Contact: Michelle Smith
The Mayor’s Chaplain, Father Heakin opened the meeting with prayers.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence from the meeting were received on behalf of Councillor J Hill.
Declarations of pecuniary and non pecuniary interests
There were no declarations of pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest.
Public participation session
There was no public participation.
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Mayor will give her communications.
The Mayor reported that there had been no Mayoral duties due to the Covid pandemic, however the Mayor had taken the opportunity to reflect on the work of the volunteers and the efforts of Councillors and officers to support businesses and the community throughout the Ribble Valley.
Report of Director of Resources enclosed.
Consideration was given to the written report of the Director of Resources referring to consultation with business ratepayer representatives. As it had not been possible to arrange a meeting in person, a budget report had been circulated to the Whalley Chamber of Trade, Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and the Love Longridge Business Group. There had been no response from the Whalley Chamber of Trade or the Clitheroe Chamber of Trade. The Love Longridge Business Group had responded with some areas for consideration. The Leader confirmed that these would be explored over the next 12 months through the committees of the Council.
Report of Director of Resources enclosed.
Consideration was given to the written report of the Director of Resources concerning the budget for 2021/22 and the setting of the different amounts of Council Tax for different parts of the Council’s area where special items applied (Parish Precepts).
The report set out the budget summary of the financial year 2021/22 which contained details of revenue and capital requirements. Approval of the budget proposals contained in the report was proposed by Councillor S Atkinson and seconded by Councillor S Hore.
The Leader presented his budget speech outlining the key economic issues that had been taken into account in setting the budget and the impact of the pandemic.
As a consequence, Policy and Finance Committee had recommended a freeze on Council Tax for the financial year 2021/22.
The Leader recommended the Council’s budget and Council Tax for 2021/22.
The Leader expressed his thanks for the time and effort Committee, Officers and the Budget Working Group had dedicated to achieving the budget as presented.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor A Knox, proposed on an amendment to the budget with regard to bringing 3 new earmarked reserves into the budget as follows:
A recorded vote was taken on the budget amendment.
The amendment was lost.
Members then returned to the substantive motion. A recorded vote was taken.
Leader's report and Question time
The Leader will present his report and take questions.
The Leader began by paying tribute to Councillor Bridget Hilton who would be retiring from the Council after 14 years of service and thanked her for her dedication and commitment to the Council.
The Leader reported on two major infrastructure projects that would impact on the borough, namely the Haweswater Aqueduct Renewal Programme and a BT Openreach Project to create full fibre connection from the Clitheroe Exchange.
The Leader went on to report on the continuing work that was being done to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and highlighted a number of actions that had been undertaken eg the Community Hub work, the appointment of Enforcement Officers to make sure that businesses complied with Covid-19 Regulations, the payment of grants to local businesses, the lateral flow testing that had been sent up in the Council Chamber and the PCR testing sites that had been set up on Council car parks.
He praised the efforts of all staff that had helped the Council respond to challenges brought about by the pandemic and thanked everyone involved for their contribution, hard work and commitment.
Finally the Leader confirmed that as the country entered the recovery stage of the pandemic, the Council was now returning its thoughts and actions to the major strategic aims of the Council, including Committee meetings, climate change, a review of Longridge assets and supporting ongoing economic recovery in the borough.
The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor A Knox, asked the Leader if he could confirm what tonnage of materials had residents put in their blue recycling bins over the last 5 years.
The Leader thanked Councillor Knox for his question and confirmed that the tonnage of materials collected from blue bins was as follows:
· 2015/16 – 2456 tonnes.
· 2016/17 – 2450 tonnes.
· 2017/18 – 2445 tonnes.
· 2018/19 – 2473 tonnes.
· 2019/20 – 2637 tonnes.
Next Councillor Knox asked if the Leader could confirm which working groups reported to Policy and Finance Committee.
The Leader confirmed that there were currently 4 working groups that came under the remit of Policy and Finance Committee. They were the Budget Working Group, Voluntary Organisations Grants, Longridge Assets and Climate Change.
Councillor Knox proposed that a fifth group be set up to deal with Covid recovery. The Leader confirmed that he supported that proposal.
Finally Councillor Knox asked the Leader if he could confirm how many people had presented themselves as homeless to the Council in each of the last 5 years.
The Leader confirmed that the numbers of households that had presented as homeless in the last 3 years were as follows:
· 2018/19 – 101.
· 2019/20 – 89.
· 2020/21 – 65.
Data prior to that period was no longer available.
To receive and consider, where appropriate, the minutes of the committees since the last meeting. Items marked *** are referred to Council for decision.
COMMITTEE MEETINGS: 15 DECEMBER 2020 TO 16 FEBRUARY 2021
(i) Community Committee - 5 January 2021
(ii) Planning and Development Committee – 7 January 2021
(iii) Personnel Committee 13 January 2021
(iv) Health and Housing Committee – 14 January 2021
(v) Policy and Finance Committee – 19 January 2021
(vi) Economic Development Committee – 21 January 2021
(vii) Licensing Committee – 26 January 2021
(viii) Parish Council Liaison – 28 January 2021
(ix) Planning and Development Committee – 4 February 2021
(x) Accounts and Audit Committee – 10 February 2021
(xi) Special Policy and Finance Committee – 16 February 2021
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the above meetings be received with the exception of minute numbers 907, 935 and 938:
Minute 907 – Pay Policy Update
RESOLVED: That the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/2022 be approved.
Minute 935 – Review of Standing Orders
RESOLVED: That the changes to Standing Orders be approved.
Minute 938 – Investigatory Powers Commissioners Report
RESOLVED: That the amended RIPA Policy be approved.
Exclusion of press and public
There are no items under this heading.
There were no items under this heading.