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Meeting Details

Council
24 Jun 2021 - 09:30 to 13:00
Occurred
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  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Agenda
Notification
Membership Section
Standard Items
Recording of Meeting

This meeting will be recorded for subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site. If you have any queries regarding this please contact Committee Services on 07534 058160. To find the recording please follow the link which will be attached to this agenda once the meeting has concluded. Please note that only meetings beginning with the Emergencies Board on 17 April 2020 onwards have been recorded for broadcast. 

 

Recording: part 1 of 3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED06b4fFTH8

 

Recording: part 2 of 3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHAcEQ6QBqs

 

Recording: part 3 of 3  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir18CHLCqmE 

 

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, the Provost intimated that this meeting of the
Council would be recorded and that the recording would be available to watch on the
Council’s website.

Items Of Business
Apologies
Apologies from members.

Councillor Don. 

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 Shaw declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 9 Motion 3 and item 12 Motion 6 of the agenda in that he was a member of the Strathclyde Pension Fund Board. He intimated that he would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor Begg declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 10 Motion 4 and item 11 Motion 5 of the agenda in that he was a Member of the Board of Renfrewshire Leisure. He intimated that he would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor Hughes declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 10 Motion 4 and item 11 Motion 5 of the agenda in that she was the Chair of the Board of Renfrewshire Leisure. She intimated that she would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor McCartin declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 10 Motion 4 and item 11 Motion 5 of the agenda in that she was a Member of the Board of Renfrewshire Leisure. She intimated that she would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor Brown declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 18 Motion 12 of the agenda in that a family member was a care home resident.  He intimated that he would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor Dowling declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 18 Motion 12 of the agenda in that a family member was a care home resident.  She intimated that she would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Councillor Hughes declared a non-financial interest in respect of item 18 Motion 12 of the agenda in that she was a member of Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board. She intimated that she would remain in the meeting and take part in any discussion or voting thereon.

Council, 13 May 2021, pages 536-549

Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel, 17 May 2021, pages 550-553

Communities, Housing & Planning Policy Board, 18 May 2021, pages 554-577

Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel, 19 May 2021, pages 578-581

Regulatory Functions Board, 19 May 2021, pages 582-589

Education & Children's Services Policy Board, 20 May 2021, pages 590-597

Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board, 24 May 2021, pages 598-601

Infrastructure, Land & Environment Policy Board, 26 May 2021, pages 602-609

Finance, Resources & Customer Services Policy Board, 2 June 2021, pages 610-623

Regulatory Functions Board, 3 June 2021, pages 624-631

Petitions Board, 7 June 2021, pages 632-635

Leadership Board 16 June 2021, pages 636-646

 

1

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

Council, 13 May 2021
Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel, 17 May 2021
Communities, Housing & Planning Policy Board, 18 May 202
Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel, 19 May 2021
Regulatory Functions Board, 19 May 2021
Education & Children's Services Policy Board, 20 May 2021
Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board, 24 May 2021
Infrastructure, Land & Environment Policy Board, 26 May 2021
Finance, Resources & Customer Services Policy Board, 2 June 2021
Regulatory Functions Board, 3 June 2021
Petitions Board, 7 June 2021
Leadership Board 16 June 2021

Under reference to page 578 of the Minute of the meeting of the Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel held on 19 May 2021 it was requested that the Minute be amended to reflect that not all of the decisions taken at the meeting were unanimous.

DECIDED:  That the Minutes be approved subject to the amendment to the Placing Requests & Exclusions Appeals Panel held on 19 May 2021 to reflect that not all of the decisions taken at the meeting were unanimous.

Report by Director of Finance and Resources
2

There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to the Council’s Accounts and Group Accounts for 2020/21, which were appended to the report, and which would be submitted for audit by the statutory deadline of 30 June 2021.

The unaudited accounts and associated working papers would, subject to approval, be passed to the external auditor (Audit Scotland) for review. Their report on the accounts would be submitted to a future meeting of the Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board for consideration prior to the audited accounts being presented to Council for approval.

The Annual Governance Statement had been incorporated into the annual accounts document and this also required specific approval by Council.

In compliance with charity accounting requirements, the Council’s accounts did not incorporate statements relating to Common Good Funds and the Charitable Trust Funds which the Council controlled. Separate accounts had been prepared to meet these requirements.

DECIDED:

(a) That subject to audit, the Renfrewshire Council Annual Accounts for 2020/21 be approved;

(b) That the Director of Finance & Resources be authorised to submit the accounts to external audit within the relevant timescales;

(c) That the annual governance statement for 2020/21 be approved;

(d) That it be noted that Audit Scotland would endeavour to complete the audit of the annual accounts in line with the timescales indicated by Scottish Ministers and that an update on this position would be provided to the next meeting of Council;

(e) That the revenue outturn position for the Council be noted and the sums earmarked within the General Fund reserves and HRA reserves, as outlined in section 3.3 of the report, be approved;

(f) That it be noted that the Council would develop a revised financial strategy for a future meeting that considered all balances available in the context of the Council’s medium term financial position and continued Covid-19 recovery, and that where appropriate balances be utilised to underpin the ongoing financial sustainability of the Council over the medium term;

(g) That the transfer of resources outlined in Table 1 and Appendix 1 of the report be approved; and

(h) That, subject to audit, the annual accounts for the Renfrew, Paisley and Johnstone Common Good Funds and the Coats Observatory Trust Fund, which under accounting regulations required to be separately prepared and audited from the Council’s accounts, be approved.

Report by Director of Finance and Resources
3

There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to the Treasury Management Annual Report 2020/21 submitted in accordance with the Local Government Investments (Scotland) Regulations 2010 which outlined treasury management activity over the year.

The report intimated that during 2020/21 all aspects of the Treasury Policy Statement were complied with and provided an overview of Treasury activities, including the Treasury Portfolio Position as at 31 March 2021, reviews of borrowing and investment outturn, borrowing strategy and new borrowing, investment strategy and investment outturn. Details of debt rescheduling and compliance with Treasury limits were also provided.

DECIDED: That the Treasury Management Annual Report 2020/21 be approved.

Report by Director of Finance & Resources
4

There was submitted a report by the Director of Finance & Resources relative to the next cycle of Board meetings starting in August 2021, up to and including 30 September 2021.  The report also covered the appointment of the Chair of the Villages Local Partnership to replace Councillor Don, who had resigned from that role.  This report replaced the report with the same title which was circulated with the agenda for the meeting.

The report set out the proposed arrangements for the next cycle of Board meetings, taking into account a number of key issues including the Scottish Government’s proposed timetable for easing Covid-19 restrictions, current social distancing measures and the impact of these on indoor meetings and the availability of a system to allow meetings to take place using a blend of in-person and remote attendees.

Councillor Sheridan, seconded by Councillor Sharkey, moved: 

(a) That the completion of the Public-i system installation be noted;

(b) That the arrangements for the next cycle of Council and Board meetings set out in section 4 of the report, including the option to use hybrid meetings should Scottish Government guidance allow it, be approved;

(c) That the Head of Corporate Governance be authorised to put in place protocols for the proper conduct of hybrid meetings in consultation with the Group and Party leaders;

(d) That the application of Procedural Standing Orders to hybrid meetings, as set out in section 4.7 of the report be approved;

(e) That a further report on the arrangements for future meetings of Council and Boards would be brought to the next Council meeting on 30 September 2021; and

(f) That Councillor Hood be appointed to the position of Chair of the Villages Local Partnership.

Councillor Nicolson, seconded by Councillor Patterson, then moved as an amendment:

(a) That the completion of the Public-i system installation be noted;

(b) That the arrangements for the next cycle of Council and Board meetings set out in section 4 of the report, including the option to use hybrid meetings should Scottish Government guidance allow it, be approved;

(c) That the Head of Corporate Governance be authorised to put in place protocols for the proper conduct of hybrid meetings in consultation with the Group and Party leaders;

(d) That the application of Procedural Standing Orders to hybrid meetings, as set out in section 4.7 of the report be approved;

(e) That a further report on the arrangements for future meetings of Council and Boards would be brought to the next Council meeting on 30 September 2021; and

(f) That Councillor Audrey Doig be appointed to the position of Chair of the Villages Local Partnership.

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Adam-McGregor, Burns, J Cameron, Provost Cameron, Campbell, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Hughes, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel. 

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, Kerr, Mackay, J MacLaren, McCulloch, McIntyre, Montgomery, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang.

The following member abstained: Councillor McCartin

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

DECIDED:

(a) That the completion of the Public-i system installation be noted;

(b) That the arrangements for the next cycle of Council and Board meetings set out in section 4 of the report, including the option to use hybrid meetings should Scottish Government guidance allow it, be approved;

(c) That the Head of Corporate Governance be authorised to put in place protocols for the proper conduct of hybrid meetings in consultation with the Group and Party leaders;

(d) That the application of Procedural Standing Orders to hybrid meetings, as set out in section 4.7 of the report be approved;

(e) That a further report on the arrangements for future meetings of Council and Boards would be brought to the next Council meeting on 30 September 2021; and

(f) That Councillor Hood be appointed to the position of Chair of the Villages Local Partnership.

Report by Director of Environment & Infrastructure

 

5

Under reference to item 11 of the Minute of the meeting of the Council held on 13 May 2021, there was submitted a report by the Director of Environment & Infrastructure relative to the decision to bring a report to this meeting on the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 option for local authorities to regulate bus services and providing an update on progress to deliver the Audit, Risk & Scrutiny Board’s review of bus deregulation in Renfrewshire.

The report provided details of the Board’s review which was ongoing.  It was highlighted that the review had made good progress and had engaged with a number of key stakeholders prior to being paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It was hoped that the review would conclude in late 2021/early 2022.

The report also set out the main provisions of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 in terms of public transport, including the provision of bus services by Local Transport Authorities, the creation of Bus Service Improvement Partnerships, the franchising of local services, the provision of service information to passengers and ticketing arrangements.  The impact of the pandemic on the implementation of these provisions was also outlined.

DECIDED:

(a) That the contents of the report be noted;

(b) That the delays to the implementation of the provisions of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 be noted; and 

(c) That it be noted that subsequent reports would be brought to the Infrastructure, Land & Environment Policy Board to update on progress with implementation over the course of 2021/2022.

Report by Head of Corporate Governance as Monitoring Officer

 

6

Under reference to item 6 of the Minute of the meeting of the Council held on 4 March 2021, there was submitted a report by the Head of Corporate Governance relative to an investigation by the Standards Commission for Scotland into complaints raised against Councillor Paul Mack.

The report provided an overview of the investigation into the complaints which had been raised and advised that at a hearing held on 3 May 2021 the Commission had determined to disqualify Councillor Mack for a period of 16 months, from being, or from being nominated for election as, or from being elected, a councillor, with effect from 10 May 2021. 

The report also advised that Councillor Mack had lodged an appeal to the Sheriff Principal and that this would be heard in court at a date yet to be fixed.

DECIDED:

(a) That, in accordance with the terms of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, the findings of the Standards Commission on the complaints against Councillor
Mack be noted; and

(b) That it be noted that Councillor Mack had submitted an appeal against the sanction imposed on him by the Commission.

"Disabled Parking Bays

Renfrewshire Council agrees to increase checks by wardens on the use of Disabled Bays throughout Renfrewshire, and to assess the number of non-badge holders who are found to be using them.

Council also agrees to advertise more widely the FREE car parking which people can use in our car parks until this benefit is withdrawn."

7

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

"Disabled Parking Bays

Renfrewshire Council agrees to increase checks by wardens on the use of Disabled Bays throughout Renfrewshire, and to assess the number of non-badge holders who are found to be using them.

Council also agrees to advertise more widely the FREE car parking which people can use in our car parks until this benefit is withdrawn." 
Councillor McCartin, seconded by Councillor Andy Doig, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously. 

It was proposed that in addition an update on the issue be submitted to a future relevant Board meeting.  This was agreed.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council agrees to increase checks by wardens on the use of Disabled Bays throughout Renfrewshire, and to assess the number of non-badge holders who are found to be using them; and

(b) That Council agrees to advertise more widely the free car parking which people can use until this benefit is withdrawn; and

(c)  That an update on the issue be submitted to a future relevant Board meeting.

"Review of Scottish Planning Policy

Renfrewshire Council reiterates its view that communities, via Community Councils, should have the same right of appeal to the Planning Minister, in relation to planning decisions, as applicants, and calls on the Scottish Government to review and amend existing planning legislation accordingly.

Council recognises the positive elements of the Planning Act (Scotland) 2019, such as the provisions for Local Place Plans envisaged as enabling communities to have a stronger say in deciding how their local areas are developed.

Council further believes this spirit of engagement and community empowerment should also inform the examination and formulation of Local Development Plans, to ensure statutory consultation between the Reporter, Community Councils, and local ward Councillors at all stages in their creation.”
8

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

"Review of Scottish Planning Policy 

Renfrewshire Council reiterates its view that communities, via Community Councils, should have the same right of appeal to the Planning Minister, in relation to planning decisions, as applicants, and calls on the Scottish Government to review and amend existing planning legislation accordingly. 

Council recognises the positive elements of the Planning Act (Scotland) 2019, such as the provisions for Local Place Plans envisaged as enabling communities to have a stronger say in deciding how their local areas are developed. 

Council further believes this spirit of engagement and community empowerment should also inform the examination and formulation of Local Development Plans, to ensure statutory consultation between the Reporter, Community Councils, and local ward Councillors at all stages in their creation.”

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

Councillor Brown, seconded by Councillor Sharkey, moved as an amendment that in addition “or other appropriate community bodies” be included in the first paragraph of the motion following ‘Community Councils’.

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Andy Doig and McCartin, being the mover and seconder of the motion agreed to accept the amendment as an addition to the motion and the motion, as amended, was approved unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council reiterates its view that communities, via Community Councils or other appropriate community bodies, should have the same right of appeal to the Planning Minister, in relation to planning decisions, as applicants, and calls on the Scottish Government to review and amend existing planning legislation accordingly;

(b) That Council recognises the positive elements of the Planning Act (Scotland) 2019, such as the provisions for Local Place Plans envisaged as enabling communities to have a stronger say in deciding how their local areas are developed; and

(c) That Council further believes this spirit of engagement and community empowerment should also inform the examination and formulation of Local Development Plans, to ensure statutory consultation between the Reporter, Community Councils, and local ward Councillors at all stages in their creation.

"Strathclyde Pension Fund

Renfrewshire Council welcomes the decision of the Strathclyde Pension Fund to cut its carbon emissions investments portfolio, including targeting net zero by 2050.

 

Council also welcomes the Pension Fund's decision to commit to reviewing the energy companies in its portfolio, and divesting from them if they do not meet minimum standards set by the scheme.
 
The Council is, however, disappointed that the Pension Fund did not agree to the substance of the motion agreed by Glasgow City Council on April 1st 2021 to “make a formal commitment to fossil fuel divestment prior to COP26, with the intention of divesting completely as quickly as possible, and no later than 2029”.

Renfrewshire Council will write to the Strathclyde Pensions Fund, and in particular its fund managers, to stress our disappointment in this decision, to ask them to look again at the speed of their decisions, and to bring their decisions more into line with the position that we as a council take, namely to be carbon neutral by 2030."

9

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

"Strathclyde Pension Fund 

Renfrewshire Council welcomes the decision of the Strathclyde Pension Fund to cut its carbon emissions investments portfolio, including targeting net zero by 2050. 

Council also welcomes the Pension Fund's decision to commit to reviewing the energy companies in its portfolio, and divesting from them if they do not meet minimum standards set by the scheme. 

The Council is, however, disappointed that the Pension Fund did not agree to the substance of the motion agreed by Glasgow City Council on April 1st 2021 to “make a formal commitment to fossil fuel divestment prior to COP26, with the intention of divesting completely as quickly as possible, and no later than 2029”. 

Renfrewshire Council will write to the Strathclyde Pensions Fund, and in particular its fund managers, to stress our disappointment in this decision, to ask them to look again at the speed of their decisions, and to bring their decisions more into line with the position that we as a council take, namely to be carbon neutral by 2030."

Councillor McCartin, seconded by Councillor Andy Doig, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously. 

DECIDED:

(a) That Council welcomes the decision of the Strathclyde Pension Fund to cut its carbon emissions investments portfolio, including targeting net zero by 2050;

(b) That Council also welcomes the Pension Fund's decision to commit to reviewing the energy companies in its portfolio, and divesting from them if they do not meet minimum standards set by the scheme;

(c) That Council is, however, disappointed that the Pension Fund did not agree to the substance of the motion agreed by Glasgow City Council on April 1st 2021 to “make a formal commitment to fossil fuel divestment prior to COP26, with the intention of divesting completely as quickly as possible, and no later than 2029; and 

(d) That Council will write to the Strathclyde Pensions Fund, and in particular its fund managers, to stress our disappointment in this decision, to ask them to look again at the speed of their decisions, and to bring their decisions more into line with the position that we as a council take, namely to be carbon neutral by 2030.

"Libraries

 

Council recognises that libraries are at the heart of our culture and heritage, and will therefore work closely with Renfrewshire Leisure to ensure that  as part of a COVID recovery plan libraries will fully reopen open as soon as possible, and that service provision will be restored to pre COVID levels.

 

In this regard council notes that Johnstone Town Hall is currently being used as a COVID 19 vaccination centre, and that this will impact on the reopening of Johnstone Library which is located in the Town Hall, and as such alternative options should be explored to reintroduce a full service as soon as possible which will include consideration of a mobile facility.

 

A progress report will be made available to elected members at the September 2021 Council meeting.”

10

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Bibby and Montgomery in the following terms:

“Libraries 

Council recognises that libraries are at the heart of our culture and heritage, and will therefore work closely with Renfrewshire Leisure to ensure that as part of a COVID recovery plan libraries will fully reopen as soon as possible, and that service provision will be restored to pre COVID levels. 

In this regard council notes that Johnstone Town Hall is currently being used as a COVID 19 vaccination centre, and that this will impact on the reopening of Johnstone Library which is located in the Town Hall, and as such alternative options should be explored to reintroduce a full service as soon as possible which will include consideration of a mobile facility. 

A progress report will be made available to elected members at the September 2021 Council meeting.”

Councillor Bibby, seconded by Councillor Montgomery, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously. 

DECIDED:

(a) That Council recognises that libraries are at the heart of our culture and heritage, and will therefore work closely with Renfrewshire Leisure to ensure that as part of a COVID recovery plan libraries will fully reopen as soon as possible, and that service provision will be restored to pre COVID levels;

(b) That in this regard council notes that Johnstone Town Hall is currently being used as a COVID 19 vaccination centre, and that this will impact on the reopening of Johnstone Library which is located in the Town Hall, and as such alternative options should be explored to reintroduce a full service as soon as possible which will include consideration of a mobile facility; and

(c) That a progress report will be made available to elected members at the September 2021 Council meeting.

“Community Groups – Renfrewshire

Council recognises the vital role of community groups across Renfrewshire in promoting inclusion and the physical and mental well-being of local residents.

Council will therefore, subject to existing and possible future COVID -19 restrictions, immediately embark on work with its arms length partners to reopen all community halls by mid-August.”
11

In terms of Standing Order 27, the motion was withdrawn by the mover and seconder.

"Council welcomes the recent decision of the Board of Strathclyde Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel industries that are driving the climate and ecological emergencies.

Council further welcomes the decision of the Investment Review Board to update the Investment Policy Statement relating to Renfrewshire’s Common Good Funds to ensure no direct investment in fossil fuel stocks.

Council calls on all public bodies to review their investments and take action to ensure they no longer invest in these stocks."

12

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Audrey Doig and Nicolson in the following terms:

"Council welcomes the recent decision of the Board of Strathclyde Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel industries that are driving the climate and ecological emergencies.

Council further welcomes the decision of the Investment Review Board to update the Investment Policy Statement relating to Renfrewshire’s Common Good Funds to ensure no direct investment in fossil fuel stocks.

Council calls on all public bodies to review their investments and take action to ensure they no longer invest in these stocks."

Councillor Audrey Doig, seconded by Councillor Nicolson, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council welcomes the recent decision of the Board of Strathclyde Pension Fund to divest from fossil fuel industries that are driving the climate and ecological emergencies; 

(b) That Council further welcomes the decision of the Investment Review Board to update the Investment Policy Statement relating to Renfrewshire’s Common Good Funds to ensure no direct investment in fossil fuel stocks; and

(c) That Council calls on all public bodies to review their investments and take action to ensure they no longer invest in these stocks.

“Street Furniture

Council acknowledges the difficulties encountered by blind, visually impaired and disabled people resulting from the proliferation of street furniture in Renfrewshire towns and villages.

Council recognises that street furniture plays a large role in public life, which when well designed and appropriately placed can assist blind, visually impaired and disabled people to navigate pavements and pedestrian areas safely.
Accordingly, council will work with the Health and Social Care Partnership, the Visual impairment Unit, local business organisations, and other partners including local community groups who work with the blind, visually impaired and disabled  people, to assess what works best and what improvements can be made to current practice, with a report being brought to the December 2021 council meeting.”

13

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

“Street Furniture

Council acknowledges the difficulties encountered by blind, visually impaired and disabled people resulting from the proliferation of street furniture in Renfrewshire towns and villages.

Council recognises that street furniture plays a large role in public life, which when well designed and appropriately placed can assist blind, visually impaired and disabled people to navigate pavements and pedestrian areas safely.

Accordingly, council will work with the Health and Social Care Partnership, the Visual Impairment Unit, local business organisations, and other partners including local community groups who work with the blind, visually impaired and disabled people, to assess what works best and what improvements can be made to current practice, with a report being brought to the December 2021 council meeting.”

Councillor Bibby, seconded by Councillor Davidson, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council acknowledges the difficulties encountered by blind, visually impaired and disabled people resulting from the proliferation of street furniture in Renfrewshire towns and villages;

(b) That Council recognises that street furniture plays a large role in public life, which when well designed and appropriately placed can assist blind, visually impaired and disabled people to navigate pavements and pedestrian areas safely; and

(c) That accordingly, Council will work with the Health and Social Care Partnership, the Visual Impairment Unit, local business organisations, and other partners including local community groups who work with the blind, visually impaired and disabled people, to assess what works best and what improvements can be made to current practice, with a report being brought to the December 2021 council meeting.

"Chilling Effect on Free Speech
 
Council notes concerns around a growing cultural environment of chilling effects on freedom of speech. Despite assurances from the Scottish Government during the Hate Crime Bill debates that women would not be persecuted for views defending women’s legal rights and gender critical views, a Scottish woman has been criminally charged with malicious communication with a hate crime aggravator on the basis of tweets opposing allowing males to self-declare themselves to be females.  She could now face two years in jail.

Council notes that what constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. The latest HMICS report shows a lack of public confidence in reporting hate crimes.

Council calls on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to issues statements that give clarity and assurances regarding freedom of speech rights in regards to political and ideological opinions."

14

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

"Chilling Effect on Free Speech

Council notes concerns around a growing cultural environment of chilling effects on freedom of speech. Despite assurances from the Scottish Government during the Hate Crime Bill debates that women would not be persecuted for views defending women’s legal rights and gender critical views, a Scottish woman has been criminally charged with malicious communication with a hate crime aggravator on the basis of tweets opposing allowing males to self-declare themselves to be females. She could now face two years in jail.

Council notes that what constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. The latest HMICS report shows a lack of public confidence in reporting hate crimes. 

Council calls on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to issue statements that give clarity and assurances regarding freedom of speech rights in regards to political and ideological opinions."

Councillor Dowling, seconded by Councillor Montgomery, then moved the motion.

Councillor Nicolson, seconded by Councillor Patterson, moved as an amendment that

“Council notes that what constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and the latest HMICS report shows a lack of public confidence in reporting hate crimes.

Council calls on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to issue statements that give clarity and assurances regarding freedom of speech rights in regards to political and ideological opinions."

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Dowling and Montgomery, being the mover and seconder of the motion agreed to accept the amendment to the motion and the motion, as amended, was approved unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council notes that what constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and the latest HMICS report shows a lack of public confidence in reporting hate crimes; and 

(b) That Council calls on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to issue statements that give clarity and assurances regarding freedom of speech rights in regards to political and ideological opinions.

“Cleanliness in Schools

In light of press allegations and concerns raised by parents, council agrees to hold an inquiry regarding the causes of the lack of cleanliness in our schools and the employment of labour without the proper PVG clearance”

15

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors Harte and Kennedy in the following terms:

“Cleanliness in Schools

In light of press allegations and concerns raised by parents, council agrees to hold an inquiry regarding the causes of the lack of cleanliness in our schools and the employment of labour without the proper PVG clearance”

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

Councillor Shaw, seconded by Councillor Nicolson, then moved as an amendment that

“Council Notes the incredible effort by our Facilities and Education staff over the past few months in ensuring our schools are clean and safe environments for our young people.

Council further notes the Cleaner Safer Schools initiative led by Unison which has seen all of Renfrewshire’s Schools and ELCCs inspected recently by Unison Health & Safety Officers. 

Council welcomes the comments by the Unison Branch Secretary, Mark Ferguson, at the recent Joint Consultative Board where he talked about the Cleaner Safer Schools initiative and how impressed he was with the co-operation and collaborative efforts with Council Health & Safety, noting that no major issues were identified and where minor issues had been picked up they were “rectified very quickly.””

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Adam-McGregor, Burns, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Campbell, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Hughes, K MacLaren, M, MacLaren, McCartin, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughton, Mylet, Nicolson, Patterson, Rodden, Shaw and Steel.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Begg, Bibby, Binks, Brown, Davidson, Devine, Dowling, Grady, Graham, Harte, Hood, Kennedy, Kerr, Mackay, J MacLaren, McCulloch, McIntyre, Montgomery, Sharkey, Sheridan and Strang.

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

DECIDED: That, in light of press allegations and concerns raised by parents, Council agrees to hold an inquiry regarding the causes of the lack of cleanliness in our schools and the employment of labour without the proper PVG clearance.

“Closure of Lochwinnoch Post Office

Renfrewshire Council deeply regrets the impending closure of Lochwinnoch Post Office in October, and resolves to continue to work with Lochwinnoch Community Council and local ward Councillors to identify options to help maintain a Post Office presence in the village.

Council deplores the wider problem of corporate financial interests, be it banks or the Post Office, abandoning communities across Renfrewshire, both rural and urban, which especially marginalises and excludes those without private transport, the elderly, those on low incomes, or the digitally disadvantaged.

Council calls on the Scottish Government to initiate discussions with the Scottish League of Credit Unions, to examine the viability of a Scottish Credit Bank, which can reconcile the demand for profit with the priority to serve communities".

16

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

“Closure of Lochwinnoch Post Office

Renfrewshire Council deeply regrets the impending closure of Lochwinnoch Post Office in October, and resolves to continue to work with Lochwinnoch Community Council and local ward Councillors to identify options to help maintain a Post Office presence in the village.

Council deplores the wider problem of corporate financial interests, be it banks or the Post Office, abandoning communities across Renfrewshire, both rural and urban, which especially marginalises and excludes those without private transport, the elderly, those on low incomes, or the digitally disadvantaged.

Council calls on the Scottish Government to initiate discussions with the Scottish League of Credit Unions, to examine the viability of a Scottish Credit Bank, which can reconcile the demand for profit with the priority to serve communities".

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

Councillor Sharkey, seconded by Councillor Devine, moved as an amendment that in addition “and other bodies which represent credit unions” be included in the third paragraph of the motion following ‘Scottish League of Credit Unions’.

In terms of Standing Order 27, Councillors Andy Doig and McCartin, being the mover and seconder of the motion agreed to accept the amendment as an addition to the motion and the motion, as amended, was approved unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council deeply regrets the impending closure of Lochwinnoch Post Office in October, and resolves to continue to work with Lochwinnoch Community Council and local ward Councillors to identify options to help maintain a Post Office presence in the village;

(b) That Council deplores the wider problem of corporate financial interests, be it banks or the Post Office, abandoning communities across Renfrewshire, both rural and urban, which especially marginalises and excludes those without private transport, the elderly, those on low incomes, or the digitally disadvantaged; and

(c) That Council calls on the Scottish Government to initiate discussions with the Scottish League of Credit Unions and other bodies which represent credit unions to examine the viability of a Scottish Credit Bank, which can reconcile the demand for profit with the priority to serve communities.

"Council notes the plan by the UK Government to introduce photographic identification for UK Parliamentary elections.  There are concerns that such an action will impact on voter turnout as well as increasing both the administration and costs of such elections.  Council agrees to write to the Prime Minister highlighting this Council’s opposition to the plan."
17

There was submitted a Notice of Motion by Councillors K MacLaren and Mylet in the following terms:

"Council notes the plan by the UK Government to introduce photographic identification for UK Parliamentary elections. There are concerns that such an action will impact on voter turnout as well as increasing both the administration and costs of such elections. Council agrees to write to the Prime Minister highlighting this Council’s opposition to the plan."

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

Councillor Graham, seconded by Councillor McIntyre, moved as an amendment that

“Council notes the plan by the UK Government to introduce photographic identification for UK Parliamentary elections.

Council agrees to work with the UK Government to ensure this does not affect voter turnout and to keep costs to a minimum.”

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Begg, Binks, Graham, Kerr, Mackay, J MacLaren, McIntyre and Strang.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Adam-McGregor, Bibby, Brown, Burns, J Cameron, Provost L Cameron, Campbell, Davidson, Devine, Andy Doig, Audrey Doig, Dowling, Grady, Harte, Hood, Hughes, Kennedy, K MacLaren, M MacLaren, McCartin, McCulloch, McEwan, McGurk, McNaughtan, Montgomery, Mylet, Nicolson, Paterson, Rodden, Sharkey, Shaw, Sheridan and Steel.

Eight members having voted for the amendment and 33 members having voted for the
motion, the motion was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council notes the plan by the UK Government to introduce photographic identification for UK Parliamentary elections;

(b) That there are concerns that such an action will impact on voter turnout as well as increasing both the administration and costs of such elections; and 

(c) That Council agrees to write to the Prime Minister highlighting this Council’s opposition to the plan.

“Care Home Charter of Rights

Council notes that the forthcoming public inquiry into the COVID -19 pandemic will examine its impact in care homes.

One of the most distressing aspects of the pandemic has been the inability of family members to have longed for contact with loved ones resident in care homes which is essential for their wellbeing.

Council believes that a charter of rights for residents and relatives should be introduced without delay which sets out the arrangements for contact and visiting and will write to the Scottish Government with this recommendation.

Council while recognising that such a charter will take into consideration the impact of any future public health concerns, is mindful of the current situation that pertains in regard to the lack of clarity on  care home visits, and that all care homes require to be appropriately resourced to meet the extra costs that visitor covid control measures are incurring.

Council requests that the Health and Social Care Partnership sets out its current and short term intentions on resourcing, visits and contact arrangements which meets the needs of residents and families and will accordingly provide the council with a report by the end of July 2021.”

18

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

“Care Home Charter of Rights

Council notes that the forthcoming public inquiry into the COVID -19 pandemic will examine its impact in care homes.

One of the most distressing aspects of the pandemic has been the inability of family members to have longed for contact with loved ones resident in care homes which is essential for their wellbeing.

Council believes that a charter of rights for residents and relatives should be introduced without delay which sets out the arrangements for contact and visiting and will write to the Scottish Government with this recommendation.

Council while recognising that such a charter will take into consideration the impact of any future public health concerns, is mindful of the current situation that pertains in regard to the lack of clarity on care home visits, and that all care homes require to be appropriately resourced to meet the extra costs that visitor covid control measures are incurring.

Council requests that the Health and Social Care Partnership sets out its current and short term intentions on resourcing, visits and contact arrangements which meets the needs of residents and families and will accordingly provide the council with a report by the end of July 2021.”

Councillor Dowling, seconded by Councillor Bibby, then moved the motion which was agreed unanimously.

DECIDED:

(a) That Council notes that the forthcoming public inquiry into the COVID -19 pandemic will examine its impact in care homes;

(b) That Council notes that one of the most distressing aspects of the pandemic has been the inability of family members to have longed for contact with loved ones resident in care homes which is essential for their wellbeing;

(c) That Council believes that a charter of rights for residents and relatives should be introduced without delay which sets out the arrangements for contact and visiting and will write to the Scottish Government with this recommendation; and

(d) That Council requests that the Health and Social Care Partnership sets out its current and short term intentions on resourcing, visits and contact arrangements which meets the needs of residents and families and will accordingly provide the council with a report by the end of July 2021.

Additional Meeting Documents

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
Councillor Tom Begg10,11as a member of the Board of Renfrewshire LeisureNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Begg remained in the meeting
Councillor Bill Brown18as a family member was a care home residentNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Brown remained in the meeting
Councillor Alison Jean Dowling18as a family member was a care home residentNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Dowling remained in the meeting
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes10,11as chair of the Board of Renfrewshire LeisureNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Hughes remained in the meeting
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes18as a member of Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership Joint CommitteeNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Hughes remained in the meeting
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughesemergency motionas chair of the Board of Renfrewshire LeisureNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Hughes remained in the meeting
Councillor Eileen McCartin10,11As a member of the Board of Renfrewshire LeisureNon-PecuniaryCouncillor McCartin remained in the meeting
Councillor John Shaw9,12as a member of Strathclyde Pension Fund BoardNon-PecuniaryCouncillor Shaw remained in the meeting

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