better Together Protocol 6 ‘Fly- tipping and Illegal Waste Activities’; and (ii) To authorise the Chief Environmental Health Officer to hold further discussions with the Environment Agency on behalf of the Council to seek a local agreement based on a balanced approach to enforcement of the relevant legislation to address fly-tipping and illegal waste activities. 8 – Park Leisure Centre – Pool Closure for Essential Maintenance The Chief Executive reported that to minimise the possibility of a major breakdown and to ensure the quality of the swimming pool water the following essential maintenance work was urgently required: 1. Replacement of isolator valves and overhaul of float valves in balance tank 2. Replacement of level controls/probes in balance tank 3. Inspection of pool fittings (inlets and outlets) 4. Inspection and deep cleaning of pool tank and pool surrounds 5. Tiling repairs 6. Conversion of the two redundant carbon filters into medium rate sand filters 7. A three month trial of a Granudos Dosing machine for dosing granular chlorine He informed the Committee that the main work was required on the balance tank which was part of the pool circulation system and necessitated the complete draining of the pools. As the draining of the pools involved the risk of damage to the structure/tiling it was critical that they were emptied and filled slowly in order to minimise the stresses due to loading and thermal changes. The Leisure Centre Manager had planned to bid for the work in the next round of capital projects and include it in a future Christmas maintenance schedule, but the regular monitoring regime had indicated that the pool disinfection system was not operating correctly. Further investigation into the operating conditions in the pool had highlighted several other factors affecting the current performance of the plant and he considered that it was unadvisable to delay the work if swimming conditions were to maintain satisfactory and minimise the risk of harmful bacteria and infection. Draining the pools would allow the opportunity to carry out a detailed inspection, cleaning and repairs to the pool tank and surrounds. The Leisure Services Manager had written to all Head teachers and clubs, explaining the reasons for the closure and expressing how important it was that such a valued community resource should be back up and running for the start of the main school holidays. She did not anticipate any adverse comments from anyone affected by the closure. A detailed breakdown of the work and the associated costs were considered by the Committee. The total anticipated expenditure would be in the sum of £20,000. Management Team had confirmed that funds were available in the public building maintenance budget to carry out the work but the Director of Finance was considering the potential to capitalise the expenditure and would advise the Committee at a future meeting. The Chief Executive reported that both pools would be closed from Monday 4 th July to Sunday 17th July, 2005. RESOLVED:- (i) To note that both pools would be closed from Monday 4th July to Sunday 17th July, 2005; and (ii) To agree that arrangements be made for informing the general public of the two week closure. 9 – Housing Strategy: Arrangements with other Cumbrian Authorities The Chief Executive informed the Committee that for many years there had been a Chief Housing Officers Group, which had met to progress and discuss housing issues common across the County. A few years ago a Cumbria Sub Regional Housing Group had been developed to respond to the regionalisation agenda for housing, along with other local services. The prime role of the group was to develop a Cumbria wide statement to influence the Regional Housing Strategy. That group had been attended by the Chairman of the Housing Management Forum and Housing Manager. The Chief Housing Officers Group had also been a conduit for a number of initiatives reported through this Committee, including a Cumbria wide Homelessness Strategy, participating in the Supporting People framework and more recently had made the case for a Market Renewal Initiative for Furness and West Cumbria. Following the CPA Assessment of Cumbria, the Audit Commission, Government Office North West and Housing Corporation had worked with the group to improve its approach to Housing Strategy Development. From this a concept had been suggested of developing a Cumbria Housing Strategy for the County as a Sub-Region which would reflect the Regionalisation agenda. In order to progress this, the above two groups were proposing to merge and create a new structure. The Committee considered a summary of the structure and the mandate for the Group. Within the new structure there were a number of thematic groups based on the priorities outlined in the Regional Housing Strategy. One of the purposes of the re- modelling was also to ensure a more holistic approach was developed, rather than being social housing orientated and to which relevant Officers would attend. Within the structure it had been proposed that an Executive Group consisting of the six Districts and County would nominate a Councillor and Officer to steer the work of the Group. RESOLVED:- (i) To agree to continue to participate in the work of the Cumbria Housing Group; and (ii) To agree that the Housing Management Forum Chairman represents the Council on the Executive Commissioning Group. 10 – Merger of Cashiers with Customer Relations Management The Director of Finance reported that the change for payments of rent, Council Tax and Business Rates to cash payments only by All Pay outlets had now settled down into an accepted pattern. That had led to a substantial diminishing in the volume of business going through the central Cash Office and a need for reappraisal of the roles of staff in that office. The cessation of the need to co-ordinate cash collection between the Central Cash Office and Area Housing Offices had led to the almost total diminishing of the need for a Chief Cashier. The requirements of the Council’s Procurement Policy need to achieve Best Value and Gershon Efficiency Savings had led to recognise the need of a specific Officer to liaise with suppliers, with other Authorities and ensure Procurement Policy compliance across the Council. Discussions had taken place with the current Cashier who was capable of and enthusiastic to take on the role. He reported that there was still a role to be played by the Deputy Chief Cashier. Matters such as receipting postal remittances, ensuring that all income flows (cash, bank standing orders, etc) reach the main accounting system via the cash receipting system and ensuring the security controls within the cash receipting system. It was proposed that the two posts would continue to work within the Financial Services Section. He informed the Committee that there were four part-time Cashiers. Although the work had diminished, the Council required the full complement of fully trained Cashiers to cover for holidays and sickness. It was recognised that when the Customer Relations Management System was fully developed and reception staff have to deal with business involving all the Town Hall services, the current reception area was inadequate in both size and desirability for the number of expected visitors and time taken to deal with them. In addition to the current formal reception area, the Cash Office would be redesigned to act as the Customer Relations Reception Area. The design would contain space for four customer points and it was proposed that one of these would have a cash receipting machine as an addition. The current part-time Cashiers would be trained in customer service and some of the current Customer Relations Management staff would be trained to operate the cash receipting system. There was a grading implication in the proposal, in that Customer Relations Management staff were on Scale1/2, while Cashiers were on Scale 3. Management would come from within the Customer Relations Section. The part-time Cashiers, under this proposal, would be affected by the proposal to transfer Customer Relations Management to Liberata (agreed in principle Minute No. 179 refers, 2nd March, 2005). It was suggested that formal changes to the establishment and transfer of service arrangement could wait until the physical changes to the Cash Office have been completed (programmed for September). The Director of Finance was looking to an agreement in principle to the proposals so that he could commence the formal transfer of undertakings procedures. In the meantime, he would redeploy the managerial staff to accommodate the ongoing needs of the Council. To date, the Union had been informed of developments and he would look to formal agreement to transfer and changes in establishment later in the cycle. RESOLVED:- To agree, in principle, to the proposed changes to the Cashiers Department and transfer of front line cashiers to the Customers Relations Management Section. 11 – Write Off of Debts Deemed Irrecoverable The Director of Finance reported that in the year to 31st March, 2005 he had agreed the write off of 301 Council Tax debts, in the sum of £158,830, of these one case, £416.03 was because the debtor had died, the remaining 300 cases, in the sum of £158,414.20, were because the debtors had been declared bankrupt. The sum written off represented 0.73% of the total amount of Council Tax generated in the year to 31st March, 2005. The Director of Finance further reported that in the year to 31st March, 2005, he had agreed the write off of 16 Business Rate cases, to the value of £24,997.95. All these cases had been declared bankrupt. During the year, a further eight cases were recognised as irrecoverable because of bankruptcy, in the total of £78,290.01, which exceeded his delegated powers. The total already and proposed for write off of £103,287.96 represented 0.57% of the Business Rate Accounts generated in the year to 31st March, 2005. He also reported that during the year to 31st March 2005, he had agreed the write off of 44 sundry debtors, in the sum of £9,975.29. That could be analysed as:- Bankrupt 1 debtor £ 909.82 Deceased 6 debtors £2,453.06 Uneconomical to continue pursuing 37 debtors £6,612.41 Total 44 debtors £9,975.29 The total of sundry debtors written off in the year represented 0.31% of the Sundry Debtors generated in the year. The write off of debt was a book keeping transaction which sought to ensure that the value of debts in the accounts represented what was likely to be collected. The Council continued to seek recovery of all debts, written off or not, and in the year had collected £417.71 which had already been written off from the books. RESOLVED:- To agree the write off of eight Business Rate cases, in the sum of £78,290.01, where the business has gone bankrupt. 12 – Urban Design Framework The Chief Executive reminded the Committee that the Urban Design Framework had been considered by this Committee at its meeting on 2nd March, 2005 at which it had agreed that a public exhibition should be held in Forum 28, from Thursday 8th April to Saturday 10th April, 2005. Representatives from Gillespies and the Council had been present throughout the exhibition which was attended by approximately 250 people. The exhibition was publicised in a leaflet distributed through the local free newspaper, the Advertiser, and around 1,000 leaflets were available from the Town Hall and other Council offices. A questionnaire was available to all visitors to the exhibition. A total of 120 had been completed and returned, which represented approximately 50% of the attendees. Overall the results showed a good support for the framework. A full breakdown of the results of the questionnaires, together with the other relevant factual parts of the report were considered by the Committee. The Urban Regeneration Company, West Lakes Renaissance, had identified a sum of £½ million in this year’s budget to support the implementation of the Urban Design Framework. The Framework itself contained an Implementation Plan, which was also considered by the Committee. A number of the priority projects related to highways matters and discussions had been held with County Council Officers to prepare a programme of work which would form a bid to West Lakes Renaissance to secure the £½ million grant assistance. The projects being progressed were as follows:- a. Review of one-way traffic system b. A590 Approach road signing c. Improvements to car parks d. Improvements to linkage from Town Square to Portland Walk (Wilkinsons' alleyway) e. Streetscape improvements to Duke Street, Ramsden Square f. Preparatory design for Abbey Road, Rawlinson Street, Holker Street junction g. Preparation of a palate of materials for all highway streetscape improvements h. Audit and strategy for town centre signing i. Repaving of lower Dalton Road Detailed proposals and costings would be prepared for the schemes and submitted to West Lakes Renaissance for approval. RESOLVED:- (i) To note the results of the consultation on the exhibition and confirm the adoption of the Barrow-in-Furness Urban Design Framework; and (ii) To agree that the projects be developed for grant assistance during the coming year. 13 – Public Art The Chief Executive reported that following the very successful unveiling of the “Spirit of Barrow” shipbuilding statue in Dalton Road, the Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency, Steven Broomhead, had offered to provide an additional £50,000 towards the provision of another statue for Barrow. The commissioning of the two recent statues of Willie Horne and “The Spirit of Barrow” had received overwhelming popular support and there appeared to be a general appetite to provide a statue to commemorate Emlyn Hughes. Both of the above statues were modelled by artist Chris Kelly from Harrogate and were cast by Castle Fine Arts. If a third statue was commissioned in memory of Emlyn Hughes, It was suggested that Officers discuss the commission with the Artist and Foundry to establish an overall budget and that a further report, setting out more detailed proposals, including the options for its location, should be prepared to be considered at a future meeting. It was considered appropriate to open an appeal to allow the public to make a contribution towards the statue. The Editor of the Evening Mail had also offered the facilities of his newspaper to consult the general public on the proposals. A Member suggested that Liverpool Football Club be asked to make a donation to the provision of a statue to commemorate Emlyn Hughes. RESOLVED:- To agree, in principle, to the provision of a statue to commemorate Emlyn Hughes and that Officers prepare a more detailed report regarding budgets and location of the statue for a future meeting of the Committee. 14 – Future of West Lakes Renaissance The Committee considered a letter and discussion paper from North West Development Agency. It proposed that West Lakes Renaissance and Rural Regeneration Cumbria (RRC) were merged into a new company, Cumbria Vision Limited. The NWDA had asked for comments by 3rd June. The Chief Executive had written to the NWDA and indicated that the timetable was impossible to achieve and ridiculously short. The future of West Lakes Renaissance had been originally discussed at the WLR Board meeting on 10th May, when a very similar report was tabled. It was clear that discussions had already taken place which did not include local authority partners. The impression was also given at the meeting that NWDA wanted the merger to proceed. However, it was agreed to have a special board meeting to discuss the proposal further. The Council were then informed after the meeting that the matter had been put on hold and a special meeting would not be required. On 16 th May the Council received the documents from the NWDA with a very short period for responses. Other stakeholders, including other Districts and Cumbria Strategic Partnership, had also been asked to respond. The Chief Executive reported that the Leaders of Copeland, Allerdale and Barrow had jointly written to Bryan Gray, Chairman of NWDA, objecting to any proposal which would result in the loss of a dedicated Urban Regeneration Company for West Cumbria and Furness, objecting to the way the matter had been handled with a lack of consultation with local authorities and a very short timescale for responses, and asking for a meeting with him. None had been offered. All of the Districts in Cumbria met on 20th May, and had agreed to request a delay in the process and consideration of a range of options. The Chief Executive reported that it was hoped that a joint response could be submitted to NWDA. It was suggested that key points to include in the response would include: There was a continuing need for a dedicated Urban Regeneration Company (URC) for West Cumbria and Furness which was completely focussed on transforming the local economy. That URC was one of a small number agreed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister as part of a national initiative which provided special status to the area to assist us deal with the challenges facing West Cumbria including the significant changes to the nuclear industry. Securing that status for the area was a major success which was hard fought for, and therefore we will fight hard to retain it. A company which had a remit for the whole of Cumbria would not have this dedication or focus. The Rural Regeneration Company and other initiatives do not have the same ten year commitment provided by the URC or indeed the commitment and input of English Partnerships. We therefore object very strongly to any proposals which would see WLR subsumed by a larger organisation or which would see its remit extended to cover other parts of Cumbria. We agree that some rationalisation of regeneration agencies would be appropriate and would suggest that the work currently carried out by RRC in West Cumbria and Furness was transferred to WLR. We believe that the driving force behind any changes to existing arrangements must be the more effective delivery of regeneration, particularly in West Cumbria and Furness where the need is greatest. The current proposals appeared to be targeted mainly at simplifying arrangements for NWDA and saving overheads. We would therefore like to see a number of options considered, rather than just one, with each option evaluated in detail in terms of its ability to deliver effective regeneration. We believe that important decisions such as this should not be rushed and that an independent organisation should be commissioned to develop and evaluate options. We do not believe that the two other URC’s in the North West (East Manchester and Liverpool) were being treated in the same way, and ask NWDA to explain why we have been singled out. The Committee considered a response by West Lakes Renaissance to the Cumbria Vision Consultation. WLR believed that a combination of the current regeneration vehicles within Cumbria could bring additional benefits to the Cumbrian economy provided that a number of substantive issues were fully and clearly addressed before plans were finalised regarding any such combination. WLR suggested that a solution would be to retain the URC as a separate corporate vehicle which would comply with the criteria set out in the ODPM’s URC Guidance and Qualification Criteria – May 2004 but which would be held as a subsidiary of Cumbria Vision. RESOLVED:- (i) To note the proposals by NWDA and the action already taken by Council Leaders, and agree that if possible a joint response is made by the three Districts in line with the suggested response to the proposals; and (ii) To agree that finalisation of the response be delegated to the Chief Executive following consultation with the Leader and Deputy Leader. 15 – Playground Team Supervisor/Fitter The Assistant Director (Personnel and Performance) reminded the Committee that at its meeting on 29th September, 2004 it had resolved that a contract be placed with Playsafe to provide full supervision of the sheltered playgrounds team and for the maintenance and repair of play equipment. H. M. Tax Inspectorate had subsequently raised objections to the proposed arrangement insisting that the supervisory duties must be the subject of a formal employment contract between the Council and the individual service provider. A new post of part-time Playgrounds Supervisor for 12.5 hours per week needed to be added to the establishment. That would require an additional £830 which would be vired from alternative cost centres within the budget for the Park. RESOLVED:- To agree that a part-time (12.5 hours per week) post of Playgrounds Supervisor be created and that the person referred to be appointed. 16 – Request for Extended Compassionate Leave The Assistant Director (Personnel and Performance) informed the Committee that a request for extended compassionate leave had been received from Unison acting on behalf of Ms Gill Beckingham, Design Services Manager. The Council’s Policy on compassionate leave was considered by the Committee and Paragraph (iii) applied to that particular request. Ms Beckingham completes 20 years service with the Council in August this year. Legal advice received from Crutes confirmed that it would be reasonable to grant the request having due regard to the exceptional circumstances of the case. Management Team agreed with the advice and recommended that this Committee exercised their discretionary powers and grant compassionate leave until the matters concerning the Legionnaires trial were resolved. RESOLVED:- To approve the request for Extended Compassionate Leave for the Design Services Manager until the matters associated with the Legionnaire trial were resolved. 17 – International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth, 28th June, 2005 The Chief Executive reported that as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations this year an International Fleet Review was to be held in the Solent on Tuesday 28 th June. HMS Walney had been selected to take part in the review and would host guests from its affiliated towns and organisations. An invitation had been received for The Mayor and partner or guest to join the ship at sea on this auspicious occasion. The outline programme required that guests arrive by 0930 hours and the events of the day conclude late in the evening. Consequently attendance would involve meeting the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence. Lieutenant Commander J. E. Beardsmoore, Royal Navy suggested that the event provided a welcome opportunity to re-strengthen links with Barrow-in-Furness particularly since the ship had not been able to visit the town for some time. RESOLVED:- To agree that the Deputy Mayor, Councillor J. D. Murphy together with Mrs Murphy attend the International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth, 28 th June, 2005 as guests of HMS Walney and for the meeting of any necessary essential expenditure. REFERRED ITEMS THE FOLLOWING MATTERS ARE REFERRED TO COUNCIL FOR DECISION 18 – Civil Contingencies Act 2004 – Request for Supplementary Budget The Chief Environmental Health Officer reminded the Committee that as a result of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 coming into force on 1st April, 2005 district councils had, for the first time, been given a formal statutory role in emergency planning as ‘Category 1 Responders’. The duties of ‘Category 1 Responders’ were various and considerably greater than the voluntary arrangements required of district councils by any previous civil defence legislation. In recognition of the need to resource the new duties, district councils had been allocated a non-ring fenced contribution in this year’s grant settlement and a working group of County and District Council emergency planning representatives had been tasked to consider a suitable way forward. The Committee considered a report which was to be submitted to the next meeting of the Cumbria Chief Executives Group which summarised the existing arrangements, detailed the new duties and the relevant funding allocations for each district council in Cumbria based on a head of population contribution. The report also made recommendations as to an appropriate way forward. He drew the Committee’s attention to the recommendations detailed in Paragraph 7 of the document, in particular Recommendation 7.1 which proposed that all the Cumbrian authorities pooled funding in a partnership to enhance the existing Emergency Planning Unit of Cumbria County Council to be tasked with ensuring compliance for all of the local authorities in the County. He also drew the Committee’s attention to recommendation 7.3 which proposed that the level of contribution for each local authority was to be equivalent to 85% of the grant allocation detailed in Appendix 2 of the report. RECOMMENDED:- (i) To authorise the Chief Executive to agree to the Council entering into a partnership, initially for a period of 30 months with Cumbria County Council and the other district councils in Cumbria to deliver the duties imposed by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 through an enhanced Cumbria County Council Emergency Planning Unit; and (ii) To recommend the Council to agree that a supplementary budget of £18,927 be approved for the Emergency Planning Cost Centre, being equivalent to 85% of this year’s allocation for Civil Protection, as the Borough Council’s contribution for the first 12 months of the partnership. 19 – Extension of Liberata Contract The Director of Finance reminded the Committee that on 2 nd March, 2005 it had recommended Council to:- “Agree the extension of the Liberata contract to 30th September, 2018, including the following provisions:- 1. Contract base price at February 2005 prices £1,975,041 2. Inflation provision to remain at Retail Price Index at the 31st March each year in the contract at 1st April each year. 3. Penalties to be incurred as:- (a) Failure to process BVPI 78a in the top national quartile in any year - £7,500 (b) Failure to average over 96% on BVPI 79a in any year - £7,500. (c) Failure to collect more than 95% Council Tax in any one year - £7,500. (d) Failure to collect more than 96% Business Rates in any one year - £7,500 All penalties to be uprated by RPI at 31 st March each year on 1st April and each year from 1st April, 2006. 4. Additional payment of £100 per case where the Council has sued for liquidation, inflated by RPI at 1st April from 1st April, 2006. 5. Agreement of the presence of one member on the Strategic Partnership.” Council had agreed the recommendation at its meeting on 26th April, 2005. Negotiations with Liberata on the framing of the Contract led to Officers seeking advice from Eversheds LLP. In order to ensure due process, he was seeking further agreement to the contract extension from the Committee in the light of that Eversheds advice. The Committee considered the advice from Eversheds. Section 3 of the advice sets out the difference in treatment under European Community Rules, of what were classed as Part A and Part B of the services. Para 3.3.12 clearly sets out that debt collection and administration services were Part B of the services, while related data processing services were Part A. It being noted in Para 3.2.1 that Part B services were not subject to the full European Community Regime. The Committee considered an analysis of the Contract for the annual costs of the services for 2005/06. He informed the Committee that the relevant considerations under the Public Law Requirements were Best Value and Fiduciary Duty. The Committee considered two scenarios which could be judged to indicate value for money for the extension of the contract. He also informed the Committee that on 2nd March, 2005 he had failed to advise the Committee to suspend Standing Orders in relation to Contracts. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council:- (i) To suspend Standing Orders in relation to Contracts; (ii) To note that the Liberata Contract contains 66% part B services under European legislation; (iii) To note that the contract extension provides value for money for the Council; and (iv) To make it a condition that Liberata enters into an agreement to lease at least 50% of the Call Centre on Furness Business Park, confirm their decision to extend the Liberta contract made at their meeting on 26th April, 2005. 20 – Amendments to the Capital Programme The Chief Executive reported that in order to accommodate company staff training for the location of Consumer Direct in Barrow, it was necessary for 3SL to be relocated from their current office in Craven House into the recently refurbished Market Offices. A second tenant had been secured for the Market Offices and to accommodate both tenancies required fit out work to the value of £80,000. Income from the letting of the offices would be £35,000 per annum. In order to meet the urgency required by the need for the Consumer Direct training process, Officers had already commissioned the work. The report sought approval for the action and amendments to the Capital Programme to fund the work. He also informed the Committee that a survey of the footpaths in Barrow Park showed that renewal work of £190,000 was required over and above that which the Heritage Lottery Fund was willing to support. £90,000 of these works related to the main paths surrounding the lake. Management Team took the view that it would be desirable to carry out the work before formal re-opening of the Park. The main contractor was available and willing to carry out the additional work at tendered rates prior to the formal opening of the Park. Remaining works could be progressed on a phased basis over the next three years. There was also a provision of £312,160 in the Capital Programme for investment in Forum 28. Due to it being desirable that the Forum 28 investment does not start before the Christmas Programme is finished, the additional £170,000 required for the Market Offices fit out and the additional paths in the Public Park could be initially accommodated by the rephasing of an appropriate part of the £312,160 into 2006/07. A decision on the most cost effective financing of the capital expenditure could be made later in the financial year. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council:- (i) To confirm Officers’ actions in agreeing the £80,000 fit out the Market Offices; (ii) To agree the addition of £80,000 expenditure for the fitting out of the Market Offices in the Capital Programme for 2005/06; (iii) To agree the addition of £90,000 for the renewal of footpaths in the Park in the Capital Programme for 2005/06; (iv) To agree the rephasing of £170,000 of investment in Forum 28 into 2006/07; and (v) To delegate the final decision on funding for these items to the Director of Finance. The meeting closed at 3.14 p.m.
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