Agenda and minutes

Venue: Zoom / YouTube

Contact: Alison James, Peter Thompson  Senior Committee Services officer

Items
No. Item

14.

Mayor's Communications

The Civic Mayor to make any appropriate announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded the Council of the recent death of former Mayor and Freeman of the Borough Alan Whitehead who passed in July 2020. Members of the Council observed a period of silence in honour of his memory.

15.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

16.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Beswick, Councillor Cocks, Councillor Farnell, Councillor Hornby, Councillor McCarthy and Councillor Nickson

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To authorise the signing of the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 July and 2 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 Resolved:

That the minutes of the meetings of Council held 15th July and 2nd September 2020 be approved and signed by the Mayor as correct records.

18.

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:

There were no submitted questions or petitions.

19.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To consider Motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.

 

a)    Birthing Unit

To be moved by Councillor Rana, seconded by Councillor Zaheer

 

Since the closure of the local Maternity Ward mothers from Rochdale have had to travel to Oldham or to North Manchester to give birth unless they opt for a home-birth. Home births are not a viable option for every family. This Council calls for the establishment of a one-bed Midwife-led Birthing Unit in Rochdale to enable a new generation of children to be born in Rochdale.   A Midwife-led Birthing Unit for uncomplicated births would meet the needs of the community and go some way towards ensuring that most Rochdale women can give birth in their home town. This model has already been adopted successfully at Ingleside in Salford.

 

b)   Recover, Retrain, Rebuild

To be moved by Councillor O’Rourke, seconded by Councillor Burke

 

The Council notes the scheme announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24/09/2020 whereby the Job Retention Scheme in place since March 2020 and October 2020, where the Government covered 80% of wages if workers could not work due to Covid-19 will cease, and a new scheme where 22% of wages will be covered as long as at least one third of normal hours are worked.

 

The Council believes that while the Job Retention Scheme was a historic investment of taxpayers' money to avert widespread job losses, this massive, unprecedented investment will, essentially, go to waste as millions of people, including thousands in the Borough of Rochdale, who have suffered throughout the Covid-19 crisis, now face the very real prospect of unemployment as their jobs are not viable to return to at this moment in time under Covid-19.

 

This Council believes we need a strategy that focuses on recovering jobs, retraining workers and rebuilding our country. This strategy must involve:

1)    A job Recovery Scheme that allows staff to work reduced hours, with the Government subsidising a proportion of wages for the rest of the week. The scheme should be designed to reward companies who bring back more workers part-time, rather than bringing some back full-time and letting others go.

2)    A nationwide Retraining Strategy for the unemployed and those facing unemployment. This strategy must help those whose hours have been cut to increase their skills to retrain, and enable people who have lost jobs to transition into new work.

3)    A business Rebuilding Scheme which must give businesses, who have taken advantage of Government loan schemes, the payments for which start in March, the confidence and security that they will be able to continue operating past March 2021, or else a whole new set of businesses and workers may well be pushed back underneath then.  The Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to revisit their scheme, work with business and trade unions and create one that will help our towns, borough and country recover, retrain and rebuild.

 

c)    Council contacts  ...  view the full agenda text for item 19.

Minutes:

Birthing Unit

a.    It was moved by Councillor Rana and seconded by Councillor Zaheer that:

 

“This Council warmly congratulates the Pennine Acute Trust for listening to local residents and agreeing to set up a birthing centre at the Rochdale Infirmary. 

The Council further congratulates the Friends of Rochdale Maternity Care for leading the campaign to return maternity services to the borough. 

The midwife-led birthing centre is expected to open soon and will be important facility for expectant mothers who do not have the space or privacy for a home birth. 

The Council supports continued investment in NHS maternity services to provide the most expert and safest care for mothers and babies during childbirth. However it also recognises the need to provide local facilities for uncomplicated births for those mothers who would like to give birth at home but are unable to do so
.”

 

On being put the vote, the motion was carried and it was RESOLVED accordingly.

 

Recover, Retrain, Rebuild

b.    It was moved by Councillor O’Rourke and seconded by Councillor Burke that:

 

“This Council notes the scheme announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24/09/2020 whereby the Job Retention Scheme in place since March 2020 and October 2020, where the Government covered 80% of wages if workers could not work due to Covid-19 will cease, and a new scheme where 22% of wages will be covered as long as at least one third of normal hours are worked.

 

The Council believes that while the Job Retention Scheme was a historic investment of taxpayers' money to avert widespread job losses, this massive, unprecedented investment will, essentially, go to waste as millions of people, including thousands in the Borough of Rochdale, who have suffered throughout the Covid-19 crisis, now face the very real prospect of unemployment as their jobs are not viable to return to at this moment in time under Covid-19.

 

This Council believes that we need a strategy that focuses on recovering jobs, retraining workers and rebuilding our country. This strategy must involve:

1)    A job Recovery Scheme that allows staff to work reduced hours, with the Government subsidising a proportion of wages for the rest of the week. The scheme should be designed to reward companies who bring back more workers part-time, rather than bringing some back full-time and letting others go.

2)    A nationwide Retraining Strategy for the unemployed and those facing unemployment. This strategy must help those whose hours have been cut to increase their skills to retrain, and enable people who have lost jobs to transition into new work.

3)    A business Rebuilding Scheme which must give businesses, who have taken advantage of Government loan schemes, the payments for which start in March, the confidence and security that they will be able to continue operating past March 2021, or else a whole new set of businesses and workers may well be pushed back underneath then.  The Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Non-attendance at meetings pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the attached report seeking approval to temporarily waive the requirements of the 1972 Local Government Act.

Minutes:

The Council was requested to consider and authorise an absence from attendance at meetings in accordance with S85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The Council was advised that where a member is unable to attend any meeting of the authority for a period of six consecutive months following the date of their last attendance, they automatically cease to be a member of the authority, unless Council has resolved to approve a reason for an extended absence.

 

Resolved:

That having regard to the circumstances of the absence of Councillors Farnell and Hornby from Council meetings, Council agrees to waive the requirements of Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972, within the Municipal Year, or until as such time as the Council is able to hold meetings in person, suitable equipment is sourced for the Members, or the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 revoked.

21.

Overview and Scrutiny - Annual Report 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To receive the annual report 2019/2020 of the Council’s three Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/2020.

 

Resolved:

That the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2019/2020 be noted.

22.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider the attached annual report of the Audit and Governance Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2019/2020.

 

Resolved:

That the Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2019/2020 be noted.

23.

Special Urgency decisions pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To receive notification of decisions taken under special urgency provisoins.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report which detailed executive decisions taken under special urgency provision, by the Chief Executive between February and October 2020. 

 

The Chief Executive had taken special urgent decisions, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution, in consultation with Portfolio Holders and the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chair. Decisions taken during this period were as a result of the limitations for Cabinet and other bodies to meet due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Resolved:

That the report be noted.

24.

Appointment of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the attached rport seeking approval for the appointment of a Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Council was informed that the Authority’s Monitoring Officer would be retiring at the end of December 2020. The Council was required to appoint an appropriate Officer to discharge the statutory functions associated with the position of Monitoring Officer, pursuant to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. A recruitment process to identify a successor had taken place during September and October 2020 and a preferred candidate was identified.

 

Resolved:

That Mr. Asif Ibrahim be appointed as the Council’s Monitoring Officer, in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, with effect from 1st January 2021.