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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Maureen Potter 01352 702322  Email: maureen.potter@flintshire.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 19 February, 28 February, 9 April, and 7 May 2019.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 19 February, 28 February, 9 April, and 7 May 2019 were submitted.

 

Matters arising

 

7 May 2019, page 38,  item 8, Councillor Clive Carver referred to the appointment of the Cabinet by the Leader of the Council and said this was seconded by Councillor Sean Bibby and then put to the vote.  He said this was unusual and the vote had not been minuted and was a change in the constitution. 

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) acknowledged the point made and said that the Leader had informed Council of his choice of Councillors to serve on Cabinet and explained the vote had been taken at the meeting to note the choice of Councillors. He agreed the decision could have been received by Council and said in future this item would be received without taking a vote.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

 

14.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that a personal interest would be recorded on behalf of all Members present for agenda item 12, Schedule of  Remuneration for 2019/20.

 

Councillor Chris Bithell declared an interest on agenda item 9, Notice of Motion – Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse,  as he was a trustee and board member of the Domestic Abuse and Safety Unit. 

15.

Chairman's Communications

To receive the communications as circulated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the Chair’s Communications had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting.  The Chair said that she and her consort, Councillor Haydn Bateman, had been delighted to represent the Authority at the various events held during the past month.

 

            Councillor Ian Roberts, referred to the recent bad weather and paid tribute to staff who worked hard to maintain service provision throughout, citing staff in social services, Streetscene operatives, Flintshire Connects centres, as examples, and asked that thanks be expressed on behalf of the Council to all teams who had been involved in helping communities cope with the challenging conditions.

 

Councillor Carolyn Thomas and Councillor Christine Jones paid tribute to staff who had worked both day and night in unusual difficult weather conditions to maintain services and provide direct support and assistance to residents of Flintshire. 

 

Councillor Paul Shotton suggested that the local media be informed of the work of the Council during the recent bad weather to highlight the services provided by the Authority.  The Chief Executive agreed that a statement would be provided to the press which would  include the positive comments made by Members.

 

Councillor Neville Phillips paid tribute to the Returning Officer and team who had run the European Elections on 26 May 2019, and said it had been a well organised and excellent process.  He also expressed thanks on behalf of Councillor Tudor Jones as an elections agent.

 

16.

Petitions

To receive any Petitions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sian Braun  submitted a petition from the residents of Abbey Drive, Gronant, to introduce a 20 miles per hour speed limit along the length of Abbey Drive, Gronant, as soon as possible to reduce the risk from traffic to residents and vulnerable road users.

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained the process for dealing with petitions, and said at the end of the municipal year a report would be provided to Council to explain the actions around all petitions received during the course of the year.

 

17.

Public Question Time

This item is to receive any Public Questions: none were received by the deadline

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received.

 

18.

Questions

To note the answers to any questions submitted in accordance with County Council Standing Order No. 9.4(A):  none were received by the deadline

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received.

 

19.

Questions from Members on Committee Minutes

The Minute Book, Edition 1 2019/20 has been circulated to Members.  Members are now entitled to ask questions on these minutes, subject to certain limitations, and answers will be provided at the meeting.  Members are requested to bring to the meeting their copy of the Minute Book.  Any questions must have been received by the Democratic Services Manager prior to the close of business on Wednesday 12 June, 2019:  none were received by the deadline

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received.

 

20.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 196 KB

This item is to receive any Notices of Motion:  three were received by the deadline

 

Councillors Bernie Attridge, Carol Ellis, Helen Brown and George Hardcastle  – Limiting Council Tax Increases

 

Councillor David Healey – Cyber Bullying

 

Councillor Andy Dunbobbin - Raising Awareness of  Violence Against Women and  Domestic Abuse

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Ian Roberts on limiting Council Tax increases be supported;

 

(b)       That the Notice of Motion from Councillor David Healey on Cyber Bullying be supported: and

 

(c)       That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Andy Dunbobbin on . Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse, be deferred

 

Minutes:

Three Notices of Motion were received:

 

(i)         Limiting Council Tax Increases  - Councillors Bernie Attridge, Carol Ellis, Helen Brown and George Hardcastle

 

‘We call upon Flintshire County Council to give a clear mandate to the Cabinet and the senior management team that the Council Tax be capped at 4.5% for the next budget setting process.

 

We call for this due to representations made by many residents in Flintshire that the 8.75% increase that has been set for 2019/20 is causing hardship and poverty within our County.’

 

In support of the Motion, Councillor Helen Brown said that the 8.75% rise in Council Tax this year was too much for many residents in Flintshire and people were angry about the rise.   She commented that wages had not increased by this level and referred to the rise in daily living costs for fuel, utilities, food, and clothing.  She also referred to the potential increase in  costs  for  school transport, and the intention to discontinue with free TV licences for people over the age of 75.    Councillor Brown also commented on the rise in  child poverty and said it was unfair to increase  pressure on the council tax payers of Flintshire to meet the gap in funding for the Authority.  She asked Members to support the Motion on behalf of the residents of Flintshire. 

 

The Motion was moved by Councillor Helen Brown and seconded by Councillor Carol Ellis.

 

Speaking in support of the Motion, Councillor Carol Ellis said there was a need for National and Welsh Governments to provide adequate funding for local authorities.  She said the funding formula was not “fit for purpose” and cited the example that the Authority did not receive funding for the significant cost of out of county placements as an example.  She continued that the Formula did not take into account that Flintshire had the fastest growing proportionate population of elderly people and the impact on social care costs.   She commented that the WG had created the Well Being Act and the services provided by the Authority under the Act had to be funded from existing budgets.  She spoke of the real hardship faced by some residents who were living ‘hand to mouth’ and referred to the increased use of foodbanks.  Councillor Ellis asked Members to support the Motion on behalf of Flintshire’s residents and reiterated that council tax payers should not be expected to fund the short-fall in funding for local authorities and that  it was the responsibility of national government to provide adequate funding to  the WG to passport onto local authorities. 

 

Councillor Mike Peers said that to agree to the Motion at this point in time would put increased pressure on the Council due to a number of ‘unknowns’ around the budget setting process.  He proposed an amendment to the Motion which was that information be provided to Members at the next available Council meeting of any possible consequences of setting a 5% council tax for the financial year 2020-2021. The Motion was by Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Council Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That Part 1 of the Council Plan 2019/20 be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced a report to adopt the recommendations of the Cabinet on  Part 1 of the Council Plan 2019/20.  He provided background information, as detailed in the report, and advised that the Council Plan was a statutory Plan which had to be approved by end of June.  Feedback on the draft Plan had been received from internal Member workshops, a survey, and the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee. The Chief Executive thanked Members for their contribution and positive suggestions which had been incorporated where they were significant, were made on a Council function, and could be practically applied in year.  He said  Part 1 of the Plan was presented in final form for approval, as recommended by Cabinet without amendment. 

 

The Corporate Business and Communications Executive Officer referred to the core priorities, ambitions and  objectives which formed Part I of the Plan, and if agreed at Council, would lead to Part 2  which would develop the progress, and performance of the Plan.  She advised that Part 2 would be presented to Cabinet and Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee in July.  Once  endorsed Part 1 and Part 2 would be incorporated  into a digital graphical document and published on the Council’s website at the end of July.

 

The Chief Executive advised that the Plan was broadly structured to cover 5 years  but  would change year on year, however, if there was a need for fundamental change or a WG request received it could be added to.  He suggested that when Quarter 2 performance was considered around November this year an early debate took place around the priorities for next year and any significant adjustments could be  suggested alongside the budget setting process.  He also suggested that Overview and Scrutiny Committees may find it helpful to include parts of the Plan within their forward work programmes.

 

Councillor Ian Roberts moved the recommendation in the report to approve Part 1 of the Council Plan 2019/20.  He thanked all those who had attended and had input in the workshops and expressed thanks for the work of the Cross Party Working Group.   He asked Members to support approval of Part 1 of the Plan.  This was seconded by Councillor Billy Mullin.

 

 Councillor Patrick Heesom said he could not support approval of the Plan and referred to the commitment to the development of the traffic infrastructure and strategic transport plan.   He outlined a number of concerns and referred to the commitment to the ‘red route’ and commented on the need for a new approach to a highway corridor which leads from the back of the Deeside Industrial Park.  He asked that further work be done to provide  a road transport infrastructure which enabled access from the west end of the County and  Denbighshire across the river to the back of the Deeside Industrial Park.  The Chief Executive noted the views expressed by Councillor Heesom and explained that the issues raised around trunk roads were not in the Council Plan as it was not a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Review of the Council’s Planning Code of Practice pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the PCP is fit for purpose regarding the advice relating to the Members’ Code of Conduct, the Protocol on Officer/Member relations, and the procedural advice relating to planning matters, subject to the proposed amendments referred to in paragraph 1.05 of the report, the other amendments shown in tracked changes in the appendix to the report, and the further amendment agreed by County Council; and

 

(b)       That the amended PCP (with the amendments referred to at recommendation (a) above be adopted by the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) presented a report on the Council’s Planning Code of Practice (PCP).  He explained that as part of the Standards Committee’s role to review operation of the Members’ Code of Conduct and promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors, the PCP was taken to the Committee to ensure  it provided appropriate and clear advice to Members in respect of their conduct in relation to planning matters and to recommend revision to the PCP where it could be improved.  The Standards Committee recommended some amendments to the PCP as detailed in the report and shown in the appendix to the report.   The amendments had been endorsed by the Constitution Committee which recommended the PCP, as amended, be adopted by the Council.

 

Councillor Mike Peers referred to Lobbying and section 5.1 of the PCP and the wording in the final sentence that “Officers should be made aware of any lobbying correspondence Members receive”.   He said that in a number of recent applications, and cited the Penyffordd area in particular, every Member of the Planning Committee had received the same correspondence and attachments, and as a result the Planning department would be sent a significant amount of duplicate information in accordance with the wording of section 5.1.  He suggested that to assist with administration it may be helpful that when correspondence was  sent to all members of the Planning Committee that the Chair of the Committee sent a copy of the lobbying correspondence that all Members had received to the Planning Officer.  .

 

Councillor Peers also referred to section 5.2 of the PCP and the advice that Planning Committee members should avoid campaigning actively in support of a particular outcome.  He said Members may be asked to attend a public meeting in their Ward and the meeting might be advertised as an objection against a particular application.  By attending the meeting there may be an assumption that the Member was also against the application although attendance by the Member was usually to help understanding of the issues raised.  He suggested that with reference to the information in section 5.3 of the PCP, it would be useful if Members were able to make a declaration to Planning officers that they had attended a public meeting against an application in their role as a Ward Member to seek an  understanding around the objections raised.    In agreement with the points raised by Councillor Peers the Chief Officer (Governance) provided advice and agreed to amend the PCP to provide further clarification around campaigning and attendance by Members at public meetings to discuss an application.

 

Councillor Clive Carver commented that there were a number of inconsistencies in section 5 of the PCP in terms of the references made to Members and also to Members of the Planning Committee.   The Chief Officer suggested that as there were no substitutions on the Planning Committee it would be helpful if reference was made to ‘Members of the Planning Committee’ at the beginning of the PCP and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Review of Political Balance pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That seats on Committees be allocated in accordance with the political balance as shown in Appendix A to the report; and

 

(b)       That any changes to nominees for Committee places be notified to the Democratic Services Manager as soon as possible.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) introduced a report to enable the Council to review the political balance following the formation of a new political group.  He advised that the Council was required under the Political Balance Rules contained in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 (as amended) to review the Council’s political balance calculations following the formation of the Flintshire Independents on 17 May 2019  by four Members of the New Independent Group, and one Member changing political group on 5 June 2019. 

 

                        The Chief Officer (Governance) reported on the calculation of political balance and the determination of the correct number of seats to Groups, as detailed in the report, and shown in appendix A to the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That seats on Committees be allocated in accordance with the political balance as shown in Appendix A to the report; and

 

(b)       That any changes to nominees for Committee places be notified to the Democratic Services Manager as soon as possible.

 

24.

SCHEDULE OF REMUNERATION FOR 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          That the completed Schedule of Remuneration for 2019/20 as attached be approved for publication;

 

(b)          That the Democratic Services Manager be authorised to add the names of co-opted members who fill the vacancies on the Audit Committee, Standards Committee, and the Education & Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee; and

 

(c)        That the cessation of co-optee payments to the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee from the start of the 2019/20 municipal year be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that each year, the Council was required to produce a Schedule of Remuneration for elected and co-opted members.  Now that all  appointments had been made to ‘senior salary posts’ the Schedule of Remuneration for 2019/20, which must be published before 31 July 2019, had been completed and was attached for approval.

 

                        The Chief Officer advised that there are co-optee nomination vacancies for the Audit Committee, Standards Committee, and the Education & Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and the Council was requested to authorise the Democratic Services Manager to add the names to the schedule when appointed and before publication.  He continued that the report also dealt with an issue regarding the payment of co-opted Members of the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          That the completed Schedule of Remuneration for 2019/20 as attached be approved for publication;

 

(b)          That the Democratic Services Manager be authorised to add the names of co-opted members who fill the vacancies on the Audit Committee, Standards Committee, and the Education & Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee; and

 

(c)        That the cessation of co-optee payments to the Clwyd Pension Fund Committee from the start of the 2019/20 municipal year be noted.

 

25.

Officers Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed changes to the explanatory guidance in the Officer Code of Conduct be approved.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Governance) introduced a report to approve the updates to the Officer Code of Conduct as part of the rolling review of the Constitution.    He explained that the Standards Committee was responsible for reviewing all Codes and Protocols (relating to behaviour) in the Constitution once per Council term to ensure  they remained pertinent and up to date.  The Committee had reviewed the Officers’ Code of Conduct and had made recommendations for updating it.  A number of changes were suggested, as detailed in the report, in order to expand the guidance on when it was necessary to declare an interest; refer to newly created standardised forms for recording interests and gifts; expand the guidance on outside employment; and update posts and service references where these have changed.  The proposed amendments to the Code were appended to the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed changes to the explanatory guidance in the Officer Code of Conduct be approved.

26.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was one member of the press in attendance.

 

 

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