Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St. Boswells

Contact: Louise McGeoch Tel 01835 825005  email  lmcgeoch@scotborders.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Convener's Remarks.

Minutes:

The Convener advised that he had no remarks to make.

 

DECISION

NOTED.

 

2.

Minute pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Consider Minute of Scottish Borders Council held on 26 June 2019 for approval and signing by the Convener.  (Copy attached.)

 

Minutes:

The Minute of the Meeting held on 26 June 2019 was considered. 

 

DECISION

AGREED that the Minute be approved and signed by the Convener.

 

3.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Consider Minutes of the following Committees:-

 

(a)     Hawick Common Good Fund                            28 May 2019

(b)     Teviot & Liddesdale Area Partnership                11 June 2019

(c)     Selkirk Common Good Fund                             12 June 2019

(d)     Tweeddale Area Partnership                              12 June 2019

(e)     Pension Fund Committee                                  13 June 2019

(f)      Pension Fund Board                                           13 June 2019

(g)     Community Planning Strategic Board               13 June 2019

(h)     Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities

          Board                                                                  14 June 2019

(i)      Local Review Body                                            17 June 2019

(j)      Executive                                                           18 June 2019

(k)     Lauder Common Good Fund                             19 June 2019

(l)      William Hill Trust                                                 19 June 2019

(m)    Cheviot Area Partnership                                   19 June 2019

(n)     Galashiels Sub-Committee                                20 June 2019

(o)     Civic Government Licensing                              21 June 2019

(p)     Audit & Scrutiny                                                 25 June 2019

(q)     Selkirk Common Good Fund                             26 June 2019

(r)      Eildon Area Partnership                                     27 June 2019

(s)     Planning and Building Standards                       1 July 2019

(t)      Major Contracts Governance                            3 July 2019

(u)     Kelso Common Good Fund                               10 July 2019

(v)     Local Review Body                                            15 July 2019

(w)    Civic Government Licensing                              19 July 2019

(x)     Melrose Common Good Fund                           31 July 2019

(y)     Lauder Common Good Fund                             31 July 2019

(z)     Planning and Building Standards                       5 August 2019

(aa)   Jedburgh Common Good Fund                         15 August 2019

 

(Please see separate Supplement containing the public Committee Minutes.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the following Committees had been circulated:-

 

Hawick Common Good Fund                                                    28 May 2019

Teviot & Liddesdale Area Partnership                                       11 June 2019

Selkirk Common Good Fund                                                     12 June 2019

Tweeddale Area Partnership                                                     12 June 2019

Pension Fund Committee                                                          13 June 2019

Pension Fund Board                                                                  13 June 2019

Community Planning Strategic Board                                       13 June 2019

Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities Board              14 June 2019

Local Review Body                                                                    17 June 2019

Executive                                                                                   18 June 2019

Lauder Common Good Fund                                                     19 June 2019

William Hill Trust                                                                        19 June 2019

Cheviot Area Partnership                                                           19 June 2019

Galashiels Sub-Committee                                                        20 June 2019

Civic Government Licensing                                                     21 June 2019

Audit & Scrutiny                                                                         25 June 2019

Selkirk Common Good Fund                                                     26 June 2019

Eildon Area Partnership                                                             27 June 2019

Planning and Building Standards                                               1 July 2019

Major Contracts Governance                                                    3 July 2019

Kelso Common Good Fund                                                       10 July 2019

Local Review Body                                                                    15 July 2019

Civic Government Licensing                                                     19 July 2019

Melrose Common Good Fund                                                   31 July 2019

Lauder Common Good Fund                                                     31 July 2019

Planning and Building Standards                                               5 August 2019

Jedburgh Common Good Fund                                                 15 August 2019

        

DECISION

APPROVED the Minutes listed above.

 

DECLARATION OF INTEREST

Councillor Tatler declared an interest in the following item of business in terms of Section 5 of the Councillors Code of Conduct and left the Chamber during the discussion.

 

4.

Committee Minute Recommendations pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Consider the recommendations made by the Peebles Common Good Fund Sub-Committee on 29 May 2019.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a recommendation from the Peebles Common Good Fund Sub-Committee meeting held on 29 May 2019 that a loan of up to £20k be given to the Eastgate Theatre to provide financial resilience as they undertook major development work within the theatre.  It was agreed to approve this recommendation.

                                                    

AGREED to approve the loan of up to £20k to the Eastgate Theatre on the terms detailed in the Common Good Fund Sub-Committee Minute.

 

MEMBER

Councillor Tatler re-joined the meeting and Councillor Small joined the meeting during consideration of the following item of business.

 

5.

Embedding Sustainable Development pdf icon PDF 174 KB

Consider report by Chief Executive.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

5.1    There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Executive proposing that the Council formally commit to embedding sustainable development in its strategies, policies and service delivery.  By doing so, the Council would ensure that it had a clear, coherent and overarching ethical framework for its activities, which brought benefits to the organisation and supported its efforts to optimise outcomes.  It was proposed that the Council manifest its commitment to sustainable development by pledging to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they related to local government.  Such a commitment recognised the increasing urgency that we lived and used resources in ways which did not compromise the quality of life of future generations. The report identified two key areas of benefit from the Council pledging to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely:-

 

          1.       An overarching ethos bringing clarity, consistency and coherence to the Council’s approach across the full range of its activities.

          2.       Taking a leadership role in relation to sustainable development enabling the Council to maintain and build value organisationally through the efficient and sustainable use of resources, to develop public value in its relationship to citizens and communities, and to manage reputational risk.

 

To support implementation, the Sustainable Procurement Policy Group was to be renamed ‘the Sustainable Development Group’ and its role extended to ensure that appropriate practice was adopted and followed in how the Council undertook the full range of its activities.  The Sustainable Development Group would report annually to Council on progress.  It was recognised that not all SDGs targets carried the same relevance in the context of the Council’s responsibilities and the Sustainable Development Group would promote a practical view of this based on good practice.

 

5.2     Members discussed the proposal for this responsibility to sit with officers and Councillor H. Anderson, seconded by Councillor Bell, moved an amendment to the recommendation which, following discussion was worded as follows:-

 

          “That recommendation (a) and (b) rebadged as (c) be approved.  That recommendations (c) and (d) be deleted and a new (b) be added to read:-

 

          (b)     that a Sustainable Development Committee be established in order to drive and monitor the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to local government.

 

                   (i)      that the Committee be constituted with a membership of 9 members, comprising 5 members of the Administration and 4 members of the Opposition;

 

                   (ii)     that the Committee review recent decisions and actions of the UK and Scottish Governments, UK local authorities and Borders wide voluntary sector initiatives, with a view to making recommendations as to how the Council can exercise leadership in tackling climate change; and

 

                   (iii)     that the Committee shall report to Council annually on progress.

 

          The proposed amendment was unanimously agreed.

 

DECISION

AGREED:-

 

(a)     formally to commit to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they related to local government;

 

(b)     that a Sustainable Development Committee be established in order to drive and monitor the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Audit and Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Consider report by Chief Officer Audit and Risk.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Officer Audit and Risk submitting the Audit and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2018/19 to all elected members presenting the Committee’s performance in relation to its Terms of Reference (Audit functions) and the effectiveness of the Committee in meeting its purpose.  It was important that the Council’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee (Audit functions) fully complied with best practice guidance on Audit Committees to ensure it could demonstrate its effectiveness as a scrutiny body as a foundation for sound corporate governance for the Council.  The CIPFA Audit Committees Guidance included the production of an annual report on the performance of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee against its remit (Audit functions) for submission to the Council. The Audit and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2018/19 was contained in Appendix 1 to the report. Scottish Borders Council continued to be a lead authority in adopting this best practice.  The Audit and Scrutiny Committee carried out self-assessments of Compliance with the Good Practice Principles Checklist and Evaluation of Effectiveness Toolkit from the CIPFA Audit Committees Guidance during their Informal Session on 11 March 2019 facilitated by the Chief Officer Audit & Risk. The Members of the Committee considered the Annual Report and supporting self-assessment documents at their meeting on 25 June 2019 and agreed that they accurately represented the results of the self-assessment exercise. The outcome of the self-assessments was a high degree of performance against the good practice principles and a medium degree of effectiveness, with areas of improvement identified.  Councillor Bell, as Chairman of the Committee spoke in support of the report and thanked the Chief Officer Audit and Risk and her team for their support.  He also commented on the importance of the petitions dealt with by the Committee which had resulted in a total of 14 meetings over the year. He further highlighted the value of the 2 external members to the work of the Committee and supported the amendments to the Scheme of Administration.

 

DECISION

AGREED:-

 

(a)     to acknowledge the performance of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee and approve its Annual Report 2018/19, as contained in Appendix 1 to the report); and

 

(b)     the proposed amendments to the Membership and Audit functions within the Terms of Reference of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee, set out in the Council’s Scheme of Administration, as detailed in the report.

 

7.

Primary School Closures pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Consider reports by Interim Service Director Children and Young People on:-

 

(a)  Eccles/Leitholm Primary School;

(b)  Ettrick Primary School; and

(c)  Hobkirk Primary School

 

(Copy reports attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of three reports by the Interim Service Director Children and Young People on the proposal to permanently close the primary schools at Eccles Leitholm, Ettrick and Hobkirk.  All 3 schools had been mothballed for a number of years commencing with Ettrick in 2012, Hobkirk in 2015 and Eccles Leitholm in 2016.  The schools in question had experienced a sustained fall in their roll and a number of placing requests for children to attend other schools.  Detailed analysis of all reasonable options for the three primary schools had been carried out and an options appraisal report prepared.  In all cases it was concluded that closure was the most reasonable option.  In terms of the Schools (Scotland) Act 2010 a full consultation had been carried out and a copy of each consultation report was appended.  Work had also been carried out to re-zone the catchment areas to the most appropriate nearby school.  The new primary schools would be Swinton for Eccles Leitholm, Kirkhope for Ettrick and Denholm for Hobkirk and the catchment areas would be amended accordingly. The decision to close the schools could not be implemented until the Scottish Ministers had advised whether or not they wish to call in the decision for review by the School Closure Review Panel. The Ministers had an 8 week period (including a 3 week period for representations by stakeholders) to make this decision. The decision could be called in if it was considered that the education authority had failed to comply with the requirements under the 2010 Act or take proper regard of a material consideration relevant to the decision.  If the proposal was not called in then the buildings would be passed to the Estates Team to dispose of.  Lead Education officer, Lesley Munro, highlighted the main points in the report and confirmed that transport would be provided for the children.  Members regretted the closure of these three schools but agreed that there was no alternative.  It was noted that asset transfer was an option for the future use of the buildings by the community.

 

DECISION

AGREED the:-

 

(a)     permanent closure of Eccles Leitholm, Ettrick and Hobkirk Primary Schools with effect from 20 December 2019; and

 

(b)     permanent re-zoning of the catchment areas from 21 December 2019 as follows:-

 

(i)      Eccles Leitholm to Swinton Primary School;

 

(ii)     Ettrick to Kirkhope Primary School; and

 

(iii)    Hobkirk to Denholm Primary School.

 

8.

Motion by Councillor H. Scott

Consider Motion by Councillor H Scott in the following terms:-

to extend membership of the Community Action Team Strategic Oversight Group to include a member from the Independent group. Presently this Group consists of elected members who were selected on a mainly geographical criteria at the time the Group was formed. The make-up of the Council has changed since then, and the Independent group is the only one not represented on the Group. This motion seeks to amend the membership of the Group in the pursuit of fairness and equality, by seeking to expand the membership to include a nominated member of the Independent group of Councillors.”

 

Minutes:

Councillor H. Scott, seconded by Councillor McAteer, moved his Motion as detailed on the agenda in the following terms:-

 

to extend membership of the Community Action Team Strategic Oversight Group to include a member from the Independent group. Presently this Group consists of elected members who were selected on a mainly geographical criteria at the time the Group was formed. The make-up of the Council has changed since then, and the Independent group is the only one not represented on the Group. This motion seeks to amend the membership of the Group in the pursuit of fairness and equality, by seeking to expand the membership to include a nominated member of the Independent group of Councillors.”

 

Councillor Scott spoke in support of his Motion.  Members discussed the proposal and Councillor Bell, seconded by Councillor H. Anderson, moved as an amendment that the Motion be shortened to just the first sentence and this was accepted by Councillor Scott.  Councillor Turnbull, seconded by Councillor Edgar, moved as an amendment that no additional members be added to the group.

 

VOTE

On a show of hands Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion             -           15 votes

Amendment    -           16 votes

The Motion accordingly fell.  

 

DECISION

DECIDED that no additional Members be added to the Community Action Team Oversight Group.

 

9.

Motion by Councillor Jardine

Consider Motion by Councillor Jardine in the following terms:-

 

“I ask that the council formally recognises the achievement of Scottish Borders athlete Jacob Adkin in becoming the first British athlete in history to win the European Mountain Running Championships. Jacob is supported by the Athlete Support Programme which is funded by Live Borders and administrated by Live Borders Sports Development team. It was established by Scottish Borders Council in 2007 to help elite athletes reach their potential. I hope that we can continue to support our elite athletes throughout the Scottish Borders and their performances encourage and inspire more people in the Scottish Borders to participate in sport.”

 

Minutes:

Councillor Jardine, seconded by Councillor Haslam, moved his Motion as detailed on the agenda in the following terms:-

 

“I ask that the council formally recognises the achievement of Scottish Borders athlete Jacob Adkin in becoming the first British athlete in history to win the European Mountain Running Championships. Jacob is supported by the Athlete Support Programme which is funded by Live Borders and administrated by Live Borders Sports Development team. It was established by Scottish Borders Council in 2007 to help elite athletes reach their potential. I hope that we can continue to support our elite athletes throughout the Scottish Borders and their performances encourage and inspire more people in the Scottish Borders to participate in sport.”

 

Councillor Jardine spoke in support of his Motion which was unanimously approved.

 

DECISION

AGREED the Motion as detailed above.

 

10.

Open Questions pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

The questions submitted by Councillors Robson, Paterson, H. Anderson, McAteer and H. Scott were answered. 

 

DECISION

NOTED the replies as detailed in Appendix I to this Minute.

 

11.

Private Business

Before proceeding with the private business, the following motion should be approved:-

 

“That under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the aforementioned Act.”

Minutes:

DECISION

AGREED under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the business detailed in Appendix II to this Minute on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 6, 8 and 9 of Part I of Schedule 7A to the Act.

 

      SUMMARY OF PRIVATE BUSINESS

 

12.

Minute

Consider private Section of Minute of Scottish Borders Council held on 26 June 2019.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

The private section of the Council Minute of 26 June 2019 was approved. 

 

13.

Committee Minutes

Consider private Sections of the Minutes of the following Committees:-

 

(a)     Hawick Common Good Fund                            28 May 2019

(b)     Executive                                                           18 June 2019

(c)     Lauder Common Good Fund                             19 June 2019

(d)     Civic Government Licensing                              21 June 2019

(e)     Selkirk Common Good Fund                             26 June 2019

(f)      Planning & Building Standards                           1 July 2019

(g)     Major Contracts Governance                            3 July 2019

(h)     Civic Government Licensing                              19 July 2019

(i)      Planning & Building Standards                           5 August 2019

 

(Please see separate Supplement containing private Committee Minutes.)

Minutes:

The private sections of the Committee Minutes as detailed in paragraph3 of this Minute were approved.

 

CONTACT US

Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800

Email:

For more Contact Details