Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 6th October, 2021 5.45 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Elizabeth Jackson, Democratic Services Manager  Tel: 01423 500600 Email:  democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

30/21 - APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:  Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Margaret Atkinson, Michael Harrison, John Mann and Norman Waller.

 

31.

Urgent Business:

To receive notice of any urgent business the Chairman considers should be dealt with at the meeting as a matter of urgency by virtue of Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

31/21 – URGENT BUSINESS: There was no urgent business.

 

32.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

32/21 - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: Councillor Pat Marsh declared an interest in respect of a question she asked at Minute 37/21 as she was a member of the Christmas Market Committee. 

 

33.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether the exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

33/21 – EXEMPT INFORMATION:  There was no exempt information.

 

34.

Communications:

To receive such communications as the Chairman may desire to lay before the Council.

Minutes:

34/21 – COMMUNICATIONS:

 

01.         Civic Service: The Mayor advised that the Annual Civic Service would take place on Sunday 24 October at the Wesley Chapel and he looked forward to seeing as many Members as possible at the service.

 

02.         Remembrance Sunday:   The Mayor informed Councillors that the Council would, as usual, be participating in the Remembrance Sunday commemorations, which this year would take place on Sunday 14 November.  Details would be circulated by the Mayor’s Secretary shortly. 

 

03.         Christmas Carol Concert:  The Mayor advised that the annual Mayor’s Christmas Carol Concert at the Royal Hall, Harrogate would take place on the 23 December 2021.  The Mayor’s Secretary will be contacting Members nearer the time regarding ticket requirements.

 

04.         Welcome to new Councillor:  The Mayor welcomed Councillor Hannah Gostlow to her first meeting of the Council since her election at the Knaresborough Scriven Park bye-election in July.

 

35.

Public Arrangements - Petitions:

To receive any petitions under Standing Order 26.

Minutes:

35/21 – PUBLIC ARRANGEMENTS – PETITIONS:  The Mayor advised that two petitions have been received under Standing Order 26.  The Mayor invited the petitioners to speak to their petitions.

 

1.    Petition from David Hull to the Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sport

 

“Knaresborough Community petition to protect the green space of Fysche Hall field, park and trees. 

I confirm my support to protecting Fysche Field from any sort of development and loss of green space”

 

2.    Petition from Richard Sadler to the Leader

 

“The historic Henry Jenkins Inn has been part of the social fabric of Kirkby Malzeard for centuries and it was popular with visitors from all over the Harrogate district. In 2017 it was listed as an Asset of Community Value – after a campaign by villagers to block plans to demolish the pub and build new houses.

 

But part of this much-loved pub has since been de-listed by the council ... simply because this part was sold by the developer to one of his associates! This could scupper plans by villagers to buy and refurbish the Henry Jenkins as a community-owned pub, bistro and coffee shop.

 

In the wake of the covid pandemic, the importance of community hubs in rural areas is becoming increasingly recognised – and the Henry Jenkins could now qualify for up to £250,000 grant aid from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund. But to make this happen the whole pub needs to be put back as an Asset of Community Value!

 

We believe that the Henry Jenkins Inn should be preserved as an asset for the entire village and wider local community for the future.”

 

With the permission of the Mayor the Leader then referred to comments by Mr Hull that ‘building companies were getting rich at our expense and no doubt some councillors’.  The Leader requested that it be placed on record that Councillors were not financially crooked and the Council should not allow itself to be demeaned in this way without challenge.

36.

Public Arrangements - Questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

36/21 – PUBLIC ARRANGEMENTS – QUESTIONS:  There were no written questions under Standing Order 27. 

 

37.

Accountability of the Executive and Committee Chairs:

To receive any written or verbal questions from Members under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

37/21 – ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE EXECUTIVE AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS:  The Mayor advised that in accordance with Standing Order 12(9) two written questions had been received and which would, in accordance with the Standing Order, be dealt with as the first questions under this item. He would then invite verbal questions of the Executive Members and Committee Chairs from other Members of the Council.

 

As required under Standing Order 12, the Leader and Cabinet Members submitted details of their primary portfolio objectives for 2021/22 as referred to at Minute 43/21 and the Mayor also invited questions in respect of the objectives.

 

  1. Question to the Cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development from Councillor Victoria Oldham

 

It has recently been publicised in the local and national media, that animal experiments are conducted at the Labcorp site on Otley Road in Harrogate.

Animals used on site, include beagle puppies, non-human primates, rabbits, mice and mini pigs.

It has long been acknowledged that the costs of animal experiments are high and that they are not reliably predictive of what will happen in humans.

The current drug development failure rate stands at a staggering 96% and the global non-animal testing market was worth $1.11 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow by up to $1.65 billion by 2023.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-54849-w

 

Bearing these factors in mind, why is there an insistence that investment in medical progress need be in the outdated and unreliable field of animal experiments rather than the humane , cutting edge and economically viable non-animal methodologies?

Local jobs are important to our district, but at what cost? Will you consider leading on introducing a moratorium on animal testing within the Harrogate Borough?

 

Response:

 

I suspect that I share a similar view to most people in that I don’t like and don’t want medicines tested on animals. But the law insists that medicines have to be tested on animals prior to being tested on humans and prior to being used as medicines. We all use medicines which protect and save millions of lives. The recent COVID 19 vaccines are great examples of the benefits of medicines but all drugs are delivered through this process.

 

I do have great faith in science and research. New testing methods can and do reduce the number of animals and the duration of their use. I support the continued development of technologies that reduce animal testing.  I hope that one day these technologies will mean no medicines are ever tested on animals.  It is not however possible to declare a unilateral moratorium on animal testing in the Harrogate borough. It is not within our powers and it may also mean the development of new medicines and vaccines becomes a considerably longer process.

 

The Home Office provides considerable regulation in the industry and I remain grateful therefore that the huge work carried out by Labcorp in delivering safe medicines, in the best regulated methods, with stringent internal policies, as their work continues to save millions of lives.

 

As a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Memoranda of the Report from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission:

Minutes:

38/21 – MEMORANDA OF REPORT FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY

  COMMISSION:  There were no such reports.

 

39.

Financial Update:

The Head of Finance to give a brief verbal presentation for the information of Members.

Minutes:

39/21 – FINANCIAL UPDATE:  The Head of Finance presented a financial update, the main focus of this update was to provide a general overview of the council’s finances and the anticipated Spending Review.

 

2020/21 Statement of Accounts

-       Delayed timetable as a result of the pandemic.

-       Draft un-audited version to be certified by Head of Finance by mid-October.

-       Delayed external audit has recently started.

 

2021/22 Position

-       First quarter report shows a projected general fund underspend of £32k.

-       Significant net financial detriment of £549k as a result of COVID-19, compared to the approved pandemic effected budget.

-       More than offset by savings realised from staff vacancies/turnover.

 

Medium Term Financial Strategy and 2022/23 Budget

-       MTFS timetable delayed as a result of the pandemic.

-       MTFS considered by Cabinet on 18 August 2021 before scrutiny by Overview and Scrutiny Commission (OSC) on 6 September.

-       OSC to feedback to Cabinet on 13 October, before Council approval on 15 December.

-       Key message is funding uncertainty.

-       Work has started on Harrogate Borough Council’s draft budget for 2022/23, the last ever budget for the Council.

 

Spending Review

-       Spending Review launched by the Chancellor. It will be a multi-year spending review covering the years 2022/23 to 2024/25, and it will be reported on 27 October, alongside the Autumn Budget.

-       Fair Funding Review and other local government reforms – likely pushed back to at least 2023/24, and potentially back by three years to 2025/26.

-       Awaiting confirmation from Government and uncertain whether some elements of reform will be implemented within the next three years.

 

40.

Report back on Previous Notices of Motion:

Minutes:

40/21 – REPORT BACK ON PREVIOUS NOTICES OF MOTION:  There were no reports to be considered.

 

41.

Minutes of Committees and Cabinet:

Minutes:

41/21 – MINUTES OF COMMITTEES AND CABINET: The Council resolved upon the various non-delegated Minutes of the Committees and Cabinet as follows:

41(1)

Cabinet: 18 August 2021 pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Minutes:

41/21(01) – CABINET – 18 AUGUST 2021:

 

Moved by Councillor Richard Cooper              Seconded by Councillor Graham Swift

 

andRESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 18 August 2021 be approved and adopted.

 

41(2)

General Purposes Committee: 9 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

(Minute number 24/21 will have been determined by the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held immediately prior to the meeting)

Minutes:

41/21(02) – GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE – 9 SEPTEMBER 2021:

 

Moved by Councillor Matt Scott                         Seconded by Councillor John Ennis

 

andRESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on 9 September 2021 be approved and adopted.

 

42.

Notices of Motion Received: pdf icon PDF 315 KB

In accordance with Standing Order 10, the Head of Legal and Governance to submit Notices of Motion received.

Minutes:

42/21 – NOTICES OF MOTION RECEIVED:  The Mayor advised that there was one notice of motion before the Council.  The motion, which was in the names of Councillors Tim Myatt and Richard Cooper would be debated by the Council, in accordance with Standing Order 10(6)(f). 

 

The Mayor advised that an amendment to the notice of motion had been proposed by Councillor Philip Broadbank and would have been seconded by Councillor Matthew Webber.  The amendment, shown in italics below, had been accepted in advance of the meeting by the mover and seconder of the original notice of motion.  The additional words “Council also calls on the Secretary of State to review the legislation covering permitted development rights”, now formed part of the substantive motion.  

 

(1)  " This council thanks the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for shelving proposed changes to the planning system recognising that those changes did not have the support of the public, councillors or Members of Parliament.

 

The council welcomes the progress on strengthening building regulations that will see an interim uplift in carbon efficiency standards in 2022, and the introduction of the full future homes standard and future buildings standards in 2025, and the council asks that when future planning and building regulation changes are considered that the Secretary of State support councils like Harrogate Borough Council to achieve ambitious levels of carbon reduction.

 

“Council also calls on the Secretary of State to review the legislation covering permitted development rights”

 

Moved by Councillor Tim Myatt                    Seconded by Councillor Richard Cooper

 

The motion was then debated by the Council.

 

Upon a vote being taken on the notice of motion, the Mayor declared the motion unanimously carried.

43.

Portfolio Objectives 2021/22: pdf icon PDF 403 KB

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members to submit a summary of portfolio objectives for the municipal year 2021/22. (Also available for Members' questions in accordance with Standing Order 12)

Minutes:

43/21 – PORTFOLIO OBJECTIVES 2021/22:  The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members submitted details of the primary portfolio objectives for 2021/22.   The Mayor invited questions in respect of the objectives in accordance with Standing Order 12.

 

Councillor Chris Aldred referred to kerbside recycling collections having been missed for some residents recently, and asked the Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling if the current review would resolve the issues.  The Cabinet Member confirmed the measures being implemented which included recruitment of new drivers and agreed to check that the information on the Council’s website reflected the best advice for residents in the event of a missed collection.

 

44.

Waiver of 6 Month Councillor Attendance Rule (Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972): pdf icon PDF 204 KB

The Head of Legal and Governance to submit a written report.

Minutes:

44/21 – WAIVER OF SIX MONTH COUNCILLOR ATTENDANCE RULE:  The Head of Legal and Governance submitted a written report which sought the waiver of the six month Councillor attendance rule under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 for Councillor Norman Waller who had been unable to attend meetings recently due to ill-health.

 

Moved by Councillor Richard Cooper               Seconded by Councillor Graham Swift

 

andRESOLVED:

 

That, in accordance with Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, Councillor Norman Waller’s non-attendance at meetings of the authority be approved for a period of six months on compassionate grounds.

 

45.

Common Seal:

To authorise the affixing of the Common Seal to the necessary documents for the purposes of carrying out the resolutions contained in the Minutes.

Minutes:

45/21 – COMMON SEAL: 

 

Moved by Councillor Richard Cooper               Seconded by Councillor Graham Swift

 

andRESOLVED:

 

That   (1)  the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to the Deeds and Documents necessary to carry out the resolutions confirmed and passed this day; and

 

          (2)  no deed shall be treated as being conditional upon Council proceeding until completion of a transaction relevant to any deeds.