Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Tait Hall, Edenside Road, Kelso

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Convener's Remarks.

Minutes:

The Convener congratulated Nicola Laing on her appointment as Galashiels Braw Lass 2019.  Nicola, who was employed in the office at Earlston High School, accepted a bouquet of flowers from the Council.

 

DECISION

AGREED to pass the Council’s congratulations to Nicola Laing.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 61 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meetings held on 28 March 2019 were considered. 

 

DECISION

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

 

3.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Consider Minutes of the following Committees:-

 

(a)     Cheviot Area Partnership                                   30 January 2019

(b)     Berwickshire Area Partnership                          7 February 2019

(c)     Audit & Scrutiny                                                 14 February 2019

(d)     Teviot & Liddesdale Area Partnership                19 February 2019

(e)     Audit & Scrutiny (Special)                                  26 February 2019

(f)      Galashiels Common Good Fund                       14 March 2019

(g)     Local Review Body                                            18 March 2019

(h)     Hawick Common Good Fund                            19 March 2019

(i)      Civic Government Licensing                              22 March 2019

(j)      Planning and Building Standards                       25 March 2019

(k)     Local Review Body                                            15 April 2019

(l)      Executive                                                           16 April 2019

(m)    Audit & Scrutiny                                                 18 April 2019

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the following Committees had been circulated:-

 

Cheviot Area Partnership                                                 30 January 2019

Berwickshire Area Partnership                                         7 February 2019

Audit & Scrutiny                                                                14 February 2019

Teviot & Liddesdale Area Partnership                              19 February 2019

Audit & Scrutiny (Special)                                                26 February 2019

Galashiels Common Good Fund                                      14 March 2019

Local Review Body                                                          18 March 2019

Hawick Common Good Fund                                          19 March 2019

Civic Government Licensing                                            22 March 2019

Planning and Building Standards                                      25 March 2019

Local Review Body                                                          15 April 2019

Executive                                                                          16 April 2019

Audit & Scrutiny                                                                18 April 2019

 

DECISION

APPROVED the Minutes listed above.

 

4.

2018 Annual Report by Joint Director of Public Health pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Consider report by Joint Director of Public Health.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of the 2018 Borders Director of Public Health Report.  The report provided detailed information on health trends that identified key areas on which to focus preventative measures, develop health policies and strategies and to increase public and stakeholder understanding of the health of the population and the factors that affected it.  The aim of the 2018 report was to provide information on the new Scottish Government public health priorities that had now been adopted by NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council as the Scottish Borders Public Health Priorities. These public health priorities were an important milestone and represented agreement between the Scottish Government, the NHS, local government and other key stakeholders about the importance of focusing efforts to improve the health of the population.  Dr Tim Patterson gave Members a detailed presentation on the contents of his report and highlighted the challenges to be faced and the work being undertaken towards achievement of the 6 Public Health Priorities.  Dr Patterson answered Members’ questions on a number of areas including the problems caused by sub-standard housing, drug related deaths, deprivation preventing children participating in sport, mental health issues and dealing with challenging demographics.  Dr Patterson outlined some of the initiatives in place to deal with these issues, and finished his presentation with an update on Public Health Reform.

 

DECISION

NOTED the report.

 

5.

Fees and Charges 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Consider report by Chief Financial Officer.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With reference to paragraph 6 of the Minute of 20 December 2018, there had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Financial Officer containing an updated schedule of proposed 2019/20 fees and charges, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.  As part of the budget setting process for 2019/20, the fees and changes had been agreed by Council on 20 December 2018.  However, since that date a couple of changes had been made, following confirmation of pricing from other bodies.  The report explained that for 2019/20 the fees and charges were based on approved 2018/19 charges plus an inflationary increase of at least 3%, unless there was a business reason not to do so, such as charges being set nationally or if the increase would have a negative effect on usage.

 

DECISION

AGREED to approve the fees and charges schedule updates, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

6.

Living Wage Accreditation pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Consider report by Service Director HR and Communications.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director HR and Communications detailing Officers’ investigations into Scottish Borders Council becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer and seeking Members’ authorisation to progress the application process to secure accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.  The report explained that it was widely believed that the national minimum wage set by the United Kingdom government was inadequate. The Living Wage Foundation calculated a real living wage (“the Living Wage”), according to the cost of living, based on the cost of a “basket” of goods and services. The level of the real living wage was set in November each year and was currently £9.00 per hour.  The Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative, funded by the Scottish Government, had the aim of increasing the number of employers in Scotland who were recognised for paying their staff the Living Wage.  The Scottish Living Wage Foundation issued formal accreditation to employers who met specified criteria. These included paying all directly employed staff the Living Wage, and ensuring that employees of certain contractors were also paid the Living Wage.  Scottish Borders Council paid all directly employed staff the Living Wage. However, not all qualifying contractors currently paid the Living Wage and the qualifying contractors had been identified and were listed in Appendix 1 to the report.  It was proposed to enter into discussions with those contractors to ascertain if they currently paid the Living Wage and, if not, how this could realistically be introduced.  Scottish Borders Council could then decide whether to progress with an application for accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.  Councillor Tatler as Chairman of the Living Wage Group welcomed the report and expressed the hope that the work could be completed before “Living Wage Week” in November.

 

DECISION

AGREED to:-

 

(a)     note the progress made by Officers in exploring accreditation as a Living Wage Employer;

 

(b)     authorise Officers to negotiate with contractors for payment of the Living Wage to employees working on qualifying contracts; and

 

(c)     authorise Officers to thereafter apply to the Scottish Living Wage Foundation for accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.

 

7.

Members Allowances and Expenses 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Customer and Communities seeking approval for the information on allowances paid to Members during 2018/19 to be published on the Council’s website to meet the publicity requirements of the Local Government (Allowances and Expenses)(Scotland) Regulations 2007.  The report explained that the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 (Remuneration) Regulations 2007, as amended, and the Local Government (Allowances and Expenses)(Scotland) Regulations 2007, as amended, specified the levels of salary, allowances and reimbursement of expenses which might be paid to local authority Elected Members.  Councillors’ salaries were increased by 0.4% from 1 April 2018 in accordance with The Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 (Remuneration) Amendment Regulations 2018 and therefore the annual amount payable to each Councillor increased from £16,927 to £16,994 per annum, unless he or she was entitled to one of the higher amounts payable to the Leader of the Council, the Convener or to Senior Councillors.  Where higher payment was made, that was instead of the £16,994 and not in addition to this amount.  The number and designation of Senior Councillors was agreed in the Scheme of Remuneration at the meeting of Scottish Borders Council held on 24 May 2012, and then amended at the meeting of Council on 30 August 2012 to take account of changes to the Scheme of Administration.  At the Scottish Borders Council meeting of 25 May 2017, a new Scheme of Payment for Senior Councillors was agreed with sums payable from 18 May 2017.  Detailed in Appendix 1 to the report was the remuneration and expenses paid to all Councillors from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.  Detailed in Appendix 2 was Members’ attendance at training events, conferences and seminars in 2018/19.  Total remuneration and expenses paid to Members in 2018/19 amounted to £757,910.91, compared with a total of £747,698.02 in 2017/18.  Travel expenses total £61,119.58 in 2018/19, compared to the 2017/18 figure of £58,744.61. The cost of Telephone and ICT Expenses in 2018/19 amounted to £29,001.12, compared to £30,133.52 in 2017/18.

 

DECISION

AGREED to note that the information in the Appendices to the report was to be published on the Council’s website, in order to meet the publicity requirements of the Local Government (Allowances and Expenses) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.

 

8.

Motion by Councillor Bell

Consider Motion by Councillor Bell in the following terms:-

 

“Effective public CCTV can make a positive contribution to community safety which is primarily the responsibility of the police but one in which the Council has an obvious part to play.  However, the capability of the system now operating in Border towns has deteriorated. 

 

Whilst there are limited budgeted Council funds to invest in the current CCTV system, and whilst there will be advantages in opening up opportunities for communities to participate in the definition of what is needed, any decisions need to be based on a quantified assessment of costs.

 

Council requests officers to prepare a report showing the costs and options for renewing or replacing existing public CCTV for each community with a CCTV system; to make that information part of a consultation with Area Partnerships, Community Planning partners and the Police, Fire & Rescue, & Safer Communities Board, before bringing forward a final report for consideration by this Council.

 

Further to this that officers bring a report to the next Council meeting with a consultation plan, including whether outside resource will need to be brought in, the cost of consultation and a timescale for that consultation and final report to be brought to Council.”

 

Minutes:

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

“Effective public CCTV can make a positive contribution to community safety which is primarily the responsibility of the police but one in which the Council has an obvious part to play.  However, the capability of the system now operating in Border towns has deteriorated. 

 

Whilst there are limited budgeted Council funds to invest in the current CCTV system, and whilst there will be advantages in opening up opportunities for communities to participate in the definition of what is needed, any decisions need to be based on a quantified assessment of costs.

 

Council requests officers to prepare a report showing the costs and options for renewing or replacing existing public CCTV for each community with a CCTV system; to make that information part of a consultation with Area Partnerships, Community Planning partners and the Police, Fire & Rescue, & Safer Communities Board, before bringing forward a final report for consideration by this Council.

 

Further to this that officers bring a report to the next Council meeting with a consultation plan, including whether outside resource will need to be brought in, the cost of consultation and a timescale for that consultation and final report to be brought to Council.”

Councillor Bell and Councillor Turnbull spoke in support of the Motion which was unanimously approved.

 

DECISION

AGREED to approve the Motion as detailed above.

 

9.

Motion by Councillor Paterson

Consider Motion by Councillor Paterson in the following terms:-

 

"Scottish Borders Council regrets the loss of ATM machines in rural areas such as the Scottish Borders and expresses concern that some machines will now charge users for withdrawing their own money.  The Council Leader should write to the UK and Scottish Governments to raise the Council's concerns."

 

Minutes:

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

 

"Scottish Borders Council regrets the loss of ATM machines in rural areas such as the Scottish Borders and expresses concern that some machines will now charge users for withdrawing their own money.  The Council Leader should write to the UK and Scottish Governments to raise the Council's concerns."

 

Councillor Paterson and Councillor Haslam spoke in support of the Motion.  Councillor Haslam proposed that she should also write to Banks and appropriate stores and the Motion as amended was unanimously supported

 

DECISION

AGREED to support the Motion as detailed above subject to the addition of Banks and appropriate stores.

 

10.

Representatives on Outside Bodies

Consider replacement of Councillor Greenwell on the Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group.

Minutes:

It was noted that Councillor Greenwell required to be replaced as the Council’s representative on the Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group.  Councillor Mountford, seconded by Councillor Turnbull, moved that Councillor Jardine be appointed and this was unanimously approved.

 

DECISION

AGREED that Councillor Jardine be appointed to the Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group.

 

11.

Open Questions pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Minutes:

The questions submitted by Councillors Paterson, Ramage, McAteer, Laing, S. Scott, H. Anderson and H. Scott were answered. 

DECISION

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

 

MEMBERS

Councillors H. Anderson, K. Chapman and H. Scott left the meeting.

 

12.

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

 

13.

Minute

Consider private Section of Minute of Scottish Borders Council held on 28 March 2019.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

The private section of the Council Minute of 28 March 2019 was approved.

14.

Committee Minutes

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

 

(a)     Galashiels Common Good Fund                       14 March 2019

(b)     Hawick Common Good Fund                            19 March 2019

(c)     Civic Government Licensing                              22 March 2019

(d)     Executive                                                           16 April 2019

(e)     Audit & Scrutiny                                                 18 April 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.

15.

Future of 2 High Street/12 Market Place, Jedburgh

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

Minutes:

Councillors approved a report by the Service Director Regulatory Services dealing with the future of 2 High Street/12 Market Place, Jedburgh.

 

Member

Councillor H. Anderson re-joined the meeting

 

16.

Residual Waste Treatment Contract

Consider report by Service Director Assets and Infrastructure.  (Copy attached.)

Minutes:

Councillors approved a report by the Service Director Assets and Infrastructure on the letting of the Residual Waste Contract.

 

 

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