Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Accrington Town Hall
Contact: Michael Cunliffe Democratic Services (01254) 380109
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Noordad Aziz, Eamonn Higgins, Terry Hurn and Kate Walsh.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.
1) The Late Chris Reid and Mike Chambers
The Mayor paid tribute to former Councillor Chris Reid and former Chief Executive Mr Mike Chambers, who had passed away last month.
Former Labour councillor, Chris Reid, had passed away on Friday 14th June 2019, aged 63 years. Chris had attended Royal Blackburn Hospital for a routine operation in May, but later developed pneumonia, from which sadly he did not recover.
Mr Reid, from Great Harwood, served as Netherton ward councillor in the town for eight years, from 1990 until 1998, and was a ‘passionate’ NHS activist. He was born in Dublin and previously lived in Accrington before moving to Great Harwood in 1986.
He helped lead the recent Save Accrington Victoria Walk-in Centre campaign, was chair of the Great Harwood Patients Participation Group and was previously a Labour Group secretary and local party secretary as well as being an Accrington Stanley season ticket holder. He had worked as a driver on Hyndburn Transport and then as a truck driver.
He was good husband to his wife, Ruth, and a father and grandfather of five.
Mike Chambers had passed away on Friday 21st June 2019. Mike was 62, and had been diagnosed in August with a Brain tumour. He passed away peacefully at home with his family – Caroline, Tom and Lettie.
Mr Chambers was Chief Executive of Hyndburn Borough Council from 1995 to 2003, prior to the current Chief Executive, Mr Welsby, taking up the post. He was a dedicated local government officer and served the people of Hyndburn faithfully. Away from work, Mr Chambers was a keen mountaineer.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, and Councillors Abdul Khan, Munsif Dad, Tony Dobson, Jean Battle, Tim O’Kane and Judith Addison also added their tributes.
A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect.
2) Queen’s Birthday Honours
The Mayor reported that the Council had recently received the marvellous news that two of its councillors had been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, published on Saturday 8th June 2019.
Councillor Miles Parkinson had been awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for political service.
Councillor Munsif Dad JP had been awarded Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM), for political service.
The Mayor presented a framed Certificate of Record and a copy of the Official Public Record from the London Gazette to each councillor. The Chamber was filled with applause.
Councillors Miles Parkinson OBE and Munsif Dad BEM JP spoke about their introduction to public life, some memorable experiences and the support they had received from their families.
3) Recent Events
The Mayor reported that, since her appointment to office, she had attended numerous wonderful events along with the Mayoress. It was not possible to do justice to them all by mentioning them at the meeting. However, the following deserved a special mention:-
The Accrington Carnival, which had taken place on Sunday 23rd June, was a spectacular ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meetings held on 16th and 25th May 2019 (attached).
The minutes of the Council meetings held on 16th and 25th May 2019 were submitted for approval as a correct record.
Resolved - That the Minutes of the Council meetings held on 16th and 25th May 2019 be approved as a correct record.
To deal with any questions submitted under Council Procedure Rule 2.2(vi).
The Mayor reported that the following question had been received from a member of the public, Mr Ian Robinson, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2(vi). The question was put to the Leader of the Council.
“After my recent disappointment in planning regarding my application for Glamping cabins in Great-Harwood. Refused.
I would like a survey of Hyndburn Borough Council in the chamber by recorded show of hands, if they thought my brilliant idea of Glamping (the first one in Hyndburn) is a good one. Irrespective of greenbelt as this is being reviewed as we speak. One of the reasons I went forward with this was the review highlighted the possibility of removing my land from the greenbelt.
And I do believe that the planners are negotiating building 400 houses on the adjacent field to mine including my land. As we speak I am waiting for an offer to sell.”
The Leader of the Council thanked Mr Robinson for his question and responded as follows:-
Firstly on the technical point, it is not possible for a member of the public to ask Council for a recorded vote or show of hands. The Council’s Standing Orders do not permit this and there is a good reason for this, which leads into the second point.
There is no motion or recommendation before the Council on which members can vote. Members cannot be asked to vote on anything unless they know the detail of what they are voting for.
The Leader of the Council expressed a view that he believed that most councillors would not object to glamping in itself or as an issue of principle. Everything depends on the context. Something that is acceptable to Members and welcomed in one location, may be totally unacceptable if situated somewhere else.
Under the circumstances, Council should not be asked to usurp or influence the work of the Planning Committee. When that Committee considered Mr Robinson’s application for planning permission, it did so with the benefit of a full report setting out the legal and policy considerations relevant to the decision, together with the planning officer’s advice. A decision has now been made on the application and planning law prescribes the routes available to Mr Robinson if he is dissatisfied with the Committee’s decision.
A report was considered requesting a change to be made to the appointments to Committees for 2019/20 to accommodate the wishes of the Conservative Group. Approval was sought to the appointment of Councillor Patrick McGinley in place of Councillor Josh Allen within the Conservative Group appointments to the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Resolved - That approval be granted to the appointment of Councillor Patrick McGinley in place of Councillor Josh Allen within the Conservative Group appointments to the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee with immediate effect.
The Leader of the Council submitted a report proposing that the Council adopts the Definition of Islamophobia agreed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims. The APPG had published its Definition of Islamophobia last December, based on extensive consultation. It read:
“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Councillors Judith Addison, Munsif Dad, Jean Battle, Abdul Khan, Mohammad Ayub, Stewart Eaves and Glen Harrison spoke in support of this proposal and warned of the negative impact of religious intolerance and extremism on community cohesion. Councillor Ayub indicated that the decision was particularly timely, since next week marked the Memorial Week of the Srebrenica massacre and events were being held within the local Muslim community, including an event on Monday 8th July 2019 at the Razid Jamia Masjid Mosque’s Community Centre.
Resolved - That the Council agrees to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims’ Definition on Islamophobia and ensures that this is reflected in its Equality and Diversity Scheme and other relevant policies.
To receive the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on 20th March and 5th June 2019.
Rules of Debate
· The Leader of the Council will move the Minutes, the Deputy Leader of the Council will second the Minutes.
· Non-executive Members will be invited to make comment or ask questions on the Minutes (5 Minutes).
· Cabinet Members will be invited to make comments and respond to any points raised (5 Minutes).
· The Leader of the Council will be given up to 15 Minutes to respond and to answer any questions raised.
The minutes of the meetings of Cabinet held on 20th March and 5th June 2019 were submitted.
The following issues were raised from the minutes:
Cabinet Meeting, 20th March 2019 – Minute 353, Minute of Boards, Panels and Working Groups – Councillor Judith Addison, referred to the Disabled Facilities Grant process, and related the story of one resident who had experienced significant barriers to being able to access the grant. It had been recommended by the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee in February 2019 to establish a cross party Working Group to look at resolving any issues associated with the grants process. However, no further information had been provided on this matter.
The Leader of the Council responded that he would be pleased to look into the issue of a cross party Working Group for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). However, the policy was currently being reviewed. A presentation had been given to Cabinet members recently, which had highlighted the opportunities to use increased DFG funding in a more responsive way.
Cabinet Meeting, 5th June 2019 – Minute 24, Accrington and Rossendale and Nelson and Colne Colleges – Councillor Judith Addison expressed disappointment that the presentation by Amanda Melton, Chief Executive of the two colleges, had not been made to the whole Council, as the content of the presentation had been extremely interesting. An undertaking had been given to hold a future meeting with Cabinet Members at Accrington and Rossendale College. She asked if all councillors could be invited to participate in that visit.
The Leader of the Council responded that it should be possible to facilitate the involvement of all councillors in any future visit.
Councillor Sara Britcliffe referred to an e-mail that she had received some time ago in connection with a meeting about the Accrington Arndale Centre. She asked if the proposed meeting had now taken place and, if so, what was the outcome.
The Leader of the Council responded that the first meeting planned had been cancelled, and by the time a second meeting had been arranged a serious legal matter had arisen. He issue had still not been resolved and, as a consequence, it would not be appropriate at this stage to hold a meeting. Once the legal issues had been resolved the meeting would go ahead.
Resolved - That the Minutes be received and noted.
To receive the Minutes of Committees, as set out below:
Rules of Debate
· The Leader of the Council will introduce the Minutes as a whole.
· Any Member may raise any issue from the Minutes; the Chair of the relevant Committee may respond (5 Minutes).
· The Leader of the Council will close the debate (5 Minutes).
The Minutes of the following meetings were submitted:
Resolved - That the Minutes be received and noted.
To consider any Motions for debate in accordance with Council Procedure Rule A9.
1) Notice Submitted on Motion – M65
The following motion submitted by Councillor Noordad Aziz was moved by Councillor Munsif Dad and seconded by Councillor Stewart Eaves under Council Procedure Rule A9:-
“That this Council resolves to write to Highways England and Transport for the North in relation to the consultation currently being undertaken in relation to the M65. We in Hyndburn have been at the forefront of making the case for the M65 to link into Yorkshire and the A1(M). We also attach in the letter the past motions related to the M65 to highlight the unanimity of support from within the council chambers for better infrastructure in the region. We in Hyndburn wholeheartedly support a complete link up from M65 to the A1(M) allowing East Lancashire to access regional economic centres, airport and ports more easily and efficiently.
Better road links and infrastructure from this area will promote economic and social mobility by allowing improving access and adding capacity on the Road network in the North especially East-West Connectivity. A number of examples are outlined below:
1. For Hyndburn both the nearest International Airports from Accrington, Manchester International Airport and Leeds Bradford International Airport are almost equidistant but the average commute time is almost 66% greater for Leeds Bradford compared to Manchester. This restricts access for commuters in East Lancashire and leads to normally incurring a premium to use Manchester Airport. Leeds Bradford has plans to increase passenger numbers to 7 million from the current 4 million and that can only be achieved with better links from East Lancashire and the upgrade of the M65 to link into Yorkshire.
2. Access to more high skilled jobs from East Lancashire region. The number of high skilled jobs have eroded as the industry has declined in the area. The M65 link will allow access to large corporates as well as access to Leeds, the largest Financial Services Sector in the United Kingdom outside Canary Wharf worth an estimated £2.1bn. This will allow commutable time to be around 1hr. This improved accessibility will allow East Lancashire to attempt to stem the Brain Drain, where it loses its best and brightest to the economic centres due to limited career prospects in the region.
3. The M65 Link to Yorkshire will give access to new markets for businesses based in East Lancashire as well more efficient routes to the ports on the east coast. Road Freight from East Lancashire is limited to the congested M62 or country roads along the A59. Neither is fit for purpose and are operating at full capacity throughout the day. Companies in the area like Emerson & Renwick, Senator, Simon Jersey, Exertis and Wham to name a few based out of Lancashire would benefit significantly due better access improving East-West Connectivity. The new Frontier Park development in Hyndburn would have a multiplier effect with better connectivity of the M65.
4. Unlock potential and regenerate some of the most deprived areas in the United Kingdom. On the current ... view the full minutes text for item 49.