Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Rochdale Town Hall

Contact: Elaine Newsome  01706 924793

Items
No. Item

59.

Mayor's Announcements

60.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 27 KB

    Members are requested to indicate at this stage any items on the agenda in which they intend to declare an interest.  Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Council's adopted Code of Conduct, they must declare the nature of any personal or discloseable pecuniary interest required of them and, in the case of any discloseable pecuniary interest, withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item, unless permitted otherwise within the Code of Conduct.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the following declarations of interest be noted:-

     

    Councillors Brosnan, Wardle and Donna Williams declared personal and prejudicial interests in Agenda Item 6 – Council Tax Discount for Foster Carers and Care Leavers and left the room during consideration of the item.

     

    The Chief Executive declared personal and prejudicial interests in Agenda Item 10 – Appointment of Local Returning Officer for GMCA Mayoral Election and left the room during consideration of the item.

     

61.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

62.

Public Questions and Petitions

    To receive petitions and questions from members of the public, where these have been received in accordance with the Petitions Scheme and/or Council Procedure Rules.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Council notes the four questions submitted by members of the public and the response provided by the Leader.

     

63.

Notices of Motion

64.

Greater Manchester Spatial Strategy

    To be moved by Councillor            Howard and seconded by Councillor Holly:-

     

    That this Council takes on board the concerns of local communities regarding the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the identification of greenbelt land across the Borough for future development.   This Council further requests that the Leader of the Council gives his commitment to protecting greenbelt land and raises the Council’s concerns with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as a priority.

    Minutes:

    It was moved by Councillor Howard and seconded by Councillor Winkler that:

     

    “That this Council takes on board the concerns of local communities regarding the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the identification of greenbelt land across the Borough for future development.   This Council further requests that the Leader of the Council gives his commitment to protecting greenbelt land and raises the Council’s concerns with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as a priority.”

     

    An amendment to the Motion was moved by Councillor Farnell and seconded by Councillor Robinson such that the Motion be approved subject to the deletion of all words after “across the Borough for future development” and the inclusion of

     

    “Rochdale Council supports the policy of prioritising building on brownfield sites and would only support development in the greenbelt where absolutely necessary to meet our needs.

     

    The consultation responses to the framework will be carefully considered and it will be reviewed in light of those responses.

     

    Rochdale is the greenest borough in Greater Manchester. 63 per cent is greenbelt - and even under the current draft proposals it will still be 58 per cent in 20 years’ time.

     

    The Council supports the aims of the Spatial Framework to provide the space for Rochdale to grow and prosper over the next two decades. Wherever possible we will prioritise building in the urban area.

     

    But we need to build thousands of new homes and land for new businesses to provide the jobs that future generations will need.

     

    That will mean making tough choices. The Northern Economic Gateway – which will transform our economic fortunes by helping create 19,000 new jobs – cannot be delivered without expanding into the greenbelt.

     

    We are also looking to add land to the greenbelt.

     

    We will continue to listen to residents and we are committed to striking the right balance between protecting our countryside and providing the homes and jobs to secure the long term growth and prosperity for all residents of our borough”.

     

    Upon being put to the vote, the amendment was declared to be carried.

     

    On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was declared to be carried and it was RESOLVED accordingly.

     

65.

National Funding Formula for Schools

    To be moved by Councillor Martin and seconded by Councillor Heakin

     

    This council condemns the new National Funding Formula for schools and the real term reduction including the impact of inflation which will mean the borough's secondary schools will lose over £7M. This is in addition to the £400,000 of additional costs schools across the North West  have had to meet which have been unfunded by the Government. Our primary schools will lose over £8M when the new scheme is introduced over the period to 2019/20.

     

    We call on the Secretary of State for Education to scrap the plans which will have a devastating impact on our schools and children's education.

     

    It will mean fewer teachers, fewer teaching assistants, fewer GCSE options and fewer chances for our children to experience extra-curricular activities so vital for a well-rounded education.

     

    Rochdale's schools have done a fantastic job in recent years in driving up standards and improving examination results. This will be put at risk by these unfair and unacceptable cuts in government funding to our schools.

     

    Rochdale Council supports the campaign by Rochdale's head teachers against these damaging government cuts and requests the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education expressing our grave concerns at the impact the new National Funding Formula will have on our schools; and demanding the plans be scrapped.

    Minutes:

    It was Moved by Councillor Martin and Seconded by Councillor Heakin that:

     

    “This council condemns the new National Funding Formula for schools and the real term reduction including the impact of inflation which will mean the borough's secondary schools will lose over £7M. This is in addition to the £400,000 of additional costs schools across the North West  have had to meet which have been unfunded by the Government. Our primary schools will lose over £8M when the new scheme is introduced over the period to 2019/20.

     

    We call on the Secretary of State for Education to scrap the plans which will have a devastating impact on our schools and children's education.

     

    It will mean fewer teachers, fewer teaching assistants, fewer GCSE options and fewer chances for our children to experience extra-curricular activities so vital for a well-rounded education.

     

    Rochdale's schools have done a fantastic job in recent years in driving up standards and improving examination results. This will be put at risk by these unfair and unacceptable cuts in government funding to our schools.

     

    Rochdale Council supports the campaign by Rochdale's head teachers against these damaging government cuts and requests the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education expressing our grave concerns at the impact the new National Funding Formula will have on our schools; and demanding the plans be scrapped.”

     

    An amendment to the Motion was moved by Councillor Sullivan and seconded by Councillor Dearnley such that the Motion be approved subject to the deletion of the words “scrap the plans which will have a devastating impact on our schools and children's education” and replace with “review in the light of feedback from schools and different educational institutions”.

     

    The amendment was accepted by the mover and seconder of the original motion and on being put to the vote, the motion, as amended, was declared to be carried and it was RESOLVED accordingly.

     

66.

Domestic Abuse Evidence Letters - Scrap the Fee

    To be moved by Councillor Emsley and seconded by Councillor Zaheer

     

    This Council notes:

     

    That domestic violence and abuse are criminal acts which are always unacceptable.

     

    That domestic abuse comes in many forms, including: coercive behaviour, psychological harm, financial control, and physical and sexual violence.

     

    That everyone has a duty to put a stop to domestic abuse and violence.

     

    That tackling domestic violence and abuse is a key priority for Rochdale Council, and that we will not tolerate it in our borough.

     

    That domestic violence in Rochdale has a huge social and economic cost: the 5832 incidents recorded in Rochdale in 2014 resulted in a cost of approximately £5.9 million.

     

    That local statistics show that domestic abuse incidents in the Borough where children are involved have increased by 20% between 2011/12 and 2014/15.

     

    That national statistics have not changed for decades. Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner. Over one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

     

    That Legal Aid is one lifeline for women in Rochdale fleeing domestic abuse. It helps them to protect themselves and their children, and to provide some financial security.

     

    That due to Government changes to the Legal Aid system, women must now provide an approved piece of evidence to prove they have been subject to abuse.

     

    That a key, recognised form of evidence is a letter from a GP, but that many GPs in Rochdale charge a fee (in some cases as much as £75) to produce that letter.

     

    This Council believes:

     

    That no GP should charge domestic abuse victims for a letter needed to access legal aid.

     

    This Council resolves:

     

    To support the Scrap the Fee campaign, which was first established by Tom Watson MP and which has since been adopted by Manchester City Council.

     

    To demand that the Government scrap this unfair charge, by bringing the service back under the NHS contract.

     

    To use its relationship with GPs (which has been consolidated through Health and Social Care Devolution) to bring about a ‘Rochdale GPs’ Pledge’: not to charge for legal aid evidence letters in cases of domestic abuse.

     

    To work with the Mayor of Greater Manchester to further highlight this campaign across other Greater Manchester local authorities. 

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.8, Councillor Emsley moved and Councillor Zaheer Seconded an altered motion that:

     

    This Council notes:

     

    That domestic violence and abuse are criminal acts which are always unacceptable.

     

    That domestic abuse comes in many forms, including: coercive behaviour, psychological harm, financial control, and physical and sexual violence.

     

    That everyone has a duty to put a stop to domestic abuse and violence.

     

    That tackling domestic violence and abuse is a key priority for Rochdale Council, and that we will not tolerate it in our borough.

     

    That domestic violence in Rochdale has a huge social and economic cost: the 5832 incidents recorded in Rochdale in 2014 resulted in a cost of approximately £5.9 million.

     

    That local statistics show that domestic abuse incidents in the Borough where children are involved have increased by 20% between 2011/12 and 2014/15.

     

    That national statistics have not changed for decades. Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner. Over one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

     

    That Legal Aid is one lifeline for victims in Rochdale fleeing domestic abuse. It helps them to protect themselves and their children, and to provide some financial security.

     

    That due to Government changes to the Legal Aid system; victims must now provide an approved piece of evidence to prove they have been subject to abuse.

     

    That a key, recognised form of evidence is a letter from a GP, but that many GPs in Rochdale charge a fee (in some cases as much as £75) to produce that letter.

     

    This Council believes:

     

    That no GP should charge domestic abuse victims for a letter needed to access legal aid.

     

    This Council resolves:

     

    To support the Scrap the Fee campaign, which was first established by Tom Watson MP and which has since been adopted by Manchester City Council.

     

    To demand that the Government scrap this unfair charge, by bringing the service back under the NHS contract.

     

    To use its relationship with GPs (which has been consolidated through Health and Social Care Devolution) to bring about a ‘Rochdale GPs’ Pledge’: not to charge for legal aid evidence letters in cases of domestic abuse.

     

    To work with the Mayor of Greater Manchester to further highlight this campaign across other Greater Manchester local authorities. 

     

    On being put to the vote, the motion as altered was declared to be carried and it was RESOLVED accordingly.

     

67.

Council Tax Discount for Foster Carers and Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 174 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendations of Cabinet in relation to the introduction of a Council Tax Discount for Foster Carers and Care Leavers, specifically:

     

               to provide 100% discount from the payment of council tax to new in-house foster carers, registered on or after 1 April 2017, who live in the Borough looking after children aged 13 to 17 years old (inclusive).

     

               to provide 100% discount from the payment of Council Tax to care leavers who live in the Borough aged 18, 19 and 20 years.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That the proposal to provide a 100% council tax discount to the Council’s in-house Foster Carers, who;

          amend their registration to care for teenagers (aged 13 to 17 inclusive)

          live in the Borough

          are recruited on or after 1 April 2017

          are looking after children aged 13 to 17 years (inclusive) be approved;

     

    2.    That an amendment to the council tax discretionary relief policy to include a Section 13A (Local Government Finance Act 1992) policy and procedure to include the discount to in-house foster carers, as detailed in Appendix A of the submitted report, be approved;

     

    3.    That the proposal to provide a 100% discount to care leavers aged 18, 19 and 20 years who live in the Borough from the payment of Council Tax be approved;

     

    4.    That the Discretionary Council Tax Discount Policy to be updated with a Section 13A (Local Government Finance Act 1992) to include the 100% discount to care leavers as detailed in Appendix B of the submitted report be approved.

     

     

68.

Revenue Budget 2017/18 - 2019/20 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer relating to the requirements under the Local Government Act 2003. The Council was required to consider the opinion of the Chief Finance Officer regarding the robustness of the budget as proposed and the adequacy of general balances and reserves prior to the setting of the budget.

     

    It was the opinion of the Chief Finance Officer that the proposed budget was robust and that the proposed level of general balances and reserves were adequate. An option to maintain or reduce the level of balances or reserves had not been recommended by the Chief Finance Officer given the risk assessment presented in the report, and this position had been endorsed by the Cabinet when agreeing that General Balances for 2017/18 be set at £12M.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the report be noted and the approach to general balances included in the report, including the setting of general balances at £12m for 2017/18, be endorsed.

     

69.

Budget Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered a report outlining the recommendations of the Cabinet in respect of the Revenue Budget, Capital Budget, Council Tax 2017/2018, Pay Policy, Treasury Management Strategy and Medium Term Financial Strategy.

     

    In moving the Motion and recommendations as presented in the submitted report of the Cabinet, the Leader informed the Council that in regard to recommendation 5, that the amount of £1,449.12, the Council tax base figure should read (53,025), not (52,114) as printed.

     

    An amendment to the motion was moved by Councillor Dearnley and seconded by Councillor Clegg such that

     

    “The Motion be agreed subject to the following amendment

     

     

    ITEM

    2017/18

    £k

     

    Additional Revenue Funding Requirements:

     

     

     

     

     

    To reduce the use of one off funding in 2017/18 thus reducing the  Budget Gap in 2018/19 (Ongoing)

    310.0

     

    To reduce the number of Pot Holes in our Local Roads (one year only)

    1,000.0

     

     

     

     

    Total Additional requirement

    1,310.0

     

    To be Funded by:

     

     

    Withdrawal of funding provided to Trade Unions – ongoing saving

    79.4

     

    To reflect the Leadership Team structure of the Council

    ·         Reduce the Portfolio Holders by 2 – ongoing saving

     

    ·         Reduce the respective 2 Assistant Portfolio Holders – ongoing saving

     

        29.9

     

    5.6

     

    Withdrawal of Assistant Portfolio Holders (remaining 7)

    9.8

     

    Capital Programme Reduction 10% on Prudential Borrowing to reflect the typical level of rephasing

    109.0

     

    Reduce the Communications Team by 1 FTE

    37.1

     

    Staff Uniforms

    13.0

     

    Councillor Teas – to be funded from allowances

    16.2

     

    Use of one off funding from reserves to balance the investment on pot holes

    1,000.0

     

    Total Additional Revenue Funding / Saving

    1,310.0

     

     

     

     

    Net Variance

    0.0

     

    Upon being put to the vote the amendment was declared to be lost.

     

    An amendment to the motion was moved by Councillor Kelly and seconded by Councillor Davidson such that

     

    “The Motion be agreed subject to the following amendment

     

     

    ITEM

    2017/18

    £k

     

    Additional Revenue Funding Requirements:

     

     

    To establish a Discretionary Council Tax Discount Policy to those in Bands A, B and C for a 1.99% reduction on Council Tax.

    1,000.0

     

    To increase spending on repairing pot-holes by an extra £500,000 - one off

    500.0

     

    To continue Community Group Subsidy to offer reduced room hire charges to community groups thereby reversing savings proposal NH 2017 343

    28.0

     

    Safeguard additional for CAMHS by removing savings proposal CS 2017 305

    350.0

     

    Safeguard Children’s Youth Offending Budget by removing savings proposal CS 2017 307

    80.0

     

    Safeguard Children’s Social Care Delivery by removing savings proposal CS 2017 306

    200.0

     

    Safeguard Edge of Care Provision Funding by removing savings proposals C 2017 – 340 & 018

    89.0

     

    Total Additional requirement             

    2,247.0

     

    To be Funded by:

     

     

    Remove all funding for Trade Union Officials

    79.4

     

    Remove all funding on catering for councillors

    16.2

     

    Stop the rise in Councillor’s Allowances and freeze allowances.

    173.0

     

    Management of agency spend to reduce overall spend by 20%, including more effective absence management.

    1,100.0

     

    Reduce communication tem structure by 2.5 posts

    92.8

     

    Remove all allowances for Assistant Portfolio Holders, 1 Deputy Leader and Leader of the Opposition.

    36.5

     

    Restructure the Council’s Cabinet – Reduce Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Options for Appointment of External Auditor pdf icon PDF 179 KB

71.

Appointment of Local Returning Officer for GMCA Mayoral Election pdf icon PDF 135 KB