Venue: Council Chamber
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A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWFpwBLs6MnUzG0WjejrQtQ
Mr Rob Fraser and Mr Colin Chapman
The Chairman reported with sadness the death of former County Councillors, Mr Rob Fraser and Mr Colin Chapman.
Mr Fraser was a member of the County Council from 1993 to 2013 and represented the Groby and Ratby electoral division.
Mr Fraser was a member of the Cabinet between 2003 and 2004. He was also a former Chairman of the Development Control and Regulatory Board and of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Mr Chapman was a member of the County Council from 1993 to 1997, representing the Melton Mowbray (North) Electoral Division.
Mr Chapman served mainly on the Education Committee, Environment Committee and the Economic Development and Community Initiatives Committee.
Members of the Council joined the Chairman in standing in silent tribute to the memory of Mr Fraser and Mr Chapman.
Mr Ould CC
Members joined the Chairman in congratulating Ivan Ould, the Cabinet Lead Member for children and families, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.
Mr Ould had been the Lead Member for schools and children's services since 1999. He was one of the longest serving in the country and was most deserving of this award.
The Chairman reported with pleasure that recently published data on the percentage of employees who were apprentices showed that the County Council was the second highest of all two tier county councils at 2.2% following a significant increase over the previous year.
In this regard it was also pleasing to note that, following work trials for five of the Council’s looked after children, four had now successfully progressed and been taken on as apprentices. The fifth was offered an apprenticeship but decided to pursue another option.
The Chairman welcomed to the meeting all visitors and guests of members and anyone who was joining the meeting via the webcast.
It was moved by the Chairman, seconded by Mr Liquorish and carried:-
“That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 5 December 2018, copies of which have been circulated to members, be taken as read, confirmed and signed.”
Declarations of Interest.
The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to make declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.
All members who were members of District and Parish Councils declared a personal interest in relation to the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 – 2022/23 (minute 43(a) refers).
Mr Pain CC also declared a personal interest in relation to passenger transport issues referred to in the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 – 2022/23 as his family operated a taxi business.
Questions asked under Standing Order 7(1)(2) and (5).
(A) Mr Bray asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:-
“On-street parking remains a major problem in many streets in Hinckley town centre. Could the Leader please update me on progress of the promised long-awaited review?”
Mr Pain replied as follows:-
“As part of the Council’s Sustainable Travel Strategy a large investment programme was developed for Hinckley and in July 2014 the Council was successful in securing the funding for this, via the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund.
In order to deliver the programme smoothly it was spilt into four zones. The fourth and final zone concentrates on Hinckley town centre and includes the implementation of parking restrictions where required. The implementation of Zone Four is programmed for the summer of 2019.
To inform the programme and ensure that it is developed on the basis of the latest evidence, the Council has already begun gathering data, undertaking parking surveys and engaging with the Hinckley Business Improvement District and the Borough Council.
Any proposals for parking restrictions will be subject to a formal consultation process where members of the public and businesses will be able to comment before any decision is made.”
(B) Mr Bray asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:-
“Despite efforts by St Peter's School and the County Council a crossing patrol has not been recruited for London Road, a busy through route in Hinckley town centre. Would the Leader consider an urgent request from the Head Teacher for a permanent crossing on London Road as she has reported several "near misses”?”
Mr Pain replied as follows:-
“The County Council will always consider requests for pedestrian crossings. On receipt of the request an assessment is carried out to evaluate the need for the crossing based on nationally set criteria.
An assessment of this kind was undertaken directly outside the school in 2018; however the results did not meet the necessary criteria for the provision of a crossing.
A school safety zone is in operation with an advisory twenty mile an hour speed limit in place covering the school’s start and finish times. In addition, the school has also recently asked to join the school camera car enforcement scheme.
The County Council has been liaising with the Head Teacher since the patrol resigned and continues to actively try and recruit to the role.
Recruiting to patrol vacancies, however, remains an issue across the county in general and I would urge everyone to encourage members of the public to apply for these vital community roles should the opportunity arise.”
Mr Bray asked the following supplementary question:-
“Since I tabled the question I have also received a letter from Tom, a year five pupil on the School Council, explaining the dangers that he and his friends face every day going to this school. He has invited me to come along to the School Council and attend one of their meetings. I just wondered whether the Lead Member would be willing to join me in that meeting with the School Council to explain the County Council's decision?”
Mr Pain replied as follows:-
“I would be happy to join Mr. Bray at the school meeting, time permitting and if we can make sure that diaries can be arranged as such, and explain to the year five pupil. We are aware of the year five pupil writing into the Department and that year five pupil will get a full response as we do with all our residents and constituents.”
(C) Mr Hunt asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:-
“I am sure the ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
Position statements under Standing Order 8.
The Leader gave a position statement on the following matters:-
· Local Government Finance;
· Meeting with Headteachers;
· Local Development Corporation (Toton);
· Transport for the East Midlands – Regional Infrastructure Summit;
· Meeting with Leicestershire MPs;
· Meeting with the Bishop of Leicester.
A copy of the position statement is filed with these minutes.
Budget report of the Cabinet.
It was moved by Mr Rhodes and seconded by Mr Shepherd:-
“(a) That subject to the items below, approval be given to the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) which incorporates the recommended revenue budget for 2019/20 totalling £377m as set out in Appendices A, B and E of this report and includes the growth and savings for that year as set out in Appendix C;
(b) That approval be given to the projected provisional revenue budgets for 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 set out in Appendix B to the report, including the growth and savings for those years as set out in Appendix C, allowing the undertaking of preliminary work, including business case development, consultation and equality impact assessments, as may be necessary towards achieving the savings specified for those years including savings under development, set out in Appendix D;
(c) That approval be given to the early achievement of savings that are included in the MTFS as may be necessary, along with associated investment costs, subject to the Director of Corporate Resources agreeing to funding being available;
(d) That the level of earmarked funds as set out in Appendix K be noted and the use of those earmarked funds as indicated be approved;
(e) That the amounts of the County Council's Council Tax for each band of dwelling and the precept payable by each billing authority for 2019/20 be as set out in Appendix L (including 1% for the adult social care precept) be approved;
(f) That the Chief Executive be authorised to issue the necessary precepts to billing authorities in accordance with the budget requirement above and the tax base notified by the District Councils, and to take any other action which may be necessary to give effect to the precepts;
(g) That approval be given to the 2019/20 to 2022/23 capital programme as set out in Appendix F;
(h) That the Director of Corporate Resources following consultation with the Lead Member for Resources be authorised to approve new capital schemes, including revenue costs associated with their delivery, which are shown as future developments in the capital programme, to be funded from funding available;
(i) That the financial indicators required under the Prudential Code included in Appendix M, Annex 2, be noted and that the following limits be approved:
(j) That the Director of Corporate Resources be authorised to effect movement within the authorised limit for external debt between borrowing and other long-term liabilities;
(k) That the following borrowing limits be approved for the period 2019/20 to 2022/23:
(i) Upper limit on fixed interest exposures 100%,
(ii) Upper limit on variable rate exposures 50%,
(iii) Maturity of borrowing:-
(l) That the Director of Corporate Resources be authorised to enter into such loans or undertake such arrangements as necessary to finance capital payments in 2019/20, subject to the prudential limits in Appendix M;
(m) That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and the Annual Investment Strategy for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix M, be approved including:
(i) The Treasury Management Policy ... view the full minutes text for item 43a
Report of the Employment Committee.
It was moved by Mr Rhodes, seconded by Mr Shepherd and carried:-
“That the County Council’s Pay Policy Statement 2019/20, as referred to in the report of the Employment Committee, be approved.”