Venue: Council Chamber
Contact: Jenny Martin
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence from the meeting were received from Councillors J. Alcock, S. Hore, G. Scott and R. Walsh.
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of disclosable pecuniary, other registrable and non registrable interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any disclosable pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interest in respect of matters contained in the agenda.
There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests.
There was no public participation.
Parish Council Elections - 2023
Verbal update from the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.
The Head of Legal and Democratic Services provided a presentation and verbal update on the Borough and Parish Council elections that were taking place on 4 May 2023.
The key dates were noted as:
Members were informed that:
· From 4 May 2023, voters in England will need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station in local elections.
· Anyone who does not have an accepted form of photo ID, could apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
· The Electoral Commission had produced a toolkit of resources for use in promoting the changes and encouraging those who need a Voter Authentication Certificate to apply in time for the election. The Council has commenced its communications plan in this respect with social media posts.
Update on Councillor Standards Issues
Verbal updates from the Head of Legal and Democratic Services including a verbal update on ‘Debate not Hate’ campaign
The Head of Legal and Democratic Services provided a presentation and a verbal update on Councillor standards.
It was noted that:
· The LGA had produced a revised code of conduct in December 2020, supported by a guidance document.
· The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) considered that the supporting guidance had been beneficial but was not tailored to the nuances of parish and town councils.
· NALG’s Civility and Respect project team had worked with Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd, with the support of the LGA, to revise the guidance to precisely reflect the needs of and situations relevant to local councils.
· The guidance had been approved by NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and endorsed by LGA.
The Head of Legal and Democratic Services further reported on the LGA’s ‘Debate Not Hate’ campaign.
The campaign aims to raise public awareness of the role of Councillors in their communities, encourage healthy debate and improve the responses and support for local politicians who may face abuse and intimidation.
The campaign noted that whilst debate and disagreement is a healthy part of democracy, abuse and intimidation crosses the line and that everyone regardless of their background or political affiliation, should feel safe if they became a councillor.
Matters brought forward by Parish Councils
The following matters were brought forward by Parish Councils.
Item raised by Gisburn Parish Council to discuss the issue of obsolete defibrillator pads on existing defibrillators.
Members discussed the maintenance cost and availability of defibrillator pads, and batteries and considered if there was merit in parish councils bulk purchasing such items, to reduce cost. It was noted that not all defibrillators in use in the borough are the same and hence use different consumables.
Introduction of 20 miles per hour speed limit for villages.
Item raised by Bolton by Bowland Parish Council
Discussions took place as to what measures were available to a parish council to reduce speeding traffic, especially in areas where a current speed limit, for safety reasons, was deemed too high.
Reference was made to safety/speed reducing measures that have been implemented in Scotland and some other boroughs in England. It was noted that the process of getting speed limits reduced was a multi-layered and complex one which could take some considerable time to resolve and would require the support of Lancashire County Council, Highways Department.
Police sergeant Kevin Day acknowledged that speeding across the whole of the Ribble Valley was a concern and that his team were committed to this issue but as the Ribble Valley is a large area there is only so much, they can do.
Members discussed the setting up some form of ‘Sub-Committee/Working Group’ to address this issue. The Chief Executive recommended that the Chairman of the Highways Committee, Councillor Rupert Swarbrick should be invited to a Parish Council Liaison Meeting so that Members can address their views directly to him.
Rennie Pinder from Altham Parish Council provided information as to speed indicator devices and the process for getting lamp posts approved by LCC for the fitting of speed indicator device backplates.
H.A.R.P - Update
Item raised by Chatburn Parish Council.
The Director of Economic Development and Planning provided an update on the planning matters that relate to the United Utilities - Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme (HARP) programme.
Update from the Working Group looking at public and dog bins in the Borough
Item raised by Salesbury Parish Council.
Members expressed their concern that actions/recommendations from meetings of the Dog Fouling Working Group seemed to have stalled and that the issues regarding the lack of public/dog bins was still a major issue for residents of the Ribble Valley.
The King's Coronation
The Chief Executive updated members on the Council’s preparations for the King’s Coronation.
He asked that all parishes should contact the clerk to this meeting (Jenny Martin) with information regarding their plans to celebrate the coronation, as the Council has a fund potentially offering around £250 towards the cost of such celebrations.
Date and time of next meeting
The Chairman informed the committee that the next meeting would be on 6 April 2023 at 6.30pm.