Venue: Council Chamber
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A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWFpwBLs6MnUzG0WjejrQtQ
Mr David Jennings CC
With great sadness the Chairman reported the death of David Jennings, a sitting member, and the current Vice Chairman, of the County Council.
Mr Jennings died on 30 August aged 72. He had been a member of the County Council since 1997 and represented the Cosby and Countesthorpe Electoral Division. He was also an employee of the County Council between 1987 and 1996, working at Curtis Weston Care Home.
Mr Jennings was a longstanding member of the Development Control and Regulatory Board and served as its chairman between 2003 and 2011. He had also been a former chairman of the Standards Committee, Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a Scrutiny Commissioner.
Mr Jennings had been Vice Chairman of the County Council since May 2018.
Mr Jennings had had a long career in public service. He had been a member of Blaby District Council for 40 years and was made an Honorary Alderman after stepping down at this May’s election. He was also a parish councillor, a position he had held for 48 years.
Mrs Valerie Pulford
The Chairman reported with sadness the death of Mrs Valerie Pulford,
on 30 August aged 75. She was a member of the County Council between 1985 and 1989, representing the Breedon electoral division.
Mrs Pulford mainly served on the Education Committee, Employment Committee and Social Services Committee.
Members of the Council joined the Chairman in standing in silent tribute to the memory of David Jennings and Valerie Pulford.
The Chairman congratulated Cheryl Davenport, Leicestershire’s Director of Health and Care Integration who had been appointed as Honorary Professor of Health and Care Integration at De Montfort University.
Over the last five years Cheryl had brought partners together to improve health care for residents and led the delivery of Leicestershire’s £56million Better Care Fund, a pooled budget between the County Council and the NHS, which was helping to transform health and care.
The appointment was recognition for her contributions and achievements and the students at De Montfort University would benefit from real life examples of how to apply policy into practice.
Professor David Wilson DL
The Chairman reported that Professor David Wilson, who had chaired the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel, had recently tendered his resignation.
Prof Wilson served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University until his retirement in 2015 and had written extensively on public sector management and local government. He was also a Lay Minister at Rothley Parish Church, a Canon of Leicester Cathedral and a member of the Crown Nominations Commission which was responsible for the appointment of the last three Bishops of Leicester.
Prof Wilson had chaired the Panel since 1999 and the Council was greatly indebted to him for his service. Members joined the Chairman in extending thanks to him and wishing him well in the future. Prof Wilson would be continuing in his role with the Cathedral and as Deputy Lieutenant.
Recent Visits and Events
The Chairman reported that she had been on a number of visits and events since the Council had last met and highlighted four of them:
She had had the pleasure of being at Beaumanor Hall the previous week when the Lord Lieutenant and four of the Deputy Lieutenants presented British Empire medals announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. She had enjoyed meeting people who were being recognised for the work that they've done in their local communities
The Chairman had visited Rainbows, the Children’s Hospice, the previous Saturday which, she felt, was a wonderful place to visit. She urged members to attend a future Open ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
It was moved by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice-Chairman and carried:-
“That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 10 July 2019, 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 a district or parish council or a representative on a quarry liaison committee declared a personal interest in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan (minute number 24(a) refers).
Mr Pain declared a personal interest in the Notice of Motion on Post-16 Transport for people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) (minute 27(a) refers).
Dr Eynon declared a personal interest in the Position Statement from the Cabinet Lead Member for Equalities, Community Engagement and Rural Partnerships as she was involved in Carillon Wellbeing Radio (minute 23 refers). She also declared a personal interest in the Notice of Motion on Post-16 Transport for people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) as her son had SEND (minute 27(a) refers).
Mr Coxon and Mr Sheahan declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in the Leader’s Position Statement as they were affected by the HS2 development (minute 23 refers). They undertook to leave the debate during discussion of that item.
Mr Orson declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan as he owned land that was referred to in the document (minute 24(a) refers).
Questions asked under Standing Order 7(1)(2) and (5).
(A) Mr Bill asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:
“In view of the positive and upbeat tone of the Secretary of State’s letter of 4 September in which he says that “He is very pleased that the Spending Round announcement means that we can now give Local Authorities the certainty they have been seeking”, when can we now expect a cessation and reversal of the cuts to services to the people of Leicestershire?”
Mr Rhodes replied as follows:
“I refer you to my position statement which sets out the potential implications for the County Council of the Spending Review. I would add that sound financial management over the last decade has put the County Council in a good position where we can and will invest any extra funding in front line services. This is not the case for many authorities who will have no option but to use the extra money to reduce their deficits.”
“1. The current Local Transport Plan (LTP3) was written nearly ten years ago and approved by Government in very different times. Is it time for review and if not, why not?
2. What role is central Government currently playing with regard to Local Transport Plans and their implementation plans?
3. When was the last Implementation Plan on Leicestershire’s LTP approved by Cabinet?
4. If LTP3 Implementation Plans and Environment and Transport Commissioning Strategy can be replaced by “programme of works set out in the Capital Programme and Highways and Transportation Work Programme”, as we say, can the Leader explain how members can input into that process to ensure that all aspects of the LTP will be fully addressed?
5. Now that Cabinet have requested a re-evaluation of our position “with respect to reducing emissions from Leicestershire road transport” how will such a re-evaluation affect the LTP programme, including each goal, anticipated outcome and targets?
6. At the moment, with the exception of essential maintenance, would it be reasonable to say that most of the capital programme is devoted to major highways projects to address traffic and how does that address the carbon emissions we are planning to reduce?”
Mr Pain replied as follows:
“1. Our Local Transport Plan (LTP3) has served us well in successfully securing funding for transport projects and it continues to be cited in new funding bids. An updated and refined version of LTP3 was published in 2014, to reflect, amongst other things:
· new sources of evidence
· the changing financial position / new sources of funding (such as the then emerging Growth Deals)
· the then new National Planning Policy Framework
Notwithstanding this, it is acknowledged that LTP3 was developed and prepared in very different times. Whilst it was originally envisaged that the process to replace LTP3 would be via a single, overall, wholesale review process, in practice circumstances have dictated a different approach. In response to further changes in national funding, guidance and local priorities, the focus has instead been on developing area or topic specific policies and strategies and plans, including:
· The Leicester and Leicestershire Rail Strategy
· The Asset Management Policy and Strategy, and Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Plan
· Passenger Transport Policy and Strategy
Officers are currently giving consideration to the development of a Walking and Cycling Strategy. Once the scope for this Strategy has been determined, officers should be in a position to begin work to consider what the replacement for our LTP3 might look like. It is currently anticipated that this work will begin next year, subject to the timescale for ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
The Leader gave a position statement on the following matters:
· Appointment of local MPs to the new Government;
· No Deal EU Exit Preparations;
· Unitary Authority Business Case;
· Climate Change;
· HS2 Update;
· World Suicide Prevention Day;
· Loughborough Town Deal;
· Loughborough Area of Innovation;
· Ashmount Special School.
The Lead Member for Finance and Resources gave a position statement on the refresh of the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The Lead Member for Equalities, Community Engagement and Rural Partnerships gave a position statement on work with Leicestershire Communities.
A copy of the position statements is filed with these minutes.
Reports of the Cabinet.
It was moved by Mr Rushton and seconded by Mr Pendleton:
“(a) That the revised Leicestershire Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2019 - 2031 which incorporates the main modifications recommended by the inspectors in their report dated 21st May 2019, be approved;
(b) That the Chief Executive be authorised, following consultation with the Lead Member, to make any necessary additional modifications that do not materially affect the Plan policies in accordance with Section 23 (3) (b) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004;
(c) That the Chief Executive be authorised to carry out the steps required for adoption of the Minerals and Waste Local Plan up to 2031 in accordance with Regulation 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.)”
An amendment was moved by Mr Bill and seconded by Mr Boulter:
“That the following be added to the motion:
‘(d) In accordance with the resolution agreed by the County Council on 15th May on the need to play our part in combatting climate change, the implementation of this Plan, other strategic reports and key decisions to include a climate change impact statement.’”
The amendment was put and not carried, 19 members voting for the amendment and 31 against.
On the amendment being put and before the vote was taken, five members rose asking that a named vote be recorded.
The vote was recorded as follows:-
For the amendment
Mr Bill, Mr Boulter, Mr Bray, Mrs Broadley, Mr Charlesworth, Mr Crooks, Dr Eynon, Mr Galton, Mr Gamble, Mrs Hack, Dr Hill, Mr Hunt, Mr Kaufman, Mr Miah, Mr Mullaney, Mrs Newton, Mr Sheahan, Mr Welsh, Mr Wyatt
Against the amendment
Mr Barkley, Mr Bedford, Mr Bentley, Mr Blunt, Mr Breckon, Mr Coxon, Dr Feltham, Mrs Fryer, Mr Gillard, Mr Harrison, Mr Liquorish, Mr Morgan, Mr O’Shea, Mr Ould, Mrs Page, Mr Pain, Mr Parton, Mr Pearson, Mr Pendleton, Mr Poland, Mrs Posnett, Mrs Radford, Mr Rhodes, Mrs Richards, Mr Richardson, Mrs Richardson, Mr Rushton, Mr Shepherd, Mr Slater, Mrs Taylor, Mrs A Wright, Mrs M Wright
The motion was put and carried, 37 members voting for the motion, and no members voting against.
It was moved by Mr Rushton, seconded by Mr Barkley and carried unanimously:
“(a) That the revised Code of Corporate Governance referred to in Section B of the report of the Cabinet, be approved;
(b) That the Director of Law and Governance in consultation with the Director of Corporate Resources and following consultation with the Lead Member for finance, be authorised to make necessary future revisions to the Local Code of Corporate Governance to ensure that it is up to date and relevant provided that these do not constitute material changes to the Code.”
Report of the Constitution Committee.
Mr Rushton, with the consent of the seconder of the motion, sought the approval of the Council to move the following altered motion:
It was moved by Mr Rushton, seconded by Mr Shepherd and carried:
(a) That Rule 2A of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules (Part 4D of the Council’s Constitution) be amended to read as follows:
The Scrutiny Commissioners
The Scrutiny Commissioners will exercise the following responsibilities in relation to the overview and scrutiny of the discharge of County Council functions, whilst recognising that scrutiny committees are encouraged to set their own relevant agendas:
1. to approve an annual overview and scrutiny work programme for the Scrutiny Commission, to ensure that there is efficient use of the committees’ time, and that the potential for duplication of effort is minimised;
2. where matters fall within the remit of more than one overview and scrutiny committee, to determine which of them will assume responsibility for any particular issue, and to resolve any issues of dispute between overview and scrutiny committees;
3. to receive requests from the Executive and/or the full County Council for reports from overview and scrutiny committees and to allocate them if appropriate to one or more overview and scrutiny committees;
4. to put in place and maintain a system to ensure that referrals from Overview and Scrutiny to the Executive, either by way of report or for reconsideration, are managed efficiently;
5. at the request of the Executive, to make decisions about the priority of referrals made if the volume of such referrals creates difficulty for management of Executive business or jeopardises the efficient running of County Council business.”
(b) That, subject to (a) above, the proposed changes to the Constitution, as set out in the Appendices to this report, other than those which relate to Standing Orders (the Meeting Procedure Rules), be approved;
Motion 2 – Procedural Motion in accordance with Standing Order 37
(c) That the changes to Standing Orders (The Meeting Procedure Rules), as set out in Appendix 1 to the report of the Constitution Committee, be approved.”
(NOTE:- Standing Order 37 requires that this procedural motion, having been moved and seconded, stands adjourned until the next ordinary meeting of the Council.)
Appointments in accordance with item 11 of Standing Order 4.
To note any changes to the membership of the Cabinet made by the Leader.
It was moved by Mr Rushton, seconded by Mr Shepherd and carried:
“That it be noted that the Leader proposes to appoint Mr T J Pendleton CC as a member of the Cabinet.”
To consider the following notice/s of motion:
Post-16 SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Transport.
a) That this Council notes that: -
i) Education, Health and Care Plans extend responsibility to plan education for Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) pupils to age 25 and places responsibility on parents and carers to ensure their child attends the agreed placement;
ii) To assist parents and carers in meeting these responsibilities, this Council is progressing a capital programme of £30million in SEND education provision with the aim of increasing SEND provision in Leicestershire thereby reducing the number of young people with SEND travelling long distances or to out of County schools;
iii) The Council’s statutory requirement for students aged 16-18 years old with a disability is to prepare a transport policy statement which specifies the arrangements which are necessary to ‘facilitate attendance’ taking into account a list of factors. There is no requirement to provide transport and Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) can be used to meet the Council’s statutory responsibility under Section 509AB of the Education Act. In relation to students who are 18-25 years old with a disability, the Council is under a duty to provide free transport where this is necessary to facilitate attendance under Section 509F of the Education Act 1996;
iv) For post-16 students the Council has discretion to determine what transport is necessary and has planned to achieve this via a default offer of a PTB. This policy is currently paused until September 2020;
v) Before the policy implementation was paused, the responsibility for securing transport provision for Post 16 students was devolved to parents but some were finding it difficult to source suitable providers or transport their own child and this would have impacted on their and their child’s quality of life; this issue will return when the policy is reintroduced in September 2020;
b) This Council therefore supports the parents and carers involved in the Leicestershire based ‘Close the Loop Campaign’ who are campaigning to make home to school transport for pupils aged 16-25 with SEND a fully funded statutory requirement for all local authorities and will work through the Local Government Association and with local MPs to raise this issue with relevant Government departments, whilst identifying the costs of making this requirement fully funded.
It was moved by Dr Eynon, seconded by Mr Rhodes and carried unanimously:
“(a) That this Council notes that: -
(i) Education, Health and Care Plans extend responsibility to plan education for Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) pupils to age 25 and place responsibility on parents and carers to ensure their child attends the agreed placement;
(ii) To assist parents and carers in meeting these responsibilities, this Council is progressing a capital programme of £30million in SEND education provision with the aim of increasing SEND provision in Leicestershire thereby reducing the number of young people with SEND travelling long distances or to out of County schools;
(iii) The Council’s statutory requirement for students aged 16-18 years old with a disability is to prepare a transport policy statement which specifies the arrangements which are necessary to ‘facilitate attendance’ taking into account a list of factors. There is no requirement to provide transport and Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) can be used to meet the Council’s statutory responsibility under Section 509AB of the Education Act. In relation to students who are 18-25 years old with a disability, the Council is under a duty to provide free transport where this is necessary to facilitate attendance under Section 509F of the Education Act 1996;
(iv) For post-16 students the Council has discretion to determine what transport is necessary and has planned to achieve this via a default offer of a PTB. This policy is currently paused until September 2020;
(v) Before the policy implementation was paused, the responsibility for securing transport provision for Post 16 students was devolved to parents but some were finding it difficult to source suitable providers or transport their own child and this would have impacted on their and their child’s quality of life; this issue will return when the policy is reintroduced in September 2020;
(b) This Council therefore supports the parents and carers involved in the Leicestershire based ‘Close the Loop Campaign’ who are campaigning to make home to school transport for pupils aged 16-25 with SEND a fully funded statutory requirement for all local authorities and will work through the Local Government Association and with local MPs to raise this issue with relevant Government departments, whilst identifying the costs of making this requirement fully funded.”