Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Alison James, Peter Thompson  Senior Committee Services officer

Media

Items
No. Item

25.

Mayor's Communications

The Civic Mayor to make any appropriate announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Council that this would be the last meeting of Council attended by Sally McIvor, Director of Commissioning and David Wilcock, Monitoring Officer prior to their forthcoming retirements from the Council.

 

The Mayor and Members of Council placed on record their thanks to Ms McIvor and Mr Wilcock for their service and dedication and commitment to Rochdale and the Council.

26.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ali Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Dearnley, Farnell, Hornby, Mir, McCarthy, Nickson, Nolan and Wazir

27.

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:

In accordance with the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Voting Co-Opted Members, declarations of interest were made as follows:-

 

Councillor Rana declared an interest in the Agenda Item, Council Tax Empty Property Charges;

 

Councillor Wraighte declared an interest in the Agenda Item, 2040 Transport Delivery Plan/District Local Implementation Plan.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To authorise the signing of the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14 October 2020.

Minutes:

Resolved:

1.    That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 14th October 2020 be approved and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.

29.

Motions pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To consider the following four motions.

 

Motion 1

Councillor O'Neil to move, Councillor Dutton to second.

 

This council notes:

1.    On Tuesday 6 October, the Trade Union Conference (TUC) received a letter from the Department for Education saying that ministers have decided to end the Union Learning Fund from March 2021.

2.    The Union Learning Fund (ULF) was set up in 1998 to support trade unions to widen access to learning and training in workplaces for both union members and non-members. The fund supports workplace projects across England, and is coordinated by the TUC.

3.    Each year around 200,000 workers are supported into learning or training with union support through the ULF and the TUC. These learners undertake all sorts of job-relevant learning and training, including basic literacy and numeracy, ICT skills, apprenticeships and traineeships, vocational training, continuing professional development and many other informal and formal courses.

4.    In 2019–20, the ULF was worth £12m. If upheld this decision will effectively end union-brokered skills training, and will undermine key government skills and retraining priorities at a crucial moment for our economy.

 

This council understands that:

1.    Union learning reaches people that other Department for Education programmes do not reach.

2.    There is an independent evaluation of the Union Learning Fund every two years. It was most recently evaluated by the University of Exeter in 2018. They spoke to 2,459 learners, and found:

·         Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of learners with no previous qualifications got a qualification.

·         47 per cent of those with entry level or level 1 qualifications got a qualification at a higher level.

·         Four in five (80 per cent) said they had developed skills that they could transfer to a new job.

·         Two in three (62 per cent) said their new skills made them more effective in their current job.

·         One in five (19 per cent) said they had been promoted or given increased responsibility and one in 10 (11 per cent) got a pay rise.

 

3.    The 2018 independent evaluation found that union learning provided excellent value for money:

·         For every £1 spent on the Union Learning Fund, there is a return of £12.30: £7.60 to the worker, £4.70 to the employer.

·         The Union Learning Fund delivers an estimated net contribution to the economy of more than £1.4bn as a result of a boost to jobs, wages and productivity.

·         The return to the exchequer (through reduced spending on welfare benefits and other factors resulting from the boost to jobs and wages) is £3.57 for each £1 spent on the Union Learning Fund.

·         The £12m government funding levered in an additional £54m from employers, unions and training providers in 2019–20.

 

4.    The government has said it will put reskilling workers at the heart of its economic recovery plans after the pandemic. In September 2020, the government announced a new fully funded entitlement to achieve a first level 3 qualification, delivered through the National Skills Fund. Union learning is ideally placed to support this aspiration, in two ways:

·         Directly,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 29.

Minutes:

a)    Union Learning Fund

 

It was moved by Councillor O’Neill and seconded by Councillor Dutton that:

 

This council notes:

  1. On Tuesday 6 October, the Trade Union Conference (TUC) received a letter from the Department for Education saying that ministers have decided to end the Union Learning Fund from March 2021.
  2. The Union Learning Fund (ULF) was set up in 1998 to support trade unions to widen access to learning and training in workplaces for both union members and non-members. The fund supports workplace projects across England, and is coordinated by the TUC.
  3. Each year around 200,000 workers are supported into learning or training with union support through the ULF and the TUC. These learners undertake all sorts of job-relevant learning and training, including basic literacy and numeracy, ICT skills, apprenticeships and traineeships, vocational training, continuing professional development and many other informal and formal courses.
  4. In 2019–20, the ULF was worth £12m. If upheld this decision will effectively end union-brokered skills training, and will undermine key government skills and retraining priorities at a crucial moment for our economy.

 

This council understands that:

  1. Union learning reaches people that other Department for Education programmes do not reach.
  2. There is an independent evaluation of the Union Learning Fund every two years. It was most recently evaluated by the University of Exeter in 2018. They spoke to 2,459 learners, and found:
    • Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of learners with no previous qualifications got a qualification.
    • 47 per cent of those with entry level or level 1 qualifications got a qualification at a higher level.
    • Four in five (80 per cent) said they had developed skills that they could transfer to a new job.
    • Two in three (62 per cent) said their new skills made them more effective in their current job.
    • One in five (19 per cent) said they had been promoted or given increased responsibility and one in 10 (11 per cent) got a pay rise.

 

  1. The 2018 independent evaluation found that union learning provided excellent value for money:
    • For every £1 spent on the Union Learning Fund, there is a return of £12.30: £7.60 to the worker, £4.70 to the employer.
    • The Union Learning Fund delivers an estimated net contribution to the economy of more than £1.4bn as a result of a boost to jobs, wages and productivity.
    • The return to the exchequer (through reduced spending on welfare benefits and other factors resulting from the boost to jobs and wages) is £3.57 for each £1 spent on the Union Learning Fund.
    • The £12m government funding levered in an additional £54m from employers, unions and training providers in 2019–20.

 

  1. The government has said it will put reskilling workers at the heart of its economic recovery plans after the pandemic. In September 2020, the government announced a new fully funded entitlement to achieve a first level 3 qualification, delivered through the National Skills Fund. Union learning is ideally placed to support this aspiration, in two ways:

30.

Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To consider for approval the Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy 2021 – 2026.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report advising that the Council has to determine and publish a Statement of Licensing Policy every 5 years in order to meets its statutory obligations. The determination and publishing of such is required to be undertaken by January 2021.

 

The purpose of the policy statement is to define how the responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003 are going to be exercised and administered.

 

The report provided details on the consultation responses received on the Council’s draft Statement of Licensing Policy and sought agreement on amendments where necessary and to recommend adoption of the policy to the Council.

 

Resolved

1.    That Council adopt the amended Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026. 

31.

2040 Transport Delivery Plan/District Local Implementation Plan pdf icon PDF 413 KB

To consider the 2040 Transport Delivery Plan/District Local Implementation Plan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report advising that alongside work to prepare a refreshed Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) and the next version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been working with the GMCA, the ten Greater Manchester councils and the Greater Manchester Mayor to prepare new, and updated, transport strategy documents that cover our entire city-region.

 

This work includes a refreshed version of our long-term, statutory local transport plan - the Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 - and a final version of Our Five-Year Delivery Plan (2020-2025) which sets out the practical actions planned to deliver the Strategy over the next 5 years. In addition, ten new Local Implementation Plans have also been prepared (one for each Greater Manchester council) setting out transport priorities and smaller interventions to achieve these ambitions at a local level.

 

Resolved:

1.    That Council endorses the refreshed Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 and the final version of Our Five-Year Delivery Plan for approval by GMCA;

2.    That the publication of the supporting Local Implementation Plan as an appendix to Our Five-Year Delivery Plan, acknowledging that these are “live” documents and will be subject to regular review and update as appropriate be approved;

3.    That amendments to the document be delegated to the Director of Economy in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Quality of Place.

32.

Appointment of Director of Commissioning /Director of Adult Social Services ('DASS') pdf icon PDF 294 KB

To consider the appointment of a Director of Commissioning

Minutes:

The Council received a report advising that the current Director of Commissioning will be retiring from the Council at the end of January 2021. The role also incorporates the statutory function of the Director of Adult Social Services (DASS). The Council is required to appoint a Council officer to discharge this statutory function.

 

Resolved:

1.    That Claire Richardson be appointed as the Council’s DASS in accordance with Section 6 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 with effect from 1st February 2021.

33.

Appointment of Independent Person pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To consider the appointment of an Independent Person.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which advised that the Council is required to make arrangements for external and independent appointments to committees in line with legislation and national best practice guidance.

 

The proposed appointees must be able to demonstrate a related professional field alongside political neutrality.

 

In accordance with the Localism Act 2011 the Council must appoint at least one Independent Person, who must be consulted before making a decision on a Member conduct complaint that has been investigated. The Council may also consult with that person when deciding whether to accept or reject a new complaint when it is received.  An Independent Person will also be available for consultation by the Member who is the subject of the complaint.

 

Resolved:

1.    That Miranda Carruthers-Watt be appointed as Independent Person under the Localism Act 2011 for a 2 year term ending in December 2022 with the option to extend for a further 2 year period.

34.

Cabinet Portfolios and Responsibilities 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To receive notification of changes to Cabinet portfolios.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report advising of a number of changes which the Leader has made to Cabinet Portfolios. It also notified the Council of the Leader’s appointment of Cabinet Members and Assistants to portfolio holders for 2020/2021.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the details of the Leaders’ appointments to Cabinet positions, the allocation of portfolios to Cabinet Members and the appointment of Assistants to Portfolio holders as detailed in the Appendix attached to the report be noted;

2.    That it be noted that the Leader re-affirms the joint arrangements and delegation of executive functions to individual cabinet members, Township Committees and Officers as set out in Part 3 (Scheme of Delegation) of the Council’s Constitution.

35.

Calculation of 2021-22 Taxbase pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To consider the attached report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery / Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which sought approval of the statutory Council Tax Base calculation for 2021/22, calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as part of the 2021/22 Estimates process. Also, for the Local Council Tax Support Scheme to remain unchanged for 2021/22 and to approve the precept payment dates for 2021/22.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the Council Tax base expressed as “Band D equivalent properties”, be approved as 54,637 for 2021/22 (55,745 2020/21) as detailed at Appendix 1 of the submitted report;

2.    That the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2021/22 remaining  unchanged be approved;

3.    That the proposed precepts payment schedule be approved as follows:

 

20th April 2021

20th October 2021

20th May 2021

22nd November 2021

21st June 2021

20th December 2021

20th July 2021

20th January 2022

20th August 2021

21st February 2022

20th September 2021

21st March 2022

 

36.

Council Tax Empty Property Charges pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To consider the attached report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery / Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which sought approval of an increase in the council tax empty property premium from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the council tax empty property premium increase from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April 2021 for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years be approved;

2.    That Council Tax exemptions, or some form of relief, for domestic accommodations that are attached to commercial premises, such as pubs and shops, which had become empty because they have had to close because of the adverse effects of Covid-19 be approved.

 

37.

2021/22 Setting the Business Rate Base pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider the attached report of the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery / Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which sought approval of the Business Rates baseline for 2021/22 in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and the Non-Domestic Rating Regulations 2013; and approval of the precept payment dates for 2021/22.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the draft Business Rate baseline figure of £63.251m for 2021/22 be approved, subject to any changes which may result from:-

      the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22;

      a change to the current pilot scheme for 100% retention of Business Rates;

      the issue of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) guidance on completion of the 2021/22 Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1), due in January 2021.

 

2.    That the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate Delivery, to be authorised to conclude and agree the final Business Rates baseline return (NNDR1) due on 31 January 2021, should the final information yet to be received from MHCLG change the baseline figure for 2021/22;

 

3.    That the precepts schedule be approved as follows:

20th April 2021

20th October 2021

20th May 2021

22nd November 2021

21st June 2021

20th December 2021

20th July 2021

20th January 2022

20th August 2021

21st February 2022

20th September 2021

21st March 2022