EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Meeting: 7th June, 2006 at 2.00 p.m. PRESENT:- Councillors Joughin (Chairman), Williams (Vice-Chairman), Barlow, Dawes, Guselli, Maddox, L. Murray, Pearson, Pidduck, Tongue and Waiting. 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 Submission to Second Round of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (Minute No. 14) Reason To enable the bid to be made by the deadline. 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 Paragraph 3 (Minute No. 19) and Paragraphs 1 and 2 (Minute No. 20) of Part One of Schedule 12A of the said Act. 3 – Disclosure of Interest Councillors Barlow and Dawes declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item No. 17 – The Mall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness (Minute No. 13) as they were Members on the Planning Committee when they were mindful to refuse the application. Councillor Guselli declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item No. 11 – Housing Strategy (Minute No. 9) and a personal interest in Agenda Item No. 18A – Housing Market Renewal Programme: Hindpool Environmental Improvements (Minute No. 18) on the basis that he was a private landlord with properties within the Borough. Councillor Pearson declared a personal interest in Agenda Item No. 18A – Housing Market Renewal Programme: Hindpool Environmental Improvements (Minute No. 18) as he is a Member of Cumbria County Council. Councillor Williams declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item No. 11 – Housing Strategy (Minute No. 9) on the basis that he was a private landlord with properties within the Borough. 4 – Minutes The Minutes of the meeting held on 5th April, 2006 were agreed as a correct record. 5 – Apologies for Absence/Attendance of Substitutes Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Flanagan and Opie. Councillor Dawes attended the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Maltman. 6 – Closing Order – Main Building at 65 Greengate Street, Barrow-in-Furness The Chief Executive reminded the Committee that a Closing Order had been made on the main house at 65 Greengate Street, Barrow-in-Furness on 1st October, 2003 under the provisions of Section 264 of the Housing Act 1985 (as amended). An inspection on 22nd March, 2006 had revealed that the dwelling had been renovated and was not fit for habitation as defined by Section 604 of the Act. He asked Members to note that when the Closing Order relating to the main house, 65 Greengate Street, Barrow-in-Furness had been made, a separate Closing Order was made on the first floor of the rear outbuilding of 65 Greengate Street. That had not been renovated, was not the subject of the report and would continue to be unsuitable for occupation until such time as that Closing Order was determined, if ever. RESOLVED:- To agree that the Closing Order made under the provisions of Section 264 of the Housing Act 1985 (as amended) on the main house of 65 Greengate Street, Barrow-in-Furness be revoked. 7 – Statement of Internal Control The Director of Finance informed the Committee that good practice required that as part of the Council‟s Final Accounts Statement, there be included a “Statement of Internal Control” to be signed by the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council. One of the weaknesses that had been noted in the District Auditor‟s report of Use on Resources was that Member had given insufficient consideration of that part of the Final Accounts when agreeing them for the year 2005/06. To address that problem while still meeting the Good Practice requirement to approve the Statement of Internal Control as part of the Final Accounts, he proposed that a Sub-Committee of four Members (two Conservative and two Labour) be formed to examine and adjust, if necessary, the Statement. The Government required that the Accounts be approved by 30 th June, 2006. RESOLVED:- (i) To appoint a Sub-Committee to examine and adjust the Statement of Internal Control with a Membership of Councillors Joughin, Pidduck, Waiting and Williams; and (ii) To agree that Councillor Joughin chairs the meeting of the Sub-Committee. 8 – Appointments on Outside Bodies, Forums, Panels and Working Groups etc. The Chief Executive reported that at the Annual Council meeting on 22 nd May, 2006 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. An addendum to the report detailed the nominations made and highlighted those to be determined by the Committee principally as a consequence of the nominations made exceeding the number of available places. At the meeting the Labour Group withdrew their nominations. RESOLVED:- (i) To approve the under-mentioned Outside Bodies in accordance with Notional Seat Allocations as follows:Allotments Liaison Committee (9 seats – 4:4:1) Councillors Burton, Dawes, Irwin, James, Major, Maltman, McClure, Morgan and Tongue. Barrow Local Committee – Highways Advisory Group (3 seats – 2:1:0) Councillors Barlow, Flanagan and L Murray. Cumbria Branch LGA (3 seats – 1:2:0) Councillors Joughin, Waiting and Williams. Local Joint Consultative Committee (9 seats – 4:4:1) Councillors Flanagan, Guselli, Irwin, Joughin, Pears, Pidduck, Major, Williams and Wood. Cemeteries and Crematorium Liaison Committee (5 seats – 3:2:0) Councillors Burton, Irwin, Crosthwaite, Flanagan and Pears. Health and Safety Joint Sub-Committee (9 seats – 5:4:0) Councillors Callister, Crosthwaite, Flanagan, Forbes, Groundwater, Irwin, Joughin, L Murray and Pearson. Barrow Borough Sports Council (3 seats – 2:1:0) Councillors Callister, Irwin and F G Murray. Wildlife and Heritage Advisory Committee (9 seats – 4:4:1) Councillors Crosthwaite, James, Husband, Morgan, L Murray, Murphy, Pearson, Thomson and Wood. Furness Strategic Partnership (3 seats – 1:2:0) Councillors Joughin, Waiting and Williams. (ii) To agree the under-mentioned appointments to Outside Bodies, Forums, Panels and Working Groups as follows:(1) AIR TRAINING CORPS (NO. 128 SQUADRON) The Mayor (Councillor Crosthwaite) ANCHOR STAYING PUT BARROW-IN-FURNESS ADVISORY GROUP Councillors Garside and J R Richardson. ASKAM AND IRELETH REGENERATION PARTNERSHIP Councillor L Murray. BARROW AND DISTRICT COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE Councillor Pearson BARROW AND DISTRICT ACCIDENT PREVENTION COMMITTEE Councillors Maltman and L Murray. BARROW BOROUGH ARTS FORUM Councillors Williams and Wood. BARROW BOROUGH DISABILITY SPORT AND LEISURE FORUM: GENERAL COMMITTEE Councillors Williams (Substitute: Councillor L Murray). BARROW CHILDREN‟S CENTRES ADVISORY GROUP Councillor L Murray. BARROW EARLY INTERVENTION DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT: MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor Thomson. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) BARROW FOOD FORUM Councillor Pearson. BARROW-IN-FURNESS CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP Councillors Joughin and Waiting. BARROW-IN-FURNESS PUBLIC SAFETY SCHEME LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Garside, Pearson, Pidduck, D Roberts, Waiting and Williams. BARROW-IN-FURNESS SEA CADET CORPS COMMITTEE The Mayor (Councillor Crosthwaite) BARROW AREA COMMUNITY LIAISON FORUM Councillors Joughin and Waiting. BARROW LOCAL PARTNERSHIP Councillors Roberts and Williams. BARROW PORT STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT TEAM Director of Regeneration. BARROW TRANSPORT ADVISORY GROUP Councillors Joughin. BILLINCOAT CHARITY TRUST Councillors Crosthwaite, James, Major, F G Murray, L Murray and Mr J Dent. (Appointments until 2007) (Councillors Dalton North and South Wards). BRITISH GAS HYDROCARBON RESOURCES LTD: LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Guselli, Pidduck, Waiting, Williams and Wood. BRITISH NUCLEAR FUELS LIMITED: RAMSDEN DOCK TERMINAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Councillors Guselli, Pidduck, Waiting, Williams and Wood. BUCCLEUCH HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillor Crosthwaite. CITIZENS' ADVICE BUREAU Councillors Flitcroft and Wood. (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) __________ COMMUNITY CENTRES (23) ASKAM AND IRELETH COMMUNITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Crosthwaite, T L Waiting and two Councillors representing Dalton North Ward (Councillors Major and L Murray). HAWCOAT COMMUNITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Richardson and D. Roberts and one Councillor representing Hawcoat Ward (Councillor Joughin). ORMSGILL COMMUNITY HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Forbes and Pearson and one Councillor representing Ormsgill Ward (Councillor Morgan). ROOSEGATE COMMUNITY HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Councillors Guselli and Waiting and one Councillor representing Roosecote Ward (Councillor Williams Substitute: Councillor McClure). (24) (25) (26) (27) COMMUNITY REGENERATION COMPANY (CRC): MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Director of Finance. COUNTY/DISTRICT TRANSPORT LIAISON GROUP Councillors L Murray and Williams. CUMBRIA COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES PARTNERSHIP Councillor Jones. CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE Councillor F G Murray. CUMBRIA PENSIONS FORUM Councillor Joughin. CUMBRIA PLAYING FIELDS ASSOCIATION Councillor Williams. CUMBRIA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Councillor Joughin (Substitute: Councillor Williams) CUMBRIA STRATEGIC WASTE PARTNERSHIP Councillor Flitcroft. CUMBRIA SUB-REGIONAL HOUSING OFFICERS GROUP Councillor Crosthwaite. (28) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) CUMBRIA SUPPORTING PEOPLE FORUM Councillor Crosthwaite. CUMBRIA TOURIST BOARD General Council: Councillor Williams Deputy: Councillor Jones CUMBRIA VALUATION TRIBUNAL Councillor D Pidduck (Appointed to 31.3.2009) Mr R A Bedgar (Appointed to 31.3.2012) CUMBRIA VISION BOARD: BARROW/SOUTH LAKELAND Councillor Joughin. DALTON DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP Councillor F G Murray. DALTON TOWN STRATEGY CONSULTANTS REFERENCE GROUP Councillors F G Murray and L Murray. DUDDON ESTUARY PARTNERSHIP Councillors F G Murray and L Murray. EQUALITIES WORKING PARTY Councillor Flitcroft. EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONING GROUP The Chairman of the Housing Management Forum. FAIRTRADE WORKING GROUP Councillors Dawes and Pears. FRIENDS OF WALNEY Councillor Pearson. FURNESS COLLEGE BOARD Councillor Jones. FURNESS DRUG COMMITTEE Councillor Williams. AND ALCOHOL CONCERN: EXECUTIVE (38) (39) (40) (41) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50) FURNESS DRUG REFERENCE GROUP Councillor Williams. FURNESS ENTERPRISE RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP Councillor Jones. AND FURNESS PARTNERSHIP: (51) (52) FURNESS ENTERPRISE: SUPERVISORY BOARD Non Executive Directors – Councillors Joughin and Waiting. Executive Director – The Chief Executive. FURNESS GREENWAYS PARTNERSHIP STEERING GROUP Councillor Jones. FURNESS LOCAL PARTNERSHIP GROUP Councillors Joughin and Williams. FURNESS MARITIME TRUST Council of Trustees:- Councillors Crosthwaite, Irwin, Pearson and Williams plus the Chief Executive and Director of Finance. HEALTH SCRUTINY CROSS PARTY WORKING GROUP: (CUMBRIA HEALTH OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE) Councillor Jones Substitute 1: Councillor Pearson Substitute 2: Councillor Wood (53) (54) (55) (56) (57) HEART OF BARROW BOARD Councillors Joughin and Waiting plus Chief Executive. KEEPING OUR FUTURE AFLOAT CAMPAIGN Councillor T L Waiting. LAKE DISTRICT PENINSULA TOURISM PARTNERSHIP Councillor Williams plus Assistant Director (Regeneration). LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: COURT The Mayor (Councillor Crosthwaite). LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION: GENERAL ASSEMBLY Councillor Joughin. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION NUCLEAR ISSUES SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP Leader of the Council: Councillor Joughin Councillor J R Richardson. LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE Councillor Joughin. INFORMATION UNIT: MANAGEMENT (58) (59) (60) (61) (62) (63) (64) NATIONAL PARKING ADJUDICATION SERVICE COMMITTEE Councillor Williams (Substitute: Councillors Pears). (65) NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR CLEAN AIR Councillors James, McClure and Roberts and the Chief Environmental Health Officer or a member of his staff. NORTH WEST COUNCILS AGAINST FLUORIDATION Councillor Maltman. NORTH WEST ENGLAND OBJECTIVES CUMBRIA COUNTY WORKING GROUP Councillor Joughin. NORTH WEST ENGLAND OBJECTIVES EXECUTIVE GROUP Assistant Director (Regeneration). 2 AND 3 PROGRAMME: (66) (67) (68) 2 AND 3 PROGRAMME: (69) NORTH WESTERN LOCAL AUTHORITIES' EMPLOYERS' ORGANISATION The Chairman of the Executive Committee (Councillor Joughin) Substitute: Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee (Councillor Williams). NORTH WEST RAIL STEERING GROUP Councillor Williams. NORTH WEST REGIONAL ASSEMBLY Councillor Joughin. PARISH COUNCIL LIAISON MEETINGS (1) Askam and Ireleth (70) (71) (72) Dalton North Ward Councillors (Councillors Crosthwaite, Major and L Murray) and five Members of the Executive Committee – Councillors Joughin, Pearson, Pidduck, T L Waiting and Williams. (2) Dalton with Newton Dalton North Ward Councillors (Councillors Crosthwaite, Major and L Murray), Dalton South Ward Councillors (Councillors James, Maddox and Murray) and five Members of the Executive Committee – Councillors Joughin, Pearson, Pidduck, T L Waiting and Williams. (73) POLLUTION INTO MORECAMBE BAY Councillors Jones, Thomson and Williams. SELLAFIELD LOCAL LIAISON COMMITTEE Observer: Councillor Dawes. SENIOR CITIZENS' CLUBS: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Councillor Flitcroft and F G Murray. (74) (75) (76) SUPPORTING PEOPLE COMMISSIONING BODY Councillor Crosthwaite and Housing Manager. SURE START BARROW: SUPERVISORY BOARD Chairman of Executive Committee – Councillor Joughin. WEST LAKES RENAISSANCE BOARD Director: Chairman of the Executive Committee – Councillor Joughin. (77) (78) MEMBERSHIP OF FORUMS, PANELS, WORKING GROUPS ETC. 2006/2007 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 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 (2:2:0) Councillors Garside (Chairman), Flanagan, James and J R Richardson. Local Plan Working Group (3:2:1) (Three Members Executive Committee and three Members Planning Committee). Labour Councillors Pidduck (Executive) Thomson (Planning) T L Waiting (Executive) Conservative Independent Joughin (Executive) F G Murray (Planning) Wood (Planning) Member Training Working Group (2:2:0) Councillors T L Waiting, Pidduck, Guselli and Williams. Early Retirement Panel (2:2:0) Councillors Barlow, Joughin, Waiting and Williams. Grading Appeals Panel (2:2:0) Councillors Joughin, Pidduck, T L Waiting and Williams. 9 – Housing Strategy The Chief Executive reminded the Committee that it had previously agreed to work with the Cumbria Housing Group to develop a Housing Strategy for Cumbria as a whole. The Chair of the Housing Management Forum had represented the Council on the Executive of the Cumbria Housing Group. A consultation draft of the Strategy had now been produced, and was considered by the Committee. The major priorities identified for Barrow were those around Regeneration, Housing Market Renewal and providing homes that meet the Decent Homes Standard. It was recognised that the Strategy was not a finished product, as much of the statistical evidence was still being collected. However, when the final detail of the Cumbria-wide Strategy was completed, it would contain separate and robust analysis for each of the 20 distinct housing markets identified in Cumbria. These would include current provision, current and future needs and the sorts of housing interventions (i.e., capital and, in some cases, revenue investment) that would be required for the future. Cumbria Housing Group had worked closely with Government Office North West to ensure that the overarching strategy achieve “Fit for Purpose” status, not as a finished document but as a working investment tool which would evolve over the coming months and years. The Cumbria Housing Group formed an integral part of the Cumbria Strategic Partnership and the Strategy would become part of the Local Area Agreement which goes live on 1st April 2007. It was the intention that the Housing Strategy would support other strategic documents such as the Community Plan for Barrow Borough, and the delivery plans of the Furness Partnership. Views on the Consultation Draft were required by Friday 16th June. Separate consultation would be done on the local Housing Market Action Plans over the summer months, for adoption in the Autumn. Circulation of the high level Strategy was quite limited, but the detailed local studies would be more widely distributed. The Cumbria Housing Strategy was intended to facilitate the trend of more effective joint working across the county. Within the last 18 months, some funding for affordable housing had been allocated to Cumbria as a whole, rather than to individual districts. The Cumbria Housing Strategy was intended to provide an effective framework for spending decisions for funding allocated in this way. Government Office for the North West and the Housing Corporation had indicated that allocating increased levels of funding to Cumbria rather than to the districts would be more likely in the future. The key themes of the draft strategy were: An overarching aim to balance the supply and demand of housing, tackling low demand in more deprived areas, and affordability in high demand areas; Critical links to economic development; Links to other sub-regional partnerships and strategies; An evidence-based approach; Focus on housing markets, rather than administrative boundaries. The main priorities for the draft strategy were: Affordable Housing; Meeting the decent homes standard; Regeneration; Homelessness; Supported Housing. RESOLVED:- (i) To endorse the draft Housing Strategy; (ii) To authorise Officers to finalise the Strategy in consultation with other relevant organisations; and (iii) To agree that the final strategy be reported to this Committee for approval. 10 – Statement of Community Involvement The Assistant Director (Regeneration) informed the Committee that the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) was the first Local Development document proposed to be produced as part of the Barrow-in-Furness Local Development Framework (LDF). A brief summary of the new LDF system and the role of the SCI was considered by the Committee. The SCI sets out the Council‟s policies and procedures for involving the public in the planning process, both in the preparation of planning policy documents and in the consideration of planning applications. Following an initial consultation exercise in November/December 2005, a Presubmission Draft document had been approved for formal public participation by this Committee and Council on 4th and 24th January respectively. That public participation had taken place during a six week period from 10th February to 24th March, 2006. A total of 18 responses had been received during the six week period on behalf of 22 bodies/companies. A schedule of the comments received and the recommended Officer responses were also considered by the Committee. The changes recommended as a result of the responses were incorporated into the proposed Submission Draft SCI. A number of other bodies, individuals and companies had also responded with requests to be added to the consultation database for future LDF documents. In view of the recent changes to the Council‟s administration, there had not been an opportunity to call a Local Plan Working Group to consider the matter prior to the Committee. He reported that if the recommendations were agreed, the document and accompanying paperwork would be prepared for submission. Following submission there would be a further six week period for final representations to be made. These final representations would be considered by the Inspector appointed to examine the document. RESOLVED:- To agree that the Officer responses to the comments received be endorsed and the proposed Submission Draft SCI be submitted to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination. 11 – Comments on Draft Regional Spatial Strategy The Assistant Director (Regeneration) reminded the Committee that the revised Draft Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the North West of England had been submitted to the Secretary of State in January 2006. The Council, along with a wide range of other organisations, had been invited to comment on the submitted draft by 12 th June, 2006. An independent panel would then be appointed to carry out an examination in public into the key issues arising from the consultation. The draft RSS, although setting out policy at regional level, was of considerable importance to the Borough as it was one of the two statutory plans in the governments new arrangements for land use planning and would eventually replace both current regional guidance (RPG 13) and the County Structure Plan. It was also one of a suite of regional documents supporting the Regional Economic Strategy which would, in turn, directly affect the availability of regeneration funding in the Borough and wider Furness. The draft RSS was a long and detailed document running to 113 pages and supported by lengthy technical appendices, a sustainability appraisal, consultation statement and implementation frameworks. He summarised the key issues the draft RSS raised for the Borough. RESOLVED:- To agree that the comments in the report are forwarded to the North West Regional Assembly as the Council‟s comments on the Draft Regional Spatial Strategy. 12 – Piel Island, Barrow-in-Furness The Director of Regeneration reminded the Committee that following the departure of Mr and Mrs Scarr, the former landlords of the Ship Inn, a detailed condition survey of the premises had been undertaken by Anna Williams Associates Chartered Building Surveyors. The Ship Inn was a Grade II Listed Building, dating back to the late 18th century. The two storey building had been extended on numerous occasions, with a basement constructed of a graduated slate roof, rubble stonewalls, timber casement windows and slate floors. The property was in a very exposed coastal location; access only being available by boat at high tide and with caution over the sands at low tide. The building was served by a septic tank and mains water supply, but there were no gas or electric services available on the island. The surveyor‟s estimate for the cost of essential remedial works was £167,000. Additional costs to provide internal fitments, etc, would bring the total cost of refurbishment to bring the Inn into a condition where it could be licensed and let on a commercial business tenancy to £200,000. A detailed breakdown of the works was considered and was available in the Members‟ Room. The Council currently had available a sum of £120,000 in the Rural Regeneration Capital budget. The balance funding could be secured from the Heart of Barrow programme or Cumbria Vision. Due to the extent of the works required, it was not envisaged that the Ship Inn would be available for re-letting until the Spring of 2007. During the intervening period, he intended to advertise for interested parties to submit expressions of interest and then to draw up a shortlist of prospective tenants to submit formal proposals to enter into a business lease on the premises. Once the Inn had been refurbished, it may be possible to seek a premium rent as the best course to secure private investment, without delaying work on the refurbishment of the building. RESOLVED:- (i) To allocate £120,000 from the Capital Programme towards the refurbishment of the Ship Inn; (ii) To authorise the Director of Regeneration to make applications to the Heart of Barrow Board or Cumbria Vision for a further £80,000 grant assistance; (iii) To appoint Anna Williams Associates to draw up a detailed specification and invite tenders for the refurbishment of the property; and (iv) To agree that the Director of Regeneration continues with the process of securing a new tenant and enter into a business lease commencing on 1st April, 2007. 13 – The Mall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness The Director of Regeneration reminded the Committee that the Planning Committee on 2nd May, 2006, had been mindful to refuse the application submitted by Craig and Green on behalf of the Council for redevelopment works, which included the closure of the Mall for public access. He reported that to avoid any embarrassment, he had formally withdrawn the planning application for further consideration. Members may be aware that Planning Committee had recently granted permission to close a section of the Mall, which ran from Duke Street through Furness House, linking to the Market Mall. The extinguishment of that section of the highway was due to be confirmed, which he believed would then allow the owners of Furness House to undertake their proposed refurbishment works, including the closure of the highway. That would include the closure of the rear access to the post office and the rear access to the Inland Revenue offices. In these circumstances, he suggested that the current proposals for improvements to the Mall should be held in abeyance until the Planning Committee and market traders could assess the impact of the Furness House development. RESOLVED:- To agree that the proposals for refurbishment of the Mall be held in abeyance until the impact of the closure of the Furness House section of the Mall could be assessed. 14 – Submission to Second Round of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative The Assistant Director (Regeneration) informed the Committee that the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) was a government grant programme intended to provide funding for the residents and communities in greatest need to find or create employment. Two bidding rounds had been announced. The first had allocated £126m to ten bids and the second round would allocate £60m from January 2007. There were no regional allocations of LEGI funding. In August 2005, the Council, together with all 88 local authorities receiving Neighbourhood Renewal Fund had been awarded a pump – priming grant of £80,000 to enable them to prepare bids for LEGI. £20,000 had been spent on submission of the round 1 bid leaving a residual grant of £60,000. There were no plans to offer further pump - priming finance to local authorities. The Council had submitted a bid, prepared by Furness Enterprise, for £2.5m to the first funding round but had been unsuccessful. Across the North West only the bid submitted by St Helens for £13m had been supported. Feedback from Government Office North West had highlighted two main weaknesses in the bid. Firstly, the fact that the bid was Borough – wide rather than concentrating resources on the most deprived Wards or Super Output Areas. Secondly, the bid relied on existing research and data and lacked an up to date evidence base, particularly in relation to the targeted Wards, as a basis for developing detailed programmes and initiatives. He advised against the Council making a submission to round two if these weaknesses were not addressed. The deadline for submitting round two bids was 14th September 2006. He commented that the arguments for and against a further submission to round 2 were finely balanced. On the positive side there was strong ministerial interest in good bids from NRF areas suffering high levels of worklessness and low levels of enterprise and, partly in response to this, Government Office had encouraged the Council to resubmit. In addition the Regional Economic Strategy was supportive of enterprise development and job creation in Barrow Borough. However, there was every indication that competition in round 2 would be stronger than round 1. It had been estimated there was likely to be 55 bids for the £60m available and a 1:5 success rate. On balance, a round 2 bid should be submitted as a successful LEGI bid would result in a significant potential increase in employment opportunities for residents of the more deprived communities. If a round 2 bid was to be submitted it was important that the deficiencies of the first round bid were addressed. He had therefore asked Furness Enterprise to obtain quotations from consultants who specialised in that area for preparation of the evidence base and to offer editorial support. The quote from the most suitable company, regeneris consulting, was £42,500 which could be accommodated within the remaining pump-priming grant. RESOLVED:- (i) To agree to submit a second round bid to the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI); (ii) To agree that Furness Enterprise lead preparation of the bid; and (iii) To agree that £42,500 be committed from our LEGI pump priming fund towards the costs of engaging consultants to support the bid preparation. REFERRED ITEMS THE FOLLOWING MATTERS ARE REFERRED TO COUNCIL FOR DECISION 15 – Prudential Indicators and Limits 2006-07 The Director of Finance informed the Committee that the Prudential Indicators and Limits for 2006-07 had been set by the Council at its meeting on 21st February, 2006. Within these limits and indicators there were two measures for external debt. The authorised limit for external debt was the maximum level of external debt that the Council could raise. The authorised limit should not be breached. He reported that the operational boundary for external debt was lower than the authorised limit. It was the means by which the Council managed its external debt to on a day-to-day basis to ensure that it remained within the self-imposed limit. The operational boundary was based on the expected external debt of the Council according to probable events, it was expected that there may be an occasional breach of the boundary but not a sustained one. It had become necessary to revise the limits for external debt for three main considerations:Funding of the capital programme; grants funds were not received in the same period as the initial expenditure and as the capital programme grew, that involved larger amounts may require temporary borrowing. Rescheduling; occasionally it was advantageous for the overall portfolio to reschedule some of the loans out to longer periods at cheaper rates. To be able to do that there must be enough „headroom‟ between the authorised limit and operational boundary, some headroom must be maintained if the limits were revised. New borrowing; the timing of planned new loans depended on the market conditions and how prudent it was to take a lower rate earlier than planned. The level of the operational boundary should be sufficient to carry a new loan and a maturing loan, if these conditions existed. He recommended that the authorised limit for external debt for 2006-07 be revised to £40 million and the operational boundary to £35 million. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council to agree that the authorised limit for external debt for 2006-07 be revised to £40 million and the operational boundary to £35 million. 16 – Control of Mercury Emissions from Crematoria The Chief Executive informed the Committee that DEFRA had introduced new legislation requiring the abatement of mercury emissions at crematoria. In order to comply locally, the Council would need to invest between £400-450,000 at Barrow Crematorium including building works. DEFRA had accepted a proposal from the Federation of British Cremation Authorities to share the burden of abatement across the country. That proposal required members of the Federation to pay a levy of approximately £25.00 per cremation and that levy would fund investment in new crematorium equipment at a national level to ensure that national abatement targets were met. All Crematorium operators were required to inform DEFRA as to whether they would upgrade their own equipment or share the burden of abatement by 30 th June 2006. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council – (i) To agree to participate in the shared burden scheme CAMEO; Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation to pay £25.00 from 1st January, 2013 per cremation into the Federated Scheme (This figure may increase/decrease); and (ii) To agree to place a surcharge of the cost of each cremation in order that there was no additional cost to the Council. 17 – Cemetery Kerbstones The Chief Executive informed the Committee that in 1990 the Council had introduced a policy that new kerbstones were not permitted on any graves within the three Borough cemeteries, with the exception of graves pre purchased before that date. That was to assist with grass cutting and grave maintenance. Over the last ten years there had been requests from grave owners to place kerbstones on graves and the Cemetery Office staff had refused these. That had resulted in grave owners placing edgings and fences around graves and more recently a contractor had offered that work to grave owners. Whilst these edgings were not permitted within the Cemetery rules and regulations it was difficult to enforce and attempts to do so have met with bad publicity and confrontations with grave owners. Consequently the Council had requested that grave owners sign a disclaimer that they would maintain their grave and the grounds maintenance contractor does not cut these graves. He reported that they were not regulated and could become a health and safety hazard and also if a contractor was carrying out the work it was unfair to monumental masons to preclude them from placing kerbstones on graves. That indicated that the way in which people wish to commemorate the deceased had changed over the last ten years and there was a demand for the kerbstones on graves from some grave owners. The criteria for the kerbstones were as follows:A monumental mason who was registered on the Councils memorial registration scheme must erect the kerbstones. It would be possible for other masons or contractors to join the scheme but they must satisfy the Cemeteries Manager that they were competent to carry out any work and would be subject to those same regulations as other masons. Grave owners would not be permitted to place kerbstones or edgings on the grave. That applied to headstones that were currently erected by a monumental mason. As with headstones the mason would have to submit an application before erecting the kerbstones and if approved a permit would be issued. The kerbstones would then be checked and recorded within the memorial register. That would cover health and safety; ensure that all work was carried out to an agreed standard as laid down in the memorial registration scheme. If a grave was reopened and the kerbstones removed, that again would need to be carried out by a registered mason. A fee of £53.50 was currently charged for the right to erect a headstone. It was suggested that a fee of £53.50 be charged for the erection of kerbstones. Where a combined headstone and kerbstone was erected a fee of £75.00 could be charged. For cremation graves a fee of £20.00 could be charged. If approved the scheme would be introduced from a specific date, 1st August, 2006. Any grave owners who had other edgings prior to that date would not be asked to remove them. However the cemetery office would contact them regarding the new scheme, which they may wish to take advantage of. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council – (i) To allow the reintroduction of kerbstones on all graves within the three Borough cemeteries, with the exception of woodland graves; and (ii) To agree that the current charge of £53.50 for the right to erect a headstone be varied to:£53.50 for the erection of a kerbstone; £75.00 for the erection of a combined kerbstone and headstone; and £20.00 for the erection of a kerbstone on cremation graves. 18 – Housing Market Renewal Programme Improvements – Hindpool Environmental The Director of Regeneration informed the Committee that as part of the Housing Market Renewal (HMR) Programme, provision had been made for environmental improvements in Hindpool. A sum of £1,000,000 had been allocated in the draft programme. Part of the funding would need to be drawn down from West Lakes Renaissance (WLR), as the recipients of the majority of HMR funding. During early 2006, Gillespies had been engaged to produce an Environmental Improvement Strategy for Hindpool. A copy of their report was considered. The report puts forward proposals to carry out work to an estimated value of £1,589,000. Some items could be funded from other sources (e.g. alleygates were being funded through the Safer Cleaner Greener Fund). Other items had been recommended as lower priorities in the draft Environmental Improvement Strategy. He reported that the estimated costs did not include preliminaries, contingencies, maintenance in the first year, consultation, legal fees or land acquisition where that may be necessary. The final cost would be subject to more detailed design work being undertaken. It was therefore necessary to prioritise the suggested programme. It was proposed that the high priority projects from the Environmental Improvement Strategy were implemented, together with a flexible allowance for Key Sites in the area. That would give a proposed programme to be carried out over the two year period 2006-8 as follows: Street Lighting Traffic Calming Gateways Green Nodes Key Sites Total £250,000 £100,000 £185,000 £370,000 £95,000 £1,000,000 The majority of the work in question was associated with the highway, and would therefore be carried out be Cumbria County Council and its agents. The totality of the HMR programme identified potential expenditure of up to £4m during 2006-7. It was anticipated that £1.5 million would be made available from the housing element of the Council‟s Capital Programme, through the capital allocation from the Regional Housing Board, and £2.5m drawn down from WLR. These proposals would be incorporated into a revised Capital Programme, which would be brought to a future meeting of this Committee. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council – (i) To approve the proposed environmental improvement programme for Hindpool; (ii) To authorise Officers to carry out public consultation on that programme; and (iii) To authorise the Director of Regeneration to instruct Cumbria County Council to carry out the approved programme of work. 19 – Housing Renewal Programme: Property Acquisitions The Committee was reminded that at its meeting on 1st February, 2006 it had agreed to purchase the former Co-operative Bakery in Buccleuch Street (Barton Townley‟s workshop) and the former Haughins Garage in Holker Street as part of the Housing Market Renewal Programme. In addition to these two properties, negotiations had been undertaken with the owners of a block of flats which were in a poor state of repair and had a history of management problems. The presence of these flats had a negative effect on the adjacent properties, some of which have needed to be taken off the market as buyers were deterred by the presence and state of that particular block of properties. Agreement had been reached that the Council would acquire the properties with vacant possession for £530,000 and, together with stamp duty and fees; the total estimated costs would be £575,000. Funding towards the acquisition had been identified in the Housing Market Renewal Programme, and a contribution up to £200,000 could be secured from the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme. Once the site had been acquired, the flats would be demolished and the land would be offered to the private sector as a redevelopment opportunity. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council – (i) To agree that £375,000 be allocated from the Housing Market Renewal Programme towards the acquisition of the properties and that the Director of Regeneration submit an application to the Local Strategic Partnership for £200,000 from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund towards the acquisition; and (ii) To agree that if funding was secured the Director of Regeneration be authorised to acquire the properties. 20 – Change in Establishment: Health and Safety Officer The Chief Executive reported that following the resignation of the incumbent Health and Safety Officer in November 2005 it had not been possible to recruit a suitably qualified officer despite advertising locally and nationally on two occasions. Members were reminded that the Council was required to publish an Occupational Health and Safety Service Plan annually which committed the Council to work to satisfy its statutory duty as an enforcing authority under Section 18 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He reported a proposal had been received from a suitably qualified consultant, based in Cumbria, with the necessary experience and competence, to undertake inspection and enforcement activity and to carry out procedural improvements to enable the Council to meet its statutory enforcement duties. In order to assess the proposal for value for money purposes he had benchmarked other consultants providing similar services and he was satisfied that the rate detailed in the proposal fell in line with current market demands. It was proposed that the Consultant was contracted for a twelve month period, initially, to trial the consultancy working arrangements with a view to extending the contract period if mutually convenient and acceptable. RECOMMENDED:- To recommend the Council to agree that the post of Health and Safety Officer in the Environmental Health Department be changed to Health and Safety Consultant and the consultant be offered a twelve month contract to fulfil that role to commence at a mutually convenient time within the next two months. The meeting closed at 3.40 p.m.