Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Matlock. View directions
Contact: Alec Dubberley, Head of Democratic and Registration Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence (if any)
Apologies for Absence were received from Councillors Allen, Grooby, Hayes, Nelson, Parkinson, Wharmby and Woods.
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interest (if any)
The Chairman reported on the previous weeks’ National Apprenticeships week. Within the Council there were 325 employees, including schools, completing a wide range of apprenticeships at different academic levels, which equates to approximately 2% of the workforce.
The Chairman paid tribute to Helen Jones, who would be leaving her position as Executive Director for Adult Social Care and Health in early March. Unfortunately, Helen was unable to attend the meeting today, however a number of members spoke to thank Helen for the hard work, commitment and her support for the authority.
The Chairman referred with sadness to the upcoming anniversary which would mark a year of the war in Ukraine and the moment of silence to be held on Friday 24 February. The devastation and loss that the conflict had caused could not be accurately measured and neither could the loss of over 35,000 people in Turkey and Syria recently following the earthquake not the impact of the floods in New Zealand.
A period of silent reflection was observed.
The Chairman congratulated Pat Murray who was unable to receive his Alderman award in November 2022. Councillor David Wilson, current Civic Chairman, presented the award and members congratulated Mr Murray.
To confirm the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 30 November 2022.
On the motion of the Chairman, duly seconded, it was
That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2022 and the special meeting held on 30 November 2022 be confirmed as correct records.
Report of the Leader of the Council and Members' questions
To consider the report of the Council Leader and Members' questions on the report
The Leader of the Council paid a personal tribute to Helen Jones, Director of Adult Social Care and Health following the Chairman's announcement of her forthcoming departure from the authority.
The Leader then reported on the success of a recent visit from a Japanese delegation, Mayor Ota and Chairman Itagaki from Toyota to the region, visiting South Derbyshire, Derbyshire and Derby City for a number of days.
To consider public questions (if any)
“The current debate over the large-scale deployment of solar arrays on productive farmland requires a willingness to prioritise every other alternative site for solar PV first. That includes both Council owned buildings and land and also the increasing number of recently constructed commercial buildings in Derbyshire, including large logistics centres. Many of these have good connections to the National Grid. This council should encourage installation on commercial roofs by proactively identifying suitable premises and working with those businesses to raise their awareness of both the economic benefits to their business and the wider environmental benefits.
So, since this council was elected in 2017, how many solar panels has this council installed on its own estate and how many has it directly facilitated by working in partnership with Derbyshire businesses to identify opportunities for large scale installation of solar PV arrays on such buildings?”
Councillor Lewis responded as follows:
“The Council has an existing public target to generate 200,000 kW of electricity per annum including from solar panels on our own estate. A property directorate has recently identified proposals to generate up to 1 million kilowatt hours per annum and the 2023-24 capital programme contains costed plans to deliver the first 400,000 kW of this.
The Council has worked with businesses over a number of years providing general support and advice, building business plans to help manage costs and income and two schemes in particular have been delivered by Derbyshire County Council.
One of those was decarbonised which supported a range of low carbon energy measures in premises but specifically targeting that at 24 Small to Medium Size Enterprises who received funding totalling £274,871 of solar PVs with predicted carbon savings of 285.2 tonnes of CO2 per year.
We also, you are probably already aware of this, but we have the current Green Entrepreneurs Fund that has so far supported seven businesses. We have relaxed the rules around that so that we can support businesses, particularly through the current cost of living crisis which is also impacting on significant numbers of SMEs out in Derbyshire for solar PV decarbonisation projects, supporting with £120,000 of that. Within that there is a pipeline for a further £125,000 worth of submissions that have been invited to full application. That was part of a £2m scheme that we announced some years ago. We have committed to a further £10m scheme as well to help support that across the county.
I can assure you that we are committed to working with our own estate and existing businesses and that there is no policy in place to promote solar farms on high quality agricultural land. I will come back to that point in a minute. To that end this Council published a Renewable Energy Strategy in November of last year and this set out the right type and scale of renewable energy to be delivered in the right ... view the full minutes text for item 6/23
To receive petitions (if any)
The Interim Director of Finance and ICT introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that provided an update of Council Plan performance and the Revenue Budget/forecast outturn for 2022-23, as at 30 September 2022 (Quarter 2).
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded, it was
1) Note the update of Council Plan performance and the Revenue Budget position/forecast outturn for 2022-23 as at 30 September 2022 (Quarter 2); and
2) Note the position on General and Earmarked Reserves.
The Interim Director of Finance and ICT introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that provided details of the current and forecast positions for both General and Earmarked Reserves and the updated Reserves Policy.
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded it was
1) Note the current position on Earmarked Reserves;
2) Note the details of the amounts to be released from Earmarked Reserves balances;
3) Note the allocation of £11.913m Earmarked Reserves released to the Budget Management Earmarked Reserve; and
4) Note the updated Reserves Policy at Appendix Five to the report.
The Interim Director of Finance and ICT introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, presenting the results of budget consultation exercises designed to assist Members in the formulation of budgetary proposals for 2023-24.
The following additional information not contained within the report was reported to the meeting.
· There is one consultation which is statutory and therefore has to be undertaken, this is with the business ratepayers and a response from the East Midlands Chamber has suggested several things.
· The first was to highlight concerns for businesses of the business rate calculations stating that the current method is no longer fit for purpose. They then went on to state concerns of business failures as inflation pressures continued.
· In terms of the proposed Council Tax increase, whilst understood, they considered that it would put additional pressure on households at a time when many are already struggling.
· Finally, they noted the importance of the capital programme projects as being essential to improving productivity across Derbyshire.
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded, it was:
To note the views of the consultation respondents regarding the Revenue Budget for 2023-24.
The Interim Director of Finance and ICT introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting. proposing the Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2023-24.
The following additional information was reported at the meeting:
· The final Local Government Finance Settlement had been announced on the 6 February which was too late for the details to be included in the report presented to this meeting. It confirmed details announced in December as part of the provisional settlement. However, the Government had announced a surplus on centralised business rates and as a result additional one-off funding had been made available to Derbyshire of just under £1m. The funding would be utilised to manage any uncertainties the Council had in-year and must only be used for one-off expenditure.
· In terms of Council Tax, the Council had the option to go for an increase of up to 5% in 2023-24 and those details were set out and confirmed as part of the provisional settlement for local authorities. That is made up of 3% for general expenditure and 2% for the Adult Social Care precept.
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded and in accordance with the Local Authority (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 a recorded vote was taken as follows:
For the motion:
Councillors Ainsworth, Ashton, Athwal, Atkin, Barron, Bull, Cupit, A Dale, Flatley, Ford, A Foster, M Foster, Gibson, Gourlay, Hart, Hickton, Hobson, Hoy, Iliffe, Kemp, King, Lewis, Major, Muller, Moss, Musson, Murphy, Patten, Redfern, Renwick, Siddle, Smith, Spencer, Sutton, Swann, Taylor, Wilson and Woolley.
Against the motion:
Councillors Bingham, Burfoot, Fordham, Kinsella, Niblock and Rose.
Councillors Bryan, Clarke, Collins, C Dale, Dixon, George, Gillott, Greenhalgh, Innes, Mihaly, Ramsey and Yates.
1) Note the details of the Autumn Statement 2022 and Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement as outlined in sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the report;
2) Note the Government’s expectations about Council Tax levels for 2023-24 in section 4.5 of the report;
3) Approve the precepts as outlined in section 4.5 and Appendix four of the report;
4) Approve that billing authorities are informed of Council Tax levels arising from the budget proposals as outlined in section 4.5 and Appendix four of the report;
5) Approve the contingency to cover non-standard inflation as outlined in section 4.7 of the report. The contingency to be allocated by the Interim Director of Finance and ICT, as Section 151 Officer, once non-standard inflation has been agreed;
6) Approve the service pressure items identified in section4.8 and Appendix four of the report;
7) Approve the level and allocation of budget savings as outlined in section 4.9 and Appendix six of the report;
8) Note the comments of the Interim Director of Finance and ICT, as Section 151 Officer, about the robustness of the estimates and adequacy of the reserves as outlined in section 4.10 of the report;
9) Note the details of the Council’s consultation activity as outlined in section 5 of the report;
10) Approve the ... view the full minutes text for item 11/23
The Interim Director of Finance and ICT introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that’s ought approval for proposals relating to the Capital Starts Programme for 2023-24 and the Treasury Management, Investment and Capital Strategies.
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded, it was
1) Approve the new Capital Starts Programme for 2023-24 as set out in Appendix two of the report and approves the procurement and award of contracts which support the delivery of the Capital Programme. All contract awards will then be subject to approval by Executive Directors (via an Executive Director Report) under the relevant Departmental Scheme of Delegation.
2) Approve the detailed Planned Maintenance Programme for 2023-24 as set out in Appendix three of the report;
3) Adopt the Treasury Management Strategy for 2023-24 as set out in Appendix four of the report;
4) Adopt the Investment Strategy for 2023-24 as set out in Appendix five of the report; and
5) Adopt the Capital Strategy for 2023-24 as set out in Appendix six to the report.
The Executive Director of Place introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that sought approval of the Derbyshire and Derby Pre-submission raft Minerals Local Plan that was attached to the report at Appendix 2.
On the motion of Councillor C Renwick, duly seconded, it was
To approve the Derbyshire and Derby Pre-submission Draft Minerals Local Plan attached at Appendix 2 to the report to enable it to be :-
a) Published together with the relevant background papers listed in the report as the proposed submission documents for the joint minerals local plan for Derbyshire and Derby for the period up to 2038, in accordance with regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)(England) Regulations 2012; and
b) Used together with those papers for public consultation in accordance with regulations 19 and 35 with a period for making representations of eight weeks.
The Managing Director introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that informed Full Council about the Derbyshire Electoral Division Boundary Review and, in line with the first stage of the process, determine the Council Size for the Authority, to be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).
On the motion of Councillor B Lewis, duly seconded, it was
1) Approve the draft Council Size submission document attached at Appendix 7 to the report for consideration by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, approving proposals for a continued Council Size of 64;
2) Make a formal request to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England for a single member division review, as part of subsequent phases of the Electoral Boundary Review process to increase parity and make accountability clearer;
3) Note the indicative timescale for undertaking the key Phases of the Electoral Boundary Review 2024, as set out in the report; and
4) Make a formal request to the Local Boundary Commission for England recommending that the start of the Phase 2 consultation period be delayed to take into account local District and Borough Council elections which are taking place at the same time.
To note the appointment to the role of
Director of Finance and ICT and the officer having responsibility
for the purposes of section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972
for the administration of the authority's financial affairs.
The Executive Director of Corporate Services and Transformation introduced a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, that asked the Council to note the appointment of Mark Kenyon to the role of Director of Finance and ICT and the officer having responsibility for the purposes of section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 for the administration of the authority’s financial affairs.
On the motion of Councillor S Spencer, duly seconded, it was
1) To note the appointment of Mark Kenyon to the role of Director of Finance and ICT and the officer having responsibility for the purposes of section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 for the administration of the authority’s financial affairs; and
2) To note that Paul Stone has been appointed on an interim basis as the Director of finance and ICT and the officer having responsibility for the purposes of section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 for the administration of the authority’s financial affairs.
To consider questions submitted by Elected Members
1. Question from Councillor E Fordham to Councillor C Hart, Cabinet Member for Health and Communities
“How many residents have been referred to the Keeping Warm in Winter scheme over recent years, how many of those applications have been approved, how many have been rejected and how many more referrals does the Council forecast to receive?”
"I would have liked to have been able to give you the information requested but I am afraid that we do not have a scheme at DCC called Keeping Warm in Winter, there is a Keep Warm, Keep Well booklet but that is only a booklet offering advice and not grants."
2. Question from Councillor E Fordham to Councillor A Dale, Cabinet Member for Education
“How many children have been in receipt of free school meals over the last 5 years?”
“Between 2017 and 2022 a range of 11,010 to 19,905 children have been in receipt of Free School Meals. These figures obviously do not include Universal Infant Free School Meals which are an entirely separate datapoint.”
3. Question from Councillor E Fordham to Councillor K Athwal, Cabinet Highways, Assets and Transport
“How people in Derbyshire have lost their lives to suicide and will it commit to working with other agencies to ensure that roads, railways, bridges, and other buildings are better designed with suicide prevention measures actively in place?”
Due to time constraints, Councillor Fordham requested a written response which was as follows:
"In Derbyshire, 87 deaths were recorded from suicide or unknown injuries for 2020, the latest year for which published figures are available. (Source: Primary Care Mortality Database). And yes, we are already working with a number of agencies including The Derbyshire Self-harm and Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum, which is driven by Derbyshire County Council Public Health, and leads a multi-agency strategic approach to suicide prevention. Much of the focus is about supporting those who may be at a higher risk for suicide.
4. Question from Councillor E Fordham to Councillor C Hart, Cabinet Member for Health and Communities
“Will the Council consider the creation of Drug Consumption Rooms across Derbyshire as a means of harm reduction, for the promotion of conversations between hard-to-reach drug users and health professionals, and to better protect the public from drug related detritus? And will it note that this approach works in countries such as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and has been trialled in Scotland with evidence indicating success.”
Councillor Hart responded as follows:
“I am afraid I have to say no to your request that we consider the creation of drug consumption rooms across Derbyshire. The reason is very straightforward. The Home Office have confirmed on numerous occasions there is no legal framework for drug consumption rooms and anyone setting one up and running one could be liable for prosecution so therefore we ... view the full minutes text for item 16/23
Councillor G Kinsella proposed a motion that was duly seconded, in the following terms:
“That Council asks Council officers to explore options to:
1. Ensure that food provided at all council catered events and meetings is entirely plant-based, preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organisations.
2. Ensure that the County Council’s school meals services have plant-based menus available as part of their regular offer on at least one day per week.
3. Invite schools to sign up to Meat Free Mondays, along with the other 3,000 schools in the UK.
4. Work on outreach to schools and young people to actively influence and inform of food choices and their impact on the environment, health and animal welfare. Encourage and empower students to make informed decisions about the food available in their school.
5. Inspire, promote and support initiatives surrounding food growing, preparation and waste avoidance, especially as part of school and community projects.
6. Recognise the benefit of sourcing food locally from producers who follow sustainable principles.
7. Use County Council Civic events to promote and showcase plant-based food options, alongside displayed information about the climate benefits and relative cost of different protein/food sources.
8. Ensure at catered County Council events most of the food options are plant based.
9. Secure through a contract specification when re-tendering for suppliers that plant-based food and drink options are to be available at County Council food outlets/events.
10. Review the Climate Change Strategy (2021-25) action plan to include actions leading to an increase in plant based dietary options.
11. Report back to Improvement and Scrutiny – Climate Change, Biodiversity and Carbon Reduction within the next six months providing an update on progress.
Following debate, the motion was duly voted on and declared to be LOST.