Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 18th December, 2013 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL

Items
No. Item

1.

Questions to Cabinet Members from the public and Councillors on ward or district issues

(20 minutes for public questions and 20 minutes for Councillor questions)

Minutes:

Councillor McMahon, Leader of the Council, opened the meeting by offering his sympathies, along with those of his fellow Councillors, to the family and friends of the young girl who had been tragically killed in a road accident in Shaw the previous evening. Councillor Blyth, Ward Councillor for Shaw, also offered his sympathies on behalf of the three Shaw Ward Councillors.

 

Council was then asked if they would agree to the suspension of the Council procedure rules to allow the time limit for Council to be increased to enable questions to be asked inrelation to the tragic accident.

 

RESOLVED that the time limit for Council to be increased, to enable questions to be asked inrelation to the tragic accident.

 

Cllr Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing informed the meeting that a number of questions regarding the tragedy had been received for tonight’s meeting; he paid tribute to those members of the emergency services who had been in attendance at the scene of the accident and who, together with the Council, were assisting the police with their investigations.

Reference was made to misleading reports regarding previous accidents and the lack of a school crossing patrol at the site and Councillor Hibbert advised that whilst he realised that people wanted answers to the many questions care should be taken not to prejudice the investigations in any way. The meeting was informed that the Council would continue to work with the Ward Councillors who had raised the issue as a matter of urgency and further public updates would be issued once the situation allowed. Councillor Hibbert expressed his deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the young girl.

The Mayor reiterated the fact that a number of questions had been received to be put before tonight’s meeting but unfortunately it would not be appropriate to answer or comment on them at this stage.

 

The Mayor advised the meeting that Open Council would continue with Public Question Time. Questions had been received from members of the public and would be taken in the order in which they had been received. If the questioner was not present then the question would appear on the screen in the Council Chamber.

 

The following questions had been submitted:

 

1. Question received from Imran Yousef via email

 

“I understand that the Get Oldham Working initiative is the Council’s main priority over the coming years, aiming to create 2015 work related opportunities by 2015. Can I ask the relevant Cabinet Member for some examples of how these opportunities can be created or facilitated?

 

What support is available to local businesses to help them grow and take on more Oldham residents for employment?"

 

 

 

 

The Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Councillor Amanda Chadderton, advised the meeting that the Council was

committed to Get Oldham Working, it was the Council’s number one priority; creating opportunities by bringing in new capital developments and supporting existing business. An internal drive existed, within the Council to increase the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Newton and Sheldon.

3.

To order that the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on the 23rd October 2013 be signed as a correct record

Minutes:

RESOLVED That the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 23rd October 2013 be AGREED as a correct record

4.

To receive declarations of interest in any matter to be determined at the meeting

Minutes:

In accordance with the Code of Conduct the following Councillors declared a personal interest in the item indicated:

 

Councillors Brownridge, Dearden, Harrison and Thompson – Item 11 Cabinet Minutes – Budget Proposals – by virtue of their appointment to the Board of Oldham Care and Support.

Councillor Brownridge – Item 12.1 - by virtue of her membership of the Board of Governors at North Chadderton School.

Councillor Judge – Item 12.1 - by virtue of his membership of the Board of Governors at Royton and Crompton School.

Councillor Moores – Item 12.1 - by virtue of his membership of the Board of Governors at Blue Coat School.

Councillor Roughley – Item 12.1 - by virtue of his membership of the Technical Advisory Group on Saddleworth School.

Councillor Ur Rehman – Item 12.1 - by virtue of his appointment as Chair of the Board of Governors of Hathershaw College.

Councillor Heffernan – Item 15 - Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 18th November – Proposed Amalgamation of Springhead Infant and Nursery School and Knowsley Junior School by virtue of his appointment as Chair of the Board of Governors at Knowsley School.

Councillor Beeley – Item 15 - Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 18th November – Proposed Amalgamation of Springhead Infant and Nursery School and Knowsley Junior School by virtue of her membership of the Board of Governors at Springhead Infant and Nursery School.

 

Councillor Marie Bashforth declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Item 12.1 – by virtue of her employment at Royton and Crompton School. Councillor Bashforth left the meeting for this item and took no part in the discussion or voting thereon.

5.

To deal with matters which the Mayor considers to be urgent business

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the meeting that no items of urgent business had been received.

6.

To receive communications relating to the business of the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Council of a number of communications relating to the business of the Council as follows:

 

1. The Mayor made reference to the recent deaths of former Mayor and Councillor, Ann Wingate and former Councillor Ian Thompson.

 

Councillors John Dillon, Sykes and Battye all spoke in remembrance of former Councillor Ann Wingate.

 

Councillors Briggs and Heffernan spoke in remembrance of former Councillor Ian Thompson.

 

Council held a minutes silence in memory of Ian Thompson, Ann Wingate, Nelson Mandela and Annalise Holt, the young girl who tragically died in the accident in Shaw yesterday.

 

2. The Mayor advised Council that this would be the last meeting that Charlie Parker, Chief Executive, would be attending before leaving Oldham to take up his new post as Chief Executive of Westminster Council.

 

Councillors McMahon, Sykes, Akhtar, Williams, McCann and the Mayor, Councillor Hudson, all thanked Charlie Parker for his contribution to the achievements of Oldham Council over the last five years. Members paid tribute to his hard work and drive that had brought the Council to where it was today.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jim McMahon, on behalf of Council, presented the Chief Executive with a number of gifts in recognition of his contribution to the journey undertaken by Oldham Council during his time in post.

 

In response Charlie Parker thanked Members for their comments and paid tribute to the Group Leaders for providing real leadership; to his Senior Management colleagues without whom this journey would not have been possible; to all Members across the Chamber for the way in which they had embraced change and taken tough decisions; to Partners and Stakeholders who had worked with him and finally he thanked all the staff of Oldham Council, the frontline staff who had achieved amazing things and those staff with whom he had regular close contact, all were brilliant. He closed by saying that he was incredibly proud and privileged to have been Chief Executive of Oldham Council.

7.

To receive and note petitions received relating to the business of the Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

1 petition to note re – Higher Memorial Park Failsworth

Minutes:

The Mayor advised the meeting that a petition had been received for noting by Council.

 

RESOLVED that the following petition received since the last meeting be noted:

 

Neighbourhoods

 

Petition to relating to Failsworth Higher Memorial Park (received 24 October 2013) (107 signatures) (Ref 2013-022).

8.

Outstanding Business from the previous meeting

(time limit 15 minutes).

There is none.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the meeting that there was no outstanding business from the previous Council meeting.

9.

Youth Council

(time limit 20 minutes)

There is none.

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the meeting that there was no Youth Council business.

10.

Leader and Cabinet Question Time

(time limit 30 minutes – maximum of 2 minutes per question and 2 minutes per response)

Minutes:

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Sykes, raised the following three questions:

 

1. “I was pleased to see that as part of Democracy Week an exhibition was staged in Gallery Oldham about the ten men from the Borough of Oldham who fought as part of the International Brigades against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

April 2014 will mark 75 years from the ending of the war – the tragedy for Spain is that the Fascists won, immersing the country in a stifling dictatorship that only ended in 1975.

Oldham has recently rightly honoured its dead from both World Wars with a refurbished war memorial.

It would therefore also seem appropriate to ensure that the men who served in this lesser known, but critical, conflict receive their due recognition.

In 1986 former Mayor Alwyn McConnell unveiled a memorial plaque to these unsung heroes in the Local Studies Centre.

Unfortunately this is now sadly languishing somewhere in the vaults – available for inspection only upon request to the curator.

 

Can I therefore ask the Leader if he will commit himself to ensuring that this plaque is placed on display in a prominent position in a town centre public building as was intended in time to mark the 75th anniversary of the ending of the war?

And can I also ask him to ensure that there will be a re-dedication ceremony to be held on a date agreed with the International Brigade Memorial Trust to which relatives, representatives from the Trust and veterans organisations, and local civic leaders can be invited.”

 

Councillor McMahon, Leader of the Council, responded to Councillor Sykes agreeing that this was a very good idea but pointed out that at present there were no plans in place however, he suggested that this be considered by the Group Leaders and if a dedication was to take place he would ensure that the family and friends of these men were invited.

 

2.” Climate change is of increasing concern to the public – as inhabitants of this Earth every one of us has a personal responsibility for ensuring we cause no harm to the planet – but as local leaders, elected members also have a collective responsibility for showing the way.

I was therefore very pleased to hear that the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities has set ambitious targets for reductions in carbon emissions for each of the ten authorities and that Cabinet has recently discussed how Oldham Council will contribute to these targets.

One way that other local authorities have done this is by supporting the development of local renewable electricity generation schemes, whether hydro, solar or wind, often in conjunction with a specialist commercial operator, and these schemes have been part-financed through a community share offer to the public.

Such schemes are revenue-raising as they provide a long-term income stream to the authority, but they also embody the co-operative agenda as local authorities and communities work together to achieve a common goal.

 

There are some factors in Oldham  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

To note the Minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on the undermentioned dates, including the attached list of urgent key decisions taken since the last meeting of the Council, and to receive any questions or observations on any items within the Minutes from Members of the Council who are not Members of the Cabinet, and receive responses from Cabinet Members

(time limit 20 minutes):-

 

a) 21st October 2013

b) 18th November 2013

c) Urgent Key Decisions – Cabinet 23rd September 2013

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Minutes for the meetings held on 21st October 2013 and 18th November 2013 were submitted.

 

Questions and observations were raised by the following Councillors on the Cabinet Minutes as detailed below:

 

1. Councillor McCann – Cabinet meeting – 18th November 2013, pages 41 and 43, Agenda Items 9 and 12 – Budget Proposals 2014/15 and Revenue Monitor 2013-14; Month 4, 5&6 (September) with reference to budget pressures on Adult Services – He agreed that there had been a loan of £2M from the reserves to cover emergency expenditure, the exceptional demand may not go down as hoped and what would happen if management were not able to recoup the funds over the next two years?

 

Councillor Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance, advised that Government was cutting funding for the service at a time when people were living longer and as a result requiring more care. The issue had been considered by PVfM and the Cabinet and Councillor Jabbar was confident with the measures that had been put in place. The challenge to colleagues in Adult Care was that they should try and manage the service with the budget that was in place and if it did not work out then the service would have to be reviewed. Reductions in the grant would have a severe impact on the quality of the service. Again the settlement figures were worse than the Council had anticipated and  if the Government continued to reduce the grant in this way then the Council would not be able to fund the services as they had done in the past.

 

2. Councillor Blyth – Cabinet meeting – 18th November 2013, pages 41 and 43, Agenda Items 9 and 12 – Budget Proposals 2014/15 and Revenue Monitor 2013-14; Month 4, 5&6 (September) with reference to budget pressures on Adult Services – Does the current estimated funding gap of £23.04M include the £2M?

 

Councillor Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance, confirmed that the £2M was included in the figure.

 

Members made the following observations:

 

1. Councillor Thompson – Cabinet meeting – 21st October 2013, page 36, Agenda Item 8 – Council Performance Report Q1 2013-14 – expressing a number of concerns relating to the actual figures not being great, with particular reference to those for the number of adults taking part in sports and physical activities being below target; as were the figures for Council Tax and Business Rates. Reference was also made to the number of flagship projects operating without targets and gave Troubled Families as an example.

A number of issues no longer reported for example clean streets and placements for looked after children had both disappeared from the list.

 

Councillor Harrison, Cabinet Member for Commissioning an Public Sector Reform, offered to meet with Councillor Thompson to discuss these issues.

 

Councillor McMahon, Leader of the Council, also responded to the observation advising that a few things have changed in the way performance was reported; for the first  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

1. Councillor A Chadderton to MOVE and Councillor Alexander to SECOND:

 

This Council is committed to providing outstanding education in good facilities which gives the young people of this borough the best possible educational experience.

This Council regrets that the severe curtailment of the BSF programme which would have seen the replacement of Saddleworth and Royton & Crompton schools together with the upgrading of Hathershaw School, Blue Coat and Crompton House.

The Council notes that both Saddleworth and Royton & Crompton schools had reached the end of their useful lives and required full replacement to obtain best value for money.

The Council welcomes the opportunity to support Saddleworth School and its governing body to apply for new funds through the Education Funding Agency but acknowledges that, the timescales involved, the available sites and the available budget present challenges.
Once the funding for the replacement of Saddleworth School is confirmed this Council resolves to:

1.      Lobby the Government to fund the replacement of Royton and Crompton and work towards a replacement school at the earliest opportunity.

2.      Lobby for greater devolved capital and other funding to invest in urgent repairs and upgrades required for the remaining secondary school estate.

Also:

3.      This Council reconfirms the position it adopted under the BSF programme that the present site of Saddleworth School in Uppermill is an unsuitable and inadequate site for a replacement Secondary School.The Uppermill site is not fit to meet the education needs of future generations of students, nor does the proposal by some residents to rebuild Saddleworth School on the present Uppermill site meet the aspirational wishes of parents, staff and school governors.

4.      This Council requests our MPs to support this resolution and Oldham Council's determination to campaign to providing outstanding education in good facilities which gives the young people of this borough the best possible educational experience.

2. Councillor Dearden to MOVE and Councillor Haque to SECOND:

Newcastle City Council passed a declaration in May 2013 to tackle the harm smoking causes our communities. It has since been supported by the Public Health Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England.

All councils are being urged to sign up to the Declaration which will be formally launched in Parliament on December 11th 2013.

The Declaration commits councils to:

·        Act at a local level  to reduce smoking prevalence and health inequalities and to raise the  profile of the harm caused by smoking to our communities

·        Develop plans with our partners and local communities to address the causes and impacts of tobacco use

·        Participate in local and regional networks for support

·        Support the government in taking action at national level to help local authorities reduce smoking prevalence  and health inequalities in our communities

·        Protect our tobacco control work from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry by not accepting any  partnerships, payments, gifts and services, monetary or in kind or research funding offered by the tobacco industry to officials or employees

·        Monitor the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Minutes:

Councillor Marie Bashforth left the room at this point in the meeting.

 

Motion 1

 

Councillor A Chadderton MOVED and Councillor Alexander SECONDED the following motion:

 

“This Council is committed to providing outstanding education in good facilities which gives the young people of this borough the best possible educational experience.

This Council regrets that the severe curtailment of the BSF programme which would have seen the replacement of Saddleworth and Royton & Crompton schools together with the upgrading of Hathershaw School, Blue Coat and Crompton House.

The Council notes that both Saddleworth and Royton & Crompton schools had reached the end of their useful lives and required full replacement to obtain best value for money.

The Council welcomes the opportunity to support Saddleworth School and its governing body to apply for new funds through the Education Funding Agency but acknowledges that, the timescales involved the available sites and the available budget present challenges.
Once the funding for the replacement of Saddleworth School is confirmed this Council resolves to:

1.      Lobby the Government to fund the replacement of Royton and Crompton and work towards a replacement school at the earliest opportunity.

2.      Lobby for greater devolved capital and other funding to invest in urgent repairs and upgrades required for the remaining secondary school estate.

Also:

3.      This Council reconfirms the position it adopted under the BSF programme that the present site of Saddleworth School in Uppermill is an unsuitable and inadequate site for a replacement Secondary School.The Uppermill site is not fit to meet the education needs of future generations of students, nor does the proposal by some residents to rebuild Saddleworth School on the present Uppermill site meet the aspirational wishes of parents, staff and school governors.

4.      This Council requests our MPs to support this resolution and Oldham Council's determination to campaign to providing outstanding education in good facilities which gives the young people of this borough the best possible educational experience.”

 

Councillor Harrison spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Ur Rehman spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Roughley spoke in support of the Motion.

Councillor Battye spoke in support of the Motion and requested that a recorded vote be taken.

Councillor Sykes spoke in support of the Motion.

In accordance with Council Procedure rule 12.3 at least five Members requested a recorded vote on this Amendment. The Vote was recorded as follows:

 

Councillor

 

Councillor

 

Akhtar

FOR

Hussain

FOR

Alcock

FOR

Iqbal

FOR

Alexander

FOR

Jabbar

FOR

Ames

FOR

Judge

FOR

Azad

FOR

Larkin

FOR

Ball

FOR

Malik

FOR

Bashforth Marie

NO VOTE DoI

McCann

FOR

Bashforth Steve

FOR

McDonald

FOR

Battye

FOR

McLaren

FOR

Beeley

FOR

McMahon

FOR

Blyth

FOR

Moores

FOR

Briggs

FOR

Newton

ABSENT

Brownridge

FOR

Price

FOR

Chadderton Amanda

FOR

Qumer

FOR

ChaddertonOlwen

FOR

Rehman

FOR

Chauhan

FOR

Roughley

FOR

Dawson

FOR

Salamat

FOR

Dean

FOR

Sedgwick

FOR

Dearden

FOR

Shah

FOR

Dillon John

FOR

Sheldon

ABSENT

Dillon Philomena

FOR

Shuttleworth

FOR

Fielding

FOR

Stretton

FOR

Garry

FOR

Sykes

FOR

Haque

FOR

Thompson

FOR  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Notice of Opposition Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

 

1. Councillor McCann to MOVE and Councillor Beeley to SECOND:

 

This Council believes that the ‘national living wage’ first established by the National Living Wage Foundation in the UK in 2001 should be the minimum pay rate for all employees.

Other local authorities who have adopted the ‘national living wage’ rate have found that staff morale, productivity and retention improves as a result.

The current rate for employees outside of London is £7.65 per hour, a figure significantly higher than the National Minimum Wage set by statute.

Creditably this Council has introduced an intermediate Oldham Living Wage guaranteeing employees the equivalent of £7.31 per hour; however this is still 34 pence per hour less than the out-of-London ‘national living wage’ rate.

Employees working for other public or private sector organisations across Oldham fare much worse.

As a leading employer in the borough, this Council resolves to lead the way by:

-         Committing itself to introducing the ‘national living wage’ rate for all employees at the earliest possible time, with the timetable being determined through consultation between the three party group leaders, senior officers and trades unions

-         Seeking thereafter accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation as a living wage employer

-         Seeking the same wage rate for the staff of contractors, arms-length organisations and agencies engaged in contracts with the Council

-         Promoting the adoption of the ‘national living wage’ rate to other Oldham employers

-         Asking the Chief Executive to write to:

·        The Living Wage Foundation expressing the Council’s support for the campaign

·        Our three local MPs and the leaders of the Government and principal Opposition parties calling upon them to support legislation to replace the National Minimum Wage with the ‘national living wage’ as the statutory minimum

2. Councillor Thompson to MOVE and Councillor McCann to SECOND:

 

This Council is committed to working with registered providers, and as a social landlord itself, to making best use of the social housing stock in the borough by promoting ‘right sizing’.

‘Right sizing’ would free up larger family homes for occupation by applicants living with over-crowding, whilst supporting under-occupying tenants taking in lodgers or wishing to move to smaller properties to avoid housing benefit penalties, to reduce their heating or maintenance bills or because of infirmity or disability.

Council notes that:

·        In the report on welfare reform dated 17th July 2013, of the social housing stock, 341 properties were under-occupied by 2 bedrooms, 25 by 3, and 7 by four or more spare bedrooms.

·        This figure fails to account for tenants over working age, who are under-occupying, yet are in receipt of full housing benefit or tenants who under-occupy and pay their rent from their own resources.

·        In contrast, as of 30th June 2013, there were 2,118 applicants on the waiting list requiring homes with three or more bedrooms, many households living with overcrowding

This Council therefore resolves to ask the Overview and Scrutiny Board to examine the practicalities of:

·        Reinstating the council’s downsizing policy to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

 Motion 1

 

Councillor McCann MOVED and Councillor Beeley SECONDED the following motion:

 

 “This Council believes that the ‘national living wage’ first established by the National Living Wage Foundation in the UK in 2001 should be the minimum pay rate for all employees.

Other local authorities who have adopted the ‘national living wage’ rate have found that staff morale, productivity and retention improves as a result.

The current rate for employees outside of London is £7.65 per hour, a figure significantly higher than the National Minimum Wage set by statute.

Creditably this Council has introduced an intermediate Oldham Living Wage guaranteeing employees the equivalent of £7.31 per hour; however this is still 34 pence per hour less than the out-of-London ‘national living wage’ rate.

Employees working for other public or private sector organisations across Oldham fare much worse.

As a leading employer in the borough, this Council resolves to lead the way by:

-         Committing itself to introducing the ‘national living wage’ rate for all employees at the earliest possible time, with the timetable being determined through consultation between the three party group leaders, senior officers and trades unions

-         Seeking thereafter accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation as a living wage employer

-         Seeking the same wage rate for the staff of contractors, arms-length organisations and agencies engaged in contracts with the Council

-         Promoting the adoption of the ‘national living wage’ rate to other Oldham employers

-         Asking the Chief Executive to write to:

·        The Living Wage Foundation expressing the Council’s support for the campaign

·        Our three local MPs and the leaders of the Government and principal Opposition parties calling upon them to support legislation to replace the National Minimum Wage with the ‘national living wage’ as the statutory minimum.

AMENDMENT

Councillor Jabbar  MOVED and Councillor Wrigglesworth  SECONDED the following amendment:

 

“Insert new resolution 1:

‘Calling on Government to fund the additional cost of moving from the Oldham Living Wage of £7.31 per hour to the National Living Wage of £7.65 per hour’

Insert in resolution 2 after ‘for all employees’:

with this support’

Insert in resolution 5, bullet point 2 after ‘the statutory minimum’:

and asking for financial support from the Government to assist in this aim.’

The amended resolution would now read:

This Council believes that the ‘national living wage’ first established by the National Living Wage Foundation in the UK in 2001 should be the minimum pay rate for all employees.

Other local authorities who have adopted the ‘national living wage’ rate have found that staff morale, productivity and retention improves as a result.

The current rate for employees outside of London is £7.65 per hour, a figure significantly higher than the National Minimum Wage set by statute.

Creditably this Council has introduced an intermediate Oldham Living Wage guaranteeing employees the equivalent of £7.31 per hour; however this is still 34 pence per hour less than the out-of-London ‘national living wage’ rate.

Employees working for other public or private sector organisations across Oldham fare  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

To note the Minutes of the following Joint Authority and Oldham Partnership meetings and the relevant spokespersons to respond to questions from Members

(time limit 15 minutes):-

 

Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Executive

 

27th September 2013

25th October 2013

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

 

27th September 2013

25th October 2013

Police and Crime Panel

 

26th July 2013

Transport for Greater Manchester

13th September 2013

11th October 2013

15th November 2013

 

National Park Authority

 

4th October 2013

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority

 

17th October 2013

Unity Partnership Board

4th September 2013

 

Minutes:

Minutes of the Joint Authorities were submitted as follows:

 

Association of Greater Manchester          27th September 2013

Authorities Executive                                25th October 2013

 

Greater Manchester Combined                27th September 2013

Authority                                                   25th October 2013

 

Police and Crime Panel                            26th July 2013

 

Transport for Greater Manchester            13th September 2013

                                                                  11th October 2013

                                                                   15th November 2013

National Park Authority                             4th October 2013

 

Greater Manchester Fire and                    17th October 2013

Rescue Authority

 

Unity Partnership Board                             4th September 2013

 

RESOLVED that the Joint Authority Minutes be noted.

15.

LGA Corporate Peer Challenge: Oldham Council, October 2013 - Report of Deputy Chief Executive

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Deputy Chief Executive which highlighted the findings of the LGA Peer Support Challenge which had been carried out in Oldham during October 2013. In moving the report Councillor McMahon, Leader of the Council, pointed out that this had not been an inspection but a combination of cross party work and work with officers, a culmination of a significant amount of work that was important in terms of external validation. In seconding the report Councillor Sykes, Leader of the Opposition concurred with the Leader stating that the Council had been tested and the results of these tests would help identify the direction in which the Council should be moving forward. It was the little things that mattered and it would be these things that would make a difference. The report gave a good external recognition of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1. Council welcomes the findings of the 2013 LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Report of Oldham Council

2. Council endorses the response to the findings set out in this report.

3. A report be presented to a future meeting of Cabinet outlining progress against the areas identified for consideration.

16.

Appointment of the Interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service - Report of the Assistant Executive Director, People Services

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Assistant Executive Director, People Services which detailed the recommendations of the Selection Committee regarding the appointment of an Interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service following the resignation of the current post holder, Charlie Parker.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.  The appointment of Doctor Carolyn Wilkins as the Interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, effective from 13 January 2014 be approved;

 

2.  In accordance with the Council’s Pay Policy Statement, a salary of £154,143 per annum be approved;

 

3.  The interim appointment to incorporate the responsibility for the roles of:

 

  • Clerk to the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
  • Returning Officer for local elections;

 

4.  This interim appointment to incorporate the role of Returning Officer for any Parliamentary, European and Police and Crime Commissioner for which, a separate payment as determined by Statute is made by central government;

 

5.  The short term specialist advisory service to be provided by Sir Howard Bernstein of Manchester City Council to support Oldham Council’s ongoing commercial and regeneration activities;

 

6.  It is expected that, following an appropriate recruitment and selection process, the appointment of a permanent successor to Charlie Parker will be recommended to full Council in July 2014, following an appropriate recruitment and selection process.

17.

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2014/15 - Report of the Borough Treasurer

The background documents to the Local Council Tax Reduction scheme are avaible in hard copy at Access Oldham, Civic Reception and the Group Rooms.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Treasurer which sought approval of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2014/15.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

  1. Option 2 be agreed as the preferred option and the Council implement a Council Tax Reduction Scheme from 1st April 2014 for all applicants of working age as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report.

This would: 

  • Increase the maximum amount of reduction available to 80% of a Band A rate of Council Tax.
  • Maintain other changes introduced in the 2013/14 scheme, these are not to award second adult rebate and to disregard 100% of any payments received from War Disablement, War Widows and Armed Forces Compensation Schemes.

 

2.The scheme at Appendix 2 to the report to be subject to any changes resulting from prescribed requirements issued by the Secretary of State under paragraph 2(8) of Schedule 1A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and any changes from time to time to the figures prescribed by central government for welfare benefits purposes.

18.

A Co-operative Approach to the use of Council Assets - Report of Executive Director Commercial Services

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Executive Director Commercial Services which sought approval of the revised Land and Property Protocols, Governance arrangements for Community Right to Bid and Community use of Assets Policy & Procedure.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.      The revised Land and Property Protocols be approved.

2.      The governance arrangements for Community Right to Bid be approved.

3.      Use of this process in relation to application recently received relating to Boundary Park.

4.      The streamlined and updated Community use of Assets Policy & Procedure to extend spectrum of opportunities be approved.

5.      The existing Community Asset Transfer Strategy be discontinued

19.

Civic Appreciation Nomination - Report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Executive which sought approval of the nomination to receive the Civic Appreciation Award, in recognition of service and dedication to the local community. Group Leaders have recommended that Mr Roger Tanner be nominated to receive this award.

 

RESOLVED that:

           

1. Roger Tanner be the agreed nomination to receive the Civic Appreciation Award for 2014.

2. That the ceremony for the award will take place at the Council meeting of 5th February 2014.

20.

Constitution Review - Report of the Borough Solicitor

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Solicitor informing Council that arising from the work which had been undertaken by the Constitution Working Group, there was a requirement to make changes to the Council’s Constitution, details of which were outlined in the report. The Mayor advised the meeting that the recommendation at 2.2 of the report had now been removed and Members should note that the individual Councillor Budget referred to in paragraph 3.1 was £3,000 and not £2,000 as stated.

 

Councillor McMahon MOVED the report and Councillor Akhtar SECONDED the report with these changes.

 

 AMENDMENT

 

Councillor Sykes MOVED and Councillor Thompson SECONDED the following Amendment:

 

“That Section 3 – Supporting Local Leaders – (Page 176 of the Council Green Book) – be removed from the report in its entirety.”

 

Without debate the Amendment was put to the vote.

 

On being put to the vote FOURTEEN VOTES were cast IN FAVOUR of the AMENDMENT and FORTY TWO VOTES cast AGAINST with ONE ABSTENTION. The AMENDMENT was therefore lost.

 

A vote was then taken on the Report.

 

On being put to the vote FORTY TWO VOTES were cast IN FAVOUR OF ACCEPTING THE REPORT and FOURTEEN VOTES cast AGAINST with ONE ABSTENTION.

 

RESOLVED that, subject to the removal of the recommendation at 2.2 of the report and the fact that the individual Councillor Budget referred to in paragraph 3.1 stood at £3,000, be noted, the recommendations, as outlined in the report, be approved and the Borough Solicitor be authorised to make any consequential amendments to the Council’s Constitution.

21.

Update on Actions from Council

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Solicitor informing Members of actions that had been taken following previous Council meetings and providing feedback on other issues raised at the meeting.