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Allerdale Full Council meeting - January 29 round-up

Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving

Posted on 04 February 2020

A meeting of the Full Council was held at Allerdale House, Workington, on the evening of Wednesday, January 29, 2020, here’s a round-up of some of the items discussed:

  • The main part of the meeting started with questions from councillors. Among those asked was a question from Cllr Markus Campbell-Savours (Keswick) who asked about the number of missed bin collections during December. Cllr George Kemp, Executive member for environmental services, responded by saying that in December there were 303 missed collections, with all but five rectified the next day. While in January (up until the 24th) there were 252 missed collections, with all but one rectified the following day.

 

  • Councillor motions were next on the agenda, with three tabled. The first - on modern slavery -  was brought by Cllr Janet Farebrother (Broughton St Bridgets). An amended version was proposed by Allerdale’s Deputy Leader Mike Johnson, which became the substantive motion. 

The motion can be found here: 

This council notes: 

Though slavery was abolished in the UK in 1833, there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggest that there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery across the world, with nearly 25 million held in forced labour. 

There were 3805 victims of modern slavery identified in the UK in 2016. A rising number but still well below the 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims estimated by the Home Office. Modern Slavery is happening nationwide. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. This can include sexual and criminal exploitation. 

This council believes

That action needs to be taken to raise awareness of modern slavery and the fact that it is happening all over the UK. 
That councils have an important role to play in ensuring their contracts and supplies don't contribute to modern day slavery and exploitation. 

This council resolves 
To continue to operate in a responsible manner by adhering to legal obligations on Modern Slavery in our procurement activities. 
Allerdale Borough Council will: 

1. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for noncompliance/ 
2. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery 
3. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one. 
4. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples 
of modern slavery. 
5. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff 
to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery. 
6. Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern 
slavery. 
7. Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed. 

8. Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency's national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery. 

9. Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.’ 

The motion was agreed unanimously. 

 

The second motion was presented by Cllr Peter Little (Maryport South) on homelessness. Amendments were proposed by Cllr Semple (Christchurch, Cockermouth), and later by Cllr Alan Pitcher (Wigton and Woodside), their amendments became the substantive motion. 

The motion can be found here: 

‘Over recent times I have witnessed an increase in homelessness in Allerdale. Many people find themselves homeless due to a number of factors – the breakdown of a marriage, ex-service personnel struggling to adapt to civilian life and dealing with PTSD, financial burdens. These are the harsh realities we face nationally, and I personally find it upsetting that homelessness is reaching crisis point. 

I must commend the Homelessness Team here at Allerdale Borough Council for their dedicated work ethic and welcome the recent news that local churches are looking for volunteers to help run a new night shelter in Workington (for which I have volunteered myself). 

However, given that we strive to be a Great Place to Live, Work and Visit I feel it is our duty to support those less fortunate and ensure they are a part of Allerdale’s ambitions. In light of this, I therefore call upon you to support this motion in that: 

Allerdale Borough Council continues to have a cohesive relationship with homeless charities and organisations throughout the Borough, County and indeed nationally 

We ask Central Government to give this problem the attention  it deserves - appoint a special Minister for homeless intervention and provide local government with the resources required to tackle this issue 

Fellow councillors be encouraged to pledge their support to the Diocese of Carlisle and the night shelter in Workington’ 

The motion was agreed unanimously. 

 

The final motion of the night was proposed by Cllr Alan Smith (All Saints, Cockermouth) on A&E provision at the West Cumberland Hospital. A minor amendment was proposed by Cllr Fitzgerald, which was accepted. 

Cllr Fitzgerald gave a brief update on discussions which had already taken place between Allerdale’s Interim Chief Executive and the local health leadership. 

The motion can be found here: 

‘This Council notes with interest the proposed review of A&E provision at the West Cumberland Hospital and wishes to highlight to the Trust the importance of involving the Council in this review and asks the Chief Executive, or his representative, to remain in contact with the Trust Chief Executive direct to ensure meaningful engagement’. 

The motion was agreed unanimously. 

 

  • Item 8 on the agenda, was announcements from the Mayor and Leader. Cllr Fitzgerald announced changes to the make-up of the Executive committee, introducing Cllr Jim Lister (Aspatria) as the new Executive member for finance and legal. 

The updated Executive is: 

Leader Marion Fitzgerald (Policy, Governance and People Resources) 

Deputy Leader Mike Johnson (Economic Growth, Community Development and Placemaking) 

George Kemp (Environmental Services) 

John Cook (Leisure and Tourism) 

Jim Lister (Finance and Legal) 

Paul Scott (Customer Experience and Innovation) 

Stephen Stoddart (Communities, Housing and Health) 

 

Cllr Kemp made an announcement that the Council will be embarking on a tree planting programme from February. The idea is that the Council will be supporting parish councils and community groups to conduct tree planting. 

 

  • In questions on the portfolio holders’ reports, Cllr Kemp was asked to provide an update on the Council’s plans for a new community stadium in Workington. Cllr Kemp responded by saying a visit to the Manchester area was planned alongside representatives from Workington Reds and Town to look around other stadium developments as plans progress on a sports village. 

 

  • The final discussion point of the night was around agenda item 12 on members’ allowances. 

The recommendation was for all members’ allowances to remain the same, except for a proposed £100 increase to basic allowances from £3,366.65 to £3,466.65. 

A motion was proposed by Cllr Will Wilkinson (St Michaels, Workington) to reject the proposed increase and keep basic allowances at their current rate. This motion was passed.