Notice of Motion - Investing in our Constituencies
- Meeting of Budget Meeting, Cabinet, Monday, 22nd February 2016 10.00 a.m. (Item 102.)
- View the background to item 102.
At the meeting of the Council held on 14 December 2015 (minute 92 refers), the attached Notice of Motion proposed by Councillor Phil Gilchrist and seconded by Councillor Dave Mitchell was referred by the Mayor to the Cabinet for consideration.
In accordance with Standing Order 7 (6), Councillor Gilchrist has been invited to attend the meeting in order for him to be given an opportunity to explain the Motion.
The Cabinet considered the following Notice of Motion referred to it by the Council at its meeting on 14 December 2015 (Minute No. 92 refers). It had been proposed by Councillor Phil Gilchrist and secondedby Councillor Dave Mitchell
a. notes the Capital receipts position reported to Cabinet on 5th November 2015.
b. observes that the incoming receipts have been projected as £15m in 2016/17 and £10.5m in 2017/18 and is especially anxious to hear of the progress on obtaining the receipt from the
sale of land at Acre Lane.
Council believes that the Cabinet should recognise that:
(i) the receipt from Acre Lane will be one of the most substantial receipts received since the Borough was created.
(ii) Constituency Committees, to date, have operated on modest devolved budgets and their ability to invest in capital schemes has been hampered by limited resources.
Council therefore suggests that:
1. Cabinet should place a sum of £4 million from the sale of Acre Lane into a fund to be accessed by the Constituency Committees and that this should be regarded as a dowry to give them resources to make a greater impact with their work.
2. Cabinet should consider allocating £1m from this asset sale into each Constituency Committee; in line with the 2020 vision and in the spirit of devolution to Constituency Committees, they should be enabled to determine the use of these funds.’
Councillor Phil Gilchrist was in attendance at the meeting and addressed the Cabinet on his Motion. He was also mindful that there had been some changes to the way in which the Council budgeted since he had drafted his Motion. He was aware that negotiations with the developer were ongoing and that how much the capital receipt would realise was not yet known. However, he was of the view that each of the four Constituency Committees should benefit financially from the sale of Acre Lane. Councillor Gilchrist proposed that each Constituency Committee should receive £1m to be used as seed corn grants to assist local community projects etc.
Councillor Phil Davies informed that the Cabinet was sympathetic to providing the Constituency Committees with more funding and that their operations were currently under review. He proposed that the Motion be noted and any decision on it be deferred until the review was completed and the future of Neighbourhood Planning and the roles of the Constituency Committees were agreed.
Councillor G Davies informed that each Constituency Committee had its own ambitions for the future. Members had looked at the Sunderland City Council model where a significant amount of funding was devolved to each of its six Committees. An overall review was now taking place and a three year plan would be drawn up on how the Council’s four Constituency Committees would be expected to move forward and the amount of resources they would require to do so. Currently, there were very little resources allocated to the Committees and only two officers were working in each of the Constituency areas. His view was that more people were needed to work out in the local area.
Councillor Phil Gilchrist enquired about the timescales the review of the Constituency Committees and the subsequent report including the recommendations on the way forward. Councillor Phil Davies responded that he hoped to have a decision on the way forward very early in the new Financial Year.
That the Notice of Motion – Investing in our Constituencies be considered as part of the review of Neighbourhood Working and the future of the Council’s Constituency Committees.