Dumfries and Galloway Council Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 20 September 2016
Time:
10:40am
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
Ivor A Hyslop-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
Graham Nicol-Mid Galloway
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
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
Yen Hongmei Jin - Lochar
Craig Peacock - Annandale East and Eskdale
Colin Smyth - Nith
Graeme Tait - Annandale North
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

41 Members present, 5 apologies and 1 Member not present

 

PROCEDURE - The Leader advised Members that he had an additional item of business deemed urgent due to the need for a decision and that this would be consider at Item 11 - Any other business deemed urgent by the Chairman due to the need for a decision.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 28 JUNE 2016

Decision

 

APPROVED

4 2016 PROGRESS REVIEW OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE: FINDINGS OF THE CARE INSPECTORATE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Decision

 

NOTED

 

4.1     the findings of the Care Inspectorate regarding positive progress with respect to the five priorities for improvement, these being that community planning partners have made: (i) significant progress in ensuring that children are protected from abuse and risk; (ii) significant progress in improving the life-chances of our looked-after children, young people and care-leavers; (iii) significant progress in strengthening our collaborative leadership to plan and direct the delivery of integrated children’s services; (iv) considerable progress in ensuring consistently high standards of work are achieved; (v) reasonable progress to ensure that vulnerable children, young people and families get the help they need as early as possible; (vi) the comments from the Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate in commending Dumfries and Galloway:  "We are pleased to note the significant progress made by the Dumfries and Galloway community planning partnership. This review identified a change in culture across services. There was a much greater sense of joint responsibility resulting in greatly improved joint working at all levels"; and

 

4.2     the Care Inspectorate’s decision that they are confident that our partnership has the conditions in place for continued improvement and that they no longer see a need to carry out further progress reviews in respect of the 2014 Joint Inspection.

5 ANNUAL TREASURY MANAGEMENT REPORT 2015/16 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

5.1    the treasury management activities for the year 2015/16 resulting in a net debt position of £191.774m at 31 March 2016 detailed in paragraph 3.3 of the report: and

 

5.2     the transactions and debt performance during 2015/16 detailed in paragraphs 3.16 - 3.30 below, including net interest paid of £8.276m during the year outlined in paragraph 3.28 of the report.

 

MEMBER - Ian Blake left the meeting - 40 Members present

6 AMENDMENTS TO STANDING ORDERS AND SCHEME OF ADMINISTRATION AND DELEGATION TO COMMITTEES - DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

6.1     Standing Order 10.3.2 - Voting - wording as follows:-   This Standing Order includes the provision that for votes taken by ballot for appointments of Officers and disciplinary and grievance issues, the minute of the meeting will only record that a ballot has taken place. There is also the occasion when an item of exempt business is voted upon by roll call (Environment and Infrastructure Committee of 1 July 2016). There can be no recording of the details of the vote as the terms of such would disclose exempt information, therefore, there can only be a summary of the report and decision. It is proposed that this is incorporated into SO 10.3.2 as an additional bullet point as follows, noting that the record of voting is retained in terms of legislative requirements:

In relation to votes taken by roll call on exempt items of business, there will only be a formal record that a vote has taken place and a summary of the decision without disclosing the exempt information.
 

6.2     Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees - Substitution on Committees - wording as follows:- (i) Section 4.6 of the Scheme provides for the rules on substitution. It is agreed that this is also reflected in Standing Orders under SO 11 - Committees, Sub Committees and Area Committees to the effect Substitution is permitted on Sub Committees but only in terms of the Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees and subject to completion of any training required in terms of that Scheme; (ii)  In terms of the Scheme, it is agreed that the wording under section 4.6 is tightened as below in bold: Unless otherwise stated elsewhere in this Scheme decided by a Committee, substitution on Sub-Committees (with the exception of Common Good Fund Sub-Committees; Panels of the Local Review Body and Hearings of the Civic Government Licensing Panel) is permitted subject to the following criteria:  (i) the substitute must be an Elected Member of the appointing Committee and be a member of the political grouping which appointed them to the Sub Committee; (ii)  the substitute is appointed for the whole meeting concerned; (iii) the substitute must have completed any training required in terms of the Scheme; (iv)  the substitute must be formally intimated to the appropriate officer by the Group Leader whom failing the Depute Group Leader;  (v) the substitute must declare his/her presence at the beginning of the meeting and be so minuted; (vi) the substitute is not a depute or proxy for the original Member;

 

6.3    Standing Order 17.4 - Right to Attend Meetings - wording as follows:- This Standing Order gives a Member the right to attend a Committee, Sub Committee or Area Committee of which they are not a Member where there is an item of exempt business being discussed unless the Chairman requests the Member to leave. It is agreed to add that this right does not extend to matters of employment; grievance or disciplinary issues dealt with by the Employment and Appeals Sub Committee;

 

6.4     Standing Order 9 - Order of Business - wording as follows:- This Standing Order should include for the fact that Members are required to declare any interests in accordance with the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and this will be inserted after the recording of the sederunt. An additional Standing Order will be added at 9.2 to the effect:  Any Member who is present at a meeting where an item of business is to be dealt with in which they have a financial or non financial interest in terms of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct shall disclose that interest at the start of the meeting or if the interest is only identified when the matter is being discussed, as soon as the Member realises that it is necessary to declare the interest. If less than a quorum is entitled to vote on an item of business due to Member(s) having declared an interest which require them to leave the room, that item cannot be dealt with at that meeting and the matter referred to the next meeting or parent Committee/ Council whichever is required;

 

6.5     Standing Order 10.3.3 - Equality of Votes - wording as follows:- In the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman has a casting vote unless the vote relates to an appointment of a Member to an office or committee in which case the decision shall be by lot. There is nothing, however, to prevent the Chairman from not exercising their casting vote on other matters of business and this is not explicitly provided for in Standing Orders. With regard to delegated matters the item of business is determined at the next parent Committee, in the case of Sub Committees, or the Full Council in the case of Committees. If the Leader decides not to exercise the right to use a casting vote at Full Council then the matter will be determined by lot;

 

6.6     Standing Order 12.1 Scheme (Section 2) - Powers Reserved to the Council - wording as follows:- In terms of the Local Government (Scotland) 1973 Section 53 as amended, the preparation and review of the Scheme for Community Councils should be added under the statutory exclusions from delegation to Committee. A decision of the Council to review or amend the Scheme for Community Councils shall be at a meeting specially convened for that purpose;

 

6.7     Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees - Delegations to Audit and Risk Management Committee - wording as follows:- To add an additional delegation to the effect “Receive quarterly updates on any use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000;

 

6.8     FURTHER AGREED that the wording in Standing Order 7 - Minutes be remitted back to the Review of Standing Order Sub Committee to review the wording and AGREED that a report be submitted to Full Council in early course on the wording 

 

MEMBER - Ian Blake re-entered the meeting - 41 Members present

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

Decision

 

7.1     NOTED the progress achieved in the period since June 2016;

 

AGREED

 

7.2     that any further update to filling the final posts to the structure would be communicated to all Council Members directly; and

 

7.3     to receive a report at Full Council on 15 December 2016 on the transformation programme. 

8 EVENTS CHAMPION - ANNUAL REPORT 2015/2016 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Decision

 

NOTED the activities undertaken by the Events Champion as outlined in the Appendix to the report.

9 NOTICE OF MOTION - REFERENDUM - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

VOTE

 

9.1     MOTION - PETER DIGGLE seconded by IAN CARRUTHERS that if the British Government grants the Scottish Government the power to hold another Scottish Independence Referendum then Dumfries and Galloway Council demands that the British Government allows Dumfries and Galloway the right to hold its own referendum, at the same time, on whether or not Dumfries and Galloway should remain as part of the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom.  This will be a once in a generation event and the result will be respected by all

 

9.2     AMENDMENT - ARCHIE DRYBURGH seconded by RONNIE NICHOLSON that this Council notes the terms of the Notice of Motion, notes the significant financial challenges facing the Council and that this Council is focussed on its Council Priorities

 

9.3     COUNTER AMENDMENT - ANDY FERGUSON seconded by ROB DAVIDSON that the Council notes the terms of the motion proposed by Councillor Diggle, seconded by Councillor Carruthers; considers its terms highly speculative given the information currently available to the Council, recognises that Dumfries and Galloway is an important part of the ancient nation of Scotland and agrees that any future decision on the constitution should be made on a national basis.

 

On a vote taken between the Counter Amendment and the Amendment, Members voted as follows:-

 

9.4     Counter Amendment - 8 Votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Rob davidson, Iain Dick, Andy Ferguson, Jim McClung, Stephen Thompson, Alistair witts and Andrew S Wood

 

9.5     Amendment - 24 Votes being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Finlay carson, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McColm, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, David Stitt and John Syme

 

9.6     Abstentions - 9 being:-

 

Graham Bell, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Peter Diggle, Jack Groom, Marion McCutcheon, Roberta Tuckfield and Colin Wyper

 

On a vote taken between the Motion and the Amendment, Members voted as follows:-

 

9.7     Motion - 9 Votes being:-

 

Graham Bell, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Peter Diggle, Jack groom, Jane S Maitland, George N Prentice, Roberta Tuckfield and Colin Wyper

 

9.8     Amendment - 28 Votes being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, David J McKie, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, Willie Scobie, David Stitt, John Syme, Stephen Thompson, Alastair Witts and Andrew S Wood

 

9.9     Abstentions - 4 being:-

 

Richard Brodie, Brian Collins, Marion McCutcheon and Gail Macgregor

 

Decision

 

9.10     That this Council NOTED the terms of the Notice of Motion, NOTED the significant financial challenges facing the Council and that this Council is focussed on its Council Priorities.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - the meeting adjourned at 12.30pm and reconvened at 1pm with 31 Members present being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Richard Brodie, Finlay Carson, Rob Davidson, Jim Dempster, Iain Dick, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Grahame Forster, Alistair Geddes, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutheon, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, David Stitt, John Syme, Stephen Thompson and Alastair Witts

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     DECISION OF SCOTTISH MINISTERS ON THE FIFTH GENERAL REVIEWS OF ELECTORAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COUNCIL AREA - Report by Director Corporate Services

 

Decision

 

11.1.1     AGREED to withdraw delegation from the Policy and Resources Committee;

 

11.1.2     NOTED the decision of the scottish Ministers, as set out in the Appendix to the report, on the revised Councillor numbers and ward boundaries for the Dumfries and galloway Council aream which would come into force from 30 September 2016 and which would apply to any election held on or after 4 May 2017;

 

11.1.3     FURTHER AGREED to seek opinion from Senior Counsel and to seek reasons from Scottish Ministers on the decision that has been taken