Agenda and minutes
Venue: Ballroom, Town Hall, Accrington
Contact: Democratic Services Democratic Services (01254) 380116/380109/380184
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Diane Fielding, Terry Hurn, Abdul Khan, Sajid Mahmood and Paddy Short.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Councillor Josh Allen declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 6, Town Centre Investment Plan and Levelling Up Fund Bid – due to the possibility of his company tendering for some of the proposed projects.
There were no declarations of dispensations submitted.
b) Leader of the Council
c) Chief Executive
The Mayor made the following announcements:
1. COVID Safety
Once again the public were reminded that the pandemic was far from over. The emergence of the Omicron variant just before Christmas had meant that people were again subject to restrictions, such as mask wearing in shops and on public transport. It was hoped that these measures would help to slow the spread of this virulent strain. The Mayor asked residents to be patient once more and to follow the latest advice.
She also addressed those who were not yet fully vaccinated or boosted, and encouraged them to be bold and to join the huge number of people who had already taken these precautions. As well as offering increased protection for the individual concerned, this action would helping to safeguard the health of loved-ones and the wider community.
The Mayor invited all councillors to join her in offering congratulations to Stacy Anne Walsh, who as well as being one of Hyndburn’s newest Freemen of the Borough, had recently been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2022.
The award, granted for Public Service, reflected Stacy’s hard work leading numerous voluntary initiatives, including her work during the creation and operation of the Hyndburn Hub, as well as the establishment of the Food Pantry on Broadway.
3. Mayoral Engagements
The Mayor provided an update on the engagements she had attended since the last meeting in November, which included numerous Christmas festivities, Lancashire Day events and a range of celebratory occasions organised by local partners and community groups. It was envisaged that engagements would remain a little quiet for a while, as communities followed the increased COVID safety rules.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, made the following announcements:
4. County Deal
The Leader reminded Members that a special meeting of the Council would take place on 3rd February 2022 to consider progress towards a County Deal for Lancashire. Local leaders had been discussing a way forward for a number of years and it was pleasing to see a good degree of consensus now across the county. Some areas would like to go further and some areas had differing priorities, but overall there was common aim. The net result could bring around £5.6Bn of investment into the county.
The Leader and Leader of the Opposition would be happy to provide further information to Members as this became available. The difficulties of working together with all Lancashire leaders should not be underestimated, but everyone realised that agreement would help to secure a better future for each district and for Lancashire as a whole.
There were no announcements from Mr David Welsby, Chief Executive, on this occasion.
5. Lancashire Constabulary Presentation
The Mayor welcomed to the meeting the following representatives of the East Division of Lancashire Constabulary:
The Police had been invited to give a short presentation on ... view the full minutes text for item 227.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 18th November 2021 (attached).
The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 18th November 2021 were submitted for approval as a correct record.
Resolved - That the Minutes of the Council meeting held on the 18th November 2021 be approved as a correct record.
To deal with any questions submitted under Council Procedure Rule A2.2(vi).
The Mayor reported that no questions had been submitted under this Agenda Item.
Councillor Josh Allen left the meeting for the duration of the following item and took no part in the debate or decisions thereon.
Members considered a report of Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of the Council, which presented a proposed Town Centre Investment Plan (TCIP) for Accrington and the Stakeholder Board’s recommended Interventions for the Council’s Levelling Up Funding bid.
Councillor Miles Parkinson introduced the report which included a copy of the proposed Town Centre Investment Plan, which had been developed based upon stakeholder ideas. The stakeholders had worked hard and a list of those participating was included in the Appendices to the Plan. The Leader also mentioned that an accompanying consultation document had been produced, so that residents could have their say and identify their priorities. The plan would be used to generate future investments, bid for funding and steer Hyndburn Borough Council over the coming years. It was estimated to take shape over the next 10 – 15 years.
The TCIP was the first strand of the regeneration journey. Details about the Levelling Up Fund Bid would come later and could lever in a significant sum of money. The bid would also be shaped by the results of the on-going public consultation and a further report would be provided to Council at that time.
The Arndale owners were fully engaged in the process, as this was a large town centre business, but their proposals might not make the Levelling Up Fund bid due to the likely costs. However, there could be other funding streams available to meet their aspirations.
The report indicated that the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) had been announced at the Government’s 2020 Spending Review and would focus on capital investment in local infrastructure projects, with up to £20m of funding available for lower tier authorities and up to £50 Million for upper tier Highways Authorities for major transport projects. The funding built on prior programmes such as the ‘Local Growth Fund’ and ‘Towns Fund’.
A report to Cabinet in September 2021 had confirmed the need for the Council to engage an external independent experienced bid writing consultant. Bradshaw Advisory had been appointed to deliver two specific projects. The first was the production of a strategic Town Centre Investment Plan, (TCIP), which included a revised town centre vision and built on/updated the adopted Accrington Area Action Plan (AAP). The second was to prepare and write the Council’s LUF bid, including documenting the financial, statistical and other necessary evidential information required as part of the bid submission.
The report also provided details of the stakeholders and those members making up the Strategic Board, chaired by David Sanderson, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and Chief Executive of the Rank Foundation Trust Ltd. Responses from the stakeholder members and resident polling and an agreed rigorous and transparent evaluation process had helped to identify interventions that best fit the vison for the town centre and the Levelling Up funding criteria. Board members had been advised and guided throughout the process by the independent external consultant.
Town Centre Investment Plan
The TCIP was not part of the Council’s Local ... view the full minutes text for item 230.
Members considered a report of Councillor Joyce Plummer, Portfolio Holder for Resources, which provided an update on activities regarding Prudential Indicators Monitoring and the Treasury Management Strategy since the start of this financial year. The report had also been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 12th January 2022.
Councillor Plummer outlined some key elements of the report. The overall strategy had been set by Council at its Budget Meeting in February 2021. The report was a technical document which provided an update on Prudential Indicators and set out progress on Treasury Management issues. The overall projected outturn for 2021/22 showed over-borrowing of £1,091k, which was in accordance with the original estimate. More detailed information was provided in the Tables set out in the Appendix to the report.
The report included the following information. The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities required the Council to set Prudential Indicators annually for the forthcoming three years to demonstrate that the Council’s capital investment plans were affordable, prudent and sustainable. The Council had adopted its current Prudential Indicators at its meeting in February 2021.
The Prudential Code required the Council, having agreed at least a minimum number of mandatory prudential indicators (including limits and statements), to monitor them - in a locally determined format and frequency. This half-year report to both Cabinet and Council complemented a more regular review by the Deputy Chief Executive.
The indicators were purely for internal use and were not designed to be used as comparators between authorities. If it should be necessary to revise any of the indicators during the year, the Deputy Chief Executive would report and advise the Council further.
‘Treasury Management’ related to the borrowing and cash activities of the authority, and the effective management of any associated risks. On 25th February 2021, in the same report referred to above, the Council had also set out and then approved its current Treasury Management Strategy. This was in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) code of practice on treasury management in public services, the Council having previously adopted, via Cabinet, the then revised code of practice. Associated treasury management Prudential Indicators were included in the February 2021 report.
Prudential Indicators Monitoring
Table 1 and Table 2 of Appendix 1 showed the monitoring information for each of the prudential indicators, limits and statements. They related to:
Treasury Management Update
The current Treasury position was as follows:
To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 8th December 2021 (attached).
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 meeting of Cabinet held on 8th December 2021 were submitted.
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.
A report was provided on Motions submitted on Notice under Council Procedure Rule A9. A motion proposed by Councillor Kate Walsh, as set out in the report, was altered by the mover with the consent of the meeting. The following altered motion was therefore seconded by Councillor Melissa Fisher:-
“This Council resolves to ensure Hyndburn Council continues to do everything in its power to build a Borough free of misogyny and violence against women and girls.
This Council recognises that it is vital that women’s and girls’ voices are heard and will bring forward a process that proactively encourages and listens to women’s voices across the Borough.
The Council recognises that the necessary change will not occur without changing the attitude and conduct of young and adult males towards all girls and women. Therefore, the Council supports all moves to educate and advocate a more sensitive and responsible behaviour by men and boys of all ages towards women and girls of all ages.
This Council will call on the Government to listen to the lived experiences of women and girls across our country and to urgently act on any recommendations the Commission makes to strengthen the law on hate crime and to reform legislation around harassment to recognise it as an offence a ‘course of conduct’ which targets women and girls in their community
This Council will also call on the Government to provide the resource and the funding for Police forces across the UK to effectively tackle harassment, misogyny and domestic abuse.”
Councillor Walsh reported that she had experienced misogyny, as had probably all women. She commented that women should be able to go about their lives without the threat of male violence. As a teenager she had predicted with certainty that she would experience male violence. Statistics showed that around 60,000 alleged rapes were committed annually, but 99% did not reach the prosecution stage. 9 in 10 killers were male and 66% of murder victims were female. However, educated men were less likely to offend. More Police Officers on the streets were needed and more Police resource for investigations was needed.
Councillor Hindley announced that he had initially suggested the alteration to the motion by the insertion of paragraph 3 about male attitudes and conduct. He also spoke about the need for the Council as an employer to safeguard the rights of female members of staff and to work with trades unions to encourage women to speak out. He acknowledged that some assertive male behaviour could be perceived as aggressive by women.
Councillor Loraine Cox expressed deep concern about the prevalence of violence against women. In a 2021 survey, 97% of women had said that they had been the victim of sexual harassment. 80% had been subject to harassment in a public place. She confirmed her support for the motion.
Councillors Dominik Allen, Munsif Dad BEM JP, Noordad Aziz, Judith Addison and Melissa Fisher all spoke of how harassment against women had affect their lives, or the lives ... view the full minutes text for item 234.