Venue: District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, Chesterfield S42 6NG
Contact: Alan Maher
Former Councillor Dorothy Ward
With the permission of the Chair, Councillors M E Thacker MBE and N Barker paid their respects to former Councillor Dorothy Ward, who had died recently.
On behalf of the Conservative Group, Councillor M E Thacker MBE extended his sincere sympathy to former Councillor D Ward’s family and friends.
Councillor M E Thacker highlighted her 31 years of service to the Council, having first been elected in 1976 and serving until 1987 and then again between 1991 and 2011. During this time she served as Chair of the Council for the 1997-1998 Municipal Year, as a Cabinet Member and as Chair of the Planning Committee. Councillor Thacker MBE drew attention to her work fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Centre, while she served as consort for Councillor Ann Holmes during 2015-16.
The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor N Barker, thanked Councillor M E Thacker MBE for his tribute. N Barker then expressed his own condolences to friends and family of Councillor D Ward on behalf of the Labour Group. Councillor Barker informed Council that Councillor D Ward had been a model community Councillor, who had championed the North Wingfield Central Ward and been instrumental in establishing the local Community Association. He reflected on her long years of service and commitment to the Labour Party and informed Members that she had received an award for being a Member of the Labour Party for over 50 years. Councillor
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors P Antcliff, O Gomez Reaney, B Hill, J Ridgway, L Stone, P Wheelhouse and P Windley.
Declarations of Interest
Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest and/or other interests, not already on their register of interests, in any items on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.
Councillors D Ruff, M E Thacker MBE, S Clough, R Welton declared a Pecuniary Interest in Item 6 on the Agenda - Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 – 2026/27, Housing Revenue Account as Members of the Board of Rykneld Homes Limited. They indicated that they would leave at the appropriate and would not participate in Council’s consideration or determination on this aspect of the Item.
Councillors J Lilley, S Pickering and W Armitage declared an interest Item 6 on the Agenda – Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 – 2026/27, Housing Revenue Account as tenants of Rykneld Homes Limited (RHL). They indicated that they would participate in Council’s consideration or determination on this aspect of the Item.
Minutes of the Last Meeting PDF 286 KB
To approve as a correct record and the Chair to sign the attached Minutes of the Council meeting held on 28 November 2022.
RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 28 November 2022 were approved as a true and accurate record.
Councillor D Ruff, Chair of the Council.
The Chair of the Council, Councillor D Ruff, informed Members that a memorial service for the Late Queen would be held on Sunday 5 February 2023 and that all Members were welcome to attend. The Chair also informed Council of her upcoming race night to raise funds for her Charity, the Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Families Association (SSAFA). She thanked Councillor H Liggett for her work in helping to organise this.
RESOLVED – That Council noted the announcements of the Chair of the Council, Councillor D Ruff (by acclamation).
Councillor A Dale, Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor A Dale, highlighted the Council’s commitment to support all of the District’s residents through the Cost of Living Crisis. As part of this he explained that membership fees at the Council’s Leisure Centres had been frozen in order to help them.
Councillor A Dale explained that the Council’s bid for Levelling Up fund grant aid had not been successful. However, the important work which had gone into producing the Eckington Masterplan would be invaluable in helping the Council to prepare a further bid to the Fund in the future. He also reminded Members about the Council’s successes when applying for grant aid and in particular, how over £30 million had been secured in order to improve the District’s town centres, make Council houses warmer and greener and to improve the energy efficiency of the Council’s leisure centres.
Councillor A Dale informed Members that Council was committed to working alongside the Eckington Parish Council to help progress plans for a destination park at Lansbury, and had already committed £2,000 towards this.
Members were also informed that round two of funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Quality Parks and Play Areas scheme had opened and that all Parish Councils would eligible to apply.
The Leader of the Council praised the hard work of the Environmental Health and Street Scene teams and highlighted work that they had carried out on fly tipping. Members heard that fly tipping reports were down 20% when compared with 2019.
RESOLVED – That Council noted the announcements of the Leader of the Council, Councillor A Dale (by acclamation).
Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 - 2026/27 PDF 383 KB
Report of Councillor J Kenyon, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change.
The report to Council that sought approval for the current budget for 2022/23 and original budget for 2023/24 for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Programme, as part of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan covering the years 2022/23 to 2026/27.
Members were informed that Cabinet considered and endorsed the proposals at its meeting on 26 January 2023. The recommendations from Cabinet were now referred to Council for consideration and approval.
The Chair agreed to consider the report recommendations in two parts. Council would consider recommendations 1-7 (relating to the General Fund) followed by recommendations 8-13 (relating to the Housing Revenue Account).
Council was informed of the projected budget shortfall for the 2023-24 financial year and the reasons for this. Members also heard how it would be addressed by drawing on its Resilience Reserve, which would be replenished through savings to be identified and achieved during the year. The report also explained that current projections suggested that the further use of the Resilience Reserve would not be required in the future years covered by the MTFP.
The Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change, Councillor J Kenyon, explained that through effective financial management the Council was in a better position than many other local authorities, despite the impact of Inflation, the Covid Pandemic and the energy crisis. Members heard that because of this effective financial management the Council would not need to make large cuts to its budgets over the life of the Plan. Councillor J Kenyon the Director of Finance and Resources and her team for their contribution to this.
Councillor J Kenyon and Councillor A Dale moved and seconded a Motion that Council approve recommendations 1-8 of the report. Councillor A Dale reserved his right to speak.
Councillors N Barker and J Funnell gave thanks to the Director of Finance & Resources and their team for their work on this during a difficult period.
Councillors N Barker, R Shipman and J Funnell spoke against the Motion. They queried the use of the Resilience Reserve to meet the projected shortfall and contended that the Plan did not identify the permanent financial reductions required to balance the budget. In this context Councillor J Funnell highlighted the cost to the Council of Planning Appeals. Concerns were also raised that Rykneld Homes Ltd (RHL) had not been given the option to make additional budget savings rather than have to impose higher rent increases on tenants. The Leader of the Council, Councillor A Dale contested this.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor A Dale, highlighted the Council’s successful financial management which had enabled it to protect services and to minimise the impact on residents. In this context he reminded Members that the proposed increase in the Council Tax of 2.99% would be well below the level of inflation.
Councillor A Dale explained how the Resilience Reserve had been established to help the Council to meet such financial shortfalls. He highlighted the ways in which it differed from other reserves held by ... view the full minutes text for item COU/70/22-23
Treasury Strategy Reports 2023/24 -2026/27 PDF 3 MB
Report of Councillor J Kenyon, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Climate Change.
Councillors D Ruff, M E Thacker MBE, S Clough and R Welton returned to the room.
The Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation & Climate Change, Councillor J Kenyon, presented a report to Council that provided Council with the necessary information in order to approve the Council’s suite of Treasury Strategies for 2023/24 to 2026/27. He highlighted that no new borrowing was planned for 2023/24 and over the previous year, total borrowing had reduced by £2.2 million and was now £147 million. This figure would rise slightly in future years to support investments such as Sharley Park and Whitleas but would be slightly less in four years’ time due to inflation reducing from current levels.
Councillor R Shipman queried whether more could be done to increase the rate of return on the Council’s investments
Councillor J Kenyon responded that it was important to remain cautious with public money as other Councils had made some unwise investments in the past.
Councillor J Kenyon and Councillor A Dale moved and seconded the recommendations as contained within the report. The motion was put to the vote and was approved by acclamation.
RESOLVED – That:
1) Council approve the Treasury management Strategy at Appendix 1 and in particular:
a. Approve the Borrowing Strategy
b. Approve the Investment Strategy
c. Approve the use of the external treasury management advisor Counterparty Weekly List (or similar) to determine the latest assessment of the counterparties that meet the Council’s criteria before any investment is undertaken.
d. Approve the Prudential Indicators
2) Council approve the Capital Strategy as set out in Appendix 2 and in particular:
a. Approve the Capital Financing Requirement
b. Approve the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2023/24
c. Approve the Prudential Indicators for 2023/24, in particular:
i. Authorised Borrowing Limit of £217.5m
ii. Operational Boundary of £212.5m
iii. Capital Financing Requirement of £207.5m
3) Council approve the Investment Strategy as set out in Appendix 3.
4) That Council approve the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy at Appendix 4
Review of the Council's Policy under the Gambling Act 2005 PDF 522 KB
Report of Councillor M Foster, Portfolio Holder for Council Services.
The Portfolio Holder for Council Services, Councillor M Foster, presented Council with a report that invited Council to adopt the revised draft Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Licensing Principles together with the draft Gambling Act 2005 Local Area profile.
Council was informed that in 2018 an extensive review had been undertaken in order to ensure that the Council’s Policy was consistent with the Gambling Commission’s guidance. The Joint Environmental Health Service conducted an initial review of the Policy and the Local Area Profile (LAP), and identified a number of minor amendments necessary to bring the Policy up to date with the GLA and local demographics.
Following a lengthy public consultation and member scrutiny, a recommendation has now been made to Council for them to adopt the revised policy.
Councillor M Foster proposed and Councillor H Liggett seconded a motion to approve the recommendations as set out in the report. The motion was put to a vote and was approved by acclamation.
RESOLVED – That:
1) Council approve the recommendations from the Licensing and Gambling Act Committee that the final draft Gambling Act 2005: Statement of Principles and Local Area profile be adopted to take effect on 13th March 2023.
2) Council require the Joint Assistant Director – Environmental Health to follow the formal process to adopt the final draft Gambling Act 2005: Statement of Principles and Local Area Profile.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 8 to allow members of the public to ask questions about the Council’s activities for a period up to fifteen minutes. The replies to any such questions will be given by the appropriate Cabinet Member. Questions must be received in writing or by email to the Monitoring Officer by 12pm (Noon) twelve clear working days before the meeting.
No questions have been submitted under Procedure Rule No 8 for this meeting.
There were no questions from the public.
To answer any questions from Members asked under Procedure Rule No 9.2
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 9.2 to allow Members to ask questions about Council activities. The replies to any such questions will be given by the Chair of the Council or relevant Committee or the appropriate Cabinet Member. Questions must be received in writing or by email to the Monitoring Officer by 12pm (Noon) twelve clear working days before the meeting.
No questions have been submitted under Procedure Rule No 9.2 for this meeting.
No questions were submitted.
To consider any Motions from Members under Procedure Rule No 10
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 10 to consider Motions on notice from Members. Motions must be received in writing or by email to the Monitoring Officer by 12pm (Noon) twelve clear working days before the meeting.
Motion ‘A’ moved by Councillor N Barker
At its meeting on 28 November 2022 Council reviewed Committee membership to reflect the current political balance of the Authority. Council now believes that the current allocation of Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs is inappropriate and should be changed to reflect the events of the November meeting.
1. To review the current Chair and Vice Chair positions of Council Committees.
If that resolution is agreed:
2. To seek nominations at this meeting to ensure a balance that better reflects the current composition of the Council.
Motion A – Councillor Barker
Councillor N Barker withdrew his motion.
Chair's Urgent Business
To consider any other matter which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There was no urgent business.