Dumfries and Galloway Council Minutes

Date:
Friday 11 October 2013
Time:
10.30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

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

PROCEDURE

 

The Leader intimated that he had received a request from Willie Scobie for submission of a late report on the Discretionary Housing Fund, but that with the agreement of Members, he intended not to accede to this request today and that reports be submitted to the November cycle of meetings of the Policy and Resources Committee and the ad hoc Sub Committee Welfare Reform as appropriate.  This was agreed.

 

Further, he intimated that it was proposed that the Depute Leader, together with officers, would attend and present evidence to a meeting of the Welfare Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 19 November 2013,  which date clashed with a diaried meeting of this Council's ad hoc Sub Committee Welfare Reform and that the date of that Sub Committee required to be amended.  This was agreed.

 

38 Members present, 9 apologies

 
2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Jim McClung declared an interest in item 3 on the agenda calling the meeting, being Police Scotland: Review of Traffic Wardens and Public Counter Service Provision, due to his being a retired Police Officer, but determined that his interest was such that he did not require to leave the meeting.

 

PROCEDURE - The Leader, on behalf of the Council, extended condolences to Jane Maitland on the recent death of her father.

 
PUBLIC ISSUES
3 POLICE SCOTLAND: REVIEW OF TRAFFIC WARDENS AND PUBLIC COUNTER SERVICE PROVISION - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

Decision

 

AGREED the Council’s position in response to Police Scotland’s consultation on the review of Traffic Warden and Public Counter Service Provision as follows, APPRECIATING that one of our Council's Priorities is that we will maintain the safety and security of our region and that within that Priority is the commitment that we would strive to maintain the existing levels of police and fire service cover in Dumfries and Galloway :-

 

3.1      Traffic Warden Review

  • This was not a consultation, but rather a fait accompli by Police Scotland
  • While Decriminalised Parking Enforcement had been implemented in a number of areas of Scotland and might have proved successful in City areas, rural authorities were incurring considerable deficits.  The estimated cost to the Council of setting up a system in Dumfries and Galloway would be the order of £200,000, with a projected annual deficit of £70,000.  There were two Traffic Wardens in Dumfries and Galloway at present and, on the basis of following the public pound, a change from Traffic Wardens to Decriminalised Parking Enforcement would not make economic sense.

3.2      Public Counter Service Provision

  • The general perception that this was not a consultation, but rather a fait accompli by Police Scotland and that the people of Dumfries and Galloway would lose out through perceived centralisation policies such as this;
  • In particular, the loss of local points of contact in a rural area would result in a diminution of service to local communities; relationships between the Police and the public would not be as effective as at present, especially in relation to core business; and that there might be a resultant loss in local knowledge and intelligence in relation to the detection of crime;
  • Additionally, these proposals did not take cognisance of the geography and demography of Dumfries and Galloway region and the proposed reduction in counter provision would exacerbate the distances between police stations in our area;
  • Concerns about the likelihood of further savings in future years, given the current financial climate;
  • Members also wished to seek an assurance that local commanders would work with communities to ensure appropriate integrated service provision would be secured and that they would be engaged with in a meaningful consultation process before any further changes were implemented; and
  • A further assurance was sought from the local commander that alternative provision, such as publicly available telephones in stations where counter provision had been removed, would be implemented before this happened.
Democratic and Executive Support Manager

STRATEGIC ISSUES
4 APPOINTMENTS TO ROLES AND OUTSIDE BODIES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

PROCEDURE - It was agreed to withdraw delegation as appropriate from the Planning, Housing and Environment Services and Social Work Services Committees respectively in order to consider the recommendations set out in the report.
 

Decision

 

AGREED

 

4.1      the appointments to roles and Outside Bodies (Appendix), APPRECIATING that Finlay Carson would continue to represent the Council as Events Champion for those events to which he was already committed to and that a report would be submitted to the Policy and Resources Committee to fill the vacancy on Dumfries Prison Visiting Committee following the recent resignation of Karen Carruthers;

 

4.2      that a substitute Independent Group representative was required on the South of Scotland Alliance; and

 

4.3      NOTED the arrangements for substitutes to attend Outside Bodies.

Governance and Elections Officer

PROCEDURAL REPORTS
5 APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SCRUTINY AND PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE AND CHAIRMAN OF THE NITHSDALE AREA COMMITTEE/PROVOST OF DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

The Leader nominated Ted Thompson for the post of Chairman of the Nithsdale Area Committee/Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale.  There were no other nominations offered.

 

Decision

 

5.1      NOTED the appointment of Richard Brodie as Vice Chairman of the Scrutiny and Performance Committee; and

 

5.2      AGREED the appointment of Ted Thompson to the post of Chairman of the Nithsdale Area Committee/ Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale.
 

Jack Groom offered his congratulations to Ted Thompson on his appointment as Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale.

 

Ted Thompson paid tribute to Jack Groom for his contribution as Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale during his period of office.

Governance and Committee Support Officer

6 ANY OTHER BUSINESS DEEMED URGENT BY THE LEADER DUE TO THE NEED FOR A DECISION

Decision

 

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

 

Action Details

ItemDetail
3 Action by Democratic and Executive Support Manager - Letters outlining Council's position on Review ot Traffic Wardens and on Public Conter Service Provision sent to the SPA on 11 October 2013.
4 Action by Governance and Elections Officer - Updates to outside bodies completed - AS; Ind appt to SOSA pending response from Independent group
5 Action by Governance and Committee Support Officer - All necessary paperwork and databases updated with this information