Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, 13 Church Street, Clitheroe, BB7 2DD

Contact: Rebecca Hodgson 01200 414408  Email: rebecca.hodgson@ribblevalley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

886.

Prayers

Minutes:

MINUTES SILENCE

 

The meeting began with a minute’s silence in respect of Alan Kay JP, former Councillor and Mayor of the Ribble Valley 1991-1992, who had recently died.

 

 

PRAYERS

 

Canon Woodcock then opened the meeting with prayers.

 

887.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence from the meeting were received on behalf of Councillors S Bibby, D Brocklehurst, and R Ray.

 

888.

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2024 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

889.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary, other registrable and non registrable interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests.

 

890.

Public participation session

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed Kim Haley who raised a question about the Council’s approach to Climate Change.

 

Kim posed the following question to the leader:

 

Councils across the country are being pressurised and incentivised to sign up to Net Zero.  Is our own council going to blindly follow the official narrative without seriously, independently doing their own research?'

 

I ask this in the context of:

 

a.     having experience as a professional grower in horticulture, and fully aware of the importance of CO2 in the process of plant growth.

 

b.     In light of the current demonstrations by concerned farmers around the world who are coming to realise the disastrous anti farming policies of our WEF controlled governments, pushing the UN Agenda.

 

c.     Having done extensive personal research on this subject, and understanding the seriously damaging implications of this policy for the future of the Ribble Valley, our country and the world.

 

The Council Leader responded advising that the Council had created a Climate Change Working Group of Councillors from all political groups with a wide range of views.  He assured Ms Haley that the group had robust discussions on the Council’s approach to climate change and was certainly not blindly following any particular direction.

 

He added that when the Climate Change working Group was established the Council had the foresight to include the following sentence in its terms of reference - Objectives are realistic and within the remit of Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC) responsibilities and budgetary controls; and that the Working Group work towards developing and enhancing the economy of the Council and ultimately its business sector.

 

The group had developed a Climate Change Action Plan which was available to view on the Council’s website.

 

891.

Mayoral communications

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on a wide range of events he had attended since the last meeting.  He highlighted his pleasure at recently hosting students and teachers visiting from the Ukraine and the planting of Giant Redwoods to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ribble Valley Borough Council. The Mayor also spoke about the charities he had supported throughout the Mayoral year namely Pendle Dogs, Ribble Valley Dementia Alliance, and the Ribble Valley Foodbank.

 

892.

Long Service Awards

Minutes:

The Mayor made a presentation to the Council’s Housing Strategy Officer, Rachael Stott, who had achieved 25 years’ service with the Council.  The Mayor presented a gift to Rachael with thanks for her work over the years. The Mayor highlighted Rachael’s important work both in the Housing and Environmental Health departments.

 

The Mayor presented a retirement gift to Keith Jackson in recognition of his 52 years’ service working in Local Government. The Mayor spoke about Keith’s history as a Gardener and in Grounds Maintenance, highlighting his dedication to Clitheroe Cemetery.

 

893.

Leader's report

Minutes:

The Leader began by thanking the Mayor for his service during his year of office. The Leader also expressed his thanks to Councillor Stewart Fletcher who had resigned from the Council with effect from that day.

 

The Leader reported that work had commenced on Castle Street which would be closed to vehicles until the scheme was finished at the end of July, in time for the Clitheroe Food Festival on Saturday 10 August 2024. Pedestrian access would be maintained at all times with access periods for shop deliveries. The scheme would make Castle Street more accessible and comprise of wider pavements, new paving and street furniture, and some changes to parking. The Leader apologised that the works would cause inconvenience to businesses and customers and thanked everyone for their patience.

 

He also reported that that along with the Councils programme of capital expenditure including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), The Rural Prosperity Fund (REPF), and the recently announced Ribble Valley Jubilee fund, the Council still had the financial capacity to support residents directly, whilst many Councils were dismantling grant schemes.

 

The Leader went onto report that the Voluntary Organisation Grants Scheme had received twenty-two applications resulting in £68,100 being awarded to thirteen applicants. In addition, £15,000 had been awarded to Citizens Advice East Lancashire on condition that a comprehensive face to face service was provided in the Ribble Valley, £12,000 to Little Green Bus Ltd on condition that there was wider publication of the service across the Borough, and £4000 to the Foundation for Ribble Valley Families on condition that the organisation promoted awareness of the services offered, particularly for young people. He added that £50,775 had been awarded under the Recreation and Culture, Sports Excellence, and Arts Excellence Awards.

 

The Leader noted that a new Arts Strategy working group had been created to establish how a bid to the Arts Council could help to deliver projects in the Ribble Valley and enhance the overall arts offer for residents and visitors.

 

The Council had also reviewed the First Time Buyer’s Energy Efficiency Grant, which had been first introduced in April 2022. He explained that the grant scheme encouraged first time buyers to consider buying existing older properties in the Borough and make improvements to their energy efficiency and EPC ratings. The Leader reported that the scheme had been working well with nineteen grants being completed so far. The Council had agreed to increase the scheme by transferring an additional £100,000 from the landlord and tenant budget to enable delivery of the scheme in 2024/25.

 

The Leader confirmed that the Council would deliver the Household Support Fund 5 (HSF5) and that the Council would prioritise two hundred and fourteen applicants from HSF4 that had not received vouchers due to insufficient funding from Lancashire County Council. He explained that key changes had been made to the scheme by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and a further report would be brought to Committee.

 

The Leader informed the Mayor that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 893.

894.

Leader's Question Time

Minutes:

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Jameson asked the Leader if given the number of retrospective planning applications in the Ribble Valley could the leader comment on why that might be the case and what action could be taken to address the issue?

 

The Leader responded advising that the ability to apply retrospectively for development was contained within the Town and Country Planning Act. There were various reasons why somebody may apply retrospectively including the person being unaware that planning permission was required or where a development changed during the construction process (logistical reasons or cost potentially). One of the outcomes of an enforcement investigation could also be the suggestion to seek planning permission for the unauthorised development. The Leader noted that the submission of retrospective applications was not uncommon across Local Planning Authorities, and he was unaware that it was a big issue within the Valley. He noted that unauthorised development which was brought to the Authorities attention would be fully investigated by the Council’s Enforcement Officers with appropriate ways forward agreed with the Head of Service and Director. With the ability to seek retrospective planning permission enshrined in law it would not be possible for the Local Planning Authority to decline to accept such applications and all enforcement matters were being very well managed by the team with investigations undertaken quickly and appropriate next steps agreed.

 

In a supplementary question, Councillor Jameson noted that two properties in the Borough with no licence or planning had been converted to Airbnb’s, resulting in a nightmare for neighbouring residents. Councillor Jameson suggested that the Leader and Ward Councillor visited the properties concerned.

 

The Leader responded noting that there was a new bill going through parliament in regard to Airbnb’s permitting a number of nights as an Airbnb without the need for planning consent. The Leader agreed with the sentiment but wished to take advice from the appropriate Officers before turning up on a resident’s doorstep. He noted that the matter could also be referred to the Environmental Health section to consider noise impact.

 

Next, Councillor Jameson noted that in its Corporate Strategy the Council aspired to be carbon neutral by 2030, which was now less than six years away. The Climate Change Working Group, working under the Economic Development Committee, had expressed its desire to see the roll-out of carbon literacy training within the Council to equip it with the toolkit needed to move effectively to carbon neutrality within that time frame. The Leader was reminded that Economic Development Committee currently had no terms of reference covering climate change, personnel or training matters. He asked if the Leader could confirm that he would support the roll out of carbon literacy training for Councillors and Council Officers provided by The Carbon Literacy Project, at a cost of less than £5,000 depending on the scope of the package, funded from the Council’s existing training budget and further, could he also set out the mechanism by which the decision could be made through the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 894.

895.

Committee minutes pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive and consider, where appropriate, the minutes of the committees since the last meeting (items marked *** are referred to Council for decision).

 

COMMITTEES

DATE

PAGE

MINUTE

Licensing Sub

8 March

25 - 26

733 - 737

Community

12 March

27 - 32

738 - 755

Planning and Development

14 March

33 - 36

756 - 771

Personnel

20 March

37 - 40

772 - 783

Health and Housing

21 March

41 - 44

784 - 798

Licensing

26 March

45 - 48

799 - 809

Economic Development

4 April

49 - 52

810 - 822

Policy and Finance ***

9 April

53 - 66

823 - 853

Parish Councils

11 April

67 - 70

854 - 862

Accounts and Audit

17 April

71 - 74

863 - 874

Planning and Development

18 April

75 - 78

875 - 885

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.     Licensing Sub Committee – 8 March 2024

 

2.     Community Services Committee – 12 March 2024

 

3.     Planning and Development Committee – 14 March 2024

 

4.     Personnel Committee – 20 March 2024

 

5.     Health and Housing Committee – 21 March 2024

 

6.     Licensing Committee – 26 March 2024

 

7.     Economic Development Committee – 4 April 2024

 

8.     Policy and Finance Committee – 9 April 2024

 

9.     Parish Councils Liaison Committee – 11 April 2024

 

10.  Accounts and Audit Committee – 17 April 2024

 

11.  Planning and Development Committee – 18 April 2024

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the above committees be received with the exception of Minute numbers 829, 830, 831, and 836.

 

 

Minute 829 – Capital and Treasury Management Strategy

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council approve the Capital and Treasury Management Strategy.

 

 

Minute 830 –Treasury Management Policies and Practices

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council approve the Treasury Management Policies and Practices 2024/25.

 

 

Minute 831 – Review of Financial Regulations and Contract Procedure Rules

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council approve the reviewed Financial Regulations and revised Contract Procedure Rules.

 

 

Minute 836 – Review of Standing Orders

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council approve the revised Standing Orders.

 

896.

Exclusion of press and public

Minutes:

There were no items under this heading.