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 mentioned the following:-

 

(a)     Adam Craig who had won the National Cross Country Championships on the previous Saturday.  This was the highlight of the cross country season and nearly 800 runners took part, including Olympic and Commonwealth games athletes.

 

(b)     Councillor Turnbull had attended the Police Scotland Divisional Awards Ceremony and among the awards made were:-

 

(i)         Police Constable Ashley Black, who was still in her probationary year, had been highly commended in the Outstanding Performance Category; and

 

(ii)        the Scottish Borders CAT team who had been highly commended in the ‘Making a Difference’ category which recognised excellence in service delivery against policing priorities as documented within Police Scotland’s Annual Policing Plan.   The team members were PS Rachel Campbell, PC Stuart Kerr, PC Sarah Younger, PC Megan Bradley, PC Gordon Anderson, PC Barry Keown and PC Jackie Douglas.

 

DECISION

AGREED that congratulations be passed to those concerned.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Consider Minutes of Scottish Borders Council held on 31 January and 28 February 2019 for approval and signing by the Convener.  (Copies attached.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meetings held on 31 January and 28 February 2019 were considered. 

 

DECISION

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

 

3.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Consider Minutes of the following Committees:-

 

(a)     Standards                                                           17 January 2019

(b)     Civic Government Licensing                              18 January 2019

(c)     Local Review Body                                            21 January 2019

(d)     Eildon Area Partnership                                     24 January 2019

(e)     Executive                                                           29 January 2019

(f)      Kelso Common Good Fund                               31 January 2019

(g)     Planning and Building Standards                       4 February 2019

(h)     Tweeddale Area Partnership                              6 February 2019

(i)      Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer

          Communities                                                      8 February 2019

(j)      Executive                                                           12 February 2019

(k)     Selkirk Common Good Fund                             13 February 2019

(l)      Local Review Body                                            18 February 2019

(m)    Lauder Common Good Fund                             19 February 2019

(n)     Civic Government Licensing                              22 February 2019

(o)     Executive                                                           26 February 2019

(p)     Peebles Common Good Fund                           27 February 2019

(q)     Planning and Building Standards                       4 March 2019

(r)      Jedburgh Common Good Fund                         5 March 2019

(s)     Major Contracts Governance Group                 5 March 2019

(t)      Tweeddale Area Partnership (Special)              6 March 2019

(u)     Pension Fund                                                     7 March 2019

(v)     Audit & Scrutiny                                                 11 March 2019

(w)    Kelso Common Good Fund                               11 March 2019

(x)     Executive                                                           12 March 2019

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the following Committees had been circulated:-

 

Standards                                                                                   17 January 2019

Civic Government Licensing                                                     18 January 2019

Local Review Body                                                                    21 January 2019

Eildon Area Partnership                                                             24 January 2019

Executive                                                                                   29 January 2019

Kelso Common Good Fund                                                       31 January 2019

Planning and Building Standards                                               4 February 2019

Tweeddale Area Partnership                                                     6 February 2019

Police, Fire & Rescue and Safer Communities                         8 February 2019

Executive                                                                                   12 February 2019

Selkirk Common Good Fund                                                     13 February 2019

Local Review Body                                                                    18 February 2019

Lauder Common Good Fund                                                     19 February 2019

Civic Government Licensing                                                     22 February 2019

Executive                                                                                   26 February 2019

Peebles Common Good Fund                                                   27 February 2019

Planning and Building Standards                                               4 March 2019

Jedburgh Common Good Fund                                                 5 March 2019

Major Contracts Governance Group                                         5 March 2019

Tweeddale Area Partnership (Special)                                      6 March 2019

Pension Fund                                                                             7 March 2019

Audit & Scrutiny                                                                         11 March 2019

Kelso Common Good Fund                                                       11 March 2019

Executive                                                                                   12 March 2019

 

DECISION

APPROVED the Minutes listed above.

 

4.

Brexit Presentation

Update on preparations by Executive Director (Philip Barr).

Minutes:

The Executive Director, Philip Barr, and the Corporate Policy Adviser gave a presentation to members on the work that was being undertaken to try and anticipate the impact that Brexit might have on the area.  The Brexit Response Team continued to meet weekly and the focus remained on anticipated immediate and short-term impacts of Brexit, principally in respect of how they might affect the Council’s business, capacity to carry out its responsibilities, and areas where the Council had a duty of care.  The main areas being looked at included procurement, people, the economy, communications and civil contingencies and the presentation detailed the actions being taken in respect of each of these areas.  It was noted that preparations were also being made by officers for a European Election as this would have to be held if agreement to leave had not been finalised by 22 May 2019.  Member’s questions on a number of subjects included what funding would be provided by Scottish Government to meet preparation costs and the likely impact on Borders businesses.

 

DECISION

NOTED the presentation.

 

5.

Community Fund - Interim Allocation and Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Consider report by Service Director Customer and Communities.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With reference to paragraph 1 of the Minute of 28 February 2019, there had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Customer and Communities on the proposed interim allocation and governance arrangements for the Community Fund for Area Partnerships and a proposed review and consultation on the way forward.  The report explained that as part of the Fit for 2024 proposals it had been agreed to consolidate a number of existing Council funds into a single Scottish Borders Council Community Fund to be devolved to the five Area Partnerships from 1 April 2019.  The total Community Fund available for 2019/20 was £1,166,433.  Community Councils’ funding would continue to be allocated at the same level for 2019/20 to allow a review of these grants to take place.  Given the short time scale in introducing the Community Fund, it was now proposed that, in order to give financial security and continuity to Village Halls and Local Festivals in the coming year, that, as with grants to Community Councils, these grants were also allocated in 2019/20 on the same basis and with the same criteria as in 2018/19.  The additional Fit for 2024 funding of £445,000 to the Community Fund agreed as part of the budget was allocated to Area Partnerships based on a per head of population.  This was the same allocation basis for the £288,670 which was the remaining balance of available funds after deduction of the funding for the Community Action Team (CAT) and financial plan savings.  This left a balance of funding in the Community Fund of £234,900 from the residual Community Grant Scheme and Quality of Life Funding for devolvement to Area Partnerships for 2019/20.  A number of options were given in the Appendices to the report on methodology for the allocation of this to Area Partnerships, including current allocation, per head of population and by Scottish Index Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) or a combination of these methods.  It was proposed that this funding was allocated to each Area Partnership on the basis of: Community Grant Scheme – current allocation (population base) less £35k for Borders Wide applications; and Quality of Life – current allocation basis i.e. £20k per Area Partnership. In order to ensure there was no gap in the provision of grants to communities and local organisations, it was suggested that interim arrangements were put in place for Area Partnerships disbursing their Community Fund to operate from 1 April 2019.  It was therefore proposed that the current criteria for applications to the existing Community Grant Scheme was used for community groups to apply for funding and a new application form was made available.  While the limit on the current Community Grant was £5k it was proposed to extend this to £10k, or in exceptional cases up to £30k.  The applications meeting the required criteria for Community Fund money would be presented to Area Partnerships for decision, with no decision making devolved to officers.  At the moment there would be no change in membership of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Consider report by Service Director Customer and Communities.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Customer and Communities seeking approval for the initial Scottish Borders Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan (RRTP) for the period 2019/20 – 2023/24, which set out how Scottish Borders Council and its partners would seek to address homelessness in the Scottish Borders by moving to a Rapid Rehousing and Housing First model over the next 5 years.  The report explained that the Scottish Government was committed to making “radical changes to end homelessness in Scotland” and sees “Rapid Rehousing by default” as a cornerstone of this commitment.  Rapid Rehousing was a key element of a whole-system approach whereby the responsibility for tackling homelessness lay not just with Local Authorities but with housing providers, Health and Social Care Partnerships and the broad range of organisations that provided support.  The Scottish Government had requested that all Local Authorities submit a 5-year RRTP for the period 2019/20 – 2023/24.  A ‘first iteration’ RRTP was required to be submitted to the Scottish Government by 31 December 2018 and a finalised RRTP completed and submitted by the end of March 2019, ready for commencing implementation from April 2019.  Development of the Scottish Borders RRTP had been led by the Borders Homelessness and Health Strategic Partnership and had included consultation with key partners including the Borders Housing Alliance and the Health and Social Care Integration Strategic Planning Group.  As required, a ‘first iteration’ RRTP was submitted to the Scottish Government in December 2018’ and further work had since been done to complete the RRTP for submission to the Scottish Government this month.  The Scottish Borders Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan partners believed they could make significant progress towards achieving the vision for Rapid Rehousing from within existing resources.  However, as described in the Resource Plan of the RRTP, contained in Appendix 1 to the report, it was clear that without securing additional resources from, for example, the Scottish Government’s ‘Ending Homelessness Together Fund’, it would not be possible to achieve Rapid Rehousing in full.   Members welcomed this new policy but acknowledged that additional resources would be required.

 

DECISION

AGREED to:-

 

(a)     approve the Scottish Borders Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 and related Action Plan, as contained in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report; and

 

(b)     note that delivery of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan in full would require securing significant additional resources from, for example, the Scottish Government’s Ending Homelessness Together Fund. 

 

7.

Local Development Plan: Development Plan Scheme 2019 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Consider report by Service Director Regulatory Services.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Regulatory Services proposing approval of the annual update of the Development Plan Scheme.  The report explained that publishing a Development Plan Scheme at least annually was a statutory duty and it must include a participation statement setting out how, when and with whom the Council would consult on the various Local Development Plan stages.  The proposed Development Plan Scheme 2019, contained in Appendix 1 to the report, had been prepared to provide information on the development plan process.  It set out the latest position on the Council’s development plans.  Members noted that the new Planning Bill may have an impact on timescales.

 

DECISION

AGREED:-

 

(a)     to approve the proposed Development Plan Scheme 2019, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, for publication, deposit and copying to Scottish Ministers;

 

(b)     that the Development Plan Scheme be reviewed and published at least annually; and

 

(c)     to authorise the Service Director Regulatory Services to make any necessary minor editing and design changes to the Development Plan Scheme prior to publishing it.

 

8.

Licensing of Residential Caravan Sites pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Consider report by Service Director Regulatory Services.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Regulatory Services on the introduction of fees for caravan sites following changes to legislation with respect to a licensing system for mobile home sites with permanent residents.   The report explained that on 1 May 2017 a new licensing scheme came into force for caravan sites that had permanent residents.  “Resident” referred to people who lived on a permanent basis in a mobile home where the mobile home was usually owned by the resident and it was situated on a site that was licensed for year round occupation.  A “mobile home” or caravan was any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which was capable of being moved from one place to another either by towing or by its own power.  Those who already had a licence under the existing legislation had until 1 May 2019 to apply for a new site licence.  At present there were two licenced residential caravan sites in the Scottish Borders area.  It was considered that an application fee for a first site licence and for a licence renewal should be £600 in accordance with the estimate provided by the Scottish Government.   It was noted that the Civic Government Licensing Committee had supported the proposal.

 

DECISION

AGREED that in respect of caravan sites with permanent residents the fee to be charged for processing the first site licence applications and for a licence renewal be set at £600 with immediate effect.

 

9.

SESPlan Budget 2019/20 Ratification pdf icon PDF 567 KB

Consider report by Service Director Regulatory Services.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Regulatory Services seeking ratification of SESplan budget proposals for 2019/20.  The report explained that the SESplan operating budget for 2019/20 was proposed to be set at £108,100 which would be taken entirely from existing SESplan reserves. Members were pleased to note that this would result in nil contribution from each authority for the year 2019/20.

 

DECISION

AGREED to ratify the SESplan budget proposals for 2019/20.

 

10.

Adult Protection Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Consider report by Chief Social Work and Public Protection Officer.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Social Work and Public Protection Officer updating Members on the continuing progress in Scottish Borders in the development of an interagency approach to the support and protection of adults who were at risk of harm (as defined in the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007).  The Annual Report, which formed Appendix 1 to the report, covered the activities of the Scottish Borders Adult Protection Committee during the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018.  The report highlighted the continuing work being undertaken in the Scottish Borders in regard to meeting the Council’s statutory duties to support and protect adults at risk of harm in the area.  This included information on the Adult Protection Committee and its sub-committees; statistical information collated by the Adult Protection Unit; the operational work undertaken in order to meet the statutory requirements of the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 Act; and the Learning & Development Programme adopted by the Scottish Borders.  Mr Jim Wilson, Chairman of the Committee, was present at the meeting and advised that this was the Committee’s 13th annual report.  Work had increased over previous years with some of the main problems including the increasing number of financial scams and people with addiction targeting those adults with learning difficulties.  He highlighted the increasing importance of partnership working.  Members acknowledged the good work being done.  Mr Easingwood answered Members’ questions and agreed to provide further information regarding training numbers and compliance.

 

DECISION

AGREED:-

 

(a)     to endorse the Annual Report of the Scottish Borders Adult Protection Committee 2017/18; and

 

(b)     that the report be published on the Council’s website and distributed.

 

11.

Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Consider report by Chief Executive.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Executive seeking approval for a review of the current Polling Districts and Polling Places within the Scottish Borders Council Area to seek to ensure that all electors in a constituency in the local authority area had such reasonable facilities for voting as practical in the circumstances and, so far as is reasonable and practicable, every polling place for which the Council was responsible, was accessible to electors who were disabled.  The report explained that the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 set out the timing of reviews of UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places.  The next compulsory review had to be completed by 31 January 2020.  Although there were no scheduled elections or referendums until 2021 it was important to keep polling districts and polling places up-to-date in preparation for any unexpected electoral events.  The timescale was set to allow any changes to Polling Districts in the Register of Electors due to be published on 1 December 2019.  The report sets out how the review would be undertaken and the timescales for achieving Council approval. 

 

DECISION

AGREED:-

 

(a)     the proposals and timescales for carrying out the review of Polling Districts and Polling Places, as detailed in the report; and

 

(b)     that a report on the outcome of the review be submitted to the meeting on 31 October 2019 to allow any proposed amendments to be incorporated in the Register of Electors to be published on 1 December 2019.                                                                                            

 

MEMBER

Councillor Fullarton left the meeting.

 

12.

Open Questions pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The questions submitted by Councillors Paterson, Robson, Ramage, Bell, Drum, Thornton-Nicol, Laing, H. Anderson and Moffat were answered. 

 

DECISION

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

 

MEMBERS

Councillors Bell and Paterson left the meeting during the above item.

 

13.

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

 

14.

Minute

Consider private Section of Minute of Scottish Borders Council held on 31 January 2019.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

The private section of the Council Minute of 31 January 2019 was approved. 

15.

Committee Minutes

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

 

(a)     Civic Government Licensing                              18 January 2019

(b)     Executive                                                           12 February 2019

(c)     Selkirk Common Good Fund                             13 February 2019

(d)     Civic Government Licensing                              22 February 2019

(e)     Executive                                                           26 February 2019

(f)      Major Contracts Governance Group                 5 March 2019

(g)     Pension Fund                                                     7 March 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.

16.

Hawick Common Good Fund Sub-Committee

Consider extract of the Minute of the Hawick Common Good Fund Sub-Committee held on 19 March 2019.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

Members approved a recommendation relating to a replacement building at St. Leonards Farm

 

 

CONTACT US

Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800

Email:

For more Contact Details