Dumfries and Galloway Council Minutes

Date:
Thursday 30 May 2013
Time:
10.30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries (Reports)

Attendance Details

Members:
Brian Collins (Depute Leader)-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Graham Bell-North West Dumfries
Ian Blake-Abbey
Richard Brodie-Annandale South
Ian Carruthers-Annandale South
Karen Carruthers-Annandale East and Eskdale
Finlay Carson-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Rob Davidson-Abbey
Jim H Dempster-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Iain Dick-Stranraer and North Rhins
Peter Diggle-Annandale North
Archie Dryburgh-Annandale East and Eskdale
Andy Ferguson-North West Dumfries
Grahame Forster-Wigtown West
Alistair Geddes-Mid Galloway
Patsy Gilroy-Dee
Jack Groom-Nith
Yen Hongmei Jin-Lochar
Jeff Leaver-Lochar
Gail Macgregor-Annandale North
Jane S Maitland-Dee
Denis R Male-Annandale East and Eskdale
Sean W Marshall-Annandale South
John Martin-Nith
Tom A McAughtrie-Abbey
Jim McClung-Wigtown West
Jim McColm-Mid Galloway
Marion McCutcheon-Stranraer and North Rhins
David J McKie-North West Dumfries
Ronnie Nicholson-North West Dumfries
Graham Nicol-Mid Galloway
Ronnie E Ogilvie-Annandale South
Craig Peacock-Annandale East and Eskdale
George N Prentice-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Willie Scobie-Stranraer and North Rhins
Colin Smyth-Nith
Davie Stitt-Abbey
John Syme-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Graeme Tait-Annandale North
Stephen Thompson-Annandale North
Ted Thompson-Lochar
Roberta Tuckfield-Wigtown West
Alastair Witts-Nith
Andrew S Wood-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Colin Wyper-Dee
Apologies:
Gillian Dykes - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Ivor A Hyslop (Leader) - Lochar
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

0.1   The Depute Leader advised that the Leader has been unwell and is currently in hospital. Members joined the Depute Leader in sending the Leader best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 

1      SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

 

44 Members present, 2 apologies

 

PROCEDURE - the Depute Leader intimated that following the issue of the agenda and papers for the meeting, Governance advice was that the report on Interim Arrangements for the Chief Social Work Officer be dealt with as an exempt item of business in terms of Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 at the end of the meeting before item 13. This was agreed. The items in this minute are recorded in the order in which they appeared on the agenda.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared

 

MEMBER - Richard Brodie entered the meeting during consideration of the following item - 45 Members present

3 CLUSTER WORKING REVIEW - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICES

VOTE

 

3.1    MOTION by WILLIE SCOBIE seconded by GRAHAME FORSTER to acknowledge that clustering is a valuable tool, however, the process should be one of continuous consultation with the Parent Councils and the wider school community; and (2) should a school not be in favour of clustering by consensus with a school of their choice, it should not be implemented until agreement is reached.

 

3.2    AMENDMENT by GAIL MACGREGOR seconded by ROB DAVIDSON to adopt the following:-
(1) note the consideration given to the questions raised over the school rolls to be included and the strategic educational case made by the Performance and Quality Strategy Group Sub Group in relation to schools with pupil rolls of between 100 and 150; and the potential associated costs, phasing timetable and budget implications;
(2) agree that all non-denominational schools with a pupil roll of 150 or fewer remain part of the Cluster Working Review;
(3) agree for schools with a pupil roll of 150 or fewer, to the implementation of partnerships and consequent introduction of non-class committed Headteachers;
(4) agree that this implementation be carried out on a phased basis over a period of three years from June 2013 - June 2016, considering Point 4 and Appendix 1 to the report;

(5) note that after the Cluster Working Review is fully implemented, and all matching/redeployment has been carried out, future Headteacher recruitment processes will fully involve parents as at present;
(6) note that Education Staff will engage with the LNCT to ensure parental involvement in appointments to Principal Teacher with Cluster arrangements, recognising the remaining concerns at some schools and agree to continue discussions to resolve these concerns and that the Education Committee will receive a report on how parents will be involved in principal teacher appointments within cluster schools; and

(7) agree that six monthly monitoring reports be brought back to Education Committee detailing school rolls, partnership workings, progress with implementation and information about ongoing dialogue with Parent Councils.

 

3.3    COUNTER AMENDMENT by JEFF LEAVER seconded by JIM DEMPSTER to adopt the recommendations following:-

(1) note the consideration given to the questions raised over the school rolls to be included and the strategic educational case made by the Performance and Quality Strategy Group Sub Group in relation to schools with pupil rolls of between 100 and 150; and the potential associated costs, phasing timetable and budget implications;
(2) agree that all schools with a pupil roll of 100 or fewer remain part of the Cluster Working Review;
(3) agree for schools with a pupil roll of 100 or fewer, to the implementation of partnerships and consequent introduction of non-class committed Headteachers with the exception of Gatehouse, Elmvale and Cargenbridge and agree to hold further consultations involving local ward members, council officers and parent councils aimed at agreeing an amicable way forward for each community;
(4) agree that this implementation be carried out on a phased basis over a period of three years from June 2013 - June 2016, considering Point 4 and Appendix 1 to the report;
(5) note that after the Cluster Working Review is fully implemented, and all matching/redeployment has been carried out, future Headteacher recruitment processes will fully involve parents as at present;

(6) note that Education Staff will engage with the LNCT to consider parental involvement in appointments to Principal Teacher with Cluster arrangements, recognising the remaining concerns at some schools and agree to continue discussions to resolve these concerns;
(7) agree that six monthly monitoring reports be brought back to Education Committee detailing school rolls, partnership workings, progress with implementation and information about ongoing dialogue with Parent Councils; and

(8) as an exception to the recommendation agreed at the Education Committee in November 2012 with regard to the removal of dual zoning, to agree that Duncow Primary School be realigned to a rural cluster acting as a feeder to Wallacehall Academy in accordance with the wishes expressed unanimously by parents, the school’s Parent Council and the local Kirkmahoe Community Council.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - the meeting adjourned at 11.50am to consider the terms of the Motion, Amendment and Counter Amendment and reconvened at 12.20pm with 45 Members present being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Gail Macgregor, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Ted Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts, Andrew Wood and Colin Wyper

 

3.4    On a vote being taken by roll call between the Amendment and the Counter Amendment, Members voted as follows:-

 

Amendment - 26 votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Andy Ferguson, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Gail Macgregor, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Graham Nicol, George N Prentice, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts and Andrew Wood

 

Counter Amendment - 19 votes being:-

 

Richard Brodie, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Grahame Forster, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Marion McCutcheon, David J McKie, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme, Ted Thompson and Colin Wyper

 

3.5    On a vote being taken by roll call between the Motion and the Amendment, Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion - 17 votes being:-

 

Richard Brodie, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Grahame Forster, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Marion McCutcheon, David J McKie, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Ronnie Ogilvie, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme and Ted Thompson

 

Amendment - 28 votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Andy Ferguson, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Gail Macgregor, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Graham Nicol, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice,Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts, Andrew Wood and Colin Wyper

 

Decision

AGREED

 

3.6    to note the consideration given to the questions raised over the school rolls to be included and the strategic educational case made by the Performance and Quality Strategy Group Sub Group in relation to schools with pupil rolls of between 100 and 150; and the potential associated costs, phasing timetable and budget implications;

 

3.7    that all non-denominational schools with a pupil roll of 150 or fewer remain part of the Cluster Working Review;

 

3.8    for schools with a pupil roll of 150 or fewer, to the implementation of partnerships and consequent introduction of non-class committed Headteachers;

 

3.9    that this implementation be carried out on a phased basis over a period of three years from June 2013 - June 2016, considering Point 4 and Appendix 1 to the report;

 

3.10  to note that after the Cluster Working Review is fully implemented, and all matching/redeployment has been carried out, future Headteacher recruitment processes will fully involve parents as at present;

 

3.11  to note that Education Staff will engage with the LNCT to ensure parental involvement in appointments to Principal Teacher with Cluster arrangements, recognising the remaining concerns at some schools and agree to continue discussions to resolve these concerns and that the Education Committee will receive a report on how parents will be involved in principal teacher appointments within cluster schools; and

 

3.12   that six monthly monitoring reports be brought back to Education Committee detailing school rolls, partnership workings, progress with implementation and information about ongoing dialogue with Parent Councils.

REPORTS
4 BUDGET DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 2014/15 - 2016/17 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

Decision

 

NOTED

 

4.1      the extent of the challenge facing the Council over the upcoming period, APPRECIATING that the budget process would need to support the genuine prioritisation of service activities and the reduction/removal of lower priority services;

 

4.2      the financial summary of the extent of this challenge and that, based on recent announcements/ developments at a UK level, the savings target of £9.965 Million for financial year 2014/15 was likely to be exceeded in subsequent financial years;

 

AGREED

 

4.3     the process for the development of the Council’s budget (Appendix 1); and

 

4.4     the updated service review approach which would ensure that Elected Members determined the outcomes, and the implementation method to achieve these outcomes, from service reviews.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - the meeting adjourned at 12.50am for lunch and reconvened at 1.20pm with 41 Members present being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Gail Macgregor, David J McKie, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Ted Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts, Andrew Wood and Colin Wyper

5 INTERIM ARRANGEMENT - CHIEF SOCIAL WORKER - REPORT BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Summary of report - At its meeting on 28 March 2013, the Council approved the early retirement of the Director of Social Work Services with effect from 30 June 2013. The Director is currently the Chief Social Work Officer (CSWO) for the Council. It is a requirement for every local authority to appoint a professionally qualified CSWO. In accordance with Section 3(1) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 the appointee is responsible for ensuring the provision of effective, professional advice to Dumfries and Galloway Council in the authority’s provision of social work services. The CSWO role is a proper officer of the Council, and as such is recognised in the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.

 

Decision

 

5.1    NOTED the statutory requirement to appoint a CSWO to ensure the Council complies with the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, as amended;

 

5.2    AGREED the designation of Sean McGleenan, Senior Social Work Manager (Nithsdale and Upper Nithsdale) as the Council’s Chief Social Work Officer (CSWO), in terms of the Act; and

 

5.3    NOTED the interim arrangements for the management of Social Work Services, pending the overall structural review agreed by Social Work Services Committee on 21 February 2013.

6 APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

Decision

 

AGREED to appoint Stephen Thompson to the position of Vice Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee.

MEMBER - Jane S Maitland entered the meeting - 42 Members present

7 PLANNING, HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES SUB-COMMITTEE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

PROCEDURE - Members agreed to withdraw delegation from the Planning, Housing and Environment Services Committee to consider this matter.

 

VOTE

 

7.1    MOTION by RONNIE NICHOLSON seconded by JEFF LEAVER that representation on the Sub Committee of Planning, Housing and Environment Services Committee be on the basis of 11 Members, based on proportionality.

 

7.2    AMENDMENT by IAN CARRUTHERS seconded by JIM McCLUNG that representation on the Sub Committee of Planning, Housing and Environment Services be on the basis of 7 Members, based on proportionality.

 

7.3    On a vote being taken by roll call Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion - 21 votes being:-

 

Richard Brodie, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Grahame Forster, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme, Ted Thompson and Colin Wyper

 

Amendment - 21 votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Rob Davidson, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Andy Ferguson, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Jim McClung, Gail Macgregor, Denis R Male, Graham Nicol, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts and Andrew Wood


There being an equality of votes, the Chairman exercised his right to a casting vote, which fell in favour of the Amendment.

 

Decision

 

7.4      AGREED that representation on the Sub Committee of Planning, Housing and Environment Services be on the basis of 7 Members, based on proportionality.

 

MEMBERS - Yen Hongmei Jin, Willie Scobie and Finlay Carson entered the meeting during consideration of the following item - 45 Members present

8 NOTICE OF MOTION - CLOSURE OF REID AND TAYLOR - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

PROCEDURE - Members agreed to withdraw delegation from the Planning, Housing and Environment Services Committee to consider this matter.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - the meeting adjourned at 2.00pm to consider terms for an amended Notice of Motion and reconvened at 2.20pm with 45 Members present being:-

 

Brian Collins, Graham Bell, Ian Blake, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Peter Diggle, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Patsy Gilroy, Jack Groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Gail Macgregor, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Nicholson, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Ted Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield, Alastair Witts, Andrew Wood and Colin Wyper

 

Decision

AGREED

 

8.1    that following upon the disastrous news in Eskdale of the closure of Reid and Taylor, hard upon the closure of Dalarran and the loss of 29 jobs at Border Fine Arts, the Council take whatever steps are necessary to host a meeting with Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Ministers, other appropriate national and local agencies, our local MP and MSPs and Reid and Taylor site owners in order to explore the options available to pursue positive future uses for this critical site in Langholm;

 

8.2    that the Council continues to recognise the strategic economic potential which the M74 corridor and Annandale and Eskdale has for our region and that Officers continue to work with all partners to promote and maximise inward investment and new job creation in the area; and

 

8.3    that Officers be tasked with the creation of a new economic strategy which will seek to address the significant economic challenges which continue to affect Dumfries and Galloway, which strategy must aim to achieve sustainable economic development and focus on addressing the most significant issues our region faces including job creation, skills for the workforce and regeneration investment in our towns.

9 NOTICE OF MOTION - SCOTTISH COURT SERVICE PROPOSALS- REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

AGREED

 

9.1    to express disappointment at the decision of the Scottish Government Justice Minister to accept fully the recommendations of the Scottish Court Service, which would see the closures of Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court and Annan Justice of the Peace Court and see the transfer of jury trials from Stranraer to Ayr and Dumfries;

 

9.2    to note the previous cross party opposition within this Council to these proposals;

 

9.3    to reiterate our opposition and reasons in writing to the Scottish Government Justice Committee, who had called for evidence on the impact of these changes on local communities; all our local MSPs asking them to oppose these proposals in any votes on the matter in the Scottish Parliament; and the Justice Minister asking him to re-consider his support for these proposals;

 

9.4    to remit to officers to re-iterate the Council’s opposition and reasons for it in writing to (1) the Scottish Government’s Justice Committee; (2) all local MSPs asking them to oppose these proposals in any votes on the matter in the Scottish Parliament; and (3) the Justice Minister, asking that he re-consider his support for these proposals; and

 

9.5    to remit to Officers to investigate the wider issue of centralisation of public services’ spending and decision making on our region using the Crichton Institute Regional Observatory and to report back to Members with terms of reference in early course.

 

MEMBERS - Andrew Wood and Colin Wyper left the meeting - 43 Members present

10 MINUTES FOR APPROVAL/NOTING

Decision

 

Summary as detailed at Appendix 2

11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS DEEMED URGENT BY THE CHAIRMAN DUE TO THE NEED FOR A DECISION

Decision

 

NOTED that there was no business deemed urgent by the Chairman due to the need for a decision.

12 LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED to adopt a resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of Section 50A(4) and paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

EXEMPT
13 CHIEF OFFICER RETIREMENT - REPORT BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Summary of report - The Director of Community and Customer Services applied for early retirement because of a change in personal circumstances. The Council’s Early Retirement Policy provides the framework and process by which the application for early retirement can be considered. The application was processed on the grounds of efficiency as the post of Director was not being deleted. The Council was provided with full financial information regarding the costs associated with early retirement.

13.1    NOTED the request for early retirement from the Director of Community and Customer Services with effect from 31 August 2013 and the associated costs, APPRECIATING that there were no years added for superannuation purposes;

 

13.2    APPROVED the recommendation by the Chief Executive that the request can be acceded to on the grounds of the efficiency of the service;

 

AGREED

 

13.3    to receive a report from the Chief Executive on future management arrangements for Community and Customer Services, both in the short term and the longer term; and

 

13.4    to receive a report on Best Value in Early Retirals based on the findings of reports previously produced by the Accounts Commission for Scotland and Audit Scotland.