Agenda and draft minutes

City Council
Monday, 31st October, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council House, Old Market Square

Contact: Jane Garrard, Senior Governance Officer  Email: jane.garrard@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillor Kevin Clarke – unwell

Councillor Audrey Dinnall – leave

Councillor Sue Johnson – unwell

Councillor Rebecca Langton – personal

Councillor Dave Liversidge – unwell

Councillor Carole McCulloch – unwell

Councillor Shuguftah Quddoos – unwell

Councillor Mohammed Saghir – unwell

Councillor Audra Wynter - personal

36.

Declarations of interests

Minutes:

None

37.

Questions from citizens pdf icon PDF 7 KB

Minutes:

Libraries

AM asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Planning:

How is the City Council planning to take account of the outcomes of the library consultation and the demands of the Save Nottingham Libraries campaign group, along with the new cost of living crisis that has emerged since the consultation?

 

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor. I would like to thank the resident who posed this question. The Council has been clear that this review of the library service would be open and transparent so that everybody could participate in the consultation, and that has been done now. The Council has yet to make a decision upon the obviously longer-term transformation of the library service and it’s deliberately looking at all of the facts and feedback received from the extensive consultation exercise that was undertaken. Since commencing this work, I am also very aware of the change of circumstances that have occurred in the country as well as the city as a result of the cost of living crisis, which is why I think that it is important this is clearly referenced in our work. I think it is correct that we find ways to act on this and consider how this changes people’s needs from the library service. As I said previously, the cost of living crisis impacts upon each and every one of us: individuals and communities. Similarly, it also impacts on Council spending, going forward the money we spend will buy us less, which has a direct impact on the ability of the Council to deliver services. So, whilst no announcements can be made on this point at this meeting, I can reassure the resident asking the question that the cost of living crisis will have to be an important parameter on how we arrive at our final decision. Thank you.

 

Student housing

JD asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and HR:

How are you going to fight back against the increased numbers of students going to be enrolled at the two universities?  We are desperate for residential housing and we cannot keep up with demand for existing student numbers.  When will enough be enough?  We are in danger of our city centre in years to come becoming a student village.

Councillor Toby Neal replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you for the question from the citizen. This is an issue that the City Council takes seriously and one that many cities are experiencing, not just Nottingham. Indeed, cities across the country are seeing a crisis in student accommodation, with students being housed many miles from their places or studying in temporary accommodation or hotels. As a Council we have no ability to resist in the growth in student numbers which are determined by the two universities. The government lifted the cap on student numbers in 2015, allowing student universities to increase the number of students admitted each year. The funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Petitions from Councillors on behalf of citizens

Minutes:

None

39.

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 11 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 564 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 July 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

40.

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 12 September 2022 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2022 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

41.

To receive official communications and announcements from the Leader of the Council and/or the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported the following:

 

I am pleased to announce that the Council has won the Association for Public Service Excellence Award for Best Service Team for Street Cleansing and Street Scene Services.  The Team was particularly recognised for developing innovative partnership work with Nottingham Clean Champions, Community Protection colleagues, the Community Payback Service and Nottingham City Homes, as well as developing more biodiverse neighbourhoods.

 

It is with sadness that I report the death of former Councillor James William Elliott Smith (known as Bill Smith) on 1 October.  Bill represented the then Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey ward between 2003 and 2007.  My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

 

Councillor Sally Longford spoke in former Councillor Bill Smith.

 

A minute’s silence was held.

42.

Questions from Councillors - to the City Council's lead Councillor on the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

Funding

Councillor Angharad Roberts asked the following question of the Council’s lead councillor on the Nottinghamshire and the City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority:

After some of the most unprecedented extreme weather conditions over the summer, when Fire Services across the country were stretched to the limit, properly funded fire services are essential to keep people safe. Continuing underfunding of the fire service by the Government is leaving a £2m funding gap in 2023, impacting frontline services with proposed reductions to staffing, and withdrawal of 2 fire engines, including one from London Road. What will be the impact of these cuts and how will they affect the resilience of Nottinghamshire and the City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Services in the longer term?

 

Councillor Patience Ifediora replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and thank you Councillor Roberts for your question. Since 2010, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has seen budget reductions of £9.6m in real cash terms.  The position is likely to be significantly higher as factors such as inflation were not considered as part of the 2022/23 budget report considered by the Fire Authority in February 2022. The Treasurer based his report on planning assumptions at the time and predicted a 2023/24 deficit of £2.1m. Following a review of planning assumptions around inflation and the pay award, those figures are likely to show a budget deficit in excess of £3.3m. Clearly, this requires action by the Fire Authority to ensure it is well placed to deliver a balanced budget. The Authority receives over half of its funding from council tax. Increases to the council tax precept are currently limited to 1.95%.  The impact of these financial challenges will be felt across the whole of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, including front line support services.Support services are non-operational front-line staff, including key community engagement roles, and they will be part of a workforce review which will contribute to the overall efficiency savings in the financial year 2022/23 and beyond. The Service recognises the key contribution support services and non-operational roles have in serving our communities and will do everything possible to minimise any impact by investing in business improvement and structural design.  Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service has worked with those with extensive experience of emergency services around the world to optimise results and respond in the most efficient and effective way. Given the reduced financial envelope, the best option with least impact on Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City will be: removal of second appliance from London Road, removal of second appliance from Stockhill, conversion of West Bridgford from one whole time appliance to one day shift appliance, conversion of Ashfield from one day shift and one on-call appliance to one whole time and one on call appliance. Inevitably, such a reduction in resources will have an impact on service performance. The average time for the first appliance to arrive to an incident for mobilisation will increase by seven seconds. Whilst this increase will have minimal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Questions from Councillors - to a member of Executive Board, the Chair of a Committee and the Chair of any other City Council body pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Victoria Embankment Paddling Pool

Councillor Kevin Clarke asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Parks:

Can the Portfolio Holder address why, despite this being the hottest summer on record, the residents of our City had no paddling pool on Victoria Embankment to take their children to?

 

As Councillor Clarke was not in attendance at the meeting, the question received a written response after the meeting from Councillor Audra Wynter.  That written response is attached to these minutes.

 

Residential Parking Charges

Councillor Maria Watson asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion:

We asked the question at the March Full Council meeting why this Council was intending to charge residents of the City to park outside their own homes.  We ask again why should residents pay for this Council’s financing mistakes?

 

Councillor Neghat Khan replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I also thank Councillor Watson for her question. This Council has subsidised the cost of administering, managing and enforcing resident parking permits for a number of years. Many councils cover the cost of these schemes through a fee for example, all neighbouring councils including Nottinghamshire County Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council and Gedling Borough Council charge for first and all permits and have been doing so for many years. So does Councillor Watson think they do this because they made financial mistakes or because they too are managing the costs associated with parking schemes. Here in Nottingham, as part of the consultation, we have been consulting all affected residents on the first parking permit being free and charging £35 for the second and £50 for the third permit. This is in comparison to Sheffield City Council, which charges £46 for the first and £93 for the second permit. The charges will be required to enable the Council to recoup the ongoing cost of operating and enforcing the schemes. Any negative impacts on charging residents for parking permits will be mitigated by the increased availability of spaces across the schemes, which is anticipated will occur following the proposed charges. Residents still have localised difficulties in finding a parking space - there is an unwritten rule that people would generally tend to park outside their own home but it is important to note that no one has an automatic right to park on the road outside their own home, sometimes it is not possible and, in most instances, if you can park there without contravening the Highway Code, so can others. The positive impact is a possible reduction in private vehicles owned by residents which could result in improved access to residents parking schemes and help towards our ambition of becoming the first city to be carbon neutral by 2028. Central Government reducing our grants year on year means we have £101m less a year than we did in 2013 and 70% of our budget is being spent on statutory services like Adults and Children’s Social Care so we will have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Devolution Deal - Draft Proposal for an East Midlands Combined County Authority pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of the Council, presented the report asking Council to approve a draft proposal for a devolution deal between Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council and Government.  In order to progress the devolution deal, there is a requirement to consult on the draft East Midlands Combined County Authority Proposal and Council was also asked to agree to formally consult on the proposal with the residents and other stakeholders of Nottingham and the wider area for a period of eight weeks between November 2022 and January 2023.  It is anticipated that Council will be asked to consider the results of the consultation at its meeting in March 2023 and agree whether or not to formally submit the final proposal to Government.  The report was seconded by Councillor Adele Williams.

 

Resolved to:

 

(1)  approve the draft Proposal attached at appendix 1 to the report to create an East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) for the areas of Nottingham City, Derbyshire County, Derby City and Nottinghamshire County;

 

(2)  formally consult upon the draft Proposal with the residents and other stakeholders of Nottingham and the wider EMCCA area, in partnership with Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council;

 

(3)  agree the approach to consultation as set out in appendix 2 to the report; and

 

(4)  delegate authority to the Chief Executive to approve any typographical or technical amendments to the draft Proposal which the Chief Executives of the other three Councils also agree on, on behalf of Nottingham City Council prior to the commencement of consultation.  This delegation is to be exercised in consultation with the Leader of the Council and is conditional upon such amendments being agreed by all four upper tier Council Leaders.

45.

Statutory Intervention and the Refresh of the Together for Nottingham Plan pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of the Council, presented the report asking Council to note the Directions made by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to place the Improvement and Assurance Board on a statutory footing; and to approve a refreshed Together for Nottingham Plan in order to comply with the Directions given to the Council by the Secretary of State to amend its improvement plan to the satisfaction of the Board.  The report was seconded by Councillor Adele Williams.

 

Resolved to

 

(1)  note the Directions made by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities placing the Improvement and Assurance Board upon a statutory footing with the power to direct the Council’s improvement activities; and

 

(2)  approve the refreshed Together for Nottingham Plan, as set out at appendix 4 to the report.

 

 

 

46.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Georgia Power, Chair of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, presented the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22.  The Annual Report provides an overview of the activity undertaken by the scrutiny committees during 2021/222 and the outputs and outcomes from that work.  It also outlines the improvement activity that was undertaken to improve the operation of the scrutiny function.  The report was seconded by Councillor Maria Joannou.

 

Resolved to accept the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22.

47.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership - Amendment to Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Report of the Deputy Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Adele Williams, Deputy Leader of the Council, presented the report proposing adoption of an updated terms of reference for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership, which is a Joint Committee of the City and County Councils and the Integrated Care Board.  The report was seconded by Councillor Linda Woodings.

 

Resolved to

(1)  approve the terms of the reference for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership, as set out at appendix B to the report; and

 

(2)  amend the Constitution to reflect the revised terms of reference.

 

 

48.

Decisions taken under Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of the Council, presented the report detailing urgent decisions that the Council is required to note, which have been taken under provisions within the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules and Access to Information Rules.  The report was seconded by Councillor Adele Williams.

 

Resolved to note

 

(1)  the following decisions taken under the Call-in and Urgency provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules:

 

Decision Reference

Subject

Decision Taker

Reason for Urgency

DD4668

Approval to reallocate £335,000 Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Phase 2 Grant Funding

Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services

The programme of works would have been compromised affecting delivery by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department’s deadline of 22 August 2022.

DD4706

Grant support for Energy Efficiency Upskilling Competition

Leader of the Council

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department required a Memorandum of Understanding to be completed during August so that the Energy Efficiency Upskilling Competition could be launched on 5 September to ensure optimum delivery during this financial year.

DD4707

Provision for commercial lease negotiations

Leader of the Council

The Council was engaged in a time critical negotiation process regarding this important commercial lease.  A decision putting the right level of resourcing in place to support the negotiations was required urgently so as to ensure that the Council was in the most effective position possible to achieve best value.

DD4725

Chewing Gum Task Force grant approval

Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services

In order to comply with the funding agreement, the Task Force had to be ‘live’ within two weeks.

 

(2)  the following decision taken under the Special Urgency provisions of the Access to Information Procedure Rules:

 

Decision reference

Subject

Decision taker

Reason for Special Urgency

DD4667

Private Rental Sector Enforcement Competition – Additional Funding

Leader of the Council

In order for the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department to release the additional funding, the Council had to ensure that it was able to start transferring the grant funding to successful local authorities from the middle of July 2022.  The Council needed to put measures in place to start distributing funding within the required timescales.

 

49.

Appointment of Honorary Recorder pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of the Council, presented the report proposing that, following the retirement of His Honour Judge Greg Dickinson QC, Her Honour Judge Nirmal Shant KC be appointed as Honorary Recorder for the City of Nottingham.  He thanked the former Honorary Recorder for his contribution to the life of the City.  The report was seconded by Councillor Adele Williams.

 

Resolved to appoint Her Honour Judge Nirmal Shant KC as Honorary Recorder for the City of Nottingham with immediate effect for the duration of her tenure as Senior Circuit Judge, Resident Judge.

50.

Motion in the Name of Councillor Adele Williams

This Council notes that:

 

On 17th October, the new Chancellor announced that the promised two year energy cap would be withdrawn in April, leaving energy prices for the average household set to rise again to an expected £4,347.

 

Alongside the rise in the cost of everyday items such as food, fuel and energy, Nottingham people, like those across the UK, now face higher interest rates for mortgages and other borrowing due to volatility following the former Chancellor’s announcements on September 23rd.

 

Many are already dealing with rents elevated far beyond affordability, with housing that is within the Local Housing Allowance virtually non-existent.

 

The council notes that financial wellbeing is one of the four priorities of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy in recognition of this being foundational to people’s ability to live in good health.

 

Given the urgency and depth of this crisis, Nottingham City Council declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency.’

 

Since 2010 successive chancellors have chosen to allow local authority funding to fall way below need, so that locally delivered services are underfunded whilst  demand rises due to demographic pressures and the impact of austerity. Local authorities find it more difficult each year to balance budgets and the coming year’s budget process, without a significant change of direction from the chancellor will be amongst the worst we have seen.

 

Nottingham City Council will prioritise its resources, in this increasingly difficult context, towards standing with and supporting our citizens through this crisis. This council commits to supporting Nottingham residents to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis through funding services such as Welfare Rights and energy advice

 

 

We call on the Government to:

 

·  Convene an emergency response committee to tackle the cost of living crisis with urgent measures;

·  To prioritise resources to protect hard pressed families and businesses from the energy price rises and the impact of inflation – levying a windfall tax to support this;

·  Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for one year, saving the average household in Nottingham a further £600 this year;

·  Deliver a sustainable plan to insulate millions of homes across the country to save on energy bills now and in the future;

·  Commit to the pensions triple lock to support pensioners in Nottingham;

·  Ensure benefits are uprated to adequately  protect those most vulnerable to the cost of living crisis;

·  Resource local authorities adequately so that they can support their citizens through this crisis and to fuel real levelling up of our regions. 

 

 

The recently exacerbated turmoil is having a profound impact on people’s livelihoods, their mental and physical wellbeing and local spending decisions, all of which will impact on our local economy and services.  Fundamental change is required to address what are systemic issues. People right across the country are facing impossible choices in the face of rapidly rising prices in food and energy.

 

Nottingham City Council urges the Government to do everything within its power to tackle this issue now. Life is  ...  view the full agenda text for item 50.

Minutes:

Councillor Adele Williams proposed the following motion, which was seconded by Councillor Nick Raine:

 

This Council notes that:

 

On 17th October, the new Chancellor announced that the promised two year energy cap would be withdrawn in April, leaving energy prices for the average household set to rise again to an expected £4,347.

 

Alongside the rise in the cost of everyday items such as food, fuel and energy, Nottingham people, like those across the UK, now face higher interest rates for mortgages and other borrowing due to volatility following the former Chancellor’s announcements on September 23rd.

 

Many are already dealing with rents elevated far beyond affordability, with housing that is within the Local Housing Allowance virtually non-existent.

 

The council notes that financial wellbeing is one of the four priorities of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy in recognition of this being foundational to people’s ability to live in good health.

 

Given the urgency and depth of this crisis, Nottingham City Council declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency.’

 

Since 2010 successive chancellors have chosen to allow local authority funding to fall way below need, so that locally delivered services are underfunded whilst  demand rises due to demographic pressures and the impact of austerity. Local authorities find it more difficult each year to balance budgets and the coming year’s budget process, without a significant change of direction from the chancellor will be amongst the worst we have seen.

 

Nottingham City Council will prioritise its resources, in this increasingly difficult context, towards standing with and supporting our citizens through this crisis. This council commits to supporting Nottingham residents to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis through funding services such as Welfare Rights and energy advice

 

We call on the Government to:

·  Convene an emergency response committee to tackle the cost of living crisis with urgent measures;

·  To prioritise resources to protect hard pressed families and businesses from the energy price rises and the impact of inflation – levying a windfall tax to support this;

·  Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for one year, saving the average household in Nottingham a further £600 this year;

·  Deliver a sustainable plan to insulate millions of homes across the country to save on energy bills now and in the future;

·  Commit to the pensions triple lock to support pensioners in Nottingham;

·  Ensure benefits are uprated to adequately  protect those most vulnerable to the cost of living crisis;

·  Resource local authorities adequately so that they can support their citizens through this crisis and to fuel real levelling up of our regions. 

 

 

The recently exacerbated turmoil is having a profound impact on people’s livelihoods, their mental and physical wellbeing and local spending decisions, all of which will impact on our local economy and services.  Fundamental change is required to address what are systemic issues. People right across the country are facing impossible choices in the face of rapidly rising prices in food and energy.

 

Nottingham City Council urges the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Committee membership changes

To note the following changes to committee membership:

a)  Councillor Nayab Patel has been removed as a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

b)  Councillor Eunice-Campbell has been appointed to replace Councillor Nayab Patel as a member of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee

c)  Council Nayab Patel has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Audit Committee

d)  Councillor Shuguftah Quddoos has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Licensing Committee

e)  Councillor Sajid Mohammed has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Licensing Committee

f)  Councillor Cate Woodward has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

It was noted that:

a)  Councillor Nayab Patel had been removed as a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

b)  Councillor Eunice-Campbell had been appointed to replace Councillor Nayab Patel as a member of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee

c)  Council Nayab Patel had been appointed to a vacant seat on the Audit Committee

d)  Councillor Shuguftah Quddoos had been appointed to a vacant seat on the Licensing Committee

e)  Councillor Sajid Mohammed had been appointed to a vacant seat on the Licensing Committee

f)  Councillor Cate Woodward had been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee