Dumfries and Galloway Council Minutes

Date:
Monday 29 February 2016
Time:
10.30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

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
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
Andy Ferguson-North West Dumfries
Grahame Forster-Wigtown West
Patsy Gilroy-Dee
Jack Groom-Nith
Yen Hongmei Jin-Lochar
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
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
Roberta Tuckfield-Wigtown West
Alastair Witts-Nith
Apologies:
Rob Davidson - Abbey
Alistair Geddes - Mid Galloway
Graham Nicol - Mid Galloway
Andrew S Wood - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Colin Wyper - Dee
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

42 Members present, 5 apologies

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Yen Hongmei Jin declared an interest at item 6 by virtue of her connection with the Dumfries and Galloway Multi Cultural Association and deemed that her interest was such that she would leave the meeting should there be any discussion on Third Sector funding for this Association

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 11 FEBRUARY 2016

Decision

 

AGREED

4 COUNCIL TAX AND COMMUNITY CHARGES - RESTRICTIONS ON VOTING - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED the provisions of Section 112 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 which removes a Member’s voting rights on Council matters in certain specified circumstances and places the onus of disclosure on individual Members.

5 THE BUDGET AND COUNCIL TAX 2016/17 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

5.1     CONSIDERED  and NOTED the information reflected in this report as part of determining the revenue budget and associated council tax level for financial year 2016/17; and

 

5.2     NOTED the Capital Programme would be dealt with under Item 6.

6 PRESENTATION OF BUDGET PROPOSALS

Decision

 

PROCEDURE - The Leader of the Council, Ronnie Nicholson, on behalf of the Administration, presented and moved the Administration budget update (Appendix 1 and 1a).  This was seconded by the Depute Leader, Ted Thompson

 

The Leader of the Scottish National Party, Andy Ferguson, presented and moved the Group's budget update  (Appendix 2).  This was seconded by Iain Dick.

 

The Leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Independent Group, Ian Carruthers, presented and moved, the Group's budget update (Appendix 3).  This was seconded by Roberta Tuckfield.

 

The Leader of the Independent Group, Jane Maitland, presented and moved the Group's budget update  (Appendix 4).  This was seconded by Richard Brodie.

 

MEMBER - Peter Diggle left the meeting - 41 Members present

 

VOTE

 

6.1     MOTION by IAN CARRUTHERS seconded by ROBERTA TUCKFIELD that a one hour recess be taken to allow consideration of the budgets

 

6.2     AMENDMENT by RONNIE NICHOLSON seconded by TED THOMPSON that no recess take place

 

6.3     On a Vote taken by roll call, Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion - 17 Votes being:-

 

Graham Bell, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Brian Collins, Iain Dick, Andy Ferguson, Jack Groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Jane S Maitland, George N Prentice, Stephen Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield and Alastair Witts

 

Amendment - 24 Votes being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Finlay Carson, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Gillian Dykes, Grahame Forster, Patsy Gilroy, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme and Graeme Tait

 

Decision

 

6.4     AGREED that no recess take place

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - The meeting adjourned at 12noon and reconvened at 12.30pm with 41 members present being:-

 

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

 

VOTE

 

6.5    COUNTER AMENDMENT - IAN CARRUTHERS seconded by ROBERTA TUCKFIELD that the Dumfries and Galloway Indepentent Group budget update proposals be agreed

 

6.6   COUNTER COUNTER AMENDMENT - JANE S MAITLAND seconded by RICHARD BRODIE that the Independent Group budget update proposals be agreed

  

6.7     On a Vote taken by roll call, Members voted as follows:-

 

Counter Amendment - 11 Votes being:-

Graham Bell, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Brian Collins, Iain Dick, Andy Ferguson, Jack Groom, Jim McClung, Stephen Thompson, Roberta Tuckfield and Alastair Witts

 

Counter Counter Amendment - 5 Votes being:-

Richard Brodie, Jim McClung, Marion McCutcheon, Jane S Maitland, George N Prentice

 

Abstentions - 25 being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Finlay Carson, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Gillian Dykes, Grahame Forster, Patsy Gilroy, Yen Hongmei Jin, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Denis R male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme and Graeme Tait

 

VOTE

6.8     AMENDMENT - ANDY FERGUSON seconded by IAIN DICK that the Scottish National Party Group budget update proposals be agreed

 

6.9     COUNTER AMENDMENT - IAN CARRUTHERS seconded by ROBERTA TUCKFIELD that the Dumfries and Galloway Independent Group budget update proposals be agreed

 

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

 

Amendment - 6 Votes being:-

Brian Collins, Iain Dick, Andy Ferguson, Jim McClung, Stephen Thompson, Alastair Witts

 

Counter Amendment - 6 Votes being:-

Graham Bell, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Jack groom, Yen Hongmei Jin, Roberta Tuckfield

 

Abstentions - 29 being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Richard Brodie, Finlay Carson, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Gillian Dykes, Grahame Forster, Patsy Gilroy, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Jane S Maitland, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, George N Prentice, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme and Graeme Tait

 

On there being an equality of Votes,  the Chairman indicated that as he did not support either the Amendment or the Counter amendment and would be voting for the Motion in the next Vote, it would be inappropriate for him to use his casting Vote.  Members were asked how they wished to proceed and it was suggested that a deck of playing cards be used to decide which budget would proceed to the next stage.  At that point, the Clerk asked the Committee that, given the parity in the voting, if they wished to vote again for the amendment and counter amendment, Members declined and agreed to follow precedent of cutting a deck of playing cards.  A deck of playing cards deployed and cut and the highest card fell in favour of the Amendment.

 

VOTE

 

6.11     MOTION by RONNIE NICHOLSON seconded by TED THOMPSON that the Administration budget update proposals be agreed

 

6.12     AMENDMENT by ANDY FERGUSON seconded by IAIN DICK that the Scottish National Party Group budget update proposals be agreed

 

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

 

Motion - 25 Votes being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson, Ted Thompson, Ian Blake, Finlay Carson, Jim Dempster, Archie Dryburgh, Gillian Dykes, Grahame Forster, Patsy Gilroy, Yen Hongmei Jin, Ivor Hyslop, Jeff Leaver, Tom McAughtrie, Gail MacGregor, David J McKie, Denis R Male, Sean W Marshall, John Martin, Ronnie Ogilvie, Craig Peacock, Willie Scobie, Colin Smyth, David Stitt, John Syme and Graeme Tait

 

Amendment - 10 Votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Iain Dick, Andy Ferguson, Jim McClung, Jim McColm, Marion McCutcheon, Jane S Maitland, George N Prentice, Stephen Thompson and Alastair Witts

 

Abstentions - 6 being:-

 

Graham Bell, Richard Brodie, Ian Carruthers, Karen Carruthers, Jack Groom and Roberta Tuckfield

 

Decision

 

6.14     NOTED that the Section 95 officer had confirmed that all the budgets being presented were legal and that they met the key requirements of the 2016/17 Local Government Finance Settlement for the council tax levels to remain frozen;

 

6.15     NOTED that the Scottish Parliament recently agreed the Scottish Government's Budget for 2016, which confirmed a reduction in our revenue grant of 4.5%, resulting in a revenue savings requirement for our Council of £21.193m for 2016/17;

 

6.16     AGREED the updated Revenue budget for 2016/17 as contained in the document "Budget Update 2016/17) Amendments" submitted by the Administration Group, including the savings options and the budget process for 2017/18;

 

6.17     AGREED to write to the Deputy First Minister confirming that the budget proposals deliver (i) a Council Tax Freeze; (ii) provides resources to maintain a pupil:teacher ratio of 12.7 or below; (iii) commits the Council to work with providers to deliver a Living Wage of £8.25 an hour from 1 October 2016, ensuring that a fair and equitable distribution of resources is given to providers to achieve this;

 

6.18     AGREED that this letter should also:- (i) re-iterate the opposition of our Council to the grant reduction by Scottish Government; (ii) highlight our concerns over the way funding is allocated to Councils for the Council Tax Freeze and to provide a Living Wage, which disadvantages Dumfries and Galloway; (iii) express concern at the inconsistency of the Policy on pupil:teacher ratios that allows almost all other Councils in Scotland to maintain a ratio above Dumfries and Galloway; and

 

6.19     AGREED to confirm the capital Budget programme for the 3 year period 2016/17 - 2018/19, as agreed at the November meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee, updated to reflect annual inflation and the impact of the recently announced Local Government Finance Settlement but to also bring forward updated proposals and costings for Member consideration for the further development of flood prevention schemes in the region to deliver our Flood Risk Management Plan. 

7 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.