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Meeting Details

Council
27 Feb 2020 - 09:30 to 13:00
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  • Declarations of Interests
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Documents

Agenda

Agenda
Notification
Standard Items
Further Information

This is a meeting which is open to members of the public. 

A copy of the agenda and reports for this meeting will be available for inspection prior to the meeting at the Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley and online at http://renfrewshire.cmis.uk.com/renfrewshire/CouncilandBoards.aspx

For further information, please either email
democratic-services@renfrewshire.gov.uk or telephone 0141 618 7105.

Members of the Press and Public
Members of the press and public wishing to attend the meeting should report to the customer service centre where they will be met and directed to the meeting.
Webcasting of Meeting
This meeting will be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site – at the start of the meeting the Provost will confirm if all or part of the meeting is being filmed.  Generally the public seating areas will not be filmed.  The cameras focus on the main participants.  If you have any queries regarding this please contact Committee Services on 0141 618 7105.  To find the webcast please navigate to http://renfrewshire.cmis.uk.com/renfrewshire/meetings.aspx and select the meeting from the calendar.
Chair
Provost Cameron presided.
In Attendance
S Black, Chief Executive; S Quinn, Director of Children’s Services; M Crearie, Director of Communities, Housing & Planning Services; G McNeil, Director of Environment & Infrastructure; A Russell, Director of Finance & Resources; L McIntyre, Head of Policy & Commissioning and L Mahon, Head of Marketing and Communications (both Chief Executive’s); K Graham, Head of Corporate Governance, A MacArthur, Head of Finance, J Lynch, Head of Property Services, M Conaghan, Legal & Democratic Services Manager,  D Low Democratic Services Manager and R Devine, Senior Committee Services Officer (all Finance & Resources); S Lavers, Chief Finance Officer (Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership); and V Hollows, Chief Executive (Renfrewshire Leisure Limited).
Apology
Councillor Burns.
Additional Items
Councillor J MacLaren intimated that he wished to table an emergency motion, seconded by Councillor Graham, which had not been included in the notice calling the meeting and requested that this be taken as an additional item. 

In terms of Standing Order 14(b), Provost Cameron ruled that the emergency motion by Councillors J MacLaren and Graham be considered by the Council as a matter of urgency as she was of the opinion that the spread of coronavirus was a public health concern.  This emergency motion would be taken up as an additional item of business at the end of the meeting as agenda item 18.

Councillor Kennedy intimated that she wished to table an emergency motion, seconded by Councillor Grady, which had not been included in the notice calling the meeting and requested that this be taken as an additional item of business.

In terms of Standing Order 14(b), Provost Cameron ruled that the emergency motion by Councillors Kennedy and Grady be considered by the Council as a matter of urgency as she was of the opinion that the decision taken about a visit to a primary school had caused significant levels of controversy at a local and national level.  This emergency motion would be taken up as an additional item of business at the end of the meeting as agenda item 19.
Obituary
Provost Cameron acknowledged the death of Willie Fraser Orr, a former Provost of Renfrew District Council, making reference to his dedication to his wife and family, his exemplary service to both his country and local community while in the Royal Navy and as a member of Renfrew District Council.  Mention was also made to his working life in the Chrysler plant in Linwood and his voluntary and charitable works.  Individual members of the Council paid tribute endorsing the sentiments expressed.  The Provost advised that she had attended the funeral together with the Leader of the Council and extended sincere condolences to his family on behalf of Renfrewshire Council. A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect.
Sederunt
Councillor Grady entered the meeting during consideration of the following item of business.
Declaration of Interest
Councillor Don having declared an interest in the following item left the meeting and took no part in the discussion or voting thereon.
Sederunt
Councillor Don re-entered the meeting.
Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 11am and reconvened at 11.10am.
Sederunt
Councillor Mack left the meeting during consideration of the following item of business.
Emergency Motion by Councillors J MacLaren and Graham
18
Councillor J MacLaren,seconded by Councillor Graham moved an emergency motion in the following terms:

"Council calls on the Chief Executive to bring a report back to the members on preparations Council is making for the arrival of coronavirus.

Further, all staff are encouraged to use precautions including hand cleaners and, where possible, hand sanitisers should be available at entrances to departments and Council buildings.”

Councillor J MacLaren, seconded by Councillor Graham, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: That Council calls on the Chief Executive to bring a report back to the members on preparations Council is making for the arrival of coronavirus.

Further, all staff are encouraged to use precautions including hand cleaners and, where possible, hand sanitisers should be available at entrances to departments and Council buildings.
Emergency Motion by Councillors Kennedy and Grady
19
Councillor Kennedy, seconded by Councillor Grady, moved an emergency motion in the following terms:

"That this Council seeks clarity from the Education Convener regarding recent local and national press reports of drag queen visit to Glencoats Primary School and the circumstances surrounding this visit.”

Councillor Kennedy, seconded by Councillor Grady, then moved the motion.

The Convener of the Education & Children’s Services Policy Board advised that an investigation was currently being undertaken to identify the facts regarding the visit, the circumstances surrounding the visit and subsequent actions taken.  The findings of the investigation would be reported, in due course, to the relevant ward members and leaders of the political groups represented on the Council.  

In response to a request it was agreed that all elected members would be notified of the outcome of the investigation. 

The motion was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: That this Council seeks clarity from the Education Convener regarding recent local and national press reports of a drag queen visit to Glencoats Primary School and the circumstances surrounding this visit.
Items Of Business
Apologies
Apologies from members.
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare an interest in any item(s) on the agenda and to provide a brief explanation of the nature of the interest.
Councillor Don declared a financial interest in respect of Item 8 of the agenda (Notice of Motion 3) and indicated that it was her intention to leave the meeting and take no part in the discussion or voting thereon.

Leadership Board, 4 December 2019, pages 249-260

Council, 5 December 2019, pages 261-274

Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, 14 January 2020, pages 275-292

Regulatory Functions Board, 15 January 2020, pages 293-300

Education and Children's Services Policy Board, 16 January 2020, pages 301-308

Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board, 20 January 2020, pages 309-314

Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, 22 January 2020, pages 315-326

Personnel Appeals and Applied Conditions of Service Appeals Panel, 23 January 2020, pages 327-328

Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, 29 January 2020, pages 329-342

Regulatory Functions Board, 30 January 2020, pages 343-350

Leadership Board, 19 February 2020, pages 351-362

1
There were submitted the Minutes of the following meetings of the Council, Boards and Panels on the dates specified:

Leadership Board, 4 December 2019
Council, 5 December 2019
Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, 14 January 2020
Regulatory Functions Board, 15 January 2020
Education and Children's Services Policy Board, 16 January 2020
Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board, 20 January 2020
Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, 22 January 2020
Personnel Appeals & Applied Conditions of Service Appeals Panel, 23 January 2020
Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, 29 January 2020
Regulatory Functions Board, 30 January 2020
Leadership Board, 9 February 2020.

DECIDED: That the Minutes be approved.
Report by Lead Officer
2
Under reference to item 8 of the Minute of the meeting of the Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board held on 20 January 2020, there was submitted a report by the Lead Officer relative to the review undertaken, as part of the Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board Annual Programme, of the maintenance and repairs arrangements for multi-occupancy accommodation in mixed-tenure buildings.

The report highlighted the scope and purpose of the review, outlined consultation undertaken and summarised the evidence presented to the Board together with the findings of the Board and the recommendations approved at the meeting of the Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board held on 20 February 2020.

The report highlighted the desirability of raising awareness of the availability of grant funding to owners involved in undertaking maintenance and repairs works to multi-occupancy accommodation in mixed-tenure buildings as part of the Council’s capital improvement programme.  Reference was also made to the Scottish Government’s Working Group report of cross party MSPs on Maintenance of Tenement Scheme Property which had considered the challenges associated with organising common repairs, identifying owners and securing contributions from them.

DECIDED: That the findings of the review of the maintenance and repairs arrangements for multi-occupancy accommodation (mixed-tenure buildings) and the recommendations, approved at the meeting of the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board held on 20 January 2020, and outlined in section 4 of the report be approved.
Director of Finance & Resources 
3
There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to changes to representation on various forums and the amendment of the Terms of Reference for the Council’s Regulatory Functions Board.

The report detailed a proposed change to the Council’s representation at Annual General Meetings of the Improvement Service; proposed that Councillor Audrey Doig be appointed as Chair of Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority Joint Committee; advised of the resignation of Mr Keith as the Church of Scotland representative on the Council’s Education & Children’s Services Policy Board; and intimated that Ms Bird had been nominated by the Church of Scotland as its replacement nominee. The report also proposed that the Terms of Reference of the Regulatory Functions Board be amended to authorise that Board to agree consultation proposals in relation to the establishment of taxi ranks and to appoint new taxi ranks following public consultation.

Councillor Paterson intimated that, in addition, it was proposed that the Council’s representation at meetings of the Clyde Valley Learning and Development Project Joint Committee be amended to reflect that Councillor Steel had been appointed in place of Councillor Paterson with Councillor Paterson being appointed as substitute member in place of Provost Cameron.

Councillor Nicolson, seconded by Councillor Paterson moved:

(a) that the resignation of Mr Keith as the Church of Scotland’s representative on the Education & Children’s Services Policy Board be noted and that Ms Bird, the Church of Scotland’s replacement nominee, be appointed as a member of the Education & Children’s Services Policy Board; 

(b) that Councillor Audrey Doig be appointed as Chair of the Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority Joint Committee; 

(c) that the Council’s representation at meetings of the Clyde Valley Learning and Development Project Joint Committee be amended to reflect that Councillor Steel had been appointed in place of Councillor Paterson with Councillor Paterson being appointed as substitute member in place of Provost Cameron;

(d) that it be agreed that the Chief Executive be the Council’s representative at Annual General Meetings of the Improvement Service and when unable to attend she be authorised to appoint a proxy to represent the Council; and

(e) that paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Regulatory Functions Board be amended to read: “To develop and review the Council's policies, and to exercise the functions of the Council in relation to applications for licences, permits, permissions, and or registrations or other matters arising out of the above Acts which are not otherwise specifically allocated to another Policy Board.”

Councillor Begg seconded by Councillor McKay moved as an amendment: 

“That this council should consider a further candidate for the post of Chair of the Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority Joint Committee.

The candidate I propose is Cllr Bill Binks as a continuity candidate having served on this committee since 2017, he is both a resident and councillor within the ward that has the largest section of that park, he meets regularly with local residents who wish to see the park succeed and he has a wealth of experience from his time as a member of East Dunbartonshire Council serving on the board of the Mugduck Country Park as well as being instrumental in the setting up of the bottom end of the West Highland Way.”

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Hood, Kennedy, Kerr, Mackay, J MacLaren, McCulloch, McIntyre, Montgomery, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang. 

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, and Councillors Campbell, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Don, Hughes, Mack, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel. 

The following member abstained: Councillor Harte.

20 members having voted for the amendment, 21 members having voted for the motion and 1 member having abstained, the motion was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED:

(a) That the resignation of Mr Keith as the Church of Scotland’s representative on the Education & Children’s Services Policy Board be noted and that Ms Bird, the Church of Scotland’s replacement nominee, be appointed as a member of the Education & Children’s Services Policy Board;

(b) That Councillor Audrey Doig be appointed as Chair of the Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority Joint Committee;

(c) That the Council’s representation at meetings of the Clyde Valley Learning and Development Project Joint Committee be amended to reflect that Councillor Steel had been appointed in place of Councillor Paterson with Councillor Paterson being appointed as substitute member in place of Provost Cameron;

(d) That it be agreed that the Chief Executive be the Council’s representative at Annual General Meetings of the Improvement Service and when unable to attend she be authorised to appoint a proxy to represent the Council; and

(e) That paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Regulatory Functions Board be amended to read: “To develop and review the Council's policies, and to exercise the functions of the Council in relation to applications for licences, permits, permissions, and or registrations or other matters arising out of the above Acts which are not otherwise specifically allocated to another Policy Board.”
Report by Director of Finance & Resources
4
There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to options for the use of the third flagpole at Renfrewshire House, Renfrew Town Hall and Houston Square, Johnstone following the exit of the UK from the European Union.

The report advised that the Council had previously agreed that the Union Flag, the Saltire and the Europe Flag be flown at Renfrewshire House, Renfrew Town Hall and Houston Square, Johnstone every day of the year, other than on specific occasions detailed within the report, when an alternative flag would be flown from the third flagpole in place of the Europe Flag.

The report requested that consideration be given to which flag(s) be flown from the third flagpole following the exit of the UK from the European Union on 31 January 2020.  Potential options in relation to the use of the third flagpole at the locations were outlined within the report.

Councillor Hughes, seconded by Councillor McNaughtan, moved that the first bullet point of paragraph 3.4 of the report be deleted and replaced with “The flag of the European Union and the Council of Europe continue to be flown on Council premises to mark our status as Europeans, our continued membership of the Council of Europe and our long standing friendship with the people of Gladsaxe and Furth, our twinned towns. Council further agrees that approved alternative flags will be flown on occasions to mark dates and events of significance to the people of Renfrewshire.”

Councillor Andy Doig, seconded by Councillor Mack moved as a first amendment “That Renfrewshire Council approach the Lord Lyon for approval to fly the Renfrewshire County Flag, as defined in the britishcountyflags.com website, from the third flagpole outside all council headquarters in Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone, except for those days designated in clause 3.3 of this report.”

Councillor Graham, seconded by Councillor Begg, moved as a second amendment that “Council notes the result of the EU referendum on 23rd June 2016.  Council further notes that the public voted to leave the EU.  Council agrees to respectfully lower the EU flag from Council buildings on 28 February at 11am.  Council further agrees that the EU flag will be raised to celebrate Europe day each year on 5th and 9th May.”

On the roll being called between the motion and the first amendment, the following members voted for the first amendment: Councillors Begg, Binks, Brown, Andy Doig, Graham, Kerr, Mack, Mackay, J MacLaren, McIntyre and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Councillors Campbell, Audrey Doig, Don, Hughes, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel.

The following members abstained: Councillors Bibby, Davidson, Devine, Dowling, Grady, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, McCulloch, Montgomery, Sharkey and Sheridan.
 
11 members having voted for the first amendment, 19 members having voted for the motion and 12 members having abstained, a vote was then taken between the motion and second amendment.

On the roll being called between the motion and the second amendment, the following members voted for the second amendment: Councillors Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Andy Doig, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, Kerr, Mack, Mackay, J Maclaren, McCulloch, McIntyre, Montgomery, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Councillors Campbell, Audrey Doig, Don, Hughes, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel.

23 members having voted for the second amendment and 19 members having voted for the motion the second amendment was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED:

(a) That the result of the EU referendum on 23 June 2016 be noted;

(b) That it be further noted that the public had voted to leave the European Union;

(c) That the EU flag be respectfully lowered from Council buildings on 28 February at 11am; and

(d) That the EU flag be raised on 5 and 9 May each year to celebrate Europe day.
Report by Chief Executive
5
Under reference to item 9 of the Minute of the meeting of Renfrewshire Council held on 27 June 2019 there was submitted a report by the Chief Executive relative to climate change activities undertaken to date, with specific focus on the activities of the Climate Emergency Working Group (CEWG) established to make recommendations to Council on the actions that required to be taken to respond to the climate emergency in Renfrewshire.

A key action to be progressed in terms of the motion agreed at the meeting held on 27 June 2019, relating to the declaration of a climate emergency in Renfrewshire, was the establishment of the CEWG to examine in detail the actions that could be taken by Renfrewshire Council to address the declared climate emergency. It was highlighted that it had been agreed that a report outlining the key recommendations from the working group would be submitted to Council for consideration by the end of March 2020.

The report advised that the CEWG had met regularly to consider evidence and information in relation to climate change, with a specific focus on the Council’s current and planned activities, and the subsequent actions that the Council could take to lead and drive change across Renfrewshire.  The CEWG had established a baseline for Renfrewshire’s carbon emissions, in order to identify the level and nature of change that would have to happen in Renfrewshire to achieve the 2030 net zero target agreed by Council in June 2019. Officers had also undertaken a mapping exercise and made presentations to the CEWG on the work being undertaken by the Council to both reduce and mitigate the impact of carbon emissions. A summary of the CEWG’s work programme was appended to the report.  Further context on the climate emergency was provided within the report together with a summary of the CEWG’s findings, baseline data and the review of activities undertaken. Key recommendations in terms of energy, waste, transport, engagement, place and governance/innovation were highlighted together with proposed future actions, which included the establishment of a Climate Change sub-committee of the Leadership Board and mainstream focus of climate change within the Council, together with aligned staffing resource and development of the required expertise to deliver on the agenda.

DECIDED:

(a) That the progress achieved to date in terms of responding to the declaration of a climate emergency by the Council in June 2019 be noted;

(b) That the progress the Council had made in terms of responding to climate change to date, as detailed in section 5 of the report be noted;

(c) That it be agreed that the recommendations made by the Climate Emergency Working Group be taken forward by officers; and

(d) That it be agreed a Climate Change sub-committee of the Leadership Board, be established in line with the arrangements set out at section 7.2 of the report.

"Council agrees that release of balloons or lanterns clearly pose a risk to wildlife, livestock, humans and property.  20 out of the 32 local authorities in Scotland have introduced a policy banning their release.

Therefore, council agrees that Renfrewshire Council should join the other local authorities in implementing a policy banning the release of balloons or lanterns on Council property, Council owned land and at Council licensed, endorsed or supported events, including those not on Council owned land."

 

 

6
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Cameron and Steel in the following terms:

"Council agrees that release of balloons or lanterns clearly pose a risk to wildlife, livestock, humans and property. 20 out of the 32 local authorities in Scotland have introduced a policy banning their release.

Therefore, council agrees that Renfrewshire Council should join the other local authorities in implementing a policy banning the release of balloons or lanterns on Council property, Council owned land and at Council licensed, endorsed or supported events, including those not on Council owned land."

Councillor Cameron indicated a verbal amendment to include the word “massed” before the word “release” in the first sentence of the motion.  Councillor Cameron, seconded by Councillor Steel, then moved the motion, as amended, which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: That Council agrees that massed release of balloons or lanterns clearly pose a risk to wildlife, livestock, humans and property. 20 out of the 32 local authorities in Scotland have introduced a policy banning their release.

Therefore, council agrees that Renfrewshire Council should join the other local authorities in implementing a policy banning the massed release of balloons or lanterns on Council property, Council owned land and at Council licensed, endorsed or supported events, including those not on Council owned land.

"John Patrick Byrne - celebrated playwright, painter, printmaker and theatre designer - has bestowed upon the world a treasure that is his art. By doing so, he has put Paisley and Renfrewshire on the map. His ongoing commitment to our local community - the community he grew up in - is to be admired. This commitment continues to be welcomed and treasured by citizens of Ferguslie Park, past and present, as well as the Renfrewshire community and its civic leaders.

Council notes the outstanding achievement that John has made to Renfrewshire, and in recognition of that contribution to his hometown, Renfrewshire Council formally resolves that he be admitted as Honorary Freeman of Renfrewshire.

The Director of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Provost, is authorised to make the necessary arrangements to bestow this honour on and to include John Patrick Byrne on the roll of names of persons who are admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of Renfrewshire."

 

 

7
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Provost Cameron and Councillor Devine in the following terms:

"John Patrick Byrne - celebrated playwright, painter, printmaker and theatre designer - has bestowed upon the world a treasure that is his art.  By doing so, he has put Paisley and Renfrewshire on the map. His ongoing commitment to our local community - the community he grew up in - is to be admired. This commitment continues to be welcomed and treasured by citizens of Ferguslie Park, past and present, as well as the Renfrewshire community and its civic leaders.

Council notes the outstanding achievement that John has made to Renfrewshire, and in recognition of that contribution to his hometown, Renfrewshire Council formally resolves that he be admitted as Honorary Freeman of Renfrewshire.  The Director of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Provost, is authorised to make the necessary arrangements to bestow this honour on and to include John Patrick Byrne on the roll of names of persons who are admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of Renfrewshire."

Provost Cameron, seconded by Councillor Devine, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDEDThat John Patrick Byrne - celebrated playwright, painter, printmaker and theatre designer - has bestowed upon the world a treasure that is his art.  By doing so, he has put Paisley and Renfrewshire on the map. His ongoing commitment to our local community - the community he grew up in - is to be admired. This commitment continues to be welcomed and treasured by citizens of Ferguslie Park, past and present, as well as the Renfrewshire community and its civic leaders.

Council notes the outstanding achievement that John has made to Renfrewshire, and in recognition of that contribution to his hometown, Renfrewshire Council formally resolves that he be admitted as Honorary Freeman of Renfrewshire.  The Director of Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Provost, is authorised to make the necessary arrangements to bestow this honour on and to include John Patrick Byrne on the roll of names of persons who are admitted as Freemen and Freewomen of Renfrewshire.

"Derek Mackay, MSP Renfrewshire North and West Constituency

Renfrewshire Council believes that Derek Mackay should resign with immediate effect as MSP for Renfrewshire North and West Constituency.  He has shown, by his behaviour with inappropriate texts to a 16 year old boy, that he is unfit to hold the office of MSP."

 

 

8

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Devine and Sheridan in the following terms:

"Derek Mackay, MSP Renfrewshire North and West Constituency

Renfrewshire Council believes that Derek Mackay should resign with immediate effect as MSP for Renfrewshire North and West Constituency. He has shown, by his behaviour with inappropriate texts to a 16 year old boy, that he is unfit to hold the office of MSP."

Councillor Devine, seconded by Councillor Sharkey, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: Derek Mackay, MSP Renfrewshire North and West Constituency

That Renfrewshire Council believes that Derek Mackay should resign with immediate effect as MSP for Renfrewshire North and West Constituency. He has shown, by his behaviour with inappropriate texts to a 16 year old boy, that he is unfit to hold the office of MSP.

"The Core Duties of Chief Executives in Scottish Local Authorities

This Council believes, in the interests of prudent governance, that the core duties of the Chief Executive of the Council shall include acting as Returning Officer at public elections, and that there shall be no additional payment for these duties. Council further advocates that having adopted this position Renfrewshire Council will seek to persuade CoSLA to adopt that as their national policy." 

 

 

 

 

9
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Mack and Andy Doig in the following terms:

"The Core Duties of Chief Executives in Scottish Local Authorities

This Council believes, in the interests of prudent governance, that the core duties of the Chief Executive of the Council shall include acting as Returning Officer at public elections, and that there shall be no additional payment for these duties. Council further advocates that having adopted this position Renfrewshire Council will seek to persuade CoSLA to adopt that as their national policy."

Councillor Mack, seconded by Councillor Andy Doig, then moved the motion.

Councillor Nicolson, seconded by Councillor Paterson, moved as an amendment that “Council agrees and concurs with the stated policy position of COSLA regarding maintaining the independence of the role of returning officer.

It is vital that the Returning Officer maintains independence from the Scottish Government and local authority.  This is a central component of the overall integrity of the elections process, and CoSLA would not support any changes that would undermine this.

We therefore do not believe that the role of Returning Officer can or should become part of the job description of a local authority Chief Executive.  Removing the independence of the Returning Officer by making them an employee of the council would create significant legal complexities around the liability and risk which have the potential to compromise the smooth administration of the election process.  We would further argue that it is similarly vital to maintain the independence of other election staff supporting the Returning Officer during elections.”

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Adam-McGregor, Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, and Councillors Campbell, Davidson, Devine, Audrey Doig, Don, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Hughes, Kennedy, Kerr, J MacLaren, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McCulloch, McEwan, McGurk, McIntyre, McNaughtan, Montgomery, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Sharkey, Shaw, Sheridan, Steel and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Andy Doig and Mack.

The following member abstained: Councillor Mackay.

39 members having voted for the amendment, 2 members having voted for the motion and 1 member having abstained, the amendment was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED: That Council agrees and concurs with the stated policy position of COSLA regarding maintaining the independence of the role of returning officer.

It is vital that the Returning Officer maintains independence from the Scottish Government and local authority.  This is a central component of the overall integrity of the elections process, and CoSLA would not support any changes that would undermine this.

We therefore do not believe that the role of Returning Officer can or should become part of the job description of a local authority Chief Executive.  Removing the independence of the Returning Officer by making them an employee of the council would create significant legal complexities around the liability and risk which have the potential to compromise the smooth administration of the election process.  We would further argue that it is similarly vital to maintain the independence of other election staff supporting the Returning Officer during elections.

"Green Belt Policy and Protecting the Biodiversity of Paisley

This Council notes that biodiversity is a crucial element in securing the future of our environment for future generations, and further recognises the importance of maintaining the green belt around the existing boundaries of the town of Paisley to maintain and enhance that biodiversity.

Council therefore, under Scottish Planning Policy 21, call on Renfrewshire Council's Local Development Plan to designate the green belt area around the existing boundaries of the town of Paisley as a green belt area, and therefore, not suitable for housing development."

10
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Mack and Andy Doig which Provost Cameron ruled was not competent in terms of Standing Order 19(c).
"Council thanks Renfrewshire Foodbank for supporting those in need across Renfrewshire. Council notes that between 1st April 2019 and 30th September 2019, Renfrewshire Foodbank distributed 4,702 three-day food supplies including 1,388 of them to children. Council further notes that the main reasons cited for people needing emergency food are low benefit income (38%) and delays (19%) or changes (17%) to benefits.  Council calls on the UK Government to cease their politically motivated austerity cuts and ensure that benefits are raised so that no one has to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves or their family."
11
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Mylet and K MacLaren in the following terms:

"Council thanks Renfrewshire Foodbank for supporting those in need across Renfrewshire. Council notes that between 1st April and 30th September 2019, Renfrewshire Foodbank distributed 4,702 three-day food supplies including 1,388 of them to children. Council further notes that the main reasons cited for people needing emergency food are low benefit income (38%) and delays (19%) or changes (17%) to benefits.

Council calls on the UK Government to cease their politically motivated austerity cuts and ensure that benefits are raised so that no one has to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves or their family."

Councillor Mylet, seconded by Councillor K MacLaren, then moved the motion.

Councillor McIntyre, seconded by Councillor Graham, moved as an amendment that the final sentence of the motion be removed and replaced with “Furthermore, the Scottish Government can create any new benefits they want.  The Scotland Act 2016 devolved the power to the Scottish Parliament to top up reserved benefits, and introduce new benefits outwith reserved benefits.”

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, Kerr, Mackay, J MacLaren, McIntyre, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Councillors Campbell, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Don, Hughes, Mack, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McCulloch, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel.

The following member abstained: Councillor Montgomery.

19 members having voted for the amendment, 22 members having voted for the motion and 1 member having abstained, the motion was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED: That Council thanks Renfrewshire Foodbank for supporting those in need across Renfrewshire. Council notes that between 1st April and 30th September 2019, Renfrewshire Foodbank distributed 4,702 three-day food supplies including 1,388 of them to children. Council further notes that the main reasons cited for people needing emergency food are low benefit income (38%) and delays (19%) or changes (17%) to benefits.

Council calls on the UK Government to cease their politically motivated austerity cuts and ensure that benefits are raised so that no one has to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves or their family.

"That this Council notes:-

(a) The TUC 'Dying to Work' Campaign, calling for terminal illness to be made a 'protected characteristic';

(b) The TUC is requesting employers to sign up to a Voluntary Charter which states the following:-

We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
We will support the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

Council, as a responsible employer, agrees to sign the Voluntary Charter so that employees who are battling terminal illness are supported, guided and protected following diagnosis.

Council will work with trade unions to ensure that existing policies are modified to support the principles outlined in the Charter."

12
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors McNaughtan and Steel in the following terms:

"That this Council notes:-

(a) The TUC 'Dying to Work' Campaign, calling for terminal illness to be made a 'protected characteristic';

(b) The TUC is requesting employers to sign up to a Voluntary Charter which states the following:-

• We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
• Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
• We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
• We will support the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

Council, as a responsible employer, agrees to sign the Voluntary Charter so that employees who are battling terminal illness are supported, guided and protected following diagnosis.

Council will work with trade unions to ensure that existing policies are modified to support the principles outlined in the Charter."

Councillor McNaughtan, seconded by Councillor Steel, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDEDThat this Council notes:-

(a) The TUC 'Dying to Work' Campaign, calling for terminal illness to be made a 'protected characteristic';

(b) The TUC is requesting employers to sign up to a Voluntary Charter which states the following:-

• We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
• Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
• We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
• We will support the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

Council, as a responsible employer, agrees to sign the Voluntary Charter so that employees who are battling terminal illness are supported, guided and protected following diagnosis.

Council will work with trade unions to ensure that existing policies are modified to support the principles outlined in the Charter.

"Council notes the result of the EU referendum on 23rd June 2016.

 

Council further notes that the public voted to leave the EU.

 

Council agrees to respectfully lower the EU flag from Council buildings on 28 February at 11 am.

 

Council further agrees that the EU flag will be raised to celebrate Europe Day each year on 5th and 9th of May."

13
It was noted that a decision had been taken earlier in the meeting regarding the issue raised within the Notice of Motion.   

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Graham and Begg, being the mover and seconder of the motion consented to the withdrawal of the Notice of Motion.

"The Scottish Government is expecting us to maintain services on their behalf yet are reducing the resources available to us.  Between 2013 and 2020 Local government has been given a disproportionate share of the revenue cuts.  Scottish Government reduced their revenue by a low 2% while they reduced our local government revenues by a much larger 7% (Cosla; Invest in Essential Services Jan 2020)

 

We are being asked to do more and more with less and less.

 

This council will write to the Scottish Government asking for a reinstatement of at least that 5% deprived from our councils in this next financial round and that they pass on the full Barnett Consequentials."

14

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Begg and Graham in the following terms:

"The Scottish Government is expecting us to maintain services on their behalf yet are reducing the resources available to us. Between 2013 and 2020 Local Government has been given a disproportionate share of the revenue cuts. Scottish Government reduced their revenue by a low 2% while they reduced our local government revenues by a much larger 7% (Cosla; Invest in Essential Services Jan 2020).

We are being asked to do more and more with less and less.

This council will write to the Scottish Government asking for a reinstatement of at least that 5% deprived from our councils in this next financial round and that they pass on the full Barnett Consequentials."

Councillor Begg, seconded by Councillor Graham, then moved the motion.

Councillor Nicolson, seconded by Councillor Paterson, moved as an addition to the motion that “Council welcomes the positive movement in resource funding for local government announced by the Scottish Government yesterday.

Council agrees that local authorities require a consistent and equitable share of funding in order to allow us to continue to deliver on local and national priorities and that the best way of achieving an improved financial position for local government is by continuing to work collaboratively within Cosla along with all other local authorities and on a cross party basis.”

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Begg and Graham, being the mover and seconder of the motion accepted the addition to the motion.  The motion, as amended, was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: That the Scottish Government is expecting us to maintain services on their behalf yet are reducing the resources available to us. Between 2013 and 2020 Local Government has been given a disproportionate share of the revenue cuts. Scottish Government reduced their revenue by a low 2% while they reduced our local government revenues by a much larger 7% (Cosla; Invest in Essential Services Jan 2020). 

We are being asked to do more and more with less and less.

This council will write to the Scottish Government asking for a reinstatement of at least that 5% deprived from our councils in this next financial round and that they pass on the full Barnett Consequentials.

Council welcomes the positive movement in resource funding for local government announced by the Scottish Government yesterday.

Council agrees that local authorities require a consistent and equitable share of funding in order to allow us to continue to deliver on local and national priorities and that the best way of achieving an improved financial position for local government is by continuing to work collaboratively within Cosla along with all other local authorities and on a cross party basis.

"Period Products

This council believes that period products should be free and universally available to Women and Girls.

Council notes that sanitary products were recently made free in schools and colleges across Scotland. 

Council further notes the Scottish Government’s stated reasons (as of 11th February 2020) for not supporting Monica Lennon’s Period Products (Free Provision) Bill onto the next parliamentary stage, in committee.

Reasons given have been the estimated cost of implementing the policy and fears over ‘cross-border tampon raids’, whereby it has been suggested that people outside Scotland could come and take the free sanitary products and then sell them; also referred to as ‘Tampon Tourism’ or ‘Period Piracy’.

The council believes that the estimated cost of implementing the Bill is a reasonable use of public monies to increase women’s dignity and be a stigma smashing country with legal right to free, universally available period products. 

Council also notes that following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol, previously expressed fears over Scottish people buying cheaper alcohol over the border then selling on in Scotland have not materialised.

The council is confident that cross-border tampon raids are unlikely to occur with such frequency as to endanger the viability of the provision.

The council supports the principle of period dignity for all and therefore commends to the Scottish Government that sanitary products should be made free for all women and girls on a universally available basis."

15

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Dowling and Davidson in the following terms:

"Period Products

This council believes that period products should be free and universally available to Women and Girls.

Council notes that sanitary products were recently made free in schools and colleges across Scotland.

Council further notes the Scottish Government’s stated reasons (as of 11th February 2020) for not supporting Monica Lennon’s Period Products (Free Provision) Bill onto the next parliamentary stage, in committee.  Reasons given have been the estimated cost of implementing the policy and fears over ‘cross-border tampon raids’, whereby it has been suggested that people outside Scotland could come and take the free sanitary products and then sell them; also referred to as ‘Tampon Tourism’ or ‘Period Piracy’.

The council believes that the estimated cost of implementing the Bill is a reasonable use of public monies to increase women’s dignity and be a stigma smashing country with legal right to free, universally available period products.

Council also notes that following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol, previously expressed fears over Scottish people buying cheaper alcohol over the border then selling on in Scotland have not materialised.

The council is confident that cross-border tampon raids are unlikely to occur with such frequency as to endanger the viability of the provision.

The council supports the principle of period dignity for all and therefore commends to the Scottish Government that sanitary products should be made free for all women and girls on a universally available basis."

Councillor McCartin, seconded by Councillor Campbell, moved as an addition to the motion that “Council requests that the cost of this Policy be fully funded by the Scottish Government from additional funding.”

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Dowling and Davidson, being the mover and seconder of the motion accepted the addition to the motion.  The motion, as amended, was agreed unanimously.

DECIDEDPeriod Products

That this council believes that period products should be free and universally available to Women and Girls.

Council notes that sanitary products were recently made free in schools and colleges across Scotland.

Council further notes the Scottish Government’s stated reasons (as of 11th February 2020) for not supporting Monica Lennon’s Period Products (Free Provision) Bill onto the next parliamentary stage, in committee.  Reasons given have been the estimated cost of implementing the policy and fears over ‘cross-border tampon raids’, whereby it has been suggested that people outside Scotland could come and take the free sanitary products and then sell them; also referred to as ‘Tampon Tourism’ or ‘Period Piracy’.

The council believes that the estimated cost of implementing the Bill is a reasonable use of public monies to increase women’s dignity and be a stigma smashing country with legal right to free, universally available period products.

Council also notes that following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol, previously expressed fears over Scottish people buying cheaper alcohol over the border then selling on in Scotland have not materialised.

The council is confident that cross-border tampon raids are unlikely to occur with such frequency as to endanger the viability of the provision.

The council supports the principle of period dignity for all and therefore commends to the Scottish Government that sanitary products should be made free for all women and girls on a universally available basis.

Council requests that the cost of this Policy be fully funded by the Scottish Government from additional funding.

"That this administration explains why a real term cut to local authority funding is a fair deal."
16
There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Harte and Sheridan in the
following terms:

"That this administration explains why a real term cut to local authority funding is a fair deal."

Councillor Harte, seconded by Councillor Sheridan, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED: That this administration explains why a real term cut to local authority funding is a fair deal.

"Former Provost Willie Orr

 

Renfrewshire Council marks the passing of former Provost Willie Orr with a minutes silence and his portrait hung in the corridor of uncertainty with his peers."

17
Provost Cameron indicated that in the absence of the member who had submitted the Notice of Motion and no other member present having indicated that they wished to move the motion, in terms of Standing Order 20, the motion would not be considered.

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