Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley
Contact: Ruth Rimmington Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Decision: That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 September 2019 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Mayor.
Declarations of Any Interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.
If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.
There were no declarations of interests received.
The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended the many Remembrance Services which took place around the borough.
The Mayor advised that future charity events include the ‘Mayor’s Merry Christmas’ event here on 17 December and the Charity Ball on 14 February.
The Mayor offered the Council’s congratulations to Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP who has been appointed as the new Speaker of the House of Commons.
Members of the public who have requested the opportunity to ask question(s) on any item(s) on the agenda will have three minutes to put their question(s) to the relevant Councillor. Members of the public will be allowed to ask one short supplementary question.
There were no public questions for consideration.
To receive and consider the report of the Director (Policy and Governance).
The Executive Member (Resources), Councillor Peter Wilson presented the report of the Director (Policy and Governance) seeking approval for the refresh of the Corporate Strategy 2019/20 – 2021/22.
The Corporate Strategy for 2018/19 reinforced the council’s direction of travel with an emphasis on housing, delivering better services for residents across the borough and a more commercial approach to support the longer-term sustainability of council services.
The strategy successfully progressed large high-profile projects through to the final stages of delivery or completion including the extension to Market Walk, construction of Strawberry Fields Digital Office Park and the Primrose Gardens Retirement Village.
As well as delivering major new developments, activity in 2018/19 further contributed to the long-term outcomes identified in the Corporate Strategy by improving facilities for local communities.
For 2019/20-20/21, the Corporate Strategy vision, priorities and long-term outcomes stay the same to maintain the long-term impact of strategic activity and investment. This year, in recognition of the critical importance of the green agenda, the Corporate Strategy reflects the commitment of the council to supporting and enabling residents to be more environmentally conscious and leading the way as an organisation. Activity in 2019/20 will ensure that environmental considerations cut across all aspects of council business.
The following projects are included within the Corporate Strategy:
Involving residents in improving their local area and equality of access for all
· Undertake renovation works at Astley Hall
· Refresh the council’s website
· Deliver a programme of community resilience building work
Clean, safe and healthy homes and communities
· Progress improvements to Tatton recreation ground and surrounding area
· Improve play and community spaces across the borough
· Implement the Housing Strategy action plan
A strong local economy
· Bring forward employment land at Alker Lane
· Deliver improvements to the town centre
· Develop the business plan for the wholly owned company
An ambitious council that does more to meet the needs of residents and the local area
· Deliver shared council services
· Make our borough cleaner and more attractive including wildflower meadows
· Work with our partners to deliver sustainable public services
· Deliver a project to support Chorley Councils commitment to the green agenda
The strategy includes 28 performance indicators that will be measured and reported against in order to demonstrate success and progress towards achieving the priorities and long-term outcomes. All of the measures and targets have been reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain challenging to reflect council ambition.
Councillor Chris France arrived at 6.50pm.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Martin Boardman, expressed a view that the focus for the administration was the Town Centre rather than the villages and expressed concern at the debt incurred by the administration. He noted following a walk on Market Street, Fazakerly Street and Chapel Street that there were 27 empty retail units. Opposition Members queried the number of jobs created, if these were full or part time and value for money relating to the investments and borrowing made. Future provision of sixth form education within the Borough was queried and a lack of ... view the full minutes text for item 19.C.90
To receive and consider a report of the Conservative Group.
Councillor Martin Boardman, Leader of the Opposition, presented the Conservative Group’s Alternative Corporate Strategy.
The strategy is guided by five key themes, which are supported by eleven projects to deliver outcomes against each area through the core values of excellence, innovation and value for money.
· Appoint an environmental improvement officer
· Deliver a strategy to enable communities to improve their local areas
Economy and Education
· Set up a skills hub in Chorley
· Provide tailored support for businesses across the borough
· Work with young people to design diversionary projects and initiatives across the borough, with a focus in rural areas
· Develop a scheme to support vulnerable and elderly residents across the borough
· Establish a project to establish and promote Town Centre living to the young professional and student market
· Establish a house building company and use existing assets to meet local housing need
· Establish a new Sports Club Development Grant Programme
· Improve outdoor exercise facilities for all ages
· Undertake a boroughwide assessment of GPs, Community Health Care Services and Dental Practices
Members debated the Alternative Corporate Strategy including proposals for housing, working in partnership with health care providers and financial strategy.
The adoption of the Alternative Corporate Strategy as set out in the report, was moved as an amendment by the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Martin Boardman and seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Debra Platt. The vote was lost.
The substantive motion, as indicated in Agenda Item 5 and proposed by the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson and seconded by the Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley was then put to the vote.
The vote was carried, and it was therefore a Decision by majority - That the Corporate Strategy for 2019/20-2021/22 as submitted by the Director (Policy and Governance) be approved.
To receive and consider the report of the Director (Early Intervention and Support).
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the report of the Deputy Chief Executive seeking approval to adopt a revised joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will inform plan-making and planning decision across Central Lancashire.
The housing requirement is an integral part of plan-making and decisions regarding applications for development and it is a key issue for the new Central Lancashire Local Plan. The first MOU for Central Lancashire was prepared and adopted in 2017 following the publication of new housing evidence, namely the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).
The three Councils have commissioned Consultants to produce evidence which provides robust basis for a redistribution of the Central Lancashire annual housing requirement. The revised joint MOU has been updated to provide a renewed commitment by Preston, Chorley and South Ribble Councils to deliver the respective annual housing numbers, including committing to working in collaboration to monitor five-year housing land supply.
Members noted a letter, forwarded that afternoon by email, and the comments within it. This is a complex area and Chorley has delivered a high quantity of housing in recent years. Although each planning application has to be determined on its merits the MOU should protect the Borough from speculative developments.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Executive Member (Public Protection) Councillor Alistair Morwood seconded the unanimous Decision –
1. That the principles of the enclosed revised MOU are approved.
2. Final approval of the revised MOU (minor nonmaterial changes) be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Early Intervention in consultation with the Executive Member for Public Sector Reform and Economic Development.
3. The Council adopts the MOU upon formal approval by all three councils (in accordance with their respective scheme of delegation) and provisions be implemented for plan-making and decision-making purposes.
To receive and consider the report of the Director (Customer and Digital).
The Executive Member (Public Protection), Councillor Alistair Morwood, presented the report of the Director (Customer and Digital) seeking approval for revisions to the Council’s Revised Statement of Principles as required under the Gambling Act 2005.
The Gambling Act 2005 requires local authorities to produce a Statement of Principles which sets out the Councils approach to licensing premises under this Act and for this to be approved every three years. Consultation took place in August 2019 and there are no proposed amendments resulting from this.
The Statement provides clarity and guidance to licence holders on the principles to be applied by the Council when considering applications and compliance.
The Executive Member (Public Protection), Councillor Alistair Morwood proposed, and Councillor Matthew Lynch seconded the unanimous Decision – To adopt the revised Statement of Principles under the Gambling Act 2005 for the period 23 November 2019 to 22 November 2022.
To consider any changes to Committee appointments.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson seconded the Decision by majority - that the following appointments be approved:
1. To appoint Martin Smith as a new member of the Independent Remuneration Panel for a 3-year period.
2. To confirm Dennis Benson as Chair and Allan Jones as the third member of the Independent Remuneration Panel for a 3-year period.
3. To replace Councillor Gillian Sharples with Councillor Chris France on Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel.
4. To replace Councillor Steve Murfitt on Planning Committee with Councillor Gordon France.
5. To replace Councillor Gordon France as substitute on Planning Committee with Councillor Tony Gee.
Questions Asked under Council Procedure Rule 8
No questions were asked under Council Procedure Rule 8.
The enclosed Notice of Motion has been submitted by Councillor Steve Holgate.
Councillor Steve Holgate presented the following Motion submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.
a) That Chorley Council recognises the scale and urgency of the global challenge from climate change, as documented by the latest Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and declares a climate emergency;
b) That the Council welcomes the work of Overview and Scrutiny Task Group and requests that it reviews and recommends what further corporate approaches can be taken through Chorley Council to facilitate stronger Chorley wide action through collaboration at a strategic, community and individual level;
c) That all relevant outside organisation member representatives, Cabinet Members and senior officers work with partners, including individuals and community action groups across the borough to identify ways to make Chorley carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions;
d) That the Leader of the Council be requested to write to the Secretaries of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; Transport; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and Housing, Communities and Local Government calling for the creation, provision or devolution of powers and resources to make achievement of the 2030 target possible in Chorley; and
e) That the Chief executive be requested to update the Council before the end of February 2020 with the actions the Council has and will take to address this emergency.
Councillor Mark Clifford seconded the motion and spoke in support of it.
Councillor Matthew Lynch left the meeting at 7.30pm.
Councillor John Walker proposed an amendment to remove paragraphs d and e and this was seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Martin Boardman, but following debate the amendment was withdrawn.
Following debate, Members made the Decision by majority - that the motion be supported.
Exclusion of the Public and Press
To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act.
By Virtue of Paragraph 3: Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)
Information is not exempt if it is required to be registered under-
The Companies Act 1985
The Friendly Societies Act 1974
The Friendly Societies Act 1992
The Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978
The Building Societies Act 1986 (recorded in the public file of any building society, within the meaning of the Act)
The Charities Act 1993
Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992(a).
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson seconded the Decision – that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the disclosure of exempt information as defined by paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act.
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Business, Development and Growth.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the confidential report of the Director (Business, Development and Growth)
The report identifies the constraints associated with progressing the development and how these will be addressed. It also outlines the development options and the financial returns that can be delivered through development of the site.
Members noted that the site is a corporate priority site to provide a revenue to the Council and provide employment opportunities within Chorley.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Martin Boardman, expressed a preference for option 3 within the report.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson seconded the unanimous Decision –
1. That the land edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 is no longer required for the purposes for which it is held immediately before appropriation.
2. To appropriate under Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 the land edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 to planning purposes under Sections 226 and 227 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for industrial/commercial use.
3. To authorise the Director of Business, Development & Growth in consultation with the Chief Legal Officer to negotiate any compensation payable to the owners of Brookfield and Ingholme under Section 204 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 on application of Section 203 of the 2016 Act or outside the provisions of the 2016 Act and complete any necessary legal documentation to secure a release of the covenants from them.
4. To authorise the Director of Business, Development & Growth in consultation with the Chief Legal Officer to negotiate a deed of release of the covenants with BAE Systems, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, IEC Wigan Property Holdings Limited and any other third party for a nominal consideration subject to payment by the Council of reasonable surveyor and legal costs.
5. To acknowledge the preferred development option and financial implications to the Council, associated with bringing forward this development option.
6. To approve the allocation of funds, as set out in the report, dependant on the chosen preferred option for the proposed development.
7. To approve the delegation of the proposed scheme to be progressed to Executive Members, subject to further detailed design and financial modelling.
Whittle GP Surgery
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Business, Development and Support.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the confidential report of the Director (Business, Development and Growth).
The report updates Members on the progress on the Whittle GP surgery development and seeks approval for capital expenditure to progress asbestos removal, the demolition of the existing building and to undertake works to remove Japanese Knotweed that is currently present on site.
Officers have been requested to review the feasibility of incorporating some facilities for the Parish Council to be funded through their CIL pot.
Members noted that there will be a competitive tendering process for the main build and that the GP’s have been consulted on the proposals.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson seconded the Decision by majority –
1. To approve the budget to undertake the works to remove asbestos, demolish the existing building and undertake works to remove Japanese Knotweed that is currently present on site.
2. To acknowledge that Eric Wright Construction (EWC) have been appointed to progress the design, planning requirements, asbestos removal, demolition and Japanese Knotweed Removal. It is intended that the main build will be competitively tendered.
3. To acknowledge the current financial appraisal for the scheme and note that a further update on the financial model will be reported at the January/February 2020 Council, prior to the progress of any main build works.
4. To acknowledge that feasibility works are being undertaken to incorporate facilities for the Parish Council, either within the building or as a stand-alone facility on the site.