IRVINE, 26 April 2005 - At a Meeting of North Ayrshire Council at 2.00 p.m.
Drew Duncan, Jane Gorman, Gordon Allison, Thomas Barr, John Bell, Jacqueline Browne, Jack Carson, Gordon Clarkson, Ian Clarkson, Margie Currie, Stewart Dewar, Jean Highgate, Alan Hill, Margaret McDougall, Elizabeth McLardy, Peter McNamara, Elisabethe Marshall, John Moffat, David Munn, Margaret Munn, Alan Munro, David O'Neill, Robert Rae, Donald Reid, John Reid, Ian Richardson, Samuel Taylor and Nan Wallace.
I Snodgrass, Chief Executive; B Docherty, Corporate Director (Social Services); T Orr, Corporate Director (Property Services); J Travers, Corporate Director (Educational Services); J Barrett, Assistant Chief Executive (Information Technology); I Mackay, Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Protective); D Nibloe, Chief Accountant (Finance); A Wattie, Communications Officer, G Lawson, Head of Corporate and Democratic Support and S Bale, Corporate and Democratic Support Officer (Chief Executive's).
Provost Duncan in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Anna Donn and Richard Wilkinson.
1. George Steven
The Provost referred to the recent death of former Convener of North Ayrshire Council, George Steven. He paid tribute to Mr Steven and on behalf of the Council expressed his deepest sympathy to Mr Steven's wife and family.
The Council observed one minute's silence as a mark of respect for the death of George Steven.
The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 5 April 2005 were approved.
3. Leader's Report
The Leader of the Council reported on the following items:-
The Public Private Partnership for Schools Project, the design consultation on the Project which was running from 12 to 25 April and the various methods of consultation which were being undertaken including the issue of 10,000 newsletters, a programme of briefing meetings for staff, pupils, School Boards and Trades Unions, and design exhibitions in the schools affected. To date 230 responses had been received. Final planning permission had not yet been granted and this would allow a further period of consultation.
The relocation of Accountant in Bankruptcy civil servant jobs to North Ayrshire. The Council was also pursuing the relocation of 850 jobs from the Registers of Scotland, with North Ayrshire being 1 of the 6 sites shortlisted.
The Standards Commission Roadshow which was being held on 18 May in Ayr, aimed mainly at Committee Chairs and Scrutiny Chairs, which he encouraged all Members to attend.
4. Committee Chairs' Reports
Educational Services Committee
The Chair of the Educational Services Committee reported on the following items:-
£4.23m funding set aside for Pre-School education, with places being purchased at £1,125 per place, which includes £50 for staff development purposes.
The HMIE report on Stanecastle School which was 1 of the best in Scotland.
Social Services Committee
The Chair of the Social Services Committee reported on the following item:-
The Strategic Review of Older People's Services which had agreed that 6 units across North Ayrshire providing in-house residential care for older people be redesigned. The internal redesign of Canal Court Residential Unit in Saltcoats was completed in February 2005, and the new facility included 10 single en-suite bedrooms. A Project Plan will now be prepared for Montgomery Court in Kilbirnie to provide a specialist facility for dementia. An Open Day will be held at Canal Court, Saltcoats on 10 May 2005 to which all Members will be invited.
5. Committee Minutes
Submitted the annexed reports of Committees, being the Minutes of the Meetings held on the undernoted dates, which were approved as follows:-
Licensing Sub Committee of Corporate Services Committee: 11 April 2005
Moved by Councillor D Munn and seconded by Councillor Moffat (pages 1-6).
Educational Services Committee: 12 April 2005
Moved by Councillor McNamara and seconded by Councillor Browne (pages 7-15).
As an amendment, Councillor Hill seconded by Councillor Rae, moved in relation to Item 2: Public Private Partnership for Schools Project: Progress Report, paragraph 2 on page 8 of the Minutes, that the reference to the PPP Project Board recommending a preferred bidder to the Corporate Policy Committee in May 2005 should be altered to refer the matter to a Special Meeting of the Council instead. He also requested that consideration of re-running the public consultation process included on the agenda for discussion.
On a division, there voted for the amendment 9 and for the motion 18, and the motion was declared carried.
Accordingly, the Council agreed to approve the Minutes of the Educational Services Committee held on 12 April 2005.
Planning Sub Committee of Corporate Services Committee: 18 April 2005
Moved by Councillor D Munn and seconded by Councillor Barr (pages 16-27).. In moving the Minutes, Councillor Munn advised the Council that application 04/01131/PP: Lamlash: Site to the West of the Drift Inn at Item 1.1 on page 16 of the Minutes had been withdrawn by the applicant.
Councillor Munro requested that Item 2.2: 04/01063/PP: Stevenston: Site to North of Pennyburn Roundabout on page 17 of the Minutes be remitted back to the Planning Sub Committee for further consideration.
Councillor Munn responded that in the absence of any new information, it would not be appropriate to remit the item back to the Sub Committee.
As an amendment, Councillor Hill seconded by Councillor Rae, moved in relation to Item 5.1: 04/01118/PP: Isle of Cumbrae: Millport: Golf Road: Site to the North and East of Penmachrie, on page 24 of the Minutes, that paragraph 3 be amended to read "The Sub Committee considered the planning application and the relevance of the planning history of the site".
On a division, there voted for the amendment 9 and for the motion 16, and the motion was declared carried.
Accordingly, the Council agreed to approve the Minutes of the Planning Sub Committee of Corporate Services Committee held on 18 April 2005.
Social Services Committee: 19 April 2005
Moved by Councillor Munro and seconded by Councillor M Munn (pages 28-33).
In terms of Standing Order No. 14, submitted a Motion by Councillor Hill and seconded by Councillor Currie in the following terms:-
"North Ayrshire Council notes the recent Scottish Executive Planning Policy SPP15 - Planning for Rural Development. The Council notes the fact that with reference to this particular Policy the term "rural" means the countryside and settlements of 3,000 population or less.
The Council notes the Scottish Executive's belief that rural areas have an important role in helping to meet the demand for housing and that in less populated areas there should be greater scope for more initiative Planning Policies.
The Council recognises the importance of these new Planning guidelines and also accepts the fact that the local community within the rural areas should have the opportunity to influence the future direction of Planning Policy in this area.
North Ayrshire Council therefore instructs the Assistant Chief Executive (Development and Promotion) to consult with communities on the Islands of Arran and Cumbrae and elsewhere within the Council area (as appropriate) in order to listen to, and be guided by, local opinion with regard to this matter".
The Chair of the Corporate Services Committee responded in the following terms:-
"The Council recognises that there is national guidance under which planning authorities must operate and that the recent publications on rural development are intended to complement established policies. These policies cover sustainable development, economic competitiveness, social justice, environmental quality and design. All of these issues, including housing, have to be considered.
The Council recognises that the planning system is the vehicle to enable and create opportunities for development and that development plans should set out appropriate land use strategy and policies. The Development Planning Section will be reporting to the Corporate Services Committee on 14 June on the wider implications of the new Planning Guidance for Rural Development. At that time potential alterations to the Council's two local plans and any interim policies will be discussed. Any formal alteration to the local plans involves statutory public consultation and consideration of any representations from the local community and the wider communities of interest. If there are opposing views which cannot be reconciled a public local inquiry will have to be held".
As an amendment, Councillor D Munn, seconded by Councillor J Reid, moved that North Ayrshire Council notes the position on the policy and advice issued in February on rural development.
On a division, there voted for the motion 9, and for the amendment 18 and the amendment was declared carried.
Accordingly, the Council noted the position on the policy and advice issued in February on rural development.
Submitted report by the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Protective) seeking authorisation for a resolution to implement the arrangements for noise control in terms of Part 5 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004.
The Council agreed to (a) adopt the resolution annexed to the report; (b) create noise control areas within North Ayrshire in terms of Section 41 of the Anti Social Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004; (c) publicise the passing of the resolution; and (d) to review the position in 1 year's time.
8. Appointments to Outside Bodies: Ayrshire Educational Trust
Submitted report by the Chief Executive seeking the appointment of two Members to fill vacancies arising on the Ayrshire Educational Trust.
The Council agreed to appoint Councillors Barr and Marshall to the Ayrshire Educational Trust.