Dumfries and Galloway Council Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 29 September 2015
Time:
10.30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries (Reports)

Attendance Details

Members:
Ronnie Nicholson (Leader)-North West Dumfries
Ted Thompson (Depute Leader)-Lochar
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
Brian Collins-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
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 E Ogilvie-Annandale South
George N Prentice-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Willie Scobie-Stranraer and North Rhins
Davie Stitt-Abbey
John Syme-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Graeme Tait-Annandale North
Stephen Thompson-Annandale North
Roberta Tuckfield-Wigtown West
Alastair Witts-Nith
Andrew S Wood-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Colin Wyper-Dee
Apologies:
Gillian Dykes - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Patsy Gilroy - Dee
Ivor A Hyslop - Lochar
Graham Nicol - Mid Galloway
Craig Peacock - Annandale East and Eskdale
Colin Smyth - Nith
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

41 Members present, 6 apologies

 

PROCEDURE - The Leader advised that he had considered two Notices of Motion both on the subject of the Trade Union Bill. His decision was that the Motion from Councillor Dryburgh would be an item of business deemed urgent due to the need for a decision and the very recent discussion at COSLA and that this would be taken at Item 11. The Leader advised that he did not consider the Notice of Motion from Councillor Scobie urgent since it did not contain any information that was not already known at least ten working days before this meeting.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 25 JUNE 2015

Decision

 

AGREED subject to an amendment at the adjournment of meeting to include Stephen Thompson as being present.

4 PRESENTATION - LISTEN 2 US

Decision

 

4.1     AGREED to receive a presentation from Stephen, Greta, Mel and Angie from the Listen to Us project;

 

4.2     COMMENDED the work of the Listen to Us project; and

 

4.3     THANKED the young people for attending the meeting.

5 CHILDREN'S SERVICES PLAN - 6 MONTH PROGRESS REPORT - REPORT BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Decision

 

NOTED

 

5.1     the progress made against implementation of the Children’s Services Plan as set out in the Appendix; and

 

5.2     that high level annual performance indicators will be reported in the full Annual Report to be presented in March 2016.

6 SHAPE OF THE COUNCIL - PROGRESS REPORT - REPORT BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Decision

 

NOTED

 

6.1     the progress achieved in the period since June 2015;

 

6.2     the outcome of the matching process for the Head of Service posts; and

 

6.3     AGREED to receive a further report from the Chief Executive, at Full Council on 17 December 2015, providing a further update on progress achieved.

7 ANNUAL TREASURY MANAGEMENT REPORT 2014/15 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE

Decision

 

NOTED 

 

7.1     the treasury management activities for the year 2014/15 resulting in a net debt position of £182.393m at 31 March 2015; and

 

7.2     the transactions and debt performance during 2014/15 including net interest paid of £8.149m during the year.
 

MEMBER - Iain Dick left the meeting - 40 Members present

8 POLITICAL GROUP MEMBERSHIP - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

8.1     the change of name of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Conservative and Unionists Group to the Dumfries and Galloway Independent Group;

 

8.2     that Councillor Yen is an Independent Councillor associated with the Dumfries and Galloway Independent Group;

 

8.3     that Councillor McCutcheon is a member of The Independent Group; and

 

8.4     AGREED the allocation of the one place on Sub-Committees of 7 to the non-aligned/non-affiliated Members being Willie Scobie.

9 REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS AND SCHEMES OF DELEGATION - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED 

 

9.1     to amend Standing Order 10.3 (Voting) to provide that the only voting by ballot shall be for votes in relation to the appointment of Officers or disciplinary and grievance issues;

 

9.2     to amend Standing Order 8 (Quorum) to provide that the quorum for Common Good Fund Sub-Committees shall be based on voting members only;

 

9.3     to amend the Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees at 4.12 (Substitution) to provide that substitution does not apply to Common Good Fund Sub-Committees;

 

9.4     to amend the Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees at 4.2 (Composition of Education Committee) to provide for the appointment of two Parent Council representatives (one from the Primary Sector and one from the Secondary Sector) and that the method of appointment of these two representatives be via nominations from the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Parent/Carer Council Forum;

 

NOTED

 

9.5     progress in the development of the Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees;

 

9.6     progress in the development of the Scheme of Delegation to Officers;

 

9.7     the consultation proposed with Area Committees in order to receive their views on community input and that this would be reported to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee; and

 

AGREED

 

9.8     that the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee be a Standing Sub-Committee of the Council, noting that its delegation would continue to be to review Standing Orders and Schemes and make recommendations to Full Council.

 

MEMBER - Iain Dick re-entered the meeting - 41 Members present

10 MINUTES FOR APPROVAL/NOTING

Decision

 

Summary as detailed at the Appendix.

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

11.1     NOTICE OF MOTION - TRADE UNION BILL - Report by Director Corporate Services

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - The meeting adjourned at 11.30am to allow Members to consider the contents of the report and reconvened at 11.50am with 40 Members present being:-


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

 

VOTE

 

11.1.1 MOTION by ARCHIE DRYBURGH seconded by GRAEME TAIT that as a major employer in Dumfries and Galloway, this Council welcomes the positive benefits that arise from the relationship that we have with the recognised trade unions and believes that the relationship between employers and their employees through their collective representatives would be damaged by reducing facility time for elected representatives and by removing the ability of union members to pay union dues direct from wages. This Council believes that the Trade Union Bill, far from assisting employer-employee relations or improving workplace democracy, is an attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms of workers to organise. The Council notes that the Bill and associated secondary legislation will:- (1) allow agency labour to be used to substitute for striking workers, currently outlawed, which would be deeply divisive and, with agency workers often doing unfamiliar jobs, could pose a serious health and safety risk to themselves and others; (2) introduce very high thresholds for industrial ballots, with an extra threshold in certain public services, without doing anything to improve the ability of workers to participate in ballots; (3) severely restrict the right to picket and peacefully protest, including organising campaigns through social media; (4) significantly reduce trade union facility time and withdraw check off union contributions in the public sector, irrespective of the wishes of the employer; (5) require union members to contract in to their union's Political Fund every 5 years, thereby significantly reducing the ability of trade unions either to campaign on political issues or to support political parties.

This Council notes the recent request to COSLA by representatives from scottish Local Government Trade unions for support in their lobbying position against the Bill and agrees:- (1) to call on the Government to scrap the Trade Union Bill and all associated regulation/secondary legislation; (2) to commit to promote the positive role that trade unions bring to society; (3) that in the event that the Bill becomes law, follows the lead of other Councils and COSLA and undertakes not to co-operate with any measures in the legislation designed either to reduce time for union representatives or to prevent union members from paying their union fees through the payroll.

 

11.1.2 AMENDMENT by FINLAY CARSON seconded by JANE S MAITLAND that this Council commits to promote the positive role that trade unions bring to society.

 

11.1.3 On a vote taken by roll call, Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion - 29 Votes being:-


Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Richard Brodie, Brian Collins, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, David J McKie, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Ogilvie, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, David Stitt, John Syme, Graeme Tait, Stephen Thompson, Alastair Witts and Andrew S Wood


Amendment - 11 Votes being:-
Ian Blake, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Peter Diggle, Jack Groom, Gail Macgregor, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Roberta Tuckfield and Colin Wyper

 

Decision

 

NOTED that as a major employer in Dumfries and Galloway, this Council welcomes the positive benefits that arise from the relationship that we have with the recognised trade unions and believes that the relationship between employers and their employees through their collective representatives would be damaged by reducing facility time for elected representatives and by removing the ability of union members to pay union dues direct from wages. This Council believes that the Trade Union Bill, far from assisting employer-employee relations or improving workplace democracy, is an attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms of workers to organise. The Council notes that the Bill and associated secondary legislation will:- (1) allow agency labour to be used to substitute for striking workers, currently outlawed, which would be deeply divisive and, with agency workers often doing unfamiliar jobs, could pose a serious health and safety risk to themselves and others; (2) introduce very high thresholds for industrial ballots, with an extra threshold in certain public services, without doing anything to improve the ability of workers to participate in ballots; (3) severely restrict the right to picket and peacefully protest, including organising campaigns through social media; (4) significantly reduce trade union facility time and withdraw check off union contributions in the public sector, irrespective of the wishes of the employer; (5) require union members to contract in to their union's Political Fund every 5 years, thereby significantly reducing the ability of trade unions either to campaign on political issues or to support political parties.

 

This Council NOTED the recent request to COSLA by representatives from scottish Local Government Trade unions for support in their lobbying position against the Bill and AGREED:- (1) to call on the Government to scrap the Trade Union Bill and all associated regulation/secondary legislation; (2) to commit to promote the positive role that trade unions bring to society; (3) that in the event that the Bill becomes law, follows the lead of other Councils and COSLA and undertakes not to co-operate with any measures in the legislation designed either to reduce time for union representatives or to prevent union members from paying their union fees through the payroll.

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 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - The meeting adjourned at 12.20pm for lunch and reconvened at 1pm with 28 Members being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Ian Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Brian Collins, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Alistair Geddes, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jeff Leaver, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, David J McKie, Jim McClung, Ronnie Ogilvie, David Stitt, John Syme, Graeme Tait and Stephen Thompson

EXEMPT
13 CHIEF OFFICER RETIREMENTS - REPORT BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Report Summary - The purpose of this report was to provide Members with details of the proposed early retirements of the (i) Head of Service Strategic Support West; (ii) Head of Strategic Housing, Commissioning and Environmental Standards; and (iii) Head of Care and Facilities Management. Due to these posts being Chief Officers the requests for early retirements were subject to Member approval. The report contained financial details including the costs associated with the retirements and confirmed that these applications had been approved by the Council’s Internal Pensions Panel and the Chief Executive.

Decision

 

NOTED


13.1     the requests for early retirement from the Head of Service Strategic Support West; the Head of Strategic Housing, Commissioning and Environmental Standards; and the Head of Care and Facilities Management with effect from 31 March 2016 and 30 June 2016 respectively.

 

13.2    the costs associated with the retirements; and


13.3    APPROVED the recommendation by the Chief Executive to agree the early retirements on the grounds of redundancy of the (i) Head of Service Strategic Support West; (ii) Head of Strategic Housing, Commissioning and Environmental Standards; and (iii) Head of Care and Facilities Management.

 

DISSENT - Ian Carruthers requested that his dissent be recorded having failed to secure a seconder for his Motion to defer consideration of the item to a future meeting.