Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne
Contact: Alison Bluff Governance Officer
Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Jim Clifton, Stan Fox, Natalie Hoy, Tom Kirkham, Peter Roberts and Sandra Peake.
Declarations of Interest
Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:
a) any business on the agenda
b) any urgent additional items to be considered
c) any matters arising out of those items
and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.
There were no declarations made at the meeting.
War in Ukraine
The Leader informed the meeting that Bolsover District Council was doing all it could to support the people who had been displaced in escaping the war in the Ukraine. One or two families had expressed an interest in coming to the District and the Leader and Head of Paid Service would keep Members informed.
Councillor Steve Fritchley, Leader of the Council
This the third time I have brought my concerns about the future structure of Local Government before you.
First it was Vision Derbyshire and secondly the then proposed White Paper on Levelling Up.
The discussion on Vision Derbyshire was based on a ‘Price Waterhouse Cooper’ study commissioned by Derbyshire County Council. I was immediately fearful of the loss of sovereignty and associated jobs that it entailed and you all shared my concern.
Our decision meant that the proposed Vision Derbyshire, which was supposedly, “just waiting for Bolsover District Council to agree”, put other district authorities off as well.
However, as I understand it, not all councils have or are debating the County deal or the White Paper but I feel it should be in front of us all – you should feel free to say what you want, whether you support it, whether you don’t support it, whether you need more clarification and so on.
So it is a deal between government and County – we aren’t consulted on this, we have no input into this but you still need to be able to make your feelings known.
Personally, I think we are at the beginning of what may prove to be a major event in the future of Local Government and you should all be aware of it. I understand that the County Council have until Friday to submit their template to the government for consideration.
Whilst I am a believer in project collaboration that aims to produce an end product, I cannot reconcile myself, and neither can Duncan, to reductions in services and job losses and my views are supported by the 3 main Unions; GMB, Unite, Unison, and I have letters to that affect here today.
We need to discuss the ramifications of “Vision Derbyshire”, and I refer to Vision Derbyshire because that was the structure that the County bid was based on. So we need to discuss the ramifications of Vision Derbyshire and the “Levelling Up” White Paper and the politics of either being a party to, or otherwise of, what “might be”.
I want us to talk about the positives of collaboration, we’ve been doing it for years, and the negatives that are providing the impetus for change:
· For a number of years local authorities have relied more and more on the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to balance the budget. The main ingredients of authorities’ income are Council Tax, NNDR and RSG.
· The limitation on Council Tax increases have essentially controlled the amount of income in that respect.
· The reduction in RSG support is adding to the squeeze.
· The financial security, or even insecurity, from the above has, to some degree, been mitigated by adjustments to the NNDR pool but will not continue.
This forces Local Authorities to reduce expenditure through efficiency savings which has meant staff reductions etc. The easiest solution during this time had been collaboration and shared services – the Bolsover District Council and North ... view the full minutes text for item CL93-21/22