Venue: Members Room, County Hall, Matlock
Contact: Michelle Archer Email: Michelle.Archer@derbyshire.gov.uk
Note: Any member of the press or public who wish to attend this meeting should notify Democratic Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 10.00am on Tuesday 30 November 2021
To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors R Ashton, D Collins, S Hobson, N Hoy, J M Innes, T A Kemp, W Major, D Murphy and B Woods.
To receive declarations of interest (if any)
There were no declarations of interest.
Chairman of the County Council's announcements
Following comments received at the last meeting in respect of the Minutes and the recording of responses to questions, the Chairman reported that he had held meetings with the legal team to discuss issues raised regarding the content of minutes. The minutes of the meeting captured what happened within that meeting; therefore it had been confirmed that written responses should not be included in the minutes. They were, however, published on the Derbyshire County Council website and arrangements would be implemented whereby all members would be sent the relevant link by email after the meeting. In addition, officers were currently looking at ways to make the responses more prominent on the website for ease of public access.
Kate Evans (Head of Service, Derbyshire School Catering Service) and Jo Rinkevicius had been welcomed to the meeting by the Chairman. This was because Kate had been awarded the Best Use of Technology Award at the 2021 Foodservice Cateys. The Service won the award for their implementation of an IT management system which allowed the Service to meet the needs of the free school meal eligible and vulnerable families more efficiently during the pandemic. Congratulations had been given on achieving the award and continued thanks had been shared for the work that the team had been doing to provide excellent meals to the schools of Derbyshire.
Jo had been awarded the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Award at the 2021 LACA Awards for Excellence. During his internship Jo ran a food waste initiative across several Derbyshire primary and junior schools, in one school successfully reducing waste by 12%. He had since gone on to work within the catering team as a Business Services Administrator Level 3 Apprentice. Congratulations had been given on being awarded the accolade. The Chair had stated that it was wonderful to see the Apprenticeship Scheme producing such excellent members of staff.
Kate and Jo came forward to receive a presentation.
The Chairman also congratulated Paige McMahon who was unable to attend the meeting. Paige’s worked as a social worker and had been recognised when she became a finalist in the recent Leaving Care Service Social Worker Awards in the Social Worker of the Year category. Congratulations had been afforded to Paige who was unable to attend the meeting and Thanks had been were given to her Paige and all her colleagues for their continued commitment and dedication to the residents of Derbyshire.
The great work that had been carried out by the Council’s teams on the roads and highways during the recent storms and more recently with the snow were recognised.
The Chairman sadly announced the recent deaths of Councillors Eric Lancashire MBE and Kath Lauro.
Councillor’s paid tribute as appropriate and a minute’s silence was observed.
On the motion of Councillor T Ainsworth, duly seconded, it was
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 September 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Leader of the Council and Members' questions on the report
Councillor B Lewis shared thanks to the crews across the county who had helped out in the aftermath of Storm Arwen and the snow over the previous weekend. Thanks were also conveyed to the relevant teams from within Corporate Services who were out cutting down trees in the aftermath of the storm and had remained on standby for the entire period.
His thanks of course extended to the social workers who were out and about across the county supporting elderly and vulnerable in the treacherous and challenging conditions.
He reported that the Council was aware that there were residents still in High Peak who were without electricity. Calls to Electricity North West were being made to get that resolved as quickly as possible and particularly to liaise with the Local Resilience Forum further.
A few members had attended the Verges Conference on 30 November 2021, this was the Conference of green verges across the county and what could be done about managing them for biodiversity in the future. It had been held as a hybrid Conference, to talk about management techniques from across the UK. Some of them absolutely startling in the way that one, they could bring about a biodiversity recovery through the verge management processes, but also with the potential to reduce revenue spend as well into the future, so it really was a win if Derbyshire could get it right. The Verges Conference was a first step, nonetheless an important one and Derbyshire would be endeavouring to embed some of the practices and lessons learnt as quickly as possible.
It was reported that as Councillor NHoy was currently unwell she was not in attendance at the meeting and therefore residents who had submitted questions for her would receive a written response.
a) Question from Elizabeth Honeybell to Councillor N Hoy, Cabinet Member for Adult Care
Why is the council not allowing more residents at Goyt Valley House, New Mills when there are so many people waiting in hospital and blocking much needed hospital beds?
Councillor N Hoy would provide a written response as she was unwell and not in attendance at the meeting.
b) Question from David Ingham to Councillor S Spencer, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Budget
In response to a recent Freedom of Information Request (4-21) and following an Internal Review it was communicated that data relating to complaints made against senior officers may not be shared with the Advice and Support Team within HR and in turn not reported under any Freedom of Information Requests.
The Internal Review was requested following 3 known complaints made against senior officers within CCP not being reported within the data provided under this particular Freedom of Information Request.
A report relating to complaints and compliments presented to the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee on 20-10-21 included metric information associated with complaints made against council employees associated with behaviour and the use and storage of data – these were the grounds upon which the complaints had been made against the 3 senior officers.
On the basis of the response contained within the Internal Review the simple question I would like answering, as officers have not answered to date, is whether or not the 3 complaints associated with the Internal Review response to FOI 4/21 were included within the data and report presented to the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee – a report which is available to the public.
I know this has been an ongoing issue for some months. In answer to the specific request, in the final part of your question those figures were not included in the overall figures that were presented at that particular meeting and I would also say that those three particular instances were part of an employment process.
Mr Ingham asked the following supplementary question:
I am appreciative of the fact you have done that and taken on board the response. My request is obviously a question with regards to what the Council now proposes to do around that because that situation has resulted in an incorrect report being presented to the Governance Committee and it has under-represented the number of complaints.
The Council also has an issue in relation to the Freedom of Information request because currently at this moment in time the situation is that complaints regarding senior officers is unlikely to be included within any FOI. FOIs are initiated by members of the public to get reassurance as such of what is actually happening within Authorities. At the moment figures which would be ... view the full minutes text for item 80/21
To receive petitions (if any)
There were none received.
Councillor S Burfoot asked when answers to questions would be published on the website as a point of order that the Chairman responded to.
a) Question from Councillor S Burfoot to Councillor C Renwick, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment
Given the inevitable loss of millions of Ash trees on public owned land throughout the country, as a result of the dreadful Ash dieback disease, can the Council explain what measures are being taken to fell dead and dying Ash trees on our land and verges; and can we ensure we are in dialogue with all Local Government bodies in Derbyshire and that we are informing all neighbouring landowners with diseased Ash trees all of which are potentially in danger of falling onto roads and into rivers?
And can we make public our plans to handle this disease in the context of our biodiversity and climate change strategies?
Councillor C Renwick responded as follows:
Ash dieback will kill around 80% of ash trees across the UK. The effects will be staggering. It will potentially change our landscapes locally forever and threaten many species which rely on ash. I believe at least 40 plus insects rely alone on the ash trees and the cost of dealing with this will be in the millions locally and billions nationally.
Just by way of a quick background. Ash dieback is a fungal disease thought to have originated in Eastern Asia and imported into mainland Europe in the 1990s. It is a vascular wilt fungus that blocks the water transport vessels within the tree, firstly causing the leaves to die then lesions in the wood and bark leading to dieback of the twigs, branches and ultimately the whole tree.
The disease is usually fatal for most young ash trees and can kill saplings within one growing season. Larger mature ash with the infection are thought to be more tolerant or decline at a slower rate of several years. The rate of decline in individual trees is highly variable and may be affected by pre-disposing factors such as genetic variation, concurrent disease, pests and climate. Since 2018 there has been a marked increase in the rate of infection and decline.
Estimates for the number of trees in Derbyshire have been based on data from the Tree Council, the Forestry Commission and Derbyshire Lowland Biodiversity Action Plan. The data suggests there are about 8.6 million ash trees within woodlands or wide linear features in Derbyshire. This doesn’t include individual trees in hedgerows, fields or urban settings so therefore the total is probably estimated to be more in the region of 9 million.
In Derbyshire as a whole ash is the second most common tree after oak but in the limestone areas of this county, they are the more dominant species. Ash is the dominant tree in the woodlands of the limestone dales where it may comprise of up to 99% of tree cover. These limestone dales of Derbyshire and the Peak District contain the largest areas of ravine woodlands in Great Britain and are the best examples of this habitat in the UK and one of the most important areas in ... view the full minutes text for item 82/21
Ms Alexander left the room while this item was considered
Council gave consideration to a report that confirmed on 15 September 2021, Council had approved a new role of Managing Director to its structure. Council had also agreed that the role should be advertised internally and externally and appointed to through an open and competitive process, supported by an external recruitment partner.
As permitted within the Council’s constitution, an Appointment Panel consisting of Councillors Lewis, Spencer and Dixon had been formed to participate in the recruitment process and consequently the Panel had made recommendations to Council in respect of the appointment. The panel were supported in the recruitment and selection process by the Director of Organisation Development and Policy with Penna PLC awarded the contract as the external recruitment partner.
Details of the full recruitment process were contained in the report.
Following the recruitment and selection process, the Panel had agreed to recommend that Emma Alexander should be appointed as Managing Director with effect from 6 December 2021. Council agreed on 15 September 2021 that the Managing Director would fulfil the statutory role of Head of Paid Service upon taking up post.
Given the appointment of an internal candidate to the role of Managing Director, the role of Executive Director Corporate Services and Transformation would as a result become vacant. It had been proposed that this role was appointed to on a temporary basis to enable the Managing Director role to be implemented as soon as possible.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded, it was
1) Approve the appointment of Emma Alexander to the role of Managing Director, with the role formally designated as Head of Paid Service, with effect from 6 December 2021;
2) Authorise the Head of Paid Service to appoint to the role of Executive Director Corporate Services and Transformation on a temporary basis of no more than 6 months, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Appointments and Conditions of Service Committee, and approve the salary for the role at the bottom salary point of Grade 20, currently £117,869 per annum; and
3) Note the renaming of the former CCP department to the Corporate Services and Transformation department.
Council gave consideration to a report that presented both Council Plan performance and financial budget monitoring and forecast outturn data as at 30 June 2021.
The Performance Summary set out the progress the Council was making on delivering the Council Plan with a focus on the achievement of the Council Plan priorities.
The Revenue Budget Position and Financial Summary provided an overview of the Council’s overall budget position and forecast outturn as at 30 June 2021.
Appendices to the report summarised progress on Council Plan deliverables and the controllable budget position by Cabinet Member Portfolio for 2021-22 as at 30 June 2021. Further reports would be considered at Audit Committee and Council in accordance with the Budget Monitoring Policy and Financial Regulations.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded, it was
RESOLVED to note:
1) The update of Council Plan performance and the Revenue Budget position/forecast outturn for 2021-22 as at 30 June 2021 (Quarter 1); and
2) The position on General and Earmarked Reserves.
Council gave consideration to a report that confirmedthe terms of reference for the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee as outlined at Article 11 of the Constitution required the Chairman to provide an Annual Report to full Council. The report outlined the work done by the Committee over the last year and provided an indication of the work programme for the next municipal year.
The report of the Chairman of the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee had been attached at Appendix 2 to the report and was presented by Councillor R Flatley.
On the motion of Councillor R Flatley, duly seconded it was
RESOLVED to receive and note the report of the Chairman of the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee.
Council gave consideration to a report setting out proposed amendments to the Constitution that had been considered by the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee at its meeting on 20th October 2021 and the Committee resolved to recommend those amendments to Council. A copy of the report to the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee detailing the specific changes proposed had been included at Appendix B to the report.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded,
RESOLVED to approve the proposed amendments to the Constitution as set out in the report and as recommended by the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee.
Council gave consideration to a report which sought approval of the Youth Justice Plan prepared in accordance with Section 40 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.
Section 40 of the Crime and Disorder Act required the local partnership to produce an annual youth justice plan. It stipulated that the Local Authority, in consultation with the partner agencies, formulated and implemented an annual youth justice plan, setting out:
· how youth justice services in their area were to be provided and funded;
· how the youth offending service would be composed and funded, how it would operate, and what functions it would carry out.
The plan had been drawn up in conjunction with YOS strategic partners, in accordance with the detailed Youth Justice Board guidance and was submitted ahead of the Youth Justice Board deadline of 30th June.
The Youth Justice Plan was a plan required by legislation. It was also one of the plans making up the Policy Framework. As the Plan related to an executive function, it was formally approved by Cabinet on 9th September 2021. However, as part of the Policy Framework, it also required approval by full Council.
On the motion of Councillor J Patten, duly seconded, it was
1) Note that Cabinet had approved the Youth Justice Plan; and
2) Approve the Youth Justice Plan as part of the Policy Framework.
At the Annual Meeting of Council on 26 May 2021, Council approved the appointments to Committees including the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee. Council considered a report proposing changes to Committee membership and outside body representation which needed to be approved as detailed below:
· Councillor Stuart Swann be appointed as Chairman of the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee; and
· Councillor Robert Flatley be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee.
Cabinet appointments and portfolio responsibilities were determined by the Leader of the Council. Councillor Robert Flatley had replaced Councillor Nigel Gourlay as the Cabinet Support Member for Education and the Council had been notified of the following amendments to the County Council’s representative on the outside bodies associated with that position, which Council was requested to approve with immediate effect:
· Councillor Robert Flatley to be the County Council’s representative on the Derbyshire Information Advice and Support Service for SEND;
· Councillor Robert Flatley to be the County Council’s representative on the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Education Trust (Trustee);
· Councillor David Muller to be the County Council’s representative on Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust Foundation Trust Partner Governor.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded, it was
RESOLVED, that with effect from 2 December 2021, to:
1) Approve the appointment of Councillor Stuart Swann as the Chair of the Governance, Ethics and Standards Committee and Councillor Robert Flatley as Vice-chair; and
2) Note the change to the Cabinet Support Member for Education and agree that Councillor Gourlay is replaced by Councillor Robert Flatley as the County Council’s representative on the Derbyshire Information Advice and Support Service for SEND and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Education Trust (Trustee); and Councillor David Muller as the County Council’s representative on Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust Foundation Trust Partner Governor.
To seek approval to appoint Peter Clay and
Peter Clifford to the Independent Remuneration Panel from 2
December 2021 for a period of 4 years.
Council gave consideration to a report outlining that the Derbyshire County Council Independent Remuneration Panel comprised of five members, none of whom were members of the Council or any of its committees, nor an employee of the Council. Panel members were appointed for a period of four years and no member may serve for more than two terms of office of four years.
Members would recall that Council approved the proposal to recruit two members to the Panel on 24 March 2021 to fill two vacancies.
Following a public advertisement, interviews were held on 17 and 20 September 2021. Two of the three candidates interviewed were considered suitable for appointment to the Panel; namely Mr Peter Clay and Peter Clifford.
Satisfactory references had been received for both candidates and it had been proposed that Council approve their appointment to the Independent Remuneration Panel for an initial four-year term.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded, it was
RESOLVED to approve the appointment of Mr Peter Clay and Mr Peter Clifford to the Independent Remuneration Panel for a four-year period from 2 December 2021.
Council gave consideration to a report setting out that under the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, before the Council makes a key decision certain information needs to be published 28 clear days in advance. This was usually known as the ‘Forward Plan’. The Regulations recognised that in the case of urgent decisions, this was not possible.
The Regulations required a report to Council at least once a year detailing each key decision taken where it had been agreed that the special urgency provisions applied. The Access to Information Procedure Rules included in Appendix 6 to the Constitution required the report to be submitted on a quarterly basis to full Council.
In accordance with the above requirement, Appendix 2 of the report set out the key decisions taken where special urgency provisions were agreed since the last report to Council.
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded,
RESOLVED to note:
1) The key decisions taken where special urgency provisions were agreed as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report; and
2) The urgent decisions taken where the call-in procedure was waived under the Improvement and Scrutiny Procedure Rules as detailed at Appendix 3 to the report
A short adjournment took place between 4:04 and 4:10 pm.
Council considered the Motions of which due notice had been given, as set out below:
Motion proposed by Councillor E Fordham, which was duly seconded:
Enhancing the Peak District National Park. This Council notes:
1. The 90th anniversary of the mass trespass of Kinder Scout on 24th April 1932
2. That the Peak District National Park - itself 70 this year - was the first created in the UK following the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act in 1949
3. That the Peak District National Park Authority is a valued partner to the County Council and provides focus and function to the work of preserving and enhancing our environment
4. The publication of The Glover Report entitled Landscapes Review: National Parks and AONBs, and its significance for Derbyshire and our economy
This Council resolves:
1. To set up a cross Party Working Group comprising the Leaders of all political groups or their nominated representative, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure & Environment and the Chairs of the Improvement and Scrutiny Committees – Places, and Climate Change, Biodiversity and Carbon Reduction:
2. To engage with the Landscapes Review with the following principles:
a. Honestly reflecting our opinion in respect of the service the National Park Authority has provided
b. To consider carefully the new and enhanced powers being proposed
c. That this is a good time to seek views within Derbyshire on the Park Authority and its role and powers
d. To reflect positively on what will work best for the future for the Peak District, the people who live and work there, and the assorted local government authorities
After discussion Councillor Fordham agreed that this motion should not be put to the vote and be resubmitted at a later point in time where it would be more appropriate.
Motion proposed by Councillor T King, which was duly seconded:
Derbyshire County Council
· the efforts that this Council has made over the last four years or so to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy;
· the success of the Council’s Green Entrepreneurs Fund in, amongst other things, encouraging community energy schemes and in enabling communities to potentially move towards self-sufficiency in supplying their own energy needs via ‘green’ methods;
· renewable energy installations will gain the support of local residents and other stakeholders when appropriately located and deliver genuine benefits to the communities they serve.
(ii) Further recognises
· that large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being near impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,
· that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation could create opportunities for local companies, community groups, and Councils, where supported by local residents, to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, if they wished, and
· that revenues received by such local ... view the full minutes text for item 91/21